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Topics - Rattus

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United States of America / Jane Perfett & sons - immigration mystery
« on: Thursday 04 January 18 07:24 GMT (UK)  »
I have been researching the events following the immigration of Jane Perfett and her sons to the USA. I have the ship's manifest for the SS Egypt voyage from Liverpool, UK to New York, arriving 5 May 1873. This includes Jane Perfett (age 37, 'wife'), George (11), Frank (4) and John ("infant").

I have not found an immigration record for Jane's husband, George William Perfett.  I have found no further trace of any of them in the USA after this immigration (via Castle Gardens) and could do with some help.

Back in the UK, I have Middlesex death and burial records for husband George in 1877 at the relatively young age of 38. Next sightings of sons George (George Edward) and Frank (Frank William) are in the 1881 census, respectively in Nottingham (working on the railway) and Middlesex (living with grandparents, noted on census as nephew but the age is about right).

So whether or not George William emigrated remains unknown. The return of George Edward and Frank William is established by the fact of their presence in the UK, though I have no record of the return itself. I am currently assuming that Jane and John must have died in the USA; I have found no relevant UK death records.

The final page of the ship's manifest shows two infant deaths at sea, neither of which is John.

'John' must surely be youngest son Alexander Frederick Perfett (registered as Perfitt), born 30 Sep 1872. Birth registered in Rugby (Warks, UK), where they were living at the time, mother's maiden name correct (Whyman in this entry, though Whyment in most other records), and registered by his father.

I have done extensive research on the Perfett family - apparently their preferred spelling, though they do appear here and there as Perfitt, Perfit, Perfect, and so on - and have a fairly detailed picture of them going back two further generations from George William. I have also followed his siblings' lines further down, and can get to present day from his son George Edward.

Jane Whyment was born around 1835, just before the advent of UK civil registration, and has been more difficult to pin down. The Whyment family census record for 1851 places them in Swinford (Leics) with several births in Clipston (Northants). Post-marriage (1860), Jane's place of birth declared in 1861 & 71 census is Kilsby (Northants).

George William Perfett was a railway worker: an engine driver by 1871, also given as his occupation on his 1877 death certificate. Might or might not be relevant to an emigration and record sources. Also, a UK smallpox epidemic reached its peak in 1872; another motivator, alongside a new-born son?

I have a LOT more UK-oriented information on the Perfetts, omitted here for the sake of brevity. I would like to focus on USA (& Canada?) records at this stage. If no further trace of them can be found in North America, I will return to researching the UK.

Any help, whether factual or simply "Have you looked at x?" gratefully appreciated. Not sure whether my inexperience with USA records is an issue, or other factors (e.g. I remember reading that there are many limitations facing research of NY-area deaths around this period).

How to Use RootsChat (Please don't post requests here) / Best place to post?
« on: Wednesday 03 January 18 11:50 GMT (UK)  »
I've gone as far as I can with my biggest family mystery, so it's time to ask fellow RootsChatters for a fresh perspective. I'm wondering about the best way to approach this, to make the most efficient use of the forum.

This branch of the family were originally from Middlesex and spent a couple of generations in Rugby. There was then an emigration to the USA, followed by a mystery few years, after which some but not all of the family become visible again in Middlesex and Nottingham.

I have a lot of background information and will do my best to summarise without overloading, but I could do with some advice on where to post. As the heart of the mystery is what happened to the family members who never returned from the USA (because I can't find any relevant records) I guess posting to the 'United States of America' board is the best place to start.

Do you think it's best to simply do this one post as a starting point, then see what responses come back before posting further? Or would shorter, additional posts to the Warwickshire and London & Middlesex boards also be appropriate, summarising the issue from that geographic perspective?

I guess from a conceptual point of view I'm asking for opinions on whether to pursue a serial or parallel approach. Look forward to anyone's thoughts.

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