Author: mike

Maritime Monday – Ernest William Espley (1904-1976)

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

Post about anything to do with the sea: ancestors who were sailors, shipwrights, fishermen, or coastguards including images, records and links.

Ernest William Espley is my wife’s 2nd cousin 1x removed. His parents are Ernest Wilson Little (aka Edward Espley) and Annie Edith Hutchings.

Ernest was born on 4 December 1904 in Salford, Lancashire.

In the 1911 census Ernest is with his mother and grandparents, Richard Booth Espley and Matilda Espley (nee Little) at 7 Lynton Avenue, Irlam, Lancashire.

Sometime in the September quarter of 1931 Ernest married Marjorie Halksworth and they had one daughter. Sadly Marjorie died early in 1934 at the young age of 27.

Ernest married again, in the September quarter of 1937, to Beatrice May Pye. They went on to have two children. Beatrice passed away in 2004 at the age of 97.

Ernest had a long career in the Merchant Navy eventually becoming a ship’s master.

On the 8th/9th December 1929 Ernest was third mate on the steam ship Manchester Regiment when they were involved in a rescue in mid-Atlantic. As a result of his gallantry Ernest was awarded the Lloyd’s silver medal.

Here is an article from the Dundee Courier of 31 December 1929.

Dundee Courier - 31 December 1929.png

MEDALS FOR SEA BRAVERY

The committee of Lloyds have advised the Imperial Merchant Service Guild that they have had under consideration the Guild’s report and others regarding the rescue of the crew of the steamer Volumnia by the steamer Manchester Regiment on 9th December.

The committee, as an acknowledgment of the gallant conduct and able seamanship displayed, have conferred Lloyd’s silver medal on  Captain Philip Linton, Manchester Regiment; Second Officer William Henry Downing; and Third Officer Ernest William Espley.

The bronze medal has been awarded to Boatswain Bromage and Able Seamen Stringer, Manins, Chidlow, and Kearns, also Mr Ziegler, a passenger.

You can find more information about the sea gallantry medal here – sea gallantry medal

Below is an extract from the above link about the rescue in December 1929.

Screenshot 2017-03-11 17.09.05.png

Rescue in Mid-Atlantic

On the 8th December 1929, the British ss Volumnia of Glasgow was in distress in very bad weather in the Atlantic Ocean; in response to distress signals the ss Manchester Regiment went to her assistance, and, having approached, waited for a lull in the storm before attempting a rescue. Shortly after 9 o’clock, despite the very dangerous sea running, the Master of the Manchester Regiment decided to attempt a rescue, and a boat was launched, in charge of the Second Mate, Mr Downing, with a crew consisting of Mr Espley, Third Mate, Bromage, Manin, Stringer, Kearns, Chidlow and Mr Ziegler. Very great difficulty was experienced in keeping the boat afloat, but by skilful manoeuvring Mr Downing, though badly injured in the hand in the launching of the boat, made two trips to the Volumnia and the entire forty-five members of the crew of that vessel were eventually taken off. The rescuing boat was badly damaged and abandoned (30.1.30)

In honour of the brave men and women of the Merchant Navy there is a poem called “Heroes” written by David Partridge – see it in full at BBC WW2 People’s War

These are the first two lines – very apt for this post.

Don’t speak to me of heroes until you’ve heard the tale                                                                  Of Britain’s merchant seamen who sailed through storm and gale                                              by David Partridge

 

Madness Monday – Watson Emmott Dawson (1877-1944)

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.

Watson Emmott Dawson is my 1st cousin 3x removed.  Our common ancestors are my 4x great grandparents John Dawson and Ann Watson.

Watson was born in Cowling, West Yorkshire, on 24 June 1887 to parents Thomas Dawson and Jane Emmott.

I have written about Watson before – Military Monday and Madness Monday. He also gets a brief mention in Tombstone Tuesday and Sunday’s Obituary.

I recently came across these articles in the Burnley Express of 23 January 1915 and the Burnley News of 17 February 1915.

Burnley Express

Burnley Express - 23 January 1915CAUGHT IN HUT – At the Colne Police Court, on Thursday, a farm labourer named Watson Dawson, of Cowling, was charged with breaking into the shooting box used as a warehouse and stealing a bottle of whisky, the property of Mr W F J Green-Emmott, JP. – Mr A Bracewell defended. – Martin Ogden, gamekeeper, said that on the 13th December he went to the shooting box and heard a noise. After waiting a few minutes he saw accused come creeping through the window. Prisoner said, “I have got a bottlee of whisky here it is.” Witness lighted a candle, and accompanied by accused, they re-entered the shooting box and found that the cupboard door had been broken, the lock having been sprung off. There was another bottle of whisky inside, and a quantity of the contents had been consumed. – Cross examined by Mr Bracewell, witness admitted that he had been on very friendly terms with accused. On the very day of the offence Dawson had his tea at his (witness’s) house. Dawson’s family had offered to make reparation for the damage done. He knew that accused had been in an institution for the mentally deficient. In his application for bail, Mr Bracewell said that Dawson was a member of a very highly respectable family. A few years ago accused had the misfortune to meet with a serious injury, and this had resulted in his having been sent to an asylum. – Dawson was committed to take his trial at the Preston Quarter Sessions, bail being allowed.

Burnley News

Burnley News - 17 February 1915THEFT AT COLNE

FARM LABOURER BOUND OVER

REMARKABLE STORY OF A PASSION FOR WANDERING

A remarkable story was told at Preston Sessions, on Monday, in a case in which Watson Dawson (27), farm labourer, pleaded guilty to stealing a bottle of whisky from a shooting hut at Colne, on December 13th.

Mr Yates, prosecuting, said accused was seen by a keeper climbing out of the window of a shooting hut on the moor. He had a bottle of whisky in his pocket.

Mr Hodgson said Dawson was the son of respectable parents, and up to six years ago had never caused them a moment’s anxiety. He was then employed in a cotton mill. He was always extremely fond of shooting, and spent much of his time on the common moor, over which there was free shooting of grouse. One day he was found lying unconscious on the moor, and it was thought that he had been sun-struck. He had to be taken to the Menstone Asylum, and the medical superintendent there said he had had a violent blow on the head. It was now believed that somebody who had shot at a bird at the same time as Dawson had quarrelled with him as to whom the bird belonged, and that in the quarrel Dawson had been struck on the head with the butt end of a gun. The result of this injury was such that his parents were advised that he must live an open-air life. They took a farm at Cowling, and defendant and the whole family worked there.

Defendant also developed a passion for wandering, and about the same time every year he wandered away with the clothing he was then wearing, and without a word of warning to anybody. He would stay away for a month or two and then come back. His parents had been warned by the medical superintendent at the asylum that he was likely to develop these wandering fits. During these journeys he had wandered away to Ireland and even to France, and apparently supported himself by casual employment. He left home early in December in his usual way, and was lost sight of until he was seen by the keeper getting out of the window of this hut on the moor, which was close to his own home, where plenty of food and shelter awaited him. The keeper, who knew defendant well, took him to his own house and gave him some tea. Dawson then left to go home, as the keeper thought, but he was not seen again until December 31st when he returned home in a bad state of health.

The Chairman said he was sorry to see defendant there in this trouble. He would be bound over to come up for judgment if called upon.

These newspaper stories provide some background to why he might have been in the West Riding Mental Hospital in 1939 (High Royds / Menston) – see Madness Monday post mentioned above.

I’ve also located Watson in the Lunacy Patients Admission Register on ancestry.co.uk. The image below shows that he was admitted to Menston on 19 August 1908 and released on 26 April 1909.

UK Lunacy Patients Admission Registers 1846-1912.png

I am now on the hunt for any patient records that may exist for the West Riding Mental Hospital. I know that some records are available at the West Yorkshire Archives just up the road from where I live. However because the records I am interested in are less than 100 years old then there will need to be a Freedom of Information request to the relevant NHS Trust. I will also need to demonstrate my relationship to Watson and my right to access the records. Does being a 1st cousin 3x removed qualify me as having a right to access the records? At the moment I don’t know the answer to that question.

Sunday’s Obituary – Annie Anderton (nee Gawthrop) 1872 -1923

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

To participate in Sunday’s Obituary, post obituaries along with other information about that person.

Annie Gawthrop is my 1st cousin 3x removed. Her parents are Israel Gawthrop and Mary Ann Hargreaves. Our common ancestors are Martin Gawthrop and Ann Kighley (my 3x great grandparents).

Annie was born in 1872 in Sabden, Lancashire – her birth was registered in the December quarter.

I published a blog post about Annie’s marriage to Thomas Luther Anderton – here

Thomas and Annie had one daughter, Dorothy, in 1902.

Below is an article from the Burnley News of 29 August 1923 reporting on her death at the age of 50.

burnley-news-29-august-1923

DEATH OF MRS ANDERTON – Several well known and highly respected Sabden families have been plunged into mourning by the death of Mrs Annie Anderton, wife of Mr Luther Anderton, a well known Accrington tradesman, who passed away at her residence, 81, Willows Lane, Accrington, on Monday evening. Mrs Anderton, who was 50 years of age, had long suffered from a painful illness, which she had borne with exemplary patience and fortitude. She was the fourth daughter of the late Mr Israel Gawthorpe, a well known Sabden personality, and was born in the village. Prior to her marriage she was intimately identified with the Wesleyan Church, and she was also widely esteemed for beautiful personality. Her death is deeply regretted by a large circle of friends, and much sympathy is felt with her husband and only daughter inn their sad bereavement. The interment will take place at the Wesleyan Church, Sabden.

A report of the funeral appears in the Burnley Express on % September 1923

FUNERAL – On Saturday the remains of the late Mrs Luther Anderton were laid to rest in the Wesleyan burial ground. The cortege, on arrival in Sabden, was met at Mr G Wilkinson’s home, Whalley Road, by the Sabden relatives and friends. At the Wesleyan gates the coffin was borne by Mr John Anderton, Mr Richard Anderton, Mr J J Pilkington, Mr G Wilkinson, Mr James Appleton, and Mr G Wilkinson. The mourners were:- Mr Luther Anderton, husband, and Miss Anderton, daughter; Miss Gawthorpe, Mr and Mrs G E Jackson, Mr and Mrs Pilkington, Mr and Mrs R L Anderton, Mr and Mrs John Anderton, Mr and Mrs Ayrey, Mr Ernest Jackson and Miss Jackson, Mr Frank Pilkington, Mr Bell, Miss Rothwell and Miss Procter, Mr Lewis, Miss Anderton, Mr and Mrs J Appleton, Mr and MrsBurnley Express 5 September 1923.png W Beckett, Mr and Mrs G Wilkinson, Miss Hartley, Miss Ashworth, Mrs Parsons, and Mrs M Holmes. The mourners entered the chapel to the strains from the organ of “I know that my Redeemer liveth.” Mr Lewis, pastor of Spring Hill Chapel, Accrington, conducted an impressive service, and the choir rendered two hymns whilst Mr G Wilkinson rendered on the organ “O rest in the Lord.” Mr Lewis performed the last rites, and at the service a number of sympathising friends gathered. The floral tributes were:- Cross, from Father and Dollie; wreath, John, Lizzie and Alice Maude; cross, Jim, Ellen and family; harp, Sister Maggie; cross, Sister Bertha, Dick; wreath, Mrs H H Stuttard (Read Hall); harp, Lizzie, Ernest, May, and Ernest; crescent, Miss Smith, Alice Emma, and Nellie; wreath, A S and S Bell; wreath, Mr and Mrs James Appleton; spray, Mr and Mrs G Wilkinson and Gilbert; wreath, Frank, Ellen, and Jack; spray, Harry, Ethel and Little Pat; cross, Mr and Mrs Robinson; wreath, Mrs Quipp and family; cross, Mrs Rothwell and Ida; wreath, Stella; wreath, Mr Robinson; wreath, Mr and Mrs Bradshaw; wreath, Aunty, Harold and Annie; spray, Stella and Walter; spray, Mr and Mrs Grimshaw; spray, Ellen Bamber; spray, Edwin William; spray, Wesley Flower Mission; spray, Mr and Mrs Horrocks and family; spray, Mr and Mrs Downham; harp, Mr and Mrs Procter and Ruth. The undertaker was Mr Tattersall, of Accrington.

Do we get such detailed reports of the mourners and floral tributes in the papers these days? I haven’t taken any notice to be honest – must check it out.

Tuesday’s Tip – Probate Records

Tuesday’s Tip is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites.

What advice would you give to another genealogist or family historian, especially someone just starting out? Remember when you were new to genealogy? Wasn’t it great to find tips and tricks that worked for others?

Albert Edward Dawson is my 4th cousin 1x removed. His mother was Mary Dawson. Our common ancestors are John Dawson and Ann Watson, my 4x great grandparents.

As far as I can establish there was nothing significant or exceptional about Albert’s life. He was born on 12 January 1906 in Barrowford, Lancashire. In the 1911 census Albert is living at 42 Gordon Street, Colne, Lancashire, with his mother Mary, his widowed grandmother Ann Dawson (nee Hargreaves) and his uncle James (Mary’s brother).

I have a marriage for Albert sometime in the June quarter of 1931 in Burnley, Lancashire, to Doris Ainsworth.

In the 1939 Register Albert and Doris are living at 3 Park Hill, Barrowford, Lancashire. They are both described as a “cotton weaver.”

I haven’t been able to find a death record for Doris. It is possible that she remarried at some point. But I can’t find a matching record for a marriage either – so she remains a mystery for now.

However I have found a death for Albert Edward Dawson in Staincliffe, West Yorkshire, in the December quarter of 1972.

Straightforward on the face of it. However, my tip is to always check the probate records to see if there is a will. This can sometimes be very useful – you might find information about other relatives who are beneficiaries of the will; you might find that your relative died in a particular hospital or at home; you might find details of their last address; you should find some information about the value of the estate; and you might find other interesting information.

Which is precisely what happened in the case of Albert Edward Dawson. Below is the entry from the England & Wales National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations) from www.ancestry.co.uk

albert-edward-dawson-probate

You will see that I now have the last known address of Albert at the time of his death – 1 Park Lane Cottages, Cowling, Keighley. Also that he was last known to be alive on 23 October 1972 and his dead body was found on 30 October 1972.

I don’t know the circumstances of his death or where his body was found.

There doesn’t appear to be anything in the newspaper archives at www.findmypast.co.uk. I have been to the library at Skipton to search their newspaper archives because some of the local papers are not included in the Find My Past records.

So far I haven’t been able to find any report of Albert going missing or of his dead body being found in suspicious circumstances or otherwise.

However I only know that there is something unusual about his death because of the information available from the probate records. So remember that the probate records can be a valuable genealogy resource.

Black Sheep Sunday – Elijah Skelding (1827-1888)

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.”

Elijah Skelding is my wife’s great grand uncle – a brother of her great grandfather Imri Skelding.

Elijah was born about 1827 in the area around Lye, Worcestershire. His parents are William Skelding and Catherine Taylor, my wife’s 2x great grandparents.

Elijah married Harriet Taylor sometime in the December quarter of 1850 in Dudley, Staffordshire and they had at least five children:-

Eunice – born 1855
William – born 1857
Agnes – born 1859
Adam – born 1862
David – born 1864

In the census returns for 1851 to 1881 Elijah is described as a “nail maker” or a “horse nail maker”.

I recently found the following newspaper article from the Worcestershire Chronicle of 21 October 1857. Elijah is described as an “Odd Fellow”. The Odd Fellows are one of the earliest and oldest fraternal societies – see this history from Wikipedia

Worcestershire Chronicle - 21 October 1857.png

ODD FELLOWS – Elijah Skelding was charged with stealing an umbrella, the property of John Taylor, on the 11th instant. Prisoner and prosecutor are Odd Fellows, and on the day named had, with others of the fraternity, been at a the funeral of one of the brethren. They afterwards adjourned to the Kings Head for business. Taylor took an umbrella with him to the house, and it was shortly missed. Prisoner, who had left, was suspected, and prosecutor’s brother, William, followed him. He overtook him in the road with the missing article, and at once accused him of theft, upon which a tussle ensued, which gave rise to two summonses, Skelding charging William Taylor with an assault and William Taylor charging Skelding with ditto. The summonses were both dismissed, Skelding being committed for trial on the charge of larceny.

Details of the alleged crime were entered in the Worcestershire register of Persons Committed, or Bailed to appear for Trial, or Indicted. The image below shows that Elijah was charged with “simple larceny.” The final column of the page is to record whether the person was acquitted or the case discharged. For all the cases on this page, including Elijah, it says “No Bill” – in other words the case did not proceed to trial.

