Thursday, May 20, 2010

Gwendolyn, Woman of Mystery?

I have written about Gwendolyn in the Great War Ephemera blog. However, there is much that is unexplained. Just who was she, this Gwendolyn (or Gwendoline) Sargent (or Dunlop)who married Vasco Loureiro in 1916?

Working backwards from her death registration and burial:
Death Reg: Gwendoline Vasco. Father: John Beckett Sargent. Mother: Elizabeth Mary Margaret Tregonning Cheynoweth.
Burial: Vasco Gwendoline 76 years 1953 Lutwyche
I suppose we have to assume here that there are no fibs being told on the registration. The age at death is consistent with the age given when a Mrs Gwendolyn Dunlop of Australia crossed the border from Canada into the United States around 1910. Strange thing is, the Canadian Passenger Lists 1865-1935 have a Gwendoline Sargent arriving there in a year that I cannot access because my subscription is for England and Australian records. If she arrived as Sargent and crossed the border as Dunlop, does that mean she married Mr Dunlop in Canada?

Peeking into FreeBMD, we find two possible births for John Beckett Sargent, both in Liskeard.
Births Jun 1868
SARGENT, John Beckett. Liskeard Vol.5c page 80
Births Sep 1871
SARGENT, John Beckett. Liskeard Vol.5c page54

However, the deaths for the same general period rule out these two names, as do the dates of birth which are too late for someone fathering a person born in 1877. One or both could be Gwendolyn's brother.

Deaths Sep 1868
Sargent, John Beckett. aged 0 Liskeard Vol. 5c page 38
Deaths Jun 1872
Sargent, John Beckett, aged 0 Liskeard Vol.5c page 47
Deaths Sep 1876
Sargent, John Beckett. aged 2 Liskeard Vol.5c page 43
Deaths Mar 1881
Sargent, John Beckett. aged 35 Liskeard Vol.5c page 49
This latter death is interesting, as it is of a person of an age consistent with being the father of Gwendolyn.

There is a very definitive death registration for Elizabeth Mary Sargent, born about 1845, giving the full name as per Gwendolyn's death registration:
Deaths Dec 1893
Sargent, Elizabeth Mary M T. aged 48 Liskeard Vol.5c page39

This supplied enough 'ammunition' to delve into the Census Records.

UK Census 1891, at Church Street, Liskeard.
Elizabeth Sargent, head, widow, 45, Hotel Keeper, born Liskeard
Marion Sargent, daughter, single, 25, Assistant, born Liskeard
Emily Sargent, daughter, single, 20, Scholar, born Liskeard
Gwendoline Sargent, daughter, , 12, Scholar, born Liskeard
Edward Sargent, brother-in-law, single, 48, Share Broker, born Liskeard
(This Edward is Charles Edward Sargent, born June Quarter 1842.)

Going back to FreeBMD with this new information:
Births Dec 1846
Chynoweth, Elizabeth Mary Margaret Tregoning. Liskeard Vol.9 page 180

Births Jun 1877
Sargent, Jane Gwendoline. Liskeard Vol.5c page 63

UK Census 1881, at Castle Street, Liskeard.
Elizabeth Sargent, head, widow, 35, no occupation, born Liskeard
Marion Sargent, daughter, unmarried, 15, Scholar, born Liskeard
Emily Sargent, daughter, , 11, Scholar, born Liskeard
Gwendoline Sargent, daughter, 3, , born Liskeard
Edward Sargent, brother-in-law, unmarried, 38, Stock and Share Broker, born Liskeard
Jane Chynoweth, sister, unmarried, 27, Dressmaker, born Liskeard.

It would appear that Marion is the Marion Delphine SARGENT who married Charles Drummond SMITH in Liskeard in the December Quarter of 1892. They can be found in the 1901 Census at Liskeard, Charles a Railway Clerk aged 37, born in Chelsea, A daughter, Lizzie M SMITH, aged 7, is also in the household.

UK Census 1871, at Polyphant, Lewannick
John B Sargent, head, married, 26, Annuitant, born Liskeard
Elizabeth Sargent, wife, married, 25, , born Liskeard
Marion Sargent, daughter, , 5, scholar, born Liskeard
Emily Sargent, daughter, , 1, , born Liskeard.

Back to FreeBMD with a good estimate of birth date:
Births Mar 1845
SARGENT, John Becket. Liskeard Vol.9 page 189

It is no wonder the marriage registration proved difficult to find. John's name is wrong.
Marriages Dec 1865
Chynoweth, Elizabeth Mary Margaret Tregoning. Stoke D. Vol.5b page 633
Sargent, James Beckett. Stoke D Vol.5b page 633

It is quite easy to trace these people back through the Census years.
UK Census 1851, at Pope's Mill, Menheniot
William Chynoweth, head, married, 43, Blacksmith, born Germoe
Mary (Margaret in 1861) Chynoweth, wife, married, 39, , born Breage
William Chynoweth, son, unmarried, 16, Blacksmith, born Breage
Thomas Chynoweth, son, , 8, Scholar, born Breage
Elizabeth Chynoweth, daughter, , 4, , born Liskeard
James Chynoweth, son, , 2, , born Liskeard

UK Census 1851, at Parade, Liskeard
John Sargent, head, married, 44, Solicitor, born Liskeard
Elizabeth Vincent Sargent, wife, 30, born Plymouth
Anne Leigh Sargent, daughter, unmarried, 14, Scholar, born Liskeard
Charles Edward Sargent, son, unmarried, 8, Scholar, born Liskeard
John Becket Sargent, son, unmarried, 6, Scholar, born Liskeard
Courtney Doidge Sargent, son, unmarried, 2, , born Liskeard
Thomas Henry Ladd, brother-in-law, unmarried, 22, Articled Clerk, born Plymouth.

The graveyard at St Martin Parish Church, Liskeard, in Grave No. 27879 contains:

John Sargent aged 68 born 1805 died 1873
Bessie Sargent aged 44 born 1821 died 1865 wife of John Sargent
John Beckett Sargent aged 35 born 1846 died 1881 son of John Sargent

(Note: I requested a photo of this headstone, and overnight the owner of the relevant website contacted me to say that Isabel requested this photo last year. I think you call that "independent verification".)

So, there is Gwendolyn/Gwendoline's early life sorted out. We know a lot about her up to 1891.

What happened after, say, 1893 when her mother passed away?

Overnight Research: I stumbled upon a reference to Gwendoline Sargent, barmaid at the Royal Hotel, Thames, New Zealand in an April 1896 court report in the Thames Star. So, did our Gwendoline arrive here in Australia via New Zealand?

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