My 2x great grandmother Arabella Baxter (nee Bassett) was born on 21 July 1881 in Hull, East Yorkshire. She was one of 8 known children; William (1876-?), Robert (1878-1935), Sarah Elizabeth (1879-1882), Arabella (1881-1954), Lilly (1884-?), Florrie (1885-?), Fred (1887-?) and Ethel (1889-?). Their parents were William and Elizabeth Ann Bassett (nee Trowell). It appears that Arabella was named after her maternal grandmother, Arabella Trowell (nee Laverick).
Arabella was born just 3 months after the census was taken in 1881, so the first one she appears on is the 1891 census. She was 9 years old at the time and was living with her parents and 6 of her siblings at 13 Chapel Terrace in West Ella, North Ferriby, Hull. Arabella was recorded as a Scholar.
Arabella Bassett married Arthur Alexander Baxter on 3 June 1900 in Hull, East Yorkshire. This was also Arthur’s birthday. At the time of her marriage, Arabella was living at 8 White Square, which was located on Duke Street in Hull. Duke Street unfortunately does not exist anymore, but it was in the situated near Alfred Gelder Street and Hanover Square (the Queen’s Gardens area. Back then, Queens Gardens was a large dock that was linked to the River Humber, and the residents of streets such as Duke Street were seconds away from this dock.
The image below was taken from an 1886 map of Hull. It shows Duke Street and the Queen’s Dock area.
It appears Arabella, for whatever reason, stated that she was 20 years of age at the time of her marriage when in fact, she was 18 years old. The image below shows the marriage record of Arabella and Arthur.
It is very likely that my 2x great grandparents, Arabella and Arthur met in the Duke Street area, as they were both living there at the time of their marriage. Arthur, his father and also Arabella’s father were all labourers, which meant that they probably worked on the dock or in the nearby warehouses. This suggests that they most probably will have known each other prior to the marriage. The couple went on to have 3 children; my great grandfather Arthur Alexander (1901-1965), Frederick (1906-1976) and William (1910-2000).
In 1901 Arabella was living with her husband at 4 Caroline Place in Hull.
In 1911 Arabella was living with her husband and all 3 of her children at 13 Garden Place, which was on Sykes Street in Hull. The map below shows Sykes Street and the surrounding areas.
In 1912 Arabella’s husband Arthur passed away at the age of 38 years old.
On the 1939 Register, which was taken just a few weeks into the outbreak of the Second World War, Arabella was living on her own as a widow and her occupation was recorded as Unpaid Domestic Duties. Her address was 8 Northumberland Avenue, which was situated on Carlisle Grove in Hull.
I believe that it was at this address where my grandmother and her siblings would visit their grandmother Arabella. One of my great aunts told me that she remembers going to visit Arabella and that she loved cats. My great aunt recalled her grandmother having a lot of them!
One of my great aunts told me a story about Arabella towards the end of her life that indicated that she had developed dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Out of respect for my 2x great grandmother, I will omit this story from public viewing, but I will be including it in my private version of this story. I believe that for a short time, Arabella was living with her son Arthur Alexander Baxter and his wife, Alice (my great grandparents). Arabella sadly passed away in 1954 in Hull, but I am unsure of where exactly. She was 72 years old and I am unsure of the cause of death. I am also yet to find out where she was buried.
I always think about Arabella and the hard life that she lived, but I also think about how she looked. Both her and her husband lived through a time where photography was already quite commonly used, but I haven’t ever found any photographs of them. It would be nice to see how they looked, and whether or not they resembled any of their descendants.
If you know anything about Arabella or her family, or know of any photographs in which she is present, I would be eternally grateful if you got in touch.
Thank you very much for reading,