Monday, 26 June 2017

WW1 Soldier's Story - Fergus O'Connor Law Buried at Rawmarsh

Two weeks ago the OH and I called in at the cemetery on Haugh Road, Rawmarsh.  It is a bit out of our local area, but we were on the way back from the Parkgate Shopping precinct in Rotherham, and I can't resist some WW1 gravestone potential! Little were we to know that just a short while afterwards I would be taken very ill and spend the next few days in and out of hospital.

It is only now that I've finally been able to concentrate enough to start processing the pictures we took that afternoon, and I can still only use my tablet in short bursts. I haven't turned my laptop on to do research yet. Happily the temptation of these photos is helping me overcome some of my tiredness, and hopefully I'm now on the mend.

Fergus Law's grave at Rawmarsh Cemetery
This is the CWGC gravestone of Fergus Law, born 1883 in Barnsley, died of wounds in May 1917 in a military  hospital in Epsom, Surrey. Follow the link to his page on the IWM site Lives of the First World War where you will find a photo of Fergus from the Barnsley Chronicle (with thanks to Barnsley Archives). He was a Private in the 2nd/5th Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment, one of the Territorial battalions.

The family citation at the foot of the stone reads, "Some Time We'll Understand."  I must confess it made me tear up a little at the time to read that sentiment. Yes, I expect the loss of a loved one in his prime is very difficult to come to terms with. Fergus would have been around 34 years old, although the CWGC have his age as 39 for some reason.

But who requested that message?
Citation instructions and contact details - CWGC website
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) recently added sone additional documents to their site which give more information on the graves and gravestones listed. On Fergus Law's page the document above tells us that his citation was billed to a Mrs F Smith of Upper Haugh, Rawmarsh. As I understand it despite a request for payment at three and a half pence per letter and space, six shillings and five pence in this case, families and/or next of kin were not obliged to pay if they could not afford it.
1911 census for 60 Upper Haugh, Rawmarsh (from Ancestry.co.uk)
In 1911 Fergus Law was a lodger in the Smith household at 60 Upper Haugh, Rawmarsh. He is a 27 year old Iron Moulder. None of the detail of the Smith family suggests a kin connection, so I can only assume he was a genuine, unrelated lodger. He must have had a very good impression of the family for Mrs Smith to be his named sole legatee. This is confirmed on the Army Register of Soldiers' Effects which can be seen on Ancestry. In the report of his death in the Barnsley Chronicle on 30 June 1917 it notes that he had worked at the Low Stubbin Colliery in Rawmarsh before enlisting.  His entry in Soldiers Died in the Great War tell us that he enlisted in Rotherham.

Fergus was born in Barnsley, probably on Waltham Street off Sheffield Road in the autumn of 1883. His parents were Fergus Law (b.1841) and his wife Sarah Ann (nee Tingle, b.1850). They had married on 4 September 1871 at St John's church in the Barebones area of Barnsley. There were seven children born to the couple, two of whom died before the 1911 census (I have identified one as Fred Law who died aged 18 months in 1877) and all three of their surviving sons served in the Great War. Fergus, as we know, died of wounds in May 1917, Walter, who served in the KOYLI, was killed in action in December 1917 and Arthur, who served with the Royal Engineers, survived the war. Both Walter and Arthur had Fergus as a middle name which does make for some confusion in their records! In addition both Fergus and Walter have O'Connor as a middle name.
Baptism in the St Peter's District of St Mary's Church, Barnsley 3rd February1884 (from Ancestry.co.uk)
Feargus O'Connor (1794-1855) was an Irish Chartist, who led a movement to try to provide smallholdings for the working classes. His name was obviously well known to the Law family for them to give it or part of it to their sons.

Fergus and Walter Law are both remembered on the additional name panel below the main war memorial in St Peter's Church on Doncaster Road in Barnsley.  These names were added in November 1921 after the main memorial was dedicated in June of that year.

Fergus Law senior had predeceased his sons in October 1914 and is buried in plot R 222 in Barnsley Cemetery. His widow Sarah, still living on Waltham Street, died in 1922 and is buried in the same plot. This makes me wonder why Fergus jnr was buried in Rawmarsh, not in the family plot in Barnsley? Brother Arthur died in 1946 and was also buried in R 222.

Walter Law had married Bertha Dewsnap in 1910 and when he left her a widow in 1917 she had four children. One of the Law daughters, Eva, also married and had at least eight children with her husband William Walton. So there are probably Law descendants in Barnsley today. I wonder if they know about their WW1 ancestors?

Monday, 5 June 2017

The Moorhouse Family and the Pindar Oaks Hotel

First published in November 2016 in Barnsley CAMRA's BAR magazine

As part of a project to Remember all of Barnsley’s WW1 servicemen and women last year the Barnsley War Memorials Project transcribed the 1918 Absent Voters’ List which gives the names and military details of over 6,000 men from Barnsley who served in the war, most of whom came home safely. Two thirds of service records from WW1 were destroyed in the blitz in WW2 so this listing is often the only clue we have to these men’s time in the armed forces. A copy of the transcription can be found in Barnsley Archives where you can also view the original document on request. Pubs are not named in the Voters’ List but if on checking the address in the 1911 census the occupation of the residents suggests the pub trade the Tasker Trust website is the next place to call to find a photo of a lost pub.

The Moorhouse brothers, Ben and Henry appear in the Absent Voters’ list at 274 Doncaster Road. Ben is listed as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers and Henry as a Lance Corporal in the 4th Reserve Battalion of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Trying to find Ben on the Lives of the First World War website the only match available was a Captain Ben Moorhouse – but checking his Medal Index Card confirmed his home address as above, so he had been promoted quite rapidly. Only men who served abroad have medal cards and nothing could be found for Henry, suggesting he served his time entirely in the UK. 



Pinder Oaks Hotel copyright the Tasker Trust
In the 1911 census no. 274 Doncaster Road is named as the Pindar Oaks Hotel, and is the home of the Moorhouse family headed by George Henry Moorhouse, occupation beerhouse keeper, aged 38, married to Sarah, with five surviving children (a baby, Walter, died in 1897 aged just 3 months) living at home along with a niece, a servant girl and a visitor. His son Ben is 16 years old and ‘assisting in the business’, whilst Henry is 14 years old and is an apprentice joiner.

On the Tasker Trust website a search for the pub brings back this picture and a list of occupants covering one hundred years.

The first licensee listed was John Harper in 1872, then Henry Moorhouse took over in 1883. A quick search of local newspapers on the Find My Past website returns a few mentions of Henry at the pub. In September 1883 the York Herald reports that H Moorhouse of the Pinder Oaks Hotel, Measbro’ Dyke, offered £15 in prizes for a Pigeon Flying Leger which was advertised as the largest competition to take place in South Yorkshire for some time. The birds flew from Doncaster Railway Station to their own cotes at Ardsley and Barnsley. Henry advertises a Grocer’s Shop and House to let at Barugh Green in the Barnsley Chronicle in 1885, which could have been the family’s previous home. Henry died in June 1898 aged 66 and is buried in Barnsley Cemetery. The pub passed to his widow Betty and then on her retirement in 1908 to their son George Henry Moorhouse, who had previously been a Pork Butcher at 260 Doncaster Road. Betty dies in 1922 aged 84 and is buried with her husband. In 1929 George Henry and his wife Sarah retire to a nice new semi-detached house in Doncaster and their son Henry Moorhouse jnr, who had been the KOYLI soldier in WW1, takes over the pub very briefly until his death in October 1929 aged just 33. The next name listed on the Tasker site is Elsie Moorhouse, who is Henry jnr’s widow. The pub passes out of the family in 1932 with five more licensees until its closure in 1972.

Top of Portland Street (from Google Maps)
A picture from a similar viewpoint on Google Maps today shows new housing on Portland Street has replaced the pub.

The 49 year tenure of the Moorhouse family at the Pindar Oaks Hotel was not their only connection to the pub trade. Tracing the family backwards through the census returns before their arrival on Doncaster Road I found that they were at the Spencers Arms at Barugh in 1881. Henry Moorhouse snr, born 1833 in Hepworth, nr Holmfirth, is listed as a Beer Seller. Henry and his family were in Barugh at an unnamed establishment in 1871, where he was listed as a Miner and Publican. A newspaper cutting from 1869 mentions Henry Moorhouse applying for a spirit licence for a beerhouse in Ardsley, which was refused, but with a watching brief for the next year. In 1861 they were living at Low Hill, Higham and Henry’s occupation was solely as a Miner. The family appear to have progressed from a modest background and worked their way up by taking on various pub businesses and expanding over the years.

I did wonder why Ben Moorhouse, being the elder son, had not taken over the Pindar Oaks Hotel in 1929 when his father retired. It seems that obtaining a commission in the Royal Engineers during the war changed his life. He had enlisted early in the war, first arriving in France in October 1915. He was commissioned in September 1917 and would have had some special training as a ‘temporary gentleman’ as part of this. After the war he took a B.Eng Degree whilst still living at the Pindar Oaks Hotel. 


He married Phyllis Crossland, daughter of the Registrar at Barnsley Cemetery in 1924 giving his occupation as Engineer; his brother Henry had married her sister Elsie in 1920. He had finished his Electrical Engineering degree by 1927 because by then he and Phyllis had moved to a new semi-detached house in Osbaldwick near York. In 1939 he is a Works Manager for a firm of Chocolate and Confectionary Manufacturers in York (maybe Terry’s?). The Moorhouse family’s journey from coal miners to professionals had continued, helped along the way by Ben’s experiences in the First World War. No wonder he hadn’t wanted to take on the family pub!

WW1 Soldier's Story - Harold Peart and the Thorpe Hesley War Memorials

On Saturday I was double checking the last few 'Orphans' on the huge list of WW1 casualties the Barnsley War Memorials Project (BWMP) have accumulated over the past three and a bit years against my particular interest, the Imperial War Museum's Lives of the First World War website.  I am no longer on the Committee of the Project but I couldn't possibly stop researching the men (and women) just yet and I fully support the Project's current campaign to develop and print a Roll of Honour naming all the men by November 2018.  Many of the Project volunteers are currently working on trying to solve mystery names on the various war memorials and on other aspects of data checking before compiling the final version of the Roll of Honour.

Orphan names are those of men who were killed in WW1 who were either born in Barnsley or who demonstrably lived here at the time of their enlistment into the armed services but who are not named on any of the 649 war memorials found in the borough.  
Harold Peart's SDWG index entry from Ancestry
Many men enlisted in Barnsley from other parts of the county, travelling from Sheffield and Wakefield and even further afield to do so. Soldiers Died in the Great War (SDGW) includes a line to tell you where men enlisted but that doesn't mean that I can take it for granted they actually lived in the borough at the time. Sometimes a line for Residence is included, but for Corporal Harold Peart, above, this has not been shown. Other problems around the SDGW dataset include mis-spelling of Barnsley and the surrounding villages, inclusion of areas such as Woolley and Wath in Barnsley (they were part of Barnsley in the early 1900s but are not any more) and especially for officers, the total lack of useful information!  
A report on Harold Peart's death from the Barnsley Chronicle 23 November 1918
with thanks to Barnsley Archives
A search of the local newspapers for mentions of the man can often help.  The BWMP have recently completed an index to the Barnsley Chronicle from August 1914 to March 1919 which is available at Barnsley Archives. It makes looking up a name very easy and you can often find multiple mentions of a man and trace their war time career through the newspaper reports.  Other local newspapers, the Barnsley Independent and the South Yorkshire Times, are also available at Barnsley Archives on microfilm and other Yorkshire newspapers can be found on the British Newspaper Archive or on Find My Past.  Harold Peart's death was reported in the Barnsley Chronicle in late November 1918 and the article helpfully states that the family lived at 3 Newton Street, Barnsley and that Harold had worked locally before his enlistment. As he was only 22 and unmarried I think it is fairly safe to assume that he still lived at home with his parents when he enlisted.  The article also gives confirmation of Harold's Military Medal which was noted in the SDGW entry although I could see no reference to this in the Chronicle index for the previous year.

A further check is provided by the 1918 Absent Voters' List, also transcribed by the BWMP and available on the open shelves at Barnsley Archives.  

Ward    PD    No    Surname    Forenames    Street    House     No    Service No    Rank    Battalion    Regiment  
West    13P    4010    Peart    Harold        Newton Street    3                   2333        Pte    1/5        Y & L  
 


This confirms that Harold's last known address was the family home at 3 Newton Street.

Newton Street runs off Summer Lane onto Farrar Street and is on the same side of the town centre as Cranbrook Street where I found the Peart family in the 1911 census. At that time Harold's mother Mary Elizabeth was still alive having had eight children, three of whom had died before the census was taken.  I can find burials for two of these children in Barnsley Cemetery, Colin in 1910 aged 4 months and Elsie aged 8 months in 1912, both from 48 Cranbrook Street but their mother is not buried with them. The index to burials in Barnsley Cemetery is also available at Barnsley Archives - it is a great place to visit if you are doing your family history, with so many more local resources than are available online! Sadly the grave plots mentioned in the two children's burials appear to be 'pauper graves' as all the burials are around the same dates. FreeBMD tells us that Mary Elizabeth died in 1913 aged just 36. So where is she buried?  Harold's father Wilfred did not pass away until 1960 and he is not buried in Barnsley Cemetery either. With a family of young children to support I was not surprised to find him remarrying in 1918, somewhere in the Barnsley area.  His second wife, Mary Ann is buried in Barnsley Cemetery in 1937 from 3 Newton Street, aged 70.

When I see a man is not remembered on a Barnsley memorial my next thought is to search the place where he was born.  In the case of Harold Peart I was lucky to find a list of names on the Thorpe Hesley war memorial on the Genuki website. A H Peart is included on the list which could be Harold. In an attempt to find some good pictures of the war memorial at the Holy Trinity church in Thorpe Hesley I came across the church's own Flickr account.  What a wonderful resource!  There were pictures of all kinds of social and religious event in the area going back a number of years including several Remembrance Sunday services.  I was intrigued to see that the congregation, including Scouts, Guides and Brownies all paraded through the village on these occasions to another memorial for a second wreath laying.  So much so that I got the OH to take me up to Thorpe Hesley yesterday to have a look at the two memorials.
Holy Trinity

The soldier on top of the memorial outside the church reminds me of the one at Dodworth in Barnsley, the detail of his uniform and rifle are quite amazing.  And those look like shell cases surrounding the base!  H Peart is named on the right hand side of the pillar.  

It looks well cared for, although the soldier could do with a little cleaning as he is a bit greenish.
Flanders Court

The second memorial is at Flanders Court, a little housing development higher up in the village.  It consists of two stone plaques laid down in a brick paving frame, it is set at a slight incline but sadly the names are already weathering.  According to the entry for this memorial on the War Memorial Register there are 212 names listed of men from the village who served in WW1.  H Peart MM is named near the foot of the middle column of names. This is a rare and special kind of memorial as most list only the men who lost their lives. A passing resident was able to tell us that the plaques had been saved from the nearby Mechanics' Institute, which, to my surprise, was still standing.  She told us that the building could not be demolished as it was listed (which was not substantiated by a search of Rotherham Council's website; the cottages beside it are but not the old Institute) but that the new owners had not wanted the enormous Roll of Honour. (Click on the OH's pictures to see them enlarged.)
Former Mechanics' Institute Thorpe Hesley
In the picture above taken from Thorpe Street, you can see a large centrally positioned stone frame which we guessed had been the original position of the Roll of Honour. It now contains an advertisement for the occupiers of the building. To the left is a gennel (alleyway) leading to the Housing Association development Flanders Court (built in 1988) where the Roll of Honour now lies.

