Being a singer and lover of traditional songs with a fairly uncommon surname, I discover that Cecil Sharp collected 12 songs from a man with the same surname and our traditional family forename. Are we connected in any way? This is where I'd like your help.
In 'The Crystal Spring – English Folk Songs Collected by Cecil Sharp', there is a version of Barbara Allen – this variant being Barbara Ellen – sung by William Pittaway, aged 66, of Burford Oxfordshire, England, sung on 19 May 1923. I have taken to singing this as I am Ian Pittaway. My father is Arthur William Pittaway and William is a family name. So I am intrigued as to whether there may be a family connection somewhere. My father doesn't know of any Pittaways outside the West Midlands, where we live, but Pittaway is a fairly uncommon name.
It would be FANTASTIC if, via Mudcat, there was a Pittaway who knew s/he was related to this William Pittaway and, possibly, to me. Here's more information, in the hope that it might trigger connections with someone.
William Pittaway 'was collected' by Cecil Sharp the year before CS died. WP's collected repertoire was: Barbara Ellen; Pretty Caroline; Brennan on the Moor; Low Lands of Holland; The White Cockade; I'm Seventeen Come Sunday; In Thorney Moor Woods; The Rover, or, Sweet William; Creeping Jane; The Orange Tree.
There appears to be reference to him in the online 1901 census, that he was 43 in that year (which fits the man 'collected' by Sharp) and that he was born in Taynton and was a mechanical engineer. From another source I find that W. Pittaway was one of the witnesses (the other was H. Charlotte) at the wedding in Burford on 3rd June 1889 of Frank Humphries, 30 year old labourer, and Elizabeth Kibble, 30 year old widow.
Any connections, anyone?