Thursday, 27 March 2014

52 Ancestors: Week 13: Charles William Henry Pitts (1835 location unknown - 1879 Allahabad, India)

Charles William Henry Pitts was born in about 1835.  According to his two marriage certificates his father was John Pitts.  On 3 April 1854, when Charles was about 19, he married Caroline Amelia Pitts (the daughter of Peter Pitts and Elizabeth Merit) in Peshawar, Bengal, India. When he was about 24, he married Ella Jane Kelly on 10 January 1859 in Allahabad, Bengal, India.  He died on 5 May 1879 in Allahabad, Bengal, India and was listed as a Bootmaker according to India Deaths and Burials.  He was buried on 6 May 1879.

I believe that Charles William Henry Pitts and Ella Jane Kelly had the following children:
  • Alfred Charles Herbert Pitts was born in 1862.
  • William Spencer Pitts 1865-1887
  • Susan Maud Pitts 1866-1866
  • Richard Stanley Pitts 1869-1943
  • Frances Eveline Pitts 1871-1895
  • Francis Charles Pitts was born in 1872
  • Sybil Rosamund Pitts 1875-1910
  • Lilian Catherine Pitts was born in 1878.
If anyone has a John Pitts in their family tree with a son Charles William Henry Pitts, please get in touch.

52 Ancestors: Week 12: Abbotts Bromley (c1829-?), West Browmich

A short post to help me catch up as I am very behind on the 52 Ancestor posts.  

I love his unusual name but it does not help when trying to research him.

Abbotts Bromley was born in 1829 in West Bromwich, Staffordshire, England as the fifth child of Thomas Bromley and Mary Ann Clive. He had six siblings, namely: John, George, Keziah, William, Joshua, and Sarah.

Abbotts Bromley was counted in the census in 1851 in Oak Road, West Bromwich, Staffordshire, England and was employed as a Puddler of Iron.

52 Ancestors: Week 11: Benjamin Hanson (1790-1883), Langley Green

Benjamin Hanson was born about 1790 in Langley, Worcestershire, England. He died on 03 April 1883. When he was 20, he married Hannah Darby on 21 May 1810 in All Saints, West Bromwich, Staffordshire.

Benjamin Hanson was a Blacksmith and I believe he lived all his life in Langley Green, Worcestershire.

I understand from someone I corresponded with years ago that a gentleman did a talk at a local or family history society and during that talk they showed a copy of Benjamin's will.  This is very interesting as I haven't been able to find a will for him in the official records.

Yet another mystery I need to resolve.

I also find it fascinating that he lived till he was 93 years old.  Not bad at all.

Friday, 14 March 2014

52 Ancestors: Week 10: Charles Sharpe, Oldbury Butcher

Another @FindMyPast newspaper discovery.

Gloucester Citizen

Wednesday 20 September 1893

Charles Sharpe, an Oldbury butcher, was on Tuesday fined £10 and costs for having in his shop for sale some beef which was unfit for food. 


Birmingham Daily Post

Wednesday 20 September 1893


Yesterday, at Oldbury Police Court -before Messrs. J. F. Wilson and H. Heaton -Charles Sharpe, butcher, of Talbot Street, Oldbury, was charged with exposing for sale on premises in Freeth Street, a fore-quarter of beef which was diseased, unsound, and unwholesome, and therefore unfit for human food. Mr. W. F. Vernon appeared to prosecute on behalf of the Local Board.  Mr G H Robbins (sanitary inspector) deposed to visiting the defendant's shop on the 12th of May.  He found a quantity of meat exposed for sale, including a fore quarter of beef, which he considered bad.  The meat was dark in colour, and the membrane from inside of the ribs  had been removed.  This was the usual practice, when an animals had suffered from tuberculosis, in order to destroy the traces of disease.  The carcass was in a state of putrefaction.  Dr. Cunningham (medical officer) gave a certificate to the effect that the animal has suffered from tuberculosis and that the meat was unfit for human food.  Mr Vernon asked the Bench to inflict a heavy penalty, as a defendant must have known the meat was bad. - Defendant denied this and said the case had ruined his business.  The bench considered it a very bad case, and fined defendant £10. and costs, in all £13. 14s. 6d., or in default fourteen days imprisonment, with hard labour.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

52 Ancestors: Week 9: Thomas James, leather merchant (c1822 (Manchester) - 1884 (Alcester))

Another lovely find from my one month Find My Past subscription.  Back in 1997, when I spent a lot of time at Birmingham Archives, I found the following will for Thomas James.

This is the last will and testament of me Thomas James of Birmingham in the County of Warwick thereby direct all my just debts, funeral and testamentary expenses be paid and satisfied by my  executrix hereinafter named soon as convenient maybe after my deceased.  I thereby give, devise and bequeath all my household furniture, linen, books ??? and also all and every sum and sums of money which may be in my house, about my person or at my place of business.  Also all stock and book debts owing to me the time my decease and all and everything of my effects whatsoever and wheresoever both real and personal to my dear wife Julia James to and for her sole use.  I benefit absolutely and I nominate, constitute & approve my said wife to be my executrix to this my last will and thereby revoking all my former or other wills heretofore made by me.   I declare this to be my last will and testament.  In witness thereof I the said James Thomas have to this my last will and testament set my hand on this the twenty first day of January in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and eighty two.

Signed Jany 21st 1882 in the presence of us   Thomas James
present at the same time who have hereunto 
subscribed our names witnesses in the         George Rowland
presence of the testator.                     Charles James

Proved at Birmingham 10th October 1884 by oath of Julia James widow

27 Pershore Road, Birmingham - Leather Merchant died 9th September 1884 at Alcester £1363:11:1
Wright & Marshall Solicitors, Birmingham

I knew that Thomas had been born c1822 in Manchester but I hadn't thought about how old he might have been when he died or the circumstances surrounding his death.   Well that all changed when I decided to search for 'Thomas James' and the word 'leather' on Find My Past and found the following news article which adds more meat to the bones (and as usually happens it has left me with even more questions that before).

Birmingham Daily Post 
Wednesday 10 September 1884


Yesterday, about noon, Mr. Thomas James, leather merchant, of 27 Pershore Street. Birmingham, died very suddenly at the Alcester Railway Station. The deceased gentleman, together with Mrs James had been on a visit to Alcester for some days past, staying at the Lord Alcester private hotel. Yesterday morning Mr. and Mrs. James walked to Great Alne, and returned by train to Alcester, immediately on alighting Mr. James was seized with illness. He was taken to the waiting room, and a medical man was sent for, but before his arrival he expired. It seemed deceased had been a great sufferer from heart disease, and had been attended by Mr. Badger, surgeon, Bromsgrove Street. The deceased was 62 years of age. The body was removed to the Lord Nelson Inn to await the decision of the coroner as to the holding of an inquest.