1529Family of Mary Houndsworth m 28 Dec 1824 Thomas Pollard, also John Gamble
- Jul 29, 2012Mary and Thomas are my 3*G-Grandparents. Mary also had [one?] illegitimate child by "John Gamble", baptised on 31 Dec 1818.
After seeing postings on this group, nos 782, 34, 77, and 79, all having a bearing on these familes, I looked at the India Office transcripts online, and wonder if anyone out there can expand on the issue of "free" as it appears on these records. Sadly I can't contact the original posters as they don't any longer seem to have a Yahoo profile.
For example, message 79 (Alexander Schulenburg) explains that children of a slave, born after Christmas 1818 were born free, though at that time the slave mother may not be free.
The LDS records in the earlier postings seem to be more severely condensed than the India Office ones, and in the latter the baptism of Mary and John's child has parents shown as "John; Mary HOUNDSWORTH, free"
Mary's Marriage to Thomas shows "Mary HOUNDSWORTH, free", so more clearly tagging Mary with "Free".
I wonder about the following issues:
1 - Can I infer from the quoted abstracts that "Free" DOES apply to Mary? (I think that is a safe yes)
2 - by the entrenched racist standards of the day, would only women "of colour" be thus labelled, "Free" or otherwise and caucasians assumed to need no label, or was the label "free" applied to the general population whenever it applied?
3 - Is there any way, short of visiting Kew (or even then) finding out more of Thomas Pollard's origins, muster lists, etc.?
4 - and more of Mary? Was she originally a slave, or if not, i wonder what was her status (or even her age).
5- No subsequent baptisms show the word "Free", so can I assume that from some date after 1824, all were declared free, or was a woman who MARRIED a soldier or East India employee automatically free, so nothing need be recorded?
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