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Topics - CelticAnnie

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The Common Room / Who was this Jane Parry? Who are her family?
« on: Friday 23 April 21 23:32 BST (UK)  »
I am trying to identify the family of a Jane Parry. 

 This Jane first appears in my tree in 1861 Portsea census as the wife of Edward Davies age 55 born Denbigh. Wales.  The census suggests Jane was born in Newington, Surrey in about 1816.  I have not, however, been able to find any marriage record for this pair.  Perhaps Jane was a widow when they married and had a different maiden name.

The only other records I have found for Jane is a death registration record in the name of Jane Parry Davies in London Q3 1863; coupled with Find A Grave suggesting the presence of a gravestone of a Jane Parry Davies d 17th August 1863 in Brompton Cemetery.  Not very enlightening.

Intriguingly, in the 1871 census, Edward Davies has a young unmarried woman staying with him who is described as his niece.  Her name is Frances E Walker and she was born about 1845 in Middlesex.  I am confident she is not descended through the Davies line -- and she must therefore be, presumably, of the blood line of Jane Parry.  It seems to suggest that Jane Parry is a sibling of one of Frances' parents.

Frances' parents are Sir William Harrison Walker b1799 Sittingbourne, Kent and Isabella Thomasine Paxton Rider, daughter of the Rev. Ralph Carr Rider.  However, so far as I have been able to trace, neither of these -- unfortunately -- in fact had a sibling named Jane born c1816. 

Intriguingly, I might just mention that both Edward Davies and Sir William were naval men of officer rank who could well have met each other and become friends through this commonality.

So I am now stuck!

Please does anyone have any ideas on this? 

Grateful for all and any assistance anyone can give.

Many thanks.


Australia / Marriage details sought -- two brothers, Western Australia
« on: Friday 17 April 20 23:31 BST (UK)  »
There appear to be a lot of great records online for Western Australia ancestors; but I have not been able to locate marriage records for two brothers: David McLean Owen b Apr 1910 Fremantle and William Thomas Owen b Apr 1912 Fremantle.  Records I have found show that David was married to Irene Heathcote by 1958, and William was married to Clemina ('Mina') Victoria Keys by 1943 -- but, as I say, I can't find details of either marriage.

Would be grateful for any help/advice with this anyone can offer.

Many thanks.


Gideon Davies Owen was born 27th June 1857 in Edinburgh; but moved to London as a child with his family.  In the 1871 census, aged 14, he is an errand boy working for wholesale chemist (I suspect in his father's workplace); but by 1881 (if I have identified him correctly -- first name rendered as 'Geo' rather than 'Gideon', but all other details fit) he is living as a boarder with a couple in Camberwell and is employed as a chemist.  Perhaps he was then working as an assistant, gaining experience.  But by 1891 he is living/working at 546 Harrow Road, Paddington: a retail unit with flat above; and he is a retail chemist.

The Pharmacy Act of 1868 made it compulsory for all chemists to register with The Royal Pharmaceutical Society to be allowed to practice -- which (if they were not in practice before 1868 -- when Gideon would have been 11 years old) involved passing an exam.  Yet this Society has no record of Gideon's ever registering with them!  So he appears to have been trading without the required registration.  Does anyone know, was this commonly done at this time?  Would it have been an easy thing to get away with?

Of course, upon learning of his lack of registration, I wondered if perhaps -- despite him living in the property exclusively with members of his family -- he was working at this address under the direction of another chemist.  But the following newspaper entry negates this idea -- clearly, Gideon was 'the man in charge'.

KILBURN TIMES -- Friday 31 August 1900
"A CHEMIST'S ACCIDENT -- Gideon Davis Owen, chemist, of 546 Harrow Road, was summoned by the Paddington Vestry for selling to the prejudice of the purchaser [one unreadable word] tincture of quinine which contained 80% less than the proper proportion of quinine sulphate as prescribed by the British Pharmacopeia.  He pleaded guilty, and explained that the deficiency was due to an accident.  As the article was being prepared an assistant dropped some of the sulphate -- Mr Plowden said as there was no fraud the defendant would be fined 5s with 12s 6d costs."

To my mind, this verdict accepting Gideon's account of things as an accident seems very odd. If some quinine sulphate had been dropped, why did the assistant simply not re-make the prescription?  To my mind, this does seem much more likely to have been a fraud.  But I wasn't in court listening to the case, so -- who knows?!

Then, on the very next day, another newspaper carries this advertisement:

LONDON EVENING STANDARD -- Saturday 1 September
"HARROW ROAD, W. -- The fittings and stock of a chemist, comprising sets of store bottles, show carboys, mortars, scales, counter showcases, stock of drugs and chemicals, fancy goods, perfumes, soaps, brushes, patent medicines, counters, shelving, few lots of household furniture, and other effects.  MESSRS H N NEWTON & CO will SELL by AUCTION on the Premises, No 546 Harrow-road, W., on Monday, September 3, 1900 at 12 o'clock.

So, on the very next day after his case is heard: here Gideon is, selling his shop fittings and stock!  It is surely most unlikely that the two events were unconnected.  But -- how are they?!

In 1901 census, Gideon is -- frustratingly -- visiting friends; so no indication from here of where he was living then.  But the electoral roll suggests he was still at 546 Harrow Road; and the 1901 census lists his profession as 'chemist/drug own account'!  So it looks as if nothing had changed!

After this, Gideon drops completely out of sight.  I cannot find him in 1911 census, and can find no death certificate for him.

