Thursday, March 22, 2018

William Hughes and Elizabeth Robinson

     William Hughes, my paternal 4x great uncle,was born in Wordsley, Kingswinford, Staffordshire, England.  As mentioned in previous Wordsley Hughes blogs, I do not have his exact birth date only his baptism.  The son of William Hughes and Mary Bourne (or Green), William was baptized on October 31, 1841 in Wordsley, Staffordshire, England.  He was the fifth child to survive and joined two older brothers and two sisters.

1851 United Kingdom Census

     William's first census report was 1851.  I do want to note that he was listed as a scholar, which I would think means that he is attending a school in Wordsley.  Keep this thought on the back burner.  The family appears to be doing very well financially with William's dad producing ale and also hiring young men to run his boats on the Stourbridge Canal.  William's paternal grandfather, John Hughes, a boatman was living in the home.

1861 United Kingdom Census
     By 1861, William, age nineteen, was still at home.  All his siblings have left except for himself and his sister, Mary Elizabeth.  He was working in one of the local mills as a puddler, like his older brother, Samuel.  Grandpa John Hughes was still living in the house and there were two additional men working for Williams' dad on the boat.  It appears that William has lived his childhood and teen years in a house on Wordsley Green.  Whether William's father was still making ale is not known.  Instead his listed occupation is boatman.  

Wordsley to West Hartlepool, England

     Sometime during the 1860's, William relocated to West Hartlepool, England.  His brother, Samuel Hughes and family also made the same move.  This is a "who came first, the chicken or the hen"?  Did the two brothers travel together or did one move first and send word that there were plenty of jobs for puddlers in West Hartlepool?  Answer--unknown.  

Marriage Certificate for William Hughes and Elizabeth Robinson
Courtesy of Peter Cartwright

     On December 12, 1870, William Hughes married Elizabeth Robinson at the Stranton Parish Church, West Hartlepool, England.  Of interest to me is that my paternal 2x paternal great grandfather, and William's nephew, George Henry Hughes, married a couple of weeks later at the same church.  I have figured that the Wordsley Hughes must have arrived in West Hartlepool circa 1867-8 to give these two men to meet, court and marry their wives.  The marriage certificate for William and Elizabeth was copied from Peter Cartwright's family site on ancestry.  Due to cropping, William's father's occupation is barely visable--William Hughes is a boatman.  

     The back burner item from the 1851 census report.  It is most interesting that William Hughes has signed his marriage certificate with an "X".  You might remember that back on the 1851 United Kingdom census that he was enumerated as a scholar.  I have researched this and found that there was no compulsory public education at that time.  Often the occupation scholar was used on the census reports, for young children, to hid that they were actually employed.  My guess is that William may have been working for his father. either as a boat boy or in the brewery business.  He certainly was not in school if he was unable to write his name at age twenty-eight.  I would also like to note that his older brother and my 3x paternal great grandfather, was literate and did sign his marriage certificate.

1871 United Kingdom Census

     William and Elizabeth are lodgers in the home of Jacob Tisdale (?).  The house is on Musgrove or Musgrave in Stranton.  This is a street I was unable to find on my map.  My guess is that they are living close to the factories.  On this census, William lists Wordsley as the place of his birth.  He continues to be employed as a puddler.

Birth Record for Mary Ann Hughes
Courtesy of Peter Cartwright
       William and Elizabeth welcomed a daughter to their family.  On September 3, 1876, Mary Ann Hughes was born at 96 Alice Street in Stranton.  I have not been able to locate any other birth certificates for this family.  A fellow researcher does list a son, William Hughes born 1872 and died 1872.  I wonder if they might have had another child between 1872 and 1876 that may have died.

Death Record for William Hughes

     Two years later, William, age thirty six, died on June 29, 1878, at his home on Alice Street, West Hartlepool, from cardiac disease.  Of great interest to me is that William's sister-in-law and my paternal 3x great grandmother,  Ann Hill Hughes, was present at his death.  She signed the certificate with an "X".  This death certificate gave me insight into where my 3x greats were living in 1878--Salisbury Terrace.

1881 United Kingdom Census

     I did search for Elizabeth Robinson Hughes and her daughter, Mary Ann, after William's death and found them on the 1881 UK census living with Thomas Bambrough and his wife Mary Ann.  It is from Peter Cartwright's research that I learned that Mary Ann Bambrough was Elizabeth's older sister.  The census shows that Elizabeth was formerly a servant and is a lodger in the Bambrough house.  Lodger typically means living in the house, usually paying rent, where a boarder pays for the room and food.  I wonder if Elizabeth was paying to stay at her sister's house.  The family was living at 17 York Street, Thornaby, south of Hartlepool.

Marriage Certificate for Mary Ann Hughes and Joseph Cartwright
Courtesy of Peter Cartwright

     Checking Peter Cartwrights's research, Elizabeth Robinson Hughes and her daughter, Mary Ann Hughes were not enumerated with the Bambrough's in the 1891 United Kingdom census.  In fact, they are MIA until Mary Ann, at age twenty, married Joseph Cartwright on October 3, 1896, West Hartlepool, England.  The certificate shows that the marriage was performed at the register's office and not a church.  Apparently, Mary Ann Hughes did return to the place of her birth and married there and stayed.  And Elizabeth Robinson Hughes--did she remarry or did she die.  To date no records of either have been located.    

     Joseph and Mary Ann Hughes Cartwright had three children, two sons, Samuel and Joseph and a daughter, Sarah who died at age three.

Death Certificate of Mary Ann Hughes Cartwright
Courtesy of Peter Cartwright

     Mary Ann Hughes Cartwright died at the age of twenty eight of pneumonia at her home on Thorne Street, West Hartlepool, England.  This Hughes line did continue through her two sons,  Samuel and Joseph Cartwright. 
     My thanks to Peter Cartwright, a cousin, who has so generously shared his information on this line of the family.

I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. All comments are welcome; however, if they are inappropriate, they will not be published.    PLEASE post your e-mail in the comment section if you would like to network about a particular surname or topic. I will capture it for my use only and not include it when I publish your comment.
© 2018, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Saturday, March 10, 2018

William Hughes and Mary Bourne of Wordsley, Kingswinford, England


     William Hughes and Mary Bourne are my paternal 4x great grandparents.  There has been some controversy as to Mary's maiden name--Green or Bourne.  After seeing two census reports one with a Bourne male living with the Hughes family and a second one with an unmarried twenty two year old man, Samuel Bourne, listed as a brother-in-law, I decided to go with Bourne as Mary's maiden name.  There is a marriage document on Family Search that is also used by some Hughes researchers as the union and lists a William Hughes and Mary Green.  Unfortunately, I have not been able to track down parents or family of either a Mary Green or a Mary Bourne.  Hence the quandary.

     Once again the story begins in Wordsley, Kingswinford, England.  There is no 1831 United Kingdom census report available to search.  Bummer.  Years back I received a sibling listing from another Hughes family researcher showing that William and Mary had eighteen children.  From the few census reports I have located, many must have died as infants or youths.  Unfortunately, the records for Wordsley in Staffordshire are not available on line.  Where the researcher received the documentation for the children is unknown to me.  I was told that the information came from baptism records.

  1. John Hughes baptized July 27, 1828 in Wordsley
  2. Samuel Hughes baptized May 16, 1830 in Wordsley--my 3x great Grandfather
  3. *Thomas Hughes baptized May 3, 1831 in Wordsley-Not on 1941 census
  4. Sarah Jane Hughes baptized April 22 1832 in Wordsley--Not on 1841 census
  5. Mary Ann Hughes baptized February 16 1834 in Wordsley
  6. *Esther Hughes baptized September 21 1834 in Wordsley--Not on 1841 census
  7. William Henry baptized January 4, 1835 in Wordsley--Not on the 1841 census
  8. Thomas Hughes baptized January 31, 1836 in Wordsley.  Died February 10, 1837
  9. Jane Hughes baptized February 11, 1837 in Wordsley
  10. *Elizabeth Hughes baptized April 1, 1838 in Wordsley--Not on 1841 census
  11. Henry Hughes baptized January 26, 1840 in Wordsley--Not on 1851 census
  12. William Hughes baptized October 31, 1841 in Wordsley
  13. George Hughes baptized October 31, 1841 in Wordsley.  Died July 20, 1848
  14. Eliza Hughes baptized November 9, 1845 in Wordsley.  Died November 26, 1847.
  15. Emma Hughes baptized September 22, 1847 in Wordsley--Not on 1851 census
  16. Anna Maria Hughes baptized December 9, 1849 in Wordsley
  17. Emily Hughes baptized September 1 1852 in Wordsley--Not on 1861 census
  18. Mary E. Hughes baptized September 1, 1852 in Wordsely
1841 United Kingdom census
     The 1841 census is available for William and Mary Hughes showing the children who were alive at that time, one being my 3x great grandfather, Samuel Hughes.  What does this census tell us.  William and Mary were both born circa 1811 in Staffordshire.  William was employed as a boatman and the family was living on the Dock.  The children who are alive in 1841 are John, Samuel, Mary (Mary Ann), and Jane.  According to the baptism records listed above, Mary would have had 11 children by 1841 and only four survived.  You will also note that I have starred a William Green enumerated on the same page and thought he could be a brother to Mary.   Now, I have also noticed that a boy, William Bourne, age 13 or 15, is enumerated with the Hughes family and is working as a boatman.  Possibly Mary's brother?

