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?

 

 

 

 

 

Transcript of the will of Nicholas Wright 1845

Nicholas Wright, born in about 1765, was one of my five times great grandfathers, via my paternal grandad’s mother, Ann Wright, Wife of Frederick Pointon.  Although there is no substantial evidence that his parents were John Wright and Ann Barton, I believe it to be the case, both through discounting others, naming traditions and due to the fact that I have managed to confirm a DNA link back to John Wright and Ann Barton, via one of Nicholas’s supposed siblings.

Nicholas was a farmer who lived in North Meols, Lancashire, who married twice.  The first time to Anne Boond, the second to Alice Howard.  My ancestor is, I believe, Nicholas and Anne’s only child, John Wright born in about 1790/1.  Anne Boond died shortly after  giving birth to John,  and Nicholas went on to have another 7 children with his second wife, Alice;  Jenny, James, Ann, Peggy, Elizabeth, Alice and Mary.

All 8 children are named in Nicholas’s will, who died on the 11th January 1849, of Little London, and who was buried at St Cuthbert’s, North Meols on the 15th January.  Probate was granted on the 1st February 1849.

This is the last Will and Testament of me Nicholas Wright of Little London within North Meols in the county of Lancaster Farmer made this second day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty five (being of sound and disposing mind memory and understanding)

First I order and direct the payment of my just debts funeral and Testamentary expences from and out of my personal Estate and Effects Then I give and devise my Messuage or cottage situate in Seabank road in South Port within North Mels aforesaid with the appurtenances thereto belonging which I hold by Lease under Peter Hesketh Fleetwood Esquire, unto my Sons and Daughters hereinafter particularly mentioned viz. John, James, Jane, the children of my daughter Ann late wife of James Rimmer Farmer, Margaret wife of Peter Rimmer, and Alice wife of James Ball their respective heirs executors administrators and assigns Share and Share alike as tenants in common and not as joint tenants.

And the issue of such of them as shall be then dead each set of children to take the share which their parent would have taken if then living

I do order and direct that my hereinafternamed executors shall as soon as convenient after my decease make sale of the whole of my Household Furniture Farming Stock Goods Cattle Chattels by Public Auction for the best price and most money that can be got for the same and with the money to arise from such sale my executors shall pay divide and apportion the same unto and amongst my Sons and Daughters hereinaftermentioned into eight equal shares and proportions (that is to say)

– One eighth share thereof unto my Son John his heirs and assigns – One eighth share thereof unto my Son James – One eighth share thereof unto my Daughter Jane – One eighth share thereof unto the children of my Daughter Ann late wife of James Rimmer Farmer aforesaid – One eighth share thereof unto my Daughter Margaret – One eighth share thereof unto my Daughter Alice – One eighth share thereof unto the children of my Daughter Betty late wife of Peter Rimmer of Little London – One eighth share thereof unto the child of my Daughter Mary late wife of Thomas Ball Blacksmith South Port

-It is my will and mind and I order and direct that in case any of my said Daughters shall be dead at the time of the division and apportionment as aforesaid Then the share of such Daughter so dying before that time to be paid and payable unto her children share and share alike

-I do hereby nominate and appoint my said Son James and my said Son in law – Peter Rimmer of Birkdale Executors of this my Will and I do hereby declare that they their Executors and administrators shall be chargeable only for such monies as they shall respectively actually receive by virtue of this my Will that they shall not be answerable for each other’s acts –

And I do declare that the receipts of my said executors shall be good and sufficient discharges and I direct them to retain out of my Effects all costs they may be put unto in the execution of this my Will:-  And revoking all other wills or testamentory dispositions made by me at any time or times heretofore:-  I do declare this present writing contains in one sheet of paper to be my last Will and Testament In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year above written

[Nicholas Wright signature] [seal]

Robert Ball

John Ball

James Coxhead

 

 

Walter Fordham Cox (1890 – ?)

Following on from this post, I decided to investigate the Cox family a little more, and have corresponded with a likely 2nd to 3rd cousin.

It seems from all available evidence that the most likely ancestor of mine who could be linked to the wider Cox family was most likely an unknown son of Louisa Cox (daughter of William Cox and Louisa Moore), born in about 1874.

Louisa sadly died in 1890 aged 16, which meant that if this theory were to prove true, Louisa would have had to have had a child fairly shortly before her death.

I decided to do a search of the new online GRO birth index, which includes mother’s maiden name from 1837 to look for any possible Cox’s which could fall into that category, and found the following entry:

walter-fordham-cox-birth-1890
My great grandfather?

A Walter Fordham Cox was born to a single Louisa Cox on the 11th March 1890 at 27 Richmond Road, Walthamstow, Essex, England.

The Louisa on the birth certificate was a domestic servant.  It seems probable that the father’s surname was Fordham.

Unfortunately, at this point in time it cannot be confirmed that this Louisa is the same daughter of William and Louisa (nee Moore), and I have not been able to sight Walter Fordham or Cox in the English, Welsh or Scottish Census of 1891, 1901 or 1911.

However, neither have I found a likely death for this Walter Fordham Cox.

I believe that Walter could possibly be my great grandfather, or, I suspect if this is my direct descendant, that Walter, like his mum became a parent at a young age, and that child, possibly born between about 1904 to 1908 in Scotland, who is likely registered under his mum’s surname, whatever that is, is my great grandfather.

If a descendant of Walter is reading this post, and has considered doing a DNA test for family history, then that would be a great idea!

If anyone reading this thinks this all sounds familiar and can help to solve this mystery, then please do get in touch through the online form by clicking here.

Ann Hough (1850 – 1903)

Until a couple of days ago, I was a little bit puzzled as to what happened to my 3rd great grandmother, Ann Hough, after her appearance with her husband, George Pointon, and family, in the 1881 census “Near Royal Oak”, Knutton, Staffordshire, England.

George had appeared in the 1891 census as married, at Vale Pleasant, Knutton, Staffordshire, an ironstone miner.

I found George Pointon’s death, caused by injuries due to an accident at the Harrison and Woodburn Pit, Leycett in 1894, however it puzzled me why I could not find any mention of Ann.

I had been searching for a possible death, with no luck, but then turned my attention to a possible marriage, and found it!

Ann Pointon, the daughter of John Hough (and Elizabeth Jones), a widow, married John Lloyd, a batchelor and a miner, father Edward, at Holy Trinity, Sneyd, Staffordshire on the 26th June 1894.

I found John and Ann Lloyd on the 1901 census at Tunstall, Staffordshire, with a son, John B(luch) Lloyd, born in about 1888.  John Bluch Lloyd was born in 1887, and the mother’s maiden name was Hough.

The puzzle of where Ann was in 1891 had been cleared up, she was listed as Ann Lloyd in that year’s census, living with her future husband and son.

I also found the death registered in 1903 of Ann Lloyd.

So, not only had I discovered what happened to Ann, I had also found a new 3rd great uncle, I had never heard about before.

Moral of the story, if you think someone might have died, try checking for a marriage first.  I certainly will.

Elizabeth Artless (1797 – 1864)

In northern Staffordshire, England, about 1797, a girl was born called Elizabeth Artless/Hartless.

Elizabeth was my 4th great grandmother, unfortunately no baptism record has yet been found.

On the 27th June 1825, Elizabeth, apparently of the parish of Stoke on Trent at the time, a spinster, married John Stockton, the son (I believe) of Peter and Ann, a collier, widower of Keele at Stoke on Trent.

John and Elizabeth Stockton went on to have 7 children that I know of;  Richard, William, John, George (my line), James Henry, Elijah and Anne between 1826 and 1841.

John and Elizabeth can be found on the 1841, 1851 and 1861 census.  Elizabeth’s age is consistently given to indicate a birth in about 1797, while her place of birth is given as Keele, Staffordshire in 1851 and Balterley, Staffordshire in 1861.

On the 17th March 1864, Elizabeth Stockton, nee Artless/Hartless died of Bronchitis at the High Street, Silverdale, Staffordshire.

Elizabeth was buried at Keele, Staffordshire on the 20th March 1864.

Is there anyone who knows anything of the Artless/Hartless family from the north Staffordshire area?  If so, please do get in touch by clicking here, i’d be pleased to hear from you.

