Author: mike

Black Sheep Sunday – Sarah Dawson (nee Hopkinson) – Part 1

John Dawson is my 1st cousin 4x removed. His parents are John Dawson and Elizabeth Benson. Our common ancestors are John Dawson and Ann Watson, my 4x great grandparents.

John married Sarah Hopkinson sometime in the Summer of 1857 – the marriage was registered in Q3 at Skipton, Yorkshire.

posted last week about John being injured working as an “engine tenter” in February 1886 and whet your appetite for more posts.

Some six months later in the Summer of 1886 it seems as though there was a bit of marital and neighbour disharmony as reported in the Burnley Express of 11 August 1886.

Burnley Express - 11 August 1886.png

Sarah Quinn, of Barrowford, was summoned for assaulting Sarah Dawson, wife of John Dawson, of Barrowford. There was a cross summons charging Dawson with assaulting Quinn. Mr Robinson appeared for Quinn, and Mr M Stuttard represented Dawson. Mrs Dawson stated that on the 31st ult. she saw her husband coming up the street in drink. He went to Quinn’s house, and she followed, and asked him to go home, but he refused. Mrs Quinn, sen., and her daughters followed her home, and defendant hit her on the eye, and pushed the door in her face. By Mr Robinson: She did not strike her husband. She did not call Sarah Quinn a foul name, nor slap her face. She threw a stool in self defence at the family, but it did not strike either of them. Elizabeth Smith spoke to seeing the Quinn family surrounding Mrs Dawson’s house, and saw Sarah Quinn strike Mrs Dawson on the face. She did not see the stool strike any of the girls. Both cases were dismissed.

Perhaps a satisfactory end to a domestic dispute you might be forgiven for thinking. However this is not the last you will hear about “the stool”. Part two of the saga continues next week.

Workday Wednesday – John Dawson (Engine Tenter)

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.

John Dawson is my 1st cousin 4x removed. His parents are John Dawson and Elizabeth Benson. Our common ancestors are John Dawson and Ann Watson, my 4x great grandparents.

John married Sarah Hopkinson sometime in the Summer of 1857. The marriage is registered in Q3 at Skipton, Yorkshire.

John’s main occupation as described in the census returns for 1871, 1881 and 1891 is “engine tenter”. I have mentioned John in an earlier post here.  He followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather (my 4x great grandfather – John Dawson) of looking after the machines and engines at Ickornshaw Mill in Cowling, West Yorkshire.

I must admit I hadn’t given much thought to how difficult and dangerous the job of “engine tenter” might be – that is until I came across the following article from the Burnley Express of 6 March 1886.

Burnley Express - 6 March 1886.png

ACCIDENT – On Friday week, John Dawson, engine-tenter, Barrowford, met with an accident. He and three or four other workmen were fixing a new beam-key in the engine-house at Mr Barrowclough’s mill, when suddenly the jenny chain which had been used for raising the beam broke, and the beam fell with a force of over ten tons on Dawson’s left hand, cutting off two fingers, and holding the man fast with the long finger, which had subsequently to be amputated. The accident happened in the chamber of the engine shed, and Dawson, realising his position, kept from falling below. A new chain was procured, and Dawson was released. The hand has been dressed by Dr Pim.

As it turned out 1886 would continue to be a difficult year for John – he appears in the next two instalments of Black Sheep Sunday together with his wife Sarah.

Military Monday – Thomas Baldwin (1888-1917)

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

We all have ancestors who have served in the military. Military Monday is a place to post their images, stories and records of their service in various branches of the military.

Thomas Baldwin is my 1st cousin 2x removed. He was born sometime in the September quarter of 1888 in Eastburn, near Keighley to parents Francis Baldwin and Ellen Dawson. Our common ancestors are John Dawson and Ellen Gawthrop, my 2x great grandparents.

Thomas is a cousin of my grandfather, Joseph Dawson and also of Prince Dawson who died in WW1 on 21 December 1915.

In the 1901 census at the age of 12 Thomas was working as a spinner at a local worsted mill. Ten years later the 1911 census describes his occupation as a warp dresser.

Unfortunately there are no surviving military records for Thomas on either Ancestry or Find My Past so I can’t find out very much information about his service.

I know that he served in the 2nd Battalion / 4th Division of Duke of Wellingtons (West Riding Regiment) holding the rank of Private and his service number was 267218.

Thomas died of wounds on 4 May 1917 while serving in France & Flanders. It is highly likely that he was wounded during the Battle of Arras.  According to information on the excellent website Craven’s Part in The Great War news of his death wasn’t given to his mother until August 1917.

