View Full Version : Unbelievable
13-08-2008, 4:48 PM
I have great reservations about some information given by a researcher to my son regarding my fathers father. I have his army book which states that he was born in Croydon 1864.
Problem is that I am unable to find any official document to support that. BMDs Census etc
The researcher has not contradicted this and has supplied his parents as living in Devon.
From this we can trace further back but again there is no documented proof that these were indeed his parents, in fact I have had one person claiming that it is wrong. Also it would seem odd that a couple born, married and died in Devon should have a son born in Croydon.
My Grandfathers name was William Harris b1864 supposedly in Croydon, his father was William Charles Harris.
I realise this is a longshot but is there any help out there for me?
13-08-2008, 5:18 PM
The only one that I can find is a George William Harris district Croydon year 1864
Jul/Aug/Sept 1/4. Thats with 2yrs either side of 1864.
13-08-2008, 5:19 PM
You doubt not that he was born in Croydon, but that his parents were from Devon?
FreeBMD does not seem to have a William Harris registered in Croydon in 1864, so there is the possibility that he was registered elsewhere. Did your researcher provide you with a birth certificate or index reference? If not, and he/she is unable to do so, I suggest you start from scratch with what you really KNOW, and look for possibilities among the listings.
13-08-2008, 5:20 PM
13-08-2008, 5:21 PM
I agree it seems far fetched.
The 1871 census does have a 5 year old William Harris born Croydon. His father appears to be Charles W Harris, mother Jane. There is a possible marriage -
RG 10/216 f 40 p 4
Marriages Sep 1869
Burns Jane Croydon 2a 296
Harris Charles William Croydon 2a 296
Note the father's full name ;)
That probably implies a name change for the child.
Just a thought, you've probably already considered this.
13-08-2008, 6:58 PM
My gg-gf was born in Devon, then moved to London (sometime before 1841) where he met and married my gg-gm, and where their first five children were born. By 1862, the family were back in Devon where they had four more children. Fortunately, they were fairly easy to follow on the censuses, as the surname (and my gg-gf's occupation) was not all that common.
While there may be some differences with your situation, it does show that it was certainly possible for people to move to London for a few years and then move back again.
Obviously, you need to find as much documentation as you can to confirm or disprove different possibilities, but I wouldn't discount anything just yet.
Good luck -
15-08-2008, 8:33 AM
Thanks for the replies so far, I really appreciate any help I can get.
This is what I know from his Army records book which came to light after my father died.
Name William Harris
Fathers Name William
Married to Charlotte from Channel Isles circa 1884 (Liverpool ?) and had 2 children, All subsequently died (no details known,presumed at same time)
Enlisted in Army 12 Apr 1886 having previous occupation as Seaman.
Army No 1587 East Surreys
Married Louisa Simpson on 25th Oct 1896 in Kingston on Thames.
Left army in 1907 having reached rank of Colour Sergeant.
Moved to Great Yarmouth where he died 16 May 1931
Army book says he was 21 years and 2 months at enlistment, this would put his DOB at Feb 1865, so slight discrepancy there.
I have discounted the Devon connection previously mentioned as this was certainly not his family.
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