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pearlyred
14-03-19, 12:46
Hi all,

I'm having trouble locating any death record for my great grandfather and was hoping someone may be able to help.

He is Leonard Edgar Biggs, born ~1978 in Kensington. In 1901 he married Evelyn Maud Birch in Kensington. My grandfather, Leslie J Biggs was born in Birmingham in 1922, but Leonard is listed as deceased on the birth certificate, with the occupation of painter. From the records I can find, it seems like he enrolled with the army in 1914/1915 but was discharged due to epilepsy shortly after.

Additionally, on my grandfathers marriage certificate, his father is listed as Leonard James Biggs, but I think this is a red herring.. he likely changed his name, but I've found nothing else with that name either.

I've hunted around everywhere I can find access to, but I'm unable to find any record of a Leonard E Biggs dying around 1922 that fits this description. Does anyone have a suggestion where else I could look?

Regards,
Lee

Lin Fisher
14-03-19, 14:33
Might not be a lot of help but he joined the army in 1898 and was released 'medically unfit' in 1899. Father William Louis and mother Amelia of 116 Portland Road Notting Hill.

Also if he had epilepsy did he leave his family or end up in an institution. If so perhaps look for him with just his initials as this is often how they were recorded.

Will see what else I can find but going out soon

Lin Fisher
14-03-19, 14:42
How about this 1930 Elec roll

Evelyn Maude Carroll
George Carroll
Leonard Edgar Biggs
Lewis James Biggs
Maude Biggs

All living 104 Kenwood Road Saltley district Warwickshire 1930

As above with
Amelia Biggs
Mary Gertrude Briggs

1931 Elec Rolls

Not got time to sort them out but feel sure they might be yours.

Katarzyna
14-03-19, 14:47
This is the family in 1911.
https://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=2352&h=1028856&ssrc=pt&tid=159530806&pid=282085584604&usePUB=true

Leonard E Biggs 29 coach painter
Evelyn M Biggs 29
Charles A Biggs 8
Leonard E Biggs 7
James L Biggs 5
Maude A Biggs 3
Gertrude M Biggs 0

Katarzyna
14-03-19, 14:52
1901
https://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=7814&h=15615655&ssrc=pt&tid=114578992&pid=220138634797&usePUB=true
William L Biggs 72
Amelia Biggs 49
Walter A Biggs 26
Oliver A Biggs 21
Senora E Biggs 20 Leonard mistranscribed
Matilda Biggs 18
Lillian Biggs 16
Herbert G Wilson 20
Nellie Smith 22

Katarzyna
14-03-19, 16:28
BIGGS, LEONARD EDGAR mmn GROVES
GRO Reference: 1879 M Quarter in UXBRIDGE Volume 03A Page 35

1901 and 1911 census gives Uxbridge as his birth place.

Birthdate 30 November 1878 so Jan-March Qtr registration is just within the time limit.

Katarzyna
14-03-19, 16:34
How about this 1930 Elec roll

Evelyn Maude Carroll
George Carroll
Leonard Edgar Biggs
Lewis James Biggs
Maude Biggs


All living 104 Kenwood Road Saltley district Warwickshire 1930

As above with
Amelia Biggs
Mary Gertrude Briggs

1931 Elec Rolls

Not got time to sort them out but feel sure they might be yours.
Evelyn Maud married George Carroll

July 1927 • The Register Office, Birmingham North 6d 1298

Her three children are with her on that Electoral Roll- Leonard b 1904, Lewis 1906 and Maud 1908

Katarzyna
14-03-19, 17:04
Daughter Maud Amelia married in Birmingham to William George Wicklen Dec Qtr 1938

1939 Register
Name: Evelyn M Carroll (widow)
Gender: Female
Marital status: Widow
Birth Date: 7 Dec 1881
Address: 71 Redthorne Grove
Residence Place: Birmingham, Warwickshire, England
Occupation: Unpaid Domestic Duties
Bernard Biggs 1912
Frank Biggs 1914
Leslie Biggs 1922
Harry Biggs 1919
This record is officially closed.
Hilda Biggs 1905

Still cannot see a death for Leonard.

Lin Fisher
14-03-19, 18:30
Well done Kat.

I didn't have time but I was convinced they belonged but we still haven't found his death.

Elaine
15-03-19, 00:12
Is 7 Charles Henry Street (St Martin's and Deritend, Birmingham) familiar as there is a Leonard and Evelyn Maud Biggs there 1921 and 1922
In Spring 1923 Evelyn Maud lives at 7 Prince of Wales Terrace
1927 Evelyn Maud with Lewis James 104 Kenwood Road

pearlyred
15-03-19, 00:14
Thanks for the help Lin and Kat. Everything you've found look like positive hits.. as you discovered, there was also a son with the same name, LE Biggs.

The hospital/institution is a possible track.. I've done some searching with the initials, but will put more time into that. Still hoping to find a clue somewhere..

pearlyred
15-03-19, 00:17
Is 7 Charles Henry Street (St Martin's and Deritend, Birmingham) familiar as there is a Leonard and Evelyn Maud Biggs there 1921 and 1922
In Spring 1923 Evelyn Maud lives at 7 Prince of Wales Terrace
1927 Evelyn Maud with Lewis James 104 Kenwood Road
Hi Elaine, yes, 7 Charles Henry Street is where my grandfather Leslie was born 16/08/22.

Elaine
15-03-19, 00:19
Just spotted the address on the army notes Charles Henry Street

https://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=1114&h=94531&tid=&pid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=FhD20291&_phstart=successSource

Katarzyna
15-03-19, 00:37
Births Sep 1919
Biggs Sidney H Birch Birmingham 6d 545 ..........Harry on 1939?

Births Sep 1922
Biggs John L Birch Birmingham 6d 692 .......... Leslie on 1939?
I think Hilda b 1905 on the 1939 register must be this one as I cannot see a Hilda birth anywhere .

BIGGS, HILDA FRANCES BIRCH
GRO Reference: 1917 J Quarter in BIRMINGHAM Volume 06D Page 515

cbcarolyn
15-03-19, 01:04
It maybe that the death of father was registered in the same district as the birth unless the mother lied about the father...it must be within 9 months.

It must be mistranscribed? badly. What was the exact district of the birth?

edit ....just seen Kats post

kylejustin
15-03-19, 03:59
Tried messaging the local register office? Sometimes events miss the general register office indexes.

Asides from that, maybe message the local council asking about burials and cremations. I have one who died in 1930, i know this because he left a will. There is no death registration locally or federally.

pearlyred
15-03-19, 23:13
Thanks, no I haven’t yet. I didn’t realise they would be available to help.. I’ll try emailing the Birmingham register office, and I guess the Uxbridge and Kensington ones too maybe?..

cbcarolyn
15-03-19, 23:21
you can order a copy bmd from all reg office if they were the issuing office

https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/info/50038/certificates/746/order_a_copy_of_a_death_certificate

pearlyred
19-03-19, 22:10
Bit of an update for this one: I applied for to the Birmingham registry office for a death cert in the name of Leonard Edgar Biggs. They search 1920-1924 but were unable to find one :/

cbcarolyn
19-03-19, 23:23
that is a shame, do you know how far they search? wonder if it has been mistranscribed as something like brigss. I did look at some of them, but nothing looked obvious.

pearlyred
19-03-19, 23:33
that is a shame, do you know how far they search? wonder if it has been mistranscribed as something like brigss. I did look at some of them, but nothing looked obvious.

They looked 2 years either side of 1922. If you mean how far geographically or name wise, not sure.

Val wish Id never started
20-03-19, 00:51
you dont think maybe he hadn't died then? its been known

pearlyred
20-03-19, 01:08
you dont think maybe he hadn't died then? its been known
Certainly an option isn't it. He was listed on my grandfathers birth certificate as deceased, in August 1922. You're right though, he may have just moved/disappeared or something. I haven't found any evidence of that though, either.

Val wish Id never started
20-03-19, 01:36
I've been looking all evening and not found anything yet.

Katarzyna
20-03-19, 11:05
It's certainly strange. I wonder if he died in an institution and somehow missed being registered. Have you tried contacting Birmingham Archives? They would be able to tell you which institutions accepted epileptic patients in that area in 1920s. You wouldn't be able to see any records (100 year rule) but an archivist may be able search on your behalf.

pearlyred
21-03-19, 01:09
Hi Kat, no I haven’t tried that yet. I wasn’t really sure what I was looking for. I’ll try and get in touch with them and see if they can recommend anything. I didn’t think they’d be willing to look up archives without paid requests.

Val wish Id never started
21-03-19, 01:38
Can you look at these army records think its him?? first one definitely is, says 13 pages, although am not sure they are all him ??? if it is it says he is repatriating to Canada
https://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=1114&h=94531&tid=&pid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=CdY1912&_phstart=successSource

Val wish Id never started
21-03-19, 01:51
dont think those pages are him but another man

pearlyred
21-03-19, 03:20
Yeah, I believe I looked at these. I think I found a letter that talked about different family members to the ones I was after.

vera2013
21-03-19, 08:32
https://www.countyasylums.co.uk/hollymoor-birmingham/

There were two Asylums in Birmingham - All Saints and Rubery Hill. The latter built an extension for those patients who were not likely to be cured. Not sure if a person suffering from epilepsy would meet that criteria. Unfortunately at the beginning of WW1 Hollymoor Hospital was taken over by the Military and in patients at the time transferred to Asylums across the West Midlands.

I note that on many occasions Leonard Edgar signed up for various Regiments only for his epilepsy to be discovered and for him to be discharged unfit medically.

Vera

pearlyred
21-03-19, 09:04
Hi Vera, thanks for the additional information. More avenues to try and follow up on.. I'll see what I can find, though I don't expect to resolve much. Could it it be possible he joined some other war unit and records were destroyed? Seems a long shot, but the institution thing just doesn't feel right, though I'll try and dig into it as much as I can.

I'd seen the many army enrollments.. and the subsequent discharge papers. I did find this snippet in some post-war editorial which is interesting though.. note it mentions though he couldn't travel, he was still involved throughout the war?? https://imgur.com/PTDZNhN

Lee

Katarzyna
21-03-19, 10:24
Where did you find that snippet, Lee? What year was it published?

vera2013
21-03-19, 10:36
Seems strange he was discharged unfit in 1915.
I note one army record has him diagnosed as having chronic lead poisoning and attacks of syncope which fits with his job as a painter and some scarring of the kidneys. So not a physically fit man.

Vera

cbcarolyn
21-03-19, 10:39
Thinking out loud on the logic...

the reg office should have the best transcribed record as this is the first time it has been 'documented', the GRO are transcriptions of transcriptions, so errors will creep in.

It seems it would be impossible to not register the death otherwise no burial would be allowed.

I am not sure if it is possible for a certificate to not make an index at all, they are prenumbered and 'audited'

If he was ill he could have gone to a hospital/institution and death registered there, are there nearby places that are in another reg district?

the person registering the death may get details wrong.

Name could be wrong on certificate

the death in 1922 may not be right, but there is no obvious death at anytime as far as I can see on GRO

so there is a possibility that 2 of these things have gone have happened.

We can only presume the reg office looked for Biggs only and maybe not Briggs? there is one on GRO for that date, but age only 33,

his burial or cremation should be documented, but maybe not on line? nothing on deceased on line.

cbcarolyn
21-03-19, 11:13
I did also wondered if his names were muddled on the index, but have not seen anything obvious, tried edgar as surname.

Do you know which is their local church?

Val wish Id never started
21-03-19, 15:40
https://www.countyasylums.co.uk/hollymoor-birmingham/

There were two Asylums in Birmingham - All Saints and Rubery Hill. The latter built an extension for those patients who were not likely to be cured. Not sure if a person suffering from epilepsy would meet that criteria. Unfortunately at the beginning of WW1 Hollymoor Hospital was taken over by the Military and in patients at the time transferred to Asylums across the West Midlands.

I note that on many occasions Leonard Edgar signed up for various Regiments only for his epilepsy to be discovered and for him to be discharged unfit medically.

Vera

Thats interesting Vera maybe he did re-join, and get away with it

vera2013
21-03-19, 16:11
Where did you find that snippet, Lee? What year was it published?

I can see it on FMP and Ancestry National Roll of the Great War 1914-1818. L E Biggs

Apparently info could be submitted by families or soldiers themselves and not verified.

The military records on two occasions state permanently unfit for home/foreign/war service

Vera

pearlyred
22-03-19, 00:05
Seems strange he was discharged unfit in 1915.
I note one army record has him diagnosed as having chronic lead poisoning and attacks of syncope which fits with his job as a painter and some scarring of the kidneys. So not a physically fit man.

Vera
Hi Vera, could you link that record? I'm not sure I noticed that previously, but you may just be better at reading that handwriting than me :)

pearlyred
22-03-19, 00:12
Thinking out loud on the logic...

the reg office should have the best transcribed record as this is the first time it has been 'documented', the GRO are transcriptions of transcriptions, so errors will creep in.

It seems it would be impossible to not register the death otherwise no burial would be allowed.

I am not sure if it is possible for a certificate to not make an index at all, they are prenumbered and 'audited'

If he was ill he could have gone to a hospital/institution and death registered there, are there nearby places that are in another reg district?

the person registering the death may get details wrong.

Name could be wrong on certificate

the death in 1922 may not be right, but there is no obvious death at anytime as far as I can see on GRO

so there is a possibility that 2 of these things have gone have happened.

We can only presume the reg office looked for Biggs only and maybe not Briggs? there is one on GRO for that date, but age only 33,

his burial or cremation should be documented, but maybe not on line? nothing on deceased on line.
So many things that could have happened. If the death happened at an institute/hospital, were they not required to register this with the register office still? I've checked GRO for all sorts of combinations and names, but really, if it's wrong on the certificate, it could be anything :(

Other than Birmingham, I guess the other likely places would be Uxbridge/Bucks/Kensington, but again would be assuming a mistranscribed GRO entry. I guess I could apply for a death cert from them as I did for Birmingham and see if they come back with anything (easy way to throw $ down the drain :) )

vera2013
22-03-19, 03:08
Hi Vera, could you link that record? I'm not sure I noticed that previously, but you may just be better at reading that handwriting than me :)

https://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=1219&h=89950&tid=&pid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=rmb6567&_phstart=successSource

Bottom of page 3

Vera

pearlyred
22-03-19, 04:35
Thanks Vera. I guess at this point it's most likely he was admitted to an infirmary/hospital and died there. With closed/damaged records, I think there's little chance of me finding much now, certainly online anyway :(

Anne in Carlisle
22-03-19, 09:06
I think it is unlikely that a hospital or institution did not register a death. BUT it is more likely that the details were wrong.
I have someone who was in mental hospitals for years and struggled to find his death, with a fairly common name. Luckily he was commemorated on his parents' gravestone so I did know which year he died. Eventually I did get his certificate, which was the correct one, but the institution he died in was quite a long way from the area I expected and his age was 15 years wrong! Poor chap died in a smallpox outbreak in the institution so I guess they were under pressure at the time.
Anne

Darksecretz
22-03-19, 11:22
I can see that an online tree has him dying in 1922 and in Buckinghamshire.. quite how they have got that info I have no idea.

https://www.ancestry.co.uk/family-tree/person/tree/114578992/person/220138634797/facts?_phsrc=UJA7496&_phstart=successSource

just a thought, did his wife get buried with him when she died? [I realise that she remarried, but it isn't unknown for a wife of a second marriage to be buried with her first husband]

Chrissie Smiff
22-03-19, 11:51
I have looked for deaths 1921-1923 Buckinghamshire using just Biggs, just Leonard and just Edgar, but can only think maybe they were being sloppy with initial and age, as this is the only remotely similar one I can find -
Deaths Sep 1922 - Biggs Leonard A - 19 Leighton B 3b 326

Re the tree on Julie's post #43

cbcarolyn
22-03-19, 12:06
I saw the Leighton B and as near me in Bedfordshire and seemed a long way from anywhere. In the wider tree does he have siblings etc around this part of the country? Hadn't realised it would be for some of Bucks, but still a long way from Birmingham

Here is a link to the areas covered by it:
https://www.ukbmd.org.uk/reg/districts/leighton%20buzzard.html

Have you got records of any family member in a church locally to where they were living?

name and age wrong...right area


Briggs Leonard 33 Birmingham 6d 258

cbcarolyn
22-03-19, 12:15
I went to MK library yesterday and was amazed at the amount of books/registers they had there, and now just read on that link and says that MK hold the registers. Wonder what they had in library. If there is something there I don't mind a visit back in a couple of weeks.

Darksecretz
22-03-19, 12:19
thing is when people were ill/sick sometimes they were sent to the seaside to get the sea air, some institutions were in the middle of nowhere just so they didn't disturb anyone.

Chrissie Smiff
22-03-19, 12:26
Unless the age is wildly out though I would think it's more likely to be a different one.
Shouldn't 'ours' be more like 43/44? He was born n 1878.

Chrissie Smiff
22-03-19, 12:32
Possibly this one I would have thought? -
https://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc=pFx396&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&indiv=1&db=1911england&gsfn=Leonard%20A&gsln=Biggs&cp=0&msbdy=1903&msbpn__ftp=leicester,%20leicestershire,%20england, %20united%20kingdom&msbpn=85113&new=1&rank=1&uidh=uo6&redir=false&gss=angs-d&pcat=35&fh=23&h=44299221&recoff=&ml_rpos=24

cbcarolyn
22-03-19, 13:29
name and age wrong...right area

Briggs Leonard 33 Birmingham 6d 258

Can't see a Leonard Briggs in the Birmingham area b1889 yet, I like the fact he is likely to be 43 so 3 is correct....but clutching at straws I guess.

cbcarolyn
22-03-19, 14:57
Did you know that you can search and buy burial records from Birmingham city council?

https://www.birminghamburialrecords.co.uk/search/records

sadly no Leonard Biggs but Leonard Briggs is on there - I kind of feel that he can't be right man if it is Briggs on here also

20065

There is Leonard Biggs in 1974 - I assume this maybe the son which could be useful to you.

vera2013
22-03-19, 16:19
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/hospitalrecords/details.asp?id=207&page=18

There may be a record of him here - Previously Dudley Workhouse and later the City Hospital.

It is possible that Leonard E was in a mental health establishment despite his illness being physical.

My own great grandfather died in an Asylum. The illness he had in its end stages would have caused neurological problems. Prior to that his notes recorded him as a quiet inmate.

Vera
i

Katarzyna
22-03-19, 17:21
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/hospitalrecords/details.asp?id=207&page=18

I agree with Vera. I suspect he died Birmingham area especially as his wife remarried there.
The Archives are your best bet at possibly finding him through admissions.

cbcarolyn
22-03-19, 19:46
Mystery why no death certificate, but maybe due to the institution registering it - a lot of details incorrect?

pearlyred
22-03-19, 21:19
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/hospitalrecords/details.asp?id=207&page=18

I agree with Vera. I suspect he died Birmingham area especially as his wife remarried there.
The Archives are your best bet at possibly finding him through admissions.
Looks like the archives points through to Birmingham Library. The admission records show as closed as they're within 100 years, which I assume means you can't look at them at all? http://calmview.birmingham.gov.uk/CalmView/Record.aspx?src=CalmView.Catalog&id=HC+DR%2f2%2f1%2f28

The death registers for that hospital are all closed due to condition. :(

No idea where the Buckinghamshire on that other ancestry tree comes from. They obviously don't have a death cert as they would (I assume) complete the date details.

This may not be something I can do online.. I actually thought something would have come up by now.. I'm not in the UK currently, with next visit likely a couple of years away, so may have to put this on the back-burner for a while.

cbcarolyn
22-03-19, 21:31
I did have a google around to see if there was anything on line, I did stumble across a Birmingham forum, and they did mention the hospital, and that the death registration address is often the street address and no mention of the 'institute' which maybe useful to note. But as yet no death cert...

could be worth checking the Birmingham burial records with other family members see if they used their service? or were they the only ones in area?

pearlyred
23-03-19, 00:02
Did you know that you can search and buy burial records from Birmingham city council?

https://www.birminghamburialrecords.co.uk/search/records

sadly no Leonard Biggs but Leonard Briggs is on there - I kind of feel that he can't be right man if it is Briggs on here also

20065

There is Leonard Biggs in 1974 - I assume this maybe the son which could be useful to you.
I didn't know about this site, it will be super useful for me. This was nagging at me, along with your comment previously about the 33 being almost inline with 43.. so to allow me to cross this off as a no-go, I applied for the burial record. Within an hour I had an email with a download link.

https://imgur.com/lR3NBoz
https://i.imgur.com/lR3NBoz.png

Check this out.. the street address matches! Name has been mis-transcribed, age is completely wrong, but this HAS to be him.

Died in the hospital.. it will be interesting to see his records if they open/I can get access to them in the future. In the meantime, I now know he was buried at Yardley cemetery and crematorium. I've emailed them for a plot location and anything else they can provide. I'm assuming the grave would have had a plaque or something (though it may not be there now). I'm hoping a request on findagrave or something similar will result in a photo eventually (if there's anything there).

I can now also apply to GRO for the death cert and let them know of the error in their data.
I can't tell you how happy I am right now.. I can finally get some sleep at night :) Thank you all so much for the time and thought you've put into helping me find him. I would never have looked at this record without all of your input, as well as all the other information you've gleaned from war records etc. I still want to build a bit more of a profile for him, if I can get hold of the records, but it means I can also move on to someone else now..

Lee

cbcarolyn
23-03-19, 00:14
yay - I am so pleased, it kind of felt right but was a bit concerned, was most impressed with website, sadly have no connection myself to Birmingham so no use to me!

I have to admit when I first read your post I read it as "Briggs", then realised it was Biggs, so that was how I got the idea.

Katarzyna
23-03-19, 01:08
Great result Lee. So pleased for you and you too Carolyn for your perseverance :)

vera2013
23-03-19, 05:14
Fantastic. Good news Lee. Well done Carolyn. What a find.

Vera

Darksecretz
23-03-19, 08:38
Did you know that you can search and buy burial records from Birmingham city council?

https://www.birminghamburialrecords.co.uk/search/records

sadly no Leonard Biggs but Leonard Briggs is on there - I kind of feel that he can't be right man if it is Briggs on here also

20065

There is Leonard Biggs in 1974 - I assume this maybe the son which could be useful to you.

I knew about that site for burials, but to my shame had forgotten about it!.. my own Grandmother came from Birmingham and I still have a lot of connections there..

BUT, Lee I am SO happy that you now have closure, sometimes you have to think differently and to those that have registered the death it is quite easy to put the wrong info, it's only as good as the person giving that info at the time. If that's the only info the Hospital had then who was to say it was wrong?

great news though!

cbcarolyn
23-03-19, 12:37
So many sites offering info it is hard to keep track. And sometimes they disappear too, a lot of the great sites I used in Cornwall in the early days have all gone, and Ancestry/FMP et al have bought them.

Val wish Id never started
23-03-19, 13:09
fantastic news, well done Carolyn:good: