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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
Amanda Williamson 19/08/2008 21:11:41

h anthony . im rather stuck on finding my ggggggrandfathers father he was born in crailing or oxnam do i have to apply at the register officce in scotland or berwickshire as im not sure as to what area this is in ? and more importantly wil there be data as this is around 1600,s. thamkyou in advance for any help you may or may not be able to give me . mandy

If Church of Scotland baptism records survive for your 1600s Scottish ancestor survive, they would be indexed on Many don’t, but the site is definitely worth a search.

Rick Williams 11/11/2008 21:18:50

I would like to determine the address in Cornwall where my great aunt lived in 1968. How would I do this? She does not seem to be listed in Ancestry's British Phone Books database.

If not the telephone directory, then the only source apart from a General Registration record (or a birth, marriage or death involving her) or a will mentioning her would be electoral registers, which are available in local libraries (and which of course are not indexed).

John Williams 11/11/2008 22:06:11

hi Anthony i have found the word Noctor on a cenus return of my ggg grandmother any ideas meaning of this word john williams

It is probably a badly-written word that actually says something else. Look at how the letters are formed and see if they appear in other words that you can read for certain, and you may be able to decipher it.

Linda Williams 16/06/2009 21:13:47

Good Evening, I hope you will be able to help, I cannot find my Greatgrandmothers death record, there are various stories within the family as to when and how she died. I have found her birth, 2 marriages 9 children. On the 1911 census 1st husband + 6 children in institution, 1 child living with paternal uncle & family, (2 children yet to be born) I cannot find any records after the birth of 1915. I have checked death records from 1915 to 1927. No luck. Lyn

It was extremely unusual for someone who died not to be registered: you can always try extending rhe time range of your search or the geographical range, or considering variant spelllings, or she may have remarried and died under a different name - so you could seek a remarriage first.

Linda Williams 16/06/2009 21:52:57

Thank you for your advice, however I had already thought of a third marriage, didnt find any, I also tried her maiden name and 1st married name. I do know that at least one child has been registered with the name of the first husband. When in actually fact the second husband is the father. I know the last 2 children were adopted when they were very young. my nan the 1st born said that she looked after her younger siblings after her mother died in 1918. However nan's sister said she was 2 when her mother died which would have been 1915. Thanks Lyn

Maybe there was a third marriage, but when this lady contracted it she used either her maiden name or eitehr of her two previous married names- it sounds as if she wasn't very particular, and it is probably this that is hindering you. When people behaved in this manner they made themselves hard to track down - sometimes deliberately.

Ros Williams 16/09/2008 21:19:12

I wonder if you can help me with a 'missing' person' from the 1901 census?My g.grandmother, who was born Annie Amelia Robertson in 1872 (Mile End OT London) and who died in 1954 (Norwich) as Annie Amelia Bromley, is nowhere to be found despite my intensive searching of this census for several years. I traced her 1st marriage to a William Birch in 1894, but no death for him and no certain trace of him on the 1901census. However, she had a son, Edward James Bromley, ( my g.uncle) b. January 1901 Mile End. On his and my grandmother's ( b.1903) birth certificates, Annie has given her name as Kate Bromley formerly Birch. My g. grandfather, Edmund Bromley was given as their father but I further discovered that Annie ( aka Kate) and Edmund did not in fact marry until 1913. On the marriage certificate she also gave her name as Kate Annie Amelia Birch/widow. I have subsequently searched all the possible combinations of her names : Kate Birch/Bromley/Robertson; also Annie Birch/Bromley/Robertson in all areas, but to no avail. I have also searched for her baby son, Edward, on the 1901 census with no luck either. Do you think it is possible she was somehow overlooked? Was this a frequent occurrence that people were missed? Maybe she was in hiding. I am wondering, out of desperation, whether you may have any further suggestions where I could look or perhaps you think I may never find her on that particular night?

It is of course possible to conclude that if you have searched realy hard and not found these people, they may genuinely have missed being enumerated. I wodner if you have actualy tried searching through the microfilms, or has your searching been confined to the on-line indexes? A manual search may do the trick for you.

Michael Williams 21/02/2012 21:17:04

My great grandmother was born in 1842 in the district of Devizes her mothers name was Brown and her fathers name was Stokes.she married as Brown her brother married as Stokes. The father signed the register as Stokes Brown. Her birth record as her name as Elizabeth Stokes Brown though i believe the parents were not married. When attempting to find more information I come across something I could not quite understand. Apart from a Stokes Brown there was a Stokes Rawlings A Stokes Smith and so on at least half a dozen common names with the name Stokes before them could you shed any light on my Ancester and why the name Stokes before so many surnames

I should think it is just a coincidence: in the 17th and 18th centuries, surnames started being used as first names, for many reasons - to commemorate grand ancestors, or because of illegitimacy. Stokes is a popular surname, so it is no surprise (but interesting, anyway!) to see it appearing as a first name in several different families.

Michael Williams 21/02/2012 21:59:38

On my mothers side of the family iam decended from a family with the surname casker could you tell me where the name originated.

It might be literally from a casker - one who made casks, but is might also be an Anglicisation of a Gaelic surname, such as MacAsker. Trace it further back and see how it was spelled then, and whether there is any indication of Irish or Scottish heritage.

David Williams 19/11/2013 21:04:45

My paternal grandmother Theresa was illegitimate and I have her birth certificate that says she was "given into the charge of" the Heaver family as per declaration dated 25 June 1895. Her birth mother was Fanny Reeves and the birth was registered in Fulham in May 1895. I'm interested to see if she was my great grand-father's illegitimate daughter or otherwise how/why this match was made. My GG-father lived in Dover, although he did work on the railways… How could I find out more, and especially where I could trace a copy of this declaration?

I don't quite follow the question, as your grandmother must obviously have been the daughter of your great grandfather (who you don't name) but I'm guessing that you mean that you thought that the Mr Heaver who 'took charge' of Teresa was in fact her father. Is that it? It's a reasonable assumption, though there could be other reasons. I'm not sure I've ever seen a declaration of that sort noted on an illegitimate child's birth record - and I see an awful lot of them! It would be an interesting thing to investigate: perhaps it would lead back to an order made in the local civil court, but without investigating further I wouldn't like to say.

David Williams 19/11/2013 21:27:21

Anthony, sorry if I didn't make it clear. My Grandmother, Theresa/Tessa was born to Fanny Reeves of Fulham but given into the charge of Mr & Mrs Heaver from Dover. Unless Theresa was Mr Heaver's illegitimate child I don't know why or how they came to be responsible for her. Mr Heaver was not legally my Great Grand Father - Just the person who, with his wife, brought up my Grandmother. I was hoping the declaration might throw some light on it.

Yes, so that is what I thought.

Evan Williams 28/01/2008 21:06:49

I am trying to trace my grandmother on my mums side. She had my mum in 1909 in Cardiff on 1st November and then i can not find any trace of her after that. Her name was Evelyn Cordelia Palmer, was born 23.09.1882 Exeter and Elise Brewer was her mum and John William Palmer her dad. My mum never knew her mother or her father. I have searched all the deaths and marriages but no trace can be found. Any ideas please? My mum is still alive at 98 and would dearly like to find out about her family Regards Evan Evam

If you have searched marriages and deaths very thoroughly from 1909 right up to the most recent available and can find absolutely no trace of Evelyn then, given that it is immensely unlikely that she is still living, the most likely explanation is that she went outside England and Wales - to Ireland, Scotland, America, or elsewhere. As you're unlikely to be able to search everywhere in the world, I suggest tracing other children of her parents, and find living descendants of theirs (this site may help). To them, 'aunty Evelyn' may hold no mysteries and they may know exactly what happened to her.

Evan Williams 28/01/2008 21:12:52

My wifes grandfather was Ernest Leggett but he was born Ernest Cooper and in the 1891 census he was aged 9 and living with Tilley Cooper age 11, Nelson Cooper age 35 and Frances Leggett age 35. After that i can not find any trace of any of them and have searched all the marriage and deaths without any luck. Nelson was married previously and so was Frances but they lived together and Ernest was their offspring with the name Cooper. he later used the name Leggett. I am trying to find out what happened to Nelson, frances and Tilley. Many thanks Evan

The best place to look for 'what happened next?' would be the 1901 census, but if the family have really vanished from English and Welsh records then maybe they emigrated. Knowing what Nelson did for a living may provide a clue as to where in the world they may have gone.

Evan Williams 28/01/2008 21:15:09


Eveline Williams 20/01/2004 21:38:06

Just a thank you. In a previous session I told you about my grandmother Margaret Moore who had lied about her age to get married. You advised me not to rely on census information but to carry on investigating. You were right, I found her, she had given her age as 24 years and was 17 at the the time of her marriage. Once more thank you. Lyn

Thanks, Lyn. It's great to hear I was of some help. Knowing how not to trust records is something you learn over time.

