Help Requests


We regularly receive requests for help with research from various quarters.

This request was received from a member of the public July 2017

My Mother was confirmed in St Johns Church Eastbourne. On the 16th March 1926 by The Lord Bishop of Chichester and presented with a prayer book by I Irving Bell. Her name was Florence Winifred Froud she was born 24thAugust 1911 in Wandsworth London. What I am trying to find is where she was living at the time, I have tried the Church but they no longer have the records. It is possible she was either at a school in the area or even in service.

Could you please let me know if you are able to help me and what the charges for this will be.
Kind regards
I am responding to your request for help in tracing the residence of your mother in March 1926.  We have had a quick look through records we have immediate access to, but cannot find a surname in Eastbourne matching you mother's.

 We can make further research at our advertised rate of £5 a half hour or part of half hour plus out of pocket expenses. If we can find a trace in the local records, I should think the cost wouldn't be above £15.  However if we have go to the county records in Brighton, the charge could be at least three times this. Of course the search does not guarantee a successful result.

 It would help if you could provide the full name of your maternal grandfather, as the chances are you mother was living with him at the time.
 Please let me know what you would like us to do
 Best wishes

 John Crane

 Secretary, Family Roots FHS for Eastbourne and District.

Dear John
 Thank you for your quick response to my email, and for searching your records, this has been and still is a long search.  I had hoped that St John's Church might have the records but they don't I will need to go to the records office in Brighton.  My mother was either in service in Eastbourne or at a school nearby as I think it's possible that the confirmation was a group of girls.  The NSPCC took her and her youngest brother into there care, it's was all very sad, and I didn't know the story until well after she passed away.  So thank you once again I will continue my search with a possible visit to The Keep, but as you say there is no guarantee I will find what I'm looking for.

 Best Wishes
 Since messaging you this morning, I had another sweep through the online records and find that you are probably right; in 1928 your mother was in service with a family resident  at a house called 'Frontenac' in King's Drive, Eastbourne.  She is described as a 'nurse' and the members of the family were Dorothy Gates aged 33, Daphne Maud Gates and Ralph George Gates aged 7 and 4 respectively and Frances Maude Bailey aged 66.  This looks like mother, grandmother and two children.  Florence might have been caring for the grandmother or a nanny to the children (or both, I suppose).

 This information comes from a passenger list for the voyage of the SS Manela from London to Malta sailing on 16th June 1928 (it went on to Calcutta). Why they were going to Malta is unknowable from this source and inward passenger lists are not yet digitised,so we don't know when they came back.
 I presume you know that a Florence W Froud married in Portsmouth in 1938?
 I hope this is a bit more help.

 Best wishes
Dear John
Thank you so much for your help you have managed to fill a gap in my family history. I knew my mother was in Malta as a nurse and had travelled there with a family, I just couldn't find where she was living before she sailed.  I think that Dorothy Gates husband was in the military or maybe even the Navy not sure.  My mother returned from Malta with Frances Bailey as her companion,  she lived  in Worthing before marrying my Father on Christmas Eve 1938 in Portsmouth. How she managed to end up in service in Eastbourne I don't know, I can only guess that the NSPCC housed her there in 1922  after a court case for neglect.

So once again thank you, family history can be fun, intriguing, and very frustrating.

Best Wishes

John Titmuss had a request for help from Linda Phillips from Sydney Australia in July 2014  asking for help in identifying her Grandparents grave in Ocklynge Cemetery, as I (John Tyhurst) had the MI details I identified the grave in Section Z No. Z454 in the name of Bradford,  I then took three photos to identify where the grave was situated and also the condition of the grave.Linda mentioned she would be visiting England including Eastbourne during September and she was invited to be our guest at our September / October meetings. Sadly Linda departed Australia on Friday 6th September and our meeting was on the 5th. and she arrived home on the 24th September thus unable to join us on the 2nd October.Two emails from Linda:"Dear John,
 What can I say but thank you!  I am overwhelmed by not only the very quick reply but also with the wonderful details that you found and sent to me.  The photos are very clear and will make it so much easier for me to locate the site.
 You have obviously taken time to visit and to ensure the best possible answer to my request. I look forward to my visit in early September and in fact am quite excited! I will also be visiting Meads Village to see No. 46 Meads St where my mother used to live in the old Bradford Dairy.
 Heartfelt thanks once again,
 Linda Phillips "

