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Topics - Stanwix England

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Durham / Elizabeth Jane Harwood
« on: Sunday 16 May 21 00:19 BST (UK)  »

I'm trying to trace the life of an Elizabeth Jane Harwood who was born in Sunderland in around June 1884. Her parents were Ralph Harwood and Elizabeth Jane Benson.

I have sight of her on the 1891 census, where she is living with her mother in the house of someone else, in Sunderland.

I also have her on the 1901 census, where she is living with her mother and two siblings, again in Sunderland.

From there on out I lose her. Everything else I know from this point onwards has been passed down to me as stories.

What I know from my family is that at some point she married a man with the surname Mustard and had at least two children with him. Those children are Elizabeth Mustard (b1920) and Robert Mustard (b1992). There may have been a third child too, that's what I was told but I am not sure about this.

My issue is that I can't find a marriage between her and anyone with the surname Mustard. I can't even find a marriage between anyone with the first name Elizabeth and the surname Mustard.

There is an Elizabeth Jane Harwood who marries a man called George Sheraton, in the first quarter of 1906.

They are on the census for 1911, living in Sunderland, and interesting there is a girl with them described as sister-in-law called Mary Harwood. Her birth date fits with a sibling of Elizabeth's called Mary, and I have not been able to find a Mary Harwood anywhere else on the 1911 census where I believe it is her.

So in theory, Elizabeth could have married George Sheraton first and he died and she married someone called Mustard, but again I haven't been able to find a record of a marriage between an Elizabeth Sheraton and a Mustard.

It might just be that my searching is failing me but whichever way I try it, I've not been able to make sense of it. I can't find birth records either for Elizabeth Mustard or Robert Mustard - which is also strange.

Hi Everyone,

I'm trying to find out more about a potential relative of mine called Ralph Harwood. I've had extensive help here across multiple threads, but I think I've reached the point where I need someone who understands the history of the regiment he was in (Liverpool Regiment, 1st Battalion) to interpret the records for me and to fill in some gaps that the records can't show.

I've tried looking online without much luck and was wondering if anyone here has someone they can recommend who might be able to do that.

Thank you

Canada / Looking for Stanwicks Harwood in 1911
« on: Thursday 13 May 21 12:02 BST (UK)  »
Hello Everyone,

I'm trying to make sense of a situation going on with my ancestors the Harwood family, who were living in Sunderland in the late 1800s. It's all quite complicated and I've got several threads on the matter, but what I'm now trying to look in to is the life of Stanwick Harwood.

I know that Stanwick was born sometime in January, probably early January, in 1879 in Sunderland. He was baptised on 8 Jan 1879. His parents were Ralph Harwood and Elizabeth Benson.

He appears in Sunderland on the 1881 census living with Ralph and Elizabeth. Confusingly his forename isn't given properly - it just appears to say F S. I can find no other evidence however that he ever went by a name beginning with F. The writing is poor, so it might not say FS at all anyway.

I suspect at some point after this there was a family breakdown. It's a long story but his Dad Ralph joins the army again in 1885 and lies about being married and on the 1891 census his wife Elizabeth is living with two other men who could potentially be her new parter and is pregnant with a child that potentially isn't Ralph's as he was quite likely to be in India at the time. (Unfortunately I'm not 100% certain of when he was in India as he could have in theory come back on leave - but that's another issue).

Anyway, clearly something was happening to the family because in 1891 Stanwick was taken into care in Sunderland and eventually sent to Canada by the Annie Maphearson agency. I am going to apply for his records, which I am told may reside with Bernados but apparently due to COVID you can't apply at the moment?

He travelled from Liverpool on the 19th March 1891 and arrived in Halifax, Canada on the 29th March 1891. He went to the Marchmont home in Belleville and was still living there when he was 13, on a census that was taken sometime in 1891.

