James is my second cousin four time removed on the Ellis side of my family. He was born on 23 October 1855 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA. James’ parents were James Bean (1822-1899) and Harriet Harvey (1821-1876). James and Harriet had nine children, five of whom were born in Yorkshire, England and the remaining four in USA.
Prior to their emigration to the USA, James was a gardener living at the Garden House, Spofforth, Yorkshire and working on the Stockeld Park Estate. The following map (OS Yorkshire sheet 172 date 1850) shows the extent of Stockeld and its location near the York and North Midland railway line.
James, Harriet and their children Mary, Elizabeth, William and Charlotte left Liverpool on the ship Mariner, and arrived in the port of Boston on 12 May 1854. The family settled in Roxbury where James continued to work as a gardener and I have previously written about his life in USA .
James Harvey Bean was the first of James and Harriet’s children to be born in USA. He trained as a physician at the Jefferson Medical College at the Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. James married Nellie Priestley (1863-1953) on 15 January 1883 and by 1900 they were living in Bannock, Pocatello, Idaho.
James and Nellie didn’t have children and James died on 27 February 1910 in Los Angeles, California, apparently of uremia, caused by irreversible damage to the kidneys. He was buried in Mountain View Cemetery, Pocatello, Bannock County, Idaho.
After his death Nellie applied to the Idaho court for probate as the sole beneficiary and executor under his will which he had signed on 13 February 1895. It seems that during his lifetime James had acquired a number of lots of land in Pocatello and created the South East Securities Corporation which Nellie took over after his death. Issues relating to the ownership of property in Weber County and Salt Lake, Utah were resolved by the Utah court in 1911, and the court decreed that this property also become the property of Nellie.
Nellie did not remarry and was considered a pioneer in Pocatello. On 16 June 1938 she was deemed in contempt of court for failing to sign over bonds to pay a labour debt and was jailed. She remained in jail even though friends had agreed to pay the debt (The Post Register 4 August 1938). Nellie died aged 90, on 2 January 1953, at her home 208 West Clark, Pocatello. She was buried in the family plot in Mountain View cemetery and left an estate worth $6853.
When we moved to Thame in 2012, I had only just started researching my family. On the Sarginson side I knew that many of my ancestors came from Yorkshire, and more specifically the East Riding. I didn’t expect to find anyone in Oxfordshire, and certainly not in Thame. I have previously written about the origin of the name Silversides, and as I started to research more of my cousins, I came across Herbert Silversides (1882-1955), my second cousin three times removed, who died in Thame.
Herbert was born on 23 March 1882 in Wakefield, Yorkshire to parents Guy Crispin Silversides (1853-1933) and Ellen Butler (1854-1932). Although in the 1891 census his father Guy was a tailor, by 1901 he was the Lodge Keeper at the West Riding County Lunatic Asylum for Paupers at Wakefield. He continued to work there until at least the 1911 census. The asylum was located on the north side of Wakefield as shown in the following OS map extract from 1894.
The asylum was opened in 1818 and became the Stanley Royd hospital in 1948. It closed in 1995 and has since been converted into residential accommodation. It is now known as Parklands Manor.
So how did Herbert and his wife Sabra Emma Blacker (1881-1972) come to live and die in Thame? Sabra had also been born in Wakefield and they were married on 21 April 1906 in the Primitive Methodist Church, Chapel Street, Blackpool. An extensive report in the Fleetwood Express (25 April 1906) gave an insight into the occasion:
“The bridal party consisted of lady and gentleman friends … with the guests, numbering over seventy persons, travelled by special saloon from Wakefield to Blackpool.”
Sabra’s dress was described in some detail and two gifts from the bridegroom specifically mentioned, an exquisite shower bouquet and gold opal brooch. There were six bridesmaids and Herbert’s brother William was his best man. The couple honeymooned in Scarborough and there was a long list of wedding presents which included many doyleys and other items of silver and linen.
By the 1911 census Herbert and Sabra were living at 53 Jacobs Well Lane in Wakefield with their son Ronald aged one. Herbert was a clerk in the architect’s department of West Riding County Council. It looks like they were regular visitors to Blackpool though. The Fleetwood Chronicle dated 15 March 1912 has an account of Sabra’s brother William Blacker marriage to Molly Brown in the Primitive Methodist Church, Chapel Street, Blackpool. Molly was the daughter of a Blackpool councillor and William’s father Alfred the manager of the Royal Pavilion and a lay preacher at the church. Both families were well known attendees of the church. Sabra was a bridesmaid and Herbert a groomsman.
Herbert and Sabra’s son Ronald died in 1914 in Blackpool. Herbert and Sabra were also in Blackpool in 1916 when the Blackpool Gazette and Herald (11 February 1916) reported that Mrs Blacker and Mrs Herbert Silversides had arranged a concert after a young people’s tea which had been held at the Chapel Street Primitive Methodist School, Blackpool.