I think that the inclusion of a Military Medal citation on the Roll of Honour strongly suggests that the H Peart listed on this and the church war memorial are the same Harold who lived in Barnsley. There was another H Peart who was awarded the Military Medal, but he survived the war.

The Peart family appear to move from Thorpe Hesley to Barnsley between the the birth of the youngest child shown on the 1911 census, Miriam b.1907 and the birth of Colin in Barnsley in 1909. The three children already lost by 1911 are Eva, b.1904 in Thorpe Hesley, Josiah b.1905 in Thorpe Hesley (both buried in Thorpe Hesley) and Colin b.1909 in Barnsley. Subsequently Elsie b.1911 dies in Barnsley in 1912 and a further child Arthur John is born in 1913 who survives.  It could be this last child who contributes to his mother's death. She bore ten children in total between 1896 and 1913.

It seems that despite the move the family still retained ties to Thorpe Hesley as I found the burial of Mary Elizabeth Peart aged 36 recorded in the church there on 1 July 1913. This is undoubtedly Harold's mother. It would be nice to think that she rejoined her two little lost babies there.   

Harold, meanwhile, is buried in York Cemetery, Haspres, Northern France in plot D.4. His headstone bears no family citation but probably does record his Military Medal.

Harold Peart's Lives of the First World War page

Friday, 2 June 2017

WW1 Soldier's Story - Thomas William Halton

I became interested in this man's family and his story when I began to add his war memorial gravestone to the Imperial War Museum's War Memorial Register.
 
Halton family memorial
in Barnsley Cemetery

The family gravestone is unusually elaborate and wordy for Barnsley Cemetery. It seems that Thomas' father Matthew Corri Halton was the mayor of Barnsley from 1892 to 1894 and had been a doctor in the town since 1868, marrying a local girl, Lucy Ann Allen here in 1876.

His section of the inscription reads, "Of Your Charity / Pray For The Soul Of / Lieutenant Surgeon Matthew C.S. Halton / M.D., J.P. / Late mayor of Barnsley / Born June 3rd 1843 / Died March 7th 1899 / R.I.P. / Jesus. Mercy. Mary. Help."

An obituary for Matthew in the British Medical Journal (25 March 1899) explained that he was originally from Mullingar, Ireland and his father had been the organist in the Catholic Cathedral there for fifty years. The family were living in Church Street in Barnsley in the 1881 and 1891 census returns. He died of influenza complicated by pneumonia leaving his wife, Lucy, two sons, Thomas and Patrick and a daughter Mary. 

Lucy Halton passed away herself in 1902 from the house in Hopwood Street where she had been living with Thomas and Mary in 1901. Her occupation was given as 'Living on own means' and she left £4,600 when she died.

Her portion of the inscription reads, "Also of Your Charity / Pray for the Repose / of the Soul of / His Beloved Wife / Lucy Ann / Born March 21st 1848 / Died June 4th 1902 / R.I.P. / Jesus. Mercy. Mary. Help."

Patrick had already left home and in 1901 was living with his uncle Michael Halton, who was also a doctor, in Leigh in Lancashire.  Patrick's occupation in the census is given as Medical Student.  He must not have found this career to his taste as in the 1911 census, after his marriage in 1909 to a Manchester girl Mary McDonnell, his occupation is given as Clerk to a Coal Merchant.  The recently married couple don't yet have any children, but lodging with them is Patrick's brother Thomas, now aged 33, a 'Gentleman with private means'.  The house at 9 Princess Road South, Moss Side, Manchester had seven rooms and is where Patrick and Mary were still living in December 1915 when he attested, although by then children Patrick (b.Dec 1911) and Mary (b.May 1913) had joined the family. Patrick was not mobilised, probably due to his age (he was 37 years old in 1915) until July 1917 when he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps as a Private, presumably being able to put his earlier medical training to good use. By then he had a third child, Matthew (b.Jan 1916).  His records show that he attended some courses of training to be a medical orderly and that he was smart and efficient in this role.

Thomas William Halton's army service records do not appear to have survived, but we know that he initially joined the Lancashire Fusiliers (Service no.30956) and was then transferred to the Labour Corps (Service no.276853). He may have knocked a couple of years off his age when he enlisted as we know he was baptised at the Holy Rood Church in Barnsley in May 1877, yet his Commonwealth War Graves Commission entry states that his age at death in 1918 was only 39 years (suggesting he gave a birth date in 1879).

The inscription on the family gravestone shown above states that Thomas was 'accidentally killed in France April 24th 1918'. Little more can be gleaned from the additional documents on the CWGC site which say that he died of 'accidental injuries'. There is nothing in the Barnsley newspapers about his death, but that is not surprising as he and his brother had been based in Manchester for some years by this time.

However his sister Mary Magdalen Halton had married locally to Harold Henry Dransfield, a Brewer, in August 1910 and was living in Darton in 1911.  I am surprised there wasn't a death notice in the local newspaper at least. In 1939 Harold and Mary are living at 22 Paddock Road in Darton and Harold is a retired Moulder of Iron and Steel. They have one son, Richard (b.1911) who is an Engineers General Turner. Mary and Harold die in Darton in 1950 in their 70s within a few days of each other and are buried in the churchyard there. 