Some early Norton le Moors family mentions

Find My Past has a large collection of Staffordshire parish records now available to browse, so I decided to go through some of the early Norton le Moors/Norton in the Moors St. Bartholomew parish records, and transcribe a few of them which relate and may relate to the “Our Ancestors” family tree:

John Rosse and Julian Rowley married 18th October 1618

Jane Poynton the daughter of Randle and Rosse his wife baptised the 31st October 1619

Elizabeth Roose the daughter of John Roose and Julia his wife was baptised 11th February 1620

John the sone of Randle Poynton and Joyse his wife baptised 17th March 1621

Thomas Besswicke and Mary Poynton married ………? 1621

Elina (?) the daughter of John Roase and Julian his wife baptised 23rd February 1622

Meare the sone of Randall Poynton and Joyse his wife baptised 4th October 1624

Anne the daughter of John Rose and Julian his wife baptised 27th February 1624

….(Wm.?) Ball and Jane Poynton married February 24th 1624

Randall Poynton buried May the 25 1625

….? the daughter of Randall Poynton and Joyse his wife bapt. the same day (14th January) 1626

Meare Poynton and Elizabeth Tourner married February the 11th (?) 1627

Jane the daughter of Meare Poynton and Elizabeth his wife baptised …… 1628

Randulphi Poynton baptised 2nd August 1629

Joane the daughter of John Rose baptised the first day of August 1630

Jane the daughter of Maier ? Poynton baptised the 3 day of Oct 1630

Ellin the daughter of Randulphe Poynton was baptised December 3 1631

William the sonn of Meare Pointon was buried the 28th January 1637

John son of Meare Pointon and Elizabeth bapt. April the 19th 1640

Elizabeth Pointton buried April the ? 1640

John the son of Meare Pointon buried 29th June 1642

Mathew Pointon buried 26th March 1645

 

 

Finally, a DNA link to Bedfordshire

Following on from this post on John Walter Chapman, today I logged in to Ancestry DNA, and found a shared ancestor hint.  Clicking on it, I found this:

Money shared ancestor hint

The image shows that the match and myself share John Money and Ann Bottom as ancestors in common.  The DNA match’s 4 times great grandmother is the sister of who we believe to be my 4 times great grandmother.

Very exciting to finally have proof via DNA of a link to the Money family of Bedfordshire, when the parentage of John Walter Chapman up until now has been in question.

The Pim/Pym family

Betsy Pimm, the daughter of Reuben and Ann (nee Bradshaw) was born on the 16th March 1839, and baptised at St. Mary, Lancaster/Lancaster Priory, on the 9th June that same year.  Reuben was a white smith.

Betsy went on to marry John Walter Chapman “son of Thomas and Sophie”, a carpenter, at St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church in Lancaster in 1857.  They are one set of my three times great grandparents.

Betsy’s grandparents were Reuben and Margaret (nee Blaickow) who had married at St. Mary, Lancaster in 1785, both were of Skerton at the time of their marriage.  Reuben had previously been married to a Jane Butler at Lancaster  in 1782, at that time of the 47th regiment of foot.

On the first October 1817, a removal order was issued that stated “Reuben Pym and Margaret his wife” should be removed from Lancaster, to their “lawful settlement….of Banwell in the County of Somersett”

Reuben was buried at St. Mary, Lancaster on the 9th September 1821, aged 71, from the age given at his burial, we can guess that he was born in about 1750, and we can observe that clearly, Reuben and Margaret were not removed to Banwell in Somerset, or if they had been, had made their way back to Lancaster to live out the last years of their lives with their children surrounding them.

However, it does potentially give us a clue as to Reuben’s origins, Banwell in Somerset.

The Ancestry website has recently added some new records, interestingly, for Somerset, so I decided to do some searching for any potential clues.

There is a baptism of a Reuben Pim recorded at Banwell, Somerset.  But, it is in 1744, 6 years earlier than Reuben’s approximate date of birth, to William and Frances on the 18th May 1744.

This Reuben appears to have married an Anstice Kitching in 1765, then as a widower, to a Mary Quick in 1769.  And this is where it gets interesting.

On the 5th January 1783, there are 2 baptisms to Reuben and Mary at Banwell, Somerset.  William, aged 5 years 6 months, and Phillip, aged 19 months.

At 22 Marton Street, Lancaster, Lancashire on the 1851 Census are the following family:

Philip Pimm – Head – Mar. – 76 – Ship Carpenter – born Bristol, Somerset

Margaret Pimm – Wife – Mar. – 66 – born Lancaster, Lancashire

George Pimm – Son – Unmarr. – 24 – Cordwainer – born Lancaster

Robert Pimm – Son – Unmarr. – 17 – Tailor – born Lancaster

William Pimm – Grandson – 8 – scholar – born Lancaster

Maria Pimm – Grand dau – 3 – born Lancaster

This Philip Pim is most likely the same Philip who was baptised at Banwell, Somerset to Reuben and Mary, and due to the removal order naming Banwell, Somerset as the “lawful settlement” of Reuben and Margaret, it is highly likely that these families were closely linked in some way.

The Reuben baptised in 1744 at Banwell was either the same Reuben who went on to marry Jane Butler, then Margaret Blaickow in Lancaster, or, he was the Reuben who married Anstice Kitching, then Mary Quick in Somerset.

Could the 2 Reubens have been cousins?  The families must have known each other.

 

 

Some more research notes

Various notes on bits of paper i’ve gathered over the years.  As always in these posts, not all of these people are related to me, but I noted these things down at the time as they could have been.

From the Staffordshire BMD indexes:

Hannah Pointon death registered 1871 Newcastle under Lyme, Audey sub district, ref. AUD/011/41

Hannah Pointon death registered 1877 Newcastle under Lyme, Audley sub district, ref. AUD/014/4

George Pointon death registered 1888 Newcastle under Lyme, Audley sub district, ref. AUD/018/99

Thomas Stockton married Mary H Grocott – St. Margaret, Wolstanton – 1873 – ref. C30/12/450

Alfred Stockton married Kate Lightfoot – St. Mary, Knutton – 1884 – ref. C15/1/101

Samuel Stockton married Jane Hughes – St. Mary, Knutton – 1887 – ref. C15/1/175

Alexander Stockton married Ellen Dickin – St. Luke, Silverdale – 1892 – ref. C26/1/458

William J Stockton married Elizabeth Key – St. Mary, Knutton – 1893 – ref. C15/1/383

Thomas Stockton married Rosalina Stubbs – St. Mary, Knutton – 1895 – ref. C15/1/408

From St. Mary, Lancaster, Lancashire parish registers:

Baptisms to John and Peggy Woodhouse –

Nancy on the 30th June 1791

Agnes on the 15th January 1789

Jane on the 3rd January 1799

Mary on the 3rd January 1796

Betty on the 11th April 1793

John on the 15th August 1802

Margaret on the 3rd April 1800

Thomas Dickinson on the 26th August 1805

From the GRO Index:

Alice Pedder death registered Lancaster March quarter 1843, ref. 21 362

Peter Pedder death registered Preston September quarter 1845, ref. 21 354

Mary Ann Bradshaw death registered Lancaster March quarter 1850, ref. 21 382

James Docker death registered Ulverston March quarter 1857, ref. 8e 428

Isabella Willison death registered Ulverston March quarter 1895 aged 69, ref. 8e 641

James Holme death registered Kendal March quarter 1840, ref. 25 331

James Holme death registered Ulverston March quarter 1868, aged 67, ref. 8e 472

From the 1841 England Census

36 Bridge Lane, Lancaster –

William Bradshaw – 37 – Blockmaker – born Lancashire

Mary Ann Bradshaw – 37 – born Lancashire

Edward Bradshaw – 11 – born Lancashire

Margaret Bradshaw – 5 – born Lancashire

Betsy Bradshaw – 9 months – born Lancashire

12 St. George’s Quay, Lancaster –

Christopher Bradshaw – 65 – Burtons mariner – born Lancashire

May C. Bradshaw – 60 – born Lancashire

Agnes Bradshaw – 20 – born Lancashire

Under Gardens, Damside Street, Lancaster –

Edward Bradshaw – 32 – currier & leather dealer – born Lancashire

Margaret Bradshaw – 32 – not born Lancashire

William Bradshaw – 9 – not born Lancashire

John Bradshaw – 7 – not born Lancashire

Elizabeth Bradshaw – 6 – born Lancashire

Hannah Bradshaw – 2 – born Lancashire

Margaret Bradshaw junior – 8 months – born Lancashire

From the 1851 England Census:

Parr Stocks, Parr –

Peter Cundliffe – Head – coal miner – 56 – born Parr

Mary Cundliffe – Wife – 55 – born Parr

Joseph Cundliffe – Son – coal miner – 16 – born Parr

Saml. Cundliffe – Son – coal miner – 13 – born Parr

John Cundliffe – Son – wid. – coal miner – 35 – born Parr

Miles Cundliffe – Son – wid. – coal miner – 32 – brn Parr

Mary Cundliffe – G. Dau. – scholar – 8 – born Parr

John Cundliffe – G. Son – scholar – 10 – born Parr

Ralph Cundliffe – G. Son – scholar – 8 – born Parr

Mary Cundliffe – G. Dau. – scholar – 6 – born Parr

And from the 1861 England Census:

Park Road Beerhouse, Parr  –

Thomas Francis – Head – marr. – 40 – Beerseller – born Parr

Esther Francis – Wife – marr. – 40 – born Parr

Wm. Francis – Son — 18 – born Parr

John Francis – Son – 15 – born Parr

Ellen Francis – Dau – 8 – born Parr

Elizth. Francis – Dau. – 2 – born Parr

Samuel Francis – Son – 4 mths. – born Parr

 

 

The mysterious Elizabeth Harrison

Nan with father (2)My great grandmother, Elizabeth Harrison was apparently born on the 25th October 1903, to Frederick Harrison and Theresa Travis in St. Helens.  However, things don’t seem as they initially appear.

Although the family have always believed it to be the case that my great grandmother was the daughter of Frederick and Theresa, no birth certificate has been located.  By this sort of time, civil registration had been established for quite some time, and other children of Frederick and Theresa were registered.

There was only one Elizabeth Harrison listed whose birth was registered in the December quarter of 1903 in the General Register Office index, and who appears on the Lancashire BMD index as being born in St. Helens.

This Elizabeth was the daughter of Peter Harrison and Margaret Ann Lewis, born at 46 Victoria Street, St. Helens on the 15th September 1903.  The birth was registered by Margaret on the 2nd October 1903.

There was another Elizabeth Harrison born in what was known as Newton in Makerfield (now Newton le Willows), at 25 Birch Street, Newton on the 12th September 1903 to John Henry Harrison and Margaret Jones.  The birth was registered on the 12th October 1903.

I considered another option, the possibility that one of Theresa Travis’s sisters may have been nan’s mum, I did a search on the Lancashire BMD site for an Elizabeth Travis/Traverse born in St. Helens, there was only one registered in 1903, however, that was a cousin of my great grandmother, daughter of Thomas Henry Travis and Alice Ann Harrison who was born on the 2nd December 1902, and whose birth was registered by Alice Ann on the 13th January 1903.

My great grandmother appears on the 1911 census, intriguingly listed as aged 5, daughter of Frederick and Theresa at 12 Sandon Street, St. Helens.

Elizabeth Harrison, daughter of Peter and Margaret Ann appears on the 1911 census at 12 Peel Street, St. Helens.  So this Elizabeth wasn’t adopted by Frederick and Theresa as their own.

There is an Elizabeth Harrison listed on the 1911 census aged 7 as a very likely candidate for the daughter of John Henry Harrison and Margaret Jones.  Her father is listed as “Henry”, and widowed, the family are living at 44 Haydock Lane in 1911, so,once again, this doesn’t appear to be nan.

Elizabeth Travis/Traverse, daughter of Thomas Henry and Alice Ann was also lised on the 1911 census, at 99 Eldon Street, St. Helens.

My great grandparents, Elizabeth Harrison and William Bibby married on the 19th April 1924 at St. Peter’s in Parr.  Nan, aged 20 gave her dad’s name as “Frederick Harrison”.

I have had a couple of DNA matches with people from Theresa Travis’s side of the family, but as yet, no matches with anyone known through my research into the Harrison family.

UPDATE 4th July 2016 – All Elizabeths born in the St. Helens area in the December quarter of 1903 have now been accounted for.  There are no possible births registered for an Elizabeth, whose death wasn’t registered before the 1911 census , or who wasn’t otherwise accounted for on the 1911 Census born on the correct date.

UPDATE 22nd October 2016 – Received the birth certificate of an Elizabeth Harrison born on the 17th October 1905, this Elizabeth was born at 8 Blackhorse Street, St Helens to Joseph and Mary Ann Harrison (nee Wallace), and I think this Elizabeth died in 1909, buried at St. Helens cemetery in a public grave.