View Full Version : Esther Alice Wiltshire- born 1905- Adopted

27-11-2012, 12:34 PM
Hi all

I'm trying to trace my great grandmother, who was adopted, and her biological parents. She was born in 1905 in the Birmingham area.

WHat I believe is her correct death certificate states she died in Bromley, Kent in March 1997. My mum and her cousins agree this would be correct. My mum said it was a few months before my brother was born (in August 97) It also states she was born on 29th June 1905 in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, which I believe is just south of Birmingham.

The only birth record I could find is a birth registered in Jul/Aug/Sep 1905 in Aston, Warwickshire, which I believe is just north of Birmingham.

I believe I have her on the 1911 census, living with Eliza Julia Pearce and listed as adopted. She was aged 5 at the time. Her birth place is listed as Birmingham.

First of all do you think this is all the same Esther Alice Wiltshire? I believe it is, I can't find another. As far as adoption goes, what is there you can find out? If that birth certificate is hers, would it have her biological parents listed on it?

My mum's cousin reckons Esther was born 'under the stairs' as they say. That her mother was a maid and her father was perhaps the head of quite a well off family. This could of course just be a story.

David Benson
27-11-2012, 12:52 PM
Was her name (Esther Alice Wiltshire) before or after she was adopted. If after then her birth will not be registered with that name. The death cert will be in the adopted name. You can't guess that a birth around the date you have is the correct person as their name would normally be changed on adoption to that of their new family.

27-11-2012, 1:05 PM
Following on from David's post, as adoption had no legal status in Britain until the Adoption Act of 1926, you may find that her name was not changed. However......

What clues do you have that her name remained the same as she was given at birth?

Who registered her death? The place of birth provided would have been given by that person and they may not have known the correct place.

27-11-2012, 1:34 PM
The family she is with in 1911 have a different surname to her, which is what makes me think that was her name before she was adopted. The adopted family's surname is Pearce. In the house there is the mother, who is the head and a widow, 2 of her own children, of which there were 10, and 2 adopted children, Esther Alice Wiltshire and Charles William Durbin.

Esther had 3 children with Ernest T Baker, my grandad who died 10 years ago, my Great Aunt Olive who is too ill to be able to speak with about family, and my great uncle who is the 'black sheep' and we never see. I assume it would have been my grandad who registered the death. I'll have to order the certificates.

27-11-2012, 3:47 PM
I'll have to order the certificates.That is always the best way - especially for those who are direct ancestors. :smile5:

Please come back to this thread once you have received them to let us know what they say.

27-11-2012, 3:56 PM
Do you think Esther Alice Wiltshire would have been her birth name considering the surname of her adoptive mother was Pearce? Perhaps she was not adopted from birth, but when she was several years old?

27-11-2012, 4:18 PM
FreeBMD lists what appears to be the marriage of Esther A Wiltshire and Ernest T Baker in the Bromsgrove Registration District, Dec qtr 1930 (ref. 6c 529). The marriage certificate might tell you who Esther's father was (though given what you say about her possible origins, it might not), or provide other clues to help.


28-11-2012, 12:37 AM
Have you tried going back with Esther. There may be a clue in her history.

I did a quick dig and found a 1901 possible for her living in "the Village". In the Manor House on the same page was a young servant girl with the surname Wiltshire, I think she was foreign but a British Subject.

Sadly I bypassed it, it was not Birmingham, I think it might have been Wiltshire and I thought it probably not yours.
However, I am now thinking, after reading your first post again, it should be put on the side as a possible.

I'll look for it again tomorrow if you think it worth it.

29-11-2012, 12:05 AM
Ok, some info from one of my mum's cousin's daughters. She did some family history and reckons Esther's mum was called Emma Wiltshire. in 1891 and 1911 Emma was living in London. But can't find her in the 1901 census.

29-11-2012, 12:33 AM
Sorry, I mucked up in my post #8. What I meant to say was:
"Have you tried going back with Eliza Pearce. There may be a clue in her history."

It was Eliza Pearce who lived in the village and a young female servant with the surname Wiltshire who lived in the Manor House.
I'll return with the reference.

Apologies, I should not try my memory so late at night. :smile5:

29-11-2012, 12:39 AM
I cannot find it again at the moment. Please bear with me. I am so sorry.
I will try again tomorrow.

Please check back tomorrow evening.

07-03-2013, 7:09 PM
Ok little update.

I spoke to my second cousin last night. My Great Aunt Olive's granddaughter. She said that when they were clearing out Olive's flat a little while ago, they found a load of photos and papers. I don't know what 'papers,' but she said they revealed Esther's birth mother as Emma Wiltshire, as mentioned before, and her grandparents, whose names I don't know. I'm going to visit on Saturday to have a sit down and look with her.

So what I'd like to find out is where Emma was living/working when she had Esther. Find out about her background and circumstances.