Saturday, 20 May 2017

Finding ‘Wynholm’ for Aunty Anne

My Aunt Anne often tells fascinating family stories, passed down to her by my grandmother. Sometimes, I even find evidence to prove the stories true. Several years ago, my aunt recalled ‘Wynneholme’ as the name of our Wynne family home in Newcastle upon Tyne in England and asked me to locate the house. It was certainly an apt name for the family home, but, try as I might, I never could find it.

The only address uncovered for my great-grandparents in Newcastle was their home at 297/9 Two Ball Lonnen, in Fenham. This is where Patrick Wynne died on 21 December 1937.[1] The family operated a successful grocery business there for many years and lived in the rooms above the shop. The shop was still in business when Teresa (Carroll) Wynne died there, some twenty years later, on 9 July 1958.[2] 
  
297 Two Ball Lonnen, June 2016, Source: Google Street View

The electoral registers for Newcastle upon Tyne are now available online and they have thrown further light on my great-grandparent’s various residences in the city.[3] We ‘know’ Patrick Wynne first settled in Newcastle when he returned from Australia about 1915, but the registers were not kept during the war years, so I can only track his movements from 1918 onward. 

Between 1918 and 1925, Patrick and Teresa Wynne lived at 136 Violet Street, Benwell, close to the River Tyne. These houses were built during the nineteenth century for workers in the successful Armstrong armaments factory. It is where the family lived when they had their children Brian Patrick Wynne in 1918, Nora Teresa Wynne in 1920, Terence McSwiney Wynne in 1922 and Laurence Wynne in 1924. I don’t know yet where they were in 1916, when Eileen Mary Wynne was born, but perhaps they were already in Violet Street. 
  
Violet Street, Benwell, when the houses were being demolished, 1967/8
Source: Newcastle Libraries, Local Studies Collection. (Public Domain) 

Then, for eight years, between 1926 and 1933, Patrick and Teresa resided at 13 Riddell Avenue, Fenham. They were at this address when their sons Maurice O’Carroll Wynne and Brendan Patrick Wynne, both born in Dublin, joined the electorate in 1928 and 1932, respectively. 

From Riddell Avenue, they moved to Two Ball Lonnen, also in Fenham. And, in 1934 and 1935, for two years only, before my Aunt Anne was even born, the Wynnes lived in a house called ‘Wynholm’ on Two Ball Lonnen. Beginning 1936, their address was shown as ‘297/299’ along the same road.

It is difficult to tell if ‘Wynholm’ and ‘297/299’ were the same property, or not. The houses follow an unusual numbering pattern. There were many gaps, perhaps arising because some of their neighbours did not vote. Still, by examining our family’s position in relation to their named neighbours, it seems they may well have moved to a new house between 1935 and 1936. What do you think?

Two Ball Lonnen, Fenham Ward, Newcastle Upon Tyne, 1935 and 1936

So, it’s not entirely clear if I’ve located the actual house known as ‘Wynholm’, but I have definitely found evidence it existed and was situated on Two Ball Lonnen.

Sources: 
[1] Death certificate, Patrick J. Wynne, Dec. 1937, General Register Office, England and Wales.
[2] Death certificate, Teresa J. Wynne, Sep. 1958, General Register Office, England and Wales.
[3] ‘Newcastle Upon Tyne, West, Register of Electors’, for years 1918 through 1937, Tyne and Wear Archives, Newcastle Upon Tyne, accessed on Ancestry.com (subscription site). 

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© Black Raven Genealogy

12 comments:

  1. Ha, Anne will be thrilled, well done. It's amazing how a snippet of info or chance remark can lead to this kind of discovery and broadening of the family's awareness.

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  2. Thanks Niamh, it's true. Re-remembering the little details can really bring the past back to life.

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  3. Great use of the electoral registers. I've never used these types of records for US research, and I wonder if they're saved/archived. I assume yes. Something for me to explore. Thanks!

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    1. Hope you find something useful in the voters' registers, Michael. I used one recently in my Chicago research, so they do exist and some are available on Ancestry. You might find the U.S. City Directories are generally better though - I love those Directories!

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  4. It's always good when a new 'window to the past' is opened.. House names can tell some great stories.. We lived in a place called 'Lochend'. I never questioned it when I was small, it sounded rather grand for our two roomed cottage with an annexe.
    When I became more interested at about the age of seven, discovering that it simply meant Lake end, was a slight let down. I'd always thought it to be the name of a great castle or similar.

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    1. Same here, Chris. When I first heard the name 'Wynneholme' I thought it must at least be a grand country house, and had some doubts it was owned by my great-grandparents. It just shows, there is often truth in our family lore.

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  5. It's always so wonderful when older family members remember and shares stories. Sometimes it is discouraging to try and piece it all together when initially it doesn't make sense but your efforts sure paid off.

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    1. Absolutely Michelle, I love hearing our family lore. Sometimes it does sound a little far-fetched initially, but it is surprising (or maybe not) just how often the truth of it eventually comes to light.

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  6. I have family members who lived in the same spot for their lives, often in the house where they were born. Yet others had "itchy feet" and were constantly on the move. It looks like you have tracked down the Wynnes.

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  7. Me too, Colleen, my Dad's family lived in the exact same house for 5 or 6 generations, while, on my Mam's side, a number of my direct ancestors left Ireland for good, always leaving that one child - my ancestor - behind. I love tracking them all down!

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  8. Dara - Reference 297/299 Two Ball Lonnen. I think that 299 was largely an administrative numer given to the shop. 'We' used to refer to the whole unit, accommodation and shop, as 297, Two Ball Lonnen. My parents Nora [nee Wynne] Skelton and my dad Norman Skelton were married not far away at the church of The English Martyrs. when 'we' came back from Singapore [1952] I attended the parish primary school for a couple of months [my dad was on an extended leave, due to illness].

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    1. Oh, that makes sense, Larry, thanks for letting me know.

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