When I was 9-years-old my step-father David Harcourt Gollings adopted me. I hadn’t much contact with my birth father Roger Dale Ray (Robert Jewell Vincent). So when DHG adopted me he became Dad and I became a Gollings. Though I am not a Gollings by blood, I am a Gollings according to the courts. I acquired two sisters out of the deal, too. And some interesting ancestors. I have been slowly working on a project for my dad, scanning photos and letters of the families of my Grandma Ina (Ina Lee Ellis, Ellis and Frazer families) and Grandpa Bill (Gollings and Roe families).
My relationship to William Henry Gollings:
David Harcourt Gollings (dad)
William Harcourt Gollings (grandpa)
William Henry Gollings (g-grandfather)
(note: all records found on Ancestry with the exception of the birth record, which was found at Family Search)
William Henry Gollings was born May 14, 1871 in Govan, Lanarkshire, Scotland to parents Henry Gollings (about 1837-1903) and Eliza Ellis (1849-1924). I’m not really sure why his parents were in Scotland since his father was from Leominster in Herefordshire and his mother was from Liverpool in Lancashire, though there was a shipyard in Govan, I believe. William Henry was only one of two children born in Scotland to his parents, the other nine were born in Peterborough in Northamptonshire.
WH (as he shall be known in this post) appears on the 1881 England census living in District 23, East Peterborough, Northamptonshire. He is listed as Henry Gollings, age 9 years, occupation scholar (schoolboy, I assume). This census states that he was born in Glasgow, Scotland even though the birth record is Govan (Govan did not become a part of Glasgow until 1912, so they were still considered separate “towns”). His parents are listed as Henry Gollings (joiner, age 43 years) and Eliza (age 31 years). Also in the household are his siblings: Mary (age 8 years), Jessie (age 6 years), Edith (age 4 years), Arthur (age 2 years) and Nellie (age 6 months). According to a lineage chart I received for the Gollings line WH also had an older sister named Eliza, born 1869 in Scotland, that passed away June 1875 in Peterborough.
I am unable to find WH on a census record in the 1890s. Census records state that he came to America in 1889, so finding him on the 1890 census will be totally, completely impossible (seeing as it was destroyed). I did find a UK Incoming Passenger List with him on it, though. According to the list William H. Gollings, a grocer age 21 years, left New York, New York aboard The Majestic and arrived on June 12, 1893 in Liverpool, England.
(an interesting side note: The Majestic was a White Star Line ship…you know, like Titanic)
WH married Emily Georgeanna (Georgeann) Roe (1871-1932) in England prior to immigrating to America. The only marriage record I can find for a William Henry Gollings is for Jan-Feb-Mar 1896 in Salford, Lancashire. Emily’s name is not in the same book, however, so I am not positive this is same person.
The next record I can find for WH is another one I can’t actually see. It is a record on the Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500-1900. If anyone out there can send me a copy of his information I would be ever so happy! It is found in Index to Montgomery Co. Early Naturalizations, Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly, Fall 1991, pp. 171-177 and Winter 1991, pp. 230-240.
By 1900 WH and Emily had their first two children. The family is found on the census living in Decatur, Macon County, Illinois. Now, it’s because of the accuracy of census records that I am unsure about place of marriage, etc. But here is what is on the census:
Henry Gollings: born May 1872 (though birth record is 1871), married for 4 years (which would make 1896 correct), born in England (not correct, he was born in Scotland), parents born in England (correct), immigrated in 1889 (explains why I can’t find him in the 1890s), naturalized, bookkeeper for an oil company, could read and write, spoke English and rented a house.
The others living in the household were his wife Emily (age 29 years), son Henry (born in Missouri, age 2 years) and daughter Jessie (born in Illinois, age 1 year). According to Pat at the Macon County History Museum the only oil companies he could find were (wholesale) Merchant’s Oil Tank Line Company, Standard Oil Company, Standard Oil Company of Illinois and (oil extracting) Pratt Construction Company, United States Oil Extracting Machinery Company-and those were in the 1909 directory, the earliest directory the museum has.
By 1910 WH and Emily had four more children. They had moved and are found on the census living at 520 E. 89th Place, Chicago Ward 33, Cook County, Illinois. WH is seen as:
William H. Gollings: age 38 years, born in Scotland, England (uh…), parents born in England (correct), naturalized, works as a statistical clerk at a car shop (fancy-schmancy way of saying bookkeeper, I think) and rents a house.
The others living in the household were his wife Emily G (age 39 years), son Henry E (age 13 years), daughter Jessie (age 11 years), daughter Emily (age 9 years), daughter Dorothy (age 5 years), son William H (Grandpa Bill, age 3 years), and son Arthur E (age 2 months).
In 1920 the family had moved again, this time to 7250 Perry Avenue, Chicago Ward 32, Cook County, Illinois. WH is seen as:
William Gollings: age 48 years, born in Scotland (correct!), speaks English, parents born in England (correct) and both spoke English, rents and was a clerk somewhere (I can’t make out where he worked).
The others living in the household were his wife Emily (age 49 years), daughter Jessie (age 21 years), daughter Dorothy (age 17 years), son Harcourt (Grandpa Bill, age 12 years) and son Arthur (age 9 years). They also had a lodger living with them named Elsie Steiner (age 23 years).
By 1930 the family had moved again. This time they were living at 2516 64th Street, Chicago District 591, Cook County, Illinois (I thought the street number was 2576, but that would have put it smack dab in the middle of an intersection). WH is seen as:
William Gollings: age 58 years, born in Scotland, parents born in England, renting and works as a timekeeper at…I think it says can company.
The others living in the household were his wife Emily (written as Emilie, age 59 years), son William Harcourt (Grandpa Bill, age 22 years) and son Arthur (age 20 years).
WH’s wife Emily died on July 8, 1932 in Cook County, Illinois. I am unable to find any other records of him until his death in August of 1967. I can’t find an exact date. The Social Security Death Index only gives the month and year for him. It also gives his year of birth 1873 (not correct).
My dad said that he met his grandfather WH once and he was retired, but he thought he possibly had worked in the meatpacking industry in Chicago. He may have at some point (like, maybe in 1920?) worked as a clerk/bookkeeper.