I’m not sure how much Internet access we” have, but we’ll try to blog and Twitter as we go.
I’m not sure how much Internet access we” have, but we’ll try to blog and Twitter as we go.
This week we’ve been looking again at the Swingewood branch of the family, which we hadn’t looked at for many years, but it seems that quite a few members of that branch of the family have become interested in the family history, and have left messages on the Internet, so we hope to make contact with some of them and share family information.
The connection came about when Marian Winifred Crighton married Joseph Swingewood in Kenilworth, Johannesburg, in 1923.
Marian Winifred Crighton (1903-1967) was the daughter of Frederick Crighton (1852-1916) and Helene Charlotte Ottilie Zeeman (1879-1929).
Frederick and Helene had four children, two of whom died fairly young. The remaining two, Arthur and Marian, married and had children. Marian married Joseph Swingewood and became Marian Swingewood, while Arthur married Marion Douglas who became Marion Crighton. Most of the information we have on the Swingewoods came from Marion Crighton (nee Douglas), who told us about her sister-in-law’s family, but that was 25 years ago now, so there’s a bit of catching up to do.
Helene Zeeman was Frederick Crighton’s second wife, and she was actually younger than his daughter by his first marriage (he was about 27 years older than she was). His first wife was Josephine MacLeod, and Josephine’s sister and brother also married into the Crighton family:
- William John Crighton married Anna Maria MacLeod
- Annie Crighton married Charles Augustus MacLeod
- Frederick Crighton married Josephine MacLeod
The Crightons were saddlers and leather merchants in Cape Town.
For more about the Crighton family see our family history wiki here.
My second cousin, Fiona Hannan Smyth (born Reddick) recently posted a photo of her mother Ria Reddick (born Hannan) on Facebook, with some of her great grandchildren.
Ria is the youngest of the children of Thomas Hannan (1879-1941) and Hannah Carson (1884-1972), and my mother, Ella Hayes, and I visited them in Glasgow in 1967, and we took a few “whozit” pictures of the family gathering.
Ria was my mother’s first cousin on the Hannan side and I think she is the only one of that generation still alive. We tried to see her when we went to Scotland in 2005, but she was out when we called.
I think the family resemblance can be seen in this photo.
Ria and her husband Hugh went to Southern Rhodesia after the Second World War, and their two younger children, Carson and Heather, were born there. Hugh died in 1963, and in 1965, with the Rhodesian UDI threatening, Ria decided to return to Scotland.
I met her at Heathrow airport with her brother Willie — I had been in the UK just over a fortnight, as a semi-refugee, and had met Willie in London a short time earlier. I wrote in my diary at the time (4 Feb 1966)
When the plane with Ria arrived at about 1:20 we had to go over to another building for them to get the plane to Glasgow (there are 3 terminal buildings at Heathrow — one internal, one European, and one intercontinental) and there we had tea and talked about Rhodesia. Ria said that she had had a Rhodesian passport and citizenship, and felt that she could not stay after UDI, so had got a British passport on the 9th of November, two days before Smith went mad. Two of Willie’s parliamentary colleagues joined us while we were waiting, and Ria showed us a letter she had had to get from the government giving her permission to resign from her job with Shell Oil. Then Willie and Ria and the children left. The kids were quite sweet — a boy of about 15, called Carson, and Heather, about 12. Both had dark hair, like their mother.
All the Hannans seemed to have dark hair, and wherever I got my hari from, it wasn’t from the Hannan side of the family.
Anyway, fastforward again to the present, when Fiona (Ria’s eldest daughter, who didn’t come with them on the plane, and whom I haven’t met) posted this picture on Facebook, of Ria with her great-grandchildren. Fiona writes:
In the photo of Mum with 4 of her great grandchildren are (the 2 older boys are my grandsons, Karen & David Browns sons, Connor David (12 1/2) & Challum Harry (11) & the small boy & baby are 2 of Heather’s grandchildren, Kathryn & Gary Booths kids, Harris (3) & Ava Hannah (1).
And they all have the Hannan hair!
There’s more on the Hannan family here.
This Tombstone Tuesday I’m adding some pictures of tombstones of the Pearson and Ellwood families of Whitehaven, Cumberland. They relate to the Pearson and Ellwood families featured in the post immediately below this one.
Daniel William Pearson (1855-1929) and his wife Sarah Jane Walker (1857-1959) are buried in Whitehaven Cemetery, Ward 1, Section O.
They were Val’s maternal great-grandparents.
Daniel William Pearson was the son of William Pearson, a butcher of Whitehaven, and his wife Sarah Johnson, who was born in King’s Lynn, Norfolk.
Sarah Jane Walker was born in Sylecroft, Whicham, in the south of Cumberland, and was the daughter of William Walker, a spirit merchant of Sylecroft, and his wife Agnes Duke, who was born in Ulverston, Lancashire (which is now part of the new county of Cumbria.
Daniel William Pearson started is career as a butcher, like his father, and then became Whitehaven’s Sanitary Inspector and Inspector of Nuisances (lovely title, that!) Two of ths brothers, Charles and Henry, were Anglican clergymen, while another brother, John Johnson Pearson, was an apothecary of sorts, and wrote books about his travels in the Middle East.
Our second tombstone is of Margaret Pearson, the daughter-in-law of Daniel William and Sarah Jane Pearson.
Ernest Pearson (1892-1975) was a plumber and electrician of Whitehaven, and married Margaret Ellwood (1892-1958), the daughter of Thomas Ellwood and Mary Carr.
They had three sons, Gilbert, Ralph and John, and a daughter, Edith Margaret Pearson.
Filed under: family history, genealogy, Tombstone Tuesday | Tagged: Cumberland, Cumbria, Ellwood family, family history, genealogy, Pearson family, Tombstone Tuesday, Whitehaven families | Leave a Comment »
In the early 20th century three members of an Ellwood family from Whitehaven, Cumberland married three members of a Pearson family from the same town.
We’ve been scanning old photos, and it is good to have them in electronic format, so that they are less likely to fade and be damaged. But in electronic photos it is not possible to have the stories written on the back of those photos, so this blog post is really to help preserve the stories of the photos. In our family we call them “whozit” photos, because when we look at them everyone says “Whozit? Whozit?” And when the back of the photo just says “William” or “Henry” or “Uncle Joe”, I think many people will forget whose uncle Joe it was.
Charles Pearson, a shoemaker of Whitehaven, born about 1768, married Ann Gatey in 1799, and they had several children.
One of their younger sons, William Pearson (1820-1895), became a butcher, and married Sarah Johnson (1819-1894) in 1845. Sarah Johnson was born in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, which is quite a long way from Whitehaven, so one of the mysteries of the family history is how they met.
They had six children, two girls and four boys. Two of the sons, Charles and Henry, became Anglican priests, and Charles was a pioneer missionary in Uganda, travelling up the Nile to reach that country. A third son, John Johnson Pearson, was a mysterious character, and we are not sure what happened to him. He travelled quite a bit in India and the Middle East, and was a keen supporter of the British Israelite movement, and wrote books on that topic.
The remaining son, Daniel William Pearson, was prosaic by comparison with his brothers. He followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming a butcher, and spent most of his life in Whitehaven, and ended up by becoming the town sanitary inspector and inspector of nuisances.
The eldest daughter, Margaret, married Thomas Binks Cooper, who died young, and their daughter Sarah Johnson Cooper was brought up by her grandparents, and married Charles Stewart, a railway engine driver from London.
The youngest child, Sarah Johnson Pearson, married Joseph William Peile, and they had several children.
Daniel William Pearson
Daniel William Pearson (1855-1929) was the stay-at-home Pearson brother. In 1883 he married Sarah Jane Walker (1857-1929) and they had nine children, eight boys and one girl.
- William Walker Pearson (1883-1956)
- Edith Pearson (1885-1956)
- Henry Pearson (1886-1905)
- Charles Pearson (1888-1967)
- Frank Pearson (1890-1974)
- Ernest Pearson (1892-1975)
- Gilbert Pearson (1894-1969)
- John Pearson (1895-1918)
- Victor Octavious Pearson (1897-1971)
Henry died within a couple of years of these picture being taken, and so these are the only pictures we have of the whole family together.
William, the eldest, was the first to leave home. After working for a shipping firm in Whitehaven, he applied for a job in the Port Captain’s Office in Durban, Natal, and emigrated there about 1909. His fiancée, Martha Ellwood, joined him there, and they were married at St John’s Church, Pinetown, in 1913.
With William overseas, and Henry dead, another picture was taken of the remaining six brothers in Easter 1913.
John, the second youngest, worked for Whittle & Co in Whitehaven, and in the First World War he joined the Border Regiment, and was killed in France in May 1918.
Charles worked for the Bell Telephone Company in Whitehaven, and then for its successors, GPO telephones which became British Telecom. He married Dorothy Roff in 1926 and they lived in Wragby Road, Lincoln.
Frank Pearson served in the army in the 1914-1918 War. He was Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages for Egremont, near Whitehaven. He married May Dobbins and they had two children, Janet and Anthony. May was said to go off her nut occasionally, and their son Anthony, who never married, seemed to be eccentric, to say the least, but probably harmless. When we asked him about the mysterious John Johnson Pearson, he told us that he had taught at the Sorbonne in Paris, and had a harem of Sikh ladies, and one of their sons was Joseph Stalin. In addition he (Anthony) had invented a wave-actuated boat, which was stolen by the Norwegians). Janet married twice, first to Thomas Birkbeck the headmaster of the Cleator Moor School, and secondly to John Sharp. There were no children of either marriage.
Ernest was originally an acetylene welder at Lowca Engineering Works, near Whitehaven. He served in the 1914-1918 war in the Royal flying Corps (Service No 163675) at Halton, Bucks and at Blandford, Devon. In 1916 he married Margaret Ellwood, the sister of Martha Ellwood who had married his edler brother William. In about 1923 the Lowca Engineering Works closed down, and Ernest went to work for his brother-in-law’s company, John Ellwood & Co as a plumber and electrician, and remained there for the rest of his working life.
Gilbert trained as a watchmaker and jeweller. He served in the Black Watch Regiment in the First World War. After the war he started his own business as a watchmaker and jeweller in King Street, Whitehaven. He married Maud Dixon, and they had two daughters, Joan and Barbara.
Victor worked for Pattinson’s Flour Mill in Whitehaven. After his parents died he lived until his marriage (in 1929) with his brother Ernest Pearson. He married a niece of Ernest’s wife Margaret, and so became the third Pearson brother to marry into the Ellwood family. After their marriage they lived with Edith’s parents, John and Kate Ellwood, and then at Henry Street, and finally at Loop Road (South), Whitehaven. They had no children.
In the meantime the eldest brother, William, and his wife Martha (nee Ellwood) lived in Pinetown, and later in Durban. She had their wedding pictures printed on postcards, and wrote to the family. One of the cards, dated 23 Dec 1913, and sent to her brother John and his wife Kate, read
My Dear John & Kate,
It is rather late but we wish you every good wish for the New Year. We are getting a bit more settled down now & I like Pinetown well, it is a fine life. You will have heard all about our house etc. from Senhouse Street. Tell Edith I see plenty of “niggers” but am not a bit frightened of them. How is May tell her to write & tell me all the news. It’s not a bit like Xmas to me, it is so hot today. Love to all from us both.
Your loving sister Mattie.
In 1915 William and Mattie’s first child was born, William Ellwood Pearson, known as Billy, followed by twins Mary (Mollie) and Arthur in 1918, but Arthur died young. Another daughter, Dorothy, was born in 1923, but before she arrived Mattie travelled back to Whitehaven in 1921, to see her family, and the children were able to meet their cousins for the first time.
Billy was 6 years old, and Mollie 3, when they met their double first cousins, Gilbert (4) and Ralph (nearly 2). They travelled by ship from Durban in January 1921, and the voyage lasted about three weeks. Martha and William met their brothers and sisters again, but John Pearson, William’s younger brother, had been killed in the First World War.
Gilbert and Ralph Pearson were the children of William Walker Pearson’s brother Ernest, and Martha’s sister Margaret.
There were also plenty of other cousins to meet.
There were also plenty of other cousins to meet. William Ellwood Pearson’s sister Edith had married David James Elson, and they lived in Liverpool. Their daughter Marjorie Pearson Elston was born in 1917, and was 5 when the South African cousins came visiting. Her brother Gerald was born in 1922. In 1939 Marjorie Elston herself married a South African, the Revd Terry Blake, a Congregational Minster, and her mother Edith went to live with them in South Africa when David Elston died. The Blakes had four sons and two daughters.
Another family with several links was the Nicholsons.
Samuel Nicholson and Isabella Frears had several children, who of whom married into the Ellwood family. Their daughter Catherine (Kate) married John Ellwood, and had two daughters: Mary Isabella Carr (May) Ellwood who married John Kelly and went to Canada; and Edith, who, as we have seen, married Victor Pearson, The son, Isaac Nicholson, married Elizabeth Renney Ellwood, and had two children, Doris and John Nicholson.
This picture has four Ellwood sisters: Martha who married William Pearson, Elizabeth who married Isaac Nicholson, May who married Jonathan Addison, and Maggie who married Ernest Pearson.
John Ellwood Nicholson was about 14 when the picture was taken. He later became a draughtsman, and lived in Barrow in Furness. Isaac Nicholson, his father, was an iron moulder.
Mary (May) Ellwood married Jonathan Addison and from about 1910 they lived in Belfast, Ireland, where their two youngest children were born. They had seven children, three girls and four boys. One of the girls (not in the picture), Bessie, who later married Len Jupp, became legendary, at least in the South African branch of the family as the one who won a pissing contest with her brothers. The oldest, Mary Addison, married John Hayes and they lived in Belfast. They had no children. We wrote to them a few times before they died in the late 1970s, and those were the times of troubles in Norther Ireland, and on one occasion John Hayes wrote “Tempus fungus – times are rotten.” The second, Thomas Alexander Addison, emigrated to the USA in 1930, and married Elli Link from Latvia. Jack Addison married Mary Brown. Arthur married Margaret Hills. Ada married William McAlpine, and their daughter married Norman Little and livers in Canada, while their son Roderick married Margaret Banyard in Birmingham and lived in Suffolk.
Ernest and Maggie Pearson had two more children after Gilbert and Ralph in the picture – John (born 1923) and Edith (born 1929). Gilbert was killed in the Second World War in Burma, as a result of an accident when an ammunition lorry was being unloaded. Ralph served in the air force in the Second World War, mainly in personnel management, and at one point visited Durban, and made contact with his cousins there. After the war worked for NAAFI, which ran recreational services for the British armed forces, which meant they led a somewhat wandering life. He married Jean Mary Bearn and they had three children, Joseph, Susan and Gordon. When we became interested in the family history after we were married in 1974, Ralph was one of the people we wrote to, and he got interested, and did a lot of research, collecting a great deal of information, especially on Charles William Pearson, the missionary. He died in January 1996, just before Val won a ticket to see the cup final between Manchester United and Liverpool, but while she was there she visited Jean Pearson, and met their daughter Susan, whose son Kevin is the same age as our Jethro, and both being crazy about cars, they wrote to each other and swapped video tapes.
John, the third child of Ernest and Maggie, married Nora Lees, and we had quite a lot of correspondence with Nora, who wrote wonderfully informative letters, not only about the family history, but also current news about the family, and happenings in Whitehaven. In 2005 we visited her in Whitehaven (John had unfortunately died by then), and also met their daughters Maxine Wincott and Zania McKenzie, who were living in Edinburgh.
Edith Pearson married Ted Worsley and they had two children, Michael and Caroline, and lived in Northumberland.
Doris Nicholson married Reynolds (Rennie) Bonnington, a photographer, and they had a son Ian.
To be continued, as there are more photos of the Ellwood and Pearson families. Other members of the family may have copies of these photos, so we hope these stories will help, and if there are other stories, please tell them in the comments.
 Edith was Mattie Pearson’s niece Edith Ellwood, then 12 years old, who later married William Pearson’s brother Victor. May was Edith’s older sister, then aged 19. Senhouse street was the home of the Ellwood family.
grandmother Mary Kerwick. She married William James MacLeod, a master
mariner, in Cape Town in 1827, and they had eight children.
On her death notice (she died on 23 June 1863) it said she was born in “Three
Rivers, Canada” and that she was 52 years and 9 months old. So we put her
date of birth as September 1810, and wondered what had brought her from
Canada to the Cape Colony.
Since the advent of the World Wide Web more and more genealogical records
have been put on line, and yesterday we discovered her in the International
Genealogical Index (IGI), which informed us that she was the daughter of
James Kerwick and Elisabeth Clouith; born 13 Sep 1810, baptised 25 Sep 1810.
Eglise catholique. Immaculée Conception (Trois-Rivières, Québec).
That would make her age at death exact, so we’re pretty sure she’s the right
Now, of course, we’re looking for more information about her parents and
where they came from, and also whether she had any brothers or sisters, and
what happened to them.
to the effect that a Sharon Gilmour had visited the site and left a message saying the she was a granddaughter of George Emmett Brennan. We sent her an e-mail message, but unfortunately it bounced as follows:
On 9 Jan 2012 at 6:40, Mail Delivery System wrote:
> This is the mail system at host wblv-ip-mesg-1-3.saix.net.
> > I’m sorry to have to inform you that your message could not
> be delivered to one or more recipients. It’s attached below.
> > For further assistance, please send mail to postmaster.
> > If you do so, please include this problem report. You can
> delete your own text from the attached returned message.
> > The mail system
> > : host mx3.hotmail.com[188.8.131.52] said: 550
> Requested action not taken: mailbox unavailable (in reply to RCPT TO
During the second half of 2011 we concentrated mainly on the Ellwood family of Cumbria in our research. We found a link to Bruce Morrison’s online family tree, which took our Ellwood family several generations back to Dufton in Westmorland, England, which enabled us to also link up to several other Ellwood families we had previously thought were unlinked. We started an Ellwood family history forum in July, and by the end of the year it had 19 members, most of them known to be related.
In May we went on holiday to the Western Cape, and visited several relations on the way, mostly of the Growdon and Hannan families. In the first part of the year we were mainly working on the Bagot and Cottam families, from Lancashire in England, and also started a Bagot family forum.
We’ve seen a gradual greowth in the number of visitors to our Family Wiki, but still practically no interaction, which is the main purpose of a Wiki — a collaborative effort at building up a family history, but apart from us, only one other person contributed to it in 2011.
Perhaps one of the problems is that most of the visitors seem to have come from the USA, though the families we are researching are mainly in the UK, South Africa, Germany and Australia.
Another historical project that Steve, in particular, has been involved in is a mailing list on the history of the Anglican Church in Namibia. Steve worked in the Anglican Church in Namibia from 1969 to 1972, and had been in touch with some other people who had worked there in the same period, and have been comparing notes.
On New Year’s Eve we were visited by Val’s cousin Enid Ellis and her husband Justin, who have been in Namibia for the last 20 years, and were also there in the 1970s.