I am trying to fill out the timeline of tailor George Hindley, his wife Ann/Hannah Drake, and their family between 1841 and 1847.
A rough timeline of the family can be seen by putting some of the collected historical records that are likely to belong to the family in chronological order:
- about 1818 According to Hannah's entry in the Williamstown, Massachusetts town records (see below) she was born in Sheffield, England, the daughter of Jonathan Drake. (Birth date estimated by FamilySearch website.)
- about 1819 According to George Hindley's entry in the Massachusetts town records (see below), he was born in Sheffield and his father's name was Samuel (no mother's name is given, and the field for the birthplace of his parents is blank). (Birth date estimated by FamilySearch website.)
- 6 June 1841 an Ann Drake and a George Hindley are enumerated in the same 1841 Census household on Bailey Street in Sheffield (HO107/1338/4/23/2); Ann is from Yorkshire; George (tailor) is Not from the County
- August 1841 from MARRIAGES in Sheffield Independent, 14 August 1841, page 5:
On Sunday last, at Upper Chapel, by the Rev. B. T. Stannus, Mr. George Hindley, tailor, to Miss Hannah Drake. (I do not have the records from the non-conformist church register yet.)
This is consistent with the Q3 Marriage Registration for George and Hannah in SHEFFIELD Registration district Volume 22 Page 448 (the marriage estimated to be between late June - September of 1841). The GRO certificate records a marriage which took place at Upper Chapel on 8th Aug 1841, solemnized by B.T. Stannus. It says George Hindley, tailor, of full age, is the son of Samuel Hindley, shoemaker. George's residence at time of marriage is Rockingham Street. Hannah Drake, of full age, daughter of Jonathan Drake, Joiner (?), residence at the time of marriage is Broad Lane. Witnesses are J. Bridgeford and May Butler; the registrar is Benjamin Kidmore. (I have not identified the witnesses or their relation to the couple.)
- 1844 5 Feb eldest son Samuel is born in Toronto, Canada (at the time, part of York County), according to Samuel's 1884 Naturalization petition or "second papers" from the Superior Court at Pittsfield Massachusetts in Berkshire County.
- 1845 Probable date of entry of the family to the United States. Samuel's Petition for Naturalization asserts that he arrived in North Adams in 1845. While the area has been settled since 1745, North Adams was not incorporated under that name until 1878 (it was previously the northern part of the city of Adams). Williamstown is to the west.
- 1846 (calculated) Albany, New York: birth of daughter Mary Jane (date from Williamstown, Massachusetts town records, from her 1904 marriage to her second husband, Charles E. Ormsbee); her 1900 Census record gives her birthdate as Jan 1846 but lists her birthplace as Massachusetts
- 1850 The family is enumerated in Adams, Berkshire County, in the US Federal Census
- 1855 The family is enumerated in Williamstown, Berkshire County, in the Massachusetts State Census.
1856 30 Jun Hannah (Drake) Hindley entry no 23, Deaths Registered in Williamstown aged 38 years 2 months (no days recorded).
Another important waypoint for the timeline is July 1, 1867, the date for Canadian Confederation -- well after the Hindley family is in the US.
1885 06 Nov entry 233 Deaths Registered in the town of North Adams, Massachusetts (Berkshire County): George Hindley, tailor, resident of North Adams -- dies age 66 (no months, days are recorded).
I have many other records for the family's residence in Williamstown and Adams, before Samuel eventually moves to North Adams; he is listed in the North Adams City directories starting in 1876.
In her webinar Find Your American Ancestor Using Canadian Records, presented at the Minnesota Genealogicial Society, Kathryn Lake Hogan suggested several categories of records which might be productive to search:
- Land Records
- Vital Records
- Employment Records
- stories about people visiting e.g. in Newspapers
- Military Records
Not all of these categories apply for this particular time period.
Immigration records -- The first set of passport indexes available on Find My Past start in 1855. Canadian passenger lists (for the England to Canada leg of the journey) begin in 1865, well after the family was already in the US. Outbound passenger lists from England start even later, in 1890. Border crossing records from Canada to the USA did not begin until 1895. A surname search (using the search terms Hin*, Hen* and Han*) did not find any Hindley families or likely variants in the Library and Archives Canada pre-1865 Immigrants to Canada online searchable index.
Naturalization Records -- All of the known children except for Samuel were born in the USA. Samuel's Petition for Naturalization is dated "the fourth Monday of October 1884".
Clues to Naturalization can be found in the US Federal Censuses for 1870. Both the 1865 Massachusetts State Census and the 1870 US Federal Census records which I believe belongs to Samuel's father George Hindley have tick marks in the column for "Citizen of US", but I have not found Naturalization papers for him so far. (Only District Court naturalization records for Berkshire County are online; the local court records for the county are on microfilm. There are no good candidates in the New England Naturalization Index.) In the June 1863 Civil War Draft Registrations, the remarks say "Claims Alienage" so that places George's Naturalization after this draft record but before Census day in 1870 (assuming both records are accurate, which may not be the case).
So my records wishlist / to do list, so far, is:
- find George Hindley's Naturalization papers, if any exist, to see what they assert about the family's date of entry into the United States
- check land records around Toronto (just in case) and find something about Samuel's birth from local records in Toronto. (Ontario Civil Registration does not begin until 1869.) There are land records and newspaper indexes of births on microfilm, listed in the Family History Library Catalog.
- Look for information about church affiliation, to see if I can find church records. E.g. I do not know if the family is connected to Rev. W. J. Hindley of Toronto (and Winnipeg in 1915).
- the hideously unspecific look for whatever I can find in newspapers, city directories, travel guides, and other records. I'll start with the FamilySearch Wiki's article on Ontario Genealogy and the Family History Library Catalog, but pointers to little-known resources about Toronto would be appreciated.
- Identify the witnesses on the marriage certificate of George Hindley and Hannah Drake from Upper Chapel; order the records from Upper Chapel from the archive (in Sheffield).
At the moment, I don't have any information about George Hindley and Hannah Drake's siblings, and I haven't done FAN club research to see if I can find more pointers back to Toronto or other parts of Canada. This is something I'd like to explore as I find out more about the family's time in Canada.
Also on the 'To Explore' list: ActiveHistory.ca's posts about Canada’s Historical Newspaper Digitization Problem -- here's part 2 from Feb 2014.