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Friday 19 February 2010 9.44pm
Inevitably,(some would say sadly,)I've now reached the age where I've become curious about certain members of my distant family who I never got to know.
I've visited various birth, deaths and marriages sites, all of which claim to be the bee's knees, but my family seems to have slipped under the radar. Even 'Ancestry u.k.,' don't believe my dad died in 1976. My uncle Phil emigrated to Australia when I was a kid, but not according to any records I've searched. Is there a genuinely good site out there, or has anyone tried to trace their family tree and can give me some tips?
Saturday 20 February 2010 8.04am
Chalkey, ignore the professional sites that say your did not die in 1976, they get their information from councils.

My dear Aunt died in Guys Hospital 4th October,1989. In 2006 I decided to renew my interest in the old family tree.

Went on to the 1837online site ( as recommended by someone on this smashing forum!) Went online and ordered death certificate from Southwark, quite a bit of time had passed eventually had to contact them..

I explained etc., lady said we have no one of that name registered then asked if I was sure of my Aunts' name and address as they had a r williams! Aunt Rosemary's real name was Rosina which she hated, but obviously the death was reported in her 'official' name.. I was asked if I was sure of the year I said positive as I had been with her a few hours before she died and had the sad task of clearing out her flat.

I sent a letter in response to their mail saying they could not find the death certificate and attachedment from the 1837 site. In case they were not allowed to open anything with attachment, typed the details in.

This spurred them on to thoroughly investigate,
"after many hours of investigation..we discovered that the deaths for 1989 were not properly indexed we had to then go down into the Vaults and go through all Death Register Books for 1989 Guys Hospital"
and of course they found the entry and processed it the same day.
and of course apologised for the delay etc.,

To apportion blame for something that had happened 17 years previously would not have been fair.

But it makes you think, if I was someone just starting out with the local council searching for death or birth certificate and unsure of details I would have been in deep doo doo!

Chalkey go on to 1837 online site..
Sunday 21 February 2010 7.22pm
Thanks for the info, Jan. I gave that site a try, but had mixed results. I think I'm always going to come to a dead end with certain members of my family, particularly on my mum's side. Strange lot they were. My great grandafather apparently turned up one day in Walworth some time in the 1880's, (I believe he was born around 1868.) he was a mystyerious character in that no one in the family ever knew where he'd come from. Rumour was that he was a Romany. The little bits I do know is that his forenames were: 'Prince-Phillip-Corn.' A bit unusual by any standards. I know that he worked as a rigger on Buffalo Bill's wild west show when it toured the the early 1890's and he had a tattoo of the aforementioned on his chest. My gran told me that his wife, my great grandmother, was illiterate and signed her pension book with a cross. Reason being that as the only daughter of a large family she was made to stay at home and help with the family chores rather than go to school. Very Dickensian. Hardly surprising then that niether of them appear on any census or B.D.& M. records.
Monday 22 February 2010 6.27am
Wow Chalkey, what a character he must have been! My friends mother in law was unable to read and write also for the same reasons. Once she poured a toxic substance over her pie and mash thinking it was vinegar, I think it was a small bottle of peroxide that my friend had bought from the chemist the previous day and she thought it was vinegar because apparently when she was small it used to come in brown bottles..

I forgot to say in my previous post my aunts name was Rosina Ward!
Monday 22 February 2010 10.04am
O-oh, Jan, are we related I wonder? Are you suspecting that we are by putting that exclamation mark at the end of your aunt's name? Because my mother's maiden name was Ward.
Regarding my great grandfather, he certainly was a character by all accounts. He would turn his hand to anything to earn a few bob. Every September from the age of 18 he went hop picking. For the first few years he walked to Kent, (Paddock Wood in fact,) from his home in Walworth. He became addicted to it and didn't miss a single season from that first time, such was his love of Kent. Some of the family surmised that it was probably where he had originated from and had probably made his way to London as a kid, (where we all know the streets are paved with gold,) and eventually settled in Walworth. His last 'hopping' was in September 1952. He died the following spring age 85. He started the family hop picking tradition, right down the line to myself. I was first taken when I was six months old and went every year until 1960, when the hop harvesting machine took over and hand pickers were no longer required. I guess I'm one of the last generation who will remember hop picking by hand.
Monday 22 February 2010 11.21am
Chalkey, Buffalo bill show must have been in london about sept.aug.1887, because one frederick mercer bought a gun from b.bills he thought it was a drunk and thought he was killing b.bill...

go in old bailey online just put in buffalo...

the reason I mention Rosian ward was because the daft bugger at the council asked me if r.williams was aunties name!

hello kissin' cousin!
Monday 22 February 2010 11.22am
Chalkey, Buffalo bill show must have been in london about sept.aug.1887, because one frederick mercer bought a gun from b.bills he thought it was a drunk and thought he was killing b.bill...

go in old bailey online just put in buffalo...
then after that posting there is another one about obtaining a magic lantern slide...b.bill was shown at kings cross!

the reason I mention Rosina ward was because the daft bugger at the council asked me if r.williams was aunties name!

hello kissin' cousin!
Monday 22 February 2010 12.36pm
Yes, Jan. 1887 seems to be the date. Thanks for that. It makes sense thinking back, because my nan was born in 1896 and she had an older brother. So great granddad would have been working on the show before he married great nan. Did you see the film, 'Annie get your gun.' Buffalo Bill's show features in that, set at the time it was touring America prior to coming to England. I wonder if Annie Oakley came over here with him? I wish my great granddad had got a couple of autographs instead of a bloody tattoo! They would have been worth a few bob by now I would have thought.
I'll send you a PM, Jan, and mention a few of the Ward family on my side, just to see if there's a connection. I won't do it here as a lot of them are still alive and may not want their details broadcast. Also, other site users might be getting fed up. We've been ticked off before for being esoteric.
Monday 22 February 2010 1.30pm
They returned to the u.s. in 1903 on the Cunard Liner ETRURIA..thee was b.bill, 50 of the indians and a major john m of the Indians had sold his head dress/costume and bought a frock coat with the money... and a little baby was born in england to one of the indians on 7th june and his name was ' Alexander Pearl Oliver Birmingham England Standing Bear' I kid you not....

b.bill was asked if he was giving up and he said he would be returning to england in march....
Monday 22 February 2010 4.07pm
I've made my kids cringe over the years with my terrible jokes. When I first told them about their geat-great-grandfather I said he'd been killed at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. When they asked with wide eyes if he was in the cavalry I used to say,
'No, he was camping in the next field and he went over to complain about the noise.'
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