#52Ancestors #42: Thomas Halliday 1st of the 2nd Royal Manx Fencibles

Last week I wrote about Thomas Halliday 3rd, commercial traveller and soap agent. I’d planned to write this week about his father, Thomas Halliday 2nd, but when I had a look at his information I realised it was a virtually identical story.  So let’s skip a generation to Thomas Halliday 1st, my 4G-Grandfather.

With Thomas Halliday 1st we’re standing at the edge of easily-accessed facts, with the mists of time lapping round him.

I came across this Thomas when trying to find information about his son’s date of birth.  An additional challenge seems to be that at this point in time the names Halliday and Holliday start to be used interchangeably.  I have two sources for Thomas’ marriage, one spelt each way and I’m confident I’ve found the right man.

Lt Col Charles Small's seal, from FindMyPast

Lt Col Charles Small’s seal, from FindMyPast

Thomas was born in Chester-Le-Street, Durham county, in England in 1778, in the reign of George III and grew up working as a labourer [information obtained via FindMyPast].  This was a time of wars and rebellions, and in 1795 Thomas enlisted in His Majesty’s 2nd Regiment of Royal Manx Fencibles [based on the Isle of Man] and ended up fighting in Ireland.  Royal Manx Fencibles?  Great title but meant nothing to me.  So these two websites

tell me it was a regiment based in Ireland between 1795 and 1802 under the immediate command of Lt Col Charles Small, with the regiment in the the overall command of Colonel Lord Henry Murray [nephew of the Duke of Atholl].  Their uniforms included blue facings and fur-crested round hats. [From Osprey's Google book Armies of the Irish Rebellion 1798]

Thomas “served well and faithfully in the abovenamed Regiment for two years” before being discharged with “his pay arrears of pay, clothing and all other just demands whatsover, from the time of his enlisting into said Regiment till the day of his discharge”.

Two years?  Surely that’s quite a short time to serve?  Unfortunately yes.  The surgeon’s letter (John Nelson Scott was an officer and surgeon) explained more fully that Thomas had needed to have his right leg amputated after suffering from scrofula (TB) of the leg and ankle which gave him extreme pain.

The mark of Thomas Halliday 1st

The mark of Thomas Halliday 1st

After returning home from Lifford, Thomas married Hannah Smith in 1810.  I think they may have had 3 children together: Thomas 2nd, Sarah Mary, and possibly Francis, all in Chester-le-Street.  From the limited records available I believe his wife died in 1838, and in the 1841 census Thomas was found in the workhouse.  A Thomas Halliday died in Gateshead in 1843.

52 ancestors logoNow his son did pretty well for himself: in 1841 Thomas the 2nd was a clerk in nearby Gateshead and ended up very comfortably off with a well-educated Methodist family.  It’s a pretty big leap for the son of an illiterate one-legged labourer, but perhaps that’s exactly what drove him.  Maybe Thomas 1st was in need of comfort and hope, and Methodism provided that, and the opportunity for him to make a better life for his family.  But even if further evidence comes to light, possibly from a non-conformist source, and he turns out not to be my ancestor, I thought I would share the experiences of this Thomas Halliday 1st anyway, to acknowledge all he went through.

© Text copyright Lynne Black 15 October 2014
First published: http://starryblackness.wordpress.com/2014/10/14/thomas-halliday-1st/

#52Ancestors #41: Thomas Halliday 3rd, seller of soap

Thomas Halliday 3rd

Thomas Halliday 3rd

Thomas Halliday, my Great-Great-Grandfather, was born in November 1835 and baptised on Christmas Eve 1835 in the Methodist New Connexion Chapel in Gateshead. He was the oldest child of Thomas and Jane Halliday and his parents had had another 6 children by the time he was 12: Hannah, Mary (who I believe died young), Mary Jane, David Ingram, Elizabeth and Sarah Jane.

Thomas was still in Gateshead in 1851 when he was 15, and working as a draper.  However, by the time of the 1861 census when he was 25, he was living in Leeds, West Yorkshire where he married Mary Anne Howe.

Together they went on to have six children, Martha E in Shipley, Mary Hannah ‘Susie’ in Gateshead, Thomas and Jane Anne in Leeds, Elizabeth Helena ‘Lena’ in Gateshead and their youngest, my great-grandmother, Sarah Emmaline ‘Sallie’, in Burley. Thomas during those years worked variously as an assistant soap agent & traveller (like/with his father), a clerk in an iron works and as a grocer’s commission agent.  Their daughters worked as weavers and tailoresses, Thomas 4th became a clerk in a telegraph office.

