Sunday’s Obituary – Ellen Hurtley (1858-1934)

My great grandmother Ellen Hurtley (nee Paley) died on this day in 1934 at the age of 75.

Ellen is one of my ancestors with missing information because I can’t find a registered birth for her. I know from census returns and from her death certificate that she was born about 1859. I have searched the GRO records both online and on microfiche at Leeds Library. I am fairly confident that there is no birth registered [UPDATED].  Well what do I know!!  One of my regular readers, Richard Thornton, has emailed me with details of a birth registered in Skipton Q3 1858 for Ellen Saley – I’ll be ordering the certificate today.

Ellen’s parents were James Paley and Mary Anne Spink. They had at least six other children and I have been able to find registered births for five of those children. The other missing birth is for Mary Paley.

Thankfully I made a breakthrough recently!!!

I discovered a baptism record for Ellen Paley and Mary Paley on 3 December 1858 at Conistone in the Yorkshire Dales. Ellen and Mary were twins.

Ellen & Mary Paley Baptism - Burnsall 1858

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been able to find Ellen on all the census returns from 1861 to 1911. She was at home with her parents in 1861 and 1871. Then in 1881 she was working as a “domestic servant” at 4 Water Street, Skipton for Margaret Cooper (widow).

Ellen married James Hurtley on 5 February 1885 in the parish church at Rilstone, near Skipton. They were living in Flasby at the time of the 1891 census then in Silsden (1901) and finally Cononley in 1911.

James and Ellen had at least seven children:-

Rhoda – Abt December 1885
Jim – Abt March 1887
Jessie – Abt June 1889
Maggie – Abt March 1892
Nellie – 9 September 1894
Tom – Abt September 1897
Alice – 29 October 1900 (my grandmother)

It also seems that Ellen had a daughter before she married James Hurtley – Annie Paley (birth registered September1881). I haven’t yet obtained a birth certificate for Annie so haven’t been able to confirm whether or not a father is shown.

Ellen’s death certificate shows that she died at home – 58 Main Street, Cononley and that her daughter Jessie Brown was present at death.

Below is a photograph of Ellen Hurtley (nee Paley) and my grandmother Alice Dawson (nee Hurtley).

Ellen Hurtley & Alice Dawson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research Projects

I’ve neglected my blog for over 12 months and it’s now time to devote some attention with hopefully new inspiration.

My own family tree research has slowed down considerably to the point where I seem to be just chipping away at brick walls all the time. So over the last year I have been busy doing genealogy research for other people. I must admit I find that very interesting and satisfying. It can also be challenging at times especially when things do not go as expected.

I had two particularly interesting research projects.

The first involved tales of Scandinavian heritage – so my ultimate goal was to prove or disprove the family tales.

I was able to trace the origin of the British ancestral roots back to people in the 1861 census. This included the then head of the family with an occupation of Master Mariner and birth place of Gothenburg, Sweden. There were six children, three with a birth place listed as Russia and three born in Liverpool.

It was fairly easy to track the family right up to the 1911 census – although not without some difficulties. The problems were mainly around incorrect name transcriptions in the two main online indexes.

The family name was BRUNSTRUM. However the 1861 census had been indexed as BRUMSTRUM and the family name in the GRO marriage records for the father was BRAMSTOM.

The 1871 census was to be found under BRUNSTROM. There were two more children now – one birth was recorded as BRUNSTROM and one as BRUNSTMOM.

In the 1881 census the manuscript entry looks BRUNSTON but has been indexed as BRIMSTON.

In 1891 the census entry has been indexed as BRANSTROM.

There is a marriage in 1900 and the name now becomes BRUNSTON in the GRO record. Although the census entry the following year is under BRIMSTON.

Finally in 1911 the name is still BRUNSTON and it has been indexed as that.

The research had a bit of a sad end with a newspaper article reporting the death of the great grandfather of the person I was doing the research for and one of his sons in a tragic accident.

John Percy Brunston

John Percy Brunston

The second interesting project was very recently.

I did some research for someone in Australia who has an interest my wife’s family name of Espley. In particular she wanted to trace a death for her great grandmother. Should be straightforward right!!

