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Dear Neil & Nonie,
I don't know whether or not you asked our Record Keeper to have a look at the UK birth records the Society holds but having just done so I could not find a John Robert Alexander. Nor did I find one in the "Trees" we hold.
There were a couple of John Robert names but I thought that being born circa 1871 probably meant they were too young to produce children in 1881. An Alexander Robert born 1861 in the Ecclesall Bierlow Registration District (Sheffield, YKS) was sexually capable but again did not have the correct combination of names.
Did JRA's death certificate give you any clues about his place of birth? Was there a will?
I can't provide any more thoughts at the moment but it is quite possible that he was registered as John at birth but possibly baptised later with the other two forenames.
Dear Michael, Thanks for your comments re J R A Bunting. At present we are unable to locate place of death or date and had hoped that someone might recognise christian names. This Bunting is on Neil's side of the family and strangely enough I also have Buntings on my side. We know where the son was born and will have to try and progress our enquiries from there.