I first saw the names Abraham Yates and Ann Rolinson as witnesses on the marriage certificate of my great great grandparents John Rolinson and Jane Holmes in 1839 in Rushall, Staffordshire. Ann, I assumed, was John's sister. She is in the 1841 census with her parents aged 18. I thought no more of it, but the name Abraham Yates stuck in my mind.
While investigating the censuses of my great grandparents John and Emma who were in Cumnock, Ayrshire in 1871 and 1881 and in Calderbank, Lanarkshire I moticed that the lodger in 1871 Joseph Hunt pops up again in 1881 and in 1891 living very close by with a wife Louisa. I had to look for a marriage. He married Louisa Yates in 1874 in Glengyron Row, Cumnock. Her parents were "Abel Yates" and "Hannah Rolleston". Could this be Abraham and Ann? Versions of Rolinson I have seen include Rolieson, Rollason, Rowlinson, Robinson even Roberston, so it was quite possible. The marriage certificate was well worth the £1.20 fee. Normally you get the bride and groom's age, status, occupation, address, parents and whether deceased or not, father's occupation and 2 witnesses. On this certificate because Joseph was illiterate his x mark was witnessed by Benjamin Yates and Ann Maria Yates. They turn out to be a son and a daughter-in-law of Abraham and Ann and proof I was on the right lines. When I got Ann Rolinson Yates' death certificate it gave different parents to John's so I thought they were maybe cousins instead. Since the informant of the death of a person is quite often a child or son-in-law and may only know the deceased as "gran" they may be mistaken in the information they give. The only thing for it was to send for the marriage certificate from 1842 in England at a cost of £9.25 to get more accurate information. Statutory records in England start in 1837, earlier than Scotland which 1855. But you need to send for the certificate, you can't just download an image. When it arrived it confirmed her father was John, a miner, which fitted perfectly. Mother's names were not registered on English certificates, at that time anyway.
Abraham and Ann followed her brother John Rolinson to Cumnock. They had 9 children born in England and they all stayed in Scotland apart from Eli Yates and wife Ann Maria Colbourn, the aforementioned Ann Maria Yates on the marriage certificate. Many of the Yates were in Auchinleck and Dalmellington (Benwhat) and I have been talking to one of their descendants, now in Northamptonshire not so far from where they started out.
The strangest thing of all is that in the 1901 census my great great aunt Ann Rolinson Yates, a widow of 78, is still living in Glengyron Row next door to my father-in-law, David McMeekin, a boy of 8!
You can see Abraham Yates on my tree here