Diane's Genealogy Blog 2012
Diane's Genealogy Blog 2013
Diane's Genealogy Blog 2014
Diane's Genealogy Blog 2015
Diane's Genealogy Blog 2016
Diane's Genealogy Blog 2017
Diane's Genealogy Blog 2018
Diane's Genealogy Blog 2019
Diane's Genealogy Blog 2020/1
Diane's Canal Blog
Diane's Genealogy Blog
Diane's Genealogy Blog 2014
[if you wish to contact me, my email address is: diane27@gmail.com or use the Feedback button above]

 Currently working on what I call the Manhire tree, mostly centred in Cornwall, England

Monday 22nd December 2014

Catharine ("Kitty") Knight was born Jul 1826 at Gunyetha, Carbis Common to Anthony & Elizabeth Grose and christened 6 Aug 1826 at Roche church (for photo see yesterday). She can be seen there in census of 1841 aged 15 with parents & 2 brothers. On 27 Feb 1847 at the same church she married Elias Pinch who had been living in Roche with his family, farming. They lived in Roche for a couple of years and had 2 children there. After christening them in the Bible Christian Church (presumably the one at Ennis) they set off in 1849 for USA. At first they lived in New Jersey, as the next child Charlotte was born there in 1851, but soon they settled in a place called Paris, Grant County, Wisconsin and here they had 8 more children. They can all be seen in census return of 1870 (I cannot track down earlier US ones), Elias farming with the assistance of the 3 eldest sons. By the time of the next census in 1880, they had moved to Vernon, Dubuque, Iowa (just across the state border, 28 miles away). 9 children can be seen still at home and Kitty is listed as having rheumatism. She died 2 Jun 1884 and was buried in Union Cemetery, Peosta, Dubuque
Elias continued at the same address, then moved in with youngest daughter Susan, until he died in 1903 aged 83 and was buried with Kitty in Peosta

Catherine Lambert Knight was born Jul 1854 at Lanivet to James & Emmeline nee Cook and can be seen aged 6 in 1861 census return at Roswarrick with parents, sibs & servant. In 1871 she was 16 and can be seen lodging in Fore Street, Bodmin with a jeweller & family, working as a draper. In 1881 census she can be seen at 10-12 Alfred Street, Walcot, Bath (an area I am very familiar with, from my Father's tree!) which was a draper's shop, with dozens of other drapers & asistants.

On 25 Sep 1884 in Lanivet church she married William Ferguson, local Inland Revenue Officer (who she may have met in his professional capacity at the shop)

As he came from Cumberland in the North and she from Cornwall in the South they settled in the Midlands and 1891 census found them at 8 Malvern Street, Stapenhill, Staffordshire where in 1896 their only daughter Anne Catherine was born. By the time she was 5 they had moved agin, this time back to William's homeland, Carlisle, Cumberland and can be seen there in census of 1901 at 25 Cecil street, Rickergate [now under The Lanes shopping centre, I understand]. In 1911 they had moved a couple of streets on & can be seen at 43 Chiswick Street, Carlisle, William listed as "Officer 1st Class, Customs & Excise".

Catherine died Oct 1925 aged 71 and I suspect William stayed on in Carlisle & died there aged 90 in 1944. Daughter Anne never married & died there herself aged 82 in 1978.

As Christmas will no doubt keep me very busy this week I shall pause here for a while and see you in the New Year.

May I wish everybody a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Sunday 21st December 2014

Benjamin Knight was born at end of Apr 1787 in Roche to James & Blanche nee Robins and christened there 9 May 1787

On 18 Nov 1811 at St Mewan church he married Jenepher Harris but unfortunately she died Aug aged 21. She was buried in Roche churchyard 24 Aug 1814. Home address was given as Hendra.

On 15 Apr 1815 at Roche church (see above) he married school mistress Christiana Lawrence and had 3 children with her. In census of 1841 they can be seen at Castle Down Tenements, St Columb Major with son James (daughter Christiana was next door, working as servant to farmers John Lawrence senior & junior - possibly relatives), Benjamin listed as Ag Lab. He died there Dec 1845 & was buried in Roche churchyard 27 Jan 1846 (although we did not find any of this family when we visited in 2012). Christiana can be seen alone in 1851 census with the house next door uninhabited - I don't know what happened to her family but all her children settled in St Columb Major & eventually died there). She died in 1864 & was buried there herself 6 Jan 1864.

Bessie Knight was born 17 Feb 1857 at St Blazey to James & Martha nee Yeoman and can be seen on censuses of 1861 & 1871 at Bodelva, St Blazey (which is now the site of the Eden Project) with parents & half-siblings (she was the only issue of James' second marriage but there were 8 from his first). On 22 Jul 1877 at St Austell Register Office she married Thomas Rowe, local carpenter and they had 3 children.
In 1879 Thomas set sail from Liverpool, landing in New York on 8th Sep and in 1880 he can be seen in Michigan, lodging and working with miners. It must have been at this time that the following photos were taken, so he could see his daughters (and vice versa).
In 1881 census Bessie can be seen at Bodelva with her daughters, living on "maintenance from husband abroad".
Unfortunately he seems to have moved on to South Africa and died there the following year, as it shows on his parents' headstone in St Blazey churchyard

In 1891 census Bessie can be seen at Sea View Cottage, Bodelva with her mother, both widows, and 2 daughters, working as a dressmaker. There is a discrepancy here because she has a son Oscar too, born 1886. If the headstone above is correct the son was born 5 years after death of his father! In 1901 she can be seen at the same address with just Oscar, then the two of them can be seen in 1911 at Chapel Terrace, St Blazey (just below Sea View, on the hillside. The following year Oscar emigrated to USA and went into the army there.
Bessie 1906 (daughter Lillie's wedding)
in later years
She died aged 70 in early Jan 1928 and was buried on 14 Jan in the Council Cemetery (of course, I didn't see the grave when I visited, as I didn't know to look for Rowes)

Friday 19th December 2014

Anthony Knight 5 was born Oct 1802 in St Austell area and christened there 14 Nov 1802 (no details of address or church). On 10 Mar 1825 in Kea, Truro he married Philippa Varco (who came from Roche but was living in Kea) and they had 9 children.

("Old" Kea church built 1838 with parts from the previous building, including the pillar near the door)
They must have spent the first few years of married life in Chile, as the first 2 children were born there. However, by Jul 1829 they were back in Cornwall, living in Broad Lane, Roche and christened the first two children in Roche church.

They had two more children there, then in about 1833 moved to Lanivet, where they had 5 more, but unfortunately lost 3 of them at ages 17, 7 and 3 respectively. In 1841 census return they can be seen at Bodwannick, Lanivet, Anthony listed as Farmer, with 8 children & a live-in Ag Lab.

In 1851 there are 5 children there and 3 servants (1 house, 2 farm), Anthony farming 200 acres, employing 3 labourers. He died there on 30 Oct 1852 aged 50 & was buried in Roche 4 Nov 1852 together with his son Paul who had been buried just a week before, 24 Oct.

When Philippa died on 6 Apr 1871 (aged 64) she was buried alongside and left effects worth less than £100 to their two sons James & Richard, but they were running the farm themselves by then anyway.

Arthur Tom Knight was born Jan 1867 at St Stephens-in-Brannel to John & Amy nee Rowe. They had a son Arthur in Apr 1859 but he died aged 4 in Apr 1863 so they added a middle name & reused it. This Arthur can be seen on census of 1871 aged 4 at St Stephens with parents, sibs & cousin, then in 1881 at Nanpean, St Stephens with parents & sister, when he was listed as a Brickwork Labourer. Unfortunately he disappears from the records at this point - there were many trips abroad under the name of Arthur Knight, but I cannot prove any was him. Likewise I cannot find a marriage or death (if he did die here, he would be in the cemetery at the top of this page with his parents).

Arthur Theodore Knight was born 12 Feb 1880 in Park Hill, Ontario, Canada (although there is some doubt about whether he was born before or during the journey from UK) to Oscar & Mary Ann nee Cock. He can be seen on census return of 1880 aged 4 months at Riley, Clinton, Michigan with parents & sibs, then as 1890 census is missing, the next one is 1900 when he was at Bengal, Clinton with parents & sibs working as Farm Labourer (presumably for his father). In 1909 in Michigan he married Edith Pearl Shulters and they had a son & a daughter. They took a piece of land next to his father's and can be seen there in all the remaining census records. In the 1940 record it is called 730 W Walker Road [now the numbering has changed but it is still a very pretty road]

At first next door to his father, later next to brother Thomas & sister Lucy (probably in the old family farmstead). Arthur was drafted into the Military in both World Wars, and his Draft document of WW1 showed him to be Farmer, self-employed, with medium height, medium build, brown eyes & dark brown hair. He gave brother Frederick as Next of Kin in WW2 and his hair colour was now grey, as he was by now 62. Edith died in 1946 and he died aged 78 in 1958 and they were buried at Mount Rest Cemetery

Augusta Eva Knight was born Jan 1866 in Carnsmerry, Roche but registered as Eva Augusta. I have a note that she was christened as above in 1866 in Roche, but cannot find the record. I have found that she was baptised as an 18-year-old by the Primitive Methodist Circuit of St Austell & St Blazey on 8 May 1884, when they were living at Bugle.
(Bugle Methodist church)
She can be seen on census returns of 1871 aged 5 and 1881 aged 15 at Molinnis, St Austell with parents & sibs. On 30 Dec 1886 at St Mary's church, Battersea, London she married Reverend William Gordon, Rector 20 years her senior. He had been curate at Chulmleigh, Devon, then I understand he was rector at Martinhoe, Devon 1882-6, when he married Eva. Witnesses were Richard & Tahpenes Manhire (Jessie's grandparents) with whom Eva was living at the time in Battersea. In 1891 census she was visiting her sister Lavinia Retallick (whose husband was away) with her son William while husband William was at home in Ilfracombe with their daughter & his mother Jane Churchill. Aged 45 he is listed as "Ex-Rector", so I am not sure what the story is there! I am told he "disappeared fron Crockford's Clerical Directory in 1901" but it appears that he had already retired in 1891. This was a substantial property and they had a cook and a nurse (I suspect this was where the current modern houses were built in the 1960s). In 1901 census the family has moved just across the park, and a Commander of the Royal Navy has Cairnside, they are in Bicclescombe House (now a holiday villa), William listed as "Retired Rector Church of England"

with 2 children & a servant. William died there aged 62 on 26 Feb 1910. leaving effects worth £1928 to Eva. In 1911 census Eva & son William can be seen at Fairview, Grange Road, Croydon, Surrey, and William is a medical student at Guy's Hospital.

Tuesday 16th December 2014

Anthony was a popular name in this family. Anthony Knight 1 was born Dec 1748 in Roche to John & Dorothy nee Bray and christened there on 1 Jan 1749. Unfortunately the only other record of him was his death aged 23 in May 1772 and burial in Roche 24 May 1772.

Anthony Knight 2 was born 5 Jun 1773 in Roche to James & Blanche nee Robins and christened there on 7 Jun 1773. On 6 Aug 1793 in Roche he married Mary Hore from St Austell, with whom he lived in Roche and had 5 children before she died in May 1803, probably in childbirth and buried 21 May in Roche (baby William was christened a month later).

All these events took place in the church pictured above. Also there, on 10 Jun 1805 Anthony married local girl Elizabeth Grose. In Feb of that year his father had died & left him a share of a tin stream mine and I should imagine that this was when they bought the family home, called Gungetha/Gunyetha/Goongetha over the years, part of Carbis Common
Anthony & Elizabeth had a further 8 children together, although one died agd 3, so his children ranged across 31 years. In 1841 census they can be seen at Carbis with 3 children. Elizabeth died aged 70 in Nov 1849 and was buried 5 Nov 1849 in Roche. In census return of 1851 Anthony can be seen still at Carbis, listed as lodging with son Anthony & family, he died there on 25 Jan 1855 aged 81 (from cancer, I am told) and was buried at Roche on 14 Feb.

Anthony Knight 3 was born to Anthony 2 above & his first wife Mary in May 1798 in Roche and was christened there (church above) 27 Jun 1798. On 17 Feb 1822 in St Austell he married Ann Jeffery from St Agnes, and they had 6 children in Roche. In census of 1841 he can be seen at Mount Whistle, Carn Rosemary (now known as Bugle) with 5 children. He died in Jun 1848 aged 50 and was buried at Roche 14 Jun 1848, so in census of 1851 Ann can be seen at Mount Whistle alone with eldest son William, living off her savings (i.e. listed as "annuitant"). In 1861 she was working as a nurse and living with daughter Eliza Jane & family at Yondertown, St Austell, where she died and was buried 7 Feb 1863 in Roche.

Anthony Knight 4 was another of Anthony 2's sons, this time with 2nd wife Elizabeth nee Grose (he evidently was very keen to pass on his name!) born in Roche Jun 1819 and christened 4 Jul 1819 at the church shown above (incidentally, giving home address as "Hendra In This Parish"). In census of 1841 he can be seen at Carbis with parents & sibs, aged 22 (no occupation given). On 22 Oct 1842 at Roche church he married Ann Pinch, daughter of another tinner (like his father), and they had 7 children. In 1851 census he can be seen at Carbis Common with 4 children & his father, listed as Clay Agent. In 1861 at Woon Common with 6 children, then in 1871 the same with 2 remaining daughters at home. In 1881 the address is given as Hallew, but the neighbours are largely the same, so I think they were at the same place, just differently labelled. All the children have left home. In 1891 Anthony can be seen at home, listed as retired, but Ann is not there. He died early 1897 and was buried in Roche churchyard 31 Mar 1897. Ann may have been staying with one of the children and died there - although I cannot match records up there may be something I missed, as she could be anywhere.
[modern OS map]

Sunday 14th December 2014

Ann Knight 3 was born Dec 1848 in Roche to Anthony & Ann nee Pinch and christened there 1 Jan 1849

She can be seen aged 2 in census return of 1851 at Carbis Common, Roche with parents, sibs & grandfather, then in 1861 aged 12 at Woon Common, Roche with parents & sibs. I cannot prove it was her, but the only other record I can find is 30 Jul 1866 she was found guilty of larceny while employed as a servant (she would have been 17 at the time) and imprisoned at Bodmin Gaol for a year. On 31 Oct 1870 she was a witness at her brother Uriah's wedding in Roche, then set off on board the SS France from Liverpool, headed for USA.

Arriving in New York on 2 Dec 1870, she unfortunately disappears from the records. I don't know whether she married, and if so when & where, or if she died, likewise. She may well have made a fresh start with a new name...

Annie Knight was born 22 Sep 1868 in Roche to Oscar & Mary Ann nee Cock and christened 25 Dec 1868 in Roche with older brother Philip. She can be seen in census return of 1871 at Bilberry, Roche with parents & sibs, then on 7 Aug 1879 sailed off with them aboard the SS Devon to live in Clinton, Michigan.
In census of 1880 she can be seen aged 11 at 8 Main Street, Riley Clinton, Michigan with parents & 7 sibs. On 7 Jan 1891 in Clinton, Michigan she married James T. Hill, also from England, and they had one son, Clarence. In 1900 census they can be seen at Floral Avenue, Bingham, Clinton and James is listed as "Stock-keeper in Factory", in 1910 a "Book-keeper in Factory" and they lived at Wexford, Michigan. James died on 13 Jun 1919 of heart disease he had apparently had for several years. He was buried at Mount Rest Cemetery

I cannot see Annie in 1920 census, but by 1930 she can be seen at Bengal, Clinton with her father, brother & sister (and another brother next door), where she died 26 Sep 1935 and was buried with James at the Cemetery above (her parents were also there)

Annie Louise Knight was born 17 Jun 1877 at Bodelva, St Blazey to Woodman & Elizabeth nee Ashton and christened at Par 16 Sep 1877
She can be seen in census of 1881 aged 3, at Bodelva with parents, 2 sisters, 2 servants & aunt Annie Ashton (after whom she was probably named). In 1891 she was at Penpell, Lanlivery with parents, sibs, cousin & 2 servants. In Jul 1899 in Poole, Dorset she married Ernest Charles Baker, and I can see census returns of 1920 & 1940 in Los Angeles that match up. They have 3 children and Ernest is a "Scenic Artist", first for a theatre and later with his own studio. The problem is, I cannot prove that these are the right people and the most worrying aspect is that I found death records that matched but then cited the wrong parents' names. So I have to leave it there.

Saturday 6th December 2014

Ann Knight 2 was born May 1809 (twin with Jenefer) in Luxulyan to Robert & Betsey nee Udy and christened at Luxulyan Parish Church (see Thursday for photos) 19 Jun 1809. On 6 Jun 1827 at the same church she married miller John Lukes and they settled there and had 11 children. In 1841 census they can be seen at Gattey's, Luxulyan with 7 children and John's half brother Robert Lukes next door, also a miller. In 1851 they can be seen at Bridges Farm, Luxulyan with 7 children & Richard Lukes (Richard's son) is with them as servant

At some point between 1852 & 1858 the entire family packed up & shipped off to Canada. I cannot locate the ship or the exact date (nearest guess is from birth dates of grandchildren - eldest son William married & had 2 children before they went). They can be seen in censuses of 1861 & 1871 in York (now Toronto), Canada with 5 children, the elder ones married & settled separately.
John died 27 Sep 1875 aged 70 and Ann 15 Oct aged 66  and both were buried in Newmarket Cemetery, York, Ontario.
[John & Ann, also daughters Annie & Mary, who died 1886 & 1900 respectively, aged 38 & 70]
One son, Thomas Henry, did not travel with the family, as he was a merchant in Cornwall & settled. After his first wife died he married again and they took over management of the White Hart Hotel in St Austell, which he later passed on to his son Tom.

Eldest son William returned to Cornwall in approx 1890 with daughters Sarah & Beatrice (although when William died in 1897 his wife Emmeline and both daughters returned to Canada).
[the brothers had this photo taken on William's return to UK]

I am off on another trip now, so will return in a week.

Thursday 4th December 2014

As with several other trees, this has multiple Anns/Annes/Annies, so I will number them as before.

Ann Knight 1 was born Jul 1826 in Luxulyan to Philip & Betsey and christened 23 Aug 1826 at Luxulyan Parish Church (in the very unusual Norman font, presumably!)

She can be seen in census of 1841 at Hallew, Roche with parents & sibs, aged 14. On 1 Mar 1847 at Parish Church of St Mary Steps in Exeter she married Christopher Alderson from London.
It all seems rather odd, though, as in 1851 they are still living with their own parents, she in Roche, he in Old Kent Road, London (although listed as Married). By 1861 she is shown as a widow, back with her mother & brother. The only fit I can find is a Christopher Alderson & wife Ann living in Sarratt, near Watford in Dec 1860 when he died there, leaving her his effects worth £800. This does have many questions attached, largely geographic, but there is no explanation why they got married in Exeter anyway. He was always called a Gentleman, so could have lived wherever he wanted. After his death she worked as a dressmaker in Roche, but there are many possibilities after this, including many marriages all over.

Monday 1st December 2014

The other Amelia Knight was born Jan 1859 at Polpinka, Menheniot to Simon & Grace nee Bennett and christened 24 Aug 1869 aged 10 with sister Charlotte at the church in Menheniot.

She can be seen in censuses of 1861 aged 2 and 1871 aged 12 with parents & sibs at Polpinka

I cannot track her down in 1881 - the family seems somewhat fractured, her father is also missing, so maybe she is with him, but I somehow doubt it. She is probably in service somewhere, like her sister Charlotte. Mother is at Criggan, Roche, next door to brother-in-law Christopher, but alone. Oh well, maybe something will come up at a later date... We have to jump ahead to 2 Oct 1889 when she married William Bennet Kneebone (a surprisingly common name in that area, as of course is Bennett - his middle name was his mother's maiden name, but may or may not be related to Grace) in Bodmin. It appears that William was an attendant at the Bodmin Asylum at the time and Amelia was resident, whether she was staff or inmate I cannot tell!

After marriage he seems to have a temporary period as an insurance agent, lodging with a grocer & family in Fore Street, St Blazey and can be seen there in 1891 census while Amelia was visiting in St Columb Minor. By the next census he & Amelia can be seen to have taken over the grocery and are living there; they have no children. William died there in 1908 so by 1911 census Amelia can be seen there alone, running the grocery herself. She died aged 73 in Oct 1932 at St Blazey, although I don't know if she was retired by then. She was buried at Rosehill cemetery on 24 Oct 1932.

Sunday 30th November 2014

Amelia Knight was born approx Mar 1834 in Lanivet (registration didn't start until 1837) to Anthony & Phillippa nee Varcoe and christened 27 Apr 1834 at Lanivet church

She can be seen with parents & sibs in census returns of 1841 aged 6 & 1851 aged 17 at Bodwannick

then in 1861 at Fore Street, St Austell, in the latter listed as an Assistant linen & woollen draper.On 13 Dec 1861 she travelled out to Melbourne, Australia from Plymouth on the SS Prince of Wales, in order to marry the following day John Roberts in Melbourne ( afellow cornishman, he had no doubt gone out to do a recce). They had 8 children and in 1874 had the Railway Hotel, Creswick built, just as the railway reached this area - the hotel was just opposite the new station and must have been perfectly placed.
Watercolour of the time

Above: John photographed outside his pub, below: family group photograph approx 1867

John worked as landlord until his death in 1905, when Amelia took over until hers. She died 21 May and was buried 23 May 1914, the shared grave in the Methodist section of the cemetery

Saturday 29th November 2014

Alwyn/Alwyne Knight
was born 29 Sep 1880 in St Blazey, Cornwall to John Hocken Knight & Elizabeth Knight and christened 21 Nov 1880 at St Mary's, Par (registered & christened as Alwyn, but always spelled with the extra "e")
His father worked in St Blazey as a Coal & Manure Agent in Fore Street, and Alwyn can be seen there in censuses of 1881 & 1891 with parents, grandmother Priscilla & a servant. By 1901 they had moved to Priory Mead, Tywardreath (just across the railway lines).. On 20 Jun 1905 at St Mewan, Alwyn married Yorkshirewoman Edith Harvey, both his parents signing as witnesses.
Alwyn was listed on his marriage cert as Merchant and appears to have been working for/with his father in the Coal business. They had one son Gerald in 1908 and can be seen with him in 1911 census at Glencoe, Eastcliffe Road, Par. Unfortunately Edith died Apr 1920 aged only 39, but in Oct 1924 in St Austell Alwyn married Ada Elizabeth Plucknett, who helped her sister running a local Inn, the Welcome Home, which is still there:

Their father can be seen running it in 1901 census, and Alwyn may have been a regular there. It seems that Ada had no children and Alwyn died aged 61 on 29 May 1942 at home, which by then was Wyngarvey, South Park Road, Par (nearby), leaving effects worth £17488 to Ada & Gerald [equivalent to £576k today!] Ada died aged 62 at the same address on 10 Feb 1954, leaving £2630 to Gerald. He was at this point Director of Church Music and went on to become quite famous. I shall deal with him at a later date.

Friday 28th November 2014

Alberta Emmeline Knight
was born Oct 1871 at Rosewarrick, Lanivet to James & Emmeline nee Cook and christened 19 Mar 1872 in Bodmin.

She can be seen at Higher Rosewarrick in censuses of 1881 & 1891 with parents & sibs [shown above, it has recently been renovated, but you can still see the old farmhouse beneath]. On 5 Nov 1898 in St Austell she married William Henry Tremewan, farmer's son from Roche, and they had 3 children. They can be seen with the eldest in census of 1901 at Hill House, Roche, William farming the land, as he had his father's farm before marriage. By 1911 his father had retired (and died the following year) so they can be seen at Colbiggan, where he had grown up. Alberta died Jan 1950 aged 78 and William followed in Jan 1952.
Colbiggan Farm

Alexander Adolphus Knight
was born 15 Jan 1873 at Molinnis, St Austell to Robert & Lavinia nee Retallick and can be seen in 1881 there with them aged 8. In 1891 he can be seen staying with sister Zerua & family at Higher Blowing House, St Austell, aged 18 working as a draper. Electoral roll records show that he moved to London and can be seen in Peckham 1894 & 1895. On 15 Jun 1899 at St Stephen, Hounslow he married Ellen Blackwell, daughter of a Gentleman, who was living with her elderly aunt in Isleworth
They can be seen in 1901 census at 66 New Clive Road, Dulwich, where Alex was working as a Salesman in Wholesale Straw Goods

Their only daughter Muriel was christened in 1904 and the document has as their address 147 Clive Road - so they evidently moved across the road (as people did) until about 1910

By 1911 they had moved to 6 Milestone Road, Upper Norwood, with daughter Muriel & niece Eva Jarritt, trainee milliner and Alex was working as a Drapery Warehouseman. This road is amazingly right behind my favourite pub and we have been there many times in recent years!! In 1913 they shuffled a few feet up the road to number 12 and remained there until their deaths.
On 2 Sep 1924 Ellen died at St George's Hospital, leaving effects worth £251 to Alexander, who died on 5 Apr 1930, leaving effects worth £40 to daughter Muriel.

Thursday 27th November 2014

Albert Edward Knight
was born Apr 1866 in Lanivet, Cornwall to Richard & Mary Ann nee Stick and christened 1 May 1866 at Lanivet Parish Church
They lived in Bodwannick (part of Lanivet), where his father had a 240 acre farm & he can be seen in census of 1871 aged 5 with parents, sibs and 4 servants, two male agricultural & 2 female domestic.

He is also there in 1881 but by 1891 he was 25 and can be seen lodging at Woodly Cottage, Bodmin Road, St Austell, working as a Bank Clerk. In Jul 1897 at Islington in London he married Laura Ethel Trenerry from Pillack, Cornwall and they settled in Plymouth, Devon and had 2 children. In 1901 census they can be seen there at 8 Lipson Avenue, Plymouth just before the first child, Eric, was born, and Albert was still working as a Bank Clerk.

By the time of 1911 census they had moved to The Parade, Liskeard, Cornwall, had 2 children and Albert was Bank Manager. He signed the form as Edward, incidentally.

[Building on the left here was Webb's Hotel, next door. Albert & family lived in the house in the centre, behind the memorial. Nowadays a modern building stands on the site & houses the Post Office. Lloyds Bank is almost opposite, and is an old stone building which must have been the building on the right and where he worked]
Albert died here aged 60 on 22 Jan 1927, leaving effects worth £345 to his widow Laura, who must have then moved to 3a Queens Gate, Plymouth as that is where she died 3 years later, leaving effects worth £4547 to son Eric (an engineer who lived in Warwick, who 30 years later left the money to his sister Marjorie Hooper). [Queens Gate is a private gated road off Lipson Avenue]

Wednesday 26th November 2014

As regular readers will know, I started this site in April 2012, when I was in the midst of the tree belonging to my mother-in-law Jessie. As things have almost come full circle all that remains for me to do is fill in the ancestors I had been studying just prior to starting the blog. Then I shall introduce a new project for the New Year. Watch this space!

In April 2012 I said:
I thought I should explain what this is all about. I have been researching the histories of both my and my husband's parents for some years now. Last year I had completed a lever-arch file for each of the 4 trees, with each family-member having a page of his/her own. Obviously this will always be a work in progress, as there are always new records becoming available and thus more info available on each "twig". So I am progressing through the files, working on several hundred in alphabetical order within each file. At the moment I am working on the tree of my mother-in-law Jessie Manhire, mostly from Cornwall. Her grandmother was called Knight, and I am amidst this branch, studying those beginning with J at present. They are interesting in that they come from great Cornish towns & villages in the area around St Austell where they used to mine china clay and where now the Eden Project can be found.
So after proceeding with this project for two and a half years, I have come back to this point where I shall pick it up for the Home Straight; the Knight tree.

Agnes Knight was born Dec 1775 in Roche, Cornwall to James & Blanche nee Robbins and christened on New Years Day in Roche. I see that she died in Jan 1787 aged 11 and was buried 8 Feb in the churchyard at Holy Trinity, St Austell.
A fellow genealogist has blamed this on the Laki volcano which erupted in Iceland, producing a lot of ash & acid rain, which fell all over the world, but especially on Europe in 1783-4.

It is true that mortality rose in this period - "noxious fog resulting in people & animals, with lungs choked by the fumes, collapsing & dying. Then fog & resulting climactic change caused crop failures for successive years, including in Cornwall, contributing to an estimated 2 million deaths across the Northern hemisphere".

