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Help required - trying to solve family mystery and identify this soldier (Yorkshire connection)


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Interesting developments. The B H Jones is Blanche Harriet Jones matron of Wharfedale Workhouse.

 

I agree that buying an unadulterated copy of the 1913 birth cert is a must. Having an altered birth certificate as proof of anything seems a flawed plan, not sure what was being achieved by that unless someone's trying to hide something.

 

The column - Baptismal Name if added after Registration of Birth is normally left blank. I think it means that following original birth name registration the parent/s decided on a change of name. To do so three years on makes it even more unusual. I wonder if this is the extent of the contemporary adoption process for him.

Not even sure I understand how this addition was made, presumably there is a protocol within GRO to apply for a name change to apply to the cert via this column. Does the added name & 1916 date necessarily mean there is a second certificate?

 

Might there also be a 1916 baptism record to support the adjustment.

 

Sorry,  I'm adding questions but intrigued by this development.

TEW

 

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Had to see what I could find.

 

The change or addition of a baptism name to the relevant birth cert column comes under a GRO act 1836. 

 

The 1836 Registration Act States;
XXIV. And be it enacted, That if any Child born in England whose Birth shall have been registered as aforesaid shall, within Six Calendar Months next after it shall have been so registered, have any Name given to it in Baptism, the parent or Guardian of such Child, or other Person procuring such Name to be given, may within Seven Days next after such Baptism, procure and deliver to the registrar or Superintendent Registrar, in whose Custody the Register of Birth of the Child may then happen to be, a Certificate, according to the Form of Schedule (G.) to this Act annexed, signed by the Minister who shall have performed the Rite of Baptism.

 

I also found that in order to achieve this a Form C, declaration of baptism is submitted to the registrar.

 

Three years is outside the six month limit plus it seems a baptism record is required.

TEW

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ss002d6252

The 1836 Act was superseded by the 1874 Act. This set the time period for a name change to 12 months.

 

Quote

 

8 Registration of name of child or of alteration of name

When the birth of any child has been registered and the name, if any, by which it was registered is altered, or if it was registered without a name, when a name is given to it, the parent or guardian of such child, or other person procuring such name to be altered or given, may, within twelve months next after the registration of the birth, deliver to the registrar or superintendent registrar such certificate as herein-after mentioned, and the registrar or superintendent registrar, upon the receipt of that certificate, and on payment of the appointed fee, shall, without any erasure of the original entry, forthwith enter in the register book the name mentioned in the certificate as having been given to the child, and having stated upon the certificate the fact of such entry having been made, shall forthwith send the certificate to the Registrar General, together with a certified copy of the entry of the birth with the name so added. The certificate shall be in the form given in the first schedule to this Act, or as near thereto -as circumstances admit, and shall be signed by the minister or person who performed the rite of baptism upon which the name was given or altered, or, if the child is not baptized, shall be signed by the father, mother, or guardian of the child, or other person procuring the name of the child to be given or altered. Every minister or person who performs the rite of baptism shall deliver the certificate required by this section on demand, on payment of a fee not exceeding one shilling. The provisions of this section shall apply with the prescribed modifications in the case of births at sea, of which a return is sent to the Registrar General of Births and Deaths in England.

 

 

 

Craig

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Whilst you can trade 19th century Acts, as I said earlier I have real experience of this one. Same person, two birth certs issued 20 years apart in different names

 

I was looking for a child  born in mid 1915 with  name Jane Evans. There was one Jane P Evans listed with mother as Evans. I sent off for that birth certificate. My request was queried by the National Statistical Office, who wanted to know why I wanted it. Never had that happen before, but after much correspondence  they  let me have the the original 1915 certificate. (the later 1935 cert was freely available). You have to prove that the person is dead to get the first certificate, if a second has been issued. And the reason the GRO explained to me, is that if the person were still alive they could get two passports  for example, with different names.

 

In would be interesting  in the thread to see if the GRO would issue the original birth cert , if a later one was issued in a different name. We have not established that a second birth cert was actually officially issued, or where the cert the OP has , was "forged" to alter it. And if it was badly "altered" then how did he manage to pass it off as genuine in his lifetime?

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Keith Brannen

Perhaps you can post a copy of the four certificates so we can see what the differences are.

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20 minutes ago, corisande said:

We have not established that a second birth cert was actually officially issued, or where the cert the OP has , was "forged" to alter it. And if it was badly "altered" then how did he manage to pass it off as genuine in his lifetime?

I think it is only "relatively recently" that birth certificates have been required as proof of age /identity, as is required now.

 

I remember reading of  an Australian man, born c 1920-30s who discovered c 1970s-90s when he wanted to apply for a passport which required a birth certificate,  that there was no birth certificate available because his birth had never been registered. He had not required a birth certificate up to this point. (This stuck in my mind as at work we required government issued (not photocopied) birth certificates as proof of identity for certain things.)

 

Maureen

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Herein lies the problem with identity theft.

Although various government departments, agencies, employers, pubs etc etc have demanded sight of people's  birth certificates for years as 'proof of identity', they literally are not worth the paper they are written on.

As exemplified by Frederick Forsyth  in 'The Day of the Jackal', anyone can get hold of a certified copy  of anybody's birth certificate and tout it as their own.

That's an example from the world of fiction, but it has happened in real life, the case of Metropolitan Police officers recently in the news for taking their working underground to extremes,  using false identities obtained from birth certificates of (usually) children who had died in infancy.

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This is an absolutely riveting thread!

The photo reconstruction is superb, and I agree about NO heatguns, ONLY steam to unglue the original pieces of the photo.

 

In terms of dating the photo, are there any clues to be derived from the finer details of the tunic?

I am thinking of buttons, pleats on pockets, general construction of seams etc.

 

Regards,

JMB

 

 

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Matlock1418
1 hour ago, JMB1943 said:

The photo reconstruction is superb, and I agree about NO heatguns, ONLY steam to unglue the original pieces of the photo.

I agree about the reconstruction = Keith - a really super job.

Great that the OP now has the original and repaired digital images as a backup!!

 

And, as for separating photo from the backing - I too agree = NO heatguns.

I would think you first need to determine the nature of the adhesive - water, rubber or other solvent-based and backing

The risk is probably that the photo paper is possibly softer than the backing and/or the adhesive.

= perhaps check at an unimportant corner??

 

Query:

Can you float off the photo on the surface of a bowl of lukewarm water? = A highly theoretical enquiry at this stage - just seeking advice.

Or leave the photo adhesive to potentially soften in a suitably-sized sealed plastic container - placing backed photo carefully above water-dampened blotting paper

before leaving for a while and later peeling off ???

- after all the original photo was developed and then fixed using water solutions [how stable fixation might be now is perhaps another matter!]

[As I used to do, rightly or wrongly, for stamps as a youngster - before phosphor bands & the current adhesives and giving up that game long ago.  Think you might be able to do the same/latter container method for solvent-based adhesives using a solvent instead ???]

Just don't get things too wet with whatever - and do things quite slowly and very carefully! [to state the obvious really!!]

???

= NOT a suggestion(s) at the moment = just inquisitively wondering - with a little potential project of my own in mind [my digital images safely banked!]

:-) M

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The Inspector
21 hours ago, pshelley said:

So its been an eventful week since I got hold of the birth certificates and my DNA results also came back. There's a story beginning to emerge here and its looking quite an interesting one (IMHO). I'm still crunching through the DNA data and I think it will be of some use.

 

I have not one but 4 copies of my grandfathers birth certificate. I'm not sure if there were so many as he was trying to get hold of a decent copy of the original, or he needed them for identity purposes. Whatever, the original birth certificate from 1913 has delivered some very interesting information and I'll summarise the key points here as I think you will find it illuminating.

  • Certificate year: 1913
  • When & where Born 20th May 1913, New Hall, New-all, Otley (a workhouse I think)
  • Name: Ronald
  • NO FATHER
  • Name and Maiden Surname of Mother: <SCRATCHED OUT> Hannah Smith a Housekeeper of Rose Cottage, West Chevin, Otley
  • Signature and Residence of Informant: B. H. Jones, Occupier, New Hall, Newall, Otley
  • When registered: 10th June 1913
  • Baptismal Name if added after Registration of Birth: <DIFFERENT HANDWRITING & PEN> Ronald Smith Hopton
  • Registrant Witness signature date: 25th May 1916

It's clear that the birth certificate has been updated (?) since it was created in 1913 and my grandfathers Baptismal name was added and changed to Ronald Smith Hopton at that time (assuming he may have been baptised sometime after birth). Whats really interesting is the scratched out first (?) name of the Mother and the recording of her profession and location where she worked. There is no record of any one of that name living there at that time. Furthermore, there are no records of a Hannah Smith in Otley either. 

 

I think this is the token or clues that Voltaire60 was referring to. There IS a Mary Hannah Smith (nee Bambridge) who married a Richard Smith in 1897 in Otley that I found through Ancestry. Interestingly, I have not been able to find if they had any children. The residents of Rose Cottage in 1911 were the Currie family, so bearing in mind that my grandfather must have been conceived in 1912 it is a fair bet that whoever lived there has some connection. Sure enough, there are two males living there, James Currie (45) and Joseph Currie (18).  The chap in the photograph looks older than 20 (which is Joseph's age at the start of the war) but too old for James (47 at the start of the war). It could be Richard Smith of course, but I think he would have been in his late 30's by 1913 and I can't find any reference to military service in a quick search of the usual places. However, Joseph is a different matter...

 

He died in June 1917 at Plouvain near Arras (MIA/KIA apparently) and this is recorded on the Otley Roll of Honour.  I've had a look at the National Archives and fragments of his service record exist. In 1916, it looks like something happens and he is reported as missing not long after the birth certificate is dated. There are records of a period in hospital and there is some possibility of a demotion? So, something clearly kicks off in 1916. Did Joseph know that he was probably not going to return when he is posted back to France? I would think that this was a common assumption, especially those who had seen action on the front.

 

Oh, and the last thing. He is listed as being 2nd Battalion Duke of Welling's Regiment. Not the Leicestershire Regiment!

 

The search continues!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi All,

pshelley...can you post the birth cert with the mother's name crossed through?

 

Apologies if already posted....

He died 1917...that is Joseph Currie, Pte.17867 11th Battalion West Riding Regt,  Enlisted  21st Jan, 1916....Service papers. He was appointed paid L/Cpl on  29.3.16 and was deprived of his L/Cpl  stripe on 30.8.1916  by his CO., he was absent from 24th May, 1916.  10 days are recorded as not counting towards a pension. Record shows in hospital from 13.7.16.-18.8.16. He is recorded as being at home from 13.7.16. to 26.10.16. and went to France on 27.10.16. He was reported missing on 3.5.17 and presumed dead from that date.

His occupation was an Assistant at the Menston Asylum. On the 1911 census his sister  Emily aged 20 yrs is also shown as  a "Mental Nurse" at the "County Lunatic Asylum".  Joseph's age is given as 22 yrs 9 months on his attestation papers.. His records show he had a G.S.W to his right shoulder List HB 670., hence hospitalisation.

His sole legatee on Soldiers' effects is his sister Lena M?

Searching ........

Regards Barry

 

 

Edited by The Inspector
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For all of you who asked, here is the birth certificate from 1913/1916. I post the full photograph shortly. Thanks again to all of you, I really do appreciate your help and time.

 

 

granddad birth cert joined.jpg

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RaySearching
8 minutes ago, The Inspector said:

Can someone check this 

Joseph Currie

The claimant of a dependants pension   is listed as Ada Currie (mother) of 3 Chevin Side Otley Yorks

claim transferred to father 2/11/20  (mother had died)

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Whilst Joseph Currie is a possible father of the child, he only appears to have served in the West Yorks Regt and did not serve in Leicestershire Regt. Nor did he get MM

 

The man in the photo was in Leics Regt and has MM

 

My conclusion is therefore that Joseph Currie is not the man in the photo

 

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The Inspector
30 minutes ago, RaySearching said:

Joseph Currie

The claimant of a dependants pension   is listed as Ada Currie (mother) of 3 Chevin Side Otley Yorks

claim transferred to father 2/11/20  (mother had died)

Thanks Ray

As posted earlier, the sole legatee is listed as his sister Lena M?

Corisande, Yes, tend to agree just closing down all the other questions.

27 minutes ago, corisande said:

Whilst Joseph Currie is a possible father of the child, he only appears to have served in the West Yorks Regt and did not serve in Leicestershire Regt. Nor did he get MM

 

The man in the photo was in Leics Regt and has MM

 

My conclusion is therefore that Joseph Currie is not the man in the photo

 

Regards Barry

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ss002d6252

What is odd to me is that the certificate has obviously been written out by the registrar in May 1916 but you'd expect it all to be in the same ink and handwriting. Column 7 seems to have been added to the certificate afterwards in a different ink, which should never happen with an official copy as it should all be written in one go.

 

Craig

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Yes, I also think the 1916 BC has oddities, different ink and different hand.

 

And this entry is made 3 years after the birth. The amendment to the GRO act gives a one year time frame. Unless there's a later amendment.

 

However, what else would the 1916 BC be created for?

 

Still think a new copy of the 1913 BC is required. Mother could easily have another address.

 

Scratched out name = Emily?

TEW

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Keith Brannen
30 minutes ago, ss002d6252 said:

What is odd to me is that the certificate has obviously been written out by the registrar in May 1916 but you'd expect it all to be in the same ink and handwriting. Column 7 seems to have been added to the certificate afterwards in a different ink, which should never happen with an official copy as it should all be written in one go.

 

Craig

I wonder whether this was at the time of the name change/adoption. It looks  to me (based on the signature of the registrar) that a clerk wrote out the information and the registrar just signed it. Can't really tell whether the registrar was the one who added the Ronald Smith Hopton name or not, but I would have expected a stroke through the Baptismal Name box, similar to those on the father's name and occupation, if it was just a birth certificate for Ronald Smith. Every birth certificate I have has the stroke through that box. So, its absence suggests, to me, that the lack of the stroke was for the change, which probably had to be done by the registrar, rather than a clerk.

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Keith Brannen
9 minutes ago, TEW said:

Still think a new copy of the 1913 BC is required. Mother could easily have another address.

 

Scratched out name = Emily?

TEW

Yes, I agree, need a copy of the 1913 with the actual entry, not a handwritten copy of that entry.

 

I think it also looks like Emily, and looks like someone (not at the registry office) added it, and someone later removed it. The clerk doing the copy would not have put it on top of the name Hannah (it would have been where Hannah was) based on how they did spacing on the other completed parts of the certificate.

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Is there any chance of seeing the other three BC. You mention having four.

 

Are they all Wharfedale office copies and all dated 25/5/1916?

 

Would like to see if the RHS name has been added by a different hand in each case and if the addition then removal of Emily is the same.

 

Realised she won't have a different address on 1913 original as the 1916 version is extracted from that.

 

There is the birth & death of an infant Emily Hannah Smith registered in Wharfedale 1883/4. Could be a sibling to Ronald's mother or unconnected of course.

TEW

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RaySearching

Wondering if Hannah Smith is an alias  

 

the mother of Ronald being Emily Currie the daughter of James and Ada Currie

Hannah Smith being the name she gave on entering the workhouse to give birth to Ronald

Just a thought

 

 

 

 

 

enlarged version of the altered birth certificate 

 

smith.JPG.4747c0daa7fcf25dadbfffbfc5f27997.JPG

 

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25 minutes ago, RaySearching said:

Wondering if Hannah Smith is an alias  

 

the mother of Ronald being Emily Currie the daughter of James and Ada Currie

Hannah Smith being the name she gave on entering the workhouse to give birth to Ronald

Just a thought

 

 

That, if I might say so, is a wonderful example of lateral thinking. I think you could well be spot on there. The difficultly is proving it (or equally well disproving it

 

For those that have not seen it, this is the 1911 census for the Currie household in Otley where "Hannah Smith" lived. I had been perturbed that they might have had a "housekeeper", whereas they were a fairly humble family

 

emily.jpg.0b586f325884f0dad6a1a73ae2bf0977.jpg

 

But on the minus side it looks as if an Emily Currie married in 1911 (again I don't know if there was only 1 marriageable Emily Currie in Wharfedale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by corisande
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RaySearching

If Emily Currie was the mother of Ronald

a  DNA test between the Smith-Hopton  and Currie families

would confirm or disprove a genetic link between the two families

It all depends how far the O.P wants to take this

 

Ray

 

Edit having revised the  1911 census and service records   disregard the above post

 

 

 

Edited by RaySearching
revised
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19 hours ago, corisande said:

Whilst Joseph Currie is a possible father of the child, he only appears to have served in the West Yorks Regt and did not serve in Leicestershire Regt. Nor did he get MM

 

The man in the photo was in Leics Regt and has MM

 

My conclusion is therefore that Joseph Currie is not the man in the photo

 


I agree and think it’s important to keep those two factors firmly in mind.  There seems a danger of going down a West Riding Regiment rabbit hole.

 

The soldiers were kept very busy training during the day and getting a ‘pass’ to go out at night was a privilege, not a right, and only sparingly given out, often as a reward.  Thus the opportunity to meet a woman regularly enough to form a relationship was not as common as might be thought by us looking through the prism of today.  With that in mind, one aspect that might be considered is billeting.  The first two winters of the war in particular involved significant numbers of soldiers being billeted in local private households, in a way that was quite lucrative for householders.  This gave the opportunity for a certain amount of corridor creeping that I understand from reading led to some pregnancies.  I wonder if the mother’s household was a billet.  Unfortunately very few records of allocations seem to have survived.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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  • DavidOwen changed the title to Help required - trying to solve family mystery and identify this soldier (Yorkshire connection)

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