Liverpool research. Local photographic services. BMD & Censuses for England & Wales
Here are some examples of complex searches and how I resolved the problem of missing data and misinformation.
This is an example of never taking anything for granted.
One branch of my tree is the Hulm family of Bootle, near Liverpool. I had quickly found other researchers, descended from John Hulm and Isabella Holme who were married in Walton in 1798. Census returns allowed a great deal of educated guesses about the children of this couple, along with some links my fellow researchers had made through the names of Godparents and Marriage Witnesses, but without actual baptisms, we were unable to prove that all the Hulms we found in and around Bootle were from the same family.
My co-workers on this project had discovered that our own ancestor, William Hulm, born c1800 from census information, had baptised his children in the Catholic Church. His wife was Welsh Protestant, so it was likely that William had been Catholic.
One of the researchers hired the Local Record Office to run a search on one particular Catholic church she was unable to locate from the USA, asking them to search for William Hulm in 1800 or 2 years either side. The Record Office took the money, and responded that William was NOT in the register.
After we made contact, as I am local to the area, I repeated the search and found William clearly indexed in 1800, as expected
This demonstrates the lack of commitment or skill amongst Record Office staff to perform searches as thoroughly as the customer would do themselves. Not only did they not carry out the search properly (if at all) and charge a fee for this, but they also could easily have closed off that area of research to the family, assuming that the Hulms were not baptised at this church, in which case we would never have found them, or proved the family link between all the Bootle Hulms and a number of others previously unknown (who had been renamed Hulme or Holme by census enumerators). On top of the obvious gains from finding this family, it has also been responsible for locating the birthplace and family links of John Hulm, who we only knew was born in Lancashire.
The sponsors of John's children included Gilbert Reynolds, Robert Lovelady and numerous members of the Robinson family. Gilbert Reynolds lived local to the family in Bootle, but was married in Formby, as was Robert Lovelady.
In a 1767 Catholic census of Lancashire, we found 2 John Hulmes, one in St Helens, the other in Altcar and Formby, the latter living with the Lovelady family and a spinster Mary Hulme aged 36. This then led to my finding a Maintenance and Filiation order through the national archives for Thomas Arnold of Formby to pay Mary Hulme of Altcar for their illegitimate son, John in 1767.
This search is ongoing and we are now tracking down the ancestors of Mary Hulme of Altcar, born c1730.
If we had accepted the Record Office's findings regarding the baptisms of John and Isabella's children, we would've been unable to establish this link to Altcar and would never have found John's birthplace.