Herbert and Sabra were next found in the 1921 census as visitors at a property called Rossendale, Coronation Street, Cleveleys, near Thornton in Lancashire. The head of the household was Andrew Milligan and Sabra’s parents were boarders there. Her father Alfred was described as the cinema manager at the Savoy cinema, Cleveleys. Herbert was chief clerk at Wakefield County Council.
Herbert and Sabra seem to have then moved to the “Holiday Camp”, Rossall Road, Thornton, Lancashire where they were found in the 1923 Electoral Register. However, by 1939 Herbert and Sabra were living at Caradoc, Daws Hill, Wycombe, Buckinghamshire with Herbert described as a wholesale and retail wool dealer. How his change of occupation had come about isn’t clear.
Ancestry’s collection of British Phone Books was an invaluable resource which helped to track down Herbert and Sabra’s movements towards Thame. The 1944 Phone Book records them living in Little Kimble, Buckinghamshire and in 1954 there were two entries. Herbert and Sabra were living at 70 Chilton Road, Long Crendon and had a business called Silver Wools in High Street, Princes Risborough. They had moved inro 18 Croft Road in Thame by 1955; the following is a recent photo of the house:
Herbert died on 23 September 1955 at 18 Croft Road. Sabra was not mentioned in his probate calendar entry and he left effects worth £2594 9s 4d. It seems that Sabra did not stay in the house for long after his death. She had moved into 1 Victoria Mead, Thame by the time the 1959 Phone Book was published. A local resident confirmed that the property was one of a number which had been built in 1958. The following is a recent photo of the house which has had an extension at some point; it would just have been two windows wide when Sabra moved into it.
Sabra died on 11 January 1972 at 1 Victoria Mead. She left effects to the value of £7550. So far, I’ve not been able to find burial records for either Herbert or Sabra. I also wondered if they continued to worship in a Primitive Methodist chapel. The one in Thame, on the junction between East Street and Park Street, is now a private house, but was once part of the Thame and Watlington Methodist circuit.
Lastly – I would like to know 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.
I was first motivated to write about this branch of my family when I came across Hannah Maria Thompson (1864-1932), my 3rd cousin three times removed, whose parents were Joseph Thompson (1835-1907) and Sarah Tillotson (1837-1920). In the 1911 census Hannah was living with her widowed mother Sarah, brother Charles (1865-1926) and niece (Gertrude) Irene Thompson (1898-1970) at Moor, Garforth near Leeds. Hannah was described as a baker and confectioner (maker) and employer; her brother Charles a baker worker. The census also included three servants: two assistant confectioners and a servant. Her brother Henry Malcom Thompson (1868-1938) was also a baker in 1911. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any of them in the 1908 Kelly’s directory for the West Riding of Yorkshire. However, a judicious purchase of the 1921 census from FindmyPast revealed that, at the time the census was taken, Hannah was still a confectioner on her own account and that she was living with her brother Charles and Aunt Maria in Main Street Garforth. The following 1908 OS map shows the locations of Garforth Moor and Main Street, Garforth.
Hannah’s family – Hannah had been born into a family who worked in the pits in Garforth. Mining coal was one of the main industries in the area, as noted in Lewis’ 1848 topographical directory of England.
Hannah was the eldest daughter of Joseph and Sarah’s six children. The 1871 census records the family as living in Moor Garforth with Joseph described as a weighman at the colliery, possibly working at the nearby Sisters Pit owned by the Gascoigne family. He continued to work as a weighman until he retired. Just two of his sons, Charles and Frederick (1870-1936), spent part of their working career in a colliery. By the 1901 census no family members were working in the pits. By then Charles and Henry were bakers, alongside their sister Hannah, Frederick was a railway porter, Emily (1872-1926) a servant and Edward (b 1875) a bricklayer. The following chart shows Joseph, Sarah, their children and grandchildren.
Working in the collieries could result in accidents and deaths. The Durham Mining Museum has an entry for Garforth Colliery which has a thought to be incomplete list of 57 deaths dating from the mid-19th century until the early 20th century. It contains the details of three Thompson’s who were killed there: G Thompson, a shunter, in 1896, and T Thompson and H Thompson who fell off roofs in 1897. Unfortunately, there is only limited information about the deaths in local newspapers like the Skyrack Courier. It is possible these men could be related to Joseph Thompson but clear links have so far not been found.
Tillotson surname – Hannah’s mother Sarah, is my 2nd cousin four times removed, and I decided to see what I could find out about the origin of the Tillotson surname. Redmonds book of Yorkshire surnames is an excellent source of information and has entries for Tillotson (with variants Tillitson and Tillottson and the variant Tilson. The following is a quote from Redmonds about Tillotson and its variants:
“’Son of Tillot’, a diminutive of Matilda via the pet form Till. This is a surname with a single origin and the progenitor can be identified in the poll tax of 1379. Her name was Tillot de Northwod and she was listed in Cowling along with her two sons, John and William Tillotson. The surname ramified in Kildwick parish and surrounding parts of Airedale and it remains numerous there… The most illustrious bearer of the name was John Tillotson of Sowerby near Halifax, born in 1630 and created Archbishop of Canterbury in 1691.”
Redmonds, George. (2015) A Dictionary of Yorkshire Surnames. Donnington: Shaum Tyas. p. 743
In my own family research, I have probably traced my ancestors back to James Tillotson, my 6th great grandfather, who died in 1778 in Barwick on Elmet, just a few miles from Garforth. Encouraged by the information about the surname in Redmonds, I carried out further research and found two possible baptisms for James:
James Towleson baptised 30 July 1698 in Hartshead cum Clifton, a chapelry in the parish of Dewsbury, to father Abraham.
James Tillson baptised 1 September 1705 in Pontefract to father Henry.
James’ burial record suggests that he was 80 at the time of his death in 1778 which would suggest that the 1698 baptism was the more likely one for him. However, it is probable that the Towleson baptism is not his. Towleson is a variant of Tolson/Toulson which Redmonds attributes to the place name “Toulston, a locality in the parish of Newton Kyme near Tadcaster”. In contrast, Tillson is also said to derive from ‘Son of Till’ a pet form of Matilda. It occurred in a number of places in Yorkshire and was also found alongside Tillotson and Tillison. Redmonds asserts that it “must often have been a contraction of that name”.
In the case of my 6th great grandfather James, it seems possible that he was baptised as a Tillson and buried as a Tillotson. If the 1705 baptism is correct for him, then his father Henry was born in 1676 in Dewsbury and married Elizabeth Walker on 2 December 1703 in Pontefract. They had their first child James there and then returned to Dewsbury. The following is a possible family chart for James showing how he is descended from Samuel. All my potential great grandfathers are circled on the chart in purple. John (1734-1798) is my 5th great grandfather, then James my 6th great grandfather, Henry my 7th great grandfather and at the top of the chart Samuel my 8th great grandfather. Sarah, my 2nd cousin four times removed is circled in lilac.
Lastly – I would like to know 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.
It’s rare that I write about any of my ancestors who lived in an adjoining county to where I live now. When I came across Alice, my 4th cousin twice removed, I decided it was time to see what I could find out about her.
Alice was the eldest daughter of Ashley Bellinger (born 1849) and his first wide Maria Saunders (1845-1888); she was born in Q1 1875 in Amersham, Buckinghamshire and is highlighted in purple on the following outline descendant chart.
Alice’s father Ashley was a gamekeeper and in the 1881 census the family were living in Keepers Cottage, Amersham. In 1910, Ashley and his third wife, Margaret, highlighted in pink on the above chart), emigrated to Canada on the SS Empress of Ireland. They arrived in Quebec on 29 September 1910 and settled in Kelvington, Saskatchewan, Canada where Ashley became a farmer.
By 1891 Alice had left home and was a kitchen maid working for the Matthews family in Northaw, Hertfordshire. In the 1901 census she was working as a laundry maid at Woburn Abbey, the seat of the Bedford family. There she met her future husband Walter Fletcher Lansom (1874-1918), a stable helper. The following picture is of Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire:
Alice and Walter married in Q4 1905 and settled in Woburn. In 1911 they were living at 39 Bedford Rd with their three children, with Walter working as a “chauffeur domestic” (see the following outline descendant report for Alice).
Alice died in 1917, and Walter on 13 February 1918, leaving their three young children orphans. A memorial entry in the Bedfordshire Times and Independent (13 February 1920), posted by Walter’s sister Renee, gave further information about Walter’s death. He was said to have “passed peacefully away at 62, Leighton Street, Woburn, Beds., on February 13th 1918, aged 44 years.” The following 1901 OS map for Woburn has been annotated to show the location of Leighton Street.
The recently released 1921 census shed further light on what happened to Alice and Walter’s three children after Walter’s death. Their eldest son Ashley Herbert Lansom (1906-1997) and daughter Florence Irene Lansom (1910-1988) were recorded living with Alice’s older brother Frederick Bellinger and his wife in Walthamstow, Essex. Frederick was a plumber and Ashley, aged 15yrs 1month, a page boy working for bankers Guaranty First Co. of New York, 31 Lombard Street, London EC2. His sister was at school. Their brother, Robert William Lansom (1908-1977) aged 12yrs 10months, was found in the Royal Albert Orphanage, Camberley, Surrey where the census records that his parents were both dead and that he was at school. Robert married and in 1939 was living in Letchworth, Hertfordshire.
In 1949, Ashley and his family emigrated to Australia. They arrived in Freemantle, Western Australia on 15 November 1949 on the SS Otranto. The Perth Sunday Times reported, on 13 November, that the Otranto was one of three ships bringing a total of 364 migrants to Australia.
Ashley and his family settled near Perth where he worked as a plumber. Ashley’s sister, Florence Irene, also emigrated with her husband William Rice Baldwin (1908-1974) to Australia. They arrived in Freemantle on the SS New Australia on 2 March 1952 with their intended address being that of her brother Ashley: 105 Rupert St, Subiaco, Perth.
