Saturday 27 August 2011

Catherine Kelsall nee Schofield

This is the story of my  great-grandmother, the mother of my maternal grandfather. Born in Dublin in 1863, she and her parents and sister, Teresa, came to settle in Preston, hoping for a better life I suppose. Her parents were William Schofield and Catherine Casey. Catherine married Joshua Kelsall (BA Oxford) and bore him at least 14 children, 11 survived but there were 3 Catherines too who all died in infancy). As she was an Irish Catholic and he an English Quaker his family disowned them after their marriage. My mother's father, Robert Kelsall was their 8th child.

Her children were...

Mary(?)1889 and died on the 21st,June 1964. new info from her grandson, Robert 7/7/14

This was in the late 1930's and she's holding Cath Bamber, my mother's cousin. Grandma died on May 15th, 1939. I believe they lived at 29, Snow Hill, Preston at one time. This is a photo taken in 1962 of Snow Hill.

In this photograph she is on the right-hand end of the middle row and Joshua is in the back row, fourth from the right and we believe they met here when they were both in service. Uncle Bob and Uncle Tom tell me that Joshua was the Head Gardener/Estate Manager and Catherine was Head  of Serving Staff. I do know from a letter written by Cath Bamber to me in 1985 that Joshua was also thought to have been a school master.
The little I do know of her has been handed down orally.....she was an avid reader, loved horse-riding, had socialist leanings and a cat named Trotsky! During WW1 her three eldest sons, Joshua, William and Joseph were all fighting in France when George was called up too. This was more than she could bear so she hid him in the attic of the family home but the police found him anyway....he died on the battlefield in 1917 but his older brothers all came home safely.
Grandma earned a living as a florist and taught the trade to all her own daughters, Eileen and Annie both had their own shops eventually with Mary and Beattie working for them.

If I find out more details of her life then I will add to this post.


  1. I came over from Rhonda's but am amazed so I am commenting on this post. My husband's aunt was a Schofield and her dad was William Schofield. He passed away in about 1991. He was from Hiko, Nevada USA.

    I had never heard of the last name Schofield until I married my husband and now! The world is a small place for sure!


  2. ooo That's interesting, Jennifer...and do you see my his wife was a Casey...well now I am Mrs Caissy which is pronounced the same way.

  3. Hi

    I believe William Schofield and Catherine Casey to be my great-great-great grandparents :) And Teresa (who I believe to be Mary Teresa/Theresa Schofield) is my great-great grandma! Somebody did my family tree for me recently and I've been Googling some names tonight to see what comes up!

    Nice to meet you, distant relative of mine :)

  4. Hallo there Dear Anonymous...would you like to share some more of your history? Are you still in England?

    my email addy is caissyatiprimusdotcomdotau and I'd love to see your side of the tree

  5. Yes, I'm still in England - born and bred in Preston :)

    Mary/Theresa was married to James Hawarden, they had a daughter, Ruth Hawarden - she was my great-grandma.

    Ruth married Idris Bevan and they had my grandma, Catherine May Beattie.

    I think, therefore, that your grandad Robert and my great-grandma Ruth Hawarden were cousins. And I think you and my mum, Yvonne, would be third cousins! She sadly passed away this year, she'd just turned 60 :(

    I will email you what I have of my tree. Nice speaking to you!


  6. ooo this is very exciting :D

    Sorry to hear about Mam...she was very young

  7. and I'm pretty sure that Robert's sister, Ivy, was later a Mrs Beattie too I wonder if the husbands were brothers?

  8. Hi Sue I think we are related my mother was Gertrude Ivy Winifreda Kelsall - Have you spoken with Mary Dickinson (nee Kelsall) she is the font of all knowledge on our family tree but we dont have a family tree we have a family forest. Mary has been researching for many years. I found you looking for photos of my ancestor George Kelsall for rememberance sunday. I recognised some of the photo's you have displayed on your site. Our ancestors have led very interesting lives. Highwaymen, plague you name it. Any missing pieces I am sure Mary will be able to help you. We have only just found Mary and it is wonderful when we find more of our relatives. Mary's email is:-
    it wouldnt let me put my name or URL but you can email me if you would like to Margaret Cooper,

  9. Hallo Margaret,

    How thrilling to find your comment this morning.
    Would your great-grandfather have been the above mentioned George who died in 1917 aged 22yrs?

