My family history event for January 8th is the birth of my great great grandfather Randle Thornton at Broomley Hall, Township of Blackallerton, Northumberland in 1843 (173 years ago). District: Castle Ward, Sub-District: Stamfordham. Parents: John Thornton, farm hind and Margery Thornton, formerly Hall.
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.
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.
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.
September is over and I have just had a quick review of my blog statistics for the past three months. Interest seems to be growing and I expect my September viewings would have been even better if I had continued to post daily for the whole month.
The little lapse in posting for the last week is because I was too busy giving a living introduction to our family history to two cousins from the other side of the world who were visiting Northumberland for the first time. We had a whirlwind tour that included Warkworth, Radcliffe, Amble, Hauxley, Alnwick and Alnmouth. I am contemplating adding a new page to cover that visit after I catch up on the work backlog from taking a short break. Managed to tidy up a few branches on the family tree at the same time thanks to their input.
Amusing myself at Oslo Gardermoen airport, waiting for a flight to Edinburgh. Heading “home” to Nothumberland for a long weekend to meet two Canadian cousins for the first time. Their visit will be a little shorter than originally planned as they are having to catch a later train up from London on Friday. The objective is to give them a little taste of their roots, but it will be a whirlwind tour. They are the daughter and granddaughter of my first cousin James Murray Ash (1943-2011), known to the family as Murray. Murray was born in Radcliffe, Northumberland to my aunt Mary Webb (1921-2011) and her Canadian husband Jimmy. Mary and Jimmy (James Murray Ash sr) met when he was stationed in England with the Canadian Airforce during WW2. They moved back to Toronto shortly after establishing a family, so I never had the pleasure of meeting my cousin Murray. Making up for that now by joining some of his family to show them where he was born and where my Aunty Mary worked at Alnwick Castle.