Help needed for my Brick wall

+2 votes
My brick wall is my great great grandfather George Stanley born about 1833, he married Ellen West and they had a son William Frances Burke stanley in 1855 apparently in Calcutta West Bengal India. I have been told the family moved back to england when William was young. Maybe settled in London as William used to claim he sang in the Westminster Abbey boys choir. William ran away to sea when old enough and settles in New Zealand. He married Rachael Norton in 1880 who died in child birth 1884. He then later married Margaret Amelia Wilcocks Rome in 1886  and Died 1935 in Dunedin New Zealand.

I cannot find any further details on George or Ellen or of Williams siblings  and wondering where the name Burke came from as this has been handed down for a couple of generations. If anyone can enlighten me on my mystery I would be ever so grateful
WikiTree profile: Judy Still
in The Tree House by Judy Still G2G1 (1.2k points)
edited by Judy Still

A Louisa Susan Stanley marries a Francis Robert Blazey in 1874 in Dinapore, Bengal. Father's name is Augustus George Stanley.

I'm thinking George was his middle name, and the preferred one.


His wife's name is Eliza Jemima which is damned close.

2 Answers

+2 votes

Hi, Judy!

If you'd like to participate in the 52 Ancestors challenge you need to post an answer in the thread linked below.

52 Ancestors Week 14: Brick Wall

by Deb Durham G2G Astronaut (1.0m points)
+1 vote
Can't find a marriage for a George Stanley - but, interestingly, I have found a marriage for a George Burke to a Lydia Burnett, groom aged 21, bride age 14, Groom's father William Burke, bride's father John Burnett on 19 June 1855 in Umballa, Bengal, India.

Could 'Stanley' not be a surname, but a middle name? (so he's George Stanley BURKE).

Source: Parish register transcripts from the Presidency of Bengal, 1713-1948, archive ref N-1-87, folio number 411, viewed via findmypast

How certain are you that Ellen West is part of this family? 'my heritage' is not really an adequate source, and she needs a few locations to help us to help you...
by Ros Haywood G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
Stanley is definitely the surname, I've found six kids for William and Margaret in New Zealand.

OK, here is my theory:

George BURKE mar Lydia BURNETT 19 June 1855 Bengal
they have William Francis BURKE 1855 Bengal

William Francis BURKE mar Rachel NORTON 1880 New Zealand
they have William BURKE, Charles BURKE, and Rachel BURKE, then Rachel the mother dies and William the father commits the three children to the Industrial School

Between 1884-1886 William Francis BURKE changes his surname to STANLEY - for some unknown reason; perhaps his grief made him want to start afresh?

William Francis STANLEY (was BURKE) mar Margaret ROME 1886 New Zealand

Thank you I will look into this
All I have to go on is really information handed down by mouth... Apparently William was bit of a story teller so anything maybe possible. I cannot find anything on Ellen or George
The obvious alternative, of course, is that the marriage of William Burke to Rachel Norton is a completely different person. Why do we think it's the same man if the surname is different?

(aside) It sure would make life easier if NZ records had a place attached to them.
I cannot find a birth certificate for William but found a orphanage in England that had a William Burke born about the same time. I was wondering if this could be him since there is no record of him or his parents.  I would love to uncover this mystery.

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