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:
15 thoughts on “Ancestor Story – Ann Whiteley – 52 Ancestors”
Got Ann in 1871 – have emailed you the census image! 🙂
Thank you! I haven’t had a minute to check things out. I can’t wait to figure out why I couldn’t find it in ancestry. I’m getting rather frustrated with the poor indexes on ancestry. Glad you have my back. 🙂
No problem! Although I found Ann transcribed the same on Ancestry but year of birth is 1855 but could be out down to whoever gave the info to the enumerator as she was a servant, so if they didn’t know how old she was they might have just guessed. Unless there are any other Ann Whiteley’s born in Sheffield around that time?
Ok so there are two birth entries in Sheffield for an Ann Whiteley in 1855 so might not be your Ann. Mmm…..
Yes, I’m not sure if it is. It’s funny, I hadn’t come across the census you found on ancestry but then I looked for it today and found it. I suppose I will have to research the two Ann’s and try to decide which Ann this census is for. 🙂 Thanks again!
I haven’t looked on the birth registration index page for the two entries in 1855 as it may be that it is only one entry but has had the page number mistranscribed and created two on FreeBMD. But yes, always good to eliminate other suspects!
OK having now checked the image for the birth indexes there is indeed only the one entry for 1855 for Ann Whiteley in Sheffield (the page number had been transcribed wrongly which had made two entries in the transcribed index – it should be 322 not 325.) According to the Sheffield BMD page from the Sheffield City Council website the birth was registered in the sub-district of Brightside.
I am not finding another Ann Whiteley born around that time in that area in 1861 or 1871. There is an Ann Elizabeth born in 1856 but not finding her for definite in the census.
Neither seem to have had their births registered in a quarter that marries up with the date of birth you have from family records though. Do her other siblings have their births registered? Just wondering in case there is a chance that hers wasn’t.
It could be worth filling in the form on here to see if the 1855 entry matches with the parents names in order for them to supply you with the certificate.
I don’t know who provided the date that is in the family records and thus don’t know how much weight to give it in terms of accuracy. I haven’t researched her siblings yet to figure out where the baptism records are located. It’s on the list of things to do.
Tell my why you suggest ordering from Sheffield instead of the GRO?
Well whenever I want to find the right entry from a few possibilities I like to use the local registry offices. You get a more personal (and often quicker) service. It might cost slightly more than the GRO (by a pound or so) for the certificate, but if you provide a criteria such as daughter of George and Eliza and they don’t have a matching entry then they usually don’t charge for looking for you. The GRO will charge to search using criteria on top of the cost of the cert.
As an overseas customer it might be good to email them explaining what you are after and see what they say.
I’ve had some great help from local registry offices, one in Shropshire was great and went completely above and beyond for me and found several other entries for me relating to a family I was looking into.
Thanks for the info Alex, that is great to know. I have pretty easy access to the entire FS collection and many of the records are held there so I have been slowly grabbing a few at a time. The trouble is I have to know the ecclesiastical parish in most instances to identify the correct film. It looks like many records for this family are in St George’s parish so I’m hoping I can get her baptism and possibly her birth on film so it won’t cost me anything. If not, I will definitely try using the local office instead of the GRO. Thank you again, your interest and suggestions are so helpful. You are making the learning curve for a new location a lot more enjoyable. 🙂
Whew, what a sad story–regardless of whether she died from childbirth or from falling on the stove.
I agree! Way too young. Her daughters faced some challenges that I imagine would have been easier to bear with a mother around.