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.