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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
Irene Anders 18/07/2006 21:25:10

ive hit a brick wall with

So many have.

Irene Anders 18/07/2006 21:33:05

hi anthony I can, find my great grand father. Henry Anders born Windle Sthelens Lancashire1839 any where on the census before 1871 found his marriage in 1867 and his death in 1992' looked on the IGI index and parish records' would be very greatful for any help

If people are not found in the indexed censuses, you can still look in the original returns for the place where you think they were, and you may find them under a different spelling. Bear in mind though that young men could be absent from censuses because they may have been serving abroad with the armed forces.

Patricia Anderson 22/03/2005 21:06:44

My G G'mothers brothers supposedly emigrated to S Africa. She said one of them became mayor of Durban Where do I get emigration lists (from Dundee)and how can I prove /disprove the story?

I would suggest contacting the archives in Durban and ask whether anyone of that person's name ever served on the town council. 'Mayor' is often an exaggeration for any town councillor. Once people are dead, they often get promoted by their relatives to slightly higher posts than they ever held in real life.

Patricia Anderson 22/03/2005 21:06:44

My G G'mothers brothers supposedly emigrated to S Africa. She said one of them became mayor of Durban Where do I get emigration lists (from Dundee)and how can I prove /disprove the story?

As above

Emma Anderson 28/09/2004 21:01:45

Hi Anthony, Do you have any idea as to where I would find staff records for Bletchely Park? I am convinced that my Grandmother worked there during the war, possibly as Cryptographer but as this was such a well kept secret until recently, I have no idea as to where to begin looking. Many thanks, Emma

You're asking about the records of one of the the most secret places in Britain! Actually, I think a lot of their secrets have now been spilled - I don't know what's available as I have never been asked before, but I would suggest as a first port of call the catalogue of the National Archives - on You could also see what books have been published on Bletchley Park and see if your grandmother is mentioned.

Julie Ann Anderson 16/09/2008 21:24:13

Hi Anthony, i'm trying to find a birth certificate for my Grandfather, i have my Grandparents original marriage certificate with his name written as Leslie Anderson, but then to confuse matters, My Grandmothers Death certificate has his full name as being Thomas Leslie Leah Anderson. I have trawled the BMD index's and when i finally came across an entry that could of been him, i rang the registry office and they told me that the office he may have been registered at had closed years ago and his birth records may be at one of five register offices. Ive spent hours on the phone ringing round but to no aveil, have you got any suggestions what i could do before it drives me completely round the twist. cheers julieann

You don't need to contact local registars - you can just order the birth record from the General Register Office - www, I am afraid the time is up on this session

Ronald Anderson 20/05/2008 21:48:28

Hello, can you help me all i like is how can i get some one in my tree if i get this Living Relation from some one's Tree can you help me. From Ronald Anderson...

as above

Ronald Anderson 20/05/2008 21:43:24

I am afraid that's a technical matter, best referred directly to the site rather than me (its genealogist).

Tim Andrew 17/05/2005 20:58:20

Follow on question re birth certificate for my Grandmother born c1877. I have her marriage cert & death cert. but have been unable to trace any record of her birth. I have tried Scotland and the Isle of Man, Cockermouth and Larne. ONS Southport & Belfast Registry Office including an assisted search without sucess. I have used 1837 online & checked births abroad & on ships. I have her siblings birth & death records from Cockermouth, Maryport & Larne Co Antrim. Her father was a sea captain. Any suggestions please. Many thanks Tim Andrew

You know when your grandmother was born, but your problem is not knowing where. If you knew where to look, you could look at variant spellings, births of siblings, and so on. The best way to find out where is from the census returns. Many are now on line, for example

Tim Andrew 26/04/2005 20:58:53

Elusive birth certificate for my Grandmother. My Grandmother was born c1877. I have her marriage cert & death cert. but have been unable to trace any record of her birth. I have tried GRO Southport & Belfast Registry Office including an assisted search without sucess. I have used 1837 online & checked births abroad & on ships. I have her siblings birth & death records from Cockermouth, Maryport & Larne Co Antrim. Her father was a sea captain.Any suggestions please. Tim Andrew

It sounds as if you have looked in all the sensible places, from England and Ireland to births at sea - but two other areas you could try would be Scotland and the Isle of Man -the latter is slap bang between Cockermouth and Larne - perhaps they stopped off en route!

