A few weeks ago, at a 4Networking meeting, I was chatting to a colleague who mentioned an interesting named person in his ancestry – Pickup Pickup Holden. At first, I thought it was a windup! But no! A quick search on FreeBMD on my phone showed his birth, marriage and death:
Clearly, this gentleman existed and was born in the latter part of 1891, marrying Ellen Wearing in 1917 and dying in 1954. It is perhaps more worrying to note that in 1911, he is recorded as Pickup Pickup, the surname having been completely missed off the census record. In the 1911 census, Pickup Pickup [who should have his surname Holden] was working in the weaving mill and the 1939 Register, some 28 years later, recorded him living at 31 Philip Street, Darwen, Lancashire with his wife, Ellen. They both worked in the cotton mill and Ellen was listed as a cotton weaver.
Pickup Pickup Holden first appears on the 1901 census but the 1891 census is perhaps the most interesting one. The head of the household is Michael Pickup, a single man, with a widowed housekeeper, Mary Holden, and her three children. Pickup Pickup Holden would already have been conceived at this time, so herein lies the reason for the Pickups and Holdens. Mary does not appear to marry Michael Pickup and Pickup Pickup Holden’s birth record lists his mother’s maiden name as HEAD (thanks for the new GRO indexes!):
Mary Head married John Holden in Preston Registration District in March quarter 1873. William Holden appears to be a full Holden (born around 1880) but Sarah Pickup Holden born 1888 was baptised 19 July 1888 as Sarah Holden with parents names Michael and Mary HOLDEN in Habergham Eaves, St Matthew, Lancashire. Confused….? You will be!!
Michael Pickup died in the Blackburn Registration District in September quarter 1934 aged 79, consistent with his birth registration of December quarter 1855. Heavens knows (I could probably work it out, but I won’t!) which Mary Holden her death registration might be…. but…. she certainly won’t die as a Pickup!
Pickup Pickup Holden died leaving just north of £2,000 to his widow, Ellen (nee Wearing). They are buried in Grave Y/C/180 in Darwen Cemetery and, along with them are Sarah Waring (bd. 21 Oct 1936), William Wearing (bd. 25 Apr 1932), John Wearen (bd. 9 May 1923) and Richard Warring (bd. 31 Jul 1890). They couldn’t even spelling the surname consistently on the ‘grave details’ [available on DeceasedOnline]!