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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Jennifer Report 18 Nov 2012 18:17

Does anybody know how I can ascertain if there is more than one William Alexander Bass. My grandmother's brother was born in Debden Essex and had three wives to my knowledge. Through a 1919 marriage cert. of another family member(his niece) a lady appears as a witness - Beatrice Rumfitt and ten years later she marries a William Alexander Bass who is suddenly about 20 years younger - and has named his elder brother as his father - Henry Frederick Bass (that man did die in 1900). I have a feeling it is the same man and I just cannot find another one with that exact name. Help please. Something is just not right here. What am I missing.
regards, jennifer


MarieCeleste Report 18 Nov 2012 18:20

Jennifer, have you checked FreeBMD for births?

When was the "correct" William Alexander Bass born? There are lots of records for William A Bass.

Could one of them be a nephew? If W.A.B had a brother then that brother may have named his son for him.


patchem Report 18 Nov 2012 18:24

Do you mean this marriage?
Beatrice Rumfitt
Spouse Surname: Bass
Date of Registration: Oct-Nov-Dec 1919
Registration district: Mile End Old Town
Inferred County: London
Volume Number: 1c
Page Number: 726
William A Bass Rumfitt Oct-Nov-Dec 1919 Mile End Old Town London


MarieCeleste Report 18 Nov 2012 18:31

Details of that marriage to work from:

London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921

Name: Beatrice Rumfitt, spinster
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1896
Age: 23
Spouse Name: William Alexander Bars, bachelor. Motor Driver
Spouse Age: 26
Record Type: Marriage
Event Date: 1 Nov 1919
Parish: Mile End Old Town St Peter
Borough: Tower Hamlets
Spouse Father Name: Henry Frederick Bars
Register Type: Parish Register

Address for both given as 20 Staynes Road.

Witnesses: Alfred Bartram and Maud C Lee

Both fathers deceased.


MargaretM Report 18 Nov 2012 18:40

This fellow gives NOK as wife Amelia, father George, brother Henry, sisters Mrs. Fanny Florence and Elizabeth Bass. Is he yours?

British Army WWI Pension Records 1914-1920
about William Alexander Bass Name: William Alexander Bass
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1864
Age at enlistment: 19
Birth Parish: Debden
Birth County: Essex
Document Year: 1883
Regimental Number: 40102
Regiment Name: Royal Artillery
Number of images: 5


MarieCeleste Report 18 Nov 2012 18:42

Is this the William Alexander in question?

British Army WWI Pension Records 1914-1920
Name: William Alexander Bass
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1864
Age at enlistment: 19
Birth Parish: Debden
Birth County: Essex
Document Year: 1883
Regimental Number: 40102
Regiment Name: Royal Artillery
Number of images: 5

BUT - he's 30 years older than the lad who married in 1919, not 20.


Jennifer Report 18 Nov 2012 18:42

Yes I have checked the free site. I know when he was born in 1864 Debden Essex and I have his death cert and two of his marriage certificates. His first marriage was to Emily Simpson in Fareham during his army career. Next was Harriet Herbert in 1898 on which he was described as the divorced husband of Emily Bass nee Simpson. I know he married a Sarah Batt formerly Sarah Cook in 1916 as I am in touch with their descendants (Their only child was Leonard J W Bass born in 1923). The Ancestry Marriages and Banns shows a certificate for the marriage to Beatrice Rumfitt in1919 in Mile End Old Town London. His name is signed in full - but he has given the wrong name and said his elder brother was his father (deceased) His actual father George Bass was - whereabouts unknown at that time. I know the names of all the children of his father and none were William ALexander. There was a William Charles and that's the nearest - but Alexander no????
What's your take on this Patchem?. Thanks and regards, Jennifer


MargaretM Report 18 Nov 2012 18:42

Same fellow visiting his sister in 1901:

1901 England Census
about Wm A Bass Name: Wm A Bass
[William Alexander Bass]
Age: 30
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1871
Relation: Visitor
Gender: Male
Where born: Debden, Essex, England

Civil parish: St Pancras
Ecclesiastical parish: St Mary Brookfield
County/Island: London
Country: England

Registration district: St Pancras
Sub-registration district: Kentish Town
ED, institution, or vessel: 19
Neighbors: View others on page
Household schedule number: 252
Piece: 156
Folio: 57
Page Number: 37
Household Members: Name Age
Thos Florence 44
Fanny Florence 34
Sidney Florence 19
Ellen Florence 13
Fanny Florence 11
Lily Florence 8
Herbt Florence 5
Ethel Florence 3
Ivy Florence 7 Months
Wm A Bass 30


MargaretM Report 18 Nov 2012 18:45

Fanny's marriage to Thomas Florence. Her father's name is George:

London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921
about Thomas Florence Name: Thomas Florence
Age: Full Age
Spouse Name: Fanny Louisa Bass
Spouse Age: 18
Record Type: Marriage
Event Date: 26 Feb 1883
Parish: Bethnal Green St James the Great
Borough: Tower Hamlets
Father Name: Thomas Florence
Spouse Father Name: George Bass
Register Type: Parish Register


MarieCeleste Report 18 Nov 2012 18:51

Jennifer, could you just check the date of the marriage that Beatrice Runfitt was a witness at?

