View Full Version : Solomon Smith help with date of death

20-08-09, 19:03
Hi my great grandfather Solomon Robert Smith was born 28/11/1895 in Limehouse in Stepney. I know that he married Isabella Ward on 25/2/1918 again in Stepney. I also know that he was alive on 24/10/1942 when his son (my grandfather) was married. I think he may have lived in Ilford in Essex as that was the address listed on my grandfathers marriage certificate. My father was born in 1947 and can vaguely remember a family trip when he was 5 years old or so to London and has no memories of Solomon so he may then have died between 1942 and 1952.

Although on his birth certificate he was noted as Solomon Robert Smith he is noted as Robert Solomon Smith on his marriage certificate.

I live in Scotland and have no English ancestors alive who can help and wondered if anyone can help.

I know that in 1918 he was listed as a gunner in the RHA but can find no service record and his occupation is listed as a postman in 1942 when his son got married. I also know that Isabella remarried I think to a Leonard Rolfe after Solomon died but do not have a not have any dates.

If anyone can help me with his death I would be most greatful.


PS I hope I have given as much information as I can.

Uncle John
20-08-09, 20:40
Ancestry are working towards a full searchable transcription of the English/Welsh death indexes by the end of 2009. In the meantime you have to search the indexes quarter by quarter. If you have an Ancestry sub. or access to Ancestry at your local library it won't cost anything.

Chrissie Smiff
20-08-09, 20:58
I can't find a marriage for an Isabella Smith to a Leonard Rolfe. That would have narrowed it down at least.

20-08-09, 21:19
Chrissie on Isabella's death certificate she is known as Isabel Rolfe (date of death 11/7/1984). Perhaps on her marriage certificate she is known as Isabel Smith or even Isabel Ward.

I don't know if this helps. I should have put this on my original post. Sorry


PS I can't even find Isabella's (or Isabels) birth certificate even although on her death certificate it confirms her date of birth as 27/12/1895 at Plaistow in Newham.

Solomon and Isabella have given me the merry go round for ages, enjoyable but hard!!!

Elaine ..Spain
20-08-09, 21:26
PS I can't even find Isabella's (or Isabels) birth certificate even although on her death certificate it confirms her date of birth as 27/12/1895 at Plaistow in Newham.

It´s only accurate if the person who registered her death was sure of her date of birth!
How old was she on the 1901 census?
Have you discounted these - the first one year too early, the second one year too late!

Births Mar 1895
Ward Isabel
W. Ham 4a 222

Births Dec 1897
WARD Isabella Louisa
W. Ham 4a 345

Chrissie Smiff
20-08-09, 21:49
How about this -

Eric L Rolfe to Isabel E Smith - Jul-Aug-Sep 1947 - Ilford Essex - 5a 1274

Chrissie Smiff
20-08-09, 21:53
Possible birth?

Births Jun 1894 - Ward Isabel Ethel Hendon 3a 209

20-08-09, 22:02
Thanks so much guys.

Isabella was age 6 on the 1901 census and place of birth was noted as West Ham and on the 1911 census she was listed as living in a home for waifs and strays aged 16 so I guess 1895 would be a good bet. What do you think?

Re Solomon if Isabella was remarried in 1947 that would place his death sometime between 1942 and 1947.


Chrissie Smiff
20-08-09, 22:06
I have to go now Steven but if you are still stuck for his death next time I come on I will have a look.

Night Owl
21-08-09, 00:31
This one looks quite possible

Deaths Q/E June 1946

Smith Solomon R. Age 50 Ilford Vol 4a Page 340

21-08-09, 07:10
Thanks ever so much guys looks like I have a decision to make re Isabella but the 1895 looks the best bet.

The date of death for Solomon looks the most hopeful yet. My wife is sick of me ordering ones that are wrong!!!

Many thanks again


21-08-09, 19:13
Elaine re the birth of Isabel in 1895 do you know what quarter it was in ? I think this may look like the most likely birth. 1895 was the date that matches both the 1901 census and 1911 census and it also said on both these census that place of birth was West Ham which also matches the birth you gave me. Were the ages of children fairly accurate. I know that in earlier census they were sometimes just estimated.

Jackie thanks for the information on Solomon that is the best information I have received to date on him. It looks a very good bet as it also has the middle initial R which hopefully stands for Robert and I am guessing that Solomon's son (my grandfather) had an address as Ilford and you would have thought he would have been staying with his father prior to his marriage.

If this works out this would get me some closure of my great grandparents as I have Solomon's birth and marriage certificates already and I have Isabella's death certificate. My dad also came up trumps with a couple of photo's of Isabella as he could remember many visits to London from Scotland when he was a boy. His sister (my auntie) also came up with the only photo of Solomon that anyone seems to have which was fantastic.

Thanks again to all who have helped me this has certainly been the best forum I have been on.


11-09-09, 21:59
Received death certificate for Solomon Robert Smith for 7/4/1944 and it was correct. I also received the birth certificate for his wife Isabel Ward for 27/12/1894 and again it was correct. Just wanted to thank everyone who helped.

I know have a complete picture for my great grandparents on my fathers side (birth and death for each of them). I still cannot find a birth or death for Solomon's father who was also called Solomon. Looks like I have hit the proverbial brick wall. At least I have him in various censuses and I also have his marriage certificate to Mary Ann Stokes on 25/12/1892 aged 22. His place of birth on the 1911 census is given as Heyford Northampton and his age is given as 40.

You can't always win them all but I would not have got so far without the help of this forum.



11-09-09, 22:07
never give up giving up!!!

perhaps someone can come up with a solution to your problem Steven,

even now, I have been learning/re learning stuff that I thought I had forgotten :D

throw the queries out to the lions.. if you dont ask you don't get!!!

19-09-09, 23:22
Thanks Julie I think I will take your advice and throw out another person for the guys to help me with.

The person I have hit a brick wall with is Solomon Smith (senior). I have him on all the censuses. In the most recent of 1911 I have him age 40 with a birth place given as Heyford Northampton. In the 1901 I have him age 30 with a birth place as Shamford, Lincoln. In 1891 he is age 24 with a birth place again as Heyford Northampton and in 1881 he is age 16 with birth place Heyford. I have located his marriage certificate to Mary Ann Stokes on 25/12/1892 and his age is given as 22.

Therefore his birth may be around 1870/1871 given you would think the most recent censuses would have a more accurate record of his age. His occupation is given as bargeman, boatman and in 1892 is recorded as a labourer. The birth place Heyford is the most common.

His parents are listed as James Smith and Hannah Smith (maiden name unknown). Obviously with a name like James Smith it is unlikely I will get any further down the Smith line but it would be good to get some closure on Solomon.

Can anyone help with Solomon senior's birth of death records ?

Any help would be fantastic


19-09-09, 23:51

my first port of call would be to look in Heyford baptism records, if you cannot find a birth record, then maybe he was baptised instead of registered. Considering that the birth was in 1871/72 then it would not of come under the compulsory registration that took part in 1875.

so a baptism looks more likely, and solomon isnt exactly a common name is it?

Elaine ..Spain
20-09-09, 08:07
I think you have a problem here as I am not sure the family actually know (or remember) where Solomon was born!

I presume this is the 1881 census details that you have:

James Smith c 1821 Sharnton, Warwickshire - occ. boatman
Hannah Smith c1822 Wolverhampton, Staffordshire
Hannah Smith c 1863 West Bromwich, Staffordshire,
Solomon Smith c 1865 Heyford, Northamptonshire,

living on Canal Grain Boat, Coventry Holy Trinity, Warwickshire
RG11; Piece: 3071; Folio: 110; Page: 17

Trying to find this family in 1871 the closest I can come up with is:

James Smith c 1818 Shenstone Staffs - occ canal boat ??
Hannah Smith c 1824 Tipton Staffs
James Smith c 1854 Banbridge Cheshire
Hannah Smith c 1863 West Breenwick, Staffordshire
Solomon Smith c 1865 Weedon, Buckinghamshire

living on Canal at Darlaston, Staffs
RG10; Piece: 2956; Folio: 124; Page: 1

If this is the same family then you can see that Solomon is recorded as being born in Weedon. The registration district for Weedon is Aylesbury - but there is no registration listed.

