Author: mike

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)

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