Author Topic: Belton family (Cleator Moor & Whitehaven)  (Read 19725 times)

Offline Jos, Whitehaven

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Belton family (Cleator Moor & Whitehaven)
« on: Wednesday 01 February 12 20:33 GMT (UK) »
Can anyone help assist with any additional information about the Belton family from Cleator Moor and Whitehaven, please? The principal reason for this is in connection with the Cleator Moor 'Roll of Honour'.

It is believed the family home at Cleator Moor was on Bowthorn Road and . Their Whitehaven address was on Hamilton Lane.  The parents of this 'Irish Catholic' Roman Catholic family were John and Susannah Belton. It is believed there were about ten children.

At the time of the 1881 census the family seem to be living at the "Red Lion", 5 Hamilton Lane, Whitehaven. It would seem they had been there for 2 - 3 years going by the birth places of the younger children.

In particular, I am trying to find out about two sons of the family - Patrick and John Belton - who may have been killed in the Boer War in South Africa (1899 - 1902). Unfortunately, none of the written references I have come across about them give a date of death or their service details. At a guess, they may have enlisted to the Westmorland & Cumberland Yeomanry. If possible I would like to find out whether or not these two were actually killed in the Boer War.

From 'Free BMD' it looks like John Belton (Jnr) was born in June 1868 Qtr and Patrick Belton was born in March 1872 Qtr. A third and younger brother - Andrew Belton - is a little better known. Andrew Belton (1882 - 1970) went on to become a well-known mercenary soldier and something of a legend in the Cleator and Cleator Moor district. He is sometimes referred to as Kaid (Commander) Belton of Morocco. The other children of the family include James, Mary Jane, Susannah, Margaret Ann and Rose Ann.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can assist with further details of the family.


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Offline Geoff-E

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Re: Belton family (Cleator Moor & Whitehaven)
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 02 February 12 09:43 GMT (UK) »
Hello Jos :)

In 1891, the family were at 43 Bowthorne Rd.

John was not there, but Susannah says she was married ... as she does in 1901 where she keeps house for her brother James MAGEE at 21 Bowthorn Rd.

In a later census which I'm not allowed to mention, she was Susannah BELTON 62 in Toxteth with a daughter Mary Ann 32 who was a Teacher.  Birthplace given as Ballala, Co Down.  She died there in 1913 aged 64.
Today I broke my personal record for most consecutive days alive.

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Offline clearly

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Re: Belton family (Cleator Moor & Whitehaven)
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 02 February 12 10:02 GMT (UK) »
Hi Jos
Have you tried the Border Regiment/Cumbria Military Museum in the Castle in Carlisle? They hold a vast amount of material, including a lot for the Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry.. Also, do you have any Army numbers for any of the Beltons as it make searching that much easier and less time consuming.
I will be there tomorrow as a volunteer so I will take up Belton's case.  If you want to contact them direct, the number is 01228 532774. 
I have just been told that someone else is researching a Belton. Will PM you with the name.
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Offline Jos, Whitehaven

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Re: Belton family (Cleator Moor & Whitehaven)
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 02 February 12 20:25 GMT (UK) »
Hi Jos
Have you tried the Border Regiment/Cumbria Military Museum in the Castle in Carlisle? They hold a vast amount of material, including a lot for the Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry.. Also, do you have any Army numbers for any of the Beltons as it make searching that much easier and less time consuming.
I will be there tomorrow as a volunteer so I will take up Belton's case.  If you want to contact them direct, the number is 01228 532774. 
I have just been told that someone else is researching a Belton. Will PM you with the name.

Hello 'Clearly' & Geoff,

Thanks for the information.

In connection with your questions, 'Clearly':

1. Yes, I have contacted the Regimental Museum. I am also a member of the 'Friends' of the Regimental Museum and contribute to the regimental archives.   

2. I do not know the regiment or service number of the two elder Belton brothers. At that time I seem to remember each regiment had its own numbering sequence. There could be soldiers in different regiments with exactly the same service number.

3. The 7-digit unique service number, which remained with the soldier even if he moved between regiments, came in much later - after WW1

[Hopefully, if I can obtain sufficient biographical information about Patrick and John (Jnr) I can discover if they really were in the Boer War and were killed].

Neither Patrick nor John Belton are listed on the Border Regiment Boer War memorial in the Regimental Chapel at Carlisle Cathedral (photograph attached). However, some of the other Cleator Moor fellows who died in that war were already in South Africa working in the mining industry when the war broke out. This could have been the case with John and Patrick Belton, who both seemed to have worked as miners while in West Cumberland.

Offline Jos, Whitehaven

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Re: Belton family (Cleator Moor & Whitehaven)
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 05 February 12 20:50 GMT (UK) »
Hello Jos :)
In 1891, the family were at 43 Bowthorne Rd.

John was not there, but Susannah says she was married ... as she does in 1901 where she keeps house for her brother James MAGEE at 21 Bowthorn Rd.

