Fascinating portrait of family’s history

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KEEN researcher David Payne has spent years researching his ancestors.

But when Hartlepool man David Payne delved deeper into the archives, he soon found there was a raft of information to be discovered on his descendants – from tragedy to humour and a whole range of emotions in between.

Now, David has become the latest in a line of Hartlepool people to share their family tree research with the Hartlepool Mail as part if its Family roots series.

His trail started with his grandmother Mary Ann Measor who was born in Hartlepool in 1873 and was the daughter of Henry Measor and Ann Donkin.

David said: “It appears that the family originated in Brighton, where there are a large number of Measors to this day.

“But our side of the family moved to Hartlepool in 1842 via London and Tynemouth.

“I have discovered some interesting information during my research.”

In fact, David did more than just that, he found a wealth of facts on his grandmother’s relatives.

l His great-great grandfather, Charles Howard Measor, married Dorothy Leeming in 1842 at St Hilda’s, in Hartlepool.

David said: “The Leeming family were living in Hartlepool before 1798 when, according to the Universal British Directory of 1793-1798, Hartlepool was a town that had ‘neither trade or manufacture, excepting fishing’”.

Research also showed Dorothy’s grandfather William Leeming was a victualler at a town pub called The Half Moon Inn, and her father, George Leeming was an 83-year-old ferryman, according to the 1861 census.

l David’s great grandfather Henry Measor had to sign some rather interesting contracts when he started work as a painter and decorator in 1859.

They included a pledge to “not commit fornication nor contract matrimony within the term of the indenture, nor play cards or dice tables, nor haunt taverns or playhouses”.

l David’s great uncle Harry Measor was a noted rugby union fullback for Hartlepool Rovers.

David said: “He held the scoring record of 53 goals in 1902-1903 and 52 goals in the following season. In that season he kicked 11 goals in one match. He then turned professional with Wakefield Trinity.

“He eventually returned to Hartlepool and was appointed trainer to Hartlepool United in 1912.

In August 1914 he actually played for the team on one occasion in an emergency before he left to become a full-time carpenter.”

Yet Harry’s world was devastated in 1911 when his two-year-old daughter Ivy died in a blaze after her clothing caught alight from an unguarded fire.

l David also found a cousin of his grandmother called Duncan Measor, who lived in Sunderland and worked as a journalist with the Mail’s sister paper, the Sunderland Echo.

David said: “He eventually moved to Manchester where he was employed by The Manchester Evening News for many years, where he was known as Mr Manchester with his own regular column.”

The family’s links with journalism have continued as David’s son Mark is a reporter with the Mail.

l And another relative William Measor – the youngest son of Mary Ann – had five children, with four dying before they reached adulthood.

Yet despite all that research, just one ingredient is missing.

David said: “I have not found any photographs of any of the Measor family, with the exception of my grandmother and Duncan Measor.

“Perhaps your readers may have some that I could include at some time in the future.”

Anyone who can help David, or anyone else researching their own family trees, can contact Chris Cordner by writing to him at New Clarence House, Wesley Square, Hartlepool, TS24 8BX, via email to chris.cordner@northeast-press.co.uk or by calling (01429) 239377.

l Mail view: Page 8