In this seventh and final episode of Series Four, host Andrew meets professional genealogist and author, Simon Last, who tells us why he turned professional and set up shop, about his love for war memorials, his work with The Western Front Association, giving tours of war cemeteries, and how he traces the otherwise abandoned people on old postcards.
Listen to the episode
The Life Story:
Simon has chosen to tell the Life Story of his Grandfather Tadeusz Bialosiewicz, the identity of whom he discovered over 20 years ago, as Simon’s mother was adopted in 1949 via the Thomas Coram foundling hospital.
After using some tried and tested research methods of writing a letter and using the telephone, Simon found himself unexpectedly picking up the phone and speaking to his Grandfather for the first time.
What follows is a fantastic story of an adoption reunion going well, and how Simon and his mother, joined her new-found father and his Polish family.
The Brick Wall:
Edith Rosa Sinclair
We’re on the trail of Simon’s paternal Great Grandmother, Edith Rosa Sinclair.
Edith, who was born on 5th November 1881 in Kennington, London, seems to prefer to have been born 10 years later if other documents are to be believed.
The problem is, Edith’s paternity is a case of three men and a baby. Simon has been unable to comfortably accept the identity of her father – was he William Henry Sinclair (as per the birth certificate), married to Clara Martha Boys? Edith’s sister Alice (or half-sister?) has a father of William Henry Poulett (who did exist) on her 1868 birth certificate?
When Edith marries in 1915, her father is given as Edward Sinclair, a deceased clerk.
Who are Edith’s real parents, and how are William Henry Sinclair, Edward Sinclair, and William Henry Poulett connected to her?
If you think that you can help Simon solve his brick wall with a clue or a research idea, then you can contact him via the email he gives in the episode, via his Twitter account at @CharnwoodGenie, or his Charnwood Genealogy website. Alternatively, you can send him a message via our contact form, and we’ll pass it straight on to him.
In the meantime, whilst Simon accepts Andrew’s offer of help, they’re alerted to something terrible…
A list of resources and websites mentioned in this episode:
- https://charnwoodgenealogy.wordpress.com/ – Simon’s old postcard blog
- www.coramadoption.org.uk/services-if-you-were-formerly-care-thomas-coram-foundation-and-descendants– The Thomas Corum Foundation
- Andrew Martin: Host and Producer
- Simon Last: Guest
- Courtney Dunn: Computer