In a later census which I'm not allowed to mention, she was Susannah BELTON 62 in Toxteth with a daughter Mary Ann 32 who was a Teacher.  Birthplace given as Ballala, Co Down.  She died there in 1913 aged 64.

Hello Geoff,

When the younger brother Andrew Belton was baptised in 1882 James Magee was his godfather. Andrew Belton's godmother was a Margaret Jane Magee.

As you have found, Mrs Susannah Belton died at Liverpool in April 1913. Her body was 'brought home' for burial at Cleator. Her daughter Mary Ann died the following year (1914) and she was also 'brought home' for burial. Andrew Belton's first wife (Marie) died in London in 1937 and again she was buried at Cleator.

If there is a family memorial / headstone at Cleator I wondered if it may also commemorate John (Jnr) and Patrick. I have yet to find out if there is such a headstone. Sometimes family memorials give this information.

Unfortunately there are some difficulties in trying to researching the older St Mary's, Cleator headstones. Firstly because in the 1980s many of the rows of headstones were 'straightened up' (i.e. moved). Secondly, the register which contained the information of the older burials was lost when the workman's hut burnt out shortly afterwards. 

Oddly enough, according to the St Mary's, Cleator registers their younger brother Andrew died in Cape Town, S.A. when aged 88 (September 1970). Unfortunately there is no mention about what happened to John (Jnr) or Patrick.

Offline Jos, Whitehaven

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Re: Belton family (Cleator Moor & Whitehaven)
« Reply #5 on: Monday 06 February 12 21:41 GMT (UK) »
Thanks to this forum and Cumbria's Military Museum (KORBR & Border Regiment ), I have now been put in touch with a member of the Belton family. There are headstones in St Mary's Churchyard which should help with the line of research.

Thanks especially to 'Clearly', 'Geoff-E'  and the regimental museum for their assistance.

If possible, would anyone be able to look up where John Belton (Snr) [born c.1837, Dublin] was living at the time of the 1861 census please? According to the church marriage register when John married Susanah in 1867 it gives his address as Keekle Terrace, Hensingham. His father's name was also given as John (Joannes in Latin).

Shortly after the 1861 census there was an earlier Patrick Belton (born c. 1844) who was involved in a mining accident at Whinney Hill Pit, Cleator Moor on 30 May. He died at Whitehaven Infirmary the following day and was buried in Whitehaven Cemetery by Father Lynass (Parish Priest at Whitehaven). If this Patrick was the brother of John (Snr) then that would explain why he used this name for one of his sons.

Keekle would have been within the parish boundaries of the Cleator Catholic parish at this time. However, for the civil parish (and Church of England) it comes is part of Hensingham parish.

Offline Coulderton

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Re: Belton family (Cleator Moor & Whitehaven)
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 11 February 12 16:01 GMT (UK) »
Hello Jos,

You might be interested in this death notice I once copied from the Whitehaven News: BELTON.- On the 17th August, Patrick Belton, 26 years of age, at Johannesburg, late of Cleator Moor.

I went  through the town's two main papers for refs to a member of my family who was in the war, but didn't find a thing.

Stephen

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Re: Belton family (Cleator Moor & Whitehaven)
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 11 February 12 16:10 GMT (UK) »
Also noticed the following note I made:

Death of a Cleator Moor man in South Africa.
Mr. John Belton, October last, at Boxburg, Transvaal. Emigrated 8 years ago. Paid a short visit to this country 4 years ago. Jaundiced liver. Employed as engine driver at various mines. Leaves widow and 2 children. Mourners:- Mrs. Annie Belton, Mr. Andrew Belton.

Date of paper was October 30th, 1902. Above was just an abbreviated note, with the main details.


Offline Jos, Whitehaven

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Re: Belton family (Cleator Moor & Whitehaven)
« Reply #8 on: Saturday 11 February 12 16:21 GMT (UK) »
Hello Jos,

You might be interested in this death notice I once copied from the Whitehaven News: BELTON.- On the 17th August, Patrick Belton, 26 years of age, at Johannesburg, late of Cleator Moor.

I went  through the town's two main papers for refs to a member of my family who was in the war, but didn't find a thing.

Stephen

Thanks.

I have now seen the Belton family headstones in St Mary's churchyard. One of these gives the date of death of Patrick Belton as 17 August 1899 and his place of death as South Africa (age 27). The same headstone also states John Belton (Jnr) died in South Africa on 1 October 1902, aged 34. This ties in with the details you found.

Thus far, we have not found any primary documentary evidence that either of these two was in the army at the time of the war. In fact it looks rather unlikely the more information that comes to light. I get the impression that when people have been writing that Patrick and John were killed in the war it has been without attempting to check for any corroborative evidence. Myth and reality are strange bedfellows!

However, we do now have the enlistment details of their two other brothers,  Andrew and James (Westmorland & Cumberland Yeomanry). They served in South Africa and survived the war. According to the family headstone, James died in New York on 1 April 1928.