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Hi, I wonder if anyone could help track this chap...his name and address, W Morton, 193 Milton Street, Sheffield, is written inside a musical instrument with the date of 1898. He is advertising for a servant in 1896.
Unfortunately he is not at the address ( which is a grocer's shop with accomodation.) in either the 1891 or 1901 census.
Any help would be most appreciated.
What kind of instrument is it? Maybe we can find a newspaper report of him playing in a concert or a band...
Not sure if it's relevant but I found an ad in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph 1896 under
Wanted - Domestic Servants
Wanted a girl 14-16 years of age. Apply W Morton 193 Milton Street
just seen that you already knew about the ad.
Do you know what the "W" stands for?
Heather, the instrument is a Concertina. Sheffield had a few Concertina Bands around this time but it's rare individual players get a mention...usually only the Conductor or officials.
Sorry John 'W' is all he left us.
You are sure the "W" is a male name?
John, no I'm not certain of anything other than what was written in the instrument...I assumed that had it been a woman it might have said Mrs W Morton in the servant advert...but it does leave it open to a degree.
Not sure of this but in 1901 at Court house 2 Dixon Street Sheffield there is a Walter Morton (head) living with them was the Seaman family of which the mother of the family was a Housekeeper and her daughter was a domestic servant aged 16. possibly wrong though
I searched the newspapers using the combination of Morton and concertina. It brought up plenty of hits, but none of them actually mentioned a Mr. Morton playing the instrument. I also looked on picturesheffield.com in case they had anything. They did have a photo of a concertina band, but unfortunately it didn’t give names for any of the members.
Is it possible that W. Morton was running the grocers shop himself when he placed the advert? I know that later, between around 1907-1911, one of my great-grandmothers cousins was the shopkeeper at that same address. He was a file grinder with not long to live. The family were not at all well off and so it wasn’t a posh address at all. Anyone renting a room there wouldn’t have been exactly flush with cash, but the shopkeeper himself might have been better placed to hire a servant. Wondering if you search the census for a W Morton who was a grocer or shopkeeper it might turn something up??
"just wondered if anyone might have access to maybe electoral rolls"
I have had a bit of a rummage in Ancestry's electoral rolls.
Found one elector in Milton Street, with property elsewhere.
In this country up to 1879 (male) electors were limited to property owners or holders of leases over a certain value. If it was the same in your country in the 1890s then electoral rolls won't pick up small tenants / boarders.
Had a sudden thought. He puts the address of 193 Milton St inside the concertina in 1898 and by 1901 he's no longer at that address. However the Milton St address is still inside the concertina now. Does that suggest that he died between 1898 and 1901? If he'd just moved away wouldn't he have updated the address details?
Just to your add of material.
Burton, Arthur Watson (Cab Driver, age 30).
Died at 193 Milton St; Buried on June 7, 1900 in Consecrated ground;
Grave Number 9199, Section T of City Road Cemetery, Sheffield.
I wonder if 193 was a lodging house???
Hi Heather...I searched the census for a W Morton, Grocer, unfortunately the only one I found was Wilson Ibbotson Morton who was at the same address in Grimesthorpe Road in 1891 and 1901 so unlikely to be our man.
1901 Census, 193 Milton Street Minnie Burton (Widow) 31 GROCER WORKING AT HOME. Her husband, a cab driver, had died there the previuos year
The address was a grocer's shop as stated in the first message in this thread.
Have been trying FMP that but only three come up and two are with their husbands in 1901.None at 193 Milton St.
Where did you find the index?
Heather...I don't think the date etc would be particularly significant, Concertinas are not the easiest thing to open, I think it likely it would have been written at the time of a service, tuning or repair, possibly even by the repairer/tuner to identify his customer, although it is possible a simple task like a sticking valve could have been done by the owner himself. However I do think you're right that we have to consider death as a possibility..a quick look on Freebmd gives four potential candidates between 1898 and 1901. The death certificates could tell us a lot if we are lucky.
I'm assisting an internet friend who is the owner of the instrument, I've suggested purchasing certificates from the GRO, but I haven't heard back yet.
Here is a possibility
1911 Census William Morton b 1856, Grocer and Beer Retailer, 52 Latimer St Sheffield.
I think you are on the right track Dave.
Minnie Burton by the way was a Benstead prior to marriage
I believe she remarried in 1903
Arthur Died 1900 City Road burial.
Minnie now Roberts died 1940
In the same grave as Arthur.
Roberts, Minnie Jane (wife of George, age 73).
Died at 2 Herries Rd; Buried on April 10, 1940 in Consecrated ground;
Grave Number 9199, Section T of City Road Cemetery, Sheffield.
Not that it helps with the illusive Wm Morton.
I wouldn't buy any certificates as yet.
Nothing showing up with FMP Electoral Records.
Thats why I was having difficulty with FMP............. Its probably a spelling error the reason he's not showing up.
If its the chap that Dave found he's under our directories for 1905
Morton, William (, Grocer & beer retailer).
Address: 52 Latimer Street, Sheffield in 1905.
Morton, William (, Grocer).
Address: 52 Latimer Street, in 1911.
Could it be?????
MORTON, William (~, Grocer).
Address: 20 Alfred Road, Brightside, ~ in 1925.
Andy et al
I suspect we are following the wrong line here.
I believe you are on the right track in identifying the writer of the label as someone servicing the instrument. But he would do that to identify HIMSELF to the next person who opened it up.
I had a similar thing with a German made piano which I bought second hand in UK 1982. That piano lived for the next 15 yrs in Belgium then my daughter brought it back to UK, married, took it to Australia, where it needed to be serviced. She called in a local piano tuner. He found a label inside which identified a previous person who serviced it about 30 yrs earlier. The reason this is memorable is because amazingly he recognised that person as his grandfather, also a piano tuner.
If W Morton needed to identify his customer he would put a label on the outside before he opened it, not on the inside where he could not read it after he closed it.
Going back to 193 Milton Street we know that Arthur W Burton and his wife were already there in 1900 when Arthur died. They married in 1893. Arthur's father Thomas was a Grocer and Beer seller (1891 and 1911) and I suspect the newlyweds moved in to 193 Milton street in the early 1890s. They had no children so could have let out a spare room to W Morton, who did the servicing on the instrument.
I think you should be looking for a musical instrument repairer, probably a profession if he was identifying himself inside the instrument.
Correction, Arthur Burton's father was a butcher
Thanks to everyone who has assisted me on this thread...most appreciated. Unfortunately the person we are attempting to help seems to have lost a little interest, and whilst I'm still curious it's probably time to leave it alone....many thanks again to all.