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  1. #1
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    Default The mysterious disappearance of Grace

    Can anyone think of a reason why someone's record wouldn't appear in the GRO other than typos in transcription?

    I've been trying to find my great-grandmother Grace's birth certificate and it's not been going well. She and her family are from Bristol and I found out that many records were lost during bombings in WWII. When the woman at the registry office in Bristol looked, she was unable to find records for Grace or her siblings, so she suggested that their records must have all been destroyed. However if that were the case, why would all of the siblings be in the GRO except for Grace? Especially considering she's sandwiched in the middle. One of the siblings did have their mother's maiden name transcribed incorrectly, so I thought maybe that had happened here and looked for name variants, slightly different dates, checked both the male and female lists, but Grace is a ghost.

    The family immigrated to Canada in 1907 and Grace appears in both the ship passenger and arrival records, which proves at least that she was with the family at that point. Short of her being a kidnapped addition to the family though, I'm at a loss.

    This is what I know/have been able to find. If anyone has any suggestions on where I should go next, I would appreciate the advice! =]

    Name: Grace Agnes Dursley

    Date of birth: May 1904 (we believe the 9th)
    Mother's name: Lillie Gertrude Mosham Morse, Stay at home parent
    Father's name: James Dursley, In the army
    Parent's marriage: March 1899 (GRO reference 1899 Quarter 1 (Jan-March) - Volume 06A page 227) at Clifton Wood, St Peter, Gloucestershire
    Area: Gloucestershire is what's marked on a lot of records (which I think included Bristol at the time?), but we think the family lived in the Castle Street area of Bristol.

    Siblings birth records:
    • James George Dursley 1899 (GRO reference: 1899 D Quarter in Bristol Volume 06A Page 82)
    • Lilian Belmont Dursley 1901 (GRO Reference: 1901 M Quarter in Bristol Volume 06A Page 75)
    • Elsie Elizabeth Dursley 1902 (GRO Reference: 1902 J Quarter in Bristol Volume 06A Page 160)
    • Edith Fannie Dursley 1903 (GRO Reference: 1903 S Quarter in Bristol Volume 06A Page 156)
    • Grace should be here
    • Leslie Elson Dursley 1905 (GRO Reference: 1905 S Quarter in Bristol Volume 06A Page 106)
    • DEATH RECORD - Leslie Elson Dursley 1905 (GRO Reference: 1905 S Quarter in Bristol Volume 06A Page 60)
    • Olive Ellen Dursley 1907 (GRO Reference: 1907 J Quarter in Bristol Volume 06A Page 113)

  2. #2
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    When looking at FreeBMD, there are no Dursley births in all of England for Q2 or Q3 so maybe some of those records did indeed go missing =\

  3. #3
    Super Moderator christanel's Avatar
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    Hi
    I have been searching ancestry, FreeBMD and the GRO index(which gives the mother's maiden name) for the last half hour or so and there is no birth reg for Grace showing at all.
    I see James was in the Boer war and was injured in 1899 the same year he married Lillie and their son James was born. Also on the shipping register for their emigration to the US in June 1907 I see that the youngest child born in the UK - Ellen - is not listed?
    The family don't show up in the 1901 census either. You know all this but I am just noting it for anyone else who is searching, Hopefully someone else will find what I can't.
    Christina
    Sometimes paranoia is just having all the facts.
    William Burroughs

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    Thank you for looking! Yes, we always found it strange that Olive Ellen was missing. We assumed it was because of how young she was. Babe in arms.

    I actually missed that there was a census in 1901! Weird that they don't appear on it =\

  5. #5
    Super Moderator christanel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrighto View Post
    When looking at FreeBMD, there are no Dursley births in all of England for Q2 or Q3 so maybe some of those records did indeed go missing =\
    Hmm, but there are dozens of other births, just in the Bristol area, for the March 1/4 1904 so why would just Dursley birth registrations be missing? Just taken another look and there is a birth reg for an Edward Thomas Dursley in Bristol March 1/4 1904. Is it March 1/4 1904 you are referring to? Ah I see you are searching q2 and 3 and I was only in Q1- Duh to me. But the argument still stands as to why it would only be Dursley birth records missing.

