The Davidson Family


Fig 0.1 - Davidson Clan Crest (4)

The surname "Davidson" is a patronymic name and comes from "son of David" or "David's son"  (1). The forename David is biblical and means "beloved" so Davidson equals "son of the beloved" (1) & (2).


Davidson was my maiden name and I always assumed I would be a descendant of the Scottish Davidson clan (3) but have not yet found a link to the clan.


Davidson is also known to be a common anglicised Jewish name from "son of King David" from the Bible, so instead of being Scottish perhaps we're Jewish (1).


The family crest generally used for the surname Davidson is the  Scottish Davidson clan crest and motto "Sapienter si sincere" meaning "Wisely if sincerely" (3). (Fig 0.1)

Copyright © 2013 Ruth Hogan



My Davidson Family


Surnames: Davidson (Davison), Dunmall (Dunmale), Ellis, Hair (Hare or Haire), Hall, Homan (Homans), Johnson, Kay, Peacock, Redwood, Seddon, Sutton & Westerman.

Places: London (esp Woolwich, Kent & Poplar, Middlesex), Hull in East Yorkshire, Herne in Kent, York in North Yorkshire & Horsforth nr Leeds in West Yorkshire.


Chapter 1 - Our Earliest Ancestor (John Davidson c1800-c1837)     read Chapter 1
Chapter 2 - Life as a Young Widow in Victorian London (Charlotte Dunmall 1805-1866)     read Chapter 2
Chapter 3 - Charlotte's Later Years with Michael Lester (Charlotte Dunmall 1805-1866     read Chapter 3
Chapter 4 - Two Decade's of Davidson Weddings and the Next Generations     read Chapter 4
  • Eliza (1829-1911)
  • Thomas (1827-?)
  • Henry (1838-1928)
  • John (1832-1897)

Chapter 5 - Who were the Redwood's? (Jane Redwood 1827-1894)     read Chapter 5
Chapter 6 - The Redwood Siblings     read Chapter 6
  • Stephen (1819-c1905)
  • William (1820-1894)
  • Louisa (1825-1914)
  • Alfred (c1833-1897)
  • George (c1832-?), Jesse (c1836-?), Augustus (c1838-?) and Charles (c1840-?)

Chapter 7 - The lives of John (1832-1897) and Jane (1827-1894) in London     read Chapter 7
Chapter 8 - The Davidson families in Hull, East Yorkshire     read Chapter 8
  • Louisa Elizabeth (1856-1911)
  • George (1860-1917)
  • Alfred (1863-c1940)
  • Edward (1866-1828)
  • John (1832-1897) & Jane (1827-1894)

Chapter 9 - An Introduction to the Hair's of Kingston upon Hull, East Yorkshire     read Chapter 9
  • Hair, Haire or Hare
  • The latter generations of Hair's in my ancestral line
    • Sarah Elizabeth (1858-1936)
    • Thomas William (1859-1882)
    • Hannah (1861-?)
    • Martha (1862-1829)
    • Charles (1865-1903)
    • Harry (1866-?)
    • Julia (1868-1955)
    • William (1869-1953)
    • Emily (1871-1952)
    • James (1873-1954)
    • Joseph Sinden (1875-1945)
    • Frederick (1877-1949)

Chapter 10 - The Oil Millers - Charles Hair (1832-1892) & Thomas Hair (1802-1885)     read Chapter 10
Chapter 11 - Hull in the 18th Century - The Seddon family     read Chapter 11
  • Hull in the 18th Century
  • Seddon, Sedan, Siddon, Seden, Sedon
  • Sarah Seddon (1801-1841)
  • John Seddon (1769-?) and Elizabeth Hall (c1770-?)
  • John Seddon (1745-1788) and Elizabeth Johnson (c1750-?)
  • Mordecai Seddon (c1720-1774)

Chapter 12 - The maternal lines of my Davidson ancestry     
read Chapter 12
  • The Peacock's (Mary Jane Peacock 1833-1908 & William Peacock 1799-c1861)
  • The Kay's (Ann Kay 1804-1863 & Ralph Kay 1773-1853)

Chapter 13 - The detailed life of Edward Davidson (1866-1928) and Martha Hair (1862-1929) in Hull from his notebook     
read Chapter 13
Chapter 14 - The Davidson boys into the 20th Century     read Chapter 14
  • Uncle Ted (Edward) Davidson (1886-?)
  • Walter Davidson (1888-1969)



Chapter 1 - Our Earliest Ancestor (John Davidson c1800-c1837)

John Davidson is the oldest Davidson ancestor known to me. He was born in approximately 1800 and was a Royal Marine Bandsman (5) & (6).

Fig 1.1 - Royal Marines Montevideo Jan 1972 (7)
It was common in the early 1800's for the Royal Marines Training Schools to take in boys of 'a good background' who had come to desperate means. If the boys had not been taken in by the schools they would have been left to fend for themselves on the streets of London which could lead to them becoming child street paupers, thieves or worse. The Schools took the boys under their wings and trained them to have skills for life and offered prospects of employment when they became of age.

The Royal Marines Band has a history back to 1767. The role of the bandsmen was to keep a regular beat to enable the men to keep in step when marching, but their beats were also used as signals on the battlefield or in camp. They played on the ships during the Napoleonic Wars in 1805 but were also trained for military operational roles as well (8).

John married Charlotte Dunmall (or Dunmale), the daughter of Richard Dunmall, a quarterman at Her Majesty's (HM) Dockyard (9). They married on the 5th July 1826 at St George Church, Hanover Square in London (10). (Fig 1.2)

Fig 1.2 - Excerpt from marriage records of St George Church,
Hanover Square, Middlesex (10)

At the dockyard, the shipwrights (specialist carpenter's involved in shipbuilding and repairing) (11) would work together in gangs which would be overseen by a quarterman such as Richard Dunmall. He worked at a HM dockyard which was a dock specifically for Naval vessels, such as Deptford or Woolwich (12). John Davidson would also have worked through these docks with his base at Woolwich with the Royal Marines. A common ground in which to meet his wife, Charlotte.

John and Charlotte's first child was a son whom they named Thomas. He was born on the 1st November 1827 in Woolwich, London and was baptised at Woolwich Parish Church in Kent. John's occupation is clearly noted in the parish records of his son's baptism (5). (Fig 1.3)

Fig 1.3 - Excerpt from Baptism records of
Woolwich Parish Church, Kent (5)

Their second child, Eliza, was born circa 1829 in Woolwich (13) & (14) and her birth was followed by that of their second son and my great, great, great grandfather, John Davidson, born on 27th December 1832 also in Woolwich, Kent (15) & (16). John's full date of birth is known as it is recorded in a family bible started by himself which has been passed down through the generations to my father's cousins. John and Charlotte would have one last son together circa 1837, named Henry before John (senior) sadly passed away (16) & (17). (Tree 1)

John Davidson 1800
Tree 1 - John & Charlotte's children

It is unfortunate John senior died so prematurely, he would not have had the opportunity to see his children grow up and his death created financial difficulties for that of his widow, Charlotte.

Copyright © 2013 Ruth Hogan

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Chapter 2 - Life as a Young Widow in Victorian London (Charlotte Dunmall 1805-1866)

After the death of her husband John, life would have been quite challenging for Charlotte. She was a young widow, with four children under the age of ten years old living in London in the early years of Victoria's reign. From reading the Dickens' novel Oliver Twist  (18)  (first published 1838) we learn what life was like for the poor and destitute children, a daily struggle to make ends meet.  John would have been the main breadwinner bringing in a steady wage from the Royal Marines, but what happened when he died?

In 1841, the census records Charlotte living in Harrington Buildings in Woolwich, Greenwich with her youngest two children (16) (Fig 2.1). She was working and living as a laundress to bring in the pennies but she may also have received a small pension from the Royal Marines. Her abode, Harrington's Buildings, is described in an English Heritage document as: "poor housing" and "was in multiple occupation...it mainly accommodated labourers" (19) (www.english-heritage.org.uk). Multiple occupation would mean many families living together in a small proximity. She was a tough lady working as a laundress which in the 1840s involved huge amounts of hard labour alongside bringing up a young family alone, a tough existence.

Fig 2.1 - 1841 census showing Charlotte, John & Henry (16)

In the 1841 census, her eldest son, Thomas, is recorded as living at the Royal Hospital Schools in Woolwich as a school boy (20) (Fig 2.2). Did they get a place at the school for Thomas due to his father's work status or perhaps Charlotte could not support all four of her children at home? 

                 Fig 2.2 - 1841 census of Royal Hospital School, Woolwich (20)          

In 1845, their lives improve when Charlotte re-marries at St Mary Magdalene Church in Woolwich, the same church in which her eldest son was baptised as a baby, eighteen years earlier (5) & (9). She married Michael Lester who was a widowed engineer by trade with children from his previous marriage (Fig 2.3). I am curious as to whether she married for love or for financial or circumstantial reasons?

By the time of her marriage, Richard Dunmall, Charlotte's father had already passed away, but it is on her detailed marriage certificate that we learn of his previous occupation (9). (Fig 2.3)

Fig 2.3 - Copy of marriage certificate of Charlotte Davidson and Michael Lester (9)

Her children were growing up and Charlotte had remarried, so she was no longer having to endure the hardships of being a young widow with four children to support. Her children were becoming self-sufficient earning their own livings and marrying where as she had the comfort of having a husband with an income to help keep her and the children, perhaps life was getting better for the family.

Copyright © 2012 Ruth Hogan

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Chapter 3 - Charlotte's Later Years with Michael Lester (Charlotte Dunmall 1805-1866)

Charlotte and Michael in their older age had another child together, whom they named Edward. Edward Lester was born in Woolwich, Kent on the 10th October 1847 (21). Between them they had seven children which they were responsible for (Tree 2) (5), (13), (14) & (17).

Davidson -Lester family tree
Tree 2 - The Lester-Davidson families  (5), (13), (14) & (17)

By 1851, Charlotte and Michael had moved from Woolwich across the river to Chelsea. The census informs us that both families, Lester's and Davidson's were living together on South Street, Chelsea (17). John, my 3x great grandfather was now a smith's labourer aged 20 and his younger brother Henry was aged 13 but remained in school. Also living with the Lester-Davidson family on the census night was a Martha Davidson, married aged 22 (Fig 2.4), but as the relationship to the head of household is not complete we cannot be sure who she was or how she was related to the family.

Fig 3.1 - 1851 census of the Davidson/Lester family (17)

In 1861, Michael and Charlotte lived on Chrisp Street in Poplar (22) . (Old photos can be seen of Chrisp Street in Poplar at the following webpages: East London PostcardIdea Store & History in Pictures)  Michael was working as an engine fitter and his son, David, was working in a similar line of trade as an assistant boiler fitter. Due to their close proximity to the large Poplar docks one can presume that they were employed in some form of industry at the docks. Michael and Charlotte's son, Edward, was still of school age but they also had Charlotte's granddaughter (born to Eliza), Charlotte Crout residing with them (22).

Charlotte's son, John and his family were living in close proximity to the family, further down the same road (23). (More about them to follow)

Unfortunately five years later Charlotte passed away, the death was registered in the July to September quarter of 1866 in the township of Poplar, London (24). She would have had at least seventeen grandchildren at the time of her death. Her husband followed a few years later passing away on the 17th July 1869 in Poplar, London (25)

Now, lets find out about the lives of her descendants in the following chapters.

Copyright © 2013 Ruth Hogan

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Chapter 4 - Two Decade's of Davidson Weddings and the Next Generations

From the late 1840's Charlotte's family started to grow, with the marriages of her children and the birth of many grandchildren. All of her children, apart from my great, great, great grandfather, John were married twice - below is a timeline of all of their marriages. (Timeline 1)

Davidson marriage timeline
Timeline 1 - The Davidson Weddings (6), (9), (13), (26), (27), (28), (29)(30) & (31)

The above marriages produced a whole new generation of Davidson ancestors with at least twenty-six grandchildren for Charlotte.

John Davidson (1800) & Charlotte Dunmall (1805)
Tree 3 - John & Charlotte's grandchildren (for references see written material)

Let's now take a look at a summary of the lives of all of Charlotte's children, starting with...

Fig 4.1 - All Saints Church, Poplar, London (41)
...Eliza (1829-1911). She was the first of Charlotte's children to marry  (28). She married a boiler maker, Joseph William Crout (29) & (32) (born 29th May 1822 in Woolwich, Kent (33)) in July to September quarter of 1849 in Lewisham, London (28). Eliza and Joseph went onto have at least six children:
  • Elizabeth born 23rd May 1850 in Woolwich, Kent  (34)
  • Charlotte born 21st October 1852 in Marshall Grove, Woolwich, Kent (35)
  • Jane born 20th October 1855 in Poplar, London  (34)
  • Henry John born in the third quarter of 1858 in Poplar, London (36), who only lived to be about six months old (37)
  • Catherine born 30 April 1859 in Poplar, London (38), who also died as an infant  (39)
  • Thomas born in 1862 in Poplar, London (40)

Catherine was baptised on the 25th November 1861 at Poplar All Saints Church (38) and a few years later, her sisters, Elizabeth and Jane were also baptised here on 23rd March 1862 along with their maternal cousins George and Louisa Davidson (34) (Fig 4.1 & 4.2). Charlotte was baptised much later as an adult (35), but whether this was because during her childhood she lived with her maternal grandmother, Charlotte Lester  (22).


Fig 4.2 - Excerpt from Baptism Records of All Saints Church, Poplar, Middlesex (34)

Eliza was widowed on 24th April 1863 (42) only a month after the christening of their children (34), but soon remarried later that same year. On the 8th November 1863, she married for the second time to another boiler maker known as Henry Copeland (13) (born circa 1825 (13)).

Eliza and Henry had three more sons together, making a total of nine children for her. Her sons with Henry were:
  • Elijah, whose birth was registered in the first quarter of 1866 in Canning Town, London (43)
  • Henry born circa 1868 in Canning Town, London (44)
  • Peter, whose birth was registered in the second quarter of 1872 in Greenwich, London (45)

Fig 4.3 - Workroom at a Workhouse (46)
In the 1881 census, Henry (senior) is listed as being blind in one eye (44) (Fig 4.4) and latterly lived in Greenwich Union Workhouse  (47)  (Fig 4.4) where he eventually died on the 10th January 1904 (48). It appears that Henry was the only member of the family to be condemned to the workhouse.

Life was not pleasant in the workhouses, the inmates would have been overworked and under fed. Most people entered the workhouse voluntarily but as a last resort when they became unable to support themselves or their family. The workhouses housed those unable to provide for themselves due to unemployment, mental health problems, sickness, disabilities as well as unmarried women who found themselves pregnant and abandoned by their family. If whole families entered the workhouse, the men, the women and the children would all be separated with no or little contact with the rest of the family throughout their time in the workhouse. It was very difficult to see a way out of the workhouse although it was possible for those who were determined (49).

Fig 4.4 - Excerpt from 1881 census return of Greenwich (44)

Before her death in early 1911 (50), Eliza was living with her youngest son, Peter and his family in Woolwich (Fig 4.5)  (51). She was aged seventy five years old and was still working as a nurse (51). There were no state pensions in those days, so one would have worked in their old age unless they could support themselves or had a family member financially able to support them.

Fig 4.5 - Excerpt from 1901 census return of Greenwich (51)


Thomas (1827-?), the eldest child to John and Charlotte was the next to get wed. He married Martha Tull (born 20th Feb 1829 in St George in the East area of London (52)) on 12th December 1852 at St Nicholas Church in Plumstead, London (27).

Thomas was a seaman and on the night of the 7th April 1861 he was listed on board the Tasmania boat (53) (Fig 4.6) which left Martha at home alone with the children in Poplar, Middlesex (54)  (Fig 4.7). As a seaman Thomas could have worked away from home a lot and depending on how far he travelled he might have been away for weeks or months at a time.

Thomas Davidson 1861 census
Fig 4.6 - Excerpt from 1861 census of those listed on the Tasmania boat (53)

Martha Tull 1861 census
Fig 4.7 - Excerpt from 1861 census from Elizabeth Place, Poplar (54)

Despite Thomas's absence they had at least 4 children:
  • Ellen born circa 1855 in Norwood, Kent (54),
  • Thomas William born on 9th May 1856 in Poplar, Middlesex (54) & (55),
  • Mary born circa 1859 in Lambeth, Surrey (54),
  • Martha born early 1861 in St Pancras, Middlesex (54).

Sadly, Martha passed away at the young age of thirty four years old leaving her husband and four young children between the ages of eight and two years old. Her death was registered in the July to September quarter of 1863 in Poplar, London (56).

Thomas remarried a few years later on the 29th April 1866 to Harriett Bailey at St George the Martyr Church in London  (26). Harriett would become step-mother to his children, but it would only be a few months later that the family lost it's youngest member, Martha, she was only five years old (57).

In 1871, Thomas's daughter Mary was living in Poplar with her step-mother, Harriett who was described as a storekeeper's wife, but yet again Thomas is not listed in the family home on the census night (58). Was he yet again working away at sea? From here Thomas and his family becomes lost to the records thus far.


Fig 4.8 -  St Nicholas Church, Plumstead, Kent (60)
Henry (1838-1928), the youngest son to John and Charlotte had an interesting life of rags to riches.

Remembering back, Henry was born not long before his father passed away and in 1841 was living in poverty at Harrington Buildings, Woolwich with his mother (16) & (19).  Despite these poor beginnings he would be married twice (6) & (31), have at least seven children and be able to "live on his own means" by the time he was 62 years old (59). But how did this all happen?

Fig 4.9 - Inside St Nicholas, Plumstead, London (61)







Henry's first marriage was on the 8th May 1858 in St Nicholas Church, Plumstead, London (6) (Fig 4.8 & 4.9). He married Sarah Wood (born 14th February 1839 in Woolwich, Kent (62)), the daughter of a cabinet maker, Edward Henry Wood (62). At the time Henry was working as a smith (6).



The couple had at least two children together:
  • Sarah Elizabeth born circa 1862 in Woolwich, Kent (63)
  • George born circa 1865 in Woolwich, Kent (63)

In 1867, Henry seems to suddenly remarry on the 3rd June at Christ Church, Watney Street, London, only two years after the birth of his son, George (31). I have not found a death record for Sarah during the period 1864-1867, but I presume that she had passed away, unless it was a case of bigamy!?

Henry's second marriage was to Octavia Mary Ann Gallafent who was born in 1849 in Romford, Essex, the daughter of a French engineer, Daniel Gallafent (31) & (64). Henry was also employed as an engineer (31).

Octavia and Henry went onto have 5 daughters, with quite unusual (for the UK) forenames:
  • Orpha Sarah O(ctavia?) born in January 1869 in Plumstead, Kent (65) & (66)
  • Emily Cecilia Zeletta Octavia born in January 1871 in Plumstead, Kent (63) & (66)
  • Esmeralda Kate O(ctavia?) born in July 1874 in Woolwich, Kent (67) & (68)  
  • Bertha Violet Octavia born in 1878 in Old Ford, London (68) & (69)
  • Daisy Claudine Octavia born on 27th December 1879 in St George's, London (68) & (70)
It seems that the given name 'Octavia' which means the eighth born (71) was important in this family, perhaps it had passed down through the generations, or even that the mother had wanted her name giving to all her daughters? 


Henry Davidson's family tree
Tree 4 - Henry Davidson's family

In 1871 census, Henry is living with his second wife Octavia, his children from his first marriage and their eldest two daughters. Henry is working as an engine fitter and they are living in Eton Street, Plumstead (63)

Fig 4.10 - Gloster Arms, Stepney, London (72)
By 1881 Henry had had a career change and the family are living at the Gloster Arms public house on 93 Commercial Road, Mile End Old Town, London. He is working as a beer retailer and his son, George, is waterman (68).

The "Gloster Arms" remained open as a public house until 1989. The building is still standing and the downstairs is currently being used as a clothes shop (Fig 4.10) (72).

Mile End Town is one of the earliest suburbs of London city and had a large Jewish community, a bit nicer than Henry's previous beginnings in the Woolwich slums (73) & (74). Living and working in this community would have perhaps allowed the family to mix into different circles which would possibly explain how Henry's children came to marry "well".

  • Henry's eldest daughter with his first wife, Sarah Elizabeth married William Barrow (born 1861 in Bethnal Green, London (75)) in 1882 (76). William was a professional man trading as a chemist (76). They had five children, Lily Octavia in 1883 (77), William Henry in 1885 (77), Katie Bertha in 1890 (77), George Albert in 1895 (78) and Henry in 1897 (79).

  • Orpha, Henry and Octavia's eldest daughter married William Foster Trappitt (80) (born on 28th Feb 1864 in Shoreditch, London  (81) & (82)). William was the son of William Joseph Trappitt who was jeweller and diamond setter (83) & (84). William Foster as the legitimate son of Willam Joseph was accepted into the Company of Goldsmiths by patrimony (81) (Fig 4.11 & 4.12). 

A Davidson uncle of mine is a jeweller, silversmith and goldsmith and there was always rumours that there had been other jewellers in the family history but no one seemed to know who, until this connection was established.

Fig 4.11 - Entry into the Company of Goldsmiths of the City of London of William Foster Trappitt (81)

Fig 4.12 - Entry into the Company of Goldsmiths of the City of London of William Joseph Trappitt,
William Foster's father (83)

  • The next daughter, Emily married soon later in 1889 in the Westminster area of London (85). She married a commercial traveller, Victor Alexander Rettich born in 1868 in Lambeth, London (86). Victor's father was German merchant and latterly a gentleman  (85) & (87).  Emily and Victor had two children, Veneta Annie Octavia in 1890 and Victor Henry Albert in 1891 both born in Dalston, London. Sadly their son Victor died as an infant. A few years later Emily filed a claim for divorce on the grounds of adultery and cruelty. She claimed that her husband had slept with many other women, had violently hit her and left her without money and means of providing for her children often for days at a time (85).
Divorce in the 1890's was largely uncommon, it was much more difficult to prove there were grounds for divorce and it was very expensive so was only available to those with the means to pay for it (88). There were only 369 divorces in the UK in 1894 where as in 2010 there were nearly 120, 000 divorces in the UK (89).


  • Esmeralda became a music hall artist (90) before marrying in the third quarter of 1895 (91). She married a Swiss photo artist and inventor Albert Disteli (92) (born c1863 (92)). By 1911, they had two daughters, Esmeralda and Dolores (93). They lived at 17 Mount Pleasant Villas, Hornsey, Middlesex, which are quite large three storey Victorian brick terraces, now split into appartments. Albert alongside another colleague, who went by the surname Atkinson, invented the Photographic Contact Printing Apparatus (94).

  • Bertha, the fourth daughter of Henry and Octavia, married Otto Ernst, a clerk, in the July to September quarter of 1898 in Hackney, London (95). Otto Ernst was another Swiss son-in-law (90) for Henry. Bertha and Otto travelled frequently and two of their three children were born in Bombay, India (96). Their children were: Otto Henry Armin born in 1900, Elsie Victoria Octavia born in 1906 and Bertram George Otto born in 1910 in Upper Tooting, Surrey (96). It is quite possible that they travelled due to Otto's work.

  • Daisy, the youngest of Henry and Octavia's children, was the last to marry in the last quarter of 1902 (97). She married Israel Brown who was born in 1882 in Sheffield, Yorkshire (98). According to the 1911 census, Israel was also a jeweller - another link to the jewellery profession (Fig 4.14) (98). They had had no children by 1911 but were able to afford to employ a servant (98).

Daisy and Israel Brown 1911 census
Fig 4.14 - Census page for Israel Brown and household from 1911 (98)

By 1891, Henry had retired and was living at 86 Mayfield Road, Hackney, London with his wife, Octavia, son, George, and three youngest daughters, Esmeralda, Bertha and Daisy (90). He had well over 30 years of retirement to enjoy with his wife and the many grandchildren. Sadly Henry passed away in September 1928 in Wandsworth, London (99) although his wife, Octavia, out-lived him by another two years, passing away on 15th May 1930 in Surrey (100). Octavia left a will with an estate worth £640 (100), today that estate would be worth the equivalent of £21,500 (101).



Last but not least is John (1832-1897), my great, great, great grandfather. John was the third of Charlotte's children to marry and he married Jane Redwood (born 1827 (102)) on 20th June 1853 at St Luke's Church, Norwood, Lambeth, London (30)

John and Jane gave Charlotte another six grandchildren:
  • John born 28th February 1854 in Poplar, London (15) & (103)
  • Louisa Elizabeth born 19th August 1856 in Poplar, London (15) & (104)
  • Augusta born 5th June 1859 in Poplar, London (15) & (105)
  • George born 20th September 1860 in Bromley, London (15) & (106)
  • Alfred born 20th November 1863 in Poplar, London (15) & (107)
  • Edward born 6th October 1866 in Poplar, London (my great, great grandfather) (15) & (108)

John, Jane and their children achieved much in their lifetimes, and it is from this family that my Davidson story continues . . . in the next chapters.

Before carrying on with the John and Charlotte's descendants lets discover more about the Redwood's. Who were they and where did they come from?


Copyright © 2013 Ruth Hogan

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Chapter 5 - Who were the Redwood's?

The surname Redwood is both:
  • a locational surname - derived from the villages in Devon and Durham named Redworth or possibly even a lost Medieval village named Redwood (109) 
  • a topographical surname - a person who was a dweller next to a red wood may have take the name  (109)

The surname is most commonly found in the Devon & Somerset but is also found in larger proportions in Kent, Essex, Lancashire, Cheshire, Nottinghamshire, Gloucestershire and South Wales (110).

My Redwood ancestors are from Herne in Kent. Jane Redwood (1827-1894), my great, great, great grandmother became a Davidson through marriage was the fourth child of many to James and Sophia Redwood from Herne (102).

Fig 5.1 - St Martin's Church, Herne, Kent (115)
Herne was a small village about 2 km inland from the now larger community of Herne Bay. The name of the village is derived from the Old English hyrne meaning a place on a corner of land. The corner may refer to the sharp bend on the Roman Road between Canterbury and Reculver at Herne. It started out as a small shipping and agricultural village. Boats would stop off in Herne on their way to London and it was a good landing place for those travelling inland by road to Canterbury. During the 19th century Herne Bay grew in size and became a popular seaside destination with the arrival of the railway (111)

Jane's father, James Redwood was born in about 1796 in Birchington (112), a small town to the east of Herne on the north Kent coastline. Whereas Jane's mother, Sophia Homans was born and bred in Herne (113). Sophia was one of at least thirteen children born to Stephen and Susannah Homans (variations: Holmans, Homan, Holman) in about 1798 (113). Sophia and James's union was on the 13th October 1818 (114)  at the small stone built parish church of Herne (115), which is the church in which my husband's aunt is currently the vicar (it's a small world!). (Fig 5.1)

James and Sophia's children were all born in the township of Herne or Herne Bay and were baptised at St Martin's Church, Herne (Fig 5.1 and 5.2). They were:
  • Stephen baptised on 16th August 1819 (116)
  • William baptised on 22nd January 1821 (117)
  • Louisa born 29th October 1825, baptised on 15th November 1825 (118)
  • Jane born 15th September 1827, baptised on 7th October 1827 (102)  - my great, great, great grandmother
  • George baptised 6th May 1832 (119)
  • Alfred baptised 11th May 1834 (120)
  • Jesse baptised on 22nd May 1836 (121)
  • Augustus baptised on 16th September 1838 (122)
  • Charles baptised on 28th March 1841 (123)

James Redwood (1796) = Sophia Homan (1798)
Tree 5 - The Redwood Family


Fig 5.2 - Postcard of Herne Church, Herne, Kent (124)
James worked as a farm labourer and the family lived on East Street, Herne Bay, Kent according to the 1851 & 1861 censuses (125) & (126). From a young age their sons were working as errand boys or labourers and Sophia was as a charwoman (or washerwoman as we might know it better today), seemingly a hard working family.

Unfortunately, in August 1868 at the age of about 70 years old Sophia passed away and was buried on the 16th August at St Martin's Church, Herne (127).

After the death of his wife, James went to live with his eldest son's family in Seasalter (128). He remained employed as an agricultural labourer even at the age of 77 years old (128). On the 13th February 1872 he joined his wife at Herne Parish Church (129).

From the mid 18th century in the UK the industrial revolution was taking the country by storm causing the rural population to move en mass into the ever expanding cities especially London, where there were better prospects and dreams of a better life with employment opportunities in the growing factories.

My great, great, great grandmother, Jane Redwood moved to London as a single woman probably hoping and dreaming of a better way of life and prospects, but were those dreams a reality? What about her other siblings, did they similarly move away from a rural way of life to an urban one?


Copyright © 2013 Ruth Hogan

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Chapter 6 - The Redwood Siblings

As we learnt earlier Jane Redwood was one of at least nine children to James and Sophia Redwood who moved to London as a young lady to find employment, but did the siblings follow her or did they remain in Herne working on the land, following their father's footsteps or go on to find other ways of employment?

Stephen (1819-c1905), the eldest of the Redwood siblings, married a local Herne girl, Caroline Cock in 1843 (130) . They initially lived close to Stephen's parents on East Street in Herne Bay (125) .

Stephen and Caroline had at least eight children: Ellen, Louisa Jane, Stephen Arthur, Lydia, George, Alfred, William and Edward (or Edwin) (125) , (128) & (131) . Interesting to see the youngest child's name seems to alternate from Edwin to Edward on the censuses and birth registration documents (132) .

Stephen was a mariner and worked away from home, it would have been hard work for Caroline being left at home alone with several young children to care for. At the time of the 1881 census, Stephen is listed as a "mate" on the "Derby" barge that is docked at Tottenham (133) . (Fig 6.1)

stephen redwood 1881 census
Fig 6.1 - Excerpt from 1881 census (133)

Stephen's and his family gradually moved further away from Herne along the north Kent coastline initially to Whitstable (131) , then Seasalter (128) , Murston near Sittingbourne (134) and latterly Milton near Gravesend, Kent, which was where Stephen's death was registered at the ripe age of 89 years old  (135).


William (1820-1894), their second child also became a seaman (136) , following his elder brother's example. He was working away from home on the night of the 1861 census, William was listed as being on the boat, Mary, with the other crew members as a seaman (136) . (Fig 6.2)

William Redwood 1861 census
Fig 6.2 - An excerpt from 1861 census returns (136)

Edward Davidson notebook re William Redwood's death
Fig 6.3 - An excerpt from Edward Davidson's notebook (142)


He married Elizabeth Bettsworth on 12th June 1851 at Herne Parish Church (137) and they went onto have several children all born in Herne Bay, Kent:

William remained in Herne Bay in various abodes up until his death in 1894. His nephew, Edward Davidson (my great, great grandfather), noted down the date of his uncle's death in his notebook (Fig 6.3) (142).




Louisa (1825-1914) who was the eldest daughter of James and Sophia initially moved away from the village to work as a chambermaid at a hotel in Canterbury, Kent (143). She later married a police officer, William Robinson (born 29th January 1826 in Beckingham, Essex (Fig 6.5)  (142) & (144)) on the 14th July 1856 at Tower Hamlets, Middlesex in London (145). At their marriage, John Davidson, Jane's husband was one of their witnesses (Fig 6.4)  (145).

Louisa Redwood marriage certificate
Fig 6.4 - Marriage certificate for William Robinson and Louisa Redwood (145)

Fig 6.5 - Excerpt from Edward Davidson's notebook (142)

They had several children between their marriage and 1870 and during this period they moved around from Heston to Hounslow, Middlesex and eventually retired to Goldhanger in Essex. Their children were: Louisa E, William C F, Sarah James, Alfred James, Alice Sophia and Elizabeth Ellen (144) , (146) & (147)

Louisa had a close relationship with her sister, Jane, the families stayed in contact with one another despite living many miles apart.

My great, great grandfather, Edward Davidson (1866) kept a notebook which mentions several trips to London and Herne Bay and one of these trips south was for the "Golden Wedding Day of Aunt and Uncle Robinson" (Fig 6.5) (142).

Louisa's daughter Alice married a horseman called Henry Willsmore (148)  and sadly they had no children but they cared for the widowed Louisa in her latter days at their home in Goldhanger, Essex (149). Louisa lived to be 88 years old, passing away in 1914 just before the start of World War I  (150).

Alice, Louisa's daughter kept contact with her cousin Edward Davidson, my great, great grandfather, in Hull, East Yorkshire. They wrote many postcards and letters to one another (see below Figs 6.6 & 6.7) (151) & (152)

Alice Willsmore - postcard 2
Fig 6.6 Postcard from Alice to Edward (151)

Alice Willsmore - postcard
Fig 6.7 Another postcard from Alice to Edward (152)

The above photo is a postcard which was sent from Alice to Edward, but who is the old lady stood at the garden wall, could it be Alice or even her mother Louisa? (Fig 6.7)


Alfred (c1833-1897), was James and Sophia's sixth child and he married Caroline Jorden (born in 1838 in Canterbury, Kent (153)) on 25th October 1864 (154). At the time of their marriage, Alfred was a mariner and they were both of Herne Bay but yet they married at Blean Registry Office (154). Could this be due to the fact that Caroline already had a daughter called Martha (153) and therefore they may have been some resistance to her marriage in the local Parish Church. Alfred and Caroline appear to not have had any children together.

Alfred was also a mariner alongside his older brothers and was in the Merchant Navy. The Merchant Navy was set up to record all the seafarers in Britain, so that in times of war the government could call upon a larger Navy to fight. The men who signed up to the Merchant Navy would have been men whose everyday job was based on boats whether they were fishermen or transported goods to and from ports around the World, Europe or Britain (155).

From around 1881 Alfred resided with his older brother, William and his family in Herne (156). Alfred died in Herne on the 17th November 1897 and left a small will of £151 6s 6d (157). Edward Davidson had also noted down this life event in his notebook (142). (Fig 6.8) 

Figure 6.8 - Excerpt from Edward Davidson's notebook (142)


George (1832-?), Jesse (c1836-?), Augustus (c1838-?) and Charles (c1840-?) all started out in employment as errand boys (125), but beyond that I cannot be certain where they moved to and what occupations they were employed into or whether they married or remained bachelors.

Continuing back to the Davidson lines of the family, let's see what Jane found in London.

Copyright © 2012 Ruth Hogan

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Chapter 7 - The lives of John (1832-1897) and Jane (1827-1894) in London

Starting with this short summary as a quick reminder:
  • John Davidson was born on 27th December 1832 in Woolwich, Kent to John and Charlotte Davidson (10), (15) & (16).
  • Jane Redwood was born on 15th September 1827 in Herne Bay, Kent to James and Sophia Redwood (102).

By 1851 Jane was living in Porteus Road, Paddington which is very close to the current Paddington Railway Station. She was living with a family and working as their servant (158). Once she reached working age (14-16 years old) it is quite probable that if there was no work available for her in the Herne area that she would have sent away from her family to look for work. She may have had to send home a proportion of her wage to help support her parents and the rest of the family if that was required. On the other side she may have wanted to see a bit more of the world and wanted to escape the village of Herne in which she had spent all of her life so far.

At the same time, John was residing no more than 2 miles away on South Street in Chelsea with his extended step-family and mother. He was employed as a smith's labourer (17)

At some point John and Jane's paths crossed and they fell in love with one another and on the 20th June 1853 they made their solemn promises to one another (Fig 7.1) (30).

john and jane davidson marriage certificate
Fig 7.1 Marriage certificate of John Davidson and Jane Redwood (30)

st lukes church, norwood
Fig 7.2 - The frontage of St Luke's Church,
Norwood (159)
It was much further south of the river at St Luke's Church in Norwood, Surrey (Fig 7.2) that Thomas, John's brother and his wife, Martha witnessed John and Jane's matrimonial ceremony (30) . It would be a long way for Jane's family to make the journey from Herne for the occasion, but I hope that a few members made it.

St Luke's, Norwood church building is architecturally very interesting, it was one of the four churches built across London in response to the growth of the population in Lambeth (160). It was built in the early 19th century from a design by Francis Bedford (159). The project was half funded by the government and the remainder by the local community. The building was completed in 1825 after three years of construction (160).

Eight months after their marriage, on 28th February 1854, Jane gave birth to a son whom they named John, after Jane's husband and father-in-law. John (junior) was baptised on 26th March 1854 at St James's Church, Norland, Middlesex (103). In the baptism registers the abode of the new family was Bromley Road, Norland which is again north of the river not far from where they were residing before their marriage. I wonder what caused them to flit from one area of London to another so quickly, could it have been John's employment or was it some kind of cover up as she may well have already been pregnant when they married, unless John (junior) was a slightly premature baby?

John and Jane's other children were all born and registered in the Poplar district of London. The dates of birth of all their children are listed in the family bible (15) as follows:
  • John born 28th February 1854
  • Louisa Elizabeth born 19th August 1856
  • Augusta born 5th June 1859
  • George born 20th September 1860
  • Alfred born 20th November 1863
  • Edward born 6th October 1866 (my great, great grandfather) in Redbey Street, Bromley (161).


John Davidson (1832) = Jane Redwood (1827)
Tree 6 - John & Jane's children

Tragically for the family, Augusta died as a baby only a few months old. The death was registered in the last quarter of the same year as the birth (162). Unfortunately it also appears their first born, John, also died in childhood as no further records of him can be found. Sadly, infant death was common in Victorian London as disease was rife due to the density of the population and lack of adequate sanitation, but for the parents it would still be as tragic as today.

In 1861, the family is living in Chrisp Street, Poplar, London (Fig 2.5 & 7.3) down the road from John's mother, Charlotte Lester, and step-father, Michael Lester (22) & (23). John's occupation is a Boiler Maker.

john and jane 1861
Fig 7.3 - Excerpt from 1861 census including details of John and Jane's family (23)

On the 23rd March 1862 Louisa and George were baptised at All Saints Church in Poplar together with their paternal cousins, Elizabeth and Jane Crout (34). It must have been a nice family gathering to celebrate the lives of their children together (Fig 7.4).

Louisa and George Baptism 1862
Fig 7.4 - Excerpt from Baptism Records of All Saints Church, Poplar from March 1862 (34)

John and Jane's youngest son, my great, great grandfather, Edward was born in Poplar in 1866 (108) (Fig 7.5) but by the time of the next census in 1871 John and Jane had moved again, except this was a much bigger move to Hull in East Yorkshire (163). I am curious as to whether the deaths of their two children in Victorian London encouraged the family to move, or was it John's work that brought them north to Hull, as he continued to work as a Boiler Maker. What did the city of Hull have to offer them as a family?

Edward Davidson birth cert
Fig 7.5 - The original birth certificate of my great, great grandfather, Edward Davidson (161)

Copyright © 2012 Ruth Hogan

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Chapter 8 - The Davidson families in Hull, East Yorkshire

Fig 8.1 - Map of Hull 1866 (164)

Hull is a historic city, sat in a strategic place at the junction of the River Hull and River Humber twenty-five miles inland from the North Sea. It was named by Edward I as the Kings Town upon the River Hull or Kingston upon Hull and is frequently shortened to Hull today. It has served as a market town, port, fishing centre and whaling centre. It was attractive as a settlement area due to the navigable river and the ideal place for a port due to depth of the river at this place, which is what has brought much trade to the area throughout the centuries. As a boiler maker there would certainly have been work in the ship-building industry in Hull in the 19th century to attract John and his young family to the city, where my Davidson ancestors remained for the next few generations (165).

John & Jane's grandchildren
Tree 7 - John & Jane's grandchildren

Before discovering about the life of my direct ancestors, we shall uncover the lives of Edward's siblings and nephews and nieces in the city of Hull.

Louisa Elizabeth (1856-1911), the eldest of John and Jane's surviving children was sent out to work as soon as she was old enough at the youthful age of fourteen years old. She was employed as a general domestic servant in 1871 (163), similarly to her mother a generation earlier (158).

Louisa married a boot maker by the name of John Henry Jackson in the third quarter (July to September) of 1880 (166). He was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire in c1855 (167)  and the couple were wed in the Skirlaugh registration district, which is just to the north of Hull (166).

The next census to be taken less than nine months later was on the 3rd April 1881 and by that time they already had a seven month old daughter, named Florence, who would have been born only a few months after their marriage (167).

louisa e n family 1881 census
Fig 8.2 - Excerpt from the 1881 census in Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire (167)

Louisa and John Henry had several more children in quite quick succession, all born in Hull. Their names and approximate years of birth are:

By 1911, Louisa had been widowed and was living at Arthur Terrace, Hull with her brother Alfred, eldest daughter, Florence and the six youngest children (Fig 8.3) (169).

louisa e n family 1911 census
Fig 8.3 - 1911 Census return of Louisa's family at Arthur Terrace, Hull, Yorkshire (169)

Fig 8.4 - Reckitt's Blue (170)
All of Louisa's children were of working age in 1911 and were employed in a variety of occupations, although none seemed to be following in their father's line of work as a bootmaker. Two of the boys were employed on the docks, which would have employed a huge number of men in Hull and two of the girls were working at Reckitt's & Sons (169).

Reckitt's is a well-known company even today although they're now known as Reckitt Benckiser. The company makes many pharmaceutical products that we use regularly in the UK such as Strepsils, Nurofen and also cleaning products such as Vanish and Cillit Bang just to name a few of their popular brands (171).

Reckitt's & Sons began in Hull in 1840 by Issac Reckitt, who later introduced his sons into the family business. The company was an major employer in Hull towards the end of the 19th century and they owned a factory on Dansom Lane, where the current Reckitt Benckiser factory still stands today  (171), (172) & (173).

Many of my Parkinson ancestors were also employed by Reckitt's, more about the Parkinson family will come much later on in another story.

It was only a few months after the 1911 census that Louisa sadly passed away in the third quarter of 1911 in Hull (174).


George (1860-1917), the eldest surviving male child to John and Jane Davidson has not been easy to research, but we find him in Hull at the time of the 1891 census, living on Starch House Lane very close to the Reckitt's factory and not far from the docks (175).

This census tells us he had married Mary Ann and had four children, John, George, Elizabeth and Thomas S. George was working at the Holderness Ship Yard (Fig 8.5) (175). Interestingly the names of the first three children follow a similar naming pattern to that of John and Jane's first children.

George Davidson 1891 census
Fig 8.5 - Excerpt from 1891 census (175)

The next information I can find about George is in the 1911 census, where he is living at Barnsley Street also in Hull (176). (Fig 8.6)

George Davidson 1911 census
Fig 8.6 - Census page of George Davidson's family on 1911 census (176)

George and Mary Ann are stated as having been married for 29 years and had had twelve children, two who had died, possibly in infancy? (176)

So, what has made George's family so difficult to research?
  1. I have no living relatives who remember him or his family and therefore no personal family stories or memories to give me clues to help the research.
  2. There are many Davidson births in the Sculcoates registration district between 1881 and 1911 in the BMD registers so I would have to order the certificates to discover which were their children, which is quite a costly task.
  3. There are several Davidson infant deaths in the Sculcoates registration district of Hull as with the birth certificates it would be costly to order the certificates to discover which were George's children.
  4. There are at least two if not three families in the Hull locality with a George Davidson as the head of household and a wife named Mary Ann or Mary during this period.
  5. There are possibly a few discrepancies in the information (places of birth and age) on the census records which make it difficult to track the family through the decades.
  6. I have been unable to find a marriage for George Davidson and Mary Ann in the BMD index, which makes me question whether they actually officially married at all or whether they moved away to marry?
  7. The possibility of missing census records for some areas of Hull.

Having viewed a few other family trees with the common ancestor on the Ancestry.co.uk website I notice we all have slightly different information about the same family, so I am not claiming to be correct, but through the research I have done this is what I have come up with.


Alfred (1863-c1940) is the closest sibling (by age) to my great, great grandfather. He is also elusive to the 1881 census as his older brother's family also was, which makes me curious as to whether the brothers even moved away together to find employment or if there are some missing records!?

But by 1891, Alfred is still a bachelor and lodging with a man called Francis Towers on Barnsley Street (Fig 8.7)  (177), less than a mile from the docks and the Reckitt's factory but also the same street his older brothers family are residing on in the 1911 census (Fig 8.6)  (176). He was employed as a boilermaker like his father and so would have also worked in the docks area (177).

Barnsley Street still exists today but unfortunately this area of Hull was badly hit during World War II so little housing of the era when my ancestors lived there survives along Barnsley Street today.

Alfred Davidson census 1891
Fig 8.7 - Excerpt from 1891 census (177)

In 1911, Alfred is living with his sister, Louisa, and her family (Fig 8.3) (169), he was a labourer and remained a bachelor. I wonder if he ever did marry? He out-lived all his siblings though, dying in the third quarter of 1940 in Hull, Yorkshire (178) in the midst of World War II and only a month or two after the first bomb was dropped on Hull on the 19th June 1940 (179).


Edward Davidson
Fig 8.8 - Photo of Edward Davidson (180)
Edward (1866-1828), the youngest Davidson of this generation and my great, great grandfather was the inspiration for the name chosen for my younger brother many, many years later. 

Edward would be the child with the fewest memories of life in London, as he would have been only an infant when they moved north.

At the age of 15 years old Edward was employed as a rivetter (181) , which would also have been dock work in the ship building industry, probably with his brothers and father. Rivetter's inserted and hammered the rivets to hold the pieces of sheet metal together during the process of building metal boats and ships (182) & (183) .

In 1882, Edward was apprenticed to the Hull Iron Shipbuilders for four years on a weekly wage of 7 shillings the equivalent of approximately £17 per week today, increasing incrementally by a shilling or two shillings a year to twelve shillings a week (approx. £29 today  (101)) at the end of the apprenticeship. The apprenticeship was due to end on the 20th October 1886 (Fig 8.9) (184).

Edward Davidson apprentice doc
Fig 8.9 - Apprenticeship Indenture for Edward Davidson to be apprenticed to Hull Iron Shipbuilders (184)

The employer named on this Apprenticeship document is David Parkinson Garbutt who owned the Hull Iron Shipbuilders company. David is well known in Hull for being the benefactor of and initiating the development of the middle-class suburban housing known as "The Avenues" (185). Unfortunately, in 1883 David Parkinson Garbutt was made bankrupt and it was reported in The London Gazette on 11th December 1883 (Fig 8.10) (186).

David Parkinson Garbutt bankruptcy (cropped)
Fig 8.10 - Excerpt from The London Gazette on 11th December 1883 (186)

I wonder whether the bankruptcy affected Edward's apprenticeship with the company?

Before finishing his apprenticeship Edward married Martha Hair on 31st August 1885 in the Sculcoates Parish Church, Hull where his brother, Alfred and Martha's sister, Julia were the witnesses (Fig 8.11) (187) .

Edward Davidson and Martha Hair marriage cert
Fig 8.11 - Original Marriage Certificate for the marriage of Edward Davidson and Martha Hair (187)

As Edward was my great, great grandfather we will discover more about his married life with Martha in much greater detail in Chapter 13, and find out more about Martha's lineage beforehand.


John and Jane Davidson
Fig 8.12 - John and Jane Davidson  (188)
John (1832-1897) & Jane (1827-1894) having moved north with their young family, remained in the city of Kingston upon Hull for the rest of their lives (Fig 8.12) (188).



In 1871, they were residing at 2 Sutton Row, Hull with all their surviving children and John was working as a Boiler Maker (163).




By 1881, John and Jane had moved a few houses down the same street to No. 5 Sutton Row. There was only Edward who remained at home with them, but they had a boarder living with them. The boarder was John H Cawood, an unmarried 17 year old who was a brush maker (Fig 8.13) (181).

John and Jane 1881 census
Fig 8.13 - Excerpt of 1881 census (181)

The next two decades saw the birth of numerous grandchildren for John and Jane and by the time of the next census their grandchildren count had increased from one in 1881 to twelve in 1891, an ever increasing family. John continued to work as a boiler maker and in 1891 they continued to reside at 5 Sutton Row (189).

Unfortunately, Jane passed away on 17th January 1894 and only a few years later John followed on July 5th 1897 (142) , (190) & (191) . Edward, their youngest son, recorded the dates and times of their deaths in his notebook (142) (Fig 8.14), alongside a financial account of money he had been giving or lending his father, John, since April 1896 right up to the day of his father's death (142) (Fig 8.15). Presumably, his father had not been in good enough health to be working and so Edward was having to financially support his father to make ends meet.

Edward Davidson notebook recording parents deaths
Fig 8.14 - Excerpt from Edward Davidson's notebook
- the times and dates of death of his parents (142)
Edward Davidson gave his father money
Fig 8.15 - Excerpt from Edward Davidson's notebook
Financial account of money lent to his father (142)


























John and Jane were buried together in a plot at Hedon Road Cemetery in Hull, East Yorkshire and had a beautiful headstone erected, which still stands there today (Fig 8.16 & 8.17) (190) & (191) .

Fig 8.16 - John & Jane's grave circa 1897 (190)
Fig 8.17 - John & Jane's grave in 2011 (191)

Copyright © 2014 Ruth Hogan

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Chapter 9 - An Introduction to the Hair's of Kingston upon Hull, East Yorkshire

Hair, Haire or Hare are all variant spellings of the same Anglo-Gaelic medieval surname. The name has many possible origins, the most likely origin in England is from the word "hara" or "hare" being a nickname for a fast runner or messenger. There are also several place names "Hare"which are derived from the ancient word "haer" meaning "stoney ground". The surname could also be derived from these place names. In Scotland or Ireland the name is generally an anglicised spelling of the surname "O'hir" a descendant of the fierce one (192).

The distribution of these surnames in Great Britain shows the Haire (193) & Hair (194) family names to be more populous in southern Scotland, the north-east of England, but the surname Hare (195) is more populous in eastern England.


The latter generations of Hair's in my ancestral line



Charles Hair (1832) = Mary Jane Peacock (1833)
Tree 8 - Charles & Mary Jane's grandchildren


St James Church, Sutton-on-Hull
Fig 9.1 - St James Church, Sutton-on-Hull (201)


My great, great grandmother was born Martha Hair and as referred to briefly in Chapter 8 she married Edward Davidson at Sculcoates Parish Church in Hull, Yorkshire on 31st August 1885 (187).



Martha was the fourth child born to Charles Hair and Mary Jane nee Peacock in 1862 in Hull, East Yorkshire (196). Charles Hair and Mary Jane Peacock were married on 31st August 1856 in St James Church, Sutton-on-Hull (197) & (198) and they had at least twelve children born in Sculcoates (199) & (200), a suburb of Hull to the north of the city (see Tree 8).


Martha Hair, Mary jane Peacock and daughters
Fig 9.2 - The Hair women (202) - Martha Hair on the first row at the left,
Mary Jane nee Peacock front row second from the right & Julia Hair front row on the right (we think)

Before delving back through the past Hair generations lets look briefly at where all the above siblings ended up.


Sarah Elizabeth Hair (1856-1936) lived most if not all of her life in Hull. She married Henry Hartley (AKA Harry born c1857 in Hull (203)), an oil miller (203), in the first quarter of 1881 (204)  and they were listed as very newly weds on the 1881 census take on the 3rd April 1881 at 3 Clio Terrace, Hull (203).

By the 1911 census Sarah Elizabeth and Henry had six children, Amelia Jane (1881) (205), Harry (1889) (206), Charles (1892), Ethel (1895), Eva (1897) and Annie Elizabeth (1900) although Amelia and Harry had already left the nest by the time of the census (207).

Sarah Elizabeth Hair 1911 census
Fig 9.3 - 1911 census page (207)

Henry departed this world aged 65 years old in 1922 (208) where as Sarah Elizabeth lived as a widow for another 14 years before passing away just before the outbreak of World War Two in 1936 at a good age of 77 years old in Hull, Yorkshire (209).


Thomas William Hair (1859-1882) had quite a short life, compared to todays life expectancy. He died at the youthful age of 23 years old in 1882. He was sent to work at an early age for by the time of the 1871 census he was living with his parents and siblings at 73 Church Street, Hull aged 11 years old but was already in employment as an errand boy (Fig 9.4).

Thomas WIlliam Hair 1871 census
Fig 9.4 - Excerpt from 1871 census


Hannah Hair (1861-?) was listed on her first census at only one month old, which was taken on the night of 7th April 1861. She was living at 73 Church Street, Hull with her parents and older siblings (Fig 9.5). I would expect that Hannah and the next six children born to Charles and Mary Jane were all born at this address, as the family were still residing here in 1871 (Fig 9.4).

Hannah hair 1861 census
Fig 9.5 - Excerpt from 1861 census of Hull, East Yorkshire

Hannah married a cooper by the name of Herbert Williams (born c1862 in Hull, Yorks) in the last quarter of 1884 in the Sculcoates Registration District. They bore three children all very close together in age:
  • Ethel Mary Williams born in the third quarter of 1885
  • Herbert Williams born in the first quarter of 1887
  • Percival Williams born in the last quarter of 1887

The family is found on all the censuses living in Hull but no other documents are found relating to Hannah's death, although her husband, Herbert, died in 1914 and I would have expected her sons to have been sent to fight in The Great War not long after the death of her husband, which I imagine was a very worrying time for her.


Martha Hair (1862-1829) was my great, great grandmother and we will look more into her life with Edward Davidson in a future chapter.


Charles Hair (1865-1903) was an oil miller and in 1891 he was living with his sister, Sarah Elizabeth, and her family at 81 Cumberland Street, Hull. Charles's brother-in-law, Henry Hartley was also an oil miller, so I wonder whether they were employed by the same company? 

Charles Hair 1891 census
Fig 9.6 - Excerpt from the 1891 census

Interestingly Charles is listed as married (not widowed) on both the 1891 and 1901 censuses although his wife is not listed with him on either occasion. At the time of the 1901 census, he was living with his widowed mother, Mary Jane and some of his younger siblings at 10 Plate Terrace, Hull. There is no direct evidence that he had any children, but if there were children then they could have been living with their mother.

Charles was also quite young when he died aged 38 years on the 7th September 1903. Although in 1900 the average life expectancy for a male was only 46 years old.


Harry Hair (1866-?) married Esther Ann Brant (born in 1869 in Sculcoates, Hull, Yorkshire) in the first quarter of 1890 in Sculcoates, Hull, Yorkshire but by the time of the next census only a year later in 1891 they are living in Normanby, South Bank near Middlesborough, North Yorkshire with his younger brother William.

Harry Hair 1891 census
Fig 9.7 - Excerpt from 1891 census

Harry and Esther had had five children together by 1911 although unfortunately two had also died in childhood. Their children were:
  • Catherine Hair born in Normanby near Middlesborough, North Yorkshire in the first quarter of 1893
  • John Charles Hair born in the last quarter of 1897 in the Middlesborough registration district and died approximately 6 months later in 1898
  • Fanny Brant Hair born in South Bank near Middlesborough, North Yorkshire in the first quarter of 1901 (a month old on the 1901 census night), died in the last quarter of 1904
  • Meggie Andison Hair born in Lackenby Eston near Middlesborough, North Yorkshire in the third quarter of 1903
  • Harry Herbert Hair also born in Lackenby Eston on the 8th March 1909

Harry Hair 1911 census
Fig 9.8 - 1911 Census Page

Presumably Harry remained in the North-East for the rest of his days.


Julia Hair (1868-1955) was a spinster all her life and was quite close to her elder sister, Martha, whom she latterly resided with. My grandfather remembered Aunt Julia (although actually his great aunt) from his childhood as an elderly lady with glasses (Fig 9.2).

In 1891, Julia worked as a domestic servant for a young butcher's family at 1 John Street, Hull, Yorkshire (Fig 9.9).

Julia Hair 1891 census
Fig 9.9 - Excerpt from 1891 census

Edward Davidson kept detailed accounts about money he lent Julia on the 16th July 1897 and she paid him back in full a few months later (Fig 9.10). I wonder what she had needed that money for?

