25 October 2015

#52Ancestors - Week 41 - Colourful

Week 41 (October 8-14) – Colorful. Everyone has at least one "colorful" ancestor. Share the story of one of yours :)
When I hear someone say "they're a bit of a colourful character", I think that what they're really trying to tell me, is that the person while mostly good can be a little bit naughty.

Let me start with my most recent discovery - found during a visit to the Scotland's People Centre in Edinburgh just this week. That discovery was the birth of Robert Dempsey in 1950.

Robert is the son of Josephine Henderson.

Josephine is the wife of my grandmother's first cousin William Howie Dempsey. Born about 1915, she is the daughter of William Henderson and Theresa Mann.

Josephine and William married in 1933 and they had, what seemed to be, a normal married life. They had 6 children together:

Teresa born in 1934, Margaret in 1936, Maureen in 1938, Thomas Henderson in 1939 - sadly he died in 1940 at 8 1/2 months old, a son still living born in 1945 and lastly, Sheila born in 1946.

William, during his early career was an Agricultural Implements Salesman. During the war he was a Naval Depot Storeman, then for a few years after the war he was a Commission Agent's Clerk or a Bookkeeper's Clerk.

Sadly William died in 1948 when he was 41 and Josephine was 33. Josephine was then left with 5 children between the age of 14 and 2.

You may have thought that Josephine would have had her hands too full with 5 children to be naughty, but in 1950, 2 years after William died, she had another child - Robert. Robert's father is not listed on his birth records.

Josephine died in 1968 when Robert was about 18.

According to emails written to me by one of William and Josephine's grandchildren, Robert (who the family knew as James) was born with Spina Bifida and was placed in Lesmahagow Hospital (Birkwood Castle Hospital in Lesmahagow) just after his birth.

Between about 1975 and 1985 Robert's 1/2 sister Maureen brought Robert to live with her family. He eventually was able to get a place of his own and find a job as a storeman. Robert died in 1993 of cancer.

So are there any other naughty ladies in my tree? Sure enough! And perhaps we'll get to some of their stories in upcoming weeks:
Ethel Cairns who had a child with her husband's brother while her husband was away helping family
Women who had children before they were married:
Annie Dempsey, Helen/Ellen Harvey, Jane Geddes and her sister Elizabeth Geddes (among many others)
Or those who had children with their new partners before getting a divorce or becoming widows (again a few of many):
Elizabeth Turnbull, Mary Agnes Robertson, Elizabeth Geddes (again)

16 October 2015

#52Ancestors - Week 40 - "October"

Week 40 (October 1-7) – October: What ancestor has a birthday or anniversary in October?
I was wondering what I was going to write about for this entry, when I got a very special package in the mail. It was something I've been waiting on for since February this year (2015). Finally my patience paid off.

Way back in February, I wrote about my Great Aunt Gertrude Agnes Beak. I knew when she was born, that she was a Barnardo's girl and had been sent by Barnardo's in the UK to Australia in 1924. But there was a lot of information missing. Today, the package I received from Barnardo's UK filled in many of the blanks.

So let's start with the link to October, this week's theme, and work our way around that.

October 3, 1910, was the date that Aunty Gert was admitted to Barnardo's - at the age of 1 year and 8 months.

Here's the story, based on a letter written to me dated October 6, 2015 by Barnardo's UK - 105 years after Gert's admission.

Gertrude was born on 2 February 1909, at Lambeth in South London and was admitted to Barnardo's on 3 October 1910, aged 1 year 8 months.

Gert on her admission to Barnardo's in October 1910

Her father, a married man, had a liaison with Minnie. He lived in London and contributed willingly to his daughter's foster care following her birth. The year before her admission, Gert was accepted on to Barnardo's Auxiliary Boarding-Out Scheme which meant Barnardo's also contributed to her foster care, thus allowing her mother to find work to support herself and her child.

Gert's mother, Minnie Beak, later became very ill with consumption and died at her parents' home on 15 September 1910 from this disease.

Minnie's parents were stated to be very fond of their deceased daughter but were financially unable to support their grandchild.

Following her admission to Barnardo's in October 1910, Gert was immediately placed in the Girls Village Home at Barkingside in Essex.

She was moved on 14 October 1910 to foster parents living in the village of Halstead in Essex where she remained for the next 6 years (and we see Gert living with that family in the 1911 census)

On 11 July 1916, Gert was brought to London and placed for one night in the Receiving House situated in Stepney Causeway, East London, and the next day was placed with foster parents living in Norfolk.

Gert came back to the Receiving House on 9 October 1919 and was moved the following day to the Girls Village Home at Barkingside in Essex where she remained for the next 4 years.

As we learnt in the previous blog about her, on 4 January 1924, Gert left England as part of a group of Barnardo's Girls and arrived in Australia on 20 February 1924.

11 October 2015

#52Ancestors - Week 39 - Unusual

Week 39 (September 24-30) – Unusual: What is the most unusual record you’ve ever found? Or, who is the most unusual of your ancestors? (You can take that any way you want to!)

So once again I am behind in my blog - I've been finding work matters and getting ready for my big "genealogy trip" eating into my time in so many unplanned ways. But, with only one week until I leave, I thought I better try and catch up at least on one week.

So Unusual?

This week I'm going to focus on a name that only appears once on my tree - STOTT Joseph Webster. Born about 1820, he is the Father-in-Law of one of a first cousin four times removed. 

What does that look like on the tree?

Stott was christened on November 26, 1820, the son of William and Ann Esther Webster in the town of Birstall Yorkshire England.

In the 1841 census we find Stott, a Stone Cutter living on his own in the town of Gomersal Yorkshire (the next town over from Birstall)

Stott is such an unusual first name, that I can only find 7 men in the 1841 census who have that name - and surprisingly 4 of them (including "my" Stott) are from Yorkshire.

By 1891, there were more than 18 Stotts in the census, so the name was becoming more popular - but it was still a mostly concentrated in Yorkshire.

In 1844, Stott marries Ann Coates in Stockton Durham England

And then we see the family ebbing and flowing in the censuses until Stott passes away in 1897. They also seem to move constantly back and forth between Yorkshire and Durham - chasing work would be my guess.





The children we find listed in the censuses are
John, Samuel William, Elizabeth Ann, Selina Sarah Mary Grace (M Grace), Robert Simeon Sykes, Margaret Jane, Joseph and Isabella

Selina Sarah Mary Grace married James Todd in 1870 - and that's how we add the Webster family into the tree.