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William Thomas born Pontypridd 1892

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Andrea Report 6 Jan 2013 10:50

When someone has a very common name, I'm wondering if there's any way of identifying which of several potential births registered is the right one? There are four William Thomas births registered in the Pontypridd district for the Jan-March quarter 1892, one of whom I believe to have been a relative by marriage. I know his father's name (John, a miner), and likely birthplaces are Ystradyfodwg or Treorchy. There is one clear census match, and another slightly less likely, but I can't seem to get any further without ordering all four birth certificates to see which is the right one. This seems wasteful; however I do need the birth certificate because his precise date of birth is important for other research. Does the order in which the births are recorded in the register indicate anything about date order of birth? I think he will have been born close to the end of this quarter rather than at the beginning of it.


Gins Report 6 Jan 2013 11:01

Hi Andrea

Thats a question we would all love to have the answer to!

Do you know of any siblings, mother, wife and his occupation etc?

Do you know his death date, any middle name?


Reggie Report 6 Jan 2013 11:28

How do you know the father's name?

If it's from a marriage cert, what was William's occ?

You say there's one 'clear' census match...exactly what info does it hold?


Andrea Report 6 Jan 2013 12:54

First wife's name Florence Edna Wade (m 1923, divorced)
Second wife's name Jemima Piper (m 1931; died 1963 Ystrad Rhondda)
He doesn't seem to have any middle name - just given as William on both marriage certs.
Started out as a miner (left Wales during a lock-out in 1921); then mechanic on first marriage certificate; public works contractor's labourer on second marriage cert; boilerman in a milk depot on second wife's death cert.
The most likely census match 1901/1911 shows father's name as John, a miner, (correct from marriage certs, and John doesn't actually seem to be as common a first name as you might expect in Wales) and this family lived within a few streets of where his second wife died. I'm guessing that this is likely to be his birth family, but can't be sure.


MarieCeleste Report 6 Jan 2013 12:57

Andrea, do you know for definite when and where he died?

Does it look like any of the witnesses on marriages may have been siblings?


KathleenBell Report 6 Jan 2013 14:25

If you are basing his birth year on that given on the census it is likely that he could have actually been born in 1891 - it would depend on when his birthday was. The census often has a person's year of birth out by at least a year.

Although I am not certain of this, I would imagine that the higher the page number is on a birth record the later the birth would have been registered in that particular quarter (although I'm happy to be corrected on this because as I said, I am not sure)

Kath. x


Andrea Report 7 Jan 2013 11:24

Thanks for your replies. I don't have a death date for William, just that his second wife Jemima was a widow by her death in 1963. That's a good idea about marriage witnesses, but unfortunately it looks as though none were siblings.

Going by his age on the second marriage cert (39 in November 1931), he could have been born in late 1891. That's a good point about census year of birth being out by up to a year - it had me flummoxed for a long time.

Frustratingly there's also a discrepancy in the ages given on the two marriage certs, ie 29 on 5.3.23 and 39 on 15.11.31. They can't both be right!

I have a suspicion that because a marriage licence stays valid for up to 12 months, a marriage licence taken out some time during 1922 when he was still 29 may have been used for the eventual marriage in 1923. Does anyone know if this would be possible?