Answers to Questions


Frances/Fanny HAILEY, Hitchin, bapt 1804

January, 2011




John Sangster (john.tracey @t of New Zealand write: I wonder if you could clear up a matter for me regarding Fanny Healey. I have read the marvellous write up on the Hailey's in Hitchin (HAILEY, Hitchin & Welwyn, late 18th/early 19th century), but wondered if there were 2 families of Healey's in Hitchin around this time. There seems to be evidence of 2 Fanny Healey's born around the same year in the same place. my Fanny Healey married John William Coring in Surrey in 1828. I see on the IGI a Francis Hailey married a John Warner in 10 Sep 1825 at St Mary Hitchen and wondered if this Fanny was a different one to my Fanny Healey. My Fanny Healey married a John Coring in 1828 in London (Sited original banns and Marriage record from My Fanny Healey on some baptism records for her children show her to be Hailey (sited original London, England, births and baptisms 1813-1906, The census records also show her to be born in 1801 which is close to Fanny Healey who is born in 1804.

We have a potential Right Name, Wrong Body situation which can be seen by looking at the following entries in the familysearch index, remembering that in everyday use Fanny is the familiar form of Frances:

Frances Hailey, baptised at St Mary's Hitchin on 23 May 1804, daughter of Joseph & Ann Hailey

Fanny Hailey, baptised at St Mary's Hitchin on 23 May 1804, daughter of Daniel & Sarah Hailey

Frances Hailey married John Warner at St Mary's, Hitchin on 10 September 1825

Fanny Healey marries John Coring at St George the Martyr, Southwark, Surrey on 25 May 1828

In the 1841 census Frances Warner is living in Back Street, Hitchin, as a charwoman - born in Hertfordshire. While her age is technically unreadable it is compatible with being another number corrected to 36 - giving a date of birth in 1804/5, There was no sign of her husband - and she is not obvious in later censuses,

Fanny Coring (various spellings/transcriptions of surname) occurs in each census from 1841 up to 1881 - with the place of birth given as Hitchin from 1851. A death reference (FreeBMD) in 1885 gives a age which fits with a baptism in 1804.

From now on, unless I clearly state otherwise, I assume that Frances, daughter of Joseph, was always called  "Frances" and Fanny, daughter of Daniel, was always called "Fanny."

Unfortunately, in the period before the census there are rarely any records of the female children of the poorer families between baptism and marriage (or burial). In addition marriages registers before 1837 do not include information on the parents. However there are two areas where details of the parents and siblings can provide clues. So who are the siblings of Frances and Fanny.

Daniel Hailey married Sarah Read at Hitchin St Mary 2/8/1789 and christened there Elizabeth 9/7/1790,  Joshua 9/5/1792, Hannah 21/3/1794,  Leuisa  23/10/1795, Sarah 11/8//1797, George 12/8/1798, Sarah 8/8/1800, Daniel  10/11/1802, Fanny 14/10/1804,  Judith 30/10/1807 and James 14/4/1809.

Joseph Hailey married Ann at Hitchin St Mary on 22/9/1803 and christened Frances 23/5/1804, Joseph 2/3/1808, Thomas 2/3/1808, Jesse 24/12/1813, Marianne 14/12/1814, Eleaner 12/7/1816, Ann 12/3/1819 and Samuel 2/10/1822.

The first area relates to marriage witnesses. Who were the witnesses when Fanny married John Coring - did the witnesses include any of her close relatives? When Frances married John Warner who were her witnesses. Did Fanny Coring or Frances Warner witness any Hailey weddings?  As there were normally only two witnesses this approach is limited. In the case to the Southwark wedding Fanny may have been working as a domestic servant (a common reason for unmarried girls moving away from home, and in such cases family witnesses are less likely to attend.

The second relates to naming children (see The Inheritance of Single Christian Names). For instance, if Fanny Coring had sons called Daniel, Joshua George or James  she is very likely to be the daughter of Daniel, while if her sons were call Joseph, Thomas, Jesse or Samuel she is more likely to be the daughter of Joseph. Similarly for  girls names. Unfortunately names were perhaps more likely to be inherited from the husband's family.

In the absence of any contradictory evidence, my view is that it is safe to assume that Fanny Coring is the daughter of Daniel and Sarah Hailey, but to retain a note on file that there was a Frances Hailey with whom she could be confused. It  may be that when you investigate the Hailey family of Hitchin you will find that Fanny and Frances were cousins and in Hitchin Frances was always Frances, and Fanny was always Fanny, to avoid them being confused!

On seeing this Glen Hickson.(glen.hickson @t of Aylesbury, Bucks, wrote:

 Frances HAILEY, baptised at St Mary's Hitchin on 23 May 1804, daughter of Joseph HAILEY & Ann CAINS married John WARNER in 1825 & James BRICE in 1841. For the latter her father is recorded as Joseph HAILEY. She died in 1842.

Fanny HAILEY, baptised at St Mary's Hitchin on 14 October 1804, daughter of Daniel Hailey & Sarah READ married John CORING in 1828.

Fanny CORING is a witness at brother Daniel's marriage in 1831 & John CORING is a witness at Judith HAILEY's marriage also in 1831. Fanny was also a witness at the marriages of 2 of her nieces, the daughters of her sister Hannah. Fanny died in 1885.

If you can add to the information given above tell me.

January 2011   Page created