Category Archives: Yorkshire

Sheffield, Yorkshire

Sheffield (i/ˈʃɛfiːld/) is a city and metropolitan borough in South Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, its name derives from the River Sheaf, which runs through the city. With some of its southern suburbs annexed from Derbyshire, the city has grown from its largely industrial roots to encompass a wider economic base. The population of the City of Sheffield is 551,800 (2011 est.) and it is one of the eight largest regional English cities that make up the Core Cities Group. Sheffield is the third largest English district by population. The metropolitan population of Sheffield is 1,569,000.

Paulina GREEN

Paulina GREEN was born in 1849 at Sheffield Union Workhouse, the daughter of Thomas aka John* GREEN and Sarah (née O’LOUGHLIN, later PIKE).

On the 1851 Census, Thomas and Sarah were listed at Spring Street in Sheffield, with Sarah’s two sons Joseph and William Pike, Paulina’s older sister Sarah, two lodgers, James and Jane Broadhurst, and a child named Sarah Plumpton who is listed as granddaughter to the head of the household.

By 1861, Sarah has apparently died – Thomas remarried to a Naomi O’BRIEN the previous year – and the family are living at Maltravers Road in Sheffield.  Joseph is now listed as a Green, Sarah is not with her father but there is also an 8yr old son of Thomas called James, and a 40yr old boarder named Matthew Green who is possibly a brother of Thomas’s.

Paulina married John CHAMBERS in 1870 in Sheffield.

* Paulina’s father’s name is given as Thomas across all censuses, but he is named as John on her marriage certificate.


John CHAMBERS was born in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, in about 1849. He was the son of the rather wonderfully named Thomas Mordecai Sherwin Chambers and Charlotte (née SMITH, poor girl!).

He is featured on the 1851 census as the youngest child with three SMITH lodgers, who I believe to be Charlotte’s brother, sister-in-law and nephew, and his older sisters Sabina and Mary.

In the 1861 he is still living with his parents in Ilkeston, along with his sister Mary and 4 younger siblings – Hannah, Thomas, Samuel and William.

He married Paulina GREEN in 1870 in Sheffield. In 1871 the newly married couple were living in what looks to me like Hayle (or Hazle?) Road in Attercliffe-cum-Darnall and  their first child John Thomas arrived the following year.

By 1881, John and Paulina had moved to Worksop, Nottinghamshire, and were living at 112 Potter Street.

In 1891, they were back in Yorkshire, at West Bank in Hoyland.

By 1901, they were still in Hoyland, on Broad Street, where they remained in 1911, at number 3, which went on to be the home of their grandson (Mary Ethel’s son) Albert Lodge. I didn’t know this at the time, but after Albert died, the wake took place at 3 Broad Street.

Hoyland, Yorkshire

Hoyland is a town near Barnsley in Northern England. The town developed from the hamlets of Upper Hoyland, Hoyland, and Hoyland Common.

The town has also been known as Nether Hoyland. That name was given to it to prevent confusion with High Hoyland. When the urban district council was formed the name they used was Hoyland Nether Urban District Council. This was also applied to the area run by Hoyland UDC. However, most locals have always known it simply as Hoyland.

Hoyland is part of the metropolitan borough of Barnsley in the metropolitan county of South Yorkshire, but it lies within the historic boundaries of West Riding of Yorkshire. In 2001 it had a population of 15,497.


Maud was one of my great-grandmothers. She was born in the third quarter of 1886 to Thomas and Jemimah (née Bradley), and her birth was registered in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.

In 1891, the 2 year old Maud was at home (near the Milton Brampton Iron Works in Hoyland Nether) with her parents, aged 27 and 23, and her uncle Arthur – her mother’s brother, aged 32 – who was visiting at the time of the census.

By 1901, the family were living at 12 High Street, Hoyland, and 12 yr old Maud had been joined by two siblings – George aged 9 and Marion aged 7.

They were still at 12 High Street in 1911, with no further additions to the family.

Maud’s marriage to George Arthur Chambers was registered in Barnsley in the first quarter of 1913.

George Arthur CHAMBERS

George Arthur Chambers was the eighth of ten children born to John Chambers and Paulina Green. He was born in 1886 in Barnsley, Yorkshire, and appears there on the 1891 Census with his parents, four brothers (John Thomas born in 1871, Joseph in 1873, Charles in 1878, all in Attercliffe; and Albert, born 1888 in Barnsley) and four sisters (Annie born in 1875, Beatrice born in 1877, both in Attercliffe, Yorkshire; Paulina Maud born 1881 and Ada born 1884, both in Worksop, Nottinghamshire). John and his two eldest sons were Coal Miners.

Ten years later, John and Paulina were still in Barnsley; – John was still a miner. John Thomas, Joseph, Annie and Beatrice had all left home, and Charles, Paulina Maud, Ada, George and Albert had been joined by Mary Ethel, John and Paulina’’s youngest daughter (born in 1892 in Barnsley), and Ernest, who was listed as Grandson of John and Paulina. I ordered his birth certificate, and found that he was the illegitimate son of Beatrice. It is believed that he was the product of an incestuous affair between Joseph and Beatrice.

John Thomas married Mary Ann Hunter in 1893 – by 1901 they had three daughters: Eva Mary, Elizabeth Annie and Ethel May; Joseph married Isabella Staniforth in 1899 in Sheffield, Yorkshire – baby Phyllis was born just before the 1901 census; Annie married Albert Penty in 1899 in Barnsley; and Beatrice married Benjamin Townsend in 1898 in Barnsley – their son Joel was born the following year.

The 1911 Census for John Chambers Sr. threw up something of a mystery: he is listed, with Ada, George, Albert, Mary and Ernest… but where is Paulina? I checked the census returns for the older children, and found her visiting Benjamin and Beatrice – who by now had had 3 daughters in addition to Joel: Paulina (born in 1901), Elsie (born in 1904) and Tizzy/Lizzie (born in 1909). Also with the Townsends was Beatrice’s widowed sister, Paulina Maud. She had married Frederick Smith Hague in 1904 in Barnsley, but just six years later he was dead.

John Thomas and Mary had a 5 year old son, also named John Thomas; by 1911 – Eva had left home and was working as a live in maid in Barnsley.

Joseph and Isabella had moved to Fernie, in the Kootenay region of British Columbia, Canada, with Phyllis, and they had another 2 daughters by 1911, both Canadian-born -– 5 year old Doris and 3 year old Gladys. Annie and Albert were still living in Hoyland. Charles married Ada Maude in 1907 in Halifax; by 1911 they were living in Birdwell, Barnsley. George married Maud Burgin in 1913 and they had six children, one of whom was my paternal grandfather, Horace Chambers.

So far, I have only found military records for Joseph and Albert. Joseph served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in WW1, and Albert fought as part of the Royal Army Medical Corps. I believe Joseph made it safely through, but alas the same cannot be said of Albert. He was gassed only 8 months before the end of the War, and is buried in a war cemetery at Étaples, about 65km south-west of Calais on the northern French coast.

Albert’’s service record gives address details for all his siblings -– both his parents were dead, and Ada was his Next of Kin as of October 1919: John Thomas lived at Hill Street, Elsecar; Joseph was in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; Charles lived on Sheffield Road, Birdwell; George lived at High Street, Hoyland; Annie lived on Broad Street, Hoyland; Beatrice was living at 1 Wilton Lane, Holmes, Rotherham; Paulina had married a Joseph Laycock in 1916 in Rotherham and was living at 5 Florence Road, Masborough, Rotherham. Ada’s address was given as ‘The Infirmary, Strood, Rochester, Kent’, and Mary Ethel’s home address was given as 3 Broad Street, Hoyland. Mary Ethel, known as Meth, married a William Lodge in 1916 in Barnsley and they had a son, Albert, in 1918, who was also born in Barnsley.

So, where *do* I come from?

I was born in February 1979, 2 and a half weeks after my father’s 30th birthday, six days before my due date – which also happened to be my mother’s 33rd birthday – in a city in the northwest of England called Chester, although I grew up just over the Welsh border. In fact I now live less than 3 miles from the house my parents brought me (eventually… but that’s another story!) home to when I was first born.

BUT… neither myself nor my parents have any ancestral links to the northwest… my father was born and raised in Yorkshire, as was his father before him; and my mother was born in Surrey and raised in Somerset.

So although the northwest has always been my home, I always dread answering one of the first questions that comes up when I meet someone new – “Where are you from?” Do they mean “Where do you live?” or “Where were you born?” … often I add a third option into the equation – “Where do you feel at home?” The answer to this third question is simple – God’s own county of Yorkshire. I went to university in Preston, Lancashire, and loved it, but if you cut me I bleed white not red 🙂 I visited my father’s middle sister near Barnsley recently, and heaved a sigh of relief as she drove us back from Manchester over the Pennines.