105 years ago today

My great great grandfather Randle Thornton died on 17 June 1907 at Amble in Northumberland. Randle was a 64-year-old coal miner when he died of Bright’s disease, which I understand to be chronic nephritis (kidney problems) and cardiac hypertrophy.

Randle married Mary Oliver in 1842 and they had 11 children: 5 girls and 6 boys. So far I have only focussed on the fates of two of their girls. Two Thornton sisters married two Henderson brothers. One of these couples was my great grandparents Archibald Henderson and Margaret Jane Thornton. The other couple was Newton Henderson and Mary Phyllis Thornton who are give rise to my California Henderson connection.

Quite quaint quoit contest

Since my ancestors on both sides migrated frequently around the mining communities of Northumberland I have often wondered if they bumped into each other on their travels. Today I came across documentary evidence of one such encounter and was intrigued to read a newspaper article about a quoit match involving my great granda from one side and two of my great granduncles from the other side. The Morpeth Herald of Saturday 6 April 1878 reports the results of the Quoit Handicap at Scotland Gate:

The full text of the article can be found here. Leonard Crackett is my paternal great grandfather. Andrew Oliver and Joseph Oliver are the younger brothers of my maternal great great grandmother Mary Oliver. None of my relatives actually won the competition.

149 years ago today

My 20 year old great great grandparents Randle Thornton and Mary Oliver, both resident at Barrington Colliery, were married 6 May 1863 at Morpeth Register Office in Northumberland. Their marriage certificate shows Randle to be a coal miner. Their fathers are John Thornton, farm labourer, and Andrew Oliver, coal miner. Witnesses were William Allison and Andrew Oliver. I have no idea yet whether William Allison was a relative or friend. The Andrew Oliver who signed as witness must have been Mary’s father as her brother Andrew was only 10 at the time.

Trying out the scheduled publishing functionality with this post, so I hope it appears on the right day.