“Many of us have found clusters of ancestors that, timewise, appear then disappear. Several families live in an area where there is a start and finish date for all these ancestors. But where did they come from and go to?
I have two examples of Ghost trees for my YOXALL One Name Study. The first is for a cluster of YOXALL living in Newark, Nottinghamshire, covering the period 1550 to 1705. Though I have not seen all the original Parish Registers, the fact that all the transcriptions are recorded as YOXALL suggest they are indeed YOXALL. But where did they originally come from? Was it one family or more than one family? My Newark Ghost Tree is, to be honest, subjective, based on dates and events that link children and spouses on a timeline basis. Recently I came across a dozen Newark YOXALL burials. As there is no age at death recorded, it is not easy to link them to the right people, but all the names occur in Newark baptisms and marriages. So, the question remains, did the Newark YOXALL line die out in Newark or did some of them move to other areas?
A similar YOXALL Ghost Tree can be found in Tanworth in Arden, Warwickshire, covering the period 1543 to 1632. As with the Newark YOXALL, although I have not seen all the original Parish Registers, the fact that all the transcriptions are recorded as YOXALL suggest they are indeed YOXALL. Looking at the dates for the events, a subjective link for the various YOXALL can be made, if not proven. Access to original Parish Registers may give more details that enable the links to be firmed up, especially with burials. But where the Tanworth in Arden YOXALL come from and did the line end there?
What has to be borne in mind when dealing with Parish Register of this period of time, is that information is minimal in many cases. Baptisms may name only the father, Marriages name only the couple, not their ages, their status nor their fathers. Burials may record only their burial date, not their age at death, though in the case of children the father and/or mother may be recorded. My approach is that of Sherlock Holmes, try to eliminate all the people that can’t match and hope you finish up with one person who, though not proven, is the most likely match. And, even more importantly, keep an open mind. If you find a new lead that suggests your original link is wrong, don’t be afraid to admit you are wrong.
Can anyone suggest any links to these two YOXALL Ghost trees? Do you know of any other YOXALL Ghost Trees?”