Sunday, October 29, 2006

Elsie Wilkes (The Wilkes 1850-1900)

The Wilkes side (1850-1900):
Click here for a good description of the history of the areas of interest for this family.

Again, all of this information was gained from looking at the online available census records, sending off for the marriage certificates, and monumental inscriptions from Castleford cemetery. My great-uncle Jack, my grandad's brother, was able to show me the original birth-certificate of Polly Wilkes (his mother Elsie's sister) which gave me the
names of her parents and enabled me to find them in 1901.

Elsie Wilkes
Elsie Wilkes was the third child of John
Thomas and Eliza Wilkes. She was born on the 10th November 1907. We believe that she was born in Castleford – her parents moving from West Bromwich to Castleford between 1902 and 1907.

Her elder brother was John Thomas Wilkes who was born in 1900 in
West Bromwich but died in infancy. Her elder sister was Polly Wilkes who was born on 4th May 1902 in West Brom, and who married William Haigh in Castleford parish church on 26th March 1921. Her younger brother, Albert, was born in 1909. We believe this is the Albert Wilkes who was awarded a bravery medal for saving some boys from drowning in a brick pond in Castleford.

Elsie’s father was John Thomas Wilkes and her mother was Eliza Beatrice Evans (see here), who were married in 1899 in West Bromwich.

In 1901 John Thomas was working as a coal miner driver underground living at 68 Walsall Street, West Bromwich and had had his first child, also John Thomas, with his wife Eliza Beatrice (nee Evans). . The houses on Walsall Street have now been partly demolished and the A41 now intersects where it once stood.

In Castleford cemetery, John Thomas Wilkes' grave says that he died in 1916. He was recorded as a miner (deceased) on the marriage certificate of his daughter Polly Wilkes to William Haigh. Sometime after 1916, Eliza Beatrice Wilkes remarried, becoming Eliza Beatrice White, marrying Jack White. His MI in Castleford cemetery says that he died in 1933, Eliza living until 1954.

Prior to 1899, John Thomas Wilkes was living with his parents Samuel and Susannah Wilkes in West Bromwich, to whom he was born in 1878. Before being a coal miner hewer, he also worked as a 'hollaware caster' when he was 13 (in 1891), which I presume was involved a job given to boys involved in the mining process.

The parents of John Thomas Wilkes
His father, Samuel Wilkes was born on
20th July 1852 to Samuel and Jane Wilkes (nee Cox), and they lived at Wood Lane, West Bromwich. I obtained his birth certificate which showed that his mother was the informant of birth and that she was illiterate (she did not sign her name). His father's occupation was a miner (like nearly everyone else who was living in this part of West Bromwich at this time).

Samuel Wilkes married Susannah Baggott on 19th May 1872 in West Bromwich. She was three years older than him. Samuel had at least 11 children, although not all of them survived infancy. Susannah Baggott’s family has been researched by someone else See here for more Baggott information.

Baggott and Wilkes are very highly concentrated surnames in the West Midlands area, and it is likely that they have long roots in this area. See here or here for example.

Samuel worked as a coal miner between 1871 and 1901, living at 32 Wood Lane in 1881 and 40 George St. between 1891 and 1901, all in West Bromwich. In 1871 he was living unmarried at home with his parents in the Wednesbury district of West Bromwich. He worked below ground between 1871 and 1891, but in 1901 he was working above ground as a colliery watchman.

Samuel Wilkes in 1871

Samuel Wilkes in 1881
(Wood Lane, West Bromwich)

Samuel Wilkes in 1891 (GeorgeSt, West Brom)
(this census entry was over two pages)

Samuel Wilkes in 1901 (George St, West Brom)

Samuel stayed and worked in West Bromwich, even after his son John Thomas Wilkes had left to Castleford, presumably to find more coal mining work.

Follow these links for more information about Eliza Beatrice Evans (Elsie Wilkes’ mother) and Samuel Wilkes (Elsie’s grandfather).

No comments: