Friday, 8 February 2008

Remember When - a Daglish research story

This week I was sent a copy of "Remember When", a monthly magazine on local history covering Newcastle and the North East. Included in this issue is a story about a Daglish family - and how an interest in finding about their family history has brought together cousins living many miles apart.

The story starts in July 2007 when Stuart Daglish, who lives in Doncaster, came across some old letters which started his interest.

Stuart knew that his father, John Francis Daglish, was from Byker in Newcastle. His father never spoke much about his childhood, except to say that he was brought 130 miles south to Doncaster from Newcastle when he was aged about 13 by someone called Elizabeth Machin and her husband. Stuart's father died in 1987, and all that Stuart had to start with was his father's old, tattered and taped birth certificate, an old photograph of his grandfather in uniform and two old letters from the only known sibling.

Stuart's grandfather, John Maddison Daglish, was born in Gateshead in 1884 and died of wounds in 1915 whilst serving in Gallipoli with the Northumberland Fusiliers. Stuart's grandmother, Theresa Daglish (nee Francis), later re-married but died in childbirth in 1922.

Stuart placed an advert in the Newcastle Chronicle looking for family members brought immediate results. He remembers:

"Three days later one of my cousins replied. She had not seen the advertisement. It was a friend of one of her daughters who read it and rushed round to their house. We had a three hour telephone conversation that Friday night and she put me in touch with other cousins. I went up to Newcastle in September to meet them and they are all wonderful people, and we are now in touch regularly. It is wonderful to discover you have new enlarged family you were not aware of."

Pictured (left to right) Kathleen Nelson, Betty Garner, Stuart Daglish and Pat Whitton.

Betty Garner is the daughter of Henry Butcher and Isabella Daglish. Kathleen Nelson and Patricia Whitton are daughters of Thomas McKane and Catherine Daglish.

Pat has been working with Stuart on the research, spending many hours in the Tyne & Wear Archives at the Discovery Museum in Newcastle, looking not just at family records but also at where their ancestors lived and the social conditions in those times.

Stuart got in touch with me at the end of last year when he was trying to find out about his great great grandfather James Daglish who married Isabella Wheatley in 1844. James was proving hard to track down, but I was able to put Stuart in touch with Elaine, also descended from James and Isabella, who had found a possible answer to this mystery and extended the research on the family back to the parish of Whickham in the late 17th century.

Stuart and Pat hope that the article in "Remember When" might result in more contacts with relatives and people who knew the family. If you would like to get in touch with Stuart and Pat, please contact me at the e-mail address in the Profile section and I will be happy to pass on your details, or leave a Comment below.

My thanks to Pat for sending me the magazine and photos, and to Stuart for the details he has provided to the Daglish One-Name Study.

Remember When is published monthly by The Evening Chronicle and aims to record the recent history of the North East through the memories of local people.

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