Author Topic: What is the biggest mystery in your tree?  (Read 34729 times)

Offline perilsofpauline1

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What is the biggest mystery in your tree?
« on: Tuesday 18 July 06 00:00 BST (UK) »
I thought it would be nice to get back to something not as sad as the "saddest" thing in your family.
How about your biggest mystery?
Mine is the sudden appearance on an electoral roll, of an aunt I knew nothing about. I often visited my grandmother, and knew my father's other siblings, so where has my Clara jnr come from - and where did she go?  There are absolutely no other records of her at all.
Wouldn't it be marvelous if someone was to read our biggest mystery and say "That's me!"  (Ever the optimist)
I can't wait to read your posts!!
Pauline in chilly queensland, Australia
Calthorpe ,Colyer, Davy, , Grant, Guest, Hannington, Harding, Hartley, Hughes, Macro ,Marchant,  McKindoe , Moffet ,Morgans Musgrave, , Mort, Nicholson, Patterson, Porter,Smith, Roddis, Schofield, Scholefield, Smith.

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Offline Dimps

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Re: What is the biggest mystery in your tree?
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 18 July 06 02:44 BST (UK) »
My biggest mystery lies with my Linberry ancestors.

Peter Linberry married Mary Carter in Bramber Sussex in 1795.  They were both of the parish, but I have found no Linberry records in Bramber prior to that date.

First son, Peter, was born in Bramber in 1799.  The following sons, Thomas and John were born in Hull, Yorkshire, in 1801 and 1805, respectively.

Their mother, a widow, remarried back in Bramber in 1817 (to James Juden).  The sons were certainly back in Sussex according to the 1841 Censuses onwards (plus marriages, offspring, etc before and after).

I have been told that there was a strong maritime link between Littlehampton and Hull.  I have not found a Linberry burial in Hull.

Nearly all Linberrys in the US and Canada hailed from Sweden and the national emblem of Sweden is the Lingenberry or Linberry (lovely jam from IKEA, by the way!)  So could my Peter have been a Swedish mariner?  And where did he die?

I have another mystery - probably not unusual.  My gggg grandfather, Reuben, went by two surnames:  Chatfield and Faulkner.  He was born in Yapton, Sussex in 1798.  His parents were Philly Chatfield (nee Locke) and Thomas Faulkner (of nearby Slindon).  Philly and Thomas married in Yapton in 1799.  Thomas Faulkner had a brother John, who was a tailor in Littlehampton.  He married Sarah Waller (from Surrey) in Arundel in 1806.  Thomas died in April 1842.  John died in Dec. 1854 and Sarah a couple of months later.  John's place of birth in the 1851 Census was "Sussex" - not very helpful.

So far, I have been unable to link Thomas and John to any other Sussex Faulkners.


Linberry, Chatfield, Faulkner, West in West Sussex
Towell, in Shoreditch and Exeter
Spurling from Norfolk
Bateson from Norfolk
Snell, Lorkin, Norman from Suffolk
O'Boyle/Boyle from Donegal
Murray, McCann, Gunn from Sutherland
Davis, Bute from Woolwich

Census information contained in this post is Crown copyright:

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Offline kerryb

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Re: What is the biggest mystery in your tree?
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 18 July 06 06:31 BST (UK) »
Thank goodness for something a bit lighter!!!

Mine has to be my brickwall Helena Lorraine Lovekin Stanford Smith.  Parents (if they are her parents) didn't marry or not that I can find.  Found all the census records for the family (if it is them) and have several birth and marriage certs for the children who all have different fathers who change name between birth and marriage.

In 1871 I even have a possible two census records for the family.

In all of it I can begin to unravel why some of the surnames are there, Smith appears to be the family name.  If I have the right family Stanford is the mother's maiden name. 

But where the name Lovekin came from I have absolutely no idea at all

Currently it looks like Helena is born as a Rawlins, married as a Lovekin and then her children are registered with her maiden name Smith.

