Thursday, 21 October 2010

An email from Mary Taylor - a relation with both a Clayton and a Millington connection!

As if I needed further encouragement for publishing my family history research online, I was recently contacted via email by a relative with whom I have never spoken before, who is sharing some intriguing new information with us. 

Mary Emily Taylor contacted me via email, her father George Clayton was the first cousin of my father Geoffrey Millington. George Clayton's father, also George Clayton, was my grandmother's brother (my grandmother being Florence Millington, nee. Clayton). But according to Mary's email, her family tree has an additional connection to the Millingtons a generation or so before Florence Clayton married William Millington. Not only this, but Mary also refers to the surnames Hagan and Hogan in her Clayton ancestry - names which have appeared in my family history research.

Mary has given me permission to publish exracts of her recent emails on the website and I have included my own response between the two emails: 

Email 1

My name is Mary Emily Taylor nee Clayton, my father and your father were cousins.

My parents were George and Irene Clayton, nee Hogan. My grandparents were George Clayton and Emily nee. Wayne, my great grandparents were William and Mary Clayton.

I can remember your grandmother (my great aunt Floss) visiting me every birthday, I can also remember visiting my great grandmother who I knew as Grandma Polly in Quinton. I was about 5 then.

I believe I have found a connection between mom's family and your own, my grandmother Frances had a cousin May Elizabeth Millington nee. Johnson. She was born in 1887 and she was a paper maker, she married Howard Emmanuel Millington born in June 1879. He sadly died in September 1907.

I also hope there is a connection with mom's grandmother Mary Hogan nee. Hagan.

If indeed this Howard Emmanuel Millington is your relation I have found him aged 12 living in Warstone lane.

Thank you for all your hard work concerning My Clayton Family History it has been a joy to read.


My reply

Having read Mary's initial email with great interest, I firstly looked back through my own research to see if I could find a match for Howard Emmanuel Millington. The name definately rang a bell as one I have come across during my research, but it may not necessarily have been a direct ancestor.

However, sure enough Howard Emmanuel Millington was related to our branch of the Millington family. This is my reply to Mary:

Hi Mary

I have had a chance to look back through my research and found a Howard Emmanuel Millington, born 1879 who was a son of Alfred Emmanuel Millington.

Alfred in turn was the 2nd child of James Millington, the younger brother of my g-g-g-grandfather William Millington. Both James and William Millington were boot makers who lived in Cregoe Street, Lee Bank, moving to Birmingham from Wellington in Shropshire in the early 1800s.

More about Howard and his family at this link:

So that's a definite 'second' link between us Mary!

In reference to the Hogan / Hagan connection. Both names are of interest to me. A branch of my dad's family were O'Hagans, who lived in Lee Bank. My g-g-grandmother, Alice O'Hagan married John Millington in the 1870s. In the census records I have also found the O'Hagan family named Hagan (without the 'O' prefix). Neither Hagan or O'Hagan are common names in Birmingham - so there is quite a strong case that families of this surname in Birmingham in the late 19th / early 20th century were related. Having said this I found records of a large O'Hagan family in the Aston area who I can't connect. My O'Hagans originated from Newry in Ulster. So I would be interested in more information if you have it.

More about the O'Hagans at this link:

I had not come across the surname Hogan until quite recently when I was contacted by a gentleman named Jamie Evans whose great grandmother Mary Hogan was possibly related to our great grandmother, Mary Clayton, nee. Finn (Grandma Polly in your email). Jamie's research has helped me to uncover a lot of information about a family of Finn sisters (off the top of my head they were cousins or second cousins of Mary Helen Finn (Grandma Polly) who all went to live in Cleveland, Ohio in the early 1900s. Their married names including Robinson, Rachford and McKiernan - one remained unmarried so kept her maiden name Finn. Jamie's grandmother, Martha Lilly Walton, attempted to take her own 3 daughters to America in the early 1920s but her attempt was foiled by her mother-in-law who actually boarded the ship with a last minute court order to remove the said grand daughters. The mother-in-law's maiden name was Mary Hogan and Jamie said she lived close to the Finns in Newtwon.

It's a fascinating story and Jamie has done an incredible amount of research, much of it just in the past 6 or 7 months, but he is still unsure as to how his grandmother, Martha Walton was exactly related to the Finns, except for the fact that her and her husband lived next door for many decades in Newtown to a man named John Finn (and his wife Catherine) who was, we believe, the brother of the 4 sisters who went to America.

The plot thickens! So if you have any information about the Hogans, this would be very interesting to read.

There are various posts on my website about Jamie's research, here are a couple of links:

Mary's 2nd Email:

Hello Pete,

Thankyou for your reply. I have read the information and once again I am intrigued, isn't it all wonderful?

I have a little more information on my grandmother Emily Clayton, nee. Wayne in the 1901 census in St Stephen, B'ham:

Emily A Wayne, 6 months - born 1900 in Bow. Her mother Emily Wayne nee Phillips age 25 born 1876 Kings Cross London.

Sister-in -law Rhoda Wayne, 32 born 1869 B'ham.

This is the interesting part for me as Nanny Clayton's father died when she was very young and even uncle Bill, dads brother asked if I had any information about him and I found him in the 1871 census aged 2 with his twin sister Rhoda living in New Summer St, then Gladstone Street, Aston

In 1891 aged 22, he was not mentioned living with Nanny Clayton and his wife, my great grandmother who I knew as May. Perhaps he was in hospital as it states wife not widow. I wonder if her husband was also Jewish or was it just her side of the family?

It is all very fascinating. I would love to know her family's original name. I have Mary Hogan nee. Hagan living in Hospital Street in 1901 aged 56, born in Birmingham. James Hagan, 14, born in 1887, a spoon stamper, Nellie Hagan aged 9 born in 1892 in Birmingham, granddaughter.


Thank you 

Thanks so much for your emails Mary, there are some fascinating leads here for further research and it's great to be able to publish it online in case others can help us to fill in any of the gaps. I am intrigued by the occurence of the Hagan and Hogan names as both of these Irish surnames were rare in 19th century Birmingham. I had previously thought of the O'Hagans as being a quite seperate branch of my ancestors living a few miles from Ladywood in the Lee Bank area. So the possibility of them having connections with the Claytons and the Finn/Flynn dynasty of Newtown, Aston, Hockley and eventually Ladywood, is very interesting.

Watch this space as they say!

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