Neal relations at Cuckoos Cup, The Wrekin

North America and elsewhere Settling around the globe

Family migration

The number of relatives emigrating abroad seems quite small given the large families and hardships around lives based on agricultural work, mining and other heavy duty manual jobs. Even so, the number of overseas connections within the family tree, especially in America, has grown to be a significant proportion.

The only immigration into the UK (excluding a couple of Irish in-laws), at least in 19th/20th centuries, is the “Brookstone” family, Jews leaving Russian controlled Poland mid-19th century (earlier than most), originally settling in Leeds. Brookstone is undoubtedly an anglicisation of the original name, appearing as Bruckston in one record. See Lily Osborne for the connection, Tonypandy page for Jonny’s move to the area, plus the blog item on locating his parents.

This page is for American travels, plus odds and ends, with a separate one for Australia and New Zealand.


To Seward, Nebraska

Watts family (siblings of Ellen Elizabeth):

  • Jane Watts born 1848, married Robert John Jeary, 7th July 1866,in Stalham, Norfolk. Arriving in Seward, Nebraska 1872, she died there 1923 and according to One World Tree was “a pioneer mother of Seward county”. Photo of Jane and Robert in Our American pioneers (also see an article about a connected Jeary branch in the USA). Offspring:
    • Alice b 1866, m Francis Emery Siddens 1883, d 1941 Lincoln.
    • Edith Jane b 1869, m Ira William Hand 1890, d 1938 Minnesota.
    • Ellen Elizabeth b 1871, m Lewis Cameron about 1892, d 1927 Minnesota.
    • William John b 1873, m Flora Kilzer 1898, d 1950 Seward.
    • George 1876-1879.
    • Edwin Louis b 1878, m Dorothy Welsh 1901, d 1959 Seward.
    • Lillian 1883-1961, m Albert Reed Furr about 1906.
    • Elizabeth b 1886, m Louis Zillig 1911, d 1975 Seward.
  • Emma Watts born Worstead 1870, married William Flowerday from Ingham, Norfolk in Seward 11th Sept 1895, having emigrated in 1893. She died 1960. Nine children:
    • Albert George Flowerday b 1896 m Flora Ella Koch 1918, d 1979 Seward.
    • Elsie b 1898, married Leonard Herrold, d 2000 Santa Clara, California.
    • Arthur John b 1899, m Carlene Swanson about 1925, d 1987 Santa Ana.
    • Annie Laurie 1901-1984, married Paul Imig – obituary was on Seward dot info genealogy website but disappeared at Feb. 2014 (partial link in case it comes back Bios-Obits/Ia-Iz.htm#IMIG23).
    • Frederick William b 1906, m Zelma Darnall, d 2000 Santa Clara.
    • Edwin James b 1908 m Olga Bunda, d 1971 Nebraska.
    • Theodore M b 1910, m Erma Zillig, d 2001 Seward.
    • Doris Berdine b 1913, m Lawrence Badgett, then Forest Scobie, d 1998 Nebraska.
    • Raymond Ivan b 1916, m Dorothy Zillig, d 1998 Seward.
  • Frederick Roberts Watts, born April 1865 or 1866, moved to Seward 1889 and married Eliza Read 1891. They originally settled in Seward but then moved to California – he died Orange County 1955. Children:
    • Edna Alice b 1893 m Frank McKinley Holt, d 1986 Calaveras, California.
    • Ray M b 1896 m Nellie Woodrough, d 1987 Fresno, California.
    • Dorothy D b 1897 m Roscoe Alleman (but separated soon after), d 1982 Monrovia, California.

Research resources:

Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

Griffiths family daughters moved here from south Wales in the 1880s – see Cracking a family myth.

Erie Pa, Orleans NY, Chicago Il

John Watts born 1863 went to Erie, Pennsylvania. Discrepancy over when, possibly 1888 or 1893.  Married Abbie Robbins 1906. He died 1925. Two children:

  • Ernest H b 1908, m Melverta Schemeck, d 1994 Erie, Pennsylvania.
  •  Coral (b 1911), m Albert Sweet (1910-1990) in 1929, d 1978 San Bernardino, California.

Sydney (b 1886) and Ambrose Watts (b 1895), children of James Watts/Diana Wild, emigrated to Orleans County, New York state, 1910/1914. More on Sydney in A right Frosdick family for the Barnard bunch.

Watts family Cutlock link.

William Charles Sibley arrived in Chicago 1913 (died Florida 1967), joined by brothers Matthew in 1919 (returned to England?) and Joseph in 1929, who died there 1985. (Scott/Osborne family)


Others appearing on passenger lists include Horace George Laddiman – Boston 1925, but this appears to be for a Christian Science Publishing event; Eva Brookstone (sister of John, b 1883) to New York 1920 (see Brookstones everywhere post);

John Watkins, father to Levi, is said to have gone to America to search for work later in life, but came back empty handed (1920s?). See A recognised Anthracite miner of Pennsylvania and Cracking a family myth.


