Merryl Potts (Burton-on-Trent)
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.