Saturday, 25 May 2013

An unexpected find can change your research entirely...

Graveyard of the church in Ripley village nr Harrogate
A few months ago, I had a lovely email from a distant cousin who is also interested in researching her family history. She had a found a photograph on the internet of the grave of a common ancestor of ours, James Poole.

I already knew some information about James Poole:-
  • Born c1837 in Bradford, West Yorkshire to Joshua Poole and Sarah nee Messenger.
  • In 1841 he lived on East Brook Lane, Bradford with his mother, step-father and half-siblings.
  • In 1851 he lived on Manchester Road, Bradford with his mother, step-father and half-siblings and the family were employed in the woollen industry.
  • Married Sarah Hannah Rooks in 1858 at Bradford Parish Church.
  • In 1861 he lived at 17 Royal Street, Bradford with his wife and was employed as an iron pudler.
  • In 1871 he lived at 35 Birk Street, Bradford with his wife and four children and he was employed as an engine man.

James disappears to the records after the 1871 census and I had presumed
that he had probably died, but had never looked very hard for a death record for him.

The web link my distant cousin sent me ( revealed some very interesting information about the latter days of our ancestor that neither of us had previously known. The inscription on the grave stone (found on stated:

"In loving memory
beloved wife of JAMES POOLE,
who died May 17th 1922 in her 82nd year.
"At rest"
husband of the above,
died at Melbourne, Australia.
son of the above, 
died April 8th 1948,
aged 87 years."

James had emigrated to Australia ALONE, leaving his wife and children behind in Bradford. He left the UK from Liverpool in 1874 and latterly died out there in 1882 in Melbourne, Australia.

Finding this grave stone has given me new avenues of research to investigate and has created more questions that now need answers:

  • why did he go?
  • was he a convict that was transported to Australia?
  • why did he go alone?
  • was he trying to seek his fortune?
  • did he miss his children and wife?
  • did they not have the money to follow him?
  • how did Sarah Hannah manage alone with four young children?
  • as well as many more.......?

Onwards we go with the is addictive and you never find the end!!

Copyright © 2013 Ruth Hogan

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