“Dear John,
I arrived home in Sydney a couple of days ago.
Thanks to your clear directions and photos I was able to find my grandparents’ grave within minutes of parking the car. It was such a very emotional visit for me. I hadn’t realised just how important I felt it was to find them. I was able to clear away some of the grass and photograph the inscriptions.
Once again thank you for the trouble you went to, it has been greatly appreciated.
Linda Phillips”

Another result for Family Roots.

I am a historian currently trying to find information regarding a resident of Eastbourne in the early 20th century.Arthur Winton was a young man who left behind him a series of cycling diaries which form part of my research. (More information on these diaries here.)
Unfortunately, I have had difficulty obtaining information about this man, even after meticulous searches on Ancestry., and I was wondering whether you have any information about him or know how I may learn more about him.
As I am currently based in Sweden, I am afraid I have no access to the local records or newspapers of Eastbourne, and am consequently in great need of a local historian to help me with this query. If there is anyone among you who may help me, I would be truly grateful.

Peter K. Andersson Ph D
Department of History
University of Lund, Sweden
Tel: (0046) 46 222 79 52 

Then John Criddle asked this:-

My name is John Criddle. I am a member and room assistant at the Gold Coast Family History Society, Queensland, Australia.
I am hoping you can provide a contact which may help my Griffiths family research.
Recently I discovered details of the descendants of Mark Griffiths of Eastbourne at www.familytreemaker/
The information was uploaded by Roger John Griffiths of Eastbourne. Sadly, Roger passed away in June  2011.
I have gathered extensive information about the family of Mark Griffiths of Eastbourne, and am seeking any other Griffiths family member who may be interested in sharing information.
I would appreciate any help you can provide.

John Criddle
Palm Beach, Gold Coast, Queensland.

John later told me he thought there was a cousin named Anthony P Griffiths living in Eastbourne. I have found an A Griffiths living in Upper Ratton Drive
Is there any member who can help with these queries? I would particularly like to help John Criddle as he is a fellow FHS member.

The next items are not so much requests for help as offers to supply it.

The first is from Andy Nicholson in Northumberland:-

By way of introduction I have seemingly acquired an interest in genealogy from my late mother who had researched her side of the family quite
extensively, they were Forbes from Perthshire and I note that you have a member no. 1423 who may have an interest in that family name – they are
welcome to contact me to see if I can assist them further, with the caution that the Forbes clan was/is extensive so it remains to be seen if there is any
connections. It is remotely possible that a connection might be through the surname Moffat but that’s a long shot !

However on a separate note I have acquired through a late relative some photos of The Ladies College in Eastbourne circa 1910/1911.
Unfortunately I have no record or even indication of which family name this group of photos came from and even the photos while having first names written next to them there are again no surnames to indicate family names.
Many of the first names are unusual eg. Sydney and Capel ( or are those surnames as often used in private school courtesies) ?
There are about 20 x photos in all ( most in good condition ) and I would be happy to copy and email these to your group should you like to
receive them ?
As a taster I enclose 4 x photos for your interest and information.
If anyone wants to contact me I am happy for them to do so and will reply soonest work time permitting.
Kind regards
Andrew Nicolson
Tel: 07789871305

Lastly Robert Fox, son of a recently deceased member of ours,  Alfred Fox, has asked if anybody is interested in taking over the fruits of
his father’s researches about the Wybourne family (various spellings I understand) which amount to several boxes.

Is there anybody there with an interest in this family? If so, this will be a bonanza for you.

Any information on any of the above please contact:
John Crane, Secretary.