Finding birth and parent records for a James West

+1 vote
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1. James West (West-13087) Is my GGFather. I have written all I know on his profile. Have not found a birth in NZ BDM. He said he was born in Dunedin NZ in 1866. (I am not sure the source of the September birth date, so it may not be correct.)

2. His parents, James West and Sarah (Christian) West, have also been elusive. They are named on James Jr's marriage certficate. James Jr said his parents were from Nthn Ireland.

I would LOVE some help with this brick wall!

(Full disclosure - I asked a NZ Facebook group to help me with this a few months back, and we discounted some possibilities e.g. a James and Sarah West buried in Rangiora NZ. We didn't solve either problem though!)

WikiTree profile: James Knewstubb
in Genealogy Help by Kathy Viney G2G1 (1.9k points)
edited by Kathy Viney
Do you have Lavinia’s marriage or death certificate? If you are convinced and have proof they are siblings, there may be a clue there.
Hi Fiona, I have added Lavinia as a sister hoping that that is the case! I have ordered her birth certificate, and I’m waiting for that to arrive.  I may have guessed completely wrongly and find I have to remove Lavinia from the family!  Thanks for your question.
If it appears that Lavinia is indeed James’s sister, I will definitely get her marriage and death certificates. Good thought!
Kathy, I have been debating parentage of my ggg grandfather with another cousin. His death certificate shows completely different parents to his brother who died 25 years earlier when ggg gf may well have been the informant. Using a sibling’s certificates struck me as a good check. Sometimes Military Personnel files on Archives NZ can be helpful too, as can probate files. I’ve discovered some gems.
Thanks. Will be following this through, though I know it's a long shot that Lavinia is related!
Hi there, Lavinia is not James's sister. Ah well. But it turns out that quite a few researchers believe James was born James Knewstubb, and for some reason was raised West. This would mean his mother is Sarah Sophia Tayler, b1832, and his father is Thomas Knewstubb, 1821-1900. I have looked into the Knewstubbs and think this could be the case. If it is... how on earth would I be sure?
Oh, bother! There is no marriage or death of James Knewstubb either, so he cannot be discounted, especially as you can’t find James West’s birth with the supposed parents either. Unless a document turns up, DNA might be the only possibility. Can you find any evidence of James’ falling foul of either the law or the Knewstubbs?
I have the answer! James's mother was not Sarah (Christian) West, but rather Sarah (Tayler) Knewstubb. She left her husband with her two youngest children, James and Amy, moved to Lyttelton, and lived with a James West. So my James was, I believe, born James Knewstubb but raised in the household of James West.

Lyttelton is where he met and married my GG-Mother, Emily Carson, so the story fits together well.

Now to find out why Sarah left her husband...

I'll also probably try to prove a DNA link to be absolutely sure. Thanks for the help!
Woo hoo! How great to have come up with an answer!

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