Friday 24 January 2014

More local emigrants

The internet is a wonderful thing for family historians as it enables us to find out what happened to people who left  Yorkshire for a new life. I know it has to be used with caution and I sometimes despair of family trees where children of maybe 10 years old are listed as parents just because their name is right!

But on the whole it works well. I have recently been looking at two families who emigrated to Ontario. The first family was from near Holme on Spalding Moor. George Fowler emigrated with his brother in the 1870s.  His father, also George, appeared with the family in 1851 but then disappeared. Young George in 1861 was living with his grandparents, Thomas and Hannah near Welham Bridge. His two brothers were with their mother in Howden workhouse,

Searching in the East Riding archives  told us that George senior had deserted his family and 'gone to America'.  After many hours and with the help of the Familysearch site all was revealed. All three of George senior's sons  had emigrated and although there are still some gaps to fill in [did he marry again in Canada? what happened to his wife and daughter?] we found that George and his three sons were obviously in touch and in fact George was living with his youngest son in 1911.

As ever it makes you wish that some of the many letters which passed between emigrants and their families  at home in Yorkshire had survived - but they did not know that many years later we would all be fascinated by family history.

The other family I was looking at was Thomas Bristow who married Elizabeth Bullass and lived in Reedness near Whitgift. The problem here too is what happened to Thomas. Two of his sons, William and George, emigrated. Elizabeth spent some time in Goole workhouse and later says she is a widow. When and where did Thomas die?

I  receive many queries through my website about family history and always have a look in my own resources to see if I can help. If it is a simple query and I can I normally send the information straight back. If it is a query that would involve my spending some hours researching I make a charge.

In every case I reply. My appeal to all family historians is that if you contact someone with a query and they reply to you, then please thank them. Most people do - I often spend an hour or more looking at a family and then send back information or suggestions as to what sources might be useful. I am sure other family historians do the same.

The internet is a wonderful thing but remember the people who reply to your queries are often not in a remote office but, like me, sitting at a computer in my kitchen watched by a dog that wants a walk and surrounded by a heap of ironing and other jobs that need doing.

Tuesday 14 January 2014

Howden in the First World War

It seems a long time now since Christmas. The tree is down, the needles vacuumed up [ although there always seem to be a few that you miss] and my WEA classes are starting again this week.

In both classes [ Howden and Goole] we are looking at the local area and the First World War. I have taken the names from the Howden War memorial.

Names on the Howden war memorial  World War One

Pte. Cyril Cuthbert AGAR
Lieu. Harold Edward AGAR
Spr. Tom George ANDREW        
Pte. Albert AVEY
Pte. Arthur James BAKER
Pte. Harold BELL
Pte. Ephraim BENTLEY
Rfh. Charles Singleton BLAND
Pte. John Bertram BRADFORTH
Tpr. Lionel Calam BURGESS
Pte. John CAMP
Cpl. Richard COLLINS
Pte. James Martin CONNER
Pte. William Henry DOVE
Pte. Alfred FITCH
Dvr. Harry FRANKS
Pte. Robert GILL
F.Lieut. William GLEW
Pte. Sidney GOODYEAR
Pte. Harold HABLETT
Pte. George HAIGH
Sgt. Harry HALL
Pte. Charles HALL
Spr. William HUSTLER
Pte. John George JACKSON
Sgt. Reginald Percival JONES
Pte. Arthur Edwin KAYE
Pte. William Henry Forester KNOX
Pte. Reginald Glendinning LAKE
Pte. James William LANGHORN
Pte. John Augustus Blanchard LATHAM
Ab.Sn. John Thomas LINTON
Pte. Harold LUCAS
 Lt.Cm. Charles Ceasar de Merindol MALAN
Cpl. John William MARKHAM
Pte. Thomas MARSTON
Pte. Mathew William MARQUIS
Tpr. Harry MATHEWS
Pte. Thomas Stephen MOONEY
A.S. Richard Henry Kirby MYERS
Pte. John William NEWHAM
Sgt. Leonard Riby NICHOLSON
Pte. William NUTBROWN
Pte. Herbert OLIVER
Pte. Thomas Francis PEAM
Pte. John Edward POOLEY
Pte. William Norman ROWNTREE
2 Lt. Charles Frederick SAUNDERS
Q.M.Sgt. John Everitt SAUNDERS
Pte. Jack Stather SHERBURN
Pte. William SHIRBON
Pte. Robert SIMMS
Spr. Ernest SMITH
Pte. Thomas Frederick SPIVEY
Pte. William SWEETING
Pte. Thomas THORNTON
Tpr. Robert Butler THROSSELL
Tpr. James William WARNER
Pte. James Henry WILKINSON
Pte. Harold WOODALL
Pte. Richard WOODALL
Bugler. George WRAY

Pte. Albert Henderson BRABBS
Pte. Thomas William HORNSHAW
L/Cpl. Sidney Clifford PLASTER

Lieut. George Eric Asquith ANDERTON
Pte. Walter CHATHAM
L/Cpl. James JACKSON
Pte. Herbert MIDDLETON
Pte. Walter Edward SWEETING
Gnr. Fred WATSON
Pte. Arthur WILSON
Able Seaman Thomas WOOD

L/Cpl. Thomas DOBSON
Pte. Francis Albert ROBINSON
Pte. Richard Laurence WILSON

L/Cpl. Herbert William RAMSEY
Sgt. George Henry TIPPING
Pte. Arthur WAINMAN

We hope to find out more about these men and also about other men who served during the war from the Howden area but who returned safely.

We hope maybe to get the information online and also into a booklet. If you have any information that might help please get in touch. We would particularly like any photos.

Most of the names which are on the memorial are of men who were born in and lived in the area all their lives. But some are a bit of a mystery.

Why, we wondered, was  Charles Ceasar De Merindol Malan, a Lieut Commander  in the Royal Navy who was killed, aged 31, after his ship, HMS Opal was wrecked in a snowstorm off  the Orkneys in January 1918 commemorated on the Howden memorial.

So I looked up his details and found that he was born in Howden in 1887 as was his younger brother John. Their father was an engineer, born in Switzerland and by 1891 the family was living in Hull. So that explains why he is commemorated in Howden - but  now I wonder what project Mr Malan was working on in Howden.

Monday 13 January 2014

Sad loss of a gentleman - Bill Wroot

For those who also read my website you may have read the fascinating Memories of Reedness written by Horace William Wroot - Horace to his friends in the Marshland and Bill to the rest of us.

Sadly Bill died shortly before Christmas at the age of 87,  a good friend and a gentleman in all senses. Many people attended his funeral in Whitgift Church.

It was a poignant moment sitting there and listening to the organ, remembering Bill's stories of the Marshland villages where he grew up and particularly of the church itself with its dial showing thirteen which was mentioned in a broadcast by Lord 'Haw Haw'.

Although Bill served all over the world in his army career he loved returning to his Yorkshire roots, regularly attending local shows, church events, garden parties and the Marshland history group where he met up with his boyhood friends and reminisced about their schooldays at Reedness.

Bill was a kind and gentle man and a fount of  local knowledge. I am proud to have known him. He will be sadly missed.

Bill and his wife Gudrun enjoying a toasted teacake in the Shire Hall at Howden