One of my most well travelled ancestors as mentioned last week, was Thomas Baldwin. This week I tell how he didn’t only face New Horizons once but he faced them twice in #52Ancestors – New Horizons.
Thomas was born in about 1815 in Ireland, presumably in Cork where his parents Corlis and Hester were married in 1811 but any children they had have not been found in Irish records. I have his marriage certificate, he had migrated with his parents at some point, he married Margaret Morgan on 29 July 1839 in St Giles in the Fields, Middlesex. Presumably his two surviving siblings, Sarah age 15 and William (my great x3 grandfather) age 10 were there to celebrate the nuptials.
In 1841 on census night he and Margaret lived in Little Denmark Street in St Giles in the Fields with their 1 year old son, Corles. Sadly Corles didn’t make his 4th birthday dying with inflammation of the lungs sometimes known as pleurisy.
John was born in 1842 and Thomas in 1844, again in St Giles following by James in 1846 and William in 1849 still in St Giles. I haven’t found any more children for the couple so far.
Thomas was a boot maker and we find him during the 1851 census remaining at 6 Little Denmark Street with Margaret and the 4 boys. Margaret was also from Ireland. An 1861 census could not be found for any members of this family so I searched wider than England and they were found in the Township of Emily in Victoria, Canada. Somewhere between 1851 and 1861 they decided to move from England and on to Canada to make a better life. I would like to investigate some possible theories as to why they moved on, were there other babies born and died in the intervening years that I have not found? I imagine the living conditions in Little Denmark Street would not have been great at that time for a shoemaker. Charles Booth’s poverty maps show St Giles as being a mixed area, some comfortable whilst others were poor.
By the time of the 1871 census the boys had become farmers and all still appeared to remain at home with their parents in the Township of Keppel in Ontario where the family had settled. Thomas was still a shoemaker.
Thomas died on 16 May 1885 in Keppel at the age of 68 of 2 weeks of Asthma. One day I would like to investigate further the chest problems that many members of my Baldwin family seem to have succumbed to on their death certificates which would be prevalent amongst the poorer classes in those areas of Middlesex and London during the Victorian period. I think I have observed many but I need to research it further.
Families have been found for Thomas who married Margaret Connell in 1872, she was born in Canada and James who married Margaret Brady in 1874 and she was also born in Canada.
James and Margaret had 11 children including James born in 1884 in Grey, Ontario who has his name written on the Menin Gate in Ypres, France, which means his body was not found to bury in a grave. He was killed on 30 October 1917, age 33. I found a copy of his attestation papers which state he was a Methodist and he enrolled in Calgary, Canada on 4 April 1916.
I am sure that James wouldn’t have travelled to Europe to fight alone, and I imagine there would have been brothers or cousins with him.
Attestation papers were also found for Edgerton Baldwin born in 1891, one of James’s younger brothers who also signed up in 1916 but in Hepworth, Ontario. He survived the war and travelled back to Canada in 1919.
A cousin, Herbert Baldwin, son of Thomas and Margaret Connell born 1874 also has attestation paper which show he signed up in 1916 and was already married to Lilly. A photo was found for him in his uniform, the only photo I have of a WW1 forebear.
I would like to research this family further, I am sure there must be many stories to find in the wilds of Canada.