The first thing I have to say is that I have not done much in finding ancestors and am pretty ignorant about it, but can add a bit to your info. My interest was mainly to reconstruct something of my grandfather’s story (William Leo Ogden’s). He was killed in WWI in 1915, when my father was 3, and his wife died in 1949, and my father died in 1963, so there is little direct family contact. There was however a family tradition that WL’s mother had died, his father had married again, WL was turned out and went to the Gordon Boys School at Bagshot and later joined the army.
Surprisingly, in essence the story seems to be true. From what is now Gordon’s School, I got WL’s admission record and army information.
The admission record is dated 5 Dec 1892. His age is reported as 14, which agrees with his birth record (see below). It says that WL’s father is still alive and his mother dead. WL’s father is stated to be William Ogden, occupation pavier (“wages not stated”), and his address as 8 Jubilee Terrace, Landudno. This address is somewhat surprising in view of your info that Clara Elizabeth was born in Northampton in Sept 1891 and that William James died there in 1893.
The admission record gives the following as WL’s siblings. No addresses are given for them.
Annie Ogden, aged 20, dressmaker. According to the 1881 census info she should have been about 28.
Barnaby Ogden, aged 15, earning 10 shillings a week as a pavier. According to the 1881 census info he should have been about 17.
Fanny Beesley is stated to be a married sister, no age given – she is presumably not seen as a possible source of support for WL. It seems likely that this was Frances M (1871 census), who by 1892 would have been about 30.
There is no mention of Susan or her children, but that is not surprising, because the interest in wages implies I think that the purpose of this info is to establish that WL is really a poor orphan and qualified to enter the Gordon Boy’s Home, so step-mothers presumably didn’t count. No mention of James H, either, who from the 1881 census would have been about 25 by 1892, but perhaps he had died between 1881 and then.
Why was William James in Llandudno in Dec 1892 if Susan was in Northampton? Being a pavier was presumably an itinerant occupation and perhaps he was there temporarily for work. You said Clara was born in Northampton in Sept 1891, but that only tells us where Susan was – maybe WJ was already in Llandudno and only visiting Northampton sometimes (and to die in 1893). But does this help explain why you can’t find them in the 1891 census?
There are a couple of points of interest about WL’s birth. His birth certificate gives his date of birth as 28 May 1878, but his Gordon Boys admission record says that he was born 12 May 1878. Presumably he knew when his birthday was. The birth was registered by Sophia on 27 June. I wonder perhaps whether births had to be registered within a month and she was late and therefore mis-stated the date of birth. The birth place is said to 82 Castle Rd, Kentish Town. Sophia’s address at registration is 7 Lismore Gardens, Kentish Town.
Returning to the admission record, WL was admitted from “Boy’s Farm Home, Standon Bridge” (Staffordshire). This was an orphanage run by the Church of England Waifs and Strays (now the Children’s Society). The Gordon Boys admission record does not say how long he had been there, but it does say that he was baptized at Standon, Eccleshall, date not given. Perhaps the home had him baptized locally when he arrived, but he might have been any age.
I don’t expect that WL is in your main line of interest, but briefly his subsequent history is as follows. He was only at the Gordon Boys Home 15 months, entering the army in April 1894 at the age of 15 years and 11 months. He was in the army for about 12 years, left and married a girl three years his senior in 1907. They had two surviving sons, one of which was my father, Arthur George. He went back in the army at the start of the war and was killed at Festubert, 15 May 1915, just after his 37th birthday.
You mention in your posting of 8 May 10, at 1623, that you have heard from someone who has William at Chapel Brampton. This is close to Northampton. Which William did you think this could be, William James or his father?
I am of course very interested in any other info you can give. Although family tradition said that WJ had married again, I had no idea when or to whom, or whether there were any half-siblings, until I read this string.
I tried to attach a jpg of the admssion record, but it is too big. I will try to reduce it.
Trevor Ogden (middle name Leo!)