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Pte. William Sellars 242185, Royal Warwickshire Regiment


Ivor Anderson
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Pte. William Sellars 242185, Royal Warwickshire Regiment

 

Born: 1886 - Leicester?

Enlisted: 2 November 1915 (SWB Roll)

Served with 6th & 2nd Battalions, Royal Warwickshire Regiment (Medal Roll).

Discharged: 25 July 1918 aged 32, due to 'Sickness'. War Badge 428847. Entitled to War & Victory medals (MIC).

Trying to fill gaps in the absence of a service record, and to locate him pre & post WW1. SWB roll off Ancestry:

 

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Edited by Ivor Anderson
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WDA/Fold3 pension card records have a ledger card for him;

Regt:  7 RWR

DoB: 1886

Disability: Valvular Disorder of Heart

Address: 42 Moorgate St., Belgrave Rd., Leicester

Seems an address to consider looking at.

:-) M

Edited by Matlock1418
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Thanks Matlock,

The only William Sellars with a birth registered in Leicester in 1886 was a William Cooper Sellars in Q1. A William C Sellars died in Leicester in Q4 1958 aged 72.

He seems to have married an Edith Emily Smith in Leicester in Q4 1949.

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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2 hours ago, Matlock1418 said:

Address: 42 Moorgate St., Belgrave Rd., Leicester

Seems an address to consider looking at.

 

The occupants of that address on the 1911 Census of England & Wales were a married couple in their 30's, a Frederick and Mary Pitts.  Mary's maiden name from their 1905 marriage appears to be Jenkins, unless that was her second marriage. Unfortunately their only child has died so I couldn't use that route to confirm her maiden name without it being little more than speculation.

 

On the 1911 Census of England and Wales there is a 26 year old unmarried Shoe Shiner or Shiver?(Machine Hand) William SellErs, born Leicester, who was recorded living with his parents at 12 Wanlip Street, Leicester.

 

They are George (50), a Frame Work Knitter, born Leicester, and Margaret Sellers, (50), born Leicester.

 

The couple state they have been married 33 years and have had 12 children, of which 8 were then still alive.

 

First problem is no likely birth for a William Sellers in Leicester in 1885 +/- 2 years.

Second problem is no obvious marriage in Leicestershire in 1877 +/- 2 years for George and Margeret SellErs or SellArs

 

Looking at the births for the other children in the household, all born Leicester.

Earnest Sellers, aged 21 / Ernest Sellers Q4 1889 Leicester, mothers maiden name Kearney.

Beatrice Sellers, aged 18 / Beatrice Sellers Q4 1892 Leicester, mothers maiden name Caney

Margaret Sellers, aged 15 / Margaret Sellers Q2 1896 Leicester, mothers maiden name Caney

Nellie Sellers, aged 12 / Ellen Sellers Q4 1898, Leicester, mothers maiden name CanNey

Alice Sellers, aged 10 / Alice Sellers Q2 1901 Leicester, mothers maiden name Kenney.

 

The family also have a boarder living with them – the 45 year old unmarried Bricklayers Labourer James Caney, born Leicester.

 

Tracing the family back, on the 1901 Census the family name is recorded as SELLERS and there is an older son George living with them.

 

But on the 1891 Census the family name appears to be SELLER – and the 6 year old William I think is recorded with the middle initial “C”. They were living then at 51 Providence Place, Leicester.

 

317674890_1891CensusSellerfamilyProvidencePlaceLeicestersourcedGenesReunited.jpg.f4c87583aad5b112aa1d84c9de8e1059.jpg

(Extract from the 1891 Census of England & Wales courtesy Genes Reunited)

 

Unfortunately the data source available to me does not have a mothers’ maiden name recorded for William Cooper SELLARS and I haven’t taken the time yet to crack how I can get that from the GRO website.

 

So could all just be a lot of co-incidences, but given the vagaries in family names used on the Census returns and for the mothers’ maiden name in the birth records I thought it was worth running up the proverbial flagpole.

 

Apologies if it’s all a red herring,

Peter

 

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11 minutes ago, PRC said:

Unfortunately the data source available to me does not have a mothers’ maiden name recorded for William Cooper SELLARS and I haven’t taken the time yet to crack how I can get that from the GRO website.

Simplez! ;-)

https://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/Login.asp

Name:                                                  Mother's maiden Surname:

SELLARS, WILLIAM  COOPER   KEARNEY  

GRO Reference: 1886  M Quarter in LEICESTER  Volume 07A  Page 198

 

:-) M

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Thanks Peter. I was looking at him as a possible. I found a family tree for him on ancestry: 

https://www.ancestry.co.uk/family-tree/person/tree/8277104/person/-865925677/facts

George Thomas Sellers and Mararet Kearney married 7th April 1879 in a registry office in Leicester.

William's paternal grandmother was Cooper. A likely looking candidate.

 

Thanks again M. That confirms WCS's birth was registered Q1 1886. He could have been born December 1885?

Perhaps he got the year wrong here? (1939 Census off Ancestry) - 42 Moorgate Street - note 'boot & shoe' connection:

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Edited by Ivor Anderson
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Spouse's & children's details off Ancestry Tree:

 

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Edited by Ivor Anderson
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11 minutes ago, Ivor Anderson said:

Thanks again M. That confirms WCS was registered Q1 1886. He could have been born December 1885?

 42 days after the event to register the birth, so in theory a birth registered on the first working day in January could have been born as early as the middle of the previous November.

 

The information given to the 1939 Register takers wasn't validated against anything and it wasn't a world where so much depended on such a simple piece of information, so certainly not an uncommon event for the wrong year to crop up. Even when it formed the basis of the NHS Central Registry, a correct date of birth wasn't a driver for the healthcare you received so little incentive for the registry team to ensure the quality of the data.

 

May be a total co-incidence, but the widowed Mary Pitts living next door is near enough an age match for the Mary Pitts living at 42 Moorgate on the 1911 Census.

 

And presumably fourth person in the household Edith Smith is the woman he would go on to marry in 1949.

 

Which leaves Eileen Sellars. William is still recorded as a single man and adoption was regulated from 1927 onwards, so seems more likely she was a niece. The birth of an Eileen Sellars, mothers' maiden name Stanyon was registered in the Leicester District in Q4 1928. But not spotting a likely marriage in England & Wales of a male Sellars to a female Stanyon.

 

A Laurence W. Sellars, mothers maiden name Stanyon was registered with the Civil Authorities in the Leicester District in Q2 1933. Would seem a good candidate for the officially closed record. I can't see a death for him in England & Wales up to 2006, (when the recordset I can access ends), so looks like he hits all the requirements for his 1939 Register entry to be closed.

 

Cheers,

Peter

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Hi Peter, See post before your last. His son Lawrence died 2010. Why was a 6 year old's record officially closed - still living when census posted online?

The Ancestry family tree gives William's birth date as 18 December 1885.

Edith Emily Stanyon married a George W. Smith in Leicester in 1915. Perhaps he was killed in WW1?

William and Edith seem to have only married in 1949 despite having 2 children.

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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57 minutes ago, Ivor Anderson said:

Hi Peter, See post before your last. His son Lawrence died 2010. Why was a 6 year old's record officially closed - still living when census posted online?

 

He was still living, (or at least not known by the NHS to be dead), when it stopped being used by them as a registry circa 1992 and he was under 100 years old when the first page for each household was released as a compromise result of a long running freedom of information request circa 2011.

 

So if the blacked out entry was Laurence it will be closed until at least 2033 plus however long it takes for FindMyPast \ Ancestry to update their website. Hopefully six years after that the whole thing will be in the public domain.

 

1 hour ago, Ivor Anderson said:

The Ancestry family tree gives William's birth date as 18 December 1885.

 

Hopefully coming from the birth certificate - have they provided a source?

 

1 hour ago, Ivor Anderson said:

Edith Emily Stanyon married a George Smith in Leicester in 1915. Perhaps he was killed in WW1?

 There are five George Smith's with no middle name and a Leicester connection that I could see on Soldiers Died in the Great War, and only one of these is shown with a named wife in the additional information field on CWGC.

 

Bearing in mind that what is in the additional field is contact information gathered in the mid-1920's as the CWGC's predecessor, the IWGC,  was in full swing with permanent memorials and the replacement of temporary headstones \ arranging for the long-term maintenance of family plots, then if Emily was by then living with William as the proverbial "common-law" couple, then she may not have wanted to be involved or was ostracised by George Smith's family and excluded. However could be other explanations so I took another look at the birth register for the period 1915 - 1935 in England and Wales in case they had children into the 1920's  - and opened another can of worms.

 

Q1 1916 Leicester. Florence D. Smith, mothers’ maiden name Stanyon. No obvious death in the Leicester area.

 

Q4 1928 Leicester. Eileen Smith, mother’s maiden name Stanyon. Volume 7A Page 287. Line 96. (Eileen Sellars was Volume 7A Page 287 Line 15).

 

Q2 1933 Leicester. Laurence W. Smith, mothers maiden name Stanyon. Volume 7A Page 306 Line 140. (Laurence W. Sellars was Volume 7A Page 306 Line 123)

 

So looks very likely the later children were registered twice. Can this man’s life get any more complicated :)

Does tend to suggest that the couple didn't live together as man and wife until 1927/28. It's totally speculative but one explantion for them waiting until 1949 to get married is that that was when her first husband died.

 

Hope that helps,

Peter

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Many thanks Peter. He died at 42 Moorgate St., Belgrave Rd., Leicester, on 10 October 1958, aged 72 (b. 18 December 1885).

This is the same address that was on his WW1 Pension card! (see post 2) and also the address of his 1939 Census, so he is certainly the right man.

His wife Edith Emily died on 12 February 1988 (b. 8 April 1896). I have his BWM & VM.

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