An interesting family history research project I am currently undertaking is a search for WWII nurse Eva May Johnson who was born in 1913 in Staffordshire, and died in 1973 near Lichfield.
Included with the family papers is this certificate signed by the late King George & Elizabeth.
The certificate was presented to Eva in recognition of devoted service during the second World War 1939-1945.
Who was Eva May Johnson?
Eva May Johnson was born in 1913 in Lichfield Staffordshire. Sometimes when researching, it is often easier to work backwards from what we find. In this case, Eva May Johnson appeared in the marriage indexes in 1950 as being married to Walter Brown.
This tied in with another document in the bundle, a nursing uniform order and a receipt from the General Nursing Council with the name Mrs Eva M Brown, 05 March 1951.
Piecing the information together
As Eva May Johnson is a common name combination, it proved difficult at first to locate the correct person. Using a free website FreeBMD (a free resource for searching Births, Deaths and Marriages), I narrowed down the possibles:
I selected the Marriages option, and completed basic information based on name, in Staffordshire.
I then turned the search terms around, so that Brown, Walter was the initial name, and spouse name Johnson, Eva. This was to double check that the first name of BROWN was actually Walter, and it produced the same document.
I ordered a marriage certificate from the GRO (the General Register Office) www.gro.gov.uk which confirmed that the marriage took place on 15 July 1950, St Michael’s in Lichfield, Staffordshire.
Walter Brown was a 39-year-old chemist, and his father Bernard Brown described as deceased. Eva May Johnson is 35 years of age, a nurse, and a widow. This would mean that she had been married before. Her father was Henry John CHOWN, a carpenter.
Another search for Eva’s first marriage showed a marriage index entry for Eva May CHOWN and Frederick JOHNSON in 1935.
Eva appears on the 1939 Register living with her parents and sister Gwendoline in Fradley, not far from Lichfield.
Croft Cottage, Fradley, Staffordshire
Henry J CHOWN, 6 June 1888 Married, Carpenter & Joiner
Edith M CHOWN, 16 December 1888, married, Housewife unpaid
Gwendoline CHOWN [HOLGATE], 7 September 1920 single, Domestic duties
Eva M JOHNSON [BROWN], 20 Oct 1913, married, unpaid house duties
And finally, Eva is found on the National Probate Calendar as having died on 03 October 1973.
BROWN, Eva May of 21 Burton Old Road Streethay Lichfield. Last seen alive 1 October 1973 dead body found 03 October 1973 Probate Birmingham 27 November. £5740. 730314390L.
My search on what happened to Eva continues…
If Eva or any of her family are known to you, or you are a relative and would like to discuss this research project, please do get in touch. Thank you.
#Staffordshire #Genealogy #Genealogist #Midlands #Occupations #women #woman