Journey of discovery for researcher Aiden

Aiden Marsden pictured with a family photograph album.
Aiden Marsden pictured with a family photograph album.

TALES of tragedy in childbirth and relatives in the thick of industry are part of one man’s genealogical tapestry. They make up the family tree of Hartlepool man Aiden Marsden. But Aiden admits he would love to know more, and he is hoping Family Roots can help him on that quest. Chris Cordner reports.

IT’S a study in its formative stages.

Pictures from Aiden Marsden's family photograph album.

Pictures from Aiden Marsden's family photograph album.

Aiden Marsden, 53, of Torquay Avenue, in Hartlepool, is researching his family tree and already finding plenty of information.

There’s his grandmother who became a mother-of-five – but died when her fifth child arrived. There’s his links to the very site where the Stadium of Light now stands in Sunderland.

And there’s his clan’s connections to Seaton Snook, the tiny community, near Seaton Carew.

Aiden is a former Hartlepool Borough Council highways worker who now has a part-time delivery driving job. He is married to Sharon, also 53, has two children, Anthony, 27, and Sarah, 24, and one grandson, Luke, aged five.

He contacted Family Roots after spotting our coverage of Seaton Snook. His own grandmother Hannah Andersen worked there.

Aiden said: “Hannah was born in Monkwearmouth in 1897, pretty much where the Stadium of Light is now.”

He describes photographs of her as “having manual work hands”.

Aiden knows that Hannah worked possibly in a munitions factory although there remains a doubt about whether one existed there.

Could it have been that the zinc works were adapted to make explosives during the First World War?

“I have been told that she probably lived in the cottage houses at Seaton Snook,” said Aiden, though he has no evidence of that.

What he does know is that Hannah had a married name of Wilson. Her roots, the Andersen family, lived in Marmion Road, in Hartlepool. Half of the clan were born in town and the rest in Monkwearmouth.

Aiden would love to hear from anyone with more information about his family’s involvement in Seaton Snook.

What he does know is that Hannah was married to Oliver Wilson and they had five children.

Robert was born in 1924, followed by Thomas a year later. Olive Wilson (Aiden’s mother) was next in 1926. The fourth child was John in 1929.

Alice arrived in 1934 but there were complications during the birth. Hannah was rushed to the Sunderland Royal Hospital where she died.

But the story becomes all the more remarkable for Aiden. After Hannah’s death, his grandfather kept the family photographs. When Oliver married for a second time, to Florence Stewart, she made sure all of the photographs from her husband’s first marriage were kept. They have now been passed to Aiden.

But despite having family photographs, Aiden admits he does not know too much about his ancestry. “I know nothing about my father’s side.”

Perhaps we can help. If anyone recognises any of the names and can provide us with more details, give us a call.

Contact Hartlepool Mail head of features Chris Cordner on (01429) 239377 or email