Saturday, 23 May 2015

A Mitchell Mystery Solved

Way back on 11 October 1999 I must have been trawling through St Marks Marriages 1906 to 1947.  And on that day I came across the following:

1909, 30 May - Page 89 No. 178

Joseph HANSON, 23, Bach, Groom, 7 Nelson St, Father -Alfred Hanson, Tool Maker
Amy MITCHELL, 22, Spin, --, 7 Nelson St, Father - Edward Mitchell, Plumber

Witnesses - Edwin Mitchell, Elsie Turner

And several pages later:

1913, 3 August - Page 202 No. 404

Edwin MITCHELL, 24, Bach, Glass Beveller, 7 Nelson St, Father - Edwin Mitchell, Fine Worker (Desd)
Marie GARDNER, 22, Spin, --, 4 Bk 57 Garbett St, Father - William Gardner, Caster

Witnesses - Joseph Hanson, Amy Gardner

Now these two marriages interested me because of the mention of 

  • Edwin Mitchell snr - we have an Edwin
  • Fine Worker - I took this to mean something to do with silver work which would have fitted with our Edwin
  • Hanson - our Mitchell line married an Alfred Hanson
  • Gardner - we had a Gardnor marrying an Arnold who in turn were married to the Mitchells
  • Nelson Street & Garbett Street - Our James family lived in these streets for many years
  • Turner - our Turners married a James
Over the years I had looked at this and tried bits of research here and there and made (incomplete) notes on a sheet of green paper.

Questions, questions, questions?
  • Were they connected to our Edwin Mitchell?
  • Was, for some strange reason, Amy Mitchell and Edwin Mitchell brother and sister?
  • Was Joseph Hanson the son of our Alfred Hanson?
  • Were Edwin Mitchell and Joseph Hanson best friends?
Well, I have a Yahoo group for our Mitchell descendants to collaborate and share research to try and avoid duplication of work.  This has not worked very well and I was trying to think of another way to do it. I suggested to the one person in the Yahoo group who is actually really interested in collaborating to install WhatsApp on his smart phone so we could instant message. He is in Australia and I am in England.  I am not sure why I find WhatsApp easier than having to log into my email account to pick up messages but it just works for me.  It also means that all the conversation is all in one place and easily searchable.  Anyway this last week or so thanks to my 3rd cousin 2x removed I finally got a couple of the questions answer.  He had asked me what I knew about a Frederick Mitchell and when going through my papers I happened upon the green paper with the Mitchell Hanson marriages. And thanks to my cousin I know now about WhatsApp web which meant I am able to copy and paste information from my family tree directly to a WhatsApp message via my computer.  And also with WhatsApp I was able to send a picture of the piece of green paper.  

It's not my Edwin came the reply.  He was born 1879 and this one is 1889. Oh, now what.  

Well, I thought, is this where my subscription to The Genealogist is going to become very valuable.  So I do an address search for 7 Nelson Street in the 1911 census and eventually I find a Mary Mitchell.  What a coincidence.  

1911 - 7 Nelson Street, Sandpits, Bham

William Mitchell, Son, Brass Turner

So Joseph was listed as Joe hence not showing up when I was searching for him.

So to find out the father's details I thought my best chance was to follow the family back through the census until I find the father listed.

With The Genealogist that is easy to do via a family search. So for the 1901 I looked for Mary, William, Amy (didn't want to use the nickname Ted which I had hoped was for Edwin).  I restricted the search to Warwickshire and 1901.  One hit only which included an Edwin Mitchell born 1889 and to know I had got the right record they were still living at 7 Nelson Street.

Again then searched again for the 1891.  One hit but this time at Garbett Street and still no father mentioned.  He must have died when the children were very young.  This would indicate why Amy said her father's name was Edward and Edwin said his father's name was Edwin. Could be an easy mistake if their father died when they were young, although you would have thought their mother would have made sure the name given was correct.

I then searched again for the 1881 census but took off Amy's name as she wouldn't have been born and added on Thomas. Again one hit - this time at 2 House 7 Court William Street.

And success, a father!  But Thomas rather than Edwin or Edward.  It must just have been the case that Thomas died between 1889 when Edwin was born and the 1891 census and maybe Edwin and Amy never knew his name. This would all have to be proved by obtaining the birth and death certificate though.  But it does help answer a couple of my questions.

  • Were they connected to our Edwin Mitchell? - No, nothing to do with our Edwin Mitchell and probably nothing to do with our Mitchell family full stop given that Thomas Mitchell was apparently from Warrington.
  • Was, for some strange reason, Amy Mitchell and Edwin Mitchell brother and sister? Yes, my feelings about this appear to be right. Amy was Edwin's older sister.
  • Was Joseph Hanson the son of our Alfred Hanson? Still need to work on that question.
  • Were Edwin Mitchell and Joseph Hanson best friends? This is one of those wishful thinking questions that will probably never be answered because it is unlikely to have been recorded and everyone is too long gone to be able to tell us. It would be nice to think they were though.

I now need to go and remove Edwin Mitchell, Marie Gardner and their children from my Family Tree Maker. I have already corrected by Ancestry tree.  This adds to my argument that you need some way of 'writing in pencil' on these family tree programs so you don't lose your leads but also so if anything happens to you or someone finds your tree online they don't take it as gospel .  But I will keep hold of their details as if it turns out that Joseph Hanson is one of ours I can add Amy and her brother Edwin and his family back on.

Update (19:30 ish 23/05/2015)

This is the reason I really need to sort this information out.  The notes about Joseph Hanson's parents on my green sheet of paper possibly being Alfred Hanson and Elizabeth Sanderson was niggling me.  The name Sanderson was just too familiar.  So I went searching for information that had been provided to me many moons ago by another 3rd cousin 2x removed. She had provided me with copies of certificates and also a large family tree on which she had written notes and low and behold amongst the many little boxes was printed...

Joseph Hanson (1886- )
& Amy Mitchell (1887 - )
m. 30 May 1909

And next to it was written 

Coachman to Tangye family in Smethwick.  Lived in Lodge to big house there (Tangye's were related to the Avery's).

So I can add Edwin Mitchell and family back on to my tree as the brother-in-law to Joseph Hanson (my 1st cousin 4 x removed).

  • Was Joseph Hanson the son of our Alfred Hanson? Yes!

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