Seasons Greetings

Seasons Greetings to all of you!

I’ve been otherwise engaged over the holiday season so haven’t much to report at the moment. The only event of note is that a 5th cousin has contacted me – she found me through the blog. Which goes to show that if you want cousins to find you, a blog is a very useful tool. Greetings, Vicky! It makes up for the frustrations mentioned last time!

Frustrations of Family History

I’ve spent some time this week on my wife’s tree – her mother’s family come from Pinxton and Selston on the Notts/Derbys border.

Firstly I was looking at Clarke in Selston. I’ve looked through all the 1851 census images for Selston parish, and apart from the first page in each enumeration district, there are no addresses given. This makes tracking people across the censuses very difficult – I hope the enumerator got his wrist slapped.

Secondly I’ve spent some time looking at the tree of someone who was claiming 2x great grandfather Vallance Walker as an ancestor. Their tree shows basic errors but essentially reflects the old adage “don’t take the first person you find with a name that fits”. How can Clara Walker born 1883 can be 39 years old in the 1911 census (which implies a birth year of 1872/3 if your maths is rusty). So it’s more than likely that this person has chosen the wrong Clara Walker to follow. Whether they will respond to my message (sent before I discovered the problems) and accept the error is of course another matter – in other words, more frustration.

And finally, I’ve been looking at the West Riding records on Ancestry. The indexing is pretty poor – wrong names I’m used to, but burials recorded as baptisms is a poor show. The final insult is that (so far) I seem to have the vast majority of events recorded. If you’ve been following my posts, I have found another son of Godfrey – James born 1857. A small result for a lot of work!

Wilson Martin Micklethwaite

Sometimes you come across a name that stands out – this one isn’t spectacular but still stands out. You’d think it would be easy to fit out all about the man. Judge for yourself – and if you do find out anything else, please let me know!

His birth was registered in the June Quarter 1856 in Wortley Registration District (South Yorkshire) as Wilson Mickelthwaite.

He then disappears (well, he’s not on the 1861 and 1871 censuses – ah-ha! see below) until 1881 when he is shown (as Micklefit) living with his wife Elizabeth in Wombwell. It says he was born in Chesterfield (which isn’t Wortley). He was a miner.

But in 1889 he married Elizabeth Drudy in Wakefield (as Micklefit). It seems likely (from age and birthplace on the census details) that this is the same Elizabeth on the 1881 census. The marriage record does not show a father. Maybe this is the reason he is missing from those early censuses.

He and Eliza are on the 1891 census in Sharlston (as Micklefith). They then go missing again in 1901 but Wilson turns up in 1911 in Rotherham married, but not widowed (as Micklewaite) – but Elizabeth doesn’t show.

I’ve not found a death registration for Wilson but there is a possible Elizabeth Micklethwaite (surprise!) died in Wakefield in 1929.

So lots of pieces of the jigsaw are still missing – not surprising when the variation in name is considered. However, when you write it all down like this, it makes you think, and have another look … and I found some more pieces!

Being probably illegitimate (from the marriage record) I wondered if Wilson’s surname was Micklethwaite or Martin – so having not found any Micklethwaites in 1861 or 1871 I checked for Martins. In 1871 Wilson M Martin aged 14 (no relationship specified) is in the home of Mary Ann Bone, along with Sarah Martin aged 70, “mother” (of Mary Ann I presume). In 1861 Wilson Mickelfit is a visitor aged 4, as is Sarah Martin aged 59, in the home of Henry and Mary A Bone. Both entries are for Kimberworth (Rotherham, Yorks).

Mary Ann Martin married Henry Bone in 1855 in Sheffield, but that’s before Wilson was born, so I think it’s less likely she was his mother. Sarah Martin was in Thurgoland in 1851 with husband John and daughter Emma 12 and son Thomas (Mary Ann could be the one who was a servant in Sheffield). So maybe Wilson was the son of Emma and some unknown Micklethwaite – there were plenty around the Thurgoland area. Emma appears to have married William Bagley in Wortley in the September Quarter 1856 (once she’d passed baby Wilson to her mother!)

Another couple of jigsaw pieces found. Maybe something else will turn up next time I look!

Godfrey Micklethwaite

Godfrey is not a common name among Micklethwaites – I am aware of only 3 or 4 (see below for the reason I’m not certain exactly how many there are!)

A Godfrey Micklethwaite was baptised in Denby Yorkshire  (a chapelry in Penistone parish) on 16th Feb 1734, the son of John Micklethwaite. It seems highly likely he married Grace Hall in Huddersfield 11th Jan 1757 as he was said to be a cloth dresser of Penistone. They appear to have had one child РBarbara baptised 26 Sep 1759 in Denby, buried at Penistone the following year. I have no record of a burial for Grace, but on 16th Apr 1762 a Godfrey Micklefit [sic] married Susanna Musgrave in Dewsbury. They had 4 more children:

  1. Elizabeth baptised 30th May 1763 Dewsbury, married Joseph Clark 7 Jan 1781 Dewsbury
  2. Jonathan baptised 20th Jan 1765 Dewsbury – no further trace
  3. Mary baptised 14th May 1767 Dewsbury buried 12th April 1767 (no, I don’t understand the date order, the images of the parish registers have these dates – were there 2 girls with the same name or did the vicar make a mistake?)
  4. Joshua baptised 22nd July 1770 Dewsbury, married Rebecca Noble 14th Feb 1792 Dewsbury (they in turn had a son Michael baptised 26th Dec 1792)

After 1770, the next reference I have to a Godfrey is in Longwood (Huddersfield) on 24th Nov 1805 when his wife Mary is buried – and he seems to remarry, to Ann Booth 21st April 1806 in Huddersfield. The obvious question is whether this is the same Godfrey, or perhaps a son of the one above whose baptised hasn’t yet shown up.

The final reference (until the next century) is for Godfrey’s burial in Longwood 20th Feb 1809 – he is desribed as a pauper.

With a common occupation of cloth dresser and the residential areas of Longwood and Paddock being so close, it seems quite likely that Godfrey and Mary could have had a son John, whose birth may well have been the cause of her death, and John was either not baptised, or baptised in a non-conformist church whose records haven’t come to light. This scenario is currently my favourite for my 3x great grandfather – but how do I prove it?

Which John Micklethwaite

A previous post outlined what I know about my 3x great grandfather John Micklethwaite who was born around 1805 and died in 1849. This post outlines the possible John Micklethwaites I have found.

John baptised 1803 Mirfield, Yorkshire: Mirfield had 3 branches of Micklethwaites. Separating them was one of the first tasks I undertook in my One Name Study. John was born in 1803 to James and Elizabeth nee Oxley, part of the branch which at one time owned Hopton Hall and donated land for the new Hopton Church in the 1840s. He was easy to eliminate from my search as there is a death for a John in Mirfield in 1809 which doesn’t fit any other John in Mirfield.

John baptised 1803 in Cumberworth, Yorkshire: This is another stronghold of Micklethwaites, and this John was born to Charlotte (a single woman). She married Joshua Marsden a few weeks after John’s baptism. John then seems to have adopted his step-father’s surname and is with Charlotte on the 1841 census as John Marsden.

John baptised 1805 Kirkburton, Yorkshire: Yet another place where there are several Micklethwaite families, some linked to the Mirfield branches, others to nearby  Cumberworth and Penistone. John was born to Samuel and Mary nee Fisher. Samuel married Mary in Thornhill by Dewsbury, close to Mirfield, but his father was from Denby in Penistone parish. I have not found any further trace of John, no marriage or death. He had several siblings, including Martha who married in Almondbury, where my John married. He cannot yet be ruled out as my John.

John baptised 1805 Flockton, Yorkshire: There are not many Micklethwaite recorded in Flockton, but this family (Daniel and Sarh nee North) baptised their 2 eldest sons in a chapel here before baptising the rest of the family in a chapel in Hopton. Daniel is descended from one of the Mirfield branches mentioned earlier. Again I have nothing on John, no marriage or death. That the names Samuel, Daniel and Henry appear in this branch makes me wonder if this is my John, particularly Henry which is uncommon in other branches until later in the century, and as Henry was the second name of my John’s first son, Sam Henry, a practice used when the name had been given to a child who had died young – Daniel and Sarah had a son Henry born 1821, died 1823. So this Joh is the strongest contender.

These are the Johns whose baptisms I have found. It is possible there are more, or ones who weren’t baptised. In this context, there’s Godfrey to consider – more on him another time!