Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Early life of Harold Wright

In the previous post I showed the newspaper report of the coroner's inquest of my great-grandfather Harold Wright's death in 1972. I have yet to obtain his marriage certificate to my great-grandmother Catherine Annie, so I don't know that date. Fortunately, my close relatives have been able to supply me with the names of their children, though I only really knew my grandmother and her sister Joan, both of whom have passed away. In this post, I shall describe how I found who were the siblings and parents of Harold Wright.

The Earlier Life of Harold Wright
When I first went to the Borthwick Institute to look at the Acomb parish registers, I did not actually know the birthdate of Harold Wright. Only later did I get the newspaper report of his death, and at the time the 1901 census had not been released. However, I was lucky in that I knew his name and that there was nobody else by that name living in Acomb at the turn of the century. With a little bit of effort this enabled me to find him, his brother and sisters and his parents all in the Acomb parish registers.

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

Based on this I was able to create my first family tree, which then triggered various memories in my parents and other relatives as they were able to tell me more about each child:

Henry Cecil Wright - We believe that Henry Cecil moved away from the York area perhaps to the West Midlands after the second world war. We don't really know much more than this but I would love to find out. We think that this might be a picture of Henry Cecil with his mother and a son.

Ethel Wright - 'Aunty Ethel' as my mother and aunties call her, was a very kindly genial lady who lived as a spinster all her life, living in the family home that stood at the end of Gale View, a long street in Acomb. Ethel died on the 3rd July 1982.

Kathleen Maud Wright - Kathleen Maud married William Dobbie and lived in York. William Dobbie was the son of William Dobbie Snr, a local councillor and railway worker. William Dobbie Snr later became a Labour Lord Mayor of York, an MP for Rotherham, and was later awarded the CBE. Kathleen Maud died on 21st March 1991 and I think is burried in Acomb cemetery with her husband.

When I found this information back in 1999 I obviously wanted to immediately know more about Harold Wright's parents, Henry Wright and Ada Smith. It took me 3 more years to be able to progress with this research as far as Ada Smith was concerned as I required the 1901 census to find Ada's birthplace:

In 1901 living on Front Street, Acomb, is Henry and Ada Wright with their two eldest children Henry Cecil and Harold Wright. Henry is a wagon builder at the local railway works, the biggest employer in the Acomb area. Henry had been born in the Acomb area. In the next post I shall discuss the what I know about life of Henry Wright, my great-great-grandfather.

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