Ancestor Profile

Ancestor Profile – Benjamin Gawthrop (1869-1928)

Benjamin Gawthrop is my 1st cousin 3x removed.  Our common ancestors are my 3x great grandparents Martin Gawthrop and Ann Kighley.  Benjamin is the son of Benjamin Gawthrop and Elizabeth Eastwood.  He is also the cousin of John Gawthrop who I have written about here and here.

Benjamin was born on 10 August 1869 at Trawden in Lancashire.  I have found him on the census returns for 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901.

In 1891 Benjamin is living at 3 Heath Street, Burnley, Lancashire and is described as a ‘theological student’.  By 1901 he is a ‘Baptist Minister” and living at 91 Cardigan Terrace, Heaton, Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Benjamin married Jane Hargreaves in Burnley sometime in Q2 1895.  They had four children

• Helen May – b. 1896

• Benjamin Clifford – b. 1899

• Annie – b. 1900 (and died as a baby)

• Robert Martin – b. 1908

On 16 April 1908 Benjamin, Jane and their three children left England.  They sailed from London on the SS Orontes bound for Sydney, Australia.

Sadly Jane died after only six years in Australia.

Benjamin later married Constance Lillian Butler on 7 November 1916 in Randwick, New South Wales, Australia.  At some point around 1918 Benjamin and Constance returned to England but I have not been able to establish exactly when this was.  They had one son – John Richard – born 1920 in Sabden (near Burnley), Lancashire.

All three of them went back to Australia on 23 June 1927 sailing from London on the SS Barrabool to Sydney.  Here’s the extract from the ship’s passenger list.

It was in Australia that Benjamin had much influence and made a big impact in the communities he served.

The Baptist Theological College of New South Wales was established in 1916 and Benjamin was a founding member of the faculty when the college opened.  Here’s a link to The Baptist Recorder from July 2006 commemorating the 90th anniversary of the college’s opening.  There is a brief biography about Benjamin which reads as follows:-

Gawthrop was a scholarly fellow and became the College’s first lecturer in Church History.

He came from Heaton Road church at Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, where he had been the minister from 1894.  When he arrived there the membership was 60 and when he left 14 years later the number had risen to 388.  It had been his first and only English church to that time.  Born at Colne, Lancashire, and educated at Rawdon College.

He came to Australia to take the pulpit of the Petersham Church where he began in June 1908 and remained until April 1918 when he returned to England.  He was a strong church man and wrote and preached regularly on the importance of the church, which he firmly believed was  the direct creation of Christ.  He considered that being a Christian meant being a member of the church.  Strongly evangelical, he shared Waldock’s conviction that being called to be a preacher of the Gospel was the highest honour Christ could bestow on any man.

Both Benjamin and John Gawthrop seem to have done great work in their respective faiths.  I am proud to have them as ancestors.

Ancestor Profile – Robert Aubrey Spink (1883-1923) – part 2

Last week I told you about the accident that killed Robert Aubrey Spink.  This is the second newspaper article about the accident and covers the Coroners Inquest held on 20th April 1923.

“HEAD-ON” COLLISION OF MOTOR-CYCLISTS

WAS THE MISHAP CAUSED BY CHANGING GEAR?

A second death has occurred as the result of the collision between two motor-cyclists on Wednesday evening on the Leeds and Harrogate road between Moortown and Alwoodley.

It is believed that the two motor-cyclists collided “head-on”.  The medical evidence at the inquest, which was opened today, suggests that their heads crashed together with such force as to cause the injuries from which they died.

The dead men were.

Robert Aubrey Spink (40) 22, Ash Road, Headingley, postal telegraph clerk, a well known member of the Moortown Golf Club.

Harry Greenwood (19), 16 Union Terrace, Chapel Allerton, market gardener.

The girl who was riding on the carrier of the latter’s machine, Miss Peggy Stannard, a tailoress, of 26 Harehills Road, Leeds,, is progressing favourably in Leeds Infirmary.

The inquest was opened by the Leeds City Coroner today, and was adjourned for a week.

Evidence of identification was given by Miss Mary Jane Spink (sister) and by Clifford Greenwood (brother).

Miss Spink said her brother was “one of the most careful riders on road.” and never lost his head.  He went out to play golf about 5 o’clock, and when he did not come back at 7.30, as expected, she thought something had happened, for his movements were as regular as clockwork.  Her brother was a temperate man, and his hearing and eyesight were good.

Mr Greenwood said his brother had ridden for 18 months or two years, and was a cool, collected driver.  He was accustomed to carrying a person on the pillion, and knew the difference in dealing with a machine in those circumstances.  Witnesses added that his brother was a sober and healthy man, and had had no previous accident, except that he had once run over a dog.

A WITNESS’S THEORY

Leonard Bexon, of 128 Street Lane, Leeds, paper merchant’s assistant, said he had ridden Greenwood’s machine during the last month, and it was in perfect order and was easy to drive.

“It is quite likely that he would be changing gears at the time of the accident,” added the witness.

The Coroner: That may be the whole cause of the accident.

Witness said it would necessary to take one hand off the handlebar to change gear, but the change was easy.  On the other hand Spink’s golf clubs, which he was carrying on his back, might have swung round and interfered with his steering.

Dr Birtwistle said that both men had fractured skulls and severe injuries to the brain.  It appeared as if the men’s heads had crashed against each other.  An operation was performed on Greenwood.

So as far as I can tell no actual blame was attached to either Robert Aubrey Spink or to Harry Greenwood.  I wasn’t able to find a newspaper report giving the Coroner’s final verdict but I am pretty sure that it would be accidental death.

Ancestor Profile – Robert Aubrey Spink (1883-1923) – part 1

Robert Aubrey Spink is my 1st cousin 3x removed.  I mentioned him briefly in a Tombstone Tuesday post.  He was born about 1883 and died on 18th April 1923.  His gravestone says that he was “accidentally killed”.  So I just had to find out about the accident, what happened to Robert and the cause of his death.

I knew from the 1911 census that he was living in Leeds at the time.  I guessed that the local newspapers would have covered the story.  There is a really good family and local history department at Leeds Central Library so that was my starting point.  The newspaper archives for the period are on microfilm and it didn’t take long to find two stories about the fatal accident in the Yorkshire Evening Post.

Here is the first article from the Yorkshire Evening Post on 19th April 1923.

LEEDS MOTOR-CYCLISTS COLLIDE HEAD-ON

HEADINGLEY MAN KILLED

YOUTH AND GIRL HURT IN CRASH AT DUSK

A fatal collision between two motor-cyclists took place on the Harrogate Road between Moortown and Alwoodley last night.

It appears that Mr Robert Aubrey Spink (40), of 22 Ash Road, Headingley, was cycling towards Leeds when he collided “head-on” with Mr Harry Greenwood (19) of 15 Union Terrace, Chapel Allerton, who was travelling in the opposite direction with Miss Peggy Stannard (18), a tailoress, of 26 Harehills Road, Leeds, as a passenger on the carrier.

All three were thrown violently into the road, and it was realised at once that the two riders were seriously injured.  All were quickly taken to the Leeds General Infirmary, where Mr Spink, who had received severe injuries, died soon after admission.

Mr Greenwood is suffering from a fracture of the base of the skull, and his condition is serious.

He was still conscious this morning, but is stated to be going on as well as can be expected.

How the two riders happened to collide is not yet explained.

MISS STANNARD’S STORY

Miss Stannard is suffering with shock and bruises.

Seen by a representative of “The Yorkshire Evening Post” today, Miss Stannard, who looked well in spite of the shaking she received when the impact occurred, was unable to say how the accident happened.

“I was on the carrier,” she said, “and we were going towards Harewood on our proper side of the road, and not, so far as I know, at an excessive speed.”

“I did not see the other cyclist, and I do not know what happened except that I was thrown violently from my seat on the carrier, and found myself here.”

“It was daylight when the collision occurred, but I do not know exactly what time it was, though it was near lighting up time.”

Miss Stannard is likely to be about again in a day or two.

NO EYE-WITNESSES

Mr Greenwood is a member of a family which is well known in the Chapel Allerton neighbourhood.  He is a son of Mr James Greenwood, an old Leeds professional cricketer, and is following the occupation of market gardener with a view to taking up farming later.

At the time of the accident he was going to a bungalow rented by his father a few miles out in the country.  The young people were visiting the bungalow with some small articles, and were to return later in the evening.

