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My great-great-grandmother was baptised on 13th May 1838 in Christ Church, Surrey, along with her two brothers: Elizabeth RINGE, born 19th December 1830; Alfred RINGE, born 24th April 1832; William RINGE, born 19th December 1830. The parents are listed as Alfred and Elizabeth RINGE and it states his occupation as a carpenter. In the 1841 census, Elizabeth the younger is recorded at Blackfriars Road as a family servant. In the same census her mother Elizabeth is living with her sons Alfred and William in Duke Street, Lambeth. Next to her entry ‘widow’ was written then crossed through and ‘ind’ written next to it. My great-great-grandmother Elizabeth married John BLAKESLEY in April 1850 at St John’s Church, Waterloo.

On their marriage certificate both were living in New Cut (now The Cut). One of the witnesses was Elizabeth RINGE, who I presume is her mother, and her father Alfred RINGE is not stated as deceased. My problem is I cannot find my great-great-great-grandparents Alfred and Elizabeth RINGE or their son William in the 1851 census. However, their son Alfred RINGE is listed as a servant in Britannia Place, Clapham. I cannot find a death for Alfred RINGE between 1838 and 1851 and I cannot find a remarriage for Elizabeth RINGE between April 1850 and April 1851.

So where were my great-great-great-grandparents and their son William in 1851? Any help or suggestions you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Alan Smith


The baptism details taken from the International Genealogical Index, giving us information about children of Alfred and Elizabeth RINGE, who were all baptised at Christ Church, Southwark, Surrey in 1838, makes us certain that Alfred RINGE was alive in early 1837. Have you seen if Sarah’s birth was registered and if so obtained her birth certificate? Have you seen the original baptism registers of Christ Church to see how Alfred is described? In the 1841 census, as you say, Elizabeth senior has, in the ‘Occupation’ column, ‘Widow Ind’.

A possible explanation is that ‘widow’ was not an accepted occupation and therefore this was changed from the enumerator’s entry to ‘ind’ (independent). Although Alfred is not described as deceased on his daughter’s marriage certificate this does not necessarily indicate that he was not – there are many, many instances of this being the case, and vice versa. Have you searched for the marriages of Alfred junior and William to see how their father is described? It is more probable than not that Alfred did die 1837 to 1841. How have you searched for his death: have you looked at the original Indexes to Deaths, either online or on microfiche, or have you relied on FreeBMD? If the latter, then you must search the originals; likewise for the further possible marriage for Elizabeth, and for her death.

One of the problems with searching for the family in the census returns is the surname. ‘RINGE’ could easily be mistranscribed as RING, KINGE, KING etc. Although you do know that she was born about 1801–1806, and not in Surrey, you have nothing positive to help with a search. Do you have the marriage of Alfred RINGE and Elizabeth as this might help you with more detailed information? If not, perhaps you need to discover this.

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