Latest research

Latest research – the children of Elizabeth Skempton

Back on 20 November 2016, I did a post Sunday Afternoon Genealogy Fun – How Many Children/Grandchildren in Your Matrilineal Line?

In this post, I identified two ancestors where I needed to do more research to determine if there were more grandchildren than I had in my tree.  Over the past few weeks, I have done research on the children of the first of these ancestors, Elizabeth Ann Ball, and have a revised figure for the number of her grandchildren: 39.

I am now ready to do research on the children of the other ancestor: Elizabeth Skempton.  Elizabeth married George Slawson:

Emma Slawson

Their first child, daughter Emma was born in 1834 in Brigstock, Northamptonshire, England.  She came to Australia in 1856, and in 1861 she married Niels Christensen.  They had 9 children:

  1. Niels John Christensen (1862-1944)
  2. Elizabeth Annie Christensen (1863-1878)
  3. Emma Godfree Christensen 1865-1866
  4. George Slawson Christensen 1867-1945
  5. William Edward Christensen 1867-1949
  6. Emma Godfree Christensen 1869-1904
  7. Harry Christensen 1871-1871
  8. Alfred Henry Christensen 1872-1944
  9. Unnamed Male Christensen 1877-1877

Emma died 8 July 1879, and was buried at the Alberton Cemetery.

Ann Slawson

Their second child was my 4x great grandmother Ann.  Ann was born in 1836 at Brigstock.  She came to Australia in 1854 and married William Edward Ball in 1855.  They had 11 children:

  1. Elizabeth Ann Ball (my 3x great grandmother) (1856-1909)
  2. Emma Esther Ball (1859-1923)
  3. Alice Ida Ball (1861-1919)
  4. Clara Caroline Ball (1862-1948)
  5. George Edward Ball (1865-1930)
  6. Erick James Ball (1868-1932)
  7. Florence Jessy Ball (1871-1942)
  8. Martha Agnes Ball (1873-1905)
  9. Edla Louisa Ball (1876-1947)
  10. Christene Priscilla Ball (1876-1957)
  11. Bertha Ellen Ball (1878-1937)

Ann died 11 May 1878 at Bairnsdale, and was buried 12 May 1878 at the Bairnsdale Cemetery.

John Slawson

Their third child was son John.  John was born in 1838 at Brigstock, and he also came to Australia

John Slawson age 29 arrived at Melbourne on 12 February 1868.  John married Mary Elizabeth Walsh in 1868, and they had 3 children:

  • George Slawson (1869-1925)
  • Alice Emma Slawson (1871-1963)
  • John Slawson (1874-1874)

Mary died in 1875.

John then married Ellen Mains (nee Blair) on 9 April 1887 at the Primitive Methodist Manse, Marlay St, Sale.  It was this marriage certificate which confirmed that the earlier records, and this marriage, were for our John:

Ellen Mains widow husband deceased 1870 4 deceased children parents Walter Blair and Jessie Nichol housekeeper Sale

John Slawson widower wife deceased 1869 2 living children birthplace Brigstock England, laborer, age 48, Sale parents George Slawson baker Gedding England, and Elizabeth Scempton

John and Ellen appear to have had no children.  John died in 1891 at Kew, Victoria, Australia

These 3 children were the only children to come to Australia – the rest of the family remained in England.

George Slawson

The fourth child was George Slawson.  George was born in 1840 at Brigstock. George married Frances Sturgess on 23 May 1875 at St Margaret, Leicester.  At this stage, I only had one child listed for George and Frances:

  • Herbert Slawson (1879-1952)

I therefore needed to follow George and Frances through the census records, to determine if they had any more children.

The 1881 census shows they were living at 3 A Court St Nicholas Square, Leicester St Nicholas.  Only son Herbert, age 3, and Frances’ brother Harry Sturgess were living with them. (1881 census of England, Leicester St Nicholas, folio 8, page 9, George Slawson age 40; digital images,, ( : accessed 14 Dec 2016); citing PRO RG 10/3179).

The 1891 census just shows George age 51, Frances age 42, and Herbert age 12 at 11 Park Street Leicester St Mary. (1891 census of England, St Mary, Leicester, folio 8, page 6, George Slawson age 51; digital images,, ( : accessed 14 Dec 2016); citing PRO RG 12/2536).

In 1901 there was again just Geo age 61, Frances age 52, Herbert age 22, and a boarder, Arthur Hearn, at 74 Sylvan St Leicester formerly Newfound Pool. (1901 census of England, Leicester formerly Newfound Pool, folio 47, page 18, Geo Slawson age 61; digital images,, ( : accessed 14 Dec 2016); citing PRO RG 13/3010).

George was on his own on the 1911 census.

George Slawson 1911 census
1911 census of England, 36 Thomas St Leicester, George Slawson (age 71); digital images,, ( : accessed 14 Dec 2016); citing RG 78, RG 14 PN 19221, registration district (RD) Leicester, sub district (SD) North East Leicester, enumeration district (ED) 4, schedule number (SN) 176.

George died in 1916 at Leicester. (, “England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007,” database, ( : accessed 14 Dec 2016), entry for George Slawson, volume 7a, page 331, Mar quarter 1916, Leicester district; citing the General Register Office’s England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes).

From the census records, it would appear they didn’t have any other children, but they may have had other children who were born and died between census years, so the next thing to do is to search the records on the FreeBMD site.  I prefer to do these kinds of searches on FreeBMD, because you can narrow down the date range, and location. My first search was for the surname Slawson, births, date range June 1875 to Dec 1881, district Leicester.

These were the results:

Births Jun 1876
SLAWSON      Sarah Jane                   Leicester         7a       296

Births Mar 1877
SLAWSON      George Henry              Leicester         7a       272

Births Sep 1878
Slawson           Herbert                       Leicester         7a       290

Births Mar 1879
Slawson           Thomas Warner                       Leicester         7a       295

The next thing was to check the deaths, and there were only 2 deaths:

Deaths Sep 1877
SLAWSON George Henry 0 Leicester 7a144

Deaths Dec 1877
SLAWSON John 41 Leicester 7a130

I then checked for any children born between 1881 and 1891, and there were 6 results in Leicester,

Births Dec 1883
SLAWSON      Lilian Mary E              Leicester         7a       204

Births Mar 1884
Slawson           Florence Ethel             Leicester         7a       295

Births Dec 1885
Slawson           Jane                Leicester         7a       282

Births Dec 1886
SLAWSON      Clara Elizabeth             Leicester         7a       272

Births Sep 1888
SLAWSON      Samuel             Leicester         7a       190

Births Mar 1890
SLAWSON      William Henry             Leicester         7a       304

And here were the deaths:

Deaths Dec 1885
Slawson           Jane    0         Leicester         7a       150

Deaths Jun 1888
SLAWSON      Thomas           61       Leicester         7a       110

The General Register Office now have the births and deaths indexes on their website, and the births now list mother’s maiden name.   I therefore now needed to check these indexes, to see what the mother’s maiden name was for Jane and George Henry.

I was able to confirm that George Henry Slawson was the child of George Slawson and Frances Sturgess:
Name:  Mother’s Maiden Surname:
GRO Reference: 1877  M Quarter in LEICESTER  Volume 07A  Page 272

I also found that Jane wasn’t their child – her mother’s maiden name was Newby.