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Looking for Great Uncle Chester

Published on 6 Jun 2011 16:56 : commonwealth war graves commission : 10 comments : 11221 views

Hi, I'm Rhoda and I've been the Head of Genes Reunited for about a year now. Prior to that I was interested in my family history but on talking to relatives it transpired that a bit of the research had already been done, and a few names had been plotted into a paper tree. I want to share with you the journey I have been on over the last year, and hope to share with you my family's lineage as I make discoveries in the course of time. I'm not just interested in building a tree, but also in building the social history of my family. My Dad's an artist, his Mum was also very creative - is there a familial link? My Mum's a nurse, as was her Mum - how many generations does that go back? Are there any names and other family traits that go back down the line? I want to know how my ancestors lived, where and how they died, and how did we all seem to live in and around Nottingham - especially as my maternal Grandad is Irish.

Over the past year I have hit many a brick wall. I've also asked for help, plenty of times, on our message boards, and joined a few of our ‘Ask an Expert' sessions in the evening, to see what breakthroughs I can make. I've also had lots of ‘goosebump' moments, been directed to websites that have been incredibly useful, had many a late night at my computer, and looked into wider branches of the family. That said I'm still only a beginner and I am very much looking forward to the long family history journey ahead of me - the twists the turns and ‘o my goodness' moments ahead. One of which I want to share with you..

My maternal Nana and her twin brother Chester were born in 1916 in Nottingham. Nana had a full life, bringing up five children, and she died peacefully in December 1999. All I knew about Chester was that he served in World War II, and died fighting in the war. I looked into Nana's parents and found both of them in various records. (My Nana's maternal family is incredibly interesting but I'll save that for another time!)

A recent office discussion about the Commonwealth War Graves Commission www.cwgc.org made me go and have a look to see if I could find any details about Chester. I was searching for a C Wood who died in 1943, but didn't have any luck. I then looked for Chester in the Army Roll of Honour 1939 - 1944, and discovered a record under Arthur C Wood, born in Nottingham, residing in Bristol. Nana and Chester's Dad was called Arthur and as I couldn't find any other Chester Wood, I made a note of the service number and looked again at the CWGC. The C, was confirmed as Chester, and the additional information on the casualty detail record named his parents - the names I have match. So Chester was in fact Arthur Chester, and by looking at the CWGC I was able to learn so much more about him that I didn't know. To enable my Dad to write to the Ministry of Defence and get his war records, we needed to get Chester's birth certificate.

I'm now in possession of the certificate, but typically it throws up more questions. Nana and Chester were born in a house in Hucknall, not a hospital. Their parents and the rest of the family lived in West Bridgeford, a significant distance from Hucknall. Looking at the Hucknall address in the 1911 census, I can't find any connection between the families, nor can I find that the residence is anything other than a regular house. Why were they born there?

Dad is writing off for Chester's records, and I'll keep you posted on what we receive back. In the meantime I have further investigations to do...

If you can help with my mysteries do feel free!!


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by SylviaInCanada on 22 Jun 2011 21:33 : Report Abuse

A possible thought for you regarding the place where the twins were born..

Some times a "midwife" or "laying in woman" would take pregnant women into her house for them to give birth .......... the woman might be a fully trained midwife or nurse, or just someone with a lot of experience.

Do you remember the Yorkshire Veterinarian books by James Herriot, which were also a famous tv series?

In one of those books is a description of Herriot's wife giving birth in the local nurse's own home .......... one of the 2 bedrooms became the labour / delivery/ recovery ward.

If I remember the description in the book correctly, Helen was kept there for 10 days after the birth before she was allowed to return home. And that was in the 1940s.

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by Deirdre on 21 Jul 2011 16:02 : Report Abuse
didnt most women then give birth at home?? hospital births were very rare. my grand mother was born at HER grand mothers house.

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by Alan on 3 Aug 2011 11:11 : Report Abuse
HI there, yes all my 10 children was born at home,and that was from 1946, till 1963, all in london, you couldent get into hospital, unless there was something wrong,, big houses was used for giveing birth to familys who couldent manage or paid for there services cat,
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by Marktewk on 4 Mar 2012 07:24 : Report Abuse
Rhoda - as "Head of Genes Reunited" why are you not resolving the problems that people are having with what should be the simple task of logging into your site. If you don't know what I mean, send me your e-mail address (mine is [email protected]) and I will gladly send you a copy of my latest e-mail I have just sent to your support team (not the first). This shows how it has just taken me over 7 minutes to login to your site... at 7am on a Sunday morning (surely not a peak period?).

Your support team seem to be in denial - or simply can't resolve the problem due to some capacity problem on your side.

I have no problems with your competitor websites (I'm sure you know what they are).

I'm not expecting this to achieve anything - or get posted on your blog - but here's hoping that someone at GR gives a damn.

Your faithfully etc. :-|
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by StephenGodfrey on 11 Apr 2012 10:25 : Report Abuse
Why have not done a maintenance run?
Why have you introduced new services without adding the capacity to accommodate these.
When are you going to remove unnecessary functions which add usage of memory.
Each time you tweak the system the bigger the problem gets.
Listen to your staff, Katie comes to mind.
Form a think tank to prioritise the freeing up of operating capacity.

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by Ray on 2 Oct 2012 17:27 : Report Abuse
i have change my email address to [email protected] ..but am unable to log in on this new addy ray chancellor
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by FoggyRay on 12 Jan 2013 19:08 : Report Abuse
Hi, Rhoda.
When I am successfully logged on to Genesreunited and wish to access my account in order to cancel my subscription I am asked to resubmit my password. Entering my password does not get me to my account. It returns me to the same place.
I have used several computers and web browsers which suggests that the problem is at your end.

Sorry for using your blog for this purpose but how else can I contact you?
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by FoggyRay on 12 Jan 2013 19:30 : Report Abuse
Hi Rhoda.
I have now discovered that whilst my normal login password includes a mixture of upper and lower case characters your secondary level of security where customers are asked to resubmit their password rejects uppercase characters. Customers who do resubmit their correct password can thus be rejected.

I wish to suggest that Genes Reunited make more efforts to help those with Irish Ancestry.
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by Jaky on 10 Feb 2013 03:14 : Report Abuse
Before all the changes I used to be able to add a person and even delete wrong entries. Now I just plane don´t understand the whole system. If just looking at it I am fine and it looks good. The problems all start when I try to delete someone or add someone.
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by Hilary on 13 Dec 2013 23:14 : Report Abuse
I agree with the other comments here. I finally got time to update my GR site after a couple of years; but nothing I did would let me in to do that. I used to have no trouble to do this. I thought it was me - being rather computer illiterate!