Help sought with family tree

Date published: 24 September 2018


I am trying to help my cousin research the paternal line of her family tree. 

Her father was born Henry Stuart Lawrence on 26th September 1917 in 63 Norwood, Beverley, Yorkshire.

However, his mother, Christina Lawrence, did not register the birth until a month later, when she was living at 179, Minor Street, Failsworth.

On Christmas day 1917, baby Henry was "given away" (formal adoption did not begin until 1926/7) to John W. Gaskell and his wife, Elizabeth Ann (nee Steele).

The only documents we have are the birth certificate and a poignant letter, witnessed by health worker, Emma Anderton, asking the new parents to look after her baby.

I cannot find any Christina Lawrences living in Failsworth in 1911.

There are about 28 Christinas of about the correct age in 1917 all over the country. I have narrowed these down to about 4 but I have nothing definitive.

I have researched the people living in 63 Norwood, but there does not seem to be a connection. Unfortunately I do not know who lived in 179 Minor St. in 1917.

In 1915 it was a William Heald but I know nothing of him. In 1911 it was Erwin and Ida Dewhurst. 

I have looked at Emma Anderton, the health worker. Her maiden name was Riley and in 1911 she lived at 49 Main St. Failsworth with daughter, Ivy May and son Leslie.

She also had another daughter, Beatrice. Emma came from Newton Heath. Although the Gaskells lived in Huddersfield in 1911 John was born in Halifax and then the family moved to Oldham.

The line going back to Solomon Gaskell. Elizabeth Ann came from Stoke on Trent. 

Henry Stuart's name was changed to John Gaskell.

I do wonder if hid father was perhaps name Henry Stuart.

He could have been a young soldier who was killed during 1917 in the war.

I would be so grateful for any information which would set us on our journey to fill in the black hole in my cousin's background.

I have found many generations on her mother's side but her father is a complete blank

Ann Simcock

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The views expressed are those of the author of the letter and not those of Oldham Chronicle.