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Have I simply been looking in the wrong place?

Discussion in 'General Genealogical Queries' started by jorghes, Feb 20, 2020.

  1. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Member

    I've been searching for my 3x great grandfather, Henry Forbes, for a long time. I know a fair bit about him - he was a private in the 79th Cameron Highlanders, who served in Canada, Crimea and finally died in the Indian Mutiny Wars on 1 May 1858.

    He and his wife Jane married in 1853 while he was stationed at Edinburgh Castle and his children were born in 1854 (Portsmouth) and 1857 (Cheriton) while he was stationed at various barracks in England and between his service with his Regiment.

    However, I don't have any records of his birth or death - his death date is written into the margins of the Medal Roll for his Indian Mutiny Medal with Lucknow clasp (which we have in our archive).

    He also appears on the 1851 Army Index in Quebec, Canada (his service number mistranscribed as 2314 - on all other documents it's 2214). He has died (and his wife remarried) by the 1861 census.

    As I don't know his age at his death, and have no viable ideas about his age, I can't find him in the 1841 census. Admittedly, I have been looking in Scotland.

    Today, a user put a comment on his entry on Ancestry, which mentioned a newspaper article which included a "Letter from Leeds soldier", addressed to one Frederick Forbes, and signed, his affectionate brother, Henry Forbes, 2nd company, 79th Regiment. (apparently Frederick was a brush man).
    This afternoon I managed to find the article. The copy I have attached is from the Illustrated Berwick Journal from 6 Oct 1855, but it was present in several different papers around the same time - I have not found the original publishing within the Leeds Mercury.

    Does this suggest that perhaps I should have been looking in England rather than Scotland for Henry?

    A brief look at the medal rolls does not show any further Henry Forbes in the medal rolls, although I don't know if there is a different roll per company.

    I had a quick look at the 1851 and 1861 censuses for Frederick in Leeds, but didn't have any luck.

    So I put it to the venerable brains of the Forum... what do you think? Should I shift my search to Yorkshire and abandon Scotland?
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Susan48

    Susan48 LostCousins Star

    In 1841 a Frederick Forbes age 15, brushmaker, was living in St Johns Hill, St Cuthberts, Edinburgh with Widow Forbes, younger brother Henry age 10, and sister Euphemia. In 1851 Frederick and his wife Jesse and son James were still in Edinburgh at Campbells Close in the Canongate. His birthplace is given as Midlothian. In 1861 his family has grown and you can find him at RG09 3036 75 23. I found all these on Findmypast.
     
  3. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    In 1871 Fredrick & family are in Leeds - RG10 4514 138 34. So maybe he was also working there in 1855?

    Edit: I forgot to mention that the son Henry aged 17 is given as born in Leeds, so that does place the family there c1854.
     
  4. Susan48

    Susan48 LostCousins Star

    Omitted to mention above that in 1861 Frederick and family are in Rochdale, Lancashire - so not Leeds at that time. Also in 1861 son Henry's place of birth is given as York. Of course Leeds and York are not far apart.
     
  5. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    It looks to me like it says "Yorkshire Leeds" on the image.

    And there is a baptism for him in Leeds in 1854.
     
  6. Susan48

    Susan48 LostCousins Star

    You're quite right, Pauline. As always, it pays to look at the image which I had omitted to do.
     
  7. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Superstar

    The original article in the Leeds Mercury of 27 Sept 1855 can be found in the newspaper section of FindMyPast. The text is exactly the same as the copy posted above, except that it says the letter 'arrived in Leeds yesterday'.

    Looks to me as if Frederick was living in Leeds in 1855, but to describe his brother Henry as a 'Leeds soldier' could be misleading. From other posts it looks like the family were from Edinburgh.
     
  8. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    Since it looks like the brother Frederick was in Leeds when this letter was written, maybe that is what the newspaper used as a basis for their claim that Henry was a "Leeds soldier". And as Frederick appears to have been born in Scotland then it's probably worth continuing to search for the family there, while not discounting a possible Leeds connection.

    The 1841 census entry in Edinburgh that Susan found looks very promising.
     
  9. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Member

    Thank you so much ladies!

    I concur with the above findings, and as such have traced Frederick until his death in 1875. It looks as if he and his wife bounced around a lot, as their first son, James, was born in Staffordshire, and we have the before mentioned links to Lancashire and Yorkshire. Frederick and his wife also died in Hunslet, so Yorkshire must have been a place they liked.

    this did give me my Henry Forbes in the 1841 census, since I would have to presume that’s him with Frederick and Euphemia, but such a shame it only lists his mother as “Widow”, since I am still struggling to find a matching set of baptism records for the family on ScotlandsPeople.

    Hopefully adding this information may take me to some DNA links who might have ideas to whom their parents are... or maybe I can find a marriage or death record in Scotland for Euphemia.
     
  10. Susan48

    Susan48 LostCousins Star

    This may help, Jorghes. Euphemia Forbes married Donald Farmer at St Cuthbert's, Edinburgh, on 27 May 1850. The bride's father is given as James Forbes. St Cuthbert's is the parish where the family were living in 1841, and Frederick named his eldest son James. The record is on Findmypast.
    In 1861 Donald and Euphemia are still living in the same part of Edinburgh, now with 5 children, the youngest named Henry. Their eldest daughter is named Mary Peat Farmer. Could Peat be the maiden surname of Euphemia's mother?
     
  11. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Member

    Thanks Susan, I've been tracing Euphemia, and her death register in 1897 gives her father as James Forbes (Tailor) and her mother as Mary Peat. (Henry was listed as an apprentice tailor in 1841, and one of the records for one of his children gives Henry's occupation as a tailor, which was incorrect, but this may have been where it came from)

    I found an applicable death register for a Mary Peat, widow of James Forbes, tailor, on ScotlandsPeople, in 1850, and a death register for a James Forbes, tailor in 1838.

    Unfortunately, I can't find any baptisms for Frederick, Henry or Euphemia, nor any marriages for James and Mary (or clearly obvious baptisms for them). According to their death registers, James was born in approx 1786 and Mary in approx 1781. Given they were both in their 40s for Frederick, Henry and Euphemia's births, it suggests to me that there could be more older children who have left home before 1841.

    But without discovering the baptisms, it makes it increasingly difficult to find them!
     
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1

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