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Topics - RW1

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This is a photo that has been passed down from my great-grandmother's family, along with others that we are mostly able to identify.  I remember that my grandfather had a label on it (note to self: don't use sticky labels that come off, write on the back in pencil) saying "Michael Jeeves".  Well, this would be my great-grandmother's grandfather, who died in 1846 at the age of 44 - so I don't see how this can be him?  He was a warehouseman, grocer and porter, who left his pregnant widow in very dire financial straits, so again, would he look like that dressed up for a studio portrait?  The subject looks a very young man, so the photograph cannot be early enough to be a young Michael?

Unfortunately, it's a photo of a photo so no studio name, etc.

Any suggestions as to the date (from clothing, etc) might help identify possible family members.

Many thanks.

The Common Room / Cause of Death "Uknown"
« on: Monday 20 May 24 12:25 BST (UK)  »

My 3 x great-grandmother, Hannah Shipman (née Evans, c.1817 - 21 December 1886) fell down the stairs at either her, or her daughter's, house in High Street, Quinton, Birmingham, on 29 November 1886 and was taken to "the Queen's Hospital, and detained." - as reported in The Harborne Herald & Edgbaston Observer – Saturday 4 December 1886, p5.

She subsequently died on 21 December 1886 at "Workhouse, Western Road - USB", with the cause of death "Unknown".  On the death certificate, there is no doctor's signature or details as in "Certified by", etc - the only signatures are her daughter's (as informant) and the registrar's (George Shread).

Does this sound a bit unusual?

Many thanks.

The Common Room / Missing GRO Death - 1945
« on: Monday 15 January 24 11:10 GMT (UK)  »

I have found a death entry on -
Charles W Butler; March 1945; (age) 56; Ilford; 4a; 523

But I can't find it on GRO (there are 4 other entries for 4a, 523, same period, which I can find).

I did a "Missing entry in the death index" report, which came back from GRO -
"Investigated – No amendment required" and "Indexed data is correct."

I tried to contact GRO, but halfway through the contact form it outlined in RED with the message "THERE IS A PROBLEM" - it kept doing this, even after disconnecting from the internet and starting again.

So, I resent the missing report - this time putting a fuller message in the free text.  GRO came back again, this time with -
"Investigated – No amendment required" and "Indexed data not available."

Can anyone else find this, please?

Many thanks.

The Common Room / Eleanor Frances Butler, née Greene (1848 - unknown)
« on: Sunday 10 December 23 12:35 GMT (UK)  »

I should be very grateful to find out what happened after 1911 to Eleanor Frances Butler, née Greene - baptised on 30 July 1848 (birthdate given as 4 July 1848) at St Stephens, Camden Town, Middlesex.  Her parents were Charles (a newspaper reporter and later clerk to the St Pancras Burial Board) and Emily Greene of King Street.  Emily died in 1861 and Charles in 1888.  Eleanor Frances married Charles Butler in 1881 (she is "my daughter Eleanor Frances Butler" in her father's will of 1888) and they had two children - Constance (who died young) and Charles Jr.  Eleanor was noted as widowed (by 1891) and is shown (as Ellen) in Islington with Charles Jr and Constance on the Census of 1891 (21 Durham Road); and with Charles Jr in 1901 (245 Tufnell Park Road) and 1911 (44 Junction Road).  In 1911, Charles is 22 and an unmarried Electric Engineer; Eleanor is a Monthly Nurse.

Any information would be much appreciated.
Thank you.

The Common Room / Missing GRO Record
« on: Monday 17 July 23 12:20 BST (UK)  »

I'm interested in seeing the death certificate that I've found on


I have looked at the scanned image used by and believe this is transcribed correctly in, but I cannot find it on the GRO website inquiry in order to buy the certificate.  Other entries from the same sheet, eg WILLIAM HENRY GREENE, Clerkenwell, 1B, 340, do appear on the GRO website.

I've tried the "phonetic" and "similar sounding" options on GRO, as well as anything I thought GREENE may have been mis-transcribed as.

I phoned GRO and was told not to use the free entry, paper certificate order screen (£11), using all the correct details, as GRO wouldn't be able to find it either and I'd get an "incorrect order details" response (and lose my £11).  But I was advised to send in a query to "", which I did and enclosed the scanned image from  I assumed (wrongly) that GRO would correct the entry (however it was wrong), it would then appear on the website and I'd be able to order the certificate.

I had a reply from GRO saying "index holders are aware of the existence of errors and GRO does not guarantee the accuracy of the data supplied".  Who are "index holders"?

GRO also states that due to the scale of the task of updating errors, "it would be impossible to update all the copies of our indexes".

GRO also suggests that I send a photocopy of the death certificate to GRO, PO Box 2, Southport PR8 2JD.  I wonder why they think I already have it!  Or where I got it from!  Or what they will do with it, if they don't correct errors!

