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10 Jul 2016

Come on, give yer Granny £1

A pound was a lot of money in those days. Wealthy Henry Rauthmell, Old Hutton, the brawn behind the lord of the manor, was thirty in 1876 and doing well. Thousands of pounds were at his disposal. But his life was actually about to end and he made his will, which is not yet in my hands.

Twenty or thirty miles south in a popular mill town was Mrs Betsy Whitehead, a smiling toothless lady in her early seventies, just getting on with life. She still had a few more miles on the clock, but not much money. Nothing, in fact.

The death of wealthy Henry could change all that, as he might or might not be her grandson.

It all hinges on the bastard Barton baby's birth at Brook in 1851. If baby born at Brook, Betsy becomes granny. If baby not born at Brook, genealogist is thwarted, Betsy may not be granny.

I hate leaving this conundrum to a throw of the dice in this way. So, come on Henry, prove it for me and leave yer Granny a pound!

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