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Matthew Darlington was born about 1809 and baptised on 19 February 1809 in Haslington, Cheshire. His parents were John Darlington and Jane Holland. I found nine children born or baptised in Haslington with John and Jane Darlington as parents. However, the baptisms were over a 30 year period (from 1792 to 1822), which seemed unlikely unless the children were baptised as older children. Having said that, I did find the 1851 census (at familysearch) for John and Jane, born in the 1770s listed with a son born about 1821. I haven’t seen the original (no current sub) so can’t confirm.  If so, it was a very long period over which to have children. If it’s the right couple, John was a brickmaker.

Matthew married Elizabeth Malam on 14 June 1829 at Astbury, Cheshire. I don’t know much about Elizabeth. She was born between 1804 and 1807 in Weston or Wybunbury in Cheshire according to census returns. She may have been born in 1805 in Wybunbury to John and Hannah Malam.

A daughter, Jane, was christened just three months after the wedding! Two years later in 1831 a son, John, was born in Haslington. Then three years later another daughter, Hannah, in 1834 (which seems to point to Elizabeth’s parents being named John and Hannah). Two more sons were born in 1835 and 1841 – Thomas and Matthew.

In the 1841 census all the children were listed as well as a two-year old girl called Elizabeth who would’ve been born in about 1839. I suspect she died before 1843 when “my” Elizabeth was born. And indeed, this is confirmed by a burial record at findmypast in which a girl, born in 1838 died in 1841 in Haslington. As I don’t currently have a sub I can’t view it. In any case, the family were living in Haslington and Matthew was a cordwainer.

Three more children that I know of were born during the next ten years: Elizabeth in 1843, Mary in 1847, and Joseph in 1850. The eldest child, Jane, married James Glover in 1850. The eldest son, John, may have died that year according to a burial record at findmypast. Certainly there’s no further sign of him.

In 1851 all the children except Jane, John, and the ‘earlier’ Elizabeth were listed. The family were still living in Haslington with Matthew being a master shoemaker.

In 1861 all the children except Jane, John and both Elizabeths were listed, all living at Haslington. The ‘younger’ Elizabeth was working at Haslington Hall. Matthew was a shoemaker and farmer of 18 acres, employing two men and two boys. He was also a gospel preacher! Son, Thomas was also a shoemaker, and daughter, Hannah, was a boot binder. Son, Matthew was also a shoemaker and “free gospel preacher”(in inverted commas and underlined), age 20.

Elizabeth married John Asher in 1864. Matthew married Hannah Whittaker in 1866. Thomas married Esther Plant in 1867.

In 1871, therefore, only Hannah, Mary, and Joseph were still living with Matthew and Elizabeth.  Matthew was now just listed as a farmer of 39 acres. With the family on census night were grandsons, John Glover, 15, and John Darlington, 5. John was born about 1866 and, I’m guessing, is either the son of Thomas or Matthew.

In 1875 Hannah married a widower with two children, Ralph Allcock.

Sadly, Matthew’s wife, Elizabeth, died in 1879.

In 1881, Matthew lived in Church Coppenhall, farming 35 acres at the age of 72. With him was daughter, Mary, 34, and son, Joseph, 31. John Darlington was also there, age 15, but this time was listed as a “son” not a “grandson”. Also there was Ellen Allcock, age 15.

Joseph married Elizabeth Whittaker in 1882.

I found an interesting article about Thomas Darlington, free gospel preacher and shoemaker in 1884:

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“Cheshire Observer”, 26 April 1884

“An ignorant shoemaker”. Oh dear. Go, Thomas.

According to a burial record on findmypast, Matthew died in 1884, and I subsequently found this notice.

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Cheshire Observer, 4 October 1884

[I can find no information on Maw Green farm, apart from the fact that a few families lived there over the years, including Richard Lindop.]

So, Matthew died on 19 September 1884, at age 76, a good age.

Sources: findmypast; wikipedia; family archives; familysearch; British newspaper archive; Google.

