A Tale of Despair

Life wasn’t always easy. We write a lot about our successful family members who were rich and enjoyed fame and comfort.

In reality the majority of Blencowes were probably very ordinary hard working, often poor people.   Generally the family has been blessed with intelligence, so even if uneducated they have managed to overcome many obstacles. In a time where there was neither birth control, nor social services such as counselling, this story is a sad one.

I will start with William Blincow who married Ann Watkins in Wolverhampton in 1841. They had 2 sons John Blencowe and Joseph Blinker/Blencow. William died in 1846 at Warwick and Ann married Thomas Archer in 1849. In the 1851 census John and Joseph are listed as lodgers living with their step-father and mother.

Joseph married Sarah Ann Butler in Bloxwich Staffordshire. The 1881 census shows Joseph now Blinkho has started a family with that name. Most of the people registered under the Blinkho variation link back to him. He was a coffee house keeper living in Summer Row, Birmingham. They had 11 children in 20 years of marriage. 5 died very young. The 6th child to die, Harry was recorded on 5th April 1884 in the The Bury Free Press

CHILD MURDER AND SUICIDE – At an early hour on Tuesday morning a young married woman named Sarah Blinkho living in Summer Row Birmingham, left her home with her infant child nine months old in her arms and proceeded in the direction of the canal at Spring Hill. The bodies of the mother and child were found an hour or two afterwards. The woman was the wife of a coffee house keeper and for some weeks past had been in a depressed state of mind owing to business matters. It is alleged that on the previous evening there had been an altercation between Blinkho and his wife in reference to the management of the shop, and it is supposed that she took her husband’s words very much to heart. When he awoke between 3 and 4 AM he missed his wife from his side and found that she had left the house. 

By 1887 Joseph had married Sarah Ann Maxfield, aka Annie in Leicester. In the 1891 census Joseph is a show proprietor with Annie living in a caravan at Victoria Grounds, Wellingborough. Annie died Dec 1893 at Doncaster aged 41 and Joseph remarried Mary Bansall in 1894 at Doncaster. In 1901 Joseph 55 was a bricklayer living in Victoria Road, Mexborough Doncaster. By 1911 Joseph 65 grocer & hardware dealer was at the same address. He died in 1929 aged 83. Joseph had at least 4 more children.

At least two children of Joseph and his first wife, the late Sarah Ann Butler, were adopted by Clement Peck and Esther living at Walsall. Esther Peck was the sister of their mother, Sarah Ann Butler. Joseph (1874-1943) became a coal miner and moved about a bit ending up in Mexborough in 1939. Ralph (1882-1953) was also adopted by Clement and Esther Peck and he married as Ralph Peck Blinkho in Jun 1907 at Walsall to Helena Caroline Carr (1889-1935). He was a coal miner and they had several children. Even though a lot of children died over the ensuing generations the Blinkho branch has many descendants.

Researched by Daphne Austin,