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  1. #1

    Default Hoping for some help from across the pond

    Hi all!
    I'm trying to chase down my surname ancestors. The last name is Francis. I've been told we descend from William Francis who was instrumental in Robert the Bruce's retaking of Edinburgh Castle in 1314.
    My grandfather, James Francis (born 1860 0r 1868), was the earliest Francis born in the US. I don't have a birth certificate or a marriage certificate for him. He had three children (a fourth died in infancy) with my grandmother. On each of their birth certificates he listed, as his birthplace, a town that did not exist at the time (it was the same on all three children's birth certificates).
    On his death certificate (1936) his father was named as Joseph Francis whom we firmly believe came to the US from the UK. There was no death certificate in the US for Joseph so we presumed he returned to England. What I've learned is that a Joseph Francis was born in England around 1840 (fits) and died in Gwenap, Cormwall, England sometime in the early 20th century.
    After that, I could easily trace the Francis name back- Samuel, another Joseph, and then John who, if the records are accurate, would have been born 1701. I have found no records of his parents. All three were born or died (or both) in Redruth, Cornwall.

  2. #2

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    Correction: The Francis men I found include a John (b. 1743) and his father (the one born 1701).

  3. #3
    Super Moderator christanel's Avatar
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    What was the first name and maiden surname of James Francis' wife - your grandmother? Where did they live in the US and where and when did they die? Did they marry in the US and was your grandmother born in the US? Can you give us any details of their children, but only if they are not alive because we cannot publish details of living people. WE need this information to help us work back in an orderly fashion which means finding your grandparents marriage record. Why do you say James Francis was born 1860 or 1868, which records give these ages?

    I have also deleted your duplicate post in the Brickwall forum because we do not allow them as they cause frustration for those helping when/if they discover they have been searching for information already found by others.
    Christina
    Sometimes paranoia is just having all the facts.
    William Burroughs

  4. #4
    Growing old Disgracefully
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    I see a couple of trees on Ancestry Most have taken sources from Ancesty Trees as they have more sources than actual Records I think one of the is yours.

  5. #5
    Growing old Disgracefully
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    1880 USA Federal Census has them all (If this is where you got infomation from and is your family) has them all born in England.

    Colorado - Boulder - Gold Hill - 023

    Name
    Elizabeth Francis - Age48
    Joseph Francis - Age39 - Miner
    John Francis - Age18 - Miner
    Joseph Francis -Age16 - Butcher
    James Francis -Age12
    Bessie Francis -Age 11

  6. #6

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    I actually have no marriage certificate, at all, for James and my grandmother. They may have been "living in sin" due to poverty (among other reasons). James died in 1936. My grandmother's name was Mabel Aldrich. She was born in 1887 and died in 1944. She had an illegitimate son whose given name was George. While my grandmother was alive he used Francis as his last name and sometime after her death he used the surname Simmons. Between James and Mabel there were four known pregnancies. James was born 1914 and died as an infant. Next was Helen (1917-2001), Then Ruth (1920 - 1995) and then my father Charles (1928 - 1976)
    They lived mostly in a small Rhode Island city called Woonsocket which was on the state line with Massachusetts and the small town of Blackstone, Massachusetts. As far as we know, Mabel's family was a long-established family in Massachusetts and she was born there.
    IF James was born where he said, it is an area that later became Colorado territory and, eventually, the state of Colorado, but because there was very poor (or no) record-keeping in the westward expansion of the US, there were no vital records to be found in that area from 1860. On the birth certificates of his children he gave his birthdate as June 11, 1860, and his birth place as Black Hill, Colorado. I could not find a Black Hill anywhere in the state and through a progression of people I ended up contacting a map librarian at the University of Colorado. She was able to find only a fleeting reference to a small coal-mining village called "Black Hole". The 1880 census (mentioned in another reply, here) lists them living in Gold Hill and has James being born 1868. From scant memories, my father recalled his father being illiterate. This could explain the Black Hill (Hole) vs. Gold Hill and the "0" vs. the "8" in the birth year. That record was also the only indication I have that James was not born in the states.

    These are amazing questions and I feel woefully inadequate in what I've come up with, so far. I so appreciate your involvement! This is quite illuminating!

  7. #7
    Super Moderator christanel's Avatar
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    This could be Joseph and Elizabeth in the 1871 UK census which would mean they left for the US sometime between 1871 and the 1880 US census found by Sandyhall
    1871 RG10 Piece 2317 folio 32 page 7
    Highway Redruth Cornwall
    Joseph Francis 31 Head, Miner tin Hopper born Gwennap Cornwall
    Elizabeth Francis 30 Wife Illogan
    Samuel J Francis 9 Redruth
    Joseph H Francis 7 Gwennap Cornwall
    Elizabeth J Francis 5 Gwennap Cornwall
    James A Francis 3 Wendron

    Using the GRO index which is free after sigining up I looked for the birth of Joseph H Francis born 1864 +/- 1 year and found a Joseph H Francis birth rein the registration district Redruth which includes Gwennap
    Joseph Henry FRANCIS, mother's maiden name TENBY
    GRO Reference: 1864 March Quarter in registraion district REDRUTH Vol 5C Page 281
    Another birth registration
    Elizabeth Jane FRANCIS, mmn TENBY
    GRO Reference: 1866 March Quarter in registration district REDRUTH Vol 5C Page 288

    Christina
    Sometimes paranoia is just having all the facts.
    William Burroughs

  8. #8
    Super Moderator christanel's Avatar
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    If the information found by Sandyhall and myself is correct then your James was born in England but if he and his family moved to the US when he was very young he may not remember living there and can only remember the first place they went to in the US. This did happen when children moved when they were very young.
    Christina
    Sometimes paranoia is just having all the facts.
    William Burroughs

  9. #9
    Super Moderator christanel's Avatar
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    Marriage on FreeBMD

    December quarter 1861
    Registration District Redruth Cornwall
    Vol 5c Page 444
    Joseph Francis
    Elizabeth Temby - note spelling of surname compared to the two birth registrations I found.

    I can't find a birth reg for either James A age 3 on the 1871 uk census or for Samuel J age 9 as yet.

    Christina
    Sometimes paranoia is just having all the facts.
    William Burroughs

  10. #10

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    I'm in awe! I'm also humbled by the help you've already given me! I need to record this data and look into signing up for access to the GRO.
    In your opinion, then, the 1868 DOB seems more accurate?
    Wow! Thank you, Christina.

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