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BRADFORD Brick Wall.........

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Xavier Report 5 Sep 2011 11:03

I wonder, as you are probably all hardened, experienced family history hunters, if I might ask for some advice?

It concerns my BRADFORD family history and is a mystery I have been trying to solve for many years.

My father John William BRADFORD was born in Bedford in 1916. He had two older sisters, Evelyn May BRADFORD (b1914) and Florence Cecelia BRADFORD (b1915) Although the children are born closely together in consecative years, I have found by checking the birth certificates that it is feasibly possible.

I have copies of birth certificates for them all and all show John Bradford as the father.

There are really two mysteries -

1) Whilst on Evelyn's birth certificate (The eldest child) and my fathers birth certificate (The youngest child) The mother Margaret BRADFORD states her maiden name as GREEN, on Florence's birth certificate (The middle child) she gives her maiden name as DAY. I have found no marriage for BRADFORD/DAY or BRADFORD/GREEN.

2) In 1918 all the children are sent to a childrens home in Kempston, Beds. (The entry book for the date they arrive states "Deserted by mother) They never have any further contact with their parents and no-one knows what becomes of them.

I only have 3 official records of John BRADFORD the father.

He appears on all three birth certificates (As horse keeper, Carman, and Waggoner)

He appears on the 1912 electoral roll for Bedford together with his 'wife' Margaret residing in Bell Court, St. John's, Bedford.

He appears on the Bedford Union Relief records on 26th September 1916 as being given two shilling and sixpence. On this record he gives his age as 60. On a similar record in 1914 when Margaret is discharged from the workhouse with her new born child Evelyn, Margaret gives her age as 35. (Quite an age gap for a married couple?)

After 1916 I can find no record of either of them. I do have a few death records in later years but no way of connecting them to my family.

It has been suggested (Because of the age difference) that the john Bradford aged 60 may not in fact be the father, but the father in law, but I have no evedence to support this.

I just wondered if some kind soul amongst you may be able to suggest any further avenues to explore?

Thenking you in anticipation but will perfectly understand if you cannot help.


Jonesey Report 5 Sep 2011 12:08

Just for the benefit of anyone who is keen to help here is an earlier thread which contains some research offerings:


Xavier Report 5 Sep 2011 12:17

Thanks for the timely reminder Jonsey....must admit I had lost that thread.......afraid it didn't move me any further on and I'm still as desperate today as I was then..........


Jonesey Report 5 Sep 2011 12:40


From your earlier thread I note this statement:

"He appears on the 1912 electoral roll for Bedford together with his wife Margaret residing in Bell Court, St. John's, Bedford."

I am a bit perplexed by that as family relationships are not usually stated on electoral registers. I wonder whether "Wife" was an assumption rather than fact. Also as women over 30 were not franchised to vote until 1918 unless they had an interest in a property it seems unusual to me. Have you seen a copy of that electoral register yourself? As I note that it is mentioned in your opening post on both of your threads.

Also are the home addresses (Column 7) of the mother on the 3 birth certificates consistent?


Xavier Report 5 Sep 2011 15:18

Hi Jonesey,

I haven't seen the electoral role myself. I gathered the information from someone who researches at Bedford Record Office.

She also found a Kellys Directory entry for 1912 showing them both at Bell court.

The birth certificate addresses are all different. My father John was born at Allhallows Lane, Bedford. His sister Florence at Summerhouse Farm, cardington near Bedford. Evelyn at Bedford Union Workhouse in Kimbolton Road, Bedford.

The informant on John and Florence was the mother. For Evelyn it was J Wildmarch, occupier. I have since learned the J Wildmarch was the Workhouse superintendant.


Jonesey Report 5 Sep 2011 21:51


Sorry to belabour the point but on a birth certificate, column No 1 indicates the address where the birth took place, column No 7 indicates the informants address. As the mother registered the births of John and Florence what did she give as her address?


Xavier Report 6 Sep 2011 07:53

Hi Jonesey,

The mothers address when registering john on 24th July 1916 was 17 Allhallows Lane, Bedford. Column 7 reads "Margarett Bradford, Mother, Summerhouse Hill, Cardington, as per declaration dated 26th September 1916" (One assumes she was two months late in registering the birth and moved in the meantime?)

Details for Florence: In both column 1 and 7 simply "Cardington"

The timeline (Birth Certificates and Bedford Union Records) show that after the birth of Evelyn in the workhouse the mother went to Cardington on January 20th 1914 discharged "To Husband".

On 20th March 1915 Florence is born in Cardington and the mother is living in Cardington.

Bedford Union (Parish of Cardington) records on 15th January 1916 "Maggie Bradford" pregnant, applies for relief.

John is born 24th July 1916.

Bedford Union (Parish of Cardington) records on 26th September 1916 "Bradford, John" age 60 of Summerhouse Hill, applies for relief.

The father John Bradford is recorded in Bedford Union relief order book for quarter ending Lady Day 1917 given help for "Wife and children" residing in St Johns.

I have been unable to find any further record of the mother.

