Posts Tagged ‘Emma Hancock’

Irish ancestry, or the lack of it

Posted on October 5th, 2016 by Paul Stainthorp

Earlier this year there was a genealogy idea doing the rounds online, tagged #MyColorfulAncestry. The suggestion, which originated with American genealogist J. Paul Hawthorne (GeneaSpy), was to create a five-generation pedigree/ancestry chart for your ancestors, using a Microsoft Excel template with the cells colour-coded according to each ancestor’s place of birth (U.S. state, or country).1

It’s an interesting way of showing the geographical spread of your ancestors over time. There were some very colourful examples – like this one – shared via social media, showing how people’s ancestors had migrated from many different lands and throughout the U.S.A.2

I joked that my own five-generation chart would not take long – every cell would be the same colour and would just read “England”. I could introduce more variety by labelling and colouring the cells according to the historic county of England in which each ancestor was born (over the last five generations, there would be nine: County DurhamDerbyshire, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Northumberland, Oxfordshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, and Yorkshire).

To reach my first non-English ancestor I would have to extend the chart to six generations so that it displayed my 32 great-great-great grandparents, including cordwainer (master shoe and boot maker) William Grady who was born in County Armagh in about 1830 or ’31.3-5 I am now fairly certain that William’s son Luke (O’)Grady (1867-????) was the mysterious absentee father of one of my great-grandparents.6 (I still don’t know what happened to Luke O’Grady after his child was born in 1888.)

This makes me about 3% Irish. When I started looking into my family history I had assumed – because of the extent of Irish immigration to Britain, and because my mother’s family name is an Irish surname (see below) – that I was going to find much more Irish ancestry, and more recently than the mid-C19th.

The #MyColorfulAncestry chart below covers seven generations. The top half is my ancestry back to three-greats grandparents; the bottom half shows my wife’s ancestors, who were also all born in England, making my children about 1.6% (1/64) Irish. Any lines that I have traced back further than my children’s four-greats grandparents have been wholly English. There may well be more Irish or other countries of origin in the lines I haven’t yet researched. There are Scottish names (notably Gray) amongst my paternal grandmother’s ancestors, but no proven connection to individuals born in Scotland.

Colour coded pedigree chart

Seven-generation pedigree chart colour-coded by birthplace
From an idea by J. Paul Hawthorne (GeneaSpy) #MyColorfulAncestry
Click on the image for a larger version.

I do not know when William Grady (or O’Grady) came to England. There are hundreds of people of that name in the 1841 + 1851 English censuses, including several Irish-born shoemakers of approximately the right age.7,8 The first definite sighting of William is at his marriage to Jane Spooner on 23 April 1859 at St George’s Church (C of E) in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire.9 According to the entry in the marriage register William was born around 1831 and that his father was James Grady, also a shoemaker. Later censuses (1861-’81) established that William was born in Ireland, in Armagh.3-5

There’s a good chance William left Ireland during the Great Famine between 1845 and 1852.10,11

St George's Church, Wolverhampton: now a branch of Sainsbury's © Copyright Roger Kidd and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

St George’s Church, Wolverhampton, where William Grady and Jane Spooner were married in 1859, is now a branch of Sainsbury’s. © Copyright Roger Kidd and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The National Library of Ireland has digitised its entire collection of Catholic parish registers and made them available for free, at: registers.nli.ie

I have only found one baptism entry in that collection for a William, son of James Grady or O’Grady in the whole of County Armagh around the right time period. This William was baptised on 3 May 1830 in Armagh City. His mother’s name was Mary Fitzsimmons or -simons. The father’s occupation was not recorded.12

The same James Grady and Mary Fitzsimmons also had a daughter, Jane Grady, baptised in Armagh on 10 January 1829. I cannot find a corresponding marriage for James and Mary.12

The baptism records above may well not relate to the family of ‘my’ William Grady. I have no way of knowing how many potential candidate baptism records have not survived (notoriously, many Irish records have not), or even whether William’s family were Catholic (an even higher proportion of the records of the Anglican Church of Ireland were destroyed – by fire, in 1922).13

Baptism of William Grady

Entry in the register of baptisms for William Grady, 3 May 1830, Armagh.
National Library of Ireland, reproduced under licence.