Mary H 'Susie' Halliday

Mary H ‘Susie’ Halliday

In 1891 when he was an executor for his mother Jane Halliday’s will, he was specifically bequeathed her green drawing-room suite, her cabinet and her small needlework sewn frame, with Mary Anne being bequeathed her gold watch key.  Up until that point Thomas and Mary Anne had been in possession of Jane’s piano but Jane bequeathed that to Thomas’ younger sister Sarah Anne.

By 1901 Thomas had retired as a butter salesman.  He and Mary Anne were living in Bayswater Row, Leeds.

Thomas died 3 years later of a stroke in Berwick in Elmet aged 68.  Unusually for a member of the Halliday family, he didn’t leave a will.

52 Ancestors logo© Text and photos copyright Lynne Black 7 October 2014

First published:


#52Ancestors #40 Miss Mary S Young, Victorian scholar, Edwardian Head-teacher

Photo of Tom, Dora, Marion, Lizzie, Tom, and Mary Young

Tom, Dora, Marion, Lizzie, Tom, and Mary Young

Mary Sarah Young was born in 1867, the fourth daughter, and fifth child of seven of Hannah Halliday and George Shields Young.

Although born in Gateshead in County Durham, her family moved to Yorkshire when she was young and she grew up in Shipley.

Mary came from a well-educated family.  Several of her older sisters had been governesses or worked in schools, and at the age of 24 in 1891 Mary herself was working in Shipley as a School Assistant Mistress.

However she had vanished from Yorkshire in the 1901 census and by broadening my search I found her living down in Okehampton, Devon with her mother Hannah and two sisters Marion and Edith. Mary was single and her family all widows; Mary was the only one in the household working, and by this time she’d had a promotion to Schoolmistress.

52 Ancestors logoIt can’t have been too long after that before she and mother Hannah had moved on again, to Pembrokeshire.  Her youngest sister Edith accompanied them but didn’t stay that long; she had fallen for a surveyor from Okehampton and they married in Pembrokeshire in 1905 before moving back down to Devon.

Her sister Dora came up from her home in Essex to visit in October 1908, but shockingly died during her visit, leaving a husband and 3 young children.

Mary S Young's 1911 census entry

Mary S Young’s 1911 census entry

By 1911 Mary had been appointed as a Head Teacher of an elementary school owned by Pembrokeshire County Education Authority.  She and her mother were living in Rhydberth, Tenby.

The Tenby Junior School website tells me:  “Tenby Council School was built in 1915 while the First World War was at its height. It was officially opened in June 1916 by Mr S.B. Sketch, J.P., C.C., Chairman of the Education Committee. The school was situated in Greenhill Road and pupils came from the School which had previously been held beneath the Methodist Chapel in Warren Street, which was subsequently demolished in the 1980s. The Headmaster at this time was Mr J Howells.”  Given Mary’s religious background, I’m wondering whether she taught at the Warren Street Chapel.  Pembrokeshire Record Office website has some potential for archive material if I want to follow it up at a later date.

Her sister Marion remarried at the start of the war, a John Ogden, a widower, back in Yorkshire in Keighley.

Eight years later in 1919, after the first world war which took her nephew George Shields Young, Mary is also found back up in Yorkshire, listed on the electoral roll in the School House in Oldfield, where she was still living in 1926.

I googled ‘Oldfield School West Yorkshire’ and it came up with the website of the Oldfield Primary School which has a lovely image of an old school building on the home page.  It’s been taken on a frosty morning and I can just picture Mary wrapped up well walking up the path to the door.  I rang the school and the secretary said that she was actually speaking from the School House, which I really loved.

By 1929, aged 62, she has moved to Harrogate, Yorkshire, where she lived for the rest of her life.

She died, aged 75, in the midst of the second world war, on Christmas Day 1942.  In her will left effects of £871 5s 1d [£25K in 2005 money] to her brother and her nephew.

#52Ancestors #39 the lovelorn Miss Edith Young

52 Ancestors logoEdith Hannah Young, the youngest of seven known children of George Shields Young and Hannah Halliday, was born c 1873 in Gateshead into a comfortably well-off Methodist family.

When she was 5 her father’s business pottery partnership was dissolved and soon after that they moved away to Horton in Yorkshire.  Three summers later George died, aged 46.

Things may have been tough for a while, but ten years later, when she 18, the 1891 census records Edith as a secretary at the Bradford School of Music; with her education and the family’s interest in music I hope she was happy there.

However by 1901 her circumstances had changed drastically. She, her mother Hannah and two of her sisters, Marion and Mary, were all living down in Okehampton, Devon, 300 miles away.  I suspect they moved when Mary got a teaching post, but in that space of ten years Edith had also been married and widowed.  Her late husband, Mr Rowe, is a mystery; I’ve made a variety of searches on both Ancestry and FindMyPast but nothing is obvious without the purchase of birth certificates (with no guarantee of success) which I will only do if I come up on the Lottery. [I won a pound on a £1 scratch-card this week – breaking even is a rare treat so I’m not holding my breath!]

I couldn’t find Edith in the 1911 census with her mother and sister (by then in Pembrokeshire), so I started searching for a possible second marriage for her.  Lo and behold I discovered Edith Hannah Rowe marries an Okehampton man, Francis Worden, in Pembrokeshire in 1905.  Had they been pining away without each other?  Lots of Edwardian sighing going on until he came up to marry her and sweep her back to Okehampton where he worked as an architect & surveyor?

1911 Census names of Francis and Edith Worden

1911 Census names of Francis and Edith Worden

Fitting in with the 100 year rule (with which I quite agree) I can’t find any info on them until 1939. By that year Francis had retired and they were living down in Bude, Cornwall, as located via Kelly’s Directories.  Edith died in April 1942 in Stratton, Cornwall; Francis died later, in 1957.  There are other Wordens in Stratton so perhaps Francis had family there to share his last days.

© Text copyright Lynne Black 29 September 2014
First published: http://starryblackness.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/edith-young/

One Lovely Blog Awards

One Lovely Blog Award logoThanks so much to Cathy Meder-Dempsey (Opening Doors in Brick Walls) and also to Fran Ellsworth (Branching Out Through the Years) for nominating me for the One Lovely Blog Award!  I was very touched, especially once I discovered what it was!  Just glad you like it, and glad that my family get remembered.

Here are the rules for this award:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to that blog
  2. Share seven things about yourself
  3. Nominate 15 bloggers you admire (or as many as you can think of!)
  4. Contact your bloggers to let them know that you’ve tagged them for the One Lovely Blog Award

So, seven things about me:

  1. I’m an optimistic cynic and love happy endings;
  2. I wouldn’t be here without the NHS and the ingenuity of modern science. I’m lucky – I’ve needed to survive a lot of things, including those which have taken my ancestors;
  3. Bellydancing saved me from falling off a precipice (literally) and I have been paid to dance in a castle (this amuses me endlessly as I have no delusions of talent);
  4. I can’t function at work without making a list;
  5. The only thing that annoys me more than other people getting apostrophe’s in the wrong place is doing it myself;
  6. I love films and have waaaaay too many DVDs.  I know I’m really ill when all I want is to eat Madeira cake and all I want to do is watch The Wicked Lady (Lockwood & Mason) – as soon as I’m on the mend it go back to my normal setting of action films, Yipee Ki Yay!;
  7. I was built for comfort, not for speed;
  8. I’m thrawn, apparently.

Some of the other bloggers I like, no particular order, include:

[More to follow when my brain is awake again...]

#52Ancestors #38 George Shields Young – bright promise and the looming clouds of war

George Shields Young, 1893-1916

George Shields Young, 1893-1916, reproduced with permission from Queen’s College Oxford’s Liber Vitae Reginensium

George S Young was the grandson of his namesake George Shields Young and Hannah Halliday, through their oldest son Thomas Halliday Young and his wife Margaret J Thompson.  Born in Bradford, Yorkshire, in 1893, he was the second of three children, with an older sister Margaret and a younger sister Helen.

His father Thomas was a merchant’s cashier who seemed to have done quite well.  Maybe George inherited a talent for figures as after seven years at Bradford School for Boys he won a scholarship for the Queen’s College, Oxford where he read Mathematics.

While I knew of George when researching his grandmother’s story, I hadn’t intended to research his life in any depth as I thought he may have children still alive, and I don’t generally dig down more than one generation as it sometimes feels a bit intrusive.

I discovered his story by accident when trying to find a date of death for his uncle (also a George Shields Young, his dad’s younger brother). The search engines flagged up a military record and I checked it out.  I did a bit more work then found an obituary which named his parents – and found out they were Thomas and Margaret rather than the expected Hannah and George.

The obituary mentioned that ‘my’ George had received a BA from Queen’s College. I was amazed and really pleased for him.  His well-educated family must have been so proud of him, the first in the family to go to university.

52 Ancestors logoIt seemed so unfair to find out about his greatest achievement whilst reading about his family’s greatest loss that it really made me angry.  It was strange, feeling anger and grief for someone I’d only ‘met’ less than 2 days before.

After graduation George had gone back to Bradford and enlisted into the Prince of Wales’s Own (West Yorkshire Regiment), 6th Battalion, as a Private.  He was posted to France where he died, less than 18 months after graduating, on 29 November 1916 of his wounds.  He’s buried in Warlincourt Halte British Cemetery, Saulty, France.

I was curious about George’s time at University so I googled Queen’s College Oxford war records and discovered their Roll of Service which gave me some information:

“1911 Young,* G. S., B.A. (June 21, 1915). Pte. 6th W. Yorkshire Regt. France. Died on Nov. 29, 1916, of wounds received in action.”  The asterisk denotes membership of the University Contingent of the Officers’ Training Corps prior to 1915.

After that I looked up Queen’s home page and discovered they have an archivist, Michael Riordan, for St. John’s and The Queen’s Colleges.  We spoke on the phone and he was kind enough to look up the subject of George’s BA for me. He checked George’s biography in their Liber Vitae Reginensium which also included a portrait of George (above).

He also discovered some notes written shortly after George started at Queen’s:

“Young, George Shields.
born 9th April 1893 at Bradford.
Son of T.H. Young of 1 Ambleside Avenue, Bradford.
Educated at Bradford Grammar School 7 years.
Entered College October 1911.
Hastings Exhibitioner (Honorary Scholar) (Mathematics); elected December 1910.
Hon. Mods & Greats. I.C.S. Prob Physics & Mod Langs.
Knows a little Fr. & German. Will row, but light, q.2. 2nd 15, no cricket
Has joined Terrs. Plays a little but doesn’t sing. Congregationalist.”

Michael explained that ICS was the Indian Civil Service and this almost certainly means that this was his intended career, which was a popular choice amongst graduates at this time.

But it was not to be.

This week there was an email from FindMyPast about adding membership of Lives of World War One to the subscription package.  I have tried it to search for George, but didn’t find it particularly easy or intuitive to use.  However I will go back and fill in the information for George.  I think I’ll also complete the profiles, if I can find them, for three other Queen’s graduates, Warren, Wolfe and Collins, whose information was also on the same page of the Liber Vitae Reginensium as George, and were lost in action or to illness.

First published 27 September 2014: http://starryblackness.wordpress.com/2014/09/27/george-s-young/

#52Ancestors #37 Hannah Halliday – entrepreneurial sons, educated daughters

I recently took advantage of a half-price subscription with FindMyPast and have been having a fascinating couple of weeks finding out about my Northumberland and Durham ancestors.

I last used FindMyPast briefly over a year ago, too far back to remember how the old search engine worked.  I’ve heard a lot of negative comments about the new set up, but as I was coming to it effectively fresh I’ve found it has worked well.  Part of this appreciation is that they have the record collections I was after, but it has also come up with suggestions of a few newspaper announcements about the family, intimations and also one about a business partnership finishing.

I’m finding it helpful having two sites to work between (currently FMP and Ancestry).  Previously I’d shared sites with a friend, I paid for Ancestry and she paid for Genes Reunited and it’s really helpful doing that, one can point to clues on another, and each have different specialist record sets.

So this week, thanks to the hard transcribing work of the Durham and Northumberland FHSoc I’ve found a 19th century branch of my family with many strong educated women.  I’ll feature a few of her family members over the next couple of weeks.

Hannah Young, nee Halliday

Hannah Young, nee Halliday

And I’ll start with Mrs Hannah Young, nee Halliday, the aunt of Sarah E Halliday who featured in my previous post. Hannah is my G-G-G-Aunt.

Hannah was the second child and eldest daughter of Thomas and Jane Halliday. Altogether I’ve found 6 brothers and sisters for her.  Thomas was a soap agent and travelled around for his work.

Born on 10 November 1836 in Gateshead, Hannah was baptised a month later in Methodist New Connexion denomination chapel.  She lived in Gateshead until she was at least 16. Although she married aged 21 in early 1857 in Leeds, West Yorkshire, I suspect that may have been her fiancé’s  workplace/home because soon after the wedding they were both found in Gateshead.

Her husband was George Shields Young and I’m so glad he was, as having the middle name Shields (after his mother) has been invaluable identifying his own children and grandchildren.  George was an agent and later recorded as an earthenware manufacturer.

Photo of Tom, Dora, Lizzie, Mary and Marion Young

Tom, Dora, Lizzie, Mary and Marion Young

They settled down and had their first child, Dora, 10 months after the wedding in Gateshead, Low Fell, County Durham. Daughter Marion arrived in summer 1860, with George recorded in the census the next spring as a commercial clerk and dealer.  Four more children followed: Lizzie in Newcastle in 1862, Thomas Halliday back in Gateshead (1864), Mary Sarah (1867) and George Shields (1870).  By April 1871 George Snr was working as an earthenware manufacturer in Leeds, but Edith Hannah was born back in Gateshead in 1873.

