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Brick wall: Liverpool Shortall

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Brick wall: Liverpool Shortall

Postby Karen196 » Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:04 pm

I can't go any further back in my research on the paternal side until I can confirm the name of the father of my Husband's grandfather. We have two documents both listed with different father's and so we cannot follow either path for certain as we can't ascertain the correct birth record either without this information.

The documents we have are a marriage certificate where John Joseph Shortall married Bridget Carson in 1908, on this John Joseph's father is listed as John Shortall (deceased) but the Catholic marriage record for the same time states the father is Gulielmi (Latin for what we presume is William).

The birth certificate that we ordered for John Shortall born in 1886 says the father is Nicholas, so we really are stuck. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

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Re: Brick wall: Liverpool Shortall

Postby brunes08 » Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:21 pm

Do you have any other information about John's family, such as any siblings? I've looked at the 1891 and 1901 census returns and can find a John with father Nicholas, mother Elizabeth and several other children. The other John I found is only with his mother on the 1891 census - no father - which could mean he is deceased, away from home or there is no legal father. Any other names would help to match up.
One thing struck me about the two documents. In the Marriage Certificate, all the writing is the same - John and Bridget have not signed it or acknowledged it with their marks. It would be reasonable to suppose that in 1908, they would be literate and could sign. The same is with the Catholic Register. It is therefore possible that errors were made when transferring information from one to the other. I wonder if the Catholic priest lost concentration and wrote William instead of John as his name was William and so was Bridget's father. I have three certificates that differ from the corresponding parish registers - small but significant errors. I also have one where the parents of the groom died when he was small and he gave his father's names in the wrong order.
Overall, errors do creep in, even on formal documents.
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Re: Brick wall: Liverpool Shortall

Postby Mick Loney » Wed Sep 28, 2016 6:41 am

The only other document that could help is his christening or baptism. That should help identify if he was illegitimate, and you may be lucky if the minister added comments, as some are apt to do.


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Re: Brick wall: Liverpool Shortall

Postby AdrianB38 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 6:53 am

Oh dear. I've seen cases where people have been stuck for years due to errors in official certificates. Just as an aside the marriage certificate from the GRO will always be in one hand since it's a copy of the original - that's where their stuff come from, copies made every 3 months (originally). Nonetheless, the important point is that errors creep in during copying and a typical error is indeed repetition of a name.

But the only safe way to do this, is to assemble as much data as possible and reconstruct it all into the various families, finding the bits that make no sense.

In this case, we have 3 names for the father but I'd say that we cannot be sure that is the right birth certificate yet. At least we know that the 2 marriage documents refer to the same event!

Off the top of my head, I'd say that you need to find the censuses, the 1939 Register and look for any other church register stuff like baptisms. And you need to do this not just for him but for all the Shortall families in the area. Since FreeBMD suggests that there aren't that many Shortall families in the area, that's do-able. I hope. You need to reconstruct all those families - it's the only way, I suspect, to find which is the anomaly. You may need to even look at all the marriages of John or Joseph Shortalls to eliminate some.

Remember that John Joseph may have been known by either of those names and may even swap between them over his life. And might have been registered by either. You also need to be sure that no one is coming over from Ireland or Yorkshire or... Censuses are key there.

In my case, it was an error in a baptism that was stopping me. I eventually worked out that it was the baptism that was wrong because those parents had no other children nor were they married, while there were only 2 possible families that it could have been - one of which caused loads of anomalies, so it had to be the other.

Good luck. You may find a magic bullet or it may need lots of hard work. At least you know that there's a problem!

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Re: Brick wall: Liverpool Shortall

Postby ianbee » Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:46 am

John Joseph seems to be an "inmate under detention" at the Birkdale Farm School Reformatory in 1901 (piece 3534 folio 126 page 5). Age 14, Shoemaker.
Certainly he isn't the son of Nicholas, as that one is at home with his parents in 1901, and is still with them in 1911.

Father?
What about John Shortle, 40, Dock Labourer, living in Eldon Street, Liverpool in 1901. Wife Sarah A, also age 40. Piece 3410 folio 138 page 68. Have an adopted son, John Moore, 3. Is that because they have no children of their own?
Or in 1891 is Sarah the Sarah A Shortel, 26, married, worker in warehouse, at 7 Bevington Street,
Liverpool? Piece 2900 folio 97 page 23
This may be the family found by brunes08, with two children, John, 7, May, 8.
But at the same address are
Mary Shorthill Head 50
Sarah Shorthill Daur Married 30 Works in Warehouse
John Shorthill Grandson 6
Mary Kate Shorthill Granddaur 8

Very confusing! Have the same Sarah and her two children gone down twice?
Possibly that John is John Thomas Shortle, registered Sep 1884, Liverpool.
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Re: Brick wall: Liverpool Shortall

Postby AdrianB38 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:36 pm

So much for my idea that there weren't that many... I knew spelling was going to be tricky but just thinking about it in my head, away from the computer, I'd missed those particular variations.

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Re: Brick wall: Liverpool Shortall

Postby Karen196 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:45 pm

Thanks so much for all the information, this is all really useful. We don't know of any other siblings as John Joseph died when my husband's dad was young so we don't really know anything there. I definitely think that it isn't Nicholas as that family doesn't tie in. We don't have any information about the birth other than it was around 1887/1888 in Liverpool and the one that I ordered the birth certificate for had the father Nicholas and it isn't him.

I found the 1901 census where John Joseph was in Birkdale Farm and I got an accurate DOB being July 1887 from the records in the archive but I can't find any birth records of anyone being born in that month with a similar name to even order a birth certificate. I also have no concrete proof that this is the same John Joseph as the one who got married 7 years later to Bridget
but I think it is.

We believe the family may have originated from Kilkenny in Ireland but that is just what the family have heard and it's a common name over there.

I will explore all your suggestions, thanks very much.


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Re: Brick wall: Liverpool Shortall

Postby Karen196 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:51 pm

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Re: Brick wall: Liverpool Shortall

Postby trace » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:28 pm

The John J with Bridget on 1939 Register has given the dob as 8 Aug 1881.....!

Check Merchant Seaman on FMP for Card with photo....
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Re: Brick wall: Liverpool Shortall

Postby AdrianB38 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:34 pm

Good spotting, Trace. Yes, he's a bit flaky with his age -
The 1939 has him with Bridget and 3 redacted others, b 8 August 1881
There are 2 Merchant Seaman cards on FMP, one with next of kin Bridget, both have him b 8 August 1881 (date of cards unclear but supposed to be in the range 1918-1921)
The 1911 census has him b abt 1888 at Liverpool (living w Bridget)
The 1901 census has him b abt 1887 at Liverpool (at Birkdale)

However, this doesn't seem to get us much further forward with identifying a parent.

According to Ancestry there are actually 3 guys with this name born in Ireland in this era -

John Joseph Shortall Jan-Feb-Mar 1882 Athy Registration District
John Joseph Shortall Oct-Nov-Dec 1885 Athy Reg D
John Joseph Shortall Jul-Aug-Sep 1887 Clonmel Reg D
(Yes, I am thinking he might have been born over the Irish Sea....)
You can see the actual birth certificates on https://www.irishgenealogy.ie/en/ for free. But be warned - you must search on John Shortall, not the full name as the full name is not indexed.

The other interesting thing is in Ancestry's Liverpool, England, Crew Lists 1861-1919 - in 1906 a JJ Shortall (no more details) makes 2 voyages as crew on the Saxonia (one of them has previously served on the Saxonia so it's probably the same guy.). Bear in mind these are both in the same year - one is 22 born Wexford, the other is 19 born Clonmel (sounds like the 3rd one of the above Irish births????) Unfortunately, there is nothing to show he's ours, but it does show how flaky some people were with details.
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