After William Grady and Jane Spooner were married in 1859 they moved initially to Lock Street in the city of Worcester.3 From 1867 onwards they were living back in Jane’s home town of Wolverhampton, at number 80, Temple Street.4,5,14,15 They had six children:

  • Ellen (b. 1860, Worcester – d. maybe 1900, Birmingham?)
  • Mark (b. 1862, Worcester – d. 1889, Newport, South Wales)
  • Martha (b. 1864, Worcester – d. ????)
  • Luke (b. 1867, Wolverhampton – d. ????)
  • Agnes (b. 1871, Wolverhampton – d. ????)
  • Winifred (b. 1876, Wolverhampton – d. 1930, Newhaven, Sussex)

Jane Grady née Spooner died in Wolverhampton in 1878 – William passed away five years later. He was fifty-three.14

You can see from the number of question marks in the list above that William and Jane’s children have a habit of disappearing without trace…

  • By 1891 Ellen was living in Camberwell, London, with her daughter Kathleen Turner (1887-????) and her sister Winifred (Winnie). I cannot find a marriage of Ellen (O’)Grady to Mr Turner. She may have died in Birmingham in 1900.14,16,17
  • Mark became a railway policeman with the G.W.R. and was posted to London then to Cardiff, Newport, and Crosskeys. He died in South Wales in 1889, aged twenty-seven.5,14,18
  • Martha was living in Lambeth, London in 1881, working as a professional dancer and lodging in the home of Edward Owden, clown(!) – she then disappears.5
  • Luke fathered a child in January 1888 – then disappears.6
  • Agnes was in Lambeth in 1891, working as a general servant. However ten years later she appears in Westminster, occupation: professional dancer (the same as her sister Martha twenty years before) – she then disappears.5,6
  • Winifred (Winnie) was living with her sister Ellen in 1891; six years later she married master grocer Austin James Horsley, settling down in Lambeth. They had a daughter, Elise Mary Horsley (1899-1993). Winifred died in Sussex in 1930.14,16,19,20

I have also traced the ancestry of my mother’s family name, Corr. My great grandfather Frank Corr was born an O’Grady (above)6 but used the name Corr throughout his life, giving it to his eleven children and thirteen of his grandchildren. Corr was the surname of Frank’s mother’s late husband, Edward Corr (1853-1887). Edward was also the first cousin of Frank O’Grady/Corr’s biological father, Luke O’Grady.

Edward was born in Wolverhampton in 1853 and worked as a machinist/turner and fitter in Birmingham before his early death.3,4,5,14 He married (Frank O’Grady/Corr’s mother) Emily Farley on 14 July 1872.21 Edward’s parents were Felix Corr (1834-1874) and Harriet Spooner.22

Harriet Spooner was the elder sister of Jane Spooner the wife of William Grady (above). On 27 December 1852 at St Peter’s Church in Wolverhampton she married file maker Felix Corr.23 Felix was born in about June 1834 in St Neots in Huntingdonshire and had moved to Wolverhampton to be apprenticed to a file maker, Elihu Price. His parents were another Felix Corr (about 1806-1838) and Emma Hancock.3,4,8,22

It’s very likely that Felix Corr, senior, was from Ireland – again, probably from Armagh. The surname Corr (Ir. Ó Corra) is particularly common in Ulster generally and in counties Tyrone and Armagh in particular.24

In Bradshaw’s 1819 Directory for Armagh City there is an entry for Felix Corr, huxter (i.e. hawker), of Castle Street.25

St Mary at Quay, Ipswich

St Mary at Quay, Ipswich, where Felix Corr (senior) and Emma Hancock were married in 1834. Now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust and home to a corporate events and ‘complementary therapies’ centre.
© Copyright Robert Edwards and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

On 1 April 1834 in the church of St Mary at Quay, Ipswich, Suffolk, Felix Corr and Emma Hancock were married. The witnesses were Emma’s sister Sophia Hancock and her future husband Shadrach Chaplin. (Sophia and Shadrach are ancestors of the actor Charlie Chaplin.)26-28

