Another Impostor

Yesterday morning I returned Laura to her true family on the FamilySearch Shared Tree, with the intention of then marrying the younger Elizabeth HARDWICK to William GRAINGER. I didn’t find him with an existing ID in Sources and when I entered his name on Elizabeth’s details page I was told he didn’t exist and could therefore create him. I didn’t hit the button. I have failed to find people with IDs in sources before, only for them to appear on the Tree.  Rather than possibly create a duplicate, I looked for William on the Tree – and found him married to Elizabeth LOFTHOUSE.

The Grainger Pedigree is extensive with some of William’s forebears being well-sourced and illustrated, making my comment on Thursday that there was little apparent interest  in the Hardwick family seem foolish.

I draw your attention to Elizabeth Lofthouse’s fifth child. Yep, she gave birth to all of Elizabeth Hardwick’s children.

I already had the birth registrations for the six children, all bearing Hardwick as the Mother’s Maiden Surname but, out of curiosity I looked for Lofthouse representation in Over and Nether Silton – and came up empty.

My next step was to message a recent contributor to this corner of the Shared Tree. Ireceived a same-day response with an assurance that things had been put right. Miss Lofthouse remains a woman of mystery but she has gone from the Shared Tree now and can be forgotten.

I have added a few sources today and will give Elizabeth Hardwick and William Grainger some grandchildren soon – though maybe other contributors will beat me to it. The changes Rosemary and I have made will be seen by at least five interested people.

The Grainger ancestors will take you back to 16th century England and forward to a wonderfully illustrated colonisation of the United States.

The Hardwicks have not been as thoroughly researched but I was pleased to find several family headstones on Find A Grave. Elizabeth’s younger sister, Sarah Jane, has yet to be married on FamilySearch but, after spending some years in Middlesbrough, she returned home. Her husband, joiner and wheelwright Robert DENNIS, became landlord of the Gold Cup Inn. Fifty years after Elizabeth was enticed from the Inn by John HOGGART, Robert and Sarah Jane are enumerated there in 1911 and remembered in All Saints churchyard, Nether Silton.

Dog 30 · Beagle

Keeping Filey Smiley

Laura and Her Mothers

It isn’t clear how long Laura has been presented on the FamilySearch Tree as the illegitimate daughter of a ten year-old child.

She has two exclams –

Seven years ago, a contributor left a collaboration note for Elizabeth HARDWICK born 1837 (ticked green in the screenshot above) placing her correctly in the 1841, 1851 and 1871 census returns. In 1871, this Elizabeth is living with her parents, William and Ann Hardwick, at Cote Grange, Northallerton. Elizabeth is 31 years old and unmarried. Also part of the household are William and Ann’s grandchildren, Frederick FOWLER (6) and Laura HARDWICK (5).

Laura has two sources attached to her record on FamilySearch – her birth registration and baptism. The mother’s maiden surname is not given in the first and in the second her mother is described as a Singlewoman.

Her abode – Pill Rig – is significant. The family’s address in 1861 is “Pill Rigs…Sowerby under Cotecliffe”. The name has survived and you can see a photograph of a track to the farm on Geograph. The Google Satellite View below shows the farm’s proximity to Kirby Sigston, where Laura was baptized at St Lawrence’s Church.

If you go to ArchiUK you will be able to zoom out from Kirby Sigston to the places nearby where other players in the “Two Mother Story” lived.

In 1873 Elizabeth married George MOON, a widower and father of a daughter a year younger than Laura. In 1881 the quartet was enumerated at Clacks House, Osmotherley. George’s occupation then was “Corn Miller” but “Farmer” in the next three censuses. In 1911, George (77) and Elizabeth (73) were living at “Clack Pleasant, Osmotherley”.

In 1881 “Laura Moon” is fifteen but the only death registration I have found that fits, in Northallerton  December Quarter 1886, is for Laura Hardwick, age 21. (Osmotherley is in the Northallerton Registration District.)

Pedigree Collapse (Tuesday’s post) gives Laura a dual relationship to her “false mother”, Elizabeth Hardwick born 1856. She is a first cousin with common ancestors William Hardwick and Ann FAWCETT and a second cousin with ancestors Thomas Fawcett and Jane MARWOOD.

So, what became of cousin Elizabeth? She rose above being feloniously assaulted (some sources say “raped”) when only four years old and traduced as an unmarried mother aged ten by FamilySearch contributors.

In the second quarter of 1878 she married William GRAINGER in Northallerton. Within a year their first child, Tom, arrived. He was followed by Harry, Annie, George, Hardwick and Louie. All the children reached adulthood but Harry died in 1905, aged 23.

William was a blacksmith for much of his working life but the 1911 census says he was an “Agent for Cakes and Manners”. Quite a career change. He died in 1927 aged 73 and just over a year later Elizabeth joined him in the next world, aged 72. If the five children who made it to 1911 were still alive then, their ages ranged from 32 to about fifty. That Elizabeth the Younger has been misrepresented on FamilySearch for so long suggests that descendants don’t have much of an interest in their roots. Not on FamilySearch anyway.

Found Object 48 · Spider Man

Muston Sands

Victims of a Rape

It has taken me several days to sort out someYorkshire HOGGARTH and HOGGART families. Transcribers of terrible handwriting can’t really be blamed for adding HAGGERT, HEGGART, HUGGERT, HOGARTH  and HOGGARD to the mix-ups.

You may recall from an earlier post that the variable Vena/Vera Beatrice SMALL married Cyril Herbert HARDWICK some years after the death of her first husband, Robert HARRISON.

Cyril’s parents were Herbert and Mary Ellen nee HOGGARTH. Mary Ellen’s father is not named in the 1907 Salton marriage register but he was William, an agricultural labourer born in Osmotherly in 1843 to Richard HOGGART and Mary Ann HOOD.

