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How do you research a common surname (Jones)

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#1
My grandmother married my grandfather (Robert Jones) in 1939. He was serving in the Army in Surrey, but was originally from County Durham. I have a copy of their marriage certificate, and have his army number and know he was in the Durham Light Infantry from that. It also has his father's name (William Jones, coal miner) He was 24 on there, so would have been born around 1915ish

They separated after WWII and divorced in the early 1950s. He moved back to Spennymoor when they separated. My mother remembered visiting a few times up there. But she never saw him again. Unfortunately, I can't ask anymore questions as she passed away 3 years ago.

I subscribed to Forces War Records with his military number, but it doesn't actually tell me anything! He had a "distinguished service" and appeared in The Gazette on page 7191.

I have no idea where to go from here. I have an Ancestry subscription, but there are thousands of Robert Jones and having no clue of his mother's maiden name, I don't know how to go any further.

Any tips when it comes to common names?
 

DaveHam9

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#2
Hello and welcome to the Forum.

Any middle name for Robert? Any clue as to where in Co Durham?

Sometimes the only option left is to try elimination.

11x Robert Jones with no middle initial born Co Durham 1914 - 1916.

Dave
 
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#4
There is no middle name on the marriage certificate, so I am presuming there isn't one. He moved back up to Spennymoor, County Durham and my mother remembered visiting her grandparents up there, but she was only 7 or 8 at the time and couldn't remember anything else. There is nobody still around to ask, unfortunately.

Thank you for your help though, 11 is far better than the results I was getting!
 

DaveHam9

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#6
Thanks.

1939 Register taken on 29 Sep 1939. The transcriptions often have errors with the date of birth and even then I know of errors with the birth date shown on the image but a dob would be a great help.

Oh. Serving in the army.
 

DaveHam9

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#7
I'd start with this one.

Births Jun 1915
Jones Robert - Harrison - Auckland 10a 450


Any siblings ? Any dob in service record?
 
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#8
I'd start with this one.

Births Jun 1915
Jones Robert - Harrison - Auckland 10a 450


Any siblings ? Any dob in service record?

No idea if he had siblings. There is no dob on the useless service records I found. I will attach a screenshot of his service record.

I might just have to bite the bullet and risk buying a certificate
 

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DaveHam9

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#9
William Jones, a coal miner. How many in 1911 census?

I started working on the assumption mmn was Harrison and tried to find the family in 1911 census. Yes, Jones is a common name in Durham as well and there are several Jones & Harrison marriages and several coal miners.
 
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#10
William Jones, a coal miner. How many in 1911 census?

I started working on the assumption mmn was Harrison and tried to find the family in 1911 census. Yes, Jones is a common name in Durham as well and there are several Jones & Harrison marriages and several coal miners.
If they are in Spennymoor, there is only 4 on the 1911 census that are around the right age.

Thank you so much.... I still don't know where to go from here, but it has narrowed the field! It looks like I will have to spend out on the 1921 census (I was hoping to avoid it for a while)
 

ptjw7

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#16
Marriage William Jones to a Elizabeth Jane Hood Dec Q 1910 in Durham
Robert Jones Mar Q 1915 mmn Hood Durham

Births to mother Hood

Births Sep 1911
Jones Thomas W Hood Durham 10a 855

Births Mar 1915
Jones Robert Hood Durham 10a 836

Births Mar 1918
Jones John Hood Durham 10a 651

Births Jun 1919
Jones Jane A Hood Durham 10a 631

Births Sep 1921
Jones Violet M Hood Durham 10a 861
 
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#19
Just wanted to say, because of all the help you have given, I have (I think?) Robert Jones' birth and death (just sending for certificates to confirm)

On the back of all the information, I thought I would see if he got remarried after the divorce from my grandmother. I found one for the right area, for around the right time. Robert JONES marries Bessie SMITH.

SMITH and JONES?! Seriously? The two most common names? Life is definitely having a laugh with that one. Researching that one can wait :rolleyes:
 
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