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=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Poulett,_6th_Earl_Poulett

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


Source: Ancestry.com. 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 mother died A C SHARP was the informant, as on the death certificate above.


Source: Ancestry.com. 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

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

This entry was posted in BOYS, Framlingham, LAST, POULETT, SHARP, SINCLAIR, Suffolk. Bookmark the permalink.

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

  1. I always suspect that the mother might have been having an affair when there is that much confusion about the parentage. Not to cast aspersions on your grand mother, of course, but we have a situation in our family where two sisters were born of two different fathers and the mother never married either man. Common law marriages were also, well, common back in the day. I don’t know how you ever prove anything under circumstances like that! Good luck.

  2. Bonnie B says:

    And if in fact the father was an Earl, if is very possible that the mother might have been “in service” in the Earl’s home, was taken advantage of, lost her position, etc. Thus the 15 years between sisters might make more sense with 2 fathers. Poullet sounds like the kind that might do that, having disinherited a son due to alleged wife’s premarital hanky panky. Good luck proving anything – DNA might be a possibility.

  3. Michael says:

    Congratulations on your recent breakthroughs, and good luck with answering the new questions. Like Bonnie says, perhaps DNA might be able to play a role in this story?

  4. If the children were illegitimate although not noted on the certificate could the mother have taken action to claim monies from the father, Are there any records of this type in your area.

  5. Lois says:

    Hi Simon. I’ve emailed you with some discoveries and thoughts on your Edith Rosa.

  6. Pingback: Friday's Family History Finds | Empty Branches on the Family Tree

  7. Pingback: Continuation: Great Grandmother Edith Rosa SINCLAIR research and links to the BOYS and POULETT families | charnwoodgenealogy

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