Wednesday, 20 July 2011

More research into the birth of Kathleen Mary Millington in India

I have previously posted up information concerning the birth of my father's older sister, Kathleen Robinson nee. Millington in India in 1922.

I have Katheen's original birh registration certificate and her baptismal certificate. I also have an electronic copy of the Army Returns birth index for 1922 sourced from the internet.

On the surface, the information in the first two documents is straight forward and consistant with what Kathleen knew about the location of her own birth.

My grandfather William Joseph Millington was stationed in India, he was a private with the 1st Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment and my grandmother Florence was with him as an army wife.

Kathleen was born on 3rd January 1922. The details of her parents were given as above and the birth was registered on the same day. The location of the birth is given as Ahmedabad Maternity, Civil Hospital.

Kathleen's baptism took place at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Ahmedabad on 20th January 1922 . The minister was Rev. P Fernandez (RC Chaplain). Kathleen's Godmother was Sister Baptista. Parents were named as William and Florence Millington, father's profession was Private, Worcestershire and their domicile was Camp, Ahmedabad.

A new question arises though in the Army returns birth index which lists the birth of Kathleen M Millington in 1922 but lists the station as being Nasirabad as opposed to Ahmedebad. This wouldn't be too bad if the two places were close together, but Nasirabad lies in the state of Rajasthan which is many hundreds of miles to the north of Ahmedebad in the state of Gujarat.

Further to this, a search of the history of the 1st Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment shows that in 1919 the regiment left England for India and for three years was stationed in Nasirabad with no mention of Ahmedabad.

Nasirabad is even described as a cantonment town, which basically means a town established either temporarily or permanently as a military base. In 1922 the 1st Battalion moved to Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh which is further to the north east of Nasirabad and even further away from Ahmedabad.

My guess is that my grandfather's period of service with the Worcestershire Regiment probably finished in 1922 and the Millingtons returned to Birmingham. My aunty Nance (Kath's older sister) who did not travel with her parents to India recalled to me seeing her infant sister for the very first time, so this recollection would suggest that William and Florence arrived back shortly after Kathleen's birth. A three year term of service in the army would also sound most feasible.  

I guess there is probably no intrigue behind the the differing registration stations on these old records, or nothing that can't be explained by a more in-depth knowledge of the movements of the 1st Battalion around northern India between 1919 and 1922. Information which I don't have at the moment. We do not know for instance if my grandfather was even present for either the birth or baptism of his daughter Kathleen. The whole reason for being in India was after all to presumably serve in conflicts, so it makes sense that wives and families might have been housed in a safe place far away from the front lines or other locations of conflict.

We might therefore surmise that Ahmedabad was a place of security and safety for army families, a huge cosmopolitan city - the home no less of Mahatma Ghandi himself, whereas the northern states of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, towards the borders of India with modern day Pakistan to the west and Nepal to the north east were clearly where the action was taking place.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Henry William Clayton's territorial army records

On the 4th January 1915 my great grandfather Henry William Clayton joined the Territorial Army - 5th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment. His address was 20 Garbett Street, Ladywood, Birmingham.

Attestation of Henry William Clayton
Aged 45
89917 / 11th Batt. R Warwick

Statement of the servces of no. 4125 Clayton William Henry
From 4th January 1915 to 7th July 1915
Discharged after 184 days
Character good
Unfit for military service

Military history sheet
From 4th January 1915 to 7th July 1915

next of kin - Mary Clayton, 20 Garbett Street, Ladywood, Birmingham

Henry William Clayton's short service army records

In October 1914, 3 months into the Great War, my great grandfather Henry William Clayton joined the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He gave his age as 36, whilst we know he was actually 46. Two months later he was discharged from the army on 14th December when it was discovered he had chronic rheumatism making it unlikely for him to become an efficient soldier.

But William must have been keen to help out in the war effort because in January 1915, just dyas after Christmas, he joined the territorial force, this time giving the correct age, 45 and once again being accepted as fit to serve.

But sadly William's age and physical problems were to stop him serving King and country beyond July 1915 when he was discharged again.  

Short Service Attestation - 31st October 1914

Statement of the Services of No 8997

Joined 31st October 1914
Gortslade Camp - 10th November 1914
Discharged as not likely to make an efficient soldier - 14th December 1914  

Military history sheet
From 31st October 1914 to 14th December 1914
45 days

Wife Mary Clayton nee Finn, 20 Garbett Street, Ladywood, Birmingham
Children listed: Florence, Annie, Thomas, Frederick

Description of William Henry Clayton
Apparent age 36 years 225 days
Height 5 feet 6.5 inches
Weight 5 feet 6.5 inches
Complexion fresh
Eyes blue
Hair brown

Tattooed both forearms

Certificate of Medical Examination considered him fit for the army on October 31st 1914
 Approved for the Royal Warwickshire Regiment on 31st October 1914

Henry Clayton's short service army records continued

Medical history of William Henry Clayton 8997

Examined on 31st October 1914
Declared age 36 years and 225 days
Trade - Painter Decorator

Height 5ft 6.5 inches
Chest 39.5 inches
Weight 175lbs
Physical development good pulse 75

Approved by Capt 1st Royal Warwick Regiment

Application for the discharge of a recruit as not likely to become an efficient solder

8997 Clayton, W.

cause of objection - Chronic Rheumatism

Henry William Clayton's Territorial Force documents

Certificate of Medical Examination
December 30th 1914
Fit for service as a local guard in the Territorial Force

Certificate of Primary Militay Examination - 4th Jaunary 1915
Fit for service

Medical History of William Henry Clayton
Birthplace - All Saints, Birmingham
Examined 4th Janaury 1915

Declared age 45
Trade - Painter
Height 5ft 6.5 inches
Weight  168 lbs
Chest measurment 42 inches
Expansion range 3 inches
5 vaccination marks on left arm

Enlisted 4th January 1915
Regimental number 4125

Became non-effective by discharge on 7th July 1915

Certificate on account of medical unfitness for soldiers of the supernumerary territorial force companies

No 4125 of 2/5th battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
Found to suffering from rheumtasim and rendered unfit for limited military duty and discharged

Friday, 15 July 2011

Mary Ann Berks in Bagshaw's 1851 Directory of Shropshire

By 1851, Pigot's directory has competition in the form of Samuel Bagshaw's History, Gazetteer and Directory of Shropshire.

Bagshaw provides a much more in-depth and detailed profile of Shropshire. The sections appertaining to Wellington alone are probably too lengthy to post up on this website, though they make an interesting read.

What is of great fascination to me is that in the trades directory section there are two very definate references to Mary Ann Berks (variously spelt Birks and Birch - see previous posts). Mary Ann was the sister of my g-g-g-grandfather William Millington, a journeyman shoe maker who settled in Lee Bank, Birmingham from the 1820s. 

The first reference is in the alphabetical listing and the second is in the index of trades under 'bakers':

Click on the images to view a close-up version of each page.

Birch the Butcher of Wellington

Further to the posts below containing trade information from Pigot's Directory of Shropshire 1928 which includes a listing of William Birch, a butcher of Street Lane, Wellington and a Thomas Birks, shoemaker of New Street, I can add the following information about a Millington ancestor who married a John Birch.

Mary Ann Millington was the sister of my g-g-g-grandfather William Millington. Like Mary, William was born in Wellington in about 1800 but he came to live in Birmingham and married an aston woman in 1821.

However, Mary Millington stayed put in wellington and married John Berkes (also spelt Birch) probably in 1833. The couple are recorded at 171 New Street in the 1841 census, their surname spelt as Birch not Berks. John Birch was a 27 year old shoe maker in 1841, Mary was 35, Edwin 7, Joshua 5 and Sarah 3.

10 years later Mary Ann Berks is once again listed in the census (this time for 1851) but it seems her husband may have died as she is recorded as the head of the household, a 48 year old baker. Mary Ann’s children are listed as 17 year old Edwin Berks (a baker), 16 year old Joshua (cabinet maker’s apprentice) and 13 year old Sarah. Her brother John Millington is also recorded in the house or shop at number 32 New Street, Wellington. He is recorded as a 40 year old day labourer born in Wellington.

I also have correspondance from someone named Andrea Walker of Shropshire who sent me information about the descendants of Sarah Berkes from this family. Sarah (born 1840) married William Jordan (also of Shropshire—born in 1836 to Robert and Ann Jordan). Sarah and William had 6 children: Florence (b.1859), Lora (b.1864), Amey (b.1868), Albert (b.1871), Lilly (b.1876) and Joshua (1877). Andrea’s grandfather was Albert, he married Ethel Bingham and the couple had one daughter named Kate Jordan born in Wellington in 1914. Kate married Cecil Walker and they are the parents of my correspondent Andrea, in an email in September 2006 Andrea told me:

“Sarah their daughter married William Jordan and they lived with Mary. Eventually after being a sawyer William and his son Albert were butchers in what we think was the same shop as Mary had 44 New Street later renumbered to 97. Albert my grandfather demolished the front and rebuilt it. Mother is able to remember all this. That was were my mother was born and I can remember as a child. The property as far as I know is still there but is now a funeral parlour. We moved from Wellington and now live in Stone, Staffs."

It would be interesting to make the link between John Birch of New Street and William Birch the butcher and/or Thomas Birks the shoemaker of New Street.

Wellington in the 1928 Pigot's Directory of Shropshire

The following documents are from the Pigot's Directory of Shropshire for 1928. Pigot's Directory was the Yellow Pages of it's day, it was published widely throughout Britain and similar publications were also published in Ireland. The great thing about the Pigot's Directories is that they were published on a county or city basis and were further split down into towns and even villages, listing the names and addresses of all the main shop keepers and trades people in each area. So if your ancestor was a tradesman, publican, professional person, etc., it is likely that their business may have been listed in a copy of Pigot's.

The sections I have posted here are for the town of Wellington in Shropshire. In 1928 a family of my ancestors, the Millingtons, resided in New Street in Wellington. The name Millington doesn't appear in this listing but the name Birch does appear as a butcher - Birch is a name connected to the Millington family at that time so it gives me something to look into. Besides which there is lots of interesting general information here about the county of Shropshire and the town of Wellington in  particular which help to create a picture of what the area was like in 1828.    

Wellington in the 1928 Pigot's Directory of Shropshire

Wellington in the 1928 Pigot's Directory of Shropshire

Click on the images to make them larger and easier to read

Friday, 8 July 2011

Piecing together the family of Emma Clayton

Further to the email I received recently from Linda Elsley (nee. Edwards) in Australia I think it will be an interesting next step to pull together the knowledge we have of the children of Emily (aka Mary Emma, just Emma or Pem) Clayton.

Emma was the older sister of my great grandfather William Clayton. My father's generation, who were born in the 1920s and 1930s recalled the elderly Aunty Pem as a 'wanderer', a woman who visited family homes around Ladywood as late as the 1940s and who was best remembered as the old dear who read people's tea leaves with substantiated accuracy.

Mary Emma Clayton
But in the late 1800s and early 1900s in seems that life was harsh for Emma and her family, she found it difficult to put food on the table for her children and one was even taken into the care of the Middlemore Homes charity and emigrated to Canada as a home child.

We also know that one of her children, though not which one at the moment went into Shustoke Industrial School in North Warwickshire. Emma married twice to our knowledge and had children with both men. 

But much of our knowledge so far comes from different sources, some of them orally transmitted anecdote.

Looking back though the records on this website, this is a picture of what Emma's family probably comprised, starting with Mary Emma Clayton herself:

Mary Emma Clayton

Mary Emma Clayton was born in 1866 and married William George Jeenes in 1885. In 1896 she married William Edwards.

Walter Clayton

A boy named Walter Clayton was born to Emily Clayton of Cecil Street in 1890. One of my fellow researchers has speculated that Walter was born to our own Mary Emma Clayton outside of her relationship with William Jeenes, though as far as I know we have no further evidence to substantiate this.

Mary Emma with two of her sons
and her daughter in law
George Jeenes

George is recorded as a 2 year old in the 1891 census. His mother Emma Jeenes aged 24 is living with her parents Thomas and Emma Clayton and some of her younger brothers at New John Street. 

Frederick Geenes

Frederick Geenes is recorded as a 14 year old boy in the 1901 census living at 73 Mount Street in the home of his grandparents Thomas and Emma Clayton. But his mother Emma is not recorded in the same household or George the boy mentioned above who would have been 12 in 1901. One of my father's cousins, Bill Clayton remembers that Freddy Jeenes worked in the sewers.

Samuel and Francis Clayton (?)

There are two other boys recorded at their grandparents' home in the 1901 census, Samuel Clayton aged 9 and Francis Clayton aged 3. As there was only one other adult in the household, 21 year old Francis Clayton. I don't know at this stage who these two boys belonged to, they may be sons of one of the brothers of mary Emma Clayton, or could they be additional children of Mary Emma herself?

Thomas Edwards

Thomas Edwards is recorded in the 1901 census living with his parents William and Emily Edwards at Porchester Street. Thomas is 15 years old, therefore born in 1886, one year after Emma married William Jeenes.  

Jack and George Jeenes
George Howard Edwards

In 1894 Mary Emma Jeenes gave birth to George Howard Edwards at Frankfort Street. Mary's address was recorded as Unett Street. No father's name was recorded and she still had the married named Jeenes. Two years later she married William Edwards. George is aged 6 in the 1901 census - recorded in his parents home at Porchester Street. George Howard Edwards married Charlotte Madden in 1920. He was the great grandfather of Julie Brindley, a fellow genealogy researcher. It is interesting to note that George gave the name Edwards to his own first born child Elsie Agnes, but all subsequent children were named Jeenes and this surname was also taken by both George and Charlotte for the rest of their lives.  

Arthur Edwards

In 1896 Emma Edwards, nee. Clayton gave birth to Arthur Edwards at Unett Street. His father listed as William Edwards. Arthur is recorded in the 1901 census at Porchester Street, aged 4. Arthur Edwards was placed in the Middlemore Homes in 1904 after being homeless and caught stealing in the markets area of Birmingham. Arthur was emigrated to Canada as a home child in 1906. He joined the Canadian army in 1915 and came to England in 1916 on his way to fight in France. He gave his parent's address at Farm Street for his pay assignment. Arthur returned to Canada in 1919 and married Daisy Bate in 1922. His sone Ralph Edwards is a fellow genealogy researcher.

John Edwards

John Edwards is recorded in the 1901 census living with his parents William and Emily Edwards at Porchester Street. He was born in 1899. John is also recorded in the 1911 census, now aged 12 (Paddington Street).

Herbert Edwards

Recorded in the 1911 census at Paddington Street, Herbert was born in 1902. Herbert Edwards was the grandfather of another fellow researcher, Linda Elsley of Australia. Herbert married Rose Gordon. Two of their sons, Dennis (Linda's dad) and Bert, emigrated to Australia in 1967.    

Harry Edwards

Recorded in the 1911 census at Paddington Street, Harry was born in 1904. Another researcher, Albert Clayton in Australia recalls his onw father being a drinking pal of Harry Edwards. 

Rosa Edwards
Abraham Edwards

Recorded in the 1911 census at Paddington Street, Abraham was born in 1909.

Rose Edwards

The only known daughter (at this stage) of Mary Emma Edwards was Rose (also known as Rosa). She is recorded in the 1911 census with her parents at Paddington Street, aged just 3 months old.

Mary Emma's 2nd husband - William Edwards

William Edwards of Farm Street died of TB in 1917.  

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

The Edwards family in the 1911 Census

Had an email recently from Linda Elsley (nee) Edwards in Australia who wrote:

"Just read your book THE CLAYTON FAMILY, thought you would like to know that my great grand mother was also Emma Clayton - my grand father's name was Herbert Edwards born in 1902 and died in 1947 age 45.

Herbert married Rose Gordon, they had 5 kids - 3 boys Charles, Dennis (my father) and Herbert (Bert) and 2 girls Annie and Jean. Unfortunately all deceased with the exception of uncle Bert. My father and uncle Bert emmigrated to Australia in1967 where we still live".

Linda also emailed:

"the only information I have on Herbert is that he died on the 27th March 1947 aged 45. My father was not sure of Herbert's birthday but thought it was 8th may, the only siblings I know of for Herbert was Arthur who was sent to Canada and there was Abraham - he was the youngest."

Some of this may ring bells to any of my relatives on the Clayton side of our family or those who have read earlier posts on this website outlining the sad story of aunty Pem (Emma Clayton) and her son Arthur who was emigrated as a home child to Canada by Middlemore Homes of Edgbaston.

So were Herbert and his brother Abraham related to aunty Pem, the lady who read tea leaves and older sister of my great grandfather Henry William Clayton?

Well it seems he was, as evidenced by this record from the 1911 census: 1911 census - household transcription

Address: 5 Court 6 Paddington St Birmingham


EDWARDS, William Head Married M 45 1866 Brass Polishing Warickshire Birmingham 

EDWARDS, Emma Wife Married 15 years F 45 1866 Birmingham Warwickshire

EDWARDS, John Son M 12 1899 School Birmingham Warwickshire

EDWARDS, Herbert Son M 9 1902 School Aston Warwickshire

EDWARDS, Harry Son M 7 1904 School Birmingham Warwickshire

EDWARDS, Abraham Son M 2 1909 Birmingham Warwickshire

EDWARDS, Rose Daughter F 0 (3 MONTHS) 1911 Birmingham Warwickshire 


The other interesting information in this record is that it identifies Rose Edwards, probably the young woman named Rosa whose signed photograph appears on this website.