Monthly Archives: July 2013

Story of Joseph Strachan and Jeanie Haddow now posted

I’ve managed to finish “The story of Joseph Strachan b. abt. 1833 and Jeannie Haddow b. abt. 1834, and their children”, and it can be found under the Strachan tab above.

There must have been a lot of sadness in my great grandparents Joseph and Jeanie’s lives as they were to lose many of their children, both in childhood and as young adults. Marrying in Kilwinning, they moved from coal mine to coal mine until settling in Crookedholm, where they saw out their lives and had many relatives living close by. Hopefully that added much joy to their lives too.

On 19 July

A man who disappears from the records, leaving a wife and children; an Aberdeenshire ancestor of my step great grandmother; a death at age 8; and yet another step ancestor who disappears from the records.

19 July 1834
Peter Findlay was born in Pictou, Nova Scotia, son of David Findlay and Susannah Strachan and grandson of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. His parents
must have migrated to Nova Scotia soon after their marriage in 1832 and had their first two children there, but were back in Ayrshire by the time their third child was born. In the 1841 census they are at Bridge House Hill, Riccarton, Peter’s father a coal miner. Susannah Strachan died in 1848 and his father remarried. In 1851 Peter Findlay age 16, a clerk at an iron works, is with his father, stepmother and siblings at Portland Row, Riccarton. He married Janet Nisbet in 1854 and in 1861 is at Cadger’s Row, Hurlford, a lodger with his sister Lilias and her husband, working as a collector manager. His wife is with their two children at Galston Road, Riccarton, with her widowed mother. Peter’s wife went on to be a public house keeper in Hurlford in 1871 and that census says she is married, not widowed, but Peter Findlay is not with her. In fact he can’t be found anywhere – nothing in the census and no death certificate to be found for Scotland. What became of him is a mystery.

19 July 1838
Birth of William Aitken at Longside, Aberdeenshire, son of William Aitken and Elizbaeth Milne. His sister was the mother of Helen Ann Morgan, who was my great grandfather’s second wife. In 1851, at age 12, he’s working for his uncle, a miller, as a farm labourer, and in 1861 he’s a ploughman on a farm near Old Deer. Her married Mary Irvine at Old Deer in 1861, and in 1871 they are at Nether Leask, Slains, William a farm overseer and with 5 children. 1881 finds them in Hatton, where William Aitken is a farm overseer, and they have a lot more children – they were to have 12 in total and only 1 died in childhood. By 1891, however, William had taken the lease of Artrocie Croft at Logie Buchan, and the family are there in 1901. William Aitken died in Ellon in 1914 at the age of 75.

19 July 1858
Birth of Joseph Gilmour Strachan at Riccarton, Aryshire, son of Robert Strachan and Janet Ross Gilmour and grandson of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. He died at Riccarton at the age of 8.

19 July 1865
Birth of David Goldie Booth at Old Deer, Aberdeenshire, illegitimate son of Margaret Booth who went on to become the second wife of my gg grandfather Alexander Fraser. Given his name, it’s likely his father was called David Goldie. In the 1871 census he is at Fortrie, Ellon with his mother and stepfather, age 5 and named David Fraser, but I haven’t been able to trace him after that under the names Goldie, Booth or Fraser.

Adam Logan, shoemaker: deserter of his wife and children

My gggg uncle, Adam Logan, appears to have abandoned his wife and children and set up with another woman. Tracking him and his family has proved a challenge, but an entertaining one.

Adam Logan was born on 18 July 1789 at Kilmarnock, Ayrshire: the OPR entry for his birth says “Ann and Adam Logan twins, 4th daughter and 7th son of James Logan shoemaker in Kilmarnock and Sarah Weir spouses, their first marriage, born 18th July 1879 and baptised 19th July 1789 by Mr Kennedy.” There is no evidence that Ann survived beyond infancy but Adam most certainly did and lived for 83 years.

In 1814 there is a marriage of Adam Logan and Margaret Duncan in Kilmarnock. The OPR entry simply says “29 July 1814 This day Adam Logan in this Parish and Margaret Duncan Low Church Parish gave in their names to be proclaimed in order to marriage. Three days.” I felt sure this was “my”Adam Logan, as it’s an unusual name and the date and location are an excellent fit. But there are no baptisms to be found for any children, although I eventually discovered that they did have children – their later census entries state they were born in Kilmarnock.

However, in the 1841 census Adam Logan age 50, shoemaker, is at Chapelton, Lanarkshire with Ann Craig age 40 and Janet Logan age 2, and in 1851 is in Chapelton, with Ann and three children, and gives his birthplace as Kilmarnock. Tracing him through the census I eventually went looking for his death certificate – Adam Logan shoemaker died at Chapelton in 1873 and his son has given Adam’s parents as James Logan shoemaster and — Logan ms Weir. So I knew I had the right Adam.

I assumed his wife Margaret Duncan had died, although there’s no marriage for Adam Logan and Ann Craig, and in the later census she’s described as housekeeper. So looked for Margaret Logan ms Duncan’s death certificate – and found that Margaret Logan widow of Adam Logan shoemaker, parents surname Duncan, died in 1867 in Glasgow. The informant was her daughter Sarah Munn.

So Adam Logan had moved to Chapelon in Lanarkshire and taken up with Ann Craig, leaving behind his wife Margaret with whom he’d had a daughter Sarah. Perhaps she wasn’t their only child.

I next found a 1836 marriage of Sarah Logan to James Munn at Neilston, Renfrewshire, and they were living in Cross Arthurlie, Neilston in 1841. In 1851, by which time she’s living in Ayrshire, Sarah Munn gives her birthplace as Kilmarnock.

Looking for Margaret Logan in the 1841 census, I found her in Neilston, Renfrewshire – where daughter Sarah had married – with daughters Jane and Ann Logan. Margaret was in Neilston in 1851 and 1861, giving a birthplace of Clachan, Argyllshire: this is on the Kintyre peninsula and not that far, by sea, from Ayrshire. Her 1867 death certificate gives her father as Duncan Duncan, a tailor, and her mother Mary Duncan ms Robb. No luck tracing them, unfortunately.

To see whether Adam Logan and Margaret Duncan had had other children, I looked for marriages in Neilston of someone with the surname Logan and then tracked them in the census and other online records. This turned up Mary Logan who married John Baxter in 1838. They are in Neilston in 1841, in Stirlingshire in 1851, then on a ship to Australia in 1853 where Mary Baxter sadly died in 1854. Her Australian death certificate states she was Mary Baxter formerly Logan, and her parents were Adam Logan and Margaret Logan formerly Duncan.

Jane Logan, who was with her mother in 1841, married John Cochran in 1847, is in the 1851 census in Cross Arthurlie, Neilston with husband John and two children, then they migrated to Massachusetts, USA in about 1860. She and her family are in the 1880 USA census in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Ann Logan, also with her mother in 1841, is in the 1851 census as a lodger in Paisley and states she was born in Kilmarnock. I’m not sure what then happened to her, although she might be the Ann Logan who married George Wyse at Paisley in 1852, but I haven’t been able to trace that couple.

So Adam Logan and Margaret Duncan had at least four daughters, and may well have had more children who I haven’t traced. The children were born in Kilmarnock from 1814 to about 1826, but by the mid 1830s Margaret and her daughters were in Neilston, Renfrewshire and Adam Logan was in Chapelton, Lanarkshire. So when did Adam up and leave his wife and children – and why? No answers to that, of course, apart from use of the imagination. Perhaps it because I’m female, but I feel rather sorry for Margaret and her daughters.

Margaret was living on her own in 1851 and working as a housekeeper, although her daughter Jane Cochran nee Logan was living on the same road. In 1861 Margaret is in Neilston living as a lodger with Rosana Gray, Rosana’s children, and another lodger. She died in 1867 age 74 at Crown Street, Glasgow. The informant was her daughter Sarah Munn who was living in Glasgow by then, so it looks as if Margaret may have spent her last few years living with her daughter.

Adam lived for considerably longer. In 1841 he was living in Chapelton, Lanarkshire, where he remained for the rest of his life, working as a shoemaker and living with Ann Craig and a two year old daughter, although there was an older daughter also in Chapelton. In 1851 he’s a shoemaker, now age 60, with housekeeper (not wife) Ann Craig and three children: the eldest is Helen Logan age 14 so she was born in about 1836, meaning Adam had left Margaret and daughters by then. In 1861 Adam Logan age 71, shoemaker journeyman, is with housekeeper Ann Craig, son James, and two grandchildren, and he’s there in 1871, retired and age 82, with Ann Craig housekeeper.

Ann Craig died on 2 April 1873 at Chapelton, of apoplexy (a stroke), informant James Logan son, and Adam Logan died 11 days later on 13 April 1873 at Chapelton, of diarrhea, informant James Logan son. It’s rather sweet that should die so close in time to each other, and makes you think they must have been a happy couple, but I can’t help wondering whether Adam ever thought about his wife Margaret, or kept in touch with the daughters he left behind.

On 18 July

Twins born in 1789, one of whom has been so fascinating to research he’s getting a separate post, plus a Yorkshire ancestor I can’t find anything about and a Strachan ancestor who lost her mother, two of her children, and then died in her 20s.

18 July 1789
Birth of Adam Logan in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, son of my gggg grandparents James Logan shoemaker and Sarah Weir, and twin sister of Ann. His sister Agnes was the grandmother of Mary Ann McInerney who married John McCrae. Researching Adam has proved fascinating – so much so that he’s getting a separate post of his own.

18 July 1789
Birth of Ann Logan in Kilmarnock, twin sister to Adam (above). Nothing further can be found for Ann, so she may have died when young.

18 July 1813
Baptism of Anne Fisher at Tankersley, Yorkshire, daughter of my ggggg uncle Timothy Fisher and Mary Kaye. Unfortunately I’ve not been able to discover anything else about her.

18 July 1862 (born 1840)
Mary Orr was born in about 1840 in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, the daughter of James Orr and Mary Strachan and the granddaughter of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. She is with her parents, her father a coal miner, at Thirdpart, Kilmarnock – where lots of Strachans and their relatives were at the time. Her mother died in the early 1840s and her father remarried to Jean Hill, and in 1851 Mary Orr is with her father, stepmother and siblings at Portland Row, Hurlford, and is still there living with them in 1861, age 20 and a sewer. She has a 1 year old daughter, however, called Mary and she married the father, Thomas Rea or Rae, in 1862. A daughter Annie was born in 1863 who died, and another daughter Annie was born in 1865 and also died. Then in 1866 Mary Rea nee Orr died of typhus fever. Thomas Rea remarried, and daughter Mary is with him in 1871.

On 17 July

Today: a childless Haggerty ancestor who might have spent a few years in London, and another Strachan who migrated, this time to South Dakota where the ex coal miner, labourer and joiner became a farmer.

17 July 1816
Birth of my ggg uncle Joseph Haggerty at Irvine, Ayrshire, son of Joseph Haggerty and Jean Orr. In 1836 he married Janet Aitken at Dundonald, and in 1841 they are living at Fullerton Street, Dundonald (which is now part of Irvine), Joseph a coal miner. His neighbours included his brothers Hugh and John. They are not to be found in Scotland in the 1851 census, but there is a Joseph Haggerty labourer and wife Janet Haggerty, both age 30, born Scotland and no children, at 8 Colchester Terrace, West Ham, London, who cannot be found in that location in any other census – if this is the same couple then it’s a mystery what they were doing down there. They’re in Ayrshire in 1861, however, at 11 Benslie Square, with plenty of relatives as neighbours, Joseph a coal miner and with no children. His wife Janet died in 1866 in Kilmarnock and in 1867 Joseph Haggerty married Elizabeth Durham. The 1871 census has them in Kilmarnock, Joseph a coal miner and with two of Elizabeth’s children. Joseph Haggerty died in 1877 at Hurlford, age 61, of abscess of the liver and congestion of the lungs. There is no evidence that he had any children.

17 July 1850
Birth of Archibald Mitchell Strachan at Dreghorn, Ayrshire, son of Samuel Strachan and Janet Mitchell and grandson of my gggg uncle Samuel Strachan and Anne Miller. In 1851 he’s with his parents in Kilmaurs, and in 1861 is with his parents and siblings in Stevenston, age 11 and a scholar collier apprentice. Coal mining must not have appealed to him, as in 1871 he’s a 21 year old labourer at a biscuit factory living with his grandparents Archibald Mitchell, a joiner and cabinet maker, and Jean at Boyd Street, Kilmarnock. In 1873 he married Catherine Welsh at Kilmarnock, and by 1881he must have joined his grandfather in trade as he’s a joiner, and he and Catherine (who manages to have been called Agnes in the census) have 3 children plus Archibald’s younger brother Thomas as a lodger. Their next appearance in the records is in the 1900 USA census and they’re at Berea, South Dakota, where Archibald is a farmer with wife Katrine and 3 children – their census entry says Archibald arrived in the US in 1881 and Catherine and the children in 1882. In 1910 they’re in Wesley, South Dakota, Archibald still a farmer with his youngest son working for him as a farm labourer. Catherine Welsh Strachan died in 1918 at Purcell, Oklahoma and in 1919 there is a border crossing for Archibald, a widow with occupation carpenter born Dreghorn, going to Canada to visit his son Samuel. Archibald Mitchell Strachan died in 1926 at the age of 75 and was buried at Purcell, Oklahoma.

Relatives marrying each other

Sometimes you make unexpected connections when researching an ancestor. I was checking up on Archibald Strachan, who went to the USA, and an Ancestry search came up with a death for an Annie Miller Strachan in USA. I knew there was an Ann Miller who married a Strachan on my tree – what I wasn’t expecting was to find a death certificate saying her parents were Samuel Strachan and Janet Mitchell. It seems that John Strachan born in 1856, who was detailed in my post of 8 July, didn’t marry Ann Miller – he married Ann Miller Strachan, who he was related to and who was the sister of Archibald Mitchell Strachan.

John Strachan was the great great grandson of Thomas Strachan and Susannah Alexander, through their son John Strachan, his son Thomas Strachan and his son John Francis Strachan. Ann Miller Strachan, though born the same year as her husband, was actually of a generation above him as she was the great granddaughter of Thomas Strachan and Susannah Alexander through their son Samuel Strachan and his son Samuel Strachan.

There are quite a lot of instances of people marrying close or not so close relatives on my family tree, and I suspect there are more to find out as I do more research. Perhaps it’s only to be expected when people lived in close-knit communities, such as coal miners, or in more sparsely populated areas, such as north-east Aberdeenshire. But it also seems to point to the fact that the extended family was very important to people back then, and they knew how everyone was connected to each other.

On 15 and 16 July

Two days to cover today, but not much to say as they either died young or possibly died young due to not being found in the records apart from their birth. Survival rates were not good when you go back 150 years or more.

16 July 1805
Baptism of Katherine Hay at Tarves, Aberdeenshire to my gggg grandparents Alexander Hay and Margaret Daniel – her nephew George Hay was the father of my illegitimate great grandmother Helen Hay. Nothing else found so it’s possible she died in childhood.

16 July 1808
Baptism of my gggg aunt Barbara Watt at Bourtie, Aberdeenshire, daughter of Peter Watt and Helen Alexander. She’s another early ancestor for which nothing further has been found so may well be another who didn’t survive her early years.

16 July 1814
Birth of Mary Strachan at Riccarton, Ayrshire, daughter of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. In 1832 she was married at Kilmarnock to James Orr, and in 1841 they were living at Thirdpart, Kilmarnock – James Orr was a coal miner and by then they had 3 children. Quite a few of her Strachan relatives were also living in Thirdpart, which was to the east of Kilmarnock and close to where the Annanhill colliery was located. Mary must have died between 1841 and 1844, which is when James Orr remarried, and in 1851 he’s at Portland Row, Hurlford with his second wife and the same three children as in 1841.

15 July 1853
Birth of Isabella Clarke McWilliam at Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, daughter of my half gggg uncle David McWilliam and Elizabeth Ewan. She is with her family in 1861, her father a sawyer, but a tree on Ancestry has her death in November 1861 at Peterhead.

On 14 July

It continues hot here in the UK: we’re officially having a heatwave. In the past on this day: a Strachan mining ancestor who moved from Ayrshire to Paisley to Govan, a great aunt who died in childbirth, a Fraser who has yet to be found in the records, and a Yorkshire ancestor who was the daughter of a coal miner. There area lot of coal miners on my family trees!

14 July 1820
Birth of John Strachan at Riccarton, Ayrshire, son of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. Can’t find him in the 1841 census, when his parents and siblings are in Kilmarnock, but in 1847 he married Margaret Cutherbertson in Kilmarnock. They’re in the 1851 census at 3 Thomson Street, Kilmarnock, with their eldest child, and John Strachan is a coal miner. Their next 2 children were born in Kilmarnock but the 3rd was born in Old Cumnock. Then by 1861 they’d moved to Renfrew and were living at Abbey Landward (Paisley) with 4 children and a lodger. John is working as a foreman ironstone miner. In 1871 they are at Muirpark, Renfrew with 5 children, John still working as an ironstone miner. By 1881 they had moved a bit further down the Clyde to Govan: their sons show signs of escaping from the mines as one of them is a engineering works store man and the other is a commercial clerk. John Strachan died in 1884 at the age 63, at Paisley Infirmary, of “pulpy degeneration of the knee joint and exhaustion”. None of his children seem to have married, as they continued living with their mother and then, after she died, living together in Paisley, along with one of their Cuthbertson cousins.

14 July 1855
Birth of my great aunt Amelia Strachan at Kirkland Row, Dreghorn, Ayrshire, daughter of my great grandparents Joseph Strachan and Jeannie Haddow. She is with her parents in 1861 at Bensley Square, Kilwinning, and then in 1871 she is a domestic servant in Irvine, in the household of Thomas Syme, grocer and travelling draper. In 1874 she gave birth to an illegitimate daughter Jeanie Hood at Crookedholm, father John Hood coal miner. The father has clearly acknowledged the birth but there is no marriage for them. But in 1877 Amelia married Robert Anderson, coal miner, at Sorn. Amelia’s brother was born near Sorn in 1878 so the family must have moved to the area at some time after 1873. Amelia was a mill worker living at Catrine, where there was a cotton mill. In 1881, Maly Strachan (as she is listed in the census) is at Mauchline Road, Hurlford with her son Alexander Anderson: her husband Robert was visiting his parents in Sorn and her daughter Jeanie Hood is with Amelia’s parents. In 1891 Mary (as she has been listed) and Robert Anderson, coal miner, are at 58 Riccarton Road, Hurlford with children Alexander and Joseph, and Amelia’s daughter Jeanie, who is a muslin sewer. Tragedy struck the family in 1899: Amelia gave birth to a son Robert Anderson on 19 February 1899 at Academy Street, Hurlford – the baby survived but sadly Amelia did not. Half an hour after the birth Amelia died of “shock following parturition”. Robert Anderson remarried to Mary Finlay, and continued to live at Academy Street, Hurlford as he is there in 1901 with wife Mary and his children.

14 July 1867
Birth of Elizabeth Fraser at Cruden, Aberdeenshire. She is the youngest daughter of Robert Fraser and Christian Ogston who, from the 1850s to around 1905, lived on the next door croft to Mosside and were therefore neighbours of my ggg grandfather William Fraser and then my gg grandfather Alexander Fraser. I feel sure William Fraser and Robert Fraser were related: the William Fraser I believe was the father of my ggg grandfather was the uncle of Robert Fraser’s father. Elizabeth Fraser is with her parents at Mosside in 1871 and 1881. A quick bit of research hasn’t unearthed anything further about her.

