Friday, April 27, 2018

George Henry Hughes--West Hartlepool, English Liberal Party Member

     Back in the summer of 2003, my two brothers and I flew across the pond separately, landing in England, and eventually reuniting in West Hartlepool.  Jeff began a few days before Ken and I to do some sightseeing in London.  Ken and I followed, landed at Gatwick and rented a car to drive north to the city that held so many secrets to our genealogical past.  All of this was made possible by my Internet UK geni friend, Heather, who had reached out to me a year or two earlier and had done so much "leg work" finding current Hughes relations who were still living in West Hartlepool.  With her research and email, I was able to contact Hughes cousins, who were anxiously awaiting our arrival.  God Bless the Internet.

John George Marsh
2003 Hartlepool, England

Delicious tea cake

     We spent a delightful day with cousin John George Marsh and his wife Mary Pounder Marsh.  Mary, quite an accomplished baker, provided "we Yanks" with a delicious tea--cakes, scones and biscuits (cookies).  BTW, at a later date she sent me her hand written recipes.  John, my paternal first cousin twice removed, had so many family stories to share.  

  The focus of this blog is John's memory of his grandfather, George Henry Hughes, as a member of the Liberal Party and the related research I have found to give proof to the memory.  Eternal thanks to my brother, Ken Hughes, who had the foresight to pack various technological toys in his luggage--one being a tape recorder.

     I traveled to West Hartlepool armed with pages of family questions to ask each Hughes cousin during our meetings.  As Heather has mentioned to me....those who fail to plan, plan to fail.  She must be a devotee of Benjamin Franklin. ;-)

     The family who gathered at John and Mary Marsh's that afternoon were:  myself, Ken and Jeff Hughes, Betty Hughes Jamieson, Alan Hughes and later in the afternoon, John and Mary's daughter and grandson.  

     I begin by mentioning that my paternal 2x great grandfather is somewhat of a mystery to me.  I have followed him through census reports, documents and newspaper articles.  I have no photograph and darn it, even my family in West Hartlepool did not.  Instead, I have a few sentences that John George Marsh revealed that afternoon in his sitting room.  "George Henry Hughes was a big liberal.  He would climb on a truck with a megaphone and be driven through the streets yelling…vote liberal.  He had a big white beard.  John said he never had a shave in his life, would just have the beard cut.  He also said, if you ever met Grandfather Hughes, you wouldn’t soon forget him."  WHEW!  Now there's a description.  

Thorne Street at the top of map and Longhill on the left
Streets sandwiched in between all the factories
Stranton Map, 1898
     The Hughes Family were lower class workers--iron works, steel mills, coal hawkers.  The streets where they lived were located near their employment.  They were not MIFers when they poured their tea....milk in first.  As outlined in Samuel Hughes blog, when the family moved from Wordsley to West Hartlepool, their street, Thorne Street, can best be described as unhealthy.  George and his wife, Ann, took up residence in the Longhill area of West Hartlepool for all their years together.  First on Hill Street and finally on the corner of Florence Street in their green grocer house.  The Longhill area is best described by Edward Powell in his booklet, Reflections beneath the "Wagga Moon".

     Thomas Richardson.....purchased the Blast Furnaces and Rolling Mills.....He housed his artisans in the cluster of Longhill Streets christened "Wagga Wagga" for their outlandish location and aspect--undrained, unlit, unpaved...  

     He began by having three streets terraced housing erected to the west of the Ironworks and called them Florence Street, Hill Street and Portland Street. (Powell 5)  

     The records from 1861-1898 show that George was employed as a puddler at the Ironworks for about twenty years, a cement works laborer for several years and back to the Ironworks.  During his life as a laborer, he lived at 61 Hill Street.  When the family moved to 70 Florence Street about 1899, I believe his days as a laborer in the factories came to an end.  At age forty six he opened a green grocer business in his house. 

Mary Ann Storey Hughes
70 Florence Street, West Hartlepool, England
Green Grocer Shop
     I have shared this photo post card on a number of websites.  When we spent the afternoon with John George Marsh, he identified it as Mary Ann Storey Hughes in front of the Hughes shop, 70 Florence Street.  John lived there with his parents, Eli and Mary Alice Hughes Marsh from his birth in 1919 until after both his grandparents, George Henry Hughes and Mary Ann Storey Hughes' deaths in the early 1930's.  Obviously John knew his grandparents intimately and had numerous stories and memories. 

    I have digressed a bit to give a little insight as to the employment and area where George Henry Hughes and his family lived.  It all combines to point in the direction as to why he became a member of the British Liberal Party.  

     From 1906-1914 one primary focus of the British Liberal Party as outlined by Lord Kenneth O Morgan's lecture was social reform, "....But it became clear that what contemporaries called the 'New Liberalism', the Liberalism of social reform, was increasingly dominating the Liberal mind.  The evidence of poverty, of urban deprivation, of hard conditions of children and old people and working women gripped the Liberal mind at this period..." (Morgan, Kenneth O., "The New Liberal Party From Dawn to Downfall 1906-1924")

Women's March 2018
Washington, DC

Women's March 2018
Washington, DC

     Perhaps not odd at all, George Henry Hughes descendants here in the United States, in 2018, are in line with these same principles, marching and rallying against the decisions of the current political administration to roll back so many social reforms that were in place before Trump was elected in 2016.  Genetics ;-)

     John George Marsh was born as the Labor Party was losing its hold in England politics.  He grew up in a house listening to his Grandfather Hughes fighting to get the Liberal Party back into power.  He watched him standing on the back of trucks and out on the streets of West Hartlepool, often with a megaphone, rallying support for the liberal cause.   

     At long last I pulled the trigger on a subscription to the British Newspaper Archive and have been rewarded with a treasure trove of articles involving my paternal 2x great grandfather's lifetime passion for the Liberal Party.  The earliest article I have found is from 1888, although one article, George Henry Hughes is quoted saying he has been a member of the party since 1870.  My paternal 2x great grandmother, Mary Ann Storey Hughes is never mentioned in any of the articles, even those with the attendees at various Liberal Party gatherings where husbands and wife's are listed.

     As with any research, it has taken time to ferret out the articles.  My great great grandfather is not always listed as George Henry simple would that be.  I have had to search for G.H. Hughes, Geo Hughes, G. Hughes, George H. Hughes, the addresses of his homes at 61 Hill Street and 70 Florence Street, the area Longhill and Seaton Carew.   

     October 22, 1888.  Earliest article to date, George Henry Hughes involved in a local municipal election proposing Jacob Lohden, ship owner and Liberal, for the office of councillor in West Hartlepool. 


     July 2, 1892.  George Henry Hughes as the proposer from Longhill, West Hartlepool endorsing Christopher Furness, Steamship owner, ship builder and Liberal candidate, for the Parliamentary election for the borough.

     1895, July 11.  I have found numerous notices of Liberal Party meetings held at the George Henry Hughes home, 61 Hill Street from 1891-1898.


      1903, February 14.  At this monthly meeting of the Liberals of the North-West Ward numerous members were elected to various offices.  From Seaton Carew, George Henry Hughes was elected vice chairman as a representative to the Northern Liberal Federation and as a representative to the General Council of the Northern Liberal Federation.

     1912, February 23.  I transcribed this article since George Henry Hughes is quoted.  

     I have yet to locate any articles regarding George's participation in the Liberal Party past 1914; however, I am still searching.  To date I have downloaded thirty one newspaper pages from the Northern Daily Mail dated 1888-1914.and yesterday

     I mentioned to my husband yesterday, that I have so many family blogs that are sitting their starring me in the face, but I don't always see them.  This one has taken fifteen years to finally come to light.  On the plus side, the resources I needed to give a well rounded piece were not available, even ten years ago, on the net.  Another plus is that researching this blog has become a springboard for several others.  Onward......

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

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Mary Hughes of Wordsley Maiden Name Mystery


     In what has become a personal issue (or perhaps obsession), I have gone through the Wordsley 1841 UK census looking for any Hughes, Green or Bourne surnames in attempt to see if any fall into a family pattern.  A familiar saying of my brother when we drive through a small town or area that is somewhat rural, why did you come here--what made you stay, always goes through my mind when a family or family member moves out of the "hometown".  Similar to my attempt to see why my paternal 3x great grandfather, Samuel Hughes and family, picked up and moved from Wordsley, his hometown in the mid to late 1860's.   My paternal 4x great grandmother Mary's maiden name, in particular, is beginning to drive me slightly crazy--who is her family?

     There are some leads to follow using the several decades of United Kingdom census reports and the few documents I have been able to locate on the web; however with no positive results.  As I have mentioned, with so much exasperation in other Wordsley Hughes blogs, there is a significant lack of any records for Wordsley--available on the web, even for a fee.

     Many UK Hughes researchers use one available marriage record for the maiden name of Mary--Mary Green.  This document is available on the FamilySearch website.  The date of 1827 would fit into the birth of their first known child, son, John Hughes, born circa 1829.

     Driving between Wordsley and Wolverhampton today would take about thirty minutes.  Back in the early 1800's the vast canal system around Birmingham did link Wordsley by canal with Wolverhampton.  Did both William and Mary live in Wolverhampton?  Did William meet Mary while moving his boat from town to town on the canal?  Is this even the correct William ad Mary?  Trust me, there are numerous married William and Mary Hughes families in this part of England--and all over the country.

Green surname on the Wordsley 1841 United Kingdom Census.  Of course if the above marriage document is not my family, then why would I even look for the Green surname in Wordsley, since the information above is from another town?  Well, perhaps William and Mary Hughes removed to Wordsley with other family members by 1841.  Actually, I was just noting the number of Green's living in Wordsley in 1841 as I was trying to find Bournes.  The Green's I did locate all seem to be hired by the various glass factories. Years back, when I assumed that the maiden name of Mary was Green, I noted that there was a William Green and family enumerated almost directly below my William and Mary Hughes family on the 1841 Wordsley United Kingdom census report.  In fact, as you will note by the scan of that document below, I even printed that the Green family could be Mary's brother.

Bourne Identity--maybe I'm related to Jason Bourne  LOL  Countless hours have been spent poking around the Wordsley 1841 census and UK documents looking for a connection.  The three Bourne men in the Wordsley area I have tracked down are William, Jeremiah and Samuel.  The various trees on list Jeremiah Bourne and Jane Grinton as Jeremiah and Samuel's parents.  Jeremiah and Jane married in Kingswinford Parish on May 18, 1807.  Known children are Sarah born 1814, Jeremiah born 1821,  Elizabeth born 1827 and Samuel born 1829.  There is certainly room for my 4x great grandmother to fit into this family in 1811.  Also the William Bourne enumerated with the Hughes family on the 1841 United Kingdom census and born circa 1826 would fit in chronologically.  Jeremiah died at age forty two in 1829 in Kingswinford Parish.  Listed on his son, Jeremiah's marriage certificate, his father Jeremiah's occupation is a canal carrier aka boatman.  Possible that two boatman families--Hughes and Bourne--operating out of the same town--Wordsley--would know each other.

1841 United Kingdom census

     The first census report I ever had access to was the 1841 Wordsley report.  At that time I was under the impression that Mary's maiden name was Green, hence the red starred Green family enumerated below William and Mary Hughes.  Upon further inspection, and now that her maiden name could be Bourne, I found a teen age boy, William Bourne, age fifteen, born circa 1829 working as a boatman and living with the Hughes family.  If William Bourne is Jeremiah's son, it would be only logical that he would also be a boatman, living in his older sister's house and assisting his uncle in the business.

1851 United Kingdom census
     Another obvious record is the 1851 United Kingdom census which lists Samuel Bourne as a brother in law.  Who was the census taker taking the information from that day in Wordsley?  If it was from William Hughes, then Bourne would be Mary's maiden name.  If Mary was in the house that day and giving the information, then Samuel Bourne could be a man who was married to one of William's sisters.  Samuel was listed as twenty two years old which would estimate his birth circa 1829.  Both William and Mary were born circa 1811, so Samuel could fall into either category--younger brother of Mary or married to one of William's younger sisters.  The scenario of married to a younger sister of William could not be true as Samuel is listed as unmarried.  Here's a thought--perhaps Mary's father was a Green and died and Mary's widowed mother married a Bourne and Samuel was a product of this marriage thus making him a step brother of Mary's.  I have decided that Samuel is Mary Hughes's brother thus making her maiden name Bourne

Some day I am hoping to locate a couple of Bourne family marriage documents to verify this.  By the way, Samuel Bourne does marry Jane Challingsworth, has several children and dies at age thirty four in Wordsley.  Perhaps the descendants of that marriage have some concrete information on their ancestors that will assist me with this brick wall.

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 awill capture it for my use only and not include it when I publish your comment.
© 2018, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

Thursday, April 5, 2018

John and Ann Hughes of Wordsley, Kingswinford, Staffordshire, England

     From the beginning of this blog, I am stating it is conjecture that this is John Hughes, son of William Hughes and Mary Bourne (or Green).  I have gone through the census reports from Wordsley for several decades tracing this particular John Hughes.  The birth year and place of birth do match; however, the only documents I have, to date, are census reports.  Oddly, the marriage, birth and death documents are not available on the web for Wordsley--even for a fee.  It is my hope that someone who descends from the one daughter who married or another family researcher will stumble upon this blog and lead me in the right direction.

1841 United Kingdom Census
Wordsley, England

     John Hughes, the oldest son born to William Hughes and Mary Bourne Hughes, was baptized on July 27, 1828 in Wordsley, Kingswinford, Staffordshire, England.  John was present on the family's 1841 United Kingdom census report, age twelve.

     I have been unable to locate a 1851 United Kingdom census for John.  Possibly he was employed as a boatman for his father and was out on the Stourbridge Canal moving a boat full of materials from town to town.  He would have been about age twenty two.

1861 United Kingdom Census
Showing both John and Samuel Hughes

1861 United Kingdom Census
Showing daughters Mary and Ann Hughes
      It is with the 1861 United Kingdom census report that I am going out on the proverbial family tree limb.  I noticed that there was a John Hughes enumerated several lines down on the same page as my paternal 3x great grandfather, Samuel Hughes.  The age of this John Hughes is in the range of Samuel's brother.  He was a boatman and was born in Kingswinford, Staffordshire, England.  The family was living in a house on Bell Mills Lane in Wordsley.  John was married to a woman named Ann, who was born about 1828 in Kingswinford, Staffordshire, England.  Moving forward to the next page there are two daughters enumerated to the family, Mary Hughes, age three years, born about 1858 and Ann Hughes age three months, born in 1861 probably in Wordsley.  Where John met Ann is unknown and I have not found a marriage certificate for them.  Whether she lived in Wordsley or he met her in another town while he was running his boat is unknown.

1871 United Kingdom Census

1871 United Kingdom Census

      The 1871 United Kingdom census shows that the John Hughes family was still in Wordsley and living in a house on Bell Lane, perhaps the same street with a name change.  The oldest daughter, Mary is not enumerated with the family.  Ann, age ten and a third daughter, Jane, age three born in 1868 in Wordsley are present in the home.  John may still be doing boatman work with his father; however, he is listed as a farm laborer on the census.  I have found that often men had two jobs fitting them in when they could.  John's father, William Hughes was still alive, living in Wordsley and was a boatman.  It would not be unusual for John to occasionally help his aged father.  By this time both of John's brothers, Samuel and William had moved to West Hartlepool, England.

1871 United Kingdom Census
Joseph Bramah Cochrane

1871 United Kingdom Census
Mary Ann Hughes enumerated with the Cochrane Family

     Mary Hughes, in the neighborhood of age thirteen, is MIA; however, she reappears in the 1881 UK census, so I ventured back out on the 1871 UK census and found a ten year old Mary Ann Hughes, living in Wordsley as a servant and helping in the family as a nurse.  It certainly was not unusual for a family to "farm out" a child during this time in England or, for that matter, in the United States.  Although the age is off by several years, this could be John and Ann Hughes' oldest daughter.  Perhaps this family does not know or care about her actual age. I want to add that this Mary Hughes was born in the Kingswinford, Staffordshire area and was the only Mary Hughes enumerated in  Wordsley on the 1871 census.  Just on the chance she may have traveled to West Hartlepool with her two uncles, I did check there and came up with nothing.

