Dent Stowell (1909-1955)


Dent Stowell is my 3rd cousin 2x removed. His parents are Dent Stowell and Rose Ann Cairns. Our common ancestors are John Stowell and Ann Riddeoff, my 4x great grandparents.

Dent was born on 1 March 1909 – his birth was registered in Burnley, Lancashire. On 31 March 1909 he was baptised at Holy Trinity church, Habergham Eaves, Lancashire.

Sometime in the June quarter of 1930 Dent married Winifred Atkinson, the marriage is registered in Burnley. Sadly things appear to have gone badly fairly quickly and Dent found himself in court in January 1932. The case was reported in the Burnley Express on 30 January (images below from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

Dent Stowell - Burnley Express - 30 Jan 1932BROKEN THREADS


Dent Stowell (22), of 32 Cotton Street, appeared in Wednesday’s Burnley Police Court to answer an application by his wife for variation of an order, under the Guardianship of Infants Act, made at a time when defendant was on the dole. Mr D. Race said there was also a judgment summons for arrears of £3 12s under the order. The defendant had now resumed work. The complainant had only done two days’ work since Christmas, and was not in receipt of the dole.
Winifred Stowell (20), 48 Lowerhouse Lane, gave evidence in support.
The defendant said he only commenced work the previous week on four looms. He was 22 years old, and lodged with his grandmother. He desired, now he had got into work, to pay something off the arrears.
The Mayor (Alderman Place): Do you think 2s will keep your child? – No.
Has your child to “claim”? – No, but I can’t pay out of nowt, and she will not let me see the child.
Eventually the defendant offered to pay 1s towards the arrears each week.
The Mayor: You are 22 and your wife 20, don’t you think it is two young lives being wasted? Do you not think there is a possibility of your getting together?
Defendant: You have no right to ask me that question.
The Clerk: Oh, yes we have.
Defendant: I have tried to get her to come back to me.
The Mayor: The magistrates are going to retire for a few minutes, and want the defendant and his wife to come into their room.
Mr Race: The wife says she cannot see that any good purpose would be served.
The Mayor announced that the magistrates had decided to vary the order from 2s to 4s per week. If the defendant did not pay that regularly she could apply again. He had also to express on behalf of the magistrates their great disappointment that the parties should have decided to live apart.
Answering the husband on the question of access to the child, the Mayor said he was entitled to see it if he went in a proper manner at a reasonable time.
Defendant: I will not go down to their house again. I have been two or three times and they have refused to let me in.
The Mayor: You cannot expect her to bring it you.

It was almost another eight years before Dent and Winfred were eventually divorced. A report of the hearing was published in the Lancashire Evening Post on 13 December 1939.

On the grounds of her husband’s adultery, Mrs Winfred Stowell, of Colegate Street, Dent Stowell - Burnley Express - 13 Dec 1939Burnley, was granted a decree nisi, with costs and custody of their child, against Mr D. Stowell. The parties were married in 1930, and petitioner alleged that her husband left her about two months after their marriage. Respondent was alleged to have committed adultery on August 7th this year at Burnley. The suit was undefended.

By the summer of 1940 both Dent and Winifred had remarried, I guess with hopes of much more happiness next time round.

Dent married Florence Delia Dean on 30 July 1940 at Burnley Register Office.

In 1938 Dent had joined the Royal Artillery – his military service number was 1437555. I know from the local newspaper reports that at some point he became a Prisoner of War (POW). The Burnley Express reports on 5 May 1945 that Dent was among six Burnley men, all ex POW’s, to have arrived home from Germany.

Dent would now be able to resume life with Florence and their children after what must have been a really difficult time for all of them. However by the end of January 1948 there is another newspaper report from the Burnley Express on 31 January.

Dent Stowell - Burnley Express - 31 Jan 1948Mr Dent Stowell, of 12 Adland Street, Burnley, was granted a decree nisi by Judge B. Ormerod at Manchester Divorce Court on Tuesday on the grounds of misconduct by his wife, Mrs Florence Delia Stowell. The parties were married on July 30th 1940 at Burnley Registry Office. There were two children of the marriage and they were with the mother. The suit was not contested.


Within two months of his divorce Dent’s father (also Dent) died on 28 March 1948. There are links to posts about Dent Stowell (senior) – hereherehere, and here.

Florence remarried twice more before passing away in 2012 at the age of 97.

Dent died on 31 May 1955 at the young age of 46 and was buried on 3 June at Burnley Cemetery.

I feel that Dent certainly had an eventful life but maybe not one that brought him much happiness – his father was convicted of bigamy, he spent time as a POW in Germany and had two marriages ending in divorce.

Sunday’s Obituary -Josephine Irene Seale (nee Gooch) 1927-2006

Josephine Irene Gooch is my wife’s 5th cousin 1x removed. Their common ancestors are David Gostelow and Mary Dawson – my wife’s 5x great grandparents.
The following obituary is available on the Internet.

000324746_20061216_1Seale, Josephine Irene (nee Gooch), died on December 10, 2006, at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, British Columbia with her two sons, Martin and David, by her side. Josephine was born on June 14, 1927, in Spalding, Lincolnshire, the youngest daughter of Harry and Irene Gooch. A local beauty, known for her lovely singing voice, Josephine left Spalding to be educated at Bedford and then the Guild Hall School of Music and Drama in London. She then embarked on a theatrical and cinematic career that was punctuated by her marriage to a dashing, young doctor, Guy Screech. Guy was enlisted in the SAS, a Special Forces unit of the British Army, and the couple was soon off to Malaya where Guy fought the communist insurgency, and Josephine worked as a clerk for military intelligence. Malaya was also where Josephine appeared in her last movie, “A Town Like Alice,” sharing the screen with Peter Finch and Virginia McKenna.
As Josephine frequently reminded Martin in later years, her route to cinematic stardom was cut short by his birth in 1956. By then the family was back in England, and planning to immigrate to Canada. After several years in West Vancouver, and the birth of her second son, David, the family headed back to Malaya. After two more glorious years in the tropics, a brief return to Vancouver, and the end of her first marriage, Josephine settled in Victoria with both of her sons.
Shortly after Josephine’s second marriage to Peter Seale, she moved to a magnificent old house at 1926 Crescent Rd in Victoria, and for many years the house became synonymous with Josephine’s hospitality, and, in particular, her magnificent Boxing Day parties. After she and Peter parted ways, Josephine went to work at the Emergency Department of the Jubilee Hospital, and she continued there until close to retirement age. In her spare time, she returned to her first love, the theatre, and appeared in numerous productions at the Langham Court Theatre. She also traveled back to England on an almost annual basis to spend time with family and friends, particularly her beloved friend Maggie.
In the 1970’s Josephine met the man who brought her substantial happiness in the latter half of her life. Harry Housser was a charming lawyer whose generosity of spirit and love of a good party, perfectly complemented Josephine’s glamour and outgoing personality. Although they were wise enough to maintain separate residences during their 20-year relationship, their bond was strong, and Josephine grieved deeply when Harry died in 1995.
Another challenge faced by Josephine was the loss of a substantial portion of her sight in the early 1990’s. Within a very short period of time Josephine went from somebody who could zip around in her Mini Minor (albeit, in a rather hazardous fashion) to somebody who was forced to listen to her books rather than read them. This resulted in a long-standing relationship with the talking books section of the public library (to whom she was grateful to the end), and a change in lifestyle that she absorbed with courage and grace.
In her early days Josephine was an actress by profession; later on it was by inclination. In combination with her natural eccentricity and personal charm, this made her a welcome, if sometimes controversial, addition to any social gathering. She was fond of casually outrageous opinions about affairs of the day delivered with a mock seriousness designed simultaneously to irritate and amuse. She was a strong and unusual personality that people naturally gravitated to. For all of this she was loved by her family and friends, and will be sorely missed.
Josephine is survived by her sons Martin and David Screech, David’s wife Jean and their children.

Black Sheep Sunday – Bertram Lewis (1909-1968)

Bertram Lewis is my wife’s 3rd cousin 1x removed. His parents are John Lewis and Agnes Harrop. Their common ancestors are James Owen and Martha Brockhouse, my wife’s 3x great grandparents.

Bertram was born in Sandbach, Cheshire on 7 April 1909. He was baptised on 13 May 1909 at St James church, Congleton, Cheshire.

In the 1911 census Bertram, his parents and older brother John, were living in Booth Street, Congleton, By the time of the 1939 Register (compiled at the outbreak of WW2) Bertram had moved south to Surrey and had married Ellen Colborne sometime in the first quarter of 1936. They were living at Bullriding Farm, near Cobham and Bertram was the farm foreman.

Unfortunately Bertram appeared in the local courts a couple of times and the Surrey Advertiser reported both incidents (images from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

The first report was on Saturday 23 March 1940

Bertram Lewis - Surrey Advertiser 23 March 1940.png

At Guildford Borough Police Court on Monday, Bertram Lewis, of Bullriding Farm, Cobham, was fined £3 for exposing an unhealthy cow for sale at Guildford Cattle Market on December 19th.

The next report is from Saturday 13 October 1945

Bertram Lewis - Surrey Advertiser 13 Oct 1945.png


At Kingston on Thursday, Bertram Lewis, a farmer, of Tyrley, Surrey Gardens, Effingham, was fined £5 for driving a car in a dangerous manner at Between Streets, Cobham, on the night of Sunday, September 16th, and £1 for failing to stop on the signal of a police officer in uniform. – Defendant was also ordered to pay 10s. 6d. costs.
Mr. A. A. Kilvert appeared for defendant, who admitted the second offence, but denied driving dangerously.
Evidence of P.C. Vicary and P.C. Herbert was that at 10.15 at night defendant rounded a corner from the main road at a fast speed and the car mounted the pavement, and after regaining the road swerved across the road to the opposite kerb. Afterwards defendant drove by P.C. Vicary, who flashed his torch at him and called out.
Defendant, who said that he had been driving for 17 years and was the holder of a clean licence, stated that his speed at the corner was not more than 20 miles an hour. At the time of the alleged offences he had a black-out and did not remember anything that happened. He was very exhausted at the time following an illness.

Bertram died in 1968 and as far as I can tell didn’t trouble that local papers again.

Wedding Wednesday – Joseph Lynn Cuffley and Georgina Paley Aisbitt

you don't choose your family

I orginally published this Wedding Wednesday blog back in July this year. I have since acquired a wedding day photograph of Joseph and Georgina – so this is a great opportunity to republish the blog post with the photograph.

Georgina Paley Aisbitt is my 2nd cousin 1x removed. Her parents are Matthew Gullford Aisbitt and Rhoda Paley. Our common ancestors are James Paley and Mary Ann Spink – my 2x great grandparents.

Georgina was born on 24 August 1920 and her birth was registered in the East Ward district of Westmorland.

Sometime in the first quarter of 1944 Georgina married Joseph Lynn Cuffley and a report of the wedding was published in the Penrith Observer of 22 February (image taken from (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

Cuffley & Aisbitt Wedding - Penrith Observer 22 February 1944.pngCUFFLEY – AISBITT, AT KIRKBY STEPHEN

The marriage took place at Kirkby Stephen, conducted by the Rev C F Cardale, of Mr Joseph Lynn Cuffley and Miss Geanie…

View original post 284 more words

Military Monday – William Herbert Jowett (1891-1972)

William Herbert Jowett is the husband of my grand aunt, Sarah Ellen Dawson. In other words brother-in-law of my grandfather, Joseph Dawson.

William, or Willie as he was known in the family, was born on 16 March 1891. He was baptised at St. James church, Silsden, West Yorkshire on 12 April 1891.

In the 1911 census Willie was living at College Street, Keighley, West Yorkshire, with his parents Christopher and Emma, three brothers and one sister. He was working as a “fitter’ in the machine tools workshop of Dean, Smith & Grace, manufacturers of lathes and milling machines in Keighley.

On the 17 March 1914 Willie enlisted in the army for 4 years in the Territorial Force with the West Riding Regiment – his service number was 2093.

Two years later under the terms of the Military Service Act 1916 Willie had his period of service extended to 17 March 1919.

He was subsequently assigned as a Corporal to the Royal Flying Corps. (RFC) on 5 October 1917, with a new service number of 405053. When the Royal Air Force was formed on 1 April 1918 Willie was transferred to the RAF as a Corporal Mechanic.

Willie served in France from 20 November 1917 to 4 March 1919 – when he was transferred to the RAF Reserve.

Willie and Sarah Ellen married in Keighley on 1 May 1923. They didn’t have any children.

