General => The Common Room => The Lighter Side => Topic started by: zetlander on Monday 01 June 20 18:54 BST (UK)

Title: How many years?
Post by: zetlander on Monday 01 June 20 18:54 BST (UK)
Many of us have a 'missing forebear - we have him say on the 1891 census but before that no sighting at all.

How many years has anyone spent looking for someone before finding him/her and why was that person so elusive?

And is it ever possible to trace someone who has changed his name in the 1880's ?
Title: Re: How many years?
Post by: Craclyn on Monday 01 June 20 19:57 BST (UK)
I have a great grandfather who suddenly landed on the planet in Northumberland in the 1891 census aged somewhere in his 40s and claiming to be from Oldham, Lancs. We grew up being told he had been Cornish. He subsequently fibbed about his age, giving me a 12 year range to play with. On his marriage certificates he named a father. Years of searching with that combination of info revealed nothing. I then moved on to assuming that the father was a work of fiction and that his surname was from his mother. Still nothing. Now I am gradually narrowing in towards who he may have been using DNA. Completely different surname. If my current theory about his identity proves to be correct then the info that would have been true on the documents he produced in Northumberland are his birthplace, his own first name and his fatherís first name.
Title: Re: How many years?
Post by: zetlander on Monday 01 June 20 20:13 BST (UK)
any idea why he changed his surname?
My 'missing' man stated he was a widower on his 1885 marriage certificate - I made a list of all the marriages by a person of this name in the relevant time period and cross referenced to see if any of the women identified had died - no luck.
The man I'm after was imprisoned for a very serious offence in 1908 - my hunch is that he may well have been in trouble before and had changed his name because of that - but how do you trace a man who has changed his name?
Title: Re: How many years?
Post by: jonw65 on Monday 01 June 20 20:56 BST (UK)
Good luck with the search!
Title: Re: How many years?
Post by: coombs on Monday 01 June 20 22:27 BST (UK)
I am still searching for the maiden name of Sarah Coombs who died in Feb 1851, just before the 1851 census. She was not born in county (Middlesex) in 1841 census and died in Marylebone Workhouse. Her first hubby George Coombs died in 1831 aged 41, and Sarah had her banns read to James Bradford in 1834 but no marriage yet has been found, yet she still took his surname they witnessed her eldest son's first marriage in 1835. 16 years later I am still no nearer finding her maiden name.

I found her first hubby's origins through other records. he was of Bincombe, Dorset and was my direct ancestor as well as Sarah.