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Ireland (Historical Counties) => Ireland => Topic started by: NikkiS on Thursday 30 December 21 19:01 GMT (UK)

Title: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: NikkiS on Thursday 30 December 21 19:01 GMT (UK)
Hello

Has anyone ever seen a document like or similar to the one that I have attached.

It was for an Irish born male, who was granted the document in Zurich, Switzerland by the British Consulate General on the 24th of April 1944.

Would a document like this be an indication that the person a British citizen or  an Irish?

Iv checked Irish birth records for 1918 and there is no matching person.

Any advice?
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: jnomad on Thursday 30 December 21 20:56 GMT (UK)
Seen before, yes. My sister lost her passport in Germany, and was issued a document like this to get back to Britain.

The person was presumably born before 1921, hence, as it says, a British subject by birth. Without documents the consulate wouldnít pronounce on citizenship. I think my sisterís version was to the effect that she says she was born in Ö
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: NikkiS on Thursday 30 December 21 21:22 GMT (UK)
Thank you so much for your input.

You are correct, my late grandfather  was born in 1918.
Your explication was very helpful.
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: aghadowey on Thursday 30 December 21 21:30 GMT (UK)
You can search Irish birth registrations here-
https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/civil-search.jsp

Be sure to also check for 'unknown' as first name in case birth registered before Christian name(s) chosen. It may be that the surname varies in spelling from what you are expecting.
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: NikkiS on Thursday 30 December 21 22:08 GMT (UK)
Thank you.
Iv just found his military records. His religion is Church of England- Iím guessing he would be registered separately.

Thanks for the clue on ďunknown ď
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: Elwyn Soutter on Friday 31 December 21 00:04 GMT (UK)
After independence from the UK in 1922, people born in what was then the Irish Free State (now the Republic of Ireland) continued to be British Subjects if they wished. Dual nationals. On 1.1.1949 the Irish Free State became the Republic of Ireland, left the British Commonwealth, and with that the automatic right to British Subject nationality ceased for those born after that date.

But in 1944 anyone born in any part of Ireland (before or after 1922) was a British subject by birth whether they wanted to be or not. A similar situation exists today whereby anyone born in Northern Ireland is entitled to British or Irish citizenship (or both). It's a matter of personal choice. There are exceptions for people not lawfully settled and for diplomats and their families but in general thatís the law.

What you can infer from this 1944 document is that your ancestor presented him/herself at the British Consulate General in Zurich and said they were born in Kilkenny, and needed to get to the UK urgently. The Consul accepted that, and issued an emergency British passport.  Your ancestor might also have gone to the Irish Free State Consul in Zurich (assuming there was one) and sought a Free State Travel Document to travel there. But evidently they did not do that.

An emergency passport is/was issued in a situation whereby there wasnít time to establish a persons entitlement to a full passport. The document was valid for one journey and was normally impounded on arrival in the UK.  Typically issued these days because of a need for very urgent travel, eg a family death, but in 1944, possibly wartime issues may have been the main factor.

Was this document ever actually used since itís in your possession? If used, normally it should have been impounded on arrival in the UK and would have a stamp at the bottom from the Immigration Officer at the port of arrival.

Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: NikkiS on Friday 31 December 21 16:25 GMT (UK)
Dear Elwyn,

Thank you kindly for your insight.

My grandfather passed away before I was born and would have to ask my father these relevant questions.
I do know that he was a PoW at some point during WW2 and that he escaped from Italy.
My grandfather was orphaned but we/I do not know how old he was when this happened.
He eventually settled in South Africa and married my grandmother.

Iím trying to source the birth register for the Church of England for births in Ireland in 1918, but have not been successful at doing so yet.

Thank you again for your insight.
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: Elwyn Soutter on Friday 31 December 21 17:05 GMT (UK)
Being an escaped POW sounds precisely the sort of circumstance in which he might have got an emergency passport. He would obviously want to get back to the UK or Ireland as quickly as possible. Getting a new full passport would have required a birth certificate etc from Ireland and would have taken months in wartime. Whereas the Consul had/has the discretion to issue that one-way document without further enquiry, and evidently used it.

Regarding birth in Kilkenny, the obvious question is was it the town of Kilkenny or the county?

Church of England, in Ireland, is the Church of Ireland.

If it was the town of Kilkenny there are 4 churches there, and their Church of Ireland birth, marriage & burial records have been copied for the following years:

Kilkenny Garrison 1920-1921 -
St Caniceís Cathedral 1790-2016 1790-2007 1790-2016 Some coverage at RootsIreland.ie.
St John 1890-2016 1845-2005 1845-2013 # Earlier records destroyed in 1922. Some coverage at RootsIreland.ie.
St Mary 1729-1935 1729-1942 1729-1952

The original documents are in the RCB library in Dublin (Churchtown, Dublin 14) but 2 of the parishes are on rootsireland (for some years). Iíd be surprised if 1918 was on rootsireland, as they tend to focus on older records. The RCB library doesnít do look ups, as far as I know, so you would need to get a Dublin based researcher to go there.
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: NikkiS on Friday 31 December 21 17:25 GMT (UK)
Hello

Thanks for your reply.

Co Kilkenny is what is written on his army records.

Thank you again for your wonderful insight
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: Elwyn Soutter on Friday 31 December 21 17:38 GMT (UK)
Ah, if itís Co Kilkenny then thatís more complicated. There are 139 parishes in the county and each has a separate set of Church of Ireland records.  And for 1918 I doubt any are on-line yet.  Bit of a needle in a haystack there.

https://www.johngrenham.com/browse/county_civil.php?county=Kilkenny
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: heywood on Friday 31 December 21 18:11 GMT (UK)
I might have misunderstood but his religious denomination would not  make any difference to a civil registration.
Are there others of a similar surname registered within a couple of years of his birth year?
If you would like to share the name, we would be willing to look. If you prefer to search yourself aghadowey has provided a link.

Welcome to Rootschat also   :)
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: Maiden Stone on Friday 31 December 21 18:32 GMT (UK)
You can search Irish birth registrations here-
https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/civil-search.jsp


Be flexible about year of birth. Search 1917 - 1919 as minimum range of years. 
Do you know his father's forename from your grandfather's marriage certificate?

Civil registration of BMDs is organised by Superintendent Registrar's District.
 To find the names of S.R. Districts in County Kilkenny:
https://www.swilson.info/index.php
Select "Registration District Map Browse" from menu.
Enter Kilkenny in search box for county. Result is a list of 8 Superintendent Registrar's Districts in County Kilkenny. Clicking on name of one shows a map + list of adjacent SR Districts.

Keep a note of the list of SR Districts in Co. Kilkenny so that you know which are likely to be relevant when   searching births index on the civil records website  Irish Genealogy.ie 

You can also use S Wilson's website to match church parishes to districts, find towns and other places. 



Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: NikkiS on Friday 31 December 21 18:38 GMT (UK)
Thank you for your comment.

I will definitely have to be flexible with dates and variations of spelling of names.

I think it would be best to print this chat out and make sure to keep written record of findings etc.
unfortunately my father canít recall his grandparents names.

Thanks again 😀
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: Maiden Stone on Friday 31 December 21 18:41 GMT (UK)
I might have misunderstood but his religious denomination would not  make any difference to a civil registration.

Welcome to Rootschat also   :)

The only difference religion made to civil registration in Ireland was marriages in 19th century. Civil registration of Church of Ireland marriages began 1845 but marriages in Catholic churches not until 1864.

Welcome from me, too.
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: Hillhurst on Friday 31 December 21 18:44 GMT (UK)
Co Kilkenny is what is written on his army records.

Would these be the POW records on Ancestry? Or his service record obtained from the MOD?
If it's the latter, does his record indicate names of his parents or siblings, etc? Anything that might provide a clue or two for further research?
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: Elwyn Soutter on Friday 31 December 21 18:49 GMT (UK)
It wasnít uncommon for people to change a few of their details when joining the forces in those days. They often knocked a few years off their age or added them on to make it more likely they would be accepted.
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: Maiden Stone on Friday 31 December 21 19:08 GMT (UK)

My grandfather was orphaned but we/I do not know how old he was when this happened.
He eventually settled in South Africa and married my grandmother.


Is there any information about parents on the marriage documentation?

