Having posted about my grandpa and (previously) my grandma it seems a shame not to give my other family photros an airing. I've always made a point of collecting whatever family photos came my way - which is a Good Thing as my grandma would have let them all be lost or destroyed. In fact in giving them to a five year old child to play with (me) she might have been destroying them, but even then I knew they were special and I kept them safe. These are the pics that started me on my quest to collect family photos, which later turned into a proper family history project - ongoing, of course, because these things are never complete,
These are the oldest photos in the family collection. George Crowe and his wife, Eliza Lindley were my great-great granparents, George was born in 1838 and died in 1892, aged 54 years. (Sometimes the family was listed as Crow depending on the census taker or registrar of births marriages and deaths; not sure when the e arrived on the end of it.) They lived in Mapplewell, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. George would probably have been a miner - almost everyone male in the village was. He was certainly illiterate because his name is signed with a cross on a certificate.
George and Eliza Crowe
Georga and Eliza had several children, My Uncle Tom (Grandma's last surviving brother) thought they had 3 boys and 5 girls, but the only boys he could name were Alf and Tom. Alf went to live in Thurnscoe and Tom went to Blackpool as foreman on the building of the new north promenade. The girls were Amelia (Williams); Lily (Grey); Anise (Dearnley) and Polly (Wigglesworth) - besides, my great grandma Emma (Shaw).
And this is Emma Crowe 1869 - 1952
George’s daughter, Emma Crowe, my great-grandmother, was born in 1869 and died in 1952 age 83. She died when I was two but I can remember her as a little wizened old lady, as my Nana. She never had the opportunity to go to school and remained illiterate all her life, though she used to hide it well. I wonder how she would feel if she knew her great-great grandson, (born 112 years later) was a first class Cambridge honours graduate, a Cooper Union Scholarship graduate and a Rome Scholar. How different life has become in just a few generations.
James Alfred Shaw 1865 - 1929
James Alfred Shaw was my great grandfather but he died a long time before I was born (mining related illness I think) and even my mum can't remember him as she was barely four when he died.
Emma Crow and James Alfred Shaw married on 25th May 1890 with their first baby already on the way - a not uncommon way to tie the knot according to all the family records so far.
He was the son of Henry Shaw, a miner at the time of his birth, but who gave his occupation as shopkeeper. Interestingly Henry was illiterate when signing James Alfred’s birth certificate with (X his mark) but by the time he signed the couple’s marriage certificate he seemed to be able to write for himself. Maybe he took advantage of the Workers’ Education classes which were becoming available in late Victorian England. James Alfred seemed to be able to read and write.
The couple lived a Pitt Square, Mapplewell (in two different, tiny, houses at different times) and brought up their large family. Elizabeth (Auntie Bippy) was the oldest, born in 1890. At the time of the 1901 census the couple were established in Pitt Square. James Alfred was 37, a coal hewer, and Emma, his wife, age 32. Their children were: Elizabeth age 11; Florence Annie, age 9; Alfred age 4; Elsie, age 3 and Annie (my grandma), age 2 months. They lost two children within a week of each other in the ‘flu epidemic. Elsie was one. Eliza, the last daughter, probably had not been born at the time of the census, neither had Tom, who was an afterthought, born in 1910.
Elizabeth went off into service at an early age, working for a doctor in Huddersfield, doing a spell as head waitress at the Arcadian Restaurant in Barnsley (the Co-op’s own restaurant) and then working in Blackpool before middle-aged marriage to Willie Thorpe. Annie (my Grandma) never laft home, but did domestic service - mostly at the Talbot Public House which was conveniently, just a couple of hundred yards away. This was also James Alfred’s ‘local’ and if he overindulged occasionally - at least he didn’t have far to stagger home.