Elizabeth Crocker [Crocker-3749, LBV2-MNW], also known as Betsy or Betsey, was my 3rd great grandmother and the wife of George Rogers [Rogers-34586, MDK2-SYJ].

Question: Where was she born, and who were her parents?

Census Records

As George and Elizabeth married in 1833, all of the census records we have for her are under her married name, and none of them show any connections to her birth family. Elizabeth passed away in 1875, so she appears on four censuses as follows:

Year Reference Name Residence Birth Year Birth Place
1841 HO107/218/8/9/12 Elizabeth Brownston St, Modbury 1806-1811 Devon
1851 HO107/1876/272/15 Betsy 52 Brownston St, Modbury 1810 Modbury, Devon
1861 RG9/1426/59/10 Betsy 52 Brownston St, Modbury 1810 South Brent, Devon
1871 RG10/2104/60/10 f. Elizabeth Brownston St, Modbury 1810 Ugborough, Devon

It can be seen from these records that Elizabeth's birth year is very consistent (surprisingly so, in fact) – but her birth place is different every time it is recorded!

Of these, Modbury is the least likely, as it is listed as a ditto in the middle of a long list of dittos, suggesting laziness on the part of the enumerator rather than the actual response given. Ugborough and South Brent are neighbouring parishes, so they seem like the obvious places to look.

Marriage and Baptism

George and Elizabeth were married in Ugborough on 1 January 1833. George is shown as of the parish of Modbury, and Elizabeth (actually "Betsey") is of this parish. The witnesses are Wm Crocker, Catharine Jeffery and Robert Beane – the last of this was also a witness to both of the other marriages on the same page and appears to have been the local professional witness. William Crocker is obviously related.

Looking at baptism records, we find Betsey, daughter of William and Mary Crocker, baptised 28 January 1810 in South Brent. This is the only baptism for an Elizabeth or Betsey or any other variant anywhere in the area around this date, so we can say with a reasonably high confidence that it is correct. It also suggests that the William Crocker who witnessed the marriage is her likely to be her father, or perhaps a brother named after the father.

Other Children of William Crocker

Here is a list of all the children of William Crocker baptised in South Brent or Ugborough in the early 19th century:

Name Date Parish Father Father's Occupation Mother
William 27 Jan 1809 South Brent William - Elizabeth
Betsey 28 Jan 1810 South Brent William - Mary
Mary 13 Oct 1816 Ugborough William Mason Elizabeth
Ann 26 Sep 1819 Ugborough William Mason Elizabeth
Eliza 17 Mar 1822 Ugborough William Labourer Elizabeth
Sarah 11 Jul 1824 Ugborough William Mason Elizabeth
Charlotte 4 Nov 1827 Ugborough William Mason Elizabeth
Samuel 12 Apr 1829 Ugborough William Labourer Elizabeth
Emma 4 Dec 1831 Ugborough William Mason Elizabeth

Several of these children later appear on census records alongside their father William, who is by then a widower and a mason. There is also a marriage in Diptford on 7 October 1808 of William Crocker of this parish and Elizabeth Brooking of the parish of Ugborough. Taken together, these records give a fairly clear picture of a family that moved from South Brent to Ugborough between 1810 and 1816 – with the exception that the mother of Betsey appears to be different to that of all the other children.

My hypothesis is that the mother's name on Betsey's baptism record may have been incorrect, and that her mother was in fact Elizabeth. If this hypothesis is correct, it would explain why she gives her birth place as both South Brent and Ugborough (because she moved as a young child, and possibly did not remember ever living in South Brent), as well as why there are no records of a marriage of William Crocker and Mary.

However, I don't know how to prove or disprove this hypothesis. A census record showing one of Elizabeth's children with their Crocker grandparents might be helpful, but sadly there are no such records to be found. I'm not sure what other records might exist that would help.

WikiTree G2G: Who were Elizabeth Crocker's parents?

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