Shutt, Jane (nee Annakin) (1843-1910)

Jane was the third child of Robert (1820-1869) & Hannah (1820-1892) Annakin and she was born on 26th May 1843 in Whixley about 11 miles to the east of Harrogate in Yorkshire.


She married George Shutt who was born on 10th January 1836 in Beckwithshaw, 3m south-west of Harrogate. He received a Church of England baptism on 3rd April 1936. His parents were Joseph & Sarah Shutt and his father was a wheelwright & joiner. The 1841 & 1861 census returns for Beckwithshaw show George had a younger brother & sister and his father employed an apprentice wheelwright who lived with them.

Family Life

Jane & George got married in 1861 or 1862 as their first child, Joseph, was born in the last quarter of 1862 in Greenhamerton, 10 miles east of Harrogate. Their second child, Sarah Hannah, was born on 12th June 1868 in North Rigton, 5 miles south of Harrogate. By the time of the 1871 census the family were living at Guiseley, 12 miles south-west of Harrogate. Jane & George remained in Guiseley to their dying days as shown by subsequent census returns. George followed in his father’s footsteps and was a wheelwright and joiner. The 1881 census gives 18 year old Joseph’s occupation as “Joiners Apprentice”.

The 1891 census is of interest. By then Joseph had left home (see below) but 22 year-old Sarah had company in the form of her 3 year-old niece, Frances Jemima Auton. My guess is that Frances Jemima was sent to Guiseley to take pressure off Jane’s sister Ann whilst her seventh child Beatrice was born. I suspect Frances Jemima volunteered as she seemed to have had an adventurous spirit, and aged 22 successfully emigrated to Canada as an unaccompanied single lady. One might have expected her to have been put off by what I am about to relate.

A Primitive Methodist Baptism

Joseph married Hannah Robinson but there are no apparent records of the date and location. However it must have been before 15th April 1887 when their first child was born. Hannah was born in 1862 in Bramhope which is a few miles east of Guiseley. By the time of the 1881 census the Robinson family were living in Guiseley. Her father’s occupation is given as “Farmer/Agricultural labourer” and Hannah had three brothers and two sisters. The older children all worked in the woollen industry and Hannah’s occupation is given as “Woollen Burler” i.e. somebody who removed the burs from wool.  One of her sisters was called Elizabeth, she was two years older than Hannah and had a further part to play in this tale.

Joseph & Hannah’s first child, a girl, received a non-conformist baptism in Guiseley on 6th June 1887 conducted by a “T Shaw” – I reckon this was the Rev Thomas Shaw a Primitive Methodist Minister who served the Otley Circuit from 1886 to 1889. Thus the location for the baptism was almost certainly the Guiseley Providence Primitive Methodist Chapel. On the register the Rev Shaw wrote her Christian name as “Letitiabell”, her 1917 probate document states “Letitia Belle” but her parents appear to have shortened it to “Lettie”.

Crossing the Atlantic

On 28th November 1891 the Cunard Line’s SS Umbria left Liverpool bound for New York with a “Mrs H Shutt” (aged 30) and a “Lettie Shutt” (aged 4) on board. Then in November 1899 the White Star Line’s SS Cymric sets sail from New York bound for Liverpool with the following passengers on board: Mrs H Shutt (aged 29), Lettie Shutt (11), Ida Shutt (7), Florence Shutt (aged 4) and an unnamed “infant” Shutt. Obviously the age given for Hannah on the Cymric’s manifest is incorrect.

On the 19th May 1900 the Cunard Line’s Luciana set sail from Liverpool for New York and on board was a “Hanna Shutt”. The ship’s surviving but tattered manifest tells us “Hanna” was residing in “Guisly” – so I think we can be certain this is “our” Hannah returning alone to New York. The manifest tells us she had previously been resident in the USA. The other comments are hard to decipher but appear to say she was suffering from some sort of “debility” and going to visit her “husband c/o Mrs Robertson, 1674 Broadway”. On 2nd June 1900 the death of a Hannah Shutt was registered in Manhattan, New York.

What Happened to Joseph?

Ten months later the 1901 Guiseley Census return shows the following occupants for 15 Springfield Place:-

George Shutt, head, aged 65, born Hunton, Yorkshire

Jane Shutt, wife, aged 58, born Whixley, Yorkshire

Sarah H Shutt, daughter, aged 32, born North Rigton, Yorkshire

Latisha Shutt, grand-daughter, aged 13, born Yeadon, Yorkshire

Ida M Shutt, grand-daughter, aged 8, born America – British Subject

Flossy M Shutt, grand-daughter, aged 5, born America – British Subject

George R C Shutt, grand-son, aged 1, born America – British Subject

There is also a 23 year old lodger who worked as a gardener and was born in Lincoln Barracks but Joseph and Hannah are notable by their absence. Hannah’s absence is explained above but I can find no further records for Joseph either in the USA or the UK, so what eventually happened to him is a mystery.

The R in George R C stands for Robinson (his mother’s maiden name) and his death was registered in the Wharfedale District in the last quarter of 1901 which probably means he did not see his second birthday.

In the 1900’s Guiseley and Yeadon, where Lettie was born, were neighbouring villages which would have been just within the borders of the Wharfedale Rural District. These days they are neighbouring suburbs of the Metropolitan City of Leeds. However, you can still get on a train at Guiseley railway station and take a ride on the Wharfedale Line. Bramhope, where Hannah was born, also lies within the modern limits of the City of Leeds but has managed to retain its village character.

An Unresolved Mystery

In the third quarter of 1910 the death of Jane was registered in the Wharfedale District.

The 1911 Census return for 15 Springfield Place lists George Shutt (75), Sarah Hannah Shutt (42) and Letitia Isabell Shutt (23). Sarah Hannah is still unmarried and there is no occupation given for her. Lettie was an “Asst Teacher C C”, which I presume means she was a teaching assistant at a local council run school.

Ida May (18) appears on the 1911 Census return for 17 Victoria Road, Guiseley where she was living with Arthur (49) & Elizabeth Hardwick (51) and their daughter Amy (23). Her relationship to Arthur is given as niece, so Elizabeth was her mother’s sister (see above). Arthur worked for a furniture maker whilst Elizabeth worked “at home” and ran a “grocery business” and Amy assisted her. Ida’s occupation is given as “Elementary School Teacher” in a Leeds Education Committee School.

Florence Mabel (15) appears on the 1911 Census return for Wentworth House, 7 Valley Drive, Harrogate. Her relationship to the head of the house, Henry Walls Auton, is given as “neace” – Henry had a problem with spelling, and relationships as Florence was actually his great-niece by marriage. As already stated, Henry’s wife, Ann (née Annakin) was one of Jane’s younger sisters. Florence’s occupation is given as “Pager” and she worked for a “book binder”.

The deaths of Lettie and Ida are recorded but they were both outlived by their Aunt Sarah.

The death of Letitia B Shutt was recorded in the fourth quarter of 1916 in the Christchurch District of Hampshire. There is a corresponding 1917 probate document for Letitia Belle Shutt showing she died in Bournemouth on 8th October 1916 and left an estate of £118 (worth £12k in today’s money) to her executor Ida May Shutt, spinster. She was only aged 28 when she died and her place of death is recorded in the probate as “The Firs Home”.

Ida May’s death is registered in the first quarter of 1923 in the Wharfedale District. She was only 29 when she died.

Sarah Hannah lived longer and can be found in the 1939 Register when her address was No.1 Bungalow, Petersfield Road, Winchester, Hampshire. Her date of birth is given as 12th June 1868. Her death was registered in the first quarter of 1946 in the Winchester District. She was 75 when she died.

As all their deaths were registered in their maiden names we can assume none of these three ladies ever married.

I can find no record of the death of Florence Mabel Shutt so it is possible that she did get married. Let us hope she had a long and happy life. Exactly what happened in New York in the last decade of the 19th Century I shudder to imagine and the apparent fragility of at least three of Joseph & Hannah’s four children just adds to my concern.

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