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Messages - MercianSte

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Warwickshire / Re: Which Parish incorporates Witton Cemetery
« on: Monday 21 May 18 09:01 BST (UK)  »
Are you looking for the Burial Registers? If so they are all online, the website is

The records cost 5, I can see the burial for Clement Dew was in October 1925 and Sarah Dew's was in May 1927.

Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / My own DNA success story
« on: Thursday 11 January 18 09:04 GMT (UK)  »
I have seen quite a few threads on here asking if an Ancestral DNA test was worth it, or even people stating that they were worthless, so I though I would share what could possible be the biggest break through I have made on my tree thanks to taking a DNA test.

I took a test through Ancestry several years ago, and following up on this last year I persuaded both of my parents to take one, mainly so that I could determine which side of the family my hits were coming from. I had already had some success through my own test, I was uncertain as to who my grandmother's mother was (mainly due to the fact she had added a middle name), I though I knew who she was but could not be 100% certain. My test proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the woman I though was my great grandmother was indeed flash and blood, although this is not the story I am wanting to tell.

Looking through the results for my father over Christmas I came across a man who was said to be my father's 4th cousin (I will refer to the cousin as Mr. H in the rest of my tale). Ancestry had the confidence down as being high, in most cases of hits have confidence as high I have been able to work out the connection relatively easily. In this case however it was proving more complicated.

We both had families called Humphreys, the families lived around 35 miles apart but I had managed to trace my family back to around 1700, Mr. H had also researched his family back to around the same time so if there was a connection it would have occurred in the 17th century which is too early to really be a close relative. Ancestry, although predicting 4th cousin does go on to say that the range for the relation could be 4-6 cousins, but if there was a connection between our Humphreys' families it would have been well outside this range.

If you were to compare my father's tree and Mr. H's tree you would see no other common names (as in names in both tree's, not names like Smith!). Having said this, a name did jump out at me, Mr. H's great grandmother had been called Elizabeth Jane Jesson.

My father's grandmother was a woman called Ethel Mary Whitefoot. She was born on the 20 October 1889 at 2 Gem Cottages, Dolobran Road in Sparkbrook, Birmingham. Her mother was Mary Whitefoot, a housekeeper, no father was mentioned on the birth certificate. I have spend many years trying to find out who Ethel's father was with no success, no contemporary records exist to tell me, and she fabricated a father when she married.

The only name I could venture was Charles Jesson. He was the head of 2 Gem Cottages on the 1891 census (the Whitefoot's were still there), but I had no hard evidence to suggest that he was Ethel's father, after all he could have taken Mary on as a housekeeper while she was pregnant. It is also worth noting that on the 1891 census (I believe) Charles' wife was in the Asylum, so the circumstances were there which could have lead Charles to fathering a child with Mary (especially as Mary was quite 'loose', she had already had three illegitimate children before Ethel was born).

After noticing Elizabeth Jane Jesson on Mr. H's tree I decided to see if there was a connection between Elizabeth and Charles. As it turns out they were first cousins, both grandchildren of Edmund Jesson of Stechford, Yardley. If you say that Ethel Whitefoot was indeed Charles' daughter then the relationship between my father and Mr. H would be 4th cousins, exactly what is predicted by Ancestry.

This of cause does not prove 100% than Charles is my 2nd great grandfather, but it is certainly a start. If I had not gone down the route of taking these tests I would never have found out this information. However, this could be the start of me being able to close off a gaping hole in my own tree and finally find the ancestor's I though I had lost.


Cheshire / Re: Neonatal baptisms in hospital
« on: Saturday 16 December 17 08:05 GMT (UK)  »
I think it would be the local vicar who would preform the baptism and it would be recorded in the church register as a private baptism.

This is what happened to my uncle who was baptised at the hospital in Burton upon Trent just before death in 1947 (he was only 2 months old).

Thank you all for your reply's, they are very much appreciated. So at the moment I have 4 people who believe the two ladies could be the same person, and 1 who does not. If anybody else would like to add their thought's it would be appreciated.

Handwriting Deciphering & Recognition / Are these signature's by the same person?
« on: Saturday 12 August 17 12:12 BST (UK)  »
I would be very interested to hear what people think of the below signatures - are the by the same lady?