This whole thing is a confusing mess and I just don't know what to make of it all.  I just wondered if anyone else could throw any light on, or has any ideas about, all of this.  Or can anyone find any other records relating to him?

Many thanks for reading this far -- sorry about the long post!



The skeleton in our family closet  :o is the birth of a baby in 1870 to an unmarried lady -- fathered by her brother-in-law! (She had been living in his household for many years, along with her sister -- his wife -- and the children of the marriage). In the 1871 census, the baby's relationship to the head-of-household father is described as 'nephew'; but in the 1881 census he is listed as the child of his biological father and his wife -- with the implication that he is being raised as a sibling of his half-cousins.  Not that unusual an event, I suppose -- although it must have caused a lot of friction between the adults in the household for a time.

This is a lower middle-class family, to whom respectability would have been important.

My questions relate to the birth certificate.  First -- excluding where baby is illegitimate -- how common was it for births to be registered by mother rather than by father at this time (around 1870)?  Second, the father's profession is listed as 'master mariner' (he was actually a wholesale chemist!) -- presumably with the implication that he was away a lot, which is why mother rather than father is having to register the birth.  If y'all have any clearly 'made up fathers' on birth certificates in your collection, do they similarly follow made-up professions which might have kept them away from home at time when baby was born -- thus allowing the mother a veneer of respectability as she registers the birth?  If so, what made-up professions do they follow?   I guess I'm just curious about why this lady (who lived in London but not near the Thames) chose 'master mariner' for her baby's fictional father!


Argyllshire / 18th century records: parish of Ardnamachan
« on: Thursday 03 October 19 20:59 BST (UK)  »
I am researching Donald McLean -- presently known only from military discharge papers which suggest he was born c1752 in Ardnamachan; and also researching his (I think!) son, Ronald McLean, born c1788, also in Ardnamachan (although this is placed in next-door Inverness-shire in Ronald's military discharge papers).  Ronald's death certificate gives his father's name as Donald.

On Scotland's People I have not only failed to find either man's birth/baptismal parish record entries, but was perturbed not to seem to be able to find any parish records relating to Ardnamachan during this period at all!

Having researched on here, I found it suggested that the earliest Old Parochial Registers for Arnamachan in fact date from 1777.  Does anyone know why this is?  Is it just that, although records were made at the time, they have just not survived?

Ronald was not born until about 1788 -- but there is no sign of him in the records even so.   Anybody any idea why this might be?

I'm assuming that there's nowhere else I can look for them?

Would welcome all help/suggestions.

Many thanks.



An ancestor -- a soldier in the rank of private -- was honourably discharged from his regiment in 1802 for medical reasons; and, amongst other things,  the surgeon's certificate describes him as 'much afflicted with gravel'! ???  Does anybody have any ideas what this might be?  The writing looks pretty clear; I'm pretty confident that the word is 'gravel'.

Many thanks.



Technical Help / Cannot access Scotland's People Finished with thanks!
« on: Monday 23 September 19 18:30 BST (UK)  »
 Anybody else having problems accessing Scotland's People today?

I get as far as filling in the details of the person I want to search on, but when I press 'search' -- nothing happens.  Except I've been getting an error message that begins,  'An AJAX HTTP error occurred/HTTP Result Code 200'.  I've even set up a new account to search with but that didn't work either.   :'( :(

Please, does anyone have any ideas what I do now?  (Apart from throwing my laptop out the window!)

Many thanks


My ggg died in Edinburgh in 1862 -- pretty certain he never visited London; but his family moved there, after his death and sometime before end of 1868.  So I am wondering if this carte de visite could have been produced from some sort of earlier photographic image of ggg after the family had moved.   I understand (from googling!) that J F Timms and Son worked from this address from 1851 to 1876, so those dates would seem to fit, so far as they go.

I just wondered if anyone saw anything about this that might tighten up the date at all.  There seems to be nothing in the image itself that helps with dating, unfortunately (although it is interesting that the subject appears to be writing or reading papers as my ggg was a teacher of penmanship); but maybe someone might be able to tighten up date on the card stock?  It would also be helpful to know if this could (as I'm wondering) have been produced using a (pre-1862) photographic image.

Many thanks for all assistance.


The Common Room / Difference between an 'officiating minister' and a vicar
« on: Saturday 03 November 18 21:27 GMT (UK)  »
When one looks at a marriage certificate, I assume that, where it is signed by a vicar, this is the official who is normally in charge of the church where said marriage is taking place.  But, in the case of an 1879 marriage I am interested in, the service was conducted by an 'officiating minister' -- yet others taking place in same church in the same month are all conducted by the same vicar.  Was the vicar likely then just not available on the relevant day (mine was the only marriage in that church that day) so that an 'officiating minister' stepped in to help that vicar out?  Or could there be any other reason for a marriage being conducted by an 'officiating minister'?  (I don't know of any pre-existing relationship between him and the parties to the marriage).

I am troubled and puzzled by location of this marriage.  The groom was, at the time, employed as Head Attendant at the county lunatic asylum in Herefordshire; yet the marriage took place in Islington (where the bride had family) and was by Banns.  But, in order to get married by Banns, would the groom not have needed to establish residency within the church's parish and to have appeared in that church for three Sundays in a row in order for Banns to be called?  I simply cannot understand how the groom could have taken the necessary time off work up in Herefordshire to do this. ???

Bah!!! ::)

Anybody have any ideas?

For what it's worth, the officiating minister (the Rev. Digby Marsh Berry) appears to have been tutor at the London College of Divinity at the time.

Many thanks.


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