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Silversides family – from labourer to farmers and an alleged army fraud

While researching my family history I have come across a number of unusual surnames and this blog post is the second in a series I plan to write about them. I’ve chosen Silversides for this post, in part because it is an interesting surname, and also because it leads to one of my many brick walls.

Origin of surname – according to the Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, Silversides has two possible derivations. Firstly, it’s the plural of Silverside, thought to be a nickname from Middle English: silver plus side (of the body or head). Other names to compare it with are Siluermouth (silver mouth) and Silvertop (silver hair). An alternative is that it is a locative name from Silver Side in Farlam in Cumbria which was recorded in 1485. The following OS Cumberland XVIII map dated 1868 shows its location:

In the case of my own ancestors, I think it’s more likely that their surname, Silversides, is the plural of Silverside, a nickname from Middle English. The majority of family members I’ve found come from the East and West Ridings of Yorkshire. 209 Silversides were recorded in Great Britain in 1881. 

My ancestral connections – William Silversides (1690-1756) is my seven times great grandfather on the Sarginson/Foster side of my family. According to an entry in FindaGrave he was baptised on 5 March 1690/91 in Nun Monkton, West Riding of Yorkshire and his father was named as William.  Nun Monkton is 8 miles Northwest of York and 12 miles from Escrick in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Escrick where William married his wife Mary Brown (1691-1780) on 25 November 1725.

William and Mary had at least six children, five sons and one daughter. Their two eldest sons were born in Stillingfleet and the family then moved to Riccall. The following OS Yorkshire 206 map dated 1851 shows the villages of Stillingfleet and Riccall:

Some of the children’s baptism records give their father’s occupation as a labourer, most likely an agricultural labourer, as Escrick, Stillingfleet and Riccall are all villages within a few miles of each other in the Vale of York known for its agriculture. The following descendant chart shows William and Mary and two generations of their descendants:

The family settled in Riccall. William was buried in St Mary’s Churchyard on 20 June 1756 and his wife Mary on 23 August 1780 when she was described as a widow aged 89 who had died of a fever.

William and Mary’s son William (1726-1802) was my six times great grandfather. He married Mary Fughill (1731-1810) and they had at least five sons. When William died his burial record gave his age as 77 and that he had been a farmer who had died of natural decay. So far, I haven’t found any land tax records for him to indicate from whom he leased land.

Mark Silversides (1755-1833) my five times great grandfather – Mark was William and Mary Fughill’s eldest son. He was baptised on 13 May 1755 in St Mary’s Church, Riccall and he married Elizabeth Cant (1761-1845) on 2 December 1783 in the same church. They had four sons and a daughter and the following dandelion chart shows Mark,  Elizabeth and two generations of their descendants:

Mark and Elizabeth’s eldest son Guy (1784-1861) is my four times great grandfather. He married Mary Tomlinson (1796-1866) in St Mary’s Church on 13 March 1817 and together they had 12 children, five boys and seven daughters.

By 1822 Mark was the licensed victualler at the Greyhound Inn in Riccall according to the 1822 edition of Baines’ History and Directory of the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire. The pub was one of four in Riccall at that time and survives to this day. Baines also helpfully gave the population of Riccall as 599 and that Mark and Robert Silversides, Guy’s father and uncle, were farmers and yeomen in the village.

By the 1841 census Guy had become a shoemaker, a trade he continued until the 1861 census, the last he was recorded in. Riccall, in Lewis’s 1848 topographical directory, had a population of 718 as described in the following extract from it:

Guy died on 11 July 1861 and was buried in St Mary’s Churchyard on 14 July 1861.

Guy and Mary’s children – The dandelion chart in the previous section shows their 12 children. Their eldest son Guy became a tailor and moved to Appleton Roebuck, George a labourer was buried in Riccall, Mark became a shoemaker and was buried in Riccall, William is the subject of the next section and their youngest son Robert died in infancy.

Mary, Susannah and Ellen all married farmers. Bessy married a glass bottle packer and Jane a tanner. Ann married a brickyard labourer and moved to nearby Kelfield. Their fifth daughter Isabella (1830-1885), my three times great grandmother, married Thomas Foster (1825-1902), a brick and tile maker, on 4 March 1848. They settled in the nearby village of Kelfield.

Alleged army fraud – William Silversides (1829-1912) is my 1st cousin 4 times removed and the brother of my three times great grandmother Isabella. By the 1851 census William had moved to Ebenezer Place in the parish of York St George where he was living with his sister Jane and her husband Thomas Pickersgill. William’s occupation was butcher. He married his first wife Frances Walker (1814-1874) on 29 August 1853. They lived at no 33 Shambles, York in both the 1861 and 1871 censuses with William’s occupation a butcher.

William’s first wife, Frances, died in 1874 and he married his second wife Emma Jane Smith (1834-1900) two year later. They had one daughter, Ethel Beatrice Silversides (1879-1959), and in 1881 the family were living at The Priory, Grange Crescent, York. This property exists to this day and is now run as a small hotel. William’s occupation was recorded as an army contractor. Grange Crescent is near to the army barracks in the Fulford Road.

At some point William had gone into partnership with his first wife Frances’ brother Ambrose Walker (1821-1896) as farmers of Naburn Lodge Farm, Askham Bryan. Ambrose was also a butcher in the 1861 census but by 1881 he described himself as a forage contractor. The dissolution of William and Ambrose’s partnership for the farm, by mutual consent, was reported in the 23 February 1884 edition of the Yorkshire Gazette. In the same newspaper, notice was also given of the dissolution of a partnership between William, Ambrose and Ambrose’s nephew John Philips Walker (1855-1892) who were acting as army contractors in York. This seems to have taken place in advance of a case brought before York Crown Court in 1885 of alleged army fraud.

The alleged fraud case was reported in the 1 August 1885 edition of the Yorkshire Gazette. The case was before Mr Justice Mathew. William Silversides and Ambrose Walker, army contractors, and Thomas Christopher Lewis, butcher were indicted:

that they did unlawfully conspire, combine, confederate and agree together, in the years 1883 and 1884, at the township of Gate Fulford, having contracted to supply 3100 tons of forage and straw, and also a certain quantity and quality of meat, did from time to time deliver less weight and inferior quality, and that they by falsely pretending they had delivered the said forage, straw and meat of the quantity and quality contracted for, did receive the contract price for the same, with intent to defraud Her Majesty’s Secretary of State for War; and in pursuance of the said conspiracy did pay certain sums of money to one John Anderson Banks, to bribe and induce him to permit the said breaches of contract to be made, with intent to defraud the said Secretary of State.” (Yorkshire Gazette 1 August 1885, page 1)  

All three defendants entered a plea of not guilty and the case took place over three days. It seems that not all the defendants were indicted on every charge. John Anderson Banks mentioned in the charges was the Quartermaster of the 5th Dragoon Guards and was key to the provision of forage to the troops. This particular aspect related to tenders which had been won by William Silversides to provide forage during the period August 1882 to 1884. The prosecution asserted that short measures of oats had been supplied and that, although this had been noticed by the troops, it wasn’t until July 1884 that Troop Serjeant Major Saul found that the oats were short by 44lb that the matter was raised with Lieutenant Gore. 

The charges against Ambrose and Thomas Christopher Lewis (who was married to his niece) were regarding the quantity and quality of meat supplied to the troops. It was also alleged that they paid bribes to Banks. Banks had been arrested when the regiment arrived in Manchester but had absconded and not been seen since.

A large number of witnesses for the prosecution appeared at the trial, including five Corporals and John Chipchase who was a journeyman butcher who had worked for Lewis. His view was that the meat supplied was often from diseased animals and “he would not have liked to eat the meat himself”.  It seems that he had been let go by Lewis and that when he had previously worked for William Silversides as a butcher, the meat he served hsd been passed was by the health inspectors.

A similarly large number of witnesses appeared for the defendants attesting to their good character; these included a number of officers from the barracks. Both barristers for William and Ambrose closed their remarks to the jury with the assertion that the prosecution had not proved its case. Lewis’ counsel said that the money paid to Banks was the result of “betting transactions”.

