Robert Gumbleton: my genealogy brick wall!

I have been undertaking a one-name study of the Gumbleton family for some years but have had a long-running problem in my own branch of the family. About 40 years ago, I discovered the my ggg-grandfather was, at the time of his marriage, a grocer in the town of Sherborne, in Dorset but, despite managing to unearth a huge amount of information about him, I was completely unable to pin down his date or place of birth or or his death, or prove his parentage.

There was strong evidence that he died in Deal (Kent) in 1813: his name appeared in a poll book for that year but was crossed out and 'dead' written beside it, but I couldn't find a burial around that time. I hoped that a burial record might provide his age whih would, in turn, narrow down the possibilities for his birth/baptism.

In 2015 I had a bit of a breakthrough. The online British Newspaper Archive released a new digitised set of Kent newspapers and I found a death notice for Robert Gumbleton in 1820. He had died in St Thomas' Hospital, in Southwark, 7 years later than the period where I had previously been looking. I already had a record of the 1920 burial in my index but had had no evidence to associate it with 'my' Robert Gumbleton.

His age at death was given as 50, which would place his birth in about 1770. There was a Robert Gumbleton born in Wiltshire in 1770, but I am not sure that he is my man: there seem to be other records that would place him in quite different places, at times whan my ancestor's whereabouts are provably known. So the quest continues.

Steve West
Novenber 2015

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