Thursday, 28 February 2013

Those Places Thursday - a Walk in Durham 2003 pt2

Yesterday I started a new ramble through my family tree with a re-creation of a walk the OH and I did in 2003.  We were on holiday and usual rules, I can look for ancestors, if he can visit real ales pubs and breweries.  I like the beer too, don't get me wrong, but it's not an end in itself for me.

The route of our walk in 2003 - red stars from Helmington Row to Witton le Wear
green stars back to Crook (map from Bing Maps)
So to continue - we had reached Howden le Wear and passed the 1891 home of my great grandmother, Sarah Ellen Nutley and her family on Railway Street.  Sarah Ellen married my grandfather Joseph Bormond Hutton in 1900 and they lived in Crook after that.  Meanwhile James Nutley, her father had moved to Hargill Road leading to Hargill Hill, the red star on the walk.  I have no information for James Nutley prior to his marriage to Eleanor Joll(e)y in 1872 - the family story is that he was born in Ireland and came over here escaping from the potato famine and married a publican's daughter in Liverpool.  Hmm, he wasn't born until 1852 (too late for the famine), he gives his place of birth consistently as Whitehaven, Cumberland and he married Eleanor (admittedly a publican's daughter) in the Register Office in Auckland.

Sarah Ellen Nutley was born at Salmon Hall, North Bedburn in 1878 and this appears to be  a small cluster of houses on the road between Howden le Wear and Fir Tree.  In the 1861 census returns Salmon Hall appears after Howden and before Hargill Hill, but that might not signify anything - the settlements on the maps look so far apart the order of listing by the enumerator may not reflect the way he walked to collect the schedules.  The Green Tree pub that I mentioned yesterday as a Good Beer Guide entry was listed in Howden in that year though!

I'm currently being a little bemused by the location of the church where the Nutley's held their vital events (baptisms, marriages, burials).  I have notes of the baptisms of twelve of James' thirteen children at St Mary the Virgin, Fir Tree - but last year on our way to another short break in Durham I got the OH to detour through Fir Tree, which is just to the north west of Howden le Wear, and I couldn't see a church.  The Durham County Record Office site lists the church as being in 'business' from 1862 to 2008 which is a clue ... another hit, on the website for the Howden le Wear Local History Society tells me that the church there closed in 2008.  I think the church in Howden le Wear is the only one, so the Fir Tree in the title is a misnomer, boundary oddities again, however it would have been very handy for the Nutley's as they practically lived next door.  It also means that  in 2003 we probably walked right past it and didn't go in.  Note to self: look around churchyards in the vicinity of ancestors, they didn't always stay in the same place and boundaries are weird.

The west of Howden the Wear in the 1890s (from Digimaps)
The map snip above shows the church on Railway Street, it has a sizeable graveyard, but the Howden le Wear Local History Group website says the church is now in private hands, can you still get into see the gravestones? James Nutley died at 35 Hargill Road in 1927, he is buried at St Mary the Virgin, I wonder if I'll ever find out if he or any of his family have a gravestone there?

Hargill Road runs off south west, as I recall it was a steady upward climb, not as steep as the drop we had come down on the other side of the beck though.  I remember we stopped halfway up, on a handy bench, for our sandwiches. 

We know that James' wife Eleanor Joll(e)y was born at Hargill Hill in 1854, I have her birth certificate.  Her place of birth varies on the census returns, sometimes Hargill Hill, sometimes North Bedburn.  In the 1861 census Thomas Joll(e)y her father was a Publican and Coal Miner at the Board Inn on Hargill Hill.  I can only see one pub on the old maps, called the Bay Horse in the 1890s, but that's not listed in the earlier census returns.  Thomas is still a Licensed Victualler on Hargill Hill in 1871, but the pub is not named this time.  In 1881 the only pub on Hargill Hill is the Black Horse and there's a Grey Horse at Low Beechburn.  I think it must be the same pub, maybe when it changes hands it changes names.  There are a couple of cottages on the site today, called the Bay Horse Cottages.  No pub!

Thomas Joll(e)y goes off to another pub though  - this time in Witton le Wear, the next stop on the walk.  I even have a photo of this one, thanks to a kind correspondent in 1997.
The Grey Mare in Witton le Wear from around the 1890s (thanks to Tom Manners)
Unfortunately the Grey Mare (horsey pub names seem popular!) was a victim of road widening in the 1960s (ish) and can only be commemorated on a grass verge at the side of the A68 - where my last red star is on the far left.  You can see Thomas' name on the board above the door.  It would be nice to think that this is a picture of the Jolly family, certainly my correspondent had been told that it is a picture of Thomas Jolly as an old man, possibly on the occasion of a daughter's wedding.

Ah, I missed out a star - we stopped at the cemetery on the edge of Witton le Wear after we'd topped Hargill Hill and were walking down towards the village. 

Thomas and Sarah Jolly's Gravestone in Witton le Wear Cemetery
This is the photo that started me off yesterday - I found it on an old back up disk of the OH's pictures, along with a very few snaps of Beamish museum.  Thomas Jolly (that stray e seems to have vanished for good) died in 1912 in Crook, where he had been living with a widowed daughter in 1911, occupation, retired publican.  He had the Grey Mare through the 1891 and 1901 census returns, so that will be where Sarah, his wife and my 3x great grandmother died in 1900.  In 1901 he was 76 years old, and was running the pub with the help of a son, a daughter and a grandaughter.  He had nine children and 38 grandchildren, that I know of, though the family doesn't seem to run to sons, so not many of his grandchildren are Jollys.  The son that was helping in the pub, his youngest, another Thomas Jolly (there's an earlier Thomas in the family but he dies about four years before this one was born), is still in Witton le Wear in 1911, now married with two children. He doesn't hang around though, there's a couple of public trees on Ancestry which have him going to Canada in 1924.

As the Grey Mare wasn't around any more the OH and I had a beer in the Dun Cow, a Good Beer Guide listed pub in the middle of the village.  It is still in the Guide now, selling Black Sheep Best Bitter, Jennings Cumberland (one of my favourites) and Wells Bombardier.  The maps show yet another, the Victoria, but I can't say I noticed it on our visit although a Google search suggests it might have real ales these days having been "saved from closure by the locals" in 2011.  Hooray!

Tomorrow (or the next day) we'll start walking back to Crook and see what we can find.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Pubs and Jolly Good Ancestors in Crook, Durham

Today I felt like a change - I've been posting about my maternal 2x great grandfather for a while  (see the various William Satchell Hutton Master Mariners posts linked on my Family History Stories page) and I needed new inspiration.

I remembered that somewhere in the OH's old photo backup disks were pictures we had taken way back in 2003 on a long weekend holiday to Durham.  That was also the year we went to Beamish - and we are planning a return visit there later this year.  I was surprised to find so few photos of that holiday - I don't think we had mentally converted from film to digital at that point, so instead of snapping everything, like we do now, we appear to have been more selective.  I had wanted to go to Crook and Witton le Wear, places my ancestors had lived. 
The route  - follow red stars from Helmington Row to Witton le Wear
and green stars back to Crook (map from Bing Maps)
If we had the use of a car that weekend (and I can't remember if we did or not) we wouldn't have driven to Crook as we couldn't drink real ale (and that would be a crime!) so a public transport alternative was planned.  We decided to go on the Sunday of our holiday rather than the Monday as most pubs are open on Sundays, but in our experience some don't open in the daytime on Mondays, however that meant that the buses were limited as many routes run restricted services on Sundays.  The route (to the best of my memory) plotted on the map snip above just proves that 10 years ago my health was so, so much better.  It adds up to between 9 and 10 miles of mixed road and country footpath walking.

The first stop was Helmington Row, a small hamlet up the hill from Crook.  The bus comes from the east on the A690 from Durham.  This was where my grandfather William Satchel Hutton (the mariner's grandson) was born in 1905 - but we couldn't find "Church Hill, Helmington Row" as noted on his birth certificate - there isn't even a church, although there is a Church Street.  Further investigation today on Digimaps and in the 1911 census summary books on Ancestry has shown where I went wrong.  Helmington Row is the name of the district, which spreads west almost into the centre of Crook itself.  Church Hill is actually where the church with a tower symbol is just above my last green star in the centre of Crook.

Church Hill, Helmington Row, Crook in the 1890s (from Digimaps)
Can you see the dotted boundary running down the stream from top left to bottom left of centre?  It seems that everything to the right is technically in Helmington Row. 

Extract from the 1911 census summary books (from Ancestry)
Mr Hutton is enumerated eight down from the Balaclava Inn, which I think must be the Inn at the bottom of the street, right next to the stream, so miss two for the shops and count uphill ... ish. But at least I've got the right street this time!  It looks as if the original cottages are still there on Google Maps so that's us booked in for another visit to Crook this summer.  In the course of searching for more information on the Balaclava Inn, I found a wonderful site, created to help school children research the history of Crook and a site where you can download a history of Crook Co-op as a pdf or Kindle book.

Although my great grandfather, Joseph Bormond Hutton, is listed as a Coal Miner on the 1911 census in the 1901 census he is a Grocer's shopman in Crook and family stories say he was the manager of the Co-op there eventually.  As he was born in Sunderland he must have been sent to Crook or taken a job in Crook to further his progress in the Co-op, it follows on as we know he was a Grocer's Apprentice in Sunderland in 1891.  He and Sarah Ellen Nutley married in Hendon, Sunderland in 1900 suggesting that she was living there at that time - did she go to Sunderland to go into service?  Is that how they met?  Did he take the job in Crook so she would be nearer to her family? They had six children, all born in Crook between 1901 and 1918, four girls and two boys, my grandfather being the older of the two boys.

Back in 2003 - we walked down some footpaths towards the next port of call, Constantine Farm - heading towards a Good Beer Guide pub, the Red Lion at North Bitchburn.  Checking in the current Guide I see the pub is still listed with guest beers from smaller North Eastern breweries and a reputation for good food.
My family tree showing the parents and grandparents of my maternal grandfather's mother, Sarah Eleanor Nutley
Sarah Ellen (or Eleanor) Nutley and her family headed by James Nutley lived at Constantine Farm in 1881.  James Nutley is always listed as a Coal Miner so I don't know why they were living on a farm then.  The road the farm lane runs off is on the edge of a steep ridge which falls away south west to the Beechburn Beck at its foot.  As I recall it was a bit bleak and bare, just fields down to the next road.
A map snip showing the bank below Constantine (Farm) 1890s - Howden Colliery (from Digimaps)
Looking back at the old maps I can see that Howden Colliery filled the space between the ridge road and the valley bottom - this is probably where James Nutley worked.  The road running up from the Colliery to North Beechburn (Bitchburn) is a steep climb - but we only had to walk downhill, from the Red Lion, marked Inn at the bottom right of the map above, all the way to Howden le Wear.  By 1891 James Nutley had moved to Railway Street, North Bedburn - which is the road running north from Beechburn Stations to St Mary's Church.  There is only one clump of houses on that road on the maps - and corresponding ones still exist on Google Maps.
Railway Street, Howden le Wear (from Google Maps)
The houses on Railway Street now have a lovely view of a park, well a green space anyway.  That was were the railway was ... that green track runs all the way from its junction with the existing railway (the second of my green stars) up to Crook, cuttings filled in, embankments flattened.

On Digimaps (which I can access as an Open University student) I can jump back and forth by decades to compare maps.  Jumping back to the 1882 map Howden le Wear and the main bits of the colliery disappear!  There's just a bit of mine where it says Old Drift on the map above at the top centre.  Jumping forwards by the 1920s all there is left are the marks of the railway tracks on the hillside and a row of cottages at the foot of the hill called Howden Colliery - that didn't last long did it?  The Durham Mining Museum website says that Howden Colliery was mainly worked between the 1880s and its closure in 1907.  North Beechburn (or Bitchburn) Colliery just to the south appears to have had a longer life span - 1845 to 1967, possibly the men moved to there - they appear to be owned by the same overall company. 

There's a  pub called the Green Tree in the Good Beer Guide for Howden le Wear now, it wasn't in the book for 2003, so there's one to aim for on a future visit.  I may not be actually rewalking this journey today, but I'm tired and I think it's time to stop.  More tomorrow maybe.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Independence with a Disability - Little Things

I know I'm not very disabled, I can't hold down a job, or take part in the normal social activities I used to enjoy, but I can walk short distances before I have to lean on something or sit down and I can read and type so I can still talk to my friends by email and Facebook.  However today I had to go out - by myself - and it wasn't easy.

I was called at 11am today by the local hospital - it seems my GP was sufficiently concerned by my recent blood tests to refer me for a scan.  The hospital rang to ask if I could make a 4pm appointment today.  There was no reason why I couldn't - I wasn't even expecting the OH home for tea as it's a CAMRA meeting night so it didn't matter if I was home late.

Being cocooned at home for the past couple of years I've forgotten what it's like to have to go places by myself and it was the little things that really got me down this afternoon.

I set out at 3pm having put my OU essay to bed, mostly, with just a bit of tidying up and proof reading to do before submission on Thursday.  It isn't far to walk from our house to the bus stop, but then I noticed a bus coming down the road towards the stop.  This happened the other day when I was on my way to lunch with my friend GB - you might wonder how today was different to those trips - it's the destination that's different, I meet GB in a pub near a bus stop, there's no rush, no worry, if I'm late I know she'll wait and once we are settled in the pub I know I'm sitting down for 2 and a half hours near a toilet in the warm.  Anyway the bus was coming last week when I set out to see GB, but I let it go - I had plenty of time, I could wait for the next one.  That wasn't an option today - firstly it was the fact that I had a hospital appointment and they don't wait around, and secondly it was 3pm not 11am and the school children and rush hour traffic would be building up. 

So could I run for the bus? - don't be daft- I could dodder faster, but that's about my lot these days.  And I know if I do that I'll be paying for it the next day. Luckily there were a lot of people waiting, an indication that there hadn't been a bus down our road for a while, but it also meant that the doors were still open when I got level with them.  Hoorah!

Off to town ...  I have a bus pass, thanks to Barnsley Council and my previous GP, who agreed that my problems were sufficient to warrant one.  It occurred to me today that without the pass I would have had to withdraw £10 from the cash machine in Cudworth to pay for the bus fare as I have no money at home - I have no income since my ESA stopped last year.  I also wouldn't have been able to claim the bus fares back for a hospital visit as I'm not entitled to means tested benefits so the £4 for a day ticket would would have come out of our grocery money which is nearly in the red for this month.  I have another hospital appointment on Friday - so that would have been £8 this week - not enough to buy a weekly ticket (£11.50 from our stop) but a week's grocery money all the same. Phew, thank goodness I have the pass - but will it be renewed in 2015?

Off the bus at the bus station and I had to ask the interchange staff which bus to catch to the hospital as I couldn't seem to find the stands for the buses out of town in that direction, turned out I hadn't walked far enough - the Cudworth bus comes in at the high teens and I needed to be stand no. 5.  Take a seat - given funny looks by the college students and shoppers around me.  Well I don't look ill do I?

On the second bus - feeling sick by this time - the hospital clerk had told me to eat nothing before the appointment - I had had some toast before she phoned but she said I mustn't have anything else - it was now 3.20pm and my stomach was churning from the bus rides.

Off at the hospital - the X-ray department she had said.  Follow the signs - well, when there were signs, otherwise pivot on heel and try to work out which way not to go in the absence of positive guidance.  Lots of corridors - with hand rails some of them, so not so bad for the leaning.  Finally the X-ray department - there's only one woman at the reception desk and some people are in front of me - I stand and wait, I get dizzy, I tell the woman behind me I'm just going to sit down for a minute or two - she discovers she's in the wrong place and moves off and when the people at the  reception window are finished another man who I'm sure was there when I sat down gazumps me in the queue.  I shuffle my chair closer to the window to avoid this happening again - fortunately no-one else comes in, well it is nearly 4pm, most people seem to be going home, so when the man goes I get my turn. 

I'm send for another walk down some corridors - there are chairs at the end, so I manoeuvre past the other people waiting and sit down in front of Alan Titchmarsh doing chocolate tasting with the aid of of a "Wagon Wheel of Fortune".  Hmm.  Daytime TV - I have no time for that.  I do have a book in my bag so I get that out.  Unfortunately almost immediately my name is called and I have to put the book away and struggle out past the other bored waiting people who are all wondering (you can see it in their shuffles and glares) why my name was called before theirs.  Because I have to "take off all my top things and put on the gown, please".  Ok - they give you a plastic shopping basket, but it's not big enough for a winter coat, thick jumper, smart shirt and long sleeved t-shirt (and the underwear).  There's a wooden bench to sit on while you get undressed, but there's nowhere else to put your clothes while you do it so you have to stand up.  As I finally unfurled the gown I realised it wasn't one of those ones that shows off your bottom or that won't fasten round the front 'cos the ties have fallen off (can you tell I'm used to hospitals?), but a style I'd never seen before - like a thick canvas nightie, all in one, opening at the top, knee length on me.  Trying to get that on in a cubicle with a stiff shoulder whilst preventing my clothes from falling out of the too small shopping basket with my knee was fun - and painful.

Then some more waiting, a different set of chairs, tantalisingly near to a water fountain.  Bear in mind I hadn't had a drink since a mouthful of water when I took my tablets in the morning.

Eventually I was called into the room, balancing my overfull shopping basket.  I was invited to get up onto the couch - hmm, I'm only 5'2" and can't climb these days and there was no step ... fortunately the ultrasonographer was more observant than her assisting nurse and spotting me trying to hitch myself up onto the too high couch pressed something and lo and behold it sank behind me until it was low enough for me to sit on.  Double Hoorah!

Thereon followed 20 minutes or so of being pummelled like a lump of dough.  Trying to get readings of kidneys and liver around ribs can't be easy but the turning from side to side and "push your stomach out now", "deep breath in and hold" and so on were quite a work out.  The most painful bit was when she ventured lower down and was pootling around in my pelvic area, without the benefit of me having drunk several pints of water to give her a clear window to work though (remember, no fluid since 11am).  She finally finished and cleared up most of the sticky gel before telling me my results would take around a week to get back to my GP.  I then had to go back to the cubicle and reverse the process of struggling out of the canvas gown, attempting to remove the rest of the now very sticky gel and getting dressed without throwing my coat on the floor. 

I suppose I could have had a drink from the water fountain at this point, but as I still had to get home and the toilets in the bus station now charge 20p, which I didn't have, I didn't want to risk it.  So, long walk back to hospital exit - there are some nice photography society pictures on the walls to look at when you need to stop to have a lean - down the paths to the bus stop, luckily a very large stop with a big metal leaning seat, so I got a space to park myself and a bus turned up fairly quickly.

The ride into town was slow, it was now 4:45 and the rush hour had really kicked in.  I had a theoretical change of buses in the bus station, but oddly and happily the bus I came in on turned into a Shafton bus as I was getting off, so all I had to do was turn around and loiteron a seat for a while before getting back on it again, much to the bemusement of the bus driver - I am fairly conspicuous in my maroon Downton Abbey hat.