     My 3x great grandparents, Samuel Hughes and Ann Hill, married on February 12, 1849.  Both Samuel and his father are listed as boatmen on the wedding certificate. It appears that Samuel's fifteen year old sister, Mary Ann Hughes, was the witness. 

1851 United Kingdom Census
     Census records are my primary source of information.  In 1851 there is a record for the William and Mary Hughes Family.  The Hughes family had moved to Wordsley Green and William was listed as a retail brewer.  I jokingly mentioned to my son that perhaps his love of craft beer is genetic ;-)  I googled what a retail brewer was back in the mid 1800's in England. From an article regarding England Occupations Food and Drink on Family Search:

     "In the days before piped purified water, tuberculin-tested cows and orange juice the sole drink of the people--men, women and children was ale.  The process involved heating water before the mashing, boiling the wort and then fermentation with production of alcohol, all of which ensured that the liquid was sterile and remained so.  This was all produced in the household, in local alehouses for the retail trade and in monasteries for the use of travelers and monks."

     "There were thousands of small brewers and a few larger ones which came to dominate the market, by the late 20th century only a half-dozen firms supply the demand.  London was the main site of commercial brewing but there were other provincial ones, notably Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire owing to its supply of excellent water for beer."  
     Although William was brewing beer, it appears he was also operating a boat.  His brother in law, Samuel Bourne and a lodger are both boatmen and I am making an educated guess that they were there to work William's boat.  There was a 70 year old widower, John Hughes, also a boatman, enumerated with the family.  Unfortunately, his relation to the family is not clearly written.  My guess is that it is William's father.  I have also noted that both William and Mary are listed as having been born in Kingswinford, Staffordshire.  William must have been doing fairly well financially as there was a servant living in the house.  Plus having a house that was large enough to hold ten people.  The children who were still living at home are:  Mary Ann age seventeen, Jane age thirteen, William age nine and in school, Ann Maria age one.  As I mentioned, Samuel was married and living on his own.  
1861 United Kingdom Census
     In 1861, the family continues to make their home on Wordsley Green.  Only two children are living at home; William age nineteen working as a puddler and Mary E (Elizabeth) age 9 who was attending school.  This is the first census showing a female as a scholar for the Hughes family.  Also of note, Mary Elizabeth's twin sister, Emily, is not enumerated giving me the thought that she died before the census.

     William was listed as a boatman and has seventy nine year old widower, John Hughes (William's father?), and two men listed as servants also boatmen were living in the house.  There is a young adult woman listed as a servant who was undoubtedly assisting Mary with the household chores.  I have been able to track down sons, John, Samuel and William into the future; however, to date, do not know anything further on Mary Ann, Jane, Anna Maria and Mary Elizabeth.

1871 United Kingdom Census
Stourbridge Canal at Buckpool, Wordsley

     I am making an educated guess that the William and Mary Hughes listed in Wordsley on the 1871 census are my 4x great grandparents.  They have moved from The Green to an area called Buckpool Canal. Their house was located on one side of the canal.  William was listed as a boatman and there was a young woman living with them as a servant and a niece, Jane Dulson.  More research into her relationship is necessary.  Was she the daughter of a married female Hughes or Bourne/Green relation?

     Sometime between about 1865 to 1869, two of William and Mary's son's removed to West Hartlepool, England--Samuel and William.  I believe their son, John, stayed in Wordsley.

     The story of William and Mary is at an end.  I have no idea when they died or where they are buried.  An educated guess would be at the parish church in Wordsley.  At one time I thought that perhaps Samuel and William removed from Wordsley because their parents were dead.  Maybe they were.  I am only guessing that the William and Mary in the 1871 census are their parents.  I am at a great disadvantage not having records from Wordsley at my disposal. Perhaps a third trip to England, this time driving to the Wordsley area should be in my future ;-)


     I do want to mention the asterisked  * children in the listing above.  Families did have numerous children back in the 1800's--Church of England, lack of birth control, etc.  I found it almost unimaginable that Mary had eighteen children.  As mentioned, I have been going page by page through the Wordsley census for several decades looking for various Hughes, Hill, Green and Bourne families.  I did run across another William and Mary Hughes in Wordsley.  On the 1841 census they had two daughters, Esther and Elizabeth with birth dates the same or a year off of the ones in "my" William and Mary list.  I have a feeling that the researcher who did the list that was sent to me was unaware that another William and Mary Hughes were living in Wordsley.  On the 1851 census, again, William and Maria (I believe his second wife) are enumerated with a Thomas, Esther and Elizabeth--birth dates in the same range as those above.  It is also worth mentioning that this second William is also a boatman as is his son, Thomas.  

     Quite frankly, there are numerous Hughes families and individuals living in Wordsley at the time I am researching.  What a confusion!  I doubt I will ever sort them all out.

     I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. All comments are welcome; however, if they are inappropriate, they will not be published.    PLEASE post your e-mail in the comment section if you would like to network about a particular surname or topic. I will capture it for my use only and not include it when I publish your comment.
© 2018, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Friday, March 2, 2018

The Family of Samuel Hughes and Ann Hill Hughes

     When I last visited my genealogy website  I saw that the page for my paternal great great great grandparents, Samuel Hughes and Ann Hill Hughes is "currently under construction".  Well, now I have enough documentation to construct a proper web page; however, I can no longer access the editor section to add the new information.  Thank goodness for Flipside.

     The Hughes/Hill story begins in Wordsley, a small village in the Kingswinford Parish, Staffordshire, England.  Other place names that surround Wordsley are Dudley, Brierley Hill, Kinver and Stourbridge.  I continue to bump into these places whenever I am researching the early lives of both families.

     Samuel Hughes was born in 1830, the son of William Hughes and Mary Bourne.  He joined an older brother, John, in a home located in the village of Wordsley, Kingswinford Parish, Staffordshire County, England.  Samuel was baptized on May 16, 1830 in Kingswinford Parish, Staffordshire County, England.  While Samuel was living at home, three additional siblings were added.  Two additional children were born after Samuel married.

     Samuel's father was a boatman hauling products up and down the Stourbridge Canal.  It appears that when Samuel became of age to work, he joined his father as a boatman, probably assisting him with the family boat.  Samuel is listed as a boatman at age nineteen on his 1849 marriage certificate.

     Ann Hill was born about 1831.  I have not been able to track down her birth record.  I am estimating it from census and death documents.   There is a baptism document for an Ann Hill with her parents listed as William and Ann Hill dated December 31, 1835.  This is probably too late for a baptism if she was born around 1831.  Her parents were William Hill and Ann Parry.  In 1841, the Hill family was living in Wordsley, on the Green and William is listed as a laborer.  Ann joined three older brothers at home,  On the 1849 marriage certificate of Samuel Hughes and Ann Hill, Ann's father is listed as a boatman.  I have only begun trying to trace the Hill family.  Unfortunately the surname Hill is as difficult to trace as Hughes in this area.

Saint Peter's
Kinver Parish Church

Marriage certificate for Samuel Hughes and Ann Hill
     Samuel and Ann married on February 12, 1849 in the Parish Church of Kinver, Staffordshire, England.  I wish I knew more on the back story of this relationship.  The fact that both families lived in Wordsley and both fathers were boatmen, begs the questions, did these two young folks know each other for years before their marriage, or was it a chance meeting that led to the vows?  The certificate shows that Samuel was literate, as was Thomas Hill.  Both women only signed with an X.  I wonder why the young couple married in Kinver rather than in Wordsley?  And how did they travel there--by canal?  by horse and wagon?   I believe that Thomas Hill was Ann's older brother and Samuel had a sister named Mary Ann who would have been fifteen years old when her brother married.    

     Samuel and Ann continued to live on Wordsley Green after their wedding.  Samuel changed  his occupation from boatman to puddler in a local iron works and Ann is a  dressmaker.  "Puddling was one step in one of the most important processes of making the first appreciable volumes of high-grade bar iron (malleable wrought iron) during the Industrial Revolution.  In the original puddling technique, molten iron in the reverberatory furnace was stirred with rods, which were consumed in the process."   

     There is a record for a Henry Hughes born to Samuel and Ann who was baptized on April 7, 1850; however, since he is not present on the 1851 census, it is believed that Henry died as an infant.  Ann was pregnant with my paternal 2x great grandfather, George Henry Hughes, when this census was taken.  

     There are no birth records; however, there are records of baptism for all of the Hughes children.  All ten children were born on Wordsley Green, Staffordshire, England and all were born when Samuel was listed as a puddler.

