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52 Ancestors: Week 31- Favourite Name

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I am way behind with my writing but I am slowly catching up.

It was an easy choice this week. I have blogged about her before, but Ada Bluebell Stewardson is my favourite named ancestor.

Ada Bluebell was my great, great aunt. Her sister Adelaide May Stewardson my great grandmother. Whether she used Ada later in life I am not sure, but she was certainly enrolled in school as Bluebell Stewardson.[1]

Other than her delightful name I don’t know a huge amount about Bluebell. She was born 27th October 1901[1], the third daughter of Robert and Maria Stewardson, with two big sisters and an older brother.[2] She went on to have two younger brothers. The family were living in Tansley earlier in 1901[3], but moved to Whatstandwell by 1911[2], and I think earlier than that.

Robert, Ada Bluebell’s father, was a molecatcher[2][3] with his brother George Diamond Stewardson[4]. The brothers had moved from the family home in Westmorland to Derbyshire where they married sisters Maria[5] and Eliza Ann Batterley[6]. Robert would therefore have worked long days through parts of the year, but the mole catching season was only around 30 weeks a year. Two years after Bluebell was born her double cousin Daisy was born[7], as far as I know, the only children named for flowers in the family.

In 1907 Bluebell, and her sister Doris caught diphtheria, which was mentioned in the school logbook[8]. On 1st October 1908 Bluebell, with her classmates she moved from the infant school to Crich Carr National School[9], she appears to have spent sometime at Crich British school[10], but on 11th January 1909 Bluebell, with her brother Robert and sister Doris returned to Crich Carr National School.[1]

Crich Carr School and pupils c 1913 Photos courtesy Clive and Sandra Redfern http://www.crichparish.co.uk/webpages/schoolshistory.html

On 19th June 1911 King George V was crowned and 600 adults and children of Whatstandwell, Coddington, Thurlow Booth, Robin Hood, Crich Carr, and Holmsford, threw a party.[10], I am sure the similar happened around the country.

By Photograph signed “Emery Walker PhD” (1851 – 1933) – From the book: J. Hogarth Milne (c. 1914). Great Britain in the Coronation Year. London: W.H. Allen & Co. Frontispiece., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35204814

There were flags, hymns, a brass band, maypole dancing, the National Anthem, decorated mail carts, cycles, horses and drays, and general fancy dress, for which prizes were awarded. Bluebell made it in to the newspaper, by winning her fancy dress category. Dressed as a Bluebell which makes me smile every time I think about it. Maybe she looked a little bit like this?

Many of Bluebell’s paternal uncles emigrated to Ontario, while her Aunt Adelaide May Tyson stayed on the family farm, Rainors Farm in Cumbria.

In 1928 Bluebell married John H. Fern in Belper, Derbyshire [11]. He was a railway clerk and by 1939 they were living in London, with I believe one child [12]. Bluebell died aged just 56, in Middlesex[13]. She may have had a short life, but her name is my favourite so far from amongst my ancestors.

Please excuse the somewhat messy tree. Double cousins are very hard to show, and Bluebell’s father had a lot of siblings!


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[1] Crich Carr National School. School Admissions Book. STEWARDSON, Bluebell. 11 January 1909. National School Admission Registers & Log-Books 1870-1914. D4482_2_1. Derbyshire Record Office. Matlock, Derbyshire. http://www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 14 August 2020.

[2] Census Records. England. “The Orchard” Whatstandwell, Crich, Matlock Bath, Derbyshire. 02 April 1911. STEWARDSON, Robert. (Head) RD 436. PN 20985. ED 14. SN 43. http://www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 04 Apr 2009.

[3] Census records. England. Tansley, Derbyshire. 31 March 1901. STEWARDSON, Robert. (Head). PN RG13/3265. FL 48. p. 14. Derby Local Studies Centre.

[4] Census records. England. Wensley, South Darley, Derbyshire. 31 March 1901. STEWARDSON, George D. (head). PN RG13/33266. FL 14. p. 19. 1901 Census Online : accessed 14 August 2005.

[5] Marriages. (PR) England. Tansley, Derbyshire. 03 June 1895. STEWARDSON, Robert and BATTERLEY Maria. Entry No. 191. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed 08 September 2020.

[6] Marriages. (CR) England. Derwent Terrace Chapel. Matlock Bath, Derbyshire. 1897. [Transcript] STEWARDSON, George Diamond and BATTERLEY, Eliza Ann. Register Entry. RO/11/057. Derbyshire Registrars Marriage Index. [Transcript] ww.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 23 June 2010.

[7] Census records. England. Durley Bridges Matlock Bath, Derbyshire. 02 April 1911. STEWARDSON, George D. (head). RG14PN21202 RG78PN1262 RD439 SD2 ED4 SN118 http://www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 29 May 2010.

[8] Keith Taylor. (2005) Tansley Remembered. Bakewell: Ashridge Press. Extract shared by andypandy19501 on 16 July 2012. http://www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 14 August 2020.

[9] Crich British School. School Admissions Book. STEWARDSON, Bluebell. 01 October 1908. National School Admission Registers & Log-Books 1870-1914. D3834_2_3. Derbyshire Record Office. Matlock, Derbyshire. http://www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 14 August 2020.

[10] The Derbyshire Times. (1911) THE CORONATION. The Derbyshire Times. 24 June. [Transcript] http://www.crichparish.co.uk/newwebpages/whatstandwell1911.html : accessed 14 August 2020.

[11] Marriages Index. (CR) England. Belper, [Derbyshire] 3rd Q. STEWARDSON, Ada B. Vol. 7b. Page. 1611. https://www.freebmd.org.uk/: accessed: 07 November 2015.

[12] 1939 Register, England. Harrow, Middlesex. FERN, Ada B. 29 September 1939. Schedule 172. Line no. 25. RG101/799D. National Archives (Great Britain), Kew, England. Collection: 1939 England and Wales Register. w.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 14 October 2021.

[13] Burials (PR) Stanmore, Middlesex. 24 July 1958. FERN, Ada Bluebell. p. 87. Entry 692. http://www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 15 August 2020.

2 replies on “52 Ancestors: Week 31- Favourite Name”

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