Writing Home

Christmas Card 1941


Dear Bro Gordon
I am sending you this birthday card, wishing you a happy birthday. I forget how old you are – I think it is about 15 or 16. Anyway, it don’t matter. I suppose you are some boy now, poking out the chest and earning 30/- a week. That isn’t bad money for your age. How are the girls treating you? I bet you are a girl killer by now. If you ever meet that girl I went with from Greta, take her out. Why you could ask mum to invite her up for a weekend. You will find her a nice girl and she might learn you to dance.
Your affectionate bro, George

The card pictured and the text above are from two separate cards by grandfather, George, sent home while he was overseas during World War II. The birthday card (which isn’t nearly as exciting as the Christmas card) was sent in either 1941 or 1942 (depending on whether Uncle Gordon was actually 15 or 16).

What I have always loved about this brief message from one brother to another, is the mention of “that girl I went with in Greta”. That girl is my grandmother and is the only record I have of actual “wooing” among my ancestors.

I have tried writing about my grandfather before but with little success. I become lost in the few years of his life that were WWII. It is also far easier to write about someone you never met than a close relative – that’s my experience at any rate.

Pa, as I knew him, was born in 1921 in Heidelberg, Victoria. From what I can gather, his father picked up work where it was available and as a consequence the family moved frequently.

When Pa enlisted in May 1940, he was 19 years old (although he bumped his age by one year when signing up) and living in Marylands, NSW. He joined 2/1st Pioneer Battalion which was based at the army camp in Greta.

If not for WWII and whatever reasons Pa had for enlisting, I may never have come into being. In Greta, he met Pauline Scarlett – possibly at a dance. They obviously hit it off as the battalion was in Dubbo and then sailing away to Palestine at the end of September 1940. About three months of wooing, give or take.

In May 1942, more than eighteen months later, Pa had two weeks home leave and then another three in November that year. In January 1943, he was granted compassionate leave for five days. This is where I become frustrated with the documents – George and Pauline were married (according to my notes) on 14 February 1943 in Gosford.

Pa spent another two years in the army and was discharged on 1 August 1945. He went back to the Hunter Valley to establish a home with his wife and daughter.

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Mary Jane Faulder


Mary Jane Faulder (I’m fairly certain)

Mary Jane Faulder is my maternal great great grandmother. Of her line, she is the first to be born in Australia.

Mary Jane was the second daughter and the sixth of eight children born to Joseph Faulder and Mary Norton (there was a 21 year age gap between her parents). She was born in 1859 in Yass, NSW.

When Mary Jane was 7 years old, her brother Lambert died. He was 10. I have been unable to find details as to the cause of his death so am assuming it was an illness.

When Mary was 17, her eldest brother, Firmin died at the age of 27.  Firmin left behind a young wife and two sons.

When Mary was 27, her father, Joseph, died at the age of 78. He died at the family station, Preesgwene. Joseph had farmed the property for over 25 years. It is likely that Mary Jane had been born here.

In 1889, at the age of 30, Mary Jane married James Thomas (JT) Lemon of Goulburn (he was 23). The ceremony and reception took place at her home, Preesgwene.

My great grandfather, Fred, was born the following year and his sister, Ethel, followed along the year after. The family continued to grow with twins, Robert and Dorothea, arriving in 1894.

Harry arrived in 1897, Lesley in 1899 and Sydney in 1901. It was during the 1890’s that JT Lemons was established. According to his obituary, JT was a man of ‘boundless energy’ and by 1907 the company had had three addresses in Goulburn as JT took advantage of opportunities to move the business to a prime location. In all ways, the family prospered.

(I hope for Mary Jane’s sake that she had some assistance with the brood at home during this period.)

In 1904, death struck the family when 7 year old, Harry drowned in the Mulwaree River while paddling with mates after school. The details of the Coroner’s hearing state that Harry couldn’t swim and had fallen into the river when trying to wash mud off his feet before putting them into his shoes. The boys he was with did not tell anyone that Harry was drowning, even when asked by Mary Jane, as they were afraid that they would be in trouble for swimming where they had been told not to. It wasn’t till several hours after that anything was said. The man who pulled Harry’s body from the river felt that had the boys been truthful upfront, then Harry’s life may have been saved.

Between 1913 and 1919, Mary Jane lost several family members. The first was her mother, Mary who died in 1913 from a heart attack. Her brother Frederick died after an operation in 1917 and her husband, JT died in 1919 from neuritis (according to his obituary he had been ill for some time).

While these deaths would have been difficult to bare, the death of her son, Leslie while fighting in France would have been unbearable. 

Leslie had enlisted on 9 July 1917 at the age of 19. He was involved in flighting on the German front in France (I believe) in April 1918. It was here that he received gas wounds which he died. He was buried in Rouen, France.

Within his war records are letters from Mary Jane stating that she did not receive his Victory medal and the Memorial Badge that was given to ‘mothers of the deceased’ was thrown into the fire by her maid (so could she please have a new one) as well as a letter stating that his personal affects have been lost at sea (his and 4999 others). The personal effects forever lost consisted of: letters, photos, a pipe, note book, three religious books, a fountain pen, wrist watch, utensils, english & french book, 2 wallets and one coin.

Mary Jane moved to Manly around 1924 where she lived in Stuart St with her son, Sydney – just around the corner from Little Manly where we used to swim as kids.

She died on 24 Aug 1931 and is buried in Goulburn.

Owing to her genial personality and loving disposition, the late Mrs Lemon had a wide circle of friends, and became endeared to all with whom she came in contact.” – Goulburn Evening Penny Post, 24 August 1931

Mrs Lemon was a prominent member of the Presbyterian Church and presented a beautiful christening font  at St Andrew’s Church in memory of her son, Leslie.” – newspaper clipping from Ethel’s scrapbook.


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George Hutchby & Caterham Asylum

I’ve decided to give up the illusion that I am trying to write about 52 ancestors in 52 weeks. After two years and this being my 15th post, who am I kidding?

As it is a holiday, I have some space in the mush I keep in my head to do some research. Being the highly disciplined person that I am (no choking while you read), I stumbled across Mr George Hutchby in the records of the London’s Workhouses along with his father, Alexander.

George was born in 1847 to, I believe, Alexander Hutchby and his wife, Eliza Appleby. As far as I can tell, the couple had four boys with George being the second eldest.

Alexander was employed as a french polisher and the family were living in the parish of St Pancras until the 1861 census when they are found in Bedford. George and his elder brother, Alexander are also french polishers by this date. The third son, John, is not included in this census and I can only imagine that he has passed away (Oct 1859?).

In 1871 the family are back in London, living in Soho. By 1879, it appears that George’s mother is dead.

In February 1879 he is admitted to the Westminster Union Workhouse with his father. I surmise from the dietclassifications that his father was not well (class 2) and George is dependent on his father. By March they have both been dismissed from the workhouse – Alexander in a coffin and George to Caterham Asylum.

The Caterham Asylum was located in Surrey and was later known as the Caterham Lunatic Asylum for Safe Lunatics and Imbeciles. In the census records, George is described as a lunatic.

(I did a quick bit of googling and determined that lunatic was the term used to describe someone with a mental illness. It is interesting to note that George was never identified as an imbecile in any census records before entering the asylum. It is my assumption (based on thirty minutes of intensive research on the internet) that George may have suffered from the inhalation of the products he used as a french polisher.)

From what I can gather, Caterham was different in regards to other asylums of the time. For one, the people residing there were listed by name not by their initials. For what it’s worth, below is a paragraph describing what George may have experienced while at Caterham:

On the male side the same order and regularity prevailed as on the female. In the workshops I noticed several persons employed on labour which, at first sight, it seemed hardly possible that the idiot’s mind could be brought to understand, or his hands to perform. Shoemaking and tailoring employed a great number. Noticing in the workshops of the shoemakers some very dangerous looking knives, I inquired whether it was not imprudent to leave such weapons in the hands of those who might use them offensively. I was told, however, that no accident had ever occurred among the workmen, and that the knives and awls had never been used as weapons of offence. Besides those at work in the shoemaker’s shop, I found that no fewer than 79 were employed in the cleansing and general economy of the wards, 17 in the upholsterer’s shop, 121 in the grounds, besides several others in the gas-house, the engine-house, the engineer’s office, and the mess room, amounting altogether to 300 of the male patients. These, added to 452 of the female idiots and lunatics, make a grand total of 752 patients employed in what may be termed skilled and profitable labour. The remaining portion of the inmates are either too old, too infirm, or too young to be made useful, though the labour of many of these is occasionally utilised to the fullest degree consistent with their well-being and health.” – 1872, William Gilbert, Good Words Magazine.

George spent the rest of his days in Caterham Asylum, dying in 1904.



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52 Ancestors – #14 Charles Johnston

I have been attempting to tidy up my hard drive and came across this piece on Charles Johnston. Why recreate what has already been written. 🙂 It is a mixture of details – those of my family and those of the times. Bare with any inaccuracies as this is a period I am still trying to wrap my head around.

Charles Johnston was born abt 1833 in Ireland. In 1850, he married Mary Ann Brown in Ballymena, County Antrim. She was born abt 1831 in Ireland.

Charles and Mary Ann were married during the famine and in the years following they emigrated to Lanarkshire in Scotland.

Charles and Mary Ann had 9 children: Alexander (born abt 1856), Charles (born abt 1858), Thomas (born 1860), Hugh (born 1862), Robert (born 1864), William (born abt 1867), Mary Ann (born 1868), Elizabeth (born 1870), John (born 1872).


I believe that the Johnstonʼs were Ulster Scots. In 1610, after the Nine Years War, the counties of Antrim and Down were left devastated. It was depopulated and the land was barren. The English Crown began a process of resettling the Province of Ulster, specifically the counties of Antrim and Down, with English, Scots and Welsh settlers. This resettling continued into the 1700ʼs.

In 1641, a catholic rebellion was launched against protestant resettlers. Thousands of protestants were killed by catholics who had been dispossessed of their land. This led to a period of war from 1641 through to 1653 with much of the fighting in the province of Ulster. Atrocities were committed by all and poisoned the relationships between religious groups and communities for many generations.

In the period 1688 – 1691, the Williamite War was fought in Ireland. The Catholics were backing James II who had been deposed by William of Orange during the Glorious Revolution. The Jacobites (Irish catholics) controlled most of Ireland but by 1689, the Ulster Protestants had gained control of Ulster. In the next two years, they captured the rest of Ireland.

With these victories, the protestants held power. Both the Roman Catholics and the Presbyterians (mainly Scots Irish) were discriminated against under the Penal Laws and were unable to gain full political rights enjoyed by their english counterparts.

In the 1690ʼs, a famine in Ireland sent tens of thousands of Scots to Ireland causing them to be the largest group in Ulster.

In the 1790ʼs the Catholics and Presbyterians united to form the United Irishman movement and it had a strong following in Counties Antrim and Down. At the same time there was still violence between the Catholics and Protestants, although mainly Anglicans. The Battle of the Diamond in 1795 resulted in the deaths of 100 or more and the foundation of the Orange Order. Tensions increased as the Penal Laws were relaxed allowing Catholics to purchase land and many began to do business in the linen trade. The Catholics were harassed by the Protestant and the Presbyterian groups – it is estimated that up to 7000 Catholics were expelled from Ulster during this time.

In 1798 the United Irishmen (mainly Presbyterian) rebelled in Ulster against the British Authorities. The British Authorities contained the rebellion and employed severe repression. This with the gradual abolition of religious discrimination after the Act of Union in 1800, led to the Presbyterians identifying more with their Anglican neighbours than their Catholic ones.

In the 1800ʼs, Ulster was the most prosperous province in Ireland. The potato blight was first reported in some european countries in June 1845. By August, the disease appeared in England and a month later in County Antrim. The majority of this crop survived and the last healthy crop until 1850.

“The House of Commons introduced ther Rate-in-Aid Bill in 1849 which set about increasing the levels of financial assistance and support that Poor Law Unions were obliged to provide to the needy and transferring the bill for famine relief from the British to the Irish taxpayer.”

Reference – Wikipedia, Ulster, http://www.wikipedia.com

“The trauma generated by the potato blight was manipulated to present a scenario of north-east versus the rest of Ireland in which ʻAntrim, Armagh and Downʼ (the three richest and most Protestant counties in Ireland) ʻwere to be made the preserves of the paupers of Connaught to graze on.ʼ [Kinealy, This Great Calamity: The Irish Famine 1845-1852, p.260]. The result was that, in 1851, Ulster had the highest arrears of the four provinces. However, in terms of mortality during the tragedy, the town of Belfast suffered as much as the rest of Ireland and indeed, more than the others.” – Sean Stitt, “The Roles & Attitudes of Irish Protestants During the Potato Famine”, Irquas Insight No 2.

It was during this time that Charles and Mary Ann emigrated to Scotland. I suspect that they were greatly affected by the famine, whether directly or through the increased taxation and found that they would be better off looking for opportunities elsewhere.


“The census of 1841 listed 125,000 Irish-born individuals in Scotland, and in the famine of 1848 there were up to 1000 new arrivals a week from Ireland into Glasgow: such a volume of immigration seemed menacing in itself, but there were other reasons to worry. The vast majority of migrants arrived from the province of Ulster, already accustomed to sectarian bitterness. There is little doubt that the Ulster Protestant immigrant, very often already bearing a Scottish surname, found it easier to integrate than the Catholic, and aggressively asserted his Orange and anti-papist sentiments as a way of allying himself o the native Scots and disassociating himself from his fellow Irishmen.” – T C Smout, ʻA Century of the Scottish People, 1830 – 1950ʼ, Fontana Press, 1987.

The family arrived in Scotland after 1851 (as they do not appear in the census) and before March 1856 when Alexander was born. It seems Alexander was born in Airdrie (20 Mill Mynd?). They were living in the village of Greenhill, Shotts in 1861 at house no 28. Strangely, Charles is listed at house no 27. In 1871, they are still in Greenhill although at house no 20. Charles worked in the Iron Mines as in 1856 his occupation was Ironstone Miner, in 1861, Ironstone Drawer and 1871, Ironstone MIner.


Shotts – A Village Built on Coal and Iron
SHOTTS HISTORY GROUP – http://www.monklands.co.uk/shotts/

Shotts is situated half way between Glasgow and Edinburgh and was reputedly called after the legendary giant “BERTRAM de SHOTTS”. Although adjacent to many of the traditional coach roads of bye-gone days it originally consisted of five villages – Dykehead,Calderside, Stane, Springhill and Torbothie with the main interest then around the works area of Calderside. Allanton, Hartwood and Eastfield are now regarded as being “Shotts”.

Shotts really “took off” when the Iron Works started in 1802, ironstone having been mined on Muldron moor near Shotts. Pig iron was made and distributed world-wide. This encouraged an influx of workers into the community, some indeed originating from the Cornwall mines and arriving in Shotts via the Leadhills mines. Coal was subsequently discovered and the “lid was off” so to speak. In the late 19th century there was a large intake of Irish workers, demonstrated by the census returns for 1881 and 1891.

The coal industry at its inception was a series of mines dotted over the area. This later led to the sinking of deep mines as these little seams ran out or were no longer economically viable. These pits were very wet pits and were owned by various factions, some were owned by the Shotts Ironworks Company. Housing was mainly in minersʼ rows.

Around the mid eighteen hundreds the railways came to Shotts and there was a large network of railways around the mines and pits.
Main workshops existed within the Shotts Ironworks employing all classes of craftsmen.

Of interest is the slogan SHOTTS LIGHTS THE WORLD – this because gas lamp standards were made in abundance here and exported worldwide. Relics of the iron works still remain at the ‘Works Corner’ – the water tower, part of the retaining wall and pipes for the power condensers. In this area today we have the Health Centre (on the site of the actual furnaces) the Library, the Leisure Centre and the War Memorial.

