Tag Archives: marriage

Investigating Patrick and Kate’s marriage

20 Mar

I had two specific questions about Kate Allison and Patrick Vaughan’s marriage to answer yesterday when I visited the East Sussex Record Office.

  1. When did it take place?
  2. Was this Patrick Vaughan the one from Canada?

When did it take place?

Although I have a copy of the marriage certificate, the date on the certificate doesn’t match the date in the GRO index. I know this doesn’t make that much difference in the whole scheme of things, but I don’t like uncertainty so I wanted to confirm with the original parish register what was the correct date.

As I suspected the certificate was incorrect, the marriage took place on the 25th December 1917 and not 1918 as the marriage certificate states. It doesn’t really change anything, but just provides a useful reminder that mistakes do occur even in the “official” records.

It could have been a different story if there had been a child born between the two dates, it could have been the difference between legitimacy and illegitimacy.

Was this Patrick Vaughan the one from Canada?

Everything pointed to Patrick Vaughan that married Kate Allison as being the same one who joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force in June 1916, but before I would put my hard-earned cash on the line and order a copy of his service record I wanted to be certain. It occurred to me one evening in the bath that I could compare the signature on the marriage register (not on the marriage certificate) with that on the attestation form and hopefully confirm they were the same man.

I don’t have a copy of the marriage register entry to show you, so you will have take my word for it. Although the two signatures are not exactly the same they are similar enough for me to be happy that they are the same man.

This is quite a relief as I have spent a fair bit of time and money over the last few weeks downloading records from Scotland and Ireland for Patrick and his first marriage. Now I have no excuse for not ordering a copy of Patrick Vaughan’s service record.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Henfield, Sussex – parish register transcriptions released

19 Feb

Every once in a while it feels like a particular genealogical resource has been created just for my benefit, such is the case with one of the latest releases from The Parish Register Transcription Society.

I have been eagerly awaiting the latest parish register transcription CD since it was announced last year, because it covers the parish of Henfield, Sussex which has been home to my Trower ancestors for a couple of hundred years.

The transcriptions cover the following registers for the following years:

Baptisms 1596 – 1897
Banns 1653 – 1656, 1687 – 1698, 1756 – 1812 & 1823 – 1901
Marriages 1595 – 1894
Burials 1595 – 1900

Naturally I have consulted the Henfield parish registers dozens of time, usually on microfilm or microfiche at the West Sussex Record Office, but to have this transcript available at home is going to be a great boost to my research.

Although I have probably extracted every Trower in the registers, this transcription will become particularly handy when it comes to tracing descendants of my ancestors as a result of the marriages of the women of the family. Each new family surname requires another visit to the parish registers.

This collection of transcriptions is available to buy on CD through their website and others (I ordered my copy from the Sussex Family History Group) or it can be searched online through their pay-per-view Frontis website.

For those with Sussex ancestors the PRTS are currently working on the following parishes: Cuckfield, Pagham, Slinfold and Coldwaltham.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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NEWS: Free access to Canadian Vital Records on Ancestry

16 Feb

Someone at Ancestry must be reading my blog and seeing my need for some Canadian records they have decided that they will open up access to their Canadian Birth, Marriage & Death Collections until the 20th February 2012 (more specifically until 11:59 p.m. (ET) on the 20th February). Either that or it has something to do with Family Day in Canada on the 20th.

The free access (registration required) covers some 28 million records across the following collections:

  • Acadia, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1670-1946
  • Bells Corners Cemetery (Richmond Road)
  • Births-deaths-marriages, Christian messenger
  • British Columbia, Canada, Birth Index, 1872-1903
  • British Columbia, Canada, Death Index, 1872-1990
  • British Columbia, Canada, Marriage Index, 1872-1935
  • Canada Obituary Collection
  • Canada Parliamentary Marriage and Divorces, 1867-1919
  • Crawford Cemetery, Dalhousie Township, Lanark County
  • Elmview Cemetery, Kars, Ontario, North Gower Township, lot 24, conc. 1
  • Kitchener, Ontario German War Graves
  • London Press (Ontario) Obituaries, 1998-99
  • Mariages de l’Enfant-Jesus de la Pointe-aux-Trembles, 1674-1975
  • Marriage Notices of Ontario 1813-1854
  • Nova Scotia, Canada, Births, 1836-1910
  • Nova Scotia, Canada, Deaths, 1864-1877, 1890-1960
  • Nova Scotia, Canada, Marriages, 1763-1935
  • Ontario Marriage Notices [1830-1856]
  • Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1913
  • Ontario, Canada Marriage Registers by Clergy, 1896-1948
  • Ontario, Canada Marriages, 1801-1928
  • Ontario, Canada Obituaries, 1999-2001: Kitchener Record and Windsor Star
  • Ontario, Canada, Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1747-1967
  • Ontario, Canada, County Marriage Registers, 1858-1869
  • Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938 and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947
  • Ontario, Canada: Civil Marriage Registrations, 1869-73
  • Ontario, Canada: Roman Catholic Marriages, 1827-1870
  • Ottawa, Canada, Beechwood Cemetery Registers, 1873-1990
  • Quebec, Genealogical Dictionary of Canadian Families (Tanguay Collection), 1608-1890
  • Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967
  • Répertoire des mariages de Sainte-Cécile-de-Masham, comté de Gatineau : 1853-1963
  • Répertoire des mariages du Lac-Sainte-Marie (Comté de Gatineau) : (1881-1963)
  • Repertoire des mariages, Sainte-Anne-de-la-Perade, 1684-1900
  • Riverside Cemetery Index, New Hambug, Ontario
  • Scottish-American Gravestones, 1700-1900
  • Sheldon Cemetery
  • St. James Anglican Church Cemetery, Hudson, Quebec, Vaudreuil County.
  • St. Paul’s United Church Cemetery (the old Methodist cemetery), Richmond, Ontario
  • St. Stephen’s Anglican Cemetery, Papineau County, Buckingham, Quebec
  • St. Thomas Anglican Church Cemetery, Stanley’s Corners (formerly Rathwell’s Corners)
  • The Denny Cemetery near Philipsville, Ontario
  • Toronto Star Obituaries, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1999 – April 2000, February 2001
  • Waterloo County, Ontario, Cemetery Inscriptions
  • Web: CanadianHeadstones.com Index, 1700-2010
  • Woodland Cemetery Records, Kitchener, Ontario
  • Zion Cemetery, Scarborough, York County, Ontario

What’s in it for me…

As you can see there is a definite shortage of Alberta records, which is where my attention is currently focused. However, I shall be taking full advantage of this free access to search for Patrick and Kate Vaughan and their children, as there is no guarantee that they remained in Alberta. Also there are one or two other relations scattered in my family tree that ended up in Canada that I haven’t really looked into, including Kate’s brother Asher.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Revisiting the outgoing passenger lists in search of Kate

11 Feb

Having failed to find a record of my 2x great-aunt Kate Vaughan leaving England for Canada, I turned my attention to the other end of the journey and found a passenger list on Ancestry that showed Kate and four of her children arriving in Halifax, Nova Scotia on the 27th September 1919 aboard the White Star liner R.M.S. Baltic.

Armed with this information and the fact that they had sailed from Liverpool, I knew I ought to now be able to find a record of Kate and her family leaving England in the outgoing passenger lists on Findmypast.

Knowing the name of the ship made it pretty easy to narrow down the search, searching by ship name brought up a list of ships and selecting Baltic then brought up a list of years, clicking on 1919 brought up a list of sailings for that year. In the list was a departure on the 19th September 1919, the same date that had been recorded on the remaining fragment of the Driver family bible.

The bible had been correct all along, if only I had been able to search on that exact date I could have saved myself a lot of searching. I wasn’t quite out of the woods yet though, I still had to find Kate and her children in the passenger list, but at least now I only had 47 pages to go through.

I clicked through page after page, scanning the list of names for something that looked like the surname Vaughan. I hadn’t been able to find Kate in a person search, so I was looking for something that might have been mis-transcribed.

I wasn’t until I neared the end of the list that I realised I was getting closer and more pieces of the story began to fit together. The last few pages included the hand-written words across the top “Canadian military dependants forwarded by Can. Govt.” This made perfect sense and confirmed my suspicions, Kate’s husband Patrick Vaughan had been a Canadian soldier and the family were now travelling to Canada to join him.

Sure enough there was Kate, or at least it had to be Kate, the handwriting was not clear and the surname was spelt wrong, but it looked like Vaghan P Mrs. Disappointingly it didn’t list each child, but only gave the number of adults and children in the party, three adults (Kate and her two eldest children) and two children.

Although the passenger list didn’t give me any further information I had at last confirmed when Kate left England and that I needed to be looking in the Canadian archives for a record of Patrick Vaughan’s army service and to find out what became of Kate and her family after they settled in Canada.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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At last, proof that Kate did go to Canada

9 Feb

The tattered remains of the Driver family bible told me that my 2x great-aunt Kate Vaughan went to Canada on the 19th September 1919, but I couldn’t find any record of her leaving England in the passenger lists on Findmypast.

I had found no trace of Kate and her family (except Minnie) in England and furthermore the bible had proved correct in the past so I felt sure Kate had gone to Canada, it was just that I couldn’t find her.

I knew that my best bet would be to try to catch Kate as she got off the ship at the other end. Of course I didn’t know for certain that the other end was Canada, what date she would have arrived and on which ship or with whom she arrived, but using the information in the family bible would give me a starting place.

Fortunately Ancestry have a collection of Canadian Passenger Lists and so the search began again. What name would she be under? Did she travel with her husband? Did she have her children with her?

This time I was more successful. It was quite straightforward to find Kate because she was travelling with her four children. Having said that it wasn’t all plain sailing because a couple of the children were not under the names I would have expected. In fact none of the children had the surname I would have expected, they were all listed under the surname Vaughan, whilst strictly speaking they should have been under the surname Allison.

The family consisted of Kate Vaughan (Housewife, aged 42) and Kate Vaughan (aged 15), Cecil Vaughan (aged 13), Lawrence Vaughan (aged 8) and Nora Vaughan (aged 6), and they arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia aboard the Baltic on the 27th September 1919.

At last I had confirmation that Kate and her family had gone to Canada, but there was also confirmation that Minnie hadn’t gone. This was the first time it really struck home, Minnie had been left behind. Perhaps I would never find out the reason why, but sitting there looking at that list of names on my screen I couldn’t help but think it must have been an incredibly traumatic thing to do for all concerned.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Kate went to Canada, so why can’t I find her?

6 Feb

The tattered remains of the Driver family bible gave me the clue that I needed as to what became of my 2x great-aunt Kate Vaughan and her family. It claimed that she went to Canada on the 19th September 1919.

Whilst the words scribbled on the front page of a bible were a good clue, they need to be verified and also I needed to confirm who else went with Kate to Canada.

It seemed likely that her daughter Minnie Allison had not gone and thus ended up being adopted by my great-grandmother, but had Kate’s other children also emigrated with their mother? Hopefully finding the passenger list for that journey would provide some answers.

Findmypast.co.uk has outgoing passenger lists covering the period 1890 to 1960, so in theory it should have been relatively easy to find at least Kate among the lists, but of course it wasn’t.

Despite trying all the combinations I could think of I couldn’t find Kate. I knew I couldn’t rely on her giving the correct age, so keep that aspect of the search pretty open, but there were plenty of different names she could be travelling under. I assumed she was travelling under the name Vaughan, but when she didn’t turn up under that name I wondered whether she might have been using the name Allison or Driver.

Whichever name I used I couldn’t find Kate, or for that matter her husband Patrick or any of her five children. Unfortunately there was not an option to search by a departure date, only the year of departure otherwise that would have saved me some time.

I began to wonder if the information in the bible could be relied upon had the writer got the correct year and what if it wasn’t Canada she went to, but completely the opposite side of the world? Perhaps it was a different Kate? So far I had found the bible to accurate, so I felt I shouldn’t give up on it just yet.

I remembered the title of a podcast from The National Archives I had listened to a couple of years ago Every journey has two ends. If I couldn’t find Kate leaving England then perhaps I would have more  success finding her arriving in Canada.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Yet another lesson learnt the hard way

5 Feb

Having come to the conclusion that Patrick Vaughan (the second husband of my 2x great-aunt Kate Allison) was not English, due to a lack of any trace of him in the British Army WW1 Records or any civilian records, I had no option but to move on and hope that something else would turn up that might give me a clue as to where he had come from.

Had the newly married couple had any children? When and where did Kate’s children get married? When and where did Kate and Patrick die? All questions which should have been easily answered by the GRO BMD Indexes.

Apart from Minnie Gladys Allison, whom had started this research off, I could find no trace of any of the Allison family or Kate and Patrick Vaughan in the indexes, or any combination of the names.

It was then I remembered a rather tatty piece of paper in my possession, a couple of pages from a family bible that gave a few details about the Driver family. I wrote about this piece of paper before, but had largely neglected to follow-up the information written on it. One piece of information on there suddenly took on new significance.

Suddenly it all made sense, this was why I couldn’t find any trace of the family in England, she had gone to Canada, presumably with her new husband and children. Once again I had found the information I was looking for right under my nose.

Last year when I wrote about the tattered remains of this family bible I had even commented on the fact that Kate and her brother Asher had gone to Canada, but had never followed up on the information.

It wasn’t as if I actually needed to do the research at the time and find them in passenger lists, just putting a note in my database that would have reminded me that the bible said she had gone to Canada could have saved me many hours of fruitless searching when the time came.

Yet another lesson learnt the hard way, but at least I was back on the trail of Kate, Patrick and family.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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