Alexander Clement Foster GoughGrandfather of Stan Laurel?


Alexander Clement Foster GOUGH was a wealthy Wolverhampton solicitor who died - apparently unmarried - in 1892.


He lies buried in Wolverhampton Cemetery, where a large and rather ostentatious monument was erected to his memory.


His will was drawn up in May 1889 and included bequests of £500 each to:


Arthur Jefferson of Ulverston, actor,

and his sister Clara, wife of J. Mitchell Riley of 51 Fairlawn Street, Greenheys, Manchester.


This Arthur Jefferson was undoubtedly the father of the comedian Stan Laurel (of Laurel & Hardy fame), whose real name was Arthur Stanley Jefferson and who was born in Ulverston in 1890. Arthur Jefferson senior was a prominent theatre manager in the north-east of England in the 1890s and early 1900s.


But why did Alexander Gough leave him £500? This was quite a substantial legacy, probably nearer £50,000 in today’s money.


Arthur Jefferson


Arthur Jefferson’s origins are shrouded in mystery. In her book Teach yourself - Tracing your Family History (1997), the genealogist Stella Colwell described her extensive but inconclusive attempts to discover his parentage.


At his first marriage in 1884 he named his father as Frank Jefferson, Solicitor, whereas at his second marriage in 1912 he claimed that Christopher Jefferson, Gentleman (deceased) was his father. No evidence could be found that either of these men ever existed.


However the following census extracts for 1901, 1891 and 1881 show that he was at least consistent about being born near Birmingham (Lichfield is about 10 miles north of that town):


Name

Relationship

Mar

Age

Occupation

Birthplace

@ 8 Dockwray Square, Tynemouth, Northumberland

1901 - RG13 4802 f127

Arthur JEFFERSON

Head

M

38

Theatre Lessie & Manager - Employer

Warwickshire Lichfield Staffs

Madge JEFFERSON

Wife

M

40


Yorkshire Hawes

Gordon JEFFERSON

Son

S

16


Lancashire Ulverston

Stanley JEFFERSON

Son


10


Lancashire Ulverston

JEFFERSON

Son


X

Infant Born

3.45 AM April 1st 1901

Northumberland North Shields

Sarah METCALFE

M in law

M

69


Yorkshire Hawes

Mary ELLIS

Monthly nurse

Wid

66

Monthly nurse - Worker

Yorkshire Cropton

Mary C. TAYLOR

Serv.

Wid

31

Domestic General

Northumberland North Shields

Mary J DAYKIN

Serv.

S

29

Domestic General

Durham Shildon

@ 15 High Tenters St, Bishop Auckland, Durham


1891 - RG12 4067 f73

Sarah BARKER

Head

Wid

53

Lodging House Keeper

Bishop Auckland, Durham

Mabel PEARS

Visitor


8


Liverpool, Lancs

Madge JEFFERSON

Visitor

M

30


Hawes, Yorks

Arthur JEFFERSON

Visitor

M

28

Theatrical Manager

Birmingham, Warwick

John PRICE

Visitor

Wid

66

Comedian

Birmingham, Warwick

@ 6 Jassell St, Chorlton On Medlock, Lancashire


1881 – RG11 3917 f39

Julia H.S. KAIR

Wife (Head)

M

30

Merchants Wife

Manchester, Lancashire

Vincent A. KAIR

Son

4


Liverpool, Lancashire

Roland KAIR

Son

2


Manchester, Lancashire

Gertrude A. KAIR

Daur

3 m


Manchester, Lancashire

Margaret M.T. DUNN

Boarder

U

28

Dressmaker

Wales

Frederick A. MULLIGAN

Boarder

U

17

Clerk

Manchester, Lancashire

Arthur JEFFERSON

Boarder

17

Canvasser Coal

Birmingham


Clara Riley


That his family origins lie in the Birmingham area is also supported by the 1901 and 1891 censuses for the Greenheys address of his sister, Clara Riley:


Name

Relationship

Mar

Age

Occupation

Birthplace

@ 51 Fairlawn St, Moss Side, Manchester

1901 – RG13 3711 f113

Clara RILEY

Head

Wid

47


Warwick Birmingham

William RILEY

Son

S

26

Fancy Goods Buyer

Lancs Manchester

Jane DIXON

Serv

S

23


Lancs Manchester

@ 51 Fairlawn St, Moss Side, Manchester

1891 – RG12 3202 f73

Clara RILEY

Head

M

36

Partial private means

Warwick Birmingham

William RILEY

Son

S

17

Manufacturer’s Clerk

Lancashire Manchester

Nathan STRAYBERG

Lodger

S

28

Parisian Merchant

Denmark


Greenheys and Chorlton-on-Medlock are adjoining districts of Manchester, located a couple of miles south of the city centre.


Clara's marriage – using the name Clara Wilson Jeffersontook place at Chorlton Register Office in February 1884 (ie. ten years after the birth of her son!) and her father's name was recorded as Christopher Jefferson, deceased.1


The 1881 census for Chorlton also includes the following household:

Name

Relationship

Mar

Age

Occupation

Birthplace

@ 13 Portsmouth St, Chorlton On Medlock, Lancashire

1881 – RG11 3916 f132

Clara JEFFERSON

Head

U

23

Housekeeper

Manchester, Lancashire

William JEFFERSON

Brother

U

16

Clerk

Manchester, Lancashire

William JEFFERSON

Nep

8

Scholar

Manchester, Lancashire

Caroline BEATTIE

Serv

U

30

Domestic Serv

Openshaw, Lancashire


It seems likely – despite the inconsistent age and birthplace – that this is the same Clara, and that the “nephew“ William was really her illegitimate son.


Alice Gough


Back in Birmingham, the following notice appeared in the Birmingham Daily Post on 15th May 1862:


DIED: On the 13th inst., at Walmer Terrace, Soho Hill, Handsworth, Alice, third daughter of Mr. Alexander Gough, solicitor, of Wolverhampton.


Similar notices appeared on the following two days in the Birmingham Daily Gazette and in Aris’s Birmingham Gazette.


The 1861 census for Soho Hill reveals that Alice had an elder sister called Clara and that her mother’s name was Harriet:


Name

Relationship

Mar

Age

Occupation

Birthplace

@ Soho Hill, Handsworth, Staffordshire


1861 – RG9 2019 f129

Harriet GOUGH

Head

M

28

Proprietor of Houses

Birmingham, Warwick

Clara GOUGH

Daur

10

Scholar

Birmingham, Warwick

Emily GOUGH

Daur

5

Scholar

Birmingham, Warwick

Alice GOUGH

Daur

2

Scholar

Birmingham, Warwick

Mary HUNT

Mother

W

73

Supported by above

Bridgnorth, Staffs

Mary Ann PETERS

Visitor


17


Birmingham, Warwick

Jane WHITTALL

Servant

Un

21

House Servant

Birmingham, Warwick


Her mother's name is confirmed by the christening register of St Martin’s parish church, Birmingham:


Date

Name of Child

Names of Parents

Surname

Abode

Occupation of Father

1 June 1859

Alice Foster Gough

Alexander + Harriet

Gough

Soho Villa, Handsworth

Gentleman

21 Jan 1861

Mary Ann Foster Gough

Alexander Foster + Harriet

Gough

Handsworth

Gentleman

9 Jan 1866

William Alexander Gough

Alexander + Harriet

Gough

Islington Row

Gentleman


These register entries are highly unusual - Gough being entered both as Christian name and as surname. This is presumably because the parents were not married, nor even living together: the Wolverhampton census for 1861 shows Alexr Clement Foster Gough, unmarried, aged 28, living in that town with his aunt and uncle (from whom he shortly afterwards inherited much of his wealth!)


Harriet Gough”


So if Harriet wasn’t really Mrs Gough, then who was she? A probable answer is provided by the 1851 census (compare this with the 1861 extract above):


Name

Relationship

Mar

Age

Occupation

Birthplace

@ 92 Moor St, Birmingham, Warwickshire



1851 – HO107 2054 f52

James HUNT

Head

Mar

47

Lathe Maker

Staffordsh Smethwick

Mary HUNT

Wife

Mar

45


Shropshire Bridgnorth

Christopher JEFFERSON

Son in Law

Mar

22

Grocer

Scotland

Harriet JEFFERSON

Daur

M

21


Warwicksh Birmm

George WILSON

Son

U

18

Chaser

Warwicksh Birmm

Mary GREY

Visitor

Wid

45


Shropshire Wenlock

Mary Ann SIMPSON

Lodger

U

25

Hawker

Somerset Bristol

Mary JEFFERSON

Grand Daur

-

3 D

3 days

Warwicksh Birmm


If this is the same Mary Hunt – which seems likely, since both gave their birthplace as Bridgnorth and both had a daughter called Harriet (a unique combination in the 1851 census for Warwickshire!) - then her age apparently changed by 28 years in a 10 year period! However ten years earlier, in 1841, her age was more consistent with the 1861 entry above:


Name

Age

Occupation

Birthplace

@ Primrose Hill, Duddeston & Netchells, Aston, Warwickshire

1841 - HO107 1149/6 f12

James HUNT

50

Tool M

Warwickshire

Mary HUNT

50


Warwickshire

Hannah HUNT

16


Warwickshire

Harriett WILSON

12


Warwickshire

Henry WILSON

26

Gun Finisher

Warwickshire

Edwin WILSON

20

Gun Finisher

Warwickshire


The marriage of James Hunt to Mary Wilson took place at Aston (now part of Birmingham) in 1838:


Date

Name

Age

Condition

Profession

Residence

Father's Name/Profession

21. Aug

James Hunt

full age

Widower

Jobbing Smith

Primrose Hill

Joseph Hunt

Saddler

1838

Mary Wilson

full age

Widow


Aston Rd, Duddeston

John Smith

Victualler

Married in the Parish Church of Aston, according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Established Church after Banns

This marriage was

James Hunt

In the presence of us

Joseph Bridgwater

solemnized between us

Mary Wilson


Elizabeth Bridgwater


It seems likely that Harriet was christened at St Phillip’s church in Birmingham:


Date

Name of Child

Names of Parents

Surname

Abode

Occupation of Father

Date of Birth

12 June 1829

Harriet

William + Mary

Wilson

Fisher Street

Baker

9 Apr 1829


The IGI has the marriage of a William Wilson to a Mary Smith at St Phillip’s in 1810, and several other children of William & Mary Wilson christened there between 1811 and 1825.


The marriage of Christopher Jefferson and Harriet Wilson took place at Lichfield in 1850:


Date

Name

Age

Condition

Profession

Residence

Father's Name/Profession

28 March

Christopher Jefferson

21

Bach

Grocer

St Mary, Lichfield

Thomas Jefferson

Gentleman

1850

Harriet Wilson

minor

Spr

---

Wolverhampton

William Wilson

Builder

Married in the Parish Church of St Mary, according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Established Church

This marriage was

Christopher Jefferson

In the presence of us

Charles Wright

solemnized between us

Harriet Wilson


Mary Meacham


The birth of Clara Wilson Jefferson was registered in the 2nd quarter of 1851: I presume that she was the 3 day old baby recorded as Mary Jefferson in the 1851 census extract above – probably they hadn't yet agreed on her name. It is surely not a coincidence that Clara and Arthur later gave their father’s name as Christopher Jefferson and that Arthur gave his birthplace as Lichfield?


Harriet’s household is shown in various Birmingham directories of the period:


Dix 1858 Mr Alexander Gough, 63 Spring St.

