View Full Version : Can't find Granny!!

19-03-2006, 9:00 AM
Hello everyone

Does anyone have any ideas as to why a birth about 1906 would not be on the BMD. I have been trying to find my grandmothers birth which states on her death cert as 1906 which was generally accepted. I have located her marriage entries (x2) but no birth entry. Have searched from 1902 to 1912 with variations in spelling with no luck. Her first marriage was in 1928. Would she have had to provide a birth cert to get married? Have found her parents marriage circ 1903 and her mother shows up on the 1901 census.

It is not crucial to have this cert but has got me wondering why it is not there. Does anyone have any ideas?

Thanks in advance

peter nicholl
19-03-2006, 10:24 AM
Hi Carran

When you say BMD do you mean FreeBMD? If you do then the answer may be that as not ALL registrations are recorded there they may not have included your Granny yet. In which case it might be worth trying a paytoview site and going from say Jan 1905 to Dec 1907. If you've already done that, then welcome to the |banghead| club :D . I'm still trying to find my Grand dad's death.
God Luck

19-03-2006, 10:28 AM
Does anyone have any ideas as to why a birth about 1906 would not be on the BMD. I have been trying to find my grandmothers birth which states on her death cert as 1906 Have found her parents marriage circ 1903 and her mother shows up on the 1901 census.All Peter wrote, plus:

Have you tried searching under the mother's maiden name, just before they married?

Depending on the date of marriage, you may also have to check under the mum's maiden name for the quarter immediately after marriage.


19-03-2006, 3:01 PM
Hi, Not all BMD records have been transcribed, but ancestry have copies of all BMD records online now (not transcribed), it can be quite tiresome searching through the lists, but I have found a huge amount of info from it. And its free to use!! Here is the link -

[Edit - Link to Ancestry, a comemrcial site - removed, Geoffers, moderator]

Good luck, Claire.

19-03-2006, 3:14 PM
Hi Caran,

Is there any possibility that you actually know the area where she was born? Being only your granny, I wondered whether your mum/dad knew where she was born?
I had a similar problem with my grandfather who I thought was born sometime around 1900. At the time, I was unable to get to the Family Record Centre because of having a 'twig' on the family tree to look after :D ..... so I was using a record agent. Although I asked them to search a reasonably wide timespan plus try variations on surname spelling (the name wa LAWRENCE ..... so I suggested LAWRENCE, LAURENCE, LAWRANCE etc) ..... they said they couldn't find it.
However, my family were pretty sure he was born in Edmonton, North London and so my local family history society suggested directly contacting the registry office ...... I knew where this was because I lived in the area. I phoned and they found it ..... the name wasn't spelt as I expected .... on 1st April [typical!] in 1899. I never have checked to see if the record agent made a mistake of whether it just wasn't there ...... after all, have it now!

So ..... if you know or have a hunch on where she was born, try the registry office for the area. I have no idea what they charge for searching, mind you. At the time, they did it for free ...... maybe because I only wanted 1899 and 1900 searched.

Good Luck,

20-03-2006, 8:40 AM
Hi everyone

Thanks for your replies.

I have searched the Ancestry BMD (have sub) from 1902 to 1912 under mothers surname Bosher and married name Hickey born in Lambeth, but with no luck. Did find a younger brother in 1912 registered, but nan was born before that. I know her birthday was the day before mine, in June and she even told me she was born in 1906, but sadly she is no longer with us, so cannot find out what happend to her registration. Will have to send for her first marriage certificate and see if she has a different age on that, it wouldnt surprise me!

Thanks once again.

20-03-2006, 12:59 PM
My husbands Grandfather told everyone he was born in 1904 and celebrated the birthdays every year but when we tried to find his birth registration we discovered that not only was he NOT born in Frome Somerset but he was born in Allbrook hampshire in 1902!!

ANd it wasn't until an uncle died that we discovered that his "real" surname was not the one he had been using all his life and that he was actually born 12 months before his mother got married.

So take everything you have been told and accept it as the truth as they want you to know it and then extend the search back another 5 years.

And if you give us her name we can also search - there are several people on here who can do wonders with a name.

21-03-2006, 10:41 PM
Hi Ladkyis

Thank you for your reply. I know that my nan was very, how shall we say, vague with her past and wasnt very forthcoming with dates. However I have searched under her maiden name of Ellen Caroline Hickey born June in Lambeth from 1902 to 1912. I havent been able to find any Ellen Hickey or Ellen Caroline born during that time (in Lambeth or anywhere else). I have also searched under her mother's maiden name (Sarah Bosher) before and after her marriage in 1903. Have found a younger brother born 1912 who was registered under the name of Hickey with mother's maiden surname of Bosher in Lambeth. The only one I can find.

I have found her first marriage to my grandfather in 1928 under the name of Ellen Caroline Hickey. She died in 1995 aged 89 according to her death certificate, which puts her birth around 1906. I have located her mother Sarah Bosher in the 1901 census living with her widowed mother and family including a twin brother in Vauxhall Walk, Lambeth. There is no baby, so I am working on the theory that nan must have been born from 1902 to 1911 which would put her between 17 to 26 when she married in 1928.

As I said earlier it is not important that I have this certificate, however it would be good to get it, but I just cant figure out why I cant find her anywhere. By the way would she have needed her birth cert to get married? If so I wonder where she got it!! :confused:

Thanks to everyone

21-03-2006, 10:55 PM
Have you checked the "Births Overseas" records? I don't think they are available on Ancestry, but there is a box of them at libraries.

22-03-2006, 12:44 AM
She would not have needed her birth certificate to get married so that wouldn't have been a problem. It might be one of those births that never made it to the GRO index and the only way to find the certificate is to get it from the local Register Office - but first you have to know where she was born. Did her mother move very far when she had the next baby? or was it still in the same area that she was living at the time of the 1901 census.

This is really intriguing, yet another grandmother that didn't want to be found - I have a great grandma who evades capture.


22-03-2006, 9:37 AM
However I have searched under her maiden name of Ellen Caroline Hickey born June in Lambeth from 1902 to 1912.
Try September 1901 for an Ellen HICKEY born Lambeth


Pam Downes
22-03-2006, 10:25 AM
Try September 1901 for an Ellen HICKEY born Lambeth I did look for Bosher in 1901 but because Carran said Sarah (Ellen's mother) married in 1903 didn't think of looking for Hickey. Doh.
Carran if you want more info about how a child can be registered in the father's name when the parents aren't married see
Pam Downes

23-03-2006, 10:56 PM
Thank you Geoffers

Will send for this cert and see if it is her. It would explain why there was no baby with Sarah on the 1901 census. If this is her then my nan would have been 94 when she died and not 89 as everybody thought.

Thank you everyone for you help.


23-03-2006, 11:15 PM
If this is her then my nan would have been 94 when she died and not 89 as everybody thought.
Ladies are naturally permitted some leeway with their age.

(I believe my dad who told that all ladies are 21).

08-01-2007, 11:06 AM
There is an Ellen Josephine Hickey reg at Lambeth, Qtr March 1907 1d 490... would this be her?


09-01-2007, 12:25 AM
And there is always the other possibility that her birth entry never made it to the National Indexes.

My Grandfather was born in 1916. He does not occur in the GRO indexes, however I was lucky in that I had a receipt from the Northfleet registar's office for the registration of the birth so eventually I contacted them and was provided with the certificate. The joys or researching SMITH.


09-01-2007, 7:24 AM
Hi Nell & Helen

I havent actually given up with this particular search just put it on the back burner for a while. (have been researching hubbys people, convicts, so have been a bit absorbed with them)! Nan's name was definately Ellen Caroline Hickey, have obtained her first marriage cert from 1928 and she is stated as being aged 22 which puts her birth at 1906. Which is when she always said she was born. So maybe she did'nt make it onto the registration indexes. I'm a bit stumped with this one. She was definately born in Lambeth and lived there all her life, both parents were also born in Lambeth. My people did not venture very far at all.


09-01-2007, 7:55 AM
Hi Carran

It may be aworth a letter to the Lambeth district registrar's office as the birth would have been registered there then the entry is transferred to the National index from the quarterly returns.

Births and deaths are recorded chronilogically at the District Registrar's while unfortunately marriages are recorded by the church where they occurred.

Hopefully her birth was registered. A letter to them with the date you know and the names of the parents would hopefully result in the answer you are looking for.

Have you found a baptism for her?

Sometimes the middle name at the birth registration is not the name the person uses throughout their lives. My great grandmother married under the name Anne Sophia, and used this name on her legal documents throughout life. Her actual registered name was Sophia Jane Annie.

Sometimes the anem registered is not even the name used at baptism especially if there has been some family dispute over what to name the child.


16-01-2007, 2:47 PM
Like Helen, I've ancestors whose middle name has changed from census to census - and at registration... Also, Ellen Josephine Hickey who was registered at the 1st Qtr of 1907 could've been born in late 1906.


15-06-2008, 10:18 AM
Hi Everyone

As a very late follow up to this thread, I did in fact contact Lambeth Registry Office and they searched for my grandmothers birth entry. However, they were unable to find any record of her with either parents names. They did find her younger brother (who did make it to the GRO index)! So I had hit the brick wall with this one which is why I left it alone. I have not picked it up again a I still don't know which direction to go in.

Thanks for everyones help.

15-06-2008, 10:42 AM
I have found a Ellen Hickey born in Lambeth 1901 in Jul-Sep qtr GRO 1d 329 - Could this be granny?

20-06-2008, 2:26 PM
Hi Melsibob

I don't think this could be her as I contacted the Lambeth register office and gave them my grandmother's details including her parents names, maiden name and supposed date of birth and after looking in their registers they could not find her, although they found a younger brother. So I am not sure where to go from here.

Thanks to all


20-06-2008, 9:48 PM
There is an entry in the GRO index for Ellen Hickey - Lambeth 1d:329 in Sept.Q 1901.

Mad Meg
01-08-2013, 5:50 PM
I realise this is an old post but I've just started researching the family of a friend, and the death of his father was reported by Ellen Caroline Titchener who I believe was born Ellen Caroline Hickey. Like the original poster I can find no sign of her birth. Nor that of her father. But it gets worse - there is no sign of the family on the 1911 census either. I've looked at emigration records, and Scotland's People.

I'm new to this site so no idea if I can contact Carran direct to see how she got on with her search.


02-08-2013, 12:27 AM
Hello Meg and welcome to the Brit-Gen forums

carran hasn't been here since 2011 but if she has the same email address as back then she can be contacted by private message.

To do this click on her user name and then choose private message from the drop down menu. I do hope you can contact her.

Meanwhile now you have found us why not stay involved and who knows maybe some of our super sleuths can help solve a mystery for you.


Mad Meg
03-08-2013, 9:43 PM
Hi Christanel

Thanks for the nice welcome and the info re private messages.

I'd like to think I'm something of a sleuth myself (head grows bigger!), and it's a while since I tackled any of my personal knotty problems, so I might be back with some posts of my own.