A cold day in Worcestershire

Six months ago, my husband and I took a trip to Harvington in Worcestershire. At the beginning of the year I had found out via Ancestry that the ARCH Benefice was planning some building work at Harvington Church. However, the said building work would involve moving the headstone of one Elizabeth Allchurch born 1813 and died 1900 up against the wall of the churchyard so that a building could be placed on top of the grave. But to do so, they needed the permission of a surviving relative of Elizabeth Allchurch. Cue me.

Elizabeth Allchurch was my four times Great Grandmother. That’s Great Great Great Great Grandmother. My dad’s mum’s mum’s dad’s mum’s mum. So, to find out more, the hubby and I borrowed my Mother-in-law’s car and took a drive from North London to Worcestershire on perhaps the coldest day of the year to have a cuppa with the Church Warden and his wife, take a look at the grave, hear more about their project and make my decision on whether to grant permission for the work of not.

Here are some photos from the day:



Charles Hostick and the incident of the carrier-cycle

Just a quick post tonight as it’s the final episode of Inside Men tonight and I’m tired.

Since my last post, I’ve been in contact with a lovely guy named Tony Cousins who has done some one name studies research into the Austwick/Ostick/Hosticks in the past. We have been sharing information backwards and forwards about what each of us has on the Hosticks and he has really provided some great information and leads.

Tonight I came home to another email, with a couple of attached pdfs. One a Yorkshire Gazette story about the sad suicide of a William Hostick in Driffield in 1881. The other a Daily Mail article about a carriage cycle accident in Hull in 1929. The latter was particularly exciting to receive – it’s about my Granddad. And it’s a story neither my father nor I have ever heard. It is – The Hull Oilmiller’s Injury:

Charles Hostick (26), an oilmiller, of George’s-place, Carr Street, Hull, was knocked down by a carrier-cycle on Anlaby-road on Saturday and suffered a bruised left thigh and shock. He was attended at the Royal Infirmary.

And here’s the man himself, 61 years on and just days before his death in 1990 – Charles William Hostick.

Aitches, the ‘Osticks and ‘Ull

I’ve been chatting with my cousin David about what to do with my family tree findings and all the data I’m gathering once I’ve exhausted Ancestry and no longer wish to pay for access. He has a website and owns the Hostick.co.uk domain name, which would be the perfect place to share findings for the wider Hostick family. But to do that, I need to export all the data from my online Ancestry tree to my computer. And without any family tree software on my computer, that appears no mean feat.

So yesterday I started the slow process of adding all of the (somewhere in the region of 180) Hosticks/Morgans/Shakesbys/McNays to an Excel spreadsheet.  And while I’ve been adding the data I thought I’d add any discrepancies in names that appear. Notably that of the my Dad’s paternal ancestors who started life as the Austwicks and ended up as the Hosticks via a short stay at Ostick. And all thanks to the Hull accent I reckon.

Now, for those of you who don’t know, Hull has a very particular accent. Lots of lengthened flat vowels, dropped tees and especially dropped aitches. So if your name’s Hannah and you’re from Hull  then your name’s ‘Annah and you’re from ‘Ull. 

If you’d like a little lesson in ‘ow to talk ‘Ull, then this video may ‘elp:

Anyway, ‘ow ‘as the ‘Ull accent affected my, and my parents’, sister’s, aunts’, uncles’ and cousins’ surnames?

Well, way back in 1816 Joseph Austwick – my three times great granddad – was born – it seems illegitimately – to my four times great grandma, Margaret Austwick.  On his marriage certificate from 1837 his name is Austwick. Come the 1851 census, he’s Austick – note how that silent ‘w’ has vanished. Then, by 1861, our dear old Joseph is Hostick.

His son, Joseph Austick Jnr,  shares a similar story. Born Austick in 1843, 17-year-old (great great granddad) Joseph Jnr has become Hostick courtesy of the 1861 census, is Hostick when he ties the knot to Sarah Jane in 1869, but Ostick in the 1871 census.  He died Joseph Hostick in 1887. The reason? I’d place my money on because he’s illiterate and from ‘Ull.

In the nineteenth century illiteracy levels were high, but partaking in the census was compulsary, just as it is now, and the head of the household was required to complete the census form. Sadly, our Josephs – both senior and junior – were illiterate as is shown by their marriage certificates where they simply placed their ‘marks’ rather than signed their names.

So, let’s imagine we’re Joseph Snr relaxing in our humble two up two down terrace in the Sculcoates district of ‘Ull in 1861 after a hard day’s labouring, as the local census enumerator knocks on the door.

Enumerator: Hello. I’ve come to collect your household’s census return. Can I assist you with anything? 

Joseph: Ello there, Sir. Aye. I need ‘elp filling it out. Cum in. 

Enumerator: Let’s start with your surname. 

Joseph: Austick. 

Enumerator: Could you spell that please. 

Joseph: Sorry, lad. I cahnt. 

Enumerator (thinking to himself): ‘Ostick’. How do I spell that one then?             H-O-S-T-I-C-K?

I reckon he decided my great great great granddad Joseph simply said his surname – Hostick –  and dropped the H as any working class ‘Ull lad would. And so, Joseph Austick, his wife and offspring became Hostick. At least until Sculcoates’ 1871 enumerator thought otherwise and changed the Hosticks’ (nee Austwicks) name once more to the Osticks.

Ah, it all makes for interesting (and trying) genealogical research.

Clean Alley, Hull, where the Austicks/Osticks/Hosticks lived in the 1800s.

Dorothy’s story: He ran like an ape

Dorothy telling her story

After my Auntie Jean had shared her story on jumping that gate on Christmas Day (see my previous post), Auntie Dorothy, My Dad’s and Jean’s sister-in-law – wife to my Uncle Charles – told us about her and her peers’ experiences of dancing in Hull City Hall and the dates that followed in Hull in the 1950s.

So here’s Dorothy’s story. Turn up the volume, click the link, press play and read along below. Enjoy.

Dancing in Hull

Dorothy: “You used to meet some strange people… we used to go dancing at City Hall every Saturday. Well there was no bar, you know it was just drinks, like soft drinks. So we used to go in Black Boy first, down High Street, then we used to all traipse to… [Maurice: “City Hall”]…Well, some of the people, you used to meet them dancing and they were ok, you know, you think they’re nice, you know. But if you had a date with them and you saw them in the daylight – is that who I was dancing with last night? Well I remember me sister, she said, she was meeting him outside City Hall the next night, and as she was coming up she said there was this bloke standing there with his scarf, you know, right down to the ground, like they used to wear them these… college types. And she said he was standing there picking his nose, so she just turned round and went home”

Jeffrey: “He was waiting for a date and he was picking his nose? Aw, I feel sorry for him”

Maurice: “He might have been a real nice fella”

Jeffrey: “He might have been a really nice guy, yeah”

Maurice: “He might have had a nose problem”

Dorothy: “yeah he was standing there picking his nose, so she went home”

Dorothy: “I said, by that was a quick date. She said oooh… she said…”

Dorothy and Jean in unison: “…‘you don’t want to know’ 

Jeffrey: “Picking his nose. Aww”

Dorothy: “And June, was one as well. She used to pick some strange people. And she said this bloke that she met was real nice. And then she went on this date, and she said he was up there and I was walking towards him. So she said, ‘he waved’, and she said, ‘he came running towards me and he ran like an ape.’ He didn’t, he didn’t last long.”

Jeffrey: “Awww”

Maurice: “The things they used to choose the fellas for in those days”

Jeffrey: “I’m telling you. These poor men. These poor boys”

Leo: “He ran like an ape!”

Dorothy: “These poor men. I know, I know. But maybe they thought the same”

Jean’s story: I could jump that gate…

So I’ve been researching my family tree for a while now. Of course, the first step to this is getting everything you know on paper, so I started off busily inputting a lot of dates and names on to my tree on Ancestry. I’ve since started delving a bit deeper, finding records to verify relatives, and have ventured into the Scottish side to find out more about the famous Scot turned Dane Thomas Kingo. It’s filling out nicely and currently the tree goes back 0ver 200 years to 1801 on my Dad’s side and a whopping 470 odd years to 1550 on my Mum’s side.

But there are a lot of my great aunts and uncles on my Dad’s side that I just can’t seem to find many records for. We know my Grandma had 13 siblings, but finding records for people with such common names as Violet Morgan in the early 1900s has been proving quite the challenge.

But Christmas came at just the right time. Every year our Christmas involves a Danish Christmas Eve with just the immediate family (typically the four of us and the son-in-law and son-out-of-law), and an English Christmas Day with my aunts Jean and Dorothy and Uncle Charles. So I borrowed the brother-out-of-law’s iPhone to record the conversations as my Dad kicked off the family history discussion.

Jean telling her story

Today I listened to the recordings as I managed to find a couple of great aunts I’d been struggling with for some time, thanks to just getting married surnames off Charles and Jean. While I transcribed I remembered what a great day we’d had and what some gems of stories we got.

I just had to share the three personal stories for other family members to hear. So I have edited them down on the husband’s Cool Edit Pro and am posting them here.

First, Jean’s story. Turn up the volume, click the link, press play and read along below. Enjoy.

I could jump that gate

Dorothy: “She was always in trouble, weren’t you Jean?”

Jean: “Yeah I was. Mind of me own… I could jump that gate”

Maurice: “I remember when she took me on dates”

Dorothy: “she used to take you on dates? Is that where you learnt everything?”

Jean: “Well, if me Dad knew…

Dorothy: “She used to go on a date and take him”

Jean: “…You know. But if we took him out…

Dorothy: “Did he used to sit between you both?”

Jean: “…He didn’t know then, me Dad”

Jeffrey: “I see. So it was all part of a kind of ruse? It was a scam?”

Sophie: “So it was so your Dad didn’t know about your boyfriends, not because you had to look after him.”

Maurice: “I was being used all my life”

Jeffrey: “He was a decoy”

Jean: “Yeah”

Maurice:”I thought she was taking me out for a little walk ‘cause she liked me.”

Sophie: “I thought it was because she had to babysit him”

Jean: “Well no, not really”

Maurice: “That’s craft isn’t it…”

Jeffrey: “That is crafty”

Maurice: “…I’ll take Maurice for a walk”

Jean: “Yeah”

Jeffrey: “Off you go to the cinema with some guy”

Maurice: “I thought I was meeting one of me uncles”

Dorothy: “I never knew that”

Jean: “Shopping in Hull”

Jean: “I tell you what, I could run that path and over the gate… and the door would go bang

Maurice: “It was open and she used to jump it”

Jeffrey: “Straight over the gate”

Dorothy: “Then you daren’t go back in”

Jean: “No”

Sophie: “What did you used to do wrong?”

Jeffrey: “She was out, with lads and stuff”

Jean: “Er, no!” [laugh]

Jeffrey: “Sorry, that sounded wrong”

Jean: “No, I just had a mind of me own”

Dorothy: “She had one at a time, Jeffrey. Didn’t have a load at once did you?”

Jean: “No. No.”

Jeffrey: “Sorry, that came out wrong. I didn’t mean you were out with lads”

The Hosticks on Historypin

Well, I haven’t blogged for a while but I have been busy working on the family tree and will share more shortly. But in the meantime, I wanted to share Historypin with you.

I stumbled across Historypin sometime early this year and thought it was brilliant. Basically, it’s a website where people can pin old photos to googlemaps and where others can search and discover photos that have been pinned.

So, when I found myself ill with a stomach bug and my sister’s laptop whilst at my parents over Christmas I decided to pin a few old photos I’d scanned. It was a welcome relief from the monotony of searching birth, marriage and death (BMD) records.

I pinned four photos and thoroughly recommend you follow the links in each of the descriptions below so you can see them in situ.

The first was taken on a Maypole day trip from North Hull to Sledmore in East Yorkshire in about 1950. My Aunt, Maureen, used to work for Maypole and tells me this trip was for family and friends of workers at the shop. This photo features my grandma (Jane) towards the back and left, dad (Maurice) right at the front with an ice cream, aunt (Maureen) in the middle and uncle (Sam) to the front and left.

The second was a photo of my Dad and two of his six siblings, Maureen and Peter, taken outside their home in Greenwood Avenue, North Hull Estate in the early 50s.

The final two photos were taken in March 1990 just days before my granddad’s death. My mum, dad, sister and I had gone to his house on Greenwood Avenue in North Hull to tidy up his gardens. My mum took these photos of my granddad (Charlie) and his Jack Russell Terrier Charlie (otherwise known to me as Sit Down as that’s all I ever heard my granddad say to that dog) alone in one and with my dad, sister and me in the other. When my granddad died later that week, my uncle took Sit Down in the back of his van to his farm in Woodmansey. He soon went missing and was found later on this doorstep 4.5 miles away. I believe he was taken back to the farm and died shortly after.

Whilst I was in Hull I meant to dig out some of our old family photos to add images to Dear Photograph, another wonderful website. But I’ll have to get around to that some other time.

The bare bones

Well, since starting this family tree tracing at the beginning of October I haven’t had the chance to spend much time on it, but I have already started to fill in some gaps. Today is the day I start to verify dates and names through the Free BMD Index and FamilySearch before venturing into the world of paid census records.

But, as a snap shot, here is the state of play at 12.46 on Saturday 29 October 2011. Well, up to my great great grandparents at least. I have got information that goes back quite a lot further than this already, as I mentioned in my previous post. On my maternal grandmother’s side the family tree stems way back to my 8 x grandparents Clause Petersen and Maren Justdatter born 1669 and 1678 respectively.