Useful Middle Names

James HAWORTH, a Filey surgeon, had fourteen children with Jane BURY. The parents gave nine of them a middle name. Children numbers 1, 4, 6, 7, 9 and 10 had “ordinary” names that tell us nothing. Child 11 was Oscar Septimus. I don’t know how common it was in the 19th century to call a seventh son “Septimus” but Oscar was the eighth male child born to the Haworths. The two boys that preceded him though were twins who lived for only a day or two. Perhaps they were counted as one.

(James and Jane buried five of their infant children shortly after the family moved from Great Ouseburn to Keighley. Find a photograph of their memorial here.)

Three children had middle names that are unusual enough to encourage a researcher to consider them to be clues that could lead to family stories that might otherwise remain hidden.

Sometimes, a middle name that appears to be a surname points a generation or two back on the mother’s side. Not always though. Some children received the names of national heroes – or “local heroes” beloved by the parents. A schoolteacher, perhaps, or a colleague of renown in their profession. Other names hark back to glory days, long ago.

I haven’t attempted yet to search for the originals of HENLOCK, PICK and CROMPTON bestowed upon Jonathan, William and Beatrice. Secondborn James Bury is obvious, even when a transcriber offers “Berry”.

Kath has a note for mother Jane Bury in Filey Genealogy & Connections airing the possibility that “just Jane” may have been the daughter or sister of “Brooke Crompton” a surgeon from Chorley who was perhaps a friend of James Haworth.

If you followed the link to the five infant stone, you may have noticed some flowers had been placed on the record. Fiona, great-great-grandniece of Jonathan Henlock, wrote an article about the Old Doctor and his son Tom for a locally published Filey history some years ago:-

On the 1851 census, James was listed as a ‘surgeon’s apprentice’ and living in Blackburn in the household of Henry Grime ‘Surgeon, Member of the Royal College of Surgeons and Licentiate of Apothecaries Hall’. It was there that he probably met his future wife, Jane Bury, who was keeping house for her brother nearby.’ (Fiona Hall)

James Bury, a Pawnbroker, was enumerated with Jane in Darwen Street, a main thoroughfare in the centre of Blackburn. Henry Ainsworth Grime, 34, lived with his wife Catherine and their four daughters in Old Chapel Street, which no longer exists as far as I can tell. It had shared a corner with Penny Street and that is about half a mile from Darwen Street, so Fiona’s surmise is a reasonable one. If only we knew for sure how a pawnbroker’s housekeeper and an aspiring surgeon met and fell in love.

Kath’s theory about a Doctor Crompton also looks more convincing if he knew Henry Grime through the Royal College. Chorley is ten miles from Blackburn.

In the last decade of Victoria’s reign, another girl-child given the middle name Crompton was Richmal Crompton LAMBURN, who cheered my boyhood with her Just William stories. (Her maternal grandmother Richmal OPENSHAW married John Battersby CROMPTON’)

Of course, “Lower” is a fascinating middle name, shared by three Paliologus brothers. (”Lowen”, given to Samuel on the Shared Tree, seems to be a mistranscription.) My initial investigations point to them being descendants of a Dynasty. This short YouTube video tells of a notable member of the “Paliologi” who seems to have been the last of one line. I think I can employ “useful name theory” to link Beatrice Crompton Haworth’s husband to even more remarkable Paliologi.

I photographed James and Jane’s headstone yesterday morning. It helpfully gives their birth and death dates, giving me a sure start in building the family on the Shared Tree.