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Brick wall Smashed at last!

 A lot of happy dancing has been happening here lately, as I have finally broken down the brick walls around my husbands grandfather William Allardice/Allardyce Martin, who it turns out should have been known as William Wallace Martin.  I have previously posted about William here, here, here, here, here, herehere, here, here, and here.

I discovered some years ago that there was a problem with William Allardyce/Allardice Martin's personal history, in that the real William Martin born on the 16th August 1900 in Glasgow to William Alexander Martin and his wife Elizabeth nee Allardice was alive and well living in Canada long after my husbands grandfather had died in Singapore.  This information led me to two different options either William Martin was using someone else's identity or there had been a serious mix up somewhere along the way.  I am happy to now report that it seems there had indeed been a serious mix up at some point early in William's life.  

Thanks to Barbara Cooper contacting me some time ago, I was able to confirm William's connection with Barrow in Furness, England and his relationship to his adoptive parents Henry Eccles and his wife Margaret nee Wallace there. Margaret it turned out was William's maternal aunt and the couple took him in some time before 1911 (more research needed here). 

1911 England Census

Name William Martin

Age in 1911 11

Estimated Birth Year 1900

Relation to Head Adopted Son

Gender Male

Birth Place Glasow (resident)

Civil parish Barrow in Furness

Country England

Street Address 253 Rawlinson St Barrow In Furness

Marital Status Single

Occupation School

Registration District Number 482

Sub-registration district Barrow in Furness

ED, institution, or vessel 18

Piece 25668

Household members

Name Age

Agnes Hodgson 96

Harry Eccles 46

Margaret Eccles 46

Edward Etheridge 43

Jacob Williams 43

Joseph Wareing 35

William Martin 11

Source: Record for William Martin. 1911 England Census.  Retrieved from 

From there I was able to confirm that his parents were William Martin and his wife Caroline nee Wallace. The couple had married in Liverpool, England on the 25th November 1891.  William was described as a 32 year old widower, who was a sailor by occupation while Caroline was a 25 year old spinster, with both residing in Victoria Square, Liverpool.

Marriage registration for William Martin and Caroline Wallace.  Source: Liverpool, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1932. Retrieved from

With the information I now had I was able to trace quite a bit of Caroline's family and more of her history as well (which I will post more about in the near future).  It turned out she had been born on the 20th February 1863 to George Wallace and his wife Margaret; which made her twenty eight when she married William Martin not twenty five.  She had been baptised along with her siblings Frederic George and Eliza Annie at St Alphege (Alfege?), Greenwich, Greenwich, England on the 22nd February 1867.

Baptism record for Caroline, Frederic George and Eliza Annie Wallace. Source: London, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1917.  Retrieved from

Life being very busy of late and the fact that William Martin is not a rare name stalled my research for a while but a couple of weeks ago I played a hunch on ScotlandsPeople website and the brick wall came tumbling down at last!  It had only taken about twenty six years all up!

Taking into account Scottish naming patterns I noticed there was a registration for a William Wallace Martin born in 1900 in Glasgow, purchased the image and finally uncovered the truth!  Registered by his mother Caroline on the 27th August 1900 it stated that William Wallace Martin was born on the 16th of August 1900 at 19 Struthers Street, Glasgow to William Martin who was a Slater (Journeyman) and his wife Caroline nee Wallace, who it was recorded had married in Liverpool, England on the 25th November 1891.  

 Birth Registration for William Martin

Surname: Martin

Forename: William Wallace

Mother's Maiden Name:

Gender: M

Year: 1900

Ref: 644/4 868

RD Name: Calton (Glasgow)

Source: Birth Registration for William Wallace Martin.  Retrieved from ScotlandsPeople

Birth Registration for William Wallace Martin.  Retrieved from ScotlandsPeople

William's true identity had been uncovered at last! It seems that there had been a mix up with his birth certificate at some stage, as both William Allardice Martin and William Wallace Martin were born on the 16th August 1900 in Glasgow, Scotland but why had William and/or his extended family not known his full birth name? He went through most of his life as William Allardyce/Allardice Martin marrying and dying with that name, even naming his son William Allardyce James Martin, so it seems pretty safe to assume that he genuinely believed it to be his proper name.  With these new details I continued researching and ultimately uncovered quite a sad story, which I will post more about this coming week.


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