There was then some to-ing and fro-ing between the jury foreman, the court and the judge. Eventually the defendants were found not guilty in both cases and were discharged.

After the case William spent some time as a hotel proprietor of the Sea Horse Hotel, Fawcett Street, York where he was recorded as living in 1891. The building is now grade II listed. He also seems to have continued his association with Ambrose as probate was granted to him when Ambrose died in 1896.

By 1901 William was a widower for the second time and living on his own means at The Priory, Fulford Road, York. He had moved to 1 Wilton Terrace, Fulford Road, York by 1911 and was described as a retired farmer and butcher. Probate was granted to his daughter Ethel.

Finally, the brick wall – I would like to know more about all the people mentioned in this blog post, and in particular, if there is any information about the parents of my seven times great grandfather William Silversides. I have found some possible family members who lived in Stillingfleet; however, the parish records are rather damaged making it problematic to determine family relationships. Do contact me if you have any further information which you are willing to share.

Note: the maps used in this blog have been reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland under the following creative commons licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/ and sourced from the NLS maps site https://maps.nls.uk/.

Bibliography

Births, marriages and deaths. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed May 2021.

Census records. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed May 2021.

England and Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed May 2021.

FindaGrave. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed June 2021.

Hanks, Patrick et al. (2016.) The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  

Lewis, Samuel ed. (1848) A Topological Directory of England. London: Lewis. https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-dict/england : accessed June 2021.

Newspapers. https://www.findmypast.co.uk/ : accessed June 2021.

Nun Monkton. https://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/YKS/WRY/NunMonkton : accessed June 2021.

OS Maps. https://maps.nls.uk/ : accessed May 2021.

Pugh, R. B. ed. (1976) The Victoria County History of the County of Yorkshire East Riding Volume III. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Riccall. https://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/YKS/ERY/Riccall/ : accessed June 2021.

Sea Horse Hotel, York. https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1257861 : accessed June 2021.

Silver Side. https://lakesguides.co.uk/html/lgaz/lk10448.htm : accessed May 2021.

UK, City and County Directories, 1766-1946. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed June 2021.

UK, Poll Books and Electoral Registers, 1538-1893. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed May 2021.

Vision of Britain. https://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/ : accessed May 2021.

West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1512-1812. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed May 2021.

Yorkshire baptisms, marriages and burials. https://www.findmypast.co.uk/ : accessed May 2021.

Palframan family – changing occupations

While researching my family history I have come across a number of unusual surnames and this blog post in the first in a series I plan to write about them. I’ve chosen Palframan for my initial post, in part because it is an interesting occupational surname, and also, because it leads to one of my many brick walls.

Origin of surname

According to the Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, Palfreyman, plus its variants Palphreyman, Palfreman, Palfreeman, Palframan and Parfrement, is an occupational surname from the Middle English palefreiman; a man responsible for the palfrey’s or riding horses, alternatively a groom. In the 1881 census there were 645 occurrences of the name, mainly in the West Riding of Yorkshire and Derbyshire. Interestingly, Redmonds, in his book on Yorkshire surnames, describes another possible spelling variant, Palphramand, and describes the surname as reflecting the man in charge of the palfreys, or saddle horses. He also explained that in 1881 the surname Palframan was most prominent in Selby with Palframand in York and Palfreeman in York and Pocklington.

My ancestral connections

My ancestors mostly use the variant Palframan, although the records for my five times great grandfather, Michael (1722-1812), also include the variant Palfreyman.  Michael died in Pontefract, West Riding of Yorkshire and his burial record gives his age as 90, suggesting he was born about 1722, and that he was a hatter. He was apprenticed to Joseph Rawnsley, a hatter, of Pontefract and his stamp duty was paid in 1740 for his apprenticeship. By 1753 Michael was master to an apprentice, Thomas Thresh, and his occupation given as a felt maker. Despite searching I’ve been unable to find his baptism and parents. I do have a working theory but need more evidence to prove a link. Michael’s 1740 apprenticeship record gave his father’s name as Michael.

The following chart shows Michael and two generations of his descendants. The people circled in black are, reading from left to right, my five times great grandfather Michael, my four times great grandfather John (1754-1839) and my three times great grandfather Michael (1782-1877) who was the father of my two times great grandmother Sarah (1845-1920). Thomas Palframan, annotated in orange at the top of the chart, is the father of my first cousin four times removed, John (1817-1874), who moved to farm in Wistow, Yorkshire and whom more about later. The chart has also been annotated to show where in Yorkshire each family group lived.

Dandelion chart for the Palframan family

Hambleton is 9 miles (about 13 km) from Pontefract and I was intrigued as to why my four times great grandfather John (1754-1839) moved from Pontefract to Hambleton.

John Palframan (1754-1839)

John was baptised on 19 August 1754 in St Giles and St Mary’s church, Pontefract. He married Ann Booth (1751-1831) in the same church on 12 December 1782. They had six sons and two daughters and were living in Hambleton by the time their second son Thomas (1756-1858) was baptised in St Wilfrid’s Church, Brayton. The following map shows the layout of Brayton in 1851; St Wilfrid’s church is marked with a circle.

OS Yorkshire 221 dated 1851

Brayton and Hambleton were largely agricultural areas as described in the following two extracts from Lewis’s topological directory of England dated 1848. At that time only Brayton had a parish church and this is where John and his wife continued to baptise their children.

Description of Brayton from Lewis’ Topographical Directory
Description of Hambleton from Lewis’ Topographical Directory

Whilst living in Hambleton John was recorded as possessing an alehouse licence in 1803 and in 1810 he appeared in land tax records showing that he occupied land owned by the Vicar of Brayton and William Bew senior.   By 1822 he still occupied land owned by William Bew and the Reverend Richard Paver. In the same land tax record his son John (1883-1859) was recorded as occupying land owned by the Hon. Edward Petre, who later became the Mayor of York in 1830.  

John died in January 1839 and was buried on 13 January 1839 in Brayton parish church. The ceremony was conducted by the Vicar of Brayton, the Reverend Richard Paver, the owner of the land he occupied in Hambleton.

John and Ann’s fourth son, Michael Palframan (1792-1877), is my three times great grandfather.  He married his first wife Sarah Slater (1797-1834), on 3 March 1823 in Brayton. They had seven children, four boys and three girls.

By 1832 Michael was also occupying a house and land owned by the Hon. Edward Petre and in the same year Michael appeared in the Poll Book for Hambleton as the occupier of a “farm above £50 per year”. His brother John and Joseph also appeared in the same Poll Book.

Soon after Michael’s first wife Sarah died, he married Martha Seymour (1813-1889), on 26 December 1835. They had nine children: five boys and four girls. I am descended from their daughter, Sarah (1845-1920), my two times great grandmother.

By the 1841 census Michael was described as a farmer in Hambleton. The following map shows the layout of Hambleton in 1850 with a circle around the Wesleyan Chapel.

OS Yorkshire 220 map dated 1850

By 1871 Michael farmed 96 acres and employed three labourers. He lived in Chapel Street, Hambleton. The approximate position of the street can be seen in the above map as the Wesleyan Chapel is located on it.

When Michael died on 25 February 1877 he was described as a farmer from Hambleton and his sons George and Michael, also farmers from Hambleton, were his executors. Michael left effects valued under £450.

Thomas Palframan (1786-1858) and John Palframan (1817-1874)

Thomas was the brother of my three times great grandfather, Michael; i.e., my 4th great uncle. He too became a farmer and by 1832 was farming at Henwick Hall, Burn where the Poll Book recorded him as a “Farmer £50 rent” per year. He continued to farm at Henwick Hall and the 1851 census recorded that he was a farmer of 164 acres employing two men. He was still living at Henwick Hall when he died on 17 March 1858 leaving effects under £600. The following is a modern photograph of Henwick Hall farm:

Modern photograph of Henwick Hall Farm by Bill Henderson/CC BY-SA 2.0

Thomas’ eldest son John (1817-1874) left Burn to farm in Wistow. He was recorded in the 1871 census as a farmer of 86 acres who employed two labourers at “Old Ouse”. John is buried with his wife Sarah Otley (1818-1872) in the churchyard of All Saints Church, Wistow. The majority of their children stayed in Yorkshire except their daughter Mary (1847-1916) and son John (1856-1924) who both emigrated to Ontario, Canada

Finally, the brick wall

I am intrigued as to how the son of a hatter from Pontefract came to move to a more rural area where he kept an alehouse, and also perhaps, became a small farmer. I would like to know more about all the people mentioned in this blog post, and in particular, if there is any information about the parents of my five times great grandfather Michael, the hatter/felt maker, from Pontefract. It seems his father was called Michael. Do contact me if you have any further information which you are willing to share.