Confused - you bet I am  :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o

Census information Crown Copyright, from

Searching for my family - Baldwin - Sussex, Middlesex, Cork, Pilbeam - Sussex, Harmer - Sussex, Terry - Surrey, Kent, Rhoades - Lincs, Roffey - Surrey, Traies - Devon & Middlesex & many many more to be found on my website ....

Offline Ann W

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Re: What is the biggest mystery in your tree?
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 18 July 06 07:00 BST (UK) »
For me its wondering who DOLLY HUDSON is,, have to wait for the 1911 census to come out to find out,  8)

there is not dolly born or married that i can find in B/Ham or aston ,,, she is doris  1910. or doris maud . or dorothy 1909. or maybe she is a nellie ...

Least i have a chance of finding out in a few years  :)  :)  :)


PS; My sister is in Queensland saying its COLD.... lol
Warwickshire: Husselbee, Willetts, Simpson, Hudson, Worwood, Weston, Moss
Worcester, Willetts
Cambridgeshire: Bartlam, Simpson, Graves, Radford.
Staffordshire: Weston, Bartlam, Worwood, Roberts
Wales: Roberts, (jones Ha Ha )
Lancashire and New foundland: Walmsley.
Ireland,Co Down, lemon: Co Mayo, Deane, Conway, Scanlan: Waterford, O'Hanrahan, Fitzgerald.
New Zealand: O'Hanrahan, Walmsley, Trapani ,Lemon. Pascoe
Australia: NSW: Lemon

Offline nanny jan

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Re: What is the biggest mystery in your tree?
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 18 July 06 07:40 BST (UK) »
Mine is my gt.grandfather "John Howard". I was told he was from a Russian Jewish family.

I have my grandpa's birth cert and there he is ...father John Howard. Grandpa born 1900.  Great...I can find them on 1901 census.   Might have found grandpa but mum has a different first name and no dad around.   Oh well...find the marriage cert.   Months  of searching later an elderly relative tells me ...."they never married".

I have his death cert. and birth certs of some of my grandpa's siblings but no more clues.  Just hoping I live long enough to find the family, with dad, on 1911 census.

Pauline.......I never found Queensland to be chilly when I was out there!

Nanny Jan
Howard , Viney , Kingsman, Pain/e, Rainer/ Rayner, Barham, George, Wakeling (Catherine), Vicary (Frederick)   all LDN area/suburbs  Ottley/ MDX,
Henman/ KNT   Gandy/LDN before 1830  Burgess/LDN
Barham/SFK   Rainer/CAN (Toronto) Gillians/CAN  Sturgeon/CAN (Vancouver)
Bailey/LDN Page/KNT   Paling/WA (var)

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Offline MarieC

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Re: What is the biggest mystery in your tree?
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 18 July 06 10:17 BST (UK) »
What a great idea for a post, Pauline!!

And listen here, you doubting Poms, it IS chilly in Queensland!  Where I am, maximums of 13-14 degrees, minimums around zero or slightly above, bleak and overcast, biting south-westerly wind (comes from the Antarctic via the snowfields of southern Australia!)  And closer to the NSW border, it is colder!!

My greatest mystery is two disappearing gggrandparents.  Edward Martin  in London - I have his birth and baptism, his marriage, have him on 1841 and 51 censuses - then he disappears completely,  wife supporting herself and listed as married on 61 and 71, widowed in 81.  Too many deaths of Edward Martins to find him.  What happened???

 Eleanor Bentley in London, known up till 1861, then disappears.  Cannot find her on censuses, cannot find a death.  Gone!!!

Did they run off with each other?  ??? ??? :o  In my darker moments, I'm tempted to think so!!! :'(

Census information is Crown copyright from
Martins in London and Wales, Lockwoods in Yorkshire, Hartleys in London, Lichfield and Brighton, Hubands and Smiths in Ireland, Bentleys in London and Yorkshire, Denhams in Somerset, Scoles in London, Meyers in London, Cooks in Northumberland

Offline alllegs

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Re: What is the biggest mystery in your tree?
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 18 July 06 10:33 BST (UK) »
Mine is definately my Great Grandma, Margaret Hubbard nee Williams.  She married, had 3 kids and died aged 31 in North Ormesby, Middlesbrough but as far as I can see she was never born, neither can I find her on the 1901 census.  Her father (according to her marriage cert) was William Williams and that is all I know for certain.  The are a handful of family stories but none can be verified as yet.  My gran, MW's last surviving relative (that I know of!) knows nothing as MW died when gran was only 6 mths old and she was never spoken about again.....  I can't wait for the 1911 census to be released as then I can hopefully find Margaret with her father and sister Pattie somewhere in the UK as I have no idea where she was born, all the MW's born in the Tees Valley did not have William as a father and there are no Patties (or anything similar) born in the Tees Valley either....

ROLL ON THE 1911.....

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YKS-Bradley,Hellawell,Dransfield,Sanderson,Gledhill,Mallinson,Tyas,Thornton,Nobel,Brook,Senior,Bower,Kay,Hirst,Smith,Lockwood, Clayton,Rollinson,Swallow

Offline KathMc

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Re: What is the biggest mystery in your tree?
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 18 July 06 11:45 BST (UK) »
I love the topic.

My biggest mystery has to be my great-great-grandfather, William C. Davis. He was born in New Jersey in the early 1850s, and we have from his marriage record that his parents were John Davis and Mary Cruser, in Princeton, New Jersey. We can't find any trace of him on census records, or at least any definitive trace. We find someone with the same name in the 1860 census living with a different family and then we have him definitively in the 1880 census (with wife Delia, who after years of research on that brick wall, we find out Delia is a nickname for Bridget). I aksed elderly relatives and no one even knew who William Davis was. The funny thing is, my mother lived with William's son John (her grandfather) until his death in the 1950s, so you would think she would know stuff about him. Nope.

And to top it off, Bridget/Delia died in 1905 and is buried in Orange, NJ and there is no trace of William. We have him in the 1900 census but can't find him in the 1910.


Sligo: Davey (also Mayo), McCluskey, McNulty
Wexford and Staffordshire: Hayes, McClean
Galway and Staffordshire: Scott
Coventry: Wells, Collins, Palmer, Moody, Beck, Mickelwright, Husbands
Ireland: McNulty (Sligo), Kealy, Murphy (Carlow) Connolly, Gillen, Powell, Ryan, Moore, Martin
Davis from I don't know where originally
Stahl, Russia to England to USA

Offline jacquelineve

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Re: What is the biggest mystery in your tree?
« Reply #8 on: Tuesday 18 July 06 12:10 BST (UK) »
 Mine is my g.grandfather John Evan Ellis1852
in 1881 he becomes John Evans

1st.marr.John Mills( 1885) father John Mills (tailor)

1991 cens.John Mills

2nd marr. John Ellis (1892) father Charles Ellis (tailor)

1894 Dies as John Evan Ellis

seems his sister also had an identity crisis

Kate Ellis (1860 )

marriage 1888

Kate Evans  father Charles st,clair Evans (master tailor)

It's a shame really,I think all this changing names and
fathers was due to the fact that their mother never wed,
although she had 4 children
           I have a feeling that an Evans could have been the
father of her children( another daughter was named Eva.

Dudley Worcs:Ellis Durkin Oakley Rich Smith
Baggot Saunders Turner Williams Hobbs
Harts Hill: Baggot Wright

Tipton:Whitehouse (boatman) Timmins
Yorkshire:Littlewood Wilcockson

Derby Belper:Spencer
Herefordshire Brampton Bryan:-Turner

Worcs. Hereford. Gloucs.

Radnorshire: Meredith
Bristol Somerset: Box

Census Information is Crown Copyright from