Help finding natural father of adopted Jabez Shaw Cooper, Sheffield, 1887

+3 votes
Jabez Shaw Cooper (Cooper-17898) was adopted. I know the adopting parents and I know the natural mother is Tinker-519. She married Cooper-17912 in 1880 but they weren't together together in 1881 or 1891 censuses and she doesn't put him on the child's birth certificate (father is left blank) so I guess they separated. A long shot guess is that she intended to give up the child and gave him his real father's name. Any suggestions?
WikiTree profile: George Neale
in Genealogy Help by Chris Neale G2G2 (2.2k points)
retagged by Chris Neale

2 Answers

+1 vote

Hi there, thought I would try to help! So I found the birth record for Jabez,

"England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008," database, FamilySearch( : 1 October 2014), Jabez Shaw Cooper, 1887; from "England & Wales Births, 1837-2006," database, findmypast ( : 2012); citing Birth Registration, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, citing General Register Office, Southport, England.

I take it he adopted the surname Neale? Was he fully adopted or is this his mothers second husband? 

Where I'm confused is he wasn't born until 1887, yet you say his mother Tinker-519 was possibly separated by 1881 Census.

Did Francis remarry?

Could you give me a bit more clarity?

You can attach adoptive parents to the profile too if you click on add father again then follow the steps, read it carefully a tick/don't ticlk the relevant boxes!

by Lizzie Griffiths G2G6 Pilot (116k points)
edited by Lizzie Griffiths
Thanks Lizzie. Frances Tinker didn't remarry. Later censuses show her living with her mother and brother, still with her married name (Cooper). I haven't found her in 1881 census but her husband was lodging with his brother in 1881. Could be coincidence of course, but it was only a few streets away from the address where Frances lived when Jabez was born, so why would he not be at home if the were still together?
They did have an earlier child in, Bernard, who was born and died in 1881; I've not checked his birth certificate to see if she named John Cooper on that.
Jabez was fully adopted by Edwin and Sarah Neale and they gave him the name George Neale. But were adoptions officially recorded at that time?
The use of the name Shaw (for Jabez' middle name) intrigues me becuase it doesn't appear elsewhere in the family, so my guess is that it is the name of his natural father.
+2 votes

This is a real needle in a haystack. I've checked your research and it all looks correct and I also like your theory about the name Shaw. One slight point of confusion - you have found Frances/Fanny in the 1881 census - it's on her profile. She's with her mother and son Bernard who died. The text says "(n.b. same address as Emily Tinker, but entered as a separate household?)" but having looked at the image that's just the enumerator slightly misplacing the two strokes indicating a household break.

As a longshot I suggest taking a DNA test and loading the results to Although it's more expensive I suggest doing the Family Tree one as they have a y-DNA add-on and you are a male line descendant of whoever Jabez's father was. This will cost several hundred pounds and have a very low chance of telling you much! At worst though it may find some distant cousins and if any have Shaws in their ancestry it could crack the case.

by Matthew Fletcher G2G6 Pilot (108k points)

If Matthew can't help with sources I'm not sure I can be much use unfortunately!! However. I can added unprovable speculation..... From the 1891 census....

Name: Jabez Shaw
Gender: Male
Age: 66
Relationship: Head
Birth Year: 1825
Child: Emma Shaw
Birth Place: Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England
Civil Parish: Brightside Bierlow
Ecclesiastical parish: All Saints
Residence Place: Brightside Bierlow, Yorkshire, England
Registration district: Sheffield
Sub registration district: Brightside
ED, Institution or Vessel: 42
Neighbors: View others on page
Piece: 3833
Folio: 98
Household Members:
Name Age
Jabez Shaw 66
Emma Shaw 24
Saml Roebuck 40
Sarah E Roebuck 2
Edwin Booth 40
Josh Foster 70
Chas Cardwell 50
He's over 30 years older than Frances though ... but I suppose stranger things have happened. He was a widower - he's in the 1871 census with 4 yr old Emma as a lodger. Never remarried, died in 1907 aged 82.
My brother has done a DNA test and found a slight match with somebody who is descended from Charlotte Shaw (b ~1795 in Swinton, Yorks). Now, if we can find a link between Charlotte and Jabez.....

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