On 12 May 2019 Greg, Peter, and I drove from Manchester to Liverpool, forty miles to the west. Charlotte stayed behind to catch up with one of her English friends. We visited St Helens, the Walker Art Gallery, a National Trust property called Speke Hall, and St Mary’s Church Hale.
There’s a family connection. Greg’s 3rd great grandfather James Cross (1791 – 1853) was from Windle, near St Helens, about half-way between Liverpool and Manchester (see ‘W is for Windle‘), and some of his forebears were from Hale.
It was a perfect spring day, and the countryside looked very pretty. We drove to St Helens, our first stop, wondering where the grimy industrial North had got to. Not a satanic mill in sight…
St Helens town centre
The Parish Church of St Helens associated with James Cross and his family burned down in 1916. However, the rebuilt church was open, with Sunday morning service just about to begin. We talked to a few people, all of them very friendly and welcoming.
A brief history of the church was on display. The church burned down in 1916, the church we were looking at was not the one Greg’s forebears knew.
St Helens Parish Church
In Liverpool we drove past the docks to get to the city centre. The enormous port handles about a third of England’s sea-cargo. (L is for leaving Liverpool)
The Walker Art Gallery has a splendid collection of pre-Raphaelite and other Victorian art, much of which we had seen in reproduction. It was great fun to see familiar works for real, close-up.
On the walk to the gallery we passed crowds of football fans on their way to the stadium, singing their team songs. There’s footy crowds in Australia, of course, especially in Victoria, where we live, but not much singing. A pity. A large number of voices raised in unison can be very stirring.
Liverpool Football Club fans singing before the game
Orderly queues for transport to the football game. Cenotaph in the foreground and the North Western Hotel is behind.
On our way back to Manchester we visited the pretty village of Hale, ten miles or so up the Mersey estuary, home of Greg’s Bailey forebears. At the door of St Mary’s Church were Bailey headstones. Unfortunately these were not those of Greg’s fourth great grandparents Ellen Bailey née Swift (1771 – 1836) and her husband Thomas Bailey (1759 – 1843), but an Ellen Bailey who died in 1830 and a Thomas Bailey who died 1858. I shall have to work out if and how these Baileys are related. Even so, coming across the Bailey headstones was a bit of family history serendipity.
My husband Greg’s great-great grandfather George Young (1826 – 1890) was from Liverpool. George probably arrived in Australia at the time of the gold discoveries in Victoria, perhaps lured by the chance of striking it rich, though it’s hard to be sure, for as yet I don’t know exactly when or why he emigrated, and I know nothing about his parents or his family.
This photo of George Young was passed to us by Noel Tunks of Maryborough
In any case, by 1853 George, following the rushes, was trying his luck on the goldfields. He met his wife-to-be Caroline Clarke on the Ovens diggings, near the border with New South Wales. Their first child was a boy, George, who was born and died as an infant at Beechworth in 1854. George and Caroline had twelve more children. Greg is descended from their oldest surviving child John Young (1856 – 1928).
Greg has had his DNA analysed by Ancestry.com. I have uploaded the results to Family Tree DNA, My Heritage, and GedMatch. His aunt B S has also tested her DNA. Through the DNA results we have connected with cousins descended from George Young and Caroline Clarke. This confirms the documentary evidence for the Young family in Australia, such as it is.
spreadsheet of DNA cousins who are descendants of George Young and Caroline Clarke and have tested at either AncestryDNA or MyHeritage
Greg and the cousins descended from George Young also share DNA with descendants of two men, James Young, born about 1838 in Liverpool, and Philip Young born about 1837 or a few years later in Liverpool.
We don’t yet know how George, James, and Philip are related.
From the amount of the DNA they share we know that B S and her second cousin P L (both great granddaughters of George Young) can be estimated to be about fourth cousins of A A, who is descended from James, and of H S F, who is descended from Philip. H S F and A A can be estimated from the DNA evidence to be about second cousins. Fourth cousins share third great grandparents and second cousins share great grandparents.
spreadsheet showing DNA matches with great grand daughters of George Young and descendants of John Young from Liverpool, plus some other matches that are related but we don’t yet know how.
H S F and A A are likely to share great grandparents, so it is possible that James Young born about 1838 and Philip Young born about 1840 were brothers.
If B S and P L are 4th cousins of H S F and A A, then it seems possible that George Young’s grandfather was also the grandfather of James and Philip Young. That is George was a first cousin of James and Philip.
I have traced the forebears of A A and I P. They are both grand daughters of Christopher Young (1875 – 1927), the son of Philip Young (born about 1837-1840, died 1910).
In 1862, when Philip Young married Mary Code (also spelt Coad) he gave his father’s name as John Young. [Liverpool Record Office; Liverpool, England; Liverpool Catholic Parish Registers; Reference Number: 282 NIC/2/2 retrieved through Ancestry.com]
I have traced the forebears of H S F. She is the daughter of Gerald Salter (1903 – 1986). Gerald was the son of Ellen Alice Young (1871 – 1962). She was the daughter of James Young born 1839, a seaman rigger. When James married Mary Martin in 1864 he stated he was a mariner living at Cropper Street Liverpool and his father was John Young, an engineer. [ Liverpool, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1932 Liverpool Record Office; Liverpool, England; Reference Number: 283-PET-3-67 retrieved through Ancestry.com]
Another researcher has suggested that James Young’s marriage record is in error and his father was in fact James Young, engineer/engine turner, who was born about 1810 in Dundee and died in 1859 (‘late of Monks Coppenhall in Cheshire’). James had a son named James who in 1859 was named as one of the executors in his estate. He was described in the will as an engine fitter of 46 Manchester Street Crewe in the Parish of Monks Coppenhall. [England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations) 1860 for James Young retrieved through Ancestry.com]
I have traced the family of James Young 1810 – 1859. In 1861 some of the children were living with their widowed mother, Mary Young nee Harrison, at Manchester Street, Crewe in the Parish of Monks Coppenhall. James, then twenty-three and unmarried was an engine fitter living with his mother. [1861 census viewed through ancestry.com Class: RG 9; Piece: 2616; Folio: 74; Page: 24; GSU roll: 543000]
I have not yet found the death of Mary Young nee Harrison. She does not seem to be on the 1871 census. A possible death is Name: Mary Young Estimated birth year: abt 1813 Registration Year: 1869 Registration Quarter: Jan-Feb-Mar Age at Death: 56 Registration district: Nantwich Inferred County: Cheshire Volume: 8a Page: 224
It is possible that James Young, engine fitter, died before marrying and before the 1871 census. I cannot find him on the 1871 census in Crewe, Cheshire. A possible death of James Young engine fitter is : Name: James Young Estimated birth year: abt 1838 Registration Year: 1868 Registration Quarter: Jul-Aug-Sep Age at Death: 30 Registration district: Nantwich Inferred County: Cheshire Volume: 8a Page: 236 It seems unlikely that James Young engine fitter moved away from Crewe Cheshire and changed occupation to mariner, and it is also unlikely that his father’s name was wrongly recorded on the marriage document.
The family of James Young engineer does not include a Philip Young. The DNA evidence and the evidence of one Canadian shipping record supports the conclusion that James and Philip Young were probably brothers.
The Canada, Seafarers of the Atlantic Provinces, 1789-1935 records retrieved from ancestry.com have a James Young age 43 (born about 1845) on board the barque “Olive Mount” which departed Liverpool 19 March 1888 (discharged with mutual consent). He was discharged 12 March 1888 at Penarth Wales. He was not literate, he signed his name with an x. He was related to another crew member aboard. James was crew number 12 and his rank was able-bodied seaman. Also on board was Philip Young, crew number 11 – I believe this is James’s brother. Although the age is young, I suspect there was pressure for the men to understate their age so as to appear fit for the job.
It is my guess that James Young, forebear of H S F and also A O and P N is the son of a John Young engineer, not James Young (c 1811 – 1859).
Hypothesis: John Young is George Young’s uncle; John Young is father to Philip and James and George Young is their cousin -> A A and H S F are 3rd cousins. B S and P L 4th cousins to A A and H S F. As far as I know A O and P N have not tested their DNA.
Update: A O and P N have tested their DNA with AncestryDNA but neither shares DNA with Greg or his aunt B S. A O and P N are 1st cousins and share 1.104 centimorgans. P N shares 42 cM DNA with I P thus they are estimated 4th cousins. M F C, another descendant of Philip Young, also shares DNA with P N; they share 66 cM – also estimated 4th cousins. M F C shares a small amount of DNA with Greg but does not share DNA with Greg’s aunt B S.
My husband Greg’s 3rd great grandfather James Cross (1791 – 1853) was from Windle, near St Helens, about ten miles from Liverpool in England.
Map showing Windle, St Helens, Hardshaw, Eccleston, Prescot, Penketh, Hale, Halewood, and20 Grove Street, Liverpool
James Cross married Ann Bailey (1791 – 1861) on 28 December 1819 at Hale. Their marriage was announced in the Lancaster Gazette on 8 January 1820:
“Same day [On Monday se’nnight], at Hale, Mr James Cross, of Penketh Brewery, to Miss Bailey, Halewood.”
Their oldest son John (1820 – 1867) was baptised at Prescot on 28 December 1820, a year after their marriage. The family was then living at Penketh, on the upper Mersey. James’s occupation was ‘Brewer’.
The Penketh brewery was later acquired by a Methodist family called Parker. Not wanting a brewery in their village, it was turned into a tannery. The buildings were demolished in 1996.
Looking East along Tannery Lane Penketh,at the old Tannery buildings. Photographed July 1996.
Thomas Bailey Cross, the second son of James and Ann, was born on 21 April 1822 at Windle and baptised on 13 July 1823 at St Mary, Hale. On this occasion the occupation of his father James was given as ‘road surveyor’.
Ellen Cross was born 9 February 1824 and baptised at St Mary’s Hale. Her father’s occupation was road surveyor and their abode St Helens.
Ann Jane Cross was born 28 June 1826 and baptised at Prescot on 16 July. James was a road surveyor and their abode was Hardshaw.
Greg’s great great grandfather James Cross (1828 – 1882) was born 28 March 1828 at Windle. He was baptised 4 September 1828 in the parish of St Helens. He is recorded as the son of James and Ann Cross; his father’s occupation was given as Surveyor and the address as Eccleston.
William Grapel Cross was baptised at Liverpool St Peter on 19 October 1832, the son of James and Ann of Eccleston Parish of Prescot. James’s occupation was agent. Thirteen children were baptised there on that day.
Frederick Beswick Cross was baptised 12 August 1835 at St Helens, Lancashire. The family was living at Eccleston and James’s occupation was agent.
On the 1841 census James, Ann and their children James, Thomas and Frederick were living at Eccleston. The occupation of James senior is given as farmer. They were neighbours of a land surveyor named Sylvester Mercer, aged 60, and his family. ‘Mercer’ was used as a second forename in some members of later generations of the Cross family.
On the 1851 census James, Ann, and their children Thomas, William, and Frederick were living in Liverpool at 20 Grove Street. James was a retired farmer, Thomas was a coffee and sugar merchant, William was a clerk to a coffee and sugar merchant, and Frederick was apprentice to a Tailor [or so it appears; I am not sure of the transcription].
In 1985, Helen Hudson nee Hughes (1915 – 2005), my grandfather’s first cousin, published a family history with the rather lengthy title, ‘Cherry stones: adventures in genealogy of Taylor, Hutcheson, Hawkins of Scotland; Plaisted, Green, Hughes of England and Wales; Hale of Gloucestershire, Langford Sidebottom, Cheshire; Shorten of Cork, Ireland, and Slater of Hampshire, England who immigrated to Australia between 1822 and 1850, researched, compiled and written by Helen Lesley Hudson‘ (Berwick, Victoria: H.L. Hudson, 1985).
For me her book, based on papers, old letters, and paraphernalia she inherited from her father, is a researcher’s treasure-house. At the moment I’m preparing for a family-history trip to England, and I’m finding ‘Cherry stones‘ particularly useful, for it includes details of Helen’s travels to the “Old Country” visiting the places our forebears came from, and I’ll be doing something similar.
Helen and her husband Bill visited Holywell in Flintshire twice. She wrote about walking around the graveyard of the ancient church beside St Winifrede’s Well Sanctuary, where she found many graves of our Hughes family.
She also wrote about a visit she made to Trelawynydd, formerly known as Newmarket. My fourth great grandfather, Edward Hughes (1803 – 1876) was born at there. FindMyPast has the baptism records for Trelawnyd, Flintshire, and these include an Edward Hughes baptised 23 January 1803, the son of Edward and Ann Hughes. Helen gives Edward’s birth date as 17 January 1803. I am not sure what document she based this on. Edward Hughes is a common name – Hughes is the eighth most common Welsh surname – and there are plenty of other candidates for our Edward.
On 21 April 1821 Edward Hughes of Holywell, Flintshire married Elizabeth Jones of Ysgeifiog at Ysgeifiog. [Ysgeifiog pronounciation]. Ysgeifiog is less than five miles from Holywell. Helen’s tree had 1823 as the date of this marriage, but I have located a likely parish record at FindMyPast giving the date as 1821.
Samuel Hughes (1827 – 1896), their eldest surviving child and my third great grandfather, was baptised at the Great Crosshall Street Chapel of Welsh Congregationalists, Liverpool. The baptism record gives his birth date as 12 October 1827. Helen’s tree has 13 October 1827 and gives his place of birth as Liverpool. Edward Hughes was stated to be a joiner of Norris Street, Liverpool.
At the time of the 1841 census Edward, Elizabeth, four children (Samuel, Mary, Henry, and Eliza) and a child Goodman Jones, I assume a nephew of Elizabeth’s, were living at Drinkwater Gardens, Liverpool. Edward was a joiner. There were no live-in servants.
On 20 January 1849 Samuel Hughes arrived in South Australia on the Gunga, which had left Liverpool on 16 September 1848. Helen states that Edward, Elizabeth, Mary, and Henry also arrived on the Gunga but there seems no record on the passenger list of any other family member.
In 1851 I believe Edward and Elizabeth Hughes and one daughter, Mary, were living in Heathfield Street, Swansea, Glamorganshire, Wales. Edward was a builder, employing 30 men.
I have not been able to find the immigration record for Edward and Elizabeth Hughes. Elizabeth died in Brighton, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, and is buried in Brighton cemetery. Edward returned to England and died 4 May 1876 at South Norwood near London. A death notice in the Melbourne Argus stated he was late of Sandhurst and the father of Samuel Hughes. He had been living with his daughter Mary Hewitt nee Hughes.
Helen Hudson wrote that there was a family story that Edward had lost a lot of money in Peruvian Bonds but she was not able to verify it. Nor can I. Helen also wrote that Edward was on the Bendigo diggings and that he and Elizabeth were living in View Street, Bendigo at the time of Elizabeth’s death.
I am glad that Helen wrote up her family researches in such detail. Much more information has become available since 1985 and online searching makes the task of finding and gathering information far easier than it was. I am sure she would have enjoyed researching today and verifying what she knew. I look forward to retracing her footsteps in Holywell during our visit to the United Kingdom in May.
St. Winifred’s Well or Holy Well, Flintshire, Wales. Line engraving by G. Hawkins, 1795 Image retrieved through Wikimedia Commons who obtained the file from the Wellcome trust.
Hudson, Helen Lesley Cherry stones : adventures in genealogy of Taylor, Hutcheson, Hawkins of Scotland, Plaisted, Green, Hughes of England and Wales … who immigrated to Australia between 1822 and 1850. H.L. Hudson, [Berwick] Vic, 1985.
