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  1. #1
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    Default Brickwall: George WEARS (George WEARS-TAYLOR)

    Hi all

    I am completely stuck regarding my 2x great grandfather George Wears and would appreciate any help or suggestions on offer. I've completed all the usual searches and even trawled the parish records at the relevant county record office.

    Sorry this is quite long, but better to include everything I've looked at already.

    Starting with what I know about George:

    - He married my 2x great grandmother in 1870 in Newcastle upon Tyne.
    - In 1871 the census shows George in Stockton on Tees
    - My great grandfather was born in Gateshead in 1873
    - Their second child was born in Gateshead in 1876
    - George had moved to India by 1880 and he remarried and had further children. It is the period prior to 1870 where I am stuck.

    I know the following documents are a correct match for George:

    1) Marriage certificate:

    This shows that George Wears married Isabella Anderson on 21st March 1870 in St John's Church, Newcastle. The marriage certificate lists George's age as 19 and Isabella's age is listed as 18 (she was actually 15).

    The certificate states that both George and Isabella lived in the Parish of St John�s Newcastle (no specific addresses given) and gives George�s occupation as Puddler in Iron Works.

    George�s father is listed as John Wears (a Collier) and Isabella�s father is listed as Isaac Anderson (a Cordwainer). I know that Isaac was not alive in 1870, but the certificate does not refer to him as deceased. I'm therefore unclear whether John Wears was alive or not in 1870.

    The witnesses were William Oliver Terry and John Findler. It is unclear what, if any, relationship there was between the witnesses and George and Isabella.

    2) Birth Certificate of son George

    George William Wears was born on Saturday 12th July 1873 at 11 Jackson Street in Gateshead, Durham.

    George�s birth certificate lists him as the son of George Wears, an Iron Puddler, and Isabella Wears, formerly Anderson. The birth was registered by mother Isabella of 11 Jackson Street on 20th August 1873.

    3) Birth Certificate of daughter Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Wears was born on 15th February 1876 at 27 Frank Terrace, Gateshead.

    The birth certificate lists Elizabeth�s parents as George Wears, a labourer at iron works, and Isabella Wears, formerly Anderson. The birth was registered on 7th March by mother Isabella of 27 Frank Terrace.

    4) 1871 Census

    The 1871 Census shows George and Isabella lodging with Benjamin Burton and family at 68 New Street in Thornaby, Stockton on Tees.

    George's occupation is given as puddler so is consistent with the above records. His age is shown as 18. Isabella's place of birth is given as Newcastle upon Tyne (which is correct) and her age is given as 18 (she would have been 16). I am therefore quite confident that this is the correct 1871 Census record for George. The census gives his place of birth as Birtley, County Durham.

    George's birth

    The records above show that George was born around 1852/3 in Birtley, Durham and that his father was John Wears, a collier.

    A search of the birth records around this time comes up with three George Wears:
    - Apr-Jun 1851 in South Shields, Durham. Mother's maiden name Grant. (Vol 24, p258)
    - Jul-Sep 1852 in Stockton on Tees. Mother's maiden name Grange. (Vol 10a, p29)
    - Jul-Sep 1852 in Chester le Street. Mother's maiden name Metcalf. (Vol 10a, p268)

    In 1852 Birtley is in the Chester le Street district. I therefore ordered the full birth certificate for this birth which provided the following details:

    George was born on 25th July 1852 in Whitecake Row, Birtley, Chester-le-Street, Durham. George�s birth certificate lists his parents as John Wears (a Pitman) and Mary Jane Wears (formerly Metcalf). The birth was registered on 30th July 1852 by George�s mother Mary Jane Wears of Whitecake Row, Birtley, and the certificate is marked with her cross.

    A search of the baptism register for Birtley Parish does not show any baptism for George Wears.

    Other Wears/Metcalf children

    There are no other birth records around this time for children with surname Wears and a mother's maiden name of Metcalf. And no baptism records in the parish registers.

    1861 Census

    I can find no clear reference to George Wears (including spelling variations) in the 1861 Census. I can also not find any reference to parents John or Mary Jane in 1861, or death records for John or Mary (Mary Jane) Wears between 1852 and 1861.

    There are only 8 properties at Whitecake Row, Birtley and none of these are occupied by anyone that looks to be linked to the family.

    1851 (and 1841) Census

    Although George was not born until 1852 I would have expected to find his parents listed in the 1851 Census, either as a married couple or individually. I can find no references to Mary Jane Metcalf in the 1851 Census.

    There is however a record for a John Wears at Whitecake Row, Birtley. There are only 8 properties at Whitecake Row so it would be a big coincidence if this is not the same John Wears. However the John Wears living at Whitecake Row in 1851 is married to Dorothy and is shown with two children.

    The same family (under the name Wairs) is shown in the 1841 census at Birtley Iron Works.

    (More details about this family below)

    Marriage of John Wears and Mary Jane Metcalf

    I can find no reference to any marriage between John Wears and Mary Jane Metcalf in the BMD index or in parish records.

    Taylor connection

    Isabella and children George and Elizabeth were aware that George started a new life in India and were aware that he had adopted the name Wears-Taylor (sometimes known as Taylor with Wears (or W) as a middle name / initial.

    George William Wears and sister Elizabeth were baptised in October 1884 in the parish of Washington, Durham (aged 11 and 8 respectively). By this time Isabella had remarried. The two children were baptised on the same day and the entries are adjacent in the parish register, however George is shown as George William Wears and Elizabeth as Elizabeth Wears Taylor. Both records list them as children of George and Isabella Wears.

    George William Wears married as Wears, but his sister Elizabeth married as Elizabeth Wears Taylor.

    When George snr remarried in India in 1884 his name is given as George Nears (presumably a transcription error) Taylor. His father was listed as John Taylor (no reference to Wears in father's name).

    The story I was told from my grandmother was that George added Taylor as it was his mother's maiden name. However the birth certificate shows his mother's maiden name to be Metcalf. Another theory is that John Wears died and George's mother remarried someone with the name Taylor - however no death or marriage records can be found to support this.

    There are 10 children born with surname Wears and mother's maiden name Taylor between 1837 and 1865 in the Chester le Street district. Cross referencing against Census records shows that the parents of these children were Robert and Mary Wears (living in Urpeth, Chester le Street in 1851). No link has been found between this Wears branch and George.

    John and Dorothy Wears

    Some records can be found relating to the John and Dorothy Wears listed in the 1851 Census at Whitecake Row, Birtley - although none either prove or disprove whether this is the same John Wears as George's father.

    From birth records of daughter Eleanor Wears (born 1847 and listed in 1851 Census) it is clear that Dorothy's maiden name was Cummings.

    A marriage record exists in the parish of Gateshead Fell, Durham showing a marriage between John Weirs and Dorothy Cummings on 27th March 1834. Both are shown as residing in 'this parish' and there is no obvious connection to the witness names. No other details are provided in the register.

    Children born with surname Wears and a mother with maiden name Cummings in the area between 1837 and 1865 include:
    - Joseph Wears: born Oct-Dec 1839 in the district of Chester le Street. It appears that Joseph Wears died between October and December 1841 in the district of Chester le Street and was buried on 5th December 1841 in Chester le Street, aged 2.
    - Isabella Wears: born Jan-Mar 1842 in the district of Chester le Street
    - Eleanor Wears: born Apr-Jun 1847 in the district of Chester le Street
    - Dorothy Ann Wears: born Jul-Sep 1850 in the district of Chester le Street. It appears that Dorothy Ann Wears died between January and March 1851 in the district of Chester le Street and was buried on 2nd February 1851 in Chester le Street, aged 0.
    NB no birth record can be found for Samuel Wears listed in the 1851 Census with sister Eleanor.

    The following children were baptised in Chester le Street to parents John and Dorothy Wears:
    - Samuel Wears: Baptised 10th August 1845
    - Isabella Wears: Baptised 10th August 1845
    - Margaret Wears: Baptised 2nd December 1845
    - Eleanor Wears: Baptised 27th June 1847

    No further children were born after 1850 and therefore it is possible that Dorothy died following the birth of Dorothy Ann Wears and John remarried Mary Ann Metcalf before having George in 1852, however no death record can be found for Dorothy Wears following 1850.


    Any help in finding what happened to George between his birth and 1870 would be amazing, as would suggestions on where his parents were - when they were born, died and married.

    Is there something irregular going on with George's birth - were John and Mary Jane married?

    Thank you in anticipation.
    John .

  2. #2
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    NB no birth record can be found for Samuel Wears listed in the 1851 Census with sister Eleanor
    This appears to be it:

    WEIRS, SAMUEL mmn CUMMINGS GRO Reference: 1845 M Quarter in CHESTER LE STREET Volume 24 Page 42

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to Jomot1 For This Useful Post:

    johncooper (23-10-2018)

  4. #3
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    I think this may just add to the confusion...

    Samuel turns up later in Gateshead, and there is this family in Gateshead in 1861, transcribed as Weirs or Waiss, depending on which site you use - Piece 3804, Folio 69, Page 11

    John Weirs 59 Shoemaker born Chorley, Lancs
    Dorothy Weirs 54 wife born Houghton le Spring
    Jane 19 daughter Dressmaker born Birtley
    Samuel 16 son Tallow Chandler born Birtley
    Ellen 13 daughter born Birtley
    Barbara 10m daughter born Woodside

    Possible birth reference for Barbara:
    WEARS, BARBARA HALLIWELL (no mmn) GRO Ref: 1860 J Quarter in HOUGHTON LE SPRING Volume 10A Page 364

    A Barbara Halliwell turns up in 1871, aged 11 & born Woodside, as the daughter of Isabella Halliwell aged 36 born Birtley.

    William Halliwell married (same page) Isabella Wears 1862, Gateshead

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by johncooper View Post

    I can find no references to Mary Jane Metcalf in the 1851 Census.
    This one might be relevant. Mary METCALF and Margaret WEARS both servants in the WATSON household.


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