I'm trying to determine Isabella Pringle's ancestors. She was born in or near Newcastle, Northumberland County in the first quarter of 1840 and died there in June 1916. She and her husband Robert Sturrock were my great-great grandparents. I know that her father was a George Pringle and her mother was Margaret, but I'm having difficulty tracing their ancestry back much farther - at least not without considerable ambiguity. I would certainly appreciate any information that anyone can provide. I've attached some of my working notes to the end of this rather long post.
On the parents of Isabella Pringle [1840-1916],
wife of Robert Sturrock, [1834-1905].
Notes compiled by Gary Storrick, 26 November, 2016.
Isabella Pringle and her husband Robert Sturrock were my great-great grandparents through their son John “Jack” Sturrock/Storrick, 1866-1931. This claim is supported by a preponderance of evidence.
Isabella Pringle’s father was George Pringle [abt 1815-1885??], and that her mother was Margaret Stokoe [abt. 1813-1888].
Isabella Pringle and at least one of her parents appear in the following records:
• England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975. Isabella Ann Pringle was baptized on 28 Jun 1840 at All Saints', Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland, England. Her parents are listed as George Pringle and Margaret ___.
• 1851 England Census for County Durham, St. Thomas Ecclesiastical Parish, Bishopwearmouth Civil Parish:
o George Pringle age 36 born in Widington, Northumberland
o Margeret Pringle age 37 born in Bewell, Northumberland
o Isabella Pringle age 12 born in Newcastle, Northumberland
o Henry E Pringle age 10 born in Newcastle, Northumberland
• 1861 England Census for Northumberland County, Seghill Ecclesiastical Parish, Seaton Delavel Civil Parish:
o Robert Storrick age 27 born in Quebec, United States (!!)
o Isabella Storrick age 24 born in Newcastle Upon Tyne
o George Storrick age 4 born in North Shields, Northumberland
o Margaret J Storrick age 2 born in North Shields, Northumberland
o George Pringle age 43 born in Widdrington, Northumberland
o Henry Pringle age 20 born in Newcastle Upon Tyne
From these, we learn that her father was George Pringle, born in Widdrington, Northumberland County, England, and that her mother, named Margaret, was born in Bewell, Northumberland County. The key information for developing my hypothesis comes from the 1861 census just summarized, since that census ties the George Pringle born in Widdringron to the Isabella Pringle that married Robert Sturrock.
Competing Hypothesis - problems
Several online family trees identify her parents as George Pringle [1818-1872] and Margaret Cowper (or Cooper) [1821-1899]. I believe this is incorrect for the following reasons:
• The England & Wales, FreeBMD Marriage Index, 1837-1915 lists the marriage of George Pringle and Margaret Cowper occurring in Morpeth, Northumberland County. The marriage was registered in the first quarter of 1843, three years after Isabella Pringle’s birth.
My Hypothesis and supporting evidence
My hypothesis is that Isabella Pringle’s was not this George Pringle, but another George Pringle [abt 1815-1885??], and that her mother was not Margaret Cowper, but Margaret Stokoe [abt. 1813-1888]. I base this hypothesis on the following evidence:
• The England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915 lists the marriage of George Pringle and Margaret Stokoe occurring in Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland County. The marriage was registered in the first quarter of 1839, the year before Isabella Pringle’s birth.
• The England, Select Marriages, 1538–1973 lists the marriage of George Pringle and Margaret Stokoe occurring in Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland County. The marriage date is given as 3 February, 1839, the year before Isabella Pringle’s birth and consistent with the previous record.
o This record lists “Henry” and “Edward” as household members, indicating that George’s father’s (or brother’s) name may have been Henry and Margaret’s fathers name may have been Edward (this is confirmed, see the following bullet).
• The England & Wales, Christening Index, 1530-1980 states that a Margaret Stokoe, daughter of Edward Stockoe and Isabella ___ was christened on 28 February, 1813 in Bywell, Northumberland County.
o This is consistent with the 1851 England Census age for Margaret Pringle presented earlier.
• The 1861 England Census for Northumberland County, North Shields Civil Parish, Tynemouth registration district has this individual entry:
o Margaret Pringle age 48 born in Bywell, Northumberland
Compare with the 1861 census entry for George Pringle given earlier. It appears that George was visiting his daughter’s family on the census data date, and that Margaret remained in North Shields at the time.
George and Margaret remained together as indicated by the next two entries:
• The 1871 England Census for Northumberland County, Horton Civil Parish, Tynemouth registration district, Blythe subdistrict lists:
o George Pringle age 56 born in Widdington, Northumberland
o Margaret Pringle age 58 born in Benwell, Northumberland
• The 1881 England Census for Northumberland County, Horton Civil Parish, Tynemouth registration district lists:
o George Pringle age 64 born in Widdington, Northumberland
o Margaret Pringle age 68 born in Benwell, Northumberland
Questions about the 1841 census record for Isabella Pringle
Consider the following census record:
• 1841 England Census for the Borough of Newcastle upon Tyne, All Saints Parish:
o George Pringle age 20 born in the county
o Margaret Pringle age 20 born in the county
o Thomas Pringle age 7 born in the county
o Isabella Pringle age 1 born in the county
The ages listed in this record provide difficulties. Isabella’s age is consistent with the Isabella Pringle of interest, but the other ages present problems. Thomas would have been born when his parents were age 13, give or take a year (although it is possible to read his age as “4” instead of “7”, but comparing other entries on the page suggests it is indeed a “7”). George and Margaret’s ages are not consistent with the George Pringle/Margaret Stokoe couple. The various census entries for them are as follows:
Age listed in the Census of:
Name 1841 1851 1861 1861 1871 1871 1881 1881
George 20 36 43 - 56 - 64 -
Margaret 20 37 - 48 58 - 68 -
Thomas 7 - - - - - - -
Isabella 1 12 24 - - 34 - 43
Henry E - 10 20 -
On the other hand, George and Margaret’s ages in this record are consistent with the George Pringle/Margaret born in Bothal, Northumberland County (believed to be Margaret Cowper) couple, but the children do not match, as seen in this table:
Age listed in the Census of:
Name 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881
George 20 29 38 50 -
Margaret 20 29 39 50 59
George - 7 18 - -
Thomas 7 4 14 26 -
Isabella 1 - - - -
William - 6 mo 8 21 -
Robert - - 5 16 -
Margaret/Jane - - 11 mo 11 20
James - - - 8 17
At this point, I believe that the 1841 census under discussion might not refer to the Isabella Pringle who married Robert Sturrock.
Alternately, if this is the Isabella Pringle subject of this note, then there might have been significant errors in transcribing the field notes.
I have not been able to trace Thomas Pringle, son of George and Margaret, to any other records. Perhaps he died in childhood, or perhaps he left by age 17.