Finding my Grandfather...

Requests for assistance with seemingly insurmountable problems!

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Finding my Grandfather...

Postby philthegill » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:50 pm

Hi All

I am new to genealogy and trying to research down my father's line to establish (or otherwise) a family rumour of Maltese ancestry.

I am principally researching using a combination of Findmypast, FamilySearch and the GRO website. I am the oldest sibling and my parents and dad's brothers and sister have long since departed this earth so I have little family memory I can refer to.

So far I have traced back to my Dad's parents, William James Wells (WJW) & Hilda Walter (HW) who were married on 14/3/1922. I have a copy of the marriage certificate.

WJW is stated as being 23 at the time of marriage which places his birth as 1898/99.

There is a WJW who died in the right place (Kent) in 1966 which roughly concurs with memories of him dying (I was 6 at the time). I have not yet ordered a death certificate.

I am struggling to find a match for a birth. There are a couple of potential matches based on year of birth. One is in Kent but the WJW's father's name does not match with the marriage certificate. The other is in Suffolk (and I recall my dad mentioning family connections up there) and WJW's father's name does match.

The 1901 Census shows a 2 year old WJW living in Hartismere and the 1911 Census shows a WJW at School in Diss. Parental names in these records match each other and with the father on the marriage certificate so I am comfortable that I can trace his whereabouts until he was 11 or 12 but thereafter I can't find a link to show how 11 years later he would have ended up in the Medway towns.

Moving forward from the 1922 Marriage Certificate I can find records of my Uncles' and Father's births but beyond that I cannot then find any trace of him and/or her in the 1939 Register. I do know that my grandparents divorced but don't know when as I can't find a divorce record. I can however find HW's remarriage in 1938.

The only other avenue that I can't figure out is that on the marriage certificate WJW's Rank or Profession is stated as "Driver AE" or "Driver RE" with a number 1860577 underneath but I don't know what this means. There is a Royal Engineers base within the Medway towns but I can't find anywhere to search if this was his service number.

Any help or guidance would be greatly received. Thanks in advance.....

Phil
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Re: Finding my Grandfather...

Postby grangers14 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:40 am

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Re: Finding my Grandfather...

Postby philthegill » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:48 am

Wow - thank you. Didn't know this archive existed. Got a lot to learn!!

Phil
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Re: Finding my Grandfather...

Postby grangers14 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:10 pm

What was his fathers name and occupation on the marriage cert and names of witnesses?
Have to tried electoral rolls?
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Re: Finding my Grandfather...

Postby philthegill » Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:36 am

Father's name was James Wells. Father's profession was stated as Farm Labourer which kind of matches the census for the Suffolk family as that James Wells was stated to be a Shepherd.
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Re: Finding my Grandfather...

Postby SRD » Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:39 am

philthegill wrote:Wow - thank you. Didn't know this archive existed. Got a lot to learn!!

Phil
General googling often throws up info or other sites to search.
Currently investigating the Hillmans of Sussex.
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Re: Finding my Grandfather...

Postby philthegill » Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:06 pm

I'm finding that there is a syntax for effective searching but have far from got the hang of it!

I know that my Grandmother's parents lived at an address from 1922 to 1939 as they appear there on a Wedding Certificate in 1922 and on the 1939 Register but I cannot find them included in any Electoral Roll searches no matter which way I try.

I think I need to find some tutorials for how to search!!
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Re: Finding my Grandfather...

Postby grangers14 » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:31 pm

Could this be Hilda?

1939 register. 13 Meadowbank Road , Chatham
Hilda Anderson, 26th Feb 1906, ? Unpaid domestic
A Closed Record
Janet Anderson, 23 March 1937,

There is also another family of Anderson living nextdoor
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Re: Finding my Grandfather...

Postby philthegill » Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:40 pm

Grangers14. I am feeling very stupid just now as you have found Grandma and Aunty Janet! I have just realised that I was still looking for Hilda and William Wells in 1939 even though I knew (well had it in front of me anyway) that they divorced in 1937 and that Hilda remarried in 1938.

Thank you so much.

Phil
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Re: Finding my Grandfather...

Postby philthegill » Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:57 am

Now that is an interesting learning point. The 1939 record for Hilda Anderson is misspelt. Hilda appears as Andersn and she seems to have become 2 years younger. Can I ask what search criteria you used? And what source you are using? It took me a while to find her, ultimately searching for Janet and then back from there!

Phil
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Re: Finding my Grandfather...

Postby grangers14 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:53 pm

I used find my past. I looked for Janet as I had found her year of birth, that was the most reliable source I had... i used 2 years either side of that of her age. For other census etc I use 5 years either side. More open with 1841 as they were meant to round ages down to the lower 5 for adults . So 38 should be 35 and say 33 should be 30. Isn't always the case! :roll: Age can vary massively or transcribed wrong or missing! All in the fun! :wink:
In all things you will see there is a chance things could be transcribed wrong, transcribers have to put what they "see"
Jo :)
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Re: Finding my Grandfather...

Postby grangers14 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:00 pm

Oh and sometimes they used middle names, as my Dad did, was James Alan, he used Alan. My Mum is Dorothy Ann but uses Ann. Her birth registration on GRO is wrong, surname, and that was in 1841.
You will find your way :) But shout if you get stuck!
Certificates are important!
Deaths look for informant, may help, marriage, witnesses could well be family!
Good luck! :)
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Re: Finding my Grandfather...

Postby BC Wench » Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:24 pm

Following on from what you have found on the 1901 & 1911 Censuses

Marriage: Dec Qtr 1896 Thingoe 4a 1362
James Wells & Mary Ann Hailstone

1901 Census: The Ling, Wortham, Suffolk (Reg Dist Hartismere)
James Wells, Head.Mar, 30, Shepherd, Croydon Surrey
Mary A Wells, Wife, 33, Pakenham Suffolk
Bertha Hailstone, Dau, 9, Pakenham Suffolk
Louisa Wells, Dau, 4, Gt Barton Suffolk
William J Wells, Son, 2, Gt Barton Suffolk
Thomas G Wells, Son, 6mths, Wortham Suffolk

1911 Census: Lower Farm, Burston Road, Diss, Norfolk
James Wells, Head.Mar, 41, Shepherd on Farm, Croydon Surrey
Mary Ann Wells, Wife, 45, Pakenham Suffolk Married: 14yrs 7 Children 5 Living 1 Died
Louisa Wells, Dau, 14, Living at Home, Great Barton Bury St Edmunds Suffolk
William J Wells, Son, 12, School, Great Bartom Bury St Edmunds Suffolk
Thomas G Wells, Son, 10, School, Wortham Suffolk
Robert Wells, Son, 9, School, Wortham Suffolk
Arthur C Wells, Son, 6, School, Wortham Suffolk

1911 Census - Hall Farm, Fulmodestone, Guist, Norfolk
Bertha Wells, Servant.Single, 19, Housemaid, Pakenham Suffolk

Births found on this web site where it gives Mother's maiden name (You can register and there's no cost)

https://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/cert ... efault.asp

HAILSTONE, BERTHA No Mother's maiden name
GRO Reference: 1891 S Quarter in THINGOE Volume 04A Page 738

WELLS, LOUISA HAILSTONE
GRO Reference: 1897 M Quarter in THINGOE Volume 04A Page 826

WELLS, WILLIAM JAMES HAILSTONE
GRO Reference: 1898 June Quarter in THINGOE Volume 04A Page 815


WELLS, THOMAS GEORGE HAILSTONE
GRO Reference: 1900 D Quarter in HARTISMERE Volume 04A Page 906

WELLS, ROBERT HAILSTONE
GRO Reference: 1902 J Quarter in HARTISMERE Volume 04A Page 980

WELLS, ARTHUR CHARLES HAILSTONE
GRO Reference: 1904 S Quarter in HARTISMERE Volume 04A Page 998

????
1939 Register: Rectory Road, Depwade, Norfolk
William J Wells, 7 Mar 1899, General Labourer Road Work, Married
Joyce V Wells, 27 Mar 1906, Unpaid Domestic Duties, Married
Researching: PARGETER, BELCHER, BRADLEY, DANDO, ROWLEY, ROWSELL
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Re: Finding my Grandfather...

Postby philthegill » Sun Jan 20, 2019 5:14 pm

Thank you BC Wench

Suddenly so many avenues have opened up to explore!

….and to everyone who has offered assistance/thoughts. Thank you!

I am a cab driver and I have, from time to time, picked up a lady who works for the British Genealogical society. I've learned never to ask her what she thought of any recent "Who do you think you are?" episodes. She would always complain loudly about how "its not like that in real life" and that "you don't just turn up somewhere and someone walks up to you and says "Would you like to see this information about...…?"" I'm beginning to understand what she meant now!!!

Phil
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