George Henry Hughes, son of Samuel and Ann Hughes, was born in 1851 in the town of Wordsley, Staffordshire County, England. There is a record of a christening at St. Mary's Chapelry in the Kingswinford parish, Staffordshire, England dated August 24, 1851.
George moved to West Hartlepool, England with his family between the years 1861-1870. The town, bounded to the east by the North Sea, was a hub of manufacturing during Queen Victoria’s reign. Major industries located there were: Seaton Carew Iron Works, Iron & Steel Works, a coal depot, Hartlepool's Paper Works, several saw mills, cement works, pottery and brick works and timber yards. The Hughes family men were all actively involved in the iron works and coal industry.
George Henry married Mary Ann Storey, daughter of John Storey and Ann Robinson, on Christmas Day, 1870. The ceremony was held at All Saints Church, Stranton, which today has been incorporated into Hartlepool. Mary Ann was born in Hartlepool, on the Headland, in 1852.
George and Mary Ann lived with George’s family during the first few years of their marriage at 11 Thorne Street, West Hartlepool. By 1881 they were living at 61 Hill Street in the Longhill section of town. The family stayed in Longhill for the remainder of their lives moving from 61 Hill Street to 70 Florence Street. Within easy walking distance were the iron and steel mills where the men of the family were employed. Railroad tracks that carried the lumber, paper, iron and steel out of the town crisscrossed the east side of the area. A description of Longhill by Alan Coates Klottrup on the 1896 Old Ordnance Survey Map of Stranton portrays a dismal housing area, “Thomas Richardson, a Liberal politician, purchased the Blast Furnaces and Rolling Mills….He housed his artisans in the cluster of Longhill streets christened ‘Wagga Wagga’ for their outlandish location and aspect—undrained, unlit, unpaved;…”.
In 1898 the family moved to 70 Florence Street, one street north of Hill Street and opened a grocery and provisions store which was still operating in 1935. The streets of Longhill were bulldozed over when the steel mill was expanded and today are only a memory.
From 1871 until 1898 George was employed as a puddler with the iron works, a cement worker and an ironworker. A puddler converts raw pig iron into wrought iron using a special furnace. The molten pig iron was stirred (or puddled) by stirring it with a big ladle. The job of puddler was one of the most skilled and specialized in the entire iron works. He had to stand so close to the furnace that his clothes became hot enough to burst into flames.
The Hughes family were members of All Saints Church in Stranton until St. Aidan’s Church opened in 1890 in West Hartlepool. Numerous family weddings and baptisms can be found in the church records.
George Henry Hughes died at home in May 1930 and was buried at Stranton Grange Cemetery on May 10, 1930. Mary Ann lived five years longer, died in March 1935 and was buried at Stranton Grange Cemetery on March 18, 1935. There is no tombstone to mark the burial place.
Children of George Henry Hughes and Mary Ann Story
A blog about the MARY ANN STOREY HUGHES POSTCARD. Blog shows front and back of the postcard, enlarged image of Mary Ann's face and story of my trip to Hartlepool, England and interviewing Mary Ann's grandson, John George Marsh.
Comprehensive history of the English roots at the Hartlepool Page
Open the Hughes Family Treasure Chest!
Thank you to Heather from Middlesbrough, England, my Internet friend who has done countless hours of research on my English lines. To my newly found UK family; Roy of Swindon, England and his mother, Betty of Hartlepool, England for their help filling in the blanks. AND to Judith of Shildon in Durham County who found me via the net and relates to the Adamson line (married Samuel Hughes). Judith has been working with St. Aidan's Church microfilm finding the marriages and children of the various Hughes lines. Finally, to Irene Hughes O'Shea, now deceased, who found me via this website and sent me photos and information on her link to our Hughes family.
Updated August 2015
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