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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.

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Name Date
Bryan Roberts 21/02/2012 21:55:43

bryan roberts yes mother for both was Ellen Harriss but they had different fathers names and her husband name was also different

Exactly - but in your grandfather's case, the key thing is his birth record, where there was NO father named at all. 'Joseph' may have been his real father's name, and maybe the occupation was true too - but he would have amended the surname to disguise his illegitimacy.

Bryan Roberts 21/02/2012 21:47:57

I have my Grandfathers birth and Marriage certificate No father on the birth cert but a father on the Marriage certificate is shown as Joseph His mother is Parker nee Ellen Harris on his brothers birth certificate his father is shown as William his mother as Parker nee Ellen Harris the only Ellen Harris I can find was married to a George Parker? Any suggestions would be a help thank you

No humans can fathom all the mysteries of computer printers. It is easier to fly to the moon. I don't follow your description here. Do you mean that the mother was recorded as Ellen Parker nee Harris, and that no father's name was filled in? In that case, it denotes the illegitimate son of a married woman, who was not the son of her husband.

Marcelle Kenyon 21/02/2012 21:46:59

Thanks very much anthony, I had a copy of a letter given to me by my grandmother years ago dated 1902, meant nothing at the time but it seemed to suggest we were related to a Lord Miles of bristol, Im uncertain as I said of this, but will keep searching and take your advice

I should have added, to the last answer, that often illegitimate children made up a father's name to put on their marriage certificates, as they (understandably) did not want to own up to illegitimacy in front of their bride and new in-laws. As to this present question, the 'Lord Miles' suggestion is certainly one worth following up. There is no such title as Lord Miles of Bristol: the Marquesses of Bristol are the Herveys. You are referring here to the Miles baronets of Bristol (baronets, not lords), who are descended from a mayor of Bristol. Your family could perfectly well be related to them. Besides Burke's as I suggested, you could seek the baronets' wills (probably at Documents Online, on The National Archives website) to see if your people are mentioned.

Helen Jeffery 21/02/2012 21:46:11

Hi I am trying to print off a copy of my tree but cant seem to get the whole thing printed please help

I do sympathise, but I'm afraid I have no technical abilities at all, especially when it comes to printing! You can ask the site's technical support people, who are very good and helpful - under the 'Help' bar above.

Ian Buchanan 21/02/2012 21:40:11

Hi Anthony, My Grandfather was from St Kitts in the West Indies. He was called Alfred Buchanan and was born in 1882 (I believe 15.04.1882) and his father was George. He emeigated to the UK and met and married my grandmother Mabel Gullick in Westbury on Severn, Gloucestershire in 1919. She was obviously much younger than him and i believe he probably saved her from the workhouse at Ruspidge. I have no other details of Alfred or his family in St Kitts and have been unable to find any information on him. Any ideas on how to proceed or sources of information would be most helpful. Thanks in advance, Ian.

The vast majority of what you want will be in the archives on St Kitts, but the Society of Genealogists has a very good collection for British people in the West Indies, especially memorial inscriptions, and there is material (on slave plantations, for example) in The National Archives.

Esme Wakefield 21/02/2012 21:28:38

Thank you for your reply. Yes, Essex Lleweln Pullinger is his correct name. As you suggested I have already tried the alternatives and drew a blank. Once again thanks for your reply.

How bizarre. It is such an odd name that it may have confused the registrars and their clerks - perhaps you should try under plain Lleweln Pullinger, or Lleweln Pullinger Essex. Come on, all you who are reading this - someone must have heard of this unusually-named chap!

James Henderson 21/02/2012 21:19:13

to add to my question george henry webb was my maternal grandfather and his parents were william george webb and helen mcwhinnie wg being a marine or sailor .

Helen McWhinnie suggests connections with Ireland or Scotland, so maybe you should be thinking about looking there too...

