Help figuring out if there were four children or two with different dates? (Yorkshire 1740s)

+4 votes

Hi I have been working on a profile for the biography builders, and I need some help figuring out the number of children John and Ann had.

The children are (all born in Settle, Yorkshire):

  1. Elizabeth b.28 April 1741
  2. Alice b.5 November 1741
  3. Elizabeth b.28 June 1742
  4. Alice b.5 January 1743

Are there four children (Elizabeth, Alice, Elizabeth, and Alice), three children, two children (Elizabeth and Alice).



WikiTree profile: Ann Wildman
asked in Genealogy Help by A. C. Raper G2G6 Mach 4 (43.8k points)
edited by John Atkinson
Based on what I found, I've added a couple of other tags

4 Answers

+2 votes
Sorry I'm going to complicate the issue rather than solve it -

It's a pity the original record isn't available to view via the FamilySearch database because the BMDRegisters website has something completely different.

The RG6 is records from the Society of Friends (Quakers) of Yorkshire and the original record is of Bentham births (there was a Quakers group there in Low Bentham)

It has

Elizabeth daughter of John Wildman of Stockbridge in Trentham (?) born 4mo (month?) 28 1742 (28 April 1742)

Alice daughter of John Wildman aforesaid 11mo 5 1743 (5 November 1743)

I only had credits enough to see that page, but the search is free, and there are no children with the surname Wildman born in 1741 or 28 June 1742 or 5 January 1743.

The site is here
answered by John Atkinson G2G6 Pilot (323k points)
Thanks for that, its weird that familysearch lists them as being in Settle, I'll look into it more, thanks for saying they were Quakers, I didn't know that
The records are in as well and the entire book is From the Monthly Meeting of Settle / County of York / No. 1404 / containing Marriages from 1660-1775; Births from 1654 to 1771, Burials from 1659 to 1774.

So perhaps Settle was the main Meeting group and they collected all the records from other meeting groups in Yorkshire?   The writing all looked the same at the pages I looked at, so perhaps this book is a transcription of original records.  

This article states that Registers of baptisms, marriages and burials of many nonconformist churches were collected and validated, so perhaps this is the copy sent to the British government as it is from the Public Record Office (UK)
The months count from March, so 4mo 28 1742 is 28 June 1742.

11mo 5 1743 would be 5 Jan 1743/4, if 1743 is what's actually written.

Which solves the problem.  3 is correct, 4 is Old Style (so 18 months after 3), 1 and 2 are calendar conversion errors.
+1 vote
I think these four children relate to more than one John Wildman.

The first two children's birth are recorded in England Births & Christenings (1538-1975) signifying Church of England. The other two births listed are under Non conformist records in the meeting house in Settle.

You have the marriage of John Wildman as 16 March 1741 Settle, Yorkshire, That relates to a Non conformist marriage record, silent on the spouse. ( John's spouse, Ann Atkinson's marriage however confirms this date, whilst giving reference to her parents. ( Notice her mother's name.

Reverting to the first two children, One born, the other concieved out of wedlock, with births recorded in C of E records.These suggest another John Wildman is their father.

answered by R W G2G6 Pilot (257k points)
I totally missed two of the records being CoE, and the others quakers, I must have been focussing on the names and place.

Those records were the only Wildman children in settle and the fact its only Alice and Elizabeth which were both family names, their grandmother was Elizabeth (although they are generally popular names).

I think it was the simmilarity for the Elizabeths in dates that had me confused if the records were about the same child, and that I have seen examples of familysearch showing the same child under both conformist and non conformist records before.

I looked on FamilySearch the only other John Wildman marriages I can see in YKS between 1700 - 43 are:

  • 1743, Bentham, to Elizabeth Willdman
  • 1731, Ingleton, to Alice Balldeston
  • 1731, Leeds, to Rachel Featherstone
  • 1730, Leeds, to Jane Cawtheray
  • 1713, Elland, to Grace Firth
  • 1700, Waddington, to Isabella Green

The bolded ones being more likely to have children in 41 - 43. Looking at possible children of those bolded marriages there appears to be kids born in Leeds and Ingleton which fit the parents marriage dates suggesting they stayed where they married. 

