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Trying to find birth mother

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Paul Report 5 Mar 2013 19:18

My birth mother is documented on my BC as Catherine Elizabeth Cooker, but no records support this surname. Anecdotal info is that there was a typo and should have been Cooper. Records do support this surname, so am looking for Catherine Elizabeth Cooper who gave birth to me in Mar 1958. Suspect Cooper is the maiden name as no father details on BC. I was fostered, not adopted throughout childhood.

Any information or suggestions will be gratefully received.


brummiejan Report 5 Mar 2013 19:44

Hi Paul.
Do you have a location?


brummiejan Report 5 Mar 2013 19:48

If you look here, you might find a likely birth.

Do you know where she was living precisely? (Don't put an address on here). If you have an address you might try checking the electoral register to see if other family members were there also.



Kenneth Report 5 Mar 2013 19:59

Looks like Paul`s birth in Birmingham was also recorded
as Cooker.


brummiejan Report 5 Mar 2013 20:05

Well, having checked Freebmd for Warwickshire, there is only one possible birth, which is in Birmingham. Of course we don't know her birthplace do we.
If you have no luck with anything else, I might consider getting the cert to check the middle name - though it's very likely to be Elizabeth as this was so popular!
Re. the address - if B'ham unfortunately archives are closed till September.


jax Report 5 Mar 2013 20:16

Looks like Paul has her in his tree already

Click ADD REPLY button - not this link!

Click ADD REPLY button - not this link! Report 5 Mar 2013 20:21

Do you have your original certificate issued at birth or is it a copy from the GRO? I wonder if the local registration office has something different recorded.



Kay???? Report 5 Mar 2013 20:32

Worth thinking she have taken a stepfathers surname.?


Paul Report 6 Mar 2013 12:11

Thanks to all for the inputs and advice.
BC I have for myself is a certified copy, mother surname of Cooker, and there is an address. There is a BMD record for birth of one Catherine E Cooper in area in 1939, so her age would be consistent with my birth in 1958. I haven't found a BMD record for a Catherine E Cooker. Given the anecdotal I have about the name mix up, leads me to believe Cooper is the correct surname. BMD records show a later marriage for a Catherine E Cooper. More evidence for Cooper rather than Cooker. Next step electoral registers.

Again, thanks to all.


Paul Report 18 May 2013 14:29

Update to my last. I submitted an SAR into the relevant city council regarding any documentation they might have regarding the circumstances of my early life and entry into 'foster care'.
The only information they could find was a microfiche of a Cardex entry showing I was admitted into Erdington Cottage Homes (Sick Bay) on 8.7.60 and then on 14.7.60 was BO, the city council accompanying letter explained that BO meant Boarded Out. This would have been to the 'foster' parents I subsequently remained with for my full childhood.
Cardex stated reason for admission as 'Mother deserted'. However, unlike my BC, there was a Father name which had been blocked out. I rang the city council contact and questioned this. The answer was that any details that were already in public domain, i.e. mothers name, (which has at least been now confirmed as Cooper), but as Father name was not on BC, they could not give me that information and had blocked out his name under DPA rules.
Although my BC had made me assume that I would never know Fathers name, I'm now frustrated that the information exists but my Fathers right to anonymity trumps my right to at least know his name.

Has anyone had a similar experience regarding DPA vs FOI??

Thanks in anticipation.


ElizabethK Report 18 May 2013 16:12


This is ticked as answered so someone able to help might not open it -could you "untick" it


brummiejan Report 18 May 2013 16:52

Hi Paul.

Well, at least the Cooper name has been confirmed.
I agree re. electoral registers - did you spot what I put above, that archives closed till September?

Have you considered the other Cooper/Hall births in Birmingham around that time, in case they are siblings of your mother? There aren't many - only 8 including Catherine - and one or two names are unusual. Might be worth pursuing.



Paul Report 18 May 2013 20:18


Schoolboy error, thanks for the spot, unticked :-)


Yes, had already noted your comment re Birmingham Archives & Heritage. BCC have also given me that info.

As I've been focused on trying to find out about birth mother, I hadn't really considered the wider picture of mother siblings, or even back to grandparents, so thanks for the suggestion.