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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
Pamela Attfield 18/10/2011 21:49:00

Thanks Anthony will have to try and find copy of will and also will take on board your suggestion of checking with local registrars office. Pam Rodham

Good luck!

Pamela Attfield 18/10/2011 21:41:25

Hi Anthony in reply to your question I guess it was notice of a will. No her name wasn't O'Hanlon it was definitely Hanlon. Yes my great great grandfather was of irish descent but was over in Southampton from the 1840's where he met Cecilia. The notice said her name and personal estate (£91.4.10d) and residual legatee was her son John Hanlon and she died in Southampton. That is all I know. Pam Rodham

I see - so, as you'd expect with a probate clause from that period, it stated where she died. In that case, if there is definitely no death registered, then you've found a mistake in the system, most probably in the indexing rather than the original records. I suggest asking the registrar in Southampton to check their original records for the date you have been given - and look a year or two either side, unless the printed probate clause has been printed incorrectly, too. And do you realise that you can now order a copy of the will itself from First Avenue House in London?

Pamela Attfield 18/10/2011 21:13:13

Hi Anthony I actually did contact you back in April about my great great grandmother Cecilia Maria Hanlon. I cannot find her on the Birth, Marriages, Deaths. My local library found a piece about her which stated she died on 13th December 1884 and about her personal estate. But why is she not on any death records? Pam Rodham

I wonder what ever it was that your library found - can you tell me please? (and please repeat your question when you do). The surname Hanlon is of Irish origin, so maybe this person died there, or was registered here as O'Hanlon. Everything depends on the source of your information.

Pamela Attfield 22/03/2011 21:05:34

I know exactly when my great great grandmother Cecilia Maria Hanlon died but she doesn't appear on the death records, can you tell me why?

Clearly, either the records, or you, have got it wrong. Only you can asses which is likelier to be true. Could you provide more information, please (please repeat the question when you do, as it is not always very easy to refer back to previous questions)

Lorraine Attkins 17/10/2006 21:09:31

Hi Anthony, I cannot find my grandfathers birth in any records. He was born in Nov 1901, but used to tell me a story when I was little, how his mother changed his birth cert to stop him going to war as she already lost one son. Could this have been possible? Any ideas where I go from here? Thanks in advance, Lorraine.

This sounds very odd - the mother wouldn't have known in 1901 that there would be a war in 1914, and by the time he was of age she would have been in no position to have altered official documents. She may then simply have lied to the authorities, but that would not alter your grandfather's birth being where it ought to be. However, as there is such ambiguity, have you tried simply looking a few years either side of 1901?

Louise Austen 22/05/2007 21:01:27

i am havin a couple of problems....i wonder if you could help me with either as to which ways i should be heading. my grandmother was adopted i dont know where from but i do know which family she was adopted into i also have her name pre adoption. where do i go with this information?

As you have your grandmother's original name you can seek her birth certificate, and find out who her parents, thus enabling you to start tracing your family back as normal.

Louise Austen 22/05/2007 21:05:06

my other question was, my living grandmother has told me her mothers name but i cannot find it anywhere. we have no proof this is her name as there is no birth or death certificate for her and my grandmother does not have her birth certificate either. is it possible for the name she used to be maybe a second name or one she took on and how would i find this out?

Your grandmothere may have known her mother by a nickname or pet name that was not her original one. Or your grandmother may just be a little confused. I would suggest starting by obtaining a copy of her birth certificate (in General Registration, via this site) and take it from there.

Nicola Austin 31/08/2004 20:31:28

Hello! I am stuck with my GG Granddad, William Austin. I have his death and a marriage certificate, the latter informs me that his father was called George, but I have been unable to get his birth certificate. From the 1881, 1891 and 1901 census I can see that he was born in Brighton, Sussex in 1860 +/- 1 Year – I have searched the microfilms from 1859 – 1861, but none of the William Austin’s were born in Brighton. On the free BMD site I noticed a William George Austin born in Brighton in 1850 – how can I find out if this was an error and maybe it should be 1860? I am stuck with where to go next. He committed suicide in Ipswich on his wedding anniversary in 1925 and his son never spoke about it – so the family don’t know much. I have contacted a local paper in Ipswich, but I was told their archives were not available to the public. Would the local library be able to help with this? Many thanks, Nicky Austin

It's unlikely the 1850 entry related to a birth in 1860. I'd suggest looking for the family in the 1861 census for Brighton, using directories to find an address for the father (presupposing he was of or more than the rank of a tradesman). Otherwise, you could use the fully indexed 1851 census of Sussex to seek the father and then see if the family were at the same address a decade later. Local newspapers for Ipswich are probably going to be at the Suffolk record office's Ipswich branch- I know there is a project to index the 19th century Ipswich Gazettes there. The best collection of local newspapers in the country is at the British Library Newspaper Library, Colindale Avenue, Colindale, London NW9 5HE, 0207 412 7353, British Library Newspaper Library

Sharon Austwick 20/01/2004 21:00:18

Hi Anthony, I wonder if you could help me or put me on the right track. My nan was adpoted we think prior to 1927, i have her given name, date of birth, and her adpoted name, yet i am unable to trace her birth certificate, and as she is no-longer with us i am not sure how to go about obtaining it. Also, is it possible that in 1946/47 births were not always registered. As i am unable to trace my auntie's birth certificate, yet i know she was not born out of wedlock, Many Thanks Sharon Kiely

See last answer. Unfortunately, formal adoption did not begin until 1927. Children's names weer changed informally, but one way around the problem would be to seek a baptism, where the clergyman may have recorded more information. Another option is simply to seek any children with the same given name born on the right day in the right area, but to do so, sadly, you would need to trawl through a great many certificates- and pay to do so. In 1946/7 all births should have been registered. it is possible that the one to which you refer slipped through the net, especially just after the war, but I would keep searching- try variant spellings.

Denise Avery 22/08/2006 21:01:27

I am trying to trace a John William Slater born in Rochester or Strood Kent around 1881, son of George Slater, we can find no trace of a John William Slater son of a George. We know that John William Slater was estranged from his family. Where do we go from here? thanks

You could try Army Births (, as Rochester was a major naval base then and many troops and their families were shipped in and out, travelling to and from all parts of the Empire.

Paul Axon 15/10/2013 21:14:09

Hi Anthony Hope you can help!! Trying to find my greatgrandfather on my fathers side.The information I have at present is. Marriage 3.8.1885 James Aston shows age 19 (1866) Father James Aston Marine Steel Plater/Dealer Death 23.8.1920 Stoke on Trent age 55 James Axon (1865) Census 1881 James Hackson age 17 (1864) Born Manchester staying with future wifes relatives in Stoke on Trent. Census 1891 James Axton age 25 (1866) Born Manchester Census 1901 James Axon age 36 (1865) Born Manchester Census 1911 James Axon age 46 (1865) Born Manchester. which shows my grandad Josiah Axon Help if you can to point me in the direction of finding details about his birth in Manchester his mother etc. at present at a dead end Paul Axon

I am pleased to see you have picked up various variant spellings of the surname. Have you checked under each spelling (and any others you can think of) when looking for James's birth in Manchester? I expect so, but you can always try more variants, however bizarre they seem. Also, you could try the 1871 and 1861 censuses for Manchester for families with this surname, trying especially to pick up the father (and if he was a dealer - but was he? - he may appear in Manchester directories under that heading and that could lead you to an address for a census search. You could look for the father's death, if stuck, and try working back from that. Another idea - maybe his baptism will show up on Good luck!

Carol Aylett 17/10/2006 21:00:48

Hi Anthony I have a copy of my gg grandfather's birth certificate who had the unusual name of De Vere Beauclerk (born 1872). No father is listed but his mother is named as Ellen Webb. My father and other relations say that he was the illegitamate son of William Amelius Aubrey de Vere Beauclerk (10th Duke of St Albans) and Ellen Webb was a servant. The liasion happened after the death of the Duke's first wife Sybil Grey (died 1871) and before the marriage to the duke's second wife Grace Bernal-Osborne. I have been told that some 'paperwork' was produced regarding this as the Beauclerk family where worried about the dukedom as the Duke's first son never married and De Vere Beauclerk was the 'second' son (the first son died in 1934 and my gg grandfather was still alive). Basically I believe he was 'paid off' so that the dukedom went to the third son of the second marriage (Osbourne Beauclerk). Under the conditions my gg grandfather could not pass down the name Beauclerk to his descendants but could use the name de Vere (both my father and brother have 'de Vere' as second names). I have check De Vere Beauclerk Webb's marriage certificates and it states the name of his stepfather rather than the Duke. My question is, how can I prove the story with valid paperwork? Regards, Carol

What an interesting case! The fact that the boy was given such obvious names either means that the mother was in a real fantasy world, or the story is correct. The sort of arrangements you describe are not unusual in such cases (apart, that is, from the conditions about passing down the name Beauclerk - a bit rich considering te family started off with a bastard son of Charles II and Nell Gwyne. You may find this referred to in the will of the 10th Duke, but it was much more likely dealt with in privately, via the family's solicitors. They may well still have papers relating to the matter. You could approach them direct, or better via Peter de Vere Beauclerk Dewar, who is a very distinguished - and most approachable - professional genealogist.

