GOOD old fashioned solid research was the order of the day for Julie as she begun her trail through history.
With few living relatives to turn to, some real detective work was needed for her to delve back in time.
And although she has enjoyed great results, Julie would still like a helping hand from Hartlepool Mail readers to fill in some blanks.
“I started with the Lawsons and Liddles on my mother’s side, as I remembered more about them from my childhood days, so I at least had some names to go on,” said Julie from Seaton Carew.
The internet helped her to make contact with other people in the family, including one in New Zealand.
“Ancestors in the Lawson line have mainly been based in Hartlepool. I started with my grandfather Frederick Armstrong Lawson, who I knew had worked at Richardson & Westgarth.”
Julie asked: “Does anyone know if there are any records relating to this company that might help me to find out what he did there?
“I knew Fred had a brother Percival, but it was only when the 1911 census came out that I discovered there had been two other siblings, who sadly died.”
To find out more, Julie visited Hartlepool Reference Library and searched the Methodist baptism records. It yielded results yet they were all too tragic.
She explained: “I found two brothers, Vivian Ralph Lawson who died aged only six, and Arthur Lawson who died in infancy. I haven’t yet been able to trace the reason for Vivian’s death.”
Julie also traced the direct line of Lawsons in Hartlepool through her great-grandfather James Frederick Lawson, his father James Lawson and James’ father Robert Lawson. And here, it seems, is where the earliest links with Hartlepool emerge.
“Although Robert was married in Hartlepool in 1842, at Stranton Church to Sarah Wilson from Washington in County Durham, he was born in 1818 in Whitehaven in Cumbria,” said Julie.
“He was a marine engine fitter, so perhaps it was his job that led him to move over to the North East coast.”
Julie’s next port of call was Whitehaven Record Office where she found details of Robert’s baptism. “It showed he was born to Dinah Lawson, a single woman.
“Robert’s marriage certificate states that his father was George Lawson, flax draper, but unless Dinah later married a Lawson this sounds improbable, and I have not been able to trace George.
“However, there is a Dinah born in 1800 whose father is recorded at the baptism as George Lawson. Maybe his name was put on Robert’s marriage certificate to add some respectability? I seem to be stuck at this point.”
Julie also found out information abut her maternal grandmother Margaret Annie Lawson who was the daughter of Roger Hay Liddle and Elizabeth Hannah Liddle, née Metcalfe.
“I knew the Liddles and Metcalfes had a bakery in Murray Street, which during my childhood was Palmer’s bakery.
“By looking at the copies of Ward’s Directory in Hartlepool Reference Library, I established that Elizabeth’s father James Metcalfe had a confectioner’s shop in Lowthian Road in 1896.
“By 1898 James had moved to Musgrave Street, and was shown as living above the shop in the 1901 census with his family.
“He opened the shop at Murray Street between 1910 and 1912 and it was passed down to Elizabeth by 1921.”
Anyone who can fill in any blanks in Julie’s story should get in touch with Family Roots.
Contact Chris Cordner by writing to him at New Clarence House, Wesley Square, Hartlepool, TS24 8BX, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (01429) 239377.