Annie Turner formerly Searle

Turner Family Chart

Discovering the ancestry of Annie Searle was for many years very difficult. This was because her birth, as a daughter of George Searle, in the region of Hersham or Walton-on-Thames, around 1860-1863, had not been identified in the General Register Office index of births. What was known with certainty was

  1. She married Walter Charles Turner at St George's Church, Kensington, after banns, on 19 May 1886. He was aged 34 years. Annie stated that she was aged 25 years, a spinster of 46 Campden Street, a daughter of George Searle, deceased, a carpenter. The witnesses were Edward Turner and Elizabeth Kate Turner (brother and sister of Walter Charles).
  2. In the census of 1891, of 35, Campden Street, she was aged 28 and born at Hersham, Surrey.
  3. In the census of 1901, of 36 Camden Street, she was aged 38 and born at Hersham, Surrey.

Consistent with the 1891 and 1901 census information was that in the census of 1881 at Normansfield Idiot Asylum, Kingston Road, Teddington, Middx, she may have been a domestic servant, unmarried, aged 18, born at Walton on Thames, Surrey. At marriage, Annie was 9 years younger than Walter so her age could be slightly exaggerated in the entry.

There were two possibilities for her birth:

  1. Annie, baptised 20 September 1863 at Hersham, an illegitimate daughter of Ann Searle.
  2. Annie, baptised 13 March 1864 at Walton, a daughter of George Searle and Mary Ann formerly Marsh. This Annie probably died as she was not at home in the census of 1871 and the IGI states that she died as a child.

By chance, in February 2008, a burial service booklet for Annie Turner turned up amongst my mother's effects, when I was helping to clear my parents' house of its contents. This unusually gave a date of birth (2 May 1862) as well as a date of death (16 March 1909) and she was interred at Kensington Cemetery.

I applied to the GRO for the birth certificate of Annie Searle in the June quarter of the Chertsey district and was delighted to find that this confirmed the birth date in the booklet. It proved that she was illegitimate and a daughter of Ann Searle and NOT a daughter of George Searle, as she stated on her marriage certificate.

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Posted February 2008