52 Ancestors 52 Weeks, Names of Interest

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 25: Same Name

The challenge for this week in 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is Same Name.  So often in genealogy you will come up with ancestors who have the same name as their father or mother.  Quite often they are then known by another name. Also to confuse matters you will often find numerous children within the same family have the same name. Newborns are often given the name of a dead sibling to ensure the name continues.  This makes it incredibly hard for the family historian at times.   To make matters worse the names are usually very common names so unless you have an unusual surname it is sometimes almost impossible to decide which Ann Smith belongs to your tree!


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks –  Same Name


All Saints Church, Bloxwich
All Saints Church, Bloxwicha

Today I introduce you to two of my confusing ancestors, Henry Stokes and Henry Stokes – my second and third great-grandfathers.


Henry Stokes was born between 1812 and 1815 in Bloxwich, Staffordshire, England to Joseph and Ann Stokes.1,2,3 He was baptised with his sister, Mary, on 1 January 1815 in All Saints Church, Bloxwich where the record lists his father Joseph as a Bit Maker and the family lived in Pinfold.1


Henry married Elizabeth Ross on 26 September 1837 in St Bartholomew’s Church of England in Wednesbury.4  Henry and his father were both listed as Bit Makers as was common in the era – father and son working in the same occupation.4  Henry and Elizabeth went on to have 11 children, with at least two dying in infancy.  Their son Henry Stokes was the fifth child, and the third son, born in 1845 in Bloxwich, Staffordshire.5  He was baptised on 16 February 1845 in All Saints Anglican Church, Bloxwich.6

All Saints Anglican Church Bloxwich
All Saints Church Bloxwichb

Henry Stokes (junior) married Harriet Allport on 4 May 1867 in St Peters Church, Walsall, and his occupation was listed as a Bit Maker.7  They went on to have 13 children, none of whom had the first name of Henry.


Henry Stokes (junior) was living at 53 Revival Street, Bloxwich in the 1891 Census and when he died 12 November 1898 by suicide in the Canal Basin near Hatherton Furnaces, Bloxwich.8,9


Henry Stokes (senior) was living at 46 Revival Street, Bloxwich when he died on 31 December 1898 of senility and heart failure.10


As you can see they were living very near each other in 1898.   They both died in 1898 only weeks apart, and I must admit I would regularly became confused in the  due to these similarities.


Do you have ancestors with similar names?  Search for them today by clicking the image below.



1. Findmypast, Staffordshire Baptisms, D4291/1/3, P.17, https://search.findmypast.com.au/record?id=gbprs%2fstaff%2fbap%2f196315, Accessed 24 April 2016.
2. Findmypast, 1851 England, Wales & Scotland Census, Class: HO107; Piece: 2022; Folio: 456; P.2, GSU roll: 87427; Walsall, Staffordshire, http://search.findmypast.com.au/record?id=gbc%2f1851%2f0011276088, Accessed 17 March 2015.
3. Ancestry.com, 1861 England, Wales & Scotland Census, Class: RG 9; Piece: 2012; Folio: 14; Page: 21; GSU roll: 542902, Ancestry.com. 1861 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005, https://search.ancestry.com.au/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=8767&h=20348315&tid=&pid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=ZPe4&_phstart=successSource, Accessed 16 March 2015.
4. Findmypast, Staffordshire Marriages, D4383/1/25, P.6, http://search.findmypast.com.au/record?id=gbprs%2fstaff%2fmar2%2f114634%2f1, Accessed 24 April 2016.
5. Ancestry.com, FreeBMD. England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006, 1845 Mar Qtr Vol.17 P.242 Walsall, Staffordshire, Accessed 2 June 2015.
6. Findmypast, Staffordshire Baptisms, D4291/1/4, P.163, https://search.findmypast.com.au/record?id=gbprs%2fstaff%2fbap%2f199085, Accessed 24 April 2016.
7. Marriage Certificate of Henry Stokes and Harriet Allport, General Register Office, England – No.298/1867 MXB 463663, Original in author’s possession.
8. Findmypast, 1891 England, Wales & Scotland Census, Class: RG12; Piece: 2248; Folio: 73; P.36; Walsall, Staffordshire, http://search.findmypast.com.au/record?id=gbc%2f1891%2f0015351791, Accessed 7 March 2015.
9. Death Certificate of Henry Stokes, General Register Office, England – 1898 No.500 DYC 2914482, Original in author’s possession.
10. Death Certificate of Henry Stokes, General Register Office, England – 1899 No.32/ DYC 219224, Original in author’s possession.


Image Credits
a. Pinterest, All Saints Church, Bloxwich, https://i.pinimg.com/736x/d9/04/2f/d9042f27e9c42c220ff260e3c2446e46, Accessed 18 June 2018.
b. Flickr, All Saints Church, Bloxwich, https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3765/13915545944_eab21165db_b, Accessed 18 June 2018.


4 thoughts on “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 25: Same Name

  1. Good post, Megan, I can truly say that I don’t know of anyone in my whole family history that has my name. This is very odd since you brought that to my attention. I never really realized that before and think I will try to find out why. To get back to your post the two Stokes died about a month apart but what is odd to me is the suicide happened first. Did that have anything to do with the other death?

    1. Hi Fred

      Names and their history are interesting. My name hasn’t appeared anywhere in my history, however, without planning it my name is a derivative of Margaret and so is my grandmother, Marjorey’s name. In a sense I was named after her without my parents actually intending to! I always wondered if the elder Henry Stokes death was hastened by the younger’s death. Given he was in his 80’s and was senile death was never far away.


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