Conflicting information on 3rd great uncle

+2 votes
135 views

Apologises the profile on WikiTree needs some work.

According to GRO index, birth was registered 1887:

WATERMAN, ALBERT     CROWLEY  
GRO Reference: 1887  D Quarter in CAMBERWELL  Volume 01D  Page 911

Many Ancestry trees have date of birth 15 Nov 1887. I assume someone has ordered his birth or death certificate as the birth and death records available online don't give this information. Death record has estimated birth year 1888 so it's safe to say this date (or year at the least) is correct.

The 1939 register, however, has his date of birth as 17 Mar 1886. Note that the ancestry transcriptions are the wrong way round so you'll need to look at the image itself: https://www.ancestry.co.uk/sharing/21291268?h=e803d1&utm_campaign=bandido-webparts&utm_source=post-share-modal&utm_medium=copy-url

I know this is him because further down the list the same address, 23 Goodrich Rd, appears a second time (not sure why they're separated) with his brother-in-law James Albert Gurney (my 2x gt grandfather), whose date of birth is correct here.

His wife's name is unfortunately blocked out by a closed individual below her. Using Ancestry to look at electoral registers, for nearly every year I see the same people living at number 23 Goodrich Road; James Albert Gurney, Albert Waterman and Emma Waterman. 

This is where it gets confusing. Nearly all the trees on Ancestry have a wife Emma Margaret James. However, her marriage record lists Albert's father as Thomas Waterman, which is incorrect (should be William Waterman). It does say Thomas Waterman is deceased, and William Waterman was deceased. I can't locate any other possible marriage records at all.

The death record for Emma Margaret James also gives a completely different date of birth (although, as Albert's is also wrong on the 1939 register, I don't think it's much of a stretch to say her 1939 register DOB is wrong?)

Does anyone have any idea what I should do in this situation? Do you think it's just a case of the wrong father name being written on the marriage record (not sure how or why that'd happen) or do you think Emma Margaret James is the wrong person? I'm genuinely baffled by this and would be interested in hearing other people's opinions. 

WikiTree profile: Albert Waterman
in Genealogy Help by T. Dowding G2G6 Mach 2 (28.9k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith
There are more than one Albert Waterman, in London area around that time .

There is an Albert registered for March Quarter 1886 :

WATERMAN, ALBERT     WHITE  
GRO Reference: 1886  M Quarter in LEXDEN  Volume 04A  Page 551

(Lexden is in Essex.)

Also one for the June Quarter :

WATERMAN, ALBERT  WATERMAN   HALE  
GRO Reference: 1886  J Quarter in GUILDFORD  Volume 02A  Page 60  Occasional Copy: A

(Guildford is Surrey 1908-1934, was the parishes of Christchurch, Stoke, St. Nicholas, Holy Trinity, St. Mary, and The Friary before that.)

Thanks for sharing that. My Albert Waterman is definitely the one with mother's name Crowley but I might be able to have a look and see if any of these Albert's had a father of Thomas Waterman, which could help solve this.
For added confusion FindMyPast is recommending two grooms from page 1400 of the index when her marriage to Albert is on page 1490. [Correction submitted but no-one hold their breath.]

I think this is a rare instance where multiple documentary sources are wrong and the general consensus is correct.
I agree Matthew that the general consensus that Emma James was his wife despite the marriage record saying the father is a Thomas Waterman is correct. Joe Farler pointed out that both William Waterman and the supposed father of Thomas Waterman were box makers (William Waterman's occupation checked on census) and, in my opinion, it's all too coincidental to be a coincidence.

3 Answers

+3 votes

Here are 2

First name(s) ALBERT

Last name WATERMAN

Birth year 1887

Birth quarter 4

Registration month -

Mother's maiden name -

District Camberwell

County London

Country England

Volume 1D

Page 911

Record set England & Wales Births 1837-2006

Category Life Events (BDMs)

Subcategory Civil Births

Collections from Great Britain, England

© brightsolid online publishing ltd

First name(s) ALBERT

Last name WATERMAN

Birth year 1887

Birth quarter 4

Registration month -

Mother's maiden name -

District Islington

County London

Country England

Volume 1B

Page 386

Record set England & Wales Births 1837-2006

Category Life Events (BDMs)

Subcategory Civil Births

Collections from Great Britain, England

© brightsolid online publishing ltd

by Marion Poole G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)

Thomas has the mother Crowley in the OP, but here's the other one :

Name: Mother's Maiden Surname: 
WATERMAN, ALBERT     ELLIS  
GRO Reference: 1887  D Quarter in ISLINGTON  Volume 01B  Page 386

+4 votes
I've seen the wrong dates of birth given on the 1939 register, and the wrong father's names given on a marriage certificate/parish register. Both might be unlucky! I suppose you need to decide if there can be other possible reasons for the anomalies. Do the pros outweigh the cons?

If you're worried that the marriage record might be for the wrong people, and you can't find an alternative, was there a reason why your couple didn't marry? Was one of them already married, for example?
by Katie Fuller G2G6 Mach 2 (22.9k points)

As far as I know, they were married. The electoral registers strongly suggest he was married to someone called Emma, as he was living with an "Emma Waterman" along with his brother-in-law and there aren't any other Emma Watermans in the family. The 1939 register also shows them living with his brother-in-law (although Emma's name isn't visible, but I assume it says Emma) so they should also be the right people, but again the wrong birth dates combined with the marriage record having the wrong father makes me doubt it. I can't think of any reasons he would lie about either of these unless there's something I don't know about. Albert's sister Kate married a few years prior to his marriage and her marriage had father William. 

The 1908 marriage record for Albert Waterman and Emma James has Albert aged 19 on April 20th 1908, i.e. he was born some time after 20 April 1888.

https://www.ancestry.co.uk/sharing/21292210?h=87fe8d&utm
Such things can still be incorrect.  My great-grandfather's age as stated on his marriage certificate (33) and the birth certificate of his eldest son (29) are both incorrect -- and HE gave the information.  (He was born in 1857, not in 1866, nor in 1870.)

With such conflicting data, a thorough investigation is needed to ferret out the facts.
Here are Albert and Emma (James) in the 1911 census.

The two children's names and ages correspond to GRO records with mother's maiden name James.

https://www.ancestry.co.uk/sharing/21292540?h=7115e4&utm
It looks like "Thomas" is a mistake on the marriage record. Here is the father, William Waterman, "Box Maker" in 1881:

https://www.ancestry.co.uk/sharing/21292933?h=954d07&utm
Thanks Joe for pointing out that William Waterman (the father of my Albert) and the mentioned Thomas Waterman are both box makers. I think it's safe to assume this is the right marriage record and the name "Thomas" is just a mistake as this is getting too coincidental.
If Albert were really 19 in April 1908 then how could he be 24 less than three years later in the 1911 census?

A birthdate of late 1887 would make him 20 and 23 respectively so both just off by one. It seems strange to us today but from innumerable similar cases it's clear that some people in the past just didn't reliably know how old they were.
+4 votes
Without wishing to add to the confusion - there is a school admissions entry on Ancestry -

Choumert Road School Southwark

admission date 1 June 1891; Albert Waterman son of William Waterman; address 12 Bell Gardens; his date of birth is 23 May 1887 (the date of leaving was 24 June 1892).
by Anonymous Baker G2G6 Mach 1 (13.3k points)
Looking at the 1939 register entry on FMP the information for Emma Waterhouse (Margaret has been added in another hand) is dob 1 June 1884 and occupation is unpaid domestic duties.  There is no one immediately below her - the redaction is just an empty line.
Thanks for sharing that. The death record for Emma Margaret Waterman has a different dob -  1 June 1889 - but in that case it's only the year that's off.

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