John Trunham and Elizabeth Key

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The St. Nicholas Church Marriage registers record the following marriage

John TRUNHAM X, bachelor of this parish, & of H.M.S. Veteran, & Elizabeth HEY X, spinster of Caister, married by Licence. Oct 7th,1800. Wit: Isaac CRAB X, John WATSON X.

The weather in Great Yarmouth on that day was fine with variable southerly winds.

There is an entry in the on line Family Search database as follows:


07 OCT 1800 St Nicholas, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England

Back to John Trinham and Elizabeth Key

Source Information:

Batch No.: M163154 Dates: 1794 - 1831 Source Call No.: 1526456 Type: Film Printout Call None

This person is also identified as one John Trennan (This name varies slightly from time to time over the next five years) a sailor in the British Navy, who served in HMS Veteran, Muster No 67, together with the two witnesses at his marriage, Isaac Crabb, 29 years at enlistment from Plymouth, Muster No 95 and John Watson, 23 years at enlistment, from Levan, Fifeshire Muster No 225. Records show that he was liberated from a French prison, probably when HMS Hussar and HMS Thetis, both from Halifax NS, took the French ship La Prevayante in the West Brunswick area, whereupon he volunteered for service aboard the Hussar on or around 9-Jun-1796. He gave his age as 20. He then transferred to the Veteran 25-Aug-1796 where he remained until Veteran records cease in 1802. He gave his home town as New Brunswick and also Halifax.

James Samuel Trinham, a grandson records that his ship was wrecked on the coast of France in a gale on Christmas Eve, 1802 and that he was captured and imprisoned by the French over a two year period. He escaped and made his way into Spain where he joined the forces of the Duke of Wellington.

Private John Trunham served in the army, in Captain Boxall’s regiment, the 63rd Foot, from 8th September 1804 until his discharge on 24th July 1815 due to an injured arm from kick by a horse. The last seven and a half years were served in Barbados. On discharge he was about 37 years, as recorded, five foot, eight inches tall, grey eyes, light brown hair and was of florid complexion.

An email from the transcriber on 11-8-03 of the Great Yarmouth Marriage Record contains in part


I have looked through my books on Yarmouth and the vessel was HMS VETERAN. In my transcripts there are several men buried in 1800 and 1801 from HMS Veteran. I have a book called Crisp's Chronological history of Gt. Yarmouth which mentions many of the ships around that period but there is not specific mention of HMS Veteran so cannot help with what type of vessel it was.

I think there is a good chance that the surname of HEY was in fact KEY. I interpreted it as Hey as this is how it was spelt, but the handwriting could easily have actually been KEY. The other entry I have taken for KEY is this following:- Frank HEY bach, married Catherine BOND, widow, April 6th, 1802. Both of this parish. The marriages for this year were taken from the weekly register bills so the entry is sparse - the registers were damaged for this period.

And another email on 12-8-03


“There is every chance that my interpretation of TRUNHAM is indeed TRINHAM. ( A badly formed letter, of which there are many ). The 1800 marriage is from the parish registers and the weekly register bills or Archdeacons transcripts do give the same spelling. You have to take into account that the vicar may not have been local, and they wrote what they heard. The Norfolk accent and come to that any other accent, has a great bearing on what they wrote. Coming to the HEY versus KEY, that could be the interpretation of the hand writing - this occurs with all transcribers and you have to come up with the best interpretation. A ( K) could easily be interpreted as a ( H ) or vice versa.

Although Elizabeth was from the KING family according to the journal, (The autobiography of James Samuel Trinham) and that could be correct, there is a chance that the mother of Elizabeth married a KING, but that her maiden name was KEY. Many seafaring families have this problem. The husband went to sea for long periods at times - the navy or the fishing and sailing ships to the northern fishing grounds. If a lass had a child prior to marriage even if they were "engaged" the vicar would had insisted that the child was baptised in the mother's name. When the husband returned the couple were married and in every census after that they would be recorded as KING, if the mother married a KING.”


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