1. Sarah Gidley who married William Andrew in the March quarter of 1842 in Liverpool.
The wedding took place on 22 February 1842 at St Martin's, Liverpool. Both bride and groom were of full age. William Andrew was a surgeon. Both gave their address as Eldon Place. Sarah named her father as Samuel Gidley, cabinet maker. There is no such person that I can find.
William and Sarah were difficult to track in later censuses. The only year I managed to find them was in 1861 in Whitechapel in London, when, infuriatingly, the place of birth is completely blank for all the family. But the GRO birth indexes now list maiden names for births from 1837 onwards which have proved very useful.
The index of births for the surname Andrew, with mother's maiden name Gidley, produces several children and shows how the family moved around England. The children were born between 1842 and 1859 in Liverpool, Manchester, back to Liverpool again, Walsall in Staffordshire, St Luke's (the Finsbury Park area of London), Stepney in East London and finally Taunton in Somerset.
Joseph Alfred Andrew was the child born in the June quarter in 1852 in St Luke's registration district. He was in Whitechapel with the family in 1861. He is the correct age to be the Joseph Alfred Andrew who married in Shoreditch in 1873, naming his father as William Muir Andrew, artist, deceased. The occupation of artist is strange, as all other references have been to a surgeon.
The only Sarah Gidley of even approximately the right age who was also the daughter of a Samuel Gidley was Sarah Gidley christened in January 1817 in Woodbury, Devon. Father Samuel was not a cabinet maker but an agricultural labourer. His wife was Penelope Parsons, who also worked on the land. Sarah was at home with the family in Woodbury in the 1841 census. I haven't found Sarah anywhere in later censuses, nor an obvious marriage for her. Was she an ambitious country girl who had made her way independently to Liverpool and was then considered by a surgeon as a suitable wife? Perhaps we need to bear in mind that their first child was on the way at the time of the marriage.
Sarah Andrew's age in the 1861 census is given as 39, giving her a year of birth around 1822. This doesn't tally with Sarah of Woodbury. There seems a distinct dearth of Sarah Gidleys born around this time, so it remains another mystery.
2. Susan Gidley who married Benjamin Badcock in the March quarter of 1840 in Marylebone .
The marriage took place on 23 February 1840 in the parish church. Susan, a spinster, gives her father's name as John Gidley, woolcomber. In the census the following year she says she was not born in Middlesex. The father's occupation would seem to lead to Devon, but I can't find a Susan or Susanna of the correct age with a father John. Unfortunately, Susan Badcock died in 1845 in Marylebone aged 33, so was not around to give her place of birth in the 1851 census. There were no children.
There is a Susanna Gidley christened in Dean Prior in 1810, but she was the daughter of William Gidley and Sidwell Manley. William wasn't a woolcomber but an agricultural labourer.
There is a Susanna Gidley christened in Dean Prior in 1806. Her father was Harry Gidley and although he was a woolcomber, this Susanna Gidley married George Blackler in 1831. Her father was living with the couple in 1851.
There is a John Gidley who was a wool dealer in 1851 in Dean Prior, but he doesn't seem to have a daughter Susan/Susanna. However, there is a gap of 6 years in his children's births between 1812 and 1818. Was a daughter Susan's christening omitted from the records?
The next two mystery Gidleys are linked, one being the mother of the other (and it took some time to work that out).
3. Anna Gidley who married William Sampson on 8 March 1847 in Wolborough, Devon.
4. Mary Elizabeth Gidley who married James Hitt on 27 July 1862 in Tormoham (Torquay).
On the marriage certificate Anna Gidley names her father as John Gidley, labourer. In 1851 she is aged 28, living with husband William Sampson in Wolborough and her birthplace is given as Bovey Tracey. That sounds straightforward enough, but although I have a John Gidley on my Bovey Tracey tree who is of an age (christened in 1796) to be Anna's father, I don't have a marriage for him, nor any census details nor deaths. He just vanishes (not unusual, and I assumed he had died as an infant). It is possible that the name of Anna's father, John Gidley, is a fiction.
There are no baptisms for Anna Gidley in Bovey Tracey at around that time, nor for any other girls named Anna or Hannah. Nor are there any in the Bovey Tracey Independent Chapel, where two of the Gidley family of Bovey were baptised. I have to presume that Anna was never christened, as she is consistent in her place of birth being Bovey Tracey.
In about 1843 Anna gave birth to a daughter, Mary Elizabeth Gidley, whose birth was apparently not registered nor was she baptised. Then in 1847 in Wolborough, Newton Abbot, Anna married William Sampson, a mason. Although her daughter Mary is enumerated as Mary E Sampson in the 1851 census, living with her mother and stepfather in Wolborough, when Mary married James Hitt in 1862 in Tormoham (Torquay) the father's name on the marriage certificate is left blank. William Sampson was evidently not her biological father.
Anna Sampson's husband William died in 1868 aged 44, and I can't find any more about Anna. She was not the Anna Sampson who died in 1862 in Newton Abbot registration district.
Mary Elizabeth Hitt's husband James died in 1867 aged only 25, and she married again. Her three Hitt children did not live with her in her new husband's household and her daughter Louisa Hitt was in an Industrial School in Devizes, Wiltshire in 1881.