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James Bird

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Richard Report 17 Apr 2010 10:02

James Bird (occupation labourer) married Charlotte Papworth in 1841 (this I feel is not my ancestor)
Their son was a Thomas Henry Bird born (11 years later!) in Colins Cross, Bishop Stortford (from copy of Birth Cert) on 28 Sept. 1853 registered 22nd October 1853 Bishop Stortford Counties Herts & Essex.
This definitely means Henry Bird is not theirs as Henry was born 20 July in 1852 from James Bird and Priscilla Adam/s (different parents). His name is also Henry, not Thomas Henry.

We can now eliminate James and Charlotte as my ancestors do you agree?
The James Bird born c1827 (occupation jeweller), must be my ancestor,
Married Priscilla Adam/s b1827 in 1849
Their children were, James Junior b1851, Mary b1856, William b1858, Laura b866, Catherine b1868
Henry Bird b1852 (This is the Henry that firstly married Elizabeth Purnell UK and then Annie Ellen Williams India) This Henry is definitely my Great Grandfather, so his father must be the James Bird b1827 from St George Birmingham. It shows the family in the 1861 Census, all from Birmingham. 1871 Census shows them there too.
I still would love to know who James Bird’s father and mother were. How do I do this?


JaneyCanuck Report 17 Apr 2010 14:53

Richard, I'm afraid I have become exasperated to the point of giving up.

You say you have this information:

1828? James Bird - Great Great Grandfather
1849 Marries Priscilla Adam on the 12th November, Aston Juxta, UK Birmingham
1851 James Jr. is born Birmingham
1853 Henry is born on the 20th July Birmingham
1856 Mary is born Birmingham
1858 William John is born Birmingham
1866 Laura is born Birmingham
1868 Catherine is born Birmingham
1861 Gold cutter/Jeweller Birmingham
1871 Jeweller Birmingham
1875 Priscilla Adam dies aged 47 Birmingham
1891 When did James Bird die?

It's charming information. It's information about SOMEBODY. We have not the first reason in the world to believe it is information about anybody related to your Henry. We have no reason at all to call this James your great-great-grandfather, and yet you keep doing it.

Your Henry enrolled in the military in Lambeth when he was very young and said he was from Bishops Stortford. What does Birmingham have to do with *anything*??

In fact, we have absolutely irrefutable reasons to say he is definitely NOT your great-great-grandfather.

We KNOW this is NOT your Henry. Because Henry son of James Bird and Priscilla Adams WAS IN THE 1871 CENSUS living with his family in Birmingham -- when your Henry WAS IN INDIA. You have given that info yourself -- that your Henry left for India 183 days after enrolling in July 1870. What is eluding you here??

You say:

"James Bird (occupation labourer) married Charlotte Papworth in 1841 (this I feel is not my ancestor)"

I'm a practitioner of genealogy by psychic flash, indeed. ;) But it is always based on *something*. I have no idea why you "feel" this. None at all.

You say:

"We can now eliminate James and Charlotte as my ancestors do you agree?"

Why would we agree??

This James and his son Henry were living in Lambeth in 1871.
Lambeth is where your Henry enrolled in the military at a very young age.
This James died when his son Henry was young.
This James's son Henry cannot be identified in any records in England, especially censuses, after 1871.
This James's wife / Henry's stepmother was born in Hertfordshire.
The locations associated with this family are close to Bishops Stortford, where your Henry said he was from, when he enrolled.

-- In fact, on a search for "elsenham essex uk", Google maps returns:

Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, UK

Kind of a geographic clincher, I think. Elsenham is on the northeastern outskirts of Bishops Stortford.

So no, I don't think we can eliminate James and Charlotte as your ancestors.

I think they ARE your ancestors.


