Posts Tagged ‘ 1841 census ’
Our resident expert Stephen Rigden, pictured below, answers your queries.
From Betty Watts:
‘This is a long shot but thought I would try this long outstanding research on you.
My grandfather William Richard Berry was born in 1872 and according to 1901 and 1911 censuses, this was in Limehouse, Middlesex. The only relevant baptism I could find gives his father as Charles (spelt Berrey) whereas on his marriage certificate he is recorded as William. His son, my uncle, was Charles William. The mother was Jane Philpot (I have not found a marriage for these two which I hoped would perhaps add William to his name).
I have looked for his service records several times at The National Archives in Kew and also online but unfortunately they are missing. I do have a prayer book with the following inscription:
Pte. W.R. Berry
2nd Dorset Regiment
South African Field Force
I have even tried the Dorchester Army office, although not lately. I did find a William Berry in the 1881 census in Stoke Common, Hants, with a birthplace of London, Middlesex. He was the grandson of Henry Philpot but there was also a Frederick Berry, aged 45, unmarried.
There’s another William in the 1881 census, in Gifford Street, Islington, aged nine, born in Middlesex. He’s the grandson of Thomas Berry. I have had many wrong birth certificates over the years so I’m still left with nothing positive. William married my grandmother Florence Annie Ridsdill in 1898.
I have been researching this branch since 1984 so you can guess how frustrated I feel but I’m ever hopeful that something will turn up.’
‘Thanks for writing in with your question, Betty. I have done a little digging using a few online sources on findmypast.co.uk and have found some new leads for you to follow up.
Firstly, I have found army pension papers for William Richard Berry in the findmypast.co.uk collection of records of men pensioned from the British Army during the 19th century.
The record is composed of five pages. These give various details including a physical description (with tattoos) and a nice outline of his military career. Before he joined the Dorset Regiment on 22 January 1891, he had previously enlisted into the 3rd Battalion Hampshire Regiment, from which he purchased his discharge. I am reliably informed by a military historian colleague that, at that date, discharge could be purchased for £10 within the first three months.
At the time, £10 would presumably have been a tidy sum (especially as he was only 18 years and one month old when he joined the Dorsets, and is described as a labourer). Perhaps army life suited him in the long run, however, as he subsequently served 12 years with the Dorsets and then, in 1903, signed up for a further four years’ service in the Army Reserve, before discharge on 21 January 1907.
Most of his service was at home, but he did serve overseas in the Second Anglo-Boer War, from November 1899 to June 1900. For this, he was awarded the Queen’s South Africa Medal, the latter with two clasps – Tugela Heights (fought during February 1900) and the Relief of Ladysmith (1 March 1900). You can easily search the internet for these two actions to find out more.
This is all interesting information, but there are two other facts to extract from these so-called ‘Chelsea Pensioner’ service papers.
Firstly, upon enlistment into the Dorset Regiment, William’s place of birth is given as Bishopstoke, Hampshire, but then struck out and replaced with London, Middlesex (the correction is initialled by the recruiting officer). This could of course have been a simple clerical error (the form was completed on behalf of the soldier, not by him) but I do not think so – see below…
More significantly, on the fifth page, the column 12 for next of kin is completed with the details of an unmarried sister, Mary Jane Berry, of 11 Harbe[r]son Road, Balham in London (she is later struck out following the marriage of William in 1898, as from that point his wife was of course his next of kin). Note that this address falls under Streatham in census returns. In the 1891 census, at this address are Henry and Emily Phillpott and one Mary Merry (sic – presumably an error by the census enumerator) – the last named being the Phillpotts’ 24-year old niece, born in Bishopstoke, Hampshire. The head of household Henry Phillpott is also from Bishopstoke. I note that you refer to a Jane Philpot in your emailed question. To view this image, go to findmypast.co.uk’s census reference search and search under the following citation: RG12 piece 455 folio 60 page 13.
Now if you search the 1881 census for the siblings Mary and William Richard Berry, you come across the following entry in Winchester: RG11 piece 1234 folio 66 page 27. Here a widowed Henry Philpott is with his son William Philpott, his unmarried stepson Frederick Berry, his granddaughter Mary J Berry (born Bishopstoke) and his grandson William Berry (born London, Middlesex). This is certainly the right family.
Track back to 1871 and look at another Winchester district census return – reference RG10 piece 1213 folio 54 page 7 for Stoke Common in Bishopstoke. Here Henry and Ann Philpot are in residence with unmarried sons William, Henry and George Philpot, unmarried 19-year old ‘son-in-law’ (meaning step-son) Richard Berry and grandchildren Mary J and Walter W Berry (aged four months and 11 months respectively, both born in Bishopstoke). Walter W is another sibling of your William Richard, while Richard would be William Richard’s uncle – William Richard himself won’t be born for another two or three years.
For the 1861 census, the citation for this family is RG9 piece 694 folio 62 page 29. Here Henry and Ann Phillpott are with his mother Elizabeth Phillpott and their children William, Mary and Henry Phillpott, together with 13-year old ‘daughter-in-law’ (step-daughter) Jane Berry and 9-year-old ‘son-in-law’ (step-son) Richard Berry.
You will need to examine all these records very carefully to piece together what is quite a complicated family structure. It is clear that Henry Phil(l)pot(t) married Ann(e) Berry in 1859, and that both had children from previous relationships – Henry had sons William and Mary; Ann(e) had children Frederick, Jane and Richard; while together they had Henry Jnr and George.
It is possible that Ann(e)’s children were born illegitimately – I think she is the Ann Berry with 5-year-old Frederick in the 1841 census at census ref HO107 piece 404 book 10 page 5. It is also possible, although I haven’t been able to prove it, that Ann(e)’s daughter Jane Berry, the step-daughter of Henry Phil(l)pot(t), was a single mother with children Mary Jane, Walter W and William Richard. You might be able to start proving or disproving this by getting the birth certificate of Mary Jane Berry – what would appear to be her birth was registered in June quarter 1866 in Winchester registration district (volume 2C, page 103).
Good luck with your research!’
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Welcome to the latest blog in our ‘famous family trees’ series. In this blog series, experienced family historian, Roy Stockdill, investigates the family histories of the famous, both living and dead. On-screen detective Michael Kitchen is the subject of Roy’s powers of deduction this month.
Ask 100 people to name their favourite TV detective and I would wager a bet that, somewhere among the votes for Sherlock Holmes, Morse, Lewis, Frost, Barnaby, Wycliffe and their ilk, a sizeable number would plump for Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle. The superb drama series ‘Foyle’s War’, which has been on our screens for over a decade now, has built a regular audience of over six million viewers, not least because of the intelligent scripts by writer Anthony Horowitz, the setting of the programme in wartime Hastings and also the fact that no series has ever lasted beyond four episodes – the most recent series, which saw Foyle joining MI5, only ran to three – leaving fans yearning for more.
However, beyond any doubt whatsoever, the success of the programme is principally due to the almost hypnotic performance of its star, Michael Kitchen, the actor who plays Christopher Foyle. Foyle’s character – moral, courteous, soft-spoken, patient, scrupulously honest and yet determinedly tenacious in his pursuit of criminals – is brilliantly interpreted by Kitchen, who dominates every scene he’s in. So, it was with enthusiasm that I set out to research his family history.
I wish I could report that I found in his ancestry a real mystery worthy of DCS Foyle’s investigative talents – but, sadly, no! Despite the relative commonness of the surname, I was able to trace Michael Kitchen’s direct paternal line fairly quickly back to his great-great-great-grandparents in Lincolnshire about 1800. His forebears were – probably like Foyle’s – working class artisans and tradesmen. I did come across one minor puzzle which I was able to solve with some assiduous detective work, of which more later.I knew from online biographies and from the General Register Office’s birth indexes that he was born in 1948 in Leicester and registered as Michael R. Kitchen. It came as a slight surprise to learn from his birth certificate that his middle name is Roy – probably the only thing we have in common!
He was born in Leicester General Hospital on 31 October 1948, his father being Arthur Ernest Kitchen, a pork butcher’s assistant, and his mother Elsie Betty Kitchen, formerly Allen, both of 102 Wilberforce Road, Leicester. His parents’ marriage certificate showed they were married at the Church of the Martyrs, Leicester – an Anglican parish church founded relatively late in 1890 – on 10 April 1948. Arthur Ernest Kitchen was 27 and a pork butcher, his father being Thomas Henry Kitchen, with no occupation stated. Elsie Betty Allen, 21, was a hairdresser and her father was shown as Roy Cecil Allen, hosiery operator. Possibly Michael Kitchen’s middle name came from his maternal grandfather. Arthur Ernest Kitchen was born on 17 January 1921 at 18 Wand Street, Leicester, a street of terraced houses not far from the city centre. His father, Thomas Henry Kitchen, was described on the birth certificate as a ‘Hotel Barman, Ex Army’ while his mother was Annie Elizabeth Kitchen, formerly Johnson. Arthur Kitchen, Michael Kitchen’s father, died at Leicester in 2002, aged 80.
Further research showed that Arthur was a latecomer to the family, considerably younger than his siblings, for Thomas Henry Kitchen and Annie Elizabeth Johnson were married at Leicester in the April-June quarter of 1901. By the census of 1911 they had three children and were then living at 18 Wand Street, North West Leicester, where Arthur was born some 10 years later. In 1911 Thomas Henry was aged 32, a hotel cellarman, and his birth place was given as Grantham, Lincolnshire. His wife Annie Elizabeth was 31, a hosiery machinist, born at Leicester. Their children were William Kitchen, 6, Annie Elizabeth, 4, and Edith May 3. There was, thus, a long gap before Arthur came along – not entirely unusual.
Michael Kitchen’s grandfather, Thomas Henry, was found in Leicester in the 1901 census as a single man, living with his parents and half-a-dozen siblings. The family were at 26 Martin Street, Leicester. Head of the household was William Kitchen, aged 51, a plasterer, and his wife was Elizabeth Kitchen, 44, both having been born at Welby, Lincolnshire. It was apparent from the pattern of the children’s birth places that the family must have moved around a bit before arriving in Leicester. The children were: Thomas Henry, 22, plasterer’s labourer, born Grantham, Lincolnshire; William, 14, tailor’s presser, born at Nottingham; Annie S, 12, errand girl; Ada, 10; Arthur E, 6; Edith M, 4; Agnes K, 1 – the five youngest all being
born in Leicester. I had to take care when checking the censuses, for there is also a place in Leicestershire called Welby – but it was clear that it was the Lincolnshire Welby, about four miles north-east of Grantham, that was the original home of the Kitchens. In 1891 William and his family were living at the same address as in 1901, 26 Martin Street, Leicester but in this census the surname was spelt KITCHIN. The details of names and birth places were very similar to those given in 1901 but, of course, the ages were 10 years lower and there were only four children, the three youngest having not yet been born.
Next, I looked at the census of 1881 and found William and Elizabeth Kitchen, with son Thomas Henry, not in Leicester but in Grantham, Lincolnshire. It then became clear that William and Elizabeth must have moved to Leicester at some time between the censuses of 1881 and 1891. We can pin it down even more precisely because the 1891 census shows that their son William was born at Nottingham about 1887 and his younger sister Anne was born in Leicester about 1889. In 1881 William and Elizabeth Kitchen were found at 40 Spring Gardens, Spittlegate, Grantham. This couple were the great-grandparents of the actor Michael Kitchen and in 1881 they only had the one child, Thomas Henry, then aged two. The GRO marriage indexes reveal that William Kitchen and Elizabeth Storer were married at Grantham registration district in the January-March quarter of 1877.
To trace the ancestry farther back, I went to the censuses of 1871 and 1861. In 1871 William Kitchen was a visitor in the household of a family called Millhouse at Elton Street, Spittlegate, Grantham. He was then aged 21 and a plasterer, born at Welby, Lincolnshire. Ten years earlier in 1861 William was with his parents and four siblings in the village of Welby, Lincolnshire, a few miles north-east of Grantham. The address was shown as 9, Private House, Welby Pasture, Welby.
Richard Kitchen, William’s father, was an agricultural labourer, aged 52, and his wife Elizabeth was 43. Their children were: Thomas, 12, agricultural labourer; William, 11, agricultural labourer; Joseph 7; Richard 3; and Emma 1. The whole family were shown in the census as being born at Welby. Now we go back another 10 years to the census of 1851 when the Kitchen family were also in Welby. No address was given other than the village.
Richard Kitchen was aged 41 and a farm labourer, while wife Elizabeth was 32. They had six children: Ann 12, John 9, James 7, Mary 5, Thomas 3 and William 1. Adding the three younger ones who appear in the 1861 census, plus another born in 1864, indicates that Richard and Elizabeth Kitchen had at least 10 children. I also found Richard and Elizabeth – Michael Kitchen’s great-great-grandparents – in the 1841 census. They were in Welby and had just the one child, Ann, who was aged two. Also in the household was another Ann Kitchen, aged 70, and, while relationships were not given in 1841, it seems likely that this was Richard’s mother.
A somewhat sad fact emerged when I discovered from the 1871 census that Elizabeth Kitchen was by then a widow, Richard having died and been buried at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Welby, on 10 April 1864, aged 55. This I learned from the parish records collection on the Findmypast website. His death at that time was particularly poignant for, according to the 1871 census entry for Elizabeth Kitchen her youngest child, Sarah J Kitchen, was six years old – so she must have been born around the same time that her father died. Indeed, the death record for Richard Kitchen and the birth of Sarah Jane Kitchen appear in the same April-June quarter of 1864 at Grantham registration district. Elizabeth was then aged 53 and had three other children with her: Joseph, 16, Richard, 13, and Emma, 11.
I mentioned near the beginning of this blog that I was able to solve one problem in the ancestry of Michael Kitchen and this concerned Richard and Elizabeth Kitchen, his great-great-grandparents. It appeared from the 1841 census that they were married by then – though precise relationships are not given in that census – but despite intensive online searching, I was unable to find a marriage, either in the period immediately after civil registration came in on 1 July 1837 or in parish registers before that date.
Then I had a brainwave! I tracked down the church warden of St. Bartholomew’s parish church, Welby, a very kind gentleman called Colonel John Riggall to whom I am extremely grateful, and he popped into the church to look at the marriage register for me. It transpired that the register began in September 1837 and is one of those rare older ones still in use today. There, only the fourth marriage in the book, was the union of Richard Kitchen, bachelor of full age, a labourer, and Elizabeth Exton, a minor of unstated age, on 18 December 1837. Richard’s father was shown as William Kitchen, also a labourer, and Elizabeth’s father was James Exton, publican. Armed with this information, I was able to solve the mystery of why the marriage doesn’t appear in the GRO marriage indexes online. In fact, the names of Richard Kitchen and Elizabeth Exton do both appear in the indexes in the same October-December quarter of 1837 – but the volume number given for Grantham registration district against Richard Kitchen’s name is wrong and therefore the entries don’t match up! The volume number for Grantham at the date in question was 14, whereas in the indexes against the name of Richard Kitchen it is shown as 24. It may be that the page number is wrong, too, for in one of the entries, for Richard Kitchen is shown as being on page 511 and Elizabeth Exton on page 611. These occasional errors in the GRO indexes are familiar to experienced genealogists but may well prove a trap for novice family historians.
I hope Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle would think I have been diligent in my research and followed his meticulous example in tracking down his ancestors, even solving a small mystery along the way!
Roy Stockdill has been a family historian for almost 40 years. A former national newspaper journalist, he edited the Journal of One-Name Studies (for the Guild of One-Name Studies) for 10 years. He is on the Board of Trustees of the Society of Genealogists and is commissioning editor of the ‘My Ancestors…’ series of books. He writes regularly for Family Tree magazine.
In this blog series, genealogical historian Scott Phillips invites us along on his journey through genealogy and shares some of the lessons he’s learnt along the way.
Welcome and thanks for joining me on Scott’s journey through genealogy this month here on the findmypast.co.uk blog. As you may know, each month I talk about one of the important insights I have gained during my years of working in genealogy and on my own personal family history.
This month I am going to talk a bit about documentation. My insight is this: Document, document, document and do it right from the very beginning of your work. Now I know this may sound dry, but it is very important to our family history and genealogy work and will pay dividends for us and for others now and well into the future.
I like to think about documentation this way: Just imagine how easy our work would be today if someone in each generation of our ancestors had written down information on their generation and their parents and grandparents? What if they did things like listing everywhere they lived? How nice would it be if they had listed who the person was that each of their siblings, especially their sisters, had married? You can think of it this way too; How often have you wished for just two minutes with a parent, grandparent, cousin, etc. to ask ‘just one question’? If you are like me, this happens at least once a day, if not more often!
When I started to initially work on my own family history I recall that in my initial enthusiasm I failed to adequately note where I acquired certain information such as names, locations, towns, dates, etc. It wasn’t long before I found myself having to retrace far too many steps to try and find exactly where I had discovered some specific fact. While I thought I would always recall each ‘find’ it wasn’t long until the sheer volume made that impossible. I began to retrace my steps from the beginning and make certain I had each item documented. It wasted time, it made me crazy, but I knew I had to do it. Now, each and every time I discover a new fact, document, etc. I make certain that I attach it immediately to my electronic family tree.
As I said earlier, I suggest that you begin doing this on your family tree right from the very beginning, because I’ll bet you London-to-a-brick there will be times when you need to check back on people, facts, etc.
This issue can become especially critical when, after an exhaustive search you have finally discovered an entry for an ancestor that was perhaps significantly misspelt, a very faint entry, poorly written, etc. Without your discoveries documented, re-finding that entry at a later date could prove very difficult and a significant waste of time. I had exactly this problem early in my work on my Phillips’ family line. I had finally discovered Nicholas Phillips, my great, great grandfather in the 1841 census, but due to the poor quality of the original, I found it by accident when I was looking for someone else. In my excitement, I did not copy the document and reference information onto my family tree and later, when I needed to double-check something I spent valuable time trying to rediscover this entry. The good news is that I did find it and now it is copied to my tree.
I copy everything I encounter in my research now. I ‘hang’ it on my family tree and figure, contrary to what Mies van der Rohe said about ‘less is more’, in the case of family history and genealogy ‘more is more’ so I now do not let anything go undocumented.
Another example that makes me crazy is the photograph you see here. You can see that there are just about 100 folks here. It seems evident that these folks are gathered for a special event of some kind or another. This photo has been handed down from my cousin. She discovered it in an old family album. While it is truly a wonderful treasure, guess what? Not a name on the photo! No names, no date, not a scribble of any kind. Now I am in the process of looking at each face and comparing them to any other family photos I have in my family tree to see if I can come up with a match and a hint. What a pity. For want of less than a minute of time to write the reason and perhaps the guests of honour, a lifetime of enjoyment is lost.
Some folks have told me they are put off by the formality of documentation, but my philosophy is this. While I personally use the Chicago Manual of Style on my citations and references and recommend it, I also say, most heartily, go for it in any style you want. Just document who (it relates to), what (it is) where (it came from), and when (it was published).
While good documenting does help me, it will be crucial for those who follow me and want to learn from my work, add to it, and understand where they came from. I have high hopes that someone after me will be as enthralled with family history as I am and will pick up the torch. Who knows maybe it will be my eldest grandson who, although only a lad of nine, is expressing interest in history, family roots, and family ties. Selfishly I want him and any others to know I was serious about this work and give them the best ‘leg up’ on their efforts as I can!
Scott Phillips is a genealogical historian and owner of Onward To Our Past® genealogy services in Indiana, US. Scott calls genealogy his ‘sweetest passion’ and his wife calls it ‘our shadow’! Scott specialises in immigrant ancestry, especially from Bohemia (Czech Republic), Cornwall, the UK and Italy. In addition to joining findmypast.co.uk as a columnist, he is a regular genealogy contributor for Huffington Post United Kingdom, GenealogyBank.com and his own website, Onward To Our Past. You can follow Scott on his Facebook page and on his website/blog
Welcome to the latest blog in our ‘famous family trees’ series. In this blog series, experienced family historian, Roy Stockdill, investigates the family histories of the famous, both living and dead. Politician Theresa May is the subject of Roy’s powers of deduction this month.
Politics and power often run in families and dynasties, but I could find nothing in the ancestry of Theresa May to suggest that she would become the most powerful female politician in Britain as Home Secretary. Seen by some as a possible successor to David Cameron as Tory leader, she has said she wanted to be an MP ever since she was 12 years old, an ambition in which she was encouraged by her mother. Her father however, was an Anglican clergyman and kept his political views to himself. Some of Cameron’s Cabinet are regarded as ‘posh’ and ‘old school tie’. But there was no silver spoon for Theresa May. After education at a state primary school, convent girls’ school and a state comprehensive, she read geography at Oxford University, graduating in 1977, became a London borough Councillor and got into Parliament for Maidenhead after twice losing in Labour seats.
In researching her family background, I discovered that both of Theresa May’s grandmothers were in domestic service as young women and that she had a great-grandfather who was a butler – so her roots are very much downstairs rather than upstairs. She was born Theresa Mary Brasier on 1 October 1956 in Eastbourne, Sussex, where her father, the Rev Hubert Brasier, was chaplain to a Church of England hospital. Her mother was the exotically-named Zaidee Mary Brasier, formerly Barnes. The name Zaidee is of Middle East origins. The Home Secretary lost both parents just a few years after leaving university and marrying her husband, Philip May, in 1980. The Rev Hubert Brasier, who became vicar of two Oxfordshire parishes, was killed in a car crash in 1981 and his wife Zaidee Brasier, born in 1928, died the following year, aged only 54.
Theresa May’s parents married at St Giles’ Parish Church, Reading, Berkshire, on 16 June 1955, Hubert Brasier being then 37, a bachelor and a Clerk in Holy Orders, his address being the Chaplain’s House, All Saints Hospital, Eastbourne. Zaidee Mary Barnes was 26, a spinster, of 156, Southampton Street, Reading. The bridegroom’s father was Tom Brasier, deceased, and the bride’s father was Reginald James Barnes, traveller. Hubert Brasier was born on 20 August 1917 at 61 Clonmore Street, Southfields, Wandsworth, London, son of Tom Brasier, then a clerk, and Amy Margaret Brasier, formerly Patterson. They were the paternal grandparents of Theresa May and their marriage certificate shows they were married at The Independent Chapel, West Street, Fareham, Hampshire, on 25 September 1909.
Tom (not Thomas) Brasier, was a bachelor of 29 and a sergeant in the King’s Royal Rifles, based at the Rifle Depot at Winchester. His father was shown as James Brasier, builder. Tom Brasier’s wife was Amy Margaret Patterson, aged 31, spinster – she was two years older than her husband when they married – of Ada Villas, Southampton Road, Fareham, and her father was David Patterson, deceased, a house steward. Tom Brasier, Theresa May’s grandfather, was a professional soldier and in the 1911 census he is found in the Overseas Military section as a sergeant in the 4th Battalion of the King’s Royal Rifles based in Chakrata, United Provinces, India. His birth place is shown as Wimbledon, Surrey.
His wife Amy appears on another page in the same barracks, with the same reference, under ‘Return of wives and children of Officers and Soldiers’, along with a 6-months old son called James, born at Chakrata. However, Amy’s age was either seriously misrecorded or she lied about it, for she appears as being 24 when in fact she was almost 10 years older! Amy’s birth place was shown as Plaistow, Essex. The GRO birth indexes confirm that Amy Margaret Patterson was born in 1878, while her husband was born in 1880. Tom Brasier became a sergeant-major in the King’s Royal Rifles and survived World War I, dying at Wandsworth in 1951, aged 71. Amy Brasier died in 1967 at Oxford, aged 88.
I couldn’t find Tom in the 1901 census – possibly, as a full-time regular soldier, he was away in South Africa fighting in the Second Boer War. But Amy Patterson, Theresa May’s paternal grandmother, then aged 22 and unmarried, was in domestic service as a parlour maid at 40 Lansdowne Road, Kensington, London, one of four servants in the household of a 65-year-old widow called Caroline Henderson from Liverpool, Lancashire, living on her own means, with two single daughters of 36 and 29.
I also looked at records of the Home Secretary’s maternal grandparents, Reginald James Barnes and Violet Jenny Welland, who were married at Reading in 1917. In 1901 Violet was only seven and with her parents in Reading, but in the census of 1911 she too was in domestic service at 18 Redlands Road, Reading in the household of a university physics professor from Australia called Walter Geoffrey Duffield, aged 31, and his wife Doris, 29. Though only 17, Violet was employed as a nurse and I assume she was looking after the Duffield’s 11-months-old daughter Joan.
Returning to Theresa May’s direct male line, her paternal ancestors, the Brasiers, lived at Wimbledon for many years but in earlier generations were carpenters and builders in the picturesque Surrey village of Limpsfield, near Oxted, at the foot of the North Downs. I found her grandfather, Tom Brasier, in the 1891 census as a scholar aged 10, living with his parents, James and Sarah J
Brasier, and five siblings at 6 Strachan Place, Crooked Billett, Wimbledon, on the edge of Wimbledon Common. James Brasier was aged 50, a builder, born at Limpsfield, while his wife Sarah was also 50, born at Rodmell, Sussex. Their children were: Richard, 22, a joiner; Jane, 21, dress milliner; Charles, 17, joiner; Maud, 12, scholar, Tom, 10, scholar; and Anne, 8, scholar. All the children were born at Wimbledon.
James Brasier and Sarah Jane Barnes, Theresa May’s great-grandparents, were married in 1865 at Lewes, Sussex, registration district, probably in the bride’s parish of Rodmell. By the 1871 census they were already in Wimbledon at Belvedere Cottages, St Marys. James was a carpenter and they had two children, Richard E Brasier, 2, and Jane Ann Clara Brasier, 1. in 1881 their family had grown to six and they were at 8 Chesnut Place, Crooked Billet, Wimbledon. The children were: Richard Edward 12; Jane Ann 10; James Charles 9; Charles George 7; Maud Eliza 3; and Tom 1.
James and Sarah Jane Brasier were found at the same address as they had been at in 1891, 6 Strachan Place, Wimbledon, in the censuses of 1901 and 1911. By the latter they had been married for 45 years and the number of children born to the couple was eight, of whom seven were still living, but only one daughter, Annie Emeline, 28, by then remained with them. As the birth place of James Brasier was consistently given in every census as Limpsfield, Surrey, I looked for him in 1861. I found him quite easily living with his parents, Richard and Ann Brasier, who were the great-great-grandparents of Theresa May. They were found at Limpsfield, with the address given only as ‘Village’.
Richard Brasier was aged 49 and a master carpenter, his wife Ann being the same age, both shown as being born in 1812. Richard’s birth place, however, was given as Greenwich, Kent, and his wife’s as Walton-upon-Thames, Surrey. They had six children, all born at Limpsfield: James 20, a carpenter journeyman; Maria 17; Charles 15, also a carpenter journeyman; Emmeline 12; John 10; and Emma 8. Ten years earlier in 1851 the family were also in Limpsfield with Richard again shown as a master carpenter and his wife Ann as an infant school mistress. Four of the children were as shown in 1861 but there was an older daughter, Clara Amelia, 12, and Emma had not yet been born.
In the 1841 census I found what were almost certainly two generations of the Brasier family at Limpsfield, living close together and enumerated on the same page. Richard, 30, and Ann Brasier, 25, were there with four children: Richard 8, Charlotte 4, Clara 2 and James 8 months. Remember that in 1841 the ages of adults over 15 were usually – but not always – reduced to the nearest lower multiple of five. Apparently just a couple of doors away were James Brasier, 58, a carpenter, Ann Brasier, 59, and three children, Charlotte 21, Emma 15 and Mary Ann 5. Because of the considerable difference in age, it seems possible that James and Ann Brasier were Richard’s parents, who were said to have been born in 1783 and 1782 respectively. If I surmise correctly, they were the 3x-great-grandparents of Theresa May.
In online trawling I found a reference to a house called Brasier’s Cottage in Limpsfield, which still stands today, and a mention that the family had been in Limpsfield since about 1690. However, I bore in mind that Richard Brasier had given his birth place not as Limpsfield but as Greenwich, Kent, and I found in the International Genealogical Index (IGI) a marriage at St Mary’s, Lewisham, Kent, on 15 August 1831, of Richard Brasier to Ann Needle. I couldn’t find a baptism for Richard but I found at Walton-on-Thames on 6 July 1809 the birth of Ann Needles [sic], daughter of Thomas and Mary. Also on the IGI is the baptism of James Brasier at Oxted – very close to Limpsfield – on 22 September 1782, son of Richard Brasier and Ann, who could have been the 4x-great-grandparents of Theresa May.
Finally, in the brief space left to me, I’d like to return to my earlier mention that the Home Secretary had a great-grandfather who was a butler in service. He was the father of her paternal grandmother, Amy Margaret Patterson, and he was called David Paterson or Patterson (both versions appear in records). I researched his antecedents at the ScotlandsPeople website and discovered he was born in 1852 in a former mining village called Kennet in Clackmannanshire, on the north bank of the River Forth, the son of Alexander Paterson, labourer, and Margaret Watson. He married Jane Poole, who was from Southwark, London, in Glasgow in 1875 and the couple moved to England, where David was found as a butler at Wimbledon in the censuses of 1881 and 1891, living not far from James Brasier and his family. David Patterson died at only 42 in 1893 and his wife was left a widow. It seems likely it was in Wimbledon that Theresa May’s paternal grandparents, Tom Brasier and Amy Margaret Patterson, first met. Little could Amy, a butler’s daughter and a humble parlour maid, have dreamed in her ‘Upstairs Downstairs’ world, that one day her granddaughter would become the Home Secretary and one of the most powerful women in Britain!
Roy Stockdill has been a family historian for almost 40 years. A former national newspaper journalist, he edited the Journal of One-Name Studies (for the Guild of One-Name Studies) for 10 years. He is on the Board of Trustees of the Society of Genealogists and is commissioning editor of the ‘My Ancestors…’ series of books. He writes regularly for Family Tree magazine.
Welcome to the latest blog in our ‘famous family trees’ series. In this blog series, experienced family historian, Roy Stockdill, investigates the family histories of the famous, both living and dead. Actress Kate Winslet is the subject of Roy’s powers of deduction this month.
Her latest film, Movie 43, released last month, has received a panning from the critics, but I don’t suppose Kate Winslet is all that bothered. Berkshire-born Kate is, after all, one of the most bankable British stars in Hollywood, ever since she sprang to fame with her appearance in Titanic with Leonardo DiCaprio.
Thrice-married Kate’s love life has occupied acres of space in the tabloid newspapers but her family history is somewhat less colourful. I was delighted, however, to come across a great-great aunt in the censuses who was a barmaid called, would you believe, Kate Winslet! Kate’s ancestors were publicans in Reading, the largest town in Berkshire.
She was born Kate Elizabeth Winslet, on 5 October 1975, the second of four children of parents Roger John Winslet and Sally Ann Bridges, who were married at Reading in 1968. She has an older sister Anna, younger sister Beth and a younger brother Joss. Kate’s parents were both ‘jobbing actors’ but had to do a variety of other jobs to survive.
Kate has said in interviews that she didn’t have a privileged upbringing and that the family’s daily life was ‘very hand to mouth’. She has a theatrical background, however, because her maternal grandparents, Oliver and Linda Bridges, founded Reading Repertory Theatre.
Kate’s father Roger was born at Reading in 1939, not long before the outbreak of WWII, the son of Charles John Winslet and Blanche Sims. The couple married at Reading in 1932.
Charles Winslet, Kate’s grandfather, was born in 1908 and he is found aged two in the 1911 census, along with his parents, Charles and Emily Mary Winslet. The family were living at 21 Great Knollys Street, Reading, with Charles senior’s occupation shown as licensed victualler:
The pub he kept is not named in the census but a 1914 trade directory for Reading reveals that it was called The Lion.
Kate’s great-grandfather Charles Winslet Snr was aged 38, his wife 37 and they had been married four years. Their son, aged 2, appears in the census with his forenames reversed as John Charles Winslet. Also living with them was Charles Snr’s elder sister Sarah Emma, a single woman aged 40. Both she and Emily Mary gave their occupations as ‘Assisting in Business’. All four members of the family gave their birth place as Reading.
I found the marriage at Reading in the General Register Office marriage indexes in the June quarter of 1906 of Charles Winslet and Emily Mary Wells.
A decade earlier in the 1901 census, a then unmarried Charles was aged 23 and helping his father, John Winslet – Kate’s great-great-grandfather – out at another pub in the centre of Reading at 9 High Street:
Again, the name of the pub was not given in the census but a directory of 1899 shows that it was called the Broad Face.
Charles Winslet Snr’s ages in the censuses of 1901 and 1911 – 23 and 38 respectively – don’t add up. Some re-checking in the GRO birth indexes showed that he was born at Reading in 1877 and his wife, Emily Mary Wells, was born there in 1871.
Could Charles have been embarrassed by the fact that Emily was a few years old than him and decided to make himself older in 1911? It seems the only likely explanation.
In the 1901 census, Charles’ father John Winslet was 58 and gave his occupation as hotel keeper and his birth place as Richmond, Surrey. He was a widower, his wife, Susan or Susannah having died in 1897 aged 60. It was clearly a family-run business since John had two daughters and two sons all helping him.
The elder daughter Sarah, 31, was the house keeper; another daughter Catherine, 29, was a barmaid; son George, 26, was a barman; and the younger son Charles, 23, was the cellarman. All the children had been born at Reading.
The Winslet family were at the Broad Face Hotel (this time it was clearly named) in the census of 1891:
John, 48, was the hotel keeper, born at Richmond, Surrey, while his wife Susan, two years older than him at 50, gave her birth place as Thorncombe, Dorset.
There were five children in this census: Sarah, 22, barmaid; Kate, 20, barmaid (yes, she is actually named as Kate Winslet); son John, 19, a railway clerk; son George, 17, a butcher; and youngest child Charles, 14, scholar, all born at Reading. Also in the household were a 22-year-old servant, Agnes Dyer, born at Tadley, Hampshire, and a male boarder of 28, Reginald Quayle from Ireland.
In the census of 1881, John and Susan Winslet were at a different pub called the Railway Tavern, 33 Greyfriars Road, Reading. John’s age is incorrectly given as 52, which is either an enumerator’s error or a mistranscription or both – and the image is difficult to read because one of those annoying diagonal, black lines made by the checking clerks has been drawn through it:
Susan Winslet, his wife, was 40 and again her birth place was given as Thorncombe, Dorset. Daughter Emma was 14, Kate 12 (again she was enumerated as Kate Winslet), and Charles 4. The two older sons John and George were not at home but were found as pupils at a boys’ school at Whitley Park, Whitley Road, Reading:
John Winslet and Susannah Phillips were married at Reading in 1868 and by the 1871 census they had already taken over the Railway Tavern in Greyfriars Street, where they were found also in 1881. In this census the surname is spelt with a double ‘t’ as Winslett. John was shown as 27 and Susan as 30, while daughters Emma and Kate were aged 2 and 0 respectively. Also in the household was 15-year-old Ellen Winslett, John’s niece:
With the family was a single female of 27 who was enumerated as Harriett Phelps but I suspect this should have been Phillips and she was Susan’s sister because her birth place was also given as Thorncombe, Dorset.
I also found John Winslet’s parents in the 1871 census, Thomas and Priscilla Winslett (again spelt with a double ‘t’). We will come to them shortly in earlier censuses, but by 1871 they were living in alms houses called Hickey’s alms houses at Richmond, Surrey. Thomas was aged 68 and Priscilla 69 and both gave their birth place as Richmond:
I was unable to find Thomas and Priscilla in 1861, although I am still looking. I did, however, find a very interesting entry for their son, John Winslett [sic]. He was a servant, aged 18, in a household in Richmond Road, Twickenham, Middlesex and also working as a servant there was his eventual bride, Susan Phillips, aged 23. There seems little doubt that this was the woman who became John’s wife since her birth place was given once more as Thorncombe, Dorset:
Alberic D Willoughby was head of the household, and was described in the census as ‘The Honourable Gent’ and about whom I found an interesting piece of history! Some extensive internet searching revealed that he was an aristocrat who became Baron Alberic Drummond Willoughby de Eresby. In 1868 he was involved in a scandalous court case in which he cruelly tried to cut himself off from a French countess who had lived with him as his wife for 17 years and by whom he had a daughter, leaving her more or less destitute.
Returning to the Winslets, I found Thomas and Priscilla in the 1851 census at Old Worple Way, Richmond. Thomas was then 49 and a dairy man and Priscila was also aged 49, both being born at Richmond:
With them were two sons, Charles 14, John 7, and a daughter Ann 6, all also born at Richmond.
In 1841 Thomas and Priscilla were at Marsh Gate, Worple Way, Richmond, and Thomas was a milkman. They had seven children: Samuel 15, Richard 12, Adelaide 10, Thomas 9, William 7, Charles 5 and Sarah 3:
My research was not yet quite complete, for I found the marriage of Thomas Winslet to Priscilla Tasker on 7 December 1824 at the church of St Mary Magdalen, Richmond. Thomas and Priscilla were the great-great-great-grandparents of Kate Winslet.
I looked for the birth or baptism of Thomas and believe I found his birth on 13 December 1803 at Richmond, the son of Richard Winslett [sic] and Mary. Finally, I found in the online parish registers of St George, Hanover Square, in central London, a marriage for Richard Winslet and Mary Grant on 29 June 1794.
More research would need to be done to establish whether they were the 4x-great-grandparents of Kate Winslet.
Roy Stockdill has been a family historian for almost 40 years. A former national newspaper journalist, he edited the Journal of One-Name Studies (for the Guild of One-Name Studies) for 10 years. He is on the Board of Trustees of the Society of Genealogists and is commissioning editor of the ‘My Ancestors…’ series of books. He writes regularly for Family Tree magazine.
Welcome to the first ‘famous family trees’ blog of 2013. In this blog series, experienced family historian, Roy Stockdill, investigates the family histories of the famous, both living and dead. This month Roy delves into the family tree of actor Tom Ellis.
A couple of issues back I published the ancestry of the comedienne and actress Miranda Hart, so it seemed appropriate to follow this up with the family tree of Tom Ellis, the actor who plays Gary, the object of her love interest in Miranda.
Welsh-born Tom has an ever-burgeoning list of TV credits to his name, including appearances in Midsomer Murders, EastEnders, The Catherine Tate Show, Merlin and a lead role in the creepy ghost series, The Secret of Crickley Hall. He is married to the former EastEnders actress Tamzin Outhwaite and they have two small daughters.
Normally in this series I follow principally the direct male line, but in this case I had to veer from this route because I discovered Tom’s paternal grandfather was born illegitimate – a common occupational hazard, as regular family historians will know.
This doesn’t mean a pedigree comes to an end, however, because it is perfectly acceptable to pursue a female line instead. You are, after all, still following the same surname.
Tom Ellis was born on 17 November 1978 in Cardiff, South Wales, as Thomas John Ellis. He has three sisters, one of them his twin Lucy. His parents, Christopher John Ellis and Marilyn Jean Hooper, were married on 30 December 1972 at Clarence Park Baptist Church, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset. That they married in a Baptist church is hardly surprising since Tom’s father, Chris Ellis, was a Baptist minister at 23, while his mother Marilyn was 19 and a student.
The marriage certificate showed that Chris’s father was John Ellis, a police officer, and Marilyn’s father was Arthur Melbourne Hooper, a postal and telegraph officer.
Chris Ellis was also born in Cardiff on 29 June 1949, the son of John Ellis and Joyce Doreen Jones, who were married at Pontyclun, near Bridgend, Glamorgan, on 15 August 1942. Chris’ father John Ellis, the police officer, Tom Ellis’ grandfather, was born on 7 November 1921 in Pontypridd registration district to Emmie Ellis, father unknown. This fact might have made further research impossible, had not Chris and Marilyn Ellis kindly put me right in emails, so I decided to follow the ancestry of Emmie Ellis, Tom’s paternal great-grandmother, for as far back as I could.
Emmie was born on 17 November 1897 at Llanharan, a village in the Rhondda Valley near Bridgend. She seemingly never married and died in 1982 at 85. I found her in the 1911 census, aged 13, living with six siblings aged from 29 to 11, in a household headed by her eldest brother Claude Ellis, a pottery labourer, at 44, Llantrisant Road, Pontyclun:
Emmie’s name was actually spelt as Emme, which turned out to be the first name of her mother. Her siblings were: Claude 29; Ethel 25; Albert 20; Arthur 18; Ernest 14; Hilda 11. All were shown as being born at Llantrisant. Why were they all living together? Possibly the parents had died, although I was unable to confirm this for certain. I found in the General Register Office death indexes an Emmy (sic) Ellis who died in Pontypridd registration district in 1906, aged 46, who may have been the mother.
In the 1901 census, the family were also in Llantrisant Road, Pontyclun, but with no house number given. Head of the household was Charles Ellis, 45, a bend maker in a pottery works, born at Gloucester. His wife, Emme, 40, was born at Penmark, Glamorgan, and there were eight children from 19 to one, including Emmie aged three. All the children were born at Llantrisant except Emmie whose birth place was given as Llanharan:
Charles and Emme Ellis were the great-great-grandparents of Tom Ellis. A decade earlier in 1891, Charles Ellis and his family were at Talbot Road, Llantrisant. In this census, however, his wife was called Amy, but clearly it was the same woman since her age and birth place tallied with the details given in 1901:
Charles’ occupation was a pipe maker and there were five children ranging in age from 9 down to an unnamed baby son whose age was given as nought.
Going back yet another 10 years to the census of 1881 I found Charles and Emmy (sic) Ellis at Danygraig Villas, Llantrisant with Charles’ occupation shown as an iron shearer in a tin works. In this census they had not yet had any children.
It seems that Charles’ wife spelt her name a number of ways – either that or the enumerators couldn’t agree! I found the likely marriage in the GRO marriage indexes at Pontypridd registration district in the last quarter of 1879 of Charles Ellis and Amy Prosser and I feel sure this was the right couple.
In a bid to trace Charles further back and discover who his parents were, I next went to the 1871 census. I found Charles, aged 14, at an address called Pontclown Fach in Llantrisant with his parents, Henry and Mary Ann Ellis, and seven siblings:
Henry Ellis was 50, occupation fitter, born at Payhembury, Devon, a place near Honiton, while Mary Ann Ellis, 48, was born at Cullompton, Devon. The children were six sons ranging from 18 to seven and a daughter of 20. Of the sons, three – William Henry, 18, Samuel Robert, 16, and Charles, 14 – were all born at Gloucester, while a son Rowland, 9, was born at Neath, Glamorgan, and two sons called Frank and Alfred, both 7 (and probably twins) were born at Cheltenham. The daughter Jane, 20, was said to have been born at Silverton, Devon, a village between Exeter and Cullompton. It looks as if Henry and Mary Ann had moved around a bit while having their family.
In 1861, Henry and Mary Ann were in Neath at 21 Henry Street. There was something weird about this entry, however, because Henry was shown as being 48 – only two years younger than he was in 1871! Mary Ann’s age was given as 36, making a gap of 12 years between them when in 1871 it was only two years:
Henry, a labourer, was also shown in this census as being born at Payhembury, Devon, but I had difficulty in making out the birthplace of Mary Ann which appeared to end in ’ford’. Another curious thing was that three of the children, Samuel, 8 (who was shown as a daughter!), William 6, and Charles, 4, were all shown as being born in Bristol, not Gloucester, while the daughter Jane’s birthplace was again given as Silverton, Devon. The youngest son Rowland was aged one and shown as being born at Neath.
I suspect that either Henry had difficulty in filling in the census schedule or possibly there was a dialect barrier between him and the Welsh enumerator! Of course, this was far from rare in the Victorian censuses. Whatever the discrepancies, there was no doubt this was the same family as I had found in 1871 and Henry and Mary Ann Ellis were the great-great-great-grandparents of Tom Ellis.
Next stop was the 1851 census and this time I found Henry and Mary Ann at 22 William Street, St Philip and St Jacob (Without), Bristol. Henry was 28 and a sawyer, birthplace Pehembury (sic), Devon. Mary Ann was born at Cullumptun (sic) and they had just the one child, Jane, who was then aged 10 months:
Turning again to the GRO marriage indexes, I found the potential marriage at Tiverton registration district (which included Cullompton and Silverton) in the June quarter 1849 of Henry Ellis and Mary Anne Hillier. There was another Mary listed on the same page; however, it seems likely to me that this was the correct marriage.
Looking for Henry Ellis in the 1841 census, I think I found him at Payhembury, Devon, which was given as his birth place in subsequent censuses. His age was given as 20, though this is not entirely reliable – we have seen how his age differed in other censuses. If it was the right man, he was an agricultural servant working for a farmer called Joseph Cleman at a place called Lower Tale, Payhembury:
A Google search reveals that Lower Tale Farm or Cottage, Payhembury still stands today as a listed building with a thatched roof. So if Tom Ellis happens to read this, he should be able to see the place where his probable great-great-great-grandfather Henry Ellis once lived and worked.
I hope this exercise has shown that family history research doesn’t have to end if you run into an illegitimacy problem!
Welcome to December’s ‘famous family trees’ blog! In this blog series, experienced family historian, Roy Stockdill, investigates the family histories of the famous, both living and dead. This month Roy explores the ancestry of Strictly Come Dancing presenter Tess Daly.
When I set out to research the ancestry of Tess Daly I thought it inevitable that, because of her surname, sooner or later I would run into the ‘Irish problem’.
Sure enough, I was right! The glamorous TV presenter who co-hosts Strictly Come Dancing with Bruce Forsyth had an Irish great-great-grandfather who probably came over to England with his family some time in the 1870s.
Most family historians will be familiar with the difficulties associated with tracing Irish ancestry because of the large-scale destruction of records in a fire at Dublin’s Public Record Office in 1922.
I managed, however, to get Tess’ family tree back to her great-great-grandfather who was born in Ireland about 1826 or 1827. Tess’ ancestors settled first in Salford, Lancashire, then moved to the Stockport area of Cheshire. Her parents lived in the beautiful Derbyshire Peak District, where Tess was born and brought up.
She was born Helen Elizabeth Daly on 27 April 1969 to Vivian Daly and Sylvia Bradley, who were married at Chapel En Le Frith registration district in the July-September quarter of 1965. Tess’ working class parents both worked lengthy shifts in factories to support the family while she was growing up and she spoke of her sorrow when her father, Vivian, died in 2003, of emphysema, just 18 days after her marriage to fellow TV presenter Vernon Kay.
I initially had a tiny problem finding Vivian’s birth, though the General Register Office death indexes gave his birth date as 19 December 1932. I did eventually find him in the GRO birth indexes – but his forenames were reversed. The death record named him as Vivian James F Daly but he was registered in the March quarter of 1933 at Stockport as Felix J V Daly, which was the name he also married in.
The mother’s maiden name in the birth indexes was given as Perry and I found the marriage at Stockport in the first quarter of 1915 of Tess’ grandparents. Her grandfather was Felix M Daly and her grandmother was Ruth B Perry, whose middle name I subsequently discovered was Bailey, after her mother Clara.
I could find no other children for Felix and Ruth, so it seems that they waited some 18 years for a son, unless Ruth had lost children previously. The death indexes show that Ruth died in 1945, aged 51, and Felix in 1957, aged 70. It seems likely Felix married again after his wife’s death, for the GRO marriage indexes have the marriage at Manchester in the last quarter of 1945 of Felix M Daly to Mary Cunningham.
Tess’ grandfather, Felix Matthew Daly, was born on 19 October 1886 at Salford, the son of William Joseph Daly and Elizabeth Mann. Tess’ great-grandfather William Joseph is shown on the birth certificate as a hat manufacturer’s salesman. Felix’s middle name of Matthew subsequently turned out to be the name of his grandfather. In the 1911 census the family were living at 38 Heaton Road, Heaton Norris, Stockport:
William Daly was 50, described as a ‘hat traveller’, and his birth place was given as Cavan, Ireland. Whether the name Cavan referred to County Cavan or the town which is its capital was not stated. William’s wife Elizabeth was also 50 and her birth place was given as Navestock, Essex.
With them were three sons and two daughters ranging in age from eight to 24, Felix being the eldest. Felix had been born in Manchester and the other children at Stockport. Also in the household were two boarders, Frank and Gertrude Quigley, aged 25 and 23, who were probably brother and sister since both were shown as single.
An entry in the column for married women revealed that William and Elizabeth had been married 25 years and had had six children, one of whom had died.
A small curiosity of the census entry was that the schedule was apparently completed and signed by Felix and not his father William.
Next I went to the 1901 census where I found the Daly family at 20 Parsonage Road, Stockport. In this census William and Elizabeth were both shown as 40, while William’s birth place was shown simply as Ireland and Elizabeth’s just as Essex:
Felix, the eldest child, was 14 and an office boy. Then came William 12, Elizabeth 10 and Katherine 2. Also living with the family was William’s brother, John Daly, a wood carter (or possibly carver), 37, also born in Ireland.
Ten years earlier, in 1891, the Dalys were at 36 Christ Church Terrace, Heaton Norris:
William, 30, was shown as a hatter’s salesman, birth place Ireland. There was a surprise, however, when the birth place of his wife Elizabeth was shown in this census as Camberwell, London! I am unable to explain this apparent error, since my researches indicate that she was definitely born at Navestock, Essex, which was given as her birth place in the census of 1911.
William and Elizabeth had three children with them in 1891: Felix aged 4, born at Salford and William, 2 and May Elsie, 4 months, both born at Heaton Norris.
To try and ascertain who William’s father was I obtained a copy of the marriage certificate of William Joseph Daly and Elizabeth Mann, which took place not at Stockport, Salford or Manchester, but on 24 August 1885 at St Catherine’s Roman Catholic Church, Sheffield – across the county border in Yorkshire.
This revealed that both parties were aged 23 and William gave his occupation as a salesman. His address was 6 Ducie Place, Salford, while Elizabeth gave her address as 25 Montfort Street, Brightside Bierlow, Sheffield. The most important piece of information was that William’s father was Matthew Daly, a draper, who was deceased at the time of the marriage. Elizabeth’s father was James Mann, described as an engineer.
Now I was able to find the whole family in the 1881 census. They were living at 6 West Street, Broughton, Salford, with Matthew Daly being then aged 55 and not a draper but a rent collector. His wife Mary was 45 and they had five children: Catherine 21, a waitress; Felix 19, also a rent collector; William 17, a commercial clerk; John 16, an apprentice joiner; and Francis 14, an errand boy.
Also in the household was a niece called Rose A McCann, 16, a waitress. The entire family gave their birth place as Ireland:
I noted again the Christian name, Felix. Clearly this was a family name since he was William’s elder brother, then William had a son who was called Felix and he, in turn, named William’s grandson – Tess Daly’s father – Felix as well.
So where did the name Vivian, which Tess’ father was presumably mostly known by, come from? I found the possible solution when I returned to the 1911 census and found Tess’ grandmother, Ruth Bailey Perry, with her parents John Thomas and Clara Perry (nee Bailey) at 220 London Road, Hazel Grove, Stockport:
John and Clara were both 42 and John Perry was in the hatting business, like William Daly, being an overlooker. Their children were: Ruth Bailey Perry, 17, a felt hat trimmer; John Thomas Perry, 15, a cotton warehouse worker; and Wilfred Vivian Perry, 13. So it seems likely that Ruth bestowed the middle name of her younger brother upon her son.
Despite much searching, I couldn’t find the Daly family in the 1871 census, so I came to the conclusion that they must have come to England some time in the decade up to 1881.
Searching various online sources, I found a Matthew Daly and Mary Smith who baptised three children in the 1860s at a town called Cootehill in County Cavan, but they didn’t include a William, so I cannot say whether they were the family who migrated to Salford or not without more detailed research.
Matthew’s age in the 1881 census, and his given age of 57 when he died at Salford in 1884, suggests he must have been born about 1826-7. Though I cannot be 100 per cent certain, his son William’s death may have occurred in Manchester because the death indexes have a William J Daly who died there in 1941, aged 79, which accords with his birth year of about 1861/2 and his age of 50 in the 1911 census.
Being unable to get any further with the Dalys, I looked to research William’s wife, Elizabeth Mann. I found her in the 1871 census as Lizzie Mann, aged 10, living with her parents James and Ellen Mann at Navestock, Essex, which was given as her birth place in the 1911 census. Navestock is a village and parish north-west of Brentwood. They were living at Pratt’s Cottage, Navestock, in Ongar registration district:
James Mann was aged 41, born at Navestock about 1830. His wife was Ellen, also 41, born in Ireland – which meant that Tess Daly had a second Irish great-great-grandmother on another line. Their children were: Mary 13; Lizzie 10; Ellen 7; Daniel 5; and George 1. All the children were born at Navestock.
The only thing which didn’t quite fit was that on her marriage certificate Elizabeth Mann said her father James was an engineer, whereas in the censuses he is shown as an agricultural labourer. It is, however, well known that people did often embellish details to enhance their social status!
In the GRO marriage indexes I found the marriage at Ongar registration district in the third quarter of 1855 of James Mann and Ellen Driscoll, while Elizabeth’s birth is recorded also at Ongar in the last quarter of 1860. The family also appear in the 1861 census at Mewtherin Lane, Navestock:
James was then 32 and an ‘ag lab’, while Ellen’s age was shown as 25, which doesn’t accord with her age in 1871 – but we all know how ages can vary in the censuses. I feel sure it was the same woman because her birth place was again shown as Ireland.
Their children were: Esther 6; Mary 2; and Elizabeth, six months. Also in the household was a 16-year-old agricultural labourer called John Haggar, a lodger. Immediately close by the Mann home was a 140-acre farm employing five men and two boys and it seems likely James was working for the farmer.
I managed to get Tess Daly’s ancestry on this line back another generation to her great-great-great-grandparents who were called William and Rachel Mann. They are found in the 1851 census with their son James – then aged 20 and unmarried – and five other sons at a place called Water Hales, White Horse Side, Navestock:
William was also an ‘ag lab’, aged 48, while his wife Rachel was 46. Both, then, were born almost at the beginning of the 19th century. Their sons were: William 22; James 20; David 13; Isaac 11; George 8; and Steven 6.
In 1841 the family were at Navestock Heath, Navestock, with four of their sons, William, James, David and Isaac, and a daughter of 15, Elizabeth:
So as well as having Irish ancestors, plus kin from Lancashire, Cheshire and Derbyshire, it seems Tess Daly might just about qualify as an Essex girl as well!
Here’s the latest post in our series of blogs exploring the family trees of the famous. Experienced family historian, Roy Stockdill, investigates the family histories of the famous, both living and dead. This month Roy delves into TV star Miranda Hart’s family tree.
She’s over six feet tall, very funny and falls flat on her face a lot in her TV sitcom. It’s the brilliant Miranda Hart – who else?
What is less well known is that the statuesque star of Miranda and Call The Midwife is rather posh. Miranda has denied this on chat shows but it would be no surprise if her favourite bedtime reading was Burke’s Peerage and Baronetage, since her family history occupies several pages in the bible of the aristocracy and upper classes.
Miranda descends from the Hart Dyke baronetcy which goes back to 1677. Her family tree is liberally sprinkled with those bastions of the upper classes, high-ranking army and navy officers and Anglican vicars. Indeed, her background suggests she should be in Downton Abbey!
Miranda was born Miranda Katharine Hart Dyke in Torquay on 14 December 1972, the daughter of David Hart Dyke CBE and Diana Margaret Luce who were married in 1967 at Salisbury, Wiltshire registration district.
Her father, a retired naval officer born on 3 October 1938 at Gosport, Hampshire, commanded HMS Coventry, a Royal Navy destroyer sunk in 1982 by Argentinian warplanes in the Falklands War. He later became an aide-de-camp to the Queen. He had a twin brother, Robert, who died in a car crash in 1963. Miranda’s mother, born in 1939, is the daughter of Sir William Henry Tucker Luce (1907-1977), an admiral’s son who was governor of Aden from 1956 to 1960.
Miranda’s paternal grandfather, the Rev. Eric Hart Dyke (1906-1971) was born in India on 28 July 1906 and married Mary Alexander, who descended from a Scottish baronetcy, in 1935 at Okehampton, Devon. Before becoming a clergyman in 1952, the Rev. Hart Dyke was a Royal Navy commander in WWII, being twice mentioned in despatches. From 1953 to 1963 he was Rector of Cowden, Kent.
Eric Hart Dyke was born in India because his father, Miranda’s great-grandfather, Colonel Percyvall Hart Dyke (1872-1952) served in the Indian Army for many years, fought in numerous campaigns before, during and after WWI and was a much-decorated soldier.
Miranda’s maternal grandfather, Sir William Henry Tucker Luce, however, does appear in the 1911 census as a boy of three, living with his mother Mary Dorothea, three brothers and four servants at Anglesey Road, Alverstoke, Hampshire:
I couldn’t find Mary Dorothea’s husband John Luce, Miranda’s maternal great-grandfather, in 1911 but he was then a Royal Navy captain in command of the battleship Hibernia and almost certainly at sea. He remained a commander throughout WWI and became an admiral in 1921, dying in 1932 aged 62.
Miranda’s maternal great-grandmother Mary Dorothea Tucker who married John Luce at Weymouth, Dorset, in 1902, was the daughter of a woollen manufacturer from Somerset – perhaps an example of what the Victorians and Edwardians called a girl from ‘trade’ marrying into the upper classes?
Returning to the direct Hart Dyke line, I found Percyvall Hart Dyke (the unusual spelling of his first name is found several times in the family) in the census of 1891. He was then 18, described as a ‘Gentleman cadet Sandhurst’, living with his father Thomas Hart Dyke, an estate steward, three elder sisters, a single woman described as ‘Companion to daughters’ and four female servants at Ashton Lodge, Long Ashton, near Bedminster, Somerset:
Thomas, son Percyvall and his sisters were also at Ashton Lodge in the census of 1881 with a governess and four other female servants:
Thomas Hart Dyke (1834-1906), Miranda’s great-great-grandfather, was married in 1863 at Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, to Georgina Isabella Russell Fullerton who was only 18. Somewhat curiously, Georgina was missing from the censuses of 1891 and 1881, although her husband and children appear in both. Possibly she was indulging in the wealthy Victorian lady’s passion for foreign travel.
The couple were together in the 1901 census, however, and were possibly on holiday. They were staying in a lodging house called Lynwood at Weston Super Mare on the Somerset coast, kept by a 75-year-old widow, Mary Childs:
This time, Thomas, aged 66, was described as a magistrate, while his wife Georgina was 10 years his junior. Also with them was their daughter Ethel, a single woman of 33, and Constance Fullerton, 59 and also single, who was probably Georgina’s sister.
The only other census in which Thomas and Georgina are found together was the 1871 when they were living at 8 Gloucester Row, Clifton, Bristol with their three young daughters, all under four. Percyvall had not then been born. Thomas was described as an estate agent and civil engineer:
Thomas died at Bristol in 1906 but Georgina outlived him by many years. She is found in the 1911 census as a widow of 66, of independent means, at 9 York Crescent Road, Clifton, Bristol. Her eldest daughter Ethel, 43 and still single, was with her in the census, along with a cook and a parlour maid:
Georgina Isabella Russell Dyke, Miranda’s great-great-grandmother, born at Sunderland, Co Durham, in 1845, had a long life and died at Bristol in 1933, aged 87.
A further generation back, Miranda’s great-great-great-grandparents were the Rev. Thomas Hart Dyke (1801-1866) and Elizabeth Fairfax – probably a descendant of the Yorkshire Fairfaxes who played a prominent part in the Civil War on the Parliamentary side against Charles I – who married in 1833 at Newton Kyme, near Tadcaster, Yorkshire.
Thomas was firstly the Rector of Lullingstone, Kent, the Hart Dykes’ home parish, and later of Long Newton, County Durham. He was a son of Sir Percival Hart Dyke (1767-1846), who became the fifth Baronet Dyke of Horsham, Sussex, in 1831, and his wife Anne Jenner.
So Miranda descends directly from the fifth baronet, Sir Percival, who was her 4-times great-grandfather. Beyond him the baronetcy passed to other male members of the family. The current holder of the title, the 10th Baronet, lives in Canada.
In the 1841 census, three generations of the Hart Dykes are found at the family seat, Lullingstone Castle, Kent. The household comprised a dozen members of the Hart Dyke family and 21 servants:
Sir Percival and Lady Dyke headed the schedule, followed by the Rev. Thomas and his wife Elizabeth and their four children, plus four presumed siblings of Thomas (relationships were not given in 1841).
By the census of 1851, the Rev Thomas had moved north to become the Rector of Long Newton, Co Durham, and he and his wife are found there with eight servants:
Two of their sons, Thomas, 16 and Percival, 15, were pupils at the famous public school, Rugby:
In 1861 the Rev. Thomas and Elizabeth were still at the Rectory, Long Newton, with one son, Francis, and seven servants:
I couldn’t find Thomas Jr in that census, however, possibly because he was abroad somewhere.
The Rev. Thomas Hart Dyke died in 1866, aged 64, but his wife Elizabeth outlived him by many years. She was still alive in the 1891 census, aged 89, living at Hill House, Acomb, near York. She was described as ‘Living on own means’ and had three female servants with her, plus a 37-year-old single Irishwoman called Margaret Moneypenny who was a nursing sister described as Elizabeth’s companion:
Elizabeth Dyke died just over two years later in 1893 at the age of 91, possibly the longest lived of all the Hart Dykes.
Limited space forces me to truncate the illustrious pedigree of Miranda Hart beyond her direct ancestor, Sir Percival Hart Dyke, the 5th Baronet Dyke of Horsham, as chronicled above. Burke’s Peerage and Baronetage, however, takes it back three more generations to the first Baronet, Sir Thomas Dyke, who was MP for Sussex and then East Grinstead in the late 17th century and Commissioner of the Public Accounts.
Sir Thomas was created a baronet in 1677, married the interestingly named Philadelphia Nutt in 1695 and died in 1706. Sir Thomas and Philadelphia Dyke were the 7-times great-grandparents of Miranda Hart.
The name Hart appears to have come into the Hart Dyke family through the second baronet, also Sir Thomas Dyke, who married in 1728 Anne, the daughter and heir of Percyvall Hart of Lullingstone Castle.
Miranda Hart’s ancestry is taken back by Burke’s Peerage two further generations to one Thomas Dyke of Cranbrook, Kent, who died in 1632. It was his grandson, Sir Thomas, who became the first baronet.
So the next time you chortle at Miranda’s clumsy antics on telly, remember that her family history is not what you might expect…
Welcome to the latest post in our series of blogs exploring the family trees of the famous. Experienced family historian, Roy Stockdill, takes us on a journey through time as he investigates the family history of the famous, both living and dead. This time Roy explores the past of TV sports presenter Gabby Logan.
Gabby Logan, Britain’s best-known female TV sports presenter, comes across on our screens as the classic English rose but she has a family history that is truly multi-national. On her mother’s side she has Irish ancestors who went to Leeds in the 19th century. Through a pair of great-great-grandparents in her paternal line, she has forebears from Greece and America.
Gabby was born Gabrielle Louise Yorath on 24 April 1973 in Leeds, the daughter of Welshman Terry Yorath and his Leeds-born wife, Christine Kay, who were married in 1971.
Terry was born Terence C Yorath on 27 March 1950 in Grangetown, Cardiff, son of David Charles Edward Yorath (1918-1999) and Mary Margretta Sigallias (1918-2004) who were married at the parish church of St Mary the Virgin, Cardiff, on 21 October 1939, just a few weeks after the outbreak of WWII.
Remember the surname of Gabby’s grandmother, Mary Sigallias, because it will crop up later and we shall meet her ancestor, a great-great-grandfather who brought the name to Wales from Greece in the 1880s.
The Yoraths were in Cardiff for as long as I have been able to trace the family, back into the early 19th century. For much of that time they lived in the poorest parts of the city, close to the docks area, and knew deprivation and poverty. Indeed, a great-great-grandmother, Clara Yorath, had a desperately sad life.
David Charles Edward Yorath, Gabby’s grandfather, was born in Cardiff towards the end of 1918, the son of David James Yorath and Edith Magee who were married at Cardiff Register Office on 16 February 1918. Her great-grandfather, David Yorath Snr (1895-1967), served in France in WWI with the Cardiff City Battalion of the Welsh Regiment, joining up in 1915. He is found in the 1911 census, aged 15, living with his widowed mother Clara, 41, and younger brother William, 11, in apartments shared with another family at 20 Hewell Street, Grangetown, Cardiff:
There are a couple of oddities about this entry. First, the schedule was originally completed by a Thomas Henry Wilkins, of 8 Hewell Street, who was Clara’s son from her first marriage. His name was crossed out, however, and Clara’s substituted.
Second, the ‘Particulars as to marriage’ column showed that Clara had had eight children, of which four had died. This, too, was crossed out; possibly either Clara or Thomas (or the enumerator) realised a mistake had been made and that, as Clara was a widow, this section should not have been completed – though I gave thanks that it was! Finally, a note in the infirmity column revealed that Clara was deaf.
Poor Clara’s life appears to have been a very sad one. She was born at Cardiff in 1869 or 1870 as Clara Poulton and married at Cardiff in 1887 to Thomas Wilkins. Their son, Thomas Henry, was born the following year. Thomas Snr died in 1890 from pneumonia, aged only 23, so Clara was first widowed at 21.
She appears in the 1891 census at 30 Seven Oak Street, Canton, Cardiff, with her son, Thomas, aged 3, both described as lodgers with a couple called Joseph and Harriet Poulton. In fact Joseph and Harriet were Clara’s parents, both originally from Somerset, and also in the household was Clara’s elder unmarried sister Matilda, 23:
Clara remarried in 1895 as Clara Wilkins to David James Yorath, Gabby’s great-great-grandfather, and their son, also called David James, was born a few months later. By the census of 1901 they had had three sons and were living at 3, York Place, Ferry Road, Canton, Cardiff:
David Yorath Snr was a dock labourer, aged 31, Clara was also 31, and their sons were David, 5, Charles, 3, and William 16 months. Also living with them was 13-year-old Thomas Wilkins, Clara’s son by her first marriage.
This census entry shows three generations of the Yorath family all on the same page – with no fewer than four of them called David!
At 1 York Place was a shopkeeper, David Yorath, 65, with his wife Eliza, 63. Two doors away was William Yorath, 32, a dock labourer, and his wife Hannah, 26, with five children including a David aged 7. In the same household were David and Clara Yorath with their son, yet another David.
I discovered that David and Eliza Yorath were the grandparents, William and David Yorath Snr were brothers and the two youngest Davids were first cousins. It was common in Victorian times to find families living close together, but for a genealogist to find 15 members of one family all on the same page of a census can only be described as pure joy!
More sorrow struck Clara in 1905 when she was widowed for the second time, her husband David James Yorath dying of tuberculosis at 35.
Another son, Charles, fought in WWI with his brother David – though the two had lost touch by then – and was killed in 1916. Clara herself died in Cardiff in 1940 after a life with much tragedy.
Going back to the earlier generations, I found David Yorath, the shopkeeper, with his family in the 1881 census at 4 Ferry Road, Canton (they run over two pages). David was then a general labourer, aged 48 (though in 1901 he was shown as 65, a discrepancy) and his birth place was Dinas Powis, a village about 5-6 miles south of Cardiff:
David’s wife Eliza was 46, born at Watchet, Somerset, and they had six children ranging in age from 13 to six months, including William, 12, and David, 10. Also in the household was William Mogford, 30, also born at Watchet and a relative of Eliza – whose maiden surname was Mogford – and William’s wife Mary Jane, also 30 and born at Bristol.
David Yorath and Eliza Mogford – Gabby Logan’s great-great-great-grandparents – married at Cardiff in 1864 and in the 1871 census were in Llandaff parish, Grangetown, with their address given as ‘Row of Houses near Railway Hotel’:
As well as the three eldest children who were with them in 1881, there was an older son, Charles, aged 6, who died soon after the census since the death indexes show a Charles Yorath who died at 6 in the last quarter of 1871.
David Yorath the elder outlived his unfortunate son David, who died at 35, by some eight years, dying in 1913 aged 77. Eliza lived even longer, dying in 1923 at 84.
To try and discover David’s parentage I looked at the 1861 census. He was there but as a lodger in the household of his brother-in-law and married sister, George and Elizabeth Gould. He was then single, aged 27, a plate layer born at Dinas Powis:
I looked at the census of 1851; again, David was there but this time as a farm servant, aged 17, at St Andrews, Glamorgan, a parish which included Dinas Powis. He was working for a 70 year-old widow called Mary Jones:
I had to go to the 1841 census to find who David’s parents were and this time I was successful. The family were found at Dynas Powis (spelling of the name varied over the years) and David was aged seven, his parents being Charles and Eleanor Yorath:
Charles Yorath was an agricultural labourer of 30 and his wife was 28 (ages were reduced in 1841 to the nearest lower multiple of five). Besides David there were three other children aged from 9 to 1.
The 1851 census saw Charles and Eleanor Yorath at an address called Little Turnpike, St John, Cardiff. As mentioned, David was not at home, being a farm servant at St Andrews, but they had two daughters of 11 and 8 and a son of 2 with them:
Charles Yorath was aged 41 and his birth place was given as Lantwit Major, a village near the sea a few miles west of Barry, and Eleanor’s birth place was shown as Cogan which is near Penarth, south of Cardiff. The two-year-old son was called Morgan Yorath, which suggests Eleanor’s maiden surname may have been Morgan. Charles and Eleanor Yorath were the 4x-great-grandparents of Gabby Logan, Charles being born in around 1810.
To close this account of Gabby Logan’s family tree I will return to the maiden name of her paternal grandmother, Mary Sigallias. Hardly a Welsh surname, you would have thought? Well, no, it wasn’t. It first appears in the birth, marriage and death indexes with the death at Swansea in the last quarter of 1894 of a Nicholas Sigallias, aged 42. Who was he?
I found him in the 1891 census as N. Sigallias with his wife, Sarah Jane. They were at 20 Herbert Place, Swansea, and his occupation was given as a fruiter, aged 36, his birth place being Syra, Greece. His age in the census and at death don’t quite tie up, but this is far from uncommon!
On the website of the London Gazette, the official government newspaper of record, I found a notice saying Nicholas Sigallias of Swansea was granted naturalization on 20 February 1893. Also interesting was my finding that in 1891 the birth place of his wife, Sarah Jane Sigallias, 34, was given as ‘Savanah, America’. Presumably, this referred to Savannah, Georgia, in America’s Deep South.
The couple had a son, Michael Sigallias, born at Swansea in the second quarter of 1893. After Nicholas’s death, Sarah Jane remarried in 1895 to a William Francis O’Bryan, but she is not found with him in the censuses of 1901 or 1911.
In 1901 Sarah and her son were in Cardiff at 6 Adelaide Street, St Mary. She was recorded as Sarah O’Brien, 43, a retired publican, and her birth place was given as ‘America, Naturalized English Subject’. Michael Sigallias, her son, was aged 8, born at Swansea:
Also in the household was George B. Hugo, 32, a street musician born at Exeter who, interestingly enough, appeared also in the 1911 census with Sarah and her son at 8 South William Street, Docks, Cardiff:
Michael has been transcribed as Syslies but by the time you read this it may have been corrected. He was then 18 and a baker.
