Ancestor Number One of the 52 Week Challenge

This is a challenge where we have to write about one ancestor per week over the next year. I am slightly behind with this challenge, but I aim to be up to date by the end of the month. My ancestors will include grandparents, uncles, aunties and cousins and I will be sharing their story with you.

My first ancestor that I would like to share with you is Albert Harry Copperthwaite, and he was my second great grand uncle on my paternal line.
Albert, known as Bert, was born on the 25th December 1883 in Southampton, Hampshire, England. Albert was the youngest of seven children born to Alfred Flint Copperthwaite and Clara Carter. His siblings were: Alfred James (1866-1959), Ada Susanna (1868-1946), Ernest Frederick George (1872-1946), Laura Clarinda (1875-1916), Lilly Louise (1878-1961) and Frederick Adlophus (1881-1935).
The first census that he appears on is the 1891 census. He is living with his parents and five of his siblings at Spa Court, Spa Road, Southampton, Hampshire and he is of school age.
The 1901 census shows that he was visiting his sister, Laura Clarinda and her husband Frederick Noyce. They were living at 1 Mount Street, All Saints, Hampshire. Albert’s occupation was a Ship’s Trimmer. A trimmer on a ship was a person who distributes coal on a steam ship. All Saints was a parish in Southampton.
In the first quarter of 1907, Albert married a lady called Kate Young, but by the time the 1911 census was carried out, Albert was living at 8 Wharf Street, Southampton. The other people recorded on this census return was a lady called Maud Beatrice Johnson (1891) who was a lodger, and a three month old child called Lily Alice Johnson. Lily was the daughter of Albert, but Albert and Maud were not married. There is no mention as to what happened to Kate Young, and this is something that I would like to find out. Could she have remarried or did she die of an illness or through childbirth?
Albert was living at 39 Mount Street when he signed on to the Titanic. His occupation was a fireman/stoker and he would have received a monthly wage of £6.00. Sadly, he died in the sinking of the Titanic, and his body was never found. He was only 29 years old.
There was a Relief Fund that provided payments to widows and children of the crew. Albert was a Class G crew which was at the bottom and included Firemen, Scullions and Lower Class Stewards. As Maud and Albert were not married at the time of his death, all payments to Maud in respect of their illegitimate daughter Lily would be made instead to her grandmother, Mrs Charlotte Johnson. An allowance of 8s 6d per week would be made for Lily Johnson if necessary.
I visited the Titanic museum in Southampton when it first opened in 2012. At the time, I was unaware that Albert was my ancestor. I will go and visit again to see if there is anything else I can find out about him.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Year, New Start

So, it’s been a while since I posted a blog as I’ve been busy with various projects. I thought that as it is a new year (two weeks in now), I would start my blog up again, and share with you regularly what I have been doing, and what I aim to be doing this coming year.

I started the 52 ancestors in 52 weeks challenge last year, but unfortunately wasn’t able to complete it, so this year, I aim to start this again, and also complete it. I’ll be including direct ancestors as well as not so direct, as I want to share all of the interesting people in my tree.

I am carrying out a One Name Study as well, and I will be continuing with that. I have quite a lot of names in my database already, so far 8,500. I still have quite a lot of names to collect. It’s going to be huge study, but I am enjoying the challenge so far.

I’ve started collecting old documents as I find them very fascinating, and I have a few which are 200-300 years old. They are in remarkable condition for their age. I have been transcribing them, and I will share them with you soon.

There are a few places that I want to visit this year, for example local and county record offices. This will help me with my own tree and others and also my One Name Study.

In April I’m hoping to go to Who Do You Think You Are Live, which is being held in Birmingham this year. This year, I will be going for two days as I want to attend a few seminars as well as visiting the various stands.

I have a lot planned this year, and it looks to be very fulfilling, and I can’t wait to share it all with you. Watch this space for my next blog.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hiscock One Name Study

I’ve managed to continue, in the past few days, with my one name study. I’m still at the collecting names stage, and filling up my spreadsheet. So far I have just over 5000 names collected from the free BMD website. I’ve got another 3000 to transfer over from there, before I move on to the other genealogy websites to fill in the gaps, ie Parish Records.
The next stage will then be to find the variations, and then move on to people with the Hiscock name in other countries. It is going to take a bit of time to collate all of this information together, but it’ll be worth it in the end. I’m really looking forward to starting to build the various trees and find out about all of these people that share my name. Watch this space for the next update.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ancester Number 12 of the 52 Ancestors Challenge

Alfred Flint Copperthwaite is the number 12 ancestor in the 52 Ancestors Challenge, and is my son’s four times great grandfather. When researching Alfred, I felt that his middle name was slightly unusual and figured that it must be a family name that has been carried on. I researched further and found that Flint comes from Flint Cole (1765-1836). Flint Cole was Alfred’s great, great grandfather on his mother’s side. He was born in the St Michael area of Southampton. This area no longer exists in Southampton, and I assume that it was one of the many parishes in Southampton at the time. There is still a St Michaels church in Southampton City Centre which is in one of the older parts of Southampton.

Alfred was the second born of three children to George Copperthwaite (1815-1843) and Louisa Payne (1817-1871). His two siblings were Emma Copperthwaite (1839-1840) and Harriet Copperthwaite (1842-1843). As you can see, unfortunately, both his siblings died in infancy, he was the only surviving child.

Alfred was born on 14 February 1841 and was baptised a month later on 14 March 1841 at St Michael, Southampton. We don’t have to wait long to see Alfred on the next record, which was the 1841 Census carried out on the 6th June that year. Here it is below:


On the 1841 census, Alfred is seen to be living at Castle Buildings, St Michael, Southampton, Hampshire, England with his mother, Louisa and a female servant called Martha Cole.

 Scan1The 1851 census was carried out on 30th March 1851. Alfred was visiting his grandparents at the time of this census. He was staying with James and Harriet Payne at 4 Cossack Street, Southampton St Mary, Hampshire, England.



By the time the 1861 census was carried out on 7th April, Alfred was lodging at Poole St James where his occupation was a Tallow Chandler. A Tallow Chandler makes and sells tallow candles or soaps and oils. Tallow is made from suet or fat taken from animals and separated from the membranous, as well as the fibrous matter by melting.

By the third quarter of 1861, Alfred married Clara Carter, and he is back in Southampton.

By the next census return, in 1871, Alfred and Clara are living in Southampton, and Alfred’s occupation has changed to a ship steward. Here is the census return below:

 Scan3As you can see, Alfred and Clara are living at Duke Street with two of their children, Alfred and Ada. Alfred is four years old and is at school, whereas Ada is only two years old.

Scan4By 1881, the family have moved to 3 Spa Court, Spa Road in the area of Southampton called Southampton All Saints. Alfred’s occupation is a dock labourer. Alfred and Clara’s son, Alfred is a Butcher’s Assistant and their daughter Ada is at school.

Scan5In 1891, the Copperthwaite family are still living in Spa Road. On this census return, you can see the rest of their family. Alfred is back to being a Steward for a living. Their eldest son, Alfred, doesn’t appear to be living with them and neither is Ada. We have, instead, Ernest, who doesn’t seem to be working, and Laura, Lilly, Frederick and Albert who are all at school. Albert, in 1912, signs up to work on the Titanic, and tragically loses his life.

Scan6By 1901, Alfred and Clara have moved to 29 John Street in the St Marys area of Southampton where Alfred is still a Ship Steward. They have Ernest still living with them at this stage.

Scan7This is the 1911 census carried out on the 2nd April. It’s just Alfred and Clara living at home now. Alfred is 70 years old and is still working as a Ship Steward. They are living at 5 Brick Court, Canal Walk in Southampton. The 1911 census is my favourite census return as this is the return that is completed in our ancestor’s own handwriting.

Alfred passed away in the fourth quarter of 1919 aged 78 years old. His wife, Clara, outlived him by 10 years.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

1871 Census Return

Whilst researching for a client today, I was trying to locate her maternal great grandmother on the 1871 census. I completed the relevant fields, and one match came out as follows:

1871 censusAs you can see in the second entry down, we have a family with the surname Massey, no first names, just their ages and their relation to each other. We know that they lived at 33 Upper William Street, Marylebone, London and that’s about it. In the column for rank or profession, someone has written “left his house on Monday morning – information from another lodger.”

Has anyone else come across something like this in their research before?


Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Wordless Wednesday – Old Document Indenture dated 30 December 1824


This is a three page old document indenture, with seals,  dated 30 December 1824 which I will be transcribing shortly.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ancestor Number 11 of the 52 Ancestors Challenge

Today’s ancestor is Herbert Christopher Hiscock, and he is my son’s great, great grandfather. This is his birth certificate.

ScanAs you can see from the birth certificate, Herbert was born on the 7 March 1888 at 27 Edward Road, Freemantle in Hampshire, England. Herbert’s parents were Harry Hiscock  (1855-1929) who was a domestic coachman at the time of Herbert’s  birth. His mother was Mary Jane Hiscock, formerly Hussey (1857-1903). Mary Jane was the person who registered the birth. Herbert had eight siblings: Helen (1876), Lilian (1879), Clarence (1883), Mabel Marian (1885-1885), Harry (1886), Robert (1890), Bessie (1893), and William (1896).

Scan2This is the first census return that Herbert appears on. This is the 1891 census where it shows Herbert under the name of Christopher. This happens quite a lot on census returns where people are listed under their middle names. It can make research quite difficult, but with a bit of patience, you can eventually come up with the right people. This census return shows Herbert still living with his family at 27 Edward Road.

Scan3The 1901 census return shows him still living at the same address with his father Harry, mother, Jane (Mary), and siblings Robert, Bessie and William. Herbert is 13 years old on this census return and is currently showing as not yet working.

On 17 June 1904, Herbert’s occupation was a Van Lad based in Southampton. By 1907, he was transferred to the traffic department as a junior porter.

Scan4Here we have the census return from 2 April 1911. Herbert is living with his family at 3 Woodbine, New Buildings, Church Street, Shirley, Southampton. His family are boarders at this address and are living with the Pennell family. We can see that Herbert’s father is a widower by this time with his wife passing in 1903. Christopher (Herbert) is a railway porter for South Western.

Scan1This is the marriage certificate of Herbert Christopher Hiscock. You can seen on this certificate that his name is registered as Christopher Herbert Hiscock and that he was 25 years old when he got married. He was a shunter on the railway and was living at 17 Church Street in Shirley. Christopher married Florence Smith who was 20 years old and a butcher’s shop assistant. Florence was living at 32 Howards Grove in Shirley. Her father was Frank Smith, a domestic gardener.

Christopher passed away in 1952, outliving his wife by seven years. They are both buried in Holybrook Cemetary in Southampton. I have their plot numbers and have located where their graves should be. We’re are going to get a cross made and engraved so that we can mark where their graves are.








Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment