Friday, November 17, 2017

Finding Martha Reay and Her Parents

How often does it happen that you find information about a female ancestor and her parents before finding information about her spouse and his ancestors?  Never, in my experience, at least not until now.

William Doyle is the elusive ancestor.  But here's a church record of the baptism of his wife, Martha Reay, giving her birth date, baptism date, the names of her parents, occupation of her father, and a location (which may be where they lived or birth location).

          [At top of page] 1810 
          [page number] 111
          Name  Martha Reay
          Birth  7 Nov [1809]
          Baptism  25 " [Feb]
          Child  1st d d [first daughter?]
          Names of Parents  Robt Reay of Walls End, Pitman   Houghton, by his wife
          Mary late Bell, of Painshaw

I found this record on FamilySearch microfilm 95,029.  The index is available online but the film images are viewable only at a local Family History Center or the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

More specific information about the record:
Parish Register Transcripts, Vol. VI, St. Luke's, Wallsend, Northumberland, England
Burials   } 1798 - 1812
FHL Film 95029, Item 3, image 677, page 111

This is the full page image from the register.  Unfortunately I was unable to download the image and had to use the Snipping Tool to make a copy.  If you enlarge it (by clicking on it) you'll be able to see that it's generally unreadable.  I must find a way to download those images.

Illegible saved image or not, the online image at the Family History Center was clearly legible and I'm thrilled to have found it.  This makes up, in some small way, for my inability to find any records for Martha's husband, William Doyle (other than their marriage record).

This is the line from me to Martha:  me -> Lee Doyle -> Gust Doyle -> William Doyle -> Andrew Doyle -> Martha (Reay) Doyle.

I'm linking this post to Celebration Sunday~Genealogy Happy Dance! at Carolina Girl Genealogy.  This is definitely time for a happy dance.  Thanks for hosting, Cheri.


Copyright ©2017 Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved.


  1. I was just looking at FHL images at my local FHC earlier this week and noticed this same issue with having to do screenshots instead of downloading the images. My tip: in addition to taking a screen shot of the entire page, zoom in and take additional screen shots of the specific information you're looking at.

    1. That's exactly what I did, Elizabeth. In fact, I make a screenshot of the whole image, then the page, then the person's information. Even so, the image with just the person's information is not very clear. I suppose it's the best I can do under the circumstances but I hope that we'll eventually be able to download images from the digitized microfilms that are currently available only at a FHC. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your tip, Elizabeth.


I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

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