Two Three branches of the Neal family emigrated. It was thought that one of them returned to England – perhaps this refers to Robert and family coming back to Norwich for a few years (1901 to about 1905).

  • Henry (Harry) Neal (born 1854 Norwich, brother of Robert Smith Neal) emigrated in 1873 to Haysville, Ontario, Canada. He married Elizabeth Hays (of Irish/Scottish parents but born Ontario about 1847) 27 Mar 1877 Chesterfield, Ontario. This info largely via a descendant of the Hays family.
  • Later moved to Manitoba (Daly, Selkirk district 1891), and Bradwardine (at 1911). No children, and died in Manitoba in 1932.
  • Robert Neal, known as Bob (born 1873 Norwich), and wife Mary (Earl) left for Canada in the 1890s. Back in England with the Earl family at 1901 census, his occupation is given as ‘farming in Manitoba’.
  • In Bradwardine, Brandon, Manitoba for 1906 Canadian census – location 19 12 22. Mother-in-law Mrs Earl also present.
  • In Blanshard, Manitoba for 1916 census – 13 22 WI (Oak River?). Mother-in-law Mrs Earl with them.
  • Offspring – see Neals in Canada photo gallery:
    • William b 12 Dec 1897 RM Daly. His intended, Maud Sharman, died before they could wed.
    • Henry/Harry James b 20 Feb 1899 RM Daly, married Helen May Sharman 1927, d 1980. Helen 1904-1987. No children?
    • Stanley (b 26 Sep 1909 RM Woodworth) married Mabel Gerrard 1938, d 1985 Rivers. Mabel 1917-2009. Five children – James Stanley, Diana Mabel, Robert Alexander, Thomas William, Larry Victor.
    • Nellie (Ellen Mary, b 1913) married George Yule Gerrard 1933, and after his death (1955) married Don Kennedy in 1968. She had five children in all (Elizabeth Mary, Earl George, Jean Ellen, Elaine May, Dorothy Heather), and a descendant is still farming in the Bradwardine area.
    • Died young: Earl b 25 Nov 1900 RM Daly, died Norwich 1902; Frank 1903/04 Norwich; Archibald 1904/05 Norwich.
  • A photo in old family album is labelled “School-van, Oak River’ with a horse-drawn boxed-in sleigh (with Oak River lettering just about visible). See Oak River sledge ride to school. Update: a book on almost-but-not-quite the right area ‘Proudly we speak : a history of the Rural Municipality of Woodworth’ implies that these school sleighs might have canvas sides and contain little wood heaters (Our Roots website not active at 2021). Further update from comment received: “Those were called school vans, drawn by two horses. A wooden box mounted on a sleigh was covered by a heavy canvas top that let in light after sunrise. There were benches along two sides and a small wood burning stove about centre on one side. Wood was stored under the benches. Driver sat at front with reins to horses and was protected from cold by a door with a glass panel in order to see where he was going.”
  • Also picture of men building what looks rather like the United Church featured on the Oak River village web page (page now gone, but apparently the church was constructed much later than this anyway). Oak River was in the Rural Municipality of Blanshard, Manitoba (now part of RM Oakview).
  • Scans of these photos are on Neals in Canada gallery.
  • RM – Rural Municipality. Daly website, Woodworth (Kenton) – RM Wallace-Woodworth from Jan. 2015.
  • Bradwardine info on Manitoba Historical Society site.
  • Alice Neal (born 1875 Norwich) also appears in Manitoba, but in the main city Winnipeg, arriving in Canada Feb. 1894. She married Alexander Reid in 1902 and died 1939 (in St Bonniface, part of Winnipeg). See Turning and absence into a presence, Alice arrives in Canada. Children, all born Winnipeg:
    • George Alexander Reid b 1903.
    • John Henry Reid b 1904, d 1985 Humboldt, California, married Nellie Fletcher Brand (1905-1996) 26 Sep 1925 Winnipeg. Two boys.
    • Jessie Margaret Reid b 1907 m James Arthur Hainstock 1942 Winnipeg. No children?
    • Helen Louise (originally Louisa Helen) Reid b 1909, m Richard Mulloy/Malloy 1931 Winnipeg. Two girls, one boy?
    • Alexander Robert Reid (or Alec/Allick) born 1912.
  • Also see Better view of Canadian Neals.


Robert Neal, son of Henry Neal, went to Ghana to work in the 1950s (clerk of works), but returned to England.

Separate page for family emigration to Australia and New Zealand.

Related on Cutlock and Co


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