|About Shenton Family - One Name Study
This site was originally a collaboration between Scott Shenton and Malcolm Street, and is a
companion to Scott's
SHENTON site. It is an attempt to draw together the whole
of the English origins of the Shentons. Both of us have been working on this for some time now. If
anyone can help in any way by helping in this process, by supplying their own genealogical data,
then please contact us using the link above.
We're currently working on adding people and data primarily from the recently published GRO Birth
indexes and the 1939 UK Registration files. At this time (26 May 2017) there are 5,350 unique
Shentons on the site. Comments,Suggestions, Additions welcomed !
CODES, ABBREVIATIONS AND CONVENTIONS
After considerable thought (and experimentation) we determined that we needed a mechanism to both
uniquely distinguish individuals and to identify ‘categories’ of Shentons.
Our first effort for unique identification was to use the TP suffix field to show an estimated DOB
(e.g., John Shenton, “b.1847”). This became “b.1847”, “b.1847a”, “b.1847b”, etc., for subsequent
John Shentons, and was clearly unworkable over the long haul and thousands of Shentons. Some of
these identifiers still exist until we retrofit them, but the new standard is a unique identifier
for every person in the site, with that suffix field containing a two-part reference number, e.g.,
Alice Shenton, 1849-5146. The first part (1849) is the year of birth while the second
part (5146) is a unique ID number that allows us to track that particular person across the census
To be able to represent different ‘categories’ of Shentons, we use the following convention:
Indicates the oldest ancestor for that particular branch of the family; this only applies where an
extended family has been traced. Ultimately we hope to just have one Shenton* - this will be the
common ancestor from which all are descended.
We can but try...
Indicates a solo Shenton (or head of a small 'twig') that cannot yet be added to any existing
family group (i.e. a person in service, a grandchild in a family with no obvious link to a
parent, or a small Census household with no apparent other information). We hope that we will be
able to link these in at a later date.
Indicates a female where the origin of the Shenton surname is unknown. This covers widows and
wives (where the husband is not known), probable unwed mothers (where she is apparently using her
birth surname Shenton and her father is unknown), and a ‘hypothetical’ mother (where we want to
link known siblings but do not know either parent). Not very many of any of these, but enough to
warrant a standardized protocol.
Indicates all the other Shentons who are at least part of an identified family, and where we think
we know how they acquired the surname.
Then, for the many cases where a surname is not yet known (typically, the wife of a male Shenton),
we use ??? for the surname, since “Unknown” would pop up in the middle of the “U” listing
alphabetically. Ideally, we would also be able to convert all the ??? people and give them
their proper family names.
We’re pretty aggressive about finding and identifying source references for everything we can.
Most of our source material is from the obvious Census records, BMDs, and church records. We have
a nearly complete database of every Shenton instance of all three sources – currently they contain
almost 19,000 Census entries (1841-1911, including some non-Shenton household members), over 29,000
BMD entries (from FreeBMD plus those county sites that publish free county BMD data), and well over
5,000 IGI entries. For consistency and to avoid the need for long-winded and error-prone
individual descriptions, we use unique and otherwise arbitrary reference numbers from those
databases. We hope eventually to be able to post the contents of those databases in a readable
and searchable manner on the web. The reference system for the sources is:
CENSUS. Example: UK1871-0239, where UK1871 indicates the 1871
UK Census, and 0239 is simply a unique number within that Census for a single Census household.
Thus someone we trace over several decades may have a source set of UK1851-0123, UK1861-0532, and
UK1881-0331 (indicating we haven’t found that person in the 1871 Census). (See links to preliminary
set of 1851 sources under SOURCE DATA below).
