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Saturday, 25 July 2015

A Fishing Family from Low Greens, Berwick

Peter Young and Susan Bingham
From Catherine Higgins:

Susan Bingham (my great grandmother), born 5 August 1862 in The Parade, Berwick-upon-Tweed, married Peter Young, born 1860, Berwick-upon-Tweed in  on 7 Oct 1897 at St Mary's.

Shop at 41 Low Greens with Peter Young in doorway ?

Can you identify these people ?

The family had a dairy and shop at 41 Low Greens, Berwick-upon-Tweed.
Susan died in 1912 and the family were left in the care of servants while Peter was at sea.
He carried on the dairy business after leaving the herring fishing.

They had 3 children:

  • Mary Jane Hill Young (my grandmother)
  • Peter Young
  • Thomas Young
Peter Young (born 1860) was the son of Thomas Young (born 1824), a fisherman, who. in 1881 lived at 61 Low Greens. They must have had some wealth because in the 1861 census, they had a 16 year old Irish servant, Jane Colaghan.

Thomas was the son of George Young, a fisherman, born in 1801. In 1851, the family lived at 115 The Greenes.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

James Nelson Trainer, 1818-1890

From Elizabeth Trainer:

James Nelson Trainer's Gravestone
My dad always said we had a beadle of Berwick in the family, so doing our family tree, have found out.

He was my 3 greats grandfather, James Nelson Trainer, 1818-1890.
His father, William Trainer, died in 1847, and James took over as borough beadle, a position he kept until a few years before he died at the age of 72. He was a member of the Primitive Methodist Church.  He was also keeper of the exchange in the Town Hall, and keeper of the 'lock-up'.

He was an original member of the Borders Union Lodge of Good Templars.
His wife, Eleanor, born about 1820, was from Spittal and they married in or about 1839.
He lived in Pilgrim Street, Newcastle then in Church Street, Berwick. They had 2 sons; one, William, died in India in 1875 and 6 daughters.

Do you have a picture of James or William ?
Are you connected to the family ?

Let us know in the comments below.

John Stapleton Weatherburn (1883 -1915) - part 2

This is a continuation of John Stapleton Weatherburn (1883 -1915) - part 1, alternatively you can see the whole family story of John Stapleton Weatherburn.

From Margaret Rogers of Wagga Wagga, Australia:

Once in Australia, John Stapleton Weatherburn (of Berwick) visited his sister, Margaret, who at the time was living at Wattamondara near Cowra in New South Wales.

At the outbreak of World War I, John Stapleton Weatherburn, labourer, enlisted in the 1st Battalion, Australian Imperial Force (AIF) at Randwick in Sydney on 29 August 1914. He gave his address “Care of Mrs Burns, Wattamondara” on his enlistment papers.

When he enlisted he was described as 30 years and three months old, 5 feet 7 inches (1.7m) tall, fair complexion, blue grey eyes and light brown hair and a Baptist.

The 1st Battalion had only been formed on 17 August 1914. General Bridges, GOC 1st Division, inspected the battalion on 14 September and on 17 September the men completed a route march to South Head and back.

After marching through the streets of Sydney in the rain the battalion embarked on HMT Afric on 18 October 1914 bound for Albany, Western Australia to join a convoy assembling to sail to Europe. John Stapleton Weatherburn embarked with H Company according to the embarkation rolls. He then became part of C Company as his other records refer to C. On 1 November the fleet, totalling 36 ships carrying 29,500 men, departed for Cairo, Egypt. The 1st Battalion’s strength was 1013 including officers.

The diary of Archie Barwick who was also in this company has a vivid account of the enlistment, embarkation, training, the Gallipoli landing and battles. It is held at the State Library, New South Wales and is available at Archie Barwick diary, 22 August 1914-September 1915.

After training in Egypt the First Battalion left Alexandria on 5th April on the Minnewaska. The ship carried about 1900 men and 500 horses plus a large quantity of timber to construct a wharf. The ships arrived in Lemnos, an island off Greece in the northern part of the Aegean Sea, on the 12th April where the battalion practised small craft landings. More provisions were taken on board and some days later the ship moved out to sea ready to join the allied attack planned to capture the Dardanelles in Turkey.

