Tag Archives: thomas driver

Meanwhile… back in Beaumont

24 Jan

I hadn’t entirely convinced myself that Kate Allison of Beaumont, Essex was my 2x great-aunt, but it seemed to be the most likely possibility.

How she came to be in Essex was still a mystery, as was the reason why her daughter Minnie was “adopted” by my great-grandmother. I was obvious I still had unfinished business in Beaumont.

In the 1911 census they looked like a perfectly normal family. Looming ahead of them of course was the First World War, which was to tear apart so many families. Was this the case with Kate and her husband Robert?

Searching the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website failed to find Robert Cecil Allison, so at least it appeared they had been spared that fate. A follow-up search of the First World War records on Ancestry.co.uk also failed to find Robert. It seemed unlikely that he could have escaped service altogether, but that seemed to be case.

I turned my attention to the GRO Death Index and found the answer there. In Q4 1914 a death was registered for the 34 year old Robert Cecil Allison in the Tendring Registration District. The National Burial Index confirmed that the burial was in the parish of Beaumont, Essex on the 27th October 1914. I had no doubt that this was Kate’s husband.

I had found the likely cause of the upheaval that had caused Minnie to be “adopted”. Kate became a widow at the age of 34 and with a young family to look after things must have been a struggle, presumably she had been unable to support herself and her children and presumably her sister (my great-grandmother) had stepped in to help bring up at least one of the children.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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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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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
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