Author Topic: Unknown Relative in Whitchurch Road Cemetery, Wem.  (Read 684 times)

Offline moomoo98

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Unknown Relative in Whitchurch Road Cemetery, Wem.
« on: Saturday 08 February 20 22:38 GMT (UK) »
I've been searching for a missing relative for a few years now, using DNA and visiting graveyards etc. but the caretaker there doesn't have a list and can only help if we have a name to go off.

We don't know who my maternal grandmother's father was. All we know is that he was buried in Whitchurch Road cemetery in Wem. He would have been born between 1864-1918 and died between August 1934 and 1975.

I think my great grandmother Annie Elizabeth Davies (b. 1902, Chirk) may have been his housekeeper and he could have been a farmer. He had children with another woman around the same time and chose to live with her instead from what I understand. Annie Elizabeth had my grandmother in a workhouse and married, and my grandmother knew who her father was but never told anyone.

If anyone knows absolutely anything on this, no matter how small, it'd be a great help. If you have a male relative that meets this description buried in Wem cemetery please reach out!


Offline Nick_Ips

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Re: Unknown Relative in Whitchurch Road Cemetery, Wem.
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 09 February 20 00:09 GMT (UK) »
I've been searching for a missing relative for a few years now, using DNA and visiting graveyards etc. but the caretaker there doesn't have a list and can only help if we have a name to go off.

We don't know who my maternal grandmother's father was. All we know is that he was buried in Whitchurch Road cemetery in Wem. He would have been born between 1864-1918 and died between August 1934 and 1975.

I think my great grandmother Annie Elizabeth Davies (b. 1902, Chirk) may have been his housekeeper and he could have been a farmer. He had children with another woman around the same time and chose to live with her instead from what I understand. Annie Elizabeth had my grandmother in a workhouse and married, and my grandmother knew who her father was but never told anyone.

I've got a very similar mystery in my tree which has been a brickwall for a long time. So I can understand how much you want to find some answers.

What is the source of the information about his burial in Wem? Is it just information passed down through the family? If your grandmother never told anyone about her father then how was the information recorded and/or discovered?

I ask because in my case there was a version of events that more than one family member was sure was correct which in fact turned out to be quite wrong.

Knowing where someone was buried without knowing a name or an approximate date of death is quite an unusual situation to be in.

Offline moomoo98

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Re: Unknown Relative in Whitchurch Road Cemetery, Wem.
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 09 February 20 00:13 GMT (UK) »
The reason we know this is because in the 70s my mother and grandmother were visiting family graves in Whitchurch Road cemetery in Wem and my grandmother said "my dad's buried here." She was very secretive about who he was and told us not to try to find out for whatever reason.


Offline Nick_Ips

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Re: Unknown Relative in Whitchurch Road Cemetery, Wem.
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 09 February 20 00:44 GMT (UK) »
The reason we know this is because in the 70s my mother and grandmother were visiting family graves in Whitchurch Road cemetery in Wem and my grandmother said "my dad's buried here." She was very secretive about who he was and told us not to try to find out for whatever reason.

I think before expending too much effort on your search of the cemetery it might be worth reflecting on the contradiction between telling people that was his burial place, but not to try to find out who he was.

Presumably you've received the information from your mother. Did she have a feeling for why your grandmother mentioned that was where he was buried? And was there ever any indication why she was so secretive about her father?

You mentioned DNA - did you get anything from that?

Offline moomoo98

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Re: Unknown Relative in Whitchurch Road Cemetery, Wem.
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 09 February 20 01:08 GMT (UK) »
It's all very elusive to be honest, DNA test hasn't led me to the answer at all. I've messaged a few people who show a close DNA match with no obvious matches in mine and/or their trees but had no reply or a dead end from most.

I do think my grandmother might not have been sincere when she said what she said in the graveyard, although we go off of it because we've nothing else to go off.

I'm just hoping that more people do DNA tests so eventually we'll get some lead.

Offline cath151

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Re: Unknown Relative in Whitchurch Road Cemetery, Wem.
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 09 February 20 09:40 GMT (UK) »
Hi
Do you know your great grandmothers birth date?  Finding her on the 1939 register might give clues although she might have moved on from the relationship by then.

Cathy
Sinnock/Sinnicks...Brighton,Greenwich.
Clements,Coles,Mc Donagh,Rock

Census InformationCrown Copyright from www.national archives.gov.uk

Offline moomoo98

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Re: Unknown Relative in Whitchurch Road Cemetery, Wem.
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 09 February 20 13:49 GMT (UK) »
My grandmother was born in 1935, so my great grandmother would have been housekeeping for this man before this date, so the 1939 census is no good!

Offline Nick_Ips

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Re: Unknown Relative in Whitchurch Road Cemetery, Wem.
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 09 February 20 14:08 GMT (UK) »
I've messaged a few people who show a close DNA match with no obvious matches in mine and/or their trees but had no reply or a dead end from most.

This might be the area you need to explore further. If science says there is a high probability of a common ancestor then working out who that could be is a priority. Perhaps the other people have been working on the basis their facts are correct without considering alternative options?

If the father was involved in a relationship with another woman around the same time and had children with her, then it isn't unreasonable to consider the possibility there might have been other relationships that led to other children who perhaps always believed someone else was their father.

It will probably be a case of doing more work on the DNA matches and looking carefully at the localities where the different people lived to see if there is any commonality.

I do think my grandmother might not have been sincere when she said what she said in the graveyard, although we go off of it because we've nothing else to go off.

This is where it gets really difficult. It is possible that what your grandmother believed - presumably what her mother told her - wasn't the full story. So she might have sincerely believed it, but that doesn't necessarily make it correct.

What is interesting is that if she really didn't want anyone finding out then why say anything at all? It could either be that she did want people to know and investigate (so her father wasn't forgotten completely), or it could be that the information was intentionally misleading. That's why I asked the questions in my previous post - understanding the "why" part might lead to other clues.

The other part is the motivation for the secrecy. It is easy to assume that embarrassment about illegitimacy was the reason, but it might be worth thinking about other reasons why someone might not want details of their father to be known, but possibly still not want them to be completely forgotten. Relationships and emotions are very complex things.

You said Annie Elizabeth went on to marry someone else. Have you explored this man's history? Have you traced his tree to find ancestors, siblings and descendants? Did they all live in the same area?

Offline Nick_Ips

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Re: Unknown Relative in Whitchurch Road Cemetery, Wem.
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 09 February 20 14:10 GMT (UK) »
My grandmother was born in 1935, so my great grandmother would have been housekeeping for this man before this date, so the 1939 census is no good!

But had she married by then? If not, where was she living and who with? (Edit: rhetorical question, if people involved are still living then don't give the information on the forum)