At the beginning of July I received an email from Jason Warburton with a link to his father’s entry on the BSAP website concerning his time in the BSA Police Regiment. The link is here.
Taking a look I realised he was linked to the Houghton clan. Shortly after I had another email from a lady who believed she was descended from a Henry of Winwick. This Henry was also from the Houghton clan, and a brother of Jason’s ancestor.
As it happens, due to a confusion of Sarahs in Birkenhead, Henry was not the lady’s ancestor. She is descended from a William of unknown origins. I will describe the mystery of William at the end of this post, in the hopes someone might be able to help.
The two brothers from Winwick were the sons of William of Winwick, and Mary Gray. Although this family was in the clan it had’t been developed. It includes 9 children with 6 sons who reached maturity. These sons had 39 children between them.
I have been fleshing the family out, adding over 90 new people to the Houghton clan. The task is not complete, as I have rarely gone past 1911. One of the sons, another William seems to have married his cousin and had 6 sons followed by 4 daughters. These sons have not yet been looked into.
What does seem likely is there are a lot of cousins out there who are all descended from William and Mary Gray I hope to hear from some of you in the future, and maybe you can give me the information to extend some of the lines further.
Now the mystery of William of Birkenhead. William and Sara Woods in 1902 in Birkenhead. The parish record shows William is 24, an electrician whose father is also William, and an electrician. William died before 1911 when Sarah appears as a widow with her daughter Elsie Lavinia, the great grandmother of the lady who contacted me.
I looked at Williams whose deaths were registered in Birkenhead. The only one was in early 1906. aged 26. This doesn’t quite match his age on the marriage, but maybe he boosted it a bit as his wife was slightly older. Between the records we get a birth between August 1877 and early 1880. Quite a number of Williams were registered around that time, but none in Birkenhead, and none I could see where the father was an electrician. Also I couldn’t find anything in the 1881 or 1891 censuses where there was a father and son called William, and either is an electrician.
If anyone has any clues I would love to hear from you.