Tag Archives: kate driver

Was this my Kate Driver?

22 Jan

I needed to find out from the marriage register entry whether the Kate Driver who married Robert Cecil Allison in Beaumont, Essex was my 2x great-aunt, this would make her daughter Minnie my grandmother’s cousin.

Unfortunately the marriage register image that I downloaded from the Essex Record Office website didn’t give the conclusive evidence that I had hoped for. If anything it added another mystery which I tried not to be distracted by, Robert’s father’s name and occupation were missing. Interesting but probably not relevant to my current research.

On the 26th November 1903 in the parish church of Beaumont, Essex, Robert Cecil Allison (22 years old) married Kate Driver (a 27 year old). Neither had been married before, Robert gave his occupation as horseman but Kate had no occupation.

This age for Kate pretty much ties up with the 1911 census, giving her a birth year around 1876/77, and of course this doesn’t agree with the Kate in my family tree who was born at the beginning of 1880 (I’m not sure of the exact date, but she was baptised on 28th March 1880). So I couldn’t rely on this as proof.

I have already mentioned that Robert’s father wasn’t named in the register, but fortunately Kate’s was. Her father was Thomas Driver, the name that I had hoped to see, the only fly in the ointment was that he was listed as deceased.

I knew that Thomas Driver my 2x great-grandfather was far from dead in 1903. Kate’s mother had died in 1899 but her father actually remarried in 1908 at the age of 51, and finally passed away in 1945 at the age of 88 years.

Had Kate not known that her father was still alive? Did she deliberately lie about her father to avoid any awkward questions at the wedding? Had she lost contact with her family and didn’t know whether he was still alive? Had there been some sort of falling out between Kate and her father?

Was I looking at the correct Kate Driver? Perhaps this wasn’t my Kate Driver at all, but that she came from Framfield, Sussex was too much of a coincidence to ignore.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Perhaps Essex wasn’t so bad after all

20 Jan

I knew I needed to get a copy of the marriage certificate for Robert Cecil Allison and Kate Driver to make sure that this was my 2x great-aunt. All the evidence looked promising so far except that her age on the 1911 census was a few years out.

As it was Christmas and I was impatient to get on with my research I thought it would be worth trying to find out if any records were online before I sent of my order to the GRO for a copy of the certificate. So many parish records have been put online now that it is difficult to keep up to date on what is available.

None of the big three for parish registers (Ancestry, Findmypast or FamilySearch) had what I was after, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that Essex Record Office itself had begun digitizing some of its collections. I still didn’t know much about research in Essex but I was beginning to warm to their forward thinking record office.

For just £5.00 (just over half the price of a marriage certificate from the GRO) I was able to spend 24 hours rummaging through the images in their Essex Ancestors database. Unfortunately the only record that they had which I wanted was the page from marriage register for Beaumont (or Beaumont-cum-Moze) which showed the marriage I was after.

There was no index, but the GRO index gave me the year and the quarter I was after, so it didn’t take long to find. I took a chance that they had married in Beaumont, but I wasn’t sure, it seemed likely and was in the right registration district.

Their system was simple to use but visually it seemed a little dated, but it served it’s purpose and soon I had the image I wanted saved on my hard drive and another piece was added to the puzzle. I seemed to be accumulating information at a surprisingly rapid rate.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Attention switches to Minnie’s mother

19 Jan

Now my attention switched to Minnie’s mother, Kate Allison. I knew from the 1911 census that she was born in Framfield, Sussex and she was 34 years old and her family were living in Beaumont, Essex.

Kate and her husband Robert had been married for seven years and it was easy to find an entry in the GRO Marriage Index for their marriage in Q4 1903 in Tendring Registration District. His full name was Robert Cecil Allison, and Kate’s maiden name was Driver.

This was too good to be true, it seemed almost impossible now that Kate wasn’t one of my Driver relations, but I had to make sure and knew that a marriage certificate would hopefully prove it one way or another.

I already had a likely Kate Driver in my family tree, she was my 2x great-aunt, but perhaps more importantly she was my grandmother’s aunt, which if correct would make Kate’s daughter Minnie my grandmother’s cousin.

This was the sort of relationship that made perfect sense, for some reason my grandmother’s cousin had come to live with the family, but why? Presumably there had been something that had caused Minnie to be separated from her parents and siblings.

There was slight problem with the age of  Kate Driver in the 1911 census. According to the census she was 34 years old, where my 2x great-aunt would only have been 31 years old. Was this an acceptable margin of error?

Probably, but it highlighted the need for a marriage certificate to clarify her age and to find out who her father was (it should be Thomas Driver, my 2x great-grandfather), to see if this was my Kate Driver.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
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