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Topics - RichardK

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London and Middlesex / Disappearing Mary Meakins, post 1851, Southwark
« on: Friday 11 June 21 13:42 BST (UK)  »
Hello - I have been looking through the death and marriage records trying to establish what happened to the Mary Meakins who appears in the 1851 census living at 4 Harrow Street in the parish of St George the Martyr, Southwark. (Class HO107; Piece 1564; Folio 5; Page 3.) She was a widow and gave her age as 76 and birthplace as "Marson" in Bedfordshire, which I am reasonably confident refers to Marston Mortaine - I think her maiden name was Mary Simkins; there was a Mary Simkins baptised at Marston Moretaine in 1778 and a Mary Simkins & John Meakins marriage there in 1799. Her daughter, a widow called Mary Berry, was also living at 4 Harrow Street in 1851.

None of the death or burial records I have been able to find after 1851 in the London area seems to match her details, and the only Mary Meakins (or variants) marriages I can find in the area are spinsters. In particular, I have ruled out:
d. Mary MEAKIN, September Quarter 1857, St Olave district - was only aged 33.
d. Mary Ann MEEKING, March Quarter 1859, Poplar district - was widow of Samuel.
d. Mary MEEKING, March Quarter 1863, St Saviour district - was only aged 55.

Mary only had two surviving children (Mary Berry and John Meakins), both of whom stayed in Southwark, so I think the chances of her having gone to live in a completely different area are relatively low (but of course not impossible).

Can anyone spot a matching death or remarriage that I've missed?
Many thanks


Handwriting Deciphering & Recognition / Help reading funeral record
« on: Saturday 08 May 21 08:28 BST (UK)  »
Hello - I've been looking for the death of a man known as Caleb Francis Best or Forrester. He was illegitimate and mostly used his mother's surname of Forrester, but his birth was also registered under his father's surname of Best. He was born in 1860 at Crockenhill in Kent, and his last confirmed sighting is there in the 1891 census. He was listed as deceased when one of his daughters married in 1904.

I've found the attached extract from an 1892 funeral record in the Everest Funeral Directors' record book, which appears to start with "Mr Caleb Best Orpington", but I'm struggling to read the text which follows. Unlike most other entries in this book, no date of death appears to be given. The name listed at the start of these entries is usually the deceased, but not always, sometimes being a husband or parent of the deceased instead. The entry comes between those for Rebecca Wanden (died 22 Feb 1892) and Nellie Elizabeth Clifton (died 29 Mar 1892). They were both buried at All Souls, Crockenhill. There was one burial at Crockenhill between theirs, being Jane Augusta Puddifant, buried 24 Mar 1892.

Any suggestions as to what the handwriting says which may make sense of this? Is this Caleb's funeral (despite no obvious death registration) or is he merely somehow involved in paying for someone else's funeral?

Many thanks

Free Photo Restoration & Date Old Photographs / Unknown lady Broadway in Worcestershire
« on: Friday 18 September 20 20:46 BST (UK)  »
Hello - looking for opinions for dates on this photograph recently found by a relative. (I only have this scan, I have not seen the original myself.) It was found in a prayer book that was published in 1851, alongside a prayer card (Catholic?) of a man who died in 1866 but whose connection to the family we have not been able to establish. The book appears to be signed by the finder's great-grandmother, who lived 1854-1910. The family lived at Broadway in Worcestershire. I understand there are no photographer's details on the picture. Hoping that a date may help narrow down whether this picture is contemporary with when the book's apparent owner was a young woman, or whether it's more likely to be someone from a different generation.
Many thanks

Scotland / Testament look up General Register House: Henry Clouston Maitland 1962
« on: Tuesday 27 February 18 12:41 GMT (UK)  »
Hello - I gather the only way to check for testamentary records post 1925 is to visit General Register House in Edinburgh. Being in southern England this isn't easy. I'm trying to establish whether Henry Clouston Maitland left a will - he died in Edinburgh on 4 Nov 1962. Might anyone be able to look it up for me please?
Many thanks