In 1877, four years after the birth of George and Hannah’s youngest child Edith, Edith’s oldest sister Dora got married at the age of 18 to George Rollet with Hannah’s first grandchild Norman arriving in Thorne, Yorkshire in 1878 with Ethel following in 1879 and Maud Hannah early in 1881.

Hannah’s father Thomas Halliday died on 22 December in 1877.

Shields Daily Gazette, 21 January 1878, copyright FindMyPast

Shields Daily Gazette, 21 January 1878, copyright FindMyPast

In 1878 George and his business partner formally dissolved their business partnership and the April 1881 census records him as a bookseller.  Only four months after that George died, in Bradford where he and Hannah were living.  His estate was worth £259 8s, the equivalent of £12,531.61 in 2005 money.

Another grand-daughter, Dora Rollett arrived in 1882, but there was more sadness in 1883, when young Dora’s older sister Maud Hannah died in Hunslet, Leeds, aged about 2.

The next time I encounter Hannah it’s 1889 when her son Thomas Halliday Young marries Margaret Jane Thompson.  [Thomas and Margaret have their first child, Margaret, in 1890, Hannah’s fourth known grandchild, followed by another George Shields in 1893 and Helen in 1898, all in Bradford.]

In January 1891, Hannah’s mother Jane Halliday died.  Jane left Hannah a gold watch and half-share of her personal effects in her will, of which Hannah, her brother Thomas and sister Sarah Ann were executers.

Hannah’s second daughter Marion married in 1895 to a mysterious Mr Joslin, of whom I know nothing apart from his surname, which I suspect may have been mis-spelt at some point.  She was widowed and married her second husband John Ogden, a widower, in September 1914 in Keighley, Yorkshire.

Hannah’s third child, Lizzie, is a bit of a mystery. The only child born in Newcastle, she wasn’t with her parents for the 1871 or 1881 census so I feared she’d died young.  However then I found her in Shipley, Yorkshire, in 1891 working as a governess.  And once I’d found that she was staying in 1881 with the Rollett family it helped both solve the mystery of Lizzie’s missing years, and confirm I had correctly identified Dora Young’s husband.  In 1881 the census, staying with Dora in Nottinghamshire, Lizzie was again working as a governess.  But I lose track of her after the 1991 census.

Mary Sarah Young, her fifth known, child was a teacher, and will be the subject of a later blog post.

Hannah’s second son (6th child) George Shields Halliday had been born in Gateshead in 1870 but died young, aged only 17 in 1887.

52 Ancestors logo

Youngest daughter Edith Hannah also got married, to a Mr Rowe, but I have little information about him.  I do know however that she was widowed and married again and I’ll also write about her another week.

By 1901 there had been a dramatic change of location – Hannah was living down in Okehampton, Devon, with daughters Marion [Joslin], Mary Sarah Young and Edith [Rowe].

They were visited in October 1908 by oldest sister Dora [Rollett] but shockingly Dora died during her visit, leaving widower George, son Norman and two daughters Ethel and Dora who continued to live in Essex, where they were living by 1901.

By 1911 Hannah and Mary Sarah Young had moved on again to Pembrokeshire, the first time I’ve found any of my family at all in Wales.

The strange thing is, I have all this information about Hannah Young and her descendants, but I don’t actually know for sure when and where Hannah died. She was 74 by the time of the 1911 census. 74 doesn’t seem very old to me, living in the 21st century, I have family older than that, but it must have been a good old age then.  But now, by broadening my searches and my time frames, I’ve found a Hannah Young who died in Gateshead in 1933, at the grand old age of 96.

I so hope that was my Hannah, my G-G-G-Aunt, it would just seem fitting for a woman whose family had been so independent, one of the most educated with children – daughters more remarkably – travelling round for work and establishing themselves by independent means.  I hope that her mind stayed with her until the end as intelligence and education was such a defining feature of her family.

Hannah certainly had a fascinating life, and I love that I know what she looks like.  I also know, from the contents of her mother’s will, what she would have seen as she went to visit her parents Thomas and Jane Halliday: the suite, the sewing machine, the black marble clock and of course the treasured gold watch Jane passed down to her dear oldest daughter.

© Text copyright Lynne Black 21 September 2014
First published: http://starryblackness.wordpress.com/2014/09/21/hannah-halliday/