An introduction to Irish family history research is Irish Genealogy Toolkit. Topics under "Genealogy" heading include getting started, census records, civil registration, church records.
https://www.irish-genealogy-toolkit.com

An advantage of Irish FH research is that many records are free to view.

Switzerland and the Irish Free State were both neutral in WW2.
Do you know how your grandfather got from Switzerland to Britain or Ireland? Date on the passport was 6 weeks before D-Day.
What was his regiment?
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: Maiden Stone on Friday 31 December 21 19:16 GMT (UK)
It wasnít uncommon for people to change a few of their details when joining the forces in those days. They often knocked a few years off their age or added them on to make it more likely they would be accepted.

Another Irish soldier of an earlier generation, subject of a current topic on RootsChat, added 2 years to his age of 16 years + 6 months when he joined up.   
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: Elwyn Soutter on Friday 31 December 21 19:39 GMT (UK)
I have no idea how this particular POW got back, but during the war civilian flights continued to operate between neutral Switzerland and neutral Portugal and it was possible to repatriate folk to the UK that way.  (Travelling on from Portugal to the UK by air or by sea).

NikkiS has been in touch with me by pm, and so I know her ancestors details. I have seen a birth that half fits in the way we have been discussing. Same day and month but 2 years out on the year.  Forename changed but correct surname and correct religious denomination. Canít be sure itís the right family but I have suggested she might want to look into it.

As has been suggested,  checking the ancestors military record seems vital too.
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: Jon_ni on Sunday 02 January 22 02:46 GMT (UK)
Quote
As has been suggested, checking the ancestors military record seems vital too.

It was taking over a year for the MOD to process requests according to numerous reports on facebook geneaogical groups due to COVID impacting ontop of previous long process times, even before the records started being transferred to The National Archives. Likely info on Rootschat too (search currently disabled due to high traffic).

https://www.whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine.com/news/mod-warns-army-service-records-delays/
https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/about/news/mod-records-project/
https://www.gov.uk/get-copy-military-service-records
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: dublin1850 on Sunday 02 January 22 12:37 GMT (UK)
There may be a next of kin (often their mother) listed in the military record.
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: heywood on Sunday 02 January 22 13:11 GMT (UK)
Nikki,
Have you found a birth record here - https://www.irishgenealogy.ie/en/

There are also birth indexes here if he was born later than the full records
https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1408347

Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: NikkiS on Sunday 02 January 22 18:04 GMT (UK)
Dear All,

Thank you for your suggestions and responses.

As I understand my late grandfather, Bernard Simpson was born in Kilkenny. This was on his emergency travel document (issued in Zurich), his service records (service number 3902V) and on his South African marriage registration document to my grandmother, Mary Whitecross Shiel. There are no parents listed on this document.
On his service record, no parents are listed either and his date of birth was listed as 20 May 1918.

Bernard rarely spoke of his past and very little is recalled by his only surviving child. Possibly Bernard immigrated to South Africa with his parents when he was young, before he was orphaned.

We now have more possible questions -

~did he have a different name at birth?
~did he change his date of birth?
~when did he arrive in South Africa for the first time?


I guess so much more to figure out.



Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: Maiden Stone on Sunday 02 January 22 19:28 GMT (UK)

We now have more possible questions -

~did he have a different name at birth?
~did he change his date of birth?
~when did he arrive in South Africa for the first time?


Bernard and Bryan are variants of the same name.
Many Irish people were a bit vague about birth date and ages. (Coincidently, birthdays was a discussion topic on a radio programme this lunchtime. A participant mentioned that her Irish mother had 2 birthdays, an actual one and an official one a month later.)

Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: NikkiS on Sunday 02 January 22 19:50 GMT (UK)
Thatís such a crazy coincidence. Im sure it was super interesting.

I actually googled the Irish translation for the name Bernard but didnít come up with anything.

