Not a Single Man

I wrote about John OAKDEN over two years ago (Leader of the Band) and remarked that my “diligent searching” had failed to come up with a helpmeet in his short Filey retirement. I thought that the Mary Oakden residing on The Crescent may have been his wife – and a couple of days ago discovered that she was, and not his first.

I had taken another look at John because of his connection to Thomas SWIFT, the lawman on the side of injustice in the Maybrick Case. I had long wondered what circumstances turned a bachelor (on the face of it) into the great uncle of little Mary Alice Swift? Of course, I suspected Mary’s niece Emma SAMPSON held the key but without the elusive marriage source…

Marriages Dec 1853  

OAKDEN John & SAMPSON Mary, Manchester 8d 398.    

Free BMD

How had I missed this?

Mary was 45 years-old and single when she married but may have known John for many years if, as seems likely, he had been a “brother in arms” to Thomas Swift. Mary was an aunt of Dinah Swift nee Sampson, and great aunt to Mary Alice.

I then found another report of John’s retirement from the 1st Royal Dragoons that contained information cut from the Staffordshire Advertiser’s account shown in my earlier post.

John Oakden and Hannah TRAVIS were minors when they married. John’s guardian, Robert Wagstaff, and Hannah’s father, Samuel, gave their permissions and William was born the following year (1825), when Hannah was just nineteen. If they had more children I have yet to find them, though it appears Hannah may not have died until 1851. If that had been the case she would surely have attended William’s wedding in 1848 and perhaps her daughter in law Emma’s funeral in the spring of ’51.

William’s second wife, Anna WAGSTAFF, hailed from Derbyshire and his father’s guardian had farmed at Snelston in that county until his death in February 1851 at the age of 81. Robert’s relationship to Anna has yet to be determined. William prevailed upon Anna to give two of their children, John and Louisa, the middle name ‘Travis’ and they christened their fourth child William Robert. John Oakden may have dandled three of his grandchildren upon his knee.

William buried his firstborn child, Elizabeth Gray, in the summer of 1875 and Anna buried him at the end of the following year.

Anna carried on William’s “music dealer” business for a while, assisted by daughter Louisa Travis, and then sailed to the other side of the world with two of her sons. Anna died in Auckland in 1917, Frank in Dunedin (1931), and Harry Percy in the Waikato (1941).  Harry married into the VALPY family in New Zealand, bringing distinction to the Oakden/Wagstaff pedigree. I wonder if there are any among them who had a hand in condemning an innocent woman to death.

Bird 95 · Tufted Duck♀

Glen Gardens Boating Lake

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