Inherited Craziness
A place to share all the nuts found on my family tree

Thursday, 19 November 2020

Daniel Thompson and Mary Adcock

Pytchley Church
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Ian Rob -

Daniel Thompson, son of Solomon Thompson Jnr and Maria Willis and Mary Adcock, daughter of Joseph Adcock and Sarah Cooka pair of my 3x great-grandparents, married, on 25 Oct 1832, at All Saints Church, Pytchley.

In 1841, Daniel Tompson (sic) (30), carpenter, is living in Cransley StreetBroughton, with wife, Mary (30), daughter Sarah (8) and son George (5). Also staying with them were Maria Blackett (25), Dressmaker (Daniel's sister); Ann Ray (30); Emily Ray (1) and Sarah Hewitt (10).

Ten years later, in 1851, the family are still living at the same address, with Daniel (42) and Mary (41), the now 17 year old Sarah has become a dressmaker and George (14) a carpenter, following in the family tradition. The family had also grown to include Benjamin (9), Louisa (6) and Dan (2).
  1. Sarah Elizabeth Thompson baptised 15 Dec 1833
  2. George Thompson baptised 15 Apr 1836 
  3. Benjamin Thompson baptised 3 Oct 1841
  4. Louisa Thompson baptised 15 Dec 1844
  5. Dan Thompson born 12 Oct 1848, baptised 5 Nov 1848
Sarah and George were baptised in Broughton, while Benjamin, Louisa and Dan were all baptised at St Andrews of Cransley, Northamptonshire.

Daniel Thompson, Carpenter and Wheelwright, died, aged 45, on 15 Feb 1854 and was buried, on 19 Feb 1854, at St Andrew's Church, Broughton

His effects, under £100, were granted to his widow, Mary Tompson (sic), in 1861. That year, the widowed Mary was living in the household of her son George, at the same location, who appears to have taken over the family business as a Carpenter employing 2 men and 1 boy, in Broughton. 

Then in 1871, Mary and younger daughter, Louisa, are staying with eldest daughter, Sarah and son-in-law, Daniel Botterill, in Deptford. Mary Thompson died, aged 69, and was buried, on 15 Oct 1879, at St Andrew's, Broughton.

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Solomon Thompson Jnr and Maria Willis

All Saints; church, Thorpe Malsor
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Jonathan Thacker -

Solomon Thompson Jnr, son of Solomon Thompson Sr and Ann Rawson, married Maria Willis, daughter of Joseph and Sarah Willis (reputedly née Jaques), at All Saints ChurchThorpe Malsor on 19 Jan 1807. 

Solomon Thompson Jnr's occupation was a carpenter. 

Their children, all baptised at St Andrew's Church, Cransley include:
  1. Mary Thompson baptised 14 Dec 1807
  2. Daniel Thompson baptised 30 Jul 1809
  3. Thomas Thompson baptised 14 Apr 1811
  4. Maria Thompson baptised 19 Dec 1814
  5. Lucy Thompson baptised 18 Dec 1815
  6. Anne Thompson baptised 20 Oct 1817
  7. Eliza Thompson baptised 9 Jul 1820 (buried 14 Oct 1821)
  8. Solomon Thompson baptised 4 Apr 1822
  9. Eliza Thompson baptised 8 Feb 1824
  10. William Thompson baptised 31 Dec 1825 
  11. Martha Thompson, born c. 1826, baptised 20 Dec 1831
  12. Elizabeth Thompson baptised 20 Dec 1831 (age 3y 3m, so b. 1828) 
Solomon Thompson Jnr, died, in 1839, aged 54.

By 1841, Maria Thompson (55), Pauper, is listed, living in the Hamlet of Cransley, as the head of the family with younger sons Solomon (20), Carpenter's Apprentice and William (15), and daughter Martha (14), as well as a John James (20) - presumably a boarder/lodger - also a Carpenter's Apprentice. 

In 1851, Maria Thompson (66), Pauper Carpenter's Widow, is living in Cransley with son William (25) and Anne Thompson (5), daughter Elizabeth's child.

