Facts and Events
Willam is the Son of a National School master and School mistress, at a antional school in Leicestershire in the 1871 Census.
1880 - 1881 William Pettit the Schoolmaster of Holme school at Meal Hill.
The first Master of the new school. Prevously 'day' classes were taken in the Holme Sunday School. In "The Three R's Through Three centuries" Jennifer Lewis (Head teacher in 1994) quotes Williams entry in the School Log:
"I find the children very backward. Some of them over seven years of age do not even know their alphabet, and the reading and spelling of the elder ones is very bad, though they seem very sharp and intelligent" Sound familiar ?
In 1881 census, William is Boarding at the house of James Clough, farmer at Upper Lydgett. William is 22. Occupation; certified Board School Teacher.
In 1884, he marries Lucy Garlick, daughter of Henry Garlick of Shaw Top, Holme. Both Worsted Weavers.
In 1887, Son Harry is born in Wales, presumably on holiday becasue in 1888, Daughter Florence is born in Cartworth.
By 1890, they have moved to Wooldale. In the 1891 Census, William is head teacher at elementary school. Address is Croft.
After that, the families fortunes takes a turn for the worst. I found a death entry in BMD for son Harry in 1894 aged 7 - confirmed by being remembered on his Grandfather's headstone in Holmbridge churchyard. In 1897 there is a death record for Wife Lucy in Huddersfield district BMD (age 37) and then an entry for William Himself in 1899 in northamptonshire (age 40)
Daughters Florence and Hilda are found in institutions in Sheffield in the 1901 Census. We still need to find what happened to them **after but there may have been a marriage for Florence to Harry F Croft in 1814 in Huddersfield BMD.
I am a descendent of Henry Garlick, Lucy's father. I have been talking to my Uncle Stanley (Garlick) about the Pettitts and the Garlicks. His sister Barbara is my mother. They also had a sister, (my Auntie) Betty, who moved to Doncaster from Holmfirth on her marriage in the late 40s/early 50s. Barbara and Stanley still reside in the Holme Valley. Their father, my grandfather, was Jack Garlick, who died in 1929 aged 34, and who is listed on the Wallace Garlick gravestone. Anyway, to get to the point, we know about William Pettitt and his wife Lucy (nee Garlick). William was the first incumbent at the (new) Holme School. As far as we know, William must have had a post in Wales, where Harry was born, before moving back to the Holme Valley. William is also recorded as being Head Master at Choppards School, in the Ribbleden valley, above Holmfirth. When the girls, Florence and Hilda, were orphaned, they did indeed become residents at an orphanage specifically funded for the offspring of teachers, in the Pitsmoor area of Sheffield. The buildings are still there, and Stanley has some details about the place kindly sent by Sheffield City Libraries. There was another orphaned daughter, Maggie Pettitt, who was too young to be put in the orphanage and she was brought up by Garlick relatives at Laithe, Dobb, above Holmbridge, and in later life, Maggie lived at Edgerton, Huddersfield. Whilst a family tragedy, all the girls at least were relatively well cared for it seems, and we know that Hilda went on to be a teacher herself, and must have been quite successful. Like my Auntie Betty, she too resided in the Doncaster area and lived in a "very nice house": clearly indepdendent and one would think comfortably off. Hilda married "late", to a Head Teacher, and as far as we know, continued living in Doncaster until late in life, before moving to the Exeter area, to live with one of the sisters. Which one we do not know. The nice bit about the story (and why we know all this) is that Hilda and my Aunty Betty "found each other", as it were, being of the same line: according to Stanley, this was because, in casual conversation about Betty's residence in Doncaster, Maggie Pettit said "oh, my sister lives in Doncaster", and thus Hilda's number was passed on to Betty. There was then quite a bit of contact between Betty and Hilda thereafter. Betty passed away quite of few years ago but her daughters, Anne and Jane (my cousins) live in Doncaster/Rotherham areas: they knew Hilda as "Auntie Hilda". Anne and Jane will know more about Hilda I should think. I will need to ask Stanley again about Florence. He recalls that she married (confirmed above to Harry Croft) but we do not know any more. Graham Sykes 30.9.12