Ask An Expert

Welcome to our web chat

Anthony Adolph, professional genealogistWelcome to the Genes Reunited web chat, where you can get help and advice from our resident genealogist and expert family historian, Anthony Adolph. To find out more about Anthony click here.

Thanks again to Anthony and everyone who joined in on the sessions so far.

Search Ask an Expert


Questions already answered

Page 8 + 1 of 133

  1. «
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. 8
  10. 9
  11. 10
  12. »
Name Date
Leonard Bainbridge 22/01/2013 22:07:49


I have not heard of such a place: it may be a misrendering of something else. I think you may have got this from a census so I would suggest looking for James in other censuses, and it may give you more clarity, or else look through the place names in a Sussex directory or county history.

denise baker 17/08/2010 21:48:48

hi why cant a find a record of a death after 2005

That is as far as the indexes available to this site go. The later years are indexed, and the indexes are available at various archives, including Westminster City Archives, the British Library (and other archives elsewhere in Britain, such as Birmingham). The National Archives, astonishingly - quite breath-takingly astonishingly - gave their own set away, to the London Metropolitan Archives, so they don't have a copy. Yes, it's extraordinary, but true. What a world!

denise baker 17/08/2010 21:58:21

hi cant find my mothers birth or marriage she died in 2007 but cant access any deaths later than 2005

Yes, please see the last answer. Good night, and good luck!

Jean Baker 13/12/2005 21:32:47

I am having trouble finding out the exact details of my husband's grandfather. My father in law's birth cert shows his father's name as Christopher Henry Christie and the marriage certificate of both father and son shows the name Christopher Henry. However, he was known as Henry. He was killed in WW1 and we have a letter showing exact date of death and his death cert shows his name as Henry. I have checked 1837 for Christopher Henry but can only find a Henry and I have sent for the cert and that shows his father's name as William (also on Henry's marriage cert). Do you think that I have got the right person?

Maybe, but to be sure you need to seek further co-ordinates on the family/families concerned. The fathers 'names may match up on both documents, but do the occupations? You could seek Henry's army service papers (if they survive -see last question) and see if the details they will give on his origins will match up with the birth record you have found. Also, have a look at our 1901 census site and see if you can find one or more entries for people called Henry/Christopher Henry Christie.

Derek Baker 23/01/2007 20:59:56

Hi Anthony, I am having a problem finding a number of marriages in the period up to 1825 for ancestors who lived in Bethnal Green and Shoreditch. I know their names as fortunately they had large families and birth certs are available for some of the youngest and they turn up as parents and younger children in the 1841 and 1851 census but I would just like to locate the marriages. Mostly they were all Weavers, the names in question are James Jeffryes to Mary Temperance Arrowsmith and his father Thomas Jeffryes to Elizabeth unknown. At the LMA I have found some of their children being baptised or rebaptised in their 30’s in parish churches in the area. I think that this may mean that they were originally baptised as children in a Non Conformist Chapel. But at that time NC chapels were not allowed to conduct marriages so where did they marry? Would weavers have been apprenticed to members of Livery Companies such as Haberdashers? Can’t find any Wills for them although I have wills for some of their children. Can you offer any advice on where to look next? Many thanks Derek

You're right about Non-conformists not being allowed to marry in their own chapels before 1837 - instead, they had to go to the Church of England, so should be in normal parish registers. There are some very good marriage indexes for London, including Boyd's Marriage Index (on the English Origins website) and Pallot's Marriage Indes, on the Ancestry website. Also, remember variant spellings - Jeffryes for one could have been spelled in a number of different ways. You could certainly consider the possibility that the people concerned belonged to City Livery Companies - as East End weavers, they may have done, but equally don't be surprised if they did not. As to wills, these were usually made as prosperity increased - maybe the earlier generation(s) simply was not as well off as later ones.

John Baker 18/12/2007 21:20:07

Thanks Anthony. the 1901 census is a problem area as the wife and son are there, livging together but not Eleazer, no sign of him. I may have to try the synagogue records to see if there is anything there. thanks very much for the input

That's interesting: you don't say what Eleazer did for a living, but maybe he was away on business or indeed back in his country of origin. Certainly, exploring census returns would be worth your while - not only are they very informative, but also of course they are fascinating because you can see your Jewish ancestors actually being Jews, as opposed to appearing in British records as mere immigrants.