I started by checking the BMD records and sure enough there was no death registered. I checked various spellings of the name all without success.

OK not a problem – maybe she had remarried. No, there was no marriage recorded.

Perhaps she had emigrated? I checked the available passenger lists online – no trace.

Winifred Frances EspleyI decided to check the newspaper archives on Find My Past. Breakthrough at last.

There were various newspaper articles in the Gloucestershire Echo about the person I was looking for – she was sent to prison in 1939 for two bigamous marriages.

This revelation came as a complete shock to the person I was doing the research for.

Both of these research projects provide valuable lessons.

First of all never completely trust the transcribed indexes – always double check with the original document images wherever possible.

Secondly the discovery of information while perhaps interesting as part of the research can sometimes be tragic and also shocking for the person getting the results.

Military Monday – Fred Paley (1893-1918)

Fred Paley is my 2nd cousin 2x removed. His parents are Joseph Paley and Amy Farrer. Our common ancestors are William Paley and Mary Blackey, my 3x great grandparents.

Fred was born in 1893 and his birth is registered in Wetherby in the March quarter.

On 31 March 1918 Fred married Annie Theresa Blamires at St. Columba’s Parish Church in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

I haven’t been able to find any remaining service records for Fred. I do know from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website – http://www.cwgc.org – that he served in the Royal Fusiliers and his regimental number was G/29685.

Fred died of wounds on 27 August 1918 – less than five months after his marriage.

He is buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, France.

Annie remarried in 1927 and lived until the age of 92, passing away in 1981.

The following information is taken from the CWGC website.

During the First World War, the area around Etaples was the scene of immense concentrations of Commonwealth reinforcement camps and hospitals. It was remote from attack, except from aircraft, and accessible by railway from both the northern or the southern battlefields. In 1917, 100,000 troops were camped among the sand dunes and the hospitals, which included eleven general, one stationary, four Red Cross hospitals and a convalescent depot, could deal with 22,000 wounded or sick. In September 1919, ten months after the Armistice, three hospitals and the Q.M.A.A.C convalescent depot remained.

The cemetery contains 10,771 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, the earliest dating from May 1915 – 35 of these burials are unidentified.

Hospitals were again stationed at Etaples during the Second World War and the cemetery was used for burials from January 1940 until the evacuation at the end May 1940. After the war, a number of graves were brought into the cemetery from other French burial grounds. Of the 119 Second World War burials 38 are unidentified.

Etaples Military Cemetery also contains 662 Non Commonwealth burials, mainly German, including 6 unidentified. There are also 5 Non World War service burials here.

The cemetery, the largest Commission cemetery in France, was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

Etaples Military Cemetery

Etaples Military Cemetery

 

Military Monday – Robert Alexander Carradice (1890-1919)

Robert Alexander Carradice is my 1st cousin 3x removed. His parents are Alexander Carradice and Adela Ormande Birkhead. Our common ancestor are John Carradice and Ann Ridley, my 3x great grandparents.

Robert was born in Kendal, Westmorland in 1890, his birth is registered in Q3.

There are no military records available for Robert either at http://www.ancestry.co.uk or http://www.findmypast.co.uk. However there is reference to him on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website at http://www.cwgc.org and on http://www.forces-war-records.co.uk.

I know that Robert was a Sapper with the Royal Engineers and his service number was WR/327227.

Royal Engineers Badge

Royal Engineers Badge

The available information also says that Robert died on 8 February 1919.

So I have no information about his war time service or what lead up to his death. I can only surmise that he died at home. His death is recorded in the England & Wales registers and there is a gravestone for him in Kendal Parkside Cemetery.

Robert Alexander Carradice - Kendal Parkside Cemetery

Robert Alexander Carradice – Kendal Parkside Cemetery

Military Monday – Albert Espley (1896-1916)

Albert Espley is my wife’s 2nd cousin 2x removed. His parents are Enoch Espley and Ann Lymer. My wife and Albert’s common ancestors are James Espley and Martha Silvester, my wife’s 3x great grandparents.

Albert was born in 1896 in Hanley, Staffordshire and his birth is registered in Q2.

