Thursday, December 6, 2012

William James Beales (b 1897) in World War 1

While I was looking for the war-time records of Granddad Thomas Henry Ward, I also had a look for those of William James Beales, his future brother-in-law. Because his name is fairly unusual, William's Medal Roll Index card was relatively easy to find. As an added bonus it also contained his address at 13 Campion Road, Colchester.

William James Beales and his sister Rosina
The card is full of abbreviations which I'm still trying to interpret. What it shows is that William joined the Essex Yeomanry initially, then transferred to the Royal Reserve regiment of Cavalry and finally to the Machine Gun Corps (with a change of regimental number each time).

He must have remained in the army beyond the end of the war in 1918 because he received an Indian General Service medal, which was awarded to everyone who served in the so-called "Third Anglo-Afghan War" of 1919.

The Machine Gun Corps was formed in 1915 and included infantry, cavalry and motor units. The Essex Yeomanry were associated with the 8th Cavalry Brigade of the 3rd Cavalry division, though it's unclear if this was William's unit. According to the website Golden Map
The MGC saw action in all the main theatres of war, including France, BelgiumPalestine,Mesopotamia, Egypt, Salonika, East Africa and Italy. In its short history the MGC gained an enviable record for heroism as a front line fighting force. Indeed, in the latter part of the war, as tactics changed to defence in depth, it commonly served well in advance of the front line. It had a less enviable record for its casualty rate. Some 170,500 officers and men served in the MGC with 62,049 becoming casualties, including 12,498 killed, earning it the nickname 'the Suicide Club'.
It would be fascinating to know whether William Beales and Thomas Ward served together at any time during the war. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

At last - a regiment for Thomas Henry Ward

Over the past couple of years I've searched through the military records on Ancestry umpteen times, looking for some clue as to which regiment Thomas Henry Ward belonged to during his army service in World War 1. I found dozens of Thomas H Wards, and hundreds more plain Thomas Wards, but none of the records I looked at had enough information to identify them as the correct Thomas. Even knowing that he served in Mesopotamia and India didn't help.

Obverse of the
Victory medal
But this week I came across a card in the Medal Rolls Index for a Thomas Henry Ward who served in the Army Ordnance Corps (AOC). And there on the back of the card was an address (which is fairly unusual on such cards) - 17 Clifton St, Milnrow. So, now I know his regiment! What I don't know is how I missed seeing the  address on the card before. Perhaps I overlooked it, although it's quite clear. The card doesn't come up using Milnrow as a keyword or place of residence.

The Medal Rolls Index contains millions of cards. Almost every soldier who served overseas in World War 1 was awarded some sort of medal, often more than one. Each soldier had an Index card on which the army listed what medals they were entitled to, along with details such as their regiment(s) and regimental numbers, where they served and so on. Most cards contain very few details.

Reverse of the
Victory medal
The Index card for Thomas Henry Ward shows that he was a private in the Army Ordnance Corps (which became the RAOC from 1918), regimental number 029248 (1). He was awarded a Victory medal (not to be confused with the Victoria Cross!) and the British War medal. The Great War website gives details about these medals.

There is also an entry for the GSM - General Service Medal - with a clasp for service in NW Persia. Then for some reason the reference to the GSM has been crossed out and the word "ineligible" added, but leaving the words about the clasp for NW Persia intact. The GSM was usually awarded for service beyond 1918, with clasps for various campaigns such as the one in North West Persia in 1920. The clasp was never awarded without a medal. I'm still trying to decipher from the various handwritten notes and numbers whether Granddad received the GSM and clasp or not.

On the back of the card is a reference to Hilsea, near Portsmouth, which was an RAOC depot  from 1918 and their barracks from 1921. This is followed by more letters and numbers which I've yet to decipher, and then "3.11.23 GSM clasp". I think the reference to 1923 is the date on which the medal was awarded or delivered. Below that is the Milnrow address. So overall it looks possible that Granddad was not demobbed in 1918 but continued on in the army until at least 1920.

(1)Unfortunately I don't think the copyright rules allow me to put up a picture of the card itself, but I can send a link if anyone wants it. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Army boots

As a footnote (no pun intended) to my post yesterday, I came across this paragraph in an article on army salvage practices during WW1:
"Boots were even more important than clothes. After less than a fortnight of fighting, Sir John French's men were in desperate need of boots. When trench. warfare settled in its long course, many regimental officers either started repairing shops of their own or engaged contractors to keep the battalion well shod. The boot, however, was too important a thing to be left to individual officers. On it depended the marching power of the Army and for this reason it engaged the concern of the Commander-in-Chief, who in June, 1915, appointed Major-General Sir John Steevens; the Army salvage expert, to organise large central repair shops.
One was opened in Calais in the autumn of 1915, another was founded at Mudros during the Gallipoli operations and afterwards removed to Salonika. Later a shop was erected at Alexandria for the army of Palestine; while the army of Mesopotamia had its boots repaired at Basra. Other works were organised in England and Scotland, and these, with the Calais shop, were at last saving 150,000. pairs of boots each week. 
Instead of the Army having to purchase new boots at the rate of a quarter of a million pairs a week, only 100,000 were required. Large as was the economy in money, this was of secondary importance. The great thing was the saving in the stock of available leather, upon which all the Allies constantly needed largely to draw. Moreover the British manufacturing plant for Army boot-making, when partly released from service for the New Army, was able to work for millions of allied troops."(1)
Perhaps Granddad Thomas Henry's boot and shoe repairing skills were greatly appreciated by the army. I wonder if he got to work in the repair shop in Basra?

(1) quoted from "The Garbage of War - the great work of salving war material" by Edward Wright, found at 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Remembrance day - Thomas Henry Ward

British troops on the march in the dessert c 1916
(from the National Army Museum)
Today, November 11, is Remembrance Day, so it seems fitting to say something about the war-time experience of our grandfather, Thomas Henry Ward. Though he survived the war of 1914-1918 and went on to marry Grandma, his army service must have remained a significant part of his future life and is worth recording and remembering.

Unfortunately, without knowing what regiment he was in, it's difficult to trace his actual records. Many service records from the First World War were destroyed in a fire after the war, and those that are available (mostly medal cards) often don't provide enough information to distinguish one Thomas Ward from another.

However, I do know from Dad that Granddad was in India and Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) during the war. A bit of internet research on sites such as The Long Long Trail suggests that this narrows down the possibilities.

Only one British Army unit, the 13th (Western) Division, was involved in the campaign in Mesopotamia. As far as I can tell, the battalions that made up this Division never spent time in India. However most of the troops in 'Mespot' came from India as part of the Indian Expeditionary Force "D". The majority were Indian-born members of the British Indian Army, but some were from British Army regiments who had previously been stationed in India as part of the Territorial Forces.
British troops marching in Mesopotamia
(from Library of Congress, author unknown)

It seems that many of the Territorial Forces who were in India at the beginning of the war were replaced by battalions of less experienced volunteers, many of them older men, in order to free up the regular army men for service elsewhere. As the war went on, some of these units were themselves recruited to fight in Mesopotamia and were replaced by other Territorial regiments from England. (See the entry from "Alex" on this genealogy forum).

Given that Thomas Henry would have been close to 32 years old when the war began, he may well have been one of these 'older men' who were sent to India and then recruited for service in Mesopotamia. The other possibility is that he simply had contact with Indian troops while serving in Mesopotamia as part of the 13th (Western) Division. Either way, it's hard to imagine how a man who had spent all his life in small English mill towns would have adjusted to conditions in Mesopotamia.

60 pounder gun firing in Mesopotamia
By Varges Ariel [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The parallels between the war in Mesopotamia in 1915-1918 and the war in Iraq in this century are many. In 1914 the Ottoman Empire, an ally of Germany, had declared a Holy War on the Allies (Britain, France and Russia). Britain sent troops to Mesopotamia in 1915 to secure their oil supply line from the Anglo Persian Oil Company, and to maintain British Army prestige among Indian Muslims who might be tempted to join the jihad. Over 600,000 Indians as well as British army troops eventually served in the Mesopotamian campaign.

After securing the port of Basra, which had some strategic value, the army was ordered to march on up the Tigris and take Baghdad, which had no real value to Britain.  In December 1915 the British-Indian garrison at Kut-al-amara came under seige and it proved impossible to relieve the 8,000 or so men stationed there, who were taken captive in April 1916. Eventually Baghdad was captured, but at great cost in lives. The conditions in which the British and Indian troops found themselves were truly appalling - searing heat and dust in summer, bitter cold, flooding and mud in winter, along with insects and vermin, disease and dehydration, poor supplies and inadequate medical support.
Hospital Ship 1 on the Tigris c 1916
By E. E. Jones [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

These  diaries written by a doctor who served in Mesopotamia and a soldier transferred from the Territorial Forces in India give some insights into what it was like. Around 92,000 British and Indian soldiers died (including Robert Palmer, the soldier who wrote the diary), most of them from infections and disease.

Fortunately Thomas Henry returned to England with no lasting physical injuries, but who knows what mental scars he and others like him carried.

(More pictures and information can be found at

UPDATE; see At last - a regiment for Thomas Henry Ward

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Children of Thomas and Frances Ward

Here's a brief summary of the lives of the children of Thomas Ward and Frances (nee Dickinson).

John (1803) was born while the family were still living in Charnock Richard near Chorley, and was baptised at St Laurence, Chorley. He became a joiner like his father. John would have been about 10 years old when Thomas died.

Sometime before the age of 25 he moved to Liverpool. He married Rosa Connor at St Peter's in Liverpool in 1828. Rosa was recorded as being from Cheshire in every census except in 1871, when she was said to be from Ireland.  They had four children (that I'm aware of) - Frances (1829), Ann (1831), Ellen (1834) and John (1838). The family moved to West Derby, near Liverpool, after 1851.

John died sometime between the 1871 and the 1881 census, possibly towards the end of 1872 in West Derby.

Margaret (1805) was born in Walton Le Dale. She married Peter Warburton Lowe at Manchester Collegiate church (later Manchester Cathedral) in 1838. Peter was the son of Joseph and Mary Lowe and was born in Rainow, Cheshire. Margaret and Peter had four recorded children - Joseph (1839), Thomas Henry (1841), Fanny (1842) and Roger Leigh (1847). They continued to live in Salford.

Peter's name is mentioned along with a William Tomlinson and a Richard Tomlinson in a business venture announced in the London Gazette of March 27, 1857. Whether this is the same William who was his father-in-law is unclear. The name William Tomlinson was quite common in Lancashire.

At the time of the 1841 census Margaret's niece Fanny, daughter of John and Rosa, was staying with them. I haven't been able to find the Lowe family in the 1851 census, but there are several gaps in the 1851 census in Salford due to the records being damaged. In the 1871 census Esther Ward, Margaret's sister, was included with the Lowes.

Margaret died sometime before the 1881 census. Peter died in 1872.

Esther (1807) was also born in Walton Le Dale. Her name appears as Easther on the baptism register. She never married. In the 1841 census she was living with her mother and step father in Salford. In 1851 she was with her step-sister Cathrine Tomlinson in Manchester, and was working as a mangle-woman. I can't find her in the 1861 census, but in 1871 she was with Margaret and Peter. She doesn't appear in the 1881 census.

The only Esther Ward of the right age who died in the period between the two census was registered in 1878 in Ormskirk, near Liverpool. Perhaps, if this is the correct Esther, she moved after Margaret and Peter died.

Richard (1809 or 1813?) lived in Walton Le Dale all his life. He married Mary Baines and they had 9 children, including John, our great great grandfather. I'll say more about this family in a later post.

Fanny (1818) was born to Frances 5 years after Thomas died, and no father is recorded in the Walton Le Dale baptismal record of November 24 1818. She was with Frances and William Tomlinson in Salford in 1841.

Fanny married George Hayes, a calico bleacher from Chorley, at Manchester Collegiate church in 1843. Their children were Joseph (1844), Thomas (1847), Esther (1850) Daniel (1854, died 1855) and Margaret (1857). In the 1851 census they were living next door to William and Frances Tomlinson in Salford (although the street names are different, presumably due to being on a corner). They remained in the same house in Hulme St, Salford for many years, even after the Tomlinsons moved on.

Fanny died in 1871.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Could we be related to Jane Austen?

The question is fairly tongue in cheek, but it's vaguely possible. While I was updating my notes on the children of Thomas Ward and Frances, I came across an interesting story about Peter Warburton Lowe, the husband of their daughter Margaret.

Peter generally seemed to be a fairly respectable character. He had his own contracting business and in 1861 applied for a patent for "improvements in the construction of steam boilers". In later life he was elected a Guardian of the Poor for Salford (1871). So I was surprised to find that he'd been in prison for 3 months in 1844.

What seemed even stranger was that he was tried in Warwickshire. After a bit of digging I found that Peter had been one of 32 people who were arrested for storming Stoneleigh Abbey, near Coventry, in support of a John Leigh who claimed to be the rightful owner.

The full story can be read on this Rootsweb archive. Briefly, Stoneleigh was originally the property of Thomas Leigh, the first Lord Mayor of London, whose family came from Cheshire. He became 'Sir' Thomas Leigh when he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth I. One of Thomas' descendants, also Thomas, was made Baron Leigh after he provided shelter to King Charles I during the civil war with Oliver Cromwell.

Stoneleigh Abbey in Warwickshire
(photo courtesy of barnyz)
The title and property were passed down through the Leigh family until 1786, when the last Baron died without an heir. The Abbey was left to his sister, who died in 1806. It then passed to a more distant relative.

Inevitably a number of people later claimed to be descended from the original Thomas Leigh, including a George Leigh from Wigan in Lancashire. George claimed descent through Roger Leigh of Haigh, supposedly a grandson of Thomas Leigh by a younger son Christopher.

The case went to court in 1826, and included allegations by George's supporters that the Leigh family currently living at Stoneleigh had deliberately removed or tampered with evidence (such as parish records) which would have supported George's claim. It then went to the Committee of Privileges of the House of Lords, where it was defeated. The clinching argument against George was that although he might  indeed be related to Roger Leigh of Haigh, Roger had a daughter born when Christopher, her supposed grandfather, was only 32 years old.

John Leigh obviously decided to use more forceful means to press his claim in 1844. As a result he went to prison with hard labour for two years and most of those who accompanied him (including Peter Lowe) were sentenced to three months in prison. I haven't yet discovered how Peter was related to the Leigh's (if at all), but he must have felt strongly about the affair. He and Margaret's next child, born in 1847, was named Roger Leigh Lowe.

Where does Jane Austen fit in? Well, Jane's mother was a descendant of the original Thomas Leigh. The Austen family sometimes visited Stoneleigh and it's thought that Sotherton Court in "Mansfield Park" was based on Jane's memories of the Abbey. So IF Peter Lowe was related to the Leighs, and IF the Leigh's of Lancashire were really descendants of Sir Thomas Leigh, then we'd be distantly related by marriage to Jane Austen. But it seems unlikely.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Frances Dickinson

We've recently returned from Italy, where we caught up with Zoe. It was lovely seeing her. We also had a great time exploring Italy. As far as I know, we don't have any Italian ancestors, but who knows...the Romans surely left some descendants in Britain. There were certainly Romans soldiers stationed in Lancashire, and they can't have spent all their time building roads. Walton le Dale was apparently a major Romano-British settlement.

Which brings me to the subject of this post, Frances Dickinson, who lived in Walton Le Dale with her first husband, Thomas Ward. Frances, the daughter of John and Margaret Dickinson (nee Ainsworth) was baptised at St Laurence church in Chorley in January 1780. A number of Dickinson and Dicconson families lived in the Chorley area (which includes Standish, Wrightington and Charnock Richard) at this time.

Interior of St Wilfrid's Parish Church, Standish
(courtesy of Alexander P Kapp)
Thomas and Frances were married on November 9, 1802 at St Wilfrid's parish church in Standish, the same church where John and Margaret were married. The church, built betweeen 1582 and 1584,  is noted for it's ornate Tudor ceiling (visible on the picture.)

On the parish register, Thomas was described as being "of the Parish of Bolton", but this doesn't necessarily mean that he was born there. It's interesting to note that Margaret Ainsworth was also said to be "of the Parish of Bolton when she married John Dickinson. Frances was "of this Parish", ie Chorley. She signed the register with an 'X'. Richard Dickinson, her brother, was a witness along with a Robert Ainscough.

Thomas and Frances' first son, John was baptised as St Laurence in Chorley in March 1803. At some stage the family moved to Walton Le Dale, where Margaret (1805), Esther (1807) and Richard (1809) were born.

Frances was only 33 when Thomas died in 1813 (cause unknown). How she managed alone with four children can only be guessed. In 1818, 5 years after Thomas' death, she gave birth to another child, Frances (also known as Fanny). In the parish register the officiating minister at her baptism records only Fanny Ward, widow, as the mother, with no father named.

In May 1829 Frances remarried, to William Tomlinson, a widower. The banns of marriage were read at St Mary's Eccleston (not far from Chorley), and both were said to be living at Wrightington, near Eccleston. Perhaps Frances had moved back to the Chorley area to be closer to her family. The marriage, on May 29, also took place at St Mary the Virgin, Eccleston. Robert Dickinson was one of the witnesses.

According to census records, William was born in Lancaster in about 1792, which makes him quite a bit younger than Frances. It seems likely that he is the same William Tomlinson who lived in Walton Le Dale for several years with his first wife, Ellen Porter. He was a labourer and later a weaver. They were married in Walton Le Dale in 1816 and their children John, Richard, Mary, Catherine and Ellen were all born there. Baby Ellen died a few days after her baptism in February 1828 and her mother Ellen died in August 1828. Note that if this is the same William who married Frances Ward, then he would have been already married when the younger Fanny was born in 1818. Was he her father? We'll probably never know.

After their marriage Frances and William moved to Salford. In the 1841 census they were living in Mason Street with Richard and Catherine Tomlinson and Esther and Fanny Ward. By 1851 all the children had moved on - Esther, still single, was living with Catherine Tomlinson in Butler St, Manchester, and Fanny seems to have married a George Hayes from Manchester and had three children of her own.

Possibly Frances Tomlinson's mother Margaret also lived with them for a short time. A Margaret Dickinson, aged 64, was buried at St Laurence, Chorley in December 1832. Her abode was said to be Manchester. However, since I don't know for sure when Margaret was born, this is just speculation.

Frances died at the age of 81 in Salford in 1861. This makes her one of the longest-lived of our ancestors prior to the last century. Her second marriage was also a long one, at over 30 years. William appears to have lived on until 1866. I'll describe what happened to Frances' other children in a later post.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A family friend?

While I was looking for photos of the 50th Queen's Own Regiment I came across this image in The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment Gazette (copied with their permission). He's not quite family, but never mind. He served Her Majesty in all the same places as David Whybrew, so perhaps they knew each other.

Mascot of HM 50th 1863-76
Proudly wearing his New Zealand Medal

The text from the Gazette reads:
“POKENO” – Dog, HM 50th
This little lad was found in the deserted Maori village, after which he was named, in late 1863  – a starving pup found and adopted by Private John Pigg. He served throughout the Waikato Rebellion -charging with HM 50th in the engagement at Rangiawhia (22nd Feb 1864); and in the West Coast Campaign, being with the piquet of HM 50th when it repulsed a major Maori assault at Nukumaru (25thJan 1865).

He later served in Australia, England, and finally in Ireland, where at Kinsale, Dublin, on 20th Oct 1876, at the respectable age of 13, this gallant little veteran of the Maori Wars and faithful follower of HM 50th, passed away peacefully in the company of  his best friends. The Regimental Pioneers made his headstone, and his little grave, on the green in front of the new married quarters, was always well tended and often found adorned with flowers. The path running next to it down to the town was named “Pokeno Street” in his memory.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

David Whybrew's military career - part 2

After the Whybrews left Adelaide (taking Eliza with them but leaving Harriet with Susan's family) they were initially stationed in Bristol. In 1871, at the time of the census, they had moved to the military base in Aldershot, in Hampshire. Susan and Eliza (listed as 'Emily' on the census) lived at Redan Gardens.

According to David's military records, they were in Colchester in 1872. Here David was re-vaccinated against smallpox, with the recorded comment "Result - perfect". Surprisingly, in 1874, at the age of 35, David contracted measles, but fortunately recovered within nine days. (I'm still trying to decipher the word written under "treatment" on this record - it would be interesting to know what was used).

A few months later the 50th regiment was moved to Dublin. Alice Whybrew was born in Ireland in September 1875. Life as an army wife must have been difficult for Susan. It seems from David's records and brief newspaper accounts at the time that the troops and their families were seldom in one place for long, being stationed in Birr in September 1875, Connagh in 1876 and another place (Kinsale?) in 1877.

From Ireland some of the regiment transferred in 1878 to Edinburgh in Scotland and then to Dundee, where they were involved in keeping the peace after an uprising of Catholics. It's unlikely that David was among them. Rose Whybrew was born in Canterbury, Kent, late in 1877, and it seems from his records that David transferred to the 3rd Battalion of the East Kent Militia in January 1878.

At the time of the 1881 census, David was a Permanent Staff Sergeant with the East Kent Militia, and was in the barracks on census day. Susan and four children,  Eliza, Alice, Rose and John (born late 1879 in Canterbury) were living in  Bulwark Lane, Dover (St Mary the Virgin), Kent. They appear in the census as "Wibram" - perhaps an indication that Susan never learned to write well.

In 1883, at the age of 44, David enlisted for another 5 year term with the East Kent Militia. He retired from the army after this, and became a labourer in Colchester. Ironically, he suffered his worst recorded injury at this time. According to the Essex Standard, March 14, 1891 -
 David Whybrew, aged 52, a labourer employed in the Royal Engineers' Department, and residing in Burlington Road, broke his ankle bone and the small bone of his foot. Whilst repairing the small water tower at the Barracks he missed his footing and fell to the ground, a distance of 14 feet. He was conveyed to the Hospital. 
This tallies with the 1891 census when he was listed as a patient in the Essex and Colchester hospital. He and Susan continued to add to their family, with Ellen (Nellie) born in Colchester in 1890 and Ada in 1895.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

David Whybrew's military career - part 1.

David Whybrew joined the Essex Rifles as a volunteer in November 1856, just a few months after the end of the Crimean War (October 1853 – February 1856). By the 30th December of that year he had applied, and been granted leave, to transfer to the 50th (Queen's Own) Regiment. At the time he was said to be 21 years old, although he was probably closer to 18. The record of his transfer describes him as 5' 4'' (163cm), with grey eyes and a fresh complexion. 

Soldier of the 50th regiment
 in the  1740's
Incidently, the military records, available on, are indexed under his original militia regiment rather than the 50th. It was only recently, after I searched for his name without listing his regiment, that I discovered them. 

David enlisted at a time when conditions in the army were beginning to improve. During the Crimean War, eye witness accounts of the appalling conditions on and around the battle fields were reported in the British newspapers for the first time, aided by the introduction of the telegraph and photography. Florence Nightingale was one of those who responded to the reports. Medical care for soldiers began to be taken seriously. The government also set up a number of enquiries into the running of the army which led to improvements over the next 50 years.

David's first posting outside England was to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in 1857. His medical records show he suffered from tropical ulcers and a 'febrile inter[?]' (presumably malaria) which was treated with quinine. From there his regiment sailed to New Zealand, where they were involved in the Maori Wars of 1863. He seems to have come through that unscathed. 

In 1866 they went on to Australia, and travelled via Norfolk Island, Van Diemen's Land and Sydney to arrive in Adelaide on the 16th August 1867. Several British regiments were stationed in South Australia to act as law-enforcers, as well as to protect the colony from potential attackers. (Apparently some seriously thought the Russians would like to take the colony.) The commander of the 50th Regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Hamley, became Acting Governor during their stay, and he was well respected. 

However, the conduct of the lower ranks of the Red Coats was not always exemplary, as the writer of this letter to the editor of the South Australian Register complains. Drunkenness, stealing, and disorderly conduct seem to have been quite common, and David Whybrew was certainly not the only member of the regiment to find himself in the local police court during this time. In his defence, his commanding officer, Lieutenant Fleury, is reported as saying that "Corporal Whybrew had been in the force 12 years. His conduct had been very good. He had two badges for it."

When the regiment left South Australia in April 1869, David was not with them. He is mentioned in the South Australian Police Gazette on April 28 among those soldiers who had deserted. His name appears again on May 19 after he and another soldier, John Love, gave themselves up. 

He must have been dealt with quite leniently, because a few days later, on May 28 he and Susan Mason were married at St Luke's church. I haven't discovered when they returned to England, but it must have been after Eliza's birth in December 1869. His military records show he was in Bristol in 1870 and at the time of the English census of 1871 David was with the regiment in the barracks in Aldershot. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Thomas Ward - a hole in the wall

One of my long-standing "brick walls" has been Thomas Ward, the husband of Frances Dickinson. I knew that he and Frances married in Standish in 1802, and that she was a widow by 1818. His name didn't appear in the Walton Le Dale parish records for burials between 1809 (when his youngest son Richard was born) and 1818, but there was a tantalising gap in the records on the Lancashire Online Parish Clerks site between 1813 and 1814, and I couldn't find the records anywhere else.

Being able to narrow down his date of death to a two year period might seem more than adequate, but I was hoping to find his burial record to see if it gave me a clue to when he was born. Without a date of birth I couldn't go back any further.

Yesterday I finally found the 1813-1814 records on (or to be more accurate, the Bishop's Transcripts of the parish records). So now I know not only that Thomas Warde (sic) was buried in September 1813, but also that he was born about 1779 and worked as a joiner. Hooray!

A bit more searching on and produced a possible father and mother for Thomas - Cuthbert and Ellen Ward (nee Catteral). They had a son, Thomas, in Kirkham, Lancashire, in 1779, and then two daughters born in Kirkham, in 1781 and 1783. After that they vanish from the Kirkham records, but a Cuthbert and Ellen Ward appear in Walton Le Dale, with the birth of another daughter in 1785. Several more children were born in Walton Le Dale. Cuthbert died there in 1799 and his occupation at his burial was recorded as 'joiner'.

So it all seems to fit together nicely. I need to do a bit more research before claiming Cuthbert as 'one of ours'. Still, finding a way over or through walls is what makes the research so rewarding (and addictive.)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

David Whybrew's childhood

Stanway 'Spike', the workhouse where David Whybrew
was an inmate in 1851
  © Copyright Glyn Baker and licensed for reuse
under this Creative Commons Licence
Anyone who has read Charles Dicken's novels would know that 'the workhouse' in 19th century England was synonymous with humiliating poverty and deprivation. Conditions in the workhouses were deliberately intended to deter any able-bodied person from seeking help.

According to Peter Higginbotham on his website 'The Workhouse', parishes were responsible for caring for anyone unable to care for themselves. They did this by levying a tax, the poor rate, on local property owners. Most of this was dispensed as 'out relief', enabling people to remain in their own homes by providing food, clothing, tools for work and so on.

Workhouses generally took in those who could  not work - orphans, the elderly without family, unmarried mothers and the disabled. However, parishes did have the option of restricting relief to those willing to enter the workhouse, as a deterrent to those who were capable of supporting themselves. In this situation, those fit enough to work were expected to work without pay in return for their board.

Conditions in the workhouses were generally spartan, cheerless and degrading. Despite this, there was often a perception that 'poor relief' was seen as an easy option for those who didn't want to work. (Does that sound familiar?) In 1832, at a time of growing unrest and spiralling costs, the British Government set up a Royal Commission to look into the running of poor relief. This resulted in the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 which was intended to abolish the 'out relief' system altogether. Only residents of the workhouses would be given poor relief, and if a man couldn't support his family, the whole family had to move into the workhouse.

Under the act, local parish relief systems were combined into Poor Law Unions. Many large new Union workhouses were pupose-built at this time, including the one at Stanway, in Essex, run by the Lexden and Winstree Union, which could hold up to 330 people. This was where David Whybrew was living when the census was taken in 1851.

We can only guess at how David came to be there. After his mother Sarah's death (probably in 1841) the family seem to have moved from Wormingford to Wakes Colne, a few miles away. I say this on the basis that James Whybrew died there in 1848, and whoever completed the census at the Stanway Workhouse assumed that David was born there. All three of David's sisters also eventually married men associated with Wakes Colne or the adjacent White Colne.

When James died, David would have been about 10 years old, still too young to find work or care for himself.  Sophia had married, and Harriet and Eliza were probably working as servants. (Unfortunately I can't find either of them on the 1851 census.) Jeremiah, still single, seems to have gone off to North America before 1851. Apparently no-one in the extended family was able to take David in. He may even have moved into the workhouse before James death, if James was unable to support him.

It's unlikely that David received much emotional support or personal attention as an inmate of the workhouse. It might have been some comfort and encouragement to have so many other children around him who were in the same situation. One of these was Alfred Duncombe, brother of Sophia's husband Charles, who had been there most of his life.

There were some benefits to being in the workhouse. He would at least have a roof over his head, regular meals and an education. In an article from 1850 quoted by History House on poverty among Essex labourers, the writer says  "It is one of the anomalies of the poor-law, that the pauper is better fed, better clothed and better lodged than the labourer." Not well fed, but at least better fed.

In fact the pauper may have been better educated than his future employers. The writer recounts a conversation with a local farmer:
"I am," said he, "one of the guardians of our union, and I just happened to go into the school-room and there if the master wasn't telling the boys to point out with a stick, on some big maps that were hanging up, where South Amerikey was, and France, and a lot of other places, and they did it, too. Well, when I went home, I told my son of it, and asked him if he could tell me where them places was; and he couldn't. Now, is it right that these here pauper children should know more than the person who will have to employ them?"
Perhaps the names on the big maps and the institutional life of the workhouse were what inspired David to join the army as soon as he was old enough.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Update on Sarah Baldwin (Whybrew)

Since my last post I've been able to trace both a parish record and an entry in the GRO (General Registry Office) index for a Sarah Wybrow* who died in 1841. Her death was registered in the July-September quarter at Lexden, Essex, and her burial is recorded on 11 July 1841 at St Mary's church, Bures St Mary, Suffolk.

The parish record, (a transcription from the Suffolk Family History Society, provided on a commercial family history site), gives Sarah's date of birth at 1806. This would certainly fit with the dates for Sarah Baldwin. It wouldn't be unknown for someone to be buried in a place they were strongly associated with, rather than in their local parish church, especially since Wormingford and Bures St Mary are so close.

It would also explain why Sarah had no children after David's birth, despite being so young. From the parish records it looks as though the Sarah Whybrew whose death is registered in Lexden in 1847 was born in 1770, which helps to exclude this date.

 *The names Whybrew, Whybrow, Wybrow, Wibrow etc seem to be used interchangeably at this time, so the difference in spelling of Sarah's name is not of great concern.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sarah Baldwin

Name:Sarah BALDWIN
Individual Facts
Birthabt 1811 (1806?)outside Essex 1
Deathbefore 1851 (1841?)Essex? 
1. James WHYBREW (c1801-c1848)
ChildrenSophia WHYBREW (1826-1905)
Jeremiah WHYBREW (1830-1878)
Eliza WHYBREW (1832- 1908 )
Harriet WHYBREW (1833- 1893 )
David WHYBREW (1838-1917)

1. 1841 UK census

Sarah Baldwin - a short life

St Mary's Bures, Suffolk*
Sarah Baldwin was probably still a teenager when she married the widowed James Whybrew in St Mary's Bures in 1826. If her date of birth is calculated from the 1841 census, she was only 15 when she married, but the ages of adults were rounded down to the nearest 5 in that census, so she is likely to have been born sometime between 1807 and 1811.

Unfortunately the 1841 census is the only information we have about Sarah's date and place of birth, and it only tells us that she was born outside of Essex. Perhaps since she married James in St Mary's Bures, in Suffolk, she also came from somewhere in Suffolk.

At the time of their marriage, James' children by his first marriage would have been quite young - James about 7, Louisa 5 and Jeremiah 3. As mentioned before, it appears that Jeremiah died that same year, just before the wedding took place.

Sarah's first child, Sophia, was born at Bures and baptised at the end of 1826. Jeremiah (the second Jeremiah born to James) followed in 1830, and by now the family were living in Essex. Eliza was born about 1832, Harriet in 1833 and David in 1838, when Sarah was still in her late twenties.

At the time of the 1841 census James and Sarah had the five youngest children living with them at Wormingford. I haven't discovered (yet!) where James and Loiusa were in 1841. James appears to have married Lydia Stevens in Lambeth, London in 1845 and Louisa married Richard Springett in Colchester in the same year.

Then in 1846 Sarah's daughter Sophia married Charles Duncombe, who came from a large and interesting family (more of that some day). Did Sarah live to see her grand-daughter Mary Ann Duncombe, born in late 1847?  Was she still alive when Jeremiah went off to America in 1850? All we can say is that she almost certainly died sometime before 1851, when she would have been in her early forties. (One family tree online says she died in 1841, but no source is provided.)

*Photo attribution: Bob Jones [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

see also An update on Sarah Baldwin

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Who wants to be transported? We do!

In modern Australia the popular image of the transported convict is of someone in prison garb and chains, breaking rocks in a road gang. But many convicts were assigned to land owners or businesses to work as labourers or, in the case of female convicts, as servants. And while they may have been used as slave labour, they were at least assured of food, clothing and a bed at night. That was more than many of them had back in their home country.

Here's an extract from a House of Commons committee report of 1838. It gives some interesting insights into the conditions in England and Ireland at the time, and attitudes towards transportation. (I've modified the formatting slightly to make it easier to read.)

 309 Chairman Have you had any opportunity of ascertaining the apprehension which is produced in this country by the punishment of transportation, distinguishing England from Ireland? -  
The Very Rev. W Ullathorne, D.D. ( a Roman Catholic Bishop who was in New South Wales 1833-1836) I have had considerable opportunities of late. One of the duties which I have imposed upon myself in this country has been to expose to the poor the corporeal and moral horrors of transportation; for that purpose, for the last three months, I have been employed in preaching in the manufacturing districts in the north of England. I have found, generally, that there was a great deal of delusion existing amongst the population; and I have been informed by the clergy, that that delusion exists to a considerable extent; and when I explained the real facts of transportation, a very great sensation of horror prevailed amongst the people. 
I had much communication with the relations of persons transported; they came to me frequently after my sermons, for the purpose of obtaining information with regard to the lot of their friends, or requesting me to take letters to them; and I found that, generally speaking, they had no idea of the fate of the convicts, or the immoralities and the punishment to which they were liable. And in this country even, clergymen have informed me that they have actually in some cases been consulted by persons in a state of starvation, as to whether they might do something or other for the purpose of being transported or not; and I have found that this delusion has been kept up a good deal by letters from the colony. 
I have seen letters written by prisoners soon after arrival to their wives, in which they represent themselves as very comfortable, and give extravagant accounts of their condition, the sole object appearing, from their letters, to be to induce the wife to go out; and I believe the object of the prisoner was that, if the wife did come out, he would contrive to be assigned to her. 
I have visited Ireland lately; I was there but a fortnight, but during that time I preached once in Dublin, and I found that the same delusion existed there. I have been told by the clergy, that were I to explain those things generally to the people it would be of the greatest benefit; and I was particularly struck by the observations of one clergyman, a parish priest; he has the largest parish in Dublin; he told me, and he told me with tears in his eyes at the time, that in his parish, which was within the liberties of Dublin, he had not less than 36,000 souls; that the number of sick calls in a day which had to be attended by his curates was not less than 45; and in case of severe weather for a few days, there were 6,000 of his parishioners who did not know where to get anything whatsoever, and who, generally speaking, had nothing between their bones and the floor on which they lay but the rags that scarcely covered them in the street; and he said to me "If you will explain the horrors of transportation to my people, you will do more good in one day than I can do in a year"  
310 To restrain them in time? 
Yes, and to acquaint them with the real result; but generally speaking they have an idea that to be transported is to better their circumstances very much. I was much struck with a remark made by a person when I was preaching in Wigan. This person was a respectable innkeeper; it was stated to him that I was going to preach upon this subject and he said, "What is the use of it? People had far better be transported than remain here; for there they will have abundance to eat and drink and plenty of clothing, and here they are in a state of starvation"; and such is the general idea and I believe it has led many to desire transportation.
House of Commons papers, vol 22, Reports from Committees, seventeen volumes _16_ Transportation, page 32, viewed at Google Books

Friday, July 27, 2012

James Whybrew - a summary

Unlike his son David, who travelled the world with the British Army, James Whybrew seems to have spent all of his life in a small area on the Essex-Suffolk border in England.

According to the 1841 census, he was born about 1801, though I haven't been able to find any record of his birth. In March 1820 he married Mary Webber in Bures St Mary, Suffolk, a few months after the baptism of their first child, James.

The births of Louisa and Jeremiah followed and were both baptised on the same day in February 1823. Another child, Joseph Whybrew, was born in Bures St Mary in 1825 and died in March that year. It's not clear whether he was the child of James and Mary or another family. (There were other Whybrews living in Bures at the time.) 

James was left a widower when Mary (Webber) Whybrew died at the age of 26 in April 1825. He remarried a year later in April 1826, again in Bures St Mary, to Sarah Baldwin. Their first child, Sophia, was born in 1826. It seems there were two Sophia Whybrews born in the same area that year, and they both appear (in different places) in the 1841 census in Essex. It's possible to follow each of them through the later censuses. James and Sarah's daughter Sophia married a Charles Duncombe in 1846. The second Sophia seems to have remained single and ended her days in an asylum.

Based on the 1841 census, the next child born to James and Sarah was another Jeremiah, in about 1830. It's possible, of course, that the Jeremiah in the census is the Jeremiah born to Mary, but it seems unlikely. While adults' ages in the census are often inaccurate, it would be unusual for a child's age to be so far out. It seems more likely that the older Jeremiah died in infancy. I haven't found a record of his death, but there is a death recorded for "Jemima" Whybrew in 1826, aged 3, which could be a mis-transcription.

Also with James and Sarah in the 1841 census were Eliza, born about 1832, Harriet, born about 1833, and David, born 1838. The family were living in Wormingford, Essex at this time, opposite the Crown Inn. James' occupation is listed as 'sawyer'.

The Crown Inn, Wormingford
 © Copyright Robert Edwards under a Creative commons licence
Sarah probably died sometime before 1851 since she doesn't appear on the census that year. James' name also seems to be absent from the census. What happened to the family between 1841 and 1851 is uncertain. Conditions in rural England were extremely hard - this was a time when many people decided to make the difficult voyage to Australia or North America. Jeremiah Whybrew, James' son, was one of those who migrated to Canada, but I haven't found any evidence that James and Sarah left England.

Perhaps the family struggled to survive on a labourer's wages. A James Whybrew born about 1800 appears in the Essex courts in 1845 charged with larceny, for which he received 14 days imprisonment. But was this David's father? It could be any one of the three James Whybrews born in Essex between 1796 and 1806 who appear in the 1841 census.

In 1848 a James Whybrew died in the Lexden registration district (which includes Wormingford) but no age is recorded so again it's difficult to be sure that it's the same person. One clue that both James and Sarah had died before 1851 is that David Whybrew, still in his teens, was a resident of the Lexden and Winstree Union Workhouse at the time of the census. In that case, James lived less than 50 years.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Trees and logs

Perhaps I should have read the instructions before I started. 

Instead I've learned about family history research by trial and error as I've gone along. There's so much genealogical information available on the internet these days that it's easy to keep following one trail after another, collecting bits and pieces along the way that seem interesting or potentially useful. The result can be a hard-drive full of disorganised notes, files, and images. 

Fortunately since I have a bit of an obsessive streak, I've kept things fairly organised, and left myself trail markers. I've taken care to keep a record of where I've found information. I've also made sure that I've excluded every other possible explanation of a fact before I add new details to the family history. 

But I'm starting to regret that I haven't kept any systematic record of what I've excluded. Sometimes I find myself going back over the same search results on the same database because I can't remember whether I've tried a particular combination of search terms before or not. I know I had a good reason for deciding that this Thomas Ward was not the Thomas Ward I was looking for, but six months later I can't always remember why. 

 Maybe that's the reason why most 'Introduction to Genealogy' articles recommend keeping a research log, that details exactly what you've looked for, and where, and what the results were (useful or otherwise.) I guess it's never too late to start.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

John Mason - where did he come from?

Despite hours of research, I haven't been able to discover much more about John Mason than what is revealed by his marriage and death registrations. We know from those records that he was born about 1815, married in 1841 in the Catholic church in Sydney, moved to Adelaide in 1845 and was a labourer when he died in 1857.

Only two births for children named John Mason appear on the NSW Registry site for the period 1805 to 1825. One, John V (Valentine) Mason, was born in Richmond in 1822, and lived there all his life. The other, born 1819, was the son of Alexander Mason and Hannah Simpson. He was christened at St Phillip's Church of England, Sydney. At the age of 4, he and his two brothers were admitted to the Male Orphan School by his widowed mother. In such an institution he would almost certainly have received a C of E education. I haven't been able to trace what happened to him, but it seems unlikely that he would have married in a Roman Catholic church.

Of the free settlers named John Mason who arrived in NSW before 1841, only one was of the right age. He travelled with his parents and siblings from Ireland on the 'China', arriving in 1839. He later married Mary Hickey

The next possibility is that John Mason was transported to Australia as a convict. Out of the twenty or so John Masons who arrived in Sydney between 1820 and 1841, most can be ruled out because of their age, or because they  are known to have died, or to have married, or because they were still in New South Wales after 1845. (Fortunately the name of the ship on which convicts arrived functions almost as 'tag' which makes it possible to follow what happened to many of them through official records and newspaper accounts.)

That still leaves a handful of convicts named John Mason of about the right age (born within ten years of 1815). The most promising of these was born 1815 in Limerick, Ireland, and was transported on the Parmelia in 1833 for stealing cotton. He received his Certificate of Freedom in July 1840, which would fit in well with his marriage to Catherine the following year. Unfortunately I haven't been able to trace him after that.

And of course there's also the possibility that John Mason's birth in NSW was unregistered, or that he arrived in Sydney from one of the other colonies. As with Catherine Murphy, without some further information coming to light, it's unlikely that we'll ever know his origins for certain.

More about John Mason:

John and Catherine Mason - pioneers
Two more small clues about John Mason
An interesting snippet of news about John and Catherine Mason
Discoveries in Adelaide part 1
Discoveries in Adelaide part 2
A sad tale of two Roses
The missing link - William Doody
A song of the sea

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Catherine Murphy - a summary of what's known

Catherine was born about 1822 (based on her stated age when she died.) It seems likely she was born outside Australia. A daughter named Catherine was born to James and Sarah Murphy in Sydney in 1821, but she seems to have married Henry Stedman, and remained in NSW. I can't find any other registered births for Catherine/Catharine Murphy in the right time period.

Of the convicts named Catherine Murphy who arrived in Sydney between 1820 and 1841, only three were born within ten years of 1822. Two of these are known to have married other men, and the other didn't obtain a certificate of freedom until 1848, so Catherine was probably a free immigrant, or her birth in NSW is unregistered.

It seems she was unable to write, since she signed her name with an 'X' when she married John Mason on February 2 1841. Both were said to be Roman Catholic, and married in St Mary's Catholic church in Sydney. Father Joseph Platt performed the marriage, and Andrew and Mary Goodwin were the witnesses. 

The birth of a daughter, Mary Ann, was registered in 1842 in Sydney, and another child, Catherine, was born in 1844. There may have been one or more children born to John and Catherine in Sydney who died in infancy, but this is uncertain.

In December 1844, John and Catherine and their two children sailed to Adelaide on the Dorset, arriving in January 1845. Catherine must have been pregnant at the time, as a third daughter, Margaret, was born in July that year.

Rose followed in 1847, Susan in 1849, Eliza 1850, Jane in 1852 and Bridget in 1854. When Bridget was 3 years old John died, leaving Catherine, then 35, with eight girls to bring up alone. Michael Murnane filled out the death registration details on Catherine's behalf.

