Saturday, February 23, 2013

Middle-names in Middlesbrough

It's been a while since I visited Norwich, England. Each time I am surprised by new development, especially when it changes the roads leading into the city. In the Victorian Britain of my 2x and 3x great grandparents, some areas developed very fast indeed. From wikipedia I learn that Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire grew from a hamlet of 25 people in 1801 to become a parliamentary borough by 1867 with a population over 20,000. Its motto "Erimus" (We shall be), adopted in 1830, had been amply justified, and Middlesbrough was not only a shipping point for coal to London, but boasted its own iron industry. In browsing census returns for ancestors the place, "Middlesbrough", appears more frequently than I would have suspected.

In a former post (Some Advice From Holmes) I related the 1911 England Census, which has Amelia Augusta Tilley, John Tilley's wife, born about 1872 in Durham City, and Minnie Kennett Daw, John Tilley's sister-in-law, born about 1875 in Durham, Langley Moor. The 1914 marriage certificate ("An Identity Revealed") lists Amelia's father as John Beresford, Master Mariner.

In the 1891 England Census for 11 Gloucester Road, Middlesbrough we have:
     John Beresford    Head M 46                              Durham, Durham
     Mary A.              Wife  M 44                              Essex, Shoeburyness
     Amelia A.            Daur  S  19    Cashier              Durham, Durham
     Minnie K.            Daur  S  16    Cashier              Durham, Langley Moor
     Ada M.               Daur       13                             Durham, Sunderland
     William A.           Son        12   Scholar               Durham, Langley Moor
     Thomas K.          Son        10   Scholar               Durham, Sunderland
     Albert E.             Son         5    Scholar               Yorkshire, Middlesbro
     Adela V.             Daur       4     Scholar               Yorkshire, Middlesbro
     Robert B. Hayes Visitor S  29   Dramatic Artist   Ireland
I cannot make out the occupation for John Beresford. The letters appear readable, they just don't make sense to me, "B.T. Tapeholder Sharman"?? Or is he a "Showman" associated with the dramatic artist. See if you can read something intelligible into them!

Minnie K is Minnie Kennett Beresford, who would become the Minnie Kennett Daw of the 1911 census.

In 1881, the family is at 30 Duke Street, Monkwearmouth, Durham, which makes sense since Thomas K. was born in Co. Durham about 1881.
     John Beresford   Head Mar  36   Seaman   Durham City
     Mary A.             Wife  Mar  34                  Shoeburyness, Essex
     Annie E.              Daur         12                   Durham, Sunderland
     Minnie K.            Daur          6     Scholar   Durham, Langlemoor
     Ada M.               Daur          4     Scholar    Durham, Sunderland
     William N.           Son           2                     Durham, Brandon
     Thomas K.          Son           5 mos              Durham, Brandon

Also, in the 1881 England Census, Amelia is not among the siblings, but with her maternal grandparents at Langley Moor (schedule no. 96).
     William Kennett      Head         Mar   62   Labourer   Kent, Monkton
     Ann                        Wife          Mar   63                    Devonshire
     Rosetta M. Wilson  Daur         Mar   23                    Yorkshire, Lyth
     Thomas Wilson      Son-in-law Mar   29   Moulder    Durham City
     Amelia Beresford   Grand Daur          9    Scholar      Durham City
     Violet Trotter         Grand Daur          6    Scholar      Durham, Sunderland

In 1871 we have at 11 Magdalene Street, Durham:
     John Beresford           Head  Marr            25  Porter      Durham City
     Mary Ann Beresford   Wife   Marr            23                 Essex, Shoeburyness
     Ann E Beresford         Daur                       2                  Durham, Sunderland
     Rosetta Beresford       Daur                      11 mos          Durham, Sunderland
     William Kennett          Father-in-law Mar  52 Labourer  Kent, Monkton
     Ann Kennett               Mother-in-law Mar 54                Devons., Budleigh
     Rosetta M                  Sister-in-law           13 Scholar    Yorks., Kettleness          

Following John and Mary A Beresford forward to 1901 at 80 Granville Road, Linthorpe, Middlesbrough:
     John Beresford  Head M 56  Retired Seaman                            Durham, Durham
     Mary A             Wife M  54                                                      Essex, Shoebury.
     William A          Son  S   22  Clerk ??Wellington Steel Foundry Durham, Brandon
     Thomas K         Son  S   20  Apprentice Mechanical Engineer   Durham, Sunderland
     Albert E            Son       15  Apprentice Marine Draughtsman   Yorks, Middlesbrough
     Adela V            Daur     14                                                       Yorks, Middlesbrough

And in 1911 at 19 Upton Street Middlesbrough:
     John Beresford    Head  66 Married Mariner Rigger Steel Works City of Durham
     Mary Ann            Wife   64 Married                                             Shoeburyness
John specifies that he was born St Margaret's Parish, City of Durham. Also of note, they report having 10 children of whom 8 are living. Here follows some likely BMD Index references for them:

Annie E
Ann Elizabeth BMD Birth Index Sep1868 Sunderland 10a 513;
and Annie Elizabeth BMD Marriage Index Dec1885 Middlesbro 9d 984 Joshua Naylor Hemingway.

Rosetta E
Rosetta Eveline BMD Birth Index Jun1870 Durham 10a 421;
and Rosetta Eveline BMD Death Index Sep1874 Durham 10a 267 Age:4.

Amelia Augusta
Amelia Augusta BMD Birth Sep1871 Durham 10a 410;
and Amelia A Beresford BMD Marriage Index Jun1914 Paddington 1a 211 John Tilley;
and Amelia A Tilley BMD Death Index Mar1959 Fulham 5c 668 Age:87.

Minnie K
Minnie Kennett Beresford BMD Birth Index Sep1874 Durham 10a 448
and Minnie Kennett Beresford BMD Marriage Index Sep1897 Medway 2a 1201 Joseph Daw

Ada M probably Ada Matilda Beresford BMD Birth Index Dec1876 Sunderland 10a 635;
and Ada Matilda Beresford BMD Marriage Index Jun1899 Sunderland 10a 1080 to John William Dalkin.

William A probably William Adolphus Beresford BMD Birth Index Mar1879 Durham 10a 364
and William Adolphus Beresford BMD Marriage Index Dec1904 Middlesbro 9d 1045 to Lilian Mabel Edwards.

Thomas K probably Thomas Kennett Beresford BMD Birth Index Dec1880 Sunderland 10a 545;
and Thomas K Beresford BMD Death Index Jun1950 Middlesbro 1b 702 Age:69.

Albert E probably Albert Edward Beresford BMD Birth Index Jun1885 Middlesbro 9d 556;

Adela V probably Adella Victoria Beresford BMD Birth Index Mar1887 Middlesbro 9d 549;
and Adela Victoria Beresford BMD Marriage Index Sep1907 Middlesbro 9d 982 to George Cecil Cox.

Above are nine of the siblings. Of the missing sibling who had died, I would suggest a likely candidate as Mary Ann K Beresford BMD Birth Index Dec1872 Durham 10a 411 and BMD Death Index Sep1874 Durham 10a 263 Age:1. I am drawn to this one chiefly because, if so, the K is probably Kennett. She and Rosetta would have died in the same quarter just days apart; Mary Ann's entry in the register is only 4 entries away from Rosetta's. In which case, I would imagine infectious disease as the cause of their deaths. Of course, this is pure speculation, which the appropriate death certificates could confirm or dispel.

Of the parents:
John Beresford and Mary Ann Kennett BMD Marriage Index Dec1867 Sunderland 10a 581
Mary Ann Kennett BMD Birth Index Jun1847 Rochford 12 194
Mary A Beresford BMD Death Index Jun1912 Middlesbro 9d 648 Age:66
John Beresford BMD Death Index Jun1912 Stockton 10a 71 Age:67

However, I can find no obvious birth record in Durham for John Beresford in about 1845. I have sent for a birth certificate for John Berresford BMD Birth Index Jun1845 Durham 24 104, as well as the above marriage certificate for John and Mary Ann. They should arrive some time this week. This morning as I started writing I searched for "B.T. Tapeholder census occupation" and this yielded a genforum email from Duncan Brown to Viv Rampling, which discloses the details of several BMD certificates. The email gave another clue for "B.T. Tapeholder" - or at least the "B.T." part of it.. Duncan Brown cites the Birth Certificate for Adella Victoria Beresford in which her father John reported the birth, giving his occupation as Board of Trade Officer. So I am thinking that the B.T. might refer to the Board of Trade.

As for the John Beresford records, first the birth certificate as recorded in the email:
JOHN BERRESFORD, born May 18, 1845 in Durham City at the Crossgate Workhouse to an unwed mother ELIZABETH BERRESFORD, father left blank.

And then the marriage certificate:
JOHN is listed as aged 22, a bachelor, occupation appears to be 'SERVICES'. He was living at 22 Lodge something. His father is listed as JOHN BERESFORD, deceased, and was an Attorney's Clerk.MARY ANN is 20, spinster, living at 3 Lodge something, father William Kennett, coast guard. Witnesses were R W Cowlourd and Mahala Kennett. Marriage was 2 Oct 1867, Sunderland, Durham.

And additionally the death certificate:
JOHN BERESFORD death certificate JUNE QUARTER Stockton 10A 71: died 3 MAY 1912, at 5 The Green, Norton, Stockton, county of Durham, aged 67 years of acute pneumonia syncope. JOHN's occupation was MASTER MARINER MERCHANT SERVICE. Informant was his daughter A.E. HEMINGWAY, present at his death. Her address was 41 Chester road, Sunderland. (This was likely his first born daughter, ANNIE E, born 1869, Sunderland).

The problems with the birth certificate are apparent, and the email examines them in some detail. Briefly, "Berresford" has an extra r, and may not be the same person. And then, John Beresford's father, John, Attorney's Clerk, seems inconsistent with an unwed mother, Elizabeth Berresford. However Duncan Brown had done much research, and it seemed to him by a process of elimination that John Berresford of the birth registration and our John Beresford could still be one and the same. It is still possible that these two are different people, in which case, the birth of our John Beresford went unrecorded, while the workhouse John Berresford died or emigrated before leaving another record.

I can only add to this the possibility of John Berresford being taken in by Elizabeth's family and adopted (informally, of course) by an uncle John, the Attorney's Clerk. Also, in 1911 John Beresford reported his place of birth as St Margaret's, City of Durham, which is where the Crossgate Union Workouse lies.

There are possibilities of where to go from here to find more about the origins John Beresford - my step 2x great grandfather. I have found nothing in the National Probate Calendar for evidence of a will that might contain a date of birth for our John Beresford. There is no John Beresford born about 1845 indexed among Masters and Mates Certificates. St Margaret's Durham baptismal records might have something for John Berresford, but this may take no nearer connecting him to out John Beresford than the civil registration. There may be a burial record for John Beresford in Middlesbrough, or even a tombstone, recording a date of birth.

My stepfather's middle name was Beresford, his maternal grandmother's maiden name. I have already mentioned his father, Vivian Kennett Tilley, on the blog. The name "Vivian" turns out to be his paternal grandmother's maiden name. While as we have seen here, the name "Kennett" is his maternal grandmother's maiden name. I have since learned - thanks Steve Meredith - that he did not favor either of his given names, preferring Frank instead. This may have come from his uncle Frank, actually Llewellyn Frank, who by 1871 went by Lewis, and then appears to have records in India with the name Frank Llewellyn Tilley. He may have some living descendants in Canada, and I may post about him and his siblings another time.

The documentation of the family tree continues its development, but don't expect it to reach 20,000 any time soon!

Friday, February 8, 2013

My Dear Comrade

Tom Blacketer 1901
Mum sent me a scanned collection of family papers, among which were some letters from Labour Party politician George Lansbury. As you may recall, my great grandfather, Thomas John Blacketer, was his election agent. The papers include campaign letters from Lansbury, and a particularly touching condolence letter on the death of Octavius Peterken.

Also, I have just received Janine Booth's Guilty and Proud Of It. Strange to read my great grandfather's name in a history book, albeit a local history. He gets three one-liners and a short biography! But I haven't read deeply enough into it to give a good book report.

Among Lansbury correspondence at the London School of Economics archives are four letters from TJ Blacketer to George Lansbury. I haven't seen any of these, but maybe someone out there has, or might be interested in transcribing them. So here are the references for anyone wishing to follow up:
     Lansbury/8 275 20 February 1927
     Lansbury/12 12 March/April 1933
          Condolence letter on the death of Lansbury's wife
     Lansbury/13 203 11 December 1933
     Lansbury/14 29 14 December 1933
          Sympathy letter on Lansbury's hospital stay with a broken leg

In 1924 Thomas Blacketer's father-in-law, Octavius Peterken, died. Among our papers is this letter from George Lansbury, dated 1 August 1924. Given that Thomas's own father had died while his mother was still pregnant with him, Octavius was something of a father to him, and, indeed, Lansbury writes "father" rather than "father-in-law". Lansbury's handwriting is about as bad as mine, so I was able to make a transcript (but if you think you have a correction, I would be happy to receive it):

My dear Blacketer
I feel I must send you this note. The news of your father’s death & burial came as a shock one which has left me feeling rather sad.
Yet there is no room for darkness for me or you because his life’s journey is over & now comes peace. Death is a final mystery because we believe though the body passes our souls remain & these are in the hands of God from whom all Spirit comes.
You travelled a long journey with your father & will feel his loss deeply but you will I am sure remember loss or sadness only for a night & then comes the dawn & you have the wholly blessed memory of all you were to each other & also the equally blessed knowledge that though absent in the body he is still nearby in spirit.
God bless you both & keep you till the Day dawns & the night of Sin & Death passes away forever.
George Lansbury

The following photograph of Octavius Peterken reading the newspaper is from 1922, and shows his appearance toward the end of his life.

Octavius Peterken, 1922
The previously shown Octavius Peteken photograph (see The Sound of Bow Bells) was one used for a memorial picture of him. Our family has a photograph of the memorial photograph (and it will not adequately display here). Our photograph and the one from Paul Peterken look identical down to the autograph as best I can tell, and lacks the fold down the middle. The frame is matted so that Octavius's signed portrait is above and below is the following inscription:

For forty years a devoted Mission Worker in East London and for over thirty three years the beloved Honorary President of the Salmon's Lane Mission Condor Street Limehouse London E

A search for "Salmon or Salmon's Lane Mission" shows that a place with the former name had been seaman's hostel, of which the cornerstone was placed in 1923. It appears to have been converted to residential apartments. If the same mission , then Octavius was presumably involved in the fundraising side for this building. An 1897 interview from T Wilson Booth, Honorary Secretary of the Salmon's Lane Mission Condor Street, is in the notebook of Charles Booth, a prominent philanthropist and social scientist, concerned with the plight of the poor. This is again lodged among the archives at the LSE (ref. Booth B172, pp18-22, which apparently includes a sketch of the premises of the Mission), a document I would like to see one day. Octavius, as Honorary President for some 33 years prior to 1924, must have worked with T Wilson Booth. If I ever needed it, I am reminded that many in the Labour movement around this time were inspired by Christian ideal of service to the poor.

In his role as election agent for George Lansbury, Thomas Blacketer received these two post-election notes from his victorious candidate. They are undated, so I do not know the election to which each refers. here is the first:

My dear Comrade
This is to bring you my very grateful thanks for the manner in which you put through the election. The whole business has been more than satisfactory & for myself most peaceful & comfortable especially the last 10 days. 
I have never bothered about money, this time least of all & in addition we have all known we were getting full value for all that was spent.
The workers were one & all splendid. In fact we have never had so luxurious a fight.
I know you have done it all for the Cause but also know you have done your level best to save me trouble & in this you have succeeded splendidly.
Love and all good wishes to you both.
Always yours,
George Lansbury

In a second note from a different election, marked only Friday, Lansbury expresses regret for some words they had on a stressful election day.

Dear Comrade
This is a note of personal congratulation to you. The victory is largely yours, because of your work & confidence. I was very sick last night because of the intolerable stories of no helpers & nobody voting in North Ward & then the figure of 5000 at six o'clock knocked me out altogether. But I ought to have done better than say a word when you were tired & worn out with work & worry. But the result is splendid. I know you will not mind now it is over...

All good wishes,
George Lansbury

By 1928, Thomas Blacketer was in the confidence of George Lansbury enough to be asked to manage the discussion at a council meeting in Lansbury's absence. There appears to have been some dissension within Labour ranks concerning Lansbury's leadership. I notice that he begins, "Dear Tom". Also, notice the handwriting is different, possibly a dictated letter, although the "Always, George Lansbury" is in his hand:

Dear Tom:
I find the meeting I have to address is at 7 o'clock & that of course means that I cannot possibly come to the council meeting. I have written to the Town Clerk expressing my regret at being absent & wishing the new council the best of success in the future three years. But I also want to emphasize - damp down all discussion & criticism amongst our people. Let us try to be as big as we can, no matter how bad we feel.
I feel like packing up and all that I told you: but after all, the movement is bigger than all the lot of us, and a personal discussion in which I am involved is the worst thing that could happen & something I do not wish to happen. best of good luck & thanks both to you Tom & everybody else.
George Lansbury
Be at 39 Bow Rd @ 6:15 on Friday if you want to go with me.

For the year 1930-31 Thomas Blacketer was Mayor of Poplar, very much involved managing council meetings.

We also have a campaign poster for London County Council election, which was on 5 March 1931, for Labour Candidates T. J. Blacketer and E. Cruse, with their manifesto (including "Houses with rents that workers can pay") and public meeting dates at which Blacketer, Cruse and Lansbury would be speaking. There is an emphasis on trades unions, Cruse is with the Amalgamated Engineering Union, and Blacketer with ASLEF (Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen), befitting his occupation as locomotive engineer. At the bottom of the poster is small print:

Printed by H. & H. G. PETERKEN T.U. throughout, 153 High St., Poplar, & published by T. J. BLACKETER, 141 Bow Road.

It actually reads "PILTERKEN", which I hope is not a poor reflection on union labour. The "H" is Henry, the brother of Octavius, while "H. G." is Henry George, son of Henry - and first cousin of Mary Ann Blacketer, Thomas's wife. Interesting that the Peterkens supported a unionized workforce at their printshop.

It appears that Blacketer and Cruse won the election since on a letter dated 5 March 1931 (presumably written the night of the election), Lansbury writes:

My dear Comrade,
A thousand congratulations. Bow & Bromley always comes up trumps at the end. All good wishes to you both.
G Lansbury.

Rather document-heavy today, and I still have more I am in the process of transcribing. And male-heavy too, so below is a picture of Mary Ann Peterken (Madge) at age 21, who was married to Tom in 1906. They must have made quite a couple. I will end with a family anecdote. In 1931 the Indian Independence leader Mahatma Gandhi visted England for the Round Table Conference. George Lansbury hosted Gandhi during his visit to the East End of London. Gandhi was seeking solidarity between the poor in both India and Britain, and was well received by those living in the East End. Thomas Blacketer got to shake hands with Gandhi when Lansbury introduced them.

Mary Ann Peterken 1900

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Botting Connections

Thomas Blacketer is my 3x great grandfather. His birth is registered 1817 with the Barking Meeting of the Society of Friends (that is, the Quakers). For more about his family, you may read the post Some Quaker Roots. The BMD Marriage Index for Jun1845 W Ham 12 412 has the names of Thomas Blacketer and Martha Greenfield, which makes sense of his married census returns recording a Martha Blacketer, born about 1820 in Guildford, Surrey. Along with the Blacketers and Greenfields, I kept coming across Bottings.

Greenfield is not an uncommon name in Surrey, at least, not uncommon in the early 19th century according to the ancestry search engine. Add "Guildford" to the search, and it looks like a single family. One of those census returns is from 1851, the household of a widow, George Hart, Grocer at 185 High Street, Deptford, Kent, and his three servants. One of them is Assistant in his grocer's shop. The other two are General Servants, both women, and their names are:
     Sarah Botting          Unmarried 66 born in Petworth, Sussex
     Harriet Greenfield    Unmarried 28 born in Guildford, Surrey
Sarah would be born about 1785, and Harriett about 1823. The pair are also George Hart's servants in the 1841 England Census at the same address.

You may recall that Thomas Blacketer's mother was originally Elizabeth Botting, born about 1787 in Petworth, Sussex. That is too much of a coincidence for me, suggesting that Sarah Botting was Thomas's aunt, while Harriet Greenfield was his sister-in-law.

Proving the latter turns out to be fairly easy. The parish register of Guildford St Mary records the baptism on 17 September 1820 of Martha daughter of Thomas and Mary Greenfield. His occupation is listed as Butcher. The same parish register for 5 January 1823 records the baptism of Harriet, daughter of the same parents. Including these two, I found five Greenfield siblings baptized at Guildford St Mary between 1812 and 1823. Here they are:
     Elizabeth   5 April 1812
          (this record is in a different format with daughter of Thomas Greenfield only)
     Edward     9 October 1814
     Sarah        26 June 1816
     Martha      17 September 1820
     Harriet       5 January 1823
          (the remaining four are all for Thomas Greenfield, Butcher, and his wife Mary)

Although I could find no records for Elizabeth or Edward, I did find the following:

Harriet married William Simmonds Carman 18 September 1853 at St Giles Cripplegate, Middlesex. The witnesses to her wedding were James and Mary Botting. This corresponds to Sep1853 East London 1c 84. The presence of the Bottings here is no coincidence. William Simmonds's family's census returns are easy to track. In the 1841 England Census they live on East Street (or church Street) in Petworth, Sussex next door to James Botting (Age 25) Fishmonger, and his wife Sarah (Age 20 - the ages in the 1841 census are supposed to be rounded to the nearest 5). Looking ahead to the 1861 England Census, although William is no longer living at home, his father's household on census night includes John Botting (Age 44, born in Petworth); John is the brother of William's mother, whose maiden name was evidently Botting.

Sarah married Thomas Joseph Adey 22 December 1844 at St John Hackney, Middlesex. Joseph Blacketer (Thomas's father) and Martha Greenfield (his future wife) witnessed this marriage. This corresponds to Dec1844 Hackney 3 125.

Among papers that had been sent to me several years ago, I belatedly found a copy of the marriage certificate of Thomas Blacketer and Martha Greenfield, solemnized in 1845 at the Parish Church in the Parish of West Ham, Essex:
     May 18    Thomas Blacketer   Full Age   Bachelor   Shoemaker   West Ham
                                                                         father: Joseph Blacketer    Watchmaker
                     Martha Greenfield   Full Age   Spinster                        West Ham
                                                                         father: Thomas Greenfield   Butcher
One of the witness signatories is Harriet Greenfield, Martha's sister. The other is Thomas Joseph Adey, her brother-in-law, which certainly ties some of the above together.

As to Martha's parents, Thomas and Mary Greenfield, I can find little information. According to the BMD Death Index, one Thomas Greenfield died Mar1853 Guildford 2a 28. However, I am dissuaded from buying this one, since there are two more Thomas Greenfields who died in Petworth, Sussex in the 1840s. As for Mary Greenfields, I find three death records in Petworth alone for the 1840s. At $15 per certificate, it could work out expensive to find the correct one by trial and error!

There are several Thomas Greenfield marriages in Surrey, one of which is to a Mary Botting. This is for 24 March 1808 in the parish register of Stoke St John the Evangelist, which is in Guildford, Surrey. If this is the correct record, that could make Thomas Blacketer and Martha Greenfield cousins of some degree, but I have no evidence as yet.

A search for Bottings in the first half of the nineteenth century shows many families across Sussex, including Petworth. One way forward from here (actually backward in time) will be to build a Botting family tree. This may help me to figure out how each of the Bottings above are related to each other, and then to other people in my tree. A public member tree already exists with Bottings back to about 1600, and when I return to this branch of the family, that may well direct my future research.