This, too, is an interesting entry, for it suggests that Sarah was now living with George Berry Hugo, the musician, since it was he who completed the schedule, even though he was described as a boarder and Sarah the head of the household. Sarah was now 53 and this time her birth place was given as ‘America – Nat. Brit. Sub.’. What happened to her second husband William I cannot say.
To complete the picture, James M. Sigallias married Margaretta Geary at Cardiff in 1914 and their daughter, Mary M. Sigallias – Gabby Logan’s grandmother – was born in the first quarter of 1918.
That Michael Sigallias and James M. Sigallias were the same man I have no doubt, for his death was recorded in both names on the same page of the GRO death indexes, with the same reference number, in 1967.
A number of people called Sigallias were born in Cardiff and it seems likely that all of them descend from Nicholas and Sarah Jane Sigallias, Gabby Logan’s great-great-grandparents, and must, therefore, be related to her in a truly international family.
Welcome to the latest post in our series of blogs exploring the family trees of the famous. Experienced family historian, Roy Stockdill, takes us on a journey through time as he investigates the family history of the famous, both living and dead. This time, Roy delves into TV presenter John Craven’s past.
We’ve never met but I feel a kind of affinity with John Craven, the popular TV presenter. We’re both West Yorkshire lads, born very close in time to one another, and we both began our careers as junior reporters on local newspapers. John went on to become presenter of John Craven’s Newsround and later the BBC’s Countryfile.
John Raymond Craven OBE was born on 16 August 1940 in Leeds. He is the son of Willie Craven and Marie Noble, who were married on 27 December 1937 at Kirkstall Congregational Chapel, Leeds. Willie, aged 27, was a grocer’s assistant and Marie, 25, was a printers’ envelope maker. The marriage certificate shows Willie’s father as William Henry Craven, a blacksmith, and Marie’s father was Percy Noble, an assistant overlooker.
Willie Craven – he appears in the birth indexes as Willie, not William – was born in the registration district of Bramley, Leeds, on 29 November 1910 but his birth wasn’t registered until the following quarter, January-March 1911. I discovered the actual birth date from the index record of Willie’s death in 1990.
Willie just crept into the 1911 census, aged four months. He was living at 4 Drury Street, Armley, a large Leeds suburb, with his parents William Henry and Sarah Ann Craven. William Henry, blacksmith, and his wife were both aged 32 and had been married six years:
Also in the household was Willie’s older sister, Mary, two, and a boarder, Charles Henry May, 28, an iron moulder and the brother of Sarah Ann Craven whose maiden name was May. The whole family gave their birth place as Leeds.
John Craven’s paternal grandparents, William Henry Craven and Sarah Ann May, were married in 1905 at St Bartholomew’s Church, Armley. In the census of 1901, William’s family were at 13 Temperance Street, Headingley cum Burley, Kirkstall, Leeds, with William then single and aged 22, the eldest of three sons and two daughters whose ages ranged down to five. Head of the household was William’s widowed mother, Eliza Craven, a 45-year-old charwoman:
One slight surprise was that, while all the children were shown as being born in Leeds, Eliza’s birth place was given as Stratford, London – the only one of John Craven’s direct paternal line ancestors I came across who was born outside Yorkshire.
Researching John Craven’s paternal family tree farther back beyond his grandfather William Henry, the blacksmith, I discovered three successive generations of direct male ancestors who were all called Joshua Craven. For simplicity, I will refer to them as Joshua one, Joshua two and Joshua three but they will appear in this account in reverse order. Hopefully, all will become clear!
I looked for William Craven in the 1891 census and found him with his parents, Joshua and Eliza Craven, at 20, Club Row, Headingley With Burley, Kirkstall, Leeds. William was then a scholar of 12 with an older sister Mary, 15 and two younger brothers, George six and Albert one, all born at Kirkstall:
The father, Joshua three, was a forgeman (iron worker) of 38, born at Armley, and his wife Eliza was 36, born in London, just as she had appeared in the 1901 census. I found from the death indexes that Joshua died in the first quarter of 1900, which accounted for Eliza being a widow in the latter census.
In the 1881 census Joshua’s name was abbreviated to Josh and the first name of his wife Eliza was enumerated as Elixer! Initially, I thought this must be a mis-transcription but a close examination of the schedule revealed that this was how the enumerator had written it.
It’s worth noting here that you should never submit a correction to an enumerator’s entry if it has been correctly transcribed, even if you believe it to be wrong. The golden rule of census transcribing is that you write exactly what you see and what the enumerator has put down.
The family were at 7, Woodgrove St, Headingley With Burley with Joshua aged 27, an iron forgeman, Eliza, 25 and a woollen weaver and two children, Mary, five and son William H, then only two:
The birth of Joshua Craven (Joshua three) was registered in the Hunslet registration district of Leeds in 1854 and he married Eliza Slater at St Mathias’ Church, Burley, Leeds in 1875. These were the parents of William Henry, the blacksmith and the great-grandparents of John Craven.
At birth Joshua was given the middle name of Standfield and when he married it was shown as Stanfield. This would later become important in tracing the Craven family tree back further.
I looked for Joshua three in the censuses of 1871 and 1861 and found him in 1871 with his mother and four siblings at St Ann Row, Headingley Cum Burley, Leeds:
Joshua was then aged 17 and described as a forge boy in the iron trade. He had two sisters and two brothers, while the head of the household was Harriet Craven, aged 44 and born at Armley.
Harriet was a widow, which meant I had to go to the census of 1861 to try and discover who Joshua three’s father was. Living at Far Fold, Armley, Leeds was the family of Joshua and Harriet Craven with a family of three sons and two daughters including Joshua Jr, born in 1854 at Armley. The family are spread over two pages in the census:
Joshua Craven (Joshua two) was aged 32 and an iron forgeman – just as his son became – born at Wortley, near Armley. His wife Harriet was a couple of years older at 34 and this couple were John Craven’s great-great-grandparents.
The 1861 census is particularly significant in the Craven family history because all three Joshua Cravens appear in it. I have already mentioned Joshua three and Joshua two, but also in the census of 1861 were Joshua Craven one and his wife, Sarah.
They were living at Wingate Road, Armley, Leeds. This Joshua was John Craven’s great-great-great-grandfather and he too was an iron worker, a forge labourer, like his son and grandson:
Joshua one was born in around 1803 at Pudsey, an industrial town midway between Leeds and Bradford, while his wife Sarah, also 58, was born at Wortley, Leeds.
I will explain shortly how I managed to tie the three Joshuas together, who were all linked by the middle name of Stansfield, Standfield or Stanfield – undoubtedly the common factor, never mind the spelling!
First I found the death of Joshua Standfield Craven in 1864 at Bramley registration district. This was Joshua two, born in about 1829, so he was only in his mid-30s when he died. This explained why Harriet Craven was a widow in 1871.
Searching the 1851 census, I came across something which initially threw me and made me wonder whether I had the right man. Joshua two was there; however, his wife’s name was given as Elizabeth and not Harriet! Everything else seemed to fit: Joshua’s age was given as 22, his birth year 1829, his occupation as a pudler (another iron trade job) and his birth place as Armley.
The couple were living at Wingate, Armley, Leeds and Elizabeth was also aged 22 and described as a domestic. With them was a two-year-old son, Thomas Craven:
After research in the General Register Office marriage indexes and the marriage indexes at Yorkshire register office, I established that a Joshua Craven married Elizabeth Nichols at the parish church of St Peter’s, Leeds, in the second quarter of 1849.
A search of the death indexes produced a number of Elizabeth Cravens who died in the Leeds area between 1851 and 1854, one of whom was the wife of Joshua two. The most likely candidate was an Elizabeth who died in the April-June quarter of 1851, for in the first quarter of 1852, Joshua Craven married Harriet Atha at St Philip’s Church, Leeds.
So the mystery was solved! Poor Elizabeth died young at only 22 and Joshua remarried a few months later to Harriet and had more children with her.
The father of Joshua two – Joshua one – was also found in the 1851 census living near his son, also at Wingate, Armley. The two Joshuas appeared on adjacent pages and were just a few doors from one another:
Joshua one’s birth year was shown as 1803, his wife Sarah Craven’s was the same and there were three sons whose ages ranged from 11 to 19, the whole family being shown as born at Armley. A nephew and niece were also in the household.
In the 1841 census both Joshuas, with other sons of Joshua and Sarah, were found at Wingate, Armley, with the ages of Joshua one and Sarah rounded down to 35 and Joshua Jr aged 12:
Now to the final piece of the puzzle which enabled me to get the family tree of John Craven back yet one more generation. Joshua one died in 1878, aged 75, so he outlived his son, Joshua two, by some 14 years. I mentioned that Joshua two was described at death as Joshua Standfield Craven and his son (Joshua three) was registered at birth also as Joshua Standfield Craven.
I discovered that a Joshua Stansfield [sic] Craven was baptised at Wortley by Leeds on 11 April 1830, son of Joshua and Sarah. The likelihood is fairly high that this was Joshua two.
I was unable to identify for certain the maiden name of Joshua’s mother, Sarah, for there were several possible marriages in the Leeds area for a Joshua Craven to a Sarah between 1818 and 1823. I believe, however, that I found the baptism of Joshua one at Pudsey on 29 August 1802, the father being shown as Abraham Craven. Pudsey was given as Joshua’s birth place in the 1861 census.
Pudsey had a Chapel of Ease to the then larger parish of Calverley. The online registers revealed the extra information that Joshua one’s mother was called Elisabeth. I then found the marriage of Abraham Craven, a clothier, to Elisabeth Stansfield at Calverley on 8 December 1793.
So it looks as if Joshua Stansfield Craven (Joshua two) was given his grandmother’s maiden name as a middle name and he then passed it on to his own son, Joshua three.
If my speculation is correct, then Abraham Craven and Elisabeth Stansfield were the great-great-great-great grandparents of John Craven.
The last name Craven appears in the registers of Calverley many times, going back to as early as a baptism of Robert Craven in 1585 in the time of Elizabeth I, with the earliest marriage being that of another Robert Craven to Sybil Baytson in 1596. Maybe these were much earlier ancestors of John Craven, but it would take considerably more research (and substantially more space than I have here) to get the pedigree that far back.