James Hurtley

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Military Monday – Tom Hurtley (1897-1977)

Tom Hurtley is my great uncle – my grandmother’s brother.  His birth is registered in the September quarter of 1897 and he is the sixth of seven children born to James Hurtley and Ellen Paley.

I have been lucky enough to find what remains of Tom’s WW1 service records on www.ancestry.co.uk but sadly the quality of them is not very good.

Tom enlisted in February 1916 and in August he was appointed to the West Riding Regiment.  His service number was 203517.  Occupation at the time of enlisting is shown as ‘cowman’ – he worked on his father’s farm at Town Head, Cononley, West Yorkshire.

The ‘medical history sheet’ shows that he was examined in Halifax, West Yorkshire on 19 August 1916.  He is said to be 5 feet 5.5 inches tall and weighing 117lbs.  His physical development is described as good.

According to the ‘military history sheet’ Tom was at home from 19 August 1916 to 13 December 1916.

He embarked on 14 December 1916 heading to France.  The next piece of information I can find is that Tom appears to have been awarded the Military Medal for ‘bravery on the field’ – the date looks to be 4 October 1918 – see what you think below.

The extract above also shows that he was wounded on 11 October 1918.

Tom was finally ‘demobbed’ on 26 October 1919.  However, like many of his comrades he was retained in the Class Z Reserve.

Class Z Reserve was authorised by an Army Order of 3 December 1918.  There were fears that Germany would not accept the terms of any peace treaty, and therefore the British Government decided it would be wise to be able to quickly recall trained men in the eventuality of the resumption of hostilities.  Soldiers who were being demobilised, particularly those who had agreed to serve “for the duration”, were at first posted to Class Z.  They returned to civilian life but with an obligation to return if called upon.  The Z Reserve was abolished on 31 March 1920.

Tom married Ada Binns sometime in the September quarter of 1922.  They had one daughter, Ellen, born in 1923.

I remember as a young boy visiting relatives in Cononley with my parents in the early 1960’s and can recall meeting Tom and Ada.  Little did I realise at the time how much there was to admire about Tom and his bravery.

Tom died in 1977 aged about 80.

Military Medal

On this day…..9th April

1654 … James Hurtley was born in Kirkby Malhamdale, North Yorkshire.  He was my 6x great grandfather

1772 … Ann Wigglesworth was born in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.  She was the great grandmother of the husband of my 3rd cousin 2x removed

1896 … Alice Maud Hardcastle was born in Pateley Bridge, North Yorkshire.  She was the sister in law of my 4th cousin 1x removed

2008 … my dad Graham Dawson died in Leeds, West Yorkshire