Newsletter - 31st December 2015
DNA offer ENDS TODAY
Genes Reunited offer ENDS FRIDAY
Save 50% on the 1939 Register ENDS TUESDAY
Last chance to enter the Christmas Competition ENDS TUESDAY
The LostCousins newsletter is usually published fortnightly. To access the previous newsletter (dated 26th December) click here, for an index to articles from 2009-10 click here, for a list of articles from 2011 click here and for a list of articles from 2012-14 click here. Or do what I do, and use the customised Google search below (it only searches these newsletters, so you won't get spurious results):
Whenever possible links are included to the websites or articles mentioned in the newsletter (they are highlighted in blue or purple and underlined, so you can't miss them). If one of the links doesn't work this normally indicates that you're using adblocking software - you need to make the LostCousins site an exception (or else use a different browser, such as Chrome).
To go to the main LostCousins website click the logo at the top of this newsletter. If you're not already a member, do join - it's FREE, and you'll get an email to alert you whenever there's a new edition of this newsletter available!
For many Britons the name Arthur Dal(e)y conjures up images of George Cole, the character actor who passed away in 2015 at the age of 90, who starred as Arthur Daley in the long-running ITV series Minder. Of course, he had many other roles - I first saw him as 'Flash Harry' in the St Trinian's films of the 1950s, alongside Alastair Sim (who had unofficially adopted George when he was 16).
It's the Arthur Daley character that inspired my New Year Competition: variously described in Cole's obituaries as "roguish", "shifty", "small-time wheeler-dealer", and "crook" this second-hand car dealer surely has nothing in common with a respectable doctor who just happens to bear the same name (though without the 'e'). Yet Dr Arthur Daly was just as much of a rogue - and whilst he was eventually acquitted of murder, I'm not yet convinced of his innocence.
Your challenge is to convince me of Arthur Daly's innocence - or guilt - using any available evidence (for example, from from newspaper reports). You don't need to know anything about George Cole or the Arthur Daley he played, but you will need to have access to British newspapers from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s - you can access them quickly and easily at Findmypast or the British Newspaper Archive.
Dr Harold Shipman remains the only British doctor to have been convicted of murdering his patients: Dr John Bodkin Adams, a near-contemporary of Arthur Daly, was convicted of prescription fraud - but acquitted of murder in 1957 (though there are many who are convinced he was guilty). Both Daly and Adams could have been sentenced to death by hanging if found guilty, but only Adams warrants a Wikipedia page - everyone seems to have forgotten about Dr Daly. This is your chance to determine whether or not Daly cheated the hangman's noose.
Born in Walthamstow in February 1901, Arthur J Daly was shown as 2 months old on the 1901 Census - you'll find him living with his parents at 370 Forest Road, Walthamstow. His parents were born in Ireland, and his father, a General Practitioner, qualified there in 1898 according to the Medical Register for 1911, which you'll find in the UK Medical Registers, 1859-1959 collection at Ancestry. However Dr Arthur James Daly isn't listed in the 1913 register, which is at Findmypast, and I soon discovered that his death had been registered in the 4th quarter of 1912.
Who knows what the impact was on his five sons, the eldest of whom was only 11 when their father died? Were the family forced into penury, or had adequate provision been made? There is no record of a will in the Probate Calendars for England & Wales, but it's possible that much of his estate was in Ireland. Either way, I don't suppose that young Arthur James Daly had an easy upbringing - though it doesn't excuse what he did later.
In 1925 he qualified as a doctor and in 1930 he married Lilian Ratcliff, in Burton-on-Trent - she was just 19 years old (he was 29); by 1931 he was working at the Hanwell Mental Hospital in Southall, Middlesex according to the Medical Register, but the births of his sons Michael (1931) and Richard (1934) were both registered in Burton. Were they living apart, or had he found a new job closer to Burton?
The 1939 Register shows him in General Practice at Ilkeston, Derbyshire - not far from Nottingham:
© Crown Copyright Image reproduced by courtesy of The National Archives, London, England and Findmypast
I don't know when he started using the second middle name of Patrick - it certainly doesn't appear on his birth certificate, on his marriage certificate, or in the medical registers I checked. Perhaps he felt that the initials JP added an extra degree of respectability (since JP is the abbreviation for 'Justice of the Peace', ie a magistrate).
He can't have been very successful as a doctor, nor can he have been practising in Ilkeston for more than a few years - the Derby Daily Telegraph of 25th November 1936 reported bankruptcy proceedings against him, giving his Ilkeston address but describing him as "lately of Adelaide House, Adelaide Street, Accrington". The same newspaper reported on 19th January 1937 that he had debts of £3,250 10s, but assets of only £83 2s 4d - a deficiency of £3,167 (about £500,000 in today's money if the increase in wages since 1937 is taken into account).
There was more bad news to come - on 3rd September 1937 the London Gazette announced that he had been convicted of offences under the Dangerous Drugs Acts, as a result of which his right to possess and supply opiates had been withdrawn.
Clearly he was struggling to make ends meet even after his bankruptcy - on 30th March 1939 the Nottingham Evening Post reported that he had been fined 10s with 30s costs for using a motor car without a Road Fund Licence, and that he had 15 previous convictions. He continued to drive without buying the requisite licence, and on 2nd September 1939 the Post reported that he had been fined £5 with 32s 3d costs.
But this was soon to be the least of his worries, for on 20th November 1939 the London Times revealed that he had been remanded in custody, charged with the murder of a new-born infant between 8th-14th November. The Court was told how the body had been found wrapped in brown paper, in a box, in a caravan in a field.
There are extensive articles about the case in the Nottingham Evening Post of 28th February 1940 - it's the lead story on the front page, and on the back page - I'll leave you to read the report yourself (in the British Newspaper Archive); suffice it to say that the deceased infant was the child of his young mistress, who had also been a patient of his. I thought the evidence was pretty damning, and I suspect you will too - but on 1st March the Times reported that he had been found not guilty of murder, and sentenced to a mere three days' imprisonment for concealing the birth of a child. Ironically the pathologist whose evidence saved Dr Daly was Sir Bernard Spilsbury, whose evidence had helped to convict Dr Crippen in 1910.
The medical register for 1943 shows that he was still a registered practioner despite all that had happened, whilst the 5th February 1944 issue of The Chemist & Druggist reported Daly's restoration to the list of authorised doctors under the Dangerous Drugs Act.
You be the judge
Were the jury right to find him not guilty? They probably wouldn't have known about his previous convictions or his bankruptcy, but we do - although there's a big difference between motoring offences and murder. Unfortunately I couldn't find any more detail on the drugs offences which led to the withdrawal of his permit to supply opiates - the circumstances might provide more insight into the mind of this man.
But I only spent a couple of hours looking into this case, which I stumbled across by accident when trying to find out whether there was any truth in the Scotland Yard story entitled 'The Blazing Caravan'. Your challenge is to read the key articles which argue the case for and against Dr Daly - we know he was an adulterous bankrupt who broke the ethical code that he signed up to when he became a doctor, but that doesn't make him a murderer.
Would it make any difference to your decision if you were to know that the Times of 1st December 1951 reported that a Dr Arthur James Daly of Carr Road, Nelson, Lancashire had lost his appeal against being struck off the medical register after committing adultery with another patient? He didn't give up - he became the first doctor to take his appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council under the Medical Act of 1950, but again his appeal was dismissed. The papers in the latter appeal are online here; you'll see that he was named as co-respondent in a divorce petition by the aggrieved husband.
If you want to take part in the challenge you'll need to email me your entry by midnight on Monday 25th January; you can use any of the LostCousins email addresses, including the one I wrote from when telling you about this newsletter. Please use "Daly Challenge" as the subject of your email so that it doesn't get lost amongst all the other emails I receive.
Tips: I'll be looking for a well-argued case - don't simply express your opinion, you'll need to back it up with evidence (even if some of the evidence is circumstantial or hearsay). If you draw evidence from Internet articles other than the ones I've mentioned in this newsletter please be sure to provide details of the source so that I can find it.
As I mentioned earlier, you will need access to the British Newspaper Archive in order to build a convincing case, but I'd encourage to look for other sources (for example, I accessed the Times and the Daily Mirror through my local library).
Finally, whilst it is likely that there are relatives of Dr Daly who are still living - as well as others who have been affected by his actions - under no circumstances should you attempt to contact them. This is an exercise to test your research skills, and powers of reasoning, not a witch-hunt.
Note: I think my quest to find the source of 'The Blazing Caravan' TV story was a hopeless one - I suspect it was loosely-based on the Blazing Car Murder, which took place in 1930 (the pathologist whose evidence helped to convict the murder in that case was once again Sir Bernard Spilsbury!).
Just before Christmas the National Archives made available online diaries of 247 First World War hospital camps, hospital ships, convalescent hospitals and veterinary hospitals. You can read all about them here.
The New England Historic Genealogical Society is making three of its most popular datasets free for the month of January - you need only register as a Guest User. The three datasets are:
Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841-1910
Vermont Births, Marriages and Deaths to 2008
New Hampshire Births to 1901, Deaths and Marriages to 1937
To take advantage of this offer click here.
