Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Apprenticeship Records Help to Find a Birthplace

Richard Purnell was a cordwainer in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire. He married Ann Powell in Monmouthshire in 1744, but his birthplace was a mystery. There were very few Purnells living in or near Abergavenny and none appeared to be related to Richard. There were a couple of potential candidates for his baptism but I had not been able to confirm which was the Richard of Abergavenny - until I checked the UK Register of Duties Paid for Apprentices' Indentures, 1710-1811 on Images of the original Apprentice Books from The National Archives, UK series IR1 are now available online.

I found that Richard son of Elianor Purnell had been apprenticed to John Everett of Dursley, Gloucestershire, cordwainer, on 28 April 1730. This tied in nicely with the baptism of Richard Purnell, son of Thomas and Elinor, in the neighbouring parish of North Nibley on 20 January 1716/17. Together with other information gathered since, I have now confirmed that this is the Richard who later moved to Abergavenny.

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