Note: the maps used in this blog have been reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland under the following creative commons licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/ and sourced from the NLS maps site https://maps.nls.uk/.

Bibliography

Bill Henderson/Henwick Hall Farm via Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0

Brayton. https://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/YKS/WRY/Brayton : accessed May 2021.

Census records. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed May 2021.

England and Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed May 2021.

Hanks, Patrick et al. (2016.) The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  

OS Maps. https://maps.nls.uk/ : accessed May 2021.

Lewis, Samuel ed. (1848) A Topological Directory of England. London: Lewis. https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-dict/england : accessed May 2021.

Petre, Hon. Edward. https://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1820-1832/member/petre-hon-edward-1794-1848 : accessed May 2021.

Redmonds, George. ((2015) A Dictionary of Yorkshire Surnames. Donington: Shaum Tyas.  

UK, Poll Books and Electoral Registers, 1538-1893. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed May 2021.

UK, Register of Duties Paid for Apprentice’s Indentures, 1710-1811. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed May 2021.

Vision of Britain. https://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/ : accessed May 2021.

West Yorkshire, England, Alehouse Licences, 1771-1962. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed May 2021.

West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1512-1812. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed May 2021.

West Yorkshire, England, Select Land Tax Records, 1704-1932. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed May 2021.

Yorkshire baptisms, marriages and burials. https://www.findmypast.co.uk/ : accessed May 2021.

Alice Beilby (born about 1822) and Robert Thackeray (1825-1859)

Alice is my first cousin four times removed. I have already written about her younger sister, Esther, (1830-1875) who emigrated with her husband William Heaton and two sons, to Utah, USA in 1856. William was a Mormon Elder who had met Esther while he was developing his ministry in the East Riding of Yorkshire in the 1850s. It was entries in his missionary journal which helped me to find out more information about Alice and her husband Robert.

Alice was baptised on 17 February 1822 in St Helen’s Church, Wheldrake, to parents Thomas Beilby (1789-1859) and Mary Walker (1793-1850). By the 1841 census Alice was living in the nearby village of Escrick where she was working for Joseph Lewis, a farming bailiff. At some point Alice moved to York where she became a servant in the North and East Riding’s Pauper Lunatic Asylum, in Clifton. The asylum had opened on 7 April 1847.

OS Yorkshire174 date 1853

Note: the three circles show the asylum, approximate position of St Olave’s parish church and the one on the far right is York Minster.

While she was at the asylum, she met another servant, Robert Thackeray, who was a baker. Robert had been baptised on 18 January 1825 in St Sampson’s Church, York, to parents Robert, a butcher and Elizabeth. Robert was admitted into the Register of Freemen of the City of York on 27 April 1846, by birth right, and his address given as Swinegate, York. 

Around the time Alice met Robert, he seems to have also had a liaison with Mary Ann Richardson. Mary had entered the asylum as a patient in December 1848, been deemed cured and started work there as a housemaid. Robert was named as the father of her child in a report on a bastardy case detailed in the York Herald (23 November 1850, page 6). It seems that Mary had left the asylum in June 1850 and declared that the child she was carrying was Robert’s. Robert was then given notice to quit by the asylum; he said that he would marry Mary if the committee of visitors would allow him to continue working there. They didn’t agree to his request. The magistrates in the bastardy case ordered Robert to pay Mary 1s 6d per week towards the upkeep of her son, Albert, who was born 25 October 1850 and baptised on 1 November 1850 in St Cuthbert’s Church, York. Mary and Albert were living at 34 Bilton Street, York at the time.

Robert left the asylum in June 1850, along with Alice, my ancestor. They were married by licence in St Olave’s church in York on 11 June 1850; they both gave their address as the asylum. Robert’s father, Robert’s occupation was recorded as a butcher and Alice’s father, Thomas’s occupation as a farmer.

St Olave’s Church Tower (York)

By the 1851 census Robert and Alice were living in Wheldrake with her father, Thomas, and Alice’s siblings, William and Mary. What happened next was something of a mystery, until I re-read the missionary journal of William Heaton’s, Alice’s brother in law. His entries for 18 and 19 November 1851 talk about Brother Thackeray (Robert’s brother George) and Alice herself, as follows:

Extracts from William Heaton’s missionary journal for 18 and 19 November 1851

From this it seems that Robert had already emigrated to the USA, perhaps to avoid paying for his son Albert. He may not though have adopted the Mormon faith as I couldn’t find him in either the Saints by Sea or the Mormon Migration Databases.

William later recorded in his diary entry for 2 April 1852 that he had taken tea with “a number of saints and friends at Mother Newsom’s”. Alice was about to join her husband in the USA and this was her farewell party. William then helped Alice with her luggage to the railway station on 5 April and by 8 April the family had heard that Alice had arrived safely in Liverpool. Despite an extensive search of passenger lists and Mormon records I have been unable to find when either Robert or Alice left for the USA. They don’t feature again in William’s journal, although Robert’s younger brother George does. George (1836-1890) arrived in Utah on 7 January 1853 where he served as a Justice of the Peace and County Commissioner.

Unfortunately, the only other record I’ve been able to find for Robert is a Millennium File record on Ancestry with details of Robert’s death on 9 January 1859. No further corroborating evidence has been found.

A record of Alice’s second marriage to Daniel Badcock on 17 September 1868 in Manhattan, Kings, New York, USA has been found. Daniel (born about 1834) had travelled to the USA sometime after he was made bankrupt on 30 May 1862. He had been a brewer and publican of the Bevois Tavern, Winchester, Hampshire, England. However, no further census or other records have so far been found for the couple. A particular challenge with regards to Alice is her age which varies widely depending on the record. For example, when she married Robert in 1850 she said she was 22 (born about 1828), in the 1851 census her age was recorded as 26 (born about 1825) and when she married Daniel she gave her age as 35 (born about 1833). The only baptism record found for Alice was in 1822.   

If you know more about what happened to Alice, Robert and Daniel then do please contact me.  

Note: the map used in this blog has been reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland under the following creative commons licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/ and sourced from the NLS maps site https://maps.nls.uk/.

Bibliography:

Baptisms, marriages and burials. https://www.findmypast.co.uk/ : accessed April 2021.

Census records. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed April 2021.

Freemen records. Collection: City of York Apprentices and Freemen, 1272-1930. https://www.findmypast.co.uk/ : accessed April 2021.

Heaton, Daniel H. ed. (1967) Missionary Journal of William Heaton. Utah: Publishers Press. https://www.familysearch.org/catalog/search : accessed April 2021.

London Gazette. https://www.findmypast.co.uk/ : accessed April 2021.

Mormon Migration Database, 1840-1932. https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/2365248 : accessed April 2021.

Newspapers. Collection: British Newspaper Collection. https://www.findmypast.co.uk/ : accessed April 2021.

North and East Ridings of Yorkshire Pauper Lunatic Asylum, Annual Report 1850. https://wellcomelibrary.org/item/b30313740#?c=0&m=0&s=0&cv=0&z=-0.4374%2C0.2678%2C1.9259%2C0.9745 : accessed April 2021.

North and East Ridings of Yorkshire Pauper Lunatic Asylum (Clifton). https://www.countyasylums.co.uk/clifton-york/ : accessed April 2021.

OS Maps. https://maps.nls.uk/ : April 2021.

Saints by Sea. https://saintsbysea.lib.byu.edu/ : accessed April 2021.

St Olave’s Church Tower. Beep boop beep, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 : accessed April 2021.

The Spencer Family and a Tragedy at Stillingfleet, Yorkshire

A contact from a fellow family researcher alerted me to an interesting grave in St Helen’s churchyard, Stillingfleet, which lists the names of 11 people who were drowned in the tidal River Ouse on 26 December 1833.  He kindly agreed that I could use the following photos of the grave:

Four of the people listed were called Spencer. I knew that I had Spencer ancestors on the Sarginson side of my family tree, but I had not completed my research on them. My four times great grandfather was John Spencer (1776-1843) and his father was Edward Spencer (1748-1811). What I discovered was that the four Spencers named on the gravestone were related to me:

  • Henry Spencer (1790-1833), my fifth great uncle and two of his daughters Sarah (1817-1833) and Elizabeth (1819-1833), my first cousins five times removed.
  • Christopher Spencer (1798-1833,) my fifth great uncle.

The following chart shows how the family members were related to each other:

Spencer family descendant chart
Descendant chart for the Spencer family

A transcription of the parish burial records for the four family members is shown below. It was annotated to indicate that Henry, Elizabeth and Sarah were a “father and two daughters”.

Stillingfleet Parish Records -extract of family burials

The Tragedy

In order to find out more about what happened to the people who died, the two main York newspapers of the time, Yorkshire Gazette and York Herald, were consulted for further details. The Yorkshire Gazette (28 December 1833, page 3) provided a lengthy report of the incident. Fourteen people from the Stillingfleet church choir had set out in the early afternoon of 26 December 1833 to sing Christmas hymns at various places within the parish. This had involved travelling on the River Ouse in a small boat owned by a local fisherman called John Turner.

About 4pm, as dusk was setting in, the party were on the river, having left Acaster Selby, heading downstream on the ebbing tide towards Stillingfleet landing. Two members of the party, John Fisher and George Eccles were rowing the boat, when they came across a coal barge called Perseverance, coming up the river towards them. It had its sails up with a rope to a horse on the Acaster side river bank. It is not clear why John Turner recommended the men row the boat between the barge and the river bank, but the consequences for the choir were devastating. They were unable to row it over the rope, despite it being loosened by Stephen Green who was leading the horse; and, although an attempt was made to lift the rope over the boat, the boat capsized. Of the 14 people who had set off that afternoon, only three survived: John Fisher, George Eccles and Richard Toes. Despite an extensive search of the river the following day only nine of the eleven missing choir members bodies were found; they were:

  • Five men: William Bristow (55, parish clerk), Christopher Spencer (36), Henry Spencer (44), John Turner (55) and Thomas Webster (44)
  • Four young women: Elizabeth Buckle (15, daughter of the inn keeper), Elizabeth Spencer (14, daughter of Henry Spencer), Clarissa Sturdy (15, daughter of the schoolmaster) and Jane Turner (16, daughter of John Turner).

The bodies of two young women were not found: Sarah Eccles (16, daughter of George Eccles) and Sarah Spencer (16, daughter of Henry Spencer).

The Yorkshire Gazette reported that, on the day after the tragedy that:

A little after two o’clock, Bessy Spencer, one of the daughters of Henry Spencer, was found. The family was sorely afflicted. The disconsolate widow, who has a child at the breast, is left with eight children and is herself in a delicate state of health, having recently been a patient in the County Hospital.”

The following map shows the approximate location of the accident together with the location of Acaster Selby and Stillingfleet landing:

OS Yorkshire 204 map dated 1849

The Inquest

An inquest into the tragedy was held on 27 December 1833 at the White Swan Inn, Stillingfleet where the landlord was Mr Sturdy, Clarissa’s father. The coroner was John Wood Esquire and a jury was elected from the local community. It was extensively reported in the York Herald (4 January 1834, page 3); the viewing of the nine deceased individuals was described as follows:

The bodies of the men presented a fine, robust appearance, – and those of the young women betoken that death spares neither youth, nor beauty.

A number of witnesses were called by the Coroner, including John Fisher, George Eccles, William Rogerson (captain of the Perseverance) and Stephen Green from Cawood who was leading the horse. While it seems clear that John Turner, the owner of the rowing boat, had recommended that it pass between the coal barge and the river bank on the Acaster side of the river, it isn’t clear why he suggested this course of action. He was one of the five men killed; his proposal had been agreed by the others because they thought that, as a regular user of the river, he was more knowledgeable than they were. If they had stayed on the Stillingfleet side of the river then the accident would have been avoided.

The crew on board the Perseverance were unable to use their own boat to help those in the water as it had come loose and drifted free when they had run their barge to the river bank where it became stuck in the mud. They did rescue two of the men, John Fisher and Richard Toes, who were clinging onto the rope between the barge and the horse.

After hearing all the evidence, the coroner declared that the incident was “clearly an accident” and the jury:

Without hesitation returned, a verdict in each case, of ACCIDENTALLY DROWNED, with a deodand of 1s[hilling] on the boat. “

Note: a deodand is a legal term for the instrument which caused a person’s death. (Hey, 2008) In this case the boat was deemed at fault for the accident.

The Funeral

A report of the funeral appeared in the Yorkshire Gazette (4 January 1834, page 3). A large single grave for the nine bodies had been dug by 30 members of the village; P B Thompson Esquire, a local landowner, paid all the funeral expenses. The funeral was attended by a large number of people as quoted in the newspaper:

The number of mourners could not be less than 120, and the emotions they displayed were heartrending in the extreme.”

The Reverend Bree from Haxby officiated, with the Stillingfleet minister, Reverend D F Markham, giving a sermon. Choristers from the nearby Escrick church also assisted with the funeral. Reverend Markham was acknowledged as having visited the bereaved families to offer support and assistance.

Coffins for the nine parishioners had been made by the workmen at Escrick Hall, paid for by P B Thompson Esquire and were described thus:

The coffins were made of black wood, – those of the men being neatly ornamented with gilt wire, – and those of the females, with white ornaments.”

The coffins were taken into the church in three groups of three for the service, with the final group comprising Henry Spencer, Elizabeth Spencer and Christopher Spencer. After the service the coffins were taken to the churchyard and laid side by side in the grave. Concern for the bereaved families was mentioned in the newspaper and that they were likely to need financial help.

Spencer Family

The consequences of the tragedy for the two Spencer families were significant; they were left without breadwinners. Christopher had a wife and four children and Henry a wife and eight children. 

Christopher’s wife, Jane Watson (born 1804) remarried in 1840. In the 1841 census she was in Stillingfleet with her husband, two further children and three of her children from her marriage to Christopher: Elizabeth (1827-1915), Charles (1832-1905) and Christopher (1834-1879). Christopher who was born after his father died was baptised on 31 August 1834 with his mother Jane described as a widow. Charles and Christopher, and their sibling, Sarah (1823-1899), and Edward (1829-1893), all went on to have families.

It seems likely that Henry’s family didn’t fair so well after the accident. His wife, Frances Harrison (1789-1834), died a year after her husband Henry. The fortunes of their eight surviving children varied somewhat as follows:

  • Hannah (1811-1894) married and moved to Cawood where she died.
  • George (1813-1882) married and moved near Doncaster where his death was registered.
  • John (1815-1836) died aged 21 and is buried in Stillingfleet.
  • Frances (1822-1878) married and emigrated to Canada in 1851 with her family.
  • Mary (born 1826) was probably a servant in York in 1851. She may have been a pupil at the Grey Coats School for Girls in York.
  • Anne (1828-1846) died aged 18 and is buried in Stillingfleet.
  • Jane (1830-1873) married and moved to York where she died.
  • Henry (1833-1926) married, became a farmer, and died in Thorganby.

I am interested in knowing more about all the people mentioned in this blog post. Do contact me if you have any further information which you are willing to share.

Note: the map used in this blog has been reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland under the following creative commons licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/ and sourced from the NLS maps site https://maps.nls.uk/.

Bibliography

Baptisms, marriages and burials. https://www.findmypast.co.uk/ : accessed March 2021.

Census records. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed March 2021.

Hey, David. Ed (2008) The Oxford Companion to Family and Local History. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Newspapers. Collection: British Newspaper Collection. https://www.findmypast.co.uk/ : accessed March 2021.

OS Maps. https://maps.nls.uk/ : March 2021.

Stillingfleet. https://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/YKS/ERY/Stillingfleet : accessed March 2021.

Alfred and Martha Haw – York, England

Alfred Haw (1869-1940) is my first cousin four times removed. He was born in Heslington, near York, the youngest son of Joseph Haw (1818-1875) and his second wife Anne Cariss (1827-1888). In 1871 Joseph was farming 55 acres in Heslington. By 1891 Alfred was a general labourer living with his brother Frederick (1861-1936), a gardener, at 93A Heworth, York. Alfred married Martha Emma Fowler (1867-1938) on 10 July 1892 in the Centenary Chapel (Wesleyan Methodist), in York. Alfred was described as a labourer from Dennison St, York and Martha, a domestic servant, whose father John, a railway foreman, was deceased. Alfred’s brother Edwin was one of the witnesses.

Alfred and Martha had four daughters and one son. No baptism record has been found for Elsie their eldest daughter. Lydia, Lily and Alfred were all baptised in St Maurice’s Church, Monkgate while the family were living in Dennison St. The church was demolished in 1966. Ivy was baptised at St Thomas’, York with a change to her father Alfred’s occupation. Their address’ proximity to the Rowntree Cocoa works, suggest that Alfred was working at Rowntree’s by November 1899. The following table shows their children’s birth and baptisms and where the family were living in York and Alfred’s occupation.

Child’s nameBirth dateBaptism dateAddressAlfred’s occupation
Elsie Evelyn Haw21 Jul 1893   
Lydia Anne Haw21 Aug 18954 Sep 189517 Dennison StLabourer
Lily Constance Haw05 Dec 189623 Dec 189617 Dennison StLabourer
Alfred Edward HawQ2 189827 Apr 189817 Dennison StLabourer
Ivy Maud HawQ4 189915 Nov 1899Ashville StPacker
Table 1 Baptism details for Alfred and Martha’s children

All seems to have been well with the family until the later part of the 19th century. However, what happened to the family in the early 20th century becomes less clear. In the 1901 census Alfred was recorded as the only member of his household at 2 Ashville St, York. Neither his wife Martha nor any of his five children were recorded as living with him at the time. Further census records for his wife Martha and son Alfred have so far proved elusive. Three of Alfred and Martha’s daughters, Elsie, Lydia and Lily, were recorded in the 1901 census in St Stephen’s Orphanage, Trinity Lane, York and their youngest daughter Ivy was probably living with Frederick, one of Alfred’s siblings.

St Stephen’s orphanage was set up in York in 1870 in a house in Precentor’s court near York Minster to provide for destitute orphans. By 1901 the orphanage occupied premises in Trinity Lane (numbers 21, 23, 25 and 27), York and that is where Alfred and Martha’s daughters were living in the 1901 census. By then it was providing for children who had lost one or both their parents. Elsie, Lydia and Lily’s father Alfred was alive in 1901, as evidenced by his entry in the 1901 census. The following extract from the OS (1910) Yorkshire CLXXIV.SW map shows the location of Trinity Lane in York (marked by a square box). The premises occupied by the orphanage have been converted to residential use.

OS (1910) Yorkshire CLXXIV.SW map

What is unclear is what had happened to Martha and her son Alfred by the 1901 census; they haven’t been found in either the 1901 or later censuses in York.

By the 1911 census it seems that Alfred senior had been reunited with two of his daughters: Lily and Ivy, who were living with him at 2 Ashville St, York; his occupation was recorded as a labourer. His two eldest daughters, Elsie and Lydia, were both working as servants. Elsie was a housemaid at The Mount School in York and Lydia a kitchen maid at Alne Hall, Yorkshire. The following extract from the OS (1910) Yorkshire CLXXIV.NW map shows the location of Ashville St in York (marked by a square box).

OS (1910) Yorkshire CLXXIV.NW map

The FindmyPast collection of National School Admission Registers and Log-Books helped bridge the gap between the 1901 and 1911 census records. Some information about the girl’s education was gleaned from these records, although no information for their son Alfred was found. The following table charts each of their daughter’s education.

Elsie Evelyn HawLydia Anne HawLily Constance HawIvy Maud Haw
SchoolBishophill and Clementhorpe Infants for GirlsBishophill and Clementhorpe Infants for GirlsPark Grove Infants for GirlsPark Grove Infants for Girls
Date entered21 Feb 190229 Jun 190313 Aug 190615 Feb 1910
Home addressThe Home, Skeldergate58 Skeldergate13 Lord Mayor’s Walk2 Ashville St
Date left4 Jul 19027 Jul 190429 Jan 190725 Aug 1911
Next schoolGrey Coat School for GirlsGrey Coat School for GirlsHaxby SchoolLeeman Rd School
Table 2 Four daughters and their schools

Elsie and Lydia also attended the Grey Coat School for girls. This was a charity school which fed, clothed and prepared pupils for domestic service.  

Whilst no further information has been found for Alfred and Martha’s son Alfred, Martha’s death certificate does help to explain what had happened to her. She died on 5 February 1938 in York City Mental Hospital, Fulford. It is possible that she had been in a mental institution since around the turn of the 20th century, although that has not yet been confirmed. A visit to the Borthwick to consult their mental health records is planned for when archives can re-open.

It looks like Alfred was unable to cope with his children around the time of the 1901 census, hence why he was living on his own and three of his daughters were in St Stephen’s Orphanage and his youngest was probably living with one of his brothers. He was reunited with his two youngest daughters by 1911. It is likely that the education his two older daughters Elsie and Lydia received meant that they were able to secure work by the time of the 1911 census.

Only one of Alfred and Martha’s daughters, Ivy, married; the other three remained single. Brief biographies for Alfred and his four daughters are as follows:

Alfred Haw (1869-1940) continued to live in 2 Ashville St, York and in the 1939 Register he was listed as a widow and confectioner’s labourer with two of his unmarried daughters: Elsie and Lydia. He died in York in Q2, 1940 at the age of 70.

Elsie Evelyn Haw (1893-1984) remained single and in the 1939 register was recorded as a housekeeper. She died in York in Q2, 1984 at the age of 90.

Lydia Anne Haw (1895-1985) was a daily maid in 1939. She was living at 2 Ashville St, York when died on 25 September 1985. She left an estate of approximately £40,000 and was the last member of her immediate family to live at the address.

Lily Constance Haw (1896-1983) was a patient in the York City Mental Hospital in Fulford, near York in the 1939 Register. Her personal occupation was described as “private means”. She died at the age of 85 and her death was registered in York in Q1, 1983.

Ivy Maud Haw (1899-1977) married Joseph Taylor in Q2 1932. They were living at 34 Diamond St, York in the 1939 Register. Ivy died in York in Q1, 1977.

I am interested in knowing more about all the people mentioned in this blog post, and in particular what happened to Alfred and Martha’s son Alfred. Do contact me if you have any further information which you are willing to share.

Note: the maps used in this blog has been reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland under the following creative commons licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/ and sourced from the NLS maps site https://maps.nls.uk/.

Bibliography:

National School Admission Registers and Log-Books 1870-1914. https://www.findmypast.co.uk/ : accessed February 2021.

OS Maps. https://maps.nls.uk/ : February 2021.

St Maurice, Monkgate. http://secretyork.com/st-maurice-monkgate/ : accessed February 2021.

St Stephen’s Orphanage, York. https://yorkcivictrust.co.uk/heritage/civic-trust-plaques/st-stephens-orphanage-1870-1969/ : accessed February 2021.

St Stephen’s Orphanage, York. http://www.childrenshomes.org.uk/YorkStStephen/ : accessed February 2021.

Tillott, P. M. ed. (1961) Victoria County History: A History of Yorkshire, The City of York. London: Oxford University Press. pp. 440-460.

Methodism in York and the Haw family

Whilst researching my Haw ancestors I came across a number of them who had been baptised and/or married in Methodist chapels in York. I didn’t know much about Methodism in York so this post starts with some brief information on how Methodism developed in York before looking at some of my ancestors and the chapels where I’ve found baptism and marriage records for them.

Methodism in York

According to the Victoria County History for York, Methodism was first introduced in York in 1744 by John Nelson, a stonemason, who was an early Wesleyan convert. By 1747 a society had been formed and Methodists continued to meet in a house in the Bedern until 1752. After that meetings were held in a number of places in the city, including Pump Yard. Both Charles and John Wesley preached in York, with John preaching there 15 times between 1761 and 1790.

The first chapel to be established in York was the Peasholme Green chapel, probably opened by John Wesley, in 1759. It was built to accommodate 400 worshippers. Methodists did also continue to meet in other places in the city, including Coppergate and Coffee Yard.

The next chapel to be built in York was New Street Wesleyan chapel which held 1500-2000 worshippers and was completed in 1805. The Peasholme Green chapel was then sold. New Street Chapel continued in use until 1908 when it was sold. Its closure had been mooted in 1897 as a result of the extension of Methodism into the neighbourhoods of Bootham and Clifton. Further chapels were built in different places to serve the needs of Methodists in the city, including two of particular interest with regards to my Methodist ancestors; the Centenary Methodist chapel in St Saviourgate and Melbourne Terrace Wesleyan chapel.

Primitive Methodism was introduced to York through the preaching of William Clowes in May 1819. This was followed by other local evangelical preachers. Although initially small, the York branch expanded and occupied the Grape Lane chapel. This was vacated in 1851 when the Ebenezer chapel in Little Stonegate was opened. It was the principal Primitive Methodist chapel in York until the new Monkgate chapel was opened in 1903; it provided accommodation for 775 people and the organ from the Ebenezer chapel was rebuilt and installed within it.

A development of Methodism, Wesleyan Protestant Methodism, was first introduced to York in 1829. Their first chapel in Lady Peckitt’s Yard was opened in 1830 followed by the Monk Bar chapel in 1859 which was able to accommodate 800 people. Financial problems meant that in 1917 the trustees agreed to its disposal. This was avoided by amalgamating it in early 1919 with the York Central Mission. It then became the Monk Bar Central mission which was closed in 1934. The building itself is still in use as commercial premises.    

Haw Methodist ancestors

William Haw (1780-1855) and Phillis Feather (1788-1844) are my fourth great grandparents.  All the people mentioned in this blog post are related to them.  The majority adopted Wesleyan Methodism .

The first ancestor I found who married in a Methodist chapel is Sarah Haw (1839-1896). She is my first cousin four times removed and is William and Phillis’s granddaughter. Sarah married William Thorpe (1841-1920 on 10 August 1867 in New St Wesleyan Chapel. The chapel was located in New Street, York and was converted into the Tower cinema in 1920. It was damaged in WWII and later demolished. The following 1910 map of York has been annotated to show the location of the New Street Wesleyan chapel which is circled in purple.  

OS Map York 1910 CLXXIVNW

Baptisms have been found for four of Sarah and William’s children as follows:

Date of baptismChild’s nameMethodist chapelFamily’s address
2 Sept 1868Sarah Ellen Thorpe (1868-1902)New Street Wesleyan ChapelPark Crescent
4 Feb 1871John Edwin Thorpe (1871-1931)New Street Wesleyan ChapelGoodramgate
7 Dec 1877Laura Thorpe (b 1877)New Street Wesleyan ChapelLow Petergate
30 Mar 1880Rose Ann Thorpe (b 1880)Pontefract non-conformistNot known

Although their daughter Rose was baptised in Pontefract, the family moved back to York where her father William was recorded as a school attendance officer in the 1891 census.

A record has also been found for another family member who married in New Street Wesleyan Methodist chapel. Annie Eliza Haw (1867-1914) married William Douglass (1850-1918) on 10 November 1890. Annie was William’s second wife and he was described as a widower and a tailor on their marriage certificate. One of the witnesses was Annie’s brother Edwin Haw (1866-1945). Annie and Edwin are my first cousins four times removed and Sarah Haw’s (1839-1896) is their first cousin. Annie and William did not have any of their children baptised in a Methodist chapel; they used St Maurice’s Church in Monkgate. The following image shows New Street Wesleyan chapel.

New Street Wesleyan Methodist chapel

Moving on next to Maria Mason (1861-1942), my second cousin three times removed. She was the daughter of James Mason (1831-1872) and Elizabeth Haw (1837-1902), my first cousin four times removed. Elizabeth’s cousins are Sarah Haw and Annie Eliza Haw who were also involved with New Street Wesleyan chapel as discussed above. Maria had been baptised in St Lawrence’s Church in York but her brother Albert was baptised a Methodist in the Monk Bar United Methodist chapel on 14 February 1871. He later married Kate Adams (1871-1955), a Roman Catholic whose family came from Ireland, in 1895. More information on him can be found in the WWII submariner story.

The 1881 census for York shows Maria and her brother Albert living with their mother Elizabeth, her second husband John Law (1825-1886), their two children and George Poole (1857-1942) a lodger and groom. One Elizabeth and John Law’s children, Sarah Elizabeth Law (1876-1937), was baptised in Monk Bar United Methodist chapel on 28 January 1877.

Maria married George Poole on 20 August 1881 in the Ebenezer Primitive Methodist chapel; they both gave their address as Gray’s Court, York and George’s occupation was recorded as a coachman. The chapel had been built in Little Stonegate in 1851 and was closed in 1901. The building is listed and still in use as commercial premises.

Maria and George baptised their children in the Monk Bar United Methodist chapel (see above map where the chapel is ringed in blue) as follows:

Date of baptismChild’s nameMethodist chapelFamily’s address
1 Mar 1882Ada Poole (1882-1947)Monk Bar United Methodist7 Gray’s Court
21 Mar 1883James Poole (1883-1916)Monk Bar United Methodist7 Gray’s Court
19 Nov 1884William Ewart Poole (b 1884)Monk Bar United MethodistGray’s Court
19 Oct 1887Edith Mary Poole (b 1887)Monk Bar United Methodist2 Gray’s Court, Ogleforth
13 Mar 1889Annie Elizabeth Poole (b 1889)Monk Bar United Methodist2 Gray’s Court
18 Jun 1890Frank Lockwood Poole (1890-1917)Monk Bar United Methodist18 Nelson Street
7 Oct 1896Edward Poole (1896-1915)Monk Bar United MethodistNelson Street
14 Mar 1900Maria Louisa Poole (1900-1934)Monk Bar United Methodist11 Emerald Street, Park Grove

The Melbourne Terrace Wesleyan Methodist chapel also features in the family’s history. Emma Bean’s (1853-1825) cousin, Ann Bean (1843-1911), married my second great grandfather William Haw (1846-1907) and she has been included here as a member of the extended Haw family.  Emma married William John Oxtoby (1857-1932) on 29 May 1882 in the parish church of East Acklam, Yorkshire.  They subsequently moved to York and had at least five children. So far, I have found Methodist baptisms for three of their children as follows:

Date of baptismChild’s nameMethodist chapelFamily’s address
17 Nov 1883William John Oxtoby (1883-1944)Melbourne Terrace Wesleyan ChapelAlne Terrace
7 Dec 1884Henry Ewart Oxtoby (1884-1963)Melbourne Terrace Wesleyan ChapelAlne Terrace
1 Oct 1890Albert Oxtoby (1890-1954)Centenary Methodist chapel, St SaviourgatePalmer House, Palmer Street

The following map shows the location of the Melbourne Terrace chapel and nearby Alne Terrace.

OS Map York 1910 CLXXIVSE

The chapel the family would have been familiar with was demolished and rebuilt in the 1950s. The Centenary Methodist chapel in St Saviourgate is marked in green on the first map in this blog post. It was built in 1840 and became the Central Methodist church in 1982.

The final Methodist member of the Haw family to be included in this blog post is George Haw (1857-1931), my first cousin four times removed. He married Esther Ambler (1863-1913) on 11 March 1884 in Shipton parish church, Yorkshire. They too moved to York and I found just one Methodist baptism for their eldest son George William Haw (1884-1966). He was baptised in the Melbourne Terrace Wesleyan chapel on 7 June 1885 when the family were living at 8 Milton street, off the Hull Road. Unfortunately, there are no further records for Melbourne Terrace in the FindmyPast online collection after 1885. The original records are held at the Borthwick Institute in York and a visit there in the future is planned.

I am interested in knowing more about all the people mentioned in this blog post. Do contact me if you have any further information which you are willing to share with me.

Note: the maps used in this blog has been reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland under the following creative commons licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/ and sourced from the NLS maps site https://maps.nls.uk/.

Bibliography

Central Methodist Church, St Saviourgate, York. http://www.methodistheritage.org.uk/centralmethodistyork.htm  : accessed October 2020.

Cinema Treasures, Tower Cinema, New Street, York. http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/44434 : accessed October 2020.

Ebenezer Chapel, York. https://www.myprimitivemethodists.org.uk/content/chapels/yorkshire/x-z/ebenezer_pm_chapel_little_stonegate_york : accessed October 2020.

Genealogical records. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed October 2020.

Genealogical records. https://www.findmypast.co.uk/ : accessed October 2020.

Genuki/York. https://www.genuki.org.uk/ : accessed October 2020.

OS Maps. https://maps.nls.uk/ : accessed October 2020.

Tillott, P. M. ed. (1961) Victoria County History: A History of Yorkshire, The City of York. London: Oxford University Press. pp. 404-418.

A submariner in World War II – George Leonard Mason (1913-1943)

George served on the submarine HMS Turbulent during World War II and was declared dead after the submarine went missing while out on patrol in 1943. He was my third cousin 3 times removed and his grandmother Elizabeth Haw (1837-1902) was my first cousin 4 times removed.

George was the youngest son of Albert Mason (1870-1932) and Kate Adams (1876-1955). While his father Albert had been baptised in Monk Bar United Methodist Chapel on 14 February 1870, his mother Kate was a Roman Catholic. Kate’s parents had been born in Ireland and Albert and Kate married in St Wilfrid’s Roman Catholic Church, York on 14 September 1895. George was baptised in St Sampson’s Church, Church Street, York on 27 April 1913 when the family were living at 3 Wilmots Court, Swinegate (see the following map for Swinegate and St Sampson Church which is just nearby in Church Street and circled in red).

Extract from OS Map York 1910 CLXIVNW

By 1939 George had married Annie Upton (1912-1991) and they had had a son Leonard (1936-2003). The family were living at 44 Kyme Street, which is inside the city walls and part of the Bishophill area of the city of York. George gave his occupation as a “maintenance mechanic motor transport”.

By 1943 George was a submariner on HMS Turbulent where he was described as a “engine room artificer 4th class”. An artificer is a Royal Navy trade and they are skilled mechanics. Presumably George’s previous experience as a mechanic was being put to use here.

The following photograph shows HMS Turbulent on the outboard side, moored up with HMS Taiku on the inboard side, in Algiers in 1943.

HMS Turbulent – Royal Navy Official Photographer, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

HMS Turbulent is known to have left Algiers on 23 February 1943 for a patrol in the Tyrrhenian Sea, which is part of the Mediterranean, to the west of Italy. She did not return from her patrol duties and was declared overdue on 23 March 1943. It is likely that she was torpedoed and sunk in early March, but the precise details have not been conclusively confirmed, and her wreck has not been found. Members of George’s family continued to live and work in York and George’s death is commemorated on the Naval Memorial at Plymouth.  

I am interested in knowing more about all the people mentioned in this blog post. Do contact me if you have any further information which you are willing to share with me.

Note: the map used in this blog has been reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland under the following creative commons licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/ and sourced from the NLS maps site https://maps.nls.uk/.

Bibliography

Commonwealth War Graves Commission. https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/ : accessed October 2020.

HMS Turbulent. https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205147929 : accessed October 2020.

HMS Turbulent. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/84/HMSM_Turbulent_FL20300.jpg : accessed October 2020.

HMS Turbulent (N98). https://uboat.net/allies/warships/ship/3505.html : accessed October 2020.

OS Maps. https://maps.nls.uk/ : accessed October 2020.

Royal Navy Trades. https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/blog/2016/01/15/royal-navy-rank-and-trades-explained : accessed October 2020.

Two actors and an accidental drowning

My recent research into my family history has focused on my Haw ancestors. Whilst I have traced them back from my great grandmother Sarah Ann Haw (1874-1944), to my five times great grandfather William Haw (1755-1798), what I hadn’t done was look in more depth at each generation to identify further aunts, uncles and cousins.

The two actors and the accidental drowning who form part of this blog post were related to Maria Haw (1841-bef.1901) my first cousin four times removed. Maria’s father William Haw (1811-1897) was the brother of my three times great grandfather James (1804-1871).

Maria was born in 1841 and baptised on 26 September 1841 in St Maurice’s Church, Monkgate, York. By 1851 the family were living in nearby Gate Fulford where her father William was a gardener. There is then a gap in the information I have found for her until she married Henry Morley (1837-1881), a soldier, on 27 May 1868 in Ashton-under-Lyme in Lancashire. Later birth records for their children confirm their marriage although, when I first found it, it seemed unlikely it was her marriage. Henry’s military record includes information about him re-attesting for the 6th Dragoons on 7 January 1868 in York where he probably met Maria. He had previously served in the Crimea and Turkey, as well as the East Indies.

Henry attained the rank of Corporal in the 6th Dragoons and completed his military service on 5 January 1876. He gave his intended address as Lowther Street, York. While he was in the 6th Dragoons it is likely that Maria spent some of her time with him as this is reflected in where their children were born.  Their eldest daughter Annie was born in Aldershot, Hampshire in 1871, son William in Tipperary, Ireland in 1872, son Charles in 1873 in York and daughter Lavinia in 1876 in York. The following chart shows Henry and Maria, their four children, their children’s spouses and their grandchildren. The two actors are circled in blue and the accidental drowning in red.

Descendant chart for Henry Morley and Maria Haw

Although Henry and Maria’s eldest daughter Annie’s birth was registered in Aldershot, Hampshire, she was baptised in York, Yorkshire on 28 May 1871. The family were recorded in York in the 1881 census and, at the age of 20, Annie married George Curryer (1848-1925), an actor, on 10 June 1890 in Folkestone, Kent. He gave his condition on their marriage certificate as a widower; however, Annie was his second wife. He had previously married Mary Ann Wheeler on 26 January 1874. Together they had had four children, only one of whom was still alive in 1882 when George divorced Mary as a result of her adultery with Edward Shelton. Mary was also an actress who performed under the stage name Mabel Verner

On both his marriage certificates George gave his father’s details as Thomas Curryer, gentleman. George had spent his early life in Islington, London. It is not clear when George became an actor. In the 1871 census his occupation was recorded as an architect, but by 1874, when he married Mary, he considered himself an actor. His father Thomas was a retired stationer in 1871 living at no 20 St John’s Villas, Upper Holloway, London.  

After their marriage George and Annie, and their two-month old daughter Madge, were next found in the 1891 census living in Scarborough with Annie’s mother Maria, her second husband James Davison (b. 1852) and her three Morley siblings. George’s occupation was recorded as an actor. Maria and George went on to have a son Henry (1893-1920). However, after the 1891 census George and Annie were not found together in later census records.  

So far, I’ve been unable to find Annie in the 1901 census. There is an education record for her son Henry which shows that he was admitted to Acomb School on 19 March 1900 by his mother Annie who gave her address as 4 Whitehall Cottages, Acomb. These were near Southview Terrace as shown on the 1910 OS map below. (Acomb Schools are also circled on the map.) In addition, her daughter Madge was recorded as living at 4 White Hall Cottages with her “aunt and uncle” in 1901. Henry was in London with his father George and uncle William Curryer, a retired jeweller, living at 62 Vicarage Road, Tottenham.

