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Topics - deejayEn

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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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Armed Forces / Ancestor who was a soldier and a servant
« on: Thursday 16 February 17 18:06 GMT (UK)  »
I have traced my great-great grandfather and he was a butler on the 1881 census in London but ten years earlier in 1871 he is living in a different household in Ascot and is described as "Butler, Private Coldstream Guards". The head of the household's son-in-law is Christopher Edward Blackett who is living at home and described as a "Cpt & Lieut Cl Coldstream Guards".

I know that servants often served in the army with their masters and were usually called a valet or a batman. But here he is described as a butler and is at his masters home (or at least his mother-in-law's). Was this the normal practice? And does that mean that he traveled everywhere with him whether on active service or not?

Also although he is described as unmarried he had actually married the previous year. His wife is working as a cook in a different house in Hampshire in 1871 and is described as married. Was this unusual? I now that servants weren't usually permitted to marry except in the case of butlers and cooks but usually in the same household. And as he was also a soldier this may have added complications. Can anyone offer any advice?

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Armed Forces / Help indentifying a services club in WWII Berlin
« on: Saturday 21 January 17 22:32 GMT (UK)  »
My father's cousin recently told me that her dad was responsible for running a club for British soldiers in post war Berlin. He was posted there from the end of the war until at least March 1946. He was a private in the Royal Artillery but his job working in hotels before the war gave him the experience to run the club. He also booked musicians and acts to perform there on a regular basis, these acts were mainly German.

She had two photographs of the interior, see below. Sadly there is no writing on the back save for the photographer's stamp which says - Foto. Werkstatt, W.Hoven. Credfeld DAH LER DYK 182.

The third photo of the soldiers in uniform may be from the same location but I'm not sure.

I can identify a poster on the wall of the club in the background of one of the photos which says, Athletics. This indicates that it is a club connected to the British and the Army rather than a German club. I did wonder if it was connected to the NAAFI but the photos I found of the NAAFI club in Berlin looked different to this.

I would love to know where the club was and if it is still there. Can anyone identify it or does anyone have any idea which clubs British soldiers used in Berlin in late 1945/early 1946? Any information will be gratefully received.

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My grandmother gave me this photo a long time ago, it is a portrait of my great great grandparents Thomas and Susan Grant. I thought I had lost it but recently found it again. It must date from the early 1850s because he died in 1855.

it is very dark and faded, can anyone clean it up for me?

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I have finally managed to trace my ancestor back to Ireland where my grandmother said her mother's family originally came from. I have found a baptism record for Patrick Higgins born in Dublin in 1783 at St Andrew's Church in Dublin City. The page is very faded but it is readable - he is the fifth one the page. I understand that his and his father's name have been abbreviated to Patte but what I can't read are the words after that. It looks like St Maa what I assume is an address beginning with R or K - does anyone know what it says?

Also are their any experts on Irish records who would help me to get further back or point me in the right direction. I was told that Patrick was a mariner but there is no occupation listed here. Can I find out more?

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The Common Room / Help needed identifying ships sailed by a master mariner
« on: Wednesday 21 December 16 18:17 GMT (UK)  »
My ancestor was a master mariner in the 1850s and one of his certificates of service shows that he worked his way up from an apprentice at the age of 16 to a master (ie a captain) at the age of 35 in 1851. The back of the document shows a list of the various ships he worked on. I would like to find out more about them but I've having trouble identifying the right ships, especially the last one Rose which was the first ship he captained.

I believe they were mostly steam ships and some were operated by P&O. Can anyone point me in the right direction of where I can find the right ships based on what is written here and locate details of where they operated and maybe even pictures of them, etc.

Any help would be appreciated. The certificate is attached.

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I was given this photo many years ago by an elderly relative many years ago, she told me she thought it was her great grandparents James and Jane Higgins.  He was born in 1853 and was a boatswain although he gave up working on the sea when he was in his thirties. However it seems possible that it could be his father and mother Bartholomew and Jane Higgins. He spent his whole life at sea from an apprentice at the age of 15 until his death at 65, becoming a master mariner in 1851.

If the photo is of James and his wife it will date from the late 1870s or 1880s, but if it Bartholomew it will be earlier circa 1850-1870. Can anyone tell from the way the lady is dressed which decade it is from, and can anyone tell if the man is wearing the uniform of a master mariner or just a boatswain/seaman? This will help me establish who it is in the photo. Thank you.

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My great-grandfather Robert Victor Lay was born in 1888 in Chelsea, London. He and his brother George Henry (b 18889, Marylebone) were actually born under the name Bloomfield and their father was George Bloomfield but were adopted by Walter Lay when he married their mother Ruth Ellen Bloomfield, nee Bellward in 1892.Looking for descendants of George Henry Lay b 1889 Marylebone brother of Robert

My great-grandfather Robert Victor Lay was born in 1888 in Chelsea, London. He and his brother George Henry (b 1889, Marylebone) were actually born under the name Bloomfield and their father was George Bloomfield but were adopted by Walter Lay when he married their mother Ruth Ellen Bloomfield, nee Bellward, in 1892.
My grandfather was bought up by his grandparents when his father died in 1918 and he partly lost contact with his brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles. For this reason my great-grandfather Robert Victor Lay has always been a bit of a mystery figure and because he died such a long time ago. Also his widow remarried (to John Ryan) and her home was bombed during WWII and she lost all her possessions including any family photographs.

I have recently done some research on his brother George and discovered that he married Annie Raper in 1908. He briefly worked as a carman for the Anglo Oil Co before joining the army for a year, then he worked with his brother for the LNWR at Camden as a carman. He signed as a soldier in the great war and suffered an injury to his hand where he lost a finger. He spent some time in prison due to absconding during  the war and I have just discovered that he got into trouble with the place after the war and spent more time in prison. His job after the war was described as a general dealer. He carried on living in the Chalk Farm/Kentish Town area  all his life.

He had at least two children, George and Frederick, and possibly others later. He died in 1953 and his wife about ten years later. I am looking to find any of his descendants who may have memories of George and his brother Robert. I get the impression that because they had a different father to their siblings that they spent a lot of time together and were quite close until Robert died in 1918. It would also be nice to see any photographs of George and Robert and other Lay family members because as I said any my family had were sadly lost.

If anyone can help with memories of the Lay family I would be very grateful.
My grandfather was bought up by his grandparents when his father died in 1918 and he partly lost contact with his brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles. For this reason my great-grandfather Robert Victor Lay has always been a bit of a mystery figure and because he died such a long time ago. Also his widow remarried (to John Ryan) also her home was bombed during WWII and she lost all her possessions including any family photographs.
I have recently done some research on his brother George and discovered that he married Annie Raper in 1908. He briefly worked as a carman for the Anglo Oil Co before joining the army for a year, then he worked with his brother for the LNWR at Camden as a carman. He signed as a soldier in the great war and suffered an injury to his hand where he lost a finger. He spent some time in prison due to absconding during  the war and I have just discovered that he got into trouble with the place after the war as well and spent more time in prison. His job after the war was described as a general dealer.

He had at least two children, George and Frederick, and possibly others. He died in 1953 and his wife about ten years later. I am looking to find any of his descendants who may have memories of George and his brother Robert. I get the impression that because they had a different father to their siblings that they spent a lot of time together and were quite close until Robert died in 1918. It would also be nice to see any photographs of George and Robert and other Lay family members because as I said any my family had were sadly lost.

If anyone can help with memories of the Lay family I would be very grateful.

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Armed Forces / WWI Munitions Workers in Camden Town, N London
« on: Monday 19 September 16 15:55 BST (UK)  »
This isn't an Armed Forces query as such but I thought it belonged here as its related to WWI. My great-grandfather Robert Lay died in 1918. Although only 30 he was never called up to serve in the war, we don't know why but we suspect it could be for medical reasons. His occupation was as a railway porter or loader working at Camden goods Station in Chalk Farm in North London. However when he died in 1918 his occupation was listed as Munitions Worker. Does anyone know where this might have been? Were there any munitions factories in the Camden area where he might have worked and if so what did they make there? Could there be a connection to his job on the railways?

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