Friday, March 2, 2018

The Family of Samuel Hughes and Ann Hill Hughes

     When I last visited my genealogy website  I saw that the page for my paternal great great great grandparents, Samuel Hughes and Ann Hill Hughes is "currently under construction".  Well, now I have enough documentation to construct a proper web page; however, I can no longer access the editor section to add the new information.  Thank goodness for Flipside.

     The Hughes/Hill story begins in Wordsley, a small village in the Kingswinford Parish, Staffordshire, England.  Other place names that surround Wordsley are Dudley, Brierley Hill, Kinver and Stourbridge.  I continue to bump into these places whenever I am researching the early lives of both families.

     Samuel Hughes was born in 1830, the son of William Hughes and Mary Bourne.  He joined an older brother, John, in a home located in the village of Wordsley, Kingswinford Parish, Staffordshire County, England.  Samuel was baptized on May 16, 1830 in Kingswinford Parish, Staffordshire County, England.  While Samuel was living at home, three additional siblings were added.  Two additional children were born after Samuel married.

     Samuel's father was a boatman hauling products up and down the Stourbridge Canal.  It appears that when Samuel became of age to work, he joined his father as a boatman, probably assisting him with the family boat.  Samuel is listed as a boatman at age nineteen on his 1849 marriage certificate.

     Ann Hill was born about 1831.  I have not been able to track down her birth record.  I am estimating it from census and death documents.   There is a baptism document for an Ann Hill with her parents listed as William and Ann Hill dated December 31, 1835.  This is probably too late for a baptism if she was born around 1831.  Her parents were William Hill and Ann Parry.  In 1841, the Hill family was living in Wordsley, on the Green and William is listed as a laborer.  Ann joined three older brothers at home,  On the 1849 marriage certificate of Samuel Hughes and Ann Hill, Ann's father is listed as a boatman.  I have only begun trying to trace the Hill family.  Unfortunately the surname Hill is as difficult to trace as Hughes in this area.

Saint Peter's
Kinver Parish Church

Marriage certificate for Samuel Hughes and Ann Hill
     Samuel and Ann married on February 12, 1849 in the Parish Church of Kinver, Staffordshire, England.  I wish I knew more on the back story of this relationship.  The fact that both families lived in Wordsley and both fathers were boatmen, begs the questions, did these two young folks know each other for years before their marriage, or was it a chance meeting that led to the vows?  The certificate shows that Samuel was literate, as was Thomas Hill.  Both women only signed with an X.  I wonder why the young couple married in Kinver rather than in Wordsley?  And how did they travel there--by canal?  by horse and wagon?   I believe that Thomas Hill was Ann's older brother and Samuel had a sister named Mary Ann who would have been fifteen years old when her brother married.    

     Samuel and Ann continued to live on Wordsley Green after their wedding.  Samuel changed  his occupation from boatman to puddler in a local iron works and Ann is a  dressmaker.  "Puddling was one step in one of the most important processes of making the first appreciable volumes of high-grade bar iron (malleable wrought iron) during the Industrial Revolution.  In the original puddling technique, molten iron in the reverberatory furnace was stirred with rods, which were consumed in the process."   

     There is a record for a Henry Hughes born to Samuel and Ann who was baptized on April 7, 1850; however, since he is not present on the 1851 census, it is believed that Henry died as an infant.  Ann was pregnant with my paternal 2x great grandfather, George Henry Hughes, when this census was taken.  

     There are no birth records; however, there are records of baptism for all of the Hughes children.  All ten children were born on Wordsley Green, Staffordshire, England and all were born when Samuel was listed as a puddler.

  1.      Henry Hughes, April 7, 1850.  Died before 1851.
  2.      *George Henry Hughes, August 24, 1851. My link
  3.      John Hughes, December 20, 1852.  Died before 1861.
  4.      Joseph Hughes, December 20, 1852.  Died before 1861.
  5.      William Hughes, March 26, 1854.  Died before 1871 ?
  6.      Thomas Hughes, January 20, 1856.
  7.      Samuel Hughes, March 9, 1858.
  8.      Eliza Hughes, November 20, 1859.
  9.      Anna Maria Hughes, August 17, 1862.
  10.      Jane Hughes, December 25, 1864.  Died before 1871
1861 United Kingdom Census
Kingswinford, Staffordshire, England

     The final census report for Samuel and Ann Hughes in Staffordshire is in 1861.  The twin sons, John and Joseph are not listed and must have died.  Their last two daughters are not born yet; however, the 1871 census does list Anna Maria as born in Wordsley.  Jane is missing from the 1871 census must have died.  I have noticed that there is a William and Ann Hill enumerated directly above Samuel Hughes.  A good guess would be that it is Ann's parents. 


The Move to West Hartlepool, County Durham, England 

     Sometime between the birth of their last child, Jane, in 1864 and 1869-1970, Samuel and Ann Hill Hughes made the decision to relocate the family to West Hartlepool.  The Industrial Revolution was in full swing and the seaport of Hartlepool and the newly formed West Hartlepool, provided an endless supply of employment, whether it be in the shipping industry or in the multitude of factories located in the West Hartlepool area.  What provoked the family to travel so far north is unknown.  Whether it was the allure of a better life with a choice of places to work, wanderlust, perhaps the relocation of another Hughes or Hill family member or a need to remove themselves from some issue--it is unknown.  

     As an experienced puddler, Samuel had two large factories to choose from; the Iron and Steel Works and Seaton Carew Iron Works, both built beside the North Sea on the east side of West Hartlepool in the Stranton area.

     I have found that Samuel's younger brother, William Hughes, did remove to West Hartlepool at about the same time.  I will outline his life in another blog.  I have yet to determine if any other family members also traveled to West Hartlepool.

  On Christmas Day 1870, Samuel and Ann's oldest son, George Henry Hughes married a Hartlepool native, Mary Ann Storey at All Saints Church, Stranton, West Hartlepool, England.  (my 2x great grandparents)  

1871 United Kingdom Census
Stanton, West Hartlepool, England
     The Hughes family was living in a house in the Stranton Parish, West Hartlepool, England at 11 Thorne Street as listed on the 1871 census.   The author of, "Reflections beneath the Wagga Moon" paints a dire picture of the conditions the family was living in.  

     "However, such was the demand for houses or lodgings for people with basic labouring skills that small streets of houses were even built on pieces of open land in amongst the Iron and Steel Works along Mainsforth Terrace.  With the dust and fumes of blast furnaces at their front doors and the banging and clattering of small engineering works at their back doors, these streets can only be described as a very unhealthy and primitive place to live and raise families, yet somehow people did just that".   (Edward Powell, page 5)

     One of these streets was Thorne Street.  Sandwiched in between the Iron and Steel Works to the east, Newburn Saw Mills, to the north, a Timber Yard to the west and Cliff House Pottery to the south.  I have to imagine that this neighborhood was drastically different from Wordsley Green.

     The census report shows that all the Hughes men were employed as puddlers, Samuel along with his sons, George Henry, Thomas and Samuel.  Son, William, is missing from the census.  I will have to do some more research to find out what happened to him--if he died or is perhaps married.  Of interest to me is that my 2x great grandparents are living with Samuel and Ann Hughes--George Henry and his wife, Mary Ann Storey Hughes.  Also, the two youngest girls are attending school  Another piece of interesting information is the Hussey family, enumerated directly under the Hughes family on the census.  In 1883 Annie (Ann Maria)  Hughes will marry Joseph Hussey. 

     In 1878, Ann Hill Hughes was present at the death of her brother-in-law, William Hughes and her address is listed as Salisbury Terrace on the death certificate.  I have not been able to locate this street on any of the maps from that time.

1881 United Kingdom Census

     By the 1881 census report, the Hughes family had moved out of the area located in the middle of the factories to one on the outside fringe.  Studley Street is still around today, although from the current pictures on google map, it does not look residential.  When Samuel and Ann lived there it was a main street that ran about three blocks in the Bellevue area of West Hartlepool, in the St. Aidan's Parish.  Reading the Robert Wood book, West Hartlepool, the Bellevue area where Studley Street is located, was developing rapidly to house the massive immigration of workers flooding into West Hartlepool.  The roads were dirt, no indoor plumbing, streets were often flooded and muddy, folks had farm animals housed in the backyard, etc. etc.  This area was designed to be more residential; however, it was small houses with little to no amenities.  Funny how one book mentions these poor conditions and another, Reflections Beneath Wagga Moon, says of Bellevue, "...the wealthier households settled in the garden suburbs of Bellevue."  Back in 2003, when my brothers and I visited family in Hartlepool, we were entertained at the home of cousins John and Mary Marsh in this area of town. Of course, the area is lovely today.

     The map above shows the various streets in West Hartlepool of importance to the family.  All in the Stranton area, all surrounding the factory area.  Thorne Street on the far right and Studley Road on the far left.  Thorne Street isolated from the town and Studley at the outer part of the residential area of Bellevue.  At the top is Bowser Street where Ann Hill Hughes died in 1911.      