Josephine Andrews 18/03/2008 21:43:51

my great grandfather was born in middlesex in 1846 the illegimate son of the daughter of an italian bargee and i believe the son of a scottish laird. the first record i can find is his marriage in 1866. after that he is in every cencus. can you point me in the right direction?

This is a fantastic story, but the laird for one is unlikely to have left any trace behind save his DNA. See above for my answer concerning the Y-Search database, as this may apply in your case too, provided you have a direct male-to-male descendant of the alleged laird available to be tested. The 1846 birth record of your great grandfather should identify your Italian bargee - I don't imagine there were that many of them around at the time..

Vicki Andrews 01/09/2009 21:06:36

Hi, I have couple of people who was a coastguards in kent area but before that they were in the Navy but not found out details of boats or anything. Jeremiah Constantine was in portsea island i think originally from ireland as his dad micheal was from there. I cant seem to go further back because of the irish connection.

There are good records of Coastguards, at The National Archives, so I suggest starting there. Using these and census returns you should be able to establish exactly where Jeremiah was born - the Christian names you mention do certainly suggest Irish origins. My book "Tracing Your Irish Family History" explains how to trace the connection back: if this is a variant of Considine, then Limerick and Clare would be the best places to start searching.

hurry andrews 17/04/2012 21:31:07

I am unable to find the birthplace of my grandmother who was born in England but relocated to scotland at an early age. There seems no record that I can find anywhere of her birth, I have her death and marriage certificate. she was born in 1884

Maybe you are wrong, and this lady was actually born, or at least registered, in Scotland after all. Or was she born in the Isle of Mann, or Ireland, or the Channel Islands, or at Sea, or to a soldier, in which case she will be in the army births, on this site.

Jenny Angliss 20/04/2004 19:09:56

Hello Anthony. I've hit a brick wall with an ancestor. He was born in the 1750s and I know he was a fellmonger, how many apprentices he had, that he was a City Warden, how he voted and when he got married but not where he was born. Do you have any suggestions as to where I could go to find more. I suspect he was a Non Conformist as he was buried at a Non Conformist chapel. I'm starting to think I will never find out.

You don't say which city, but if it was London and he was a nonconformist you could try where I went only last Friday- Bunhill Fields, the oldest non-conformist graveyard in the City of London, where the very helpful staff have a very full list of the people buried there, including Blake, Bunyan and Defoe. As a master tradesman of any city (to tak apprentices you had to be a master), your man must have been apprenticed. If so, the livery company to which he belonged should have records of his apprenticeship, including his father's name and residence. You could also try the Society of Genealogists' index to apprentice records from all over the country- this too gives fathers' names and residences.

Julie Ankers 22/06/2004 21:38:26

Could you tell me where I can access the 1841 census for the areas Wrexham, Flintshire and Denbighshire in North Wales? hank you Julie McNair

Family Records Centre at 1, Myddleton Street, London EC1R 1UW (0208 392 5300),, about 10 minutes’ walk from Farringdon tube station. It is open daily including Saturdays but not public holidays.

Kenneth Annal 17/04/2012 21:10:09

How do I look at other family trees ???

Once you have found a promising-looking character in another tree (using the 'search trees' button, above) you can press the button that allows you to send a message to the person whose tree it is, and explain who you are. They may then allow you access to their tree- in which case you will be able to see it.

Richard Appleton 16/11/2010 21:05:58

Hello Anthony An adoption question: My niece’s mother was adopted. My niece wants to try and find information on her mother’s natural family but cannot ask her mother as she died in 1995. She has obtained the adoption certificate for her mother, it shows the birth date as 23/06/1951, with the adoption taking place at Soke of Peterborough Juvenile Court on 07/01/1952. Does my niece have any chance of finding her mothers’ natural family? Can you advise where she might start her enquiries? Many thanks Richard

She can ask the adoption section of her local social services, providing evidence of who she is and of her mother's death. They should then provide the same information and help that they would for the adopted person, or at least spell out the options. This information should be forthcoming: no impediment should be placed in the way of people trying to trace their roots.

