Saturday, November 18, 2006

Matthew Carr 1853-

Who was Matthew Carr?
I previously made a post following my maternal line back 7 generations. A lot of genealogists are initially interested in tracking their paternal ancestors, and while this is also interesting to me, I think the maternal line is the most important. In that post I mentioned Matthew Carr my great-grandmother's father, but I did not discuss much of what I knew of him as I was focussing on the maternal ancestors. I thought I'd put here what I knew about him.

From Catherine Annie Hughes' birth certificate I knew that her mother was Margaret Ann Carr, and from her marriage to John William Hughes, I knew that her father was Matthew Carr. This enabled me to track the family in the censuses:

In 1891, just prior to Margaret Ann's wedding in 1895, they were living at 5 Henry St., Whitburn, County Durham and Matthew Carr was a coal miner at Marsden Colliery. He was living with Ann, his wife, 8 children, his mother-in-law Ann Padley, and 2 coal mining boarders! Quite a household! His mother-in-law Ann Padley is a widow, so it is possible that she lives with them permanently, but given that his youngest daughter, Isabella, is only 9 days old, Ann Padley may have come to help her daughter with her newborn child. In this census, Matthew and Ann Carr are said to have been born in Roker, Durham (a part of Monkwearmouth) - but this turns out to be wrong (probably laziness on the part of the enumerator).

In 1901, Mathew Carr and family are now living at Seaham, County Durham, and Matthew Carr is a coal miner. It appears that he has moved around a great deal working as a coal miner. In this census we see that he was actaully born in Whitehaven, Cumberland, whereas his wife was born in Hetton, Durham. From his child birthplaces he seems to have been in Easington Lane (-1881), Monkwearmouth (1880-1884), South Shields (1884-1887), Marsden Colliery (1887-1891), Durham City (1891-1900) and Seaham. All the dates are approximate obviously. Also, 9 days old Isabella now appears to be named Sarah. I'm pretty sure that it is the same child, it is not uncommon for parents to settle on a different name for their child after they appear in the census - as long as they hadn't already registed the birth.

From the 1881 census in Wingate, Durham, we can see that Matthew Carr had been moving around prior to Easington. He had been working in Ryhope and Murton in Durham, each for about 3 years. He had also had his first child, my great-great grandmother Margaret Annie Carr in Crosby, Cumberland. (Other records suggest Maryport, Cumberland, but the two places are very close to each other). I have, however, found an IGI baptismal entry for 16 Dec 1871 for Crosscanonby (i.e. Crosby) for a Margaret Ann Carr born to Matthew and Ann Carr, which I'm sure is the right entry. Matthew's wife Ann's birthplace is given as Sherburn Hill, Durham in this census. Given that Margaret Annie Carr was born in Cumberland, I'm not sure how Matthew and Ann met one another - if the Padley family moved to Cumberland or if Matthew Carr moved to Durham. From my Padley work it seems as if they stayed in Durham, so perhaps Matthew came to Durham, moved back to Cumberland with his wife, and then moved back to Durham.

The image below tracks the movement of Matthew Carr and family between 1874 and 1901 across the North East of England. This website provides great information on this history of mines in this area.

What about the early life of Matthew Carr?
I have not found definitive information on the marriage of Matthew Carr and Ann Padley yet, or on the parents of Matthew Carr. I need to get more information from marriage certificates and parish records before I will be able to find that out. See here for an update.

I have one strong lead for his parents, however. Searching in the 1861 census for a Mat* Carr born in Cumberland, I find only one Matthew Carr born in Whitehaven around the right date (1852). The census image abovet shows that his parents might be Joseph (b. 1820 Whitehaven) and Margaret (b. 1821 Workington) Carr. They are living in the Weston Quarter of Whitehaven and Joseph Carr is a coal miner. A good indicator that this is the right family is that all the names are family names, especially that one of his sisters is called Margaret Ann, the name that Matthew Carr gave to his eldest daughter.

Following Joseph and Margaret Carr into the 1871 Census, finds them living in Ryhope Colliery, Durham. It therefore seems as if Matthew Carr may have come with his parents to live in Ryhope in Durham and met his future wife Ann Padley there. The Padley family were living in Hetton in 1861 and in Seaham in 1871, so it is very possible that at some point the two families lived nearby each other.

I've found the reference for the marriage certificate, so this mystery should be resolved once I receive the copy: Matthew Carr & Ann Padley - Mar 1871, Sunderland, Durham, 10a, 644 - See here for an update. I've also found two Matthew Carr's that are born in Whitehaven in 1851. Once I am certain of the name of Matthew's father then I can get the right birth certificate.

Given that Matthew Carr and Ann Padley seemed to marry in March 1871 then I tried to find them in the 1871 census, as I had previously not found either of them living with their parents in this census. I found a Matthew Carr (b. 1851, Whitehaven) and Ann Carr (b1852, Rainton), who were living in Ryhope with a John Hardey (b.1851 Hensingham, Cumberland) and Margaret A. Hardey (b 1853, Whitehaven). Matthew Carr is a coal-miner and is described as the brother-in-law of John Hardey. Ann Carr is described as the sister of John Hardey, but I believe her to be the sister-in-law and it was a mistake by the enumerator. Margaret A Hardey is I believe the younger sister of Matthew Carr. This is confirmed by me finding that in the Sep 1870 marriage index, a Margaret Ann Carr married a John Hardy in Durham.

Therefore it looks like shortly after marrying in County Durham in March 1871, Matthew and Ann Carr were living in Ryhope on census night 1871 with Matthew's younger sister, husband and 2 day old son. By December 1871 they had gone to Crosscanonby, Cumberland to have their eldest daughter Margaret Ann Carr (probably named after Matthew's younger sister). However, they must have been in Cumberland for only a year or two before moving back to Durham and moving around the various coalfields.

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