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One for the geneologists

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ten0rman
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One for the geneologists

#199364

Postby ten0rman » February 6th, 2019, 5:47 pm

I'm looking into events during the 1880's & 1910's or thereabouts. Particularly a chap named Richard Forrest.

Now, I've found via Ancestry, a baptism record for a Richard Forrest dated 03 April 1886. Ok, the transcription of the record is understandably wrong in that the mother is shown as Matilla, but from the original is in fact Isabella. The address on the original is hard to decipher but is ?? Cotewell Rd, Bradford. All of this matches with what I had come to suspect, ie that Thomas and Isabella had two sons close together, the first of which died before the birth of the second, so the same name was given to both, namely Richard. The 1911 census for 38 Cotewell Rd sort of confirms this. I say sort of, because the writer made a right mess of filling it in, but interestingly gives a lot of useful information although a lot is crossed out. Incidently, the Richard Forrest that lived was actually to be found on another census sheet, "visiting" a young womam who he eventually married, 5 years later.

I cannot find any evidence of the first Richard Forrest's birth, or his death, and that intrigues me. As I say, I've had a suspicion about there being the two, and what records I've discovered confirm that suspicion, but why no birth or death record?

Any ideas?

FWIW, I have searched FreeBMD, FindMyPast & Ancestry.

ten0rman

bungeejumper
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Re: One for the geneologists

#199379

Postby bungeejumper » February 6th, 2019, 6:50 pm

Don't know if it connects, but I once had a mysterious great uncle called just Fred, a child who was recorded in the 1891 census but whose birth and death were never recorded anywhere as far as we could see. It was a very large family, in a rural area, and the barely-whispered word from my aunts was that Fred had been born with what we'd today call Downs syndrome. (The Victorians would have called him idiot if he'd grown to adulthood, which he probably didn't, although we can't know for sure.) Either way, he disappeared as mysteriously as he'd arrived.

In rural areas, people tried their best to be kind to these children. (We get the word cretin from the French chrétien, or "child of god" if you like, because of their simplicity.) But they weren't expected to survive infancy, and often, if they did, they were confined to a room unless some local convent could be persuaded to take them in. Sadly, these institutions weren't particularly good at record keeping. The rest is silence...

BJ

ten0rman
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Re: One for the geneologists

#199390

Postby ten0rman » February 6th, 2019, 7:26 pm

BJ,
Funnily my mother had a relative who was known as Cousin Fred! Seven years after her death, we discovered that Cousin Fred, was actually her half-brother which she had kept hidden from us for 60+ years. Nothing wrong with him by the way, and nothing to do with this - just the name!

Seriously though, one other thing that appeared on the 1911 census was that Thomas & Isabella had 8 children of which 2 died, one of whom was Richard Forrest the first. 25% attrition rate perhaps? But then, it was a different time then.

ten0rman

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Re: One for the geneologists

#199484

Postby Nimrod103 » February 7th, 2019, 8:51 am

In my experience of genealogy, you should keep an open mind for all manner of possibilities, and look for more than one line of evidence.
Christain names are frequently repeated from generation to generation, though I have never come across successive children with the same name.

Also, some families are meticulous at filling in forms correctly, while others are extremely slapdash, so that some census forms have wrong dates, and wrong names, incomplete names or nicknames. IME birth certificates are usually the most reliable for names.

Another problem is the transcription from the original record onto the databases of sites like Ancestry or Genealogist. I assume they use character recognition software which can mispell names if the original written or printed copy is smudged or illegible.

GoSeigen
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Re: One for the geneologists

#199502

Postby GoSeigen » February 7th, 2019, 10:04 am

ten0rman wrote:I cannot find any evidence of the first Richard Forrest's birth, or his death, and that intrigues me. As I say, I've had a suspicion about there being the two, and what records I've discovered confirm that suspicion, but why no birth or death record?


Any ideas?

FWIW, I have searched FreeBMD, FindMyPast & Ancestry.

ten0rman


Both childrens' births are recorded, mother's maiden name is Hall:

FORREST, RICHARD HALL
GRO Reference: 1885 S Quarter in BRADFORD YORKSHIRE Volume 09B Page 56

FORREST, RICHARD HALL
GRO Reference: 1887 M Quarter in BRADFORD YORKSHIRE Volume 09B Page 58



Two deaths of infants called Richard Forrest are recorded in 1885, either or both may belong to a different family -- for confirmation you'll need to order the originals.

FORREST, RICHARD 0
GRO Reference: 1885 M Quarter in BRADFORD YORKSHIRE Volume 09B Page 37

FORREST, RICHARD 0
GRO Reference: 1885 S Quarter in BRADFORD YORKSHIRE Volume 09B Page 34



GS

ten0rman
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Re: One for the geneologists

#199552

Postby ten0rman » February 7th, 2019, 12:01 pm

Hi GS, and thankyou.

You are quite correct, the mother's maiden name is indeed Hall.
The second birth is, by a process of elimination, the survivor and I have indeed applied for his birth certificate, as of last night.

In respect of the infants Richard O Forrest, for the first one, I found an 1885 Q1 birth, an 1885 Q1 baptism, and an 1885 Q1 death. The baptism shows the parents as Job & Mary Forrest so of no interest to me. For the second one, I found an 1885 Q3 birth, an 1885 Q3 death, and a 18 Sep 1885 burial. The burial took place at Low Moor, a suburb of Bradford whilst the address was shown as Manchester Rd Bradford so it is likely that these three items are for the same child. Given that I have a 03 April 1886 Baptism of a child whose parents are Thomas & Isabella Forrest, and with the correct address, it would seem that this second death is nothing to do with my quest.

So, final question, how did you find them? Was it some other site?

Regards,

ten0rman

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Re: One for the geneologists

#199646

Postby Slarti » February 7th, 2019, 4:53 pm

Nimrod103 wrote:In my experience of genealogy, you should keep an open mind for all manner of possibilities, and look for more than one line of evidence.
Christain names are frequently repeated from generation to generation, though I have never come across successive children with the same name.

Also, some families are meticulous at filling in forms correctly, while others are extremely slapdash, so that some census forms have wrong dates, and wrong names, incomplete names or nicknames. IME birth certificates are usually the most reliable for names.

Another problem is the transcription from the original record onto the databases of sites like Ancestry or Genealogist. I assume they use character recognition software which can mispell names if the original written or printed copy is smudged or illegible.


I have come across the next child of the same sex being given the name of a previous one who died more than once and in different parts of the country, so I suspect that it was not that unusual, especially if the name was traditional in the family.

Not only are some slapdash at filling censuses, some downright lie, either for religious reasons (my wife's Essex ancestors) or because they are covering up that they are raising little sister's out of wedlock baby as their own.

As for transcriptions, with births, the original baptism register is probably the most accurate, everything else being transcripts, or transcripts of transcripts. Though the officiant may not have understood the accent of the parents if he was from out of area, or they were, which was very common in the coalfields.

Ancestry used to use banks of cheap labour to do their transcriptions and some of the mistakes are comical.

Slarti

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Re: One for the geneologists

#199682

Postby GoSeigen » February 7th, 2019, 7:09 pm

ten0rman wrote:Hi GS, and thankyou.

So, final question, how did you find them? Was it some other site?



It was on Ancestry with confirmation of the references and maiden surnames on the GRO website.


In respect of the infants Richard O Forrest, for the first one, I found an 1885 Q1 birth, an 1885 Q1 baptism, and an 1885 Q1 death. The baptism shows the parents as Job & Mary Forrest so of no interest to me. For the second one, I found an 1885 Q3 birth, an 1885 Q3 death, and a 18 Sep 1885 burial. The burial took place at Low Moor, a suburb of Bradford whilst the address was shown as Manchester Rd Bradford so it is likely that these three items are for the same child. Given that I have a 03 April 1886 Baptism of a child whose parents are Thomas & Isabella Forrest, and with the correct address, it would seem that this second death is nothing to do with my quest.


