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Anthony Adolph, professional genealogistWelcome to the Genes Reunited web chat, where you can get help and advice from our resident genealogist and expert family historian, Anthony Adolph. To find out more about Anthony click here.

Thanks again to Anthony and everyone who joined in on the sessions so far.

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Name Date
Rosemary Hilton 2014/10/21 09:59:16 PM

Anthony ,Thank you for your advice.

My pleasure!

Rosemary Hilton 2014/10/21 09:17:21 PM

I have traced my family tree back to Major( his first name not a rank} Hilton born 1743. His father's name was Thomas. The family had all been baptised at St Mary's Prestwich Lancashire but when I looked for Thomas in the parish records i drew a blank. I have found four others named Thomas baptised in the years 1708-1711 at churches between 4 and 10 miles from Prestwich. Please could you tell me how I find out which if any of these was the father of Major. I would be very grateful for any advice you can give me.

Major was quite a popular boys' name up in Lancashire - presumably (though I've never experimented with this) it applied to the eldest (major) son. The next steps here would be to seek his father Thomas's marriage, which may give a clue as to where he came from, and see if there is a settlement certificate in Lancashire Record Office to show him arriving in Prestwich, and a burial which might give his age - which could in turn tie-in with one of the baptisms you found. Also, make a thorough search of the Prestwich registers before Thomas's time, to see if there were any earlier Hiltons there who might be his ancestors, even though his own baptism does not apparently appear in the baptisms there.

Angel Nana Abraham 2014/09/23 09:58:52 PM


That's not really a question, though of course mention of the surname of the Russian Imperial family always raises an eyebrow or two!

Margaret Edwards 2014/09/23 09:19:00 PM

I have had difficulty tracing my grandmother's family and thought I'd managed to find my great grandmother born c 1853. The family I found through the census forms ticked all the boxes, but there is a discrepancy of 10 years in the family I've linked her to and the ages stated on the later census forms.I can find no birth certificates for my grandmother, great grandmother and great grandfather to crosscheck. I have been looking for years and this is the nearest I've been, but I still can not be sure. Any ideas?

Without knowing the details it's very difficult to make any firm suggestions, or comment on the ten year discrepancy (but sometimes ages were stated incorrectly). You mention not being able to find birth records: maybe you could look instead for the marriages of these generations, as from those records you would gain valuable extra coordinates to help with your search.

Margaret Wiles 2014/08/19 10:22:59 PM

Thank you for answering my query. It is my uncle by marriage to my dad`s sister, as none of them are now living it`s was proving difficult to find anything out about him .His marriage certificate states " father unknown" ! Thank you again for the address for Barnados .

I am glad we could help, if only a little in this difficult case. The chances are that he was illegitimate: had he been adopted then he would have had a father, albeit an adoptive one, whose name he could have pout down on the certificate. Maybe if you look you will find a birth for him, and probably you will find only the mother being named on it.

Lesley Corke 2014/08/19 09:35:20 PM

Thank you

My pleasure! Do you want to give a little detail on who it is with who you're stuck in terms of names, dates, places, occupations if known? I may be able to give some more specific ideas....

Lesley Corke 2014/08/19 09:28:31 PM

I have traced my mothers name back to 1729 but don't know how to go further. I am very new to this

Well done for getting back that far! The main sources for getting back from the mid-19th century to 1729 are the same as those which should take you further back into the past - parish registers. These are in county record offices. Some are indexed on this site, and others are indexed and digitised on FindMyPast, and other websites. Besides this main source, there are many other sources you can use, potentially - wills, settlement certificates, occupational records - it depends really on circumstances. My book Tracing Your Family History explains the sources in detail.

Margaret Wiles 2014/08/19 09:22:00 PM

I am trying to trace my uncles family on Genes. Although he passed away a number of years ago his son recalls him saying he was a " Barnados Boy". Is it possible to look at the records for Barnados children circa 1915 - 1920 . Thank you.

Do you mean here that your uncle was adopted into your family from Dr Barnardo's, or, that he was adopted away from your family through Dr Barnardo's? At any rate, the people to contact for this are Dr Barnardo’s After-Care Department, Barnardo’s, Tanners Lane, Barkingside, Essex, IG6 1QG. However, information is confidential for 100 years except to the adopted people concerned, and, furthermore, Barnardo’s records are filed under the original birth surname only, so if you approach them with the adopted or foster surname and ask for the original one they may not be able to help you. However, please don't be put off: contact them and ask if they can help, and even if they cannot they may make some helpful alternative suggestions. Equally, if you have any other clues about your uncle's identity these could perhaps be followed up using other records.

Mary Cox 2014/08/19 09:05:25 PM

In generations to come there won’t be graves for people to visit due to the escalation of cremations. I had a simple idea that I hope could come to fruition. Geo tagging/GPS of where ashes were scattered could be added to a section within the tree, as ancestors may want to pay their respects in a specific area rather than just see a record for cremation. p.s. admittedly, I got stumped on my family tree in Ireland due to lost/no records in 1800, so I hope that I can return and ask you for assistance when I can substaniate, as too many trees hold false/misleading info online! best Regards Peter C

Many thanks for an interesting and stimulating opening to tonight's session! I agree that scattered ashes would be far harder to find and track down by later generations than grave stones, so some form of new technology such as you mention might come to the aid of our descendants. It's a clever idea! Of course it also makes me think of more traditional ways of identifying where people's remains might be found: often, when people wanted something slightly out of the ordinary - being buried/cremated/scattered somewhere other than the local graveyard (etc), they would specify this in their wills, and this will still pertain in the future, so someone'swill is always a good place to look if you want to know where to go to pay your own respects to their remains.

David Hurlston 2014/07/22 09:47:31 PM

Thank you

My pleasure!

David Hurlston 2014/07/22 09:06:58 PM

Where will I find the answer to my questions and will I get the answers tonight.

Here, and yes!

David Hurlston 2014/07/22 09:04:35 PM

I am looking for my cousin but he isn't on any electoral rolls. I know his wife's name and when they got married. How do I find out why they are not on the electoral roll or if they are divorced.

It's possible to opt out of the electoral roll, and many people have, so it may be as simple as that - or of course they may have gone abroad. Divorce records after 1943 are held by the Principal Registry of the Family Division (First Avenue House, 42-49 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6NP, 0207 7936 7000). You could try to find them in telephone directories, or using social media (Facebook?) or failing all else, as you have their marriage record, you could seek births of children of theirs using the birth records on this site, and then look for the children in their own right, who should know their parents' whereabouts.

Lindsay Hall 2014/07/22 09:02:42 PM

Were Passports required for UK emigration from 1910 onward? If so how does one fins a list of passports issued?

Passports were certainly in use in 1910, and the passport applications are at The National Archives in the Foreign Office records,FO 610, 1795-1948. FindMyPast has passport applications 1851-1903: I haven't had to search in the period around 1910 so am not sure if there is an easy short-cut .

Robert Hanning 2014/06/10 09:47:52 PM

can I look at Scottish census ?

Yes - as you may realise, the transcripts are on this site, but the images themselves are on

Jonathan Headland 2014/06/10 09:45:25 PM

I am trying to find out information on a person post 1911 Census. I can find no Marriage or death. Someone has found me information on a marriage, but the first name is adelaide where as the first name on the birth register an census is Adeline. what reasons would there have been for changing a name

It's quite possible for there to have been a confusion between these two very similar names. I should obtain a copy of the marriage certificate, if I were you, and then you can see if the father's name on the marriage record matches up with the father's name on the birth record and in the 1911 census. Or, if you want to save money, look for the death of this woman under her married name and see if the age at death matches the year of birth of your Adeline.

Karen Evans 2014/06/10 09:42:51 PM

Can you possibly help me locate my grandads military records.His name was Cyril Beason ,dob 22/11/11.He lived in Wednesfield,near Wolverhampton.He didn't drive and i don't think he was in the armed forces.He didn't go away during the 2nd world war but i can't find what he did do,like fireman or air raid warden.Hope you can help.Thanks Karen

At the back of my mind I remember being asked about this before, but I cannot remember whether I concluded that these were the sort of records one can search out easily or not. If they exist at all they'd most likely be at The National Archives, and you can have an explore of their catalogue to find out more - The class HO (Home Office) 250, for instance, has gallantry awards for people such as air raid wardens. These aren't r

william duncan 2014/06/10 09:11:17 PM

My grandfather Alexander Duncan was a boat builder who lived at Findochty; Scotland (cencus 1901& 1911. I understand that he was lost at sea can you provide any further information as how and when he died.

The death should be in the General Register Office of Scotland's Marine Register (from 1855). This is searchable on If you don't find a death at sea registered in Scotland you could try looking for a testament for this man, on the same website, as even if he died far from Scotland he may still have left a will behind. You could follow any successful finds with a search of local newspapers for a report of the event.

Margaret Hughes 2014/06/10 09:08:28 PM

I am trying to find more information about my great great grandmother ANNE WILLIAMS. She was born in London (FETTER LANE /CITY ROAD) 12/06/1812 She married John Williams between 1834 -1841 and lived from then until her death ( 19/08/1906 ) in in Talybont Cardiganshire . I am struggling to find information about her before 1841 census How would I find details of her birth. her maiden name and her marriage? Thank you very much

A move from London to Wales at that time is rather unusual - usually, it was the other way around! Presumably you have Anne in the censuses and this is how you know where she was born - but how do you know her date of birth? A family bible perhaps? To find her maiden name you need to obtain the birth records of one of her children, using the General Registration indexes to births on this site (under 'births'). Then you can use the corresponding indexes to marriages to look for her marriage - hopefully it took place after July 1837, when the system started. If not, and it was before then, you will need to start by looking in indexes to parish registers - one good place to look is If you find an entry which looks right you should then check it in the original registers in the archives. You can use the same index to seek a baptism for her to correspond with the date of birth you have.

Karen Hillyer 2014/05/20 09:56:47 PM

Thanks for your reply ;unfortunately we dont know the name of the house she worked in and on the census she was at home... I just wondered if there was a central place where the names of large house employees were recorded...( her home was sutton in surrey) the reason for this is the father of her illigitimate child whos birth cert I have; my great grandmother ;(made a mistake the lady in question was 2 greats) was the son in the house she worked (all the other information passed down about her has been true so we have reason to believe this is also) Its certainly looking as if this will be one of those questions that will remain unanswered Regards karen

Ah no, sadly not. There were many, many upper and upper middle class families in the Sutton area at the time, all employing servants - my own included - and of course you can use the censuses and residential directories to see who they were. If the illegitimate child was a boy, his first and middle name may well reflect the real father's identify - ie, illegitimate John Barrington Smith was probably the son of a man called John Barrington. The same system seldom applies to girls. It's not too late at that stage for a bastardy case to have been heard in the local courts, identifying the father and reported in the newspaper, but it would be along-shot.

Carla-Marie Chester 2014/05/20 09:50:34 PM

I have Irish ancestors, is there any records of census before 1901?

Oh yes, most certainly. There are General Registration records going back to 1864, and contrary to what you may have heard, there are plenty of Irish parish registers going back into the earlier 19th century, and some much further. Much was destroyed in the early twentieth century, but it's still possible to trace most Irish lines back to the 1830s, and some will go a lot further. Most Irish Mac and O surnames identify ancestors who lived a thousand years ago, many of whose pedigrees are very well recorded going right back into the Dark Ages. I wrote a book a few years ago called Tracing Your Irish Family History which is still available and goes into the sources and how to use them in detail. You still need to be there to use the wonderful Irish archives but more and more is going on line - one useful site for church registers is