Author Archives: Nick

Three marriages of Major Simpson (born 1794)

1817 Major Simpson marries Mary Davy

Major Simpson married Mary Davy in Otley 18-Feb-1817. I am related to the Davy family descended from Francis Davy.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Major Simpson
b 1744
Weston
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mary Davy
b 1796
Major Simpson
b 1794
d 1871
 
 
 
 
 
 
Henry Davy
b 1808
d 1813
Francis Davy
b 1812
d 1878
Sarah Simpson
b 1817
 
 
 
 

1823 Major Simpson marries Diana Weggen

Marriage record for 27-April-1823 in Shoreditch, London. They live in Otley and had four children with Diana, all born in Otley.

 
 
 
 
Diana Weggen
b 1804
Major Simpson
b 1794
 
 
 
 
 
 
Henry Simpson
b 1825
Samuel Simpson
b 1828
Margaret Simpson
b 1829
Jane Jemina Simpson
b 1831
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mary Jane Simpson
b 1866
 
 
 
 

Between 1831 and 1834 his life seems to have difficult times. Jane is born in April and in August his grocers business partnership in Otley “Simpson and Jackson” partnership is dissolved, his wife Diana dies in February 1834 and he seems to have delayed christening Jane Jemina until October 1935 when she is aged 4, when he is re-married and the next child is christened.

Diana dies aged 30 and buried 27-Feb-1834 in Otley, so she was born around 1804. The only near birth record for Diana is Diana Waggon, born 1802 in Barking Essex, but this is 2 years difference in birth year and the wrong area of London.

1834 Major Simpson marries Jane Bollans

Major Simpson marries Jane Bollans of York 19-Oct-1834 in Otley parish church. Major’s profession is given as a “grocer”. Jane was born 1807 in York, christened 18-Jan 1807 in York to parents Francis and Elizabeth.

Living first in Halifax they have five children.

 
 
 
 
Jane Bollans
b 1807
Major Simpson
b 1794
 
 
 
 
Frank Simpson
b 1835
Elisa Simpson
b 1839
Major Simpson
b 1837
d 1866
William Simpson
b 1840
Mathew Simpson
b 1841
 
 

Then in Horton (Bradford) another three children.

 
 
 
 
Jane Bollans
b 1807
Major Simpson
b 1794
 
 
 
 
 
 
Charles Simpson
b 1841
Mary Simpson
b 1845
John Simpson
b 1847
 
 
 
 

The 1841 census gives address as Victoria Street, Horton, Bradford. All children from last two marriages are present apart from Henry born 1825 (would be aged 16). The 1851 census gives address as 4 Queen Street, Bradford, Major Simpson’s occupation “assistant grocer”. Children of working age are “spiner (worsted)”. Jane dies in Feb-1866 aged 59. This entry gives Major as grocer in Upper Thomas Street, Horton. Major Simpson dies 1871 in Bradford.

Following their parents deaths the family is headed by daughter Margaret Simpson, all living at Franklin Street, Horton, Bradford. John Simpson is married to Sarah Ann born 1849 in Horton with their children Charles M Simpson born 1870, Clara born 1873, Margaret born 1876, Mary born 1879. If this is “Frank Street, Horton” the houses are only two room back-to-back houses!

Francis Davy born 1812

Possibly the second illegitimate son of a teenage mother, who a few years later marries just before a daughter is born.

My grandfather documented the family information that he was a “Woolcomber”, location Normanton and his name is on the wedding certificate for his son Christopher Davy and Rosetta Beech. Census data gives that he was born 1812, in Haverah Park, Yorkshire. He marries Martha Smith in 1837, and died 1878 in Wharfedale.

This page covers a possible parentage based on the only historical information that seems to fit the known facts. I would be interested if anyone else is researching the Davy and Simpson families from Oltey.

 
 
 
 
Mary Davy
b 1796
Major Simpson
b 1794
 
 
 
 
 
 
Henry Davy
b 1808
d 1813
Francis Davy
b 1812
d 1878
Sarah Simpson
b 1817
 
 
 
 

1812 Francis Davy christening

Haverah Park was a 12th century medieval park lying within the Forest of Knaresborough with a royal hunting lodge known as John of Gaunt’s Castle. From the late 18th century enclosure and by the 19th century it was an area of farming tenants on one of the few areas continuing the royal status and exempt from local taxes. There is no village or church in the park area.

