Congratulations on the Thrale site which I have been having a look at - I think I may be able to add some information on the Smith side of the family.
Ralph Smith 1727-1800 married one of my husband's family - Mary Child in 1762, they married by licence on 9 May at St Dunstan in the East, London, he was called bachelor of St Michael St Albans and she spinster of the parish, the marriage was witnessed by her father Stephen Child and his brother-in-law John Peyton. The only confusing thing about it (and I have had the original records checked) is that their first son Ralph Thrale Smith was baptised 11 April 1762 at St Michael, St Albans - which I have no explanation for!
The IGI gives the baptisms of a total of nine children to them at St Michael, but by the time Ralph's father Richard Smith made his PCC will dated 29 May 1770 (I have a copy) only Ralph Thrale Smith, Stephen Smith, William Smith and Hannah Smith were still alive and another three, Sally, Mary Ann and Harriot baptised after.
The only grandchildren Richard Smith mentions in his will are Ralph's children, no grandchildren from either sons Henry or William (both dead by then) are mentioned, although I believe Henry had a son, also Henry who died in 1788. Richard's daughter Sarah who married John Peyton in 1760, appears not to have had children, Hannah who married John Langford in 1767 did, but they were born after Richard's death.
The Child family obviously kept in contact with the Smiths as Mary's father Stephen Child died in St Albans and his body was taken back for burial at St Dunstans on 19 February 1769. And yet later Mary's widowed sister Deborah Woodcock was living at Kingsbury St Albans when she made her will dated 3 December 1824 leaving bequests to Stephen and William Smith sons of Stephen Smith (presumably Ralph and Mary's son) of Kingsbury St Albans.
18 August 2004
Nice to see our Mary taking her place with the Smith family on your site. Ralph Thrale Smith's baptism on 11 April 1762 to Ralph and Mary Smith does seem most peculiar if they weren't married until 9 May 1762 - what was there to stop them being married before he was born? Clearly the Smith family must have approved of her if John Peyton (one of the executors of Anna Smith nee Thrale's will dated 1768) was a witness and the Child family then seem to have spent time in St Albans - I've just never come across anything else like it, it doesn't make any sense.
Mary's father Stephen Child was baptised in Minchinhampton Gloucestershire in 1701, he was made a Freeman of Gloucester in 1727 then next appears in Lower Thames Street London in 1734 (with a wife Ann and daughters Ann and Mary) when his son Stephen is baptised at St Dunstan in the East, their other surviving children were Elizabeth and Deborah. Stephen snr was the proprietor of Sam's Coffee House - and successful too judging by his will. They were good prosperous, solid, middle class stock - quite good enough for the Smith family may I say! Everything about the union between Ralph and Mary seems perfectly proper except the dates - by the way Mary was back in London on 1 February 1763 as she was one of the witnesses at her sister Deborah's marriage to John Woodcock).
My only thought on it was that they might have had a first clandestine marriage, and worrying that it might not be legal married again - I can't believe their son would have been baptised Ralph Thrale Smith if they had believed themselves not to be married.
I did wonder if there might be a connection between our Childs and the Halsey/Child family - but I haven't found one.