First World War centenary family history

Posted on August 14th, 2014 by Paul Stainthorp

In commemoration of the centenary of the start of the First World War, here are my notes on my ancestors and their immediate family members who served in the British armed forces between 1914-1918. I know of two immediate relatives who lost their lives in WWI, plus three relatives of my wife’s:

  1. John Wears Gray (1894-1918)
  2. Francis “Frank” Stainthorp (1886-1918)
  3. George Mabbott Black (1891-1915)
  4. Arthur Black (1897-1915)
  5. William Bassett Foster (1889-1915)
  6. I have also included brief notes on other relatives who served and survived the war

Paul Harland Stainthorp ( Version 1.0, updated 14th August 2014.

1. John Wears Gray (1894-1918)

Private John Wears Gray, 5132 Royal Scots, later 350197, "D" Company, 9th (Glasgow Highlanders) Battalion, Highland Light Infantry.

Private John Wears Gray, 5132 Royal Scots, later 350197, “D” Company, 9th (Glasgow Highlanders) Battalion, Highland Light Infantry. Died aged 25 on 29th September 1918. Buried at Targelle Ravine British Cemetery, Villers-Guislain, France. Family photograph, © all rights reserved

My great-great-uncle John Wears Gray was born in 1894 in Newcastle upon Tyne, the second son of corporation rent-collector Charles Gray and his wife Sarah née Wears. In the census of 1901, John, aged 7, was with his parents at the family home at 14, Dene Terrace, South Gosforth – at the same address in 1911 he was recorded as a 17-year-old grocers’ apprentice with the Newcastle Co-operative Society (John’s father Charles had died four years earlier, at the age of only 42, leaving five children and his wife Sarah expecting twins).

It appears that John Wears Gray enlisted sometime in 1915. Although his WWI military service record has not survived, John’s medal card records his rank (Private), regimental number (5132) and that he initially served in the Royal Scots regiment.

At some point, John was transferred from the Royal Scots to the 9th Battalion, Highland Light Infantry and given a new regimental number (350197); possibly he was one of the men who joined the H.L.I. near Mametz Wood in the Somme in northern France in July 1916 – this fresh intake of men was recorded in the regimental diary.

At 4.40am on Sunday 29th September 1918, “D” Company of the 9th Glasgow Highlanders moved out of their trenches behind the front line in the small French commune of Villers-Guislain, south of Cambrai. An hour later they charged the German lines in thick fog.

At Targelle Ravine, some 60 men led by Lieutenant Douglas Fountaine Brodie found themselves too far forward and cut off from the rest of the brigade. They dug in and sent a message asking for instructions (the order to withdraw given in reply was intercepted – the messenger was taken prisoner). Most of the men at in Lt D. F. Brodie’s isolated party at Targelle were captured. Lt Brodie escaped capture by feigning death, but was killed in action a month later.

John Wears Gray was one of more than 350 men killed in the fighting at Villers-Guislain on this single day in September. He was 25. Next morning’s entry in the regimental diary begins:

30 September 1918: front line at Villers Guislain.
The morning stand to was unusually quiet.
—Diary of 9th Battalion, Highland Light Infantry. WO 95/2431/1. Kew: The National Archives

Screenshot from the Ian Hislop episode of the BBC's 'Who Do You Think You Are?' programme, showing John Wears Gray's headstone at Targelle Ravine British Cemetery

Screenshot from the Ian Hislop episode of the BBC’s ‘Who Do You Think You Are?‘ programme, showing John Wears Gray’s headstone at Targelle Ravine British Cemetery, Villers-Guislain. Broadcast on Yesterday, 14th November 2013

350197 Private John Wears Gray, the son of Sarah Gray, of 14, Dene Terrace, South Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, and the late Charles Gray, is buried in Targelle Ravine British Cemetery, Villers-Guislain, Nord, France.

David Murdoch Hislop, the paternal grandfather of the journalist & broadcaster Ian Hislop, served in the Highland Light Infantry alongside my great-great-uncle John Wears Gray, and also fought at the battle of Targelle Ravine. In the first series of the BBC’s family history programme ‘Who Do You Think You Are?‘, Ian Hislop travelled with his family to Villers-Guislain and retraced the footsteps of his grandfather in the battle on 29th September 1918. In a sequence filmed at the Targelle Ravine cemetery, the camera pans along the line of white Commonwealth gravestones, and John Wears Gray’s own headstone can be clearly seen on screen.

John Gray was posthumously awarded the standard Victory and British campaign medals which presumably were sent to his widowed mother Sarah. His name is inscribed on a memorial plaque at St Nicholas’ Church, South Gosforth – images of the memorial are available on the North East War Memorials Project website.

John’s elder brother, my great-grandfather David Gray, also served in the war (see below).

2. Francis “Frank” Stainthorp (1886-1918)

Another two-greats uncle, the son of butcher/publican William Stainthorp and Margaret Anne née Harland. Francis Stainthorp was born on 19th January 1886 at the Crown and Anchor Hotel, Main Street, Redcar, Yorks., where his father William was landlord. By 1891, William Stainthorp had taken over the licence at the New Inn, Skelton-in-Cleveland, and the 4-year-old Frank was listed there on the ’91 census.

By 1901, the Stainthorps had moved to 57 Castlereagh Street, New Silksworth, a mining-village suburb of Sunderland, and William had returned to the usual Stainthorp family occupation of butcher. Frank married Mary Lena Mason in Sunderland in 1910, and by 1911 the newlyweds had set up home in a three-room tenement on Burdon Lane, Ryhope, County Durham – Frank having followed his father into the butchery trade. One daughter, Margaret, was born in Ryhope on 14th January 1911 – a second, named Mary Lena after her mother, followed on 31st March 1913, after the family had moved to nearby Seaham.

