Yorkshire Chess History



George Ely Ward











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1844/45, Rothwell




some time from 1901 to 1911



Non-Chess Life


The baptism register of Holy Trinity, Rothwell, recorded the baptism there on 18/05/1845 of siblings Ellen Ward and George Ely Ward.


George’s parents and family life to 1851 are described under the entry for older brother Seth Ward (senior).


George is elusive in the 1861 census, but by 1867 he was living in Dewsbury.


Entry 71 in the marriage register of All Saints, Dewsbury, records the marriage on 15/09/1867 of 22-year-old bachelor George Ely Ward, warehouseman of Dewsbury, son of coalminer James Ward, to 21-year-old spinster Mary Ann Dixon, of Batley Carr, daughter of James Dixon, labourer.  George’s mother and wife thus had the same forenames.  Many Ann Dixon was born in 1845/46, at Stockton-on-Tees.


This couple had at least the following five children:


Jane Ann D Ward

born 1865/66, Stockton-on-Tees

Emily Ward

born 1868/69, Dewsbury

Seth Ward

born Dec/Jan 1870/71, Dewsbury

Alfred Ward

born 1872/73, Dewsbury

James E Ward

born 1876/77, Dewsbury


From the places of birth of the children (from the 1871 census) it is apparent that George and Mary lived in Stockton-in-Tees at first, then moved to Dewsbury at some time from 1865 to 1869.


The 1871 census found George, Mary and the eldest three of the above five children living in Upper Cross Street, Dewsbury.  Son Seth, who in turn went on to be a chess-player, was recorded as being only three months old at the time.  George was a wool warehouseman.  Jane was a scholar.


At some time from 1871 to 1881 the family moved from Dewsbury to Batley, though this moved was of only half to three-quarters of a mile in distance, Batley being adjacent to Dewsbury, to the north of Dewsbury, the centres of the two being barely two miles apart.


Accordingly, the 1881 census found George, Mary and all five children living at Warwick Road, Batley.  George was still a wool warehouseman.  Jane was a board school student teacher.  Emily, Seth and Alfred were scholars.


The trail seems nearly to run dry, with evidence of George Ely Ward being elusive in subsequent censuses.  However, Kelly’s Directory of the West Riding of Yorkshire, 1901, listed George Ely Ward living at Park Street, Cracknedge, Dewsbury.




Records of the death of George Ely Ward are elusive, but it must have been not before 1901, but before 23/01/1912 (when he was described as “the late” in son Seth’s obituary etc).




“G. E. Ward” of Dewsbury attended the 1889 annual meeting of the West Yorkshire chess Association.


Both “G. E. Ward” of Dewsbury and “Seth Ward, junior” of Dewsbury were listed as those competing in the 1892-93 West Riding Chess Association individual championship, and in the Yorkshire County Chess Club championship [Leeds Mercury Weekly Supplement 03/12/1892 and 28/01/1893].


“G. E. Ward” of Dewsbury was in the draw for the Class A tournament (for the Yorkshire Championship) at 1895 annual meeting of the Yorkshire County Chess Club, at Halifax, as was son Seth.  George lost by default to A. W. Common, so presumably failed to turn up.  Seth fared better.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

Census information is copyright of The National Archive, see UK Census Information

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