- 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. Who knew I had so much evidence???
Reviewing the Evidence
Birth of Isabella Smith
- 1873: Isabella Smith, daughter of George and Ann Smith, is born about 1873 in Sheffield
Isabella Smith was 8 years old in the 1881 census and was enumerated with her maternal grandmother, also Isabella Smith. In 1891, she was 18 years old and enumerated with her parents and siblings on Scotland Street. There are two possible birth registrations in Sheffield between 1871 and 1875, although the one in 1872 is most likely.
England & Wales, “FreeBMD Index 1837-1983,” database, FreeBMD (http://www.freebmd.org.uk/: accessed 27 March 2010), birth of Isabella Smith; citing Sheffield Sep [quarter] 1871, vol 9c: 345.
England & Wales, “FreeBMD Index 1837-1983,” database, FreeBMD (http://www.freebmd.org.uk/: accessed 27 March 2010), birth of Isabella Smith; citing Sheffield Jun [quarter] 1872, vol 9c: 375.
As I review the Smith children’s birth years and the census records, I’m noticing that the Smith children are sometimes living with other family members which suggests that there might have been problems at home, something to consider when I search for further evidence about the family.
Death of Ann Brown
- 1874: Ann Brown died on 15 February 1874 at Greenhow Street in Nether Hallam of excessive drinking of alcohol
Ann Brown death certificate states that she died at the age of 60 ‘from excessive drinking of alcohol’ as determined by Dossey Wightman, the Coroner for Yorkshire, after an inquest was held on 16 February 1874. Despite inquiries and searches, it would appear that unfortunately no coroner’s inquest records for Sheffield in the time period are extant. Ann died on Greenhow Street, about six streets north of Dunscombe Street where George and Ann Brown were living in 1871. Alcoholism is something to explore when I study the social history of Ann and George Brown’s time and place.Mention of coroner’s inquests are often found in the Sheffield newspapers, however in the case of Ann Brown’s inquest, there is no trace even after searching and then reading all the issues from the period in question.
This death notice from the Sheffield Independent shows Ann’s death date as February 14, the day before the date of February 15 shown on her death certificate. Both the newspaper notice and the death certificate indicate that Ann was sixty years old when she died, which, if correct, would suggest that she had been born before 15 February 1814. Walkley was the name of the ward that included parts of Netherthorpe, Upperthorpe, Walkely and Neepsend, the area that the Browns called home.
- 1874: Ann Brown was buried on 17 February 1874 in Burngreave Cemetery in Section A3, grave 88 in unconsecrated ground
From the Friends of Burngreave Cemetery website:
Burngreave Cemetery was opened in the Victorian era in 1861. The local churchyards were rapidly approaching capacity and were becoming a health hazard due to the vile smells and leaking fluids which were polluting the already poor water supplies. The cemetery is situated in what was then Brightside Bierlow, one of the townships which made up Sheffield…. The Cemetery was officially opened by the Archbishop of York, Charles Thomas Longley, on 16th March 1861.
There are two areas on the map above that are designated as A3. Since Ann Brown was buried ‘in unconsecrated ground’ her grave would be located towards the bottom right hand corner of the cemetery.
BROWN, Ann (Wife of Geo Brown, age 60).
Died at Greenow St Walkley; Buried on February 17, 1874 in General ground;
Grave Number 88, Section A3 of Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield. ~ Sheffield Indexers
The A3 grave 88 was also where George Brown was eventually laid to rest and the other four occupants of the grave have the surnames of Clarke, Hollingworth and Ogden and it is noted that their bodies were ‘removed from Sheffield Parish’ and their burial dates are all in the twentieth century.
Marriage of William Brown and Emily Fores
- 1874: William Joseph Brown married Emily Theresa Fores on 13 September 1874 at Christ Church in Pitsmoor, Sheffield.
My great grandparents, William Joseph Brown and Emily Foers (Fores) married on 13 September 1874 at Christ Church in Pitsmoor after banns. Witnesses to their marriage were Hannah Grayson and George Dickinson. Both William and Emily signed with an X, as did witness George Dickinson, suggesting that they were not literate. The witness, George Dickinson, might have been Emily’s uncle or it might have been her cousin. It is not known who Hannah Grayson was and this is certainly a clue to follow up later in my analysis of ‘Friends, Neighbours and Acquaintances’.
Christ Church in Pitsmoor was about a mile north of the Scotland Street neighbourhood that William grew up in. According to the Pitsmoor Church website:
In 1850 the Rev Henry Barlow raised the amazing sum of £2311 and with this built the spacious, airy building which is now home to our community. At the time of its construction, Christ Church was situated within a fashionable, wealthy area. However over the last one hundred years Pitsmoor has changed dramatically both in physical environment and reputation within the city. Interestingly, even at the turn of the last century when Christ Church was filled with doctors and industry managers, the vicar saw fit to start “cottage meetings” for those who “shun church or chapel by reason of their poverty.”
Birth of Fred Smith
- 1876: Fred Smith, son of George and Ann Smith, is born about 1876 in Sheffield
Fred Smith, son of George and Ann Smith, was born about 1876 according to his age in the 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 census records. There are twelve records for a birth registration of a Fred or Frederick Smith during the time period, too numerous to list.
Birth of Joseph Brown
- 1876: Joseph Brown, son of William Joseph and Emily Theresa Brown, is baptised on 26 July 1876 in Sheffield
Joseph Brown was baptised at St. Philips Church on 26 July 1876 at the same time as his younger brother Arthur. His parents were my great grandparents William and Emily Brown. The source citation in my database is from the Sheffield Indexers website but I’ve also seen the original record on microfiche.
On the same day, Arthur and Frank Dracott, sons of George and Mary Dracott, were also baptised and their address was also shown as 2 ct Robert St so this family may be a good candidate for further research in my ‘Friends, Neighbours and Acquaintances’ analysis.
Elaine Pickard, “Parish Records,” database, Sheffield Indexers (http://www.sheffieldindexers.com: accessed 31 July 2011), Brown, Joseph of 2 ct Robert St, born??, baptised July 26, 1876 by CR Killick at St Phillips Church, Shalesmoor, parents Emily & William (file cutter).
Since Joseph and Arthur were baptised together and since Joseph is known to be the oldest of the Brown children and he was six years old in 1881, the most likely birth registration for Joseph is in the first quarter of 1875:
England & Wales, “FreeBMD Index 1837-1983,” database, FreeBMD (http://www.freebmd.org.uk/: accessed 27 March 2010), birth of Joseph Brown; citing Ecclesall B Mar [quarter] 1875, vol 9c: 291.
Birth of Arthur Brown
- 1876: Arthur Brown, son of William Joseph and Emily Theresa Brown, is baptised on 26 July 1876 in Sheffield
The source of Arthur’s baptism record is again recorded in my database as the Sheffield Indexers website but I have since seen the original on fiche.
Elaine Pickard, “Parish Records,” database, Sheffield Indexers (http://www.sheffieldindexers.com: accessed 31 July 2011), Brown, Arthur of 2 ct Robert St, born??, baptised July 26, 1876 by CR Killick at St Phillips Church, Shalesmoor, parents Emily & William (file cutter).
Arthur was born before the baptism date and was most likely born in 1876 since he was 5 years old in 1881. There is one registration in 1876 in Ecclesall Bierlow:
England & Wales, “FreeBMD Index 1837-1983,” database, FreeBMD (http://www.freebmd.org.uk/: accessed 27 March 2010), birth of Arthur Brown; citing Ecclesall B Jun [quarter] 1876, vol 9c: 314.
Birth of Annie Smith
- 1878: Annie Smith, daughter of George and Ann Smith, is born about 1878 in Sheffield
Annie Smith was the fifth known child of George and Ann Smith. Her approximate birth year is estimated based on her age at the time of the 1881 and 1891 censuses. As could be expected, there are many birth registrations in Sheffield and Ecclesall Bierlow during the appropriate time period, too numerous to list
Birth of Walter Brown
- 1880: Walter Brown, son of William Joseph and Emily Theresa Brown, is baptised on 28 April 1880 in Sheffield
Elaine Pickard, “Parish Records,” database, Sheffield Indexers (http://www.sheffieldindexers.com: accessed 31 July 2011), Brown, Walter of 4 Creswick St, born??, baptised 28 April 1880 by IP Cort at St Phillips Church, Shalesmoor, parents Emily & William (carter).
According to the 1881 census, Walter Brown was 11 months old on 3 April 1881, so he must have been born in May 1880. Therefore, this is the most likely birth registration for Walter:
England & Wales, “FreeBMD Index 1837-1983,” database, FreeBMD (http://www.freebmd.org.uk/: accessed 27 March 2010), birth of Walter Brown; citing Ecclesall B Jun [quarter] 1880, vol 9c: 335.
Birth of Lucy Smith
- 1880: Lucy Smith, daughter of George and Ann Smith, is born about 1880 in Sheffield
Lucy Smith, the daughter of George and Ann Smith, was 7 months old on 3 April 1881 when the census was taken. That would suggest she was born in September of 1880. The most likely birth registration is the one in the last quarter of 1880.
England & Wales, “FreeBMD Index 1837-1983,” database, FreeBMD (http://www.freebmd.org.uk/: accessed 27 March 2010), birth of Lucy Smith; citing Sheffield Dec [quarter] 1880, vol 9c: 408.
- 1881: Census taken on 3 April 1881 shows widowed George Brown living with daughter Ann’s family: George Smith, head, married, aged 36, joiner and cabinet maker, born Yorkshire, Sheffield; Ann Smith, wife, married, aged 33, born Yorkshire, Sheffield; Caroline Smith, daughter, aged 14, scholar, born Yorkshire, Sheffield; John W Smith, son, aged 12, scholar, born Yorkshire, Sheffield; Fred Smith, son, aged 5, scholar, born Yorkshire, Sheffield; Annie Smith, daughter, aged 3, born Yorkshire, Sheffield; Lucy Smith, daughter, aged 7 months, born Yorkshire, Sheffield; George Brown, father-in-law, aged 66, file cutter, born Yorkshire, Sheffield, all living at 112 Scotland Street in the Ecclesiastical Parish or District of Jericho in the ward of St Phillips in Sheffield
The Smith family lived on Scotland Street in 1881. George was 36 years old and was a joiner and cabinet maker. Ann was 33 years old and all of their children except Isabella (who was living with her grandmother Isabella Smith) were living with them. Also in the household was widower George Brown at the age of 66. Despite his age, George was still working as a file cutter.
Death of George Brown
- 1882: George Brown died on 12 October 1882 at the home of his daughter on 112 Scotland Street of chronic bronchitis. His daughter, Ann Smith, registered his death and was present when he died.
- 1882: George Brown was buried on 15 October 1882 in Burngreave Cemetery in Section A3, grave 88 in unconsecrated ground with his wife Ann
When George died, Ann’s grave was re-opened and he was laid to rest beside her in Burngreave Cemetery.
Birth of George Smith
- 1883: George Smith, son of George and Ann Smith, is born about 1883 in Sheffield
George Smith, son of George and Ann, was born in 1883, a year consistent with his age at the time of the 1891 and 1901 census. Possible birth registrations for George Smith are too numerous to mention.
To be continued…