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Questions for Anthony Adolph

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Genes Advisor Report 13 Jan 2015 17:14

Hi everyone,

Unfortunately we will not be hosting a January webchat with Anthony Adolph, however Anthony is still on hand to answer your family history questions. Please post your questions below.


The Genes Reunited Team


Michael Report 17 Jan 2015 19:59


I have been trying to find the marriage of my Great Great Grand Parents Robert Kelsall to Ann Bowker, with no success. Their first born Christopher was born in 1847 in Manchester. Is it possible that they never got married or that the records have been lost ?
Robert Kelsall orginated from Garstang and Ann Bowker from Clapham, Yorkshire.
They lived in Manchester and their children were all baptised there.

Any help would be most appreciated.



MargaretM Report 18 Jan 2015 20:10

Now how does this work? Does Mr. Adolph post his answers on this thread? Are we simple folk allowed to add our input?


Linda Report 18 Jan 2015 20:57

Not sure Dee, but I want to ask once you get back to the 1700's when your relations live in small towns/villages and the area is full of the same surnames how on earth do you know it's your relations? I know you narrow it down but people could have moved. I'm stuck on one and just cannot work out the mother and father.


lel Report 19 Jan 2015 17:53

I am trying to find in Esau James Webb in 1881, he was born 1862 Grays Essex. I have him in 1871 living with his mother and in 1891 married with 2 children, he married in 1887. The only Esau Webb I can find in 1881 is in Canada but how do I know this is the correct one? I know he often wen by the name James Webb but still cannot find him in 1881. Any help appreciated



Hannah Advisor Report 20 Jan 2015 09:09

Thank you Micheal, Linda and lel for your questions.

All questions posted on this thread will be passed on to Anthony Adolph and his replies will then be posted on here too.

Margee thank you for your post - everyone is more than welcome to input on this thread, but it may be best to wait until Anthony's reply has been posted first.

Many thanks,



MargaretM Report 20 Jan 2015 11:25

What, so that we can then shoot down Anthony Adolph's findings? You know that's going to happen, Hannah.

This thread could become very interesting!


Cynthia Report 20 Jan 2015 13:27

Also, would Mr. Adolph like me to advise these folk on how to find their replies - as I do with most new folk? 90% of those I message have not got a clue how to find their replies.

Just a thought and yes Margee, this could become very interesting indeed. :-D


MarieCeleste Report 20 Jan 2015 20:26

And what is the anticipated turn around time for Mr Adolph's replies?

ADDED: I'm posting this for Lesley - we'll see what Mr Adolph comes up with in comparison.

Newspaper archives from 1877 show that a 15 year old barge boy named Esau Webb was sentenced at Chelmsford, Essex to 1 month imprisonment and 5 years in a reformatory for receiving stolen goods. The newspapers indicate he had no mother.


MargaretM Report 20 Jan 2015 20:56

I saw that too, MC and wondered if Esau was in the reformatory at the time of the 81 census. However Hannah suggested that we wait for Mr. Adolph's reply before we post. I wonder when that will be? I suspect that we won't see any post by Mr. Adolph on this thread.


Cynthia Report 20 Jan 2015 21:07

Meanwhile, Lesley is waiting for a response...........which she may not know how to find.

I suggest that, if Mr Adolph does not respond on here by tomorrow, the members take up the challenge.


Meanwhile, if Mr Adolph decides to pm the answers to Lesley and the others, please could GR let us know so that no one wastes any time. Thank you.


MargaretM Report 20 Jan 2015 21:12

But Hannah did say definitely that his replies would be posted here. But then this is GR!


Hannah Advisor Report 21 Jan 2015 09:09

Hi Everyone,

Please find Anthony's answers below:

Michael -

If the birth record of Christopher described Ann as ‘Kelsall formerly Bowker’ then the parents were claiming to be married, and if it just says ‘Ann Bowler’ then they were not claiming to be married. Of course, they may have claimed falsely to be married, but I should work on the assumption that they were and keep looking. The 1851 census should indicate whether they were old enough to have married before 1837, in which case you can search in parish register indexes, here and on Or if not, and in any case, you could continue searching under variant spellings, such as Boker, Kellsall, Kelshall, perhaps even Kelsey. You can also try the armed forces marriages, as Robert might have been in the army back in the day when he married Ann. These are some ideas for you to explore.

Linda -

It’s a very tricky problem and it cannot always be done: sometimes one has to accept that there is more than one possible baptism, and trace both lines back, hoping to find the common ancestor (who would very likely be your ancestor through one of the two possible lines). Good genealogical practise will help: always seek infant burials for possible baptisms, as sometimes you can ‘kill off’ false possibilities. Use the original registers as these sometimes give occupations or places of residence which help you distinguish between different lines of the same extended family. Look for recurrent use of unusual first names. Seek settlement certificates and wills to gain further coordinates on the people concerned. If truly stuck, turn this into a ‘one name study’ and in the course of investigating all people of the same surname the truth about your own line may emerge.

lel -

If the Esau you have found in Canada was the right age and said he was born in England then maybe this was your ancestor, who went out, tried to make a go of things there but then gave up. It happened. To try to prove the theory, try disproving it. Was there another Esau Webb born in England at the right rime with whom your one could have been confused? If no then this would greatly strengthen your case. Was the Esau Webb you found in Canada still there in 1891? If no again then your case will look very promising indeed!

Thank you all for submitting your questions. We would like to open this up to all members to contribute too, and Anthony's next webinar (or question thread) will be on Tuesday 17th March.

Many thanks,



MarieCeleste Report 21 Jan 2015 10:00

Continuing with Lesley's query re: Esau Webb

The Esau Webb on the 1891 census in Grays, married to Emma and with 2 children, is a dock labourer - I'd say that certainly fits with being a barge boy in 1877.

Newspapers and court records (available on other sites) state he served his term in Harlow reformatory, perhaps an expert can advise Lesley as to how to investigate that further. I would suggest that Lesley checks what happened to Esau's mother to see if that ties in to newspaper reports.

The Esau in Canada in 1881 doesn't appear anywhere else (at least not on a cursory search). Would a lad in a reformatory get work as a servant? It could be feasible.

It would be worth looking into Frederick Lyster and family to see where they originated from. The 1881 Canada census suggests that they'd been there less than 3 years (by youngest child's age and birthplace), they seemed to stay in Canada.


MargaretM Report 21 Jan 2015 10:19

I hadn't realized that AA would only give very generalized advice and not do any actual look-ups.

In the case of Esau Webb, I had already done everything he suggested as i'm sure that Lesley had already done. The Esau in Canada was the right age born England but there doesn't seem to be any passenger record of him either arriving in Canada or returning to England. He doesn't however appear on the 91 census in Canada.

Back to square one.


MarieCeleste Report 21 Jan 2015 10:54

There are a number of items about Harlow Reformatory found by googling.

It appears that the boys there were educated and trained in farming - Frederick Lyster was a farmer. Interestingly, the reformatory closed in 1879.

Could that mean Esau Webb was then freed? He would have been 17 then and perhaps a little old to be transferred to an industrial school? Did he take his newly found farming skills to Canada, perhaps as part of the Home Children programme?

Granted, there don't seem to be any immigration records but that doesn't mean much - I have relatives who went to US and Canada and there are no records online of their voyage. I know they didn't swim there.

ADDED: Yes! He was a home child - here's his record

Ancestry has him mis-recorded as Evan

Canadian Passenger lists 1865-1935
Name: Evan Webb
Gender: Male
Age: 17
Birth Year: abt 1862
Date of Arrival: 19 Jul 1879
Vessel: Circassian
Port of Arrival: Quebec, Quebec, Canada
Port of Departure: Liverpool, England; Londonderry, Ireland


MargaretM Report 21 Jan 2015 10:59

Well done, MC!!!

Chris Ho :)

Chris Ho :) Report 21 Jan 2015 10:59

(above worth a look folks, amongst others, from google)

Chris :)


(apologies MC was 'googling' while you was adding, lol.
Nice one!)


MarieCeleste Report 21 Jan 2015 11:04

Ah well, at least the original information has been expanded on Chris!

Would Mr Adolph have googled?

Chris Ho :)

Chris Ho :) Report 21 Jan 2015 11:06

Lol, that's a tip he can take from us perhaps!...

Chris :)