Francis Stainthorp enlisted in the army on 9th September 1914 at Seaham Harbour, County Durham, joining the 14th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry with the rank of Private; regimental number 21653. He was 28 years old – his attestation papers recorded that he had previously served in the Northants (or possibly Northumberland – the handwriting is not clear!) Hussars, a Yeomanry regiment. He gave his occupation as butcher; his medical record shows that he was 5′ 9¼” tall and weighed just over nine stone.

While undergoing basic training at Halton Park near Tring in Hertfordshire, Frank was promoted to Lance Corporal. (He was stripped of this rank in 1915 after being picked up drunk and absent without leave, having overstayed his pass. He further marked his card in 1916 when he was arrested and tried by Field General Court Martial for “conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline” – Confined to Barracks for 10 days. He was eventually reappointed L/Cpl on 12th February 1917.)

In February 1918 Frank was among 200 soldiers transferred from the 14th to the 19th Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry while the latter was encamped behind the front lines at Poelcappelle in Flanders.

Ordnance Survey / British War Office (G.S.G.S.), First World War Trench Map showing Avelghem and Kerkhove, October 1918. National Library of Scotland

Ordnance Survey / British War Office (G.S.G.S.), First World War Trench Map showing Avelghem and Kerkhove, October 1918. National Library of Scotland

By 31st October the same year—in the final “Hundred Days” offensive of the war—the 19th D.L.I. were in the front line north of Avelghem. At 5.35 on the morning of the 31st, the Faithful Durhams attacked along with two battalions of the Lancashire Fusiliers. By 10.30am they had taken all objectives along with 350 German prisoners, and the British Army controlled a stretch of country to the east of Avelghem as far as the small village of Kerkhove with its church dedicated to Saint Amand (Sint-Amandus).

However these gains came at a heavy cost. 102 British soldiers were killed on this day at Avelghem.

21653 L/Cpl Frank Stainthorp, aged 32, died of his wounds on 31st October 1918 near the village of Kerkhove; he was buried in the churchyard at Kerkhove Sint-Amanduskerk. In November 1922, as part of a programme of ‘concentration’ of scattered individual British and Commonwealth war graves into larger cemeteries, his body was exhumed and moved to the huge Bedford House Cemetery near Ieper (Ypres).

Awaiting photograph…

Awaiting photograph…

Frank’s campaign medals were sent to his widow, Mrs Mary Lena Stainthorp of 15, Hill Street, Seaham Harbour, Co. Durham. In 1919, Mary was awarded a widow’s pension of 25s. 5d. a week.

Frank Stainthorp’s name was added to a memorial plaque which was erected at Chester-le-Street Wesleyan Methodist Church in June 1922. However, the plaque was lost when the church was later converted into a private house. Details of the memorial are available on the North East War Memorials Project website.

I have not yet been able to trace what happened to Frank’s family in County Durham after the war. His daughter Margaret may have married Reginald S. Godfrey in Middlesex in 1934.

N.B. this Francis Stainthorp (1886-1918) was the 2-greats grandson of Francis Stainthorp (1765-1822), weaver of Hutton Rudby, whom I have written about here.

3. George Mabbott Black (1891-1915)

4. Arthur Black (1897-1915)

My wife’s great-uncles George and Arthur Black were brothers: two of the thirteen children of agricultural labourer William Black and his wife Mary née Pask of 35, Hope Street, Lincoln.

George Mabbott Black was born on 30th November 1890 in Sturton-by-Stow, Lincs.; his middle name “Mabbott” was the maiden name of his maternal grandmother. A farm waggoner, he joined the Royal Navy and by 1915 was a Stoker on the destroyer HMS Wolverine. He died on 27th August 1915 in the Eastern Mediterranean, presumably while on active service as part of the Dardanelles Campaign. He was 24. George is commemorated at East Mudros Military Cemetery on the Greek island of Lemnos (Λήμνος).

Lincoln War Memorial and St Benedict's Church

Lincoln City War Memorial and St Benedict’s Church 
The names of George M. Black, Arthur Black, and William B. Foster are inscribed on the High Street memorial 
© Copyright Tom Bastin and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Arthur Black—the younger brother by 6 years—was born on 2nd May 1897 in the City of Lincoln itself. He became a Private in the 1/4th Battalion, the Lincolnshire Regiment; his service number was 1824. He died on 13th October 1915, at only 18 years of age, in the “useless slaughter of infantry” of the Battle of the Hohenzollern Redoubt. His name is inscribed on the Loos Memorial in northern France, one of the 3,643 Allied casualties of the battle.

5. William Bassett Foster (1889-1915)

William Bassett Foster was my wife’s great-great-uncle (two greats). He was born in 1889 in Lincoln: the son of house painter Thomas Foster and Hannah Cass née Bassett, of 63, Burton Road. Like Arthur Black, he was a Private in the 1/4th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment; service number 2783. He was killed in the same battle on 13th October 1915, aged 26, and is also commemorated on the Loos Memorial.

William Foster’s name—along with George and Arthur Black’s—can be seen on the city war memorial on Lincoln High Street.

6. Other relatives who served and survived the war

This list will grow as I discover more service records.

*I am greatly indebted to my distant cousin Nigel Butterfield who provided the information on the four Curry brothers who were my three-greats uncles.

Stone of Remembrance, Tyne Cot

Stone of Remembrance, Tyne Cot
© Copyright Mark Kilner and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Francis Stainthorp (1765-1822), weaver of Hutton Rudby

Posted on May 20th, 2014 by Paul Stainthorp
Thumbnail photo of my children with the grave of their six-greats grandparents

Thumbnail photo of my children with the grave of their six-greats grandparents.
Copyright © Paul Stainthorp, all rights reserved

My great-great-great-great-great grandfather (i.e. five greats) Francis Stainthorp (1765-1822) and five-greats grandmother Hannah née Waring (1768-1836) are buried in the churchyard of All Saints Church, Rudby-in-Cleveland, in the north-east corner of the North Riding of Yorkshire, about nine miles south of Middlesbrough.1

My Stainthorp ancestors lived in the adjoining village of Hutton Rudby from at least the early 1600s until c.1890.2 Our surname derives from the former market town of Staindrop, across the River Tees from Hutton, in County Durham. The placename matches Old Norse steinn + þorp meaning the ‘stony’ settlement or farmstead, or one belonging to a Dane named Steinn,3,4 but is probably a Scandinavianization of an underlying Old English placename stǣner (‘stony’) + hop (‘valley’).5 Staindrop is spelt Stainthorp or -thorpe on some eighteenth-century maps and gazetteers.6,7 The manorial district around the village was anciently known as Staindropshire.8Gilbert de Steyndrope, goldsmith and sheriff, was recorded in London in 1346.9

The market town of Stainthorp (Staindrop), in “A Map of the BISHOPRICK of DURHAM North from London” by T. Badeslade and W.H. Toms, 1741.

The market town of Stainthorp (Staindrop), in “A Map of the BISHOPRICK of DURHAM North from London” by T. Badeslade and W.H. Toms, 1742.

The local history society in Hutton Rudby have transcribed the parish records for All Saints:2 despite dozens of Stainthorp burials recorded in Rudby over two centuries, Francis’s is the only one of my ancestor’s graves marked with a headstone.10 The memorial inscription is very well preserved and reads:

The headstone of linen weaver Francis Stainthorp (1765-1822) and his wives Jane née Kendale (1764-1795) and Hannah née Waring (1768-1836). All Saints, Rudby

The headstone of linen weaver Francis Stainthorp (1765-1822) and his wives Jane née Kendale (1764-1795) and Hannah née Waring (1768-1836). All Saints, Rudby. Copyright © Paul Stainthorp, and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License

who died July the 19th, 1822;
Aged 57 Years.
JANE his First Wife,
who died June the 17th, 17[95?];
Aged 31 Years.
HANNAH his Second Wife,
Who died August the 14th, 1836;
Aged 68 Years.”

Francis Stainthorp, the only? son of Robert Stainthorp (d. 1820?) and Margaret née Wilchinson (d. 1771), was baptised at Rudby parish church on 10th March 1765.2 He became a linen weaver – hand-loom weaving at home was the traditional occupation in Hutton, which was at the centre of the Cleveland linen industry, processing Baltic flax brought into the Tees ports.1,11 The village was also notorious for its connections to smuggling:

“Hutton Rudby, Enterpen,
Far more rogues than honest men…”

— traditional rhyme.12

Francis married twice and had a total of ten children.2 Of those ten, three died in early childhood and the parents re-used their forenames for subsequent births. (This seems odd today but was not uncommon in the early nineteenth century.13 I have used Roman numerals I, II and III to distinguish the births below.)

On 23rd May 1786, Francis married Jane Kendale at Rudby All Saints.2,14 They had three children:

  1. John I, died in infancy
  2. Margaret (b. 9th March 1791)
  3. Jane (baptised 9th February 1794)

Francis’s wife Jane died in 1795 aged just 31 and he married Hannah Waring on 14th April 1798.2,15,16 Hannah and Francis had a further seven children:

  1. John II, died in infancy
  2. Hannah (b. 25th August 1802)
  3. Francis (b. 22nd August 1803 – d. 14th August 1882)
  4. Mary (bap. 24th May 1805)
  5. Ann I, died in infancy
  6. Ann II (bap. 16th October 1808)
  7. John III (bap. 19th August 1810 – bur. 2nd May 1858)
Title page of the poll book for Yorkshire, 1807

Title page of the poll book for Yorkshire, 1807. Scan of a work in the public domain

The two boys who survived were my four-greats grandfather Francis (1803-82), and John (1810-58). Both became hand-loom linen weavers like their father.17

In 1807, the 42-year-old Francis Stainthorp’s name and occupation were recorded in the county poll book for that year’s election to the House of Commons of the two county MPs for Yorkshire – the so-called “Knights of the Shire”.18 Francis had the vote, pre-Great Reform Act, becaue he was a freeholder resident in the liberty of Langbaurgh (the wapentake which included Hutton Rudby). This was no secret ballot: how each man voted was recorded and published. Francis’s candidate—the incumbent, anti-slavery MP William Wilberforce—retained his seat.19

As his gravestone inscription records, Francis Stainthorp senior died on 19th July 1822 at the age of 57; he was buried two days later in the churchyard at Rudby All Saints, where his bones presumably still lie.2,10

In his will, written on 21st January 1822, and proved at the Exchequer Court of York later the same year, Francis left a considerable amount of property to his wife, five surviving daughters (Hannah, Mary, Ann, Margaret and Jane) and sons Francis and John. The will mentions several houses in Hutton occupied by tenant weavers, two acres of land, an orchard, “farming stock, Implements of Husbandry, and stock in Trade… Household goods, furniture, plate, linen and china“, and sums of money to be given to each of his children. A copy of the will is held on microfilm at the Borthwick Institute for Archives in York;20 the will is also summarised—and the estate valued—in the death duty registers held at the National Archives.21

I give to my said Wife for her own use
absolutely the Cow now in my possession…

— excerpt from Francis Stainthorp’s will.20

After his death, some of Francis senior’s property in Hutton—consisting of two houses with a garden, orchard, shop and stable—was bought by David Hebbron, a butcher.22 Francis’s elder son, Francis, lived to 78 and was one of the last hand-loom weavers in Hutton Rudby.23 Francis junior and his wife Ann Seamer had three sons of their own in the 1830s,2 though all but the youngest died in childhood.24,25

Section of Francis Stainthorp's will, held in the Borthwick Institute in York

Section of Francis Stainthorp’s will, held in the Borthwick Institute in York

Francis junior’s third son Charles Stainthorp (1835-1905) and grandson William (1862-1924) became butchers, after the industrial revolution brought cheap imported linen to Britain and put paid to cottage hand-loom weaving in north-east Yorkshire. Ironically one of the last uses of Hutton Rudby home-spun linen was to make blue apron material for butchers like Charles and his descendants.26

After a series of family and financial tragedies in the 1870s and ’80s, Charles and William Stainthorp both left the North Riding and moved their families to what would later become the metropolitan area of Tyne and Wear. William’s youngest child: my great-grandfather Henry Harland (Harry) Stainthorp, was born in Sunderland in 1904. He carried on the Stainthorp family butchering business on Tyneside, succeeded by his own eldest son: my grandfather, who ran a butcher’s shop in Whitley Bay until he retired in 1986.

There were no (living) Stainthorps left in Hutton Rudby by the end of the nineteenth century.


I’m grateful to the following people, some of whom do not even know me, but without whose help I would not have been able to write this post :– my late grandad Bill Stainthorp and my grandma Marjorie, Joan Stainthorp, Gill S., Carole A., John and Marianne S., Margaret Brabin, Alice Barrigan (North Yorkshire History), J. E. Stainthorp, the staff of the Lincolnshire public library service, the Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York, and several people on the RootsChat family history forum. Thank you.


  1. Page, William (editor). Parishes: Rudby-in-Cleveland. In: A history of the county of York, North Riding. Volume 2. London: St. Catherine Press, 1923. British History Online. (accessed 14th October 2014).
  2. Hutton Rudby and District Local History Society. Handwritten transcriptions from the registers of the parish of Rudby-in-Cleveland. Entries for ‘Stainthorp’ and related spellings. Copy in the possession of Paul Harland Stainthorp (
  3. Mawer, Allen. The place-names of Northumberland and Durham. Cambridge University Press, 1920. Internet Archive. (accessed 14th October 2014).
  4. Simpson, David. Place-name meanings P to S. England’s North East. 2009. (accessed 14th October 2014).
  5. Mills, Anthony David. A dictionary of British place-names. Oxford University Press, 2011. Google Books. (accessed 14th October 2014).
  6. Badeslade, Thomas and Toms, William H. A map of the Bishoprick of Durham north from London. In: Chorographia Britanniæ: or, a new set of maps of all the counties in England and Wales, etc… 1742.
  7. Camden, William. Britaine, or, a chorographicall description of the most flourishing kingdomes, England, Scotland, and Ireland. London: George Bishop and John Norton, 1610. Transcription by Dana F. Sutton, 14th June 2004. A Vision of Britain Through Time. (accessed 14th October 2014).
  8. Dufferwiel, Martin. Durham: over 1,000 years of history and legend. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing, 2011. Google Books. (accessed 14th October 2014).
  9. Sharpe, Reginald R. (editor). Calendar of letter-books preserved among the archives of the Corporation of the City of London at the Guildhall: letter-book F, 1337-1352. Folios cxxi-cxxx, pages 143-156. London: John Edward Francis, 1904. British History Online. (accessed 14th October 2014).
  10. Headstone of Francis Stainthorp, All Saints, Rudby-in-Cleveland. Photograph taken by Paul Harland Stainthorp (, 6th April 2014. Find A Grave. (accessed 30th April 2014).
  11. Barrigan, Alice. Linen weaving and the paper mill. In: Remarkable, but still true: the story of the Revd R.J. Barlow and Hutton Rudby in the time of cholera. Guisborough: Westgate, 2007. North Yorkshire History. (accessed 14th October 2014).
  12. Pierson, Thomas. Roseberry Topping: a poem (originally published 1783): with notes, and also a notice of the author and a memoir of the late Thomas Jennett. Edited by John Walker Ord. Stockton: Jennett & Co., 1847. Google Books. (accessed 14th October 2014).
  13. Fraser, Susanna. What’s in a necronym? In Love and War. (accessed 14th October 2014).
  14. Diocese of York. Bishop’s transcripts. Parish of Rudby-in-Cleveland. Entry for the marriage of Francis Stainthorpe and Jane Kendale, 23rd May 1786. Findmypast. (accessed 14th October 2014).
  15. Diocese of York. Bishop’s transcripts. Parish of Rudby-in-Cleveland. Entry for the marriage of Francis Stainthorpe and Hannah Waring, 14th April 1798. Findmypast. (accessed 14th October 2014).
  16. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Transcription from the registers of the parish of Rudby-in-Cleveland. Entry for the marriage of Francis Stainthorpe and Hannah Waring, 14th April 1798. Genealogical Society film number: 918436. FamilySearch. (accessed 14th October 2014).
  17. General Register Office. 1841 census returns. Archive reference HO107, piece 1258, book 9, folio 13, page 18. Entry for North End, Township of Hutton, Rudby in Cleveland. Kew: The National Archives. Findmypast. (accessed 14th October 2014).
  18. County of York. The poll, for Knights of the Shire. York: T. Wilson and R. Spence, 1807. Internet Archive. (accessed 14th October 2014).
  19. Yorkshire election 1807. Wikipedia. (accessed 14th October 2014).
  20. Exchequer Court of York. The will of Francis Stainthorpe. Probate register 167, folio 621. 11th November 1822. York: Borthwick Institute for Archives.
  21. Estate Duty Office. Death duty registers. Archive reference IR 26/932, S-T, folio numbers 1642-1942. Entry for Francis Stainthorpe, 11th November 1822. Kew: The National Archives.
  22. Barrigan, Alice. People of Hutton Rudby in the C18/19: Southeran to Swallwell. North Yorkshire History. 10th June 2013. (accessed 15th October 2014).
  23. General Register Office. 1871 census returns. Archive reference RG10, piece 4861, folio 16, page 9. Entry for Goldie Hill, Hutton Rudby. Kew: The National Archives. Findmypast. (accessed 15th October 2014).
  24. General Register Office. Certified copy of an entry of death. Entry for Francis Stainthorp, 24th May 1840. Copy in the possession of Paul Harland Stainthorp ( GRO index reference: Stokesley XXIV 326. FreeBMD. (accessed 15th October 2015).
  25. General Register Office. Certified copy of an entry of death. Entry for William Stainthorp, 14th February 1848. Copy in the possession of Paul Harland Stainthorp ( GRO index reference: Stokesley 24 399. FreeBMD. (accessed 15th October 2015).
  26. Barrigan, Alice. Epilogue. In: Remarkable, but still true: the story of the Revd R.J. Barlow and Hutton Rudby in the time of cholera. Guisborough: Westgate, 2007. North Yorkshire History. (accessed 15th October 2014).

