Holy Trinity Church

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.

Tombstone Tuesday – Thomas and Alice Thompson

This gravestone is at Holy Trinity church in Cowling, West Yorkshire.

Buried here are Thomas Thompson, his wife Alice (nee Dawson) and their daughter Mary Ellen.

Alice Dawson is my 2nd cousin 3x removed – our common ancestors are my 4x great grandparents John Dawson and Ann Watson. She was born on 18 November 1848 to parents James Wright Dawson and Mary Thompson.

Alice married Thomas Thompson sometime in Q4 of 1870. They had at least five children:-

• Mary Ellen – c1872

• James – c1880

• Sarah Lizzie – c1884

• William – c1886

• John David – c1888

Thomas worked as a warp dresser most of his life.

Alice passed away on 9 October 1926 at the age of 77. Thomas survived for almost another nine years until he died at the age of 85 on 8 May 1935. Their daughter Mary Ellen didn’t marry and she passed away on 12 November 1959 aged 88.

Tombstone Tuesday – James and Dinah Harker

This headstone is at the grave of James Harker and his wife Dinah (Dawson) at Holy Trinity church, Cowling, West Yorkshire.

Dinah is my 2nd cousin 3x removed – our common ancestors are my 4x great grandparents John Dawson and Ann Watson.  Dinah was born in Cowling on 5 May 1853 to parents James Wright Dawson and Mary Thompson.

Sometime in Q3 of 1874 Dinah married James Harker, also from Cowling.  I haven’t done any research on James so at the moment I can’t tell you who is parents are.

James and Dinah had at least two children – Martha (c 1878) and Edith (c1880).

Between 1881 and 1911 James worked as warp loomer, presumably in one of local mills.  Dinah worked as a weaver until in the 1901 census she is described as ‘confectioner, own account’.  In 1911 her occupation is ‘confectioner sweets’.  I have this image of Dinah running her own sweet shop – you know the sort I mean, with large jars of sweets of all different kinds.

In 1911 the family was living at 121 Keighley Road, Cowling (see photograph below).  I wonder if Dinah was running her confectionery business from this address.

James died on 28 July 1924 at the age of 73 and Dinah passed away on 9 September 1932 aged 79.

Tombstone Tuesday – Thomas & Ann Redman

This gravestone is at Holy Trinity church in Cowling, West Yorkshire. It marks the resting place of Thomas Redman and his wife Ann (nee Dawson).

Ann is my 1st cousin 4 x removed. Our common ancestors are my 4x great grandparents John Dawson and Ann Watson. She was born about 1838 to parents Watson Dawson and Mary Hopkinson.

Sometime in the March quarter of 1860 Ann married Thomas Redman, also of Cowling. I haven’t done any research on Thomas so I have no information about his parents or earlier ancestors.

As far as I have been able to establish so far Thomas and Ann had one son, James, born about 1860.

Thomas worked as a cotton weaver all his life.

Ann died 107 years ago today on 8 May 1905 and was buried four days later. Thomas survived for almost six more years until his death on 29 April 1911.

Searching for the graves

Holy Trinity Church, Cowling

I have a couple of weeks off work and thought I would make the most of my time on family history stuff.

So I spent all day yesterday updating and cross checking some research on a tree I am doing for a relative. I hardly moved from the computer screen from first thing in the morning until early evening.

Today I decided that I would get out in to the fresh air.

I dropped Jayne at the bus stop at about 6.45am and carried on to Cowling, near Keighley – a journey of about 26 miles. I had a flask of coffee, sandwiches and my camera. The plan was to hunt down some more gravestones.

I trawled through the National Burial Index recently and identified a number of relatives buried at Holy Trinity Church in Cowling and a couple at a small cemetery in Steeton with Eastburn not far from Cowling.

I had quite a long list including Dawson, Gawthrop and Snowden ancestors. I have to say that I wasn’t all that optimistic of finding very many headstones. And indeed that turned out to be right – I came home with only six names crossed off my list.

I am guessing that the graves I can’t find must all be without headstones. There were a great many of these. So I am thinking that perhaps the church will have a record of who is buried in which unmarked grave. There wasn’t anyone around today so I will have to follow this up later.

I was a bit more optimistic when I visited the small cemetery at Steeton with Eastburn. I was looking for the graves of two brothers – Arthur and Clement Dawson. Unfortunately I couldn’t find them either. And by now it had started to rain so I was feeling rather miserable.

I did manage to take a good photograph of Holy Trinity Church though. I have been on the look out for a postcard but haven’t seen one yet.

This is a Victorian church designed by Robert Dennis Chantrell and built in 1845. It is now a Grade II listed building.

The village of Cowling is Saxon in origin and is recorded in the Domesday Book as ‘Collinge’. The name means Coll’s people or tribe. At the time of the Norman Conquest the main landowner was Gamel who had very large land holdings in Yorkshire. His name survives in Gamsgill on the northern edge of the village.

Originally the village comprised three separate hamlets namely Ickornshaw, Middleton, Gill and Cowling Hill. It was only following the construction of the main Keighley to Colne Road and the building of large mills alongside the road that what is now regarded as the main village was constructed providing terraced cottage homes for the mill workers.

The older parts of the village faded in importance and as a result the parish church and village school are located on what appears to be the outskirts of the village between Ickornshaw and Middleton, the centre of the village having moved since their construction.