I haven’t been able to find any service records for Albert on http://www.ancestry.co.uk or http://www.findmypast.co.uk. However there is some information on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website – http://www.cwgc.org and on http://www.forces-war-records.co.uk.

I know that Albert was a Private in the 4th Battalion of the Grenadier Guards. His service number was 19584.

The 4th Battalion of the Grenadier Guards was formed on 14 July 1915 and mobilised for war on 19 August 1915.

Albert was killed in action on 25 September 1916. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France.

The following information is taken from the CWGC website.

On 1 July 1916, supported by a French attack to the south, thirteen divisions of Commonwealth forces launched an offensive on a line from north of Gommecourt to Maricourt. Despite a preliminary bombardment lasting seven days, the German defences were barely touched and the attack met unexpectedly fierce resistance. Losses were catastrophic and with only minimal advances on the southern flank, the initial attack was a failure. In the following weeks, huge resources of manpower and equipment were deployed in an attempt to exploit the modest successes of the first day. However, the German Army resisted tenaciously and repeated attacks and counter attacks meant a major battle for every village, copse and farmhouse gained. At the end of September, Thiepval was finally captured. The village had been an original objective of 1 July. Attacks north and east continued throughout October and into November in increasingly difficult weather conditions. The Battle of the Somme finally ended on 18 November with the onset of winter.



In the spring of 1917, the German forces fell back to their newly prepared defences, the Hindenburg Line, and there were no further significant engagements in the Somme sector until the Germans mounted their major offensive in March 1918.



The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916. The memorial also serves as an Anglo-French Battle Memorial in recognition of the joint nature of the 1916 offensive and a small cemetery containing equal numbers of Commonwealth and French graves lies at the foot of the memorial.



The memorial, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, was built between 1928 and 1932 and unveiled by the Prince of Wales, in the presence of the President of France, on 1 August 1932 (originally scheduled for 16 May but due to the death of French President Doumer the ceremony was postponed until August).



The dead of other Commonwealth countries, who died on the Somme and have no known graves, are commemorated on national memorials elsewhere.

Thiepval Memorial

Military Monday – John Bentley Hurtley (1885-1917)

John Bentley Hurtley is my 3rd cousin 1x removed. His parents are Robert Bentley Hurtley and Louisa Ann Naylor. Our common ancestors are Thomas Hurtley and Hannah Braidley, my 3x great grandparents.

John was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire in 1885. His birth is registered in Q3.

In the 1911 census John was a boarder at an address in Kirkstall, Leeds. He was following in his father’s footsteps and working as a “butchers assistant”.

I haven’t been able to find any remaining military records on http://www.ancestry.co.uk or http://www.findmypast.co.uk. I have found a record of John on the Commonwealth War Graves Commissions website http://www.cwgc.org and also on http://www.forces-war-records.co.uk.

So I know that John was a Private in the West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own) and served in the 9th Battalion. His service number was 37170.

John died of wounds on 22 November 1917 while fighting in France.

He is buried at St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France.

The following information is taken from the CWGC website.

St Sever Cemetery and St. Sever Cemetery Extension are located within a large communal cemetery situated on the eastern edge of the southern Rouen suburbs of Le Grand Quevilly and Le Petit Quevilly.

During the First World War, Commonwealth camps and hospitals were stationed on the southern outskirts of Rouen. A base supply depot and the 3rd Echelon of General Headquarters were also established in the city.

Almost all of the hospitals at Rouen remained there for practically the whole of the war. They included eight general, five stationary, one British Red Cross and one labour hospital, and No. 2 Convalescent Depot. A number of the dead from these hospitals were buried in other cemeteries, but the great majority were taken to the city cemetery of St. Sever. In September 1916, it was found necessary to begin an extension, where the last burial took place in April 1920.

During the Second World War, Rouen was again a hospital centre and the extension was used once more for the burial of Commonwealth servicemen, many of whom died as prisoners of war during the German occupation.

The cemetery extension contains 8,348 Commonwealth burials of the First World War (ten of them unidentified) and in Block “S” there are 328 from the Second World War (18 of them unidentified). There are also 8 Foreign National burials here.

The extension was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.

St. Sever Cemetery Extension

St. Sever Cemetery Extension