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Messages - philipsearching

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Leicestershire Lookup Requests / Re: Henry Elijah Axton (or Axten)
« on: Saturday 16 October 21 17:54 BST (UK)  »
I have just Googled " optican clipstone street leicester"  and found a post on anothet site which refers to the  Rank optical factory on Clipstone Street

Nice find!  Is that from the website?  That post indicates that the Rank factory was in business after WW1 but I haven't been able to find out when it was set up.  The 1891 Kelly's Directory (cited below, p626)  has several small traders on Clipstone Street, but I can't see a factory.

Somerset Lookup Requests / Re: Looking for George Plummer - Bristol/Bedminster
« on: Saturday 16 October 21 17:39 BST (UK)  »
Queenie, that is a cracking piece of research - getting the correct James and an occupation for father George.

George's occupation as a sawyer in 1785 might mean that he ran his own business or he was a foreman or labourer.  Whichever, he would have been sawing timber into useable lengths - probably for shipwrights, carpenters or cabinet makers.  My gut-feeling is that he would be more likely to be local to Bristol (or Somerset/Gloucestershire) than to have come from further afield (as some merchants did).

Leicestershire Lookup Requests / Re: Henry Elijah Axton (or Axten)
« on: Saturday 16 October 21 17:25 BST (UK)  »
The Leicester University of Leicester Special Collections Online is a splendid resource.
They have Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire and Leicestershire 1891 (vol. 2 - Leicestershire & Rutland) which on p959 of the directory (image p461) has a couple of possibilities

Hope this helps.

Armed Forces / Re: Thomas Mcintosh of Peterhead information request
« on: Saturday 16 October 21 17:06 BST (UK)  »
Is their a war diary that tells how he died ?

War diaries rarely mention the names of soldiers below officer rank.  At best you may find a brief account of battalion activities and casualty totals.

The War Diary for the 1st Battalion, The Gordon Highlanders for 1917 is in the National Archive:
Reference:    WO 95/1435/2
Description:    76 Infantry Brigade: 1 Battalion Gordon Highlanders.
Date:    1917 Jan 1 - 1917 Dec 31


Somerset Lookup Requests / Re: Looking for George Plummer - Bristol/Bedminster
« on: Saturday 16 October 21 16:47 BST (UK)  »
I have been unsuccessful in finding a baptism record but I assume it will be from Bristol if it exists.

This is not necessarily the case.  Bristol was one of the largest trading ports so the Plummers could have moved in from elsewhere.

Do you have any information from wills or censuses giving the occupations of any Plummers?  If George (m1783) is on the 1841 census as born in county or out of county it would focus the search.


The Common Room / Re: Unexplained Victorian death: how usual was this?
« on: Saturday 16 October 21 16:38 BST (UK)  »
Let's speculate.

(1)  As the date of death was 17 June this would seem to knock out seasonal illnesses ('flu, bronchitis and so on).
(2)  If there had been an epidemic doing the rounds I would expect this to be noted on the death certificate (because there would be other deaths with the same cause).
(3)  As John worked in agriculture the illnesses pervading towns and cities are unlikely to apply.
(4)  Industrial injury would probably have been recorded on the death certificate and reported in the press.
(5)  Although John died suddenly, his death was not as much of a puzzle as to require an inquest.
(6) There was a cover-up.

My hypotheses:
(a) John was known to be "under the weather" and although his death was not immediately expected it was not a shock (maybe overwork causing heart failure?)
(b) There was a conspiracy by his father and local bigwigs to cover up embarrassment (suicide, murder by a love rival etc.).

I like the idea of option (b), but I think (a) is much more likely.


The one on the right is very close in similarity to another small photo I have , could it be the same man I will posy a photo of

The man on the right (as we look at it) has different earlobes.
The man on the left (as we look at it) is very similar to the individual photo.  There appears to be a difference in the length of the nose, but this might be a result of the head being tilted higher.

ADDED - I am far from being an expert on military uniforms and insignia, but the Gordon Highlanders looks like a good bet to me.


Armed Forces Resources / Re: Captain John Stephenson born 1812 died at sea
« on: Monday 13 September 21 13:23 BST (UK)  »
Given the location, it is quite likely that John was not in the Royal Navy, but could have been master (captain) of a commercial vessel - a collier or other trading ship perhaps.

There is a possible candidate for your man on FamilySearch on the 1851 Census:
HO107/2409/422 p19 - Tynemouth Union, Northumberland
STEPHENSON John, m, 42, head, married, seaman, born North Shields
STEPHENSON Elizabeth, f, 38, wife, born North Shields

If this is your man it would narrow down the search for a death to after 1851.  However, North Shields is a fair way south of Holy Island so he might be a red herring.  Ages given on censuses are notoriously vague so I'm not too worried about a discrepancy of a few years.



This is the same couple in 1861:
RG09/3836/94 p1 - Tynemouth
STEPHENSON John, m, 52, head, married, master mariner, born North Shields
STEPHENSON Elizabeth, f, 41 (??), wife, born North Shields

And perhaps in 1871:
Westoe, Durham
STEPHENSON Elizabeth, wid, 62, head, laundress, born North Shields

IF these tie in, that would give a death date between 1861 and 1871 for John.

World War One / Re: Two Soldiers of 13th King's Killed 25/04/1916 ?
« on: Saturday 11 September 21 18:01 BST (UK)  »
I think jomot's idea of shelling is the most likely possibility.  Sniper fire might also be possible, or perhaps being hit when on night patrol in no man's land.

We can sometimes forget that soldiers were not only killed in action, missing in action, or died of sickness or disease, but also sometimes just unlucky by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.


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