The Fordham family

If you’ve been following this blog, you may know that there’s a bit of a mystery about who the father is of my grandmother, Beatrice Eleanor Chapman, born 1925 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

DNA evidence appears to point to a family called Cox from the London and Essex areas of England being related, with 3 confirmed matches that seem to point to a Walter Fordham Cox being my great great grandfather.

The question then arises, who is the Fordham?  And to which family does he belong?

There are a couple of possibilities here.  Given that it has been extremely difficult to track down Walter Fordham Cox beyond his birth, with no death being found for him in his first few years of life, and not appearing on the 1891, 1901 or 1911 English, Welsh or Scottish census, it is my opinion that he may well have been out of the country for some period of time.  The fact that I can vaguely remember my grandfather, the partner of Beatrice,  some years ago referring to some sort of connection to France, with no connection found so far on any other branches of the family tree, this would seem to be the most obvious branch where that connection could have been.

However, at some point there would have had to have been travel made to Edinburgh in the early 1920s by my unknown great grandfather, for my great grandmother, Frances Eleanor Chapman to fall pregnant in Edinburgh.

And so, with this in mind, I decided to look for any Fordhams in the Edinburgh area.

There aren’t that many of them who appear in the Edinburgh area at the right sort of time.

The first Fordham I found was a James Fordham who married in Edinburgh in 1897:

This James, a policeman from the London area seemingly, according to the Scottish marriage entry.  He appears on the 1891 census in Marylebone, London, England.

Also, James’s family are easily found in Swaffham Bulbeck, Cambridgeshire in 1861.

However, there is another possible Fordham, who Walter Fordham Cox could be related to, if there were any Fordham relations in Edinburgh, him being a Thomas Henry Fordham.

In 1922, a Thomas Henry Fordham married an Isabella McBeath in Edinburgh.  Thomas Henry’s father also being a Thomas Henry Fordham, his mother being Ellen Soundy.

I have also located a Thomas Herbert Fordham, who, in 1925 was of 110 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, Scotland, according to the 1925 Scottish Valuation rolls when I was searching for Thomas Henry, and/or his parents, I could not see a Thomas Henry Fordham.

110 Lauriston Place wasn’t very far from Home Street, Edinburgh, where my great grandmother, Frances Eleanor Chapman, and her parents, Henry and Eleanor Isabella were living in 1925.

Could James, or Thomas provide a clue to discovering my unknown Fordham relatives?  Does any of this sound familiar to you at all?  Have you considered taking a DNA test for family history purposes?

 

 

 

 

 

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A step closer to my great grandfather?

For some time now, an enduring mystery has been who is the father of my grandmother, Beatrice Eleanor Chapman?

I have been going through DNA matches for a while trying to sort them into those that also match with 1st cousins and a half 1st cousin of my mum and dad, so I can identify a grandparent related to each match that I can see in common with any particular cousin who has tested.

Recently, my mum also tested with Family Tree DNA, and her results were interesting to look at, as one of my top matches is also one of mum’s top matches on FTDNA.

ftdna-screenshot-mum-top-matches
Some of mum’s top matches on Family Tree DNA

The 2nd DNA match down in the image above is the match of interest to my mum.  In the image below, the 1st DNA match is the same match on my match list:

ftdna-screenshot-my-top-matches

I have deliberately removed any names from the screenshots above.

Having been in contact with this DNA match some time ago I can say that this person’s ancestors in the relevant timescale were from south east England, from London and the surrounding counties.

I decided to try playing around with an experimental family tree, to see if I added different people’s names during the right timeframe in different positions, based on the amounts of shared DNA in common and making an educated guess based on those shared amounts in relation to DNA matches I have managed to confirm, whether I would get any shared ancestor hints on the Ancestry DNA test, which I upoaded to FTDNA some time ago.

Sure enough, I had to get a shared ancestor hint eventually from this process, and it came by placing this family in the tree on the branch of my unknown great grandfather!  And it links in fairly nicely with my estimate, although possibly a generation out.

cox-shared-ancestor-hint

Although this isn’t the same DNA match as on the FTDNA website, they are related, through a different branch of the Cox family.

I mentioned briefly above that I am possibly a generation out.  If you’ve read my “Beatrice’s Story” post, you may know that my grandmother, Beatrice Eleanor Chapman was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1925.

I decided to try looking for a Cox family in the Edinburgh area on the Scottish 1911 census who were born in England, I found this family living in Quality Street, Cramond, on the outskirts of Edinburgh in 1911:

george-cox-and-family-1911-cramond-census

As you can see from the above image, George Cox, aged 44 was born in England.  This would mean that he was born in about 1867.

