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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Sibling Saturday: Anne Rawcliffe - Eldest of 8 Sisters

The Roskell Gravestone at St. Anne's Church, Singleton

This gravestone is the only photographic link I have with my great great Aunt Anne,  the eldest sister of my great grandmother Maria.   I have a soft spot for Anne and just wish I had a photograph of her.  

For my research uncovered that Maria was staying with Anne and family at the time of her wedding to James Danson, and Anne named her own daughter Maria - so there must have been a closeness between the two sisters,  daughters of  Robert and Jane Rawcliffe of Hambleton, near Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire.  

Anne's life, though,  was marked by  some sadness.  She had an illegitimate daughter before her marriage, but Jane Alice (named after two Rawcliffe sisters)  died at the young age of 14 in 1887.  Five years earlier, Anne and husband Robert Roskell had lost their infant twin son Matthew who only survived three weeks.  Robert died in 1894 leaving Anne a widow with two young daughters - Agnes 12 and Maria 8, and older son John.  


Anne's  family history encompasses three names - Rawcliffe, Roskell and Hesketh -  that were prominent in the Fylde - the area of Lancashire between the River Ribble at Preston to the south and River Wyre at Fleetwood  to the north.

Research through census records and parochial records  traced evens in Anne's life. 
Anne was born 1 June 1847 at Hambleton, and baptised 23rd June at the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary  at  Hambleton (right)  - the eldest of eight daughters born to Robert and Jane Rawcliffe. 

346 residents lived in Hambleton at the time of the 1851 census.

Ten years on in 1861, Anne was not listed with her parents and sisters, but may well be the 13 year old Anne Rawcliffe, a house servant,  resident with John Rawcliffe, a taylor and grocer, his wife Barbara, 5 year old son Thomas and apprentice Richard Parkinson.  So far no family connection has been traced between these two Rawcliffe families.   

By the time of the 1871 census, Anne, at 23,  was back home with her father (by this time a widower) and two sisters Jane and Maria. 

Anne married gamekeeper Robert Roskell at St. James, Stalmine on 17th March 1874, the witnesses her sister Jennet with her future husband Richard Riley.   Internet contacts produced a wealth of information on Roskell ancestors.  
Thatched Cottages - geograph.org.uk - 41962.jpg

The 1881 census showed the family to be living in the small hamlet of Thistleton at Thistleton Cottages (left).  This fact,  for the first time explained why my great grandmother Maria's  address was Thistleton  at the time of her marriage to James Danson in 1877 - presumably staying with her eldest sister and family – with James in the neighbouring village of Singleton.  

The 1881 census entry showed in the population of 386:

Robert Roskell
Born Garstang
Ann Roskell
Born Garstang
John Roskell
Son, scholar
Born Kirkham
Jane A. Rawcliffe
Daughter, scholar
Born Garstang

Anne’s birthplace, given as Garstang, could be a mistake, as her birth record is clearly   Hambleton.  This was also the first knowledge of  daughter Jane born c. 1873 before Anne's marriage, with Jane retaining her mother’s surname.  Parish records at Hambleton noted Jane's baptism - with both her Christian names those of Rawcliffe sisters.

In 1882 the parish records of St. Anne’s Singleton showed the baptism of Matthew and Agnes, son and daughter (twins) of Robert and Anne Roskell, Thistleton and named after their paternal grandparents. Sadly Matthew did not long survive and was buried at Singleton on 21 June 1882 aged just three weeks.

A daughter Maria (named after her aunt, my great grandmother) was baptised 14 February 1886.   Burial records, however, showed a year later  another death in the family - Anne’s eldest daughter Jane Alice buried 4 May 1887 at the young age of 14.

The 1891 census entry showed the two daughters Agnes and Maria with their parents - but no mention of their brother John who would be 16 years old. 

Three years later, Anne's husband Robert  died, buried 4 May 1894 at the young age  of forty-two.   

By the time of the 1901 census, Anne, then a 53 year old widow, had moved from the hamlet of Thistleton to the busy fishing port of Fleetwood, where at 21 Kemp Street, her occupation was given as  she was a grocer/shopkeeper, living with her two daughters – Agnes A. Roskell aged 18, a draper’s assistant, and Maria Roskell aged 15, a draper’s apprentice - both born Thistleton.  

Come the 1911 census, I could find no trace of Anne, nor confirm a death.  Then a spurt of inspiration made me look for her daughter Maria, to discover  that Anne had remarried and was now Mrs Jenkinson married to John a retired farmer and living at Blakiston Road East, Fleetwood, with Maria - no occupation given.  Helpfully the census entry noted that Anne had been married for two years.

Daughter Maria was to marry, on 2 May 1912 at St. Peter’s Fleetwood, William Hesketh,  (another prominent Fylde surname),  a telegraphist of 7 Hesketh Place, Fleetwood.  Maria’s address was given as 4 Blakiston Street and her age 27.   The witnesses to the wedding included John Roskell – Maria’s brother?  On their third wedding anniversary in 1915,  son Frank was christened at St. Peter’s, with the family now living at Rose Cottage, North Street, and William described as a clerk. 

Sister Agnes could well be the Agnes Anne Roskell who married in the third quarter of 1901.   

Anne Roskell, nee Rawcliffe died 4 April 1928 and was buried, not in Fleetwood, but beside her first husband and young children at St. Anne's Church, Singleton.  Her age on her gravestone was given as 79. 

The monumental inscription for St. Anne’s Churchyard, Singleton no. 90 records:

 In Affectionate Remembrance of
  Matthew son of

Robert and Ann Roskell of Thistleton

Who died June 17th 1882 aged 3 weeks

Also Jane Alice, sister of the above Matthew Roskell

Who died April 7th 1887 aged 14 years.

We thought they were our own for yet a while,

That we had earned them by the love of heaven,

To be a life’s, not a season’s smile, then tears forever.

 Also of the above Robert Roskell 
Who died May 2nd 1894 aged 42 years. 

Also Ann, beloved wife of the above.  
Who died April 6th 1928 aged 75 years

[Sibling Saturday is one of many prompts from Geneabloggers.com 
 to encourage bloggers to record their family history. ]


Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Sepia Saturday: Follow the Signs

Sepia Saturday give bloggers an opportunity to share their family history and memories through photographs.

I have nothing historic in the way of signs or shops, so instead this is a nostalgic  trip  down memory lane of happy holidays,  highlighting "Signs with a Sense of Place"

Beginning with Scotland - and here is an unusual sign at the England/Scotland Border at Carter Bar, south of Jedburgh.  And no,  you will not find  a place to have a drink, as "bar" in this context is the old word for "gate" or "pass"  where the drovers drove their cattle to market.  [York has its Mickklegate Bar and Monk Bar].  It is the high point on the A68 road north with stunning views of the surrounding Cheviot Hills.    

Staying in the Scottish Borders, I like to capture distinctive street signs - and here are two which reflect  Melrose's  key attraction  - its 12th century abbey.


Across to the islands and two  signs at Tobermory on Mull  which make me smile: 

Here the real Highland cows on the island! 

A bookshop sign on the Iona reflects the Celtic  history of  this tiny island,  off the southwest coast of Mull in the Inner Hebrides.   It is only  1.5 miles wide by 3 miles long, with a population of around 120 permanent residents, but everyone talks about  the magical nature of this  seat of Scottish Christianity where St. Columba founded his Abbey in 563AD. Later it became a place of pilgrimage and learning,   and over 40 of Scotland's earliest kings were buried there. 

Shop signs abroad have such an appeal - some tips here, perhaps,  to  brighten up our beleaguered High Streets. 
An opticians in Salzburg
A travel agent in Salzburg

 A hat shop in Vienna.
A guest house in St. Wolfgang, Austria.

A shop in Bad Ischl, Austria advertising its handmade biscuits - Lebkuchen, 

And after all that shopping, look out for a restaurant sign! 

At Chatres, France

At Krakow, Poland

And finally I'll  finish  with the  directional sign at Lands's End - Britain's most southerly point - next stop west  New York 3147 miles away.   And if you are  into planning a long distance charity ride,  it  could be useful to know that you  have a 874 mile journey ahead of you to reach mainland Britain's most northerly point John O'Groats at the tip of  Scotland. 

Just follow the signs!  

Click HERE to see how, this week, other Sepians are pointing the way 

Copyright © 2014 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved

Friday, 18 July 2014

Sibling Saturday: Eight Rawcliffe Sisters

The birth of eight sisters (with three dying in infancy), the intriguing name of Septima meaning 7th daughter,  the early death of their mother, a step-mother with three illegitimate children and the birth of three  half-siblings - all findings I discovered in the search for the background of my great grandmother. Maria Rawcliffe (left).  

Maria Danson, nee Rawcliffe (1859-1919)  of Hambleton, near Poulton-le-Fylde Lancashire,  has been at the heart of my family history story and featured regularly on my blog. 

But what of her family?

My first knowledge of my great grandmother's sisters  came from the 1871 Hambleton census, which listed Robert Rawcliffe aged 49, born at Marton,  a widower at Town Row, with his three daughters Anne aged 23,  Jane aged 20 and Maria aged 12, all born at Hambleton.  Thsi tied in with my mother's  vague recollections of a great aunt Anne who married  a farmer and great aunt Jane who married a man from nearby Fleetwood

Turning backwards to earlier records, the family were listed in the 1851 census for Hambleton - Robert, a carter aged 28, his wife Jane, aged 30,  and two daughters (named I found out later  after their  grandmothers),  Anne aged 3, and Jane aged 7 months.

Onto the 1861 census where Robert was described as a farmer and carter aged 39, wife Jane is 41, daughter Jane is 10 and “Mariagh” 2 - the enumerator’s idea of spelling !  Their eldest daughter Anne is not listed, but may well be the Anne Rawcliffe, aged 13, a house servant, resident with John Rawcliffe, taylor and grocer, his wife Barbara, 5 year old son Thomas and apprentice Richard Parkinson.  So far no family connection has been traced between these two Rawcliffe families.

However of most interest in the 1861 census was the first knowledge of two other daughters Alice aged 6 and Jennet aged 4. But where were they 10 years on in 1871?  In service elsewhere perhaps?  

I tuned to the IGI (International Genealogy Index) (this was in the days of microfiche) and discovered two more daughters born to Robert and Jane Rawcliffe - Margaret, born 1852  and Martha Septima - a second name that intrigued me - born 1863.   But I could not find trace of Martha in the 1871 census. So what had happened to her?   

The family group record on www.familysearch.org  gave confirmation of the seven children of Robert and Jane Rawcliffe.  However the individual record search produced details on an eighth  daughter Peggy. born 1861.  More confusion, as this meant Martha Sepitma was not in fact the seventh daughter, but the eighth. 

I next turned to the Lancashire Parish Records Online to find that three of the sisters had not survived infancy, with Margaret dying at 3 weeks old, Peggy just 16 day old  and Martha aged 4 months, just after her baptism - all buried at the  Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Hambleton.   Unfortunately there is no gravestone nor listing in monumental inscriptions. 

So  Maria’s mother Jane, gave birth to 8 children in a sixteen year period   Jane was aged 44 at the birth of her youngest daughter Martha and died two years later, buried on 4th May 1865, leaving her five  young daughters motherless at the ages of 6, 8, 11, 14 and 17. - the youngerst my great grandmother Maria.  

So what happened to the five surviving sisters - Anne, Jane, Alice, Jennet and Maria?  I will follow their stories in future posts.  
Alice Mason, nee Rawcliffe & Family

Through the Internet,  I made contact with Jane Rawliffe's great grandson and Alice Rawcliffe's  great granddaughter  and discovered we held the same family photographs.   

The surprise finding was to discover that Alice Rawcliffe died in Jamesburg, New Jersey  - the first time I was aware of any American connections.   

Again It was a story of births outside marriage, infant deaths, large families and remarriage - all features of  life at the time. 

So watch this space for more tales of the Rawcliffe sisters.   

[Sibling Saturday is one of many prompts from Geneabloggers.com 
 to encourage bloggers to record their family history. ]

Copyright © 2014 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved