THE SHIRT FAMILY - SHEFFIELD and DERBYSHIRE

For a number of years I found that this line in my family history the most perplexing. I knew that my great grandparents Fred and Florence Shirt (nee Wood) were married at St Georges Church Sheffield on 9th October 1898. At the time of their marriage Fred was 21 and Florence 2 years younger and were living on St Philips Road in Sheffield. Fred's occupation was given on the marriage certificate as Plate Layer. The other interesting fact on the certificate is that both Fred and Florence's fathers were marked as deceased at the time of the wedding. JOSEPH WOOD whose occupation was given as a Slater was Florence's father and HENRY SHIRT whose occupation was given as a Printer was Fred's.

I could not find any information on HENRY until I obtained his son's (and my great grandfather FRED's birth certificate) dated 1877. He was named as the father but under the Christian name of HARRY. His mother was called SARAH EMMA SHIRT and so a check of the GRO Indexes revealed that a HARRY SHIRT and SARAH EMMA WORTHINGTON were married in the June quarter of 1873 Sheffield Volume 9C Page 569. I sent for the marriage certificate and found that they were married on 26th May 1873 at the Parish Church in Sheffield. HARRY was 21 years old and his bride SARAH two years younger. Both HARRY and SARAH gave their addresses as South Street The Moor and HARRY gave his occupation as Printer.

In December 2007, I located the following burial record in Sheffield's General Cemetery which is displayed below. He was buried as HARRY

Burial Record
burial no: 6241
grave no: B3 24
death date: 19 Jan 1877
burial date: 23 Jan 1877
name: Harry Shirt
sex: Male
age: 24
cause of death:  
description: Printer
birthplace:  
residence: 3 Pear Street, West
parents:  
informant:  
minister: George Sandford
burial type: consecrated

The cause of death is given as Phthisis - which is the Greek for  Tuberculosis  - "a disease characterized by the wasting away or atrophy of the body or a part of the body - usually associated with the lungs. The term is no longer in scientific use". 

But was even more surprising is that four months later, the grave was reopened to place Harry's son alongside him. I had no idea that Harry and Sarah had a son, never mind one who had died at such an early age. He would have course been my great grandfather's elder brother had he lived

Burial Record
burial no: 6518
grave no: B3 24
death date: 15 May 1877 (Tuesday)
burial date: 19 May 1877 (Saturday)
name: Harry Shirt
sex:  
age: 1
cause of death:  
description: Son of Henry Shirt, Printer
birthplace:  
residence: 9 Court, Hodgson Street
parents:  
informant:  
minister: George Sandford
burial type: consecrated

The cause of death in his son is given as "tabes mesentrica" - Tuberculosis of the mesenteric and retroperitoneal lymph nodes which in children causes chronic inflammation of the lymph glands and they literally waste away

This tragedy was compounded when in March 2009 I discovered that there had been a daughter who also died at 1 year old (GRO Ref June quarter Sheffield 1875 registered as Gertrude Emma)

Sheffield General Cemetery - Grave Reference E163

Emma Gertrude SHIRT
Daughter of Henry Shirt, Compositor, 3 Pear Street West
age: 1, buried: (Wednesday) 5 Apr 1876

There were twenty other people of all ages in the grave

But in April 2009, the grave revealed more secrets. Thanks to the efforts of Sheffield Records Online, the grave contained not only HARRY and his son but

Grave: B3 24

John RODGERS Cutler, 11 Court, Hodgson Street age: 65, buried: 2 Apr 1876

Francis ROWAN Daughter of Charles Rowan, Fitter, 29 Avenue Road age: 5m, buried: 31 Oct 1902 (see note below)

Harry SHIRT Son of Henry Shirt, Printer, 9 Court, Hodgson Street age: 1, buried: 19 May 1877 - Harry died of "Tabes Mesenterica" which is tuberculosis of the mesenteric and retroperitoneal lymph nodes inside the abdomen. An illness of children caused by drinking milk from cows infected with tuberculosis. Now uncommon as milk is pasteurised .

Harry SHIRT Printer, 3 Pear Street, West age: 24, buried: 23 Jan 1877 died of  tuberculosis

Arthur SIDDALL Cashier, 37 Fenton Ville Street age: 36, buried: 19 Feb 1884

William WORTHINGTON Pauper, Ecclesall Union age: 59, buried: 2 May 1907

Note: Francis is the daughter of Charles Henry Rowan & Ada Shirt, Ada being the first child of Harry Shirt & Sarah Worthington. Ada and Charles married 4th quarter of 1897 in Sheffield. This information was supplied by a distant relation and it was the first time I knew that my great grandfather FRED SHIRT had an elder sister

It was the SIDDALL that shocked me. My grandad's SIDNEY HEMSWORTH's elder sister Gertrude HEMSWORTH first marriage was to SYDNEY SIDDALL who was the son of the said Arthur SIDDALL. Now my gran LILY SHIRT is the grand-daugher of HARRY which means that the HEMSWORTHS-SHIRTS-SIDDALLS families must have known other for years prior to their marriage in 1923

WILLIAM WORTHINGTON is of course SARAH SHIRT (WARRINGTON)'s brother

AND JOHN RODGERS is I believe HARRY's UNCLE. His mothers maiden name was MARY RODGERS before she married WILLIAM SHIRT. A check on the IGI index reveals that JOHN had the same parents as MARY that is WILLIAM and LUCY

JOHN RODGERS Birth:
09 APR 1811 Christening 22 MAY 1811   Cathedral Saint Peter, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England
Parents:Father:  WILLIAM RODGERS Mother:  LUCY

Source Information:
Batch No.:  Dates:  Source Call No.:  Type:  Printout Call No.:  Type: C150522  1809 - 1812  0919327   Film  6909644   Film Sheet: 00

1841 CENSUS

Rodgers, Alfred of Greens Square Charles Lane, Sheffield South. Aged 20
years.     (Piece #1337/5, folio 37a, enumeration district 10.)
Rodgers, Elisa of Greens Square Charles Lane, Sheffield South. Aged 15
years.(Piece #1337/5, folio 37a, enumeration district 10.)
Rodgers, Henry of Greens Square Charles Lane, Sheffield South. Aged 14
years.(Piece #1337/5, folio 37a, enumeration district 10.)
Rodgers, Lucy of Greens Square Charles Lane, Sheffield South. Aged 55 years.
(Piece #1337/5, folio 37a, enumeration district 10.)
Rodgers, William of Greens Square Charles Lane, Sheffield South. Aged
55 years.(Piece #1337/5, folio 37a, enumeration district 10.)

It is my belief that it was JOHN who purchased the grave when he died in 1876.

However there is a very sad, and unexpected, ending to this part of my research. It also confirms that HARRY never saw his younger son FRED and his brief time with his eldest son HARRY was bedevilled by Tuberculosis. And what of Sarah, his wife. After her daughter dies the previous year, she then loses her husband, her young son and is heavily pregnant at the same time. It puts the problems of today into perspective!

The 1873 marriage certificate of HARRY and SARAH also gave the name of HARRY's father and my great great great grandfather, WILLIAM SHIRT. He is noted on the certificate as being a Sand Merchant. A check of 1881 UK Census revealed the following information

Source Information: Dwelling Club Gardens Census Place Ecclesall Bierlow, York, England
Family History Library Film 1342119 Public Records Office Reference RG11 Piece / Folio 4635 / 142 Page Number 19

Name Relation Marital Status Gender Age Birthplace Occupation Disability
William (Sr) SHIRT Head M Male 72 Barlow, Derby, England Sand Dealer
Mary SHIRT Wife M Female 72 Sheffield, York, England
Arthur SHIRT Son U Male 31 Sheffield, York, England

But shortly after the census their son Arthur SHIRT died. There is a grave in Sheffield's General Cemetery - D3 95 and an entry in the Burial register Arthur SHIRT - Son of William Shirt, Cowkeeper, Club Gardens Walk age: 31, buried: 12 Jun 1881.  The same grave also contains his older brother Frederick SHIRT who died 19 years earlier - Son of William Shirt, Cowkeeper, Club Garden Walk age: 14, buried: 31 Aug 1862. Quite why WILLIAM describes himself as a Sand Dealer and not a Cowkeeper in the Census's is not clear.

As a footnote their mother was buried in the same grave - Mary SHIRT Wife of William Shirt ,Carter, Bookers Yard, London Road age: 77, buried: 25 Jul 1886 - William is now a Carter!
 

A further check on an earlier census 1851 showed not only HARRY's parents but also his older brothers and sisters. HARRY was born two years later in 1853 (2337, Folio: 563) - name age relation city place

William SHIRT 40 head YKS Sheffield
Mary SHIRT 42 wife YKS Sheffield
**Benjamin SHIRT 16 son YKS Sheffield
Ellen SHIRT 14 daughter YKS Sheffield
Sarah SHIRT 10 daughter YKS Sheffield
Elizabeth SHIRT 8 daughter YKS Sheffield
*William SHIRT 6 son YKS Sheffield
Frederick SHIRT 3 son YKS Sheffield
Arthur SHIRT 1 son YKS Sheffield

I was also informed by a distant relation in 2008 that there were an older brother and sister that were no longer living with the family. In April 2009 I found there baptism records

    Shirt, John (of Sheffield, born 1833-05-03).
     Baptised October 27, 1833, by E Goodwin at Sheffield Parish Church, Church Street, Sheffield.
     Parents name(s) are Mary & William (edge tool maker).
    Shirt, Mary Ann (of Sheffield, born 1831-09-18).
     Baptised October 27, 1833, by E Goodwin at Sheffield Parish Church, Church Street, Sheffield.
     Parents name(s) are Mary & William (edge tool maker).

There is a slight discrepancy in the age of WILLIAM in the 1851 and 1881 Censuses but there is no doubt that they are one and the same person. If the age on the 1851 census is correct then there is a reference to a WILLIAM SHIRT being christened in Barlow Derbyshire on 15th September 1811. (IGI Batch No 8317233 Sheet 12 Source Call No 1395570)

Given the small size and rural nature of the village - it is about four miles north west from the Derbyshire town of Chesterfield and the same from the border with Yorkshire, - and the relatively unusual name for the area I am convinced that this is a correct reference to my great great great grandfather's christening at the local Parish Church of St Lawrence's. If that is the case there is a reference that cites WILLIAM's father as being called JOHN SHIRT.

Photographs of St Lawrence Church, Barlow, Derbyshire taken December 2007

Going back to HARRY's marriage to SARAH EMMA WORTHINGTON in May 1873, her father goes by the resplendent name of CHARLES OCTAVIUS WORTHINGTON whose occupation is noted as being an Auctioneer and Valuer. The only references I have been able are

1. IGI individual record -  CHARLES OCTAVIUS WORTHINGTON born 23rd June 1820 and christened nearly three weeks later on 10th July 1820 at the High Pavement Presbyterian Church in Nottingham. Whether or not this is my great great great grandfather remains to be seen but it may turn out to be an interesting line as the parents of CHARLES are given as CHARLES and MARY (WORTHINGTON)

2. The FREEBMD website records the following entry for a marriage in 1842

Surname First name(s)         District Vol Page
Marriages Mar 1842
RAWSON Hannah               Rotherham 22 272
WORTHINGTON Charles Rotherham 22 272

Charles died at the age of 46 in Stockport, Lancashire

Deaths Sep 1867 Worthington Charles 46 Stockport Volume 8a Page 44. His wife HANNAH may have outlived him  - Deaths Mar 1885
Worthington Hannah 66 Stockport 8a 2 but I need to verify this record 

Notes

*Harry's elder brother WILLIAM SHIRT

1881 Census - Source Information: Dwelling Club Gardens Census Place Ecclesall Bierlow, York, England FHLFilm 1342119 Public Records Office Reference RG11 Piece / Folio 4635 / 142
Page Number 19

Household: Name Relation Marital Status Gender Age Birthplace Occupation Disability
William (Jr) SHIRT Head M Male 35 Sheffield, York, England Carter (Harry's elder brother)
Sarah SHIRT (nee BAYLISS) Wife M Female 36 Sheffield, York, England Silver Burnisher
Lily SHIRT Daur Female 13 Sheffield, York, England Scholar
 

** Harry's eldest brother BENJAMIN SHIRT

1881 Census - Source Information: Dwelling 122 Young St Census Place Ecclesall Bierlow, York, England FHLFilm 1342118 Public Records Office Reference RG11 Piece / Folio 4631 / 104 Page Number 8

Household: Name Relation Marital Status Gender Age Birthplace Occupation Disability

Benjamin SHIRT Head M Male 46 Sheffield, York, England Edge Tool Striker
Esther SHIRT Wife M Female 47 Sheffield, York, England (nee BOWER)
Benjamin. SHIRT Son U Male 22 Sheffield, York, England Table Blade Forger
Henry SHIRT Son U Male 19 Sheffield, York, England Table Blade Forger
Fred SHIRT Son U Male 17 Sheffield, York, England Table Blade Forger
Elizabeth. SHIRT Daughter Female 13 Sheffield, York, England
Frank SHIRT Son Male 10 Sheffield, York, England Scholar
Sarah A. SHIRT Daughter Female 7 Sheffield, York, England Scholar
Flora SHIRT Daughter Female 4 Sheffield, York, England Scholar

The burial records of Sheffield's City Road Cemetery reveal the following entries

SHIRT, Ben (Edge Tool Striker, age 67).
     Died at 124 Young St; Buried on February 3, 1902 in Consecrated ground;
     Grave Number 8986, Section T of City Road Cemetery, Sheffield.
 
SHIRT, Esther (widow, age 77).
     Died at 124 Young St; Buried on December 9, 1911 in Consecrated ground;
     Grave Number 8986, Section T of City Road Cemetery, Sheffield.
SHIRT, Harry Woolhouse (Blade forger, age 32).
     Died at 124 Young St; Buried on December 2, 1911 in Consecrated ground;
     Grave Number 8994, Section T of City Road Cemetery, Sheffield.

Grave D3/95 - Sheffield General Cemetery

Mary SHIRT (HARRY'S MOTHER) Wife of William Shirt ,Carter, Bookers Yard, London Road age: 77, buried: 25 Jul 1886

Frederick SHIRT (HARRYS BROTHER) Son of William Shirt, Cowkeeper, Club Garden Walk age: 14, buried: 31 Aug 1862

Arthur SHIRT (HARRYS BROTHER) Son of William Shirt, Cowkeeper, Club Gardens Walk age: 31, buried: 12 Jun 1881


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This page was last updated on 25/02/11 15:22