Paul Harland Stainthorp ( Version 1.2.1, updated 15th October 2014.

Imminent domain 2

Posted on April 10th, 2014 by Paul Stainthorp

An updated list of the web domains and subdomains for which the Library is responsible.

Most are http and https or redirect gracefully from one to the other. Number 4. Horizon Information Portal, is http only.

  1. — our main website. Uses WordPress on
    • etc.
  2. — redirects to 1. Except:

  3. — redirects to 1. (/maths-stats)
  4. — SirsiDynix Horizon Information Portal (HiP) OPAC

  5. — redirects to 4.
  6. — Springshare LibGuides CMS
    • etc.
  7. — Talis Aspire Reading Lists N.B. not!
  8. — Talis Aspire Digitised Content
  9. — OCLC EZproxy authentication software
  10. — historical, redirects to
  11. * — not yet configured, intended for Axiell CalmView
  12. * — not currently used, held for EBSCO Discovery Service
  13. * — historical, defunct

Subdomains under * but not under * for which the Library is wholly or mainly responsible. Many of these relate to the ongoing project to establish a Research Information Service across the Library and other departments:

  1. — redirects to 1. (/maths-stats)
  2. — the Lincoln Repository (EPrints)
  3. — inter-library loans software (Clio)
  4. — Eduserv OpenAthens LA authentication software
  5. — BETA Researcher Dashboard (Orbital Bridge)
  6. — BETA CKAN research data software
  7. * not currently used

External, domains which are very important to the Library:

  1. — EBSCO Discovery Service
  2. — EBSCO Electronic Journals A-to-Z
  3. — EBSCO LinkSource OpenURL link resolver
  4. — the British Library’s e-theses service
  5. — our Twitter presence @GCWLibrary

Family history brick wall: who was Luke O’Grady?

Posted on March 3rd, 2014 by Paul Stainthorp

One of my great-grandfathers was Frank Corr a.k.a. Frank O’Grady (1888-1962) of Birmingham and Sheffield. I’m trying to discover the origins and fate of his biological father Luke O’Grady, my great-great-grandfather. What follows is an outline of the life of Frank O’Grady Corr, notes on the possible identity of Luke O’Grady, and my ideas for further research.

Paul Harland Stainthorp ( Version 1.6.1, updated 24th September 2014.

  1. The life of Frank O’Grady Corr
  2. Who was Luke O’Grady?
  3. Where next? Ideas for further research
  4. List of references
  5. Note on links to sources

The life of Frank O’Grady Corr

Back yard, Court 15, Inge Street, Birmingham

Back yard, Court 15, Inge Street, Birmingham
A rare preserved example of the thousands of back-to-back courts that used to provide housing for workers and their families in the years of the 19th and 20th centuries.
© Copyright Brian Robert Marshall and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Frank was born on 22nd January 1888, at the back of 135 Brearley Street in the Lozells area of Birmingham.[1]

His mother was Emily née Farley, born 1854,[2] the widow of Edward Corr, a turner & fitter from Wolverhampton.[3] Emily and Edward were married on 14th July 1872[4] and had seven children together:[5] John Felix (1873-1956), Florence (1876-77), Beatrice (1876-77), Alfred Edward (1877-1900), Emmett (1880-81), Edward (1883-1933), and Harold (1885-1952). In 1881 the family lived on Burbury Street, Lozells.[3]

Edward Corr died in 1887, more than ten months before my great-grandfather’s birth.[6]

The informant on Frank’s birth certificate was his father Luke O’Grady. Luke gave his occupation as glass embosser (journeyman)[1]—a skilled trade connected to the glassmaking industry common in the English Black Country since the 17th century[7]—and his address as 135 Brearley Street where Frank was born. Frank’s mother is named as Emily O’Grady (sic) formerly Farley.[1]

This use of the surname O’Grady for or by Emily must have been a common-law arrangement, or else a polite fiction on behalf of Luke O’Grady for the registrar’s benefit: there is no record of a marriage between Emily and anyone named O’Grady, and Emily never used the name again.

It seems that Emily could not read or write;[4] perhaps that’s why she didn’t register the birth herself.

In the 1891 census, Emily and Luke’s three-year-old son Frank O’Grady was with his maternal grandmother Emma Farley in Barr Street, Birmingham;[8] Emily Corr was a few streets away at 6 Tower Street working as a machinist, with John, Alfred and Edward, three of her four surviving sons by Edward Corr.[9] (The fourth son, Harold, was also being cared for by relatives locally.[10]) Frank’s father Luke O’Grady is nowhere to be found.

After this point my great-grandfather Frank used Corr exclusively as his adult surname.

Blaco Road, Attercliffe, Sheffield

Blaco Road, Attercliffe, Sheffield
Blaco Road looking towards the gates of Carbrook Park, showing No. 5. 25th April 1966. Photographer: H. Ainscough.
Found on the Picture Sheffield website
© Copyright David Ainscough – used with permission

By 1901, Frank Corr had left Birmingham and moved to Sheffield with his mother and half-brother Harold, and was working as a labourer in the steel industry at the age of just thirteen.[11] Emily, Harold and Frank lived at 46 Blaco Road, Attercliffe-cum-Darnall, along with ‘boarder’ Charles Tillbrook and two of Charles’s children. Emily Corr née Farley married her ‘boarder’ later the same year and became Emily Tillbrook.[12]

