During a recent visit to the East Riding of Yorkshire archives at Beverley, I decided to review a number of documents I’d identified in their online catalogue which I thought might be relevant to my own family history.
I came across a bastardy order (QSU1/40/50 ) dated 1 July 1839 which named William Rooke as the putative father of a female child born to Mother Hannah Silversides. The Selby Guardians of the Poor had an interest in bringing the case as the child had been born in the parish of Riccall and as such the child was chargeable to the parish.
William Rooke was ordered to pay a sum, not exceeding one shilling per week, to the overseers of the poor of the parish of Riccall, for maintenance of the child. The order included the requirement that the sum should be paid until the child attained the age of 7 years.
I decided to find out more about Hannah to see if she was related to the Silversides in my family tree and thus to myself. My research revealed that Hannah, whose maiden name was Mitchel, was the second wife of Robert Silversides (1768-1829), my 5th great grand uncle. Robert and Hannah were married in St Mary’s Church, Riccall on 27th September 1821 by banns. Robert was described as a farmer and widower and Hannah a spinster. Robert signed the marriage record but Hannah signed using her mark. One of the witnesses was Guy Silversides, Robert’s brother, although quite a few male members of the family have the first name Guy.
Robert and Hannah had a son John baptised in the same church on 11 July 1824. Just five years later, Robert was buried in St Mary’s churchyard on 20 February 1829 when he was described as a labourer. With his first wife Sarah Riley (1772-1815) he had had at least seven children, four boys and three girls. Perhaps his fortunes had changed and Hannah experienced difficulties after his death. It looks like her son John was working in Bossall in the North Riding of Yorkshire when he married his wife Jane Wilson on 17 February 1845.
Returning now though to William Rooke and the bastardy notice. It does seem that he may well have been the father of Hannah’s second child Ann Silversides who was baptised on 24 November 1839 in St Mary’s Church, Riccall. Her baptism records her as the illegitimate child of Hannah Silversides, widow. Both Hannah and Ann were recorded in the 1841 census in Wheel Hall, Riccall with Hannah described as a labourer. Wheel Hall was originally a manor house but was replaced in the 18th century by a farmhouse.
Hannah died in 1845 and was buried in St Mary’s Churchyard on 5 May 1845. What happened to her daughter Ann is not clear, nor is the identity of her father. There was a William Rooke recorded in the 1841 census at Riccall Hall who was an agricultural labourer born about 1816. No further information on him in Riccall has been found. If you any information on either of Ann Silversides or William Rooke do, please contact me.