I continued piecing together Ann Eliza COOPER’s life today. I thought that drafting a chronological “sketch” would help me navigate the information deficient years, (marriage to Richard GEOGHEGAN in the 1850s and her whereabouts in 1871, seven years after his death).
On reaching empty spaces, I turned to available sources to see if I could discover something germane, and happened upon a significant “new” person.
I mentioned in an earlier post that Ann Eliza left York after her third husband’s death to work as a Waiting Room Attendant at Withernsea Railway Station. Her granddaughter “Julian” went with her, and at the age of 18 formed a relationship with Railway Porter, William WINSHIP. I had wondered if Julianne’s father was Ann Eliza’s firstborn, Thomas, but had yet to find him – anywhere.
A marriage in 1869 of a Thomas to Anne Elizabeth SIGSWORTH seemed promising but soon hit the rocks. Two years later, an initially dubious Thomas who took Melinda EASTBURN for a wife led to some pieces fitting together. The birth registration of “Julia Ann” Green in Leeds was followed by the death of Melinda Green two years later, at the age of 22. Four years earlier Melinda was enumerated in a Leeds household headed by a 36-year-old Block Cutter called George ELLIS. His wife was Melinda’s older sister Martha, 20; the marriage registered in the June Quarter of 1870. With them was Thomas Eastburn, George’s “nephew”, aged 7 months. I expected to find the boy was illegitimate but what took me by surprise was that the registration (September Quarter) gave him the middle name “Ellis”. What conclusion would you jump to? When my great grandmother was made pregnant and abandoned, she gave her son a middle name that told the world who his father was.
A quick search didn’t find George, Martha or young Thomas in 1881. I couldn’t find a death registration for the boy in his first decade but he clearly didn’t go with his younger half sister (possibly) to York and then to Withernsea.
I still don’t know what happened to Julianne’s father, Thomas (Ann Eliza’s son). When she married William Winship in 1893 she told the clerk that Thomas was a Horse Dealer. In 1901 there is a Thomas Green, widower, with the right age and birthplace, living in Hull and working as a “Commission Agent Horse Racing”. Ten years later he is at a different address in Hull and a “Commission Agent”. An easy conclusion to jump to – that this chap is Julianne’s father. But he writes on the 1911 census form that he had been married for 15 years and had four children, of whom two are living. Perhaps he married again and forgot all about Melinda and Julianne.