Wednesday, February 25, 2015

52 ANCESTORS, 52 THEMES: No 8, "Good Deeds?" - Thomas WHITEHOUSE 1829-1909

This year's challenge by Amy Crow is another weekly blog, but based on Themes. Last week, it was LOVE.  This No. 8 week's theme is GOOD DEEDS.  Well that was a bust - I couldn't think of, or find a story involving good deeds.  Sigh.  I'll just pick someone and move on, writing about my somewhat challenging ancestors!  

I have been digging through the collateral relationships of my BUNN & WHITEHOUSE ancestors, hoping for nuggets. My father's mother was a BUNN, and her mother was a WHITEHOUSE. An English acquaintance snorted on finding they lived in Dudley region: "If you throw a rock in that area you'll hit a Bunn, and if you throw three rocks you'll hit a Whitehouse".  Hmmm.  Sounds challenging to find my particular ancestors, doesn't it?! 

Let's look at Thomas WHITEHOUSE, my 2nd great-grandfather. As far as I can be certain, he was born 10 Jul 1829 in Rowley Regis, Staffordshire, but moved to Dudley (which was very near!) as a young man.  Although we know from his marriage and birth records that he had a father Joseph, and a mother Mary, I am not at all sure of his parents and siblings. Too many similar names in the same parish and region.

Thomas married for the first time in approximately 1851 to a Sarah (unknown). I have not requested this marriage certificate as yet. Unfortunately she appears to have died within 2 years, perhaps by illness or through childbirth complications.  

In Dudley Worcester on 31 Aug 1856, Thomas married a young widow with a daughter, Sarah PRICE, (previously married to Thomas Shutt).  I have the Marriage Certificate for the couple, plus the birth record for their 2nd child, Sarah Elizabeth, my ancestor.  It was rather disconcerting to realize that Thomas married two women named Sarah, and Sarah married two men named Thomas. 

Thomas WHITEHOUSE, b. 10 July 1829, Rowley Regis, Staffordshire, married 31 Aug 1856 to his 2nd wife, Sarah PRICE, (previously married to Thomas Shutt), b. abt 1827. They had the following children (Sarah's daughter Nancy "Ann" used the surname Whitehouse in Censuses):
  1.  Nancy "Ann" (Shutt), b. Jun 1853 Netherton; m. "?Homer" (no records found to date)
  2.  Sarah Elizabeth, [ancestor], b. 7 Nov 1858 Dudley, d. 30 Sep 1928, Barrow; m. 18 Aug 1879 to George BUNN; 9 children
  3.  Thomas jr., b. Dec 1860 Dudley; d. as infant
  4.  Benjamin "Ben", b. Mar 1867; m. 1890 to Margaret "Maggie" (?Milray); 1 son known (William)
  5.  Henry, b. 1869; m. 1889 in Barrow to Martha (unknown); 1 daughter known (Blanche)
  6.  William "Billy", b. 1871; m. 3rd Q 1889, Florence "Florrie" Milray; 4 boys
  7.  Enoch, b. 1875; no other information added as yet.

I've only just realized while typing this list that there are about 6 years between #3 and #4 child, and I'm wondering if there was another child born in that time. Sometimes one needs to look with fresh eyes at the known details to see the unknown details! 

Thomas worked in iron foundries most of his working life as a "Furnace Man," as can be found on Censuses, in the "Black Midlands" - first in Dudley area, then up north in Barrow.  The family moved from Dudley/Netherton area in Worcester up to Barrow-in-Furness, at some point after 1881. Thomas, Sarah, Ben & new wife Margaret, William and Enoch are seen on the 1891 Census living at 39 Byron Street. Nancy and Sarah Elizabeth were out of the home at this, married.

At about the same time, just before 1881, my GILLESPIE family moved to Barrow from Northern Ireland, so clearly there was good work prospects in Barrow at this time. 

I don't have full death dates for either Thomas & Sarah WHITEHOUSE, although I can see Sarah died in Barrow in the 4th Q 1895.  On the 1901 Census in Barrow, Thomas is found, widowed, living with his middle son, Ben & wife Margaret, with their only son William.  

Thomas died in the 3rd Q 1909, aged 80 years.  I'm assuming he's buried in Barrow, but some of the headstones are missing, and I haven't found records of his burial to date.

With more digging in Parish Registers and other records, I may yet get more specific details on Thomas, the Whitehouse children, and also manage to specify Thomas' parents and siblings. 

If you have more information to share please do not hesitate to contact me via calewis at telus dot net, or in the comments below.  NOTE: my blog is not allowing me to do replies to comments at the moment.  Thank you so much for visiting! \

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Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis