Friday, September 28, 2018

Albert and Hannah Hough's puzzling family life

The spire, all that remains of
Stowell Memorial church where
Albert and Hannah married in 1878
I've written a little about Albert Hough and Hannah Holt before. Their daughter Alice was my mother's maternal grandmother. But there are several gaps and puzzling details in their story that I've yet to resolve.

Albert Hough and Hannah Holt married in Salford, Lancashire, in August 1878. At the time Albert was working as a brickmaker like his father William.  When they married they both gave their address as 51 Jane Street in Salford. For some reason Albert’s name was recorded as ‘Alfred Hough’, although his name was registered as Albert both when he was born and when he was baptised. He was also listed as Albert on his children's baptism records.

Their first child, Alice, was born in 1879. But when the census was taken in 1881, Hannah and little Alice were living with Albert’s brother John Hough and his family in Lynton Street in Salford. Albert wasn’t with them. I thought I’d found Albert/Alfred boarding with another family in Ardwick Street, not too far away. Now I'm not so sure. This man was listed as Alfred, and was described as a dyer, which would be quite a leap from being a brick maker. Albert’s occupation was listed as ‘labourer’ when his children were baptised. So far I haven't found any trace of him in 1881.

So why were Albert and Hannah not living together? The obvious explanation would be that as a young working-class couple they couldn’t afford to rent a place for themselves, and found lodging where they could. Little Alice and her brother Albert (born 1882) weren’t baptised until 1885, another hint that the family might have been hard up. Although, as we'll see, there may have been other reasons for the delay in baptising them.

Other possibilities come to mind. Was Albert working somewhere away from home for long periods? Was he perhaps in prison, or the workhouse? None of these ideas have produced any results so far.

Still missing, or missing again?

By the time of the 1891 census Hannah had four living children (another died in infancy) and she and the children were all boarding with a family in Siever Street in Pendleton, Salford. She was working as a charwoman. Again Albert is nowhere to be found. That’s not to say he wasn’t living somewhere in Salford or Manchester, but I haven’t been able to find him.

It seems strange that the couple should still be living apart. They had obviously spent some time together in the previous ten years to produce five children! The census is only a snapshot on a single night, so perhaps they had been living together for most of the intervening ten years.

Still, it would be interesting to find Albert’s whereabouts in 1881 and 1891. By 1901 Hannah had died and the widowed Albert was living with his eldest daughter Alice, her husband, their son and four of his own younger children – nine people in a four-roomed house. He was employed as a labourer.

Some unexplained baptism records

The Lancashire Online Parish Clerks site offers another strange puzzle related to this family. Most of Albert and Hannah’s children were baptised at St Ambrose church in Pendleton. Until 1902 this was a mission church of the parish of St Thomas, an Anglican (C of E) church. But James, born 26 June 1889, appears to have been baptised on 20 November at the Catholic Mother of God and St James church. There’s no photo of the record available, but the transcription reads:

Baptism: 20 Nov 1889
Mother of God and St James, Pendleton, Lancashire, England
Joannes Jacobus Hough - filius Alberti Hough & Hannae (formerly Holt)
Born: 26 Jun 1889
Abode: 40 Dawson St.
Godparents: Julia Anna Donovan
Baptised by: P. J. Markey
Source: Salford Diocesan Archives

(Catholic churches at the time recorded baptismal names in Latin).

Even more strange, Albert and Hannah’s next son John, born on 16 October 1892, was also baptised in the Mother of God and St James church in Pendleton on 1 November 1892. But then on 2 November 1892 he was apparently baptised again, this time at the Anglican church of St Ambrose in Pendleton.

Baptism: 1 Nov 1892 Mother of God and St James, Pendleton, Lancashire, England
Joannes Hoff - filius Alberti Hoff & Annae Rosae (formerly Holt)
Born: 16 Oct 1892
Godparents: Helena Bower
Baptised by: Henrico Van Wtberghe
Source: Salford Diocesan Archives

Baptism: 2 Nov 1892 St Ambrose, Pendleton, Lancashire, England
John Hough - [Child] of Albert Hough & Hannah
Born: 16 Oct 1892
Abode: 24 Buckingham St.
Occupation: Labourer
Baptised by: G. Morgan
Register: Baptisms 1881 - 1894, Page 175, Entry 1393
Source: Parish Register

The names are spelled a little differently, but it certainly looks like the same child. But why would he be baptised twice? As far as I’m aware, the Catholic and Anglican churches have always recognised baptisms carried out in each others’ churches as valid, so there would be no reason to have a child “done” in both churches, even if the parents were of different denominations. I've heard of baptism records being accidentally duplicated in the same church register, but not across two different churches. Any suggestions would be most welcome.

Albert, the father, was baptised in St Phillip's Salford, an Anglican church. I haven’t found a baptism record for Hannah,  but her mother Elizabeth Hardman was Irish, so perhaps she was brought up Catholic. By the time Albert and Hannah's youngest child Elizabeth (a.k.a. Lily) was born they seem to have resolved the issue and she was baptised just once, at St Ambrose Anglican church.

Monday, September 3, 2018

The Scribbler - subscribe and download a free booklet

Excuse me while I do a little advertising.

It's possible to subscribe to Clogs and Clippers and receive notifications by email when a new post appears. You'll find the "Subscribe by email" box in the sidebar. Thanks to those of you who have subscribed this way.

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I'm also offering a free PDF booklet as a thank you gift to subscribers to my Readers List. Are You Sure Dear? looks at some of the pitfalls of doing family history research, covering not only the hazards of false leads and inaccurate information, but also those tricky situations such as discovering an illegitimate birth or a criminal record that no-one in the family knew about. As the title suggests, Are You Sure Dear? is not so much about how to do family history, as how to survive being a family historian.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Inside St Luke's, Adelaide

This post is a bit of a break from my "unsolved mysteries" series. We've just returned from a holiday visiting family in Alice Springs, which included taking a 'detour' via Adelaide. The detour was deliberate - we wanted to avoid having to get to the airport in Perth before dawn for the direct flight to Alice. And besides, we both like Adelaide.

While we were enjoying a walk we decided (or should I say, I persuaded my husband) to see if we could have a look inside St Luke's church on Whitmore Square. Susan Mason and David Whybrew were married there by the Reverend James Pollitt on 28 May 1869. Susan's sister Eliza and her sweetheart Jeremiah Murphy were also married at Luke's in March the same year. Last time I visited Adelaide I found the building but wasn't able to take a look inside.

Rev. James Pollitt, c 1869
Photo courtesy of SLSA.
A mid-week service was taking place when we arrived, so we sat in the park opposite until people started leaving, then went to have a peek while the doors were still open.

The minister noticed us and invited us in. When I told him why we were there, he introduced us to a couple of parishioners who, he said, knew a lot about the history of the place. They were very generous in showing us around and telling us what they knew.

St Luke's, Whitmore Square, in about 1870
Photo courtesy of SLSA.
St Luke's was the second Anglican church built in Adelaide, after Holy Trinity in the city centre. The land for the building was donated by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. Apparently the bishop of the day, Augustus Short, arranged for a prefabricated iron building to be brought in pieces by ship from Britain, but the parishioners thought it too expensive and started building with local bluestone instead. Some of the ironwork was incorporated into the stone building and the rest sold off. The church was consecrated in 1856.

A pipe organ was installed in 1868 - just in time for the two Mason sister's weddings! The Mason family were Catholic, so it was probably their spouses' connection with the British Army that led to the weddings being held in the Anglican church.

Painting of the burned out ruins of St Luke's,
by Adelaide artist Arthur Phillips.
The painting is behind glass, so my photo
includes some unwanted reflections.
Unfortunately, the original church was burned out in 1992, possibly as a result of arson, leaving only the stone walls. So what we could see of the interior was mostly the result of rebuilding, and not what David and Susan would have seen. (We  heard a similar story when we went to look at St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney, where John Mason and Catherine Murphy were married.)

Only one small window, located near the altar, remains of the original stained glass windows. The window at the back of the church is a reproduction of what was there before the fire, but all the other windows are new, and part of a commissioned series. As one of the parishioners said, it makes the church quite unique in having a matching set of windows rather than a random collection donated over time.

The church has a long-standing reputation for it's work in the community, so we were pleased to hear that this is continuing, and the congregation is growing. Thank you to those who received us so kindly.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

The hard-to-find Hardmans

Shop Street, Galway, Ireland
Photo by Peter Gorman*
After my success in discovering new information about the St Leger family, I decided to see if I could find out more about another Irish family in my mother's line, Patrick and Margaret Hardman or Hardiman (nee Jenkins.) The Hardmans apparently arrived in England between the birth of their daughter Elizabeth (my maternal grandmother's great grandmother) in 1835 and their son Thomas in 1840. They were in Salford, near Manchester, in time for the 1841 census.

Unlike migrants to North America, the names of Irish people travelling to England, Scotland or Wales were not recorded, since Ireland was part of the British Isles at the time. All we can say is that Patrick and Margaret left Ireland with Elizabeth before the great famine of 1845, probably as part of an on-going movement of people looking for work and a better life in the new industrial areas.

Old buildings, Chapel St, Salford
Photo by Alfred Brothers, 1878, courtesy of British Library
They settled first in Church Court off Style Street in Manchester. This was part of the rabbit-warren of decaying buildings around St Michael's Church yard known as Angel Meadow. Many of their neighbours were Irish. Samuel St Leger and Alice Dodd also lived in the area at one stage, though it would be several generations later that the two families were linked by marriage. Patrick found work as a labourer.

By 1851 he and Margaret had added Bridget (1843) John (1847) and Margaret (1850) to their family and had moved to number 10, Briercliffe Buildings in Chapel Street, Salford. Patrick was working as a brick layer's labourer both in 1851 and 1861. He died in 1868, in his mid fifties. Margaret lived on until 1888.  Before she died she was an inmate of the Manchester Work House in Crumpsall.

This much I already knew, but I had no information about the family before the 1841 census. According to all the census records, Patrick, Margaret and daughter Elizabeth were born in Galway, Ireland. Since no other location is listed, my guess is that Galway refers to the town, not just the county.

Unfortunately the Irish Genealogy site doesn't yet have many parish records for Galway. Nor can I find any trace of the family in Irish records on Ancestry or FindMyPast. At one point I thought I'd found Patrick in the Royal Hospital Chelsea Military records, but that Patrick Hardiman (born in Galway in about the right year, 1813) is said to have died in Manchester in 1853.

The names Hardman and Jenkins are not particularly common in Galway. From the internet I found several variants of both names (Hardiman, Harman, Hardogan etc, for Hardman, along with Jennings, Junkin, Johnson and even Shinkwinn for Jenkins). But using those in my search hasn't helped to discover anything.

I'm still quite a novice at researching Irish records, so perhaps if I keep learning more about it and searching, something will turn up. Just this week, Chris Goopy provided a link on her amazing blog That Moment In Time, to the Irish Genealogy Toolkit, which has lots of useful information about Irish research. Meanwhile I've been looking at pictures of Galway and thinking it would be great to do some on-the-ground research for the missing Hardmans!

*Photo used under a Creative Commons licence