Thursday, July 5, 2018

TREASURE CHEST THURSDAY ~ Two 1841 English records for my Gaydon family

Gaydon family group

Richard Gaydon and his wife Mary Thomas are my 4th great grandparents on my Mom’s side.  I have limited information on this couple……so far.

Here is the 1841 census for Richard and Mary.  They are 50 years old, and he is still employed as a Mason.  There are no children or grandchildren enumerated with them.
 Copy of 1841_GAYDON_Richard & Mary_Barnstaple Devon England

It gets increasingly more difficult to find records the further back you go.  This couple was born in the late 1700’s in England.  Parish records are my best chance for finding birth, baptisms, marriages and deaths.

I felt very fortunate when I located an 1841 marriage record on Family Search via, for Richard Gaydon and Elizabeth Burrows, in Morwenstow, Cornwall, England.  Richard is the fourth child listed in the family group view you see at the beginning of this post.  I am still in the early stages of learning more about him.  He is my 1st cousin, 4 times removed.  Their record is the one below outlined in red.  I always like to keep a copy of the whole record page for future reference.
GAYDON_Richard marriage to Elizabeth Burrow_1841_CornwallEngland_annot

I wanted to see where Morwenstow, Cronwall, England was located on the map and then learn how far it was from Barnstaple.  This couple was married in March 1841 in Morwenstow, but when the 1841 census was taken later that year they were living in Barnstaple.  And again in 1851 and 1861, they were in Barnstaple. 
I am guessing (need to find proof) that perhaps Elizabeth was from that town in Cornwall or perhaps either she or both of them had family there.  Or, maybe they just wanted to get married on the coast?

According to Google maps it is 29.4 miles between the two cities.

Morwenstow Cornall map - Copy

Richard was a Mason by trade, according to the records I’ve located. He followed in his father’s footsteps.
I have located this couple in the 1861 census, living at 43 Hardaway Head in Barnstaple.  They now have 4 children.  I expect that work as a Mason would keep a man busy, considering all the brick work we see in Europe.  It was probably a very good way for him to support his family.  Although I know it’s hard work.

Name:     Richard Gaydon
Age:     42
Estimated Birth Year:     1819
Relation:     Head
Spouse's Name:     Betsy Gaydon
Gender:     Male
Where born:     Barnstaple, Devon, England
Civil Parish:     Barnstaple
Ecclesiastical parish:     Holy Trinity
Town:     Barnstaple
County/Island:     Devon
Country:     England
Street address:

Occupation: Mason
Condition as to marriage:
Registration district:     Barnstaple
Sub-registration district:     Barnstaple
ED, institution, or vessel:     16
Household schedule number:     44
Piece:     1489
Folio:     120
Page Number:     8
Household Members:    
Name     Age
Richard Gaydon       42
Betsy Gaydon          42
Elizabeth Gaydon     17
Eliza Gaydon            10
Richard Gaydon         6
Fanney Gaydon         3

As you can see from the map below, Hardaway Head still exists today.  Although using Google Earth and going to street view it now seems to be an industrial area.

hardaway head map as of today

I don’t yet know when or where either of these couples died or where they are buried.  I still have lots of work to do on my Gaydon family.

If you are connected to this family, please contact me either by message here on my blog or by email (found in the Contact Me tab).

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks–Week #4–Elizabeth GAYDON Burgess–1813-1884–My 3rd great grandmother

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2018   Diane Gould Hall


  1. They are 50 years old, have been married for 45 years ---

    Where did you see how many years they'd been married?

    1. Thank you so much for catching that error Toni. Yikes! I took that statement out completely until I can get the number correct by reviewing my records tomorrow. I probably meant 25 years, but I’ll make sure.
      I always appreciate it when readers catch errors like that and point them out.

    2. Chapter 10: The Stone Masons: Thomas Gaydon (b 1777) & Richard Gaydon (b ~1784) and Descendents
      10.1 Introduction
      Two sons of John Gaydon (b 1750) and Susanna Kelly, namely Thomas (b 1777) and Richard (b ~1784) became stone masons in Barnstaple. They took up their freedom of Barnstaple in 1799 and 1805 respectively. Thomas had only a small family which died out in his life time. Richard had a large family and many descendents down to the current time. (Figure 10.0) This is their story and that of those descendents, many of whom lived in Bristol and South Wales.
      Martin Hooper (

    3. WOW! Thanks for sharing. I'll be sending you an email right away.


I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.