Month: March 2011

Espley One Name Study – Update #5

It’s slow progress – but progress all the same.  Now put on to separate spreadsheets:-

  • GRO births – 1837 to 2005
  • GRO marriages – 1837 to 2005
  • GRO deaths – 1837 to 2005
  • IGI transcripts for UK
  • 1841 English census
  • 1851 English census
  • 1861 English census – started

I have tonight registered the Espley name with the Guild of One Name Studies (GOONS) including two variants – Epsley and Aspley.  It could be argued that Epsley is just a misspelling but there are 48 on the 1911 census so I would want to include that spelling of the name as part of the study.

Next step is to set up an Espley profile page on the GOONS website.

During the next month I hope to finish indexing at least the 1861 and 1871 census returns.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History – Disasters

This is the tenth 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 10 – Disasters

Today, 9th March 2011 my home town of Sutton-on-Sea will be taking part in Operation Watermark. Funded by Defra and taking place all over the country it is an exercise designed to test both local and national preparations in the event of a flood.  Volunteers will be evacuated from their homes during the day, taken to a rest centre then returned  home in the evening.

I wasn’t born at the time of the flood in 1953 but my mother, father and brother (Ian), who was only five at the time, lived through the disaster.  My mum never really got over it.  In my youth I would love to go onto the promenade on a rough night and watch the waves crashing over the sea wall but for mum the fear was just too great.

My parents ran a glass and china business about 300 yards inland, but down the same street, from The Bacchus Hotel: the white building featured in this picture.  The hotel is still there looking much the same as is the building which housed our shop although we moved out in the early seventies.

Army Duck

Dad, Mum and Ian were rescued by Army ‘duck’ on 1February 1953 the day after the sea had breached the defenses.  By this time the water level had receded but they still had to be reached through an upstairs window.  They were taken up to Hannah Hill.  This is hardly a hill but the very flat landscape of Lincolnshire means we clutch at any incline we can.  It was obviously steep enough to stem the tide as this is as far as it reached – about 2.5 miles inland.

From here the family was moved to Alford.  I’m not sure how long they were here.  Ian went on to stay with an Aunt near Grimsby whilst mum and dad returned to Sutton to start the clean up of their own shop and that of my grandparents who ran their own business from the neighbouring town of Mablethorpe.

Of course for a five year old lad this was all a bit of an exciting adventure.  Ian doesn’t remember being scared even when he saw one of the beach chalets floating down the street or witnessed our dad, chest deep in sea water, bringing two of my brother’s young friends from over the road to his first floor refuge.  Their mum apparently wouldn’t follow so the three of them waved to her from Ian’s bedroom window.

It’d difficult to imagine how terrifying it must have been.  Over 2100 people died, many in Holland which was hardest hit.  There’s more here

In the following years Sutton-on-Sea, which had been protected by only sandhills for most of it’s coast line, was treated to a sea wall along with much of the rest of the east coast.  The first plans for the Thames Barrier started at this time.

The sea defenses have been updated at least twice since.  Most recently sand dredged from the sea bed has been piped to the edge of the beach creating a man made slope This prevents the sea ever reaching the sea wall.  Not so much fun but definitely safer.

Here’s a link to some Pathe news clips

Tombstone Tuesday – Martin and Ann Gawthrop


of Ballgrove, Late of Cowling

who died May 16th 1860, in the

61st year of his age.

Also ANN relict of the above

who died April 5th 1863, in the

65th year of her age.

Blessed are the dead, which die

in the Lord

Martin and Ann Gawthrop are my 3x great grandparents.  They are buried in St. Andrew’s Methodist Church graveyard in Cowling, West Yorkshire.

I know from census records and the gravestone that Martin was born around 1799 / 1800.  I have found what I suspect is a record of his birth and christening on the Family Search website.  This suggests that he was born on 22 November 1799 in Colne, Lancashire and was christened on 30 March 1800 at St. Bartholomew’s church also in Colne.  His parents are recorded as Jno Gauthrope and Sarah.

Ann Kighley was born in Cowling and the IGI record suggests that this was on 3 June 1798.  Her parents are recorded as Isaac Kighley and Ellen (nee Jackson).

Martin and Ann were married on 13 July 1818 at the parish church of Kildwick, West Yorkshire.