Patrick Halton pays 6 shillings and 1 penny (or at least agrees to pay, as I understand not everyone was charged) for a personal citation at the foot of Thomas' CWGC gravestone in Guarbecque Churchyard in France.  Matching the style of the family stone in Barnsley Cemetery it reads 'R.I.P. Jesus Mercy, Mary Help".  By this time Patrick's address was 255 Princess Road, Moss Side, Manchester.  
Death Notice from the Manchester Evening News 1 May 1918 (thanks to Find My Past Newspapers)
Patrick must also have put the above death notice in his local newspaper. Although it does confirm that Thomas remained in Manchester up to the time of his enlistment (tallying with his entry on Soldiers Died in the Great War) it still doesn't give any more information about his death.  In 1939 Patrick and Mary are still living at the same address in Manchester. Patrick is now a Kitchen Clerk in a Restaurant and his two sons, Patrick and Matthew are both Insurance Agents. His youngest son, Phillip (b.1922) is blanked out in the 1939 Register on Find My Past as he may still be alive. We know that Patrick snr dies in 1942 as he is also buried in the family plot in Barnsley Cemetery. 

His inscription reads, "Also Patrick Allen / Dearly beloved husband / of Mary Halton / and son of / Dr Matthew C.S. Halton / born June 23rd 1878 / died Feby 3rd 1942 / Jesus. Mercy. Mary. Help."

Thomas William Halton left a will and his effects amounted to £2551 8s 3d. His executor was an accountant, William Peckett Moulton, who was also named on his entry in the Army Register of Soldiers' Effects

A Google search of his name gave me a hit on the Derbyshire War Memorials site. Thomas is remembered at Mount St Mary's College in Spinkhill in Derbyshire, which was a Jesuit school in the 19th century. It is about 25 miles from Barnsley so Thomas must have been a boarder.  There is no other information about his schooling on the site however.

He does not appear to have ever married and is not noted as having any particular occupation in any census return in which he appears.  All in all he's still quite a mystery.


Thomas William Halton on Lives of the First World War
Patrick Allen Halton on Lives of the First World War

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

What Happens to Jane Lewin? Died or Divorced or Something Else?

When I first found Minnie Pagett marrying Henry Lewin in 1898 I probably believed what it said on their marriage certificate.
1898 marriage of Henry and Minnie at Wakefield Cathedral
I added it to the OH's family tree in 2009 after my great break-through which I related in my two posts about his great grandmother Edith Alice, here and here. Henry Lewin is 37 years old and says he is a bachelor, Minnie is 26 years old and says she is a widow.  Odd now I look back at it that an older unmarried man would marry a young single mother . My theory was that Minnie said she was a widow to explain the babe in arms that was Edith Alice, no more than two months old at the time.
1891 census for Stanley Common, Derbyshire (thanks to Ancestry)
Since then I have worked out that Henry was fibbing too! He had been married long enough to produce two sons, William and Albert, who are living with him and his first wife Jane in Stanley, Derbyshire in 1891.  This means that when Henry married Minnie he had at least two small sons for her to take care of in addition to her own child. That makes more sense actually, I assumed for a long time that Jane had recently passed away in 1898 and that Henry had remarried to obtain a housekeeper and child care. But why did he say he was a bachelor?


Following the email from a Lewin relative the other night I started looking back into Henry's history.  As he is not a direct ancestor of the OH this is not something that I had done before. My correspondent noted that Henry and Jane had married in 1887 in Wales ... Oh dear, I had them down as marrying in early 1888 in Nottingham because, as you can see above both say they were born in Hertfordshire and William was not born until late 1888.  I had missed the clue that William was born in Wales!
 
1887 index entry from FreeBMD

So this is the marriage I should have put in the OH's tree.  Henry's first wife's surname at the time of this marriage was Symons.

I was able to cross check this using the new online GRO indexes.  William James Lewin was born  in the September quarter of 1888 in the Neath Registration District and his mother's maiden name was Symons.  Great, a match, well done me! 

Sadly things do not continue as straightforwardly.  Searching using the criteria of surname Lewin and Symons as the mother's maiden name I found a boy, George Henry, born in the Merthyr Tydfil District in Q4 1889 and another, William John, born in the Penzance District in Q2 1891.  Umm, probably not both the family I am looking for as they wouldn't have two sons called William.  It seems there was another Lewin/Symons marriage in Yarmouth in 1884.  I must take that into account. 

A child called George Henry Lewin dies in the Pontypool District in Q4 1896 aged 7 years (or possibly months, you have to be careful with the GRO indexes as this can be an error with the transcriptions).  But no, FreeBMD concurs, he was 7 years old.  So where was he in 1891 when Henry and Jane were in Derbyshire? Staying with grandparents or other relatives maybe. A search of the 1891 census on Ancestry has not turned up any stray 2 year old children called George Lewin, so I am a bit baffled by this. 

