Monday 8 August 2016

Another famous link

Those who read this regularly will know that I like to comment on some of the mysteries in the Halstead trees and my steps to solve them. I hope that you find them useful.

Recently I was looking at Walter Francis HALSTED who married Mabel GIBBONS in 1901. Mabel sadly died in 1909 leaving a daughter Christina. In 1911 Christina was living with her grandmother Maria HALSTED (Marie died in 1927 leaving £6,747) and I knew from the GRO indexes hat Christina married a Gerald Rupert CONRAN in Kensington in 1928 and did nothing more as I do not normally research families once the female line has married out and certainly once you get into  modern times starts to get more difficult.

The reason I was looking at Walter was that is the 1911 census he is not in London but in Liverpool staying in a hotel with a Stella listed as his wife and married for 1 year. She was half his age and I can find no reference to her at all. I am still no closer to solving who Stella was but Walter was shown as a Stockbroker and the company he was with was declared bankrupt in 1914. Walter dying in 1918 and according to Ray Lewis-Jones in his Chichester tree on the 30 July 1918 but no reference as to the source.

I wrote to someone who had a tree on Ancestry asking what source she had for the exact date and she replied the Halsted One-name study (thats us) amongst others but none that was a genuine first stop. All being copies of copies.

So I went and searched on findmypast and there was the answer. In the Shareholder Records of the Great Western Railway which whilst again a copy does actually list the source as the GRO death certificate.

Her final comment was "In turn, Walter's father was a banker, another position of wealth. When you consider that Walter married the daughter of a dentist and surgeon, Mabel Gibbons, it is safe to say that most of the professions that carried status in late Victorian England can be located in the family tree.". now I thought that this was rather good - no source was given so I assumed that it was her own words until I was going through the results of a search on google for "Walter Francis HALSTED"

Amongst the few results was an article from the Daily Telegraph back on 3rd March 2007 entitled "Family Detective - Telgraph" and was one in a series of articles by Nick Barrett on the histories of famous people and in the case it was Sir Terence Conran. it includes the paragraph

"In contrast, his father, Gerard Rupert Conran, owned a rubber-import business in east London, though at the time of his son's birth his occupation was listed simply as "clerk". It carried on to include the paragraph quoted by my correspondent.

So another link to a famous that is not a HALSTE(A)D by name but has a link. the question is do I go and add the details of Sir Terence!

Interestingly when he died in 1918 Walter left no will despite his occupation.

John email:

Friday 5 August 2016


Now you might ask yoursellf why am I writing a blog on a non HALSTEAD.

In trying to sort out my mothers house and estate I have been travelling a lot and it also means that long research is not as easy. So I have been trying to sort out some of those odd little things that annoy one.

In this case I decided to look at those people who were the right age to appear on the 1939 Register who I had no surname for in the hope that I could resolve them. There were not that many as it happens but it was when I got to Margaret that the fun started.

What I found in the files was a Margaret who had possibly married a YEADON and then appeared to have married a Joseph HALSTEAD. All of this from a single entry in the 1891 census. you will find the details of Margaret here.

All of the information here came from the entry for Joseph HALSTEAD in the 1891 ceensus. This shows him as married and living with Margaret and son James Ed YEADON. The son must have been Margaret's before her supposed marriage to Joseph as he certainly was not with her in 1881. However there is no marriage of Joseph to any Margaret or a YEADON between 1881 and 1891. In 1901 Joseph is back living on his own and saying that he is single. I suspect therefore that he never actually married Margaret and that they were just "living together".

I decided to explore Margaret a little more. Was she a widow in 1891 or was her son James illegitimate?

When I was teaching family history a few years ago my first comment to the students was have you found them on all the GRO indexes and the census returns. If not fill in the gaps. So the first stop was the 1881 census for Margaret and sure enough there is Margaret as a widow living in Yeadon as a widow with James and his two sisters Eveline and Selina.

I can not find a suitable marriage after 1891 or a death for a Margaret HALSTEAD so I went looking in British Newspaper Archive for Margaret YEADONand found an interesting article in the Huddersfield Chronicle on 9th January1892. It reads:-

Under this will, dated October 15th last, and proved December 11th, Edward Joseph Middleton, deceased's brother, and Benjamin Currer Rawson, Bradford, solicitor, are appointed executors and trustees. The will states that an agreement was made by testator and Mrs. Margaret Yeadon on November 6th, 1886, whereby testator was appointed guardian of Mrs. Yeadon's daughter, Selina. Since the agreement the child has lived with Major Middleton, at his residence at Ilkley. The whole residue of testator's real and personal estate is to held in trust, and the income thereof paid to Miss Yeadon, with power to appoint by deed or will any part not exceeding one moiety thereof to any husband who may survive her, during his life or for a less period. Subject to such appointment the residuary funds shall be for the benefit of the issue of Selina Yeadon. The provisions are not to take effect if Miss Yeadon marries under the age of 25 without the consent of the trustees. ln the event of such unsanctioned marriage or the decease of Miss Yeadon, the trustees have power to take over the residuary estate for the benefit of testator's niece, Miss Edith Middleton. To Mrs. Anne Curtiss (Miss Yeadon's appointed guardian) is bequeathed £1,000. £8,500 free of legacy duty is bequeathed for the income to be paid to Ed. Joseph Middleton during life, and after his death to his daughter, Edith, with power to appoint any part thereof to her surviving husband. The trustees hold £500 for distribution to charities as they think fit.

Now there are not that many Selina YEADON's who could fit into the details of those in the article and the only other likely candidate appears to marry in 1886 anyway. So I believe that this is our Selina and Margeret.

I had difficulty tracking down who Major Middleton was as there was not a death that matched the Newspaper Archive information nor was there a matching probate record so I went searching for Selina and finally found the Major as John Joseph MIDDELTON. His estate was probated at £22,639 7s 5d in 1892 the equivalent today being about £1.4 million.

Selina was not with John MIDDELTON in 1891 so I can only assume that she was school somewhere, possibly overseas, as I can't find her in the UK. I sis think that I wasn't going to be to get anywhere further with Selina. I had found a possible married in 1906 in Warwick which was outside the 25 year rule set by John MIDDELTON's will but there was no Selina that match either of the possible surnames until I forgot the age and there she was living in Hampstead, London with a John Michael Tucker but the real clincher was the name of the eldest son John Cuthbert Middelton TUCKER!

It still hasn't helped my track down what happened to Margaret but I do know her her first husband was, what her maiden name was and also what happened to a very lucky daughter.

All of this will be included in the next website update.


Thursday 4 August 2016

Website update

The website was updated on the 24th July.

There are now 28,000 people in the master database with 25,071 of them online. The online presence is an increase of 400 on the previous update.

The vast majority will have come from the work carried out in adding the details of the probate indexes post 1858 tup to 1987. There are still several that I can't definintely account for. These are mainly those who died after 1939 where there is not enough information to be able to fully identify them.

The British Newspaper Archive is obviously a great help but that only goes to 1955 and from 1968 onwards the place of death and the names of the executors are not included which does not help.

If you know of a HALSTEAD post 1939 who left a will and there details are not online please let me know

John Hanson