Ann Julia Apps 19/06/2012 21:33:59

Hi I have my grandfathers birth certificate he was born in Culcavey Blaris, Antrim in 1881, where can I send it to get the rest of his family as I know he had siblings. I have tried and been looking for about 2 years and to no avail. Also how do you go about getting someone in Ireland to look for you. Thanks Julia

There are two options here: you can use (Northern) Irish civil registration records (Registrar General of Northern Ireland, Oxford House, 49-55 Chichester Street, Belfast, BT1 4HL, 028 90 252000, to seek siblings and trace the family line back, or you could use the church registers (Catholic or Protestant) as appropriate. For genealogists there you can use Association of Ulster Genealogists and Record Agents or I can organise it for you - send me some more details at

Ann Julia Apps 19/06/2012 21:43:14

Many thanks Julia

My pleasure

Nicholas Archer 28/08/2007 21:00:53

Hi Anthony, Below I have tried to give you as much information as possible regarding the research I have done on Theodore Althoff; however I am NO closer to finding out WHERE IN GERMANY HE CAME FROM!!!!!!!!! Can you help me as to where and how I can start looking for him other than where I have already tried as listed below? The details of the man I am interested in are: Theodore Althoff born 1853 in Germany who I believe moved to the UK sometime between 1871 and 1881; he married on 14.12.1884 to Eliza Biddle nee Leo and died on 11.02.1895 aged 41 Theodore Althoff’s father was Albrecht Althoff who was a farmer; this information was found on the marriage certificate. The first sign of Theodore Althoff was on the 1881 Census where his place of birth was recorded as German British. He was found to be working for a German family called Scheer at their Baker Shop at 59 High Street St Marylebone London. Theodore Althoff possibly trained as a baker while living in Germany, hence the reason he is recorded as a second hand baker in the 1881 Census. I then found him again on the 1891 Census as an unemployed Baker with his wife Eliza Biddle nee Leo and their family. Peter Friedrich Scheer must have moved to the UK during the 1850’s or 1860’s as his first child was born in 1864. I found Peter Friedrich Scheer and his family on the 1871 Census which recorded him as originating from Prussia Germany. Peter Friedrich Scheer died in 1876 and his wife Mary Ann Scheer died in 1883; their children were too young to continue the business, therefore, this is possibly the reason why Theodor Althoff was recorded as an unemployed baker in the 1891 Census. I have tried linking Theodore Althoff with the Scheer family as maybe having been offered a position in the Bakery should he decide to move to the UK, so as he did not feel alone but have not been able to find any links between either family. I have searched the Naturalization lists for both Theodore Althoff and Peter Friedrich Scheer and found nothing for either of them. A search of the AGFHS (UK) records has drawn a blank; there are no records available for Albrecht or Theodor Althoff other than the details I have supplied. I have also searched the IGI records but found nothing. I have also searched the site on both German and English records, but this only reveals the 1881 Census record for Theodore Althoff with the spelling of Alttroff as given in the 1881 Census, again the details on that site are what I have supplied. I have tried searching the shipping records at both the National Archives in Kew London and the Bundesarchiv in Koblenz Germany again to no avail. Theodore Althoff was a resident of the Grove Hall Lunatic Asylum, Fairfield Road St Mary Stratford Bow Poplar London which CLOSED in 1905. I have checked with London records offices and found there are NO records available for the Asylum. I have tried to obtain the records for the Scheer Family Bakers Shop but again the London records offices advise me as it was a family run business then it was NOT necessary for them to keep records that would be available to the general public.

You have done the right thing by consulting the Anglo German Family History Society, but I don't know if you have fully explored their resources concerning German bakers in London - in the society's early years, it was almost obsessively concerned with German bakers in London! You have also tried naturalisations - it is also worth seeing if your ancestor lived a will, and here is a tip - whilst my German immigrant ancestor Wilhelm Adolph (as opposed to Althoff!) wrote a will not identifying where he came from, his brother Albert, who also immigrated, did. Failing all efforts here, you may simply have to try localising the surname within Germany, using the IGI as a flawed guide, and modern telephone directories to see where the family is most likely to have come from, and then seek your family's bapstisms in the surname's epicentre, working steadily outwards.