Q.2.What is the origin of
Gertrude's 2nd name of RAWSON?
It is surely connected to the family who lived at the
house in Stockport where she was born, or is that a huge
Was it in gratitude to them for taking her in when she
was in need?
Was it because the father's surname was Rawson, possibly
a relative of the Thomas Rawson mentioned above.
Was that Thomas Rawson in fact the father? If so
it did not seem to break up his marriage as he was still with his wife in 1881
FACT: Sometime between 1876 and
1881 Mary left young Gertrude, possibly a planned and deliberate
Q.3. Where did this
Number 1 possibility is Bell Green, Coventry, close to
where her husband Thomas Smith was buried, and where she left baby Gertrude in
the care of another family.
If so, had she lived here all the time, and in
that case why go to Stockport for the birth?
If she had been living
elsewhere why did she return to Bell Green and then disappear again?
possibility is that friends she had made during her stay at Bell Green,
Foleshill, Coventry struck her as a suitable family to raise the child
...particularly IF her own family knew nothing about the birth.
FACT: In the 1881 Census Mary
was a boarder at a house in Lowestoft, Suffolk.
Q.4. Why was Mary in
Lowestoft, so far from her family connections and her abandoned child?
She had a reasonable job in Lowestoft, but was a boarder with no
mention on the Census of a likely "partner".
Lowestoft was a coastal
port so was the story of Gertrudes's father being a seaman true. We have
searched the Census for Arthur Rawson, even on ships in port at Lowestoft, but
with no success.
Q.5. What happened to Mary's other
children and their offspring?
For several years this web-site has carried a request
for any descendants of Mary to contact me in the hope of completing the mystery
of my grandmother's background.
** In 2007 that wish
was granted when a descendant of Mary's elder son Thomas Cort Smith contacted
me and gave me information about his children. Since then 2 further descendants
have been in touch.
This is what I
Elder son Thomas Cort Smith:
He was born on 17 May 1867 at Johnstown, Carmarthen in
1867. The family moved to Manchester for a few years then for a brief period in
1873 they moved to Coventry, Warwickshire where Thomas's father died from
Consumption (TB). By 1881 his widowed mother had taken the boys to Lowestoft,
Suffolk on the east coast of England where they boarded at 4 Mills Road.
In 1891 Thomas, aged 23, was a Carpenter living with his
mother and brother at 480 Stockport Road, Chorlton, Manchester. They were
boarders at the home of a Surgeon/Dentist.
Thomas married Elizabeth Thompson in 1893 and they had
Percival; Gertrude; Edith; Jessica; Lena; Alice; Sidney; Ada;
Winifred; Marion; Beatrix; Thomas; Florence; Eileen; Eric and Ronald.
They spent their lives in or near the Levenshulme
district of Manchester. Sadly Thomas and his wife Elizabeth died within a few
weeks of each other in the Spring of 1922 leaving all but the older three
children to be brought up in orphanages.
In 1901 Thomas and family were living at 50 Shepley
Street, South Manchester . He was described as a Warehouseman (Shipping).
Younger son Edward Spencer Smith:
Edward was born on 20 Feb 1869 at 3 Marriott Street,
Chorlton-upon-Medlock, Manchester. His father was then a Mercantile Clerk.
(see brother Thomas for details of early years).
In 1901 Edward, was still single and a Lunatic Attendant
at Wittingham Lunatic Asylum, near Preston, Lancs.
He married Edith Jowett from Leeds, Yorkshire in 1910
at Wigan. At that time they were both living at 75 Frog Lane, Wigan.
In 1911 he and his wife were living at Gantley Road,
Billinge (Orrell) with his mother Mary then aged 75. Edward and Edith were
described as an Imbecile attendants working for the The Wigan Board of
Governors. Later they had a child, Mary Smith born in 1912 (registered at
Wigan). In Jan 1915 Edward was living at 147 Upholland road, Billinge Higher
End but no further research on him has been carried out.
I would still love to hear from
anyone descended from these 2 sons of my gt.grandmother
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