I enjoy following the ancestral trail: the detective story element in hunting for information and corroborating it with evidence, (I do not like to be defeated), the satisfaction of finding key facts, and writing up the information in an interesting way that appeals to others. So do read on, or even better, sign up as a follower. I would love to hear from others who share my enthusiasm for family history.
The starting point for information on my great grandfather James Danson (1852-1906) was the family bible which recorded his marriage in 1877 to 18 year old Maria Rawcliffe and the birth of his first four sons - entries petered out after that. The births of six more sons (two did not survive infancy) and one daughter were not recorded.
Trap Farm, Carleton c. 1998
The 1881 Census Return provided the information that enabled me to trace James' birth certifcate. He was born on 7th August 1852 at Trap Farm, Carleton, Lancashire. He was third son, tenth and youngest child of Henry Danson, yeoman farmer and Elizabeth Calvert.
The 1881 census showed the family living at Pott's Alley, off the Market Square at Poulton-l;e-Fylde. In the various literature on Poulton, Potts Alley earlier in the century comes in for some condemnation, described as “the town’s slum quarter….contained some of Poulton’s most squalid over crowded properties…..the subject of severe criticism in a public health report of 1852”.
Little knowledge has come down through the family on James Danson who died in 1906 before the birth of my mother and aunt.Anecdotal evidence does not reflect creditably on him - he was by all accounts of his grandchildren a bit of a ne-er do well - in contrast to the obvious respect for “Granny”. This is borne out by the only photograph of him (above), sitting merry in Poulton stocks. (See my blog Great Grandfather in the Stocks - Black Sheep Sunday (10th Dec, 2010)
Barrett's 1904 General and Commercial Directory for the Fylde area of Lancashire listed James Danson, joiner of 2 Bull Street, Poulton - a row of terraced houses just off the Market Square, which around the 1960's was demolished to make way for a shopping centre.
James died at the age of 53 on 20th September 1906, A report in "The Fleetwood Chronicle and Fylde Advertiser" of 28th September noted: "The deceased gentleman who was 53 years old was a native of Poulton. His father was toll collector at Shard Bridge for 14 years. Mr Danson had been ill for soem time but had only recently taken to his bed. The chief mourners were Mrs Danson (wife), Messrs Robert, John, Tom, Willie Danson (sons) and Mr John Danson (brother from Clitheroe), Miss Cookson (niece), Mrs Riley, Mrs Roskell and Mrs Geo Riley (sisters-in-law), Mrs Porter, and Mr Threlfall. There were a number of beautiful wreaths."
There was no reference in the funeral report to James' first born son Harry who died a year later at the age of 30, nor to the younger sons Albert, Frank and George, and only daughter Jennie, but perhaps as children they did not attend or did not warrant a mention.
James was buried in Moorland Road Cemetery, Poulton-le-Fylde, leaving his wife a widow, with a large family all still at home, including 3 children under 14 years old.
Funeral Card for James Danson
This the third posting to show how I traced back my direct Danson line.