Newspaper reports of deaths

Local newspapers can often provide more information about our families than we get from official documents such as BMD certificates and census returns. The British Newspaper Archive website has made searching newspapers much easier. Most of the articles I have found about my relatives are reports of court cases and inquests. Here are some of the tales of unexpected or early deaths in my family. Continue reading

Brailes, Part 2

The death of Henry Clifton

Henry Clifton was my great-great-great-grandfather Daniel Holtom‘s cousin, i.e. my 1st-cousin-5-times-removed. He was shot dead by George Ditton, the gamekeeper of Mr H.J. Sheldon of Brailes, on 18 February 1864, aged 29. As reported in the local newspapers Clifton, a farm labourer, and fellow labourer John Holtom were walking home along a footpath leading across one of Mr Sheldon’s farms when Ditton accused them of trespassing. A struggle ensued and Clifton struck Ditton with a stick. Ditton then pointed his double-barrelled gun at Clifton and shot him dead. Ditton was charged with wilful murder, but committed for trial at the Warwick Assizes on the lesser charge of manslaughter. While in Warwick Gaol awaiting trial, Ditton suffered greatly from remorse and mental anxiety, and his health was in a precarious state. On 10 April he became suddenly worse and died that day. Continue reading

Brailes, Part 1

My great-great-grandmother, Kate Holtom, was born in Brailes, Warwickshire in 1862. Her father, Daniel Holtom and Daniel’s mother, Charlotte Clifton were also born there. Charlotte’s parents Joseph Clifton & Mary Davis were married in Brailes in 1795. Joseph’s parents may have been Leonard & Esther Clifton. A 2 line article in the Hereford Times of 1785 says that Mrs Clifton, wife of Mr Leonard Clifton, of the George Inn at Brailes, in Warwickshire, was last week safely delivered of three daughters, all living. Mrs Clifton had before 19 children, all born alive and baptized. It is recorded in the parish register that all the triplets died within a few days. Continue reading

The Hipwells, a scattered family

Benjamin Hipwell, a bricklayer, and Ann Farn were my great-great-grandparents and lived in Rugby, Warwickshire. They had 9 children that I know about, 8 of whom survived past infancy. After Ann died, in Harrall’s Court in 1874, Benjamin moved to Birmingham, where he married the widowed Hannah Birch (nee Hunt) in 1876. Benjamin died in Birmingham Workhouse in 1884. Continue reading

John Duppa and Judith Green of Loxley

Tell anyone your hobby is researching your family tree, and one of the most common responses is ‘How far back have you got?’ Here is my answer to that question.

On all of my lines, I have gone back at least 4 generations, i.e. to my great-great-grandparents. Going further back depends on many factors, but I have found that the most important is whether a family stayed in the same area. The line I have provisionally got furthest back with stayed in one village for 6 generations, about 180 years!
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The Dagnells (sometimes Dagnalls) of Denaby Main

James Dagnell and Priscilla Bourne were my great-great-grandparents. Priscilla is one of my ‘brick wall’ ancestors, who I haven’t so far found any information on. James came to England from Ireland in the 1840s with his parents & 2 siblings, at the time of the Great Famine. After marrying, James & Priscilla lived for a few years in Whitwick in Leicestershire, before moving to Denaby Main in the mid 1870s, where they stayed until they died.

Denaby Main was historically in the West Riding of Yorkshire, although now it is in South Yorkshire. The Denaby Main Colliery Company was formed in the 1860s, and Denaby Main Colliery Village was built to house workers and their families. The colliery closed in 1968, and all the terraced houses where mine workers like the Dagnells had lived were demolished and replaced by semi-detached houses. Continue reading

David Eades of Galveston, and George Eades of Kansas

This post is about people I’m not even sure I’m related to.

My great-great-grandfather, Joseph Eades, had a brother George. On the 1861 census, George was living on Bell Barn Road, Birmingham with his wife Elizabeth & 4 children. In 1871, Elizabeth is living on Bishop St South with 2 children. She is head of the household, but is shown as married, not widowed. So, what happened to George?
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Joseph Eades and a meadow in Worcestershire

I’ve always been a bit stuck getting anywhere with the Eades family, but the recent release by Ancestry of Birmingham parish records prompted me to have another look, and this time I’ve made some progress.

My great-great-grandfather, Joseph Eades, was born c. 1829 in Birmingham. From around 1860 to 1881, he lived in Lee Bank Road, Birmingham. From his marriage certificate, I know his father was also called Joseph and was a gardener. Continue reading