In 1861, Maria Thompson (74) widow, is still living in Cransley, with just her son Thomas (31) living with her.

By 1871, Maria (listed as Mary) Thompson (85) is living with her daughter, Elizabeth Wykes, in Deptford. 

Maria Thompson died, in Greenwich in 1873, aged 88.

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Solomon Thompson Sr and Ann Rawson

St. Mary Magdalene church, Geddington
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Richard Croft -

Solomon Thompson Sr, son of Benjamin Thompson and Sarah Munn, married Ann Rawson (bap. 2 Jan 1747, in Geddington), daughter of James and Sarah Rawson, in the parish of Geddington, on 27 Oct 1767. 

They were a pair of my 5x great-grandparents.

Solomon and Ann had eight children baptised at St Andrew's ChurchCransley:
  1. Anne Thompson bap. 6 Nov 1768
  2. Solomon Tomson (sic) bap. 20 May 1770
  3. Sarah Tomson (sic) bap. 15 Dec 1771
  4. Mary Thompson bap. 17 Dec 1775
  5. Martha Thompson bap. 11 Jun 1780
  6. Lucy Thompson bap. 6 Oct 1782
  7. Ann Thompson bap. 8 Nov 1784
  8. Solomon Thompson Jnr bap. 15 Jun 1786
We can probably assume that at least the first two had died in infancy.

Solomon Thompson, labourer, appeared on the Northamptonshire Militia Lists 1771. "The Militia Act of 1757 required each county to raise an assigned quota of able-bodied men to serve in the militia. The act was passed as a reaction to the French invasion during the Seven Years War. The militia was responsible for the defense of Great Britain and Ireland. They never served abroad. Men were between the ages of 18 and 45 and served for a minimum of 28 days a year, over three years." Why no children were born between 1771 and 1775?

Solomon Thompson Sr died and was buried, in Cransley, on 2 Sep 1823.

Monday, 16 November 2020

Benjamin Thompson and Sarah Munn

Pytchley Church
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Ian Rob -

The earliest of my Thompson ancestors in Northamptonshire that I've found [so far] are a pair of 6th great-grandparents, Benjamin Thompson, who married Sarah Munn on 8 Oct 1744 at Pytchley, Northamptonshire. 

Records exist for four children, all baptised at St Andrew's ChurchCransley:
  1. Solomon Thompson Sr bap. 25 Aug 1745
  2. Priscilla Thomson bap. 6 Mar 1748
  3. Sarah Thompson bap. 28 Apr 1751
  4. William Thompson bap. 24 Jun 1753

Thursday, 12 November 2020

Lime Street, Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire

Houses at the junction of Lime Street and Custom House Street, Sutton Bridge

My late cousin in Ireland had told me that her great-grandfather (my 2nd great-grandfather), Thomas Jones, had been a coastguard - this was confirmed on his sons, David and Nicholas' marriage certificates - and that she had been down to Baltimore, West Cork in an attempt to find any trace of the family. She'd had no luck searching at the CofI churches there. But from that information, eventually, I traced Thomas' posting - on 2 Jun 1851 - via the Coastguard Establishment Books for Ireland (ADM 175/19) at The National Archives at Kew

That record also told me that his previous posting had been at Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire, where on Sunday 30 March 1851 on the England and Wales Census, 1851, we find the family resident in Lime Street, with Thomas Jones (33), Boatman Coastguard, wife Mary Jones (30), daughter Mary Ann (7), son Reece (1), son David (0) and sister-in-law Ellen Harty (26) visiting.

Sutton Bridge 1886 to 1887 National Library of Scotland

Before our trip to Lincolnshire back in September 2020, I'd attempted to see if I could determine which house the family lived in. The terraced houses arranged along the north side of Lime Street still remain today, exactly as they were in 1886/7 with 27 dwellings, but unfortunately, it's not that simple.

In 1841, there were only eight households in Lime Street, among them two Customs Boatmen, but it's not possible to be certain which eight houses stood that they will have occupied. By 1851, there appear to be 36 households in the street, so these may include situations where more than one household occupies a dwelling (although I don't think that's the case, as lodgers and boarders are mentioned in the households), other dwellings that have since disappeared, or just badly listed and were actually in other streets. It's also not possible to ascertain which end of the street that the enumerator started from. 

All I can say is that the family may have lived in one of these houses pictured: 

Looking west along Lime Street

Looking east along Lime Street

Old Custom House on West Bank, Sutton Bridge

At the end of Lime Street, on West Bank, there is an Old Custom House, but I don't yet know if this was contemporary in 1851, or was perhaps built later.

A month before leaving England in the June, on Thu 1 May 1851, Thomas and Mary (and Ellen, I think) went on a trip to undertake the baptisms of both sons Rees and David at St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Kings Lynn, Norfolk.

Monday, 9 November 2020

Winnall Travally and Elizabeth Benbow

St Dunstan's Church, Stepney
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Marathon -

Winnall Travally (1715–1783), son of Thomas Travally and Rachel Winnall, married Elizabeth Benbow (1715–1779), daughter of Richard Benbow and Elizabeth Cowtley, (although I've not [yet] found a record of the marriage).

Winnall Travally and Elizabeth Benbow, it appears, had four children; 
  1. Sarah Travaly (1739-1792)
  2. Winnall Travally (1741-1741)
  3. Elizabeth Travally (1742-1822)
  4. Esther Travally (1744-1821) 
Winnall Travally, as was his father, Thomas Travally, a Waterman on the Thames. With their only son not surviving infancy, sadly, that looks like the end of the line for the name and for the Travally's association with the river.

Elizabeth Travaly died, aged 63, and was buried on 24 Jun 1779, in Stepney.

Winnall Travally was buried, on 18 Jul 1783, at St Dunstan's, Stepney.
  1. "England, Middlesex Parish Registers, 1539-1988", database, FamilySearch (, Elizabeth Travaly, 1779.
  2. "England, Middlesex Parish Registers, 1539-1988", database, FamilySearch (, Winnal Fravaly, 1783.

Thomas Travally and Rachel Winnall

St Dunstan & All Saints, Stepney - East end
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © John Salmon -

Thomas Travally (1685–1744) and Rachel Winnall (1680–1755), daughter of John and Alice Winnall, married at the church of St Dunstan & All Saints, Stepney, on 20 Sep 1704. The record of their marriage lists them as Thomas Trevalle (sic) of RatcliffWaterman and Rachel Winnall of Blackwall

St Dunstan's was known as the "Church of the high seas" because of the great number of sailors who lived there. It's also is known as "The Mother Church of the East End" and has had an important role in my family history, from baptisms in the 1630s, through to the baptism of my own grandfather in 1897.

Thomas Travally and Rachel Winnall had six children, all of whom were also baptised at St Dunstan and All Saints, Stepney:
  1. Elizabeth Travally baptised 26 Aug 1705
  2. Esther Travally baptised 18 Jul 1709
  3. Mary Travally baptised 30 Jan 1712
  4. Winnall Travally baptised 15 May 1715
  5. Martha Trevally (sic) baptised 17 Feb 1716
  6. Warden Travally baptised 10 Feb 1718
On these baptism records too Thomas Travally is listed as a Waterman

"If watermen were the river’s taxi drivers, then lightermen drove the lorries."

According to the Binding Records of the Thames Watermen & Lightermen, Winnall Travally was apprenticed and therefore bound to his father, Thomas, on 18 Jul 1729. He would have been around 14. The record says he would be free on 20 Jan 1843, by which time he would have been 28 years old. That seems an inordinately long time. Apprenticeships are still completed for those wanting to work on the river, offered through the Company of Watermen and Lightermen, lasting 5 years. Why exert such control, did Thomas just not trust his son?  

Race for Doggett's Coat and Badge 
The World's Oldest Boat Race

Since 1715 the Race for Doggett’s Coat and Badge has been passionately rowed by apprentice river workers on the Thames. It is believed to be the oldest continually competed sporting event in the world. The competitors are Thames Watermen. They compete to earn a coveted red Waterman's coat and badge. The race therefore dates, coincidentally, to the year of Winnall Travally's birth. Thomas and Winnall must surely have known about it. Could they even have taken part, I wonder? 

(And little did I think I might have been following family tradition when I took part in the Dongola Race at Sunbury Amateur Regatta one year.)

Thursday, 5 November 2020

Press Gangs and the King’s Shilling

Colindale Hospital around 1920

As family stories go, this has to be one of the best (as in the myth is about as far away from the truth as it's possible to get), but also one of the saddest. 

Throughout her life, my mother recounted this story so many times it would be impossible to count: The story went that her grandfather, Job Sweeney, had been "press ganged" into the navy no less than three times. Once would be unlucky, you'd have thought. Anyway, this account, undoubtedly passed down to her by her grandmother, Eliza Louisa Sweeney (née Tompson), was embellished with the assertion that Job liked his drink rather too much, hence was always in the pub and the worse for wear and, therefore, had been tricked, in serial fashion, into taking the King's Shilling. All absolute poppycock, of course.

As I say, I'd heard and nodded along to the retelling of this story umpteen times, but had never really considered or questioned it. It wasn't until I met the current 'him indoors' who knows his military history, who immediately said "wrong century", that it became obvious that the whole thing was invention.

With hindsight, I can see where it will have come from. Job's father was a dock labourer (sometimes listed as a stevedore); his great-grandfather a mariner and many of their ancestors had been sailors, ship's carpenters and shipwrights. Eliza Louisa's family had run pubs around the London docks area. They will have grown up with 'press gang' stories and other seafaring folklore.

My great-grandfather, Job Sweeney, son of John Henry Charles Sweeney and Susannah Harvey, was born on 6 Feb 1870 and baptised, on 11 May 1871, at the church of St John, Limehouse Fields (which was bombed on 19 Sep 1940 and subsequently demolished). He'd married Eliza Louisa Tompson at St Anthony, Stepney on On 5 Jan 1893. 

My mother won't have known her grandfather, as he had died on 6 December 1924, aged 54, when she would have been only a few months old.

Having spent his entire life in the East End, it was finding that his death had been registered in Hendon that made me dig further in order to solve the mystery. It even crossed my mind that holidays 'At His Majesty's Pleasure' might well have explained these absences that we were all led to believe were when he was 'at sea', but it was not so. Having ordered his death certificate, this confirmed that the actual place of death was Colindale Hospital.

Built originally as the The Central London District Sick Asylum in 1898-1900 - to provide care for the sick poor in London, separate from the workhouse - in 1919, it was taken over by The Metropolitan Asylums Board and used as male TB sanatorium. The cause of Job Sweeney's death was given as 'Pulmonary Tuberculosis, Certified by Marcus Patterson MD.' 

Dr. Marcus Sinclair Paterson (1870–1932) was the medical superintendent of the Colindale Hospital for Pulmonary Tuberculosis, Hendon. "Here Paterson made valuable innovations in the symptomatic treatment of advanced cases", says his obituary in the BMJ. He developed a system of treatment called 'graduated labour'. "He has described how his observations on out-patients led him to the idea of introducing manual work, as well as walking, into the sanatorium regime, with the hope of fitting his patients for immediate return to their work, and of successfully meeting the charge that sanatoriums turned out work-shy loafers." (Not unlike the attitude to the sick today.)

(Looks like we can see who was originally responsible for ideas that led to the much maligned, ineffective and unsafe Graded exercise therapy (GET) too.)

So, I think we can deduce that the "press gang" story was made up to explain a series of absences, which were probably stays for 'treatment' - forced work when you're already too ill to do your normal work - at the sanatorium. And the saddest part of all is that this tells us that, so strong was the social stigma attached to TB that families preferred to paint their nearest and dearest as 'feckless, drunken, work-shy', etc., rather than admit they had an infectious, then incurable, disease undoubtedly contracted through no fault of their own. 

These pages are notes on work in progress, so please expect additions and changes as further research is done. You may like to use Follow That Page to monitor changes.