  1.      Henry Hughes, April 7, 1850.  Died before 1851.
  2.      *George Henry Hughes, August 24, 1851. My link
  3.      John Hughes, December 20, 1852.  Died before 1861.
  4.      Joseph Hughes, December 20, 1852.  Died before 1861.
  5.      William Hughes, March 26, 1854.  Died before 1871 ?
  6.      Thomas Hughes, January 20, 1856.
  7.      Samuel Hughes, March 9, 1858.
  8.      Eliza Hughes, November 20, 1859.
  9.      Anna Maria Hughes, August 17, 1862.
  10.      Jane Hughes, December 25, 1864.  Died before 1871
1861 United Kingdom Census
Kingswinford, Staffordshire, England

     The final census report for Samuel and Ann Hughes in Staffordshire is in 1861.  The twin sons, John and Joseph are not listed and must have died.  Their last two daughters are not born yet; however, the 1871 census does list Anna Maria as born in Wordsley.  Jane is missing from the 1871 census must have died.  I have noticed that there is a William and Ann Hill enumerated directly above Samuel Hughes.  A good guess would be that it is Ann's parents. 


The Move to West Hartlepool, County Durham, England 

     Sometime between the birth of their last child, Jane, in 1864 and 1869-1970, Samuel and Ann Hill Hughes made the decision to relocate the family to West Hartlepool.  The Industrial Revolution was in full swing and the seaport of Hartlepool and the newly formed West Hartlepool, provided an endless supply of employment, whether it be in the shipping industry or in the multitude of factories located in the West Hartlepool area.  What provoked the family to travel so far north is unknown.  Whether it was the allure of a better life with a choice of places to work, wanderlust, perhaps the relocation of another Hughes or Hill family member or a need to remove themselves from some issue--it is unknown.  

     As an experienced puddler, Samuel had two large factories to choose from; the Iron and Steel Works and Seaton Carew Iron Works, both built beside the North Sea on the east side of West Hartlepool in the Stranton area.

     I have found that Samuel's younger brother, William Hughes, did remove to West Hartlepool at about the same time.  I will outline his life in another blog.  I have yet to determine if any other family members also traveled to West Hartlepool.

  On Christmas Day 1870, Samuel and Ann's oldest son, George Henry Hughes married a Hartlepool native, Mary Ann Storey at All Saints Church, Stranton, West Hartlepool, England.  (my 2x great grandparents)  

1871 United Kingdom Census
Stanton, West Hartlepool, England
     The Hughes family was living in a house in the Stranton Parish, West Hartlepool, England at 11 Thorne Street as listed on the 1871 census.   The author of, "Reflections beneath the Wagga Moon" paints a dire picture of the conditions the family was living in.  

     "However, such was the demand for houses or lodgings for people with basic labouring skills that small streets of houses were even built on pieces of open land in amongst the Iron and Steel Works along Mainsforth Terrace.  With the dust and fumes of blast furnaces at their front doors and the banging and clattering of small engineering works at their back doors, these streets can only be described as a very unhealthy and primitive place to live and raise families, yet somehow people did just that".   (Edward Powell, page 5)

     One of these streets was Thorne Street.  Sandwiched in between the Iron and Steel Works to the east, Newburn Saw Mills, to the north, a Timber Yard to the west and Cliff House Pottery to the south.  I have to imagine that this neighborhood was drastically different from Wordsley Green.

     The census report shows that all the Hughes men were employed as puddlers, Samuel along with his sons, George Henry, Thomas and Samuel.  Son, William, is missing from the census.  I will have to do some more research to find out what happened to him--if he died or is perhaps married.  Of interest to me is that my 2x great grandparents are living with Samuel and Ann Hughes--George Henry and his wife, Mary Ann Storey Hughes.  Also, the two youngest girls are attending school  Another piece of interesting information is the Hussey family, enumerated directly under the Hughes family on the census.  In 1883 Annie (Ann Maria)  Hughes will marry Joseph Hussey. 

     In 1878, Ann Hill Hughes was present at the death of her brother-in-law, William Hughes and her address is listed as Salisbury Terrace on the death certificate.  I have not been able to locate this street on any of the maps from that time.

1881 United Kingdom Census

     By the 1881 census report, the Hughes family had moved out of the area located in the middle of the factories to one on the outside fringe.  Studley Street is still around today, although from the current pictures on google map, it does not look residential.  When Samuel and Ann lived there it was a main street that ran about three blocks in the Bellevue area of West Hartlepool, in the St. Aidan's Parish.  Reading the Robert Wood book, West Hartlepool, the Bellevue area where Studley Street is located, was developing rapidly to house the massive immigration of workers flooding into West Hartlepool.  The roads were dirt, no indoor plumbing, streets were often flooded and muddy, folks had farm animals housed in the backyard, etc. etc.  This area was designed to be more residential; however, it was small houses with little to no amenities.  Funny how one book mentions these poor conditions and another, Reflections Beneath Wagga Moon, says of Bellevue, "...the wealthier households settled in the garden suburbs of Bellevue."  Back in 2003, when my brothers and I visited family in Hartlepool, we were entertained at the home of cousins John and Mary Marsh in this area of town. Of course, the area is lovely today.

     The map above shows the various streets in West Hartlepool of importance to the family.  All in the Stranton area, all surrounding the factory area.  Thorne Street on the far right and Studley Road on the far left.  Thorne Street isolated from the town and Studley at the outer part of the residential area of Bellevue.  At the top is Bowser Street where Ann Hill Hughes died in 1911.      

    By 1881 all of the Hughes children had left home, married, and were starting their lives with a spouse and children.  All stayed in the West Hartlepool area.  Only Ann Marie was still at home and as I mentioned above, she will marry Joseph Hussey in 1883.  Samuel was listed as an iron works foreman, so he has certainly moved up the employment ladder at the iron works.  As my friend Heather emailed me, "a foreman would have been a person of authority within his own community, but not considered managerial". 

     The adult children of Samuel and Ann Hill Hughes in 1881.

  1. George Henry Hughes married Mary Ann Storey on Christmas Day 1870.
  2. Thomas Hughes married Ann Elizabeth Reece in 1877. 
  3. Samuel Hughes married Martha Agnes Milward in 1880.
  4. Eliza Hughes married Benjamin Harriman in 1880.
  5. Anna Maria Hughes was still at home.

1891 United Kingdom Census
              Unfortunately the Hughes story continues with census reports.  I have not been able to find any other records for them.  By 1891, Samuel and Ann were living with their youngest married daughter, Anna Maria Hughes Hussey and her family at 3 Salisbury Terrace in South West Stranton, Saint Aidan's Parish.  Samuel was still working as an iron laborer at age sixty one.  His son in law, Joseph Hussey was also employed by an iron company as an iron merchant. As I mentioned above, I am unable to locate Salisbury Terrace on my 1897 map and it apparently does not exist today.  Samuel and Ann spent several years on two separate occasions on this street--while raising their family and as older adults living with their married daughter.

Samuel Hughes Death Certificate

     The Hussey family apparently moved to 76 Salisbury Terrace by 1895.  Samuel Hughes died at the age of sixty five of bronchitis at their home on December 4, 1895.  

Chris Heath, Skelmanthorpe, Clayton West & District:  A Denby & District Archive, 2007, page 90
     The death certificate lists his occupation as a master paraffin hawker. Google has let me down on this one.  I can only imagine that he is a seller, from a cart, of paraffin, perhaps to make candles (?)  This is odd since Samuel was always working in an iron factory and is listed on Ann's death certificate as a foreman at a steel works.  Heather has once again come to my rescue with a photo of a paraffin hawker.  Perhaps, later in life, Samuel discontinued employment in the iron factory and decided to purchase or rent a cart to sell paraffin on the street.  I do have an individual blog on the death of Samuel Hughes on Flipside.  

1901 United Kingdom Census

     Following her husband's death, Ann continued to live with her daughter Anna Maria Hughes Hussey and family.  The 1901 UK census shows that the family has moved to 18 Colwyn Road located in the All Saints Parish, Stranton, West Hartlepool. I believe that this was a fairly posh area in 1901.  Joseph wass employed as a crane operator and Annie was running a bakery and candy store out of her home.  I have recently found some documents on ancestry that are city directories for Hartlepool.  Joseph is listed as a store owner operating out of his home at 18 Colwyn for several years.

     In 1901, Colwyn was a fairly new road and probably not well developed.  It is quite a distance from the factory area and near Bellevue in the south west portion of Stranton where there are many developed streets.  The photo above is 18 Colwyn Road today.  I have no idea if this residence actually was the Hussey home in 1901.

1911 United Kingdom Census

     Ann Hill Hughes' final United Kingdom census report is 1911.  She was living alone at 11 Bowser Street, an eighty year old invalid.  She has a four room, private house and was receiving a pension check.  Three boxes on the census that interested me concerned her children.  It is listed that she had ten children; however only five were still alive.  The five children that removed to West Hartlepool from Wordsley were still alive in 1911.  As I suspected Henry, John, Joseph, William and Jane all died before the move.  I have wondered who was taking care of Ann during her stay alone and happened upon a marriage article in a Hartlepool newspaper calling Joseph and Anna Maria Hussey's eldest daughter, Lillian, "Nurse Lillian".  Perhaps Lillian was caring for her grandmother at this time.

