Hemsworth, Yorkshire


These next blog posts in early Yorkshire are only my understandings and interpretations of the available remaining records for the time frame and exact place.

The records are in the main extremely hard to read, in bad handwriting, alternative spellings and/or mostly in Latin.


The record of interest as an example is one for “Jane fillia Henricus Roydhoufe et Catherine .. baptiz..”

The basic intent of this record is that Henry and Catherine Roydhouse had a daughter, Jane in April 1664.(Wragby)

I have not tried to trace the people beyond what I can glean from the records found in Hemsworth.

I believe that the locality with this surname is important to justify my theories- the surname not ever being very commonplace. I cannot extend the same beliefs to another locality due to the very common first names of the time.

Having said all that, I am enjoying trying to crack this extremely difficult puzzle, although I may not post every week while chasing these early families!!

Let’s start!!

The records for Hemsworth suggest that a Roydhouse family with at least three brothers Oursley, Francis and Thomas were living in the area in the early 1600’s. However, the men could have been cousins or one the father of the other two continuing his family, or even a father, uncle and son baptising children at the same time.

Oursley baptised a daughter, Faith in 1626.This document is only available “transcribed” and I have to accept not being able to read the original for myself- there are no other records for an Oursley anywhere. I can’t find any records of Faith in Hemsworth after her baptism.

Francis baptised Richard in 1627.

Thomas buried a son Roger in 1628.As Roger is listed as a son, he will most likely have been quite younger than 15.

Francis or Thomas also appear to have Edward and Thomas in their families. I would imagine they were born around 1635.

Edward baptised Rachell in 1662, Mary 1667 married Edward Huntingdon 1687 and possibly Eliza 1668(married Edward Milnor 1689)

Edward or Thomas has William circa 1665. His children included Dorothy 1680, Eliza 1685-1685; Margaret 1686; ,Prizile 1687-1700; William 1688,Mary 1694.Edward died 1705, a brother of the hospital.

Thomas and Ann baptised John 1663, Ann 1668 and Mary.

Ann the daughter married Robert Mitchell in 1685.

Mary the daughter married William Shepherd in 1695. John  1696; Edward  1699; Mary 1702; Margaret 1704

Ann the wife of Thomas died in 1693.

John the son of Thomas and Ann, married Ann Bayes in 1688.

Their children included:

William 1688; Marye 1689; James and John 1692; Ann 1695 (possibly married Joshua Clayton 1723); Thomas born and died 1697; Thomas 1698 m Elizabeth Bates 1720 ;Sarah 1699 and William 1700-1713.

Ann the wife of John died in 1704 and John appears to have died in 1709, recorded as a “brother of the hospital”

This form of classifying a person rose in the Middle Ages, when there were four types of hospital; for lepers, for poor pilgrims; for the poor and infirm and almshouses or bedehouses. The long term inmates were known as the brothers and sisters of the “house” and instructed to pray daily for the souls of the benefactors- “bede” being prayer.

Many old churchyards had yew trees growing, the surrounds encouraged growth and the tree made strong bows. The construction of St Helen’s in Hemsworth was recorded in 1022.

Hemsworth’s  Yew tree is said to be between 700 and 1,000 years old, the ancient tree no longer grows but stands, weighing several tonnes and a girth of over 4.5 metres. It would have been already been between 300  and 600 years old at the time these Roydhouse families were flourishing.

Lydia and Sarah B Roydhouse

The first child to be born in America, and the eldest daughter of John Roydhouse and his wife Frances nee Parkinson, Lydia Ann Roydhouse was born in Burlington, New Jersey in 1819.

She married Aaron Wood about 1837, and the couple had 2 sons and two daughters.

1.Henrietta Wood was born on Christmas Eve, 1838 and married Benjamin F Lindsey in 1863
Nettie M 1868-1870; Frank Clinton 1872-1943 and Willam Tibbits 1875-1924. Henrietta died in 1909

2.Lydia A Wood born in 1845 married Joseph Steere
Amanda Steere 1864, Georgeanna 1866, Anna Mary Steere 1868

3.Jacob born in 1851 and died in 1867.

4.Alfred was born in 1856

Lydia died in 1889.

John’s second daughter Sarah B was born in 1820.

She married Thomas Parker Birkett on the 24th October 1839 in Mt Holly, Burlington Co. New Jersey.

1.Margaret F.Birkett was born on the 29th September 1840 in Kansas and married William Henry Pew.
Joanna Elizabeth Pew 1865-1920. Her father William died in 1869.She lived with her grandparents after her mother’s marriage to Thomas Atkinson Gaskill in 1871.
Margaret and Thomas had two sons John Coty Gaskill 1871-1933; Otto Gaskill 1881 Kansas-1900

2. John R Birkett 1842-1905

3. Sarah Birkett 1845-1874

4. James Birkett 1847-1887

5. Thomas Parker Birkett jr 1851-1933

6. Benjamin Franklin Birkett 1856-1935

7. Mary F Birkett 1858-1937 single 1900 census

8. Martha Watts Birkett 1861-married Reginald Thomas Whitcomb 1895
1. Arthur B Whitcomb was born in 1896

Sarah died on the 6th May 1914 in Burlington. She was 94.

Josephine Ann Roydhouse

Josephine Ann Roydhouse was born on the 29th of August ,1851 in Burlington New Jersey , the daughter of Joseph and Ann Roydhouse nee Pedrick.
By 1854 she was an orphan. Little is known of hers and sister Ellen’s life until their marriages.
Josephine married John M Connor on the 16th April 1877 in Montgomery, Alabama.
Hugh Seelye Conner and his twin brother Joseph Roydhouse Connor were born on the 3rd of April 1878. Hugh died aged 4 years on the 14th July 1882, 18 months after John Connor his father had died.
Catherine Connor was born on the 28th December in 1879. She died in Montgomery a spinster aged 33 on the 28th June 1913.
Josephine married Elisha Cyrus Stout ( 1851-1929) on the 17th January 1889 in Montgomery.
In 1898 her son Joseph died in Santiago de Cuba. The Spanish-American War had run for 10 weeks only but was quickly followed by the Philippine -American War. It is possible he was victim to Yellow Fever, a disease borne by female mosquitos. His tombstone reads U.S.V ( United States Volunteer)
Josephine and Elisha’s son Robert Pollak Stout was born in 1890 on the 17th July in Montgomery .
Robert married Flora Irene Cooper and 2 sons and 2 daughters were born.
Robert R.Stout 1924-2003, William Cooper Stout 1928-2997,Mary C. Stout 1926-2004 and
Flora Childress Stout 1931-
Robert died on the 22nd of June 1932 in Pensacola Florida. He was a 2nd lieutenant in the 59th Field Artillery.
Josephine died on the 15th May 1926 in Pensacola, Florida and Elisha 3 years later in 1929.

Ellen Pedrick Roydhouse

Ellen Pedrick Roydhouse was born on the 23rd June 1848 in Burlington Township,NJ.

Both her parents had died in her 6th year.

After one of her legal guardians passed away just after assuming responsibility for the two sisters , the next record is of her marriage on Christmas Day 1866 to Isaac Alloway King at age 18.

Christmas Day weddings usually occurred out of necessity as Christmas and Boxing Day were often the only days of the year that young working class couples were guaranteed to get off work.

The first few years the couple lived in Wrightstown,NJ where their first daughter Susanna Alloway King was born on the 13th Feb 1878.

By 1870 when Annie Roydhouse King was born on the 25th October they were living in Montgomery, Alabama, almost 1,610 kilometres away. Isaac was a carriage maker.

Joseph Grant King was born on the 6th May 1873, and Ella Pedrick King on the 14th May 1876.

Ellen died aged 30 years and 3 months on the 14th September 1878.

In the 1880 census, Ellen’s sister Josephine, 28, her husband John Connor, a carriage maker, their twin sons Hugh,2, and Joseph,2 and Catherine, aged 5 months were sharing the house with widower Isaac. Hugh has diabetes written in his Health column.

Joseph Roydhouse

Five of the eight children of John (died 1851 aged 66) and Frances nee Parkinson( died aged 54 in 1846) died in their late twenties/early thirties.
Matthew Roydhouse died in 1851 aged 37, his wife Elizabeth pre-deceased him in 1848.
John, his brother died in 1850 aged 34, and a sister Mary was 27 when she died in 1852. Thomas was 28 when he died in 1860.
Another son of John (d 1851 aged 66) and Frances nee Parkinson(died aged 54 in 1846) was Joseph Roydhouse.
Joseph was born in Burlington County, the 6th of 8 children in 1822.
He married Ann Pedrick on the 27th March,1845.
Their daughter Ellen Pedrick Roydhouse was born on the 23rd June, 1848 and her sister Josephine Ann on the 29th August 1851.
Joseph is recorded on the census of 1850 as a milkman.
Aged just 31, Joseph died intestate, in Washington, Burlington County on the 23rd September 1853.

His widow Ann was struggling with the process of proving her right to have any monies awarded to her when she passed away 4 months later on the 22nd January 1854.The document below was signed in a very shaky hand 5 days before her death.

The deaths of both parents left two orphans, Ellen aged 6 and Josephine aged 3.
The paperwork trail then included two brothers George and Matthew McHenry to pay a bond to ensure they would be legal guardians of the two girls until they at least attained the age of 14.

It appears that George died later that year. He was married with children of his own.

