Sunday, 19 February 2017

Clara Swaddling - single woman

So who was Lily Edith's mother Clara Swaddling and where did she come from?

There was only one reference to a Clara Swaddling on the FreeBMD website. Her full name was Clara Hannah and she married William Stephen Hoile in 1903 in the Swindon district. FreeBMD is a project aimed at transcribing the Civil Registration index of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales and making them accessible via the Internet. 

By 1911 William Stephen and Clara Hannah were living in Swindon with three children Stephen Alfred George - born in 1904, Vivian Clara - born in 1907 and Eric Edwin James -born in 1909. The children were all born in Swindon but the the birthplace of their parents was not so clear. William Stephen stated that he was 37 years, his occupation was a Coal Carter and he was born in England. Clara Hannah was 36 and also born in England but a small note had been added saying "nothing else known".

So now I had an approximate year of birth, 1875. I found a reference to her on the 1901 census. A Clara H Swaddling was a 28 year old laundry maid in Little Stanmore in Middlesex and this time she was recorded as being born in Headington in Oxfordshire.

Now I had a place of birth, perhaps I would find her living at home with her parents on the 1891 census? No such luck. Poor Clara was 17 years old this time and an inmate at Margaret House, a house for the Aged Poor and for Children in Bath Road, Cheltenham. So what had happened to her parents for her to be in this institution?

If Clara was born in the Headington area perhaps she was also baptised there. I checked the Ancestry Oxfordshire baptisms and found a Clara Anna baptised on the 1st April 1874 at St Philip and St James in Oxford. The entry showed that Clara's mother was also a single woman and her name was Sarah. Their address was Plantation Road, Oxford. So would they be together on the 1881 census?

I did find them both on the 1881 census but not together. Clara was a boarder with a Elizabeth Acock in Aldates in Oxford and Sarah H, did the H stand for Hannah?, was a General Domestic Servant for an Elizabeth E. Leaf in Penge in Surrey. Her birthplace was listed as Dorchester, Oxfordshire.

On the 1871 census, two years before Clara Anna was born, Sarah was working as a servant for a George Ward and his family in the St Philip and St James parish of Oxford. By coincidence Sarah Hannah married an Alfred Ward at St Ann's Church In Tottenham in 1898. He was a 50 year old widower and she was a 43 year old spinster. They didn't have any children so Clara was her only child. Sarah's father on her marriage certificate was an Isaac Swadling. Now I knew exactly who Sarah Hannah was and where she came from. She was born in Dorchester in 1855 and her parents were Isaac and Elizabeth Swadling.

Unfortunately it seems now that Clara Anna was not the mother and Sarah was not the grandmother of Lily Edith because while I was searching for marriage of Sarah Hannah Swadling I came across the marriage of another Clara Swadling and this is more likely to be the mother of Lily Edith as this marriage took place a year after the birth in 1899 in the same church, St Mary and St John, Cowley.

So who was this Clara? The marriage certificate says her father's name was John Charles Swadling.

Lily Edith Swaddling - an illegitimate child

At the end of the blog entry I posted on Sunday 22nd January 2017 I made a reference to a family of Hoiles and a Clara Hannah. These details had come to light after a session of family history housekeeping and I was curious to find out who they were. Also written on this paperwork were the details of a baptism from one of the Oxfordshire parishes.

In the latter part of 2016 I began to research a branch of the Swadlings from Oxfordshire. I had a large amount of information on my database and began the task of creating a family tree. I was very pleased to discover that this research coincided with the addition of several Oxfordshire Parish Registers on the Ancestry website at the end of September.

As I began checking the Oxfordshire, England, Church of England, Births and Baptisms 1813 - 1915 one entry caught my eye. It stood out because there was only a mother listed as a parent.

The entry read : - Lily Edith Swaddling ( two dd's) baptised at St Mary and St John, Cowley, on the 16th August 1898 by L. C. K. Greenway. The entry also stated that Lily Edith was born on the 23rd July 1898 at 46 Hertford Street and she as the daughter of Clara Swaddling, a single woman.

On the Ancestry site there are sometimes hints of other records that might include more details about the person in the record you are looking at. On this occasion there were two other records listed. Sadly the other records referred to a death and a burial. Lily Edith was recorded in the Register of Burials for St Mary and St John, Cowley. She was entry number 1798 and listed as an infant of one month. Her place of death was 46 Hertford Street and she was buried in consecrated ground in the graveyard on the 15th September 1898. This ceremony was also performed by L. C. K. Greenway and in the remarks column of the register he also wrote "An illegitimate child".

Lionel Croft Kelynge Greenway was only 29 years old at the time of this tragic death. He had been born in Warwick, Warwickshire in 1868 and after attending Harrow, he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts Degree with Honours in Theology at Trinity College, Oxford. After graduating he became Curate at St Giles in Reading before becoming the vicar at St Mary and St John, Cowley. Lionel never married and when he died in 1943 his estate was left to his younger brother, Harry David Jones Kelynge Greenway, a retired army captain.

Poor Clara, not only had she given birth to a baby out of wedlock but her baby had died within weeks. So who was Clara Swaddling and where had she come from? But more importantly what happened to her?

The Guild of One Name Studies

I became a member of the Guild of One Name Studies in 2003 and as a member I'm expected to collect data and information related to my One name Study.

While family historians research all the names on their family tree. One-namers, as we are called, choose one surname from our family tree and try to gather as much information about our chosen name as possible. This is usually done by checking birth, marriage, death, census and church records.

The guild doesn't tell us how to carry out our study but they do offer guidelines that we can follow. They suggest that initially we find as many occurrences of the surname that we can, and this can be by county, country or worldwide. From this data we should then try and link family members together in the form of family trees.

The earliest records show that Swadling(e)s were living in Sunningwell and South Hinksey, in the county of Berkshire, England from the mid 1500's.

By the early 1600's Swadlings had moved into the county of Oxfordshire and the Greater London area in England. By the mid 1700's Swadlings had also moved into the county of Sussex, England. The migration continued and by the late 1700's and early 1800's there were Swadlings settling in the counties of Buckinghamshire and Kent. By the mid 1800's Swadlings had reached the county of Surrey but they were also exploring further afield to Australia. There are three Swadling males in Australia at this time. Two convicts and one brave man who moved his wife and young family there.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

10 Year Anniversary

I can't believe that it is ten years since I attended the Guild of One Name Studies Seminar, "Publishing your One-Name Study" at Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes.

I was so inspired by one of the speakers that I returned home and created my Blogger account the same day.

I just wish that they had also inspired me to write blog entries more frequently!