(You said she was a witness in 1919 then married 10 years later but 1919 appears to be HER marriage)

Can you give us some further details from William Alexander's death certificate? Who was the informant and does it give an occupation?


Jennifer Report 18 Nov 2012 18:52

Margee - Don't know of a next of kin called Amelia but that is definitely him as brothers and sisters you list are all his.

I know about the age descrepancy but it seems a strange co-incidence all the rest of it is ok. Can someone suddenly start using a stray middle name at will?

Marie Celeste - Yes that is definitely the original chap. But who is this 1919 bridegroom. there is a connection as the couple lived at the same address as another family member - in laws of his sister Lydia - Bartrams.

Oh dear - I feel I shall need a good dose of Horlicks tonight!


MarieCeleste Report 18 Nov 2012 18:55

I think you might want a nip of something in that Horlicks!!

I'm wondering if occupations might help sort this out.

We do see people add and drop middle names with alarming frequency, and also reverse the order of their names.


Jennifer Report 18 Nov 2012 18:59

Marie Celeste - November 1st 1919. Beatrice Rumfitt married William Alexander Bass. He described himself as a 26 years old Motor Driver and she as a 23 yrs old spinster.

Thanks for your help everybody. All your findings are correct. The original Wm ALex did stay with his sister Fanny Louisa Florence and her husband Thomas and appears on the 1901 and 1911 census reports as being there. Must have been between wives and finished the army duties. Don't know if he was in WW1 as well as the India etc.


MarieCeleste Report 18 Nov 2012 19:02

Jennifer, if that was the same chap in 1919 I think he'd be hard pushed as a 55 year old trying to pass himself off as a 26 year old!!

Did you say Beatrice Rumfitt was his niece? Surely he couldn't have married her?


Jennifer Report 18 Nov 2012 19:07

Sorry Marie - Just re- read your post. The marriage where Beatrice was a witness was of Lydia Ellen Bass to Benjamin Bartram. Lydia was the daughter of William Alexander's elder brother Henry Frederick Bass - aka Frederick Henry Bass and his wife CAtherine Lydia Bass nee Court. Poor Fred Hen died at the age of 40 in 1900.
Sorry for the confusion. I'm confused so I dread to think how your head is getting around all this.


MarieCeleste Report 18 Nov 2012 19:08

Just for background:

Reynolds Newspaper Sunday 16 February 1896

William Alexander Bass, employed by a firm of Stamford Hill brewers, and formerly a gunner and driver in the Artillery, petitioned for a divorce yesterday by reason of his wife's adultery with Harry Matthews, an artillery private with whom it was proved she had contracted a bigamous marriage. The citation was served on the respondent in prison. A decree nisi was granted.


MarieCeleste Report 18 Nov 2012 19:15

So this is William in 1911, saying he's single. His occupation matches the one given in 1915 in the pension records:

FLORENCE, Thomas Head Married28 years M 55 1856 Gardener Domestic Flegbourough Norfolk
FLORENCE, Fanny Louisa Wife Married F 44 1867 Debdin Essex
FLORENCE, Herbert Son Single M 15 1896 Aprrentice Printing Kentish Town
FLORENCE, Violet Daughter F 13 1898 School Kentish Town VIEW
FLORENCE, Ivy Daughter F 10 1901 School Kentish Town
FLORENCE, Harold Son M 7 1904 Kentish Town
FLORENCE, Doris Daughter F 3 1908 Kentish Town
BASS, William Boarder Single M 47 1864 Stoker Boro Council Debdin Essex

RG number: RG14 Piece: 768
Reference: RG14PN768 RG78PN26 RD9 SD4 ED24 SN346
Registration District: St Pancras
Sub District: North St Pancras
Enumeration District: 24
Parish: St Pancras

Address: 76 Spencer Road N W County: London


Jennifer Report 18 Nov 2012 19:20

Marie, No Beatrice was a witness at his brothers' daughter's wedding (Lydia Bass).

William alexander Bass died on 17 April 1943 at Archway Hospital north London aged 79. He was living at 3 Spencer Rise St Pancras. Described as a gardener but I know he worked for the council as a stoker at some point in his working life. The information was his son Leonard Joseph William Bass(born 1923 and died in 1973 in Aylesbury). (I am in touch with the daughters of Leonard by the way and they know nothing.)


MarieCeleste Report 18 Nov 2012 19:29

The chap who married in 1919 gave occupation as a motor-driver.

William born 1864 seems to have been a gardener and a stoker on census records. The divorce article did say he was a driver for the artillery but I don't think motors would have been involved then (might be wrong!)


MarieCeleste Report 18 Nov 2012 19:33

Don't know which this one is:

London, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1965

Name: William Alexander Bass
Year: 1936
County or Borough: Camden
Ward or Division/Constituency: St Pancras

Living at 29 Churchill Road. At same address is Frederick Osman Bennett and Mary Elizabeth Bennett.