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Martha Elizabeth Goouch

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JannieAnnie Report 5 Feb 2013 21:05

Just thinking about your question:

"I can't find a death for Alfred Pitt but surely Martha/Elizabeth would have had to prove that she was either widowed or divorced when she married Vandersteen in 1960?"

AND your findings at the Archive

"On to Stratford Archives where I searched the West Ham Board of Guardian Minutes from 1908 - 1914 looking for any mention of Pitt, Holder, Naptin or Goouch. There was only one mention where the committee recommended that "Proceedings for neglecting to maintain their families be taken against(amongst others) the husband of Elizabeth Pitt."

Was there a date for the recommendation for 'proceedings' (it says 1908-1914) against the HUSBAND of Elizabeth Pitt - would there be a record of any proceedings I wonder? which means he must have been alive somewhere at that point.

What about the Vandersteen marriage - do you have the cert for that? Does it show her as widowed? Not sure how it works for a widowed person/divorced person to remarry.

Also the death certificate - maybe there is a clue in that note in the margin?


JayneB Report 5 Feb 2013 21:34

Hi JannieAnnie

I have not heard back on the death cert yet. I know the registrar was due back on Monday so will give him a couple of days to reply.

The date of the recommendation was the 18th September 1912. In theory she was living with Holder at that time.

I don't have the Pitt/Vandersteen marriage but will find out which one of my great aunts/uncles and ask for the details


JayneB Report 6 Feb 2013 08:57

I think this may be the Alder father in 1871 but it is the only record I can find at the moment

Name: Richard Alder
Age: 14
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1857
Relation: Son
Mother's Name: Eliza Alder
Gender: Male
Where born: Greenwich, Kent, England
Civil parish: Leyton
Ecclesiastical parish: Leytonstone
County/Island: Essex
Country: England
Registration district: West Ham
Sub-registration district: Leyton
ED, institution, or vessel: 6
Household schedule number: 149
Piece: 1634
Folio: 173
Page Number: 28
Household Members:
Name Age
Eliza Alder 43
John Alder 18
Charlotte Alder 16
Richard Alder 14
Thomas Alder 12
William Alder 5
Bridget Flinn 26
Fettel Flinn 2


JayneB Report 6 Feb 2013 09:02

The Alder family are also in West Ham in 1861. The problem is the 1881 and 1891 as well as the sudden name change from Alder to Holder.


JayneB Report 6 Feb 2013 20:09


In answer to your question "What about the Vandersteen marriage - do you have the cert for that? Does it show her as widowed? Not sure how it works for a widowed person/divorced person to remarry. "

Martha/Elizabeth was widowed


JannieAnnie Report 6 Feb 2013 20:52

So then she most likely would have needed to prove she was widowed - I got this from a website today and most probably would have been the same in the 60's

Previous Marriages:

If you are divorced or widowed, you need to show evidence such as an original death certificate or divorce absolute certificate with the original court seal. The UK will not accept photocopies.

Therefore, if she married as Pitt (Vandersteen/Pitt) there must have been proof of death for Mr Pitt - but as far as I can recall (lots of info on this thread) there is only the death cert of Mr Holder. So how did she prove Mr Pitt was dead?! Or have I missed something somewhere?


JayneB Report 6 Feb 2013 21:01

I can't answer that. I can't find a death for Alfred Pitt but as he was a merchant seaman he could have died anywhere in the world and I would not know.

If she was next of kin she may have been contacted and received a copy of his death certificate?

If someone was missing for a certain period of time could you have them declared dead?

There are definitely more questions than answers with this family.


JayneB Report 7 Feb 2013 14:24

I have had a reply from the registrar regarding Alfred Holders death certificate.

The additional information is:

" In entry No.58 Col 7 for "Widow of deceased" read "Causing the body to be buried". Corrected on the 2nd December 1932 by me FW Langrish, Registrar on production of a statutory declaration made by Elizabeth Holder otherwise Naptin (Informant) and Florence Hart".

According to the registrar this only means that "just that Elizabeth was his common law wife and they were not legally married."


MarieCeleste Report 7 Feb 2013 19:40

Oh well, that confirms what we suspected.

So who is Florence Hart? ........


JayneB Report 7 Feb 2013 19:50

I asked myself the same question.

There is no Florence on Marthas line, maybe something to do with Alfred Holder but unless I can find the Holder/Alder link I doubt we will find out


Ann-Marie Report 7 Feb 2013 22:57

Could Florence hart be a registrar? As when I gave a statutory declaration it was made between me my husband and the registrar super intendant? This was to update my child's birth cert as she was born when we was not married, then got married and had to re register her, god knows why as he was listed on her original and she has his surname but you have to for some unknown reason but it's worth asking them could it be a registrar x


MarieCeleste Report 8 Feb 2013 08:13

It's a puzzle. F W Langrish was the registrar on the doc, would they have called another registrar in as a witness? Were women registrars then?

