Senior – carpenters from Carlton and Royston, north of Barnsley, Yorkshire

Charlotte Senior 1868-1953 married to Joseph Green

My great grandmother, who died when I was a toddler, was Charlotte Senior. Senior is a reasonably common name in West and South Yorkshire. Some sources say it comes from a nickname for someone who gave themselves airs and graces and is derived from the French seigneur, whereas other sources says it’s from a nickname given to the elder of people with the same name. In records from before the mid 1800s it’s most frequently written as Senyer.

Charlotte Senior was born in 1868 in Wakefield, as her parents moved around a bit in the earlier years of their marriage, but when Charlotte was three they settled back in Royston, a village north of Barnsley. Charlotte’s father was a carpenter, a trade that ran in the family and was to continue when Charlotte married a carpenter called Joseph Green.

Charlotte and Joseph Green were married at Royston Parish Church in December 1888. Joseph came from Worsbrough, at the other side of Barnsley, but his family had connections in Royston. At the time of his marriage, however, Joseph was living in Barnsley itself so Charlotte may also have been living and working in Barnsley and they met there, possibly through family. Her marriage certificate doesn’t give her occupation, merely describing her as a spinster age 20.

Their first two children were born in Barnsley, and in 1891 Charlotte, Joseph, Willie age 1 and Edward 2 months were living at 21 James Street. It’s still there and is a small stone fronted terrace house with a little yard at the back. You could buy it today for about £50,000 if you didn’t mind living in a very small house, but Joseph and Charlotte will have rented. Joseph was working as a colliery roof repairer and his neighbours were coal miners, railway workers and the like, most of them also with young children.

The family then moved to Mapplewell, where Joseph continued being a carpenter at a colliery and where Charlotte gave birth to two daughters, Alice and my grandmother Clara. By the time daughter Ethel was born they were living in Barnsley again.

In about 1899, the family moved to Leeds, possibly for work reasons but they also had family who had already made the move further north. Joseph Green can be found on the electoral roll at 3 Hope Grove, Armley from 1900 to 1904, which is where son Joseph and daughter Charlotte were born. Hope Grove has since been demolished but it was next to Gotts Park and not far from the River Aire. The family are there in the 1901 census: Joseph Green age 33 carpenter joiner with wife Charlotte age 32 and seven children.

In 1904, Joseph and Charlotte had their three youngest children, Joseph, Charlotte and Harry, all baptised at the same time at Kirkstall St Stephen’s, when Joseph Green was a joiner living at Stack Cottages, Abbey Road, Kirkstall, which have also since been demolished. Then in the 1905 electoral roll he is at a dwelling house at Kirkstall Forge, and from 1906 to 1909 at 7 Vicarage Avenue, Kirkstall, a back to back terrace house which was to become my grandmother’s married home and where my mother was born. In 1905, daughter Charlotte died at the age of 3: my mother remembers her grandmother talking about “little Lottie” with fondness tinged with sadness and my grandmother, who was 10 when her younger sister died, could remember the funeral. There is a family story of Joseph Gren making little Lottie’s coffin in the cellar, and crying whilst sanding it down.

The 1911 census has the family living at 48 Station Parade, Kirkstall: although it was a larger terrace house it must still have been crowded as the household comprised Joseph Green age 43 joiner building houses, wife Charlotte, nine children aged from 21 down to 1, and a boarder called Harry Sanderson. The five eldest children were working, 13 year old Ethel was helping her mother at home, two younger ones were at school and the youngest two were still toddlers. Joseph Green is at the same address in the electoral rolls of 1913 and 1914, and then is back at 7 Vicarage Avenue from 1915 to 1921. He was away in the army during WW1, and the eldest three children had married and set up their own homes by 1914.

At some time after the war, Joseph and his family moved to the Cragsides, north Kirkstall, though apparently Charlotte didn’t really like living away from the Vicarages. When Joseph Green died of cancer in 1925 at 57, widowed Charlotte moved back to Vicarage Avenue and lived with her unmarried daughter Edith. Charlotte died in 1953 at the age of 84, by which time she was very deaf. I was 18 months old at the time and had often been taken to see her, but was too young to be able to remember her. Fortunately, several photos have survived, most with a child or grandchild sitting on her lap.

Edward Senior 1840-1913 married to Mary Simpson

Charlotte’s father, Edward Senior, was born in 1840 in Carlton, the sixth child of George Senior and Mary Roydhouse (or Roadhouse). His baptism, at Royston Parish Church, gives his father’s occupation as a joiner, so Edward followed in his father’s footsteps. He grew up in the small village of Carlton, and can be found in the census of 1841, 1851 and 1861 living with his parents and siblings. In 1861, the three eldest sons, all living at home, were all joiners and carpenters, but at some time after 1861 Edward started to move around, no doubt for work.

In 1865, Edward married Mary Simpson of Ackworth, who was originally from Royston, and on the marriage entry for Ackworth Parish Church he is described as a joiner and resident of Ackworth, which is just a few miles north-east of Carlton. Edward and Mary’s first child Annie was born in Ackworth but their second child, my great-grandmother Charlotte, was born in Wakefield. By 1871 they’d moved to Royston, his wife’s home, with the census showing lots of Simpsons living there. But when Edward and Mary’s next three children were baptised, the parish register says to Edward Senior joiner and Mary of Carlton so they must have moved to Edward’s home village.

The 1876 baptism record of their daughter Ellen is sad, as it has “dead” written against it, and Ellen’s death was registered the following month. Lily was born in 1877, and then in 1879 George was born, who also died within a month of birth.

By 1881 the family were back in Royston, as the census has them at Chapel Yard near the High Street. By then they only had two young daughters with them. They had three more children born in the 1880s, John, Ethel and Ernest, but Ethel died close to her first birthday and Ernest died when he was six months old. Of the nine children Edward and Mary had baptised, four were lost in infancy.

In 1891 the family were living at The Green, Royston, and had been joined by grandson Harry, illegitimate son of their eldest child Annie. Annie had recently married and had a very young baby: she and her husband were living round the corner from Edward and Mary, and Annie went on to have a total of 14 children.

In 1901 the Senior family were back in Carlton, and Edward age 60 was a joiner and builder working on his own account. They had two adult unmarried sons with them and their grandson Harry, so it looks as if they brought Harry up after his mother married. Given how many children his mother went on to have that’s not surprising.

In the 1911 census Edward failed to fill in his address but, fortunately, I found it in the enumerator’s summary book. The family were back in Royston, living in a private house on South View, Midland Road, which is on the north-west edge of the village. The house has a wonderful view of a colliery! Edward was still working, at age 70, as a joiner on his own account working from home, the two sons unmarried in 1901 were still unmarried and living at home, both working at the colliery – one as an engineman and one as a miner – and grandson Henry, now 22, was also working as a colliery engine driver below ground. Edward Senior died in 1913 at the age of 72.

George Senior or Senyer 1802-1874 married to Mary Roydhouse or Roodhouse

George was born in Carlton and baptised in January 1802 at Royston Parish Church as George Senyer, son of William Senyer and Sarah Hattersley of Carlton. As he lived before the census started to be taken nothing is known of his early life, but he married Mary Roodhouse (name spelled in various ways in the records) at Royston in 1829. The parish registers record their banns, with George being of Royston parish and Mary from the neighbouring parish of Darfield.

Fortunately, they had all their children baptised and the digitised registers are available online via Ancestry, thanks to West Yorkshire Archives. The baptism records for their nine children, from between 1830 and 1848, all describe George Senyer as either a carpenter or joiner of Carlton.

In the 1841 census they are listed in Carlton with five children, a carpenter’s apprentice, and Mary’s 65 year old mother Mary Roodhouse. In 1851 they have seven children at home, the eldest age 21 and a joiner and carpenter, most probably having been an apprentice to his father. Two children, born in 1837 and 1839, have died aged 5 and 6 respectively, and their burials are recorded in the parish register.

By 1861 they have four sons living at home, all working as a joiner and carpenter, but one son is in Barnsley, working as a grocer’s apprentice. This son, Isaac Senior, moved to Leeds where he became a grocer in the Hyde Park area but by 1881 was an accountant, and by 1901 was a Chartered Accountant employing others and living in a large house with three servants. He must have been the rich relative, and was my great-grandmother’s uncle, but I can’t remember anyone ever mentioning him.

1871 sees George and Mary still in Carlton, George still working as a joiner and carpenter at 69, with one unmarried son still at home. George died in 1874, and the parish register records the burial of George Senyer of Carlton age 73 on the 24th November 1874. His wife Mary died the following year.

William Senior or Senyer 1771-1817 married to Sarah Hattersley

William was born in 1771 and baptised at Royston as William Senyer son of William Senyer of Carlton. He married at age 30, with the church records showing that William Senyer of Royston parish, a carpenter, and Sarah Hattersley, a spinster of Royston parish, were married by licence by the vicar of Royston on the 14th September 1801. Their son George was born 4 months later, which perhaps explains the by licence marriage.

William Senyer and Sarah Hattersley had four children baptised: George in 1802, Elizabeth in 1803, Ann in 1805 and Helen in 1809. There is no baptism record for their fifth child, but there is a burial record for Sarah infant daughter of William Senyer and Sarah Hattersley of Carlton on the 19th April 1811.

I found a Royston Parish Church burial record for William Senyer of Carlton age 45, buried 24 May 1817. His wife Sarah was left a widow at the age of 42 with four children. She died in 1834 at age 59, and was buried on 23 April 1834 at Royston.

There’s nothing in the records that gives Williams’ occupation, but given that his father and his son were carpenters, there’s a very good chance he was a carpenter too.

William Senior or Senyer 1745-?? married to Rebecca Street

The 1771 baptism of William gave his father as William Senyer of Carlton but doesn’t name the mother. However, in 1770 there was a marriage in Royston of William Senyer carpenter and Rebecca Street, both of Royston parish, on the 22nd November 1770 by licence, and I have assumed these were the parents of the William born in 1771.

The only baptism records I can find for their names in the right time frame and in the area are for William Senior baptised 14 June 1745 at Penistone son of William Senior, and Rebecca Street baptised 2 August 1748 at Peninstone daughter of John Street. I’m assuming this is my GGGGG Granparents although I can’t be certain.

Land Tax records for Carlton in 1798 list William Senior paying 9s 10d annual rent, which is all I’ve been able to discover so far about him.

Williams wife Rebecca died in 1790 and was buried on 4 May 1790 at Royston Parish Church: the burial records says “Rebecca wife of William Senyer of Carlton.” There isn’t a burial that I’ve been able to find for William despite the burials in Royston being well documented.

William Senior ???-1758

If the baptism in Penistone in 1745 is for the right William, then my GGGGGG Grandfather was yet another William Senior. I can’t find a birth for him, but there was a burial at Royston on 5 May 1758 of William Senyer of Carlton, and I assume this is the father of William and grandfather of William. I can’t find any baptisms that look at all right, but it wouldn’t surprise me if his father was called William! Nor can I find a marriage.

However, there were people named Senior or Senyer in the Royston Parish Records going back to the 1500s, so if I do some more research and family recontruction I might get further back, or discover that I’m actually desceded from a different family than the numerous Williams.

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