Tag Archives: York

Thomas Lazenby and Antonia Armstrong – my eight times great grandparents

According to Redmonds dictionary of Yorkshire surnames, Lazenby is an example of a geographical surname which was derived from three possible places, two in Yorkshire: Lazenby near Northallerton and Lazenby near Redcar plus Lazonby in Cumberland, which suggests a number of distinct origins for the surname.

By the early 14th century there were examples of the surname in the North Riding of Yorkshire, York and the West Riding of Yorkshire. A major expansion of the surname had taken place in York and nearby villages and it is possible that my ancestors are descended from this group, although my research is still a work in progress. Certainly, by the 17th century there was a concentration of Laysenby’s and Laysnby’s in York and the nearby village of Huntington who, used distinctive first names like Seth and Wilfray. This group were linked by Redmonds to some important York families, including the anti-clerical poet Wilfrid Holme and the Snawsells family.

By the 1881 census, Lazenby was reasonably numerous in Yorkshire with higher totals in Pocklington, Selby and York. Lazonby was a rarer variant of the surname and found mostly in Durham and Cumberland.

Thomas (b. about 1684) and Antonia (b. about 1684) – Thomas was born about 1684 and there is a possible baptism for him in York dated 28 September 1864 to father Thomas Lazenbie. There is another potential baptism in Holy Trinity Church, York in 1685 to parents John and Ann, however there is also a burial record for a young man called Thomas in 1699 who may be the same person as in this baptism.

Thomas married his wife Antonia Armstrong on 17 June 1704 in St Crux church, York. Their marriage license suggested they were to be married in St Denys Church, York which, at that time, was also linked to the parish of Acaster Malbis. On the license Thomas was described as a yeoman and he signed it together with Thomas Simpson. He gave his residence as “Gilridding” which was a property in Naburn, a village near York. Naburn was also part of the parish of Acaster Malbis and was where Antonia was baptised on 3 December 1684. Her father was Methamus (Matthew) Armstrong (1650-1690) and her mother was his second wife Isabella Gray. The following descendant chart shows what’s been found so far for Methamus and his family:

Descendant chart for Methamus Armstrong

Thomas and Antonia continued to live in Naburn and had at least five children, one son and four daughters. Their second daughter Rebecca (1716-1792) was my 7th great grandmother. She may have had a child called Francis before she married her husband Nicholas Simpson (1714-1800). Rebecca and Nicholas were married by license, dated 20 July 1744, in York Minster on 27 July 1744. Their license described Nicholas as a husbandman aged 27 from Saxton and Rebecca a spinster aged 26 from Stillingfleet. It was signed Nicklas Simpson, John Nicholson and Wm Morritt. Saxton is about 12 miles from York and 8 miles from Stillingfleet. Stillingfleet is 3 miles from Naburn and 7 miles from York. I do wonder how Nicholas and Rebecca met.

The following outline descendant report shows Thomas, Antonia, their children and grandchildren.

Descendant report for Thomas Lazenby

Towards the top of the chart, I have highlighted Francis Lazenby, as one hypothesis I have, is that he was Rebecca’s illegitimate son. He appears in the Saxton records in 1756 when an indenture was paid for his apprenticeship to William Stoker, wheelwright. Francis married Susannah Stubbs (1739-1810) in Saxton on 11 April 1770 by license. The license was witnessed by John Firth and Will Morritt. It is possible that Will was either the same person who witnessed Rebecca and Nicholas’ marriage license or someone related to him. It does seem that there were some connections between the Morritt and Nicholson families, as there is a record of a William Morritt marrying Ann Nicolson on 3 December 1736 in Saxton church.

Francis and Susannah had at least six children; two of their son’s baptisms described his mother as Rebecca, daughter of Thomas Lazenby of Stockton, and his father as John Lazenby also of Stockton. It is likely that Stockton was a property about 10 miles North West of Saxton. However, no baptism has been found for Francis. 

Descendants of Rebecca and Nicholas Simpson continued to live in Saxton into the 19th century and can be found in census records. For example, William Simpson (1787-1861), my first cousin 7 times removed, was recorded in the 1851 census in Saxton village and was described as a farmer of 35 acres employing one labourer.

Lewis’ 1848 topographical dictionary of England described Saxton as follows:

Saxton, Yorkshire from Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary of England

Members of the Lazenby and Simpson families were found as tenants of both the Gascoigne family and Lord Hawke in the West Yorkshire land tax records held on Ancestry.

Lastly – I would like to know more about all the people mentioned in this blog post. So far, I’ve been unable to find burial burials for Thomas Lazenby and Antonia. He may have moved to a property called Stockton 10miles North West of Saxton, but a search of the burials records for the surrounding parishes has so far failed to find them. They weren’t found in the records of the parishes of Naburn or Stillingfleet either. Do contact me if you have any further information which you are willing to share with me.


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

Census. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed September 2021.

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

Naburn (in parish of Acaster Malbis). https://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/YKS/ERY/AcasterMalbis : accessed September 2021.

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

Saxton. https://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/YKS/WRY/Saxton : accessed September 2021.

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

UK, Duties Paid for Apprentices’ Indentures, 1710-1811. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed September 2021.

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

York Minster Marriage Register. https://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/YKS/ARY/York/MarriagesYorkMinster : accessed September 2021.

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


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/.


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.

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/.


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.