Saturday, 14 September 2013

Family history research

Photo-wise, this is the nearest I can come to a Yorkshire picture at present - Sheffield is in the West Riding though, not North, where my research centres.

It must be Autumn - or something!  I have had a tidy-up this week and suddenly come across family history research last touched around the Millennium.  It took a bit of effort to get my brain to the right channels, remembering what I was doing (notes and a letter helped) and here I am again, researching my husband's family roots in Yorkshire.  I am currently working on the Ward family of the Malton area, whose daughter fell under the charms of a postman, and was soon "in the family way" as it used to be called and doubtless, at that time (1880) a source of great family shame.  But blood is thicker than water, and the little boy who was born became my husband's grandfather.  I am now trying to locate where he grew up, in the censuses, wondering whether he went to her parents. Or perhaps, as he is noted on his birth certificate with a middle name of Robinson, he was brought up by his grandparents' next door neighbours . . .  I dare say their neighbourliness was perhaps just remembered in a kindly way.

One year, when they were staying in Scarborough, my husband's mother - as a young lass still, could remember being taken on the back of a relative's motorbike to see an old old lady who was sitting in an armchair on a rubber ring.  The old woman looked long and hard at the girl, who we assume, was her husband's grand-daughter (for he had been married and with young children when he overstepped the limits of the marriage vows . . .)

I don't have an Ancestry membership, nor am I likely to at £79 for 6 months!  So yesterday My husband and I went to the Records Office, and opened a can of worms!  We think we have found him, growing up in Malton with family members, where he appears to be listed as their youngest son.  We think we have found his mother marrying in 1893, so there will have been half-siblings for him.  We are just trying to fill in the gaps between him growing up in Malton and then falling in love in Scarborough and following his future wife to Manchester, where she went to set up a Laundry (hah - she was "head-hunted"!!!).

More to follow - as long as I can get my browser to co-operate.  I have had great problems this past week . . .


  1. What shame was brought to a family with a child born out of wedlock in those days, wasn' there BB?
    When I think of these days - perhaps so much better in that respect. I remember two such children in my childhood and the whole village knew the details - and now I often think that they assumed every other child in the village was born to an established mum and dad but - as they so rightly say - it is a wise child who knows its own father.
    I agree with you - put your family history down for a while and when you pick it up again it takes some getting into.

  2. At times when I have immersed myself into researching a particular family line, I can rattle off the generations rather tediously. Then, as you note, I put aside that inquiry for another and 'lose' the details.
    I am always surprised at how our ancestors of horse and buggy days 'got around' and cause us great difficulty by locating some place where we don't expect to find them. Woe to us who lie awake at night puzzling over the gaps!

  3. There are probably many children born over the centuries who were listed as someone else's in the census! Poor OB would be considered a you know what, but things are so different now. Loving parents are more important than warring married ones. Look forward to your next report!

  4. Weaver - now to have children without the benefit of marriage is deemed the norm . . . How things change.

    MM - we are still puzzling how Keith's g. grandfather suddenly went from London Docks to Scarborough, and can only assume it was to dismantle boats as that was his occupation at the time.

    Em - As I said, it is considered perfectly normal now, and how I agree, it is the harony aand care of a loving family which is important.

    Back in Victorian Yorkshire, however, we found one poor bride gave birth just 3 weeks after her wedding. I can only assume she had an awfully big bouquet on the day! Poor Keith's mum was mortified to find another "episode". Her side of the family seemed a bit prone to it, and there was even a deathbead confession which revealed an unknown half-sister . . .

  5. That all sounds very exciting! I love family history and spent hours on my father's side a few years ago. Like you, I found missing sisters, a rejected father and a whole bunch of half-siblings and unknown relations. Great fun! Jx

  6. I had wanted to go to the Antiques Fair but something came up, at least i saved some money probably.

  7. It is fascinating delving back into family history, my family was pretty dramatic but people always get confused over its complicated turns. There was a stigma being born on 'the wrong side of the sheet' even in the first half of the 20th century, yet today so many children are born out of wedlock, to use an old fashioned term, and of course none the worse for it, times change.

  8. The search is on then! It's the perfect time of year to start picking up the threads of family history again. I plan to do the same at some point.