     I have had an interesting time with the family Mary is enumerated with--the Cochrane family.  Apparently they were captains of the iron industry.  There is plenty of information on them on the net.  Mary Ann Hughes is enumerated with the Joseph Bramah Cochrane family, a household that moves around the Staffordshire area from census to census.  They are only in Wordsley for the 1871 census and as you can see, they do have a number or servants.  Several nurses....Mary Ann being the youngest.  The wife of Joseph died in 1872.  Was Mary Ann taking care of the baby, children or a sick wife.  She was probably assisting them all.  As I followed Joseph B. Cochrane through several decades of census reports, he always had numerous service people living in his home.  Needless to say, a family of wealth.  Another interesting feature of this Cochrane family is that Joseph's mother's maiden name was Hughes.  I do not know if she was any relation....generations back....however, of interest.  Also, if this is "my" Mary Hughes, she had a middle name--Mary Ann.

1881 United Kingdom Census

     The 1881 John Hughes United Kingdom census has an interesting piece of information on it; however it is illegible :-(  John's mother-in-law, eighty three year old Mary (Presdee?) born in Wordsley is living in the house.  Also, a lodger, Elizabeth Hughes, a twenty nine year old, unmarried woman, born in Wordsley, is enumerated.  Another new face is eight year old Emily Hughes who is listed under Elizabeth.  My guess is that Emily is Elizabeth's daughter born out of wedlock.  So many questions arise with this I wish I had access to the Wordsley marriage, birth and death records!

     Additionally, this census lists all members of the John and Ann Hughes family as having been born in Wordsley.  The various forms of employment are of interest.  John is a general laborer, Ann a charwoman, Mary and her sister Ann are employed in the glass industry in Wordsley as etchers, Jane is a school teacher and Elizabeth is working in the warehouse of the ? Glass Works.  The name of the actual glass works is illegible.

     Ann Hughes' mother's married name is a mystery.  The census reader for ancestry lists it her as Mary Presdee.  I have gone through earlier Wordsley census reports page by page and found no Presdee surname.  Could it be Presder, Fresdee, Fresder Tresdee, Tresder.....?  

       Elizabeth Hughes.  She could be John's youngest sister, Mary E. Hughes.  The age would be right on target, as would the birth in Wordsley.  Was she Mary Elizabeth Hughes and called Elizabeth rather than Mary?

     So many answers.....

1891 United Kingdom Census
               The John Hughes family is enumerated within the Wordsley area in 1891, however, the actual street is difficult to read.  This page seems to be a hodge podge of streets or places.  John is employed in an iron foundry doing something with pipes.  Daughter, Mary, is employed as a glass decorator in one of the many glass factories in the area.  Wife, Ann, and daughter, Ann, are not employed outside the home.  Daughter, Jane, is MIA; however, she does reappear in the 1901 United Kingdom census.

1901 United Kingdom Census

     John Hughes, died, probably in Wordsley, between 1891 and 1901.  Ann Hughes, age seventy three is enumerated as a widow and living in a house on High Street in Wordsley.  All three daughters are at home with their mother.  Mary and Ann are employed in one of the local glass factories as glass decorators and Jane, who has returned home, is a local school mistress.  

     There is a marriage record in Wordsley for a Jane Hughes, daughter of John who married George Moore, son of David Moore.  The wedding took place on December 23, 1903 in the Parish Church, Kingswinford, Staffordshire, England.  I have not been able to find the married couple on the 1911 United Kingdom census report.  Yet another broken link.  Did Jane meet George Moore through her teaching or perhaps, although I have cropped the 1901 census report, there is a Moore family living beside the Hughes family on High Street.  Could George be a relation of the head of that family?


1911 United Kingdom Census
     Mary and Ann Hughes continued to live together in 1911.  It appears that their mother, Ann Hughes has died between the 1901 and 1911 census reports.  The two single women have turned to the local church for a place to live and work.  They are enumerated in The Rectory, Wordsley, Stourbridge.  Only Mary is employed as a servant/cook for the inhabitants.  I have wondered if Ann has had some medical issue over the years as she is often not employed on the census reports and again, on this one, she is listed as a boarder.  I imagine that her sister is paying her way with her work as the rectory cook.  Both women were listed as born in Wordsley and have lived their lives in that town. 

     To date, no found census report for Jane Hughes Moore in 1911. 

     The story of this piece of the Hughes family ends here.  The 1921 United Kingdom census reports are not available.  And, as mentioned earlier, I do not have access to any Wordsley documents.  Is this the family of my paternal 4x great uncle or have I researched and blogged about someone else's family.  Hopefully, one day, an email will pop up in my mailbox with that answer.

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