Author Topic: Vella/Harrison - hit a dead end  (Read 389 times)

Offline bexc81

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Vella/Harrison - hit a dead end
« on: Sunday 26 July 20 19:16 BST (UK) »
I am looking for any information with regards to my maternal grandfather who was born, Edmund Joseph Roland Vella on the 4th January 1935 (but there are some records with 6th Jan) at 48 Vanburgh Hill Greenwich, London. The name registered as his mother is Edith Harrison (no initial on the birth certificate) and fathers name is Raymond Edward Joseph Vella (Occupation was a piano and organ repairer) and address is registered as 52 Kender Street, New Cross, London.  For some unknown reason his name changes to Harrison and we have found him on the 1939 census at Chipping Norton (upon further digging we discoved Bruen Abbey was a war nursey).  He joined the navy in the 1950s with the name Edmund Roland J Harrison (we have no idea why his middle name were altered), he never spoke about his upbringing and my nan didn't know anything about his childhood either.  He claimed his parents were killed in WW2 (mention of a cinema and a church bombing but we have no idea).   My nan (who he married in Bristol in the late 1950s) thought he may have had links with Hastings or St Leonards-on-Sea but we haven't found anything with this (a rumour of living with an 'uncle' with links to a large church).  He once mention to my aunt about having a sister called rosemary or margaret (she can't remember) we have never found a birth registration for the said sister.  Edmund passed away in 1999 in Devon.  My mum had no contact with him after he divorced my nan in the 1970s.  We are aware that the hospital he was born in was a one time workhouse.  We have recently done an Ancestry DNA test and have had some results but these are all 3+ cousins with links to the name Vella and have Maltese DNA (my mum is nearly 25% Maltese according to the ethnicity test) and we have reached out to them but with no luck as of yet.  Any help with either Raymond or Edith would be greatly appreciated.

Offline Girl Guide

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Re: Vella/Harrison - hit a dead end
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 26 July 20 22:09 BST (UK) »
Welcome to Rootschat Bex  :D

Hmm, don't want to be found do they!

Just out of interest I had a look at the CWGC website to see how many with the surname Vella came up under the heading of civilian deaths.  Quite a number came up but none with the names of Edmund's parents.

All bar one were in Malta which would suggest that his parents came from there perhaps?

I'll have a look at the Family Search website and see what comes up.
Ashford: Somerset, London
England: Devon, London, New Zealand
Holdway: Wiltshire
Hooper: Bristol, Somerset
Knowling: Devon, London
Southcott: Devon, China
Strong: Wiltshire
Watson: Cambridgeshire
White: Bristol
Windo - Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire

Offline Dundee

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Re: Vella/Harrison - hit a dead end
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 26 July 20 22:29 BST (UK) »
The name registered as his mother is Edith Harrison (no initial on the birth certificate) and fathers name is Raymond Edward Joseph Vella (Occupation was a piano and organ repairer)

Is the mother recorded as just 'Edith HARRISON' or 'Edith VELLA formerly HARRISON'?  If the former then they were not pretending to be a married couple, and this would be the most likely reason he was recorded with the HARRISON name in 1939.  Who registered the birth?

Debra  :)


Offline Girl Guide

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Re: Vella/Harrison - hit a dead end
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 26 July 20 22:37 BST (UK) »
I was about to ask for further details of the birth certificate Debra but you got there first  ;D

This is the birth registration from free bmd, which would 'imply' that the parents were married but they may not have been as you suggested.

Births Jun 1935   
Vella    Edmund J R    Harrison    Greenwich    1d   987

Between 1900 and 1945 no other Vella/Harrison births recorded.
Ashford: Somerset, London
England: Devon, London, New Zealand
Holdway: Wiltshire
Hooper: Bristol, Somerset
Knowling: Devon, London
Southcott: Devon, China
Strong: Wiltshire
Watson: Cambridgeshire
White: Bristol
Windo - Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire

Offline avm228

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Re: Vella/Harrison - hit a dead end
« Reply #4 on: Monday 27 July 20 00:24 BST (UK) »
Hi and welcome.

Presumably this old thread from 2015 is linked?

www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=737222.0

It looks from that thread as though Jennifer C came up with a theory, communicated by private message. It would be good to know if that went anywhere.
Ayr: Barnes, Wylie
Caithness: MacGregor
Essex: Eldred (Pebmarsh)
Gloucs: Timbrell (Winchcomb)
Hants: Stares (Wickham)
Lincs: Maw, Jackson (Epworth, Belton)
London: Pierce
Suffolk: Markham (Framlingham)
Surrey: Gosling (Richmond)
Wilts: Matthews, Tarrant (Calne, Preshute)
Worcs: Milward (Redditch)
Yorks: Beaumont, Crook, Moore, Styring (Huddersfield); Middleton (Church Fenton); Exley, Gelder (High Hoyland); Barnes, Birchinall (Sheffield); Kenyon, Wood (Cumberworth/Denby Dale)

Offline jorose

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Re: Vella/Harrison - hit a dead end
« Reply #5 on: Monday 27 July 20 08:16 BST (UK) »
Found them in Greenwich Union Infirmary Records (Infirmary admission and discharge registers )
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QHV-P3N1-KPVV?i=570&cat=1222531

Edith Vella born 1/03/09, a male infant born in hospital 4/1/35, husband Raymond at 52 Kender St
It looks like she came in the day of to give birth, and they left together on the 16th.

Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline Girl Guide

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Re: Vella/Harrison - hit a dead end
« Reply #6 on: Monday 27 July 20 08:29 BST (UK) »
Seems to be a long running search.  In 2015 Edmund's daughter is looking for him and now his granddaughter.

Could Raymond have already been married?

It appears that the Vella name is Maltese so perhaps research needs to be done there.  I don't know anything about Maltese genealogy so wouldn't know where to start looking.  ???
Ashford: Somerset, London
England: Devon, London, New Zealand
Holdway: Wiltshire
Hooper: Bristol, Somerset
Knowling: Devon, London
Southcott: Devon, China
Strong: Wiltshire
Watson: Cambridgeshire
White: Bristol
Windo - Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire

Offline bexc81

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Re: Vella/Harrison - hit a dead end
« Reply #7 on: Monday 27 July 20 09:46 BST (UK) »
Yes, the 2015 post is my aunt but she has never said anything about a possible theory.

Thank you so much for finding Edith's birth date! At least we have a bit more info to go on.

We were really doubting that they were real people.  We have heard back from a DNA match who heard a rumblings of a male family member having a child out of wed lock but it was all hush hush and never spoken about. I'm wondering if the child was Edmund.

Thank you so much for helping to start unlocking this puzzle.  It has been hard for my mum having no idea about one half of her heritage.

Beci x

Offline chempat

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Re: Vella/Harrison - hit a dead end
« Reply #8 on: Monday 27 July 20 09:47 BST (UK) »
Only Edith possibly born 01/03/1909 in London area.

Births March quarter 1909 
Edith Ethel Harrison    Islington    1b   147
mmn Humphreys on GRO

She might have chosen not to use her middle name on birth certificate?

Added:
Her mother was probably Annie Elizabeth Humphries.


WRONG person - baptised February 14th.