The 1871 census record lists him as Arthur George COURTENAY, born in about 1841 in Marylebone, Middlesex, England, living at 14 Sun Street Woolwich, Kent, with Abigail COURTENAY and their three daughters, Edith aged 4 and twin girls of 3 months, Abigail Ann Maud and Alberta Beatrice Emma. Arthur George provides his occupation as a labourer in brass works, unemployed. At the residence is a nurse Ann Muggeridge also listed as being from Marylebone, Middlesex.
Whilst Arthur George and Abigail are listed as COURTENAY in the 1871 census, in all later census Abigail lists herself as COURTNEY. George does not appear in any later census with Abigail. Neither Abigail nor Arthur George can be found in the 1881 England census and by the time of the 1891 census Abigail is listed as a widow.
The baptism record in May 1871 for both Abigail and Alberta states their fathers name as Arthur George COURTNEY, brass founder. Abigail however clearly names George William COURTNEY as the father of the girls on their birth certificates and states her name as Mrs Courtney on birth certificate (although no valid marriage can be found), she also lists his occupation as silver and brass moulder. 
When his daughter Abigail Ann Maud married in 1892 she listed her father’s occupation as Engineer, civil and states his name as Arthur George COURTNEY. Her death certificate in 1925 also shows occupation as Engineer, but his grandson suggests his name was George Arthur Courtney. It is not clear whether Arthur George was also the father of Edith. Whilst Edith continues to go by the name COURTNEY her birth certificate does not state a father and is registered as Edith Mary PAICE.
Research Summary - see my new blog!
My research relating to this ancestor has been ongoing since about 2005 when I first started seriously researching my Ancestry. I did a DNA test in 2010 and have been actively pursuing many lines of enquiry since then.
To document all my research I have now created a blog to ensure no stone is left unturned and hopefully that someone out there will be able to help me in my quest. I am slowly updating it to include all activities undertaken to date. I also hope to be able to incorporate new information as it comes to hand.
The Courtenay name in England has existed as far back as the 12th century, descendant from Norman landowners. The Courtenay's of Devon arrived in about 1152 from France long after the Norman Conquest, when they accompanied Queen Eleanor of Acquitane, the new wife of Henry II. However, there is a group of Irish COURTENAY's who arrived in Ireland in about the 17th century. It is not clear whether this line is connected to the Powderham Devon line.
I could find no connection between Ann MUGGERIDGE and Arthur George in paper records. Recent DNA evidence however has suggested a possible relationship with Ann aka Rudd or nee Webster and our family but exactly how still remains unclear.
We are unsure of the origins of the COURTNEY side of this family, it is suspected they may be Irish based on some comments made by his grandson Edward Arthur Roberts in his memoirs. Another possibility could be the Courtenay's of Ballytransey, Cork, Ireland.
When questions were asked about where in the south of Ireland our ancestors came from, the response was Waterford and Wexford. The Murphys came from Wexford, so perhaps it is the Courtenay's that came from Waterford?
Theories in contention
Theory #1 - George Courtney - Shoreham - still in contention. To read more on my blog click here. He's still a contender but no DNA matches in over a decade! An unmerged match has been created until such time as I can rule him out. I am hopeful DNA will provide the answer in time.
Irish Connection #3 and #4 seem the next most likely.
Theories now ruled out
Theory #2 - Staffordshire George Courtney. To read more on my blog click here. This George has now been found living in 1871 in Staffordshire, the 1881 census is a transcription error and his real name is George Richard POUNTNEY. He has now been excluded from the analysis.'
This theory has not identified a possibilty for George the individual, but I suspect these people may come from the same family.
The twins were named Abigail Ann Maud COURTNEY and Alberta Emma Beatrice COURTNEY. I came across a record for an Emma Beatrice COURTNEY who was born in 1869 to parents Thomas COURTNEY and Elizabeth LANGLEY. This Thomas was also born in Middlesex. I have tried to establish whether Emma is a relative. I have been unable to find any further trace of her. Perhaps she died and in 1871 Alberta was named after her?
In the course of trying to trace Thomas, I came across another Thomas COURTNEY who was born around the same time, in the same district Middlesex. Whilst he cannot be the same Thomas, he has a sister also named Emma and a brother George William. I suspect that Emma Beatrice’s father may be a cousin of some kind. This family goes back to Courtenay's in Devon.
The brother George William is much older. He can be found in the 1871 census so he is not the George William that Abigail names as the father of the twins in their birth certificates. Perhaps there is another George William in this family I have yet to find. Can you help?
Theory #4 - Ireland
Irish Connection #1?
This is probably the most fanciful. Family stories have indicated that there are supposed to be ancestors by the name of de Lancey, presumably some connection to Etianne DeLancey of New York fame. I came across a birth of Maurice de Lacey Courtney and thought the name was a co-incidence being pretty close to de Lancey. His father comes from Ireland. There is supposed to be some Irish connection on the Courtney side so I pursued this line in the hope of some connection, but it has also turned out to be a dead end until recently. After contact with another Australian researcher it was discussed that 'Sheils ' was possibly a name associated with this family, having used it as a middle name. (Family stories also used to suggest we had an ancestor named Mary Lancey - not found yet in my research!).
Irish Connection #2?
If the Courtenay family of Ballytransey, Cork, Ireland is a possibilty, son John Courtenay was living in Berkshire, England prior to his death abt 1843. His fathers name is George. Could he have fathered an illegitimate son before he died? George in Theory #2 could also fit this theory as his birth record cannot be found.
Irish Connection #3?
A 1915 death record in for a new Arthur Courtenay (aged 73, born abt 1842) has been found in Wicklow Ireland.
Irish Connection #4?
There is a COURTNEY family living in the same village of Holdenhurst at the time of the 1881 census when Abigail and Edith are boarding with the BROWN family. I have traced this family to Ireland and they are the children of Henry COURTNEY and his wife Sydney GOSSELIN. In researching Henry I found a Joseph Sheil living with Henry Courtney! Could this be the connection to the De Lacy family that I have been looking for?
Irish Connection #5?
Courtenay's of Waterford.
DNA and 52 Ancestors
This profile featured in my blog as part of the 2018 52 Ancestors challenge, Week 1 - Start. You can read more here.
1851 England Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005), Ancestry.com, COURTNEY George. Database online.
1861 Wales Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005), Ancestry.com, COURTNY George. Database online.
1881 England Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004), Ancestry.com, COURTNEY George. Database online.
1891 England Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005), Ancestry.com, COURTNEY George. Database online.
1901 England Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005), Ancestry.com, COURTNEY George. Database online.
1911 England Census - Find my past, www.findmypast.com, COURTNEY George.
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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Arthur by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA.
However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line.
It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with Arthur: