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Unknown Report 30 Oct 2023 23:57

Hi I'm needing help. My grandad Ronald smith mcquire/mcguire was a foundling as my family told me. The surname he has was giving to him by the family who took him in. He was born 1923 and died 1977.


nameslessone Report 31 Oct 2023 07:19

Welcome to Genes and the boards.
As a foundling your grandfather will have no known ancestry. Do you have a birth certificate for him? Have a look at ( for England and Wales) and see if you can see him.
Have a look at local papers to see if there is a report of a baby being found.
It may just be a case of an unwanted baby being handed over to someone that did want him.
Your only other course is to take a dna test and see if you can find a lead to a family. But bear in mind that his birth family would now have no knowledge of him and might not want to know.

Added: there is a birth registered under the ‘new name’ in 2nd qtr 1823. This would be worth getting to see what is says. Someone else has a tree on Ancestry ( Wood).

McGuire Ronald S McGuire Lanchester 10a 723
The mother having the same surname usually indicates an illegitimate birth - you really do need to get this (from the GRO) if you don't already have it.


ArgyllGran Report 31 Oct 2023 08:18

The birth record from GRO, showing child's full name:

GRO Reference: 1923 J Quarter in LANCHESTER Volume 10A Page 723

When no mmn (mother's maiden name) is shown on GRO, it usually means it was the same as the child's, and therefore the child's birth was illegitimate, as Nameslessone has said.

If that's the case here, the mother's name will be on the birth cert.

However, if Ronald was a foundling, it may be that no mother's name was recorded, as nobody would have known who his mother was.

You do need to buy a copy of the certificate to see what it says.

Register with the GRO website:

Then go to "Place an order" in the right-hand menu, and follow the steps, inputting the name and reference numbers exactly as I've posted above.

The cert will cost you £11.


ErikaH Report 31 Oct 2023 08:41

In 1939, he was living with a family named PURDY at 16 Hedley Terrace, Stanley. DoB recorded as 29/04/1923. If, however, he was truly a foundling, that would have been an estimate

His death was registered as McQuire, DoB 19/04/1923…..possibly a typo, or misunderstanding

He married as McGuire


Kay???? Report 31 Oct 2023 10:52

A foundling was not entered into the England/Wales GRO public indexes of births......although a certificate for life ID purposes & for court use prior to Adoption.

Ronald S McGuire birth registration was a normal registration of birth..


ErikaH Report 31 Oct 2023 11:11

As per my earlier now to C&P

1939 Register
16 Hedley Terrace, Stanley, Stanley U.D., Durham, England

Robert Purdy 23 Sep 1890 Male Stoneman (Below) Married 140 1
Mary Purdy 19 Apr 1897 Female Unpaid Domestic Duties Married 140 2
Reginald W M Grimes 08 May 1917 Male Putter (Colliery) Single 140 3
Sarah Ellen Williams (George) 11 Oct 1925 Female At School Single 140 4
Ronald Smith McGuire 29 Apr 1923 Male Datal Hand Below Single 140 5


ErikaH Report 31 Oct 2023 11:20

Also recorded separately in the image of the family transcription shows his name to have been crossed-through

First name(s) Ronald Smith
County Durham
Last name(s) McQuire
Country England
Birth date 29 Apr 1923
E. D. letter code FGDB
Birth day 29
Schedule 140
Birth month 4
Schedule sub number 5
Birth year 1923
Archive reference RG101/2808J/002/26
Sex Male
Piece number 2808J
Marital status Single
Item number 2
Occupation Datal Hand Below
Line number 26
Address 16 Hedless Terrace, Stanley
Category Census, land & surveys
Place Stanley U.D.
Subcategory Census
Borough / district Stanley U.D.
Collections from Great Britain, England
Notation: See page 12, Book 1

He is still recorded as occupant No 5, which is what he is when with the Purdy family

[Ronald Smith McQuire]
Death Age 53
Birth Date 19 Apr 1923
Registration Quarter Jan-Feb-Mar
Registration district Durham Central
Inferred County Durham
Volume 1
Page 1086

Name Ronald S McGuire
Registration Quarter Oct-Nov-Dec
Registration district Durham North Western
Inferred County Durham
Isabel Platten
Volume Number 1a
Page number 1101

As has been advised NEED a copy of the birth cert


Kay???? Report 31 Oct 2023 11:39

Durham, England

1921... ? McGuire was possibly known to ? Purdy.?


ErikaH Report 31 Oct 2023 11:47

Marriages Mar 1914 (>99%)
Hall Mary Purdy Lanchester 10a 477
Purdy Robert Hall Lanchester 10a 477

1921 Census Of England & Wales
3, Meldon Terrace, Kyo, Durham, England

Robert Purdy Head Male 1890 30 Durham, England Miner Waggonway Man South Moor Coal Co
Mary Purdy Wife Female 1897 24 South Moor, Durham, England - House Duties
Frances Hannah Purdy Daughter Female 1914 6 Craghead, Durham, England - -
John Robert Purdy Adopted child Male 1920 1 Annfield Plain, Durham, England - -


Kay???? Report 31 Oct 2023 12:05

Robert and Mary Hall Purdy are buried at Lanchester.

Mary Hall Purdy
19 Apr 1897
1977 (aged 79–80)
Lanchester, Durham Unitary Authority, County Durham, England

Stanley New Cemetery


ErikaH Report 31 Oct 2023 16:29

He is in at least two trees other than yours, Rebecca. Try making contact with the 'owners'


Kay???? Report 31 Oct 2023 17:41

Is the posters first post so may not understand the workings of the site,,or the jargon thats been posted.?


ErikaH Report 31 Oct 2023 17:55

We will find out if she returns ;-) ;-)


ArgyllGran Report 1 Nov 2023 08:28

PM sent to let her know there are replies.


Unknown Report 12 Nov 2023 09:22

Thank you sorry my emails had gone to spam so just getting these now. I have some of the information such as where he lived when he lived with the purdys. He named his first born my uncle after the purdys. I will have to see if I can order the certificate. When I looked on ancestry it came a Ronald Smith was born in lanchester I have asked and my dad is still saying he was a foundling.


ErikaH Report 12 Nov 2023 09:44

Don't, whatever you do, order a cert through Ancestry, as they charge vastly inflated amounts. Use the GRO site as detailed in an earlier post


ErikaH Report 12 Nov 2023 10:41

There were three unmarried females named McGuire in Lanchester area in 1921

Durham, England
Collierley & Pontop

Durham, Durham, England

Blaydon, Durham, England