70 years ago today

1942 – George Crackett & Peggy Webb

My Mam & Dad, George William Crackett & Margaret Jane Webb (George & Peggy) were married on 18 April 1942 at Amble Methodist Church. You can see from the attire that it was a wartime wedding, and the festivities were no doubt a little dampened by the loss of my Dad’s brother Syd just a couple of weeks earlier. The officiating minister at the wedding was great uncle Will (the Rev. William Robinson Turner) brother of my granny Crackett. Shortly after the wedding my Dad went off to serve in India for 3 years and my Mam returned to live with her parents in Radcliffe for the duration of the war.

Calendar events early April

My ancestral calendar includes these events in the first two weeks of April:

  • Apr 1: 102 years since the death of Anna Elvina Winning née Lemcke who died in Aberdeen aged 39 on 1 April 1910. Anna Elvina Lemcke was my 2nd cousin 3 times removed. Her death record shows cause of death as uncertain.
  • Apr 4: 153 years since the death of Margery Thornton née Hall who died aged 55 at Barrington Colliery in Northumberland on 4 April 1859. Margery died of apoplexy after suffering gastritis for 2 weeks.
  • Apr 7: 70 years since the death of my uncle Sydney Crackett who died at Beverley Base Hospital in Yorkshire aged 24 on 7 April 1942. Syd was a dispatch rider in WWII and was killed in a motor cycle accident.

Amble East Cemetery plot list

I found a plot list for Amble East Cemetery during my visit to the Northumberland Archives this week. So far I have tied in 13 of the names on the list to my tree and expect to tie in a lot more. Surnames are Crackett, Henderson, Smith, Stavers,Turner and Webb, but Murray and Robinson are also represented in the middle names. I already knew about 9 of the 13 from my trip there a couple of years ago to photograph headstones. The other 4 have given me new information. I have published a list of family members on my Amble East Cemetery page.

(This is my catch-up post for Wednesday 4th April when I missed my postaday)

Putting names to faces

How I wish that my ancestors had been more diligent about identifying people and dates on photographs. Looking at my four grandparents and how they tackled naming of the photos they left behind of their parents and siblings I have the following results:

  • Crackett – my granda never gave a thought to this sort of thing so what information I do have is gleaned from others, mainly from my father’s cousin who helped to identify a huge heap of photos and gave me some amazing insights.
  • Turner – my granny had no time for naming photos either, but fortunately there were a few in her pile that were received from other family members and had been annotated. We have about 50 Turner photos that are now the subject of guesswork.
  • Webb – no photos of my granda’s family exist to name. I strongly suspect that my granny consigned what he did have (if any) to the bin at some stage. I wonder if anyone anywhere will ever be able to fill the gap.
  • Henderson – even here there are big gaps in putting names to ancestral pictures, but my granny did send photos of her children and grandchildren to relatives around the world with captions on them so subsequent generations are well documented.

A good example of the challenges that all this causes is the photo at the top of my blog. I have all 12 names, but not all of them can be tied in to the right individual. More about that another day.

81 years ago today

My great grandmother Mary Crackett, née Mary Parkinson, died 81 years ago today (19 March 1931) in Radcliffe, Northumberland. She was born 26 March 1852 and was just a week short of her 79th birthday when she died of senile decay. One of her living grandchildren remembers her as a rather stern woman which would seem to be consistent with photos of her later in life. Mary is the matriarch in the centre of the large family which is pictured in the banner of my blog.

Mary’s daughter-in-law Emily Crackett, née Emily Thompson shares the same death date 18 years later. Emily died in 1949 at age 75.

Razed rows in Radcliffe

Next on my list of Places is the pit village of Radcliffe in Northumberland. The rows of colliery housing were razed to the ground in 1971 when the opencast moved in. What was once a tight knit community of about 700 souls is now just a handful of houses. My Webb line lived in Radcliffe for many years and it has also been home to relatives named Crackett, Tweddle, Smith, Gair and Smailes.