Ann Whiteley is my 3rd great grandmother. Her life was much too short and ended sadly. I don’t know a lot about Ann and I don’t have a picture of her. I need to do some more research, but this is what I know right now.
From family records I have a birth date of 30 March 1857 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England. There are a few potential matches in the Free BMD. I need to form an opinion and order the certificate I think is hers. I also need to look in the parish register for her baptism record.
In 1861 she was living in Sheffield with her parents, George and Eliza, an older sister Martha and a younger brother George. They lived at 34 Rockingham Street.
In 1871 she was not living with her family. In fact, I haven’t found her yet. Her parents lived very near where they lived in the previous census. Household members included George & Eliza, and their children Martha, George, Samuel, and Alice.
Ann married William Henry Hyde(s) on 17 February 1873 in Pitsmoor, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England. The marriage record lists her as a spinster with no occupation living in Pye Bank.
Sometime after their marriage, Henry & Ann set off for Canada. Their daughter Alice was born in Ontario in 1880. By 1884 they were living in or near Golden, British Columbia, Canada. My great grandfather claims that Ann was the first woman to cross the Canadian Rockies in a prairie schooner.
Ann died 10 November 1884. According to her death record, she was just 29 years old. Assuming her birth date is accurate, she was actually only 27 years old. Either age is much too young.
Her death record lists her cause of death as childbirth. My great grandfather mentioned something in passing about her death being caused by having some sort of epileptic fit and falling on the stove. Either way, she did give birth to a baby girl just three days before her death. Family stories suggest that her husband Henry was away for work. This certainly seems likely as the baby’s birth record was registered by the Doctor that attended both the birth of the baby and the death of Ann. On the birth record, Henry is listed as Hyde with no first name and his occupation is teamster on the C.P.R. or Canadian Pacific Railway. Ann’s death record was registered by the Sheriff. I find it odd that the two events were registered by different people on the same day – 31 December 1884. I can’t tell if they were registered at the same office. One record is handwritten, the other is not. They use the same format and the certificate numbers suggest they could have been registered in the same office. And then about that baby – what happened to her? I’ve written about her here. I go back and forth between thinking she is Rosey and thinking she is not Rosey. Did Ann have two daughters or three? Family members say she had two, but I have learned time and again that this family discounts children who die young. If the baby born 3 days before Ann’s death also died, maybe they wouldn’t count her. Or if she was given away, that might also be a reason they would not count her.
Ann’s exact place of death is unclear. Family records list her death place as Revelstoke District. The death record does not list a death place. The doctor who attended her, Dr. A. Sweat, lists his residence as Golden, British Columbia. Revelstoke and Golden are 148 kilometers apart. I can’t imagine Ann would have been attended by a doctor that lived that far away. But I also can’t imagine there were very many doctors in that part of Canada at that time so maybe the Hydes really did live in Revelstoke and the doctor in Golden. But then there is the added fact that Ann was buried in Golden. If she had died in Revelstoke would they have taken her to Golden for burial?
Less than 2 months after Ann’s death, her husband Henry married her younger sister Alice in York, York, England. As a fun twist, when Henry died in 1908, Alice married Henry’s brother Arthur. Nice little tangle, eh?
I have more work to do here. I look forward to further researching Ann and her family. I find her short life sad and fascinating.
For the curious, here are a few records regarding Ann: