Kays - Gen 4 & Beyond

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Having covered the first three generations of Kays, this section covers the great-grandchildren of Mary and Richard Kay, and the subsequent generations up to the 1901 census and, in a few instances, further into the 20th Century. Because there is a considerable amount of information each entry generally has a brief introduction, a family chart and then a link to the associated PDF document.

Descendants of Elizabeth (née Kay) and John DIxon

Alfred Dixon

Alfred was the first child of Elizabeth and John Dixon. He was born about 1835 at Hunslet, Leeds. He was at home for the 1841 and 1851 census nights but before the next census he was a married man. On 23rd June 1859, when he was 25, Alfred married 22 year old Elizabeth Grayson at the Parish Church of Leeds, following the calling of banns. At the time of his marriage Alfred was living at West Hillary Street, and was earning his living as a wool stapler. Elizabeth was residing at Beeston Road.

Click here for the PDF notes on Alfred Dixon

William Kay Dixon

William Kay Dixon, born about 1836 at Leeds was found at home with his parents Elizabeth and John Dixon for the 1841 census but was not listed with the household for the 1851 census as he was at that time enrolled at Bramham College, seemingly a school for the children of reasonably well off parents. After presumably completing his education William returned home where he has been located in the 1861 Census, at 1 West Hillary Street, West Ward, Leeds as a 24 year old man, working as a wool sorter. William has been very difficult to trace in the census returns after 1861. However there is a marriage registration in the Leeds District for 1862 between a William Kay Dixon and Annis Verity which, on following up, confirms that indeed William did marry. According to the marriage certificate he and Annis Verity were married on 21st May 1862 at the Leeds Register Office when he was 25 and his bride was 19 years old.

Click here for the PDF notes on William Kay Dixon

Maria Dixon

By the time of the 1871 census Maria was the only child still at home. She was aged 33 and unmarried. She had been a witness of the marriage of her younger brother John to Eliza Illingworth in 1862 and she herself had married and was Mrs. Brook by September 1884 as it was by this name that she was recorded as the informant for her father’s death. As M. Brook she performed the same function when her mother died in 1888. With this clue I checked the FreeBMD records and found a marriage between Maria Dixon and John Brook in the Oct-Dec quarter of 1871 at St. Peter’s Church, Leeds.

Click here for the PDF notes on Maria Dixon

John Dixon

We have much more information for Maria’s younger brother John Dixon. He was born about 1841 in Leeds and was at home until, at the age of 22, he married Eliza Illingworth at St Peter’s Leeds on 27th August 1862 and it was her surname that was perpetuated in the middle name of their first son William Illingworth Dixon. John’s sister Maria was one of the witnesses and his occupation was given as Book Keeper, and residence at the time of marriage was West Hillary Street. Eliza was 21 on her wedding day, her residence was given as Hanover Street, and her father was listed as William Illingworth, Mason. Eliza Jane Illingworth was born about 1843 in Leeds and she was the daughter of William Illingworth and his wife Mary.

The chart is difficult to read - but children from left to right (plus spouses) are :

Annie (married Richard England)

William (married Ada Bradshaw)

Eleanor (married Arthur Wynne)

Louisa (married John Bromhead)

John (married Sarah Benn)

Alice (married William Gibson)

Charles (married Fanny Leeson)

Herbert (married Emma Ingham)

Click here for the PDF notes on John Dixon

Josiah Dixon

Josiah was the youngest child and fourth son born to John and Elizabeth. He lived at home until his marriage to, yet another, Elizabeth three years before the 1871 census. This occurred on 25th January 1868 at St Peter’s Chapel and the bride’s maiden name was Elizabeth Jewitt.

Click here for the PDF notes on Josiah Dixon


Descendants of Sarah (née Kay) and Thomas Dark

William Dark

The census returns for William state that he was born in Norwich, Norfolk. However, there is an IGI record for his christening having taken place on 30th August 1829, at St. Peter’s, Leeds. It may well have been that his parents had him baptised in their home town after his birth in Norwich, or it may just have been convenient to have all the children listed as being born in Norwich? William was living at home for both the 1841 and 1851 census nights, but by 1861 he had joined the Royal Navy, had married and set up house at Portsea close to the Portsmouth naval base. While William and Ann(e) did not have any children of their own, Ann(e)'s niece Rose Omer and her family lived with the couple for much of their life.

Click here for the PDF notes on William Dark

Thomas Dark

Thomas Dark, second known son of Sarah and Thomas Dark, was born in Norwich in 1830 and was another son who would have naval connections. He was at home in Hunslet for the 1851 census and working, as was his older brother William, as an engine fitter. Ten years later finds Thomas having followed his brother to Portsea, and by the time of the 1871 census Thomas had set up home at Portsea with his wife Esther and their two young children.

Click here for the PDF notes on Thomas Dark

Elizabeth Dark

Elizabeth was the elder of the two known daughters of Thomas and Sarah Dark and she was born about 1832 in Norwich according to an IGI record of her christening on 9th September 1832 at Lakenham, Norfolk, England. Like so many of her contemporaries, as soon as she was old enough she was out earning a living and again, like so many young women, she was employed as a domestic servant. In 1851 she was at 1 Balloon Place Holbeck, working for the Hick family. Whether by coincidence, or by arrangement, there was a family connection between the Hick family and the Todd family, to whom Elizabeth was related. Isabella Todd was her aunt and the Todd girls were first cousins. Thomas Hick married one of them – Amelia Todd. Very shortly after the 1861 census  Elizabeth married Joshua Riley at Kirkstall.

Click here for the PDF notes on Elizabeth Dark

Joseph Dark

According to the FreeBMD Birth Index, the birth of a John Joseph Dark was registered for the Oct-Dec quarter 1837 at Norwich Norfolk. According to the census returns for 1841, 1851, and 1861, Thomas and Sarah Dark had a son named Joseph Dark and he was found at home for these three census nights. At this stage I am assuming that John Joseph and Joseph are one and the same. Joseph has been a bit of a research problem as the various census transcribers have confused the numbers 3 and 8, so for some returns Joseph’s estimated date of birth is 1833 and for others it is 1838. I have opted for the age given for Joseph (3 years old) for the 1841 census as the correct one. During his lifetime he was a iron turner, glass worker and finally a pub owner.

Click here for the PDF notes on Joseph Dark

Sarah Dark

Sarah Dark’s birth is registered for the Apr-Jun 1841 quarter of 1841 in the district of Norwich. She was the second daughter and fifth known child of Thomas and Sarah Dark. She was recorded in the 1841 census as a baby of 1 month, for the 1851 census as a young girl of 9, and in 1861 as a young woman of 19 and a dressmaker. On 8th February 1866, at the age of 24, Sarah married Joseph Allison, a 26 year old bachelor who was a Provision Dealer. Joseph’s home town at the time of the marriage was Kingston upon Hull and Sarah’s was Leeds. By the time of the 1871 census, the couple (mistranscribed at Wilson), together with a daughter, was living at the Smiths Buildings, Garibaldi Street, Grimsby, and it was at Grimsby, as far as is known, that Sarah and Joseph spent the rest of their lives.

Click here for the PDF notes on Sarah Dark

Charles Dark

Tracing the life of Charles Dark, the youngest child of Thomas and Sarah Dark, was far less complicated that researching his siblings. Charles never married and, apart from one census, was found living with his mother and/or immediate family.

His birth was registered for the Oct-Dec of 1843 in the district of Norwich. He makes his first appearance in the 1851 census as a young boy of 7. He possibly never knew of would not have remembered his father who had died before this census. He is still at home ten years later and is now working as a Stone Carver. He was at Blackburn, Lancashire, for the 1871 census as a lodger with Thomas and Margaret Fairhurst at 195 Walley Range. Charles was presumably one of the men employed by Thomas Fairhurst.

Thomas Fairhurst             34            Stone Mason employing 8 men and 2 boys    Blackburn

Margaret Fairhurst            34                                                                                              Blackburn

Charles Dark (Lodger)     27            Stone Mason                                                          Norwich

For whatever reason, Charles was back in Leeds in 1881 with his mother both now boarders at his sister Elizabeth’s house at 41 Bismark Street, Hunslet. For the 1881 census Charles is described at a Sculptor, but for the 1891 census his occupation is recorded as Stone Carver and is at home with his mother and niece, Sarah Allison.

After the death of his mother Sarah in late 1891, Charles must have moved in with his niece Laura Mallinson who was living at 3 Bismark Street for the 1891 census. It was at this address that Charles Dark died on 3rd August 1893 at the relatively young age of 49. Laura was present when Charles died and was the informant of the death to the Registrar, H. Snowden. The cause of death, certified by the same doctor as for his mother’s death, Thomas Smith, was Phthisis Pulmonalis. The commonly known name for this chronic illness is tuberculosis of the lungs, to which stonemasons, constantly exposed to stone dust, were particularly susceptible.


Descendants of George and Mary Ann (née Furness) Newton

James Furness Newton

An IGI Family Group reference places the christening of James Furness Newton, son of George and Mary Ann Newton, as 30th December 1831, at St. Peter’s, Leeds. From this, we can put James’s birth year as 1831. The first census record we have for James is the 30th March 1851, when he was at home with his parents at 1 Hanover Street, Leeds. By this time James was a young man of 19 and, like his father, he was a painter. Also by this time his mother, Mary Ann Newton (née Furness) had died, and her maiden name is carried on by James’s second name. At the age of 21 by Licence, James married Marianne Jordan, at St Mark’s Church, Woodhouse on 24th April 1853. They then proceeded to establish quite a dynasty. For ease of reading I have provided multiple charts - one showing one generation of children, and separate ones for those children who married and had children of their own.




Click here for the PDF notes on James Furness Newton

John Newton

John, second child of George and Mary Ann Newton, was baptised on 11th December 1833 at St. Peter’s Leeds. Along with his family, no record has yet been located for him in the 1841 census, but he is shown in the family listing for the 1851 census, living at 1 Hanover Street, Leeds, as a young man of 16, working (presumably for his father) as a carver and gilder. In what seems to have been the church of choice for the Newtons at this time, and after the calling of banns, John, at the age of 25 married a girl 4 years his junior on 11th July 1859 at St. Mark’s Church in the district parish of Woodhouse. The bride was Sarah Ann Kay, 21 year old spinster, and the daughter of Thomas Kay, butcher (another lot of Kays!).

Click here for the PDF notes on John Newton


Descendants of Ann (née Newton) and James Kitson

Frederick William Kitson

Frederick William Kitson was the first known son of James and Ann Newton. He was born in Leeds in 1829 and baptised in the same year at St. Peter’s Church, Leeds, on 23rd July. Frederick was listed as being with his family for the 1841 census and again in 1851. However by the time of the 1861 census he was a married man with a young family, living at 4 Beech Grove Terrace, Leeds.

Click here for the PDF notes on Frederick William Kitson

James Kitson

James Kitson Jnr was born on 22nd September 1835 in Leeds and baptised three weeks later at St. Peter’s Church, on 16th October 1835. Like his father before him, James married twice and fathered a number of children. When the 1861census was taken James and and his first wife Emily had only been married for about 6 months. They were married by Licence an in a Unitarian ceremony on 20th September 1860 at the Mill Hill Chapel. He married his second wife Mary Smith on 1st June 1881. James Kitson died on 16th March 1911 in Paris. Such was the esteem in which he was held, the Town Hall bell at Leeds was tolled on receipt of the news of his death.

Click here for the PDF notes on James Kitson

Mary Ann Kitson

We know nothing about the first daughter (Ann) of James and Ann Kitson (née Newton), but we do have quite a bit of information for their second daughter, Mary Ann Kitson, born in 1837 and baptised at St Peter’s Church, Leeds on 7th December of that year. She was with her family for the 1841 census and ten years later, when she was 13, she was a pupil at a school for young ladies in the Yorkshire village of Heath. She was back at home for the 1861 census with her family at Little Woodhouse Street. The 1871 census finds Mary with a new name – Mary Ann Clark. Her marriage to Edwin C Clark, Barrister at Law, was recorded at the Leeds Registry Office in the Apr-Jun quarter of 1865 but in fact took place at the Unitarian Mill Hill Chapel, Park Row, Leeds, and the date was 8th June 1865 when Mary was 27 and Edwin 29. Mary and Edwin spent most of their married life at Cambridge and their only daughter was married at the famous church at Grantchester.

Click here for the PDF notes on Mary Ann Kitson

Emily Kitson

Emily Kitson was born about 1842 in Leeds, the third and second surviving daughter of James and Ann Kitson. She ‘missed’ the 1841 census but was with her family for the 1851 and 1861 censuses as a 9 year old girl and a 19 year old young woman respectively. By the time of the 1871 census Emily was a married woman. Ann Kitson lived to see both her daughters well married off. Emily, five years younger than Mary Ann, married on 26th April 1864 at the Mill Hill Chapel. Her husband was William Smoult Playfair, born in 1835 in India. He was the son of George Playfair, deceased, Surgeon General, Bengal Army. William Smoult Playfair was one of the most eminent physicians of his day.

Click here for the PDF notes on Emily Kitson

John Hawthorn Kitson

John Hawthorn Kitson made his appearance in 1843 with his birth registered at Leeds for the Apr-Jun quarter of that year. He was in the census count for 1851 and 1861 as being at home, and for the latter census described at a 17 year old Collegian. By the 1871 census John had married and left home to set up house at 19 Hyde Terrace, West Leeds. The wedding of John and Jessie Ellershaw,  at the Church of Headingley on 2nd September 1868, brought together two well established Leeds families.

Click here for the PDF notes on John Hawthorn Kitson

Arthur Octavius Kitson

I had given up on trying to find any information about Arthur Kitson, the last known child of James Kitson and his first wife Ann, other than the registration of his birth in the Apr-Jun quarter of 1848, his presence with his family for the 1851 and 1861 census returns, and the fact that he was a witness for the marriage of his brother John Hawthorn Kitson on 2nd September 1868. It was not until a later record came to light that we even find out that he had a middle name – Octavius. It was research on Arthur’s sister Emily and her husband William Smoult Playfair, and a reference to legal action and the subsequent sensational 1896 trial of Kitson versus Playfair that put me back on the trail of Arthur.

Click here for the PDF notes on Arthur Octavius Kitson


Descendants of James Kitson - from second marriage to Elizabeth Hutchinson

While not strictly direct descendants, I have included some notes of the second family of James Kitson, son of Ann (née Newton) and James Kitson.

Reginald Francis Kitson

Francis Reginald Kitson, born on 8th November 1868 at Barwick with Elmet, was the first child born to James Kitson and his second wife Elizabeth (née Hutchinson). His christening almost three months later is recorded in the St. John’s Church Roundhay baptism register 1826-1890 :

Kitson Francis Reginald   31 Jan 1869   so James and Elizabeth   engineer  Roundhay, Elmete Hall

At home at Elmete Hall with his parents for the 1871 census, for the next census young Francis (together with his younger brother Sydney) is a pupil at Yarlett Hall, a preparatory boarding school in Stone Road, Yarlett, Staffordshire, the principal of which was Walter Earle, Clergyman. Francis later attended Charterhouse Public School and is recorded in the Charter House Register Vol 1 1872-1910 (Long Quarter 1882) as follows :

Kitson, Francis Reginald. b 8 Nov 1868: 5 s of James Kitson of Elmet Hall, Yorks; (Bodeites-Girdlestoneites); Left O.Q. 1885. Died at Leeds 27 January 1895.

As did a number of Kitsons, Francis went up to Cambridge, entering Corpus Christi in the Michaelmas term of 1887. He obtained a BA in 1890 and his MA in 1895 (which may have been awarded posthumously). Francis, who never married, has not been found in the 1891 Census but, according to the record in the Burial Register below, he was living at 13 Wellclose Place, Leeds when, as noted in the Charterhouse record he died in 1895.

St John's Burial Register 1827-1921 :

Kitson, Francis Reginald                30 Jan 1895         26           Leeds, 13 Wellclose Place

The following memorials are found in St John’s Church, Roundhay :

GG1 Horizontal cross on flat tombstone

Francis Reginald KITSON son of James and Elisabeth KITSON died January 27th 1895 aged 26 years.

Inside St. John's Church, Roundhay.

Ch12 To the Glory of God and in loving memory of Francis Reginald KITSON M.A. Cantab son of James and Elizabeth KITSON of Elmete Hall in the Parish of Barwick in Elmete who died in Leeds on Sunday 27th January 1895 aged 26 years.

Francis must have been in considerable pain and suffering in the months immediately preceding his death and in his last week underwent two operations. The death certificate gives the cause of death as “Abcess in Frontal Sinus left, 4 months? Operation 7 days. Purulent deposit in Cranium 7 days, operation 2 days. His (half) nephew Edward Kitson Clarke was the person recorded as being present at the death.


Eva Margaret Kitson

The event of the birth of Eva Margaret Kitson at Barwick with Elmet, the first of two daughters of James and Elizabeth Kitson, was registered in the Leeds district for the Jan-Mar quarter of 1870.The marriage of Eva Margaret Kitson and Arthur Wickham Swayne took place on 27th April 1897 in St Martin’s Church Scarborough. Arthur was for some time the vicar at St Aidan’s, Potternewton and the couple later moved to North Wales.

Click here for the PDF notes on Eva Margaret Kitson

Sydney Decimus Kitson

Sydney Kitson, born on 26th June 187 and baptised on 7th August of that year at St. John’s Church, Roundhay,  unlike most of the male Kitsons did not join the family firm but qualified and practised as an architect. Having established himself professionally, Sydney, at the age of 31, married Margaret Winifred Tetley of Headingley, on 19th February 1903 at St Michael’s Church Headingley.

Click here for the PDF notes on Sydney Decimus Kitson

Annette Amelia Kitson

Annette Amelia Kitson was the last of four children and the second daughter of James and Elizabeth Kitson. Her birth was registered in the Apr-May quarter of 1873 at Leeds and she was baptised at St John’s Church, Roundhay, on 14th May 1873. Somewhat late in life, on 10th September 1910, Annette married widower John Bromhead Matthews at Scarborough. John had an illustrious career in the legal profession, including time spent in the West Indies and Singapore. Annette took a particular interest in the education and employment of girls in domestic service, and was for some time chairman of the Women’s Sub-Committee of the Tunbridge Wells Local Employment Committee.

Click here for the PDF notes on Annette Amelia Kitson


Descendants of Edward and Thirza Newton

Henry Newton

Henry, the youngest child of Edward and Thirza Newton, was born early in 1854 at East Retford. He was at home with his widowed mother and his two sisters for the 1861 census, at Carolgate, East Retford, and again in 1871, when he was a young man of 22 earning his living as a railway clerk. Perhaps job prospects were better further south, because by 1881 Henry had moved to East Barnet, Hertfordshire, and it was here that he met his future wife, Fanny Poore, whose family had also, at some stage move to the area.

Click here for the PDF notes on Henry Newton


Descendants of James and Margaret Newton

John William Newton

John was the second and middle child of James and Margaret Newton. He spent his young years in Hunslet, where he was listed with the family at 10 Glass House Street for the 1851 Census. Shortly after this his mother Margaret died and in later in the same year his father remarried. . Sometime after 1856 the family had upped sticks and moved to West Ham, London, and by the time of the 1861 census John, now 17 years old, had acquired two much younger step-sisters.  By the 1871 census John William Newton had left home. In fact John had set up home with his new bride, Emily Jenkinson, a local girl, whom he married in the June quarter of 1870.

Click here for the PDF notes on John William Newton


Descendants of Francis and Jane (née Murray) Newton

Francis Edward Newton

Francis Jnr, the eldest child of Francis and Jane Newton, was born between April and June, 1846. His first census appearance was 1851 when he was at home with his parents and two younger brothers at 49 Elmwood Street, Leeds.Ten years later he features, long with a number of boys and girls, at a boarding pupil at the Fulneck Boys Boarding School, Pudsey. In 1874 Francis married Ellen Giesler, who was ten years his senior, in Hastings. Francis's calling, along with his younger brothers, was as a clergyman of the Church of England.

Click here for the PDF notes on Francis Edward Newton

Alfred Seton Newton

Alfred Seton who was born on 27th June 1848, as well as being a clergyman, followed in his father’s footsteps as a teacher. In 1878 he married Ann Atkinson. By 1891 he and Ann were living on the Isle of Man where Alfred had taken up the position of  Headmaster at the Ramsey Grammar School.


Click here for the PDF notes on Alfred Seton Newton

Walter Joseph Newton

It has been much easier to trace the life Alfred’s brother Walter, the third son of Francis and Jane who made his first formal appearance in the 1851 census as a 1 month old baby. Keeping with the family tradition, 1871 finds him in Framlingham, Suffolk, working as a teacher at the Albert Middle Class College. Still unmarried for the 1881 census, Walter now moved to Bradford to teach and it was here that he married Lucy Broughton. By 1901 Walter had taken holy orders and was living at Ripon.

Click here for the PDF notes on Walter Joseph Newton

George Herbert Newton

George was the ‘baby’ of the family being born in 1867 in Leeds to Francis and Jane Newton, nearly 21 years after their first born. Until 1891 George was living at home by which time he had been accepted into the Church and it is a as Curate in Hackney that he is found in the 1891 census, and by the 1901 census he was a married man.

Click here for the PDF notes on George Herbert Newton


Descendants of Mary (née Newton) and John Beetham

Charles Beetham

Charles was born in Leeds on 16th December 1855. He followed his father in the drapery trade. He married his first wife, Clara, in November 1886, emigrated to Australia, and married for the second time, to Bertha Bergin, in Sydney in October 1902.

Click here for the PDF notes on Charles Beetham

Emily Beetham

Emily, the eldest of three daughters of Mary and John Beetham, was born in the Jul-Sep quarter of 1860. In 1886 she married John William Grice, a tailor and draper, at St. Augustine, Wrangthorne, Leeds. Living initially in the York area, the family subsequently moved to Warwick, and by the 1891 census John was listed as a farmer, living at Pattishall, Northamptonshire.

Click here for the PDF notes on Emily Beetham

Louisa Beetham

Louisa Beetham, born in the Oct-Dec quarter of 1861 in Leeds, shortly before her 27th birthday married James Nicholson, son of Thomas Nicholson, silk manufacturer, and Lucy Nicholson. James was a mechanical engineer by profession, and one time manager of a steel works at Bradford.

Click here for the PDF notes on Louisa Beetham

Ada Beetham

Ada was the last of the six known children born to Mary and John Beetham. Her birth was registered in the Jan-Mar 1866 quarter in the Kirkstall district and she was brought up in Leeds. The Beetham family celebrated another wedding in 1890 when Ada married Alfred Taylor, an engineer who excelled at his profession and was subsequently knighted for his services.

Click here for the PDF notes on Ada Beetham


Descendants of Henry and Rebecca (neé Hepple) May

Mary Jane May

Mary was the first known born child of the third generation of Mays. Her birth was registered in Bedale in the Oct-Dec quarter of 1852, within the first year of her parents’ marriage. She was at home for the 1861, 1871 and 1881 census counts, the last of which records her as a 27 year old woman. Mary Jane married relatively late in life - when she was about 34. Her husband, ten years her junior, was George Thomas Linton from a well established brewing family of Kirkby Fleetham. Sadly Mary died within three years of the marriage, and George remarried shortly after.

Click here for the PDF notes on Mary Jane May

Rowland May

I have not found any record of his birth, but Rowland was born about 1855 at Carthorpe. He was at home as a 5 year old scholar in 1861 and as a nurseryman in 1871. By the 1881 census he had married and set up house at  Leyburn, about 12 miles east of Burneston, and the birthplace of his wife. Rowland is listed in an 1893 Kelly Directory as still operating the nursery at Leyburn. Rowland’s death was another May to die relatively young - sometime between 1893 and 1897 as we find his widow Margaret remarried and with a 3 year old child for the 1901 Census.


Click here for the PDF notes on Rowland May

Rebecca May

As an adult, Rebecca seems to have been a great help to her siblings, being found in their various households for the census nights. She was born about 1856 to Henry and Rebecca May, at Carthorpe. She was with her parents for the 1861 and 1871 census and with her older brother Rowland and his wife Margaret for the 1881 census where she was listed as a dressmaker. Ten years later Rebecca is staying with her brother in law, George Linton. Rebecca's sister Mary Jane had recently died - probably in childbirth. Rebecca may have been there for the birth, but was certainly there shortly after to help out.

It would seem that she never married and was found for the 1901 census as a housekeeper for her younger unmarried brother John Henry May and widowed brother William May. They were all listed as residing at the Hope Nurseries, Burneston.

John Henry May                     40    Nurseryman Gard (Employer)             Burneston

Rebecca May (Sister)           41    Housekeeper                                          Burneston

William May (Brother)(Wid)  39   Ex Sergeant Ret (S ?? Account??)     Burneston

Over the census returns there are some vagaries in Rebecca’s age. For example, if she was born about 1856, she would have been about 45 in 1901.


John Henry May

John Henry, the fourth child of Henry and Rebecca, was another of their children who did not marry. It was John Henry who, together with his mother, took over the running of the family business after his father’s death in 1880, and continued to run the Hope Nursery after the death of his mother in 1886. In the 1893 Kelly’s Trade directory which listed brother Rowland’s Leyburn nursery (see above) the Burneston nursery is listed as being operated by May Hy. (execrs of), Burneston, Bedale.

John Henry’s birth was registered at Bedale in the Oct-Dec quarter of 1858. He was with his parents for all the census nights between 1861-1891 – for the first two as a scholar, for 1881 as a nurseryman, and for the last as a traveler (presumably in connection with the Hope Nursery).

By 1901, as seen above, John Henry was the proprietor of the Hope Nurseries, Burneston, being looked after by his sister Rebecca, who was also looking after her recently widowed brother William.


Alfred May

Born in the Apr-Jun quarter of 1860, Alfred made his census debut as a one year old in 1861, and he remained with his family for the next 3 census collections, being listed as a scholar in 1871, as a nurseryman in 1881, and promoted to nursery foreman by 1891 at which time he was 30 years old. By the time of the 1901 census Alfred had married Caroline Richmond and had moved to Halifax where he had found work that utilised his particular talents.

Click here for the PDF notes on Alfred May

William Edmund May

Henry and Rebecca registered the birth in Burneston of William Edmund, their sixth child and fourth son, in the Jan-Mar quarter of 1862. He is recorded as a 5 year old boy at home for the 1871 census, and ten years later as a nurseryman. Where William was for the 1881 census is not known, but it is likely that he may have joined the army. What we do know is that William was in Leeds for the 1891 census, as head of the household at 40 Close Street, North Leeds.

William E May                                   28     Club Storekeeper    Burneston

Elizabeth Hiscox                               35     Housekeeper           Leeds

George W Hiscox (Adopted Son) 12     Scholar                      Leeds

William subsequently married his housekeeper and was widowed shortly thereafter.

Click here for the PDF notes on William Edmund May

Charles May

Charles, presumably named after his uncle who had emigrated to Australia in the early 1850s, was born in Burneston, and his birth was registered at Bedale in the Jan-Mar quarter of 1866. He has been traced through the 1871 and 1881 census when he was at home with his parents but by the time of the next census he had left home. In 1891 he was still involved in the horticultural industry, as a gardener at Old Sleningford Hall, North Stainley, near Ripon. No record has been found of the marriage between Charles May and Catherine Fox which would have occurred sometime between April 1881 and April 1891.

Click here for the PDF notes on Charles May

Frederick May

Frederick was another of the May sons who, having served an apprenticeship with his family at the Hope Nursery, subsequently left home to earn his living elsewhere. Born in 1867, by the 1891 census he was working as a gardener (and later as a waterworks foreman) at Cropston, Leicestershire. His wife Sarah, who he married in 1891, also hailed from the Bedale area.

Click here for the PDF notes on Frederick May

Arthur Hepple May

Arthur was very much the baby of the family, being born in 1875 some twenty three years after his oldest sibling, Mary Jane. He was only 5 years old when his father died in 1880 so the responsibility for his upbringing fell to his mother (assisted presumably by the older children). As for his older brothers, it is likely that the family business, the Hope Nursery, could not support so many qualified sons. On the other hand Arthur may just have wanted to spread his wings and see something of the world outside the Burneston area. Whatever may have spurred him to move, by 1901 he was a Nursery Foreman at Cheadle, Stockport, just south of Manchester. But just before he made the move he married Elizabeth Constantine, a girl from a well established local family.

Click here for the PDF notes on Arthur Hepple May


Descendants of Julia (nee Todd) and John Woodhead

Amy Isabella Woodhead

Amy Isabella Woodhead was born in 1858 in Leeds. She was found with her mother, Julia Woodhead, and her grandmother, Isabella Todd, at the house of the latter in 1871. In 1879 she married John Woodhill, a clerk, at St. Paul’s, Leeds. Via a short stay in Westminster, Amy and John, together with Amy's mother were at Wycombe for the 1901 census and John was now a  poultry farmer, on his own account.

Click here for the PDF notes on Amy Isabella Woodhead

John Charles Woodhead

John Charles was the younger child and only son (as far as has been established) of John and Julia Woodhead. Born in 1861, he makes his first census 'appearance' in 1871, where he is found with his paternal grandparents. At the respective ages of 30 and 28(?) John Woodhead and Margaret Richardson were married in Leeds on 13th October 1892. Subsequently they relocated to West Ham where John was employed as a railway clerk.

Click here for the PDF notes on John Charles Woodhead


Descendants of Clara (née Todd) and James Kay

Ernest E Kay

Ernest (Edwin?) Kay, born about 1865, was the first son born to James and Clara and the first of their children born after the family moved to Southampton. He was with his parents and his sisters Emeline and Maude for the 1871 census.] Between that time and the next census he had lost his mother and may have taken up an apprenticeship in Durham, boarding at 3 Cicero Terrace, Southwick.

