Difficult Births, Problem Children

I mentioned a while ago that the discovery of the GRO Online Index had changed my research life. No more waiting until 1911 for Free BMD to begin offering the maiden surnames of mothers.

Taking a break from Filey people, I looked at some of my own folk a few days ago. I have two grandaunts, Annie and Daisy ELSOM, who married fellows called WARD. Charles Edward was born in 1882 and Dick in 1889, both in Hull. But, like the STORMs mentioned a few days ago, they were not related by blood.

Dick was the son of William Edward WARD and Lizzie King HODSON and the GRO Index readily served him up with eight siblings.

Lizzie’s birth family is a different story. I will try to keep this simple. A composite picture of the HODSONs can be stitched together from the three censuses – 1861 to 1881. There are eight children born to Henry Hawkesley HODSON and Elizabeth King HANN. A ninth, Emma, is revealed by the GRO Index to have arrived and departed midway between 1861 and 1871. There is a cuckoo in the nest in 1861 – Henry’s 9-year-old stepson “George J. DRUMMEY”, who subsequently disappears, possibly into the navy and across the pond to the United States.

GeorgeDRUMMEY

The Census gives George’s birthplace as “Baston”, Lincolnshire. The GRO records him as George DEVANNEY, born December Qtr 1851 in Glanford Brigg, Mother’s Maiden Surname “KINGHAN”. (Barton upon Humber is in that registration district.) Elizabeth King HANN had married John DEVANNEY in Hull the previous year.

I have been unable to find a record of John’s death, but Elizabeth DEVANNEY marries Henry HODSON in Hull in 1860. A few months later they are at 3, John’s Place, St Mary Sculcoates, with George and three HODSON children – Ann Mary (age 5), Maria (3) and Harriet (0); mother’s maiden name for all three is HANN. Was Henry their father?

Lizzie King HODSON is the next child to happen along, in late 1863; birth registered in Driffield to mother DEVANNEY.

Thereafter:-

1865, Emma (KING)

1866, Charles (KING)

1868, Annie Helen (HANN)

1870, Harry (KING)

1873, Ada (DEVANNEY)

So, Elizabeth offered her maiden surname to the registrar for just four of her ten children (plus KINGHAN). Why she would give her first married name when registering her last child is a puzzle. Or at least it was until I dipped into Mark D. Herber’s Ancestral Trails and discovered that it wasn’t “a duty”  for those present at a birth to report it to a registrar at all until almost forty years after the civil registration system was established.  Hardly surprising, then, that in some parts of the country  15% of births were not registered between 1837 and 1875. (Neither was a registrar entitled to request sight of a marriage certificate or license.)

Parents misdirecting registrars in this way is a bit annoying – and it has a curious effect on Find My Past’s ability to deliver useful Hints. FamilySearch isn’t knocked out of its hint stride but there is some explaining to do when adding GRO sources to the World Tree. It took me the better part of two days to set up the Hodsons and Wards who were brought into my fold by grandaunt Daisy.

Elizabeth King HANN was already on FST but I had to create records for most of her children and WARD grandchildren. Other than Dick and Daisy’s son Reginald none of these people are related to me by blood, but I persevered because my headmistress at Stoneferry Junior & Infants in the 1950s was a Hodson, and a fellow pupil one Maurice Devanney, so I hoped to make connections! (I haven’t, yet.)

A Little Known Soldier

Edward Sydney WARD is publicly remembered in three places in Filey. His death in France is noted on the headstone of his grandparents and Aunt Emily in St Oswald’s churchyard.

WARDedSyd

If the War Memorial in Murray Street is honouring his sacrifice it omits his middle initial and misspells the family name.

WARDEe

The plaque in St Oswald’s that lists the men of this parish who laid down their lives for their country in the Great War honours Edward Ward of the 5th Yorkshire Regiment.

His existence in the CWGC Index is sparely recorded.

1916_WARDedsyd_cwgcIndex

The 5th Yorks (Alexandra) Battalion War diary is, as one would hope, more forthcoming, telling us that Ted was seriously wounded by a bomb while helping to guard a trench on September 18th; he died the following day. It notes that he was moved from his grave in Bottom Wood, Fricourt, to Dantzig Alley British Cemetery after the Armistice. This all too brief account has a photograph and some family information that points us in the right direction, though giving his age as 20 doesn’t confirm what we know from the St Oswald’s headstone.

It says he was born in Leeds. That is what the Census enumerator was told in 1901 and 1911 when, aged 7 and 17, he was living first at 1 East Parade, Filey with grandparents Edward and Rebecca WARD and then at 2 West Parade with the recently widowed Rebecca. In 1911 plain “Edward Ward” was working as a “Grocer’s Vanman”.

The War Diary informs us that Ted “was the nephew of Mrs Dove, 29 Cambridge Street and had been brought up from early age by his grandmother, Mrs E. Ward, of Filey. Shortly before the outbreak of war they came to reside in Bridlington, young Ward having secured a position at Messrs Ouston’s (grocers), King Street, Bridlington.” Mrs Dove was, I’m almost certain, Ann Elizabeth née WARD, Mrs E. Ward’s daughter. (Rebecca died in May 1919 at 29 Cambridge Street, Bridlington.)

Though some pieces are falling into place I cannot find a record of Edward Sydney’s birth. It is frustrating not being able to calculate his relationship to Ronnie Dove  (last Friday’s post). It should be easy, but of 64 Edward WARDs born in England in the four years 1893 to 1896, the GRO Online Index offers the births of only two registered in Leeds – Edward Laurence in March 1894 and Edward Arthur in December 1896. A third, plain Edward, was registered in Bramley in September 1896.

So, a young man who died for his King and Country at the age of 20 or 22, can’t yet be placed fairly and squarely with his forebears on the FamilySearch Tree. “The system” gave him an ID five years ago.

ESWfst

The picture is much the same on Filey Genealogy and Connections but Kath does have a record of baptism for him – in 1910 – with a note stating, “An adult when he was baptised. No other information given!”

Grandfather Edward John, who took part in “the Baltic, the China, the Crimean and the New Zealand wars”, is a little more connected here.

Today’s Image…

…was taken this morning on my first stroll along the promenade in ten days, grateful (as you may imagine) to have reached old age.