Clarification: following the names is the age 0, not initial O. Sorry for the confusion.

So you're saying neither of those deaths is the one, but are you sure the death records match the respective births and baptisms? How did you match them up? The most fail-safe way is by ordering the death certs, but this costs money, especially if you're confirming deaths NOT in your family! SOme other ideas for matching the deaths:

-Track mother in each case to 1911 census and see her figures for number of kids born and died. This will only work well in a small number of cases.
-Find family in 1891 census and check the infant is not listed as a 5-yo child in the family group.
-Do a full history for all Richard For[r]ests you can find in the area. A lot of work especially for common names and not foolproof, so probably ponying up £6 each for the certs is better.

What you absolutely CANNOT do is rely on the hints and record matches provided by Ancestry as matching correctly, so if that is what you're doing, beware!


I'll try another trawl when I get a few minutes.

GS

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Re: One for the geneologists

#199689

Postby GoSeigen » February 7th, 2019, 7:21 pm

Slarti wrote:I have come across the next child of the same sex being given the name of a previous one who died more than once and in different parts of the country, so I suspect that it was not that unusual, especially if the name was traditional in the family.

Not only are some slapdash at filling censuses, some downright lie, either for religious reasons (my wife's Essex ancestors) or because they are covering up that they are raising little sister's out of wedlock baby as their own.



My wife's cousin has the same name as his deceased older brother -- I agree it's not terribly uncommon.

Historical note: Until the early 1900s divorces were expensive and well into the 1800's you needed an act of parliament to get divorced! That, along with the religious taboo on premarital sex, resulted in all kinds of shenanigans by less affluent people to dodge the issues that resulted. Examples are missing second marriages, children getting weird surnames, children being looked after by grandparents or aunts or even "professional" guardian services. Some of the latter even notoriously would contract to look after unwanted child and then starve or drown the poor infant, pocketing the ongoing maintenance payments!

Defoe's Moll Flanders is an interesting and instructive read (albeit from an earlier era.)

GS

ten0rman
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Re: One for the geneologists

#199706

Postby ten0rman » February 7th, 2019, 8:24 pm

I'm now well and truly annoyed. I've just typed out a long answer, only for it to disappear!
And it was too quick for a mod, so I've probably done something daft, or maybe not done something. Anyway I'll try again.

Here's what I have done.

Starting with Richard Forrest's last marriage certificate, dated 16 Dec 1933, he is shown as a widower, his age is shown as 45, and his father as Thomas Forrest (deceased), a Dyers labourer. On his first marriage, a church wedding dated September 1916 he is shown as single, aged 30 and his father as Thomas Forrest (deceased), a Dyers Labourer. From that I found various censuses which show Richard Forrest, and his father as a Dyers Labourer. So I'm reasonably certain I've got the right family. Furthermore, they are a Bradford family.

Unfortunately there are some discrepancies about birth year (could be 1887 or 1888) so I started looking into that. Started by looking for all the births of Richard Forrests between 1884 and 1891. Next I discarded all the non-Bradford families. At some point I had started to realise that there were possibly two Richard Forrests in the same family so that was the next investigation. First I looked for deaths of children around 1887, plus church records for baptisms & burials etc. From this I was able to discard the one in 1885, and another one that had the wrong parents, and this left me with a birh in 1887 Q1 which is the one I want, and a baptism in 1886 with the right parents, and it was this one that intrigued me as I couldn't find any matching birth or death entries.

I'm going to submit the above just to avoid losing it again. I'll carry on in another entry.

ten0rman
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Re: One for the geneologists

#199711

Postby ten0rman » February 7th, 2019, 8:42 pm

To continue...

On reflection, I now think that I was somewhat bamboozled by going round in circles and hence missed the fact that the references were indeed there on Ancestry.

So, I'm happy that his birth year is 1887, and I've ordered his birth certificate.

TBH, I'm not really interested in the dead child, just why I couldn't find the relevant entries.

It may be of interest as to why I'm looking into this:
Forrest's second marriage was to an unmarried woman (Jane Copley) with two children with no known father. I have been told that the father maybe one Arthur Forrest, and to be fair there was indeed an Arthur Forrest floating around Bradford at that time. But, given this marriage one begins to wonder. Now, according to the Bradford Electoral Rolls for 1924 to 1931, there was a Richard Forrest living with a Jane Forrest. AIUI, there is no legal reason why a person cannot be known by any other name, so the suspicion has to be that Jane unofficially changed her surname.
Now why not get married in 1924? Well Richard was married to Minnie, who died in November 1933, and the marriage to Jane took place in December 1933. I suggest that they delayed the marriage to avoid bigamy.

Have I made a good case?

Finally, I believe that Forrest was a "bad lot". In the 1900's he apparently ended up in jail a few times for theft, including from his own mother. He did join the army in 1915, and indeed his first marriage certificate shows him as a soldier. He was discharged in 1918 as being unfit for war service, whatever that means.

Another thing to look into is that the 1911 Census for his family shows him as having been married for 2 years! If true, that means he married three different women.

Well, if nothing else it exercises the old brain cells.

Regards,

ten0rman

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Re: One for the geneologists

#199768

Postby GoSeigen » February 8th, 2019, 12:43 am

ten0rman wrote:Well Richard was married to Minnie, who died in November 1933, and the marriage to Jane took place in December 1933. I suggest that they delayed the marriage to avoid bigamy.

Have I made a good case?


Based on the facts as presented I think your conclusion is very likely. I have seen similar delayed marriage in several cases, and it fits with what I wrote earlier: that divorces were for the wealthy only and the remainder had to find creative ways not to be bigamists or leave their issue without inheritance.


Finally, I believe that Forrest was a "bad lot". In the 1900's he apparently ended up in jail a few times for theft, including from his own mother. He did join the army in 1915, and indeed his first marriage certificate shows him as a soldier. He was discharged in 1918 as being unfit for war service, whatever that means.

Another thing to look into is that the 1911 Census for his family shows him as having been married for 2 years! If true, that means he married three different women.


There is a marriage of a Richard Forrest in Bramley, West Riding, but he is clearly not the right one. I don't find any other promising marriages. I'd guess the two years married in the 1911 Census is a mistake. Strange one though. In his other 1911 entry he is listed as single -- and also a batchelor in his 1916 marriage record. So the documents disagree, but I think the facts point to his not having married by 1911, especially as he's living with a woman he has NOT married!

Incidentally the same 1911 record shows clearly there had been two Richards, one of who died as an infant. The other child which didn't survive was john. The remaining six are all accounted for.

None of the above prevents something weird from having happened, but it would be unlikely IMO.


GS

ten0rman
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Re: One for the geneologists

#199833

Postby ten0rman » February 8th, 2019, 10:04 am

Hi GS,
Thanks for all your comments. It's nice to have some confirmation that I'm on the correst track.

I had found the Bramley connection, but not yet got round to any deep investigation. Actually, there are two possibles, Florence Alice Goose, & Eva Stockdill.

Like you, I expect the 1911 census record is a mistake, after all, just look at all the other mistakes! I'm just thankful the handwriting was as good as it is.

An interesting sideline! My parents died 2004 & 2005. In 2012 my sister started research herself and found an oddity so contacted me. My tongue in cheek comment was "maybe there's some blackness going on". What we eventually found was that our maternal grandfather was married to a woman who was not our grandmother, and furthermore, they had a son. Three years after the son's birth, grandfather, along with our genuine grandmother with whom he lived for the next 30 years, produced our mother. Technically then, grandfather was an adulterer, whilst mother was illegitimate. And (perhaps understandably) didn't she strive to keep that quiet. Furthermore, we eventually found concrete proof that mother knew all about her half-brother. From an aged relative who it seems knew all about this, I discovered that the wronged woman refused a divorce, so grandmother simply changed her surname and called herself Mrs.... And never did marry grandfather.

And then, whilst looking into this, I came across something else. Grandfather's sister, say 22, married a Crossley boy, say 24. Two years later grandfather's brother, aged 22, married a Crossley girl aged 32. "Ting-a-ling-a-ling". Odd? But then there's more. The brother had two daughters, ostensibly with the Crossley girl, but both born Dronfield way, even though the brothers are actually Leeds lads. Then after 8 years, the Crossley girl dies, and the brother, shortly afterwards marries a girl from Dronfield way whose first names just happened to be the same as his elder daughter. Even bigger "Ting-a-alings-alings"!

Ii does make me wonder just what sort of a family I and my siblings have been born into.

Cheers,

ten0rman

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Re: One for the geneologists

#199895

Postby Slarti » February 8th, 2019, 12:49 pm

GoSeigen wrote:Historical note: Until the early 1900s divorces were expensive and well into the 1800's you needed an act of parliament to get divorced! That, along with the religious taboo on premarital sex, resulted in all kinds of shenanigans by less affluent people to dodge the issues that resulted. Examples are missing second marriages


Poor man's divorce, move to the next village :lol:

Or in one case I've found, she moved another town and married her new husband as a widow while he moved to the Northumberland coal fields and married another woman as a widower. He also lied on the census as to where he came from, by about 30 miles, which caused me some delay in finding his birth. It also led to me finding his first family, still alive. :o

Slarti

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Re: One for the geneologists

#199896

Postby Slarti » February 8th, 2019, 12:52 pm

ten0rman wrote:I'm now well and truly annoyed. I've just typed out a long answer, only for it to disappear!
And it was too quick for a mod, so I've probably done something daft, or maybe not done something. Anyway I'll try again.


It is often when you click Submit that the board plays a nasty trick on and doesn't post it because someone else has posted since you started typing. And if your post is quite long the message telling you this doesn't show as it has scrolled off the top of the screen.

Very annoying when it happens.

Slarti

ten0rman
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Re: One for the geneologists

#199941

Postby ten0rman » February 8th, 2019, 3:08 pm

Slarti,

thanks for that explanation, it certainly fits the bill.

ten0rman

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Re: One for the geneologists

#199954

Postby bungeejumper » February 8th, 2019, 4:02 pm

Slarti wrote:Also, some families are meticulous at filling in forms correctly, while others are extremely slapdash, so that some census forms have wrong dates, and wrong names, incomplete names or nicknames. IME birth certificates are usually the most reliable for names.

LOL, thanks for the memory. My great grandfather, who was the head gardener at a succession of Northamptonshire stately homes, was married to his first wife for 23 years (if my memory serves), but they had no children - or at least, none that were still surviving when the censuses were being held. In 1895 or thereabouts his wife died, and the poor old bugger found himself suddenly all alone.

So he hopped off double-quick up to Stratford upon Avon, found himself a 23 year old replacement bride, and lopped fifteen years off his age so as to stop her from finding out that he was pushing 55. Of course, having falsified his age on the marriage records, he now had to falsify it on the census forms as well, and this he proceeded to do for the rest of his life. By the time he died in 1917, he was either 77 or 62, depending on who his family chose to believe. They opted for 62, which was what it said on his death certificate. Fnarrr, I bet his ghost was sniggering.

Family? Indeed. Within four years, he and his lovely young wife had two daughters and a son. They were a resilient lot, my family. Just not always very truthful.

BJ


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