P.O. 1860 Mr Alexander Goff, Soho Hill, Handsworth

Harrod 1861 Alexander Goff, Soho Hill, Handsworth

Corporation 1861 Mr Alexander Goffe, Soho Hill, Handsworth

Corporation 1863 Alexander Gough, gent, Soho Hill, Hockley

P.O. 1864 A. Gough, 14 Islington Row

Morris 1866 Alexr Gough, apartments, 14 Islington Row


After that Alexander’s name disappears from Birmingham directories. I suspect he had grown tired of Harriet, so he persuaded her to move elsewhere – perhaps because she still insisted on calling herself Harriet Gough. By 1871 she was in Liverpool, and apparently working for her living:


Name

Relationship

Mar

Age

Occupation

Birthplace

@ 40 Rainbowsun St, Liverpool, Lancashire


1871 – RG10 3787 f9

Martha BARNISH

Head

W

44

Manager of Oyster Store

Staffordshire Burslem

Harriet GOUGH

Serv

W

39

Barmaid

Warwickshire Birmingham

John COOK

Serv

unm

29

Waiters

Warwickshire Coventry

Thomas ATKINSON

Serv

unm

29

Waiters

Westmorland Milnthorpe

Daniel ROBERTS

Serv

unm

30

Waiters

Montgomeryshire Llanfair

John MURPHY

Serv

mar

19

Waiters

Lancashire L'pool

Catherine CONROY

Serv

unm

32

Domestic Servant

Ireland


This seems quite a menial occupation for the woman who had previously lived in a smart villa on the edge of Birmingham! Nearby was this more middle-class household:

Name

Relationship

Mar

Age

Occupation

Birthplace

@ 38 Berwick St, West Derby, Lancashire


1871 – RG10 3847 f21

James THOMPSON

Head

m

46

Commercial Traveller for printing & paper

Worcestersh. Worcester

Mary A THOMPSON

Wife

m

46


Herefordsh. Hereford

Ernest A THOMPSON

Son

u

20

Clerk (telegraph)

Worcestersh. Worcester

Mary B THOMPSON

Daur


16

Milliner (apprentice)

Warwicksh. Birmingham

Florence E THOMPSON

Daur


13

Scholar

Warwicksh. Birmingham

John GARDNER

Father-in-law

Widr

76

Printer & Bookseller (retired)

Salopsh. Burford

Mary F ANDREWS

Visitor


14

Scholar

Warwicksh. Birmingham

Arthur GOUGH

Visitor


8

Scholar

Warwicksh. Birmingham

Alexr W GOUGH

Visitor


5

Scholar

Warwicksh. Birmingham


Clara's whereabouts in the 1871 census have not yet been discovered. However a couple of years later, she was living in Hulme near Manchester, where on 16th January 1873 she gave birth to her illegitimate son, William.1 By 1881 the whole family were living at various addresses in the neighbouring district of Chorlton-on-Medlock, and somebody – presumably Alexander – had provided Harriet with an annuity:


Name

Relationship

Mar

Age

Occupation

Birthplace

@ 51 Churchill St, Chorlton On Medlock, Lancashire

1881 – RG11 3918 f101

Sarah BALL

Head

W

39

Milliner

Manchester, Lancashire

Arthur H. BALL

Son

U

16

Office (Errand)

Liverpool, Lancashire

George T. BALL

Son

U

13

Office (Errand)

Manchester, Lancashire

Nellie BALL

Daur

U

12


Manchester, Lancashire

Harriett GOUGH

Boarder

W

52

Annuitant

Birmingham

William GOUGH

Boarders Son

U

14

Office Boy

Birmingham


It is worth noting that William would appear to have been counted twice in this census, once here as William Gough and once with his sister Clara as William (as we saw earlier). Probably the landlady completed the census details and she may not have been aware that he was away.


Harriet Gough died aged 58 and was buried in Stretford cemetery near Manchester in October 1888 in a plot paid for by Clara Riley of Chorlton.2


Although she was calling herself Harriet Gough, legally she was almost certainly still Harriet Jefferson: a search of the divorce indexes at the National Archives from 1858 to 1885 drew a blank (and before 1858 divorce in England & Wales was only possible by obtaining a special Act of Parliament).


Harriet's death may have been an impetus for Alexander to make a new will, which he did about 7 months later, and he died in London from influenza in February 1892. His estate was worth more than £20,000, so there was a considerable liability for death duties. At that time, the rates of death duty depended on how closely the beneficiary was related to the deceased: children paid 1%, siblings 3%, etc, rising to 10% for unrelated beneficiaries. Therefore it was important for the tax authorities to establish the exact relationship of each beneficiary to the testator, and this information was recorded in the death duty registers.


The death duty register entry for Alexander's estate shows that Arthur Jefferson and his sister Clara Riley were recorded as Str (=stranger), meaning that the maximum 10% rate of duty was payable.


Alternative abbreviations Str ND and Str NS (=stranger, natural daughter or natural son) were available to indicate illegitimate children. It has been suggested1 that the fact that these alternative abbreviations were not used in this case proves that Alexander could not have been the father of Arthur or Clara.


I am not convinced by this argument. The moral code of the time meant that illegitimate children paid the same rate of duty as unrelated beneficiaries. It is my impression that the alternative abbreviations were simply special cases of “Str” and were mainly used where the will specifically described a beneficiary as a “natural child” (or indeed where the will just stated “son” or “daughter”, but the tax authorities knew from other sources that they'd been born out of wedlock).


Apart from Clara, I have not found birth registrations for any of Harriet’s children – neither as Gough, nor as Jefferson. So, either she didn’t register them, or else she used another alias for this purpose. The death of Alice Foster Gough was registered at West Bromwich in the June quarter of 1862, but it is not known where she was buried.


According to a Family Register inherited by his descendants, Arthur Jefferson was born on 12th September 1862. So, if my theory is right, he would have been born at Soho Hill about 4 months after Alice’s death. The notices in Birmingham newspapers may have been a desperate attempt by her grieving pregnant mother to persuade Alexander to acknowledge her and her family.


Fanny Morgan


However I suspect that he had already developed an attachment for a younger woman, namely the lady described in his will as Fanny Morgan, for many years past known as Fanny Rogers. She had four illegitimate sons, the eldest of whom was born in West Bromwich in 1860 and given the name William Alexander. In 1861 Fanny was living in Wolverhampton, just a couple of streets away from Alexander's solicitor's practice in King Street:


Name

Relationship

Mar

Age

Occupation

Birthplace

@ 29 Pipers Row, Wolverhampton, Staffordshire


1861 – RG9 1996 f134

Mary A WATSON

Head

W

29

Washerwoman

Ireland

John HUNT

Lodger

Un

37

House Carpenter

Staffordsh Trenton

Fanny MORGAN

Lodger

un

20

Millener

Radnorshire Pauthall House

Will A MORGAN

Visitor


8 mos


Staffordsh West Bromwich


A couple of years later Fanny had moved to Leamington Spa, where the birth of her second son Harry Montague Morgan was registered in 1863. Prior to this, she may also have had a daughter named Annie, who probably died in infancy.


By 1871 she was calling herself Rogers and was living in Birmingham, whilst her sons were being privately educated in Worcestershire:


Name

Relationship

Mar

Age

Occupation

Birthplace

@ 111 Moseley Road, Aston, Warwickshire


1871 - RG10 3137 f81

Fanny ROGERS

Head

u

30

Milliner & Dressmaker

Presleigh, Radnorshire

Elizabeth CHAPMAN

Assistant

u

32

Assistant in above occ.

Allesley, Warwickshire

Mary LANE

Servant

u

17

Gen. Servt Domestic

Smethwick, Staffordshire

@ Astwood, Feckenham, Worcestershire


1871 – RG10 3212 f59

George TIMSON

Head


41

Schoolmaster

Tenterden, Kent

William ROGERS

Pupil

u

11


South Wales, Knyhton

Montague ROGERS

Pupil

u

8


Leamington, Warwickshire


By 1881 she'd had 2 more sons and had moved to London, where she remained until her death – which occurred shortly before Alexander's:


Name

Relationship

Mar

Age

Occupation

Birthplace

@ Chapel Road Private Schools, Feckenham, Worcestershire

1881 - RG11 3107 f79

George TIMSON

Head

M

51

Schoolmaster

Kent Tenderden


[& family]





Albert E. ROGERS

Boarder

Unm

7

Pupil

Middx London

Arthur ROGERS

Boarder

Unm

6

Pupil

Middx London

@ 3 Harewood Street, London, Middlesex


1881 - RG11 156 f23

Fanny ROGERS

Head

U

40

Lodging House Keeper

Knighton, Radnorshire

William A. ROGERS

Son

U

20

Gem Setter (Jeweller)

West Bromwich, Warwick

Harry M. ROGERS

Son

U

17

Accouchers Clerk

Leamington, Warwick

Eliza SMITH

Servant

U

23

General Servant

Pidly, Huntingdon

James ROSS

Boarder

U

39

Architect

Midlothian, Scotland

George RYEGON

Lodger

U

24

Artistic Engraver

Marylebone, Middlesex

Jenine BRUCE

Boarder

U

27


Peterhead, Scotland

Sarah CHAPMAN

Lodger

W

42

Gentlewoman

Marylebone, Middlesex

@ 52 Gloucester Place, St Marylebone, London


1891 – RG12 95 f84

Fanny MORGAN

Head

M

50

Lodging House Keeper

Radnorshire

Harry M. MORGAN

Son

S

27

Clerk CC

Warwickshire, Leamington

Albert E. MORGAN

Son

S

19

Engine Fitter Apprentice

Birmingham

Arthur MORGAN

Son

S

15

Jeweller Apprentice (Gold)

Birmingham

Thomas ALLEN

Boarder

S

29

Stockbroker's Clerk

Devon

Harry GLENDAY

Boarder

S

22

Secretary Steamship Company

Newcastle under Lyme


Alexander's death occurred at Fanny's home in Gloucester Place, which is described in his obituary as his London residence. In his will he instructed his executors to invest £4000 and pay the income to Fanny for life, but as she was already dead her four sons inherited £1000 each on Alexander's death. The will contains a curious request that Fanny should in future call herself Morgan rather than Rogers. The 1891 census extract above suggests that she had already complied with this request before he died.


Bessie King


Alexander also had other theatrical connections: his will included an interesting legacy to a former actress named Bessie King:


to Elizabeth Catherine King, spinster (eldest daughter of my old friend Thomas Charles King, Tragedian, of Fernhill Heath near Worcester), now of Ashfield Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham, £150, together with the 9th edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica and 100 other books of her choice ...


He also instructed his executors to invest £3000 and pay the income to Elizabeth for life.


In the 1871 census, Alexander (recorded incorrectly as Abraham) and Bessie were both guests at the Victoria Hotel in Preston:




And in the 1891 census, he was a visitor at the King family home in Kings Heath:




So they were together in two of the three censuses after Bessie reached adulthood and before Alexander's death. This is either a remarkable coincidence, or an indication that she was a very favoured companion. Nonetheless, Bessie doesn’t seem to have had any children, so there is no reason to suppose that this relationship was anything other than platonic!


Christopher Jefferson


Christopher Jefferson's whereabouts in the crucial period between 1851 and 1871 are not known. However some information has come to light about his life before and after that time.


He was born in Edinburgh in 1828, the son of Thomas Jefferson and Sarah Reid. Presumably he came from a fairly wealthy background, as in 1841 he was being privately educated at a boarding school in London:


Name

Age

Occupation

Birthplace

@ School, Frances Place, St Mary Islington East, Middlesex

1841 – HO107 664/14 f10

Christopher JEFFERSON

12


Scotland


In March 1892 the following report appeared in the Liverpool Mercury:





No trace of a Christopher Jefferson could be found in Liverpool in the 1891 census. However a Charles Jefferson matching his description was found in that and the two previous censuses:


Name

Relationship

Mar

Age

Occupation

Birthplace

@ 32 Oriel Rd, Kirkdale, Lancashire




1891 – RG12 2967 f31

Charles JEFFERSON

Lodger

widr

65

Dock Labourer

Scotland

@ 37 Elias St, Everton, Lancashire




1881 – RG11 3660 f87

Frederick MONKCASTER

Head

Mar

40

Dock Porter

Liverpool

Sarah MONKCASTER

Wife

Mar

32


Ireland

Anne MONKCASTER

Daughter

Unm

12

Scholar

Liverpool

Ferdinand MONKCASTER

Son

Unm

5

Scholar

Liverpool

Sarah Jane MUNCASTER

Daur

Unm

12 m


Liverpool

Charles JEFFERSON

Lodger

Unm

52

Dock Porter

Liverpool

William HENON

Lodger

Mar

56

Dock Porter

Liverpool

Ellen HENON

Lodger

Mar

56


Liverpool

Albert HENON

Lodger

Unm

15

Printer

Liverpool

@ 16 Drinkwater's Gardens, Liverpool, Lancashire



1871 – RG10 3791 f153

Charles JEFFERSON

Head

Mar

43

Dock Labourer

Scotland

Ellen JEFFERSON

Wife

Mar

30

Laundress

Lancashire, Liverpool


No marriage has been found for a Charles Jefferson to an Ellen, which is easily explained if Charles were really Christopher, who was of course already married. Christopher's landlord in 1892 may well have been a relative of the Muncaster family with whom Charles was lodging in 1881.


If Charles and Christopher were the same person (as seems highly likely), then it means that both Christopher and Harriet were in Liverpool in 1871. This raises some intriguing possibilities: had there been an attempted reconciliation? If so, then it must have failed fairly quickly! More likely perhaps is some financial motive: maybe one of them wanted financial support from the other? Or it may be pure coincidence, and they may not even have been aware of each other's presence in the same city.


William Alexander Jefferson


For a long time and despite extensive searching under both Gough and Jefferson (including various possible mis-transcriptions), I was unable to find any trace after 1881 of Arthur Jefferson's brother William Alexander. Since he was not mentioned in Alexander Gough's will, I began to suspect that he had either emigrated or died (or both).


Then in August 2008, I was contacted by one of his descendants and discovered why he was proving so elusive: apparently he had adopted the name Loveday in 1890.3


He had married the previous Christmas at Bishop Auckland, where Arthur had recently become the manager of the local theatre:



In 1890 he gave evidence on his brother's behalf in a legal dispute about a cancelled play, and in the spring of 1891 he was still in Bishop Auckland:




Later that year his wife gave birth to a son, who was given the extraordinary name of Alexander Foster Gough LOVEDAY. Prior to the birth, William Alexander had branched out on his own and taken up a position at the Prince of Wales Theatre in Grimsby. He remained there for most of the 1890s, but shortly before the 1901 census left the entertainment business and returned to Manchester (perhaps theatre work didn't pay well enough to support a wife and two children?):


Name

Relationship

Mar

Age

Occupation

Birthplace

33 Langshaw St, Stretford, Lancashire


1901 - RG13 3666 f23

William Jefferson-Loveday

Head

M

34

Typewriter – Manager

Warwickshire Birmingham

Emmiline Loveday

Wife

M

34


Lancs Manchester

Alexander F Loveday

Son

S

9


Lincolnshire Grimsby

Dorothy Loveday

Dau

S

2


Lincolnshire Grimsby


By 1915, when his son married, William Alexander had become a sales manager. He died at Romford, Essex on November 7th 1935, the death being registered by his son in law (R.W. Ayliffe), under the name William Alexander Jefferson, otherwise William Alexander Jefferson Loveday.3


Harriet's other children and grandchildren


In the 1861 census, Harriet's fourth daughter, Mary Ann Foster Gough, was found in Erdington (now part of Birmingham), being nursed by a working woman:


Name

Relationship

Mar

Age

Occupation

Birthplace

@ Sheep St, Erdington, Aston, Warwickshire


1861 – RG9 2186 f11

Harriet Hughes

Head

W

44

Sempstress (formerly domestic Servt)

Erdington, Warwickshire

Arthur Barnfield

Son

u

26

Bricklayer's Labourer

Erdington, Warwickshire

Edward Hughes

Son


8

Scholar

Erdington, Warwickshire

Daniel Hughes

Son


6

Scholar

Erdington, Warwickshire

Rose Hannah Hughes

Daur


4

Scholar

Erdington, Warwickshire

Mary Ann Gough

Nurse Child


5 Mo


Handsworth, Staffordshire

James Wells

Lodger

Widr

60

Agricultural Labourer

Erdington, Warwickshire

Joseph Ganer

Lodger

u

38

Agricultural Labourer

Bedworth, Warwickshire


In those days, when hygiene standards were not yet sufficient to make it safe to feed babies on cows' milk, it was quite common for wealthier women, who were unable or unwilling to breastfeed their children, to place them with a wet-nurse: a poor woman who had lost her own baby and so was able to sell her breast-milk. Nothing further is known of Mary Ann after 1861 (it is quite possible that she died in infancy), nor of Harriet's 2nd daughter Emily.


Clara's son, William Jefferson Riley, of 51 Fairlawn St, Moss Side, died aged 30 and was buried on 21st January 1904 in Southern Cemetery, Manchester.2 His occupation was recorded as Hawker. It is not currently known when or where Clara herself died.


Arthur Jefferson and his first wife Madge Metcalfe (who died in 1908) had five children:

  1. George Gordon - born 1885 in Ulverston, married 1907 in Stockport to Lilius Colvin White, and died November 1938 in a Salvation Army hostel in Manchester, his occupation being canvasser (i.e. beggar?).2 He was buried in the same grave as his cousin William Jefferson Riley, the grave plot being paid for by his father Arthur.2 He left a daughter,

    1. Eileen Jean Huntley, born 1907, who died unmarried in 1951.2

  2. Arthur Stanley - born 16th June 1890 in Ulverston, became famous as Stan Laurel, died 1965 leaving a daughter,

    1. Lois Laurel-Hawes of Los Angeles.

  3. Beatrice Olga - born December 1894 at South View, Bishop Auckland1, married firstly 1921 in Tynemouth district to Frank (or William) Woods. She later remarried, her second husband being a musician named William Henry Healey. She died 20th March 1976 at 57 Hartington street, Sunderland,4 leaving two children,

    1. Huntley Jefferson Woods, born 1922, living in Blyth, Northumberland

    2. a daughter (now deceased)2

  4. Sydney Everitt - died in infancy in 1899 in North Shields.

  5. Edward Everitt - born 1st April 1901 in North Shields, emigrated to the USA in 1920 where he married Betty. He died 1933 in Los Angeles when he didn’t come round from a dentist's anaesthetic, and left two step-sons.2

Arthur's second marriage was in November 1912 to a widow, Venetia Matilda Robinson (née Parry)1, who died in 1941, and Arthur himself died in Lincolnshire in 1949.



1 Stella Colwell: Teach yourself - Tracing your Family History (2003 edition)

2 Information from Ged Parker of Washington, Tyne & Wear.

3 Information from Margaret Hanks of Morwenstow, Cornwall.

4 National Probate Calendar


© Andrew Gough 2008Back to GOUGH PEDIGREES