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Steel(e) / Thom(p)son Ancestors

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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!



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.

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 :)


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!


JannieAnnie Report 18 Jul 2012 14:42

Exceptionally well answered

Happy JannieAnnie


AnnCardiff Report 31 Aug 2012 15:43

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


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


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


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.


JannieAnnie Report 31 Aug 2012 20:06

Hi ChristinaS

Thanks for your interest in my ongoing thread.

It is very helpful to see that William (or whatever) and Jane were married before - I thought it was a bit late for them to be getting married for the first time, but didn't want to be judgmental.... I did find a family - with a Jane (Nelson) and husband and children but discounted them - might see if I can tie them in - must have had a reason to ignore them before.

I did wonder about William Snr/the brother-in-law - and on the baptism it shows William Robert - but if he had an older brother also named William that seems very strange - it just occurred to me that maybe on the Census it was really him - but why would they lie? Or maybe a half-brother? Or he had a sister who married another William Smith!! Who knows!

It did seem logical to me to put it on a separate thread as I was going backwards in time looking for McKenzies and it seems Nelsons, and I put in the link so that helpers wouldn't waste time posting the going forward information - and I didn't want to contravene any rules. I suppose technically any threads about my relatives should be on one - as after all they are ALL my ancestors


ChristinaS Report 31 Aug 2012 20:17

I'm not really happy about the 1865 marriage.

Wouldn't Jane's surname be Nelson, not McKenzie? And this one has a father with the surname Bearman.

Also, it has William as a labourer.

Haven't been able to find anything better though.


JannieAnnie Report 31 Aug 2012 20:37

I know - that is why I posted the marriage and thought I would see if anyone else could see something I couldn't. I tried Robert /William / Smith/ McKenzie /Nelson combinations - came up with nothing more.

As far as I can see there isn't a pre-existing connection with Wandsworth, William (1830) was born in Woolwich it seems - and I have found two possible births - one called William and one called Robert. There was a connection in the Steele/Thompson lot on the death of a small Reuben with Woolwich, maybe Wandsworth was Jane's connection.

I would have thought that somehow Jane might have been recorded with both McKenzie and Nelson - and the Bearman does throw me a bit too.

William's job doesn't worry me - perhaps he married her as she was expecting, then regretted it and ran away to sea!


Mary Report 31 Aug 2012 21:30

I don't think that marriage is correct as the birth cert for Robert William Smith 1870 would say mum Jane nee Bearman.



JannieAnnie Report 31 Aug 2012 21:39

So maybe I am looking for a Smith/ Jane Nelson marriage (not apparent that there is one) and maybe the McKenzie is her middle name and Nelson the surname - but then surely the birth cert would just say formerly Nelson rather than McKenzie Nelson.


Mary Report 31 Aug 2012 22:06

Jane Mckenzie married Robert Smith 9/2/1866 in Calton Glasgow Lanark Scotland.Info of Family search site(LDS)



JannieAnnie Report 31 Aug 2012 22:33

Mmm that is interesting, and possible, - but the first child of the marriage Henry George was born in Limehouse, Middlesex 1865/1866, so is it feasible? If so, why McKenzie Nelson on the birth cert?


Potty Report 1 Sep 2012 13:18

Just for info:

1881 England Census
about Henry Smith
Name: Henry Smith
Age: 16
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1865
Relation: Son
Father's Name: William Smith
Mother's Name: Jane Smith
Gender: Male
Where born: Limehouse, Middlesex, England

Civil parish: Poplar
County/Island: London
Country: England

Street Address: 53 Market Street

Employment status: View image
Occupation: Laborer

Registration district: Poplar
Sub-registration district: Poplar
ED, institution, or vessel: 8
Neighbors: View others on page
Piece: 506
Folio: 47
Page Number: 17
Household Members: Name Age
William Smith 51 mariner
Jane Smith 49 b Glasgow, Tailoress
Henry Smith 16 b Limehouse
Robert Smith 11 b Limehouse
Reuben Smith b Poplar

Henry's birth:

Births Mar 1865
Smith Henry George Stepney 1c 520

Jane's age doesn't tie up with the marriage in 1865.


JannieAnnie Report 1 Sep 2012 21:41

Hi Potty

Thanks for posting the 1881. You are right - Jane's age at marriage does not tie up with the 1881- I hadn't checked that before and I have just got out my calculator (but still make it the same) also William's age does not tie up with the 1881 and the age gap does not agree when comparing their ages with the marriage and the 1881. Plus the Wandsworth William's age is more like the brother-in-law William's age. All very fishy.

So I have to conclude that the Wandsworth marriage is not the one for me - ChristinaS, Mary and you are all in agreement that it it doesn't 'fit' and for different reasons. At least I am sure of that now - but need to try to think about how else I can track her down - perhaps they didn't marry at all.


Potty Report 2 Sep 2012 11:39

Jane in 1871 - there is quite a age gap between Henry and Robert. Possibly it was a second marriage for Henry:

1871 England Census
about Henry Smith
Name: Henry Smith
Age: 6
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1865
Relation: Son
Parent's Name: Jane Smith - married, laundress, b Glasgow
Gender: Male
Where born: Limehouse
Civil parish: Poplar All Saints
Ecclesiastical parish: All Saints
County/Island: London
Country: England
Registration district: Poplar
Sub-registration district: Poplar
ED, institution, or vessel: 11
Household schedule number: 164
Piece: 582
Folio: 51
Page Number: 29
Household Members: Name Age
Jane Smith 40
Henry Smith 6
Robert Smith 1


JannieAnnie Report 2 Sep 2012 22:59

Yes, I think that it was quite likely a second marriage - for both William and Jane, as they were a bit older than I expected for a first marriage, which is why I had high hopes of the Wandsworth marriage (widower and widow), but I think I need to go back to William (1830) born in Woolwich and see if I can find anything more on him - but Smith is an awkward name to research - especially as they have frequently used first names!

William (1830) missing in 1871 - maybe a sea, perhaps that is why there was a 5/6 year gap between Henry and William (1870)

So far can only find an potentially appropriate Robert, but not a Woolwich William

Baptism Year:1830
Baptism Month:FEB
Baptism Day:21
Birth Year:
Birth Month:
Birth Day:
Place: Woolwich
Source:St.Mary Magdalen Woolwich 1813-1837 baptisms

As I have nothing / nobody else to attach him to then it is all guesswork - and too many Smiths by far