Seeking relatives of C W LAST of the Essex Regiment!

I have recently found and purchased two World War 1 medals from a medal fair in London that were awarded to a C W LAST from the Essex Regiment who had the Regimental number of 36758.
C W LAST medals
The most likely match I have found so far is a Charles William LAST born in 1899 in Walthamstow in Essex, the son of Charles and Alice Ann LAST.
Does anyone have a connection to this LAST family or any other information about a possible C W LAST who served in and survived World War 1?
Many thanks
Simon LAST
Posted in Essex Regiment, LAST, Medals, World War 1 | Leave a comment

Do you have a COOTE in your family tree?

Another recent photo postcard find in York is this one below and as always I would love to reunite it with a  family member if possible!


It was sent in 1906  to Mrs COOTE, 5 Tapton Park Road, Ranmoor, Sheffield and the message reads ‘Dear Aunt Lizzie …… love from us all Hilda’


Is Hilda shown in the photo?

I have managed to find the address on the 1911 census, which shows Elizabeth COOTE aged 48 living with her husband Matthew John COOTE, also aged 48, whose occupation is a Coachman.


Source Information: 1911 England Census Source Citation: Class: RG14; Piece: 27753

Matthew John  COOTE married Elizabeth CLARK in the October quarter of 1892 in Beverley in Yorkshire.

Matthew was born in Brandesburton in Yorkshire the son of William and Hannah COOTE and had siblings George, Fanny and Sybil.

He died on 31st March 1935 aged 72 and his death was registered in the Beverley Registration District – his address on the Probate record was 17 Regent Street in Beverley in Yorkshire and Elizabeth COOTE his wife is his Executor.

I can find no children for Matthew and Elizabeth COOTE, so possibly there may be a descendant of Hilda out there somewhere who would like a copy of this postcard and might be able to confirm if the photo is indeed a family connection.

Simon LAST

Posted in Beverley Yorkshire, Brandesburton, CLARK, COOTE, Old Photographs, One Name Study, Postcard, Ranmoor, Yorkshire | Leave a comment

Looking for relatives of the ALABASTER family from Romford in Essex?

I was in York at the weekend and whilst there I spent time exploring the Antique shops looking for old postcards to add to my own personal collections or possibly as a research project in the future.

I find photographic postcards of people very interesting and I am always hopeful of finding a name or clue to possibly identify the sitter or family shown.

Therefore I was pleased to find a set of photo postcards muddled up in a random box that all seemed to relate to the same family – on investigating the backs a pencil note had been added to each saying ‘ Mrs ALABASTER 109 Marks Road Romford’



The postcards appear to feature three generations of the same family – so is it the ALABASTER family?





 I have been able to find 109 Marks Road in Romford on the 1911 census and there is an ALABASTER family living there – Head of house Alberta ALABASTER aged 36 a Shop Keeper, Ruth ALABASTER daughter aged 14 and Alfred ALABASTER brother aged 54.


Source Information: 1911 England Census Source Citation: Class: RG14; Piece: 9832; Schedule Number: 42

I was unable to find a marriage record for Alberta, but I did find a birth record in the October quarter of 1876 in Romford Registration District (RD) for an Alberta Teresa ALABASTER and from this found a death record for her, again in the Romford RD, in September 1960 aged 84.

From this death record I found a Probate record in 1960, which again shows the address 109 Marks Road in Romford, which means the ALABASTER family had been connected to the property for over 50 years.


Source Information: England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995

Researching other census records I have found Alberta aged 14 on the 1891 census, again in Romford, living with parents Robert Hedges and Sarah Ann ALABASTER with siblings Walter and Henrietta.

If anyone has a connection to the ALABASTER family it would be great to hear from you, as I would love to reunite these old photos with a relative if possible and also discover more about the faces in the photos!

Simon LAST

Posted in 109 Marks Road, Old Photographs, Postcard, Romford | 10 Comments

UPDATE…Have I finally smashed my own Brick Wall – Missing Great Grandmother!

Further to my blog post earlier this week ‘Have I finally smashed my own Brick Wall – Missing Great Grandmother! there have been some developments……

Have I finally smashed my own Brick Wall – Missing Great Grandmother!

Having discovered that my Great Grandmother Edith Rosa SINCLAIR had a sister Alice Clara, I decided to order a copy of her birth certificate.

This duly arrived in the post today (four days earlier than the expected date – many thanks GRO!) and it shows that Alice Clara was born on the 20th July 1868 at 3 Garden Row, the same address as on my Great Grandmother Edith’s birth certificate 13 years later in 1881.



However this is where it starts to get interesting as on Alice’s birth certificate in 1868 the father is named as William Henry POULETT and in 1881 Edith’s father is named as William Henry SINCLAIR – the mother’s maiden name on both is Clara Martha BOYS.

I can find no evidence so far for marriages of Clara Martha BOYS to William Henry POULETT, William Henry SINCLAIR or Edward SINCLAIR, who is named on Clara’s death certificate in 1902, where she is described as a Widow.