Elijah Skelding - Criminal Registers.png

Interestingly Elijah married Harriet Taylor and his mother was Catherine Taylor – I wonder if the Taylor’s from the newspaper article are relatives and there was some sort of family disagreement at play here. Pure conjecture and fantasy on my part no doubt!!

Workday Wednesday – Isaac Dawson (1847-1923)

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

Here’s a way to document your ancestors’ occupations (they weren’t all farmers), transcripts of SS-5s, photos and stories of ancestors at work, announcements of retirements, etc.

Isaac Dawson is my great grand uncle – the brother of my great grandfather James Dawson. He was born sometime towards the end of 1847 in Cowling, West Yorkshire

I have Isaac on all the census returns from 1851 to 1911. He had various occupations over the years:-

1871 – worsted power loom weaver

1881 – general labourer

1891 – assistant bobbin turner

1901 – green grocer / shop keeper

1911 – company housekeeper

Here’s a photograph, courtesy of steeton.net, of Isaac with his green grocers cart sometime around the end of the 19th century or early 20th century.Isaac-Dawson-1024x656.jpg

 

Sunday’s Obituary – Jane Dawson (nee Emmott) 1859-1949

Jane Emmott married Thomas Dawson, my 1st cousin 4x removed, on 11 March 1877 in Cowling, West Yorkshire. Thomas is a son of John Dawson and Elizabeth Benson. Our common ancestors are John Dawson and Ann Watson, my 4x great grandparents.

Thomas and Jane had three sons:-

Albert Frederick (b 1 February 1883)
James Willie (b 17 May 1885)
Watson Emmott (b 24 Jun 1887)

Below is the obituary for Jane Dawson from the Barnoldswick & Earby Times of 11 February 1949. Barnoldswick & Earby Times - 11 February 1949.png

Oldest Resident

With the passing of Mrs Jane Dawson, at Beckfoot, Cowling, in her 91st year, Cowling has lost its oldest resident, and a personality with an interesting and remarkable record. The widow of the late Mr Thomas Dawson, a well known farmer in his day, at Cowlaughton and Well Head Farms, Cowling, Mrs Dawson was Jane Emmott prior to her marriage, and is the last of the James Emmott family of Beckfoot, Cowling. She was a descendant of the original Emmott family, whose connection with Emmott Hall, Laneshaw Bridge, near Colne, dates back to 1620, a family whose association with Cowling Baptist Chapel can be traced to the Trustees’ records of that church as far back as 1753. Mrs Dawson was born at Beckfoot, Cowling, and although she had for the past 14 years resided with her second son, Mr James W Dawson, in business as a bandage manufacturer, at Morecambe, she often expressed the wish in her latter years to spend her last days at Beckfoot. This was made possible by her son, who repaired and made habitable a cottage at Beckfoot where his mother was born, and during recent months Mrs Dawson has quietly and happily lived to the end of her days. She was one of a family of 12 children, and could tell stirring tales of olden days, and perhaps no one had more vivid recollections and a more definite link with the ancient past that Mrs Dawson. The story she was most fond of relating was that of an old lady who resided in the adjoining cottage at Beckfoot when she (Mrs Dawson) was only ten years of age. The old lady, known as “Owd Nan” (Hannah Hargreaves), would often recount her experiences as one of the first weavers at the Ickornshaw Mill, Cowling, in 1791, and almost to the times of her death Mrs Dawson would describe “Owd Nan”, her mode of life, and re-narrate with interesting detail those stories of the beginning of the weaving industry at Ickornshaw Mill. Mrs Dawson attributed her long, healthy life to “plenty of porridge when young, and lots of hard work.” Her husband pre-deceased her 22 years ago. The funeral took place on Saturday at Cowling Hill Baptist Chapel, conducted by the Rev. Joffre R Smith, who referred to Mrs Dawson’s long and interesting life, and paid tribute to her son’s care and kindness to her during her latter years.

The obituary refers to Ickornshaw Mill – and the Dawson family has a long association with the mill. This goes back to my 4x great grandfather John Dawson who installed the first water wheel at the mill – Amanuensis Monday – John Dawson (1768-1832)