Ann Hill Hughes Death Certificate

     Within months of the 1911 census, Ann Hill Hughes died at age eighty on June 14, 1911.  The death certificate lists her age as eighty, but as you can see on the 1911 census report, her age is listed as seventy eight.  My paternal great great grandfather, and Ann's oldest son, George Henry Hughes was present at her death.  Samuel is listed as her deceased husband and as a foreman at the steel works.  This information would have been supplied by George Henry Hughes.  Ann is probably buried beside her husband without having a tombstone mark her resting place.  There is a blog concerning Ann's death on Flipside.

I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. All comments are welcome; however, if they are inappropriate, they will not be published.    PLEASE post your e-mail in the comment section if you would like to network about a particular surname or topic. I will capture it for my use only and not include it when I publish your comment.
© 2018, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Wordsley, Kingswinford Parish, Staffordshire, England

Wordsley from Holy Trinity Church circa 1900

       My Hughes ancestors apparently originated in Wales; however, to date, this is where my story begins, Wordsley, a village located in the Kingswinford Parish, Staffordshire County, England. Wikipedia describes the location best,

     "Wordsley is a village south of Kingswinford and north of Stourbridge in the West Midlands, England.  It is part of the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley and falls into the Stourbridge postcode and address area, being just north of the River Stour."

Staffordshire County, England
      I seem to recall my paternal grandfather mentioning that back in the day, our Hughes family came from Birmingham.  Well, in a general way, they did.  Wordsley is located west of Birmingham.  Today there appears to be a motorway around Birmingham and Wordsley might be considered by US standards, a bedroom community of Birmingham.  Today it would take about 45 minutes to make the trip by car.

     The key to my Hughes family history would unlock the door of the canal system which opened up England, especially those towns and villages located inland, to the industrial revolution.  Roads were not as developed in the 18th and 19th century and could not handle heavy weight, so a system of canals was developed to link many areas with seaside towns.  By the mid 19th century railroads began to take over; however, my focus is on the canal system and Wordsley from about 1840-1880. 

Boatmen on the Stourbridge Canal late 1800's 

      My paternal 4x great grandfathers, William Hughes and William Hill, were both boatman, as was my paternal 3x great grandfather, Samuel Hughes.  They either pulled their boats or had a mule or horse to do the heavy work up and down the Stourbridge Canal.  Both families lived in the Wordsley Green area of Wordsley.

     The Stourbridge Canal was built using the Stour River which flowed from Stourbridge to Stourport.  It connected with other canals helping to move products through this section of England and outward.  In the beginning the primary industry in the area was glass; however, with the advent of the canal, many more products became available.  One was providing access to the coal mined in Dudley.

     The canal is 4.2 miles in length with 20 locks.  There is a stair step section of sixteen locks leading up to Brierley Hill.

Lock # 2 on the Allegheny River, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Located across from Sharpsburg, Etna and Aspinwall
     I have always been fascinated with canals and locks.  Perhaps I am genetically predisposed ;-)  I can remember when I was a child taking a trip on the Allegheny River in the Pittsburgh area and  being channeled into a lock.  The door closed behind the boat and water was pumped into the lock raising the boat up to the level of the water on the other side of the lock--very cool.  Obviously, it was a backward scenario going back down the river, with the lock door closing and water being released in the lock to gently lift us back down to the lower portion of the river.

     Canals, with the towpath running beside, has also captured my attention since childhood.  How many times as children did we sing the song, Low Bridge or 15 Miles on the Erie Canal.  There was a time when we were on vacation and saw a  historic sign while driving near a portion of the Erie Canal in northern New York.  Of course we had to get out of the car and have a look.  Even here in the Cleveland, Ohio area we have the Ohio & Erie Canalway that runs from Lake Erie in Cleveland south to New Philadelphia, Ohio.  Hiking along the towpath is on my bucket list.

     Numerous men and their sons, who lived in Wordsley, were involved with the boat traffic that flowed by the village on the canal; however, the primary industry was glass.  In the photo at the top of the blog there are four glass factory cones that are dominant in the view.  From mid century census reports, I have found cousins who were involved with the glass industry from the Hill family side of this tree.  

     Several years ago, my UK friend, Heather, sent me this exceptional gift.  I was, and am, so appreciative of her thoughtfulness over the years.  How special to have a piece of my heritage which I can touch.

     Wordsley begins the earliest residence of my Hughes story.  Next stop is West Hartlepool, County Durham, England. 

 I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. All comments are welcome; however, if they are inappropriate, they will not be published.    PLEASE post your e-mail in the comment section if you would like to network about a particular surname or topic. I will capture it for my use only and not include it when I publish your comment.
© 2018, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Ann Hill Hughes of West Hartlepool, England


     Yesterday I pulled the trigger and upgraded my Ancestry membership from US Discovery to the World Explorer plan and I was off and running :-)

     Perhaps the blog on my paternal 3 great grandfather, Samuel Hughes, pushed me onward to find more information on my English roots.  My UK friend, Heather, who I have mentioned countless times on Flipside as my European go to genealogical friend, has been a valuable assistant in piecing my UK family together.  Now I can also begin researching them from here in the US.

St. Peter's Church, Kinver, Staffordshire, England

     Ann Hill Hughes, wife of Samuel, and my paternal 3x great grandmother was born about 1832, the daughter of William Hill and Ann Parry.  Ann Hill and Samuel Hughes married on February 12, 1849  in St. Peter's Church in Kinver, Staffordshire, England.  They relocated to West Hartlepool, England by the 1871 UK census. 

     Untangling the Hughes family in West Hartlepool has been comparable to piecing a puzzle back together.  There are several different Hughes families who made their home in West Hartlepool and I have not been able to determine if they are related generations back.  Then there is the inevitable genealogical issue that the same forenames are found generation after generation.  Fortunately, in my family, some of the members also are referred to by their first and middle names, which is a help.  Although I have several George Henry Hughes' in my line.  My paternal grandfather, my 2x great grandfather, a first cousin 3x removed and several more who I have yet to place on my family tree.  Hopefully having access to the World Explorer and UK census reports will assist in my Hughes detective work.

     The name Ann Hughes is no many to untangle.  The ability to follow UK census reports and also the combination of  the Tees Valley Indexes website and the Durham Records Online have made me almost 100% certain that I have located the death information for my paternal 3x great grandmother.

     Samuel and Ann Hughes were enumerated with one of their married daughters, Anna Marie Hughes Hussey and her family in 1891.  Following Samuel's death in 1895, it appears that Ann continued to stay with the Hussey family as she is enumerated with them in 1901.

1911 United Kingdom Census Report for Ann Hill Hughes

     I already had a copy of the UK BMD index which lists an Ann Hughes, age 80 dying in Hartlepool in April, May or June of 1911.  I was able to locate a 1911 UK census report for Ann Hughes, with the correct birth and number of children information.  She was living at 11 Bowser Street in a 4 room house as an invalid.  A Durham County death record that I found shows that an Ann Hughes on Bowser street died in 1911.  This is the only Ann Hughes to have died in Hartlepool from 1901-1911.

     I am hoping to be able to secure her death record from the Tees Valley Index and also am hoping it might give me the further proof I need to nail this down.  Either listing her deceased husband or having a family member sign the form.

Ann Hill Hughes Death Certificate

     Heather to the rescue.  She reached out to the Hartlepool records office and voila!  As always.....THANK YOU Heather.

     Now I have an exact date of death for my paternal 3x great grandmother.  Ann died at her home, 11 Bowser Street, West Hartlepool, England on June 14, 1911 at eighty years old.  Her son, my paternal 2x great grandfather and Ann's son, George Henry Hughes, was present at his mother's death.  The certificate also lists Samuel Hughes as her deceased husband.  

     Senile decay might be comparable to dementia or Alzheimer disease today and syncope is a loss of consciousness due to a lack of blood flow to the brain--fainting.  The 1911 UK census lists her as an invalid who was living in a 4 room dwelling, alone.  The  kitchen was counted, so there was probably a living room space a bedroom and perhaps a room comparable to a dining room.  

     There certainly were numerous adult children and older grand children living nearby.  I wonder if Hughes family members took turns staying with Ann to assist her with the daily personal and housekeeping duties?  I hope so.  Having a father who had dementia, it would not have been remotely possible, as the disease progressed, for him to have fixed a meal, done any toileting procedures, etc.  In fact, he was not able to transfer by himself from his bed to the floor.  Fortunately, he was properly cared for first, in an assisted living facility and finally, in a nursing home.  

     I think I now have collected enough information on the Samuel and Ann Hill Hughes family to do a proper blog.  Stay tuned ;-)

I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. All comments are welcome; however, if they are inappropriate, they will not be published.    PLEASE post your e-mail in the comment section if you would like to network about a particular surname or topic. I will capture it for my use only and not include it when I publish your comment.
© 2018, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser