The Many, Many Schofields

52 in 52 Challenge:  Week 7

Family Group Sheets (FGS) are forms that are used by genealogists to track families.  Each has three generations listed on it.  The husband and wife have the most detailed information, but their parents are listed, and so are all of the couple’s children.  Once the children are married, they each get a family group sheet of their own.

I keep my FGS filed in three-ring binders.  Families are sorted alphabetically by last name.

A couple of years ago, I did a “Genealogy Do-Over”.  The purpose was to force myself to validate the information that is in my family tree.  My process was to take a blank FGS and begin researching as I do every time I uncover a new name.  I only listed information for which, I had a source.

It took me many months to complete my do-over, and once I was “done“, I wasn’t really done because I hadn’t touched the Schofields.  Oh, I had tried several times.  I would open up the binder to the Schofield section, and I would re-read the form to determine which couple to put on the clean FGS.  And then, my head would start to hurt and within 15 minutes, I was hopelessly confused, so I would quit.

Last summer as I was working my way through the binder, I came to the Schofields — again.  This time, I was bound and determined to stick with them.  I was going to straighten them out – once and for all.  It took weeks, but I did it.  Ta-Da!!  Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to introduce you to my Schofields.  (*For family members following along, the Schofields are on Harry Malcolm’s side of the family.  Bolded people are our direct ancestors.)

William Schofield christened (chrs) 7 Apr 1801 in Saddleworth, Yorkshire, England.  His first marriage was to Maria Whiteley on 16 Feb 1825 in Saddleworth.  They had the following children all born and christened in Saddleworth:

  1.  James, chrs 25 Dec 1825, buried 12 March 1827
  2. James, chrs 28 Jan 1827, died around 1892 in Oldham, Lancashire, England.
  3.  Hannah, b 5 Jul 1829
  4. William Whiteley, chrs 17 Jul 1831, buried 13 Jan 1835
  5. William, chrs 22 May 1836, bu 2 May 1844
  6. Hannah Maria, b. 24 Jan 1839
  7. Ann, b. 19 Feb 1841

Maria died in childbirth and was buried on 23 Feb 1841.   William remarried to Mary Ann Hinchcliffe on 30 June 1844.  They had the following children:

  1.    8.  Elizabeth, b. 1843
  2.    9.  Ann, b. 1845
  3.   10.  Samuel, b. 1848
  4.   11.  Jane b. 1850

Mary Ann dies in August of 1853, and William remarries on 24 July 1855 to Betty (Whitworth) Ashton, a widow.  She has a son named Samuel Ashton, b. 1846, and William and Betty have two children together.

  1.   12.  Joseph, b. 1857
  2.   13.  John, b. 1859

The evidence found supports that these 13 children are all William’s, and yes, he is 58 years old at the birth of his last child.  There are three other children who may, or may not be William’s.  There is not sufficient documentation to conclusively say one way or the other, so I have not included them on the list.

Following just James (#2 above).  Again, he was born in 1827 and chrs in 1828.  By 1851, James has married Eliza, although I have not been able to determine her ancestry.  James and Eliza have the following children:

  1.  William, b. 1852
  2. Sarah Ann, b. 1857, Stayley
  3. Fred, b. 1859, Saddleworth
  4. Emma, b. 1861, Carbrook
  5. Hannah, b. 1865, Saddleworth or Mossley
  6. Mary Alice, b. 1867

In the 1871 England census, James is listed as a widow, so Eliza dies sometime between 1861 and 1871.  James then marries Sophia (Sykes) Parkin, a widow, on 1 March 1874 in Ashton-under-Lyne, England.  Sophia has a child named Joseph Sykes that she had out of wedlock on 19 Dec 1855 at the age of 17.  She also has two children from her first marriage to Thomas Parkin, Elizabeth and Dick, but neither survives infancy.  James and Sophia have two daughters together —

  1.    7. Ann, b. 8 Jul 1875, Mossley.  She marries Thomas Slater on 15 July 1899.  They have one daughter, Alice, b. in 1902.  They then immigrate to the United States.  Alice dies in 1909 and Ann dies in 1916.  Ann is buried in the same cemetery as John Malcolm.
  2.   8.  Eliza, b. 4 March 1877, Stayley, Ashton-under-Lyne, England.  Eliza marries John Edward Malcolm 22 Dec 1900.  They have a son, Harry Douglas, and immigrate to the United States.  John dies in 1912 and is buried in Moshassuck Cemetery, Central Falls, Providence, Rhode Island.  Sometime between 1912 and 1920 (no marriage record has been found), Eliza has remarried to John Sladden Dawson; however, by 1921, he too, has died.  Eliza lives in New Bedford until her death in 1961.


Written out this way, the Schofield lines seem fairly straight-forward.  This list in no way reflects the complexities of sorting out which children were born into which marriage, and which were born outside of marriage.  There are literally scores of James and William Schofields born in Saddleworth in the timeframe I was looking at.  Take William’s family — With his first nine children, he has two named James, two named William, two Hannahs, and two Anns.  Very helpful!   Birth, death, and marriage certificates did not become required until the mid-1800s.  The documentation on these events is through christening, burials, and marriage records within the parish churches, and it is only in rare cases where a parent’s name is given.  Without this corroborating information, it is difficult to ensure you are following “the right” person.   Census records didn’t begin until 1841, so wills are usually your best bet for a listing of family members, but my families were usually too poor to have need of a will.

In any event, after countless hours of research over several weeks, I believe the vital and census records I’ve found support these lines as “My Schofields”.


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