Q and A
WHERE DID MY GREAT-AUNT GO?
I would be very grateful for help in finding out what happened to my great-aunt. She was Grace Adeline WHITE, born at the Grove, Clapham Common, Surrey, on 2nd July 1862, the daughter of Henry WHITE and Anna Maria (nee LUKYN). In the 1901 census she was living at 1 Catherine Street, Ventnor, Isle of Wight, on her own means. The family believe she never married. There is no record of her death or burial on the Isle of Wight. Do I have to wait for the 1911 census?
Although your great-aunt may never have married, what is certain is that she died. When this event occurred is the problem: all we know is that it was after the 1901 census was taken. Start with the easy option and search for her death using the FamilyRelatives website (www.familyrelatives.com). This allows you to search by name all registered births, marriages and deaths in England and Wales from 1866–1920, which have been fully indexed. However, I have noted that there is no entry for any Grace A(deline) WHITE death 1901 to 1920. You will therefore have to search the original indexes from 1921 onwards. Yes, this could be a very long search and possibly fruitless, but I have on many occasions undertaken death searches covering 25, 40 or more years. It is regrettable that she did not remain on the Isle of Wight as the births, marriages and deaths there 1837–2002 have been indexed by the Isle of Wight FHS and are searchable on its website (www.isle-of-wight-fhs.co.uk).
As you have an address in 1901, you could search the electoral registers for that address to see how long she lived there. As you suggest, the 1911 census may help showing where she was living in her late 40s. You could also search to see if she left a will. Searching the indexes at the Principal Registry (First Avenue House, 42–49 High Holborn, London WC1V 6NP; www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/cms/wills.htm) is much faster than searching the Death Indexes, and if she did you will learn her date of death.
You say ‘the family believe she never married’ which leaves the possibility that she may have. A search of the FamilyRelatives website shows that there were two possible marriages in the period 1901–1920, one in London and one in Wales: Grace A WHITE, to FOSTER in Paddington in 1914; and Grace A WHITE to ROWLAND, in Cardiff in 1916. The other possibility is that she emigrated, in which case you could start by examining the Passenger Lists Outwards mentioned in my answer to Don Rickard’s question
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