Genealogy Chat

Top tip - using the Genes Reunited community

Welcome to the Genes Reunited community boards!

  • The Genes Reunited community is made up of millions of people with similar interests. Discover your family history and make life long friends along the way.
  • You will find a close knit but welcoming group of keen genealogists all prepared to offer advice and help to new members.
  • And it's not all serious business. The boards are often a place to relax and be entertained by all kinds of subjects.
  • The Genes community will go out of their way to help you, so don’t be shy about asking for help.

Quick Search

Single word search

Electoral Rolls

Looking for living relatives?

Search our UK Electoral Rolls (2002-2013) and find your living relatives today.

Search Electoral Rolls

New electoral roll records


  • New posts
  • No new posts
  • Thread closed
  • Stickied, new posts
  • Stickied, no new posts

I am so confused

Page 2 + 1 of 4

  1. «
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. »
ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Katwin Report 12 Dec 2007 22:00


Hope you don't mind me barging in!

On the Free BMD site there is a Birth registration:
Daniel Ingham
December quarter 1873
volume 83 page 319

This would fit in with the 1901 pauper in the workhouse. There is no registration in 1883-1885 for him in Blackburn and I think the most likely birth for him.

Ages on marriage certificates were not always correct in my experience. Sometimes the couple were often illiterate and didn't even know their ages or changed their ages for other reasons to suit themselves as appears to be the case here. Death Certificates also often give the wrong age, depending on the informant. Birth Certificates are the only certificates for finding the correct age!!

I think this is him age 7 in 1881 census living at 16 Frank Street, Oldham with his parents:-

William Ingham; 34; Cardroom jobber; born Kent Bromley
Mary " ; wife; 32; Cardroom hand; born Lancs Oldham
Albert " ; son; 9; Scholar; born Lancs Oldham
Daniel " : son; 7; Scholar; born Blackburn.
Esther Ann " ; daughter; 6; Scholar; born Lancs Oldham
Rebecca " ; daughter; 4; Scholar; born Lancs Oldham
Sarah Ann Ingham; sister-in-law; 19; Double Piecer; b Oldham.



Huia Report 13 Dec 2007 02:03

Did your father/mother ever mention any aunts/uncles? If so, do the names tie in with the ones given on the censuses for the possible family? Sometimes you need to think sideways.


Huia Report 13 Dec 2007 02:03

If you know of any cousins of your father/mother, they might have more info on your grandparents.

Nicky 'n' Steve

Nicky 'n' Steve Report 13 Dec 2007 09:47

A word of warning to Billy and everyone who suggested the death cert may help solve matters....

Here's a little story about death certs......It may make the mystery worse!!!!

Example - my fiance was tracing his nan's family, his nan was the informant of her older sister's death. The family moved from suffolk to london in between older sister and nan being born.....nan thought older sis was born in london like she was and gave wrong date and place of birth when registering the death - result - totally wrong details on the death cert!!!!

In a nutshell - the info on a death cert is only as good as the informant's memory or knowledge (and its a stressful time for them to try and remember stuff as well)

If there had been any attempt by anyone to mislead the rest of the world about their ages, whoever registered the death may not have been aware of it!

Please don't shoot me Billy even though I've probs now made it all worse!!!!



Katwin Report 13 Dec 2007 10:02

Hi Billy,

Sometimes you have to take a chance and send off for a Birth Certificate that seems likely. The certificate will state the father's name and occupation.

The birth index I found on page 3 (and somebody else found previously) should be a start for you and if it states father as William, occupation Cottonroom jobber, then it is most likely to be your grandfather. This is the only way you will find his true birth date.

Your grandfather would not be the first person to give a false age on his Marriage Certificate. He would not have had to provide proof of his age to the registrar.

If you send off for his birth certificate and it is him, then you could also get a copy of his application for the workhouse (1901 census) which would give even more interesting information about his circumstances.

If you send for the certificate online from the GRO you will probably get it before Christmas! The GRO certificate will be a photocopy of the original birth entry - not a transcription like the local register office provides.



Katwin Report 13 Dec 2007 10:38

As for your grandmother, if she was 49 in 1918 when they married:

Birth index:
Edith Ann Mercer
June quarter 1869
8b 550

Edith Mercer
September quarter 1871
Burnley - long way from Childwall!!
8e 247

If she was 39 when they married in 1918:

Edith Mercer
September 1879
8c 692 - again Chorlton is a long way from Childwall!!



Stan Report 13 Dec 2007 12:45

Hi Billy

I discounted the Edith Ann from Prescott and Edith from Chorlton in my earlier post, the former because she married someone else, the latter because she died as an infant.

