Thursday, June 28, 2007

George Bignell Sr.

When lived

How related to Kieran
Great-great-great-great grandfather (father of George Bignell Jr.)

Richard Bignell and Elizabeth (Bignell)

Born Sept. 22, 1811, in Moulsoe, England (according to 1851 Buckinghamshire census), where there were several families with Bignell/Bignall name in 1851 census; this day also is listed as his christening date

Worked in England as an agricultural laborer

Married Martha Rands on June 24, 1839, in Simpson Parish, Buckinghamshire, England; his last name is “Bignal” however in the parish records (see photo of marriage records). Family legend says George Sr. was the son of a duke but disowned for marrying a seamstress (Martha), who was below his class. In 1993, a librarian from Newport-Pagnell, England, discounted (but did not disprove) the story.

g Ann Bignell (born 1840 in Simpson, England)
g George Bignell Jr. (born 1841 in Fenny Stratford, England)
g Richard Bignell (born Feb. 14, 1843, in Simpson, or Newport-Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, England)
g Robert Bignell (born March 16, 1847, Newport-Pagnell)
g Edmund Bignell (sometimes spelled Edmond) (born Dec. 10, 1849, in Simpson, England, according to the 1851 English census.
g Elizabeth Bignell (born 1850? in Newport-Pagnell)
g Sarah Bignell (born 1852 in England, sometimes referred to as Susan)

Interesting facts
g On March 30, 1851, living in Abbey End, Newport-Pagnell
g The grandson of one of George’s brothers, Robert, sent Barry Heltne a handwritten story. He said that his grandfather would talk about the trip over via boat. They were starving in London, the king offered free passage to Canada if one would live and settle there. It took weeks and during storms the little children would be tied to the masts of the ship so they would not blow off the ship. George Bignell Sr., died somewhere in Canada between 1851 (he is in the English census in 1851). Barry has tried to find citizenship papers in Canada, but found out that if you were English you were already considered a citizen of Canada, so that route has been closed.
g Family legends says George was a duke but lost his title after marrying a commoner (Martha Rands). This story almost certainly is apocryphal.
g After George died, Martha and the children went to Frankfort Township, near Arkansaw, Wis., to live with her parents, Robert and Elizabeth Rands. They entered the United States through Detroit, Mich., though each three of the sons list separate dates of entry (Edmund, 1855; Richard, 1856; Robert, 1857); the general belief, however, is that they came together. In 1859, Martha had a son with her second husband, Josiah Hight.
g Three published columns mention George Sr.: Know your family's past — your future depends on it; Irish in America offer temperament for all to live by; and 'Connections': Returning home

About 1854; died and buried in Canada, probably Huron area of Ontario, about two years after arriving in Canada