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Needle in the Haystack

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Clare Report 21 Aug 2012 09:46

Can you confirm the year of birth for the some John R Massie? I'm desperately stuck at my grandmothers origins, she lived in Liverpool in 1947 (aged 19) and her father was subsequently listed on a cert as John Massie - Public Auditor and potentially he could have been born any time between 1912 or earlier....
Does this ring a bell?


Kathlyn Report 5 Jan 2012 16:43

Hello Gins,

I will "bite the bullet" and send for the cert. I made my self a promise 5 years ago when researching my paternal side, that I would get to the bottom of it. Just goes to prove one should ask those very important questions when rellies are alive.

I am sure my granddad is sitting on a fluffy white cloud laughing his head off at my frustration and if he wasn`t already dead I think I would strangle him for keeping such important info to himself.

Thanks again for your help, I am so grateful.

Kind regards



Gins Report 5 Jan 2012 15:33

I think because there are 9 or 10 possible deaths for your Robert, it is just a case of ordering the certificates one at a time

At least you know he was alive in June 1843 and dead before March 1845

Its an expensive game this genealogy lark, I think most of us have come accross someone that has been a pain in the butt to pin down :-(

The burial that FLick posted looks promising, Id send for that death certificate first (Burial: 22 Aug 1844 St John, Old Haymarket, Liverpool, Lancashire, England)

PS I hope your husband is recovering well.


Kathlyn Report 5 Jan 2012 15:04

I am sorry that it has taken me so long to reply to this help, but my husband is only just out of hospital after open heart surgery and I have to find time to do my own thing.

1841 census..

Robert Roberts, born 1816 in Liverpool
wife, Sophia
sons Robert and Richard aged 1 and 2

Living in Egypt Street

In the 1881 census Mary the wife of John is recorded thus....

Mary Roberts, born in Kirkby 1849 (A general labourers wife)
Son John R Roberts
Son William
George Massie, a lodger, A flour dealers assistant.

Mary Roberts married George Massie in 1894

The son John R was my grandfather.

The leads you have all given me are so very helpful and I cannot tell you just how much I appreciate your efforts. My grandfather, John R Roberts, changed his name about 1893 to his mothers maiden name but told no one. It has taken me 5 years to sort this out and my only was lead was, George Massie. The only info we had about granddads family was that his mother Mary Mawdsley, married a George Massie, a master baker, so I had to start my research using George as my key.

I am so very grateful for all your help.



Flick Report 4 Jan 2012 22:06

We need feedback now...............


Flick Report 4 Jan 2012 22:00

Baptisms: 26 Dec 1838 St Peter, Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Robert Roberts - Child of Robert Roberts & Sophia
Abode: Egypt St.
Occupation: Joiner
Baptised by: Richd. Appleton Curate
Register: Baptisms 1838 - 1839, Page 371, Entry 2967
Source: LDS Film 1656422

Baptisms: 13 Mar 1844 St Catherine Abercromby Square, Liverpool, Lancashire, England
John Roberts - Son of Robert Roberts & Sophia
Born: 15 Feb 1844
Abode: Egypt St.
Occupation: Joiner
Baptised by: J. North
Register: Baptisms 1831 - 1861, Page 57, Entry 254
Source: LDS Film 1655552


Gins Report 4 Jan 2012 17:42

How old are Robert and Sophia on the 1841 census? IThe one I thought was them list them as 1766 and 1776c?

Maybe Im looking at the wrong one?

Kathlyn, could you post the 1841 that you found them on please

Edit: Thanks Flick


Flick Report 4 Jan 2012 17:40

1841 for INFO only

Name: Sophia Roberts
Age: 25
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1816
Gender: Female
Where born: Lancashire, England

Civil parish: Liverpool
Hundred: Liverpool
County/Island: Lancashire
Country: England

Registration district: Liverpool
Sub-registration district: Mount Pleasant
Neighbors: View others on page
Piece: 561
Book: 22
Folio: 19
Page Number: 30
Household Members: Name Age
Robert Roberts 25
Sophia Roberts 25
Robert Roberts 2
Richard Roberts 1
Robert Campbell 15
John Jones 25
Ellen Jones 25


Flick Report 4 Jan 2012 17:36


Burial: 22 Aug 1844 St John, Old Haymarket, Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Robert Roberts -
Age: 27 years
Abode: Craven Street
Buried by: Wm. M. Falloon Minister
Register: Burials 1843 - 1849, Page 50, Entry 397
Source: LDS Film 93826


Flick Report 4 Jan 2012 17:34

On the image of the Wynne/Roberts marriage, Robert was a Bachelor of full age............his father was also Robert (Occ: Mariner)

Suspect the 1841 death to be that of the father or even grandfather, as there's also a burial for a 46-year old


Flick Report 4 Jan 2012 17:29

I've found the same couple in 1851 and 1861, but there's no sign of John Roberts with them


Gins Report 4 Jan 2012 17:28

Liverpool, Lancashire, England, Burials, 1813-1974
Name: Robert Roberts
Birth Year: abt 1766
Age: 75
Death: 4th Aug 1841
Burial Date: 8 Aug 1841
Parish: Liverpool St John
Address: Heath St

I understand that a son was born after this date but there is a chance that the son was not Roberts?


Flick Report 4 Jan 2012 17:25

1871........image shows second initial to be 'A'

Both Johns are JOINERS

Name: Sophia N Hughes
Age: 57
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1814
Relation: Wife
Spouse's Name: John Hughes
Gender: Female
Where born: Llanshaich, Denbighshire, Wales
Civil parish: West Derby
Ecclesiastical parish: Kensington Christchurch
County/Island: Lancashire
Country: England
Registration district: West Derby
Sub-registration district: West Derby
ED, institution, or vessel: 31
Household schedule number: 183
Piece: 3844
Folio: 84
Page Number: 30
Household Members: Name Age
John Hughes 59
Sophia N Hughes 57
John Hughes 26
Sophia Hughes 18
Anne Hughes 15
William Hughes 11
F Turner 46


Flick Report 4 Jan 2012 17:19

Thanks Maureen.............

Deaths Sep 1873 (>99%)

Hughes Sophia Ann 59 W. Derby 8b 397


MaureeninNY Report 4 Jan 2012 17:09

Looks like Sophia re-married:
Liverpool, Lancashire, England, Marriages and Banns, 1813-1921 about Sophia Ann Roberts
Name: Sophia Ann Roberts widow
Age: Full Age
Marriage Date: 18 Mar 1845
Parish: Liverpool St Philip
Spouse's Name: John Hughes Occ: Miner? Edit: On second thought-I think it says "joiner"!
Father's Name: Richd Wynne
Spouse Father's Name: Rd Hughes



Flick Report 4 Jan 2012 17:09

Which child of John & Mary was your grandparent?

How is Mary described in 1881?

What was John's occupation?


Kathlyn Report 4 Jan 2012 16:53

I have found the marriage of

Robert Roberts (a joiner) to Sophia Ann Wynne in Liverpool in 1837

I have found the birth of their son John, who was born in 1844 in Liverpool

(John was my great grandfather)

I have found Robert & Sophia in the 1841 census

But after that, nothing.

John married Mary Mawdsley in 1868 and I have that certificate. I have found Mary on the 1881 census...but not John.

I understand that John died about 1885ish..but have been unable ti find a death for him.

Where did he hide himself????? amongs all the other John Roberts, of which there are 100s.

Which cupboard is he hiding in????? any suggestions please.


But I am unable to find any of them