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Info re; Blanche N Smith

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Shani Report 12 Sep 2013 12:38

Hi All
Trying to research my nan who I am told was born 8th April 1924. I know she married Patrick O'Brien in 1939. I have no information on her parents and have no idea how to gain information on siblings. I am led to believe she was born to Romani gypsies, had polio and was given to Dr. Barnardo's.
Any help would be fantastic, many thanks in advance.


Dea Report 12 Sep 2013 12:46

Do you know where she was born?

Look on this site for Births, Deaths and Marriages:

This is the only birth I can see at that time but no middle name:

Births Jun 1924 (>99%)
Smith Blanche Pember Aston 6d 811 Scan available - click to view

Do you think that was the name she was born with or was that her 'adoptive' name?

Dea x


Reggie Report 12 Sep 2013 12:53

She was rather young to marry in 1939..........if she was born as late as 1924

Buy her marriage cert for facts...............


Reggie Report 12 Sep 2013 12:54

Marriages Dec 1939 (>99%)

O'Brien Patrick J Smith Hendon 3a 2731
Smith Blanche N B O'Brien Hendon 3a 2731


MaureeninNY Report 12 Sep 2013 13:20

Did she re-marry???
England & Wales, Marriage Index, 1916-2005 about Blanche N B S O'Brien
Name: Blanche N B S O'Brien
Spouse Surname: Stapleton
Date of Registration: Apr-May-Jun 1954
Registration District: Hove
Inferred County: Sussex
Volume Number: 5h
Page Number: 567
England & Wales, Death Index, 1916-2007 about Blanche Naomi Stapleton
Name: Blanche Naomi Stapleton
Birth Date: 17 Apr 1919
Date of Registration: Sep 1998
Age at Death: 79
Registration District: Hove
Inferred County: Sussex
Register Number: 86C
District and Subdistrict: 4571
Entry number: 263
England & Wales, Birth Index, 1916-2005 about Blanche N Broad
Name: Blanche N Broad
Mother's Maiden Surname: Broad
Date of Registration: Apr-May-Jun 1919
Registration District: ??Ton
Volume Number: 2d
Page Number: 288
It really is a blurry image!!!!!!



Dea Report 12 Sep 2013 13:28

Well done Mo ! - That looks very possible !!

Dea x


MaureeninNY Report 12 Sep 2013 13:37

Thank you,Dea. :-) :-)

I think it would be best if Shani got both the marriage cert AND the birth cert,don't you?

That birth cert....just let the GRO figure out what the ref numbers and reg district are!!!


Mike *

Mike * Report 12 Sep 2013 13:43

freebmd has location as Milton (Kent)

Births Jun 1919
Broad Blanche N - Broad - Milton 2a 288


Dea Report 12 Sep 2013 14:05

There is a better image on another site and it shows Alton 2c 288 (Alton is in Hampshire) !

Dea x


Shani Report 12 Sep 2013 14:18

Many thanks all! Yes that does seem young for marriage! Although I was told she was married at 15????? But not sure that is possible. The Stapleton marriage is correct, that I do know, he was my step-grandfather. Unfortunately on every single side of both parents my history is very vague.
When I get some funds I will definitely order those certificates. Many thanks. How do you work out re; siblings then, can I only do it once I have the birth cert?


MaureeninNY Report 12 Sep 2013 16:55

Hi Shani,

Siblings-even with the birth cert- will probably be difficult to work out since her mother seems to be unmarried.

Fingers crossed that the mother has a really identifiable forename!!!

Good luck,


Shani Report 13 Sep 2013 09:31

Many thanks Maureen. It is a nightmare. My father was born in a workhouse too so I'm finding things really tough!


Shani Report 13 Sep 2013 12:18

Hi All
If my fathers birth certificate states his unmarried mother as being of no fixed abode what would I assume?
If she were to be living in a workhouse would this have been stated on the birth certificate or not?
I am told she is of Romani stock so it may be she was travelling, however I was also told she wasn't brought up by gypsies as she went to Dr. Barnardo's as a child so not sure she would have been travelling! Grrrrr, so confused.

ps I posted this on another thread but was advised to delete and post on this one, sorry for the confusion x


rootgatherer Report 13 Sep 2013 12:24

Where does you father's birth certificate say he was born please?

It is likely that The Workhouse was being used as a hospital. Often people who couldn't afford to pay for health care were admitted to Workhouses for medical care.


Mavis Report 13 Sep 2013 12:25

Romany Gypsy have site at " Romany Genes "

they tend to reg births with Mothers Surname there are a couple of other births in Alton of what may be of interest

a Frank S Broad mth Broad 1912 Alton
a Abraham S Broad mth Broad 1920 Alton could the S stand for Smith
as Blanche also included initals Blanche N S B O'Brien when she remarried

Binstead near Alton was used to bp Romany children at hopping times

but the site may be of interest to you



Shani Report 13 Sep 2013 12:30

He was born 1945 at Womens Hospital Redruth. Mother Blanche Naomi Broad O'Brien formerly Smith of no fixed abode. Residence as Lamorna Perranporth as per declaration 01/01/1946.
I have just found out that she married Patrick O'Brien who then was captured during the war. She fell pregnant whilst he was away and gave my father his surname. No idea where her surname Smith came from! I've ordered her marriage cert to O'Brien but feel like giving up!

Mike *

Mike * Report 13 Sep 2013 12:43

Blanche's mother probably married a Smith and changed her children's names likewise.

You need her mother's name from her birth cert


Mavis Report 14 Sep 2013 09:33

Shani Report 5 Sep 2008
My grandma Blance Naomi Smith was born in 1919 . Family understand she was dumped on Brighton Town hall steps as a baby as she had polio- not sure if true and apparently she was one of 24 children born to a romany family who passed most of their children onto other members of the family.
She lived most of her adult life in Norfolk Terrace in Brighton and had a couple of marriages before her death in 1998. She had 2 children, Valerie and Anthony (Tony) O'brien - my father (who I am also trying to trace)
Very complicated!! Any leads would be great!

been looking quite awhile


Mike *

Mike * Report 14 Sep 2013 11:18

When was your father born Mavis ?


Mavis Report 14 Sep 2013 11:57

Its not me looking for father -- its Shani --- I found the reference of her looking for her family in 2008 -- gives a little more detail -- Shani says about her father further up the notes he was born 1945 [marQ 1946] Redruth