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Steel(e) / Thom(p)son Ancestors

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


ChristinaS Report 31 Aug 2012 19:28

This looks to be your Robert William's baptism.

His father is still using the name William, but it must surely have been Robert William really, as he appears to have had a brother named William. (according to the 1891 census you found for Jane living with her brother-in-law).

Name: Robert William Smith
Record Type: Baptism
Estimated Birth Date: abt 1870
Baptism Date: 19 May 1870
Father's Name: William Robert Smith
Mother's Name: Jane Smith
Parish or Poor Law Union: Limehouse St Anne
Borough: Tower Hamlets
Register Type: Parish Registers

If you started a new thread I'm sure you'd get more helpers. Trouble is I think there's a rule that you can't have more than one thread on the same family.

It doesn't make sense in this case as the families don't overlap. Wouldn't want you to get into trouble though. And there's sure to be someone who will jump up to complain.


ChristinaS Report 31 Aug 2012 18:47

Here are the details of the Wandsworth marriage. William Smith is a widower, and Jane is a widow.

William is a labourer.

Mmm - not looking great is it.

Name: William Smith
Age: 46
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1819
Spouse Name: Jane Mc Kenzie
Spouse Age: 39
Record Type: Marriage
Event Date: 5 Nov 1865
Parish: Wandsworth All Saints
Borough: Wandsworth
Father Name: Thomas Smith
Spouse Father Name: Joseph Bearman
Register Type: Parish Register


JannieAnnie Report 31 Aug 2012 15:46

Suggested that I put this on here as they are the same family:

Afternoon everyone

Does anyone have any suggestions on which way to go please?

Here is the (next) problem:

I am going backwards with Smiths (and those who married them). I have the birth certificate of Robert William Smith (1870) and his wife Eliza (nee Steele) and know about the children which are on this thread:

but I am now chasing after his mother! Jane McKenzie Nelson. So .....

I have got the birth certificate of Robert William Smith born 1870 - his father is shown as William Smith (but could be Robert William as shown on Robert 1870's marriage cert!!) Occupation: Marine and his mother is "Jane SMITH formerly McKENZIE NELSON".

According to the Census records, Jane (McKenzie Nelson) Smith was born in Glasgow in 1831/1832, had 3 sons Henry (1865), Robert William (1870) and Reuben (1873) and on the 1881 Census she was with them and her husband William (1830).

So is this their marriage? -

Civil registration event: Marriage

Name: SMITH, William
Registration district: [?] Wandsworth
County: London
Year of registration: 1865
Quarter of registration: Oct-Nov-Dec
Volume no: [?] 1D Page no: [?] 976
William Smith married one of the following people

WHYMARK, Caroline


If it is - where does the Nelson come into it? OR was she married before to someone called Nelson? So far I have been unable to find a McKenzie / Nelson marriage.

I have also (sort of) discounted that the McKenzie was a middle name – as if the marriage posted is correct it was used as her surname.

There are other strange things – she is on the 1871, 1881, 1891 (widow) but with her brother in law – William Smith aged 70 (born 1821). I cannot find her on the 1901 which might be explained by this death:

Name:SMITH, Jane
Registration district: [?]Whitechapel
Year of registration:1901
Quarter of registration:Jan-Feb-Mar
Age at death:70
Volume no:1C
Page no:178

So any suggestions re any other marriages, census appearances – anything before I take the plunge and put the Wandsworth marriage cert on my list of 'must haves'?

Thank you


AnnCardiff Report 31 Aug 2012 15:43

:-) :-) :-) :-)


JannieAnnie Report 18 Jul 2012 14:42

Exceptionally well answered

Happy JannieAnnie


JannieAnnie Report 18 Jul 2012 14:42

Hi ChristinaS and Chris

Thank you again for the above - and the info on what Ancestry has - will have a look and think about subscribing - know they do a 'free 14 days trial', so might give it a go.

Thanks all


PS Just to let you know I will be tracking down some Smiths in the not too distant future - hope to meet you again on that thread!

