Sunday, 10 January 2016

The wives of Walter HALSTEAD

Not all newspaper reports are true

Whilst searching the British Newspaper archive today to try and unravel the wives of Walter HALSTEAD who appears to have married two Ruth's I came across a number of entries in the early 1900's that I couldn't place in the Halstead files. Why do they always seem to have a wife with the same name as the first.

 The reason is that they have nothing to do with family history and she is in actual fact a character in a play called the "The Scarlet Sin" by G R Sims and Arthur SHIRLEY, which features a character called Rube Halstead, a reformed burglar.

It was given its first production in September 1900 at the New Theatre Royal, Rochdale and the following write-up appears in The Era (the newspaper of the stage and fully indexed on the British Newspaper Archive where this is taken from

NEW THEATRE ROYAL, LIMITED.-General Manager, Mr Otto C. Culling; Resident Manager, Mr Chas. Clucas.-The Scarlet Sin, a new play by G. R. Sims and Arthur Shirley, honoured Rochdale with its first visit on Monday evening. A good house had assembled and accorded the play a hearty welcome. The drama has a strong and interesting plot, and is certain of a successful career. Mr Robert Forsyth stands out pro- minently with a really fine portrayal of the reformed burglar Rube Halstead ; Mr Charles Kean Chute powerfully impersonates the scheming villainy of James Royston ; Mr W. E. Asheroft cleverly depicts the dual part of the free-hearted sailor and the deranged wanderer Frank Stanley. Miss Frances Dillon as Ruth Halstead and Bliss May Chevalier as Mary Halstead both secure high praise for their realistic efforts. Miss Beryl Mercer has established herself a favourite as Dick. Mr Percy Bell as Ben Orarge, Mr Harry Buss as Teddy Tiddlecombe, Mr James E. Thurlow as Summers, and Miss Jessie Danvers as Lottie Summers are a diverting quartet, and create much amusement.

George Robert SIMS appears to have been a prolific writer and his works seem to be at the John Rylands Library, Manchester. Details of works are available in the Archive Hub as "George R. Sims Collection, GRS/1/1 etc., John Rylands University Library, The University of Manchester." and can be found here.

 John Hanson - email

Monday, 4 January 2016

Hartley Halstead

Now once in a while you come across a name that you think is going to be easy after all how many Hartley HALSTEAD's can there be. Well all of those born after 1837 were easy. It was the ones that were born before 1837 that were the problem!

According to Ancestry there were two baptised in 1807 and one in 1810. The one in 1810 I had already as the son of Robert and the two in 1807 were the sons of William and Tom. That is until I looked at the images and realised that the Tom was in fact Wm and thereforre the same as the William. One other clue of course that lead to this deduction was that they were both on the same date in the same parish.

Why was I looking at Hartley in the first place. Well the investigations into Charles HALSTEAD mentioned in the last blog had thrown up an interesting story in 1949 in the Burnley Express that was titled "His father built a church - from logs"

Now if an article is going to grab your attention that is a title like that as it makes you want to read on.The article reads as follows

"SON of a Burnley minister who built his own log church In Canada, Mr. Arthur Butterfleld Halstead. 68-years-old Wlnnipeg-born Canadian, is back in his father's native land and anxious to trace relatives. He asks any Burnley Express readers who know the addresses of any relatives of his father. Rev. William Halstead, in Bumley or Nelson, to drop him a line at 23, Du Cane-close, Wood-lane. London, W. 12. Rev. William Halstead emigrated to Western Canada about 1873 after graduating from Richmond College, built bis own log church in Port Arthur, Ontario, and later went West to Winnipeg.He was subsequently stationed at Selkirk. Portage la Prairie and Mlnnedosa, in  Manitoba. Visualising the great opportunities of Canada's west, the minister was instrumental in  taking out to the Dominion many orphan boys from Dr. Stevenson's Homes—now the National Children's Homes and in every case the boys were successful in professional or business ventures. One them, John Knox, became a chief auditor with the Canadian Pacific Railway, and another, Fred Bagshaw, is a prominent King's Counsel in Regina.
FOOTNOTE: The voice of the log cabin minister's son will be heard over the air on September 27th on the B.B.C. programme, "The World Goes By"

Now with a forenames like Arthur Butterfield there are not likely to be many and a quick look on Ancestry Canada revealed one born in 1881 and dying in 1860. there were also a couple of well documented public trees. these showed that Arthur was the son of William HALSTEAD born in Lancashire in 1833 and his Canadian wife Mary.  Therefore William must have gone to Canada at an early age. Whilst none of the online trees had the parents of William it wasn't too difficult to work out who he was. One the assumption that the name of Butterfield had a link somewhere within the family it did not take long to track down the right family. after all at most he was only going to be on the 1841 census.

It turned out that he was was the son of Hartley HALSTEAD Except that I had the wrong Hartley as his father. I had him down as the one baptised in 1810 when in fact the passenger list of him arriving in New York in 1842 has him as aged 34 and therefore born in 1807

So another tree pulled apart and rebuilt - but it still leaves the question as to what happened to the Hartley HALSTEAD baptised in 1810!!

The update on this family will be in the next website update

 John Hanson

Friday, 1 January 2016

1939 Register Update

back on the 2 November I wrote about the newly released 1939Register and the number of Halstead's found.

Since then I have been investigating the results. Have unlocked one that I had the death certificate for. Mind this has not been helped by the fact that they have recently opened another 2.5 million records so I have to go back and look at the new ones.

The results of this initial research has meant that I have been able to add even more people to the database and also kill of others. The results of this will be published in the next website update but the full inclusion of the 1939Register will have to wait until the results are more openly available on findmypast Even my research budget doesn't allow me to get the all the entries

Many of these new entries of course are women who have either married into or out of the Halstead fold.

I have been making extensive use of the British Newspaper Archive to help with this.This let me to one of those problems that I parked some time ago as I could get no further at the time. I am a firm believer in the old adage that "the answer will appear at some time". Now whilst the newspapers haven't fully answered the question it has given food for thought.

This relates to John Charles HALSTEAD who according to his supposed wife Charlotte had married in 1887. My suspicion now is that they never married and that she lied on the birth certificates of both her children. As you will see Charles let an interesting life.

It was whilst researching this Charles HALSTEAD that I stumbled on two other interesting tales.

One is the suicide of Charles Halstead CAWTHRON in 1924 and the other was the sad tale of Charles HALSTED and his supposed wife Margaret who were refused permission to marry at the aged of 72!

John Hanson