    I don't know Mary(yet) but will send her a copy of yr email....have you read the diaries of Joshua Kelsall(Catherine's eldest) from WW1?


  10. Another Pennington here (I'm the anonymous' brother)

    All this info is superb - we've been nipping in and out of research over the years and it's always good to see little bits appear on-line now and then.

    I'll jot all this down for reference. Thanks for this site :)

  11. Hi sue I have spotted the classic web error, Joseph Kelsall my grandfather died in 1969 not 1936 as a lot of websites show.

    Have you traced the tragic case of Joshua Kelsall Catherine's husband who died 5th September 1920. I have some files somewhere with the newspaper extracts.

  12. Hallo there...yes we all know the story of Joshua Kelsall and I must get on and tell it in my own words very soon...most remiss of me!
    PS Who are you????

    1. Hi
      I am Philip in my late 50's.
      One of many grandsons of Joseph & Lillian.
      Looking around your site confirms what we have seen. We live on the south coast of England so we have had time to visit a number of places mentioned in the family history since Jennet Cragg. We have even traced Hart street in London where the two orphaned sons lived. There is still a pub there from 1600's and in the local Church St Olave's is buried Samuel Peeps there is even a reference to Mother Goose at the church.

      As for Joshua's shooting I obtained a photo copy of all the articles from the pages of the Lancashire daily post. I have them transcribed in Microsoft Publisher. My problem is that the more I have been tracing family history it makes me more interested in history and I keep trying to put things into the context of the era.

  13. thanks you much Phil..I have shared your findings here

  14. Dear Sue,
    How AMAZING to see photographs of my Great Grandparents on your site! I've never seen any photographs of them before! I am Mary Lenehan's (nee Kelsall) grandson.Grandma was born in1889 and died on the 21st,June 1964.From all accounts she was quite a formidable lady.I was one when she died and I know she was very fond of her brothers Bob and Alf.I also remember our lovely Aunts,Ivy,Eileen,Annie and Beattie.
    Talking of Eileen,have you been in touch with her son George Adamson?He really is the font of all knowledge where the Kelsalls are concerned.
    If you are looking for information on George Kelsall he was Private George Ernest Kelsall 10321 in the Coldstream Guards.He died on the 11th,August 1915 aged twenty two years and he is buried in the Guards Cemetery,Windy Corner, Cuinchy,Pas de Calais,France.His name is on the Role of Honour in The Harris Museum and Art Gallery,Preston.My Mother told me that Catherine had chained herself to the railings outside Preston Prison to secure his release for being a Conscientious Objector,but I don't know whether it is true or not.Whatever the truth is,we are all extremely proud of him and I always say a prayer for him on Armistice Day.
    Grandma had nine children who lived and a tenth who sadly died in infancy.Of all Mary's children,only one is still living. My own Mother was the youngest child and she died some years ago.
    As you can imagine ,there are loads of cousins.They'll be thrilled to see your photographs.From what we've been told, Joshua was a 'rum 'un'!He was a poacher,but times were extremely hard and he had to survive somehow.My Mother said that he was a skilled Taxidermist and artist as well as a florist.Aunts Eileen and Annie inherited his skill and had shops in Fylde Road and Lancaster Road respectively.
    I'll ask around the family and see if there is any other information I can give you.Again,I can't tell you how fantastic it is to put faces to names I'd only ever heard of.Thank you so much,Sue,

  15. Hallo Robert! What a lovely surprise to find your post and hear from Mary's family.
    At the bottom of this page are my links and if you click on Ancestry you will find other Kelsall stories, some of which you already mentioned.
    Are you Facebook? I have found a couple of second cousins that way, grand-daughters of Joseph and Ivy who were Mary's brother and sister... this is me if you are
    I would love to know more about your family and your stories so please get in touch again!
    love and best wishes, Sue

  16. Hello Sue,
    My name is Gareth Robertshaw - My Great Grandfather was Joseph Kelsall. My Grandmother was Beatrice Winifred Kelsall who married my grandfather Albert Davies in 1947. My mother is their eldest daughter Eileen Joan Robertshaw. Thank-you for providing this information - it's so exciting to read so much that I didn't know! My email address is if you have any further photos or information. Many thanks and take care, Gareth