TheBirdTree
genealogy of the Bird and Musgrove families
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 Elusive People

Queen Victoria - staff photo's

I have three relatives who worked at either Buckingham Palace or Osborne House for Queen Victoria. I would love to know if there were any staff photo's taken which might have featured them.
Tell us what you know     |     More Information: Ellis Wareham
Southam Street (now Notting Hill area)

Interested in anything to do with how a middle class area before the advent of the railway at Paddington in the mid 19th century became a slum area by the 1930's. Interested to know about how the living conditions changed over that period.
George Coveney Bird

Georgie, 79, a staunch opponent of the new fangled motor car, was run over while pushing his bicycle on the A243 Leatherhead Road on 14th November 1930. Would like to know more about the incident from local newspapers and documentation from the inquest held four days later.
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Swanscombe Manor, Dartford, Sussex

In 1868 rural Swanscombe Manor was sold to Thomas Bevan, a cement tycoon, for 40,000 (2.8m in today's terms)and he turned it into a huge chalk pit. Was it my relative, John Coveney and his wife Harriett (nee Bird) who sold it to him ? On the 1851 census, they were living at the "Manor House". He was described as a farmer of 500 acres employing 13 labourers. Certainly, the 1878 Directory of Sussex shows John Coveney now living at another manor house, Chestham Park.
Marriage between Hugh Benson and Mary H.Benson

This marriage is recorded on the CWGC memorial and on Hugh Benson's WW2 records obtained from Pretoria. Her address was given as 28 Cluny Gardens, Edinburgh and Hugh's medals were sent to her after his death as a POW. His family have no knowledge of this marriage ! Finding out more about Mary could provide a lot more information about Hugh and the authenticity of his awards.
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Boer War (October 1899 - May 1902)

Looking for any records which may exist of a very young Hugh Benson (born 1882) volunteering to serve in the Boer War. I think he served with the Natal Carbineers (Z28) and then the Royal Field Artillery (141712).
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Who gave William Bird (1757 - 1833) a silver teapot in 1811 ?

Intriguingly there is a family teapot with the following inscription (and spellings) : Presented to William Bird Esqr. As a token of Gratitude for the great favors conferred in the year 1811 when prejudices where much against THE DONOR. What is that all about ? It was given to him before he started building the Lambeth properties in the early 1820's.
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The origin of the middle name HYDE

PERCY HYDE BIRD my grandfathers middle name is a mystery to the family. Where does his middle name, HYDE, come from ?
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Our connection to George Bird of Kandy

I was told my grandfather, Percy Hyde Bird (1883 - 1939), owned a tea plantation in Ceylon. Did he and, if so, was he related to George Bird who was the father of coffee plantations in Ceylon (early part of the 1820?s) and responsible for the earliest known use of Tamil labour on the island (1828) ?
Our connection to the famous Henry Cole

Information passed down through the family suggest that our COLE's were in some indirect way related to the famous Sir HENRY COLE (1808 - 1882) who organized the Great Exhibition of 1851 and was Prince Albert's chief advisor. Nobody knows what it was. Any information on any possible connection would be welcome.
Kent History Centre

Would like to know more about the history of The Mount, Sparepenny Lane, Farningham, Kent. Need to visit Kent History Centre to look for property records. (William Cole Benson & Marion Eliza Johnson)
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Surrey History Centre

Need to visit the Surrey History Centre (GU21 6ND) in order to find out more about the Chessington / Hook area and the farms and houses mentioned in my family history : Chessington Court Farm, Surrey (George Bird); The Rhodrons, Hook (Georgie Bird); Sutton Whitmore Farm, Woking (Henry Ross Bird).
Sussex History Centre

Looking for information on the Manor House, Chestham Park, West Sussex (John Coveney, Eliza Margaret Bird, Percy Bird). Also find out more about "Kenmore", 36 Upper Avenue, Eastbourne, East Sussex (Henry Ross Bird). The property records at The Sussex History Centre may help.
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Worcester Record Office

There was a marriage between Thomas Cole and Sarah Jones on 2nd February 1818 at Claines, Worcester. I need to obtain Thomas' birth certificate around 1795. I am looking for details of his parents as his father was possibly the mystery man in the family portrait.
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 Mystery Photos

The Cole Painting Mystery

We believe this is a painting of Thomas Cole's father who would have been born around 1770 - 1780. Would love to find out for sure.
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Emblem on the top of a snuff box (1793)

Trying to ascertain if the snuff box was a reward for completing an apprenticesip and need to identify the badge on the top. The silver ring round the top of the snuff box has engraved on it "James Hill Baker N.Shields 1793". The windmill between the ears of corn certainly suggest it might be baking related. A crown as well ? Wonder whether there were any guilds which were bakery related ?
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