|Death record of Sarah Ann Harris Slatter Shuttleworth, 1814-1872|
Many times, I can prove or at least guesstimate birth and death dates, and go on to research an individual's schooling, work and home locations, career, marital status, health, and other details. It's these details that really bring ancestors to life.
In the case of my husband's 2d great-grandma, Sarah Harris, I've dug up some very significant details of her life, thanks to the UK Census, her two marriages, and birth or baptism records for her children. She's the ancestor who, with her second husband, John Shuttleworth, saved one or more grandchildren from the tragedy of being sent to a workhouse or poorhouse.
(This second husband was apparently held in high esteem by the family, because one of his Slatter stepsons named his son "John Shuttleworth Slatter," which made it very easy for me to track this ancestor through records!)
What I didn't have were the dates on either side of the dash for Sarah Harris. This time I had to pay to get the info, but it was worth it!
Clues to the Dash Dates
Quick recap: Hubby's great-great-grandma Sarah Harris married great-great-grandpa John Slatter in Oxford, England in 1832 (based on records from St. Ebbe in Oxford).
John Slatter presumably died before the 1851 UK Census, because Sarah was then shown as a widow with children, including a child of about one. That's a good clue to John's death date for the right side of his dash, which I'll be following up on shortly.
In 1862, Sarah remarried, to John Shuttleworth (according to St. Mary, Lambeth, church records). On the various UK Census documents, her age suggests a birth year between 1813 and 1816. No sign of Sarah or her second husband in the 1881 UK Census. That sent me looking in UK death indexes for the two of them. Shuttleworth was not an uncommon name, and there were a number of possibilities.
With encouragement from my UK friends during the weekly #AncestryHour genealogy conversation, I first ordered what I believed would be John's death record. In pdf format, it was delivered in a week electronically at the reasonable price of about $9. This proved that the John Shuttleworth I sought died in 1878.
However, Sarah wasn't there--although one of her sons was present at John's death, convincing evidence that I had the correct John, Sarah's 2d husband. When this son, William Slatter, got married in 1867, his mother Sarah and stepfather John Shuttleworth were the witnesses (see record below). Definitely the correct people--the late John Slatter was, in fact, a cook, and all other details agree.
Sarah's Dash Dates
My next step was to look at the most likely "Sarah Shuttleworth" deaths between 1871 and 1878. I focused on Sarah Ann Shuttleworth, who died in the first three months of 1872. I had never seen Sarah's middle name, but the death was in the correct district and county, so I sent for the pdf.
Again, the $9 was well spent IMHO: This cert arrived in less than a week. The record is shown at top of this post.
Sarah Ann Shuttleworth was 58 when she died on February 16, 1872 at 28 Gravel Lane. Her husband, John Shuttleworth, was listed as being "present at the death." Sarah died of chronic bronchitis, which she had had for 3 months.
The address where Sarah and John lived is just a few doors away from where they lived in the 1871 Census. Everything fits. This is hubby's 2d great-grandma.
Because Sarah died early in 1872, and her husband said she was 58, my calculation is that she was born in 1814.
RIP, Sarah Ann Harris Slatter Shuttleworth, 1814-1872. You, your dates, and what happened in your life ("in the dash") are now part of our family's history.