14 July 1901
Baptism of Elizabeth Slee at Thornes, Yorkshire, daughter of John Slee and Lilian Burton and great granddaughter of Joseph Wilson and my ggg aunt Mary Green. Elizabeth’s father was a coal miner and in 1911 she is with her parents and siblings at Woolley Colliery, Darton.

On 13 July

A nothing happened day – or at least nothing that I have a known and specific date for on the family trees. But it gives me a chance to work on the another Strachan story section – this time for my great grandparents Joseph Strachan and Jeannie Haddow. Hopefully it will be finished soon.

Piecing together the complicated life of Eliza Grist

Eliza Grist was the daughter of my gggg uncle WIlliam Grist. When I started to see what I could find for her, I soon realised that she didn’t have a conventional life, so I couldn’t resist seeing if I could piece it all together. The following has been compiled using online records only: I haven’t paid to get copies of any certificates for her even though it would be interesting to see what they say. But his hobby costs enough already! There is such a wealth of data available online these days, though, that it’s interesting to see what can be gleaned just using the information an Ancestry subscription provides.

On 12 July 1840, Eliza Grist was baptised at Darfield, Yorkshire, daughter of my gggg uncle William Grist and Emma Wood. In the census she consistently gives her birthplace as Smithley, which is in the parish of Darfield but is close to its border with Worsbrough. Her aunt Sarah Grist married Thomas Oxley, and their daughter Margaret (Eliza’s cousin) married Joseph Green of Worsbrough. Eliza, however, certainly didn’t lead a run of the mill life.

Eliza Grist is with her parents at Smithley in 1841, her father William a turner, and she is the youngest of 5 children. In 1851 the family have moved a few fields away to Blacker Hill and her father is a grocer and flour dealer.

In 1856, when she was only just 16 years old, Eliza married Matthew Cook, the marriage registered in Jul-Aug-Sep quarter in Barnsley, the nearest registration office to Blacker Hill. The reason for such a young marriage is the birth of Etty Cook (aka Hetty) registered Jan-Feb-Mar 1857 at Barnsley. The birth of Epsy Cook was registered in 1859 in Barnsley.

The complex life begins with the 1861 census. Eliza Cook is at Blacker Hill with her parents, William and Emma, and her 1 year old daughter Epsy Cook. Hetty Cook age 4 is not far away, in Wombwell with her grandparents William and Mary Cook. Checking back in the census to trace their son, the 1851 census has William and Mary Cook at Wombwell with a 17 year old son, coal miner Matthew Cook, and in 1841 William, Mary and son Matthew are at Elsecar. Looking for a birth of Matthew turned up a baptism in 1833 at Attercliffe of Matthew Cook, parents William and Mary Cook. He has to be the Matthew Cook who married Eliza Grist, but where was he in 1861? The answer is he was living as a boarder in Monk Bretton: the census has Matthew Cook married age 28, coal miner, born Attercliffe. So why were Matthew and Eliza not together and why was their daughter Hetty with her paternal grandparents whereas Epsy was with her mother and maternal grandparents? It seems that all was not well with the marriage of Eliza and Matthew.

In 1871, Eliza turns up at Hoyland (not far from Blacker Hill) as a boarder in the house of Something Smith (the name has been written over and is impossible to read) age 28, an iron puddler born in Bilston, Staffordshire. With her is a son Joseph Grist age 7 born in Tankersley, which is just down the road from Hoyland, plus another female boarder with a young child. There is a birth of a Joseph Grist registered in Barnsley in January quarter 1867, though this wouldn’t make him 7 in April 1871, and there is also a death in 1867 in Barnsley of Joseph Grist age 0. Eliza’s son Joseph, in later census, says he was born in Beal, Lancashire, then Bacup, Lancashire and then in 1901 says Platts Common, Yorkshire – but there is no Joseph Grist born in Lancashire and heaven knows what Eliza would have been doing there. It would seem, however, that Joseph is not Matthew Cook’s son but was born illegitimate and possibly wasn’t registered, or registered under a surname that isn’t Grist or Cook.

So where was Matthew Cook? In 1871 there’s a Matthew Cook age 28, collier, born Yorkshire, living in Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire with a wife Elizabeth and children aged 8 to 3. There is no marriage for Matthew Cook and Elizabeth, so they probably weren’t but were saying they were in the census for appearance’s sake. That this is the correct Matthew Cook is confirmed in the 1881 census, as he gives his place of birth as Attercliffe.

But where, in 1871, were daughters Hetty and Epsy? Hetty Cook age 15 is a domestic servant in Barnsley, and Epsy Cook age 11 is still with her maternal grandparents who are now living at Nether Hoyland, not far from where Eliza is living. A good question us why wasn’t she living with them too!

Hetty Cook married in Shipley, Bradford in 1876, to an iron clog maker called Smith Gill Holdsworth and in the 1881 census gives her place of birth as Blacker Hill, so it’s the correct Hetty. They had children and then Hetty died age 33 in 1892.

In 1879, Eliza Grist had a daughter registered as Emma Grist Moss at Barnsley. In 1881 she is at Platts Common, Nether Hoyland calling herself a widow (she wasn’t but her husband Matthew Cook had clearly abandoned her and his daughters). With Eliza are her son Joseph age 16, a colliery labourer, her daughter Emma age 2, and a boarder James Moss age 40, a sawyer from Derbyshire. It would appear that James Moss was Emma’s father. Also in the household is visitor Minnie Cook age 5, born Worsbrough, which seems to indicate that Eliza may have been in touch with her husband’s family. Unfortunately nothing else can be found for this Minnie Cook so I’m not sure who she was.

In 1884 Epsy Cook (as Hepsy Cook) married George Lycett at Wakefield, and they can be found in the 1891 census at Higham, to the north-east of Barnsley. Hepsy gives her place of birth as Blacker Hill, confirming it’s the right Epsy/Hepsy. George Lycett was born in Hoyland Nether and is a coal miner, and living with them in 1891 is George’s brother-in-law and Hepsy’s half brother Joseph Grist, age 26 and a boiler maker. Epsy died in 1897, her death registered as Hephzibah Lycett age 39 at Barnsley.

In 1891 Eliza Grist, widow age 50, is at Wentworth Road, Hoyland Nether with her daughter Emma age 12 and a boarder, John W Sharpe age 26, a coal miner from Barnsley. James Moss has disappeared – he was in Hoyland Nether in 1881 and 1891 but then can’t be found. Eliza’s husband Matthew Cook isn’t in the 1891 census, which isn’t surprising: he can be found in the 1900 USA census in Lackawanna, Pennsylvania having arrived in the US in 1887. His “wife” Elizabeth must have died, but with him is daughter Mary and son Thomas and living two doors away is son William, who had arrived in USA in 1882 and by 1900 had a wife and 3 children named Mary, Matthew and Elizabeth.

In 1901 Eliza Grist is at 17 Barnsley Road, Hoyland Nether, a widow age 60, with her daughter Emma Grist age 23, a grandson James Grist age 2 – who is the illegitimate son of Emma – and a lodger J W Sharpe, coal miner, born Barnsley. Emma was to have another illegitimate child, Joseph Arthur Grist, in 1901. Eliza’s son Joseph Grist is, in 1901, working in Durham, unmarried and a boarder with two elderly sisters. Then in 1903 Emma Grist Moss married John William Sharpe, their marriage registered at Barnsley. However, John William Sharpe was not the father of her two children, as in the 1911 census they are listed as his stepsons.

Eliza died in 1906: her death was registered as Eliza Cook age 66 in Barnsley. She seems to have had a somewhat unfortunate life, but piecing it together from the records was an enjoyable challenge.