Tag Archives: minnie allison

How did Kate Driver end up in Essex?

23 Jan

It seemed quite likely that the Kate Driver who married Robert Cecil Allison in Beaumont, Essex in 1903 was my 2x great-aunt but so far I hadn’t found any conclusive evidence.

The 1911 census told me that Kate Driver had come from Framfield in Sussex, but how had she made her way from Framfield into Essex, and not just the outskirts of London but deep into Essex, even today Beaumont looks like a remote village not far from the east coast of Essex.

Using the earlier censuses I hoped to be able to better understand how this Sussex girl had ended up in Essex, if indeed it was her.

The 1881 census finds the one year old Kate Driver living at Blackboys in Framfield, Sussex, not unsurprisingly she is living with her parents. In 1881 she was their only child, but she was the first of six.

In 1891 whilst the rest of the family (Thomas and his wife Ellen and four children) were living in Waldron, Sussex (just down the road from Framfield) Kate was in London. She was in Wandsworth, with her uncle and aunt (her mother’s sister). She was only 11 years old and there are no clues to whether she was just paying a visit or was a permanent resident with her uncle and aunt. She seems such a long way from home to be just visiting, especially on her own.

School admission records might reveal whether Kate was a permanent resident (and for how long), but if this was the case they probably wouldn’t reveal the reason she was away from home. Perhaps Thomas and Ellen couldn’t cope with all five children or perhaps they didn’t have the space or money. Perhaps I was reading too much into it, perhaps she was just on holiday.

Finding Kate in 1901 wasn’t easy, there wasn’t really any other options but the only likely option didn’t really match satisfactorily. There appears to be only one likely individual, a 26 year old domestic servant living in Wimbledon, London. Of course the age doesn’t match, Kate should have been 21 years old not 26, and her place of birth was given as Lewes, Sussex not Framfield, Sussex.

Of course Kate wouldn’t have filled in the census, that would have been down to her employer, so that might explain the discrepancies but I can’t help wondering whether there was some deliberate motive for inflating her age.

In less than three years Kate was getting married to Robert Cecil Allison in Beaumont, Essex, and although it is not such a great leap from London to Essex as it is from Sussex to Essex, it still seems hard to understand how Kate and Robert got together.

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

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.
Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
.

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.
Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
.

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
.

“I didn’t want to be in Essex”

17 Jan

Having learnt the surname and initials of Minnie’s husband it was pretty easy work to find their marriage in the GRO Marriage Index. Minnie G Allison married Arthur E Collins in Alresford Registration District in Q4 1929.

The middle initial for Minnie enabled me to find her in the GRO Death Index as well (her death was registered in July 1995) which gave me her date of birth (30th December 1907) and told me that her middle name was Gladys.

Next stop the GRO Birth Index, and a birth registration for Minnie Gladys Allison in Q1 1908 in Tendring Registration District. Tendring wasn’t a place I was familiar with, but it turned out that this was in Essex. This was the Minnie that I had looked at before, but felt would be an unlikely match.

Until now everything else had been in Hampshire and now I  found myself in Essex. I didn’t want to be in Essex, not that I have anything against Essex, it was just that it was a county of which I knew next to nothing and didn’t seem to fit into the mental picture of Minnie that I had been building.  I had been expecting a connection with East Sussex and the Hemsley or Driver family, but that hadn’t happened.

All the data I had pointed to Essex, so I had no option to follow the trail, first stop the 1911 census. Given that Minnie was born in 1907 I hoped that she would be listed in the census with her parents. I wasn’t disappointed, there she was with her parents Robert and Kate Allison and two older siblings, living in Beaumont in Essex.

Her father was employed as a horseman on a farm, her parents had been married for seven years and both her siblings were going to school. In short nothing that would suggest that Minnie was going to need adopting at some stage in the future. I was expecting some sign of illegitimacy, perhaps with a mother struggling to cope, but this seemed like a perfectly normal family.

There was one fact in this whole situation which told me that I had to be on the right trail. Kate’s place of birth was given as Framfield, Sussex, this was the indication of a connection that I had hoped for. It seemed inconceivable that there wasn’t a connection with my grandmother’s family also from Framfield and surrounding areas, but what was that connection and how had she ended up in raising a family in Essex?

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

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 113 other followers

%d bloggers like this: