Author Topic: What is the biggest mystery in your tree?  (Read 35802 times)

Offline bitty_matriarch

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Re: What is the biggest mystery in your tree?
« Reply #144 on: Saturday 05 August 17 20:39 BST (UK) »
Everyone has a Black Sheep/Skeleton in the Cupboard, and this one is mine:- my great Grandfather Walter SCOTT,     born on 6 October 1867, in Christchurch, Isle of Ely, Cambridgeshire, England; son of John Scott & Hannah Doncaster     of Euximoor Grange Farm, Christchurch.

He has no middle name and looking at other family names, Walter is a very unusual name to have been used. I can only assume that my Gt Gt Grandmother must've enjoyed reading Sir Walter Scott's novels!

Walter married Annie Maria LAVENDER, daughter of William & Mary LAVENDER,  Herbalists,of Chatteris on 27 October 1890 in the Wesleyan Chapel, Chatteris, Cambs.  They had 3 children, the eldest, Grace, being my grandmother.

As far as my Dad knows from family talk, on the day that Walter disappeared, he had taken some of his father's bullocks to market in King's Lynn, Norfolk, sold them, banked the money for his father and was never seen again!  This was probably about 1903.  Family folklore has Walter, and possibly a lady friend, running away to Canada, but nobody knows.   But I would love to find out.
CAWTHORN, SCOTT & DeSilva PALMER from Cambridgeshire & West Norfolk [and beyond]
http://freepages.rootsweb.com/~cawthorn/genealogy/

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Offline PaulaToo

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Re: What is the biggest mystery in your tree?
« Reply #145 on: Saturday 05 August 17 21:58 BST (UK) »
I like that one.
I have my great Grandfather running away from Great Grandmother Eliza, with a gal called Betsy.
Never found out what her second name was, but they ended up back in his home county of Hampshire, so at least we know what happened to him.
Fun guys and gels, the ancestors.
Bartlett/Henley on Thames
Caponhurst/Buckinghamshire and?
Denchfield/North Marston/Bucks
Webb/Winchester
Mathias/Pembroke/Pembroke Dock
John/Pembroke/Pembroke Dock
Smith/Portsmouth/Portsea
Purchas/Bucks and?
Olliffe/Bucks

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Offline chana

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Re: What is the biggest mystery in your tree?
« Reply #146 on: Saturday 05 August 17 22:19 BST (UK) »
My biggest mystery is Eliza Smithers. She marries Luke John Booker in 1892 in Staplefield, Sussex, where she's noted as being 19 years old (b.1873), the daughter of George Smithers. She's in the 1911 census where her age corresponds to her marriage record and is noted as being born in Burgess Hill, Sussex. However, the 1939 Register has her birth as December 1875. Despite having this information about her year of birth and her father I cannot find any record of her prior to her marriage to Luke.

In comparison to the surname Smith, Smithers appears relatively uncommon, yet that is unfortunately not working in my favour.

Offline coombs

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Re: What is the biggest mystery in your tree?
« Reply #147 on: Sunday 06 August 17 19:20 BST (UK) »
My biggest mystery is Eliza Smithers. She marries Luke John Booker in 1892 in Staplefield, Sussex, where she's noted as being 19 years old (b.1873), the daughter of George Smithers. She's in the 1911 census where her age corresponds to her marriage record and is noted as being born in Burgess Hill, Sussex. However, the 1939 Register has her birth as December 1875. Despite having this information about her year of birth and her father I cannot find any record of her prior to her marriage to Luke.

In comparison to the surname Smith, Smithers appears relatively uncommon, yet that is unfortunately not working in my favour.

You may already have come across this but a George Henry Smithers was baptised in 1884 in Burgess Hill, son of George and Louisa. May have been a brother. Something to throw into the pot.
Researching:

LONDON, Coombs, Roberts, Auber, Helsdon, Fradine, Morin, Goodacre
DORSET Coombs, Munday
NORFOLK Helsdon, Riches, Harbord, Budery
KENT Roberts, Goodacre
SUSSEX Walder, Boniface, Dinnage, Standen, Lee, Botten, Wickham, Jupp
SUFFOLK Titshall, Frost, Fairweather, Mayhew, Archer, Eade, Scarfe
DURHAM Stewart, Musgrave, Wilson, Forster
SCOTLAND Stewart in Selkirk
USA Musgrave, Saix
ESSEX Cornwell, Stock, Quilter, Lawrence, Whale, Clift
OXON Edgington, Smith, Inkpen, Snell, Batten, Brain

Offline chana

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Re: What is the biggest mystery in your tree?
« Reply #148 on: Sunday 06 August 17 22:24 BST (UK) »

You may already have come across this but a George Henry Smithers was baptised in 1884 in Burgess Hill, son of George and Louisa. May have been a brother. Something to throw into the pot.

I'd considered him before, however his father, also George Smithers (as per census records) was born about 1866, therefore too young to be the father of Eliza (b.1873).

That was helpful to reconsider them however, so thank you!

Offline stonechat

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Re: What is the biggest mystery in your tree?
« Reply #149 on: Monday 07 August 17 10:38 BST (UK) »
In my wife's tree, the mystery concerns her great grandmother Emma Louisa Baker and her husband Elijah Cornell

They had 7 children, the last being Maud Cornell Baker, my wife's grandmother, born in 1887.

They were divorced in 1894/1895, it being Emma Louisa who instigated the divorce.
In her afffadavit she states (among the numerous other problems) that his mother was a witness to some of the violence she suffered.

As far as I know his mother Mary Cornell nee Smith always lived in Essex, where the family originated.

At subsequent censuses, Emma Louisa has only two children with her
Maud and George Frederick
Two of the children appear with Martha Louise CArnell in 1891, definitely nt his mother , and as adopted. These two are Florence and Charles
William is at school in Hertfordshire.

There is mostly no sign of the othersafter the divorce.

The questions

1 What happened to Elijah after the divorce - completely missing in UK or elsewhere
2 What happened to the other children.
3 What was the nature of the relationship/arrangement between Emma Louisa and Martha Jane Carnell (the latter died in later 1890's, and was from Herts)
4 When did Emma Louisa die. She ran a cafe/tea or coffee house until at least 1911, and there are a couple of possible directory entries after this but not sure.
Douglas, Varnden, Joy(i)ce Surrey, Clarke Northants/Hunts, Pullen Worcs/Herefords, Holmes Birmingham/USA/Canada/Australia, Jackson Cheshire/Yorkshire, Lomas Cheshire, Lee Yorkshire, Cocks Lancashire, Leah Cheshire, Cook Yorkshire, Catlow Lancashire
See my website http://www.cotswan.com

Offline Jo.

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Re: What is the biggest mystery in your tree?
« Reply #150 on: Tuesday 08 August 17 09:31 BST (UK) »
Who Was  F. Dudfield

He's not actually a ancestor of the family, but plays an important part of family history. 

It via F.Dudfield that I found out when and how Gt Uncle William Greedy was wounded in the battle of the Somme which sadly he died from.

Lance Corporal William Greedy died in Rouen hospital on 30th of September 1916 from Wounds.  William served with the Somerset Lights Infantry but alas his service records do not survive.

This is the Letter he wrote to Polly, William's mum which was published in the newspaper along with William's army photograph

Dear Mrs Greedy

I am sorry to inform you that your son has been wounded.  met with him in Taunton, and we came out to France together.  We were in charge on the 18th, and both went over the top together, and we had not got far when he was knocked over with a bullet in the back. Of course, I could not stop then, as it is against the rules, but after we had taken the German trench, and things quietened down a bit, I crawled out and dragged him into a shell hole for cover, and put him as comfortable as I possibly could.  Then I crawled back to the trench. I then told the stretcher bearers where he lay. They were very busy, but i sincerely hope he did not have to lie there long, and I wish him a speedy recovery.  He gave me his watch and ring to send home, but unfortunately I lost the watch in the scrap we had with the Germans afterwards.  I can't write more now, but may God keep you and bless you in your bereavement.

I remain, yours truly,

F. Dudfield

As you can see, he gives the important details to how William fell

I have tried to research F. Dudfield and have found a medal card for an F. Dudfield serving with the Somerset Light Infantry.

I assume this is the same chap, as the SLI headquarters was based in Taunton,  but alas can not find any more information, so would like to find his descendents has he tried to save a friend and colleague on the battlefield. 

Offline Lionrhod

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Re: What is the biggest mystery in your tree?
« Reply #151 on: Wednesday 30 August 17 01:46 BST (UK) »
Well now that my grandmother's illicit affair with my grandfather has been figured out (we actually MET our uncle that we didn't know existed all the heck the way in Poland thanks to a post on Ancestry.com -- not kidding! And thank gods for uncommon last names!)

My greatest mystery is Media Shaffer Antonsen, my great grandmother.

For one, we aren't sure of her first name. It might have been Janette (she claimed that when my sister was born) it might have been Violet (she claimed that at another time - or it could have been a middle name.

We THINK that Media was an adopted name. (A mispell of Medea from Greek myth.) She was a Spiritualist and psychic in turn of the century San Francisco and moved to NY just weeks before the 1906 quake in San Francisco. She'd been harassing her husband Hans Antonsen to move for several months because she felt bad things were coming. They landed in Staten Island, NY just as the quake was reported.

Another mysterious thing about her was that she claimed ancestry from Hiawatha and the Algonquin nation (But that's a language category, not a tribe - which tribe? There are many!) The story was of an ancestress (probably an indentured servant from England/Europe who ran off with an local brave.)

There are at least 12 spellings of Schaffer and since we don't have a great idea of where her family came from-- maybe Indiana, or Pennsylvania or...? -- they exiled her as a witch because of her intuitive powers -- it's still a mystery

Online hurworth

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Re: What is the biggest mystery in your tree?
« Reply #152 on: Wednesday 30 August 17 03:38 BST (UK) »
There's a few, but the most frustrating is my gt-grandfather.  I can not find any record of him before he emigrated from England.  I think DNA is probably the only way. 

Another mystery though is his daughter, my gt-grandmother's sister.  She married in the early 1900s but newspaper reports of the Court pages make it clear that it was a miserable marriage and didn't last long.  By WW1 she was at the other end of the country as Mrs X (but no marriage to Mr X has been found).  She remarried in the 1920s but had clearly been friends with this husband for years.  When he served in WW1 Mrs X was recorded as his NOK and the relationship was described as "friend". 

He's also quite puzzling - he used two different names and his military records have been merged into one.

His death has been registered using the name he was using when he married in the 1920s.  When his wife died her death was registered under the surname X.  But they were on the electoral roll under his surname.  The surname on the grave is X (just X - no first names or dates) and at the foot of the grave it says "Mum and Dad".  That's it!  Her death printout doesn't mention any children.  It doesn't state her birth name nor her parents but from her age, place of birth and first names I know it is her.

My theory is that it was easier to continue to be known as Mrs X because  between her first marriage and her second marriage she had children while she was known as Mrs X.  I'm waiting to see whether any births were registered after the marriage, but it's not 100 years yet.  It's quite a common surname.