From the same source it seems that Thomas was a prominent player in the Eastburn Cricket Club’s first eleven.

Thomas is buried in Douai Communal Cemetery in France.

dbImage.ashx.jpeg

The following information is from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website.

Douai was occupied by French troops and the Royal Naval Air Service on the 22nd September, 1914, and captured by the Germans on the 1st October; it remained in enemy hands until the 17th October, 1918. The 42nd Casualty Clearing Station was posted in the town from the 28th October, 1918, to the 25th November, 1919.

Douai Communal Cemetery was used during the occupation years of 1914-18 by the Germans for prisoners of war and British, French, Russian, Rumanian and Italian soldiers, as well as German soldiers were buried in it.

During the 1939-45 War Douai was in British hands until the German break through in May, 1940. The 1st Corps Headquarters were at Cuincy, on the western edge of the town, from October, 1939 onwards and Douai was one of the towns from which the Allied advance into Belgium was launched early in May, 1940, only to be followed by the collapse of the French and Belgian units and the consequent withdrawal of the British element towards Dunkirk.

There are now 222 Commonwealth burials of the 1914-1918 war commemorated in this site, 19 being unidentified. There are a further 46 Commonwealth burials of the 1939-1945 war here. There are also 247 French, 113 Russsian and 13 Romanian burials of the 1914-1918 war here.

Madness Monday – Robert Ainsworth (1880-1959)

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.

Robert Ainsworth is my 1st cousin 3x removed. He was born in Kendal, Westmorland, on 7 June 1880 to parents Thomas Ainsworth and Ann Carradice. Our common ancestors are John Carradice and Ann Ridley, my 3x great grandparents.

I have Robert in the 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 census returns and also the 1939 Register.

In 1891 he was a scholar
In 1901 he was a labourer in a woollen mill
In 1911 he was in prison.

I decided to have a look to see if I could find anything about why Robert ended up in prison at the time of the 1911 census.

There was nothing in the newspaper archives on Find My Past – so presumably nothing of a serious nature then?

How about the crime and punishment registers? – I found 14 entries for Robert over a seven year period.

Date

Offence

Punishment

Date of Discharge

9 May 1904

Disorderly Conduct

14 Days

21 May 1904

22 November 1904

Refusal of Task in Workhouse

7 Days

28 November 1904

23 December 1904

Misbehaviour in Workhouse

14 Days

5 January 1905

15 May 1905

Disorderly

14 Days

27 May 1905

13 June 1905

Obscene Language

14 Days

26 June 1905

10 August 1908

Obscene Language

14 Days

23 August 1908

16 September 1908

Obscene Language

14 Days

30 September 1908

7 June 1909

BBL (?)

14 Days

20 Jun 1909

3 July 1909

Assault PC

2 Months

2 September 1909

25 April 1910

Abusive Language

14 Days

8 May 1910

18 June 1910

Assault PC

4 Months

17 October 1910

29 October 1910

Obscene Language

14 Days

11 November 1910

15 November 1910

Begging

14 Days

28 November 1910

7 March 1911

Assault PC / Obscene Language            

4 Months / 14 Days                          

6 July 1911

So at the time of the census on 2 April 1911 Robert had been in prison for almost four weeks for assaulting a Police Constable and using obscene language.

Clearly Robert was a habitual offender for at least these seven years. So I hear you ask at this point – why is this post not in the Black Sheep Sunday category? Well please read on for the answer!!

Below is the 1911 entry from the Crime & Punishment Registers. You will see the note in the end column – Certified insane on 6th May 1911 and removed to Carlisle Asylum 10th May 1911.

Crime & Punishment Register 1911.png

It took at least seven years of regular offending and prison sentences before Robert was certified as being ill.

At the moment I do not know how long Robert spent in the Carlisle Asylum. However he was certainly there at the time of the 1939 Register, which was completed on 29 September that year. He is shown as a patient and has an occupation as a general labourer.

There is a death record for Robert Ainsworth in the September quarter of 1959 registered in the Border District of Northumberland – I am confident that this is my Robert.

Mystery Monday – Martha Blackburn (nee Stowell)

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

Closely related to Madness Monday only these missing ancestors might not cause madness! Mystery Monday is where you can post about mystery ancestors or mystery records – anything in your genealogy and family history research which is currently unsolved. This is a great way to get your fellow genealogy bloggers to lend their eyes to what you’ve found so far and possibly help solve the mystery.

Martha Stowell is my 2nd cousin 3x removed. Her parents are Thomas Stowell and Ann Wroe. Our common ancestors are John Stowell and Ann Riddeoff, my 4x great grandparents.

Martha was born on 23 July 1867. She was baptised on 18 August 1867 at Holy Trinity Church, Habergham Eaves, Burnley, Lancashire.

I have Martha in the 1871 and 1881 census returns. I then have a marriage for Martha to Robert Blackburn on 17 May 1884 at St Mary of the Assumption, Burnley, Lancashire. Details of this are from the Online Parish Clerks for the County of Lancashire Project

And then…..the trail goes cold.

I can’t find Martha on any later census or on the 1939 Register. Neither can I find her in the travel and immigration records online.

I know she was still alive in 1931. Her sister, Margaret Ann Gerrey died that year. Here is a link to my Sunday’s Obituary post. You will see among the floral tributes is one from “sister Martha and family”.

So Martha remains a MYSTERY!!

However I am not the only one interested in the whereabouts of Martha Blackbun (formerly Stowell).

Below is a notice from the Burnley Express of 24 April 1942.

Burnley Express 29 April 1942.png

Re MARTHA BLACKBURN
(formerly STOWELL)

INFORMATION is desired respecting the above named who was the wife of Robert Blackburn and who in 1886 resided at 252, Cog Lane, Habergham Eaves near Burnley and later is believed to have resided in Haslingden and Earby. Any person who can give information as to her present whereabouts or (if dead) the date and place of her death is requested to communicate with

SPRAKE & RANSON
Solicitors
19, Union Street, Accrington
Tel. No. 2226

Hmm should I get in touch and see if they can help me after all this time……maybe not.

Black Sheep Sunday – Fred Gostelow (1863-1921)

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.”

Fred Gostelow is my wife’s great grand uncle – brother of her great grandmother Sarah Ann Gostelow.

Fred was born in 1863 to parents Samuel Gostelow and Emma Padley, my wife’s 2x great grandparents. His birth is registered in Q4 at Spilsby, Lincolnshire.

In the 1881 census Fred is working as a farm servant and living and working at Brick Kilns Farm, Broughton, Lincolnshire.

In 1887 Fred married Alice Stuffins sometime in the June quarter – the marriage is registered at Caistor, Lincolnshire.

It was during this period that Fred got in to trouble and found himself the subject of report in the Lincolnshire Chronicle of 8 July 1887.

Lincolnshire Chronicle - 8 July 1887.png

Blyborough – At the Lindsey Quarter Sessions at Lincoln, on Friday, before Sir C H J Anderson and other Magistrates, Fred Gostelow, farm servant, aged 23, was indicted for stealing a purse, a £5 bank note, and three sovereigns, the property of Albert Scott, at Blyborough, on the 14th May. The jury found the prisoner guilty and recommended him to mercy on account of his previous good character. The Court, taking into consideration the recommendation of the jury, sentenced the prisoner to two calendar months’ imprisonment with hard labour, a sentence which the Chairman described as very lenient.

So not the perfect start to married life.

Fred and Alice had five children:-

Ethel – born 20 March 1888
Walter – born 1 January 1890
William – born 11 December 1892
Wilfred – born & died about March 1896
Cyril – born about March 1897 – died in WW1

Between 1891 and 1911 the family lived in Barnetby, Lincolnshire.

Fred passed away towards the end of 1921 – his death is registered in the December quarter.

Alice remarried at the age of 58 in 1924 to Joseph K Smith. I haven’t located a death registration yet for her.

Black Sheep Sunday – George Astin (1835-1867)

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.”

George Astin is my 2nd great grand uncle – brother of my 2x great grandmother Ann Astin. He was born in Burnley, Lancashire, about 1835 to parents Robert Astin and Nancy Dyson, my 3x great grandparents.

George died at the young age of 32 and was buried on 5 November 1867 in Burnley Cemetery.

Trawling the newspaper archives I came across the following article in the Burnley Advertiser of 7 October 1865.

Burnley Advertiser 7 October 1865 - George Astin.png

A REBELLIOUS SON – George Astin, who did not appear, was summoned for an assault upon his father, Robert Astin. The complainant said that on the Wednesday before, his son struck him twice, once on the shoulder and once on the body. The assault was in Gas Street, and the father was struck because he would not let his son break the window out. They had had a good deal of trouble with him the last three years. He kept leaving his work and going drinking. He was not drunk when he struck the blows, but he had had some drink. Complainant wanted protection from him. Fined 10s and costs; in default to be committed to prison for one month, with hard labour.

I can’t help wonder what was the cause of George’s rebellious behaviour.

Sadly, two years later he was dead and buried. Did Robert and George ever mend their relationship?