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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
Victoria Welch 22/01/2013 21:18:44

his name was norman edward ord and i think he was born in the 1900s and i was told by my mum that he was born in dundee and his parents came from the county durham area. my grandad was also a bigmist and i believe i found two marriages for him yesterday. one of them i know is definately him because it is his marriage to my nan. marriage 1 norman edward old to eccles april-may-june 1951 in durham north western durham and second marriage to my nan. norman edward old to doris priscilla holland in july-aug-sept 1953 stepney middlesex and i have found a death for him which i think is correct as i was told that my grandad was living in dudley warwickshire. norman edward old 16th august 1915 and died in november 1997 birmingham warwickshire.

Thank you for coming back with more information - it is quite a story! You should buy both the marriage records (http://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/default.asp) and see if both really do relate to the same person. I'd associate Ord with Co. Durham so you would do well to seek his birth there as well as in Scotland and you can look for him and his father (whose name you will learn from the marriage record(s)) in the censuses in England and Scotland too, to gain extra coordinates on where he was actually born.

arthur boddy 22/01/2013 21:17:04

hello Anthony my great g/father was born in south wales about 1871 iphone for a birth cert but they could not find his records what should i do now

Build up co-ordinates on what you know about this person: seek his marriage record, and his appearances in the censuses. You can do that on this site and then also search the General Registration births and hopefully you will then find him.

Lucy Mason 22/01/2013 21:15:18

I'm looking for the death certificate of my great-grandfather, Charles Edward Mason born c. 1900 in Salisbury, Wiltshire. I have his marriage certificate that was 19/11/1932. Because I have such a common surname, finding the correct relatives is difficult, and can often led to me 'waste' my money. Do you have tips on how to have less inaccuracies with my searches? Thank you in advance.

You can use the 1911 and 1901 censuses on this site to really hone down when and where Charles was born and hopefully there will not be more than one or two possible births to buy: if there is more than one then you may have to 'waste' money on the wrong one, but that would be an essential process of elimination to enable to you to arrive at the right one before too long.

Sharon Stacey 22/01/2013 21:12:56

Good evening Anthony, I hope you can help I have come to a stand still on my family tree( my father started tracing our family back in 1973) I have got as far back as 1748 but unfortunateley John Stacey born c1748 in Fishlake and married Ann Sharp born c1747on the 3/12/1767 in Campsall Yorkshire. Ann does exist but there is nothing to be found about John. I have their children Samuel (this is my blood line) bpt 21/3/1868 and his siblings. I have tried various things as still have no joy I have been stuck here for the last 12 months. I have been intouch with the family history society for that are and seem to be unable to come up with anything. My father and I have been around the grave yards of the area but to no avail. hope you can help. Thank you for you help regards Sharon Stacey

You've been at it longer than me! I'm puzzled as to how you know John was born in Fishlake: assuming that information is correct I'd search the parish registers, which I see are in the Doncaster archives, not just for his baptism but also for any Stacey or Stacy baptisms, marriages and burials around the 1740s, and beyond - by searching forwards, for example, you may find the burials of people who will turn out to be his parents.

Janice Dawson 22/01/2013 21:12:08

Hello Anthony, I have been trying to discover the whereabouts of my husbands paternal Grandfather for some time. Thomas Charles Martin 1893-1971 was born in Aston in Birmingham Warwickshire, i can find him on the census records for 1891 and 1901. Members of his family say they remember him being in the army during the 1914-1918 war,but i cant find any trace of him in the military records. Th next record i can find is on the electoral registers for 1945, 50 and 55. I am a novice and would appreciate your advice on where to look next .Regards Janice Martin.

You should be able to find Thomas in the 1911 census too, unless he had joined the army and gone off abroad. Army records are at The National Archives in Kew and one resource available on their website are the medal rolls, WO 372, at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/medal-index-cards-ww1.htm. In addition, about half the WW1 army service records themselves have survived and hopefully Thomas's will be among them. You can also of course seek his marriage record.

