Thursday, 9 August 2012

The Nimmo's of Liverpool: Part 4

Please accept my sincere apology for the delay in posting this latest instalment in the Nimmo story. I have a very exciting excuse! Just two days after my last post I got engaged – I finally get to add some records to my own research file! These Nimmo’s are actually the ancestors of my fiancĂ©.

As I said in my post, The Nimmo’s of Liverpool: Part 1, I am writing a separate post for each of the children of John Nimmo, baker of 5 Crosshall Street, Liverpool, and his wife Susannah. Today, we will have a look at Thomas Carter Nimmo, the ancestor of the line I am researching. Thomas Carter Nimmo is my fiancĂ©’s fourth great grandfather. And I must apologise from the outset – this is a long one!

Thomas Carter Nimmo

Thomas Carter Nimmo was baptised on 13 August 1826 in St Peter’s (the same church as his siblings Jessie and Robert) by the curate J. Pulford. By all accounts, he was probably about two years old at the time.

The next document I think I have found Thomas in is the 1850 United States census, now aged 26 and a machinist. He is living with David Thompson, a 45 year old Irish-born Coach Smith, his Irish wife Margaret (aged 35), and their children Susan (16), Martha (14), and David (8) in Watervliet, Albany, New York. According to the Census record, Thomas was also Irish, but the three children were all born in New York.

Unfortunately, I am not as au fait with United States records as I am with the British Isles, Australia and the old Prussian parts of Europe (i.e. Germany and Poland), and I am struggling to prove this connection – but if you read on you may understand why I have made this leap of faith in my research.

From online forums and later English records, it appears that Thomas and Margaret Thompson married later in 1850, and had their eldest daughter Susannah in 1851 before returning to England. This period is murky and unverified, and one theory I have is that it was not Mrs Margaret Thompson that Thomas married, but an elder daughter of David Thompson (but not necessarily a daughter of his wife Margaret in 1850). Certainly, the disparity of the ages of Mrs Margaret Thompson in 1850 and of Mrs Margaret Nimmo in 1871 suggest that this may be the case. But then, we know people lied to the census enumerators. It is also possible that Thomas and Mrs Margaret Thompson never married, but returned to Liverpool and claimed that they were.

Regardless of the actual identity of Thomas’ wife Margaret (which I will continue to try to clarify), I next encounter them back in Liverpool at the baptism of their next child, Thomas. Thomas is one of six children that I have found baptism records for, all of them occurred in St Peters Liverpool, the same church that their father and two of his siblings (Jessie and Robert) were baptised in.

The baptism details from St Peters Liverpool of Thomas and Margaret Nimmo’s children (so far) are as follows:
  • Thomas (birth date unknown) was baptised on 8 August 1851.
  • Robert (birth date unknown) was baptised on 18 June 1854.
  • William Henry (born 2 November 1856) and Jessie (born 2 October 1858) were baptised on 6 November 1859.
  • Margaret Ann (born 22 August 1861) was baptised on 18 November 1861.
  • Alice Jane (born 29 October 1866) was baptised on 4 February 1872.
I have been unable to find the family in the 1861 English Census, and plan to trawl through the pages of the enumeration districts of Liverpool to try to track them down when I find some (spare) time.

I did manage to track them down in the 1871 Census. Thomas and Margaret Nimmo are by this time living at 40 Overbury Street, Liverpool. They have seven children at home, including 20 year old Susannah, who was born in New York, Thomas (18) and Robert (16), who are both Apprentice Joiners and presumably working for their father, and Jane (11), Margaret (9), Elizabeth (7), and Alice (4).

A decade later, at the time of the 1881 Census, Thomas (aged 53), a joiner, was living with his new wife Agnes (aged 34 and born in Scotland) and three of his children – Margaret (aged 19), Elizabeth (17), and Alice (14) at 25 Crossfield Road.

On 23 August 1884, Thomas Carter Nimmo, now aged 56 (according to the marriage register) or actually probably closer to 60 (according to previous records of his age and year of birth), married his third wife, Mary Ellis. At the time, he declared his occupation as Chandler (that is, a dealer who specialises in ship’s stores), and was living just a few doors away from his bride-to-be at 102 Breck Road in Everton, near Liverpool.

His bride, Mary Ellis, of 16 Old Barn Road, was a 46-year-old spinster. Her father, deceased at the time of the marriage, was William Ellis, Attorney.

Their marriage took place in St Chrysostom’s, the local parish church. The church’s foundation stone was laid in 1852, with the church opening on 31 August 1853 as part of the parish Walton-on-the-Hill. St Chrysostom’s was assigned its own ecclesiastical district in 1866, enduring for over a century before a reorganisation of the local parishes in the 1960s resulted in the demolition of the church in 1970 (thanks to the Lancashire OnLine Parish Clerks for this information).

At the time of the 1891 Census, seven years into Thomas and Mary’s marriage, they are still living at 102 Breck Road, presumably above his chandlery. Living with them is Thomas’ widowed 24-year-old daughter Alice, and his granddaughter, 15-month-old, Mary A Hopkin.

In 1901, Thomas and his wife Mary were living at 100 Boundary Lane, in the parish of Walton on the Hill. The Census states that Mary was born in York and is now aged 62. It also says that Thomas’ occupation is that of “Confectioner – Bread-Maker – Baker” and that he does this at home.

Jump forward another decade, to the time of the 1911 Census, and Thomas Carter Nimmo, now widowed and in his mid-80s (the Census says 84, but he is older than that), is living with his daughter Alice and her second husband Thomas Bryce. Thomas is also a joiner, and they have five of their children still living with them: Thomas Nimmo (aged 18), Nillie Elizabeth (14), Gertrude (11), Beatrice (9), and James Frederick (5).

Thomas Carter Nimmo died in the second quarter of 1915, at the ripe old age of about 90. His death registration says that he is 86, which is probably about half a decade out, since he was most likely born in 1824.

I know there is so much more to this story (as long as it already is), and I hope I will have time to get back to it again soon. In the meantime, if anyone has anything to add, or you know I have made a mistake, please get in touch! I have supporting documents I am happy to share, and more details about the marriages of most of Thomas Carter Nimmo’s children and grandchildren.

Happy hunting fellow genealogists!