Searching for Relatives - please help!

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Grownup_Rafbrat, Oct 9, 2010.

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  1. Grownup_Rafbrat

    Grownup_Rafbrat LE Book Reviewer Good Egg (charities)

    I was impressed by the help offered to the Aussie arrser who was looking for his rellies on here, and hope someone can help me with my quest!

    My grandfather, Frank Long, was born in Midhurst, Sussex in the 4th quarter of 1900. Like many lads of his age, he joined up, I think Sussex Regt and I think in 1916. He stayed in the Army after hostilities ended, and married my grandmother, Amy, the daughter of a Sgt Albert W Higgins of the Royal Irish Rifles (possibly!), in the fourth quarter of 1932.

    One of their sons, George, born first quarter of 1900, was posted missing believed killed at Dunkirk, but had in fact survived. He died in the 1970s.

    I know the Higgins family moved to Eastney, Portsmouth in 1912 on return from service in India, which complicates the issue in that some of the children may have been born abroad.

    I'm using '' but all it seems to show is index entries, so I can't see the marriage certificate to confirm Sgt Higgins' details, which would lead me to his children, and detailed birth records for Uncle George. It points you at certificates to buy at £9.25 each, but I want to be sure it's the right ones! The site seems to be great at telling you what you already know, but hopeless for linking people born before 1911.

    My main interest is the service records of the three gentlemen, but I'm also interested to know details for Albert's daughers Iris, Doris and Amy, all of whom went into service. Doris ended up as cook at Wilton House, Amy had five children, one of whom died of sandfly fever in Malta, and Iris never married; being the youngest she returned home from service to look after her father and brother.

    Albert may have been widowed and married again. His first wife may have been Mary Jane Kitt born 1871 Aveton Gifford, Devon, but I'd like to confirm that!

    Can anyone help me to find information which is more useful than the indexes, or point me at a site which has more information?
  2. Ancestry is OK but can be expensive. I would suggest that, if you have his full name, Regt and service number, try the National Archives site. For a start of, they'll point you to his Medal Index Card (MIC). Those things give quite a bit of info and can lead to other docs held online.

    The 1911 thing? It's the National Census, dear. So that means he should be mentioned in the 1901 at least.

    If no one here can help (and I'm sure there is) try your question at : ask the same question and you'll get a good response, particularly because of the military aspect.

    Good Luck

    PS: sadly, you'll have to pay for all online docs and look-ats.
  3. Rafbrat:

    Not sure if you have Mormons in the UK but here in the US there are a fair number. I have a cousin who has been working hard on my family history and she has gotten a fair amount of research done at a local Mormon church (or perhaps Temple). I am not sure why but it is apparently important in Mormon theology to identify your ancestors and the churches have copied to microfilm vast amounts of data and records from courts and town halls all over the world. From what my cousin said the research and docs were free and the lady at the temple was helpful. She did give them some sort of donation when she was done. They had lots of helpful records despite the fact that all the ancestors were Irish and RC.

    Hope this helps. Just remember though, if you convert the rules are no alcohol, tobacco, coffee or tea.

    By the way, if they did not have the needed documents they sent to Salt Lake City and the films arrived in a week or so.
  4. Grownup_Rafbrat

    Grownup_Rafbrat LE Book Reviewer Good Egg (charities)

    Thanks, fourzerocharlie.

    I don't have full information for any of them, just snippets, sadly. I was hoping to find a birth certificate, which would lead to parents' whereabouts at the time of birth, marriage lines and other children. You're right about the price of research though. They don't tell you until they have your money just how limited the info is.

    I think the Higgins family was in India in 1911. Not sure they'd appear in a census, therefore. As to the 1901 I don't know where they were living. Dead ends everywhere.

    I'll look in on the medal forum. Many thanks.
  5. Grownup_Rafbrat

    Grownup_Rafbrat LE Book Reviewer Good Egg (charities)

    We do have Mormons here, and I believe their website is accessible to all. Thank you.

    Won't be converting - alcohol, coffee and tea form major parts of my diet!
  6. Grownup_Rafbrat

    Grownup_Rafbrat LE Book Reviewer Good Egg (charities)

    Wow! Interesting place. Seems to be requests for alive-people, but worth a try. Many thanks!
  7. Grownup_Rafbrat,

    Try here in the first instance:

    The Long, Long Trail

    and if you get stuck or need advice then go to this one - it's free to join:

    Great War Forum

    Happy hunting!

  8. Grownup_Rafbrat

    Grownup_Rafbrat LE Book Reviewer Good Egg (charities)

    Thank you, Berlin.

    I'm beginning to understand why researchers charge so much. So many sources, so little time!
  9. I know but there is a wealth of good and free advice on the Great War Forum!
  10. Grownup_Rafbrat

    Grownup_Rafbrat LE Book Reviewer Good Egg (charities)

    It was much easier to find my other Grandad, whose medals I had, and who left the army in January 1920. Even his records cards (a bit charred) are still there.

    It seems that this Grandad's records may not have been released yet, as he stayed in, and his record cards were burned. I guess 'L' was in the wrong part of the filing system!
  11. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    I have been able to confirm your people are available in Ancestry. The account is my wife's and I didn't find anything military before she swapped TVs (and I had to change computer).

    You have a PM.
  12. You appear to be a little muddled, GURB, and will have to sort out your Higgins from your Longs...!

    Marriages Dec 1897 (>99%)
    HIGGINS Albert Thomas W Portsea 2b 1174
    Kitt Mary Jane Portsea 2b 1174

    These are the potential births. Maiden names were not identified in the indices until post-1911:

    Births Mar 1897 (>99%)
    Higgins Daisy Elizabeth K Portsea 2b 483
    Births Jun 1897 (>99%)
    Higgins Herbert John Portsea 2b 414
    Births Sep 1897 (>99%)
    Higgins Elsie Gladys Portsea 2b 421
    Births Sep 1898 (>99%)
    HIGGINS John George Portsea 2b 427
    Births Sep 1899 (>99%)
    Higgins George Edward L Portsea 2b 430
    Births Mar 1901 (>99%)
    HIGGINS Samuel Portsmouth 2b 446
    Births Mar 1902 (>99%)
    Higgins Olive Florence Portsmouth 2b 387
    Births Jun 1902 (>99%)
    Higgins Violet Cave Portsmouth 2b 495
    Births Mar 1903 (>99%)
    Higgins James Frederick Portsmouth 2b 462
    Higgins Thomas William Portsmouth 2b 529
    Births Jun 1903 (>99%)
    HIGGINS Vera May Portsmouth 2b 461
    Births Sep 1903 (>99%)
    Higgins Ivy Maude Portsmouth 2b 465
    Births Sep 1904 (>99%)
    Higgins Daisy Elizabeth Portsmouth 2b 491
    Higgins Winifred Ellen Portsmouth 2b 530
    Births Jun 1906 (>99%)
    Higgins Frederick Joseph Portsmouth 2b 491
    Births Sep 1906 (>99%)
    Higgins Charles James E Portsmouth 2b 463
    Higgins Helen Mary Portsmouth 2b 448
    Births Dec 1907 (>99%)
    HIGGINS Violet Margaret Portsmouth 2b 454
    Births Mar 1909 (>99%)
    HIGGINS Wilfred Francis Portsmouth 2b 405
    Births Sep 1909 (>99%)
    HIGGINS Mabel Jane Portsmouth 2b 401
    HIGGINS Phoebe Portsmouth 2b 375
    HIGGINS Sydney Frederick Portsmouth 2b 420
    Births Dec 1909 (>99%)
    Higgins Evelyn Mabel Portsmouth 2b 433
    Births Mar 1910 (>99%)
    HIGGINS Flora Violet Portsmouth 2b 368

    As these were all born before the 1911 census, you will be able to quickly work out the various families and ditch the ones you don't want.

    Now for the other side of the family:

    Births Dec 1900 (>99%)
    Long Frank Midhurst 2b 353

    Marriages Dec 1932 (>99%)

    Higgins Amy F K Long Portsmouth 2b 1466
    Long Frank Higgins Portsmouth 2b 1466

    Children to Long/Higgins from 1932 to 1940

    Births Dec 1933 (>99%)
    LONG Brian F Higgins Chichester 2b 480
    Births Jun 1936 (>99%)
    Long Shirley P Higgins Chichester 2b 556
    Births Sep 1937 (97%)
    Long Malcolm Higgins Bradford 9b 264
    Births Mar 1938 (>99%)
    Long Maureen Higgins Aldershot 2c 293
    Births Sep 1938 (>99%)
    Long Valerie A Higgins Luton 3b 558

    There is more than one breeding Long/Higgins family around this time which complicates matters. However, given that the pair married in Portsmouth, it is fair to assume that the two children born in Chichester are likely to be theirs. You will have to buy the certificates.

    FreeBMD Home Page is not complete and the absence of a record does not mean that the event never happened!

    Don't jump around! Work from the records and work logically. Be aware that the registrars were dependant on people being honest; ages at death and on marriage are rarely accurate. My grandfather aged 42 married a 19 year old girl... but the certificate shows that he was 32 and she was 29!

    Right, now to sort out the Middle East!

  13. Sorry... forgot this branch.

    This gentleman has a popular name which is always a problem. However, the Frank Longs were well distributed around the country so, taking a guess based on what you have told us, I would have a closer look at this one:

    Marriages Dec 1921 (>99%)
    Long Frank Sandham Portsmouth 2b 1330

    Right age, right area and he doesn't use a middle initial. No guarantees, though!

    I have tried to kill off Mary Long nee Sandham but she isn't obvious (but the index may not be complete). This was the 1930s when divorce was possible only for the wealthy so they could have agreed to part, or he (she) did a runner.

    Have you tried logging onto Genes Reunited They ask for your inside leg measurements but I am certain that you can be creative!