The 1871 census three years after Alice Clara was born shows her living with her mother Clara and her Grandmother Martha and all their surnames are recorded as BOYS.


Source: Ancestry 1871 Census -Source Citation: Class: RG10; Piece: 669; Folio: 17; Page: 28; GSU roll: 823326

Therefore no mention of William Henry POULETT the father of Alice Clara!

William’s occupation is shown as Gentleman on the birth certificate, so I started to investigate to see if I could find any information regarding  him or his family.

Imagine my shock (although more investigation is needed!!) to discover a William Henry POULETT in London who married in 1871 who was the 6th Earl POULETT – surely this cannot be him –  a href=”,_6th_Earl_Poulett

This William Henry POULETT married on 18th September 1871 for the second time as a Widower in Kensington , as below:


Source: London and Surrey, England, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1597-1921

Is this Alice’s father, named on her birth certificate?

However when Alice Clara  married Thomas George SHARP on 21st July 1889 , her father is named as Edward SINCLAIR Deceased – occupation Compositor.

It is the correct marriage as one of  witnesses is Martha BOYS (was this mother Clara, middle name Martha, or her Grandmother Martha?) and when Clara her mothe died A C SHARP was the informant, as on the death certificate above.


Source: London, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921 – Source Citation London Metropolitan Archives, Saint Paul, Lorrimore Square, Register of marriages, P92/PAU1, Item 019

Therefore much more investigation is needed and although I am finding this family research fascinating, and smashing some brick walls, with every corner I turn it asks more questions than it answers! Such as…..

Who was William Henry POULETT?

Who was William Henry SINCLAIR named on Edith’s birth certificate in 1881 – is it just coincidence they were both William Henry’s in 1868 and 1881, or was it an error on the birth certificates?

Who was Edward SINCLAIR the husband named on Clara’s death certificate in 1902?

I will keep digging (as I love a challenge!!) to see what else I can discover and will post another update in due course!

Simon LAST

Posted in BOYS, Framlingham, LAST, POULETT, SHARP, SINCLAIR, Suffolk | 8 Comments

Another unexpected breakthrough! Who was Ada of Framlingham – a photo mystery?

Following my recent breakthrough on my Great Grandmother’s research, after several years of looking, I have unexpectedly knocked down a brick wall on another of my family photo mysteries this week – whilst looking for something completely different!

In February 2015 I wrote a blog post about a mystery family photo that my parents had that had Ada written on the back and also showed my Grandmother Doris with her mother Edith CRISP outside the Mills Almshouses in Framlingham

Who was Ada – photo mystery?

Mills Almhouses

I had searched all records I could think of using the surnames SINCLAIR, CRISP, LAST or DIX to see if I could find a family connection to an Ada – I even contacted the Archivist of the Mills Almshouses Trust to see if they could shine any light on previous residents’ that might help, but although they were very helpful we had no success!

Imagine my surprise when yesterday whilst I was searching the old Framlingham Weekly News newspapers on the British Newspaper Archive website for some information for a monthly article I write for the Framlingham town magazine Framfare, when something caught my eye!

From the Framlingham Weekly News dated Saturday 13th February 1937 a headline read Miss L HARPER – Funeral of Well-Known Framlingham Octogenarian – intrigued to find out who she was I read on….


Framlingham Weekly News – Saturday 13th February 1937

The first line reads .. The funeral of Miss Leona HARPER of Mills’ Almshouses, Framlingham took place on Wednesday…. and goes on to give information about her life and work in Framlingham and then gives a list of chief mourners including….Mr W CRISP (nephew)

Walter Ernest CRISP was my Grandmother Doris’s father and married to Edith Rosa who are shown in the photograph – are they visiting her husband’s Aunt Leona at the Almshouses.


Diss Express – Friday 12th February 1937


Framlingham Weekly News – Saturday 13th February 1937

I quickly referred back to my family tree online and yes indeed Walter’s mother Elizabeth CRISP’s maiden name was HARPER and she had several siblings including a sister called Leona born in 1848 – was Leona known as Ada, the name on the back of the photo? Was the name written incorrectly at a later date by someone who thought they knew who she was – I guess we will never know now!

Checking some other family papers and information that I have I found that Leona HARPER was actually the witness at the marriage of Walter’s parents Samuel CRISP and Elizabeth HARPER when they married at St Michael’s Church in Framlingham on 27th December 1881, which indicates a strong family bond.

leona-harper-witnessFrom this newspaper article I have found that says Leona died in 1937 also fits date wise, as my Grandmother Doris was born in 1914 and would have been aged 23 when Leona died and looks to be in her early 20’s in the photo.

It is amazing how I have stumbled across this information and made the connections on a day when I wasn’t even looking at this research – never give up the answer may be out there somewhere!

A fantastic start to 2017 with two confirmed brick wall knock downs so far – lets hope there is a third!!

Simon LAST   

Posted in CRISP, Framlingham, HARPER, Mills Almshouses, Old Photographs, SINCLAIR, Suffolk | 1 Comment

Why was Harry CRISP called “Boots”? continued…

Following on from my blog post last month about Harry CRISP or “Boots” as he was known, some more information has come to light about his death in 1918 and how the local Framlingham people contributed to a collection for a tombstone to be provided for his grave.


Framlingham Weekly News – Saturday 2nd November 1918


Framlingham Weekly News – Saturday 8th February 1919


Framlingham Weekly News – Saturday 8th March 1919


Framlingham Weekly News – Saturday 19th April 1919

This goes to show what a man he must have been and is testament to the service he had provided to the Framlingham community for many years.

Using information from Framlingham Cemetery online I have found Harry’s grave in the upper section, which confirms he was born on 5th November 1867 and died on 28th October 1918 aged only 50.

Again if anyone has any information about “Boots” or possibly a photograph it would be great to hear from you, to discover more about his life and work in Framlingham.

Simon Last


Posted in BOOTS, CRISP, Crown Hotel, Framlingham, Suffolk | Leave a comment

Have I finally smashed my own Brick Wall – Missing Great Grandmother!

Back in March 2013 I wrote a blog post about how I had been trying to track down the birth certificate for my paternal Great Grandmother Edith Rosa SINCLAIR without success –

Brick Wall – Missing Great Grandmother!

Edith Rosa Sinclair

Edith Rosa SINCLAIR with my Grandmother Doris Edith CRISP SINCLAIR born 1914 and Great Uncle Walter Ernest CRISP born 1916


Well like many other genealogists I know our own family tree research often takes a back seat whilst we are helping others and we flit in and out of it when we can.

My Great Grandmother Edith Rosa SINCLAIR married Walter Ernest CRISP on 5th April 1915 at the Register Office in Islington and they both gave their ages as 25 – Edith’s father is shown as Edward SINCLAIR deceased, occupation Commercial Clerk.

Walter & Edith Rosa marriage cert

Knowing that Edith was 25 when she married gave me a birth year of about 1889/ 1890 and even with this information I had never been able to locate a birth record for her either here in England, or possibly Scotland knowing the links to the SINCLAIR surname there.

I have looked at this research a few times over the years and when the 1939 WW2 Register was released in 2015, I looked for Edith Rosa and Walter Ernest CRISP, as I knew this record would hopefully give me an exact date of birth for them both.

I found them both living in Framlingham in Suffolk and Edith Rosa’s date of birth was recorded as 5th November 1889 – however even now knowing the month and quarter I could still not find a birth record for her.


Source: Find My Past 1939 Register

However a few months ago I was sorting through my family research files and looking at old certificates I had previously obtained, when I came across a birth certificate I had ordered in 2007 for an Edith Rosa SINCLAIR whose parent’s were William Henry SINCLAIR and Clara Martha SINCLAIR (nee BOYS) – knowing that Edith had given her father’s name as Edward SINCLAIR when she married in 1915 and seeing that the age was out by 9 or so years I had dismissed this certificate as being incorrect.


Imagine my delight on re-discovering this certificate to see that this Edith Rosa’s date of birth was also 5th November 1881, the exact day and month of my own Edith Rosa in 1939 – however was it a connection as fathers name was not correct?

If it was correct it seems my Great Grandmother Edith Rosa was actually aged 34 when she married in 1915 and had knocked nine years off her age to be the same age as her husband Walter, who was 25.

I decided to take the plunge and search for information on Clara Martha SINCLAIR to see if that would provide any clues – I found a death record for a Clara SINCLAIR in the April quarter of 1902 in Newington London and I ordered the death certificate.

On arrival it showed that Clara SINCLAIR (no middle name unfortunately!) died on 26th April 1902 aged 56 the widow of Edward SINCLAIR a Solicitor’s Clerk – this all seemed to fit with the Edward SINCLAIR on my Edith Rosa’s marriage certificate from 1915.


The informant of Clara’s death was A C SHARP daughter present at death, was she a sister of my Edith ROSA?

I have also found an 1881 census record for Clara BOYS aged 37 and unmarried living with her mother Martha J BOYS at 3 Garden Row in Kennington where Edith Rosa SINCLAIR was born a few months later in November 1881.


Source: Ancestry 1881 census -DetailClass: RG11; Piece: 600; Folio: 23; Page: 47; GSU roll: 1341137

I can find no marriage record for Clara BOYS in 1881 to a SINCLAIR – so was William Henry SINCLAIR Edith’s father and he was named on the certificate, even though they were unmarried?

Who was Edward SINCLAIR? – again I can find no marriage record at this stage, but was he possibkly a brother of William who looked after Clara?

Lots more investigation is needed – however I am 98% certain that I have finally discovered that my Great Great Grandmother was Clara SINCLAIR nee BOYS, whose own mother was Martha J BOYS nee ?

After many years of research I can not tell you how pleased I was to share this information with my dad about his mother’s family history, which would not have happened without some random file sorting a few months ago!

I will update on any further developments in due course – the motto is never give up and never stop looking!!

Simon LAST

Posted in BOYS, CRISP, Framlingham, LAST, Old Photographs, SINCLAIR, Suffolk | 3 Comments