Thursday, 1 December 2016

Week 48: Minsterworth Court

Family history is not just about when a person was born, who they married and when they died, but also how they lived and perhaps where they lived.  The five “w’s” certainly apply when it comes to family history and telling their story.

Who –    What was their name, their parents, their siblings, their spouses, their children?
What –   What is their story?
Where – Where did they live as a child, as an adult, where did they work?
When -   When were they born, married, died?
Why -     Why is this person of interest and why did an event take place?

This blog is about looking and searching deeply into the where question.

A cousin, Brad Palin, prompted this blog by sending me a picture that he found in an old photo album.  The picture had this written on the back “Minsterworth Court – place was Hugh was born”.  He had never heard of this place before and sent it to me wondering if I had ever heard of it.

I had only heard of it as a location – not a house.  This prompted a lot of digging.  Hugh, aka Alfred Hugh Palin, born 1889, was son of Arnold Henry Palin – so I needed to look at all the census.

In the 1861 census, Arnold Henry was living at Stapleford Hall in Cheshire.
In the 1871 census, Arnold Henry was at London Road in Gloucester.  He had only been married a couple of months and his wife Lydia Kate, his mother Mary Eleanor and his brother Alfred Edward were also living there.
In the 1881 census, Arnold Henry was living at 26 Midland Rd in Gloucester.  Also Wife Lydia Kate, children Carrie, Dora, Harry, Kyrke and Rhoda and 3 servants.  Occupation given is Insurance Agent and Corn Broker.
In the 1891 census, at St Mary's Square.  Also wife Lydia Kate, and children Dora, Muriel, Charles, Cecil, John, and Hugh.  His brother William was also there and 2 servants.  Occupation is insurance agent.

No mention of Minsterworth there.  Then I saw on ancestry.co.uk they had a record database called Gloucestershire, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1974 and then searched for Arnold Henry Palin.  This is the results that came up.
  
Arnold Henry Palin 1883 Gloucester 26 Midland road
Arnold Henry Palin 1884 Gloucester 26 Midland road
Arnold Henry Palin 1885 Gloucester 26 Midland road
Arnold Henry Palin 1886 Gloucester 26 Midland road
Arnold Henry Palin 1893 Gloucester St. Mary's-square
Arnold Henry Palin 1894 Gloucester St. Mary's-square
Arnold Henry Palin 1895 Gloucester St. Mary's-square
Arnold Henry Palin 1896 Gloucester St. Mary's-square
Arnold Henry Palin 1897 Gloucester St. Mary's-square
Arnold Henry Palin 1898 Gloucester 7, St. Mary's-square
Arnold Henry Palin 1899 Gloucester 7, St. Mary's-square
Arnold Henry Palin 1900 Gloucester 7, St. Mary's-square
Arnold Henry Palin 1901 Gloucester 9, Heathville-road
Arnold Henry Palin 1902 Gloucester 9, Heathville-road
Arnold Henry Palin 1903 Gloucester 9, Heathville-road
Arnold Henry Palin 1904 Gloucester Barnwood
Arnold Henry Palin 1905 Gloucester Churchill House, Barnwood
Arnold Henry Palin 1906 Gloucester Churchill House, Barnwood
Arnold Henry Palin 1907 Gloucester Churchill House, Barnwood
Arnold Henry Palin 1908 Gloucester Churchill House, Barnwood 
Arnold Henry Palin 1909 Gloucester Churchill House, Barnwood
Arnold Henry Palin 1910 Gloucester Churchill House, Barnwood
Arnold Henry Palin 1911 Gloucester Churchill House, Barnwood
Arnold Henry Palin 1912 Gloucester 18 Podsmead road
Arnold Henry Palin 1913 Gloucester 18, Podsmead-road
Arnold Henry Palin 1914 Gloucester 18, Podsmead-road
Arnold Henry Palin 1915 Gloucester 18, Podsmead-road

Again no mention of Minsterworth, however the years 1887-1892 were missing.  I then tried searching by every other way I could think of – perhaps his name was misspelled.

Sure enough I found one that was listed as Arn Palin for 1890 and it was in Minsterworth!! And I found one for 1891 for an Arnold Palin in Minsterworth.

 Then I had the brainwave to check if I had a baptism document for Alfred Hugh and sure enough that gives the place of residence as Minsterworth.

 Still searching for those missing years, 1887, 1888, 1889 and 1892 and was getting no results.  I then went into the actual record for Midland Road for those missing years and no Palin listed and no 26 Midland Road listed either in 1887 or 1888 but it 1889 it showed  Hubert Cademe living at 26 Midland Rd.  Perhaps then 1887 and 1888 they were on Midland Road?

Then I checked specifically for Minsterworth Court in those missing years.  There were no Palins listed and no Minsterworth Court showing either for 1887, 1888 or 1889.

The one last thing to double check is all the christening documents for the children of Arnold Henry and Lydia Kate Palin.

    Mary Eleanor born 1871 – no christening record found.
    Minnie Dickenson born 1873 – no christening record found
    Margaret Agnes born 1874 baptised July 22 Residence 20 Forest Terrace Stroud Road
    Caroline G E born 1875 baptised Feb 6 1876 Residence 2 Robin Hood Villa
    Dora Kate born 1876 baptised Jan 14 1877 Residence St Luke’s parish
    William J H born 1877 baptised Sept 24 1880 Residence Park View House, Midland Road
    Arnold Kyrke born 1879 Sept 24 1880 Residence Park View House, Midland Road
    Rhoda Alice born 1880 Sept 24 1880 Residence Park View House, Midland Road
    Douglas Vernon born 1882 October 5 1882 Residence Park View House
    Muriel Venables born 1883 baptised Sept 9 1886 Residence Belgrave Terrace *
    Cecil Gordon born 1884 August 2 1885 Residence Midland Road
    Charles Stapleford born 1884 August 2 1885 Residence Midland Road
    John Francis Born 1886 baptised Sept 9 1886 Residence Belgrave Terrace *
    Catherine Bastin born 1887 baptised August 5 1888 Residence Minsterworth**
    Alfred Hugh born 1889 baptised August 4 1889 Residence Minsterworth
    Lilian Annette born 1892 baptised September 11 1892 Residence St Mary’s Square

* Arnold Henry’s younger brother, Alfred Edward, was a vicar and he officiated at these baptisms.
** Also buried in Minsterworth October 9 1888.

I can now without any doubt now email my cousin back and verify that the picture was labelled accurately and that was the house that his grandfather was born in.

So even though the census records give us a great deal of information, it does not tell the whole story and sometimes we have to dig a little deeper.

After I emailed my cousin with the good news, I had an “ahah” moment.  One of the sons of Arnold Henry Palin, Harry, wrote a brief autobiography and I posted it online years ago.  And there in that story was reference to when the family had moved out of town and then 3 years later moved back and why they moved back.

It amazes sometimes when all the little pieces of the puzzle start coming together!


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