18 May 2012

Day Research Faux Pas

Day Research Faux Pas

compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber May 2012


The past several years I have been dusting off many years of research and have been carefully scanning and double checking documentation. Amazing what a good review will uncover.

Scanning my Day research I realize I was one of the contacts James Edward Day made shortly before his death.  He had written Descendants of Christopher Day of Bucks County, Pennsylvania in 1959.  His 1994 letters state that he now knew the parents of Christopher were Christopher Day and Elizabeth Gowland from Eston, Yorkshire.

It was not long until I was able to find what I always term a “red flag” in research.  Many of the web sites that are floating state that Christopher Day of Bucks County was baptized  22 March 1689.  My own website has not been updated and is in ERROR.   [Not only did I key in the baptism as 22 March 1689 using secondary material but I also put that he was possibly born in the Province of Pennsylvania.   I must have been sipping wine at the time!]  

The Yorkshire records are now readily available.  But apparently no one has looked at them closely or chose to ignore the burial records.  The Eston Parish records were transcribed by the Yorkshire Archaeological Society & Yorkshire Parish Register Society and I did plow through the transcriptions .

J. Edward Day was correct that a Christopher Day married Elizabeth Gowland  30 January 1677 [Eston Register page 36].  It is followed by the baptism of a daughter 26 August 1677.  Three more daughters were baptized between 1678-1687.  Then on 22 March 1690 Christopher son of Christopher was baptized at Easton [page 46]. It was followed almost immediately with “Christopher Day son of Christopher Day Bur ye 8 Day July” 1690 [page 46].

The following year Christopher and Elizabeth Gowland Day have another daughter Elizabeth baptized and recorded.  The elder Day’s both died within a month of each other at Eston in 1721.

They may have had another son after the death of Christopher in 1690. It was common to name a child after a deceased infant.   It is doubtful there was yet another Christopher with son Christopher during this time when the records for this parish are reviewed carefully.  

There are  other red flags.  Our ancestor, Christopher Day resided in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

The first recorded land purchase  mentioned for a Christopher Day occurred  in 1689 in the Province of Pennsylvania within what is Bucks County.  The purchase was from Arthur Cooke for a portion of a 2000 acre survey.  1689 places all of the issues cited at Eston in England as infants.  

The History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania mentions an Arthur Day and Richard Day as landowners in Plumstead, Bucks County that J. Edward Day never connected to the family  and warrants further research.

The Christopher Day of this topic is said to have married wife Martha 4 November 1714 and then baptized two days later at Pennypack Baptist Church in northeastern Philadelphia. The church was first known as Lower Dublin Church. Portions of the church wanted Saturday as the Sabbath when Keithians [dissident Friends   sometimes called Christian Quakers] merged with Lower Dublin.  J. Edward Day commented in correspondence that Christopher was a witness to a Quaker wedding in 1722.

Using a mathematical assumption [the word we never want to use in genealogy] that places Christopher of Bucks County just coming of age at his marriage in 1714 – his birth could be about 1693.  Even this presents a problem.  According to The History of Bucks County Thomas Dungan sold 50 acres to our Christopher Day in 1708.  This is about one mile above Cross Keys where Christopher Day is buried.  Dungan was the minister at Pennypack Church.   Using the same mathematical assumption had he just become of age in 1708 he would be born about 1687.   This makes linking Christopher who dies in Bucks County, Pennsylvania in 1748 even less likely to be the son of the Day family cited in the Eston records above.

No one, to date, has been able to pinpoint Christopher Day's age when he made his will in Bucks County in 1748 [WBK 2 p 141].  If he died age 80 he would have been born about 1668. this places him as an older gentleman when he married at Pennypack.  He and Martha had six children including Nathaniel [my line] and Christopher Jr. born about 1723.

This is not the first time that erroneous material has been regenerated.  It is not the first time I have made an error.  When one makes a faux pas it is just best to get it out there and hope that this will also "regenerate" so that the questions can be answered.

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