Cousin Edith

Anyone who visits Filey St Oswald Church can see what Edith Beaumont CLAY looked like as she neared the end of her short life.

Benjamin Hopkinson BATES, born in Skircoat, Halifax, sought his fortune in the Raj. A merchant, aged just twenty-one, he married Susannah SMITH in Calcutta Cathedral.

Susannah, daughter of a British Army Officer, had been born in West Bengal but she sailed to the Home Country with Benjamin and died in Halifax, aged 23. In February 1845 Benjamin married Elizabeth LEDGARD.

In partnership with William GOODALL, Benjamin traded in Skircoat as a Cloth Merchant and Manufacturer “under the style or firm of Isaac Goodall & Son” but in 1847 the business failed. Her Majesty’s Bankruptcy Commissioners pursued Benjamin to the end of his days.

There were not too many of them, but enough to decamp to the Wirral, in Cheshire and bring two children into the world. Firstborn Henry Ledgard arrived towards the end of 1849, followed by Edith Beaumont in late September the following year.

Before Edith could form memories of her father, he was gone. His death was registered in Halifax in the final quarter of 1851, and the birth and death of his second son, Arthur Percy, nine months later, on the Wirral.

Maybe Benjamin died of despair.

It isn’t clear how straitened the circumstances of widow Elizabeth were. The decadal snapshots show a woman “living on her own means” but with relatives until 1891 when, at the age of 75, she occupies a property in Castle Fields, Rastrick, looked after by an unmarried servant, Lucy Ann BYCROFT, aged 33.

In 1861, Henry is found at Rishworth Charity School in Halifax. Edith is resident at “Ladys School”, Priest Hill in Wetherby. Her aunt, Jane LEDGARD, is described as a “boarder” there, aged 50 and unmarried. In 1881, Jane and sister Elizabeth live together at “Pospert House” in Hipperholme, Halifax.

Ten years earlier, Edith and her mother are living in Woodhouse, Halifax, with widow Ann MACAULEY, a son by a first marriage and daughter by a second. Elizabeth is described as Ann’s “2nd cousin” and Edith as her “3rd cousin”. The search for common ancestors of Ann ARMSTRONG and Elizabeth LEDGARD is ongoing.

I mentioned many moons ago that a portal opened up for me on the FamilySearch Shared Tree. Disappointingly, it closed a few weeks later, but not before I logged some of the famous names. I’m sure I can match a few of Edith’s. Back in a few minutes.

Yup, it seems I was briefly a cousin to Edith, sharing a run of Plantagenet Kings of England and a few Comtes d’Anjou but with our paths diverging before and after.

There are a few more connections and merges to be made before I put the photo of Arthur and Edith’s headstone on the Shared Tree. Check on Edith’s father here.

 Flower 27 · Yellow Iris Seed Pods

Carr Naze Pond

Kings of Edith

Four years ago I wrote a post about Edith Beaumont BATES. After her death, husband Arthur Travis CLAY paid for the installation of a stained glass window in Filey St Oswald’s Church. Edith, Victorian in dress and hair style, is at the right hand of Jesus.

The Clays of Rastrick indicates my interest in the couple and their children but I didn’t follow through – until yesterday.

Edith has six IDs on the FamilySearch Shared Tree, and Arthur four, but none appear to take us back more than a generation. However, a seemingly trivial connection I made yesterday opened a portal.

One system-generated ID has given Arthur and Edith children but none have attached sources. So I gave a “minimalist Edith” parents to see what might happen.

Nothing much did – until the caret by mother Elizabeth Ledgard’s name was clicked. A trickle of this Elizabeth’s direct descendants soon turned into a flood. A consideable number ruled lands across the length and breadth of Europe for almost two thousand years.

I had wondered about Arthur’s  chutzpah in placing Edith in the company of her Lord. Maybe he knew something.

