Mer­ryl Potts (Bur­ton-on-Trent)

The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - - Cover Story -

Would you want to be re­lated to some­one who was hanged for “cut­ting and maim­ing”? Well, Mer­ryl Potts wanted to know if she is de­scended from a feisty-sound­ing wo­man by the name of Ann Cramp­ton, who was the last per­son to be ex­e­cuted at the old Durham county pub­lic gal­lows in 1814. It seems that Ann, 40, sus­pected that her hus­band was be­ing un­faith­ful and re­lieved him of his man­hood with a knife as he slept.

Mer­ryl’s great-great­great-grand­mother, Ly­dia Cramp­ton was born in that part of the coun­try and mar­ried in 1854, so she might well have been a grand­daugh­ter of the venge­ful Ann.

An­other query Mer­ryl had was whether or not she had any Orange­men in her fam­ily line, but that seems un­likely. The only Ir­ish an­ces­tors dis­cov­ered for her were her great­great-grand­par­ents on her fa­ther’s side, Thomas and Mary Kane, both born in 1844. Al­though Kane is a com­mon name in Ul­ster, it is much more likely to be a Catholic name de­rived from O’Cathain. The re­search also turned up a war ser­vice record for Mer­ryl’s great-grand­fa­ther, William Bat­tye, who was killed less than a month be­fore the end of the First World War.

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