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Beginners => Family History Beginners Board => Topic started by: markey164 on Friday 30 October 09 16:26 GMT (UK)

Title: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: markey164 on Friday 30 October 09 16:26 GMT (UK)

Hello, can anyone help. I'm looking for my grandfather, but unfortunately my grandparents separated when my mum was fairly young, so we only know limited details. This is what we know.

* Birthplace is listed as Poplar on my mum's birth certificate.
* His name was supposedly John Alfred Barrett. This is on his marriage and death certificate. I say 'supposedly' because we are wondering if he quietly put the John in front of it, because he didn't like the name Alfred. I don't think people checked things like this in those days.
* I found his death record which lists his birthday is 11 Oct 1918. We know this must be the right record, because the birth day and month is right but we never knew the year for sure. I also can't find a birth record to tie in with this. The only close one is an Alfred Barrett born Poplar in the Jan/Feb/Mar index of 1918 which doesn't match his birth day/month?

This is what leads us to wonder if 1) he changed his name slightly 2) his birth year on his death certificate is incorrect by one year?

Q1: If you are born in Oct 1917, can that person be listed in the following Jan/Feb/Mar 1918 index? or will he appear on Oct/Nov/Dec 1917 index no matter what? I'm not sure how this bit works if for example he is registered late.

Q2: where do they get the birth year from, when they fill out the death certificate?

If anyone can find some more clues to help with this it would be greatly appreciated :o)

TIA

Mark
Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: avm228 on Friday 30 October 09 16:36 GMT (UK)
Hello Mark

The dates you find in GRO indexes (e.g. Jan-Mar qtr 1918) are dates of registration, not birth.

Registration is required to take place within 6 weeks (42 days) of a birth.  So a child born on 11 October should have been registered before the end of the same calendar year and thus in the Oct-Dec qtr.  However, as we all know people do not always meet deadlines!  A late registration of an October birth might well have taken place in the first quarter of the following year.

Ages on death certificates are notoriously unreliable as they depend on the memory/knowledge of the informant of the death (often a grieving relative). As you say, in many families the birthday is known but surviving relatives can be a little hazy as to the year of birth.  Many errors have crept in to death certificates in this way.

Was your grandfather known as John, or Alfred?

Anna
Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: carol8353 on Friday 30 October 09 16:37 GMT (UK)
HI there

To answer your last question first. A date of birth on a death cert is only as good as the person giving that info. So if it wasn't a close member of the family,or even if it was but he didn't tell them his exact year of birth then it could be a few years out.

You have (and had ) 6 weeks to register the birth of a baby so a birth of 11th October to being registered after Xmas is probably stretching it. Is it likely his parents weren't married and therefore his birth was regsitered in mum's maiden name?

Carol
Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: carol8353 on Friday 30 October 09 16:42 GMT (UK)
Who did he marry and when? Do you have their marriage cert-so we could try and find his parents? It would mention his dad's name and job.

PLease make sure you don't mention any names on Rootschat of people who are still alive though.

There is a birth of a John A Barrett in Poplar in the Dec 1/4 of 1922,making his age 4 years out on death? A possible perhaps?

Carol
Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: avm228 on Friday 30 October 09 16:46 GMT (UK)
* His name was supposedly John Alfred Barrett. This is on his marriage and death certificate.


What was his age at marriage?
Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: markey164 on Friday 30 October 09 17:00 GMT (UK)
Hi,

Thank you for the tips so far.

Answers to the questions so far.

Regarding the info provided for the death certificate, it would probably have been given by someone who only knew him in his later years, eg 2nd wife or partner (we don't even know if they were married), so there is every chance the exact birth year on it is incorrect.

In answer to what he was known as, my mum said he was always called Jimmy by his friends lol which doesn't help. But his first real name was always thought to be John, and this is what is on his marriage and birth certificate. He was never known as Alfred, although my mum is under the impression this was always his middle name, and this is recorded as such on his marriage and death certificate. Not that this means this is the case of course. We think he just added the John and put Alfred as his middle name, but we just don't know for sure.

We don't actually have the marriage certificate, but we found the marriage record in the overseas military marriage records (he was in the army). We know this is the right record as it was the right year and location, and an unusual spouses maiden name and it all matches perfectly. Perhaps we should order a copy to see the extra details and verify the father's name, assuming it was entered on this non UK registered wedding?

Thanks for the info on the 1922 birth. I dont think we found that one. Yes it is certainly possible.

By the sounds of it, we should probably order a copy of the marriage certificate first, and see what that gives us?
Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: markey164 on Friday 30 October 09 17:01 GMT (UK)
* His name was supposedly John Alfred Barrett. This is on his marriage and death certificate.


What was his age at marriage?

It doesn't say on the army returns marriage index unfortunately. I think we need to order a copy of this first perhaps?

I'm not sure you'll find the marriage record either, as i had to pay to look at loads of army indexes, on findmypast.com i think it was, before we found it.
Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: avm228 on Friday 30 October 09 17:01 GMT (UK)

By the sounds of it, we should probably order a copy of the marriage certificate first, and see what that gives us?

Yes :)
Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: markey164 on Friday 30 October 09 19:12 GMT (UK)

By the sounds of it, we should probably order a copy of the marriage certificate first, and see what that gives us?

Yes :)

Hmm, on requesting an overseas marriage certifiate, there is only a single field asking for the GRO index number. It is different to the normal GRO index fields.

However on the army overseas marriage index we found, it only gives the names, the year, the station name, and a page number. There is no 'vol' number, and no index number as such. Should we just enter all the information we have in the GRO index field? I'm sure that should be enough? I just don't want to lose the money if they say we've filled the form in wrong?
Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: avm228 on Friday 30 October 09 19:23 GMT (UK)
Should we just enter all the information we have in the GRO index field?

Yes  - you need to enter all the information including the full name of the volume in which you have found the entry. There are varying formats in the overseas indices, hence the rather vague order form!

Anna
Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: markey164 on Saturday 31 October 09 14:57 GMT (UK)
Should we just enter all the information we have in the GRO index field?

Yes  - you need to enter all the information including the full name of the volume in which you have found the entry. There are varying formats in the overseas indices, hence the rather vague order form!

Anna

Ok now ordered. Entered everything including the title of the volume too, so hopefully they can find it ok. Thanks for your help. Let's hope this reveals another clue or two  :)
Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: markey164 on Tuesday 29 March 11 23:57 BST (UK)
Hello,

I got hold of the Marriage certificate for my grandad (sorry for the long delay!).

It is the correct certificate as the spouse details match perfectly.

It lists my grandad's details at the date of marriage (9th Sept 1945) as:

Name: John Alfred Barrett
Age: 26
Profession: LAC, RAF (this was new, we thought he'd only been in the army)
Residence: 337 Wing, RAF Greece
Father: William Herbert Barrett
Father's Occupation: L.M.S. Railway

His DOB on my mum's birth certificate is 11th Oct 1918. This ties in with his age at the time marriage above.

So either he is wrong about his birth year, and/or he has swapped his names around and he is in fact Alfred John Barrett, or his birth record isn't recorded?

Perhaps he lied about his age to get into the RAF maybe? If he were the man born in 1922 (as mentioned above) he would only have turned 17 in Oct 1939. Perhaps he added a few years to get into the RAF. Does anyone know how old you had to be to sign up?

Can anyone add anything i may have missed?



Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: Billyblue on Wednesday 30 March 11 00:31 BST (UK)
"Does anyone know how old you had to be to sign up?"

Not sure about the RAF (but am sure someone else will know) but in Australia you had to be 18 to join the RAAF in wartime.  My OH joined up as soon as he turned 18.

Dawn M
Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: weste on Wednesday 30 March 11 19:43 BST (UK)
Hi,
    my dad's christian names were Alfred Leonard and he did n't like his first name and was known to everyone as Len. I don't think most people knew about his first name. I think its fairly common to swap them around.
Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: Daisypetal on Wednesday 27 April 11 17:47 BST (UK)
Hi,

Maybe John was born with a different surname then his mother married a William BARRETT. This one could be possible,


Birth
John A FRENCH    Dec Q 1918    Poplar    1c  557
Mother's Maiden Surname: French


Marriage
William BARRETT    Sep Q 1923    Poplar    1c  771   
Rose FRENCH with same details.


He might never have known that his birth name was FRENCH.


Regards,
Daisy


P.S. Why do you think John Alfred BARRETT was in the army?

Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: markey164 on Wednesday 27 April 11 20:36 BST (UK)
That is an interesting and very possible theory!

My mum lost contact with her dad when she was young and her parents split up , so she doesn't know a lot about him. She did manage to re-establish contact, in later life, but not long before he passed away unfortunately.

We know he was in the army as he listed this as his occupation on my mum's birth certificate.

He appeared to go from the RAF (when he married) to the army (on my mum's birth certificate) and back to the RAF again (on my uncle's birth certificate).

He wrote down his service number on my uncle's birth certificate, so we've just ordered his RAF service record at the weekend, which will hopefully reveal some clues. Bit steep at £30 though  :(
Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: carol8353 on Wednesday 27 April 11 22:45 BST (UK)

He wrote down his service number on my uncle's birth certificate, so we've just ordered his RAF service record at the weekend, which will hopefully reveal some clues. Bit steep at £30 though  :(


I got my dad's WW2 RAF service record and because I was next of kin they returned my £30 cheque with it  ;D It did take ages to come through though..............months!

Carol
Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: markey164 on Wednesday 27 April 11 23:15 BST (UK)

He wrote down his service number on my uncle's birth certificate, so we've just ordered his RAF service record at the weekend, which will hopefully reveal some clues. Bit steep at £30 though  :(


I got my dad's WW2 RAF service record and because I was next of kin they returned my £30 cheque with it  ;D It did take ages to come through though..............months!

Carol

Maybe that's why they refunded it.....for being so slow.

The form says the £30 will be waived for applications from those who were the
spouse or civil partner of the subject at the time of death (or parent if there was no spouse
or civil partner). My mum doesn't come into any of those categories unfortunately, even though she is now next of kin.
Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: carol8353 on Wednesday 27 April 11 23:29 BST (UK)
Ah my mum was the next of kin at the time he died and I am now the next of kin of both of them................both now long deceased   :'(
Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: markey164 on Saturday 08 January 22 01:24 GMT (UK)
Hi,

Maybe John was born with a different surname then his mother married a William BARRETT. This one could be possible,


Birth
John A FRENCH    Dec Q 1918    Poplar    1c  557
Mother's Maiden Surname: French


Marriage
William BARRETT    Sep Q 1923    Poplar    1c  771   
Rose FRENCH with same details.

He might never have known that his birth name was FRENCH.


Long time in replying, however with the 1921 Census release, I have just found my grandfather John Alfred Barrett living in Silvertown (a stone's throw from his birthplace of Poplar) aged 2 years 8 months (see attached). This confirms Oct 1918 was his correct birthdate all along, which re-ignites the mystery of no matching birth record.

Interestingly, his mother is listed as Rose, which aligns with the theory posted above! The only snag is, Rose is apparently already married to William in the 1921 Census, whereas the marriage record posted above was for 1923.

Did people lie about their marital status back then? If they weren't married, wouldn't it have been illegal for Rose and John to have used William's surname?

If my Grandfather was indeed born John Albert French, is there a way to find out if his surname was legally changed to Barrett? Was it even a legal requirement in those days?

Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: Cas (stallc) on Saturday 08 January 22 04:08 GMT (UK)
Deleted
Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: sparrett on Saturday 08 January 22 04:55 GMT (UK)

The marriage certificate dated   9th Sept 1923 shows Rose FRENCH, 27  a spinster of no occupation, resided at 168 *Uscher Rd Victoria Park. Her father was John Henry FRENCH, a warehouseman.
William BARRETT was a 36 year old widower of 172 *Uscher Rd. . Occ Dock Bridgeman. His father was George Barrett, deceased.
Witnesses, John Henry FRENCH and William Herbert MASON.
They were married after banns at St Marks, Victoria Park.  They both signed.

* I may have this name wrong. Not familiar with the area ;D
Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: sparrett on Saturday 08 January 22 05:21 GMT (UK)
Hi,
Another son was born  in 1921 and he was named for the father of Rose   who is listed on the marriage  [struck through. incorrect]
This boy and his parents are at 42 Church Rd. Barking, Essex when he was about 18 years old.

Sue

ADDING- omitted name of the child :P
William Herbert
Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: sparrett on Saturday 08 January 22 07:01 GMT (UK)
I have not yet fathomed the relationship between the FRENCH family and the witness to the marriage named William Herbert MASON, but the 1937 Polling District shows still at 168 Usher Road.
 
FRENCH Frederick
FRENCH Gladys
FRENCH Leonard

MASON, Ethel
MASON William Herbert

Sue
Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: Daisypetal on Saturday 08 January 22 22:26 GMT (UK)

Hi,

I think that William Herbert Mason married Rose's sister Ethel,


St Mark, Victoria Park
25 Dec 1921

William Herbert Llewellyn MASON
Age:  28
Bachelor
Drayman
168 Usher Road
Father:  James MASON,  Watchman

Ethel FRENCH
Age:  21
Spinster
Book keeper
168 Usher Road
Father:  John Henry FRENCH,  Warehouseman


The FRENCH family are living at 168 Usher Road in 1911.

Regards,
Daisy
Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: Ladyhawk on Saturday 08 January 22 23:24 GMT (UK)

Maybe John was born with a different surname then his mother married a William BARRETT. This one could be possible,

Birth
John A FRENCH    Dec Q 1918    Poplar    1c  557
Mother's Maiden Surname: French

Marriage
William BARRETT    Sep Q 1923    Poplar    1c  771   
Rose FRENCH with same details.

He might never have known that his birth name was FRENCH.


Interestingly, his mother is listed as Rose, which aligns with the theory posted above!

Long time in replying, however with the 1921 Census release, I have just found my grandfather John Alfred Barrett living in Silvertown (a stone's throw from his birthplace of Poplar) aged 2 years 8 months (see attached).

This confirms Oct 1918 was his correct birthdate all along, which re-ignites the mystery of no matching birth record.


Could this be your Rose & John

Rose French
admitted to workhouse (in Poplar) aged 22 on 30 Sep 1918, discharged 30 Oct 1918

Also on the record written above Roses name is
Admission 11.10.18 French John Alfred birth Illeg. Admission time 1.40am
Both discharged same day at 9.50 c/o Miss Wolseley

Daisypetal posted birth reg previously

From GRO indexes giving middle name

FRENCH, JOHN  ALFRED     - 
GRO Reference: 1918  D Quarter in POPLAR  Volume 01C  Page 557

Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: Marmalady on Saturday 08 January 22 23:38 GMT (UK)



Long time in replying, however with the 1921 Census release, I have just found my grandfather John Alfred Barrett living in Silvertown (a stone's throw from his birthplace of Poplar) aged 2 years 8 months (see attached). This confirms Oct 1918 was his correct birthdate all along, which re-ignites the mystery of no matching birth record.

Interestingly, his mother is listed as Rose, which aligns with the theory posted above! The only snag is, Rose is apparently already married to William in the 1921 Census, whereas the marriage record posted above was for 1923.

Did people lie about their marital status back then? If they weren't married, wouldn't it have been illegal for Rose and John to have used William's surname?

If my Grandfather was indeed born John Albert French, is there a way to find out if his surname was legally changed to Barrett? Was it even a legal requirement in those days?

Yes, people did lie about their marital status even back in 1921
Maybe William's first wife was still alive and so they didn't marry until 1923 , presumably after she had died.

There was no necessity to change a name legally. You could (and still can) call yourself anything you like, so long as it is not with intent to defraud.
Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: Ladyhawk on Saturday 08 January 22 23:44 GMT (UK)
Is this his death? edit - I see it is you mentioned this at the beginning of your thread  :)

John Alfred Barrett
Death Age:   70
Birth Date:   11 Oct 1918
Registration Date:   Jun 1989
Registration District:   Eastbourne
Inferred County:   East Sussex
Volume:   18
Page:   508

11 10 1918 is date on workhouse record for John Alfred French
Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: Ladyhawk on Sunday 09 January 22 00:23 GMT (UK)
For info. first wife Beatrice?

William BARRETT is a lock bridgeman railway docks in 1911 wife Beatrice & 2 children
added link to 1911c https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XWPX-4W3

Beatrice Kate Barrett Birth 11 Dec 1906
Baptism Date:   19 May 1907 St Augustine, South Hackney
Father:   William Barrett
Mother:   Beatrice Tozer Barrett

Transcript only of marriage gives his fathers name George

William Barrett Age:   22
Marriage Place:   Victoria Docks, The Ascension, Essex
Marriage Date:   5 Aug 1905
Father:   George Barrett
Spouse:   Beatrice Jones Mason

Death of his wife

BARRETT, BEATRICE  TOZER   age 37
GRO Reference: 1923  J Quarter in WEST HAM  Volume 04A  Page 75   
Edit to add  - It looks as if she maybe living with someone else in Poplar with her children on latest census
Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: Jomot on Sunday 09 January 22 02:30 GMT (UK)
Baptism for John Alfred French, confirming his DoB as 11 Oct 1918:
https://www.rootschat.com/links/01r62/

Also the Creed Register for them both - lines 14 & 16 (goes over to next page):
https://www.rootschat.com/links/01r63/
Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: Ladyhawk on Sunday 09 January 22 09:42 GMT (UK)

Baptism for John Alfred French, confirming his DoB as 11 Oct 1918:
https://www.rootschat.com/links/01r62/


Well found jomot and the address given on the 1918 baptism record is 168 Usher Road,
matches with the 1911 census record for Rose French and her 1923 marriage to William Barrett

markey164

What are your thoughts with everything that's recently been posted ?

It certainly looks as if
John Alfred Barrett born 11 Oct 1918
his birth registered 1918 as
John Alfred French born 11 Oct 1918 to Rose French
Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: markey164 on Sunday 09 January 22 12:30 GMT (UK)
Hi all,

Thankyou so much for this. I'm amazed at everything you've found. All of the evidence, especially the workhouse record of what looks like his birth, matches my Grandfathers known birthdate and birthplace, his mothers name (Rose) as per his Census record, AND the fact that the same Rose then married a William Barrett (which i know was definitely his father's name, as this was on his marriage certificate). This all very much points to him being born illegitimate as John Alfred French (which we never knew), and explains why we've never been able to find his birth record, under his adult name.

A special mention of thanks to DaisyPetal who actually suggested this as a possibility 10 years ago, and i admittedly discounted it at the time, as I couldn't see the link. However, with the 1921 Census revealing the Mothers name as Rose, and there being a record of a Rose French marrying a William Herbert, it seems the weight of evidence, especially with all records being recorded in Poplar, is now too much to be coincidence, and means this is almost certainly my Grandad!!

My Grandad never talked much about his family, and my mum said the only person she or her mum ever met of his family was a sister (probably his half sister from his dad's first marriage). It also seems possible his dad either wasn't his real dad, or there was an affair whilst his father William was still married, and he was born as a result of it.

I guess we'll never know for sure, but if his father wasn't real father, it would explain why he never talked much about his family, as his father, along with the 2 previous children wouldn't have been his real family. So that kind of fits with what little we know.

I told my mum today and explained everything you've helped uncover, and she was really interested and also agrees, it all does seem to add up, and explains why we could never find his birth record.

She wants to do a DNA test now to see if we can find any closer links to possible relatives. I've done one already and there's a few possible's, but they're a bit too distant to establish any connections.

Thank you all again so much. I'll go over everything you've found and get this added to my tree 
Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: markey164 on Sunday 09 January 22 18:46 GMT (UK)
Also thankyou to Ladyhawk.

Yes that death record is correct. He was living in Eastbourne the only time I met him.

Thanks also for the previous marriage record for William. My mum thought he had a sister, so the record for the half sister you found may have been who my mum was thinking of.

Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: sparrett on Sunday 09 January 22 23:17 GMT (UK)

BARRETT, BEATRICE  TOZER   age 37
GRO Reference: 1923  J Quarter in WEST HAM  Volume 04A  Page 75   
Edit to add  - It looks as if she maybe living with someone else in Poplar with her children on latest census

Interesting last comment there Ladyhawk.
The 1923 marriage of William BARRETT and Rose FRENCH shows they were living only doors apart at the time of their marriage.
She at the famous 168 and he at 172.
But before that, we now wonder was their estrangement between Beatrice and William BARRET going back earlier. 

Sue
Title: Re: Help Finding my Grandfather
Post by: sparrett on Saturday 19 February 22 03:00 GMT (UK)
Previous inquiry  with much material supplied

https://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=416131.0

Sue