Tuesday 25th November 2014

Arthur Eldridge Roffey was born Oct 1878 in Charlton and can be seen at 2 Star Terrace with family as below in censuses of 1881-1901, in the latter aged 22, listed as a Cable Winder. In Apr 1904 in West Ham he married Lucy Louise Neave and they had 4 children. In 1911 census they can be seen at 522 Lower Woolwich Road, New Charlton with 3 of them. Arthur is listed as "Charge Hand (Skilled Labourer) Cable Shop Siemen Bros. Electrical Engineers". There were 8 Siemens brothers, the 4th William came to London & along with a distant cousin Alexander, established the company in Woolwich. They became naturalized British subjects but the company was taken over by British owners in 1914 due to the war. The main fields of work were dynamos & arc-lamps, then particularly at Woolwich, cables - including the development of submarine cables, which presumably Arthur worked with.
Siemens factory, Woolwich

[Siemens factory 1899. The Cable Shop, where Arthur worked is top left] The company has thrived over the years, and incidentally is one of the largest customers of the employment agency I work for now.
Lucy died aged 56 in Stepney in 1937, probably in hospital as Arthur and youngest son George were still living in the Woolwich area. They can be seen at 162 Charlton Lane in 1939 - right by The Valley, home of Charlton Athletic FC, which opened in 1919.

Arthur died aged 63 & was buried 24 Sep 1942 in Charlton Cemetery.

Monday 24th November 2014

Stanfield Parkinson Roffey
(great name!) was born Oct 1873 in Charlton and can be seen in censuses of 1881 & 1891 at 2 Star Terrace with parents & sibs, in the latter listed as a Bargeman aged 17. In 1901 he can be seen there with mother, uncle & brothers, working as a Bricklayer's labourer. In 1911 census he can be seen living at 33 West Street, Charlton with "wife" Emily and her two children. I have traced her to Emily Rose Lawson, who married Samuel Woodgate in early 1897 & had daughter Rose a few weeks later, then son Thomas in 1903 but Samuel died in 1905. This is all well & good, but the only marriage is in Jul 1915 in Woolwich, so they lied on the census form about having been married for 6 years in 1911. Stanfield was listed as working as a Labourer in the Ship-Breaking industry. Electoral roll records show them later that year at 35 Trinity Street, then 1919-1931 at 74 Mount Street, Charlton. [No pictures, as I have explained Charlton has been reinvented several times over the years]. In Oct 1931 Stanfield died aged 58 and was buried at Charlton Cemetery.

Emily died Jan 1963 in South Middlesex area aged 83 (possibly in hospital), but I cannot find a burial record.

Charles Alfred Roffey
was born Jul 1876 in Charlton and can be seen in censuses 1881-1901 as before with family at 2 Star Terrace. In 1891 he was a Boy at Telegraph Works, probably at the building in the distance in photo - see 20th Nov. By 1901 he was an Engineer's Labourer and Oct 1903 in Woolwich he married Lucy Sarah Ann Keys, local girl, living at 22 North Street. They settled at No. 21 North Street (probably opposite) and can be seen there in 1911 census, with Lucy's brother Edward, her brother John still at no. 20, as 1901, but their parents had moved into the Watermen's Almshouses in Penge, Kent. Her father and brothers were all watermen & lightermen on the Thames.

Charles and Lucy continued to live at no. 21 and Charles died there aged 49 and was buried 17 Jun 1926 in Charlton cemetery (see above). Lucy lived for a few years at the Horse & Groom, 602 Woolwich Road then in 1937 she moved to 92 Charlton Lane
I cannot find later records but she was still in the Woolwich area when she died 22 Sep 1967 & was buried 2 Oct in Charlton Cemetery.

Friday 21st November 2014

Joseph George Roffey was born Jul 1868 in Charlton and can be seen in censuses of 1871 to 1891 as below. In 1891 he was listed as Iron Foundryman. In 1901 I cannot find him in the census, but he isn't far away, as in July of that year in Woolwich he married Emma Alice Robinson nee Bennett. She was a young widow with a baby son with the great name of Rexford Herbert John Robinson
Emma     Rex
Emma's husband Herbert had died after just 18 months of marriage, aged 35. She & Joseph went on to have 7 children together. 1911 census and Electoral roll records show them at 33 Burrage Road, Plumstead from 1907, in 1911 census they were with 5 children of their own and Rex, also Emma's sister and a boarder, Joseph working as a General Labourer at the Royal Arsenal nearby.
Burrage Road 1905
Joseph remained there until his death on 6 Dec 1940 aged 72, and he was buried at Plumstead Cemetery on 13 Dec.

I suspect things were not good between Joseph & Emma in later years, as she appears to have left him & is seen living with her children from 1929 onwards at 84 Rectory Place, then in 1940s at 17 Pelliper Road, both in Woolwich. She died 21st Aug 1954 in Dartford, possibly at the Joyce Green Hospital (where I used to work) of in some sort of Home.

Edward James Roffey was born 21 Aug 1870 when the family was living in Gillingham, Kent and he can be seen there with them in 1871 census at 29 Skinner Street aged 7 months.

He can be seen in 1881 & 1891 censuses with them at 2 Star Street, Charlton (as below), in the latter listed as General Labourer. On 15 Jul 1893 at St Paul's church, Charlton he married Julia Green. [This church was demolished in 1940 and no photographs remain] She was living with her family in York Road, which was renamed Mirfield Street and ran westwards from Hardens Manorway - in the photo from 1905 yesterday it can be seen on the left side. [St Paul's church was nearby, and all has now been redesigned as part of the Thames Barrier park]. In 1901 census they can be seen at 27 Ludwick Road, Deptford with 4 children, Edward listed as an Armature Winder, just like his brother Harold (he may have worked in the same place & incidentally the youngest 2 daughters lived in 1940s opposite the house where Harold lived & died, ie 31 Inverine Road) In 1907-9 Edward & Julia copied his parents by having a short sabbatical in another area - in this case Hampshire - and had the last 2 children (of 6) there. In 1911 census they can be seen at 8 Mirfield Street, Charlton (the Greens had lived at no. 16 in 1891). Following them further becomes very difficult as they named their eldest two children after themselves and once adult, the electoral roll records become muddled. So all I shall say is Edward died 13 Apr 1940 and was buried 20 Apr in Greenwich Cemetery, and Julia died 14 Apr 1951 & was buried 21 Apr at Charlton Cemetery. I'm not sure why different places - possibly to be with their parents.
Greenwich Cemetery
Charlton Cemetery

Thursday 20th November 2014

Stephen Francis Roffey was born Jan 1866 in Woolwich and can be seen in census of 1871 with parents & sibs at 29 Skinner Street, Gillingham, Kent as described below. In 1881 census he can be seen with them also back in Woolwich, at 2 Star Terrace, Charlton, aged 15 working as a "Telegraph Messenger"

In Jan 1890 in Woolwich (I don't know which church) he married Martha Surtees, who was from Poplar, East London and in 1881 had attended Forest Gate District School, a residential school attached to the Workhouse system.

They went on to have 11 children, many of them named after other relatives, making life hard for me, I must say! I won't go into each of them, suffice to say they were all born between 1890 & 1915 in Charlton. Unfortunately I cannot find 1891 census but we do know they were in Charlton as 1st child William Stanfield Roffey (named after his grandfather) was born there a few months after his parents' marriage. They lived in Harden's Manorway, where sister Sarah had lived and brother Harold. [Now this area is a part of the Thames Barrier & the road is mostly gone]. In 1901 census they can be seen there at number 39 with 6 children, where they remained until 1910. Stephen was listed in 1901 as "Shell Moulder" and in 1911 described himself as "Machinist for Electrical Engineer Company", and his son William also worked there as a "Battery Maker" By 1911 they had moved along to number 67 and can be seen there in 1911 census with 10 children. Stephen died there on 24 Aug 1916 aged 45, leaving effects worth £80 to Martha, and was buried on 29 Aug in Charlton cemetery.

Martha continued to live there until she died and she was buried 11 Apr 1946 in Charlton cemetery.
This picture is of Hardens Manorway, running northwards to the Thames, photographed in 1905. The factory building on the riverside is Siemens Bros Telegraph Works - possibly where Stephen worked in his early years

Monday 17th November 2014

Back from my trip, I'll continue where I left off, with William Roffey's children.

Rebecca Mary Ann Roffey was born Apr 1863 in Woolwich and can be seen in census of 1871 aged 7 at 29 Skinner Street, Gillingham, Kent with parents & sibs. In 1881 she was at 2 Star Terrace, Charlton with parents, sibs & lodger, aged 17 & listed as a dressmaker. On 1 Jun 1886 in Woolwich she married Scotsman Mowbray Forrest, who was a steam-engine fitter. They settled in Plumstead and had two sons there. In 1891 census they can be seen at 42 Ingledew Road, Plumstead

They remained here until 1895, when they moved to Abery Street, first to number 2 then 7 opposite
In 1898 they were at 61 Ceres Road, Plumstead and can be seen there in 1901 census, Mowbray working as an "Engineer's Turner".

By 1910 they were living in Scotland, as their daughter Grace was born there, although electoral roll records show Mowbray retained an English vote registered at Ceres Road. I don't have access to the Scottish 1911 census, but they probably remained there, as Mowbray died in 1922 at home at 8 East Princes Street, Rothesay, Buteshire, leaving his effects to Rebecca, his widow. [There is nothing on the site now, except a recent Co-op next door, built on part of the site of a bakery which functioned here from 1919.] After his death Rebecca moved back to 61 Ceres Road with daughter Grace, who married local man Leslie Richard George Burnside in Oct 1939. Eldest son Henry never went to Scotland, as he remained in the Woolwich area, boarding & working as a mechanical engineer and married Susan Beecham in Woolwich Sep 1911. Rebecca remarried in Oct 1942 at the age of 79, in Dartford, Kent to James Sturgess. Unfortunately this is a common enough name for me not to find anything further for him, but I have found death records for both Rebecca aged 103 in Icklesham, East Sussex dated 18 Dec 1967, and for Grace at St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex aged 87 in 1997. They may have lived together after James' death, both widows.

Friday 7th November 2014

Harold Goodwin Roffey was born 8 Jan 1861 at 6 Albert Street, Woolwich, the 5th of William's 13 children, and christened 3 Feb 1861 at St Mary Magdalene church

In 1861-1881 census returns he can be seen with parents & sibs as previously described (see below), in the latter listed as General Labourer. In Jul 1885 in Woolwich he married Ada Elizabeth Kither, daughter of a metal-worker from Woolwich (it is possible that he worked with William, see yesterday), but they had no children. In 1891 census he can be seen at 9 Lyndenburg Street, Charlton [near where the Thames Barrier is now], with brother George, listed as "Labourer Telegraph Works". They moved to 31 Hardens Manor Way and electoral roll records show him there 1897-1900. By 1901 census he can be seen at 128 Edward Street, renting 3 rooms on the 1st floor, unfurnished, for 7s 6d from Thomas Bright at the same address. Harold's occuation was given as "Armature Winder (Electrical Engineer)" - this was a hands-on procedure to make components for an electrical enginering company, now automated:
[Or you can watch the process in action on a Youtube video on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AN5kHoC0EIE ]
By 1907 they had moved to 46 Inverine Road, Old Charlton and they can be seen still there in census return of 1911, and electoral roll of 1912.

I suspect they were still there at Harold's death in Apr 1917, he was buried 28 Apr 1917 in Charlton Cemetery, with other family members.

In Jul 1931 Ada married Albert Thomas Bourner and can be seen at 78 Pattison Road, Woolwich with him in 1933. In 1935 they moved back to 46 Inverine Road, oddly enough (maybe another family member had been living there meanwhile) but in 1944 Albert died and Ada can be seen in 1945 at 12 Rainton Road with brother-in-law Henry Roffey. This was only temporary as in 1947 aged 80 she went into a Home in Lewisham, originally called Ladywell Institution, then in 1949 renamed Ravensbourne Home.
She died there in Jan 1950 aged 83 and was buried 4 Feb at Charlton Cemetery with Harold & family.

Wednesday 5th November 2014

William Richard Roffey was born 6 Jul 1858 at 6 Albert Street, Woolwich and was christened 5 Sep 1858 at St Mary Magdalene church. (His brother William had died as an infant so, as was normal in those times, they re-used the Christian name, albeit with a new middle name in this case). He can be seen in census of 1861 aged 3 at 6 Albert Street, with parents, sibs & grandparents, then in 1871 at 29 Skinner Street, Gillingham with parents & sibs, listed as a General Labourer. On 8 Apr 1882 in Woolwich he married Lucy Jane Chilton, who had been born in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, but was working as a housemaid in nearby Lee. They settled in Charlton and had 12 children. 1891 census finds them at 36 North Street with 4 children, William listed as "Tin Man" - not as in the Wizard of Oz, more that he worked with the metal! The next census shows him as "Tin Plate Worker", at 106 East Street, Charlton with 8 children. [I cannot track these roads down as the whole area has been redesigned]. In 1911 he describes his occupation as "making metal projectors", living at 596 Woolwich Road, Charlton, which I am given to understand is now a roundabout on the main dual carriageway!

[a metal projector of the time]
4 of the 12 children had died by then, but the family remained at this address for decades to come. Lucy died there in the New Year 1925 & was buried at Charlton Cemetery on 5 Jan 1925. William can be seen there still in 1936, and sons Arthur & Henry living in 594 & 596 over the years. William died Oct 1938 & was buried in Charlton Cemetery 11 Nov that year.

Monday 3rd November 2014

I shall deal with William's children in the order they appeared, not alphabetical as is usual.

William Stephen Roffey
was born at 6 Albert Street, Woolwich on 5 Jan 1855 and christened on 4 Feb 1855 at St Mary Magdalene church

Unfortunately he died at the age of 9 months on 1 Oct that year and was buried 9 Oct in the churchyard at St Thomas', Charlton

Henry Thomas Roffey
was born at 6 Albert Street on 16 Aug 1856 and christened 14 Sep 1856 at St Mary Magdalene. He can be seen in census return of 1861 at 6 Albert Street [which I understand was renamed Sand Street, but I cannot find that either] with parents, sibs & grandparents. Then in 1871 he can be seen at 29 Skinner Street, Gillingham, Kent with parents & sibs, aged 14 & listed as "Rivet Boy, Dockyard", as was his brother William Richard. I found this description of this occupation in Scotland magazine, but it applied equally to Dockyards everywhere:
The men who held both the ship and the shipyard together were the rivet squads.These groups of four men consisted of the riveter, the holder-up, the heater and the boy.

Rivet squads were highly respected in the shipyard due to their skill as a team. The riveter would be lowered down the side of the ship on a plank with a pneumatic hammer. Inside the hull, the heater was stationed with a smoking brazier filled with coke. He would grasp a red hot rivet out of the coke with long tongs then toss it across to the boy who had the difficult job of catching the burning metal in his own tongs. The boy then passed the rivet to the holder-up, who pushed it through the hole that had been drilled in the plate.

The moment the glowing tip of the rivet poked through the other side, the riveter hammered the end. He would rain down up to 700 blows a minute while swinging on a high and rickety platform. The members of rivet squads were famously men of few words and were almost entirely engaged in their delicately choreographed task. As a final act, the riveter put a stroke of white chalk across the finished rivet to mark the number completed in the day.

When the family returned to Woolwich he stayed in the same sort of trade, as in 1881 census he can be seen with them at 2 Star Terrace, Charlton and is described as a "Hammerman", hammering metal, possibly back in the docks. Shortly after this, in the April quarter of 1881 in Woolwich (no document available to tell which church) he married Fanny Youlden from Clerkenwell (whose mother, incidentally, had the delicious name of Elizabeth Feline !). They had one daughter Martha and can be seen in 1891 census with her, at 5 Rainton Terrace [now Road], Charlton

Henry was listed as "Smith's Hammerman". In 1901 census they can be seen to have moved across the road to number 12 and Martha aged 15 is now a milliner's assistant

In 1911 all is the same, and electoral roll records show that they remained there for the rest of their lives. Martha married in 1921 at the age of 35, but died later that year, possibly in childbirth as it was a late start for her! Fanny died aged 72 in 1924 and Henry remarried in 1929, unusually at the age of 74 to Hannah (or Anna Maria) Smith. He died in 1952 at the ripe old age of 95 and was buried 8 May 1952 at Charlton Cemetery and Hannah/Anna followed 6 Dec 1956.

Friday 31st October 2014

I did think William was the final Roffey, but yesterday discovered his brood! So I shall deal with them before moving on...

Sarah Elizabeth Roffey was his eldest, born 27 Jun 1853 in Woolwich and christened 31 Jul 1853 at St Mary Magdalene church.

She can be seen in census return of 1861 at 6 Albert Street, Woolwich with parents, sibs and grandparents. In 1971 she was with parents & sibs at 29 Skinner Street, Gillingham, Kent, but evidently returned with them in 1873, as in Oct 1876 she married William Joseph Holmes, who it says on the marriage cert was a fishmonger. In a recount I have discovered she was eldest of 13 children, and she proceeded to have 10 herself! In 1881 census she can be seen at 2 Manorway, Charlton with 3 children, William listed as a "Packing Case Maker". This address was more fully given in 1891 census as 2 Hardens Manorway and they had 8 children, as in 1901, They were at the same address in 1911 but only 5 children remained at home. William died in 1937 & was buried on 9 Nov 1937 at Charlton Cemetery. Sarah followed 11 Mar 1943

Thursday 30th October 2014

Thomas Roffey
was born 24 Jul 1771 in Woolwich to Edward & Sarah nee Spencer and christened 4 Aug 1771 at St Mary Magdalene church

In approx 1795 he married Sarah Eldridge, but as I have no further information on her I cannot trace a marriage. They had 8 children, but she died in Apr 1841, just before the first census. Thomas can be seen in this at Paradise Hill, Woolwich, widower with daughter Sarah & her family, living next door to son Thomas and his. He died aged 73 in Jan 1845 at Paradise Hill and was buried 2 Feb 1845 at St Mary Magdalene churchyard.

His son Thomas David Roffey was born in 1808 in Woolwich - I cannot find a baptism so have no date in that year. On 19 May 1834 at St Nicholas church, Plumstead he married Martha Owen, daughter of a local sawyer, and had 6 children.
In 1841 census they can be seen at Paradise Hill, as mentioned above, with 3 children, next door to his father, sister Sarah & her family. Thomas is listed as a Tailor. By 1851 they have 6 children & have moved to 1 Orchard Street, Woolwich. In 1861 they can be seen at 58 St Mary Street with 4 children, daughter Martha & her family.

In census of 1871 they can be seen at 13 Coleman Street with daughter Eliza, daughter Sarah & her 2 daughters, also sister-in-law Mary Owen & a servant. Martha died 29 Oct 1878 in Woolwich and was buried in the cemetery 5 Nov 1878. Thomas only survived her by a few weeks, as he died 23 December and was buried 1 Jan 1879

His eldest son was also Thomas David Roffey, born 14 Mar 1835 in Woolwich and christened 19 Apr 1835 at St Mary Magdalene. He can be seen on censuses of 1841 at Paradise Hill with parents & 2 sisters, 1851 1 Orchard Street with parents & 5 sisters and in 1861 at 58 St Mary Street with parents & 4 sisters, also sister Martha & her family. Thomas David junior was a tailor like his father, but died 2 Dec 1864 aged only 29 and was buried 10 Dec 1864 with many family members at the cemetery shown above.

William Eldridge Roffey was born 12 Apr 1798 in Woolwich to Thomas & Sarah nee Eldridge (see above) and christened 13 May 1798 at St Mary Magdalene. On 25 Aug 1822 at St Paul's church, Deptford he married Elizabeth Rebecca Law (aunt of Jessie Roan Law who later married their son Edward)
They had 4 children (the first died in infancy) but unfortunately Elizabeth didn't make it until censuses were taken, as she died Aug 1835 & was buried 9 Aug in St Mary Magdalene churchyard.
[Up to now I have used the only pic I had of the church, when it had been converted to a house, taken in 1997, but have today found an 1883 engraving and this is much more appropriate]

In 1841 census William can be seen at Paradise Hill, a widowed blacksmith with 3 children, then in 1851 at 6 Sun Alley, Woolwich with son William, listed as a "former blacksmith". He was only 52 but must have retired early, probably due to injury or illness preventing him being fit enough for this very physical job. Son William was now the blacksmith. [Sun Alley was renamed Sunbury Street when the area was cleared in 1903 and still exists behind Church Street, but is made up entirely of modern blocks]. In 1861 census William E can still be seen with William S, now at 6 Albert Street with a family. William Eldridge Roffey died in Dec 1863 aged 65 and was buried 27 Dec 1863 at St Thomas' churchyard, Charlton.

His son William Stanfield Roffey was born 27 Jul 1825 in Woolwich and christened 11 Sep 1825 at St Mary Magdalene, his middle name coming from his grandmother Mary Law nee Stanfield. As stated above he can be seen in census returns of 1841 at Paradise Hill with father & sister, listed as Apprentice Blacksmith, then 1851 at 6 Sun Alley, blacksmith with father. On 24 Oct 1852 at St Mary Magdalene he married Martha Johnson from Limehouse, London, daughter of another blacksmith. Martha was one of 12 children and proceeded to have 11 of her own. In census return of 1861 William & Martha can be seen at 6 Albert Street with 4 children, his father and her parents. In 1871 they can be seen at 29 Skinner Street, Gillingham, Kent with 8 children, where William is working as a "Mechanical Writer in Dockyard", but it was evidently a short-term thing because by 1873 they are back in Woolwich.

In 1881 they can be seen at 2 Star Terrace, Charlton [all gone now] with 10 children & a lodger, William listed as Civil Service Pensioner, although only 55. Same in 1891 with 5 sons remaining. William died 24 Dec 1897 (shame about that Christmas!) and was buried on New Year's Day 1898 at Charlton Cemetery

Martha followed on 18 May 1904.

Wednesday 29th October 2014

Sidney Herbert Roffey was born 14 Jul 1884 at 24 Egmont Street, Deptford to Henry & Sarah nee Russell and christened 12 Aug 1885 at All Saints, Hatcham Park
In census return of 1891 he can be seen aged 6 at 24 Egmont Street with parents & 3 brothers, then in 1901 aged 16 at 58 Hatcham Park Road with parents & 2 brothers, boarder & lodger,listed as an Accountant's Clerk.
In 1911 he was living at 44 Norfolk House Road, Streatham with brother Percy & his family, their mother and a servant, listed as an Accountant
On 5 Nov 1921 he inherited £52 of effects from their mother (eldest brother George had died, youngest Alfred had emigrated to Australia). There are after this point several options to choose from - he may be the Sidney Herbert Roffey in The London Regiment awarded 3 medals for action in France as a Warrant Officer (in which case he lived in West Wickham, Kent and died in Farnborough Hospital 3 Jan 1961) or he may have married Lilian Prizeman in Lewisham in 1925, had at least one son called Jack, with whom he lived at Hither Green for some years. Each of these is possible, having ruled out the one I had originally followed, once I found out that his father was named William.

Stanley Gordon Roffey was born May 1880 in Birkenhead, Cheshire to Charles & Ellen nee Wheeler. He can be seen in census return of 1881 aged 11 months, at 285 Claughton Road, Birkenhead with parents, 3 brothers & a servant.

In 1891 he was aged 10 at 119 Oxton Road, Birkenhead with parents, brothers & a servant. When next seen, he can be seen boarding at 34 Poets Road, Highbury, London, working as a Shipping Clerk. On 21 Aug 1910 at St Augustine church, Highbury he married neighbour Florence Emma Matthews and they rented "2 rooms (furnished) at the back of 46 Poets Road and breakfast parlour, which they shared with Mrs Lewis (of same address)"
34 46
But by the census of 1911 they had moved back to Cheshire and can be seen at 46 Hampstead Road, Egremont, very close to his parents. They had 2 children in that area and I think remained there the rest of their lives, as Florence died there in 1937 aged 56 and Stanley in 1968 aged 88.

Friday 24th October 2014

Sarah Roffey was born in 1835 (no more detail than this, I'm afraid, as I cannot find a baptism record) in Woolwich to John & Sarah nee Way. She can be seen in census return of 1841 aged 6 at Paradise Hill with parents & sibs. In 1851 she was working as House Servant to a perfumer & his family at 113 Stanhope Street, St Pancras, London [no photo available as all modern blocks]. I cannot trace her in 1861, but in 1881 she was in Brighton, aged 36, working as House Servant to a woman living on her own means, one of three servants, including a coachman, at 28 Montpelier Crescent - a rather lovely house, I must admit!

Unfortunately the next record shows that in 1876 she had returned home to Woolwich and died aged 41. (There are some outside possibilities that she married and this is not her, but without buying the certs I cannot be sure...)

Sarah Adelaide Roffey was born 12 Jun 1830 in Woolwich, at the Church Street bakery, to George & Maria and christened 4 Jul 1830 at St Mary Magdalene church

She can be seen on census return of 1841 aged 10 at Church Street, Woolwich with parents & sibs, also 2 assistant bakers. However, the next record is a marriage 15 Dec 1855 at St Thomas, Charlton, when she married John Peter Sery of the Military Service of Sardinia. She may have met him there, which is why I cannot find her in 1851 census, and they may well have gone abroad after the wedding. As it is, I cannot find any records for her after this. Of course, the surname can be mis-spelled in a variety of ways, but I have searched high & low.

Sarah Ann Grace Roffey was born 4 Sep 1839 at Paradise Hill, Woolwich to Thomas & Martha nee Owen and christened 2 Oct 1839 at St Mary Magdalene church. She can be seen on census return of 1841 at Paradise Hill with parents & sibs, aged 18 months, then in 1851 at 58 St Mary Street, Woolwich aged 21, working as a Servant.

On 23 Apr 1867 at St Mary Magdalene church she married Charles Howey, local boy listed as a Steward, they settled at 13 Coleman Street and had 4 children. In 1871 census Sarah is there with her daughter, parents, sister, aunt & lodger, but things settle down by 1881 when they are alone with 3 children, Charles listed as labourer. In 1891 things are the same with just 2 children. By 1901 they can be seen at 34 Raglan Road, Plumstead with widowed daughter Grace and granddaughter Winnie, also son Thomas & wife. Both Charles & Thomas are working as "Gun Factory Labourers", but Charles died 19 Jan 1903 and was buried 23 Jan in Woolwich Cemetery

So in 1911 census Sarah is still at 34 Raglan Road, but a widow, with her granddaughter Winnie. Sarah died here on 23 Apr 1916 aged 76 and was buried 28 Apr at Woolwich Cemetery.

Her aunt Sarah Grace Roffey was born 8 Jul 1805 in Woolwich to Thomas & Sarah nee Eldridge and christened 4 Aug 1805 at St Mary Magdalene church. On 18 Mar 1832 she married Henry Wright, local carpenter, and they had 6 children. Censuses of 1841-61 show them at 2 Paradise Place, Woolwich with a variety of these children but unfortunately Sarah died aged 62 on 16 Apr 1868 and was buried 25 Apr at Woolwich Cemetery. Henry can be seen at the same address in 1871 with daughter Maria as his housekeeper & son Henry junior working as a teacher. In 1881 Maria has married & he is living with the family at 110 Burrage Road, Plumstead. He died 10 Jan 1887 aged 82 and was buried 15 Jan at Woolwich Cemetery.

Thursday 23rd October 2014

Ruth Roffey was born Oct 1873 in Lambeth to Manlius & Isabella nee Morrison. She can be seen in census return of 1881 aged 7 at 66 Priory Grove, Vauxhall with parents & sister Edith (Cliff's grandmother) and the same in 1891. On Christmas Day 1897 at All Saints church, Lambeth (long gone) she married Charles John Loder. He was listed as an electrician on his marriage certificate but in 1898 he took employment with London, Brighton & South Coast Railway as a "Holder Up", based in the Locomotive, Carriage & Wagon Department at Battersea for 4 shillings a week. I'm not sure how long he stayed there as in 1901 census they can be seen to have set up their own business together. This was a laundry at 9-10 Milton Street, off Wandsworth Road, Clapham [there is a fairly modern parade of shops here now, but I can trace each to an older incarnation using this census: barber's shop, tobacconist, "wardrobe shop", boot shop, toy shop etc. and where there is now a double frontage run by "Costcutters" was a turning known as Milton Street, which can be seen on this map of 1870. It had been infamous as the site of an isolated cholera outbreak in the 1840s, and the culprit can be seen in the map below

The pump on Wandsworth Road was shown by Dr Snow in his investigations to be connected to bad water sources, and led to many deaths. This map shows the houses in pink which were affected, and these are the shops I mentioned above, so I suspect they were rebuilt between the map & 1901, then again in 1960s] Ruth was stated on the census return to be Laundry Manageress and Charles Laundry Carman, so she washed (probably with help) and he delivered. Of course, Ruth was brought up with laundry, and her mother & sister washed. By 1911 they had moved around to 124 Stewart's Road, Battersea - known to regular readers as the Storage Facility (as it is now) with 3 remaining children (the eldest had died aged 1 in 1900). They lived at this address for at least 25 years, and it was given as home address when Charles died 13 Jul 1934 at St James Hospital (which was demolished in 1992 & no photos exist). He left effects worth £310 to Ruth. She lived there for a couple more years, then after the war can be seen at 62 Huron Road, Tooting, with niece Ruth Smith and Ethel & Richard Stanbridge

It was here that Ruth died 23 Oct 1954 aged 81, leaving effects worth £942 to her sister Edith.