Emma and Felix had two sons: Felix junior, and John, who died in infancy.14

Felix Corr, licensed hawker, died in Ipswich aged only thirty-two, of “decline”.29 His widow remarried in 1839; her new husband Peter McDonald was originally from Dundalk, County Louth and was also a hawker.7,8,14 Emma and Peter had a son, Michael McDonald, in 1840.14 The whole family including Emma’s son Felix Corr spent the next decade travelling round East Anglia, presumably engaged in hawking their wares.7,8

Michael McDonald later joined his half-brother Felix in the industrial West Midlands.5,17,19,20 The extended Corr/McDonald family were typical in one sense – huge numbers of Irish people migrated to Wolverhampton and Birmingham in the C19th, and Birmingham still has a large Irish community – but were unusual in coming to the West Midlands via rural East Anglia, which never had a big Irish population, and in their parents having been in England well before the huge wave of immigration from Ireland in the 1840s.30

Hancock sketch family tree

Sketch family tree of the Hancock, Chaplin, Corr, (O’)Grady and Spooner families.
Click on the image for a larger version.

References

  1. Hawthorne, J. Paul, “A Little Thing That Went Viral… #MyColorfulAncestry,” GeneaSpy, 26 March 2016 (http://www.geneaspy.com/ : accessed 3 October 2016).
  2. Last, Jana, “My Five Generation Birthplace Pedigree Chart,” Jana’s Genealogy and Family History Blog, 24 March 2016 (http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.co.uk/ : accessed 3 October 2016).
  3. “1861 England Census,” digital images, Ancestry Library Edition (http://www.ancestrylibrary.com/ : accessed 18 December 2015); The National Archives, Kew.
  4. “1871 England Census,” digital images; The National Archives, Kew.
  5. “1881 England Census,” digital images; The National Archives, Kew.
  6. England and Wales, birth certificate (certified copy); General Register Office, Southport.
  7. “1841 England Census,” digital images; The National Archives, Kew.
  8. “1851 England Census,” digital images; The National Archives, Kew.
  9. St George’s Church (Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, England), parish registers; digital images, Findmypast (http://www.findmypast.co.uk/ : accessed 3 December 2014).
  10. Swift, Roger, editor, Irish migrants in Britain, 1815-1914: a documentary history (Cork University Press, 2002).
  11. Neal, Frank, Black ’47: Britain and the Famine Irish (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1998).
  12. St Patrick’s Cathedral (Armagh, County Armagh, Ireland), parish registers; digital images, National Library of Ireland (http://registers.nli.ie/ : accessed 3 December 2014).
  13. “‘All Irish genealogical records were destroyed in the 1922 fire': Myth or fact?” Irish Genealogy Toolkit (http://www.irish-genealogy-toolkit.com/irish-records-burned.html : 5 October 2016).
  14. “FreeBMD,” digital images, FreeBMD (http://www.freebmd.org.uk/ : accessed 29 March 2016); General Register Office, Southport.
  15. Birmingham Post, 20 July 1880, p. 5.
  16. St Mark’s Church (Kennington, London, England), parish registers; digital images, Ancestry Library Edition (http://www.ancestrylibrary.com/ : accessed 25 April 2016).
  17. “1891 England Census,” digital images; The National Archives, Kew.
  18. “UK, Railway Employment Records, 1833-1956,” digital images, Ancestry Library Edition (http://www.ancestrylibrary.com/ : accessed 26 April 2016); The National Archives, Kew.
  19. “1901 England Census,” digital images; The National Archives, Kew.
  20. “1911 England Census,” digital images; The National Archives, Kew.
  21. All Saints’ Church (Hockley, Warwickshire, England), parish registers; digital images, Ancestry.
  22. St Mary’s Church (Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, England), parish registers; digital images, Findmypast.
  23. St Peter’s Church (Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, England), parish registers; digital images, Findmypast.
  24. Grenham, John, Irish Ancestors – Irish Surnames (https://www.johngrenham.com/surnames/ : accessed 5 October 2016).
  25. Brown, Sharon Oddie, “Bradshaw’s 1819 Directory for Armagh City,” transcription, 23 June 2008, The Silver Bowl (http://www.thesilverbowl.com/ : 20 March 2015).
  26. Church of St Mary at Quay (Ipswich, Suffolk, England), banns; Suffolk Record Office, Lowestoft.
  27. Church of St Mary at Quay (Ipswich, Suffolk, England), bishop’s transcripts; Suffolk Record Office, Lowestoft.
  28. Suffolk Record Office, research service report, 5 October 2015, ref. 9/1/S/KEM.
  29. England and Wales, death certificate (certified copy); General Register Office, Southport.
  30. Swift, Roger and Gilley, Sheridan, editors, The Irish in Victorian Britain: the local dimension (Four Courts Press, 1999).