Jean Ayre 26/04/2005 21:51:17

Hi Anthony. How do I find my gt. grandparents (Ralph Ayre - a blacksmith and Lydia, nee Hunter). They appear in the 1871 census Stockton, Durham with their 8 children ranging from aged 23 to 1 yr old. Ralph was 50 and Lydia was 46. In the 1881 census two of the family have married, the rest are living a couple of streets away (aged 33 down to 10 yrs old), but no parents. Have checked death register numberous times (using all name variants), from 1871 census to 1901. Nothing. Have found the two married children in the 1881 census, in case Ralph and Lydia were visting. Again, nothing. Have also checked marriage certs in case one or both have remarried - nothing. They just seem to have vanished. Have also searched Yorkshire area (my grandad ended up in Leeds in early 1900's). Any help would be appreciated. Thanks Jean.

It's becoming a bit of a stock answer, but have you considered spelling variants? Eyre/Eyres/Ayres/Aires are all spellings under which these people may appear.

Dawn Bacon 18/10/2011 21:32:47

How can I find out where a relative is buried? What's the best way to ensure you are following the right line if there are more than one . Thanks

You have to find out where they died (using the death indexes on this site, and then buy the certificate) and then contact the local graveyards, cemeteries and crematoria. Some are now indexed on Sometimes, newspapers print details of funerals and hence burials. The second question is a huge one. The answer - by being very careful! If you can give me more specific details I'll try to comment more specifically.

Dawn Bacon 18/10/2011 21:52:55

how to be more specific, all I know was his name Albert Barrett born in 1909 , he married a louisa alice ewen in 1936 in bethnal green, they had 6 children 4 deseased and 2 unknown whereabouts Its an impossible task right! I know 2 albert barretts born in 1909 one in hackney the other in poplar..

It is quite easy: first, obtain Albert's marriage record, which will confirm his age, and tell you who his father was. Then, obtain both the possible births: one should have the right father's name and the other, hopefully, will not. Concerning burials, please see my answer to a previous question tonight. 'Deceased online' is very strong now for London.

Dawn Bacon 18/10/2011 21:03:37

Hi Anthony, I am trying to trace my mothers line and not knowing any more info other than her fathers name Albert Barrett born in the east end of london in 1909 there are 2 births one in Hackney and one in london, bow? for a Albert Barrett he married a louisa alice ewen ..any suggestions on which one to choose as I dont want to follow the wrong line... also I found out my grandfather died in 1992 a Herbert Bacon in hospital, but how can I find out where he is buried? any ideas greatfully recieved... Dawn

As above.

Angela Bailey-Green 24/04/2007 21:01:49

My name is Angeal Gibbs and my father's name was Robert Frank Bailey-Green born 1936 in Watford. His father was William Bailey-Green and his mother was Rosemary Butcher. His grandmother was Dorothy? Bailey-Green. His great grandmother was either italian or married and italian. How can I find out more about this? I am new to this and have more information on my mother's side. Can you help?

Again, my brand book "Need to Know? Tracing Your Family History" (Collins) wil help you, and all other beginners out there. Using General Registration of births and marriages, you should be able to find your father's birth and the marriage of his parents. Befroe then, the censuses should show you who had Italian roots and who did not.

Anita Bailie 16/09/2008 21:12:07

my great aunt changed her name by deed poll, can I find details about this anywhere? I know it was around 1910-1920 thank you for your help Anita

Deeds poll were published in newspapers - the Times for the well-off and local ones for the rest.

Anita Bailie 22/03/2005 21:08:00

Hi, I am really stuck - my great grandfathers name was William Davies, he married in 1889 for which i have a marriage certificate. The age of him and his wife is the same as it appears in the census of 1891. so I have no idea of his real age and no knowledge of his background - what should i do?

This is a shame, but the census or marriage age is presumably wrong. However, this still gives you two one year periods in which the birth could have taken place, so you can list all possibiulities in the area indicated by the census, and then check all possible entries for the right father, as named on the marriage certificate.

Kim Bainbridge 23/05/2006 21:10:07

hi anthony i seen a medium who told me both my parents were on the other side.i havent seen my dad for 35yrs.i havent seen my mam for twenty years.i havent had any luck trying to find them . am starting to wonder if the medium was right

Well, the psychic has spoken, and in a sense prepared you for any potential shock, so you could now try to follow this up using original records to see if they are right or not. The General Registration death indexes can be searched online at and other places.