Saturday, March 10, 2018

William Hughes and Mary Bourne of Wordsley, Kingswinford, England


     William Hughes and Mary Bourne are my paternal 4x great grandparents.  There has been some controversy as to Mary's maiden name--Green or Bourne.  After seeing two census reports one with a Bourne male living with the Hughes family and a second one with an unmarried twenty two year old man, Samuel Bourne, listed as a brother-in-law, I decided to go with Bourne as Mary's maiden name.  There is a marriage document on Family Search that is also used by some Hughes researchers as the union and lists a William Hughes and Mary Green.  Unfortunately, I have not been able to track down parents or family of either a Mary Green or a Mary Bourne.  Hence the quandary.

     Once again the story begins in Wordsley, Kingswinford, England.  There is no 1831 United Kingdom census report available to search.  Bummer.  Years back I received a sibling listing from another Hughes family researcher showing that William and Mary had eighteen children.  From the few census reports I have located, many must have died as infants or youths.  Unfortunately, the records for Wordsley in Staffordshire are not available on line.  Where the researcher received the documentation for the children is unknown to me.  I was told that the information came from baptism records.

  1. John Hughes baptized July 27, 1828 in Wordsley
  2. Samuel Hughes baptized May 16, 1830 in Wordsley--my 3x great Grandfather
  3. *Thomas Hughes baptized May 3, 1831 in Wordsley-Not on 1941 census
  4. Sarah Jane Hughes baptized April 22 1832 in Wordsley--Not on 1841 census
  5. Mary Ann Hughes baptized February 16 1834 in Wordsley
  6. *Esther Hughes baptized September 21 1834 in Wordsley--Not on 1841 census
  7. William Henry baptized January 4, 1835 in Wordsley--Not on the 1841 census
  8. Thomas Hughes baptized January 31, 1836 in Wordsley.  Died February 10, 1837
  9. Jane Hughes baptized February 11, 1837 in Wordsley
  10. *Elizabeth Hughes baptized April 1, 1838 in Wordsley--Not on 1841 census
  11. Henry Hughes baptized January 26, 1840 in Wordsley--Not on 1851 census
  12. William Hughes baptized October 31, 1841 in Wordsley
  13. George Hughes baptized October 31, 1841 in Wordsley.  Died July 20, 1848
  14. Eliza Hughes baptized November 9, 1845 in Wordsley.  Died November 26, 1847.
  15. Emma Hughes baptized September 22, 1847 in Wordsley--Not on 1851 census
  16. Anna Maria Hughes baptized December 9, 1849 in Wordsley
  17. Emily Hughes baptized September 1 1852 in Wordsley--Not on 1861 census
  18. Mary E. Hughes baptized September 1, 1852 in Wordsely
1841 United Kingdom census
     The 1841 census is available for William and Mary Hughes showing the children who were alive at that time, one being my 3x great grandfather, Samuel Hughes.  What does this census tell us.  William and Mary were both born circa 1811 in Staffordshire.  William was employed as a boatman and the family was living on the Dock.  The children who are alive in 1841 are John, Samuel, Mary (Mary Ann), and Jane.  According to the baptism records listed above, Mary would have had 11 children by 1841 and only four survived.  You will also note that I have starred a William Green enumerated on the same page and thought he could be a brother to Mary.   Now, I have also noticed that a boy, William Bourne, age 13 or 15, is enumerated with the Hughes family and is working as a boatman.  Possibly Mary's brother?

     My 3x great grandparents, Samuel Hughes and Ann Hill, married on February 12, 1849.  Both Samuel and his father are listed as boatmen on the wedding certificate. It appears that Samuel's fifteen year old sister, Mary Ann Hughes, was the witness. 

1851 United Kingdom Census
     Census records are my primary source of information.  In 1851 there is a record for the William and Mary Hughes Family.  The Hughes family had moved to Wordsley Green and William was listed as a retail brewer.  I jokingly mentioned to my son that perhaps his love of craft beer is genetic ;-)  I googled what a retail brewer was back in the mid 1800's in England. From an article regarding England Occupations Food and Drink on Family Search:

     "In the days before piped purified water, tuberculin-tested cows and orange juice the sole drink of the people--men, women and children was ale.  The process involved heating water before the mashing, boiling the wort and then fermentation with production of alcohol, all of which ensured that the liquid was sterile and remained so.  This was all produced in the household, in local alehouses for the retail trade and in monasteries for the use of travelers and monks."

     "There were thousands of small brewers and a few larger ones which came to dominate the market, by the late 20th century only a half-dozen firms supply the demand.  London was the main site of commercial brewing but there were other provincial ones, notably Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire owing to its supply of excellent water for beer."  
     Although William was brewing beer, it appears he was also operating a boat.  His brother in law, Samuel Bourne and a lodger are both boatmen and I am making an educated guess that they were there to work William's boat.  There was a 70 year old widower, John Hughes, also a boatman, enumerated with the family.  Unfortunately, his relation to the family is not clearly written.  My guess is that it is William's father.  I have also noted that both William and Mary are listed as having been born in Kingswinford, Staffordshire.  William must have been doing fairly well financially as there was a servant living in the house.  Plus having a house that was large enough to hold ten people.  The children who were still living at home are:  Mary Ann age seventeen, Jane age thirteen, William age nine and in school, Ann Maria age one.  As I mentioned, Samuel was married and living on his own.  
1861 United Kingdom Census
     In 1861, the family continues to make their home on Wordsley Green.  Only two children are living at home; William age nineteen working as a puddler and Mary E (Elizabeth) age 9 who was attending school.  This is the first census showing a female as a scholar for the Hughes family.  Also of note, Mary Elizabeth's twin sister, Emily, is not enumerated giving me the thought that she died before the census.

     William was listed as a boatman and has seventy nine year old widower, John Hughes (William's father?), and two men listed as servants also boatmen were living in the house.  There is a young adult woman listed as a servant who was undoubtedly assisting Mary with the household chores.  I have been able to track down sons, John, Samuel and William into the future; however, to date, do not know anything further on Mary Ann, Jane, Anna Maria and Mary Elizabeth.

1871 United Kingdom Census
Stourbridge Canal at Buckpool, Wordsley

     I am making an educated guess that the William and Mary Hughes listed in Wordsley on the 1871 census are my 4x great grandparents.  They have moved from The Green to an area called Buckpool Canal. Their house was located on one side of the canal.  William was listed as a boatman and there was a young woman living with them as a servant and a niece, Jane Dulson.  More research into her relationship is necessary.  Was she the daughter of a married female Hughes or Bourne/Green relation?

     Sometime between about 1865 to 1869, two of William and Mary's son's removed to West Hartlepool, England--Samuel and William.  I believe their son, John, stayed in Wordsley.

     The story of William and Mary is at an end.  I have no idea when they died or where they are buried.  An educated guess would be at the parish church in Wordsley.  At one time I thought that perhaps Samuel and William removed from Wordsley because their parents were dead.  Maybe they were.  I am only guessing that the William and Mary in the 1871 census are their parents.  I am at a great disadvantage not having records from Wordsley at my disposal. Perhaps a third trip to England, this time driving to the Wordsley area should be in my future ;-)


     I do want to mention the asterisked  * children in the listing above.  Families did have numerous children back in the 1800's--Church of England, lack of birth control, etc.  I found it almost unimaginable that Mary had eighteen children.  As mentioned, I have been going page by page through the Wordsley census for several decades looking for various Hughes, Hill, Green and Bourne families.  I did run across another William and Mary Hughes in Wordsley.  On the 1841 census they had two daughters, Esther and Elizabeth with birth dates the same or a year off of the ones in "my" William and Mary list.  I have a feeling that the researcher who did the list that was sent to me was unaware that another William and Mary Hughes were living in Wordsley.  On the 1851 census, again, William and Maria (I believe his second wife) are enumerated with a Thomas, Esther and Elizabeth--birth dates in the same range as those above.  It is also worth mentioning that this second William is also a boatman as is his son, Thomas.  

     Quite frankly, there are numerous Hughes families and individuals living in Wordsley at the time I am researching.  What a confusion!  I doubt I will ever sort them all out.

     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

1 comment:

  1. Mary Anne Bourne b 1808 and Samuel Bourne b 1829 were both children of Jeremiah and Jane.
    Mary Bourne married William Hughes in 1827 hence Samuel listed as brother in law on the census.

    My tree come off Ralph Challingsworth 1730 Kingswinford x