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Missing great-grandfather

Hi everyone, I have hit a brick wall with the death of my great grandfather John Quarrell Chaplin. John was born in Bermondsey, Surrey in 1867 and moved to Lenton in Nottingham when he was still a child.
He married my great grandmother, Elizabeth Cheetham in Lenton in 1891. By the time of the 1901 census Elizabeth is living with James Carey (later to become her second husband) and John is boarding with another family.
Something must have happened in those 10 years because John was one of "those members of the family that were never talked about."
I have searched all the death reords from 1901 to 1967 just in case he lived to ripe old age, including deaths at war and deaths at sea but to no avail.
I really would like to know what happened to him and why no one in the family would ever talk about him. All those that would know are long dead and gone so I may never find out
Any ideas would be appreciated.
Hi Paul, sorry I looked for him and alas he seems to have disappeared. :( Do you think he could have moved to a different county? I guess he would have been too old for the first world war, [I think] could he have emigrated?or become an Itinerant. Have you tried this web address http://www.nottsfhs.org.uk/? it may be of use. He does have a very unusual middle name,I am sure that will help find him.
Sorry I've not had any luck looking for him either. None of the deaths in Notts. seem to tie in with the DOB.