My interest in family history began when I tried to trace my mother's Birth Mother and her siblings, whom she had never known.
My mother told me she had been "adopted" by her aunt when she was a baby as she was the thirteenth child, and that she didn't know any details of her parents other than her mother was living by the sea when she died.
Julia Evelyn Miriam Hyde was born in May 1906 in Barnet Middlesex. Legal adoption didn't exist untill 1928 so her Birth Certificate was the original one.
In 1984 I made the journey to St Catherines house to find the index for her Birth and order the full Certificate.
When I received this, I saw the name of my grandmother was Julia Emma Hyde. Her Father was William James Hyde, House painter. The next thing to do was to find their Marriage.
I looked for Julia Emma's Marriage and in 1882, I found a Marriage for her. They were living in St Pancras,but her husband was recorded as William James Kettle not Hyde, although he was a painter.
I was new to family history then and didn't know what to make of this. I wondered if this William was really my mother's father, or was that why she had been given away.
When the index to the 1881 Census was available, I decided to try and find Julia and William in the Census.
It was the year before they were married and I found her living with her grandparents aged 17yrs.
Thomas Absolom New was her grandfather, he also had a son with the same name.
William Kettle was found living in the same area as them. I couldn't find a William Hyde that fitted, so realised that at some time after their Marriage, they had changed their name. This made it so much more difficult to find them in 1891 and 1901 Census as they became available, as I had no idea when this name change had occurred.
For years I carried on researching Julia's family.
Her grandfather's middle name of Absolom made him easy to find. I went back to the 1851 Census and found him living with his wife Hannah Rebecca, two daughters and his son of the same name. From these details I was able to trace the childrens Birth Certificates.
Emma Elizabeth was the oldest child born in 1845. Hannah Rebecca (after her mother) was born in 1845 and Thomas Absolom jnr was born in 1852.
So which one of these children was my Mothers parent?
The son was too young. That left Hannah or Emma. I had been told that my mum's grandmother had lived with her when she was young and she was called Ann. That made it more likely to be Hannah.
I have never found a Birth Certificate for my grandmother, but I knew she must have been born sometime in 1864. The place was Islington/St Pancras, so I searched the 1861 census for both Emma and Hannah but could never be certain that I had found them. They weren't with their parents and brother.
By 1871, Hannah and Thomas were living apart.
Hannah was found with Emma and her two children. Thomas was head of a household including his son Thomas 20 yrs, and wife Emma, grandaughter Julia (my grandmother) and a lodger, Meditation Gaye.
Meditation was the name of the woman listed as Thomas' s wife in 1881 but they were never married as his wife Hannah was still alive. In fact, Meditation died before Hannah, who died in Hampstead workhouse in 1888. I would love to find out who deserted who!
The 1871 Census has Hannah living with her husband Frederick George Hyde and her daughter Charlotte Alice (the lady I knew as "Nanny" who brought my Mother up). Hannah and Frederick were married in 1870 in Bethnal Green. I can't help wondering why Julia was living with her grandfather, and her half sister Alice always lived with their mother. Both children were illigitimate.
As I looked for William Kettles Birth and on the Census of 1861, I realised that Williams mother, Susannah Hyde(my paternal gt grandmother )was the sister of Frederick Hyde who married Julias mother. So Julias husband was the nephew of her mother's husband!!!
Gradually, as the 1891 and 1901 Census was indexed and came online, I searched them for Julia and William Kettle or Hyde. I did find a couple called Hyde that I thought was them living in Fulham, but his occuppation was different and the wife's name was Emma.
The one thing that I hoped to find was missing- their children.
At both Census years, there was no children listed as living with them. If as I was told, they had thirteen, it surely would have had some down as living at the same address as them.
In the 1901 I did find a grandson, Willie Kettle, staying with his grandmother, Hannah Rebecca Berrott and Charlott Alice Boulter, his aunt. They were living in Leicestershire. Hannah had married again. I have never found the Death of her first husband, Frederick Hyde, but she married Charles Barrott in Warwickshire, eight years after her first Marriage, described as a widow.
At the begining of this year, I had some credits left when I was searching the BMD Records on one of the websites. I thought I would just try Julia Kettle in the 1891 Census search box. I was never sure that I had found the correct person in Fulham, and Bingo! For the first time ever, she came up living with William and her three children. I couldn't believe my luck after twenty years of searching. It just shows that if you cannot find the person you are looking for on one website, you should try different ones as they are all transcribed by different people.
I then tried 1901 again, but nothing came up untill I tried the eldest son. He was shown as son of William and MARTHA Hyde, which I would have ignored, but now knowing William Hyde and the other childrens names were correct, I looked at the original.
I think the enumerator had entered "Mother" instead of Julias name, which in turn had been transcribed as Martha.
From that, I have now found eight of the childrens Births, also a couple of Marriages. To my surprise, Julia had another child two years after my mother's Birth,still in Barnet. I finally traced her Death to Poole, Dorset, two years before my Birth in 1945.
My Mother ended up not far from Poole, in Hampshire,where I also live. Two months ago, after all those years of searching, I was able to put flowers on my grandmother's grave.
The moral of the story is"never give up"
Please login if you wish to rate this article.