Who was Robert Calvert
Some doubt has been thrown on the parentage of the Robert Calvert who
died in Fall River, USA in 1901. This Research Note documents the doubt
and the evidence.
The above was the position until I received Copies of Birth and
Marriage certificates for Robert.
- Looking at the 1861 census we have Robert Calvert age 22
bn. Gt Harwood married to Catherine and living with the Baron family at
45 Queen St, Gt Harwood. This is the Robert who died in Fall River.
- According to Flo Montgomery the PRs show
Parish Records p. 56 # 111, 18.3.1861
Robert CALVERT aged 27, Bachelor, Weaver
of Gt Harwood, father James
Calvert, Weaver . Married Catherine BARON, aged 20, Spinster, Weaver of
Gt Harwood, father William Baron, Weaver.
This marriage is also recorded in GRO Q1 1861 Blackburn 8e 429.
- The 1861 census was on 07 April 1861 so they would just
have been married when the census took place.
- There is however a disparity of 5 years in Robert's age
between the wedding and census some 3 weeks later ! There are
other inconsistencies in his recorded age:
Based on age 27 at marriage would make his DoB 1834
1861 census would make DoB 1839
1871 census would make it 1838
1881 census and we are back to 1834
1893 (SS Pavonia) age shown on passenger manifest is 48 = DoB 1845
The above can be firmly established as the Robert who was married to
- Previous to the 1861 marriage, in 1841 there is a Robert
Calvert the son of Turner living at Edgend aged 3. he was born in Gt
- In 1851 this Robert was living with Turner in Village, age
13. There is no other Robert in Gt Harwood of a similar age.
- Similarly in 1861 there are only two Roberts the right age
bracket living in Great Harwood. The first is the one who is married to
Catherine, the other was born in Blackburn and is a lodger at 10
Clayton St. The head this of household was Jane Hargreaves,a widow of
55, said to be born in Blackburn, but who actually came from Inskip.
(this is the Jane Rawlinson who married Roger Hargreaves in 1829 and
who appears elsewhere in th Calvert tree)
- It could be that Robert, son of Turner died or moved out of
the area between 1851 & 1861 there is no obvious reason other
marriage for his not living with his parents at 126 Queen St (other
than the overcrowding with 5 Calverts and 4 Mercers living there)
- Referring back to 2 above there is no Robert, son of James
in Lancashire in 1851 or 1841. There was a Robert born to a James
Calvert of Clayton-le-Moors in 1839(GRO 1839 Q3 Blackburn 21 52 457,
however this Robert cannot be found in the 1841 or 185 Censuses and may
have died in infancy.
- Robert & Catherine named their first son
“Turner”, it was common to name a son after the
father. All the Calverts with a given name of Turner in the Great
Harwood area have been descended from this Turner (bn: ~1804)
- The name Turner for Robert's father was a nickname and up
to now tracing his real name has proved somewhat difficult –
based on oral tradition it was thought to be Thomas, however if his
real name had been James that would explain Robert quoting James as his
father at his marriage but naming his son Turner.
- For there to have been two Roberts it would mean that
Robert, son of Turner disappeared off the Gt Harwood censuses at the
same time as Robert son of James made an appearance.
- A final point is that the 1908 Affidavit of Thomas Henry
Mercer in the matter of the Estate of Robert Clayton Mercer deceased
firmly places the Robert who died on 28 Jan 1901 in Fall River USA as
one of the issue of Turner Calvert and Ann Mercer.
- These show an
error in the transcription mentioned in (2) above. This entry should
Blackburn 8e 429 # 111, 18.3.1861
Robert CALVERT aged 22,
Bachelor, Weaver of
Gt Harwood, father Turner Calvert,
Weaver. Married Catherine BARON,
aged 20, Spinster, Weaver of Gt Harwood, father William Baron, Weaver.
There are two differences (highlighted) between this and the
- Based on a DOB of 1837 the following table shows the real
disparity between his declared ages and real ages :
||DOB 1839 (i.e.61)
The only evidence to suggest that Robert was not the son of Turner
Calvert (Snr.) was a transcription of a Parish Record entry which shows
his father's name as James. All associative evidence indicates the
father was Turner.
This has now been confirmed by an examination of the birth and marriage
15 March 2007