The only documented christening of a Francis Davy is at is at Leathley, which is the closest village church to Haverah Park. Francis Davy – born 07-April-1812, christening 26-April-1812, mother’s name Mary and “illegitimate”. Possibly Mary was aged around 17 years if the later marriage is correct.

This also gives a possible younger brother christened at Leathley as Henry Davy, born 17-Feb-1808, christened 28-Feb-1808, mother’s name Mary and illegitimate, and does not give any profession for Mary, potentially Mary was aged 13 years.

Henry probably died 21-May-1813, aged 5 years. This is recorded in Otley suggesting Mary had possibly left her parents’ home at aged 17 and was now located in Otley, in the same town as her future husband.

1817 Major Simpson marries Mary Davy

There is no further record of “Mary Davy” in census or death data, so it looks most probably that she married Major Simpson in Otley 18-Feb-1817 aged 21.

This gives her birth year as 1796, and Major Simpson as 1796, both residents of Otley. I cannot find a birth record for Mary Davy as the name is too common in the wider area without further information and there are no other Otley area possibilities. Birth records give Major’s christening date as 3-Aug-1794 making him 23 year at time of marriage, and his father was also called Major Simpson. Her marriage could explain how Francis found a good position in life as a “woolcomber” rather than ending up in poverty with a single mother.

Major Simpson and Mary have another child, Sarah Simpson born 17-Apr 1817 and christened 3-Aug-1817 so Mary was 7 month pregnant when they married. His profession is given as “Husband man”. One wonders if the previous sons were his, so was Major Simpson the father of Francis Davy?

Major Simpson marries again in 1823, marrying a Diana Weggen, a Londoner in Shoreditch which seems unusually far from Otley.

The question is what happened to Mary? There is no death record in the Otley parish. The options are:

  1. Born 1795, died 1823 at Northallerton, which is in north Yorkshire.
  2. 1826 accidental death in Chadderton Lancashire, but reported in Leeds paper.
  3. 1831 arrest for vagrancy in Leeds.

Whichever option is correct it seems that she had separated from Major Simpson by 1823. If she had died in Otley while still with Major Simpson this would have been recorded in the home town of Otley.

Family trees

If anyone researching their family thinks there could be a link please e-mail us info (at) eliznik.org.uk

‘Va dorim success, felicitare’: competition and community participation in Romanian dance festivals

This chapter explores Romanian dancers’ participation in organized dance competitions, both within Romania and internationally, and investigates the informal competition that exists between the members of the Banat Romanian dance community. It includes three themes. The first traces a historical trajectory on the changing importance of performances of local, regional, and national identity in dance competitions. The second theme examines the challenges faced by the judges during formal dance competitions, revealing that judgments are made according to their personal backgrounds, and their desire to encourage maximum participation through making positive commentary rather than stressing the exclusivity of individual participants. The final theme explores informal competitiveness between dancers and leaders; the author proposes that this reinforces the sense of community among dancers, and that notions of formal competition and informal competitiveness coexist in the minds of both the dancers and the leaders.

Mellish, Liz (2019). “ ‘Va dorim success, felicitare’: Competition and Community Participation in Romanian Dance Festivals.” Sherril Dodds (editor), The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Competition: pages 253–282. Oxford: Oxford Univeristy Press.

The cultural development of folk dance festivals and the sustainability of tradition: Introduction

Özbilgin, Mehmet Öcal and Mellish, Liz (editors) (2018). “The cultural development of folk dance festivals and the sustainability of tradition : Introduction.” Liz Mellish; Mehmet Öcal Özbilgin (editors), The Cultural Development of Folk Dance Festivals and the Sustainability of Tradition: pages 11-26. İzmir, Turkey: Ege University Press. ISBN: 978-605-338-238-6.

Presentational folk ensembles on the festival stage: a window into a participatory and social local dance scene in Banat Romania

This chapter discusses the relationship between local dance groups at festivals and sustaining local dancing in the community. Festivals in south east Europe traditionally include food, drink, music and dancing, and in Timișoara this format is used for many events from the village Saint’s day to the large international folk dance festival. It is also typical to include a staged performance of local folk dances. A trend towards NGOs and “Arts” managed festivals is breaking away from this traditional festival concept so reducing the involvement of local folk ensembles in community events. I propose that presentation of local dances and folk dance festivals that involve the community play a role in supporting the local dancing practices beyond an artistic entertainment.