1) Who is your MRUA – your Most Recent Unknown Ancestor? This is the person with the lowest number in your Pedigree Chart or Ahnentafel List that you have not identified a last name for, or a first name if you know a surname but not a first name.
2) Have you looked at your research files for this unknown person recently? Why don’t you scan it again just to see if there’s something you have missed?
3) What online or offline resources might you search that might help identify your MRUA?
The starting point for my ahnentafel list is my children, the list formed by combining my tree with that of my husband Greg.
I know all the names of our children’s 3rd great grandparents.
In the next generation, however, I don’t know the parents of George Young (c.1826-1890), Greg’s great great grandfather. George is number 32 on the index; I don’t know the names of his parents, numbers 64 and 65.
There’s no help from his death certificate; the informant does not name his parents. Other information about him is scanty. From his death certificate I know that he was born in Liverpool, and this corresponds with details that he provided on the birth certificates of his children, but I have not found his marriage certificate. The reason may be that he and his wife Caroline Clarke were married before compulsory civil registration was introduced in Victoria in 1855, or perhaps they never formally married. I have not found a shipping record for him, and I have no evidence that he had any near relations in Australia. Land records, and I have several that concern him, give no relevant information. George did not leave a will. Frustratingly, the name Young is too common to identify George from the many other births in Liverpool about the same time or from people with the same name listed on the United Kingdom 1841 census.
I feel my best hope in identifying George’s parents and finding out more about his life before he emigrated to Australia is through DNA. Several of Greg’s cousins descended from George have tested their DNA. I hope that DNA will lead me to one or more of the descendants of George Young’s siblings. Their research might get me past the dead end I have come to with George himself.
Greg has a number of shared DNA matches (shown in green on the chart). I have not yet identified anybody descending from a brother or sister of George Young.
I do have some DNA matches from people with the surname Young who were born in Liverpool, descendants of Philip Young (1840-1910). I have not yet found the parents and grandparents of Philip to allow me to make the connection between our two trees, although we have several DNA matches. However, having an additional line to search, which appears to be connected by name, place and shared DNA, gives me a better chance of finding the family of George Young.
My husband’s great great grandfather George Young (1826-1890) was from Liverpool. Unfortunately we don’t know any more than this about him until he arrived on the Victorian goldfields at Beechworth.
George seems never to have left a document stating who his parents were. We have not been able to find a shipping record that gives this information.
The informant on his death certificate was his son-in-law John L. Tunks, and John Tunks did not even know how long George Young had been in the colonies, let alone who his parents were.
The surname Young makes it difficult to trace him. There were at least half a dozen boys born in Liverpool and called George Young in the estimated year of birth of our George Young. It was before civil registration so that is not an exhaustive list.
George most likely left for Australia from Liverpool. He would have been 26 years old in 1852.
The George Young who arrived on the Theodore appears to be accompanied by a wife and child. This does not appear to match our George Young as he seems to have acquired a wife and family only after his arrival in Australia.
The Sir Thomas Arbuthnot was a convict ship that sailed from Spithead. One of the convicts was a George Young whose crime had been sheep stealing. He was from Wells which does not match what we know about George Young’s origins.
All in all it seems that our George Young is not listed in the shipping records that survive from the period.
Shipping records other than the indexes of passengers include letters of thanks from passengers to their ship’s captain that were sometimes published in the newspapers. Some hospital records include the ship of arrival. Unfortunately I have not been able to trace George’s arrival through records of this type..
Other members of our family who arrived by ship sailing from Liverpool include:
My third great grandparents, Daniel and Mary Cudmore née Nihill, sailed from Liverpool in 1835 on the John Dennison
Margaret Rankin née Gunn, my third great grandmother, who sailed with her children and second husband from Liverpool aboard the Dirigo in 1854
The Ralph family, my husband’s third great grandparents and children, arrived from Liverpool in 1854 on the Bloomer
Sir Claude de Crespigny, the fourth baronet, visited Florida sailing from Liverpool in 1887.
I have no record of the arrival of another of my husband’s great great grandfathers, James Cross, who was born near Liverpool and arrived in Victoria about 1853.