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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
Jennifer Wright 17/01/2012 21:43:27

how can I find out about adoptions

The adoptions section of your local Social Services should be your first port of call - but can you be more specific about what you want to know?

Denise Wren 26/04/2005 21:54:20

I have a brick wall!!! Henry Burns born Liverpool 1857 cannot find him from until 1880 when he married,in Paddington.He became a bootlaster not found how he learnt trade, tried the childrens homes no luck!!tried the workhouses no luck !!!! but we have no idea when he arrived in London either any idea as to which way i can go, after 8 yrs of trying i am out of ideas!! Regards Dee Hoy.

Sadly, it's pretty unlikely that much of Henry's story can be reconstructed - but take comfort in what evidence of his life you have found. People of his station living in most other countries of the world at the time are generally much less well recorded!

Craig Worrall 22/11/2011 21:10:22

Hi im looking at tracing my line back further,i've got to my 4th great grandad but cant seem to got back now.His name was Thomas Worrall born around 1806 but this might be wrong from Welchstay Brecknockshire.

Good for you! But what do you mean 'might be wrong'? Maybe the censuses and his age at death have given you ambiguous results.At any rate, the next step, as you know where he was born, would be to examine the parish registers there - check with the National Library of Wales to make sure they've got them before you go there.

Susan Wordley 20/04/2004 22:21:15

no question here from Sue, so goodnight all and thanks for an excellent selection of questions.

Brian Worboys 26/04/2005 21:49:29

My great grandfather Alfred Worboys was married in 1869 and on the certificate his father is shown as Thomas Worboys (deceased). According to censuses Alfred was born in Hertford and was 20 when married. Alfred's birth does not appear to be on the GRO but from parish records the best match seems to be as the son of Thomas William Worboys, but that Thomas William appears to be alive in 1881. What's the lokelyhood that Alfred lied about his father being dead?

Most unlikely - you have probably yet to find the right birth for Alfred. You could try variants, such as Warboys.

Brian Worboys 15/07/2003 22:34:07

My great grandfather appears on the 1881 and 1891 censuses as born in Hertford and aged 33 on one and 42 on the other. I have been to Hertford and checked the two parish registers and can only find a christening in July 1848. On freebmd the only birth in the right name is 1846, which would be too old for the census ages and I can't find him in 1837 online. Where do I go from here, or what do I recheck?

FreeBMD is by no means complete. You should look in the General Registration indexes themselves, where you will hopefully find your great grandfather without any problem. Failing that, try the 1851 census for Hertford.

June Woolford 15/05/2012 21:46:35

Thank you Anthony for your advice with reference to Romany familes. Will definitely join Society and get the book. Secondly, I am so sorry if my query on Scott Howard Wilson HATLEY is a bit confusing. Can I try and put it a bit clearer in an e mail to you? Thanks

It's OK - I've just answered it.

June Woolford 15/05/2012 21:01:04

Help! My simple search is turning into a nightmare!!!! I have traced my great grandfather Scott Howard Wilson HATLEY - Auctioneer - ( born Mile End Middlesex in 1842) in the 1881 Census. I have his marriage certificate in 1876 showing Alfred Wilson HATLEY b. 1806 - Auctioneer - as his father, however I can’t find a record of Scott HATLEY’S birth. On doing a blanket search of HATLEY I find Alfred WILSON, Auctioneer, living with wife Margaret (nee Heron) in 1841 with Emma HATLEY, born 1821, servant ( the addresses match). I then found Alfred and Margaret’s marriage in the parish records in 1833. In 1861 census Margaret had died in 1860 and Alfred WILSON is living with Scott CAMERON - Auctioneer’s clerk and amongst others Alfred’s two sisters Sarah and Sophia BERRY aged 61 and 62!!!!!! If Scott Hatley is the result of a liaison between Alfred Wilson and Emma Hatley I have the death certificate of Alfred William Munton Wilson, year of death 1888 (correct address) citing the informant as Scott Howard Wilson Hatley - Son I obtained a copy of Alfred Wilson’s Will and he left Scott Hatley a very small amount of money but did not refer to him as a son!

Answered, above.

June Woolford 15/05/2012 21:05:00

Hi Anthony Another query please - can you give any advice on tracing Romany families in particular Francis Light - horse-dealer - who was named as the father of John Davies who married a Mary Ann Roberts in 1872. I cannot find Francis Light anywhere. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

Such families are difficult, mainly because they did not always go dutifully to the registrar to register their births and marriages; they had an annoying habit of changing their names; and of course they moved about all the time. Censuses are a good way of picking them up, especially as they are now fully indexed. Read S. Floate's My ancestors were Gypsies, SoG (1999) and join the Romany and Traveller Family History Society.

June Woolford 15/05/2012 21:11:01

Re Scott Hatley Sorry Anthony, I meant to say in the last part of my query that if Scott Hatley was the result of a liaison between Alfred Wilson and his servant Emma Hatley, how come the only Scott to be mentioned is a Scott Cameron?

It's a peculiarity of the system here that the earliest questions come up last to be answered. So, to answer your earlier question ("Help! My simple search is turning into a nightmare!!!!"): Rather than think of this as a nightmare, I’d be rather pleased with yourself that you seem to have pieced together a plausible theory, and the makings of a rather good story. How to proceeded? Continue to try to document this family in as much detail as you can, from as many sources as you can, and as you learn more, you’ll come closer finding out whether your theory is right.

John Wooler 25/04/2006 21:06:53

Hi I have been researching my family name for 25 years or more and have about 95% of the total names for WOOLER/WOOLLER in the world . Is there any way I can make this data available for other researchers? The data has been entered via brothers keeper programme, about 8,000 names in total. regards John Wooler

Besides putting it all on Genes Reunited, which would be a daunting task, I suggest joining the GOONS - Guild of One Name Studies: www.one-name.org, where you will find many like-minded people doing similar work on their surnames for the public good.

Trevor Woodward 27/11/2007 21:23:48

What if the person you are looing for was born abroad how would you find out about there perents and where they were born

It very much depends upon where and when they wer born and whether their birth was registered with the british authorities. if it was then the birth certificate may be available here via the general register Office. if not, try the registration system for the country in question.

Trevor Woodward 27/11/2007 21:02:57

Hi I'm very new to this and already stumped I know when ish and where my grandfather died but thats it how can I find out who his parents were and where they were from

Your grandfather's death certificate will give his age at death. from this you can work out when he was likely to have been born. presuming he was born in England and Wales you can get a copy of his birth certificate (post 1837 only) from the general register Office. you'll need to search the indexes for him in the period arounfabout when you have worked out he was born. Lots of pay per view sites have the birth marriage and death indexes such as www.findmypast.com where you can do your searching for his death and birth. if he was born before 1901 you should be able to find him in the census records of that year which, again, are available online. His birth certificate will give the names of his parents which allows you to look for their marriage in turn. You can carry on like that all the way back through the 19th century and by the time you get there you'll know much more about how to do the research. it's worth getting hold of a good book as well. Tracing Your family History was one i wrote for Collins in 2005 and should give you all the pointers you need.

MCLEAN WOODCOCK 21/02/2012 21:04:45

Can you not actually view a relatives death certificate online?

No. You can find the reference to the record here, and then order the document itself from www.gro.gov.uk.

Margaret Wood 27/07/2010 21:16:56

Hi Anthony. I have a marriage certificate for my maternal grandparents Robert Chambers and Isabella Mains. For Robert there is no fathers name. I have looked through census records and cannot find an illigitamate Robert Chambers. Since starting genes reunited i have found a cousin and she seems to think that Robert T Chambers on the census records is our grandfather and has gone on from there. But on the marriage certificate there is no T for a middle name. Also around the time he was born there were quite a lot of Robert Chambers in the newcastle area. Regards Margaret

Robert was surely illegitimate: I’m afraid your cousin may have started following the wrong line. Instead of looking for an obviously illegitimate Robert in the census (a good idea), try listing all possible Robert Chambers births in the most likely area and then buy the ones that you can’t eliminate with absolute certainty using the censuses.

Vivien Wood 20/02/2007 21:20:49

Hello again there were two John Cloughs married two Maria's (one was Maria Ingham)in Birstall,Leeds around 1825. One John was the son of Benjamin Clough and Ann Hirst, the other the son of Christopher Clough and Grace Gooder. Between the two couples were 14 children but I don't know how to match up the right children with the right couple and the right Jhon with the right parents. Family members, IGI and census records all seem to contradict.

The IGI does not give all the information that is in the parish registyers from which it draws its information. The original registers shouldstate a place of residence and occupation for the father in each baptism - and this should help you distinguish between the two families of identically-named parents.

Vivien Wood 20/02/2007 21:03:24

I have the birth certificate for my great great grandmother, Mary Jane Kington born 29 July 1838 in Twerton, Bath, Somerset. Her parents were Thomas Kington (occupation Mason) and Eliza Kington, formerly Green. I believe there was also a son Thomas, but I can't find this family on any census records. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks

The family may have been misindexed as Kingston - or just try a manual search of the Twerton census returns.

Rebecca Wood 22/02/2011 21:16:25

Also when will the 1921 census be availible?

On 1 January 2022, unless they decide to release it early, as they did with the 1911 census. The 1931 census, by the way, was completely destroyed by fire in the 2nd World War

Rebecca Wood 22/02/2011 21:13:28

Are there any free viewings of BMDs and Censuses online?

Yes - look at www.freebmd.org.uk and www.freecen.org.uk.,and the 1881 census is free (in transcribed form) at www.famjilysearch.org. However, the free sites do not offer the comprehensiveness of the pay-to-view ones like this one.

Paula Witt 20/07/2004 21:44:19

how do i find details of an anulled marriage that was bigamist i only have the womans name and a rough date range?

If bigamy was involved I would check the local court records, easiest done via the local papers. This month's Ancstors Magazine (National Archives) contains an article on bigamy which should be of interest to you.