William Smart’s Mother

But first, the headstone remembering him, his wife and his sister in law.

William stands alone in Filey Genealogy & Connections, bereft of parents, wife and children. This morning, the FamilySearch Shared Tree was no more informative. I had to start from scratch to give some context in which the “memory” of his headstone has meaning.

One of the first leads I happened upon was an online family tree that gave William’s parents as Richard SMART and Mary Jane BARRANCE. Their marriage is represented on the Shared Tree.

One of the blue hints gives the ages of groom and bride as 48 and 30. The aforementioned online tree has Mary Jane born in Clayton West, Yorkshire, in 1866 making her thirteen years old when she married.

I found the parish register entry for the marriage and it confirmed the blue hint information, the parents of the couple are given as John Smart and William Barrance.

The GRO Index of Births offers an alternative mother.

1889

SMART, William, Mother’s Maiden Surname: ACKROYD. GRO Reference: 1889 J Quarter in HUDDERSFIELD Volume 09A Page 297.

On Census night 1891, William is with his maternal grandparents, parents and sister Ann in Skelmanthorpe, Huddersfield. Here is the FamilySearch screenshot of the census information.

Arthur married Mary ACKROYD when Mary junior was nine years old.

Marriages Mar 1875  

AKROYD (sic) Mary & WALSHAW Alfred, Huddersfield 9a 437.

Births 1865

AKEROYD, Mary, Mother’s Maiden Surname: WOODCOCK. GRO Reference: 1865 J Quarter in WORTLEY Volume 09C Page 191.

Further research revealed Arthur’s first marriage to Ann STEAD and Mary senior’s to Richard ACKROYD. There are still some missing pieces but I have enough now to put the Smart stone on the Shared Tree as a memory.

Path 161 · New Cliff Path

Completed ahead of schedule, Eller Howe Cliffs to Primrose Valley

Fishing for Thomas Mackrill

I have cast my net into the sea of sources in the hope of catching Thomas, husband of Margaret, the second daughter of Barnet MURPHY and Susanna nee CHAMBERS (see A Childhood Memory).

The marriage of Thomas MACKRALL (sic) and Margaret was registered in Tadcaster in 1857. The 1861 Census places them at the same address as Margaret’s widowed mother but separates the two households. Thomas is 32 years-old, working as a flax dresser and his birthplace is given as “Holden” in the Findmypast transcription. In the page image it looks like “Hebden” to me – a small settlement near Pateley Bridge. Margaret is nine years younger than her husband and a winder in the flax mill. The couple have two children already, Mary Ellen and Francesca.

By 1871 they have moved to Selby. Margaret has enough work at home with six children aged between one and thirteen. Thomas is still a flax dresser. The transcription does not give birthplaces but the page image clearly shows Thomas entering the world in “Beverly”. In 1881 this becomes “Bewerley”, half a mile south of Pateley Bridge. The family has returned to Clifford, just outside Tadcaster, and four children have been added to the roster.

Something happens in the 1880s. It isn’t possible to determine how long Thomas lives apart from Margaret but on census night 1891 he is in Clifford with two of his youngest children and with Margaret’s elder sister Ann, 56 years old, a seamstress and unmarried. Thirty miles to the west, at Northowram near Halifax, Margaret, 53, shares  her home with four of the older children.

Thomas dies before the next census. His young sons move to Halifax to live with their mother. Ann lives alone in Clifford and her death is registered soon after the census, in the June Quarter of 1901.

I had yet to find a record of the birth or death of Thomas. Then, this christening in Pateley Bridge appeared.

Thomas MACKRILL: son of James of Wath in the Parish of Kirby Malzard (sic), Miner, & wife Elizabeth, daughter of Humphrey & Hannah HANNAM. Born 21 December 1830; baptized 7 April 1831.

A shock awaited me on the FamilySearch Shared Tree.

I didn’t doubt for a moment that this fragment of pedigree was correct. Two children with middle names honouring maternal grandparents were clinchers. I had come within a whisker of making the kind of mistake on FamilySearch that I have previously spent hours correcting.

Somewhat ironically, I then found the death registration of “not my Thomas”, in Halifax in 1887, aged 56.

I have lost hope of catching Margaret’s husband but will add his children to the Shared Tree when I find the time.

Found Object 50 · Memory Stone

Royal Parade

The Brothers Dennis?

Robert DENNIS married Sarah Jane HARDWICK, the younger sister of the little girl assaulted on 5 December 1860 in Nether Silton. Robert was 12 years old at that time, living two miles away at Mill Hill, Kepwick. His wife-to-be was just two.

Robert was baptized in Over Silton Church on 1 October 1848 by John OXLEE, the incumbent. He was the sixth child of Thomas, a carpenter. and Jane nee HARKER. They appear to have had four children after Robert, but perhaps there were only three.

I could not find a birth registration for Robert and so guessed he had been born the previous month, September 1848. There is, however, a birth registration for Thomas Dennis in the December quarter of 1848. The notion that the boys were twins was fleeting. The births of both would surely have been registered and/or they would have been baptized together. I could not find a death registration for Thomas – or his enumeration in the 1851 census. It is Robert, aged two, at the Cooling House, Kepwick, with his parents and five siblings that year. Two of these were sisters called Mary Jane (6) and Mary (about six months old). The elder had been registered as “Margaret Jane”. This discrepancy made me think the parents were somewhat forgetful – so young Thomas and Robert were probably one and the same person.

I was surprised to discover that Robert married Sarah Jane in Bradford, when censuses indicated that neither family had moved far during their lifetimes. I had to look hard to find Robert’s whereabouts in 1871 but eventually –

So we can make that nine children born to Thomas senior and Jane. Both parents have seven or eight FamilySearch IDs, generated mostly by baptism records I’m guessing, though I have yet to tackle all of the merges. The Dennis family is “all over the place” on the Shared Tree. One of Robert’s IDs currently has him married to Sarah Jane but they are awaiting the arrival of the first of at least six children (and he only has one sibling, brother Henry). I hope to make some deliveries tomorrow.

Beach 125 · Butcher Haven

Hunmanby Sands