My great grandfather, George Murray Turner, was born 27 May 1861 in Coldstream in Scotland. It took me quite a while to figure this out as I was initially off on the wrong trail with respect to name and place. I was looking for George Murray Turner with a birth year about 1862 in Northumberland. I realised I needed to think again after discovering that his mother Barbara Murray did not marry William Robinson Turner until 1864. This set me off on the trail of Barbara’s journeys from her birthplace at Alford in Aberdeenshire to her burial at Amble in Northumberland. In the 1861 census 20-year-old Barbara, who must have been heavily pregnant at the time, appears in the household of her father George Murray in Gas Lane, Coldstream. This gave me the clue I needed to search for my great granda as just George Murray in Coldstream records on ScotlandsPeople. The clip from the record shows an illegitimate boy George Murray born in Gas Lane. I wonder if my granny ever knew this about her father. It was never mentioned, so maybe it was the family secret.
My paternal grandfather George Crackett was born 26 May 1890 at Choppington in Northumberland. George’s parents Leonard Crackett and Mary née Parkinson baptized him in the Primitive Methodist Church on 18th June 1890. In 1915 he married Ellenor Turner of Amble, my grandmother, and they spent the whole of their married lives there. They had three children, my Dad George William, Sydney and Evelyn.
This second photograph shows Granda George as a young lad with three of his six sisters (Elizabeth, Nellie, Bella, Dorothy Ann, Jane and Mamie). He also had 3 older brothers (Jack, Will and Len). I am guessing he may have been about 10 at the time the picture was taken.
My granda died in 1978 at the age of 88, having outlived granny by a couple of years. He was a keen gardener and man of few words. I remember when I was 11 having to do a little family tree as homework from school. I asked him what his mother’s name was and he answered “Mam”. Fortunately, my granny knew that her mother-in-law had been called Mary so I was not stuck with a complete blank.
This photo shows “Auntie Harriet”, my grandmother’s younger sister. I am dating it as early 1930s as the bottom half of the photo (cropped off here) shows two small girls who were born in 1930 and 1931. Since the caption written on the back by my granny tells me it was taken ”at our Harriet’s door” I am assuming it to be taken at The Drift (Chevington Drift). Note the tin bath hanging on the outside wall – used for baths in front of the fire in pit houses.
My great-aunt Harriet Anne Henderson was born 28 Apr 1905 at Amble in Northumberland. Her parents were Archibald (Archie) Henderson and Margaret Jane Thornton. She married twice, first to John Rutter in 1928, then to Thomas (Tommy) Lindsley in 1977. My mother was very close to her Auntie Harriet who used to visit us regularly and bring her granddaughter to play with me. We alternated between them coming to see us in Amble and us going to see them at the Drift or later in Ferneybeds.
The Christian name Harriet recurs frequently among my Henderson relatives and seems to have been passed down from my 3x great-grandmother Harriet Miller Newton, born in Cullercoats in 1814.