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Is it a needle in a haystack?

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Is it a needle in a haystack?

Postby KC2011 » Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:32 pm

Hello All,
I am trying to find information on my GG Grandfathers family. He was John Collins b 1887 in London.
He states in 1911 census that he was born in London. On the 1939 register he stated that his D.O.B was 2nd April 1887. On his marriage Certificate he has listed his father as also John Collins.
Is there anyway of finding him on earlier census's with his parents or is this a big ask?

Thanks
KC2011
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Re: Is it a needle in a haystack?

Postby Mick Loney » Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:16 pm

Just had a quick look at GRO, and if he didn’t have a second forename (hopefully he would have used them all on his marriage) there are only 2 John Collins born 1887 Q2 in London.
1. Lambeth 1d 435, mothers name Carney
2. Kensington 1a 102, mothers name Neal

If his father was John, then find a marriage of a John Collins to a Neal or a Carney, but be warned, if she was a widow, marriage may not be listed under her maiden name!

With this information, you should be able to locate siblings, and find the families using this extra data. The marriage should have taken place around time of earliest child you can find. Also, you may be able locate a christening, using DOB as a guide, and using parents name, find the right marriage.

Hopefully, you should find the task is not as onerous as you thought - good hunting
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Re: Is it a needle in a haystack?

Postby MoVidger » Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:09 am

What is the father's occupation on John's marriage certificate?

Could this be John Collins in the 1901 census below?

Llangattock Union Workhouse, Llangattock, Crickhowell, Breconshire, Wales
First name(s) John
Last name Collins
Relationship Inmate
Marital status Single
Age 13
Birth year 1888
Birth town as transcribed WANDSWORTH
Birth county London
Archive reference RG13
Piece number 5175
Folio 72
Page 10

In addition to John, there are possible family members:

Bridget Driscoll (age 40), laundress?, birthplace: Deptford, London ??
James Collins (age 12), birthplace: Wandsworth, London
William Edw Driscoll (age 1), birthplace: Brynmawr, Breconshire, Wales ??
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Re: Is it a needle in a haystack?

Postby MoVidger » Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:42 am

GRO online birth index:

COLLINS, JOHN Mother's maiden name: CARNEY
GRO Reference: 1887 J Quarter in LAMBETH Volume 01D Page 435

COLLINS, JAMES Mother's maiden name: CARNEY
GRO Reference: 1889 M Quarter in LAMBETH Volume 01D Page 439

DRISCOLL, WILLIAM EDWARD Mother's maiden name: CARNEY
GRO Reference: 1899 D Quarter in CRICKHOWELL Volume 11B Page 100
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Re: Is it a needle in a haystack?

Postby MoVidger » Sun Mar 29, 2020 3:26 am

Is this James Collins in the 1911 census (HM Prison, Swansea) ?

Name: James Collins
Age in 1911: 21
Estimated birth year: abt 1890
Relation to Head: Inmate
Birth Place: London, England
Civil Parish: Swansea
Occupation: Dock Labourer
Registration district: Swansea
Registration District Number: 594
Sub-registration district: Swansea
ED, institution, or vessel: 41-48
Piece: 32798
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Re: Is it a needle in a haystack?

Postby KC2011 » Sun Mar 29, 2020 4:25 pm

Hello All,

Thank you Mick Lonely! I will do as you have said and research both of these John Collins and see if i can make a connection.

Thank you MoVidger! John's fathers occupation on the marriage certificate is Dock labourer. I suppose that could be John in the 1901 census. He settled in Wales, where he married my gg grandmother and started his family. So it could make sense. I have looked at this census before, but I think I lost my way. There are just so many John Collins's, that immediately I put up a mental block, especially when the marriage certificate came back with his fathers name also being John. John Collins eventually settled near Swansea, so I suppose James could be a brother.

I will definitely research all the leads you have both given me, I can't thank you both enough.

Cheers KC2011
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Re: Is it a needle in a haystack?

Postby MoVidger » Sun Mar 29, 2020 4:35 pm

So far I'm not able to find any other records for Bridget Collins/Driscoll (nee Carney). I don't see any baptism for John or James in the Wandsworth area although they might be a Catholic family. So you'd need to search RC baptism records, if they were baptised. FMP have RC baptism records.

That 1901 census image is a bit messy, but I think Bridget's birth place is "London, Deptford".
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Re: Is it a needle in a haystack?

Postby KC2011 » Sun Mar 29, 2020 4:41 pm

Hi MoVidger,

Yes I think the family most probably would have been RC, so i will look there also. Thanks again!

KC2011
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Re: Is it a needle in a haystack?

Postby MoVidger » Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:47 pm

Being that Bridget Driscoll (nee Carney) is proving elusive prior to 1901 and after, I would suggest obtaining John and/or James Collins birth certs. In addition to confirming your John's DoB, either one would confirm the father and his occupation. Also the address on the birth cert(s) could help narrow down where the family are in the 1891 census. They may still have been in the Wandsworth area by 1891.

The Lambeth district covered Wandsworth at the time, so it's looking quite good this is the family to research further. But they do seem elusive, except for your John.

Question: do the witness names on John's marriage cert appear familiar (e.g. Collins or Driscoll)?

Lastly, there is this 1911 criminal record and image on FMP. Not enough info to prove or disprove it's the James Collins in HM Prison, Swansea. However, the crime details are mentioned. This James was sentenced to 6 months hard labour.

England & Wales, Crime, Prisons & Punishment, 1770-1935
First name(s) James
Last name Collins
Occupation Labourer
Age 21
Birth year 1890
Date 07 Mar 1911
Court Cardiff
County Glamorganshire
Victim's first name(s) Angharad
Victim's last name Thomas
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Re: Is it a needle in a haystack?

Postby KC2011 » Mon Mar 30, 2020 2:08 pm

Hello,

Just to update Mick Lonely and MoVidger. I have been researching the names you have given me, and it looks like we are on to a winner. When looking at James Collins, and trawling through his dastardly deeds on old newspaper sites, I have noticed that the address given is the same as the one my GG grandfather was living at in the 1911 census, with his wife and family. I will look into verifying this with documents, once the records office opens back up, but once again I would like to thank you for your help!

Cheers
KC2011
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