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  1. #1
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
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    Default G'day. UK expat 50 years in Adelaide

    Hi. I'm Alby.
    I'm trying to find out more about my dad Edward James Reeves.
    He's been gone for over thirty two years now.
    Mum can't give me any help, she has advanced Alzheimer's.
    His siblings are all dead, and we moved from the UK to Oz over 50 years ago.

    I started on a well known ancestry site and found out some amazing things, but the old man seems a bit of a mystery.

    I found his birth papers, his marriage to Mum and his emigration papers when we came to Oz in 1968 but there's a big gap between birth (1923) and marriage (1957).

    He always told us he'd served in WW2 but I can't find anything for him (searching for that brought me to this forum).

    Hopefully I can pick up a few pointers here, I'm new to genealogy but I'm always keen to learn something new.

    Cheers..Alby.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator - Completely bonkers and will never change.
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Default

    Hello Alby,

    Welcome to British-Genealogy.

    It seems as if you may have found us through Forces War Records, and if so, this will explain the connection.
    https://www.british-genealogy.com/fo...rs-Please-Read

    The first question is, when you say
    He's been gone for over thirty two years now.
    do you mean he died over thirty-two years ago, or that you lost contact with him?
    Obviously, if it's the former, and you know where and when he died, etc, then it means that you're not looking for information as in trying to trace someone who may still be living.

    Re his possible service in WW2, service records for all personnel who served after 1922 are still held by the Ministry of Defence. Details of how to apply for them (with links to the forms to send) can be found here
    https://www.british-genealogy.com/fo...757#post585757
    If you do decide to send for his service records let me know because if you speak very nicely to the MoD they will sometimes check to confirm they have a record before you go to the trouble of obtaining a sterling cheque, and I'm pretty sure that I have contact details for them.

    What exactly do you want to find out about your dad? Provided they were still alive in 1939 you should be able to find his parents in the 1939 Register, with your dad (and possibly some of his siblings) as redacted entries.
    If you care to tell us the names of his parents (including his mother's maiden name) given on his birth certificate (I'm guessing he's the Edward J, birth registered in Swansea in early 1924, but have been known to be wrong) then we can look further.

    Pam
    Vulcan XH558 - “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

  3. #3
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
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    Default

    Hi Pam.
    Thanks for the welcome.
    My dad died in 1988 in Adelaide Australia of mesolthelioma.
    I have done some research on him and mum's backgrounds through ancestry.com
    So far I have managed to go back through several generations in my "tree".
    Strangely, though I initially hoped to find out more about my dad, I discovered more about the rest of my family.

    I found the old man's birth (1923) papers, info on his mum and dad Archibald Butterworth Sims Reeves & Elizabeth Harriet Thomas.

    I found where my parents married in 1957.
    I have always been lead to believe that my father and his brother Archibald both joined the UK Army at the outset of WW2.
    However (and he freely admitted this) because he was only 16 my father lied about his age to get "in". Archibald was older.
    I have not found anything in record searches for Edward James Reeves using my dad's correct birthdate, nor by adding a couple of years.
    Of course someone who might lie about their age might also mis state their name..?

    Strangely again, I had always been lead to believe my father's parents had both passed away when he was a boy and that he was raised by his aunt(who I in fact met and visited with on more than one occasion)but in reality, his father died in 1953 and his mother in 1963.

    I don't have a service number for my dad.

    I do remember stories of parachuting at one stage and at another doing bomb disposal.
    Dad had a long scar from his right ear to chin, said to have been acquired when his mate stepped on a land mine (fatally) and the old man copped some of the explosion.
    Even when close to death from mesothelioma my father was unperturbed as he said the last 40 odd years (since being brought back from "dying on the table" after the mine incident) had been a bonus.

    My siblings were blown away by the second set of grandparents revelation, in particular my brother saying "so, is any of the story of our life as we "know" it real, or just fiction?"

    I was thinking of going down the MOD route, applying though as my mother, for whom I have enduring power of attorney / guardianship due to her Alzheimer's issues.
    The only thing is the bit about telling porky's to get involved in a war...

    I'm not sure he will show up in a search...

    Certainly this journey through the past is fascinating stuff!

  4. #4

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    Deleted - info related to Edward's father/uncle rather than Edward.
    "dyfal donc a dyr y garreg"

  5. #5
    Brick wall demolition expert!
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    This is a link to the latest Government guidance which was updated this year.
    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/request-...vice-personnel

    I think that you would have to send you Dad’s death certificate and the documents relating to the guardianship you have for your mum. If it was me I would have a go to see what they have.

    I was looking through one of the family trees on Ancestry, that has you grandparents on it (Winfield Family Tree – Owner Karyn Dales), and its well sourced, unlike a lot of online trees. Your grandfather was quite a colourful character! She has his WW1 army records, and whilst he lists Elizabeth Thomas as his wife, there is a feint scribble in the margin, which I may have misread, which appears to read that she was an “unmarried wife”. I certainly can’t see a marriage in the index that matches in 1910 - the year he said it took place. Interesting in 1911 he is with his parents in Sheffield and says he is single. He and Elizabeth did split up, because they were not living together in 1939. He is living with someone called Georgina Reeves, and there is a marriage in 1932 to a Georgina Tribe.

    My guess is that your Dad was living at 21 Creighton Close, Hammersmith, London at the time of the 1939 Register being taken together with his brother Archibald and sister Iris. His will be the closed record, because records are closed for 100 years unless they know the person is dead.

  6. #6

    Default

    Just a quick addition to Megan's message. When I bought a copy of my Father's records, they were happy with a photocopy of his death certificate, I didn't have to send the originals.

  7. #7
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
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    Firstly, thanks to all for the replies.

    I have learnt some things already!
    I will have to search the "box of papers we never need 'till we do" for Dad's death certificate.

    The bit about why certain records are "closed" is a light bulb moment and I guess I'm going to have to subscribe to one of the genealogy pay sites (I started on ancestry.com with a freebie but it has lit the fuse).

    Obviously this part of the forums is meant for introductions rather than general discussion of my endeavours so, mods if you have a suggestion as to which subforum I should take my general enquiries to...?

    Again, the more I learn, the more questions I have.

    Alby.

  8. #8

    Default

    By all means subscribe to one of the commercial sites (most of us do), but make sure that you know what records they have. When records are released for digitization, a license is sold to one of the companies, which gives them a monopoly on that set of records (sometimes for a particular length of time) - for example, the only site that had Scottish birth, marriage and death certificates is Scotland’s People.

    Each site should have a page specifying what they have.

    As to which forum, it depends on what that particular post is about. Take a bit of time to look around, and choose what sounds appropriate - a county, an occupation or something broader like one of the Wars, for example. Don’t send the same post to more than one forum, and if you change your mind about a location, ask a Moderator to move it. The location doesn’t actually matter as long as the thread is active as they all appear on the New Posts list.

  9. #9
    Brick wall demolition expert!
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    I don't know about Australian libraries but here in the UK many of them provide free access to the major pay to view genealogy sites which might be a useful intro into them.

    Which ever site you choose 1. Always start off with a little bit of flexibilty in your search parameters and 2. Always look at the original documents and not just rely on the transcription summary.

    Happy hunting!

  10. #10
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
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    Well, hi again...been a little while. Just thought I'd pop in again to let you know my previous posts weren't a hit and run...

    I got distracted with Mum (Pamela) reaching end of life on July 4th 2020 and of course Covid has been a bit of a nuisance.

    I'm going to have a go with the UK war records for the old man...
    I'm the oldest surviving member of our branch of the Reeves family (in Australia).

    Also going to buy a little time on ancestry.com.au unless anyone has a better idea, I've put a bit of effort into my tree there so might as well carry on I guess.

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