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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.

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Name Date
Sue Stevens 18/11/2003 21:24:48

Hi Anthony, can you give me any tips to try and find a marriage cert. My gg grandmother was born c1812, and gg grandfather was born c1825. I know where they were born and lived and have been to the FRC and can find no marriage reference for them from 1837 to 1855 which is after the date that their last child was born. Any other ideas on how I might find out this information? Many thanks Sue

Recent studies revealed that an alarmingly high number of early (ie, just post 1837) marriages were not properly recorded by the Registrar General. However, as most took place (and were initially recorded properly in) parish churches, why not seek the marriage in the registers of the parish where you know your great great grandmother was born. That could solve your problem.

Karen McDonald 18/11/2003 21:28:53

hi anthony,i'm trying to find a birth entry for my grandfathers sister.her name was natalie mary moran b1912.her mother was alma and in 1913 she married what i assume was natalies father james moran.i've searched the index for natalie with almas maiden name(eddy) and her first husbands name(beard)aswell as moran but nothing,do you have any suggestions please?

You were sensible to think of all the possible surnames under which Natalie may have been registered- and it's a shame that none worked. you don't say in which country you looked, though. I'm presuming England and Wales- but the names are screaming Ireland at me- have you looked in Irish General Registration, and for that matter Scottish General Registration? - many Irish families settled there, especially along the West Coast.

Christine Sadler 18/11/2003 21:30:17

Hi Anthony, Further to my previous question how do you trace births of Children born in India but under the British Flag. If I could trace my grandfathers birth certificate it would then hold my great grandparents details. Thanks in anticipation. Regards, Christine Grantham (nee Sadler)

Hardly any births of British children in India were recorded, which is why we usually have recourse to the baptism records outlined in my previous answer. you do indeed want to seek your grandfather's birth/baptism details and then you can work back on a sure footing to find out about his parents- the India Office records at the British Library should mention them, as they cover practically (if not actually) every British person in India.

Susan Bromley 18/11/2003 21:31:35

Hi Anthony, Alice was born very near to Grimsby and lived in Louth there are no records of them being married in either place John possibly in the army before he worked and lived in Barnsley area and I can find no record there either but they were definatly married as when he died Alice was notified as his wife.but I will try scotland. Thanks Sue

I see. As Alice was born near Grimsby my suggestions for looking further afield probably won't apply. However, if your man was in the army then the marriage may be indexed completely seperately in Army Marriages- the indexes are on the open shelves at the Family Records Centre.

Cathy in Lancs 18/11/2003 21:32:41

I have a relative who married in America probably San Francisco, California around 1925. Please could you point me in the right direction to apply for her marriage certificate. Thanks Cathy.

American marriages are held by the local authority where the marriage took place, so thank goodness for you that you know where. you can got through to find the address for the civil registration authority in San Fransisco. Some states have inconvenient confidentiality laws, which may prevent you in some cases from being issued with certificates- a system which may be followed here soon.

Susan Paul 18/11/2003 21:42:51

Hi Anthony, How do I go about finding my great great grandmother's brother who had been in a brawl and his family took him to a port where he sailed for Australia. He died intestate in Australia. A solicitor put a notice in Gloucester newspaper for known relatives to contact the Solicitor's office and in turn the remaining Gloucester family received a nice inheritance. All I know is that his surname was Hoskins possibly William born 1831.

There are many potential sources- the Australian states have excellent civil registration records and so on, but it strikes me that the best place you could start looking would be the Gloucestershire newspapers. There should be collections at Gloucester Record Office and the British Library's newspaper libary at Colindale, North London, and if you are lucky they may be partially indexed. The solicitor may well ahve advertised in the Times, too- the Times is fully indexed: there is a copy of the index at Guildhall Library which is easy to search. That could well be your best bet.

Susan Bromley 18/11/2003 21:43:09

Hi Anthony we have searched there too its a complete mystery to us but thank you fro your time in answering my questions. regards Sue

I see- I suggested looking in Army marriages, and you already have. The mystery deepens. If you refer down the page you'll see what I have written about marriages missing from general Registation- as you know Alice came from Louth, you could seek the marriage in the local parish registers and/or in the parish banns book. Or, if her family were anything above labourers, see if a notice about the marriage was placed in the local paper.

