The picture above is of my great great grandparents, John and Mary Stacey, and probably their 4 youngest children.
Their youngest son George was born in 1882 so that would date this photograph mid to late 1880s.
I will start my thoughts with John and Mary who are the maternal branch of my family.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Great grand aunt Fanny

What a title but the relationship my family tree programme gives me for Fanny is daughter of great, great grandfather.  Fanny was the half sister of my great grandfather Charles Henry Butler.  Charles' mother died in November 1865 when Charles was only 2 years old.  She died, at the age of 25, of pulmonary tuberculosis (then termed phthisis) shortly after the birth of Charles' brother William.  Her husband William Butler remarried and went on to have six more children, Three boys and three girls.  The girls were Fanny born in 1868, Eliza in 1878 and Emma in 1879.  This photo  is of the three girls. Not sure of the occasion but maybe  Fanny's 21st birthday (not sure if they did celebrate 21st  at that time).  The short haircuts of the 2 younger girls make me wonder if they had been ill or maybe has head lice!

Charles married my great grandmother Everil Stacey in January 1887 and they had three children, Ernest, Lily and Edith (my grandmother).  Sadly my great grand grandmother Everil died in August 1900, of pneumonia and heart failure, when Edith was only 25 days old. My great grandfather Charles died also of pneumonia and heart failure the following January.  Everil had become an orphan when she was less than a year old.   The informant on Charles' death certificate was his half sister Fanny who I believe was living with him in Wakefield and taking care of his children after he lost his wife.

The 1901  census shows Fanny back in Ravenfield with her parents and also 13 year old Ernest and baby Edith.   Ten year old Lily was living with her maternal grandparents John and Mary Stacey also in Ravenfield.  In 1911 Ernest and Edith were still with their grandparents but Fanny was now living with her sister Emma and her husband Joe Brocklesby and their son Stanley also in Ravenfield,  Lily was still with John and Mary.

Fanny's sister Emma died in 1914 and Fanny married her late sister's husband in 1915.  By this time Fanny was 48 and so it was too late for her to have children of her own.  I think she had spent her life caring for her siblings and their children.  Although Ernest and Edith were living with their grandparents I think Fanny was more than likely the one who looked after them.

So my great grandfather never knew his mother and my grandmother never knew either of her parents.  Tragedy was to strike yet again when my grandmother Edith died in 1925, at the age of 25, after her clothes caught fire.  This meant my mother did not remember her mother either as she was only 3 at the time of this tragedy.    What she did have fond memories of was spending time with aunt Fanny and uncle Joe who took her in when her mother died and she stayed with them until her father remarried two years later.

Below is a later photo of Fanny and also one of Fanny and Joe with their pigs, not a very good one though.
One thing mum used to tell me about Fanny was that she always wore a man's cap!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Ravenfield, then and now.

More old postcards of Ravenfield Village taken in about 1905 together with descriptions written by Mr G E Osborn in 1978. Also photographs of the same places that I took myself in 2006.  I am sure there have been a lot of changes since Mr Osborn wrote his descriptions 34 years ago.

Photograph taken in 2006

Photograph taken in 2006

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Bridge House

The Staceys lived in a cottage in Ravenfield which was next to the school house.  You can see them standing outside the house in my page header.  When the railway came to Ravenfield in the first decade of the 20th century the cottage became known as Bridge House.

This is a postcard  showing the cottage before the railway arrived.  The bridge crossed the road at the end where the trees are.  Must be Staceys standing at the gate but who I do not know.

I do not have a picture of the   railway bridge  but found a website with one.  Tried to contact the site owner for a copy but their address is no longer current so have linked to the website.  It must have spoilt the peace of such a small village to have a railway going through and especially for the Staceys living so near.  Would it have been granted planning permission today?

Below is a picture I took in 2006 of Bridge house from the same aspect, without Bridge again as it was demolished at sometime, maybe in the 1960s with the "Beeching Cuts"

Ravenfield is still a small village and has been winner of Britain in Bloom competition.  There are more photographs and information on the Old Ravenfield website.

One of my distant cousins sent me copies of old postcards of Ravenfield dated around 1906 and each one was accompanied by a description written in 1978 by a Mr G E Osborn who was a resident there.

This is a view of Bridge House from the other side.  I am sure the Staceys are standing outside on this one.  If you enlarge the picture by clicking on it you will see who I think is John on the right and Mary standing in the road with her hand on her hip.  Don't know who the very pregnant lady is or the children.  Below is a copy of the description supplied by Mr Osborn. 

Below is a picture of Bridge House that I took in 2002

This is a picture of the Old School House, mentioned above, that I took in 2006.  Today this house is for sale for £360,000.  Pity it is too far away as it looks like a very nice house from the estate agent's description. Wouldn't it be great to live next door to the house where your ancestors lived and in such a lovely small village.  (Population about 2000 now) 

Thursday, 23 February 2012

George Stacey

George was the youngest of the Stacey children.  He was born in Rotherham 1882 and died in 1958 in Ravenfield.  He married Phoebe Griffiths, who was welsh, in Cardigan, Wales in 1909.  He brought Phoebe to live in Ravenfield.  How they met I do not know as Wales was quite a distance at that time.  Much closer now with modern transport but not as easy to get to at the beginning of the 20th century.  I have acquired several photos of George and Phoebe and this first one, I like to think, was of their wedding.  Why else would you wear such a marvelous hat.

Next is Phoebe with their their first child George Griffiths Stacey (known as Griff) on the occasion of his baptism at St James' Church in Ravenfield on 6th June 1910.  What a beautiful christening gown he is wearing.