The Hancock family of Oldcot (Staffordshire) and Ipswich, and the Charlie Chaplin connection

Posted on June 14th, 2016 by Paul Stainthorp

I’m piecing together the family of Benjamin Hancock (poss. 1780 – poss. 1814) and his wife Margaret (1782 – 1827) née probably Tunstall, of Oldcot, Wolstanton, Staffordshire, in the early 19th century, and three of their children who all ended up in Ipswich, Suffolk by the 1830s.

Their daughter Sophia is the great grandmother of the actor and filmmaker Charlie Chaplin (as described on the website of William Addams Reitwiesner); their son Thomas married into the same Chaplin family. Another daughter, Emma, ties in to my Corr family.

There are a lot of Hancock families in and around the parish of Wolstanton at this time, including several people called Benjamin Hancock.

The parish registers for this area from 1789-1812, available in Findmypast’s Staffordshire Collection, are pre-printed forms filled in by a single hand; some entries are very sparse and seem to be missing details.

Newchapel parish register

Example of the parish registers for the chapel of St James, Newchapel, on pre-printed forms, available in Findmypast’s Staffordshire Collection.

What I know…

My Hancock couple may have married in 1802, though I have no corroborating evidence that this is definitely their marriage:

  • 20th November 1802 – Benjamin Hancock, collier, mar. Margaret Tunstall at St Giles, Newcastle-under-Lyme – both resident in the parish of Stoke.1

I believe Benjamin and Margaret had at least five children:

  • Abt 1804 – Sophia Hancock born, poss. in Tunstall, Wolstanton, Staffs.2
  • 17th January 1808 – Margaret Anne Hancock, dau. of Benjamin and Margaret, bapt. St James, Newchapel – resident at Old[cot]. She died aged 15.
  • 18th March 1810 – Thos. Tunstall Hancock, son of Benjamin (mother’s name not given), bapt. St James, Newchapel – resident at Oldcot.
  • 24th May 1812 – Theophilus* Hancock, son of Benjamin and Margaret, bapt. St James, Newchapel – resident at Old[cot]. He died aged 4.
  • 22nd May 1814 – Emma Hancock, dau. of Benjamin, collier, and Margaret, bapt. St James, Newchapel – resident at Oldcot.3

(*Thomas Tunstall Hancock later called his first son “Theophilus” after his brother who died in childhood.)

There are also a couple of interesting earlier baptisms which have a different mother’s name:

  • 13th May 1804 – Sophia Hancock, dau. of Benjamin and Mary, bapt. St Lawrence, Biddulph.
  • 6th July 1806 – Margaret Hancock, dau. of Benjamin and Mary, bapt. St James, Newchapel – resident at Old[cot].3

The following burials seem to relate to this family:

  • 30th January 1814 – Benjamin Hancock, aged 34 (born abt 1780), son of John and Esther, bur. St James, Newchapel – resident at Oldcot.
  • 12th November 1816 – Theophilus Hancock, aged 4, son of Benjamin and Margaret, bur. St James, Newchapel – resident at Oldcot.
  • 10th April 1822 – Margaret Anne Hancock, aged 15, dau. of Benjamin and Margaret, bur. St James, Newchapel – resident at Oldcot.
  • 18th March 1827 – Margaret Hancock, aged 45 (born abt 1782), widow of Benjamin, bur. St James, Newchapel – resident at Oldcot.4

By the 1830s, the surviving Hancock children are all living in East Anglia and working as hawkers:

Charlie Chaplin circa 1916

Portrait of Charlie Chaplin as a young man, Hollywood, circa 1916 (public domain image).

  • 1st July 1833 – Thomas Tunstall Hancock mar. Phylorata Chaplin, St Mary-at-the-Quay, Ipswich, Suffolk.5
  • 1st April 1834 – Emma Handcock mar. licensed hawker Felix Corr, St Mary-at-the-Quay, Ipswich. The witnesses were Sophia Handcock and Shadrack Chaplin. Felix Corr died in 1838 of ‘decline’ aged just 32; Emma mar. Peter McDonald in 1839.6,7
  • 29th April 1834 – Sophia Hancock mar. Shadrach Chaplin, St Margaret, Ipswich.5 Shadrach is the great grandfather of Charlie Chaplin and the brother of Phylorata (above).
  • 1841 census – Thomas Hancock, hawker, Cox Lane, Ipswich.
  • 1841 census – Emma McDonald, hawker, Hythe, Maldon, Essex.
  • 1841 census – Sophia Chaplin, hawker’s wife, Gaol Lane, Ipswich.8
  • 1851 census – Thomas T. Hancock, hawker, Bond Street, Ipswich – born Wolstanton, Staffs.
  • 1851 census – Emma McDonald, hawker, Brickendon, Herts – born Goldenhill, Staffs.
  • 1851 census – Sophia Chaplin, brewer’s wife, Carr Street, Ipswich – born Tunstall, Staffs.2
  • 24 July 1868 – Sophia died at 1 Hatton Street, Marylebone, London.9

Research questions:

  1. Are the Benjamin and Margaret who married in Newcastle in 1802 the same Benjamin and Margaret who were the parents of Sophia, Thomas T., and Emma?
  2. Did the father Benjamin die in January 1814? On the baptism record of Emma Hancock in May the same year there is no mention of her father being deceased.
  3. Are the Sophia and Margaret baptised in 1804 and 1806 respectively also the children of Benjamin and Margaret, despite the mother’s name on the register being recorded as Mary, and despite the first baptism taking place in Biddulph rather than Newchapel (or Tunstall where ‘our’ Sophia was apparently born)?
  4. If they were, then what happened to the Margaret baptised in 1806?
  5. Why the mass move from Staffordshire to Ipswich by 1833-34, following their parents’ deaths?

Hancock sketch family tree

Sketch family tree of the Hancock family of Oldcot, Staffordshire and Ipswich.
The chart also includes my great grandfather Frank Corr who is not descended from the Hancocks.
Created using Microsoft Visio software. (Click on the image for a full-size version.)


References

  1. “Staffordshire Marriages” (digital images, Findmypast, http://search.findmypast.co.uk/ : accessed 13 ‎October ‎2015; citing Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service).
  2. “1851 England Census” (digital images, Ancestry Library Edition, http://www.ancestrylibrary.com/ : accessed 7 ‎July ‎2015; citing Census Returns of England and Wales, 1851, The National Archives, Kew).
  3. “Staffordshire Baptisms” (digital images, Findmypast, http://search.findmypast.co.uk/ : accessed 19 ‎September ‎2015; citing Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service).
  4. “Staffordshire Burials” (digital images, Findmypast, http://search.findmypast.co.uk/ : accessed 17 ‎October ‎2015; citing Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service).
  5. “England Marriages, 1538–1973″ (database, FamilySearch, https://familysearch.org/ : accessed 14 June 2016; citing FHL microfilm 918,523).
  6. Parish of St Mary at the Quay, Ipswich, banns of marriage, Felix Corr and Emma Handcock, March 1834, p. 9, no. 44; photocopy supplied by Suffolk Record Office, 13 October 2015.
  7. Parish of St Mary at the Key [sic], bishop’s transcripts, Felix Corr and Emma Handcock, 1 [April] 1834, p. 54, no. 160; photocopy supplied by Suffolk Record Office, 13 October 2015.
  8. “1841 England Census” (digital images, Ancestry Library Edition, http://www.ancestrylibrary.com/ : accessed 7 ‎July ‎2015; citing Census Returns of England and Wales, 1841, The National Archives, Kew).
  9. Reitwiesner, William Addams, William Addams Reitwiesner Genealogical Services (http://www.wargs.com/ : accessed 13 October 2015), Wood, Michael J., “Ancestry of Charlie Chaplin”.

Paul Harland Stainthorp (paul@paulstainthorp.com). Version 1.2, updated 15th June 2016.