A red haired girl

I have had some interest in how I find things out, using Ancestry as a tool – this is a kind of illustrated guide. I’m not going too deep into the nitty gritty, as a lot of it is knowing how to use search algorithms properly – for example, what to search for, and in what databases, to exclude irrelevant/ noisy results. However, the outline here describes how I’d “investigate” one specific research question. That is, the red haired child that Grace Lilian Ada’s children remembered, the sibling who died in childhood that I hadn’t heard of before. I set out to see if I could find her and confirm her identity.

I searched for any children of Grace and William Trinder, in any year from when they met, until William remarried. In the records, there are several possibilities that may be their child. I found a record for a child, born in 1929, surname Trinder, mother’s maiden surname Wright.

There was also a death record for this child, in the same area, within a very short time after birth. I am requesting a birth and death certificate for this child and will update when I have confirmed that she is Grace and William’s child.

I also found some things I didn’t expect to find at all. There were other birth records for children, mother’s maiden surname Wright, child’s surname, Trinder, from before William and Grace were married. Eileen P Trinder was born in 1912 in Edmonton, mother’s maiden surname Wright.

She died shortly afterwards.

There is also a Leslie W Trinder, born in 1911 to a mother with the maiden surname Wright. However, this child didn’t die immediately after birth. I have found a death record, but it’s in 1995 and in the wrong county – and there is a matching birth record in the same county for another Leslie Trinder, so I don’t think it’s the Leslie W Trinder we are looking for.

The shortest way to find out whether these are Grace and William’s children would be to order their birth certificates. However, there’s no point doing that if I can save the money and rule it out using the internet. So, I made the search terms as broad as possible and looked for their parents. I was looking for people probably born around 1885 (a very broad guess). They would have been married around 1905 (again, broad guess). They had children called Eileen and Leslie. Their surnames were Wright and Trinder, and they probably lived in Edmonton.

The way to state that in research terms is that I start with an hypothesis, “these children are Grace and William’s” and see if I can rule it out, without having to order the birth certificates. If another Trinder has married another Wright, at around about the right time, I would guess the children were theirs.

This is a list of all the Wrights who married Trinders, in the official government record, since it began.

Wrights who married trinders

None of these are likely to be the parents of the two children. I’m therefore ordering one death certificate for Peggy, and three birth certificates, for Peggy, Eileen and Leslie.

The most likely outcome is that Peggy is Grace and William’s child, and that Eileen and Leslie are the children of a different couple, surname Trinder and Wright. However, it is possible that Grace and William had two children together when they first met, and that one of them survived to adulthood, dying in 1995. I will report back when I have more information, and have found out which of these is accurate, in a few days.

And, just to illustrate that the process is always messy and that I always forget dates – I can only order death certificates for Peggy, as she was born after 1918. Her birth certificate won’t be available until 2029. So, I’ll order the birth certificates for Eileen and Leslie, and the death certificate for Peggy.


Patience is a virtue, but not one I’m in possession of. So I decided to see whether I could find out the answers about Eileen and Leslie. I assumed they were siblings, and then ran a search on the full names, with “Wright” as a mother’s maiden name. I sifted through pages of possible links, until I found this.

This record shows a Leslie Trinder, born around 1911, who has one sibling who died. He was born in Gloucestershire instead of in Edmonton, but the other details do seem to match.

There is yet another Leslie Trinder born around 1911. This one was born in Kent, to David and Daisie Trinder.

All these censuses made me think – where was Grace in 1911 again? She was living with her parents and a border who worked in the boot trade (which I speculate may be how Grace met Dennis, whose father was a shoe salesman).

So, I thought, would there be mention? The census was taken in April 1911, and Leslie’s birth was registered in Oct, Nov Dec. Darn it! That ruled out the other two potential Leslie Trinders mentioned above. The Leslie Trinder I was looking for hadn’t been born until after the 1911 census was taken! This is fairly typical of the process of research – back, forward, and round the houses, to find a dead end. The 1921 census won’t be available for another 2 years, so I’ll have to be patient on that one.

So to make assurance double sure, I checked out whether either of the two families who had a Leslie Trinder in the 1911 census also had a mother’s maiden name “Wright.” Daisie Trinder’s maiden surname was Long. Edith Trinder’s maiden name was Swain.

All of which was only useful, in so far as it didn’t rule out the hypothesis that Grace and William may be the parents of Leslie and Eileen – but it didn’t confirm the hypothesis either. So I’m going to have to be patient!