Skipping Down the Generations – Ancestral Surname used as a Middle Name

Despite being a Jones, the parents of my great, great grandfather did not prove very hard to trace.  The middle name of William Taylor Jones acted as a marker, so I could trace him in the censuses finding him in 1851, aged 7, with his parents George Jones and Hannah at 29 Spring Street, Birmingham[1].  William’s birth certificate names his mother as Hannah Jones formerly Beddow[2].  The census indicates Hannah was born ca. 1812 in Wednesbury, Staffordshire.

Marriage Certificate - George Jones & Hannah Beddow

Marriage Certificate – George Jones & Hannah Beddow

Bride: Hannah Beddow
Groom: George Jones
Date: 15 March 1840
Location: Collegiate Church, Wolverhampton
Father of Bride: Joseph Beddow, an innkeeper
Father of Groom: William Jones, a plumber
Witnesses: Walter Parkes, Mary Parkes

Hannah and George are recorded on the 1841 census at Bridge Street, Wednesbury in the household of Joseph Beddow, which also includes Mary Parkes[3].  Joseph’s occupation is not recorded on the census, but he is listed as the proprietor of the White Horse, High Street in the 1842 edition of Pigot’s Directory[4].

The naming of William Taylor Jones did not follow the custom using the mother’s maiden name as a middle name, but I wondered if Taylor was the maiden name of one of his grandmothers.  I have not yet indentified George’s parents from all the other Joneses in a very large haystack.  Following the Beddow line has proved fruitful.  Joseph Beddow married Elizabeth Taylor at St Bartholomew, Wednesbury on 7 May 1792[5], and baptisms of 11 children followed, including Hannah in 1812[6]:

Name Baptism date Baptism place
John Beddow 22 Apr 1793 St Bartholomew,Wednesbury
Sarah Beddow 25 May 1795 St Bartholomew,Wednesbury
Elizabeth Beddow 26 Dec 1798 St Bartholomew,Wednesbury
Ann Beddow 23 Nov 1800 St Bartholomew,Wednesbury
Mira Beddow 22 Aug 1802 St Peter or Collegiate, Wolverhampton
Joseph Beddow 20 Feb 1803 St Bartholomew,Wednesbury
John Beddow 17 Feb 1805 St Bartholomew,Wednesbury
Mary Beddow 16 Feb 1807 St Bartholomew,Wednesbury
Hannah Beddow 19 Jul 1810 St Bartholomew,Wednesbury
Hannah Beddow 03 Jul 1812 St Bartholomew,Wednesbury
Jane Beddow 13 Apr 1815 St Peter or Collegiate, Wolverhampton

The Taylor name was passed on to two more descendants that I know of, but this time down the Jones male line to a son and a grandson of William Taylor Jones.

Taylor name occurance in Jones family

Taylor name occurance in Jones family


[1] Census 1851. England. Warwickshire, Birmingham St Thomas. District 23, image no 20. Jones, George, digital image. Accessed http://www.ancestry.co.uk ,11 Mar 2013; citing The National Archives, Kew, HO 107/2052/691/1.

[2] General Register Office, Birth Certificate, Warwick, Birmingham, St Thomas. Jones,William Taylor. 1843/11/24. no 471.  image of register. issued 11 August 2005.

[3] Census. 1841.  England, Staffordshire, Wednesbury, District 13, image 7. Beddow, Joseph. digital image.  Accessed http://www.ancestry.co.uk, 1 March 2013; citing The National Archives, Kew. HO 107/984/4/24-25/11-12.

[4] Pigot & Co.’s Royal National and Commercial Directory and Topography (London, J Pigot & Co., November 1842), Staffordshire, Wednesbury, Inns & Public Houses. p. 89.

[5] FamilySearch, England, Marriages, 1538–1973, database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NV2R-BJT : accessed 11 Mar 2013), Beddow ,Joseph &Taylor, Elizabeth, 1792/05/07; citing Family History Library film no 421615. Baptisms, marriages and burials, 1776-1812.; citing Church of England. Bishop’s transcripts. St Bartholomew, Wednesbury (Staffordshire).

[6] FamilySearch, England, Births and Christenings, 1538-1975, database. query Father Name: joseph beddow, Mother Name: Elizabeth, County: Staffordshire.

© Sue Adams 2013


Representing Multiple Marriages and Crossing Connections

Information gleaned from my maternal grand-parent’s marriage certificate indicates that Isabelle Jones first married a man with the surname Brown.

Marriage Certificate - Alfred Frederick Bull & Isabelle Frances Rebecca Brown

Marriage Certificate – Alfred Frederick Bull & Isabelle Frances Rebecca Brown

Bride: Isabelle Rebecca Frances Brown, widow
Groom: Alfred Frederick Bull, bachelor
Date: 1 February 1937
Location: The Register Office, Birmingham
Bride’s father: Charles Bertram Jones
Groom’s father: William Osborne Bull

Further research supports the family story that Isabelle and Albert were introduced to one another by the relatives of Isabelle’s first husband, Charles Henry Brown.  To complicate matters Charles’ brother, George Brown married Alfred’s sister, Ann Dorothy Bull.  OK, there are too many relationships in that sentence, so I want to draw a chart that helps me visualise them.

Traditional genealogy charts and reports work from one individual and follow two basic patterns, ancestral and descendant.  Hourglass charts effectively stick an ancestral and descendant chart together at one individual.  Most genealogy programs feature all-in-one or extended charts.  Individuals with multiple relationships, appear more than once.  For example, Family Tree Maker 2010 produces this chart:

Extended Family Tree Chart for Isabelle Frances Rebecca Jones

Extended Family Tree Chart for Isabelle Frances Rebecca Jones

Notice that Alfred Frederick Bull and Charles Henry Brown appear twice and the chart has two separate ‘trees’.  I have colour coded the three families for clarity.  FTM 2010 allows manipulation of charts, so I fiddled around to try to represent this family on one joined up diagram with no crossed lines.

Manipulated Extended Family Tree Chart for Isabelle Frances Rebecca Jones

Manipulated Extended Family Tree Chart for Isabelle Frances Rebecca Jones

Although it seems clearer to me, it might not help anyone else.  It breaks the conventional placement of older generations at the top by turning the Browns upside down.  What do you think?  However, people such as Isabelle’s son-in-laws and grand-children will not fit. The glaring problem is the lack of scalability.

Perhaps it is time for a radical re-think.  In 2010, an alternative un-conventional approach was published in an academic paper[1]Geneaquilts, the prototype software produces this:

GeneaQuilts chart

GeneaQuilts chart

It is not as intuitive as conventional genealogical charts, but it copes well with complex relationships and is scalable.  I used the highlighting feature to mark the same 3 families.

The GeneaQuilts website claims two genealogy programs have implemented the charts.  Unfortunately, neither is functional.  First, Progeny’s Charting Companions for FTM, PAF Ancestral Quest and Legacy features ‘Trellis charts’.  I downloaded and installed the evaluation version Charting Companion for FTM, but the program presented an error message that indicated I should update FTM 2010 to 19.0.0.207 on start-up and failed to open the data file.  The latest version for FTM 2010 is 19.0.0.206.  Second, Geneapro’s own website states that it does not provide the full functionality yet.  Furthermore, I failed to install this software, due to inadequate documentation on external tools required.


[1] A. Bezerianos, P. Dragicevic, J.-D. Fekete, J. Bae, B. Watson. GeneaQuilts: A System for Exploring Large Genealogies. In IEEE InfoVis ’10: IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, Oct 2010, Salt-Lake City, USA

© Sue Adams 2013


Hold the Front Page and 1960s Social Care of the Elderly

Marriage announcements are usually tucked away on the inner pages of newspapers.  The fourth marriage featuring in the 50 Marriage Mondays series made the front page:

newspaper marriage announcement, Charles Bertram Jones & Edith Lloyd

Front page marriage announcement
Birmingham Evening Mail and Despatch
Saturday, September 28 1963

City bride (72) and groom (89)

A widower who will be 90 in November, Mr. Charles Bertram Jones, and Mrs. Edith Lloyd, a 72-year-old widow, after their wedding today at Birmingham Register Office.  Mr. Jones, who for many years was assistant caretaker at Camp Hill Grammar School, Birmingham, and his bride met when they were living in a Birmingham Old Peoples’ Welfare Home.

After a reception at a Warwickshire hotel the couple were driven to their new home at Park Hill Drive, Handsworth Wood, old peoples’ married quarters.

Marriage Certificate - Charles Bertram Jones & Edith Lloyd

Marriage Certificate – Charles Bertram Jones & Edith Lloyd

  • Bride: Edith Lloyd, late Bowen
    Groom: Charles Bertram Jones
    Date: 28 September 1963
    Location: Birmingham Register office

The marriage certificate reveals that the bride was actually 74 and her father’s surname was Bowen.  The groom had been married twice before to the Wilson sisters, but that is another story…

This marriage is connected with the couple moving from one old age home to another.  The certificate reveals the residence prior to the marriage at Bourne House, Serpentine Road and the newspaper article identifies the couple’s new home at Park Hill Drive, Handsworth Wood.

I wonder about the social conditions and attitudes to care of the elderly in these institutions.  Reform of residential homes for the elderly was still recent at the time following Townsend’s seminal study undertaken in the late 1950s and early 1960s.  Was there any married accommodation at Bourne House?  Could they have co-habited without getting married?  Did the accommodation for married couples have advantages over that provided for single people?

The buildings in both locations are currently local authority institutions.  Park Hill is an old age home and Bourne House is occupied by Appledore Family Support Centre, which is concerned with child welfare.  The current buildings look 20th century so may have been home to Charles and Edith, but this needs further investigation.