Beginners Family tree research - WATKINS

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Bryan Watkins
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Last seen: 4 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: Sunday, 4-11-2012

Hi all,

I'm new to this but I would like research my family history. I was born in Wrockwardine hospital on May 5th 1948. My parents Walter and Peggy Watkins lived in Wellington until I was around 18 months old then moved South to Arundel in West Sussex which was where my mother came from. My father and as far as I know, his parents, were farm workers in the Wellington area. Can anyone fill in any details of my family history for me? Bryan Watkins

Mike Jones
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Last seen: 2 years 10 weeks ago
Joined: Monday, 7-05-2012

Hello Bryan

The first thing to do is to assemble as much existing family knowledge as possible. Try to find out the date and place of birth of your parents, your mother's maiden name, names and dob of any of their siblings. Talk to cousins, uncles, aunts, anyone at all. If you have a copy of your own birth certificate, this will be a start.

Working backwards from there, you may get to the point when you can start picking people up on censuses. The most recent available census is 1911, so dependiing on when your parents, uncles and aunts were born, they may show up on there.

First things first though. Start with the living.

Be careful though - it's  a very addictive pastime! Good luck

Mike

Bryan Watkins
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Last seen: 4 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: Sunday, 4-11-2012

Hi Mike

Thank you for the interest shown and useful advice. Unfortunately although my siblings are alive I am no longer in communication with them. My parents are no longer alive. I know both of my parents birthdays but not birth years . I don't know my paternal grandfather's christian names or anything about him other than that he was a farm worker from Shropshire. I know where both of my parents were cremated but the crematorium doesn't have a website. I believe they were married in a C of E church in Wellington in 1946.  How will my birth certificate help? I thought it only had my parent's full names and occupations.

This is the sum total of information I have to work with. Any useful leads would be greatly appreciated!!. Incidentally, I hope this will become addictive, I'm fed up with having nothing except the TV to look forward to on winter evenings!!

Kind regards

Brya

Gulielmus
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Last seen: 3 years 41 weeks ago
Joined: Tuesday, 1-11-2011

             Hi Bryan,

       As mike  says, your birth certificate gives you some useful information, where and when you were born, can't be Wrockwardine, no hospital, could be Wrekin Hospital Wellington.

        It  also gives your mothers maiden name which could ring bells, one never knows. It may give an address in or near Wrockwardine, this may suggest, to someone who knows the area, who your father worked for.

        Regarding the Crematorium, it may not have a web site but it will have a telephone number.

       Once you start there is no doubt about the fact that it will become addictive.

         Regards Gulielmus. 

 

Gulielmus
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Last seen: 3 years 41 weeks ago
Joined: Tuesday, 1-11-2011

        Bryan,

            More thoughts,

           Rough guide to parents age and siblings names and again rough guide to their ages compared with your own.

          As for no hospital in Wrockwardine, could you have been born at home, not unusual in 1948, if so could this have been Wrockwardine Wood and not Wrockwardine Village? only about 2-3 miles apart as the crow flies.

            Gulielmus. 

SFHS WebMaster (not verified)

Hi Bryan, I have had a look on Ancestry.com (often available for free in larger libraries, etc) and can see your birth registered in Wellington Registration District, SAL (Code for Shropshire). It shows that your mother's Maiden name was FEARS, this will be shown/confirmed on your birth certificate.

By looking for a marriage between a Walter WATKINS & ? FEARS, I found one registered in Worthing registration District, SSX (code for Sussex) in Volume 2b, Page 1225 it was for a Walter L WATKINS & Margaret F FEARS (Peggy is a pet name for Margaret).
If you were to contact Worthing Registrar and order this marriage certificate it should confirm that Walter was from Shropshire and his father's name and occupation, together with Margaret's Father's name and occupation.
There was a Walter L WATKINS birth registered 1924 in Wellington Reg Dist and a Margaret F FEARS birth registered 1923 in Chichester Reg Dist.

If you get the marriage certificate, you will have your paternal grandfather's name and can search on Ancestry.com or FindMyPast.co.uk for him appearing on the 1911 Census, and work backwards.

I can also see another child born after you to this couple in Shropshire and 1 more in Worthing Registration District, plus there are 3 that might be your siblings registered in Chichester Registration District, but am aware that there was another WATKIN/FEARS marriage in Sussex c1938.

I won't post more details of them on here but can send you an email if you would like me to, detailing them.

Graham Williams
Shropshire Family History Society
 

Bryan Watkins
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Last seen: 4 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: Sunday, 4-11-2012

Hi Gulielmus

As you say there is no hospital in Wrockwardine. I was born in Wrekin Lodge Hospital, my mistake!!

Although I'm not in contact with my siblings I know their birthdays if not sure of their birth years. I am the eldest.

Many thanks for your input and suggestions.

Kind regards

Bryan

Bryan Watkins
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Last seen: 4 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: Sunday, 4-11-2012

Hi Graham,

Wow!! In your reply you've found out all I need to get started. I can't thank you enough.

Everything you state is confirmed by information I know personally. I will request the marriage certificate for my parents from Worthing registrar and the birth certificate for my father from Wellington Registration District.  Your research shows my sister born in Shropshire and 3 sisters and a brother born in Arundel. I was the eldest of 6. How interesting that another marriage of the same combination of names should be registered in Chichester in 1938! Incidentally my birth christian name was spelt BRIAN but I prefer the BRYAN spelling.

Any more information you have would be greatly appreciated. My email address is kingfisherinvs@aol.com

many thanks and kind regards

Bryan

Bryan Watkins
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Last seen: 4 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: Sunday, 4-11-2012

Hi again Graham, following my last contact I have ordered my father's birth certificate from Wellington Registrar and await receipt of same. I'll hold off ordering my parent's marriage certificate until I find out whether or not all I need to know is on my father's birth certificate. I've been in touch with Worthing library and yes, they have access to Ancestry.com for the paulty amount of £15 for 6 months use. Again thank you for the starter info. As I said on my last message I would appreciate any further info you have. my email address is kingfisherinvs@aol.com. King regards Bryan

SFHS WebMaster (not verified)

Mini GEDCOM Emailed.

Bryan Watkins
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Last seen: 4 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: Sunday, 4-11-2012

Hi, I've searched my emails but can't find anything from you.  I even looked in spam just in case. Would you mind re sending it? Many thanks. Bryan.

SFHS WebMaster (not verified)

Sorry Bryan, don't know where it's gone to, I am away from base for quite a while, so cannot check or resend, but once I can I will.smiley

Graham

Bryan Watkins
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Last seen: 4 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: Sunday, 4-11-2012

Hi Graham

I notice the email sent was a GEDCOM. On looking this up I see it is a format for sending data concerning geneology information. Do I need membership of a geneology website to download your comunication?

Kind regards

Bryan

Bryan Watkins
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Last seen: 4 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: Sunday, 4-11-2012

Hi all

I am now in possesion of my father's birth certificate and now know my grandfather's and grandmother's names. He was JOB WATKINS and she was MARGARITA ANN WATKINS formerly PURCELL. (Fantastic I'm 64 and this is the first time I've known who gran and grandad were!!!) The address given for where my father was born is 4 Charlton, Wrockwardine and then an undeciferable symbol followed by the letter D. Is this an abbreviation of the address? I have a vague recollection of my mother speaking of Charlton Cottages. Is anyone living in the location able to enlighten me? I still have to find time to visit Worthing library and check the census for more information but unfortunately work takes a priority. I also don't understand the GEDCOM thing. I've registered with MY HERITAGE  as my understanding is that I need to have a facility to receive GEDCOM files. OMG this ain't simple is it? But very addictive as I was warned.

Kind regards

Bryan

Heather Duckett
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Last seen: 1 year 18 weeks ago
Joined: Saturday, 27-08-2011

Hi Bryan

I was born in Charlton (in the parish of Wrockwardine) which in the early 20th century consisted of 3 farms and 12 farm workers' cottages. 4 council houses were built inthe 1920s. I have, many years ago, done some research on the hamlet and have 2 pieces of information to pass on to you:

1925 Electoral register

4 Charlton

Job Watkins;  Margaret Watkins;  Edward Lewis Watkins

Wrockwardine cemetery

Margaret Ann Watkins died 5 March 1950

Job husband of Margaret died 24 Sep 1937

Edward Lewis son of above died 18 Oct 1936

I notice that you have provided your email address so I will check the headstone to see if it will photograph and email it to you. Also I will see if I can photograph the house in Charlton. A friend lived at number 4 so I will ask her what she knows.

Heather

Bryan Watkins
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Last seen: 4 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: Sunday, 4-11-2012

Hi Heather

Many thanks for the information you've provided. I have added it to my family tree on the MY HERITAGE site. As far as I know my father was one of thirteen children, some of whom I met as a child in a visit to Shropshire when I was about nine years old, and some who visited us in Arundel during holidays in my childhood. I have a clear memory of visiting a farrier/blacksmith uncle during my visit to Shropshire and some names of uncles and aunts spring to memory e.g. Beryl, Hilda, George and Job. I myself visited Shropshire a few years ago and tried to look up some locations I recalled as a child but without the sort of information you've provided I wasn't able to make any progress researching my family history. I would appreciate any pics and more info you can send, either through SFHS or my email address. In the meantime I wiill try to access the 1925 electoral register and parish details for Wrockwardine cemetary.

Many thanks and kind regards

Bryan

Bryan Watkins
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Last seen: 4 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: Sunday, 4-11-2012

Hi all

At last I've joined my local library and have paid my £15 fee for unlimited access to Ancestry.co.uk for 6 months. Bargain. I spent about an hour on the site yesterday but only just started to get the feel of it, so didn't find out too much I didn't already know. I've also joined the Mormon's site Family Search.org and come up with my grandfather and grandmother's names (or so I think). Problem is I'm not sure I have the right JOB and MARGARET (PURCELL) WATKINS. I can't seem to connect the two in a recorded marriage. Where do I go from here? I seem to be stuck and going around in circles, or is this the way in family history research? As I don't know the year or place of marriage I can't order a certificate to find out more, So far I think my grandfather was JOB ERNEST WATKINS born in 1874 in Winstanton and my grandmother was MARGARET ANN PURCELL born in 1876 in Little Wenlock but I could be wrong. Any help or insight would be appreciated.

Kind regards

Bryan

deePeye
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Last seen: 8 hours 47 min ago
Joined: Saturday, 4-06-2011

Bryan,

Working (via the free BMD index) I see that Job's death is listed as Wellington Q3/1937.  That shows his age at death of 62.  Searching around 1875 for a possible birth comes up with an entry in Q4/1875 for Evesham ref: 6c/351.  There is another entry showing 6c/354, but looking at the scanned page, it has been wrongly indexed as it is obviously the same page image.  Interestingly, in the entry, there is also a "Patience WATKINS" registered at the same time.  Chance that this Job had a twin sister?

Fresh search, now for possible marriages about the right date and there is one in Q2 1899 Forden 11b/315 to a Margaret RIDGE. 

Please check this out for yourself and verify with other details you have, as I wouldn't want you to spend even more money on certs, than is necessary.  But, hope this is of interest.

David

Bryan Watkins
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Last seen: 4 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: Sunday, 4-11-2012

Hi David

thanks for your input. As far as I know there isn't a recent history of twins in the family if that's anything to go by. I have in my possession my father's birth certificate which clearly states his mother as MARGARET ANN or possible MARGERITA ANN WATKINS (PURCELL). How do I access the free BMD index you mention to further my research? 

Kind regards

Bryan

deePeye
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Last seen: 8 hours 47 min ago
Joined: Saturday, 4-06-2011

Hello Bryan,

Sorry, I suspected the information I found might not have been for 'your' people.  Not the first time, but in my enthusiasm to crack problems, or at least unearth some collateral kin!

Anyway, for births, deaths and marriages recorded post civil registration (after 1837) you can search for free on: www. freebmd .org. uk/  (omit the spaces).   Hope you find it useful (and easy to try), but come back if you want any further guidance. Top tips include: put a spread of quarters or years around the date you think an event occurred, leave counties and districts unselected to begin with, be aware of alternative spellings (the search box allows you to put an asterisk after some letters - e.g. "Smith* " will also capture Smithe etc; W*ld* might capture Wilde, WYlde, Walders).  Other 'tricks' are involved looking for partners in a marriage (see guidance on the site).

Regards,

David

Bryan Watkins
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Last seen: 4 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: Sunday, 4-11-2012

Hi David

thanks for the link to freebmd, a useful, and above all free facility.

So far I think the my paternal grandmother's birth is more likely to be MARGARET PURCELL June 1875 Vol. 6a Page 670 in Madeley. The address being Smally Hill, Little Wenlock.

My paternal granfather possibly JOB ERNEST WATKINS, (although my father's birth certificate doesn't give a middle name for his father), born in 1874 in Wistanston. Geographically it would make sense as I seem to recall mention of the Oswestry area in conversations when I was a child. My grandfather names his occupation on my father's birth certificate as a cowman, so I assume he was employed in farming. I also remember a photograph of my father as a lad leading a horse and cart of hay. I still have to prove a marriage between my grandmother and grandfather. Or am I being naive? They did have a rather large family. (I am beginning to feel like a failed cupid).

I imagine I would find more information from Ancestry.com at the local library but I work full time so don't have much opportunity to research there. Oh for the flexibility of retirement.

Anyway the search carries on with help from my new friends in Shropshire via the SFHS. Long may you all prosper. Merry Christmas all.

Kind regards

Bryan

Michael J Hulme
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Last seen: 6 hours 31 min ago
Joined: Saturday, 4-06-2011

Hello Bryan

With reference to your mention of 'Wistanston' in your last post - as far as I am aware there is no such place in Shropshire or any where else in the UK with that spelling.

Can you clarify where you are referring to. It might help if you told us the source of the place name so we could try to work out the real name.

Mike

Gulielmus
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Last seen: 3 years 41 weeks ago
Joined: Tuesday, 1-11-2011

Hello Bryan and Michael.

   Have looked on 1881 census returns and see it reads  Wistanstow.

    Regards Gulielmus

Bryan Watkins
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Last seen: 4 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: Sunday, 4-11-2012

Hello Mike

You are quite right, no such place exists. Google maps shows a Wistaston (no 'n') near Crewe in Cheshire. I got the information from familysearch.org checking the 1881 census for England and Wales. JOB ERNEST WATKINS in household of WILLIAM JONES. It shows JOB as age 7, birth year 1874, birth place Wistanston Shropshire. Perhaps I'm barking up the wrong tree with this line.

I also have JOB WATKIN (no 'S') in the 1901 census, age 24, born in Alberbury. This would make his birth year as 1877.

Is this as far as I can expect to go with free access to research and do I need to find time to visit my local library for access to My Ancestry? Or am I putting too much hope in that line of research?  I seem to be stuck until I can be certain of my paternal grandparents.

Michael J Hulme
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Last seen: 6 hours 31 min ago
Joined: Saturday, 4-06-2011

Hello Bryan

I did wonder if it might be Wistanstow as identified by Gulielmus. This place is in south Shropshire. In your earlier posting you mentioned this place and in the same breath you said, "Geographically it would make sense as I seem to recall mention of the Oswestry area in conversations when I was a child." but this troubles me because Oswestry is in the north west corner of Shropshire so the two places don't have anything in common except that they are both in Shropshire.

Mike

Bryan Watkins
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Last seen: 4 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: Sunday, 4-11-2012

Hi Mike

Sorry, my excuse, I was only 18 months old when I left the great county for Sussex.

In my excitement at having found some connections I mistook the area for the JOB WATKIN reference in Alberbury which is of course in the Oswestry district. Sorry for the confusion.

Bryan

Heather Duckett
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Last seen: 1 year 18 weeks ago
Joined: Saturday, 27-08-2011

Hi Bryan

I have located the Watkins grave in Wrockwardine cemetery. It takes the form of a double kerb with inscriptions on three sides - 1. In loving memory of Job Watkins, beloved husband of Margaret Ann Watkins passed away Sep 24th 1937 aged 66 years. 2. Also Margaret Ann Watkins passed away March 5th 1950 aged 70 years. 3. Also Edward Lewis their son passed away Oct 16th 1936 aged 36 years.

If you visit Wrockwardine the grave lies about two thirds of the way down the path and on on the right side, third row from the path. I will attach some photographs to an email and send directly to you.

Regarding the marriage of Job and Margaret Ann, there seems to be some mistake in the national civil registration index but the indication is that the marriage took place in Forden registration district in June q 1896. If you go to the local registration index at www.northwalesbmd.org.uk you can search for Job Watkin [no s] in 1896 and see that one of the associated spouces on the page is Margaret Ann Purcell. They were married at Welshpool Register Office. By clicking on the reference number there are instructions on how to order the marriage certificate which will then give you the name of Job's father.

In 1901 the family is at Knockin Heath in the parish of Kinnerley, near Oswestry where Edward  L Watkin is aged one which ties up with his date of birth as calculated from his age on the gravestone. His father is shown as Job Watkin aged 24 and born Alberbury.

Heather

Bryan Watkins
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Last seen: 4 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: Sunday, 4-11-2012

Hello Heather,

many thanks. This reinforces the line I found with the 's' not having been present in the JOB WATKIN born in Alberbury. Also my vague recollections of mention of the Oswestry area. I wonder if the addition of the 's' is accidental or deliberate. As I live so far away I really appreciate your visiting the cemetary on nmy behalf and look forward to receiving the photos by direct email. I visited Shropshire a few years ago with the intention of doing some research but was told by a clerk in the Wellington register office that I would probably find out more online. Wrong. She could have pointed me to the cemetary for a start.

I will look into the northwalesbmd link this evening and add the information to my tree. The members of SFHS have been fantastic in supplying information / thoughts and details and I would like to thank them all for this.

Bryan

Bryan Watkins
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Last seen: 4 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: Sunday, 4-11-2012

Hi Heather

I have now ordered the marriage certificate of JOB WATKIN and MARGARET ANN WATKIN (PURCELL) and await receipt of same. This should lead to JOB'S father's name and residence.

I believe I've tracked MARGARET ANN PURCELL in the 1881 census as age 5, together with brother FREDERICK (7) and sisters ELIZABETH (9), MARY ELLEN (4) and ALICE (1),  living in the household of JAMES HIGGINSON  who would appear to be the uncle of MARGARET ANNE's parents, FREDERICK and ELLEN PURCELL. Whilst this is interesting research and adds to the big picture, my real interest is in my family name and I look forward to further information from the awaited certificate. I don't appear to have received any pictures of the family gravestones yet. Have you not yet got round to sending them or is there a problem with the emails? I never received the email from Graham Williams (SFHS Webmaster) so maybe I have a problem in that area.

Bryan

Heather Duckett
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Last seen: 1 year 18 weeks ago
Joined: Saturday, 27-08-2011

Hi Bryan

I sent an email on Monday 10 Dec to kingfisherinvs@aol.com with a Word document attachment containing 4 photographs. I have just sent it again. Can you let me know if this arrives.

Heather

Bryan Watkins
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Last seen: 4 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: Sunday, 4-11-2012

Hi Heather

I didn't receive the email with the pictures on 10th December but did receive it on 2nd attempt (14th Dec). However it would appear that unless I have the same version of Office (Word) 7 I'm unable to open it. ( I have Office 2000).

As I'm not prepared to make Bill Gates even richer by installing another version, would it be possible to send the pictures as jpeg files straight from the camera?

Thanks for all the trouble you've taken so far.

Bryan