13 November

Today is a Yorkshire ggg aunt who became the keeper of Stanley Hall near Wakefield, a Strachan who spent nearly all his life in Kilmaurs, and the mother of a Fraser “adoptee” who was a childhood playmate of my mother’s during the summer holidays.

13 November 1831
My ggg aunt Mary Green was baptised at Worsbrough, Yorkshire, daughter of linen bleacher William Green and Sarah Firth. In 1841 she’s with her parents and siblings at Worsbrough Common, two down from her publican father Joseph Green. In 1851 I suspect she’s the Mary Green in Barnsley working as a domestic servant for the Pigott family, the head John Burke Pigott being a “linen manufacturer by power” – i.e. a linen factory owner. Then in 1858 Mary Green was married at Normanton, to gardener Joseph Wilson: the church marriage record says Mary Green was of Altofts with father William Green a bleacher. Altofts is north-east of Wakefield and well north of Barnsley, and I don’t know why Mary Green was living there – perhaps she was a servant, although her marriage record doesn’t give her occupation. In 1861 Mary Wilson is with her in-laws at Stanley Hall Lodge, her father-in-law being the gatekeeper, and with her is her younger sister Sarah Green age 10. Mary’s husband Joseph Wilson is up at Stanley Hall listed as a servant gardener domestic. At the time Stanley Hall was owned and lived in by the Shaw family who had bought it in 1853: Thomas Shaw was a successful canal and railway contractor. It was to be let to tenants in 1862. Joseph and Mary were kept on by the new tenants, as in 1871 they’re at Stanley Hall Cottage with 4 children and Joseph is the gardener. Joseph’s widowed mother is at the Lodge and Stanley Hall is the residence of James Plaister Harris-Gastrell, a landowner and secretary in the diplomatic services. By 1881 Joseph is still gardener but Mary has become hall keeper of Stanley Hall: as well as their youngest child still at home they have a newly married daughter and son-in-law with them. Mary’s husband died in 1890, and in 1891 Mary Wilson is in a house at Haddingley Hill, Sandal Magna earning a living as a monthly nurse: this was someone who looked after a mother and newborn baby for the first few weeks. In 1901 she’s at Elvey Street, Wakefield (in a terraced house that’s still there) as a boarding house keeper, with her unmarried daughter and two boarders. The only death I can find is 1902 in Wakefield, and she’s not in the 1911 census.

13 November 1888 (born 1867)
Andrew Strachan was born in 1867 at Stevenston, Ayrshire, son of James Strachan and Mary Lindsay, and great grandson of my gggg uncle Robert Strachan and Jean Kelly. His father was a coal miner and Andrew also became a miner. He is with his family in Stevenston in 1871 and by the time Andrew was 13 they’d moved to Plann Row, Kilmaurs and he was already at work as an ironstone miner. He married farm coal miner’s daughter Marion Fulton at Kilmaurs in 1888. They are in Hemphill Row, Kilmaurs in 1891 with a daughter, Andrew working as a shale miner. In 1901 they are in Blackwoods Buildings, Kilmaurs, still with 1 daughter and Andrew now working as coal miner. Andrew Strachan died in 1922 at Crosshouse, which is near Kilmaurs, so spent almost all his life in the one place.

13 November 1904
Chrissie Gray Morgan was born at Blackstrath, Keithhall, the illegitimate daughter of Helen Ann Morgan. In 1907 her mother became the second wife of my great grandfather William Fraser, so Chrissie is not a “blood” relation but was closely connected to the Fraser family. In about 1911 Chrissie moved from Hatton village to Mosside croft when William Fraser took over the lease after his father had died. In December 1922 she married John Rennie in Aberdeen at about the same time as she gave birth to their daughter Helen: their marriage certificate is interesting as they were married by declaration in the house of John Rennie’s sister and brother-in-law and had their marriage registered by warrant. The marriage certificate says Chrissie was a laundry worker at the time and John Rennie was a farm servant. Chrissie died in 1924 from pulmonary tuberculosis. Her daughter Helen was brought up by her Fraser grandparents and John Rennie migrated to Australia. When my mother was a child she spent the summer weeks at Mosside and remembered Helen – or young Nell as she was known – as they played together, and Helen always cried when my mother had to go back to Yorkshire.

2 responses to “13 November

  1. Paddy Gastrell

    It is William Shaw not Thomas who purchased the Stanley Hall estate. James Plaister Harriss Gastrell was William Shaw’s son-in -law. William Shaw died in 1859 and the estate was left to his sole surviving daughter Martha. Her husband, of course took control, as the Married Women’s Property Act had not yet been enacted.
    Martha & James were my great great grandparents.

    • Hi Paddy and thanks for stopping by. I got my info about Stanley Hall from a local government source, so they must have made an error. I don’t know a lot about the ancestors who worked there, apart from what is in the census. Certainly my grandmother from that side of the family never mentioned anything so may not have known anything about them.

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