Finding the birth and family information for my 4 X grt grandfather George Ross, for 10 years all we knew was that according to 5 censuses he was theoretically born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England about 1798.
No records at all of a George Ross, almost no Rosses at all, I even hired a professional to look for any kind of record,with no results. We knew that the entire family history was in Bloxwich, Staffordshire, and could never figure out why he was born somewhere else. All the censuses showed him living in Staffordshire.
After about 10 years of searching by several family members, we decided he was either an alien or that he had been born in the workhouse in Chesterfield, Staffordshire, and there are no records for the workhouse.
But as so often happens you find a clue while looking for something else entirely. Another part of the family is from Derbyshire, while researching them the Wright family, I found a link with reference to a Ross family that seemed interesting.
Pay off! The link was for a removal order for a Ross family, to be sent from Chesterfield, Derbyshire to Bloxwich, Staffordshire because they had no legal right to live in Chesterfield. The removal order was issued because the husband-father had died and as the family then had no income they had to leave, the parish refused to put them on Poor Relief.
The family was listed as Mary Ross, widow, plus 4 children including a George of the right age. All of the names fit with the extended family.
I was then able to find the burial records for the father and another child, tracked the family to Bloxwich, his youngest sister who was 3 weeks old when the father died, died before she was one, his mother remarried and died 2 days after the birth of another child.
Eventually I found the marriage records for his parents, and the baptismal records for their children . They were Catholics and the children were baptised in secret, by a priest who had some sort of clandestine dispensation to perform RC baptisms.
Much later I managed to track down the grandparents of George, who also had their kids baptised in secret.
I felt like a super sleuth, it took months to find and then make my way through RC records from the 1700s.
Now I know he wasnt an alien.