Mysteries Solved

Some mysteries are difficult to solve, others are much easier, but they can be painful for a Yorkshireman as they involve spending money! I recently resorted to buying 2 certificates, which enabled me to solve 2 mysteries and join 2 of the unconnected recent branches into the main branches.

Fred Micklethwaite married Theresa Beresford in Sheffield in 1912. The problem was that 2 brothers, Thomas and Henry, both named sons Fred, both were born about 1888, both in the Ecclesfield area. Without inside knowledge, it was impossible to work out which one had married Theresa. The marriage certificate says that Fred’s father was Henry. So I’ve linked Fred and Theresa’s family, much of it in Southern England, into the branch of John of Penistone (m2600) born about 1693.

The other large unconnected branch was headed by Harry, who married Mary Roebuck in Leeds in 1935. The name Harry was popular in the early 1900s, so it was difficult to work out which Harry this might be. One of the difficulties was explained by the certificate – Harry didn’t marry till he was 33, quite a bit older than the usual marrying age. Harry’s father is shown as Henry (deceased) – that’s a different Henry from Fred’s father. Harry’s family now form part of the branch headed by Samuel of Penistone (m2598) born about 1689, and it will push that branch’s tree on to a second page. This also means Samuel has living male descendants, although there appears to be an illegitimate event in the line ruling out YDNA testing for this branch.

I wish all the mysteries were this easy to solve!

Dade’s registers

I’ve just had my first encounter with Dade’s parish registers – they are as wonderful as people have said! I’ve managed to link a group of unconnected Micklewhites, many of whom were horsekeepers, to Richard of Tadcaster. The registers say Richard was son of Elias of Mirfield, one of my main branch heads. Excellent news, partly thanks to the latest FMP £1 for a month offer!

Here’s what FamilySearch has to say about them.

Roy Stockdill posted a list of which parishes used Dade’s Registers.

Tankersley Parish

I was looking at a map of re-Victorian parish boundaries (now available on Ancestry if you have a subscription) and noticed little Tankersley parish, nestling between its bigger neighbours, like Penistone and Ecclesfield, and wondered if there were any Micklethwaites hiding there.

I went to Genuki to find out more about the parish. Then I used Stephen Archer’s site to find out which batch to look at. Finally I went to the LDS FamilySearch site.

The result – one marriage – of Elizabeth MICHLEFITH to John Windle in 1789. As ever, one question generates 2 more: (1) Who is she? I have no idea as there’s no obvious missing person at that time! (2) Was the spelling of the name the vicar’s idea or a poor transcription. Another mis-spelling to add to the hundreds already in the list!


More Mysteries

FindMyPast offered free access this last weekend. I used it to download a lot of 1851 census images, but late last night I found some London marriage images I hadn’t got. As ever, they raise more questions than answers.

Jean Mickelwhit married Peter Detry at St James the Less, Thorndike St. London on 27th Aug 1808. Who was she? I have no other records of a Jean in my database until 1921.

David Mickelthwaite married Elizabeth Saunders at St George’s Hanover Sq. London on 21st Jan 1834. They had a daughter Elizabeth Ann born 1837, the same year that David died. She died just after the 1851 census when she was in a hospital. I have no record of what became of wife Elizabeth. Nor have I any idea where David came from. Once again I have no record of any suitable Davids.

If you have any ideas, I’d be delighted to hear them!


I’ve been looking at data from the electoral rolls for 2002/3. The distribution of Micklethwaites (and variants) is quite interesting (to me at least!). Based on postcodes and a sample of about 750 the results are:

  1. S*                    157      all Sheffield
  2. S70*                99        all Barnsley
  3. LS*                  73        all Leeds
  4. HD*                 72       all Huddersfield
  5. WF*                65        all Wakefield
  6. DN1+              51        Doncaster
  7. LS15+             42        Outer Leeds
  8. LS1+               29        Inner Leeds
  9. S71                  26        Monk Bretton/Royston
  10. S70                  25        Central Barnsley
  11. HD1                 23        Huddersfield
  12. YO1+               23        York/Malton area
  13. HD7                 22        Colne Valley
  14. WF12               21        Dewsbury/Thornhill
  15. S36                  19        Penistone/Stocksbridge
  16. S72                  17        Cudworth
  17. WF2+              17        Wakefield/Castleford/Pontefract/Ossett
  18. YO11+             17        Scarborough/Filey/Brid
  19. S1+                  16        Sheffield centre
  20. S60*                15        Rotherham
  21. WF14              15        Mirfield
  22. DN22              14        Retford

By comparison, from the 1881 census, with a sample of about 450, and based on Poor Law Union districts (which don’t map on to postcodes of course):

  1.             Huddersfield     98
  2.             Dewsbury           72
  3.             Barnsley             69
  4.             Wortley               61
  5.             Wakefield           27
  6.             Bramley              17
  7.             Ashton u/Lyne  16
  8.             York                     15
  9.             Rotherham        12
  10.             Hemsworth         8
  11.             Pontefract           7
  12.             Doncaster           6
  13.             Rochdale             6

I hope you find it interesting too!


I’ve recently been extracting information from the electoral rolls for 2002/3. The results for location will be in another blog – this one concentrates on firstnames.

Here are the “top ten” – the number following the name is the number extracted from the 750+ entries with surname Micklethwaite or one of the main variants:


  1. David                24
  2. John                  21
  3. Paul                   15
  4. Margaret          14
  5. Andrew             12
  6. Mary                  12
  7. Stephen            12
  8. Susan                12
  9. Ian                     11
  10. Roy                    11

The Indian Connection

Just found my first Micklethwaite connection in India – Lydia Arabella Sales Micklethwaite married William Sanderson in Lahore, India on 19th January 1864. Lydia was born about 1845 in the Thorne area of Yorkshire to Jonathan Micklethwaite and Anna Sales. After the marriage, of course, she ceases to be a Micklethwaite and I loose touch, although their daughter Annie Sanderson was with her grandfather in the 1871 census.

The Second Micklethwaite Meeting

I can’t believe a year has gone by since the first Micklethwaite Meeting, but it has!

We are meeting again on Saturday 4th October 2014 at the Dodworth Valley Toby Carvery, Barnsley S75 3LF. It’s just off the M1 at Junction 37 (A628 Penistone) In a slight change from last year, I suggest we met at 12:00 for lunch or 13:00 for a drink and a natter. If you want to join us for lunch, please let me know so I can make the reservation.

You are coming, aren’t you?

They Also Served

A few years ago, I created a page on my web site dedicated to those Micklethwait(e)s who lost their lives fighting for their country.


I have now created another page on my website to honour those Micklethwaite(e)s/Micklewhites/Michaelwaites who fought and survived. It is not complete – for that I need your help. Most of the records on the subscription sites like Ancestry and FindMyPast refer to WW1 or earlier campaigns – there is little available for WW2. So your memories of what your Micklethwaite (etc) parents or grandparents did in the war will be of great help. Please contact me with details or corrections.

Loyalists in the Bahamas

I have known for some time that there are Micklethwaites/Micklewhites in the Bahamas (other than Sir Michael Caine of course!)


Richard Micklethwaite, son of Christopher and Jane, died in 1802 on Eleuthera Island having been granted land there. Henrietta Micklethwaite was also given a land grant but was not his wife. I do not yet know if or how they are related. It seems that slaves from the estate of one or other of them took the name when they were granted their “freedom”, and, as in many parts of the world, the name Micklethwaite was not easy to pronounce and spell, and the descendants of the slaves generally have the name Micklewhite.


Thanks to fellow members of the Guild of One Name Studies, I have now learnt that Richard and Henrietta were “loyalists”, that is, they supported the British in the American Revolution, and so were expelled when the colony gained independence. This is why they moved to the Bahamas. I still have to find out when they emigrated to America.


It is interesting to note that some descendants of the slaves have now moved back to America!