Monday, April 29, 2013

English Roots- The Timmins family

My great grandmother, Elizabeth Ruth Timmins was the first of her immediate family to have been born in the United States. Growing up I had heard tales of the family trip to the United States, and my grandmother had a postcard picture of the ship the family came to the U.S. on, the Celtic.

After many years of trials and error, I have finally been able to piece together the family history of the Timmins family. There were quite a few surprises that came along the way. While researching newspaper articles, I found out that my great Grandmother (G.G.) had an Uncle and an Aunt who also came from England and lived in Syracuse, New York. When her Uncle, Joseph Timmins died, her husband, Leroy Hinds was a pallbearer.

Elizabeth Ruth Timmins, born October 5, 1889 in Syracuse, New York was the only daughter and last child of George Henry Timmins and his wife, Sarah Brampton. George worked in a factory, but had been a glassmaker in Bromwich, Shropshire, England prior to moving to the United States.

George Timmins isn't found on any entry into the United States. I am guessing perhaps he worked his way over, but the rest of the family, Sarah, William and Joseph arrived September 15, 1884 in New York. Below is an image (same postcard my Grandmother had) of the ship they came on.

George Timmins was the son of Joseph Timmins and Sarah Phillips. The family lived in Bromwich where Joseph was a glass blower. In 1863, and until 1872 the family lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Joseph's Uncle's had moved there, and is the reason I suppose the family was there for a short time. George was born in Bromwich in 1860. He killed himself on November 21, 1891. He is buried in the same cemetery as his brother Joseph.

Not familiar at all with England, I am never clear if Bromwich is Shropshire or Staffordshire as I have seen it listed as both. The most famous glass factory in the area is the Chance Glass factory, most likely the factory where he and his family worked, as it is the only one open during that time and was only a few blocks to miles from the various locations the family lived at in England.

In 1880 George married Sarah Brampton, the daughter of Edward Brampton and Ruth Spicer. Edward Brampton was like Joseph a glass worker.They were hard working families who never owned property but spent their lives in various rental properties and died poor.

George Timmins and Sarah Brampton had three children, my great grandmother Elizabeth, William, and Joseph Timmins. Joseph Timmins married Caroline Louise Lakins, a niece by marriage of Joseph Uncle's second wife, Caroline Louise Fry. Both Josephs lived on the same street and worked at the same factory in Syracuse. Joseph, the elder, was a foreman there. Joseph and his wife and two children, William H. Timmins (same name as George's son but a few years younger) and Florence Mary Timmins came a few years after George and Sarah to Syracuse. In the New York census of 1895, Sarah and her children are living with her brother in law Joseph.

The family attended the Episcopal church in the area It is there that I found the marriage information and the baptism of my great grandmother Elizabeth Ruth Timmins. Sarah is found in the phone book seperately but is never found in another census after 1905, I think because she had remarried. She had taken in boarders to support the family. According to my grandmother, prior to her marriage my great grandmother worked in a ceramic factory making plates. She married Leroy Hinds on October 21, 1908.

According to my grandmother, her Uncle Joseph Timmins had suffered some sort of chemical exposure during the World War 1 that caused his early death. However, he had also worked at a chemical plant, so it's difficult to say which led to his ill health. He and his wife Caroline had daughters, Beatrice, Edith and Margaret. The family had moved to Virginia and I don't think my grandmother was close to them at all.

William Henry Timmins, the son of George and Sarah, not to be confused with his first cousin by the same name, was a milk man and a trumpet player. He had five children with his wife Ina Baker. They were Eldred, Virginia, Ralph, George and Arline. My great grandmother showed me a newspaper article about his death. She said he was quite well known for his trumpet playing in Syracuse. G.G. was really proud of her brother who died in 1974.

Elizabeth Ruth Timmins, or G.G. was someone I spent many hours with. She didn't talk a lot about her family or growing up. She was a very no nonsense type of person, but she could be very funny. Especially when she was arguing with her son Warren. G.G. died in Riverside, California July 17, 1982. My mother and I were the last of our family to see her alive.

I wonder why she never talked about her Uncle Joseph and her cousins William Timmins and Florence Shafty, or her Aunt, Harriet Timmins Hinton, or any of her children. I know she knew them.

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