We have all looked for someone with a common given name, eg John, and been overwhelmed with the number of records who may or may not be our person. However, uncommon given names, either alone or as a second given name, can make the task a lot easier. So, I was quite excited to start looking for John Silvanus Tuppen.
As an aside, this handsome guy is Silvanus (or Sylvanus) the Roman God of forests, woodlands and herds. Interestingly, from my ancestral perspective, he is said to be revered by shepherds.
How about that ! No wonder there are some Tuppens with this name.
Back to the search. It was indeed easier to narrow down the field of possibilities, except that, even with such an uncommon name, there still seemed to be 3 different individuals. And 2 of these have the same Mother’s maiden name, Hibbert, and they were born only 6 years apart.
Are these different families ? Did 2 Tuppen men marry 2 different women named Hibbert ? There are other examples of Tuppen brothers marrying sisters.
A little more research using death and probate records reveals the answer.
John Silvanus Tuppen married Sarah Mary Ann Hibbert in the last quarter of 1858.
Their first son, named John Silvanus Tuppen after his father, was born in Q4 1861, but sadly died in Q2 1862, at a little over 2 years of age.
A subsequent son, their fourth, was born about 4 years later on 29 Oct 1867 and named John Silvanus after his father and deceased elder brother. This man named his 3rd son (5th child) Ralph Silvanus/Sylvanus (spelling changes from record to record on many of these people).
It turns out that this was a lot easier than sorting through myriad Johns, but it had a little twist to make things interesting. A key to this mystery was the new UK GRO Birth Registration Index showing mothers’ maiden names, which had previously only been available after 1911.