We eventually found their marriage certificate. Her father had a common name but his father had a name exactly the same as him, same forename and surname. Blimey, here we go again.
The only place to begin was the census to look for her father, or them together on an early one. Not easy as children were farmed out as servants at quite young ages. We found 2 possible matches on the 1841, when she was 10 (both with exactly the same name in the same village, one though was a servant).
We decided to follow the other family that had two parents. Following them through we only found one sibling at home (ours wasn't found at home again). Not sure if we were correct, we followed this sibling through. The father had died before the 1871 census, and this sibling was at home with her mother BUT had an illegitimate child with one of those unusual forenames.
Trying to not get too excited, we searched the probate for her mother (none) but did find her as the beneficiary of her father. This of course does not mean she belongs to us and are currently waiting for it to see if we are correct.
However, what is striking is that one known ancestor lived and died in a very small village and never moved. The probate we are waiting for states this same small village, and when the sibling dies (now married), her husband is living in the same dwelling, so we are most hopeful.
If we are correct, it means we have now found our maternal 3 x great grandfather, his wife is a little more difficult and will have to wait for now.
Next, we turned to our paternal 3 x great grandfather, the one with the same forename and surname. Looking for his potential parents, we find at least 12 but for now, have narrowed them down to one area.
We followed 5 potential families through the census (remember, we don't know the wife's name). As we went through, we started to notice one of the unusual female forenames appearing but only in one family, so concentrated on that one.
There were many people with the same surname that could match but we searched now, only for the surname and the unusual forename. Luckily for us although we still haven't confirmed it, other people in the same family from that census, use that name so we think we are correct.
Even more luckily (providing we are correct), a girl with the unusual forename is born after 1837, which means we can get her birth certificate. That will confirm her mother's maiden name, enabling us to move further backwards.
This particular family, all live, work and die in the same area of Radnorshire and would you believe it, those records are on Ancestry.com which we don't have access to.
We think that next year, we will take a short break there and sort out these interesting and complex conundrum’s!