View Full Version : I really am stuck....

14-04-09, 22:37
I am new to the forum and need some help. I am not sure if anyone can get past the brickwall I have come up against.

My Father was born in 1893. I have his birth certificate. It gives his name David Milne Gardner the address he was born at 60 Logie Street, Dundee and it gives his Mothers name Maggie Love Gardner no Father.

My problem is I cannot find any information on my Father or information on his Father only when my Father joins the RWF in 1916. His army records were amongst the burnt so I only have his name and the medals he won.

His Mother married when he was 3 but he did not go to live with her. She married a Henry Pettie. She was 6 months pregnant at the time of the marriage. They lived at 26 Lammerton Terrace, Dundee. His Great Grandparent David and Catherine Milne lived at 127 Ferry Road, Monifieth, Dundee. His Great Grandfather was dead by the time he was born.

I found one record for a David Gardner on the 1901 census but that was a boy living with a Mrs Duncan at 40 Couper Street, Dundee. I did note that this address is not far from Logie street. Mrs Duncan does not seem to be related to my Fathers family.

His Grandparents where Alexander Gibson Gardner and Agnes Doig Milne. when Maggie married she was living at 59 Blackscroft Dundee. On the 1901 census I found her Mothers name at that address Alexander must have been away. But my Father was not living with them.

So my question is how should I go about looking for my Father from birth to 1916. School records. Kirk sessions might show who is Father was but you need to know where the child lived for that. What records do I need to be searching.:( Is it possible to find where he was during his early years.

I would really appreciate your input.

14-04-09, 23:10
you could try the 1911 census

14-04-09, 23:11
oops it is scotland sorry

Olde Crone Holden
14-04-09, 23:46
What relationship was given on the 1901 census for the one you found living with Mrs Duncan?

My Scottish relatives seemed determined to confuse me. I eventually found my 2 x GGF living with his grandmother (who had remarried twice) but described as boarder! I kept ignoring this entry as her third married name meant nothing to me, and neither did her second.

It may be the same in your case.


15-04-09, 02:14
It said relationship was boarder.

19-04-09, 11:59
Have you seen this site. Tay Valley Family History Society | Home (http://www.tayvalleyfhs.org.uk/web/)

Wonder if 'boarder' was a connected with his schooling. Perhaps the FHS above can help.


Olde Crone Holden
19-04-09, 12:17

So, are you absolutely sure that Mrs Duncan wasn't his grandmother, or other relative?

For some reason, many returns on the Scottish census do not give the true relationship of "boarder" to head of house. There was absolutely no reason in the case I quoted upthread, why she would choose to call her grandchildren boarders, instead of grandchildren, unless she had been "told" by some official to do it that way. I have other instances where the true relationship is ditched in favour of boarder or lodger or visitor.

*Thinks: wonder what the EXACT wording of the Scottish census instructions said?*


19-04-09, 14:02

Do you think "they" might have wanted to know, for some reason, how many contributed to household income, or how many people were "visiting" away from home on census night, or some such statistical technicality ?

My two adult children both work and live "at home" but could also be classed as "boarders" as they pay board, ie contribute to household expenses. So if the grandchildren's parents helped gran out by paying board for their grandchildren to stay with her, could that be why they are recorded that way ?

And there's a difference between boarders and lodgers, isn't there ?

I agree that Mrs Duncan should be investigated thoroughly - she may be a relative in disguise


Little Nell
19-04-09, 16:40
The difference between boarders and lodgers is that boarders had their food provided too. Lodgers would have made their own arrangements for meals.

I have many examples of people who were related to the head of household being described as lodger/boarder/visitor/servant etc.

Milly Molly Mandy
19-04-09, 16:52
Ref the David you have found boarding with Mrs Duncan in 1901 - is there any ither birth that would match that male? If not u might have found the right boy.

Olde Crone Holden
19-04-09, 18:09

I think you may be right, although in my case, the children were aged 7 and 5 - a bit young to be contributing to the purse.

I have to say, the relationship eluded me for ages because granny had married twice more, and I had no idea what the children's mother's name was originally. I was researching these two children out of desperation only, simply because the boy was the only one of that age on the census who might be mine - he was, it turned out. If she had just said "grandchildren" on the census, the whole thing would have been a lot easier!


Rosie Knees
19-04-09, 18:40
Hello Biddy, welcome to FTF!

I don't know a single thing about Scottish research but, assuming parish records are similar, it would be worth looking to see if your father was baptised. There is a possibility (albeit rare lol) that the vicar may have put the name of the putitive father in the register.

Good luck, you are in the right place for getting assistance.

19-04-09, 18:57
hello and welcome biddy brenda xxx

20-04-09, 04:30
Thankyou all so much you have given me new hope that I may find something on my Dads parentage. I do have his birth certificate it mentions the District of St. Marys. His Mother moved back in with her parents after she had my Dad to the Blackscroft address.
I shall have to make notes of all you have suggested not being the best at this. Again thankyou it would be so wonderful just to find out who he lived with. I know that Mrs Duncan was not related to his mother but I never thought that she might have been related to his missing father.
I did think of getting copies of the wills of his Great Grandmother and his Grandfather and his mother. His Great Granmother died in 1901 his Grandfather died in 1915 and his mother died in 1935.
I found a copy of his marriage certificate and on it he states that both his Mother and Father where dead. Very sad. I am not sure if he knew his mother was dead at that time or he just didnt want to acknowledge the fact that she was alive. This would have been in 1919 when he returned from the 1st World War. Even sadder to think he was badly injured and she may not have bothered to visit him.

20-04-09, 08:57
You may have already seen this;

There's a Garner family tree (avrillebeau87) on Ancestry that includes;

David Milne Gardner
Birth: 20 Nov 1893 - 60 Logie St., Dundee, Angus, Scotland
Death: 06 Apr 1973 - Chester, Cheshire, England
Residence: 1901 - Ireland

It states: there are

6 attached records attached to this person
6 sources and
121 people in this member's tree

Unfortunately my Ancestry subs recently expired, so unable to take a look at the info ... but there may be someone else on FTF that will do so for you ....

20-04-09, 14:16
Bless you thats my tree. If you look at the tree for my Fathers father you will see its blank. My Father married twice his first wife died and then he moved down to
Chester and married my Mother and had 4 children.
Can I ask have any of you become obsessed with finding the history of one of the people on your tree. Thats how I feel about finding out about my Father I have a great regret that I never asked him when he was alive about his life. He was 50 when I was born and died when I was in my 20's.

20-04-09, 15:27
Hi Biddy,
I have researched a tree for a neighbour and they have Milne and Gardner in the tree. They are from Dundee too!
Could you PM me with your email address and perhaps we can exchange gedcom files to see if there is any connection?