ALLEN a day’s work

In a previous post (from 2010!), my next steps were to:

  • Find ALLEN birth entries in Harborne parish registers
  • Locate family members on 1841 census (and beyond)
  • Find marriage record in Halesowen parish registers
  • Determine Isaac and Ann’s birthplaces/dates

1) These are all the baptisms I could find in the Harborne parish register:

Elizabeth ALLEN baptism – Harborne 1822
Josiah ALLEN baptism – Harborne 1824
Isaac ALLEN baptism – Harborne 1826
Mary Ann ALLEN baptism – Harborne 1829

Note that despite living in Birmingham at the time, the family still returned to Harborne to baptise Isaac and Mary Ann in 1826 and 1829.

2)  The ALLENs were eventually located on the 1841 census in Churchill, Worcestershire near Kidderminster (there are quite a few Churchills I found out!).  The family lived ‘next door’ to the Rectory but I am still unable to determine the exact whereabouts so far. Isaac and daughter, Mary were still there in 1851 – his wife Ann had since died.

ALLENs on 1841 census, Churchill

 

ALLENs on 1851 census – Churchill

 

3)  The original Halesowen (Worcestershire) registers have not yet been seen by me but I was able to find a transcription here which gives the marriage date of Isaac ALLEN (bachelor) and Ann Phillis GEALEY (spinster) – both of the parish – as 26 August 1821.

St John's Church, Halesowen
St John’s Church, Halesowen c.1910

4.a)  The 1851 census gave Isaac’s birthplace as Moseley, Warwickshire, and sure enough an Isaac was born to Jeremiah & [Phebe] Allen in 1792 and baptised at the Moseley parish church – St Mary.

Baptism of Isaac ALLEN in 1792
Moseley Parish Church – originally Worcestershire, later Warwickshire

4.b)  I have not been able to view Halesowen baptisms c.1790 so have not yet located Ann Phillis Gealey’s baptism but believe that is where she may be found.

NEXT STEPS:

  • Find Ann Phillis Gealey’s baptism
  • Locate siblings on 1851 census & beyond

Buried Alive

hollybankcolliery
Holly Bank Colliery, Essington

One good thing about researching family with an uncommon name is that it can make trawling through newspapers a bit easier.  Such was the case, when I did a blanket search for EBBANS in the British Newspaper Archive.  Among the genealogical gems found (more on those in later posts), was a coal mining accident that killed a relative in 1909.

coalminingaccidentThomasEBBANScoalminingaccidentThomasEBBANS2

ESSINGTON MINER BURIED ALIVE.-An inquiry was held by Mr. T. A. Stokes (County Coroner) at Newtown, on Wednesday afternoon, concerning the death of Thomas Ebbans (31), lately residing at Walsall Road, Newtown, Essington, who was accidentally killed at Holly Bank Colliery on Monday, owing to a sudden fall of coal. – Mr. Felton, Deputy-Inspector of Mines, was present; and Mr. H. H. Jackson (Messrs. Stanley and Jackson) represented the widow. Mr. J. C. Forrest, manager of the colliery company was also present. – William Mitton, a miner, engaged at the colliery, said he was working with the deceased man when the accident occurred. He was loading, and deceased was working on the face of the coal. Deceased put a hole in the face in proparation [sic] for a shot to be fired, and then asked for a “sprag” to put into the coal. Before witness could hand over the “sprag” some tons of coal fell, and the man was buried. Witness had to jump away to save his life. An alarm was raised, and Ebbans was got out. Replying to the Coroner, witness said it was customary to undermine the coal in the way described. Everything was done in the usual way. – Questioned by the Deputy-Inspector of Mines, witness said he could not account for a pick which was found on the ground immediately after the accident. He did not see the deceased using a pick. -Edwin Thomas, night fireman, said he examined the district between five and six o’clock on Monday morning, and found everything in order. So far as his observations went the coal was then safe. -Police-constable Albert Buckham, stationed at Essington, said he examined the body after the accident, and found that the man’s right thigh and ribs were fractured, and the neck apparently dislocated. -The Coroner remarked that the deceased appeared to have taken every precaution. – “Accidental death” was the verdict returned.

Walsall AdvertiserSaturday 29 May 1909, p11

sprag
A sprag – a prop to support a mine roof.

As if the event wasn’t tragic enough, a little bit of research showed that his wife was left with at least one young child, possibly two, under 4 years of age. They had only been married 5 years.
The 1911 census had her and her young child staying with her parents.  Interesting to note that it says she had 3 children born alive – 2 still living. Had she been pregnant at the time of the accident?

Sarah EBBANS Dutton
1911 Census – Sarah EBBANS (widow of Thomas EBBANS)

I’m interested in what happened to Sarah Jane (nee DUTTON) and other wives who found themselves in similar tragic situations.  Did the coal companies look after them in any way?  Was the fact that Thomas’ widow had a solicitor usual in these cases?  Unfortunately, the fantastic ‘Coalmining History Resource Centre‘ didn’t seem to list this particular accident – although I may have searched it ‘incorrectly’ as the search function seemed a bit limited.  If you have coalmining ancestors, I recommend you give the site a look.  And if you know of any resources that might help me, please let me know.

Holly Bank brick
Holly Bank Colliery brick
sswl_map4
West Midlands Division Map 119 A & B

Looking for Lovell

Gipsy_Essex_QE1_142
A GIPSY ENCAMPMENT IN ESSEX” c.1889

Carnation LOVELL was born into her gypsy family in Willenhall, 1889. Finding her family has led me on a bit of a run around over the years and I have decided I need to find some solid records and check my information is correct so far (a previous post can be found here).
She appears on the 1891 census with her parents (Matthew and Maria LOVELL), and elder brother Chandos, living in a gypsy tent in Darlaston, Staffordshire.

1891Lovells
1891 Census – Lovells

She reappears on the 1901 census, living in a caravan on Sneyd Lane, Bloxwich, as Carnation FLETCHER with brother Chandos, younger sister Elizabeth and what appears to be her mother listed as married to Eli FLETCHER.  All the children and Maria now carry the name, FLETCHER.

1901Fletchers
1901 Census – Fletchers/Lovells

I started to wonder if this was the same Carnation.  Carnation’s birth certificate cites her mother’s former name as Maria ANSLOW.  Her marriage entry to Eli (7 years after their appearance as a family unit on the census) also records her as Maria ANSLOW, spinster.  So, this is clearly the same woman.  This also indicates that Carnation’s parents were never legally married.  This makes me curious about gypsy marriage customs – was this usual?  Was Eli a gypsy or not?
I am yet to find Carnation in the 1911 census. I’m presuming her name was mistranscribed but all the variants I’ve come up with so far have given me no joy.
Instead, I have decided to gather more family records and information about gypsy life paint a clearer picture of Carnation’s life in my mind.

Next Steps:
  • Find Carnation in the 1911 census
  • Research gypsy ancestors

A Cautionary Tale

After a long (unintentional) break from genealogy, I returned to ancestry to find some ‘wiggling leaves’ attached to Charles RICHARDS (b1851).  There was a death and probate suggestion which seemed very likely and got me a bit excited until I actually checked the detail on the probate entry:

e92ce-charlesrichards

 Although the places were apt, none of the names seemed familiar – my Charles married a Sarah MILLINGTON while this person’s widow was Ellen.  The names Jesse and Florence Edith were unfamiliar too.  So I searched and found a 1911 census record for this couple:

fa93e-charles1911

 

So with that probate ruled out, I went back to my hints page and looked at the other family trees containing Charles RICHARDS and his family.  At least 3 of these trees (which were referring to my Charles -born 1851, married to Sarah, father to 11 children) had listed that particular probate record as a source!
I rechecked the probate record and also listed was a retired shipwright of Liverpool whose widow was Sarah Ann RICHARDS:
fe167-charlesrichards2
Perhaps this is where the confusion lay?  However, Charles had appeared in every census from 1851 – always in Staffordshire and always related to the coal industry (particularly as a coal miner).

Although it IS possible that Charles may have remarried, a simple search of the 1911 census found Charles and Sarah still living in Walsall with four of their children:

f0a05-charlesreal
1911 census record – Charles and Sarah RICHARDS

I left comments on two of the trees informing the owners of the mistake and am keen to hear back from them as they appear to have information (and PHOTOS!) of Charles’ parents and siblings.

In closing, dear fellow geneageeks, PLEASE remember the first rule of genealogy and do not attach information to your tree without confirming it – however much you may want it to be true.  After a long hiatus, I was rusty and nearly fell into this trap – DON’T LET IT HAPPEN TO YOU!

Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves

My first post of this blog mentioned that there were gypsies in the family. The gypsies are part of my husband’s maternal side and there’s been a bit of a breakthrough.

Carnation LOVELL was the daughter of Maria ANSLOW and Matthew LOVELL. She can be found on the 1891 census as a baby in a gypsy tent under Porkus Bridge (probably Porkets or Portius Bridge), Darlaston. They appeared to be travelling with 3 other families, all with the surname, Smith.

By 1901, Maria had taken up with a new man, Eli FLETCHER (whom she eventually wed legally in 1908). It has been very difficult to find other records of Carnation’s father, Matthew.

Matthew died in Bloxwich, 1896 and the earliest record I have with him, is his son’s birth certificate in 1883. I have not been able to locate him on any other censuses. Part of the problem appears to be the interchangeability of gypsy names. However, a wall may about to be broken down. I received an email from a fellow researcher (my mother-in-law’s cousin) saying that an author has contacted her about a book he has written concerning Matthew’s great grandparents. I can’t wait!

Peg made by Carnation