Edward Davidson lent Julia Hair
Fig 9.10 - Excerpt from Edward Davidson's notebook

By the time of the next census in 1901, she has returned to live with her mother and brothers where there is no occupation listed for her, but it would be common for a spinster daughter to keep the house for her elderly mother as her brothers would have been out working. Her mother died a few years later and then she would move in with Edward and Martha Davidson, her sister and brother-in-law, and their son Walter (my great grandfather) to become their housekeeper (according to the 1911 census).

Julia lived to a ripe old age of 87 years old, passing away in the first quarter of 1955, no wonder my grandfather has distant memories of Julia. She was most likely the eldest surviving member of this generation of Hair's.



William Hair & Wife
Fig 9.11 - William and Ann Maria Hair
William (1869-1953) alongside his older brother Harry moved to South Bank near Middlesborough, North Yorkshire. He may have moved at the same time or not long after his brother, Harry and wife, Esther for at the time of the 1891 census (Fig 9.7) he is residing with them. During his time in South Bank he must have met and fallen in love with a local South Bank girl, as on the 26th March 1894 he married Ann Maria Parsons (born 14th April 1874 in South Bank) at the Baptist Church, Normanby Road, South Bank.

William worked as a blast furnace man in the South Bank, which meant he would have prepared and mixed the raw materials to produce steel and iron in the local industries, probably in the ship building industry.

William and Maria (as she appeared to be known as) had had eight children by the time of the 1911 census (Fig 9.12) but also went onto have another three children after the census all born in the Middlesborough area, their children were:
  • Emily born in the third quarter of 1895
  • Elizabeth Ann born in the second quarter of 1897
  • Thomas William born in first quarter of 1899
  • Harry born in the second quarter of 1900
  • Doris born in the first quarter of 1902
  • Florence Annie born in the third quarter of 1903
  • Violet born in third quarter of 1908 and died approximately 9 months old
  • Rose born in the last quarter of 1909
  • Edith born in the third quarter of 1911 
  • Charles E born in the second quarter of 1914
  • Horace born in the third quarter of 1917

William hair 1911 census
Fig 9.12 - 1911 Census Page for 30 Oliver Street, South Bank

William was widowed in 1931 in South Bank and he lived to a be 84 years old. His death was registered in Bradford, West Yorkshire in 1953 a good twenty years after his lady wife's.


Emily (1871-1952) was the youngest known girl in the Hair family. In the census taken on the 2nd April 1871 she was only three weeks old so we can estimate her birth to have been around the 12th March 1871, give or take a week either side (Fig 9.4).

By the 1891 census, Emily is the oldest child still living at home with her parents. She was aged 20 years old but had no occupation listed but would be expected to help her mother with the household chores (Fig 9.13).

Emily Hair 1891 census
Fig 9.13 - Excerpt from 1891 census

It would only be a few years later in the first quarter of 1893 that she married Joseph Parkin, also a local Hull boy who was born in approximately 1869. He was a self-employed butcher at 53 Lincoln Street, Sculcoates in 1901 (according to the census Fig 9.14). They had 3 surviving children out of four born in Hull, Emily registered in January to March 1894, Eva Mary Parkin registered in October to December 1895 and Doris Parkin registered in July to September 1897.

Emily Hair 1901 census
Fig 9.14 - Excerpt from 1901 census

As Joseph was a self-employed butcher, it was quite probable that the family resided above the shop. He is listed in the 1892 Hull Trades Directory on the Genuki website and by 1913 he had a second butcher's shop in Swann Street, Hull which was just around the corner from the shop in Lincoln Street (Fig 9.15) unless he had two properties next to one another thus creating a larger corner shop.

Fig 9.15 - Kelly's Directory of North & East Yorkshire (Part 2: York & Hull)

Joseph passed away in the first quarter of 1919 but Emily lived as a widow for another 30 years, eventually passing away at a good age of 81 years old in the last quarter of 1952.


James (1873-1954) was in a similar line of work to my great, great grandfather, Edward Davidson, a boiler maker and initially worked as a labourer at the Ship Yard. James married a Hull born girl, Sarah Ann Wilkinson in the Sculcoates registration district in the last quarter of 1897, but in the next census in 1901 they had moved across the country to the other side of the Pennines to the west coast town of Barrow-in-Furness (Fig 9.16).

James Hair 1901
Fig 9.16 - Excerpt from 1901 census

By 1901, Barrow-in-Furness had become a large ship building town so if ship building work had declined in Hull there was probably work to be had in Barrow, although it appears their time in there did not last long, for only a year later they were back in their hometown of Hull for the birth of their daughter, Dorothy, in 1902. They had at least one other child who died as an infant.

James was the executor of my great, great grandparent's wills in 1928 & 1929 and his occupation is noted as a Money Lender and Company Director. A very different career to that of ship builder only 17 years previously but was living at the same address as he was listed at in the 1911 census, 38 Rosmead Street, Hull.

James Hair Probate 1954
Fig 9.17 - Probate Registry entry for James Hair
Sarah Ann Hair Probate 1955
Fig 9.18 - Probate Registry entry for Sarah Ann Hair
James outlived my great, great grandparents by nearly thirty years, he passed away on 27th February 1954 in Leicester leaving £1307 15s 10d to his wife, Sarah Ann, which has an equivalent value now of nearly £23,000. Sarah Ann passed away nearly exactly a year later leaving a similar amount of money to Thomas Edward Boynton, who was their son-in-law. He had married their daughter Dorothy Hair in 1929 in Hull, Yorkshire (Fig 9.17 & 9.18).


Joseph Sinden (1875-1945) was the second youngest Hair child and other than his two oldest siblings was the only other child to sport a middle name. Sinden is most likely derived from his maternal grandmother's maiden name "Seddon".

Joseph lived with his mother up until her death in 1908 and after this he lived with his younger brother's family and their other boarders (according to the 1911 census Fig 9.19) at 7 Richmond Terrace, Grange Street, Hull. The other boarders sported the surname Stott which was Mary's maiden name (Fig 9.19) so would be relatives of hers. Can you imagine living in a three roomed house with that many people  from different families, I wouldn't be surprised if the atmosphere was tense from time to time.

Joseph S Hair 1911 census
Fig 9.19 - 1911 Census page for 7 Richmond Terrace, Hull, East Yorkshire

Paul Gibson has created a website about his family life in Hull which has some beautiful pictures of Richmond Terrace in Hull alongside some personal memories of his life growing up at Richmond Terrace, the website can be found at this link: Paul Gibson's family life in Hull.

Joseph Sinden passed away only a few months after the end of the second world war and the atrocious Blitz of Hull, in the last quarter of 1945. It seems such a shame that after living through the Blitz, Joseph should pass away only a few months after peace was declared over Europe.


Frederick (1877-1949), the youngest of the Hair siblings married Mary Stott in the last quarter of 1910. Mary already had a daughter, Sarah Ann Stott who aged 4 years old at the time of their marriage. Mary was heavily pregnant at the time of their wedding, for their first daughter's birth was in late 1910 or early 1911 as Marian Hair was 4 months old at the time of the 1911 census, taken on the night of the 2nd April 1911 (Fig 9.19).

Very sadly Marian died as an infant only a year later in the second quarter of 1912 and it appears that they had no further children together. Very sadly for Frederick his wife, Mary Hair, also passed away in the third quarter of 1912, such a tragic time for Frederick.

Frederick lived until the age of 71 years, passing away in Hull, East Yorkshire in the first quarter of 1949.


It is really interesting that most of Martha's siblings remained in Hull, East Yorkshire and died in the late 1940's and early 50's after World War II especially as Hull was so heavily bombed during the war, it seems a miracle that none of them died during the war years, unless some of the families evacuated the city during this time.

Copyright © 2012 Ruth Hogan

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Chapter 10 - The Oil Millers - Charles Hair (1832-1892) & Thomas Hair (1802-1885)


Thomas Hair's descendants
Tree 9 - Thomas Hair's descendants

Charles Hair, the seed crusher, married Mary Jane Peacock at St James's Church, Sutton-on-Hull on 31st August 1856 and they had at least twelve children together who's lives we discussed in the previous chapter (Fig 9.1 & 10.1, Tree 8).

Charles Hair and Mary Jane Peacock Marriage certificate
Fig 10.1 - Marriage certificate of Charles Hair & Mary Jane Peacock at St James's Church, Sutton-on-Hull, East Yorkshire

Charles Hair departed this world aged 60 years old in August 1892 in Hull, East Yorkshire. He had lived his whole life in Hull and had worked all of his life as an oil miller, which was a profession that a few of his sons, son-in-laws and possibly grandsons also followed. In every census since the 1851 census he has been listed as an oil miller or a seed crusher, including on his daughter, Martha's marriage certificate (Figs 8.11, 9.4, 9.5, 9.13 & 10.2).

Charles Hair 1881 census
Fig 10.2 - Excerpt from the 1881 census

I would be curious to know whether Charles really enjoyed his job as an Oil Miller and whether he was able to work his way up through a company making a comfortable living for him and his big family or whether it was a matter of needs must? I could not imagine doing the same occupation for greater than two thirds of my life unless there was progression and changes within the roles.

As Hull was a port town, seeds would have been imported from Europe as well as from Lincolnshire to be crushed for their oil and used in the manufacturing industries in Hull, such as the paint industry, soap manufacturing and also in food production. More can be read about the Oil & Seed Crushing Industry in Hull at Paul Gibson's excellent website, as it was one of the big industries in Hull during the Victorian era and before.

St Marys Church Sculcoates
Fig 10.3
Charles was the second known child born to Thomas Hair and his wife Sarah Seddon in February 1832. Charles was baptised at St Mary's Church, Sculcoates on the 19th February 1832.

Worship has taken place on the site of St Mary's church for more than 700 years although the church building has been rebuilt, first in 1760 and later refurbished in 1875. Sadly the building was demolished in 1916 so there will be no visits to see the font in which my ancestor was christened. The cemetery does still exist off Air Street in Hull, who knows there may be a few of my ancestors buried there (Fig 10.3).

Thomas Hair, Charles's father and my great, great, great, great grandfather lived to a good old age of 83 years old, passing away in the third quarter of 1885.

Holy Trinity Church, Hull
Fig 10.4 - A picture postcard of Holy Trinity Church

Thomas Hair was born in about 1802 and christened on the 11th March 1802 at Holy Trinity Church in Hull, Yorkshire (Fig 10.4), the largest (by area) parish church in the country. Thomas' baptism records tell us that his father was also called Thomas Hair.

Thomas (junior born c1802) was married twice, his second wife was Harriet Phillipson (c1806) who was listed as a charwoman widow living with her son, William Henry Philipson, in the 1841 census (Fig 10.5) just before her marriage to Thomas in 1842 in Sculcoates.




Harriet Philipson 1841 census
Fig 10.5 - Excerpt from the 1841 census



















Thomas and Harriet had no children together but Harriet became a step-mother to Thomas's children from his first marriage and Thomas a step-father to Harriet's son. The families are living together at 4 Cumberland Street, Hull, Yorkshire in the 1851 census (Fig 10.6). It is interesting to note that Thomas was also a seed crusher, which meant there was a foot already in the door for Charles when he became old enough to be employed.

Thomas Hair 1851 census
Fig 10.6 - Excerpt from 1851 census

Thomas's second marriage was must have been a quickly planned one, as his first wife, Sarah, was still alive at the time of the 1841 census only a year before Thomas re-married (Fig 10.7).

Thomas Hair 1841 census
Fig 10.7 - Excerpt from the 1841 census

Thomas married his first wife, Sarah Seddon, on the 13th December 1828 at St Mary's Church in Sculcoates, Hull, Yorkshire (Fig 10.3) and they had at least four other children together (excluding Charles), all born in Sculcoates, Yorkshire:
  • John, the honeymoon child, born about ten months after his parents marriage in September 1829 was baptised in Sculcoates on the 4th October 1829. He became a Merchant Shipping Clerk, which meant he must have had a reasonable education to be literate enough to become a clerk. Only approximately two-thirds of all bridegrooms in the UK in 1861 could sign their name on their marriage certificate, which meant another third were illiterate (Web link for Statistics). He married Hannah Cook (or Cock) the daughter of Joseph Cook on the 24th February 1853 at Holy Trinity Church in Hull (Fig 10.4). They had seven children all born in Hull, Eliza (1853), Thomas (1858), Anne Mary (1860), John Richard (1863), Emma (1864), Elizabeth (1866) and Joseph Cook (1873).

    John Hair 1861 census
    Fig 10.8 - Excerpt from the 1861 census of Holy Trinity Parish of Hull

  • Thomas was born on 22nd December 1833 and baptised at Waltham Street Weslayan Chapel in Hull on the 2nd February 1834. What happened to Thomas after his baptism is a mystery as he was not living with the family at the time of the 1841 census (Fig 10.7), so whether he passed away or was living with other family or friends at the time of the census is a mystery at present.

  • Martha was born on the 7th November 1835 and also baptised at Waltham Street Wesleyan Chapel in Hull on the 6th December 1835. Martha married Robert George Cooper in the July to September quarter of 1856 and the marriage is listed on the same registration page as her brother Charles's marriage to Mary Jane Peacock (Fig 10.9). Either the siblings, Martha & Charles married on the same day or in the same church during the same registration period. She was also Charles's witness in which she used her maiden name, Hair.

Martha Hair possible marriage
Fig 10.9 - Search results on freebmd.org.uk for the marriage of Martha Hair and Robert George Cooper

  • Mary was born c1838 and lived with her family at the time of the 1851 census where she is listed as a cooper (Fig 10.6). A cooper was someone who made barrels, which would be an occupation I would expect a man to have rather than a woman. Later she becomes Mary Doherty  through marriage and by 1871 she was listed as a widow with a few children (Fig 10.10). 

Mary Doherty nee Hair 1871 census
Fig 10.10 - Excerpt of the 1871 census of Thomas Hair & family

So, what of their natural mother, Sarah Seddon and her family, who was she? Where did she come from? The next chapter will unlock some of these questions for us.

Copyright © 2012 Ruth Hogan

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Chapter 11 - Hull in the 18th Century - The Seddon family

Aire & Calder Navigation
Fig 11.1 - The Aire & Calder Navigation nr Goole
Hull in the 18th Century
The 18th century was a period of major growth for the small town and port of Kingston upon Hull to the now city of Hull. The growth was due to the Industrial Revolution as in many other towns and villages. Trade from the docks was the main reason for Hull's expansion. Hull had become a trading centre for goods from across the World.

In 1699, authorisation was finally given to commence work on the Aire & Calder Navigation. The Navigation improved the trade routes of products from the growing manufacturing towns of Yorkshire to the wider world. The building of the canal systems meant that the transportation of goods from Leeds became considerably cheaper than it had been previously.

Cloth (wool to start with and later cotton) from the growing industrial towns of West Yorkshire along with metal products (such as cutlery, tools & stoves) from the steel and iron industries of South Yorkshire were exported out through Hull to Europe. Whereas timber, iron, tobacco, tar, pitch, linseed, flax and hemp were all imported into the country from Scandinavia, Germany, Prussia, Russia, Poland and Holland.

Hull had a number of small industries which also grew with the increasing of trade at the docks during the this period. Some of these were important in enticing my ancestors to Hull, with the growth of the shipbuilding which brought my Davidson ancestors and seed crushing, which was a major employer for the male Hair ancestors.

During the 17th century, Hull became a place for rich merchant families to settle, one of these being the Wilberforce family in which William Wilberforce, the politician, was a descendant of. William did not go into the family merchant trade but became a politician and philanthropist, aiming to make the world a better place. He was instrumental in the Abolition of the Slave Trade, as depicted in the film "Amazing Grace". He had a strong evangelical Christian faith, which inspired him to become the politician, philanthropist and abolitionist he was.
(Information from: British History - HullLocal Histories - HullWilliam Wilberforce - Wikipedia)

Hull in the 18th Century
Timeline 2 - History of Hull in the 18th Century

Seddon, Sedan, Siddon, Seden, Sedon is a surname with many spellings. It is of a locational derivation meaning "the broad, wide hill" where "dun" means hill and is thought to originate from the Manchester and the wider Lancashire area. In fact today the surname is still more common in the Manchester locality than anywhere else in England. (Information from: Surname Database - Seddon)

Realising there are so many surname spelling variations of the name "Seddon" I suspect that the middle name of Joseph Sinden Hair (1875), my great, great, great grandmother's (Martha Hair 1862) brother came from his own grandmother's (Sarah Seddon 1801) maiden name.

The further back one goes when researching their family tree the fewer records there are available for research to gain information about the family members. I was lucky in researching the Seddon family from Hull, as there are few people in the Hull vicinity with this surname and they had many of their children baptised at the local parish churches. Most of the research I have done on the Seddon family has been on the Family Search website, where there are no original records to view although the website does have a good reputation but there could be mistakes in my research and I apologise for this.

Mordecai Seddon (c1720) = Dorothy Westerman (c1720)
Tree 10 - The Seddon family of Hull

Sarah Seddon (1801) and Thomas Hair (1802) were my great, great, great, great grandparents, we have already looked at the life of Thomas in the previous chapter but now we will look into the lives of the Seddon's.

Sarah Seddon was born to John Seddon and Elizabeth nee Hall and was baptised at Holy Trinity Church in Hull, Yorkshire on the 24th July 1801 (Fig 10.4). There are no censuses until 1841 so we do not know anything more about her life before that of what has already been told in the previous chapter.

Sarah Seddon baptism
Fig 11.2 - Baptism record transcription as found on the Family Search website

John Seddon (1769-?) and Elizabeth Hall (c1770-?), my 5x great grandparents, married at St Mary's Church in Hull on the 20th December 1789 (Fig 10.3 & 11.3).

John Seddon 1769 marriage
Fig 11.3 - Marriage record transcription found on the Family Search website

John and Elizabeth had at least seven children, of which at least three died before reaching adulthood:
  • Mary Ann was baptised at Sutton-on-Holderness near Hull on the 25th December 1790.
  • Harriot was baptised at Holy Trinity Church, Hull on the 10th October 1792 and probably died before 1806 as they had another child baptised with the same name in 1806.
  • Sarah was baptised on the 11th October 1794 also at Holy Trinity Church, Hull and buried on the 24th May 1797 in Hull, Yorkshire.
  • Sarah, my great, great, great great grandmother (as above).
  • Charlotte was baptised with her brother, John, on the 23rd September 1804 in Sculcoates, Yorkshire and buried on the 26th December 1807 in Hull, Yorkshire.
  • John as above was baptised on the 23rd September 1804 with his sister, Charlotte, in Sculcoates, Yorkshire.
  • Harriet was baptised on the 22nd June 1806 in Sculcoates, Yorkshire.

I have been unable to find any further records about the any of the other surviving children or death records for John or Elizabeth. Neither have I found any reference to who Elizabeth's parents may have been, due to Elizabeth Hall being a common name. There are several Elizabeth Hall's christened at churches within the locality of East Yorkshire during the time frame she was probably born in. Without pre-knowledge of who her parents may have been it is difficult or impossible to establish which family she belongs to.

John was born to John Seddon and Elizabeth nee Johnson and was baptised on the 7th February 1769 at St Mary's Church in Hull (Fig 11.4).

John Seddon 1869 baptism
Fig 11.4 - Baptism transcription of St Mary's Church, Hull from the Family Search website


John Seddon (1745-1788) and Elizabeth Johnson (c1750-?), my 6x great grandparents married on the 2nd February 1768 in Hull, Yorkshire (Fig 11.5).


John Seddon & ELizabeth Johnson marriage 1768
Fig 11.5 - John & Elizabeth's marriage record transcription from Family Search website

John and Elizabeth had at least six children, known to me through baptism and burial records:
  • John (1769), my 5x great grandfather, was born within his parents first year of marriage. 
  • Elizabeth was baptised at Holy Trinity Church in Hull on the 7th September 1770.
  • Harriot was born in about 1775 (no baptism record found) but was buried on the 5th November 1780 in Hull, Yorkshire.
  • Mordecai was born in about 1775 (no baptism record found) was buried a week after his sister on the 12th November 1780 in Hull, Yorkshire.
  • Joseph was baptised at Holy Trinity Church, Hull on the 6th February 1776.
  • Mordecai was probably born after the older brother, Mordecai, died after 1780 but was also buried in Hull, Yorkshire on the 17th April 1785.

It is sad to see so many children from one family die, especially two siblings dying within a week of one another! Today this is seen as tragic but yet for that period of history it was sadly a more normal phase of life.

Due to records being scarce I have not researched any further with John's siblings nor for his wife Elizabeth Johnson.

John lived to be about 45 years old, which was a little bit longer than the life expectancy for this period and was buried on the 3rd April 1788 in Hull, Yorkshire (Fig 11.6).

John Seddon burial 1788
Fig 11.6 - Burial transcription from Hull, Yorkshire of John Seddon

John was born to Mordecai Seddon and Dorothy Westerman and baptised at St Martin and St Gregory Church in York on the 22nd June 1746 (Fig 11.7).

John Seddon baptism 1746
Fig 11.7 - Christening transcription from St Martin & St Gregory Church in York



Mordecai Seddon (c1720-1774) died in 1774 and was buried in Hull, Yorkshire on the 8th June 1774 (Fig 11.8).

Mordecai Seddon 1774 burial
Fig 11.8 - Burial transcription of Mordecai Seddon in 1774

Mordecai Seddon had been married at least three times, the latter marriage was to Ann Thompson on the 31st July 1757 at Holy Trinity Church in Hull. It is very probable that they had children together but I am not quite sure how many.
Holy Trinity Church, Micklegate, York
Fig 11.9 - Holy Trinity Church, Micklegate, York - Photo link

His second marriage was to Dorothy Westerman, which is the most important marriage to this story as it it this marriage that I am directly descended from. They married on the 6th January 1739 at Holy Trinity, Micklegate in York (Fig 11.9 & 11.10).

Holy Trinity Church in Micklegate, York has a rich history from a monastic past. It was once part of the priory set up in 1089 by Benedictine monks from Marmoutier in Normandy. (Information from: Holy Trinity York)

Mordecai's marriage to Dorothy produced at least seven children:
  • William was baptised on the 8th February 1741 at Holy Trinity Church, Micklegate, York and buried on the 7th November 1749 in Hull, Yorkshire.
  • Ann was baptised on the 16th January 1743 at Holy Trinity Church in York and died on the 13th October in the same year.
  • Mordecai was baptised on the 2nd December 1744 at Holy Trinity Church in York, and I think he survived into adulthood, married and had children of his own.
  • John was my 6x great grandfather and his life has already been discussed above.
  • Elizabeth was baptised on the 10th April 1747 in St Martin & St Gregory Church in York as her brother John was.
  • William, the second child with the name, was baptised on Christmas Day 1750 in Holy Trinity Church in Hull, Yorkshire but was sadly buried like his namesake was in Hull on the 23rd June 1753.
  • Christopher was baptised on the 18th February 1753 at Holy Trinity Church in Hull but was buried a few weeks before his older brother William on the 24th May 1753 also in Hull, Yorkshire.

From the above baptism and burial records we can pin point the time that the family moved from York to Hull to between Elizabeth's baptism in York in April 1747 and William's burial in Hull in November 1749. What brought the family from the old, religious city of York to the small but growing town of Hull? Was there more work available in Hull or were the family traders? It would be interesting to know, perhaps one day I will?

Mordecai's first wife was Elizabeth Stephenson and they married on the 16th November 1738 at Holy Trinity Church in York only six weeks before his second marriage to Dorothy (Fig 11.10). I wonder what happened to Elizabeth so soon after his marriage to her, for no burial record has yet been found.

Mordecai Seddon marriages 1738 & 1739
Fig 11.10 - Marriage records transcription for Mordecai Seddon in 1738 & 1739 at Holy Trinity Church in York

Mordecai's baptism record has not yet been discovered so I will keep searching and trying to push back further but for now on the Seddon line this is as far as I can go. Much more research can be done here in time.

Copyright © 2013 Ruth Hogan

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Chapter 12 - The maternal lines of my Davidson ancestry

Ok, so we're going back a step or two, to discover the maternal ancestral lines within my Davidson family. The first of these is:

The Peacock's (Mary Jane Peacock 1833-1908 & William Peacock 1799-c1861)
The surname Peacock is derived from the Middle English "pe", "pa" or "po" and "cok" meaning "male bird" was used as a nickname for a vain, strutting person. There is a high distribution of families with the surname in the Yorkshire area. (Information from: Ancestry - Name Origins & GB Public Profiler)

Tree 11 - The Peacock Family


Mary Jane Peacock is my great, great, great grandmother and her life is discussed very briefly in Chapters 9 & 10, but we will investigate a bit more about her and her family in this chapter.

A quick synopsis to help us catch up: Mary Jane Peacock married Charles Hair, the oil miller, on the 31st August 1856 at St James's Church, Sutton-on-Hull, East Yorkshire (Fig 9.1, 9.2 & 10.1). Charles and Mary Jane had at least twelve children together (Chapter 9) and their fourth child was Martha Hair, my great, great grandmother, who later married Edward Davidson the boiler maker from Poplar, London. The Peacock family were born and bred in Hull.

Mary Jane out lived her husband, Charles Hair, by sixteen years and finally left this world in the third quarter of 1908 in Sculcoates in Hull, Yorkshire aged 74 years old. The last census she is listed on is the 1901 census, where she is living at 10 Plate Terrace in Sculcoates with four of her children, Charles, Julia, Joseph and Frederick (Fig 12.1).


Fig 12.1 - Excerpt from 1901 census of the Hair family

Mary Jane was born to William Peacock and Ann nee Kay on the 2nd September 1833 and was christened or baptised on the 6th October 1833 at the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in George Yard, Hull. The George Yard Chapel was erected in 1786 due to the increasing number of people converting to Methodism in the locality during this period.

Mary Jane was living with her parents and three sisters in Lime Street, Hull at the time of the 1841 census. Lime Street ran directly alongside the east side of the River Hull and is currently a very industrial area.

By 1851, the family were living at Church Row in Hull which is close to Lime Street but a little further inland from the river (Fig 12.2). They had a few visitors staying with them from the other side of the Pennines. Mary Jane was working as a cotton reeler and her father was a shipwright, which is a shipbuilder or ship's carpenter, before metal was commonly used for shipbuilding.

Fig 12.2 - Excerpt from the 1851 census of the Peacock family at Church Row, Hull

Mary Jane's father, William Peacock (my great, great, great, great grandfather), passed away during the next decade before the subsequent census was taken. On Mary Jane's marriage certificate to Charles Hair he is listed as a shipwright but there is no mention of him being deceased (Fig 10.1), which meant he could have still been living or it could be a fact which was omitted from the certificate.

In 1861 William's wife and Mary Jane's mother, Ann, had become a nurse at The General Infirmary which also provided her accommodation, interestingly though Ann remains recorded as married rather than a widow (Fig 12.3). Ann Peacock sadly passed away only a few years later.


Fig 12.3 - 1861 census page from The General Infirmary, Holy Trinity, Hull

Fig 12.4 - St Mary's Church, Hull (Photo link)
William Peacock married Ann Kay on the 1st February 1829 at St Mary's Church, Kington-upon-Hull. St Mary's Church is quite a grand, medieval church and one of the original churches of Hull (Fig 12.4).

William and Ann, had at least four daughters born in Hull:
  • Elizabeth on the 5th June 1831
  • Mary Jane on the 2nd September 1833 (my 3x great grandmother)
  • Sarah c1836
  • Hannah c1839

These four daughters are the only known children of William and Ann as they're the only children listed on the 1841 census living with them. They could have had other children who had died in childhood. Interestingly, Elizabeth was baptised at the Wesleyan Chapel in Selby, Yorkshire, so could the family have moved to Selby for a short period of time?

William's father was John Peacock and William was baptised on the 30th January 1799 at Sutton-in-Holderness Church near Hull, Yorkshire.


