The photograph is really a mystery. Cousins of my mother Jean posted the photograph to her and asked if she could identify the lady. The only information on the photograph was the name of the studio - W.N. Tollerton's of Cornhill, Lincoln. The advertisement that is shown below is taken out of a Lincolnshire Trade Directory of 1863. It seems to indicate that the studio had been open for sometime which does not really assist me in narrowing the date of the photo down

It may have been a portrait of my great grandfather Alonzo's mother ANN HEMSWORTH. She was the wife of WILLIAM HEMSWORTH and was born in Hull circa 1820. Our side of the HEMSWORTH family is centred on the Gainsborough area of Lincolnshire. There is a story that has been passed down the family that the HEMSWORTH's were in some way related to a family called NUNNINGTON that owned a farm in the Gainsborough area. My mother's Aunty Connie (my grandfathers youngest sister) remembers references to a "Grandmother Nunnington".

For quite sometime I could not find no trace of the marriage but eventually I found that William and Ann were married in the March quarter of 1841 in their home town of Gainsborough. The FreeBMD site had transcribed them as WILLIAM HUNSWORTH and ANN MUNNINGTON (PRO REF Vol 14 Page 404). No wonder I had problems !. Ann's maiden name was confirmed as NUNNINGTON on my great grandfather ALONZO's  birth certificate in 1857.

And then in March 2006, thanks to the efforts of "The Original Sheffield Indexers" I located the burial site and grave reference of ANN HEMSWORTH in City Road Cemetery Sheffield

Hemsworth, Ann (Married, age 68).

    Died at 40 Richard Road; Buried on March 9, 1886 in Consecrated ground;
    Grave Number 13881, Section Y of City Road Cemetery, Sheffield.


And so on Easter Tuesday 18th April 2006, I visited City Road Cemetery in the hope of locating my great great grandmothers grave. After quite a search I eventually found it. The headstone had been drastically reduced in size and laid flat. Etched into what remained of the stone was the grave number 13881. Over a year later in June 2007. I discovered that also buried with Ann was her husband and my great great grandfather WILLIAM HEMSWORTH who outlived his wife by seven years

Hemsworth, William (Coal Miner, age 73)

Died at 40 Richard Road; Buried on May 10 1893 in Consecrated ground;
    Grave Number 13881, Section Y of City Road Cemetery, Sheffield.


Another possibility relating to the mystery photograph is that it may have been one of my great grandfather's sisters. To date I only know of one again called ANN (named after her mother) who married a THOMAS HOLDING in Hull, East Yorkshire in 1867 and had a son also called William a year later in 1868. WILLIAM was born in Gainsborough, Lincoln, England and so that would place Alonzo's sister in the area circa 1870. 

The final possibility is that it may even be ANN NUNNINGTION nee ANDERSON (1793 - 1878) who is my great great great grandmother and the wife of JOHN BRADLEY NUNNINGTON. This possibility only became a reality in the autumn of 2007 when I received information that placed ANN in the area prior to 1871.

At the moment I am open -minded but if forced I would say that given her late husband's occupation - master coachbuilder, the style of dress and the approximate age of the women in the photo I would favour the final possibility, namely, that the person in the photo is ANN NUNNINGTON nee ANDERSON (1793 - 1878.    

If anyone can supply me with any further information, I'd be extremely grateful - this is in all probability one of the earliest photographs I have of my mother's Hemsworth - Nunnington ancestors.

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This page was last updated on 17/05/11 10:48