JaneyCanuck Report 17 Apr 2010 15:17

One bit more, re this:

James Bird (occupation labourer) married Charlotte Papworth in 1841 (this I feel is not my ancestor)
Their son was a Thomas Henry Bird born (11 years later!) in Colins Cross, Bishop Stortford (from copy of Birth Cert) on 28 Sept. 1853 registered 22nd October 1853 Bishop Stortford Counties Herts & Essex.
This definitely means Henry Bird is not theirs as Henry was born 20 July in 1852 from James Bird and Priscilla Adam/s (different parents). His name is also Henry, not Thomas Henry.

Son Henry in the 1861 census is listed as born in Elsenham, Essex. At that time, Elsenham was in Saffron Waldron reg dist (it is located between Bishops Stortford and Saffron Waldron towns).

Births Dec 1853
BIRD Henry Saffron Wn 4a 289

(Obviously, if you have the birth cert for the Thomas Henry Bird reg the same quarter, and the parents are in fact James Bird and Charlotte Papworth, then the two births -- that Thomas Henry and the Henry in Saffron Waldron above -- are mutually exclusive, being in the same quarter, and that can't be the Henry in 1861.)

It would by no means have been unusual for a young man to add a year to his age in order to join the military (in search of employment undoubtedly).

There is no son Thomas (Thomas Henry) in the 1861 census household of the James & Priscilla family (James now married to Ann). If the Thomas Henry birth you refer to was son Henry in that household, then plainly he went by the name Henry, and may not even have known his first name was Thomas.

There IS a son Henry in that 1861 household who has to be accounted for somehow!! Birth, post-1861 records ...

And the absolute irrefutable fact remains that Henry Bird son of James Bird and Priscilla Adams was in the 1871 census in Birmingham when your Henry Bird was in the military, in India:

1871 England Census about Henry Bird
Name: Henry Bird
Age: 18
Estimated birth year: abt 1853
Relation: Son
Father's Name: James
Mother's Name: Princella
Where born: Birmingham, Warwickshire, England

Civil parish: All Saints
County/Island: Warwickshire
Registration district: Birmingham

James Bird 43
Princella Bird 43
James Bird 20
Henry Bird 18
Mary Bird 15
William Bird 13
Loura Bird 5
Catherine Bird 3

Richard -- look back at your very first post in this thread.

You had James Bird who married Charlotte Papworth being the same James Bird who married Priscilla Adams, just for starters.

Surely you can see how guessing and assuming and "feeling" have sent you down the wrong track in this search?

What we've been doing is finding *facts*, and what you've been doing is ignoring them!


JaneyCanuck Report 17 Apr 2010 16:00

MM, there is indeed an Ann Want in 1851 who's close to Ann Bird in 1861 in details (re the 1858 marriage to a James Bird):

Name: Ann Want
Age: 20
Estimated birth year: abt 1831
Relation: Servant
Where born: Ware, Hertfordshire, England
>> Civil parish: Lambeth
Occupation: servant


Madmeg Report 17 Apr 2010 16:08

Janey, before I wade through Richard's stuff (trying to be polite!), I don't like the Charlotte death in Sep 1853 Lambeth if we put that with the Henry birth in Dec 1853 Saffron Walden (EDIT, or with the Thomas Henry birth in Bishops Stortford). If we assume the death/birth occurred end September, the quarters are acceptable, but not the places.

I appreciate the family weren't living in Herfordshire, but in 1851 they are at Elsenham, which although is in Essex, the registration district was Bishops Storford, with Saffron Walden next door (and Elsenham between the two).


Madmeg Report 17 Apr 2010 16:15

Ann Bird bothers me a little cos in 1871 she is only 36, in 1881 46, in 1891 56, and in 1901 she's 60. But no real matter, cos she isn't likely Henry's mother.


Madmeg Report 17 Apr 2010 18:10

Well, Richard, I've waded through your repeat of what you have previously found and the new information, and Janey's responses. First let me assure you that it is not just Janey who is insisting that the Birmingham jewellers are NOT YOUR FAMILY, I also agree they are not, and I'll bet the other people who've contributed to this thread (and some who haven't done yet) have checked us out, and they too think we are right.

Not only is their son Henry still at home in 1871, he's a jeweller, married twice, no children and is still a jeweller in 1901. He doesn't go anywhere near Bishops Stortford, Lambeth or India. So can we please forget him?

We are wanting a Henry who is born in/near Bishops Stortford who lives in Lambeth and isn't there in 1871. We have found one with a father James who has a manual job on the land, albeit not a groom, that fits in every other way. It's a pity his birth is registered as Thomas Henry - oh, here's his baptism:

England & Wales Christening Records, 1530-1906
about Thomas Henry Bird
Name: Thomas Henry Bird
Gender: Male
Birth Date: abt 1854
Christening Date: 5 Jul 1854
Christening Place: Hockerill, Hertfordshire, England
Father's Name: James Bird
Mother's Name: Charlotte

But there's no Thomas Henry in that area with either a father James or a mother Charlotte - so I reckon he's Henry to his family.

I agree, we've no hard proof of him being YOUR Henry, but he's a much better bet than a jeweller from Birmingham.

I'd suggest getting the death certificate of James Bird, Lambeth Mar 1866, 1d/313 (he's age 47 - perfect), and hope he's become a groom or similar (though it doesn't exclude him if he's not).


JaneyCanuck Report 17 Apr 2010 18:54

MM, she was your Ann Want. ;) I wouldn't worry much about the age in 1841 - she was a domestic servant, ages were rounded - supposedly down, but I wouldn't be hugely surprised at an employer recording a 16-yr-old servant as 20.

The big problem is that I can't find hide or hair of Elizabeth Purnell before her marriage, i.e. 61 and 71. We need that to get a place of birth, to search for her in 1881 as Elizabeth Bird.

Purnell is unfortunately probably an easily mistranscribed name ...

There is but one with father William in 1861, in Somerset, parents William (ag lab) and Martha, born c1856. Can't identify that one positively in 1871 even.

Aha. The parents are mistranscribed as Turnell in 1871 -- and someone has corrected the name at Ancestry:

"Looks more like Purnell and there is a marriage of William Purnell to Martha Jane Jones (which ties in with mother-in-law's name) in 1843 (Clutton 11-108)"

Unfortunately, it looks like someone unrelated, but it would be worth a contact, Richard, to try to find out whether this is your Elizabeth's family.

In 1881, William (born c1823 Chilcompton Somerset) is "labourer".

Well, this would be her in 1871 (she is born Downside in 1861, with siblings born Chilcompton):

Name: Elizabeth Pennell
(name is not clear, but could equally be Purnell)
Age: 16
Estimated birth year: abt 1855
Relation: Niece
Where born: Chilcompton, Somerset, England
Civil parish: New Windsor
Ecclesiastical parish: St John
Town: New Windsor
County/Island: Berkshire

Her occupation is Nurse.

Which could bring us to one I'd looked at in 1881:

Name: Eliza Bird
Age: 25
Estimated birth year: abt 1856
Relation: Lodger
> Occupation: District Nurse

Civil parish: Marylebone
County/Island: London

but shown as single, place of birth not known.

The only other guess in 1881 was a married lodger in Norfolk, but she turns out to be with her husband.


Madmeg Report 17 Apr 2010 20:02

Yep, Purnell is a predominantly Somerset name, other side of the country.

I don't think we're going to get much from her, to solve Richard's problem.

Ada Keens the witness isn't solving anything, and I don't think A Walsh will either.


AuntySherlock Report 17 Apr 2010 22:22

I am following this thread. Not adding much because you lot have it pretty well under control.

I do however have one hint for Richard.

It is about his certificate which he can not read. Because the information on that certificate is vital you need a good copy of it.

Email/contact GRO and tell them about the problem. They will ask you to return the certificate and will send you a typed version.

At least then you will be able to give this information with accuracy.


Richard Report 18 Apr 2010 06:29

I found out from Elizabeths Death Cert that (she) Elizabeth Purnell was born in Chilcompton, Somerset. She died at the age of 28 in India.
So maybe her father William Purnell was born there too? I'll have a look around and see what I can come up with.


Richard Report 18 Apr 2010 06:30

AuntySherlock I only have a copy of the Cert which was given to me, not the original. Would I still be able to send that?


AuntySherlock Report 18 Apr 2010 08:39

i would most definitely ask GRO for a legible copy of the certificate. Each piece of accurate evidence you are able to provide to the researchers makes the job so much easier.

Make certain you tell GRO you have a copy and can not read it. If you are in UK are you able to phone them and ask their advice.


Richard Report 18 Apr 2010 10:45

Many thanks for that, I'll email them and ask first as I am in Perth, Western Australia. Thanks for your help.


Madmeg Report 18 Apr 2010 13:24

Back to Elizabeth Purnell, seems to be the one Janey found in 1861 with parents/siblings and in 1871 niece of James and Sarah Ridgeon, together with elder sister Ellen (with parents in 1851, servant in 1861).

Richard, does the marriage cert of Elizabeth Purnell give an occupation for her?


Madmeg Report 18 Apr 2010 13:28

England & Wales, FreeBMD Marriage Index: 1837-1915
about James Ridgeon
Name: James Ridgeon
Year of Registration: 1863
Quarter of Registration: Oct-Nov-Dec
District: St George Hanover Square
County: London, Middlesex
Volume: 1a
Page: 395 (click to see others on page)

Spouse Sarah Purnell


JaneyCanuck Report 18 Apr 2010 20:30

And the tap releases one more drop of information:

"I found out from Elizabeths Death Cert that (she) Elizabeth Purnell was born in Chilcompton, Somerset. "

Yes, that is the one I posted on page 6, niece in Berkshire aged 16 in 1871 - born in Chilcompton - whom Madmeg has traced back.

I wasn't able to identify her in 1881 except for the "district nurse" in Marylebone possibility. "Nurse" in 1871 more likely meant children's nurse (domestic) I would think, though.


Richard Report 19 Apr 2010 01:59

Hi Margaret it only says "Spinster" on the Marriage Cert for Elizabeth Purnell age 21 years


JaneyCanuck Report 19 Apr 2010 02:25

I gather I'm being ignored.

You can now eliminate James and Priscilla as your ancestors do you agree?

btw, one other possibility did occur to me -- that Henry was a son of James Bird's second wife Ann, who was very young when James and Ann partnered, and took his stepfather's surname and used it when he enrolled and then married. To pursue that possibility further we'd have to know definitely who Ann was.


Madmeg Report 19 Apr 2010 02:39

Well, District Nurse was probably a lot different from just Nurse, though I might have a dig around at the District Nurse before giving up on her.

So I think we are down to very educated guesses. And why not? Well, my female cat jumped over your fence and you have a tom cat, and my cat has kittens, so they are the kittens of your tomcat. Obvious. Sorry for the digression. But Richard, what I am saying is that we don't have anything FOR CERTAIN to tie down your Henry. We DO have things we definitley reject, i.e. Henry's lot are not the Birmingham crew, definitely not.

Henry joined up in Lambeth, so must have been living there, and we have found a suitable man. He has a father James, a land-worker of various sorts, which fits the description on both Henry's marriages, as near as we can say. We have found the connection with Bishops Stortford through this Henry and his mother. Pity that the Henry birth we (well, Richard) have found is Thomas Henry, that knocks a few percentage points off the reliability. But lots of people were registered with names that they didn't use. I'd have preferred a plain Henry, but there ain't one.

Unless anyone can think of anything more, I think we have exhausted this one. Richard, I don't think you will have any more proof of Henry's parents than we have surmised so far.

A bit disappointing, but at least you are not scooting off to Birmingham on the wrong line (which it is, I hope you know see that).