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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
Ellen *** 12/12/2006 21:04:58

Please could you tell me how to progress. I have a marriage certificate for my Relations Albert Joynes and Alice Anderson I cannot trace Alice anywhere. The details on the marr. cert. are Father William Anderson (Miner) married in Eston Guisbrough from residence Miners Cottages. Witness are William Anderson and Betsy Anderson The year 1906. I would like to find her parents and her birth but don't know the next step.

You could see if you can find her living with her parents in the 1901 census indexes. This will confirm her age and tell you where she was born. You can then seek her birth certificate as appropriate.

Ellen *** 12/12/2006 21:19:53

follow up to answer for Alice Anderson. I have looked in Census for her unable to find any Alice living with William as father in that area. This is my problem.

Perhaps the father was away on the census night. Are there any Alice's without a father recorded at home. Betsey might be Alice's sister, or even mother. Can you find her in the census, although this may be a nickname and she may have been enumerated as something more formal. Alternatively, move on to see if you can find them in 1891 indexes instead of 1901, or go straight to the birth indexes to see if there is an Alice born in the right year in the Eston Guisborough area.

Margaret ******* 02/09/2003 21:05:24

Anthony Was it unusual for deaths in the workhouse not to be registered at the GRO? My husbands great grandfather died in York Workhouse in 1921, we found this in the Workhouse registers in York. When we applied for a death certificate at the local register office (York) we were told that that name and date was not on the register. We have since searched the GRO indexes ourselves and it isn't there> He apparently is buried in York cemetery a a grave with numerous others. Margaret

The death should have been registered properly, but if it was not then you have uncovered what was probably a simple clerical error. The workhouse records, however, have probably told you more than the death record would have done anyway.

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.

Cynthia - re your query. 18/06/2013 21:27:47

Hi Anthony, Can you also remind folk that there are lots of helpful members of GR on the Community Boards who are willing to help them in their research 24/7. Thank you.


Cynthia - re your query. 16/04/2013 21:05:21

Hello Anthony, You may have heard about a long running thread on the boards - Looking for mother. A large number of community members have been striving for over 4 years to help Evelyn find her mother and thus, her maternal roots. This is a shortened version of what we have discovered so far - although I'm not sure that 'short' is the correct word to use :) We would be extremely grateful if you could give us any advise. Many thanks. Cynthia. DIANE LESLIE MacLEOD born c June 1906-8 India? (so she said). No verification of this birth can be found whatsoever. Searches have been made of Indian, Scottish and English births by many people but to no avail as yet. Possibilities: This is not her real name. DIANE: Searches have been made under: Donaldina, Dolinda, Dolina etc. - nothing found. LESLIE: She was very attached to her middle name of Leslie and insisted it was spelled that way. She gave the name to one of her sons. Some searches have been made re this name but maybe we need to do more. MacLEOD : On her marriage certificate (1929 in London), she states her father to be Major Robert MacLeod of the 1st Seaforth Highlanders - deceased. Nothing of him can be confirmed despite extensive military searches being made. These can be found on ps 2-4 and 14-15 – 29 and 36 of the thread. She told her family that she went to live on Stornoway with ‘Aunt Kate and cousins Donald & Ishbel (Isabelle)’. This family has been researched as probably the family of Rev. Donald MacLeod who was the minister of the church in Tarbat. The present Incumbent of that church has been contacted and was most helpful. Various agencies in Tarbat have been contacted re this family and Diane but nothing found. We have almost completed a 'family tree' on that particular MacLeod family but, someone has come forward who is related to them and does not think Diane links to them. Diane stated that she went to school in Stornoway. The most likely school would be the Nicolson Institute. A search has been made for her under D.L.M but there is no sign of her under that name. Other local schools have been contacted but there is nothing to be found under D.L.M. There is no sign of a DLM on the 1911 Scottish census see p.41 The first absolute sighting we have of her is when she started work at Springfield Hospital in London 7.6.1927 - 19.6.1928. There are, apparently, no more notes in her file. In 1929 she married, as Diane Leslie MacLeod, a Herbert R.J. Roy in London. Up until her marriage, she received a private allowance, source unknown. The address given on her marriage certificate is 53 Khartoum Road, Wandsworth, London. The Electoral Roll for 1929 shows the family living at that address were named Kirby. There is no sign of Diane anywhere in Khartoum Road . She may just have been boarding there for a short time prior to her marriage. Our Evelyn was born in 1932 at 44 Dafforne Road, Wandsworth and Diane and her husband show up there on the Electoral Roll. Some research has been done on the other occupants but nothing worthwhile was found apart from the fact that one of the occupants was an Evelyn Goddard-Fenwick whom our Evelyn is named after and was her Godmother. See ps. 22-23 of this thread for more details. Various living Goddard-Fenwick’s have been contacted but to no avail. You can pm me for details on that. We have, over the last couple of years, drawn up a fairly comprehensive family tree for the G-Fs but simply cannot trace the connection. Just before the search drew to a halt last year, Evelyn remembered her mother reading a local newspaper (Dorset?)in the early 1950's and finding either an article or an obituary about a very old lady who had died in Stornoway aged 91. She stated that it was Aunt Kate. FBG travelled to the local office to look at the microfiche but, again - nothing. Scotland's People was searched for possible deaths but again, we drew a blank. At the moment, I am working to try and find where Evelyn was actually baptised, just in case any family members were included as Godparents. I am having lovely phone calls with the incumbent of the most likely parish church but no baptism as yet!!! So this is where the search is up to so far and still we try........because of our fondness for Evelyn...

