I don’t know about you,
but sending for and receiving vital records by mail is still one of my special
With so many records
available online, we don’t have to send for records as often as we did 10 or 20
years ago, but, it’s still sometimes necessary.
While I was at Rootstech
this year, working away at the Family History Library, I decided to order a
record from the General
Register Office of the United Kingdom.
It’s a record I’d been wanting to order for several years. The death certificate for my maternal great
grandaunt, Charlotte Milne.
I know that Charlotte was
born 10 Jan 1854 in Aboyne, Aberdeen, Scotland to Charles Milne and Margaret
This is her baptismal
record that I located on microfilm at the FHL a few years ago. Scotland, Select Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950
(Click on any image to enlarge it)
A close up of the entry for Charlotte Milne - born 10 Jan 1854, daughter of Charles Milne, Labourer at Mill of Dess and Margaret Ritchie, his spouse. Father's information matches what I see on the death certificate.
|Baptismal records from microfilm #991253 located in 2011 at the FHL. |
Charlotte was the 3rd
child born to Charles & Margaret.
She had two older sisters, Margaret Ewen Milne and Mary Elizabeth
Milne. Two years after Charlotte was
born her parents had a baby boy, Andrew Charles Milne, who became my great
My Milne line has always
been of great interest to me because Milne was my mother’s maiden name. I knew both of her parents. Over the years I have tried to learn as much
as I can about my Milne’s from Scotland.
I have not been
disappointed in my research. To read the
story of Charlotte’s sister’s husband, who had a very sad ending, you can click
UP ~ William Beechey, his wife and 3 children killed in WW I Bombing - 1915
Two records I had located
indicated that Charlotte died in Wales in 1935.
She had never, to my knowledge, married.
She often worked as a domestic and sometimes a nurse. The last I know of her she was living in
Detroit, Wayne, Michigan with her nephew Joseph A. Milne and his family, which
included my 6 year old mother. When I
asked my mother about Charlotte, she did not remember her.
Charlotte never married,
but it seems she hopped back and forth from the United Kingdom to the United
States more than once.
I have the following Events
in my Legacy program for Charlotte:
- 1861 & 1871 UK census –
living with her parents in Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
- 3 Nov 1882
- Immigration to the United states with
her mother Margaret
- 1885 and 1895 Detroit
city directory listing – boards 236 3rd with her mother Margaret
- 1911 –
Back in the UK living in Wimbledon, Surrey, England working as a servant/housekeeper
in the Henry Rayne household.
- 1917- 1922 –
Back in the U.S. living in Toledo, Ohio working as a Nurse. I wasn’t sure this was her until I read her niece’s
wedding announcement in the newspaper.
They mentioned family and included Charlotte Milne of Toledo, Ohio.
- 8 Nov 1921 –
Listed on the passenger record for the ship Scythia coming to the United
States, arriving in New York. Did she
leave Ohio and travel back to the UK and then return?
- 1930 –
Enumerated in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan living with her nephew, Joseph Milne and
Now, given that Charlotte
was 76 by the time of the 1930 census, I would have expected she died either in
Michigan or somewhere in the U.S. close to family. Of course I looked and looked for any records
for her after 1930.
I came up empty until in
May 2011 I got a shaky leaf on Ancestry with reference to the England
& Wales, National Probate Calendar(Index of Wills & Administrations),
|MILNE Charlotte of 40 Wyndham street Cardiff Spinster died 24 December 1935 Probate Llandaff 20 January to Florence Ann Geen (wife of George Henry Frank Geen). Effect £294 18s 4d|| |
really be “our” Charlotte? A probate in
Further research revealed
a Death Index for England & Wales, 1916-2005 listing Charlotte Milne, age
83 died in Cardiff in 1935. That is
consistent with the probate record.
And there my search ended
until I could decide whether to order the record referenced in the death
index. Might it reveal enough
information to verify that this is the correct Charlotte Milne?
Fast forward 12 years and
I finally decided to bite the bullet and order this death record. Believe me, I had hoped it might show up
online and I did check periodically.
After nearly a month, my
record came in the mail. Will it have
the information I need to confirm Charlotte’s date and place of death?
here it is! A death certificate for the
Charlotte Milne who died in Cardiff, Wales on 24 Dec 1935.
|Death certificate for Charlotte Milne|
I immediately see the following
of death – Marwolaeth, Cardiff West in the County Borough of Cardiff
and Where died – 24 Dec 1935 at 40 Wyndham St. UD
and surname – Charlotte Milne
– 83 years
Occupation – Spinster,
companion help (domestic)
Daughter of Charles
Milne Farm labourer (deceased)
of death – Syncope, cardiac dilation, haemoplegia
and residence of informant – F. Geen, present at death 40 Wyndham St., Cardiff
One of these buildings is
the place where Charlotte died.
|40 Wyndham Street, Cardiff (courtesy of Google Earth)|
I am now convinced based
on this evidence that this is “our” Charlotte Milne. The death index and probate record refer
directly to this same person.
It’s nice to finally
know. I have always wished that death
records from the U.K. listed the burial location, but they don’t.
Since Charlotte never
married or had children, it’s up to us, as family members to remember her and
honor her life. I’ve looked through the
family photos I have from my Milne side and don’t see any photos that could be
That’s the end of
Charlotte’s story for now. I may never
learn more, but if I do I would be delighted.
What journey's have you taken in finding a particular ancestor's information? I'd love to hear about in your comments or on your own blog post.
If you are related to or connected to anyone in this blog post,
please get in touch. Let’s exchange
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