Thursday, 18 February 2016

Week Seven - Murder Most Foul

Who would have thought that a ghastly murder of an elderly couple in Peover, Cheshire in 1840 would hold a clue on a Thomas Palin that died in New York and a new cousin connection!

In the write-up in the newspaper regarding the murder of elderly Mr. and Mrs. Cook, the authorities questioned nephew Thomas Palin on where he was at the time of the murder.  He was there for a visit the Sunday before with his aunt and uncle and had a lovely dinner and then supposedly went home.  Or did he?

Yes, indeed he did go home. I guess the official had looked into the possibility of Thomas being  the murderer because he was supposedly in dire straits and the Cooks were also burglarized at the time of death.  Thomas was a butcher from Hanley and not doing so well financially.  Thankfully Thomas had a great alibi - he was working for someone else at the time and they could verify that.  Thomas was in the clear.

Also in the new paper article it mentioned the people who went to the funeral included James Palin from Westgate, Joseph Palin from Knutsford and Edw from Manchester.

So then I went searching for a Thomas Palin who was a butcher in Hanley in 1840.  I found him in the family tree.   Thomas Palin born in 1785 son of Joseph Palin and Mary Cooke.  Thomas also had an older Brother Joseph who was living near Knutsford at the time and Joseph had a son Edwin who was living in Manchester at the time.  There is also a brother James and he was born in 1794. 

I had found this article quite some time ago and because it really never had any direct impact on our family tree, I filed it away.

Then just recently I found on FINDAGRAVE website where a researcher had spent a lot of time and effort into researching her part of the Palin tree that immigrated to USA.   I already had one of the people.  Edwin born 1813 son of Joseph who immigrated to New York.   She also states that Edwin and his brother Thomas had bought a cemetery plot together.  I did not have any information on the brother Thomas born 1828 and soon found he emigrated as well.  Also in her writing she writes....

    Thomas was orphaned relatively young, (his parents were supposedly murdered, according to family oral account). Oral account also claims that after their death he was raised near Crewe, England by his Uncle Thomas and Aunt Jane, who apprenticed him to a tea merchant in Manchester.

BINGO – I knew there was a connection and wrote to the woman and explained that it was not Thomas’s parent’s that were murdered but his great Grand Uncle and Aunt. I also sent the newspaper copy of the write up of the Cook’s murder.

as seen in Manchester |Times August 29 1840

So to give you a visual image Joseph Palin and Mary Hickson lived in Knutsford in 1840.  Joseph Cook that was murdered was Joseph Palin’s mother’s brother.  Edwin Palin born 1813 immigrated to New York and now we know his brother Thomas born 1828 also emigrated.  The researcher from the FINDAGRAVE website is a descendant of this Thomas Palin!  My mother and her grandmother would be 6th cousins!

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