The three older girls, aged 14, 13 and 11, were already working, and the 14 shillings a week that they earned between them was the family's total income. (The average labourer earned about 4 shillings per day at that time.) Catherine applied to the Destitute board for relief in June 1857, and again a few months later.

Catherine's eldest daughter, Catherine, married George Davis in June 1865 in Adelaide. Mary Ann married Henry Atkin in July 1865, and Margaret married Henry's brother, Thomas, in February 1866. Catherine's first grandchild, John Thomas, was born in 1865 to Mary Ann. More marriages and grandchildren followed, with Rose marrying William Morris in 1868 and Eliza marrying Jeremiah Murphy, a British soldier, in March 1869.

It's not clear what became of Jane and Bridget, but Susan must have caused Catherine a lot of heart ache. From the age of 14 her name appeared in the Police Court reports of the Adelaide papers several times. In April 1868 she appeared as a witness to a theft, in a case involving her future husband, David Whybrew. Susan's first child, Harriet, was born 'out of wedlock' in September 1868. Susan eventually married David in May 1869, with her second child Elizabeth (Eliza) born in December of the same year.

Both Susan and her sister Eliza left Australia about 1870 with their husbands and returned with their army regiment to England. Catherine Mason remained in Adelaide until her death in 1874, at the age of 52. She was probably buried at West Terrace Cemetery, but no newspaper announcement of her funeral, and no record of her grave has been found.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Not the right Catherine Murphy after all

Well, there goes that theory. This week I went to the State Library and looked up "Quarantined! The 1837 Lady MacNaghten immigrants" (by Perry McIntyre and Liz Rushen). It revealed that the Catherine Murphy who arrived on that ship was married to a Richard Murphy, and died in 1846. One Catherine Murphy excluded, dozens to go!

The book also had a couple of paragraphs on the Murnane family. Michael Murnane and Anne (nee Quinn) had three daughters old enough to be 'bounty' passengers - girls of marriageable age - as well as four younger children with them when they set sail. Sadly, one son died on the journey, and a daughter died during the time in quarantine in Sydney. What a terrible start to a new life  in Australia.

James Whybrew (c 1801)

Name:James WHYBREW
Individual Facts
Birthabt 1801Essex1
Deathmaybe 1848 (maybe age 47)
1. Mary WEBBER (1799-1825)
Marriage1820 (about age 19)Bures St. Mary, Suffolk, England2
ChildrenJames WHYBREW (1819-1898)
Louisa WHYBREW (1821- 1874)
Jeremiah WHYBREW (1823-1825)
??Joseph WHYBREW (1825-1825)
2. Sarah BALDWIN (1811-1847)
Marriage1826 (about age 25)Bures St. Mary, Suffolk, England2
Census (fam)1841 (about age 40)Wormingford, Essex3
ChildrenSophia WHYBREW (1826-1905)
Jeremiah WHYBREW (1830-1878)
Eliza WHYBREW (1832- 1908)
Harriet WHYBREW (1833- 1893 )
David WHYBREW (1838-1917)

1. 1841 census (UK).
3. 1841 census (UK), HO107/0334/14/~F4.

More about James Whybrew:
James Whybrew - a summary

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Mason link to the Murnane family

Here's a more established link between John Mason and the Murnane family. In 1842, Michael Murnane's daughter Bridget married a William Dowdy (or Doody) at St Mary's Catholic church in Sydney. The Dowdy's travelled to Adelaide on the Dorset with the Mason family in 1845. (They are listed as Mr and Mrs W Doodey in this newspaper clipping.)

On July 7 1845 the Dowdy's second child, Michael Patrick, was baptised in Adelaide by Bishop Francis Murphy. One of the sponsors was John Mason.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Could this be the same Catherine Murphy?

Sometimes one small piece of information can open up a multitude of possible links to follow. I've just purchased a transcript of the death certificate for John Mason in Adelaide in 1857. It gives me three new pieces of information that I didn't know before: he was a labourer, he died of 'disease of the heart', and the Informant for the registration was a Michael Murnane.

This intrigued me - who was Michael Murnane? I found two Michael Murnanes mentioned in the Adelaide newspapers around this time, a father and son, but I couldn't find any connection with the Masons, and neither seemed to hold any sort of official post that might be the reason for signing the certificate. A Michael Murnane arrived in South Australia in 1848 and the older Michael died in 1868 aged about 80.

A search on Google led me to a family history website which said that Michael Murnane had arrived in NSW from Ireland in 1837 on board the Lady McNaughton (or McNaghton). The passenger list for the Lady McNaghton (in the NSW State Records) showed that along with Michael Murnane and his family the passengers included a Catherine Murphy, aged 21.

Co-incidence? Possibly. It's likely that almost any ship carrying passengers from Ireland would include a Catherine Murphy. The name Michael Murnane seems to occur less frequently, and I've found two other family history sites that connect the 1837 arrival with the Adelaide Murnanes, so I'm more confident that this is the same family. Perhaps, since the Murnane's owned land in South Australia, they employed John Mason and that is the connection.

The other problem is Catherine's age, which is given as 21 in 1837. (Her age at death would suggest a birth about 1822). But it's quite possible that this is a 'rounded' figure, if she was travelling as a single woman.

The Lady McNaughton was famous (or notorious) for two things - it carried many single women looking for marriage, and an outbreak of typhus on the journey led to the deaths of over 60 passengers and to the ship being quarantined for weeks on its arrival in Sydney. But that's another story.

UPDATE: see  Not the right Catherine after all

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Thomas Henry Ward

Thomas Henry WARD
John WARD (1842-1905)
Mary Ann CRAGG (1843-1916)

Individual Facts
27 Dec 1882
Littleborough, Lancashire12
1891 (about age 9)
Lower Newlands, Rastrick, Yorkshire1
1901 (about age 19)
Clog maker; Milnrow, Lancashire3
1901 (about age 19)
17 Clifton St, Milnrow4
1911 (about age 29)
Boot repairer; 17 Clifton St, Milnrow5
Apr 1911 (about age 28)
17 Clifton St, Milnrow5
1952 (about age 70)
Milnrow, Lancashire6

1. Rosina BEALES (1895-1972)
1921 (about age 39)
Colchester, Essex7

        1. 1891 census (UK).
        2. Lancashire bmd online.
        3. 1901 census (UK).
        4. 1901 census (UK), RG 13/3831.
        5. 1911 census (UK).

More about Thomas Henry Ward:
Rememberance Day - Thomas Henry Ward
At last - a regiment for Thomas Henry Ward