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.  

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