The Nicholas family

Cambridgeshire origins

The most recent of my Nicholas family ancestors was my maternal 5x Great Grandmother, Margaret Nicholas, who was born in about 1770.

Margaret was one of around 12 children of the unusually-named Trew Nicholas and his wife Mary Taylor. They lived in the fenland village of Little Downham, in Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom.

The Trews are out there

Trew and its common interchangeable spelling of 'True', both appear concurrently in parish records, and despite it being an unusual first name, there are two men, both with a mother named Margaret, and both married and producing children at the same time, and in the same village. Their baptisms are 5 years apart, and so identifying them is pretty tough. There's no guarantee that I've got it correct now, but a couple of clues lead me to the truth about True.

On a burial for a Margaret Nicholas (also the name of my 5x Great Grandmother), it notes both parents of this Margaret as Trew and Frances. This meant to me, that the other Margaret Nicholas (who was also baptised in 1770), was the survivor and therefore the one who married my 5x Great Grandfather Edward Moden. This therefore gave me evidence as to which Trew Nicholas was my 6x Great Grandfather.

Added to that, when you looked at both Trew Nicholas' sets of children, you could see that each one named their first few children after their parents - one set had a Trew and Margaret, the other were Richard and Margaret.

Whilst this isn't fail-safe, it's a feasible clue if the other Margaret burial hadn't been found.

This still doesn't help me work out how two Trew Nicholas' who exist at the same time in the same village, and even have a child from each family baptised together on the same day, are related. I guess they must have been cousins of some sort.

A second Nicholas connection

There is an additional ancestral link in my family to the Nicholas family of Little Downham, but I have yet to connect them together, although like the family group above, this one also contains a Trew Nicholas.

This time it is through my maternal 7x Great Grandmother Mary Nicholas, whose parents were Thomas Nicholas and Mary Hayes. She was the youngest of at least five children, of which she was the youngest of the three daughters all to bear the name of Mary.

She survives, and spends her lifetime in Little Downham, marrying Joseph Irons in 1742. They had at least six children, and therefore ends my Nicholas branch, and leads it into my Irons family tree.

Nicholas family connections

The Nicholas family are linked to a number of my ancestral families including: