- Define the Problem
- Evaluate Evidence 1
- Evaluate Evidence 2
- Evaluate Evidence 3
- Evaluate Evidence 4
- Evaluate Evidence 5
- Evaluate Evidence 6
- Search for New Evidence
- Brown Family Certificates Received!
- Robert Unwin Will
- Search for New Evidence 1
- Search for New Evidence 2
- Charles Healey Will
- Going Around the Brickwall
- The Lost Children
In this post I continue to review all of the existing evidence and see if there are any more clues that I missed the first time around.
Reviewing the Evidence
Birth of William Joseph Brown
- 1852: George and Ann’s son and last child is born: William Joseph Brown on 14 December 1852 at Haywood’s Yard in Sheffield
William Joseph Brown, the youngest son of George and Ann Brown, and my great grandfather, was born on 15 December 1852 at Haywood’s Yard. His birth was registered by his mother Ann on 3 January 1853 (presumably the Christmas season caused the delay) in Sheffield North. On his birth certificate is the first evidence I’ve found that Ann’s maiden name was Healey. Again, George’s occupation is shown as file cutter.
I have not been able to find any information about ‘Haywoods Yard’ other than a reference in this census district description from 1861:
All that part of the Township of Sheffield Beginning Left Hand at 31 Allen
St taking left of Meadow St to Scotland St Then keeping to the same side to
Snow Lane, Down Smithfield to Allen St finishing in at the Bakers Yard at 31
Allen St again. Including Cross Smithfield, Club Mill Yard, Bassetts Fold,
Haywoods Yard & all within the Left Hand of Such Boundary.
However by searching for information on other ‘yards’ in the same area, it seems as though Haywood’s Yard was probably some type of open courtyard surrounded by residences or small shops.
Marriage of George Brown and Mary Ann Holmes
- 1859: George Brown Jr marries Mary Ann Holmes in the December quarter of 1859 in Sheffield
George Brown was 22 years old when he married Mary Ann Holmes, an 18 year old originally from Lynn, Norfolk.
England & Wales, “FreeBMD Index 1837-1983,” database, FreeBMD (http://www.freebmd.org.uk/: accessed 27 March 2010), marriage of George Brown and Mary Ann Holmes; citing Sheffield Dec [quarter] 1859, vol 9c: 488.
Although this marriage registration entry shows that a George Brown married Mary Ann Holmes, I have no evidence to suggest that this George is the son of George and Ann Brown. There are countless other marriage records for George Brown in Sheffield spanning 1850 to 1880 as well as countless death records. Further evidence is needed to establish this relationship.
Marriage of Caroline Brown and Walter White
- 1859: Caroline Brown marries Walter White in the December quarter of 1859 in Sheffield
Caroline Brown was 18 years old when she married Walter White, a 23 year old table knife blade forger originally from Tuxford, Nottinghamshire.
England & Wales, “FreeBMD Index 1837-1983,” database, FreeBMD (http://www.freebmd.org.uk/: accessed 27 March 2010), marriage of Walter White and Caroline Brown; citing Sheffield Dec [quarter] 1859, vol 9c: 443.
Again, although this marriage registration entry shows that a Caroline Brown married Walter White, I have no evidence to suggest that this Caroline is the daughter of George and Ann Brown, although this is the only entry between 1850 and 1880 for a marriage for someone named Caroline Brown in Sheffield and there are no relevant death registrations for a Caroline Brown in Sheffield during the same time period. It would seem that either this marriage record is the correct record, or that Caroline Brown left Sheffield during this time period. Further evidence is needed to establish this relationship.
By the time of the 1861 census, the Brown Family consisted of:
|George Brown Jr||24||Y?|
|Ann Brown Jr||12||N|
|William Joseph Brown||9||N|
Given these dynamics, I would reasonably expect to find three households in the census records:
- George and Ann Brown with children including 12 year old Ann and 9 year old William Joseph
- George Jr and Mary Ann (Holmes) Brown (assuming their marriage record is correct)
- Walter and Ann (Brown) White (assuming their marriage record is correct)
- 1861: Census taken on 7 April 1861 should most likely show George and Ann Brown with their unmarried children Ann and William in Sheffield, but no record is found
Searches were made in several databases, using many alternative methods for finding mis-transcriptions including last name only, first name only, and so on with no results. A manual review of the records pertaining to the area of the Brown family’s previous neighbourhood also produced no results. The census records for the Sheffield Workhouse were also searched using first initial and last name with no results. It is possible that the Brown family was missed during enumeration. Their previously known neighbourhood appears crowded with many lanes and alleys which would have made enumeration difficult.
- 1861: Census taken on 7 April 1861 shows George Brown Jr and wife Mary Ann living as lodgers in Hawley Croft with the Holmes family including Charles Holmes, head, married, age 51, shoe maker, born Lincolnshire Wragley; Ann Holmes, wife, married, aged 46, born Artford; Charles Holmes, son, aged 15, table knife cutter, born Nottingham; Martha Holmes, daughter, aged 9, born Yorkshire, Sheffield; Frances Holmes, daughter, aged 1, born Yorkshire, Sheffield; George Brown, lodger, married, aged 24, file cutter, born Yorkshire, Sheffield; Mary A Brown, wife, married, aged 20, spoon buffer, born Norfolk, Lynn
George and Mary Ann Brown had been married for less than two years when the 1861 census was taken so it is not unreasonable that they would be living with Mary Ann’s parents in 1861. Looking at the birth places of Charles and Ann Holmes’ children, it would appear that the Holmes family moved from Nottingham to Sheffield somewhere between 1846 and 1852. Hawley Crofts were only a couple of blocks from Scotland Street, the last known address of the Brown family.
- 1861: Census taken on 7 April 1861 shows Walter and Caroline White living as lodgers in the Weatherill household at Ct 2 Ellingham St including George Weatherill, head, married, aged 24, table blade ?, born Carrisbrook, Lincolnshire; Harriet Weatherill, wife, married, aged 24, lock filer, born Yorkshire, Sheffield; Robert Weatherill, brother, unmarried, aged 21, labourer, born Gamston, Lincolnshire; Walter White, lodger, married, aged 26, table blade cutler, born Twyford, Nottinghamshire; Caroline White, lodger, married, aged 20, file cutler, born Yorkshire, Sheffield.
While the entry for Walter and Caroline White indicates that they lived in a separate household, they share an address with the George Weatherill family and their relationship to the head of the household is shown as ‘Lodger’. They too had been married less than two years so were probably living in a room or two with the Weatherill family. They lived in ‘The Park” ward which was a much more sparsely settle area than the “Crofts” and the Scotland street neighbourhood that the Browns lived in.
The 1861 census is the last record I have of Walter and Caroline White and I don’t know what happened to them after that year. Further searching is required, however White is almost as common a surname as Brown.