Tag Archives: kate allison

More about Georgina Allison

29 Mar

I have previously written about the tragically short life of Georgina Allison, the illegitimate daughter of my 2x great-aunt Kate Allison, and I knew that there would be very little more to uncover about her brief life.

However, that didn’t stop me trying when I went to the East Sussex Record Office a couple of weeks ago. Baptism and burial records would probably be the only other records available and as the burial register is presumably still in the hands of the Vicar at High Hurstwood the only record left was the baptism register.

Fortunately there was an entry for Georgina in the baptism register, she was baptised on the 23 March 1916, just seven days before she died.

Interestingly she is named as Georgina Whitney. It is not clear whether the Whitney part was meant to be her surname (Georgina Whitney) or whether it was her middle name (Georgina Whitney Allison). Both her birth and death were registered under the name Georgina Allison.

Either way I think it is a pretty big clue to her father’s name and if I were a betting man I would put money on her father being George Whitney, but that is pure speculation because only her mother is named and her occupation given as laundress.

Just to make sure there could be no ambiguity, the vicar (Thomas Constable) has written the word “illegitimate” under her mother’s name where her father’s name should be.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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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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Georgina Allison – a brief life

8 Mar

On a couple of occasions I mentioned that my 2x great-aunt Kate Allison had a sixth child whose life was tragically short.

At the time Georgina Allison was born her mother Kate was a widow, her first husband Robert Cecil Allison had died about sixteen months earlier in October 1914, and she didn’t marry her second husband Patrick Vaughan until December 1917.

I knew from the GRO indexes that Georgina had a short life, her birth and death being registered in the same quarter in 1916, but I felt I should get copies of the two certificates to fill in some details.

It was odd, but I felt the need to learn what happened to Georgina. There was the feeling that she needed to be remembered and that I was probably the only living person who knew of her brief existence.

At first glance she seems an insignificant part of my family tree, but I felt I had got to know this family so well over the weeks that I had been “Finding Minnie” that I felt I owed it to them not to just skip over her.

Georgina Allison was born on the 10th February 1916 at Quarry Cottages, Land End, High Hurstwood, Sussex. Her birth was registered by her mother Kate Allison (formerly Driver) on the 13th March 1916. The certificate makes no mention of her father or his occupation.

Sadly Georgina died on the 30th March 1916, at Lane End Cottage, High Hurstwood. The death was registered by her mother on the following day, again no mention was made of her father. The cause of death was recorded as premature birth and this was certified by George Lucas M.R.C.S. of Uckfield, Sussex.

Thus ended poor little Georgina’s short life. Aside from a burial record and a possible baptism record this is probably all I am ever likely to find out (it seems unlikely that there would have been a gravestone, but I will check when I next visit High Hurstwood).

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Where had Patrick Vaughan come from?

2 Feb

I had failed to find a service record for Patrick Vaughan (the second husband of my 2x great-aunt Kate Allison), moreover I had failed to find any trace of military service despite their marriage certificate claiming he was a soldier.

I was starting to smell a rat when I also failed to find any trace of him in the GRO Indexes and census returns. I had his name, age and father’s name from the marriage certificate, so theoretically it ought to be quite easy to track down details of his birth and what he had been up to before marrying Kate.

The marriage certificate also revealed that he was a widower, which was particularly interesting as Kate was a widow with five children, and I wondered if he had brought any of his children to the marriage, metaphorically speaking. I was still looking for reasons why Kate’s daughter Minnie might have been adopted by my great-grandmother.

But back to my search for Patrick. Obviously one or more of the facts on the marriage certificate might be wrong, but even allowing for some creativity on Patrick’s part I found it impossible to find any other trace of him in the census and no trace of his birth.

As far as I could tell there were two options, first that Patrick had lied about just about everything on the marriage certificate, which seemed incredibly unlikely, or the more plausible option that Patrick wasn’t English and was only in England because he was fighting for us in the First World War.

Another “foreigner” in my family tree would be interesting (I think I only have one other unless you include Ireland, Wales and Scotland as being foreign), but it would probably make researching him harder and push me out of my comfort zone (Sussex) again.

Once again I had to face the facts, this was the most likely option, but where had he come from?

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Searching for the service record of Patrick Vaughan

31 Jan

The marriage certificate of Kate Allison (my 2x great-aunt) and Patrick Vaughan showed that he was a soldier, which wasn’t surprising given that the year was 1917 (or 1918) and the vast majority of young men were fighting for King and Country.

More specifically the marriage certificate said that he was a sapper, so presumably this meant that he was serving with the Royal Engineers. This would help in my search for his service record.

The first step was to check the WW1 Medal Index Cards on Ancestry.co.uk, this gives the most complete list of men who served in the First World War, and it revealed just one Patrick Vaughan who had served in the Royal Engineers. Initially this Patrick Vaughan had served with the Liverpool Regiment before transferring to the Royal Engineers.

Based on this I transferred to the WW1 Service and Pension Records on Ancestry and was delighted to see that the record for Patrick Vaughan who served with the Royal Engineers had survived and was in among the service records. Not only had it survived, but it had survived in abundance, in total there were 58 pages about Patrick.

It soon became obvious that this wasn’t the Patrick Vaughan that I had been looking for, either that or he had been lying profusely when he attested or got married. This Patrick had been 28 years old when he enlisted in 1915, by no stretch of the imagination or slip of the pen could he be 43 years old a couple of years later when he married.

Amongst the 58 pages there was no mention of a wife, his next of kin was his sister, and there was a fair bit of correspondence with his sister because he died in 1918, seemingly taking his only life whilst recovering in hospital. It was such a sad story, but not one that I could stretch to fit into my family tree, things just didn’t stack up.

My only likely candidate had been disproved, but of course there were many reason why I could find no trace of his military service. Perhaps he wasn’t a sapper after all, perhaps he wasn’t even a soldier? Perhaps he was never entitled to any medals so didn’t show up in the records? Perhaps Patrick wasn’t his full name or his age wasn’t 43 years after all?

I had no choice but to give up searching for his service record, perhaps I would have more luck with finding him in civilian records. After all I had his name, age and the name of his father, that should make it relatively easy to find out more about him.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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