Back in 1979, my dad was sent a family group sheet by relatives in the US that showed Elizabeth Clements was christened 28 January 1792 at Frome, and was the daughter of Thomas Clements and Joan Ames. Elizabeth married William Whimpey in 1817, so this baptism seemed likely.
Then, around 2007, I was browsing the FromeResearch.org.uk site for any entries for the Whimpey family, and came across this entry:
|1024||24 Jun 1853||Elizabeth||Thomas & Susannah||CLEMENTS||Blue Boar Yard||Father a shearman||aged 61, now wife of William WHIMPEY|
I had tried searching for any other children for Thomas and Susannah Clements, or a marriage, and the only entries I could find were in the 1770s. Since Elizabeth was born about 1792, this seemed a bit early to have been the same family.
Now that the Somerset parish registers are available on Ancestry, I decided to get Elizabeth’s baptism record, and to have another look for any other children of Thomas and Susannah.
After downloading Elizabeth’s baptism record, I found the baptism of Sarah Clements, born 1774, baptised 25 June 1837.
This baptism record was particularly helpful, as there was also the entry for Sophia, who had the same parents, and was baptized the same day, and who was born in 1795. The birth of my Elizabeth in 1792 was consistent with this family. It also meant that the marriage and baptisms I had already found in the 1770s would have been for the same family after all.
I then went on to find a baptism for Anne Clements 1 November 1840 in the parish of Frome Selwood. Anne was also baptized as an adult – the baptism record showed she was 69 years old, and was married to John Short. Based on her age, she was born about 1771.
The two baptisms I had found earlier were:
- William Clements baptism 13 Jul 1776 at Frome St John
- John Clements baptism 31 Jan 1778 at Frome St John
The marriage I had already found was for Thomas Clements and Susanna Butler on 30 July 1771 at Frome St John. This matched the baptism record for Sarah and Sophia. I have now downloaded a copy of this marriage record as well.
Thomas Clements and Susanna Butler were married 30 July 1771 at St John the Baptist Parish, Frome, Somerset, England. They had the following children:
- Anne Clements born about 1771, baptized 1 November 1840 at Frome Selwood
- Sarah Clements, born 1774, baptized 25 June 1837 at Primitive Methodist Church, Frome
- William Clements baptized 13 Jul 1776 at Frome St John
- John Clements baptized 31 Jan 1778 at Frome St John
- Elizabeth Clements born about 1792, baptized 24 June 1853 at Frome Selwood
- Sophia Clements born 1795, baptized 25 June 1837 at Primitive Methodist Church, Frome
There is a 14 gap between John in 1778 and Elizabeth in 1792, so there were probably other children that I haven’t found baptisms for. Since most of this family were baptized late, they may have never been baptized.