The next information I have about them is from the 1841 census.  They are living in the township of Sutton in the parish of Kildwick.  Martin’s occupation is recorded as a farmer.  Nine of their eleven children are living with them in 1841.  The eldest child, Isaac had already left home and was working as a weaver in Cowling.

The children at home were

Sarah – born about 1826; Ellen – born about 1826; Hannah – born about 1828; Joseph – born about 1830; Martin – born about 1833; Mary – born about 1835; Benjamin – born about 1837; Israel – born about 1839; and John – born about 1840.

Their other child Ann was born about 1843.

The name Gawthrop lends itself to misspelling in all sorts of ways.  The 1841 census entry looks like Martin Gothrope and Ancestry indexed it as Marton Gothrope.

In 1851 Martin and Ann are living in Cowling with seven of their children and four grandchildren.  Martin’s occupation is farmer of 35 acres and 24 acres moor (presumably moorland) employing no labour.

The seven children are – Isaac (30) working as an agricultural labourer; Joseph (20) working on the farm; Martin (18) and Mary (16) working as handloom weavers; Benjamin (12) and Israel (11) working on the farm; and Ann (8) who is a scholar.

The four grandchildren are – John (11) who is a scholar; James (11) and Martin (9) working as bobbin winders; and Sarah (4).

The census entry and the Ancestry index are both clearly Gawthrop.

Martin died in 1860 before the next census.

So in 1861 Ann is living at Garth Holme in Colne, Lancashire.  Also living there are her daughter Ann (18) with her husband John Riley and baby William (5 months) plus three other grandchildren John (20), Martin (19) and Ellen Hopkinson (6).

The actual census entry looks like Anne (with an “e”) Gawthrope and that is how it is indexed in Ancestry.

Ann passed away in 1863.

Cowling – Postcard #1

We had a day off work today and the weather was pretty good so we decided to have a trip to Cowling village, the home of my Dawson ancestors.  You could have an interesting debate as to whether Cowling is in North or West Yorkshire.  The village falls within North Yorkshire County Council but has a West Yorkshire post code.  I prefer to think of it as in West Yorkshire.

We spent a good couple of hours wandering round taking lots of photographs.  I especially wanted to look for the locations in the postcards I purchased yesterday.  We had another search in St Andrew’s Methodist Church graveyard and took some more pictures which will appear in future Tombstone Tuesday posts.  I am really disappointed that I haven’t been able to locate any Dawson’s in the graveyard – it remains a mystery to me where they are buried.

This postcard is unused.  There is no publisher name or date.  I am guessing that the date is sometime in the 1960′s judging by the style of the vehicle in the image.  The scene shows a vehicle leaving Gill Lane and joining the main road that runs through the village – Keighley / Colne Road (A6068).

We took this photograph today from roughly the same place as the postcard.  We’re standing in Hartley Memorial Field – a bit nearer the railings because there are a few trees blocking the view further back.  As you can see the first two buildings on the front left of the postcard are not there anymore.  The side wall of taller property has now been painted white.

On this day…..6th March

1764     Tryphena Foster and William Overton were married in Kildwick, West Yorkshire.  They are the paternal grandparents of Mary Overton (1808-1853) who is the wife of my 3rd great grand uncle William Dawson (1806-1855)

Postcard Fair

I recently decided I wanted to add some postcards to my collection of family history material.  We saw a postcard fair advertised at Pudsey Civic Hall so went along this morning to see what we could find.  I had been looking on eBay for a while but hadn’t bought anything so was quite excited at the prospect of coming home with some purchases.

I was pleasantly surprised at the number of traders there and the huge selection of postcards available.  There was no trouble finding what we were looking for as they were all arranged either geographically or by subject.  I was looking for postcards of Cowling, West Yorkshire and Jayne was looking for postcards of Sutton on Sea and Mablethorpe in Lincolnshire.

I came home with five purchases and Jayne came back empty handed.  My search was somewhat easier as I was looking for any village scenes but Jayne was searching for more specific images.  Her parents and grandparents had shops in Sutton on Sea and Mablethorpe so she was hoping to find some pictures featuring the premises.

I’m happy with the postcards I found and will get them scanned and posted in my blog over the next few weeks.  There are a couple still on eBay that I didn’t see at the fair today so I might invest a bit more money in those.  This is an interesting change of direction for me – away from just researching individual ancestors and looking more at where they lived.

The postcard fairs in Pudsey are every couple of months and I’m sure we will be going again and spending more money.