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Topics - RW1

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Family History Beginners Board / Joseph Bennett
« on: Friday 01 January 21 12:55 GMT (UK)  »

I have two Joseph Bennetts that I've researched:

No 1 - was baptised on 8 March 1818 at East Blatchington, Sussex; father: John Bennett, labourer; mother: Hester Bovis.  At their earlier marriage, Hester had signed her name, but John made his mark.  I have nothing more on this Joseph.  Some trees have a birthday of 7 March 1818, but this isn't on the baptism record.

No 2 - was married in London (father noted as John Bennett, farmer) in 1839 to Sarah Watkins, had two children (John and Ann) and then emigrated to Canada with mother-in-law, Mary Watkins.  He was a farmer, who moved on to Michigan, USA, and later became a United Brethren minister.  He died in 1886, but the parental information column on his burial record is blank.  At the time of his marriage, he was a schoolmaster, I believe, at Manor House, Holloway - at least this is given as his residence, and appears to have once been a school.

Trees on familysearch and ancestry put these two as the same man, but I can find nothing that connects them at all.  I wonder if I have missed something?

Many thanks for any pointers, help, etc.

The Common Room / Hampshire Library Service
« on: Monday 24 August 20 18:14 BST (UK)  »
Following a customer consultation, Hampshire Library Service has taken the decision to cancel the subscription to, so, at some point in the future, this will no longer be available through the free digital access in Hampshire libraries.

In the questionnaire, Hampshire Library Service proposed a cancellation, stating that this was a service that "duplicates Find my Past".  This rather unfortunate wording resulted in 74% of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing with the statement; another 12% were indifferent.

It's a shame - but I understand there is limited money to go round.

Family History Beginners Board / Missing Merchant Seaman
« on: Saturday 15 August 20 09:58 BST (UK)  »

I am researching Samuel Topley, born in April 1850 in Portsea, Hampshire, who became a merchant seaman.  He is on the 1901 Census at Valkyrie Road, Pear Tree Green, Itchen, nr Southampton, and was probably working out of Southampton Docks.  The following Census in 1911, his wife (Rhoda) is a widow, at Manor Road, Itchen.  There appears to be no UK death registration (or Will) - and I wonder if he died while on service overseas, and whether there is any way to find out?  I have looked at the merchant seaman websites that I could find, but found nothing on Samuel.  His son, also Samuel, worked for the Union Castle Line in Southampton and was killed, aged 18, in a boiler explosion on board the RMSP "Araguaya" on 13 January 1913.  I wonder if his father worked for the same company?

Many thanks for any pointers, etc.

The Common Room / - missing record(s)
« on: Saturday 18 July 20 15:20 BST (UK)  »
I'm trying to find the 1841 Census record on for Jane Hasted, 45, of Portsea Island, who was living at Wellington Place - information from

There are others in the same household: William Hasted (14); Eliza Hasted (8 years); Mary Clifford (30); William Clifford (3); and Eliza Mason (13).  Of course, this is per the transcription on familysearch.

They are also all found on a search of Wellington Place, Portsea Island, on  No funny spellings or different dates to familysearch.  I would be able to see the sheet, if I subscribed to findmypast, but I don't - I subscribe to ancestry!

However, ancestry finds none of them.  I phoned the ancestry helpline and he couldn't find them either.  The explanation offered was that a descendant might have asked for that record to be removed - but that couldn't be confirmed.  Seems a bit over the top?  From 1841?

I was directed to National Archives (not sure what they would do) - ancestry didn't seem to want to investigate.

It this actually a thing that people have encountered before?

The Common Room / Albert George Rea on
« on: Friday 12 June 20 15:37 BST (UK)  »

I have been looking at some trees on ancestry that contain my great-grandfather, Albert George Rea.  I wondered why several of them show his birth as 29 April 1880, when his actual date of birth was 13 January 1881 - I know a lot of trees are just copied and not researched, but who started this?

Then I realised that he was Christened on 29 April 1881, so this date has been taken to be his birthdate, but mistyped as 1880.  However, looking at ancestry, their summary page does show 1880 - a mistake I have now flagged to ancestry.

Also, of the nine trees that I can see, the majority have his death as 1939, when in fact he died on 12 October 1959.  They also show his death in Alverstoke, Gosport, Hampshire (Little Green).  This is completely impossible - I live about 15 minutes walk from Little Green, Alverstoke, and it wasn't built until the 1960s.  Anyway, I know he died in Sussex.  There is a family connection to Little Green, but one that can't possibly be online anywhere at all - I challenge anyone to find it!

Just out of a sense of curiosity, I'm intrigued to know where this idea comes from - I have tried contacting one of the tree owners, who I think is related, but no response.

I thought I'd post this as a funny story about not believing anything you see other than your own research!

Family History Beginners Board / Bigamy?
« on: Monday 20 April 20 13:48 BST (UK)  »
I would like to ask whether a 19 year-old man marrying in 1891, would have been considered not married at all, if he hadn't had permission from his surviving parent?
He joined the army six months after this marriage, possibly deserting the wife, and then married again in 1899, stating his condition as "Bachelor".
His older brother was a witness at the first wedding, but not his mother, who of course may have attended but not signed as a witness - but how would she have given her permission otherwise?  Could the older brother have given it?
Any comments would be much appreciated.

Armed Forces / Black Watch
« on: Thursday 14 March 19 12:26 GMT (UK)  »
I'm trying to trace someone, who joined the Black Watch and another British Regiment in the 1880s or 1890s.  Nothing comes up on findmypast or ancestry, which is where I'm directed by the Black Watch website and I wonder whether there may be another avenue I might try?  Also forces-war-records draws a blank.

Many thanks.

The Common Room / Felix Franz Alfred Ogilvie
« on: Saturday 18 August 18 10:57 BST (UK)  »
Felix Franz Alfred Ogilvie, born about 1874 and a German citizen, was tried at the Old Bailey in 1911 on charges of bigamy and fraud and sentenced to a total of 21 years, sentences to run concurrently (longest 10 years).  At first in Wandsworth, at some point he moved to Portland Prison, from where he was discharged on licence 2 years early on 30 August 1918 with the note "To be interned", presumably as he was German and WW1 was still on.
I have managed to find a lot on his enlistment in the US Cavalry, 3 (at least) marriages, Times articles on the trial, etc, but cannot find anything after 1918.  The National Archives site redirects me to findmypast for information on internees, but nothing comes up for him there.
I understand that not many records exist from WW1 for internees, and as Felix was always reinventing himself (he married as Francis Fraser Ogilvie and Charles Ellister Bradley) I wonder if his post-1918 life will remain a mystery.
I should be really grateful to hear from anyone who may know something or may even be related to him or know of him, although at the time of his trial in 1911 I don't think any of his marriages had produced his own children.
Many thanks indeed.

Hello.  I'm trying to find out what happened to my relatives after they married (1918, Richmond, Surrey) and emigrated to Canada (Freda in July 1919; Charles returned with the Canadian Army separately, having already resided in Canada and joined the Army there, coming back to Europe for WWI).  Their gravestone in St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Toronto confirms their dates of death as 1970 (Charles) and 1977 (Freda).  Charles was born in 1881/1882 (birth certificate ordered) and Freda in 1895 (not 1896 as gravestone says).

It would be lovely to hear from anyone with a connection, too, as I have photos and correspondence to share (all pre-1919).

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