(In 1911, Frank’s mother Emily and her second husband Charles Tillbrook were living at 83 Clifton Street, Sheffield, with Charles’s daughter Elizabeth and Emily’s son Harold Corr – albeit recorded on the census under his stepfather’s surname as “Harold Tillbrook”.[13] Emily died in 1919;[14] Charles Tillbrook in 1930.[15] Of Frank’s three surviving half-brothers, John Felix stayed in Birmingham and became a brassworker.[16] Edward joined the Army and was stationed at Whittington Barracks near Lichfield in Staffs:[17] he served with the 3rd South Staffordshire Regiment in WWI.[18] Harold Corr/”Tillbrook” settled in Sheffield and worked as a gas stoker in the steel industry.[13])

Frank stayed in Sheffield for the rest of his life, marrying Lily Bowden on 16th February 1907 at Sheffield Registry Office. To the registrar he gave his father’s name as Luke O’Grady, occupation glass embosser. Frank’s marriage certificate included both names for the record (“Frank O’Grady otherwise Frank Corr“) – this is the last recorded use of the name O’Grady.[19] By 1911, Lily and Frank Corr—occupation steel dresser—were living in Carbrook, Sheffield with their first two daughters of an eventual eleven children.[20]

I have been told by a distant cousin that Frank and Lily’s eldest daughter Emily (born 1907)[21] certainly knew of something relating to her father being of Irish decent and that he was probably illegitimate.[22]

Frank Corr died on 19th January 1962 and was buried with his wife Lily in Tinsley Park Cemetery in Sheffield.[23] He didn’t leave a will.

Frank and Lily’s seventh child was my maternal grandfather Harold Corr (1921-1999).[24,25] A career soldier, Harold served in WWII, Korea, Hong Kong and Germany before leaving the Army and settling in Lincolnshire in the 1960s. Harold Corr and my grandmother Ruby née Howson had six children and fifteen grandchildren including the author of this document.

Who was Luke O’Grady?

“Wolverhampton Luke”

The most likely candidate for Frank’s father is Luke Grady of Wolverhampton, born 1867, the son of Irish-born cordwainer (i.e. master shoe & bootmaker) William Grady, of Armagh, and Wolverhampton native Jane née Spooner, who married at St George’s church in Wolverhampton on 23rd April 1859. Luke Grady had four sisters: Ellen or Helen (born 1860), Martha (1864), Agnes (1871) and Winifred (1876), plus one older brother Mark (1862). They lived at 80 Temple Street, Wolverhampton.

The patronymic “O'” in Irish surnames was often dropped in the 19th century, at least in England, so “Grady” and “O’Grady” would have been almost interchangeable. The Wolverhampton family appear as plain “Grady” in almost all registration/census records and in an 1880 newspaper report concerning a court case, although Luke’s father was recorded as “William O. Grady” on one census.

Jane Grady died in 1878 and William in 1884, so Luke was pretty much alone in the world by the time of Frank O’Grady’s birth in 1888.

There isn’t a single record of “Wolverhampton Luke” Grady in England after 1881: no marriage or death records; nothing to connect him with the Black Country glass industry or to to place him in Birmingham in 1888; nothing—other than proximity and suspicious timing—to suggest that he is Frank’s father. I’ve also been unable to trace the fate of all of Luke’s siblings – what happened to them all after they lost their father in 1884?

(Luke’s brother Mark [O']Grady seems to have become a general clerk for the Great Western Railway in London & Cardiff. He died in 1889 in Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales. His youngest sister Winifred married Austin Horsley in 1897 and had one daughter; she died in Sussex in 1930. Agnes is recorded working as a domestic servant in London in 1891, but then disappears. Of Ellen and Martha, nothing.)

“Buffalo Bill Luke”

I am not the only person searching for Luke O’Grady. I have been contacted by a descendant of Francis Patrick O’Grady (c.1893-1971): Francis’s father was also called Luke O’Grady, and seems also to have disappeared somewhat mysteriously.

Francis P. O’Grady was born c. 1st March 1893, possibly in Ireland, although no birth or baptism records have been traced for him. When he married in England in 1925, and again (having been widowed) in 1930, he gave his father’s name as Luke O’Grady, occupation ‘house decorator’.

According to a family story, Francis’s father Luke O’Grady left his wife Mary Ann [maiden name unknown] and their young son, to travel with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, and may have had one or more children with another woman. Francis P. O’Grady apparently grew up in Ireland and England, had an adopted/step-sister called Mona, and a cousin (either paternal or maternal) named Sammy. When Francis’s mother Mary Ann O’Grady died in 1940 she was recorded as being the widow of Luke O’Grady, house decorator (master).

It is possible that the same Luke O’Grady was the father of both Frank O’Grady Corr and Francis Patrick O’Grady, making them half-brothers. Even if this is not the case, “Buffalo Bill” Luke O’Grady seems to have been just as elusive—both before and after the birth of his son—as ‘my’ Luke O’Grady.

“Holbeach Luke”

There was one other Luke Grady alive in England at the time of Frank’s birth (Luke Grady b. 1848 in Holbeach, Lincolnshire – d. 1891 in Cockermouth, Cumberland) but “Holbeach Luke” raised a family in northern England and doesn’t seem to have had any connection to Birmingham or to glassmaking.

Germanic Luke”

The Germanic, before 1895

The Germanic, before 1895
White Star Line steamship, built 1874 at Belfast by Harland and Wolff, as she appeared before her funnels were lengthened and an extra deck added in 1895.
Courtesy of the Norway Heritage Collection –

On 10th August 1888, eight months after Frank was born, the ship the Germanic docked at New York, late of Liverpool and Queenstown (Cobh). On board was Luke O’Grady, a labourer, aged 35, nationality English. The age and the occupation are wrong, but the timing is suspicious! On 20th July 1894 at the Common Pleas Court in New York, Luke became a naturalized American. His address at the time was 419 East 22nd Street, New York City and his sponsor was Timothy Maloney.

I have been unable to trace “Germanic Luke” O’Grady in England before 1888 or in the USA after naturalization in 1894. He does not appear in any of the US censuses as far as I can tell.