    Thank you for looking! Yes, we always found it strange that Olive Ellen was missing. We assumed it was because of how young she was. Babe in arms.
    Yes I think that must be the explanation.

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

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by christanel View Post
    Hmm, but there are dozens of other births, just in the Bristol area, for the March 1/4 1904 so why would just Dursley birth registrations be missing?
    Ahhhh yeah, very good point... I didn't think to look at other Bristol births for Q2 and Q3

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrighto View Post
    Can anyone think of a reason why someone's record wouldn't appear in the GRO other than typos in transcription?


    Siblings birth records:
    • James George Dursley 1899 (GRO reference: 1899 D Quarter in Bristol Volume 06A Page 82)
    • Lilian Belmont Dursley 1901 (GRO Reference: 1901 M Quarter in Bristol Volume 06A Page 75)
    • Elsie Elizabeth Dursley 1902 (GRO Reference: 1902 J Quarter in Bristol Volume 06A Page 160)
    • Edith Fannie Dursley 1903 (GRO Reference: 1903 S Quarter in Bristol Volume 06A Page 156)
    • Grace should be here
    • Leslie Elson Dursley 1905 (GRO Reference: 1905 S Quarter in Bristol Volume 06A Page 106)
    • DEATH RECORD - Leslie Elson Dursley 1905 (GRO Reference: 1905 S Quarter in Bristol Volume 06A Page 60)
    • Olive Ellen Dursley 1907 (GRO Reference: 1907 J Quarter in Bristol Volume 06A Page 113)
    Those children were born in fairly quick succession, but have a look at the time between Edith, September quarter 1903 and Leslie, September quarter 1905. Do you have actual birthdates for them, or for any of the other children? If not I would think it almost imperative that you get Edith's birth certificate. You are allowed forty-two days in which to register a birth in England which means that Edith could have been born somewhere between 19 May and 30 September 1903 although I notice that family trees on Ancestry say she was born in July. If Edith was born in July then it means that Grace must have been conceived within approximately two months of Edith's birth. Not impossible, but unusual, and the two months allows for Grace to have been born slightly earlier than the usual 40-weeks pregnancy. Again, not unusual, but the chances of pre-term babies surviving in those days were far less likely than nowadays.

    If you know the birthdates of all the children, then you have a rough idea of the time lapse between one baby being born and the next one conceived, as well as possibly how quickly the childrens' births were registered (e.g. possibly within a fortnight of being born as opposed to always just before the expiry of the permitted 42 days).

    It might be worth looking at the siblings of James and Lillie, to see if they could have been parent(s) or unmarried mother of Grace, who James and Lillie adopted. There was no formal adoption procedure before 1926/1927 in England, and you see so many cases in the census where the children should really be called step-children but they are listed as sons and daughters.

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

  8. #8
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    I'm not aware that ANY birth, marriage or death records were lost through bombing in WW2 in any district. Even if they were lost locally, the copies sent to GRO every quarter would have survived.

    Either she wasn't registered at all, or there is another explanation ....not their child, adopted etc.

  9. #9

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    In 1901 Ancestry has transcribed the family as Daisley and to be fair the original sheet is difficult to read. It doesn't though, help in finding Grace.

    They are at 34, College St. RG13; Piece: 2372; Folio: 106; Page: 10

    James Daisley 27, general labourer, St Phillips Bristol
    Lily Daisley 24, St Augustine Bristol
    James Daisley 1, St Augustine Bristol
    Lily Daisley 3/12, St Augustine Bristol
    Alma

  10. #10

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    Mother's name: Lillie Gertrude Mosham Morse, Stay at home parent
    I'm going to post some records which I think pertain to Lillie G. M. Morse as the more information you can collate the better your chance of finding a birth for Grace Agnes.

    I'll collate what I've found so far just need some time to get my head round it - it's complicated!
    Alma

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