Most Sought After Ancestors


All family historians run into brick walls that prevent research from moving forward or backwards.  It can take years until they locate concrete information about a certain individual.  During that time, every possible scenario is played out in the researcher's mind.  Every spelling variation and geographical location is considered.  The various problems are advertised everywhere--at family history society meetings, in genealogical journals and magazines, on cyberspace bulletin boards.  Sometimes, we just can't break through.

Here, then, is my 'ten most wanted' list.

Margaret AUSTEN
The first wife of George CULMER, Margaret gave birth to at least seven children and probably more; she died in 1680.  I (along with other descendants) am hoping to prove that she was born in Goodnestone around 1612 to William AUSTEN and his wife.  I am interested in corresponding with anyone researching the earlier CULMER families of Thanet and east Kent.

Robert CUNNINGHAM
My 3x great grandfather served as a driver with the Royal Artillery at the Battle of Waterloo.  His military papers give his year of birth around 1780 and the place as Glasgow.  Since CUNNINGHAM is not an uncommon Scottish surname I don't know where to begin looking for this man.  His wife was Elizabeth UPSALL (or variant UPSTALL, UPDELL) and they had nine children, the first of whom was born in 1817 Eltham.  After completing his military service, Robert settled his family in west Sussex and collected a pension to supplement his earnings as a publican.  Has anyone lost a young, Scottish lad (a weaver by trade) at the beginning of the nineteenth century?

Joseph FLETCHER
Joseph FLETCHER was my mother's 5x great grandfather.  He married Jane TURNER in 1735 Dearham, Cumberland, and they had seven children and hundreds of descendants!  Joseph died in 1760 and was born around 1710.  It's believed that his father was John, as was his grandfather.  But who was his mother or paternal grandmother?

Ernest GENT
What happened to my great great uncle Ernest GENT?  He was born 4 November 1882 in Gosforth, Newcastle to John GENT and his wife Mary Ann STEPHENSON.  In 1912 he was in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan USA where he married divorcee Jeannette PAPIN MacCosham.  In 1918 he joined the Canadian Railway Troops and shipped to France, via England; he was demobbed in Toronto and apparently returned to his wife.  A niece believes that Ernest died in the state of Oklahoma sometime before or after the Second World War but a search of Oklahoma death registrations from 1930-1945 has turned up nothing.

Emma HADLOW
My 2x great grandmother married a Dover-born builder, William Henry PEPPER, at St Margaret's church in Lee, Kent in 1862.  Emma named, as her father, stone mason Samuel BARNES.  Emma was a spinster, so was Samuel was her stepfather or her biological father? I've located a probable baptism for Emma, in 1839 Ewell.  I would love to find her, as a Barnes or a Hadlow, on the 1841 and/or 1851 census to confirm her parentage; in 1861 she was in service and 'living in'.

David HARDIE
My 4x great grandfather married Elizabeth CHE(E)THAM in 1804 Manchester, Lancashire.  A son was born in 1809 London; it's probable an older daughter, Harriet, was born (perhaps in Manchester).  David is believed to have been still living in 1846; no death certificate or will has been located thus far.  Without a sighting of David on the 1841 census, I've no idea of his age
or birthplace (in fact, the same applies for his wife).  Family lore has it that David was Scottish.

Elzbieta Camilla MOTAN
We're looking for information on my late mother-in-law's MOTAN family.  Her mother Elzbieta (born 12 May, 1893 in Vienna, Austria) married a Pole named Adam August HOROWICZ, in Vienna, at the end of WWI; they lived in the Krakow area until Elzbieta's death before WWII.  Her father may have been Austrian or Czechoslovakian but there are distinct connections with Germany.  Any information would be a help at this point.

John Ferguson PARKER
My 2x great grandfather was born c1834 in County Antrim, Ireland.  When he married (for the second time, in 1871 Glasgow, Scotland) he gave his parents' names as Mathew PARKER and Mary FERGUSON.  I believe I have located his family in Templepatrick but I can't find John's baptism, although three of his brothers--Thomas, James and Mathew--are identified.  Confirming John's connection to this family would take me one generation further back in this line of research.

Sarah Ellen/Ellen Sarah TAYLOR
My great grandmother Nell TAYLOR married Frederick Charles POPE in 1895 at St Peter's church, Brighton, Sussex.  All documentation located to date gives her birthplace as Brighton and her year of birth as 1874 (with 23 December as a likely date).  No registration of her birth, under the names Ellen, Eleanor, Sarah or Nell(ie) TAYLOR, has been found.  She appears not to have been christened in any Brighton churches, either (I've searched two years either side of 1874).  At her marriage, Nell gave her father's name as Henry TAYLOR and his occupation as that of a dyer.  The 1901 census lists Nell's mother as a widow, Ellen TAYLOR, born in America.  It is probable that Nell was illegitimate; her parents may have married after her birth.  The family has no knowledge of any siblings.  Neither Nell or her parents has been identified on the 1881 census for England, Scotland and Wales - or 1871 or 1891.  Nell was 'on the stage' in the years before her marriage, which fact rather jars with the fact that the 1901 census shows her a matron of a girls' home!

James WATSON
He was a draper in 1842 when his daughter Caroline's birth was registered at Brighton, Sussex.  He was a 'gentleman' in 1865 when that same daughter married (at a large, uppercrust ceremony held at Christchurch, Kennington, Surrey) my 2x great grandfather William Richard HARDIE.  His wife was Caroline BRIGDEN and they married in 1841 Brighton when James was a hosier, son of John.  The 1861 census suggests James was born Kington, Herefordshire - practically on the Welsh border.  Can anyone lay claim to this family?

If you think you have further details to fill out the above pen sketches, I would be pleased to hear from you.

 

Only a genealogist regards a step backwards as progress

Please contact the site owner with comments or questions:

Lesley Gent, Ontario, Canada
email: 
lmgmay1955@gmail.com     

Copyright ©2000, Lesley Gent

Page last modified -- Wednesday, 21 October 2015

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