Re: the missing presumed dead question, I think (but not sure) that it was after 7 years.f


JayneB Report 8 Feb 2013 14:33

According to the registrar Florence Hart was "Someone who had knowledge of the facts - so could be a relative or friend."


JayneB Report 12 Feb 2013 14:38

Why do you always find something interesting just as the records office is closing?

After a fruitless morning searching for Martha/Elizabeth I decided to change tactics.

Earlier in this thread there is an army record for Alfred Holder who lives at 11 Tenby Road:

First name(s): Alfred
Last name: HOLDER
Calculated year of birth: 1884
Parish of birth: Leytonstone
Town of birth: Stratford
County of birth: Essex
Age at attestation: 17 years 5 months
Attestation date: 7 August 1901
Attestation corps: ESSEX REGT
Attestation soldier number: 8318
Discharge rank:
Discharge corps: Essex Regiment - 44th & 56th
Foot Discharge soldier number:
The National Archives reference: WO96 / 766 / 410

MC listed the 1901 census for the address which shows:

ALDER, Richard Head Married M 45 1856 General Laborer East Farley, Kent
ALDER, Esther Wife Married F 54 1847 Hackney, London
ALDER, Alfred Son Single M 17 1884 General Grocer Porter Leytonstone, Essex
ALDER, Lizzie Daughter Single F 14 1887 West Ham, Essex
SMITH, George Step Son Single M 30 1871 Invalid 2nd Essex Regiment
Kingsland, London
SMITH, Francis Step Son Single M 27 1874 General Labourer West Hartlepool, Durham

Piece: 1566 Folio: 34 Page: 19
Registration District: West Ham
Civil Parish: West Ham

Address: 11, Tenby Road, West Ham County: Essex

So at the last minute I looked for the electoral roll 1900/01 (taken in October 1900 for 11 Tenby Road. This showed me that Richard ALDER was resident there.

I had just enough time to check the 1901/02 electoral roll (taken in October 1901) and find that Richard HOLDER is listed.

I couldn't check anything else but have found Richard ALDER in the 1861 and 1871 census. There is no sign of the family in 1881/91.

Any ideas on the name change or where to find the family would be great :-)


JayneB Report 23 Jul 2013 19:44

Before I start I would like to thank everyone who has helped with this thread so far, you all found some amazing stuff. I have had to take a break from the family research but wonder if anyone has any ideas from where it was left. I appreciate that this is a very long thread so here are the basics.
Martha Elizabeth Goouch was born 23/10/1880

In 1899 she married Harry Naptin and had 3 children, Henry b 1899, Philip b 1901 and Lily May b 1903. In 1901 she was living in Plevna Street, Poplar. Her husband died in 1903 and in the 1911 census her children are in institutions, one in Ongar, Essex, the other in Chertsey, Surrey.

In 1905 Martha married Alfred PITT (Her name on the marriage cert is Martha E Naptin).

Now it gets confusing.

She had children Frank Holder b 1908 (my great grandfather) and Rose Holder b 1910 (notice the name change?) Birth certs state father Alfred Holder.

In the 1911 Census she is living at 27 Eve Road Stratford with Alfred HOLDER (husband aged 30) and Rose Holder (Eldest child Frank is in the West Ham Union Infirmary as Frank Pitt). She says she has been married for 3 years and that she has 2 children.

She had 5 more children, Alfred b 1911, Albert b 1914, Violet b 1915, Richard b 1917 and George b 1919.

In 1960 Martha married Peter Vandersteen (name on certificate Martha E Pitt)

I know that Martha never married Alfred Holder so there is no marriage certificate.

After lots of searching I believe that Alfred HOLDER began life as Alfred ALDER. I have several records for him which are in the box above including the 1901 census showing the family as ALDER. I need to find a birth for him and the records for the rest of his family.

I also need to track Alfred Pitt as I would love to know where he was in 1908. The ship records that have been found for him are:
Cairngowan ??/??/1891
Kairos 11/08/1891
Robert Brown ??/??/1894
Makarini 18/07/1914
Makarini 31/07/1914
RUAPEHU 25/11/1922
VIRGILIA 03/10/1923
WAIWERA 16/01/1924
CAMBALU 08/12/1924
Mamari 09/07/1925
FARADAY 11/09/1926
Vessel number 113460 17/03/1928
NARIVA 16/04/1929
NAPIERIAN 12/07/1930
Missouri 02/01/1931
NARIVA 16/04/1929
NAPIERIAN 12/07/1930
Missouri 02/01/1931

If anyone has any ideas on how to continue the search please let me know.

Thanks in advance :-)