Kennedy Family History

Not Vachre but Hardy ??
The Hardy Families

My Father-in-Law, Jim, tells the tale of sitting at his Greatgrandmother's knee and listening to her stories of the family. Being five at the time, he didn't want to, but he was too scared of her, not to !:
".... In her black bonnet she looked just like a witch !"

Jim thinks his grandmother was born Fanny Vachre, but is not totally sure. He remembers the name HARDY being mentioned, but wasn't sure (80 years later !) whether that was a brother, or maybe someone who married into the family ... or ...

"They were cattle dealers, ... dealt with cattle and horses ... used to drive herds of cattle to be shipped to Ireland. One of them was postillion on the Blandford to London coach."


I was looking and looking for a Fanny VACHER or VACHER or even VATCHER and getting nowhere, but when I said " ... maybe HARDY ..." suddenly a lot started happening ...
A RootsChatter found a Fanny HARDY who would have been the right age, and followed that with a marriage of a John BENSON to a Fanny HARDY in Blandford in 1853 !

Well the timing is right (in 1851, John Benson was still living at home, and in 1861 he was married, his oldest child being born in 1854).

Putting all the data together, and remembering that is still conjecture, we now have this picture:
1841 Census: HO107/294
Census Place: Parish of Blandford
Dwelling : Bryanston Street

Name RelationAge(Born)Born in CountyOccupation
Henry ChandlerHead 26 (1834)N Box maker
Jane ChandlerWife 31 (1837)Y
Frederick Hardy 14 (1859)
Sarah Hardy 11 (1862)
Caroline Hardy 8 (1864)
Francis Hardy 5 (1866)

Jane Chandler ??

Well, try adding these to the "pot":
Fanny Hardy, bapt 23rd Nov 1833 at Blandford Forum Dorset, parents John Hardy and Jane.
Caroline Robina Hardy, bapt 4th March 1831 at Blandford Forum, parents John Hardy and Jane.
and
John Hardy, aged 30yrs buried 3rd. Oct 1836 at Blandford Forum.
as well as:
Jane Hardy married Henry Chandler in 1849

Which brings us to the 1851 Census:
1851 Census: HO107/1853/338/29
Census Place: Blandford, Dorset


Name RelationAge(Born)BirthplaceOccupation
Henry ChandlerHead 38 (1813)N Carpenter
Jane ChandlerWife 40 (1811)Y
Caroline Hardy 18 (1833) Dressmaker
Francis Hardy Daur in Law* 16 (1835)
Plus various lodgers.
*Daughter in Law was also used to denote "Step-Daughter" !


Well, it's looking promising, but, as I said before, lots of speculation -
It needs some birth and marriage certificates to settle it !
And just to add some more confusion ... on the Dorset Online Parish Clerks (OPC)  site there are several baptism records for children of John and Fanny Benson ... but ...
  • sometimes John Benson is listed as a Dealer, and
  • sometimes John Benson is listed as a Cooper
In every census after 1861 he gives his occupation as "cooper", and John (Dealer) Benson's children dont' always match the census data ..

Could there be two John Bensons ?
John (the Dealer) Benson married Fanny Vachre and John (the Cooper) Benson married Fanny Hardy ??
Or vice versa ??

Or do we chalk it up to the vaguaries of census records and say there is just the one couple,

===> John Benson and Fanny Hardy ??

In which case, where does VACHRE (or VACHER or VATCHER) come into the story ??
John and Fanny Benson had a daughter Fanny, and her full name is Fanny Elisabeth Vatcher Benson !

So the name VACHRE must have meant something to them ... enough to want to preserve it in the name of their daughter. My guess is that Jane Hardy's mother was a Vachre, and the Vachre (Vatcher) in Fanny E. V. Benson's name comes from her grandmother ...

... but whether I can prove it ???


15th. August, 2006, UPDATE:
Some of the speculation is over; I now have the birth certificate of Fanny Elizabeth Vatcher Benson, and her mother's maiden name is . . . HARDY !!!

Unfortunately, all the children were born before 1837, so I now need to find the marriage of John Hardy and Jane X in the parish registers . . . somewhere !

Another interesting point: Fanny Hardy's brother Frederick, and his son, Walter, are both entered in the 1881 Census as . . . Horse Dealers !!

19th. August, 2007, UPDATE:
Still no nearer to finding a VACHER connection !!
An enquiry to the Dorset Online Parish Clerks (OPC)  site for Blandford Forum only found one marriage entry for a John Hardy in the right time frame, on 22nd Jan 1824, but to a Jane WYATT !!

My only hope now is that there was another John HARDY who married a Jane VACHER somewhere else, and then moved to Blandford - but that's probably just wishful thinking.