Which Henry Clack married Margaret Cambray

+2 votes
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Firstly I really thought that I had posted this question a few days ago but can't find it nor any answers so I apologise in advance if I am duplicating:

Henry Clack https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Clack-111 -- had children with Margaret, children baptised in Clanfield, Oxfordshire. 

Was she Margaret Cambray, https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Cambray-14 (marriage Great Rissington, 22 September 1722?  She was from a landed family (See https://www.familysearch.org/library/books/records/item/59648-the-family-of-cambray-of-great-rissington-and-icomb-gloucestershire-with-a-note-upon-the-medieval-cambrays?viewer=1&offset=43#page=1&viewer=picture&o=info&n=0&q=) (p.11 there is an error her husband was Henry Clack not Clark in register.

There is no indication that the Clanfield Clacks ever had land ownership and a generation later they were mostly labourers. 

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Clack-614 of Shilton--landed family seems a more  likely to be marrying a woman from a landed family (Shilton is alsoh closer to Rissington than Clanfield).Which Henry, if either of them married Margaret Cambray in Great Rissington, Gloucestershire on 22 September 1722? And how should I handle this in terms of their profiles.

So the question is

  1. Do I leave Margaret Cambray connected to https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Clack-111?
  2. Do I move her to https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Clack-616 with an uncertain tag and note in the Bio.
  3. Do I disconnect her from https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Clack-111? And leave her disconnected completely maybe with a reference in the Bio that these are possible candidates.
  4. Can anyone find any more information/sources that clarify this or perhaps lead to a different solution?
WikiTree profile: Margaret Clack
in Genealogy Help by Sharon Caldwell G2G6 Mach 1 (13.5k points)

1 Answer

+3 votes
 
Best answer
This does not give a definitive answer to your question, but the will of Thomas Cambray of Great Rissington (proved 1741 Consistory Court of Gloucester; dated 1739) includes a bequest to "my cousin Margrett Clacke of Clanfield wife of Henry Clacke". Image available on Ancestry: https://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc=pg41300975&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&indiv=1&dbid=4294&gsln=Cambray&cp=0&new=1&rank=1&uidh=pg4&redir=false&msT=1&gss=angs-d&pcat=36&fh=7&h=1703&recoff=&ml_rpos=8&queryId=bac8d78a2aef2ef49408fc45431ecc41

There are quite a few Cambray wills; this is the only one I have looked at. (Because it seemed most likely to be helpful.)

I will also add that the wording in the will suggests to me that Henry as well as Margaret was alive in 1739, which seems an open question on his profile.

As to the Clanfield Clacks ever having land ownership, there is a will of a Robert Clack of Clanfield, who calls himself a yeoman, which was proved in the Archdeaconry Court of Oxford in 1738: he might have disagreed. Robert doesn't seem to mention anyone called Clack in his will, so he might represent the end of a line of Clacks.
by Paul Betteridge G2G3 (3.6k points)
selected by Sharon Caldwell
Thank you - really helpful.
Any idea where I can find that will or Robert Clack? I am really not used to researching people who actually owned anything! I am now digging deeper into those Clacks and Cambray's. Thanks again for your help.

Oxfordshire wills proved in local courts are held by the Oxfordshire History Centre, and images are available on Find My Past: https://search.findmypast.co.uk/search-world-Records/oxfordshire-wills-index-1516-1857 (but obviously you need a subscription.)

For the will of Robert Clack, (and many other people,) you can find a reliable transcript on the website of Oxfordshire Family History Society here: http://wills.oxfordshirefhs.org.uk/az/wtext/clack_004.html

The main wills site is here: http://wills.oxfordshirefhs.org.uk/index.html This site doesn't contain all the Oxfordshire wills of course. But for those that are there, submitted by volunteers and curated with some care, it is very useful.

As well as local courts in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, you would need to check the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. These are held by the National Archives of the UK (who I think are still providing free digital downloads) and through a number of genealogy subscription sites, including Ancestry and The Genealogist.

When it comes to actually using wills and other probate records as a source, here are some hints:

  • It's always worth trying as a source - people who one would not expect to find may have left a will - but don't be disappointed if you don't find anything. (It was common to leave making a will until the last possible moment, and many died without doing so.)
  • Many of the most interesting connections come from wills of people who are not direct ancestors; this includes people with different surnames, of course. So starting with Thomas Cambray's will, it would be worth checking all the people he named in his will to see if they also mentioned Margaret. (This is another reason the Oxfordshire FHS site is so valuable, because it indexes everyone mentioned.) And some wills are really uninformative; disappointing but true.
  • Because a will can be a long document in unfamiliar handwriting I find it is all too easy to miss things when reading on screen, so making a transcript or at least full notes can help to ensure that you miss nothing important. (You will almost certainly come across words that you cannot read on the first (or second) go too - at least I generally do. Move on and come back later.)
  • While wills for married women in 18th and early 19th century England are really uncommon, unmarried women and widows often left wills, and because their family relationships are different to their husbands, they can be illuminating in themselves.
  • Not everyone mentioned in a will is a relative of the testator, although they are probably all part of the history of the testator. And (particularly in older 17th and early 18th century wills) it is worth noting bequests to the poor of such-and-such a place; they often indicate places of birth or residence. Not solid proof, but useful clues. In the 16th and 17th centuries, bequests to a parish church and diocesan cathedral may have similar interpretations.

Best of luck - you will need some - but it can provide insights available in no other way.

Thank you Paul - that is really helpful. My problem is more with finding the wills than with reading and analysing them. I have no problem with the writing - I have been working with historical documents for about 42 years and am currently working with my husband on an article on the period between the abolition of the slave trade and the abolition of slavery in South Africa with a special focus on the Eastern Cape area. Anyhow the point is I can read them if I can find them, and that is the bit I find very challenging in respect of English documents. Some counties I just can't find images of the documents at all - for e.g. Berkshire where most of my Clacks lived --- all I can find online are old IGI records, although I must say the older records seems to have more reliable transcriptions than the newer transcriptions. 

I really appreciate your taking the time for this really long and helpful feedback.

For Berkshire, there is a comprehensive index to probate records at Berkshire Record Office here: https://www.berkshirerecordoffice.org.uk/wills-index

but no online access to the records themselves, which is quite limiting, even if you live in the same country. 

There are also many Berkshire probate records in the Wiltshire probate collection, held at that county's record office; they are available online through Ancestry.

If I am working in a new English county, and many did have more complex probate arrangements than Oxfordshire, I would start with either Genuki (Berkshire example: https://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/BRK#ProbateRecords ) or the FamilySearch wiki (Berkshire example: https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Berkshire_Probate_Records ) to identify courts, repositories, and indexes.

The lack of cheap (after paying your subscription) online access is a problem, because as I mentioned in my previous message, it is often an effective strategy to look at many wills of possible interest. That doesn't work well if you are paying GBP 10 per copy - a possibly acceptable price for one key will for an ancestor, not as a means of surveying a family.

Thanks, that helps some - but yes the cost is exorbitant with converted into SA Rands. Those links will get me stared thought. Thanks again.

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