Research: Jane Gibson (nee Gray/Carnes)

My 4x great grandmother, Jane Carnes was born in about 1815 in Hull, East Yorkshire. She was one of 12 known children, although I cannot find some of these children. On a baptism record of one of Jane’s siblings, it states that they were the 12th child. This could mean that there were some children that were stillborn, which would explain why I cannot find some of them. The parents of Jane and her siblings were Swanson Carnes and Elizabeth Duncan. Swanson had various occupations. He was a shoemaker, Cordwainer, a Durham Militia Man (which meant he served in the army for the Durham Regiment), and a “beer retailer”.

In 1838 Jane married Daniel Gray in Hull, East Yorkshire and about 3 years later, in 1841, the couple were living together on Katherine Street in Hull. Daniel was a Mariner. The couple went on to have 3 known children: George (1842-?), Hannah (1844-?) and Daniel (1849-?). Hannah was sometimes later referred to as “Ann”.

Katherine Street, Hull.png
Hull Map Extract showing Katherine Street.

In 1848, Daniel passed away at the age of about 38, leaving 33-year old Jane a widow, and their children without a father. Jane was still young and must have been a very strong woman to have brought up 3 young children alone, especially in the era that she lived in.

In 1851, Jane was living with her children at 2 Primrose Place, South Street, Hull. She was working as a Lodging House Keeper. There was a lodger called John Smith living with the family. He was a 37-year-old Coal Porter from Hull.

The map below shows the location of Primrose Place. The site where this house once stood and the surrounding area is now home to the House of Fraser store and Temperance Street is now Jameson Street. It is such a shame that housing areas such as Primrose Place are no longer a physical part of Hull. These houses were places that many people called home, and many memories both good and bad were experienced in them.

Primrose Place, South Street, Hull.png

On 14th November 1852, Jane Gray (nee Carnes) married Martin Gibson at the Holy Trinity Church in Hull. The parents of a woman that has been widowed, as well as the actual maiden name of the woman, can sometimes be very difficult to find, but thanks to the marriage index of Jane and Martin, I was able to find both of these. It was here that I found out that her father was called Swanson Carnes, which confirmed my theory that her surname was Carnes. Jane and Martin went on to have 3 known children: Margaret (1853-1891), Thomas (1855-?) and Jane (1857-?).

The image below shows a watercolour painting that was created by Frederick William Booty in 1888. Although it was created 36 years after Jane and Martin were married, I believe it is a brilliant representation of how the church and the surrounding area would have looked like at the time.

Watercolour Painting by Frederick William Booty – 1888.

In 1861, Jane was living at 6 Woods Court in Hull, with Martin and four of her children (Hannah Gray, Daniel Gray, Margaret Gibson and Thomas Gibson). There were also four lodgers living in the household: George P Gwynne, a 21-year-old Whip Maker from London; George Nicholson, a 73-year-old Mariner from Hull; Thomas Clarke, a 38-year-old Plasterer from Brigg, Lincolnshire; and 51-year-old Christopher Heliot, who was a Currier, which meant that he would have stretched and tanned hides to make leather. Despite there being no written occupation for Jane, it is quite obvious that, like the previous decade, she was running a Lodging House.

In 1871, Jane was still living at 6 Woods Court with her husband Martin. Two of Jane’s sons, Thomas and Daniel, were currently living with them too, as well as two lodgers: John Johnson, a 50-year-old shoeing and jobbing smith, who was from Cromford in Derbyshire; and 38-year-old George Peters, who was a watch dealer from Shrewsbury, Shropshire. Jane was recorded as being a Lodging House Keeper.

Sometime between the 1871 and 1881 censuses, Jane’s husband Martin Gibson passed away. This must have been very difficult for her to deal with, especially because this was the second time that she had become a widow. Despite all of the upset, I believe that she would have been supported by all of her children. Her children seem to follow her throughout their lives, meaning that they were most probably very close to each other.

In 1881, Jane was living at 198 Bean Street in Hull, in which Thomas Beacock was head of household. Thomas, who was my 3x great-grandfather, was Jane’s son-in-law, as he had married Jane’s daughter Margaret 13 years previous to this census. Margaret was also living at the household, as well as 5 of her children (including my 2x great grandfather Frederick Beacock). Daniel Gray, Thomas and Jane Gibson (children of Jane) were also living there. Along with the 2 young “visitors” (Timothy and Mary E. Cohlan, who were 5 and 3), there was a total of 13 people living in the house at the time.

The image below shows a map of where 198 Bean Street once stood. The arrow points to the house. Similarly to the other houses where Jane and her family once lived, this house has also been demolished and is now part of a car park on Rawling Way. The development of Rawling Way, which connects Anlaby Road (near Hull Royal Infirmary) to the roundabout at the start of Hessle Road, meant that the majority of Bean Street was demolished.

198 Bean Street.jpg
198 Bean Street, Hull

In 1886, Jane sadly passed away at the of 71 in Hull. I am yet to discover, in which cemetery Jane and her husband Martin her laid to rest. Hopefully, in the near future, I will be able to find out and visit the site.

I believe that Jane was a very strong woman, who experienced a lot in her hard life. Despite her hard life, I also believe that when times were good, they were great for her. It seems like she was the keeper of a dwelling house for many years, which suggests that she was a hard worker and that she brought in a good constant income for her and her family, alongside the wage of her husband, Martin. It is a great shame that there aren’t any photographs of Jane.

There seems to many strong women in my direct family lines. Maybe having a strong mind and a determined attitude was the only option that they had to survive the times that they were born into and lived in. Whatever the reasons, they certainly have made an impact and should be an inspiration to us all.

Thank you very much for reading,

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Geoff Carnes says:

    Hi Tony,
    Your 4 x great grandmother was actually baptised on 17th August, 1814.
    Her father, Swanson Carnes, was baptised on 29th April, 1777 at St. Andrews Church, Hexham in Northumberland. ( he signed himself as “Swen” on his marriage certificate ).
    Swen’s father, according to the baptismal record, was Thomas Cairns (notice the name change).
    Swen was in the Durham Militia patrolling along the east coast of England. It must have been when he was in the Hull area that he met and married Jane.

    Geoff Carnes

    p.s. Swen was my 4 x great grandfather.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tony Beacock says:

      Hi Geoff,

      That is great, thank you very much! Would you be interested in talking over email so that we can share information about our family? Thank you so much for commenting!

      Kind Regards,


      1. Geoff Carnes says:

        Hi Tony,
        I’m pleased the info. was useful to you.
        I am happy to furnish you with any other info. which I have collected over the years. I would point out however that I have limited my research to the name “Carnes” so, as an example, the fact that Jane married and became a “Gray” means I didn’t follow her line any further. However, details of her siblings,etc. I do have.
        Please let me know how I can help. You have my e-mail address; My wife and I live near Scarborough and our tel. no. is 01723-864846.
        Best regards,
        p.s. Just to mention that we are away on holiday from 23rd to 30th April inclusive.


  2. Mrs p buckley says:

    I read with interest about your ancestors Tony and will be interested to read more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tony Beacock says:

      Thank you very much, I’m glad you enjoy them!


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