The ever-deepening doubts

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LAST week, we began the new and intriguing twist in the family tree of the Hartlepool Mail’s own Chris Cordner.

It seems as if all might not be as originally documented in the ancestry of the paper’s head of features

The new twist has emerged thanks to Alan Cordner, 70, from Worksop, who had looked further into the background of William Cordner and found fresh that the ancestral line and even the surname of the Cordner clan may be in doubt.

Alan said the William Cordner concerned was not the one from Durham as first suggested, but a man from Northumberland.

Alan added: “Our new boy was married to Dora Hannah and born in Sunderland in 1877.

“I was increasingly getting the feeling that this William was not a known relative and that the one on my tree was the marine engineer who died in 1918 while at sea.”

Alan said he then realised he had a marriage certificate for a member of the Cordner family who had wedded Frances Defty.

“Although I had not incorporated it in my computerised tree, having found it I then knew that William’s father was John Cordner also a coal miner and that William was married giving his address as John Street, Kimblesworth Colliery, Kimblesworth.

“This just happens to be where Frances Defty and her family lived so I would guess that he had put a suitcase there for three weeks to get residential qualification unless he was actually boarding in the house.

“All this has, I think, proved that the branch starting with William and Frances does not belong where I had it placed, but where does it belong.

“Searches of births and censuses had not found any one who fit the bill as either John Cordner or William before 1901.

“From the 1901 and 1911 censuses we know that at least William was born in County Durham at Thrislington although John could be from anywhere including Ireland and might or might not be related to our branch.”

Next time: Was the surname Cordner an invention?