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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
Leslie Young 18/03/2014 22:01:27

Thanks very much for your reply it explains alot.

I am delighted that I was able to help. Please keep the questions coming!

Leslie Young 21/08/2012 21:01:50

Hello Anthony, I have been researching my wifes family tree for over 10 years, I have managed to get back to 1750, and about 500 people I have no problem going backwards or sideways, my problem is that I now want to find my wifes Mother b. 1932 Plymouth. I know that she married in 1956 in Havordsfordwest Wales when she was a NAFFI assistant ( I have cert and tracked down husbands family, he died in 1983, they said that they had split up after about 3 years but never divorced) ,after this there is no trace of her in the BMD or electoral rolls under either her married or maiden name. We even employed Peopletracer but they were unable to find her. I have also researched on Scotlandspeople website as her husband was Scotish. I have drawn a blank, do you have any ideas on how to find her or trace her movements over the decades?

You must be an unusual man in actually wanting to find your mother-in-law! I am afraid I have no panacea to help you here, though, as your enquiry is really a 'missing persons' one, and you have described a scenario here in which this lady's whereabouts is unknown both to her daughter and to her ex-husband. However, is it a given that her whereabouts would be unknown to any of her own blood relatives. Did she have any siblings, for example, or nephews and nieces? .You never know - one of them may have heard from her. You can also try this: - which will do no more than confirm whether she is alive - but that should help.

Jean Youd 14/11/2006 21:02:08

Hi, My great grandfather was Richard Bailey, born Blackpool, abt 1868, his brothers, William was born 1866, North Shields and John, Kirby Stephen, abt 1870. I cannot find a entry in the index for any of their births. I know father was a William Bayliff, a Joiner, whom married a Mary Benson in 1855 and had two children, born 1856 and 1861, but then in 1881, William is living with an Elizabeth and the three mentioned above. Mary did not die untill 1877, but was listed on her death certificate as still William's wife. I cannot find William listed at all in 1871, but Elizabeth and her three children are living in Kirby Stephen, she is listed as Joiner's wife, but the name is transcribed as Bell. I thought I would be able to find John's birth, as he was only 6 months old and born in the East ward district, but no luck. Do I presume that William never married Elizabeth and the three children were registered under her maiden name and if so, is there any possible way of finding that name?, many thanks, Jean

It's hard to follow the twists and turns of your discoveries here. I think what you've missed out here is what name Elizabeth and here children were using in 1871 - though presumably it was Bailey - I'm sorry, but I think one would need to see the original documents to see what information was actually stated, in order to work out what may actually have been going on.

Beverleyharrison81@yahoo.Co.Uk Yewdall 22/02/2005 22:02:04

Ive been researching my family tree now for just over 5 months now. Ive managed to get a copy of the Australian Yewdall family tree within a month of starting (still to put on database), but since Ive been in touch with Yewdall decendants across the globe, there is one name bothering me. Originally born in Bradford but married and died in Lancashire Im having problems linking Simeon Yewdall up with mine. I know he was born in 1786, married in 1816 and died in 1859, yet every website I look at keeps drawing a blank for his Parents etc.

The answer's probably not on the Internet. Seek him in original census returns, to learn his place of birth, and then seek his original baptism in a parish register: that will tell you his parentage. Good luck.

Anthony Yeo 19/07/2011 21:16:22

Hi, I have also looked for a death cert for Theresa Kelly but havent found one on here, so if she did go back to Ireland would the groireland web give me that info too Thank you ant

The website I quoted will simply tell you about the Irish General Registration records. To gain access to them you will need to go to Dublin yourself, or hire a searcher there (or you can do so via me, if you want - As for Theresa's death, I don't know al the circumstances here, but the very likely reason you have not found her death is that she married later on in her life, and this is something you can look for in the English and Welsh General Registration records, on this site: you will probably have to check a lot of possible marriages (at some cost) before finding one of the right age, which is at present your main way of telling her apart from the many other Theresa Kellys out there.

Anthony Yeo 19/07/2011 21:02:18

Hi Can you help, I can’t find the birth details for my biological grandmother or grandfather. Their names are Theresa Kelly dob 16.9.1938 and Wilfred Martin he was 23 in 1961 so he was born in 1938. It is possible that they were born in Ireland, if so how do I find the records? My mum was adopted so we have never meet them to ask, all we have is the information. I also have Theresa Kelly’s last name grandmothers which is Blake must be married surname and also Theresa’s aunt’s last name which was Dowdell. How can I find the missing links Thank you

You're right in thinking, from Theresa Kelly's name, that she may have been Irish, and ditto the surname Martin, but first, were they married? If so, look for the marriage first, which may well be here. If they were not, then you will only have the dates of birth to go on, and will need to check all possible births under these names, both here and in Ireland, both north and south (or they may have been Irish people settled in Scotland). The records for the south are most likely just based on the mother's name: the Irish Registrar General's website is

Margaret Yates 19/07/2005 21:41:37

Hello Anthony, I have been trace the birth place of my Great Grandfather James Banks Born In Ireland in 1852.Last year I went to Ireland & trawled throught the records in Dublin were I found a James Banks born In Dublin about 1814 & who married Anne Cox at Monesterevan County Kildare in 1852. I know that James' father was James also, but the trail went cold at Monesterevan & I would really like to find a positive link between the two Jameses.I would be most grateful for any suggestions you could make to help me overcome this hickup. Many thanks in anticipation of a reply ,yours sincerely,Margaret

The answer's really more of the same. You probably won't find 100% definitive proof of the link you suspect. Try building up a fuller picture of the family/families in England and in Ireland, and in the case of the Irish family try disproving that the James you found was the man you want by seeing if you can prove he remained in Monesterevan. Also, you could try using DNA tests - a male line descendant of the family still there should, theoretically, match the DNA of a male line descendant of the James who migrated to England.

Samantha Yates 12/10/2010 21:38:33

Thank you so much Anthony! Sam

My pleasure, genuinely.

Samantha Yates 12/10/2010 21:20:07

Thank you Anthony - I don't mean to be thick but by general registration do you mean IGI? The addresses are all in the same general area of Hampshire, the ages are very close and the man's occupation that I am assuming is my 4 x great grandfathers occupation remains the same "agriculturla labourer". In 1851 James Yates (3 x ggrandad) is living with his father Thomas and an Ann Holmes. In 1861 Thomas Shepherd is living with Ann Shepherd and also an Elizabeth Holmes. In 1871 Thomas Shepherd is with Ann Holmes and James Holmes. Sorry to hog the questions! Thanks again Sam

No, General Registration concerns births, marriages and deaths from July 1837 onwards. The indexes are on this site. The International Genealogical Index is concerned with parish registers, that date back to 1538, and the index's strength lies in the period before 1837. Your explanation is rather fascinating. If you seek births and marriages for these people (you absolutely must do that), under the different possible names, you may find that they do link up after all - perhaps with a few illegitimacies and step-relationships along the way.

Samantha Yates 12/10/2010 21:02:23

Hi Anthony - I have been trying to fing my 3 x great grandfather before 1871 and think I may have succeeeded at last. The only thing is that in the census for 1841, 1851 1861 and 1871 my ancestots appear to have different surnames - and I mena completely different - Yates, Shepherd or Holmes. Is this possible or I am I completely wrong? Thanks Samantha

It really depends on all the other details - ages, addresses, occupations and family names. I'd say on balance that you are probably wrong, and have yet to find the right census entries - which I am sure you will. Do bring General Registration into play too, seeking marriage and birth records for these generations, as they will help you a lot.

Slinky xx 26/04/2005 21:28:05

Can you tell me how I go further back than the John France I have as the father of John France born Kellington 1762 and married to Hannah Bean. Cannot find anything to do with father John. Thanks, Anne:))

You really want to find John France's baptism. This may be a question of searching for a baptism in Kellington and the surrounding parishes manually: there are some partial indexes available, particularly Look for his burial in Kellington too - you will then know how old he was, and thus when he was likely to have been baptised.

Bo XX 19/09/2006 21:00:49

Good Evening Anthony. The proverbial brick wall has hit me. I’m trying to find out more information about my maternal Gt Grandmother. She has been an enigma with nobody knowing her name or anything about her. All my mother knew, from a family story, was that she died in childbirth roughly the year after giving birth to my grandfather. He was born in 1900 in Ireland so I went to Dublin earlier this year and got a copy of his birth certificate. Success I have her name MILDRED PIGOTT nee GAILEY. I then spent hours looking for her death certificate with no joy (I went from June 1900 to June 1909) and couldn’t find her. However maybe Mildred wasn’t her given name only the name that the Dr who registered the birth knew her by. I don’t even know if she was Irish as she met my Gt grandfather, Francis Pigott, on ship coming back from Ghana after he had been in the Ghanian police force following the 2nd Bechuanaland wars. He remarried in 1909 and allegedly never spoke of her to my grandfather. I don’t know where they were married – I looked in the Irish records for that as well – so I’m stumped. I’ve done the UK censuses to death and tried the UK birth marriage and death records – all without success. Any suggestions gratefully received. Kind regards Harriet Cozens

I'd try other spellings of Pigott, such as Piggott, but if the family were fairly mobile you could try deaths at sea. Or, maybe, the story of the death was a convenient cover-up if she had simply gone back to Ghana. If they hadn't actually married, you might find her death in Ireland under other spellings of Gailey, such as Galley, Gahey (which is a recognised Irish surname), or any of the above prefixed by O', Mac or Mc

Tracy Wykes 22/05/2007 21:26:31

My husbands grandfather was born Jack Dickinson but when his mother remarried he took his step-fathers name of Cooper. As this is all we know of my husbands grandfather are there any steps we can take to finding out who his parents were or taking the line back any further?

You need to seek General Registration records of the marriage and birth of Jack (maybe as Jack, John or James) Dickinson, and also, for safety's sake, of the remarriage of his mother. This will set your research on a safe footing, and you can start researching further back with confidence.