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The wife of John Asher, Elizabeth Darlington, is not able to be traced through newspaper articles, so I have far less information on her life.

Elizabeth Darlington was born in Haslington, Cheshire on 25 October 1843.  She was the daughter of Matthew Darlington and Elizabeth Mallam, one of nine children including five boys.  Her father was a shoemaker.  In the 1851 census she, and five siblings, lived with Matthew and Elizabeth in Haslington but there is no address given.

Haslington is a small village to the east of Crewe.  It was first mentioned, as Hesinglinton, in 1256 (possibly meaning “enclosure among hazel trees”).  In 1851 the population stood at 1153.  Apparently, Haslington was pillaged by royalist troops during the Civil War, around 1643.

In 1861, Elizabeth, at age 18, was a servant at Haslington Hall, in the employ of Joseph Woolf (1799-1865) and his sister, Ann.  Joseph was a farmer of 500 acres employing 12 labourers and three boys (as well as the house staff).

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Haslington Hall

Interestingly, another servant, Esther Plant, went on to marry Elizabeth’s brother, Thomas.

A pouch belonging to Joseph Woolf went on sale recently.

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Fascinating.  I wonder if it was sold and who bought it.

Elizabeth was pregnant when she married John Asher, a postal clerk, on 5 September 1864 at Haslington.  They married in the district’s chapel, which I assume is St Matthew’s in Haslington, or was it St Bertoline in Barthomley, which apparently also served Haslington.  Since the former became the district church for Haslington in 1860, I’ll assume it was that one.  Not a particularly attractive church in my opinion.

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The couple moved to Worcester, where John had been living and working.  Sadly, Elizabeth’s firstborn, a girl named Elizabeth, died shortly after being born (three months after the wedding).  The couple were living in Claines in Worcestershire when Elizabeth gave birth to twin boys on 20 August 1869.  Claines is a small village just to the north of Worcester.  They lived there until 1872 when John was promoted to a position in Northampton and moved to 19 Somerset Street in Northampton.

Elizabeth fell pregnant again in 1883 at the age of 40, some 14 years after the birth of the twins.  Sadly, the boy, named Frank, died shortly after the birth.

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Rhyl Advertiser, 9 June 1883

The family moved to Rhyl, North Wales, when John was made postmaster there.  The family contributed to community activities in Rhyl, including music and acting for the sons.

John got another promotion in 1890, replacing the postmaster in Camarthen, so Elizabeth, of course, joined him.  Her sons stayed on in Rhyl.  John married Amy Vaughan, fellow entertainer and daughter of a bathing machine proprietor, in 1894.  William married Kate Powell in 1892.

John’s health was failing so he retired in 1903 and the couple returned to Rhyl.  By this time, William and his wife had moved to Shrewsbury.

I have no more information on Elizabeth’s life.  She died on 7 January 1927 in Rhyl, age 83.

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Sources: wikipedia; findmypast; cheshirenow.co.uk; Welsh newspapers online; family archives

Returning to the Asher family…

John Asher was born on 15th June 1845 at Ibstock in Leicestershire, son of Thomas Asher and Samaria Johnson.  The birth certificate doesn’t give an address.  Thomas, a labourer, signed the certificate with an X.

Ibstock is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Ibbestoche (possibly meaning Ibba’s stockade).  It is in northwest Leicestershire, north-west of Leicester, close to the middle of England.  In 1846 the small, agricultural, village had a population of 1138.

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John was the eldest of five siblings, including two sisters.

In 1851 the family of five were living in Ibstock (no address) next door to John’s grandfather, Joseph Asher.  John’s father was a waggoner at a colliery.

By 1861 the family had moved to nearby Coalville, Hugglescote.  Coalville, as you can guess, was a former coal-mining town developed in the 1820s.  Thomas and John were working as colliers (John was 16).

John must have decided that wasn’t for him and moved to Crewe where he got a job as assistant to the postmaster in 1862.  He became a “stamper” at the Crewe station post office in 1863, then in June 1864 was given a job as a third-class clerk at Worcester.

John met Elizabeth Darlington, who was a couple of years older than him and living in Haslington, Cheshire.  John married Elizabeth on 5th September 1864 at Haslington at the age of 19.  It appears Elizabeth was heavily pregnant as she gave birth to a girl in December, but the child died.

John was promoted to second-class clerk in 1868 at the Worcester post office. He was mentioned in a newspaper article in Worcester in May 1869.

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Three months later, Elizabeth gave birth to twin boys, William and John.

In 1871, the family were living at 2 Bank Street, Claines, Worcestershire, John listed as a class 2 post office clerk.  In 1872 he became chief clerk at Northampton post office.

John Asher founded the United Kingdom Postal and Telegraph Service Benevolent Society in 1875.  It paid out benefits on the death of a post office employee.

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Rhyl Record and Advertiser, 14 February 1885

In the 1881 census, the family were still in Northampton, living at 19 Somerset Street, John still chief clerk.

Then in April 1883, John was promoted to postmaster in Rhyl, a seaside town in North Wales, filling the vacancy caused by the death of the previous postmaster, Mr Thomas.

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Northampton Mercury, 28 April 1883

There was some discussion about the suitability of a postmaster that could not speak Welsh.

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… Rhyl Record and Advertiser, 23 June 1883

As for Rhyl itself, I recommend the Rhyl History Club blog for wonderful information and pictures about the town (eg Rhyl streets).

Elizabeth, meanwhile, gave birth to another son in between April and June in 1883, but sadly he died in June.

Rhyl got a new post office,

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… (the article is a long one)

and a new lamp.

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The post office continued to do well under John’s supervision.

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Rhyl Record and Advertiser, 10 July 1886

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Gifts of alcohol to the postmen, however, were not welcome.

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With date typo…

Post office employees had an annual meeting and dinner on Boxing Day, presided over by John.

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John’s sons were part of the entertainment.

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In 1890, the postmaster of Camarthen Crown Post Office, Mr James, resigned to move to Stockport, leaving an opening for John.

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A “toothsome repast” was taken to farewell John.

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John’s son’s fiancées were mentioned (Miss K Powell and Miss A Vaughan).

And so, the 1891 census reflects John’s new position, living at “Long Acre Villa” in Camarthen, John listed as head postmaster, where he continued the good work.

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South Wales Daily News, 30 November 1894

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South Wales Daily News, 24 March 1900

John retired in 1903, at the age of 58, due to ill health.

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And a lucky find in the Weekly Mail in 1903 reveals an illustration of the man.

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Weekly Mail, 4 April 1903

After retiring, it appears that John and Elizabeth returned to Rhyl (where their son, John, was still living).  John was involved in an inquest as a witness.

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John and Elizabeth lived in Palace Avenue in a house they named Ibstock, after John’s birthplace.

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John took part in Empire Day in 1909.

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In 1911 John and Elizabeth were living at the Palace Avenue address with a 38-year-old widow acting as servant.

In September, 1914, John and Elizabeth celebrated their golden wedding anniversary.

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There is no further newspaper trail for John, even for a death announcement.

He died on 24 March 1932 in Rhyl.

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He was 87 – a good age.

 

Sources: family archives; ibstocklives.wixsite.com/home; oldmapsonline.org; findmypast; British newspaper archive; Welsh newspapers online; probatesearch

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William Darlington Asher (along with his twin brother, John Darlington) was born on 20 August 1869 at Bank Street in Claines, Worcestershire, to John Asher and Elizabeth Darlington.  John was a Post Office clerk.  There only appears to be a “New Bank Street” in Claines, but I can’t find any information about whether it’s the same street renamed.  The picture below is of New Bank Street from one end.

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The family were still living there in 1871 and John is listed as a Class 2 Post Office clerk.

I have not been able to find any other siblings apart from Elizabeth who was born and died in 1864 and Frank Darlington who was also born, and died the same year, in 1883, quite a long period after the twins.

Ten years later, 1881, the family had moved to Northampton, and lived at 19 Somerset Street.

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19Somerset

Still no other children, which is unusual for 19th century families.

In 1883 the family had moved to Rhyl in North Wales.  William and his brother were involved in entertainment, taking part in various performances, acting and singing.

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The above mentions WD and JD Asher and JD’s future wife, Amy Vaughan

There was another YMCA performance in October of that year:

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Rhyl Advertiser, 31 October 1885

I also found William mentioned in a newspaper article about the performance of “The Trial of John and Jane Temperance” at the Rhyl Town Hall in February 1886.

In 1886 William was working as a Post Office sorting clerk and telegraphist (following his father’s footsteps).

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Entry from British Postal Service appointment books

William was also a bellringer at St Thomas’ church in Rhyl.

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St Thomas’ church, Rhyl

I found this treasure at the Rhyl history club blog.

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Next to William is John Phillips Powell, brother of his future wife, and further along is the brother of John Darlington Asher’s future wife, Amy Vaughan.

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JP Powell and WD Asher

I found articles about three concerts in 1889 in which William performed (example below).

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William also participated in debates!

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Another concert in 1891:

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By the 1891 census, William was lodging at New Street, Frankwell in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, employed as a Post Office sorting clerk and telegraphist.

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New Street, Shrewsbury

I also found him listed in the British Postal Service appointment books for 1892,

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but he received a promotion.

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In September of that year, William married Kate Powell.

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William and Kate continued living in Shrewsbury for a while.  Kate had two daughters in that time: Gwendoline in 1894 and Dorothy in 1895.  The last daughter, Winifred, was born in Crewe, Cheshire in 1897 but the family returned to living in Shrewsbury by 1901 at Delamere, North Hermitage, Belle Vue.  William is listed as a civil servant, travelling clerk, Surveyor’s department, GPO.

In August 1901 William visited Conwy.

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Weekly News and Visitors’ Chronicle, 9 August 1901

Ten years later the family are living at the same address in Shropshire and William holds the same position.

During the war William became a food control inspector.

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Lancashire Evening Post, 2 March 1917

Then in 1919 William became the new postmaster for Ilford (north-east of London).

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Chelmsford Chronicle, 7 March 1919

William’s youngest daughter got married in 1919 and the eldest in 1921.  Dorothy married in 1927.  William’s mother died in January of that year.  I found no more entries in newspapers until 1928.

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Chelmsford Chronicle, 1 June 1928

The online newspaper search went cold, but I had three obituaries in the family archives, cut out and kept from 1930.

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Ilford Recorder, 26 September 1930

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Possibly no. 6 Selborne Road, Ilford (next to no 4)

And lastly, a very brief entry under Wills and Bequests in the Essex Newsman, 24 January 1931.

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The probate entry is more revealing.

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John Wotherspoon was a son-in-law.

In the excitement of finding so many newspaper entries, I had forgotten family photos of the man, with and without a moustache.

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WmDA

 

 

Sources: Google; family archives; ancestry.com; Welsh newspapers online; rhylhistoryclub.wordpress.com; British newspapers at findmypast.com; historypoints.org

 

Often on “Who do you think you are?” they follow the female line and find some interesting things.  I decided to do a search on the neglected females on various branches.  I made a list of them all – 24 women who’d married into different families on all sides.  The surnames were (in no particular order): Langdon, Facey, Penrose, Exel, Chariot, Poor, Barnett, Webb, Lee, Wright, Reynolds, Gooch, Cooper, Malam, Worads, Pratt, Heap, Potter, Clifford, Rogers, Wall, Harris, Sprigg and Milbourn.

Since I no longer subscribe to ancestry.com, I did the initial searches at familysearch.org.  I also did Google searches to see if any of them appeared on others’ family trees.

Eleanor Penrose was a success.  I found her christening in 1714 in Cornwall.  I also found a researcher’s family tree which gave her death and listed more of her children which I didn’t have.  The tree also listed her grandfather, Henry, so I’ve gone a generation back although there were no dates.

When I first discovered Sarah Lee, there was some question as to whether her surname could have been Allee or Alee.  I found nothing under the name Sarah Lee, but did find a Sarah Alee, daughter of Richard, christened in 1758 in Whitchurch, Hampshire, which fits.

I found the christening of Sarah Heap in 1789 in Derbyshire.  Her parents were Edward and Elizabeth.  Another generation back.  Fantastic.

I found the possible christening of Hannah Wright in Suffolk in 1825 but am not certain so have made a note of it but not added it to my tree.

I found the likely christening (and parents) of Sarah Wall in 1759 in Shropshire.  I need to confirm that.

While looking for Elizabeth Malam, I found her marriage date to Matthew Darlington in 1829 in Cheshire, which I didn’t have before.  I didn’t find Elizabeth’s christening, but I did find Matthew’s and his parents.  Brilliant.  Will have to follow this up too.

I tried in vain to find the surname “Worads” which I had got from a Genes Reunited family tree.  It had always seemed wrong, so I searched for the marriage of her husband, William Pratt and found Mary Worrad.  They married in 1796 in Leicestershire. Much better.  A myheritage tree had the correct surname with slightly different dates.  It also listed her parents as William and Ann.  I always note where I get the information and whether it’s been confirmed yet, so something to follow up, perhaps.

I found the christening of Mary Milbourn in 1773 in Suffolk.  Her parents were John and Rebecca.  Yay!

Finally, I searched for Anne Sprigg, who married Vivian Stevens.  I found a christening for her in 1685 in St Ives, Cornwall, with her father listed as Thomas.  I then did a Google search and found a large family tree of Spriggs, including Anne and Thomas, then going back several generations to David Sprigg, born before 1505!  I was astounded.  Some of the details on the tree I found on familysearch, but obviously I’d want to verify it.  The information came from another Sprigg researcher who got it from a book.  No idea what the book is.  However, the family tree had put birth places of some of them as Bodwin instead of Bodmin, so would need to check details (if I ever have the time).  This last search was the most incredible.  Before, I was happy to get back to the 1600s, but then to discover back to the 1500s and possibly 1400s is just amazing!

When looking for possible parents of these women, I looked at what their children were called and if the parents’ names appeared among the children it was likely they were named after grandparents.  When the names didn’t appear at all, it seemed unlikely they were the ones I was looking for.

I had no luck with the rest of the women.  For some there were too many results and I had nothing more to go on to narrow the search down.

What a day (and it certainly took most of the day)!  I hadn’t intended doing any genealogical research this morning but had just watched an episode of WDYTYA and wondered about those neglected women.  It was worth doing.  I came away with a lot.

I logged onto ancestry.com and found a message from a fellow researcher who thought I had some families mixed up.  I couldn’t see where, so have sent her details I have and asked what she means.

While there, I reviewed some hints and linked a few census returns and BMD details (which I already had saved but hadn’t linked on the tree there).  Other researchers differ on details on the surname of Matthew Darlington’s wife.  Although they appear to have the same person (other details match), one puts his wife’s surname as Malam (which I had) and the other as Johnson.  There are some differences in birth places too so someone somewhere may have the wrong record (although dates seem to be the same).

I had a look at the Rose side of the family and found more details for Hannah Reynolds, connected to the Reeve family.  That’s branching out a bit.

I then looked at hints for Mary Rose, nee Mudd.  I found national probate details at her death in 1900.  She left 1240 pounds, 10s 4d to one of her sons.  I remember my great aunt mentioning something along these lines.  Because Mary had left everything to him, he made sure that his sisters (of which there were 10!) were left money on his death.  I think  he only left it to the younger sisters.  I will have to go back to my aunt’s letter, in which she mentions this.  So, nice to see evidence of the will.

