View Full Version : Ancestral Lines
21-05-2006, 12:04 PM
In the Newsletter from BG Forums received yesterday morning, Rod mentioned Ancestral lines. To choose one direct Ancestor from the 1800's, find out all about him/her, in respect of their birth dates etc. plus their siblings, where they lived, where they moved to etc.
Then find out from Newspapers what was happening at the time, so that a picture could be built of their lives, reasons found as to why the family moved to another County possibly ....... to try and 'live' the life of your Ancestor. Not only find out 'where' they were at certain times, but 'why' they did certain things.
I have been trying for some time to do this with my Gt. Grandfather, Thomas Henry FORREST, who was born 05 Jun 1854 in Tudhoe, Durham and died 30 Jun 1911 Spennymoor, Durham, occupation Bricklayer. He married my Gt. Grandmother, Mary Ann BOWDEN ( born in Cornwall) on 06 Nov 1878 Auckland Register Office.
I know why Mary's family went to Durham, so no mystery there. Thomas & Mary then had three children between 1879 and 1884, all born in Tudhoe ...... then Mary died in December 1891.
My Grandfather, also named Thomas Henry FORREST, never spoke of his Parents at all to my Father, so it was a surprise to me when I found out about Mary in my research ....... a great pity that my Father never knew, as we have always loved Cornwall.
Thanks only to the 1901 Census, I managed to solve one mystery ....... but I still can't find some of the answers.
21-05-2006, 12:05 PM
In 1901, two of Thomas & Mary's children are living with their unmarried Aunt & Uncle (siblings of their Father) in Whitworth, Durham, whilst Thomas Henry Senior is living in Leeds, Yorkshire with a wife many years his junior (nee Elizabeth WHITMORE born Hanley) plus a son, John aged two years born Leeds.
I ordered their Marriage Certificate, to check that this Thomas Henry FORREST was really mine ...... it was, the marriage took place in 1896 in Hanley, Staffordshire.
My unsolved mysteries are:
1. Why did Thomas 'dump' his children between 1892-1896?
2. Although the FORREST's are originally from Staffordshire in the 1790's, all the siblings of Thomas and all the siblings of his Father, were no longer in the County after 1841.Why did he go there?
3. Why did he move to Leeds between 1896-1899, as there were no connections with Yorkshire?
4. Why did he then move back to Spennymoor, Durham?
5. My Grandfather married in Castleford, Yorkshire, in 1913 ...... so did he leave Durham when his Father and new family returned? Again, why Yorkshire?
6. John, the child of the second marriage, married in 1920 at Spennymoor Parish Church and I managed to trace a descendant of his, a girl with the same name as myself (Diane Forrest) ..... but a younger version! She knew nothing about Thomas Henry FORREST's first marriage, so did John keep quiet about it, same as Thomas Henry Junior .... or wasn't he told?
Just a couple of thoughts Diane, perhaps Thomas new 'young' bride wouldn't entertain the thought of being 'mother' to his previous wife's children? I am, of course, presuming she actually knew about them...... ;)
And, as Thomas was a bricklayer, the moving to and fro could be a simple matter of following work around, as new towns were springing up, bricklayers were in great demand for their skills.
21-05-2006, 4:34 PM
Perhaps Elizabeth did refuse to have the two children, as she was only 20 when she married Thomas Henry, (who would be 42, two months later!) They both lied on the cert, 38 and 21, he deducted a few years and she added one on! ;)
The two 'children' from the first marriage, would be my Grandfather aged 12 and his sister, Mary aged 17, in the year 1896 ...... so perhaps she didn't fancy having a 'daughter' 3 years her junior? :cool:
Possibly, Thomas Henry lied and told her that his first marriage was childless? One never knows with the FORREST men ..... my Grandfather lied about his age too, when he married my Grandmother. He deducted 6 years from his age and said he was 23, seeing as she was only 20, however, my Father told the truth when he married.
As for the occupation part, you're probably right about that. I can see it now, (attempting a little of Myth's :D wit:
"Oh, they're crying out for brickies in Staffs, I think I'll shoot down there on me tod for a bit ..... so can I leave the bairns with you then?"
It must have been a shock for Thomas' siblings, when 'the bit' turned out to be 'a bit of stuff'. :D
21-05-2006, 5:06 PM
A similiar think happened in my family. My g.grandfather moved from London to Ramsgate leaving behind a wife and 4 children. He set up a new home (and business) with a new 'wife' and they had two children (one being my nan).
My nan always thought she was an only child, turned out that she had 6 1/2 brothers and sisters. They never knew about her or she about them!! When the story began to unravel it turned out that he was a drunk and had been made bankrupty twice so his first wife left him and emigrated to US with one of the children.
Family stories are never quite as they seem!!
In your case, the children may never of been aware of each other. Also, they other members of the family may have been embarrassed that he had such a young wife, old enough to be his daughter!!
21-05-2006, 5:41 PM
That must have been a shock for your Nan ..... I hope she was pleased! As you say, the cover-ups in Families in those days seems very common, as I have a few more scandals in various family lines!
In my case, if only I knew the date when Thomas Henry and his new family returned to Durham and the date my Grandfather left for Yorkshire! There's no doubt whatsoever in my mind, that he knew about his Father's second marriage and obviously disapproved ..... why else would he refuse to answer my Father's questions about his Parents?
I still don't understand why he didn't mention his Mother, Mary Ann though. All I can think of ...... he didn't, because it would mean mentioning his Father's name!
Probably, John didn't know, if the family kept quiet about it and my Grandfather left the area when John was still a young lad.
21-05-2006, 7:29 PM
See what I mean?
Now you are talking family history. :)
22-05-2006, 9:09 AM
My wife's grandfather newly married moved from Darlington to Horden shortly after 1900, why? Because they were building a mining village comlete with shops there (he was a pharmacist), prior to 1900 the place apparently consisted only of a couple of farms. So there was a need for a wide range of trades.
The Staffordshire area including Hanley did boast some coal mines as well as the potteries, perhaps there is a connection. One member of our family moved with his wife and children from Hanley to Easington, he was a miner. That was in the late 1800s.
Perhaps the move to Leeds was again work related but as he could not look after the children and work at the same time he left them behind. Taking Horden again as the example once most of the village had been built so the need for bricklaying would reduce.
PS What newsletter?
22-05-2006, 9:49 AM
In 1901, two of Thomas & Mary's children are living with their unmarried Aunt & Uncle...whilst Thomas Henry Senior is living in Leeds, Yorkshire with a wife many years his junior
Why did Thomas 'dump' his children between 1892-1896?
Why did he move to Leeds between 1896-1899, as there were no connections with Yorkshire?
John, the child of the second marriage, married in 1920....a descendant of his...knew nothing about Thomas Henry FORREST's
As has been mentioned, the common reason for movement was work - and a widowed father leaving children with relatives is not uncommon. For me the tricky question to answer is why the subsequent lack of contact between second family and first, why the grandfather did not want to speak of his dad. This means trying to find out something of the character of a person, why is harder than the simple bit of where someone was born, lived, worked and died.
22-05-2006, 9:50 AM
Finding about the character involves interpretation of information - reading between the lines - probably a subjective rather than objective view of things.
My first question would be - Was T.H.F senior living with his family in the 1891 census? If not, is this an early indication that he was rather fly-by-night?
From there, I might try to locate any record of him being in prison, or court appearances. If he was nicked, what was it for?
Wills, I mention these a lot, but is he included - or excluded - from a will? Did he leave a will himself and if so, who is mentioned, or not?
When did he meet his second wife - are there any records of illegitimate births under his second wife's maiden name?
So many questions to answer...........
23-05-2006, 10:14 AM
Many thanks Geoffers for your input. :) Thomas Henry was with his first wife, Mary and family in the 1881 and 1891 Census Returns.
I haven't checked for a Will for him, as I must admit that I didn't think a 'brickie' would have enough to leave anything to anybody ..... but it's worth a shot!
A criminal record? I don't think I really want to find out! ;)
I still believe the rift between Father and Son was caused by THF Junior being 'miffed' about a second family ..... I shall make a note to clarify this when I 'pop my clogs' and meet them all ..... armed with a big stick to hit them for keeping me in the dark for all these years! :D
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