Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A W.W. II Marlow Mystery: Robert Craig and the Little Ducks

Robert Craig and two Duck children
photo courtesy of Ruth Peacock
One of the wonderful items sent to me by my first cousin once removed, Ruth Peacock, was this photo of Robert Craig and the Duck children taken in England when Robert went there during W.W. II. Who these children are is a bit of a mystery. Now the family connections will take a little explaining.

First, Robert Donald Craig was the brother of Harold Jackson Craig, who was the husband of Zella Marlow, my great aunt, and the youngest biological child of Joseph and Annabelle Marlow. During W.W. II, Robert visited the Marlow family in Yorkshire, England--well, actually, the Duck family.

Joseph H. Marlow’s sister, Elizabeth Marlow, had married a man by the name of William Duck. They had both passed away before W.W. II, but had at least nine children: Annie Elizabeth, Damaris Ann, Benjamin, Nora, Barbara Marlow, John, Maria Jane, Alice Margaret, and Gordon. The “Duck” children in the photo would need to have been the offspring of one of the sons to have the last name “Duck”. Judging by the sons’ death dates, the children could have belonged to any of them. It is not certain when during the war the photo was taken, but I think it would be more likely to have been toward the end of the war. My best guess is that the children are the youngest son and daughter of John Duck and his wife Kathleen Rider, i.e. Alfred Robin (born 1933) and Kathleen (born 1936). I suppose the children could be those of one of the Duck daughters, but would likely have had a different last name.

I would be grateful to anyone, whether on the Duck/Marlow side in England, and/or the Craig/Marlow side in Canada, who could shed more light on this photo—the people in it, and the circumstances of its creation.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Marlow Kin in Rimbey, Alberta

There is a Marlow mystery which I believe I was able to solve. Ruth Peacock, of the previous blogpost, told me that she has always been curious about the “Watts” family in Rimbey, Alberta. She said that she was always told that the Watts children were something like fourth cousins of her father Joseph Robert “Tom” Marlow, but she never understood how exactly they were related. She said that Sarah Watts, the mother, had furniture from “Sleights” in Yorkshire, from where the Marlow family had come.

I told her I would investigate. It occurred to me that there should be a local history for Rimbey, Alberta, just as there was for Lougheed. I went to the website, and found such a book, which indeed included a write up on the Watts family, i.e. Over the years: A history of the Rimbey Area.  (There is a photo of the family there).It stated that Henry and Sarah Watts had come from Springfield, Illinois in 1906, following the death of her father, Robert Appleby. I was able to find the Appleby family in the 1870 and 1880 U.S. Census in Jacksonville, Illinois, which stated that they were born in England (as did the Canadian Census for Sarah). Robert’s wife was “Mary”, and was born about 1835. The U.S. Census Mortality Schedule, gives her initials as “M.A.” and states that she died in July 1879 of “congestive chills” and was a “farmer’s wife”. Her birthdate is estimated as 1838. I set to work to find a marriage for a Thomas Appleby to a Mary A. in Yorkshire at about a time corresponding to before Sarah’s birth (1865). I was able to find that “Robert Wray Appleby” married “Mary Ann Marlow” in the third quarter of 1863 in the registration district of “Scarborough” in “Yorkshire North Riding”. Searching my own family tree for a “Mary Ann Marlow”, I found that Joseph H. Marlow’s father William had a sister Mary Ann, born about 1833. I could find no other candidates for Mary Ann Marlow Appleby on my tree, and since the Watts family were thought to be cousins of ours, and since I could find no evidence of this Mary Ann in England after the family appears in the United States, I am going to say that this is the Mary Ann Marlow who was the mother of Sarah. This would make Sarah Appleby Watts the first cousin of Joseph H. Marlow. Their children would be second cousins, then I believe.

Sarah Jane and Henry Watts’ children were Robert William, born 1894, Frederick, born 1901, and Ruth, born 1905, all born in the U.S. before the family came to Canada. They would have arrived in Alberta about six years before Joseph Marlow and his family immigrated there, and their move may have influenced Joseph to follow suit. I have yet to find passenger lists for Joseph or the Appleby family, but it is possible that they all came from England together, and possibly with more Marlows or Applebys.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Curious Case of Haviland Marlow

Haviland Marlow
courtesy of Ruth Peacock
I have been in contact with my first cousin once removed Ruth Peacock, born Ruth Marlow, to whose work on the Marlow family tree I am indebted. She has generously shared her memories, her writings, and her photos. Ruth created a Marlow family tree back in the 1980’s for the purposes of a Marlow family reunion which took place then in Lougheed, Alberta, but she was unable to find much about her grandfather Joseph H. Marlow’s family background. I was delighted to share my findings with her.

A mystery she described back in the 1980’s is still unsolved, but us very tantalizing. She wrote the following, which she says took place in the late forties or early fifties:

“No trace of all Grandpa’s people is known—because an experience happened to me that tells me there is lots to learn of our roots. When my parents, my husband and I were in business in Alliance I was surprised one day to meet a young fellow from Ontario who in all aspects of character resembled my relations and above all carried the same name ‘Marlow’. Haviland was his first name. His voice resembled the Marlows to the point where it fooled my mother who thought, when she heard it that George Marlow had come to visit. No other incidents occurred to whet my curious appetite, but Hav some time later had a mind boggling experience that convinced both of us that we indeed were kissin’ cousins. It happened one day in the old ‘Saloon’ at Lougheed. It was after Hav had sipped at a few suds that he casually looked about him and saw a face so familiar that it disturbed him to the point that he wondered if he had imbibed too much too soon or was seeing images of the past. He compelled the urge to vacate the premises on the double and summoned his courage to inquire the name of the stranger. The man is George Marlow someone said—‘My uncle George Marlow has been dead five years’, Hav said, it can’t be true, this man can’t be George Marlow. This man was George Marlow and he resembled Hav’s Uncle George so much that he passed as his double. Hav said his uncles had the same family names of William, Fred and Tom. So there is something to this roots thing. Someone should do something about it before the valuable sources of folk-lore and information are lost by the wayside in the battle of life”.

