#52Ancestors ‘Uncertain’

Welcome to week 22 of my Genealogy challenge, from the wonderful Amy Johnson Crow, of writing something about your Ancestors for a whole year, #52Ancestors in 52 weeks. This weeks prompt is ‘Uncertain’.

The Dictionary defines ‘Uncertain’ as: not completely confident or sure of something. That for a Genealogist is how we spend most of our days, but the inner Detective in us, converts these ‘not sure’ and ‘not certain’ moments into facts, because that’s ‘what we do’.

But what happens when you can’t solve a puzzle or a mystery? We are left with a ‘Brickwall’ and that ‘Uncertain’ feeling of ‘If’s, buts and Maybe’s’.


So let me tell you about the biggest ‘Uncertainty’ in my tree.

The biggest brick wall in my tree is one that I have been stuck with for almost 20 years.

Where did my 4 x Great Grandfather Samuel Chiddicks originate from?

So what do we actually know?

Samuel Chiddicks Married Ann Beard, in a tiny Village in Essex, called South Fambridge on 20th February 1794 and they went on to have 9 children born in either South Fambridge, Essex or a neighbouring Parish of Ashingdon. Samuel died in South Fambridge in February 1816, aged 55, which gives him an approximate birth date of 1761, but the key question is where?

Samuel Chiddicks Ann Beard Marriage 3

(Samuel Chiddicks/Chitick Marriage to Ann Beard)

Samuel Chiddicks Burial 1816

(Samuel Chiddicks Burial)

At the time of his Marriage to Ann Beard he would have been 33, which I suspected was quite old for a first Marriage. Further digging revealed an earlier Marriage to a Mary Turner from Rochford, Essex on 23rd September 1787.

Samuel Chiddicks Mary Turner 1

(Samuel Chiddicks/Chitticks Marriage to Mary Turner)

Now what are we ‘Uncertain’ of;

I have been unable to find any children from this Marriage or a Death for Mary Chiddicks nee Turner.

I have found a possible out of wedlock child for my Samuel Chiddicks and Ann Beard, at a Parish called Colne Engaine, near Colchester in Essex. The Child, Ann Chitticks was born in September 1793, just seven months before Samuel Chiddicks and Ann Beard married.

There are a group of Chitticks located in the neighbouring Parish of Foulness but there is no Samuel Baptised in and around 1761.

There is a large pocket of people with the surname Chiddick that originate from Ireland, that have settled in the Counties of Suffolk and Norfolk, some of these also have connections to the USA.

So what else have I done to try to track down ‘My Samuel’?

As much as I can. is the answer, including tasking an Autosomal test with Ancestry and a YDNA test with Family Tree DNA.

Have these helped? Yes and No, the YDNA test looks interesting, as this connects the name Chitticks to Ireland and USA, but has it knocked down my Brickwall, sadly not yet.

My ‘Gut Instinct’ and I’m a firm believer in that, is that my Samuel or his Ancestors did the reverse of the ‘Norm’, I think there origins might be from the USA, then to Ireland and then to the tiny little village in Essex, of course I don’t have a shred of evidence for that!

So I am left with the same ‘Uncertain’ theories and limited facts, something that I have been stuck with for the last 20 years.

Who says a Genealogist lot is an easy one!

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6 thoughts on “#52Ancestors ‘Uncertain’

  1. How old were Samuel & Ann? Did they wait the 7 months and in that time turn 21? It could be parents would not support them marrying as minors?

    Have you searched Essex RO catalogue for a bastardy bond?

    Just a thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have a similar issue. I have reason to believe that way back my ancestors may have lived in Newfoundland but they returned to England. There is a professor investigating the link. I have contacted him periodically. He was talking about sorting it out with dna too. The family certainly seemed to retain links with Canada, even a century or more later. In fact I think dad has more living relatives in Canada than in the UK, on his mother’s side.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would definitely recommend a DNA test, it won’t replace traditional research methodology and proof, but it might well open some new doors for you, good luck, let me know if you take a DNA test as well.


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