My great-grandmother's (Alice Ridley) birth certificate states that her father was Henry Ridley
, a blacksmith, and her mother, Ann Ridley formerly Cotterill. Henry was 'Harry' on Alice's marriage certificate.
I see her family in Birmingham on the 1871 census before Alice was born. Living there are Alice's three elder siblings:
Henry's age is difficult to read but it looks like 30 (b. abt 1841), born in Birmingham, Warwickshire. He is a blacksmith on the census too.
Ann (actually Hannah Maria Cotterill) was born in Dudley Worcestershire in abt 1842.
1) Joseph (who is Joseph Henry), b. abt 1864 in Wednesbury, Staffs.
2) Mary A, b. abt 1868 in Moxley, Staffs
3) Alfred, b. abt 1870 in Derby, Staffs
I've traced Alice's mother in later censuses and she was no longer with Henry. She married a George Oakes in 1874 as Cotterill, her maiden name. As I hadn't been able to find a marriage between Alice's parents, this fits.
My problem is all I have for Henry Ridley is one definite census where his age is uncertain. I believe he might be the same Henry that I see in later censuses living with 'Elizabeth' in various parts of Lancashire.
Firstly, how might I gather further evidence to support the supposition that my Henry is definitely the one with Elizabeth - there's no marriage again as far as I can see.
Secondly, and even more pertinent is how can I find out who Henry's parents were? FreeBMD doesn't offer any clues as to his birth. The censuses show a possible family where the father is William and the mother is Lydia. FamilySearch reveals the same family with a baptism in 1839 in St Thomas, Birmingham. However, there may be other possibilities and I don't feel there's enough to go on so far to be certain that I'm tracing the correct ancestry. Even if I do manage to find a birth certificate for Henry, what information might it reveal to help me ascertain that he's definitely mine?