Jane Leonora Yeo – a woman who never existed

William Henry Harris and Jane Leonora Shillabeer married at the Register Office in Plymouth on 16 October 1851. The bride was a daughter of Devon tailor John Shillabeer and Leonora Slogett, who had married in London in 1822, possibly while John was working there as an apprentice. The 1861 census records William and Jane at 7 Gascoigne Place in Plymouth. William is a wine merchant and they have three children.

Several online pedigrees show Jane but have mistakenly concluded that her surname was Yeo rather than Shillabeer, and some of them link her to a family from Bradworthy.

No woman called Jane Leonora Yeo has ever existed; her invention makes an interesting example of why it is important to be thorough when researching. This error is easy to disprove by examining the marriage certificate referred to above.

Martyn Yeo


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