The mother's maiden name appearing on the GRO England birth indexes prior to 1911 is helping to locate children and solve mysteries.
I knew from the 1901 census that Edward Hannam was married to Martha and that they appeared to have five children
Source: Findmypast.com.au - Archive reference RG13 / Piece number 188 / Folio 5 / Page 2
Hannam is one of those surnames that has lots of variants, both from how it is pronounced and written down and how all the "ups and downs" in the middle of the name are transcribed.
It was relatively easy to find Edward William Hannam marrying Martha Maud North in the September Quarter 1891 in the Holborn Registration district. That did however mean that the daughter, Elizabeth Hannam aged 14 in the 1901 census was born around 1887 i.e. before their marriage.
So I looked for Martha North in the 1891 census and found her as a widow with three children including Elizabeth.
Source: Findmypast.com.au - Archive reference RG12 / Piece number 178 / Folio 44 / Page 12
So we now know that Martha marries a Mr North, and has children from around 1882.
Searching the England & Wales marriage indexes with the following criteria gave me 30 possible marriages. A few to many to work through and as a sideline to my research I was unlikely to buy any certificates to sort this out.
I had worked out that Elizabeth was probably Elizabeth Martha M North with a birth registered in the Dec Qtr 1886 in the Islington Registration District, but there were far too many Ellen Norths and Harry Norths (not to mention the option of Henry North) to work through.
So that's how it has sat in my genealogical program, with an unknown maiden name for Martha and an unknown first name for Mr North, for the last few years.
GRO Online Birth Index
With the advent of the GRO Online index giving a mother's maiden name for births prior to 1911 it was time to solve some mysteries.
First up a search for Elizabeth North born in 1886.
First thing I noticed was the full name including Maud as a middle name. The new indexes have been re-indexed from the birth registrations not the indexes to the registrations that have been available for researchers i.e. there may be more information and you may get full middle names instead of initials.
But most importantly the missing maiden name for Martha Maud... Reid.
A search of the England & Wales marriage indexes shows that a marriage of Martha Maud Reid to James North was registered in the Dec Qtr 1884 in Pancras registration district. But note the year... does that mean Ellen North born 1882 is from another relationship (a mystery to solve at another time)?
There's a good chance that Harry North is actually Henry George Washington North (what a great name).
But it's the Hannam children that I'm more interested in; Minnie, Ada, Lily & Rose
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