Finding mistakes in ‘published’ genealogies can be fun, especially if the resulting change results in a discovery of a new line. Such was my fortune recently while browsing through FamilySearch.org’s huge database of English parish records. I had been looking to better document some of my lines known to have come from England, including that of the Lane family of Perkiomen. Credited with the early development of the area, Edward has generally been listed as the son of Bristol grocer William Lane and his wife, Cecile Love. But, when I found Edward’s birth amongst the records of Bristol Friends in England, his mother was NOT listed as Ms. Love, but rather as a lady named Christian. During the resulting search, I found three more siblings of Edward, all listed with Christian as their mother. Ah, a quandary!
Since then, virtually every listing I have found for the parentage of Edward listed Cecile and not a single one mentioned anyone named Christian. This is probably not a huge surprise to those of you who have been involved with online genealogy for awhile, as you will know that most onlne records have a tendency to accept as Gospel whatever records seem to fit, often without ever bothering to check if those records really do fit.
Quite a few records that I have seen show William Lane, born about 1635 in Bristol, with a date of death of 1732 or 1733, which, though possible, is not likely, and, in fact, that death date belongs to Edward’s son William. In all probability, William the father of Edward never even set foot in America. He was a Quaker in Bristol and died there in 1705, as recorded in the records of Bristol Friends Meeting. A brief excerpt from the records of the Men’s Meeting of Bristol Friends provides a wealth of information:
From the Minute Book of the Men’s Meeting of the Society of Friends in Bristol, 1667-1686:
Lane, William (d. 1705), grocer, of Redcliffe p; m. (1) Christian (d. 1674); 3 s. 2 dau. 1658-71; m (2) Cecelia Love (sufferer 1683; d. 1704), 6 Nov. 1678; sufferer, 1664, 1670-71,1682-83; inhabitants of Redcliffe p., 1696, William Lane and wife Ceecly, Anthony Williams and Cecely Love (B.R.S. xxv, 112)
Though the record shows that William and Christian had five children, I have only been able to find four of them, all recorded at Bristol Friends:
Rebecca, b. 12/10/1658
Edward, b. 10/19/1664
Elizabeth, b. 10/4/1666
Joseph, b. 8/3/1671
While it would be wonderful to know more about Christian and William’s ancestors, I’m happy at this point, just to have a bit of data about them!