View Full Version : Baffled by John Mills

09-04-13, 13:05
After a break from my Family tree and some recent contact by a family memeber i have started looking at my tree again and i remain as baffled as ever by 1 person and i am hoping someone can help me.

John Mills Born between 1882 and 1884 in london, he moved to Australia in 1911 with his wife Mary Mills Nee Howard.

They had 2 children Vera and Mary while living in Australia.

John died in 1954 in Chatswood NSW. on the record i have found in the NSW BMD his parents where listed as Daniel and Mary Jane.

Now this is where i become baffled, I cannot find a birth Record for John Mills.

On the 1891 census he is living with his Grandfather (Daniel and wife Jane) in Barnet (aged 7)

on the 1901 census he is living in Barnet with His Grandfater (Daniel and wife Jane) (aged19)

I cannot find him in 1911 and i know he was in England until August 17th, I have found 1 potential record, but thats has confused me further, another piece of the puzzle to put together but not my main concern at the moment.

I had always assumed in the absense of a birth record that his father was John Mills b1866, Son of Daniel and Jane.

John (the assumed father) Married Mary Ann Burtenshaw in 1888 and had 2 children

But after finding his death record in 1953 with Father listed as Daniel and mother Mary Jane I am not so sure anymore. I am beginning to wonder if in fact it was Johns sister Mary Jane that had a son out of Wedlock, and or he was bought up beliveing his grandparents where his parents.

Any help or thoughts would be wonderful as I am now going round in circles with this one and would like to figure this out finally.


09-04-13, 13:13
Have you tried looking for his birth under his mother's maiden name?

I had the same situation in my tree and found that although he grew up with his father's surname, because he was born out of wedlock the father was not allowed to be named on the birth certificate.

09-04-13, 14:51
Have you ever identified the date and place of the marriage of John Mills and Mary Howard - and obtained a copy of the marriage certificate ?

09-04-13, 14:54
That is another piece of the puzzle as i have not been able to find this either.

09-04-13, 15:01
That is another piece of the puzzle as i have not been able to find this either.

What information have you got about Mary Howard? Thought it might be useful to try to find her in 1911


09-04-13, 15:12
You should never make any assumptions in genealogy !

I think it may be relevant that in the 1901 census John's birthplace is entered as London (n.k.), and in 1891 as just London while others present in the house have their birthplaces identified quite specifically. That suggests that maybe those present didn't know exactly where John was born, which makes John and Mary Ann unlikely parents (who are present in 1891, and especially as they married some years after his birth).

I think that makes your theory that the unmarried daughter, Mary Jane ( listed as a domestic servant, in Sussex in 1881 and in London in 1891 and 1901) is a much more likely parent. If that was the case, and John never knew his father, then it may account for his grandfather's name Daniel being used on later documentation. You will still need to find that elusive certificate to prove it though.

09-04-13, 15:13
The information i have is that she was Mary Howard known as polly by her family. the surname has been confirmed by her grandson who i am in contact with in Australia. untill yesterday i bellieved she was born in 1884, again not confirmed.

Yesterday i found a 1911 census showing a Mary Mills and a John mills, John was a florist which would have fitted with what i know of the family.

I have had a look at the Australian death records and i think her parents were called James and Maria, but if the record i have found in 1911 is correct then she was born in india.

I am in the process of emailing my cousin in Australia to see what other information if any he has about her.

i appreciate everyones help, and i really hope i get to the bottom of this, it is the final part in the puzzle of this part of my family.


09-04-13, 15:15
Anthony, thank you and i know i shouldnt have made the assumption :) emailing my cousing in Australia at the moment to try and find some more info out if he has any.

Trying to Find Mary Jane in 1881 and 1891 as a starter


09-04-13, 15:32
There is a baptism of a John Mills, son of Mary Jane Mills (a servant) at St Marks, St Johns Wood, London in Oct 1883. His date of birth is given as July 6th 1883 and his mother's address as 157 Marylebone Road (as is that of 8 other apparently illegitimate baptisms alongside it, and more further down the page). The register is available on Ancestry.

That is an address I recognise from research I did for a client last year ...it was the "St Marylebone Female Protection Society" described as

"ST. MARYLEBONE FEMALE PROTECTION SOCIETY, 157, Marylebone-road — Subscription: Voluntary contributions. Object: The society, founded in 1838, seeks to reclaim young women from all parts of the country who have, by one false step, fallen from the path of virtue. They are cared for in their trouble if expecting to become mothers; and after suitable training, are placed in service, where needful help is given them in supporting their infants, lest, through want, they should fall again. This is the more necessary from the extreme youth of many of the applicants, which prevents their earmng sufficient to maintain their infants."

Exactly the type of place an unmarried servant girl may find herself going to give birth maybe ?

There is a corresponding birth registered in Marylebone , Jul-Sep 1883 (Vol 1a p601)

09-04-13, 16:06
Thank you so much :)

09-04-13, 16:12
Also fits in with a possibly record of Mary as a servant in Marylebone in 1881 Census

09-04-13, 16:22
Also fits in with a possibly record of Mary as a servant in Marylebone in 1881 Census

Possibly - but I think she is still near home in Keymer, Sussex working as a general servant in the house of Samuel Downard, Ancestry have her transcribed as Mary J Hills.

09-04-13, 16:50
Thank you again

10-04-13, 04:15

ask your relative if they have the death certs for john and mary. if they do, get them to scan them for you. they will record birthplace (which may be detailed or not), age and place and to whom married (which you can work out a rough year) and of course both parents names, with any children john and mary had.

also see if they have the births for john and mary's daughters. these will record birthplace, age and occupation for both parents, as well as the date and place of marriage, and the names of any children born prior to the one listed on the birth.

these records will help you narrow down the marriage record, mary may have been married before for example. and then you can see what the cert says for father's name.