Author Topic: Finding the parents of Joseph Henry Sydney from Calcutta, India  (Read 779 times)

Offline Seany

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Finding the parents of Joseph Henry Sydney from Calcutta, India
« on: Tuesday 30 January 18 08:50 GMT (UK) »
Hi everyone. I'm stuck with history of my Great Grandfather. Joseph Henry Sydney.
He was born in Howrah, Calcutta, Bengal India 9 Oct 1886.
He was baptized there a little over a month later. His parents given were George and Mary Sydney.

He eventually moved to Australia. Where on his marriage cert in 1912 showed his parents as George Sydney and Mary Quinliven, with his birthplace as Calcutta. His death cert has the same parents listed.

I found a British man named J H Sydney arriving to Fremantle, Western Australia from Singapore on a ship called the Minderoo. 25th November 1910. I assume that if he grew up his whole life in Asia, that he would arrive from an Asian country.

There was a marriage between a George Sydney and a widowed Mary Theodore in Rangoon Bengal, India July 1887. Modern day Yangon, Burma. It could be that Mary was previously a Quinliven, but I don't know for sure? That marriage happened nearly one year after Joseph was already born. I hear that's not uncommon back then in those countries, but I can't be sure these George and Mary are the right ones, other than that my great Aunt recalls her mother (Joseph's wife) saying that Joseph may have been educated in Burma.

There is record of a George Sydney dying in Rangoon, Bengal in 1914. This is probably the one from the Wedding there. The marriage cert with Mary Theodore and age on his death cert are a match within a year (1854-1855), and the marriage cert states that his father was a Thomas Sydney. I have no other details. And these were all transcribed either through familysearch and findmypast so I haven't seen what else that certificate might have had written on it.

I don't really know how to proceed. Can someone please kindly give me some ideas where to go from here?


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Offline ShaunJ

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Re: Finding the parents of Joseph Henry Sydney from Calcutta, India
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 30 January 18 09:38 GMT (UK) »
Mary Theodore was a widow. Witnesses to the 1887 marriage were M Theodore and  S Quinliven. Her father's name was "not available" per the register. 
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Online KGarrad

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Re: Finding the parents of Joseph Henry Sydney from Calcutta, India
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 30 January 18 09:52 GMT (UK) »
A quick look at FamilySearch shows 3 possibilities for Mary?

1. Mary Quinleven, born 1859 Missouri; parents Edward and Mary.
1880 US Census

2. Mary Quinleven, born 1854 "O"?! An Irish Catholic
1871 Canada census. In Arthur, North Wellington, Ontario.

3. Mary Quinleven, born 1867, Ripon, Yorkshire, England
1881 England census. Parents Michael & Amelia.

Are there any records on FIBIS? Families In British India Society.
Garrad (Suffolk, Essex, Somerset), Crocker (Somerset), Vanstone (Devon, Jersey), Sims (Wiltshire), Bridger (Kent)

Offline ShaunJ

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Re: Finding the parents of Joseph Henry Sydney from Calcutta, India
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 30 January 18 14:05 GMT (UK) »
Per the 1886 baptism register Joseph's father George was a guard with the East Indian Railway. The one who died in Rangoon in 1914 was a "pensioner P W D".  I would guess that PWD stands for Public Works Department.
UK Census info. Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline Seany

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Re: Finding the parents of Joseph Henry Sydney from Calcutta, India
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 30 January 18 23:54 GMT (UK) »
Thanks ShaunJ and KGarrad.
I feel like I'm getting somewhere!
Mary Theodore's wedding cert having an S Quinliven as a witness makes me pretty confident that she was Josephs mother. It also means Georges father was indeed Thomas.

I haven't had the means to look at FIBIS though I have heard about it. I wouldn't know what I was looking for yet.

With this George being a year younger than Mary, it would make her birthday about 1854-1855, which would fit nicely with the one in the Canada census. But I'll have to find a way to track her down and marrying a Mr Theodore, and where he might have died. It surprised me that there was a Theodore relative in Rangoon at the time of her 2nd wedding. Same too as another Quinliven. Which now I have to identity. There seems to be several Quinlivens dying in Rangoon which could pass for. There are a lot of instances of a Manuel Theodore (M. Theodore) being the father of the bride for many children born around the same age as Mary, though no mention of a son's marriage with Mary.

What I'm wondering is why have a baby in Calcutta, and then marry in Burma. They're not exactly close to each other. If he is in indeed a rail worker, it would make sense he moves around. Rangoon is the capital of the Bengal region I believe.

I did get a hint from a lady who looked around on ancestry staying that there was a George Sydney born 1855 who was slapped with a desertion charge from the military while in England. I've got the note b. 1854 Colchester, Essex, England but I need to chase that up.

You guys have been amazing so far!

Offline Seany

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Re: Finding the parents of Joseph Henry Sydney from Calcutta, India
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 31 January 18 01:01 GMT (UK) »
A little more on the Canadian Quinliven.

the 1861 Census in Arthur, Wellington, Ontario, Canada
The family is and Irish couple Michael and Bridget Quinleven or Quinlinen who have a daughter Mary born 1854

1871
The family are in the same spot under the name Quinleven

1881
The family are there under the name Quinliven now and Mary has left home.

That's the closest I've come to the Canadian Mary Quinliven. No sign of Theodore's yet. I may need to find someone with a FIBIS account to try the names Sydney/Quinliven/Theodore through.

There was a tail of Mary being part Brazilian/Portuguese or even Chinese. That story was passed down the generations, but I've found many contradicting things already. I feel like I'm getting somewhere with this though.

Offline nanny jan

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Re: Finding the parents of Joseph Henry Sydney from Calcutta, India
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday 31 January 18 06:57 GMT (UK) »
Thanks ShaunJ and KGarrad.
I feel like I'm getting somewhere!
Mary Theodore's wedding cert having an S Quinliven as a witness makes me pretty confident that she was Josephs mother. It also means Georges father was indeed Thomas.

I haven't had the means to look at FIBIS though I have heard about it. I wouldn't know what I was looking for yet.

You guys have been amazing so far!

There is a search facility on FIBIS....just type a surname and see what results are given.

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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Online KGarrad

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Re: Finding the parents of Joseph Henry Sydney from Calcutta, India
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday 31 January 18 09:07 GMT (UK) »
You don't need a subscription to peruse FIBIS ;D
But subscribers do get access to more material.
Look for FIBIS Database, and do a search there.

Burma (or Myanmar to give it's modern name) was annexed by the British (and the British East India Company) in the 1800s. It was formerly annexed, after 60 years of Anglo-Burmese wars, in 1886. It was considered a part of British India.

Lots of British, and Indians, moved into Burma after annexation.

Rangoon is nowadays called Yangoon.
Garrad (Suffolk, Essex, Somerset), Crocker (Somerset), Vanstone (Devon, Jersey), Sims (Wiltshire), Bridger (Kent)

Offline Seany

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Re: Finding the parents of Joseph Henry Sydney from Calcutta, India
« Reply #8 on: Friday 02 February 18 00:29 GMT (UK) »
Hey! I didn't realize there was a free option to explore Fibis. That's great. Though not many Sydney's there at all.

If it was annexed in 1886 when Joseph was born in India, and then George and Mary married in 1887 in Burma. They may have moved there when the Annexation was still fresh. Which may mean that all records of Rangoon relating to Quinliven and Theodore aren't so reliable. Would be more likely that Quinlivens and Theodores where somewhere else in India before 1887? Is that good logic?