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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
Jackie Watts 20/05/2008 21:06:31

hi anthony I have my grandmother, Cecily Farrant, marriage certificate to Charles Henry Simmonds but when I look at her death certificate her name has changed to Florence Ann Simmonds. They are definitely the same person but I cannot find a birth certificate or any details regarding her birth. Any suggestions? Thanks

You say 'definitely' the same, but the evidence suggests otherwise - Charles could always have married twice, and Simmonds is a popular name so this could have given rise to mistakes - I would suggest digging more deeply so as to find more evidence.

Jackie Watts 25/04/2006 21:58:14

hi thnkyou for answered my question . i know my grandfathers names .i can find him. we can not find my granmother at all. thankyou jackie

Good luck

Jackie Watts 25/04/2006 21:08:52

hi anthony i have my mother's birth certificate, giving us the name of my grandmother. However, I do not know what to do as I cannot find her in any records whatsoever, after trying more than one site and type of record. Can you help? thanks jackie

Does it just name the mother, suggesting illegitimacy? If so, you may need to search the General Registration records for a wide period looking for possible births and (subsequent) marriages of this woman, carefully eliminating all red herrings. Yes, this can be very hard work, but if you persist you may well succeed.

Jackie Watts 19/09/2006 21:07:02

Hi Anthony i recently received my grandparents marriage cetificate it says her name was ceceily farrant..we are stuck because her death certificate says her name was florence anne i cant find the birth for ceceily but we can for florence is it poossible for her to drop her first name Kind Regards jackie

Are you sure you really have the right documents? Farrant is a popular name, so there is scope for error. You may need to do a more thorough search. Cecely, incidentally, is not the usual spelling - try looking under Cecily or Cicely.

Susannah Watson 18/05/2010 22:03:12

Thanks Anthony. I will re-enter my question. I have searched in vain over many years for the birth/baptism/1861/1871 census, his parentage and possible siblings of my Great Grandfather, Edward GRAHAM. No success. I ha

If no success in England, try Scotland, as the surname is Scottish.

Susannah Watson 18/05/2010 21:55:28

Hello Anthony, I have submitted a question to you earlier tonight - can you please confirm whether you received it please. It was regarding a possible "name change" Many thanks

I've answered several questions about name changes. Weirdly, the system is set up in such a way that I cannot see your name until after I have answered the question - so I don't know, as I type this, who you are!

Christine Watson 15/12/2009 21:05:39

i'm having trouble searching for my mother in laws greatgrandparents i have traced there 2 daughters births but cant see them on any census records . what else can i do to trace them we belive they may be from ireland orgininally

The next thing to do here would be to seek the girls' parents' marriage, either here or in Ireland. Also, try seeking the daughters themselves in the censuses: their entries may lead you to those of the parents.

Jane Watson 19/08/2008 21:24:17

Hello Anthony I have come against a brick wall with my great grand father. It would appear that my great grandfather never married my great grandmother and so all the children took the mother's maiden name. On the birth certificate of my grand dad is the real father's name. When my grand dad married my nan he married with the maiden surname of his mother although his birth certificate clearly shows the father's and mother's different surnames. I think my great grand father was Italian - can you suggest the best ancestry website which might help me in my search. The surname in question is Mayocco (which I think was spelt wrong and should be Maiocco). There are no Mayoccos or Maioccos being born or buried in the UK apart from the ones I know about (my grand father who was born in 1903). Many thanks Jane

Italian records are held very locally in Italy, by mayors and churches. To work out where, consider censuses and naturalisation records here: Catholic registers may give the names more accurately than civil records. Then use Italian telephone directories to see where the surname is now, and, ergo, where it is likely to have been then.

Karen Watkinson 22/03/2005 21:10:05

What is the best way to discover the line of a genetically inherited disease through a family? Both parents need to be carriers. Should I search all available records for the extended family and look for clues - causes of death, notes on census returns - or try to identify likely 'candidates' and investigate these indiviuals futher? The disease was only formally diagnosed in the late 20th century.

Your doctor can give proper advice on this. However, as far as research goes, the deaths certificates are of key importance. Even when deaths took place before the disease concerned had been identified (thus leading to 'incorrect' cases of death being given) you may be able to trace the descent of the disease through the ages at death.

Gillian Watkins 17/11/2005 21:22:51

HI, My great grandfather was born to Elizabeth Meek and Sir George Baines. George Baines was apparently a grounds keeper for the bowels-lyons family and lived in fforest of dean. I am unable to obtain any information regarding George Baines, I have obtained my G Grandfathers birth certificate and fathers name is left blanc as he was illigitimate. How would you sudjest i find information on George Baines, as im begining to believe he didn't exist...

The late Queen Mother had quite a sense of humour and I'm sure she would have smiled as seeing her family described as Bowels-Lyon. I'm fairly sure they didn't have any connection with the Forest of Dean (but am prepared to stand corrected). I can be absolutely sure that their grounds keepers did not get knighthoods. If you search in census returns and General Registration you may, however, find an appropriate Mr George Baines knocking about in the Forest of Dean, and you could then work on evidence for and against him being your great great grandfather.

Gillian Watkins 17/11/2005 22:20:36

thanks for answer, here's hoping xx


Janet Watkins 15/05/2012 21:07:12

I am searching for any family from my 10 gt uncles.they were all born in kings norton birmingham between 1882 and 1905. i have them on the 1911 census all living in the same house with there parents in selly oak birmingham. emma there only sister was my grandmother . how do i go about tracing what happend to my gt uncles.

