Month: August 2011

On this day … 24th August

1904 … James Buckley was buried at Utley Cemetery, near Keighley in West Yorkshire.  He is my 1st cousin 3x removed.


Wedding Wednesday – Another Mystery Couple

Here is yet another photograph of a newly married couple and again I have no idea who they are.

There are even less clues than the photograph I posted two weeks ago.  This time there is no photographer name or any indication of location.

The couple look really happy and it seems like they have just enjoyed their reception meal.

I think that the period is maybe late 1940’s or early 1950’s.  I am going to take the advice from readers who commented on my last wedding photograph of a mystery couple and try to research the fashion of the 1940’s and 1950’s.  Also perhaps post it on a family history forum and see what happens.

Anyway, whoever they are I hope that they had a wonderful life together.

Tombstone Tuesday – Spink Sisters

This stone marks the resting place of two sisters.  I took the photograph on a recent visit to St. Mary’s church at Conistone in Craven, Yorkshire, England.

Annie Sophia Spink was born about 1861 around the start of the American Civil War.  Mary Jane Spink was born about 1865 in the same year that Lewis Carroll published Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

According to the 1871 census both sisters were born at Burnsall in the Yorkshire Dales – although this changes over the years and is sometimes shown as Conistone.  Their parents were Joseph Spink and Isabella Hannah Metcalfe who I spoke about last week in a Tombstone Tuesday post.

It took me a while to find Annie on the 1881 census until I tried a search under the name “Spinks” (with the addition of the “s”).  She is working as a dressmaker and is shown as a visitor at the home of Mary Ann Jacques (widower) in Skipton.

Mary Jane was also living in Skipton in 1881 and working as a domestic servant.

Ten years later in 1891 both sisters are back home with their parents.  Annie continues to work as a dressmaker but there is no occupation shown for Mary Jane.

The first census of the 20th century in 1901 has Annie staying at an address in the nearby village of Arncliffe with her cousin John Alderson.  I have no information about John Alderson – he doesn’t appear in my family tree at all – I imagine he is from an ancestor I haven’t researched yet.  Anyway, Annie continues to make her living as a dressmaker.

In the same census Mary Jane remains with her parents.  Her occupation is just shown as “worker”.

Annie married John Webster Smith sometime in the second quarter of 1907 and the marriage is recorded in the Skipton registration district.  I haven’t done any further research into Annie and John following their marriage.

Annie died at the age of 85 on 23rd March 1946.

Mary Jane remained a spinster all her life.  She was also 85 when she died on 5th September 1950.

On this day … 23rd August

1744 … Ann Cowgill and Turner Snowden married at Thornton in Craven, Yorkshire.  They are the 2x great grandparents of the wife of my 2nd great grand uncle.

1910 … Alice Musgrove was born to parents Joseph Musgrove and Elizabeth An Turner.  She is my grand aunt.

On this day … 22nd August

1808 … Mary Overton was born in Cowling, West Yorkshire to parents Henry Overton and Mary Watson.  She is the wife of my 3x great grand uncle.

1898 … Mary Elizabeth Musgrove was born in Clitheroe, Lancashire to parents Joseph Musgrove and Elizabeth Ann Turner.  She is my grand aunt.


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.




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 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.


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.

On this day … 20th August

1779 … Sarah Kighley was born in Keighley, West Yorkshire to parents George Kighley and Ann Edmundson.  She is my 4x great grand aunt.

1857 … George Musgrove was and died in Blackburn, Lancashire.  His parents were John Musgrove and Catherine Ainsworth.  He is my great grand uncle.

1952 … James Dawson died in Keighley, West Yorkshire.  He is my grand uncle.