Elizabeth Pearson 18/11/2003 21:46:34

HI Anthony can you tell me how to go about finding my great grandfather birth as i am not sure where he was born and only know whwt i think is his father name thanks elizabeth

The best way to sek your grandfather's birth would be to seek it in the General Registration Records. These can be searched manually at the Family Records Centre, on fiche or film at Mormon Family History Centres, or online through and the FRC's very own, new, search service These cover England and Wales- other parts of Britain have their own systems which can be searched in similar fashion.

Cathy in Lancs 18/11/2003 21:48:07

Thanks for previous answer. Another question - Is it possible to find birth details with an exact date and place of birth but no name for a person adopted as a baby in 1901.

There were no formal adoptions in 1901- formal adptions did not start until 1927, so this will be a hard one to crack. You could solve the problem by searching through the records of the local registrar for the place where you know the birth took place, seeking children of the right gender born on the right day. The trouble is that these records are not open to public searching: in this instance I would suggest approaching the local registrar, explainig the situation and seeing how sympathetic they are. Actually, I'd be very interested to hear how you get on, if you follow up this suggestion.

Sue Stevens 18/11/2003 21:49:11

Anthony, how do I find out about Deaths at sea? This is not in the Navy but in the Merchant Navy. Thanks Sue

The Registrar General kept seperate indexes to deaths at sea from 1837. They are at the Family Records Centre.

Karen McDonald 18/11/2003 21:51:25

hi anthony, thanks for your reply, james moran did come from ireland but was in the navy,based in plymouth and thats where their 2 other children were born,alma was from cornwall. karen

So I assume you have already looked very hard for Alma's first child Natalie being born in Cornwall. If no joy there, you could still think about Ireland or the Channel Islands and Scilly Isles- both within quite easy reach of your average Cornish fishing boat.

Janet Lees 18/11/2003 21:52:41

Evening Anthony. I am trying to trace the surname SHARLOTT can you help, can you give me any idea where this name may originate from as I am not having any success.

Sharlott or Charlotte means 'son of Charlotte'. Most surnames derived from parents come from the father (like mine), but if the woman wore the trousers in the family, then it was her name which was remembered. I worked on a Charlotte family a few years ago for the pilot of Extrardinary Ancestors and mention it briefly (with a picture of the Charlotte descendant cncerned) in the November edition of Your Family Tree. They were in Cheshie, but the earlier generations came from further south- Oxfordshire, I think. However, yours might not be related- you should start working back generation by generation and see what emerges.

Debbie Sheppard 18/11/2003 21:53:52

Hi Anthony I am having trouble finding information about my great great grandfather, I know his name his wifes name his area of birth and his childrens birth, in 1881 he was in India I am not sure why he was with his wife and had 2 children there, on the 1891 census he was a housing agent and on 1901 he was a licenced Victular. he had children here there and everywhere I just cannot find a birth, marriage or why he was in India. Ive looked all the usual places please can you help. Debbie

The most likely reason why your ancestor was in India was that he was in the army- but there were many civil servants there too, for a multitude of reasons. Another, of course, is that his father was a soldier (or similar) and that he grew up there. The records of the India Office Library refered to below really should shed some light on this.

Elaine Moore 18/11/2003 22:03:14

Can you tell me something about the origin of the surnames French and France. My grandmother was France and she married my grandfather to become French. I have often wondered if there is a French connection. Grandmother came from Somers Town, Kings Cross area where I understand many French people settled during the french revolution?

Most surnames had arisen and become hereditary by the 1400's, so th French Revolution is unlikely to be relevant here. But the names do mean 'from France' and 'French'- just a lot earlier. In 1273, for example, we have Symon le Freynsman in Wiltshire. He was probably genuinely a Frenchman. besides the Revolution, the Huguenots and the Norman Conquest, our proximity to France means that the French have been coming here in a pretty continual stream, a trend likely to continue due to the new high speed Eurorail line being built straight into modern King's Cross!

Marcie Holloway 16/12/2003 20:41:44

hi please can you advise me as to what to do next,my ancester was married 18/5/1739, age not known parish entry seen, parents not known, parish records destroyed before 1723, there are quite a few pepole with his name in other villages, although not quite the right age, is this the end or is there anything else i can do to trace him

Before 1837 you would not expect to find details of ages or parents in parish registers- they were not that detailed. However, the marriage entry should say whether it took place by banns or license. If by license, you can look in the records of the local bishop (the county record office will probably hold them) and this should give a few extra details. it is a real shame the registers have been destroyed, but again the bishop may come to the rescue- Bishops Transcripts were copies of the parish registers which should have been sent annually to the bishop. Again, ask at the county record office. These may contain your ancestor's baptism and solve all your problems. Hurrah (in this case) for bishops.

Barry Young 16/12/2003 20:51:11

Hi. i hope you can point me in the right direction! I'm Trying to find my grandfather i know he was born in Edzell, Scotand in 1835 and married in 1958 after having three children with my grandmother he left in 1971. I know his full name "Gordon Cheyne Drummond" and i have a few details on his parents and grandparents and when i say detaild i mean the date they married. Hope u can help.BARRY

Dear Barry, I think you mean your grandfather was bor in 1935, not 1835- otherwise either he or you would be of a remarkable age! I think your problem here is that your grandfather left the family in 1971 and was not heard from again. With his distinctive names, he should show up in telephone directories, but only assuming he is listed and not ex-directory, which, given the circumstances you describe, he may well be. Equally, if he has passed away, he should show up clearly in the death indexes in Scotland, and it may be worth trying this, if only in order to eliminate that possibility. Otherwise, have you considered whether he may still be in touch with his original family? You know when and where he was born so you could seek his birth and then seek the births of his brothers and sisters. Armed with their names you could try using telephone directories to find them- and they may know the answer.

Still Searching !!! ******** 16/12/2003 21:02:31

Hello i have really hit a brick wall. My family were supposed to live in leeds but originally from ireland. Without specific dates and places how can i access records in ireland. Many thanks

It would help me to know roughly when the family is thought to have come from Ireland. If they appear in the censuses from 1901 back, these may tell you at least the county from which they came. Sometimes you will find Irish immigrants simply being recorded as from 'Ireland' in census after census- but then there will be one, just by chance, which will be more specific. If the migrant from ireland married here, their marriage record will at least tell you the name and occupation of the father back in Ireland. There is General Registration over in Ireland from 1864, so you may be able to pick up your ancestor's birth in them.

Fi aka Wheelie Spice and Lilly 16/12/2003 21:05:36

Hi Adolph, I just thought you might like to know that on 25/11/03 I met the first of my 3 1/2 brothers for the very 1st time. It was a great day and I took him to a cousins party this weekend. I have had a great few weeks . There is also a possibility that I will be in contact with a 2nd 1/2 brother in the not too distant future. This one being thanks to an aunt and someone I have had contact with through GC.

That really is good news. Every time I look at the Success Stories on the site's message board I am really surprised- and delighted- at the number of families being reunited through GenesConnected. Befre this came along, finding long-lost half brothers and so on could be a long, hard slog. It's great to read not only that you have found a half brother- but also that you get on so well. something in the genes,obviously!

Heather Wickham 16/12/2003 21:06:13

Hello Anthony. I know that 4 of my family were buried in lairs in the Vale of Leven Cemetery in Alexandria, Dunbartonshire. I wrote to them asking if they could give me names and dates of death. They replied with names, ages and dates. I subsequently wrote to GRO in Edinburgh to acquire death certificates only to be told that they could not find them. I am totally mystified. Could the dates I was given by the cemetery have been dates of burial, rather than death? Many thanks. Heather

I apologise for the delay there- I was loking up lairs. The answer is that the dates on the gravestones could possibly be wrong- a long time may have elapsed between the deaths and the stones being erected. I have written an article on gravestones in this month's Your Family Tree magazine which discusses this and other grave related issues. So, yes, I would advise widening the search for the deaths in General Registration to allow for possible errors.

Anthony Mallord 16/12/2003 21:06:29

hi do you know the origin of the name Mallord we have been told it sounds french but have asked many genealogists but they never have any records of it.Hope you can help ANTHONY MALLORD

Mallord is a very good, distinctive name and the middle name of the artist Joseph Mallord Turner. I am not sure of its derivation. It could be from a French placename, and could in fact be a variant of Mallory, which comes from the French de Malore- but one should always be cautious. It could even be a variant of the surname Mallard, which arose as a nickname from the native British duck of that name.