I am interested in knowing more about all the people mentioned in this blog post, and in particular, what happened to Ashley and his family in Australia. Do contact me if you have any further information which you are willing to share with me.
I’ve previously written about George in my blog two actors and an accidental drowning. George married Annie Morley (born 1871), my 2nd cousin three times removed, on 10 June 1890 in Folkestone, Kent. He gave his occupation as an actor and his condition on their marriage certificate was recorded as a widower. However, Annie was George’s second wife. He had previously been married to Mary Ann Wheeler (born 1855), who he had divorced in 1882, as a result of her adultery with Edward Shelton. Mary was also an actress who performed under the stage name Mabel Verner.
After their marriage, George and Annie, and their two-month-old daughter Madge (1891-1940), 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 1891, George and Annie, do not appear together in any further census records.
The first record which gave George’s address as 142 Gladstone Buildings, Willow Street, Finsbury, London EC2 was the 1911 census. He continued to live there until his death on 17 December 1925. The probate calendar showed that probate was granted to his brother Henry and that his effects were valued at £1,392 1s 11d. I wondered if there would be any mention of his second wife Annie, my 2nd cousin three times removed, in his will, so I ordered it. It was dated 1 August 1924 and contained the following list of bequests, which amounted £970, before funeral expenses etc:
The following statement was included at the end of the will:
“My reason for not leaving more than here stated to my son and daughter is because their uncle and aunt provided for them leaving houses and liquid assets and myself no liquid assets.”
At the time of his death only George (1874-1935), his son from his first marriage and Madge (1891-1963) his daughter from his second wife Annie, were still alive. George clearly stated that they had been left assets by their uncle and aunt. Two of his brothers, Thomas (1844-1895) and William (1846-1917), were jewellers so perhaps he was referring to them?
Annie wasn’t mentioned in his will and it has taken some further research to find out a bit more about what happened to her. In the 1920 London Electoral Registers her address was 128 Brixton Hill, London. This was confirmed by her son Henry’s death entry in the Navy record of his accidental drowning on 9 March 1920 in South Africa. I also found 1901 and 1911 census records for a “Madge Morley” born 1874/1876 in Aldershot who was an actress. In 1911 Madge was a visitor at 112A Brixton Hill, London where the head of the household was John Sanders. On the assumption that Annie could also have become an actress with the stage name Madge Morley, I carried out a search of The Stage newspaper. The deaths column of the 12 September 1929 issue included the following entry:
“John Sanders – died 28 August 1929, age 48, after a short illness. Deeply mourned by his wife, Madge Morley.”
Another look at Annie’s 1920 Electoral Register entry showed that John Sanders was also living at 128 Brixton Hill. In addition, there were entries in The Stage on 27 January 1921, 20 October 1921 and 17 April 1930 posted by Madge Morley seeking work. In all three her address was 128 Brixton Hill. Eventually I found a marriage between Annie Curryer and John Sanders in Q4, 1925 recorded in Lambeth. Did Annie and John wait until her husband George had died before they got married?
Finally – George’s will was also interesting because two of the addresses caught my eye: Oakfield Rd, Penge and Ewart Rd, Forest Hill. I lived in both Penge and Forest Hill before my move out of London. Something of a coincidence!
I am interested in knowing more about all the people mentioned in this blog post, and in particular, what happened to George’s second wife Annie. Do contact me if you have any further information which you are willing to share with me.
I added Luke, my 4th great grand uncle, and some of his family to my tree some time ago. In the 1841 census he was intriguingly described as a schoolmaster in Northgate, Market Weighton. As I re-checked my research before writing about him and his family, I discovered a previously unknown son. This led me to finding more school teachers, two Wesleyan Ministers, a number of solicitors, and a tragedy off the coast of New Zealand.
Luke was baptised on 27 February 1774 in St Catharine’s Church, Barmby Moor to parents Luke (1734-1813) and Ann Kirkby (1732-1811). He married Ann Cook (1781-1865) by license in St Michael’s Church, Spurriergate, York. Luke’s application for a license gave his address as Pocklington and that Ann was from York. They married on 1 December 1804. So far, I have traced eight children, four boys and four girls. Initially they lived in Pocklington, although by the time their second child Jane (1807-1883) was born, they had moved to Market Weighton. It’s not clear at what point the family became Wesleyan Methodists. The earliest non-conformist baptism record found for a member of the family is one for their youngest son Francis (1819-1854). He was baptised on 4 November 1819 in the Wesleyan Chapel in Market Weighton. The chapel is mentioned in Lewis’s description topographical directory of England as follows:
What also proved helpful in finding out what Luke was doing prior to the 1841 census, was a series of trade directory entries for Market Weighton on the Genuki site. They provided the following information for Luke:
1823 Baines’s trade directory – gentlemen and boarders academy run by Luke Richardson in Northgate.
1829 Pigot’s trade directory – day pupils and boarders academy run by Luke Richardson in Northgate.
1834 Pigot’s trade directory – gentleman’s day and boarding school run by Luke Richardson in Northgate.
In the 1851 census Luke was still running the school in Northgate, assisted by two of his daughters, Jane (1807-1882) and Ann (1812-1886), and son Francis, who were all described as teachers. It is this census record which alerted me to Luke and Ann’s son Henry, who was a visitor, and described as a Wesleyan Minister.
Luke died in 1852 and was buried in St Catharine’s churchyard, Barmby Moor.
After his death the school continued to be run by his family. In the 1861 census it was described as the Northgate House boarding and day school. Luke’s widow Ann was the school proprietor, son William (1806-1887) assistant school master, daughters Jane and Ann school mistresses and daughter Mary Ann (1825-1882) the assistant manager. They had two servants, two male pupils aged 12 and 15 and 11 female pupils aged between 7 and 15. The following OS map from 1855 shows the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel circled in black and the National School, in North Gate circled in blue. Unfortunately, the precise location of Northgate house couldn’t be clearly identified; it was possibly on the other side of the street to the National School nearer to the junction with Market Place.
After Ann died in 1865, the school continued to be run by the family. In the 1871 census Jane was the head of the establishment with her siblings William and Ann recorded as teachers and Mary Ann as the housekeeper. By 1881 Ann was shown as the head of the school with Jane, Mary Ann and William as teachers. Jane and Mary Anne died in 1882. According to her gravestone, Ann was still living at Northgate House when she died on 10 March 1886. Her nephew Joseph Richardson was her executor and she was buried in Barmby Moor churchyard like her parents and siblings. William was living in Leeds when he died in 1887 and is also buried in Barmby Moor churchyard. There was no trace of the school in Bulmer’s 1892 trade directory for Market Weighton.
A summary of Luke and his family is included in the following outline descendant chart. People outlined in purple are the teachers in the family, the Wesleyan Ministers are outlined in pink and the solicitors in blue.
Rev Henry Richardson (1809-1884) was the second oldest of Luke and Ann’s sons. He had probably become a Wesleyan Minister by 1833. Henry married Jane Elizabeth Bell (1812-1897) by license on 7 August 1837 in Eastrington parish church. They had at least six children, four boys and two girls. By the 1881 census Henry, Jane and daughter Hannah were living at 5 Stockhill Grove, Eccleshill, Yorkshire. They had moved to Greengates by the time Henry died on 28 January 1884. His probate record mentions his son William (1843-1923), schoolmaster of Ashville College, Harrogate. The college is still an independent day and boarding school operating under Methodist principles and values. Henry was buried in the Greenhill Wesleyan Methodist Chapel yard in Rawdon near Leeds. Underneath his name was the inscription “In labours more abundant”. The gravestone also remembers his eldest son, John Bell Richardson (1840-1881) with the inscription:
“Also, in living memory of his eldest son the Rev John Bell Richardson Wesleyan Minister President of the New Zealand Conference Born January 18th 1840 perished in the wreck of the SS Tararua off the coast of New Zealand April 29th 1881”
John had followed his father Henry into the Wesleyan Ministry, and by 1868, he was in New Zealand when he married Mary Ann Hay (1843-1897). They had at least eight children, three boys and five girls. Information about the wreck of the SS Tararua was easy to find on the Trove website as there were many reports of the tragedy (for example, The Ballarat Star, 2 May 1881). It seems that only 20 of the 140 passengers onboard were saved. The ship had struck a reef on the most southerly part of New Zealand’s South Island. John was one of a number of clergy and lay people traveling to Adelaide, Australia for an Intercolonial Wesleyan Conference. He was specifically mentioned as one of those who had died in the Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumerda Advertiser (6 May 1881). The following woodcut appeared in the Illustrated New Zealand Herald.
John’s only surviving son, Henry Hay Richardson (1871-1951) trained in New Zealand as a teacher, while John’s youngest brother Joseph (1853-1930), remained in the UK where he married Sarah Hannah Firth (1853-1899) on 25 July 1876 in the Wesleyan Chapel in Armley near Leeds. The ceremony was carried out by his father Henry and Rev Joseph Midgley. In the 1891 census Joseph was described as a solicitor and the family were living in Eccleshill near Bradford. He was followed into the profession by his son Frederic Henry Richardson (1877-1964). When Joseph died in 1930, he was buried in the Norman Lane Wesleyan burial ground in Bradford.
Finally – It seems that an interest in schooling runs in the family. After I left university, my mother asked me if I was going to be a school teacher. I didn’t do that but have retained my interest in education. The last qualification I gained was an MSc in genealogy, palaeography and heraldic studies. I haven’t ruled out taking another Masters course as I’m finding that having some knowledge of local and social history adds to what I’ve been able to find out about my ancestors.
