Friday, November 30, 2012

Some Advice from Holmes

Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke vividly brought to life the detective, Sherlock Holmes, and his companion, Dr. Watson in the Granada TV adaptation. I caught these on Public Television in the 1990s, finding the characterizations and Victorian detail delightful, whether or not I already knew the plot, or even thought it believable. Part of the fun of genealogy for me lies in the detective work. And that set me to looking for Holmes quotes. I like the irony of this one - a fictional character telling us that fact is stranger than fiction!

"Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. We would not dare to conceive the things which are really mere commonplaces of existence. If we could fly out of that window hand in hand, hover over this great city, gently remove the roofs, and peep in at the queer things which are going on, the strange coincidences, the plannings, the cross-purposes, the wonderful chains of events, working through generations, and leading to the most outre results, it would make all fiction with its conventionalities and foreseen conclusions most stale and unprofitable."

Some family lines appear to lead predictable lives, and I can sail from census to census, finding enough continuity of place or year of birth, or occupation, or the presence of family members, to trace with some confidence the generations of a single family. In other cases, my confidence quickly evaporates as I'm left with a Victorian/Edwardian detective mystery, as in the case of John Tilley and his wife Amelia.

First, forward two generations. My stepfather rarely talked about his own father, and beyond the names of his siblings I learned little about his genealogy. Going into this genealogical project, I was interested in the Tilleys. I never really thought of him as a stepfather; he was simply “Dad” and I now bear his last name as part of mine. Having three parents at least means having half as many again genealogical lines to follow!

So, where to begin? A search of his name, John Beresford Tilley, showed that at least one other had been at work on Tilley genealogy before me. Even so, it is always good to check for documentary sources, which turns out to be fairly easy in this case, since the prior genealogist indicated that John Beresford Tilley's father had unusual given names: Vivian Kennett. The BMD Marriage Index records this marriage:
     Vivian Kennett Tilley and Minnie MF Byrne Dec1928 Paddington 1a 171

The BMD Birth Index records the following Tilley/Byrne children:
     Mary K Mar1929 Marylebone 1a 626
     John B Jun1931 Pancras 1b 182
     Richard K Dec1928 Huntingdon 3a 286
     Michael D Sep1942 St. Ives 3b 523
There should also be Linda, the youngest. And note how the Index records a move from London to Huntingdonshire, something my father had shared with us.

I did know that my father’s mother had died young. With the hint that she also went by the name Marion, I found this death record :
     Marion M Tilley Sep1946 St. Ives 4b 246 Age:42
Her BMD Birth Index record is:
     Minnie Mary F Byrne Mar1905 Paddington 1a 76
I could also confirm from BMD Indexes that Vivian Kennett remarried (Jun1953 Hammersmith 5c 160) to Patricia N Worner. In fact, the prior genealogist is a descendant through this line. Vivian Kennett Tilley died in 1993.

Vivian Kennett also shows up in the 1911 England Census, living at 23 Cleveland Square, Hyde Park, London:
     John Tilley                     Head              50  Married  Collector    b. London, Islington
     Amelia Augusta Tilley   Wife              39   Married Caretaker   b. Durham City
     Adela Bereford Tilley    Daughter       14                 School        b. London, Shepherd’s Bush
     Norah Kathleen Tilley   Daughter       12                 School        b. Kent, Gillingham
     Vivian Kennett Tilley     Son                 9                  School        b. London, Notting Hill
     Minnie Kennett Dawes Sister-in-law  36   Married Cook Domestic b. Durham, Langley Moor

The family also shows up prior to Vivian Kennett's birth in the 1901 England Census, living at 1 Hurstway Street, Kensington:
     John Tilley                Head                39 Married  House Minder  b. London, Islington
     Amelia A Tilley         Wife                29 Married                           b. Durham City
     Adela E                     Daughter          4                                          b. London, Hammersmith
     Nora K                       Daughter          2                                         b. Kent,  New Brompton

All three children were baptized on the same day, 2nd November 1905 at St Mary Magdalene, Paddington. The baptismal record also lists their birthdays:
     Adela Bereford   10 January 1897,
     Norah Kathleen  23 November 1899
     Vivian Kennett    7 September 1901.
Their address is given as 126 Clarendon Street.  John’s occupation is cab driver. Around this time, London had mostly horse-drawn cabs and fewer than one hundred motor cabs.

When I search for a marriage between John Tilley and a spouse Amelia A., I find this one:
     John Tilley and Amelia A Beresford Jun1914 Paddington 1a 211

Which makes sense; the wife’s maiden name, Beresford, is that given by the prior Tilley genealogist, and also my father's middle name, which he explained as a family name. Amelia's BMD Birth Index entry is:
     Amelia Augusta Bereford Sep1871 Durham 10a 410
Her BMD Death Index entry is:
     Amelia Tilley Mar1959 Fulham 5c 668 Age:87

Yet the marriage entry also presents a mystery; in 1911 on their census return, John and Amelia A report being married for 15 years; yet their marriage certificate was issued in 1914! It is possible that their original marriage was not properly registered. (In an earlier post, I reported that Kenneth Kapadia and Hattie Maxfield/Wichert have two marriage records: one in London, England and one in Winnipeg, Canada). But is it possible that they were living together as married, while one of them was actually separated from a living spouse? Certainly not a topic of respectable Edwardian conversation!

A more prosaic mystery concerns John Tilley's parents. John Tilley, from the census data was born in Islington, London about 1861/2. When I searched for such a John Tilley, I found the son of one Llewellyn Tilley, a confectioner from Gloucestershire, and his wife, Elizabeth. Unfortunately the name is common enough that other researchers propose different parents, that John Tilley is the son of John Tilley, Carman, of Marylebone, London and his wife Ellen.

After some preliminary work, I decided it was well worth ordering the 1914 marriage certificate for John Tilley and Amelia Beresford, which ought to list the name and occupation of John Tilley's father. While I am waiting on this, I will present in future posts the preliminary work, which leads me to favor Llewellyn over John. Still, keep in mind Holmes's cautionary note:

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sailing Three Generations

For my first fourteen years, we lived close to the Thames: Benfleet, Canvey Island, Leigh-on-sea; and then we moved inland to Norfolk. I spent many days on the beaches in Leigh, Chalkwell and Southend, playing in the sand, and, at low tide, wading the silty creeks that provide waterways for some of the smaller craft. My father was a captain in the merchant navy, so there is more than a little salt in my blood.

The family tree I have in mind, concentrates mostly on parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and back, basically a kind of pedigree chart. In addition, I would like to add the siblings at each generation. Occasionally, I might trace some of these lines closer to the present. The pedigree chart is already a large project, since at each generation the number of great-grandparents doubles. The generation born in the late 18th century appears to be that of my 5th great-grandparents of which I have one-hundred-and-twenty-eight.

The UK research breaks down into three periods: recent oral family history; the census era; and the pre-census era. Systematic household censuses in the UK began in 1841, and were enumerated every ten years thereafter. However, UK censuses are not published until 100 years have passed, so the most recent census data are from 1911. Before the Census and central indexing of birth, marriage and death records, there are parish records.

The gap between 1911 and now can often be completed through asking family elders about their siblings, uncles and aunts. Failing that, I have found the free BMD indexes helpful ( For example, for the Stroud-Parks line I can easily find the marriage of Henry Stroud and Edith V Parks (Dec1916 Romford 4a 975), my great-grandparents. If I wanted, I could use this information to order their marriage certificate, but for now it gives me the registration district and quarter in which they were married. I can also search for children of last name Stroud and mother's maiden name Parks, and this search shows me:

     Unity G Sep1917 Romford 4a 7?9
          (my grandmother "Nan Stuart" - her mother, Edith was known as "Nan Mum")
     Olive V Sep1920 Romford 4a 1109
     Audrey P Jun1922 Romford 4a 966
     Myrtle S Dec1924 Romford 4a 838
     Ian RH Jun1927 Romford 4a 830
     Particia J Sep1932 Romford 4a 825
     Henry J Mar1935 West Ham 4a 463

I can likewise easily find Edith V Parks birth registration in the BMD Birth Index; in fact she is Edith Violet Parks born (at least registered) Sep1893 Gravesend 2a 625. Searching on the ancestry database, her 1901 and 1911 England Census records show up. In 1911, the household unit is at 52 Eastwood Road, Goodmayes, Essex:

     George William Parks  Head 40         Waterman and lighterman born Stepney, Middx
     Edith Simmonds Parks Wife 35                                                  born Gravesend, Kent
     George William Parks  Son 16           Lighterman apprentice       born Limehouse, Mddx
     Edith Violet Parks        Daughter 17   Clerk - Solicitor's              born Gravesend, Kent
     Sidney John Parks       Son 14           Clerk - Engineer's              born Limehouse, Mddx
     Harold Bertram Parks Son 12            School                              born Limehouse, Mddx
     Gladys Irene Parks      Daughter 9      School                             born Limehouse, Mddx
     Thomas Charles Cooper Boarder 44 Clerk - Steamship Company born Rio de Janeiro

Watermen in London ferried people across the Thames, and lightermen used tide, current and human might to unload ships out in the river - a cheaper option for the owners who could avoid costly wharf fees.

In 1901, they are at 69 St Albans Road, ten years younger, minus Gladys Irene. Even the same boarder lived with them. Knowing the names of father and mother, searching the Free BMD Marriage Index finds the marriage of George William Parks and Edith Simmonds Hardman Mar1893 Gravesend 2a 600 - my 2nd great-grandparents. Further searching on the ancestry database show her 1881 and 1891 England Census records, and her family of origin.

Her father, John is from Worcestershire, and her mother, Amelia from Great Yarmouth, Norfolk - my 3rd great-grandparents. In 1881 at 2 Elliot Street, Milton in Gravesend, Kent they are:

     John Hardman Head 49 Pensioner (He had previously been a Coast Guard)
     Amelia            Wife  38
     John                Son 14
     Amelia M         Daughter 13
     John A            Son 12 (or, given the other census returns, Jonas A)
     Emily              Daughter 9
     Edith S           Daughter 5
     Joseph O        Son 4
     (and in addition Matilda F and Emma E in 1891)

In 1861 a thirty-year-old John Hardman from Worcestershire was "Captin Miz Top" on board HMS Encounter (14-gun corvette) in Yokohama, Japan, which, in its tour of duty, had been engaged in the Second Opium War against Imperial China.

The only recorded marriage between John Hardman and Amelia (any name) between 1860 and 1870 is
with Amelia Hatt Sep1865 Orsett 4a 160 - my 4th great-grandparents. Searching once more in the census record finds the Hatt family unit in Kessingland, Suffolk, 1861 and Lowestoft,1851:

     Cyprian Hatt b1818 in Harwich, Essex Coast Guard R.N.
     Emma           b1816 in Filby, Norfolk
     Emma           b1838 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
     Thomas        b1840 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
     Amelia          b1842 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
     Jonah           b1846 in Lowestoft, Suffolk
     Eliza             b1850 in Lowestoft, Suffolk
     Joseph          b1852 in Lowestoft, Suffolk
     Emily            b1853 in Kessingland, Suffolk
     Alma            b1855 in Kessingland, Suffolk

Cyprian was also a coast guard; the salt was in their blood. No record of Cyprian Hatt's marriage is in the BMD database, indicating a marriage before 1837, which will force me to rely on parish records - Filby or Great Yarmouth, Norfolk would be good places to start looking for a marriage record of Cyprian Hatt and Emma. From the BMD Death Index Cyprian Hatt died in 1883. A member tree in ancestry notes an unconfirmed newspaper obituary for him, and an item concerning his entry of a model life-boat to the Great Exhibition of 1851.

Previous research has demonstrated generations of lawyers; and here are three generations of river- and seamen. Moving from Norfolk to Essex and London - somewhat akin to my move in the other direction. I remain, however, a convinced landlubber!
Taking stock, so far I have all direct ancestors (and for the most part their siblings) back to my 2nd great-grandparents (there are 16 of them), and 28/32 names for the next generation. Thereafter, I have 14/64 4th great-grandparents, 6/128 5th great, and even a couple of 6th great-grandparents (out of 256). For many family lines the census era is plain sailing.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Meet the Birketts

Given names are sometimes clues in genealogy. Of mine, my mother tells me I am named after Alan Breck from the novel Kidnapped, and from my uncle Keith on the Kapadia/Stuart side, which was my father's middle name also. In turn, my children each have names with a family connection. Hopefully future genealogists will not have to piece together a family tree on such meager clues, but perhaps they can weave some kind of story around them.

Having found the baptisms of Mary Ann and Sarah Halton Birkett at St Stephen Walbrook, I set out to find records of the parents, John and Charlotte. (One hint was a marriage by banns for John Birkett and Charlotte Lloyd, the problem being that it was dated 1800, and located them as members of the parish of Hornsey Rise, Islington, some three miles away. It doesn't seem that likely they would have two children before getting married. But could there be two couples named John and Charlotte Birkett?)

I began by browsing the St Stephen Walbrook parish register for baptisms of children by parents named John and Charlotte Birkett. Here is the tally, all children of the same parents:

     Mary Ann      born 23rd January 1797     baptized 26th May 1799
     Sarah Halton          20th April 1799                        21st July 1799
     John Barnes           20th June 1802                         2nd September 1802
     Charlotte               18th November 1803                23rd February 1804
     Jane                       12th March 1806                      9th April 1806
     Eliza                       14th May 1808                        11th June 1808
     Henry Blow            10th June 1810                         8th July 1810
     Frederick Blow      15th January 1812                    2nd September 1812
     Edmund Lloyd        9th February 1814                   9th March 1814
     Emma                     2nd February 1816                  6th March 1816
     Alfred                    18th April 1818                         31st May 1818
     Ellen Frances         15th February 1822                  15th March 1822

The last four are from a different (sequential) register for the same parish, and contain the additional information that the Birketts lived at Bond Court, Walbrook, (later Cloak Lane) and that John was a solicitor. Note: a phenomenal twelve children over a twenty-five year span, and Edmund Lloyd - could that be his mother's maiden name in there?

All this made it easier to confirm Charlotte Birkett's 1861 death record in the England and Wales National Probate Calendar, since the named executors were Frederick Blow and Edmund Lloyd Birkett. She was 83 years old, and is buried in Norwood Cemetery in Lambeth. Frederick Blow Birkett also signed as a witness in Charlotte Taylor's (his niece) marriage to James Denoon Young.

An 1848 trade directory, out of a total of  eleven Birketts, has Birkett, John and Son, solicitors at 3 Cloak Lane, and Birkett, Edmund Lloyd, physician at the same address. The latter graduated from Caius College Cambridge, was an M.D. and F.R.S. Which of the sons is the solicitor here I cannot be certain, but Frederick Blow did follow his father into the profession. His articles of clerkship (1828), binding him to five years working for his father, begin...

"Edgar Cheesewright, Clerk to Messrs Birkett, Taylor and Cox of Cloak Lane in the City of London Gentlemen maketh Oath and Saith that by articles of agreement bearing date the fourteenth day of January instant and made between John Birkett  of Cloak Lane aforesaid Gentleman One of the attornies of His Majestys Court of Kings Bench and Common Pleas at Westminster and a solicitor in the High Court of Chancery of the one part and Frederick Blow Birkett son of the said John Birkett of the other part..."

I would hypothesize John's daughter, Sarah Halton wife of William Taylor, married either her father's law partner or his partner's son. Messrs Birkett, Taylor and Cox have left some records. William Taylor of the firm gave evidence in 1832 to the Commisioners of the Law Courts and Justice. The firm was also involved in bankruptcy proceedings. The London Gazette lists them as appointed by bankruptcy commissioners in the case of Matthew Robson of Cumberland; also appointed in Cumberland were Messrs Blow and Relph. I have yet to discover any family relationship, but the name "Blow" is surely significant.

Looking for connections in Cumberland, I found articles of clerkship, this time dated 1788 and for John Birkett himself:

"Esther White of Richergate in the county of Cumberland Spinster maketh Oath that she this deponent did see John Barnes one of the attorneys of His Majestys Court of Kings Bench John Birkett of the City of Carlisle in the said county yeoman and John Birkett his son of the same place... agreed that the said John Birkett son should serve the said John Barnes as his clerk in the practice of an attorney and solicitor for the term of five years..."

He gave this name, John Barnes, to his eldest son, whether for a family connection or as a tribute to his mentor I do not know.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Change of Name

Changing one's name turns out to be easy (well, it did for me at least). My parents divorced, and subsequently remarried, so although my birth certificate and medical records have one name, that of my biological father, my school records were in my stepfather's name. When I turned 16, my grandparents paid for me to legally change my name to Stuart-Tilley, combining the two. This seems worth documenting to reduce the frustration of future genealogists wondering what happened to me! In fact my name had already changed by common usage to Tilley. However, on the change of name deed, I was changing from Stuart to Stuart-Tilley - the only time I have signed my name "Alan Stuart".

To return to Zoe Davina HaltonYoung. One question is when she acquired the name Hanrott. Another is her familial relationship with Mary Anne Dover Hanrott, listed in the same household as cousins in the 1871 census.

In the 1851 England Census, Charlotte Taylor was living in the same boarding house with her mother Sarah H Taylor (widow, age 51, born in Walbrook, Middlesex), and her future husband, James Denoon Young. On their parish marriage record her father is listed as William. Searching for a baptismal record of Charlotte Taylor, I found an entry for St Michael Royal, City of London for a double baptism on 2 March 1826 for William Lonsdale (born 19 July 1824) and Charlotte (born 15 January 1826), the children of William Taylor, Solicitor of 3 Clock Lane, and his wife Sarah Halton. Note that James Denoon and Charlotte name one of their sons Lonsdale Denoon; this is most certainly the baptismal record of Zoe's mother.

Incorporating this information, the next search (for a marriage record) revealed the marriage 13 December 1821 at St Thomas the Apostle, City of London between William Taylor and Sarah Halton Birkett, that is, Zoe's maternal grandparents. Looking for more parish register records of this name, I found what was labeled a burial, but on examination turned out to be a baptism, in fact two baptisms on May 26th and July 21st 1799 of Mary Ann (born 23rd January 1797) and Sarah Halton (born 28th April 1799), daughters of John Birkett and his wife Charlotte, of the parish of St Stephen Walbrook (Middlesex). These, then, are Zoe's grandmother, great-aunt and great-grandparents.

And so to research the wife of Howard Augustus Hanrott, the Solicitor,who turns out to be Mary Anne Dover Fearon, daughter of John Hodgson Fearon, Captain in the Army, according to the marriage record in 1862. By this time, he had been dead seven years, but has left to posterity some interesting records. The Asiatic Journal confirms his service in the 63rd Foot in Moulmein (now Mawlamyine), Burma, Mary Anne's birthplace. Another daughter had been born in 1836 in Madras. This is the period of the uniform depicted on Quality Street toffees (and, for privates, in the right-most illustration above). But in 1839, he left Burma on furlough for health reasons, and next shows up in copies of the London Gazette for 1843, seeking protection under the 1842 Act for the Relief of Insolvent Debtors. He was buried at St George Battersea in 1855.

Pallot's Marriage Index records the marriage of John Hodgson Fearon and Mary Ann Birkett in Croydon, 1833. Parish records, if they exist, could confirm these identities as the future Captain Fearon, and Zoe's great Aunt. If so, Mary Anne Dover Hanrott and Zoe Davina Halton Young were first cousins once removed, through the Birkett sisters who were baptized in 1799.

Mary Ann Birkett turns out to be a fairly common name. For example, one of the right age was an unmarried schoolteacher in the 1861 England Census. There is at least one other John Hodgson Fearon, baptized in 1825, possibly the son of the above from a previous marriage - although, obviously too young for an 1833 marriage!. Also the Pallot's Index has some anotations which have been transcribed as Esq. and Jas Wester. Esq[uire] could mean that he was "more than a gentleman", or that he was a lawyer, or many other things. But I wonder if the scrawled note is Ens[ign], the most junior infantry officer rank in 1833. I also wonder if the other words mean St Ja[me]s, Westm[inste]r, where the banns had been read, and then transferred to Croydon.

Having been unsuccessful searching the 1881 England Census for Zoe, I searched for Mary Anne Hanrott. The fuzzy-logic allowed for few enough possible hits for me to scroll someway down the first page to a "Mary B Henrott", Head, Widower, Age 42, Annuitant, born in the East Indies. In the same household, at 20 Edgerton Road, Greenwich, was ___ Henrott, Daur., Unm., Age 21. The ink is faint, but I can definitely make out "Zoe _ H Y Do", the "Do" being ditto for Hanrott!

Among the pleasures of genealogy are the historical snippets I discover as background information. A question has arisen of whether Zoe Young was adopted by the Hanrotts. Well, the legal answer would have to be no. I learned that adoptions were not formally recognized in the UK until 1926. However, historians also note that de facto adoptions must have been quite common given the mortality rate. According to probate records, when her father, James Denoon Young died in 1868, Zoe's mother was still alive. Zoe Young came to the Hanrott household before 1871 when she was eleven years old. I speculate that Charlotte Taylor died between 1868 and 1871. However she understood the adoption process, by 1881 Zoe had acquired the surname Hanrott, and Mary Ann reckoned her a daughter.

Howard Augustus Hanrott died in 1880, and so does not appear in the 1881 England Census. Mary Ann remarried in 1885 to Henry Cowland (the Legal Clerk who was residing at their household during the 1871 England Census, now an Estate Agent). 

One of the witness signatures to the wedding is that of Zoe Davina Halton Young Hanrott - in her own hand. In another year she would use this signature for the last time, as she married Ardeshir Kapadia.

Monday, November 12, 2012

How Many Ways to Spell Zoe?

In my first week at grammar school, I remember my fountain pen leaking a mass of black ink, taking most of English class to clean up. My calligraphy skills improved however, under the tutelage of Mr. Jones, and with the use of a cartridge pen which seemed less apt to explode in my hands. Ball point pens and subsequently the word processor have all but reduced my handwriting to scrawl. It is comforting to know my scrawl is in good historical company, when I read handwritten entries to parish registers, census returns or the birth index, and find the whole range from beautiful penmanship to illegible scratching. Errors of transcription abound, and I can only make sense of some entries in relation to what I expect to see by looking at others.

And so it was in tracing the origins of Ardeshir Kapadia's wife. The BMD Marriage Index for Mar1886 Lambeth 1d 559 records the marriage of Ardeshir Kapadia to Zoe Davinia HY Hanrott. I could find nothing prior to that. There were the some possibilities: D might be Davinia or Davina, the H might be Halton, the Y possibly Yates. Zoe appears to be a particularly difficult word to transcribe. For example, the 1891 Census had "Loe". Perhaps the database searches came up empty because of mistranscription.

I was hoping to find Zoe hidden among the few families bearing the name Hanrott. The 1851 UK Census has Philip Augustus Hanrott senior, and a large household of grown children and minor grandchildren. Many of the gentlemen were solicitors, perhaps a link with Ardeshir Kapadia the barrister. One of those grandchildren Howard Augustus Hanrott (transcribed as Hansell) shows up on the 1871 UK Census with his wife Mary Ann Dover Hanrott (transcribed Mary Aaron Love Hansell) along with "Lee Devin Heston Young", which, with my eyes half-closed I could convince myself was Zoe Davina Horton Young, age 11, cousin of Howard's wife.

From here I found the 1861 UK Census with "Lan DK Young" age 1 living with mother Charlotte, older step siblings Jemima and James, and brothers Haydon C and Lonsdale D. And then her baptism, and census records associated with her father, James Denoon Young and mother Charlotte. In many records Denoon appears as "Denson". So here are the census returns for the Young family:

1841 Scotland Census at 7 High Street, Perth, Scotland
James DenoonYoung Head Age 30 Ironmonger
Jemima JessieYoung Wife Age 20
JemimaYoung Daur Age 1
Helen Dewar (60) Charlotte Murie (15) are F.S. (family servants?)

Jemima Jessie Young is James's first wife. She died before census time in 1851 since:

1851 England Census for Brompton
James D Young widower Age 40 Iron Founder and Engineer of Scotland
Sarah H Taylor widow Age 50 Accountant of Walbrook, Middlesex
Charlotte Taylor daur (of Sarah) Age 25 of College Hill, Middlesex
Zoe Taylor daur (of Sarah) Age 10 of St. Giles, Middlesex

And 23 December 1851 James Denoon Young, Engineer and Charlotte Taylor were married at Holy Trinity Church, Brompton. No sign of Jemima, the younger in 1851, but she returns to her father's household, along with her younger brother in time for:

1861 England Census for Brixton
Charlotte Young married Age 31
Jemima Young stepdaughter Age 21
James Young stepson Age 16
Haydon C Young son Age 6
Lonsdale D Young son Age 2
Zoe DH Young daur Age 1
(Eliza Shubert 22 and Anna Ling 21 are servants)

Zoe's BMD Birth Index entry is Dec1859 Lambeth 1d 406. I could not find it before because Zoe has been transcribed and alphabetized as "Joe" in the handwritten 19th century copy of the register! She was baptized 15 February 1860 in the parish of St Michael, Stockwell, Surrey; a modern transcriber wrote "Loe". There are also baptismal records for Haydon Charles and Lonsdale Denoon Young.

No sign of James Sr. in 1861. However, James Denoon Young died 19 April 1868 and was buried 25 April; he was 55 years old. I have yet to discover when Charlotte Young died, or how Zoe acquired Hanrott as a surname. But I do have Zoe's full name: Zoe Davina Halton Young Hanrott; and her parents: James Denoon Young and Charlotte Taylor. Charlotte Taylor's parents are William Taylor and Sarah H (could that be Halton?); James Denoon Young's father is James Young and mother possibly Denoon.

Needless to say, this is all written up as a word file alongside new transcriptions and digital copies of as many of the original records as I could find. But I'm thinking I should find an ink calligraphy pen to create a pedigree chart or family tree that would make Mr. Jones proud.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Down Memory Lane

Having decided on a genealogy blog, I wondered who might read it. First, I find it useful just to write out what I am learning - so at least keeping this blog is good for me!

In the next place I'm thinking of family; so if you're family do please pass the link to others who might be interested to read some of our genealogy. Family lines from my grandparents on back are Stuart/Kapadias, Strouds, Blacketers and Peterkens, Greens and Richardses. And then from my stepfather's family, Tilleys and Byrnes; and then family lines from in-laws and ex-in-laws (would that be out-laws?); certainly my children might be interested in those.

Lastly, there may be readers who are not terribly interested in my family - or family members who have little interest in some lines. For those, I intend to include details of the techniques I have tried in tracing ancestors, which may turn out to be useful. Also, I will occasionally delve into history and how that is reflected in the historical record of individuals.

I have long been fascinated by genealogy. In 1981 or so, Nan Green and I took the bus to London to do some family research . Before leaving, we had sat down and sketched a family tree of her mother's parents and siblings, and then added what we knew about Nan's family and so on down to my own. First we visited the registar in Poplar to see what record they had there of Thomas Blacketer (Nan's father), the Mayor of Poplar 1930-31 no less. We then took the Tube to the Records Office then at St Catherines House and browsed census records (probably 1871 and 1881) of the Peterkens (Nan's mother's family) on microfilm. The result was a hand-drawn and somewhat partial family tree that grew over the next couple of years as I learned more about more distant Peterkens.

The following is excerpted from a letter written to Denis Peterken in 1981, from George F Peterken of Oundle, Peterborough:
First, he [George F’s father] has an old family Bible which records a Henry James Peterken, born in 1811 and married in 1835, who lived at the east end of London. He had nine children, all of whom were christened at Poplar church. In order of birth these were Elizabeth, Mary, Henry, Jane, James, William, Octavius and Emma. (Obviously I missed one out taking down the details, but I can easily find the omission.) Evidently I am descended from Henry through his son Henry George; his first son George Henry; and his first son Stanley George, my father. This leaves open the possibility that James, William and Octavius all had families from whom descendants might still bear the surname, but my father knows nothing about them. He has a vague recollection of “Uncle Tavy”, but not of any family he might have had.

Uncle Tavy was my great-great-grandfather, so George F turns out to be my fourth cousin and Denis’s second cousin twice removed, while Denis and I are first cousins twice removed.

Here is the family unit for Henry James and his wife Mary Simpson. This reproduces days of work searching the database of the Latter Day Saints website some 12 years ago. It took a couple of hours on beginning with Octavius and his parents, following hints to find census returns, birth, marriage, death index entries, as well as baptismal and marriage records from parish churches. I have not found an 1891 UK Census return for Henry James, but according to BMD Death Index he died the quarter ending Jun1900 Poplar 1c 401 Age: 89.

Henry James Peterken born 17 March 1811, baptized at St Anne Limehouse, 4 August 1813.
            (Parents: Thomas, a baker, and Jane)
            Married to Mary Simpson Whitehead at St George Middlesex, 23 January 1833

Census 1841: Henry Peterken (age 30), Printer at High Street Poplar,
with his wife Mary (age 30) and children: Elizabeth (5), Henry (2), and Jane (5 months).

Prior to this Mary had been born and died in 1837, as well as an unnamed son in 1833 (the one George F had missed).

Census 1851: Henry James Peterken (40), Printer at 208 High Street, Poplar
with his wife Mary S (40) and children: Elizabeth (15), Henry (12), Jane (10), James (8), William (6) and Octavius (2).

Census 1861: Henry J Peterken (50), Compositor and Printer at 268 High Street, Poplar
with his wife Mary (50) and children: Jane (20), James (18), William (17), Octavius (12) and Emma (9).
Elizabeth is visiting with the Cromb family in Bromley St Leonard.

Census 1871: Henry Peterken (60), Printer at 70 Sussex Street, Poplar
with  his wife Mary (60) and daughter Emma (19). Jane is staying, at least for Census night with her Uncle Archibald, Henry James’s brother. The others had all left home. At this point, Elizabeth, Henry (Jr.), William and Octavius are married.

Census 1881: Henry J Peterken (70), Master Printer at 70 Sussex Street, Poplar
with his wife Mary S (72) and daughter Jane (36, Tiemaker). Jane was back to help them (perhaps sensitive about her age, while Mary was past caring?), and Octavius now lived with his family at 69 Sussex Street.

All in all, a nostalgic journey, not simply into the documentary record of Henry James Peterken, but for research into names made familiar in conversations with Nan Green.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

On the Trail

My great-great-grandfather, Ardeshir Kapadia, moved from Mumbai to London, some time before 1886, to study and practice law. I will post more information about him another time. He married Zoe Hanrott, and they had four sons and a daughter. Recent communication from a relative informed me of a story concerning one of those sons, who was believed to have traveled to India to find relatives, and was never heard from again...

However, I only heard of this story after the research I post here into the trail of Kenneth Peston Kapadia. Of the five children, he was the one I had heard least about. From English records, I had only his Birth Index entry Mar1887 Cranbrook 2a 761, and a marriage Mar1915 Lambeth 1d 547 to Hattie M Maxfield, and his appearance on the 1891 English Census return for the household of Ardeshir Kapadia. At this point I signed up for an account with

An initial search revealed the following records. The 1906 Canada Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta lists Kenneth Kapadiah, born in England c1887, working as a hired man in Souris, Manitoba for the Johnson family. He had arrived in Canada that year. Another Canadian reference had a War Office citation for K Kapadia dated 7th August 1917. He is shown demobilizing as a military passenger on the S.S. Melita in March 1919, along with his wife Hattie. 

And then curiously a US Naturalization Certificate for Kap Kenneth, formerly Kenneth Kapadia, dated 9 Jun 1944. The California Death Index records that Kap Kenneth (born 12 December 1886) died in Los Angeles 25 September 1960.

Further searching for Kap Kenneth, born in England c1887 threw up 1930 and 1940 US Census returns from Los Angeles, California. Kap Kenneth, born in England c1887, arrived in the USA 1923 was living with wife Hattie (indeed Hattie M in the 1940 return) and a stepson Hartland (1930) or Hartmand (1940), and working as a building contractor on his own account in each case. Hartland was presumably Hattie's son, since they are both listed as born in Minnesota. Interestingly, in 1930 he had stated that both father and mother were born in England, when, of course, Ardeshir had been born in India.

How many Kenneth Kapadias could there be? Assuming, of course that Mr. Johnson did not know how to spell the name of his hired hand. And assuming that Kap Kenneth was concealing his father's true origins. Then, looking at only Canadian records, I came upon a 1921 marriage in Winnipeg, Manitoba between Kenneth Kapadia and Harriet Wickert. Now, Harriet can be the same as Hattie, but then perhaps there were two Kenneth Kapadias after all. So, I searched for a Hartland Wickert.

The 1910 US Census has Hartland Wichert, son of Oscar R and Hattie M in Minnesota. In 1920 he is living with his father Oscar, who has remarried Hazel. Further research revealed the marriage on 19 September 1905 in St. Paul, Minnesota of Oscar R Wichert and Harriet M Maxfield.

Harriet Maxfield, then, married Oscar Wichert. They had a son in 1907 and, not long after, divorced. Oscar went on to remarry; Hartland stayed with his father. Kenneth Kapadia arrived in Canada 1906. At some point he joined the military and met Hattie. They married in England in 1915. He demobilized in 1919, and the couple returned to Canada. They registered their marriage in Winnipeg in 1921, and moved to California in 1923. At some point Hartland came to live with them. By this time Kenneth Kapadia was known as Kap Kenneth. The couple lived out their days as US citizens in California.

So far, all the records from 1915 onward are certainly for the same person. The Kapadia-Maxfield-Wichert connection is clear enough, as is the Kapadia to Kenneth name change. Also, the War Office citation records the same service number as the demobilizing Kenneth Kapadia with Hattie on board the S.S. Melita.

Name, year and country of birth link all this to the hired hand of 1906 and the infant of the 1887 Birth Index. To confirm this latter would require the 1887 birth certificate with his date of birth, or 1915 marriage certificate with his father's name. The latter perhaps would be the better identifier, and would also contain the name of Hattie's father. At this point I am content to rest on the assumption of a single Kenneth Kapadia(h) born in England around 1886/7.

It would certainly seem that the "missing Kapadia son" of the family story was Kenneth. Did he ever get to India? Or, more likely, did he make straight for Canada? And why did he so completely sever relations with his family? A story unlikely to emerge unless there are some preserved family correspondence.