No Irish swearing please

A first cousin (twice removed) Mary Ellen Watts married Edward Arthur Feek in 1905. Edward’s parents were Elijah and Harriet (maiden name Meek). Can you guess the most frequent transcription error for the surname, perhaps from the title of this piece? Yes, Feck, although for one particularly badly written census record (1881) it comes out as Teek.

As some family trees on Ancestry have what I believe is a stray child to Elijah and Harriet (the 1911 census clearly says they had 6 children, all still alive at that time), I’ve been making sure I’ve got the Feeks pinned down.  Poor Elijah appears several times in the Ancestry rolls as female – in 1891 he is Elizabeth although clearly a married man on the original record, in 1871 a seeming Elizah had had his/her note of W for widower taken as wife instead, making his father a bigamist!

However, it is the census taker who has failed in 1851, recording a daughter Eliza. There can be little doubt that this is wrong, and not me mixing up families, as there aren’t that many Feeks/Fecks around.


1. One small puzzle to resolve is why Elijah appears to have got the name James instead in 1861. I may have seen some place that he was Elijah James Feek, if I can only remember where.

2. Some more recent members of the Feek family are mentioned in the second part of Making the news makes family history.

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