My Christmas New Year Challenge (Part Two)

My research into the family of Ivor Tempest Greenwood made use many of the usual resources any researcher uses whilst undertaking family history research. Birth, marriage and death certificates, census records and parish records are the everyday tools we can use, and we have to use the clues these records give us to piece together the evidence for the family story. Other available records can be scrutinised and form all the evidence,  the “jigsaw puzzle” of the family story develops.

Ivor’s father was William Henry Greenwood. His military records explain his whereabouts in 1901, as he was not to be found anywhere in the UK. The military records confirm he was on military service in South Africa at the time of 1901 census, presumably fighting in the Boer War.[1]  The papers also include information that William was awarded The Queen’s South Africa Medal with clasps for Cape Colony, Orange State, and Transvaal South Africa 1901. So it I reassuring to know that I have not missed or misread a census record.

In 1911, the family are living together, along with William’s mother-in-law Sarah Harper, nee Bruckner and his nephew Henry Kenneth Bruncker, who was born in Derbyshire in 1908. I wanted to see how Henry fitted into the family tree and was eventually able to see how he was connected to the family by using evidence from ships passenger lists. A Thomas and Alice Bruncker, along with two children Henry and Hilda left England and arrived in Brisbane on 29th May 1913. From this information I was able to find the marriage of Thomas James Bruncker to Alice Harper, the sister of William Henry Greenwood’s wife Sarah. They married in Derwent Derbyshire on 20th May 1907. The 1911 census record for Thomas and Alice Bruncker gives their places of birth as Merthyr Tydfil and Manchester respectively. Hilda M Bruckner was born in 1912 also in Derbyshire.

Alice Harper was born on 13th April 1884 in Chorlton Manchester, where her father William, a compositor, was working. He was living in lodgings in Chorlton at the time of the 1881 census, whilst his wife and children were living with Mary Bruncker in South Wales. In 1891, William was incarcerated in the Lancaster Asylum and Sarah and her daughters Sarah, Mary and Louise were again in Wales. Alice however, was living in Bradford, a visitor in the household of Thomas Lewis and his wife Alice. No relationship is shown other than visitor, however, some extensive digging finally unearthed Alice Harper’s relationship to Alice Lewis, who was a Bruncker by birth, married a Mr Salisbury and finally a Mr Lewis, both ceremonies taking place in South Wales.

Alice Harper and her sister Mary, who was born 18th January 1880, were both baptised as adults on 7th April 1898, the same day as their nephew, Ivor’s brother, Henry Bruncker Greenwood. Their address was given as Fruit Street Keighley and their father William’s occupation was given as Compositor.[2]

Henry Bruncker Greenwood, set sail in in 1922. He was one of the first passengers to travel to Australia on board the SS Sophocles, a ship of the Aberdeen Line which had its maiden voyage in 1922. He arrived in Brisbane in May 1922 and he married in 1927. Henry was not the only passenger with the name Bruncker on board the SS Sophocles. Also on board were Eliseus Bruncker, his wife Llynilla and 10 month son, also called Eliseus. Eliseus Snr was born in Wales in 1888 and his parents, identified from census records, were Henry John Bruncker, a mason and Jane Thomas. Their marriage took place in Keighley at St John’s Church Ingrow on 2nd July 1883.[3] Henry’s father’s name is given as Thomas Bruncker, also a mason. Thomas was the brother of Sarah Harper nee Bruncker – the grandmother of Ivor Tempest Greenwood.

It surely cannot be a coincidence that Henry and Eliseus both travelled on board the same ship to Australia.

[1] Source British Army WWI Service Records, 1914-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2008, 1908 Territorials Army Attestation papers; The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO).

[2] Source West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1910 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011. ;West Yorkshire Archive Service; Wakefield, Yorkshire, England; Yorkshire Parish Records; St  Mary’s Church Eastwood Keighley.

[3] Source West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1910 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011. ;West Yorkshire Archive Service; Wakefield, Yorkshire, England; Yorkshire Parish Records; St  John’s Church Ingrow Keighley.


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