Edith and Daniel married in Bury in 1918. The index refers to her only as Edith. Sometimes if people had more than one first name they didn't use it. On the other hand some had a second name added at baptism which doesn't appear in the birth registers. So you can't discount most of the Edith Mercer possibilities other than those who died young like the one in Chorlton.

There is no easy way round this. I would be inclined to list every possibility, and trace each one in the 1901 Census. For example, from Lancashire, ignoring those with a different second Christian name, there are more than a dozen, including ones from the Prescot Registration District in 1888, 1894 and 1895. The one from Prescot in 1894 is Edith Ann (the one with father Edward and brother John William someone mentioned earlier, although admittedly the 1901 Census has her born in St Helens, and the jobs for both the father and brother are wrong). The one from 1895 is from St Helens and has a father Harry, a coal heaver. The one from 1888 appears in Birkenhead with father John, an iron moulder, but is also born in St Helens.

If Childwall is a possible place of birth, that was in the West Derby Registration District. That gives another couple of possibilities in 1890 and 1891, neither of whom is very likely either. there are also possibilities from Salford, Blackburn, Burnley, Bolton, Wigan and Leigh.

If the lowest marriageable age was 16, at least you need not go beyond 1902 in the births. FreeBMD has just 3 in 1901 after the date of the census in that year, two of whom are Edith May. The remaining one of these is in Blackburn. If your father came from there, don't forget that they could have married in Bury having eloped, especially if he was a lot older than her.

There is no other way of doing this than painstaking research. I have been doing this since about 2003 and still keep returning to people I knew about then whose details had been mis-spelled or mistranscribed, or were simply missing altogether.

Best wishes anyway



Billy Report 13 Dec 2007 13:10

I have very little information about my father never mind my grandparents, My father was sent to a scattered home when he was young because his parents were paupers and were always in and out of the workhouse in oldham, He never spoke about his Parents and never wanted to visit Oldham, Both my Parents have passed away so information is now limited. They held no photographs of anybody to do with my Fathers Family.


Katwin Report 13 Dec 2007 14:23

I am wondering whether the Edith Ann Mercer born 1869 Prescot district who married someone else, could have married Daniel Ingham bigamously or maybe he died and she reverted to her maiden name!!

From the 1871 census she is age 1, and living with her grandparents in Childwall.

In the 1881 census she is age 11 and with her parents John Wm Mercer, 41, Tailor, born Lancs Childwall, wife Elizabeth, 40, born Worcs. Cradley, brother Archibald, widowed grandmother and unmarried aunt.

After that she becomes rather illusive.



Stan Report 13 Dec 2007 15:18

Hi Billy

As I mentioned before, Edith Ann (31) from Gateacre is found in 1901 as the wife of John Davison (23) a coachman, in Garston, with 4 children. They married in the Prescot Registration District in Jul-Sep 1894. I can't trace John's death, either locally or in the First World War, so if she really was your grandmother the marriage may have been bigamous. I should still like to see other people's opinion on the chances of giving birth at the age of 52, though.




Stan Report 13 Dec 2007 17:08

Hi Billy

Further to my reply, the only death of Daniel Ingham I can find in Lancashire is Jan-Mar 1946, Blackburn 8e 434, aged 76. The only death of an Edith Ingham in Blackburn I can find is Jul-Sep 1951, Blackburn 10b 305, aged 63. As Daniel Ingham is such a rare name, I would be reasonably confident about him being your grandfather. Edith Ingham is more common, and in any case could have moved after Daniel's death, so if you wanted the certificate you would have to specify 'widow of Daniel' so you have to pay only part of the cost if it is wrong. If I am right, this just shows they readjusted their ages at marriage to be nearer to each other. It would probably get you to Daniel's birth in due course, but Edith may still be a problem, and of course the ages at death may themselves be somewhat out, particularly if the informant was not a close relative.

I hope this helps.




Ivy Report 13 Dec 2007 17:16

Hi Billy

You do have lots of people interested and willing to help. One piece of information we haven't yet used is the names of the witnesses at the marriage in 1918. (I think Margaret asked for this on 5 December, but the point was overlooked).

If you could let us have this, it might help to begin to narrow down some of the many possibilities suggested so far.

All the best


Ivy Report 13 Dec 2007 17:20

Hi Stan,

Just looking at your recent post. that must have taken some doing, finding the deaths - how many quarters did you have to review??!! It's a task I only briefly considered, and decided it would take a very long time!

So it looks a good possibility that Daniel was born around 1870 according to that death registration, and a possibility that Edith was born around 1888.

Many thanks


Ivy Report 13 Dec 2007 17:35

Hi Billy

I'm mentioning one more possibility here, but given that the age is so far out, it is not high on the list of strong candidates. (Edit: no, this one too can be ruled out since Mary Bellfield married Robert Mercer in Oldham in 1892 - since Stan's posting below)

(I'd picked it out because there are 84 Edith Mercers listed on Ancestry in 1901 - just 8 had John as a father, and none of those looked like strong candidates. I had then looked down the list of the 84 Ediths, looking only at those that are not daughters)

This one is in Oldham, and you mentioned that the family seem to have had strong links with Oldham:

Name: Edith Mercer
Age: 2
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1899
Relation: Granddaughter
Gender: Female
Where born: Oldham, Lancashire, England

Civil Parish: Oldham
Ecclesiastical parish: St Paul
County/Island: Lancashire
Country: England

Registration district: Oldham
Sub-registration district: Oldham Below Town
ED, institution, or vessel: 6

Household schedule number: 96
Household Members: Name Age
Aaron Bellfield 52 head
Betty Bellfield 50 wife
Annie Bellfield 14 daughter
Clara Bellfield 9 daughter

Mary J Mercer 28 boarder (marr)
Elise Mercer 8 granddaughter
Edith Mercer 2 granddaughter


Stan Report 13 Dec 2007 17:49

Ivy, your post is quite interesting. However Robert Mercer married Mary Jane Bellfield Jul-Sep 1892, Oldham 8d 894. So not John William as the father I am afraid. There is an Edith Mercer in an institution in 1901, aged 13. I didn't look up the details, and finding her back in 1891 will be tricky, but she would be right for the age at death I found.




Ivy Report 13 Dec 2007 18:02

Hi Stan

Could you stay around for a few minutes longer? I've briefly looked at the thirtenn year old - and I'm meaning to find her in 1891 since she is there with her two brothers - Arthur would be just 1 in 1891 so may be findable....

(just making amends first)


RobG Report 13 Dec 2007 18:05


Further to your earlier reply, the copy received from the GRO isn't a photocopy of the original cert, merely a photocopy of the original transcription, as the actual original is retained at the local office. Whilst some local offices do give a new transcription, others give a copy of the original cert.



Ivy Report 13 Dec 2007 18:05

Hi Billy,

I've just realised that I may have misled everyone with an earlier post of mine. I've gone back and posted an edit to it, but it is worth saying here too.

Your information on Edith is just that - not Edith Ann. So not only could all the various Edith Mercers be possibilities, but also people such as Edith May, Edith Alice etc etc.

I am very sorry to have misled people (although I think some people were aware that there were wider possiblities).

Will try to be more careful in future!

All the best


Ivy Report 13 Dec 2007 18:09

Hi Billy

Just quickly posting one further 1901 possibility - an Edith May Mercer:

Name: Edith May Mercer
Age: 6
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1895
Relation: Granddaughter
Father's Name: John
Mother's Name: Elizabeth A
Gender: Female
Where born: Blackburn, Lancashire, England

Civil Parish: Blackburn
Ecclesiastical parish: Nova Scotia All Saints
County/Island: Lancashire
Country: England

Employment status: View Image

Registration district: Blackburn
Sub-registration district: Blackburn, Northern
ED, institution, or vessel: 34

Household schedule number: 114
Household Members: Name Age
Edith May Mercer 6 granddaughter
Elizabeth A Mercer 27 daughter in law
James E Mercer 22 son, single
John Mercer 64 head
John Mercer 26 son (married)
Lettice Mercer 24 daughter, single
Marcy Mercer 61 wife
Selina Mercer 20 daughter, single
Ellen Sellers 67 sister in law, single

(edit: this too does not look likely - I wondered if John might be John William, born around 1875, and although there are two John William birth registrations in Blackburn in 1875/6, checking the 1881 census shows that this John is neither of these)


Ivy Report 13 Dec 2007 18:13

Hi Stan,

Here is a possible in 1891 for the Edith Mercer aged 13 in 1901:

Name: Arthur Mercer
Age: 1
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1890
Relation: Son
Father's Name: Francis
Mother's Name: Alice
Gender: Male
Where born: Newton; Manchester, Lancashire, England

Civil Parish: Newton
Ecclesiastical parish: St Luke
County/Island: Lancashire
Country: England

Street address:


Condition as to marriage:


Employment status: View Image

Registration district: Prestwich
Sub-registration district: Newton
ED, institution, or vessel: 18
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members: Name Age
Albert H Mercer 8
Alice Mercer 32
Arthur Mercer 1
Edith J Mercer 3
Emily Mercer 11
Francis Mercer 33
Francis Mercer 6

Is it possible to rule this one out as the child in the institution in 1901? Comments welcome