Sunday 19th October 2014

Percy Harry Roffey was born in Aug 1878 at 38 Edwin Road, Leeds, Yorkshire to Henry & Sarah nee Russell and christened at St Matthias, Burley 22 Sep 1878 with brother George.
When I dealt with Henry on 25th September I hadn't noticed this "glitch" in the family life. Percy's baptism record lists Henry as "water-colour painter" so maybe he was taking a sabbatical and took his family along with him. I did note that he had previously been listed as Book-Keeper then on his father's death in 1880 took on the job of Coal-Merchant's Agent, but it seems he had already shaken off the past and was spending 1878 "Up North". It may have been his father's death that brought him back to the London area, as in 1881 census Percy is aged 2 and living at 9 Egmont Street, Deptford, with parents, 2 brothers & 3 aunts. By 1891 they have moved across the road to no. 24
In 1901 census he can be seen at 58 Hatcham Park Road, Deptford with parents, 2 brothers & a boarder, by now he is 22 and listed as a butcher, with elder brother George living opposite.

On 19 Apr 1908 in Greenwich (probably St Alphege, her local church) he married Ada Frances Barker, from another butchers' family - her father and 2 brothers were butchers. They settled in Wandsworth and had 6 children. They can be seen on 1911 census at 44 Norfolk House Road, Streatham - to the left below [sorry about the bad quality of the picture - this is the nearest I could get on Google Streetview], with 2 children, his mother, brother & a servant
They remained here until 1915, when electoral roll records place him at 23 Angles Road, Streatham [above right], but had moved on again by 1921, when he is shown at 194 Amesbury Avenue, Streatham Hill

The family remained here for many years, Ada was registered at that address in records extending until at least 1939. Percy had a shop at 54 Upper Mulgrave Road, Cheam, and was often registered there too. In fact I suspect they may have lived there at times. [Presumably he ran it as a butcher's shop, although it is now a fish & chip shop]

It was certainly where Percy was on 30 Nov 1951 when he died aged 73, leaving effects worth £872 to Ada.

[shop was approx where white van is parked. This photo was taken 1950, so Percy would have been in there at the time]
When Ada died on 28 Jul 1958 aged 77 this was given as her address, but at the time she was staying with youngest daughter Eunice at 75 Ampthill Road, Maulden, Bedfordshire. She left effects worth £1757 to sons Cecil (in insurance) and Edgar (also a butcher).

The alliterative Rosetta Ruth Roffey was born 12 Jul 1851 at St Mary Street, Woolwich to Thomas & Martha nee Owen and christened 13 Aug 1851 at St Mary Magdalene church. She can be seen in census of 1861 aged 10 at 58 St Mary Street with parents & sibs

In Jul 1869 in Woolwich (probably St Mary Magdalene) she married Frederick Biffin, a tailor, and they lived in Woolwich for a while. They can be seen in census of 1871 at 49 King Street and their only child Robert was born in London. However, by 1881 census they can be seen at 6 Middlewich Street, Church Coppenhall, Cheshire (now this village cannot be found, as it is part of Crewe), Frederick still working as a tailor,
and are still there in 1891.

Rosetta died here in Jan 1895 aged 43 and Frederick in 1899 aged 51.

Saturday 18th October 2014

Mary Elizabeth Roffey was born in 4 Aug 1806 in Woolwich to Edward & Sarah nee Loe and christened 17 Aug 1806 at St Mary Magdalene church. She can be seen in census of 1841 at Elliot Place, Blackheath, working as a servant in the household/school of a clergyman & his wife. No numbers are given on the return, but here is Eliot Place in 1864
Now, in the 1880s there was a great deal of attention centred on a school in this road, as one of the Jack the Ripper suspects, Montague Druitt, worked there. I was at first doubtful as there always were a lot of schools in this short road. However I have found the following online:

"Nine Eliot Place was built in the Georgian era as a private house. It first became a school in 1831 when the Rev George Brown Francis Potticary acquired it. Potticary's father, the Rev John Potticary, had run a school at numbers 2 and 3 Eliot Place, which had been attended by Benjamin Disraeli. George Potticary had taken this over in the mid-1820s. Potticary's school remained at 9 Eliot Place until 1850, when he sold the property to the Rev Richard Cowley Powles."
In the 1841 census I can see that the gentleman Mary is working for is none other than George Potticary, so it must be the very place.

This photograph was taken in 2005 and the owner explains that the school stood where the building is on the right, but the one in the centre was an extension of it. Although the main building is gone, this piece remains. In 1851 census she can be seen working as Housemaid in High Street, Girton, Cambridgeshire again to George Potticary - she must have gone with him after he sold the school, and he is now the Rector of Girton. She is one of six staff, including a groom Richard Atkins, who she married on 19 Jun 1851. I have only seen a transcription, so cannot see if Mr Potticary married them, but it must be very likely!
Girton church
Old Rectory
They may have had to move on, as a lot of places would not allow marriages of their staff, and we can see them elsewhere in 1861. They were working together at Montrose House, High Road, Petersham, Surrey [nowadays listed building famous for once belonging to Tommy Steele!], in the household of a widowed gentlewoman, Mary employed as Gate Keeper and Richard Gardener

In 1871 Mary can be seen at Church Grove, Hampton Wick, aged 64, working as a Nursemaid, stating she is married - not widowed - but I cannot find a death that is certainly his. Likewise I cannot find census return for him 1871 onwards. There is one that may be hers in 1881, a widowed inmate of Marylebone Alms Houses, St John's Wood. However, this is one of those stories that fades out into obscurity.

Friday 17th October 2014

Martha Roffey was born 14 Aug 1837 at Paradise Hill, Woolwich to Thomas & Martha nee Owen and christened 13 Sep 1837 at St Mary Magdalene church (see pic yesterday). She can be seen there aged 4 in census return of 1841 with parents & sibs, with grandfather and Aunt Sarah & family next door. In 1851 she was at 1 Orchard Street, Woolwich with parents & sibs then on 6 Feb 1857 at St Mary Magdalen she married William Crowfoot, mariner (or so it says on the marriage certificate) & blacksmith born in Suffolk. As she was under-age at 19, her parents were witnesses at the ceremony. He moved in with Martha & her family at 58 St Mary Street, Woolwich and they can be seen there in 1861 census with 2 sons. In 1871 they had moved out and can be seen at 11 Barn Street, Stoke Newington with 4 children [now only St Mary's school is on that side of the road, but as it was built in 1831 it must have been there then, just not on the census return]. By 1881 they had moved on again, this time to a cottage by the reservoirs in Green Lanes, Stoke Newington owned by the New River Company, who created this canal leading from springs only a few yards behind my house to London, now only an open waterway as far as Stoke Newington, where it is culverted into London itself. Interesing to think this link runs from me to where Martha lived!

They remained there through 1891 census but by 1901 William had retired and they can be seen at 38 Gillespie Road, Islington. By 1911 they had moved along to number 68 and this was where they died, William in 1913 & Martha 1 Apr 1918 aged 80, leaving effects worth £359 to son Thomas, solicitor's clerk
38 68
William was buried 4 Apr 1913 in Islington Cemetery, and Martha joined him 8 Apr 1918

Mary Ann Roffey
was born 12 May 1825 in Warwick Street, Woolwich to George & Maria and was christened 1 Jun 1825 at St Mary Magdalene church along with cousins Jane Sarah & Thomas James. She can be seen aged 15 in census of 1841 at the Church Street bakery with parents, sibs & 2 assistant bakers. In Apr 1848 in the Lewisham area she married John George Nicholson, cheesemonger from Woolwich High Street. He was registered at an address in Powis Street in local directory and at baptism of the first 2 sons. In 1851 census she can be seen at the bakery with parents, as can John with his - they evidently spent census night with their own respective parents at their shops. In 1861 they both can be seen at 5 Westbury Terrace, Paddington with 4 children, her mother, sister Maria & 2 servants (one Isabella Morrison - see yesterday). John is listed as Railway Clerk & is evidently doing well, having presumably sold the cheesemongery business. By 1871 census they have moved to Hammersmith and can be seen at 44 St Stephen's Road with 5 children, John's brother and a servant. John is listed as "Clerk unemployed", the household provider for by brother "E F" (shipowner's clerk) and son George (Railway Service Clerk). By 1881 they had moved 2 houses along and the address in that census is 48 St Stephen's Avenue (the end house with better garden) and John was clerk for Great Western Railways

All 5 children are at home, 3 working, and they have a servant. They remained at this address until 1897, so can be seen there in 1891 census with son Frederick & the servant. John died here in Oct 1897 and Mary Ann did what most widows did and moved in with her children. In 1901 census she can be seen aged 75 at 53 Albemarle Road, Beckenham, Kent [now a modern house] with son George & family, housemaid & cook, then in 1911 at 2 Inchmery Road, Bromley Road, Catford with son Frederick & family, where she died in Jan 1916.

There were 2 other Mary Ann Roffeys - one was born 4 Sep 1841 at Paradise Hill, Woolwich to Thomas & Martha nee Owen and christened 10 Oct 1841 at St Mary Magdalene church. She can be seen aged 10 in census of 1851 at 1 Orchard Street, Woolwich with parents & sibs, then in 1861 at 58 St Mary Street, Woolwich with parents, sibs & a servant. On 24 Jun 1865 at St Margaret's church, Plumstead she married William Morgan, blacksmith from Plumstead. They settled at 115 Sandy Hill Road, Plumstead and can be seen there in censuses of 1871 & 1881, in the latter with daughter Sophia & a boarder.

Mary Ann died here in Jul 1886 aged 44, but I cannot trace William after this as he has such a common name.

The other Mary Ann Roffey was born in Oct 1842 in Woolwich to John & Sarah nee Way. She can be seen in census return of 1851 aged 8 at 18 Paradise Place, Woolwich with parents, sibs & nurse then the same aged 18 in 1861 (father was away visiting). In 1871 she can be seen at 98 Queen's Road, Peckham, where she was Housemaid to a wine-importer/cooper [no pic as is now modern block]. Both parents died in 1878 and 1881 census finds her back at Paradise Place living with her sister Eliza, as her Companion, and 3 boarders. By 1891 their business had been recognised, the house was called Paradise Villa and they were listed as Boarding-house Keeper & Assistant (see 12th Sep). After Eliza's death, the Boarding House was unsustainable, so in 1901 she can be seen at 27 Raglan Road, Plumstead, working as a nurse [now Foxfield Primary School]. She was there until at least 1906 but by 1911 had moved back to her roots & can be seen - now retired - at 20 Upper Market Street, Woolwich [Market Street Health Centre is 16-20, built in 1939]. She died on 27 Aug 1924 and was buried 29 Aug 1924 in Woolwich Cemetery with her parents etc.

Thursday 16th October 2014

Manlius William Roffey was born 27 Dec 1820 at Warwick Street, Woolwich to George & Maria and christened 21 Jan 1821 at St Mary Magdalene church

He can be seen in census returns of 1841 & 1851 at the bakery, 48 Church Street with parents & sibs, also 2 assistant bakers, then in 1861 with brother James & family, their father having died, listed as Clerk H M Service, which was strange as he was also a baker. He was listed as such when on 25 Nov 1867 at Trinity church, Marylebone he married Isabella Mary Anne Morrison, who had been servant in the household of his sister Mary Anne Nicholson

They settled in Lambeth and had 2 daughters there. Although I cannot find this family in 1871 census, they can be seen in 1881 & 1891 at 66 Priory Grove, Vauxhall. It is unfortunate - for me - that this side of the road is now parkland, so I cannot give a photo, and also that he died here in Apr 1891 aged 70, so never met his grandchildren, although Isabella lived with them in Clapham after his death until her own in 1904.

Maria Matilda Roffey was born 3 Oct 1827 at the Church Street bakery to George & Maria and christened 26 Oct 1827 at St Mary Magdalene church (see above). She can be seen in census return of 1841 aged 4 at the bakery with parents & sibs, but in 1851 she may or may not be the House Servant at Nelson Street, Greenwich - the age is right but place of birth is wrong (however, I have said before that census returns were compiled by Head of House, who may not know this about servants & some just made it up). In 1861 she can be seen at 5 Westbury Terrace, Paddington with her sister Mary Anne & family, also their mother & 2 servants, one of whom was Isabella Morrison (see above). Unfortunately Maria died here aged only 38 on 12 Dec 1866, leaving effects worth £600 to her brother George of King Street, Woolwich, her Next of Kin.

Monday 13th October 2014

John Roffey was born 2 Sep 1800 in Woolwich to Thomas & Sarah nee Eldridge and was christened 5 Oct 1800 at St Mary Magdalene church. On 5 Nov 1820 he married Sarah Way at St Peter & St Paul church in Bromley, Kent - a church I knew well from my teenage years in Orpington, although I understand all but the flint tower has been rebuilt since John's day, due to wartime bomb damage.
(I have seen Sarah's maiden name transcribed as Maynard - I have not had sight of the original to make up my own mind!). In 1841 census they can be seen at Paradise Hill, Woolwich with 6 children, John listed as Shipwright. They had a very unfortunate time between 1825 & 1832, losing three babies in quick succession, hence the long gap between Jane Sarah (see yesterday) born 1823 and John junior born 1831. In 1851 census the were at 18 Paradise Place, Woolwich with 7 children, but in 1861 Sarah was here with 4 children & a lodger, but John was visiting a farm in Ellesborough, Buckinghamshire with daughter Eliza & grandson Charles. In 1871 census they were at home in Woolwich with Eliza & a boarder, John aged 70 listed as "Superannuated Shipwright".
[Sorry about the condition of these photos, but they are very old]
Sarah died on 30 Dec 1877 and was buried at Woolwich Cemetery 3 Jan 1878, then John followed on 29 Sep 1878 and was buried there 5 Oct 1878.

Their son John Roffey junior was born in approx 1831, but only appears on 1841 census with the family, aged 10. I cannot find a christening record for a John, but Ebenezer died aged one in 1832, so he may have been a twin. After 1841 he may have been the John Roffey who applied for a passport and went abroad, or he may have married and moved out of the area, although I cannot see anything to suggest he did.

John Pratt Roffey was born 8 Apr 1823 in Woolwich to George & Maria and was christened 30 Apr 1823 at St Mary Magdalene church. He can be seen in census of 1841 at the Church Street bakery with parents & sibs, aged 15 (18 really, but ages were rounded down in this census), listed as a Baker. In 1851 census, more detail was given; he was listed as Assistant Baker at 48 Church Street, with parents & sibs, nephews, cousin & a staff of 2 journeyman bakers & a servant. Unfortunately he died aged 33 on 25 Aug 1856 and was buried at Woolwich Cemetery 29 Aug 1856.

John Richard Roffey was born 3 Jan 1811 in Woolwich to Edward & Sarah nee Loe and christened 27 Jan 1811 at St Mary Magdalene church. However, this is another where I can find no more records.

Kate Elizabeth Martha Roffey was born 6 Feb 1874 in Woolwich to Edward & Jessie nee Law. She can be seen in censuses of 1881 & 1891 at 100 High Street, Woolwich (next door to the Steam Packet pub/lodging house) - see 8th September, where I dealt with her father Edward Charles and his businesses. In 1891 she is still there with parents, sibs & cousin. On 16 Mar 1901 at Woolwich Register Office she married Frederick William Rengert son of a German Pork Butcher, living in London
I don't know where Frederick was on census night 1901, 2 weeks after the marriage, but Kate can be seen with her parents, 2 brothers & baby son at the bakery in Woolwich High Street. In 1911 census she is still with her widowed father, now at number 6 High Street with her 5 children, Frederick is with her, working as a "Packer of Electric Wire". Her father died in 1912, when Kate & Frederick probably moved to 24 Speranza Street, Plumstead - they were certainly there by 1919 when electoral rolls pick them up - and remained there for the rest of their lives.
  Fred Rengert 17 Jul 1929
Kate died there on 4 Feb 1958 aged 85 and was buried on 11 Feb at Woolwich Cemetery and Frederick died in St Nicholas' Hospital, Plumstead on 9 Oct 1960, leaving effects worth £220 to Stanfield Parkinson Rengert, printing press operator.

Friday 10th Otober 2014

Jane Sarah Roffey was born 23 Oct 1823 at Paradise Hill, Woolwich to John & Sarah nee Way and christened at St Mary Magdalene church 1 Jun 1825 with brother Thomas & cousin Mary Ann

I cannot find her in 1841 census - she was not at home with the others, but was 18 and was probably in service somewhere in London. On 23 Aug 1846 in the Parish Church, St George-in-the-East she married Timothy Haggerty.
He was listed then as merely "labourer" but by the census in 1851 was described as Boilermaker and they were living in Paradise Place (opposite her parents) with baby daughter Jane. Unfortunately 1861 census is missing for this family but we do know that by 1868 they were living at 75 Unity Place, Woolwich [next door to the Edinburgh Castle pub - now replaced by the Thames Barrier Centre], and can be seen there in 1871 census with 6 children. Timothy described his occupation as "Iron Ship Builder" but unfortunately he died 10 Feb 1872 aged 54 & was buried 15 Feb at Woolwich Cemetery.

In 1881 census Jane can be seen widowed with 5 children at 24 St Mary's Square, Lambeth (if this address seems familiar, it is - remember the square that was triangular and is now called St Mary's Gardens? See 31st July & 7th August for other family members not yet acquainted, living there in later decades)

She seems to do OK though, as by 1891 she has moved to 67 St James' Place, Plumstead, Living on her Own Means with daughter Jane - just a stone's throw from her sister Emily, also a widow. By 1901 the Janes were at 27 Crescent Road, even closer to Emily
In 1911 they had moved to 47 Friendly Street, Deptford, where Jane died 14 Apr 1912 aged 89 and was buried 17 Apr in Woolwich Cemetery.

Thursday 9th October 2014

I am back from my travels - at least for a while - and will proceed with a very interesting ancestor.

Sir James Roffey was Cliff's 1st cousin 3x removed - ie he was the 1st cousin of his grandmother's father. He was born in Paradise Hill, Woolwich in Jan 1833 to John & Sarah nee Way. He can be seen in census returns of 1841 & 1851 with parents & sibs at 18 Paradise Place, in the latter aged 18 & listed as an Engineer. On 28 Jan 1860 at St Mary Magdalene church, Woolwich he married Emma Wilson, daughter of an engine-fitter living in Woolwich, and they had 6 children. 24 May - 6 Oct 1860 he was Chief Engineer on board HMS Devastation. The census in 1861 shows them at 21 Chapel Row, Portsea, Hampshire with a baby daughter, James listed as Chief Engineer Royal Navy
[now Admiralty Row, but the old wall of the historic dockyard is still there:]

In 1871 census James was on board the HMS Lord Warden, anchored off Naples

This ship was stationed in the Mediterranean until 1875, when it returned to UK for a refit. James probably moved on at this point, as we next see him in 1881 census, off the coast of Malta, aboard the brand-new HMS Alexandra. He was Inspector of Machinery under Capt. the Right Hon. Lord Walter J Kerr, and in 1882 HMS Alexandra took part in the bombardment of Alexandria under Capt. Charles Hotham. Marines from the Alexandra joined the army forces at Kassassin and Tel-el-Kebir and she also saw service on the Nile.
I found some crew pictures online - and he may well be amongst these:

It was around this time that King George V served as Lieutenant aboard the HMS Alexandra 1887-8 (that could well be him in the front of the pic above). On 27 Aug 1890 James was aboard the Crocodile, troopship, stationed off Portsmouth, until 8 Nov 1892. It seems he was living at home, as on census night 1891 he can be seen at home at Pallant House, Havant, Hampshire

James is listed as Retired (although only 58), with 4 daughters, cook and housemaid. They remained here for the rest of their lives, in 1901 with 2 daughters & one servant, same in 1911. In George V's Coronation Honours list James was knighted - he became Knight Commander of Order of the Bath (KCB) and Emma became Lady Roffey. When James died here aged 79 on 1 May 1912 he left effects worth £2000 to "Dame Emma", his widow, but she died 2 years later and left £2340 to daughter Ethel. Pallant House was bought by a church in 1919 and has remained so ever since.

Friday 26th September 2014

As I am going away tomorrow and am not sure when I shall be back to my genealogy studies (it may be next Thursday, it may be the week after) I shall do my best to cover all the James Roffeys today...

James Roffey 1 was born 17 Oct 1813 in Paradise Row, Woolwich to Thomas & Sarah nee Eldridge and christened 16 Jan 1814 at St Mary Magdalene church

Unfortunately he died in September 1822 aged almost 9 and was buried at the above church on 29 Sep 1822.

James Roffey 2
was born 3 Aug 1837 in Woolwich to George & Maria and christened at St Mary Magdalene on 27 Aug 1837. His father was the baker at 48 Church Street and James lived there all his life. In 1841 census he can be seen there aged 3 with parents, sibs & 2 assistant bakers, then in 1851 aged 13 also with 2 nephews, a visiting cousin, one servant & 2 assistant bakers. On 18 Mar 1861 at St Michael, Cornhill, London he married Annie Jeans, farmer's daughter from Plumstead (not a farming area nowadays!) and brought her back to the bakery.
[St Martins, the site of a medieval church, now a Sir Christopher Wren church, newly renovated in 1861]
In census return of 1861, taken a week after the wedding, James is shown as Head of Household, his father having died in 1859, Master Baker employing 2 men. The 1867 Post Office Directory shows the layout of the street at this time. I do know the area was redeveloped at least twice, so the only feature now recognisable is the one remaining chimney from the Steam Factory development on the north (ie river) side of the road. Built in 1840, 180 ft high, an octagonal brick-built chimney it served the Royal Dockyard until this was closed, then the rest of the plant was demolished in 1982.

The chimney was apparently opposite the Albion pub, which was number 48 at one time, but I have mentioned before that the street underwent re-numbering on at least one occasion. The 1867 directory tells how the bakery number 48 was the last in Church Street, on the corner of Sun Street, the opposite corner the Co-operative Clothing Stores number 49 being classed as Church Hill, all the way up to St Mary's church. Nowadays number 46 is the start of Church Hill, next to 328 Woolwich Church Street but both are modern residential blocks, and renumbering in later years led to 48 becoming 282, as I said before at the junction with Kingsman Street. (Sorry if this is all confusing, especially if you are not familiar with Woolwich. I do wish authorities wouldn't change existing road names, numbers etc). James was not only a baker, but also a confectioner. In 1871, 1881 & 1891 censuses he can be seen at the bakery with a variety of staff, but they do not appear to have had any children. In Sep 1892 he appeared in the local paper for an unfortunate reason; he and his shop foreman were assaulted in their shop by a drunken man:

He died there on 8 Jan 1898, aged 60, leaving effects worth £756 to his widow Ann, who died herself the following year. I don't know what happened to the business after their death, as they had no children. In 1911 census the number 48 is missing, which is puzzling. Maybe the business was split up and the building closed. The family did have 2 more bakeries and relatives at number 42 may have taken the confectionery trade (see 29th August). James was buried in Woolwich Cemetery 12 Jan 1898 and Annie joined him on 5 Oct 1899.

The other James has a very interesting story, so I shall leave him until next week.

Thursday 25th September 2014

Henry James Roffey was born 24 Oct 1845 in Rotherhithe, then in Surrey, to George & Jane nee Smith and was christened 23 Nov 1845 at Christ Church Rotherhithe, son & father of the two Georges featured on Monday.

He can be seen in census return of 1851 at 1 High Street, Woolwich with parents & servant Mary Morrison - I have a note that she may be the sister of his aunt Isabella, Cliff's great grandmother. In 1861 he is at 49 King Street, Woolwich with parents & sister, then still with them in 1871 at 64 Orchard Road, Plumstead (see Monday) listed as a Book-Keeper. In Apr 1874 in Islington he married Sarah Ann Russell, daughter of a copper-plate printer, and they had 4 sons. In 1881 census he can be seen at 9 Egmont Street, Deptford with two of these and his wife's 3 sisters, listed as Coal-Merchant's Agent - but as I mentioned on Monday, his father was a Coal Merchant as well as his job as a baker, so maybe this was an extra job in the family and Henry had just taken it on at his father's death in 1880. By 1891 census Henry was listed as Watchman, at 24 Egmont Street, Deptford with 4 sons (see Monday), then in 1901 at 58 Hatcham Park Road with 3 sons, a boarder & a lodger, working as a Wharf Clerk, opposite son George. On 1911 census return Sarah declared herself a widow, and can be seen living with son Percy & his family in Streatham. I cannot pin down a death record for Henry as the one with closest fit to his date of birth was in East Preston, Sussex and I know of no link to there. Sarah died on 5 Nov 1920 at Norbury, Surrey

Monday 22nd September 2014

George Roffey was born 16 Dec 1818 in Woolwich to George & Maria and christened at St Mary Magdalen church 6 Jan 1819 (they had lost their 1st child also called George in July of that year aged 1. On 17 Dec 1840 again at St Mary Magdalen he married Jane Elizabeth Smith, daughter of a tobacconist in Woolwich High Street. (See Thursday for pic of church). In 1841 census they can be seen at Paradise Street, Rotherhithe with many other families, George trying his hand at being a baker, like his father &
brothers, but it evidently didn't work out. In 1851 he can be seen at no. 1 High Street (which must have been only a few yards away from his father's bakers shop [where Riverside House is now, on the roundabout] with a 5-year-old son Henry and working as a Corn & Coal Merchant. 1861 is a puzzle, as he is again listed as Baker - his father had died and younger brother James was running the bakery, but maybe George did both! He is at 49 King Street, just across the main road from High Street, in the same road as Edward & Ann (although they are not closely related). By 1871 he can be seen at 64 Orchard Road Plumstead, with 2 children, listed as Commercial Traveller. As Jane died in 1874, he can be seen in 1881 census listed as widower, at 38 Russell Road, Islington with daughter Emily & her family (see Thurs 18th) and he died here on 23 Jan 1885, leaving £63 to John Thomas Sweet, gentleman.

His grandson George Thomas Roffey was born Apr 1876 in Bermondsey to Henry & Sarah nee Russell. He can be seen in census of 1881 at 9 Egmont Street, Deptford with parents, 3 aunts & brother

In 1891 they have moved across the road - maybe this was bigger, as there were now 6 children - to number 24 Egmont Street, George aged 14, "working in a cork factory".

On 26 Aug 1899 at All Saints Hatcham Park he married Emily Maria Napper, a telegrapher living just around the corner. In 1901 he can be seen at 57 Hatcham Park Road, Deptford and his parents on the other side of the road at number 58, George now working as a gas fitter

By 1911 they had 3 children & can be seen in census return at 15 Sportsbank Street, Catford, Lewisham which is 3.4 miles away.

Electoral roll records show that he remained here until his death in Jan 1934, then Emily moved in with daughter Doris Willis (also in Lewisham) for a few years before she followed in 1946.

Friday 19th September 2014

Emma Roffey was born in 1823 at Paradise Row, Woolwich to Edward & Sarah nee Loe. She can be seen in census return of 1841 (her age rounded down to 15 as was usual, although she was 18) with parents & brother. On 16 May 1842 at All Saints church, Poplar she married the wonderfully-named blacksmith George Elphinstone Job, witnesses were his father Charles Adolphus Job and J W Nation.
They can be seen in 1851 census return at 16 Great William Street, Islington with 2 daughters & a servant. Son Charles arrived 6 months later. This area was in very bad condition, the residents reporting "damp basements and sewage oozing through the walls" - they were urged if they could to move out of the area & eventually it was rebuilt. George paid £5 for the whole family to emigrate to Australia on board the Beejapore in late 1852, via Donoghilt, Co. Tipperary, Ireland.

Unfortunately conditions on board were also really bad and when they arrived in Feb 1853 all three children had died and Emma was hospitalized. (It seems that conditions on this ship did not improve - if you are interested there is a harrowing description from the diary of a passenger on board the same ship 10 years later on http://www.rod-stuff.com/olivemcleod/abijou.html which shows nobody learned any lessons...) They went on to have lots more children - if the notes on Emma's death certificate are correct they had 13 children, of which 9 died in childhood). They found a leasehold property with some land, in Nicholson Street, Abbotsford, Victoria and George worked as a gas-fitter but by 1861 they had moved on, over 500 miles to 230 Kent Street, Sydney [now a very modern shopping area with steel & glass skyscrapers], where George still worked as gas-fitter. Next set of records are NSW Public Service Lists, Secretary for Mines, showing George listed as one of 36 Bailiffs of Wardens Court, he appointed to represent Forbes (where they lived by then), quite an eminent role, with a £20 a year salary. He performed this role until 1887, by which time he was 70 years old, and no doubt retired. They lived in Farrand Street, Forbes, which looks lovely, so this story eventually has a happy ending, in one respect.

Unfortunately Emma died of asthma in Forbes 30 Aug 1884 aged 61 and was buried 1 Sep 1884.
George followed on 26 Mar 1898 aged 81.

George Roffey(Cliff's great great grandfather) was born 5 Aug 1796 in Woolwich to Thomas & Sarah nee Eldridge and christened at St Mary Magdalene church (for pic see yesterday) on 4 Sep 1796. In around 1817 he married a girl called Maria and they went on to have 10 children, 2 of whom died in infancy. They can be seen in 1841 census at the bakery 48 Church Street, Woolwich with 7 children & 2 assistants/journeymen. 1851 census shows him there with 4 children, 3 grandsons, a visiting niece, 2 assistant bakers and a servant. Unfortunately on 16 May 1859 he died aged 62 (at the shop - or at least at home) and was buried 24 May 1859 at Woolwich Cemetery, leaving effects worth £1500 to Maria & the business to son James. Maria can be seen in the next census at 5 Westbury Terrace, Harrow Road, Paddington with daughter Mary Anne's family and daughter Maria Matilda with her. She died there on 8 Apr 1865 aged 71, buried at Woolwich Cemetery 26 Apr and Maria Matilda followed on 19 Jan 1866 aged 35, buried 24 Jan 1866.

Maria left effects worth £2000 to John Nicholson (Mary Anne's husband) & Richard Pidcock of Church Hill.

Thursday 18th September 2014

Emily Jane Roffey was born Apr 1858 in Woolwich to George & Jane nee Smith and christened at St Mary Magdalene on 28 May 1858

She can be seen in census of 1861 aged 2 at 49 King Street with parents, brother & a servant and in 1871 at 64 Orchard Road, Plumstead. On 21 Aug 1878 at St Mark's church, Tollington Park, Islington she married Alfred Cook. (Her brother Henry had married there in 1874)
print 1858 when it was new
Alfred was a Pianoforte Maker (as was his father) and they settled at 38 Russell road, Islington and had 6 children. 1881 shows them at 38 Russell Road with 2 daughters & George, her widowed father, and it was here that he died in 1885. [Russell Road is all rebuilt with modern housing]. In 1891 they can be seen at 58 Cranbrook Park, Tottenham with 4 children - this move is not at all surprising as this area was world-famous for piano manufacture

By 1901 they can be seen to have moved 2.5 miles to 3 Nassau Road, Tottenham - and this road, although long gone now, was off St Ann's Road, where there still exists a historic piano-building factory. I do not know if Alfred worked here, but he could have. In 1901 he was listed as a "Pianoforte Silker", so he was at that time specialising in putting the fabric panel on the front of the fashionable pianos of the  day (although by then probably renovating old ones, as the fashion had passed to inlaid panels and fretwork)

[J Reid's factory then & now]
By 1911 Emily had been widowed and can be seen at 601 Green Lanes, Edmonton with 4 of her daughters. As can be seen on this map, this address is mid-way between the previous two

Her son Charles was a Private in the army - the Royal Army Medical Corps in Mauritius & South Africa. Electoral roll records show she remained at Green Lanes until at least 1913, then moved to 20 Ossian Road, Stroud Green, Hornsey with daughters Dora & Eva.
[This house is now a Guest House, called The Ossian]
She died there in Oct 1926, then her remaining daughters all moved in together in Crouch End, when Amy died in 1934 - she was the only daughter to marry & left £1636 to Dora, which presumably financed the move. Incidentally I am very fond of Amy as she gave her son the most amazing name - Ormonde Downing Godfrey!

Monday 15th September 2014

Emily Roffey was born Jan 1845 in Woolwich to John & Sarah nee Way (12th child of 13) and can be seen aged 6 in census of 1851 at 18 Paradise Place, Woolwich with parents & sibs, then in 1861 at St Peters Street, St Albans visiting the Hitchcock family (no doubt related to sister Ellen's prospective in-laws - see yesterday). In 1871 census she can be seen in North Street, Steeple Barton, Oxfordshire, at the grocer's shop, working as Assistant to the grocer/draper & living in, as was the norm at this time. [The pub next door, the Three Horseshoes, closed in 1936 & was demolished in 1971, but the shops are still standing, as private houses]

In Jan 1874, back in Woolwich she married Charles Borer, 30 years her senior, and had 2 daughters before he died in Jul 1880. Even more unfortunate was the fact that the second child had died only weeks before at the age of 2 months. So the 1881 census shows Emily and daughter Phoebe at 12 Conduit Road, Plumstead, Emily listed as widowed Coal Agent. This was an occupation, in my experience, often taken on by wives when their husband died, and involved taking orders for coal, in effect a Middleman for a Coal Merchant.

She & Phoebe can be seen at the same address in censuses 1881-1911, in the latter with a boarder & a lodger, Phoebe listed as a "Government Telegraphist". Following Emily through electoral roll records, I can see her here until about 1919, when she can be seen at 14 Pelham Terrace, Footscray Road, Eltham, with a William Borer (I cannot find a record of a son, so may be Charles' brother - I know very little of them as Charles died before his details were recorded on the subsequent census). This address was renumbered in about 1927 (when all the separate terraces etc were incorporated into one) to 350 Footscray Road [nowadays a butcher] and she is here until at least 1932.

At this point I suspect Emily and Phoebe retired to the West Country together, as they both died in Barnstaple, Devon, Emily in Jan 1937 aged 92 & Phoebe in Jan 1955 aged 78.

Sunday 14th September 2014

Ellen Roffey was born 6 Aug 1848 in Woolwich to John & Sarah nee Way - the last of the 13 children I mentioned on Friday - and can be seen in censuses of 1851 & 1861 aged 3 & 13 respectively at 18 Paradise Place with parents & sibs.
approx 1863
On 8 Aug 1868 in Woolwich she married Daniel William Hitchcock, who had been born in Canada, but grew up in the Plumstead area, following his father into the Woolwich Arsenal to work.
Daniel & Ellen settled in Plumstead and can be seen in 1871 census at 93 Pattison Road, Plumstead with 2 children, he listed as an "Initial Turner in Royal Arsenal" [I understand this area was swept away in 1960s and what is there now, ie roads of blocks of flats, bears no resemblance]

This engraving of the Arsenal dates from 1874, the year our family upped sticks & emigrated to America. Daniel & Ellen sailed with their three children (although unfortunately I cannot find passenger list records this early) and settled in Iowa. They can be seen in 1880 census at Clay Street,  Oskaloosa, Mahaska, Iowa with 7 children, Daniel working as a machinist. By 1888 they had produced a total of 10 children and can be seen by birth registrations of these to move around this time to San Marcial, Socorro, New Mexico. When I found this, it meant nothing to me unfortunately, but it will shock those who know. When I looked on Google maps I was met with an absolute blank. There is nothing there but a couple of buildings and several cemeteries. On investigating I found that there were devastating floods in 1920 and 1929 and the entire town was evacuated. I can see from my family that they had their final 3 children here in 1889. 1890 & 1895, then grandchildren in 1896 & 1897 but by 1900 had moved over 800 miles west to Los Angeles.

They can be seen there in censuses of 1900, 1910 & 1920. In 1917 youngest son Arthur gave the address of 721 Flower Street, Bakersfield, Kern when claiming exemption from The Draft in WW1 in order to look after his parents
However, it was a bit disturbing to see that Ellen died on 10 Aug 1921 at San Marcial aged 73. I wonder if she travelled back to help those left homeless by the floods and it was all too much for her or if the information is wrong. She was buried 2 days later at Union Cemetery, Kern, California, where they lived so it may be. Daniel followed in 1924 aged 77.


Ellen Hannah Roffey was born 20 Mar 1922 in Woolwich to Alfred & Hannah nee Atkin. In Dec 1940 in Woolwich she married Ronald Allison and had 2 children. Electoral roll records show they were at 278 Woolwich Church Street with Hannah until she remarried, then for a short while they lived at 58 Spearman Street, then settled at 21 Woodrow

They may have lived there for the rest of their lives; Ronald died in Jul 1977 & Ellen in Dec 1992. He was cremated at Eltham Crematorium and Ellen joined her family in Woolwich cemetery. 

Saturday 13th September 2014

Elizabeth Mary Roffey was born 18 Oct 1829 in Woolwich to William & Elizabeth nee Law and christened 29 Jun 1837 at St Mary Magdalene church aged 7 with brother Edward (see Mon 8th). She can be seen in census of 1841 aged 11 at Paradise Hill with father & brothers, then in 1851 at 48 Church Street, visiting Uncle George the baker & family. This was evidently a useful arrangement as she is still there in 1861, listed as book-keeper to the baker, who by this time is her cousin James, as Uncle George died in 1859. In Jul 1862 in Lewisham area she married neighbour John Edward Fry, 40-year-old grocer from number 50. They lived in Woolwich for a few years, as the first 3 children were born there, baptism records showing he remained grocer of Church Street until at least 1869. In 1871 census they can be seen at Spratts Factory, Henry Street, Southwark, where John is working as a warehouseman, having sold the grocer's shop to a John Hoppen. I'm not sure how long they stayed there, as Walter was born in Welling, Kent in 1872, so that doesn't help and 1881 census is missing. By Jan 1884 they can be seen back in the Greenwich area, as Walter is admitted to Calvert Road School, giving home address of 2 Rose Cottages, Pelton Road, and 1891 census has the family at 28 Pelton Road.
As John's death in Oct 1887 was registered in the Greenwich area, I assume he died here. He was buried at Greenwich Cemetery 14 Nov 1887.
The census return says Elizabeth is "widow living on own means" with 2 children at home. but by 1901 census they have moved again & are at 4 Christchurch Street (now Way), Greenwich

Walter & Amelia are still living at home and there is a boarding bargebuilder. Elizabeth died here in May 1904 and was buried with John on 26 May 1904 at Greenwich Cemetery.

Friday 12th September 2014

Edwin Thomas Roffey was born May 1834 in Woolwich to George & Maria and christened at St Mary Magdalene church on 22 Jun 1834 (for pic see yesterday). In census of 1841 he can be seen in Church Street with parents & sibs, although, as is normal with 1841 records, the age is wrong; he is said to be 5, rather than nearly 7, but all adults were rounded down... In 1851 I cannot find him, although I do know he would be at school at this time, as he was an unusually bright pupil. He evidently went on to medical school, as on 12 Mar 1859 the Dover Express newspaper announced  the news that he had passed all his exams for entry to the Royal College of Surgeons.

In 1860 he joined the crew of HMS Wasp, commissioned for service on the East Coast of Africa for suppression of the slave trade.

Commander Charles Stirling 10 Apr 1860
Lieutenant Wm. R. Kennedy 15 May 1860
Lieutenant Ferdinand G. Gambier 19 May 1860
Master John E. Knight 15 June 1860
Surgeon William M. Ogilvie 11 Apr 1860
Paymaster James Jackson 11 Apr 1860
Mate William P. Barrow 25 May 1860
Asst. Surgeon Edwin T. Roffey 25 Apr 1860

I have had the pleasure of reading the first-hand account of these "adventures", written by the second-in-command Lieutenant William Kennedy. He tells of how they left Sheerness on 9 Jun 1860, sailing down to the Cape of Good Hope with several near-disasters on the way. Edwin was Assistant Surgeon, but in the chaos caused by the ship hitting a cyclone, the chief surgeon was injured, so he had to take on a lot of responsibility and the writer grew fond of him. Through Oct 1860 the Wasp patrolled, stopping off at Seychelles, Mozambique & crashed on a coral reef

On 3 Feb Edwin was put ashore (there was no water on the island, and they baked in the tropical sun) with all the sick men & a guard of marines, while the rest of the company set off in a 25ft cutter for Zanzibar 400 miles away to get help. They hit another storm and only reached Zanzibar on 22 Feb, where they stayed to recuperate and were given livestock & medical supplies and a crewed ship to return to the Wasp. Unfortunately the crew were not good, spoke no English and they were all overtaken by fever. On 28 Feb Lieut. Kennedy wrote of Edwin 'Very weak, scrawled in journal "Oh that I could see our little doctor! He would soon put me to rights" I found later that he died that day'. When they eventually limped back to the Wasp on 7 Mar they found her upright 'the story goes they tried to heave her upright but when they stopped and went below to rest, she slipped into deep water.' It was found that once upright she didn't leak, as she had when aground, but the engines were of no use. 'One doctor and several men had died from exposure and half the crew were sick. The senior surgeon never worked again, was invalided home and then died very soon after.' They sailed to "Johanna", anchored on 20 Mar and waited 2 months for a ship to Mauritius & home. Edwin's death was reported in the British Medical Journal (BMJ):
Roffey, Edwin T Esq. Assistant Surgeon HMS Wasp at Namegus, Cape of Good Hope, aged 27, on February 28
At home, his will was probated on 7 Aug 1861:
Letters of Administration of Personal Estate & Effects of Edwin Thomas Roffey, late of Church Street, Woolwich in the County of Kent, Acting Assistant Surgeon serving on board Her Majesty's Steam Sloop "Wasp", a Bachelor who died 28 Feb 1861 at Namegus, Cape of Good Hope were granted at the Principal Registry to Maria Roffey of 5 Westbury Terrace, Harrow Road, Paddington, Middlesex, widow, mother and Next of Kin. (These effects amounted to less than £300).
The Wasp returned to Portsmouth and was then sold for scrap in 1869.

Eliza Roffey was born in 1837 in Woolwich to John & Sarah nee Way. Registration of birth only started that year, so in the absence of a baptism record, I can find no recording of her birth. Civil Registration was not mandatory in many areas at first, and it seems they started registering children with Ebenezer the following year. Eliza was 8th of 13 children, so they had their work cut out! (They had a girl Eliza in 1828 but she died aged 6 months). She can be seen in census of 1841 aged 4 at Paradise Hill, Woolwich with parents & sibs, then likewise in 1851 aged 14. In 1861 she can be seen visiting a farm in Ellesborough, Buckinghamshire with her father & nephew, then in 1871 & 1881 at Paradise Place, Woolwich - in 1881 described as "at the back of no. 2, enclosed in garden" - with sister Mary Ann & 3 boarders, one aged 80, two railway signalmen, listed as "Housekeeper". In 1891 census they are still there, now known as Paradise Villa, with Eliza called "Boarding House Keeper" and Mary Ann "Assistant". Unfortunately this didn't last as she died on 14 Dec 1893 aged 56 and was buried on 20 Dec at Woolwich Cemetery

The other Eliza Roffey was born 5 Mar 1849 in St Mary Street, Woolwich to Thomas & Martha nee Owen and christened at St Mary Magdalen Church on 6 May 1849 (see yesterday for pic). She can be seen in census return of 1851 aged 2 at 1 Orchard Street, Woolwich with parents & sibs then in 1861 at 58 St Mary Street. [58 St Mary Street is in existence, albeit a fairly modern house, facing what was Orchard Street, but is now called Greenlaw Street, named afer a councillor in 1915, marked below]

On 7 Nov 1868 at Parish Church, West Hackney she married William Thomas Seth Epsley, witnesses Robert Crowfoot (probably related to her sister Martha's husband) and Mary Ann Morgan (another sister)

William was in the Royal Navy Service and in 1861 census had been an Able Seaman on HMS Renown, anchored off Beirut, Syria, having left England from Chatham in 1857 and remained at sea until 25 Sep 1861.
HMS Renown ship's badge from 1861
In 1871 census he was Ship's Cook on HMS Rattlesnake, with a very similar story to the above, a patrol ship for the Africa Station, in order to suppress the slave trade, under Commodore John Commerell.

The Rev Samuel MacFarlane wrote 'On leaving Lifu we sailed directly for Darnley...and anchored there on Saturday evening 1st July 1871. Torres Islanders celebrate this day as "The Coming of The Light" & it is an annual holiday'. In 1872 they went to Elmina for transfer of the colony from Dutch to British control, then patrolled St Helena, Ascension & West Africa. In 1873 they sailed from the Cape to West Africa on 19 Jun. On 14 Aug they had another "adventure". "Several boats from the Rattlesnake whilst on surveying expedition up the River Prah were fired on from the shore. It was a viscious barrage and Commodore Commerell was severely wounded, along with several other crew-mwmbers. A locally-recruited seaman & 2 policemen were killed. They were again attacked when they landed at the town of Chamah. 2 Ordinary Seamen were killed. They subsequently moved up the river & bombarded the settlement for 2 hours, reducing it to burning ruins." On 20 Sep they arrived at the Cape, Commerell was sent ashore & Commodore Digby assumed command. They conveyed two companies of the 8th Regiment to Natal, following the Zulu uprising. On 9 Jan 1874 Commodore Commerell was better, resumed command and sailed back to England. They arrived back in Plymouth in March and set up a Memorial there to the 14 men killed on the expedition at the Ford Park Cemetery. In 1880 the Rattlesnake was broken up and a new one built in 1886.
Meanwhile Eliza can be seen in 1871 census return at 13 Coleman Street, Woolwich with daughter Eliza, her parents, sister & sister-in-law [on map above the top half of Kingsman Street was Coleman Street]. The next census provides yet another story!
Evidently William got a job on return to these shores, as Coastguard at Scrapsgate, Minster, Isle of Sheppey, Kent and the family can be seen in census return of 1881 living in the coastguard cottages
[Now we have another of those amazing coincidences I have often mentioned. I have said that Cliff did not know of this branch of his family. If you look to the left of these cottages, those modern houses are Southsea Avenue, where Cliff lived for 8 years in 1970s, and brought up his children, including my husband!] A bit of background is needed here: The Merchant Shipping Act of 1854 imposed the need for safety at sea and made the coastguard responsible for policing smuggling activity. The Coastguard Act 1856 brought in training for staff to supplement naval crews. This held until in the 1930s radio communication had reduced the need for a visual watch and the Coast Guard was reduced. William was listed as Coast Guard, and inhabited this main cottage - there were 8 of them apparently built in mid 1700s - and his neighbours were boatmen he could call on if necesssary. He & Eliza lived in this cottage with their 3 children, all born in different villages on the Isle of Sheppey. By the time the next child came along in 1885 they had moved back to the Woolwich area, and were living at 2 Griffin Road, Plumstead. This was a pub until quite recently - which would please Cliff to hear, no doubt! By 1891 census they can be seen at 129 Ann Street, Plumstead [modern estate now] with 4 children & a lodger. In 1901 they had settled at 45 Whitworth Road, Plumstead with 3 daughters & 3 visitors, in 1911 the same place with 2 daughters & 3 grandchildren

William died here on 24 Jan 1925 aged 78, leaving effects worth £871 to Eliza, then she died 25 May 1927 leaving effects worth £800 to Thomas Charles Crowfoot, gentleman (her nephew) and George Holbeche Harvey Webb, solicitor.

Thursday 11th September 2014

Edward John Roffey had a short life, but it was well-documented. He was born 18 Dec 1808 in Woolwich, probably in Church Street, to Thomas & Sarah nee Eldridge and christened 27 Jan 1811 at St Mary Magdalene aged 2 with 11 other children including his cousin John

Unfortunately he died in Mar 1813 aged 4 and was buried at the same church on 28 Mar 1813.

Edward William Stanfield George Roffey
was born on 21 Aug 1913 in Church Street, Woolwich to Alfred & Hannah nee Atkin. The London baptism records unfortunately stop at 1906 at present, so miss him, and of course he missed the last census by 2 years. So the next we see of him is at his marriage in Jul 1939 - again in Woolwich but record doesn't state which church. Gertrude Charlotte Day was a local girl and they settled in Woolwich, having a daughter Sylvia there the following year. They can be traced through Electoral Roll records through the 1920s-60s, Edward at 42 Church Street, where his father lived - and died - until in 1938 the road changed, being incorporated with a couple of other roads and the shop at no. 42 became no. 278, the road now Woolwich Church Street. I can see from Google Streetview that this would have been on the corner of Kingsman Street, which I have said was made up of King Street & Coleman Street. This area is now an open piece of parkland and residential blocks from 280 onwards. At this address after Alfred died in 1934 Edward can be seen with Hannah his mother & Jessie his sister. In 1940-45 records were not kept as it was wartime, but when they resume they have moved to 16 Genesta Road, West Woolwich (now Eltham)

This is evidently not a shop, so they must have moved from "over the shop". I don't have occupational details for Edward, but assumed he took over the bakery on his father's death as he remained at the shop after this date. Married life started there, but it is natural to want to move away from the premises once a family starts. The later electoral roll records (1961 & 2) included Sylvia at 16 Genesta Road, once she was 21, then she moved nearby at her marriage. They may have remained at this address through to Edward's death on 15 May 1979, as this was registered in Woolwich and he was cremated on 22 May 1979 at Eltham Crematorium (opened 1956). Gertrude died in 2008 - currently I only have access to death records up to 2007 but I am told this was in Hertfordshire.

Monday 8th September 2014

Edward Charles Roffey was born 23 Nov 1831 at Paradise Hill, Woolwich and christened on 28 Jun 1837 at St Mary Magdalene church, aged 5 with sister Elizabeth. He can be seen in census return of 1841 aged 9 at Paradise Hill with father & sibs. In 1851 he can be seen living with his uncle Thomas Law, a Master Baker, employed by him as a journeyman baker, along with one other, at 9 Market Hill, High Street, Woolwich [now only a tiny stub of this road remains. The pub was next door - in the photo here the bakery can just be seen on the right side] also with his cousin Catherine.

1861 census for him cannot be found but as uncle Thomas died the following year in the bakery the family were evidently still there. On 1 Mar 1870 in Woolwich (probably St Mary Magdalene but no record states) he married his first cousin Jessie Roan Law (his mother's brother Jesse had 4 children but 2 died), and they had 4 children (although the eldest died in infancy). First-cousin marriage is frowned upon today, but Queen Victoria & her cousin Albert set an example in 1840 only 30 years prior to Edward & Jessie's. The following year the census of 1871 shows him just across the road at 100 High Street, Woolwich. This was an existing bakery, shown as such in 1840 Pigot's Directory under the name of John Hadden, and Edward may have been proprietor for some time by 1871; certainly by 1874 he is shown with 2 bakery businesses in Woolwich, one at 100 High Street & one at 29 Coleman Street. In 1881 & 1891 he is still at the same place, in the latter with 3 children and Penelope Law, uncle Thomas' daughter, as is the case in 1901 too, but there is also a grandson by then. On 21 Sep 1906 Jessie died and was buried 26 Sep in Woolwich Cemetery (see Saturday for pic) and in 1907 Edward moved up the road to number 6 High Street, and can be seen there in 1911 census return, retired from the Bakery and daughter Kate Rengert & her family are there with him [this end of the street has gone, replaced with dual carriageway roundabout and carparking]. On 30 Jan 1912 he died, but if he is with Jessie in the plot at Woolwich Cemetery I cannot find a record.

His son Edward Charles was born 8 May 1875 at 100 High Street, Woolwich. He can be seen at 100 High Street, Woolwich in censuses of 1881-1901, listed firstly as "Grocer's Cashier", then evidently helping his father in the bakery. However, when his mother died & his father moved, he vanishes for 1911 census. I cannot find a marriage, or travel to account for this, but he does surface in WW1, enlisting on 8 Dec 1915 into the Duke of Cambridge's Own Middlesex Regiment, Labour Corps, gaining 2 medals before being discharged through sickness on 13 Dec 1917. He was awarded a Silver War Badge in 1918 but I cannot track him down after this. All electoral roll records can be traced to his father, and although an Edward & Jean Roffey emigrated to Australia in 1952 I cannot see what he was doing in the mean time, likewise a marriage in 1949 which is unlikely at the age of 74...

Saturday 6th September 2014

His son Edward Roffey 3 was born 10 Jun 1815 at Paradise Hill, Woolwich and was christened 2 Jul 1815 at St Mary Magdalene church (see yesterday for pic). Previously Edward John had been born to Edward & Sarah nee Loe, but died aged 4. This time there was no middle name that I can see. In 1841 census he can be seen aged 25 at Paradise Hill, Woolwich with parents and sister (I think - 1841 gives no relationships, so she may be a niece) Emma, Edward is a painter. In 1851 he can be seen at 33 Coleman Street with his parents, listed as "Painter HM Dockyard" (presumably painting ships). In Apr 1855 in Lewisham he married Ann Sarah Larkin from Sussex and the following year had a daughter Ann (see 30th Aug). In 1861 census they can be seen at 82 King Street, Woolwich with daughter, he is listed as a House Painter (maybe between naval contracts). I have mentioned the missing census of 1871, but think they are already at 49 Brewer Street before 1871. In 1881 census he can be seen there, listed as "Painter Late of Portsmouth Dockyard" (this is intriguing; I can't find documents showing him at Portsmouth, but of course it doesn't say when). On 21 Feb 1886 he died here and was buried on 26 Feb 1886 at Woolwich Cemetery.

The other two "plain" Edwards were both born to Thomas & Sarah nee Eldridge in Woolwich and each died in childhood.

Friday 5th September 2014

Edith Annie Roffey is the key figure in this tree, Cliff's grandmother. She was born 18 Oct 1871 in Lambeth to Manlius & Isabella nee Morrison, but oddly enough she was christened at St George's, Bloomsbury on 25 Feb 1872
She can be seen in censuses of 1881 & 1891 with parents & her sister at 66 Priory Grove, Kennington, in the latter listed as a laundress (as were her sister & mother). On 5 Aug 1894 at All Saints, S. Lambeth she married Herbert Henry Smith (see 17th Aug), witnesses Henry Smith (groom's father) & Ruth Roffey (bride's sister). They settled at 30 Courland Grove (very close to her parents) and had 5 children. By 1901 census they can be seen at 6 Milton Street, Clapham with 3 of these, her mother & Herbert's father - this again was very close indeed. In 1911 census they can be seen to have moved to 124 Stewart's Road, Battersea [now the storage facility] and this was where Edith died in Apr 1936 aged 64 (one mercy was that she didn't have to go through losing her son so young).

In each family there are favourite names, and amongst the Roffeys this appears to be Edward. As I ahve done before, I will number them for clarity. Edward Roffey 1 was so early I know very little of him, and what I do know I am not 100% sure about. He was born about 1747, possibly in Surrey. On 24 Mar 1771 at St Augustine Watling Street [right by St Paul's Cathedral in London - destroyed in WW2 all but the tower, which is now incorporated into the cathedral's choir school] he married Sarah Icely Spencer
They had 2 sons, but Edward unfortunately died aged 32 five months before the youngest Edward was born, in Oct 1779. He was buried 16 Oct 1779 in the churchyard of St Mary Magdalene, Woolwich

Sarah may be buried there too, but the stones have been cleared from the churchyard and I have not found a record.

His son Edward 2 was mentioned above, born 5 months after his father died, on 30 Mar 1780 in Woolwich and christened 28 Apr 1780 at St Mary Magdalene church. On 4 Sep 1803 at St Alphege, Greenwich he married Sarah Frances Loe from Shoreditch, witnesses "Jn Loe" (possibly her father John, who was from Woolwich) and C Eeley Loe

They settled in Woolwich & had 6 children there, although 2 died in infancy; when Edward John died aged 4 in 1813 they lived at Church Street (a road we have come across), when James died aged 2 in 1822 they lived at Paradise Row. In the 1841 census the address was given as Paradise Hill and Edward was a Shipwright. They had 2 remaining children living at home & lived next door to his nephew John & his family. By 1851 census the address is 33 Coleman Street (later became part of Kingsman Street - see 30th Aug) and of the children only Edward remains at home. Edward senior died in Oct 1853 in Woolwich and Sarah in 1857.

Monday 1st September 2014

So far, some Roffeys have come from Woolwich, some from Cheshire. Now comes the ancestor to explain this.
Charles Roffey was born Mar 1841 in Woolwich to John & Sarah nee Way and can be seen in census aged 3 months at Paradise Hill, Woolwich with parents & sibs. In 1851 & 1861 censuses he is still there with his family, the address now known as 18 Paradise Place. [This was situated just to the south of Warwick Street, now a grassy area & footpath.] He was listed in the latter as Apprentice Shipwright. In Apr 1867 he married Ellen Elizabeth Wheeler from St Germans, Cornwall at her local church. Her father was also a shipwright (maybe it was he to whom Charles was apprenticed).

They must have settled in Birkenhead through his work, as it was a thriving port area, and census of 1871 shows him at 130 Claughton Road with baby son and a servant, listed as Draughtsman. In 1881 they can be seen to have moved up the road to number 285 and now have 4 sons & servant, Charles listed as Naval Architect
In 1891 they are at 119 Oxton Road with 4 sons & servant, Charles a Ship Surveyor, then in 1901 at 17 Balls Road with 2 sons and visitor Annie Eyers. Ellen was in Plumstead at the time of the census, visiting Charles' sister Emily Borer.

In 1911 census they can be seen at 48 Falkland Road, Seacombe, Wallasey with son Alfred (Arthur had emigrated by then), Annie Eyers now "Lady Help", and a servant. [This part of the road is now inhabited by a nursery called FROG - Falkland Road Organic Growers]. The Kelly's Directory of 1914 shows Charles at 19 Clarendon Road (the address given by Arthur in his many transatlantic trips)
and this was where he died aged 75 on 21 Sep 1916, leaving £1787 to John George Dobson, cotton merchant. Then on Christmas Eve 1930 Ellen died here, leaving £1582 to sons Charles Edward, Consulting Engineer and Alfred Clarence, Ship's Draughtsman.

His son Charles Edward Roffey was born 19 Oct 1870 at 130 Claughton Road (see above) and christened at St Paul's on 12 Nov 1870

In census return of 1871 he can be seen aged 5 months at 130 Claughton Road with parents & servant, then in 1881 at number 285 aged 10 (see above for photos). 1891 census shows him aged 20 at 119 Oxton Road, Birkenhead with parents, brother & servant. He served an apprenticeship with Cochran & Co and Laird Bros of Birkenhead, then went to sea for 4 years, obtaining a Board of Trade Certificate of Competency, serving with the Blue Funnel Line and in vessels trading between South America & the Gulf of Mexico

In 1897 he settled in Dublin, where he started a business as ship & cargo surveyor. The Thomson's Directory of Ireland shows him in 1910 as Consulting Engineer at 8 Cardiff Lane [now the Maldron Hotel is on the site - big glass building dating only from 2005], giving his residential address as "Sydenham Terrace, Ballsbridge". If it was (or was part of) Sydenham Road this is still there & rather nice. There was a marriage in Dublin South but as 5 ladies married that day I cannot tell which one it was. And from this point I cannot find him. He could have died in Ireland or elsewhere, had children or not.

Ebenezer Roffey was another of John's sons, born Oct 1838 in Woolwich (Sarah had given birth to an Ebenezer in 1831 but he died the following year and, as was the custom, they "recycled" the name. He can be seen in census returns of 1841 - 1861 with parents & sibs
at Paradise Place, Woolwich, in the latter listed as a Blacksmith. But then he vanishes from the records. He is not at home with them for the next census, I cannot find marriage and/or death records nor any that suggest he travelled.

Sunday 31st August 2014

Arthur George Roffey was born 14 Sep 1873 in Birkenhead, then in Cheshire, to Charles & Ellen Wheeler. His early years were very similar to brother Alfred (see 28th Aug) and can be seen in censuses of 1881 aged 7 at 285 Claughton Road then 1891 at 119 Oxton Road, both in Birkenhead, with parents, brothers & servant. In the latter he was listed as "Apprentice Marine Engineer".
Similarly he was in 1901 at 17 Balls Road, now a fully-fledged Marine Engineer
On 19 Mar 1903 he sailed from Liverpool (nearby) to Canada to start a new life and settled in the village of Wabigoon, Kenora, Ontario in 1909. Here he met Elsie Charlotte Wright, born in England but living in Canada since age 4, and on 28 Dec 1911 married her. They must have returned to UK as on 11 Jul 1919 he sailed from Liverpool to New York aboard the SS Cedric, giving home address as 19 Clarendon Road, Wallasey (this was where his father had died 3 years before & brother Alfred lived - see 28th Aug)
where Elsie remained for a while. On 20 May 1920 he petitioned for US Naturalization, giving address as 59 Beach Street, Stapleton, Staten Island, New York, his application supported by two other Marine Engineers from Brooklyn. [This address is now a car park next to offices of a Law firm]. Elsie had travelled alone on 12th May aboard RMS Adriatic from England to New York.

The petition must have been successful, as we next see him sailing home to Brooklyn on 22 Jul 1922 from the Bahamas (probably a work trip) on the SS Munargo, giving home address as 487 Sterling Place, Brooklyn [I see from a website from 2007 that the current building there only dates from then, shame]. In 1925 census they can be seen at 168 Drake Avenue, Staten Island, Arthur an "Engineer of Ship" and Elsie a Hairdresser

By 1930 census they were still at the same address, Arthur listed as "Engineer Stationary" and Elsie as "Proprietor Hairdresser". 14 Oct 1933 Arthur popped home to 19 Clarendon Road on the Laconia

then on 12 Aug 1935 they both did on the "American importer"

On 11 Oct 1935 Arthur visited alone on the same ship. They can be seen again at the same address on 1940 census, this time with niece Millicent Roffey from Canada & a lodger from Baltimore. Arthur is a "Marine Engineer Mercantile Steam Ships" but is either retired or unemployed (he is 66) and Elsie still runs her own Hair Salon. Arthur died there 25 Apr 1948 aged 77, but Elsie was 9 years younger and it seems she moved to Florida before she died there in Pinellas in 1977 aged 88.

Saturday 30th August 2014

When I first studied this tree in 2011, the Woolwich area confused me, as I was not familiar with it and it has changed so over the years. (By the way, a note for those from abroad, it is pronounced "Woollidge", with a silent middle W). I was therefore thrilled this morning to find that English Heritage published in 2012 a vast report of the development of London, called Survey of London, a huge chapter of which covered just this very area. I have printed out the 78 page chapter and am studying it in detail today.

If you will bear with me, I shall summarize what I have learned today. If you are not interested, by all means skip on to the next Ancestor, below.

Originally this area was rural - by the river just to the north was the naval dockyard created by Henry VIII in 1512, in the 1740s along the road Woolwich Church Street there were pubs & houses but south of this was open land.

The road was widened and development started in 1780s (started with Warwick Street parallel to the main road) and gradually filled in the gaps. There was a need in this area as the population of Woolwich grew during the Napoleonic wars. 4 schools were built, several churches, a hospital, a fire station, lots of shops and houses. The railway cut through in 1849, mostly in cuttings & tunnels, but also there was Woolwich Arsenal Station right in the middle.

However, the dockyard closed in 1869, leading to a downturn in local industry and population. Most of the housing became run-down and by 1908 Charles Booth's social report was generally bad. By the 1930s conditions were even worse and most of the late-Georgian houses had been designated as slums. The land was owned by Woolwich Rectory Estate (i.e. the Church) and they sold it to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1893, who wanted to re-develop the area but didn't have the funds. In 1931 they began to put together a plan, as there were strong social pressures around this time, including a 1934 Act encouraging slum-designation. The scale was huge and by the end of the decade only 22 flats & 16 houses had been built. They began with a scheme of tenement houses in Kingsman Street (made up of Coleman Street & King Street merged into one). Woolwich Borough Council wanted low-rise buildings, but struggled to relocate those displaced as well as attract new people into the area. In 1938 a tenants' association was formed in protest against the much higher rents, as outsiders were coming in & displacing the locals, who couldn't afford to stay (familiar?) All plans were put on hold for the duration of the War and then they found building costs were even higher due to the rebuilding of the country. In 1951 the land was taken into a Comprehensive Development Area (CDA). Since 1934 the LCC (London County Council) had supported high-rise development (initially 3-4 stories), the Woolwich Borough Council supporting cottage estates (houses usually only 2-up, 2-down). This argument went on and on for many years, war damage making the situation much worse and the booming population leading to the need for high density living. Politically, Woolwich was a Socialist stronghold and they encouraged the housing of the working classes this way. It was particularly hard here due to heavy bomb damage (the Arsenal was there and was an obvious target) and the post-war return of Arsenal workers who had been posted in other parts of the country during the war. As they argued about this, time went on and conditions and expectations made it worse. Work was begun in 1952 but was piecemeal and meanwhile plans and enquiries went on. In 1955 Woolwich Borough Council caved in and accepted the need for 11-storey blocks. The Housing Subsidies Act of 1956 made this a preference as subsidy rates increased with height of the building and towers of 14-stories appeared. By 1959-62 there had also developed a need to provide garages, as so many families had a car. In 1958 the LCC announced its plan for a new road access to the Ferry nearby and Brewer Street became the wide dual-carriageway John Wilson Street in 1963, complete with 19-storey tower block. Output and efficiency became paramount and the famous Concrete Ltd made new housing by using a new technique - casting concrete blocks elsewhere & making the towers like Lego. It wasn't pretty but it was efficient. The hospital closed in 1984. Political changes meant the land was owned by many separate housing associations, which have cleared and rebuilt in parts in the 1970s-1990s. Parts are now modern, parts less so, and there is no High Street/Town Centre, like a lot of places today.
And this latest picture shows (future plans that have apparently just been approved), the "storey" goes on...

Ann Sarah Jane Roffey was born Mar 1856 in Woolwich to Edward & Ann nee Larkin and christened there on 6 Apr 1856 at St Mary Magdalene church.

She can be seen on census return of 1861 aged 5 at 82 King Street, Woolwich [see above for what it is now] with parents & another couple. I cannot find the census return of 1871 for this family but I have a note against her father saying he was at Brewer Street, Woolwich (I must have found the record on another site at some time, but didn't say whether the Anns were with him). In 1881 census they can be seen at 49 Brewer Street and Ann is listed as Book-keeper in Shirt Factory [As I said above, Brewer Street became the big dual-carriageway leading to the ferry terminal]. On 10 May 1885 at St Mary Magdalene - see above - she married Samuel Thomas Finch, 41-year-old widower from Deptford, described as "Writer in H M Dockyard" (not sure how that works...)

They settled in Deptford and can be seen in 1891 census at 52 Etta Street with Ann's mother Ann, widow. They are also there in 1901 and 1911 censuses, in the latter Samuel describes himself as "Pensioned 1st Class Dockyard Writer - Retired" (he is 67) [NB it seems this is a clerk in a purser's bureau with rank equal to Able Seaman]

Ann died here 3 Jan 1931 aged 74 then Samuel the following year aged 88.

Friday 29th August 2014

Alfred Stanfield Roffey was born 27 Oct 1876 in Woolwich (was Kent, now London) to Edward & Jessie nee Law. The census return for 1881 for this family appears to be missing, so the next record is 1891, when they can be seen at 100 High Street [now this end of the street is used for car parking - in 1891 it was coffee-houses & lodging-houses and number 100 was presumably a bakery] with parents, sibs & mother's cousin Penelope Law. In Jan 1911 in Woolwich (no record states which church) he married Hannah Plume Atkin (there are some wonderful names in this tree!) and they had 3 children. Hannah ran a sweet-shop and they lived in two rooms "above the shop", while her parents & brothers inhabited three. There is an amusing little struggle in evidence on the return, as Hannah has completed it, calling herself "Head" of household & Alfred "Husband of Head", the enumerator has then corrected this to Head & Wife in the inimitable blue pencil! I imagine she wasn't too pleased! [This entire area has been redeveloped into blocks of flats and no pictures remain of the old shops - such a shame! The next house was the Criterion pub, but I cannot find pics of that either.] Alfred was a Cable Hand/Labourer in an electrical engineering company. Alfred lived there until his death 15 Feb 1934 aged 57 and he was buried on 20 Feb 1934 at Woolwich Cemetery
In 1938 she moved up the road to 278 Church Street [also gone - was demolished in 1954] and in Jul 1947 Hannah married Charles Rolfe in Woolwich. In 1958 they moved to 30 Lord Warwick Street, and were there until at least 1963 (when records end at present). Hannah died in Dec 1981 aged 98.

Thursday 28th August 2014

Manlius William Smith was born Oct 1897 at 30 Courland Grove, Lambeth to Herbert & Edith nee Roffey and christened at All Saints, Lambeth on 31 Oct 1897. The very unusual Christian name helped me no end (at first), it was Edith's father's name (soon I shall be dealing with the Roffeys and we will see the name again) but unfortunately he stopped using it in adult life, maybe he was teased at school or in the army, and was known as William. He can be seen aged 3 in census return of 1901 at 6 Milton Street, Clapham with parents & sibs, grandmother & grandfather, then at 124 Stewarts Road, Battersea in 1911 aged 13. In WW1 he served in the 23rd London Regiment Territorial Force and then the 2nd London Regiment, being discharged as a corporal with 2 medals. Unfortunately he must have married and/or died under the name of William, and there are hundreds of them...

His sister Ruth Isabella Smith was born 9 Jan 1900 at 30 Courland Grove and christened at All Saints on 28 Jan 1900. She can be seen on 1901 census aged 1 at 6 Milton Street and 124 Stewarts Road, Battersea in 1911 as above. She never married and it is only through the electoral roll records that I can trace her. She remained at 124 Stewarts Road for some years and then moved with the other people at that address to 62 Huron Road, Balham. When war was declared in 1939, many Londoners were evacuated and those who remained took to sheltering in the Underground stations. On 14 Oct 1940 they were doing so when a bomb dropped with a direct hit, causing huge damage and trapping them underground. By all accounts it was horrendous and 68 were killed and over 70 injured. Ruth (Ernest called her Sis) escaped with her life but she was never the same again. Cliff described her as "not quite the full ticket" after this, but didn't know any more detail.

Rescue & rebuilding took until mid-Jan 1941. Electoral roll records show her at Huron Road until 1953, but I can find nothing after this until a death record in Jan 1973 in the Surrey Mid-Eastern registration district.

Well, that's enough of the Smiths for now! Strangely enough, my list comes to a sudden stop through the absence of Thomases & Williams, usually common names. But I am pleased with this, as they would be difficult and frustrating for just this reason. I shall move on to Cliff's grandmother's tree now. Oddly, when I told him of them in 2011, he knew nothing of them and was very disappointed to find a whole branch of the family whose roots he had passed by many times, not knowing they existed. Of course, as his father died when he was so young, he never had a chance to discover this side of the family.

Alfred Clarence Roffey was born Jan 1872 in Birkenhead, which was then in Cheshire. He can be seen in census return of 1881 aged 8 at 285 Claughton Road, Birkenhead with parents & brothers, also a 15-year-old servant.

In 1891 census he can be seen aged 19 at 119 Oxton Road, Birkenhead with parents & brothers also servant, listed as "Shipbuilding Apprentice"
[119 is here on left side]
By 1901 census he had completed his apprenticeship & was listed as "Draughtsman & Marine Architect", much like his father. He can be seen at 17 Balls Road with father & brothers
& visitor Annie Eyers
[part of this building is now the Birkenhead Conservative Association]
In 1911 census he can be seen at "Valleton", 48 Falkland Road, Wallasey [a modern housing estate now covers the even-numbers] and Annie Eyers is called "Lady help". Alfred's occupation is not given. In 1916 the family were living at 19 Clarendon Road, Wallasey [only a few yards away, as this road runs parallel to Falkland Road] when his father Charles died and Alfred was still resident there on 3 Jan 1960 when he died himself, aged 88 in Victoria Central Hospital, leaving £8049 to Midland Bank.
  Victoria Central Hospital

Alfred Leonard Roffey was born 28 Sep 1881 in Egmont Street, New Cross (then Kent, now London - Deptford area) and christened just around the corner at All Saints on 30 Oct 1881

He can be seen in census return of 1891 aged 9 at 24 Egmont Street, Deptford with parents & 3 brothers, then in 1901 at 58 Hatcham Park Road, Deptford with parents, brothers, a boarder & a lodger. He was listed as a Marine Engine Maker.
On 12 Mar 1905 at All Saints, Rotherhithe he married Alice Amelia Dunn from Bow and they had 3 children, although the first died only a few weeks old. In 1911 census he can be seen at 15 Blagdon Road, Lewisham with 2 children and his father-in-law, a widowed printer's compositor, Alfred describing himself as "Engineer's Turner in Marine Engineering".

On 28 Aug 1911 Alfred set sail from London on board the SS Ophir to Brisbane, Australia and found somewhere to live etc.

[dining room & drawing room photographed in 1901]
He then sent for the others and on 10 Feb 1912 on board the "Norseman" Alice travelled with 3-year-old Elsie and 2-year-old Frank to Sydney, New South Wales.

In electoral roll records they can be seen at 43 Western Crescent, Gladesville

until at least 1968, Frank a steelworker, Alfred an engineer. Unfortunately Elsie died in 1912, almost as soon as they arrived in Australia, aged 3, but I cannot track Alfred & Alice any further than 1968, and thus no death records.

Friday 22nd August 2014

John Smith was born approx. 1771 in the village of Broad Clyst, Devon, which is situated just northeast of Exeter. There are several baptisms which could be his, on 1 Aug 1770 in St Sidwell (father Thomas), 3 Jul 1772 in St Sidwell (mother Elizabeth) or 29 Sep 1773 at St Mary Major (father William) but it could be one I haven't yet found. I must admit, I would expect it to be in the village itself, as there was a perfectly suitable church there; St John the Baptist

however, the closest John Smith was christened there was 1788, which is way out! On 16 Jan 1804 at Littleham, Exeter he married Mary Hayward and she gave birth to son John a few weeks later (this was the "normal" way of things - see note on Monday). My correspondant suggested they had many children, but I have only detected John in 1804, Jane in 1808 & Anthony in 1825. Of course, this may explain the big gap - there were several others between that have eluded me (possibly those registered as Smeeth/Smeath). In 1841 census return, they can be seen at Jones Court, St Sidwell with 2 children and John was Porter at Post Office (still working aged 70?). Mary died in Jan 1843 aged 62, in Exeter and John can be seen in census of 1851 & 1861 at number 1 then number 27 Gattey's Court, St Sidwell, a widower with daughter Jane & her family. He died in 1862, 1864 or 1865 in Exeter (as ever, without paying for a death certificate for each, I cannot tell which one.

His son John Smith was born 2 Mar 1804 in Exmouth and christened 8 Apr 1804 at St Margaret & St Andrews church, Littleham

It seems he married a Mary Ann from Crediton at some point before 1834 and they had at least 2 children; John Sidney in 1834 and Sarah in 1844. These 2 can be seen with John & Mary Ann in census of 1851 at Coombe Street, St Mary Major, Exeter, where John was a Stone Mason & Mary Ann a lacemaker.
Coombe Street 1920s
In 1861 they can be seen at 2 Little Albion Place, Withycombe Raleigh with daughter Sarah, a Boot Binder. John died there in Jul 1867, but as you will appreciate, if there is a more common name than John Smith, it is Mary Smith! Thus I had far too many deaths to choose from...

Monday 18th August 2014

Jane Smith was born 1 Dec 1807 in Exmouth, Devon to John & Mary nee Marwood and christened there at St Margaret & St Andrew's church, Littleham on 27 Dec 1807.

It seems that she followed her parents' example and had a child before marriage, as in Jan 1831 she gave birth to son Henry, naming one John Hutchings as father - possibly a colleague as they were both lacemakers. He may have been married, because they never married each other (there was a marriage of a John Hutchings in Exeter that very year, but I have no connection). In 1841 census she can be seen at Jones Court with parents & brother, listed as a lacemaker, then in Apr 1844 at Exeter she married James Hayward Woodman and set up home at 1 Gattey's Court, St Sidwell with her father, brother, son & niece. I have dealt with this address already - Sidwell Street was a shopping street (as it still is) with a lot of little Courts & Alleys off it in those days. They were cramped & unhygienic but provided housing for many. James may have been in the workhouse before marriage, so was no doubt grateful for small mercies. He was listed as a porter, but I'm not sure where he worked. Gattey's Court was on the East side of Sidwell Street, and they were still there in 1861, now at number 27, still with her father, who was by now 92 and retired from his job as Porter with the Post Office and James had taken it on. On 4 May 1865 James died in Exeter aged 60, so in 1871 census she can be seen still at Gattey's Court, but now widowed, with her brother also widowed (see Anthony 11th Aug). The Will of James Hayward Woodman (probated 14 Oct 1865) reads as follows: "late of St Sidwell's in County of Devonshire, City of Exeter, Superannuated Porter from the Exeter Post Office died 4 May 1865 at St Sidwell's, proved at Exeter by Oath of Jane Woodman of St Sidwell's, aforesaid widow, the Relict & Sole Executrix. Effects under £100." By 1881 she had moved into lodgings in newly-built 19 Union Terrace, St Sidwell, where no doubt she lived until her death in Jan 1888.
I have just found a note sent to me by another researcher on this tree in 2012, pointing out the probable error in transcription of Jane's mother's name (not by me, I hasten to add!). It is probably Mary Hayward, not Marwood. I have gone back & checked and this would explain a lot. It was unusual for a couple to have children before marriage, so the marriage of John & Mary in 1808 didn't seem right, considering John junior was born in 1804. Thus, then "new" marriage I found for Jan 1804 fits better - and is in the correct area of Littleham as they didn't move to St Sidwell until later. So I shall continue from this point using this new information and please excuse the errors up to this point.

Sunday 17th August 2014

Henry's son Henry Smith was born 16 Jan 1864 at 9 Spring Grove, Lambeth and was christened on 21 Feb 1864 at St Barnabas, Kennington

He can be seen in censuses already mentioned: 34 Sleaford Street, Battersea with parents & brothers, 45 Charles Street, Vauxhall in 1881 & 1891 (in the former also listed as a Coal Miner - odd - see Edwin 14th Aug) with parents & sibs. On 7 May 1892 at All Saints, South Lambeth he married neighbour Georgina Alice Sylvester and they had 3 daughters. In 1901 census they can be seen with two of these at 48 Camellia Street, Vauxhall and third daughter Daisy appeared later that year. Unfortunately in Oct 1903 Georgina died, possibly from complications of childbirth, it was very common) in Wandsworth. On 27 Mar 1910 at Holy Trinity, Clapham he married Emily Kate Cutler. She was from Dorset, but was working as a servant in Clapham. As she was mid-thirties when they married, they had no children. In 1911 census they can be seen at 5 Downers Cottages, Old Town, Clapham with two of his daughters. [As  previously noted, these cottages were either destroyed or damaged by a V1 flying bomb on 2 Jul 1944, so there is nothing to show]. Emily died Apr 1924 in Wandsworth aged 57 and Henry followed in Oct 1933 aged 69.

His brother Henry William Smith was born 8 Jun 1854 at Windmill Street, St Pancras and was christened there on 25 Jun 1856 with his baby sister Charlotte. Although he was christened Henry, he was always known as William because his father was Henry, but I am not then sure why the brother who was born around the time he was christened was also called Henry. But I understand some families had odd naming traditions in those days...
He can be seen in 1861 census aged 8 at 2 Rose Street Plumstead with parents & brothers (see yesterday) and still with them in 1871 at 34 Sleaford Street, Battersea, listed as labourer. However, in Oct 1875 he died in Lambeth, probably at 45 Charles Street, aged 21.

Ernest's father Herbert Henry Smith was another brother, born Oct 1872 at 34 Sleaford Street, Battersea. He can be seen in census returns of 1881 & 1891 at 45 Charles Street, Vauxhall with parents & sibs, in the latter listed as Apprentice Boiler-Maker. On 5 Aug 1894 at All Saints, South Lambeth he married Edith Annie Roffey, witnesses Henry Smith (groom's father or brother) and Ruth Roffey (bride's sister). His occupation is given as "Boilermaker L & SW Railway" (London & Southwestern Railway)
[photo of boilers of L & SW Railway repairs 1978]
He worked as a rivetter from 1899-1900 at least, at Nine Elms Station, as his pay records show:

but it was evidently a much longer career than that. The London & Southwestern Railway ran from Waterloo Station in London, through Clapham Junction, out through Kingston & the suburbs to Southampton & the West Country. Which is why in 1901 census we find him at 6 Milton Street, Clapham with 3 children, his father and Edith's mother (both widowed), a Boilermaker. In 1911 census he can be seen at 124 Stewarts Road, Battersea [now the storage facility] with 4 children, describing himself as "Boiler Rivetter on Railway". Edith died there in Apr 1936 & Herbert in Jan 1944 aged 71. They had 5 children.

His eldest son was also Herbert Henry Smith, born Apr 1895 at 16 Priory Grove, Lambeth, 8 months after his parents' marriage, and christened at All Saints (just around the corner from there too) on 9 Jun 1895. He can be seen on census return of 1901 at 6 Milton Street, Clapham, as mentioned above with parents & sibs, paternal grandfather & maternal grandmother. Likewise in 1911 he was there aged 16 at 124 Stewart's Road, Battersea with parents & sibs, listed as "Labourer/Porter on Railway". He had followed in his father's footsteps and joined the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway and a few weeks later was given an apprenticeship, based at Battersea, earning 1s 4d a week as Apprentice Fitter. On 5 Sep 1914 he signed up for 4 years service in the 23rd London Regiment Territorial Force, describing himself as Assistant Guard, London Electric Railway & giving 124 Stewart's Road as his address.

He served in UK until Mar 1915, when he was posted with the Expeditionary Force to France until November. He then served a further 9 months in UK before being discharged as "no longer physically fit for war service" but no details given of the wounds received. The War Badge and the Star Medal were sent to 124 to his mother (next of kin) and he received a pension of 4s 8d per week for 18 months. This must have come in very handy, as on 20 Jul 1919 at St Mary the Less in Lambeth he married Daisy Lilian Wheeler from Vauxhall Walk.

Herbert's occupation is given on his marriage as Store Keeper, his new father-in-law Warehouseman, although elsewhere Mr Wheeler is described as a Rag-Picker, which evokes images of Steptoe & Son! The truth probably lies somewhere in between. Electoral roll records showed they lived at 25 Hartington Road, Vauxhall until 1926, when they moved to 98 Prince's Road (now Black Prince Road). I cannot see them after this, and I suspect they moved out to Croydon somewhere between 1929 & 1937. If this is correct they lived at 114 Croham Valley Road, I suspect until they died here in 1960 & 1972, but have no proof this was the correct Herbert Henry Smith. It seems they had no children.

Saturday 16th August 2014

We have met Ernest's grandfather Henry Smith several times already. He was born Jan 1831 at St Sidwell, Exeter, Devon to Jane Smith, single woman and christened 6 Feb 1831 at St Mary's, Poltimere, Devon. However, she did name John Hutchings, lacemaker as his father (she was a lacemaker too).
I don't know where he was in census of 1841, as he would have been almost 10 but I cannot find him with family. There is the possibility he could be the Henry Smith in the St Thomas the Apostle Workhouse just outside Exeter, but it is a longshot...

In 1851 his mother had married, and Henry can be seen at 1 Gattey's Court, St Sidwell, with mother, ste-father, grandfather, uncle & cousin working as Ag Lab (see 11 Aug). In about 1853 he married a girl called Charlotte, but I cannot exactly place the marriage, so cannot trace her maiden-name, it may have been in her home town of Potterspury, Northamptonshire or in London, as their first child Henry William was born in St Pancras, London & the next Edwin in Potterspury (see Thursday - the events around this marriage were odd/missing). By 1861 census they have relocated to 2 Rose Street, Plumstead with 2 children and Henry is working at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich [much more to come on this place in the next tree] as a labourer. 2 Rose Street was the address of the Rose Inn, but from the census that appeared to be 2 houses away at the time, so renumbering must have occurred to confuse the issue, and theirs is this one

In 1871 they were at 34 Sleaford Street, Battersea and Henry was a labourer, then in 1881 at 45 Charles Street, Vauxhall with 4 children, labourer at iron works. In 1891 at the same address, now a boiler-maker's labourer with two others in his house apprenticed to Boilermakers. Charlotte died in 1895, so by the 1901 census he is 70 years old, living at 6 Milton Street Clapham with son Herbert & his family. He died himself Oct 1910 aged 79, probably at 124 Stewart's Road, Battersea [the storage facility, if you read this blog regularly].

