Monthly Archives: September 2016

A walk around East Ardsley churchyard – who did we find?

A walk around East Ardsley churchyard – who did we find?

On a warm and sunny September morning where else would I be than in a quiet and peaceful churchyard. My walk to the church was not my choice, more a favour for a friend, but the short time I spent there was pleasant.

I had recently been talking to a friend about the book he has had published – more on that at a later date, the last entry in his book to be precise.  I just happen to live in the village where the this person is buried with his parents and brother – photo’s taken and a quick nip into the church to take another photo and complete my task.  But, there always seems to be a but, a few more headstones that caught my attention – I was not sure if I already had them in my files, just to make sure I captured their images one more time, just to be on the safe side – one in particular caught grabbed my attention.

© Carol Sklinar 2016

© Carol Sklinar 2016

The headstone, now darkened with time, is a cross standing upon three tiers with a quite ornate embellishment adorning the centre of the cross.  The memorial is not beside any path where passers by may read the words on the top two tiers, it is in the centre of the burial ground behind the church.

Whose monument is it?

George William Young.  Who was this man? What was his occupation? Was he liked within the community?

There is a baptism entry in the St Mary, Whitechapel registers for a George William son of George William Henry and Harriet Young who lived in Pavilion Yard, Whitechapel Road.  George snr was a livery stable keeper. The year of birth from information obtained on the George’s headstone is around 1854/5, so the year of 1850 for his baptism is a slightly larger margin than I would have expected, although I am not surprised.

When George William, his parents and sibling were included in the 1861 census the family were still living at Pavilion Yard – George was 11 at this time and his age confirms his birth year as 1850. His father, George gave his occupation as Licenced Horse Dealer and Stable Keeper.

George married Frances Newton in the early autumn of 1875 in the Stepney area of London. The couple along with their family and friends gathered at St Dunstan and All Saints, Stepney and were married by Banns, which had been read on the 18th and 25th of July and the 1st of August. Frances was marrying in her own parish but George W gave his parish as that of West Ardsley. The wedding party gathering on the 2nd of August. The witness were George Young, George Nicolson (?) and ***** Nicholson (?).

By 1881, but more than likely after his marriage, George and his wife are found in the census living on Wakefield Road.  Although this census does not give a house number or name, it is known that George lived at Woodhouse Hall, on the junction of Wakefield Road and Woodhouse Lane. The enumerator who entered the information included that George was a Medical Practitioner, Thomas his younger brother was employed as his assistant.

Ten years later in 1891 the census confirms that the Young family are living at Woodhouse Hall, East Ardsley. Living with George and Frances are Lilian Clara Young, their nine year old niece and Mary Ann Young, George’s widowed sister in law.

Sketch used in Yorkshire Evening Post article

Sketch used in Yorkshire Evening Post article

During the time George spent in the village he became President of East Ardsley United Cricket Club as the Yorkshire Post of 28th of May 1892 tells “Mr G W Young, East Ardsley. Mr George William Young, whose portrait we give, is the president of the East Ardsley United Cricket Club.  The ‘Doctor’, as he is more familiarly known, is a generous and enthusiastic supporter of all kinds of sport.  For several years he has figured at the head of the ‘United’. Three years ago, on the club winning the Wakefield and District Challenge Cup, for the second time, he presented each member of the team with a handsome silver medal.  Last year he gave five guineas and two bats as prizes to the members, and this year he has again offered a similar amount.  In addition he is always ready to contribute liberally to any special expense of the club.  He is a honorary member of the Yorkshire Country C.C., and a vice-president of several clubs in the locality.  He was elected unopposed as the first member of the Alverthorpe division of the West Riding County Council, a position which he still occupies.

When Aaron Bedford, farmer of West Ardsley wrote his will he asked George who gave his occupation as surgeon, and Robert Chadwick, grocer of West Ardsley to be his Executors.  It was in May of 1883 that Robert and George, as Executors placed a notice in the London Gazette calling for parties with a claim on Aaron’s estate to come forward by the end of May.  The estate of Aaron was worth approximately £270.

 George snr. died on the 18th of July 1890.  The Probate entry for him tells that Pavilion Yard was still home to the family and he was now classed as a Gentleman, leaving a personal estate of £8,225 19s – quite a sum!

Life continued in  and around the village of East Ardsley for a few years until in January 28 1895 when the following article appeared in the Yorkshire Evening Post.

DEATH OF AN ARDSLEY DOCTOR – Sketch of Dr. Young’s career.  Much excitement has been caused in Ardsley and district by the announcement of the death of Mr. George William Young, surgeon.  An inquest will be held tonight at East Ardsley, before Major Taylor.
On Saturday night Dr Young retired to rest about 11 0’clock.  He woke about one a.m. on Sunday but dropped off to sleep again.  He continued to be very restless, and about four o’clock he got up, and, accompanied by Mrs. Young, proceeded to the surgery where he took a sedative with a view to making him sleep.  On getting back into his bedroom he suddenly rell, apparently in a fit, and expired immediately.
Dr Jackson, another medical practitioner in the neighbourhood, was sent for, but on his arrival life had been extinct for some time.  His services were, however required on behalf of Mrs. Young, who suffered terribly from the shock.
It appears that deceased – who was only 44 years of age – had been indisposed for a considerable period, and for a short time up to Wednesday last had been confined to the house, his assistants tending to his practice.  He resumed his duties on Wednesday, however, and attended to them until Saturday night.
The deceased was very widely known throughout the district of West Yorkshire, having taken a very prominent part in public affairs.  He was a native of London but came to Wakefield as assistant to Dr Thomas Walker, who has since retired, and is ow living at Leeds.  Subsequently Mr Young commenced practising at Ardsley, where he has since resided, and has held several positions as medical officer to large concerns in the neighbourhood.  He always took a keen interest in local affairs, and was for some time chairman of the East Ardsley School Board.  He has represented the Alverthorpe Division, which includes Ardsley, on the West Riding County Council ever since its formation.  Some years ago he represented West Ardsley on the old Wakefield Rural Sanitary Authority, of which body he was at one time chairman.  At the recent elections he was returned as one of the representatives of East Ardsley on the Wakefield Rural District Council.

The Leeds Mercury issue for the following day, 29th January 1895, is virtually the same as the entry in the Yorkshire Evening Post with the addition of ‘….. Major Taylor held an inquest last evening, – Mrs. Young said that her husband suffered from a weak heart, and that on a former occasion he was nearly gone.  On the present occasion she tried to administer brandy, but without success. – Dr J J Jackson said that from the appearance of the body, he should imagine that deceased had been suffering from a weak heart for some time. – The jury found a verdict of ‘Natural causes’. and in conveying it they expressed condolence with Mrs young in here bereavement’

© Carol Sklinar 2016

© Carol Sklinar 2016

The headstone in St Michael’s churchyard tells in how much he was thought of within the area –  ‘This stone erected by subscription in memory of George William Young, surgeon, who died Jany 2th 1895, aged 44 years.  As a token of admiration for services rendered to the parishes  of  East and West Ardsley.’

When Probate was granted for George in 1896, his estate of £1226 1s was granted to his widow Frances.

Morley & District Family History Open Day

Morley & District Family History Open Day

poster-snipped-versionMorley & District Family History Group are celebrating their 30th Anniversary with an Open Day on Saturday 17th of September 2016 from 10am – 3pm at St Mary’s in the Wood, (opposite Morley Library), Commercial Street, Morley, Leeds, LS27 8HY.

With Free Admission, why not pop in and see who is going to be there.

30 years ago a small group of people attended an evening class for those interested in family history. The classes ended after six weeks, and it was then that Morley & District Family History Group began and is still here today.

Morley & District FHG may not be the biggest family history society/group but they are a friendly lot, so if you have family from the local area or are thinking about beginning your family history, why not drop in on Saturday and have a chat.

Morley & District FHG will have their collection of transcriptions available for sale.

Who else is going to be there?

leaflets-1There will also be a small information desk with leaflets and information from The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Find My Past and The Western Front Association.