I am interested in knowing more about the Richardson family, and in particular, any descendants in New Zealand. Do contact me if you have any further information which you are willing to share with me.
Researching the Digweed side of my family has been much helped by Jenny who had already done so much before I even got started. She has also been a wonderful source of family photographs, something which adds so much to the stories of our ancestors.
What I hadn’t realised, until I started to look at my Digweed ancestors, is that the surname isn’t a Yorkshire surname. According to the Oxford Dictionary of Family Names, Digweed, and its variant Digwood, is a locative surname. Their presumption is that it comes from Thickwood in Colerne, Wiltshire. At some point -weed was substituted for -wood.
The dictionary also provides some information about early bearers of the surname, the earliest of which was Thomas de Thikwode, found in Colerne, Wiltshire in the 1332 Subsidy Rolls. So far, I have traced the Digweed line back to probably my 8th great grandfather William Digweed, possibly born about 1600 in Thatcham, Berkshire; a place about 43 miles from Thickwood. Interestingly the dictionary mentions a record for Guilelmi Digweed 1683 in Kingsclere, Hampshire and two records in Thatcham: Thomas Digweed 1691 and Ann Digwood 1764, which could be relevant to my research.
Unfortunately, the only available on-line parish records for Thatcham are transcriptions with the earliest baptism an unnamed Diggwid dated 16 March 1627, earliest marriage John Digweed/Digwood to Mary Norcutt on 30 November 1612 and earliest burial of John Diggwid on 16 August 1629. When I looked at a small selection of the Thatcham parish records, I found the following additional surname variants: Diggweed, Diggwidd and Dugwidd. A trip to consult the originals at the County Record Office is now on my list.
My Digweed ancestors continued to live near the parish of Thatcham, probably until the middle of the 18th century, when they next appear in the parish records for Hampstead Norris in Berkshire. William (1739-1823), my 4th great grandfather, married his wife Sarah Shackler (1739-1796) on 10 March 1765 in St Mary the Virgin, Hampstead Norris (see following photograph).
William and Sarah’s 6th son, John (1791-1855), my 3rd great grandfather, was baptised on 29 May 1791 in St Mary’s Church, Hampstead Norris. He married Rachel Hilliear (1793-1851) on 26 August 1811 in St Michael and All Angels Church, Inkpen. They had at least eight children which included seven sons and one daughter. The family initially lived in Inkpen and had moved to Ham by 1817 when their second son was born. John was recorded as a farm labourer living in the village of Ham in both the 1841 and 1851 censuses. It was largely an agricultural area as described in Lewis’ 1848 topographical directory of England:
Rachel and John remained in Ham until their deaths in 1851 and 1855 respectively. The following OS map dated 1877 shows the relative locations of Ham and Inkpen and the arrow indicates that Hungerford was about 4 miles north of Ham.
John and Rachel’s youngest son was my 2nd great grandfather Thomas (1836-1910). He was baptised on 1 May 1836 in Ham parish church and, at the age of 14, was recorded as an agricultural labourer in the 1851 census in Ham. Thomas married Mary Ann Tuttle (1837-1900) on 1 May 1959 in St Mary’s Church, Reading. The family were living in Sherfield upon Loddon, Hampshire by the time my great grandfather Francis (1873-1959) was born.
Francis was only recorded with his parents in the 1881 census. By 1891 he was a boarder in a household in Hayes, Middlesex, where he was described as a “groom domestic servant”. At some point he moved to Yorkshire where he married my great grandmother Violet Kate Richardson (1878-1971) on 16 October 1900 in St Helen’s Church, Stillingfleet. By 1901 they were living at West Marton near Skipton where Francis was working as a “coachman domestic servant”.
It is likely that the family had moved to Escrick, near York, by 1905. In 1911 Francis, Violet and six children where living at Escrick Park with Francis described as a “coachman domestic”. He continued to work for the Lawley/Forbes-Adam family and in 1939 was described as a “Chauffeur”. The following photograph shows him with the car he drove:
Francis and Violet continued to live in Escrick Park until their deaths in 1959 and 1971, respectively. The following photograph is of Francis and Violet’s grave in St Helen’s Churchyard, Escrick.
I am interested in knowing more about the origins of the Digweed family on the Berkshire/Wiltshire/Hampshire borders. Do contact me if you have any further information which you are willing to share with me.
Moses (1736-1822) and Hannah (1735-1811) both have surnames featured in Redmonds dictionary of Yorkshire surnames. They are also brick walls in my Sarginson ancestral line.
According to Redmonds, Jewitt/Jewett could be surname variants of the Bradford surname Jowett, derived from “Juett”, the diminutive of Julian, a pet form of a popular female name. In the 1881 census Jowett/Jowitt surnames were mostly found in the West Riding of Yorkshire; in the same census, the variant Jewitt was more frequent than Jewett, although both were present across a number of places in Yorkshire. It is thought likely that these surname variants originated from more than family.
