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I’ve hit a brick wall and don’t know what to do next

34 replies

Snuzzle · 31/01/2022 15:09

I’m researching my great grandma and I’ve found two marriage certificates for her but can’t find out anything about her first husband or what happened to him.
I have his age and fathers name on their marriage certificate but can’t seem to track him on any earlier census to find out where he came from. They married in 1905 and on the 1911 census she’s visiting her sister and listed as married but again I can’t find him anywhere. Then in 1913 she married her second husband but yet again can’t find any record of what happened to her first husband.
Feel like I’ve exhausted the census records and don’t know where else to look, does anyone have any suggestions please?

OP posts:

Gastonia · 01/02/2022 16:36

Yes, maybe the certificates will give some clues. It's sad that they both died so young. John is quite common, but Norman isn't, so I wonder where that came from.

Wester the habitual criminal is an interesting lead! Smile

Re the marriage at Brotton, did she keep the Webster name? If so, the husband must have known. Or did she use her maiden name?


WinterSpringSummerorFall · 01/02/2022 16:46

Did you look in the 1921 Census? There are quite a few Albert Webster and Albert Edward Websters in there born at the right time.


CountessOfSponheim · 01/02/2022 16:52

This is the sort of puzzle where actually going and poking around in real records in a county record office might be helpful (or not; all I got for my own dead end in the record office was a tantalising hint, although to be fair I could follow that up with a visit to a different record office some time). There's still a lot of stuff that just isn't online.


Snuzzle · 01/02/2022 17:07

@Gastonia he is interesting and I’m going to follow him up tonight.

She put Webster on her second marriage certificate but listed her father as John Webster and herself as a spinster. Her second husband was from a different area of the county and her sisters were all married so he wouldn’t have known Webster wasn’t her maiden name.

@CountessOfSponheim poking around our local archives was how we found out about this marriage in the first place. We dismissed it as not our Ellen at first because we didn’t know about it but when we couldn’t find a marriage certificate for the marriage to our great grandfather we went back to this record and realised her sister was a witness. We then found the second marriage by searching for Webster instead of Grange.

We found parish records for the two children and records for her sisters that showed them sharing an address but still couldn’t track him any further.

OP posts:

Gastonia · 01/02/2022 17:59

Yes, the archives may have some more info.

Looking at ironstone mines in 1905, there are only three actually in Guisborough - Belmont, Chaloner and Stanghow. Maybe there's some info on them at the archives. (Obviously, he may have been a miner at a different place.)

If Albert left her, she might have ended up on parish relief (not necessarily in the workhouse), so that might be recorded as well.

I can't believe the second husband didn't know, as he may have come from elsewhere, but she was still local, and there'd surely be other relatives. I really want to know what happened now! I hope you get those certificates Grin


Saker · 01/02/2022 18:40

I've found Albert Edward Webster who married Margaret Murphy in 1918 in the 1939 census and his birth year is 1897 so unfortunately not him!


ShowOfHands · 01/02/2022 19:06

Just in case the Albert Webster who had a life of crime in Yorkshire is your Albert, his alias is Arthur Lister, he went to prison in 1907, had a tattoo with Bessie on it, one with an anchor on it and was a wool comber apparently. Liked breaking into warehouses and petty theft. And common assault. He was from Bradford originally. Born 1883.

It's not him of course but I love the detail in the records.


Snuzzle · 01/02/2022 19:10

@Gastonia from the research I’ve done I can easily believe he didn’t know.
Her 3 sisters were the only family she had in the area at that point - both parents were long dead and her step father had returned to his native Scotland. Her mothers siblings were scattered all over the country and her fathers family had no contact with them after he died as far as I can tell.

It’s more likely they lived and therefore he worked in a mine in Brotton, possibly lumpsey pit. Guisborough was only the registration district.

It does look likely to me that he left her and she simply moved on and married again. Albert isn’t related to us but it would be nice to find out where he came from and what happened.

OP posts:

Snuzzle · 01/02/2022 19:14

@ShowOfHands I’m loving reading about him, sounds like quite a character. Not sure whether I’d like him to be ours or not but I’m not sure he moved much from the Bradford area.

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