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.
George Murray, Agnes Dickson Murray and William Murray in Lennel churchyard
Agnes Dickson Murray died on 15 June 1868 at Coldstream, Scotland. Agnes was the second wife of my 3x great grandfather George Murray. I suppose that makes her my step 3x great granny. Their marriage was a brief one, lasting only four years. I have found only one child for George and Agnes: a daughter Jane Agnes Murray who was only six months old when her mother died.
(Since I missed out on my postaday on 14 June this is a catch-up post to make up for yesterday)
Memorial to Newton Henderson at grave of wife Mary Phyllis
My great granduncle, Newton Henderson, died in Long Beach, California on 13 June 1959. Uncle Newt was born in Amble in Northumberland in 1874. He and his sons emigrated to USA after the death of his wife, Mary Phyllis Thornton. Although his grave is in California there is a memorial to him on his wife’s grave at Amble West Cemetery. When I was a child my granny used to take me with her regularly when she went to place flowers on this grave on behalf of her American cousins.
I was planning to figure out where my Cullercoats ancestors might be buried before my next trip to Northumberland so I could plan a photo shoot. However, a chance conversation with a friend who mentioned that there was a cemetery near Billy Mill roundabout that he passes on his way to his allotment triggered my curiosity and answered my question. It turns out, after he has investigated further, that a section of Preston Cemetery has been set aside for headstones moved from Cullercoats. Does not sound very promising with respect to legibility, but there could be some little research gems hidden under the ivy. Among the names I will be looking for there are Henderson, Newton and Miller.
A late addition to this post: Forgot to mention before I hit the publish button that the post title not only reflects the topic, but was chosen because the friend who checked this out for me likes Joe Cocker.
Discovery channel have a programme on today entitled “Greatest tank battles”. It has started with the very first use of tanks at the battle of Flers-Courcelette on 15 September 1916. Fascinating to watch as that was the day my great uncle Edmund Webb was killed on the Somme.
William Spears died on 7 June 1954. William was the husband of my grandmother’s big sister Mary Henderson. William and Mary had 8 children and since these cousins were quite close to my granny I can remember quite a few of them and their families from my childhood.
My 3rd great grand aunt Barbara Rennie, née Barbara Murray, died at St. Nicholas in Aberdeen on 16 May 1898. In some earlier records her name is given as Barbra Murray. Barbara, who was the widow of tailor William Rennie, had suffered from influenza for 10 days prior to her death. Take a look at the two posts I made yesterday and you will see that Barbara’s death was only one day out from being 2 years after her brother George Murray and 3 years before her niece and namesake Barbara Murray who was my great great granny.