We also know that Henry and Jane have a 9 month old son in the 1891 census, Albert E Lewin born in Derbyshire in 1890, but I didn't find him in my search with Symons as mother's maiden name.
1890 GRO index entry for Albert E Lewin born in Derbyshire
Ah, here he is.  The only record that fits is for Albert Edward Lewin, born Q3 1890 in the Shardlow District, mother's maiden name James!  Err .... what, this can't be right. To check this I went back to first principles and looked at the actual images of the pages of the 1887 GRO marriage indexes to make sure there wasn't a misprint in the Volume and Number.  But no, both Henry Lewin and Jane Symons are Q3 Pontypridd 11a 597 as FreeBMD states. Two Jane James do get married in Wales that quarter, but neither in Pontypridd.


Does this mean Henry married two girls called Jane? One called Symons and one called James? There is no evidence on FreeBMD that Henry Lewin ever married anyone with the surname James but it could have been her maiden name and Symons was a married name. They then declared Symons for William by mistake and put it right for the rest of the children. Or really bad handwriting! Ok, there are no Jane James born in Hertfordshire in 1867 or thereabouts so the stated birthplace on the 1891 census must have been an enthusiastic ditto mark. There are lots born in Wales, far too many guess which is the right one. I couldn't find a Jane James marrying anyone called Symons.

A selection of Online trees for Henry Lewin
Sometimes when I get really stuck I start looking at other people's family trees on Ancestry.  You should never depend on other people's research until you have double checked it for yourself, but a clue or a point in the right direction can often break down a brick wall.  There are at least ten uploaded family trees for Henry Lewin born 1861 in Hertfordshire and they all have him marrying Jane James in 1887. How can they all have ignored the evidence of the marriage indexes?  And why has no-one sent for the certificate!

Each tree of the trees shown here have Henry marrying Jane James in 1887 and Minnie Paget in 1898. They are all a little confused by Minnie's two Lewin daughters (I'm not surprised) as seen on the 1901 census. Three of the trees show that Henry and Jane have five children scattered across England and each tree shows all their exact birth dates but doesn't give sources for these.  So somebody somewhere knows more than they are sharing online. Then suddenly Jane apparently remarries in September 1898 to a Joseph Traunter in Warwickshire and goes off to have more children by him, while Henry is simultaneously getting set up with Minnie in Wakefield.  It is impossible to see which of these trees is the original, they are so similar they must have copied each other. I suppose with a slightly shady tree (ha!) like this the family members are probably being cautious about sharing official documents.

So, let's look at the other purported Lewin children:
Eliza born in 1892 in Durham - supported by the GRO which gives us an Eliza Lewin born in Q2 1892 in the Stockton District mmn James
Alice born in 1894 in Nottinghamshire - there's an Alice Lewin born in Basford District in Q4 1894 mmn Symonds according to the GRO.
Arthur born in 1896 Coventry - could be the Arthur born in Tamworth District in Q4 1896 mmn Simonds.  Tamworth was on the border with Warwickshire and could have included some parts of Coventry. There is another Arthur born Q1 1896 in the Coventry District but he clearly turns up in 1911 still in Coventry with parents Alfred George Lewin and Margaret. 

CWGC gravestone for A Lewin in Pontefract Cemetery
(from an Ancestry Online Tree)
The search for Arthur Lewin born 1896 turned up links to a CWGC (Commonwealth War Graves Commission) gravestone picture from Pontefract Cemetery.  It gives details a man in the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry who died on 12 October 1916 aged 20. You know how I like a WW1 soldier, so I do hope he's related!

That takes me back to the email I got from the OH's distant relative.  She mentioned that Albert Edward Lewin was killed at the Somme in 1916.  I had not previously taken any notice of Albert (b.1890 in Derbyshire) as he doesn't appear on the 1901 census in Wath on Dearne after Henry is married to Minnie although older brother William does.
Arthur Lewin's CWGC entry
A search of the CWGC index for these two names gives a few clues.  Arthur Lewin's entry tells us quite plainly that his mother was Jane Traunter (formerly Lewin) and his father was the late Harry Lewin.  This fits with the entries on the online trees which state that Jane Lewin remarried to Joseph Traunter.
Albert Edward Lewin's CWGC entry
Albert Edward's entry is not so helpful. But it does partially confirm what my correspondent said.

Striking out now to try to find out how Jane (Symons or James, later Traunter or Tranter) managed to get herself from Derbyshire to Castleford via another marriage in Warwickshire.
1911 census snip for 18 Wainwright Yard, Castleford (from Ancestry)
In 1911 she is living at 18 Wainwright Yard in Castleford with Arthur Lewin born in Tamworth, Warwickshire in 1896/7 , which fits the CWGC record.  She says she is 44 years old, which makes her born in 1867 which tallies with the 1891 census. She was born in Inurthys (?) Glamorgan. She has been married for 13 years, so that agrees with the Online Tree suggestions of 1898. She has had six children to this marriage but only two are still alive. Other children in the household are eighteen year old Eliza Lewin, born in Trimedon, Durham (fits the other children mentioned by the online trees), twelve year old Clara Traunter born in Bedworth, Warwickshire and five year old Walter Traunter, born in Castleford.

I was able to find an entry on FreeBMD for a Jane James marrying Joseph Tranter in Q3 1898 in Foleshill District, which is in Warwickshire and contains Bedworth where Clara was born in Q1 1899.
1901 census snip for 12 Nicholson Street, Castleford (from Ancestry)
Backtracking to 1901, which was quite a task, I found this entry for the O'Riley family. The names and ages of the children and their birth counties fit with the 1911 census, plus we have Albert Edward, born in Derbyshire and Alice born in 1894/5 in Nottinghamshire also present.  I had commented that he wasn't with Henry Lewin in 1901 - because he was with his mum in Castleford. 

Jane now gives her age as 40 and says she was born in Cardiff, which is in Glamorgan. But who on earth is Michael O'Riley, aged 54 and born in Ireland, to whom she is apparently married? And where has Joseph Tra(u)nter gone? Was this just an alias?  The age of the man matches the age of Joseph Traunter at his death in 1928 when he was buried from Paradise Gardens (the name for the workhouse in Pontefract).  Jane Traunter is living in an Alms House in 1939 in Micklegate, Pontefract and dies from there in 1945.

Bearing in mind that divorce was really not often possible for working people in the 1890s it seems that both Henry Lewin and Jane Lewin (nee Symons or James) may have been committing bigamy. Note that I say 'may'; if anyone has proof of a different version of this story please, please get in touch.  As there are so many Online Trees I assume there are lots of descendants of Henry, Jane, and Joseph who are all trying to resolve these questions. 

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

A New Light on the Lewin family

Last night I received an email from a lady who had read some of my blog posts, probably specifically this one about William Lewin that I wrote nearly four years ago. I had known that the OH's great grandmother Edith Alice's first step father had died in 1901 but I had been unable to find out why or where at the time.  My correspondent told me that he had drowned in the Tinsley Canal and in her second email she sent a newspaper cutting.
Tuesday 23 April 1901 Yorkshire Telegraph and Star
Henry's address fits with the address I found the family at in the 1901 census, No 10 Court 1, Doncaster Road, Wath on Dearne.  Nash Row was the name given to a long street of houses built just south of Manvers Main Colliery No.2 pit between 1868 (when the shaft was first sunk) and 1881 (when apparently 246 people were living there). My information comes from the back of my Manvers Main 1901 Alan Godfrey map.  There are a lot more Yorkshire records online now than there were four years ago so I was quickly able to find Henry's burial on 25 April 190 at Wath on Dearne in the Yorkshire Burials on Find My Past. It didn't tell me anything more than the newspaper report had done though I was inspired to search the rest of the FMP records for any other mentions of the Lewin family. Nope, nothing relevant except a marriage I already had.


Minnie Lewin remarries within the year to Albert Green (later George Albert Green) at St Margaret's parish church in Swinton. Her address in March 1902 is 35 Temperance Terrace which is less than two miles away.  I already had this certificate having sent for it many years ago (2009) when I was first trying to sort out the problem of Edith Alice and her mum. Now available as part of my FMP subscription!
 
1911 census snip for the Green Family at 5 Packman Road, West Melton (from Ancestry)

By 1911 Minnie and George Albert Green are at 5 Packman Road in West Melton, about three miles from Swinton in the Barnsley direction. Living with them are Alice Lewin (who is actually Edith Alice Pagett, born before Minnie's marriage to Henry), Ada Lewin (Minnie's only legitimate child with Henry Lewin), Maud Elizabeth (born in the December quarter of 1902 in Swinton), Minnie (birth registered March quarter 1905 in West Melton) and Richard Albert Green (born March quarter 1910 in West Melton).  Confusingly George states that they have been married for 15 years, which is a fib, as they only married in 1902! He also declares that they have lost one child, whom I know was George Albert Green, who was born and died in 1907. 

I had previously been able to find George and Minnie in the Electoral Rolls in Barnsley after the First World War.  They were living at 28 Albion Road, Stairfoot in 1919 and 1930.  In the intervening four years the 1939 Register has been released on Find My Past so today I followed them up on that as well. Their address on 29 September 1939 was 8 Lambert Walk, Kendray, Barnsley.  George was a Retired Boiler Fireman and both his and and Minnie's birth dates are given, details I hadn't had before.

Minnie died in 1941 and George in 1945 and both are buried in plot E 251 at Ardsley Cemetery. The OH and I once went out there to take a look but sadly there is no headstone marking their grave.

Well, that has nicely tidied up the OH's connection to the Lewin family but in the process I did a lot more digging around to find out more about Henry and his first wife and it was very complicated to say the least.  More later!



 

 

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Over the Boundary - Kilner Family Connections to Pubs in Chapeltown, Sheffield

I generally start a blog post with an idea for a story from my family history, my reading or something I've seen on television. I hardly ever have a plan and often I use the process of writing about my family history to help me identify what I know and what I don't know about a family. Those are the posts I tag as 'Research Methods' because I write about the places I have looked, the searches I have done and what I have or haven't found.  They do tend to be a bit long and rambling, but I hope you find them useful.

However every now and then I write for an hour or so and realise I haven't told the story I started off with.  Rather than continue rambling on I will finish the post saying that a sequel is likely.  And I might I nip back to the beginning of the post and edit the introductory paragraph to make more sense, given what I have actually written!

