Joseph Meek of Ruardean (Parish Records)

by imarlb, Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 19:44 (2505 days ago) @ jimashton

Hello Jim:

I agree with what you and MPGriffiths have said. I had all of those Josephs too. I was hopeful that the wills would sort things out.

The documentary evidence back to the Joseph MEEK who married Ann HARRISON is reasonably convincing. My problem is establishing which of the several Josephs this one is. There's not sufficient evidence from the PR's alone and not even when you add in the wills but we are building a set of circumstantial evidence which may hang together enough unless further evidence comes to light to refute it.

The John who married Elizabeth SMART, had a son Joseph baptised 10 Dec 1749. This is entirely consistent with age at burial of 55 in 1805 or for that matter age of 69 in 1819. The other Joseph who fits this age criterion closely is the son of James and Elizabeth. That is, if we only consider Ruardean.

Naming patterns for children of Joseph and Ann (nee Harrison) do lend credence to his father being John and his maternal grandfather being Henry though they don't seem to name a daughter Elizabeth after either one of the potential mothers.

The wills for John Meek and for Henry Smart would indicate that Joseph was a coal miner or collier. If he was managing the coal mine then he might survive to be 69 years old but if he had been a hewer, say, then the death at 55 is much more likely. 10 generations of coal miners in the family tree give the experience that longevity is pretty unusual for this occupation.

I'm not convinced yet, but am definitely leaning towards Joseph son of John and Elizabeth (nee SMART). By the way I can eliminate Susannah (not mentioned in the will) as there's a burial for her in October 1750. We would also have to transform Sarah baptised in 1748 to Ann mentioned in the will. This is not out of the question as I've seen this kind of thing before. It would have been better though not to have to do it.

There's definitely more work to do here. I'm hoping we'll be able to build a good case eventually.

Best wishes, Irene

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