Sunday, March 16, 2014

52 Ancestors - #8 Aaron OSBORNE

Dear Ancestor,

You were born Aaron OSBORN in Gidleigh, Devon, England in 1842. The seventh of eight children, that have been documented, of William OSBORN a Stonemason and his wife Ann STATT.

In 1851 you were enumerated as living in Great Ensworthy in the Parish of Gidleigh, Devon, England with your parents of five siblings. You had two brothers who were servants in other households of the Parish, hence they are enumerated with their respective employers.

By 1861 you seem to be missing from the census. Where were you? I have tried searching with given names, surnames, surname variants and even for anyone born 1842 +/- 5 years in Devon and adjacent counties yet you are still not found.  However, your parents are enumerated with just two children at home in South Tawton, Devon, England. Your remaining siblings have either married or are boarding when the enumerator came to call.

You reappear in records on 3rd September 1864 at St Sannan's Church in the Parish of Bedwellty, Monmouthshire, Wales as a Labourer to marry Martha CHAMBERS.  She is soon with child and just 10 months after the wedding you are blessed with your first child, a son, and another six enumerated children followed.
"Wales, Monmouthshire, Parish Registers, 1538-1912," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 16 Mar 2014), Aaron Osborn and Martha Chambers, 03 Sep 1864, Marriage; citing "Parish Records Collection 1538-2005," Brightsolid; Bedwellty, Monmouthshire, Wales, p. 156; FHL microfilm 2408883

1871 finds you still living in Blackwood, Bedwellty, Monmouthshire (Now Blackwood, Gwent) as a Fireman - although I suspect that this did not mean that you fought fires or stocked a fire box on an engine but was something to do with mining and the dangers that fire posed underground. I have this suspicion as by 1881 you had become a coalminer, an occupation for which you served an apprenticeship at the side of an experienced coalminer (often a father, brother, uncle or another relative).  The census in 1881 and later in 1891 give the hamlet in which you were living as Hengoed in the Parish of Gelligaer, Glamorganshire, Wales although from the street names, Hanbury Road and Bristol Terrace, I can see that you were about 4 miles north in the settlement of Bargoed (formally part of Pont Aberbargoed).

So to 1891 and your final census appearance. You are still a coalminer with a wife and five children at home along with a teenage girl, Annie L BELL, listed as your adopted daughter although no-one seems to know who she is or why she was with your family. Your eldest son by now was married and living nearby with his own wife. Another of your sons, Richard, is missing in 1891 but I suspect that he may have been working a night shift at the coal face and was missed when the enumerator came to call.
A view accross Bargoed Viaduct in the foreground with  Bristol Terrace above the railway line in the upper right corner.

Sadly in February 1896 you passed away, leaving Martha a widow.  She kept the family home for another ten years before remarrying.

I would love to know where you were hiding when the 1861 census was taken and where (if at all) your children were baptised as having spent hours bent over photocopies if the parish registers I know that they were not baptised at the Parish Church.

With Love,
Your £rd Great-Granddaughter.

A History of Bargoed

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