Eveline Williams 18/11/2003 21:11:25

Hi Anthony, my query is about my grandmother's birth date. As far as we know and the death certificate shows she was born on 27.4.1896. However her marriage certificate of 9/12/1912 shows she gave her age as 24 years. I know this to be incorrect as she told me she lied as she was under the age of consent and her stepfather (natural father had died) would not give consent. So she married out of the area. She gives her natural father as Jonathan Nuttall. There is no record of him at all either birth, marriage or death or in the 1881 or 1901 census. I wonder if she altered the name as well. There is also no record of her birth for the date given. However there is a record for Margaret Nuttall for the date we believed was her birth giving a different father, and this is also recorded in the 1901 census. Do you think this could be the one? Many thanks. Lyn

We often hear about people who must have altered their ages, or the theory that many people did, but it is very interesting to read an example here of someone who told you they had done so! So, the age at marriage is inaccurate- and beware dates of birth given on death certificates for the deceased- they may often be inaccurate because, self evidently, the only person who would have known for sure was deceased. Margaret may have lied about her real father's name, but you should be terribly careful before accepting the birth record you have found as hers. Try widening the period searched for her birth, and try to marry off or kill off the person whose birth you have found. If you cannot, it will increase the likelihood that you have found the right person. But proceed with caution.

Eveline Williams 20/04/2004 21:23:57

Hello Anthony; my question is about my grandfather. He married my grandmother in 1913 and I have all the relevent certificates etc and full details of his ancestory. However I have found out through somebody else researching the family that he may have married in Cardiff in the early 1900s giving a false name, age and father's details and also false details for his Master Mariner's examinations. He then deserted his wife and children. The person researching with me is basing this on the fact that she cannot find any birth records for the false details given and my grandfather was the most likely person. We then collaborated any found that the signature for his examinations at the Board of Trade and his marriage to my grandmother are the same and one of the addresses given when he took the examination had my great grandmother living there at the time. There is a family resemblence in photographs etc. Do you think we are correct,there is a gap between 1903 and 1913 when he surfaced in Liverpool so there may have been another family in the interim! Was this common? Many thanks I hope I have a new relative! Lyn

The really interesting point here is that the two of you, ostensibly researching two different people, managed to meet up and compare pictures, signatures and so on. Did you meet up through this site? Either way, I'd be fascinated to see much fuller details and I'd be very happy to look at the different pictures and give you an unbiased view of whether they are one and the same person! Contact me at of you like.

Alyson Williams 03/04/2007 21:11:04

Hi Im having a problem tracing an Edward Anderson born 1815 Ireland. was in monmouthshire in the 1851 censor. Thank you in advance

His baptism may not have survived, but with a name like Anderson you can be reasonably confident that he was a Protestant from the north of Ireland, though there were a fair few in Dublin too.

Eveline Williams 17/11/2005 22:17:33

Anthony, Many thanks for your good advice in tracing WW11 records via Kentigern House Glasgow. I was able to get full photocopies of the original papers relating to my father's army record from 1939 to 1946 including full information on his enlistment, battles fought, promotions, medals awarded and details of his discharge. Many thanks again Lyn.

Good to know the advice pays off - thanks!

Justine Williams 17/05/2005 21:14:38

I am trying to find information on my grandfather ALBERT VICTOR SANDERS. He was born in Ferndown, Hampreston, Wimborne Dorset in 1904. On his birth cert it gives his mothers name as Alice Sanders, dressmaker but does not list the father's name. Albert Victor Sanders married Rosemary Doreen James in Westminster London in 1914 and gives his fathers name as James Frank Sanders (deceased) who was a hotel porter. After Albert became a widower he remarried Mabel Brown in 1943 and detailed his father as Francis James Sanders a deceased Hotel Propreitor on the marriage certificate. Albert died in 1988. I have looked for the address on his birth certificate on the 1901 census nothing. I have looked for an Alice Sanders on the 1901 census as a dress maker with no luck. I don't know where to go from here, any suggestions would be gratefully recieved. Kind regards. Justine Morris

See my comments earlier in this session on illegitimacy. Sadly, it’s very likely that Albert made his father’s name up. Alternatively, this could be the name of his mother’s father, or his real father may have been a hotel porter called Joseph/Frank/Francis with another surname. You could use the 1901 census to see if there were any hotel workers with these forenames in or near Ferndown – if so, you would have a hypothesis from which to work.

Justine Williams 17/05/2005 21:20:57

Anthony, Further to my question about Albert Victor sanders just realised first marriage date was 1939 not 1914 as listed, sorry for any confustion. Many thanks. Justine Morris

The same comments still apply.