Category Archives: family history

Possible places where the Sarginson surname originated

I have now got to the point with my research into the surname variant Sarginson where I have managed to place the majority of records that I’ve found so far into a number of family trees. I do still have some records which I haven’t been able to connect into these trees but the number has reduced somewhat.

The next significant activity is likely to be the release of the 1921 English census records as this will help me validate some of what I’ve done and potentially resolve some of the data I’ve been unable to place.

There is though one set of information which has proved trickier to resolve; that of very early parish records, some of which I have only so far been able to see as transcribed records rather than the originals. These early records do though give some information about possible places where the surname Sarginson, and its many variants, originated. There are six trees on my website, excluding the two landed gentry trees, which contain records from the 16th century: three of them are in Yorkshire and three in Lincolnshire.

The two landed gentry trees are the Sergisons of Cuckfield Park in Sussex and the Serjeantsons of Hanlith in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The earliest record I’ve found for Charles Sergison was a possible baptism in 1654 and his burial is recorded in 1732. With the Serjeantsons of Hanlith much research has been carried out into this family which I have not replicated. I’ve just included some information about a family who lived in Snaith as they were there at the same time as a different family grouping.

So, going back to the six trees with records from the 16th and 17th centuries they are located as follows:

North Riding of Yorkshire – William Sarginson from Aysgarth is the earliest ancestor who I’ve so far been able to connect into a tree (see Sarginsons from Aysgarth and beyond). He was baptised in 1640 and buried in 1719.

West Riding of Yorkshire – there are two trees which originated in this part of Yorkshire. The earliest records are to be found in Kirkby Malham where there are a number of Sargeantson/Serjantson records including Roger Serjantson who was probably born about 1595 (see Kirkby Malham, West Riding of Yorkshire families). There are also early 17th century parish records in Calverley which is near Leeds (see Sargesons of Calverley and USA). The earliest ancestor found so far here is Richard Sargison (1635-1718).

Lincolnshire – there are three clusters of records in this county around Crowle, Gainsborough and Hogsthorpe.

Crowle is part of the Isle of Axholme and borders onto the West Riding of Yorkshire. The earliest ancestors in this tree (see Sarjantsons from Crowle) who have been found so far are Richard Sarjantson and Henry Sarjantson probably both born in the mid-17th century.

Some of the earliest records in Gainsborough date from the mid-16th century and start with an interesting surname variant Sergeantsone (see Serginsons in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire). This variant does seem to show how the surname was originally meant to be “son of the sergeant” where Sergeant was servant or serving man.

The Hogsthorpe parish records also date back to the 16th century, although there are some which I’ve been unable to place (see Sargissons of Hogsthorpe, Lincolnshire and USA). The earliest ones are for Thomas Sargesonne and his son William (1580-1626).

If you have any information on early Sarginson records which you would be willing to share with me then do please contact me.

York based apprentices in the 18th century

Introduction

Research into the Sarginson surname and its many variants often results in interesting references to members of the family in unexpected places. Searching the Findmypast subscription site for specific collections of documents with York in the title resulted in more than just collections of parish records; it also has the following collections from York City Archives and the Borthwick Institute:

  • City of York Apprentices and Freemen 1272-1930.
  • City of York Deeds Registers 1718-1866.
  • City of York Hearth and Window Tax 1665-1778.
  • City of York Militia and Muster Rolls 1509-1829.
  • Prerogative and Exchequer Court Probate Index 1688-1858.

The Sarginson surname itself is an example of an occupational surname which, according to Redmonds (p. 643), means ‘son of the sergeant’ where sergeant has a range of meanings from ‘serving man’ to ‘court official’. It also has many variants (Reid, 2018) makes finding records challenging.

Research approach

For this project the aim was to identify:

  • Members of the Sarginson family who were apprentices in York in the 18th century and their occupations.
  • What other records could provide further information about Sarginson family members who were apprentices in York.

An initial search of the apprentices and freemen collection was carried out using four different search terms which included the wild card *: sarg*, serg*, serj* and sarj*. A total of 19 records were found with the earliest dated 1543-4 and the latest 1740-41. From this two specific individuals were identified: James Sargeson and Thomas Sargeson. (Their surnames were also spelt Sargison in other records.)

Similar searches were carried out on the other four collections to see what else was available for James and Thomas. The York parish registers were also examined for information about their baptisms, marriages and burials and an enquiry was made to the Borthwick Institute to see if there were any reference to them in the Church Wardens or Overseers of the Poor Accounts for the two York parishes mentioned in James and Thomas’ apprenticeship records.

Findings

Two potential members of the Sargeson/Sargison family are mentioned in City of York apprenticeship and freemen records: James and Thomas. In addition, both their baptism records name their father as Edward. The following information has been collated for them.

James

James was baptised on 28th July 1720 in Holy Trinity Church, Kings Court, York and his father named as Edward. This church is also often called Christ Church and the two names for it seem to be used interchangeably. The church was first mentioned in 1268 and in 1767 two of the chantry chapels were removed to make the hay market for York. The ancient building was demolished in 1861 and the replacement church demolished in 1937 (Tillott, pp. 373-4). Its remains are known to lie under Kings Square in York.

On 18th April 1734 James, a “poor boy”, was apprenticed for seven years as a barber surgeon to Martin Pickering with the means described as servitude (Durie, p. 245). At this time barber surgeons were barbers who also offered medical services like blood-letting.

Once James had completed his apprenticeship he became a newly franchised freeman of the City of York in the year 1740/1 and he was one of the 184 admitted that year (Tillott, p. 217). Details of the fee he paid are not available and fees varied depending on whether part of it was remitted.

James went on to marry Christiana Shepherd on 25th October 1742, by licence, in Holy Trinity Church (Christ Church), Kings Court, York. Although James does not appear in the deeds register for York there are entries for him in the 1751 and 1752/3 window tax returns. James appears in the section for Monk Ward against the heading for the parish of Christ (Church) where he was responsible, with James Marshall, for assessing and collecting the window tax.

James and Christiana only appear to have had one child: William, who was baptised in Holy Trinity Church, York on 19th March 1743/4. James died in 1767 and was buried in Holy Trinity Church on 27th February 1767.  His occupation was listed as a barber. His wife Christiana applied for a grant of administration for his estate dated 4th March 1767. From the records it is likely that James and his family lived within the parish of Holy Trinity Church.

Thomas

Thomas was baptised on 12th August 1725 in St. Crux Church, Pavement, York and his father named as Edward, a saxton. St. Crux was first known in about 1087 and was close to The Shambles, a street then of butchers shops and abattoirs. The church which survived into the 19th century was probably built in the 15th century. Part of the church was taken down and the ruins remained until 1867 when it was cleared away (Tillott, pp. 377-378).

On 21st December 1738 Thomas was apprenticed as a butcher to Solomon Preston. The record describes him as a poor boy from the parish of St. Crux. There is also an entry for Solomon Preston in the City of York deeds register dated 29th December 1748 which confirms his occupation as a butcher.

Thomas himself is not recorded in the Freemen of the City of York register or in any other parish records for York. It is possible that he avoided petitioning the corporation for his freedom and managed to avoid detection; this despite there being a number of inquiries set up by the corporation to catch those trading without paying to enter the register (Tillott, p. 216).

Thomas does though seem to have subscribed to “The Association” on 1st October 1745 (Tillott, p. 242). This had been set up as an independent anti-Jacobite body to raise funds to defend the City of York. The Jacobite rebellion bypassed York and a year later there was an exercise to decide what to do with the money which had been collected.

Edward

While it is possible that Edward was the father of both James and Thomas that cannot be confirmed from their baptisms records alone. The two boys were also baptised in different, although adjacent, parishes in York. An Edward Sargantson married Elizabeth Scot in Fulford, York on 29th August 1715 and an Edward Sargeson had at least two other children baptised at St. Crux Church: Ann on 22nd January 1722/3 with Edward described as a labourer and Mary on 8th September 1731 when his occupation was not given. Ann died, a single woman of the parish of Holy Trinity, on 25th December 1797 aged 76 and was buried at St. Crux on 28th December.

A James Sargeson also witnessed the marriage of Mary to William Jackson, which took place at St. Crux Church, on 31st August 1761. It does seem possible that Edward was the father of James and Thomas although further genealogical proof (Osborn, p. 242) would be advisable.

Discussion

While the records consulted so far for this research have been able to identify two members of the Sarginson family who were apprenticed in the City of York in the 18th century, what is less clear are the circumstances which led to their apprenticeships. Their indenture records indicate that they were “poor boys” so it is unlikely that they were apprenticed to a trade which their father practised. However, whether or not their apprenticeship was arranged by the parish is unclear. Unfortunately there don’t seem to be any surviving Church Warden Accounts or Overseers of the Poor records (Tate, pp. 189-196) for the period in question for the two parishes concerned. The only surviving records for these parishes are the parish registers containing baptisms, marriages and burials.

The National Archives at Kew has a UK Register of Duties Paid for Apprentices’ Indentures 1710-1811 which can be searched on the Ancestry subscription site. Masters paid stamp duty on indentures with two exceptions: when the trade did not exist when the Statute of Apprentices was passed in 1563 or if the apprentice had been placed with the master under the Poor Law arrangement. A search of this collection by apprentice and then by master did not find any records for the two boys. It seems possible therefore that they had been apprenticed, or “farmed out”, by the Overseers of the Poor, although without the original records this cannot be categorically proved. It remains though the most likely explanation for their apprenticeship and indicates that their social background was poor.

Conclusion

A variety of different historical records were used to identify two individuals who were recorded as apprentices in the City of York records and their potential family relationships. This research has highlighted the need to consult a range of sources which are valuable to the historian. Two limitations though are the use of transcripts of parish records rather than the originals and the absence of poor law records which may have been able to provide further information. In addition, the rest of the family are still to be foun.

Bibliography:

Ancestry. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed March 2019.

Collins, Francis. ed. (1900)  Register of the Freemen of the City of York: Vol. 2, 1559-1759. Durham, Andrews and Co. http://www.british-history.ac.uk/york-freemen/vol2 : accessed March 2019.

Durie, Bruce. (2013) Understanding documents for genealogy & local history. Stroud: The History Press.

Findmypast. https://www.findmypast.co.uk/ : accessed March 2019.

Osborn, Helen. (2012) Genealogy: essential research methods. London: Robert Hale. p. 242.

Oxford Reference. http://www.oxfordreference.com/ : accessed March 2019.

Redmonds, George. (2015) A Dictionary of Yorkshire Surnames. Donnington: Shaun Tyas. p. 643.

Reid, Joan. (2018) Sarginson surname variants and deviants. https://sarginsonfamily.com/2018/08/22/sarginson-surname-variants-and-deviants/ : accessed March 2018.

Smith, Margaret, E. (1985) The Parish Register of St. Crux, York Volume II: Baptisms 1716-1837, Marriages and Burials 1678-1837. Yorkshire Archaeological Society: private publication.

Tate, W. E. 2008. The Parish Chest: a study of the records of parochial administration in England. 3rd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Tillott, P. M. ed. (1961) Victoria County History: A History of Yorkshire, The City of York. London: Oxford University Press.

The unidentified John Sarginson

It was probably about a year ago when my brother Tim set me a family history challenge. He is interested in a specific name on the WW1 war memorial which resides in St Helen’s Churchyard in Escrick; the village we were born and brought up in. The man’s name was John Sarginson. Neither of my parents was able to shed any light on this man who shares the same surname as we do. Our uncle Taff, one of my father’s brothers, wasn’t able to help either when we asked him about him earlier this year. Mind you he didn’t know that one of his ancestors from a nearby village had served in World War One, survived and is included in one of the historical books about Riccall; the village which he lives in.

Anyway how hard can this be to identify someone who is currently unidentified I thought to myself. Well much harder than I’d anticipated is the short answer. I started with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website and found some John Sarginson’s who had not survived the war but, having carried out further research,  I don’t think it is any of them. Then I thought well perhaps he is in some of the other WW1 records: Ancestry, Imperial War Museum lives of the Great War, Findmypast and the National Archives at Kew. No luck there though.

Then I realised that there would probably have been some meetings to discuss the war memorial and discovered that some papers and meeting minutes had been lodged at the Hull history centre as part of the Forbes Adam collection. Perhaps this was going to be the eureka moment that we family historians crave. Yes you’ve guessed it, it wasn’t. A very interesting letter from Lady Wenlock written in 1921, just after the commemoration service for the war memorial, did reveal some of the local feeling around it and some of the the names which had been included on it. But no the papers didn’t provide any information about who was going to be included on the memorial. A separate sub-committee run by the Rector made those decisions; and so far it doesn’t look these papers still exist or are accessible.

So it was back to the drawing board. After extensive further research, including also looking at the other soldiers on the war memorial and who they served with, I am no further forward in identifying the unidentified John Sarginson. I am loathe to leave him as a mystery so have written to the local historian who wrote a book about Escrick to see if he can help.

If you have any information about John then do please contact me. I have also posted this blog to my other genealogy website

Postscript: it looks like John may no longer be unidentified. He was probably Corporal John Sarginson of the West Yorkshire regiment. It would be good though to know more about his connection to Escrick as he wasn’t born there. If you have any further information do please get in touch.

Lottie’s afternoon tea

My Granny Sarginson (born Barrett in 1908) was called Lottie by her family and friends. It wasn’t until I was in my teens that I realised her name was Charlotte. I think it was on the day she looked at my hands and said that they were well kept and that you could tell I hadn’t done any real work. Hers were worn and cracked from years of looking after her ever growing family. My father was one of eight children.

There were a number of things I now realise that I learnt from my Gran. One of the most important of which was that meals should be eaten at the table. Every Sunday afternoon she would put on a tea for members of the family. Sandwiches of different kinds: ham, cheese and egg were the most popular. There would often be other savouries like sausage rolls and pork pies. A cake she had made herself usually took centre stage, together with jelly, tinned fruit and evaporated milk. I remain fond of tinned peaches to this day, especially now as it seems rather tricky to buy fresh peaches that aren’t hard or go rotten before you’ve had time to eat them!

Members of the family who didn’t live in the same village as my grandparents took it in turns to go to their house for afternoon tea. We were often there with my aunt, uncle and cousins from York. We would all sit up at the table to eat our food and drink our tea. If we were really lucky we would be offered fizzy pop: dandelion and burdock and cherryade were particular favourites. They were delivered to my Grandparents door in glass bottles with a refundable deposit

After we had eaten our tea we usually went to see which cousins were around to play with and spent time with them. That allowed Gran time to tidy up and for the grownups to have their own conversation without us children.

From time to time Gran would surprise us with something we hadn’t eaten before. The day we all shared a pineapple was particularly memorable. It took pride of place on the table when we arrived for afternoon tea. Both my father and grandfather were great gardeners; however this fruit wasn’t something they had experienced before. The pineapple was a major topic of conversation all the way through tea until eventually my Gran took it into the kitchen to cut it up. She removed the outer skin and sliced it or us to eat. What she didn’t do was remove the core and to this day I won’t eat that part of a pineapple even though I have been reassured many times that it is edible!

Sadly my Gran died in 1983 and looking back on her life now I can see that there are a number of things I learnt from her: the importance of sitting at the table to enjoy a meal, that there are many different ways to look at work and to be adventurous, particularly with food. She was a practical woman, born to a tenant farmer, her occupation described in the 1939 register as unpaid domestic duties and the mother of a large family with many Grandchildren and now Great Grandchildren; a legacy to be proud of.

John Sarginson born about 1802 died 1876

John Sarginson was born about 1802, probably in Melbourne, Yorkshire, and his father given as Elias. After some extensive research I’m reasonably sure i have enough evidence to identify his parents: Elias Sargeantson and Mary Gray. Although Elias’s parents are my current research challenge.

John was 20 when he married Hannah Fletcher on 18 May 1823, in Howden, Yorkshire. At the time of his marriage he was described as a cordwainer. In other records he is described as a boot and shoe maker. He continued this trade throughout his life; it is included on his death certificate as well as in Pigot’s directory of 1828-1829 where he is listed as a boot and shoe maker in Bridge gate. The following extract from Pigot’s gives the following description of Howden:

PigotHowden1828

John and Hannah had six children in 12 years: John (born and died in about 1823), Mary (1825-1902), Elizabeth (born about 1828), Ann (1930-1876), Thomas (1933-1911) and John (1835-1911). They did not all survive until adulthood and sadly John’s wife Hannah died on 28 April 1844 when she was 40. John and Hannah had been married for 20 years.

In the 1841 census John was living in Bridge gate, Howden with his wife Hannah and three of his children: Mary, Ann and Thomas. His occupation is described as a shoemaker. By the 1851 census John is a widower, living alone at 3 Pinfold St, Howden working as a cordwainer journeyman. His birth place is recorded as Melbourne, Yorkshire.

The following extract from a short history of Howden (http://www.howdenshirehistory.co.uk/howden/howden-history.html) gives a sense of how Howden changed during  John’s lifetime:

“The nineteenth century began well for Howden, with the Wells family at nearby Booth ferry developing the river crossing and making it a popular route for stagecoaches. Howden had over 20 inns and almost every trade was represented in the town.

But the growth of Goole took business from Howden, and its population fell. The Hull and Selby railway, opened in 1840, passed Howden a mile to the north although the Hull and Barnsley railway later built their line closer to the town.”

By the 1861 census John was living in Wrights Row, Howden, still a widower and shoemaker journeyman. Again his birth place is recorded as Melbourne, Yorkshire. In the 1871 census John has moved back to Pinfold Street, a widower, shoemaker journeyman born Melbourne, Yorkshire.

Both Pinfold Street and Bridge Gate are key roads in Howden today; however Wrights Row seems to have disappeared.

John died of natural causes on 16 September 16 1876, in Howden, Yorkshire, at the age of 74, and was buried there on 19 September 1876.

Yorkshire – East Riding

The Vikings played an important part in the naming of Yorkshire, as they called York Jorvik and ‘riding’ is thought to be derived from a word meaning third part[1]. A shire, as in Yorkshire, usually refers to land controlled from a castle. York itself is a well known city with medieval walls and a long history.

St Helen's Church EscrickI was born in a village called Escrick in the 1950s. The Gazetteer of British place names[2] places Escrick in the historic county of the East Riding of Yorkshire and currently in the district of Selby in the administrative county of North Yorkshire. The administrative changes to the three Ridings of Yorkshire (East, North and West) were brought about as part of a significant reorganisation of England and Wales on 1st April 1974. As a school girl I remember completing a questionnaire on the proposed changes on behalf of my father. There was a lot of bad feeling locally about the proposed introduction of Humberside and one concern was that our village would be included in it. Further changes in 1998 re-instated the East Riding County Council as a unitary authority[3] and abolished Humberside. However, Escrick remained in North Yorkshire and the current East Riding County Council boundary is different to the one which existed before the changes in 1974. Prior to the 1974 changes, each of the Ridings had been governed from their own county towns; in the case of the East Riding this was Beverley.

Between about 1900 and 1974 the main form of administrative governance in Yorkshire was a mixture of urban districts, rural districts and parish councils[4]. These seem to have replaced the wapentakes, as until about the year 1900, each Riding[5] had been further sub-divided for administrative purposes into them. They were similar to the concept of “hundreds” used in the more southern counties of England and thought to be derived from the use of a “show of weapons” when a vote was taken at an assembly or meeting point. The East Riding was divided into six wapentakes which were further sub-divided. The borough and county of Hull was treated a separate entity. York itself was also treated as a separate county before the boundary changes in 1974 which “moved” it into North Yorkshire.

Bulmers’ Gazetteer of 1892[6] also explains that the name wapentake has an Old Saxon form “woepen-tac” and that they were probably formed for military purposes. It seems that each wapentake had its own court until 1340. These were discontinued by a statute passed during the reign of Edward III (in his 14th year) and their business was then taken over by the courts of the county. In the case of the East Riding this would have been by the courts at Beverley.

Escrick[7] was part of the Ouse and Derwent wapentake while it was still part of the East Riding. It remained in the Derwent registration district when the 1939 register[8] was taken. My own interest in the East Riding remains though, as many of my ancestors lived in various parts of this historic county.

[1] Simpson, David. About Yorkshire: the Yorkshire Ridings. http://www.yorkshire-england.co.uk/About_Yorkshire.html : accessed 06 May 2016.

[2] Gazetteer of British place names. http://www.gazetteer.org.uk/index.php : accessed 08 May 2016.

[3] Vision of Britain: East Riding of Yorkshire. http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/unit/10217660/relationships : accessed 06 May 2016.

[4] Browne, Horace Baker. (1912) How the East Riding was made. pp. 313-314. London: A Brown and Sons Ltd.  https://archive.org/details/storyofeastridin00brow : accessed 13 May 2016.

[5] Genuki civil administration http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/YKS/Misc/Definitions/AreaDefinitions.html : accessed 12 May 2016.

[6] Genuki Wapentakes. http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/YKS/Misc/Descriptions/ERY/ERYDescription4.html : accessed 06 May 2016.

[7] Genuki Escrick. http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/YKS/ERY/Escrick/index.html : accessed 06 May 2016.

[8] Findmypast 1939 register. https://www.findmypast.co.uk/1939register?gclid=CIn93IyS18wCFfMW0wod0CMETQ&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CIue-IyS18wCFUeM7QodeEcN_Q : accessed 13 May 2016.

Who am I?

Researching my family history has become something of a passion. I have followed many lines in my family tree and found out a lot about my ancestors. It was difficult though for me to choose a subject for this piece on who do I think I am, so I decided to see if I could find at least one ancestor who shared at least one of my key values with me; they are:

  1. Autonomy and independence
  2. Curiosity
  3. Honesty and integrity
  4. Challenging myself to create new things – being a pioneer
  5. Learning and intellectual pursuits

In my last piece for the writing group, I wrote about my Grandfather who, I now realise was considered an educated man compared to, both his family who were labourers, and my Grandmother’s father who was a coachman. Here I am going to focus on Esther Beilby who is a first cousin four times removed and became a handcart pioneer in 1856.

Esther was born in 1830 in Wheldrake which is a village very close to my own birthplace of Escrick. She was baptised in Elvington, probably in the Methodist faith. Her father is described in the 1841 census as an agricultural labourer and she lived with her family in a tied cottage outside the main village. She had three brothers, two of whom were agricultural labourers like their father and the other one was a shoemaker.  By 1851 she had married William Heaton from Horton, near Bradford whose occupation is listed as a wool comber. On their marriage certificate her father is described as a farmer and this is confirmed in the 1851 census where he is said to farm 15 acres. Her first child, Christopher, was born in 1852 and she went on to have five more children, all boys.

At some point early in the 1850s William changed his occupation and followed his Baptist faith. In a book on the Mormon pioneers written by LaRae McManama he is said to have served a four year mission in England and Scotland before the family emigrated to the United States. Esther and William and there, by then, two boys, walked from Iowa City, Iowa to Salt Lake City in Utah; a distance of 1300 miles. They were part of the Second Handcart Company whose Captain was Daniel D McArthur; he was a returning missionary from Scotland. The journey took about four months in 1856. Pushing poorly built handcarts loaded with supplies was arduous work and not everyone completed the journey. Sadly, as they arrived in Utah, Esther’s youngest son, William, died.

Once they were in Utah, Esther’s husband William was called to serve in the Muddy Mission where he was first councillor of the Bishopric. Between 1857 and 1866 Esther went on to have four more sons. They settled in Payson, Utah which is where Esther died in 1875 at the age of 44; she is buried in the cemetery there. William went on to marry Susan Terry in 1876 and became the secretary of the United Order in Orderville in 1877. He died later that year and is buried in Orderville cemetery. The Beilby name lives on as some of Esther’s grandchildren have been given it as their middle name.

However, some mysteries still remain; how did Esther meet William and what motivated them to seek a new life in America? In addition, I am looking forward to investigating more of my ancestors to see if they share my remaining three key values of autonomy and independence, curiosity and honesty and integrity.