The next step would be to use the marriage indexes to see if any of them married. Then you can see if they had children, and then see if they married, and so on.

Janet Watkins 15/05/2012 21:11:18

Hi Anthony i forgot to say that their surname is Phillips

Not the most distinctive, unfortunately!

ann Waters 17/11/2009 21:35:25

Hi Anthony I have been unable to find when my grandfather died. He was a merchant seaman and I know he was alive in 1911, but deceased by 1946. If he died at sea - will there be records held somewhere?

Yes, the Registrar General has records of Marine Deaths and Deaths at Sea - see www.findmypast,com. From 1891 there is a separate series of Registers and Indexes of Births, Marriages & Deaths of Passengers and Seamen at Sea from 1891-1964 in the national Archives in BT 334.

Patricia Warrington 19/01/2010 21:07:23

G'day from oz. trying to find my Paternal Grandfather, who had a defacto relationship with my grandmotherresulting in 3 children my father the only surviving child. The only positive info I have is an address on my Fathers Birth certificate and no one to confirm if any info I have found on him is correct, so hope you can help as I am about to give the search away thanks Pat .

He will appear in General Registration: you may have to make some wide searches and elminate false possibilities before you can be sure you have found the right person. To gain a few extra clues and coordinates, you could search forward and back for that address in the electoral registers: one advantage of these is that they would indicate if anyone else with the same surname, and therefore likely relatives of his, was living with him.

Anne Wark 14/11/2006 21:15:59

Hello, I have found an entry in the 1891 census that may or may not be my GT. Grandfather George Turner.born South Shields 1865c He is in the Calvary Barracks at Aldershot. Who can I write to, regards finding out this G.Turners next of kin and birth place to see if it matches my information. Thank you

The army records you want are at the National Archives, Kew: see - following this up and seeking the army records will be thoroughly worth your while.

Kristeen Warhurst 20/04/2004 20:36:15

Hi Anthony, My husband's grandfather was in the 17th lancers but the regiment has no trace. Apparently when the family was in Ireland the both twins died aged about 5 and he was court-martialled but acquitted. Can you tell me where I can go to find out about the court-martial? Did a quick search through Ireland newspapers for 1910 but no joy. Kristeen

Records of military courts, dating from 1688 are at the National Archives in class WO 71-72 and 81-93, with officers (1806-1904) in WO 93/1B. You could also seek his army service records there (regardles of what the regiment themselves have in their ow records) and this would also give information on his misdemeanours.

Pamela Ward 28/09/2004 21:21:54

From Pam in Plymouth --- Hi Anthony ,I am trying to find more details of my great grandfather. I have my grandmothers birth cert (dob 29/07/1887)which was registered on 5/9/1887 by her father George Richardson who was not married to her mother (Mary Millar) but gave his address as same as my grandmothers. Unfortunately no ages are given on birth cert but fathers occupation is given as hospital steward. By 1991 census my gran has been "adopted" by a couple who have several adopted children who all keep their surnames so I presume this is adoption in name only. My g. grandmother is employed as a servant but I can find no trace of George Richardson employed as hosp. steward either on 1871, 1881, or 1901 census. I would never have believed how many George Richardson and Mary Millar (also often wrongly transcribed as Miller)there are. Not having an age to narrow it down my one hope is if the hospital he was employed in in 1887 kept records with ages !! Only coming from Rotherhithe there seem to have been so many hospitals in and around london at that time plus work house infirmeries etc. Do you think I stand a chance of "tracking him down " Any help , hints or advice would be gratefully accepted. Thanks Anthony

I think you mean 1891 census. Adoption only came in formally in 1926, so no, the adoptions you have found would have been informal arrangements. There's a link on my website ( to the Institutions Website run by the admirable Ross Brett, which may help you find hospital records, but it's incredibly unlikely that records, even if they survived, would help you with things like ages. Frankly, you are very, very lucky that your illegitimate grandmother's father's name was recorded at all. Your best hope may be to make a concerted attack on the 1891 census, using indexes available or just the original returns, and hope against hope you find George listed as a hospital worker. Could be very hard work, but you may be rewarded with success.

Jason Ward 26/10/2004 21:05:46

Hi, Anthony, I've been researching for a number of years now and have hit one or two brick walls! First of all, one or two of my ancestors are not appearing on the 1901 census. I have thier marriage certificates and birth certificates of their off-spring and there is no reason I can think of why they aren't there! Do you have any suggestions? Rgds. Jason Ward.

They may be listed under variant spellings. However, the 1901 census isn't desperately well transcribed or indexed. If the index does not reveal what you think should be there, search in the original returns at the Family Records Centre, using the addresses you have fropm the birth and marriage certificates.

Jason Ward 26/10/2004 21:11:40

Hi again, another brick wall I hit was with my g-g-grandfather. The 1881 census says he is born in 1844 in 'Sleaths', Yorkshire. I think there is no such place. On the 1891 census, it says 'Staithes', Yorkshire. This place does exist, but I can still find no record of his birth in the Family Records Centre or at the North Yorkshire Records office in Harrogate. Can you offer any advice for tracing this rellie? Thanks. Jason.

I agree with Staithes. Many early biths were not registered, so try the parish records and the 1851 census instead.