Friday, September 25, 2009

Grandpa Bellamy - Childhood in England

Grandpa's parents were both born in the original Boston, a town south-eastern Lincolnshire, England. Boston, Massachusetts in the United States was named after this small town. His father, John Henry “Harry” Bellamy was the son of a mariner and was raised by his mother and grandmother, who were both laundresses. His mother, Elizabeth Rason, was also the daughter of a mariner, but her father moved from the sea to the land and was listed as a fruiterer or green grocer when Harry and Elizabeth married in the town of Great Grimsby in 1880.

By March 1881, Harry and Elizabeth were living at the school in Kirton, just south of Boston, where they were both teachers. All Harry and Elizabeth Bellamy's children were born in Kirton. The oldest was George Henry Parker Bellamy born on April 12, 1881, George was referred to as Harry Jr. Edith Mary Bellamy was born on August 3, 1882 and my grandfather, John Samuel Bellamy was born on September 6, 1884, Grandpa preferred to be called Jack. The youngest child, Elizabeth Gladys Bellamy was born in Kirton on June 2, 1892, Elizabeth was always known as Gladys. All children were christened in Kirton except my grandfather who right from the start was treated differently and was christened at Holbeach, a town south of Kirton.

Elizabeth's parents, Samuel Rason and Mary Creak Smith, moved from Boston to Great Grimsby before her mother died as a result of childbirth in 1876 at age 47. Eighteen months after the death of his first wife, Samuel and his sister-in-law, Sarah Ann Smith, became parents of Charles Henry Smith Rason. Samuel and Sarah Ann lived as man and wife but I have not been able to find a marriage and it was illegal in England at the time for a man to marry his deceased wife's sister. This situation may have led to Elizabeth's father and siblings emigrating to Canada about 1883.

Harry and Elizabeth Bellamy continued to live and teach at the Kirton school until they decided to join the Rason family in Canada. I have not found the ship's manifest, but from census returns I have concluded that the Bellamy family immigrated to Ontario in 1898 or 1899.

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