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Topics - deejayEn

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My great-grand father Alfred Sell joined the army in 1899 and fought in the Boar War and later served in China and Ceylon. I have found his attestation papers which shows his army career between 1899 and 1908 but I can't find any official records from after that.
He became a reserve in 1908 and in 1913 worked at the Royal Artillery Barracks at Woolwich. This involved his family moving to Pumstead where they lived for 3 years but they moved back to Camden in London where they had previoulsy lived. My grandmother told me that he was required to work in Belgium after the war heping clean up the battle fields at Ypres and Poperinge, but inbetween she told me he was doing what she called secret reseasrch work in Foulness Island.
I had forgottent his until I recently traced my mothers family, some of whom by coincidence came from Foulness which reminded me of what she said.
There don't seem to be any books available on the history of Foulness and I have done a bit of research on line but can't find out much except that the area was used from 1917 onwards for military research puposes when the army built a new road for easy acccess to the island and later it was used in relation to nuclear weapon research. I was hoping to find out exatly what my great-grandfather may have done between 1917 and 1919. He was only a private in the army with no special skills although gained a few medals which sadly are now lost.
Does anyone one know anything about the early research carried out at Foulness and about its connection to Woolwich and what work my great-grandfather might have done there?

2
Handwriting Deciphering & Recognition / Inscription from Welsh bible
« on: Monday 10 September 18 16:01 BST (UK)  »
A relative recently gave me some old Victorian-era bibles belonging to our shared ancestors. As the couple who originally owned them came from Wales one if them in in the Welsh language as is the inscription on the first page. Can someone translate it for me.


3
I'm looking for information about William Cowell who was born in 1824 in Marylebone and was a music printer by trade in and around Soho and Seven Dials. His son Robert William Cowell was born in 1846 in Soho. He was a metal worker by trade. His son Herbert Cowell born in 1879 was a metal worker like his father and was, I believe, later a member of the Labour party.
I am interested in finding out more about them and seeing any photographs if anyone has any, I'm especially interested in finding out more about the printer William Cowell, what type of music he printed and what happend to him and about Herbert's connection to The Labour Party.

4
On behalf of a friend I'm looking for information on a man called Alberto Russo (AKA Benny or Benito) from Castleforte Italy who was born in the mid 1930s and lived in or near Potters bar in Hertfordshire in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He was friends with a man called Fausto Marcucci, who may have been his cousin, and they had moved to Britain from Italy. I believe they stayed in a house in a village called Newgate Street, just outside Potters Bar. They later moved to Leicester and may have later moved back to Italy.

Does anyone have any information on what happened to Alberto or Fausto? I would be interested if anyone has any photographs, particularly of Alberto.

5
Occupation Interests / Help wanted tracing a sea captain from Ireland
« on: Monday 27 August 18 13:36 BST (UK)  »
My 3-times great grandfather was Bartholmew Henry Higgins, born in Deptford, Kent in 1814. He rose from being an apprentice on a coal boat to a very successful master mariner (captain) of numerous ships until he retired in the 1870s. Two of his sons were also mariners.
He and 3 of his siblings were baptised in Our Lady Of The Sea in Greenwich which was known as "The Sailor's Church", so I'm assuming that Bartholomew's father Patrick Higgins was also a mariner. But I'm struggling to find out anything other than he married Winfred O'Hara and was born in Ireland.
Some of Bartholomew's children were born in Ireland in the 1840s (according to the census, although it doesn't state where in Ireland), so in his trade as a mariner he clearly lived in Ireland on and off before settling in London.
Does anyone have access to marine records and can trace any Irish mariners, probably a captain, called Patrick Higgins. He would have been born in the 1780s, possibly residing in Dublin or Waterford (I'm guessing the later because Bartholomew was also a marine pilot and was permitted to pilot ships to ports in the south of England and to Waterford so that must be a place he knew well and was possibly where his family originated from, or where his father as a sea captain was based).
Any help/advice would be gratefully received.

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We think this is a portrait of my great-grandfather Robert Lay but we're not 100% sure but it would help to date it. Can anyone help identify the year it was taken from the clothing and hairstyle.
The back shows the photographers to be Russell's Studios, 56 High Street, Camden Town, London NW1. Does anyone know anything about them, eg when they were trading and how long they were at that address.

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World War One / Help wanted identiying regiment from uniform
« on: Sunday 08 April 18 16:07 BST (UK)  »
I have been sent an old photo of two soldiers in WWI, one of whom could be my ancestor. He is pictured with a pal, although it could be his brother. However I thought he was too young to join up as he was only born in 1902 but the soldiers here both look older than 16.
Can anyone identify the regiment from the cap badges and tell me something about the uniforms they are wearing?

8
I'm looking for information on what happened to a girl called Cynthia Holford, AKA Cynthia Wills or possibly McArthur She was born circa 1908-09 in Liverpool, England. Her mother was Charlotte Wills (nee Webb) who was born in London in 1869. She married gardener/florist William Wills in 1886 and had two children William Robert b1887 and Dorothy Zillah b1894. She desired to be an actress/performer and around 1901-1902 found success on the stage under the name Mamie Stewart appearing in musicals by Leslie Stuart and later formed her own theatrical company appearing in revues and pantos. Because of her new profession she separated from her husband around 1902 but during a voyage overseas a few years later met Richard Pierce Holford who was a steward on the SS Carpathia and later other ships. Although she never married they had one child who was Cynthia. I have found her and her mother on the 1911 census living in West Ham in East London and bizarrely Charlotte is now using the name Mamie Holford (a combination of her stage name and common-law husband's name) and claims to be an American citizen. She seemingly spent some time touring in America but never became a US citizen. Her daughter Cynthia Holford is living with her and is listed as being born in Liverpool. This fits in with her father Richard as he came from Liverpool-Birkenhead but he is not in the Census and was presumably away at sea. Charlotte/Mamie and Cynthia are living with friends, this was not their family home, in fact I don't know where her home was at the time. I have manged to piece this together over many years but it's what happened next that is the real puzzle. Charlotte died in 1913,  we think possibly in childbirth. Her son was in the army by this point and we don't know what happened to Dorothy. But Cynthia was just 5 or 6 and we believe went to live with a family (possibly called McArthur) in the West Country and later was adopted by a family, possibly a branch of the same family, in America and was taken to live there. But we don't know where. Can anyone help me trace what happened to her?

9
I researched my Grant ancestors many years ago but I only recently found out that my grandmother's grandfather had a sister from a previous marriage. She was Ellen Mary Grant born 1836 in Winfrith Newburgh in Dorset. Her parents were Thomas and Ann Grant.

Her mother died in 1838 and she was bought up by her grandparents in East Stoke near Wareham in Dorset. She moved up to London in the 1850s and on the 1861 census is living with her aunt and uncle Caroline and Alex Alexander who ran a bakers shop in Islington (her father died in 1855). She later married George Dommett who worked as an assistant in the butchers shop next door. They had two children Emmanuel and Edith and in 1873 they emigrated to New Zealand.

My grandmother, who was very knowledgeable about her Grant ancestors and helped me enormously when I started my family history research, knew nothing of this branch of the family, at least she never mentioned them. I assume she didn't realise she had relatives in New Zealand. Sadly she is no longer alive but I would be interested to know what happened to George and Ellen Dommett after they moved to New Zealand if anyone knows anything and if any descendants are still living. I believe Ellen's cousin Caroline Alexander also emigrated with them at the same time.

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