What happened in 1857 or 1858 that would cause Northumberland coal miner's daughter to be born in Prussia

+9 votes
189 views

Hi all

I'm trying to fill in some gaps for my partner's 3x great grandpa (or, if you like, my children's 4x great grandpa) Thomas RUTTER and his daughter Isabella Ann SHARP (nee RUTTER).

Thomas: http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Rutter-320

Isabella: http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Rutter-319

I used www.freecen.org.uk to find Thomas Rutter (the daddy of the household in 1861) in one of the free UK census datasets available (1861 census) but couldn't find him in any other. I have provided a transcript of the transcribed census data in both WikiTree biographies (linked above). I'm quite certain this particular census entry relates to my family members, even though calls into question various birth dates my father-in-law has written down by hand since the margin of error is less than 5 years.

Note that it says Isabella was born "Overseas - British - Prussia". What could this mean for a (supposedly simple) coal miner? Was he in the British armed forces? Was there any reason for the British Army to be in Prussia (or some other British-Prussian territory in the world) at the time?

Thank you

WikiTree profile: Thomas Rutter
in Genealogy Help by Lisa Thurston G2G1 (1.2k points)
edited by Lisa Thurston
The "Kingdom of Prussia" was huge then - it sprawled across northern Europe from Belgium to Lithuania.

2 Answers

+1 vote
 
Best answer
Could be Hanover. 1714 - 1837 the Kurfürstentum Braunschweig-Lüneburg, after 1814 Kingdom of Hanover (Königreich Hannover) was ruled in personal union with the United Kingdom. Victoria could not become Queen of Hanover due to Salian inheritance rules, so her uncle Ernst August became King of Hanover ending the personal union of Hanover and Great Britain. He was born at Buckingham Palace. He was the Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale and Earl of Armagh before becoming King of Hanover. In 1866 the Kingdom of Hanover became the Prussian Provinz Hannover.

Plenty of opportunities for British expats to be in what would become a Prussian province.
by Helmut Jungschaffer G2G6 Pilot (545k points)
selected by Foster Ockerman
Nice one. I never thought of this. Still, that would mean Thomas the coalminer with an Anglicised surname and his pregnant wife were living in Hanover and I'm still curious at to the why?
+2 votes
If you do a Google search for 'Northumberland coal miner Prussia', you will find some similar questions asked about other coal mining families from Northumberland and County Durham, with a child born in Prussia in the 1860s-1870s.

There doesn't seem to be a definitive answer,  but the suggestion that if it was a British company doing or financing the mining in Prussia, they may have taken a cohort of English miners to start the mine off, perhaps makes sense.
by John Atkinson G2G6 Pilot (486k points)
Thank you. This sounds like a likely scenario.

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