I have cracked the mysterious Sarah Jane Adlam story. I knew there had to be something odd about the Adlam -v- Cook thing and I was right.
Today I received a marriage certificate for Sarah Jane Cook and an Ernest Adlam from 1916. It is definitely my Great Grandmother – there’s just too many bits of evidence for it not to be her. They married ten years after my grandfather was born. Sarah married as a spinster so I’m assuming he was a bastard. As was Aunt Lilian (the woman who bought dad up) since she was born in 1902. It’s interesting that the Buttericks had a problem with children born outside of marriage but the Cooks didn’t seem to! I refer, of course, to dad’s sister he didn’t know he had, because she was born out of wedlock.
Anyway, legitimacy aside, this information has enabled me to go back a long way. I know Sarah Jane’s parents and her mother’s side back to about 1700 now (thanks to a very generous chap who’s tree I have access to). I will now need to work on Sarah Jane’s father (William Thomas Cook) who was a railway signalman or a labourer, depending on the census you read.
Actually, when Sarah Jane married Ernest, her father, though dead, was a Foreman Shunter. I’m pretty certain this is a step up from signalman so I guess he climbed the ladder of the railways.
The Cook family, before moving to Kensal Road, lived in Battersea, which is where Sarah Jane was born along with her sister (Louisa) and brother (Albert). Poor old William was dead by 1901 so he never saw his daughter married (finally) at the grand old age of 41. I’m still searching for the mother’s death. All I know is that Sarah Jane’s sister, Louisa, was a witness at the marriage.
Charlotte, Sarah Jane’s mother, was born in Sussex and, bizarrely is descended from the Vitlers of Sussex. This is odd because Mirinda’s family goes back to the Vidlers of Sussex! I am hoping we’re not related.
This has all been very exciting (it still is as I dig deeper) and has kept me engaged ever since the sun started to go down. Sadly, however, I have yet to find a birth record for my grandfather. Or a death record. Still, Sarah Jane was a mystery I’ve now solved. Who knows what may come next.