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Mystery Father?


I'm looking into my great-gran's parents. (Parents of Beatrice May Marks, 15/09/1906 - 27/10/1995)

Looks like her mother was Clara Jane Marks (Apr 1884 - Sept 1955)

My gran always thought Clara Jane's maiden name was Torrington, but remembers seeing a wedding certificate with a different name on it.

Her maiden name was actually Marks. Clara Jane Marks didn't marry Torrington until 8 years after the birth.

The 1911 census has them both living at 20 Prospect Row in Devonport, but there's no sign of the dad.

I have since ordered both the wedding and birth certificates to see if that helps.

Not really... can anyone help decipher these? It seems to the the same name on both, but no idea what it is.

Why would the birth certificate have been altered?

Thanks in advance for any assistance



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I know that they didn't usually put mother's occupation unless she was a single mother. It looks like Clara tried to put a father down and give herself another name to make it all respectable. Either that or she has put down her own father's name. What is her father's name? The box on the far right shows there was two errors in column 5.

I can't make out the name as when I enlarge it loses the definition. Looks like Jackman?? Marks on the marriage and no Richard but doesn't look like that on the birth. Do you have Clara Jane's marriage certificate?

FMP has the baptism of Beatrice May at St Mary Devonport:-

Bapt Oct 11 1906, born Sept 15

Beatrice May, d.o. Richard Faulkner and Clara Jane Marks, 20 Prospect Row, father's trade Royal Engineers

(surname indexed as Faulkner-Marks)

Now that we know what the name is it is quite easy to read on the certificate!

Anc has the service record of a Richard Faulkner, a sapper in the Royal Engineers.
Nothing in it to indicate whether it is the correct man but he looks very possible. the details are :-

Richard Faulkner, born ~ Oct 1880 Ilford Essex next of kin mother Mrs Sutton, Ilford, brothers William Faulkner, Ilford & George Faulkner Schring? Essex
joined up Dec 1900
Transferred to 56 Coy. R.E. Dec 1901

Trade is a bricklayer, tested for superior grade at Plymouth 3.5.05 and Very superior grade at Plymouth 12.4.06

on 9.10.1906 his documents were signed for as being forwarded from Bulford Camp (nr Winchester) as he was being transferred to South Africa. (Beatrice was bapt at Devonport 2 days later, was this as Richard was embarking for S.A.?)
Documents transferred back to UK from SA 29.11.08 as he was being sent home for discharge.

25.6.10 Richard requests for his pension to be paid in Canada as he intends to reside in Ottawa at 995 Wellington St.

So he was in Plymouth at the correct time. Could also be possible father of Gladys, the other grand daughter in 1911. Maybe he went to Canada to get away from his responsibilities?

Looks good but I wish I could prove it was him!
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I think it is the same person as on Beatrice marriage her father is shown as Faulkner Marks (deceased) not sure if the deceased part is correct as not sure of his death date.


The Richard Faulkner from post 5 died Canada - 12 Jun 1938
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Thanks all, especially Elaine.

That all fits together nicely. Can't know for definite but how many other Richard Faulkners in the Engineers can there be at that time? :)

That missing baptism was the key. Is it not on ancestry? I can't find it even now I know what i'm looking for. Their search is weird.

If FMP = findmypast then found it first attempt.
Clara Jane eventually married Clifford Torrington, who was in the Royal Engineers :)

Maybe she had a thing for that regiment!
No, the bapt isn't on Ancestry.
Although FMP and Anc have the same basic databases they do each have a lot of material that the other one hasn't got, so even though it seems an extravagance it can be worth subscribing to both, as I do.

Glad to be of help!