Friday, August 3, 2012
The Farrer/Farrar Mystery
This mystery is the one that got me interested in genealogy in the first place.
My 3x Great grandmother ( her will was the one in the layout I posted a couple of days ago) was Ellen Farrer . From what Ive researched her father was one Benjamin Farrer – Clock and Watchmaker from Pontefract Yorkshire.
Multiple members of my family have been told the story of how Ellen ( and thus we her decscendants) were related to Frederick Willam Farrer,who was the Arch Bishop and Dean of Canterbury , and then also to his grandson WW2 British Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery .
(Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)
Interestingly it wasn’t one of the Farrer family who told me of this connection. It was my great Grandfather Phillip Goodwin who was so proud of the connection through his wife , who was the granddaughter of the Ellen Farrer mentioned above.
I recall a family tree he drew in my childhood ( sadly this has long been lost) which tracked the path from Frederick Farrar to me. ( I did wonder how it was we had fallen quite so far down the Ecclesiastical Tree!) but I dont remember much from that family tree at all and I have no idea where the information came from. I have a vague recollection he copied it from a family bible at some point.
Well now I’ve got involved in genealogy myself, one of my first missions was to find that connection between Ellen Farrer and Frederick William Farrar.
Sadly I haven’t found one iota of evidence to prove it.
It appears the Farrer family that Ellen is descended from had resided for generations in Pontefract and many of them were Watchmakers .
Benjamin, 1788- 1877 married Ellen Thompson ( which is likely why at least 3 of Ellen Farrer’s children carry the Thompson name as a middle name)
The 1841 and 1851 censuses have Benjamin listed as a Clock maker at the Beast Fair .
His father was John Farrer ( christened 1745), various horology interest websites list John as a Clock maker as well .
I haven’t managed to go back any further than John at this point.
The family tree of Frederick William Farrar is quite well established. On researching it one name popped out at me – that of his father Charles Pinhorn Farrar. I remember this name from the family tree my great grandfather had written for me. How, if there is no truth to the connection between the 2 families did my Great Grandfather know, back in the 1960s ,( well before the internet) the details of Frederick Farrar’s family? – I recall he also had listed Maud Farrar, the daugther of Frederick William. I wish I could remember more…
As yet I can find absolutely no connection between the two families. – One thing is clear – more research is required if I’m to ever solve this mystery.