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National Archives favour

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Victoria Report 17 Aug 2009 12:52

I am trying to locate a record of my Great Grandmother's birth. I know she was born in Shanghai in 1873 but so far I have not been able to find a record of this birth despite some fantastic efforts on people on this board.

I have contacted various places that hold records of overseas births and the National Archives have come back with the following:

Document FO 681/1. This document consists of Registers of Births, Deaths and Marriages from the consulates at Amoy, Canton, Chinkiang, Foochow, Hankow, Kiukiang, Newchwan, Ningpo, Peking, Shanghai, Swatow, Taiwan, Tamsin, Tientsing Whampoa, covering the years 1869-1876.

The only way of searching this record is to visit the archives which is not a possiblility for me, is there anyone out there who visits the archives and can have a quick look for me at this?

If so, could I please ask they look up:
Minnie Nelson born 1873 Shanghai, father Andrew Nelson, mother unknown although maiden name possibly Thomas or Rogers.

If this search fails to check for any record of a female birth under the name as Nelson, with the same details as above as I am only assuming Minnie was her actual name and not a derivative or nickname, as this is how she is listed on her marriage certificate and her death registration.

Many many thanks in advance



Amanda, Report 17 Aug 2009 20:10

Hi Vicki,

I may be going this Sat, but if I don't it won't be for a few weeks yet, but I will try to find it for you.

If someone can do it in the meantime, could you pm me to say it has been done.

Kind regards


Victoria Report 17 Aug 2009 21:32

Amanda, thank you so much for your kind offer, I would really appreciate that and dont worry if it is a few weeks, I have been chasing this info down for months now, so a few more weeks is not going to make a difference,.

Once again thank you so much



Amanda, Report 22 Aug 2009 19:05

Hi Vicki,

I deleted my last post as it does include Shanghai.

I am sorry but I don't have good news for you.

The register is an original (and it is very musty, smelling wise) I looked through the whole thing just in case she was registered somewhere other than Shanghai, there was no mention of anyone named Nelson.

On the plus side, I know it won't help just now, but in this register which is numbered, the ones numbered 118-133 are all dated 17.2.1876 but they are not in order of birth like a normal Parish Register would be, the birth dates ranged from 1870-1874.

The ones numbered 96-117 were all registered in 1873, some of them are bulk registrations of children, and it says in the margin that "father was not aware of limit of 7 years to register a birth"

That was a far as this register went, if you can find another reference for me to have a look at I will gladly do it for you, they are shut next weekend.

Did Minnie have any siblings born out there? She may turn up with them in later years.

I do think that her name was probably Minnie as I found these two in Shanghai:

Minnie Barbara Simpson b 21.8.1871, father James, mother Kate

Minnie Meadows b 19.5.1874 father James, mother Elizabeth

Please do PM me if you need anything else, I don't often read the boards but I do go to Kew quite often.

If anyone else wants a lookup for this register I would be happy to do it, except for the ones written in Chinese!

Kind regards


Barbara Report 22 Aug 2009 19:25

For info - doesn't look like any siblings born same place but cousin maybe.

1891 census transcription details for: Brynthedyn, Blaeng Pae, Llanwnda, Bontnewyd
National Archive Reference:
RG number: RG12 Piece: 4656 Folio: 114 Page: 8

Reg. District: Carnarvon Sub District: Llandwrog
Enum. District: 23 Ecclesiastical District: Llanwnda
Parish: Llanwnda City/Municipal Borough:
Address: Brynthedyn, Blaeng Pae, Llanwnda, Bontnewyd
County: Caernarvonshire
Name Relation Condition Sex Age Birth
Year Occupation,
Disability Where Born
THOMAS, Mary Head Widow F 52 1839 Farmer
NELSON, Minnie Niece Single F 17 1874 Scholar
WILLIAMS, Lillie Niece Single F 15 1876 Scholar
WILLIAMS, Mary Niece Single F 13 1878 Scholar
New Ferry
PEARSON, Mabel Niece F 11 1880 Scholar
PEARSON, Ada Niece F 9 1882 Scholar
ROGERS, Elliott Ll Nephew M 3 1888
THOMAS, Jane Servant Single F 17 1874 General Servant
WILLIAMS, William Servant Single M 20 1871 Farm Labourer
HUGHES, John Servant M 15 1876 Farm Labourer


Victoria Report 22 Aug 2009 22:52

Hi Amnada
Thank you so much for your hard work on this, I think I need to accept the fact that I am never going to track down her birth record, or know for sure who her mother was. I really appreciate that you looked through the whole record as this must have been a pretty ardious task! Its interesting as I also believe that Minnie may have lived in Hankow, China as well at some point.

I have Minnie's marriage certificate dated 1894, she got married in Cardiff to Thomas Rogers Evans and on it, it states her father was Andrew Nelson, a master mariner and he was deceased at the time of marriage. I know she was born in Shangahi from the census records of 1891, which Barbara has also found on this thread and the 1901 census when she is married.

The record Barbara has shown on this thread is where my interest in Minnie lies, as Barbara rightly says, it looks like she is living with her Aunt Mary Thomas (nee Rogers) and is there with 5 cousins Lille and Mary Williams and Mable and Ada Pearson (these 4 are half sisters, there mother was Annie Rogers, sister to Mary Thomas, who lost her first husband Capt Williams and married Mr Pearson), and Elliot Rogers (his father was brother to both Mary Thomas and Annie Williams/Pearson), hope you follow so far!

Anyhow Minne Nelson who is down as niece to Mary Thomas married Captain Thomas Rogers Evans, Thomas Rogers Evans is also a nephew to Mary Thomas as his mother Margaret was Mary's sister, so this potentially makes Minnie and her husband first cousins, phew got there in the end.

My confusion is I have an old family history written by Thomas Rogers Evans and at no point does he mention that he is first cousins with Minnie, although he does mention Annie Rogers married her first cousin Capt Williams and Elliot's parents were 2nd cousins so I think he would of said this. I am assuming Minnie is niece to Mary Thomas through marriage only and wanted to confirm this. All I know about Mary Thomas' husband was he was Captain William Thomas and was born in Manchester, but have no further details (I do know the ships he sailed on but again Kew references have shed no further light).

Once again thank you for all your hard work, if I come across any other records then I will let you know, interestingly, some other very helpful people on here have also helped me search the chinese records and Mabel Pearson was also born in Shanghai and there appears to be no record of her birth either, maybe they didnt register overseas births?