Habergham Eaves

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.

Sunday’s Obituary – Margaret Ann Gerrey (nee Stowell) 1871-1931

Sunday’s Obituary is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites.

To participate in Sunday’s Obituary, post obituaries along with other information about that person.

Margaret Ann 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.

Margaret was born in 1871 – her birth is registered in the September quarter in Burnley, Lancashire.

I have Margaret in the 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 census returns. Her occupation after leaving school was as a “cotton weaver”.

On the 16 May 1891 Margaret married John Gerrey at Holy Trinity church, Habergham Eaves near Burnley. The witnesses at the marriage were Margaret’s sister and brother in law, Mary and Richard Brotherton. John Gerrey was from Cornwall and by 1911, together with their daughter May, the family had moved over 350 miles to live in St Austell, Cornwall.

John died in 1927 at the age of 60.

I haven’t been able to find any information about the daughter May – she appears in the 1911 census but as yet I haven’t found a birth record or a marriage or a death record.

Just recently I came across the following obituary notice for Margaret in the Burnley Express of 19 September 1931.

Burnley Express 19 September 1931LATE MRS MARGARET ANN GERREY – Last Thursday the funeral took place from the home of her sister, 54 Albion Street, of the late Mrs Margaret Ann Gerrey. Mrs Gerrey was a native of Burnley, and had resided in the Top o’ t’ Town district prior to her departure to Cornwall, where she resided for 24 years. Her late husband will be remembered by many as an employee at Burnley Bank Top Station. Mrs Gerrey was for many years connected with St John’s Church, Gannow. The Rev F Jones, of St Matthew’s, offered prayers at the home prior to the cortege leaving for the Burnley Cemetery. The mourners were:- Mr and Mrs Brotherton, Mr and Mrs Byrne, Mr and Mrs Sharples, Mrs Skinner, Mrs Halsall, Mr and Miss Roberts, and Mrs Black. Floral tributes were sent by:- Sorrowing sister and Dick; sister Martha and family; nieces Lily, May and Mary; Ivy and Stewart; Arthur and Lena; Annie, Jim and children; Edna, Jack and baby; Mr and Mrs Ogden and family; Lucy and Georgina; Mr and Mrs Ingham and Fanny; Mr and Mrs Swindlehurst; Mrs Black; and Lily and Fred. The Co-operative Society, Ltd carried out the arrangements.