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

http://www.charnwood-genealogy.com          charnwoodresearch@virginmedia.com

This entry was posted in BOYS, CRISP, Framlingham, LAST, Old Photographs, SINCLAIR, Suffolk. Bookmark the permalink.

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

  1. Hi Simon
    An exemplary account of your research with enough documentary sources to make it well worth the read..
    I’m a big fan of the new GRO index for births and have been breaking barriers with it for members of my two U3A groups since November..
    Using Free BMD from 3Q 1837 with no end date, for a Clara Boys, Deliberately left out the Martha, in case added later.I found a Clara Martha Boys in 3Q 1845. Switching to the new GRO Birth Index and searching for this registration, I found this infant’s mother’s maiden name was JONES. Sorry. It’s a rather high frequency surname. I made a snip of the entry but unfortunately, can’t paste it here. Will check. I may have your email from my war memorial research.

    Margie Frood

    • Hi Margie

      Many thanks for your very kind words and for finding this information for me which is very much appreciated – more research needed into JONES I think and a follow up blog post in due course.

      My email address should be at the bottom at blog post – hope all good with you

      Best wishes


  2. Pingback: UPDATE…Have I finally smashed my own Brick Wall – Missing Great Grandmother! | charnwoodgenealogy

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