Sunday, 29 May 2011

Important Date: 28th May

Written in the Golden Text Book on this date is the name 'Bertram Thackray Lockwood' and the address '29 Albert Terrace, Burley Fields'.

Bertram or Bertie was my granduncle, the younger brother of my grandmother, Maud. The photograph left shows the two of them, probably outside their home.

Bertie was born in 1887. He died in 1891, aged 4 years old. I haven't been able to trace what caused his death but I do know that he was buried at Woodhouse Church and the ceremony was carried out by a Reverend Longbottom on 29th December. It must have been a very sad Christmas for the family that year.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Important Date: 27th May

The entry in the GTB for today reads, 'Ann Thackray died May 27th 1904'. On checking the list of Thackrays, I couldn't find an Ann with a maiden name of Thackray but I did find an Ann Mitchell who married John Thackeray. The dates of death match so this must be the right person.

Ann was my great great grandmother. She was born in either 1818 or 1822 in Leeds, Yorkshire. I have no details of her parentage or whether she had any siblings. Tracing her through the 1851 to 1901 census, she lived in the Leeds area all her life, mainly Headingley (with or cum Burley). She would have been in her eighties when she died.

In the 1891 census, Ann is listed as the head of the household 'living on own means'. She was by that time a widow, having lost her husband in 1872. Living with her were her son in law, Alfred Lockwood and her daughter Eliza. Her grandchildren, Maud (my grandma) and Bertram were also listed. She is still head of the household and living with Alfred, Eliza and Maud (Bertram died in 1891) in 1901 but she was then listed as 'paralized 15 years'.

It would seem that at least two of her children (older than Eliza) were still living in the area so I wonder if they helped Eliza to care for their mother.

It is noticeable that the surname Thackray is spelt differently on documents and census and even family records. Sometimes it becomes Thackeray and other times Thackrah. I wonder if this was down to the Yorkshire accent.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Important Dates: 19th - 26th May

19th May

There are two entries for this date - Mary Alice Lockwood and Mary Laverack.

According to, Mary Alice Lockwood is my first cousin two times removed on my mother's side of the family. She was born in 1873 in Fenay Bridge, Almondbury, Yorkshire. Her parents were Joe Sykes Lockwood and Alice Jessop. She was to marry John Sutcliffe in 1901 when she was 28 years old (see photograph left). They would have four children - Nora, Stanley, Elsie and Nellie.

I don't know a lot about Mary but she and John look very grand in their wedding photograph. I assume it 'is' their wedding photograph. The alternative would be a professional portrait. John certainly looks very happy.

I can find no Laveracks in our family tree so I assume that this Mary Laverack was a friend of the family.

20th May

The burial of King Edward is recorded here. See my previous entry for more information.

22nd May

The entry for this date is John Kenneth Lodge. This is my uncle, my mother's brother. I always knew him as Uncle Ken. I don't know why he dropped his first name or when it happened. Ken was the middle child. My mother was younger than him and their sister Betty was the eldest. Ken was born in 1924 in Leeds. The census records are obviously of no help to gathering information on him but I do know that during the second world war he was a pilot and after he married his first wife, Janice, he settled in a small town in Scotland called Cromarty where he ran a carpentry artisan business producing spinning wheels, beautiful carved artwork and many other wooden gift items.

Ken always seemed a very glamorous figure to me. My mother adored him and he was a good friend to my father too. My favourite memories of him are when my parents and I used to visit Ken and his family in Cromarty. There was a beach across the road from his house and I can distinctly remember live crabs roaming around the floor of the kitchen before they were boiled. That all changed when he divorced, re-married and moved down to England, but looking back to those early days still makes me smile.

25th May

Mrs Sale and Mrs Smith are the names recorded on this date. We have no Sales in our family tree so I assume this is a family friend. There are Smiths smattered all over our family tree but few that have links to Yorkshire. This entry amuses me in that it creates a picture in my head of two elderly, respectable widows, Mrs Sale and Mrs Smith whom nobody dared refer to by their first names.

26th May

There are two entries for this date. The first reads, 'Queen Mary, 1931, 64 years'.
This is Queen Mary, Mary of Teck, grandmother to Queen Elizabeth II. She was the wife of King-Emperor George V. Her birthday matches up. She was born in 1867. She didn't died until 1953 but she would have been 64 years old in 1931.

The second entry reads, 'Mary Laverack, died 1910'. On, I can find a Mary Laverack whose death was registered in October 1910 in North Bierley which is near Bradford, Yorkshire. I wonder if this was our Mary Laverack.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Broken Memory

For every two or three pieces of information that I find in my family history research, I come across a question or mystery. One of these mysteries is a broken up photograph among my parents' things.

The photograph was on card rather than photographic paper. There is no labelling to suggest a date, location or the names of the people in the photograph.

This is my maternal grandmother, Maud. She looks quite young so I assume this photograph was taken in the early 1900s (she was born in 1885).

I don't know the identity of these ladies. They may be friends or family members. Perhaps if I check through the old photographs I have, I can match them up with a name.

I've no idea why this photograph was broken up but the pieces had obviously been stored with care. The more I dip in to my ancestors' lives, the more I come up against brick walls and questions that seem unanswerable.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Eliza's Will

One of the recent finds was a copy of the will of Eliza Lockwood, nee Thackeray. This has proved very useful because I now have a date of death for her but it also raises a question.

According to the will, everything belonging to Eliza was left to her daughter, Maud (my grandmother). Included in Eliza's belongings was the following,

"Piece or parcel of land with the dwellinghouse thereon Number 22 Spring Grove Walk, Burley or Headingley-cum-Burley, Leeds".

Up to and including 1911, Eliza was living at 29 Albert Terrace, Kirkstall. At the time of her death, she was resident at 5 Vickers Avenue, Kirkstall which was her daughter and son-in-law's home. Can I assume that somewhere in between those dates, Eliza and her family moved to 22 Spring Grove Walk?

The frustrating thing is that I've heard the address somewhere before in my family history research. I must look through the documents I have for my mother's side of the family again. 

Saturday, 7 May 2011

An Educated Woman

I always knew that my grandmother, Lydia was an English teacher. My mum was very proud of her mother and the fact that she not only held the family together but also was an educated woman in her own right.

In the box of my parents' belongings that we found recently, was a whole range of certificates that outlined my grandmother's teacher training. Looking through her certificates, it quickly becomes clear that she also trained in art, music and physical education. I assumed she taught secondary school age children but it seems from her certificates that she was qualified to teach at a primary school.

She learnt music through the Tonic Sol-Fa College. I've included one of her certificates above. Her other training was carried out through the Victoria University, Leeds and correspondence courses.

She registered as a teacher in 1919, at the age of 34 years old. She had been married to Alfred for four years by that time and her first child, Betty would be born the following year.

I have a certificate that states she worked as Assistant Mistress at St Stephen's School in Leeds until 1927. I'm unsure whether she stopped working as a teacher at that stage.

I'll have more information about Maud and some interesting photographs too very soon.

Friday, 6 May 2011

A little gem of history

My husband recently came across an unpacked box in our garage. I assume that it's moved with us the last couple of times because it contained my parents' things - personal items, documents but no photographs this time (well, almost). I'll tell you about the contents over the next few days but today I'll start with an item that brought back memories of my father sitting by the window attempting to darn his socks.

This is a darning loom, a small device to repair holes in clothes. It is addressed to my father's mother, Lydia at the house she lived in until my grandfather died. The stamp on it reads,

"Daily Mail
Ideal Home

The date is missing but what is remaining reads "H 4 - 29". I assume the 'h' is the end of the month of March. The date stamped on the postage stamps cannot be read. Having done some research though, it would seem that this device dates from the 1940s. The  Ideal Home Exhibition didn't take place in the early 40s due to the second world war, starting up again in 1947 so I wonder if this was purchased in that era. My father lived in London between about 1947 and 1950. I imagine that he purchased it from an Ideal Home exhibition for her.

If you'd like to read another blog post about the Speedweve Darner, have a look at 'Darn It All' by Cargo Cult Craft. For historical information on the Ideal Home Exhibition, you can find a great post on the Ideal Home Show website here

Important Date: 6th May

The entry for today's date in the Golden Text Book reads,

"King Edward 7th
Died May 6th

Edward was born on 9th November 1841 in Buckingham Palace. His parents were Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

You'd never guess from this photograph that he was seen as a frivolous playboy, a reputation which caused a rift between Edward and his parents. At the age of 21, he married Princess Alexandra of Denmark. She was 18 years old. Edward ruled from 1901 until he died.

The entry in the Golden Text Book for 20th May states, "King Edward, buried 20th May 1910".

If you would like to read more about Edward, you can visit the relevant Wikipedia page here.