The Elusive Fireman

Brothers Henry and Warcup CROSHER/CROSIER both called their second–born children Mary Maria. While Warcup settled in Filey, Thomas moved to Kilham, near Driffield, where he married Bessy ASHBY and brought three children into the world. Around 1870 the family journeyed on to Hull, where it almost tripled in size.

Early in 1890, Mary Maria “CROSHAW” married Paul Alexis HERONNEAU and their first child Louis Paul arrived a year later.  Mother and child are living at census time with widow Bessy and four of Mary Maria’s siblings. The enumerator wrongly identified three of these as “Herroneau”, making five in the household bearing that name. Absent, though, is Paul Alexis, and I failed to find him anywhere else in the city, or beyond.

It isn’t strange to find people in a large British port with somewhat exotic family names but I was surprised to find that PAUL HERONNEAU was genealogical kin to a Googlewhack.

In 1901, Mary heads a household in Merrick Street, Hull, comprising just her married self and four sons. At the baptism of the eldest boy, Thomas Alexis, his father was described as a Fireman. Whether he lit fires and kept them burning or attempted to put them out wasn’t specified.

All attempts to find Paul have failed to uncover vital details about him, but someone showed up later that year to provide the genetic material to make Ida and, in 1904, Leonard.

If the Heronneau family had not lived in the city of my birth I may not have pursued them any further but I was attracted by the name, and the cropping up in sources of places familiar to me.

Thomas Alexis and George Henry Heronneau served in the First World War. Both came home, though Thomas was wounded in 1915.

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I didn’t Find Thomas in the 1939 Register but George Henry was a Packer in the Flour Mills, almost certainly one of the factories I passed several times a week as a child. George Henry’s son, also George, went to the same grammar school as I did – Malet Lambert – winning a Third Form prize in 1939. Young George’s first cousin Roy, son of Alfred Heronneau and Ruth Agnes née GUTHERLESS, won a Special Place at Riley High in 1944.

There were surprisingly few manglings of “Heronneau” in the sources so the family readily presented a coherent pedigree, with all of them descended from the mysterious Fireman. Find Paul Alexis. Someone out there must know where he came from.

Wesleyans

Today’s Image reminded me of the group of visiting Wesleyans who gathered on the veranda of Ackworth House, in its earlier incarnation of the Spa Baths (possibly).

Wesleyans
Photographer unknown, no date, courtesy Joanne Cammish

I speculated about the date of this gathering in a post on Looking at Filey some years ago. I have nothing to add now, except to express some uncertainty about the photograph’s location. I want to believe the worthy Victorians are occupying the very space enclosed by glass and photographed this morning, but the corner of the building doesn’t quite fit the present–day reality. It will be interesting to see how the space is used when the renovation of the property is complete.

Update 12 February

On this morning’s walk, I peered through the veranda windows and saw that the Ackworth veranda had an area around the corner where Victorian Wesleyans could hide from the photographer. No more uncertainty.

 

The Alternative Brothers

Their graves in St Oswald’s churchyard are about 60 paces apart. John’s stone has been out in all weathers for over 30 years longer than his brother’s and it hasn’t worn well.

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The incised letters on Warcup’s stone are still sharp a hundred years after they were cut.

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Warcup was baptised a CROSIER…

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…but he signed his apprentice indenture form and the marriage register on his wedding 1846 as CROSHER.

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Warcup and Ann’s three girls came into the world as Croshers and departed as either Crosier or Crozier in official records. Only the youngest girl married – as Elizabeth Ann Crosier. For this family unit “Crosier” is written in stone.

One wonders if the two brothers talked about changing the family name. They clearly didn’t see eye to eye. Not only did John marry as a Crosher but his son with Elizabeth the Second did too – and died a Crosher in 1971.

Variant family names are an occupational hazard for family historians. I suspect most arise from misunderstandings by record takers (initially) and digitizers/transcribers (in recent years). Not many are at continuing variance by parental or sibling choice. A quick look at the Index of Volume 2 of the East Yorkshire Family History Society’s St Oswald’s Monument Inscriptions shows only one family in this sort of conflict. Crosher/Crosier.

John is with his first wife, Elizabeth PASHBY, who died childless (it seems) at the age of 44.

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About fourteen months later, at the age of 54, John married Elizabeth MILNER, a spinster aged 35. Her widowhood lasted 36 years and her grave, next to John and the other Elizabeth, has a flat tablet letting the world know who placed it there.

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In loving memory of ELIZABETH, second wife of JOHN CROSHER, who died October 16th 1919.

Erected by her son GEORGE HENRY CROSHER Hon. Steward of Westminster Abbey.

Find George Henry on FamilySearch Tree.

Today’s Image

I posted a photo of Ironbridge Gorge last autumn but titled it Landscape 61, forgetting I had an empty category for “Old Life” pictures. My faithful companion, Jude, departed for the Big Kennel on this day five years ago. Six years to the day before that we enjoyed a lovely walk on a bright, frosty morning – and he waited patiently while I made this panorama.

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The Sandholes are between Jude and the risen sun. I don’t know if it is true, but I understood that the sand taken from this place was of a particular kind, perfect for making the moulds into which molten iron could be poured to make useful and/or decorative cast iron objects. Half a mile from this viewpoint, more or less straight ahead, is one of the Cradles of the Industrial Revolution, and an iconic brick structure – The Darby Furnace, where iron was first smelted using coke.

If you copy and paste these coordinates into Google Maps and hit Satellite View you’ll find yourself at the Sandholes.

52.633737°,  -2.500155°

Sandholes

The Old Life ended when Jude and I left Middle England for the Yorkshire Coast, about four months after the Sandholes photos were taken. Here’s a picture of him taken in Filey in March 2009. I miss him, but he’s not really gone away.

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