Thursday, December 07, 2006
SMITH - Ag Lab ....how original...
The very first question I had when I started genealogy was, "who were the parents of Harold Wright?" Harold Wright was my mother's grandfather. He was born and lived in Acomb, a parish in the ancient Ainsty of York. Therefore in about 1999, I went to the Borthwick Institute in York to view their parish registers for St. Stephen's Church, Acomb. Before too long, I had found the following entries:
May 12 1897: Henry Cecil son of Henry & Ada Wright, Acomb, joiner
Jan 17 1900: Harold son of Henry & Ada Wright, Acomb, joiner
Sep 24 1902: Ethel dau of Henry & Ada Wright, Acomb, joiner
Aug 23 1905: Kathleen Maud dau of Henry & Ada Wright, Gale View Acomb, joiner
Mar 9 1895:
Henry Wright, 26, bachelor, joiner, Acomb, father James Wright market gardener
Ada Smith, 23, spinster, Acomb, father deceased no name given.
Witnesses- John George Wright, Lilly Smith & Mabel Ellis
I found out that Ada Smith was my great-great grandmother, and that she probably had a sister or cousin called Lilly. Unfortunately though, I had no real information about anything else about her or her family. As she married past 1891, I had to wait until the release of the 1901 census to find out her birthplace. - I actually have a picture of Ada Smith which I aim to scan in soon - see here.
Having obtained the 1901 census, I could see that Ada Wright (nee Smith) was living on Front Street, Acomb, with her husband Henry Wright (working as a wagon builder for the railways) and her two eldest sons - Henry Cecil Wright and Harold Wright (my great-grandfather). This census also revealed that she was born in 1872 in Kirkby Malzeard in the West Riding of Yorkshire right on the border with the North Riding. See here for more on the history of Kirkby Malzeard.
The parents of Ada Smith
This necessitated a trip to the North Riding record office in Northallerton. There I searched the parish records of Kirkby Malzeard.
Baptisms: Oct 1 1871: Ada dau of Richard & Elizabeth Smith, farmer, North Close KM.
May 8 1870: Emily dau of Richard & Elizabeth Smith, husbandmen, North Close KM.
I was fairly confident that this was the right Ada Smith, as I could not find any other references to an Ada Smith in the Kirkby Malzeard registers. After finding Ada in these registers, I was able to search for her family in the censuses between 1871 and 1891. In 1871, Richard and Elizabeth Smith are living in Kirkby Malzeard with daughter Emily. Richard is an agricultural labourer - I think having a Smith ancestor who is an ag lab should be a genealogy badge of honour.
In 1881, Richard and Elizabeth Smith had moved to Alne, near Easingwold, in the North Riding of Yorkshire. This was where the youngest three children and Richard himself were born. His wife Elizabeth was born in Sutton-on-the-Forest, which is also North of York. Richard is living at Malt Kiln Cottages and is working as a foreman malster, which seems to be a bit of an improvement from an ag lab. I found out a lot more about the Smith family by researching the parish registers for Alne at the North Yorkshire Record Office.
In 1891, Richard and Elizabeth were still living at Alne Station Malt Kiln and Richard was still working as a Foreman in the Malt Kiln. Interestingly, they also have a daughter Lillie Smith - who would likely be the witness at Ada's marriage four years later in Acomb. Significantly, I have completed a full research of all the SMITHs of Alne from the nineteenth century - I will write more about the various branches in a later post - however, the only Lillie Smith who was baptised in Alne (and could be therefore a relative) was an illegitimate daughter of an Eliza Ann Smith from Tollerton, baptised on 16/11/1879. I have found no relationship between this Eliza Ann Smith and any of my Smith family though. A possibility is that Lillie was illegitimate and brought up by Richard and Elizabeth, though it is also a possibility that Richard and Elizabeth did not baptise Lillie (unlikely as all their other children were baptised) or baptised her somewhere else (though a search of the IGI has failed to find a potential match).
According to the Alne parish registers, Richard Smith died on 22/9/1892. In 1901, I then found Elizabeth Smith living as a widow in Acomb at 10 Grove Terrace, working as a laundress. On the same street, at 2 Grove Terrace, her son Joseph Smith is living with his wife Hannah and young son Wilfred. Her daughter Ada Smith is living with her young family not far away on Front St, Acomb. I have yet to find out what happened after 1895 to Lillie Smith.
Please go to this post to find out about the ancestry of Richard Smith.