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A. Schuyler
A. Schuyler, Research Analyst
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My g-g-g-grandmother, Annetta Kenyon, was born in Ghent c1803.

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My g-g-g-grandmother, Annetta Kenyon, was born in Ghent c1803. In censuses she lists herself as born Ghent/Holland/Netherlands, British Subject. Her brother Levi c1806 lists Ghent, Flanders France. Differences v. reasonable given history.
My question is, why were they born there?
Family gossip says Annetta was married to a soldier, a flogger, in Wellington's army. Nonsense, the dates are wrong and Annetta married a bricklayer in Manchester. Perhaps her father was the soldier? How can I find out?????????
Thanks Alison
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  A. Schuyler replied 5 years ago.

Hello, Alison,


Welcome to Just Answer and thanks for your question. Britain was at war with Napoleon from roughly 1799-1815 so if their father was a soldier with Wellington (or any other British commander) there would have been an excellent chance that he was stationed in Ghent during at least some of those years. The children would have been British citizens although they were born abroad.


Ghent changed hands so many times during the years that there is no wonder the children listed themselves as being born in different places. In 1803 Ghent was officially a part of France. After Waterloo it was officially a part of Holland for about 15 years. The term Netherlands comes about because at one time prior to all this, the area was considered the nether-lands (far-lands) of the Austrian Empire.


You are correct that Annetta is far too young to have been married to one of Wellington's soldiers, but her father could certainly have been with Wellington and that is how the children came to be born in Ghent.




If you know what area Annetta's father was from, you can check the most likely regiment he would have served in and see if a list of soldiers still survives. The British Museum would be the best place to start looking.


A. Schuyler and 21 other General Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Dear Expert,


Thank you for your help. I have no idea of Annetta's parents' names. Annetta was married in Manchester Cathedral to Ralph Gaunt, a Cheshire bricklayer. I'm guessing that she returned to Manchester with her family when she was still a child and met Ralph there when he travelled there for work.


Her marriage certificate gives her name as Jane Kenyon and her brother Levi was her witness. She never used the name Jane again. She was illiterate and "made her mark", so was Levi. Levi became a cordwainer/shoemaker. Annetta owned and ran an earthenware shop in Cheshire. The name Annetta was used for several decendants.


"Kenyon" is Irish but she was protestant. They may have another brother Edward who lived and died in Manchester but I cannot prove the connection.


Would any of the records that you mention include information about the marriage/children of serving soldiers of that time? I'll never know "which Kenyon" unless there's a link to the children.


Thanks for your help. I'll tick the accept answer for the first lot of information. How do I pay you for the next lot if there's any way of obtaining it?


Cheers Alsion