Tag Archives: minnie

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
.

At last Minnie has a surname

16 Jan

Towards the end of 2011 my interest in family history began to return and although I made no real attempts to find the identity of Minnie, it was a challenge that was still at the back of my mind.

I had mentioned to my mother several times that I still wanted to find out who she was, but I hadn’t made any effort to get over to Hampshire and find some directories that might give me some clues.

Then in the week before Christmas my mother gave me a surname, it was one of my uncles who had uncovered or remembered (I’m not sure which) Minnie’s married name. She was Minnie Collins.

I had hoped for something a little more unusual, to make my life easier, but at least now I had enough information to search the GRO Marriage Index. This turned up three marriages in Hampshire and a couple in Sussex. Of course she could have married elsewhere but I had to start somewhere.

Unfortunately the week before Christmas was not a good time to get down to any serious research and I never got the opportunity to explore much further. I did  discover that one of the Minnies had been born in Essex, which seemed an unlikely match, but at last I realised that I was getting nearer to my goal, it just seemed a matter of time now.

Then on Christmas Eve I visited my uncles and we talked about Minnie Collins and how I should now be able to find out who she was given a bit more time. It was then that he took out my grandmother’s address book and we found four addresses for Minnie.

I wasn’t the addresses that were the key thing here, but the name under which they had been recorded. The first three addresses (all in Warnford, Hampshire) had been recorded under the name Mrs A E Collins. My grandmother using the traditional practice of recording married women under their husband’s initial(s).

The fourth address was recorded under the name Min Collins, which suggested to me that she outlived her husband and I knew that I was getting that much closer to being able to prove that.

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

Some more facts about Minnie

14 Jan

My search for the identity of my grandmother’s adopted sister Minnie took a step forward after Christmas 2010 when I was given a photo of a couple and it was identified by my mother as possibly being Minnie and her husband. I wrote about this photo last March in the hope that someone might recognise the mystery couple.

I also mentioned that there were several other “facts” that came to light after the discovery, the most obvious being that she got married. Although I didn’t know if this was her wedding photo it was thought that she did get married.

Furthermore it was thought that her husband’s name was either Fred or Stan (presumably short for Frederick and Stanley), unfortunately I could find no likely marriages in the GRO Indexes for a Minnie and Frederick or Stanley (or variants). It was also thought that the couple had at least one son.

Perhaps the best clue is the fact that they lived in “one of the Meon villages” in Hampshire, possibly either East or West Meon, but somewhere in the Meon Valley. Not only that but they had a connection with a local garage (possibly a Jaguar dealership) although whether it was owned by them or they simply worked there wasn’t clear.

This didn’t really progress the search that much further forward. At least I now had a geographical area to home in on and the connection with a garage raised my hopes. I felt sure that if I was able to get access to some directories for the county around the 1950s and 1960s I might be able to locate that garage and perhaps find the name of the proprietor.

Unfortunately the chance to check any directories never emerged during 2011, but fortunately I was to receive a much better clue just before Christmas 2011.

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

Who was Minnie?

12 Jan

It was never going to be easy finding the identity of my grandmother’s adopted sister, as I had very little information to go on. Initially all I had to go on was the first name Minnie and the adopted sister relationship.

Of course the term “adopted sister” is suitably vague enough to mean just about anything, was it an official adoption? Was she actually related in some way? Perhaps a cousin? Perhaps she was a half-sister or step-sister?

There were too many possibilities, but my only real hope would be that somewhere there would be a record of my grandmother and Minnie living together or going to the same school, that would give me a clue to her surname (which of course might not be the name her birth was registered under).

The fact that her name was Minnie might not seem particularly helpful, assuming that this was her real name and not a nickname. At least it is a relatively unusual name which always helps when you don’t have much else to go on, but more importantly it was a family name.

My grandmother’s mother was Minnie Driver and my grandmother also had an aunt on her father’s side of the family by the name of Minnie Hemsley. This hinted at a family connection, but of course there were no likely Minnie Drivers or Minnie Hemsleys that seemed to fit the idea of being around my grandmother’s age.

That raises another issue, just how old was Minnie? Was she a younger or older sister? Natural sisters can be born years apart and presumably adopted sisters (whatever that means) could be born even further apart.

So in short there were virtually no hard facts to go on, but slowly a few more “facts” came to light.

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 117 other followers

%d bloggers like this: