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


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1 hour ago, FROGSMILE said:

With that in mind, one aspect that might be considered is billeting. I wonder if the mother’s household was a billet.

In this case the child was born 1913, so before billeting would have started(?). 

Likelihood is that the father wasn't a soldier until after 4th Aug 1914. 

Edited by Alan24
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18 minutes ago, Alan24 said:

In this case the child was born 1913, so before billeting would have started(?). 

Likelihood is that the father wasn't a soldier until after 4th Aug 1914. 

Yes, you’re quite right Alan, far too soon to be a billeting conception.  I fear I didn’t pay enough attention to the date of birth. Mea culpa.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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There was a request many posts ago for an uncropped version of the original photo to show more of the 'bridesmaid' and whatever else is in view.

TEW

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knittinganddeath
On 15/01/2021 at 13:28, pshelley said:

he tried to track down his parents in later life, but was unsuccessful.

Do you know what routes he tried in his attempts to find them? I'm wondering if any of them could be worth pursuing further with today's technology.

 

Your documents show he was born in 1913, and suggest that he was adopted in 1916. It sounds like he lived with his mother until then. Did he have any memories of her or his surroundings from that time that could help you focus your search? There are stories of toddlers adopted from the Magdalene Laundries who as adults still had vague memories of their mothers and the convents.

 

I agree with others who say that you should try to get the original record of the birth from 1913 or even a photograph of the relevant page from the birth register itself. Then you will be able to compare the original information to the interpolations -- the baptismal name, also the erasure of the other name above Hannah -- on this later certificate.

 

I used to work at the Embassy of India in my country, and we issued birth certificates well into the 21st century that looked exactly like the one that you've posted (minus the baptismal name, obviously). They were also filled in by hand -- first in the official register of births as well as a copy for the parents. If the copy was found to have an error, it would be reissued with corrections. I am sorry to say that the original would not necessarily be corrected as it was such a hassle to drag out the book, which surely had at least 1000 pages, find the entry, and change it. If we did change it, the original would probably only be struck through and so still be legible. So you may get lucky...

 

 

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The Inspector

Hi,

You stated that you have not gone down the route of his adoptive parents as he didn't get on with them, I suggest that may be the best way forward as the rest of that family may well be searching for his relatives.

Searching....

 Ronald Smith Hopton, b. 20.5.1913.He died Dec 1993 Lincoln, Lincolnshire.  Reg.No A45C,  District 6191A,  Entry No.166  Married Minnie Kilgallon ? from Huddersfield?

If you don't try you won't know......tell me what you know and I will have a go. PM me if you wish.

Regards Barry

Edited by The Inspector
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The Inspector

Hi All,

Thinking outside the box......

Checked the 1911 census for the Workhouse and there was one family  surname of "Smith" from Gaywood, Norfolk.  Samuel aged 24 yrs, a patient, a moulder in an iron foundry. Married for 3 yrs to "Emma" aged 25 yrs an inmate whose occupation is "formerly a domestic servant". They have 1 living child in the workhouse, Gladys aged 2 yrs born Shipley, Yorkshire. 3 other children shown as deceased.

???? Is it possible that "Emma Smith" obtained further employment whilst living in the workhouse, became pregnant by someone other than her husband and wanted to hide her true identity. The Matron, Blanche Harriet(t) Jones, (who died in 1914) and her husband David Porter Jones, had been at the workhouse for many years (1901 census). Blanche was the informant on the birth cert. and "Hannah Smith" was obviously living in the workhouse. There are no children under the age of 2 yrs listed on the 1911 census for the workhouse.

Would the workhouse take in a pregnant female and accept the responsibility of looking after her and the baby? The Matron had also experienced the death of 2 children.

"Hannah Smith" would no doubt have lost her employment at Rose Cottage so presumably had nowhere to go...or did she? Back to her home in the workhouse to her husband who may have been led to believe he was the father! 

Regards Barry

Edited by The Inspector
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I suppose I feel that all we can do is speculate until we get another input from @pshelley

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ilkley remembers

The Union Workhouse at Newall covered a large number of parishes from the outskirts of Leeds up into the Pennines. Attached to the workhouse was a substantial infirmary which catered for patients from the Otley area so giving birth there doesn't necessarily indicate that Hannah was an occupant of the workhouse.

 

Giving birth in hospital at that time incurred a substantial cost and probably beyond the the means of someone who is described as a housekeeper. However as the birth has been registered 3 weeks after the birth and by the hospital matron then I would suspect that the cost of maintenance had fallen onto the parish. However, you cannot assume that a certificate was obtained at the time of registration.

 

The address at West Chevin was very small, a two up two down, which as far as I know no longer exists but it seems unlikely that it would need a housekeeper. My suspicion would be that it was out reach accommodation which provided cheap short term housing for a mother with a young child.

 

Although, the father isn't named on the birth certificate that didn't absolve him from financial responsibility for the child and up to 1914 the Poor Law Union could and indeed usually did attempt to get a maintenance order against the putative father. This was known a a 'Bastardy Order' and was obtained from the local magistrates in a court hearing where the suspected father would be named. Bastardy records for West Yorkshire do exist up until 1914 (when the law changed) and some are on Ancestry. After 1914 it was the responsibility of the mother to take the father to court.

 

The birth certificate indicates that the child was actually baptised albeit that the entry is in a different hand and undated but we could presume that it dates post May 1916. That raises the question of where and when this ceremony took place and indicates the possible  existence of another record relating to the child, although, I suspect that it would be difficult to track down.

 

It would be useful to see the original birth registration entry which may shed some light on the writing that has been scratched out, although, it could simply be a mistake which was made in copying the certificate in 1916.

 

The release of the 1921 Census next year may reveal more information, if you can locate Hannah, but sadly, it won't reveal the identity of the birth father.

 

Think a good bet on finding the alleged father is to contact the Otley Museum who have paper records of men who died and those who won awards who may be able to marry up a soldier with the Leicestershire Reg. who also won the MM They also have access to the Wharfedale Observer and Ilkley Free Press both of which reported extensively on local casualties and awards.

 

I still think that it would be worthwhile checking with Leeds Magistrates to see if the adoption was ever formalised under the 1926 Adoption Act. Many people did use this process because it had implications for inheritance.

Edited by ilkley remembers
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There needs to be a like function!  That way I could like this post by ilkley remembers and any other like-able posts like ilkley remembers' post.

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I mentioned a possible baptism previously based on the Baptismal Name entry. Reading the GRO Acts more carefully shows there doesn't have to a baptism.

 

Following on from recent posts, I wonder if B H Jones acted as a stand in mid-wife for non residents, perhaps she is the informant on many BCs from Otley.

 

21 days after Ronald's birth in the workhouse the mother gives the Rose Cottage address. That may be quite legitimate and possibly her former occupation/address as well. Otherwise that would mean the Currie family took her in and employed her with a new born in tow.

 

Not much evidence for any kind of adoption going, legal or informal. Looks more like a poor and fraudulent attempt to change Ronald's name by adding that name to column 10. Wonder what the issue dates for the other three certs are and whether Ronald ever applied for one himself and either saw or didn't see the Col. 10 entry. Perhaps he filled that column in.

 

Any suggestions on the 'Full Time' H T or F Barrett part? Ronald supplying BC at work later in life?

 

Lots of speculation I know. 

TEW

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Looks like there are some interesting comments since I last posted in this thread. I haven't got time to review and give you feedback, until the weekend unfortunately. I did speak with my mother again about the photograph and she says that my grandfather definitely believed that is showed his mother. Who the soldier is, she says he was less sure of and that it might actually be a relation as some of you have suggested. Any way, I did say I would post the full picture as it may help provide some additional information that may be of interest. Here you go.

great grandma and tbc.jpg

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The Inspector

Hi All,

ilkley remembers, thanks so much for the above information.  One question....would the workhouse "Matron" (Ancestry has her as Matron of Wookhavey!!!)

also be the Matron of the Infirmary?

pshelley....I suggest you go down the DNA route. When did Ronald go to Lincoln after marrying in Huddersfield in 1938? Still there in 1939 and 1947 at 149 Riddings Rd, Sheepridge, Huddersfield. Both died in Lincoln. Her grave stone only mentions her "Loving, wife, mother and grandmother"?

If you give us as much info. as you have then we can work on it and the amount of knowledge on this forum is truly amazing....over to you!

Regards Barry

 

Edited by The Inspector
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BereniceUK

Neither of them appears to be wearing a ring - so not married or engaged?

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ilkley remembers
3 hours ago, SHJ said:

There needs to be a like function!  That way I could like this post by ilkley remembers and any other like-able posts like ilkley remembers' post.

 

Thank you SHJ

 

2 hours ago, TEW said:

21 days after Ronald's birth in the workhouse the mother gives the Rose Cottage address. That may be quite legitimate and possibly her former occupation/address as well. Otherwise that would mean the Currie family took her in and employed her with a new born in tow.

 

Would certainly agree with this as a possibility. I did notice from the 1911 Census that one of the Currie daughters was shown as a nurse at an asylum. I would expect that she may have worked at the much filmed and indeed sung about West Riding Pauper and Lunatic Asylum at Menston (High Royds) which was about one and half miles away. I did wonder if Hannah had been either an inmate of employee there

 

1 hour ago, The Inspector said:

ilkley remembers, thanks so much for the above information.  One question....would the workhouse "Matron" (Ancestry has her as Matron of Wookhavey!!!)

also be the Matron of the Infirmary?

I think that it actually reads workhouse. As matron she appears to have been responsible with her husband for both the workhouse and infirmary. I notice that in the census list inmates and patients are clearly differentiated and indeed would have been in separate buildings. There are also very few children...3 as far as I can see and no babies which possibly suggests that neither the hospital nor workhouse had facilities for infants

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Keith Brannen
3 hours ago, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

 

Calling @Keith Brannen

Calling Keith Brannen!

Working on it, few tough spots (her lips are going to be a bit of a problem) so a bit of freelancing for some of it (especially the dress).

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2 minutes ago, Keith Brannen said:

Working on it, few tough spots (her lips are going to be a bit of a problem) so a bit of freelancing for some of it (especially the dress).

 

It would help if the photo was to be put back together more as it should be...there seems to be plenty of scope for it.

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The Inspector

Hi,

pshelley....What do you know about the "Ruthven" side of the Kilgallon family.

Regards Barry

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
2 hours ago, Keith Brannen said:

Working on it, few tough spots (her lips are going to be a bit of a problem) so a bit of freelancing for some of it (especially the dress).

Good man!

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Keith Brannen

The lips were the biggest pain to do (probably one of the worst places for a rip), and as good as I can get. As I said, the dress was also a problem, on the right hand side of the dress pieces, I had no clue where the dark middle piece would go, so couldn't and didn't use it.  Fortunately, the dress is not a deal breaker, it is not like it is essential to identifying the couple, or a regiment badge, etc.

 

140896096_Unidentifiedrestoredfullpicture.jpg.fd3a99bcd0551d3658ae3a56b122c9b4.jpg

 

 

Edited by Keith Brannen
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ilkley remembers

 

 

Amazing...what a transformation....well done!

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WhiteStarLine
14 hours ago, ilkley remembers said:

There needs to be a like function! 

This is stunning, just stunning.  There needs to be a Like button so that those of us with nothing to add but our admiration can show their appreciation for Keith's work!

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Pat Atkins

Blimey! Ditto. What a great reconstruction.

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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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