John Henderson, 1811, Haydon Bridge – Incredible luck

My 3rd great grandfather John Henderson has had me running round in circles for about five years. The 1851 census told me he was born about 1812 in Cullercoats. I traced and followed several John Hendersons from the Tynemouth area without making the correct connection. Initially I was not observant enough to pick up on the conflicting birth place of Haydon Bridge shown in the 1871 census. After purchasing his death certificate I set off on the trail of a John Henderson baptized about 1811 in Haydon Bridge. Since the family were non-conformist I assumed that my problems in finding him meant that he was baptized in a Presbyterian or Methodist chapel somewhere in that area. After several years of banging my head against this brick wall I tried a new tack and took a closer look at his siblings. There was slow process there too, but finally I decided that Archibald Henderson baptized in Haydon Bridge could be his brother. This gave parents Archibald and Jane, so I set off in pursuit of other children who might share these parents. This lead me to two baptisms in Kirkwhelpington in 1813 for Ruth and John. My immediate reaction was that this ruled out this family as belonging to my John due to the date discrepancy. No further information was forthcoming online so I was stuck again. On my next visit to the Northumberland Archives I dug out the Kirkwhelpington records to view these baptisms on 19 December 1813 and I struck gold. The minister had made an annotation in the margin of the register which told me: “John born 1811 Haydon Bridge. How lucky can you get?

113 years ago today

My granda, Jonathan Doleman Webb, was born 9 July 1899 at Radcliffe in Northumberland. I never heard anyone call him Jonathan. It was always Jont or Jonty. Jonty was an intelligent man, but growing up in a mining family in the early 1900s he had little opportunity for education and spent his working life down the pit. This photo shows him ready for work. Take a look at the kneepads for crawling through the pit and the carbide lamp hanging from his pocket. I scanned it in situ in the album because the caption underneath is written by my granny. I remember this bike. He used to call it “Sputnik”.

He never talked much about his childhood and now, knowing what my genealogy research has taught me, I realise it must have been a tough one. His Dad Robert Webb was a pitman, and from the few family tales that have survived was clearly not an easy man to live with. Jonty was only two and a half when his Mam, Mary Davis, died of surgical shock after suffering a brain tumour for 8 months. I can only assume that big sister Annetta, who was about 9 at the time, had to roll up her sleeves and help out with toddler Jonty and four year old Edmund. Five years later their Dad married a widow Isabella Sharp and by the time of the 1911 census father, stepmother and the two boys were together but Annetta had left home to live with other relatives. At 14 Jonty started his working life down the pit which continued until he retired from Hauxley Colliery. I suppose I can be thankful that his young age and his occupation in the mines spared him from WWI in which he lost his big brother Edmund.

130 years ago yesterday

Oops, missed the day. Should have posted this yesterday. My great grandparents, George Murray Turner of Amble and Sarah Ann Carr of Radcliffe, were married 8 July 1882. The ceremony took place in the Wesleyan Chapel at Alnwick in Northumberland by certificate. The certificate shows them both as age 21 which is in accordance with the information I have on their birth dates. Sarah was born in October 1860 and George in May 1861. Their fathers are recorded as William Robinson Turner, shoemaker, and Thomas Carr, miner. However, I now know George to be the illegitimate son of Barbara Murray who married William Robinson Turner in 1864. The witnesses to George and Sarah’s marriage were Sarah Elizabeth Rogers and Leonard Watson. I currently have no idea whether these were friends or relatives.

Family history through the alphabet – I is for Investigative Initiative

I is for Investigative Initiative

One of the things I have learned from my genealogy research is that if you get stuck then try again from a different angle. I use several different online sources and often find that something which may not be indexed on one will turn up on another. I have also learned that it is wise not to be too restrictive on search terms. A wider search can often throw up something that will be filtered out if the search criteria are too narrow. It can also give interesting collateral information about other family members than the object of the search.

I is for Ironside

I is also for Ironside, one of my Scottish pedigree lines which starts with 3x great grandmother Margaret Ironside. Margaret was born in 1816 at New Deer in Aberdeenshire.

If you would like to know more about this alphabet challenge or read I-contributions from other bloggers take a look at Family History Through the Alphabet.

209 years ago today

My 3x great grandmother, Margery Hall, was born 3 July 1803 at Elsdon in Northumberland. Margery is the 3rd daughter and 7th of the 10 children of Joseph Hall of Elsdon and Eleanor Thompson of Rothbury Parish. You can read more about her siblings on my Hall page. On 17 May I posted about Margery’s marriage to John Thornton.

195 years ago today

My 3rd great granduncle, Robert Ironside, was baptised on 2 July 1817 at New Deer in Aberdeenshire. Robert was the youngest of the 8 children of my 4x great grandparents John Ironside and Joanna Dow. The family lived at Bonnykelly. Robert’s older sister Margaret Ironside was my 3x great grandmother.

Family history through the alphabet – H is for history

H is for History

I started out focussing on the family element of family history, but have now progressed to considering the history aspect too. With the exception of Romans and Vikings I was never particularly interested in history as a subject at school, so my knowledge of the history of the past two or three centuries is seriously lacking. As I have added new people to my tree I have tried to find out more about the historical context in which they lived their lives. This has given me much more insight into the transition from an agricultural society to the industrial age and also the timeline of events in the first World War. One of the most interesting pieces of historical research has been looking into where the Northumberland Fusiliers served in 1915 and 1916 to track the path of my great uncle Edmund Webb from enlistment at Amble to his death in battle at Flers-Courcelette.

Moving on from history to genealogy I can claim four H-names in my pedigree. All four come from my mother’s half of the tree.

H is for Hall

First in the alphabet comes Hall. My Hall ancestors lived at Elsdon in Northumberland and I have been lucky enough to find good sources of information about them.

H is for Hedley

Another of my pedigree H lines is Hedley. I have not found quite so many of them. They too have lived in the Elsdon area and I found them by following up the Hall line.

H is for Henderson

The closest of my H pedigree lines is Henderson, to be found in Amble and Cullercoats. My maternal grandmother was a Henderson.

H is for Hunter

My final pedigree H is Hunter. Yet another Elsdon connection found by tracking back up the Hall line.

If you would like to know more about this alphabet challenge or read other bloggers’ H-contributions take a look at Family history through the alphabet.