Trying to find information about my Granddfather

+6 votes
Arthur William Bennett, or William Arthur, Born 1898 somewhere in England, most likely South of England.

Married My Maternal Grandmother May Strange, had one daughter, my mother Patricia Maud Bennett, and also twin girls, who died soon after birth. My Grandmother May also died, either after or during the birth in 1931.

Grandad was in the Navy during 2nd world war, he works on the canals in London for many years, I think something to do with the locks?

He used to write to me, and I know he was alive in the early 70's when I got engaged, but cant remember if he still was when I married in 1973.

Granddad married a second time ( not sure when, but think it would have been in the 30's, he and his second wife had a son called Norman, of which I have a photo.... I just cant seem to find anything about Granddad, death record, marriage etc etc.  Waltham Cross or Waltham Stow come to mind when thinking where he lived in later years.

I would very much appreciate some help with this one, thanks in advance
WikiTree profile: William Bennett
in Genealogy Help by Anne Kenyon G2G4 (4.3k points)
retagged by Keith Hathaway

5 Answers

+2 votes

May Bennett, b circa 1900 d 1931 Rochford, Essex

not grandad but might help with location.
by Gillian Causier G2G6 Pilot (261k points)
Thank you Gillian.

also, possibly May is a shortened version of Mary or Margaret? Might be worth considering trying those names in searches.
Thank you for your help Gillian. My Grandmothers name was definately 'May'  I have proof positive, My Mother told me many times, I also have photo's with her name on them, she was named after the month she was born.
+3 votes
The marriage of May Strange & William A Bennett was registered in 1924 (Edmonton 3a/1100 q december 1924).
by Living Woodhouse G2G6 Pilot (260k points)
what did you use to find it, Ron? I searched for about half an hour on and drew a blank.
Oooh thank you Ron, I have searched everywhere I could. I was able to find May's grave through findagrave a couple of years back, when it was free access. I have subscribed to MyHeritage, and have done extensive searches with their search engines, and have found nothing for my Grandfather, I guess I will have to spend more money if I want positive proof.  My Mother used to tell me so much about the Strange family, as she too was interested in Geneology, she wrote down alot of info, but most was by word of mouth, we were told by my Great Grandma to " Never forget me" and we have not.  Now I realise with time the memory fades, so things like dates could be a bit out, but one can account for that with the -/+  Anyway thanks again Ron I will go back and look again.

You must be doing something wrong. On familysearch just entering May Strange, Bennett under Spouse Surname, and country England, shows the record immediately.

"England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005," database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 March 2016), May Strange and null, 1924; from “England & Wales Marriages, 1837-2005,” database, findmypast ( : 2012); citing 1924, quarter 4, vol. 3A, p. 1100, Edmonton, Middlesex, England, General Register Office, Southport, England

Just as easy on findmypast:

First name(s)     MAY
Last name     STRANGE
Marriage quarter     4
Marriage year     1924
Registration month     -
MarriageFinder™     MAY STRANGE married
Spouse's last name     BENNETT
District     EDMONTON

And Free BMD:


I think I am too, and the BIGGEST mistake of all is, the birth date of my Great Grandmother Emily( May's Mother)  I need to go back with a fresh mind and start again... Thank you everyone for your help, trouble with getting older and having little people chatting in your ears whilst trying to do research  :)
+2 votes
May Strange's birth was registered in 1899 ( Islington Vol.1 b 242 q September 1899). A death of May Bennett that fits was registered  in 1936,  Elham, Kent aged 37.  (Elham Vol.2a Page 1524 December 1936).

With the marriage details, I would purchase the marriage certificate which will list the father of William.
by Living Woodhouse G2G6 Pilot (260k points)
Hi Anna Have found William Bennett aged 3, living in Aston Warwickshire England.Mother called Martha  Bennett aged 30, , Father called Arthur Bennett aged 33 ,theyre children were Norman aged 7, Francis aged 5, William aged 3,and Albert aged 0. Found on 1901 Census . If you want source let me know will put it up. .................note; name William Bennett. Its just that maybe him having a son called Norman could have been named after his brother.

                                       Healey 268.
Have found Wedding source on Family Search,org and they appear to have been married in Edmonton, can put source up if you request.This sure is difficult, ive actually had this with my tree, problem is it takes time to research and get the correct sources.

                               Healey-268..................Im now unsure about info ive given you above as Edmonton, is not Birmingham. I feel Edmonton is London nowhere near Birmingham. Its tricky.
Hi Anne Guessing you can say that the name William Arthur Bennett due to his Marriage source, is correct, with geneology its a slow process, and if you've establish a little at a time youre moving in the right direction. On my tree I have hit brick walls and aint going nowhere. Just take it from the Marriage source and go forward.  I will help with your research if I can  but im no expert just a wiki tree member but I hate to be beate, cause I love geneology so much. Will help if I can.

That would be great Susan, and thank you so much too, the wikifamily are wonderful :D
Ron, I have found a little card, I guess the type that people who attended the funeral would have been given?  It states that "May Bennett passed away on the 6th April 1931, Aged 31 years, and she was interred at Gt. Northern Cemetery, Southgate, In private grave No 1311 AaF

E. Burridge & Co, Undertakers, 741 Lordship Lane, Wood Green.

That would have put May's year of  birth 1900-1899
+1 vote

Could this be him? The date of birth is 23 Jan 1899.

"England and Wales Death Registration Index 1837-2007," database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 29 March 2016), William Arthur Bennett, 1974; from "England & Wales Deaths, 1837-2006," database, findmypast ( : 2012); citing Death, Enfield, Middlesex, England, General Register Office, Southport, England

Could you also give a date range for Norman's birth? I can cross-reference all the maiden names against marriages and find which ones had a matching father. [This plan might not work, I already tried it and there were a lot of possibilities, plus middle initials often not recorded.]

by Matthew Fletcher G2G6 Pilot (113k points)
I think it is Matthew, I remember now his birthday not being that far away from mine ( 20th Jan) and when I was researching him I looked at Enfield as it was not far away from Waltham Cross, which I mentioned as being a place he lived in later years. 1974 would be about right, I knew it was 70's as he was very happy at the thought of my pending first marriage, and he sent a gift, bless him.  

Norman is/was my Mothers half Brother, when he married the lady's name was Hazel, and they had two children Jane and Karen ( Grandad spelt it Karan, but that could have been an error on his part?)

Today I had searched through hundreds of old photo's and found one of G'dad Bennett with his two granchildren from Normans union with Hazel, the picture is dated 27th Dec 1969. I dont have any other info on Norman, Mum did tell me how old he was, but I have forgotten. May Bennett died 6th April 1931 ( another discovery this morning,I have the Funeral card) aged 31 years old, so this second marriage of G'Dads would have been any time after that I have a feeling that Norman might have been 5-10 younger than Mum, but cant be 100% sure... thank you so very much for your help, I would appreciate anything else you can come up with. Anne
With a birth date of 23 January 1899, that would place the birth registration in the first quarter of 1899, and there are only one registration of William Arthur Bennett:

Kensington 1a/129

None as Arthur William Bennett.
I wonder if this could be him in 1911 Census?

Name:    William Arthur Bennett
Age in 1911:    12
Estimated birth year:    abt 1899
Relation to Head:    Son
Gender:    Male
Birth Place:    North Kensington, London, England
Civil Parish:    Willesden
Search Photos:    Search for 'Willesden' in the UK City, Town and Village Photos collection
County/Island:    Middlesex
Country:    England
Street address:    12 Berens Road, Willesden N W
Occupation:    School
Registration district:    Willesden
Registration District Number:    129
Sub-registration district:    Willesden
ED, institution, or vessel:    31
Household schedule number:    241
Piece:    7011
Household Members:    
Name    Age
William Giles Bennett    42
Harriett Bennett    35
Ethel Maud Bennett    13
William Arthur Bennett    12
Richard Henry Bennett    10
Olive Eva Bennett    5

You have far more details in your memory than you realise! You mentioned seeing Jane and Karan/Karen in a photo dated 1969. Can you estimate their ages? And which was the elder? And could Karan have been a middle name? (I can't find her).

I did find this record of a Norman Bennett marrying a Hazel K Johnson. Ring any bells?

"England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005," database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 30 March 2016), Norman A Bennett and null, 1957; from “England & Wales Marriages, 1837-2005,” database, findmypast ( : 2012); citing 1957, quarter 4, vol. 5F, p. 919, Wood Green, Middlesex, England, General Register Office, Southport, England

There's a potential suitable Jane Bennett born in Enfield 1965 with a mother's maiden name of Johnson but I cannot find a Karen/Karan or anything close.

Hi Matthew, The memories are because we were a very close family, and my mother and Gt Grandmother told us all the time about the family, plus since my mothers death in 2011 I have not really been able to look through all of the photo's that was left, just so many, plus a bit of sadness, but now I want to look, I want to be able to remember and I want to share.

On the back of the photo of Granddad, and Jane it definately says "Karan" but as I said Granddads spelling wouldnt have been all that great  :D

You guys are wonderful, you have helped me sooo much I will be forever grateful....funny thing is I went to the freeBMD's and entered the info that I was given, and I STILL CANT COME UP WITH ANYTHING... maybe the BMD gremlins dont like my accent :P, I will keep on trying for the time being I will take a look at what you have found.. yayyyy
Im pretty sure that this is the one Ron. Granddad also sent a pic of another gentleman he called " Uncle Dick"  and  see there is a "Richard Henry" in the list. I am going to take it as more evidence, as there is nothing there to suggest otherwise, thanks again :D
+1 vote

The Probate search website has an entry in 1974:

BENNETT, William Arthur of 3 Burnway Hornchurch Essex died 18 May  1974 Probate Ipswich 30 October £12555  7410093001E.

by Vivian Egan G2G6 Mach 8 (83.2k points)
Thanks Vivian, I will take a look and see if it is Granddad.  :)

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