This post is really for dad. Something that has been a thorn in my genealogical side has been extracted and I am rejoicing!
A bit of background. Sarah Jane Adlam is dad’s grandmother on his father’s side. She is the only person I have a lot of information on from that side. Even so, although I have a death certificate, seen her grave and have a rough date of birth, I was still very much in the dark regarding her. Mostly this was because of the name. Dad’s aunt Lilian (nee Cook) was the witness on the death certificate.
Where did Adlam come from? Logically, she would have been ‘Cook’, unless she remarried before she died. And it has been impossible to find either a death or birth certificate for dad’s father, which may have given me some sort of clue.
What I do have is dad’s father’s marriage certificate on which he states that his father’s name was Ernest Cooke and he was a general dealer. This was in 1926. His age is 21 so it puts his birth at around 1905. And this was the dead end I was sat facing.
I would occasionally return to the Adlam/Cook(e) problem and always leave frustrated. It was sticky. I found plenty of Adlams…I even found a Sarah Jane Adlam. She was born in Wiltshire. I followed her family back a loooooooong way. All to no avail as it was not her.
And then…I struck gold! I accidentally discovered an Ernest Adlam marrying a Sarah Cook. This, in itself, is not that surprising. The names are not that uncommon but what was uncommon was the combination of names. They were transposed.
Their marriage was registered in Kensington, another coincidence, which is where the whole clan came from. I decided to bite the bullet and send off for the certificate. It arrived while we were in Brittany.
It shows that Ernest Adlam, 41 year old Bachelor, greengrocer married Sarah Cook, 41 year old spinster on April 25, 1916. Both their fathers were deceased. The real clincher, however, is the address. At the time of the marriage, they were both living at 159 Kensal Road. This is where Sarah Jane Adlam died. So it had to be the same person. Or the coincidences were just ridiculous!
Now there’s a problem. Ernest Cook(e), dad’s father, was born in around 1905 but his mother (Sarah) was a spinster up until 1916 when she married Ernest Adlam. I have searched for his birth certificate under Ernest Cook, Cooke and Adlam but to no avail. This could mean that it wasn’t registered at all, something that happened a lot with the working classes, especially with unmarried mothers. Which makes it next to impossible for me to find anything out about his father! Of course, I shall keep looking for his birth and death certificates.
Sarah, however, may have the following story: She met Ernest Adlam sometime around 1905. They had a fling and she fell pregnant. Either her father or his, did not want them to marry and made provision of some sort for the child. By 1916 both fathers had died and the pair married. They were already living at the same address so it was just a formality, really. Ernest Cook(e), dad’s father, retained the name ‘Cook’ because it was his mother’s maiden name, or because he was bought up by his grandfather, or for some other odd reason (maybe he didn’t like Adlam!).
This all leads me on to greater heights which I am now able to scale. I have Sarah’s father and his occupation and I have a ‘Louisa Cook’, witness on her marriage certificate who is clearly a relation of some sort. The Adlam connection is a bit more tenuous, however, and I may have to drop it unless I find some hard evidence to confirm it.
Anyway…a red letter day!!!