The next record I have for him is his marriage in Northumberland, Ontario, Canada on 23 October 1901. He married an Alice Taylor, who was Canadian, and was apparently working as a farmer.

Frustratingly I can't find him or Alice in 1911. I've no evidence to show he ever left Canada. One issue might be his name. He's been written down as Stanwicks, Stanwick, Stan, Stanwise and I've tried those variants with no joy.

He does reappear in 1921 with Alice living in Northumberland Ontario and working as a carpenter.

After that I have no further trace of him. I've no idea if he and Alice ever had children or what happened to the after that point.

I would be grateful to anyone who could point me to further information about what his life in Canada might have been like.

Thank you

Armed Forces / Service record for the 1880s, question about word 'home'.
« on: Tuesday 11 May 21 21:12 BST (UK)  »
Me again.

I'm trying to make sense of a record for a Ralph Harwood, who was in the Liverpool Regiment, first battalion, between 1885 and 1900.

I've made a good go of it, but the record is really decayed in places. Thankfully lots of people here have been helping me with the various elements.

One section I am looking at seems to be for wounded or killed soldiers, although the title is in the frayed bit so I'm not sure. I do know Ralph was killed in 1900 in Africa.

It gives a list of places he was stationed in, plus the dates and the total years and days he spent in these postings.

I'm attaching a clip below to show you what I mean.

I know that the second one is India, and the third one is Africa, but I'm not sure about the first one because the start of the word is missing.

I think it says 'Home' which would make sense because I did a bit of research into Liverpool Regiment and I know that it became practice to have one battalion in England and one abroad. So he could have been stationed in England. But would they have used the word 'Home' to describe that, or have I misunderstood?

Thank you

Handwriting Deciphering & Recognition / What is this illness
« on: Tuesday 11 May 21 19:32 BST (UK)  »

I'm going over a medical record and I've found this entry. I'm wondering it it's typhoid or something like that as the first few letters look like typh to me. I can't make head nor tail of the next bit. It must have been something contagious as it's described as a contagion later on in the document.

Thank you

UPDATE: Having done some research into the regiment, apparently they served in the third Burmese war 1885 and the Second Boer War 1899-1902, so it's feasible I suppose that he was in Africa, after he went to India. I know he was in India for some time at least because it says that clearly.

I'm trying to understand a military record for a Ralph Harwood ( I have various threads on this which I can point you to if needed), which is unfortunately quite battered.

I do know that he was part of the Liverpool Regiment and that went to India in 1886.

He has a lengthy medical record which has entries from 1887 to 1892. Unfortunately it's quite battered and I can't make sense of the places. At least I think they are places.

I have no idea how long he was in India for, so these could be for somewhere else. However some of the entries the '90s say 'climate' as a reason for the illness so I would assume that was not referring to England.

I have to upload these images in two separate posts as apparently they are too big.

Hi Everyone,

I'm sorry if I ask a lot of stupid questions. I really know nothing about military history.

I'm trying to dig in to the life of a man called Ralph Harwood, who was born in about 1855 in Grimsby, to work out if he was really the father of my GG Grandmother. 

I know that he joined the military in September 1885 and was part of the Liverpool Regiment. I know his number was 1345.

According the medical page of his record, by October 1886 he had travelled to India. I'm not sure how long he stayed in India but the page is lengthy and has entries 1887, 1888 and 1889. There are also entries for 1890, 1891 and 1892. Unfortunately the column which has the place names in it is blurry and largely blank.

On 6th June 1900 he was posted to South Africa,  specifically Machadodorp. The record says he was killed in an accident there in October 1900.

The specific reason I'm interested is because I previously believed he was my 2nd Great Grandfather. In theory, he had a daughter called Jane Amelia who was born in November 1891.

So theoretically, he may have been back in England in time to father a child in 1891. I have no idea what he was doing between 1892 and 1900 because the record doesn't say - or if it does I don't understand it.

However I'm suspicious because there is no father listed on Jane Amelia's birth certificate. Although she does say Ralph Harwood is her father on her marriage certificate. Also her mother, Elizabeth, was living with another man as his servant on the 1891 census, with three of her children and when she must have been pregnant with Jane Amelia.

Also on his record when he signs up, Ralph denies that he is married and as his next of kin gives his Mum's details and that of two of his sisters. Which makes me think that maybe the marriage had broken down.

So I'm wondering basically, is it possible that Ralph left the army in say 1892 and came back to England and then joined up again in 1900?

Handwriting Deciphering & Recognition / Does this say 1885?
« on: Saturday 08 May 21 22:51 BST (UK)  »
Hi Everyone,

I'm trying to resolve some things regarding a man I believed was a relative of mine. Ralph Harwood, born in Grimsby in about 1855. I believe he spent much of his life in Durham. I believe he was, in name at least, the father of my GG grandmother Jane Amelia Harwood, b. November 1891 in Easington Durham.


I have a thread about this branch of my family already, where I got some help years ago to find out about his daughter, Jane Amelia Harwood.

I've been going back over my information because I've been trying to find out what happened to Ralph Harwood after 1881, which is the last census record I have for him. I'm starting to suspect things are bit more complicated than I first believed.

In 1891 his wife, Elizabeth (nee Benson) is living in Back Lane, Easington, Durham as a servant for a man called Benjamin Williams (50, a widower), with three of her children and there is a 'visitor' called James Henry (40, single). This is the first time in all my census searching that I've ever seen a woman who was working as a servant living with her three children.

She must have been pregnant with my ancestor Jane Amelia Harwood about that time, as her birth certificate has her as being born in that street on 4th November 1891.

This seems a bit odd to me, unless she was a sister-in-law of Benjamin Williams. Elizabeth Harwood (nee Benson) did have at least 3 sisters but I haven't been able to confirm if any of them married a Benjamin Williams. It's a very generous employer who would house his pregnant servant and her three children.

Also, there was no father's name given on Jane Amelia Harwood birth certificate, which I overlooked before I think as I didn't really understand the implications. Jane Amelia does later say Ralph Harwood (deceased) is her father on her marriage certificate but who knows?

Actual question and clipping

Anyway, I have found a potential explanation. There is a military service record for a Ralph Harwood, whose information does seem to fit what I've got for Ralph, same birth location. I haven't been able to find a different Ralph Harwood who fits in to that information.

What confuses me is that it seems to say that he rejoined in 1885 and on that page he says that he is not married. Later in the record it gives his Mum and two sisters as next of kin and no mention of Elizabeth or any of the children. (His Mum had remarried by this point and was going by the surname of Buckley).

What I'm trying to confirm is, do you think this record says 1885. It's in the frayed and blotted part so it's hard to be 100% sure.

Further thoughts/thinking outloud

If it does say 1885, and that was when he signed up, it would potentially explain why he was absent in 1891. The record also says he died in an accident in 1900. Elizabeth Harwood (nee Benson) describes herself as a widow on the subsequent census in 1901.

So if this is him, that I suppose would mean that he lied when he said he wasn't married. Presumably because the relationship with Elizabeth had totally broken down.

Or, this is a totally different Ralph Harwood and I've got that part of my tree wrong.

Thank you for sticking with me.

I'm looking through a part of my tree at the moment where children are being born in the 1890s, and failing to find baptisms for them.

It occurred to me that they might simply not have been baptised. I've begun to realise there is something suspicious about the parentage of these children which might by one factor behind it.

Anyway, it got me thinking, I know lots of people who were never baptised and who have not baptised their own children today. But it must have been a bit rarer in the past, especially before official registration of births. So when did it become more common?

I do recall reading in a women's diary written in the 1800s that she has a male servant who she believes was not baptised and she is quite concerned about it. So that makes me think that at that point in history at least it was rare.

I was wondering if there was a point where that became more normal?

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