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Henry Jenkins Halford (1844 - ?)

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Henry Jenkins Halford (1844 - ?)

Postby MoVidger » Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:07 pm

I've just received Henry's birth certificate and it confirms that he's my 3 x great-grandmother Eliza's illegitimate son. He was born the year before she emigrated to the USA. His mum left him with her parents Thomas & Ann Halford in east London. The mystery now is what happened to Henry after 1861?

Here are the details I know so far:
Born 21 January 1844 St George in the East, London (mother Eliza Halford)
Baptised 15 April 1857 St George in the East ("baseborn") by his grandmother Ann Halford
1851 census - living in St George in the East with grandparents Thomas & Ann Halford
1861 census - occupation Blacksmith; still living with Thomas & Ann Halford (listed as "son")

After 1861, the trail goes cold. I've searched census, marriage, death, immigration, military, and newspaper records. I've even searched the Tower Hamlets Cemetery Register, due to the fact his grandparents and other relatives are buried there.

I presume a chap named Jenkins was his father. In late 1845, mum Eliza sailed into New York with James Caldwell (a cooper from Scotland). They settled in Wisconsin and started a family there.

By early 1868, Eliza and James are back in St George in the East, where James takes ill and dies. I've no idea what brought them back to London - were they just visiting her family?

I would be very grateful for a fresh pair of eyes to help with finding the elusive Henry. :)
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Re: Henry Jenkins Halford (1844 - ?)

Postby sdup26 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:47 pm

This is really feeble but I can't find anything else! Is there any chance that when Eliza and James came back to England in 1868, Henry started using his stepfather's surname - Caldwell?
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Re: Henry Jenkins Halford (1844 - ?)

Postby MoVidger » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:19 pm

Hi sdup26 - I thought of that possibility, as well. However, Eliza returned to Wisconsin after James' death in 1868. And I've not found any evidence of Henry in Wisconsin either. The frustrating thing is, there are far too many Henry Halford's in the UK at that time.

Why Eliza left baby Henry with her parents, when she emigrated, is a mystery. Was he too sickly to travel, or did James not want the child with them?

I've still not found a marriage record for Eliza and James Caldwell. Interestingly James is buried in the Halford family burial plot in Tower Hamlets.
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Re: Henry Jenkins Halford (1844 - ?)

Postby ianbee » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:38 pm

sdup26 wrote:Is there any chance that when Eliza and James came back to England in 1868, Henry started using his stepfather's surname - Caldwell

There is this one in New York in 1880
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MZZT-NKK
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Re: Henry Jenkins Halford (1844 - ?)

Postby MoVidger » Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:17 pm

Hi Ian - thanks for that interesting find. I've been digging around a bit, to see if I can find other records for this man.

Even though it's a possibility, it would surprise me if Henry took 'Caldwell" for his surname. After all, his grandparents raised him. It would make more sense if he started using 'Jenkins' instead.

If Henry did go to the USA, it would also make sense if he ended up in Wisconsin, with his mum. James Caldwell was a well-to-do farmer and landowner. It makes more sense if Henry had settled in Wisconsin to help his widowed mum. If she was worried about local gossip, she could have passed him off as a nephew ?? In fact, one of Eliza's sisters and her husband emigrated as well and settled nearby.
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Re: Henry Jenkins Halford (1844 - ?)

Postby D-F » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:38 pm

You say that you assume his father was named Jenkins - presumably because of his second name. Have you excluded Jenkins as the surname of a grandparent or great grandparent? If you have not you may be chasing a false lead?
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Re: Henry Jenkins Halford (1844 - ?)

Postby MoVidger » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:51 pm

As Eliza was unwed, I can only assume Jenkins was the name of the father. And no, there aren't any Jenkins in her maternal or paternal families. Eliza emigrates with James Caldwell to America as "Eliza Caldwell", but I've yet to turn up a marriage record for them.

As Eliza was an East Ender, she obviously dropped her "H's". So her Wisconsin obituary lists her as Eliza Alford Caldwell Aldridge. I've kept that in mind whilst searching for son Henry (Alford?), assuming he emigrated to America, as well.
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