Marcelle Kenyon 21/02/2012 21:17:36

Hello Anthony, have almost cleared up the anthony battle question I asked you a couple of months back, I sent for his fathers death certificate and he was the informant, his name is John anthony battle, and he is still living tho as yet still cant find his birth details:) Im following the Miles family which has taken me back to Bristol, a james miles and jane fossett, my 3 x ggrandfather born 1816, his father william miles was born in 1786, this is confirmed on other tree matches, as yet I cannot find his birth details as so many with the same name, the only one is a Lord Miles 1st baronet of bristol born 1796 or thereabouts, Im struggling to find my connection, what is the best way of doing this other than visiting the bristol archives. also another link on my fathers side, the family name was changed to kenyon from Kohler just before the war for obvious reasons, I have traced the Kohlers back to the mid 1800,s they mainly seem to have ended up in bethnal green, how can i find out which of the Kohlers came over from germany. sorry for all the questions:) thanks

I am glad you are prevailing! For the 1780s, you'd be looking for a baptism, not a birth. Many are indexed at, but a good many are not, so you would have to look in the relevant parish registers, especially those not covered by indexes. Bristol had many churches and chapels at that stage, so your time spent in Bristol would not be idle! If this Lord Miles is thought to be a connection - which sounds exciting, then look him up in Burke's Peerage and see if your William appears as a relative. For Germans, a good way of finding places of origin is from naturalisations, which are at The National Archives.

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.

Henry Westerman 21/02/2012 21:13:22

HI Anthony my grandmother name is Margaret Latham born about 1892 marred my grandfather Henry Boothin1913 in liverpool. Iam tring to find where she was born all i have is the marriage certificate and her father name is John Latham he was a Sailor has i am stuck on my grandmother side. thank you . Henry Westerman

Look for her and her father in the censuses. This will say where she was born,. Then, if it was in England and Wales, you can look in the indexes to these births, on this site. If you have done this and have not found her yet, try variants - Lathom, for example.

Esme Wakefield 21/02/2012 21:09:46

Good Evening Essex Llewelyn Pullinger _ I have been unable to find a civil registration for this person. Have found the following info. Christenin - Walthamstow 25 Feb 1880 Marriage - 26 April 1906 Copy cert Marriage - 12 Dec. 1934 Original Cert Death - 24 Jan 1962 Original Cert Have also looked -Births at sea. Medal Roll Index WW1 - 2nd Leuit. Passenger Lists - Various entries Question - Could he have joined up with a birth cert.? Have you any suggestions where I could look to find his civil registration. Thank you

Are you saying your ancestor was called "Essex Llewelyn Pullinger"? What an extraordinary name! Besides the places you have looked already, have you tried the army births? Many "lost" births are lurking there. Also, consider variant spellings - Pillenger, for example.

Barbara McClelland 21/02/2012 21:09:36

Hi Anthony. Have you any tips for tracing German ancestry? From UK census records my gt grandfather was born in Germany C1847. He was a sailor and lived/was based in Liverpool from the time of his marriage in 1878 .He had a family there. He was interned on the Isle of Man during WW1 as quite an elderly chap, at the same time as his son was sent to fight in France- both came through the war.

What an irony there. There is a certain amount about internees at The National Archives, and also his local police force would have had a record of him, which should include specifics about his place of birth. Naturally, you should seek him in each available census from 1914 back, as once in a while the answers given by foreigners were quite specific. Also at The National Archives, you could see if he was naturalised after the war.

Dilys Evans 21/02/2012 21:08:32

Hi I am convinced my grandparents were not married as the two elderley daughters still alive will not discuss it and I cannot find any trace. I cannot find any record of birth registration or baptism for my grandfather although I have found records for all his sisters and brothers. He was born c 1882, could this be the reason he did not marry, because he could not produce a birth certificate?Best wishes Dilys

That's an interesting suggestion. He could have married, of course, without a birth record - there are always ways around such problems - but he himself may have felt it was an insurmountable problem, and, without a birth record, was too reticent to approach the registrar in order to marry. It is a good idea - but don't let it put you off persisting in seeking both the birth and marriage, as they may be there, hidden away under a different date, or a different place, or spelling.

Wendy Moore 21/02/2012 21:05:07

Hello, my grandfather died in 1928 when my father was only 10 years old. One thing my father remembered in later years was his mother saying to him " your grandfather had orange groves in America". Is there anyway of finding any information about orange groves. Also are there any records of commercial travellers around 1855/6

"Also are there any records of commercial travellers around 1855/6" - not as such - and they were frustratingly mobile, of course. "Is there anyway of finding any information about orange groves" - not as such! However, I presume the growing of oranges would confine the possibilities to the southern United States, and you could certainly look for your ancestor in the outgoing ship's passenger lists, going to America, or in the American censuses. You can seek his will (here, presumably, rather than there) and see if he mentioned his orange groves.

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

James Henderson 21/02/2012 21:03:53

i cant find my grandfathers birth place also cant find his parents marriage my grandfather born 1877 george henry webb has medals fromsudan and boer war cant find his service record with the seaforths all military .

Well, one thing at a time. The army service papers will give you his birth place, so I suggest reading-up a bit on army records. One very good place to start is Stella Colwell's book "The National Archives".

Karen Freeman 21/02/2012 21:02:27

sorry anthonyit was better laid out at my end

It is kind of you to say so - but it is also rather long. Can you put the question in a nut-shell? At any rate, it is clearly something I'd have to sit down with and puzzle over properly with copies of the relevant certificates and so on - a service I do offer in a private, professional capacity, but not something I can do very well during an hour-long web-cast.

Jane Morris 21/02/2012 21:02:02

Another query Anthony! There is a family story that my gt grandfather (not same one as per previous query!), stowed away on board a ship bound for New Zealand aged 10 or thereabouts in the late 1860s, where he learned how to dairy farm. He came back to UK and started the family dairy business in Kynaston Road, in Hackney in the 1880s. I would love to find absolute proof of him going to New Zealand but apart from looking on passenger lists wouldn’t know how to go about it. (indeed he definitely does not appear with the family on the 1871 Census!). His only surviving granddaughter, aged 87, remembers quite clearly this ‘factual’ story. Again, thank you Anthony.

Our outgoing ships' passenger lists are a good way of finding out about such migrants, but they aren't complete. The records of people entering New Zealand exist, in Wellington, some indexed, some not. You can also try to pick him up in New Zealand newspapers, electoral lists, directories, and General registration.

Jane Morris 21/02/2012 21:01:23

Hi Anthony, my gt. Grandfather lived with his family in Shoreditch around 1870-1890 – his occupation was a lithographic printer (as per Census)…where can I find more information about his occupation and possible living conditions at that time? By sheer coincidence I have found that my best friend of 55 years’ gt. Grandfather lived just three doors away from mine and had the same occupation! Is it possible that any employment records from that time would have been kept? With many thanks

One of my Waters ancestors was a lithographer in the Shoreditch/Hoxton area too. My favourite book for finding out what many occupations really entailed is R. Campbell’s The London Tradesman [1747], David and Charles Reprints (1969). It is most unlikely that there would be any employment records. For living conditions, go to Shoreditch and use your imagination, and visit the Geffrye Museum and 18 Folgate Street ( both very nearby, both of which will transport you straight back into East London's past.

Karen Freeman 21/02/2012 21:00:53

Hi Anthony I have been researching the family tree of my grandfather John Henry Evans born 10th August 1891 to Henry and Phoebe (nee Smith) Evans at 106 Temperance Street Ardwick as was his brother Albert William Evans in 1893 –father Henry being a coal agent . (birth certificates) I believed that Henry Evans was son of John Evans and Sarah Whitefoot and that Phoebe was daughter of John Smith and Harriet Gwilliam (birth certificates for both) Harriet Smith and John Evans both died and John Smith and Sarah Evans married .-see censuses below 1881 and 1891 I recently received marriage certificates for John Smith and Harriet Gwilliam (see below with information as expected) and for John Smith and Sarah Evans. That certificate gives her father’s name as John Watkins not Whitefoot as I expected I am now thoroughly confused. Can you help me to explain this or where Ive gone wrong? Thank you Marriage certificate 14th March 1882 primitive methodist chapel Ludlow Salop John Smith aged 44 widower general labourer Leintwardine father William Smith (deceased) farm labourer Sarah Evans aged 48 widow Leintwardine father John Watkins farm labourer Witnesses F H Garbett and W ? Some of information I have used to come to these conclusions Henry Evans and Phoebe Smith were married on 7th October 1889 St Augustine Pendlebury Lancs Henry aged 23 Stoker L&Y Railway Address 88 Bolton Road Pendlebury Father JOHN EVANS deceased farm bailiff Phoebe aged 24 domestic servant Address 2 the Avenue Patricroft Father JOHN SMITH Labourer Witnesses WILLIAM SMITH ELLEN EVANS (marriage certificate) FROM CENSUSES I discovered that Henry Evans came from Brampton Brian and that Phoebe came from Clungunford. 1911 RG14PN24311 RG78PN1393 RD467 SD6 ED30 SN51 HENRY EVANS born Herefordshire taxi cab proprietor aged 44 PHOEBE EVANS born Hereforshire married 21 years aged 45 JOHN HENRY EVANS,ALBERT WILLIAM EVANS,MABEL EVANS 1901 RG13 piece3695 folio 17 page 26 HENRY EVANS born Hereford Herefordshire publican aged 35 PHOEBE EVANS born Hereford Herefordshire aged 36 JOHN HY EVANS, ALBERT W EVANS 115 Coral street Chorlton upon Medlock south Manchester 1891 RG12 piece3165 folio 128 page12 HENRY EVANS born Brampton Bryan Herefordshire lurryman aged 24 PHEBE EVANS born Chinganford Shropshire aged 26 At 106 Temperance Street where John Henry and Albert William born 1891 RG12 piece 2079 folio 8 page 10 JOHN SMITH born Bedstone Shropshire agricultural labourer age 56 SARAH SMITH born Bucknel Shropshire aged 61 1881 RG11 piece 2613 folio 17 page25 HENRY EVANS born Brampton Brian Herefordshire Ag Lab aged 14 SARAH EVANS born Bedstone Shropshire ag lab aged 48 JOHN SMITH born Bedstone Shropshire ag lab aged 45 WILLIE SMITH born Leintwardine Herefordshire aged 11 Henry Evans born Bramton Brian as per 1891 census Willie Smith witness at wedding of Henry and Phoebe John Smith labourer as Phoebe’s father on marriage certificate Address Watling St Leintwardine North SideLudlow Shropshire Harriet Smith died Ludlow 1877sep q aged 39 ie born about 1838 leaving John Smith a widower as per 1881 census John Smith marries Sarah Evans mar q 1882 Ludlow Shropshire HENRY EVANS birth certificate Born 19th July 1866 Brick Cottage Brampton Brian Knighton Radnor Hereford and Salop counties Mother SARAH (WHITEFOOT) EVANS Father JOHN EVANS (farm labourer) PHOEBE SMITH birth certificate 18th January 1865 clungunford salop Mother Harriet Smith formerly Gwilliam and John Smith farm labourer John Smith (labourer) married Harriet Gwilliam June 26th 1862 at Bucknell Salop fathers William Smith and James Gwilliam witnesses Thomas Jordan, Mary Ann Mason (marriage certificate) : Sarah Whitefoot married John Evans [?] Name: WHITEFOOT, Sarah Registration district: [?] Knighton County: Radnorshire Year of registration: 1853 Quarter of registration: Apr-May-Jun Volume no: [?] 11B Page no: [?] 307 Name: EVANS, John Registration district: Knighton County: Radnorshire Year of registration: 1853 Quarter of registration: Apr-May-Jun Volume no: 11B Page no: 307 There is another Sarah Whitefoot marriage around that time but appears to be to THOMAS Evans 30 dec 1852

As my previous answer