Going back to the shared ancestor hint image further above, you’ll notice the shared ancestors are William Cox and Louisa Moore, they did have a son called George, only he was born much later than 1867.

William Cox, however, also had a brother called George Cox born at about the right time to be the same George as shown in the 1911 census. William and George being children of Robert Cox and Amelia Morgan.

From the birth registration of one of George and Mary E’s children, the certificate states that George and Mary Ellen (nee Tuttle) were married in London, England in the mid 1890s, this would place them in the right area to fit in with the other Cox family members at the right time.

And so, it is possible that one of George and Mary Ellen’s son’s is my great grandfather.  George W, born about 1896, Tom R. C. born about 1901, or Jack A, born in about 1905.  The same year Frances Eleanor Chapman was born.

Or I could be completely wrong!

UPDATE 22/11/16.  The George Cox in the census image above appears to have been born in Lincolnshire, not London. 

More research notes

As usual with these posts, not all those names listed below are linked to me, however, at the time I noted them down it was a possibility that there could have been a link.

Buried at Preston Cemetery, Lancashire, England:

Non Conformist Grave NC/K/1192, bought by John William Chapman of 15 Thorn Street, Preston

Sarah Barnet aged 65 buried 22nd November 1913

John Thomas Barnett aged 72 buried 27th September 1940

From English and Scottish electoral registers:

1904 – George Beaver registered at 66 Park Road, Preston, Lancashire, England

1912 – William Henry Best registered at 66 Park Road, Preston, Lancashire

1955 – Mary A Paterson, Margaret Blaikie, Charles Bland and Helen C Bland, Catherine Connory and James Connory, Frederick Elkington and Margaret Elkington and David D Hadden, Dorothy K O’Dea and Thomas O’Dea, Beatrice Reilly, David Riley, Margaret Riley, Susan Thomson Joseph H Woods and Martha Woods and Peter Inglis registered at 7 St. Mary’s Street, Edinburgh, Scotland

1948 – Sophia Brown and Agnes Brown registered at 102 Skeffington Road, Preston, Lancashire.

1955 – Percy Knapper and Hannah Knapper, Henry Brown, Mabel Brown and John Campbell registered at 4 Oddfellow Street, Blackpool, Lancashire

1954 -George Jones, Dorothy Jones and John Campbell registered at 16 Chapel Street, Blackpool, Lancashire

1952 – David Marr, William Marr, William Marr, Thomas Dailly, Elizabeth B Carabine and Raymon B Carabine, James Cunningham and Susan Cunningham, Davina P G Goldie and Dennis Goldie, Helen O’Connor, Isabella O’Connor, John E O’Connor and Robert A C O’Connor  registered at 6 Harewood Road, Craigmillar, Scotland

1952 – Catherine Healey, James Healey and James Healey Jnr. , Hugh Dorian, Thomas Cashin, John Newsorne, Martin Poper, James Prendergast and Thomas Curtis registered at 31 Pembroke Road, Bootle, Lancashire, England

1900 – Betsy Chapman registered at 27 Wellfield Road, Preston, Lancashire

1900 – Ann Heaton registered at 26 Wellfield Road, Preston, Lancashire

1900 – Edward Chapman registered at 11 Kenmure Place, Preston, Lancashire

1900 – Charles Henry Ernest Chapman registered at 132 St. Paul’s Road North, Preston, Lancashire

1912 – Walter Chapman registered at 27 Wellfield Road, Preston, Lancashire

1921 – John Walter Chapman and Mary E Chapman registered at 27 Wellfield Road, Preston, Lancashire

1929 – Edward Chapman and Dinah Chapman registered 13 Cooper Street, Preston, Lancashire

1929 – Eleanor Chapman registered 35 Norris Street, Preston, Lancashire

1929 – John W Chapman, Mary E Chapman, Ernest Chapman, Nellie Chapman and Catherine Chapman registered 27 Wellfield Road, Preston, Lancashire

1930 – Thomas Chapman and Cecily Chapman registered 82 Miles Street, Preston, Lancashire

1930 – Eleanor Chapman registered 35 Norris Street, Preston, Lancashire

1931 – Henry Kelly, Ellen Kelly and Eleanor I Chapman registered 5 Gibbs Entry, Edinburgh, Scotland

1932 – Eleanor I Chapman registered 5 Gibbs Entry, Edinburgh

1935 – Eleanor I Chapman registered 12 Beaumont Place, Edinburgh

1945 – Mary E Chapman, Ernest Chapman, Catherine Chapman, Mary E Chapman (Jnr.) and Hester M Chapman registered 27 Wellfield Road, Preston, Lancashire

1945 – Samuel Murray, Francis G Fox and Hilda Fox, Cicely Chapman and William Chapman registered at 72 Brook Street, Preston, Lancashire

1948 – Edward Chapman, Richard Wallace and Amy Wallace registered 10 Kenmure Place, Preston, Lancashire

1961 – Walter Chapman and Gladys Chapman registered at 498 Blackpool Road, Preston, Lancashire

1900 – John Coxhead registered at 37 Annis Street, Preston, Lancashire

1953 – Liam Stewart, Frances McGee, Elizabeth Lyons, Thomas Delaney, George Flinn, Patrick Hayes, Edward Moody, James O’Brian, Alexander Parkinson, John Parkinson and George Dunn registered at 31 Pembroke Road, Bootle, Lancashire, England

1945 – Ann Heaton and Elizabeth Eccleston registered at 34 Wellfield Road, Preston, Lancashire

1945 – Henry Heaton and Doris H T Heaton registered at 35 Wellfield Road, Preston, Lancashire

1948 – Eleanor I Oswald,Harold Kirby and Doris Kirby, Alexander Gilfillan and Margaret Gilfillan registered at 114 Miles Street, Preston, Lancashire

1900 – Susannah Hind registered at 41 Skeffington Road, Preston, Lancashire

1945 – Alfred Hull (Senior) and Elizabeth A Hull registered at 26 Wellfield Road, Preston, Lancashire

1945 – Joseph Jackson and Ada Jackson and Alice Norcross registered at 19 Miles Street, Preston, Lancashire

1930 – Caroline Jones registered at 114 Miles Street, Preston, Lancashire

1949 – Lionel Keast and Beatrice E Keast registered at 11 Lower Trewellard, Pendeen, Cornwall, England

1946 – Eleanor I Oswald, Harold Kirby and Doris Kirby and Edith Wilson registered at 114 Miles Street, Preston, Lancashire

1947 – Eleanor I Oswald, Harold Kirby and Doris Kirby registered at 114 Miles Street, Preston, Lancashire

1931 – Robert Mather registered at 82 Miles Street, Preston, Lancashire

1921 – Walter Mitchell registered at 114 Miles Street, Preston, Lancashire

1931 – Walter Mitchell registered at 35 Norris Street, Preston, Lancashire

1939 – Harry Arthur Wigg and Catherine Wigg registered at 114 Miles Street, Preston, Lancashire

1903 – Charles Yates registered at 27 Wellfield Road, Preston, Lancashire

From Trade directories:

1892 Barrett’s directory – John Brown (j) – Painter – 98 Skeffington Road, Preston, Lancashire

1892 Barrett’s directory – John Coxhead – lorry driver – 10 Derby Street, Preston, Lancashire

1944 Barrett’s directory – D. Cowell (soldier) – 114 Miles Street, Preston, Lancashire

 

David Ritchie Masterton Oswald

David was the second husband of my two times great grandmother, Eleanor Isabella Coxhead.  He was born in Wemyss, Fife, Scotland on the 18th April 1914 to James Oswald and Janet Reid Ritchie Masterton.

His parents had both previously been married to others.  James Oswald, the son of James Oswald and Margaret Paterson had been married to an Elizabeth Tweeddale, and Janet Reid Ritchie Masterton, the daughter of Robert Masterton and Ann Ritchie Hill, had been married to a James Doddes Picken.

It was quite a surprise to find the marriage in Edinburgh when we visited some years ago, as we were looking for a possible marriage for Eleanor’s daughter, Frances Eleanor Chapman.  At that time we had no idea that Eleanor’s first husband, Henry Chapman, had died in 1928 in Rotterdam.

David R M Oswald and Eleanor I Chapman nee Coxhead married at the Nicolson Street Church of Scotland church in Edinburgh on the 26th July 1935.  The service was carried out by William Galbraith Taylor, minister.  The witnesses were Malcolm Mattocks of 321 West Port, and Elizabeth Lewis of 55 Home Street.

At the time of the marriage, David was a railway porter aged 21 of 12 Grange Court, Edinburgh, and Eleanor, a widow, aged 56 of 12 Beaumont Place, Edinburgh.  Although her age is listed as 49 on the marriage certificate.  She must have looked young for her age.

Apparently David wasn’t living with my grandmother, Beatrice, and her grandmother, Eleanor Isabella at the time of the 1939 national register at 2A Greenside Place, he had possibly signed up for military service by that time.  The next thing we hear of him is from a newspaper clipping from 1946:

DRM Oswald desertion from Eleanor Tuesday 8th January 1946 LEP
From the Tuesday 8th January 1946 edition of the Lancashire Evening Post

This would tie in with him not appearing on the electoral register at 114 Miles Street, Preston with Eleanor Isabella for a couple of years.

Eleanor Isabella Oswald died on the 7th January 1951 of 114 Miles Street, Preston;  and was buried with her parents, John and Mary Coxhead (nee Holmes) at Preston Cemetery.

By October 1951, David was living at Bath Street in Newton Heath, close to Manchester.  On the 3rd October 1951, he married a Clara Davidson (maiden name Jackson), a raincoat machinist, also at that time widowed, daughter of Joseph Jackson at Manchester Register Office. The witnesses were J Jackson and J Mellor.

At some point David and Clara moved upto Scotland, and were living in Bonnyrigg.

David Ritchie Masterton Oswald died in 2009, aged 94.

If you know of David or any of the other people mentioned above, i’d be pleased to hear from you.  Please click here to get in touch.

 

Frances Eleanor Chapman

I thought it might be a good idea, given recent updates, to list all that we know in relation to my great grandmother, Frances Eleanor Chapman.

Frances was born on the 18th November 1905, the address listed on the birth certificate was “Back of Woodclose Cottage Bembridge R.D.”, on the Isle of Wight.

Her parents were Henry Chapman, a “marine stoker”, and Eleanor Isabella Chapman nee Coxhead.  The birth was registered on the 22nd December 1905.

On the 14th January 1906, she was baptised at the Holy Trinity Church of England Church in Bembridge.

By 1911, Henry, Eleanor Isabella and Frances Eleanor had moved up to Preston, Lancashire.  They appeared on the 1911 census at 96 Wellfield Road with Eleanor Isabella’s mother, Mary Coxhead nee Holmes, who had been born at Hazel Ridge, near Cartmel in 1852, her husband John had died that year, and Mary would die the following year, and be buried with him at Preston cemetery.

On the census, Henry Chapman is stated as working as a second engineer on a Preston corporation dredger, while Eleanor Isabella is listed as a weaver at a cotton mill.

The records of employees working on the dredgers are very delicate, however, it could be established that in 1911 Henry was working on the “Gilbertson” dredger.

On the 25th September 1912, Frances Eleanor was admitted to St. Matthew’s C of E school in Preston, the address they were living at was 11 Cavendish Road.  Henry appeared in Barrett’s directory of Preston in 1917 at the same address, listed as an “engnr.”

But, Frances wouldn’t be staying at that school for very long, indeed, under “Remarks”, the word “Removed” is given.

The family had moved to Edinburgh at some point between being listed in the trade directory in 1917, and “Harry Chapman” appearing on the 1920 valuation roll at 61 Home Street, Edinburgh.  Frances would have been 15 in 1920.

Frances, a restaurant waitress, had met somebody in the latter part of 1924, and had a baby girl, my grandmother, Beatrice Eleanor Chapman on the 8th August 1925 at the Elsie Inglis Memorial Maternity Hospital not far from Holyrood. The address given on the birth certificate was 61 Home Street.

According to the Lothian Health Service archives entry for the birth, Frances intended to marry the father, but no father’s name is given anywhere.

It must have been tragic for the family to hear the news from workmates who’d travelled with Henry on the ship “Borthwick”, that he’d died of acute sepsis at a hospital in Rotterdam on the 20th August 1928.

It is most likely that Henry, the second child that we know of, of Frances Eleanor, then in domestic service, gave birth to in Edinburgh towards the end of 1930, was named after her dad.  She gave 5 Gibb’s Entry, Edinburgh as her address.  In 1930 her mum, Eleanor Isabella, was listed on the valuation roll at 17 West Richmond Street, Edinburgh.

Beatrice was placed in an orphanage in about 1932, as i’ve mentioned before, and Henry told me that he was fostered to a family in Scotland.

This is all that we know of Frances Eleanor Chapman to date.

UPDATE – 7/6/2016 – Frances Eleanor Chapman born 1905 does not appear on the 1939 Scottish National Register.

If you recognise any of the above, please do get in touch by clicking here, would be pleased to hear from you.

UPDATE – 4th July 2016 – Rechecked through all Frances E Chapmans who marred in England and Wales, cross crecking birth dates with 1939 England and Wales national register.  No matches.