Sunday, September 18, 2016

William Portas and Elizabeth Knight: A Short Story

Sometimes as I wonder through my files and images, I come across items I haven't paid that much attention to for awhile or I have some to fill in. I must have gone off on some other wild goose chase and never came back.

Back in 2014, when Bob and I were in Lincolnshire, England visiting cousins and doing family research, we stopped at the North Coates parish church to get pictures of the churchyard and the headstone of my fourth great grandparents William and Elizabeth (Knight) Portas. About two years ago I wrote a blog posting about the visit ... Don’t Do What I Did When Visiting a Parish Church and Graveyard where, after coming home to Illinois, I discovered I didn't get the headstone image I was seeking. Dah!

I found this note on William's family card in my tree program:
Attention: BAPTISM information from cousin Margaret on 23 Jul 2010 email - "Although I had the same bap date as you i.e. 9 Aug 1761 this in fact does not belong to Elizabeth with parents David and Susannah. The IGI shows the parents as a William Portas and Ann?"
The sentence about IGI seems to be a mistake...should be "parents as a William and Ann Knight."

Cousin Margaret and I had been looking for Elizabeth's parents. We tried the naming practice first...William as first son, so father's father should be William. Nope...he should have been named Joseph but wasn't. David is second son, so mother's father should be David. And that is what we were originally going by because the name David as far as we knew, showed up first at this time in my Portas family. Well as it turns out, William is Elizabeth's father's name. I could go a little further -- third son Joseph should be named after his father...nope...he is named after his paternal grandfather! So the whole naming practice theory is out the window with this family.

Even though I don't have a lot of information on my 4x great grandparents, I can write about what I know so far. Maybe someone out there can fill in a few blanks.

William is the son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Moor) Portas of Marshchapel, Lincs. He was baptized 9 Apr 1754 at St. Mary's church.
Baptized   9th of Apr  William Son of Joseph and Elizabeth Portas in St. Mary's church, Marshchapel.
This image of St. Mary's was taken by me.
For some reason we didn't go into the churchyard.
There may have been a wedding going on when we were there.
Image of St. Mary's was taken by Paul Fenwick.
It is on Lincolnshire Church Photographs.
Elizabeth, the daughter of William and Ann Knight, was baptized 9 Aug 1761 in St. Mary's church. I could only find this typed transcript on film so far in my travels to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. I've got it on my To-Do list for my next trip. So for now, I have to go with what I have.

William married Elizabeth Knight on 1 July 1784, in St. Mary's. I found their marriage record as well as the banns announcement record.

Banns record - read at
St. Mary's Church, Marshchapel
Marriage record - St. Mary's Church, Marshchapel 1 July 1784
In this marriage there were nine children all baptized in North Coates which isn't too far from Marshchapel. Both communities are marsh towns. Born were: William, David, Joseph (my 3x great grandfather), Anne, Dinah, Sarah, Jane, Thomas, and John. There were no big gaps in the dates between baptisms, so I'm confident there weren't any more children.

William was buried 19 Jul 1829 at age 74. Elizabeth was buried 21 Dec 1847 at age 86. Both are buried in the St. Nicholas churchyard, North Coates. Their monument has both William and Elizabeth's names, date of death and how old they are. It looks to be a slate stone. Their burial information can be found on Find A Grave.

Image was taken by Roy Jamson who gave it
to me to put on Find A Grave.
William doesn't show up on any census since he died 1829, but I found Elizabeth on the 1841 Census living in Grainthorpe living with her daughter Jane Lowis. indexed her name as "Portels." So much for searches on Ancestry. I wouldn't have found her there except I was tracking her daughter Jane and family.

The census is the only one Elizabeth was on since she died about six years later. It shows Elizabeth 79 - pauper. Death record gave her "abode" as Binbrook. She could have been staying with another child at the time of her death.

William and Elizabeth lived in two villages less than three miles apart during their lifetime. I have no idea what type of occupation was William's. I have found their signatures on many church records as witnesses to marriages, but never as a church warden or curate.

I will continue to add to their story as I find information.

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