My family history event for January 7th is the death of my great aunt Ann Roden Turner in 1903. Annie was burnt to death. She was standing close to the fire and her clothes caught hold when someone in the family opened a door. My big mystery with Annie is that I cannot figure out why her middle name is Roden. All other members of this family of 10 who have a middle name have Robinson. Could Roden perhaps be a name from her maternal side which I have not yet tracked or could it be a clue to the unidentified paternal biological grandfather? Annie is buried in the Turner family plot in Amble East Cemetery.
My family history events for January 3rd include:
- 1858: Marriage of my 2nd great grandparents, John Henderson and Margaret Stavers, at Warkworth in Northumberland.
- 1899: Birth of their granddaughter who was my maternal grandmother, Margaret Jane Henderson, at Amble in Northumberland.
My cousin, Maureen Burton (née Ormston) has just sent me a fascinating newspaper cutting about our Aunty Jean. Aunty Jean is actually our great aunt. Jane Ann Evans (née Turner) was born in Amble, Northumberland in 1896. After marrying a Welshman, William Daniel Evans in 1924, she moved to Swansea. The cutting shows Aunty Jean, aged 90, meeting stars Sue Pollard and Matthew Kelly after a cycle ride around Gower in aid of the British Heart Foundation.
A few days ago I posted a picture of a postcard sent by my grandmother (Margaret Jane Webb, née Henderson) who was holidaying in Toronto, Canada in 1949, to her younger brother (Randle Henderson) in Amble, Northumberland. The postcard indicated that they had lost contact with their brother Archie who had emigrated to Canada and that she was planning to seek him out while on holiday. The Archie in question was their younger brother, Archibald Henderson, born 1907 at Amble in Northumberland.
The good news is that the search had a positive result. My grandparents met up with Archie in Canada. I know this now because the cousin who sent me the scan of the postcard continued to dig in her family photo box and found another gem. On the back of this photo is “Your sister and brother, Maggie & Archie, hope it reaches you before boat sails.. Sent Harriet one too.” From this we can deduce that the photo is of my grandmother and her brother taken in Toronto late 1949, before she returned home to England, and that she sent two copies: one to her brother Randle and the other to her sister Harriet. We very probably have one in our own photo box, but as that would be her own copy it may not have his name on the back.
A newly found Henderson-cousin, Jayne Handyside of Amble, has found this historical gem while rifling through her family’s old photo box. It is written by my granny and addressed to her brother Randle who was Jayne’s great grandfather. The Archie that is referred to in the postcard is younger brother to Meggie and Randle. He was born in Amble, Northumberland in1907 and emigrated to Canada.
They are clearly having a whale of a time and planning a trip to Niagara Falls, which must have been quite spectacular for them on their first trip abroad.
Those of you who are on facebook and have ancestors from Amble may be interested in joining the group Amble in Old Photographs. This group was started a few years ago by Bartle Rippon and for a while there were only about a dozen of us who participated. Membership has increased exponentially over the past couple of months. Many fascinating memories are being published. Since Bartle is a published author, The Ambler editorial board have asked him to consider putting together a book with Amble memories based on input from the group. If you have any good material hidden away in your cupboards and drawers please dig it out and join the group.
My own experiences on there have been very positive as many previously dangling branches on my Henderson part of my family tree have now attached themselves to the right spot with a little collaboration from newly found family members in the group.
When we cleared out my mother’s house back in 1999 we found an object in her cupboard which we were unsure about. Since neither of us lives in England, this was packed away in a box in my brother’s house and didn’t see the light of day for a while. When we dug it out again our curiosity was piqued and we decided to investigate what it was. It turned out be a “widow’s penny” given to the next of kin of those who lost their lives in World War One. This discovery set us off on the next quest. Who was this David Henderson and why did we have this wonderful memento? He was clearly a relative of my maternal grandmother, born Margaret Jane Henderson, but his name had never been mentioned before.
Further investigation showed him to be my granny’s cousin, David Taggart Henderson, son of her uncle John Henderson, born (1860-1898). Cousin David was only about 5 years older than my granny Meggy, so I assume there were quite close when they were growing up. John Henderson and his wife Mary lost another child in infancy, then Mary went on to marry John Baston and have a second family.
David T. Henderson can be found on the Amble War Memorial. He was an Able Seaman in the RNVR Hood Divsion and you can read more about him at this record on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. There is also a slightly damaged headstone cross memorial to him, his parents and his baby brother in Amble East Cemetery. I will add that to the blog another time.