Chris Ho :)

Chris Ho :) Report 18 Jul 2012 14:24

London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906
London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921
London, England, Deaths and Burials, 1813-1980
London, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812

(just adding the above Janet, but not all Parishes are covered!. FMP has some Baptisms too, from Docklands Ancestors)

At least the witnesses weren't Smiths, lol, must be something on them about!.

Chris :)


ChristinaS Report 18 Jul 2012 14:06

Hi Janet,

William's first marriage was in 1872 to Theresa Page. Ancestry has a lot of marriages on London Marriages and Banns. You can see the original records. So you can save yourself a fortune on certificates by looking there first. Also, the certificates are copies of the originals, unlike the ones you order from the GRO, which are sometimes mistranscribed.

I think I speak for many of the helpers on this site, when I say we started out with tracing our family trees as a hobby, which turned into an obsession. So much so, that when we come to a standstill with our own trees, we turn to helping others with theirs. It's also satisfying to help out.


JannieAnnie Report 18 Jul 2012 13:46

Hi Everyone - just tying up loose ends before I mark this post as (exceptionally well) answered.

Such a lot of information to sort / file yesterday thanks to everyone’s hard work on my behalf.

Chris – I realised I did not respond to your question at 17:00 yesterday regarding the witnesses on the 1904 marriage – they were George Bister (lived at Reeves Road) and Elizabeth Jane Corderay or Cordery or Corderey (unable to find anything on her so far). I did find George Bister on a tree on GR a while back, sent a PM, but no response. The only other connection (so far) is he lived on Reeves Road. I have a question – I’ve noticed a couple of times that other GR members seem able to view details on Marriages which include the witnesses – you mentioned the image wasn’t clear yesterday for the witnesses on the1904 marriage – is it possible to view marriage certificate images online – I have FMP, but don’t think I can do it there - am I missing a source somewhere?

ChristineS - I found the 2nd marriage for William John Thomson to Isabella (Watson) in 1878 but couldn’t find the first marriage you mentioned yesterday in your post at 20:09? I did find that there were 3 children from his 2nd marriage to Isabella, one child died (1881-1883) and so did Isabella, his wife, in 1896. If you remember the name of the first marriage partner could you let me know please? The youngest child a girl, also Isabella, I have found through to 1911 (with the Watsons and then with her father), so all tidy there.

One final question – how obsessed should I be with my family history research?
Oops – can answer that – too late – I am very obsessed!



JannieAnnie Report 17 Jul 2012 23:41

Thanks again Maureen



MaureeninNY Report 17 Jul 2012 23:26

Well,I know as a family historian that I've come to expect almost anything. :-D

Good luck,Janet!



JannieAnnie Report 17 Jul 2012 23:25

Ha ha - yes ChristineS - just seen your post at 21:39 - I started doing my reply but was interrupted by a phone call - have been reporting in to my Mum/Dad on what has been discovered today.

There was always mystery surrounding Eliza Ann - I remember when I was younger hearing bits of conversations at my grandparents' home indicating that there was a secret or something not quite clear about Eliza, ie she was an 'orphan', didn't know who her parents were - and yet George Henry is named on her marriage certificate.

Maybe Robert and Eliza could not marry until 1904 because of some 'past' that Eliza had (not of her making) - which would be the unknown secret that was hanging in the air when I was listening in to adults' conversations.



JannieAnnie Report 17 Jul 2012 23:10

Maureen yes that is a problem - I need to think about the fact that some are sawyers / able seamen / mariners.

My initial thoughts are along the lines of a 'liaison' (and started when I received the annoying certificate with a different father name for Eliza) that perhaps if George Henry Steel was a sawyer when he married Mary Ann Eliza, during the following 10 years became an able seaman - which would mean being away, perhaps she had a liaison with a Thomas John somebody - and as has previously been commented on these boards on other threads Registrars ask for a name and could assume everyone was using the same surname! Of course, it might be nothing like that ! Which would mean that a child of an extra-marital liaison (if hubby is away at sea) could have the family name - and save a bit of face.

Other possible factors that could support my theory is that Eliza apparently always said she was an 'orphan' - family unknown - which would have technically been true when she married in 1904! Or that as the child of a liaison was rejected by George Henry's family and possibly her mother's family - and would support the fact that she is missing between birth and re-appearance in 1901 Census.

Just a fanciful theory - more likely I've gone off into a different family somewhere - but it all seems to fit so well, thanks to everyone's help today.



ChristinaS Report 17 Jul 2012 21:39

Promise I'm not going to talk about my family history - just want to say this.

My gt.grandmother married Harry Horne and left him. She moved in with Alfred Stringle and they had 5 children. All the children were registered under the name of Horne. The birth certificates gave the father's name as Alfred Horne.

So - I think it's possible that because Mary Ann had married Geoerge Steele, and that was now her surname - she gave her daughter that surname. Thomas John was her real father, but his surname wasn't Steele. Although he was a mariner.

It could also be that Mary Ann and Thomas broke up after a short while, so Eliza was never even told of his existence. Just that he was a mariner, with Mary Ann's husband's name.

It's a thought.


JannieAnnie Report 17 Jul 2012 21:24

Hi Maureen

Yes, I'm sure the 1881 is him - can't have been an Engineers Apprentice in 1861 for nothing.



MaureeninNY Report 17 Jul 2012 21:21

It's just the differences in names and especially occupations that's bothering me with the father of Eliza and husband of Mary Ann E.

My poor overheated brain is bleating "does not compute---warning warning".

Maureen :-)


JannieAnnie Report 17 Jul 2012 21:20

This is getting quite exciting now - and a very strange 'circle' appearing.

ChristinaS - Thank you I will seek out those two marriages

Chris - Thank you for just looking 'round, I don't have any baptism records, usually just trawl about in the BMDs and Census records on FMP/FreeBMD, so appreciate William John Thomson info

Maureen - Thank you for the Steel stuff to look at

and here is the strange 'circle' - 30 Reeve Street, Poplar connects to a witness on the marriage cert of Robert Smith to Eliza Steel in 1904 who lived at 2 Reeve Street, but also it is fascinating that there is an Essex connection. Essex is where my Mum and Dad (Dad is the grandson of the 1904 Robert and Eliza) moved to shortly after I was born (moved out of East End London to new housing estates). Guess where - very close to Stifford/Grays!

So it seems my family may have been 'ping-ponging' between Essex, Poplar and Essex again.

This should keep me occupied for a while tying them all in together.

Thank you all so much


Chris Ho :)

Chris Ho :) Report 17 Jul 2012 21:05

~~~~~~~waves back, we meet again, lol.

It's looking good!...

Chris :)


MaureeninNY Report 17 Jul 2012 21:02

1881 England Census about William Thompson
Name: William Thompson
Age: 31
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1850
Relation: Head
Spouse's Name: Isabella Thompson
Gender: Male
Where born: Pop, Middlesex, England
Civil parish: Bromley St Leonard
County/Island: London
Country: England
Street Address: 42 Byron St
Condition as to marriage: Married
Occupation: Engine Fitter At Wks
Registration district: Poplar
Sub-registration district: Bromley
ED, institution, or vessel: 34
Piece: 501
Folio: 96
Page Number: 56
Household Members:
Name Age
William Thompson 31
Isabella Thompson 22
William T. Thompson 2
George J. Thompson
Source Citation: Class: RG11; Piece: 501; Folio: 96; Page: 56

Birth year is a bit off but I'm pretty sure it's him.

~~~~~to Chris!

Chris Ho :)

Chris Ho :) Report 17 Jul 2012 20:56

Name: William John Thomson
Record Type: Baptism
Estimated Birth Date: abt 1847 (11th Feb. 1847)
Baptism Date: 3 Oct 1847
Father's Name: William Thomson (Mariner)
Mother's name: Eliza Ann Thomson
Parish or Poor Law Union: Limehouse St Anne
Borough: Tower Hamlets
Register Type: Parish Registers

(not sure if you have above, I'm just looking 'round'!)

Chris :)