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Emma Trodd, Weston, St Mary's Extra

Hello! :D

Like you Ed, I've been keeping an eye open for updates though it's been like glimpsing a ghost site!

I'm probably as green with envy as you Maggie; I would love to explore Cornwall and see its beautiful views.

Hope you don't overfill on clotted cream and pasties Ed! Sounds like a brilliant arrangement too, a gorgeous holiday in exchange for a spot of cat-sitting, even the chance of a little research if it rains. Just relax and enjoy for all of us!

Regarding research:

Help wanted! I warn you it's complicated. (Not of the Trodd family):

Researching a paternal ancestor I strongly think he was a bigamist. Both of his partners had the same forename, as did both 1st children (dghtrs). Probably saved him from getting names wrong until his confidence grew!

Marriage 1: Legitimate but under an alias forename & legitimate surname. There is a Marriage Register Record. This wife was kept very busy with a string of 13 children, several born after the 2nd 'marriage'. Five years into this 1st marriage apparently came:-

Marriage 2: Using his birth forename & surname. There is a Marriage registration record. There were also four children to this marriage.

I've plotted out the lives of both personas, found out, due to errors in transcription of records, there are records under thirteen differing names! Luckily, much information remains constant throughout.

This plotting showed me he could very well have been leading two lives and within a 60mile-a-side triangle. For each of his two lives he had a different occupation; each being easy for him given his legitimate family history and each giving a plausible excuse to being away from home.


All Records under his legitimate name would be in order, not giving away anything to do with his alias side. He was born 1833 in Sussex, 'married' 1858& died 1911.

The records for his legitimate 1st marriage (1853) are not going to show any information regarding his true history (parents etc.). I can find no birth or death records for him under this alias persona. From Census information he was born c1834 with birthplace being Sussex.

Coming from a fairly high-profile family he would be thorough in covering what he didn't want that family to know.

His first wife was pregnant prior to marriage. The family would be aware of this as he was apparently 'cast-out'. I don't think they ever knew of the subsequent and legitimate marriage, especially as it took place well away from home and considering his change of forename (no need for change of surname as it's so common). This 'secrecy' allowed an eventual family reconciliation leading to the very respectable (but bigamous) marriage of which his father, in blissful ignorance, would have readily approved.

Birth & death records are non-existant under the alias; as expected. :(

Records under his legitimate name will be of no help regarding his alias life.

How do I either link the two lives together or prove that they are two different men, which would trash an awful lot of research! I've been researching, tracking and plotting this chap (or chaps) for over two years. Information gained, and gut instinct, tells me they are one and the same man.

Where do I look next? :confused:

I very much look forward to your thoughts on this with the hope of being able to reach a satisfactory conclusion!

If this man was leading a double life it may have come to light after his death.

Did he leave a will?

Have you searched newspapers for missing persons advertisements, reports of scandal or bigamy?

As for the TRODDS - I'm frustrated :(

We have found out so much :biggrin:

.... but still have so much to find :confused:
Hi GP. I agree with Hammy. I was going to suggest looking for a will. Do both chaps appear in the 1841-1901 Censuses? Have you researched the children's marriages from both partners?
After reading through your text several times, I would be inclined to believe that it is one and the same person.

Regarding the TRODDS. Have you all heard of Kenith Trodd the film producer? He was born in Southampton and I believe may be related to us. His father was named Benjamin Edward Albert Trodd and died in 1985 buried in SMX with his wife Winifed Alice. I would be interested to know if anyone else has come across this possibility

Hello Maggie and Hammy,

I'll check Wills but don't hold out much hope. At least, not under his alias but under his birth name it could prove very interesting if there is a Will!

We have a letter written by his first wife (my great grandmother) in which she doesn't mention her husband but she would certainly have been widowed by then (c1916). We think she may have entered him onto censuses when he wasn't home. We also think that she found out about his double life sometime near to 1881 as for that census she is Head of Household but shows as married not widowed. Their youngest child was born in 1879!

I am researching the children but it's going to be a long haul I fear! I'm also researching 1st wifes siblings in the hope of finding clues. I think I also need to check 1911 census.

