How can a school record lead you to lost cousins?

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How can a school record lead you to lost cousins?

Searching for School Admissions 1900s

My research task for today was to explore the Find My Past School Admissions records for my Croydon Clan of Allery’s. I was prompted by this tip that I had posted recently, and decided to follow my own advice.

This is Tip #30 in my recent collection of Genealogy Research Tips. I was keen to find out if any of my Allery ancestors had attended schools in the Croydon suburb of Surrey in the 1900s. I proceeded to FMP and used the Search tool and selected the category Education and Work, then selected the sub category Schools and Education. The next step was to select the country, county and town where I was focussing my research. Finally I entered the surname Allery and the search brough up 3 possible records. 

I selected the 3 files and found that two of these matched my Allery Clan; names that were familiar to me from previous research. Once I opened up the record for that ancestor I could see immediately in the transcript the name of my ancestor, their age, and their parent. Both of these matched, luckily, so I peeked into the actual record. Part of that record is displayed in the feature image for this post. 

I also searched for a suitable image of an infant school of that era in the Photographic Archives of FMP. This image is also included in the feature image above.

How did I get from here to my lost cousins?

The school admission forms listed Frederick Allery as the parent of Doris Ellen Allery; another piece of the puzzle to fill in on my FMP family tree.

As I linked these records to the tree and searched further into that family, I noticed that there was a Passenger List displayed for 1920, so I was curious. On inspection of the first passenger list, I noted the names of Doris Ellen and her female siblings and her mother Ellen Allery. They were among the passengers on board the P&O ship, the Berrima, which sailed from London to Sydney on the 16th September 1920.

Sifting through the passenger list (there were many pages) I could not find her husband Frederick or the 3 boys. I needed to hunt further. Using FMP and the Travel and Migration search, and digging into the Passenger Lists for any more Allery’s that year, I found that Frederick John and his sons, Frederick aged 8 and John aged 14 had emigrated on board the Aberdeen Line, the ship Thermosticles on the 7th of July 1920.

That made sense to me, as it was a similar situation for my own family who emigrated in two ships, in 1948 and 1949, and settled in Victoria. But the thing that resonated most was that I realised I had some ‘lost cousins’ in Australia; this family had settled in New South Wales. Now I could begin to trace any of those cousins who may still be living in the towns mentioned in their Australia records.


I am still a few generations away from finding my living cousins from this clan of the Allery family; but I  now have some details of the ancestors in my tree. And of course I have copied and pasted pertinent information into my Evernote Notebooks. I now have a special Notebook for the Allery’s in Australia – this will help me be organised in my next research into this family.

I would be keen to connect with others who are searching the ancestors in the Allery’s from Croydon. I have included a small section of the family tree I am building on the right.

Do get in touch with me if you have these ancestors in common with me. I am looking for those who are descended from Frederick John Allery and Ellen Hay M: 3 April 1904 at St Stephens in Croydon, Surrey, England. This family emigrated from England to Australia in 1920.

If you would like help with your Genealogy Research, then take a peek at my beginner’s course in How To Organise your Genealogy Research; it this month’s special ecourse and selling for just $25.

Look here for more information: and then head over to enrol here.

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