C668 The Orphan Children of Catherine Jane Wallis

A

Andrew Williams

Guest
A plea of help is desperately needed please.

Since compiling all the Minute Books another surge of projects are underway, and noting is more precise to me that the fate of those orphans.

Most of us, if not all in the Titanic Community, are fully aware of the tragedy over Catherine Wallis. With her unexpected lost her four endearing children were orphaned overnight. Almost 15 months previously tragedy hit the household when her husband James Wallis decided to take his own life. The 'why factor' would be beneficial if the Corner's Report had survived. The absences of this report make things even more difficult as the old Corner's Office in Southampton was destroyed during one of the many heavy air raids of 1940 & 41. So no official report survives now.

However, the main focus of attention now turns upon the four children, Melita Annie Alice Wallis born in 1899, James Robert Wallis born in 1904, Frederick Walter Wallis born in 1907 and Cecilia Horrisa Wallis born in 1909. Out of these four, one was born in the United States whilst the other three were all born and baptised in Southampton.

For nearly three running I dedicated loads of man-hours searching the deposition for James Robert Wallis. The only success was ordering his death certificate which arrived safely last Thursday and boy the end result delivered one almighty shock, a shock I wasn't prepared for.

He died in 1988 and his death is registered in Southampton. However, detective work was needed elsewhere and by checking the 1911 Census for England, the confirmation opens another window of surprises and begs to ask many more questions before this case file can be satisfactory closed.

Surprisingly James Robert wasn't born in Britain he was born in the United States, leaving the ultimate question to ask, was his parents Catherine and James Wallis residering in the United States gaining a better way of life? At present I haven't found anything on the Ellis Island site to suggest the contrary they had emigrated, although perhaps some one may have better luck than I did.

The 1911 Census reveals some very interesting statics. As usual Catherine is listed as a Widow with her four children, and Robert Moore her Father is recorded living under the same roof with the family as a Widower. The biggest disappointment is discovering there's no indication giving the actual place of birth for James Robert, only stating he was born in America at the tender age of six years.

Considering I don't know how the system properly works in the U.S., my questions are aimed at the American members of this message board. Is there a system similar to the U.K branch site called FreeBDM - see www.FreeBDM.com) operating in the U.S.? As a British citizen how can I order his birth certificate and which of the many departments do I approach to make the necessarily enquires?

Any assistance in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks in advance.