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Topics - CV-S

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Occupation Interests / Female bricklayer in 1851?
« on: Tuesday 28 January 14 00:14 GMT (UK)  »

In the 1851 census my ancestor is living with her second husband, who is a bricklayer. Under "occupation" she is dittoed. I have seen "ditto wife" etc. before but she is just plain ditto, showing clearly the same occupation as her husband, ie bricklayer.
However, surely this can't be right. She was in her thirties with several children, plus appears to have been running a travellers lodging house at the time, but most of all surely back then this was considered entirely a man's job.

Maybe the enumerator just neglected to write "wife" or just mistakenly wrote ditto. Any other suggestions would be appreciated.

London & Middlesex Lookup Requests / Christening of Emma Louisa Soundy c.1815
« on: Tuesday 21 January 14 10:41 GMT (UK)  »

For so long now one of my earliest brickwalls has been the Williams family. My ancestor Charles was born in 1840 in Battersea, the son of John (brewer's labourer) and Emma Louisa (surname unknown). With such a common name I failed to find a likely marriage.

Desperate to solve this, I went back to the 1841 and realised there was a Frances Soundy (aged 65) living with them. John and Emma had a daughter Frances, and then the major breakthrough happened, when I found the marriage between John Williams and Emma Soundy on 2 June 1832 in Westminster (both left a mark; witnesses Hannar [Hannah?] Soundy and John Astell).

So I theorise that Emma Louisa Soundy is my ancestor, probably the daughter of Frances Soundy and her husband John, who christened children in Lambeth in the late 1790s/early 1800s. Frances is very interesting as I've found details of many letters she wrote to the parish about her poverty and describing her hard life. In one of those letters (1831) she mentions she has a daughter who would start to go to work selling things on the streets, but couldn't as she had no suitable clothes. Emma would have been about 16 then, so seems to fit.

Emma was born circa 1815, birthplace Battersea/Fulham (according to census returns). I just can't find a christening for her at all, which is a shame as that would be the confirmation I need.

I would greatly appreciate any assistance/advice.
Thank you

London & Middlesex Lookup Requests / Christening of William Aris, c1801, Westminster
« on: Monday 20 January 14 07:30 GMT (UK)  »

For some time now my ancestor William Aris (born circa 1801 in Westminster) has been quite a brick wall. However, in a search for his granddaughter Esther Elizabeth Aris, I came across another identically-named lady born in 1826. I traced her family, and found that they lived in the same areas of Southwark/Lambeth/Battersea as my own Aris family. Finally I found an Ancestry tree with Esther (1826)'s father, Edward George Aris' christening - in 1804 in Westminster. I found his parents marriage certificate, naming them as Edward Aris & Martha Cray (1799). Now my William had children Edward and Martha..

I think it's looking pretty likely that my William is the brother of Edward and they are the sons of Edward Aris & Martha Cray. However, I have been completely unable to find a christening for my William. The details I have on his birth are from consistent census entries.

I can also find no likely records about Edward & Martha after their marriage - I'm hoping if I can, they may help confirm my theory.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Just to avoid wasted research, I already have all info on William's later life & descendants, just not his beginning.

Thank you.

London and Middlesex / Disappearing act of Michael & Bridget Brennan
« on: Sunday 04 August 13 03:20 BST (UK)  »

I have just got the marriage certificate of Francis Blunt and Margaret Brennan, which is:

10 June 1878, Parish Church in St James, Westminster
Francis Blunt, full age, bachelor, fishmonger, residing at 2 Peter St., father Samuel Blunt, boot closer
Margaret Brennan, minor, spinster, residing at 7 Green's Court, father Michael Brennan, labourer (dec'd.)
Francis left a mark, Margaret signed. Witnesses were Samuel Blunt (mark) and Louisa Blunt (signed), parents of Francis.

So the main confirmation is that Michael Brennan was deceased by 1878: so far I have absolutely no trace of Michael or his wife Bridget after the 1871 census.

Michael was born about 1825 in Kilkenny, and worked as a labourer.
Bridget was born about 1831 in Roscommon.

I believe they married in 1856 - with Bridget's maiden name being Joyce (haven't got that certificate yet, as I'd like to trace their lives before going back further).
However, there is no trace of them before the 1861 census. I'm not sure when they came over from England. It may have something to do with the famine, looking at the dates.

2 years ago I had some wonderful help locating Michael and Brennan in the 1861 and 1871 census, where they were listed as "Brinen" and "Brenan" respectively:
They lived in the Strand/Westminster area.

What I am determined to find now is any trace of Michael and Bridget after the 1871 census. So Michael's death between 1871 and 1878, and anything about Bridget.

If anyone could help in anyway I would greatly appreciate it.

Armed Forces / Uniform Identification please (early 20th century)
« on: Saturday 30 March 13 09:24 GMT (UK)  »
Good morning,

I have attached a photograph of a relative born in 1875, born in Hertfordshire and grew up in Surrey. He is said to have served in the Boer War and the First World War, and it is believed this photo was taken during the latter. I have very little to go on, and his name is very common (Smith) so I can't pin down any army records. I'm hoping if I can get a uniform ID it may help be trace his army record.

(added: Ernest is the seated man, but both seem to be wearing the same anyway)

Any suggestions or observations greatly appreciated  :)

Handwriting Deciphering & Recognition / Last column on 1901 census - help please
« on: Saturday 30 March 13 04:26 GMT (UK)  »
Good morning,

This attachment shows part of the 1901 census for my great-(etc)-aunts Alicia and Letitia Brown, who were spinsters in London. By this time they were 63 and 59 respectively, with Letitia working as a needlewoman.
Alicia had no occupation, but she does have something listed in the last column for diseases or disabilities. I'm struggling to read it. I can make out "paralysed" and then maybe weak brain(?) - does that make sense?
I've tried to include a bit more of the writing to compare without showing too much.

Any suggestions appreciated  :)

Surrey / Searching for birth of Sophia Goff, Godalming, circa 1788
« on: Friday 22 March 13 09:49 GMT (UK)  »
Good morning,

Could I please have some assistance in searching for a record of the birth/christening of my ancestor, Sophia Goff. Although her age is quite certain on later records, her birthplace changes.

1851 - age 63 (born c1788 in Godalming)
1861 - age 73 (born c1788 in Frensham)
1871 - age 83 (born c1788 in Godalming)

Sophia married Edward Penfold, a maltman, on 14 March 1809 in Thames Ditton. They lived in Sunbury-on-Thames, where Edward died in 1824.

Unfortunately I don't know anything about Sophia or Edward before their marriage, except for the details given on Sophia's census returns.

Just to avoid double-up research, I know everything I need to about Sophia after her marriage, and have traced their children, it's really her birth I'm struggling with.

I appreciate any replies that may come


I've searched and searched but just can't find this man. He was Samuel Blunt, born around 1837 in Wellingborough, Northampton. He worked in the shoe trade. I know his wife Louisa died in 1887, and I believe Samuel remarried in 1888 to Lydia Martha Wood, but don't have the marriage certificate. I was hoping that by finding him in the 1891 census I'd confirm the marriage to Lydia and look at getting the certificate.

In 1881 the family are in King Street, but based on other records they seem to move around (staying in Westminster area), from street to street alot. So that may not be very helpful.

I've tried searching by just surname, just first name, just birthplace, just occupation, searching for Lydia, etc., but just can't find anything!

Any help or suggestions gratefully accepted  :)

Norfolk / Susannah Middleditch, born circa 1791 in Hinderclay
« on: Saturday 02 March 13 08:23 GMT (UK)  »
Good morning,

I am searching for any records relating to the birth/christening/parents of my ancestor Susannah Middleditch.

This is the information I have on her:
11 September 1814 - married James Alderton/Allington in Little Welnetham, Suffolk.
1841 census - listed as Susan Allington, 46, not born in Suffolk, with her husband & some others in Lawshall.
1851 census - listed as Susannah Ollington, 60, widow, living on her own in Lawshall Green.
29 December 1855 - married John Crick, ag lab (born in Long Melford circa 1798).
1861 census - listed as Susannah Crick, 71, born in Hinderclay, Norfolk, with her husband, his son - next door is her daughter Rebecca Bruce with her family.
11 January 1863 - buried in Glemsford (St Mary's Anglican) as Susannah Crick, 73.

So from these details I am searching for a Susan(nah) Middleditch, born circa 1791 in Hinderclay (Norfolk/Suffolk?).   If anyone can help, I would be very grateful.

Kind regards  :)

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