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Home » Family History Help » Finding Joseph Hirst

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26/08/2016 02:32:49

HHirst
HHirst
Posts: 2


Hi,


I am looking for any information on my great-grandfather, Joseph Hirst. He is from Almondbury, Yorkshire area, but moved to/settled in Jamaica B.W.I.
Here is a listing I found from a "Who's Who in Jamaica 1916":
Hirst, Joseph born at Almondbury, Yorkshire, England Oct 7, 1876.
Son of Joseph Hirst, Esq., of St. Helen's, Almondbury, Yorkshire.
Came to Jamaica 1895; bookkeeper and overseer of coffee plantations and pens.


He married Annie Isabel Harty in 1913, Clarendon, Jamaica - residence at Sheckles Pen, Four Paths, Clarendon.
I saw a document for a baptism of Joseph Hirst born Oct 7, 1876. Baptised Aug 23, 1882 (in Wesleyan Chapel, West Yorkshire) Father's name listed as Joseph Hirst, and mother's name Elizabeth Hannah Hirst. Residing in Almondbury.


I also found two documents for his possible dates of travel to Jamaica: One for a J. Hirst to Kingston, Jamaica in 1895 (on ship, "Floridian") and another for J.H.Hirst, listed as "merchant" to Kingston, Jamaica in 1908 (on ship "The Jamaican"). Both times were listed as "single" - which fits since he was married 5 years later in Jamaica.


Just wondering if anyone has any more info at all on his family - parents Joseph and Elizabeth, and siblings if any - and what may have caused him to move to Jamaica. (?)


Thanks!


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26/08/2016 08:10:07

davepattern
davepattern
Posts: 41
You might have already looked for Census returns? If not, here's the 1881:

St. Helen's Gate, Almondbury
- Joseph Hirst (57) / head / Manufacturer Employing 6 Men 18 Women & 7 Boys / born Blackburn, Lancashire, England
- Elizabeth Hirst (37) / wife / - / born Holmfirth, Yorkshire, England
- Helen Hirst (11) / daughter (single) /scholar / born Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England
- Bessy Hirst (7) / daughter (single) / scholar / born Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England
- Joseph Hirst (4) / son (single) / scholar / born Almondbury, Yorkshire, England
- Sarah Beevers (20) / servant (single) / servant (domestic) / born Holmfirth, Yorkshire, England

They were living in a property somewhere on the top section of St. Helen's Gate (Google Maps), although not St. Helen's Villa as that was the residence of Ephraim Mellor. Perhaps they lived close to St. Helen's Mill?

Joseph (senior) was also a local councillor and had purchased St. Helen's Mill in the 1870s. He died in 1881 and the following is from the Huddersfield Chronicle (07/May/1881):

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26/08/2016 18:24:04

davepattern
davepattern
Posts: 41
There'll definitely be more about Joseph (senior) in the newspaper archives as he was a local councillor. Your local library might have access to old newspaper online (e.g. Gale 19th Century News, FindMyPast, etc). I'll see what I can find over the weekend. It's not unusual for the local newspapers to cover local notable moving abroad, so the might be something about his son.

Local historian Alan Brooke has an excellent index of local mills and you'll find some info about St. Helen's Mill on his blog.
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27/08/2016 09:43:35

davepattern
davepattern
Posts: 41
A few more bits and pieces:


J. Batley appears to have also occupied the mill during the time Joseph Hirst owned it (not uncommon for multiple firms to operate out of the same mill). As far as I can make out, after Joseph's death, Batley remained at the mill and Hirst's executors continued to have some involvement. There are mentions of Joseph Hirst & Co. in the 1870s, so there were business partners (who perhaps were also the executors?).

However, by November 1890 the mill and adjoining house were up for sale: "TO LET OR SELL, ST. HELEN'S MILL, Almondbury, with House adjoining, at present occupied by Messrs. J.H. Batley and Son. -- Apply Executors of Joseph Hirst, 48 Buxton Road, Huddersfield."

The above notice was repeated pretty much weekly for an entire year. Perhaps a buyer was found by the end of 1891 and that set in place the finances for young Joseph set himself up as a merchant? By 1900 the mill was in the occupation of Messrs. Nichol and Crowther Ltd. In the early 1900s, the mill was renamed Alexandra Mills but later reverted back to St Helen's Mill.

Joseph (senior) left a will, so it'd be worthwhile ordering a copy of that as it'll likely give details about when and how the young Joseph would come into his inheritance. My guess is the executors were to carry on the business until Joseph was nearer adulthood? It's debatable what the equivalent of £11,600 would be worth today, but I'd say it'd be in the region of £1.5m to £2m

Sadly Elizabeth Hannah Hirst died on 16 September 1889 aged 45 and was buried on 19 September at the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Lindley, alongside her late husband.

It looks like Helen and Bessy appear in the 1891 Census as residing together at Myrtle Villa, Lindley, Huddersfield. Helen (21) was "living on own means" (so had presumably come into her inheritance) and Bessy (17) was still a scholar. With them was their cousin Bessie B. Hirst (33) who is listed as the housekeeper (and presumably keeping a motherly eye on the two girls now that Elizabeth had died).

Helen Hirst then possibly became a governess and appears in the 1901 Census working for the Hartley family at Fletton Tower, Peterborough. If this is indeed your Helen, then she was the governess to Leslie Poles Hartley (1895-1972) :-) It's difficult to be 100% certain it was, but this Helen was born in Huddersfield and of the right age, and a spinster governess would likely come from a well-heeled family. If I had to bet, I'd say it was your Helen.

Perhaps Bessy (aged 37) is listed in the 1911 Census as an unmarried "nurse (lady domestic)" at the residence of iron & steel merchant Christopher Thomas Needham at 4 Lancaster Road, Didsbury? Again, she's the right age and was born in Huddersfield. She very likely the Bessie Hirst (27) who appears in the 1901 Census as a visitor ("living on her own means") at the house of calico printer William Moorhouse at Birkdale, Lancashire.

I think the above opens up the possibility that neither Helen or Bessy married, as they were both of independent means. If so, perhaps Helen appears in the 1939 Register as the spinster born on 25 March 1870 who was living on her own means at Crescent Road, Southport, Lancashire, and Bessy might well be the unmarried "Bessy Hirst" born 14 June 1873 who was a retired children's nurse residing at 13/14 Queens Court (near Golders Green), Hendon, London.

As for young Joseph, I'm struggling to find him in the 1891 Census. Given his age and the death of his mother, perhaps he was at a boarding school or at a college?

So, pulling all that together, I think after Joseph (senior) died, the Hirst family continued to have an stake in the mill until Elizabeth died in 1889. Perhaps even before then, widow Elizabeth and children had moved to Lindley (or perhaps Myrtle Villa had been the Hirst's second residence for some time? If so, that'd be a nicer place to live than next to a mill!). After her death (apparently not leaving a will), Joseph's executors sold the Hirst interest in the mill and the three children came into sizeable inheritances (presumably held in trust until they came of age) and this allowed the two daughters to live comfortable and independent lives without feeling the need for marriage. In turn, young Joseph had the financial stability to establish his own business and make a like abroad.
edited by davepattern on 27/08/2016
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28/08/2016 14:25:19

John
John
Posts: 160
Joseph Hirst married Elizabeth Hannah Cartwright on 13 December 1869 in the parish of Huddersfield.
Father of the groom: Joseph Hirst. Father of the bride: George Cartwright.
West Yorkshire Church of England Marriages

All three children were baptised on 23 August 1882 at the Wesleyan Chapel:
Helen (mistranscribed as Helson), born 12 March 1870 following a short pregnancy
Bessy, born 9 June 1873
Joseph, born 7 October 1876
West Yorkshire, Non-Conformist Records
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29/08/2016 00:17:59

davepattern
davepattern
Posts: 41
I'm guessing you'll know of the pre-existing link between Jamaica and Huddersfield?

Looking at the old maps and what's there now, I'd be tempted to assume this might have been their house on St. Helen's Gate. Most houses in the area were build of cheap local sandstone, as there were quarries everywhere. On the other hand, red brick was a much more expensive building material at that time, so a sure sign of a wealthy family

[edit] Ah, it is indeed the mill owner's house! https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1231788
edited by davepattern on 29/08/2016
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29/08/2016 09:28:02

davepattern
davepattern
Posts: 41
Apologies for posting in dribs and drabs! Page 16 of the Annals of the Church and Parish of Almondbury, Yorkshire (1882) confirms the Hirsts resided at St. Helen's House. There are lots of other mentions of "Joseph Hirst"s in the book, but the majority relate to manufacturer Joseph Hirst who lived at Wilshaw near Meltham.
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29/08/2016 18:32:24

John
John
Posts: 160
In the 1891 Census, a 14 year old Joseph HURST, born Huddersfield, was a boarder at University School, Southport, Lancashire.
RG12, Piece 3034, Folio 94, Page 9

No Joseph 'Hurst' appears in the Huddersfield RD birth indexes for the 1870s, so it would seem the school simply misspelled the name and the scholar was indeed our young Joseph.

Some information about the school:
Article 1
Article 2

Notice that the curriculum in the Edwardian era, and no doubt in the earlier Victorian era, included bookkeeping; part of Joseph's job in Jamaica.
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20/09/2016 14:12:11

khirst
khirst
Posts: 1
Hello,

Joseph Hirst is the nephew of my gr-gr-grandfather, William Hirst. I went to the cemetery where his parents (Joseph and Elizabeth) and young siblings (Annie, Joseph and Elizabeth) are buried at the Weslyan Chapel, Lindley. At the bottom of the headstone, there is the following text "In Remembrance of Joseph (Joe) Son of the above who died in Jamaica May 5th 1936 Aged 59 years". Joseph senior's mother and sister are also interned at the front of the church.
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24/09/2016 16:31:21

ya jan
ya jan
Administrator
Posts: 143
What an excellent find in Lindley
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24/09/2016 16:39:57

HHirst
HHirst
Posts: 2
Truly awesome, Thank you so much


khirst wrote:
Hello,

Joseph Hirst is the nephew of my gr-gr-grandfather, William Hirst. I went to the cemetery where his parents (Joseph and Elizabeth) and young siblings (Annie, Joseph and Elizabeth) are buried at the Weslyan Chapel, Lindley. At the bottom of the headstone, there is the following text "In Remembrance of Joseph (Joe) Son of the above who died in Jamaica May 5th 1936 Aged 59 years". Joseph senior's mother and sister are also interned at the front of the church.
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