Friday, January 05, 2007
Christopher Smith of Alne 1815-1890
I previously described how I traced back my great-great-grandmother Ada Smith's parentage to a Richard (b.1843) and Elizabeth (b.1847) Smith, from Alne in the North Riding of Yorkshire. Above is a recent picture I took of the Alne Church. Below is a street scene from an Alne postcard which is un-dated. See here for a brief history of Alne.
Following this, I was able to go back another two generations of the Smith family in relatively quick time - I was able to spend a day at the North Yorkshire Record Office where I transcribed all of the Smith records in the parish registers. Adding this data to the original census records that I was also able to transcribe I could build up a picture of all of the Smiths in the parish of Alne. Subsequently, I visited the parish church of Alne and found the gravestones of several of the Smith family. Unfoturnately, the Alne Church is quite exposed to the elements which made reading the tombstones quite difficult, but nevertheless some good information was gleaned. Finally, I was also able to gain some information about the Smith family from online and libary-based trade directories. I had thought that researching Smith family history and genealogy may be quite arduous, but as this family were contained for such a long period in one place my task was quite easy.
Putting the details together
Christopher Smith was baptised in Alne on 5th February 1815 to Robert Smith (a labourer) and Ann. I then have little information on Christopher until he marries a Hannah in about 1836-7. I have calculated this marriage date as their first child William Smith was baptised in Alne on the 26th April 1838. The next children were Jane (1841), Richard (13/1/1843 - my direct ancestor), Robert (1849) and Elizabeth Ann (1856). According to the census, Hannah was born in Huby, near to Alne. I have not yet found the marriage of Christopher in the Alne parish records, but a member's entry in the IGI says that a Christopher Smith b.1814 in Alne married a Hannah Farmery in Yorkshire in 1836. This rather vague entry appears to fit with the evidence that I have as Christopher was baptised in February 1815 in Alne, and the Farmery name is a very unusual surname in Yorkshire - except in Huby. I need to spend another visit to the Borthwick Institute to see if the marriage is in the Huby parish records. I could also find out Hannah's maiden name by purchasing the birth certificate of one of Christopher and Hannah's children. - see this post for an update on this marriage record.
After marriage, Christopher and Hannah lived their entire lives in Alne, living at the following places:
1841 - John Street
1851 - Alne Street
1861 - 'Poorfact?' House
1871 - Town St
1881 - 'Alne Village'.
From 1838 to 1881 in the parish and census records Christopher is described as being an agricultural labourer or just labourer. By 1881 his wife Hannah is 'deaf and lame' at the age of 67. She died two years later, being buried on the 17th September 1883 two days after she died (as mentioned on his picture). Christopher was buried seven years later in Alne on 24th July 1890. He died on the 22nd July as mentioned on his headstone in Alne parish church (also see picture). As you can see I took the image just as it was getting dark which has made the image difficult to read. Even when I was there it was extremely difficult to read as it was heavily weathered. Nevertheless, it is always pleasurable to find the gravestone of one of your ancestors.