More traffic holdups on the way out of town and it was 5.30pm before I got home.  I think I was too happy to be heading home to feel as sick as I had on the way in - I was planning white, easily digestible food that would cook quickly as the bus crawled through Hoyle Mill and Cundy Cross.  Something I had eaten yesterday hadn't agreed and I had been awake early in the morning with the usual pains, so I wasn't going to chance anything fancy today.  However I don't know why, maybe the lack of fluids, maybe the bus rides, but now I had a thumping headache as well and when I had to get up to let the lady sat on my inside off the bus at Lundwood I was so dizzy I had to cling onto the support on the bus swinging like a pole dancer whilst she squeezed past. 

Home, and the OH had been and gone - the fliers he'd been doing for the next beer festival had vanished from the office floor.  So I zapped a fish pie and ate some chocolate shreddies and drank two glasses of water to wash down the co-codamol.  And then I thought about how hard that trip would have been if I'd have been as ill as I was the week before last when I first went to the doctors.  Hard ... it would have been impossible.  Those little irritating things would have been insurmountable mountains of angst.

So counting my blessings and crossing my fingers that all my insides are in fully working order ... I wish you a good night!  'Cos I'll be sleeping well tonight.

Update - Wednesday 27th Feb - Wrong - slept very badly. Waking frequently to change position as shoulders, legs and hands, either ached, twinged or went numb. QED exercise and fresh air - not as good an idea as the doctors think!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

School Mistress Project - FACHRS

Many years ago I took an Open University module called "Studying Family and Community History: 19th and 20th Centuries" or DA301 for short.  It was the first OU module I took and if you know anything about the OU you'll realise that with a 3 in the title like that it means it was a level 3 or third year Undergraduate module.  At the time I don't think I intended to take more - I just wanted to learn how to do Family History properly and doing a course seemed like the best way to learn.  The module no longer runs, the OU doesn't teach Family History any more - but DA301 did lead to the formation of a society, the Family and Community Historical Research Society or FACHRS.  It used to recruit from people who did DA301 - but that supply dried up, now it publishes books and runs stalls at Family History Fairs, and conducts mini-projects which all the members are invited to help with. I've been a member since it first began - and even though we, the OH and I, are cash poor at the moment, I decided I had to renew my membership for 2013 - I can't abandon them now, not after fifteen years.

Yesterday I received a newsletter from the Society.  I was invited to take part in a new mini-project and my assigned subject was Caroline Frudd, School Mistress in Barnsley in 1881.

School Mistress Project - Caroline Frudd

Caroline Frudd was born to William Frudd and Hannah (nee Theakston) in 1848 in Barnsley.
William Frudd (b. 1820) appears to have come from a fairly comfortable family in Barnsley, his father James was a Hairdresser or Barber and his brother Edward (b. 1816) was a Grocer, who in 1841 owned a gig and a “fine spirited” mare, as can be seen in the cutting below.
Leeds Times Saturday 3 April 1841 (from Find My Past - Newspapers)
In 1841 his mother Ann is listed as a Dressmaker living on Cheapside in Barnsley, the main shopping area.  Living in the household is a Elizabeth Theakston with several other young women, maybe as apprentices or shop girls.  However there were ‘troubles’ connected with the linen industry in Barnsley in the 1840s which may have caused the family financial problems (see the extract from Eli Hoyle decribing events in 1842 below) I'm not certain that this is our Mr Frudd, but it seems likely it is the same family.  In the 1841 census William is living with Thomas Cliffe, a draper in Huddersfield as a shopman.  He appears to go into the drapery business in partnership with a Thomas Broadbent in Barnsley, but an entry in the London Gazette for 1845 shows that their partnership was dissolved.

11. The agitation culminated in May in a large public meeting of weavers being held on May Day Green, on Monday (the 8th). The meeting was called to give efficiency to the strike of the weavers employed by the firm of Haxworth, Carnelley, and Co., which firm persisted in reducing the wages of weavers of that kind of cloth about 3s in the pound. Mr. Richard Taylor presided, and the first resolution was moved by Frank Mirfield, and seconded by John Shaw, that “in the opinion of the meeting the attempt of Messrs. Haxworth and Co., to reduce the wages was cruel in the extreme, and injurious to both employers and employed.” It was also resolved that the meeting should use its utmost endeavors to prevent the reduction. Mr. Frudd, linen manufacturer, failed early in June to the extent of several thousand pounds.
From Eli Hoyle's Barnsley From Early Times (transcribed by Phil Norman from the Barnsley Chronicle)

William somehow meets Hannah Theakston from Ripon, whose sister Elizabeth is by 1851 a self-employed milliner employing 4 apprentices.  This is very likely to be the same Elizabeth Theakston who was living with William’s mother in 1841.  Did Hannah come to Barnsley or William to Ripon?  The Frudd family turn out to have several links to Ripon.
Leeds Times Saturday 17 January 1846 (Find My Past - Newspapers)
They marry in 1846 in Ripon Cathedral and the wedding was reported in the Leeds Times, note the occupation of Hannah's father - "of the Crown Inn".

William’s sister Elizabeth Frudd (b. 1823) marries Joseph Scales, a Linen Draper from Manchester at St Mary's, Barnsley in 1848.  A business connection maybe?  She is later mentioned as one of the administrators of her sister Ann's (b.1813) estate along brother William.

Probate Calendar Entry for Ann Frudd (d.1886) - (from Ancestry)
In 1851 Edward Frudd, William’s brother, is living in Ripon where he is an Inn Keeper.  He married Isabella Theakston in the Leeds area in 1847.  This seems quite a coincidence – Hannah is the daughter of M.Theakstone of the Crown Inn and as we will soon see Edward is running the Crown in 1871.  It seems a good guess Isabella is Hannah’s sister, and Edward takes over the pub on his father-in-law's death or illness.

William and Hannah live in Barnsley for a while where William continues business as draper.  Caroline is born in 1848 and her sister Elizabeth in 1849 to “William Frudd, Draper” according to their baptism records at St Mary’s church. 
London Gazette 11 April 1851 (from the London Gazette Archive)
But then another London Gazette entry shows William is declared bankrupt in early 1851.  In the 1851 census the family are living in Ripon with Hannah’s sister Elizabeth.  William’s son, James Edward Frudd is born in Ripon in the fourth quarter of 1851 – possibly October, but the date on his gravestone is unreliable.  So it wasn’t just a visit to Ripon, Hannah at least stayed long enough to have her baby.

An item in the Leeds Intelligencer in May 1851 leads me to suspect that William's bankruptcy was a bit 'tactical' as he appeared in court without his balance sheets, a tactic designed to seek and adjournment so that he could "go to York and get whitewashed under the Insolvent Act". 

William Frudd is listed in an 1855 Trade Directory as a Linen and Woolen Draper of Cheapside, Barnsley - so he's back in business less than four years later!

By 1861 the family are at 7 Eastgate, however William is now a Commercial Traveller in Spirits.  His brother Edward is living at 14 Eastgate, having returned from Ripon, and he is a Spirit Merchant – so William has joined his brother’s business temporarily.  In the 1862 Trade Directory Edward’s firm is listed as “Edward Frudd and Co, Wholesale Spirit and Porter Merchants, George Yard, Market Hill” with his home at 14 Eastgate.  William is listed as a Spirit Merchant, and cross referenced to his brother’s firm. 

1871 Census for 42 Church Street, Barnsley (from Ancestry)
In 1871 William is once more a Draper, the whole family is living at 42 Church Street.  According to a Trade Directory for Sheffield and Barnsley in 1871 Hannah Frudd was running a Ladies’ Academy on Church Street.  This was probably where Caroline and Elizabeth were also teaching.  In the same Trade Directory William’s address is given as 44 Church Street – a typo or house at one number, business at the other?

Edward Frudd has gone back to Ripon by 1871 and is once more an Innkeeper, this time of the Crown Inn, on Water Skellgate, the very pub mentioned in the marriage announcement of his brother in 1846.  His wife Isabella dies in the Ripon area in 1873, they have no children.

Elizabeth, Caroline’s sister dies in 1874 aged 24 – she is buried at St Mary’s church in Barnsley.

1889 map of St Mary's Gate, Barnsley
In the 1879 Trade Directory the William Frudd’s have moved to 1 St Mary’s Gate.  There are two separate entries, Mr William Frudd and Mrs Hannah Frudd, Ladies Day School.  St Mary’s Gate is a prestigious address near the parish church, there are only two houses on the street and the old Manor House which is listed as number 3.  No occupation is listed for William in the Trade Directory and in the 1881 census he gives his occupation as Unemployed Draper.  Both his wife Hannah and daughter Caroline are listed as School Mistresses in 1881.

Edward Frudd, William’s brother and Caroline’s uncle dies in Barnsley in 1885.  His brother William is his only executor.  Unlike his siblings he does not appear to leave much in the way of personal effects in his will, however he may have disbursed his property to other members of the family before his death.  Sister Ann dies next in 1886 - maybe that is why a large sum is mentioned in her probate entry.  Both Edward and Ann are buried in St George's churchyard in Barnsley.  The inscription on their gravestone can be found transcribed on the Barnsley Family History Society site.

William Frudd dies in May 1890 and Hannah in December the same year. William leaves £1,642 personal estate in his will.  William and Hannah are both buried from St Mary’s church.  Many of the stones in this churchyard have been laid down and I am not aware of any transcriptions.

In the 1891 census the occupiers of 1 St Mary’s Gate are “Away from Home” and I cannot find them anywhere else in the English census.  Did James Edward and his sister go aboard?  I can find no further mention of the school or the drapery business in the Barnsley Trade directories.

In the 1901 and 1911 census James Edward Frudd and Caroline Frudd are still living at 1 St Mary’s Gate.  They are living on private means, neither have married.  A “hospital nurse” is living in the household in 1911, maybe for Caroline as she dies in May 1911 aged 62.  She is buried in St George’s churchyard and is remembered on her uncle Edward’s gravestone.

Probate Calendar Entry for Caroline Frudd (from Ancestry)
Caroline’s probate index entry shows she leaves personal effects of £7,805 – a lot of money in 1911.  Looking back, her aunt Ann Frudd leaves £5,445 in 1886.  Her brother lives on at 1 St Mary’s Gate until 1938, when he dies leaving a substantial sum - around £2 million in modern terms!

For the purposes of the FACHRS mini-project I only had to find out what sort of teacher Caroline was and for how long, look up her birth and death and follow her and her family thorough the census returns to see what sort of social class they came from or moved into.  Did she marry (no), were others in her family teachers (yes), did she move around the country from school to school (no)?  I've done that and submitted my results to the project co-ordinator, but now I have so many other questions ...

Where did they get the money? Did the drapery business turn out well after the initial hiccups?  Was the Ladies' Academy and/or Ladies Day School a real money spinner?  I do really look forward to the Barnsley Archives reopening so I can investigate further.  I'll let you know if I find out more.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

My Master Mariner's Family Grows

I've not been well I'm afraid - but I'm on the mend now.  Three weeks of being more and more tired, banging headaches for a couple of days, pains when I eat for two weeks, I think I've lost another four pounds because of that.  Now I'm in the pacing myself part of recovery - I can do things, wash the dishes, make the bed, hoover, prepare the OH's tea, if I keep it to about half an hour and then rest for a while.  Today I return to the Drs for the results of the first batch of blood tests - she couldn't fit them all on the form so I expect another set next week.  The stronger painkillers have helped me sleep without the sick thought of too much paracetamol.  It's long past the point of worrying if I'm having too much codeine!  I'm sure that sleeping better is helping the other symptoms subside. 

I've handed on some of my GBBF (Great British Beer Festival) duties to a friend, so I don't have to go dashing off to London for a meeting for a month or so. I've made my apologies to the Cudworth History Group - I know they only meet in the local library, but I've been too ill to get there for several weeks.  I have a talk coming up for the Friends of Barnsley Archives, but I've another two weeks to get well enough to do that.  Cross fingers.

My next OU essay is due in on 28th February, so I have a week to do that - it's not too onerous, the essay plan was approved, it's just a matter of filling in 1500 words of analysis, ie dissecting the course book and pulling in a few bits of the readings as supporting evidence.  So I have a plan - take it easy - do what is necessary and not a jot more!

Today I thought I'd continue the tale of William Satchell Hutton, my 2x great grandfather.  Last time I had covered the years 1862-1870, he's got his Master Mariner's certificate now, two little daughters and another child on the way ...

It's 1871 - a census year - and on the 2nd April William is at home at 18 Bedford Street.

1871 Census for 18 Bedford Street, Bishopwearmouth (from Ancestry)
There are William, a Master Mariner, his wife Ann, the two girls, Annie and Jane, plus two visitors - Hector W Matthewson and Jane S Smith.  I don't know who Hector is (yet!), but Jane S Smith is Ann's sister - look at the details of their place of birth, Haswell in Durham and her age fits with Jane Sarah Smith, last spotted in 1861 with the rest of the Smith family in Walker, Northumberland. 

[I'm just nipping off to look up Jane Sarah Smith on FreeBMD - won't be a mo.
Ah, ha - she marries Hector White Matthewson in the December quarter of 1873 - so he's her fiance in 1871.  Oh dear, cross referencing with the list of burials in Walker I got from the Walker Churchyard Memorial Group she dies in April 1877.  No surviving children. Hector remarries in 1883.]

However the Huttons appear to be sharing the house with two other families headed by a joiner called James Elsdon and a mariner, William Ridling.  From the looks of Bedford Street in my survey of William's homes the houses weren't particularly large. 

Map of Bedford Street in 1857 (from Durham Images)
The houses appear to number from the bottom right of the street, as the Garrick's Head is number 2, then upwards, across to the Turf at number 15 and then back down the left hand side to 23, the last house before the Slate Yard.  That makes number 18 the third house down from the Turf on the left hand side of the street.  It is possible the lines mark subdivisions in the property - maybe the Huttons are living in one section of the house - I wonder how many rooms they had?

Ann's new baby was born on 6th May 1871 - a boy who was named William Satchell Hutton after his father.   William snr does not appear rush back to sea, the next ship I have him on is as the Mate on the City of London (47458), a screw steamer from Glasgow, in 1873, returning from America on 8th May.  I can't find a record of this ship in Lloyd's Register of Shipping for 1872 or 1873.  Steam ships appear to be listed at the end of the Register - maybe it is not complete for those years?  Crew lists exist at the Maritime History Archive in Newfoundland, but at $40+, at least £25 plus the copying and postage I think that might have to wait until I come into some serious money! 

William's last child, Joseph, is born in December 1873, so he was conceived around March.  This suggests William's trip on the City of London can't have started until after that - provided he's the father of course! 

Birth Certificate for Joseph Bormond Hutton, 1873
As Joseph is my great grandfather I have his birth certificate.  He was born at 18 Bedford Street, the same address as in the 1871 census.  His father's occupation is Seaman, Captain Merchant Service, now Mate on a Screw Steamer.  A good summary of his career so far although I have only found him as Captain of one ship!

William snr takes a position as Mate on the Daisy (58797), another screw steamer on 27th December 1873, so he's waited for the child to be born and then he's off again.  This time he is working nearer to home, in trade with France, Portugal and Spain.  He stays with the Daisy on a voyage to the Baltic until March the following year and then I have another gap as his next entry in the Captain's Register is a discharge in England in January 1875 from the Weardale (58095), a steamer in the Coasting Trade.  I wonder if the entries only show when he is a Mate - so in the missing months he may have signed on as an ordinary seaman? 

William's next post is as Mate on the Moorsley (62647), another screw steamer, from June 1875 to December 1876.  Its home port is Sunderland and it trades mainly in the Baltic and the Coastal Trade.  William is staying close (ish) to home, I have notes for several voyages that only last a few weeks. 

At some point between 1874 and 1881 the family move to Mordey Street, probably number 23 as this is the house number where William is listed in Kelly's Directory in 1883.

A snip of the 1955 map of Bishopwearmouth showing William's houses highlighted.  (from Durham Images)
The family were in Addison Street, upper right on the map above, in 1865, then they had moved to Bedford Street (just less than a mile north of this map) by 1871, by 1881 they were in Mordey Street, over on the left of this map, and by the time of William's death in 1887 they were living in Bramwell Street, to the right, centre.  Also on this map is Ward Terrace, where William was born in 1838, lower centre.  It feels odd to my modern mind that they stay in the same vicinity for so long - but handy for the port and William's work I suppose.

Between 1877 and 1882 William serves as the Mate on the screw steamer, Emerald (62649), home port Sunderland.  In fact he is enumerated on the ship in 1881. 

1881 census for the Emerald, somewhere off Essex (from Ancestry)
William S Hutton is listed as the Chief Officer of the SS Emerald in the 1881 census return pictured above.  The captian is Andrew Scott and searching for the words Emerald and Scott brings back a lot of hits in the old newspapers on Find My Past.  The ship mainly engages in the Baltic and Coasting Trade. 

From December 1882 William moves to the Celsus (62698), again as Mate.  He serves in the Baltic Trade again until July 1883.  The final voyage listed in the Captain's Register is as Mate on the Remembrance (85009) to the Mediterranean in July 1884. 

Did he serve on further vessels as an ordinary seaman, or was he beginning to feel the effects of the stomach cancer that would kill him?  We don't know.  He would have seen his children grow up - Annie the eldest was 24 years old when William died, Joseph the youngest was 13 - so if he'd been going to sea like his father and uncles he'd have been old enough to go by then.  William jnr had probably started working his way up the ranks of the railway, he was a messenger in 1891 and a locomotive fireman in 1901.  Joseph, my great grandad, became a grocer's apprentice. Was neither boy tempted to follow their father to sea?  I wonder why not?  Had the role changed so much since the days of sail, was it not adventure anymore - just a routine slog on a steamer? 

William Satchell Hutton died on the 14th February 1887 at 9 Bramwell Street in Bishopwearmouth - he was only 48 years old.  His wife Ann survived him for 38 years and when she dies in 1925 her occupation is given as "Widow of William Satchell Hutton, a Master Mariner".  I think there's family pride there ... he sailed from Sunderland to Constantinople, to America and the West Indies, he knew sailing ships and the very early steamers ... he left his family settled and reasonably comfortable, a vast improvement on his childhood, leaving home to go to sea at the age of 12 to help support his mother who had been deserted by her soon to be bigamous husband.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Barnsley Soldiers in the First World War

Last year, when I was volunteering in the Barnsley Archives I asked about giving talks for the Friends of the Archives Group.  After a bit of checking around and such like I ended up offering to do a talk on Barnsley Soldiers in the First World War and they fitted me in the slot for the 11th March 2013.  That link you just passed goes to the Barnsley Town Talk page entry for my talk.  Well, I have to get better for that, it's a great incentive.

WW1 recuiting poster
Being a family historian that turned into a local historian I'll be covering Barnsley's take on the First World War from the view point of 3 of our lads who didn't come back and their families. 

I've got suggestions about what sort of things to look out for if you want to know more, a gallop through some of the records available in the Barnsley Archives (when it reopens) and on the internet and some information on taking a trip to see the Battlefields and War Graves in France and Belgium for yourselves.

It will be the first time I've done a public talk, but I did quite a few for the Barnsley Family History Society whilst I was on the committee there.  My background is in IT training and support - so you can depend on my Powerpoint working - and I recently did a teaching course.  I hope my talk won't be a lesson though!  My aim to provide an enjoyable and informative evening out.

See you there!

Is it that time again? 6am and I are old friends.

Yesterday we had some traumatic post - well traumatic for me in my current less than excellent condition. 

Having trouble typing this morning - add that to the list of symptoms. 

Our insurance company, Zurich, announced they wouldn't cover the old house (that's the one we haven't sold yet ... ) any more and the council warned that as the house will have been empty for two years during the next payment period - starting April - our council tax will be going up 50% .

Wow, just typed that exactly backwards %05 - funny the tricks your mind plays.

So if anyone out there would like a really nice, reasonably priced 3 bed terraced house within a short walking distance of Barnsley please, please get in touch ...

I wore myself to a shred phoning around insurance companies trying to get another deal on insurance for unoccupied property - one firm that specialises in insurance for unusual cases, for example, thatched roofed properties, stopped talking to me when I declared the claim we had two years ago for the hole in the bedroom ceiling.  Fortunately, Swinton, (bless you S - whoever you are) were able to offer not only a decent price, but also a considerable saving on the insurance for our current house, which was with Zurich as well, allowing me the enormous pleasure of ringing them back and cancelling both policies.

After all that excitment I was so tired that when the OH tried to explain something technical to me, about the new Local Guide possibly, I sort of couldn't even hear what he was saying because my mind had turned off.  I could see his mouth moving, but the words were just meaningless buzzy things.  He changed the subject - I think he realised I'd gone blank - and I did follow his semi-rant about the lack of communication in his boss's office. 

So not gone completely gaga then.

He made tea, thank goodness, and then I went to sleep, for about an hour and a half I think.  It was only 9:30pm when I woke up anyway.  And that was it - look, I'm still here, still awake and now it's 6:15am the next day.  I must have had another 3/4 of an hour at around 2am as when I gave up on reading (couldn't concentrate) and playing patience (shoulder hurt too much to hold the phone) I plugged in my mp3 player and I missed the 12 tracks inbetween American Pie and Tie Your Mother down. 

The trouble is I'm really tired - gritty eyes, can't concentrate enough to read, typing a mess, but not to the point of yawning and going to sleep.  I think I broke myself again waiting for the parcel with the guides to come yesterday (oophs, no the day before yesterday now), pushing to stay awake all day scared I'd miss the man, the same man who'd called on Monday when we were both in and who neither of us had heard at the door.  We found the card 15 minutes later ... I read, I yawned, I read aloud, that worked for a while, I ate chocolate, I sat on a hard upright chair, I walked around, I read some more, I yawned some more, I posted on Facebook, I walked around, I yawned ... finally the man came at 3:25pm and then I had no trouble keeping my eyes open 'cos I had one of the OH's new guides to proof read.  I'd pushed myself through the point of being sleepy and back into being awake.

Today I have an appointment with my GP, or "Locum, Locum" as it says on their online booking form.  I intend to explain that for the past nearly three weeks I haven't been at all well and it's not getting better.  Please give me more painkillers and another bottle of the stuff for my dry eyes ... and could you possibly consider referring me for more tests for my tiredness? 

About three years ago, when the occupational health doctor at SHU was trying to get me retirement due to ill health, the doctor at the pension authority said that my tiredness would be sorted by exercise and some cognitive behaviour therapy and that as I was going to get better quick sharp I couldn't be retired.  Well, here I am, an afternoon walking around the shops sends me back to bed for a week, a trip to a meeting in London makes me sleep for three days, and letters about money make me cry.  Not back at work am I? 

Ahh, the cat has just woken up, it must be her breakfast time - as usual inconvieniently just before the OH's alarm goes off and he has to get up anyway. 

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Sentimental Sunday - how Cousin Catching has changed

A fellow blogger has posted that a previously unknown cousin has contacted her via a comment on Google+ due to her blogs.  That's the best kind of comment for a genealogist I should think and the excitement that would cause must be very similar to the buzz we used to get when we found one obscure record in a Archives after a day of searching through microfiche and musty documents.

It made me wonder how our hobby has changed over the years with the growth of the Internet, sites like Ancestry and Find My Past and, of course, blogs.

Way back (goodness I sound old ... it's only 20 years for me though) when I first started this I joined an assortment of Family History Societies and posted help wanted/offered and family links adverts as recommended.  Living in South Yorkshire but having most of my own family from the North East I joined the Northumberland and Durham FHS and the Cumbria FHS to begin with.  I remember the thrill of seeing my words in print and the nail biting wait to see if anyone would answer.  Several people did - and many letters and packets of certificates and census images crossed in the post. Remember this was pre the days of the census on the internet - you could only get local census records at your local libraries - the only place to go for the whole country was Chancery Lane in London.

I would return the favours by looking up family in Sheffield Archives for people who wrote to me and I joined the Sheffield FHS.  Most of my first husband's family, the family of my children, came from Sheffield so I made more links through that society.  Another  society I joined for that family was the Isle of Axholme FHS, and I wrote my first ever article for them in 1997.

It strikes me, going to the various websites to collect the URLs for this post, that Family History Societies haven't changed that much over the years, despite their very professional looking sites.  They sell information on CDs and DVDs now instead of in paper booklets, and Members' Interests are available on the web instead of in the journals, but in the main they remain experts on their locality and the prime source of information and links for anyone with family roots in their area.  Being volunteers they are willing to give time to queries that local studies librarians just can't afford, and the spirit of getting the knowledge out there so more and more people can access it has not gone away.  Recently I was sent a CD of burial records by the Walker Churchyard Memorial Group which has helped me find out a lot more about my Harle ancestors in a place that I'm not ever likely to visit - it being 120 miles from here and having no real ale pubs for the OH that I can see!

I posted my own family trees on the web some years ago.  This was after an abortive trial of Genes Reunited one quiet pre-Christmas lunchtime at work, which resulted in people contacting me to say they must be related as they had a Mary Taylor in their tree.  When I asked which one, as I had at least twelve scattered across the country from Carlisle to Castleford, they soon lost interest.  Posting my own info meant that people could see what information I had and would only contact me if they were really sure.  Not that I'd rule out Genes Reunited again one day, but I'd post a small segment of a tree, fishing for some particular links, not the whole lot this time!  I've also tried Lost Cousins - a site where you enter your ancestors as they appeared in 1881 and if anyone else has the same entries they can contact you.  I did get one real contact from that ...

It's probably me, but my cousins don't stay caught - I'm not very good at keeping in touch with people, except possibly on Facebook, and that is often a step too far for older relatives and friends - they've heard too many bad things about it.  I have a couple of FB friends who are also cousins  - but we rarely exchange genealogical information these days.  I never did enjoy those first meetings with a new cousin over a cup of coffee or whatever - far too scary for me.  However a regular exchange of letters was something warming and pleasant to look forward to.  I think I lost touch with a lot of penfriend cousins when I went back to work full time in the early noughties.  I just didn't have the time to write chatty letters on a regular basis and email was only just coming into use.  Scarily some at least have passed away now - that's the trouble with a hobby that attracts older people.

Sometimes I succumb to commenting on people's trees on Ancestry - especially if they have something about my family so totally wrong it's worrying.  I hit on someone on My Heritage who claimed to be connected the other day - but she had the wrong town, the wrong occupation and one family member dying before he was born.  I don't think I've ever had a response to those comments.  They probably think I'm a nosey busy body, but I'm just trying to help!

A friend asked me last week how he could send a stamped addressed envelope to Canada in attempt to contact a cousin - of course British stamps wouldn't be any good, did I have any ideas?  I suggested an International Reply Coupon - I remember them from the 'olden' days.  However it seems they have been discontinued in this country at least so it was back to square one for my friend.  I think he's going to write anyway, with fingers crossed that the cousin either a) has an email address and responds that way, or b) is interested enough to stand the postage back to England for the reply.  So what is the accepted way of cousin catching by post these days?

In my own family a possible cousin contacted me yesterday (or the day before - the brain is rather fuzzy this week) about Frederick Elstob Hutton, my 3x great grandfather.  I think he must have found either my web pages or this blog, but he didn't say which, making it hard to know what to send him, but I duly replied with links to all the relevant bits of both.  I haven't even had a swift 'thanks' or a 'I'll get back in touch when I've processed this info'.  Ho, hum.

Update 14 Feb 2013: this gentleman has been in touch now and thanked me - but also says he's too busy with work and caring for grandchildren to take up genealogy in a serious way ... so I guess he won't be buying the certificate we need to prove/disprove the possible link.  At least he wrote back. 

To be honest it did take me over a year to update the Micklethwaite information on one of my web trees after a contact from the relevant One Name Study.  But that's because it was on my ex-husband's branch which isn't at the top of my to do list.  A recent contact with a closer cousin resulted in some extra information and some requests for deletions that I did within a day, so I'm not always so tardy.

We put everything out there on the Internet to try to attract people, but they dip in and out at will, taking what they want and making little effort to check their information and the sources.  I do worry about the mess we are creating for our own descendants, will they believe everything they see on the web 'cos it's in print so it must be right?

All in all I think Cousin Catching has become a much quicker, sharper experience than it was in the days of adverts in magazines (that might take months to be published), big brown envelopes in the post and postage stamps (60p for a First Class stamp yesterday, I had to lean on the Post Office counter in shock!)  I still don't want to actually meet my cousins but a more regular exchange of information on the latest hatches, matches and dispatches would be nice.  

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Sorting Saturday - William Hutton Wordle

I saw this on someone else's Sorting Saturday Post and really liked it.

On the Wordle site you can either enter the title of your blog or paste in a whole batch of words.  I tried it with my blog but because I've done two posts in the last couple of days about the Bailey Family in Pendlebury those words came out the largest. 

I decided to paste in the text of one of the posts about my Hutton Family and chose the first one I did about William Hutton the Master Mariner.  I hoped that had more words that would feel important to me.

Wordle based on my William Hutton blog post (from Wordle)
Once it has thought about the words the relative sizes don't change, but by clicking the Randomise button you can try different arrangements, fonts and colours.  This one, in an Olde English style seems to suit the history element of my blog. 

It's the sort of thing you can stare at for ages - look there's his birth date down at 7 o'clock - Ancestry, highlighted in larger font at 1 o'clock, William is the largest of course, oddly Hutton is only medium sized in the middle, right next to Master.

Well I like it!

Here's a link to a page with some of my other blog wordles.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Who else shares my birthday?

Today is my birthday - according to Facebook posts I share it with Charles Dickens the author.  And my good friend from school FM - not only the same day but the same year - so glad I found her again via Facebook after all these years!

I use Family Historian to store my family tree information and one of the reasons that I like it so much is that you can customise it to suit your own requirements.  I thought I'd have a look to see who else in my extended families shares today with me as any kind of anniversary.  Some family tree programs provide this functionality built in, but as it is a bit frivolous I suppose the designers of Family Historian thought that if we wanted it we would work it out for ourselves - unless I'm missing something of course!

The easiest way to design a new query in Family Historian is to start with an existing one and change it to suit your needs.  I found one that brought back All Facts - so every birth, marriage, death, immigration, emigration, accident, joining the army, writing a will, entry in a census return or service at sea that I've ever entered in my family tree.  Then I amended it to require the entry of a parameter before it ran - and made this number of month and number of day.

Defining the Columns that will display in the Results

Defining which records to retrieve, ie Only Facts which satisfy the Parameter Criteria

Pop Up Parameter Box which displays when Run Arrow is clicked

The Results for 7th February on my Family Tree - with Living people hidden
So not a particularly busy day the 7th Feburary over the years.  My birthday - that's the top hidden result, my parents' wedding two years to the day before I was born, that's the next one down, two other births and a couple of other things. 

I tried the same query on the OH's tree and got even fewer results.  
Results for 7th February from my OH's Family Tree - NB the double entries for Burial and Grave Location
If you compare this to the results I was getting for things that happened around Christmas, 30+ baptisms and 20+ marriages between my tree and the OH's you can see that 7th February is quite a quiet sort of day. 

Finally to add to the birthday list I had a quick Google - it seems today is also shared by Eddie Izzard (only one year younger than me), Hattie Jaques, Dick Emery, Pete Postlethwaite and Alan Lancaster (the bass player from Status Quo) amongst many more.