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Forum Home > Other Crimes and Punishments. > A Worcestershire Mystery.

Terry B
Member
Posts: 2

My family history research suggests that my paternal great-grandfather was Josiah Pearson Taylor who was born in Halesowen c1831. On 11th February 1856 he married Elizabeth Davis (Or Davies) at St Thomas Dudley. Elizabeth was born in Rhuddlan Flint c1830. In the 1851 census she was lodging with a family on Springhill Halesowen near to where Josiah (Or Joseph) was living.

In 1861 Joseph & Elizabeth were living on  Hagley St Halesowen.

Something obviously happen with the couple between 1861 and 1871, because in the 1871 census Joseph was living with Ann , the widow of John Brooks. Ann was nee Cooper of Clent.

I could find no trace of Elizabeth Taylor (Nee Davis) in the 1871 census.

In 1881 Elizabeth Taylor is locked up in Woking Womens Prison for the criminally insane. The entry reads

" Elizabeth Taylor aged 52 - Nailmaker- Born Rhuddlan Flintshire "

 The mystery to me is, what caused her to be locked up ??

 

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March 17, 2013 at 9:45 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
Site Owner
Posts: 1404

Well Terry, according to the records, one Elizabeth Taylor, was convicted at Worcester Assizies, on the 15th July, 1863, of Manslaughter. The term imposed on her was one of Life Imprisonment, given the conditions in Prison at the time, I'm not surprised that she may have finished up in a Lunatic Asylum. In 1881 though, she was in Knaphill Womens Prison, in Woking, Surry. There is a bit of a mystery concerning her age as well. In 1861, she gives it as 27, but in the records for 1881, its listed as 52, so she was actually born in 1829/1830. As you know, Nailers were very poor folk, and that conviction may have involved the death of a child, there were non listed in the 1861 records. A search through the Midland Chronicle, or Barrows Worcestershire Journal, may throw a bit more light on her crime. If I find anything else, I will let you know.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

March 17, 2013 at 11:38 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
Site Owner
Posts: 1404

There are times when you don't have enough hours in the day to properly research things, so the best thing to do, is put it aside for a while, and pick it up at a later date. Which is exactly what I have done with this Worcestershire Mystery. Only it isn't really a mystery at all, just a rather poor piece of family research. Sorry Terry, but making the assumption. just because someone couldn't find the name in Marriage records, is a step in the wrong direction. Your relatives name was most definately Josiah Taylor, he didn't at any stage suddenly change it to Joseph, nor did he get married in Dudley, for that was Joseph Taylor, a Dudley born Miner, who married an Elizabeth Davis, a Dudley born Nailer, in 1856. And the couple presumably lived happily ever after. So, not only do you have the wrong Taylor in your records, you also have the wrong Elizabeth Taylor, ( Maiden name Davies ) who was indeed born in Wales, and ended up in an Asylum. It may be that you should go back to the records you may have found online, for they are most surely, incorrect.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

February 5, 2014 at 3:26 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Terry B
Member
Posts: 2

Many thanks for your efforts, but I am not yet convinced. In virtually all of the census Josiah has been converted to Joseph. I always assumed that this was because in answer to the enumerators question, What is your husbands name, the answer would be Joe. My granddad who was Josiah was also shown in 1881 as Joseph. Another assumption that I have made is that having found no marriage between Josiah, and my gt grandmother Ann-Cooper- Brooks- Taylor there was some reason preventing this i.e. an earlier marriage for Josiah Pearson Taylor.

December 26, 2014 at 8:00 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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