Monday, November 27, 2017

Early Surf Life Saving in Waihi- Bess Middlebrook

Its been a long time since Ive posted about my Middlebrook branch but today I was sorting through some of the photos I have that belonged to Bess Middlebrook (Elizabeth Alice) my Great Grandmothers sister, looking for some photos of Piha Beach that I knew I had seen, and I was newly intrigued by these photos of what appears to be early surf lifesaving.

Im pretty sure the photo above was taken at Waihi Beach and it definitely looks like  Bess in the centre.
I did some reading on the history of the Waihi Surf Lifesaving club and according to their website the club wasnt formed until 1936 .

The confusing factor is that by 1936 Bess would have been aged 38 and I would have thought that may have been considered too old for surf lifesaving 

Additional photos in the album are below showing what appears to be a really large surf contest or carnival

 Unfortunately there is no information on the photos or in the album to identify the event or the year it occured.

Stay tuned as I research further 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Ancestors of Winster :The family of George Samuel Lowe 1854-1898

From the early pages of this book where I was struggling to find enough information to fill a double page, Im now at the point where a double page really can only just barely scratch the surface of the stories regarding the people involved.
I will likely add some "story" type pages into this book to cover certain aspects more fully, although by the end of this generation the ties to Winster are almost at an end. - it seems a pity to end the book without adding the generations to come though so I will continue for one more generation - doing a page for my Great Grandparents John Lowe and Susan Wheatcroft.

I need to backtrack and do a page on Lydia Hawley who was George Samuel Lowe's mother. She was born in Winster and it appears her family had lived there for generations. I havent done much research on the family to date, so I hope I can get at least one page on the Hawleys done before I need to get this book published.

George Samuel Lowe came from a very small family, unusual in the mid 19th century. He was the second son of George Lowe of Ashover and Lydia Hawley of Winster.  The family lived in Wensley, which is only just over a mile from Wisther. Like many others in the area, George was  Lead Miner.
George married Mary Jane Boam, daughter of Thomas Boam of Winster ion 21st March 1875. Thomas and George Lowe sr were both Lead Miners, so this is likely how the George and Mary Jane met. From the 1871 census it seems that George Samuel  did not follow in his fathers footsteps. As a 16 year old he is listed as an Agricultural Labourer. George and Mary Jane married at St John the Baptist church in Winster in March 1875, and it appears at some point the family did live in Winster as first daughter Lydia Eliza was born there and baptised there just two months after her parents marriage . I have been unable to find baptism records for Elizabeth and Mary Ellen, who born in the same year could have been twins. George Thomas and William seem to have been born in the Wensley area, but by 1881, the family had moved to Cheshire, and George Samuel had joined the Railway. The 1881 census has them living at Smithy Green, Bredbury Cheshire. George Samuel is a Railway Guard. This is where the next few children are born, but by the time Samuel Edwin is born in 1887, the family are back in Derbyshire. and in the 1891 census they are living in Little Rowsley, a village which had a large population of Railway workers.
The family made the move to Derby city before 1895 as Herbert is born there. 29 Drage Street would remain the family home for many years.
Sadly George Samuel died young, aged just 54 in 1898 and Mary Jane was left to bring up her family alone, though by this time her eldest daughters were adults. By 1901 Henry, Elizabeth, John and Samuel Edwin were all working helping to support the family. Eldest daughter Lydia and her husband lived just 3 minutes walk away in Chester Green Road , and Mary Ellen also lived 3 minutes walk away in Mansfield Road. Mary Jane had already lost several children in their childhood- and tragedy would strike the family though during World War 1. 3 sons would serve their country- Henry, John and Herbert. Unfortunately neither Herbert nor Henry would return, Herbert being killed at Gallipoli on August 21st 1915 and Henry being killed on the first day of battle at the Somme in 1916.
It is  understood  that John was present when Herbert died  and narrowly escaped death himself. Mary Jane, mother of 12 children, of whom 6 pre deceased her, still had at least  23 grandchildren by the time of her death in 1919. All lived in close proximity to the family home at Drage Street

Saturday, April 1, 2017

A little side story about one of the Boam family descendants- Harriet Boam

I havent done a page on this as this is a side branch of my tree rather than a direct line ( I may do some pages on side branches if I get time though)  but in the course of the research on the Boams I discovered this sad little story of the life of  my 3rd cousin 3x removed Harriet Boam

Harriet Boam was born in 1871 in Winster to John Boam and Elizabeth ( Bessie) Heathcote.
To understand how I am related to Harriet we need to go back a couple more generations.
Harriets father John Boam was the son of a previous John Boam (1817-1889) who was the son of James Boam(1790-1856) James was the brother of Thomas Boam ( 1803-1874) who was my 4x great grandfather.

Anyway back to Harriet.
 In 1891 aged about 19 she married James Greatorex also of Winster. They had 3 children, Maud, Bessie and Donald Greatorex.
Sadly in 1903 James Greatorex died .
In 1904 Harriet married James brother Josiah Greatorex. ( note that it  wasnt actually allowed under law to marry your brother or sister in law  however it happened quite frequently)
Tragically though, Harriet would become a widow for the second time a year later in 1905 when Josiah died .
Probates for both Greatorex brothers show Harriet as the beneficiary.

Harriet then went on to marry George William Hadfield in 1910 and they had a baby, Bertha in 1911 just before the 1911 census, in fact Bertha is listed as Baby in the census - she had not even been named yet.
George, like Josiah and James before him was a Lead miner.

Just 5 years later in 1916 tragedy would strike again and Harriet was widowed for a third time.

I found the death of Harriet Hadfield in 1944 in Winster, however probate gave details of her husband  (still living) as Arthur Hadfield !!

Ive yet to determine the relationship between Arthur and George - they weren't brothers- but im sure there must have been some connection!

Ancestors of Winster : The family of Thomas Boam 1829-1898

Heres another page for the Winster Book

Thomas Boam was the second son of  Thomas Boam . Like his father before him he was a Lead Miner. Lead mining had declined significantly by the mid 19th century, however in the area around Wnster there were still productive mines, including that of Mill Close which didnt close until 1939.
Our first record of Thomas comes in the 1841 census where he is living with his widowed father of the same name and his siblings Martha and John.  Thomas’ mother Ellen had died in childbirth when he was just 6 years old. The family lived next door to Ellen’s brother Thomas Fryer, and his wife and family. Its probable the Fryers gave Thomas’s father assistance in rasing his children, as unusually, he did not remarry until well after his children were grown.
Thomas married Mary Wilson, on Feb 12 1849 at St John the Baptist church in Winster, however for reasons unknown at he time of the 1851 census she was living with her parents outside of Winster and Thomas is living alone, though still in Woolleys Yard, the street he had been born in, and the street his father still lived in.
Why both Thomas’ first 2 children are born in 1852 and 1844 in the Manchester area of Lancashire  is a mystery, however other members of the Boam family had lived in Lancashire at one time or another . All the remaining children though, were born in Winster, and the family are residents of Woolleys Yard for decades afterward , according to census records, right next door to his father Thomas who by 1861 had remarried the younger sister of Thomas’s own wife Mary making a very confusing family connectionwhere Thomas was not only son, but brother-in-law to his father!!
Thomas only had 2 sons,George, and Benjamin,but tragically Benjamin was to die young, in an accident at Mill Close Mine.
A George Boam (possibly Benjamins brother), was the first to venture in to recover the bodies.
Records show Thomas is still living in Woolleys yard in 1871, 1881 and 1891.
His wife Mary died in 1884. Of his 8 children  6 lived to adulthood, and as mentioned youngest son Benjamin died aged 23. Of the two youngest daughters, Lucy died within a month of birth and is baptised just a week before her death, and Harriet died aged 2 years.
Elizabeth is still living in 1871 at the time of the census , and in 1881 appears to be working as a servant for the Bates family in the Edinburgh Hotel in Salford, Lancashire. She married Richard Tatlock but died without issue.
His surviving 4 children though provided him with at least 37 grandchildren. In 1891 Thomas has grandson George Heathcote, 9 year old son of Eliza Boam staying with him in Woolleys Yard.
Thomas died in 1898, 14 years after the death of his wife Mary. He is buried in St John the Baptist churchyard with Mary, and their youngest daugther Harriet  and grandson Lewis Edwin Boam, who was a son of George, and who died during World War 1. He was killed while a Prisoner of War in Poland. Their Gravestone is in the churchyard beside his son Benjamin.
The transcription of the gravestone reads:

In Affectionate Remembrance of Mary,Wife of Thomas Boam of Winster,who died April 11th 1884.Also of Harriett, daughter of the above who died April 3rd 1872.Also of Thomas Boam..... died April 28 1898 .Also of L/Cpl Edwin Boam, interred at M?glowitz Oct 18 1918, Aged 27.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Ancestors of Winster: The Family of Thomas Boam 1803-1874

2 pages in 2 days. Im on a roll!
This is the promised page on Thomas Boam my 4x Great Grandfather whose 2nd marriage meant his son's sister in law was also his step-mother!!- Yes I know that is complicated!!
Thanks to Dawn Scotting for her research on this branch of my family because I dont think I would ever worked it out myself!!
Not to mention its hard to distinguish when your 5x, 4x and 3x great grandfathers are all named Thomas Boam!!

Thomas Boam was the second son of  Thomas Boam and Martha Walker. He was baptised at St John the Baptist at Winster on 18th September 1803 and lived his whole life in Winster. He was a Lead Miner by trade.
Thomas married Ellen Fryer at St John the Baptist on 26th January 1826 and she would bear him 4 children, but died on the same day the youngest child James was born so I have surmised, that she died giving birth to James. She died on September 7th 1835, and was buried on September 10th. Baby James was baptised on September 8th and then there is no further record of him so perhaps he was buried with his mother. No burial record for him can be found. Thomas was left to brng up his 3 children, aged 8, 5 and 3 . In the 1841 census he is living in Woolleys Yard, and appears to be living next door to his brother in law Thomas Fryer, Ellen's older brother, so perhaps the Fryer family helped look after the children while Thomas was at work. Of course by the time of the 1851 census the children were much older. Living with Thomas are youngest son John aged 19 and daughter Matha, now married, and her husband Daniel and their 2 daughters Ellen and  Esther. Thomas was a grandfather by 1849 when he was only 46.  on 12 Feb 1849 son Thomas marries Mary Wilson, daughter of William Wilson at St John the Baptist in Winster.  Confusingly in the 1851 census, Mary is living with her parents in St Werburgh in Derby, and Thomas jr is living alone in a house near his father in Woolleys Yard.
The connection to the Wilson family though is to take on a much more powerful meaning, as the next mention of Thomas Boam senior is his 2nd marriage.   Thomas marries Sarah Wilson the youngest daughter of William Wilson - yes the same man who is the father in law of son Thomas.!  Sarah is 38 years younger than Thomas, in fact she his 9 years younger than Thomas’s youngest child! This makes Sarah Wilson both the sister in law of Thomas Jr, but also the Step mother!!
Thomas Sr. must have had plenty of life left in him because Sarah provided him with another 7 children between 1858 and 1874, including Sarah’s first child Mary who was baptised with the surname Wilson but who Thomas claimed was his daughter in each subsequent census.
The two Thomas Boam families lived next door to each other in Wooleys yard until the death of Thomas Sr. in 1874 Sadly Thomas would never live to see the birth of his youngest son Alfred Albert who was born in October 1874, 5 months after the death of his father.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

My Winster Ancestry - The Family of William Wilson 1801-?

I finished another page for my book about the branch of my family who came from Winster, Derbyshire.
This page is about William Wilson, born 1801 - my 4x G Grandfather.
He is a bit of a frustration because I lose him and his wife, after the 1851 census. I cant pinpoint either his nor Marys death.
I suspect they died before 1861 as their two youngest living children are both back living in Winster, despite the family having moved into Derby for the 1851 census.

William Wilson was my 4x Great Grandfather, and eldest son of Joseph Wilson and Grace Ashton. Born in Winster, he was baptised at St John the Baptist church there on 21st September 1801.
Once again little is known of his early life until 1822 when his name is mentioned in the High Peaks Quarterly Sessions. He is accused of “Riot and Assault” but the chargers are later dropped.
Perhaps this was enough for William to leave Winster, as he is next seen in Prestbury Cheshire where he marries Mary Short on the 28th November 1824. However by the next year with the birth of his eldest daughter Jane, he is back in Winster.
Several of the children are born in Oldham Lancashire . When his son William was born in 1836, the family residence is noted as Fenleach and William’s occupation is listed as a Joiner
In the 1841 census this move to Lancashire is confirmed by the birthplace of son William being listed as not from Derbyshire.  The family residence in 1841 is Market Street, which is now  Main Street, and he is the last house on the schedule before West Street which is likely now West Bank.
It is entirely possible the house on the facing page which is on the corner of Main Street  and West Bank is the one lived in by William Wilson and his family.
Like his father Joseph, William is a Carpenter. By 1851, he has moved the family away from Winster yet again and is living at 12 Macklin Street St Werbaugh and his occupation is noted as Master Carpenter.  His son George is following in his footsteps 
William and Mary had 9 children, but several of them died in infancy or childhood. Eldest daughter Jane died aged 14, Then in 1835, they lost 2 children, Joseph aged 3 and Ann aged just one . Youngest child Henry died in the same year he was born, 1848. 
I have been unable to find either William or Mary in the 1861 census and can not confirm a death date for either . Youngest living son Thomas has moved back to Winster in 1861 and is living with his elder sister Mary and her husband Thomas Boam in WInster, which might indicate both William and Mary have died before 1861.

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Family of Joseph Wilson 1776-1859

I finally got time to complete another page for my Ancestors of Winster book.
Its nice to now be recent enough to finally have some census records to work with. Luckily for me Joseph and Grace, my 5x Great grandparents, lived into their 80s and appear in both the 1841 and 1851 census returns.
We also finally have a Wilson living in Winster.

Joseph Wilson was probably born at the very beginning of 1776 as he was baptised on February 4th of that year at Longnor. He was born at Dunbrook where his parents David and Jane Wilson lived . Joseph was the third of 11 children born to the couple. At some point probably in early adulthood he moved to Winster, in Derbyshire, perhaps to be apprenticed as a carpenter /joiner which is a trade he was still practicing into his 60s.
He married Grace Ashton at St John the Baptist Church, Winster, Derbyshire, on 8 Jun 1801. Grace was the daughter of William Ashton and Margaret Hodgkinson. Grace had been born in Winster.
The first real record I have of Joseph, apart from his marriage and the births of his children is his record in the 1841 census.  Joseph was listed as age 65 and his occupation that of Joiner. He is living in Bankside which could possibly later known as East Bank , in fact at the end of the lane later known as East Bank there is a block of terraced houses is now known as “The Flat”  It is thought this part of the road used to be known as Wilson’s Row so it is likely Joseph and family lived here .
Still living with Joseph and Grace in 1841 is son George aged 36 and Edward aged 28. Both following the same trade as their father.  Additionally a 6 year old child named Grace is living with them. Grace was the daughter of their eldest daughter Jane, who had died not long after the birth of her daughter.
By 1851 Joseph has become a Wheelwright - perhaps the work was less labour intensive, By this time he is in his mid 70s. Unlike many from their generation, all but the last of Joseph and Grace’s children lived to adulthood and married and had children, infact by 1851 it appears they had at least 31 grandchildren including Grace who was still living with her grandparents at the time of the 1851 census.  Eldest son William had 9 children, most of whom lived elsewhere in Derbyshire. Jane unfortunately died after the birth of her only daughter Grace, as mentioned before. George had 6 children  who lived in Lancashire. Joseph stayed in Winster and had 9 children . Mary moved to Lancashire like her elder brother, and had 3 children before her death in 1874 but was helping raise the children of her husband John Taylor as well . Edward stayed in Winster and he and his wife also had 3 children . Joseph  lived a long life, making it to 83 when he died in 1859, and was buried at St John the Baptist churchyard in Winster on October 1st of that year . His wife Grace had died a year earlier It was noted in 1851 on the census that she was blind but it is unknown how long she had been this way.