112 years ago today

John Henderson, known as Jack Henderson, was born on 22 June 1900 at Amble in Northumberland. Jack was the eldest son of Newton Henderson and Mary Phyllis Thornton. He was a double cousin to my granny Margaret Jane Webb, née Henderson. Their fathers were brothers and their mothers were sisters.

Jack emigrated to America and spent his adult life in California with wife Ruby. I don’t think I ever actually met Jack & Ruby, but I remember when I was about five their daughter Babs and her husband Chuck came to visit us.

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.

Local books

I have added another 5 local books that have helped my genealogy research to my Publications used page. The pictures of old Northumberland help to develop a better understanding of the world my ancestors lived in. Topics include Amble, RAF Acklington, Tynemouth, Cullercoats and Alnwick.

151 years ago today

George Murray 1861 – illegitimate

My great grandfather, George Murray Turner, was born 27 May 1861 in Coldstream in Scotland. It took me quite a while to figure this out as I was initially off on the wrong trail with respect to name and place. I was looking for George Murray Turner with a birth year about 1862 in Northumberland. I realised I needed to think again after discovering that his mother Barbara Murray did not marry William Robinson Turner until 1864. This set me off on the trail of Barbara’s journeys from her birthplace at Alford in Aberdeenshire to her burial at Amble in Northumberland. In the 1861 census 20-year-old Barbara, who must have been heavily pregnant at the time, appears in the household of her father George Murray in Gas Lane, Coldstream. This gave me the clue I needed to search for my great granda as just George Murray in Coldstream records on ScotlandsPeople. The clip from the record shows an illegitimate boy George Murray born in Gas Lane. I wonder if my granny ever knew this about her father. It was never mentioned, so maybe it was the family secret.

122 years ago today

Granda George Crackett – taken in the yard at Church St.

My paternal grandfather George Crackett was born 26 May 1890 at Choppington in Northumberland. George’s parents Leonard Crackett and Mary née Parkinson baptized him in the Primitive Methodist Church on 18th June 1890. In 1915 he married Ellenor Turner of Amble, my grandmother, and they spent the whole of their married lives there. They had three children, my Dad George William, Sydney and Evelyn.

Crackett: Granda George and 3 of his sisters

This second photograph shows Granda George as a young lad with three of his six sisters (Elizabeth, Nellie, Bella, Dorothy Ann, Jane and Mamie). He also had 3 older brothers (Jack, Will and Len). I am guessing he may have been about 10 at the time the picture was taken.

My granda died in 1978 at the age of 88, having outlived granny by a couple of years. He was a keen gardener and man of few words. I remember when I was 11 having to do a little family tree as homework from school. I asked him what his mother’s name was and he answered “Mam”. Fortunately, my granny knew that her mother-in-law had been called Mary so I was not stuck with a complete blank.

Family history through the alphabet – A is for Amble

Family History Through the Alphabet – Picture from Genealogy and History News

I rarely jump into weekly blogging topics, but I found this one interesting and challenging so I decided to give it a try. I found this challenge on Genealogy and History News. The idea is to pick a topic each week following the alphabet. The challenge started last week, so I am going to post both A and B topics this week.

A is for Amble

Finding a topic for A was pretty much a no-brainer for me. It had to be Amble in Northumberland where it all started for me, although my arrival in the world was a couple of miles away at the local nursing home in Warkworth. I spent the first 18 years of my life in Amble and return regularly even though I no longer live in England. You can read more of my thoughts about Amble on my Places page.