Eliza Crawford

We’ve discovered that George Sherratt (my maternal grandmother’s father) was born in Perrey Street, Runcon in 1873 – his parents being William Sherratt and Eliza Sherratt nee Crawford. My mum’s middle name was Crawford and the story was that there was some link to the Crawford family of biscuit fame (see Custard Creams and Bourbons) but it was never clear to anyone quite what the link was.

Eliza is the first Crawford to turn up in the family tree investigation, so has obviously become the center of attention. I’ve now sent for William and Eliza’s marriage certificate so we can continue back up the tree, unfortunately their ages both put their date of birth around 1837 – the start of civil registration – so there’s a chance we’ll have to resort to parish records for birth certificates.

A trawl through the 1871 census has thrown up the Sherratt family living at No. 16 Perrey Street – George obviously wasn’t around at this point but he doesn’t seem to be short of elder siblings. The cenus shows Louisa (10), James (8), Thomas (5), William (3) and Emma (6 months – strangely listed as a son!) all living with them along with a boarder going by the name James Crawford. We don’t know too much about James as yet, other than he’s aged 63 and a widower – there must be a fair chance it’s Eliza’s father, but until we get the wedding certificate we won’t know for sure.

The search for the biscuit millions looks like it my prove fruitless however, as his occupation is simply given as labourer – not wealthy biscuit baron… 😀


A Car Sold and a House For Sale

We’ve sold the Rover 75 to a very nice retired gentleman from Livingston who was highly delighted with his purhase, I’m sure my dad would have approved!

The house is on the market now too – Edwards Grounds have it on their website already, lets hope they can sell it for us.

On the genealogy front we’ve made a bit of progress tracking down the Crawford link. We’ve received George Sherratt’s (my maternal grandmother’s father!) birth certificate which show’s his mother’s maiden name to be Crawford – we’d always assumed it had come down a different branch. Time to do a bit more digging to establish whether we’re entitled to that lifetime supply of biscuits…

Elizabeth Ann Ashcroft

Now that we’ve tracked William Holmes, my dad’s maternal grandfather, and his family back as far as Mostyn in North Wales it’s time to dig a bit further down a different branch.

We know that William Holmes married Elizabeth Ann Ashcroft, my dad’s maternal grandmother, in 1897 and that she was born in 1873 to Thomas Ashcroft and Ann Colquitt – but not much more than that.

Time to send for some birth certificates to find out more…

The Holmes Family

We’ve made some progress on our investigations of the Holmes family – and it turns out that the Ellis we found on Anglesey was a complete red herring!

Searching through the 1861 Census the family have turned up living in Tranmere but the key bit of information this has given us is their ages – this census shows William Holmes (the head of the household) to be 42 and Margaret Holmes (his wife) to be 35.

The 1871 Census was never very clear – someone had drawn a line right through his age – but it looked very much like he was 32 and considerably younger than his wife Margaret. Now we can be reasonably confident that his age in 1871 was actually 52 and so other things start to make much more sense.

For example Ellis Holmes – the eldest son – is shown as 23 on the 1871 Census and would therefore have been far too old to have been William’s son. Now we can resonably assume that Ellis is the son of both William and Margaret and we’re not looking for some third party to explain the discrepancy in their ages.

More good news is that the place of birth for both Margaret and Ellis is actually legible on this Census – both are shown as being born at Mostyn, Denbighshire on the North Wales coast.

As both William and Margaret were born long before Civil Registration in England and Wales, this at least gives us a starting point when delving into the world of Parish Registers…

Martha Cross

Another birth certificate arrived this morning, this time for Sarah Ellen Cross – my mum’s maternal grandmother.

As reported earlier there was a bit of mystery surrounding Sarah, we thought she was the daughter of Richard Cross and Sarah Burgess but on the 1881 Census she’s listed as being their niece. Well the certificate that arrived this morning show’s her mother to have been Martha Cross (who at this stage I’m assuming is Richard’s sister) but no father is listed.

Sarah Ellen was born in 1873 in Chorlton upon Medlock and on the 1871 Census i’ve found a Martha Cross born in Plumley in 1841 (where Richard Cross lived) who was a general servant to the Brown family at what looks like Brislington Villa in Victoria Park, Rushholme – a neighbouring district.

The plot thickens… 😀

Margaret Williams

We’ve finally got the birth certificates for John and William Holmes from the Holmes family we found living in Bebington on the 1871 census – and it’s at least confirmed that we’ve definitely got the right family.

Unfortunately it’s shown their mother’s maiden name to be Margaret Williams – and as just about all we know about her is that she was born somewhere in Wales (there’ll not be that many Williams in Wales will there?) around 1827 (conveniently before the start of Civil Registration) this could turn into a bit of a dead end. The only possible lead we have is the eldest son on the 1871 census – Ellis Holmes.

He’s listed as 23 years of age, which is only 13 years younger than William Holmes – which would suggest to me that he maybe William wasn’t the father!

He’s also shown as being born in Wales like his mum, and is listed as ‘Crippled from Birth’ – which may explain why Margaret left Wales and married a labourer from the Wirral.

After a length search I can find no Ellis Holmes on the index of births, but there is an Ellis Williams registered in Carnarvon (born on Angelsey) at around the right time. It could be a completely different Ellis, but it’s probably worth sending for the certificate to find out…

Sarah Ellen Cross

The first signs of something out of the ordinary on my mum’s branch of the tree have surfaced.

Her maternal grandmother, Sarah Ellen Cross, was believed to be the daughter of Richard Cross and Sarah Burgess – and indeed on her marriage certificate she gives Richard Cross as the name of her father.

However on the 1881 census, whilst she appears living with Richard & Sarah Cross in Lostock Gralam near Northwich, she is listed as Richard’s niece – and her birthplace is given as Manchester.

Richard & Sarah and all their offspring where born in several small villages around Northwich – Lostock Gralam, Lach Dennis & Nether Peover – there’s certainly no indication they ever made it as far as Manchester.

Searching the index of births I’ve found a Sarah Ellen Cross born in Chorlton in 1873 – it may not be our Sarah but she’s the right age so we’ll have to send for the Birth Certificate to find out.