Author Topic: road block - suggestions welcomed  (Read 13271 times)

Offline JaneyCanuck

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Re: road block - suggestions welcomed
« Reply #9 on: Wednesday 30 October 13 22:26 GMT (UK) »
Aha. Multiple trees at Anc'y/Mundia show Willam Tom born 1811 Little Petherick
http://www.cornwall-opc-database.org/search-database/more-info/?t=baptisms&id=2242046
as marrying Elizabeth WILLIAMS in 1867 in London, residing in St Geo the Martyr in 1871 and dying in 1876. Someone seems to have got the marriage certificate. I don't see a Bice+Williams marriage to work, though.

And oh good, someone else has her as Elizabeth BALL, Mr Tom being a mere twig on that enormous tree. There was, however, an Elizabeth Ball + James Bice marriage in St Columb in 1850. But no James Bice death to fit. ... James is a brother of "my" Samuel Sandoe Bice, in the  household in 1841; he and Elizabeth are in the 1861 census, but she is shown as born c1832.
HILL, HOARE, BOND, SIBLY, Cornwall (Devon); DENNIS, PAGE, WHITBREAD, Essex; BARNARD, CASTLE, PONTON, Wiltshire; SANKEY, HORNE, YOUNG, Kent; COWDELL, Bermondsey; COOPER, SMITH, FALLOWELL, WILLEY, Notts; CAMPION, CARTER, CRADDOCK, KENNY, Northants; LITTLER, CORNER, Leicestershire; RUSHLAND, Lincolnshire; MORRISON, Ireland; COLLINS, ?; ... MONCK?

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Offline bugbear

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Re: road block - suggestions welcomed
« Reply #10 on: Friday 01 November 13 10:28 GMT (UK) »

You could look through the 1871 for John/Thomas kids b. Stoke Newington of the right age, particularly those who do not have both parents, and check if they can be found in 1881.  Any who can't be found under their 1871 name in 1881 could then be checked for possible connections to the Bice family.

Please forgive my ignorance and stupidity. I'm not quite following your suggestion. Can you expand on what phenomona you're hypothesing, and (thus) what footprint it would leave in the document trail, that I could look for?

I'm not doubting you, I'm failing to understand you.  :'(

  BugBear
BICE Middlesex
WOMACK Norfolk/Suffolk

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Offline JaneyCanuck

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Re: road block - suggestions welcomed
« Reply #11 on: Friday 01 November 13 18:26 GMT (UK) »
It's a big undertaking and usually only works if there is some more specific info known about an individual.

I discovered, immediately upon first researching him, that there was nothing in any record about my gr-grfather before his 1883 marriage; he had sprung from nowhere, with two distinctive given names and very unusual surname. I did not know where he was born, but I knew his (approx) year of birth.

Unfortunately for me, we knew that after he married in England 1883, he was in Australia for the 1891 census, and I could not find him in 1901 for love nor money, to at least find what age and place of birth he gave. He then immigrated here to Canada.

Let's say their names were, for illustration:
My gr-grfather was Edward Arthur Moonwalk.
His daughter was Alice London Moonwalk.
His father was Fiscus Moonwalk.

I got an early clue: when searching for the birth of a daughter of his that we had just learned died in infancy, Alice Moonwalk, I found that she was Alice London Moonwalk -- and I found the marriage of a person a generation older with the identical given names and surname, otherwise unique. No idea how they were related, but they had to be. And when I searched for someone with the same given names as my gr-grfather born around the same time, I found an Edward Arthur Smith, let's say (the surname was nearly as common!).

Eventually, I found the family that matched all these clues, in the 1861 census: that Edward Arthur Smith, with a sister named Alice and a father named Fiscus. Born in Cornwall. And when I finally found my gr-grfather in London in 1901 (his surname bizarrely mistranscribed at two different sites), he gave the same place in Cornwall, for his place of birth. So both he and his sister (that we had never heard of) had adopted the same fake surname, and both had assigned it to their father when they married, while retaining the father's real given name: Edward Arthur Smith and his sister Alice London Smith became Edward Arthur Moonwalk and Alice London Moonwalk, and their father Fiscus Smith became Fiscus Moonwalk. Oh, the clincher was when I finally found that the sister's real name at birth was actually Alice London Moonwalk Smith. Why all this happened -- and especially how she came to have Moonwalk as a middle name -- I have yet to find out. YDNA testing has not helped at all!

