Genealogy Chat

Top tip - using the Genes Reunited community

Welcome to the Genes Reunited community boards!

  • The Genes Reunited community is made up of millions of people with similar interests. Discover your family history and make life long friends along the way.
  • You will find a close knit but welcoming group of keen genealogists all prepared to offer advice and help to new members.
  • And it's not all serious business. The boards are often a place to relax and be entertained by all kinds of subjects.
  • The Genes community will go out of their way to help you, so don’t be shy about asking for help.

Quick Search

Single word search

The British Newspaper Archive

British Newspaper Archive

Read about historical events at the time they were happening. Perhaps you'll discover your ancestor in their local newspaper?

Start searching


  • New posts
  • No new posts
  • Thread closed
  • Stickied, new posts
  • Stickied, no new posts

Marriage cert raises more questions than answers?

Page 0 + 1 of 2

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. »
ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Amanda Report 7 Jun 2014 22:13

Really hoping someone can advise on this.

I have been researching my partners family and not been able to get past his father. The only info we have on his dad is what was written on my boyfriends birth cert. his dad was an Andrew J Wilkinson, a mechanic, born in Hethersett, Norfolk.

I ordered Andrews marriage certificate to find his dads name, and this is where the confusion starts.

The marriage cert gives Andrewss details as him being 19 in 1980. (born c1961) His dad was recorded as Robert Edmund Wilkinson. (24/10/1932-1971 died aged 38)

Searching through the Birth registrations, I cannot find an Andrew J wilkinson born to a father of this name. I can only find Andrew, born in the right time (Mar 1961) to Frederick W And Kathleen A Wilkinson.

It seems that Andrew was born to one father and listed a different on his certificate. I cannot find him anywhere. We have searched for Andrew James, James Andrew and in both Wilkinson and Roberts wife's maiden name of Abel just to be sure.

Does anyone have any advice? We can't get any further back until we are certain of which man we are following (either Robert or Frederick) and have no other certificates we could order to help.



SylviaInCanada Report 7 Jun 2014 22:23

Birth registrations do not give the full information

what you see is basically the Index to births registered

You have to buy the birth certificate to see the full information

All second names are shown only as the initial on the Registration, not in full

Only the mother's surname is shown on the registration

Only the district where the birth was registered is shown on the Registration ................

all this "extra" information is shown on the actual certificate.

So ...........................

you have to decide which is the most likely birth registration

In this case ....................... there is another possible explanation

Andrew was born in 1961

The father he named on his marriage certificate died in 1981 ........ when Andrew was only about 10 years old

Is it possible that the marriage broke up before that ........... and Andrew did not remember his father's name?

Or did his mother give the Registrar the wrong information? Not unknown :-)

Another possibility is that Andrew was registered with only one forename, and then given the second at baptism, or assumed the second name. Birth registrations are often not amended when that happens.


SylviaInCanada Report 7 Jun 2014 22:28

This looks like Robert E Wilkinson's birth registration

I got it from ancestry, it is also on freebmd

England & Wales, Birth Index, 1916-2005 about Robert E Wilkinson

Name: Robert E Wilkinson
Mother's Maiden Surname: Frith
Date of Registration: Oct-Nov-Dec 1932
Registration district: Henstead
Inferred County: Norfolk
Volume Number: 4b
Page Number: 223


SylviaInCanada Report 7 Jun 2014 22:37

If Andrew was born in Norfolk ...............................

Is this the birth registration that you found???

I found this one on freebmd

Births Mar 1961 (>99%)

WILKINSON Andrew J CANHAM Norwich Outer 4b 1212

but that brings us to the parents that you found ................

Marriages Mar 1950 (>99%)

Arden Kathleen A Wilkinson Islington 5c 2045
Canham Kathleen A Wilkinson Islington 5c 2045
Wilkinson Frederick W Arden Islington 5c 2045
Wilkinson Frederick W Canham Islington 5c 2045

It looks like this was a second marriage for Kathleen, as she is shown with 2 surnames


MarieCeleste Report 7 Jun 2014 23:08

It's possible that Andrew J Wilkinson's mother had been previously married, therefore any marriage for his parents would be in the names of groom = Wilkinson, bride = ????.

The birth registration shows the mother's MAIDEN name and not what she was called at the time of marriage. There's also the possibility that they never got round to marrying. If you're sure that the 1961 birth is correct for Andrew then order the birth certificate to see what information is given re: his mother.


Amanda Report 8 Jun 2014 08:16

The Andrew born 1961 in Norwich Outer was born to Frederick Wilkinson and Kathleen Alive Canham. She had been married twice,mfirst of all to a Richard Arden, but he died within the first year of their marriage.

I know it is possible that Andrew could have forgotten his dads name when he married so misnamed him, but I am put into doubt over that as a signed witness was a M R Wilkinson who turned out to be Roberts wife Margaret R Wilkinson (nee Abel) possibly Andrews mother so if he wasn't sure, she would have been. I can't find a remarriage or death for her yet, but she would be around 80 now making it possible she is still alive.

Thanks for the help so far :-)


patchem Report 8 Jun 2014 08:58

There is a Margaret Rose Wilkinson, age over 65, living in Kings Lynn on (With a Peter Wilkinson)
I think many people manage to reach 80.

If she is this one:
Births Mar 1934
Abel Margaret R Mitford
She is probably in several trees on here.

Does she look 80?

Lots of information about her if you search. Pity if she is totally unrelated.


Flip Report 8 Jun 2014 09:53

I think you may need to consider the possibility he was adopted. This is just speculation, but worth considering, as it would mean is birth would not be registered in the names you know. His name would have become Wilkinson on adoption.

The families don't appear to have moved very far, with Robert E & Margaret R both born in the Norfolk area, and married there in 1955. I can only see 1 birth to this marriage - in 1964.

Now thats quite a delay - wonder if they adopted because they hadn't been able to have children, then as quite often happens they conceive one of their own.


Flip Report 8 Jun 2014 12:07

I'm not trying to pry, but has your boyfriend asked his mother about his father - she must know something other than what is written on the marriage certificate? They were together for at least 3 years judging by the births, surely she remembers her mother in law or brother in law, even if just to confirm Margaret R was his mother.

If you can't get anything from immediate family, it could be worth widening the search to Margaret's siblings - two of them appear to be still living in the area in Dearham, Ronald & his wife Evelyn, and Irene and her husband.


Amanda Report 8 Jun 2014 13:05

Hi Flip. I have just been told that 'it is not for discussion' so, pretty much going in blind right now. I didn't even think that adoption could have been an option, but it is defiantly something I will keep in mind. I will trace Margaret's siblings and see if I can contact any of them, I live quite close to Dereham, so will have a hunt around.

Patchem, thank you for the link. I have emailed the email address with the info I have, it is a long shot but possible!


Flip Report 8 Jun 2014 13:37

I'll PM you with what I've found for Margaret's siblings, although I don't have addresses as I only spot them in Dereham on


Mary Report 8 Jun 2014 18:38

Kathleen A Canham born J/F/M 1914 Suffolk mum nee Arden.
Making her 47 in 1961 when Andrew James was born.
Not unheard of I suppose.



Amanda Report 8 Jun 2014 19:15

Hi Mary. Yeah, she would have been in her 40's, there was a daughter the year after Andrew as well, so, she was near,y 50 when she finished having children!

Click ADD REPLY button - not this link!

Click ADD REPLY button - not this link! Report 9 Jun 2014 07:47

Have you looked at old electoral rolls for the address Andrew gave on the marriage certificate?

These can be found at the nearest library to that address. Perhaps he was still living with his mother?



Amanda Report 9 Jun 2014 18:25

Ah I didn't think of that. Thank you Rose :)


Amanda Report 15 Jun 2014 18:45

Hi everyone,

I have tried to search for the address that Andrew was living at, but came up with nothing. It was Beechwood Farms Cawston Norfolk if anyone wishes to see if they can find anything.

I also can't seem to find a remarriage or death for Margaret (Margaret R Abel Mar: Wilkinson 1955 born 1934, Mitford) I have searched electoral rolls on here up to last year and come up blank aswell, any ideas?

Thank you,



BatMansDaughter Report 15 Jun 2014 20:21

Hi Amanda,

Was there an occupation specified for Robert Edmund on Andrews marriage certificate?

Just another area to consider, could Robert have been in the forces and Andrew born overseas???


Amanda Report 15 Jun 2014 21:02


There is no occupation, just states deceased. Robert died in 1971. No idea if he was in the forces, this entire side of the family is a dead end, no one seems to know anything and if they do, they don't want to talk.



BatMansDaughter Report 15 Jun 2014 23:53


do you have the birth certificate for the 1964 birth for Richard? Think if you don't have it this maybe a place to start, be interesting to see the address given and also the fathers occupation.


Amanda Report 16 Jun 2014 10:45

I have ordered Richards birth cert, just waiting in it now. Oping it will give some more details, even if the family were at the address listed on Andrews marriage cert.

In the mean time, I am trying to find Margaret, to see if she is still alive, where she is living, if she remarried ect.

Thanks :)