The last post I published was one of those instances - I began to write about Private John William Kilner from Chapeltown and then realised that I needed more time to explain his family. At the end of the that post I mentioned that I had found a picture online of the White Horse Hotel where he and his family lived in Chapeltown.  I have now been given permission to use the photo on my blog (my thanks to Christine at the Ecclesfield District Archive for helping me with this).
Railway Bridge, White Horse Hotel and Wagon & Horses pub in Chapeltown Market Place
(photo with permission from the Chapeltown & High Green Archive)
The White Horse Hotel is the low building nearest to the railway bridge. It has the look of railway offices or related buildings, I am not a railway historian, but from its position I imagine it must post date the railway line as it is too close to have been built around. If you are at all familiar with Chapeltown you will know that the Wagon and Horses, the white painted building on the right of the picture above, is now a Wetherspoons pub and is a much larger, probably early 20th century, building.  Between that pub and the railway bridge there are modern shop units backing onto ASDA, dating from the 1970s or 80s I guess.
Chapeltown today (from Google Maps)
The market place is now a large busy roundabout and road traffic signs block the view whichever way you look. 

The Kilner family have close links to two pubs in the Chapeltown and High Green area.  In 1851 the great grandfather of my soldier was a butcher and inn keeper at High Green.  William Kilner (b.1806) was listed as a butcher only in 1841 so running a pub was a new business for him. By 1861 the pub is being run by his son James Kilner (b.1833) and it has a name, the White Hart Inn.  I found an interesting account in the Sheffield Independent dated 30 March 1861. It seems that William became bankrupt in 1860, but had managed to transfer his property to James some years before the declaration of the bankruptcy. The authorities were taking a very dim view of this and were trying to work out if it had been a legal transfer or not.
1855 map of High Green, Sheffield (from National Library of Scotland)
I was able to find the White Hart Inn on an old map on the National Library of Scotland website.  The area is very rural with more housing in Mortomley than High Green. 

Sadly a Google search of the area now suggests that housing has covered the place where the White Hart once stood.  A photo in the Picture Sheffield collection shows a modern style pub called the White Hart at 101 Wortley Road in the 1970s or 80s.  

James Kilner remains at the White Hart Inn in 1871, his children now include William aged 7 (b.1864).  William plans to becomes a butcher like his father and grandfather and in 1881 he is living and working as an apprentice with his uncle John Kilner (b.1819) in Wortley. John is the local butcher, grocer, draper and runs the post office, he employes two men and 3 boys, including William.

Family history is a like a jigsaw puzzle, why would William be living with his uncle in 1881, why not learning his trade from his father James in High Green?  Well, sadly, James had passed away, aged just 45. I was able to find the index to his Probate record on Ancestry.

"18 November 1878 - The Will of James Kilner late of High Green in the Parish of Ecclesfield in the County of York Licensed Victualler who ided 6 October 1878 at High Green was proved at Wakefield by William Kilner of Wortley in the said County Butcher and Grocer and William Hague of High Green Cordwainer the Executors." 

His widow Sarah is still living in High Green in one of a set of sixteen houses called 'Kilners Houses' in the census of 1881. She is living on her own means in 1891 suggesting a pension or investments that are giving her enough to live on.
1894 map of High Green (from National Library of Scotland)
There are also groups listed on the 1881 census in High Green called Darwins Houses, Chambers Houses, Briggs Houses, Bamforths Houses and many more, suggesting a lot of locally funded building had been carried out in the area in the past few years.  Many of the houses are lived in by coal miners. We can't see the names of the rows in the map snip above from 1894 but we can see how many more houses there are compared to 1855. If James Kilner had invested in providing houses for the men coming to work in the new mines that would have given the family some financial security and provided Sarah with money to live on after James' early death.
 
1891 marriage of William Kilner and Mary Savage in Barnsley

On 5 April 1891 William Kilner, the young butcher, last seen living with his uncle in Wortley, marries Mary Savage, daughter of John Savage, Inn Keeper, in St Mary's church in Barnsley.  In 1871 John Savage had been the Market Toll Collector in Barnsley, following the family tradition of service to the borough. Oddly in 1891 he is the landlord of the White Hart in High Green!

I haven't a clue (yet!) what is going on in John Savage's life. He is still, apparently, married but not living with his wife. There is a widowed housekeeper and four other servants in the pub including three 'Professional Pianists'. The only family member living with him is his grandson Percival Savage aged 9.  Note to self: revisit this family sometime.
 
So I don't know how William met Mary, maybe when her father took on the White Hart, maybe during the course of his work as a butcher he moved to Barnsley.  They both give Doncaster Road in Barnsley as their address, but that could have been the address of a relative (probably that of her brother William Savage the assistant Sanitary Inspector) for the sake of convenience for the marriage.

By 1901 William and Mary Kilner are settled in the White Horse Hotel in Market Place, Chapeltown.  They have two children, John William aged 8, who becomes our soldier, and Annie aged 5. There are also two servants in the house.   The family are still in the pub in 1911 and as we know, still there in 1915 when John's death is reported in the Barnsley Chronicle (see previous post). 

I left this post in draft form for several days, but now I've decided to post it anyway.  I think I've answered my own questions about how the Savages and the Kilners interact and the information about the pubs in Chapeltown was interesting, if incidental. My thanks again to the Chapeltown & High Green Archive for permission to use the White Horse Hotel image. 

Back to my WW1 soldiers, lots to do and never enough time to do it!

Thanks for reading.