Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - ValJJJ

Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 ... 9
This is related to and where Rootschatters were able to decipher the same truly awful handwriting, so I'm hopeful of the same for this document of Dec 1901.  It relates to Annie Campbell, taken to the St Pancras BoG Infirmary for her own and others' safety, since she was severely disturbed.  Post-natal insanity after a stillbirth.

The document is here: but I will attach snippets too.

I have deciphered a lot, but here are the sections I have struggled with.  Where I couldn't read it, I've put ...   I've also put my interpretation/queries in italics:

6. Nature of application  Dr O C  [or D L] Cook of 16 Shore St + Bro-in law applied for her admission stating to be of unsound mind and she had tried to jump out of windows and friends stating unable to continue taking care of her.  This from Dr Cook and Dr F Seymour This.  [surely not This?]

13. Observations
Extract of MC [or does this say imc?]
Ditto or quote mark?  Distinctly of unsound mind, vague inconsequent and restless, unable to explain something, suspicious of the slightest noises, and told me of noises that I could not hear. She has a history of an acute attack of post-puerpural insanity … first wks -  has been unable to recognise friends and has at times …refused food.
I Seymour Jake MB. 30 Queen Anne St W

Extract of MC [or imc?]
Ditto or quote marks? Person of unsound mind. Occasional fits of extreme violence, fighting and struggling with her nurses + throwing open window + threatening to jump out… + threatening to throw a lighted lamp.  On one occasion took 4 persons to restrain her.  Hears noises + spirit …  For the safety of herself + those around her I consider that she should be placed under restrai..
I Dr C Cook LSA 11 Store St W.C.

When R.O. visiting patient appeared vague very depressed, unable to answer any question intelligently that I put to her, complained of persons coming into her room + stealing things although she could not explain what had been taken nor had she seen anyone.  She heard voices and noises which had [frightened] her but could not say what was said.  Complained of losing letters which she imagined ought to have been received.  Suddenly jumped up thought she heard a noise + saw person in corner of room we were in.


I’ve been posting various requests all over RootsChat following different angles, but have still failed to track the elusive John Campbell born 4 Oct 1897 [edit from original typo] in St Giles [edit: wrong, should have typed St George], Bloomsbury, London.  There is a possibility he went to Australia at an unknown age, and from there to NZ, based on a weak DNA match with a descendant of a John Campbell of the same dob.  This person gave varied and conflicting accounts to family members and officials about his background, which is muddled and probably a mix of fact and fiction with half-remembered names and details.  I cannot connect the dots between my John, with the last record I can find in 1902, and this John, whose earliest record that has come to light so far being his marriage cert from 1925 in NZ, although he said he arrived in NZ from Australia.

Now I have a few more firm pieces of information so here is what I know, and would like to know.
Ann Matthews, twice married and twice widowed (first husband Robert Crook), born late 1837/early 1838 in Claverton (Glos) was John C’s grandmother. In Dec 1901, John C’s mother was committed to an asylum, where she remained until death in 1924.  His siblings were cared for via the St Pancras workhouse system, and I have plenty of info on them.  However for some reason, John was taken in by his uncle (Smith) and aunt (sister of John’s mother) in Nottingham.  The Smiths emigrated to S Africa in 1903 but did not take John.  The workhouse records show that John went to his grandmother in Dec 1902.  She had the same address as in the 1901 census i.e. Baystone, Florence Rd, Chester Rd, Birmingham North, (now Sutton Coldfield) where she was shown as widowed, letting lodgings, with her daughter from her first marriage Maud Crook (born 1882, Calne, Wilts); her widowed daughter-in-law Charlotte Crook and her daughters; and boarder Ernest S Reeves 35   Prof of Music born Margate.

The census showed this address to be in the civil parish of Sutton Coldfield, Wylde Green Ward of Parliamentary Division Northern or Tamworth, and reg district of Aston.

I cannot find Ann Matthews’ death for certain, but a librarian at Sutton Coldfield looked at electoral registers for me and found her at Florence Rd on the 1901-4 registers but no later.  She also looked for any Matthews or Crook names in later registers for Florence Rd with nothing.   I have looked at a 1905 Kelly's and she is not listed in Florence Rd. She may have died in 1903-4, or remarried, or moved away.   I would like to find her death – I did find on Ancestry a 1913 Q2 entry for Birmingham, which could be her, but frustratingly cannot find it on FreeBMD or the gov BD site to order the death cert, and that might not help confirm it is her in any case.

I have tracked Charlotte and her daughters and not found John with them at any point.

Handwriting Deciphering & Recognition / Board of Guardians childrens' record
« on: Saturday 20 June 20 17:51 BST (UK)  »
My request is part of a long-standing search for a particular child, but I really need to decipher part of a St Pancras union register of children.

I have posted other bits from this register and associated records with success, so hoping someone can help here.   I have posted the query before ( but not in this handwriting section.

It is related to many threads about this family, but here's the context:
This children's record relates to a mother (passing herself off as a widow but in fact single) Mrs Campbell, with an alias of Madame Adair for her chiropody, masseuse, nursing work, who developed post natal insanity after a stillbirth and was in Dec 1901 admitted to St Pancras workhouse and committed to Colney Hatch asylum.  She had three children and two were eventually admitted the workhouse when it was clear the mother was not going to recover (she died in the asylum in 1924).  I have traced a wealth of info about the mother and the two children but the third child has been hard to trace. That story is for another thread!

So I am looking at the entry for the boy John Campbell born 4 Oct 1897, who was placed in care of his Uncle Norman Trevor Smith and his Aunt Kate (who was the sister of Mrs Campbell) living in Carlton, Notts.  The other name, crossed out, is the boy's grandmother Mrs Ann Matthews plus a date.  I cannot decide what else is crossed out - it looks like 'dec' which might mean deceased along with the date of her death.  In 1901 she lived in Sutton Coldfield. I cannot find a death for John Campbell.  Once the covid threat is much reduced, I plan to visit Birmingham archives to search for Mrs Matthews on electoral rolls etc, and death records.

For this request, I would just like to know what people think has been crossed out, and possibly why.  Does it indicate the boy's death, the grandmother's death, or something else?

I don't think the boy did die as a recent DNA match between me and a descendant in New Zealand of a John Campbell, of the same dob, means he was probably sent off to Australia quite young.  But that is for another thread that I plan to put on the Gloucestershire lookup board.

Hope you can help please.


Handwriting Deciphering & Recognition / What is this Bournemouth address?
« on: Friday 19 June 20 15:56 BST (UK)  »
This is from a passenger list in 1921.  I've copied a few entries to help with the handwriting, but the address I'm interested in is for Smith, Harold Vernon.

Is the first line the name of the house, and if so, what is it?  New something?

Help please.


I have come across a Training Ship Exmouth record for Arthur Kirk from Chesterfield.  I cannot read the place he was discharged to because it has been written over another entry.  I thought the other entry might be a bleed through from the previous or next page, but it isn't, so perhaps the details changed after being written the first time.  Looking at other entries, some boys went on to be deck hands on discharge, and/or were 'failed for Royal Navy due to' poor sight, knock knees, flat feet etc.

The only bit I can read is 'discharged to' and then in fainter letters, Nil (?) ophthalmic - which perhaps means didn't need glasses?  Perhaps he was discharged to the army, as there is a further note that he was imprisoned for being drunk in the army in 1912, but a Revd William Denis R (or CR) who took an interest in the TS Exmouth, picked up the case and arranged for him to emigrate to Canada in 1913.

I found this boy (born 1892) in two 30th Nov 1901 newspaper reports (Derbyshire Courier and Derbyshire Times) about his father Richard Kirk's child cruelty court case.  I had already found the family in the 1901 census in a different household to the father, which tallies with the report of the father throwing out his wife and children.  So it would seem that some of the family did end up in the workhouse, for this boy to be sent to the ship.  His older brother who married in 1911, died of TB in 1914, and his older sister at 15 ran off with a married man so, as one newspaper headline stated, an unhappy family.

If I could read where he was discharged to, I might be able to find him in the 1911 census, unless he was at sea, or perhaps his death.


Northamptonshire Lookup Requests / William WALKER marriage to Ann ? in 1820s
« on: Wednesday 10 June 20 14:41 BST (UK)  »
I'm not sure if this is solvable, but here goes. 

I'm not sure whether William Walker (from census records he was born around 1797/8 in St Giles, Northampton), married Ann Abbot in Wellingborough in 1823 or Ann Sharman in Hardingstone in 1821.  Would anyone be able to look up parish registers please to see if there are any more clues, such as William's parents names?  Not that I have established who his parents were yet, because there are several William Walker baptisms in Northampton in 1797/8.  One shows dob 27 Aug 1797, bap on 28 Aug 1797, parents John/Elizabeth. Another shows dob 28 Aug 1797, bap on 29 Oct 1797, parents John/Elizabeth.  The other is bap on 22 Nov 1797, parents George/Jane.

George appears a lot in subsequent generations, which might make the last entry the most likely.

The family settled in Hardingstone, where the children were born, and William and Ann died. As far as I can tell, William and Ann's first child was Charles Walker in 1826.  He was included in the 1941 census in their household, but an older child might have left home by then.  The other two children were George and Elizabeth.  Also in the 1941 census, both parents are shown as born in the county. In the 1951 census, William was a widower.  I've found a possible Ann Walker death, age 53, in 1850 in Hardingstone.  This roughly fits as in the 1941 census she was described as 40, so could have been nearer 45, and would explain just the three children.

I have found plenty of info on William/Ann's children, and their grandchildren (so please don't trouble to look up info about them) but am now stuck at William Walker senior so welcome any help.



Berkshire Completed Look ups / Hospitals in Reading, Berkshire in 1920s?
« on: Tuesday 02 June 20 22:05 BST (UK)  »
I came across a list of hospitals in Reading in the 1920s (amongst other dates) but frustratingly cannot find this list again.  That will teach me to bookmark webpages!

Can anyone point me to a list please? 

I wanted to write to the relevant body's archives to enquire about previous employees - nurses to be precise.  I have searched for this person on Ancestry, with no luck, and used the Royal College of Nursing request service, but it turned out that their records are all on Ancestry, so I have already searched them.

I have a lot of personal info about this person but would like to know about her nursing career, in particular up to 1930.  All I know is that she was a nurse at a hospital in Reading, and I don't think she nursed anywhere else.  She was born in 1910 so I suppose she would have begun her training when she was 16 at the earliest i.e. 1926.    She married in 1934 in Reading, but I don't know if nurses usually left once married.  She had her first children in 1936, 37 and 38 so would have certainly left by then, I would have thought.

All ideas for sources welcome.


Handwriting Deciphering & Recognition / Help with an address please
« on: Sunday 24 May 20 21:00 BST (UK)  »
I am having trouble finding this person and the address in the 1901 census so wonder if I am misreading the information?

This snippet is from Dec 1901, so of course the person may not have lived at this address at the time of the census but I would have expected the address to exist.

I think is says Mr Maunder, Hallsop, Belsize Park, SE

I have searched FindMyPast 1901 census using the address and found Belsize Park, Gardens and Mews but all of them have numbered houses, with no names, other than one that is The Parsonage.  Perhaps I am misreading Hallsop?  I think Maunder is correct.

I can't find a likely Maunder either in the 1901 census, or electoral rolls.  I thought he would have a vote since he owned property.

Any ideas please?



I am trying to decide if the abbreviation is meant to be the first name of Nurse Ratley in the following snippet (from the St Pancras Board of Guardians' Record of Children in 1901/2).  I can't think what else it could be.

The writer didn't go in for punctuation much! Or clear handwriting at all.

It says: 'Since 1 Dec 1901 these children (3) have been under the care of Nurse _ Ratley Uncle Mr Norman Smith having made arrangements to pay for support in the hope that mother would within 3 mos recover.'

Above the line between Nurse and Ratley there is what looks like an abbreviation for her first name. It could be Flo?  There is another squiggle that might be a comma for the line above, but the writer tended to put dots or dashes rather than commas.  So does the squiggle indicate the end of the name eg Florence shortened to Flo'c?

I'm trying to find her in the 1901 and 1911 census but a first name would help.  Also no idea if she was a 'proper' nurse and/or midwife as if she was, I could perhaps find her in nursing registers.

Hope someone can help.


Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 ... 9