Adoption and Naming – Detective Work

On the weekend I welcomed some family into my home for a get-together. My children were here to meet my mother’s cousin Ron and his family. We had a wonderful time as you can see here:

Left to right Kerry, her mother Pam, Pam's husband Graham, his father Ron Cockett, my and my son, Jonathan

Left to right Kerry, her mother Pam, her husband Graham, his father Ron Cockett, my and my son, Jonathan

We had met previously a couple of years ago, thanks to meeting up online at where we had been searching for one another.

To cut a long story short, Mum was adopted and wouldn’t have anything to do with her birth family (the Cocketts). She also never knew who her birth father was. This didn’t bother her, she considered her adopted family (the Howells) as her family.

However it has always been on my mind, and since she passed on fifteen years ago I felt it would be alright to start looking. On finding Ron he made my dreams come true by sending me some photographs of my grandmother (Queenie Cockett). This was more than I had hoped for. However, he had no idea who my grandfather might be, and I put that dream away again.

On meeting them this weekend, I realised I have spent a disproportionate amount of time on my father’s family tree, and got out mum’s documents again. In all the advice about tracing your family tree it always says ‘begin with what you know’. So, I dug out Mum and Dad’s birth certificates and began comparing them.

I noticed a category that said ‘Signature, Description and Residence of Informant’, which I had previously glanced at. My Dad’s father, Joseph Taylor Dinnis had signed his, and Mum’s had been signed by ‘E. Wilson. Present at the birth’. I had always assumed this to be an anonymous midwife, or nurse who was present at the birth.

After meeting with the Cocketts I began to wonder about this ‘E. Wilson’ and looked again at the family tree.

I noticed that Queenie had an older sister named Elizabeth. She had married in 1916. She married William Wilson, so she would have been E. Wilson. Mum was born in 1927.

Elizabeth Cockett Wilson

Elizabeth Cockett Wilson

It would seem to make sense that an elder sister would be present at the birth of a younger sibling. I am now wondering if she would have known more about the baby’s father. Looking at the family tree it appears Elizabeth had no children to tell, so I am now wondering if she would have told her younger sister about it all?

Her younger sister was Jane Nellie Cockett.

Jane Nellie Cockett

Jane Nellie Cockett

I still have so many questions, especially about my mothers name. Queenie was born ‘May Annie Doris Cockett’ but known as Queenie. On mum’s birth certificate she is also named ‘May Annie Doris Cockett’ but I always knew her as Enid May Howells.

I will carry on searching and will let you know how I get on.


About Jackie Dinnis

Welcome to my blog where I am enjoying meeting my family - past and present - one at a time. Join me as I learn who my ancestors were, where they lived, what their occupations were and what everyday life was like for them.
This entry was posted in COCKETT, Elizabeth Cockett, Enid May Howells, Jane Nellie Cockett, Queenie Cockett and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Adoption and Naming – Detective Work

  1. What a fascinating story, Jackie.

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