Dear Editor, I’m looking for a long-lost side to our family which is proving impossible to research through conventional means. It doesn’t help that the surname is Smith!
I’m looking for my grandad’s side of the family. He never spoke about them and in fact my dad doesn’t even know his gran and grandad’s names!
My grandad was Samuel Arthur Smith, born at 208 Great Russell Street, Birmingham, on May 30 1907. He died in 1979.
He married Gladys Richardson in 1937. She had been married before, but her first husband Arthur Cooper had died of TB in his twenties. They had one son Dennis (my uncle).
Samuel’s parents – Ernest and Leah Smith –are the ones I’m interested in. Leah’s maiden name was Ashford.
Ernest was a master fruiterer by trade who joined the Royal Warwickshire Regt in 1915 and survived the Great War. Ernest’s father is listed on his marriage certificate as Charles. Both the Ashfords and the Smiths came from Hospital Street in Birmingham. Unfortunately I cannot find any record of Ernest’s birth certificate.
They lived in New John Street West and this is where Ernest and Leah disappear from the electoral rolls in the late 1920s.
Samuel followed in his dad’s footsteps and joined the Royal Warwickshire Regt in 1925. He was the original bad lad and absconded twice before deserting in 1927. He was arrested by civil police on July 8 1927, court martialled and sentenced to 84 days detention. He went on to serve in Egypt, Palestine, Sudan and India.
Ernest was alive in 1934 and living at 9/47 New John Street West when Samuel was medically discharged from the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. On Samuel’s marriage certificate, however, it showed that Ernest had died prior to 1937. I cannot find any record of a death certificate between these dates, however. Ernest and Leah had several other children and I’d be interested if any readers have any information about their descendants.
Alfred was born in about 1905, give or take two years, Ernest was born September 20 1909, William was born March 22 1914, Albert was born September 17 1918 and Florence was born August 18 1921. There is a possibility that Florence may still be alive.
Because my grandad didn’t talk about his family we have no memory, no photos and no other information other than the research I’ve been able to find out.
It would be totally mind-blowing to be put in touch with a side of the family that were previously unknown to us and have been apart since the 1920s. I know it would be something my dad would dearly love.