George and Eliza (Barnes) Freestone Marriage

Trying to work my way back in England has been a bit tougher than I thought.

Yesterday I discussed how I found Edward Freestone’s (b. 1825) birth registration. The next logical step seemed to be to find his parents’ marriage record.

What I already knew

All that I had from the database I inherited from Troy’s Aunt was:

George Freestone, b. 6 Mar 1825 in Flexton, Suffolk, England was married about 1864 in England to Elizabeth Barnes, b. 18 Jul 1829 in St. Lawrence, Ilketshall, Suffolk, England.

The only evidence for this information was that “England” was correct for their birth places based on their son Edward’s US census records.

There are some issues with this marriage date. First, its not very specific in regards to both date and place. Second, according to this same inherited database George and Elizabeth’s first child (Alfred) was born in 1848 (16 years prior to the alleged marriage date). Of course, that may well be the case but it does raise some concern and leads me to question the accuracy of that information (either the marriage date or Alfred’s birth date).

So now to find the Marriage Record

I went to once again but now had to be a bit more strategic. I did a search for “George Freestone” who would have married at any time between 1840 and 1870. Since I had to specify a county, I chose Suffolk, since that is where both George and Eliza were born (according to this inherited database – hey, you have to start somewhere) and where I found Edward (their son’s) birth record.

I saved this search as a PDF. That way I could compare it to my search for Elizabeth. Since all that freeBMD gives is the one person’s name and their record number I had to find a matching Elizabeth with the same marriage record in order for there to be a George Freestone marrying and Elizabeth Barnes.

Here’s a screenshot of what that looks like:

names - foundNote that under Marriages in June Quarter of 1847 (April-June) there is an Eliza Barnes with the same record Volume and page number. This was the only match of a George Freestone marrying and Eliza Barnes.

This must be my couple!

So, now I know which record I need to order. I can now request the certified copy of the filmed original from the UK General Register Office and wait a few weeks for it to arrive.

For now, as I wait, I can at least change the marriage date in my database to a more specific: April-June 1847 in Wangford, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom.

Posted by on 19 January 2014 | Posted in England, Freestone, Marriage Record | 1 Comment

Edward Freestone’s Birthday


I have two possible birth dates for Edward Freestone.

My first known birth date was 7 July 1855. I have done quite a bit of research on Edward and have quite a few sources for his life. In fact, for this specific date I have 9 sources!

Sources for 7 July 1855

  1. Edward Freestone’s Death Certificate. Edward’s death certificate gives his date of birth as 7 July 1855 and the location as England.
  2. 1900 U.S. Census, Edward Freestone Household. Gives Edward’s birth date as July 1855 and place as England.
  3. 1910 US Census, Edward Freestone Household. Edwards Age is listed as 55 years old in the 1910 census, which would make his birth year about 1855. Also, lists his birth place as England.
  4. Newspaper Announcement of his upcoming 80th birthday, dated 5 July 1935.
  5. 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Ralph G. Warner Household.The 1920 US Census states that Catherine Warner (Freestone)’s father (Edward) was born in England.
  6. 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Ralph G. Warner Household. 1930 US Census list’s Katherine Warner’s father’s birth place as England.
  7. 1920 U.S. Census, Edward Freestone Household. Age on 22 Jan 1920 reported as 64 years old, and birth place as England.
  8. 1930 U.S. Census, Edward Freestone Household. Age on 9 Apr 1930 reported as 74 years old and birth place as England.
  9. Edward Freestone’s newspaper obituary, printed 9 May 1941. Gives age as 85 and birth date as July 7, 1855 at Suffolk county England.

As you can see, only 2 sources (his death certificate and obituary) specifically give 7 July 1855 as Edward’s date of birth. The rest either give just his age, or place of birth. So this is the date I went with.


I went looking for his Birth Registration.

To find Civil Birth Registrations for the UK you need to look through the index and then order the copy directly form the General Register Office. I used is the index and found my potential Edward. The problem with the index is that it only lists births/marriages/deaths by Quarter (So Jan-Apr, Mar-Jun, July-Sep, Oct-Dec) and then Gives the District, and Volume/Page where the entry is found. Luckily I knew that Edward was born in Suffolk County, but there were two possible results.



Both of these Edwards were born in the Sep 1855 quarter (July-Sept 1855) in the same county. No other information is listed in the index so, unless I order the certified copy, I won’t know anything else. I decided to go with the Wangford District since it was closest to the town of South Elmham, which I already had in my family records.

Here’s the digital image of the original index.


After my £9.25 fee was paid, and about two weeks later, I received the certified copy in the mail.

Luckily it was the correct one!




Edward born 16 July 1855 in St. Cross Southelmham, in Bungay, Wangford, Suffolk County, England, United Kingdom. He is the son of George Freestone and Eliza Freestone, formerly Barnes. His father, George is an Agricultural Laborer, and is illiterate since he used “x” as his mark.

But, this record does bring up some issues. Edward’s birth date is listed as 16 July 1855 instead of 7 July. So, which record(s) are correct?

I decided that since the only other records I had that explicitly stated the date of 7 July were his death record and obituary that perhaps this birth record (which was registered on 27 Aug 1855) is most likely correct. The informant on his death certificate was his son George Freestone who most definitely was not present at his own father’s birth. And, Edward’s obituary was again written 85 years after his birth by someone who was not present. Ultimately, I “know” my own birth date only because its the date that someone told me (or that I remember someone telling me). But, since this record was created much closer to the actual date, I believe it to be more accurate.

But, does it really matter?

Ultimately, no not really.

However, for accuracy sake, yes it does. Also, this birth record gives me a lot more information that I need to continue working backwards in time. I now know:

  • Edward’s birth date is 16 July 1855.
  • The location of his birth was St. Cross, Southelmham, in Bungay, Wangford, Suffolk County, England, UK – which narrows down where I might search for other vital records for his family.
  • His parents were George and Eliza (Barnes) Freestone – which should help me in tracking down their marriage record.
  • And just for fun, I know that George was an Agricultural Laborer (farmer?) and that he was illiterate.


Posted by on 18 January 2014 | Posted in Birth Record, England, Freestone | Comment