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Berkshire Family Historian
March 2000

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Q & A WITH JEAN - about sources for finding children of Henry ROBINSON and Sarah LEE

Mrs Helen Booth, , Howick, New Zealand

"I am researching the Robinson and Lee families in the Maidenhead / Bray area of Berkshire. My 3 x greatgrandfather, Henry Robinson, married Sarah Lee at Bray in 1800. According to the IGI they had six children: Abraham William (1802), Charles (1804), Catherine (1807), Charles B (1807), Henry B (my ancestor, 1809) and Elizabeth (1815). Henry B Robinson married Ann Bouter about 1834/5, probably in Hackney, Middlesex, but I haven't found a record for this or the births or baptisms of their first three children". According to family correspondence dating from 1863, Abraham may have had a butcher's shop, and there is also thought be some connection with Maidenhead and Wokingham. I would appreciate suggestions of sources to trace Henry's siblings.

The first source to cheek should be the original parish registers for any IGI entries you have found. As with all indexes, it is very important to cheek every entry in the original source for its accuracy and any additional information. Remember also to cheek the burial registers which are not in the IGI. The batch and source number included in IGI entries leads to the microfilm reference of the copy documents which can be ordered for viewing at Mormon Family History Libraries worldwide.

According to the National Index of Parish Registers (volume 8 part 1) for Berkshire,1 Maidenhead parish was created in 1720 from Cookham. The original registers of baptism, marriage and burial dating from 1866 are in the Berkshire Record Office (BRO). However, I see that christenings, 1796 to 1823, are on the IGI. Although Maidenhead was a Corporate Borough and market town it was, until the 18th century, in the parishes of both Bray and Cookham whose records must also be checked. Bray registers dating from 1652 are in the BRO, with christening and marriage entries on the IGI. Cookham registers, from 1563, are also in the BRO but not on the IGI.

A local contact is Brian Boulter, a member of the Maidenhead Archaeological and History Society, who may be able to help you.

Write to him (with s.a.e. of course) at 43 Bannard Road, Maidenhead, Berks SL6 4NP.

Other useful sources are the Berkshire 1851 Census Index,2 the 1881 census index on fiche and CDROM, local directories and probate records. Records of the latter up to 1858 for Berkshire are in the Berkshire Record Office (Archdeacon of Berkshire), Wiltshire Record Office (Bishop of Salisbury) and the Prerogative Court of Canterbury at the Family Records Centre, London. Probate indexes from 1858 to date are now held at First Avenue House, London, but microfilm copies are available at many other locations.

Unable to resist looking things up I looked in the following: The Berkshire 1851 census index includes Abraham William Robinson (48Y) with Eliza Arm (30) and Henry (16) in Maidenhead. Thirty years later, the now widowed Eliza Arm is listed as a butcher in the 1881 census with two daughters and a son at 36 High Street, Cookham. Printouts of both these entries can be obtained from the Society (see Postal Research Services inside back cover). Finally, according to Kelly's Directory of Berkshire for 1887, Eliza was still living at number 36 and a Harry Robinson, presumably her son, was a butcher at Sunninghill near Ascot. Do these tie up with the information in your correspondence? I was unable to find anything about the other children you mentioned.

1 Copies obtainable from Society Bookstall (see the Booklist)
2 See the Society Booklist for details of volumes and prices

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updated 1st May 2001