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.