Multiple marriages - example of Steady/Swan

+1 vote

I have a (probable!) relative Ronald Wilfred Steady, born in 1920 in Tendring, Essex, mother's maiden name Swan.

Now I'd normally look for a Swan/Steady marriage in the area to find the parents. But in this case I can't find one.

Which makes me wonder if Swan had been married before ... i.e she was Swan, married Mr. X, then Mr. Steady. So I'd need to look for a Steady/X marriage around the right time in the right area.

So I've tried looking at all the Steady marriages in that time in that area, and all the Swan marriages trying to look for a common man but to no avail.

Is there a standard approach for trying to do this? Many people must something like this I'm sure!

Thanks in advance,

p.s. if anyone can find out who the Swan/Steady parents were then I'd be even happier :)

WikiTree profile: Ronald Steady
in Genealogy Help by Matt Steady G2G2 (2.9k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith
Wow thanks for all that Eddie! Yes that death record is him. However I think there are TWO Ronald Steadys. This one (Swan mother) was born in 1920, and the one you've found there is 1922. Confusingly both in the same area of Essex too. I've researched that family well - he was born to Albert and Maggie as you've said, and died in 2011. It's the 1920 that is eluding me somewhat. This is the 1939 record that I found that matched up with the 1920 birth date on the death record:

:1939 - bricklayer, living with the Butler family at 70 Westholme Road, Ipswich<ref name='tn'>1939 Register of England and Wales

Ref: RG101/6603D/003/30 Letter Code: TVBT

© Findmypast Ltd</ref>

::{| border="1"

|First name(s)||Last name(s)||DOB||Sex||Occupation||Marital status


|Arthur J||Butler||22 Sep 1909||Male||Coach Fitter (Trolley Bus) & Driver||Married


|Doris K||Butler||23 Nov 1909||Female||Unpaid Domestic Duties||Married


|Donald G||Welch||13 Mar 1926||Male||At School||Single


|Philip E||Greenaway||21 Jan 1926||Male||At School||Single


|Ronald W||Steady||13 Sep 1920||Male||Bricklayer||Single


Which is unfortunate because he'd left home (or parents had died) by that time - he was 19.

Again, thank you for your hard work!
I'll change my answers to comments and hide them so other members won't be confused with the misinformation

1 Answer

+1 vote
Best answer

How about this combination:

Annie Swan married Charles George Drane in 1904, the marriage was registered in Saffron Walden, Essex. Source: "England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005," database, FamilySearch ( : 22 May 2014), Annie Swan, 1904; from "England & Wales Marriages, 1837-2005," database, findmypast ( : 2012); citing 1904, quarter 3, vol. 4A, p. 1519, Saffron Walden, Essex, England, General Register Office, Southport, England.

Annie Drane married William P Steady in 1919, the marriage was registered in Tendring, Essex. Source: "England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005," database, FamilySearch ( : 13 December 2014), Annie Drane and null, 1919; from "England & Wales Marriages, 1837-2005," database, findmypast ( : 2012); citing 1919, quarter 3, vol. 4A, p. 2012, Tendring, Essex, England, General Register Office, Southport, England.

In the 1939 register, Annie Steady and William Steady are living in Brightlingsea, Essex and Annie's date of birth is given as 30 September 1883 - free-to-view image at

In the 1911 census Annie Drane wife of Charles George Drane is said to be born in about 1884 in York. Source: "England and Wales Census, 1911," database, FamilySearch ( : 22 July 2019), Annie Drane in household of Charles George Drane, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, England, United Kingdom; from "1911 England and Wales census," database and images, findmypast ( : n.d.); citing PRO RG 14, The National Archives of the UK, Kew, Surrey.

There was an Annie Swan who was born on 30 September 1883 and baptised on 14 October 1883 in York. Source: "England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975", database, FamilySearch ( : 21 March 2020), Annie Swan, 1883.

by Paul Masini G2G6 Pilot (142k points)
selected by Matt Steady

Oh amazing work!

Now you've said it - I've actually got Annie Drane and William Steady already in my tree! but I hadn't found the Swan connection - I'd assumed that she was a Drane and I couldn't find her birth certificate. It also fits in nicely because William is the son of a Gallant, who's great granddaughter (I think) is the lady I was talking to who mentioned Ronald in the first place. 

Blooming wonderful! Thank you very much.

And I guess the only other to ask ... how did you piece that together? It looks "obvious" in hindsight, but it just isn't when you've only got the first piece of the puzzle. Why did you think that the Steady/Drane was the one to go with? Or just a case of trial and error and I missed it? I'd love to get better at that for sure.

Thanks everyone that's helped - I greatly appreciate it,


Glad I was able to help.

I started out looking for other Steady children with a Swan mother and saw that Ronald was their first child. From that I guessed that they probably married not long before he was born in 1920, so the Steady/Drane marriage in 1919 in the same place as he was born looked the most promising.

Having found Annie's date of birth from the 1939 register I then looked for an Annie Swan/Drane marriage in Essex between 1900 and 1919. In hindsight it was lucky that her first marriage actually was in Essex given that she was born in York. The fact that her baptism record had a precise date of birth that matched the 1939 register was also a stroke of luck.

By the way, did you notice that in the 1939 register Annie's married daughter Ivy, from her first marriage, is living with William and Annie (just for a bit of extra proof)?

Just to complete the picture, Annie's first husband died in 1912 in Biggleswade. Source: "England and Wales Death Registration Index 1837-2007," database, FamilySearch ( : 31 December 2014), Charles G Drane, 1912; from "England & Wales Deaths, 1837-2006," database, findmypast ( : 2012); citing Death, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, England, General Register Office, Southport, England.

Nice work! Also in that census is Ivy's daughter Kathleen. Ivy's husband Albert Leonard Castleton was in Wandsworth, London in 1939 ... not sure if that was for business, or Ivy was visiting her parents or if they'd divorced. Who knows :)

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