These are pictures of George and Phoebe with their children, George Griffiths and Letitia Mary. Letitia was born on 19th May 1914.  The Photo on the right was taken earliest and I would have put it first, if only I could work out how to move them round the page. I can sometimes but only by a fluke. The picture of the children on their own looks as though it might have been over-painted as Letitia's dress is a delicate shade of green.  It is lovely to see the fashions of the period on these old photographs.  Letitia is also pictured on another post with her Aunt Kate.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

More Staceys

Mary Stacey married Robert Clavis Brocklesby in 1899 and they had 6 children.   Their 4th daughter Ethel Mary married Cyril Bird in 1937.  Their daughter Sue is the person I met on the Internet whilst doing my research.  Her mother Ethel died in 2001 at the age of 96 and most of the photos here belonged to her. Sue sent me copies which she had labelled as far as she was able to from speaking with her mother.


    These 2 photos are of Mary (Stacey) Brocklesby left, and Ethel (Brocklesby) Bird right.

John Stacey is the next of John and Mary's children and I think he is the elder of the 2 boys in the photograph at the head of my blog.  John married Clara Eleanor Wiles in 1904 and I know that they had one daughter in 1906, who they named after my great grandmother Everil who was John's sister and had died in 1900.  I do not know yet if there were any further children.  On the 1911 census they still only had the one and Clara was 41 years old at that time so maybe there were no more.

Young John Stacey
                                                       John with his mother Mary.

  I believe these 2 photos are of John and his wife Clara.   Can't be too sure and can't remember who sent them to me.  Clara looks quite young, and from her dress I think it must have been taken in the late 19th century.   John is obviously older than in the previous photos as he has lost some of his hair. 

My next post will be about George, the youngest of the Stacey Children.  I have a lot of lovely photographs of George and his family. 

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

John and Mary Stacey's Family

I have photographs of all of John and Mary's children except Everil,
my great grandmother.  Unless, that is, she is the eldest girl second from left of the photograph at the head of my blog which I have assumed is Elizabeth.  Sadly Everil died in 1900 not long after the birth of my grandmother so no later photographs of her.

John and Mary's eldest son Kelita married Annie Ward in 1886 and they had 4 children.  I believe that the young man  on the right is Kelita.  It is a name I hadn't heard before and when I checked on it there are only 85 records of it on the FreeBMD site and the majority are in Yorkshire.

This is Ann who married Henry Broadhead in Ravenfield in1883.  They had 3 children.

This picture was taken outside the Stacey home in Ravenfield, which by this time was called Bridge House since the railway arrived in about 1907.  The railway bridge was a little way down the road to the right of the cottage.  The  bridge has since been demolished as the railway stopped running there but the name Bridge House as been kept and is still there today.  At this time I think George and his wife Phoebe were living in Bridge House.

This is Kate Stacey who married Richard Greaves in 1891. Kate and Richard had 4 children. With Kate is Letitia Stacey who was the daughter of George Stacey.  Letitia was born in 1914 and married Albert Preston in 1940.

The very serious looking couple in these 2 photographs are Elizabeth and her husband John Haw.  They were married in 1889 in Ravenfield and had 4 children.

I will continue with the remaining 3 children in my next post.

Monday, 20 February 2012

More about the Staceys

I was eager to post my first page yesterday so now need to tell you more about the Staceys.  John's father Aaron worked as a woodman and John followed in his footsteps.  Not quite sure what this entailed but I think they must have managed an area of woodland.  Maybe they coppiced trees and perhaps were responsible for fencing.  The area they lived in was in the vicinity of Wentworth - Woodhouse which was a very large house and  Park not far from Rotherham.  I like to think they worked on the estate but have no evidence to substantiate this.
I read a very interesting book, Black Diamonds, by Catherine Bailey, which was about the history of the Wentworth -Fitzwilliam family who owned the estate, and apparently most of the household records were deliberately destroyed on a bonfire in 1972.

This is another photo of  John and Mary. I don't know when it was taken. The photos I have of them were sent to me by another of their descendants who I met via the Internet whilst doing my research.

I have found records of John and Mary having eight children but according the the 1911 census they also had one who died in infancy.  The eldest, Kelita, was born in 1862 and he also became a woodman like his father and grandfather.

They then had a run of daughters.  Ann in 1865, Kate in 1867 and next my great grandmother Everil who was born in 1869.  Next came Elizabeth born in 1871 and then Mary in 1873.  Two boys followed, John in 1875 and finally George in 1882.  Maybe the long gap between John and George was the time when they had and lost their 9th child.

By the time of the 1891 census John and Mary had settled in the village of Ravenfield not far from Rotherham. They lived in a cottage on School Lane next to the schoolhouse. The photograph at the top of my blog shows them standing outside the cottage with four of their children. I think these are, from left to right, John, Elizabeth, George and Mary.

I will tell you more about Ravenfield and some of their children later.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

John and Mary Stacey (nee Wilmot)

The earliest photograph I have in my collection is of Mary Stacey who was born on 23rd November 1837 in Messingham, Lincolnshire.  She was the daughter of John Wilmot and Sarah Bramhill.  I don't know how old she was when this photo was taken but she does look quite young.  Her birth certificate is the earliest I have as registration of births only started in that year. 

Mary married John Stacey in Messingham on10th June 1861.  John was the son or Aaron and Mary Stacey of Thorpe Hesley in Yorkshire. He was born in either 1838 or 39 and was baptised in Wentworth, Yorkshire in May 1839.  It appears his parents failed to register his birth.