Colne

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.

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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.

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)

Christmas Eve Weddings

Happy Christmas 2012 to all my blog followers and readers.

I thought I would just have a look and see what family events have taken place on Christmas Eve in the past.  I discovered at least three weddings within a seven year period between 1859 and 1866.

Benjamin Gawthrop & Elizabeth Eastwood

Benjamin is my 2nd great grand uncle and he married Elizabeth Eastwood in 1859. According to the record in Ancestry they were both 21 years old. The marriage is registered in Colne, Lancashire. The grooms father was Martin Gawthrop (my 3x great grandfather) and the brides father was Richard Eastwood.

Benjamin and Ann had at least two children – Ann and Benjamin.

Ellen Carradice & Robert Brockbank

Ellen is my 2nd great grand aunt and she married Robert Brockbank in 1864. According to the marriage certificate they were both 24 years old. The marriage took place at Kendal parish church in Westmorland. The grooms father was Samuel Brockbank – a woollen spinner and the brides father was John Carradice (my 3x great grandfather) who was a weaver.

Image

Margaret Dawson & Abel Ellison

Margaret is my 2nd great grand aunt and she married Abel Ellison in 1866. Abel was about 28 years old and Margaret one year younger. The marriage took place at St. Andrew’s church in Kildwick, West Yorkshire. The brides father was Thomas Dawson (my 3x great grandfather).

What a magical time to be getting married. I hope they all had wonderful celebrations.

Tombstone Tuesday – Alice Gawthrop

Here’s a rather understated tombstone and I think that the family gave quite a lot of thought to it with the little scroll effect at the bottom.

In Loving Memory of

Alice

wife of Isaac Gawthrop

of Crow Nest Farm, Colne

Died Jany. 16th 1922

Aged 60 years

At Rest

Alice Gawthrop (nee Snowden) is the wife of my first cousin 3x removed.

She was born in Cowling, West Yorkshire sometime in 1862.  As yet I don’t have any information about Alice’s parents.  To be honest I haven’t looked – it isn’t one of the priorities on my to do list.

Alice married Isaac Gawthrop in the first quarter of 1885 and the marriage was registered at Skipton in North Yorkshire.

The first time that they appear on a census together is 1891.  They had moved to Trawden in Lancashire – only a short distance away.  Isaac is shown as a farmer.  Sometime over the next ten years they moved to 28 Market Street, Colne, still in Lancashire and Isaac is now working as a stonemason.

Between 1887 and 1898 Alice and Isaac had four children

– Johnny (c1887)
– Edith Ann (c1890)
– Joseph (c1892)
– Ida (c1898)

    Given the six year gap between Joseph and Ida I have wondered if there was at least one other child who didn’t survive – but I haven’t looked at the death records to try and confirm this.

    Alice’s tombstone suggests that sometime after 1901 they had moved again and that perhaps Isaac was farming at Crow Nest Farm.