Handwriting Deciphering & Recognition / Illegible birthplace, 1851 census
« on: Friday 26 January 18 07:19 GMT (UK)  »
Can anyone help work out what this birthplace is meant to say please? It's from the 1851 census for Alexander McKenzie, a Scottish tailor living in St Pancras. Class HO107; Piece 1493; Folio 563; Page 8. Anything I can make of it doesn't seem to be a real place. This was the only census in which Alexander gave a more precise place of birth than 'Scotland'. Confidence isn't inspired by the fact that his wife was from Woburn in Bedfordshire, and there are plenty of streets named after Woburn in that part of London, yet her birthplace has come out as 'Waurbourn'.

England / Disappearing Charlotte Puckeridge after 1861 - fresh eyes needed to find her.
« on: Thursday 18 January 18 17:11 GMT (UK)  »
I'm stumped with this one. Any fresh leads appreciated.

Charlotte Sinfield, born around early 1790s at "Brickhill" in Bucks (there are at least three Brickhills in Bucks but she  didn't specify which in the censuses).

Married 1st (1810) James Hemmings - several children around the Bucks / Beds borders, settling at Tilsworth in Beds by 1820s. James dies 1841.

Married 2nd (1852) William Kempson at Totternhoe, Beds. He dies 1856.

Married 3rd (1857) William Puckeridge at Luton. They then appear at Yarkhill in Herefordshire in 1861 census - 100 miles from Luton. William working as railway labourer. I've found the Hereford and Worcester railway passes through Yarkhill parish and was under construction in 1861 - it opened later that year.

I then completely lose sight of Charlotte and William, and William's daughter Eliza (b. 1848, Standon, Herts) who had been with them in 1861.

Can anyone work out what became of Charlotte? If they were following where the railways were being built, they could have gone anywhere. I have found a William Puckridge who died in 1863 aged 64 at Newington, south London, which is a bit older than William said in the censuses but not beyond the realms of possibility. Even if that is him, no sign of Charlotte.

Many thanks

Hertfordshire / Disappearing James Marshall after 1871
« on: Monday 25 September 17 07:58 BST (UK)  »
I'm puzzled by this one - James Marshall, baptised 1804 at Kimpton, married in 1826 at Hatfield, had five children baptised in Hatfield and appears there in the 1841 census before moving to Sarratt, where he and his wife Hannah and their children appear in the 1851 and 1861 censuses, then moved just down the road to Bucks Hill Bottom in the parish of Watford. Hannah's death appears to be registered in Watford district in 1872, but I can find no trace of what became of James.

All his surviving children (as far as I can tell) were living in Hertfordshire at that time - although one of his daughters later moved to London. He doesn't appear to be the 69 year old James Marshall who died in 1880 in Harpenden, as there was another James Marshall of that age living in Harpenden in the 1871 census. Can anyone spot a plausible death of James, or find him in the 1881 census perhaps? (He sometimes gave his place of birth as Kings Walden - the family had lived close to the border of Kimpton and Kings Walden parishes when he was little).

Many thanks

Hello - if there's anyone going to Worcester, I'd be grateful if you could have a quick check of the marriage index for a couple called Francis and Ann Dingley (or Dineley), whose first known child was baptised in 1744 at Cropthorne. It would be good to establish Ann's maiden name.
Many thanks

United States of America / 1880 US census search by address?
« on: Thursday 12 May 16 14:23 BST (UK)  »
Does anyone know if there's a way of searching the 1880 US census by address? I'm trying to find out who was at 210 East 62nd Street, New York City. I've just obtained the death certificate of a Mary Reid from Ireland who died at that address in 1884 aged 90 - but the certificate doesn't give me any relatives names to confirm if she's the lady I was looking for or not. Hoping if I can find out who lived at that address it may help.

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