Home Forums Family History Aspinall mystery burials

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    • #39382
      christine.a
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      I have searched everywhere for burials of a husband and wife – all the churches registers that have been transcribed by HDFHS, all original images available on Ancestry, FMP, Family Search and have run out of ideas! I have checked every alternate spelling I can think of.

      Jane Battye, formerly Aspinall, nee Hirst died 27 October 1896, age 60. Her name is recorded on a headstone at New Mill Christ Church with several of the children of her first marriage to John Aspinall and is engraved as Jane Aspinall. But whilst I can find her GRO death index under her then name of Jane Battye and also her probate as wife of James Battye I can find no burial record for Jane under any of her possible surnames. In 1896 her name could be on that headstone as a memorial and I did think she may be buried at Jackson Bridge, but have also drawn a blank there. Second husband James Battye died 1902 and is buried at New Mill according to the register. I have not yet searched for headstone with his name and as he died at Deanhouse Union Workhouse may well be in a pauper or communal grave.

      John Aspinall (born 1834) vanishes off the face of the earth after the baptism of his and Jane’s youngest daughter Alice born in Nov 1869. Jane is at Wooldale in 1871 with several children and is recorded as a widow. If this is her true status then John must have died between February 1869 and 2 April 1871. I can find no GRO death index that fits him, no burial record, no probate record. I have researched prison records, asylum records, emigration records etc in case he had actually done a runner as this family did have connections with some criminal Aspinalls from Elland, one of whom had been transported in 1850 as a persistent thief. John may have got mixed up with remaining members but I have my doubts. Jane is still a widow in 1881, with a 6 year old son who does not have a father on his birth certificate. She married James Battye in 1885.

      I am left wondering if John was buried under an assumed name and Jane was later interred in the same grave. It seems odd that they are both missing, albeit their deaths appearing to be over 25 years apart. So I am stumped and would welcome any suggestions as to where else I might search.

    • #42670
      christine.a
      Participant

      An update to my query (just in case anyone is remotely interested). I have at last discovered that John Aspinall almost certainly travelled to USA in January 1870 and sadly died 7 weeks later of pneumonia. The sketchy death records I discovered make him the correct age, origin England, married and occupation of Stone Cutter. He was a Mason by profession so it all fits. Maybe he was pioneering a family move out to a better life. Having checked all the John Aspinalls on the 1861 census for Yorkshire he seems to be the only one I cannot otherwise track in 1871 so it looks as conclusive as anything ever can in this game.

      Interestingly the ship this John travelled out on – the SS City of Boston – was tragically lost in February 1870 on her return voyage to Liverpool. 191 people were aboard and no trace was ever found of the ship. This is the beauty of family history – you find such interesting stuff along the way. Wonder if the ship was carrying a letter back to Jane – “arrived safely, will send you the fares when I have earned enough money”. I wonder how long it was until the family got news of the death.

      The search for Jane’s burial goes on. One very slim possibility is that she was cremated and her ashes were sent to rest with John. But as there were less than 200 cremations in England/Wales in 1896 it does seem highly improbable. More likely is that her family had her buried secretly as she was estranged from second husband James Battye who had been in prison for violence to at least one family member and perhaps they did not want him to know where she was resting.

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