There appear to have been no actual witnesses of the accident.

It seems that Mr Spink had been having a round of golf at Moortown golf links, and was on his way home, carrying his clubs slung across his shoulder.

It is possible that the clubs may have become entangled with his handlebars and caused him to swerve.

Dr Jenkins, with a friend, was also returning from the golf links.  The doctor reached the spot a few minutes after the smash, and attended to the victims of the smash pending the arrival of the ambulance.

Mr Spink was employed at the GPO, Leeds.  He was a man of much promise and of considerable intellectual attainment.

Mr Spink had the reputation of being a very careful driver.

An inquest will be held tomorrow by the Leeds Coroner (Mr W H Clarke), and the funeral will take place on Saturday afternoon.

This was clearly a very tragic accident – but who, if anyone was to blame?

I will post the second newspaper article about the inquest next week.

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.

Florrie Musgrove – Happy Birthday

Florrie Musgrove is my maternal grandmother – or “nannie” as she was always known – and today is her birthday.  She was born on 6 January 1897 at Horton in Ribblesdale, Yorkshire.

Florrie was the third child of Joseph Musgrove and Elizabeth Ann Musgrove (nee Turner).  She had nine siblings

John Robert Turner Musgrove (born c1892)

Thomas Musgrove (born c1894)

Mary Elizabeth Musgrove (born 1898)

James Musgrove (born 1901)

Joseph Musgrove (1903-1904)

Leah Musgrove (born c1905)

Isabel Musgrove (born c1906)

Alice Musgrove (born 1910)

Joseph Musgrove (born 1912)

When Florrie was born the family lived at Foredale Cottages just outside Horton in Ribblesdale.  These cottages were built for the workers of the local limestone quarry which is where Florrie’s dad worked.  Here’s a link to more information about the cottages.

Foredale Cottages

Foredale Cottages and Quarry

I mentioned the problems I had finding Florrie’s birth certificate when I talked about St. Catherine’s House, this is because it was registered under Florrie Mosgrove.

By the time of the 1901 census the family had moved to Clitheroe in Lancashire and were living at 50 Taylor Street.  Joseph is described as a limestone quarryman and had presumably moved to Clitheroe to find work in the local quarries.

In the 1911 census the family were living at 119 Lowergate, Clitheroe.  By now Florrie is 14 years old and she is working as a “ring spinner” in a cotton mill.

1911 Census

Some time during the next six years Florrie met and fell in love with Fred Musgrove, a local chap from Clitheroe.  They were married on 16 September 1917 at the United Methodist Church, Moor Lane Clitheroe.

Their marriage certificate also threw up another anomaly.  The father’s names have been written on the wrong lines – so Florries father is shown as Thomas instead of Joseph.  Yet another example and reminder of the importance of always checking and checking again the information from official records.

Witnesses at the wedding were Florrie’s brother John Robert Musgrove and Fred’s sister Ellen Halstead.

Over the next 18 years Florrie and Fred had eight children

Kathleen Musgrove (born 1918)

Thomas Musgrove (born 1920)

Joseph Harry Musgrove (born 1922)

Hazel Musgrove (born 1925)

Elizabeth Musgrove (born 1927)

Stowell Musgrove (born 1929)

Alice Musgrove (born 1930) – my mother

Mary Musgrove (born 1935)

My mum describes Florrie and Fred as very loving parents.  Both were hard working and fiercely loyal to their children.  Unfortunately Florrie suffered from bronchial asthma for many years so I am quite sure life must have been really hard.

Florrie died on 18 May 1971 at the age of 74 and is buried at Clitheroe Cemetery.

 

Ancestor Profile – William Stowell (c1801-1870)

William Stowell is my 3 x great grandfather on my mother’s side of the family.  He was born around 1801 in Bell Busk, Yorkshire.

My first record of William is in Burnley, Lancashire in the 1841 census.  He is living with his wife Ellen and six children

Nancy (born about 1826)

John (born about 1828) – my 2 x great grandfather

Thomas (born about 1831)

Alexander (born about 1834)

Francis (born about 1837)

Lawrence (born about 1840)

William is working as a “cotton spinner”.

So far I haven’t been able to locate a marriage record for William and Ellen – so this is an unresolved issue to be dealt with.

