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Q My great-grandfather, David SUGAR, was born 1837 in Glasgow. David’s parents were John SUGAR, born 1796 in Lanarkshire, and Mary (nee MITCHELL), born 1801 in Lanarkshire. They are both listed as ‘fleshers’ in the 1841 census. My dilemma concerns John’s parents. I have located a family listed on ScotlandsPeople and the IGI as follows: John SUGAR who married Elizabeth ROBERTON in October 1780 and had children Andrew, born 13th May 1790, Robert born 15th January 1792, Elizabeth born 22nd October 1796, Thomas born 23rd January 1799 and James born 17th May 1802. On the IGI there is also a John SUGARS born 9th June 1783 and William SUGAR born 26th July 1784, both with parents of John and Elizabeth. Sometimes ROBERTON is listed as ROBERTSON, even though on the birth entries it is clearly ROBERTON. On these birth records John SUGAR is also listed as a flesher. This list does not include my John SUGAR (born 1796) and there is no other listing on ScotlandsPeople for John. Am I right in assuming that this is John’s family and that his birth wasn’t registered? If so, how can I prove it? I have one other short query, about my great-grandmother Elizabeth SUGAR’s death certificate (this is David’s wife). She died on 3rd March 1927 and the informant is listed as Lucy ALDRIDGE, granddaughter at 44 Kings Road, Henley on Thames. Is there any way to search forward from this point? I have searched the complete records for a marriage as her birth name was WEBB but to no avail. As this is the last known contact I would love to get in touch with someone from this family with the hope of obtaining photos and exchanging anything relevant to my great-grandmother.

Marion Badenoch

A I think you need to discover, if you have not already done so, further information on John SUGAR junior: his marriage to Mary MITCHELL, his death, and any relevant entries in later census returns. ScotlandsPeople ( is the official government source of genealogical data for Scotland. Included are: the Statutory Registers of Births (1855–2006), Marriages (1855–1932) and Deaths (1855–2006); The Old Parish Registers (1553–1854) and the 1841–1901 census returns; as well as Wills and Testaments 1513–1901. Although John and Mary SUGAR and their family are together in the 1841 census, by 1851 Mary was a widow. Regrettably therefore, John died before 1855; but the details on a Scottish death certificate from 1855 would have shown parents names. The details of John SUGAR and Mary MITCHELL’s marriage in 1824 are also very meagre with no details of parents given. John and Mary’s last child was named Robert(s)on so there is the possibility that this name appeared in earlier generations. Between them, the International Genealogical Index and the Old Parish Registers on ScotlandsPeople indicate eight children of John SUGAR(S) and Elizabeth ROBERT(S)ON: John, born 9th June 1783; William, born 26th July 1784; Thomas, born 1st May 1786; Andrew, born 13th May 1790; Robert, born 5th January 1792; Elisabeth, born 22nd October 1796; Thomas, born 23rd January 1799, and James, born 17th May 1802. John, William and Thomas (the one born in 1786) are only on the IGI (from extracted birth or christening records for the locality). Andrew is only found in the OPRs. Robert, Elisabeth, Thomas (1799) and James are on the IGI (submitted by a member of the LDS Church) and in the OPRs. As you rightly say, there is no John SUGAR, born 1791–1796 (remembering that ages in the 1841 census are rounded down to the nearest five). However there is ‘space’ between Robert and Elizabeth (1792–1796) for John to have been born. As there are several anomalies in this list, I would suggest that you need to make a search of the actual registers for Glasgow (OPR 644) which are held by The General Register Office for Scotland. The OPRs have been filmed by the LDS Church and copies can be ordered to view at your local LDS Family History Centre. There are also several other series of Glasgow registers for the period which you might need to examine. The chances seem very high that John junior was the son of John and Mary but unfortunately, even with the circumstantial evidence you have, you cannot assume this is the case. Turning to Lucy ALDRIDGE (nee WEBB), I find in the Indexes to Marriages in England and Wales that a Lucy E WEBB married Percival E ALDRIDGE in the December Quarter 1925 in Henley Registration District. I also see that Lucy Elizabeth ALDRIDGE died in the December Quarter 1990 in Henley RD, aged 88 (born 25th December 1901). A careful search in the Indexes to Births from 1927 should produce their children, assuming that had some. Possibly Percival and/or Lucy left a will which could mention their family.

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