Monthly Archives: December 2014

Did you know that ……….was now online?

Every day more record sets are added to online family history websites – mainly the pay per view sites.  Gone are the days of having to go to a specific town to visit a church who still held their own records or an archives – well that is unless you want to!

I have just clicked on Find My Past to see what is new there and here are a few of their newbies – some may be of interest and help you with your research.

South Yorkshire Asylum Admission Records 1872 – 1910, later known as Middlewood Hospital and contains over 17,000 records.  The information revealed not only gives names and dates of admission but some records give details of the persons insanity and if they recovered or not.

 Sheffield Cathedral Church of St Peter and Paul burial index 1767 – 1812 – these records contain over 44,000 transcripts from the registers with the information including:- deceased’s name, date of burial, occupation and next of kin.  The next of kin is wonderful when trying to work out if a person is yours or not.

Still in South Yorkshire, the Sheffield Quarter Sessions 1880 – 1912. The transcript gives details of the person being tried and their offences and of course, the sentence.

North West Kent, Westerham Burials 1686-1981 and Greenwich Burials 1748-1937  a collection of over 40,000 transcriptions to get your teeth into.

Venturing further north Lanarkshire, the People of New Lanark 1785 – 1953, contains a collection of transcriptions from church records, Sheriff Court and High Court records and the Lanark prison register

Leaving the UK, New South Wales Deaths 1788 – 1888. The index from three districts gives details of full name, birth and death year, plus parents first name.  New South Wales Marriages and New South Wales Births 788 – 1914, both giving useful information if you have family living in the area.

So now to what’s new on Ancestry –  Firstly, Perth, Scotland, Burgh Burial Index 1794 – 1855. Scotland Prison Records and the 1851 census  index for Scotland. 

Uk, Coal Mining Accidents and Deaths 1750 – 1950 and includes over 12,000 from the Scottish coal fields.

So, looks like there may be something of interest for a lot of people, especially as the 2 sites mentioned may have some offers going around this time of year.

Pte., Gault, John Scott

John Gault Scott, was born in Drainie, the son of James and Maggie Gault. At the time of the 1901 census the family of James and Maggie was living at 8 Argyle Street, Lossiemouth.  The family consisted of  8 children, the eldest being 17 and the youngest was just one – John Scott was the third youngest aged 5.  James earned his living as a fisherman.

John served in the Seafoforth Highlanders as pte.,1849, 6th Btn,after enlisting in Elgin.  The 6th Batt. served as the 51st Highland Division and was a Territorial Force division. The divisions insignia was a H D in a red circle – giving the batt. the nickname of Harpers Duds after Major General Harper, or Highway Decorators.  The division served in the Battles of The Somme, Arras and Cambrai.

John Scott Gault D of W on 6 June 1916 aged 20 years.  John was eligible for the 1915 Star, the Victory and British Medals and served in France.

gault john scott

8 argyle st lossiemouth

8 Argyle Street,

At the time of James and Maggie, giving information about their son they were still  living at  8 Argyle Street, Lossiemouth, Morayshire.

John and other young men from Lossiemouth can be found on the Lossiemouth War Memorial  The transcription is a work in progress so if you know any histories of these men who gave their life for King and Country, please let me know.



Soldiers who died in the Great War

Henshaw, Pte., Stephen

I’ve not written anything for a while, so while I’ve been away from work for a few days I thought I would put fingers to keyboard and do a few snippets, as you have already will have seen.

Normally I see interesting things and make a note to write later, this time, decided to write something from some of the information passed on by friends – I have some wonderful friends who keep cuttings for me to use as a starting point for my meanderings. This time seems to be a reverse of the norm. Whilst looking through a book I’ve had for ages and is one of many I take away with me, I found the name of a young man and was quite moved by what happened many years after his death.

Stephen was the son of Ephraim and Sarah Ann Henshaw of Quinton, being born in 1887. In 1901 he was 14 years old and employed as a brick maker. His 52 year old father was navvy on the reservoir, while his 18 year old sister was a rivet sorter.