All the above took me a long time and the sun is shining and I have much to do, so I must stop there for now.

It seems I do something genealogy-related twice a year, judging by posts to this blog.  Obviously I missed the June instalment.

Last night I logged into ancestry.com and followed suggested hints and found I already had the information on the Matthew Darlingtons and family and had saved the census returns.

I did discover, however, via the 1911 census, that my great-grandfather, William Darlington Asher, had had two other siblings apart from his twin brother.  The census stated that the other two children were dead by 1911.  I will have to follow this up if I can.*

I only logged into the site about 9.30pm and when next looking at the clock discovered it was 11pm.  Very time consuming and I need to go back, so will try again tonight.

 

*Just had a try at finding these children.  They do not appear in any census returns so they must have died young but I can find no birth or death records in the likely time period of 1860-1870.  Bugger.

I really must stop searching records on impulse.  The trouble is, I have temporarily mislaid my search log so couldn’t recall what I’d last searched for exactly.

I tried initially to search immigration records for the 1920s for when my grandfather and his family moved to Australia.  No luck.

I then went on a different tack entirely and did a bit of searching on the Stevens line in Cornwall until I realised I’d already done a bit of searching on them.  Ditto for Dart which I didn’t really search much.

From Dart to Darlington and I did a search for Elizabeth Darlington of Cheshire.  Previously she’d just turned up on searches for her husband with the surname of Asher.  I searched for her in census returns.  I was delighted to find her parents and herself with eight siblings!  Yay!  Her father was born around 1809 but I can’t get further back than that, unfortunately.  I thought the discovery might lead me to further finds, but no.  Never mind, I’ve now fleshed out her family.

I might go back to the Dart family next.  But first, I must look for my search log notebook and note down what I did.  I also need to buy more paper to note down discoveries.  I have updated my online family trees though.  I do like having stuff down on paper though not only for future reference, but also to help sort things out in my head.

Well old lady from England didn’t ring until 11.15am.  I didn’t get any clear information from her rambling but I did get my cousin’s email address.

While I was waiting for her phone call I thought I might as well use some credits on thegenealogist.co.uk.  Looking up births, deaths or marriages was a complete waste of time.  It cost one credit to look up a possible but there was no information to help to confirm it was the right person.  For example my Elizabeth Darlington could’ve been married in Nantwich, Warrington or Salford.  How was I to know?  There was no information about the spouse.

So I turned to census returns which were way more useful.

Since the the old lady had mentioned Asher, I decided to look  up the census returns for Asher from 1841 to 1901.  I checked which I already had and did some others with good results.  Then I decided to save the PDF file of the actual entries of all of them, using up a fair number of credits.

I tried the same for Powell with limited results and again saved the PDFs of the certainties.

It was my deceased maternal grandmother who had got me onto this family research.  I still have the handwritten tree she’d written out for her mother’s side of the family.  Her grandmother was married to Richard Powell and his parents, according to her notes, were Edward and Ann Powell.  However, last year another researcher gave me a family tree saying that Richard’s parents were Richard and Martha.  I noted down the details (somewhere – it’s probably in the pad I’ve mislaid!) but didn’t want to believe her.

So I did a search for Richard Powells in the census returns and found the family of the one the researcher mentioned.  A later census which included my grandmother’s mother and the aunts and uncles had Richard as born in Lydham, Shropshire.  Unfortunately, the earlier one which included Martha and Richard had the son born in Lydham, Shropshire so it definitely looked like the same one.  Dammit.  I wanted my grandmother to be right.

I did find an Edward and Ann Powell but there was no sign of Richard and the only sibling my grandmother had written was William and there was no mention of him in the census either.  They were old enough to be lodgers elsewhere, but that doesn’t help.  Dammit!

Anyway, nothing like a prod from a fellow researcher, as well as a fast-approaching expiry to get me working on the family history.