Where can I get help on my brick wall problems. I really need help?

+3 votes
Hi there :)

Please can I ask for any assistance possible, on my brick wall.

I have two issues and cannot progress further till I break it.

My Grandfather was born in 1906 and out at sea apparently.  His family were emigrating from the UK.  The problem is I don't have any information apart from that.  William James is our family name so it is likely his father had that as at least one of names. My grandfather was:  William James Cresswell born 8 August 1906.  His parent originate from the UK. Not sure what port of Call they left from?  Its like he never existed.  They settled in the Cape .  St Helena has been brought up too.   Not sure if that was a stop along the way.

The other is my Great great Grandfather on my mothers side.  He was a Solomon and could have come from Lithuania or Poland. He was a jew.  I have no idea of his name.  His son my great grandfather was :  Bernadus Thomas Solomon born circa 1882 died In Cape Province, Wynberg on the 27 November 1919.  

Please Please I would appreciate any direction and help to try break these brick walls.
in The Tree House by Theresa Coss G2G Crew (360 points)

Don't know if it will help, but if you know the name of William's mother, you will know which of these marriages is possibly that of his parents :

Marriages July-August-Sep 1882 Registration District – Isle Of Wight, Hampshire, Volume 2b Page 970

William James CRESSWELL married either Anne Elizabeth BUCKETT or Clara JACOBS


 Marriages Oct-Nov-Dec 1906 Registration District – Samford, Suffolk, Volume 4a Page 1933

William James CRESSWELL married either Florence Ada COE or Myra Isabella JARROLD


Given that William appears to have been born in August of 1906, the 1882 marriage looks to be more likely --- unless his father's name wasn't also William.

If you have, or can get access to, William's death record, that may have information regards his parents.

Hi Melanie,

Thank you so much.  You have found out more in such a little time, versus me... who has been searching for ages.  I am still very new to this adventure.  As I call it.

I dont have her name unfortunately.  Only that the William name has been passed down generations.  Where do I find this information, can you point me in the right direction?

Births and Deaths can be found by searching the GRO (it requires an account to sign in, but costs nothing to use the search function) https://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/Login.asp

Marriages I usually look for using FreeBMD https://www.freebmd.org.uk/search

Then there is also (as Frank indicates) FamilySearch- which also requires an account to access the search function and the records, but is likewise free.

(I have not yet looked for your William James on FS, but will do so.)

The 1882 marriage on the Isle of Wight was between William James Cresswell and Clara Jacobs and they married at the Register Office in Newport - see http://www.isle-of-wight-fhs.co.uk/bmd_1/marriages/m_results_1.php?party=Both&surname=Cresswell&forenames=William

I'm not sure if the other marriage shown in that link may be a complicating factor, as there appears to be somebody who was born as William James Cresswell but married in 1903 as William James Jacobs.

The Samford, Suffolk marriage may be the same William James whose birth was registered Oct-Nov-Dec 1874, mother's maiden surname Winney :

GRO Reference: 1874  D Quarter in SAMFORD  Volume 04A  Page 600

This doesn't mean he is YOUR William's father, though.

@ Paul -- could be that for some reason he took his wife's name and that is a second marriage.

There is a probate record for a William James Cresswell who died on 8 December 1931 naming his widow as Myra Isabella Cresswell, so that looks like the couple who married in 1906 - see free-to-view record at https://www.ancestry.co.uk/sharing/21451696?h=0254e2. The probate record says he was living in Ipswich, Suffolk, England but died in Ryde, Isle of Wight, England, so if that is the family that emigrated then the parents came back to England. He was 56 when he died (see http://www.isle-of-wight-fhs.co.uk/bmd_1/deaths/d_results_1.php?surname=Cresswell&forenames=William), so it looks like you found the corresponding birth record for him in 1874. 

I have that same probate record from probate search :


Left effects worth £1151 4s 1d to his widow.

At the risk of complicating things, I had a look at the outgoing passenger lists from the UK to South Africa in 1906. There were only 2 people with the surname Cresswell who made the journey that year, and one of them was a male on his own who sailed on 31 March, so doesn't seem to be a candidate.

The other one looks more promising, as a Miss M. Cresswell left from Southampton bound for Cape Town on 28 July, which would fit well with a child being born at sea on 8 August. The record says she was a single adult (over 12 years old) and says she was Scottish - see free-to-view image at https://www.ancestry.co.uk/sharing/21454943?h=414aab.

5 Answers

+3 votes
Thomas Bernardus Solomon born 1882, died 27 Nov 1919 at Woodstock, Goodwood, Cape Province, South Africa at age 37. He was born in S. Africa and was married at time of death. Occupation Belt Repairer.    familysearch.org
by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.3m points)
Thank You Frank.  I have that information as well as a baptismal copies of his children.  Though that I found out his wifes name: Ianthe Susanna Solomon born Kaptein.

Thats where it ends.  No other information.

His father was a jew from either Lithuania or Poland.  That area.  Thomas Bernadus could be a family name as two generations after him have that name.
+3 votes
Tom Bernhardus Solomon marriage 31 Aug 1903 at Cape Town, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa to Susan Janette Twine.  

Record Collection: South Africa, Dutch Reformed Church Registers (Cape Town Archives), 1660-1970.  familysearch.org
by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.3m points)
+4 votes
These relatives are close enough that an autosomal DNA test or three would have the strong potential to help you identify living cousins who descend from these two people and their recent ancestors. Many cousins will have invaluable private information, and even if not, putting together your limited information with their limited information may still be enough to break a brick wall.
by Barry Smith G2G6 Pilot (219k points)
+2 votes

Born 8 August 1906 South Africa

Muriel Maud Tintinger b-1912-1997
by Chris Mckinnon G2G6 Pilot (390k points)
+2 votes
Findmypast has "British Armed Forces and Overseas Births and Baptisms 1854-1960" (which includes births at sea).

There does not appear to be an entry for any "William James Cresswell" born c1906.
by Vivian Egan G2G6 Mach 7 (75.6k points)

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