Friday 15th August 2014

The main person of this tree, Cliff's father, Ernest Sidney Smith was born Mar 1902 at 6 Milton Street, Lambeth [now renamed Minshull Street, I understand, and just an access road to blocks of flats & garages] to Herbert & Edith nee Roffey and christened on 27 Apr 1902 at All Saints, which was situated just around the corner from there on what is now Lansdowne Way. As I have said before, this church was demolished and the parish combined with St Anne's. He can be seen in census return of 1911 aged 8 at 124 Stewarts Road, Battersea with parents & sibs, and they were still there in 1933. [120-170 is nowadays one of those big lock-up storage facilities & as such a fairly modern building]. On 23 Jun 1919 he attested to the Royal Horse & Field Artillery aged 17, describing himself as a Messenger/Journeyman Clerk, then was transferred to the Reserve.
After the war he worked in Lambeth Walk, as a Provisions Checker at grocers Coppins, where he met Ethel May, who also worked there. I told the rest of this story on 20th May, how they married on 15 Apr 1933 at St Anselm's church

They moved in with Martha May, Ethel's mother, at 18 Cleaver Square, and had 3 children - a pair of twins Cliff & Muriel (but Muriel was stillborn) and Eric.

Because he was still on the Reserve list, Ernest was called up again in 1941 and posted as Bombadier to the Middle East, where on 31 Oct 1942 he was tragically killed - "died of wounds" - and buried at El Alamein War Cemetery, Matruh, Egypt

As I have said, Ethel then brought up the two boys alone.

Gladys Smith
was born Jan 1898 in Clapham to Henry & Georgina nee Sylvester and christened 4 Feb 1898 at All Saints. She can be seen on census return of 1901 aged 3 at 48 Camellia Street, Vauxhall with parents & sister Ellen, then in 1911 at 5 Downers Cottages, Old Town, Clapham with parents & 2 sisters. As I have previously said, these addresses are no more. As with her sister Ellen, I have several possibilities for marriage records, but no fathers' names after 1921 doesn't help me exclude them. Thus I meet another brick wall.

Thursday 14th August 2014

Just out of interest in this WW1 Centenary Week, I totted up the ancestors I have mentioned so far in this blog who played some part in the conflict and it totals 37.

Edwin Smith was born in Potterspury, Northampton [near Milton Keynes] to Henry & Charlotte. All census records suggest a birth in 1855, but I cannot find a birth record. Unfortunately this points to his officially having another name - which doesn't help when coupled with Smith! He can be seen in census return of 1861 at 2 Rose Street, Plumstead with parents & brother, then in 1871 with them at 34 Sleaford Street, Battersea [which is right opposite the Power Station & nowadays an industrial estate]. In 1881 they were at 45 Charles Street, Vauxhall. Oddly Edwin is listed as Coal Miner - I can't imagine what he was doing, as there are no mines in South London! In 1891 they can be seen at the same address, which was off Brooklands Street (see Monday), and Edwin is working as a General Labourer. After this I lose track of him, as there are many Edwin Smiths in London, and no marriage with father's name etc to set me on the right track. No 1901 record fits sufficiently, but he may have married and/or moved away/abroad.

Ellen Smith was born Jun 1892 (her parents had only married the previous month) in Clapham to Henry & Georgina nee Sylvester, elder sister of Daisy (see Monday) and christened 8 Jul 1892 at All Saints, South Lambeth. She can be seen in census return of 1901 aged 8 with parents & 2 sisters at 48 Camellia Street, Vauxhall [now redeveloped as part of the ubiquitous estates of that area]. In 1911 she was found by the census visiting at 70 New Street, Newington, listed as a Domestic Servant. I had 2 possible marriage records, but have discounted both - one the father was Henry but a deceased undertaker, the other was Henry William, gentleman (ours was just a labourer). Again, if she didn't marry there were lots of deaths in suitable areas.

Edwin (above) also had a sister called Ellen Smith born in Oct 1875 or Apr 1876. She can be seen in census returns of 1881 & 1891 at 45 Charles Street, Vauxhall with parents & brothers. Unfortunately in Oct 1896 she died there, aged 19.

Monday 11th August 2014

OK it's time to tackle the Smiths! I must say, I put this part of the tree off for years, and then approached it with trepidation, but it's OK as long as you stick strictly to the correct links with the correct people - which you should do anyway.

Anthony Smith was born Jan 1825 in Sidmouth, Devon to John & Mary nee Marwood and christened there at All Saints 20 Feb 1825
He can be seen in census return of 1841 aged 17 at Jones Court, St Sidwell Street, Exeter, Devon with parents & sister, working as an Apprentice Shoemaker. [Sidwell Street was in those days a shop-filled road, as it is today, but there were many little courts & alleyways off it, very cramped & unhealthy, Jones Court was one of them.] His mother died in 1843 when he was 19, and he appeared to go off the rails rather (my inference, not necessarily linked): on 28 Jan 1847 at the Exeter Sessions, he was convicted, along with 9 others, of Rioting and given 14 days imprisonment, then 2 Dec 1850 for being "Drunk & Disorderly in the house of Phillip Rich & wilfully destroying a quantity of earthenware and assault on a Police Constable", fined 40 shillings or 1 month hard labour (not recorded which he took, although I suspect he could not afford the fine - the average wage for an Ag Lab in 1850 was 8s a week, not sure about boot-makers). The prison was very close to home - at the end of Sidwell Street - so no problem there.
Exeter prison
In census return of 1851 he can be seen at 1 Gattey's Court, St Sidwell (a court off Sidwell Street on the south side) in the household of his sister Jane Woodman, along with his father. He has "graduated" & is now a Boot-maker in his own right, but does not appear to have learned his lesson in prison. On 2 Jul 1852 he was convicted of being "Drunk & Disorderly and using obscene language in the High Street" with a 5 shilling (+cost) fine or 1 week imprisonment. In Oct 1854 in Exeter he married Ann Gay and they settled in her native part of Exeter, the parish of St Mary Major (where they may have married, although I cannot find a record that specifies which church). In census return of 1861 they can be seen at Sun Street, St Mary Major. [This was off Market Street, but is gone now]. Unfortunately in Jan 1863 Ann died aged 32, so in 1871 census Anthony can be seen widowed, back with his sister at Gattey's Court. Oddly enough, his name is entered as Sidney, but it is definitely him - I cannot tell whether this was a mistake on the part of the enumerator or a joke on Anthony's part which misfired (a play on his birth place, area name etc). He died himself in Oct 1875 aged 50.

Charlotte Emily Smith (parents fans of the Brontë sisters?) was born 7 Jun 1856 in Windmill Street, St Pancras, Middlesex to Henry & Charlotte and christened there at the Old Church on 26 Jun 1856 with her brother Henry William (known as William due to his father being Henry)
However, she seems to disappear at this point. She is not with the family in census of 1861 and this is where the extremely common name doen't help, as she is not obvious anywhere else. There is a death aged 13 in Brighton in 1868, but why she would be there and where she is in the census is a mystery. Maybe I will return to her if she pops up with relatives at a later date...

Daisy Olive Smith was born 23 Nov 1901 at 3 Brooklands Street, Lambeth to Henry & Georgina nee Sylvester and christened there at All Saints on 20 Dec 1901. [This road was reduced to a footpath along the edge of Lambeth College, the church, at the edge of Battersea Park, was demolished]. She can be seen on census of 1911 aged 9 at 5 Downers Cottages, Old Town, Clapham, Wandsworth with parents & 2 sisters [Downers Cottages were demolished &/or damaged by a V1 flying bomb on 2 Jul 1944 and modern offices are now on the site]. In Oct 1923 in Lambeth (but again no church given) she married William R Burge. I cannot be sure as there are also no fathers' names given, but I suspect he was the William R Burge born 1903 in Wellington, Somerset. If this is so, they moved to that part of the country and had 4 children in Yeovil, Somerset. Then William died there aged 43 in 1947 and Daisy in Jan 1970 aged 68 in Taunton.

Friday 8th August 2014

We leave the London area for the final 2 Hodds, both Williams.
William Hodd was born Apr 1852 in Cudham, Kent to Richard & Martha nee Saunders and christened there on 6 Jun 1852

He can be seen in census return of 1861 at 10 Bandy Mount, Addington, Surrey with parents & sibs aged 8. In 1871 he was aged 18 and working as a labourer in a brickyard, boarding at "Eating House", 6 Blank Street, Brightside Bierlow, Yorkshire. He was evidently training and must have travelled the country, wherever the work was, because by 1881 aged 29 he is listed as Surveyor and living at West Street, St Helens, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, boarding with a bootmaker. It was here his travels ended as on 21 Feb 1885 at St Mary's church, Brading, IOW he married Lucy Emily Dyer, local girl and settled there to raise a family.
They had 2 sons and in census return of 1891 can be seen at St Helens Green, IOW with the eldest, William Robert. William is listed as Toll Collector & Watchman and I found this unusual and intiguing, so I read around it. "From 1882 tolls were charged for the use of the present Embankment Road, first by the railway companies and later British Railways. The tollgate was situated across the road from Bembridge Station, and tolls were collected from persons, vehicles and animals using the road".
In 1901 census he can be seen with 2 sons, still the Toll Collector, living at Bank Cottages, Bembridge, and this building can be seen in the background of this picture from 1900:

[although the building may not look like "cottages" I have checked thoroughly and there was only this building visible from the station at that time]
By 1911 he can be seen at 3 Embankment Road [now 3 The Anchorage] with 2 sons and Lucy's father Robert Dyer, William describing his post as Railway Company Toll Collector

[The toll can be seen in this relatively modern map - "remains of" at the top refers to the station, which is now no longer functioning. At the toll on the shore side is now a suitably-named café:]

Unfortunately William died the following year aged 60. The only death that fits Lucy id in 1941 in Luton, but that seems odd, as no family member lived there that I am aware of.

His son William Robert Hodd was born at St Helens Green, Isle of White in Jan 1889 and can be seen in censuses described above in 1891-1911, with parents & brother, in the latter describing himself as "Store & Time Keeper for Mortor Works & Boat Builder" - I imagine he meant "Motor Works" (more of this later). On 8 May 1915 at Newport, IOW he enlisted in the Royal Engineers, attesting for "Short Service" ie for the duration of war. He was recorded as a "Clerk Skilled" from 3 Harbour Road, Bembridge, his mother Lucy his Next Of Kin, and he had been in the Territorial Force before this. As a reference he gave a letter from Woodnutt & Co, Motor & Marine Engineers & Boat-builders of Bembridge, stating that he had been employed there 21 Feb 1907 to 17th Jan 1914 as Clerk & Storesman and they were very happy with him. (There was a scandal some years later involving this family, regarding unauthorised development of the station site, including one Woodnutt Close, which toppled local MP Mark Woodnutt from his seat.) William did very well in the Army; on 18 Jun 1915 he was promoted to 2nd Corporal, 31 Jul 1915 to Corporal, 8 Sep 1916 to Acting Sergeant. He had a few weeks leave 24 Jan 1917 to 2 Mar 1917, to organize his wedding, and on return to his unit was promoted to Company Sergeant Major (described as "A senior management role focussing on the training, welfare & discipline of the company/battery/squadron"). On 26 May 1917 he was admitted to hospital (but I don't know why) and rejoined his until on 10 Jun 1917. On 30 Oct 1917 at Ryde Parish Church he married Frances Harriet Warne
Home was now 12 Monkton Street, Ryde, IOW but he had to return to his unit. He did have a couple of periods of leave in Jul & Nov 1918, but I cannot make out whether he was able to go home.

He was despatched to UK on 17 Mar 1919 after being given a clean bill of health, and received 2 medals on 4 Jun 1921. They had 2 children, Gwendoline in 1920 & William George in 1921. At some point in the next 20 years they moved to Kent, as Frances died in Jan 1940 in Medway and William himself in Jan 1960 in Chatham, Medway. When Gwendoline married in 1944 it was in Medway, and likewise William George in 1951.

Thursday 7th August 2014

Thomas Stephen Hodd was born Oct 1854 in Addington, Surrey to Richard & Matilda nee Saunders and christened there on 17 Dec 1854 at St Mary's
He can be seen in census return of 1861 aged 6 at 10 Bandy Mount, Addington with parents & sibs, then with them at 144 Labour Road, Croydon. He is listed in the latter aged 16 as a Sailor, although I cannot locate any naval records. On 7 Sep 1879 at All Saints church, Carshalton he married Annie Douch Martin.
However within 18 months she had produced a son Thomas Henry (see Monday) and died aged 23 in Croydon. So census return of 1881 shows both Thomases with Richard & Matilda at Sydenham Road North, Thomas Stephen working as a labourer.

Unfortunately, as I have already related, he died himself Jul 1885 aged only 30. Again I feel I should purchase the death certificates to see if they are related. At least my records have correct ages attached this time, so cuts down the risk of obtaining the wrong ones.

Violet Josephine Hodd was born 23 Nov 1896 in Lambeth to Richard & Ellen nee Webb and christened 3 Jan 1897 at Emmanuel church. She can be seen in census return of 1901 aged 4 at 39 St Albans Street with parents & sibs

1911 census shows her at 7 St Mary's Square with parents & sibs, listed as an Apprentice Dressmaker aged 14 (the triangular "square" see 31st July)

On 3 Sep 1921 at St Philip's church, just around the corner from here, on Kennington Road (where my parents were married 30 years later) she married Arthur Mair, witnesses Richard S Hodd, bride's father and Albert, Arthur's brother.

Now Arthur has a very interesting story: born in Lambeth, when his father died in 1898 he was aged 7 and he & his 4 year old brother were removed by the Poor Law authorities to a school in Forest Gate, Poplar, as evidently their mother couldn't cope. Their father had previously lived in that area, so as was the way at the time, the children were considered the responsibility of the Poplar Poor Law Area. He attended the school with his brother Albert, but by the census of 1901 they were back in Lambeth with their mother & 2 other brothers. He evidently did well at school, as when we see him in 1911 at 113 Hargwyne Street, Brixton with mother & 3 brothers aged 19 he is a Solicitor's Clerk - not bad for a pauper! Actually all 4 boys had good jobs, so Louisa coped well after all. She completed the 1911 census in a flowing loopy script that seems to indicate that she was well educated herself.

On the marriage cert he states he is living at 79 Canterbury Road, Croydon, and that area is certainly where they settled.

They had 2 children, Phyllis & Alan, and electoral roll records trace the family to 55 Ashbourne Road, Mitcham 1928-1934, 22 Cranleigh Gardens, Sutton 1935-9 - good properties
The next records are from 1965 & 1966 when Arthur was no doubt retired and lived at a property called Stamford, Seymour Road, Carshalton

Arthur died in Jan 1978 and Violet Oct 1983 both in the Croydon area and both aged 86.

Monday 4th August 2014 (100 years ago today:)

(I'm not doing a Special Study on WW1 at the moment, just dealing with the heroes as they appear)

Thomas Henry Hodd was born Jan 1853 in Southwark to Joseph & Susan nee Brewster, but as I have said before the family is missing in census of 1861, so although we know from Martha's birth records that they were at Royal Street, it isn't until census of 1871 that he is first seen aged 17, at Royal Terrace, Lambeth with parents & sibs. He was at this stage training as a Brass Finisher - useful in his future career as I shall show. On 8 Dec 1873 at St Mary's he married Jane Burns and they lived at Goda Street for a while (still marked as Caroline Street in map below)

By 1881 census he can be seen at 33 Regent Street with 3 children, and by then is employed as Microscope Maker. On Friday I mentioned, with regard to his brother Stephen, the Dollond family and their optical workshops in Lambeth, not far off the bottom of the map. They made brass microscopes:

This one was made by Dollond in 1890 when he was there - it may even have been made by him! [Coincidentally, I trained as a microbiologist and worked with microscopes - albeit much more advanced than this one - in 1970s & 1980s, and my sister worked for Dollond & Aitchison as an optician in the 1980s. But this is not our tree.]
Jane already had one son Joseph Burns on marriage, and followed up with 4 more children, but unfortunately two of these died in infancy. They had their children christened at various churches, so this does not help with following them about, but it seems they remained in the Lambeth area. In 1888 they were at 16 John Street, when son Thomas went to infants' school at Walnut Tree Walk, but when he was transferred to the juniors in 1891 they gave home address as 23 Doris Street, as they did on census that year. Thomas died Jan 1892 in the Strand area of London - possibly Charing Cross Hospital - and Jane died at home in October of the following year. One of these days I shall send for their death certificates to see if they were related (when I have saved up again and plucked up courage). Most adults appear to have died from "phthisis" or TB, as conditions at this time were far from healthy, even for the family of someone as able to provide as Thomas. I have dealt with what happened to the children after his death (see 3rd July & yesterday).

The other Thomas Henry Hodd was born Jul 1880 in Southwark, to Thomas & Annie nee Martin. His mother died a few months after his birth (possibly of post-partum complications), so he had no siblings and can be seen on census return of 1881 aged 8 months, with his father, grandparents Richard & Matilda Hodd and family in Sydenham Road North, Croydon

His father died too, 4 years later and in census of 1891 Thomas can be seen boarding in Nuthurst, Sussex with a bricklayer's labourer (maybe a friend of his father who was also a labourer) and another 10-year-old boarder. By 1901 he is 21 and can be seen at 51 Bensham Lane, Croydon, listed as a bricklayer's labourer himself.

On 27 Dec 1909 at Holy Saviour church, Croydon he married Florence Emily Lowry, a laundress living with her sister in Croydon
In 1911 he can be seen at 134 Pawsons Road, Croydon listed as a General Labourer

They do not appear to have had any children. Florence died in Croydon in Jan 1958 & Thomas Jul 1965.

Sunday 3rd August 2014

Susan Hodd was born Jan 1860 in Newington to Joseph & Susan nee Brewster. 1861 census is missing, but she can be seen in 1871 at Royal Terrace, Newington with parents & sibs, aged 11. 1881 was a very eventful year for this family - mother Susan died in February and it may have been this that made them decide to have a mass baptism on 1 Aug 1882 at Emmanuel church - Susan was christened at the age of 22 with sisters Mary Ann (24) & Elizabeth (16). The census was taken on 3 Apr, showing her at 18 John Street, Lambeth (centre of map below) with father & sibs, working as a book-binder. 2 weeks later, on 17 Apr at St John the Evangelist church, Walworth
she married George Alfred Dodge, an engine driver, who boarded at 16 Goldens Place (off Chester Road bottom right of map below)

Susan moved in with him after their marriage, as she gave 16 Goldens Place as her address a few weeks later on her christening. I cannot find employment records for George - maybe drivers weren't employed at a particular place - they were probably freelance & not recorded in the rolls of the railway companies, which were independent employers. He appeared to be attached to Fulham however, as they soon moved there & stayed. 1891 census shows them at 112 Sherbrooke Road, Fulham, then in 1901 & 1911 23 Burlington Road

They had no children themselves, but George's niece May Dodge lived with them. Susan died there in Apr 1916 aged 56 and, as I said on 4th July, George married her sister Elizabeth on 3 Sep.

Thomas George Hodd was born 9 Feb 1883 in Lambeth to Thomas & Jane nee Burns. He can be seen on census return of 1891 aged 8 at 23 Doris Street, Lambeth with parents & sibs (on map above). On 2 Nov 1893 at Emmanuel church he was christened aged 10 with sister Daisy (see 3rd July), address given as 93 Ethelred Street (since the above map Regent Street had been renamed) - as I have said many times, I cannot produce photos of this area, as all these streets were swept away in the 1970s. As their parents died shortly after the census, next time we see Thomas he is living at 92 Harleyford Road, Kennington Oval with aunt & uncle & 5 cousins, working as a Railway Porter.

[not the best photo, but the nearest I can get on Google Streetview!]
In Apr 1909 at West Ham he married Lily Evans, who already had 2 children, and in 1911 census he can be seen at 104 Kempton Road, East Ham with Lily, her children & her widowed mother Martha Evans, Thomas now working as a Fish Porter (possibly at Billingsgate, the famous London Fish Market, which was 7.5 miles away)

On 1 Jun 1916 he joined the army - 12th Battalion, Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middx) Regiment, as a Private, was sent to France and on 3 May 1917 was Killed In Action. He was buried at the Faubourg D'Amiens Cemetery, Arras and is commemmorated on the memorial there [available
photographs are not good enough to read unfortunately, but has been transcribed

Friday 1st August 2014

Stephen James Hodd was born 24 May 1890 at 30 Doris Street to Stephen Richard & Caroline nee Buckmaster and christened 15 Jun 1890 at St Mary the Less church

He can be seen on census returns of 1891, 1901 & 1911 aged 10 months, 10 years & 20 years, at no.30, then latterly at no.40, where he is listed as Restaurant Porter (his sister Florence also worked in a restaurant see 10th July). There are two school admission records - one dated 30 Apr 1894 when aged 3 he was admitted to St Mary the Less infant school, then 1 Jun 1897 when he was transferred to the Junior school

(a print I have just discovered of the schools, made in 1861)
1911-15 he was renting a 1st floor furnished room at no. 40 from his father (a common arrangement in those days) but soon he joined up into the Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment 11th battalion & was posted to France. On 7 Sep 1916 he was Killed In Action and was buried at Thiepval Cemetery, Somme.

His father Stephen Richard Hodd was born Apr 1864 in Newington to Joseph & Susan nee Brewster. He can be seen in census return of 1871 aged 7 at Royal Terrace, Newington with parents & sibs, then in 1881 at 17 John Street, Lambeth with father & sibs. In the latter he is 17 and working as what I can only read as "Flarter" - pause for hilarity

On Christmas Day 1888 at All Saints, Newington he married Caroline Buckmaster, local girl, and they had 5 children. Witnesses were siblings John Buckmaster & Elizabeth Hodd. On his marriage certificate he is listed as Optician, which may assist in trying to work out the badly-written word above. As you may recall, his father had been a Mathematical Instrument Maker and I suggested this may have been to do with optics. One of the most famous families in the field of optics was the Dollond family and they ran a shop & workshop in Kennington up to 1852. The business continued under the name of Dollond & Aitchison, now I understand part of the Boots group. This is commemmorated by the naming of a road Dolland Street - shame it was mis-spelled - which is still there and has workshops in it to this day. There was a plaque to the family in St Mary the Less Church, I'm not sure where it is now the church has gone. Stephen and his father Joseph may well have worked for this company as it was very near where they lived. In 1891 census he can be seen at 30 Doris Street, Lambeth, where he rented 2 rooms on the 1st floor (upstairs in UK), with baby son, described as an "Optical Plainer" (sic). In 1901 the same with 5 children, but by 1908 they had moved to no. 40, where they remained until 1929 (Stephen & Caroline, sons Fred & George, also Winifred, Fred's wife). Caroline died there in Oct 1930 aged 66 & Stephen in Jan 1934 aged 73.

On 25th May I dealt with John May & his wife Mary Ann nee Maxwell and because it appeared that they died in their 30s, which is very unusual, I finally plucked up courage to send for their death certificates. Unfortunately I wasted my money, as neither was the correct family. John's was for someone aged 72 and Mary Ann's was for a one-year old child. So all I can do is scrub the dates of death off their records & am none the wiser. At almost £10 a certificate this is just why I very rarely do it. There are a lot more scans of certs on Ancestry nowadays, but still much too few.

Thursday 31st July 2014

Richard Hodd was born Aug 1817 to Richard & Priscilla nee Clarke at Bidborough, Kent near Tunbridge Wells and christened there at St Lawrence's church on 7 Sep 1817
He can be seen on census return of 1841 working as an Agricultural Labourer at Betsham, Southfleet (near Gravesend), Kent aged 25 (rounded up, as they did in 1841). On 15 Feb 1846 at Cudham church, he married Matilda Saunders from Cudham

They remained in Cudham for several years, having 4 children here. As I mentioned last week, something went very wrong in the 1850s and on the 1851 census eldest daughter Mary Ann was elsewhere and the 2 children seen at home in Leaves Green, Cudham with their parents died later that year, within a week of each other. By 1854 the family had moved to Addington, Surrey and 5 subsequent children were born there. The 1861 census shows their address as 10 Bandy Mount, Addington and they have 4 children. This was near Ballards School (now Royal Russell School), but by the time final child Matilda was born they had moved into Croydon itself and can be seen in census of 1871 at 44 Labour Road with 5 children [this whole area is now warehouses], Richard just listed as "labourer". By 1881 they can be seen at Sydenham Road North, Croydon with 4 children and Richard is working as a gardener

He died there Apr 1888 aged 70. Matilda (see 3rd July) moved in with her daughter Elizabeth & family - she can be seen with them at 33 Great Guildford Street, Southwark in census of 1891, then in 1901 & 1911 censuses she can be seen at 15 Hampton Road, Croydon with youngest daughter Matilda & her family (which I dealt with on Monday)

She died there in Apr 1915 aged 89.

Richard Stephen Hodd was born Oct 1869 in Newington, Southwark to Joseph & Susan nee Brewster and can be seen on census return of 1871 at Royal Terrace, Newington with parents & sibs. On 13 Feb 1877 he started at the St Mary the Less junior school, giving address as 37 Caroline Street, transferred from the infant school at St Phillip's

1881 census shows him aged 11 at 18 John Street with father & sibs. On 29 Mar 1891 at St Paul's church, Newington he married Ellen Elizabeth Jane Webb, who had been living in Southwark with her family. They can be seen a week later on census return at 146 Regent Street, just married, visiting Richard's sister Ellen (aka Eliza) May & her 3 daughters. Richard is listed as a plumber. They had 4 children, 3 surviving to adulthood, one died aged 17. Through electoral roll records they can be seen at various addresses over the years, but always in the area shown on the map above. In 1890s they lived at Caroline Street - renamed Goda Street - the road he had lived in aged 8. In 1900 they moved to 39 St Albans Road until 1910, so were there for 1901 census with 3 children & Ellen's brother Henry Webb. Just in time for the 1911 census they relocated again, across the main road to 7 St Mary's Square, where they lived until 1939 at least, [Now known as St Mary's Walk - because it never was square - it is triangular!] Richard working as a house painter.
Around about 1940 they must have moved out to Sutton, Surrey, as Richard died there in Oct 1943 aged 74 & Ellen too in 6 Nov 1959 aged 88 (leaving effects worth £813 to daughter Laura)

Monday 28th July 2014

Mary Ann Priscilla Hodd was born Oct 1857 in Newington to Joseph & Susan nee Brewster. As I have noted before, the whole family is missing from 1861 census, but we know they are in Royal Street Newington on Martha's birth, and they can be seen on census of 1871 at Royal Terrace, at this time Mary Ann is 13 & listed as Domestic Servant. On Christmas Day 1876 at Emmanuel church, Lambeth she married local lad Henry John Freeman, a slater and over the next 20 years can be traced by baptism records as they moved around the area. She herself wasn't baptised until aged 25 a joint ceremony with her sisters Susan & Elizabeth, but made sure her own 7 children were baptised as babies.

In 1879 (baptism of Ada & Mary Ann at Emmanuel) they lived at 61 Princes Square [the last house in Cleaver Square now] then at time of 1881 census next door at 60

When her own baptism occurred in 1882 (also at Emmanuel) she lived at 17 John Street, then the following year when Arthur was baptised at 23 Caroline Street, all in the centre of the map above. In 1886 when Caroline was baptised at St Philip's, Kennington Road, they had moved across the main road to 95 Brook Street (top right of map above)
In 1888 when William was baptised, they were all the way round the area in Southwark - 75 Webber Street [now gone] and the ceremony was at Walworth All Saints [destroyed in WW2]. They soon returned to the Kennington area though, as the final two baptisms were at Emmanuel. Census and baptism of daughter Beatrice in 1891 both showed home address of 93 Regent Street, oddly the census listing Henry as "Oil Dealer", when all other documents state Slater. In 1896 youngest daughter Ivy was baptised, giving address as 38 Lollard Street, which was East Street renamed (see map above) but by 1901 they had moved on again, to south of the Oval, 49 Holland Street [now Caldwell Street & rebuilt], where they can also be seen in 1911 census. Henry died there in 1919 aged 61 but Mary Ann stayed on at the same address for some years. The address may strike a chord - it did with me - see 6th June, Aunt Phoeb & Uncle Frank lived there after their marriage in 1928, now I know why - it was her aunt's house (Mary Ann was her mother Martha's sister).
Mary Ann can be seen there in electoral roll records to 1928 at least and may have been there until her death in 1944.

Matilda Hodd was born Apr 1886 in Lambeth to Joseph & Martha and christened aged 3 with her brother Ernest 28 Jul 1889 (125 years ago today!) at St John's Croydon - although I still don't know why Croydon, as they lived in Lambeth. (I suppose possibly her grandfather had a say in the matter, as he died there)

She can be seen in census of 1891 at 22 Tyers Street with parents & sibs, aged 4. In 1901 she can be seen at Savoy Mansions, London working as a general servant.