John Baker 18/12/2007 21:01:11

good evening Anthony. My grandfather was Eleazer Silver (dob abt 1875) He married Jane Annie Magnus in 1898. (certificate held) Their first child was Woolf Silver (dob 02/02/1900 - certificate held) The second child was Jessie Silver (dob 09/08/1901 - certificate held) Ultimately there were a further ten children I can find no record of Eleazers birth and no record of him in the 1901 census. Nor is he in the 1891 or 1881 census results. I found Jane and Woolf in the 1901 census but they are living alone, where could Eleazer be? And why do I not find his birth record in +/- 1875 I have searched everywhere. Possibly he was an immigrant, if so how do I find him if I do not know where he came from? john baker The Silvers & Magnus’ all lived in and around the Hackney / Islington area from 1850 – 1950

Yes, that they were immigrants is a distinct possibility, for these are all Jewish names. Eleazer is probably in the 1901 census, but under a different name. Jews tended to have three surnames names - the one they in Eastern Europe, the one they adopted once in England, which could have been a transliteration or translation of the former, and their religious name - "ben xxx", where xxx was their father's name. There may be a naturalisation for him, or you might have to look in the original 1901 returns for wherever he lived in 1898, and where he was living when Jessie was born in August 1901, and indeed in the streets in between, for someone fitting his description.

Anne Baker 27/07/2010 21:06:41

Hello Anthony My great grandfather born 1879 was adopted at birth by cousins.I have the name of his birth mother from his marriage certificate but no father.I have information on his adoptive family.Is there any way I can add this to my tree?

I suggest entering the family from a biological point of view, with the mother as your ancestress, and the cousins as just that, though you can put a note under them detailing the interesting fact that they adopted your ancestor. It doesn’t make them your direct ancestors, though, particularly as this long pre-dates the introduction of formal adoption.

Kathleen Baldock 19/01/2010 21:00:57

Hello Anthony, I need help in tracing a baptism for my husband's 3 x gr.grandfather, Thomas Pegg born around 1785 to 1800. I believe his parents may have been James Pegg and Sarah Davis (who were married at St. Marylebone) but to prove this I need Thomas's baptism and thereby his parents names. It is possible that Thomas had three other brothers - William c1780, James c1785 and John who may have been younger. Certainly the two older brothers were married at Christchurch, Newgate Street, as was Thomas and his wife Kezia nee Dance - 1827. I have checked all surrounding parish baptismal records without any luck. Baptismal records for Christchurch for the period in question are unreadable and Bishops Transcripts destroyed due to War Damage. Thomas was a Weaver by trade. Do you have any other ideas, please. Thank you. Kathleen Jarvis

Failing Bishops' Transcripts, the parish registers are your only option for finding a baptism, and if the Christchurch ones, where you think Thomas was baptised, are genuinely illegible, then you'll have to press on without this desirable piece of evidence. One other way of tying generations together is by using wills, hoping that the suspected parents and/or sibllings left wills naming Thomas as a beneficiary.

Malcolm Baldock 22/07/2008 21:56:24

Hi Anthony, I am trying to trace my mothers side but have hit a brick wall very early on. Details I have are that mum was born on 8 Feb 1927 at Stepney, London, place of birth was different to her mothers residence. Her Birth cert shows no father named. Maiden name of her mother is Maud Hann, Name at time of birth registered as Jones. My mothers name shown as Irene Jones on her marraige cert to my dad, again no father listed. Nothing easy with those names. I would welcolme any suggestions on a way ahead with this search. Regards, Malcolm

The place of birth could have been a hospital. Clearly, the child was born to a married woman but the husband was not involved. You probably won't be able to find the father's identity, but you can trace Maud Hann back by seeking her earlier marriage to a Mr Jones, using the General Registration records.

Sandra Bamford 19/08/2008 21:35:23

Hi Anthony- My 3xggrandfather was born Obadiah Balmforth in 1851. His surname later seemed to change to Bamford. Would this be because of illiteracy as Bamford is now my family name and it would be interesting to know if this came about due to a spelling mistake.Thanks Sandra

A wonderful name – surnames were still being spelled in different ways in 1851: there were no spelling mistakes, just variant spellings of the same name, with spellings becoming fixed in a fairly random way, once literacy increased towards the end of the century.

Sandra Bamford 20/05/2008 21:06:30

I would like to study for qualifications in genealogy and would like to know how to go about it

It's a wonderful profession to follow. I advise trying to attend a course - local adult education departments often run genealogy courses, and there are excellent educational talks at the Society of Genealogists too. The only people offering a form of professional qualification in the field is the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, Canterbury.

Fiona Barden 20/01/2004 21:50:07

Hello Anthony I hope that you are able to help. The family story is that my g g grandfather Mark Hinch(c)liffe was a regular soldier, whilst serving in Ireland he met a lady from Killarney and married. She gave birth to my g grandmother Mary Ann Hinch(c)liffe 20 Oct 1850 in Winchester Barracks she died giving birth. I have found no birth certifcate for MAH. I looked up to 2 years later. Also no obvios death certificate for Killarney lady in Winchester and wouldn't know where to look for the marriage certificate if it took place in Ireland. The fly in the ointment is that I found Mark Hinch(c)liffe in the 1861 census as a Chatham pensioner so what does this mean ? Is he more likely to be Navy, Marine or Army. The family informant was born just after he died in 1881. The same census gives MAH as born in Winchester so there's the first match. Any help most gratefully received From Fiona in Huddersfield 21-48

'Chatham pensions from 1802-1894 may be found in ADM 29 at the National Archives. you could also look in the records of military births, baptisms, marriages and deaths which were seperate to the civilian ones, at the Family Records Centre. you've a good, unusual combination of names there-I'm sure you'll find the answer!

Frank Barnes 12/10/2010 21:36:46

Hello Anthony, I'm trying to find the parents of John Barnes born abt 1773 in Chesham,Buckinghamshire who married Mary Miles on 24.12.1802 in Chesham. The IGI index gives his birth abt 1777 but in the 1851 census i think it shows him and Mary living next door to their daughter Sarah who married Stephen Puddephatt.The only parish record i could find for their marriage was Pallot's but only their names are given and no other information. Thanks Frank

Any IGI entry that says 'abt' (ie, about) is a guess, often a completely ill-informed one, and should be absolutely and entirely ignored. Put it completely out of your mind. The 1851 census will give you information that is much more likely to be correct. Look for the baptism in the original parish register indicated - Chesham, presumably. It will be in the Buckinghamshire Record Office. Ditto the marriage: Pallot is just an index that tells you in which parish register to look up the original marriage entry.

Frank Barnes 14/12/2010 21:48:54

Hi,My ancestor Frank Leonard Barnes C1894 Islington,London was wounded in WW1 at Paschendale,Somme and lost a leg but i cant find any service record or pension record for him,any help is appreciated. Thanks Frank

No, sadly many Great War service records were destroyed during the Second World War, to make space (though some have tried to blame German bombing). You can make up for the lack of service records by looking for his appearance in the medal rolls, and learn the general history of his battalion/regiment (which you will learn from the medal rolls). All are at The National Archives, the medal rolls are in their 'Documents Online' section.

Christina Barnes 15/04/2008 21:11:00

Hi Anthony, My great great grandmother was born about 1880. In the 1891 census it describes her as a scholar what does this mean? We were always told that she was from landed gentry and married beneath her, the Head Gardener. We never knew her maiden name, but other family members have found it but it belongs to a daughter of a Dairyman and as I said before the census descibed her as a scholar and they lived on a farm. Could she have taken this name after being thrown out by her father for marrying beneath her? As we do not know why she would have made up such a story. Also my nan said she was taken to a Stately home by her grandmother when she was young. Chrissie

A scholar was simply a child atending school. They may not have been particulary scholarly. but woulkd have been taught the 'Three Rs'. In the 19th century, everyone was conscious of their social position and dairymen may have well have thought of head gardenres as being 'beneath them'. You didn't have to be a nobleman to be a snob!

jean barnes 13/12/2011 21:41:58

Hullo Antony, I am struggling with finding my mother's birth cert, on her marrage cert Feb 1938 she was 29 on the cert. her father was Thomas Wallace Insurance Agent deceased. I found one T.W. insurance agent in the 1911 census single living at home,and have found only 4 Mabels born in the time gap 1909-1912 and none of them check out to be her, I am at a loss as to what to do next and wondered if there was something else i could do to find her

Your mother was born between February 1908 and February 1909, so if you look back into 1908 you may find her. And try the army births, as her father may not have been an insurance agent by then.

Anne Barnett 16/09/2008 21:02:56

Hello Anthony, I can't trace ancestors on the 1891, 1901 census's. I do know they could have been in South Africa as they were soldiers. Any ideas how I might confirm this please?

Please see the previous answer! If these people were abroad as soldiers, which is perfectly possible, then you could confirm it from their army service records. These are at The National Archives, Ruskin Avenue, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU, 0208 876 3555,

Linda Barnett 30/10/2007 21:01:37

Hi Anthony I am having problems with finding any information on the Barnett side of my family. I am ok for info on my father and grandfather but after that it is a bit of a brick wall. My great grandfather George Barnett 1867 was born in Kent, George Barnett was a mariner but I have no idea if it was the Royal or Merchant Navy, Is there anyway I could find out and find which ships he served on. I cannot find him or his family on any census until 1901 where George Barnett 1867 is married and living in Wales. Many thanks Linda

Someone described as a mariner will have been in the Merchant Navy. The records are at The National Archives and many ships were enumerated in the censuses, so further searching may yet reveal him. For Merchant Navy records see The best guide to merchant navy records is C. and M. Watts, 'My Ancestor was a Merchant Seaman' (3rd edition, SoG, 2004). To trace his origins, you should be able to find his marriage, and then seek his birth in Kent in General Registration normally.

Jacqueline Barnley 01/09/2009 21:01:42

I believe one of my ancestors was a Freeman of the City of London during the 1800's How can I check this out and obtain evidence.

These records are well worth searching. The Freedom records are in the Corporation of London Record Office, and will lead you on to individual Livery Company records, which will be either at Guildhall Library, or with the individual companies. Almost always, you will learn the father's name and if he was a Freeman, you can go back a further generation - and so on.