The Kay's (Ann Kay 1804-1863 & Ralph Kay 1773-1853)
According to the Surname Database there are five possible derivations of the surname Kay or Kaye:
  • from the Old English, "caeg" meaning key it could be an occupational name for a key-bearer or key maker 
  • from the French for quay, "kaye" it could be topographical for someone who lived or worked on a wharf 
  • of a Celtic origin from King Arthur's brother's name "Cai" in Welsh or "Key" in Cornish
  • from the Old Norse, "ka" meaning jackdaw and a nickname for someone who resembled a jackdaw
  • from the Danish "kei" meaning left and a nick-name for a left-handed person

My auntie's maiden name was also Kaye so it is interesting that this same fairly unusual surname appears twice in different places in my family tree.

Tree 12 - The Kay Family


Fig 12.5 - St Peter & St Paul's Church,
Burton Pidsea
So, what about Ann Kay my great, great, great, great grandmother who married William Peacock at St Mary's Church in Hull on the 1st February 1829?

Well, Ann was born to Ralph and Hannah Kay circa 1804 near Burton Pidsea, East Yorkshire. She was christened at Burton Pidsea Parish Church on the 18th November 1804 with her sister Hannah (Fig 12.5). Burton Pidsea is a small, rural village not far from Hull towards the east coast. 

Ann was one of at least twelve children to Ralph and Hannah Kay and their twelve children were:
  • Margaret was born in Elstronwick, East Yorkshire and baptised on the 23rd October 1796 at Humbleton Parish Church, East Yorkshire (a small village north of Burton Pidsea). She married a carpenter, James Norton at Sculcoates on the 11th February 1826 and had at least two children, Ann born c1836 and Ralph born in the third quarter of 1839. (Fig 12.6)

Fig 12.6 - 1851 census of Margaret's family

  • Elizabeth was baptised on the 22nd January 1798 at Humbleton, East Yorkshire.
  • Hannah was baptised on the 23rd November 1799 at Burton Pidsea and possibly died before 1804 as they had another child baptised with the same name, unless they had Hannah baptised twice?
  • Ralph was baptised on the 8th March 1801 at Burton Pidsea and married Ellen Campleman on the 6th May 1824 in Sculcoates near Hull.  He was a shoemaker and they had at least four children, the first was Sarah Ann who was born in 1825 in Hull, the other three children were born in Leeds and they were John Campleman (1829), Hannah (1832) and Ellen (1834). Ralph passed away in the first quarter of 1859 in Hunslet, West Yorkshire. (Fig 12.7)

Fig 12.7 - 1841 census from Hunslet, Leeds of the Kay family

  • Robert was baptised on the 24th April 1804 at Burton Pidsea. 
  • Hannah was baptised on the 18th November 1804 at Burton Pidsea.
  • Ann (my great, great, great, great grandmother) was baptised with her sister, Hannah as above.
  • John was baptised on the 24th April 1806 at Burton Pidsea. He married Mary, who already had two children and they had at least four children all born in Leeds, West Yorkshire: Elizabeth Hannah (c1838), Sarah (c1840), Eleanor (c1841) and John Ellis (c1844). John was a cordwainer meaning he was a shoe and boot maker similarly to his elder brother Ralph. (Fig 12.8)

Fig 12.8 - 1861 census of John's family

  • Mary Jane was baptised on the 30th November 1808 at Burton Pidsea.
  • Sarah was baptised on the 1st December 1810 at Burton Pidsea.
  • William was baptised on the 19th January 1815 at Burton Pidsea. He married Mary and they appeared to have had no children. They lived with an elderly aunt named Mary Gilliat at both the 1851 and 1861 censuses. William was also a shoemaker. (Fig 12.9)

Fig 12.9 - Excerpt of 1861 census of William Kay's household
  • David was baptised on Christmas day 1817 at Burton Pidsea.

Ralph Kay and Hannah Ellis, my 5x great grandparents and the parents to the above children were married in Kingston-upon-Hull on the 12th Oct 1794, both were aged 21 years old. Ralph had been christened at Keyingham Parish Church in East Yorkshire on the 2nd May 1775 and his father is named as William Kay.

Hannah died in the third quarter of 1838 and six years later Ralph remarried Jane Knight in Hull, East Yorkshire. In 1851 Ralph is listed as a shoe maker and clothes dealer living with his second wife, Jane and their numerous lodgers at 20 Gt Passage Street in Hull (Fig 12.10). Ralph died a few years later and was buried at Holy Trinity Church in Hull on the 30th June 1853.

Fig 12.10 - 1851 census of Ralph Kay, his wife and their lodgers


Copyright © 2013 Ruth Hogan

Back to the Contents


Chapter 13 - The detailed life of Edward Davidson (1866-1928) and Martha Hair (1862-1929) in Hull from his notebook

Fig 13.1 - Edward & Martha Davidson
After having considered the maternal ancestry of the Davidson family and Martha's ancestry, lets come back to learning about my direct Davidson ancestors beginning with Edward Davidson and Martha Hair and their marriage together.

Edward and Martha Davidson (Fig 13.1) were my great, great grandparents. Edward was born in Poplar, Middlesex on the 6th October 1866 and moved to Kingston-upon-Hull as a young boy with his parents and older siblings. Martha Hair was born into the Hair family in the third quarter of 1862 and was born and bred in Hull, East Yorkshire.

Edward was apprenticed to the Hull Shipbuilders company and during this apprenticeship married his darling fiancee, Martha Hair. They were married on the 31st August 1885 in the Sculcoates Parish Church, Hull (Fig 8.11) which would have been All Saints Church at this period in history. Unfortunately this church is no longer in existence today.

In 1881, Martha was employed as a domestic servant but remained living in her family home at 10 Plate Terrace (Fig 10.2). Becoming a domestic servant was a typical occupation for a spinster in the Victorian era, she would have been expected to do housekeeping duties, such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, ironing, shopping, caring for the children or elderly relatives for richer members of society. Probably all good experience for her becoming a wife, mother and housewife in the Victorian era, as she was never recorded as having an occupation after she married Edward.

Timeline 3 - The life of Edward and Martha Davidson

Their first son was born not long after they were married in the first quarter of 1886 in Sculcoates near Hull, he was named after his father, Edward Davidson but was always referred to as Uncle Ted. Their second son, Walter, followed a few years later on the 3rd June 1888 and he would become my great grandfather.

In 1891 the family were living at 10 Beech Grove in East Hull, where Edward was listed as a boiler maker (Fig 13.2).

Fig 13.2 - The Davidson family listed in the 1891 census

Fig 13.3 - Excerpt from Edward Davidson's notebook
about his trip to London, Poplar, Witham & Greenwich
Found amongst my great grandfather, Walter's papers when he passed away was a notebook which had belonged to his father, Edward Davidson. Edward had kept many interesting notes about life events, family trips and money accounts. This notebook was probably started in the early 1890's as the first dated entries are 1890.

One of the earliest entries was an account of a trip to London in which they visited Poplar (where he was born), Witham (where his maternal Aunt Louisa Robinson nee Redwood see chapter 6) resided and Greenwich (where his father was born). It does not tell us who went on this trip, was it was a family trip or just Edward himself? It is very interesting to see what Edward paid for on the trip and that the cost of  a shave and a brush up was 6d, that is equivalent of approximately £1.50 in today's money (Fig 13.3). Edward had left London when he was only a few years old so would have little memory of living there but perhaps he had been taken him on trips by his parents to visit the family in Herne Bay and London.

Edward's notebook also informs us that they were doing some house renovations and buying some new household items in 1890 and 1891 as he accounted buying a number of items including a "lookinglass" at the cost of £2 4s, an expensive item as in today's money that would be the equivalent of approximately £130 for a mirror!

It would have been an expensive job to redecorate or renovate your house in the 1890's, but it appears that Edward and Martha bought everything, even down to the "honments" and "buckit". (Fig 13.4)

Fig 13.4 - Excerpt from Edward Davidson's notebook with the accounts from
the cost of some household items for a room and bedroom



Fig 13.5 - Excerpt from Edward Davidson's notebook
about the removal of Walter's finger
Fig 13.6 - Excerpt from Edward Davidson's
notebook about his money lending


















Walter was memorable to my father for having only three fingers on one hand due to an accident and infection as a child. The date of the removal of his finger is also recorded in Edward's notebook. The event occurred on the 20th September 1893 and Walter had a further lump removed from his hand on the 7th November 1894. (Fig 13.5)

A few years later Edward begins lending money to family and friends and kept rather accurate accounts of how much was lent and when he was repaid. (Fig 13.6) To be able to lend out money he and his wife must have enough coming in to be giving or lending some away.

Fig 13.7 - Martha with her sons,
Edward (AKA Ted) and Walter

He also used his notebook to record the dates of death of his parents, John and Jane Davidson and his Aunts and Uncles, a few of which were mentioned earlier in the Davidson story (Figs 6.3, 6.5, 6.8, 8.14 & 8.15).


In the collection of papers are many photos of the family, including regular photos of the boys sat with their mother at various stages in their life. Figure 13.7 is probably one of the first of these photos, although Walter does not appear too happy about it.


Fig 13.8 - An excerpt from Edward Davidson's
notebook about another trip to London in 1896
In 1896, there was another trip to London which is accounted for. They had to pay the cost of 10s or approximately £30 today for the "train fare" and 7d or £1.70 for a "broken glass". On this trip they visited the theatre, drank ginger beer, saw a show and the "big weel" alongside enjoying a pork pie and many a cup of coffee with cakes. Quite an extravagant trip if you ask me.

Edward also visited London in May 1899, July 1902, August 1903, June 1905, on the 14th July 1906 for his "Aunt's Golden Wedding" in Witham, probably Aunt Louisa Robinson nee Redwood and latterly in March 1907 for 6 days. Many times they would visit Herne Bay and Witham whilst on a trip to London, where I presume they would visit Edward's mother's family, the Redwood's.

Fig 13.9 - An excerpt from Edward Davidson's
notebook about Ted's accidents


On the 26th May 1900 "Teddy discolated helbow" which is recorded next to an incident where "Ted fell from a ladder 16ft" twenty five years later, these accidents do make him sound a little accident prone.


In 1901 at the time of the census the family was living at 4 Hawthorn Villas, the address at which Edward and Martha would live for a number of years (Fig 13.10). A house which the 1911 census tells us had five rooms (Fig 13.11). Quite a lot of space for a family of four in the early 1900s.


The censuses tell us Ted followed in his father's footsteps, becoming a boiler maker but Walter was solely a labourer at the docks. The family story goes that Walter struggled to find work due to his disability of only having 3 fingers on one hand and was unable to get work which was more specialised such as becoming a boiler maker or rivetter.

Fig 13.10 - Excerpt from 1901 census returns of the Davidson family

Fig 13.11 - Census page from 1911 census of the Davidson family

Fig 13.12 - Lovely family photo with the
boys as young men
Ted was the first to leave home to be married in the first quarter of 1909. Ted was 23 years old and married a Hull girl named Harriet Emma Hill. Six years later, Walter married a Hull girl named Kate Parkinson.

Edward sadly passed away on the 2nd February 1928 in Hull, Yorkshire only a few months before the birth of his third grandson to Walter. Edward left a will worth £425 14s which is the equivalent of approximately £14,000 today. A reasonable sum of money for the 1920s. James Hair, Martha's younger brother would be the money lender to become the executor of his will. Martha bought a burial plot at Hedon Road Cemetery in February 1928 so I presume this was for the burial of Edward and later possibly herself (Fig 13.13).

It would only be eighteen months later that Martha passed away as well on the 18th September 1929 in Withernsea. The family stories say that in Martha's old age she would stand on the street giving away money to young ladies for their wedding dresses and was starting to perhaps develop what is now recognised as dementia or Alzheimer's so spent her last days in a care home in Withernsea to the east of Hull. Martha also left a will but of a considerable lesser value than Edward's - £169 3s 1d, today's equivalent of £5,500. Walter, their son was to become the executor of her will.

Fig 13.13 - A document showing the purchase of a burial plot at Hedon Road Cemetery, Hull
by Martha Hair in February 1928

I have visited Hedon Road Cemetery a number of times as I know this is also where Edward's parents, John and Jane are also buried (Fig 8.16 & 8.17) but I have never found a headstone for Edward or Martha Davidson, this could be due to there being no headstone erected or perhaps it was destroyed when the cemetery took a direct hit by a bomb in the Hull Blitz during World War Two.

Lets now find out what happened to their boys, Uncle Ted and great grandad Walter Davidson.


Copyright © 2013 Ruth Hogan

Back to the Contents


Chapter 14 - The Davidson boys into the 20th Century

Uncle Ted (Edward) Davidson (1886-?) married a Hull girl named Harriet Emma Hill in the first quarter of 1909 and by 1911 they had had no children but were living at 11 Florence Avenue in Hull as a fairly newly married couple (Fig 14.1).

Fig 14.1 - Census page for the 1911 census of Uncle Ted and his first wife

Fig 14.2 - Uncle Ted and wife, Ethel
Unfortunately, Harriet passed away only a few years later in the second quarter of 1914 just a few months before the start of the Great War, but just under one year later Edward was marrying for a second time to Ethel Kirkham in Sunderland. Very little is known about his second wife but my grandad seems to remember that she was a Sunderland girl.

Having an occupation as a boiler maker would have attracted Edward to Sunderland as there was plenty of work in the ship building industry in the North East at this time.

Edward and Ethel had two daughters together, Emma known as Emmie who was born in 1915 and a few years later Ethel was born in 1918 around the time of the end of the first World War. 

I have tried to find out whether Edward signed up or was conscripted for service in the first World War but I have found no obvious records to prove that he was. I wonder whether due to his trade in ship building whether he would have been exempt from service?

At some point Uncle Ted became involved with the Salvation Army and became a part of the band (Fig 14.3).

Fig 14.3 - Uncle Ted in the Salvation Army (he is third man sat from left on front row)

After this Uncle Ted becomes rather lost in the records and only a few stories which have been passed down through the family remain. My grandad recollects that he was a keen gardener and latterly in life he was cared for by the Salvation Army in one of their homes for the elderly.


Fig 14.4 - 1st Class School Attendance Certificate for
Walter Davidson at Buckingham Street School

Walter Davidson (1888-1969), my great grandfather worked as a labourer on the docks in Hull for the majority of his working life.


He was educated at Buckingham Street and Craven Street Schools respectively in Hull (Fig 14.5, 14.6 & 14.7) and seemingly had first class attendance.



Fig 14.5 - Buckingham Street Board School, Hull
(photo link - Hull Museums Collection)
Fig 14.6 - Walter Davidson's school class photo
(he is the first child on the front row holding the number

















In 1911, he was working for Richard Wade & Sons who were Timber and Mahogany merchants based on Garrison Side which was on the site of the Hull Castle and Citadel on the eastern bank of the River Hull (Fig 14.7).

Fig 14.7 - Walter Davidson's work colleagues at R. Wade & Sons in 1911
(he is on the second row on the far right)








In April 1915, Walter married his sweetheart Kate Parkinson, the daughter of Walter James & Henrietta Parkinson. Kate was born in Hull, East Yorkshire in 1892 and her family will be researched further and written about at some point in the future as part of the whole of the Parkinson family history, so watch this space. (Fig 14.8)


Fig14.8 - Walter Davidson & Kate Parkinson's Wedding
(Middle: Walter Davidson & Kate Parkinson; Left side: Walter's parents - Edward and Martha Davidson not sure who the young girl is in the white dress; Right side - front: Henrietta Parkinson (Kate's mother) & ?sister of Kate?; Right side - back row: Walter James Parkinson (Kate's father) & ?brother of Kate or Kate's sister's boyfriend/husband?)

Walter was unable to participate in the Great War due to a few of his fingers having been amputated off his hand as a child. Kate and Walter went onto have five children over a period of sixteen years. The eldest was a honeymoon child whom they named Edward following the family naming pattern and was known to the family as Uncle Eddie. My grandfather was the fourth child and third son to the family.

Fig 14.9 - Egypt Street, Hull
As far as I am aware Walter continued to work at the docks in Hull and became a keen bowler and would play with his brother-in-law, John Henry Fenton (known as Jack Fenton) at West Park Bowling Club in Hull. Walter was also a strong swimmer.

The family lived together in a small two bedroomed brick terrace house on Egypt Street in Marfleet to the east of Hull off Hedon Road.

During World War Two the family was sadly split up due to the youngest two children being evacuated to Lincolnshire at the very start of the war in early September 1939. They travelled on the ferry to New Holland in north Lincolnshire. My grandfather was evacuated to a farm in a village called Old Leake  near Boston and has great memories of his evacuation days. Unfortunately, his sister who was four years younger was sent to Redbourne and did not have the same experience, becoming very homesick and after about eight months was returned to her mother and the bombings in Hull.

After a few months in Hull, Kate and their daughter found a safer place to stay. They moved to Hawksworth Road in Horsforth, nr Leeds, West Yorkshire, but Walter had to stay with their eldest daughter in Hull due to their work. Eventually the family found a flat above a shop in New Road Side, Horsforth in which Walter, Kate and their two daughters could reside in. Walter found work at Kirkstall Forge, which was the best job he had ever had.

Fig 14.10 - Kirkstall Abbey (Photo link)
Kirkstall Forge is known as the longest continually used industrial site in Britain. It was founded in the 13th century by the Cistercian monks of the Kirkstall Abbey which was a daughter house of Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire (Wikipedia - Kirkstall). Kirkstall Abbey (Fig 14.10) is two miles up the river Aire from Leeds city centre. The initial industry at Kirkstall Forge was a mill race built to power the corn mill for the abbey and later in the 1580's iron production commenced on the site. It was connected to the railway network in the 1830's and industry boomed during World War I when it began producing military vehicle axles. In the 1930's the industry switched to making axles for buses and lorries, but during World War II the industry was shifted again to supply axles for the military vehicles, so there would be plenty of work available for men like Walter Davidson who were not able to sign up to the army but allowed them to be involved in war work.

In 1941, the family managed to move to a house on Low Lane, Horsforth and this enabled their youngest son, my grandfather to return back to the family. He had one year left at school and was then led to find work in the electronics industry in which he would find work for the rest of his working life into his mid-70s.

The move to Horsforth allowed their evacuated children to come home but they would have left behind their extended families, friends, their two eldest children (although the eldest son was away fighting during the war) and their first grandson. A big move away from the city they knew so well, grew up in and brought their children up in, although they did return regularly to visit their family and friends and for a few trips to the seaside town of Bridlington on the east coast to get a bit of fresh sea air (Fig 14.11 & 14.12).

Fig 14.11 - Walter Davidson with his eldest sons at
Bridlington in 1952
Fig 14.12 - Walter & Kate Davidson at Bridlington in 1965

Fig 14.13 - Gravestone in memorial to Walter & Kate Davidson
Walter and Kate would continue to live in Horsforth for the rest of their lives. They saw their grandchildren grow up and sadly passed away only a year apart at good ages, Walter was the first to die in 1969 and Kate followed the year later. They were buried in Horsforth Cemetery where their simple gravestone says: "Treasured memories of a dearly loved father and mother, Walter died 21st July 1969, aged 81 years old and Kate Davidson died 23rd October 1970, aged 78 years old" (Fig 14.13).






So, for now this is the end of the story for as the phrase goes "the rest is history", as many members of the next generations are still living so one day perhaps there will be more to add but for now this is the end of the beginning of the next generations of Davidson's to come.

Copyright © 2013 Ruth Hogan

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References:

  1. "Davidson (name)", www.wikipedia.org.uk (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davidson_(name)), retrieved 19th October 2013.
  2. "David", www.behindthename.com (http://www.behindthename.com/name/david), retrieved 19th October 2013.
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  23. Record for John Davidson, Ancestry.com, 1861 England Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc, 2005), www.ancestry.co.uk (http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=uki1861&h=5949606&indiv=try), accessed 20th October 2013. Document also found at: The National Archives, Class: RG6; Piece: 301; Folio: 106; Page: 5; GSU roll: 542610.
  24. Record for Charlotte Lester, FreeBMD, England & Wales, FreeBMD Death Index, 1837-1915 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc, 2006), www.ancestry.co.uk (http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=freebmddeath&h=20780707&indiv=try), accessed 20th October 2013. Original data: General Register Office, England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes, Jul-Aug-Sep 1866, Volume 1c, Pg 785.
  25. Record for Michael Lester, Ancestry.com, London, England, Deaths and Burials, 1813-1980 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010), www.ancestry.co.uk ( http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=lmadeaths&h=13227823&indiv=try), accessed 20th October 2013. Document also found at: Board of Guardians; Wapping Branch Workhouse; Call Number: POBG/179.
  26. Record for Thomas Davidson & Haniet (Harriet) Bailey, Ancestry.com, London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010), www.ancestry.co.uk (http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=lmamarriages&h=7535405&indiv=try), accessed 20th October 2013. Documents also found at: London Metropolitan Archives, Saint George The Martyr, Register of marriages, P92/GEO, Item 206.
  27. Record for Thomas Davidson & Martha Tull, Ancestry.com, London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010), www.ancestry.co.uk (http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=lmamarriages&h=4116506&indiv=try), accessed 20th October 2013. Document also found at: London Metropolitan Archives, Saint Nicholas, Plumstead, Register of marriages, P97/NIC, Item 026.
  28. Record for Eliza Davidson, FreeBMD, England & Wales, FreeBMD Marriage Index, 1837-1915 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2006), www.ancestry.co.uk (http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?ti=5538&indiv=try&db=freebmdmarriage&h=7302739), accessed 27th October 2013. Original data: General Register Office, England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes, Jul-Aug-Sep 1849, Volume 5, Pg 333.
  29. Record for Joseph Crout, FreeBMD, England & Wales, FreeBMD Marriage Index, 1837-1915 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2006), www.ancestry.co.uk (http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=FreeBMDMarriage&indiv=try&h=6912452), accessed 27th October 2013. Original data: General Register Office, England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes,  Jul-Aug-Sep 1849, Volume 5, Pg 333.
  30. Record for John Davidson & Jane Redwood, Ancestry.com, London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921 (Provo, UT, USA,Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010), www.ancestry.co.uk (http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=lmamarriages&h=7327743&indiv=try), accessed 27th October 2013. Document also found at: London Metropolitan Archives, Saint Luke, West Norwood, Register of marriages, P85/LUK, Item 009.
  31. Record for Henry Davidson & Octavia Gallafent, Ancestry.com, London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010), www.ancestry.co.uk (http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=lmamarriages&h=2696769&indiv=try), accessed 27th October 2013. Document also found at: London Metropolitan Archives, Christ Church, Watney Street, Register of marriages, P93/CTC2, Item 025.
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  33. Record for Joseph William Crout, Ancestry.com, London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010), www.ancestry.co.uk (http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=lmabirths&h=4687904&indiv=try), accessed 27th October 2013. Document also found at: London Metropolitan Archives, Woolwich St Mary Magdalene, Register of Baptism, p97/mry, Item 013.
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  40. Record for Thomas Edward Crout, FreeBMD, England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006), www.ancestry.co.uk (http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=freebmdbirth&h=40506448&indiv=try), accessed 14th November 2013. Original data: General Register Office, England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes, Oct-Nov-Dec 1862, Volume 1c, Pg 616.
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  43. Record for Elijah Copeland,  FreeBMD, England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006), www.ancestry.co.uk (http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=freebmdbirth&h=39405544&indiv=try), accessed 14th November 2013. Original data: General Register Office, England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes, Jan-Feb-Mar 1866, Volume 4a, Pg 44.
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  54. Record for Martha Davidson, Ancestry.com, 1861 England Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005), www.ancestry.co.uk (http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=uki1861&h=5977808&indiv=try), accessed 22nd November 2013. Documents also found at: The National Archives, Class: RG 9; Piece: 305; Folio: 133; Page: 46; GSU roll: 542611.
  55. Record for Thomas William Davidson, Ancestry.com, London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010), www.ancestry.co.uk (http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=lmabirths&h=4068546&indiv=try), accessed 22nd November 2013. Documents also found at: London Metropolitan Archives, Poplar All Saints, Register of Baptism, P88/ALL1, Item 016.
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  59. Record for Henry Davidson, Ancestry.com, 1901 England Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005), www.ancestry.co.uk (http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=uki1901&h=2646932&indiv=try), accessed 27th November 2013. Documents also found at: The National Archives, Class: RG13; Piece: 223; Folio: 59; Page: 39.
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  80. Record for Orpha Sarah O Davidson, FreeBMD, England & Wales, FreeBMD Marriage Index, 1837-1915 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006), www.ancestry.co.uk (http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?new=1&gsfn=orpha&gsln=davidson&rank=1&gss=angs-c&msrpn__ftp=london&msydy=1890&pcat=34&h=7308523&recoff=3+5+6&db=FreeBMDMarriage&indiv=1&ml_rpos=1), accessed 18th December 2013. Original data: General Register Office, England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes, Jan-Feb-Mar 1890, Volume 1b, Pg 602.
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  187. Family Data, Original copy of the marriage certificate of Edward Davidson and Martha Hair, passed down from Edward Davidson to his son Walter Davidson, to his grandson John Davidson and to his daughter, Ruth Hogan nee Davidson.
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  191. Photo of John and Jane Davidson's grave at Hedon Road Cemetery, Hull, Yorkshire, taken in 2011, photographer: Ruth Hogan.
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  196. Record for Martha Hair, FreeBMD, England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006), www.ancestry.co.uk (http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=freebmdbirth&h=7879414&indiv=try), accessed 20th April 2014. Original data: General Register Office, England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes, Oct-Nov-Dec 1862, Volume 9d, Page 144.
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  198. Family Data, Copy of the original Marriage Certificate, owned by Ruth Hogan.
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  200. Record for Charles Hair, Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1881 England Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004), www.ancestry.co.uk (http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=uki1881&h=26100133&indiv=try), accessed 20th April 2014. Document also found at: The National Archives, Class: RG11, Piece: 4758, Folio: 46, Page: 36, GSU roll: 1342149.
  201. "St James's Church, Sutton", www.geograph.org.uk (http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/266573),  Photographer: Stephen Horncastle, 24 October 2006, retrieved 20th April 2014.
  202. Family Data, Photo of the Hair Women, passed down from Edward Davidson to his son Walter Davidson, to his grandson John Davidson and to his daughter, Ruth Hogan nee Davidson
  203. Record for Sarah Elizth. Hartley, Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1881 England Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004), www.ancestry.co.uk (http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=uki1881&h=26101032&indiv=try), accessed 20th April 2014. Document also found at: The National Archives, Class: RG11, Piece: 4758, Folio: 65, Page: 24, GSU roll: 1342149.
  204. Record for Sarah Elizabeth Hair, FreeBMD, England & Wales, FreeBMD Marriage Index, 1837-1915 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006), www.ancestry.co.uk (http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=FreeBMDMarriage&indiv=try&h=12139158), accessed 20th April 2014. Original data: General Register Office, England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes, Jan-Feb-Mar 1881, Volume 9d, Page 181.
  205. Record for Amelia Jane Hartley, FreeBMD, England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006), www.ancestry.co.uk (http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=freebmdbirth&h=9390649&indiv=try), accessed 20th April 2014.
  206. Record for Harry Hartley, FreeBMD, England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006), www.ancestry.co.uk (http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=freebmdbirth&h=9406616&indiv=try), accessed 20th April 2014. Original data: General Register Office, England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes, Jul-Aug-Sept 1889, Volume 9d, Page 193.
  207. Record for Sarah Hartley, Ancestry.com, 1911 England Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011), www.ancestry.co.uk (http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1911england&h=30232904&indiv=try), accessed 20th April 2014. Document also found at: The National Archives, Class: RG14, Piece: 28697. Original data: General Register Office, England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes, Oct-Nov-Dec 1881, Volume 9d, Page 185.
  208. Record for Henry Hartley, Ancestry.com, England & Wales, Death Index, 1916-2007 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007), www.ancestry.co.uk (http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=onsdeath93&h=16620554&indiv=try), accessed 20th April 2014. Original data: General Register Office, England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes, March 1922, Volume 9d, Page 183.
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