The only solution that I can think of is to contact the actual register office in London (Pancras or successor)?

Many thanks for any other suggestions.

Ireland / James Deeley/Dealey/Daley
« on: Sunday 21 May 23 10:47 BST (UK)  »

I am looking for the Irish family of James Deeley (also Daley, Dealey – his descendants all ultimately settled on Deeley).

James Deeley (but signing “James Dealey”) married Elizabeth Cotterill on 26 March 1815 at Wolverhampton, Staffordshire.

James (birthplace of Ireland) and Elizabeth are listed with their (presumed) two children, Arthur (c.1816) and Sarah (c.1818) on the 1841 Census at Portway Road, Wednesbury, England.

Elizabeth Dealey (wife of James Dealey, Labourer) died on 21 October 1843 at Portway Road, Wednesbury.  Her widower, James Dealey, signed his name.

James Daley (70) married Sarah Harper (also 70, née Burgess) on 11 September 1849 at St James’s Church, Wednesbury, Staffordshire.  James does not sign his own name and his father is given as “Neil Daley, Taylor”.  James and Sarah are at Portway, St James.

James (birthplace of Ireland) and Sarah are listed on the 1851 Census at Portway Road, Wednesbury.

James Deeley died on 18 March 1854 at Portway Road, Wednesbury.  His age was given as 80 years by his widow, Sarah, who did not write her signature.

Neil Daley, given as James’s father and presumable a tailor from Ireland, could be Niall Dealey?

Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.
Thank you.

The Common Room / No trace of James
« on: Friday 07 October 22 16:24 BST (UK)  »
James Couch (aged 39) was convicted of larceny (stealing a van) on 3 October 1859 at Westminster and sentenced to 4 years.  He was prisoner 3228 and Chatham Prison records show that he was released on licence on 13 January 1863 with the word "Gibraltar" written above the entry.

His name was James Nathaniel Couch and at the time of the 1851 Census he was living with his wife and daughter (both called Caroline) at 51 Wilsted Street, St Pancras.  I can't find him on the 1861 Census - although he was in Chatham Prison (he's on the 1861 Muster) - while Caroline (now with two children) is at 54 Edward Street, Regents Park.

James Nathaniel Couch (specifying his full name and aged 50) was convicted of fraud at Liverpool Borough Sessions in May 1863 and sentenced to 6 months.  This might be the same man as above, although the age is a bit out?

He fathered a last child with Caroline (Frances Esther Couch, registered March 1864 in Pancras) and so by May 1863, when he possibly was in Liverpool (if the same man), he could have already abandoned the family.  Caroline was alone on the 1871 Census (although stated as married) and actually married someone else in 1875.

I should be very grateful for information on the "Gibraltar" reference, and whether that leads us anywhere.  Also, any ideas on what happened to James would be much appreciated.

Thank you.

Handwriting Deciphering & Recognition / Tasmanian Convict - working for employer
« on: Tuesday 22 March 22 12:23 GMT (UK)  »

I have found this reference to James Cole (a convict sent to Tasmania in 1839, arriving 1840) in a Muster for 31 December 1841.  He is James Cole; Police Number 2556; Ship Canton; and under the heading "In what service, or how employed" it says something like Mr C G ??nnett, Kensington.

I though it was Bennett, initially, but now don't think that's a "B".  Here is the original.  I think there's a Kensington in Melbourne, but also in New South Wales.

Any thoughts, please, on this name would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you.

This is my original post in the Australia forum:

PS - the Muster is a Muster for Tasmania and New South Wales.

The Common Room / Looking for Esther Stevens.
« on: Friday 11 March 22 20:27 GMT (UK)  »
I'm trying to find out what happened to Esther Stevens.  She is listed on the 1851 Census at Calverley Road which is in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, with her second husband (Thomas Stevens); her daughter (Louisa Stonestreet, later Neal) and Louisa's family are listed after Esther and Thomas. 

I think Louisa was Esther's 9th child (of 11), baptised as "Louisa Stevens, illegitimate daughter of Esther Bovis".  Esther had her other children with her first husband, John Bovis, who died in 1831.  Esther married Thomas Stevens in 1833 and I've considered whether he is Louisa's father - Louisa was the informant of Thomas's death on 31 December 1857.  Thomas was then living at Station Road, Tonbridge (sic) Wells.  Louisa was still at Crown Field, where she had been in 1841 - I wonder whether Calverley Road in 1851 is the same place, just described differently.  Louisa died in 1869, when Esther would have been about 98, so not impossible for Esther to be still alive at that time and her later death mis-recorded by a non-relative?

Esther was baptised in 1772 in Sussex, so would have been about 79 at the time of the 1851 Census - as it shows.

Esther's is not the death in 1855 (Dartford) - I've bought that one and discounted it.

Esther's maiden name was Christian - several of her children were baptised with Christian as a middle name.

Any thoughts would be very much appreciated.  Thank you.

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