Redmonds dictionary identified that the surname Musgrave was derived from a specific place: Musgrave near Kirkby Stephen in Westmorland and that there was a long history of the surname in and around Leeds in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It seems that in the Tudor period Musgraves of different social statuses settled in both the East and North Ridings of Yorkshire. In the 1881 census Musgrave was found in the highest numbers in Yorkshire; the rare West Riding variant Musgreave was largely confined to the Barnsley and Wakefield areas.
Moses, Hannah and their family – Moses and Hannah, my six times great grandparents, settled in Howden. Moses was described in parish records as a labourer. Together thy had a son and five daughters. Their eldest daughter Hannah (1768-1827), my five times great grandmother, is highlighted on the following chart with a blue circle, her parents are circled in black and her brother Moses in purple.
Hannah married Elias South (1768-1831) and they lived in Hooke/Hook (a few miles from Howden), which was described in Lewis’s topographical directory of 1848 as follows:
Moses senior, Hannah, son Moses and most of their daughters continued to live in Howden. Moses senior died at the age of 86 and was buried in St Peter’s churchyard, Howden on 18 June 1822. By then his son Moses (1767-1833) had become the landlord of the Black Bull Inn, Bridgegate, Howden. After Moses died in 1833, his wife Hannah (1771-1845) continued as the inn keeper. She was recorded there in the 1841 census with her daughter Elizabeth (1804-1857), Elizabeth’s husband Thomas Edmondson (1803-1865), a school master and their family. When Hannah died, aged 76, on 7 February 1845, she was described in a local newspaper (Yorkshire Gazette 15 February 1845) as the “relict of the late Moses Jewitt of the Black Bull Inn”. Howden was described in Lewis’s topographical directory of 1848 as follows:
Elizabeth, my first cousin six times removed, her husband Thomas Edmondson and their family were still living in Bridgegate, Howden in the 1851 census. After Elizabeth’s death, Thomas and their children moved at some point to Pinfold St, Howden where they were recorded in the 1861 census. Helpfully, Thomas gave his occupation as a school master of the National School. The school had been purpose built in 1826 in Pinfold St and it catered for both boys and girls who had paid a nominal fee. None of their children became school teachers.
Lastly – I would like to know more about all the people mentioned in this blog post. I am particularly interested in Moses senior and his wife Hannah Musgrave, as I am not sure that I have found either their baptisms or marriage. Do contact me if you have any further information which you are willing to share.
Whilst I was researching my Silversides ancestors, I came across two women who had married into the Saltmarsh family, Ann Silversides (1823-1853) my fourth great aunt and Ann Silversides (born 1813) my second cousin five times removed. Saltmarsh is another very unusual Yorkshire surname which according to Redmonds (page 640) links to a specific place, Saltmarshe, a village on the River Ouse, in the East Riding of Yorkshire. It’s in the parish of Howden. The following map shows the position of Saltmarshe on the River Ouse.
A prominent gentry family used the spelling Saltmarshe and Sir Lionel Saltmarshe was knighted by William the Conqueror in 1067. It is an uncommon surname although the variant Saltmarsh is now more numerous in other parts of Yorkshire.
Lewis had the following to say about Saltmarsh in his 19th century topographical directory:
Saltmarsh family – Both my fourth great Ann, and my second cousin five times removed Ann, married into the same Saltmarsh family. I have traced their line back to Richard (1689-1736) from Huntington, a village 3 miles NNE of York in the North Riding of Yorkshire. It is approximately 30miles from Huntington to the village of Saltmarsh. The map below shows Huntington and nearby villages.
The following dandelion chart for Richard shows him, his wife Ann Allison (born 1702) and two generations of descendants. The blue circle highlights Richard (1790-1868) whose son Richard married my fourth great aunt Ann Silversides and the green circle denotes John Saltmarsh (1806-1831) who married Ann, my second cousin five times removed.
So far, I haven’t found a connection between Richard’s family and the Saltmarshe gentry family.
My ancestors – Ann Silversides, my 4th great aunt, was baptised on 12 March 1823 in St Mary’s Church, Riccall. She married Richard Saltmarsh (1822-1900) on 6 July 1843 in the same church. Richard had been baptised to parents Richard Saltmarsh (1790-1868) and Sarah Simpson (born 1800) on 8 September 1822 in the nearby market town of Selby.
By 1851 the family were living Kelfield where Richard was described as a brickyard labourer. Richard and Ann had three sons. After Ann’s death Richard married Jane Wrigglesworth (born 1837) and they moved to Monk Fryston. By 1881 Richard was again a widower living in Lumby Hill in the parish of Monk Fryston in a multi-generational household, with his son Samuel (1848-1935), a railway platelayer, Samuel’s wife Sarah Jane Sykes (1850-1897) and two of their daughters. Richard death in 1900 was registered in the Pontefract civil registration district. More information for the family can be found in the following report.
The people marked on report, Mark in blue and Mary and George Thompson in green, are discussed in the next two sections of this blog post.
