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Reuben Smith, a mystery.

Alberta

Super Moderator
Staff member
A bit of a mystery for my genealogy friends to help with PLEASE?
My friends great grandfather was Reuben Smith b 1894, we know he had a brother Nehemiah and he gave his son this name.Reuben told his family that he was a gypsy.
In 1911 Reuben is at 137 Heneage street, duddeston with his parents? Harry and Amelia smith both born 1873. and his siblings brothers Nehemiah and Harry and sisters Eliza and( Elida?)
Harry and Amelia say married 12 years but, not true, and I can find no marriage after that.

In 1901 in a caravan in Yew tree Lane Aston.
Amelia Worrall b 1871, a hawker.b Handsworth.
Reuben, Nehemiah, Eliza,and Harry
No Worrall children registered, but for their birth years I have found a Reuben, Nehemiah and Eliza with birth names Potter born in the same years.
I have been unable to find Amelia Worrall or Amelia Potter before this although finding gypsies is sometimes a bit of a problem, not always on the census.
Reuben Smith married Elizabeth Hand in 1914 aston
Any help with Amelia appreciated, Alberta.
 

MWS

master brummie
All 3 Potter children you mention are registered with mmn Smith and there are a couple of Amelia Smiths registered in West Bromwich that might be her, both 1872.
 

MWS

master brummie
The one Amelia is illegitimate. The other is Amelia Elizabeth and her mother was Eliza Shell, her bith is listed as West Brom though.
 

MWS

master brummie
The Amelia, daughter of Eliza Shell is in Utah in 1900 so not her.

If it were the illegitimate Amelia Smith it could account for the lack of records under known names, if her mother married subsequently and she was listed under his name.
 

Alberta

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanks for the info.
It would be Smith i am looking for wouldn't it,lol.
I have now hit another hurdle.Because of the christian names I presumed that the Potter births fitted my family but there was only one Nehemiah Potter born anywhere in UK around 1896 and in 1911 he is not with the family but in the Industrial school in Fillongley.
I cannot find him on 1901 so perhaps the family thought they had to include all the children even though they were not living with them in 1911.
 

pjmburns

master brummie
At least 2 of the Potter births were registered in Kings Norton which may fit gypsies moving around but censuses say born elsewhere. (We do know censuses only record what they enumerators were told though).
 

Malvernian

master brummie
I've got a Reuben Aeron Smith (best Smith name we have!) in my family tree, born sometime in 1875 and baptised on 19th December 1875 at Old Saint Martin's church in Worcester. My maternal Smiths were river and canal workers in Worcester many of whom moved to Birmingham when canal work declined - which is how I came to be born there. I've never followed Reuben's line through - his father (my great-uncle) was Henry Smith, born 1847, and working narrow boats in 1871 (at B'ham) and 1881, but in 1891 he was landlord of the Elephant & Castle pub on the canalside at Lowesmoor wharf in Worcester - it's apartments nowadays.
 

MWS

master brummie
There are a couple of baptisms on Ancestry in Bham baptisms for an Amelia Smith 1873ish and a Matilda Smith 1876ish, both appear to be illegitimate and the mother of both is Maria.

Not sure if they are related or relevant but Matilda doesn't seem to appear on the 1881 or 1891 censuses either.
 

bewdley

master brummie
Not sure what records you already have but there is a marriage between Reuben Potter and Amelia Smith in Bedford June quarter 1889 3b 660. Free BMD.

Then there is a death for Reuben Potter December quarter 1898 West Bromwich, 6b 534, aged 35.


This is probably a red herring, but I have found a marriage certificate on Ancestry for Harry Worrall and Amelia Lines, at St James, Handsworth on 18 November 1899. She states she is full age and a spinster, but father's name John Smith - occupation dealer. Harry's father is Samuel a pearl worker (deceased). They both give their address as Anne Road. Witnessed by Emma and Corlinia Smith. They were married by Licence.

On the 1901 there is a Harry Worrall born 1900 and I have found his birth on the GRO with mmn Lyons. (?Lyons/Lines)



On the 1939 register Amelia’s dob is 30 January 1869, Harry’s 21 January 1871. Address is 137 Duddeston Mill Road. Lydia Murphy dob 16 March 1903 married is living with them and there are also 2 redacted records.



Nehemiah Potter was born 29 May 1896 and baptised 21 June 1896 at St Mary, Handsworth. Parents Reuben and Amelia Potter. Abode – Gypsy encampment, Queen’s Head Lane, Occupation – Hawker. Record on Ancestry.



Nehemiah was killed in action 28 Sep 1918 France and Flanders. His effects were left to his mother Amelia Worrall 137 Duddeston Mill Road, which is his address on his army records, which are also on Ancestry.
 
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bewdley

master brummie
Bewdley ,you star.
I will sort through all the info given on this thread and get back to you all.

I could be way off Alberta, but if what I've found looks good I can send copies for your friend if you don't have access to the records.
 

Alberta

Super Moderator
Staff member
Bewdley, I do have Ancestry but obviously haven't been concentrating enough.
All of this because my friends Dad said someone told him his grandmother was a Gypsy.and I foolishly said , I''ll look at that,lol. Alberta.
 

bewdley

master brummie
Bewdley, I do have Ancestry but obviously haven't been concentrating enough.
All of this because my friends Dad said someone told him his grandmother was a Gypsy.and I foolishly said , I''ll look at that,lol. Alberta.

I hear myself saying that too Alberta, but I love it really andwhat else would we be doing whilst the world is in turmoil.
 
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