My maternal Great-Great-Great-Grandmother Jane Hussey lived a long life in the East End of London and was happily married for 69 years.
However, it has always frustrated me that she was not in the 1901 England census with her family (seen below) and I knew she wasn’t dead, as she died in 1937.
The 1901 England census was taken on the night of 31 March/1 April. As shown below, it turns out the reason my 3x great grandmother was not at home that night, was because she was actually locked up in prison!
Although many of the Prison records for Wormwood Scrubs prison no longer exist, some still remain. Jane was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment at Wormwood beginning on 15 Jan 1901. She was found guilty of:
“Stealing a gold watch, the property of the London and North Western Railway Company. Receiving the same well knowing it to have been stolen”.
Wormwood Scrubs Prison still stands to this day and is in use. By all accounts, it was not a pleasant place to live out a custodial sentence.
Today I broke through another brick wall in my family tree! As I have been busy with work for clients, completing ProGen and DNA analysis, I have neglected my own trees.
On one of my paternal branches, I was stuck getting past my 4x great grandfather Thomas Hall (b. 1839 in Headington, Oxfordshire). Despite having him in all the censuses, I could not figure out who his mother was.
So I decided to go back and really look through the records (it has been many months since I have looked at these). I had his birth index record that stated he was born in Jul-Aug-Sep 1839 in Headington, Oxfordshire. The GRO website had his mother’s maiden name listed as ‘Clarke’.
In the 1841 census, Thomas was listed as being 9 months old and living in Garsington, Oxfordshire with his father Stephen Hall, mother Miriam, brother Edward and two older sisters Keziah and Louisa Kimber.
I had not noticed before the large age gap between the two older sisters to Edward and Thomas. As Miriam is listed as 50 years old, this is quite old to have a 9 month old son. It hit me that this could be her second marriage and that the two older girls were from her previous marriage!
This would make sense as the marriage record I had found for Stephen stated that he married a Miriam Kimber on 13 Jan 1839 in Garsington, Oxfordshire. Further look at that marriage record showed that Miriam’s father was called………James Clark! So Miriam’s maiden name was Clark.
After feeling a bit of an idiot for missing this before, I decided to push through and see where this now took me.
Stay tuned for further updates on this line!
The lesson from today is go back and look over the records – there is always something you have missed!
The mystery of where my Great-Great-Grandmother Mary Louise Bolton was when the 1891 England Census was taken has finally been solved! For years, I have struggled to locate her and her family in this record set. A sudden hunch that maybe the family weren’t all together when the census was taken inspired me to take another look and success!
Mary and her older brother James William were found to be living at 10 South Grove, Mile End Old Town. They were living with a widow, Emily Thornton and her three daughters. It is not known why the siblings were living with this particular family, although it is possible they could have been family friends.
In a moment of wonderful clarity, I realized that her future husband, Henry John Donald and his family lived in the same area in 1891. It turned out to not only be the same area, but the same block of streets!
The Booth Poverty Map was created by Charles Booth from 1889-1898. During this time, Booth travelled around London with his researchers interviewing people and characterizing the areas they visited into seven different categories ranging from Upper Class/Wealthy to Vicious, Semi Criminal. The image below is an excerpt from the Booth map. The dark blue rectangles are Grove Buildings (where Henry lived at No.117) and were classed as “Very Poor, casual. Chronic Want”. Mary lived on South Grove (the long road running vertically next to the Grove Buildings, and are classed as “Poor. 18s to 21s a week for a moderate family”.
So where were the rest of Mary’s family in 1891? That is still to be solved!
Today marks 100 years since the guns fell silent in World War 1. As we spend the day remembering the millions who died, I wanted to honor my ancestors who fought in WW1. All but one of them survived the war.
Arthur Edward Price (Great-Great-Great Uncle)
Arthur Edward Price was born in early 1880 to Thomas and Mary Ann Price, and was brother to my Great-Great-Grandfather George Frederick.
He was wounded in the right arm and thigh on 29th May 1917 in France. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Sydney Howard Stares (Great-Great-Great Uncle)
Sydney Howard Stares was born on 15th September 1884 to John and Maria Stares and was brother to my Great-Great-Grandmother May. He was baptized 17 July 1887 at Christ Church Hornsey.
He joined the Royal Navy on 6th May 1901 and served on several different ships in his almost 20 year career. He served on the HMS Southampton from 13 March 1914 to 16 July 1915, and would have most likely participated in the Battles of Heligoland Bight and Dogger Bank.
Sydney survived the war and died 13th April 1948 in Battersea, London.
Private Alfred John Thrussell (Great-Great-Great Uncle)
Alfred John Thrussell was born on 18th June 1872 to George and Sarah Thrussell and was brother to my Great-Great-Grandmother Sarah Jane. He was baptized on 29th December 1872 in Harpenden, Hertfordshire.
Alfred first enlisted in the Army in 16 October 1889 and served in several Regiments including the 97th Foot Soldiers and Royal West Kent Regiment. He served for 12.5 years.
Alfred married Harriet Elizabeth Ann Bryant on 1st Nov 1904 at Christ Church Deptford. They quickly had three children – William (1904),Arthur (1907) and Winifred May (1910).
When World War 1 broke out, he reenlisted into the Army aged 41 years old. As seen below in his Army Pension, he remained in the Army Reserve from August 1914 until his demobilization in March 1919. Although it is unknown exactly where he served during the War, he would have seen fighting during that time.
Alfred died on 18th June 1951 aged 78 years old in Watford.
Private Alfred John Bolton (Great-Great-Great Uncle)
Alfred John Bolton was born on 27th May 1881 to James and Louisa Bolton, and was the brother of my Great-Great Grandmother Mary Louisa. He was baptized on 7 August 1881 at St Mary Magdalene Church, Islington.
He joined the British Army and was sent to the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment (Regimental No. L/10769). He was 34 years old when he killed in action on 25 September 1915 in France & Flanders. This was the first day in the bloody Battle of Loos. He is buried at the Loos Memorial in Loos-en-Gohelle, France.
After his death, he was awarded the trio of British WW1 medals – The 1914-1915 Star, the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.
Frederick Bolton (Great-Great-Great Uncle)
Frederick Bolton was born 1 March 1888 to James and Louisa Bolton, and was the younger brother to the aforementioned Alfred John Bolton. He was baptized on 28 Oct 1888 at Hackney St John.
In 1904, he joined the Army attached to the York and Lancaster Regiment. As seen his Military History Sheet, he served several times in France and the Mediterranean during the war.
Unlike his brother, Frederick survived the war and went on to marry and have children. He died in Winter 1943 in Hackney, London.
Private Benjamin Donoghue (Great-Great-Great Uncle)
Benjamin Donoghue was born in Spring 1877 to John Donoghue and Sarah Harriet Marsden, and was the brother of my Great-Great-Grandfather Frederick Donoghue. He married Bridget Linehan in 1909 in Woolwich, London.
Although details are not available of when and where he served, he did receive the Victory and British War Medal whilst serving as a Private with the Kings Royal Rifle Corps. He survived the war, but additional details of his life are unknown.
George Henry Williams (Great-Grandfather)
George Henry Williams was born on 7 September 1898 to Albert Henry and Emily Williams in Clapham, London. He was baptized on 14 Nov 1902 at Clapham Holy Trinity.
He enlisted in the Army on 2nd February 1914 aged 18. He served through the entirety of the war, although exact locations are not known.
After the war, George married and had three children. He died on 12 April 1965 in Merton.
Yesterday, the U.S. had its midterm elections. This was the first large scale election that I have been able to vote in since becoming a U.S. Citizen back in February 2017.
As all of my family are from England, this got me thinking about past elections they would have voted in. I am fairly lucky in that most of my family (especially my maternal side) have lived in London for many generations, so Electoral Records for this area are fairly easy to find. Ancestry has the London, England, Electoral Registers from 1832-1965 available on their website. Electoral records for each year list the names and addresses of those eligible and registered to vote. Women were not allowed to vote until 1928 in England (although some who met certain requirements were allowed to vote from 1918).
Below are a few of the Electoral Records I have collected for my ancestors. For many of them, I have been able to track their location for a 20 year period between the 1911 Census and 1939 Register thanks to these records!
After finally completing the last of my ProGen chats, I am jumping right back in with my research on my paternal side. After solving the mystery of my adopted great grandmother’s real parentage, I have been able to progress backwards several more generations. Things took an exciting turn this weekend when I discovered the marriage bann of my 5 x Great Grandparents Thomas Medhurst and Mary Wingrove.
Thomas and Mary married on 10th April 1785 at St Mary Magdalene Church, Bermondsey, Surrey. Interestingly, several of my maternal ancestors lived in this same area at the same time. This inspired me to look for proof that they may have known each other, or at least, had mutual acquaintances.
I ended up discovering that in 1785, Thomas Medhurst owned property in Bermondsey. Several streets away, my maternal 6x Great Grandparent Benjamin Edghill was renting a property from a Benjamin Hodgson. Although definite proof that the families knew each other likely does not exist, small developing areas such as Bermondsey were relatively tight knit communities so it is not beyond the realm of possibility that their paths may have crossed.
I wonder if they would have believed that several generations in the future, their families would be combined?