I remember as youngster in the late 1950’s and 1960’s going with my parents numerous times to visit Wille and Sarah Ellen at their home in Keighley.

They both died in 1972.

Allen Simpson (1923-1943) – Update

Allen Simpson is my 1st cousin 1x removed – in other words my dad’s cousin. Our common ancestors are James Dawson and Emma Buckley, my great grandparents.

Allen was killed in action during WW2 and in May 2012 I wrote about him here.

Allen was involved in Operation Slapstick in Italy and was a casualty in the sinking of  HMS Abdiel on 10 September 1943.

Earlier this year I was contacted by Philip after he read my post about Allen.

Philip’s father served in the same regiment as Allen and he survived the sinking of the Abdiel.  Philip was taking a trip to Italy to do some research and very kindly offered to photograph Allens grave in Bari War Cemetery and to place a poppy for me.

I received some fantastic photographs from Philip – see below.


I am extremely grateful to Philip – I know he had a wonderful time in Italy and that it was a very moving experience.

I have visited a number of Commonwealth War Grave Commission cemeteries in Northern France and it is just so emotional – the grounds are always immaculate and the atmosphere so peaceful.

Sarah Tattersall (1834-1880) – Revisited

Sarah Tattersall is my 2x great grandmother. I wrote about her on 15 December 2016 – here. So this new post is an update resulting from further research and new information.

Sarah was the illegitimate daughter of Mary Ann Tattersall and Ismael Yewdal (other spellings are available). The image below is from the England & Wales Non-Conformist birth and baptism records.


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.

In my further research I have been able to establish that Mary Ann Tattersall (my 3x great grandmother) was the daughter of Patrick Tattersall and Mary Gordon (my 4x great grandparents).  Patrick and Mary had at least nine children between 1792 and 1816. Mary Ann was the youngest born on 3 April 1816 – her brother Edmund was born on 5 May 1796.

Edmund Tattersall and Isabella Hudson had at least four children including:-

Susanna – born 12 August 1815

Martha – born 22 September 1816

Ruth – born 22 November 1820

I believe these three young women are the witnesses named in the birth record above and are nieces of Mary Ann Tattersall.

At the time of my original post in December 2016 I hadn’t been able to find Sarah on the 1841 or the 1851 census returns. I have now resolved these two issues.

The 1841 census for Edmund Tattersall shows him living at Steeton, Kildwick with his wife Isabella and Susannah, Martha, Ruth, Gordon and Sarah. I am confident that this Sarah is Edmund’s niece and my 2x great grandmother.

By the time of the 1851 census Sarah’s mother, Mary Ann Tattersall, had married William Wildman on 20 December 1841 at St Andrews church, Kildwick. Their marriage certificate below confirms Mary Ann’s father as Patrick Tattersall.

Tattersall & Willdman MC 1841.png

I found William and Mary Anne Wildman on the 1851 census living at Pinfold, Keighley. Also there are the following children:-

Sarah Wildman – born 1835

Thomas Wildman – born 1843

Anne Elizabeth Wildman – born 1846

Samuel Wildman – born 1850

There is no doubt in my mind that the Sarah Wildman from this census is my Sarah Tattersall. 

Or should she be Sarah Yewdal?

Sarah Tattersall married James Buckley and I got a copy of their marriage certificate as long ago 10 November 2003. They were married on 26 April 1857 at the Parish Church of Bingley in West Yorkshire.  Both Sarah and James gave their address as Harden – a small parish about 2 miles from Bingley.

I haven’t been able to scan the marriage certificate but hopefully from the photograph below you can see that James is a bachelor and Sarah a spinster. Both are “of full age”. James gave his father’s name as Thomas Buckley. The space for Sarah’s father has been left blank.


With renewed enthusiasm over the past few weeks I have been filling in the Tattersall line of my family tree. I’m not sure why I was looking again for the marriage of Sarah and James Buckley – or even if I was. But one of those coincidences happened that throws everything into a new light.

I came across two marriage entries with same reference number in the June quarter of 1856 in Keighley, West Yorkshire – one for Sarah Yudle and James Buckley and another for Sarah Tattersall and James Buckley.

So obviously I had to order them – were there really two?

Anyway about a week after ordering the certificates I had a phone call from the General Register Office (GRO) to check my order. There was in fact only one marriage – for Sarah Yudle and James Buckley. However there was a note in the margin that at some point the name Yudle had been changed to Tattersall.

So the certificate finally arrives – see image below. This shows that James Buckley married Sarah Yudle at Keighley Register Office on 16 June 1856. James gives his age as 19 and Sarah as 20. James is a bachelor and Sarah a spinster. James gave his address as Coney Lane, Keighley and Sarah as Pinfold, Keighley. James gives his father’s name as Thomas Buckley and Sarah as Ishmael Yudle.

There is indeed a note in the margin which reads “ In Col.2 for “Yudle” substitute “Tattersall” and for the mark of Sarah “Yudle” substitute mark of Sarah “Tattersall”. Corrected on 1st day of September 1856 by me George Smith Registrar in the presence of James Buckley X who hereunto sets his mark, Sarah Buckley X who hereunto sets her mark”.


So eleven weeks after their marriage Sarah changes her name on the marriage certificate. I can only speculate as to the reason. Perhaps her mother wasn’t happy that Ishmael Yudle was given as the father? Perhaps Ishamel Yudle wasn’t too keen either (if indeed he was aware)?

But then nearly ten months after marrying at Keighley Register Office in June 1856 James and Sarah marry again at Bingley Parish Church on 26 April 1857. Certainly some of the facts given on this 1857 marriage certificate are not correct.

Is this even legal – i’m sure it isn’t

One other interesting feature is that one of the witnesses to the 1856 marriage is Job Vickerman. In 1857 one of the witnesses is Mary Vickerman. A search of the 1851 census for Keighley reveals a Vickerman family with brother and sister Job and Mary – both in the same age range as James and Sarah. I think it’s a safe bet that these are the witnesses.

Perhaps Job wasn’t prepared to be a witness to a second and false marriage but persuaded his sister to do it – pure speculation on my part.

So what I thought was a straightforward case of an illegitimate ancestor resulted in a more interesting story.

Only a Genealogist regards a step backwards as progress.

Thriller Thursday – Graham Dawson – Lucky to be Alive

I have previously posted about my dad being struck by lightning here. This was a brief article in the local newspaper in Clitheroe, Lancashire from 2000 looking back at events that happened fifty years earlier.

As the archives for the Clitheroe Advertiser & Times have recently been added to the British Newspaper Archive website I can now share with you the original newspaper report from 1950.

The following article appeared in the Clitheroe Advertiser & Times on 25 August 1950.

Graham Dawson - Clitheroe Advertisr & Times - 25 August 1950.png


A small zig-zag burn above his left eye and a splitting headache are the legacy of a flash of lightning which make 20 year old Mr Graham Dawson who lives at 102, Whalley Road, one of the luckiest people in Clitheroe this week.

Standing on the front doorstep watching Wednesday’s severe thunderstorm, Graham saw a brilliant flash and then went blind.

He stumbled back into the lobby of the house and tried to shout for help but could not speak. Thinking he had gone an errand Mrs Johnson, daughter of Mr and Mrs Musgrove, occupiers of the house, went to the front door and found Graham in a state of collapse.

She shouted to her mother and together they supported him, but his sight did not return so they led him to a chair in the living room.

Mrs Musgrove then ran to inform her husband who works at the Sun Street Mill and he immediately telephoned for the Doctor.

He was attended by Doctor J H Fairweather and within half an hour his sight had completely returned though there was a slight swelling on his forehead and red mark.

Mrs Musgrove said Graham, who was a farm worker, was already convalescing following an operation for appendicitis.

At the time he went to the front door Graham was wearing wellington boots and it was undoubtedly that fact that saved him from more serious injury.

Seen by an “Advertiser and Times” reporter yesterday afternoon, Graham said he went straight to bed after the doctor had been and apart from a bad headache and shock he did not feel any the worse for his remarkable experience.

Funnily enough I thought I’d read the first line of this newspaper report before – but I just couldn’t recall where. Then it came to me in a “flash”. Perhaps the following extract will help you:-

As a souvenir of a traumatic event he would never remember, the boy’s forehead bore the zig-zag of a scar, the only wound that the murderer could inflict on the infant.

Screenshot 2017-10-08 17.08.30.png


So there is the proof – my dad and his zig-zag burn became the inspiration for a certain boy wizard by the name of Harry Potter.


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)

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