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.
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.
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.
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.
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: https://starryblackness.wordpress.com/2014/09/21/hannah-halliday/