Howard McPherson Roydhouse (jnr) and sons.

Hold tight, this is a bit of a bumpy ride keeping up with all the goings on of Howard, his sons Howard the Third and Kenneth.

Howard jnr was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the 19th August, 1915.

He married Mildred Rutter sometime between the US Census of 1940 and the birth of their first child, Howard McPherson the Third in 1943.

Kenneth was born in 1944, while his father was away at sea.

Howard jnr served on USS Bunker Hill as a Quartermaster.While covering the invasion of Okinawa, Bunker Hill was struck by two kamikazes in quick succession, setting the vessel on fire.346 confirmed dead and 43 missing, with over 200 injured. The ship returned to the U.S. mainland and was still under repair when the war ended. In October 1945 Howard was discharged off U.S.S. Monmouth after the commissioning of U.S.S.Midway.

( photo Wikipedia USS Bunker Hill on fire)

In November 1957 he divorced Mildred, and was married the next month to Ruth Kay Singleton.

Howard served as a Councillor for some time in the municipality of Kenneth City.


In 1960 he received $60 through Veteran Affairs for his 6 months at war.

Ruth and Howard divorced in January 1963, and two months later he married Carrie Elsie Gambrell. This marriage was to end in divorce in the March of 1969.

Marjorie S Power and Howard married in April 1970, divorcing in December 1974.

In May 1976 he married Mary Rose Ward, but divorced in February 1978.

His two sons attended the same High School, and the family resemblance is easily seen.

Kenthe Third

Ken had married and divorced an unknown lady prior to his marriage to Myra Faye Carter in 1980. He died in 2007.

Howard McPherson the Third married Penny Jane Fletcher in May 1964 and divorced in August 1966.

He married Julia M Shindel in February 1967 and this couple were at the same address through the 1990’s.

Howard the father does not appear to have married again, and he lived in Pinellas, Florida until his death in 1991.

Ellen Virginia Roydhouse


Ellen was born to Howard and Sadie on the 14th December 1910

At age 25 she married Charles Sherman Hubbard and in 1938 she gave birth to a son Leslie Hubbard.

In 1940 Charles, a clerk in radio industry , Ellen and 2 year old Leslie had her mother Essie, sister Elizabeth and brother Howard jnr living with them.

In 1951 she was living in Grand Rapids, Michigan with Walter as Ellen Floyd.

Her father Howard died in 1955.

In 1957 Ellen married Walter Carlyle Floyd, who died 7 years later.

Before her death in 1988, Ellen also lost her mother Sadie(1973) and her sister Elizabeth(1985)

Howard McPherson Roydhouse

The only son of George and Ida, Howard was born on the 22nd September 1884 in Philadelphia.

By 1906 he appears to be enrolled at West Point.



Class of 1906

Howard Roydhouse 1906


West Point Military Academy was established in 1802, and is one of the longest serving academies in the world.

In September 1908 he married Sadie Estelle {Essie} Timmons and three children were born:

Ellen Virginia 1910

Howard McPherson ii 1915

Elizabeth 1920

He died on September 26th 1955 of heart disease, and was buried at Laurel Hill.

Sadie died in 1973 aged 86.

Florence Roydhouse

The second daughter of George W and Ida V Roydhouse, Florence was born on the 31st July 1882 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

She married William L Kerrigan, from Ireland and a chauffeur on the 30th June 1911.

In 1920 William and Florence were living in shared accommodation in New Jersey, where William was a mechanic. There don’t appear to have been any children.

In 1923 she was baptised as an adult in the Holy Trinity Church.

She died of pneumonia on the 24th November, 1925 in South Melville, Pennsylvania aged 47.

Ethel May Roydhouse

Ethel May was born to George W and Ida V Roydhouse on the 26th May 1881, in Philadelphia.

In the 1900 United States Federal Census she was recorded as being 19, and at school with her sister Florence, 16, and brother Howard,14. Also present Maggie from Ireland and Annie from Germany, both working as servants in the Roydhouse dwelling.

On the 10th February 1904 she married Thomas Herbert Ingram and their son Harry Lewis Ingram was born in 1906.
By the 1920 census, however, Ethel is recorded as divorced, and sharing her home with her Uncle Harry, a widower aged 71 and her Aunt Emma spinster aged 65.

In 1930 she is living with her father George, 84 and Uncle Harry aged 82. She is recorded as a widow, however her husband died after that census in 1939.

Her son Harry had married Winifred Margaret Williams sometime before 1932, and he named his sons Harry and Ronald.

Ethel’s death certificate issued for the 14th February 1940 in Springfield in the county of Montgomery states she is divorced.

Her death was attributed to Tuberculosis. She is buried in Springfield Cemetery.(Laurel Hill)