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Monday, 25 July 2011

Finding a Third Cousin: Surname Saturday

I haven't had many successes in finding any long lost Danson relations,  but I am delighted to tell how an unknown third cousin, Stuart found my blog recently and made contact.  Even better he only lives 50 miles away and we have arranged to meet to exchange stories and photographs.

We both share the same great great grandfather Henry Danson (1806-1881) of Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire.   Henry and his wife Elizabeth Calvert had nine children - the eldest daughter Elizabeth (1831-1885 was Stuart''s great grandmother, whilst the youngest child James (1852-1906) was my great grandfather - both born at Trap Farm, Carleton (above) 

So Elizabeth was 21 years older than her youngest brother.  She married Thomas Bailey, whose family lived on an adjacent farm with the picturesque name of Bready Butts.  Their eldest son William was born in 1852  a few weeks before his Uncle James Danson.  Five more children followed - the youngest Mary Jane, Stuart's grandmother (left).  

The story, however, has sad overtones.  Elizabeth died in 1885, followed a year later by her husband Thomas, leaving a young family orphaned with her two young daughters  only 12 and 8 years old.  Margaret went to live with her eldest sister Elizabeth, with  Mary Jane joining  the household of her older brother Henry in Blackpool.  

 At the age of 28, Mary Jane married John William Oldham in 1905 at St. John's Church, Blackpool, but she continued to face tragedy in her life, when her youngest daughter Hilda  died aged 6 in 1915.  (Below - family photograph c.1909 with Hilda and older daughter Elsie). 

Seven years later, Mary Ellen was sadly hospitalised and remained there until her death in 1945.    


  1. How wonderful that a cousin found you, and lives so close!

    Hope you two meet up soon and add to each others' collections of family memorabilia.

  2. Sue - I'm really pleased for you. For me these sort of things make family history research all the more worthwhile.



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