Saturday, 26 April 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 weeks # 8 Harry Swadling

On the 15th February 2014 I attended a Guild of One-Name Studies Seminar in Telford in Shropshire. The seminar was entitled One-Name Studies – The Next Generation. The speakers were aged between 16 and 40 and the programme included each speaker explaining how they had began their One-Name Study and how they collected data using today’s technology.

It was during the first presentation that I learned about this challenge. What a brilliant idea I thought. I was certainly one of the many number of bloggers who didn’t post on their blogs on a regular basis. Well that’s not actually true. I did post on a regular basis – once a year, every New Year.

One speaker entitled her presentation  - the Name Collector and she explained a little about her study and why she had started it. She went on to tell the assembled group which web sites and software that she used to collect her data.

A far cry from when I began researching my family history in 1999 when the Internet or the World Wide Web was in its infancy. The Church of Latter Day Saints sponsored the only Internet based family history site with their online line search service called the International Genealogical Index.

Other options were to visit your local county records office or if you were lucky the largest library in each county to check little pieces of plastic covered in thousands of names on a projector like machine that magnified the images. I remember sitting at a microfiche reader in September 1999 trying to find the marriage of my paternal grandparents at the Old Birmingham Library on these little bits of plastic. Once the marriage details were found. I then had to write a cheque and send a request for the certificate to the register office where the marriage had been registered. That process would take over a week!

How things have changed. I can now carry out research without leaving my comfort of my own home. I use two main sites Find My Past and Ancestry to find data. Admittedly they are pay to view sites but in my option well worth the money. Also on line are many free view sites. FreeBMD is just one of these.

So I have decided for this week’s ancestors I am going to only use the Internet to research the family of an unknown Swadling. But how was I going to choose the ancestor? I put the name Swadling into google search engine and my blog and Guild of One-Name Study profile came up together with information about living Swadlings. Not an option as I’m not prepared to write about living Swadlings as I don’t have their permission to do so. So I then put Swadling family into google search and came up with many references to the names of Swadlings but this time the articles included data that had been published by family members. Also not an option as this is someone else’s research. So how was I going to pick a suitable candidate? I decided to pick a name from the General Register Office birth registrations listed on the FreeBMD website which anyone can search for free. And the lucky victim, I mean candidate, is Harry Swadling. So by just using the Internet I will hopefully find out who his family were and what happened to him?

Harry’s birth was registered in the Marylebone registration district of London in the December quarter of 1858 which meant that he was born between September and December of that year.

In 1861 at the age of two Harry was living in Marylebone with his parents Henry aged 42, who was employed as a stoker at the Marylebone Baths, and his mother Priscilla age 38. His father was born in London but his mother’s birthplace was not listed. Harry had three older sisters, Sarah aged 15 and Dinah Mary aged 13 who had both been born in Sydenham in Kent and Emma aged 7 who had been born in Marylebone.

I checked some of the London parish registers and found that Henry and Priscilla Tinson had married at St Mary’s Paddington Green on the 15 July 1845. I also found out that Harry had two other siblings who had died before he was born. Elizabeth Martha and Richard.

By 1871 Harry was working as an Errand Boy and living at home with his widowed mother Priscilla and his two older sisters Sarah and Emma. His sister Dinah Mary had died in 1863 and his father Henry had died in 1866. Also boarding at the property was William Coe, Harry’s future brother in law. There was also a mysterious grandchild of Priscilla’s called William Hoileg aged 2 listed as living at them. I have been unable to establish who this child’s parents are.

Emma married William Robert Coe just a week after the census was taken and it looks like they may have immigrated to New Zealand. Sarah married William Whittick in 1874, a widower 15 years her senior and they had several children.

On the 1881 census, Henry Swadling, was a servant at St Luke’s Hospital for Lunatics on City Road London. His mother was now living with Sarah and William.

On the 6th August 1882 Harry married Annie White at St Mary Bryanston Square and they had two sons, Henry Richard born in 1883 and Edward George born in 1884. Edward George died when he was only a few months.

In 1891 Henry, Annie and Henry Richard were living in Chapel Street, Marylebone and Harry was employed as a Porter at Mansions. I assume that this could have been a hotel. By 1901 Harry and his family had now moved to Paddington but he was still working as a mansions porter. Henry was employed as a Builders Clerk. Harry’s mother Priscilla was still living with his sister Sarah and several of her children. Sarah was now also a widow.

Henry Richard married Mary Dorothy Calcutt in 1906 in and they had three children Henry Richard Charles, Edward Griffiths and Leslie, who died at the age of ten in 1920. In 1911 Henry was working as a moneylender’s clerk and the family were living in Fulham. Harry and Annie were living in Kensington in 1911 and were employed as servants by a widow Mrs Eleanor Sickert.  Harry was listed as a manservant and Annie was a housemaid, which seemed a strange occupation for a 60 year old? Harry’s mother Priscilla died just after the census was taken at the age of 89. 

Henry Richard Charles married but it looks like he and his wife Frances were unable to have any children. He died at the age of 77 in 1984.

Edward Griffiths married Ethel and they had one daughter Sylvia. Edward Griffiths died at the age of 82 in 1994. Sylvia was the last Swadling on this family tree. She married and had three children.

As for Harry, he and Annie were living a 9 Horbury Crescent, Kensington in 1930 but I’m not sure what happened to him after that. Annie died in 1937 at the age of 85.

So that’s the family history for Harry Swadling with all the information courtesy of the Internet.

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