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Charles CLAPP and Mary Ann COLES
published by jacky3 on Thu, 28/11/2013 - 11:38

Has anyone come across a marriage between Charles CLAPP and Mary Ann COLES, probably in the mid 1820s?

Their first child was baptised at St Bridget's church in Brean on 16th May 1826.

In all the censuses from 1841 until their deaths they were living in Berrow.

In the census records Mary Ann claims to have been born in Berrow some time between 1806 and 1813, but I can find no trace of her birth. There is a Mary Ann Coles, illegitimate daughter of Mary Coles, baptised on 4th July 1806 at Kewstoke, who might be her, unless anyone knows otherwise.

In the census records Charles claims to have been born some time between 1803 and 1806. His place of birth in 1851 is illegible; 1861 says Berrow; and 1871 and 1881 say Stone Allerton. He appears to have died in the first quarter of 1885. I had thought he was the one who died in 1866, but probate records have shown that that was the one married to Ann, not Mary Ann. Curiously Mary Ann does claim to be a widow in 1871 and is employed as a housekeeper for a James Amesbury. If Charles was born in Stone Allerton, I suspect he may be the son of Richard and Fanny Clapp, born 26th May 1804 and baptised at Chapel Allerton 21st September 1806. I can't prove this, but Richard and Fanny Clapp had a son Richard, baptised Weare on 5th March 1811, and there is a Richard Clapp marrying a Harriett West also in Brean on 28th May 1833.

Sorry this a rather long, but I wouldn't want anyone to waste time going through records that I have already seen. Any help to break through these brick walls would be much appreciated.




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Comments ..

Submitted by Pat Hase on Thu, 28/11/2013 - 21:27

When you are looking for a missing marriage for people who lived in this part of Somerset there is always a chance that it took place in Bristol. 

The Bristol & Avon FHS have produced CDs of transcriptions of baptisms, marriages and burials which took place in the Bristol Diocese from 1754 until 1837 and these can be consulted in Weston-super-Mare Library. 

As with any transcriptions you should always check the original but as a starter for you there is a marriage of a bachelor, Charles CLAPP with a spinster, Mary Ann COLES which took place (by banns) on the 6th Oct 1825 at St Mary Redcliffe, in Bristol.  The original entry should show the names of witnesses.

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Submitted by jacky3 on Fri, 29/11/2013 - 0:21

Thanks, Pat.  I was so sure I had searched for all my ancestors from Somerset and Gloucestershire on the Bristol & Avon FHS CDs, all of which I have purchased over the years, that I didn't think to look again after discovering Mary Ann's surname.  I must be losing the plot.  So sorry.

My mother even told me that someone in her family had married at St Mary Redcliffe, but I thought she was talking about her grandparents, John Clapp and Mary Ann Shortman, and so assumed she had got it wrong when I discovered that they were married in Newport.  Instead it was her great grandparents! 

Do you know if there is any way I can get to see the original entry, or discover whether it contains any additional information, without traveling nearly 200 miles to Bristol?

Thanks again for your help.


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Submitted by Pat Hase on Fri, 29/11/2013 - 22:13

The originals are (as you say) in the Bristol Record Office but if the Church of the LDS has filmed the entries you might be able to see them at your local LDS Family History Centre. 

Just enter your home town into the search space on  this site and you should find details of the nearest centre; its address and opening hours.  For a relatively small sum you should be able to order a film of the church records or Bishops Transcripts) for you to see the original entry.  In 1825 you should have witnesses and in a few cases some additional information about the couple in question - but this is not common.

Good luck with your research.

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Submitted by Peter Williams on Thu, 21/04/2022 - 14:07

I have recently joined and noticed this post from a few years ago.  I've been researching Charles Clapp (my 3rd Great-grandfather) and have some thoughts on this topic and possibly some answers. Please let me know if anyone is still interested.



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Submitted by margaret-amesbury on Tue, 26/04/2022 - 9:07

I have a Clapp family tree with Charles 1804-66 of Chapel Allerton marrying an Ann Brown. Two generations before him and after him also living in Chapel Allerton. Charles and ?Ann had two sons one George 1835 who married Emma Harse and Charles 1838 who married Harriet Spearing, This Charles lived at May Tree Farm.

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Submitted by jacky3 on Wed, 27/04/2022 - 1:49

Hi Margaret,

My reply to this message seems to have gone astray.  

Briefly, your Charles Clapp is a yeoman farmer.  His Gt grandfather was George CLAPP, born Wedmore 1703, died Chapel Allerton 1783.  

My Charles CLAPP was a fisherman.  His Gt grandfather was also George CLAPP, born Wedmore 1703, died Chapel Allerton 1783.

Your Charles CLAPP is my second cousin four times removed.  My Charles CLAPP is my Gt Gt Grandfather.  So if you are referring to your own tree, then we must be related in some way.  

Regards, Jacky

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Submitted by margaret-amesbury on Tue, 26/04/2022 - 9:15

I have found another Charles Clapp 1804 a Fisherman from Berrow who was born Stone Allerton, This one married a Mary and they had children William 1826, John 1831, Albert 1836, James 1838, Joseph 1841, Edwin 1846, Sidney 1849, Walter 1851 and Martha 1853.

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Submitted by jacky3 on Wed, 27/04/2022 - 1:35

Hi Margaret,

Yes, this Charles is my Gt Gt Grandfather, as mentioned in my reply to your previous comment, and they are related.  I am descended from their son John, born Burnham-on-sea 1830, died Newport, Mon1909. 

Regards, Jacky

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