Friday, June 23, 2017


Thomas Atkinson & Edith Morris about 1928 in Sheffield
, England

This blog is a place to share stories of the Atkinson family in Sheffield, England and across Canada.
Hopefully I will make contact with other descendants along the way. Names currently being researched are Atkinson, Morris, Taylor, Seyman and Yare.

In 2012,  I took a course in setting up a blog site from the Ontario Genealogy Society. The teacher insisted that if we created a blog site to share our family history, cousins from far and wide would find us online and likely contact us.I was skeptical but I was interested in learning more about the internet and blogging in general so I took the course. Happily she was right.

I started blogging about my mother’s family shortly thereafter and I am so pleased that a couple of young distant cousins contacted me. That led me to getting to know their parents and grandparents who are my first or second cousins. It even prompted two vacation trips to meet cousins in British Columbia and England.

I have been writing about my mother’s mother Elizabeth Blaney and her family in a more or less chronological manner at  

Bill Atkinson & Joan Welch 1937

I have now reached the point in the timeline where my mother Joan Welch met my father William (Bill) Atkinson. It seems a good idea to begin a separate blog site to tell the stories of my father’s family.I learned how to link the two blogs together so that I can refer readers back and forth as needed to continue the stories of both families.

Thomas and Edith Atkinson were my Dad’s parents. When I started researching their story, Dad gave me a list of his family as far back as he knew it. The list was short, including only the names of his parents and grandparents. Most of the information proved to be correct except for a spelling error that made locating records for his maternal grandmother a challenge.

I have my own memories and photos of my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins from when I was growing up but unfortunately we lost touch as we became adults and some of our parents died. 

I remember my grandfather Thomas Richard as a strong, quiet man who seldom had much to say. He told me he had fought in the Boer War and WWI but never told any war stories. He told me he got his tattoos in the army and I saw his medals when he dressed for the Warrior’s Parade or attended Legion events. Little did I know the length of his military service. 

My grandmother, Edith Hannah Morris was a petite, gentle woman and I have fond memories of her. I don’t remember her being young – she was sixty-one when I was born and almost twenty years older than my Mom’s mother, my grandmother Welch. I never remember Edith being ill until she had some heart problems late in life. She lived to age ninety-four, having lost her husband fourteen years earlier.

When I questioned my parents about my Atkinson family history they told me that Thomas and Edith didn’t talk about their family back in England. It seems they weren’t very close and I don't know if my father knew that his mother had a brother and sister or that his father was an only child
I am pretty confident that I have identified the correct ancestors, confirmed known information and my research has been in agreement with other family histories that have been published.  I began with current family members and traced their ancestors backwards through public records. In birth and marriage records, parents and grandparents were named in the documents. I also used census records, passenger lists and military service records.

In doing my research I found that Edith had lost her father when she was just 12 years old and her mother never re-married. Interestingly, she would marry a man who had lost his father at a very young age as well. Since Edith’s father had a previous marriage, she had two stepsisters who were at least 15 years older than her.  Edith also had an older sister and a younger brother.  I was able to find them because their names were shown as witnesses on my grandparent’s marriage certificate.

I was able to trace the Morris side of her family back to 1799 but I have not yet done enough research to confirm her Morris great-grandparents.  Due to that spelling error in my father’s notes it took a little longer to track her maternal grandparents, George (1800-1864) and Mary Ann (1803-1887) Seyman. 

Most of the Atkinson family British story centers on the area of Sheffield England with Edith and her sister being born in nearby Manchester. 

Like all my other research, this is a work in progress. There are undoubtedly some errors and omissions. I hope over time, it will be reviewed, discussed, corrected and added to by any family members who may be interested in reading it. Any sharing of their knowledge, memories, descriptions and photographs would be welcomed and greatly appreciated, adding more depth to their story.