When The British Newspaper Archive website was launched last year, I found a few interesting stories involving some of my ancestors (more on those another time…). It’s been a while since I last had a look, and with new pages being added all the time, I thought it might be worth another search. Perhaps there would be something to add to the story behind William and James Baines?
I searched for “James Baines”, once filtering with Nottinghamshire results, another with Lincolnshire. One result mentioned “James Baines, Eagle”, and was from 1870. Considering the 1871 census shows he lived in Eagle, Lincolnshire, this looked like a match. Having a closer look at the census page, James and Elizabeth’s twin sons Walter and George Henry were born in Eagle in 1870.
It turned out it was only a short message:
Stamford Mercury – Friday 1st April 1870
I, JAMES BAINES, hereby give Notice, that I will not be answerable for any Debt or Debts that my Wife, ELIZABETH BAINES, may contract after this notice. JAMES BAINES, Eagle, his Mark x.
Witness, GEORGE STEPHENSON.
His second wife was named Elizabeth, and it appears the witness was a neighbour, or at least lived fairly nearby – there is a George Stephenson on the following census page.
It seems this isn’t particularly unusual, entering the phrase “not be answerable for any Debt or Debts” into Google brings up several newspaper transcriptions from the 1800′s, many of them on genealogy websites.
I wonder what exactly led to James putting this notice in a newspaper? Has anyone come across a notice like this before?