Monday 12 June 2017

Mysterious marriages

I wrote last time about the certificates that one aquires where you can't sort out who they are.

This I suppose relates more to people carrying out a one-name study rather that those doing their own family history.  I will detail below the one that I have - my thoughts and hopefully someone can help to sort them out! if anyone wants a copy of the actual certificate please contact me

1 - marriage by Banns on 18 August 1851 at St John the Evangalist, Westminster (findmypast)
Thomas HEDGCOCK a widower of full age, a Carperneter residing at 16 Bloomsbury St. father James HEDGCOCK, a Carpenter
Jane HALSTED, a widow of full age, residing in 4 Edward St.father Henry DAWTRY, a Farmer

There is a Jane DAUGHTRY who married a Henry HALSTED in 1835 in Chichester. Henry died in 1847 and she was the Administrator of his estate in 1859 as Jane HALSTED.Jane was also on the 1861 census with twwo of their children. There is only one death of a Thomas HEDGCOCK between 1851 and 1861 and he is too young. So who were they!

2 - marriage by Banns on 23 January 1865 in the parish church in Middlesborough (findmypast)
Robert HALSTEAD a Boilersmith of full age, a bachelor residing in Middlesborough. father Thomas HALSTEAD, an Innkeeper
Maria WINSHIP of full age, a spinster residing in Middeslborough. father George WINSHIP, a Labourer.

WINSHIP is a registered one-name study as well and I have been in touch with Sonia. Whilst we know were Maria was in 1861 Robert is less certain. The north-east is not a popular place for the HALSTEAD name and is often found as HOLSTEAD. I can trace no children to the marriage, nor can I find suitable deaths. mind being of full age doesn't help but as Sonia has been able to trace Maria as being born in 1841 so we must assume that both of them were in their early 20's when they married. what happened to them!!

3 - Marriage by Banns on10 February 1852 at Chapel in Bacup, Lancashire. (Ancestry)
William HALSTEAD was a Labourer of full age, a widower residing Back King Street. no father
Jane WATTS was of full age, a widow residing in Back King Street. no father

This is another marriage where the ages would make all the difference. I cannot find a suitable candidate for either living in Haslingden RD (the registration district covering Bacup). Who were they!

 4 - Married by Banns on 28 November 1891 at St James, Bolton (Ancestry)
John JOYNSON a Labourer aged 50, a widower residing at 10 Cagness Street. father John JOYNSON, an Engineer
Mary Ellen WARDLEY a Weaver aged 46, a widow residing at 10 Cagness Street. father Alexander HALSTEAD, a Labourer.

John and Mary Ellen were living as husband and wife in the 1891 census (RG12/3116 Folio 12 Page 17). There are two children with them both of which agree with the details in the new GRO indexes (see previous blog) of being the children of John's first wife Martha CRANK (1843-1888). Also with the family are a Sarah AUSTIN aged 65 and William AUSTIN aged 24. Looking for a possible marriage of a Mary Ellen to a WARDLEY there is only 1 in the Bolton area and that is a George WARDLEY to a Mary Ellen AUSTIN in 1869. That would mean that William was Mary Ellen's illegitimate son. There is no birth or baptism for a suitable Mary Ellen nor can I find an Alexander HALSTEAD to fit. No record can be found of them after the marriage.

5,6 and 7
All three took place at St Mary the Virgin, Deane (part of Bolton) (Ancestry)
5 - 6 Jun 1838
George MANN a Miner of full age, a bachelor residing in Halliwell. father Thomas MANN, a miner
Mary HALSTED of full age, a spinster residing in Halliwell. father Joseph HALSTED, a Farmer
6 - 29 Jun 1838
Thomas HALSTED, an Engineer of full age, a widower residing in Halliwell. father john HALSTED, a miner
Ann SMITH of full age, a spinster residing in Halliwell. father Adam SMITH, a Weaver
7 - 27 September 1846
Thomas WHALLEY a Carder of full age, a bachelor residing in Halliwell. father Adam WHALLEY, a Weaver
Hannah HALSTEAD a minor, a spinster residing in Halliwell. father Thomas HALSTEAD, a Husbandman

As all are of full age finding other information is extremely difficult. Even Hannah (who would have been born (1825-1830) if diffcult to find. Also none of the families appears to be residend in Halliwell.

8 - married by Banns on 10 November 1856 at St Mary, Eccles.
George EDGE a Bricklayer of full age, a bachelor residing in Mossfield Terrace, Pendleton. father James EDGE, a Bricklayer.
Sarah Ann HALSTEAD of full age, a spinster residing in Mossfield Terrace, Pendelton. father not listed

They had two daughter Harrier Frances (1857-1858) and Sarah Ann (1859-?) both in Manchester Registration district. No trace of any after 1859. Did Sarah Ann die or George or did they move away! but again the lack of age makes it more difficult.

9 - married by Banns on 28 April 1839 at St Mary, Leigh, Lancashire.
Edward MEADOWCROFT a Weaver of full age, a bachelor residing in Bedford. father James MEADOWCROFT, a Weaver
Hannah HALLSTEAD of full age, a spinster residing in Bedford. father William HALLSTEAD, a Weaver

Again another where the full age makes it difficult to prove exactly who she is. The later census would seem to imply that she was from Bolton.

10 - married by Banns on 28 April 1872 at St John, Manchester.
Thomas HALSTEAD a Beamer aged 44, a widower residing at 1 Stephenson Street. father Edward HALSTEAD, a Beamer
Jane SHARPLES aged 45, a widow residing at 1 Stephenson Street. father Richard SHARPLES, a Sawyer

Now one would have thought that with all this information it would be easy to find Thomas but no. Can't find either in 1871 nor in 1881. There is a possible death of a Jane of the right age in Prestwich in 1898.

11 - 15 - These five marriages all took place in St Chad, Rochdale.
11 - 22 April 1844
William MARSHALL a Waever of full age, a widower residing in Scham? Road. father John MARSHALL, a Weaver
Grace WILLIAMS of full age, a widow residing in Scham Road? father John HALSTEAD, a Weaver
12 - 2 December 1844
William WHITWORTH a Labourer of full age, a bachelor residing in Vicars Moss. father Thomas WHITWORTH, a Hatter
Sarah HALSTEAD of full age, a spinster residing in Lock Bridge. father Benjamin HALSTEAD, a Weaver
13 - 21 August 1851
Thomas HALSTEAD a Blacksmith aged 21, a bachelor residing in Dunkirk. father was not listed
Ellen ATKINSON aged 25, a spinster residing in Holland Street. father Samuel ATKINSON, Labourer
14 - 25 December 1858
James ASHWORTH a Labourer aged 22, a bachelor residing in Britannia. father not listed
Mary HALSTEAD,aged 26, a spinster residing in Britannia, father George HALSTEAD a Labourer
15 - 31 May 1862 by Banns
Edwin MILLS, a Warehouseman aged 31, a bachelor residing in Oldham Road. father Thomas MILLS, a Contractor
Sarah WHITWORTH aged 34, a widow residing in Oldham Road. father Benjamin HALSTEAD, a Weaver

With all of these it has not been possible to sort out who they are with any certainty other than the Sarah in marriage 12 and 15 is the same.

16 - married at St Bartholomew, Whitworth on 12 October 1889 by Banns
John BUTTERWORTH a Weaver of full age, a widower residing in Whitworth. father George BUTTERWORTH, Ostler (deceased)
Mary Ann WHITTLES of full age, a widow residing in Whitworth. father John HALSTEAD (deceased) a Blacksmith

Mary Ann HALSTEAD had married Samuel WHITTLE in 1879 in a non-conformist or register office marriage according to Lancashire BMD. Samuel appears to die aged 55 in Rochdale RD in Q2 1888.

So if you can help I would love to hear from you

John - email halstead at

Wednesday 7 June 2017

Website update June 2017

I updated the website a couple of days ago no significant major updates but it had been several months since the last one.

The time has been spent in trying to link some of the many smaller trees into the larger ones and whilst we have made ssome progress there is still losts to be done.

Now whilst the master database is held in the Master Genalogist (no longer available) and simply because along with Second Site it prodcues the best website for what we wanted. However its reporting has never been one of its strong points so occationally I import the database into Family Historian (a british based piece of software). Family Historian has many highly priced features including its handling of media and charts. It also has a wonderful query language, which means that you can extract almost anything in the way that you want it. Also using the Family Historian User Group (which is free to join) you can exchange almost anything with others.

One of the useful queries is called Orphans and details the number of seperate trees that you have in your file. There are over 960 in the Halstead Database and of those 320 have only 1 person in them.

I have also been trying to kill people off - not quite as easy as it soundsunless you spend a fortune on certificcates and unfortunately that is not an option. in fact many a certificate still remains a mystery. I am fortunate I suppose in that I tend only to buy birth and death certificates to solve a specific issue do they are all accounted for.

However marriage certificates are much more fun!! and of course these days you don't have to necessarily buy them as many as those that took place in a church are freely available through Ancestry or findmypast. OK you have to have a subscription but you can always visit your local library and many of those have access to one or the other and in many casees both.

You would laos have thought that all the extra information on marriages after 1837 would make them easy to solve but not always. The next blog (at the weekend) will contain the details of the marriage certificates that I have and have been unable to resolve.

If I can be of any help in your research or you have queries or additional information please contact me

John Hanson
email halstead at