In the hard time of the pits, “truck” shops were the rule of the day when men were obliged to buy inferior goods at superior prices in the stores provided by the management. This in turn led to the setting up of the Co-operative movement with the Shotts and Dykehead Co-operative Society Ltd. There were branches all over the town – Dykehead, Calderside, Torbothie, Stane , Springhill and Allanton.

Religion originally centred in St. Catherineʼs at Shottskirk, the Parish church for the area. Shotts itself, as it grew, had a United Free Church (Erskine), Calderhead Church, Congregational Church, Baptist Church, Mission Hall, Gospel Hall, Salvation Army, Episcopal Church and St Patrickʼs Roman Catholic Church – this latter was originally based at Stane but moved centrally around 100 years ago. Amalgamation of churches has taken place recently.

The church was responsible for schooling until the Education Act came into being in 1872. The first school was at Calderhead and as the needs arose schools were opened at Dykehead, Stane, St Patrickʼs and Allanton.

Hartwood Hospital opened in 1894 but an “asylum” was in existence prior to this at Liquo. This was subsequently extended to take in the Hartwoodhill Estate (at one time the home of Lord Deas known as “the hanging judge”). In its heyday there were 1910 beds and it was the largest mental hospital in Scotland. It was self-sufficient in every way and provided employment for many people from the Shotts itself had its own Infectious Diseases Hospital in the Shotts Sanatorium – mainly for tuberculosis, the scourge of the early nineteen hundreds. This latterly became a geriatric unit before its closure. It is now Benhar Cemetery.
In 1867 until 1910 a Curling Club existed. Demonstrating the fact that winters were colder was the fact that not many games were abandoned or cancelled.

The playing of quoits – indeed a Quoiting Club was a mining recreation and men played for a Plaque.
The Minersʼ Welfare Institute was built in 1924 and housed billiards, swimming baths (water polo teams participating country-wide), tennis, bowls and a large hall for dancing and concerts and social occasions. A library was housed here.

The Ironworks had tennis courts and a bowling green; indeed the “Shotts Ironworks Bowling Club” remains today and has been in existence for more than 100 years.


Between 1881 and 1891, Charles arrived in Australia. I have not been able to determine which ship he arrived on. Nor do I know for certain which family members emigrated. I know that his daughter, Eliza emigrated and believe five of his sons also emigrated (Alexander, Thomas, Hugh, William, and John).

In 1887, Charles and Mary Annʼs youngest daughter, Elizabeth (Eliza) married Robert Snedden in West Maitland, NSW. These are my great grandparents and there story is begins here.

Charles died late June 1907 as he was buried on 26 June 1907. The funeral was held at his daughter, Eliza’s in Maitland St, Kurri Kurri. He was buried in Sandgate Cemetery in the Presbyterian Section (Section 18NE, Lot 44).

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52 Ancestors – #13 Elizabeth Snedden

The house where Elizabeth lived in her last days

The house where Elizabeth lived in her last days

Elizabeth Scarlett was the youngest child of William Scarlett and Isabella Brown. She was born in 1869 (baptised in Feb 1869) in Page Bank, Durham in the UK. William was a coal miner who worked in various mines in Durham (evidenced by the varied birth places of his children). In Oct 1870, Elizabeth’s mother, Isabella dies of Philisis Pulmonalis or, as we know it, tuberculosis.

In 1871, the family are living together in Page Bank. At the age of 2, Elizabeth is listed as a scholar. Ten years later in 1881, Elizabeth is living with her brother, Henry (my great great grandfather) at her sister, Mary’s house in Page Bank. In 1876, Mary had married Thomas Waugh, a local coal miner.

In 1886, Elizabeth travelled to Australia with the Waugh family aboard the Energia. The Energia left from Plymouth on 8 April 1886 carrying 624 assisted immigrants. Due to a measles outbreak on board, the Energia went to the Quarantine Station at Spring Cove, Manly. The passengers stayed there about 5 days (Friday to Tuesday) where the ship was fumigated and the passengers clothes cleaned. Apparently the passengers were “highly respectable” and behaved well on the journey.

I think that Elizabeth and the Waugh’s travelled to Wollongong (as Mary’s son, Henry was born in Wollongong in 1887. George Waugh was born in Greta in 1889) and then to the Hunter Valley to join Elizabeth’s brother, George, who had emigrated in 1876. We know that George had been keen for his family to join him as there are records of him placing deposits for his siblings to immigrate in 1882.

In 1890, Elizabeth married Peter Horridge of Lancashire origins in Hawthorn, Victoria. I know that Elizabeth met Peter in Greta as in an advertisement for his business, Alexander & Co, states that he is “late of Greta”. Within the first five years of emigrating to Australia, Elizabeth has moved to the Hunter Valley (possibly Wollongong as well), to Victoria where she married Peter and then on to Quantong near Horsham where Peter set up a Planting & Pruning business with two men from Mildura.

In 1906, The Chronicle newspaper of Adelaide comments, “Mr P Horridge, who is one of the pioneer settlers on the Quantong irrigation colony  has sold his orchard and will be leaving the district shortly.” By 1909, Peter and Elizabeth are living in Tunstall near Mitcham as an orchardist. The irony – Peter and Elizabeth were probably living within 2 kilometres of my house.

By 1919, Peter and Elizabeth are living at Hawthorn (pictured). Peter died in 1922 – the “dearly beloved husband of Lizzie.” Peter and Elizabeth had no children however the ties with family were still strong. Peter was an uncle to his wife’s nieces and nephews and was remembered fondly in the funeral notices.

After Peter’s death, Elizabeth stayed in Hawthorn in their home. She passed away in 1942.

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52 Ancestors – #12 Robert Butterworth

Flower from Cloudehill

Flower from Cloudehill

I’ve decided not to concentrate on weeks but rather numbers. We’ll see how long it takes me to record 52 biographies of my ancestors. So here I go with Robert Butterworth of Manchester, England.

Robert Butterworth was the son of John Butterworth and Catherine Brookes. He was born in Manchester before 26 Jan 1800, the day he was christened. His father, John, was a smallwares weaver according to his marriage certificate.

In 1819, Robert married Ellen Laverey at Manchester Cathedral. His father witnessed the marriage. It is noted that Robert was a smallwares weaver like his father. When I googled   smallwares weaver I found that they made ribbons, tapes and braids.

In the 1841 census, there are 8 children listed as living with Robert and Ellen. Jane (20), Mary (15), John (15), Ellen (13), Catherine (10), Robert (8), Sarah (5), and Thomas (3). Robert and Ellen are listed as weavers, Jane and Mary as winders and John an umbrella maker.

By the 1851 census, Robert is listed as a painter as his 14 year old son, Thomas (who I am descended through). Ellen is employed in domestic duties and their daughters, Ellen & Sarah, are silk binders. They have two younger children who have been added to the brood: Edward who is 8 and Mary Ann, 6 months.

In the 1861 census, Robert and Ellen are living in Crown Court with two boarders. Robert is listed as a house painter.

This is the information that I am sure of. However, between 1819 and 1941, there are 20 years unaccounted for. I have begun to determine where the family was situated by the birth records of their children. Although this is somewhat fraught as the names Robert, Ellen and Butterworth are quite popular in Manchester during this period. Word to the wise: there is another Butterworth family of weavers living in Rochdale that are not this family.

In 1820, their daughter, Jane is baptised at Manchester Cathedral. There is no record of where the family are living or Robert’s profession.

Their son, John is baptised in 1825 at the Holy Trinity Church in Shaw, Greater Manchester. It appears that Shaw is located between Oldham and Rochdale and that the family have moved out of Manchester. Their abode is listed as Sandhole. Quick researching on the net reveals that Shaw was the town Shaw and Compton which was a major town in the cotton industry trade in the 1800’s and was the home of many large factories. Wikipedia tells me that Luddites rioted here in 1826 in protest as the standard of living dropped. Hand weavers were competing against mechanised machinery and were unable to keep apace. It would be interesting to know how involved Robert and Ellen were.

Mary was born around 1826 (although I am struggling to find a record outside the 1841 census).

Catherine was baptised in 1833. Catherine is baptised at Manchester Cathedral and the family are listed as living in Manchester. Catherine was born in November 1829.

Ellen is listed in the census as being born around 1829 in Manchester. I am still searching for a record for her. Robert William was baptised in in 1833 in the Manchester Cathedral.

Sarah, who also appears in the census, is born around 1835 and Thomas in 1837. However, I can not find either of these records. Nor can I find Edward who was born c1843 or Mary Ann c1850.

It is difficult to imagine what life was like for the Butterworths during this period. I have researched mining in the north of England and in Lanarkshire, Scotland. I’ve researched Victorian London. From what I can see at a glance, Manchester during this time was similar for the people working in the cotton mills. An article in Wikipedia states that there were 25 mills in Lancashire in 1841 employing approx 1000 people. By 1860, there were 2650 mills employing approx 440,000 people. These figures demonstrate that cotton industry grew quite significantly during a 20 year period. A cotton famine from 1860-65 (due to the American Civil War and a drop in the availability of cotton) may be the reason for Robert’s change in occupation.

I have attempted to find where exactly the family lived in the 1841 census. The census states that they were living in Nicholas St near Old Mount St in Salford. Nicholas St is now Naples St and in the vicinity of St Michael’s Church and Angel Meadow.

From Friends of Angel Meadow

From Friends of Angel Meadow

The Friends of Angel Meadow have documented the history of the area (there is even a You Tube clip) and make reference to Friedrich Engels (Karl Marx’s co-writer of the Communist Manifesto) who was appalled by the conditions of the working class in Manchester. In his book, The Condition of the Working in England in 1844, he writes about Angel Meadow:

“Such is the Old Town of Manchester, and on re-reading my description, I am forced to admit that instead of being exaggerated, it is far from black enough to convey a true impression of the filth, ruin, and uninhabitableness, the defiance of all considerations of cleanliness, ventilation, and health which characterise the construction of this single district, containing at least twenty to thirty thousand inhabitants. And such a district exists in the heart of the second city of England, the first manufacturing city of the world.

If any one wishes to see in how little space a human being can move, how little air — and such air! — he can breathe, how little of civilisation he may share and yet live, it is only necessary to travel hither. True, this is the Old Town, and the people of Manchester emphasise the fact whenever any one mentions to them the frightful condition of this Hell upon Earth; but what does that prove? Everything which here arouses horror and indignation is of recent origin, belongs to the industrial epoch.”

From what I can gather, the family lived in this area, or near enough to it, until the death of Robert and Ellen.


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My Ancestor Score

I saw this idea on Barbara Schmidt’s blog and was instantly curious to see what mine was. The table below shows the results.Ancestor ScoreGeneration 7 is the generation that were born in the late 1700’s and can generally be found in the census data and would explain why I have found 80% of them. Looking through the census data helped me to quickly determine who was who as did the publishing of the London Archives images. Quite a few of my lines passed through London in the 19th century.

Generation 8-13 require work looking parish records. As most records are not online and are not indexed, it is a time consuming process that can’t easily be undertaken from a distance. If we were to look my percentage to generation 10 (bc I want to make it look better) I have found 20% of my ancestors. Still lots of work to go but not as scary daunting.

What I love about this spreadsheet is how it quickly highlights where I should be concentrating my research efforts to identify new ancestors.

As I am currently trying to write bios on identified ancestors, I thought it would also be helpful to note how many I have achieved so far.

Generation 4 = 2/8 (25%)
Generation 5 = 5/16 (31%)
Generation 6 = 4/32 (12%)
Generation 7 = 2/64 (3%)
Generation 8 = 2/128 (1.5%).

That’s a total of 15/248 (6%). Still some work to go.

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