I live in Wombwell, Yorkshire. I am married with grown up daughter and two sons. I also have two grandchildren. I am a retired nurse and enjoying retirement which gives lots of time to continue with the family history research that I started shortly after my fathers death in 1993. At that time I was concerned that information that I knew about our family would be lost for future generations.
I was born in 1946 at Jessop Hospital for Women in Sheffiled, Yorkshire. My parents were James Williams and Sarah Count. At the time of my birth they were lodging with my father's brother Thomas Williams and his wife at their home at 46 Edward Street, Darfield Yorkshire. My father was a coal miner and I was born in Sheffield because my father subscribed to the Miners Union Welfare Fund and the Union paid fees to the Sheffield Hospital for its members. It was just before the National Health Service. The National Health Service Act 1946 was not implemented until 1948. I believe that I was christened at All Saints Church, Darfield, Yorkshire, but I have never tried to tracked down the record of my christening.
When I was a few weeks old my parents got their own home. It was a prefab in Darfield. These were the temporary houses that were erected to solve the post war housing crisis. I understand that my parents were on the housing register and waiting for a council house. When the prefabs were erected in Darfield apparently they were allocated, not in the order of register applicants, but by a kind of raffle where all the names of housing applicant were drawn and the first name that came 'out of the hat' got the first prefab. My parents names were the third to be drawn, so I spent my early years in a prefab at 43 East Street, Darfield, Yorkshire. At 4 years old I started school at Shroggs Head Infant School, Darfield, but I have very few memories school at of that time.
My mother never settled in Darfield, even though it was only about 3 miles from Wombwell Yorkshire where both my parents had grown up. I remember frequent bus trip to Wombwell to see aunts and uncles. Although I was an only child I was never lonely as I grew up as part of a large extended family and spent much of my time amongst my many cousins. My parents eventually found a house in Wombwell. It was a terrace house with no hot water, no bathroom and an outside toilet, but apparently my mother was happier with that, than living in the nearby village. So at the age of seven, I came to live in Wombwell, Yorkshire, and I have lived here ever since.
I was moved to Kings Road Junior School, Wombwell, an unsettling experience as the education of the children there was further advanced than mine. To make matters worse I developed scarlet fever a few days after our house move, so after spending two days at the new school I was away for a while because of illness. It took me some time to catch up and probably affected my confidence. At the age of 11 I failed my 11+ examination and then went to the local Secondary Modern School. At Wombwell Secondary Modern School for Girls I thrived. When I was in my third year there, it was mixed with the boys school and became the first Comprehensive School in the area. I was moved into the technical stream and learned shorthand and typing. Office work was not for me, however, and at the age of 16 I started work as a Cadet Nurse at The Becket Hospital, Barnsley, Yorkshire.
When I was 18 I started training for nurse registration. This meant living in at the Nurses Home, which gave me a freedom that I had not know whilst living at home. I was already in a steady relationship with my husband, Brian Whitaker. We had known each other from the age of about 11, and he was also a Student Nurse in Barnsley. We married in 1966 at St Mary's Church, Wombwell, Yorkshire. Later that year I left nursing when I found we were having our first child, our daughter Karen. Our son Keith was born two years later and was followed by our son Ian in 1973. I became a stay at home Mum looking after our children.
Brian continued nursing and was working as a Charge Nurse, but in those days, nurses pay was not good. Supporting a growing family on one wage was becoming a struggle, so around 1980 I found myself a job as a Community Auxiliary Nurse. I had not completed nurse training before having my family, but nursing was the only type of work I had ever done. It seemed to right job for me, but soon I was not content. There was only one thing to do, return to hospital work and complete the training that I had started years before. I qualified as a Registered General nurse in 1884. I worked for over 20 years at Barnsley District General Hospital, first specialising in Coronary Care and the later in Gastroenterology.
We continued to live in Wombwell. Our holidays were spent camping and walking. Away from work I also did voluntary community work, often dragging the rest of family along with me. This included many years service with the St John Ambulance Brigade. I am a Serving Sister of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. I also served on the National Committee of the British Walking Federation and managed their website for them. I volunteered with Barnsley Federation of Tenants and Resident and was chair of that organisation for several years. I became a member of the local crime and safety group, and the friends of the local park and over a period of about 10 years played a key role in the organisation of a Picnic in the Park, where we provided 500 free picnics for local children.
Our family grew up and eventually found partners and left home. We now have two grandchildren.
I retired from hospital work in 2000. I then worked through a nursing agency, mainly in the medical room of the Steel Works in Rotherham, until around 2012 when I decided that the time had come to totally retire from work.
Retirement gives plenty of time to work on WikiTree, where I hope my research will be preserved for future generations.
The names in my family that I am interested in include Williams, James, Shephard, Orwin, Count, Gyte, and Nuttall. In my husbands family they include Whitaker, Keeling, Towning, Corbett, Sokell, Palmer, Winder, Hargate Truelove and Birks.
I have only a few people on my tree that do not live in England. Among the places that interest me are Wombwell and Darfield in South Yorkshire, Youlgreave and Chelmorton in Derbyshire and Tipton and West Bromwich in Staffordshire. The counties where I have interest include Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Durham, Staffordshire and Suffolk.
In the event of my passing into the next phase of lifes' journey, or that I have become unable through physical or mental illness, to continue my labour of love on my branches, I place the profiles I manage into the caring hands of the Wikitree Admin and ask that any English profiles, including my own, first be offered to the Leadership and Members of my dearly beloved England Project. If any member(s) of my family have the desire to continue what I have started, I ask that they be allowed to manage those profiles and have the guidance to continue in the proper manner. Any locked profiles that I manage I believe to contain only information that can be found on the internet, so they may be dealt with as privacy would allow.
|Joan (Williams) Whitaker is a Wonderful WikiTreer.|
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