What Can We Learn?
Firstly, we can learn that it is quite amazing what can be unpicked from a slight tangle - and how important research volunteers are to an organisation like Burton Constable where only a small curatorial staff can be maintained!
For our readers, however, there are also a few small salutary lessons that can be taken away:
- Be wary of research where original documents are not available
- Never assume a sound-alike name is correct
- If you do not have original sources, note this fact for anyone copying your information
- Always look for actual documentary evidence
- Remember that information on the internet depends on the accuracy of the person uploading it!
This particular enquiry did allow our staff and volunteers a delicious snatch of intrigue, and a delightful flirt with scandal around a man whose aptitude for scandal was mostly quite limited - if one excludes the rather abrupt end to his brief engagement with Anne Fairfax of Fairfax House in York.
Despite the unexpected excitement, however, we are all rather delighted to have discovered that our very own William Constable remains an honest and affable gentleman – and one with a greater interest in landscape architecture, Science and the attempt to breed furry chickens than he did in the opposite sex!
William Constable 300
William Constable (1721 - 1791) will feature in a special exhibition in Autumn/Winter 2021 to celebrate his 300th Birthday. Want to know more about this remarkable man? Subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news!
Acknowledgements, Thanks and Sources
I must here note my thanks for the Research Volunteers of Burton Constable, who invested a great deal of time to their studies into this mystery.
I particularly thank Sandra Jones who compiled most of the research above and wrote it up for me together with the lessons in genealogy and on the pitfalls an amateur genealogist might discover. This left myself, as the Curator, the simpler job of editing the information for this website and adding an introduction and conclusion .
Sources readers might find interesting which were used in the article above include:
www.scotlandspeople.co.uk – contains accurate records for Births, Marriages and Deaths along with census and other sources.
Galbi, D. (2003). Sense in Communication (Exerpt - Appendix 1: Historical Popularity of the Name Mary). Available online at https://www.galbithink.org/sense-s8.htm