Ten years later in the 1851 census William and Ellen can be found at an address called “Old Duke” in the parish of Whalley, which is part of Burnley.  Living with them are their children from the 1841 census Thomas, Alexander and Francis plus Norena aged 12.  This suggests that if Norena’s age is accurate she must have been somewhere else when the 1841 census was taken.  So far I haven’t been able to locate her.

All the children have “Addingham, Yorkshire” recorded as their place of birth in the census.  So at the moment I am not clear exactly when the family made the move across the Pennines from Yorkshire to Lancashire.

The 1851 census also shows three other families living at “Old Duke”.  This includes Peter Haworth, his wife Nancy and their three children.  This is William’s daughter and her family.  A total of 24 people are living at “Old Duke”.

I have tried a Google search for the address / premises and have come up with the abandoned public house shown in the photograph – perhaps they were all living here – it is certainly in the right area.   

The census entry immediately before that for Peter Haworth and Nancy is for John Stowell and his wife Ann.  This is William’s son who was clearly near by – probably next door.

The other child Lawrence seems to have disappeared.  A quick check of the census and death records have drawn a blank – so another loose end to be followed up when I have time.

Moving on another ten years to 1861 we see William as a widower.  His wife Ellen had died sometime in Q1 of 1861 and was buried on 11th January at Briercliffe Church in Burnley.

William is living with his grandson Sandy Haworth at 51 & 53 Anne Street, Burnley.  His occupation is described as “grocer and beer seller”.  The address no longer exists so I don’t know what sort of property it is – but perhaps two houses together suggests it might be a residence and shop premises.

William didn’t survive to the next census – he died sometime in Q4 1870.  Information I found on the Briercliffe Society website suggests that when William died he was living in the Burnley Workshouse and was buried on 18th October 1870 at Briercliffe Church.

 

Ancestor Profile – James Buckley (1838-1896)

James Buckley is my 2 x greatgrandfather.  He was born on 23 April 1838 in Keighley, West Yorkshire.

In the 1841 and 1851 census returns James is living with his parents, Thomas Buckley and Henrietta Buckley (nee Mason) at an address in Fleece Street, Keighley.

James married Sarah Tattersall three days after his 19th birthday on 26 April 1857 at the Parish Church of Bingley.

Bingley Parish Church

By 1861 James and Sarah are living at an address in Green Street, Keighley.  I don’t know  the house number but Green Street is a small unmade road consisting of terrace houses.  James is shown as a “mechanic” in the census return that year and Sarah is described as a “house wife”.

Ten years later in 1871 James and Sarah have moved to Wellington Street, Keighley.  James is still working as a “mechanic” and they have had five children:-

Joseph (1858-1861)

Elizabeth – born 1858

Emma – born 1863 (my greatgrandmother)

Prince – born 1865

Samuel – born 1869

By the time of the next census in 1881 Sarah had died and James had remarried.

I haven’t got Sarah’s death certificate so I don’t know the cause of death but she died at the age of 46 on 24 January 1880.

Later the same year James married Ellen Spedding on 30 October.  They had one daughter, Annie, born in 1882.

On the 1881 census James and Ellen are living at 5 Smith Street, Keighley together with James’s four surviving children from his marriage to Sarah and with William Spedding (84) who is Ellen’s father.

James has had a career change and his occupation is described as “iron fitter”.  Three of his children, Elizabeth, Emma and Prince are working in one or more of the local textile mills.  His father-in-law also worked in the textile mills and is a retired warpdresser.

At some point in the next ten years James had another career change and in the 1891 census he is “landlord and licensed victualler” of the White Bear Inn at Steeton with Eastburn – about three miles outside of Keighley.

I used to have a photograph of James and his family sitting outside the inn but I can’t find it anymore.  The inn has had a recent name change is now called The Eastburn Inn.

Coincidentally in the 1891 census James’s brother Mason was also a licensee at The New Inn, Cononley, about five miles from Steeton with Eastburn.

James died sometime in Q4 of 1896.  I haven’t got a death certificate yet so have no information as to the cause of death.

I have found Ellen Buckley (widow) in the 1901 and 1911 census returns living with her daughter Annie at 1 Thomas Street, Keighley.  Ellen is working as a charwoman in 1901 and Annie’s occupation on both returns is “milliner”.