The 1876, 1878 and 1879 examples are definitely by the same woman, Elizabeth Abberley (nee Simpson) the wife of John Abberley. The 1874 example is by Elizabeth Cato, the 'wife' of Charles Cato - I cannot find a marriage for this so I think they were only common law spouses. I believe that Elizabeth Cato was the woman who would go onto marry John Abberley, and the mother of my ancestor Charles Simpson. I have another thread regarding this mystery (A Cato Mystery), I though it was wise to start a new thread hear as I am mainly interested in what people think of the signatures.

England / Re: A Cato Mystery
« on: Tuesday 25 April 17 08:47 BST (UK)  »
Sorry, duplicate post

England / Re: A Cato Mystery
« on: Tuesday 25 April 17 08:46 BST (UK)  »
I am just putting the following information here so that I have somewhere online to keep my notes (I have a habit of loosing them if I keep them in writing or save them on a computer!).

William Wakley
The William Wakley shown on the census as being in the barracks at Aldershot is down as being born at Lincoln around 1833. However, his army records state he was born at Leicester in 1832, and was discharged from Aldershot in January 1872. The records also state that he intended to become a Tailor in Leicester after his discharge. There is a death in the December Quarter 1872 for a William Wakely (note the slightly different spelling) at Leicester, aged 40 years (1832 again). If Elizabeth was living as William's wife then she has just moved a lot closer to Burton and William's death would explain why there relationship ended.

Charles Cato
I have narrowed down Charles Cato to two likely individuals. One was living on the 1871 Census in London with his parents and was down as a Coachman aged 33 years (born 1838). This Charles is still in London on the 1881, now living with his "wife" Sarah and I presume his step son William (aged 17). Charles is still a Cab Driver, and I can find no record of his marriage to Sarah between the census's.

The second Charles is living on the 1881 Census in Ealing, London with his "wife" Mary. Charles is 48 years old (born 1833) and born Tring, Hertfordshire. Charles describes himself as a Labourer, by the 1901 census he starts calling himself a Navvy which I believe meant Railway Labourer by the late 19th century (this fits perfectly with the Birth Certificate that started off my search). Once again, I can find no record of his marriage to Mary, but Mary is down as being born in Kegworth, Leicestershire on the 1881 census, this points to the possibility that Charles may have travelled to the East Midlands (in particular Leicester) at some point in his life. Also, interesting to note is that I believe this Charles was in the Army up until the early 1870's, so perhaps there was some sort of connection between Charles Cato and William Wakley (even though they served in different regiments).

Canada Lookup Request / Re: The Tippin Family of Meaford, Ontario
« on: Friday 24 March 17 21:09 GMT (UK)  »
Wilfred is my grandfather. My father has the entire family tree/history. Please contact me.

Thanks for getting in touch. I have just sent you a PM with my email address, I don't know if you will be able to read it though as you have only posted the one message.

I would also like to thank all the people again who helped with my original enquiry (I hope you are still around), I think my follow up message was a bit poor to say the least.

The Lighter Side / Re: Unusual first names - were they any help?
« on: Friday 17 March 17 10:51 GMT (UK)  »
I believe I have an ancestor called Fortune Wright (nee Kirk), I have no idea where that name comes from! I know that surnames can sometimes become first names but I have never seen this happen with a female before. Looking through the baptism register for Cotgrave there is actually quite a few Fortune's baptised, I wonder if they are all named after one person (and probably all descended from the individual) or if it was a name doing the rounds in late 1600's Nottinghamshire.

As I said, I believe she is my ancestor as I am descended from a Thomas Wright who was born in the 1720's at Wysall, Nottinghamshire. There are two entries in the register one in 1724 (the son of Edmund and Fortune) and one in 1726 (the son of Charles and Mary). As Thomas named a daughter Fortune and a son Edmund I think it is safe to say that my Thomas was born 1724!

As for a male name, I do have a Justus Bosward from Warwickshire. It's a good job he had an unusual name as well, his baptism was entered as Justus Boswell.

And as for the most unusual name I have come across during my research (and not been related), I always remember finding a marriage in Birmingham for a Shropshire Newbrook.

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