Do you have a CRACROFT connection?

On my recent travels I found a fascinating photographic postcard showing a man and a lady who had both signed their names next to their photographs – E W and Cicely CRACROFT.

CRACROFT photo 19 4 17

As always I would like to find a family connection and reunite this photograph if possible – so do you have a CRACROFT connection?

Looking at the 1911 census records I found Edward Weston and Cicely Sophia Mary CRACROFT living at Hackthorn Hall in Lincoln ( see website:  – they had been married for 31 years and had no children.

CRACROFT 1911 census

Source Information: 1911 England Census Source Citation: Class: RG14; Piece: 19772

I then found the 1901 census record as below:

CRACROFT 1901 census

Source Information: 1901 England census Source Citation: Class: RG13; Piece: 3067; Folio: 26; Page 4

Looking for a marriage record I found that Edward Weston CRACROFT (AMCOTTS) had married Cicely Sophia Mary NEVILLE in Hackthorn in Lincoln on 24th April 1879.

Cicely died on 22nd January 1929 and Edward on 30th January 1933.

Therefore if anyone has any information or a connection to this CRACROFT family please let me know, as I would love to hear from you.

Simon LAST






Posted in AMCOTTS, CRACROFT, Hackthorn Hall, Lincoln, NEVILLE, Old Photographs, One Name Study, Postcard | Leave a comment

Another long shot, but could you have a connection to any of these old photographs?

In November 2015 I posted a blog post trying to reunite some old photographs I had  found when visiting a car boot sale in Bristol – sadly none of the photographs had names on them, although a few had numbers and they were all from various photographic studios.

Well amazingly I was able to reunite one of these photographs with a  descendant of one of these photographers STILLIARD & Co, which was a fantastic result and was a great surprise to the lady’s father, as she gave it to him as a surprise gift.

Therefore I have decide to post some more old photographs I have recently found hoping for the same result!

Could you have a connection?

Do you recognise a familiar face from your own family tree?

Do you have a particular interest in any of the photographic studios shown?

If you do please get in touch, as I would love to reunite any of the photographs if possible – although I know this is a long shot!!

5        5a

Wesleyan Methodist Photographer Portrait Gallery


  2  1

Hollis & Sons



Sydney Victor WHITE & Ernest E WHITE Reading and Basingstoke



Eastbourne Photographic Company – Clapham Common London


I hope to hear from someone with a  connection and will keep you updated!!

Simon Last        





Posted in Clapham Common, Hollis & Sons, Old Photographs, Sydney Victor WHITE, Wesleyan Methodist Photographic | Leave a comment

Are you a FRY from Cossington in Somerset?

Another of my recent old photographic postcard finds was one of a grave bearing the names of John and Martha FRY – who were they and where were they buried?

FRY Postcard

Well I do love a challenge!!

John  FRY died on the 3rd December 1909 and Martha four years later on the 15th April 1913 – without any middle initials or other clues could I discover who they were, where they lived and where they were buried?

I started by looking for the death records in 1908 and 1913 and I found the death registration for John FRY in the December quarter of 1909 in the Merthyr Tydfil Registration District.

From this I then found the death registration and probate record for Martha FRY,  who as I already knew died on the 15th April 1913 – her address is given as 18 Little Wind Street in Aberdare and the name of Henry William FRY a Seamen’s Missionary is given as the Executor.

FRY Probate 1913

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

I then looked for Martha FRY on the 1911 census and found her as a widow, aged 77, living with her daughter Lucy E FRY aged 36 – their address is shown as 18 Little Wind Street in Aberdare, a match for the 1913 probate record.

FRY 1911 census

Source Information: 1911 Wales Census Source Citation: Class: RG14; Piece: 32506; Schedule Number: 252

From this I then found Martha with her husband John FRY on the 1901 census with their daughter Lucy Emily FRY and john’s occupation is shown as a Surface Weigher at a Colliery.

FRY 1901 census

Source Information: 1901 Wales Census Source Citation: Class: RG13; Piece: 5036; Folio: 127; Page: 20

John was born about 1840 and Martha about 1837 and this 1901 census record shows John’s birth place as Cossington in Somerset, Martha’s as Cirencester in Gloucestershire and Lucy’s as Aberdare in Glamorganshire.

I then found the 1862 marriage registration for John FRY and Martha HALL in the March quarter of 1862 in the Merthyr Tydfil Registration District – did they meet in Wales or did they know each other before living there?

More investigation is needed – however if you have a FRY in your family tree originally from Cossington in Somerset who could be connected to this John FRY and you would like the grave photo for your family history records please just let me know.

Many thanks

Simon LAST  

Posted in Aberdare, Cossington, FRY, Glamorgan, Old Photographs, Postcard, Somerset, Wales | 1 Comment

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