The Franks family

I don't have much information about my Franks ancestors, but from the evidence I have found, it shows that my 4x Great Grandmother Sarah Jane Franks was likely to have been born in the village of Coppingford in the county of Huntingdonshire, United Kingdom.

Where did the Franks family really come from?

After Sarah married Daniel Watson Giddings in 1825, this curiously would have made a Mary Ann Franks her sister-in-law (who had married Daniel's brother James Giddings in 1818). It is currently assumed that this is the sister of Sarah Jane. However, Mary Ann had died in 1824 aged 24 years, just before Sarah's marriage, and just six years into her own marriage. Sadly, this also falls outside of certification of deaths and marriages - both of which through a slim chance, might have provided a further clue to her identity.

On the 1861 Census, Sarah (now a Giddings) states that her place of birth is "Copenforth, Norfolk". This may have been a mis-spelling by the enumerator or maybe he misheard her, as there is no matching parish of that name in the UK. Alternatively, there is a tiny village called Coppingford just a few miles West of March, in what was then Huntingdonshire (now Cambridgeshire). Perhaps this was her place of birth?

John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales, from 1870-1872, begins his description of Coppingford as: "Coppingford or Copmanford...." which also lends a clue to this village being correct.

After checking on the Mormon's website, I found a Sarah Franks, born in 1802, along with a sister called Mary, born in 1799 - so the dates match... but these were both christened in Ashfordby, Leicestershire. Their parents are given as Matthew and Alice Franks.

Whilst reading through the rest of the 1861 census for March, Cambridgeshire, where Sarah Jane had stated her mystery birthplace, there is another Franks family, this time headed by William Franks. He is aged 56 and living with his wife Ann, aged 57. They both give their birthplace as Guyhirn. Guyhirn is less than 6 miles North of March. However, his birthplace is not consistent through census returns, ranging from 'Cambridgeshire' (1841 and 1871), 'Guyhirn' (1861), 'March', and 'Not Known' (1881). He died in 1886.

With all this information seemingly competing as 'the truth', my research has hit a temporary brick wall with the Franks family.

Franks family connections

The Franks family are directly linked to just one of my ancestral families so far: