Some Snippets From My Case Book
I love challenging cases; below are some of the ways I have helped previous clients solve mysteries, or discover interesting things about their ancestors.
Family Bible Reunited
A gentleman found a family bible at an antiques fair and wanted to reunite it with a descendant of the people named within. Starting from the names of a family whose birth dates were in the late 1700s, I worked forward to find a modern descendant of the family, who the well-meaning client donated the bible to the descendant.
A Missing Soldier's Double Life
A client contacted me about his great, great grandfather, who was British, but had left his Argentinian family to fight in the First World War, never to return. Using a photograph of the Officer from the client's personal collection, I determined his rank and regiment, then visited the National Archives to view his papers. These confirmed that the Officer was the correct man, as they named his Argentinian family. However, he had not died in the War, as was the family story. He later settled in Belgium, where he had another family! His final resting place was a cemetery in Surrey, which the client visited. He even made contact with the other family in Belgium.
Jumped Ship Down-Under
An Australian client had been looking to find out more about her 3 x great grandfather. He couldn't be found on any passenger lists, and the family rumour was that he had worked his passage to Australia, and then jumped ship. She had been told by an Australian genealogist that this was a common tale, but never true.
By looking at the man's Merchant Seamen records, we were able to determine that he had gone to Australia, and they suggested that he hadn't returned. However, this could have just been a case of them being incomplete. I used newspaper records to establish the names of the ships that left for Australia around this time, and priorities those bound for the right area. I then looked at the Ship's Crew Lists at the National Archives, and sure enough, he was located on them. The Captain noting that he had been discharged in Port Philip, but it was by mutual agreement. So, the family rumour was partly true—he had worked his passage—but hadn't jumped ship. She now knew on which ship and exactly when her ancestor had arrived in Australia.