Friday, September 07, 2007

The First Marriage of John Platts

. .
Back when I looked at the marriage of John Platts and Sarah Redfern in 1867 (see previous post of 3/14/07), I remarked on his Widower status, given that in 1861 he was unmarried. Further research has turned up his short, first marriage.
Here below is my best transcription of his first marriage license, with handwritten items in italic:
Certified Copy of an Entry of Marriage
Given at the General Registry Office
Application Number: COL126267
1864. Marriage Solemnized in Birchwood Chapel, Alfreton in the District of Belper in the County of Derby.

No. 65
When Married: Sixteenth July 1864
Groom's Information:
Name: John Platts
Age: 25 years
Condition: Bachelor
Occupation: Machine Man
Father's Name and Surname: Josiah Platts, deceased
Profession of Father: Bookkeeper
Bride's Information:
Name: Maria Bunting
Age: 21 yearsCondition: SpinsterOccupation: [none given; lined through]
Father's Name and Surname: William Bunting, deceasedProfession of Father: Lead Miner
Married in the Birchwood Chapel according to the rites and ceremonies of the Wesleyan Reformers, by me
Edwin Crane, Minister
Francis Mather, Registrar
This Marriage was solemnized between us
John Platts
Maria Bunting
In the presence of us
Samuel Platts
Anne Burnett
Note: While it appears that there should be signatures for the last three sets of names, the handwriting looks like it was all done by the same person, possibly the registrar copying the actual wedding certificate, with original signatures (or X's), into the Registry.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Platts in the 1861 English Census

. .
By 1861, we find Martha Platts heading a much smaller household. It is assumed that most of the children have married or moved out on their own. Still living in Lea (its unclear if its the same house) are:
Name/Relation/Condition/Age & Sex/Occupation/Where Born
Martha Platts, Head of Household, widowed, 58 female, Housekeeper, Derbyshire Criche
Anne Platts, Daughter, Unmarried, 33 female, Hosiery Trimmer, Derbyshire Ashover
Samuel Platts, Son, Unmarried, 27 male, Wool Sorter, Derbyshire Ashover
John Platts, Son, Unmarried, 22 male, Apprentice to Fitter & Machinist, Derbyshire Ashover
Some Notes:
(1) Things have either improved for Martha if Housekeeper means she is staying home. With all her children working, money probably wasn't as tight and she may have been able to retire. However, she may also be working as a housekeeper as another wife on the page just has a blank as to occupation.
(2) Samuel's occupation is listed as a Wool Sorter, a position which he appears to have held all his life. Wool came into factories with the uncleaned fleeces packaged into huge bundles. A Wool Sorter would rip open the bundles, divide and grade the wool before sending it to the next department to be cleaned and processed into fabric, thread or yarn. Different sheep produce different types of wool, and sometimes one animal can produce many differnt types also. Coarser wool makes a rougher fabric and is ideally used in outer garments. Finer wool, either produced by the sheep as a whole or just its undercoat, would be used in garments worn closer to the skin. If you've ever been in contact with an old wool blanket, you've felt how scratchy and itchy it is. That's because it was made from coarser wool. Also, some sheep are cleaner (or kept cleaner by the farmer) than others. Many will stain their coats, and this stained wool would be graded lower than a similar type that was unstained. Given that the Wool Sorter had to open many bundles and quickly sort & grade the fleeces, this was a specialized job with much training.
(3) Other occupations on this page include: Joiner Builder (& Farmer), Servant, Joiners Apprentice, Scholars and School Girl, Lead Smelter, Chapel Cleaner, Stone Mason, Industrial Mistress, Infants Mistress, Industrial Assistant, Industrial pupil. The last four are the most interesting. First, to keep factories up-to-date and expanding, you need to have lots of workers and those workers need to be educated. The Infants Mistress would be the 1861 equivalent of a Day Care Worker, and indicates that there may have been enough of a concentration of female workers inside a factory (not at home) to need a Day Care. In addition the Industrial Mistress, Assistant and Pupil indicate an Industrial School was established nearby. About this time, American Textile Mills were also establishing schools to train their workers to do more detailed work as the industry had progressed beyond simple chores.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Platts in the 1851 English Census

The above is the 1851 English Census showing the Platts Family the year after Josiah's death. Either the family has moved or the names of their districts have been changed, it is hard to tell. They are now in Dethwick Lea & Holloway (civil parish), Ripley (sub-registration district), Belper (registration district), Derbyshire (county). The family is the first family listed on this page, with Martha being in the top slot. The transcription:
No. of Householder's Schedule: 69
Name of Street: Lea Bridges
Name/Relation/Condition (marital status)/Age & sex/Occupation/Where Born
Martha Platts, head, Widowed, 48F, Trimmer of Hosiery Goods, Derbyshire Crich
Ann Platts, daughter, unmarried, 23F, Trimmer of Hosiery Goods, Derbyshire Ashover
Joseph Platts, son, unmarried, 22M, Stone Mason, Derbyshire Ashover
James Platts, son, unmarried, 20M, Hosiery Warehouseman, Derbyshire Ashover
Samuel Platts, son, (not noted), 17M, Wool Sorter, Derbyshire Ashover
John Platts, son, (not noted), 12M, Scholar, Derbyshire Ashover
Some notes on this census:
1) The death of the head of household typically hit pretty hard at this time. Note Martha and the children are all working where in 1841 Josiah was the only one.
2) A new son appears, Joseph, age 22. Because of his age and technical (at the time) job as a Stone Mason, I am assuming that he was apprenticed at the time of the 1841 Census. Indeed, there are several Joseph Platts the right age who are not living with family when I look back at the previous census. His appearance in the house could be for several reasons. First, men usually lived with female relatives to take care of their house, clothes and cook their food before they were married. And Second, he has moved in with his mother to help her financially after the death of the main breadwinner in the household. It is probably a bit of each.
3) Son Henry, who would now be 16, has disappeared. While many children did die young at this time, we should not assign this fate to Henry so soon. It could also be that he is apprenticed elsewhere, just like his brother Joseph above was. This would have helped the household because there was one less mouth to feed, as well as having the part of his wages that would have been paid to his Mother to help her. I will look into this further if I can.
4) The census and family jobs reflect the Industrial Revolution that was re-shaping Derbyshire at the time. Derbyshire moved from small farms and business, into a Wool and Woolen goods manufacturing center. There were also many quarries in the area, which were improved upon and grew into a major industry. The various occupations listed on this page are: Hosiery Trimmer, Stone Mason, Hosiery Warehouseman, Scholar (student), Lead Smelter, Domestic Duties (housewife), Leadworks Laborer, Woolcarder, Manager for Hosiery maker and Servant.
5) Hosiery at this time were long, knitted socks. Nylons as we know them now, did not exist. Many of the woman in the outlying towns and villages would knit the socks (a good knitter could do two socks a day in addition to all her household duties!), and they would be collected and brought to town for decorating and finishing (trimming). For both Martha and Ann, this trimming was done at home, in addition to the running of the household. If they were lucky, the hose would be dropped off or picked up; otherwise they would walk into town to get new hose to trim while dropping off the finished ones. Often they had a quota they had to meet in order to remain employed, and they were paid by the piece (probably not very much). Considering that this probably required long hours, was done by candle-light at night, and that all clothes at the time had to be hand-sewn, you have a pretty hard job.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Enlarging Pictures on the Blog

Ok, time out from genealogy for a little housekeeping. I've stated before that I have been working on getting the pictures on the blog to show up bigger and easier to read. Unfortunately, nothing I've tried has worked, so this has been really frustrating for me.

Imagine my surprise when my hubby was reading my latest post and had a HUGE image of the census on his screen! When I asked how he got that, he looked mildly confused and said "I just clicked on the image." D'oh! Ok, I hadn't tried that.

So for all those of you (if any) who, like me, hadn't figured this out: Click on the image to get a larger view of it. It makes things like the census much easier to read. To get back to the blog, just hit your browsers "Back" button.

And thank you to my hubby for the tip (and not pointing out that I was being a ditz).

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Platts in the 1841 English Census

The above is the 1841 English Census, the first one done in England. The Josiah Platts/Martha Stocks family is listed as being in Lea/Holloway township, Belper district, Derbyshire, England. They are the family, second to the bottom of the census, and listed as follows:

mark indicating same as above; above family listed as being in Lea

= Josiah Platts, age 40 male, Clerk, not born in same County, check mark in last column (more on this later in blog)
= Martha Platts, age 35 female, no occupation, born in same County
= Ann Platts, age 14 female, no occupation, born in same County
= James Platts, age 10 male, no occupation, born in same County
= Samuel Platts, age 8 male, no occupation, born in same County
= Henry Platts, age 6 male, no occupation, born in same County
= Jno (John or Jonathan) Platts, age 2 male, no occupation, born in same County

Note on last column: This column asks whether the person is born in Scotland, Ireland or other Foreign Parts. There is a check mark for Josiah. This means either that (a) he was born in one of these places or (b) the census taker asked and received a negative answer, putting a check to indicate this. In this case, a blank would mean that he had forgotten to ask. Further supporting choice (b) are two more facts: first, there is a checkmark next to everyone who answered "no" in the preceding column (they can't all be from outside of England can they?) and second, the family below the Platts has For written in this column to indicate a Foreign (outside of England, Scotland or Ireland) birth.

Note on Occupations listed on this census page: Part of the fun of looking at census information is that you can see the changes that took place over time in one spot. One way is to look at the occupations listed on a census. Just on this page alone is listed a Mine Agent, a Smelter, a Clerk and a Wool Carder. All these occupations reflect the prime industries of 1841 Derbyshire: mining/quarrying and textile mills. As we go through the various censuses, we'll be able to see how the Industrial Revolution affected Derbyshire.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The death of Josiah Platts

The above is the certified copy of Josiah Platt's entry into the Death Registry. Here is my best translation:

Application No. COL 864309
Registration District: Belper
1850 Death in the Subdistrict of Worksworth in the County of Derby

No. 222
When and where died: Thirtieth April 1850, Lea (town)
Name and Surname: Josiah Platts
Sex: Male
Age: 53 years
Occupation: Bookkeeper
Cause of Death: Dropsy, 4 months, Not Certified
Signature, description and residence of informant: Samuel Platts [son], in attendance, Lea
When Registered: Fourth May 1850
Signature of Registrar: Marcellus Peal, Registrar

Some notes and comments on Josiah's Death:

1) Dropsy was our ancestor's term for Edema (swelling), which was usually caused by kidneys or heart disease (especially congestive heart failure).
2) Not Certified means that the death was not attended by a physician or other official who would have treated or verified the disease. The local constable would inquire into these deaths if deemed suspicious.
3) Samuel was very much in demand to witness family events. He was about 16 when he attended and reported his father's death. He also attended and reported his mother's death and he was the witness to John & Sarah Platt's wedding.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Two out of Three Ain't Bad

Woo Hoo! In my last blog, I said I was looking for John Platt's birthcertificate, his parent's marriage certificate and his mother's maiden name. Well, I got two out of three within several days of posting, and am absolutely thrilled.
The above is John Platt's birth certificate, and as an added bonus, it lists his mother's maiden name as Stocks! I ordered it from the General Register Office (GRO) online, and received it within a week! I tested ordering this online vs. the traditional mail in a request, and the latter took over a month. The link for the GRO is You can also Google "GRO Ordering" and it pops right up.
Transcription of the birth certificate with the printed form in regular type, input information in bold, and handwritten info in italic:
Banner across top:
on left: Certified Copy of an Entry of Birth
on right: Given at the General Register Office, Application Number COL030859
Top Box:
Registration District Belper
1838 Birth in the Sub-district of Wirksworth in the Country of Derby
Middle Box:
No. 273
When and Where Born: Eighth of December 1838 at Holloway
Name: John
Sex: Male
Name and Surname of Father: Josiah Platts
Name, Surname and maiden surname of Mother: Martha Platts formerly Stocks
Occupation of father: Book Keeper
Signature, description and residence of informant: X The mark of Martha Platts, mother, Holloway
When Registered: Twenty second of December 1838
Signature of Registrar: Marcellus Peale, Registrar
Name entered after registration: [lined through]
Below middle box:
Certified to be a true copy of an entry in the certified copy of a Register of Births in the District above mentioned. Given at the General Register Office, under the Seal of the said Office, the 16th day of March 2007.
Again, I will not be transcribing the small print at the bottom of the form.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Who's Who -- Josiah and Martha Platt's Family

As per the previous marriage certificate in the previous post, John Platts' father was Josiah Platts. Looking at on-line British records (starting 1837), I was able to locate most of the family.
Josiah Platts married Martha (maiden name unknown) and had the following children:
William Platts (b. abt 1825)
Anne Platts (b. abt. 1828)
Joseph Platts (b. abt 1829)
James Platts (b. abt 1831)
Samuel Platts (b. abt 1833)
Henry Platts (b. abt 1835)
John Platts (b. abt 1837)
All children appear to be born in Holloway, Ashford, Derbyshire, England.
I am still looking for John Platt's birth certificate, Josiah & Martha's marriage certificate and Martha's maiden name.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Marriage of John Platts and Sarah Redfern

. .
As promised, this is the marriage certification for John Platts and Sarah Redfern. A big thank you to my sister Gina, Thomas Arakawa and the Krause Center for Innovation for help with the scan (my scanners are not working).
Although I am posting the scans and pictures better, the above is still hard to read. My transcription is below, the regular type is printed on the certificate and the italic is for the items that were handwritten in.
Top Right:
Application Number PAS1129995
Across top, inside box:
1867. Marriage Solemnized at the Parish Church in the Parish of Matlock in the County of Derby.
First box: No. 284
Second box: Wh. married June 12th
Remaining boxes, lines for groom:
Name and Surname: John Platts
Age: 28
Condition: Widower
Rank or Profession: Framesmith
Residence at time of Marriage: Ashover Lea
Father's Name and Surname: Josiah Platts (deceased)
Rank or Profession of Father: Accountant
Remaining boxes, lines for bride:
Name and Surname: Sarah Redfern
Age: 20
Condition: Spinster*
Rank or Profession: Worker in Factory
Residence at time of Marriage: Matlock Riber
Father's Name and Surname: Henry Redfern
Rank or Profession of Father: Farmer
Line along bottom of boxes: Married in the Parish Church according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Established Church after Banns by me, Charles Jones, Curate of Matlock
Bottom of box:
This marriage was solemnized by us, John Platts, Sarah Redfern, in the Presence of us, Samuel Platts, Selina Hutchinson
Bottom of Form, below box:
Certified to be a true copy of an entry in the certified copy of a register of Marriages in the Registration District of Bakewell, Given at the General Register Office, under the seal of such office , the 19th day of January 2007.
[The rest is legal small print that does not pertain to the Platts/Redfern marriage and I am not going to transcribe]
*Spinster refers to a woman who has never married; it did not get it's "old maid" connotation until around the 1920s, long after this marriage!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Who's Who -- John & Sarah Platt's Family

John Platts (b. abt 1837) married Sarah Redfern (b. abt 1847) in Derbyshire, England in 1867. I have ordered a marriage certificate which I hope to post soon. They had the following children:

Samuel Platts (b. abt. 1868, Holloway, Ashover, Derbyshire, England)
Anne E. Platts (b. abt. 1869, Holloway, Ashover, Derbyshire, England)
William Platts (b. abt. 1871, Holloway, Ashover, Derbyshire, England)
Albert John Platts (b. 16 June 1873, Wellington, Guelph, Ontario, Canada)
Thomas Platts (b. 23 Mar 1875, Wellington, Guelph, Ontario, Canada)
Mary Ellen Platts (b. 9 Dec 1876, Wellington, Guelph, Ontario, Canada)
Clara Platts (b. 10 Jul 1878, Wellington, Guelph, Ontario, Canada)
Alfred Platts (b. 29 Sep 1879, Wellington, Guelph, Ontario, Canada)

When looking at a family group from the 1800's, I am always amazed at how many kids they had, and so soon apart. However, it can be a big help too! In looking at the above, the family's move from England to Canada is very narrowed down to around 1872!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Holloway, Ashover, Derbyshire

Derbyshire is a County north of London. This county holds about 100 years (at least) of Platts history. It is a beautiful area, with many farms and rural areas. However, it was also swept up in the Industrial Revolution, with mining and the manufacturing of hosiery being major markets in this area.
From 1841 to 1880, the Platts lived in the following cities: Holloway, Lea, (including Lea Bridges, a part of Lea) and Ashover. All of these cities were very close to one another and were located in the Belper District of Derbyshire. Other cities in Derbyshire that are Platts-related are Criche (where censuses state Martha Stocks Platts was from) and Matlock (where Sarah Redfern Platts came from, according to censuses).
I'll be posting the census information for the Platts in the next few blogs, from 1841 through to 1930. This should lead us from Derbyshire back to the States. Along the way, I'll point out how the Platts were both influenced by and reflect the periods that they live in.
For more information on the history of Derbyshire, visit

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Albert Platt's Birth Registry

Margaret Platts married Charles Scheel (see previous posts), and in one of the quirks of genealogy, I am able to trace her line (the Platts side) back to 1841. Because it is so rare to be able to trace back four generations at a shot, I will be taking the opportunity to do so.
I will be starting with this post on her father's birth, then moving back via family who's who until her great-grandfather in 1841 in England. I will then move forward with the Census and Directory informaiton that I have until 1930 (last US Census released), ending with Margaret & Charles' family on that census.

Albert's Birth Registry is on the center bottom, left side. Translation:
Page #216
Registration District of Wellington
Division of Guelph
Birth Registry:
No. 119 (stamped 024120)
When Born: 16th June 1873
Name: Albert John Platts
Sex: M
Name and Surname of Father: John Platts
Name and Surname of Mother: Sarah Redfern
Rank or Profession of Father: Machinist
Signature of Informant: Sarah Platts
When Registered: 24 July 1873
Name of Accoucher: Dr. McGuire
Signature of Registrar: Geo. Harry?
[No comments written]
Footer of Page:
I hereby certify the foregoing to be true and correct entries of all Births returned to me for the (1/2) year ending July 15, 1873
Given under my hand, this 28th day of July, AD 1873
John Harvey, Division Registrar of Guelph

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Family of Frank Culver and Margaret Burke

Frank Culver (abt 1828-1891) married Margaret Burke (1837-??) on 9 Sept 1862 (see previous blog).

They had the following children:

James Edward Culver (dates unknown, b. Canada)

William H. Culver (abt. 1868 - ??, b. New York)

George Culver (Nov. 1869 - ??, b. New York)

Mary C. Culver (22 Jan. 1874 - 16 Apr. 1939)
--- married to Edward C. Scheel (b. 1874); see previous blog

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Marriage of Franklin Culver and Margaret Burke

The parents of Mary Culver (wife of Edward Scheel, b. 1874) were Franklin Culver and Margaret Burke. While I have the details of their marriage (thank you!), I don't have a certficate to show you. Here is the marriage details; I will be posting their family in the next blog.

Groom Name: Franklin Culver
Birth Place: United States
Residence: Toronto
Age: 34
[Estimated birth year of groom: 1828]
Father Name: Sylvenus Culver
Mother Name: Celinda Culver

Spouse Name: Margaret Burke
Spouse's Age: 25
[Spouse Estimated Birth Year: 1837]
Spouse Birth Place: Ireland
Spouse Residence: Toronto
Spouse Father Name: John Burke
Spouse Mother Name : Catharine Burke

Marriage Date: 9 Sep 1862
Marriage Place: Toronto
Marriage County: York (Toronto)

Source Information:
Family History Library Microfilm: 1030065 and 1030066
Source: Indexed by: Genealogical Research Library and Genealogical Research Library (Brampton, Ontario, Canada). Ontario, Canada Marriages, 1857-1922 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations