Author: mike

Black Sheep Sunday – John Robert Stowell (1901-1966)

Black Sheep Sunday is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites.

To participate in Black Sheep Sunday simply create a post with the main focus being an ancestor with a “shaded past.”

John Robert Stowell is my 1st cousin 2x removed. His parents are Robert Alexander Stowell and Edith Annie Burns. Our common ancestors are John Stowell and Ann Astin, my 2x great grandparents.

As far as I can tell John Robert was the only child of of his parents. His birth is registered in Burnley, Lancashire.

He married Sarah Ellis sometime in the September quarter of 1926. They has no children. He then married Ellen Ainsworth in 1935, the marriage is registered in Q4. John Robert and Ellen had one son – James in 1936.

On the face of it not an ancestor I would normally write a blog post about…until I found the following newspaper article from the Lancashire Evening News of 11 December 1929.

Lancashire Evening News - 11 Dec 1929.png

If ever I needed more information from a newspaper article this is it. What did he do that required a sentence of three months in prison with hard labour. The article is woefully short on some vital details.

I can find Ellen and James in the 1939 Register but there is no sign of John Robert. So perhaps there is more to John Robert Stowell than I first thought!

 

Madness Monday – High Royds

Madness Monday is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites.

To participate in Madness Monday simply create a post with the main focus being an ancestor who either suffered some form of mental illness or an ancestor who might be hard to locate and drives you mad.

Although it’s not Mental Health Awareness Week 2017 in the UK until May I decided to add a blog post to the theme Madness Monday.

This was prompted by some of the results of searching the 1939 Register available on Find My Past.

I was surprised, or more truthfully saddened, to discover that I had three relatives in the West Riding Mental Hospital in Aireborough, West Yorkshire on 29 September 1939 – the date that the 1939 Register was completed.

Anyone local to Leeds and surrounding areas will know the place as High Royds or simply Menston (the area where the hospital was located) . Here’s a link to a website about High Royds Hospital  written in the early 1970’s by F E Rogers (a former employee at the hospital).

My three relatives who were patients at the time are:-

Marion Dawson (b 28 March 1905). She is my 2nd cousin 2x removed and her parents were John Dawson and Elizabeth Smith. Our common ancestors are Thomas Dawson and Margaret Snowden – my 3x great grandparents. I have no other information about Marion – she was only 5 at the time of the 1911 census – the only other available document before 1939 in which she was recorded.

I don’t know when she was admitted to hospital but at some point she was discharged from High Royds and lived until the age of 80 when she died in February 1986.

Selina Dawson (b 27 August 1877). She is my 1st cousin 2x removed and her parents were Martin Dawson and Margaret Spencer. Our common ancestors are John Dawson and Ellen Gawthrop – my 2x great grandparents. I found Selina in all the census returns from 1881 to 1911. She lived in a small geographical area between Keighley and Skipton throughout all those years – Steeton with Eastburn, Sutton in Craven and Glusburn.

In 1891 she worked as a “worsted spinner”; in 1901 she was described as “house keeper for father”; and in 1911 she was a “confectioner”.

I don’t know when Selina was admitted to High Royds. However her death is recorded in the September quarter of 1941 and registered in the Wharfedale district. This is the same registration district as Menston – so I suspect that Selina died in High Royds at the age of 64.

Watson Emmott Dawson (b 24 Jun 1887). He is my 2nd cousin 3x removed and his parents were Thomas Dawson and Jane Emmott. Our common ancestors are John Dawson and Ann Watson – my 4x great grandparents. I have Watson in the 1891 to 1911 census returns living in Cowling, West Yorkshire all these years. In 1901 Watson is described as an “errand boy” and in 1911 as “farmers son working on farm”.

As with Marion and Selina I don’t know when Watson was admitted to High Royds. I know that he died on 14 October 1944 and his death at the age of 57 is registered in the Wharfedale district – so I believe that he died in High Royds. Watson is buried at the Cowling Hill Baptist Chapel.

It is possible that Selina and Watson were discharged sometime after 1939 and readmitted to High Royds or it is equally possible that they both spent a considerable period of time as patients and died without ever being released. Either way not a very happy end to their lives.

Marion, Selina and Watson are not my only relatives to find themselves in a “mental hospital” or asylum. However I do wonder about the extent of their illness and if they knew they were all there together in 1939.

Sunday’s Obituary – John Turner (1876-1926)

John Turner is my great grand uncle – he is the brother of my great grandmother Elizabeth Ann Musgrove (nee Turner). His parents are Thomas Turner (1848-1916) and Mary Jane Carradice (1854-1917) – my 2x great grandparents.

John was born in Kendal, Westmorland and his birth is registered in the March quarter of 1876. He was baptised on the 2 April 1876.

In the 1881 and 1891 census returns John is living with his parents and siblings in Settle, Yorkshire. In 1891 at the age of 14 his occupation is described as “hawker”.

John married Elizabeth Ann Gornall sometime in Q4 1900 in Clitheroe, Lancashire.

In the 1901 census John and Elizabeth are living at 50 Taylor Street, Clitheroe with his older sister Elizabeth Ann and her husband Joseph Musgrove (my great grandparents). John is working as a general labourer.

Ten years later Johns still working as a general labourer and in the 1911 census John and Elizabeth are living at 13 Grimshaw Street, Clitheroe together with five children:-

Mary Ellen – born 1901
Catherine – born 1902
Annie – born 1905
Maria – born 1906
James – born 1907

They also had two other children who died as babies – John Thomas in 1903 and Elizabeth in 1909.

John and Elizabeth went on to have four more children:-

Winifred – born 1912
Ivy – born 1913
George Henry – born 1914
Florence – born 1915

As far as I can tell Elizabeth Ann died sometime in early 1919 at the age of 37 – her death is registered in Q1 in Clitheroe. I don’t know what happened to all the children at that time – some were still very young. I can only guess that they were cared for by relatives or even entered the workhouse.

I found the following newspaper article in the Lancashire Evening Post of 18 January 1926 detailing the circumstances of John’s death. It’s sometimes difficult to know that you have the right person in newspaper articles, especially with a fairly common name as John Turner. However the report says that he was living at 2 Marlborough Street, Clitheroe. This was the address of his parents in the 1911 census – so I am confident that I have the right person.

lancashire-evening-post-18-january-1926

THE ROADSIDE DEATH AT WORSTON

The body found in the snow on the roadside at Worston on Saturday, has been identified as that of John Turner, cattle drover, aged about 50, who had been living as 2, Marlborough Street, Clitheroe. He left that address about seven o’clock on Saturday and was found at nine o’clock, it being thought that the severe cold had caused his collapse. The facts of the case were reported to the coroner, who considers an inquest unnecessary.

Wedding Wednesday – Thomas Musgrove and Winfred Agnes Taylor

Here is an article from the Burnley Express reporting on the wedding of my uncle Thomas (Tommy) Musgrove to Winfred Agnes Taylor (or auntie Winnie as she was known). The wedding took place on Saturday 25 July 1942.

Thomas Musgrove : Winifred Taylor.png

Sunday’s Obituary – Alfred Gawthrop (1872-1940)

Alfred Gawthrop is my 1st cousin 3x removed. His parents were Joseph Gawthrop and Susannah Bannister. Our common ancestors were Martin Gawthrop and Ann Kighley (my 3x great grandparents).

Alfred married Elizabeth Shackleton sometime in the December quarter of 1897. They had three children:-

Hubert (1896-1950)

Joseph Benson (1899-1961)

Margaret Hannah (1902-1976)

Alfred lived and worked all his life in Cowling

barnoldswick-earby-timesBarnoldswick & Earby Times – 12 July 1940

Death of Mr Alfred Gawthrop

The death occurred yesterday week of Mr Alfred Gawthrop, of Starkie Heaton Farm, Ickornshaw, Cowling. In his 68th year, Mr Gawthrop was well known throughout farming circles, having been a farmer all his life. He was formerly at Greensyke Farm, a farm which had been in his family for many generations, and it was through his residence for a long period at this farm that he was familiarly known as “Alf at Greensyke”. He was a member of the Cowling Branch of the National Farmers’ Union. He was chiefly interested in good horses, and took a special pride in those under his care. For many years he was a carting contractor, and conveyed loads of stones for the making of local roads. Deceased was connected with the Ickornshaw Methodist Church, and was a brother of the late Rev. John Gawthrop, the well known ex-Wesleyan Methodist evangelist minister, who was stationed at St. Neots, Bristol. Mr Gawthrop is survived by his widow, two sons and one daughter. The funeral took place on Saturday, when services were held at his home and the Cowling Parish Church, where interment also took place. The services were conducted by the Vicar, the Rev. E N Betenson. The family mourners were: Mrs Gawthrop, Miss Margaret Gawthrop, Mr and Mrs Hubert Gawthrop (Cross Hills), Mr and Mrs Joseph Gawthrop, Mrs W Rushton (Brierfield), Miss E Rushton (Brierfield), Mrs J Gawthrop (Colne), Mrs B Gawthrop (Laneshaw Bridge), Mrs E Fawcett (Keighley), Miss C Driver, Mrs Birtwistle (Winewall), Mr and Mrs E Hargreaves, Miss M Shackleton. Included in the friends and neighbours present were Misses E and A Wrathall, Mr and Mrs James Walker, Mr A Groom, Mr A Binns, Mrs Spencer, Mrs A Harrison, Mrs N Rishworth, Mr T Rishworth, Mrs R Watson, Mr Charles Bannister, Mr G Wearmouth, Mr J Smith, Mrs A Smith, Mr Fred Smith. As the funeral was public there were many other friends present, and there were many floral tributes. The bearers were Messrs. W Benson, W Emmett, J Wallbank, C Robinson, T Shuttleworth, and E Driver. The funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs. H Berry & Son, Cowling.

John Musgrove (c1833-1884)

This is an update to a blog post I published on 1 November 2015.

John Musgrove is my 2x great grandfather. He was born c1833 to parents Joseph Musgrove and Jane Dewhurst.

On 6 October 1855 John married Catherine Ainsworth at the Parish Church in Blackburn, Lancashire. They had at least 5 children:-

Susannah – born 2 August 1856 – died 1 February 1869
George – born 20 August 1857 – died 20 August 1857
Thomas Ainsworth – born 12 December 1860 – died 16 April 1928 (my great grandfather)
Joseph – born 13 April 1864 – died 3 June 1948
James – born 5 August 1868 – died 23 November 1868

I have found John on the 1841, 1851, 1861 and 1881 census returns. His occupation varied over the years and he was described as a crofter, a carter and a general labourer. In the 1871 census Catherine is living at 18 Ellen Street, Over Darwen, Lancashire and I assume that John was away from home at the time of the census.

On the 2 December 1858 tragedy struck the family when John’s father, Joseph Musgrove, died as the result of a fall at home. Here’s a blog post about his death – Sunday’s Obituary: Joseph Musgrove

Ever since I started my interest in genealogy and researching my family history my mother has regularly told me of a story about a suicide by hanging somewhere in the past. So I was aware that at some point I may find the evidence.

Back in August 2015 I finally got round to ordering a copy of John Musgrove’s death certificate. And finally had confirmation of the family story – cause of death was “suicide by hanging – unsound mind”.

John Musgrove - Death Certificate

According to the death certificate John died at Railway Road, Clitheroe, Lancashire, on 17 September 1884. An inquest was held by the Deputy Coroner J C Anderton on the same date.

The family story was that John returned home one night and the door was locked. Whether he had been drinking, whether John and Catherine had argued, I guess I will never know. Catherine refused to let him in and John replied that he might as well kill himself. If the story is to be believed then Catherine threw him a rope.

Despite my best efforts in the Autumn of 2015 I wasn’t able to find any record of the inquest. I tried Clitheroe library and visited Blackburn library to search the newspaper archives. I also spoke with the Blackburn Coroners Office. There is a death notice in the local Blackburn paper but no report of the inquest. I discovered during this search that inquest records/reports were considered to be the property of the coroner and were most likely destroyed when the coroner retired.

Yesterday I went to Skipton library to search the newspaper archives of the Craven Herald in connection with another relative. As a long shot I decided to try the Craven Herald, a weekly paper, to see if there was any reference to John Musgrove back in 1884.

BINGO!!!

I was very fortunate to find two articles about John’s suicide. The first is from 20 September 1884 – three days after John’s death. The second is from 27 September 1884 and reports on the Coroner’s inquest.

Craven Herald – 20 September 1884

SUICIDE – At six o’clock on Wednesday morning John Musgrove, labourer, fifty two years of age, was found hanging on a gate in Railway Road, Clitheroe, quite dead. John O’Donnell, mason, found the body as he was going to his work, and immediately gave information to the police. Deceased, who lived in Water Street, Clitheroe, had been drinking hard for some weeks, and has had domestic trouble during the last few days.

Craven Herald – 27 September 1884

SUICIDE THROUGH DRINK – An inquest was held last week, before Mr J E Anderton, deputy coroner, touching the death of a labourer named John Musgrove, aged 52 years. Deceased was found hanging by his neck from a gate in a bye-road leading from Railway Road to the Gasworks, dead. A clothes line was fastened about his neck and tied to the top bar of the gate. His shoulders were resting against the lower part of the gate and his legs and the lower part of his body were on the ground. A man named John O’Donnell found the body as he was going to his work, and immediately gave information to the police. Deceased is known to have been drinking hard for some weeks, and has been in a low way during the last few years. “Deceased committed suicide whilst in an unsound state of mind” was the verdict of the jury.

Another lesson for would-be genealogists is to always be on the look out for new records being added to online resources. I check the newspaper archives on Find My Past regularly. I had previously been unable to find any mention of John’s death – until this morning as I’m writing this blog post. Now I’ve found an article from the Preston Herald of 20th September 1884!

Preston Herald - 20 September 1884.png

Preston Herald – 20 September 1884

SUICIDE BY HANGING – At six o’clock on Wednesday morning John Musgrove, labourer, aged 52 years, was found hanging by his neck from a gate in a bye-road leading from Railway Road to the Gasworks, dead. A clothes line was fastened about his neck and tied to the top bar of the gate. His shoulders were resting against the lower part of the gate and his legs and the lower part of his body were on the ground. A man named John O’Donnell found the body as he was going to his work, and immediately gave information to the police. Deceased is known to have been drinking hard for some weeks, and has been in a low way during the last few years. The inquest was held on Wednesday afternoon, before Mr J E Anderton, deputy coroner for the district. Joseph Musgrove, son of the deceased, identified the body as that of his father. John O’Donnell deposed to the finding of the body by him at six o’clock that morning in the position and place described above. PC Halliday said that from information he received he proceeded to the place mentioned by the last witness, and there found the body of John Musgrove. He cut the cord and conveyed him home. PC Benson said that he saw the deceased alive on Tuesday at twelve at noon. Musgrove accosted him in King Street, and said that he had been to the police office to try to get locked up, but there was no one in. Witness told him to go home and go to bed and he would feel better. He (deceased) was drunk at the time. The verdict of the jury was that deceased committed suicide whilst in an unsound state of mind.

So there we have it. A bit more of the picture to a very desperate end to John’s life has now been painted. It appears that John had possibly been depressed for some years and couldn’t go on any longer.

I’m left wondering what it must have been like for John in those final days and hours.  What must Catherine have gone through before and after wards – perhaps not understanding what was happening to her husband as he descended into despair. They had both shared the grief of losing three of their five children – one aged 12 and two as babies. John’s father had died in a tragic accident – although this was 26 years earlier maybe that trauma stuck with John, who knows.

Catherine died three years and two days later on 19 September 1887.

I feel quite sad now.

Sarah Tattersall (1835-1880)

Sarah Tattersall is my 2x great grandmother. She married James Buckley on 26 April 1857 at the Parish Church of Bingley in West Yorkshire. The marriage certificate shows that Sarah was of “full age” and was a spinster. Unfortunately there is no father’s name given on the certificate.

The lack of her father’s name strongly suggests that Sarah was illegitimate. Until recently I hadn’t attempted any meaningful research on Sarah but decided it was time to see what I could find.

I haven’t been able to identify her yet on either the 1841 or 1851 census returns. I have her on the 1861 and 1871 returns married to James and with various children:-

Elizabeth – born 1857
Joseph – born 1859
Emma – born 1863 (my great grandmother)
Prince – born 1865
Samuel – born 1869

Sarah died on 24 January 1880 from heart disease and was buried on 28 January 1880 at Utley Cemetery, Keighley, West Yorkshire. Here’s a photograph of her headstone.

DSCF0396.JPG

According to the census returns Sarah was born sometime around 1835 – 1837 in Keighley. Her death certificate shows her age as 43, suggesting a birth year about 1837.

I had no luck searching the civil registration birth records so had to hope there would be something available from parish records on Ancestry, Find My Past or Family Search.

Eventually I found something in the England & Wales Non-Conformist birth and baptism records (see the image below).

Sarah Tattersall birth.png

The transcript is as follows:-

Sarah Tattersall Daughter of Maryann Tattersall was born at Steeton in the Parish of Kildwick in the County of York, October the twelfth – one thousand eight hundred and thirty four.

The father of this child is Ismael Yewdal.

Dr William Greenwood Mitchell, Hannah Dale and Sarah Cowling present.

Witnesses Susannah Tattersall, Martha Tattersall and Ruth Tattersall.

Registered by Abraham Nichols, Minister April 22nd 1835.

So perhaps this could be the breakthrough I’ve been looking for.

I can only guess at what happened between Maryann (Tattersall) and Ismael and why they didn’t go on to get married.

There is a marriage transcript for Ishmael Yewdale to Emma Fowlds (or Foulds) on 19 January 1836 in Keighley – some fifteen months after the birth of Sarah.

I found the following records in the 1841, 1851 and 1861 census returns on Find My Past.

1841
Ishmael Youdle born 1812 Yorkshire
Emma Youdle born 1815 Yorkshire
Thomas Youdle born 1839 Yorkshire

1851
Ishmael Yudal born 1813 Keighley
Emma Yudal born 1816 Keighley
Thomas Yudal born 1838 Keighley
John Yudal born 1841 Keighley
Ann Yudal born 1844 Keighley
Agnes Yudal born 1846 Keighley

1861
Ishmael Gundal born 1813 Keighley
Emma Gundal born 1816 Keighley
John Gundal born 1842 Keighley
Ann Gundal born 1845 Keighley
Agnes Gundal born 1846 Keighley

The census entry for 1861 has been transcribed incorrectly. I checked the original image and it is definitely Yewdal – although I know that is what I’m looking for. I can see why the transcriber would have settled on Gundal. I’ve sent a transcription amendment to Find My Past.

I guess then that Ismael is therefore my 3x great grandfather. I am confident that I can fill in one of the “blanks” in my tree. The children in the census returns will be half siblings of Sarah Tattersall (my 2x great grandmother) and that’s a whole new thread to follow.

There is a baptism record for Ismael Udale – 29 December 1811 in Keighley. So that fits with the previous information. His parents are shown as Joseph Udale and Agnes Sharp. Interestingly there is also an entry for maternal grandfather’s name, which is William Sharp.

I have located a death registration for Ishmael Yudle in Q4 1867 in Keighley.

The name Yewdal clearly has the potential for various different spellings and transcriptions but I am confident that the various records mentioned above all relate to the same person.