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.

Messages - SLT1984

Pages: [1]
TL;DR: My grandfather spent time in Singapore in the late 1950s. I can find nothing to match him on any military record sites. How do I find out why he was there or what he did?


My family has pretty much always been estranged from my maternal grandfather. I met him twice, I think; once as an infant, and once at the age of ten. I did exchange letters with him as a child / young teen, but remember very little of the content and have only ever found one surviving note. I wasn't even certain of his name until my partner suggested I have a play about using their account at a popular subscription-based website. As time and lives go by, I myself have become estranged from most of my family (which does, I suppose, make genealogy an odd choice of hobby!). Anyhow, all of that makes for unrelated stories - my original point was going to be that there is nobody I can ask questions of in 'real life'.

I grew up believing that he had spent time in the military (specifically with the air force - though I can't remember why). I knew (or thought I knew) that my mother had been born in Singapore while he was stationed over there, and that they remained there until she was two years old.

When I started researching my family history I struggled to find evidence to verify anything that I thought I knew about him, including his supposed time with the military. I have searched the biggest military records website along with other subscription-based sites and found nothing. I had begun to feel doubtful of the whole thing (I had grown up with the understanding that he was somewhat fanciful with his stories).

I recently revisited him in my notes and thought to actually look for my mother's birth record (basic stuff, I know, but it had never previously occurred to me to collect records for living people!). I found her birth registration immediately, filed under British Armed Forces and Overseas Births and Baptisms, sourced from the GRO Army Birth Indices 1881-1965. The document itself is titled 'Service Departments Returns - Births - 1956-1960' and confirms she was indeed born in Singapore. I then searched for a record of his second daughter's birth and found hers straight away, too - in 1960 in Aldershot.

With his first daughter's birth in the Army Birth Indices records, and his second daughter born in Aldershot, 'Home of the British Army', I have renewed belief that he was involved with the armed forces in some capacity after all. I'm presuming I'm simply not looking in the right places or with the right terms (or names, even), and I'd be ever-so appreciative if anybody could suggest where I could find some answers.

I'm not even fussed about seeing the small print of any records - at this stage of my life I'd genuinely be pleased just to know which branch of the military he was with (or if he was a civilian working for the military).

Many thanks =]


The facts:

name: Allan David BINGHAM (birth registration lists 'Alan D' but I always knew him to have the double L. marriage registration lists 'Allan D')
aka: he was known at various points of his life as Ben or Benjamin. There are two GRO records for his death (is that normal?) one for 'Alan David BINGHAM' and another for 'Benjamin Alan D BINGHAM'.

1935: birth, Peterborough (parents: Reuben Kenneth BINGHAM and Katherine Mary COZENS)
1951 - 1953: apprenticeship, Peterborough
1955: marriage, Bournemouth
1959: return to UK
1960s: separation from wife
2018: death, Hereford

Pilkington locations in Griffith's Valuation (none near Rahoon from what I can see)

Thank you for this, I didn't know such a resource existed =]

The only Church of Ireland registers for Rahoon are burials in 1864, all others were lost in 1922.

Well, that's rubbish =[ Thank you for the heads-up though.

I had been poring over scans of the Catholic Parish Registers for Rahoon on the National Library of Ireland website, but I must have been kidding myself if I ever thought I'd find anything - I can barely read a thing!

I know the absolute minimum that can be known about Ireland, and indeed the prevalence of major religions at the individual or small town level. I guess I'd be pretty lucky if the name did pop up in the Catholic registers, since that's only one possible church there. And of course I'm not even fully convinced she was from Rahoon anyway, given her answer for 'place of birth' changed quite drastically with every census!

I know your years etc won't show her Birth, etc but just to show not too many of them to be found!!

No, I understand - you'd certainly expect to find at least a handful more =/

Quote from: ShaunJ
Martha could not read or write so "Pilkerton" is presumably how she pronounced her name.

This is one of the most useful things I've read for a long time, thank you. A real 'aha!' moment for me! I always notice whether somebody signs the document themselves or if they merely 'make their mark'. I often pause for a moment of contemplation about their literacy and background, particularly when compared to their contemporaries (if only one partner in a marriage can write, for example), but the wider effects of that haven't ever occurred to me. Of course messages could only be verbal, and that's likely to lose a lot in translation.

My other half is shamefully bad at accents, but delights in doing them. I had a moment of leniency and asked for an attempt at pronouncing 'Pilkerton' in an Irish accent. Needless to say, I will never ask such a thing again!


This is my first post and I hope I'm not making any major errors with rules or etiquette. I'm a bit wary about the possibility of copyright issues with images, but I'm not sure how else to ask for help deciphering the surnames and birth place from the marriage record and various censuses.

I'm also hoping this board is the best fit for the queries I have - it isn't wholly about handwriting and, as I write this, I wouldn't know which regional board to use.

Could I ask for help / advice / wisdom / knowledge / leads, please? I am struggling to identify somebody with no certain surname and no convincing idea of where she was born.

The person in question is Martha P, who married James CHAMBERS in 1851 in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire. I would dearly love to find a record of her birth, and I think for that need to confirm her surname and just where it is that she came from.

I believe her surname to be something similar to PILKERTON but feel I've exhausted the usual websites with every variation of that, wildcards and all. I know her father's name was Richard but no joy there, either. I'm finding nothing even vaguely close enough to feasibly be either of them. When I try the name in speech marks for an exact search of the internet, the sole result is a thread on this very site from 2006.

As for her place of birth... I don't really know where to begin looking. It changes from census to census, but I'm pretty sure Ireland is mentioned. If this is the case then I guess I'm pretty overwhelmed - I've been reading all I can find about searching for Irish records, but feel lost without a clearer idea of what part of the country to be looking at.

All the information I have is below and in an approximate timeline. I have the original sources for everything below except Martha's birth / baptism. I have underlined things I'm not sure of, and I'd be grateful of other people's interpretations of the information in the census snippets and marriage record that are attached.

Very big thanks in advance :D

Martha is assumed to have been born around 1828. Her father was Richard.

James was (presumably) born 1830/1831 and was baptised 24 Jan 1831 at St Mary's, Whittlesey.
His parents were John CHAMBERS, a thatcher, and Ann FALKNER of Woolpack(?) Lane, Whittlesey.

In the 1851 census, James is living with his parents and working as an agricultural labourer. Martha ? ? ? is a lodger in the household and also working an ag lab. Her place of birth is given as Dublin.

24 Aug 1851, James and Martha marry at St Andrew's, Whittlesey. His age is given as 20 and hers as 22. Her father is named as Richard PILKERTON, a labourer.

Four children are born to the couple, all registered at Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire. The General Register Office lists the mother's maiden name as PILKINGTON on all four records.

Mary Ann CHAMBERS  b: Q4 1852
Martha CHAMBERS  b: Q1 1854
James CHAMBERS  b: Q3 1855     d: Q2 1857
John Thomas CHAMBERS  b: Q2 1858

In the 1861 census Martha gives her place of birth as Rahoon, Co. Galway, Ireland.

The couple bear another child, registered at Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire. The General Register Office lists the mother's maiden name as PILKINGTON on the record.

James CHAMBERS  b: Q2 1864

In the 1871 census, Martha gives her age as 43 and her place of birth as Ireland.

In the 1881 census, Martha gives her age as 53 and her place of birth as Ireland.

In the 1891 census, Martha gives her age as 61 and her place of birth as Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire.

In the 1901 census, Martha gives her age as 73 and her place of birth as Not Known.

Q2 1901, James dies and his death is registered in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire.

Q1 1903, Martha dies and her death is registered in Peterborough, Northamptonshire. The General Register Office lists her name at death as Martha Matilda CHAMBERS. (Although this is the first I'd seen of a middle name, it helped assure me this was the correct person - her daughter and granddaughter are both named Martha Matilda.)

Pages: [1]