The William Hoggarth who signed the register is most likely Mary Ellen’s younger brother. When their parents married in 1870, their mother signed the register “Christiana SHEPHARD”, her brother wrote “Richard SHEPHERD”. Father William Hoggarth made a mark and was probably unaware that the clerk set down the family name as HOGARTH.

At the 1891 census, the enumerator wrote “Hoggarth” in his book.

It is not unusual to see the spelling of family names change from one generation to the next but, as mentioned already, Christiana Shephard married into the family HOGGART, where most of the men were agricultural labourers and farmers of modest holdings in Nether and Over Silton, and Kepwick.

In 1851 William Hoggart was eight years old, living in Nether Silton with his father Richard an ag lab, mother Mary Ann nee HOOD, an older brother called John and a younger sister, Margaret.

Ten years later, Richard is alone in Nether Silton. Aged 53, he is still married. A death registration for Mary that appears to fit brings her life to a close in York in 1874. In search of an explanation for their separation, I turned to newspapers and found this:-

Almost a year later, on 30 November, the Leeds Intelligencer reported:-

On Tuesday last the under-named prisoners were removed from York Castle, namely […] John Hoggart, acquitted as insane at the Winter Gaol Delivery last year of a felonious assault upon a little girl at Nether Silton, sent to the North and East Riding Lunatic Asylum at Clifton.

Clifton is in York. I wonder if he saw his mother there. She was enumerated at the Asylum in 1861 as a “patient”, and in 1871 as “a lunatic”.

I have been unable to find Richard in 1871. There is a source indicating he died in Streetlam, about thirteen miles from Over Silton, in 1876. Back in 1861 his dwelling in the village was Number 7 in the enumerator’s schedule. The Gold Cup Inn, where Elizabeth Hardwick lived with her parents, a brother and two sisters, was the first household on the page.

The FamilySearch Shared Tree currently presents the distressing indication that our rape victim, when she was only ten years old, gave birth to an illegitimate daughter. I believe Laura  was the daughter of little Elizabeth’s Aunt Elizabeth Hardwick. She was living with her mother on widowed grandmother Ann Hardwick’s Cote Grange Farm in 1871 and died a single woman in 1886 aged 21.

“Our little Elizabeth”, Laura’s cousin, married William GRAINGER in 1878 and had six children with him, five of whom reached adulthood. The 1911 census transcription gives William’s occupation as “Agent For Cakes And Manners”. Whatever happened to Fancies?

Abstract 67 · Church Bridge

The Strange Metamorphosis of William Grainger

The re-structured family of William COLLEY and Elizabeth WHITING (“Beeford Elizabeth”) currently shows the couple with just three children. There is an eight-year gap between George and Maria so there may have been more.


The three children reached adulthood. Ann married blacksmith William BLENKIN(G), George had at least ten children with Jane WALLIS/WALLACE, and Maria married William GRAINGER. Some handwritten sources show his name spelt “Granger” with an insertion mark and the “i” above as if he’d noticed the mistake and demanded a correction. He is a man of mystery, to me at least.

Family lore says he was a schoolmaster and the church marriage register supports this.


Born in 1821, the son of Francis, he is “impannelled” on the Grand Jury at the General Quarter Sessions for the Eastern Division of Yorkshire, held in the Spring of 1844, as “Mr William Grainger, of Beverley, Schoolmaster”. His first child, Anne Elizabeth, was then about six months old.

The births of three more children were registered to a Grainger/Colley duo; Maria (1845), William Henry (1847) and Ellen (1849). I haven’t found any baptism sources that give the father’s occupation.

The census enumerator finds the family incomplete in 1851 at Albert Terrace, Beverley. The two older children are with their parents but William Henry is with his Aunt, Ann Blenking, in Bridlington and Ellen eluded my search. Father William’s occupation is given as “Butler and Proprietor of Houses”. It is a surprising career change, but even more startling is that he has aged terribly. Maria’s given age is 28 and William’s 44. His birthplace is given as Warter. Subsequent censuses agree with the revised birth year of 1807 but give his place of birth as “Holm(e)” or Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, a village about twelve miles from Warter. Searches for a William Grainger of this age and place of origin suggest his father was William and not Francis as stated in the marriage register.

I tried but failed to find a convincing 1841 census record for William Graingers aged around 34 or twenty.

Maria dies in 1852, aged 30, and is buried in Beverley. William the Butler marries Mary SMALLEY, a 40-year-old Lincolnshire woman in 1859. At the census in 1861, Mary is at home with her “daughter” Helen, aged 11. The girl’s name is not a mangling by the enumerator. She will be Helen, rather than Ellen, to the end of her days. On this census night, William is with his employer, Mary HARVEY, 68.

Ten years later the Grainger household in St Mary’s Terrace, Beverley, comprises father William, stepmother Mary, daughter Helen and 54-year-old boarder, Elizabeth TURNER. (Elizabeth will stay with the family until 1881, at least).

Helen is one of several children over ten baptised in April 1866 at the church of St Mary and St Nicholas in Beverley, though her entry has “Xtened only” by it.


Death came to the Graingers in threes in the early 1880s. William departed in September 1882; Anne Elizabeth, his first child, died just a couple of weeks later (in Derbyshire as Mrs Bradshaw). William’s second wife, Mary, followed in the first quarter of 1883.

Helen lived on at St Mary’s Terrace and married from there in 1890. She was forty, her husband a 56-year-old widower, Robert Smith PARNELL.

William’s age at death is given as 75, consistent with all but the one record saying he was born in or about 1807. As most readily available sources make sense of his life-journey, the real mystery man is the young schoolmaster he may never have been.