Annie Pearson                           30                                                                         Sunderland

Elizabeth Pearson                       8                                                                         Sunderland

John Pearson                              7                                                                         Sunderland

William Daud (Boarder)           20         Bookkeeper, Engine Works              Scotland

Charles T Ratasel (Boarder)  16         Engine fitter upper at works              Barnstaple, Devon

Ernest E Kay (Boarder)            16         Engine Fitter Apprentice at Works   Southampton

Leopold Brown (Boarder)       18          Engine Fitter Apprentice at Works   Hylton, Durham

Mary S Parker                           18          General Servant                                  Wiltshire

No doubt having a number of boarders was a welcome income for the young widow Annie Pearson.

Ernest has not been located in the 1891 census but may have featured in the 1901 census (but note the slight discrepancy in age) as still a bachelor, and a boarder in the household of James Broad at 13 Lausanne Road, Deptford, London.

James Broad                                59         Printer Traveller                         Winford, Somerset

Kate Broad                                    61                                                               Corfe

Ernest E Kay (Boarder)               34         Mechanic and Draughtsman  Southampton

Frederick W Mallett (Boarder)   37         Foreman Engine Fitter             St Heliers, Jersey

Thomas Harper (Boarder)         28         Journeyman Tailor                    Scotland

Maud(e) Kay

Not too much is known about Maude. She was born in Southampton in the first quarter of 1870 and would have been about 6 years old when her mother died. Together with her younger sister Laura, she is located for the 1881 census a girls’ school at Alexandria College, 36 Shirley Road, Stoneham. The head of the establishment is John Sherrett, widower aged 82 and a retired tradesman. His daughter, Emma Sherrett is recorded as being the Principal. There were 33 other scholars enrolled. Apart from a couple of visitors and servants, there were also 3 teachers in residence at the time of the census.

Maud Kay           11      Scholar      Southampton

Laura Kay             8      Scholar       Southampton

Maud(e) appears again the 1891 census, now a young lady of 21, living at home with her father and Charles and Laura. Nothing more has been found for Maud(e) after the 1891 census. She may have married or died before the 1901 census.


Laura Kay

Laura, born in the second quarter of 1872, would have been 3 when her mother died. As noted above, in 1881 she was a pupil at Alexandria College with her older sister Maud(e). For the next two census returns she is living at home with her father. Laura was present at, and was the informant of the death of her father at home at South Stoneham on 5th February 1909. No further record has been found for Laura.


Charles R Kay

Charles Ray Kay, the youngest child of James and Clara, was born in the first quarter of 1876 and would have no memory of his mother, who died in the same quarter. As a very small boy of 5 he is found in 1881 as a boarder with the Gardiner family at 6 and 7 Orchard Road, Southampton.

William Henry Gardiner             57    Superintendent of Fire Brigade      Leeds

Emma Maria Gardiner              42                                                                  Poplar, Middlesex

Alice Martha Gardiner               17    Dressmaker                                        Southampton

Eliza Ethel Gardiner                   15    Scholar                                                Southampton

Bessie Constance Gardiner    13     Scholar                                                Southampton

Charles Ray Kay                          5      Boarder                                                Southampton

William Gardiner was born in Leeds and was about the same age as James Kay. It is interesting to speculate whether there was a family connection or whether they were old acquaintances. Regardless, James would have appreciated the Gardiners’ willingness to look after his young son. Charles appears again the 1891 census, living at home with his father and Maud and Laura. A possible ‘sighting’ for him has been made in the 1901 census as a 25 year old single man, boarding with the Washington family at 29 North Road, Deptford. His name was transcribed as Charles Ray, but the date and place of birth tally and, perhaps to substantiate this at ‘our’ Charles Ray Kay is the fact that the Ernest Kay mentioned above as also living at Deptford in 1901 may have been his brother Ernest.

Thomas Washington                  50      Marine Engineer              Romford, Essex

Mary Washington                         50                                                  Sutton, Surrey

Ernest Washington                      19      Solicitors Clerk                Croydon, Surrey

George Rayson (Boarder)(W)   60      House Decorator             Norfolk

John Ross (Boarder)                   35      Marine Engineer             Scotland

Charles Ray (Kay) (Boarder)     25      Railway Porter                  Southampton

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Parish Registers
First Generation
Second Generation
Third Generation
Fourth Generation
Fifth Generation

Sixth Generation
Fretwell Offshoots
Seventh Generation

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This page was last updated on 08 April, 2011