The Two Husbands of Hannah Welburn

The Hoylands of Hoyland Common confirmed my fondness for geographical rather than trade family-names. (You can keep your bakers, turners and, especially, smiths.)

Hannah is a WELBOURNE in some sources, but I will favour WELBURN. Hannah was born in 1839 in Pickering, which is just fourteen miles from the village of Welburn. There is a Welbourn in Lincolnshire and one online fount of knowledge claims this is the original home of all Welbourns. The variant spellings, including Welburn, may all mean the same thing – a well by a stream or spring – so the first English Welburns could be from anywhere.

Hannah’s father James was a cooper and after her birth, the family moved a few miles to Driffield. There are sources on FamilySearch for Hannah and three siblings, but they don’t yet form a coherent unit on the Shared Tree.

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In 1861, at the age of 21, Hannah is enumerated at the family home in Westgate, Driffield, her occupation given as “Publisher’s Labourer”. Six years later she marries Samuel Sanderson HARRISON. In 1871 Samuel is described as a “Shopman (Draper’s Assistant)”. He clearly did well at the job because in 1881 he is a “Draper Master”. The couple remains childless though, and in the autumn of 1888, Samuel dies aged 46.

Hannah is named in the probate documents, but a young man called Alfred Herbert WELBURN (sometimes WELBOURNE) has insinuated himself into the family. He was a 14-year-old visitor at the 1881 Census and supposedly a nephew of Samuel, but in 1891he is head of the Harrison home in Middle Street South, Driffield, occupation Draper. Hannah is the next named, a widow “living on her own means”. Alfred was the son of Hannah’s brother, Richard.

In the summer of 1893, Alfred marries Mary Anne ROSS, Hannah’s stepdaughter. Her marriage to Primitive Methodist Minister Castle Ross had been registered three months earlier.

In 1901 Hannah is with Castle and his daughter Jane, a 26-year-old Music Teacher, in Glastonbury, Somerset. In 1911 the Minister’s house in Bournville is somewhat more populous. In addition to Hannah, there are Castle’s daughters Margaret, still single at 31, and Emily. Emily’s husband Alfred Wilson is there too, with their children Dorothy and Emily.

Hannah dies in Bournville in the spring of 1914, aged 74.

Castle returns to Filey, the place of his birth, dying here in 1928 aged 88. The inscription on his stone in St Oswald’s churchyard doesn’t “remember” Hannah.

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In loving memory of CASTLE ROSS, Primitive Methodist Minister,

who entered the higher life May 23rd 1928, aged 87 years.

Also of JANE, wife of the above, who passed on Oct 25th 1882, aged 45 years;

interred in Brigg cemetery.

‘For me to live is Christ and to die is gain’

Phil. 1. 21

Today on the Shared Tree he has only one wife, but the Welbourne connection is clearly indicated.

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Castle’s youngest daughter, Margaret Maud, is named in the probate documents and it is perhaps she who decided what the inscription should be on her father’s headstone. I feared initially that Hannah had been “disappeared” without a sign anywhere of her existence, but was happy to discover that she is remembered on her first husband’s gravestone in Driffield.

From Appleby to Welburn

This isn’t a post about a journey from Westmorland to Yorkshire but the change of name when two young APPLEBY women married two men called William WELBURN. The marriages were registered in Scarborough in the last quarter of 1860 and the first three months of 1861. The births of a dozen children were registered to mothers with the maiden name Appleby in the following decade.

After hours of piecing the families together, I still have very little information about the first couple, Harriet and William Edward. I concentrated my effort on Elizabeth and plain William because their grave is to be found in St Oswald’s churchyard.

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In loving memory of ELIZABETH, the beloved wife of WILLIAM WELBURN of Gristhorpe, died Nov 19th 1884, aged 49 years.

‘Be ye also ready for in such an hour

As ye think not the Son of man cometh’

Also of the above WILLIAM WELBURN, died Jan 19th 1907, aged 83 years.

‘His end was peace’

Also of their daughter, CATHERINE, born June 22nd 1868, died July 17th 1947.

William may have ended his life as a Welburn but he began it as a WELLBOURN in Weaverthorpe. Elizabeth is a daughter of Robert APPLEBY and Rachel MAW. If you follow the FST links you’ll see that the couple hasn’t yet been brought together on the World Tree.

I am fairly sure of my ground now and will marry them soon and give their nine children (known for sure). For a while, I despaired of finding a piece of “solid evidence” that I was on their right track. It turned up in the 1861 Census. The Find My Past transcription offered William WELBORN, 34, a Farm Labourer born Weaverthorpe and his wife Elizabeth, 27, born Muston. They were described as “lodgers”, and the page image revealed they were under the roof of Rachel APPLEBY. She is married rather than a widow but there is no sign of husband Robert. She appears to have a four-year-old son called William (though she is 51 years old). The child may have been Elizabeth’s boy. Also in residence are two of Rachel’s grandsons, Thomas SHIELDS, 9, and James APPLEBY, 9 months. The GRO Births Index suggests both boys were illegitimate. Rachel’s birthplace is given as Hackness in several sources but in others a nonsense place, something like “Tholso”. An Internet search doesn’t help with this but an OS Landranger map shows a farm – “Thirlsey”- just outside the village. I’m going with that.

When Elizabeth died in 1884, her youngest child, George, was twelve and William quickly found another wife to help with his large and still not flown brood. I haven’t found the marriage yet but at the 1891 Census George has a half-brother, Harry, 5, and a step-mother, Hannah. William has made himself about five years younger, reducing the age difference with his second wife to ten years. He is less sensitive in 1901 when the gap is more realistic at 19 years. Aged 77 William is still farming, at Gristhorpe. I wonder if he had any rest from his labours before he found peace.