Tag Archives: richardson

Two birth certificates arrive

12 Oct

The two birth certificates that I ordered last week arrived today and they were both as I expected. Whilst it is re-assuring that I was able to identify the correct spouses for two of my 4x great grandfathers, it does mean that in effect I didn’t actually need to order them.

The first one was the birth certificate of William GEERING my 3x great grandfather, this confirmed that his mother was Eliza RICHARDSON. He was born on the 21st August 1843 and the only other useful piece of information on the certificate was that he was born in the parish of St John under the Castle, Lewes, Sussex.

The second certificate was the birth of Alfred George MITCHELL in Bolney, Sussex on the 23rd February 1841. This confirmed that his and his sister (my 3x great grandmother) Harriet’s mother was Mary SMITH. There wasn’t really anything else of use on that certificate.

Although I had to buy these two certificates to confirm the identity these two of my 4x great grandmothers, it does feel a bit of waste, as I already knew pretty much all that was on them. Still, I have been able to follow up on Eliza RICHARDSON and identify her baptism and her parent’s marriage as well, so that makes me feel a little bit better about it.

Ordering two birth certificates for my Christmas Tree Project

8 Oct

Last night I ordered two birth certificates from the GRO as part of my Christmas Tree Project. Both were in an attempt to find the maiden names of two of my 4x great grandmothers.

The first was for William GEERING, my 3x great grandfather (who may or may not have married Ellen NICHOLLS). His birth was registered in the Lewes Registration District in Q3 1843. I am sure it is the right William GEERING because I have his baptism in Lewes around the same time.

The only problem with this one was reading the page reference, it looks like 383 to me, but that middle number is not clear. I am expecting that it will show his mother’s maiden name as RICHARDSON, as that is the closest match I can find for a marriage between Richard GEERING and Eliza.

The marriage took place in Brighton on the 7th June 1829. To be honest if the marriage was in Lewes, Sussex I would probably have accepted it, but Brighton is just that bit further away so I want to be certain.

The second certificate is for Alfred George MITCHELL, he was the younger brother of my 3x great grandmother Harriet MITCHELL. His birth was registered in the Cuckfield Registration District in Q1 1841.

I wouldn’t normally bother with getting the birth certificates for siblings of my ancestors, unless I was doing an in depth study of the family, but Harriet was born three or four years before the start of civil registration in 1837. Annoyingly I already have the birth date for Alfred George MITCHELL from his baptism record, but he was the easiest of Harriet’s brothers and sisters to locate in the indexes.

I am expecting this one to show that his mother’s maiden name was SMITH. My heart sank when I was searching for possible marriages and found the most likely one was between George MITCHELL and Mary SMITH in Cuckfield, Sussex on the 29th September 1828.

I suppose it inevitable that I would come across a SMITH in my direct ancestry eventually, I just hope there weren’t too many SMITHs in that part of Sussex at that time.

Getting my family history research “on track”

21 Jul

My recent holiday re-awakened my love of steam trains and heritage railways. Down in Devon we travelled on two steam railways, the South Devon Railway and the Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway. We also got to see Tornado, the first mainline steam locomotive built in Britain for almost 50 years.

Peppercorn "A1" Pacific 60163 Tornado at Paignton, Devon

Peppercorn "A1" Pacific 60163 Tornado at Paignton, Devon

Naturally (for me anyway) I now want to find some way of linking this love of trains into my family history research. Three possible options came to mind:

  1. “Cousin” George throwing coal from the train – my father tells a story about “cousin” George, who was an engine driver and during the Second World War he would throw lumps of coal from the footplate when he was nearing the family home, for them to scavenge for their fire.
  2. Am I related to Harold GASSON the railwayman and author – Harold GASSON wrote four (I think) books about his experiences on the Great Western Railway. There is no obvious family connection, but it would be nice to prove even a remote connection.
  3. Grandfather and the gate key – My grandfather paid the railway company for a key to open the railway crossing gate near the family home, but once the railway was closed, the tracks ripped up and the land sold to the local county council, the council still expected him to pay for the key, even though there was no need for a gate any more.

The first one should be quite easy to investigate, it is believed that “cousin” George was actually George Richardson (my grandfathers cousin), so I need to see if I can find any staff records and prove whether he did work on the railways and whether he came near the family home.

The second one is not so easy, there are some biographical details in Harold GASSON’s first book, which should allow me to start building his family tree, but I think I will have to go too far back to find a connection with my tree to make it a viable exercise.

The third one is most interesting to me. I know my grandfather corresponded with the county council, but I don’t know how the issue was resolved. I have a couple of letters and a copy of the original agreement with the railway company but I would really like to find out how the story ended, but I don’t know if the county council will have the documents that showed their side of the story.

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