I was told by my Grandmother, that Uncle Alf married Rose Butcher and lived with his large family in High Path Road Guildford. I remember asking my Grandmother if she really meant that, and being given a very stern look. The reason for my query was that my Aunt, my Grandfather's sister was Rose Butcher before she married. So had Gran got the details wrong?
No, she had not. Alfred Elstone did indeed marry Rose Butcher in Merrow on 11 February 1899. Together, they had 11 children between 1901 and 1926, and like his mother before him, Alfred and his wife had a child every two to three years, with the exception of a large gap between Lilian May born 1909 and Louise Mabel born 1917. As I type this I don't recall noticing the gap before and wonder if there were stillborn or miscarriages during that period or was there another cause?
I did ponder on Rose Butcher. Did her Butcher family connect in any way to my own Butcher family or was it simply a coincidence? Rose was born in 1880, the third of 13 children, to Henry Butcher of Alfold Surrey. Whilst there was no obvious connection to my own Butcher family, the two families were not very far from one another. I left that research for another day and do still need to go back to it.
As I sat in the Muniment Room in Guildford extracting all the Elstone and Butcher references from the Merrow records I spotted something else. Rose Butcher had a sister called Louisa born in 1895 and who in 1919 married Albert Goacher. It was one of those almost heart stopping moments. Not one of those hooray moments, but a moment that meant I had to sit and really read what was in front of me. The reason for my surprise is that I married a Goucher whose family had been established in Derbyshire from between 1715 to 1901 and who were often recorded as Goacher instead of Goucher. Was this a coincidence?....another one.
I have never established a connection between these Goachers and those of my husband, but have established that a Goacher family arrived at some point in Sussex and made their way into Surrey. It has not been established just where those Goachers arrived from. When I got home that evening and shared the facts with my husband he simply looked at me in complete surprise and I guess we both wondered, could it possibly be?.....
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