The very last #52 Ancestors and the theme this week is Looking Forward. It has been a fun year, writing this weekly blog has been a lesson in itself, the themes have helped although I substituted a couple, like Yearbooks, I had nothing to write on that subject. On the whole though, I have enjoyed writing them and I hope you have enjoyed reading them.
I discovered a few things about my family history along the way, like the connection with Jersey and the Huguenots which is ongoing research and in fact I gained a lot of research to be done along the way. I also confirmed the fact that I have been favouring my local research above that of my more distant ancestors, which meant one side of the family was researched more than the other, the Baldwins. Looking forward I will be spending more time during 2023 researching the Baldwins and the families that married into them. I also like to look more at the Baldwins in Canada and having recently done a DNA with Ancestry it may be that I can connect with some Baldwins descended from that family.
2022 has been an interesting year for my genealogy, not only was forced to spend time on each week and to be quite systematic about the research I carried out I met a new relative, Dad’s cousin which just goes to show that the unexpected can happen to anyone, even the seasoned genealogist who thinks they have made all the discoveries they can. Also taking a more indepth look at the lives and the residences of some the ancestors I thought I had fully researched has been interesting, I have made discoveries about places local to me and the lives my ancestors lived there.
Using newspaper reports has been enlightening and I will definitely continue that, I advise anyone and everyone to get a subscription to either the British National Newspaper website or Findmypast and start looking for your relatives in the papers. It is amazing what you can find. The trial of the young servant of John Catt and Hannah Oliver brought some interesting information to light, the first clues to the relationship of the two of them, through the evidence brought by Hannah’s daughter. #52 Ancestors - Wrong side of the Law - Sussex Genealogist
Back in April I wrote about the MAF survey I had for Rushford Farm, Three Cups near Heathfield, Document - MAF WW2 survey - Sussex Genealogist which forced me to actually get the document out of the folder and give it more than a cursory glance. I studied it and thought about the implications of the information on the document. This is good training we should use for reading all documents even census returns. How many of us go back and find an interesting tit bit we have overlooked on first viewing? The grandchild who was not with their parents or servant who is a cousin and links another side of the family.
I have really enjoyed looking at ancestors in a new light, studying one aspect of them in order to write on a theme and putting the information I have found on them together to write a little of their life story.
If you are interested in giving it a go yourself, visit Amy Johnson Crow’s website, 52 ancestors and sign up. 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks | Amy Johnson Crow I have signed up for another year but I am not sure how far I will get, I have other irons in the fire! But I have enjoyed the experience so I will carry on as long as I can and I hope you will continue to read and enjoy my research blogs.
Week 51 in my quest for 52 blogs this year and as its Christmas I thought I would take a random Christmas fact from my family tree and write about some families on the tree I have not mentioned before. I looked at all the members on the tree who were baptised either on 25 or 26 December. There were 23 altogether.
Charles Edward RHOADES was my 3rd Great Grand Uncle and he was born in Ashby by Partney in Lincolnshire in 1824. His parents were William RHOADES and Elizabeth GRAVES who were my Great x4 grandparents. Charles had 4 brothers, John born 1821, William born 1823, Joseph born 1831 and Smith born 1833, my Great 3 Grandfather. He had 4 sisters, Betsy born 1826, Emma born 1829, Susannah born 1835 and Mary Ann born 1840.
Charles married Elizabeth Payne in 1846 and I know of 2 sons born to them.
The interesting fact about Charles is that like his brother, Smith he ended up farming in Sussex. I am yet to do more research into the family and discover if any more of the siblings ended up in Sussex but these 2 did. Charles, according to the census returns I found farmed at Kents Farm in Hurstpierpoint which is in West Sussex. He died in 1886 there.
Charles had already set up home in Hurstpierpoint by the time of the 1851 census when Smith was still in Lincolnshire, he was a Groom in Welton Le Marsh. By 1861 Smith had followed Charles to Hurstpierpoint. However like Charles he had met and married his wife, Maria in Lincolnshire.
George Frederick TURNER and Sarah Edith TURNER were both baptised on Boxing Day, Sarah in 1823 and George in 1828. They were both born in Aldgate, London to Richard and Susannah TURNER. They were my Great x5 Grandparents. George and Sarah had 7 siblings, 4 brothers; James born 1804, my Great x 4 Grandfather, Edward born 1807 who died in 1809, Edward William born 1812 and John Richard born 1820 and 3 sisters; Sarah born 1806 died 1808, Nancy Susannah born 1816 and Margaret born 1827. The family lived in Darby Street in Aldgate, London and later Cartwright Street, Aldgate where James and Edward brought up their own families.
George Frederick died in August 1830 in Cartwright Street and Sarah Edith died in June 1824, meaning that Richard and Susannah lost 4 children all under the age of 5 painting a sad picture of poor families in some of the poorest parts of London.
James and his wife Eleanor DUNN married in 1826 and had 6 children, 4 of whom lived into adult life. James died at the age of 38 when he was crushed by a falling piece of wood, James was a Carman although one record stated he was a Sawyer which was the chosen job of his son James Edwin, my Great x 3 Grandfather.
Lastly Henry STONESTREET was baptised on 26 December 1761 in Brightling, Sussex. He was my Great x 5 Grandfather and he was born to Samuel and Lucy STONESTREET along with Lucy born 1751, Harry born 1754, died 1756, Elizabeth born 1757, Samuel born 1759, James born 1763 and Ann born 1765. He married Sarah WATERS in 1783 in Heathfield and their seventh child was Ann born 1792 who married Thomas SINDEN alias WINCHESTER, who was my Great x4 Grandfather.
In 1823 three of Henry and Sarah’s sons were convicted of breaking into a barn while returning home from Dallington with a wagon of wheat. The trial took place at Lewes and they were all sentenced to 14 years transportation. The three brothers departed Portsmouth, England 13 July 1824 aboard the Mangles 3 which arrived in Sydney via Teneriffe on 27 October 1824. The convict indents states Moses aged 37, William aged 29 and Levi aged 23, all from Sussex and occupations listed as Reapers. They arrived well and were forwarded to Parramatta for Distribution. The three brothers were assigned to Mr J Hassall of Parramatta.
I wonder how many of those families who had their children baptised over Christmas thought about the future and where the lives of those babies would be directed. These three examples of the 23 children baptised at Christmas all ended up with very different lives, some short, some having done well for themselves and some working hard, and bringing their own children into the world. These three ancestors of mine are all work in progress, I have more research to do on all of them.
This week for #52Ancestors the theme is Traditions, so as its nearly Christmas I thought I would talk about some Christmas traditions that we have in my family.
Firstly, when do you put up the Christmas decorations? When we were children, we had a tradition that they went up on the 15th December, the night before my sister’s birthday. Of course nowadays that would be considered quite late, most people seem to decorate their houses about the third week in November. In the days of my childhood very few people decorated the outside of their house though. That is quite modern and I have to say I love it. Last year we visited Westfield in East Sussex with my brother and sister in law and two nephews, it was rather spectacular. The whole village go right over the top decorating the whole village, all for charity.
What traditions do you have on Christmas Day itself? Do you go to Church every year? When do you open your presents? We have had temporary traditions for opening presents depending on where we were. When we were children we would have a pillowcase at the end of the bed which we would open as soon as we woke up. I don’t think it was ever that early, but my parents may disagree! We used to spend Christmas Day with my maternal grandparents, I think we would go to them up at Punnetts Town and Granny would cook Christmas Dinner. I don’t remember when we would open presents with them but I presume after dinner, it was just easier once the dinner is out of the way.
Then when my grandparents died, and my sister had her three children, Christmas was often at their house or my parent’s, or sometimes my brother’s when he moved into Beechcroft. Present opening was always after dinner and after the dogs had been walked round the Windmill at Punnetts Town. Later on as my nephew and two nieces became teenagers, they didn’t want to go for a walk and so we would stop behind while the others went for a walk and my nephew would put all the presents into piles ready for opening and I would half heartedly try to stop him from guessing what his were! I don’t think any were surreptitiously opened.
Nowadays we are in the second flush of young children, with my brother’s two nephews and Christmas is always at their house, Beechcroft. Presents are opened after dinner. We have never really been avid watchers of the Queen’s Christmas Day Speech, but this year I would like to see King Charles make his debut. Do you watch it?
We usually put out a Christmas tea about 5 or 6ish but nobody is usually very enthusiastic about eating much. I think it is mainly for the two boys to make sure they don’t go hungry. You know what children are like, they haven’t usually eaten much Christmas dinner, unlike the adults! Christmas dinner itself has always been about all taking part in the making for my family, starters are usually my thing. We often make a chicken liver pate, or in the past when Delia Smith was the ‘thing’ I attempted her Goats Cheese tarts. I remember my other half trawling cook shops in East Sussex for baking beans, I hadn’t realised I needed to bake the cases blind until the morning I was making them. If I remember correctly, they were actually quite good. We have never been able to have the family to our house for Christmas Day as it is just too small although I always wanted the opportunity to host the day.
Lastly a fairly new tradition we have is that Boxing Day is no longer Boxing Day, it is Henry’s birthday tea. I’m not sure how much longer this tradition will remain before he doesn’t want to have tea with the family and would prefer to go out down the pub with his mates, well actually that is still some years off, but the way the years pass, it will soon be upon us! Then I imagine the adults will snooze for the afternoon in front of the TV.
Each generation seem to make their own traditions, some that stick and some that do not. I wonder how many of the traditions of my childhood came from the traditions of my grandparents own Christmases. They change as fashions change and generations come and go but fundamentally in our family Christmas is about family, being together and appreciating each other and enjoying company together to celebrate a day which to my family has always been special as it is the day we celebrate the birth of Christ. Long may that remain! Happy Christmas everybody!
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.
This week’s theme for #52 Ancestors is Overlooked. My subject this week is one that those of you who are researching your own family history may understand. Do you have a part of your family tree research that isn’t as well researched by yourself as other parts of the tree? I have! My Baldwin side of the family has been sorely under researched. There are various reasons why we might favour a certain part of our tree, it may be more contacts, it’s easier to find ancestors, or perhaps we prefer them.
For me the Baldwins have proved more difficult, I can find very few people who are also researching this part of my family tree. My DNA results back this up, so far I have found no matches with my Baldwin part of the family. The Pilbeam side are extremely well represented. The Pilbeams were also based in Sussex, I know the area, the records offices are close by and there are loads of sources of Sussex records online. The Baldwins, came from Hackney and other parts of London and Middlesex, an area I don’t know at all and records have been more difficult to find. Also the fact that Corles Baldwin, my Great x 4 Grandfather came from Ireland which is much more difficult to research is a large brickwall to my research.
However that is not to say that the Baldwin family are not interesting. They are! Much better travelled than the Pilbeams and coming from the City of London as they did, into which people moved from all parts of the country, the families that married into the Baldwins come from Devon, Norfolk, Ireland and Lincolnshire. Part of the Industrial Revolution of the 19th Century when poor agricultural families moved to cities for the chance of a better life. Although sadly the parts my family were found in, I’m not sure they found a better or more prosperous life! I have only found one family so far, the Turners who were in London in the 18th century, living and working not far from the tower of London. My Baldwins were dockers working on the River Thames, working with tea and sugar and I need to learn more about where and how and what this involved.
During 2023 I would like to spend more time on the Baldwins. Meeting Dad’s cousin for the first time has spurred me on to find out more information to share with her, the family she never knew she had. Particularly the 20th century Baldwins, another area of research I often overlook, preferring to look further back in time. Sometimes this is easier than 20th century research which is often hampered by lack of resources because of records being closed for up to 100 years like the census.
Thrulines on my Ancestry DNA results is interesting, they come up with potential ancestors based on the research where available for your matches, the couple of Baldwin matches I have, suggest a mother for Corles Baldwin, I don’t know how correct it is but it is definitely worth checking out.
I will also continue to search the British Newspaper Archive for useful and interesting articles that mention my Baldwins like the one I related a few weeks ago about my Dad’s uncle, William who died in an accident at Green Brothers Factory in Hailsham in 1950. It is amazing what nuggets of information about our ancestors lives can be found from newspapers.
Next week’s blog I am writing about the research I have carried out on Thomas, eldest son of Corles and Hester whose family didn’t stay in England but travelled the Atlantic and settled in Canada. I have found at least one of his grandsons who has his name on the Menin Gate memorial in Ypres. But more of that next week.