In the census of 1911 Stephen had been married to Sarah for under 1 year, but the enumerator had struck through the written explanation and recorded just a ‘1’ in the relevant box. Stephen worked as a stoker on a stationery engine at a local brickmakers. The young couple lived at 51 Stonehouse Lane, California, Northfield, Worcestershire.

dozinghem cwgcStephen enlisted in Birmingham, serving as Pte 204232 in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (The Ox & Bucks). He was wounded during the Battle of Langemarck on 16th August 1917 and lay wounded in the fields for 6 days. After being found he was taken to Casualty Clearing Station 61 (CCS 61) Dozinghem near Proven, but sadly died of wounds on 23 August 1917 aged 30 and rests in Dozinghem Military Cemetery.

The book I had been looking at was by Major and Mrs Holt and in the pages I found the idea for this snippet and that Stephen’s granddaughter had been researching her grandfathers war . It was during a visit to the area and finding local historians that lead to finding the approximate area where Stephen lay for six days and nights. The area back in WW1 was known as Springfield Farm.

As many people who go on pilgrimages to WW1/2 sites will have seen, a laminated information sheet was left attached to one of the farms fence posts – a semi-permanent potted history of a family man whose life was taken away – a notice that passers by may see, stop and take a few moments to read about Stephen.

henshaw stephenWell, someone did stop and read the laminated information about Stephen’s last days – the owners of Springfield Farm (now renamed). So, when Stephen’s granddaughter returned a few years later she was shocked to find that from the information left attached to the farm fence, a memorial had been erected at the farmers’ own expense.

For further information

Images and

A Boy Named Sue or Any Other Name That Fits!

As usual I start off doing a little project and then I go off on a tangent – I was looking for someone on a war memorial, a local one, that had a surname that I knew one of my friends was researching – I sent her a message and while waiting for the reply, the whole blog went belly up and did a full 180 ° turn – so you will have to wait for that blog.

But, while I was waiting for a reply, someone on one of my facebook groups placed a request for information on a lady who died in Egypt in 1918 – well what was I to do?  Leave her question unanswered, or go for it!  A quick search of Probate came up with nothing, a search of passenger lists came up with a few but none that I could say 100% without further information.  So the good old 1901 was consulted, but not to sure about the entries, therefore, forward 10 years to 1911 and this is where it went all wrong!!

I had been looking for ‘Abbie Garner’, she may have been known as Abbie and everyone called her Abbie, and it stuck but I checked Abigail and I should not have done…………… one entry, an entry very near the top of the list in the 1911 census was for a George Abigail Garner – a transcription error on the index I thought, but no, it was his name, he wrote it clearly on the census and I was totally and utterly distracted from both the war memorial and Abbie.

Now I am hooked, who was George Abigail Garner and why the unusual middle name for a man and why did he give his son the same name?  Starting where I found him in 1911, we have George snr, head of the house aged 38 and working as a cooper, born in Lowestoft.  His wife, Mary Elizabeth aged 34, stated she had been married 10 years, given birth to 4 children, with 3 surviving to the 1911 census. Elizabeth Shepherd Garner is aged 10 and born in North Shields, next is George Abigail jnr, and then Helen aged 5. Finally, Robert Stephenson Garner aged 7 months.  Why does Helen have only one name when her siblings have an extra ?

A change of websites and a hit for G A in Lowestoft comes up in 1901 where Nathan Garner aged 55 is the head of the house, a town crier, with his wife Martha and 5 children aged between 20 and George, the youngest on the census aged 8. But still not a hint of a clue as to why Abigail was used as a middle name – George is not even entered with this name on the census.  Think we may have to back a generation to see what lies there.

So to Google, a wonderful too, but don’t believe all you read – verify and check with original sources where possible but if that is not possible make a note of the source and where you found the information.  A search for Nathan Garner took me to a site listing all Town Criers world wide, very interesting but I am confused as to why it had an piper playing over the page and even turning my sound off, still the sound could be heard when mousing over the information – why it was not Scottish and had no reason to be there.  I like a good tune played on bag pipes, in tune and in the right place – rant over, now back to Nathan.  Well, the site did tell me he was working as a crier in 1891.  Another link took me to a page full of Suffolk family names – this should be interesting and was.  The Nathan Garner I had been looking at on the previous site was born, as we know from the census in 1901, around 1845, but the list of names goes back one more generation, as I said I needed to do.  Nathan Garner, yes another, was born around 1829.  Back to the census.

The 1871 census has Nathan living next door to his brother, William, at 7 Nobbs(?) Buildings, Lowestoft and is a tailor, brother William is a basket maker.  Nathan jnr is 16 and working as a shoemaker.  I now know Nathan snr’s wifes name – Martha, obtained from an original document.  Next stop was to find who Martha was. A visit to Freebmd and a quick search came up with just one entry – Nathan Garner + Martha = Martha Abigaill……………..Fantastic.  So, it looks like that George Abigail Garner, even though there is a spelling variation, has the maiden name of his grandmother as his middle name – not unusual but sometimes it may raise a few questions.

George Abigail Garner had a son in 1903 and like generations before gave his son his name – George Abigail Garner.

Problem solved and back to the blog I was going to start earlier!

The Truce and a Footballer

100 years ago the noise, chaos, confusion and panic of life in the trenches of Northern France fell silent, it was Christmas Day! No orders came from on high to stop the fighting for one day, yet peace and calm was the order of the day.  The sound of carols rose from the trenches and gradually men from either side risked their lives to enter ‘no man’s land’ – no shots were fired as they left the safety of the trenches – it was Christmas and all was calm and they played footbal.

Some say the events of that day were fiction, while other deny that and have evidence to prove that the truce and the match took place.  Recently, there was a programme on television that produced the actual football – somehow being brought back home.

It seems appropriate with the football match taking place 100 years ago that I chat about a young man, a footballer who gave his life in the Great War,

By the title of the page you know who I am focusing on today – Walter Tull.  Walter Daniel John Tull was born on April 28 1888, the son of Daniel Tull a carpenter from Barbados and Alice Elizabeth Palmer, who he married in the spring of 1880.  When Walter and his siblings were young Alice died and in the winter of 1896 Daniel married her cousin Clara Alice Susannah Palmer but by the time Walter was 9 years old both his parents had died and he was living in a Methodist orphanage in Bethnal Green.

Clara, remarried in 1899 to a William Charles Beer, in the Dover Registration District and the 1901 census the couple are living in Coldred, Kent, with Elsie Tull and Miriam Tull aged 10 and 3 recorded as step-children. The family next door are the Palmers.  In the census of 1911 has the couple living in Kearnsey(?) also in the household is Miriam Victoria Alice Tull, step daughter, aged 13 and a William Thomas Palmer a boarder aged 64.

tullfootballHis brother was eventually adopted, while Walter remained and played football for the orphanage football team.  By 1908 he was playing for Clapham F C and within months had won winners’ medals in various leagues.  The Football Star in 1909 called him ‘the catch of the season’. The following year, 1909 he signed as a professional player with Tottenham Hotspur – it was while playing with Tottenham that he experienced racism from the spectators, one correspondent commented ‘a section of the spectators made a cowardly attack on him in language lower than Billingsgate’  he continued ‘Let me tell those Bristol hooligans that Tull is so clean in mind and method as to be a model for all white men to play football whether they be amateur or professional.  In point of ability, it not actual achievement, Tull was the best forward on the field’.

Tull, Walter officer

In the latter part of 1911 he moved to Northampton Town where he played half-back and scored 9 goals in 110 appearances.  When in 1914, the war started, Walter was the first player to sign up and join the 17th (1st Football) Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment and by late 1915 he was in France.  It was not long before the military took advantage of Walter’s leadership qualities and he was promoted to sergeant.  Walter took part in the Battle of the Somme in 1916 but in the winter of the same year he returned to England due to illness – sources differ with trench fever and/or shell shock’ being the cause.

2nd Lieut.,Walter Tull

2nd Lieut.,Walter Tull

On his recovery Walter was not returned to the front, as many others were, he was sent to the officer training school at Gailes, Scotland.  Even though regulations were against a man of walters birth becoming an officer, he did receive his commission in May of 1917, thus Walter became the first black combat officer in the British Army.  He was posted to the Italian front, being mentioned in dispatches for his gallantry and coolness under fire.

By early 1918 Walter was now serving on the Western Front.  On March 25th he was ordered to lead his men on at attack on German trenches at Favreuil, where shortly after entering No Mans Lane he was hit by an enemy bullet.  He was a highly regarded officer and some of his men made an attempt to bring him back to the British lines. One of the rescuing soldiers told that Walter was killed immediately with a bullet through his head.  And so it was that Walter who had been the first in many fields ended his life on 25 March 1918 aged 29.

Walter Tull had been recommended for the Military Cross, The award was never granted and various campaigns have been hoping that someday 2nd Lieutenant Walter Tull’s family will receive his Military Cross.

Back to Walter, as his body was never found and he is remembered on the Arras Memorial, bay 7.

It may not be the Military Cross, but the Royal Mint announced earlier in 2014 that Walter will be remembered one of a set of £5 coins commemorating the centenary of World War One.

Sources :-

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The Blog is back!

Due to technical problems – basically the blog decided it did not like being updated and said ‘NO, I’m not going to work’, which was a little annoying but after a break of not knowing which way to go I had decided to do a version 2 where the old blog would still able to be viewed, enabling  you to still see what I got up to in the past, but you would also be able to read about what I’ve been up to, what has interested me and what I am up to now!

So……………..when asking my son yesterday, to link the new blog to my website.  After trying to explain what I wanted him to do and why, I was told not to be daft, why should I have 2 blogs when I already had one, even though it refused point blank to update and come back to life.  After a few minutes of copying, pasting and button pressing, my blog like the phoenix rose from the ashes back to life! Who’s a clever boy then?

I am back!  A lot has happened in the world in the past 12 months – we have had the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, seen the Tower of London basque in a blanket of poppies remembering every soldier from the Commonwealth who gave his life for King and Country.  We have seen the world remember the outbreak of the Great War and many military projects have been granted funding. The funding is not a bad thing,  nor is the remembering but there have been many groups and individuals, who for many years have remembered, started and completed projects on their own without any form of help both physical and financial.  I know of a couple of local projects that a group of people have been wanting to undertake, only to be told that ‘we now have funding for that’  – lets wait and see.  A few years ago I contacted an establishment with the view to adding to a project I had done years ago.  I was told ‘oh! thank you for the offer but we are doing that ‘in-house” – that ‘in-house’ project is still to be started!

Anyway, what have I done in the past year, well, the book I told you all about, Lizzie Riach with Family and Friends, in one of my previous blogs has been published by myself and is on sale – I’m on my second print run.  I fondly remember

Lizzie Riach with Family and Friends charity cookbook

Lizzie Riach with Family and Friends charity cookbook

the day I went to the prints to collect my proof copy, I’d been welcomed as I had been on my previous visits.  Then I was handed a proof copy, my book.  I must admit I was overcome with emotion – glad that it was nearly all over, sad that some very important people would never see it but happy and proud of what I had achieved, and very grateful that a wonderful young lady had given her time to work her magic, making the book so totally different to how a self funding charity cookbook should look – it is amazing.

The book is for sale from yours truly and the profit from each book – £2 goes to Macmillan Cancer Support – now how good is that, you get the book full of wonderfully donated recipes and a charity gets your donation, everybody wins!

2014, dosn’t seem to have been a bad year but with events planned for 2015, that should be an even better year,