On the day there will be a HELP DESK which will have access to major family history online resources.  A collection of family history magazines plus a good selection of family history society magazines from various areas will be FREE for you to take away  – you may find something of interest to help with your family history research.

Bring along your family and local history questions.

But don’t forget to bring some of your research with you or make notes of the questions you wish to find an answers to!

See you on Saturday for a chat, a cuppa and a Yorkshire Welcome.

Why can’t I find them in the census?

Why can’t I find them in the census?

When transcribing a document for online research should you transcribe the document as it is written or transcribe the document, making it suitable for online searching?

A transcription by definition is ‘copied’ word for word, error for error.  But are there times when common sense should prevail?   There are other forms of transcriptions, but that can be for a later date.

Many online documents are transcribed abroad, where names and places are transcribed by those who have no knowledge of the country that the documents relate to.

Example : Latham family of 17 Cambridge Avenue, Crosby.

Example : Latham family of 17 Cambridge Avenue, Crosby.

Imagine you are looking for your maternal grandmother. You know her married name, eventually find her maiden name but her parents and siblings are unknown. A search of the census does not give any information that is helpful.  Could it be that the enumerator has tried to save his time and effort by being scrimpy with the details by using ‘Ditto’ or ‘Do’. And there seems to be a large number of people with ‘Ditto’ or ‘Do’ as their surname.

For example in the Great Grimsby census for 1911 Mr Myers of 10 Bull Ring, Grimsby completed his form telling he was a grocer.  His wife Rose was completed using her full name, Rose Myers, while the children, two of them were entered as Hilda Do and Harold Do. Percy Cahill, a window cleaner living at 125 Walnut Street, Mr Broughton, completed his form by entering his name in full, then completing the form by adding his wife and children’s names followed by ‘Do’.

Another example from the 1911 census is for Joseph Preedy who lived at 10 Acacia Avenue, St John’s, Wembley.  Mr Preedy, a Head Glazier, who had been married to Alice for 16 years completed her name in full, then proceeded to name his children, each one’s name followed by ‘Ditto’.

That’s all well and good but there are also a number of people with ‘Ditto’ or ‘Do’ as a first name…….

Thomas Barns of Gaul Road, March, Cambridge, seems to have been a bit unsure on how to complete his census form – there are quite a few crossings out and a good old ink blot! Thomas enters his name, his wife’s details then complete his children’s information.  Now, did he intend to put his eldest child Dorothy first, or enter his son first?  There is a ‘Do’ before Ernest’s name, which may be due to Thomas being unsure of how to complete the form, but Ernest is now on the index as Do Ernest Barnes.

Henry Charles Wills of Sackville Gardens, Hove, is an Engineer and Tea Planter living with his wife and two children plus  two servants – Mary Ann Tidball and Agnes du Cruyard, Agnes is found on the index as Agnes do Cruyard.

1911 census via

1911 census via

One young man in the 1911 is destined never to be found as he is entered by his father on the census as Ditto  ”  “.  But the transcriber has shown a bit of thoughtfulness when placing him in the index.  Michael Mcdonough, a widower, living with his family on Railway Street, Liversedge, Yorkshire, had named his second son after himself and therefore entered Ditto  ”  ”  on the line below his name.  Michael junior is followed by his elder brother Thomas, then John and a sister, Annie, whose surnames are all completed in full.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary the meaning of ‘Ditto’ is ‘a symbol that means ‘the same’ and is used in a list to avoid writing again the word written immediately above it‘.  The ‘Do’ is a shorter form of ‘Ditto’ and can save even more time when writing repetitive words.

It might be worth while looking for a ‘Ditto’ or a ‘Do’ in a first and/or last name if you have lost a relative in the census

A Walk around Sugar Lane – Deputy Matron Cameron

A Walk around Sugar Lane, Wakefield

Don’t you find when walking around a churchyard or cemetery the headstone and monuments give answers to unsolved mysteries, but some only give rise to questions and curiosity.

Another headstone in this series is fairly low to the ground, is simple in its design with straight sides, a small pointed top with a plain set of symbolic ivy being carved into a shallow box, centrally situated just below the pointed top.

Margaret V Cameron headstone © C Sklinar 2015

Margaret V Cameron headstone © C Sklinar 2015

I would have walked past this marker had I not noticed a few words as I scanned read the headstones : In Loving Memory of Margaret Veronica Cameron, Deputy Matron, Stanley Royd Hospital. Died 7th December 1951. Aged 46 years. R.I.P.

Where was Margaret born? Was she born in Scotland as her name may suggest? She was in fact born on the 5th of January 1905 and Freebmd confirms there was a Margaret Veronica Cameron born in the Bristol Registration District in the March Quarter. Could this be her?

I have found information on Margaret later in her life, but I’ll come back to that a little later. In the meantime, the 1911 census tells of Margaret Cameron born 5th January 1905, if this is my Margaret, living with her grandmother, Margaret Donovan, her uncle, Edward Donovan and her three siblings; Ronald aged 6, Jeffrey aged 5 and Bernard aged 3. Home was 15 Wood Terrace, Worcester. Margaret’s grandmother, was aged 61 and had given birth to eight children – four surviving to be included in the census, somewhere. Uncle Edward, aged 28 was a Land Agents Clerk and it appears that the four children were not at school or that information had been omitted by whoever completed the form. By the way, Margaret’s younger brother was born in Wakefield. A fair bit of information has been gleaned from the document but still no information on her parents. Were they away for the night, were they working away, could they not afford to keep their children or had they died? I told you more questions arise when you walk around churchyards!

Jumping forward to 1923 and one of the newest sets of information on Ancestry are the Nursing Registers for UK and Ireland and Scotland, which had been accessible from the 4th of August 2016. When I found these I was like a woman possessed looking for my aunt Frances Siddle, cousin Walter Siddle and other people in my family who I knew had been in the nursing profession. Back to Margaret, she is there, being Registered on 18th of May 1923, London and living at 24 College Grove Road, Wakefield. Margaret gained her Certificate in General Nursing at Cumberland Infirmary. Other permanent addresses in the registers include: Council Offices, Rothwell, Leeds and 14 Second Avenue, Rothwell, Leeds. By 1950 Margaret, her full name used this time, on the Mental Register for nurses, no address has been given for this register but her qualification is – R.M.P.A. Certificate.

Hatfeild Hall c 1925

Hatfeild Hall c 1925

Back to 1939 – the 1939 Register to be precise. Margaret Veronica Cameron is listed as a General Trained Nurse – Assistant Matron at Hatfeild Hall, Stanley W, Wakefield along with a list of people classed as ‘In Hospital’. How nice it is to see names for people in hospital and not just initials.

In the 1946 and 1947 Register of Electors Margaret’s address is given as Stanley Hall, Stanley, Wakefield – as local people know, Stanley Hall was used for a home for nurses at one time.

We know quite a bit about Margaret but there are still a few more questions that need to be answered. Firstly, who were her parents? Secondly, she died quite young, was there a reason? And finally, did she leave a will? All important questions if you are tracing your family’s history.

The answer to the first question is a simple ‘don’t know’. But question two, that one I can answer. When visiting Findmypast for the 1939 Register I took a look at the newspaper section……bonus! There were two entries came up from a search of Margaret’s name. The first was the death notice in the Yorkshire Post for the 8th of December which read ‘CAMERON – December 7, at Leeds General Infirmary, MARGARET VERONICA CAMERON, Deputy Matron Stanley Royd Hosptal, Wakefield – Service at Stanley Royd Hospital, Wednesday, December 12. at 2.30 followed by interment at Wakefield Cemetery.’

The second entry was from the Yorkshire Post December 8 1951. On the front cover we find that Henry Moore’s ‘Reclining Man’ was taken by van from Temple Newsam to Leeds Art Gallery the day before and would be on display for 10 days before returning to Temple Newsaam. In a smaller entry in the next column is the heading ‘Deputy Matron dies after injuries’, the small article follows ‘ Miss Margaret Veronica Cameron, deputy matron of Stanley Royd Hospital, Wakefield, died in the General Infirmary at Leeds Yesterday. She received severe head injuries when she was knocked down by a motor cycle in Dewsbury Road, Wakefield on Wednesday night.

The funeral service will be held in the hospital next Wednesday, followed by interment at Wakefield cemetery.’

Another excerpt, this time from the Wakefield Express tells more – “Pedestrians Injured – Miss E (wrong initial – could be a mis-hearing of ‘V’), assistant matron of Stanley Royd Hospital, was taken to Clayton Hospital with a fractured skull on Wednesday night, after being struck by a motor-cycle while she was waiting for a bus in Dewsbury Road, Wakefield. On Thursday she was transferred to Leeds General Infirmary and yesterday was reported to be ‘still very poorly.’ The motor-cycle driven by John Mulvaney of Wood Lane, Rothwell, also collided with a pedestrian, Mr A Benton, of West Street, Horbury. Both men were taken to Clayton Hospital, Mulvaney with a fractured skull and hand injuries, and Benton, with a broken leg. Yesterday, both were stated to be ‘fairly comfortable.’

About a week later the Wakefield Express edition for 12 December 1951 give more details – ‘ Assistant Matron’s Funeral – A funeral service for Miss Margaret Veronica Cameron (46). assistance matron at Stanley Royd Hospital, who died in Leeds General Infirmary last week, after being knocked down by a motor-cycle in Dewsbury Road, Wakefield, was held at the hospital on Wednesday. After the service, members of staff walked in procession to the hospital gates and several of them went with the cortege to the Wakefield cemetery where the internment took place. An inquest on Miss Cameron was opened in Leeds on Monday but was adjourned until December 20 by the Coroner (Dr A J Swanton). Trained for hospital work in the South of England, Miss Cameron had been at Stanley Royd since 1937 and was very well liked by patients and staff.;

I know from the previous newspaper article there would be a Coroner’s hearing, so my trusted ‘partner in family history crime’, who had found the same death notice I had also found, for 12th December and the above notices from the Wakefield Express, continued to look for the Coroner’s entry in the local paper after 20th December and early into the new year – nothing to be found. While I was including Elsie’s finds in this virtual walk, I gave FindmyPast one last try for the Coroner’s verdict, coming up trumps with one more entry in the Yorkshire Post – ‘Woman Died After Motor-Cycle Crash. ‘ ‘Accidental Death’ was the verdict at the resumed inquest in Leeds today on Miss Margaret Cameron (46), deputy matron of Stanley Royd Hospital, Wakefield, who was knocked down by a motor-cycle on December 5 and died the following day in Leeds Infirmary from a fractured skull.

Leeds University via Wikipedia

Leeds University via Wikipedia

The driver of the motor-cycle, Mr John Mulvaney, Leeds University student, Wood Lane, Rothwell, said he was travelling from Ossett to Wakefield when a pedestrian appeared ‘from nowhere’ in the dark, patchy night and the road was wet. Before I had time to pull up the pedestrian, who appeared immediately in front of me, was under the bike. I don’t remember anything after the impact,’ he said.

The Coroner told the jury that after Mulvaney collided with the pedestrian he lost control of the machine which, mounted the pavement and knocked down Miss Cameron, who was waiting for a Wakefield bus with a friend.’

Margaret is listed in the Probate Calender of 1955 and reads ‘ CAMERON Margaret Veronica otherwise Margaret Josephine otherwise Margaret Veronica Josephine or ADAMS Murlie Alice of The Stanley Royd Hospital Wakefield spinster died 7 December 1951 Administration London 16 February to H.M. Treasury Solicitor. Effects £1931 8s 5d. Another mystery has been created by the Probate Calendar’s entry for Margaret – why is Margaret also known as Murlie Alice Adams? Over a cup of coffee, my partner in ‘family history crime’ and I have spent an evening looking for her. Do you know what the link is to Margaret Veronica Cameron?

When deciding to tell you all about this headstone, I did not expect the story to have such an ending. But at least a few more people know about a little headstone in Sugar Lane and a lady called Margaret.