For other John Wildmans these are those born in YKS between 1680 - 1727 and appear tp have survived to the 1740s:

  • 1718, Wakefield, Father: John
  • 1715, Ripponden, John
  • 1715, Leeds, Henry
  • 1715, Settle, Thomas
  • 1706, Leeds, John
  • 1705, Ingleton, Robert
  • 1704, Armley/Leeds, Stephen
  • 1698, Settle, John
  • 1697, Bentham, Henry
  • 1696, Settle, John
  • 1691, Collingham, John
  • 1687, Ingleton, Thomas
  • 1687, Arncliffe, Thomas
  • 1681, Settle, Martin
The bolded ones being from Settle (all non conformist) so more likely to have kids there.
I'm uncertain of there are two John Wildmans having children in Settle in the 1740s who the other one would be.


John also said there was a Bentham link in the original records, but I am unable to access them, so that may help.
I have pondered most of today on your question, but I am not able to reach & prove a finite conclusion.

With both C of E records and  Non conformist records it suggest, to me, two John Wildman's as father.

Non conformist records are not as specific as C of E. So Settle may well include an area of 20 mile radius. (I have Grassington residents showing up in Bradford non conformist records). That radius may put the family into Lancashire, but I am not sure whether non conformist records were County contained.


English Births and Christenings is not just Anglican. This  particular set of  records are from the IGI (batch number C01364-9  and is a batch from an unspecified source. (I don't think the LDS always knows where these indexes originally came from. When they do, they label them

   I suspect as RJ said that they were indexed by someone who did not take into account the fact that the first month of the year was March not January. (check out the less common name of Seibell in the two indexes, one says August, the other October ) 

The actual image on Ancestry is from  PRO RG 6 Piece 1116: Monthly Meeting of Settle (1652-1775)

 Head of page  Bentham Births cont

Eliz'th daug' r of John Wildman of Stockbridge in Tatham 4 mo 28 174[2] (ie  June 1742)

Alice daug'r of John Wildman aforesaid 11 mo 5 174[3]  (Jan 1743/4)

 The last figure is in brackets because it is a bit of guesswork as only a   tiny bit of the last number is visible on the page (pretty certain the first is correct ,the second a little less so, Ancestry index has these dates It  is clear that they have transcribed the year as written ) .    

The marriage between Alice and John Cumberland confirms the place (wasn't certain of my transcription, as Tatham is not in Yorkshire)

 John Cumberland, son of Stephen Cumberland late of Gray Hill in the Parish of Tatham and County of Lancs, Linnen Weaver, and Eliz, his late Widow- And Alice Wildman Daughter of John Wildman, late of Stockbridge in the aforesaid parish and County, Linnen Weaver and Ann his late Widow having declared their intention of taking  each other in Marige before several Meetings of the People called Quakers, in the West riding of the County of  York, and the proceedings of the said, John Cumberland and Alice Wildman, after due enquiry and deliberate consideration thereof were allowed by the said meetings, they appearing clear of all others and having neither parents nor guardians in trust surviving

Now these are to certify to  all whom it may concern that for accomplishing their said marriage this fourth day of the fifth month called May in the year One thousand, seven hundred and seventy five, they the said John  Cumberland  and Alice Wildman appeared in a public assembly of the aforesaid people and others in their Meeting House at Bentham  (cont) At the end both couples 'signed' and there is a list of all the witnesses including Thomas and James Wildman. It's clear that this is a copy and not the original record since all the signatures are in the same hand as the rest of the entry.

It's not as simple as the year starting in March. It actually started on Lady Day March 25th. However the convention of starting the new year on January was already widely used before the 1752 Act. Dates before April were sometimes written with two dates to avoid ambiguity.
+2 votes

Without commenting on the specific case, I have often found in my research cases where children have died at a very young age and their younger siblings were then given the same first name. I understand this was a very common custom and childhood mortality was, of course, very common.

This can be very confusing at first, until you notice the dates. Here is an example from my family:

Robert Turvey, chr 26 Feb 1772, died 2 Mar 1772,

His younger brother, Robert Turvey chr. 31 Mar 1773

answered by Andrew Turvey G2G6 Mach 2 (20.6k points)
+2 votes
The Alices are definitely the same. Alice was born on the Quaker date 5th of the 11th month, 1742. The 11th month of the Quaker calendar is January, NOT November. The Quaker year does not change until late March, so Alice was born on Julian date 5 January 1743 New Style. One person correctly expressed her birthday New Style. Another person did not understand the Quaker calendar and thought the 11th month was November, and did not increment the year properly.

The Elizabeths are also the same person. Elizabeth was born 28 4th month 1742. The 4th month is June, not April. In either case it should be 1742 because after March Old Style and New Style are the same. Someone else entered her date without understanding Quaker dates and somehow got the year wrong.
answered by Anonymous Tain G2G Crew (760 points)
edited by Anonymous Tain

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