Hi out there! I have it a major brick wall in my family tree and I've been searching for the answer for several years now, hopefully someone out there will have the missing piece of the puzzle for me.
I am considering hiring a professional genealogist but I thought I might try here first. If anyone out there would be able to help me, words couldn't even explain how incredibly grateful I'd be.
My Great Great Grandfather's name was James Wheeler. He came to Canada sometime around 1884 (at least this is the first time he shows up in our city directory) he was a Confectioner by trade and on his marriage certificate (which I ordered from Manitoba Vital Statistics) lists his parents as (it is slightly illegible) George Wheeler and Harriet Lawton/Lawson(?). It also gives his birthplace as Liverpool and gives his age as 21, which would give him the approximate birth year of 1866/1867. I have also ordered other birth certificates for his children and one mentions that his full name was James Arnold Wheeler. Now, whether or not that is correct I don't know, his last born son, who was born after he died was named James Arnold Wheeler, so it's possible his birth name was also James Arnold Wheeler but the birth certificate that has that information on it was registered in 1965 so they might have just written his name that way as it was the name of his son.
I have tracked down his will at our archives (unfortunately no useful information), found his obituary, his grave, the only census he was on while living in Canada (1891), his marriage and death certificate, as well as several other inconsequential tidbits. The issue is that he passed away of Tuberculosis when my Great Grandmother Violet was only 1 year old.
My great Grandmother died when I was still young but we asked her about her birth father and she didn't really tell us anything about him other than his name.
I have searched FreeBMD [and ancestry, familysearch.org etc.] up and down (searching Lancashire, mostly) and have of course found many, many James Wheelers/Wallers but honestly at this point I'm not sure I can count any of them. I ordered an open certificate of birth through the GRO (where they search a year on either side of the birth trying to match parents names) and it came back with no match.
I know that people during this period changed their names and maybe that's simply the issue, but I'd like to know if a birth record can be found for him. I would think that he would be somewhere on the 1871 and 1881 UK census but I can't find him. I haven't been able to find a marriage for the parents so its possible that he was born out of wedlock; again I just don't know.
He must have hundreds of living descendents; with the hope that some day other distant cousins of mine may find this thread, I'll include some additional info:
James "Arnold" Wheeler Born Approx 1867 Liverpool England
Arrival in Winnipeg Manitoba Canada 1884
Working as a biscuit & candy maker/confectioner for the W.H. Paulin/Paulin Chambers Co. Ltd here in Winnipeg (It no longer exists) 1884-1898.
Married Maud Annie Suttie May 16, 1888 at the Christ Church Winnipeg (No longer exists)
Lewis Chester Wheeler b. May 6, 1889. Married Agnes Senger and had a daughter named Rose Wheeler who was born in 1915. He Passed away February 5, 1928.
Leslie Earl Wheeler b. November 1891. Died August 7, 1893.
Minnie Agnes Wheeler b. April 1st 1893. Married Sydney Allan Jeffrey June 13, 1914; had 3 children - Muriel Maude Doreen Jeffrey (1915) Audrey Eileen Jeffrey (1917) and Allan Jeffrey (1920). She passed away July 26, 1987 in Regina Saskatchewan.
Violet Clara Wheeler b. August 10, 1896. Married Thomas Edwin Sweet July 29, 1916; had 4 children - Muriel Valentine Sweet (1918) Lawrence Thomas Edwin Sweet (1920) William [Bill] Sweet (1923) Orval [Herb] Sweet (1925). She passed away September 9, 1993.
James Arnold Wheeler b. August 29, 1898. Married Edith Constance Douglas and had 2 (known) children - Bernice Wheeler Boutilier (Birth year unknown) and James Arnold Wheeler (1920). He passed away December 3, 1980 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
James Arnold Wheeler died May 22, 1898 in Winnipeg.
Any help would be outstanding. I realize this one will require some thinking outside the box but I just haven't been able to find the answers myself. Thanks for your time, I hope some day we'll be able to grow this branch on my tree!