Thursday, 16 June 2016

Week 24: What ever happened to……

It is not unusual to fail to find any supporting documents for an ancestor back in the 1600 – 1800’s. With the 1841 census through to the 1911 census it is so much easier to track our ancestors.  Sometimes when I can’t find a document for the ancestor, I look to see if they emigrated and check for documents in Canada, Australia or the Unites States.  And sometimes, it is like the missing ancestor has dropped off the face of the earth.

Most of the time, I am not bothered to look any further, but this time, I just found one heck of a large carat! 

One of the advantages of having a tree on ancestry.com is the hints.  This could lead to new records for your ancestor.  The only problem with this is you have to be careful because at least a quarter of the hints given are not for your ancestor.   So because I deleted my tree and re-added it – all the hints came back.  5000+ of them.  So at this point I don’t know if they are new or not and the only way to figure it out is to go through them all.  Yeeegad!!!!!  I am systematically going through the hints alphabetically and I have found a couple of new things, which can then lead to more searching.  And this particular extra searching result is blog worthy!

Gladys May Palin was born in 1908 in Handbridge, Cheshire to George Ernest Palin and May Arkinstall.  I could find her birth record (one of the hints) and could also find her in the 1911 census. Gladys’s mother died in 1913 when Gladys would have only been five years of age and she had 2 younger sisters. That must have been tough for George!  George then remarried Rhoda Ann Tilston in 1916 and they had a daughter the following year.

Gladys father, George died in 1936 and she would have been 28.  Her step mother remarried in 1939 to a George W Dentith and the daughters were not living with them as seen in the 1939 Registry.
I went looking for a marriage for Gladys - none found.

I went looking for a death certificate – none found.

So then I went looking for emigration/travel documents.  BINGO!!!!  It seems like our Gladys was working as a child’s nurse for a family and coming back to England in 1951.  

I did not think much of it – but then it dawned on me who the family was.  Mr. Harry Oppenheimer, was chairman of De Beer’s Diamonds!!!! 

So if Gladys was a child’s nurse and the Oppenheimer children, Mary and Nicky, were born in the 40’s, does that mean Grace was living with them in Africa?  I went looking to see if I could find any other travel documents and none were found.  I even looked for travel documents for the Oppenheimer children and found another one in 1958, but Gladys was not with them.
Little Mary Oppenheimer presented the De Beers diamond to Princess Elizabeth

Could Gladys have stayed in Africa?  According to the above travel documents, England was not the intended permanent place of residence.  Could she have married in Africa?  Could she have died there?

Imagine the stories she could tell!





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