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Our Own Genealogy - Some Research Queries
Surname interests, short personal pedigrees and some queries

Here are just a few examples of where we would like to discover a little more. In some cases we may have perhaps hit a dead end with our research or we may have an unresolved question that you may know the answer to. The queries are sorted alphabetically by the surnames (shown in capitals) in the question. Please email us if you know the answer.

Queries relate to the following surnames:

Links to other sites mentioned on this page

Our Genealogy
Short pedigree, Andy
Short pedigree, Ann
Research Queries
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Picture Gallery
  pink button The Prison Disciplinist and other members of the CLAY family  

  • Reverend John CLAY (1796-1858), who could be described as a philanthropist, was the prison chaplain at Preston Goal for many years. He was very involved with prison reform and believed in separating prisoners so that young, first timers would not be influenced by more hardened criminals. He also was instrumental in improving conditions within Preston House of Correction. He was immensely talented as he was able to speak several languages and was a highly accomplished amateur artist. He invented the Clay chair for people "suffering from spinal complaints" and "an improved bow and arrow which long bore his name". (Dictionary of National Biography).

    His son was Alfred Borron CLAY (1831-68), the painter, whose picture of 'Charles IX and the French court at the massacre of St Bartholemew' is in the collection of the Walker Gallery, Liverpool. It is currently on loan to Croxteth Hall, Liverpool.
    You can see some of his work on UK Art, which displays a number of his works, and the Bridgeman Art Library

    If you have any further information on the two men, their works or inventions, or if you are a descendant, Ann would be really pleased to learn more - Please email. She would also be delighted to hear from anyone related to them through his sisters or brothers, including those with SWAINSON or INMAN ancestors.

  • Frederick Lord CLAY (bap.30 Mar 1813 in Bishopwearmouth, DUR), a distant relative, went to Australia. He was a Solicitor in Port Phillip in the mid nineteenth century and was listed as a passenger on The True Briton in 1868. Are you linked to him? Fred CLAY married first at Gretna Green and then married his wife again about a month later in his home parish church. - Please email. Ann has already been in touch with some descendants in Australia.
    More on Gretna Marriages below
    See links to Port Philip below

  • Descendants of Robert CLAY of Philadelphia, PA, USA, who died at sea in 1716, include Slater CLAY and Curtis CLAY. The family also lived in Newcastle, DE, USA. Some family members died in the American Civil War.
    Please email Ann if those names feature amongst your ancestors. She has already been in touch with some descendants in the USA.

pink button A Berkshire Tailor

  • Reading born William EXELL and his wife Louisa Jane (nee PAGE) were both living in Binfield, BRK (as EXALL) in 1861 but we cannot find them after this. William was a tailor by trade. Did they emigrate?

    Please email Andy if you know anything more

pink button Chuff Chuff Chuff

  • A family story is that one of Andy's Great Grandfathers, Henry FRANKLIN (1844 - 1925), drove a Royal Train at some point. He was certainly an engine driver on "God's Wonderful Railway" (or GWR) and it is possible that he drove the train that carried Queen Victoria's body in 1901, following her death. Henry retired in 1903 for health reasons. Is there a GWR buff out there who can shed some light on Henry or the funeral event?

  • Henry's mother Elizabeth was born in Bisley, GLS and her father was Thomas FRANKLIN, a mason. From Thomas backwards we have drawn a blank.

    Please email
    about either queries

pink button The HARDY's (HARDEY's) of Ashley and Dunham Massey, CHS

  • John Timperley HARD(E)Y, born in 1813 in Dunham Massey, CHS, was a farmer in the small village of Ashley. The population in 1851 was only 379. He married Sarah CALDERBANK, who was b. Bowdon in 1813, on 16 Jul 1833 in Manchester Cathedral. The couple had 14 known children, all born in Ashley, the eldest of whom was Ann's 2x great grandfather James and the youngest was called Marlborough. We have located most of them in 1901 but where did they all go after then? One of the girls is supposed to have gone to Canada and we now know that Marlborough went to New York.

  • There were at least three HARD(E)Y males who were given the first name of Marlborough. What happened to the ones who left Cheshire?

    Please email about either queries

pink button "A soldier, believed dead or overseas". Was a regiment in North Devon about 1809?

  • In the baptism register for 1809 in Bishops Tawton, near Barnstaple, DEV the parents of Mary HAYWOOD are recorded as follows: the mother's name is given as Mary but her father, James HAYWOOD, is described with the words above. Can we dragoon anyone into giving Andy information on regiments based in the Barnstaple area in the immediate preceding years and where did they go on active service? Please email

pink button Humphreys & Swain of Newtown, MGY

  • The sister of Ann's great grandmother's, Mary Maria HUMPHREYS (nee SWAIN), and her husband David ran a grocery in Lower Ladywell Street, Newtown, MGY in 1891. Mary Maria's daughter Martha May Swain was at Birmingham House, Market Street, Newtown at the same time. After then the three of them cannot be found in U.K. records.They all went overseas, emigrating to North Adams in Massachussets, USA; Mary Maria and David left the UK in 1891 and Martha May (later Hiser) emigrated, via Liverpool, in 1892. They joined a son of Mary Maria's half brother and in turn were joined by Edgar S Walker, a son of Mary Maria's sister, who went to Williamstown. I have been unable to find neither the burial place of Mary Maria and David nor David's death.
    Lithograph of Blackinton from 1889 by L.R. Burleigh with list of landmarks - where they went.

    Please email
pink button Gretna Green Marriages

  • Great great aunt Anne Fanny SWAIN (nee DAWSON), the wife of Edward SWAIN, lived in her later years next door to the famous blacksmith's at Gretna Green, Scotland - where many eloping couples from England were able to marry without parental consent. She helped with many of the weddings over the anvil and her signature is in the registers that the blacksmith's shop still hold. Great Aunt Fanny was there when Richard Rennison was an anvil priest and remained there until at least 1930. Does anyone know anything more about her time at Gretna? She died, aged 93, at Castle Carrock in Cumberland during the Second World War and, because it was wartime, a neighbour dealt with her estate.
    Please email

    Fanny was born in Wellington, SAL and Edward was born in Newtown, MGY, WLS.

    Links to Gretna

pink button The French Connection

  • One of Ann's WALKER ancestors married a girl who, according to family legend, came from somewhere on the French/Belgian border. There may be a connection with the Huguenots. She probably married in the Bradford area before 1810 but we cannot be more precise. If anyone has found a Mr WALKER marrying a French girl we would like to hear from them.

  • Ann's great uncle, Edgar Seymour WALKER, emigrated to the USA and lived in Williamstown, Massachusetts. He was born in Bonsall, DBY in 1888 and was still alive in the 1950's as his sisters were still corresponding with him. Can anyone help with any more information? He and his wife Carrie had two sons.
    See Humphreys & Swain above.

    Please email about these queries

pink button Where is the Family Bible?

  • In 1907 Thomas HATTON of Derby, Ann's 2x g grandfather, left his mother's family Bible to his daughter Agnes Ann GASKIN, then living in Derby. The whereabouts of this Bible is unknown, but it may contain details of the both the HATTONs and the HAYS family. Please email if you know the answer.

Elsewhere on the Internet
Gretna Green Blacksmith's Shop
The Port Phillip Almanac and Directory 1847