Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Garbetts of Stourbridge

Those ancestors of mine who by far were the most mobile are my coal mining ancestors. These families seemed to have moved great distances in order to find work. Some, like my Hughes ancestors, seem to have moved from Wales through the Midlands and into Yorkshire. Others, like my other Hughes ancestors, from Wales into the North-West and then the North-East of England. My family had always thought that my Garbutt ancestors would be Yorkshire folk through and through. Garbutt is a fairly common name in Yorkshire, indeed I have Garbutt ancestors along another line going back into the eighteenth century in Kilburn, North Yorkshire. So we had no reason to believe that this Garbutt branch would be any different. As it turns out, Joseph Garbutt, my 3xgreat-grandfather was actually from Brockmoor in Staffordshire (this information came from the 1891 and 1901 censuses of Whitwood). This entry is about his family - I hope you are able to follow the following, there are three generations of Joseph Garbetts!

Joseph Garbutt III
Joseph Garbutt married Charlotte Ann Schofield in Castleford, West Yorkshire, in 1881. From the marriage certificate I knew the name of Joseph's father - also Joseph - who I found out was a coal miner like Joseph. Given that Joseph married in 1881, I thought it would make sense to see if he was living in West Yorkshire just prior to his marriage - after all, he would have to have met Charlotte somehow. I found him boarding with a George Homer and family in Whitwood. The Homer family and Joseph were all born in Brierly Hill in Staffordshire, near to Stourbridge - a place famous for its glass works and hence coal production. From the later 1891 and 1901 censuses I knew that this birthplace was slightly off as these state that Joseph Garbutt was born in Brockmoor, Staffordshire, another village near to Stourbridge. It is likely that the information given to the enumerator was more accurate in the later censuses.

I also wanted to see if Joseph travelled to Yorkshire alone. It was common for families to move, so it made sense that other relatives may have also made the trip. I therefore searched for Garbutt's (or Garbett's - the spelling with the 'e' is more common in the Midlands) born in Brockmoor who were living in Whitwood, West Yorkshire. I found Jeremiah Garbutt living with his wife Fanny and children.

Joseph Garbett II
Armed with Joseph's place of birth, age, father's name, and the name of a possible brother, I then searched the 1871 and 1861 censuses for the young Joseph Garbett. It turned out to be relatively easy to find him. In 1861 he is living with his father Joseph (a coal miner) and mother Ann and elder brothers and sisters (Joseph being born in 1861) at Hulland Brockmoor. In 1871, the same family are living at Spoon Lane, Brockmoor, and there is Joseph's younger brother Jeremiah. In both of these censuses, Joseph Garbett Snr's widowed mother Susannah is also living with them.

Moving forward in time to 1881, Joseph and Ann Garbett are living on Campbell Street, Brockmoor, and Jeremiah Garbett is still living at home. He is a puddler in the iron works, but he must have moved within the year or two to West Yorkshire to meet up with his elder brother.

Joseph Garbett I
Joseph Garbett married Ann in around 1852 - I have found a GRO index which I think is the reference to their marriage certificate - Joseph Garbet & Ann Knowles, December 1852, Stourbridge, Vol 6c Page 241. To confirm that this is the right marriage, then I could also obtain one of the birth certificates of either Joseph or Jeremiah Garbett which I have found:
Joseph Garbett - Mar 1861, Stourbridge, 6c, 222 Jeremiah Garbett - Mar 1864, Stourbridge, 6c, 234

But what about the earlier life of the father of Joseph Garbett? From the census I knew that Joseph Garbett's mother was called Susannah, and I knew their birthplaces. Using the census information from 1841 and 1851 and the IGI, I have been able to piece together the following. My ancestor, Joseph Garbett who was the grandfather of my grandfather's grandmother Mary Garbutt was baptised in Stourbridge on the 25th October 1829 in Stourbridge. On the same day a twin brother John Garbett was also baptised, but John died 3 years later. Joseph and John were the youngest children of at least 6 children. There were three girls - Mary Ann (the eldest), Jane and Elizabeth Matilda. There was also an elder brother named Charles Henry Garbett. All of the older children were born in Old Swinford, the name for the ancient parish that comprised part of Stourbridge. The parents of these children were another Joseph Garbett! (born c.1783, Stourbridge) and Susannah Hill (born c.1795, Stourbridge), who were married in Kingswinford (just outside Stourbridge) on 31st December 1816.

In 1841, the family are living in Kingswinford. In 1851 they are living at Chappel Hill, Brierley Hill. The younger Joseph is described as a miner, whereas his father's occupation is given as a 'worker on the roads'. The father Joseph Garbett died at some point between 1851 and 1861 as Susannah is a widow in the 1861 census. Susannah herself continued to live with her son Joseph until her death aged 82 in 1875 (Mar 1875, Stourbridge, 6c, 166).

Charles Henry Garbett
When researching one's family history, I always like to find out about the history of the cousins of my direct ancestors as much as possible. I decided to examine what happened to Joseph Garbett's elder brother Charles Henry Garbett. Charles Henry and his wife Sarah had seven children and lived the majority of their lives in Old Swindford. Charles Henry originally worked as a tanner and skinner (a manufacturer of animal hides for leather work) in Old Swinford, living in Queen Street in 1851 and Angel Street in 1861. However, times became hard for Charles Henry and by 1871 he was living in the workhouse of Kingswinford. Charles Henry died one year later than his mother in 1876 in Stourbridge - Charles Garbett, Stourbridge, Dec 1876, 6c, 116.

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