20-09-09, 10:49
Just been doing a bit of a Google and found this address, which suggests another Weedon in Northampton - on a canal. Canalboat Holidays
The Boatyard, High Street, Weedon, NORTHAMPTON, NN7 4QD

Aylesbury does have the Grand Union canal, but I don't think it goes through the Weedon in Bucks - could be wrong though!

Chrissie Smiff
20-09-09, 10:51
I'm far from being one of the experts on here Steven, but this is my opinion, for what it's worth :Big Grin:

Firstly, I would have thought that the earlier birth dates would have been the closest. For instance, if that family that Elaine found in 1871 is the right one, and it certainly looks a good possibility, they would know the difference between a baby and a child of 5/6. It's harder to guess ages when you are older. Secondly, if they were travelling about on a canal boat he may very well not have been registered in the same place that he was born. When the parents were asked where he was born for the census they would no doubt give the place he was actually born, not the place he was registered (if he was actually registered.

Looking at the possible Solomon Smith births I think my first attempt would be the July-Sept 1865 in Walsall 6b 611, stipulating the parents as James Smith and Hannah. Walsall is Staffordshire but they do seem to have spent a bit of time there. I don't think this one is going to be easy but never give up.

Good luck :smilee:

Elaine ..Spain
20-09-09, 10:52
Have just checked Genuki and there is a Weedon Beck in Northamptonshire, registration district Daventry, and also a Weedon Lois, registration district Towcester.

So based on that what about this birth registration:
Births Jun 1866
SMITH Soloman
Daventry volume 3b, page 103

As Chrissie has suggested, whatever you order then I think you should put the parents' names as a checking reference - or better still why not apply through the local Register Office who generally seem to be more helpful (and lest costly) when you need confirmation you have the right certificate.

20-09-09, 10:59
Thanks guys.

Elaine I also have the 1871 census and agree with you that this must be them. I was very confused when they gave yet another place of birth. I might try the birth you have suggested.

Chrissie - I tried the Walsall birth a few months ago and it wasn't him unfortunately. The mother was different so looks like that one is a dead end. But thanks for your help.

This one looks like being a real hard one but will give it a bash.


Elaine ..Spain
20-09-09, 10:59
Just checking google maps. Weedon Beck is about two miles east of Nether Heyford.

20-09-09, 11:08
Elaine - I am sure that will be the right one! The canal goes right through Weedon Beck, but not through the other ones. They would have stayed on the barge - not got off and travelled to a village

20-09-09, 11:12
The canal runs from Nether Heyford to Weedon - roughly following the Weedon Road. She could have gone into labour between the two :0

Chrissie Smiff
20-09-09, 11:51
That birth that Elaine has given you looks good :smilee:

I assume you have them in 1861?
Class: RG9; Piece: 2041; Folio: 23; Page: 46; GSU roll: 542908

A boatman in Tipton on the Wharf.

James 40 born Shenstone
Hannah 40 born Wolverhampton
Mary Ann 15 "
Eliza 12 "
James 10 "
Thomas 8 born Bar Bridge Cheshire
Alfred 3 Born Northampton

20-09-09, 11:59
Thanks Elaine and Trina coming from Scotland my English geography is appalling!!

Re the comments made by some members regarding trying to verify parents before ordering a certificate how do you do this and who would you phone? I have traditionally tried to locate a likely birth, death or marriage certificate on line and then ordered the extract via GRO. To date I have only ordered about three incorrect certificates but if there is a way to do this and potentially verify before ordering that would be fantastic.

With my Scottish Ancestors it has been easier as you can redefine your searches by inputting parents names which then normally reduces any potential discoveries to one of two potential matches and in most cases just one match.

I suppose what is making it hard tracing Solomon is that by working on boats you would expect them to travel a lot which can complicate things. Thanks so much regarding the comments on Weedon. I was starting to think that the 1871 census was the wrong one but all the family names tied up so it must be right. I also never thought that the earlier censuses would have more correct estimates of birth but I suppose that would be right as it would be easier to guess a child's age that someone who is in their 30's or 40's.

So looks like I might go ahead and order the one Elaine suggests. Elaine do you know the date that is given as his date of birth. Thanks for the page and volume details.


20-09-09, 12:03
Chrissie thanks for the 1861 one I didn't have that. I was typing my other reply at the same time as you. My ancestry registration has run out so I can't print off the 1861 but I can jot the details down into my book so many thanks for that.


Elaine ..Spain
20-09-09, 12:11
Steven - re the date of birth, all you can tell from the registration details is that the birth was registered in the 2nd quarter of 1866. This means his date of birth could be anything from the latter part of February to the end of June - you had 42 days in which to register the birth so a late February birth could still be registered in the 2nd quarter.

I normally order from the GRO as it is the easiest and quickest way when you are living abroad! You will find that there is an option to add a checking reference. When you get to the page where you enter the name and registration details (district, volume, page number) - if you scroll down you will see a tab for Reference Checking. Click on that tab and enter whatever information you want to check the certificate against - in this case, if you want to, mother and father's names. I would recommend you keep any checking references to an absolute minimum. If one piece of information doesn't fit with the certificate then they wont send it. I must admit I rarely ask for a checking reference - I would rather take my chances with what I have ordered in the hope it's right .. and have only got one wrong one so far! - but with a name like Smith then I can see the benefits.

If the information you have given for a checking reference does not match then the GRO will email you and tell you. They will charge you £3 for the privilege of having checked it and told you it doesn't match and will refund you £4.

Your other option is to order from the relevant Register Office - in this case Northamptonshire. Most Register Offices charge the same for certificates, i.e. £7, but some charge a little bit more. Some are more helpful than others in that you can phone and weedle a bit more information out of them, such as "if I order this certificate of Soloman Smith will it show a father's name of James and a mother of Hannah". If it's no - then it hasn't cost you anything. I also believe a lot of Records Offices refund the whole amount of £7 if the checking reference doesn't match.

Note: the reference number you have for the GRO (which is the one I have given) is of no use when you order from a local Records Office.

Elaine ..Spain
20-09-09, 12:16
Looking at the list of Register Offices on the Northamptonshire page in the wiki (http://www.familytreeforum.com/wiki/index.php/Northamptonshire) it looks as if it is probably the Daventry one that you would need.

Daventry Register Office
Lodge Road
NN11 4FP

Tel: 01327 302209
Email: daventryro@northampton.gov.uk

Chrissie Smiff
20-09-09, 12:18
You are welcome Steven.
As regards the Daventry cert that Elaine found - if it were me I would start by e-mailing or telephoning the Daventry office and asking them how you can order the certificate for Solomon ONLY if the father and mother match. Some offices are brilliant and will be very helpful. They won't want the reference, only the names, quarter and Daventry.

Daventry The Register Office, Council Offices, Lodge Road, Daventry, NN11 4FP.
Tel: 01327 302209. E-mail: daventryro@northamptonshire.gov.uk

Chrissie Smiff
20-09-09, 12:19
Oops - I took so long to type all that Elaine had beaten me to it :Big Grin:

20-09-09, 19:27
I think I might just risk it and order the one Elaine recommended. As I said before I have only had 2 or 3 incorrect ones which isn't bad for the surname Smith!!!

Just glad that 2 generations had a more unusual name of Solomon rather than my name lof Steven which I guess would have meant I would have had no chance.

If I can get this right that would mean that I have traced both my paternal grandparents and great grandparents and a further generation back on my Stokes side - again thanks to a more unusual name of Ambrose Stokes which isn't half bad I feel. On my Scottish side I am back to around 1662 on one side and around 1700 on the other.

I must say however that the English side has been thoroughly enjoyable as I had no real family aside from my dad to help me and the boatman side of things has been very interesting.

I will let you know if its the right one in due course


01-10-09, 21:39
Elaine, Trina and Chrissie just a big thank you. I received the birth certificate for Soloman today and it was the right one yippee!!.

His father is listed as James with his occupation as boatman and I knew that these details were correct from various censuses and therefore knew that this certificate has to be the right one. Also the mother is listed as Hannah Clarke and I knew that Soloman's mother was Hannah but the maiden name is new information. The date of birth is 8/3/1866.

The information regarding Weedon and Heyford was spot one. I would never have known that both those places were on the same canal route and that Soloman was probably born on a barge in between the two places.

I think I have taken this side as far as I can as the names James Smith and Hannah Clarke would probably be like looking for a needle in a haystack at least with Soloman I had a chance!!! Incidently the spelling of Soloman is also different I thought it would have been the same as his son Solomon but it has an a at the end of it.

I managed to find out on another thread of the maternal side Stokes that my relatives were fully qualified boatmen (Ambrose and Samuel) but it looks like on the Smith side that although they worked for many years on the water they may not have been fully qualified watermen.

Anyway thank you again as I would not have got there without you all.


Elaine ..Spain
01-10-09, 21:53
Good news Steven.

Elaine ..Spain
01-10-09, 21:59
You say you don´t think you can go back on this one, but have you considered this as a possible marriage registration (listing from freeBMD)

Marriages Mar 1845
Perry John
Pooler Samuel
Smith James
Wall Beatrice
Walters James
WELCH Louisa

Wolverhampton 17 327

Marriage seems about the right time, looking at the listing of children in the 1861 census - and place looks good as Hannah was born in Wolverhampton.

Just a thought! :smilee:

02-10-09, 18:54
That is tempting Elaine and many thanks again. Do I need the volume and page number to order via gro? It does seem a very good call as Hannah was born in Wolverhampton according to the various censuses.

You are a whiz I must say!!!


Elaine ..Spain
03-10-09, 00:24
The reference is
March 1845
Wolverhampton, volume 17 page 327

I trust you realise that there is no guarantee that James Smith married Hannah Clarke. The FreeBMD list is produced in alphabetical order so until you order the certificate it is impossible to say who married who!

What you can do is to go through the 1851 census seeing if you can marry off the other males in the list to Amy, Beatrice and Louisa - which will leave you with James and Hannah as a pairing.

Any way, might be worth a gamble! :Wink:

03-10-09, 08:08
amy, louisa, and beatrice arnt common names, so youll have more luck pairing them off then say, jane, anne, sarah.

Elaine ..Spain
03-10-09, 12:11
Found a useful link in the wiki!
Wolverhampton History (http://www.wolverhamptonhistory.org.uk/resources/index.html?sid=628b24c37f27c29be4f2f85f5d824f3e)

Click on Family History
Scroll down and select Wolverhampton Female Marriages, surnames A-E - download pdf file

On page 40 you will find the following:

Marriage date 3 March 1845
James Smith - full age - bachelor - occupation boatman.
Father - W.Smith - occupation gardener

Hannah Clarke - full age - single
Father - J. Clarke - occupation boatman.

Marriage by banns.

Two names listed who I presume are witnesses:
George Jones
J. Biddulph Jr.

Geo Cottom - probably name of vicar

St. Peter's

(There is probably a grid somewhere which tells you what all the different columns are - but didn't have a good look for it!)

Well, that's saved you £7! :Big Grin:

Elaine ..Spain
03-10-09, 12:28
There are some baptism records on that site as well, download as pdf file.
Might be worth seeing if Hannah's baptism is there!

Elaine ..Spain
03-10-09, 13:25
... and the same information available on FreeREG - just goes to show it is worth keeping an eye on sites such as these!

James Smith / Hannah Clarke marriage (http://freereg.rootsweb.com/cgi/SearchResults.pl?RecordType=Marriages&RecordID=781800)

03-10-09, 13:34
Words fail me Elaine thank you so much thats just another generation you have found for me and saved me £7!!!!

I will have a look over the stuff later but just wanted to thank you first


03-10-09, 21:05
Hi Elaine can't find any baptism records for Hannah. Can find some Hannah Clarke's but the dates are too close to the marriage date of 1845.

However it was still great to find the date of marriage. Will try to see if I can find out any more from the Wolverhampton records.


25-04-10, 12:09
Would anyone have an ideas on how to find Hannah's birth? All I have is her marriage certificate which I ordered via gro to see if it had fathers full name. Unfortunately all it says is J Clarke occupation Boatman and that she was of full age when she married James Smith in 1841. Her husband James Smith was also noted as a Boatman and they maried in Wolverhampton on 3/3/1845. Can find Hannah and James on the 1861 census in Tipton I think it says in District of St Pauls at 2 Tipton Wharf. In 1871 they were living in Darlaston, Staffordshire.

Can't find them on 1851 census or cannot find either James or Hannah in 1841 (they would not have been maried then) when I have the Ancestry membership which recently lapsed. I suppose the 1841 census might give me Hannah's father and mothers names so this might be an even better option.

Any help would as always be greatly appreciated



12-05-10, 16:06
Wolverhampton - 30 Jul 1807 CLARKE Hannah daughter of John & Susannah 43450


I'm new to this, but having found a great Wolverhampton site already mentioned by Elaine and found some records I hadn't found elsewhere I thought I'd have a bash.
I think I understood what you were looking for and hope this entry fits the bill, if you haven't already got it



Val wish Id never started
12-05-10, 16:10
Steve will be pleased clever you

12-05-10, 21:25
Thanks for your help Les I had given up with this thread. The only issue I have is around the year 1807. According to the 1861 census Hannah is listed as age 40 which places her birth around 1821. The 1871 census has her listed as age 47 which places her birth around 1824 and the 1881 census has her listed as age 59 which places her birth around 1822.

I too had used the Wolverhampton site but just couldn't find a birth - what did the occupation of her father say? On her marriage cerificate dated 3/3/1845 its says her father is J Clarke occupation boatman - unfortunately her age is only listed "full age" which doesn't help.

Val helped me find Hannah on the 1841 census but her and her husband James (a boatman) and two children Eliza and Mary Ann are nowhere to be found. I know that they had a son James who was 10 in 1861 and his place of birth was Gailey but just cannot find them.

The difficulties I have is that I cannot find the birth of James Smith - but name is just too common I think. I think he was born Shenstone or Sharnton Warwick according to the censuses which means I don't know his parents. On the marriage certificate his father is listed as W Smith occupation gardner. Hannah is born Wolverhampton and all I have is father J Clarke occupation boatman.

I think this is definately my brick wall but thanks for your help


Val wish Id never started
12-05-10, 23:12
just a thought Steve but have you tried to find if she is listed in anyones tree on GR ??? there are a few Hannah Clarkes born round that time in that area on there.

13-05-10, 02:21
I might have got the last bit wrong.......but,

:clap:Got about 36 pages of his war record where he is recorded as Robert S Smith aged 18 and coming from the parish of Limehouse. He signs Robert Solomon Smith.
NOK, Isabel Ward (spinster) date of mariage 23 2 1918 at Holy Trinity, Mile End
An address is given as 94 St Annes road Burdett road, Mile End, London E. The records are partially damaged from the fire that destroyed so many, but this is not bad.

It's on ancestry....do you have an active account there? If you do just reverse his names and up it pops..

13-05-10, 07:52
Thanks Les Elaine got me sorted with that a while ago and it was SO interesting. It had his height, weight, eye colour, service record and even a reference to join the post office after the War. It was fantastic.

Val not sure about GR, hiw accurate is it?

It would be great to get back a further generation from James & Hannah both proving very difficult

Thanks again


08-02-19, 09:00
did you ever find a baptism for Hannah, Steven?

since your last visit so many more records have become available, so it might be worthwhile actually rechecking the info.