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Thursday, 21 April 2011

Great Great Grandfather Henry Danson's Nine Children

This is the sixth in a series of articles tracing the direct line of my Danson ancestors. 

Danson, Bailey,Gaulter, Cookson, Brownbill, Cardwell.  Do you have a Lancahsire connections with these surnames?  If so I would love to hear from you, as we may be connected through my great great grandparents Henry Danson (1806-1881) and Elizabeth Calvert ( 1811 -1879)

When I started to find out about their family,  I only knew of my great grandfather James and a family story about a younger brother Peter buried in St. Chad's Churchyard, Poulton-le-Fylde. 
James Danson, my great grandfather

A search through census returns found that the family was far more extensive than I had ever thought with nine children born.  Information on James’ brothers and sisters came largely from parochial records,  census returns and monumental inscriptions. Then one edition of the Lancshire Family History and Heraldry Magazine gave, in the listing of member’s interests, three separate entries for the surnames Cardwell, Cookson, and Gaulter - all married names of the Danson sisters.   I made contact and amazingly all proved to be connections, adding more information to my family story.  

Further evidence of the extended family came from a page in the Mannex Directory of 1851.  The list of professions and trades in Poulton included: 

Inns & Taverns
Golden Ball, Ball Street.  Wm Gaulter,

King’s Arms, Market Pla.  Cornelius Cardwell,

Brownbill, Jas., Market Place

Henry and Elizabeth Danson had 9 children and 37 known grandchildren, with the tradition of naming children after family members very evident. By the turn of the century, this practice  began to lapse, and new names appeared amongst the new generations.  - Lily, Florence, Edith, May, Hannah, Dorothy, Ethel.

This was an age of great social change, from rural to urban life.  The period saw the rise of nearby Blackpool and Fleetwood and the impact of the railway.  New occupations appeared in the census entries for the family.  Henry himself moved from being a yeoman farmer to a toll collector over the new Shard Bridge over the River Wyre.  New occupations were appearing in the census  - pointsman, railway telegraph clerk, railway porter, railway coach examiner, and railway labourer.  The lives of the Danson children  illustrated the hazards and changes in  Victorian life.

Elizabeth Bailey  (1831-1885)  
When my great grandfather James was born in 1852, his eldest sister Elizabeth was already married to Thomas Bailey. They had six children - the eldest William born a few weeks before his uncle James DansonIn the 1861 census,  Elizabeth and her husband were at her parents - something that recurred with other daughters in later censuses. Elizabeth died at the age of 53, leaving a young family that included daughters Margaret Ellen and Mary Jane (the four names of Elizabeth's sisters)  aged only 11 and 9.  The family must have rallied round, as Margaret went to live with her elder sister Elizabeth and family, whilst Mary Ellen joined the household of her older brother Henry.

Grace Cookson (c.1832-1891)
Grace, named after her paternal grandmother, married joiner John Cookson, They had three sons and one daughter Elizabeth.  Grace died aged 58 on 28 December 1891.  By the time of the 1901 census her husband had remarried, with his wife Elizabeth "keeper of a sweet shop, working on own account at home” and a daughter Alice, aged 7.  Sadly Alice died in 1915 aged 22 with the touching epitaph “She lived respected and died lamented”.   Grace's name lived on in her granddaughter and great granddaughter who married Joshua Mahadevan - thus linking the Danson line with Africa.

Mary Gaulter (1837-1864)
St. Chad's Church
Mary married William Gaulter in 1859 and in the 1861 census they were living with her parents, with Mary described as a laundress.  Their life together was unfortunately short.  A son John Robert was baptised in 1862     Two years later William Henry (named after both grandfathers)  was born,  and baptised, on 30th May 1864 - the same day as his mother Mary was buried at St. Chad’s Churchyard  at the young age of 26.  

Margaret Hornby and Brownbill (1839-?) 
At the age of 18, Margaret married  Richard Hornby in 1857.    The marriage was short and following the death of Richard, 24 year old Margaret married  again in 1864 James Brownbill, a Poulton watchmaker.  But within eight years, Margaret became a childless widow for the second time by the age of 33, with James buried at St. Chad's Churchyard in 1872 at the young age of 37. 

Ellen Longshaw (1841-?) Fifth born and fifth daughter,  Ellen  at 25 years old had an illegitimate  daughter, Mary - very likely named after her sister Mary who had died two years earlier following childbirth.  In the 1871 census, Ellen was described as an unmarried daughter and unemployed housekeeper, living with her parents. www.familysearch.org. provided new information on Ellen with the  fact she married James Longshaw in 1872 and had a son John  on 16th October 1872 -  information provided by a descendant in New Zealand. 

Jane Caldwell  (1849-?)
 Jane married groom Thomas Caldwell, who himself came from a large family of 1 brother and 8 sisters.   In the 1871 census,  the couple with their young daughter Ellen  were at Jane's  parents' house, making a large household of nine,    By 1891 Thomas  was in the nearby fishing port of  Fleetwood with his daughter Ellen,  and young son Thomas aged 10,  with 13 year  old  Cornelius at his aunt's.  Thomas'  status was given as "married" but there was no sign of his wife Jane.   An online search traced a Jane Cardwell, described as a 42 year old nurse at the home of 82 year old William Rowcroft and his much younger wife Margaret aged 58.  Margaret was a distant relation, like Jane,  a great granddaughter of John Danson and Margaret Fayle.    Jane was not back with her husband in 1901, with Thomas in the same house with his daughter and two grandchildren.  Had the marriage broken down?  More research needed here!

It proved more difficult to identify the whereabouts in the later censuses  of  James’ two brothers, John and Henry, until an internet contact on www.genesreunited.co.uk, proved to be the descendant of John and  had in her possession a family bible, which included three pages of scrawled writing, largely relating to Henry Danson. (See the posting "Danson Bible Scribbles" - 6th March 2011) and also a detailed  listing of John's family  which indicated the day that his children were born. (below).  John became a coachman  and was listed as from Clitheroe in the family mourners in the newspaper report on his brother James funeral in 1906.

Brother Henry remains am enigma - in 1881 he was unmarried and a railway porter, and I need to do more work to trace him.

As for the youngest of the Danson children James (my great grandfather),  he is the subject of many of my blogs postings.  And as for "brother" Peter, mentioned at the start of this account, that is another story! 

See Also:
Danson Discoveries - 4th Feb. 2011  
Grandfather William Danson - 17th Feb. 2011
Great Grandfather James Danson - 25th Feb 2011
Great Grandfather's 11 Children - 10th March 2011
Great Great Grandfather Henry Danson - 2nd April 2011

Copyright © 2011 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved

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