Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Crompton Family in 1911

James William Crompton
1911 Census

Find My Past, 2017 (used with permission as an Ambassador)

This is the only UK census that lists my Uncle Jack's whole family living in Kearsley, England.

It is learned from this census record that his parents had two children that did not live.  Census lists "born alive" as a choice, eliminating children stillborn. Family has 5 living children. Where they fit in the birth order of this family can't be determined without oral history which I don't have.

James is 44 and Rebecca is 45 and they live at 14 Victoria Lane having moved from 3 Tasker's Lane as listed in the 1901 UK census. From my research on the coal mining industry in this area, that street was where the coal miner's lived because people either worked in the coal mining industry or in the textile mills. It is easy to forget that they walked to work.

Jack's oldest sibling Fred is an adult as he is 17 and employed as a Cotton Peicer/Piecer. 

This investigation now involves the Coal Mining Industry and to help me with that I first had to find out about Mining Occupations.

Mining is dirty, dangerous hard work. In an earlier post, I mentioned that Uncle Jack's father was missing a finger and that's how I was sure of a passenger list? 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

School Days at Kearsley Moor School

Uncle Jack's School Records|
The Crown Register

While searching for information about my late Uncle Jack's baptism, I was stunned to see his school enrollment records in a database called "National School Admission Registers & Log-books, 1870-1914 Transcription" at Find My Past. (As a Find My Past Ambassador, I like to report on interesting records I find there.) 

This is the title page of the 1893 book of school records. Since Jack was not born until 1902, I took a closer look at this record. Notice it says, "infant department". 
Find My Past, 2017
(original image I downloaded)
(record page I downloaded
This is a crop of the record page: It lists Jack correctly as John Crompton, with a student number of 880, with a registration date of 5/6/05 (which is June 5, 1905), and his birth date as 8/7/02 (which is correct as July 8, 1902). This indicates that he was registered for school when he was only 3. The full name of the school is Kearsley Moor Church of England School. If he had not been baptized in the Church of England, then there would have been an exemption checked for the religious classes taught with the academic subjects.

The 1940 US Federal Census reported that Jack went to school through the 8th grade, indicating that he was about 13 or 14 years old when he left school and probably went to work before coming to America.

The next record I located was one whose book cover (shown here) says "school register" and is for admissions, progresses and withdrawal.
Find My Past, 2017
Find My Past, 2017
(Full image posted here)

Most of the students listed are withdrawing from school and going to work. Jack is listed as student #793, with his father's name as James William, 25/7/10 (July 25, 1910) as "date of admission or re-admission", with the correct birth date. 

The 1911 English census doesn't say he is at work like his older brother. I am assuming he was still a student as of 1911. In 1911. Jack is 9 years old. 

St. Stephen's Kearsley Moor School Today

I am going to continue to try to find a record that indicates he withdraws from school. At age 19, he is traveling to Ellis Island.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Uncle Jack's Family

Uncle Jack's Family in England

In 1901, the year before Jack was born, the population of Kearsley, England was 9,218 people. His parents, having been married in 1893, already had two children when Jack was born on July 8, 1902.  British History Online was a big help with understanding the place names and what places used to be called.

Kearsley's description is important to knowing about a family and helps to understand why people came to America.

"The township is a busy industrial place. There are collieries, iron foundries, paper mills, powerloom mills, spindle works, and chemical works;  bricks and tiles are made and cotton-spinning carried on." Except for mining (collieries), most of these occupations were common in New England. 

Of all of the children of James William Crompton and his wife Rebecca, only their daughter, Doris, married and remained in England all of her life. All of the sons came to America. Uncle Jack was only 19 when he traveled through Ellis Island with his father.

Fred (1893-1952), Doris (1899-1974), John (Jack) (1902-1985), Frank Crompton (1904-1988) and Harry (1906-1965)

When my father talked about Uncle Jack, he always said that Uncle Jack was more like a father to him than his own father. To a genealogist, that tells me a lot about what my father thought about his brother-in-law. He told me he met Uncle Jack's father and mother and James William Crompton was missing a finger. That small fact helped me to identify the right record in the Ellis Island passenger lists.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Marriage of Uncle Jack's Parents Manchester, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1930 [database on-line].
Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013.