Penny Wrigley 22/07/2003 22:13:55

Anthony, my grandmother always said that a cousin was a musician who went down on the Titanic. I have found the names of the musicians but cannot tie up with one at present. The addresses for most of them were in London from the ship records, but I guess these were just lodgings. Any ideas if there would be records anywhere giving more info about them?

You really are in luck if you live anywhwere near London, because there is a splendid exhibition of material salvaged from the Titanic at the Science Museum in Kensington- including, would you believe it, playing cards and cigarettes. We filmed a piece for Antiques Ghostshow there a few weeks ago. They have a complete list of victims on the wall- apparently all the musicians died. There are also several websites listing crew, victims and so on, called something like (from memory) encyclopaediatitanica. Bear in mind that the cousin might have had a completely different surname to your grandmother.

Penny Wrigley 22/07/2003 22:51:39

I've checked Titanic info online and yes all the musicians died. There are details given as held by the shipping company, but as I said these are nearly all London addresses and probably lodgings. I have eliminated one musician because he was French, and favour two of those remaining, and am also considering that grandmother may have meant my grandfathers cousin not hers. Is there anywhere that I can access more info that might have been held by the shipping line such as what area the musicians came from, family adresses, next of kin etc?

I do beg your pardon- I thought there were no more questions! The Titanic crew lists at the National Archives will give you a bit more information, including the previous ship on which someone served, so you can track them back and thus learn previous addressses and, I think I am right in saying, next of kin. At any rate, they will give some extra information to help you in yoru quest.

Alison Wright 05/08/2003 22:17:40

Evening, Anthony. I have started to wonder what the best way would be to find out family relations post-1901? I have used the electoral roll as a guide but this has its limitations and unfortunately, I have squeezed my living family dry of all information. I read somewhere that it is sometimes possible to obtain info from the next census (ie. 1910) for a fee. Is that correct? If not, what is the best resource? Thank you, Alison.

I half answered this in the answer to the first question this evening, below. As to the 1911 census (1911), no, it is not available for searching under any circumstances but will, i underastand, be available in 2012.

Alan Wright 31/07/2007 21:04:40

hi anthony im trying to trace my family tree in wexford ireland michael fenlon my gggfather had 20 children between 1862 / 1883 so far ive found seven regestered at birth but no trace of the restis theyanywhere else apart from church records i can look many thank alan

Irish General Registration for births started in 1864, but it is well known that not very many births overall were registered. The best sources are the parish registers (Catholic in your case, presumably) -that record the baptisms that followed after births. I wonder which of these sources you have tried - at any rate, if you are keen to find all the children recorded.

Carol Wright 21/04/2009 21:15:38

i was informed years ago by family members that a MATTHEW WRIGHT b.1905- son of my grandparents Patrick Wright b.1880 vauxhall london- Annie Sheehan b.1879 poplar london- they said he had died- but never mentioned again- I found him in the 1911 cencus aged 6- i have exhausted every search b.m.d. but nothing- have you any ideas- thankyou- CAROL WRIGHT

Am I right in thinking that your family story suggests that this Matthew Wright is said to have died but was not mentioned again? If so, I wonder why: a tragic death, perhaps? You know he was alive in 1911, and of course he is highly likely to have died by now, family story or no, so all you need to do is search through the General Registration eath records, looking for a Matthew of the right age. If you have done so, from 1911 up to the present, and not found a single one of the right age (with a common combination of names like this, though, I exect there will be quite a few to examine) you could try General Registration army deaths, deaths at sea, and deaths abroad.

David Wright 18/03/2008 21:00:55

Dear Anthony, we are trying to find home town, or district information on my wife’s family, Felix Theinert born 1856 Germany and his Son Oswald Felix H Theinert Born Germany 1887, both appear on the 1901 Census, but only list Germany as place of Birth. Oswald has German and British siblings. Please do you have any suggestions as to documents that might list home town or district? I have tried passenger lists but with no success. Best Regards David and Sandra

The sources that might name a place of origin are the other censuses, naturalisation records, wills and, under some circumstahnces, police records of aliens. Failing these, you can use sources such a telephone directories to try to localise an unusual surname like this one within Germany and then look for events such as the birth of Felix in that place.

Jane Wright 12/10/2010 22:00:53

Hi Anthony, i am having trouble finding my gr grandfather Athur Whitehead & gr grandmother Lizzie whiteheads death records, my grandfarther was fostered at about the age of 5 we think, he was born in 1903 POB Ynyscynhaiarn, Caernarvonshire. I have found Arthur & Lizzie living in Ynyscynhaiarn on the 1901 census i realise there are no records for fostering but wonder what happened to them, Arthur was born in Wolverhampton Lizzie Southport Lancs, so i have taken this into account when looking for the death records but come up with nothing everytime, do you have any suggestions. On the 1911 census my granddad is with his foster family living in Shotton flintshire Many thanks Jane

I would recommend searching for the deaths of Arthur and Lizzie (or Elizabeth) nationwide, not restricting the search to those specific areas. However, if they cannot be found, and are not in the 1911 census, maybe they tried emigrating, to America, perhaps, and left their child behind: that sort of thing happened sometimes, the child being permanently left behind if the parents subsequently died abroad. Just a thought.