This is a famous address, as the building pictured was built in 1886 (Matilda's birth year) as the examination hall for the Royal College of Surgeons and behind it was the building taken over by the newly-formed BBC in 1923 as its broadcasting studios. By 1911 she had moved on & can be seen living back with her mother at 124 Tyers Street, working as a cook. On 1 Mar 1916 at St Mary the Less church Lambeth she married James George Golder, a carman & ropemaker from Croydon, witnesses her sister Lily and his father William. James had joined up to the Royal Fusiliers in 1914 in order to fight in WW1 but had been discharged after only a couple of months as "not likely to become an efficient soldier" (he was constantly in trouble for those weeks, evidently could not take orders and was reported to have "bad character").

They settled at 49 Sydney Road, Sutton, Surrey (his parents lived at no. 73) and had 3 children.

This address is also familiar as Matilda's brothers lived there too. James died here aged 49 in Jan 1939 and their son, also called James a Sergeant in the RAF, was posted to France & was killed in 1944, aged just 24, buried at Dreux near Chartres. I cannot trace Matilda further but I am told she died in the Croydon area on 5 Feb 1966.

The other Matilda Hodd (I cannot see that they are related) was born Jan 1869 in Croydon to Richard & Matilda nee Saunders. She can be seen on census return of 1871 aged 2 with parents & sibs at 44 Labour Road, Croydon. In 1881 census she can be seen living with her sister at 14 Grange Road, Croydon, aged 13. She married Sidney Tretheway Saville ostensibly in the Jul-Sep quarter of 1891 but they can be seen at 183 Gloucester Road, Croydon with baby daughter Florence aged 9 months in April of that year in the census.

Either they are lying or I have a marriage record that has been mis-read - this does happen but rarely. Anyway, the tragic thing is that baby Florence died in Oct 1891 aged one year. They had 10 children in all, of which 3 died in infancy. Sidney was listed in the census as "Shunter on the Railway". I see from his employment record that he "entered service" with the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway in Jan 1890 as Head Shunter at Norwood Junction at £1 a week, gained promotions on 21 Feb 1891, 21 Feb 1892 & 25 Jun 1892 and resigned on 24 Mar 1893. (He had had another abortive career-attempt aged 14, when he joined the SS Saltram from Bridport, Dorset as an Ordinary Seaman. It evidently was not to his taste as he resigned after only 24 days and returned to London). In 1901 census they can be seen at 15 Hampton Road, Croydon with 5 children & Matilda's mother and he is a bricklayer's labourer, the same in 1911 with 6 children and her mother.

I cannot see them in electoral roll records for some reason, but Matilda died in Croydon Apr 1928 aged 59. Sidney married Elizabeth Rosam the following year and died in Croydon Jan 1955 aged 88.

Friday 25th July 2014

Martha Eliza Hodd
was born 19 Feb 1863 in Addington, Surrey to Richard & Matilda nee Saunders and christened there 22 Mar 1863
She can be seen in census of 1871 aged 8 at 44 Labour Road, Croydon with parents & sibs but by 1881 census she was living at 10 Penge Lane, Beckenham
[now modern blocks], working as one of two servants. On 22 Jul 1883 in Croydon she married Joseph Hodd (see 18th Jul) and they had 9 children, although 3 died in infancy. In census return of 1891 they can be seen at 22 Tyers Street, Lambeth with 4 children, then they moved to 31 Vauxhall Street in 1894, where they can be seen in 1901, a few weeks before Joseph's death, with 5 children.

She (or her family at least) got a surprise on 24 Sep 1903 - two years after her husband's death - when she had a daughter Edith and in 1911 census she can be seen, a widow with 5 children, making a living by taking in washing, back in Tyers Street, this time at no. 124. However, she died on 5 Jun 1916
aged only 53.

Mary Ann/Marianne Hodd
was born May 1846 in Cudham, Kent to Richard & Matilda nee Saunders and christened there 5 Jul 1846 at St Peter & St Paul church

I am not sure where she was at the time of 1851 census, as she was aged 4 but not with her parents or grandparents (sibs George & Amy were with their parents but they both died a few weeks later, so I don't know what was going on in this family at the time). By 1861 she was 14 & can be seen in the census return at 1 Park Street, Croydon, working as servant to a German Commerce Clerk & his family [this is now part of Yates's Wine Bar]. On 1 Jul 1866 at All Saints with St Margaret's church in Upper Norwood, Croydon she married David Cooper, a carpenter from Suffolk
In 1871 census they can be seen at 56 Eden Road, Elmers End, Beckhenham, David working as a carpenter, Mary Ann an Infant School Mistress.

In 1881 she can be seen at 14 Grange Road, West Ham [now modern housing], a dressmaker with her sister "Martha" staying with her (as I said above, Martha was a servant in Beckenham, and the age is given as 13 when she was 18, so I suspect the name should read Matilda, the youngest sister), who was at school. The 1891 census is intriguing, as Mary Ann is alone at 24 Whitwell Road, West Ham, working as a dressmaker still, but her records says "single" and she has 4 rooms to herself, while David is in the West Ham Workhouse in Leyton. It seemed to me they had split up and/or there was a substantial debt to pay. This was answered by David's death shortly after the census, in the Workhouse Infirmary [became the Langthorne Hospital & now converted into homes].

I have mentioned the fact that before the National Health Service was formed in 1948, medical care, especially terminal care, was often undertaken by the workhouses. He left only £60 to her, so evidently could not pay for private treatment. In 1901 she was at 3 George Street, Plaistow, with her own dressmaking business from home
now a widow [this area is now huge concrete junction and George Street comprises a car wash and a Holiday Inn Express block]. She died in West Ham in Apr 1905 aged 58.

Thursday 24th July 2014

Now for the main "trunk" of this tree, Cliff's grandmother Martha Hodd. She was born 13 Feb 1862 to Joseph & Susan nee Brewster at 5 Royal Street, Walworth, then in Surrey. In 1871 census this is called Royal Terrace and was I understand a row of dwellings in Hill Street [now Hillingdon Street & all modern housing], where she can be seen aged 9 with parents & sibs. In census of 1881 she can be seen at 18 John Street, Lambeth with father & sibs, listed as a Domestic (ie working as a servant or at home performing domestic duties) aged 19, having recently lost her mother. On 21 Feb 1882 at All Saints, Newington she married John May (see 25th May) and they lived in Lambeth for a few years, having 2 sons William & Thomas. They had 8 children in all.
In 1885 John's father died and John took the opportunity to follow his dream (I imagine) and took the family to Leicester, where they lived in a street full of shoemakers and John worked as one. This only lasted a few years though, as the new Leicester Station was built on the site of their house and they returned to London, so Beat was the only child born in Leicester.

They were back in London by 1892 for Alice's birth, and can be seen in electoral roll records of 1894-1905 living at 26 Goda Street, Martha's brother Richard opposite until 1900, on map below

After John died, Martha moved to 24 Berkeley Street, renamed Sowerby Street by the map above - just by the B of Lambeth - with 5 children, and this was where Amy was born. Martha moved to 18 Prince's Square (now Cleaver Square - see last Friday - just off the bottom of the map above) around about 1913-15, initially in the name of William John, her eldest son. But when the boys went off to war, properties appeared more often in female names and hers remained on electoral rolls until she died.
[Martha with her 3 youngest girls in approx 1923]
Since I wrote about her husband, I have discovered that she didn't die in 1929 (that was another Martha May), as she is still on electoral roll records at 18 Cleaver Square (just after the name-change) in 1937 with Ethel & Ernest and died in Jul that year.

Monday 21st July 2014

Lily Florence Hodd was born 23 July 1890 in Lambeth, probably at 22 Tyers Street, to Joseph & Martha and can be seen at that address in census of 1891 aged 8 months, with parents & sibs. She was christened at the age of 3 with brother Ernest on 21 Mar 1894 at St Mary the Less, Princes Road, this document gives home address as 50 Prince's Road, as does her admission to Vauxhall Street Infant School a few weeks before on 26 Feb 1894.
In 1894 they moved to 31 Vauxhall Street, on 1 Jul 1898 she transferred to the Girls' school, then can be seen there on 1901 census return aged 10 with parents & sibs. Her father died soon after this, and in 1911 census she is at 124 Tyers Street with mother & sibs, listed as a "Taker-Off" at a tin-printers (printing necessitated personnel whose job was to put on and take off copy from boards - must have been fascinating work, I don't think!).

I cannot be sure whether she married (possibly to an Ernest Sweeney in Hastings) or had children, so this one ends here.

Sunday 20th July 2014

Laura Esther Hodd was born 5 Jul 1899 at 39 St Albans Street, Lambeth to Richard & Ellen nee Webb, and christened on 6 Aug at Emmanuel church. She can be seen at that address on census return of 1901, aged 2, with parents & sibs, and 7 Jul 1902 she started at Walnut Tree Walk infants school. They remained at St Albans Street until 1910, but by 1911 census they can be seen to have moved to 7 St Mary's Place and remained there until 1939 at least.

They relocated to Sutton, Surrey and as her father Richard died there in 1943 it must have been around 1940-2. In 1959 her mother died there - at 20 Elgin Road, High Street, Sutton - in electoral roll record of 1964 Laura can be seen at that address and she died there Jan 1980. She never married or had any children.

Friday 18th July 2014

Those of you familiar with this page will appreciate what we did yesterday. Finding ourselves at a loose end in the correct area, we decided to tread some of the ground trodden many years ago by Clifford and his family. Firstly the reason we were there, lunch in a restaurant in Kennington Park Road currently called "Oaka at The Mansion House". I looked out of the window beside me onto this view of St Mary, Newington, a church which appears often in this blog:

After lunch we wandered round to Cleaver Square and had a drink at the Prince of Wales, then sat in the Square, imagining it 80 years ago, when Cliff was born there. Oddly, the bench we sat on had a message scratched on it: In Memory of Cliff... (but it was with another surname)
Afterwards we had a look at number 18, where Martha moved to with her family and Ethel spent her married years (and of course where Cliff was born):
then walked around to 143 Kennington Park Road, where they moved to when Cliff was older:

That was a pleasant aside... now on with the Hodds.

Joseph Hodd was born around 1827-1830 in Stepney and may be the 14-year-old who can be seen there in 1841 census, in Greenfield Street with the Wragg family, possibly working as a servant. His parentage is difficult, as on his marriage he stated his father was called Richard (deceased), but I cannot find anyone by that name, and suspect his parents were Abraham & Priscilla as there is a baptism for a Joseph Hodd to these parents 17 Jan 1827 with the address of Greenfield Street given, at St Mary Whitechapel, Stepney (The White Chapel, giving the area its name).

On 2 Jul 1849 at St Mary's Lambeth he married Susan J Brewster from Southwark, whose father was an optician, so may well have worked with Joseph, who was a "mathematical instrument/rule maker" and this may well have meant he supplied equipment for opticians. The 1851 census shows them living at 63 Tiverton Street, Newington with baby son Joseph [now warehouses], Susan working from home as a cap-maker. I cannot track down the census return of 1861 but we know they were at 5 Royal Street, Newington when Martha was baptised the following year. They are still there in 1871 but the road is now called Royal Terrace, [now modern blocks] and they have 9 children. On 9 Feb 1881 Susan died of meningitis and in the census Joseph can be seen at 18 John Street, Lambeth with 6 children.
[John Street is just to right of centre of this map]
I now come across a problem with Joseph: I cannot find him in 1891 or 1901 censuses, which I would expect to do to match the death in Apr 1904 in Croydon, linked with the confectioner in 1902 at 176 London Road, but equally I cannot find evidence to support the suggestion of another researcher that in 1891 he emigrated to New Zealand. Another file that stalls (sorry for mixed metaphor!)

His eldest son, also Joseph Hodd was born 10 Jan 1851 in Newington, probably at 63 Tiverton Street, where he can be seen aged 3 months in census return of 1851 with parents & sibs. The above of course applies to him too for 1861 & 1871. In the latter, he is aged 20 & working as what is called a "smith's improver". I gather this was a newly-qualified blacksmith, fresh from an apprenticeship but inexperienced. On the 1881 census, the enumerator has put him down as a "Rule-Maker" like his father, but as the whole family is spelled "Hoad" and scrawled carelessly, I reserve judgement... On 29 Jul 1883 at St John the Baptist Parish Church in Croydon he married Martha Eliza Hodd (distant relative - I hope! I certainly cannot see an obvious connection. She is from the Kentish Hodds)

In 1891 census they can be seen at 22 Tyers Street, Lambeth with 4 children, Joseph working as a House Painter. They remained at this address until 1894, when they moved to 31 Vauxhall Street, where they can be seen in 1901 census, taken on 31 March, with 5 children (they had 9 in all, but 3 died in infancy). Unfortunately Joseph died a few weeks later on 2 May, aged 50. Martha was only 38 when she was widowed and she went on to have another daughter, Edith, 2 years after Joseph's death. She can be seen on census of 1911 back at Tyers Street, this time no. 124 [now allotments], making ends meet by taking in washing. She died aged 53 in Apr 1916 in Lambeth and Edith evidently went to family in Kent, where she married and died aged 79.

Monday 14th July 2014

James Joseph Hodd was born 15 Jun 1894 in Lambeth to Joseph & Martha and christened 19 Dec 1894 at St Mary the Less church

On 25 Apr 1898 aged 3 he was admitted to the infant dept of Vauxhall Street School and on 24 Aug 1900 transferred to the boys' school. He can be seen on census return of 1901 aged 6 at 31 Vauxhall Street with parents & sibs [the whole area was rebuilt in 1935 & no vestige remains]. In 1911 census he was aged 16 & a patient at Lambeth Infirmary in Brook Drive, shown on map from 1859 then called Brook Street top right.

Out of interest, I read around this building, having visited it when I was a child. Originally the infirmary of the Workhouse, it moved from Princes Road - the workhouse is shown on map above just between the M & B of "Lambeth" - to the Brook Drive site in 1870s (the workhouse in 1871, infirmary in 1876). In 1922 it became The Lambeth Hospital and, despite being damaged in WW2, thrived & in 1948 joined the new NHS. It only closed in 1976 when St Thomas' Hospital buildings expanded and services were moved there.
[The buildings have been demolished or converted to flats in recent years]
In WW1 he was in the Labour Corps and was awarded 2 medals, but I can find no details. In 1919 electoral roll records show him at 49 Sydney Road, Sutton, Surrey with brother Arthur (see 30th June).

As I explained when dealing with Arthur, they both married sisters in 1932 in Croydon, James married Ethel Sophia Hearnden in July. As I said before, I cannot tell which of the children belonged to James & Ethel and which to Arthur & Dorothy, but they can be seen in Electoral Roll records of 1963-5 in neghbouring houses 32 & 34 Grant Road, Croydon

James died here on 20 Nov 1970 aged 76 and Ethel 10 Aug 1994 aged 94.

Job James Hodd was born Apr 1866 in Addington, Croydon, Surrey to Richard & Matilda nee Saunders and christened there 24 Jun 1866 at St Mary's, known after childhood as James.
He can be seen in census of 1871 at 44 Labour Road, Croydon aged 5 with parents & sibs, then in 1881 at Sydenham Road North

In Jul 1888 in Croydon he married Eliza Jane Killick. In 1891 census he can be seen lodging at 176 St James Road, Croydon, working as a railway porter (there are lots of railway lines around there). Looking into the records, however, he was not with them very long. He joined in June 1884 at 18, working at Croydon East Station as a goods porter and also a shunter, for which he was paid 18 shillings a week. He gained promotion in 1888 to £1 per week, then again in 1889 to £1 2s a week. However something occurred in 1890 which led to a cut to 19s "at his own request". As he was dismissed in 1893 "for stealing corn" we can guess that it was a similar story in 1890 and he took a cut rather than dismissal. A repeat offence in 1893 led to the sack. However, he can be seen in census of 1901 still in work, lodging at 40 Leslie Road, Croydon, working as a carman. This may have been a shop as they were living with a grocer/provision dealer, Eliza was housekeeper and James carman/delivery driver. [In 1916 bombs dropped on this road, among others, and I believe the shop was destroyed, as the current building is modern, unlike the rest of the road]. By 1911 they had relocated to Hammersmith and James was working there as a Furniture Carman, living at 70 Overstone Road. In 1930 electoral roll records they can be seen to have moved just up the road, to 69 Overstone Road:
In WW1 he had joined the East Surrey Regiment, then transferred to the Middlesex Regiment (known as the Duke of Cambridgeshire's Own) and gained two medals. 1934-9 electoral roll records show them living at 56 Tabor Road, Hammersmith (2 turnings west of Overstone Road), where James died aged 76 in Jan 1943 and Eliza in Oct 1947.

Saturday 12th July 2014

Henry William Hodd was born 31 Aug 1894 at 27 Goda Street, Lambeth to Richard & Ellen nee Webb and christened 23 Sep 1894 at Emmanuel church. On 1 Nov 1897 he was admitted to St Mary the Less School, then 31 Oct 1898 moved to Walnut Tree School, presumably because they moved to that catchment area. He can be seen in census of 1901 aged 7 at 39 St Albans Street, Lambeth with parents & sister, then in 1911 at St Mary's Square, Kennington Road with parents & 3 sisters, in the latter listed as a Junior Clerk aged 16.

[all 3 can be seen on above map of 1859, but Goda Street was still called Caroline Street at that time. St Albans Street and St Mary Square are near top right].
On 15 Nov 1915 he enlisted in the Army, into the 24th Royal Fusileers as a private, saw service in France and was awarded the 3 WW1 medals in 1918. On 9 Mar 1918 at St Paul's, Westminster Bridge Road, Southwark he married Ellen Reed (who had been baptised there 25 years before), witnesses Richard & Violet Hodd, his father & sister.

[this church was destroyed in WW2 - site now inhabited by a school]
Ellen lived 1918-20 Henry lived with Ellen's parents at 19, Block T, Peabody Square, Southwark (I have previously shown the Peabody Estate - in case you don't know, it was the brainchild of American banker, dplomat & philanthropist George Peabody, who wanted to give back some of his fortune to help the "deserving poor". This meant providing good quality housing for working families, one of which was the Reeds).
In 1927 George Reed died and by 1932 Henry & Ellen had a flat of their own, 15, Block A, Peabody Square, where they lived until at least 1939. In 1945 they can be seen at 5 Brighton Road, Reigate, Surrey, now a Care Home

Ellen died Oct 1966 in Southeast Surrey and Henry Jan 1974 in Sutton.

Friday 11th July 2014

George Henry Hodd was born 6 Oct 1900 at 30 Doris Street to Stephen & Caroline nee Buckmaster and was christened aged 6 on 15 Oct 1906 at St Mary the Less with younger brothers Frederick & Ernest. He can be seen with parents & ibs in census returns of 1901 at 30 Doris Street and 1911 at no. 40. Electoral roll records show that he remained at this address with his parents until their deaths in 1930 & 1932. In 1932 he married May F Shipman at St Martin in the Fields. She appears to come from a wealthy family and there is a telephone registered to her from 1956 to 1966 at Byworth Edge, Petworth, West Sussex, a 15th century manorhouse & listed building:
(Now I do have to say that, as marriage records after 1921 do not have fathers' names unless you purchase the certificate, until I do I cannot prove this is correct). May died there in Oct 1966 and I am not sure what happened to George after this as the best-fit death is in Brentwood, Essex in Jan 1984.

Gerald Richard Hodd was born Jul 1899 in Bembridge, Isle of Wight to William & Lucy nee Dyer. He can be seen in census return of 1901 aged almost 2, with parents & brother. Their father was toll collector and they lived in Bank Cottages, right by the station so he could collect money from the passing traffic. (I shall go into this in more detail when I get to William). In 1911 they are still there, bur Lucy's 80-year-old father Robert Dyer has been widowed and is living with them. In Apr 1916 Gerald joined the Post Office and was assigned a job as Assistant Postman in Ryde, 5 miles away. However, war intervened and on 27 Aug 1917 he enlisted in the Somerset Light Infantry & was discharged 20 Jan 1919 with a Siver War Badge to his credit (discharged as "services no longer required").

I cannot see in the Post Office records that he returned to his job with them, but cannot find anything else, although it will say on his marriage certificate if I were to buy it. In Oct 1922 on Isle of Wight (it doesn't say where) he married local girl Ivy F Sealey and they had one daughter Joan Iris the following year. Ivy died aged 65 in 1963 so when Gerald died 4 Apr 1966 he left his effects worth £404 to Joan, who was by then married to John James Denton. He was living at 3 The Anchorage, Steyne Road, Bembridge:

Thursday 10th July 2014

Florence Louise Hodd was born 30 Oct 1892 in Lambeth to Stephen & Caroline nee Buckmaster and christened at St Mary the Less church, Prince's Road on 23 Nov 1892.

On 6 Jul 1896 aged 3 she was admitted to St Mary the Less School. In census return of 1901 she can be seen aged 8 at 30 Doris Street with parents & brothers.

In 1911 they can be seen at number 40 and Florence is working as a "Restaurant Service Maid", which sounds to me like a waitress. This may have been how she met her future husband, who knows? On 19 Nov 1916 at St Mary the Less she married Leonard Smithers - and here we have another of those odd coincidences. He had grown up on Clayton Buildings - where my maternal grandparents lived, I spent my early childhood years as did lot of my ancestors & family. And here is an inlaw of my husband's family growing up alongside them! The electoral roll records show how they moved around in the decades to come, but always in the same street. Florence's parents remained at no. 40, and Florence & Leonard lived there with them until 1926, when they can be seen to have moved across the road to no. 43. In 1931 they moved to no. 21 and remained there until Leonard's death in 1939. Daughter Florence Frances lived with them until her marriage in 1942, after which she moved to 33 Burton Road, Brixton. In 1950 Florence Louisa joined her and moved with the family to Leicester in 1958. She died there aged 69 in Jan 1961.

Frederick William Hodd was born 18 Nov 1895 in Lambeth to Stephen & Caroline nee Buckmaster and christened at St Mary the Less aged 10 with his brothers Ernest & George. In census return of 1901 he can be seen at 30 Doris Street with parents & sibs, then in 1911 aged 15 at 40 Doris Street, working as a Van Guard. He lived with his parents until their deaths, then continued at that address with his own family. In Oct 1924 in Depwade, Norfolk he married local girl Winifred Louisa Burgess, who had been housemaid (one of 9 staff) in Cromer, Norfolk. She joined him at no. 40 and had their son Alfred there. Electoral roll records of 1953 until they end in 1963 show just Winifred and Alfred, but I cannot find a death record for Frederick in London around that time. In fact the only one I can find that fits is in 1980 in Ealing, so maybe he just left them. Winifred died aged 81 in Lambeth in 1974 and Alfred in Greenwich aged 62 in 1989. As far as I can see he never married.

Monday 7th July 2014

Ernest William Hodd was born Jan 1889 in Lambeth to Joseph & Martha and can be seen in census return of 1891 at 22 Tyers Street with parents & sibs.

[photo of Tyers Street in 1930s before "slum-clearance" demolition]
He was christened 21 Mar 1894 at St Mary the Less, just around the corner, aged 5 with his sister Lily. (Oddly, he had also been christened at St John's Croydon on 28 Jul 1889 with sister Matilda & brother Joseph)
1901 census finds him with the family at 31 Vauxhall Street, Lambeth [both Tyers Street & Vauxhall Street can be seen going off the bottom of this map]

In Jul 1910 at St George Hanover Square he married Lydia Jane Hockington

1911 census shows them at 8 Carpenter Street, Westminster

On 26 Jan 1915 he enlisted in the Army, the 4th East Surrey Regiment to fight in WW1. He was awarded 2 medals and discharged 14 Jun 1919 as a corporal. Although I cannot find a record, Lydia must have died as on 31 Jul 1921 at St Andrew's church, Lambeth he married Rose Annie Harris, nee Clark, who had just married and lost her husband in a matter of weeks.

This church was in Coin Street, and electoral roll records tell me they lived there at number 33 until 1936.
[Coin Street 2012. No 33 is now RSJ Restaurant, the church stood across the far end of the road but was damaged in WW2 and demolished]
Ernest & Rose had one daughter Agnes in 1922. They may well be in this photograph taken there in 1935.

In 1938 they moved to 108 Stamford Street, and this photo shows how far they moved -

[RSJ Restaurant is 33 Coin Street, the modern building with yellow panels now inhabited by Nando's is 108 Stamford Street]
Ernest died there in Jan 1941 and Agnes married Thomas Thatcher. Electoral Roll records show Rose & Agnes at 108 Stamford Street, initially with Thomas, but in 1949 he can be seen in Luxborough Lodge, the workhouse by any other name... where I believe he died in 1963 aged 80. I cannot find a death for Agnes, so she may still be alive and 92 years old.  Rose died in 1971 aged 88.

Sunday 6th July 2014

Cliff's great-aunt Ellen Hodd was born Jan 1855 in Newington to Joseph & Susan nee Brewster. Unfortunately the entire family is missing in 1861 census (it is a name easily mis-spelled) so we first see her with parents & sibs in 1871 census at Royal Terrace, Newington, aged 16 working as a Hat-trimmer. She may well have worked at the hat factory which was converted into the Mad Hatter Hotel in Newington:

On 14 Mar 1875 at St Mary's, Newington she married William May, who was at that time a Hatter, so they may well have met at work. See William John on 23rd June for the story of their married years, and 5 daughters. After he died in 1890 Ellen continued to bounce around the area, in 1891 census return at 146 Regent Street, Lambeth, working as a Char, in 1901 at 46 Prince's Road, then in 1911 at 8 Goda Street with daughter Rosie (Caroline Street in 1846 map below). Electoral roll records in 1918 show her still there, alone and the following year her death was registered in the nearby Southwark registration area.

Friday 4th July 2014

Elizabeth M Hodd was born Jul 1867 in Newington to Joseph & Susan nee Brewster and can be seen there in Royal Terrace aged 4 with parents & sibs in census of 1871. In census of 1881 her mother had just died & so Elizabeth can be seen with father & sibs at 18 John Street, Lambeth aged 14 [on 1846 map below, just right of centre)

By 1891 census she was working as a servant at 86 Akerman Road, Brixton, then in 1901 at 16 Rodenhurst Road, Clapham. In 1911 census she is still there with the same family but renumbering has changed the address to no. 98.

In Apr 1916 her sister Susan died, and a few weeks later Elizabeth married her widower George Alfred Dodge, 12 years her senior. George had no children with Susan (the child living with them, May Dodge, was his niece) and I cannot see that he did with Elizabeth either. Elizabeth married him at St Catherine's church Hatcham (where Julia May was married - see 26th May)

and moved into his home at 23 Burlington Road, Fulham [this interesting building looks as if it has had a substantial extension - ?in recent years!] and can be seen there in electoral roll records until 1921.

At some point within the next 8 years they moved to the Croydon area, and George died there aged 72 in 1929. Elizabeth died 23 Oct 1952 aged 85 at 180 Kingston Road, Merton, Surrey, leaving effects worth £123 to a Mrs Ada Bennett.

Thursday 3rd July 2014

Daisy Maud Hodd was born 15 May 1887 at 23 Doris Street, Lambeth to Thomas & Jane nee Burns and can be seen there in census return of 1891 aged 3 with parents & sibs (oddly as "Bessie"). She was christened 2 Nov 1893 aged 5 along with 10 year old brother Thomas at Emmanuel Church, by which time they were living at 93 Ethelred Street [both roads can be seen in the middle of the map from 1940]

Their father had died a year earlier and their mother later that year, so by the 1901 census, Thomas had gone to live with uncle & aunt and Daisy can be seen at Brixton District Orphanage aged 13, which only took in girls:
In 1911 census she can be seen at 51 Upper Clapton Road, Clapton, working as a Housemaid, one of 5 servants in the household of a GP [now all modern blocks there]. 1918 electoral roll records show her at 1 Palace Dwelings, Lambeth [likely in the grounds of the Palace & now under St Thomas' Hospital], then in 1925 at 83 Lower Marsh

Later that year she married Alfred E Nicholls in Lambeth [not sure which church as the more specific London records only go to 1921]. They had one child Kenneth, who died aged 2 in 1928, but as I don't know where they went I cannot be sure of any records after this.

