Thursday, 24 December 2009

The Chiswell family - the family of Thomas Clayton’s sister

Albert Chiswell was the son of Emma Chiswell (nee.Clayton) who was the sister of our great great grandfather, Thomas Clayton. Albert was therefore the cousin of great granddad William Clayton.

Carole Graham lives in Leicester. She is descended from Emma Clayton, who was the sister of my great great grandfather, Thomas Clayton, the blacksmith from Willenhall. This lady should not be confused with the two other Emma Claytons that have been mentioned already.

To remind ourselves, these were Thomas’s wife Emma (nee. Brookes) who was the daughter of Samuel Brookes, a Hockley jeweller and Thomas’s daughter Mary Emma who became Jeenes, then Edwards. We are therefore now referring not to Thomas’ Clayton’s wife or daughter, but to his sister. Carole Graham told me the story of her branch of the Clayton family:

“I was born, an only child, in Hall Green and my 91 year old mother still lives there. Unfortunately she has a complete memory lapse regarding family history. My mother was born the youngest of six girls at Park Street, Aston.”

“Great grandmother Emma Clayton married William Chiswell on March 13th 1853 at the church of St Mark in Handsworth. Both came from the parish, William Chiswell was a 21 year old thimble maker, the son of Henry Chiswell, an engraver, and Emma was the 20 year old daughter of Thomas Clayton, a thimble maker. The couple had loads of children. My grandfather Albert was the last but one child born in 1877. He married Alice Linforth in 1898 at St Andrews church and Fanny and Albert lived most of the time in Park Street, Aston.”

“Alice's first daughter was born 6 weeks after the marriage. My grandfather was a silversmith, a drunk and a bully. He died in December 1939. My mother is the youngest of their six girls. I was always told that my grandmother had died in 1911 when my mother was born and when asked my mother maintained she couldn't even remember her mother's name. “

“After months of searching I found that Alice had spent some six weeks in a mental asylum suffering from post natal depression after the birth of her 2/3 daughter. After the birth of my mother she was locked away in Rubery from 1913 to 1975 when she died aged 98. In all that time no one visited and she was even cremated "on the state". Although I have her medical records I would love a photograph of Alice, but to no avail. There seems to be no one who remembers her and no family photographs at all before the 1940's.”

Maud and Ethel - the youngest and oldest daughters of the Chiswell family. Their father Albert was granddad Clayton's cousin.


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