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Thread: How do I find out who my disinherited Gt Gt Grandad 'John Smith' really was?

  1. #1

    How do I find out who my disinherited Gt Gt Grandad 'John Smith' really was?

    ***I've also posted this on Ancestry.co.uk where I keep my family tree***

    The family story is that my Great Great Grandad, George Edward 'Smith', was one of two brothers. Their mother had died and their Dad's new wife wanted her children to inherit the estate. He paid them £3k each (a small fortune in the late 1800s). One gambled his money away, and Great Great Grandad stumped up his share as security on him. Then, George's brother ran away to Australia, and poor old George lost the lot.


    In the meantime, he had been carrying on an affair with the wife of one of the tenants on the estate. She was called Catherine, and was beautiful, already had several children, older than him, and her hubby George Hobby drank and was abusive to her. Eventually she ran off with her lover George. They went on to have several children of their own, and lived on a small holding where he was a farmer. I am not sure when this happened timewise, but likely between 1890-1900. I'm not sure if he had already been disinherited and lost his payoff money, or if running off with Catherine put the final nail in the coffin.


    The story is not that old - my Grandma Kathleen Thirza Cook spoke of it several times, and she knew the people involved as they were her immediate family. My Great Uncle V J Cook researched the family tree in the 80's/90's and found the house he was from and had a photograph of a large H plan B&W building, but since my Grandma has died I have lost contact with him.


    I have started with my Grandma and worked backwards. The story checks out. My Great Great Grandma Catherine (maiden name Wooding) lived with George Hobby at Gatchapin Cottage in Much Marcle, then is listed as living with 'George Smith' elsewhere in Hereford as his wife, with several Smith children and Frederick Hobby, from her previous marriage. I can't find anything to back up that they were ever officially married.


    I can trace backwards from Catherine's side and even from her ex-husband, but I have a brick wall with George. Nothing! Not one clue. I checked the birth year he gave and Much Marcle for a George Edward Smith, but there is nothing listed. I tried 'George Edward' for the birth year in Much Marcle and didn't get anything either.


    How do I trace back, if he had taken on a different surname? Could families destroy all trace and records of a person back then?


    The one clue I have is Gatchapin Cottage, where Catherine lived with her hubby. How would I find out who owned the estate back then? The obvious answer would be Gatchapin farm, but this is a brick building. Nearby large B&W timber framed buildings include a hall 2m from the farm, and Brockhampton House (or Court?) - although this is 5/6m away, which was quite a trek back then? The closest place is on a C plan, not an H plan, and the further one was originally and H plan but later redesigned to a different shape. In other words, nothing quite fits, and I'm not sure how to go back. My Great Uncle managed it, but I don't know if he is alive or dead, and certainly wouldn't know how to contact him or his family.


    Any help from members in knowing how to trace living rellies (to contact, or trace his children to see if they have the research he did) or suggestions on how to work with tracing back disinherited lines would be greatly appreciated.


    I'm pretty sure that the story lies in Much Marcle, close to Gatchapin Cottage, as he would have had to live nearby to keep up an affair.


    Feel free to check out my tree if the story rings any bells you can help me with ��

    Sorry Tamar but I have had to remove your great uncles full name as I can't find a death for him and we don't allow the names of living/possibly living people to be posted. If we later discover that he is deceased I can replace it.
    Last edited by Chrissie Smiff; 14-09-15 at 20:27.

  2. #2
    Member larkspur's Avatar
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    On the 1891 census Gatchapin Cottage mistranscribed as HOBLEY Class: RG12; Piece: 2053; Folio: 85; Page: 7; GSU roll: 6097163

    George Hobbey aged 37, Catherine wife aged 37, Frederick son aged 8, Elizabeth dau aged 3 and Annie dau aged 1.
    The children are all registered with the Hobbey surname, I think you need to send for one of the birth certificates.It seems Catherine may have left George Hobbey later than you thought....either that or she never married Mr Smith and the children were registered under her name only.
    Births Jun 1883
    HOBBEY Frederick George Ledbury 6a 475
    Births Sep 1887
    HOBBEY Elizabeth Alma Ledbury 6a 466
    Births Dec 1890
    Hobbey Annie Caroline Ledbury 6a 401
    Births Dec 1891
    Hobbey Edwin Benjamin Ledbury 6a 443
    Births Mar 1895
    Hobbey Violet Louisa Ledbury 6a 468
    Births Mar 1896
    Hobbey Selina Margaret Ledbury 6a 426

  3. #3
    Member larkspur's Avatar
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    Marriages Sep 1908
    HEWLETT Frederick Monmouth 11a 92
    HOBBY Catherine Monmouth 11a 92
    RUDGE Elizabeth Kate Monmouth 11a 92
    SMITH Edward George Monmouth 11a 92
    I think you need to send for this marriage certificate.

  4. #4
    Member ozgirl's Avatar
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    This looks like them in 1911 - he is down as Edward George, born in Stroud, now living in Blakeney Glos. With wife Catherine and 7 children, saying they had been married 21 years.

    http://interactive.ancestry.co.uk/23...l=ReturnRecord
    Linda

    My avatar is my Grandmother Carolina Meulenhoff 1896 - 1955

  5. #5
    Member larkspur's Avatar
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    Marriages Sep 1908
    HEWLETT Frederick Monmouth 11a 92
    HOBBY Catherine Monmouth 11a 92
    RUDGE Elizabeth Kate Monmouth 11a 92
    SMITH Edward George Monmouth 11a 92
    I think you need to send for this marriage certificate.
    Looks like George Smith & Catherine might have waited until the death of Mr Hobbey.

  6. #6
    Member larkspur's Avatar
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    http://trees.ancestry.co.uk/tree/737...on/42487136928

    Link to Tamar' s tree, most of the census details are on there.

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