Beatrice (dad’s mum) and her father Joseph’s details are well known, accurate and documented.
Joseph’s father was James Grant a brick maker. Joseph and his father John have been very difficult to research with as much accuracy as I have achieved before because:
- Birth dates have been suspect when compared to death dates, marriage dates and James and John’s birth dates. James was unable to write( born out by his mark x on marriage certificate) so one could suppose he couldn’t read either, which maybe one contributing factor for the questionable dates.
- Census searches, we all know that the dates are not entirely accurate on them but its never been my experience that they are more than a year or two different. Mary, James’ wife, had her birth place different on each census she had Shropshire, Wolverhampton, Cardiff and “on sea”. She was actually born in Hinstock, Shropshire.
- The surname Grant is very common. They might as well have been James and John Smith for all the good it did in research. There is a plethora of Grants in Scotland and Ireland.
James’ questionable birth date
According to the 1861 census he was 41 which would give him a birth year of 1820. This also ties up with the 1871 census. On 1881 census he is 64 which makes his birth year 1817, which ties up with his death certificate as he died in 1885. on the 1841 census he is 15 which makes his birth year 1826 In 1871 and 1881 James is in the Uxbridge Union Workhouse, which as Paul found out, later became the Nurses Home at Hillingdon Hospital, and I stayed there at some point during my training!
Working backwards, John died in 1881 age 76, which makes the birth year 1805. 1841 census has birth year of 1811. His place of birth, Richmond, Surrey and James was born at Kew so these two things tie up as well as their occupations as they are both brickfield labourers.
The dilemma is that if John was born in 1805, then how could he be the father of James born 1817/1820. John’s wife Mary was born in 1811, so impossible. But the scenario that John and Mary were parents of James might only work if James was born in 1826. The problem here is that Mary would only be 15/16 and he certainly would have been born out of wedlock but that is not that unusual. The census’ show John’s wife to be Mary Anne born in Chitchester. This was cross referenced and found a Mary Anne Neighbour born in Chitchester 1812. This was felt to be correct as on 1841 census with John and Mary is a Lydia Neighbour age 11 either a sister, niece or even a daughter born before they married. John and Mary were married at St. John’s Church, Hillingdon which we all know very well.
A search was done to see if John was born much earlier and also had a previous marriage and his first wife died. No data could be found to support this idea. It is not known when they actually moved to Hillingdon but the common factor with them all is they lived at Cowley Mill/Little Britain and remember Dad mentioning this.
Any comments, Please!