The father John Bradford is recorded in Bedford Union relief order book for quarter ending Lady Day 1918

Bedford Union for Michaelmas 1918 records "Bradford Children"

Bedford Union 'Discharge Book' records that on 21st July 1918 'Bradford, Evelyn May' aged 5, Bradford, Cicerly' aged 3, and Bradford, John Willie' aged 18 months, were admitted.

On 22nd July 1918 the same book records that Evelyn and Cicerly were discharged to Kempston Childrens Home.

For some reason John was kept in the workhouse until 28 June 1919, when he too was discharged to Kempston.

All Kempston records were destroyed when the home was taken over by the local authorities in the 1950's.


Xavier Report 24 May 2012 11:59

Just a little 'bump' for this thread....and a bit of news....

It was a bit of a long shot but as Margaret GREEN/DAY was only 35 ish when she deserted her children I thought she may have had further children.

So I searched FreeBDM for any bradford birth with mothers maiden name DAY in adjoining counties to BEDFORD, for the period 5 years after my fathers birth in 1916 and guess what?.....I found a Frederick J Bradford, mothers maiden name DAY born 1919 in Cambridge....

Just ordered the certificate and hoping John BRADFORD is going to be recorded as the father.....wish me luck.....!

Chris Ho :)

Chris Ho :) Report 24 May 2012 15:51


Forenames:Frederick John
Father forenames:John
Fathers occupation:horsekeeper
Mother forenames:Margaret
Birth Day:4
Birth Month:Apr
Birth Year:1919
Abode:of 216 Newmarket Rd
Place:Cambridge, St Andrew the Less
Data provider:Cambridgeshire Family History Society

(saw the above, Find My Past)

Chris :)


Xavier Report 24 May 2012 16:39

Many, many thanks Chris....

This might be the breakthrough I've waited so many years for..............


rootgatherer Report 31 May 2012 11:31

Nudging this up to bring beside the other Bradford posting.


Xavier Report 31 May 2012 11:48

Anyone have any thoughts on this....?

I just found a death of a Maggie DAY in St. Andrew the less parish in 1979. Date of birth given as 1882. (Grand old age...!)

So right name, age and area.....Worth persuing...??


ChristinaS Report 31 May 2012 18:53

It sounds promising to me. The informant's name may prove to be useful - unless she died in an old people's home.


Xavier Report 5 Jun 2012 16:53

Few more interesting finds.......comments welcome.....!

I have found a Cambridge Crematorium cremation record dated 20th November 1980 for a Margaret Florence Edith BRADFORD.

The strange thing is I cannot find a death for her.

Although there is some time between the date of death of Maggie DAY and Margaret BRADFORD's burial, I'm beginning to think they are the same person.

Any thoughts anyone..........?

Chris Ho :)

Chris Ho :) Report 5 Jun 2012 19:39

(could be on above link)

Chris :)


Ivy Report 5 Jun 2012 20:46

On the basis that the sisters' families might have more information, I have tried following forward for Florence (but found nothing convincing) and for Evelyn, which may be more hopeful.

There are Bedford reg districts entries for a marriage and a death as follows:

Marriages Dec 1934
Bedford 3b 900
Bowers Marjorie G Howard
>>>Bradford Evelyn M Stringer
Howard Edward F V Bowers
>>>Stringer John F Bradford

Name: Evelyn M Stringer
Birth Date: abt 1914
Date of Registration: Oct-Nov-Dec 1952
Age at Death: 38
Registration district: Bedford
Inferred County: Bedfordshire
Volume: 4a
Page: 17

There is one possible child to the Stringer marriage, birth registered in St Neots, but the child may be living, so I'll not post the entry - and there are alos possible tree matches on this site to the birth entry - I'll send a pm to Xavier.


Xavier Report 7 Jun 2012 08:43

Margaret Florence Edith BRADFORD turned out to be wrong....much too young........still waiting for Maggie DAY death certificate.....three weeks now and still not arrived..........!


Vera2010 Report 8 Jun 2012 14:50

On the basis of Chris Ho's finding of a baptism for Frederick John in Cambridge, I have looked for a birth for John Bradford in Cambridge. There are three likely ones but 2 go onto other things and can be found living in Cambridge and Hertfordshire up to 1911.

There is a John Bradford born in Cambridge and living in the St Andrew the Less Parish with his family. He is with his family until 1881 when aged 14 he moves out. He marries and lives most of his life in Islington and works as a Fish Porter/HotelPorter and Porter. So no connection with horses but his father was a groom and a groom gardener.

This John Bradford married Emma in Islington in 1879 and had two children - John b 1880 Islington and Clara Emma b 1883 Islington. Clara Emma died aged 18 in 1900. Emma died in 1898. His son went onto marry and lived in Willesden, working as a silversmith.

I cannot find John Bradford after 1891 in Islington or Cambridge and will look to see if I can find him moving onto Bedford.



Xavier Report 8 Jun 2012 17:59

Many thanks for your efforts Vera.......much appreciated. Oh how I wish I had sight of the 1921 census...!!

Chris Ho :)

Chris Ho :) Report 8 Jun 2012 18:21

(shame Maggie Day isn't on above!)

Chris :)