BMD. Example: 3321 or 21233, where the single number is a
unique number identifying a single BMD entry in the database. The number gives no indication of
record type (birth, marriage, or death) or county or anything except the order in which entries
were loaded into the database. With a few exceptions, all BMD entries are for Shenton-surnamed
individuals. Thus there is only a single BMD record, under George Shenton, for a marriage of
George Shenton and Louisa Ridgway, but there could be separate records for the death of George
Shenton and Louisa (Ridgway) Shenton. Instances of multiple source references may be a result of
multiple entries in the FreeBMD (such as alternate spelling transcriptions, or multi-county
registration districts), or entries from both FreeBMD and the individual County BMD sites (such as
STS and CHS), or both.
IGI. Example: 0873640, where the single number is the IGI
microfilm number of an IGI source film (in this case, a film containing parish records of the
Chapelry of Bucknall, STS). In most cases, the reference is strictly to the IGI available on
familysearch.org and the source film itself has not been physically viewed by us; in a few cases
the records have actually been viewed, and there are even some where the data is actually on a film
which has been viewed but has never been posted to the web-based IGI. In virtually all cases, only
‘extracted records’ are used. Note: the shorthand "IGI" now actually refers to the new
familysearch.org data as well.
CERT. Example: DX027, where the reference is an index into a
database of actual copies of birth, marriage or death certificates. The DX just stands for
Documents, and the numerical part – like the BMD index – represents only the order of acquisition
and entry into the database. We don’t have many of these (cost-prohibitive for thousands of
Shentons) and we actively solicit researchers to send us copies of ones they have acquired, to help
us document the project.
PROB. Example: PROB-0385, where the reference is an index into
a database of 440 UK Probate citations from the Ancestry.com files.
CHSP. Example: CHPC Marriage CHM052, where the reference is an
index into a database of several hundred records extracted from the Cheshire Parish christening,
marriage and burial transcriptions. Some of these transcriptions are now also provided in
familysearch.org site, but the CHPC transcriptions sometimes have additional information.
COUNTIES, DATES AND COVERAGE
Since this site is primarily focused on the Shentons in the UK, most references omit the obvious
country identification and simply identify the County, using the standard 3-letter Chapman County
Codes. In some (but not all, unfortunately) cases where the county may be ambiguous (i.e., where
FreeBMD recognizes the multi-county nature of a registration district by reporting the BMD event in
each county included in the district) we try to show all counties (e.g., Greenwich LND/KEN).
The FreeBMD records represent events registered in a specific quarter of the year, and are
typically shown on the website as the last month of the quarter – thus “Dec 1865”, instead of the
more proper but less friendly “Q4 1865” or “Oct-Dec 1865”. We follow that convention where the
FreeBMD date is the only source, and typically append the Tribal-Pages tag of “ABT”, such as “ABT
COVERAGE: LIVING PERSONS
The objective of this site, when Malcolm and Scott first started it, was to try to ‘organize’ all
the Shenton entries in the available UK Censuses, and maybe find out where and how they were all
related. This is obviously a historical focus, and we therefore don’t plan on posting and trying
to track recent (i.e., still living or possibly still living) Shentons. So the basic convention
(although there may be accidental exceptions) is to not post anyone not known to be deceased
who has a YOB of 1914 or later.
COVERAGE: NON-UK SHENTONS
As mentioned above, the focus of the original intent of the site was on UK Shentons. We’ll retain
that general focus, and – as a general rule – not post Shentons after they emigrate to
Australia, Canada, U.S., South Africa, etc. Where we can identify other sites that do track these
Shentons who have permanently left the UK, we may provide a link to those sites.
To keep the site focused on Shenton-surnamed people, we will generally not post non-Shenton
descendants (i.e., children of Shenton women who have been given the husband’s surname).
AA book by Joseph Shenton (b.1843 Lawton, near Kidsgrove, Staffs) has been
reprinted (facsimile reprint) in the USA. The book, originally published in 1877, is
called "Tom Lattimer, The Prodigal" and details the life of Joseph's brother Thomas
Shenton who was lead astray by strong drink and bad company. It is available from
Amazon, Malcolm ordered it from Abebooks in the UK. For notes relating to this book
please see the STORIES section of this site.
This can be found under "People" on the menu bar.