Trouble is, though it's all very intriguing the surnames are so common; be glad of Trodds!

I have the following relating to Kenith Trodd:

KENITH TRODD born: 1938 baptized: November 1938 in SOUTHAMPTON.
PARENTS: Benjamin E A Trodd (cranedriver) & Winifred Pitfield.
EDUCATED: Oxford University 1956-1959.

BENJAMIN EDWARD ALBERT TRODD: born: 1907 14th Aug. Birth Regstrd: 20th Sept.
Parents: Benjamin George Trodd & Margaret Patterson.
Occupation: Cranedriver
Married: 1933 to Winifred Pitfield in Southampton.
1933 Mrrg Register Oct-Dec attained via Genes Reunited. Son is Kenith Trodd (TV Producer/ Playright).

Parents: Benjamin Trodd & Sarah Ann (Harras?).
Occupation: Steamship seaman.
Married: 1899 to Margaret Pattison in Sth Stoneham.
1899 Mrrg Register Jan-March attained via Genes Reunited. Son is Benjamin Edward Albert.

Parents: Unknown and Harriett Trodd ?
Married: Sarah Ann (Harras ? ) born: 1845 in Itchen.
1901 England Census shows mrrd to Sarah and resident in Itchen St Mary Extra Hants. (Ancestry.com). Son is Benjamin George. Sml of FHUK suspects Benjamin (b: 1843/2) is illegitimate son of Harriett Trodd (b:1811) before she mrrd George Pennicot.

If you're there Sml, you will be able to correct me or add to the information?

Hello everyone.

To confirm GP's info.

Kennith Trodd decends from John and Martha Trodd. Most Trodd trails seem to link us via this couple.

Their daughter Harriett Trodd b. 1811 married George Pennicott.
Before her marriage I suspect she had Benjamin Trodd b. 1842.

Benjamin (above) married Sarah A Harras and was master of a vessel named Whirlwind. (1871 census)
They in turn had Benjamin George Trodd b. 1878. He married Margaret Pattison in 1899.

They in turn had Benjamin Edward Albert Trodd b.1907. He married Winnifred A Pitfield. They are the parents of Kennith G Trodd b. 1935.

If you search his name, their are websites which will tell you about his work.

I think we almost agree GP. :)

I hope you manage to discover the truth behind your suspected bigamist.

I'm sure you have cross referenced father's names and occupations on both of his marriage certificates with his birth certificate. But what did you discover. Do his father's names and occupations match?

Is his alias name, a middle name? Does his birth cert give you this info?

I'm intrigued. I like a good mystery.:biggrin:

Good to see the thread is still going strong. All the best to everyone.
Hello Everyone,
Thank you all for confirming the information regarding Kennith. You may be interested in the following information I found while surfing the net:

Kenith Trodd grew up in working-class Southampton. His father was a crane operator, and his parents were members of the Plymouth Brethren, an extremely strict Fundamentalist sect. Fortunately, his mother became friends with a neighbour and Kenith (then Kennith) was permitted to visit. He discovered "an alien world" in which smoking was permitted and "some" drinking, and, most portentous, phonograph recordings. "I made a connection between the music . . . and the world of drama and emotion, which was more rewarding than that of fundamentalism and primitive hymns." He was enchanted; he brought records home and hid them. He developed an ardent and lasting interest in the songs, the orchestras which played them, and the band-leaders who sang them. He later observed: "Lew Stone was my imaginative background. I've told you that my real background was very strict - the world and the Devil. As a child, I was protected from it."

G.P - Out of interest. What is the name of your suspected bigamist? Would you like some help with your investigations?

Regards Maggie
Hello All!

A little more on Kenith via biographical data:

Apparently, he hates his name being incorrectly spelt (not that it looks correctly spelt!).

For many years he and the writer Dennis Potter were best of friends but they had a falling out and the relationship was never repaired. :'(

Maggie, you're a star and yes please, help would be wonderful! :D I'm stuck in genealogical mud and no longer know which is the best way out!

I've ordered marriage certificates for each of the marriages so should receive those within the next few days. I hadn't done this up to yet as were they to contain untruths they will be of little help; should be interesting.

I think I should write a book on this; follow the clues and crack the mystery!

The one most important question which needs to be answered: can this man be linked in any way at all to Chichester Cathedral and/or its Parish of Eastergate? When I first started researching this chap I did find a link for him within the Cathedral Precincts but had no idea at the time how important that would prove to be - and havn't been able to find it since!:mad:

I have extreme amounts of information on this fellow so what you find I may already have but finding something I don't have would be absolutely champion and could well prove/disprove the bigamy theory.

This is the man:

Laz (often wrongly transcribed as Lay) Roberts. Birthdate according to censuses: 1834. Birthplace: Chichester, Sussex. Birth & Death registration records not yet found. Childhood not yet discovered but I will be checking 1841/51 census - again!

Laz was a Photographer/colourist/miniature Portrait Painter with a studio in London then in Wycombe, Bucks. There's quite a long article on him regarding his photography on this website: http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/bcc/content/index.jsp?contentid=-510048840
Early professional photographers in Wycombe 1860-1877.

The last heard of Laz here in Bucks was 1875.

As it's so late now I'll leave you with Laz but will post more tomorrow.

Thank you again for that offer of help, GP. :)

As promised I've returned to submit more of Laz. Yet again I've checked 1841 & 1851 census but no Laz; not even as Lay. This doesn't really surprise me as it's strongly believed he changed his name for two reasons; Laz Roberts was probably deemed far more sophisticated for a professional photographer over his original birthname and he was also wanting to hide his true identity.

When he married Sarah Burns Laz would have been about 19yrs & Sarah 16/17yrs and pregnant. If I'm correct in who Laz' actual parents are, they would have been horrified if they had known of this situation. I don't think they ever knew because Laz & Sarah lived and married in London. Sarah was a London-born lass.

So here is more:

1853: Laz married Sarah Burns.
1861 census: Laz with wife Sarah Burns (apparently) & children: Fanny, Richard & Sarah; all living at 12 East St Lambeth with three other families.

Laz eventually moved to a Photographic Studio in Hughenden Rd, Frogmore Gardens, High Wycombe, Bucks. From here selling & advertising in the ‘Bucks Free Press’.

Early March 1870 moved to 85 Easton St, High Wycombe putting ads in Bucks Free Press 16th/29th March regarding the move & 2nd September regarding a new process. Laz claimed to be working entirely on a new process of his own: Chromophotography, taking life-like Cartes de Visite (CdVs) in Natural Colours. (This process has not been attributed to Laz but to other photographers).

1871 census: Laz & family living Temple End, Chipping Wycombe (Chipping an old name for Wycombe). Records/confirms Laz born in Chichester. Known to have advertised in ‘Judsons Trade Directory’ during 1875; which was the last heard of him in Wycombe.

Youngest child Emily was born c1879.

Children (the full set for Laz with Sarah Burns): Fanny 1854. Richard 1858. Sarah 1860. Mary 1862. William 1863. Anne 1865. James 1866. Alice 1869. Minnie 1870. Arthur 1872. Robert 1873. Martha 1875. Emily 1879.

It seems likely that Sarah finally realised that she had actually been deserted by Laz either just before or just after the birth of Emily in 1879.

1881 census Sarah is Head of Household, living at 2 Pleasant Row Southwark with 7 of the 13 children. Sarah recorded as married not as a widow or divorced. It wouldn't have been in Sarah's nature to admit to the desertion.

1916 Sarah’s address is 227 New Kent Road, Southwark SE as per a family-held letter from Sarah to her son Robert and his wife.

No death record found for Laz.

There is more but not tonight! Do I hear you cry "No more, no more!"? It gets more complicated!:eek:

Hi GP. The plot thickens!

As well as being part of this forum, I am a member of 'findmypast.com' and the Genes Reunited site and I believe we have been in contact through that site and have access to each others trees. So I think I understand your situation.

So that I could get things straight in my head I have copies of :

1. 1861 Census 12 East Street, Lambeth - Jay & Sarah Roberts with Fanny, Richard & Sarah.
2. 1871 Census Temple End - Lay & Sarah Roberts with nine children (the youngest at that time being Minnie).
3. 1881 Census 2 Pleasant Row - Sarah Roberts with seven children.