1st Battalion at Lemnos
John Stapleton Weatherburn got into trouble and was given 162 hours of field service as punishment, in Mudros on the island of Lemnos for leaving a fatigue party while on shore and not returning to the ship. However he embarked for Turkey with his battalion.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

John Stapleton Weatherburn (1883 -1915) - part 1

From Margaret Rogers of Wagga Wagga, Australia:

I have been researching when my ancestors came to Australia and a bit about what kind of background they came from. As 2015 is the centenary of Australia’s involvement I have also been looking at the role some of my family played in World War I. I knew my father’s uncle had died at Gallipoli but in looking at my mother’s family I came across the fact that her great uncle had also died there.

Berwick War Memorial
At first I assumed it would have been as a member of the British army but when I looked closely at the photo of the Berwick memorial at St Mary's, Berwick, I noticed that it said AIF so I began to research to find out how that had happened.

John Stapleton Weatherburn was the sixth and youngest child of Alexander Weatherburn (born 1844 in Berwick) and Elizabeth Morrallee. He was born in 1883 in Berwick-upon-Tweed and is shown in the 1891 census living at 6 Castlegate, Berwick-upon-Tweed with his family except for his oldest brother, William, who was a policeman in Blyth in 1891 and who later emigrated to the USA.

He was the youngest brother of Margaret Morrallee Burns (nee Weatherburn) shown in the 1891 Census as a 21 year old tailor’s machinist. She is my great grandmother.

After attending Corporation Academy, in Berwick (a school which provided free education for the children of the Freemen of Berwick Guild) he enlisted in the regular British Army on 14 February 1898. His older brother, Alexander, had enlisted in 1893 aged 15 years and served until 1911, taking part in the Boer War.

On his attestation (enlistment) papers John Stapleton Weatherburn was listed as a shop boy aged 14 years 9 months, and was 5'3½'' (1.61m) tall.

He served in the Royal Artillery as a gunner and bombardier in the Royal Field Artillery Howitzer Brigades 151, 56 and 50 for 12 years. In the 1901 census he is shown as an enlisted soldier boy (aged 17) at Shoeburyness Barracks in South East Essex. During this time he had a record of mild misconduct and redemption as shown on his service record. His service record does not show service in the Boer War in South Africa.  By the time he signed out in 1910 he had grown to 5' 7'' (1.7m) and he signed on to the Army reserve and received a pension as shown in UK Chelsea Pensioners Service Records 1760-1913.

Once he left the army John Stapleton Weatherburn returned to the Scottish Borders, was admitted as a Freeman of Berwick Guild on 3 October 1911 as "4th son of Alexander, deceased", and lived at Greenlaw, north east of Coldstream in Scotland. He appears on the 1911 Scottish Census.

Rebecca Weatherburn (seated) and Margaret Morrallee Weatherburn
At this time his sister, Rebecca, was married and living in Coldstream as was his maternal grandmother. His mother and brother, Henry, had moved to Consett, near Durham.

His older sister, Margaret Morrallee Burns and her children, Elizabeth (Morley), Rae, Iris, Bill and Alex, as well as her stepdaughter, Betty, had emigrated to join her husband, John Rea Burns, in Australia in 1911. They had been married in in July 1899 (at the Scotchgate Baptist Chapel in Castlegate, Berwick.

John Stapleton Weatherburn did not remain in Greenlaw long, as on 16 July 1912 he embarked on the White Star Line steamer, Waimana, from Liverpool for Sydney. He described himself as a farmer from Scotland on the passenger list.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Berwick's Maritime Connections Exhibition at Berwick Guildhall on Saturday, 18 July

Part of the Central Display

Part of the Central Display and another Display

Fishing and Whaling

The Salmon Fishing on the Tweed Story-Telling Booth

We were very busy (496 visitors) today, talking to people at Berwick Guildhall exhibition on Berwick's maritime connections, about their Berwick, Tweedmouth and Spittal connections, to people whose family lived on the Greenses, or live there now, people with salmon and herring fishing connections, their family stories, seeing if they are related to anyone on our massive Burgon family tree. Several details on the tree were updated, there and then, others said they would look at their family trees tonight and come in tomorrow (Sunday), others said they would email us.

Some people wrote a family story for us and others will email us a family story, another family story with lots of photos was handed to me and will go on the blog at some time.

The Salmon Fishing on the Tweed project were there with their story-telling booth - come and tell your story, tomorrow.

We had visitors from further afield too, from Bedford, Glasgow, Poland, Switzerland and Yorkshire.

Lowick and District’s Response to the Belgian Refugees 1914 – 1915 - part 12 - (final part)

 This is a continuation of the Lowick and District’s Response to the Belgian Refugees 1914 – 1915 - part 11 and the final part.
Alternatively, see all the previous parts of the Lowick and District’s Response to the Belgian Refugees 1914 – 1915, together.

Thank you. That demonstrates the practical difficulties faced by local officials and the never ending paper work.

References to Belgian refugees almost disappear from the local papers. A chance comment made by the Rev Smith, in his report of ‘Christmas in Lowick’, in the Berwick Advertiser of the 31st December 1915, reveals that they had left the area. It would seem that they went without any fanfare.

A list of parishioners, dated New Year 1919, kept by Father Corcoran of St Edwards Roman Catholic Church, Lowick, stated that all but one Belgian family, the Van Hoofs at Lowlynn cottages, had left the area for Newcastle, London and Poole. In November 1918, Theresa Julia Van Hoof, visited Lowlynn: she was working as a servant in Newcastle and was presumably a relative.  Did the family remain in England?

By 1920, the overwhelming majority of Belgian refugees had returned home, actively encouraged to do so, by both Governments. Few signs remain of their presence, other than an occasional memorial tree planted by grateful refugees. 

Thomas Boal’s knowledge of Flemish no doubt accounted for the accuracy of the details in the newspaper.  We have been able to confirm that both of the South Berrington families returned safely to Mechelen, the Van der Meirens back to 53 Horse Cemetery Street. The Van Puyenbroeck family first went to Glasgow.  Mauritius, aged 7 at the time, told his sons about the cold winters, being snowed in, and having to re-learn Dutch when he returned home. Maybe they sailed soon after. The Steffen and Van Horenbeck families also returned to Mechelen.

Despite the constant water supply problem; the many cottages declared unfit for occupation and the various demands on their purses, local people certainly did their bit. 

Primary Sources
Newspapers - Berwick Advertiser, Berwick Journal, Newcastle Daily Journal, Yorkshire Evening Post.
Northumberland Constabulary Registration of Aliens File (held at Woodhorn)
School Log Books and Registers – Ancroft Log Book and Register; Beal Log Book; Cheswick Log Book and Register; Lowick Log Book and Register (all Berwick Archives)
Parish Registers – St John the Baptist, Lowick - Burial Register (transcript Berwick Archives)
St Edward’s Roman Catholic Church, Lowick – Baptism Register for Haggerston and Lowick; Register of Death (contains lists of communicants and parishioners) (held by Rev David Tanner, Glanton Roman Catholic Church)
Glendale Rural District Council Minutes ( Berwick Archives)
Belgian Refugee families – details confirming safe return of four families provided by Mechelen Archives; photos by descendants of two of the families.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Family Stories, Fishy Tales and Red Herrings Wanted

Yesterday's article, Bring Us Your Family Stories about Berwick's Fishing Families, Fri 17 to Sun 19 July in Berwick Guildhall said that we are particularly interested in these names: Burgon; Manuel; Borthwick; Jamieson; Crombie; Young and Hattle but we’re also looking for any other names in that area connected with fishing.

Recently, Newcastle University started a project to involve local people in recording their untold stories and knowledge of salmon fishing on the Tweed.

The project was launched at The Pilot Inn in Low Greens, Berwick and they had a follow up at the Jubilee Centre in Spittal.

They have displays and videos to watch and they’ll be looking to hear your salmon fishing stories too (and some free nibbles too). 

We hope to see you on Friday, Saturday or Sunday (17th to 19th July) at the Guildhall, Berwick.