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Robert Oakley's birth record

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Robert Oakley's birth record

Postby jange@ » Wed May 24, 2017 2:05 pm


I have found a complex part of my family.

Richard Oakley (B:1806 Shropshire) married Anne Brazenor (1815) on 12 May 1831
Moved to Cheltenham and had a son Peter Oakley in 1845
Anne died - I think in 1848 in Newent, Gloucestershire, but could be wrong

1851 Census has Richard, Ann and Peter living in Aston, Warwickshire.
A daughter Jane Oakley is born in June 1851 in Aston, Nr Birmingham, Warwickshire and GRO shows mothers maiden name as Day.
Richard married Ann Day 8 Sept 1851 in Birmingham
So Richard and Ann were living together when Jane was born to them and married soon after.

By 1861 they had separated.
1861 Census shows Richard was living with 10 year old Jane only, in Kings Norton, Worcestershire
1861 Census shows Ann was living with Peter Oakley 16, and Robert Oakley 7, in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

They separated and Ann took up with Thomas Vick (my great Grandfather) and Richard possibly with an Elizabeth.

1861 and 1871 Census show Robert Oakley was born between 1852 and 1854 both times living with Ann Oakley. So he would have been born after Jane and Peter

I can't find a record of Robert's or Peter's births

Any ideas?

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Re: Robert Oakley's birth record

Postby KayFarndon » Thu May 25, 2017 7:53 am

To narrow the search, on the census returns it should give places of birth for both children, can you tell us please?
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Re: Robert Oakley's birth record

Postby sdup26 » Thu May 25, 2017 8:49 am

Unfortunately, their places of birth don't help. In 1861, Robert Oakley (transcribed as Cakley) was born 1852 in Cheltenham, Glocs, and in 1871, he was born 1854 in Birmingham, Warwickshire. Peter was born about 1846 in Gloucestershire. I've only done a quick freebmd/gro search, but so far, can't see likely candidates in either place.
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Re: Robert Oakley's birth record

Postby jange@ » Fri May 26, 2017 6:34 am

Sorry only just seen the question re places of birth but I can see that has been answered.
I've realised I also don't have a record of Peters birth, although I do have more records for him.
I understand that it was not compulsory to register a birth until 1875, so their births may not have been registered, but then it doesn't make sense that the births of the 2 boys may not have been registered (1845 & 1854) but the birth in-between theirs, of a daughter Jane (1851) was registered.
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Re: Robert Oakley's birth record

Postby carobradford » Fri May 26, 2017 8:02 am

"I understand that it was not compulsory to register a birth until 1875".

This is an oft-repeated canard. The 1836 Act quite clearly intended that every birth should be registered:
"And be it enacted, That it shall be lawful for His Majesty to provide a proper Office in London or Westminster, to be called "The General Register Office," for keeping a Register of all Births, Deaths, and Marriages of His Majesty's Subjects in England".

However, the Act made it the responsibility of the newly established registrars to carry out the process:
"every Registrar shall be authorized and is hereby required to inform himself carefully of every Birth and every Death which shall happen within his District".

Registration was not in any way optional or voluntary, but the completeness of the registers relied to a considerable extent on the efficiency of the Registrar in seeking out births in his district. Such efficiency was incentivised by the method by which Registrars (who were often part time) were paid - by a fee for each entry in the registers.

Some births were undoubtedly missed, particularly in urban areas and others were "lost" during the onward transfer of information from Registrar to Superintendent Registrar, from Superintendent Registrar to the GRO and during the GRO's indexing process. But many birth registrations are also elusive because incorrect or unexpected information was provided to the Registrar in the first place. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, to lose one birth registration is a misfortune, to lose two looks like something fishy is going on.
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Re: Robert Oakley's birth record

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri May 26, 2017 11:58 am

For years I refused to believe that the vast majority of missing birth registrations were down to anything other than a failure to find information that was there but in an unexpected form. My GG-GF Bates was registered under the earlier form of Bate, e.g.

Then I found batches of missing registrations - funnily enough these were in rural areas, not towns, but scattered settlements at the edge of a Registrar's area. So there could be various reasons for missing registrations.

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Re: Robert Oakley's birth record

Postby sdup26 » Fri May 26, 2017 1:33 pm

As you say, in between the births of Peter and Robert, Jane's birth was registered, which shows the parents knew it should be done, so why not for the brothers? Is it possible that Richard Oakley's rather chaotic private life got in the way? Maybe he meant to register Peter and Robert's births, but just didn't get round to it. I've searched under forenames alone, and under Oakley, Brazenor, Day and Vick, with/without birth county specified, but no luck so far.

One point - Richard Oakley married Anne Brazenor in 1831, in Pontesbury, and both were 'of this parish.' In 1841, a Richard and Ann Oakley live in Pontesbury with Bethia b1830 and John b1832 (no relationships given in 1841). Is this your Richard?
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Re: Robert Oakley's birth record

Postby jange@ » Fri May 26, 2017 4:03 pm

Yes Sdup26 I think that is my Richard as I believe Anne Brazenor already had these 2 children when they married.

carobradford - I quite agree Richard & the family had chaotic lives and wonder if that did get in the way of the registrations.

I can't think of anything else to try but I'm pretty sure they are the right members of my (then chaotic) family, do you agree?
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Re: Robert Oakley's birth record

Postby jange@ » Fri May 26, 2017 4:13 pm

I've just re-read the dates re Beth and John and noticed they go across the marriage date, so I'm not sure now! Someone else had told me they were Anne's children by a previous marriage, but I'd not checked.
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Re: Robert Oakley's birth record

Postby ianbee » Fri May 26, 2017 4:39 pm

This one has been suggested elsewhere, I'll repeat it here for our benefit
June 1853 Birmingham 6d 94
Oakley, Alfred
mother Day

Going from there, what happened to Robert Oakley after 1871?
There's a marriage in Bristol in Dec qtr 1876 of an Alfred Oakley. Possible spouse Elizabeth Bunce.

piece 2472 folio 100 page 14
Bristol St Paul
Alfred Oakley Head Mar 36 Tailor, born Cheltenham Glo'
Elizabeth Oakley Wife Mar 39 Tailoress Taunton Som
Sarah Peters Sis-in-law Wid 50 Annuitant Taunton Som

It's a pity he doesn't say that he was born in Birmingham. But in the earlier census returns there is no sign as far as I can see of an Alfred Oakley of this age born in Cheltenham.
It seems to meet that Alfred and Robert may indeed be the same person.
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