I have a friend who has a similar problem trying to find details on her grandmother.
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: Elwyn Soutter on Sunday 02 January 22 19:54 GMT (UK)



Bernard and Bryan are variants of the same name.
Many Irish people were a bit vague about birth date and ages. (Coincidently, birthdays was a discussion topic on a radio programme this lunchtime. A participant mentioned that her Irish mother had 2 birthdays, an actual one and an official one a month later.)
[/quote]

The official birthday and the real birthday were a common phenomenon in Ireland.  You were supposed to register a birth within something like 21 days, and there was no fee for that. But if you registered it late there was a late registration fee. If you lived in the country and only went near the Registrars office on your occasional visit to the monthly market in the nearest town, then you waited till then to register the event. But obviously you didnít want to pay a late registration fee, so you just moved the childís date of birth to one that didnít incur the fee. Who would ever know?

Proof of this is obvious in RC baptism registers. In contrast to many other faiths where baptism isnít seen as so urgent, the RC faith urged you baptise a child asap (lest it be left in limbo if it died). So the baptism dates are pretty accurate. A civil birth certificate for that same child with a date of birth 4 weeks later may be puzzling. But thatís the explanation.  (Today you wouldnít get your child benefit etc. if you didnít register the birth, but none of that applied in the 1800s and early 1900s, so no urgency. And some births werenít registered at all).
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: NikkiS on Sunday 02 January 22 19:59 GMT (UK)
Iím really enjoying reading the howís and whyís. It helps make sense of it all.

So happy to have found this forum
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: heywood on Sunday 02 January 22 19:59 GMT (UK)
Thank you.
Iv just found his military records. His religion is Church of England- Iím guessing he would be registered separately.

Thanks for the clue on ďunknown ď

Are there any clues in his record?
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: NikkiS on Sunday 02 January 22 20:02 GMT (UK)
The records arenít very clear.
But saying that, I most likely wouldnít know if something was a clue.
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: heywood on Monday 03 January 22 11:18 GMT (UK)
It might be that Bernardís parent was posted in Kilkenny but perhaps English/Scottish.
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: Maiden Stone on Monday 03 January 22 19:56 GMT (UK)
Thank you.
Iv just found his military records. His religion is Church of England- Iím guessing he would be registered separately.


Are there any clues in his record?


The records arenít very clear.
But saying that, I most likely wouldnít know if something was a clue.

RootsChat has a handwriting deciphering board and a military board. You could ask for specialised help on either/both.  You can post extracts of records and request help in deciphering and understanding them. RootsChat doesn't allow posting an image of a complete record because of copyright law.
If you put a new request about your grandfather on the handwriting or military board, please say in your opening post that it's a follow-on from this thread and include a link to this thread so that new helpers can read what is already known. Also, add a post to this thread to say you've started a new one about your grandfather so that we can look at it.
As for clues, RootsChat is collaborative. One person might spot something which sparks another person to investigate from a different angle. 
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: Wexflyer on Monday 03 January 22 22:05 GMT (UK)
Not unusual to join the BA and serve under an assumed name, an alias.  In any case it was (is ?) completely legal to change your name anytime you want, to whatever you want, no legal process required.
In which case, can be impossible to trace back to "real" name.

Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: NikkiS on Tuesday 04 January 22 09:33 GMT (UK)
Morning All

Firstly I want to say a very big thank you to each and everyone who has taken the time to respond to my post.

I now understand that clues are everywhere and that every avenue should be explored.

So that said, Iím am going to note down all details that I have on Bernard Simpson.

Bernard Simpson who was possibly born on the 20th of May 1918 in Kilkenny, Ireland. Parents are unknown.

Unknown when and how Bernard Simpson immigrated to South Africa.

Bernard joined the the Military in October 1939.
During this time Mrs Dibb was listed as his next of kin. Her address was 22 Crart Avenue, Durban, South Africa.
Bernardís service number was 4th Heavy Bty DGA Durban.
There is a second address listed as
PO Box 1087, Johannesburg. It the address of a clothing retailer John Orr & Son.
At some point Mary Whitecross Shiel was noted as next of kin and noted that she was his fiancť.
Bernard and Mary married on the 8th of January 1945 in Roodepoort, South Africa. The address noted on the marriage registration is 68 Durban Deep, Roodepoort, South Africa.
Bernard also noted his religion was Church of England.  This makes me question if he was born in Kilkenny or if his parents where possibly not Irish.

Bernard was discharged from the military in 1945.
Also during his time served he was a POW who escaped from Italy in September 1943 and arrived in Zurich Switzerland in December 1943/ January 1944. This is where the emergency travel document was issued.

Bernard and Mary had two sons. The first in 1945 and the second in 1950. No parents were listed on the marriage document.

Mary passed away around 1972 (unsure of this) in Durban, South Africa.

Bernard passed away on the 4th of September 1980 in Durban, South Africa.

Iv done so looking into who Mrs Dibb could be. Possible, as suggested, she could have run a boarding house. Also I found a document which lists Mrs Dibb as the mother of Geoffrey Wilton Dibb who was killed in action on the 12th of August 1944. Potential possibility would be that Bernard Simpson and Geoffrey Dibb were friends.

I will as suggested create another post asking for help deciphering/ understanding the military documents. I will include a link to this post once I have done so.


All your help has been so helpful. Thank you.
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: Maiden Stone on Tuesday 04 January 22 18:24 GMT (UK)
Reply #32 - a few thoughts prompted by your summary.


Bernard Simpson who was possibly born on the 20th of May 1918 in Kilkenny, Ireland. Parents are unknown.

Unknown when and how Bernard Simpson immigrated to South Africa.

Bernard joined the the Military in October 1939.
During this time Mrs Dibb was listed as his next of kin. Her address was 22 Crart Avenue, Durban, South Africa.
Bernardís service number was 4th Heavy Bty DGA Durban.
There is a second address listed as
PO Box 1087, Johannesburg. It the address of a clothing retailer John Orr & Son.

 
Bernard also noted his religion was Church of England.  This makes me question if he was born in Kilkenny or if his parents where possibly not Irish.
 


If Bernard's parents died when he was a young child, his knowledge about his origins may have been sketchy. Kilkenny may have been where he lived when a child / the first place he remembered living / a county he identified with, but he may not have been born there.
Adoption laws began 1950s in Ireland and 1926 in England. Adoptions before those dates were private, possibly informal arrangements.

Again, if Bernard was orphaned in childhood, he may have been sent to South Africa in an emigration scheme for orphans.
Consider that Bernard may have spent part of his childhood or youth in Britain and emigrated from there to S.A.
Bernard was born into a world experiencing upheaval which continued through his early life. WW1. Irish War of Independence, Partition of Ireland, Irish Civil War, Anglo-Irish Trade War/Economic War. Economic situation and employment opportunities were difficult in Ireland and Britain in 1920s - 1930s.
www.historyvault.ie/anglo-irish-relations-1922-1949

RootsChat has a South Africa board. Can be found by selecting Forum tab on dark-brown banner on this page. Each board contains a list of resources.

Regarding Bernard stating his religion was Church of England.
I assume this was on his military and/or marriage documents. Both of those events happened after he emigrated to South Africa. What was the official title of the Anglican Church in SA at the time? Church of England is internationally recognisable. Church of Ireland, the equivalent of C. of E. in Ireland, may not have been familiar to anyone not Irish.
The Church of England, the Church of Ireland, the Anglican Church in South Africa and the Scottish Episcopal Church are all members of the Anglican Communion. The Church of Ireland was the state church in Ireland from the time of Queen Elizabeth 1 until 1869.
Irish censuses included a question about religion. 13% of population were Church of Ireland on 1911 census.
Percentages who were C. of I. on 1911 in County Kilkenny were approximately 6% in Kilkenny City and approx. 4% in parishes in the county excluding the city. Source: County Kilkenny: Religious profession of the people, tables XXIX, pages 91-3, in summary of census returns 1911 for counties in the Province of Leinster. NB heading of columns in tables for those who were C. of I.  was "Protestant Episcopalian".
https://archive.org/details/op1256115-1001

What was Bernard's accent like?
 

