Dear Webmaster,

I found this column recently and would appreciate having an entry in the Lost and Found section. Over a period of time I have done some very extensive searching in Scotland, South Africa and through societies and private researchers without success. This may elicit a new idea or angle.


My great grandparents George BERTRAM and Helen CRAISE married in Galashiels, Scotland on 10 March 1882. Soon after their marriage they went to South Africa where a daughter Helen BERTRAM was born in Cape Town in 1882.

I would like to find a birth record/exact date for Helen Bertram. She must have been born sometime between mid-1882 and early 1883 at the very latest.

The Bertram family left Cape Town for Australia on 3 October 1883 in an Italian ship Leopoldo. In February 1884 a second daughter was born to them (so she was conceived in South Africa in about May 1883)

I suspect my great grandparents may have been expecting a baby before they married (George was only 18 years and his wife Helen was 20 years). Maybe they did not want to tell their families and decided to emigrate.

Did they intend to go to South Africa or was the trip to Australia interrupted by the birth of their baby? Whatever the case, they stayed for about 12 months in Cape Town before leaving for Melbourne, Australia.

I have documentation foreverything except the shipping record from Scotland (probably embarked from England) to South Africa (1882) and the birth of Helen Bertram (1882-3).

Both dates are in a difficult time period for records.

Any suggestions would be welcome

Marjorie Morkham