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

Thursday 3 September 2015

Website update

The Halsted Research website has been updated this morning with the latest version.

The new version contains the details of an additional 121 people to the previous one. Many of these are related to the story of Miss HALSTEAD of Harrogate. An interesting research project which started with a small newspaper snippet from Tony Cheal and ended with two complete blogs. If you missed them then the details are still available via the links to previous blogs.

A new chart has been added to the Yorkshire chart (chart 45) which has Miss Martha HALSTEAD's ancestry back to Isaac HALSTEAD (1724-1786).  In putting this chart together it was discovered that one of the descendents on chart 43 was in the wrong family and subsequently moved to chart 45.

As always if you find any mistake or have additional information please contact me via the email link at the bottom of every page - just click my name.

John Hanson

Wednesday 19 August 2015

Miss Halstead of Harrogate - update

Now I never like to leave something part finished. I suppose that comes from 35 years to research into family history, mind not all of that has been into the Halstead name. If you want to know my background then have a look at the Halsted Trust website where you will find details of all the personnel involved with the Trust.

There has been something nagging at me and I couldn't think what. So I went back to the file that I had created from all the newspaper reports and worked my way through each and comparing it to what was already in the file.

The fact that Martha's daughter was born and baptised in Rochdale was still there - Why Rochdale?

That is when I stumbled onto Mrs Jewison from Rochdale in one of the reports. how common was the name? A look at my good old faithful "Surname Atlas" CDROM showed that there were less than 100 in the 1881 census and mainly in Lancashire and Yorkshire - so on the right lines.

It said in the report that she was married on 13 August 1852. What if she was a HALSTEAD by birth and married a JEWISON. it would make sense then for Martha to have gone to Rochdale to have the child. A check of the HALSTEAD BMD indexes should that indeed an Ellen HALSTEAD married a Samuel JEWISON but in 1851. The marriage accord to LancashireBMD was at Rochdale St Chad - now the parish records for there are on Ancestry and a quick check revealed that the marriage was on the 13 August 1851 - too much of a coincidence? Was it the reporter who got the year wrong?

What was more interesting was the address that Ellen showed in the marriage certificate as her address. It was Drake Street. Now if you remember from the previous blog you will know that Martha HALSTEAD's daughter Hannah was baptised in Rochdale St Chad and the address I had read a Deake Street - I know believe it to be Drake Street.

In the 1861 census Ellen JEWISON is living with her mother Ann HALSTEAD in Castleton (part of Rochdale) and both are widows. in the 1851 census they are in Drake Street.

Ellen HALSTEAD's father was John HALSTEAD born about 1793 and in the files he is shown has being the son of John HALSTEAD. John says in the 1851 census (the only one he appears on) that he was born in Birkenshaw. Now Birkenshaw as a parish was created from Birstall in 1834.

Martha HALSTEAD's father on the other hand was Isaac HALSTEAD born about 1799 in Birstall.

Was there a link between John and Isaac? If so then that would really make the whole picture make sense.

Back to the listing I exacted of baptisms and I started with Isaac - a lot less of them than John's!

Sure enough in 1799 Isaac HALSTEAD was baptised in St Peter, Birstall, the son of Isaac. was there a John that matched up? Yes there was in 1794.

So now we have the link to make is all make sense. John sadly died in 1854 so if he did leave a will it is likely to be at the Borthwick. Isaac on the other hand died in 1867 and his is one of the modern wills that I actually have but has been on the list of those the transcribe at some time.

Guess what is on the list for tomorrow!

Hopefully these blogs have given you the hope that even if it looks impossible there is always something else that you can try.

All of this information will be in the next website update


Tuesday 18 August 2015

Miss Halstead of Harrogate

Now I would not say Harrogate is one of the hotbeds of the Halstead name but when you are carrying out a one-name study you will look anywhere.

That does not mean that I go actively looking for Halstead in Harrogate but if someone puts something in front of you there is no harm in looking. So when Tony Cheal posted a message on the West Riding mailing list on Rootsweb (yes mailing lists are still around and as I travel a fair amount I find them easier than forums) to say that he had extracted 12,883 snippets from papers for the Harrogate area you just have to have a look - mind I wasn't expecting to find anything.

There was just one tantalising entry that just said "come and get me" for all it said was
"Halstead Miss  -  Bell's Weekly Messenger - Monday 25 July 1853"

Little did I know where this was going to lead me. Within 30 minutes of sending the email I got a reply from Tony with a copy of the snippet from Bell's Weekly Messenger (this was a weekly London newspaper published on a Sunday with a reprint on Monday for national distribution).

It was titled "BREACHES OF PROMISE OF MARRIAGE" and contained the details of two cases both heard at York Assizes on the previous Saturday. The first case was of no interest but had it not been for that one I don't think that Miss Halstead would have appeared in 32 newspaper reports. Yes thirty two! The first case related to a Miss Mary TWEDDLE and Mr John RAMSHAY and the what made it interesting (not to us though) was that he was the steward to the Earl of Carlisle.

The second case simply said "At the same assizes a Miss Halstead, daughter of an ironfounder at Bradford, obtained a verdict of 400l. against Mr. Toad, a retired tradesman living at Harrogate for breach of promise of marriage". 400l in the old fashioned way of writing £400. Not a small amount of money in those days.

I am always one for a challenge, so could I possible find out who Miss Halstead was? If I could find anything then I would let Tony know to help him with his own website. Now ironfounder isn't exactly a common occupation in the Halstead name so I searched the database for any Halstead who was listed as such in a census return. As this was 1853 it also seemed sensible to restrict it to the 1851 census and there were only 8 entries. Looking at those entries they were actually only two families one in Lancashire and the other in Horton, Yorkshire and Horton is part of Bradford.

The family in question was that of Isaac HALSTEAD (1799-1867) and his wife Hannah FIELDHOUSE (1798-1869). The problem was which of the three daughters in the 1851 was Miss Halstead, it could have been either Martha, Mary or Lydia. That is when I decided to look on the British Newspaper Archive to see if I could find anything else to help identify her.

So it was at this point that I searched their index using the terms Breach of Promise and Halstead. having filtered the result down to just July 1853 it was then that I found all the entries. Being in mind that any search like this is looking for those terms on the same page there was no guarantee that they were all about the same person so I then started the slow process of checking each article, As always I do take the time to correct every article that I read, the same as I correct census entries (my philosophy is that I hope that someone will correct another somewhere else that will help me as I have helped them).

What became obvious early on was the vast range of places that it was reported and that the defendant was not Mr TOAD but a Mr TODD. Many of the reports talked about her sister Mary so that left only Lydia or Martha as the possible Miss Halstead. The next fact in the articles was that Miss Halstead was 29 years of age which ruled out Lydia and left only Martha but how to prove it.

There was one other fact that came out in a number of or reports and that was that Miss Halstead had given birth to a child on the 30th January 1853 but it gave no other clues about the child. A check of the birth indexes showed only two Halstead children born in Bradford in Q1 of 1853 and I knew where both of them was but I did double check to be on the safe side. Next port of call was my master index of baptisms extracted from both Ancestry and Findmypast - see the last blog post for details.
That index revealed the baptism in Rochdale St Chad on the 25 February 1853 of a Hannah HALSTEAD, daughter of Martha HALSTEAD a single woman living in Deake Street. There is a death in Q3 1853 in Bradford registration District and cross-checking it with the entry on YorkshireBMD shows that it was in Horton sub district but of course at that point in time age was not included in the indexes. Neither can I at present find a burial to match but only the death certificate would confirm it.

In the 1861 census Martha is again living with her parents and there is no mention of Hannah. I have also checked the 1861 census for all Hannah HALSTEAD's born in 1853 or there about and all are accounted for. Martha finally married in January 1871 after the deaths of both her parents.

The real clincher for most of this was the report that appeared in the Bradford Observer of the 28th July 1853 which confirmed all the above. The reports of the case was reported in all of the papers listed below and I have copies of them all if anyone is interested.

23 July
Yorkshire Gazette
Leeds Mercury
Leeds Times
Leeds Intelligencer
York Herald
Halifax Courier

25 July
Morning Post
Morning Chronicle
Bell’s Weekly Messenger – the one you sent me
London Evening Standard

27 July
Worcestershire Chronicle
Hereford Journal
Bury and Norwich Post
Belfast Mercury
Cumberland Pacquet and Ware’s Whitehaven Advertiser
Liverpool Mercury

28 July
Exeter Flying Post
Bradford Observer

29 July
Durham County Advertiser
Lincolnshire Chronicle

30 July
Hampshire Chronicle
Salisbury and Winchester Journal
Gloucester Journal
Staffordshire Advertiser
Ipswich Journal
Halifax Courier
Bedfordshire Mercury
Huddersfield Chronicle
Westmorland Gazette,
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette,
Leamington Spa Courier,
Western Times
York Herald (one of the best accounts)
Newry Examiner and Louth Advertiser

31 July
Reynolds Newspaper (London)

You can find Tony's main website at he also maintains several sites in google including Harrogate Names, Harrogate Snippets and Newspaper Snippets