The Killing of Brother George

George TAYLOR was four years younger than his brother Thomas (Sunday’s post). In between, two other boys were born. They both made a start in life but James died aged four, and two years later Francis departed aged seven. George was probably not old enough to understand these losses but he would form an intriguing bond with Thomas.

On the FamilySearch Shared Tree, Thomas and George have one thing in common. They have, at the time of writing this, both been killed off too soon. Thomas at age 9 and George at 18. The early demise of George is puzzling because he was survived by a nine year-old widow and nine children, the first of them born eleven years after his death.

Of course, the death recorded in 1851 is ridiculous but it is plain to see.

One of the sources for George shows he was alive and kicking in 1901, retired from the joinery trade.

On Sunday, I said that in 1851 Thomas was working as a joiner in Scarborough, aged 21 and lodging with William COLLINSON, also a joiner and just nine years older. I may have been wrong to suggest William could not have been Thomas’ master because of this relatively small age gap.

Apprentices could and did lay complaints against their masters and mistresses for maltreatment or neglect of their proper training. They were not necessarily much younger than their masters and could behave much like truculent younger brothers as dutiful sons.

Keith Wrightson, Earthly Necessities: Economic Lives in Early Modern Britain, 1470 – 1750 p.66

Not only did George follow the same trade as Thomas, he did so initially in the same place. On 7 April 1861 Thomas was living at 5 Queen Street, Rusholme, Lancashire with wife Barbara and three young daughters. Seven weeks later, in Barrow on Humber, Lincolnshire, George married Sarah Ann BOLLEN. The marriage register gives his place of residence as Rusholme.

George took his bride to Lancashire and spent the rest of his life in a small area of Manchester – Chorlton on Medlock, Hulme,Moss Side and Rusholme.  Thomas didn’t stray from the Chorlton Registration District either. I haven’t mapped their addresses but I suspect they lived within a mile or two of each other for thirty years or more.

Thomas died in 1896, aged 66. George died in the decade following the 1901 census because in 1911 Sarah Ann is a widow, living at 77 Derby Street, Moss Side with two unmarried daughters and granddaughter, Nellie ODEN.

A search of the Chorlton death register reveals two men in their mid-seventies who might be “our” George. A burial record for one names his brother as “Watts TAYLOR” so the other becomes favourite. Fortunately, there is a probate record for him.

The “real price” of George’s effects at 2017 values is almost £30,000. Sarah Ann’s widowhood lasted nine years and in that time the value of the pound dropped significantly.

It isn’t clear how many of George and Sarah’s children were still alive at the end of the First World War. The Shared Tree has them bringing nine children into the world – and their names and dates seem to be correct. Sarah wasn’t required declare the number of  her children on the 1911 census form but she offers six, of whom three had died. She may have misunderstood the question put to married couples; perhaps six of the nine were still living. However many there were, they had to share about £6,000 at 2017 values.

Beach 111 · Muston Sands

Old normal-like

Thomas Given Life

As a fledgling family historian I found the advice to “kill off your ancestors” somewhat disconcerting. It has to be done, of course, but with caution. Thomas, the first child of Francis TAYLOR and Mary BRAITHWAITE (Friday’s post) was dispatched without good reason.

On the Shared Tree this death registration has been taken from FamilySearch Sources and attached to Thomas, who was christened in October 1829.

The GRO Index shows that this poor child would not celebrate a single birthday.

As it happens, “our” Thomas is found by the 1841 census enumerator with his parents, three brothers and sister Ann in Bridlington. (Ann’s fate was to be married off to the wrong chap on the Shared Tree.)

When the next enumerator called on this Taylor family there are four children at home. Thomas and George have flown the nest; their places taken by Edmund and a second James, born 1842 and 1848. Francis II has died, aged two.

Thomas left home to learn a trade. On census night 1851 he is in Scarborough working as a joiner. A disparate household is headed by William COLLINSON, also a joiner but only 30 years old and so unlikely to have been Thomas’ master. But there is a third joiner in the household, Jonah WARD, 24, plus a visiting tailor from Nafferton and two young girls, Rachel and Ann MARSHEL from Flixton, also visitors.

Thomas was difficult to find in 1861, for several reasons. A Find My Past transcriber has him as “James”, aged 61 and born in “Rudgwick”. And he has crossed the Pennines, married Barbara PARKER in Manchester (1854) and fathered three daughters.

Barbara, a Scot from Kirkcowan, “Wigtownshire”, gives birth to three more daughters and one son, Francis. At each of the four censuses from 1861 to 1891 the family has a different address in Chorlton but are clearly settled and close-knit. In 1891, three unmarried children are with their parents in Boston Street, Hulme (Chorlton Registration District). Mary Jane, 34, is a dressmaker, Agnes, 23, a milliner, and Francis, 25, an agent (unspecified).

Thomas died on 15 June 1896 and Barbara on 19 December the following year, both aged 66. Thomas’ last address is given as Salisbury Road, Urmston and Barbara’s 31 Victoria Road, Heaton Chapel, but they are together in Ardwick Cemetery, Grave Number 3547A.

Better than being bumped off as a kid, eh Thomas?

Path 100 · Above Mile Haven

Near Primrose Valley