James William Crompton
 and Rebecca Wolstenholme Marriage
I learned about Uncle Jack's parents in my oral interview and I was delighted to see their marriage at I had learned to read English marriage records while working on my own ancestors and I find the marriage and banns records from the Church of England to be wonderfully complete.  Parish names change over time as in 1893, Ringley was in the parish of Prestwich in Lancashire county. 

Original record replicas like this one, contain the signatures of those who married, the witness signatures and the clergy that married them. Notice that everyone can write their own name since no X in the signature line appears. 

The charming terms bachelor and spinster tell me that neither person has been married before. The bride and groom's fathers are recorded (with their occupations) and the occupation of the groom and sometimes the bride are listed. 

The record indicates that it was "after banns", so everyone had time to be assured that no one would come forward to dispute that neither was married to someone else at that time. Read aloud at church service, mostly on consecutive Sundays, they are carefully recorded as in this document. 

Banns listed with dates from Ancestry,.com
I have learned over time, to examine closely the names of the witnesses because oftentimes, they are family members and delightfully further research tells me Harriet was Rebecca's sister and Edwin was James's brother. 

Married on the 2nd of January in 1893, James was born 10 Feb 1867 in Whitefield and Rebecca was born 27 July 1866 in Ringley. Most brides chose to be married in their home area and that seems to be the case because the place they were married is Ringley Chapel in the Church of St. Saviour. 

We are so lucky to be able to see online information about this place of worship. If I wanted to visit there, this would tell me the location and the church history. If the handwriting wasn't clear, then, the names of the places may be easier to trace. The web site lists the marriage and banns and who read them and a transcription of the records.

From this transcription, I can see that the place Rebecca was living is called Outwood which I was unsure of while making my own transcription. Outwood is a hamlet.

"RINGLEY, a chapelry, chiefly in the parish of Prestwich, partly in the union of Bolton and partly in that of Bury, hundred of Salford, S. division of Lancashire, 4 miles (S. E.) from Bolton." (Source: Family Search)

Research and recording of these records took over a week but was a rewarding adventure. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Blog Stats

I write three blogs. People are reading them. 

Granite in My Blood Today's Stats

The Highly Caffeinated Genealogist Today's Stats
Beyond the Horizon Today's Stats 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Oral History Interviews

Oral History Interviews

Screen shot of scan of handwritten interviews by Midge Frazel, 2017
When I was in my twenties, I decided that it was time for me to interview my paternal family since my father and I had been working on designing a family tree. My soon to be father-in-law, an engineer, gave me a few pieces of huge blueprint paper and keeping that in reserve, Dad and I wrote down just names, dates and relationships of what we knew. 

Cousins from California came one summer and after Aunt Annie fed them, I put them to work adding names and handing out self addressed envelopes. They were happy to help and they still help me today, only through email and via Facebook. Now that those people who came are gone from this earth and the next generations have taken over, three have tested their atDNA and and they match. (Phew!)

One Thanksgiving afternoon, probably in 1970, I brought over a hand designed family group sheet, pens/pencils, and erasers and asked the women to fill in the blanks. It went well. My favorite moment was when I asked Aunt Annie to fill out hers and Uncle Jack's. She did hers and my grandparents and I passed that page around to my father, my aunt and my uncle to read and they discussed my paternal grandparents for a few minutes. 

My paternal grandfather was an alcoholic and committed suicide and I didn't know that then. It explains their sadness and their quiet moments that day.

Aunt Annie filled out her own and they turned it over to fill out Uncle Jack's. She got stuck and my dad went in the kitchen to get him. He sat down and spelled the maiden name of his mother and the place name where he was born and then filled out the paper himself. That is important as I now have his handwriting sample.

Everyone was riveted. I looked at their faces and that of my father and we could tell that they did not know much about Uncle Jack and where he came from. My father told me on the way home that Jack's parents came for a visit and that Jack's father was missing a finger. 

If you are a genealogist reading this then you know that that is how I was sure I found them at Ellis Island. More about that later.

This may be a pivotal date in my life as a genealogist. I am going to go through my calendars and look for a note that we went there after Thanksgiving at my maternal grandmother's apartment.

I could have asked more but dessert was ready and you know how much everyone wanted dessert.