After spending years researching the Gordon family, I hit a brick wall with Hugh Gordon, allegedly born in 1871 in England. He moved to Scotland and was married there (to Annabella Hodgins) and his parents were Hugh Gordon and Mary Ann Duke(s)(Mary Ann was recorded as deceased by this time). His death certificate (also Scotland in 1930) stated the same parents (Hugh Gordon deceased and Mary Ann Duke(s) deceased). Try as I might (and I tracked down every single Hugh Gordon born in England, trawled through census returns etc and disproved every one of them as the parentage was incorrect or I found a variety of different death certificates and census returns that did not match with the marriage and death information). His father was a Shoemaker and this did not change as this is stated on both the marriage and death certificates. In desperation, I assumed the Hugh first name was correct but tried a variety of spellings for Gordon, Gordan. Gorden etc but to no avail. One evening I tried searching for first name of Hugh AND Shoemaker in the occupation field and I came across a Hugh Gorman who was a shoe maker. On further investigation, I found that the dates seemed about right for my Hugh Gordon. I cross checked Hugh Gorman marrying Mary Ann Duke(s) and struck lucky! Hugh Gorman married Mary Ann Duke in 1869 in Greenwich. He was a shoemaker and his son Hugh was born in 1871. Subsequent searches through census returns places him in Greenwich 1871, Scotland 1881, Scotland 1891, Scotland 1901.

I’ll begin with the known facts:  Hugh GORDON was born in Edinburgh in 1931, to Alexander GORDON and Elizabeth Keppie McNAIR.  They married on 11 July 1930 in Edinburgh.

Alexander GORDON was the son of another Hugh GORDON (born 1871 in Deptford, England) and Mary Ann DUKE(sometimes written as DUKES on certificates).  At this point, there was a dead end, but once the brick wall of the GORDON/GORMAN issue was solved, and thanks to various genealogy support networks across the world, there was a tentative suggestion that the Hugh Russell GORMAN born in 1871 in England (Deptford, Kent) was in fact the Hugh GORDON that appeared on subsequent certificates.

The parents of Hugh (born in 1871) were Hugh Russell GORMAN and Mary Ann DUKE.  They married in 1869.

Hugh GORMAN’s father is listed as Daniel GORMAN, physician.

Mary Ann’s father is WIlliam James DUKE, shoemaker.

On the 1871 census for Deptford, there is also a WIlliam James GORMAN age 12 and it transpires that he was Mary Ann’s illegitimate son born in 1859.  He was born WIlliam James DUKE, but assumed the surname GORMAN after the marriage of his mother to Hugh GORMAN.

1871 census – Civil Parish of St Nicholas, Greenwich, Deptford: Family living at Creek Road.

Hugh’s occupation is listed as a Boot Maker, and his age is 24, born Glasgow, Scotland.

Working back to the 1861 census, he is living in Manchester with his mother Margaret GORMAN: