Recently at the local market, I came across a photo of a young girl. The writing on the back included a surname and address in York with instruction, by the photographer, to create another copy. The Warrillow family in question only had one daughter – and so I am presuming, hopefully correctly, that this is a photograph of her: meet Doris Warrillow.

Walter Peter Warrillow was born in the last quarter of 1864 in Heworth, York to parents Joseph & Elizabeth. Walter was the oldest of 5 children. At the age of 30, in the last quarter of 1894, he married Tamar Sleightholme and had two children: Arthur Joseph born in 1896 and eventually Doris born in 1902. They lived on 61 Vyner Street, off Haxby Road in York – before eventually moving to number 27 on the same road.

Doris’s brother Arthur became a sergeant in the 13th battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers, but died as a casualty of the first world war on 18th September 1916 aged just 20. Her father Walter, a plasterer, died in 1953 at the age of 88 whilst his wife lived until 1967, dying at the age of 92. Both appeared to have died whilst still living in the district of York.

However, I’m not sure exactly what happened to Doris – and I wonder if she ever married? I have found four ladies of that name who were married but none of them are listed as living in the York district. They were married to men of the names – Astbury, Cope, Bateman and Webster from the areas listed below. Do any of these names feature in your family tree?

There are three ladies of this name featured within the death index, but none of the dates of birth correlate to 1902 – so again, I can only presume that ‘our Doris’ got married to one of the gentlemen named above.

Are you able to shed any more light on what happened to Doris Warrillow? Does she feature in your family tree? Can you confirm her married name and indeed whatever happened to her? If so, please get in touch.

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Today, I have something a little different for you.

Whilst at the local second hand market, I came across this book: Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Not a book I’ve ever read – but the green and gold embossed cover caught my attention, as did the beautiful book plate inside. Dated 1907, the plate scribes the owner of the book as ‘Master Arnold Graydon’ who was awarded it as a special prize for being a choirboy at Sunday school.

I love historical pieces like this – and I bet Arnold was so proud to have received this book – especially as it is in such excellent an condition over 100 years later.

I did some research and was able to find Arnold on both the 1901 and 1911 census and I believe he was born on the 1st July 1896 in Kings Cross in Halifax, West Yorkshire. In 1911, he was living with his mother and father – Mary & Arthur Graydon in Trafalgar Row in Halifax along with his two sisters Alice and Beatrice. Their Aunty Emma also lived with them.

From my research I also believe that he was married in 1929 to Margery Hall in County Durham and died in the first quarter of 1983 in his home town of Halifax aged 86.

Does this gentleman feature in your family tree? If so, would you like to be reunited with his prized book? Please get in touch.

Please excuse my lack of postings these last few months. Moving house (after 12 years) took a lot longer than thought! How much stuff can one couple have!? We are finally getting sorted and I am also re-finding photographs, well hidden, at the bottom of boxes in the attic!

So without further ado, for your viewing pleasure is this photograph of a lady called Mary Sibella Roxburgh. An unusual name, you must agree. The photograph was originally taken in 1889 in Ipswich and this copy is an enlarged version produced in 1892.

On my research of this lady I found various people with this name of different ages – so I believe that ‘Sibella’ is a Roxburgh family name that made several appearances within several generations. At first, I thought it may have been a derivative of Isabella.

According to the census, both of her Christian names were used as she was sometimes listed as Mary – and other times as Sibella.

Sibella was born in Leith, in the Portobello region of Scotland on 6th December 1863 to older parents. Her father, William Roxburgh, a physician, was born in 1812 in Bangladesh and died in 1897. Dr. Roxburgh married Anne Elizabeth Boswell on 16 December 1857 at Duddington, Midlothian, Scotland and they had three children. Sibella is listed as having two older brothers: William Henry born April 1859 (who was partially blind but later became a solicitor) and Alexander (born August 1860). Alexander died on 17 March 1953 at Locks Heath in Hampshire. Her grandfather, William Roxburgh Sr, was a doctor at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Calcutta, India.

In 1871 the family are documentated as living in Bedford. By 1881 the family are housed in Oxford (William Henry was at university here) although neither parent are listed (suggesting that either they had died or lived elsewhere). An elder aunt (also named Sibella) aged 73 was living with them. By 1891, this aunt was living in Ipswich with several friends and servants, which might suggest why the photograph of young Sibella (in this picture) was taken here. Aunt Sibella died in 1896 aged 89 years of age.

Do you know what happened to her? Did she marry? Is Sibella part of your family tree? If so, please get in touch.

UPDATE: I have since found out that young Sibella actually died on 7th September 1892 in Ipswich aged just 28 years of age. This listed photograph must have been reproduced in memory of her after her death.

What a beautiful name!

I have for your viewing pleasure Miss Florence E Piper of Hill View, Marlborough. This is another example of a Christmas greeting card which includes a generic message from Flossie on one side, complete with photograph of the subject on the other.

Isn’t it elegant 😉

I believe I have managed to find Flossie on the 1901 census aged 20 years of age and still living with her parents at Hill View, London Road in Preshute which is in the district of Marlborough in Wiltshire. Daughter of a contractor and builder, she is not listed as having any employment.

I can’t find Flossie on the 1911 census so am presuming that within this 10 year period she met a man and (hopefully) fell in love! Do you know any more about Flossie? What happened to her? Is she featured within your family tree? If so, please do get in touch.

Today, I am posting a photograph of a little boy aged 3 years – an image that I found at the local market. On the back it said his name and address which was handwritten by his mother: Mrs G.T. Chapman. Not having any indication of date, I started searching the online census to see what I could find out.

I have managed to find the little boy’s parents on the 1911 census where they are listed as living at Lenora Street, Deane, Bolton. It states that Greta Taylor Chapman and William Chapman (Sr) had been married for one year. As you can see below, Greta’s sister was also living with them – but at this time William Ronald had not been born.

The boys name was written in the following format on the back of the photograph: Wm Ronald Chapman – suggesting that, despite being named after his father, that his mother actually preferred to call him Ronald.

Sadly, these details are all I know. Are the Chapman’s featured in your family tree? Are William, Greta and Ronald your ancestors – if so, please get in touch either through the comments page or by email: identifamily@live.co.uk

For your viewing pleasure today, I have this wedding photograph taken on June 20th 1916 – almost 95 years ago! Named on the front as Milo & Elizabeth Reed, sadly even with their wedding date present, I have been unable to trace them.  

I bought this image within England – but with no photographers markings anywhere, this image could potentially have been taken anywhere else in the world. At present I am only able to trace families born within the United Kingdom.

Milo is quite an unusual name – popular supposedly in Greek times, but even by today’s standards, still quite rare. As potentially a derivative of Miles – I even did a search to see if I could find a couple with this name – but with no luck! I also did a variant search on Reed in case it was spelt Reid / Reid / Read – but again, with no results.

There are 5 possible matches of someone with these various surname spellings marrying someone called Elizabeth in the second quarter (Apr – May – Jun) of 1916 within online records. They are as following:

1. Henry G. Reed of Holbeck, London married Elizabeth M. McGiffin.

2. Sydney F. Read of Greenwich, London married Elizabeth D. M. Butler.

3. Harvey H Reid of Edmonton, Middlesex married Elizabeth E. Cook.

4. Samuel Reid of Wigan, Lancashire married Elizabeth A. Snalam.

5. Thomas W. Reid of Toxteth Park, Lancashire married Elizabeth E. Lewis.

None of the male names appear to suggest Milo as a Christian or indeed middle name so I’m still none the wiser. If this handsome couple are in your family, maybe you have more information at your fingertips? If you do…please get in touch – either through this blog or my email address: identifamily@live.co.uk

I have a large collection of photographs – some of which have names – some traceable and identifiable, others not…but either way, for this blog to survive, I would really welcome your own ‘lost’ photographs. Obviously I will need there to be a name on the back if I am to try and research their identity – but whether we can reconnect them or not to present day relatives – I would really welcome your input.

There are lots of ways this can work: Email me your photograph, and in return for posting it on this website, I will credit you on here with a link to your shop or blog – and I will also try my hardest to research who they were. If we can find a living relative, maybe you’d be interested in either allowing them to have a watermarked free digital copy (if you’d like to keep the original) – or indeed sell on the original for a small fee to cover your own costs?

I’m currently in discussion with a friend, who is a web designer, about the best way to set this up. Hopefully, anyone will be able to register, look for photographs – and even one day, upload their own to the site for others to browse, identify or simply to reunite. What do you think to the idea?

If you have some old photographs – or see any images worth investing in at local markets yourself – then please do email me them (scanned front and back) at the following email address: identifamily@live.co.uk – or you can also find my Identifamily page on Facebook: by clicking HERE.  For some reason the Facebook page here is in Italian – click on the word ‘curtir’ and you will be linked (in English) and will receive regular updates.

I’ve had some really good feedback from people – personally, through this blog, on Facebook, Twitter and through Genes Reunited – with your help, together, we can take this further…

I’d like to share with you today, a Christmas card from 1912 which features the delightful pose of Mr & Mrs G.H. Banton. Sent to their friends and family to celebrate the festive period in style, the back of this card also has a quote from Charles Dickens regarding wishes for New Year.

Thankfully this greeting card also included the Banton’s address – so it was much easier to find them within the 1911 census – where they are listed as living in south Tottenham with their 21 year old son George Herbert Banton. The 1911 census also reveals that George Jnr was the only one of their 3 children to survive.

George Henry Banton was born in 1863 in Stalybridge, Lancashire before moving to Bradford, West Yorkshire as a young boy with his family, where he eventually found work as a printer compositer. Here, he met his future wife Mary, also of Bradford whom he married at the age of 21 – before moving together to London, first to Westerfield Road, Tottenham then onto their home within Talbot Road.

The 1911 census was the first to be completed by the household themselves – so the original copy features George’s signature – which I’ve copied for you here:

I have also managed to find their house, as it is today, on Google streetview which you can see below:

Other surnames associated with the Banton family include: Bilcliffe (cousin) Wildman (sister’s married name) and Collins (brother-in-law) – all found on the previous census’s linked to George Henry.

Is this your family? If so, please get in touch..

For your family history viewing pleasure today I have a beautiful young lady called Clara Yates – and her eventual husband Cyril Bowden.

From my research, I believe Clara was born in 1897/8 in Charlesworth, Derbyshire. Daughter of Samuel and Lucy, Clara had lots of brothers and sisters (some of which I believe I also have photographs of) including Mary, Mabel and Tom.

In the last quarter of 1921, she married Cyril Bowden. On my research, I found a young man with this name and of similar age to Clara, living close to her in nearby Glossop (which is where relatives of the Yates family also lived). The youngest of 5 surviving children, Cyril is listed on the 1911 census as living with his parents Lemuel and Sarah and siblings on St. Mary’s Road in Glossop.

Here is a photograph of both Clara and Cyril together, taken in approximately 1925/6 (according to the back of the photograph). What happened to Clara & Cyril. How long were they married? Did they have any children? Are you descendents of them?

I have emailed several people through Genes Reunited who appear to have both Cyril & Clara within their family tree – I have heard back from one gentleman, although it is still unclear how he is actually related to the Yates family. I have, as yet, to hear anything back from the others. Please check back regularly for updates 😉

MURDER at identifamily!

There’s nothing better then researching your family history and finding some skeletons in the closet! After all, we all have them! But how would you feel if you found out one of your family members was a murderer? 

I have a photograph of two young ladies. Their names are printed on the back – but one of the names is sadly hard to decipher. From what I can read it looks something like Harrietta (?) and Gill born (?) 1886. What do you think it says?

Below this, in the same handwriting, are the words ‘Albert Robinson Hung 1881 February’.  

To be honest, at first, I didn’t attach any great importance to the word ‘hung’ – thinking I had merely mis-read it. But after struggling to find the young women on the census, I started to widen my search to include that of Albert Robinson. It was then that I discovered that Albert had indeed been hung on the 28th February 1881 by executioner William Marwood (1820 – 1883).

On investigating this further, I discovered that Albert, of 62 Station Road, Hadfield, Derbyshire (see photograph above of how this building looks today) was aged 20 years of age and worked locally as a weaver. On 2nd October 1880, he murdered his wife Jane Eliza Robinson, by cutting her throat.  They had three young children (one of whom was Jane’s by a previous relationship). Albert unsuccessfully tried to commit suicide afterwards and was eventually arrested at his mother’s residence at the Red Bull Inn in the nearby village of ‘Mottram in Longdendale’ before being sentenced to death.

I have found Albert’s mother Sarah on the 1881 census living with her new husband William Middleton (18 years her junior) and granddaughter Ann Robinson. Could Ann be one of Albert and Jane Eliza’s children? I wonder what happened to the other two children?  

On the 1891 census they are all still living in Mottram – although by 1901, William is living in Bolton and married to a younger Irish woman with whom he has three children. What happened to his first wife Sarah (Albert’s mother) and what became of their grandaughter!? 

Also, what IS the connection of Albert to the two young ladies pictured here? (This is the photo on which his name and details were written on the back). The date 1886 suggests that neither of these could have been the murdered wife…but what is the link!? Or, could the date simply have been written in error?

Isn’t history GREAT!