View Full Version : Any ideas where to start???

06-09-09, 08:05
I don't expect anyone to sort this, just give me any ideas on where to start.

My grandmother, Elizabeth Kettley b 1894 married William Thompson in 1913.

They had three children, born 1913, 1914 and 1915, all born Stanthorpe, Qld.

William went to WW1 and returned January 1919.

Next child born Dec 1919,Tenterfield, NSW, then 1925, Brisbane, Qld.

Elizabeth and William split up prior to 1927. William was still living Stanthorpe so I presume Elizabeth left him whilst expecting the youngest child, as she moved to Brisbane.

Now.................I have found a relation of William's who has told me the child born 1919 and possibly the one born 1925 (though I doubt this) were not Elizabeth's children but William's from another woman.

I found this odd as you'd think his rellies would accuse Elizabeth of having them with another man rather than the other way...........

I'd like to sort this, but don't know how.

I cannot get the birth certs of either of the younger two children as they were born less than 100 years ago and I'm not the next of kin. (Their children wouldn't get them, so can't go that way).

I also can't buy the death certs for them either, although I would presume they would have Elizabeth as their mother on the death and marriage cert.

I know this is long and complicated, but from the bits of story I know to be true, it sort of fitted when I heard the story.

The person who told me has forgotten "the other womans" name. I believ this as she is quite old and William was her uncle.

Can anyone think of anything I could look for??


06-09-09, 08:12
Did your contact say that these two children, b after WW1, were brought up by Elizabeth after the split? (seems odd)

Did William write a will?

06-09-09, 09:27
Elizabeth brought up the last child. I suspect she was pregnant with her when she left as that child was born in Brisbane where Elizabeth came to her sister.

William had all the other children. William didn't die until the 1980s.
At least one of the other children was told that the 1919 child was not William's, however as he kept her along with the others, I find that odd.

I know Elizabeth was in hiding after the split and certainly after she met my grandfather and had another two children. Those two (my mother being one) were not even registered and they were enrolled in school in yet another state under a different surname to their father.

06-09-09, 09:38
Hmmmm.....well it sounds to me a classic case of a woman leaving husband as she is carrying another man's child and then trying to remain untraceable.

On the face of it the 1919 child should be Elizabeth and William's - as 'return from the war' baby, conceived before they discovered their relationship was not what it had been.

How reliable would you think your source is?

06-09-09, 09:43
The source of the story is William's sister's daughter.

The child born 1925 was certainly not my grandfather's child as he hadn't come to Australia then.

On the surface what you say sounds right.........however.......Grandma always said she had to move to stop William taking the youngest one (1925). That is backed up by the older children.

I doubt William would have wanted another man's child, but it could be a way of getting back at Grandma.

Oh...I wish I could get the certs........ours might have more info than the English ones, but they're useless if you can't get them...lol

06-09-09, 11:13
If the story about the 1919 birth was true, do you think it is possible William kept up his association with 'the other woman'? Why was this child born NSW, when all the others were born Qld? Why such a big gap before the 1925 child -is it possible that it was this birth that was the final straw for Elizabeth, and the reason she left William?

Did Elizabeth have women friends in Qld who would be likely to know her story and have mentioned it to their own descendants - neighbours, family friends etc?

My fertile imagination can come up with this scenario: William returns from the war and meets X with whom he has an affair. Perhaps X is also married and unable to look after the results of a guilty liaison and William promises to take it home to his wife.

Elizabeth resents this and cold shoulders William. Some time later, William asserts his marital rights and leaves Elizabeth pregnant. She is very annoyed with William and decides to leave him. But because married women don't have many rights at that time in Australia,(remember the movie 'Caddie'?) she has to hide away from him, especially after she meets Mr Y, for fear William will take her 1925 child.

06-09-09, 11:20
Oh Bev.................my thoughts exactly when I first heard the story...lol

William was called "that drunken womaniser" by several who knew him...lol...so the story could be true. He was apparently a friend of Elizabeth's father (another drunk...who registered two daughters the same name because he 'forgot').

I have the wedding photo. Elizabeth looks like she is going to the gallows (or maybe wishing she was).

I'm searching through the records to see who was at the station where 1919 child was born. Can't think of anything else.............can't find Elizabeth for certain on electoral rolls. William is there.