top of page

More about the Duffin family tree.

There is a problem with the Joseph Duffins, actually there are several problems.



Joseph David Duffin. 1880-1958. My Grandad.  There is no birth record that I can trace anywhere, which is very strange as I believe him to have been born in England.  On census and suchlike he gives his age such that he was born in 1879 at the earliest and probably 1880, he states his place of birth as unknown.  There is a family story that his father was born on a boat from Ireland and never registered, could this in fact have been him ??  On his marriage certificate he states his father was Joseph Duffin deceased and his place of birth unknown.


I have 3 DNA matches with common ancestors in mid 18th century members of the Clare family of Clerkenwell, the line of descent is via several generations of Joseph Duffin's to me. This kind of knocks the born on a boat theory on the head.


Joseph Duffin 1830-1916. And Joseph Duffin 1851-1906


Both appear to have wives called Sarah Relf.  These two Sarah Relfs are hopelessly mixed up in Ancestry hints, other trees etc and appear to be the same person, but they surely cant be, this is going to be mixed up info, not incestuous bigamy. ( I hope, we have enough problems in our family ). It has been copied so many times that it is presented as de-facto. Well it aint !!


There is Sarah Relf, and there is Eliza Emily Sarah Anne Relf.  Some documents say Sarah Relf, some say EESA Relf. I do not believe they refer to the same person. So I have teased them apart as best I can, though  the June 1875 marriage remains a problem, most docs say EESA Relf but one says Sarah.  They may have both called themselves Sarah, however EESA was clearly fond of using her full name and I would have thought, used it on anything official.  But who am I to say this,  pure speculation.


As Regards Joe David's age, his marriage and census docs, things he would have done himself,  are all consistent , he was born in 1879/80 though nothing gives an actual DOB.  There was a Joseph Duffin born 1876 who has sort of got merged into JDD.  In a number of trees. I think this is wrong.  This Joseph Duffin born 1876 was born to  Joseph Duffin & EESA Relph.  There is a good series of docs showing this family, all totally consistent giving the son Joseph as being born in 1876.


Crucially for the 1911 census there are two separate Joseph Duffins, there is one still living with Joseph Duffin and EESA Duffin in Wimbledon and one for Joseph David Duffin married and living with his wife Helener in Willesden.  They are not the same person whatever Ancestry may say.  So where the ***k did Joseph David suddenly spring from ?  The existing facts just do not fit, but can 3 DNA matches all be wrong ?  My best guess is that there is another as yet undiscovered ( by me ) link between the Clares and the Duffins, perhaps I am being too blinkered by what on first look seemed a straight forward tree.  Time to re-evaluate and hope for more DNA matches to show up.

bottom of page