#52Ancestors #43 Joseph Brown 1st – Horse-breaker of Bellingham

St Cuthbert's Church, Bellingham, interior

St Cuthbert’s Church, Bellingham

Joseph Brown, my Great-Great-Great-Grandfather, was baptised in Bellingham in April 1800.  He was at least the third generation to live in that Northumberland village.

He married a girl called Jane from Ellington/Allington, Northumberland and they had their first child, Michael in 1823, who was baptised in Bellingham, in this ancient church with its ‘almost unique in England’ 13th century barrel roof.

One of my favourite things about Joseph is that when Michael was baptised the family were living in a place called Boggle Hole.  Boggle Hole.  Brilliant. In terms of place names that’s very hard to beat.  I think it may have been where Bellingham Golf Club is now sited, or perhaps Hole Bastle.  One to check out.

The other thing I love about Joseph’s life is that I know his precise occupation: more specifically than being an Ag. Lab. he was a horse-breaker, conjuring up images of him working in fields and courtyards. Overly romantic images of him working with horses in early morning Northumberland mists probably, but hey ho, they’re my images and better than picturing the lives of some of my other ancestors who worked in some pretty grim conditions down mines.

He and Jane went on to have 6 more children: Jane, Margaret, Elizabeth,  Barbara, Joseph (my ancestor) and William.  They moved east to what is now Newcastle-upon-Tyne, living in Cox Lodge and Elswick.  Jane died in 1874; Joseph 7 years later in summer 1881.

This summer we’d hoped to go to Leeds, Yorkshire, to have a look in the villages where my Yorkshire ancestors lived.  That didn’t work out as the weekend we needed coincided with the Tour de France and the only rooms left were unaffordable.

52 Ancestors logoSo we ended up in Northumberland, staying at the beautiful Leazes Head near Hexham.  And I’m so glad we did; Northumberland was beautiful, and in family history terms it was also going back to my roots, seeing the villages and the old churches where they would have worshipped, maybe the pub we went to would have taken their money too.  But I haven’t traced far enough back to confirm that any of the goods found at Hadrian’s Wall or the unbelievably vast Vindolanda Roman fort & village were family heirlooms!

Bellingham has a Heritage Centre which we visited, and I got to try on old 17th century armour and wave round a pike (much to my son’s embarrassment).  I found out that my distant relatives, Dodds and Armstrongs may have been descended from border reiver clans.  Hmmm. And I did chat with Rob who works in the centre and was really helpful; I hadn’t known that there was a big network of railways, but it tied into some of the history of my family.  Great few days altogether!

© Text and photo copyright Lynne Black 24 October 2014
First published: http://starryblackness.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/joseph-brown-1st/

#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:

http://starryblackness.wordpress.com/2014/10/06/thomas-halliday3/

#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/