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Estranged Branches.

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

~Summer Scribe~

~Summer Scribe~ Report 23 Jul 2008 17:05

I'm sure that many of us will have parts of our tree that have estranged branches. Like many, I didn't even know my estranged branch existed until I started the family tree.

In 1895 my 2 x Great Grandmother died a few days after giving birth to her son Walter. I didn't know he existed despite him being the full brother of my Great Grandmother Eliza. I knew Eliza, I used to cut her grass every saturday for a pound pocket money and all the boiled sweets I could eat while I was there. She died when I was 15 never having told me that Walter existed.

Walter had left as a young man, the story is that he accompanied an Anglican Bishop on a mission to Australia. We don't know why, but for some reason, when he returned to the UK (via a short stop in Kanpur) he never resumed contact with his family. He chose instead to settle in the south. When I mentioned him to my Great Aunt, his niece, she pointed me in the direction of Crockfords Clerical Director, a book the local library held. She told me that she'd found him in there by accident back in the 60's and that she and my mum (who was a teen at the time and didn't remember) had written a letter to the last known address in the directory. They never received a reply. Crockfords actually had a list of every parish that Walter had worked in both in Australia and England with a last known address when he retired.

I found Walter's death certificate a couple of years ago, and on it the informant was a granddaughter. Tracking her had proven difficult and yielded only a marriage certificate. Thanks to watching Heir Hunters though, it got me back into the mind to find more and yesterday I started a more intensive hunt after realising that I might possibly have been searching the wrong surname (on Walter's death cert his middle and surname had become hyphenated). A random search found several entries in the London phonebooks on Ancestry. When I pulled up one of the records it tugged at a memory and I referred back to the crockfords list, the last address for Walter was the same as the person in the phonebook entry, but the first names were different. All I had was initials though and I didn't even know if it was male or female.

So finally, I was able to find two child. I found the death of his son, Peter Clement which gave his birth date and the marriage of a daughter Patricia J. But was unable to find births for them even with Peters DoB. Some kind person found a marriage for Walter to a Catherine in Australia, so I now knew that he returned with at least a wife but it wasn't possible for Peter to be born in Oz as I knew that Walter had returned then.

However, a second look at the parishes he was listed at and I realised that Cawnpore wasn't actually an English place (slow, I know) but another name for Kanpur in India.

Another random search brought up a child born in this country in 2000, middle name Walter, I don't know who his parents are but I would say Peter was his grandfather. Peter died in 2003 age 74.

For some reason, it had all just been about finding a branch of the family for my Great Aunt who had always wondered if she had any cousins. But then I discovered that Walter obviously never forgot his family. Clement was his father's name and to give it to his son told me that he must have still loved his family.

There's a whole branch of our family out there and I wonder if they even know we exist. The people with the answers are all dead now and it makes me sad that I've not yet been able to find away to make contact with that branch. Sorry this has all been very long winded, but I sort of just needed to get it off my chest.

So, feel free to share your estranged branches. Have there been any you've managed to reunite?


Mrs.  Blue Eyes

Mrs. Blue Eyes Report 23 Jul 2008 17:17

I fortunately don't have an estranged branch, but it seems to be a common thing sadly...


Deanna Report 23 Jul 2008 17:18

I do, and it hurts.
A lot......
Deanna X


AnnCardiff Report 23 Jul 2008 17:29

you sure did a stirling job finding out what you did Liz. My father was one of eleven children and the eldest brother sort of "disappeared" in the thirties and with a name Williams he was a bit difficult to track here in WQales. He had only moved to the next County but by sheer luck last October I actually found one of his children, the last remaining one of nine - my first cousin. We met up before Christmas and got on like a house on fire. The incredible thing is that one of his sons - another first cousin - had been living about five miles away from me for thirty years!!!

~Summer Scribe~

~Summer Scribe~ Report 23 Jul 2008 17:54

Christine, I tried looking up in the phonebook but suspect anyone remaining must be ex-directory. I have a last known address of the granddaughter from 1986.

I've just ordered the death cert for Peter from 2003, so I'm pinning some hope on that.

Thanks, Ann, it was all completely stalled until I had the revelation that maybe Walter started using the double barrel name when he came back from Oz. I'd originally assumed that somebody just hadn't known when he was registered deceased that it was a middle name.

Their surname is Smith but with the addition of that middle name it makes it far less common. Oddly, Peter's marriage is under both names, so I'm now going to look for his children just under Smith as I couldn't find them the other way.

Eliza and Walter had an illegitimate half sister, Martha, and her descendants still live in our town (one of them had an 18th birthday on Monday in the paper), so I'm building up the courage to contact them. Luckily, Martha married someone with an unusual surname and all surviving children seemed to have been males until the most recent generation.

It's both weird and sad when you find out they were so close by. One of the Heir Hunters had a sad case last week where the man had died and was living only ten mins from his son who didn't know he'd passed away. Very sad.

~Summer Scribe~

~Summer Scribe~ Report 23 Jul 2008 18:01

About a year ago, Christine, someone looked it up. I can't remember which year electoral roll but the granddaughter wasn't there anymore but her husband was. I don't know if they'd divorced or if she'd died. I didn't like to write just in case she'd not long passed away or something.

~Summer Scribe~

~Summer Scribe~ Report 23 Jul 2008 18:28

I don't know about the searchability either, I've never done it and wouldn't know how LOL. I have ancestry, that's how I found her marriage (she was married before - they were both divorced). I still haven't found her birth, I suspect she must have lied about her age as the man she married was so much older than her. I'm going to try and find her first marriage but I doubt that will give me a clue.

Cumbrian Caz~**~

Cumbrian Caz~**~ Report 23 Jul 2008 18:43

Yes I do have one, and one that is present day, my OHs family, its not nice,

Hello Liz, hope you are ok,

Caz xxxxx


AnnCardiff Report 23 Jul 2008 18:45

I have a present day estrangement too - my only sister -= seven years younger than me - stopped speaking to me over three years ago now - all because her husband has fed her a pack of lies and she believes him!!! Reached the point now where I really don't care any more!! Life goes on

~Summer Scribe~

~Summer Scribe~ Report 23 Jul 2008 18:48

~~~~~~~Hey Cazzles *huggs*

~Summer Scribe~

~Summer Scribe~ Report 23 Jul 2008 18:50

Christine, I think I'll have to ask on one of them threads on records, I always feel a bit cheeky though, probably because I had a few negative responses when I've asked for help in the past.