Sunday, April 3, 2016

Gt Gt Grandfather in the Bodmin Gaol records!!!

Wow!!!  Pulled up Ancestry and saw a new record set for "Bodmin Gaol Records" -- thought I'd put in the name Hurrell, as I always do with Cornish and Devon records to see if I'd get a hit.  No luck there, so tried Pearse .....and lo and behold, there was the following entry:

Name:Henry Pearce
Birth Year:abt 1817
Abode or Birth Place:Harford late St Stephens by Saltash
Marital Status:Married
Number of Children:4
Prison:Bodmin Gaol
Prison Location:Bodmin, Cornwall, England
Notes:Breach of peace twds his wife. No appearance against him. Ltrs. to/fro wife Susan at St. Ive and to bro. Wm.
Discharged Date:1848
County or County Code:DEV
Registration Number:9121
Amazing!! This is my 2nd Gt Grandfather, Henry Carew Pearce who married Susan Hurrell.  This breach of the peace between he and his wife, obviously must have been resolved, as they went on to have my Gt Grandfather Nathaneal Hurrell Pearce the following year, and 3 more children after that.  
But the reference to his brother William is a HUGE FIND!!!!  I didn't have any brother for him (particularly since he was a bastard).  The name makes sense, since the father of Henry Pearse is William Pearce.
Now, to see if I can order these records from the Cornwall Register Office!!!

I was recently at Who Do You Think You Are 2016 -- in Birmingham, and asked 2 experts about this. One was a former magistrate, and he said it would be very unusual to jail someone for breach of the peace with their wife. I asked if it was something like assault, would that make it more likely? He said possibly, but still seemed puzzled.  Another expert thought perhaps he had run off and wasn't providing for his wife and four children, and arresting and jailing him was a way of getting him to support his family. This seems the more plausible explanation to me, but we will see what the records show.

This expert also said, if you can get a record of the indictment or trial, it will be a gold mine......fingers crossed on that!  She also suggested checking newspapers, but the coverage in this area isn't great (yet).

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