Extract from OS Map York 1910 CL.XXIVSW

By 1911, George’s census entry states that he had married 20 years ago and his address was 142 Gladstone Buildings, Willow Street, Finsbury, London. He continued to live there until his death on 17 December 1925. Probate was granted to his brother Henry.  His wife Annie was probably living in London in the early 1900s although records for her have been difficult to find.

George and Annie’s son Henry enlisted as a Royal Marine. He was serving on HMS Lowestoft in South Africa when he accidentally drowned on 19 March 1920. He was buried in the cemetery at Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape and his mother’s address was given as 128 Brixton Hill, London.  It is possible that by then she was calling herself Alice Curryer rather than Annie. Perhaps the 1921 census will help me to find out what happened to her.

The second actor in the family was Annie’s younger sister Lavinia (b 1876) who had married Henry Paine (b 1872) in 1898 in London. She was described as an actress in the 1911 census. A snippet from the Music Hall and Theatre Review dated 21 December 1911 details her appearance in a comedy sketch called “The man who knew a bit” at the Leicester Pavilion. It is possible her husband moved to the USA but it is unclear what happened to Lavinia.

With regards to Annie and Lavinia’s two brothers William Morley (1872-1957) and Charles Morley (1873-1952), they both continued to live and work in Scarborough. By 1911 William was a lithographic printer and his address, when he died in 1957, was 80 Highfield, Scarborough. Charles was recorded as a watch repairer in 1939 and was living at 42 Trafalgar Road, Scarborough when he died in 1952.  The brothers lived within about a mile and a half from each other during their lives.

I am interested in knowing more about all the people mentioned in this blog post. Do contact me if you have any further information which you are willing to share with me.

Note: the map used in this blog has been reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland under the following creative commons licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/ and sourced from the NLS maps site https://maps.nls.uk/.

Bibliography

Darby, Neil. (2017) Life on the Victorian Stage: Theatrical Gossip. Barnsley: Pen and Sword.

OS Maps. https://maps.nls.uk/ : accessed October 2020.

Music Hall and Theatre Review. https://www.findmypast.co.uk/ : accessed October 2020.

Searching for a landed gentry family in my ancestry

As a family historian I was hoping that at some point I would find a significant historical figure in my family. Early on in my research I came across a possible link into the Fairfax family who had risen to significance during the English Civil War. On further investigation it proved incorrect as there were two Henrie Arthington’s living in the old West Riding of Yorkshire during the 17th century. The first Henrie Arthington (1616/7-1681) was baptised on the 2 January 1616/7 in St John the Baptists Church in Adel; his parents were William and Ann Tancred. Arthington is also a place within the parish of Adel and Arthington Hall was the seat of the Arthington family from 13th to 18th century. Henrie married Mary Fairfax (1616-1678) in 1638; Mary’s father was Ferdinando Fairfax (1584-1648) who was on the side of the parliamentarians in the Civil War and was at Marston Moor. The second Henrie Arthington (1605-1656/7) was my 10th great grandfather and he was buried in Gargrave on 19 January 1656/7. Gargrave is near Skipton in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Henrie married Elizabeth Shaw and I am descended from their son William (1630-1670) – see the following chart.

Descendant Chart for Henrie Arthingtoncropped

Descendant chart for Henrie Arthington of Gargrave

I have a copy of the transcribed Gargrave Parish Records for the period 1558-1812 which include quite a lot of records for members of the Arthington family, some of which I’ve been unable to link to my own family. For example, the register records on 10 April 1637 an agreement that the vicar and churchwardens had come to over the pew rights of Richard Arthington and that “Henrie Currar is contented to suffer the said Richard Arthington to sitt in (the pew) during his natural life”. If anyone else has been able to link together more of these Arthington records then do please contact me.

Waterhousecoatofarms

Waterhouse family coat of arms

Turning then to another landed gentry family, the Waterhouses, it seems likely that there are connections between them and my ancestors. My first clue came when I eventually found the baptism for Bridget Waterhouse in the Braithwell parish register. Braithwell is in the West Riding of Yorkshire and Bridget had been baptised on 6 October 1635 with her father recorded as Charles, gent. Bridget married Thomas South (1629-1685) on 30 April 1655 in Braithwell and they are my 9th great grandparents.

 

StJamesChurchBraithwell

St James Church Braithwell ID 166756155 © Peter Shaw | Dreamstime.com

Bridget’s father Charles proved more difficult to find until I found a reference to Charles in the pedigree of the Waterhouse family of Braithwell (near Halifax) reproduced in Joseph Hunter’s history of South Yorkshire. Charles was one of Thomas Waterhouse and Dorothy Vincent’s younger sons and his baptism was recorded in 1580 in the Braithwell parish registers; the registers can be found on Family Search. Thomas and Dorothy had married in 1573 and the lands of the Vincent family at Braithwell passed to Dorothy, the daughter and heir of Thomas Vincent, and thus her husband Thomas Waterhouse. Very little information could be found for Charles, although he does seem to have received an inheritance when his father died. The estates at Braithwell went to his elder brother Vincent and were passed to his descendants.

OSYorks290date1854Braithwellannotated

OS map 1854 showing Micklebring and Moot Hall in the parish of Braithwell

Charles’s father Thomas (1547-1598) is descended from the Waterhouse family of Halifax whose pedigree is recorded in Foster’s Yorkshire families and can be traced back to Sir Gilbert Waterhouse (1275-1340). Thomas’s grandfather was Robert Waterhouse (1500-1581) of both Moot Hall and Shibden Hall which his wife Sibil’s (1500-1588) grandfather William Otes had owned. Shibden Hall dates from the early 15th century and was owned by the Savile and Waterhouse families before the Lister family. One of the Lister families descendants was Anne Lister, also known as ‘Gentleman Jack’.

Returning now to Bridget Waterhouse and her husband Thomas South, after their marriage they continued to live in Micklebring near Braithwell and had at least 10 children: eight boys and two girls. Three of their children died young and no marriages could be found for any of their siblings in the Braithwell parish register. It seems that some family members did marry in the nearby parish of Conisbrough. Thomas’s burial record in the Braithwell parish register records that an affidavit was sworn indicating that he had been buried in a woollen shroud. Thomas and Bridget’s son Samuel (1677/78-1729) is my 8th great grandfather. The family chart shows Thomas and Bridget and their children.

Descendant Chart for Thomas Southcropped

Descendant chart for Thomas South and Bridget Waterhouse

I am interested in knowing more about the South family as I have not been able to trace all of Thomas and Bridget’s children. Do contact me if you know more about them.

Note: the map used in this blog has been reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland under the following creative commons licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/ and sourced from the NLS maps site https://maps.nls.uk/.

Bibliography:

Adel, West Riding of Yorkshire. https://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/YKS/WRY/Adel : accessed July 2020.

Braithwell, West Riding of Yorkshire. https://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/YKS/WRY/Braithwell : accessed July 2020.

Braithwell, West Riding of Yorkshire. https://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/place/11657 : accessed July 2020.

Burke’s Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland. https://www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed July 2020.

Clay, John W. ed. (1895) Familiae Minorum Gentium. London: The Harleian Society. Vol III. pp. 844-850. https://archive.org/ : accessed July 2020.

Foster, Joseph. (1874) Pedigrees of the County Families of Yorkshire: West Riding. London: W Wilfred Head. Vol II. https://archive.org/ : accessed July 2020.

Hunter, Rev Joseph.  (1828) South Yorkshire. London: Hunter. Vol II pp. 130-135.

Gargrave, West Riding of Yorkshire. https://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/YKS/WRY/Gargrave : accessed July 2020.

OS Maps. https://maps.nls.uk/ : accessed July 2020.

Turner, J. Horsfall. (1883) Biographica Halifaxensis. Bingley: T Harrison. Vol I. pp. 274-276. https://archive.org/ : accessed July 2020.

Turner, J. Horsfall. (1911) The Coats of Arms of the Nobility and Gentry of Yorkshire. Idle: John Wade. https://archive.org/ : accessed July 2020.