Thursday, 12 November 2015

Henry ARTHUR born 1849

A couple of days ago i was approached by Leanne Conroy asking if I could help with one of her brick walls as it had a Halstead connection. Her email said

I'm wondering if you can help me? I've been researching my family tree and hit a brick wall, then I stumbled across your website. My name is Leanne and my great grandmothers name is Leah ARTHUR (chart 3 on your website) I have spent many months looking for some information on her daughter Martha Emma Arthur born 1900. I have traced her up until early 1920's where she had a daughter ( Dorothy Arthur) and went to prison, I have found her daughters family but the trail stops there. I cannot find anymore information, whether she had any other children or where she was living.
If you could help me in any way I would be very grateful

As always my initial reply was I don't have any more information and as it was the family of a female Halstead who married out of name I didn't normally follow them. the only reason I had with this family was because Leah's brother was John Halstead ARTHUR

So i did what I also do in these cases and tried to bring the family us to date. Finding the death of Henry ARTHUR was relatively easy in 1932 - unfortunately he didn't leave a will but i did check the British Newspaper Archive. it is a lot easier to search when you have an exact date to work with even if it is only a quarter in the GRO indexes. This produced a couple of entries one of which was of interest for the information that it contained. This article is from the Burnley Express of 17th February 1932

The interment took place last Monday of the late Mr. Henry Arthur, of Hope-street, Worsthorne. Deceased, who was in his eighty-fourth year, was the oldest male inhabitant, and belonged to a family noted for longevity. He survived by two brothers, aged 86 and 72 respectively, and sister, aged 82. Born in Devonshire, he came to Worsthorne at the age of 18, and lived there for the remainder of his life, marrying a member of the Halsted family. This family noted for having bequeathed the money for the £2 sermon preached in the Burnley Parish Church every year on the first Sunday in May and also the Rochester Charity, payable in Worsthorne and Burnley. Although of a quiet and retiring disposition, Mr. Arthur was much esteemed by all who knew him. He leaves son and daughter.
The interment, which took place in St. John's Churchyard, was conducted by the Vicar of Worsthorne, the Rev. H. Stones, M.A. Deceased was borne to his last resting place by the following members of the Reading Room, of which he was a member: Messrs. E Boyle, Fred Chadwick, A. W. Ormerod, T. Stanworth, L. Stanworth, and S. King.
The mourners were Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Arthur and Grandson Fred, Mrs. Wright and Grandson Arthur, Mr. and Mrs. T H Nuttall, Mrs. Crabtree, Mrs. Heyworth, Mr. and Mrs. F. Cunliffe, Mr. W, Chadwick, and Mr. J. H. Astin.
Floral tributes were sent by:—Son Jack, Rhoda and Grandson Fred; Daughter Leah and Grandson Arthur; Tom and Clara; Mr, and Mrs. F. Cunliffe and Edna; Mr. and Mrs. John Crabtree: Mr. and Mrs. R. Rankin and Nellie (Harle Syke); Mr. and Mrs. Ormerod and Donald; the members of the Worsthorne Reading Room; and a friend. The arrangements were carried out by G. Chadwick, Worsthorne.

Whilst all of it was of interest to Leanne the piece that interested me was the list of mourners.

It enabled me to find Leah's marriage, the unfortunate death of Leah's husband two years after their marriage (again reported in the papers) and also Leah's death on Christmas Day 1946. it would appear from the obituary in the paper that Leah was also well thought of and a pillar of the community.

As for Martha ARTHUR - did she go to prison? well not that I can find. Mind she was put on probation for 12 month in 1921. After that she seems to disappear from the face of the earth. Did she change her name? 

If you have any ideas please let me know and I will pass them onto Leanne.

There is also one other interesting snippet in that article on the death of Henry ARTHUR. it says that he was married to a member of the Halstead family that created Halstead Sunday (I wrote about this in a post back in 2012). That means that he should be in the main chart but he isn't so know I need to find the link! Also what is the Rochester Charity! Watch this space

John Hanson

Monday, 2 November 2015

1939 Register

Today, Monday 2nd November 2015, is one those momentous days in family history as it sees the release of the 1939 Register. this was the register of everyone in the county on 29th September 1939

We all know that the 1921 census will not be released until 2022 (i can't wait) and after that we have a problem with a generation gap till the 1951 census.  The 1931 census was destroyed by fire in WW2 and there was no census in 1941 so this is the nearest to a census that we are likely to get.

What will you see - well there is plenty of information if the look below the search screen om the site listed above. but you will have to be patient as the data has been redacted and only information on people born over 100 years ago are visible. Mind they have said that they will be releasing updates regularly to include those that reach that magic age.

Peter Calver of Lost Cousins (his newsletter is one of the best in family history it comes out about every two weeks and includes lots of useful information, details of the latest special offers from the likes of Ancestry and findmypast and lots more.) has just created a new website on the 1939 Register and already in the first day contains some useful tips. follow this link

As the register was kept up to date till the 1990's it often contains details of maiden names (or married names - depends on the way you look at it) sometimes it will contain the date of death. it will also details what their job was as well as comments like "ARP Warden"

I need to go and talk to my mother because she wasn't with her parents in London and I suspect was staying with family members in Gloucestershire.

As far as the Halstead's are concerned I do not intend to rush into getting lots of entries - mainly because of the costs involved. There are over 2,600 entries visible and the details are in the following table

Surname, no of entries, number born before 1860
HALSTEAD             2306            60
HALSTED                139              1
HOLSTEAD             208              3
ALSTEAD                86                1
OLSTEAD                10                none

name as a first name, no of entries
HALSTEAD             44
HALSTED                1
HOLSTEAD             4
ALSTEAD                none
OLSTEAD                none

One point that has been noted is what appears to be a large number of transcription errors however these are not the fault of findmypast but appear to have been made by the enumerator creating the entries from the original schedule (unfortunately they do not survive)

If you do look up the details of a Halstead family I would be extremely grateful if you could let me have the details so as to save me looking again at that one. you can email me at

John Hanson