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SLC Here I Come! 

Elizabeth (Wilkinson) and William Beighton

    This time next week, I’ll be in Salt Lake City.  I set aside two days for research prior to the FGS/RootsTech Conferences.   It’s always great when conferences are scheduled in places like Salt Lake or Ft. Wayne with access to the major repositories.  My focus on this trip will be the Beighton family, my maternal line.   I was thinking back to my early trips to Salt Lake and how I would jump from family to family trying to copy everything I could.  Did I check every possible spelling in the Civil Registration Index?  I would come home with reams of paper (some of which is probably still in a file folder that I never got a chance to transcribe).  But hopefully I’ve learned a few things in the past 20 years.

   I began my preparation by looking at my tree.  I haven’t worked on this family in at least 10 years other than to accept or decline a few shaky leaves.   So what do I have?  I’m pretty well documented back to my 2nd great grandfather, Francis Edward Beighton, baptized 14 April 1833 in Ticknall, Derbyshire, England and his wife, Frances (Fanny) Crisp.  His father was John Beighton baptized 12 Jul 1807 in Ticknall and his mother was Mary _____ (some places show her maiden name as Raven).   This is where I’m going to start.  My first question (remember all research starts with a question) is, what was Mary’s maiden name?

   A logical place to look for this would be a marriage record.  I have a note in my database that John Beighton and Mary married about 1831.  This would make sense since Francis Edward was born in 1833.  I actually have a source for this information…it came from Dr. Peter Beighton of South Africa.  

   Into my files I go, and sure enough, I have an envelope along with a letter from Dr. Beighton dated 14 March 1997 with numerous charts, maps and general information.  It appears that the source for much of the data was the IGI. I also came across a Register Report dated 2001 from a David Loydall.  The source for most of the information was also the IGI.

   Back to the marriage record…no one seems to have sourced this, so I searched on FindMyPast for a marriage of John Beighton about 1831.  This is prior to Civil Registration in England, so it would have to be a church record.  I don’t find a likely candidate, although I do find a marriage for John Beighton and Mary Raven, but it is in 1837, four years after the baptism of my Francis Beighton on 14 Apr 1833 which names his parents as John and Mary Beighton. There are many John Beightons, but this one doesn’t appear to be mine. 

   I also looked at FamilySearch, as they have a index for Church of England parish registers for Derbyshire.  There is a record in 1831 for a John Beeton marriage to Mary Mason.  I’m going to put this on my to do list to check.  The online information is only an index, so I have to look at the images of the actual records.

   Like most UK (and Irish) families, the given names repeat in each generation…in my case, John, Timothy, Samuel, Francis with a few Charles, Alfreds and Arnolds thrown in.  I need to separate these families so I think my next step will be to go to the 1841 census and look at all of the Beighton families in Derby so when I’m going through the church registers I can put the individuals in the correct place.  

   I only have a limited amount of time to research as I’m lecturing at FGS and RootsTech each day, Wednesday through Saturday.  I’m hoping to get as much online research done as possible this week so I can focus on those records not available online.  If you’re at the conference introduce yourself.  I’d love to meet you.

   Happy Hunting!


If you’ve thought about researching your family in Ireland, here’s your chance.  Sign up for one of the research trips to Dublin or Belfast next October!

© Donna M. Moughty 2007- 2017