I have a female great grand-mother in England for whom I have her marriage certificate and her death certificate, plus census records from marriage until death. From these I know her unmarried name, an approximate year of birth (1865), a supposed place of birth (Dudley, England) and (from her marriage certificate) a putative father's name.
Searches in the GRO birth indices for 5 years either side of her supposed birth year have not located anyone of the right name born anywhere with the right father that I have not been able to trace and therefore eliminate in later censuses (nor any illegitimate girl children that otherwise meet the criteria).
How can I find records of her birth?
Edited to provide more details:
Mary Ann Harper (spinster, aged 18) was married after Banns on 15th April 1883 to John Stanley Wright at St. Lukes Church, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England. She named her father as James Harper (deceased) with no occupation given. Both parties gave their address as Hill Street. The witnesses were a J. Marshall and a D. Marshall. [Source: Copy of the relevant entry of marriage from the General Register Office]
Stanley Wright was a painter and decorator born in Plumstead, Kent in 1861. In 1881, he was living in Kings Norton, Worcestershire.
The couple's first child Stanley Charles was born on 5 August 1883 at 42 Broadway Street, Burton Extra, Burton on Trent, Derbyshire. [Source: Copy of the relevant entry of birth from the GRO]. She went on to have a total of 10 children, born variously in Birmingham, Kings Norton and Sutton Coldfield (all Warwickshire/Worcestershire) as well Stapenhill and Burton Extra (both near Burton on Trent in Derbyshire.
From the censuses after her marriage:
- 1891 resident Stapenhill, Burton on Trent, Derbyshire aged 26 born Dudley Staffordshire
- 1901 resident Kings Norton, Kings Heath, Worcestershire aged 37 born Dudley Staffordshire
- 1911 resident Kings Norton, Worcestershire aged 40 born Dudley (the informant in this case was her landlord, not a member of the family)
She died in 1932 aged 66 [Source: Copy of entry of death from GRO]
I have not been able to locate her conclusively in the censuses before her marriage.