So: was Luke Grady of Wolverhampton the father of Frank O’Grady Corr – and of Francis Patrick O’Grady? Did Frank’s father emigrate immediately after the birth in 1888? Or were these Luke [O']Gradys two or three different people (in which case: what happened to them all, and to “Wolverhampton Luke”‘s siblings?).

Finally, there is the possibility that Luke O’Grady was simply a stock pseudonym used by whomever registered the birth, and that Frank’s real father’s name was something else entirely.

Where next? Ideas for further research

These are my ideas for further research to prove the identity, origin and fate of my 2-greats-grandfather:

  • Track down more records from Frank’s own life – there is at least one other descendant of Frank Corr who is researching the family history.
  • Buy birth, marriage and death records as needed for Emily Farley, Edward Corr, Emma Farley, Charles Tillbrook and all of Frank’s half-siblings (est. cost: £150+).
  • Buy copies of “Wolverhampton Luke” Grady’s birth certificate and his parents’ marriage & death certificates (est. cost: £37).
  • Try and determine the fate of “Wolverhampton Luke” Grady’s brother and four sisters.
  • Search the UK censuses for glass embossers in 1891, in the possibility that Luke O’Grady changed his name but continued in the same occupation.
  • Find out who lived at 2 Back 135 Brearley Street, Lozells, Birmingham, immediately before and after Frank’s birth in 1888.
  • Determine the whereabouts of “Holbeach Luke” Grady in 1888, if only to rule him out.
  • Share all information with anyone who is researching the identity of Luke the father of Francis Patrick O’Grady; in particular for possible records of Luke O’Grady living with a wife Mary Ann in Ireland, and/or as an employee of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show in the early 1900s.
  • Trace any living descendants of Emily Farley’s children Frank Corr, John Felix Corr, Alfred Edward Corr, Edward Corr jr and Harold Corr, and those of William Grady of Wolverhampton.
  • Look for records of Luke [O']Grady in Ireland and Scotland both before and after 1888.
  • Investigate Y-chromosomal DNA testing between a living male-line descendant of Frank Corr (there are four in my immediate family) vs. a proven patrilineal descendant of William Grady if one can be found.
  • Contact local family history societies in the Black Country/Birmingham area (e.g. the Birmingham and Midland Society for Genealogy); also surname special interest groups for Grady/O’Grady.
  • Visit the Birmingham ArchivesBlack Country Museum, and Broadfield House Glass Museum in Stourbridge, specifically to look for documents from the Black Country glassmaking industry – are there apprenticeship records for Luke O’Grady or is he otherwise mentioned?
  • Visit New York to try and find out what happened to “Germanic Luke” [O']Grady who became an American citizen in 1894.
  • Look for evidence of emigration other than to New York in 1888: not necessarily to the USA.

List of references

  1. General Register Office. Certified Copy of an Entry of Birth. Entry for Frank O’Grady, 22nd January 1888. Southport: GRO. Copy in the possession of Paul Harland Stainthorp ( Index reference: Births, March Quarter 1888, O’GRADY Frank, Birmingham 6d 132. FreeBMD. (accessed 23rd September 2014).
  2. General Register Office. Index reference: Births, June Quarter 1854, FARLEY Emily, Birmingham 6d 213. FreeBMD. (accessed 23rd September 2014).
  3. General Register Office. 1881 Census Returns. Archive reference RG11, piece number 2997, folio 77, page 50. Entry for 6 Court 1 House, Burbury Street, Birmingham, Warwickshire. Kew: The National Archives. Findmypast. (accessed 23rd September 2014). Free transcription. FamilySearch (accessed 24th September 2014).
  4. Ancestry Library Edition (accessed 24th September 2014).
  5. General Register Office. Index references [various]. FreeBMD. (accessed 3rd March 2014).
  6. General Register Office. Index reference: Deaths, March Quarter 1887, CORR Edward, 33, Birmingham 6d 83. FreeBMD (accessed 24th September 2014).
  7. BBC Online (2005) ‘About the Black Country – Glass.’ Where I Live – the Black Country. (accessed 24th September 2014).
  8. General Register Office. 1891 Census Returns. Archive reference RG12, piece number 2386, folio 50, page 24. Entry for 1 Court 15, Barr Street, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England. Kew: The National Archives. Findmypast. (accessed 23rd September 2014).
  9. General Register Office. 1891 Census Returns. Archive reference RG12, piece number 2387, folio 102, page 45. Entry for 6, Tower Street, Birmingham, Warwickshire. Kew: The National Archives. Findmypast. (accessed 23rd September 2014).
  10. General Register Office. 1891 Census Returns. Kew: The National Archives. Findmypast (accessed 3rd March 2014).
  11. General Register Office. 1901 Census Returns. Archive reference RG13, Piece number 4387, Folio 143, Page 3. Entry for 52, Blaco Road, Attercliffe cum Darnall, Sheffield, Yorkshire. Kew: The National Archives. Findmypast. (accessed 23rd September 2014).
  12. General Register Office. Index reference: Marriages, June Quarter 1901, CORR Emily, Sheffield 9c 795. FreeBMD. (accessed 24th September 2014).
  13. General Register Office. 1911 Census Returns. Census reference: RG14PN27994 RG78PN1600 RD510 SD7 ED6 SN340. Entry for 83, Clifton Street, Sheffield, Yorkshire. Kew: The National Archives. Findmypast. (accessed 24th September 2014).
  14. Sheffield & District Family History Society. Transcribed burials. Entry for Emily Tillbrook, 23rd June 1919. Sheffield: S&DFHS. Findmypast. (accessed 24th September 2014).
  15. Sheffield & District Family History Society. Transcribed burials. Entry for Charles Tillbrook, 1930. Findmypast. Sheffield: S&DFHS. (accessed 24th September 2014).
  16. General Register Office. 1911 Census Returns. Kew: The National Archives. Findmypast. (accessed 3rd March 2014).
  17. General Register Office. 1911 Census Returns. Kew: The National Archives. Findmypast. (accessed 3rd March 2014).
  18. War Office. Medal card of Corr, Edward; Corps: South Staffordshire Regiment; Regiment No: 6118. Archive reference: WO 372/5/31373. Kew: The National Archives. (accessed 24th September 2014).
  19. General Register Office. Certified Copy of an Entry of Marriage. Entry for Frank Corr and Lily Bowden, 16th February 1907. Southport: GRO. Copy in the possession of Paul Harland Stainthorp ( Index reference: Marriages, March Quarter 1907, CORR Frank, Sheffield 9c 754. FreeBMD. (accessed 24th September 2014).
  20. General Register Office. 1911 Census Returns. Census reference: RG14PN27994 RG78PN1600 RD510 SD7 ED6 SN338. Entry for 87, Surbiton Street, Sheffield, Yorkshire. Kew: The National Archives. Findmypast (accessed 24th September 2014).
  21. General Register Office. Index reference: Births, June Quarter 1907, CORR Emily, Sheffield 9c 725. FreeBMD (accessed 24th September 2014).
  22. J. Sterling. Re: Corr family. Email to Paul Harland Stainthorp (, 27th March 2014.
  23. Headstone of Frank and Lily Corr. Tinsley Park Cemetery, Sheffield, Yorkshire.
  24. General Register Office. Certified Copy of an Entry of Birth. Entry for Harold Corr, 5th June 1921. Southport: GRO. Copy in the possession of Paul Harland Stainthorp ( Index reference: Births, June Quarter 1921, CORR Harold, Bowden, Sheffield 9c 1351. FreeBMD (accessed 24th September 2014).
  25. General Register Office. Certified Copy of an Entry of Death. Entry for Harold Corr, 18th November 1999. Southport: GRO. Copy in the possession of Paul Harland Stainthorp (

Note on links to sources

Hyperlinks in the text of this document point to source documents and catalogues/indexes which contain or illustrate the information referenced. Where possible I have linked to free & open sources (FreeBMD; catalogue/archival records). In other cases where the source is not freely available, I have linked to a record within either Findmypast, or to Ancestry Library Edition: these links will display an error message unless you first establish a session on Ancestry within a subscribing library building (e.g. in Lincolnshire).

Oxford University Press titles updated

Posted on February 11th, 2014 by Paul Stainthorp

The University of Lincoln has a current subscription to the following 21 individual e-journal titles from Oxford University Press:

  1. Behavioral Ecology
  2. Brain : a journal of neurology
  3. British Journal of Criminology
  4. British Journal of Social Work
  5. Community Development Journal
  6. Contemporary Women’s Writing
  7. ELT journal
  8. English Historical Review
  9. History Workshop Journal
  10. Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment : ISLE
  11. Journal of Design History
  12. Journal of Public Health
  13. Journal of the History of Collections
  14. Oxford Art Journal
  15. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies
  16. Parliamentary Affairs
  17. Past & Present
  18. Review of English Studies
  19. Screen : the journal of the Society for Education in Film and Television
  20. Twentieth Century British History
  21. Yearbook of European Law

Access is available from 1996 onwards (except where the journal was established more recently). These are single-site access titles – see below for off-campus access. We also have access to the back-issues of a small number of OUP titles which are not current subscriptions.

Oxford Journals Archive logo

In addition, Lincoln has multi-site access to the Oxford Journals Archive via a JISC deal, which provides access to all back-issues from 1849-1995 for another 200+ Oxford University Press journals.

All of these OUP titles are available via the e-journals A-to-Z, and content from all titles can be searched using Find it at Lincoln. Off campus access is via the normal University of Lincoln sign-in process.
Screenshot of the single sign-in system

Alternatively, if you find an article via a Google search, sign in by clicking on the “Login via Your Institution” option.
Screenshot from Oxford Journals

Then select “UK Access Management Federation” > “University of Lincoln”. N.B. you will only get access to the full text of an article if the University of Lincoln subscribes to that journal – see above.
Screenshot from Oxford Journals

For more information, please contact the Library.



RefWorks output style changes

Posted on November 29th, 2013 by Paul Stainthorp

RefWorks at the University of Lincoln has a new output style for Harvard referencing. RefWorks output styles determine the format of in-text citations and reference lists/bibliographies when you use RefWorks and Write-N-Cite.

The new output style “University of Lincoln (Harvard): 2013” is designed to match—as closely as possible within the constraints of automatic referencing software—the University of Lincoln Referencing Handbook for Harvard ( It replaces the old “Harvard (University of Lincoln)” RefWorks output style.

To choose the new style in RefWorks:

  1. Go to “Bibliography” > “Create Bibliography“;
    Screenshot from RefWorks
  2. In the “Create a bibliography from a list of references” window, open the “Select an Output Style” drop-down menu. The new output style, called “University of Lincoln (Harvard): 2013” is at the bottom of the list, in the “University of Lincoln Specific” section.
    Screenshot from RefWorks

You can access RefWorks via the Library website ( Write-N-Cite (version III) software is available on both the standard University computer desktop, and on the Cloud Desktop. You can also install it on your own computer (versions III or 4).

If you have any comments about the new RefWorks output style, please leave feedback via the Library website.

Repository colleges and schools updated

Posted on November 28th, 2013 by Paul Stainthorp

I’ve updated the Lincoln Repository so that its divisions (college and school structure) are up to date with the University structure.

This includes:

  • Removing the old faculties which used to sit between colleges and schools, and which no longer exist.
  • Adding a node for the new School of Chemistry.
  • Tweaking the names of some of the schools so they match the University website.
Old divisions:

Screenshot of EPrints divisions

New divisions:

Screenshot of EPrints divisions

Still to be done: the 67 or so EPrints records belonging to the School of Health & Social Care in Hull (which used to have its own distinct identity from the department in Lincoln) need moving into the main division for Health & Social Care. There’s a script to do that.