With having gone back far enough for any ‘word of mouth’ family information not to be available to aid my research, I have to rely upon whatever historical documents I can find.
Naturally enough the census records are a great help to the researcher in painting a picture of what the family life was like. Even then, it would be handy for a more concise listing of parish/church records to assist us in our research, though in all fairness, we do have a lot of records (written and otherwise) at our disposal, so we ought to consider ourselves fortunate that these records have survived.
Information to clarify; that’s what we need.
For example; having been born in c1827, it would appear that Harriet was born out of wedlock… by three years, I can’t help but wonder if William was also born out of wedlock with him being born the same year as his parents married. The census tells us approximately when and where they were born, but it doesn’t specify a certain point in time, hence the more local assistance of the parish/church records, for usually they help us to piece together more information, and speaking as a researcher, we could certainly do with clarification regarding the births of Harriet and William.
Having said that, the main thing is we do have a lot of resources available to us, and it’s using these resources that we can now start to build a bigger picture of Thomas and Mary’s lives…. and starting in Little Hallam.