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Sarah Ann LUCAS / COSTER / WHITLEY - Edmonton, England

Hi All,

I'm having trouble tracking down Sarah Ann COSTER (nee LUCAS) in the 1881 census.

Sarah Ann LUCAS was born about 1853 in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England. However, each census on which she appears has a different birthplace (1861 -Birmingham, 1871 - Newbold, Warwickshire, 1881 - not located yet, 1891 - Bretby Estate, Derbyshire and 1901, Cornwall).

On 2 April, 1871 I believe that Sarah Ann is resident in the Union Lane Workhouse, Chipping Barnet, Hertfordshire, England. Listed with her is a 1 month old called Charles LUCAS. She is unmarried, a pauper whose previous profession is listed as General Domestic Servant. At this time, her parents and siblings are listed as living at East Barnet. This proximity leads me to believe that I've got the right Sarah Ann LUCAS.

On 20 Jul 1873, in Barnet, Hertfordshire, England, she married Henry COSTER and had three children, George Henry COSTER, Alfred John COSTER and James COSTER. Their first son was born in New Barnet, but the last two were born in Southgate, London, indicating that the family had moved during this period. In Sep 1877 Henry COSTER died.

I've been unable to find Sarah Ann LUCAS on the 1881 census. However, I have found a Charles COSTA (10 yrs), George COSTA (6 yrs) and Alfred COSTA (4 yrs) who are resident in the Edmonton Union School. All of this would seem to indicate that Sarah and her young family fell on hard times after the death of Henry and that the children were placed in the Union School while Sarah and her youngest son resided somewhere else, possibly her working in service somewhere.

In 1891 and 1901 she is living in Edmonton.

I've tried everything I can to track her down and would appreciate any assistance anyone can give me!


WHITLEY and COSTER - London to Australia

Hi All,

John WHITLEY was born in Tottenham, Middlesex, England in about 1882. I haven't been able to verify his exact birth details yet. He married Emily Eliza Margaret RANN (03 Jan 1899 Edmonton, Middlesex, England) on 08 Jun 1920 at the Church of the Precious Blood, Hertford Road, Lower Edmonton, London, England. This is a different church than what was handed down in the family history but confirmed via marriage certificate.

John WHITLEY was listed as a journeyman blacksmith on the certificate and his father is listed as John WHITLEY. No mothers details are recorded. However, with the Coster connection, we were able to find that his mother was most likely Sarah Ann COSTER. She was previously married to Henry COSTER who died in 1877. They had 3 children. Her maiden name was probably LUCAS. She married John WHITLEY in March 1885 and had 5 children - John, Rosa, Jessie, Walter and Robert.

Love to hear from anyone who might be connected.


WILKES/MADDALENA in Dungog and Manning Valley, NSW, AU

I've run into a bit of a brick wall researching the Wilkes family.

The person I am interested in is Albert Vincent WILKES. He was born
22 Mar 1902, Stuarts River, NSW, Australia. D. 1973 in Evans Head,
NSW, Australia

Now the squirly part is that the only documentation I have on him is
his marriage certificate (the original, not copy/extract) 22 Nov 1926.

On this his name is listed as Alfred MADDALENA. He lists his fathers
name as Louis MADDALENA. The only other document I have is my
grandmothers Baptism Certificate - her name is listed as Gwendoline

I have evidence that his mother, Mary Louisa WILKES married Louis
Napoleon MADDALENA sometime in 1907, after which they had a number of

So, at least until the birth of his daughter in 1927 he was using the
name MADDALENA, I believe he found out some time in 1928 (I have a
letter dated 1960 from the Registrar Generals Dept saying that my
grandmothers birth records were changed in 1928 to list Albert
Vincent WILKES as her father) at some stage after 1927 he started
using the name Albert Vincent WILKES ie mothers maiden name. Birth
certificate lists no fathers name. So he might have needed a birth
certificate at some stage and found out that Louis Napleon MADDALENA
was either not his biological father or was his biological father -
though out of wedlock - and started using his mothers name.

What am I looking for?

1) Evidence, story, family gossip as to who his father might be. His
mothers family are originally from around the Dungog area of the
Hunter Valley but starting around 1971 at least three children,
including Mary Louisa, Clara Caroline and Whitney Wilkes were born in
the Manning River area. Her parents were Thomas Frederick WILKES and
Susannah Philipa GREGORY.

2) Fill in some of the history around the WILKES and MADDALENA families.

3) Some ideas on where information might be found about the real
story of his birth and any tips on tracing children born outside of wedlock.


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