Posts Tagged ‘ Polish ’
This month, our expert family historian answers two questions from Lucy Lawer:
1. My grandma Ethel Ann SINGLETON was born 1909, she is not on the 1911 census. I have looked for this family so hard over 20 years. John SINGLETON and Hannah HOWARTH are her parents, my mum said they had a large family. Where should I look now?
2. My Dad Zygmunt BORYS who has recently passed away, was born 1926 Gdansk Poland. He was brought through the French underground to England. Then sent to Scotland to join the Polish ranks up there, he was then sent out to Italy to fight. If he was part of British army then I can’t find his records and have no clue where to look next. He told me he got a demob suit and lived in London for a time. I am interested how he became a British citizen. Any help would be so appreciated.
Our expert, Steve Rigden, answers:
“Thanks for your enquiry.
In my experience, the proportion of the population missing from the 1911 census is much smaller than for earlier census years and normally I would expect to find someone with a little digging. I see from the marriage indexes that John Singleton married Hannah Howorth in the December quarter of 1904 in Preston registration district. Using this, I was then able to find the 1911 census return, which was completed by John himself. The census shows John, Hannah, your grandmother Ethel and her brother John junior living at Charnock Moss, Penwortham near Preston. John was born in Penwortham and his wife and children in Preston itself. If you go to the census reference search you can retrieve the image by selecting 1911 (RG14) in the Census dropdown list, inserting Piece no 25236, and then using RD no 476, SD no 1, ED no 3 and schedule no 180.
With this information, you should be able to work back in time, finding John and Hannah on the 1901 and earlier censuses.
For example, if John was aged 35 in 1911, he would have been born circa 1875/76. Searching on the 1901 census, you then find John Singleton aged 25, born Penwortham, residing in Charnock Moss with his parents John and Sarah A Singleton and their large family (reference RG13 piece 3942 folio 54 page 26).
Similarly, we can find Hannah, who was aged 26 in 1911 and therefore born circa 1884/85. Searching on the 1901 census, you then find Hannah Howarth aged 16, born Preston, residing in Newton Street, Preston with her parents John and Elizabeth Howarth and a couple of siblings (reference RG13 piece 3945 folio 118 page 38).
Incidentally, if you wish to look for brothers and sisters of Ethel Ann Singleton born after 1911, you can do this using the birth search. Search under Singleton with mother’s maiden name Howorth and repeat under Howarth, selecting dates from 1911 to, say, 1925. If you know that the family stayed in Preston district, or at least in Lancashire, you can also safely select the right geographical parameters for your search. This search finds possible siblings named Ellen, Fred, Annie and Cecilia.
As for your father, many Poles fought in the British armed forces during WW2, notably in the air force, in which they played a key role. There are few digitised online records for Poles serving in the British forces during WW2. However, as a child of a soldier serving after 1920, you should be able to obtain a copy of his service records from the MOD by going to their Veterans UK website and then following the relevant links.
Good luck with your research!”
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