As posts on here have largely dried up of late, I thought that I would take the opportunity to seek help with a brick wall which I have been attempting to break down for the best part of 20 years. The connection to Weston is real, but a few steps removed. So, I’m taking a bit of a liberty….
On 22 November 1915 Frances Mary SAMBAY married William Leslie ALLEN at the Register Office in Kensington, London. William was born in Australia and had enlisted in the Australian Imperial Expeditionary Force at the start of World War 1. Following his discharge at the end of the war, he re-enlisted in the Royal Air Force.
William and Frances had 4 daughters. The family lived in Kensington until the start of World War 2 when they were evacuated to Weston. They set up home in Bridge Road.
Frances’ paternal grandfather is my brick wall. He married Sarah Harriett PAGE on 28 May 1855 at the Parish Church, Kensington, London. According to the marriage certificate his name was Mergia SAMBAY. He gave his occupation as Indian Cook and that of his father (whose first name was not given) as “Gentleman”. He gave his age as 50 and his address as 9 St George’s Terrace. (Note: At the time of the 1851 census the occupants of that property were: Eliza Mellis born Scotland. Her son William born Scotland 1825. Her daughter Catherine born London 1829. Isabella Ashmead (Servant) born Norfolk 1827. Jessie Smith (Cook) born Scotland 1813.) The witnesses were Harriot Waite and Maria Page.
Mergia and Frances had 3 children all of whom were born in Kensington. 2 of them died in infancy from Whooping Cough. Although Sarah has been found in Kensington in censuses from 1841 onwards no trace has been found of her husband. To complicate matters his first name has been recorded (on the birth and death certificates of their children) in various different forms:
“Mergia” apparently died sometime between January 1863 (approximately when his son John was conceived) and 11 March 1864 when his daughter Catherine Amelia died, but no trace has yet been found of his death. His children Catherine and John both died of Whooping Cough within 4 months of each other so it is possible that he also contracted and died from the same condition. No death or burial record for “Mergia” has been found.
I’m looking for any information at all regarding “Mergia”. The contents of his marriage certificate suggest that he was born in India. Was he? Who were his parents? When did he come to this country? Was he here at the time of the 1851 census? If so, where? He must have been here in 1861, but where? When and where did he die? Where is he buried?