    By 1881 all of the Hughes children had left home, married, and were starting their lives with a spouse and children.  All stayed in the West Hartlepool area.  Only Ann Marie was still at home and as I mentioned above, she will marry Joseph Hussey in 1883.  Samuel was listed as an iron works foreman, so he has certainly moved up the employment ladder at the iron works.  As my friend Heather emailed me, "a foreman would have been a person of authority within his own community, but not considered managerial". 

     The adult children of Samuel and Ann Hill Hughes in 1881.

  1. George Henry Hughes married Mary Ann Storey on Christmas Day 1870.
  2. Thomas Hughes married Ann Elizabeth Reece in 1877. 
  3. Samuel Hughes married Martha Agnes Milward in 1880.
  4. Eliza Hughes married Benjamin Harriman in 1880.
  5. Anna Maria Hughes was still at home.

1891 United Kingdom Census
              Unfortunately the Hughes story continues with census reports.  I have not been able to find any other records for them.  By 1891, Samuel and Ann were living with their youngest married daughter, Anna Maria Hughes Hussey and her family at 3 Salisbury Terrace in South West Stranton, Saint Aidan's Parish.  Samuel was still working as an iron laborer at age sixty one.  His son in law, Joseph Hussey was also employed by an iron company as an iron merchant. As I mentioned above, I am unable to locate Salisbury Terrace on my 1897 map and it apparently does not exist today.  Samuel and Ann spent several years on two separate occasions on this street--while raising their family and as older adults living with their married daughter.

Samuel Hughes Death Certificate

     The Hussey family apparently moved to 76 Salisbury Terrace by 1895.  Samuel Hughes died at the age of sixty five of bronchitis at their home on December 4, 1895.  

Chris Heath, Skelmanthorpe, Clayton West & District:  A Denby & District Archive, 2007, page 90
     The death certificate lists his occupation as a master paraffin hawker. Google has let me down on this one.  I can only imagine that he is a seller, from a cart, of paraffin, perhaps to make candles (?)  This is odd since Samuel was always working in an iron factory and is listed on Ann's death certificate as a foreman at a steel works.  Heather has once again come to my rescue with a photo of a paraffin hawker.  Perhaps, later in life, Samuel discontinued employment in the iron factory and decided to purchase or rent a cart to sell paraffin on the street.  I do have an individual blog on the death of Samuel Hughes on Flipside.  

1901 United Kingdom Census

     Following her husband's death, Ann continued to live with her daughter Anna Maria Hughes Hussey and family.  The 1901 UK census shows that the family has moved to 18 Colwyn Road located in the All Saints Parish, Stranton, West Hartlepool. I believe that this was a fairly posh area in 1901.  Joseph wass employed as a crane operator and Annie was running a bakery and candy store out of her home.  I have recently found some documents on ancestry that are city directories for Hartlepool.  Joseph is listed as a store owner operating out of his home at 18 Colwyn for several years.

     In 1901, Colwyn was a fairly new road and probably not well developed.  It is quite a distance from the factory area and near Bellevue in the south west portion of Stranton where there are many developed streets.  The photo above is 18 Colwyn Road today.  I have no idea if this residence actually was the Hussey home in 1901.

1911 United Kingdom Census

     Ann Hill Hughes' final United Kingdom census report is 1911.  She was living alone at 11 Bowser Street, an eighty year old invalid.  She has a four room, private house and was receiving a pension check.  Three boxes on the census that interested me concerned her children.  It is listed that she had ten children; however only five were still alive.  The five children that removed to West Hartlepool from Wordsley were still alive in 1911.  As I suspected Henry, John, Joseph, William and Jane all died before the move.  I have wondered who was taking care of Ann during her stay alone and happened upon a marriage article in a Hartlepool newspaper calling Joseph and Anna Maria Hussey's eldest daughter, Lillian, "Nurse Lillian".  Perhaps Lillian was caring for her grandmother at this time.

Ann Hill Hughes Death Certificate

     Within months of the 1911 census, Ann Hill Hughes died at age eighty on June 14, 1911.  The death certificate lists her age as eighty, but as you can see on the 1911 census report, her age is listed as seventy eight.  My paternal great great grandfather, and Ann's oldest son, George Henry Hughes was present at her death.  Samuel is listed as her deceased husband and as a foreman at the steel works.  This information would have been supplied by George Henry Hughes.  Ann is probably buried beside her husband without having a tombstone mark her resting place.  There is a blog concerning Ann's death on Flipside.

I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. All comments are welcome; however, if they are inappropriate, they will not be published.    PLEASE post your e-mail in the comment section if you would like to network about a particular surname or topic. I will capture it for my use only and not include it when I publish your comment.
© 2018, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

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