Some time ago we came across an 1826 parliamentary poll for Maldon which listed people with the surname Willingale who were living in London yet were entitled to vote in the Maldon election. Several of these men we were able to identify, by address and occupation, as Willingales that we had in the main tree but there were a couple that we had in the unconnected tree and had been unable to link back to Maldon.

One of these was Samuel Willingale who died in 1843 in Marylebone aged 64. He would therefore have been born around 1779.

In the main tree we had a Samuel Willingale born in Tillingham in 1780, but there was no later record of him in the registers for Tillingham, Maldon or any of the surrounding parishes. Samuel who died in Marylebone was a coachman and the Samuel listed on the Maldon poll was a hackney master – the same occupation, so we decided that this was enough evidence to enable us to move Samuel & his descendants over to the main tree.

Also about the same time Kim was corresponding with Carol Willingale who was looking into her ancestry. Neither of us thought that Carol would discover anything that we didn’t already know – but how wrong we were. We’d been through the LMA records on Ancestry dozens of times and were confident that all the Willingale events had been discovered. Carol must have used a surname variation for her search that we hadn’t thought to use, and she made a surprising discovery. She found the baptism of Charles Willingale b abt 1815, who we had in the unconnected tree, and it turns out that he was the son of the above Samuel.

So in the space of a couple of weeks we had managed to move two of the main unconnected branches over to the main Willingale tree.

NB We are still doing a bit of tidying up of location information following the merge and have also taken the opportunity to expand how locations are stored in the family tree.