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William Henry GILBERT

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William Henry GILBERT

Postby SDV » Thu May 18, 2017 1:53 pm

William Henry GILBERT was born in Tottenham on 02 June 1869, the son of James GILBERT and Harriet MARDELL. His father James was a house painter and/or decorator, who died young in 1873.

In the 1871 census, William (2) was living with his parents at Love Lane, Tottenham. And in the 1881 census, William (11) was still living with his parents at the nearby Union Row, Tottenham.

On 05 November 1889 he enlisted in the Royal Artillery, army number 75539. This is definitely the correct William has he correctly lists his brothers and sisters.

He was posted to India, where he served between 02 Dec 1890 and 16 Mar 1895.

The last trace I can find of him is on 01 Apr 1902, when he was discharged from the Army at Shoeburyness. In his discharge papers, he states that he plans to reside in Tottenham.

I have three questions that I would appreciate some help with:
(1) did he return to Tottenham?
(2) did he marry?
(3) when and where did he die?
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Re: William Henry GILBERT

Postby phsvm » Thu May 18, 2017 9:42 pm

The Commonwealth War Graves site lists a death for a William Gilbert of the Royal Garrison Artillery on 12 July 1918. Although he left the army in 1902 he may have re-enlisted or been called up and he was Artillery which is what you found your William had been with.

His widow is listed as Lucy Gilbert and there is a marriage for a William Gilbert to a Lucy Garland in Taunton in 1917. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a will for him which may have given a bit more information about him

I know it's a tenious link but may be it's worth investigating this marriage to see if this is your man.
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Re: William Henry GILBERT

Postby SDV » Fri May 19, 2017 2:54 pm

Thanks for that.

I have seen that death before, but have been unable to link it with any certainty. Nor have I been able to find him in the 1911 census.

But as you say, the marriage may well be worth investigating. I will send for the certificate to see if it reveals anything.
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Re: William Henry GILBERT

Postby phsvm » Fri May 19, 2017 6:26 pm

The 1911 census shows an Alfred Gilbert, born Tottenham about 1872, living in Taunton with his wife and step children.

Your William had a brother Alfred, born in Tottenham. The year of birth is slightly out but otherwise there are a number of reasons to think this may be the your William's brother. His army pension papers show that he was in the Somerset Light Infantry and he had an older brother William who was in C Battery Eastern Division Royal Artillery and another brother James. Your William was in the RA and had another brother, James.

His occupation on the 1911 census is 'Road Sweeper' and, assuming it's the same person his occupation on the 1891 census is 'manual labourer' so not too different if taken in the broadest terms.

Your William planned to live in Tottenham after his discharge but why? Yes he may have grown up there but did he still have ties to the area? Other family members had either moved or married and perhaps they didn't have room for him to live with them so he moved to Taunton to live with his brother Alfred who was settled there and maybe could give him somewhere to live. All guesswork but it would be a logical reason why he ended up in Somerset.

To me, there are enough similarities to want to look into this possible connection in more depth.
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Re: William Henry GILBERT

Postby ianbee » Fri May 19, 2017 7:47 pm

SDV wrote:the marriage may well be worth investigating. I will send for the certificate to see if it reveals anything.

But in your earlier query re James William Gilbert, you said at the end that you had got hold of the death certificate of Gunner William Gilbert, 36234, died 12 July 1918. And that his age was 25?

The age would seem to rule out your William Henry, as well as James William.
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Re: William Henry GILBERT

Postby SDV » Sat May 20, 2017 9:16 am

Hi ianbee, yes you are right, I should have clarified. I have been revisiting my tree with the aid of the new GRO indices, which give the mother's maiden name. And I now realise I had the Gilbert tree slightly wrong. I thought James William was known as William simply to avoid confusion and that James William was the brother who died in the war, but it turns out that James William died in infancy and that there was another brother William Henry. The siblings are: Emma (1861-1925), Harriet (1864-1947), Charlotte (1866-1866), James William (1867-1868), William Henry (1869-?), James (1871-1933), Alfred (1873-1932) and Alice (1876-1949).

It was sorting out the siblings and finding the two extra ones, that made me realise that I had James William's death wrong and was confusing him with his brother. You are correct about Alfred, who settled in Taunton after his army service and died in that city. I have sent for the Taunton marriage certificate, which may or may not solve the mystery.

The death age of 25, however, is a problem, giving a birth in 1892-3, which fits none of the brothers. So unless that is a mistake, it probably rules out the Taunton connection. The certificate should at least rule out that William moved to Taunton.

I am somewhat surprised that William Henry doesn't seem to feature in either the 1911 census or 1939 register. Although there are other explanations, this absence makes me begin to suspect that he died young, possibly before 1911.

If we can solve William Henry's possible marriage and death, the only remaining mystery would be Alice, who was apparently - if the census and 1939 register are to be believed - born 27 months after her father's death! Her father (?) James died in Dec 1873 and she was born Mar 1876!
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Re: William Henry GILBERT

Postby SDV » Tue May 30, 2017 3:33 pm

Just a quick update, as I now have a copy of the marriage certificate of William Gilbert and Lucy Garland. Sadly, as I rather expected, this is not my William Gilbert. Although a soldier when he married Lucy, he was too young and had the wrong father.

I would be grateful for any new insights and suggestions.
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Re: William Henry GILBERT

Postby ksouthall » Wed May 31, 2017 7:48 am

When he enlisted, he would not have had a birth certificate. He may have used an unofficial copy of his baptism as proof of age and that could have been out by a few months or even years. Then again, the army may have taken his word for it when he stated his age.

There must have been some process at that time as one of my ancestors didn't accrue pension for his service under 18 years of age. His pensionable service seems to match up with his baptism date. He enlisted in 1813 so at around the same time.

Please note, thee above is just a suggestion. Hopefully one of the army experts on here will have a better idea and will correct me if I'm mistaken.
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Re: William Henry GILBERT

Postby sdup26 » Wed May 31, 2017 9:20 am

If Alice was born over two years after James died, he wasn't her father, and you'd have to consider that her mother was either Harriet, or possibly sister Emma. If you haven't already sent for Alice's birth certificate, that would be the obvious next step.
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Re: William Henry GILBERT

Postby Mick Loney » Wed May 31, 2017 2:33 pm

In your original post, there are some inconsistencies that need clarifying:
You say his father James died in 1873, but went on to say William was with his parents in 1881! Either you mistakenly said parents when you meant his widowed mother, or his father didn't die in 1873. Both statements cannot be correct, as they contradict each other!

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Mick Loney
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