Sunday, February 18, 2018

Ann Hill Hughes of West Hartlepool, England


     Yesterday I pulled the trigger and upgraded my Ancestry membership from US Discovery to the World Explorer plan and I was off and running :-)

     Perhaps the blog on my paternal 3 great grandfather, Samuel Hughes, pushed me onward to find more information on my English roots.  My UK friend, Heather, who I have mentioned countless times on Flipside as my European go to genealogical friend, has been a valuable assistant in piecing my UK family together.  Now I can also begin researching them from here in the US.

St. Peter's Church, Kinver, Staffordshire, England

     Ann Hill Hughes, wife of Samuel, and my paternal 3x great grandmother was born about 1832, the daughter of William Hill and Ann Parry.  Ann Hill and Samuel Hughes married on February 12, 1849  in St. Peter's Church in Kinver, Staffordshire, England.  They relocated to West Hartlepool, England by the 1871 UK census. 

     Untangling the Hughes family in West Hartlepool has been comparable to piecing a puzzle back together.  There are several different Hughes families who made their home in West Hartlepool and I have not been able to determine if they are related generations back.  Then there is the inevitable genealogical issue that the same forenames are found generation after generation.  Fortunately, in my family, some of the members also are referred to by their first and middle names, which is a help.  Although I have several George Henry Hughes' in my line.  My paternal grandfather, my 2x great grandfather, a first cousin 3x removed and several more who I have yet to place on my family tree.  Hopefully having access to the World Explorer and UK census reports will assist in my Hughes detective work.

     The name Ann Hughes is no many to untangle.  The ability to follow UK census reports and also the combination of  the Tees Valley Indexes website and the Durham Records Online have made me almost 100% certain that I have located the death information for my paternal 3x great grandmother.

     Samuel and Ann Hughes were enumerated with one of their married daughters, Anna Marie Hughes Hussey and her family in 1891.  Following Samuel's death in 1895, it appears that Ann continued to stay with the Hussey family as she is enumerated with them in 1901.

1911 United Kingdom Census Report for Ann Hill Hughes

     I already had a copy of the UK BMD index which lists an Ann Hughes, age 80 dying in Hartlepool in April, May or June of 1911.  I was able to locate a 1911 UK census report for Ann Hughes, with the correct birth and number of children information.  She was living at 11 Bowser Street in a 4 room house as an invalid.  A Durham County death record that I found shows that an Ann Hughes on Bowser street died in 1911.  This is the only Ann Hughes to have died in Hartlepool from 1901-1911.

     I am hoping to be able to secure her death record from the Tees Valley Index and also am hoping it might give me the further proof I need to nail this down.  Either listing her deceased husband or having a family member sign the form.

Ann Hill Hughes Death Certificate

     Heather to the rescue.  She reached out to the Hartlepool records office and voila!  As always.....THANK YOU Heather.

     Now I have an exact date of death for my paternal 3x great grandmother.  Ann died at her home, 11 Bowser Street, West Hartlepool, England on June 14, 1911 at eighty years old.  Her son, my paternal 2x great grandfather and Ann's son, George Henry Hughes, was present at his mother's death.  The certificate also lists Samuel Hughes as her deceased husband.  

     Senile decay might be comparable to dementia or Alzheimer disease today and syncope is a loss of consciousness due to a lack of blood flow to the brain--fainting.  The 1911 UK census lists her as an invalid who was living in a 4 room dwelling, alone.  The  kitchen was counted, so there was probably a living room space a bedroom and perhaps a room comparable to a dining room.  

     There certainly were numerous adult children and older grand children living nearby.  I wonder if Hughes family members took turns staying with Ann to assist her with the daily personal and housekeeping duties?  I hope so.  Having a father who had dementia, it would not have been remotely possible, as the disease progressed, for him to have fixed a meal, done any toileting procedures, etc.  In fact, he was not able to transfer by himself from his bed to the floor.  Fortunately, he was properly cared first, in an assisted living facility and finally, in a nursing home.  


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