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26 Dec 2013

Clues from the cousins #1

I write the letters, I enclose the trees, I post them off.  This takes at least a week.

I enjoy contacting new cousins, as they can tell me anything that I really ought to have known but which has slipped between the cracks of the records.

And so it was with Annie Whitehead.  She was well known to her nieces but completely missing from my clever-clever tree.  Turns out she was born before her parents' marriage as Catherine Ann Nevitt, and had two children herself around the same time her Dad was just finishing up his (2nd) family.  Dad was a railway platelayer in Abergele, on the Welsh coast.

How on earth was I supposed to find out what happened to her child, Catherine A Roberts, born 1920?  There are 18 of this name who marry in the 1940s.

Well, as luck would have it, a clue - the only clue, came in the form of the North Wales birth index.  This gave me Catherine's middle name of Amy.  Sadly, I concluded she was likely to have passed away so I checked the death indexes for the period 1969-2006 and just searched on the firstnames 'Catherine Amy' and the birth year of 1920.

Believe it or not, there is only one entry across the whole of England and Wales, in Suffolk.  Unusual, but an explanation came along.  It seems Catherine had married in Suffolk, 1945, and indeed that her mother, my original 'Annie', had died in Suffolk visiting her daughter when aged 60.  (This is very different from the, also true tale, that Annie had lived in rural North Wales.)

It was then fairly easy to locate Catherine's family in Suffolk and hopefully there is a grand story to be told.

Incidentally, this family at a stroke, knocks ten years off the previous record for oldest relative on my generation.  Five generations of producing children at 23 puts them nearly 60 years ahead of me - easily my oldest fifth cousins; sadly deceased even before my own birth.

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