Month: January 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History – Home

This is the fourth challenge in a weekly series from GeneaBloggers called 52 weeks of personal genealogy and  history, suggested  by Amy Coffin,  that invite genealogists to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants.  Week 4 – Home

I was born in 1953 and by the time I left home twenty years later I had lived in five different houses.

I was lucky my parents moved to Yorkshire shortly before I was born – if they had left it much later I would have been born in Lancashire.  They moved to Leeds and rented a house in the same street as my dad’s parents.

Stipendiary Street

We lived in the Burmantofts area of the city in a small back-to-back terrace house, number 26 Stipendiary Street.  There was one room and a kitchen downstairs and two bedrooms upstairs.  There was no bathroom or indoor toilet.  In the photograph our house was number 26 – the house on the very right of the picture.

Just next to the house is a small gate which leads to a shared toilet.  I was too young to really remember this house but my mum tells me that there were two toilets in the small yard.  Each toilet was used by two homes.

Stipendiary Street is no longer there.  The area was cleared and some high rise local authority flats (apartments) were built in place of the terraced houses.

Sometime around late 1957 or early 1958 we moved closer to the city centre.  My dad became manager of the Wellington Inn public house on Wellington Road.  We lived here for about 18 months.  My brother was born in the pub in November 1958.  Rumour has it that at the tender age of five or six I used to sneak behind the bar and steal bottles of Babycham.  Sadly the pub was demolished during the time when Leeds was undergoing major redevelopment and the building was in the way of a new road layout.

Dickens Street

We left the pub and moved about a mile up the road to the suburb of Wortley.  Number 8 Dickens Street was another back-to-back terrace house.  There was one room downstairs and two bedrooms upstairs and no bathroom.  Again the toilet facilities were down the street.  My mum says that she didn’t like living in this house at all – in fact I would probably say she hated it.  So this was only ever going to be a temporary stop along the way.  Dickens Street and the surrounding area was flattened by the bulldozers and new homes were built there.

Roseneath Place

Around 1961 / 1962 we moved to 13 Roseneath Place – probably about another mile away and still in Wortley.  This house was a bit bigger – still a back-to-back terrace and the toilet was still down the street – but we had further to walk this time.  The house had one room and a kitchen downstairs and two bedrooms upstairs.  But we also had a cellar and a large attic room.  We lived here until the summer of 1965.  As with all the previous homes this one was also demolished for a new housing development.

Our next house was 39 Benson Gardens in the suburb of Wortley.  This was the first house my parents bought, all the previous ones were rented.  Things were looking up for us by now and we had an indoor toilet and bathroom.  There was one room and a large kitchen downstairs and three bedrooms.  We also had gardens to the front and back of the house.  We also got our first telephone and car while living here.

I left home in 1973 and moved to Bradford about nine miles from Leeds.

My parents moved house again in 1980.  They bought a semi-detached home in Wortley and settled down at last.  My mother still lives in the house and my brother and sister also live in the same suburb with their families.

I moved back to Leeds in 1992 and live in another suburb about four miles from the rest of the family.

Ancestor Approved Award


I was thrilled recently when I discovered that two fellow genealogy bloggers had given me an Ancestor Approved award.  Thank you very much Katie (From Little Acorns) and Sue at (Family History Fun)

I only started blogging about my family history in October 2010 and quickly discovered the Geneabloggers community.  I wanted to write and record details about my family history for me – but it’s a real bonus if others find it interesting too.  So thanks to all who stop by every now and then.  I hope you will keep visiting my blog and please feel free to leave comments.

The Ancestor Approved Award was created by Leslie Ann Ballou of the Ancestors Live Here blog who asks two things of those who receive the award:

  • list ten things you have learned about any of your ancestors that has surprised, humbled or enlightened you
  • pass it along to ten other bloggers who you feel are doing their ancestors proud

So here’s my top ten things that I have discovered:-

  1. I thought my Dawson roots originated in Yorkshire – but it now seems my ancestors are from Lancashire.
  2. My ancestor John Gawthrop was a Wesleyan minister in the 19th century and preached  all over the country.
  3. I have a tenuous link by marriage to Viscount Philip Snowden, the first Labour Party Chancellor of the Exchequer.
  4. Three generations of John Dawson’s (father, son and grandson) tended the water wheel and engine at Ickornshaw Mill  at Cowling in West Yorkshire for over a hundred years.
  5. I still can’t find my great grandma’s birth record.
  6. Don’t accept information on birth, marriage and death certificates to be true.
  7. How hard life must have been for my ancestors in Victorian England.
  8. How much in awe I am of my ancestors who gave their lives in the various conflicts.
  9. How sad I felt to learn that some of my ancestors ended their lives in the Workshouse.
  10. I still have a lot more to discover.

I would like to present this award to the following people:-

John at The Wandering Genealogist

Census Junkie

Pete at A Brummie Family Tree

Vicki at The Thompson Family

Judy at Yorkshire Genealogy

Julie at Anglers Rest

Lynda at Digging Up The Ancients

Alex at Winging It

Annie at Hibbitt Family History Blog

Andrew at History Repeating

Tenuous link to a Viscount

Philip Snowden was born in Cowling, West Yorkshire on 18 July 1864.  I will go so far as to say that he is perhaps the most famous “son” of Cowling – although others may have a different opinion.  He was the     son of a weaver and his parents were devout Methodists.

Never heard of him?

Well, Philip became interested in local politics at an early age and joined the Keighley Liberal Club.  While researching the dangers of socialism he became converted to this new ideology and left the Liberal   Party to join the local branch of the Independent Labour Party.

In 1899 he was elected to Keighley Town Council and in 1903 became national chairman of the Independent Labour Party.

The next obvious step was to try to get elected to the House of Commons.  After two failed attempts at Blackburn in the 1900 General Election and Wakefield in a 1902 by-election he  was eventually elected as the     Labour MP for Blackburn in the 1906 General Election.

He developed a reputation as an expert on economic issues and advised David Lloyd George on his 1909 People’s Budget.

Philip Snowden was a pacifist and opposed to Britain’s involvement in the First World War.  He joined various groups and organisations campaigning against the war.  Like other anti-war Labour MP’s he was defeated in the 1918 General Election.  However he was quickly forgiven and was elected four years later to represent Colne Valley.

When Ramsay MacDonald formed the first Labour Government in January 1924 he appointed Philip Snowden as his Chancellor of the Exchequer.  Later that year Stanley Baldwin, the leader of the Conservative Party, became Prime Minister and Snowden’s period in office came to an end.

Five years on Snowden became Chancellor of the Exchequer again in the Labour Government of 1929.  This coincided with an economic depression and Snowden’s main concern was to produce a balanced budget.  He managed to make changes to the tax system that resulted in the wealthy paying more and the poor paying less.  The economic situation continued to deteriorate and in 1931 Snowden suggested that the Labour government should introduce new measures including a reduction in unemployment pay.  Several ministers refused to accept the cuts in benefits and resigned from office.

Ramsay MacDonald now formed a National Government with the Tories and Liberals.  Philip Snowden remained Chancellor and introduced the measures that had been rejected by the previous Labour Cabinet.  Labour MPs were furious with what MacDonald and Snowden had done, and both men were expelled from the Labour Party.

Snowden did not stand in the 1931 General Election and instead accepted the title of Viscount Snowden which enabled him to sit in the House of Lords.

Philip Snowden died on 15th May, 1937.

Why have I spent my Sunday telling you this story?  Because I have just this morning been able to make a family connection – albeit tenuous with this controversial politician.  I have Snowden’s in my family tree but hadn’t tried to find a link before today.  Anyway I now know that Philip Snowden is the 2nd cousin 1x removed of the wife of my 2nd great grand uncle - William Dawson married Martha Langton Snowden in Q1 1850.

OK, we’re only related by marriage – but that’s close enough for me.

Here’s a couple more links with articles about him.

Wikipedia

The Bradford Antiquary

Amanuensis Monday – Daniel Owen Espley

VOTE FOR ME

Daniel Owen Espley is my wife’s grandfather.  He was born on 14 March 1886 in Biddulph, Staffordshire.  He was always known as Owen to  the family.

At some point Owen and his wife Betsy moved from Staffordshire to Mablethorpe in Lincolnshire.  They opened a glass and china shop in the town possibly because Betsy had previously worked at the Shelley pottery factory in Staffordshire.  As far as we know there was no other connection to that line of business.

Owen eventually stood as a local independent councillor on Mablethorpe and Sutton Urban District Council.

The photograph is Owen’s election leaflet for the 1947 council election.  By then a second glass and china business was being run by Owen and Betsy’s son, Fred.  And he gets  prominent publicity on the leaflet.  Here is the text of his election address:-

Dear Friend

Please do me the favour of reading this address carefully, for you are approaching one of the most critical elections ever known in our town.  The prosperity of all of you depends on the continued advance of Mablethorpe and it is within your power, as electors, to secure that advance – or prevent it.

Remember, the Council is YOUR SERVANT, not your master.  You pay for its upkeep and you should make sure it serves YOUR INTERESTS.

Are you content to let your rates rise year after year and yet see little improvement in the public services?

Do you realise that high rates are preventing the development of our town and impeding its progress?

Examine the back of your Rate Paper and ask yourself honestly – are you getting value for your money?

There are plans on foot for further expenditure on schemes which no other town of our size has entertained, as it is doubtful if they can be made to be self-supporting.  I ask you to insist on more economic spending of public money and to give your support to one who will see that you get value for every penny spent; one who wishes to serve you, not dictate to you.

These statements are worthy of your consideration if you are anxious for the welfare of Mablethorpe.  I offer myself to you as a candidate in this election.  If you return me I shall do all in my power for every ratepayer and for the good of the town.

Yours sincerely

D. O. Espley

Catherine Ainsworth (1837-1887) – Happy Birthday

Catherine Ainsworth is my 2 x great grandmother and she was born on this day (13th January) in 1837. She comes from a small market town in Lancashire called Darwen which is near to it’s larger neighbour Blackburn.

My first record of Catherine is in the 1841 UK census when she is living with her parents Joseph Ainsworth and Jane Ainsworth (nee Cottam). Also recorded in the census are her siblings

Mary – born about 1826

Thomas – born about 1829

Betty – born about 1831

Jas (James) – born about 1835

Ana (Hannah) – born about 1839

Joseph – born about 1841

Ten years later and Catherine is still living with her parents at 19 Bolton Street, Over Darwen, Blackburn. By this time another sister has been born – Sarah Jane in 1843. Catherine is working as a “power loom weaver”.

Sometime during the next four years Catherine met John Musgrove and they married on 6th October 1855 at the Parish Church of Blackburn. The witnesses at the marriage were Robert Day and Mary Anne Day – I have no information about these people and assume that they were friends.

In the 1861 UK census Catherine and John are living at an address in Moor Lane, Clitheroe, Lancashire. Also recorded in the census are two children

Susannah – born about 1857

Thomas – born about 1861

Another child, George, was born and died on 2oth August 1857.

The census shows John working as a “carter” and Catherine working as a “power loom cotton weaver”.

The 1871 UK census is a bit of a mystery for me. First of all the census entry records her name as Catherina Mosgrove and her occupation as “cotton weaver”. She is living at 18 Ellen Street, Over Darwen. Also with her are two sons Thomas (10) and Joseph (6). Thomas is shown as a “cotton weaver” and Joseph as a “scholar”. The one other person at the address is Joseph Ainsworth (66) – this is Catherine’s father and he is a widower.

Secondly I haven’t been able to find any trace of John Musgrove (Catherine’s husband).

I also know that John and Catherine had another son, James, who was born on 5th August 1868 and died on 23th November the same year.

Sometime during the next ten years the family moved back to Clitheroe and the 1881 UK census shows them living at 42 Water Street, Clitheroe. The household consists of John, Catherine and their son Joseph (16). There are also two boarders – John Reid and Hannah Reid. It isn’t clear to me yet whether these two people are relatives or not.

Catherine died on 19th September 1887 and her death is registered in the Clitheroe district.

Tombstone Tuesday – John Dawson (1812-1888)

In Affectionate Remembrance of…..

This gravestone marks the resting place of John Dawson, his wife Betty and two children who died in infancy.

I spoke very briefly about John Dawson in November last year.  He was the second of three generations of John Dawson’s (a father, son and grandson) to look after the water wheel and engine at Ickornshaw Mill.

John was born on 4th February 1812 in Cowling, West Yorkshire to John Dawson and Ann Watson.  He was the youngest of nine children.  Elizabeth (Betty) Benson was born 27th December 1812 but I don’t have any information about her parents.

John and Elizabeth were married on 26th April 1834 at St. Andrews Parish Church, Kildwick, West Yorkshire.

Between 1835 and 1853 they had seven children

Ann – born about 1835

John – born about 1838

Elizabeth – born about 1841

Alice – born about 1843

Matthew – born about 1846

Thomas – born about 1852

Martha – born about 1853

The two children who died young were Elizabeth (c 1850) and Alice (c1847).  I haven’t researched this family in much detail yet so I do not have any information about the cause of death.

As mentioned above John was employed as an “engine tenter” for a number of years, eventually passing this role on to his own son John.  In the 1841 census his occupation is “weaver” and in 1881 he was working as a “clock dresser”.

Elizabeth died on 5th July 1882 aged 69 and John on 29th February 1888 at the age of 76.  They are buried at Cowling Parish Church.

 

What’s in a name?

I was recently browsing through the list of names in my family tree and noticed quite a few occurrences of surnames becoming first names. It got me wondering how common this was and I suspect that certainly in the 18th and 19th centuries it was seen more often – but that is just a guess. The tradition in my family seems to have stopped for the most part, although I haven’t explored many lines into the last century.

So I though it would be interesting to post some examples from my tree.

Mason Buckley is my 2 x great grand uncle. His parents are Thomas Buckley and Henrietta Mason – my 3 x great grandparents.

Watson Dawson is my 3 x great grand uncle. His parents are John Dawson and Ann Watson – my 4 x great grandparents. The name Watson was also carried on in to subsequent generations.

Daniel Owen Espley is my wife’s grandfather. His father Frederick married Frances Owen.

John Bentley Hurtley is my first cousin 3 x removed. His parents are Thomas Hurtley and Maria Bentley.

Bracewell Kighley is my second cousin 3 x removed. His father is Isaac Kighley who married Sarah Bracewell.

Greenwood Lonsdale – is the son of Thomas Lonsdale and Sarah Greenwood.

Thomas Ainsworth Musgrove is my great grandfather and his parents are John Musgrove and Catherine Ainsworth.

My grandfather Fred Ainsworth Stowell Musgrove got his name from his parents Thomas Ainsworth Musgrove and Ellen Stowell.

My uncle Stowell is the last in that particular Musgrove line to carry on the tradition.

John Robert Turner Musgrove is my grand uncle. His parents are Joseph Musgrove and Elizabeth Ann Turner.

George Wigglesworth Nightingale – his parents are Thomas Nightingale and Ann Wigglesworth.

I really like the tradition and it’s quite sad that it has stopped.

How common is this tradition in your family?