If you undertake the journey, it will be less frustrating if you start with Elizabeth. How incredible you find it will depend, in part, on what you think of the divine rights of Edith’s kings.

Clay memorial, photographed this morning

Abstract 78 · Ackworth Fresco

Update 18 September

I am not sure how I lost my way yesterday (with the failed link). The line from Edith’s mother [MTCC-DY7] stretches 71 generations to Christ Jesus son of Elohim [G8NL-D9Y]. Go on, be a pilgrim! (You won’t bump into any giants.)

I hope you will make your own way but if you must have a guide…

William Edward Ledgard, Edward Ledgard, Edward Ledgard, Thomas Ledgard, Robert Ledyard, Francis Ledgard, Michael Sheard, William Hepworth, William Hepworth, Henry Hepworth, Sir John Richard Osborn, Sir Peter Osborne, Henry Bourchier, Sir William Bourchier, Thomas of Woodstock, Humphrey de Bohun, Richard FitzAlan, Edmund FitzAlan, Sir Richard Fitzalan, John Fitzalan, John FitzAlan, John Fitzalan (3rd Lord), William “the Crusader”, William d’Aubigny, Sir William d’Aubigny, Lord William d’Aubigny, Roger d’Aubigny, Roger de Mowbray, Yves II, Ivo de Beaumont, Alber I, Gislebert, Henrich I, Otto I, Heinrich von Babenberg, Eberhard, Hludowic, Welf I, Isembert, Warin II, Rurhardus, Hartrad, Eticho Hertzog, Dux Adalrich, Leuthari III, Marcelus, Duc Sabirnis, Maximalus, Duc Lodhandr, Gunzo, Vithicab, Vadomarm Chlodomar, Guindomar, Wadomaire I, Chrocus I, Marcomir V, Childeric I, Sunno Magnus, Chlodomir, King of the Franks Marcomir, Odomir, King of Sicambrian Franks, Ratherius, King Antenor IV, Christ Jesus.

The Clays of Rastrick

Arthur Travis CLAY was born in the Lake District and Edith Beaumont BATES in Seacombe, on the Wirral, but the fates led them to Halifax in the West Riding of Yorkshire. They were caught there by the 1871 Census, living in households about five miles apart. Somehow they met and four years later were married, and all six of their children were born in Rastrick. Only the last of them, Guy Travis, failed to survive infancy.

EdithStainedGlassArthur’s family manufactured worsted and he went along for the lucrative ride, though he also tried his hand at farming. It isn’t clear what pushed Arthur to set up a home in Filey. Edith’s ill-health may have been a factor. She died in Rastrick on the 24th August 1889 and her body was brought to Filey for burial five days later. There are two memorials to her at St Oswald’s – a panel in the east window of the church, where she can be seen at the right hand of Jesus, and a Celtic cross in the churchyard bearing a distinctive Pre-Raphaelite inscription.

G776_CLAYedithb_20170305_fst

Several Clays appear in Looking at Filey but I’m somewhat embarrassed to discover that I failed to realize that Edith of the Cross couldn’t possibly have presented school prizes at the National School in 1903! The second Mrs. Arthur Travis Clay was Annie Isabella, nee TURNBULL, the mother of her step daughter Janet Elizabeth CLAY’s husband John Kenneth Beaufoy BIRCH. I wish I could show you this somewhat unusual set of relationships on FamilySearch Tree but, yet again, I have found families of wealth and influence under-represented on the World Tree.

I made a start on bringing “the scattered” together and dealing with duplicate records but found myself being drawn further and further back – to the TRAVIS family – and pulled forward to the two generations of BIRCH men who served with distinction in the Royal Navy during the two World Wars. I also looked further into the car accident that took the lives of Janet Elizabeth and Kate BIRCH.  There’s a lot to do.

Looking at Filey, Waxholme

Calderdale Companion

Photographic pedigree of the descendants of Isaac and Rachel Wilson (pages 14 to 16)

WilsonBook1