Ruth sent me a photo of Haviland Marlow, and his obituary, from which I was able to start constructing a family tree for him. I found Haviland and his family in Durham County, Ontario. Hav did indeed have an Uncle George, and great uncles Tom and William, but no Fred as I can yet tell. His uncle George Marlow, born in 1878, died on May 2, 1943 in Whitby, Ontario. Ruth’s Uncle George Marlow was born in 1901 and died in 1985.

Haviland himself was born on May 17, 1929 in Nestleton, Durham, Ontario, the son of  Reginald Weldon "Ted" Marlow and Amelia Hunking. He died on June 2, 1984 in Rosthern, Saskatchewan.

I was able to take the tree back to the first ancestor from England, a John Marlow, born about 1807. I could not find him on my own tree, and have as yet found no reliable information linking him to a family or place in England. Some people on Ancestry have given him the father Thomas Marlow from Lincolnshire, but I can find no evidence for this. It is interesting that the area of Ontario where the Marlow family lived carries some of the place names from the general area of North Yorkshire from where our Marlows hail, i.e. Whitby and Pickering. I suppose this could mean that many of the original settlers came from these places in England.

I would be grateful to anyone who could help with locating the Ontario Marlow family’s roots in England.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Jane Marlow Helps to Solve a Murder

Bridge at Littlebeck, North Yorkshire Moors
By Brian Norman, Accessed via Wikipedia Commons

While doing some random googling this morning, I stumbled across a story about my three times great grandmother, Jane Marlow (a.k.a. Marley). She was born Jane Fewster in about 1800 in Eskdaleside, North Yorkshire, and married George Marlow on January 19, 1826 in Whitby. She was the daughter of Thomas Fewster and Jane Ward, the mother of William Marlow, and the grandmother of Joseph H. Marlow. I was delighted to find this story, as it is unusual to find such detail about the life and personality of an ancestor in England who lived so long ago, particularly a female one.

The Annual Register, or a View of the History and Politics of the Year 1857, includes the following story:

York Assizes—Murder—Sarah Jemmison was charged with the wilful murder of her illegitimate son, Joseph Jemmison, on the 9th of December last.

From the evidence it appeared that the child whose death was the subject of inquiry was born three years ago, and was soon after its birth placed out at birth with a Mrs. Jane Marley, at Sleights, near Whitby. The child remained there for a long period, and the payments for its board being very irregularly made, and an arrear of 6l. or more having accumulated, Mrs. Marley declined any longer to keep him, she being herself in a position in life too poor to support any additional burden. The prisoner was then living as servant with Mr. Pearson, at Egton, a farmer, and in his absence she brought the child to his house. On his return he objected to its remaining there, having, as he said, as many as he could keep himself already. The prisoner proposed then that she should take her boy to a relation at Moorsholm, a distance of twelve miles. The farmer consented, and sent his son, a young lad, with his donkey and cart, to help her on the road. She parted from the lad at the junction of two roads, taking that which led to a large tract of moor land. The child was never seen again alive. This was in December last. Three months after a shepherd observed his dog feeding on something, and on inspecting it, found it to be the leg of a child. He returned home, taking it with him, and on someone’s suggestion the dog was kept without food for two days, and then let out. He at once went out to the moor in question, and returned apparently sated. He was then again taken to the moor, and led the way to a spot near where Pearson’s son had parted with the prisoner, and there a thigh and, not far off, the skull of a child were found. Further search was made, and other parts, sadly mangled and torn, as was supposed, by the dog, were discovered. On the skull were traces of injuries as to which evidence was laid before the jury by medical men, to the effect that in their opinion those injuries had been inflicted during life, and were not such as could be caused by the gnawing of a dog. The falsity of the prisoner’s statement was also proved: she had said, when asked what she had done with the child, that she had left him with Mrs. Wilson, his father’s sister.

After an absence of about an hour the jury returned a verdict of “Guilty”, but with a recommendation of mercy on account of the prisoner’s destitute condition. Sentence of death was passed, but, on the recommendation of the Judge, was committed to penal servitude for life.

In Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths around the Tees, the author Maureen Anderson expands upon the story. She relates that Sarah’s sister had originally taken the baby to stay with Mrs. Marley. On November 29, 1856, Sarah went to Mrs. Marley and informed her that she could not pay her the money that she owed her, but would try to pay her soon. She stated that she wanted to take the boy away, ostensibly to the poor house with her. Mrs. Marley apparently told her not to take the child that night, but to return the next day. When Sarah came for him the next day, the boy was wearing a white shirt with a slit on one of the sleeves, as he had had a “sore arm”. This shirt apparently matched one which had been found by the dog. Anderson goes on to state that Mrs. Marley went to the Pearson home a few months later to try to collect her debt, but to no avail. Sarah came to her house the next week, and told her that the child was staying with his father’s sister near Guisborough, “adding as a joke that his uncle would kill him because he was fond of pulling the cows’ tails”. When Mrs. Marley asked if she had clothes for him, she told her that the family had a boy a little older who had died whose clothes he was wearing. Later, after being apprehended by the authorities, it came out that Sarah had murdered her child and left his body on the moors.

I have since found references to newspaper reports which indicate that Mrs. Marlow’s suspicions led to Sarah’s arrest. (The names “Marlow” and “Marley” seem to be interchangeable, as we have found in the past).