William WILLIAMS is one of those ancestors that drove me crazy while hunting for him. I had the birth certificates of all 4 of his children and his marriage certificate but still found myself stuck in quicksand with no way out. That is until I started to lock at what I knew and trying to think logically.
What I knew:
- 18 Nov 1912 William WILLIAMS aged 22, an Engineman, son of John WILLIAMS a Fitter married Edith Florence STEPHENS aged 22, daughter of John STEVENS deceased, at The Parish Church (St Cattwg's), Gellygear, Glamorgan, Wales. Witnesses were: Elsie WILLIAMS (relationship unknown) and Isaiah STEPHENS (brother to Edith).
- 15 Aug 1913 William's first child is born in Pengam (Glanynant), Glamorgan, Wales and registered by Edith who gives William's occupation as Colliery Engingeman (above ground).
- 15 Sep 1915 William's second child is born in Pengam (Glanynant), Glamorgan, Wales and registered by Edith who gives William's occupation as Colliery Engingeman (above ground)
- 1 Oct 1915 William's third child is born in Pengam (Glanynant), Glamorgan, Wales and registered by William who gives his occupation as Colliery Engingeman (above ground)
- 20 Sep 1916 William's forth child is born in Pengam (Glanynant), Glamorgan, Wales and registered by Edith who gives William's occupation as Colliery Engingeman (above ground)
What I wanted to know:
- Was William recorded on the 1911 Census? if so, where?
- What was the name of William's mother?
- Did William have any siblings? if so, what were their names?
Since William married in 1912 and his wife had only every been recorded as living in area of Glamorganshire, Wales I thought it seemed likely that William would have been staying relatively local in 1911 when the census was taken (assuming he wasn't visiting someone in other areas on census night). Also if William was 22 in 1912 his year of birth would be 1890 give or take.
Trying an exact search provided 94 results, 49 in England and 45 in Wales.
|Extract of Ancestry.com Search results for 1911 Wales Census of William WILLIAMS|
|Ancestry.com 1911 Wales census results for William WILLIAMS narrowed to expected parish.|
At his point I decided that I needed more information; cue a visit to my grandfather to ask questions. Armed with what I knew. As I prompted for information I received little nuggets such as "he was from Cowbridge or Bridgend" and "He had a brother Uncle Danny and I think another was Uncle Lewis or Louie!". BINGO! I had something to help - and would you believe it the William born in Cowbridge above was the right one?
|Abstract of 1911 Wales Census for William WILLIAMS from Ancestry.com|
I know not only knew what William's mother was called but also who Elsie Williams from the marriage certificate was likely to be. From the Census image I also now knew that William was one of 12 children born to Margaret and John during their 35 years of marriage. Of these 12 children, 8 were alive at the time of the census. Looking at the previous censuses, I can account for 9 of the 12 children and see that the family moved from Cowdridge to Barry between 1891 and 1901 then from Barry to Pengam between 1901 and 1911. This migration is consistent with the changes in industry at the time.
I have still to obtain William's birth certificate, but at least I can see the light and have pulled myself out of the quicksand with my Grandfather's rope. I also want to locate the 3 missing siblings and find out what happened to them.