I know that's pretty complex; explaining everything I did to find and confirm the fact that all these people were the same as the others takes an extra dimension or two. A big stroke of luck I had, when it comes to people changing names, was that theirs were distinctive and they retained enough of them, and their birth details, to make them identifiable. While the little info I did have to start with was about the same as what you have -- given names and approx date of birth, and father's given name -- I had that huge stroke of luck, of finding his apparent sister in records, that gave me a triangulation point you don't have. And they had given their father his real given name, while changing his surname.

But the idea is: you are looking for someone who looks like your person. And then you see whether that person can't be accounted for after a certain point, the point where that person hypothetically became your person.

You, unfortunately, are looking for someone named John born c1862-1864 possibly in Stoke Newington. But things to look for include, first off, people with the same given names born at around the same time and place -- on the assumption that a person is more likely to change their surname, for one of several possible reasons, but keep their given names. That was the first thing in my case: finding the birth of the person with the same given names, born at the right time, and then I found him in a census as a child, and discovered that he disappeared from all records (after death of first wife in 1873) right before my gr-grfather emerged from nowhere (in the 1881 census, once I knew what I was looking for, i.e. place of birth, to confirm it was him).

So the phenomenon is: John Thomas's birth was registered under a different surname, not Bice, and finding him means finding someone who otherwise matches his details but has a different surname. And then tracking that person forward from the point where you find him, whether a birth record or a census, to see whether he has an existence parallel to your John Thomas. If so, he isn't your John Thomas. If you can't find him, you have an hypothesis to work on, and look to see whether there is any connection between anyone in his vicinity (e.g. a mother in the census or on a birth certificate) with the surname Bice.

I hope this hasn't been too much of a headache, but my case is a good example of how these things happen and how "proving" them works. ;)
HILL, HOARE, BOND, SIBLY, Cornwall (Devon); DENNIS, PAGE, WHITBREAD, Essex; BARNARD, CASTLE, PONTON, Wiltshire; SANKEY, HORNE, YOUNG, Kent; COWDELL, Bermondsey; COOPER, SMITH, FALLOWELL, WILLEY, Notts; CAMPION, CARTER, CRADDOCK, KENNY, Northants; LITTLER, CORNER, Leicestershire; RUSHLAND, Lincolnshire; MORRISON, Ireland; COLLINS, ?; ... MONCK?

Offline bugbear

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Re: road block - suggestions welcomed
« Reply #12 on: Monday 04 November 13 13:16 GMT (UK) »
Wow - you have my deep admiration for chasing that down. But the technique (in my case) would pivot on drawing a conclusion from NOT finding something. I have already discovered in this fascinating hobby, that NOT finding a record is really rather more common than you might hope.

The thought of setting off on a laborious chase based on "absence of evidence" requires a little more desperation than I feel.

That time may come though.  :'(

 BugBear
BICE Middlesex
WOMACK Norfolk/Suffolk

Offline bugbear

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Re: road block - suggestions welcomed
« Reply #13 on: Monday 04 November 13 15:06 GMT (UK) »
At the risk of setting some kind of world record for lag in a followup;

The suggestion from the 2004 (!!) thread that this might be JT Bice's family in 1871:

http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=14860.0

RG10/546 Folio 78 Page 63

is NOT a possibility. The same family shows up beautifully in 1881, with all members present.

Class: RG11; Piece: 461; Folio: 48; Page: 38; GSU roll: 1341101.

 BugBear
BICE Middlesex
WOMACK Norfolk/Suffolk

Offline bugbear

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Re: road block - suggestions welcomed
« Reply #14 on: Monday 04 November 13 15:17 GMT (UK) »
Well (pace the other spellings) would anybody care to guess how many people with the surname "BICE" were in "Middlesex" in the 1881 (according to A**try) ?

Thomas Bice.

He's it. The only one. A rare breed indeed.

I'm amazed I haven't done that particular search before.

Edit; there appears to be another Bice, called Joseph. He's in "London"

I think that the "Joseph Bice" family and the "John/Thomas Bice" families are the only Bices in the South/East.

