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Thread: Family Mystery

  1. #1

    Family Mystery

    Hello Everyone,

    This is my first post and I'm hoping someone will be able to help me please.

    I'm fairly new to researching my tree and have come up against a brick wall already . I've discovered that my great-grandfather went missing after 1911. He was a mariner and quite simply did not return home. My great-grandmother then married his brother in 1921 - having in the meantime two children with him.
    Until recently I believed that my great-grandfather was 'lost at sea'. However, recently a member of my family has told me that she believes he just went missing. I hope this doesn't seem a silly question, but how can I find out what happened to him please?

    Many Thanks,


  2. #2
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    The Netherlands
    Hallo Katerina,

    Have you tried searching marriage and death registrations on FreeBMD Home Page? You could see if he perhaps remarried between 1911 and 1930 (freebmd indeces go up to 1930) or perhaps he died. Another option would be to search Passenger Lists on Findmypast or Ancestry to see if he perhaps emigrated.

    If you need more help with a search let me know - you can PM me via this site and I'll see what I can do for you.

    Best wishes,

  3. #3
    Thank you for your reply Rebecca. I have searched Free BMD - to no avail.
    I hadn't thought of him emmigrating to be honest - will look into that - thank you


  4. #4
    Hello Katerina and welcome to FTF.

    What does it say on the marriage cert in 1921? Is his wife a widow, or what?


  5. #5
    Member Little Nell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    North Hertfordshire
    Hallo Katerina and welcome

    Mariners are tricky. I have 3 gt x 2 uncles who just disappear. No deaths, no emigrations, no censuses. There was a family story about 3 brothers who all drowned in a fishing accident. But as fishermen are often away at census time and not enumerated, I can't narrow down when this incident was likely to have happened, if it did.

    Lots of fishermen were drowned at sea, bodies not washed up until much later, by which time they were unrecognisable. The churches around the coast are full of burials of unknown men.

    Of course your man might have just upped sticks, changed his name, committed bigamy...

    It's very frustrating not to have more of a clue. Maybe you will find the answer one day.
    ~ with love from Little Nell~
    Chowns, Dunt, Emms, Mealing, Purvey & Smoothy

  6. #6
    Thank you for your replies and warm welcome Olde Crone Holden and Little Nell

    The marriage cert does state 'widow'. However, the grand-daughter of my great-grandfather's brother, says that the family had investigated the possibilty of an accident etc and had drawn a blank.


  7. #7
    Member guybrush's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Christchurch, Dorset
    Hi Katerina,

    Have you searched local newspaper archives? There might be some on microfilm in the local library.

  8. #8
    Member Uncle John's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    The Overseas Birth Marriage and Death records on, School Registers, US Civil War Roll of Honor, Family Search, Family Tree, Family History, Genealogy includes deaths at sea and is free to access. It can be a bit tricky to navigate as each index is in a different format.
    Uncle John

  9. #9
    Thank you guybrush and Uncle John for your suggestions - will certainly follow them up



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