Tuesday, 2 March 2010
Family History again - "Old" George Bird
I have somehow got lured back into doing family history research again, and I am chasing my tail. I am trying to find my husband's great grandfather. Or rather, I want an official death for him. I want closure. Despite looking many times, he is apparently NOT in any of the records as George Bird. We know where he is buried, and an approximate date and we know more or less what his age would be (although he lied dreadfully to join up and fight the Hun after his only son was killed on the Somme. He said he was 50 and he was damn near 70. We do wonder if he was the oldest serving soldier in WW1). We have his army discharge papers - invalided home from Mesopotamia in 1918. But I can't look for his burial place in Bow Cemetary because I don't have a date, only a two year likelihood. We know it was a year or so after his estranged wife collected their son's war medals from Buckingham Palace.
I have tried various permutations on the spelling (well, mis-spelling of Bird) but no joy. We know he lived in Poplar most of his working life because he worked on the ships (carpenter). There is a VERY strong musical streak which comes along his line - his son had it, my b-in-law has it, our eldest daughter, and another member of the Bird family we have been in touch with. The name Elgar appears further back in family records shared by my husband's Bird relatives. I wonder if it was an Elgar who was related to THAT one - makes you wonder doesn't it?
He was a bit of a black sheep, easier to love than live with according to his widow, and I am pretty sure our middle daughter's incredibly independent streak comes from him too! A man of Kent, or a Kentish man? Born and bred anyway . . . Herne Bay must have been a quieter place after he left home : )