 

Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: Wexflyer on Tuesday 04 January 22 20:16 GMT (UK)
Let's see.
Bernard did not serve with the BA, but in the SADF - in the DGA to be precise, which was the Durban Garrison Artillery. 
- What was his rank? Should be on his discharge papers, and army record.
- Artillerymen were usually of superior education as compared with run-of-the-mill soldiers (they had to be).
- Have you contacted a regimental association, or SADF historical association, etc, for assistance?
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: Wexflyer on Tuesday 04 January 22 20:38 GMT (UK)
I missed the OP's statement that Bernard was indeed an orphan.
So his surname is likely not his birth surname.
Given that, I searched for Bernard, without specifying a surname in the search, born 1917-1919 in Ireland.
I found two born in Co. Kilkenny.
One of them was an orphan!
This one
https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/images/birth_returns/births_1919/01239/1515343.pdf (https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/images/birth_returns/births_1919/01239/1515343.pdf)
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: Wexflyer on Tuesday 04 January 22 20:48 GMT (UK)
There were Protestant orphanages and adoption societies in Ireland.
Seems to me that their records would be a "go to" for the OP.
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: Wexflyer on Tuesday 04 January 22 20:54 GMT (UK)
OP should absolutely try genetic (DNA) matching! I have used this to link to multiple distant relatives where our common ancestor was born back in the 1700s, so finding relatives of a grandfather should be straightforward! There are several large commercial services - Ancestry, FindMyPast, etc.
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: Maiden Stone on Tuesday 04 January 22 21:30 GMT (UK)
I missed the OP's statement that Bernard was indeed an orphan.
So his surname is likely not his birth surname.
Given that, I searched for Bernard, without specifying a surname in the search, born 1917-1919 in Ireland.
I found two born in Co. Kilkenny.
One of them was an orphan!
This one
https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/images/birth_returns/births_1919/01239/1515343.pdf (https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/images/birth_returns/births_1919/01239/1515343.pdf)

OP said reply 6 that Bernard was an orphan but didn't know from when.

Note in column which usually has when & where born: "Living newborn child found exposed on 22nd August Borrisbeg". Name Bernard Murphy. Informant Mary Slattery, labourer's widow who found the child. Registered 16th Sept. 1919.
Thoughts: Why was he given the name Bernard Murphy? A foundling might be named after or suggested by the person who found it or a member of orphanage/workhouse staff. Or names might be selected from an alphabetical list as in "Oliver Twist". Was he placed in an orphanage straightaway or did Mary Slattery look after him? Did she know more than she let on?

I looked for Simpson in County Kilkenny on 1911 census. Only a handful. 3 single men, a groom, a servant, a soldier in barracks, a child in his grandfather's household. Adjacent counties e.g. Carlow, Tipperary, had families. Most were Church of Ireland.   
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: Wexflyer on Tuesday 04 January 22 21:36 GMT (UK)
I missed the OP's statement that Bernard was indeed an orphan.
So his surname is likely not his birth surname.
Given that, I searched for Bernard, without specifying a surname in the search, born 1917-1919 in Ireland.
I found two born in Co. Kilkenny.
One of them was an orphan!
This one
https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/images/birth_returns/births_1919/01239/1515343.pdf (https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/images/birth_returns/births_1919/01239/1515343.pdf)

OP said reply 6 that Bernard was an orphan but didn't know from when.


Thoughts: Why was he given the name Bernard Murphy? A foundling might be named after or suggested by the person who found it or a member of orphanage/workhouse staff.


Bernard - probably either the whim of whoever was responsible for the child, who may or may not have had an insight into parentage.

Murphy - I view this as just a placeholder. Murphy is the most common Irish surname, just as Smith is the most common English surname, hence "John Smith" as a common assumed name.
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: aghadowey on Tuesday 04 January 22 21:40 GMT (UK)
May 20 (supposed birthdate) is the feast day of San Bernardino of Siena but perhaps that's just a co-incidence.
 
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: heywood on Tuesday 04 January 22 21:41 GMT (UK)
A published tree with no information about Bernard apart from spouse gives his date of birth as 29th May 1918.
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: Wexflyer on Tuesday 04 January 22 21:42 GMT (UK)
I missed the OP's statement that Bernard was indeed an orphan.
So his surname is likely not his birth surname.
Given that, I searched for Bernard, without specifying a surname in the search, born 1917-1919 in Ireland.
I found two born in Co. Kilkenny.
One of them was an orphan!
This one
https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/images/birth_returns/births_1919/01239/1515343.pdf (https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/images/birth_returns/births_1919/01239/1515343.pdf)

Unfortunately not.
This Bernard Murphy married in Kilkenny in 1945, and died in 1962.
So not him!