  BugBear
BICE Middlesex
WOMACK Norfolk/Suffolk

Offline JaneyCanuck

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Re: road block - suggestions welcomed
« Reply #15 on: Monday 04 November 13 17:05 GMT (UK) »
That's exactly what it means: a conclusion from not finding something. But also from all the other suggestive facts. ;)

Undertaking that chase may be daunting -- but if a person goes by a name other than the name their birth was registered under, at some point in their life (childhood as a result of a parent's marriage, adulthood for any number of reasons ...), that's the only way they will be found. And obviously, the only way to know whether a person did go by a name other than their registered name ... is to find them doing it. ;)

I'm not sure whether it's actually been mentioned here, but in the 1881 household where JT is with his future wife's family, he is enumerated as Thomas Bice.

Since he married as John Thomas, this could mean:
- his name was John Thomas Bice and he went by his middle name, and used it for the census
- his name was Thomas John Bice but he went by his middle name, but used his official first name for the census

There's a somewhat interesting Bice household in Cornwall -- parents John, a copper miner, and Caroline (in one census called Catherine) and a bunch of sons of the same generation as our John Thomas -- all of whom are bricklayers in the 1881 census. In 1851-61, the family has both a John and a Thomas already, though, and the kids are regular as clockwork at about two-year intervals before and after 1850, and pretty much all accounted for. (If you do a search in 1881 for Bice, occupation brick*, you get those five in Calstock and Thomas in Stoke Newington.)

One thing I might consider ... during the 1850s there was rather a massive exodus from Cornwall; the population actually declined significantly. In 1861, my "Moonwalk" people are an example: wife and kids had shifted to Plymouth, husband "Fiscus" was elsewhere -- nowhere found by me yet, but he gave an address in London on the draft mining lease in which he was partners with Samuel Bice in 1859, and was living in London by the late 1860s when he had a child there, went bankrupt and "re"married. I wonder whether that John Bice of Cornwall might have sojourned in London for a time in the early 1860s, for work? possibly as a bricklayer? And left behind a child, possibly without knowing. He is absent from the household in Cornwall in 1871, but Caroline (Catherine) calls herself married (youngest son Francis aged 6 - 1863 birth?) while by 1881 she is widowed. I can't see him anywhere in 1871, and there are actually no John Bice deaths recorded between 1859 and 1898.
HILL, HOARE, BOND, SIBLY, Cornwall (Devon); DENNIS, PAGE, WHITBREAD, Essex; BARNARD, CASTLE, PONTON, Wiltshire; SANKEY, HORNE, YOUNG, Kent; COWDELL, Bermondsey; COOPER, SMITH, FALLOWELL, WILLEY, Notts; CAMPION, CARTER, CRADDOCK, KENNY, Northants; LITTLER, CORNER, Leicestershire; RUSHLAND, Lincolnshire; MORRISON, Ireland; COLLINS, ?; ... MONCK?

Offline bugbear

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Re: road block - suggestions welcomed
« Reply #16 on: Tuesday 05 November 13 14:07 GMT (UK) »
It appears (from perusing all "Bice" births in the London area from 1850-1900) that there was a slight influx around 1880-1885. After that there seem to be (roughly) 5 Bice families producing children (I'm still working through it all).

A "quickie" query in FreeBMD shows only 6 Bice births in London, Middlesex, Surrey prior to 1880.

From 1880 to 1900 there are 25.

I'm hoping that they all came up from Cornwall, and at least one is related to my JT.

 BugBear
BICE Middlesex
WOMACK Norfolk/Suffolk

Offline bugbear

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Re: road block - suggestions welcomed
« Reply #17 on: Wednesday 06 November 13 12:53 GMT (UK) »
Review/Summary:

Further work in BICE activity in South East England reveals the following patterns;

It appears that quite a few "wives and families" lived in London (taken generally) prior to 1880. In nearly all the census record I've seen, the husband is absent.

Further, BMD data shows several births, a (very few) childhood deaths, and some FEMALE Bice's getting married. The first male Bice to marry is Joseph in 1884.

All of the Census data I've view so far shows that these Bices come from (unsurprisingly) Cornwall, mainly Falmouth. At least one family came from Cornwall, and returned there, with the Cornish census return showing some quite surprising "London" places of birth.

I now suspect that my JT Bice is part of this pattern, and that the stated birth locating of Stoke Newington (stated with complete consistency of every Census he's on) is simply not the case...

I also noted that Bice is spelt very variably. In London, one might put this down to local enumerators not understanding a thick Cornish accent, but I found a Bice census in Cornwall where the surname is spelt "Brice".

 BugBear
BICE Middlesex
WOMACK Norfolk/Suffolk