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Looking for my grandmother

I want to find out about my grandmother, Margaret Dorber, who was in Winwick Hospital for many years and died there sometime in the 50's. Very little is known about her except that she was a speciality dancer in her pre-marital days. She lived in Longsight, Manchester before being committed to Winwick. Where do I start in my search for her?
Hi Julie,
Margaret Dorber was my grandmother's married name though she was always know as Madge. Her maiden name was Heatherington or Hetherington. I don't know the exact spelling. She married William Dorber and my father, her eldest child, was born in Dec 1919. Any ideas on where to go from here?
Hi Jacqui,

Found this marriage


Margaret Hetherington
Spouse William E Dorber

Jan/Feb/Mar 1/4
District Chorlton
County Lancs

Vol 8c
Page 1430

The page number has been transcribed as 1430, it's not to clear on the index you could look on the free bmd site to check this out.


The marriage certificate will give fathers names and occupation and ages of bride and groom.

The certificate can be ordered online for £7.00 see the link below. You will need the information I have given.


Once you have the information, you can then look for her birth and trace Margaret and her family on the census.
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Looking at the death index this was the only Margaret Dorber I could find, looking through the years 1950-1959


Margaret Dorber age 62
District Newton

Vol 10f
Page 42

Year 1951
Jan/Feb/Mar 1/4
Hi Jacquick

If you look at your 1901 census request I think I have found William Dorber in the 1901 census.

If that Margaret Dorber death in 1951 is the right one aged 62 then she would have been born in about 1888 or 1889. I have looked on the 1901 census and there are 3 Margaret Hetherington's in the Liverpool and West Derby area only, none near Manchester who were born 1887-1890. Margaret may have come from further afield though.

The next step is to obtain the marriage cert and see what her fathers name and occupation is, as this will help narrow down finding her birth. Do you know of any siblings Margaret had?

Thanks Ben & Julie for your guidance. I've ordered the marriage cert and Margaret Dorber's death cert; we'll see what they show up. I believe Margaret Dorber (nee Hetherington) may have been from Ireland which is why she doesn't show up on the 1901 census.

She may be on the 1911 census if this was only 7 years before she married, providing she didnt move with her family just afterwards. The fathers name and occupaion will help narrow it down.

I would like to find out when and why Margaret Dorber was committed to Winwick Mental Hospital. Their website is not very helpful. I'm also hoping that I may find a photograph of her. My father, who is 90 this year, has always been sad that he has never had a photograph of her and he must have been very young when she was taken away. He seems to know very little about her and with onset Dementia I can't pursue her history through him. He was also her only child to survive to adulthood so the trail ends with him. Any ideas on this thread please.

She may be on the 1911 census if this was only 7 years before she married, providing she didnt move with her family just afterwards. The fathers name and occupaion will help narrow it down.

On the1911c She was living as a boarder at 36 Hawkshead Road Cheetham preston age 22yrs Working as a Mantle finisher (B) Manchester
Hi .
On the1891c she was living at Perth St Cheetham with her family:-
Head Henry 41 Chiropodist Mother Hettie 31 Margaret 4 born Cheetham Ben 1 Born Hulme.
Any help?
KenM :confused:
Thanks Ken for the info on her whereabouts on the 1911 census at the age of 22. Cheetham is an area of Manchester I know about and I've found the road on a map. Hopefully someone will guide me in finding a way to track her back from there. I've been told that she was a speciality dancer who appeared with G H Elliot "The Chocolate Coloured Coon". Who would know how to find out when he appeared in Manchester and who were the dancers who appeared in the show? It seems the most likely chance I have of a photograph of her.
Thanks again Ken. Just got your latest on the 1891c. It's a big help as it places her in Manchester when she was 4 and not Ireland as we believed. Also your research throws up a sibling of whom I knew nothing. He's going to have to be a new line of enquiry later on.
Thanks Julie. I've emailed the music hall artists site you've given and we'll see if they are of any help. The GH Elliot site doesn't offer any option to email them for info on his tour details but the artists' site may be of help. Kennethmar1 has found her on the 1891c living in perth St, Cheetham, Manchester and that she had a Brother, Ben, who is 1. Is he on the 1901c or the 1911c? How do I look at these cencus sites myself? I'm a total beginner at this and seem very reliant on the expertise of you experts. Hope you don't mind but this is very important to me.
Hi Jacqui,

I use Ancestry but I have a subscription with them, it is also a pay per view site. Findmypast is also pay per view/subscription.

Ancestry do have a 14 free trial, though dont think all records can be viewed.