Welcome to my new follower Jo.
As it is such a lovely day today I have begun to wash some windows (a job I was unable to do in summer because of the wet weather). Managed lounge, kitchen x 2 and dining room doors. Hope to get back bedrooms done later on. The rest will have to wait.
I am currently researching and trying to solve some conundrum’s on my family tree. When you have Welsh ancestors, with very common surnames such as Jones, Evans, James and Smith etc, it can be very difficult. Whilst some ancestors accurately state their place of birth, some seem to get confused or their employer's put something else down.
One such case is my paternal great grandfather. His later census information (which he is filling in) states he was born in Leominster. Using his and his fathers forenames (marriage certificate), I was unable to trace him in earlier census. There were 3 people in Herefordshire who could fit but didn't feel correct as my grandfather had always maintained his father was part Welsh.
If you struggle to find direct ancestors, it often helps to try one of their parents siblings - if you know them. Unfortunately for me, his father has the same forename and surname. Have you any idea how many Welshmen have that combination, quite literally hundreds.
This search has taken many years of research but at last, we recently made a breakthrough. Deciding to ignore what my great grandfather had stated, we began to look for males with his name and that of his father, who were in the same household at some time.
We had previously found there were two unusual female names in their family and used that as a starting point.
There were many, many families to initially choose from but risking taking those forenames as ours, there was only one family that fitted. We still were not 100% sure but a few weeks ago, made another potential breakthrough.
Having some free time on Ancestry, we began to search probate records. My great grandfather doesn't appear to have one but there was one that fitted our newly found great great grandparents. It confirmed they left their money to someone with our great grandfather's name. We sent for the probate and luckily, it stated where the man was living at the time of his inheritance and it fitted 100% with my great grandfather. Hooray, another link made.
So now we had his parents and were able to start again. There were however, too many people with my 3 x great grandfather's name to pick out his birth but on the last census before they died, his parents were at home with two children, both with this unusual forename.
Tracing backwards, we were able to obtain the birth certificate of one of them and that gave us the mother's maiden name. Yeah, we were on track again.