The earliest known record for my g grandmother Ellen comes from when she married my g grandfather Richard Taylor in Perry Barr (then in Staffordshire). The certificate names her as Ellen Keys, 21 years old unmarried daughter of John Keys, Labourer. Neither of the 2 witnesses appear to be be related. One was the Parish Clerk at the time, the other a William Brown. Her inferred YOB of about 1857 is repeated on her death certificate (1939), plus census returns for 1881-1911. These latter documents all give her place of birth as Stourbridge, Worcestershire. No records prior to the marriage that obviously relate to Ellen or her father have been found. To me there 3 possibilities: Her birth was never registered, but this would not explain no census entries for 1861 and 1871. She was the illegitimate daughter of John Keys but registered under her mother's maiden name. She was adopted/fostered and used the surname of her adoptive/foster parents when she married. Ellen was a very popular name in Stourbridge - 49 registrations in 1857, plus around another 20 or so for Eleanor/Helen. Make the search 1856-1858 and there hundreds. None of the surnames bear any resemblance to Keys. The obvious step would be to visit the relevant LRO and search through any Stourbridge records but my family situation effectively rules this out.