DNA offer ENDS TODAY
Earlier this month I wrote Family Tree DNA's seasonal sale - and it's your last chance to order a test at the sale prices, because the sale ends at midnight today.
Fortunately, because Family Tree DNA are based in Texas, they're 6 hours behind London and about 16 hours behind Australia - so you may have more time to take up this offer than you think.
If you follow this link you'll be supporting LostCousins!
If you have Irish ancestry - or simply have an interest in how DNA can tell us about our origins - you'll find this BBC article interesting.
Genes Reunited offer ENDS FRIDAY
Until midnight (London time) on New Year's Day can get a 1 month Platinum subscription at Genes Reunited by following this link and entering the discount code: GRSYFT15
Warning: don't take advantage of this offer if you have currently have a Standard subscription - you'll lose your existing subscription (and any preferential rate). By default subscriptions renew automatically at the full rate - if you don't want to renew at the end of the month simply change the setting on the 'Subscription Details'.
Save 50% on the 1939 Register ENDS TUESDAY
Until midnight on 5th January you can save 50% when you buy 60 credits (sufficient to view a single household) using one of the links below:
By using one of those links you'll also be supporting LostCousins - whether you buy 60, 300, or 900 credits.
If, like me, you want to track down your wider family then the cheapest option is to buy 900 credits (sufficient for 15 households).
We might be the YouTube generation, but according to a recent BBC News article there are still nearly 10,000 holders of black and white television licences on the UK. And there's good news if you're still watching in black and white - you could own a valuable antique, because older televisions are much sought after by museums and collectors.
It's more than 150 years since the first jelly babies were produced, although they haven't always been known by that name, as this BBC article makes clear - at one time they were called 'unclaimed babies', which was possibly a reference to foundlings.
In the Blood reaches 100,000 sales
Steve Robinson is one of my favourite authors of genealogical mysteries - so I was delighted to learn that he has been awarded a specially-mounted copy of In the Blood for achieving sales of 100,000. I'm willing to bet that a few thousand of those sold to LostCousins members!
If you haven't read In the Blood yet follow this link and choose between the Kindle version and the paperback. Warning: Steve Robinson's books are highly addictive!
Last chance to enter the Christmas Competition ENDS TUESDAY
You've still got a few days to enter the LostCousins Christmas Competition - and even if you don't win one of the valuable prizes you've got an excellent chance of finding some new cousins (which is something that money can't buy).
Simply add more entries to your My Ancestors page, remembering that you're most likely to connect with a new cousin when you enter relatives from the 1881 Census. Here's a reminder of the prizes on offer:
THREE 12 month World subscriptions to Findmypast, each one supplemented with 300 credits to enable you to access the new 1939 Register (generously donated by Findmypast, Britain's leading family history company)
With a World subscription you can access any of Findmypast's historic records and newspaper articles, as well as their modern (2012-14) UK Electoral Register - and you can do this at any of the Findmypast's four sites around the globe.
ONE Printed Family Tree to the value of £45, showing up to 500 of your relatives (kindly donated by Genealogy Printers, Britain's leading tree printing company)
If the winner has wall space for an even larger family tree it will be possible to upgrade by paying the difference. Genealogy Printers can accept files from just about any family tree program - if your program isn't on the list just ask.
ONE copy of Family Historian v6 (kindly donated by Simon Orde, the designer and lead programmer of Family Historian)
If the winner lives outside the UK the prize will be a downloaded copy; winners in the UK can choose between a downloaded copy and a boxed copy (they function identically). Check out Family Historian now with a free 30-day trial - just follow this link.
TEN 12 month subscriptions to LostCousins
If you already have a subscription I'll extend it by 12 months
No matter how experienced we are as family historians, there's always more to learn - and for me that's one of the great things about genealogy. Indeed, at my age (and I know that half of the members reading this are at least as old as I am), I often find that I need to be reminded of some of the things that I learned a long time ago!
When I was at school the concept of life-long learning hadn't been invented (or it had, they didn't tell me) but now it's accepted that we must continue learning throughout our lives if we don't want to fossilize.
So my advice for 2016 is to read a book or do a course that will expand your knowledge of genealogy or - if you're like me - remind you of some of the things you used to know, but have since forgotten.
This is where any last minute updates and corrections will be highlighted - if you think you've spotted an error (sadly I'm not infallible), reload the newsletter (press Ctrl-F5) then check here before writing to me, in case someone else has beaten you to it......