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
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:
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.
Posted February 2008