I couldn't find Sarah Roberts in the 1891 Census but I found a marriage on the FreeBMD site for Sarah Roberts & Joseph Jerome Harding - St Saviour, Dec 1890 1d 40.

I then found Joseph Harding 57 - Bootmaker & Sarah Harding 53 - Machinist living at 98 Marylebone Lane, St Marylebone, London. Together with Robert Roberts - Stepson - 18 Bootmaker. Emily Roberts - Stepdaughter - 11 - Scholar.

Does this help at all?

Hello All,

I thought we were known to each other on Genes Maggie which means that I know how thorough you are with research; and you've very quickly proved that with what you've already found regarding Laz & Sarah. Appreciative thanks indeed as it's a completely new angle.

What you have found has come as a complete surprise! I will check through this new information to see how it ties in. We know that Robert, son of Laz & Sarah (and my grandfather) was a cobbler/boot & Shoemaker; first in London then in Brighton.

Of all the mixed bag of names I have for Laz (in both possible lives) I have never come across, so not considered, 'Jay'; can't think why not as it's such an obvious and likely 'error'.

The Harding link, or even that Sarah might have remarried, are completely alien to me so this will make for interesting checking. The letter I mentioned previously and which must have been written 1916, Sarah has signed off as Sarah Roberts but this could signify anything at all.

This is the full set of children for Laz with Sarah Burns:

Fanny 1854. Richard 1858. Sarah 1860. Mary 1862. William 1863. Anne 1865. James 1866. Alice 1869. Minnie 1870. Arthur 1872. Robert 1873. Martha 1875 and Emily 1879.

Robert & Emily's ages would certainly tie in with your new information Maggie. I feel another marriage certificate could be in order!

If this Harding marriage is our Sarah then it has to put a whole new light on this drama! Sarah seems to have been a determined, feisty and, I think, an unhappy but cunning lady. I have a photo of her and I would say that she wasn't to be argued or trifled with. I would certainly never have seen her as remarrying, not unless it was to secure her financial future. Come to that, I would never have visualised her having thirteen children! I have to admit to having more than a little respect for Sarah, admiration even. In her letter she tells her daughter-in-law 'not to have any more children as two is quite enough for anybody'. I think she must have been a grand old matriarch but with a bit of a twinkle in her eye!

I now need to continue checking out Sarah's siblings, her children and any Wills or newspaper reports.

I've been checking all Roberts families in Chichester but have not yet come across a childhood for Laz as Laz (or Lay). Nor any other family for him other than the one I believe he must belong to. I haven't said who I think this family is as it might unnecessarily complicate any new conclusions which could
be reached without that bit of information.

Will let you know how the research progresses,

Hello all!

Back to Trodds for the moment and the missing Abraham.:(

There are several Abraham (possible Trodds?) to be found in the Channel Islands; mostly Guernsey. I say 'possible' as the surname is Torode.

Would you agree it feasible that Torode could have become Trodd when it reached England?

Hello All,

Hope the heatwave is not being too unkind to you all! Phew!

The marriage certificate for Laz Roberts has arrived. The plot turns to treacle! :eek: Three years research is now in doubt. Genealogy ebb and flow; but even having to start again can become an adventure (I tell myself)!

One certificate has only ‘bachelor’ which might yet prove imaginative! It honestly can be discarded for now, unless or until it can be linked in again.

Laz and Sarah Burns certificate:-

Married January 30th 1853 by banns at St John’s Church (now extinct with St John integrated with St Giles), Bethnal Green; the officiating Curate being Ebenezer Hewlett.

Laz Roberts: of ‘full age’, a bachelor and artist. Laz was born c1834 so nearer to 19yrs old, rather than 21yrs.
Laz occupation: ‘Artist’. He was a Professional Photographer/colourist/Portraitist. Artist is fine.

Complete surprise: Laz father is recorded as Lazarus Roberts, a Portrait Painter. Is it true, or something Laz has created from his own identity? No proof yet for this father of Laz. I’ve still not found a childhood for Laz so don’t know who his parents actually were.

Checking through for Lazarus Roberts I haven’t yet found a likely match. Interesting point; many originated from Poland, Russia or White Russia; (adds to complications!). Not anything ever mentioned within the family.

Residence for both Sarah & Laz at time of marriage: 8 Crescent Place, Hackney Road, London.
Sarah recorded as ‘of full age’, crossed through and corrected to ‘minor’. Sarah would have been as young as 16yrs old, 15yrs even, certainly no older than 17yrs. The first (known) child, Fanny, was born c1854.

Sarah’s father: Dennis Burns (I was convinced her father was James Burns) a Carman. Haven’t yet found Dennis, not as a carman (a carman being driver of a cart or a stableman), or with a daughter Sarah or living in the area in which Sarah was born (St Giles, Mddlsx; apparently). I’m still checking.

Witnesses: John Burns and (what looks like) P. J. Dixon. John could have been uncle, brother or cousin of Sarah. Dennis with a son John I can find but not including a daughter Sarah. I believe some reason could have caused Sarah to be farmed out as a 5-7yr old, possibly with an aunt & uncle; (James Burns?), which is something I’m attempting to check out.

Was Laz a bigamist? I still think he was. One thing never wavered from: he was born in Chichester, Sussex. Can’t prove it yet!

Needless to say, I’m back to square one, recording the facts as I again build their life story, and probably another brick wall! Much of the information already gathered still holds good; thankfully!

I think I'll go back to Abraham Trodd, even he will be easier to deal with than my tricky Laz!:confused:


May be something or not. On the 1841 census there is a Lazarus (transcribed as Roberds) could be Roberts born about 1833 Middlesex, father Lararuz living in the civil parish of St Boltolph Without Bishopsgate.

Class H0107
Piece 725
Book 10
Folio 5
Page 4


Lazarus snr in born Stonehouse Devon living in the civil parish of St Boltolphs occ minature painter

Class H0107
Piece 1524
Folio 565
Page 51
Last edited:
Hello Juliejtp!

Having trawled through every Lazarus entry I could find, even making allowances for incorrect name spelling, I had not found any of the information you have so many thanks indeed for this data! I'll check these through and will let you know the outcome.

Even if they prove not to be my folk it's great to have such snippets as you never know what they might lead to; and how many Lazarus Roberts can there be? Not many that I've found, especially artists!

Hi there

I'm new to this forum but noticed a flurry of posts about Laz Roberts a few months back. I've also been searching a Lazarus Roberts - but not the same as the one here, I should add. But in my searching I have by accident found a few refs to the Laz Roberts mentioned - or rather his father, I think.

In particular I have the parish record for a marriage of Lazarus Roberts to Fanny Sylvester at Chard in Somerset on 8th May 1823. It says Lazarus was a bachelor and both were 'of this parish'. I am pretty certain this is the same as the Lazarus and Fanny on the 1851 census. Is this the father of your Laz [Lay] Roberts?

I don't suppose anyone has anything about my Lazarus Roberts, do they? He was born at Antony, Cornwall in 1790 and baptised at Stoke Damerel, Devon. He was in the RN and Coastguard, and lived in Dorset, Hampshire, Essex and Norfolk. Died at Plymouth in 1873.

Yes, thanks for the link. The Lazarus Roberts bap at Antony in 1765 was Lazaus Steele Roberts, uncle (and I guess namesake) of 'my' Lazarus. My Lazarus was the son of his brother Abraham and was born in the parish of Antony (probably Torpoint) but baptised at Stoke Damerel. Antony is in Cornwall, Stoke Damerel is just over the water in Devon.

I'm curious about gemmas' pal's Lazarus (the one who married at Chard and was an artist and father of Laz), as he was born in Plymouth Stonehouse the same year as my Lazarus (according to the census). Stonehouse is the neighbouring parish to Stoke Damerel so there might well be a connection here? Anyone have any more on any Lazarus Robertses? I suppose the next step would be to locate the baptism record for Lazarus born at Stonehouse and see who his parents were?