Mark Saltmarsh – the divorce in 1877 – Mark (1851-1921) was the youngest son of Richard Saltmarsh and Ann Silversides. He was born in 1851 in Kelfield and baptised on 25 May 1851 in St Helen’s church in the nearby village of Stillingfleet.
Mark was recorded in the 1861 census living with his aunt Jane Silversides (born 1827) and uncle Thomas Pickersgill (born 1821) in Walmgate, York. He married his first wife Lucy Toes (born 1855) on 21 February 1871 in York Registry Office and by the 1871 census they were living with her parents at 34 Oxford Street, York. Mark was described as an engine fitter. According to Mark and Lucy’s divorce papers they had moved to 22 English Street, Hull later in April 1871. Mark said that Lucy had lived with him for about 11 days before returning to York.
Mark filed for divorce on 28 May 1877 on the grounds of Lucy’s adultery. In his affidavit he was described as a marine engine fitter living at 10 English Street, Hull and in it he stated that from:
“April 1871 to the twenty fifth day of May 1877 as I am informed and believe to be true the said Lucy Saltmarsh has been leading the life of a common prostitute in the City of York and has during such period repeatedly committed adultery with men.”
Although Mark had been aware of Lucy’s adultery for some years, he had been unable to file divorce papers sooner because, as a marine engine fitter, he had had long spells of time working on steamers away from home and had limited means. He filed his petition through William Wilkinson solicitors located in St Helen’s Square, York. By a strange coincidence I used the same firm to carry out a conveyance task some 130 years.
A court hearing for Mark’s divorce petition was held in open court at Westminster on 26 February 1878; a further hearing took place on 9 April 1878 when, after hearing evidence from Mark and witnesses including his uncle Thomas Pickersgill, Mark was granted a decree nisi. The final decree absolute was granted on 19 November 1878. The York Herald reported the undefended case on 13 April 1878 with some additional information about Lucy:
“It was now shown by the evidence of o policeman named Denham that the respondent lived the life of a prostitute in Priory Street, York and at the house of a woman named Maud Crawford.”
After his divorce Mark wasted little time in re-marrying. As Mark Charles Saltmarche, bachelor and engineer, he married Sarah Ann Rodgers (born 1855) on 12 April 1878 in Holy Trinity Church, Hull, by licence. At the time Mark was living in Queen Street, Hull and Sarah at 17 English Street, Hull. They had a daughter Jane (born Q2 1878) soon after their marriage and in 1881 Sarah and Jane were living at 158 Bean Street, Hull with Sarah describing herself as a marine engineer’s wife. So far, I’ve been unable to trace Sarah and Jane’s whereabouts after 1881.
Mark was 1st engineer on the SS Cincora in docked in Barcelona, Spain in the 1881 census. The cargo ship was a screw steamer, built in 1874, and engaged in foreign trade. It sank after a collision with another vessel near Dungeness, Kent on 25 January 1893. It was carrying a cargo of lead and oranges from Valencia in Spain to London.
Mark settled in Wales and married his third wife, Mary Hughes (1865-1940) in the Bridgend, Wales Registry Office on 25 January 1888. They were both said to come from Porthcawl in Wales. Mark and Mary had a son and two daughters and Mary had a son who later used the surname Saltmarche. Mark continued working as a marine engineer. In the 1911 census Mark was a boarder living with the Smith family at 141 Carlisle Street, Splott, Cardiff. His wife Mary was recorded as a housekeeper in the entry for the Sevine family, living at 36 Janet Street, Splott, Cardiff, a few minutes’ walk from where her husband was a boarder. Mark’s death was registered in Q4 1921 in Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales.
Two cousins marry – Mary Saltmarsh and George Thompson – Mary (born 1890) in Porthcawl, Wales was the eldest daughter of Mark and Mary. She wasn’t living with her mother and two siblings in 1911 and was a boarder with the Jackson family in Batley, West Riding of Yorkshire. How she had secured work as a cotton weaver is not clear, however at some point she had met her 1st cousin once removed, George Thompson (born 1890). They married on 5 February 1916 in the parish church of Middleton, Yorkshire. George gave his occupation as a miner from Belle Isle, and that his father George was deceased and been a railway guard. Mary’s address at the time of their marriage was recorded as 36 Janet Street, Cardiff where her mother had been living in the 1911 census. Her father was given as Mark Charles Saltmarsh, a seafaring engineer. Unfortunately, further records for the couple have been difficult to trace.
Wilberfoss family – Ann (born 1813), my second cousin five times removed, married John Saltmarsh (1806-1831) on 22 March 1831 in St John the Baptist church, Wilberfoss. John died at the age of 25 and was buried in the churchyard on 12 September 1831. Ann was pregnant with their daughter Elizabeth (1832-1854) who was baptised in the same church on 12 January 1832. Ann re-married and called one of her sons by her second marriage to John Shaw (born 1799), Silversides John Shaw (born 1850).
Lastly – I would like to know 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.