Green, Nick (2018). “Presentational folk ensembles on the festival stage: a window into a participatory and social local dance scene in Banat Romania.” Liz Mellish; Mehmet Öcal Özbilgin (editors), The Cultural Development of Folk Dance Festivals and the Sustainability of Tradition: pages 167-178. İzmir, Turkey: Ege University Press. ISBN: 978-605-338-238-6.

What is an (ideal) international folk dance festival? Voices of participants and organisers in international folk dance festivals in Romania and beyond

This chapter explores the question of what is considered as an (ideal) international folk dance festival by drawing from longitudinal ethnography among festival organisers in Romania, participants in international folk dance in festivals within Romania and Romanian participants in festivals elsewhere, as well as from archival and published sources. It explores the
roles of interaction and change in international folk festivals and investigates problems faced by organisers and the experiences of the participants focussing specifically on a long term case study of the international Festivalul Inimilor, held in Timișoara, Romania. It concludes that since the first international folk dance festival was held around eighty years ago, surprising relatively little has changed in the experiences of the organisers and participants in these events.

Mellish, Liz (2018). “What is an (ideal) international folk dance festival? Voices of participants and organisers in international folk dance festivals in Romania and beyond.” Liz Mellish; Mehmet Öcal Özbilgin (editors), The Cultural Development of Folk Dance Festivals and the Sustainability of Tradition: pages 111-126. İzmir, Turkey: Ege University Press. ISBN: 978-605-338-238-6.

The cultural development of folk dance festivals and the sustainability of tradition

The ‘Cultural Development of Folk Dance Festivals and the Sustainability of Tradition’ is a collection of case studies written by authors who have undertaken long term research on folk dance festivals, in many different locations, as part of their overall research as dance ethnologists, ethnochoreologists or anthropologists. All the authors in this book are concerned with the sustainability of the dance genres they research and have identified folk dance festivals as an important space for the performance, transmission, transition and transformation of folk dances. The chapters included follow the historical development of folk dance festivals as well as investigating reasons for the major changes the authors have observed in folk festivals and folk dance activities over an extended period of time.

Özbilgin, Mehmet Öcal and Mellish, Liz (editors) (2018). The Cultural development of folk dance festivals and the sustainability of tradition. İzmir, Turkey: Ege University Press. ISBN: 978-605-338-238-6.

Interview: Folclorul romanesc in spatial european

În luna noiembrie a anului 2016 am avut plăcerea să fiu invitat de colegul meu de breaslă din Timişoara, coregraful Marius Ursu, pentru a preda jocuri populare sud-moldoveneşti în cadrul unui seminar la care au participat studenţi din mai multe centre universitare, membri ai unor ansambluri folclorice studenţeşti. Alături de studenţii participanţi la atelier, două personaje carismatice mi-au atras atenţia, datorită seriozităţii, atenţiei şi uşurinţei cu care învăţau jocurile noastre.
Am aflat apoi că cei doi – soţ şi soţie – sunt Liz Mellish şi Nick Green, o familie de englezi din Londra, dar care au un apartament şi în Timişoara. Ne-am împrietenit mai apoi şi ne-am regăsit la colocviile de la Buşteni, unde le-am propus să realizăm interviul acesta. Au primit cu bucurie şi cu interes această propunere.

Horujenco, Ioan (2018). Folclorul romanesc in spatial european. Revista Dunare de Jos, number 193: pages 31-34,51. http://www.ccdj.ro/

Social dancers in Balkan folk dance performance: communities, traditions and sensory concepts?

This paper considers perspectives from dancers within a particular genre of recreational dance known as “Balkan folk dance” in the UK. Through asking participants about their understanding of dancing I consider, firstly their preference to Bulgarian dances over Romanian dances, secondly their lack of relationship to Bulgarian dance groups in the UK, and thirdly their ideas and concepts for dancing touching on issues in sensing of movement and connection to music. Dancing communities create their own traditions and values, dances that align to these are adopted and popular, however transporting a dance into a new context does not bring previous traditions, leaving parallel dancing communities separated in participation, but dancing the same dance.

Green, Nick (2017). “Social dancers in Balkan folk dance performance: communities, traditions and sensory concepts?” Kendra Stepputat (editor), Dance, Senses, Urban Contexts : 29th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Ethnochoreology July 9-16, 2016 Retzhof Castle, Styria, Austria: pages 238-247. Graz, Austria: ICTM, University of Music and Performing Arts Graz. ISBN 978-3-8440-5337-7.