Finally - 'Case Closed'

Discussion in 'Fantastic Finds' started by Bay Horse, Aug 12, 2022.

  1. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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    Well now, it's taken just a few years!

    John Bradley was my husband's grandma's brother, whom he knew nothing about. In fact, he'd never heard of him when I first asked him about him in 2012. Unfortunately, not only was his name very common in the area, but there were a lot of JBs born around the same time there.

    Mary, 'Grandma', had three siblings. Their mother died in childbirth with her fourth child - that tiny baby grew up with her paternal aunt and her husband. The two older sisters moved with their father to Wolverhampton from Sedgley when he remarried, and John was still living in Sedgley with extended family in 1911. He had a very short spell in the army in WWI before being discharged because of his eyesight; his address on his army records was his father's place in Wolverhampton. And there the trail went cold.

    A fair few TD-ers have put in time on JB for me since then, particularly Ma-dotcom, AnnB and the lovely and much-missed Bookworm - of course, Sedgley was 'her patch'. Mary left Wolverhampton after marrying a local lad, and they moved up to near Ellesmere Port, Cheshire. I couldn't find JB - he didn't appear in the 1939 register, anywhere, which meant one of three things to my mind... either his eyesight had improved dramatically and he had enlisted in WWII, had emigrated, or he was deceased. What I didn't bank on was him being mis-transcribed with the wrong surname and birthday! No wonder he was in hiding.

    I kept a diary, pages long, on my search, and now that the last pieces of the jigsaw have been tapped into place, it is easy to see where I went wrong. Crucially, when I did find the correct JB in 1939, I sent for his marriage cert and it was the wrong one. Two JB's, living within shouting distance, with wives called Florence! So, idiot that I am, I threw the unwanted cert into the ever-growing and expensive JB pile and discounted the chap I'd found in 1939 as not our man. Lesson learned.

    In fact, JB spent virtually all his life at the same address in Coseley. He didn't move! A breakthrough was buying the correct marriage cert for him and Florence - I had a maiden name to work with, and searching for Florence in 1939 I found her at home with her parents, along with her husband. Marriage cert-wise, it was just rotten luck that I purchased all the other JB marriages in Staffordshire/Worcestershire (and beyond) before I got to the right one - I started at the wrong end of the list. Once I had that, I was up and running. The big breakthrough really was the 1921 census - I bought the image after the census went live, and found that JB was still working in Wolverhampton where his family lived, whilst living in Coseley. I'd found him.

    JB featured in a couple of online family trees but the recorded year of death was incorrect. The 1921 census breakthrough wasn't the conclusion to the JB story - two more certificates sent for in error, added to the pile, but I was nearly there. Towards the end of July I sent for another death, crossing my fingers, but this time the wait was excruciating! Today it came through, the final piece of the jigsaw. John Bradley died at his little terraced house in Coseley, seven years before my husband, his great nephew, was born. :)
     
    Eve, Chimp, burt and 15 others like this.
  2. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    What a fascinating account of your research and most certainly a fantastic find to tie it all up. :)
    Well done you for persevering! (+)(^^)(+)
     
    Half Hour, Sis, Ma-dotcom and 4 others like this.
  3. Auburn

    Auburn Well-Known Member

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    Well done!
    I bet it feels like he belongs to you now- not your other half.
    I had a similar thing with my husbands disowned great aunt Matilda. After all my efforts and breakthroughs she is definitely mine now!
     
    Sis, Ma-dotcom, AnnB and 3 others like this.
  4. MollyMay

    MollyMay Knows where to find the answers!

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    You super sleuth 8(:-)

    I can feel your elation from just reading your post. I bet you have a smile as wide as the Mersey.

    Well done you :)
     
    Half Hour, Sis, Ma-dotcom and 5 others like this.
  5. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

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    If at first you don’t succeed….. that tale just goes to prove that patience, perseverance, sheer determination and doggedness are the cornerstones of this obsession of ours. Well done you xx
     
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  6. GrannyBarb

    GrannyBarb Custodian of the Family Accounts

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    Victory is sweet! Yay, You! 8(:-)(+)(^^)(+)8(:-)
     
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  7. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    8(:-) (+)(^^)(+) 8(:-) You dunnit! {-(^^)-}
     

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  8. Sis

    Sis Rootles out resources!

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    Well done BH!(+)(^^)(+)8(:-)
     
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