Very nice, but where did Michael come from? No Tidballs appear in the Brushford records before 1822. A search one parish to the west on the Devon side of the border found the 29 November 1821 East Anstey marriage by banns of Michael "Tidball" and Eleanor Dascombe. The curate recorded that Eleanor was from Dulverton, but did not name where Michael came from.
|Tidball-Dascombe marriage, East Anstey, Findmypast image|
The 1851 census asked specifically what parish an individual was born in. It is of no help for Michael, because he died in 1845, and English civil death registrations, unlike many American ones, do not name either parents or birthplaces. The 1851 Census of England listed Thomas Tidball, a 58 year-old cordwinder (a variant of cordwainer), born in North Molton, Devon -- a village (and parish) about 15 miles west of Brushford village.
|Map from FamilySearch wiki; click to enlarge|
|North Molton Bishop's Transcript, FamilySearch image from Devon Record Office|
Following the North Molton parish records back two more decades leads to the baptism of William, the son of Thomas and Agnes "Titbald," 27 July 1769. William's baptism is the earliest Tidball (or variant) entry in the North Molton parish registers, and no record names Agnes' maiden name. Thus, the direct Tidball trail evaporates on the Devon side of the Somerset-Devon border nearly 250 years ago.
There are strong hints that the trail leads back across the border to the Exmoor hills in Somerset, but that is another story for another blog post.