Thomas Hamnett 22/01/2013 21:10:13

Hi Anthony I am trying to trace Archer Lycett a Stonemason . His son Thomas Lycett (aged 21) married Thirza Baddeley (aged 20) at Holy Trinity Church in the Parish of Sneyd in the county of Staffordshire on July 6th 1862. I believe Thomas Lycett's mother was Maria Lycett but cannot find any details of a marriage with Archer or any details of Archer Lycett existing. Any advice or help would be appreciated. Thanks

Someone with such names should leap out of the records, or indexes, but I've just had a quick look and he's not in the death records, where he ought to be - he's probably there under a variant spelling of Lycett. However, you are slightly jumping the gun by looking for him because the next step should be to look for the birth of Thomas in about 1841, and then seek him and his family in the 1841 and 1851 censuses. That way you should learn more about Archer and that should make it much easier to find him.

Valma Stickley 22/01/2013 21:10:13

Hi Anthony,could you advise me how I go about proving or disproving if my family have any connection with the Heugonots? My mothers family name was Jordon or Jordan,living in the east end of London,I have found one link who I beleive may be a 3 times great grandfather a silk weaver living in the hamlet of Mile End,New Town in the 1841 census.Where do I go from there?

The combination of place, occupation and surname makes a Huguenot connection very likely. You can use normal records to trace back but you can also explore the records published by the Huguenot Society, www.huguenotsociety.org.uk/, such as the records of their hospital, La Providence and follow up any Jordan references found which look likely to be relevant.

Hazel Fenn 22/01/2013 21:09:27

Hello Anthony, My name is Hazel Duxon and I have been researching my husband's tree now for about 10 years but for some time now I have hit a brick wall. We traced David Duxon born c1777 Horncastle in Lincolnshire - his first wife died after childbirth and he remarried again. He was a butcher/farmer and lived in Far Street Horncastle now called West Street. I have all the parish registers for his children, his two marriages inc. marriage allegations. We have spent weekends at Lincoln FHS with no luck on his birth and his parents. He was 59 on the NBI in l936 which gives a year of l777 - I have the parish record for his death. However, we just cannot get trace his place of birth or his parents. We had two tips from my husband's father about a French connection and I was lucky to find it online and the other was a connection of Chief Prison Warder at Lincoln Prison. So you can see I have lots but just cannot find his birth and parents. The French connection was one of David's daughters and the other one comes in further down the tree. Sorry if this sounds muddled..................

Not at all, though I don't think the French connection is relevant to this problem - this is the right way to set out a question, giving the relevant names, places, occupations and dates. However, if this person was buried in 1836 (you will have a burial record, not a death record at that period) then I wonder how you know he was born in Horncastle. Maybe you should cast the net wider and you could look for a settlement certificate which, if it exists, would record David's arrival in Horncastle from elsewhere. You could also use local indexes to see where in the county the surname Duxon was being used during the 18th century (or maybe it is a variant or even a misspelling of Dixon), so as to gain clues as to where to look for his elusive baptism.

Karen Collins 22/01/2013 21:06:21

My great great grandfather Philip Wagner was born in Germany, ( wehrheim) in 1848. He married Elizabeth (b.1850) . I dont know when they travelled to England but all their children were born in the Middlesbrough area. I am at a loss to find out why they or he would move over to the North East of England at that time. I don't now anything about him.I would lke to know if family members still exsist in Wehreim and how I can find out. I don't speak German. Hope you can help. thank you, Karen

German records are generally very good and virtually all of them are held locally, so you really need to make contact with the mayor's office there, and/or the church of the relevant denomination. It may be necessary to find and hire a local researcher or go there - which is what I did when I was researching my German ancestry almost 30 years ago. Most Germans speak quite good English and now Google has a marvellous translation facility, http://translate.google.com/, so you can translate simple requests (and replies) very easily.

Victoria Welch 22/01/2013 21:02:02

i am trying to find out information for a birth certificate for my grandad who was born in dundee but i cant seem to find him at all. what should i do?

Can you tell me a bit more - his name, when you think he was born and on what basis you think he was born in Dundee? Do you have his marriage record?

Ewan Kidd 22/01/2013 21:00:23

Hi Anthony. I have recently started trying to trace my family tree on my late father’s side. Through census, marriage, birth and death records, I have found my great grandfather, Bartholomew Kidd was born around 1864 in America. There is however no trace of him in the UK until his marriage on 25th July 1884 in Falkirk, Scotland. He thereafter lived in Stirling until his death. His parents are shown as Thomas Kidd and Ann Meikle formerly Kidd nee McDonald. I can find no trace of birth, marriage or death records for both. It would appear Ann Kidd remarried at some point prior to 1884. It is also possible they emigrated or lived in America when Bartholomew was born but searches with US sites has also proved fruitless. Can you suggest a way forward? Thanks

Both the parents' names are Scottish ones, so it would make sense to look for a marriage in Scotland before 1864, but of course as you know the son was born in America you should focus on research there for the time being. There were censuses each ten years and hopefully the couple will show up in them - they are on www.ancestry.com. I hope that that is not one of the searches you have already done and which has proved negative!

Lesley Brooks 18/12/2012 21:50:42

Hi Anthony, My paternal Grandfather Thomas Brooks, b1876 wrote out our family tree in 1950, his father was also Thomas b1840 and my GG Grandfather was William Brooks he married Ann Walters in 1835, she was born in 1915, as well as Thomas they had a son called Joseph b1836, they all came from Staffordshire. I have not been able to find any of them in the 1841 to 1861 census. but I think I have found them under the surname of Whitebrooks, On the Familysearch site it has William Whitebrooks married to Ann Walters in 1835, I ordered a birth certificate for Thomas Whitebrooks b1840 and his parents are a match. So is is possible that the surname could have been changed to Brooks after 1840? Ann went on to remarry in 1845 calling herself by her maiden name Walters, and a Spinster!! she has her 2 boys with her in 1851. William Brooks was sill alive in 1870 when his son my G Grandfather married, but I cannot trace him before then. Could you tell me if the full Staffordshire Parish Records will be released soon? as I am finding it difficult to find the answers, Many thanks Lesley Thank you for answering my previous question about Tyrone Power

That is a very interesting discovery. To prove or disprove the idea of Whitebrooks becoming Brooks, you should do all you can to document the family in as much detail as possible, seeking each birth, marriage, death, census return, will and so on. This will soon show you whether you are right or wrong. The Staffordshire parish registers are all in the (various) archives there - no need to wait until they come on-line.

Shalie Rajak 18/12/2012 21:15:29

Hi Anthony, Can you please help, I am trying to find my half brother born in 1947 to Ada m Brown nee Flynn my mom DOB 14 June 1922. His birth name could be John S Hakrim. Born in Bradford West Yorkshire. He was adopted 1949-50. Shalie

If he was adopted then you will not be able to trace him or contact him directly, but you have made yourself findable by being on this site, and you can also join the Adoption Contact Register (see https://www.gov.uk/adoption-records/the-adoption-contact-register): if he wants to contact his original family he will join this register - and maybe he already has!

Doreen Dowall 18/12/2012 21:10:32

Hi Anthony, my great great grandfather was born in Danzig, Prussia in 1823. He was a Ship Master and married in Greenock, Renfrewshire in 1857. At that time both his parents were deceased. I would love to get a copy of his birth certificate and find out more about his parents and whether he had any siblings. His father was also a Ship Master. I am a fairly experienced genealogist, but have really hit a brick wall. Any suggestions as to how I can access information or records? Many thanks.

You'll know that you will gain further coordinates on the parents' names from the Scottish death record of your great great grandfather. Thereafter, you will need to use the records in Danzig (Gdansk, Poland). There would probably have been detailed birth, marriage and death records there kept by the town, and there would also be church registers there, and as a shipmaster the father may also have been a burgher of the town, so there is a lot of potential there - it all depends what has survived and how easy it is to gain access to it - you could go yourself or engage a local genealogist.

Andrew Bromley 18/12/2012 21:07:17

Hello Anthony I have traced the Bromley side of my tree to my 4xGreatgrandfather William How Bromley born 1781 london. His christening record shows his father as Edward Bromley,mother Jane,Edward was a Dyer by trade but there is no record so far to search his birth. How can i research further.?

Births only started being recorded systematically in July 1837, so before then we must rely on baptisms. The next step would be to seek baptisms f other children of this couple, and then the marriage of the parents - and no, there is not always a fail-safe method of knowing that a marriage you have found is the right one. Context is everything. If you are lucky, the clue in this case will be in the son's name and perhaps Jane was Jane How.

Sally Grant 18/12/2012 21:01:09

My great great grandparents were born in Hull, Yorkshire and lived there all their lives. They married in 1831 and by the time of the 1841 census they'd had 5 children but four of them died over a period of two weeks in December 1839, at least one (and probably all) of them from Scarlet Fever. Between 1840 and 1851 they had at least four more children but I have searched every conceivable online resource under every possible variant of their surname 'Revell', including wildcard searches, and can find no record of their births (around 1840, 1843 and 1847) except for their last child in 1851 (my great grandmother). The 1851 and subsequent censuses show the whole family was born in Hull. G-g-grandfather was a mariner. Any ideas? Do you know of any gaps in the Hull records?

I know of no particular faults in the Hull records, no: some children (anywhere) were not registered in those early years of General Registration (it started in 1837) but as you say they might be under a variant., I remember a study of this surname years ago - a book by Cecil Humphery-Smith about High Revel, Master of the Hospitallers in the Middle Ages, which included quite a lot about variant spellings, including Renell (perhaps even Reynolds), as 'n' and 'v' are very easily misread.

Sally Grant 18/12/2012 21:00:29

I wonder whether you can suggest a reason for the following scenario. My great great granddfather was born illegitimately. His name was Robert B*. His mother married when he was less than 2 years old to a man called Thomas M*, a small farmer. They had four children together. On the 1841 census g-g-grandfather was an agricultural labourer working about 10 miles away from his home town and was recorded as Robert M*. By 1851 he had married Mary and appeared as Robert B* as he did in 1861. Robert's stepfather, Thomas M*, died around March 1861 and his mother died in 1873. In 1871 he appeared as Robert M*, in 1881 as Robert B* and in 1891 as Robert M*. The only unusual thing about the 1881 census is that he was being visited by his half-sister who was a child of his mother with Thomas M*. It almost seems as if he was hiding from her the fact that he had been using her father's (his stepfather's) surname. Robert and Mary had four sons. Robert died in 1892. His wife and two of his sons continued to use the surname M* for the rest of their lives but his other two sons, including my great grandfather, moved away from home in their youth and used their birth surname of B* throughout. Birth, marriage and death records for the whole family are officially recorded under the surname of B* with the exception of one of the sons whose two marriages (1873 and 1891) and death (1908) are recorded under the surname M*. The family origins were in North Yorkshire.

That's not unusual at all. People can use any surname they like: there are no rules telling us what we can and cannot do in that respect, and illegitimate children brought up by married mothers often ended up being called by their step-fathers' surnames. Then in the records you may see them using (or being called by) the surname they were used to using, or, at other times, by the surname with which they were actually born. Sometimes, both surnames got clumped together as an alias, B alias M, though not apparently in this case. Bear in mind that Thomas M could always, actually, have been the real father of Robert B.

Lesley Brooks 20/11/2012 22:02:57

Hi Anthony, On the 1911 census my Great Aunt's father in law Edward Whiting b1844 at Avoning, Gloucester, a retired Shepherd, Lived with his family at Garden Street, Leek, Staffordshire. The mystery is that on the census form it has Tyrone Power, visitor, aged 46, married, Occupation Theatrical, born London. also Kate Power, 36, Theatrical, born Leicester. It doesn't seem possible that this could be the real actors, could it ? what do you think. Thanks, Lesley

I think it is highly likely that they were actors. In the days before television there were a lot of them around, touring about and of course having to find board and lodging wherever they were playing. 'Tyrone Power' sounds like the sort of name an actor would choose, too!

SHARON MCLAUGHLIN 20/11/2012 21:53:03

Hi Anthony, The Neal McConaghy i am looking for was Roman Catholic, and as for the spelling, that is the way his name is spelled in all his childrens birth records including his marriage record

The Catholic records are more likely to have survived, so you are lucky. Neal's name may have been spelled consistently on all the records you have seen and might be spelled so on the ones you haven't, such as his elusive baptism. My point is that you should be aware of possible spelling variants, and look out for them.

Mary Skeffington 20/11/2012 21:44:39

Hi again, am helping my friend with her fascinating tree her grandmothers family originate from Spain, what would your advice be on tracing old Spanish records - ( one family story dates the family in Spain in the 14th Century!!) I am sure we will have to visit Spain at some point, but is there anything online that would start us off meanwhile ? so far my tree has only involved UK and Irish records - so I'm not too sure where to start with this !

There is a lot on this website for English and Welsh research - the building blocks are the censuses and birth, marriage and death indexes (using which you can order the certificates). My books (see www.anthonyadolph.co.uk) explain research here and in Ireland. If the family were Spanish nobility then there are plenty of pedigrees in print - the Society of Genealogists in London has a fine collection. Otherwise you will need local records - mayor's records and church records. If you are so inclined, a visit to the relevant place in Spain would be the best way to kick start things. ,