Veronica begins search for her relatives

HERALD readers have been asked to join the search for a Hampshire woman’s Northumbrian relatives.

Veronica Leach is seeking information about her ancestry, as well as hoping to hear from any of her distant relations still living in the area.

Her search begins with her great, great, great grandmother Catherine Wakenshaw who was married to John, a Pegswood miner, at the time of the 1891 census.

She had boarding houses in Kings Head Yard and Newgate Street, Morpeth.

Catherine had two children Selina, born in 1862/3 and Mary, born in 1872, to a miner named James Henderson, but Ms Leach has been unable to find any details about him.

Mary went on to marry David Fish and had six children. They are thought to have run a fish and chip shop, before Mary inherited her mother’s boarding house.

Selina married William Oliver in 1881 and lived at Longhirst Colliery. They had five children.

Their son James married Annie Miller iand had a daughter Verena, born in 1918 in Pegswood. Verena was a nurse or doctor and was on board the Argentina bound for New York in 1946, but it is not known if she returned to the UK.

Selina’s daughter Catherine, who Ms Leach descends from, married Alexander Telford in 1904.

They had eight children, Selina, William, Hilda, Catherine Ann, Margaret Ellen, Alexander, Elizabeth and Thomas.

Selina Telford married Robert Spence and their second daughter Dylys went on to marry John L Sanderson in 1952, the son of Morpeth Mayor William Sanderson.

Ms Leach is particularly keen to hear from the descendants of the Telford children.

Anyone able to help her find out more about her family can contact her at