Thanks for bringing this up. It is too long for this session (the system doesn't let me know how many other people are waiting, and I can't spend half an hour on this only to find a queue of other people behind it), and I see you refer me to pages of a thread somewhere else, which I can't read now - but one thing that comes to mind right away though is that I've come across Dolina shortened to Dolly. Also, anything concerning Lewis is best referred to Bill Lawson at Have you asked him?

Cynthia - re your query. 16/04/2013 21:24:31

Thank you for your response Anthony. This is the link to the thread in question.... If you have any advice for us, you are more than welcome to either post it on the thread or contact me by pm. Regards.

Thanks, but have you done what I suggested?

Cynthia - re your query. 16/04/2013 21:49:10

Hello again, It isn't a name which immediately springs to mind but I will have to plough through the 4 years of work to see if anyone has mentioned Bill Lawson before. I will put the link onto the thread and see if anyone recognises it. As for the name Diana/Dolina/Dolly, we have been through most alternatives that we could think of and taken advice from those who specialise in Scottish research. Please take a look at the thread, I am sure you will be impressed by the sheer perseverance, professionalism and expertise of the members who have been helping. Thanks. Cx

I'm glad I've been able to make a new suggestion. Bill runs his own family history centre in Harris and he and his wife Chris are the epitome of local experts in the families of Harris, Lewis and the smaller islands. The name Dolina McLeod is a typical local name.

Jackie . 01/09/2009 21:06:40

Hi Anthony, I have hit a brickwall regarding my paternal g.mother. I have her marr. cert. to my g.father. He remarried in 1939 she left early 1930's. I have looked on TNA site but can't find any details of their divorce. I can't find a birth for her, either under her maiden and/or mother's maiden name. (I do have a copy of her parents marr. cert). I know her parents and siblings were together in 1891 by 1901 they were separated on that census. My g.mother according to her marr. cert was born 1905 (she states 22 yrs on cert) but I can't find any trace of her mother, father or siblings on 1911 census. I have found deaths for both her parents, her mother remarried 6 months after her father died, she was 69 yrs and her new husband was a widower. When she died a few years later she was buried along with her first husband. I am at a complete loss and would really appreciated any ideas as to where else I could search for her birth and then hopefully her death so that I can take my father to her final resting place as he is now 81 yr and does not know what happened to his mother after she left the family home when he was about 3 yrs old. Thankyou Jackie Mahier

It sounds as if, despite not being able to find various records, you have got the basic skeleton of the family tree established. To find the missing pieces, remember to check under variant spellings, and also look in the army births, marriages and deaths, for many families were involved with the military at that time.

Shelli . 22/07/2003 21:56:48

Do you know if many familes were missed off the 1901 census? mine must've been on mars on census night!!

Possibly Mars, or an unenumerated house, but I'm afraid a more likely answer is that they were enumerated but the indexers of the 1901 census failed to copy the entry accurately. If in doubt, ignore the 1901 website and go and look at the address where you think the family should have been in the original records, which you can see on film at the Family Records Centre (or get someone else to look for you).

Shelli . 22/07/2003 22:10:14

With regard to searching the 1901 orginal entry, I have done that as it's on fiche at library, have searched the whole area where they should have been. Still can't find them.

Then maybe they really were on Mars. Actually, although getting to Mars wasn't possible then, getting virtually anywhere else was, and countless families went off to America, Africa- all over the world, and not necessarily for very long periods of time. Have a think about the family's occupations and see if they suggest anywhere else they may have gone to find work.

Lesley . 20/02/2007 20:57:14

The Tragic Death of Finlay Finlayson A few years ago I came across an old message on a website regarding a relative of mine called Finlay Finlayson who was born in 1864. When I contacted the author, she explained that she had found an old bible (nothing special) in Edinburgh with a poem in called the "Tragic Death of Finlay Finlayson" who died abroad. The start of each line spelled out his name. The bookshop was closing down and she thought someone may have been interested. Unfortunately the shop had closed down before I found the message and I never managed to find the poem. However, with this information, I managed to find (with help) a gravestone, an obituary in his local newspaper in Scotland and a death certificate registered with the consulate at Tonnay, Charante,, France. Finlay died in the hospital on 28 Match 1885. The Scottish newspaper clip mentioned that he died as a result of an accident on board the SS Walte. (the print is hard to read so it may not be the name of the ship) However, I still haven't managed to find out exactly what killed Finlay and why it warranted a poem about his tragic death. I was hoping that you may be able to offer other suggestions as to where I could find this information. Thank you. Lesley Finlayson

That's a good yarn in itself. The sad fact is that the poem, presumably written by a member of the family, may have been the only document that went into great detail on the tragic death. However, you might find out more: you could explore what (if any) relevant material the National Archives holds on the SS Walte, and also look for the same death mentioned (or the sinking of the ship in general) in other newspapers of the time - Lloyds List, The Times, the Illustrated London News and so on may all have covered the story. Some may mention sailors by name, and others may mention simply that unnamed sailors were killed.

Lesley . 20/02/2007 21:22:30

Thank you for your help Anthony. I will try as you suggested :-)


~ Berni ~ . 19/09/2006 21:23:12

my mothers parents were born in wales james patrick dempsey 1860 and mary obrien 1860 i have found them on the 1891 census but seem to be unable to go back any further what do you suggest please

They sound pretty Irish to me - try seeking their marriage in Wales, but failing that look in Irish General Registration instead. This has to be the last one, I am afraid, as it is last 10.30. Thanks everyoine for joining in, and apologies again for the delayed start. I do not know why this was and it shouldn't happen again.

Nicola . 26/04/2005 22:04:53

Hi Anthony,i cannot find my ggrandfather on any census record nor can i find a birth or death registration all i have is marriage reg and cert. any ideas as to why i can't find him? His name is william francis henry tukcker,according to his marriage cert age 32 he was born around 1877 his fathers name is the same but without the henry.i know he was married in wiltshire but lived and died in wales..thanks for your time Nicky.

If you cannot find your ancestor in online censuses, work out where he would have lived (from where his children were born, for example) and search in the original returns

Seasons . 22/08/2006 21:03:50

In 1901 census for Burnley have Ann Andrews 42 born Ireland , husband James Andrews 47 born Oldham, clogger and baby son James 8 weeks. On baby’s birth certificate have mother’s maiden name as Norman. According to baby James his mother died in Salford when he was about 9. Have found a death that could be his father in 1904 in Manchester workhouse age 50 but no trace of his mother’s death or a re-marriage right through until baby James married in 1921. Baby James is said to have been fostered by wealthy family from Crofts Engineering in Bradford. Have searched all marriages for James Andrews from 1891 when he was single living in Chadderton but found none that fits. Realise Ann could be middle or pet name and that at 42 she may have been married before and looked at though no extra name on birth certificate. Might they have gone to Ireland to get married even though James had not moved out the county before?

Ann could be down in the records as Anne, Anna, Hannah, Norah etc, but far more likely these missing events of yours took place in Ireland. Try the General Registration records and copies of parish registers on microfilm available in Dublin.

Jacqui . 20/09/2005 21:24:25

Although I have the D.o.B , Bapt & death of my relative b 1815, Plus the names of Both his Parents , Including His Mother's Maiden Name . I am unable to find them in any records for Birmingham or surrounding areas. I am not alone in this quest, having met up with new found Relatives who have gone over the same ground as myself. However , we have recently found a Family , same City, And bapt at same Church , some 50 years before. The problem arises in that there is a slight variation in surname spelling ( I'm ok with that )but there seems to be no record of this family after youngest child bapt 1785 . So we are skipping a generation, and unable to tie up with our own. This has become a full time occupation not only for myself , but relatives too. Indeed , they have stated they will be shaking hands with our relative before we find him. Name of relative James WAKELING / WAKELIN b c 1788 - His offspring born Birmingham. possible hie ancestors born Birmingham too. Our waking hours, our sleepless nights are trying to put this jigsaw together. Many hours spent at archives. Can you put some fresh injection into our plight ?

The spelling variants are nothing to worry about. There's no quick fix answer to your problem over not being able to find a baptism, but if you have the parents' names I'd suggest focussing on them instead.

Alison ..... 17/11/2005 21:16:31

Hi Anthony, I wonder can you please explain what is the difference between second cousins etc and cousins removed. I.e the correct way to describe how one is related to a distant cousin.Eg my friend through Genes has a g grandfather who is cousin to my mums g grandfather. What would this make us?

Two people with the same parent are siblings. Two people with the same grandparent are first cousins. Two people with the same great grandparent are second cousins, and so on, the number increasing as you go dow the generations. 'Removed' is the degree to which cousins belong to different generations. I am third cousin once removed to my mother's second cousins. My own second cousin's children are my second cousins once removed. Draw out the family trees on a piece of paper, lining the generations up carefully, and you will follow how this works.

SueMaid ....... 20/02/2007 21:34:04

Hello, Anthony. I have a problem with too many wives names for one man. My 2 x great grandfather Charles Henry married a Emmeline Cundall in 1871. I have the birth certificate of one of their children showing her mother to be Eveline Cundall. On the 1881 Census Charles' wife is Caroline. An Eveline Johnson died in Bramley in 1884 which ties in with Charles' remarriage a couple of years later and my great grandfather (Charles' son) named his first born daughter Eveline. What do I do next to get an accurate name?

I bet he wouldn't have felt the same way! In all probability, though, Emmeline and Eveline were one and the same, and recoding-clerks simply misheard or misread the name. Eveline could, possibly, have been misread or misheard as Caroline too. See, as far as you can, if the ages and birth places of each tie up and agree with each other, and of course to find the lady's correct name you will need to seek her own birth.

tinkers ....... 19/09/2006 21:05:00

i have an uncle who was in a military hospital in london and i take it he was in the army somewhere cos i have him in 1891 census as a patient in hospital classed as a lunatic where can i find more details on him ie hospital admissions where was he3 based at in the army etc although i am in hampshire will my local library hold the admission records for him even though he was in a hospital in london

I'd suggest looking for his army service records at the National Archives, Kew. They would also have surviving records of military hospitals - have a look in their catalogue