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Wednesday, 29 January 2014

52 Ancestors: 5 - The Sad Tale of Mary Jane Bailey

52ancestors Amy at No Story Too Small has come up with a new challenge for 2014 - to write a post  each week on a specific ancestor. 

Mary Jane Bailey (left)  and my grandfather William Danson  were cousins. I haven't had many successes in uncovering  long lost Danson relations, so I was delighted to make contact with  an unknown third cousin Stuart, who had found my blog.

 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 below.

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 (right- today).  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.   

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 youngest children 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.    

With thanks to my third cousin Stuart, for the use of the family  photographs. 

 Do take a look at earlier postings in this series

1. Alice English (1884-1945) - A Brick Wall at My Grandmother
2. Edith Danson (1907 -1885) - My Feisty Aunt 
3. John Danson (c.1789-1836) - A Family Black Sheep
4. Florence Adelaide Mason (1898-1965) - An Unknown American Cousin. 



  1. Bravo, this is such a fun challenge as it keeps us on task, and even meeting other relatives along the way, as you did here! What lovely photos he shared as well.

  2. How great that you found some pictures through this challenge - or rather they found you. :-)

  3. Hi my name is Jonathan Bailey - saw your blog and thought I would get in touch - I love geneology too!

    My Great great Grandparents were Thomas Bailey and Elizabeth Danson. My Great grandfather was Henry who you mentioned went to Blackpool.

    If I can supply any further info please dont hesitate to get in touch!

    My work email address is jon.bailey@capeplc.com

    My wife and I now live in North Wales (both brought up in Skipton) and we have a daughter called Holly who is studying Math at VCU, Richmond Virginia

    All the best Jon


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