Searching for my Great Grandfather

Jun 14th, 2005, 06:20 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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Searching for my Great Grandfather

Hi! Can anyone help me trace my Great grandfather? His name was Henry Goodey. His Son was also called HENRY GOODEY BORN 1866, MARRIED 1890 to Mary Ann Goodey nee Walker DIED 1945.
etgoodey is offline  
Jun 14th, 2005, 06:23 AM
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Hi et,

Go to and enter "genealogy" for starters.
ira is offline  
Jun 14th, 2005, 06:26 AM
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Where do you think this GGF was born?
flanneruk is offline  
Jun 14th, 2005, 06:27 AM
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Have you tried the Mormons? They have a huge genealogy database.

Just Google <Mormons genealogy>. You'll get dozens of links.
Eloise is offline  
Jun 14th, 2005, 06:35 AM
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Also go to for the Mormon database.

The first thing you should do is write out a tree -- i.e., name, place, date of each of your ancestors branching back, birth, marriage, death. That way you know which information you still need.

A marriage certificate is a good source, if you know WHERE they were married. You can often look up information online, or at least find out which county to write to and get a copy. The Marriage cert should have both sets of parents listed, or at least a birth place. If you get a birth certificate from that, it definitely will have the parents names. And you can go back from there

I've done lots of genealogical research, and am available for hire. Email me if you want my help. (not an spam advertisement -- this is a hobby, not a business, and I'm a fairly regular poster)
GreenDragon is offline  
Jun 14th, 2005, 07:01 AM
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etgoodey - I did a quick search on a service I belong to and I'm guessing your GGF was born in England? You posted on the Europe board so I took a guess.

Anyway, I found a Henry Goodey married to a Mary A. Goodey living at 34 Union Street, Lambeth London in the 1891 UK census. His occupation is listed as potters laborer. If this seems like correct information to you, re-post and let me know and I'll tell you how to find more. Good luck! I'm just an amateur genealogist, too.
Jun 14th, 2005, 07:06 AM
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Forgot to ask - GreenDragon - how do I find your e-mail address and are you in US or Europe? I may need help with English relatives and German relatives.
Jun 14th, 2005, 11:23 AM
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Try the 1901 census site too - very easy to use. Initial searches are free, then you have to pay a little to get more info.
Morgana is offline  
Jun 14th, 2005, 09:24 PM
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Just a comment on the Mormon database. This is info that regular folks (both Mormon and non-Mormon) record, and there is no guarantee that the info is correct. I'm not saying the recorders are purposely providing false info, only that there is no requirement for verification of any info. Anything you use from the LDS website should be independently verified through other sources.

In contrast, census info is relatively reliable, although it is subject to the accuracy of the census-taker.
Jean is online now  
Jun 14th, 2005, 10:00 PM
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You've probably reached the limit of what the Internet can do.

As you can see from the census sites Morgana and aggiemom mention, there are a number of Henry Goodeys in England of roughly an age to father a son in 1866.

If your ggf is one of them, you will get a bit more information about Henry Snr from Henry Jnr's birth certificate. But that's only really available by physically searching the indexes at the Family Records Centre (FRC) in London, or by paying an agent to do that for you.

You'll get more information by tracking down Henry Snr's marriage cerificate (which will tell his father's name and occupation, and enough about Henry Snr's date of birth for you to identify which of the Henrys on the census he is, and therefore where he was born). Again, only possible by someone, in person, trawling through the FRC registers. English civil records before the 20th century are not, unlike Scotland's, available online.

At this point, you'll know he was born, probably somewhere in Essex or Suffolk, probably sometime in the 1840s, and possibly before birth registration became mandatory in England.

But baptism was almost universal. If his parents were Anglicans, the Mormons might have transcribed his baptism register, in which case it'll be online at the Mormons' site (though subject to transcription error of course). Or it might be available only by trawling through the microcopies of the church register, kept either at the Society of Genealogists in Clerkenwell (just down the road from the FRC), or at the appropriate County (or sometimes Diocesan) Records Office. If he was of a different religion, his marriage certificate might give you a hint if he was married in a non-Anglican church, and you have a trickier task to track down the relevant records.

With luck, and the help of the Mormons' site, you might be able to keep this going for several more generations online: families often lived in the same village for centuries, church records often go back to the 1500s, the Mormons have transcribed a good proportion (but nowhere near 100%), and surviving church records, or copies, are easy to access - but often only by going in person to wherever they're held.

And for the vital step of identifying which of the several Henry Goodeys of marriageable age in the 1860s was your chap, someone has to fight their way through a lot of 19th century paper records.

Clerkenwell, BTW, is a delightful place to spend a week's holiday.
flanneruk is offline  
Jun 14th, 2005, 11:26 PM
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Another useful resource is - sometimes posting to their region-specific mailing lists can help.

Bear in mind that the further back you go the more problematic name spelling becomes. Often the parish clerk or registry office official had to make his best guess at the spelling as a result of literacy or accent issues. And once you get back to the 17th century and before, the very idea of a standard or "correct" spelling starts to fade.

As an example, my Irish GG-grandmother was listed as having been born in "Nice" rather than "Naas" (Co. Kildare), presumably because that what a migration agent or shipping company clerk in Liverpool heard her say - the local pronunciation of Naas is not (as I assumed "Nahce" but "Nayce". For a long time I couldn't find an online record of my grandfather's birth because the original record omitted the first "h" in his surname - presumably because that's how his illiterate mother pronounced it. So be on the lookout for variations like Goody, Goodie, maybe even Goddy, etc.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Jun 15th, 2005, 06:09 AM
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Good point on the name spelling. My great-grandmother was one of 13 children. Among those 13 birth certificates, McKenzie was spelled about 4 different ways -- in one generation -- depending on how the clerk wanted to spell it.

Another good point about resource reliability. There are several 'depths' of reliable records.

The most reliable are primary resources, the official ones (birth certificate, census info, marriage/death cert) but even those are prone to error due to transcription, illiteracy, and just wrong info.

I've seen death certs have completely wrong birth information, as the info was given by a grieving second cousin, the only living relative who didn't know much.

The LDS records, and much of the online info you will find, are secondary resources, and even more prone to error.

The general rule in genealogy is, if using secondary resources, find independent verification in three places, even if all are secondary. Try not to get resources that rely on eachother (i.e., Joe made his family tree based on Jim's family tree information, so those aren't independent resources).

Good luck!
GreenDragon is offline  

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