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Sarah Ann, what was going on?

Today I tried to find a death record for my great great aunt Sarah Ann Wadsworth. I knew she was baptised in 1842, married James Mitchell in 1861 and had five children. James died in 1891 and in 1901 Sarah is on the census living with her brother and 2 youngest children. She gives her name as Sarah Ann Mitchell and she’s a widow. All very straight forward.

1901 Census, Wickersley, Yorkshire. Fred Wadsworth and his sister Sarah Ann are just over half way down the page.

Next I found them on the 1911 census. Sarah Ann is still living with her brother but now gives her name as Sarah Ann Rushworth and says she has been married for 13 years.

Frederick Wadsworth’s 1911 Census form.

Hunting on FreeBMD and Ancestry I found a marriage for Sarah Ann Mitchell, a 50 year old widow to 28 year old Joshua Rushworth, an engineer, son of John Mitchell also an engineer. Sarah Ann’s father is George Wadsworth so I’m sure this is her, though she’s reduced her age by 5 years.

Entry into the Eckington parish registers showing Sarah Ann Mitchell marrying Joshua Rushworth in 1897, don’t forget that she was 59 in 1901 and 69 in 1911!

I couldn’t find Joshua on the 1901 or 1911 census. But on the 1891 census there is a Joshua Rushworth, 19 year old apprentice engineer born in Barrowford, Lancashire.

I then found him with his family aged 9 on the 1881 Census, his father being John, an Engine Smith, persuaded me that this was the same Joshua Rushworth who married Sarah Ann.

The census led me to a baptism record which gave his actual date of birth. I love vicars who write that in the margin! He lied about his age at the marriage too, he was actually only 25 not 28!

The next document I saw on Ancestry was a United States of America Declaration of Intention to Naturalize. This Joshua Rushworth has the same date of birth, was born in Lancashire, England, and is a machinist. This is dated September 1920, but mentions arriving in Boston in December 1901. Except he is now married to Delia…

It didn’t take much more digging on Ancestry to find the 1910 census record, which shows Joshua and Delia, married, in Woburn on the outskirts of Boston. He is working as a machinist for a soda fountain manufacturer.

I have not been able to find a marriage for Joshua and Delia, maybe they didn’t actually marry, maybe he wasn’t quite a bigamist, although we know that Sarah Ann was alive in 1911 and Joshua and Delia claimed to be married in 1910.
I have still not found the death record for Sarah Ann Wadsworth Mitchell Rushworth.

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