Q and A
COULD HE HAVE BEEN A SOLDIER?Can you advise me where I might find my great-grandfather on the 1871 census? Joseph VALLANCE was born 5th January 1854 at Newbold Verdon, Leicestershire, the illegitimate son of Mary VALLANCE. His father’s name is not given on his birth certificate. Mary also was illegitimate, and while she was baptised using her mother’s name, VALLANCE, the 1841 census lists her under her father’s name, BRADBURY. In the parish register at her marriage it is seen to read ‘Mary Bradbury Vallance’, suggesting that she tended to use the name BRADBURY. After his birth in 1854 Mary’s son, Joseph, then appears on the 1861 census at Newbold Verdon living with his grandparents Joseph and Sarah BRADBURY and using the name Joseph BRADBURY; he may have been using this name or it may have been an error in communication with the enumerator. Mary married in November 1861; she and her husband and family emigrated to Texas, USA, after the 1871 census, and she died there in 1872. After his appearance on the 1861 census I have found nothing more of Joseph until his marriage at Burton upon Trent in December 1878 where his occupation is given as ‘labourer’. The parish register gives the name of his father as Thomas HUNT, a painter. Joseph, and his wife Anne, next appear on the 1881 census at Burton upon Trent where he is a brewer’s labourer. By this time they have their first son, Tom Hunt VALLANCE (born 1879), who is on the census with his grandfather Thomas Hunt in Leicester. Joseph and Anne had two more sons, George Henry Hunt VALLANCE (1881), and my grandfather Alfred Edward VALLANCE (1888). Joseph died in 1889. I can not find Joseph on the 1871 census, under any of the names. There is, however, one possible clue. When my grandfather’s eldest brother, Tom Hunt VALLANCE married in 1900, he gave his father as Joseph VALLANCE, a soldier. If this is what happened, where I might begin my search given that I have no idea what regiment he would have joined? There is a second part to my request. As stated, Mary VALLANCE married in 1861; her husband was John BROMLEY, and together with their children they emigrated to Texas at some time after the 1871 census, with Mary dying in 1872. I have been unable to trace any emigration records to the USA for this period. Can you tell me where I might find such records if they exist?
John A Vallance
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