Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Mysterious David Adams Found

I have been trying to find my grandmother's paternal Uncle for so many years now I can't remember how long.  

David Adams, whose death details we couldn't find, was the only child of George Adams and Catherine Barry whose death and further life movements we hadn't found.

Christine Stafford nee Adams, my 3rd cousin once removed and I had all but given up hope but every few years a small snippet of information would show up in searches just to tease us I'm sure.

After his birth registration details in 1866, the next bit of information on his whereabouts was that he was a witness to the marriage of my great-grandmother Mary Agnes Morgan to his older brother, John Adams in  Essendon, Victoria in 1887.

Christine had later found some newspaper articles that mentioned a young David Adams in the Flemington area of Victoria where our Adams ancestors lived.  
We still don't know for sure if this was our David though.

David's father, George Adams, died in 1921.
David was one of the beneficiaries in his Will.

He was also a beneficiary in the Will of one of his sisters, Margaret Mansfield in 1926, so we knew he must have been still alive.

I hadn't found any more family Wills.

The last hint was nearly 12 months ago when I came across an obituary for David's sister, Catherine McFadyen who died in 1946, that mentioned her brother, David Adams in Sydney.  

Family Notices (1946, September 7).
The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), p. 9.
from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article206366530

Yesterday a new record hint in ancestry.com.au came up for him.

A marriage was recorded in The Sydney, Australia, Anglican Parish Registers, 1814-2011 which had been added to ancestry. (I'm not sure when)

This record actually showed a marriage certificate for a David Adams to an Evelyn Maude Sutton in 1938.  I thought Nah ......

His age was 71 years and he was a builder who lived in Sydney.  
Well that occupation ran in the family but I had previously found another death for a David Adams, builder so I wasn't convinced.


Born in North Melbourne, Victoria, tick.
He was a Widower which would explain his age, tick.
The big YES came at his parent's names, George Adams, builder and Catherine Barry.  


It took a while to sink in but you can imagine the happy dance!
After all these years I couldn't believe he had been found.

I had actually looked at the marriage record previously for these two but due to financial restraints, I can't spend willy-nilly on BMD certificates.

Chris Goopy, a genealogy blogging friend, once said David would help us find him when he was ready.  

He did!

I hooked up with my cousin Christine in messenger and we both began a frantic search for other information.

In the excitement, I can't remember now who found what but we found his death and funeral notices in April 1951.

"Family Notices" The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954) 27 April 1951: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18210317>.

"Family Notices" The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954) 27 April 1951:  <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18210317>.
Further searching of the electoral rolls determined that David's sons were John Lockyer Adams and David Bernard Adams.

Christine found his death notice in 1987.
John married Eileen Marie Holmes in 1928.

I haven't found David Bernard Adams death as yet but we are fairly sure he married a Maisie Lilian Belcher.

On looking in ancestry there doesn't seem to be any of his descendants researching or as obsessed interested in the family history as I am.

Hoping this blog post may attract contact by David's descendants one day.


  1. yahoo!!! seriously bi~g big find!

  2. Well done Kerryn. Just shows it pays to never give up. You just never know when that one little piece of info will appear

    1. Thanks Jennifer, yes it always pays to re-visit. By the way I am enjoying reading your A-Z Blogging Challenge posts for this year.

  3. Glad to be of service, now if only I could find John Goopy snr... :-)
    Great find, Kerryn..

    1. You will find him one day Chris I am sure of it now :) thanks for your encouragement.

    2. I have included your blog in INTERESTING BLOGS in FRIDAY FOSSICKING at


      Thank you, Chris
      Ever hopeful, Kerryn..

  4. Hi Kerry, "cousin" Susan Jefford here. What an amazing journey of researching and obsessing. I think I have 5he same "gene".
    Can I ask what you meant by the term that David was the only child of George Adams and Catherine Barry? As he had siblings.
    I am heading off to UK shortly and will be visiting Saffron Walden, birthplace of the Adams mob. If there is anything I can help with re searching records let me.

    1. Hi cousin Susan! That gene is a mixed blessing isn't it. Thanks for your question about "the only child of George ...." Silly me hadn't finished the sentence properly! In my excitement I obviously didn't proof read it very well so thanks for pointing that out. At the moment I am using a borrowed laptop as mine has crashed so I don't have my family tree information handy just now. Enjoy your trip!