Tag Archives: Royston

On 19 June

A another sad case of suicide today, brought on by depression, plus a Yorkshire gggg grandfather.

19 June 1770
Baptism of Joseph Firth, my gggg grandfather, at Royston, Yorkshire, son of James Firth of Chevet Moorgate, which is north of Notton. Joseph married Hannah Fisher, although I can’t find a marriage record, and they had 7 children baptised at Royston St John from 1795 to 1811, the youngest of whom was my gggg grandmother Sarah Firth who married Wiliam Green of Worsbrough. Joseph must have died before the 1841 census, though his wife Hannah is in Royston and is a baker, and there is no burial record for him, although there is one for his wife Hannah in 1850 at Royston.

19 June 1842
Birth of Thomas Hamilton at Moorefield Fireworks, Kilmaurs, son of John Hamilton and Janet Strachan and grandson of my ggg uncle Thomas Strachan and Elizebath Nisbet. By 1851 the family are at Corsehill Square, Dreghorn, father John a coal miner and 8 year old Thomas at school. In 1861 they are are Knockitiber Farm, Kilmaurs, and 18 year old Thomas is a coal miner, as is his father and older brother. His father died in 1869 and in 1871 he is living with his brother John at Kilmaurs Road, Kilmarnock, a few doors up from his widowed mother and younger siblings. In 1881 he is living with his mother and a niece and nephew. His mother died in July 1889 at Gilmour Street, Kilmarnock and Thomas, of the same address, was the informant on her death certificate and was present when she died. This may have contributed to why, on 24 October 1890, Thomas Hamilton committed suicide. His usual address was 16 Gilmour Street, but he killed himself in the grounds of a priory behind his brother’s house on North Hamilton Street, Kilmarnock. The death certificate says he’d been suffering from melancholy (what today we’d call depression) and the precognition report says he cut his own throat. Very tragic.

Things the fan charts are telling me

The furthest I’ve got back –
is in Yorkshire, to Richard Savile born in 1601 (exactly 350 years earlier than me). He is my ggggggggg grandfather, so if you count me as generation 1, Richard is generation 12! Or at least it looks as if he’s my direct ancestor – firm connections are hard to prove going back that far. In 1601, Queen Elizabeth I was still on the throne, and Shakespeare’s play Hamlet probably had its first performance. The only reason anyone can get back to that time is because good records were kept and have survived. Richard Savile came from Flockton, a village now half way between Huddersfield and the M1. Robert Savile, born there in 1865, ended his life in the parish of Royston, which is where my great grandmother Charlotte Senior came from. Interestingly, Robert Savile married Ann Senior but I haven’t yet found out if or how Ann was related to Charlotte born 218 years later.

I can get the furthest back –
in Yorkshire and Aberdeenshire. This is due to two things. One is that the records seem to have been better kept there than in Ayrshire, and have survived, and the other is that my Yorkshire and Aberdeenshire ancestors stayed within the same small area, whereas my Ayrshire ancestors moved around a lot more and quite possibly weren’t from Ayrshire prior to the 1700s.

There are some neat surname duplications –
which are probably just coincidence but are nice to have nonetheless. One I really like is that on my Strachan (Ayrshire) tree I have Thomas Strachan marrying Susannah Alexander in 1771 and on my Fraser (Aberdeenshire) tree I have William Alexander marrying Ann Strachan in about 1750.

There’s something odd about the McCrae line –
which I need to really think about and try and sort out. I have a dead end with John McCrae as I can only find his mother in the records – there’s no trace of his father. His mother was, according to what her son said when she died, born Mary Henderson, daughter of John Henderson and Jean McCrae and I can’t find out anything about either of them. So her mother’s maiden suname was the same as her husband’s, which is perfectly possible but is making me think there just might be some illegitimacy going on. Or they might have come from Ireland. If they were Irish, this makes my McCrae tartan kilt – which an aunt sent to me when I was in my 20s and moved to London – a bit irrelevant.

We Strachans have more Irish blood than our more recent ancestors realised –
which may not be what some of our more recent ancestors would have liked to know! But with names such as Haggerty, Murphy, McCrae, Henderson and McInerney on the tree, Irish links are inevitable. I haven’t done any research into Irish records as of yet as it is a daunting task when you’ve no idea whereabouts in Ireland they might have come from.

On 26 March

26 March 1809
Elizabeth Firth was baptised at Royston, Yorkshire, daughter of Joseph Firth and Hannah Fisher. Joseph Firth was my gggg grandfather, and Elizabeth’s sister was Sarah Firth who married my ggg grandfather William Green of Worsbrough. That makes Elizabeth my gggg aunt. I haven’t researched her beyond her baptism so have no idea what became of her. 


26 March 1843
Sarah Ann Green was baptised at St Mary’s Barnsley, daughter of Joseph and Mary Green, bleacher of Barnsley. Joseph was the brother of my ggg grandfather William Green of Worsbrough. No idea what became of Sarah Ann as I have yet to research her.

26 March 1861
Alexander Strachan was born at Corsehill, son of my gg grandfather Robert Strachan and his second wife Susan Cran, making Alexander my half gg uncle. He’s with his parents in the 1861 census at 24 Kenneth’s Row, age under 1 month, but he’s not with them in 1871 when he would have been 10 and I can’t find him anywhere else, nor can I find a death record for him. He’s a mystery.

26 March 1868
Amelia Murphy Haddow died at Lamont’s Row, Kilwinning age 2. She was the daughter of Hugh Richmond Haddow, who married Marian Mackay. Hugh was the son of my gg grandparents John Haddow and Amelia Murphy, so Amelia Murphy Haddow was obviously named after her grandmother. Hugh and Marion had a second daughter in 1874 and named her Amelia Murphy Haddow, to the name lived on. Amelia became a recurrent name on my Strachan family tree: my father had a sister called Amelia, more commonly known as Milly.

Hmm. Doing this is reminding me that there are a lot of people on my family tree that I know very little about, though I’m glad there’s still plenty more research for me to do.

Yorkshire family photo taken 1893

I love this photo, sent to me by my second cousin, of some of my Yorkshire ancestors. The only problem is that neither of us knows who everyone is! But we can date it by who we do know.

The Senior or Green Family circa 1893 001 (2)

Just in case anyone doesn’t realise, you can see a much larger version of a blog pic by clicking on it.)

On the far right, seated with the baby girl on her lap, is my great grandmother Charlotte Green nee Senior. The little blonde haired boy to her left is her eldest son Willie, in the middle at the front is her second child Edward, and on her lap is her daughter Alice. As Alice was born in January 1893 and is just a few months old when the photo was taken, this gives it a date. (Alice also looks startlingly how I look in my baby photos!)

So trying to work out who everyone else could be, I studied my family tree to pinpoint the elderly couple. Thinking they could well be Charlotte’s grandparents, the question became – did she have any grandparents who were both still alive in 1893? The answer is she did: her mother’s parents, George Simpson and his wife Charlotte nee Haigh. In 1893 they would have been 82 and 76 respectively, and the couple in the photograph are certainly old.

In the 1891 census George and Charlotte Simpson were living at The Green, Royston (north of Barnsley). Also living at The Green in Royston in 1891 were Edward Senior and his wife Mary nee Simpson, Charlotte’s parents. So was the photo taken near where they lived in Royston? Someone has clearly taken their best chairs outside!

So – some other guesses. The woman at the back, with her hands on the chair, could be Mary Senior nee Simpson. And is the man standing next to her husband Edward Senior?Are the other people Edward and Mary’s children and grandchildren? Studying their ages in 1893, they do seem to fit.

If what I’ve worked out is true, this is a photo of my great grandmother, my great great grandparents, and my great great great grandparents. Plus assorted great and great great aunts and uncles. How I wish I could find out for sure!

I do love the clothes they’re all wearing. They’re obviously in their Sunday best, and given that it would have been taken late spring/early summer (given the age of baby Alice), it’s possible it was taken on Whitsunday, when it was traditional to wear your very newest and best clothes. Though I can’t help shuddering at how much work was involved in washing and ironing those baby clothes!