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Monday, 26 February 2018

52 Ancestors Wk 9 - GGG Grandfather Henry Danson’s Will

Wills are this week's  theme from Amy Johsnon Crow's  blogging challenge  "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks" and I have chosen to write a profile on my GGG Grandfather. 
I was lucky enough to find a range of documentary evidence on Henry's life,  including his Will  which provided a wealth of information on the family.  

  Henry Danson's Signature on his Marriage Bond  below.

Who was Henry Danson? 
My G G G Grandfather Henry Danson was baptised 27th January 1767, the  son of John Danson and Margaret Fayle of Carleton, near Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire.   Nineteen years later in 1786  he married 20 year old Elizabeth Brown.  A marriage bond was raced at Lancashire Record Office and the church register  entry found on Ancestry.co.uk  - both featuring   Henry''s signature (above).    I find it  particularly fascinating seeing an ancestor's hand writing,

A Marriage Bond was a promise between two people, normally the groom and a friend or relative (in this case Henry's brother-in-law John Bryning) that if the marriage proved invalid in the eyes of the law,  they would pay a penalty to the church of a substantial sum of money - £200.   

Marriage licences could be obtained as an alternative to having the banns read.  They enabled marriages to take place at any time and were useful  if the marriage had to take place quickly or be kept quiet for some reason.   Henry and Elizabet's first born child, daughter Margaret was born seven  months after the wedding - was this the reason for the licence?  
Their marriage  entry in Register of St. Chad's Church, Poulton, 1786

  Testimony to Henry's standing in the small community of Carleton (319 inhabitants in 1831)  was given by a listing of his property in the Title Schedule of 1838.  He name was also on the board listing sidesmen in  St. Chad's Church, Poulton.

The children of Henry and Elizabeth 
In the years 1787-1811  eight  children were born to the marriage - documented on Ancestry and the Lancashire Online Parish Clerk's Project.  But family life was not without its troubles. 
  • Margaret, born 1787, married before the age of 17, bricksetter Roger Riding, but was dead by the time her father made his will in 1833.  
  • John, born 1789 at the age of 21 was served with  a Bastardy Bond, ordering him to contribute to the upkeep of his "said bastard child",  a daughter born to Ann Butler of Marton. John  died  and was buried in 1836. 
  • William, born 1791 died 1833.
  • Peter, born 1794 remained unmarried and made his home with his younger brother Henry,  
  • George, born 1797 - with no further information on him trace.  
  • Ellen (Nellie)  born 1799 - no further information traced.
  • Henry, born 1804 - my great great grandfather.
  • James, born 1811, died 1827 at the age of 15, with a note in the Index to Quarter Session Records  at Lancashire Record Office, of the  coroner claiming  travel expenses to go to the post mortem.  Unfortunately no further details have been found on the circumstances of James' young death.
Henry's Death and the Contents of his Will 
Henry died 21st October 1839, at the age of 71 - his wife six  months later, both buried in St. Chad's Churchyard,   But four  of their  children  are known to predecease them -  Margaret, John, William,  and Jame.

 The first page of Henry Danson's Will.

The Will of Henry Danson, yeoman,   is dated 1833, six years before his death. It was beautifully written in copperplate but very short on punctuation.

It unfortunately does not give an address beyond the village of Carlton, near Poulton.  However the Family Bible indicates that the family were living at Trap Farm, Carleton. 

The Legacies
"To my dear wife Betty all my hosuehold  goods, plate, china, linen and hosuehold furniture  for and during her natural life....I also bequeath for her natural life one clear annuity of thirty pounds.

Unto my son John Danson the sum  of 100 pounds to be paid to him after the decease of my said wife.
Unto the five children of my deceased daughter Margaret Riding, the two children of Elizabeth Busby  (a deceased child of my said daughter Margaret)  teh sum of one huyndred and fifty pounds in six equal shares, the chidlren of the said Elizabeth Busb taking one of such equal shares beteen them. 
Unto my three sons John, Peter and Henry Danson and my daughter Ellen equally to be divided...as tenants in common...lands, tenements, and heriditments, monies, live and deadstock, personal estate and effects.  

I do appoint my two sons John and Henry  and William Butcher of Little Bispham  executors of this my will".
The will raised some interesting poins -  middle son Peter was not named as executor along with his brothers   Was he perhaps not regarded as fit or suitable in some way ? Peter never married and in the 1841 and 1851 censuses was in the household of his brother Henry until his death in 1866.   Morevoer George is not mentioned - had he died?  No information has been traced on him.  

As a follow up to the will, I traced online an index to Death Duty Records held at the National Archives (www.nationalarchives.gov.uk), and found an entry relating to Henry Danson. I had to use someone in London to obtain copies for me and again it is so fascinating to have records relating to an ancestor of so long ago. The quality of the copies was not great, but they did confirm the names of the legatees and importantly gave the name of Margaret Riding's children -  Henry Riding, Abel Rriding, Ellen (M?), Kitty K(?) and Mary M )?).   I am pleased to add them to my family tree

It was left to son, another Henry,  (1806-1881) to continue the Danson line as my great great grandfather.

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