After expressing some interest in my grandmother's Williams family ancestry to my aunt, and sending my aunt some new information I had found, she sent me a stack of old letters from the early 1800s.
A number of the letters were addressed to my 4th-great-grandmother, then living in New York City. One of the letters, shown here, was postmarked 28 Dec 1815 addressed to her, Mrs. Henderson, Pearl Street, New York City.
One of the letters is a forwarded inquiry as to the whereabouts of a member of another family, apparently neighbors or aquaintences of my ancestors in London, England. You may read the entire letter if you wish.
Some information new to me was the return addresses penned by her father, Barnard Bayley; one of No. 58 Red Cross Street, Cripplegate, and another of 113 Fore Street Cripplegate. The dateline of the letters indicated that they had been written in London.
My knowledge of this family previous to receiving these letters was that my 4th-great-grandmother, Keziah Jane Rebecca Bayley, and her husband Robert Henderson were marked as "come-overs" on my grandmother's pedigree chart. I had no idea where they had come from, but now, having seen these letters, I knew that I should start my search looking for Cripplegate, London!
So, I promptly went to the local Family History Center (FHC) in Broomall, and found Cripplegate Parish, London, in an atlas that had an enlarged map of London, showing the various parish boundaries. I then used one of the center's computers to see if I could find any of the family members in any of the Family Search databases, in particular the International Genealogical Index (IGI), which is divided into geographic regions. In this case I was looking through the IGI for the British Isles.
All of this happened a couple of years ago. Now we have the availability of searching the IGI or Ancestral File through the Internet at a website set up by the LDS Family History Library in Salt Lake, http://familysearch.org, so lets go try doing just that. We'll look for my 4th-great-grandmother, Keziah Jane Rebecca Bayley, who was born 26 Jan 1778, and died 20 Jan 1821, having married a Robert Henderson.
(I did an IGI search of British Isles for Jane Kesiah Bayley - see response#104. Then, note that the "Batch Number." is NOT the correct film order number. Next, a search for Jane Bayley with a husband surnamed Henderson)
We'll have to try rearranging her given names a bit if we can't find her. Even though the same IGI database accessible at the Family History Centers can be searched through the Internet, the display method is a little bit different. At the FHCs, you can scroll through the list alphabetically, whereas on the Internet, you get only responses that match your query. So it's a good idea to try a number of variations when searching for someone.
Well, I did find her in the IGI at the local FHC, under the name Jane Keziah Rebecca Bayley, in both a search for an Individual and a search for a Marriage! NOTE that her first two names were switched around! I found that the microfilm numbers cited pertained to Parish records of St. Giles, Cripplegate, London and ordered a copy of the film (FHC-library-loan) and waited for it to arrive.
I was so pleased when I found christening record for Keziah Jane Rebecca Bayley (and those of four apparent siblings), listed as daughter of Barnard Bayley, watchmaker, and Mary. (I had not known previously that her mother's name was Mary!).
I also found the marriage record for Jane Keziah Rebecca Bayley and Robert Henderson, apparently witnessed by both of their fathers. I was fortunate that I had the letters so that I could even compare Barnard Bayley's signatures on the letters with those in the marriage register - he had signed as a witness! (compare the signatures for yourself)