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As you've said maybe a case of Chinese whispers. Maybe at first they didn't know who he was. And yes strange he lived next to the family of his fathers third wife. I'm busy trying to trace all siblings of Richard and also family of Mary Standering in the hope of finding John in 1871. If Samuel was adopted out then maybe John was also and in 1871 he was maybe under another surname other than Standering/Sherrington or Hilton. Ha plodding on!!
I've seen and traced the birth of John Sherrington Parents Richard and Elizabeth. the father Richard in this family is the one that was from Gloucestershire as mentioned by your friend in an earlier post.
That snippet about Samuel is strange, Paula, since in 1901 he was living next door to the Telfords. Was he by pure chance in Durham or had he come to find his father? Presumably he had learned from John, who returned to Ince/Wigan, that Richard was in Durham. Whatever, he also definitely changed his name to Hilton some time after 1901. Now why would he do this when he wasn't called Sherrington anyway? To further reduce the chance of Richard being found through him? But the fact that your work colleague's mother mentioned Samuel is a further pointer in the right direction.
I have been reading all kinds of things on the internet about unsolved crimes and drownings (there were a lot in the Wigan area), but so far have not found anything that might help you. Will ry again to find little John in 1871.
Ps. I know the name change and talk of a 'crime' was knowledge of the family, but obviously not the other children of Richard. With John Sherrington/Hilton dying young I would presume they definitely didn't know about this one. I wonder what he told his second wife Elizabeth Clark/Hughes/Hilton
Just sent for death certificate, at least I'll find out how she died. Sent Peter (my work colleague) all the information I had on Richard when he was Hilton. I said once I could go as far as I could on the Sherrington side I would also pass that on. He brought in some photos of people in my tree that I didn't have and also a lovely letter to his grandmother from my grandfather during the war. He was based in Switzerland at the time and it was just before he was taken prisoner of war. I know it was to do with the Dunkirk. So I haven't yet mentioned to him about Richards life before he was Hilton, just that I am now certain there was a name change. This is interesting as I haven't said about another John or Samuel. He said his mother told him yesterday that a snippet of info that HER mother (Richards daughter) passed on was that one day there was a horse and cart pulled up and off got it was somebody called Samuel to see Richard. Richards wife had said to her daughter that she suspected it was Richards son but she wasn't sure. So it seems although Samuel moved to the area the rest of the family did not know for sure he was a relative. Strange how once elderly people start talking they give you information.
Paula, Mary Ann Sherrington died in 1870. She was buried on the 8th September at Ince cemetery. If you haven't discovered it yet, look at "stuff" on wiganworld and click on Ince cemetery indexes. John, on the other hand, was born in 1869. There are two John Sherringtons registered in the area in 1869 (none 1868 and 1870). One was born in the Apr/May/June quarter and the other in the Oct/Nov/Dec quarter. They both had a father called Richard (!), but I have found a baptism for one, the son of Richard and Elizabeth in the Wallgate area of Wigan in April 1869. So this cannot be "your" John Sherrington. He must have been born towards the end of 1869. I can't find a baptism for him, but occasionally, the transcribers accidentally missed an entry. You need to look at the original microfilm. So Mary could not have died directly at John's birth. Here's the other John:
Baptism: 11 Apr 1869 All Saints, Wigan, Lancashire, England
John Sherrington - [Child] of Richard Sherrington & Elizabeth
Born: 4 Apr
Abode: Grt. George Street
Baptised by: A. H. Webb Curate
Register: Baptisms 1868 - 1872, Page 62, Entry 492
Source: LDS Film 1885683
Why would Richard be out of the area six months later despite the fact that he had two little sons? And who took little John Sherrington in in 1871?
What I also find surprising is that the funeral your aunt refers to must have taken place in the 1940s (from your aunt's age). Would people really be mentioning something that presumably happened between 1870 and 1873, when Richard became Hilton?? Also if the words "this one wasn't drowned" fell, they would seem to imply a connection between two deaths, i.e. "at least this wife wasn't drowned" or "at last this brother wasn't drowned" or "this child wasn't drowned" if you see what I mean. Do you know which family members died in the 1940s?
Did your own mother never hear anything? Mind you, I suppose it's natural that side lines of the family would whisper/gossip more about happenings in another line. Don't forget that it's like "Chinese whispers". Someone may have drowned in an accident and malicious tongues express the suspicion that there's something strange about the whole thing, and suddenly it's murder.
Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not suggesting that Richard had anything to do with Mary Ann's death, but I think it's a good idea to buy her death certificate.
Thanks for that, I think I'm just overwhelmed with having nothing on Richard to all of a sudden all this information filtering through, plus the fact my talk with work colleague. He is actually bringing some photos into work plus a letter my granddad wrote to his sister (work colleagues grandmother) during the war, so quite excited about that). It hasn't put me off I am going to try (as you suggest) local newspapers for Wigan and Worksop and I'll let you know how I get on. I really should be grateful to Richard, if he hadn't done what he did, whatever it was, he would never have moved out of the area, changed his name and met my grandmother. As a matter of interest I am going to send for his first wife's death certificate to see what her cause of death was. I've a feeling/hunch it may have been through childbirth, as it was the same year her second son John was born.
Paula, I was just about to go to bed and decided to look again whether you had found out anything new. I think some discoveries made during family research can be quite upsetting for the family involved. I remember once reading a warning in a book that before embarking upon this kind or research, you should first ask yourself whether you really want to find out everything - the good, the bad and the ugly. I remember discovering that my great-great-grandfather had been imprisoned for larceny and I was devastated. I really am a very honest person and I was quite sad. But then I said to myself, it could have been a loaf of bread. They were poor, they were possibly very, very hungry. Who am I to judge? Whatever Richard Sherrington/Hilton did, we don't know the circumstances. It could even have been an accident. All I know is that people had reasons for changing their identity. I've come across several cases of bigamy when I was helping other people. Also there was a very mysterious case involving about four name changes that I have been helping Threfallia to research (on wiganworld). We are convinced that a crime was involved, but we don't know what.
I think it possible that you aunt has remembered correctly, but it's also possible that her recollection has been coloured and that drowning played no role. I have a vague reollection from my childhood that a brother of my grandfather's committed suicide by throwing himself in the canal, but I've not been able to verify this. It's up to you to decide whether you want to continue with your research and try to get to the bottom of this or not. You may never be able to anyway.
Try not to get too upset. It was a long time ago and Richard, if he did commit a crime at all, seems to have been a reformed character.
Linda, I'm exhausted for you. I think the time lapse of messages being submitted is quite long. Thank you so much for your help. My earlier post I felt rather sad, not sure if my aunts comments were correct but it's weird how events suddenly come to mind in an elderly person, she's 78 and just recently lost her husband, in my eyes not so elderly my mam is 78 and I don't think of her as elderly, she just my mam x
Thanks Linda. My work colleague hasn't come up with anything. Been talking to my aunt about all the findings you have supplied (I haven't taken the credit I told her about you). Went into great length about this crime. She never went into great detail but did keep mentioning funerals and conversations she thinks she heard about drownings. One thing that sticks out in her mind is a funeral (she can't remember who's or when) my grandfather (her father) saying as the coffin was lowered 'at least this one isn't one that was drowned'. What do you think?? Think I'm starting to get a bit upset now. I know she must have been very young I'm not sure but those words stick in her mind!!!
Don't like leaving things in mid-air and so I wanted to finish off James Hill/Elizabeth Sherrington.
They had 8 children:
1) Margaret 1859
2) John 1860
3) Richard 1862
(All above baptised at All Saints, Wigan)
4) James 1865
5) William 1867
6) Joseph 1870, bapt. 1871
7) Mary Alice 1872
8) Henry 1876
(All baptised at Christ Church, Ince)
By 1881, Elizabeth nee Sherrington was dead and James had married the 7-year younger Elizabeth Shuttleworth, nee Hacket:
Marriage: 2 Aug 1880 St George, Wigan, Lancashire, England
James Hill - (X), 42 Collier Widower of Lower Morris St.
Elizabeth Shuttlework [sic] - (X), 35 Widow of Lower Morris St.
Groom's Father: William Hill, Carter
Bride's Father: Henry Hackett, Labourer
Witness: Peter Harrison; Catherine Harrison, (X)
Married by Banns by: Philip Hains
Register: Marriages 1880 - 1885, Page 26, Entry 51
Source: LDS Film 1885726
(Note that the father's name is incorrect, but the profession is right. Perhaps he was a Thomas William, or it was just a mistake for some reason)
The 1881 census shows three further daughters with the name Hill (really Shuttleworth):
Alice Ann (16), Sarah (9) and Elizabeth A. (7). The maiden name of the mother of all three girls in the birth registers is HACKETT. However, there is supposedly another 16-year old daughter called Julia Ann. I have tried various surnames (Hackett, Shuttleworth, Hill, Sherrington), but I don't yet know who she was. Perhaps one of Richard's sisters had a Julia Ann (??). I don't know all their married names. Of course,James and Elizabeth may have just taken in the daughter of friends or of one of the second Elizabeth's relations. Another mystery is that there is supposedly a son called James Hill in the 1901 census who was born around 1883. At first, I thought this was a son with the second Elizabeth, but the only birth registered in the Hindley registration district (includes Ince)between 1883 and 1885 was a James Hill with a mother with the maiden name GERMAN. This seems to be a variation of GORMAN. There was a marriage between John Edward Hill and Christiana Tickle nee German/Gorman in 1879:
Marriage: 13 May 1879 St George, Wigan, Lancashire, England
James Edward Hill - Full Butcher Bachelor of Scholes
Christiana Tickle - Full Widow of Scholes
Groom's Father: John Hill, Colliery manager
Bride's Father: Thomas Gorman, Joiner
Witness: Thomas Rigby; Elizabeth Gorman
Married by Banns by: Philip Hains
Register: Marriages 1873 - 1880, Page 230, Entry 459
Source: LDS Film 1885726
So, James was not the father of James Edward, but presumably a relation with a good heart!
The last thing is that the grandson Samuel Hill in 1891 is really the 12-year old Samuel Shuttleworth in 1901.
I'm exhausted and I still don't know who Julia Ann was!!
I'm just back home but going out again soon for an hour or two. His mother is still alive and he is going to ask her. He has asked in the past but he says she always either clams up or changes the subject. Definitely a family secret!!! Will let you know as soon as he gets in touch.
I've been out all day so far and have just read your message. That's unbelievable, but do you think your work colleague could now ask his mother about her family and the murder case, or is she already dead? It seems it was no secret in the family. It's so frustrating not knowing what happened. We are presuming that something happened between 1871 and 1873 in Worksop, but Richard could have returned to Ince/Wigan after the 1871 census. Perhaps something happened there. It would probably be easier to find that out than to find out something in Worksop.
It seems that son Samuel remained in Ince until the late 1890s when he moved to Durham, using Standering in 1901 and then taking on the name Hilton. I wonder whether he saw his father in all those years. People worked at least six days a week at that time. There wasn't much time to travel between Wigan and Durham.
Will write later as I've only just returned home.
Thought I would share something with you before I go off for the day. Mentioned at work this morning that my maiden name should be Sherrington not Hilton. One of our Engineering Managers said his grandmothers maiden name was Hilton. We swapped information and as it so happens somebody I have worked with for nearly 15 years is my second cousin. Unbelievable!!! He knew there was a name change and his father always said to him 'Don't ask your mother about her family, they murdered people'. Very small world.
Looking at the 1901 Census for Ellen Sherrington (Living with her mother), there's a lodger called Lydia Rigby. Wondering if this is a connection to Samuels adopted family from 1871. I'm away today but will look forward to delving some more later this evening.
That's definite, Paula. Mother's maiden name in the birth registers for James Sherrington is given as Catterall.
It looks like Richard had another brother James born 1845 but he died age 5 months. I wondered why there was a gap in the children as on average his parents had children about every two years.
30 May 1845
17 Aug 1845
Wigan, All Saints, Lancashire, England
Parish as it Appears:
Thanks Linda, I actually fell asleep, I think sitting on computer all day at work and then home to laptop has taken its toll today. Paula
I've been sorting out the children of James Hill and Elizabeth and the waifs and strays they seem to have harboured. It's very complicated, but I can say definitively that they didn't have John Sherrington/Hilton with them in 1871 and that Elizabeth Hill died in 1879. The address at her death - Belle Green Lane - is the address at the baptism of son Henry. The Elizabeth in the 1891 census is James's second wife, who was probably Elizabeth Shuttleworth nee Hackett, even though the name of James's father was supposedly William and not Thomas on the marriage certificate. There is a grandson Samuel Shuttleworth with them (and with a strange spelling) in 1901. I'll tell you about the complications with the many children tomorrow. I'm too tired to write tonight.
Hope you've had some success.
I'm going to try Richards other siblings plus first wife Mary Standering's family census records, concentrating on 1871. Maybe come up with John Sherrington/ Hilton's wherabouts