I would again recommend that the OP pursue the DNA testing approach as probably the easiest, most likely route to determine her grandfather's origins.
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: Maiden Stone on Tuesday 04 January 22 21:51 GMT (UK)
Re. feastdays of saints. August 20th is feast of St. Bernard of Clairvieux. Bernard Murphy, found 22nd Aug. may have been named for him.
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: aghadowey on Tuesday 04 January 22 21:53 GMT (UK)
Only problem is that naming abandoned child after a saint would likely indicate a Catholic orphanage- although, of source, we don't know if Bernard was raised Church of Ireland.
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: Maiden Stone on Tuesday 04 January 22 22:20 GMT (UK)

Bernard joined the the Military in October 1939.
During this time Mrs Dibb was listed as his next of kin. Her address was 22 Crart Avenue, Durban, South Africa.

Iv done so looking into who Mrs Dibb could be. Possible, as suggested, she could have run a boarding house. Also I found a document which lists Mrs Dibb as the mother of Geoffrey Wilton Dibb who was killed in action on the 12th of August 1944. Potential possibility would be that Bernard Simpson and Geoffrey Dibb were friends.


Was Mrs Dibb's first name Pauline?
Parents of Lieutenant Geoffrey Wigton Dibb 328819V of South African Air Force were Cecil & Pauline Dibb. Geoffrey was 21 when he died in 1944. Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Malta Memorial, Valetta.
Coincidently, Lt. R.D. Simpson, SAAF, died June 1944, is on the same memorial. No personal information about him.
Cecil Dibb may have been Cecil John Dibb or John Cecil Dibb. According to an online tree on Geni, Cecil's mother, Harriet Emily was daughter of John Maguire Wilson & Bridget Ellen Doran. Bridget Ellen Doran was born in Tipperary.
Another Simpson on the Valetta Memorial is Arthur William Simpson, Flight Sergt. RAF, parents William & Matilda of Dublin.   
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: heywood on Tuesday 04 January 22 22:29 GMT (UK)
Yes she was Pauline Dibb - maiden name Allan, I think. She lived at the Crart Avenue address, Maiden Stone. There are some documents on F S.
That looks interesting re the Irish connection.
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: Maiden Stone on Tuesday 04 January 22 22:38 GMT (UK)

Parents of Lieutenant Geoffrey Wigton Dibb 328819V of South African Air Force were Cecil & Pauline Dibb. Geoffrey was 21 when he died in 1944. Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Malta Memorial, Valetta.

A post (28th October 2019)+ photo of Geoffrey on Commonwealth War Graves Commission Facebook pages.
 https://www.facebook.com/commonwealthwargravescommission
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: Maiden Stone on Tuesday 04 January 22 23:54 GMT (UK)

That looks interesting re the Irish connection.

Probably coincidence.
Bridget Ellen Doran was born c.1841. She may have been a member of an assisted emigration scheme, either as a child or a single young woman. There were various schemes for orphans, widows & children, single women of marriageable age, from Britain and Ireland.
Emigration Philanthropic Society began taking poor Irish girls from workhouses in 1849.

Some books and articles:
Sheelagh O'Byrne Spencer "Green are the Hills of Natal: Early Irish Settlers in Natal 1824-1862"
Donal P. McCracken "A Minority of a Minority of a Minority: the Irish in South Africa"
                             "Irish Settlement in South Africa Before 1910" (article in "Irish Historical Studies"
                              published by Cambridge U.P., available to read on internet, with a bibliography)



 
Title: Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
Post by: Maiden Stone on Wednesday 05 January 22 00:15 GMT (UK)

Bernard joined the the Military in October 1939.
During this time Mrs Dibb was listed as his next of kin. Her address was 22 Crart Avenue, Durban, South Africa.
There is a second address listed as
PO Box 1087, Johannesburg. It the address of a clothing retailer John Orr & Son.


John Orr chain store?  Mentioned in the article "The Irish in South Africa" on Geni website
https://www.geni.com/projects/The-Irish-in-South-Africa/31867
John Orr was born in County Tyrone 1858. Died in Dublin while holidaying in Ireland. Buried Northern Cape.