An Ethelbert Update – Part II

At the end of May I was having a a chat with my friend, fellow researcher, ex-colleague (and self-confessed ‘bad blogger’) Carole from over at Davies of Mold and Ancestry Examiner and we got to discussing the status of certificate ordering from the GRO in the current … environment.

Whilst the website says that certificates shouldn’t be ordered unless for official reasons, I wondered if this was true for PDF versions of birth and death certificates or if ordering them would be a bit of a … dick move. We both decided that as the scans are on a central server, the archivists working from home could access them without too much hassle or – more importantly – risk to themselves or others. And if it was small order then there shouldn’t be a big problem. So I did.

Remember Little Ethelbert? His certs were the ones I ordered, so this post is a little addendum to his story!

So what do they tell us? Well, we know that he was baptised as Harry Ethelbert Teagle and buried as Ethelbert Teagle, but registered with the surname Stevens at birth and both Teagle and Holborow at death.

Well, it appears that Mama Mary might have been a little … economical with the truth when she registered the birth:

In short, there is no marriage between Mary Teagle and Harry/Henry Stevens. Or any variant thereof.

I think that I may have identified the named father, Harry Stevens. I believe that he may have been one Henry Thomas Stevens, born in 1872 in the nearby parish of Crudwell. Sadly, I can’t locate him in the 1891 census, but in 1896 he (I believe) marries in Iowa. Did he hump and dump Mary? Of course, there may never have been a “Harry Stevens”. He certainly didn’t make an appearance on the baptismal register …

… nor in the burial register:

Which, of course, leads us to the only other official document on which Little Ethelbert appears: his death certificate.

The poor little mite.

And it becomes clear as to why his death registration appears under both Teagle and Holborow. I admit that I had somehow imagined that the double-registration had something good to say about Joseph, and now I wonder if it says something different. The fact that Mary, as the named informant, has stated that Ethelbert was her son and she is now married to Joseph Holborow implies a sense of … difference. Perhaps not though. I can’t sit here 123 years later and second-guess a grieving mother. But it does rather nail down that she is ‘my’ Mary Teagle.

It’s a shame that my great-grandfather didn’t get to know his half-brother, and that his existence was forgotten by the rest of the family for so long.

But that’s it for the Ethelberts. (Although I reserve the right to ignore that statement in the future!)


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