Elizabeth Hodd was born Apr 1860 at 10 Bandy Mount, Addington, Surrey to Richard & Matilda nee Saunders and christened 27 May 1860 (see Caroline below). She can be seen there in census return of 1861 aged 11 months with parents & sibs & same in 1871 at 44 Luton Road, Addington. In 1881 census she can be seen with parents & sibs at Sydenham Road North, Croydon

On 4 Jun 1882 at St James the Great church, Bethnal Green she married Alfred Percival, a porter/warehouseman from Deptford.

[known locally as the Red Church, due to its red brick facia]
They settled at 33 Great Guildford Street, Southwark and had 3 children there. They can be seen with them there in censuses of 1891, 1901 & 1911, in the former with Matilda, Elizabeth's mother, who paid her way by taking in washing. (She then moved in with her youngest daughter, who had lots of children). On 6 Mar 1922 Alfred died aged 67, leaving effects worth £152 to Elizabeth. They were living at 6 Old College, Dulwich at the time, and Elizabeth remained at that address for some years, probably to her death in Jan 1938. She seems to be with a William Henry Percival, who may be a nephew I was not previously aware of (unlikely he is a son as is not with the family in earlier censuses).
  Old College, Dulwich

Monday 30th June 2014

Arthur Augustus Hodd, Albert's brother, was born to Joseph & Martha Dec 1899 in Lambeth and christened 2 May 1900 at St Mary the Less, Princes Road.

His early days were the same and he was admitted to Vauxhall Street School in Jan 1903, home address given as 104 Tyers Street, and there is a note against his name saying "Weak Intellect" when transferred to the Boys School 26 Aug 1907. Their mother died in 1916 & electoral roll record of 1919 shows him living with his brother James at 49 Sydney Road, Sutton

In Oct 1932 in Croydon he married Dorothy Denne Hearnden, the sister of Ethel Hearnden who had married his brother James a few weeks previously. These families were obviously close, and in electoral roll of 1963-5 widower Arthur can be seen living at 32 Grant Road, Croydon with daughter Margaret & Edith Hearnden (another of Dorothy's sibs), next door to James & Ethel & their family (I think - see below).

There is a problem with their children: the way of demonstrating whose children are whose is to find birth records giving mothers' maiden names. Unfortunately, as Arthur & James both married Hearnden ladies, the children could belong to either couple. If they live together or in close proximity it is impossible to sort them out after census dates. Thus Margaret, Leonard, Derrick & Audrey may belong to Arthur or James, and likewise the others found with them in 1963-5, George & Gillian. Dorothy died in Jan 1947 and Arthur Oct 1969, both in Croydon.

Caroline Hodd was born Mar 1857 to Richard & Matilda nee Saunders at Addington, Surrey and christened there 24 Apr 1857. She can be seen in census of 1861 at 10 Bandy Mount, Addington with parents & sibs, then in 1871 aged 13 at 4 Spencer Villas, St James Road, Croydon, working as a servant. On 29 Apr 1877 at St John the Baptist church, Croydon she married Henry James Head, assistant at chemical works, one of the witnesses her sister Elizabeth
In census of 1881 they can be een at 11 Leonidas Street, Deptford [now long gone] with two sons. They had 3 sons before she died - although the best-fit death record is Apr 1884 in Greenwich Registration Area, which would include Deptford, I believe she may have died 6 months earlier, as Henry re-married at the end of 1883.

Thursday 26th June 2014

The next family I wish to study is called Hodd, and I have introduced several members to you already, as Cliff's grandfather John and his twin William married sisters Martha and Ellen Hodd.

Albert Victor Hodd
was born 30 May 1897 at 31 Vauxhall Street, Lambeth to Joseph and Martha and christened at St Mary the Less church, Princes Street. He can be seen there in census return of 1901 aged 3 with parents & sib, as also in 1911 at 124 Tyers street
[both Vauxhall Street - going off the bottom in the middle - and Tyers Street can be seen on the map above]
On 3 Jul 1900 aged 3 he was admitted to Vauxhall Street Infants School, then on 28 Aug 1905 he was transferred to the Boys School. On 23 Dec 1922 at the Parish Church in Spittlegate, Grantham, Lincolnshire he married Edith Ellen Duggan from Grantham, who had been staying with her aunt & uncle in Pimlico, London while at school.
They settled nearby (Pimlico) after marriage & had two children. Electoral roll records show they moved around the area, but stayed within a couple of streets until they died there, Edith in 1974 & Albert in 1979.

Monday 23rd June 2014

Cliff's uncle Bill, William John May was born 7 Mar 1883 in Lambeth to John & Martha nee Hodd. He can be seen on census return of 1891 with parents & sibs at 1 Yarm Terrace, Leicester (see 25th May) and then returned to London late 1891. They lived at Tyers Street, Vauxhall, then when it was time for senior school aged 10, he started Shillington Street School when they lived at 30 Afghan Road, Wandsworth

In 1901 he can be seen on census return at 26 Goda Street, Lambeth with parents & sibs, listed as a Commercial Clerk aged 18 & electoral roll records show him here until at least 1907. 1911 census shows him with mother & sibs at 22 Berkeley Street, a Compositor

In 1913 they had moved to 18 Prince's Square and on 10 Dec 1916 he was called up into the army as a Private with the Royal Garrison Artillery (described as a book-keeper & compositor aged 33). On 13 Dec he was posted as a Gunner and over the next three years saw action in Italy and The Rhineland

[photo 1917 - on rear is written "Gun Team on Duty C sub 391 Siege Battery RGA Debeli, Austria. Yours v sincerely Wm John May, 18 Princes Sq. Kennington, London SE"]

On 13 Oct 1919 he was demobbed at Dover and returned to 18 Prince's Square. He remained there until 1935 when he appears on electoral rolls at 76 Warham Road, Hornsey with Stella Burchoski, who he married in Jan 1939 in Hackney. He lived at 76 Warham Road with her until 1951, when she seems to have left him & possibly moved to Bethnal Green. Cliff did not appear to have known this, so I am somewhat concerned, but the records from 1952 appear to show a Jane V May with William at that address. There are no deaths for a Stella C May around that time, and there are electoral roll records under that name in Bethnal Green. I cannot find a marriage of William to a Jane, but as he lived with Stella for several years before they married, using the name May, I wouldn't discount this with Jane. Cliff said they had no children, so Jane is not a daughter, and Stella was 62 on marriage anyway. So this file has no real end & is very messy... shame.

His uncle, also William John May was born 28 Sep 1855 at 1 Andersons Walk, Lambeth to Thomas & Sarah nee Burley, twin to John, and christened 21 Oct 1855 at St Mary's. He can be seen in censuses of 1861 at Anderson's Walk with parents &sibs, then 1871 at 2 Garden Terrace, Goding Street. On 14 Mar 1875 at St Mary Newington he married Ellen Hodd
I shall be dealing with the Hodds soon, so more later. They had 5 daughters over the next 10 years, although two died, and the baptism records showed a different address each time! They roamed from 8 Queen Street, Southwark in 1879, William listed as "Soap Cutter", to 25 Union Street, Lambeth, a "Soap Maker" in 1882 (when his father lived with them, unemployed), to 34 Lancaster Street in 1884, 57 Surrey Street 1886 & 16 Market Street, Borough Road,in 1889, all in Southwark, in all listed as simple "Labourer". 1881 census had shown them at 7 Pontypool Place, Southwark with baby Rosina & his parents.

On 20 Dec 1890 in Southwark, aged 35, he died of Heart Disease. (1891 census shows Ellen with 2 daughters & her brother & sister visiting, at 146 Regent Street, Lambeth).

Sunday 22nd June 2014

William Frank May was born Jan 1839 in Lambeth, probably Berkeley Street, to John & Mary Ann nee Maxwell, and christened 13 Jun 1841 at St Mary's at the age of 2 with his baby sister Mary

He can be seen in census return of 1841 at Berkeley Street, with father & sibs, then in 1851 aged 12 at Priory Road, Kennington with aunt & uncle & family. On Christmas Day 1860 at St Saviour, Chelsea he married Mary Ann Hall

Unusually for those days, they already had a daughter Harriet, who was by then 2 years old, and it was only when Rebecca was expected that they married. They lived in Hans Place, Chelsea, named after Hans Sloane, who developed the area,

and can be seen there in census of 1861 (although oddly the census-taker appears to think it is called Ann's Place. It is still there now, still called after its creator!) Also in the household can be seen 2 daughters & William's 3 siblings, as their parents had died a few years before. William is listed as a Waterman/Lighterman - maybe I should explain the difference. As I said yesterday, a Thames Waterman ran a kind of water-taxi service on the River ferrying passengers around & across the Thames.

A Lighterman did the same with goods, carrying freight & cargo instead of people. They were licensed, like London taxi-cabs and had a restricted range (within tidal reach, I understand). William's training with his father had been cut short by his father's death in 1858, when he was still 4 years short of his release of apprenticeship. Another master had trained him up and by 1862 he "graduated". By 1871 census they had moved to Battersea and he was a Waterman in his own right. They lived at 34a Wayland Road, Battersea [now considered Clapham Junction and only commemmorated in the name of the Wayland Estate] with two daughters & his sister. Over the next few decades they hopped around Battersea, seen in censuses at 27 Benfield Street, in 1881, 27 Warsill Street in 1891 and 73 Chatham Street in 1901 [all of these roads have been renamed and rebuilt over the years]. Mary Ann died in Battersea in Jan 1908, so in census of 1911 William can be seen widowed, living with his daughter Rebecca & her 2 children at 33 Mossbury Road
On daughter Alice's marriage certificate in 1908 she gave his occupation as "Captain Mercantile Marines". I cannot find any further documentation to support this, and she may have been speaking of the past, as he was by then 69 years old. In 1911 daughter Rebecca wrote on the census form "Waterman & Lighterman". He died in Oct 1914 in Battersea aged 75.

Saturday 21st June 2014

Thomas Joshua May continued. Following his movements in electoral roll records he can be seen in 1907 at 26 Goda Street, where he & brother William each rented a 1st floor furnished room from their father "with use of other rooms", and after his discharge from the Royal Marines he can be seen at 18 Princes Square with parents & various siblings until 1929 at least. In Jul 1932 in Lambeth he married Muriel Dorothy Orris-Bird. She had been born in Westminster but brought up in Essex.

In Oct 1940 he was called up again as "Temporary Lieutenant" (no doubt temporary because he was by then 56 years old - he has (WK) by his name which may mean "Watchkeeping"). His service continued until 1944, although on 23 Feb 1942 he received a Long-Service Medal, which was sent to Muriel at 83 Bedford Avenue, Hayes, Middlesex.

As they had no children, it is difficult to track them when they left London, but at (or before) Muriel's mother's death in 1951, they lived at 45 Endsleigh Gardens, Ilford and remained there until they themselves died there, Tom in Jan 1961 & Muriel in 1975.
[these 2 photos taken at Llandudno, Wales, where Muriel's grandparents lived]

Thomas William May was born Oct 1842 in Broad Street, Lambeth to Thomas & Sarah nee Burley and christened on Christmas Day 1842 at St Mary's. As outlined below, the family lived at Vauxhall Walk in 1851, then 5 Harts Place, Andersons Walk in 1861. In the latter census Thomas William was aged 19 & listed as "labourer in bone yard". This place was apparently a source of much discontent in the local area, as the bones were kept there for long periods of time, the contents scooped out to make soap & glue (probably at the soap-works where his father & brother worked). You can imagine how rank they became & the area was right next to the river, which was not at its best at this time (used as a sewer & general drain), generally accepted as the reason for the Lambeth cholera outbreak of 1849, centred in this very area.

[photo of Alfred Hunt's bone works in Fore Street, nearby, in 1860]
In Oct 1865 at St John the Evangelist church, Waterloo, he married Martha Mary Hunt from Devon, witnesses were his parents.
In 1871 census they can be seen at 39 St Helens Place, Clerkenwell, Thomas working as a labourer, 1881 at 39 Victoria Road, Islington, coal merchant's labourer (one cannot say he avoided the dirty jobs!) and Martha working as a Char (cleaner). Here they lived with a Silver-plate Worker & his family, also two lodgers.

By 1891 they were at 45 Alfred Street [now Elia Street, modern blocks] then in 1901 at 36 Pulteney Street [apparently demolished in 1970s and turned into a park], both in Islington. Martha died in Islington in 1914, but there are several versions of Thomas (one a fish porter, which would round off his career nicely) in 1911, none of which fits completely, and deaths likewise.

There are several Williams in this tree. The most senior was born around 1790, married a lady called Ann in approx 1811 & had 5 children, originally a Thames Waterman (a kind of Water-Taxi service), then a Shoemaker in middle age. They lived in Lambeth High Street until 1818, then Bishops Walk, then by 1826 Stangate Street (see Sarah 13th June). I cannot find them in 1841 census, although in that same year son Thomas stated on his marriage that his father was a shoemaker but not that he was deceased.

The other "plain" William May was his eldest son, born Apr 1812 in Lambeth and christened 24 May 1812 at St Mary's, while they lived at High Street. He can be seen on census of 1841 in Belvedere Road, Lambeth, working as a carman, but he soon took to the water & followed his father into the occupation of Waterman. He was listed as such on 1851 census at 8 Edward Road, where he was lodging, along with sister Mary and her "surprise" son Charles (see 30th May). I lose track of him in censuses of 1861 & 1871 but he pops up again in records in Apr 1873 when he was living at 6 Wellington Road, Stockwell when he died aged 62 & was subsequently buried in one of the reused plots in Lambeth Cemetery in Norwood.

Friday 20th June 2014

Sorry I haven't spent a lot of time here lately. Life has been very busy.

Thomas May was born Apr 1817 to William & Ann, at the house in Lambeth High Street, and christened 13 Jul 1817 at St Mary's

I cannot find him in census of 1841, taken in June, but we know where he was, as on 18 Oct that year at St Mary Newington he married Sarah Burley, who was working as a servant, living with her parents in Broad Street (now part of Black Prince Road)
photo 1915
Thomas worked as a "soap-boiler", and his place of work must have been the soap works in Broad Street, on the left of the picture above & shown in the map below (1830):

In 1851 census they can be seen with 4 children, in Vauxhall Walk (runs up the middle of the map above), with Sarah's brother John & family. Then in 1871 they are nearby, at 5 Harts Place, off Anderson's Walk, with 5 children. The soapworks closed and was moved to Liverpool and in 1871 census Thomas calls himself ordinary "labourer", probably picking up odd jobs. They lived at 2 Garden Terrace, Goding Street:
In 1881 census they can be seen living with son William & his family at 7 Pontypool Place, Southwark, and Thomas aged 64 is listed as "soap maker unemployed"

[off Blackfriars Road, photo 2012]
Thomas died here 7 May 1885 aged 68 of apoplexy & Sarah can be seen in 1891 census at 10 Saville Place, off Lambeth Walk (next to Berkeley Street, where many family members lived) where she died in 1898 aged 79.

His grandson (& Cliff's uncle) Thomas Joshua May was born Sep 1884 at 70 Webber Street, Lambeth (close to Pontypool Place above) to John & Martha nee Hodd, and christened 5 Oct 1884 at Walworth All Saints [damaged in WW2, rebuilt & no picture exists of the old building, sadly]. As stated above & elsewhere, Thomas senior died in 1885 and this may have prompted son John's move to Leicester, as they had worked together in the soap-works. So, by the census of 1891, Thomas Joshua can be seen there aged 6 at 1 Yarm Terrace with parents & sibs. I have told this story on 25th May, that the new Leicester Station was built there and they returned to London. In 1892 Thomas was with the rest of the family at 90 Tyers Street, Vauxhall [Tyers Street is still there, but the even numbers now allotments]

[map 1888 shows Tyers Street running N-S to right of centre, Goda Street just visible at top right corner]
In 1901 census they can be seen at 26 Goda Street, Thomas aged 16 listed as Draper's Porter. I cannot be sure when, but around 1905 he joined the Royal Marines, and in 1911 census can be seen at Eastney Barracks, Portsmouth, listed as a Gunner in the Royal Marines Artillery
photo 1924
In Aug 1912 he was stationed on board HMS Britannia, battle ship from Portsmouth, Gunner in the 3rd battle squadron.
photo 1910
In Oct 1913 he joined HMS Dreadnought, one of 6 Gunners & he had "instructional duties" (sort of Team Leader, I imagine)
photo 1906
He remained on the Dreadnought until in Aug 1915, when he was promoted to Sergeant and posted to HMS Malaya as Mate. They were involved in the Battle of Jutland, hit by 8 shells & many were killed.
Tom was lucky & in Aug 1917 was promoted to Lieutenant, given his own small craft the Lanner, an auxiliary small craft used as a patrol boat. What he did & where he patrolled still eludes me but on 20 Sep 1918 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for courage in his service there

He also received the routine 3 WW1 medals & was discharged with a pension.

<to be continued>

Friday 13th June 2014 (oooo)

Sarah May was born Sep 1818 at Bishops Walk, Lambeth to William & Ann & was christened 13 Jan 1819 at St Mary's (next door)
Bishops Walk 1800

Unfortunately I cannot find, or cannot confirm, any marriages or censuses for her, so have to conclude that she was the 8-year-old Sarah May of Stangate Street, who was buried at St Mary's on 25 Sep 1826.
(St Mary's is just at the very bottom of this map)
Stangate Street 1950

Sarah Elizabeth May was born Apr 1845 in Berkeley Street, Lambeth to John & Mary Ann nee Maxwell and can be seen with them in census return of 1851 at 6 Wellington Street, Chelsea. As I have mentioned a few times before, both parents died within a couple of years of each other and left 7 children. As Sarah was 16 at the time of the census she can be seen employed as a nursemaid at 13 Kingsland Place, Hackney (apparently demolished in 1970s), and then in 1871 she can be seen working as housemaid to a church minister & family at 4 Woburn Place, Hackney. In 1881 she can be seen aged 36 at Fairholm, Rusper, Sussex (a lovely country area), working as General Servant. By 1891 she has moved back to London & can be seen aged 46, Cook in the household of an upholsterer (one of 5 staff). In 1901 they are at 57 Campden Hill Road, which may be the same place renumbered, who knows

In 1911 she was still in Kensington, employed as a part-time housekeeper at 52 Acklam Road and living off a private pension [nowadays Acklam Road is underneath the Westway and the buildings on it are modern]. She seems to be doing well up to this point, but the death record that best matches is one which occurred at the Tooting Bec Asylum. If this was her she left effects worth £324 to Alice Fanny May, spinster, who I must admit I do not know about & must investigate. I understand that this hospital became a specialised unit for patients with senile dementia from 1924, but she died here on 15 Sep 1921 aged 76.

Thursday 12th June 2014

Rosina Amy May was born Sep 1889 at 16 Marshall Street, off Borough Road, Southwark to William & Ellen nee Hodd and christened 6 Oct 1889 at St Alphege, Southwark [no pic survives, as I have noted before]. She can be seen in census return of 1891 aged 18 months at 146 Regent Street, Lambeth with her mother, 2 sisters & visiting uncle & aunt (father died when she was a year old)
[Regent Street was renamed Ethelred Street by the time of above map]
In 1901 she can be seen aged 11 at 46 Princes Place with mother & 2 sisters [became part of Black Prince Road] and in 1911 at 8 Goda Street, a 21-year-old dressmaker with her mother. On 12 Jan 1918 at Christ Church, North Brixton she married William Henry Freeman
He had been a tiler in 1911 but by 1918 had fought in WW1 as a soldier, so gave that as his occupation. I cannot track down his war record, as there are many with this very common name and none matches perfectly. They had two daughters, Olive born in 1919 in Poplar (as far as I can see they did not live there, so maybe it was a hospital etc) and June in 1928 in Lambeth. Electoral roll records show that they lived at 4 Langton Road, Kennington (a turning off Vassall Road, where Aunt Phoebe lived - see 6th June - a couple of decades later) from 1920 to 1927 at least. By 1930 they had moved to Kirkwood Road, Peckham and stayed there until records cease in 1961, first at no. 45 then 55 [ 4 Langton Road & 45 Kirkwood Road I suspect may have been bomb-damaged in WW2 at they are modern houses amongst older ones. Here is no. 55:]

Rosina died here Oct 1961 aged 72 & William Oct 1963 aged 76.

Monday 9th June 2014

Phyllis G J May was born Apr 1903 in Thame, Oxfordshire to Charles & Georgina nee Edwards & can be seen in census return of 1911 aged 7 at 64 Park Street with parents & sibs

In Oct 1922 in Bradfield, Berkshire she married Henry Giles from Wallingford, then in Berkshire, now in Oxfordshire and they settled there, raising one son William. I am told Phyllis died there around about 1953 and Henry in 1978.

Rachel Sarah May was born Jan 1858 in Lambeth to Thomas & Sarah nee Burley (penultimate child) & christened at St Mary's 28 Feb 1858.

She can be seen on census return of 1861 aged 3 at 5 Harts Place, Anderson's Walk with parents & sibs, as also 1871 with them aged 13 at 2 Garden Terrace, Goding Street. Unfortunately she vanishes at this point - most likely marries someone elsewhere or goes somewhere I can't trace.

Rebecca Sophia May was born Feb 1861 at 9a Ann's Place, Chelsea to William & Mary Ann nee Hall and was christened 19 May 1861 at Holy Trinity

She can be seen there on census of 1861 aged 1 month with parents & sibs and young uncle & aunts (see her sister Harriet 21st May), then in 1871 aged 10 at 34a Wayland Street, Battersea with parents, siter & aunt. In 1881 she can be seen aged 20 at 27 Benfield Street with parents, sister & cousin, working as a cigar-maker (as was sister Alice, probably at nearby Lambert & Butler factory). On Christmas Day 1882 at St Mary's Battersea she married William Henry Bull, an "lamp & oil man" from Camberwell.

They had 6 children, but 3 died in infancy. In census of 1891 she can be seen at 8 Rust Square, Camberwell with 2 children and a family of lodgers [although 1-7 Rust Square are still original, No. 8 may have sustained damage in wartime, as it is now new-build]. Unfortunately William died in Oct 1892 just before he turned 40, so in census return of 1901 she is a widow, at 73 Chatham Street, Battersea with her parents, 4 children, her sister and her children (see Alice), both sisters cigar makers. In 1911 Rebecca was still with her father, who had been widowed himself, at 33 Mossbury Road, Battersea with 2 children, still working as cigar maker.

From at least 1929 to 1939 she can be seen in electoral roll records at 26 Heath Villas, Cargill Road, Wandsworth with daughter Rebecca Emmett and family

I think she went with them when they moved to Walberton, Sussex and died aged 95 in Oct 1956

Friday 6th June 2014

Olive Eileen May was born 23 Mar 1927 in Lambeth to Jack & Daisy nee Mayes. In Oct 1948 at Margate, Kent (his home town) she married fisherman David Eric Phillis (known as Dave). He had been living at 10 Oakden Street, Lambeth in the 1940s when she lived at no. 3 opposite:
no.3 no.10
Dave moved into no. 3 with Olive & her parents & I can see from electoral roll records that they were there until about 1956, when they got a place of their own at 80 Manwood Road, Lewisham

They can be seen there until records cease in 1965, and when Dave died in Oct 1984 it was in the Greenwich area nearby. Olive then went to Eastbourne to be with her mother in her final year, then died herself there in Jun 1991 aged 64.

Phoebe Mary May (Aunt Phoeb) was born Jan 1903 at 26 Goda Street, Lambeth

to John & Martha nee Hodd & was christened 20 Sep 1905 at St Mary the Less church aged 2, with two of her sisters

She can be seen aged 8 on 1911 census at 22 Berkeley Street, Lambeth with mother & sibs, her father having died when she was two years old.
In Jan 1928 she married Francis Walter Hewitson (Uncle Frank), I don't know at which church). He had been born at 66 Walnut Tree Walk (see map above) and was a milkman. For a few years prior to their marriage he lived with his family at 46 Prince's Square, and if this sounds familiar it is where Ethel (Phoebe's sister) lived with her family at that time at no. 18. this may well have been how they met. After their marriage they settled in 49 Holland Street, which was renamed Caldwell Street (if you are interested in this street there is a detailed history on: http://ovalhistory.co.uk/a-guide-to-each-street-in-my-project/about-caldwell-street/). no. 49 was on the left side here - all gone now. Incidentally - or maybe not - the building on the left of this picture is called Holland Dairy - maybe where Frank worked?
When records resume after WW2 they appear at 82 Vassall Road (named for the land-owner Henry Vassall, who was incidentally Baron Holland and had given the previous name) - a rather handsome building, now listed

They had one daughter, Jean, who grew up here and joins them at that address on the final electoral roll records of the early 1960s. In 1963 Frank retired and they all moved to Basingstoke in Hampshire. Unfortunately Frank died there in Jan 1969 aged 71. In later years, widowed sisters Phoebe and Ethel moved into a bungalow in Basingstoke together and it was there that I met them in the late 1970s. Phoebe died there in Nov 2001 aged 98.

Thursday 5th June 2014

Florence Maud May was born Jan 1885 in Thame, Oxfordshire to Charles & Elizabeth nee Hawes and can be seen with the famly at Middle Row in 1891 then aged 16 at 19 East Street, in the latter listed as a Milliner's Assistant. In 1911 census she has left home and can be seen in Covent Garden, London, boarding at the Bedford Head Hotel, along with a lot of other shop workers etc. She is by now 26 and listed as a Shop Assistant, Drapery. [This hotel was founded in1739 as the Dukes Head, rebuilt in 1873 & renamed Bedford Head, then in 1984 again renamed, now the Maple Leaf]

On 2 Oct 1928 she was living in Herne Hill, London SE24 when she boarded the HMS Moreton Bay, one of 5 specially commissioned ships for the popular assisted-migration policy of the time, and sailed off for Melbourne, Australia, after which I cannot trace her.

Leslie Frank May was born 1 Apr 1905 in Thame to Charles & Georgina nee Edwards. He can be seen on census return of 1911 aged 6 at 64 Park Street, Thame with parents & sibs
The next we see of him is in Oct 1935 at Ploughley, Oxfordshire, when he married Doris May Haskett (so says the marriage record - I can only find births for Doris Hesketh). They had 2 sons in the Ploughley area (which at this time included Thame), Kenneth died aged 17 in 1957 but Raymond went on to marry Lindsey Thatcher and may well still live in the region. Doris died in Apr 1971 & Leslie a year later, also in the Ploughley area, then called Bullingdon.

Ena Constance May was born 20 Mar 1907 in Thame to Charles & Georgina nee Edwards. She can be seen aged 4 at 64 Park Street with parents & sibs (see above) in 1911 census. In Jul 1941 at Ploughley, Oxon she married Eric C Pearce. Ena died Jan 1993 in Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire but I cannot confirm Eric's death as there are surprisingly many with that name.

Gertrude Olive May is the last of the "new branch", born Jan 1909 in Thame to Charles & Georgina & seen in census of 1911 aged 2 at 64 Park Street with parents & sibs. In Jul 1943 in Ploughley, she married Carl I Starup. Unfortunately I cannot find any further trace of them in this country and it is a common name in certain parts of the world. I am told she died in Denmark, and I do not have access to records for there.

Wednesday 4th June 2014

Charles William May was born 15 Jun 1883 in Thame. Oxfordshire to Charles & Elizabeth nee Hawes. He can be seen aged 7 in census return of 1891 in Middle Row, Thame with parents & 3 sisters. I don't know where he is in 1901, as he isn't at home with them. In Jan 1903 he was working as a cleaner on the railways at Oxford Station, but this only lasted a year. He may well have tried several jobs but we next see him boarding a ship for Canada in 1907, meeting a fellow Brit and marrying her. On 15 Sep 1908 at Hatley North Anglican Church of St Barnabas, Quebec he married Jessie Elizabeth Cherrill from London.

They settled in Black Lake (Lac Noir) and had 3 children. The census of 1911 shows them there with daughter Vida. They had 2 daughters there, then by 1921 they had moved to Varing Garden, Weston, Ontario & can be seen in census with 3 children. His occupation is a little worrying in 1911, as it looks like "Mine Asbest", which I can only read as that he mines asbestos! But by 1921 he is a "Finisher" - although it doesn't say what he finishes! Talking of which, I cannot finish this story as I have no death records. In the Spring of 1948 daughter Vida (an Employment Officer) went on a trip on the Queen Mary to visit whoever lived at 5 Nolton Place, Camrose Avenue, Edgware, Middlesex

and gave her home address (where her mother Jessie also lived) as 27 Macdonald Avenue, Weston, Ontario

No sooner had she reached England than she returned to America. I can find no further trace (despite the excellent name for tracing).

Friday 30th May 2014

Mary Elizabeth May continued
Mary and Joseph Westcott lived in Lambeth for a while after their marriage as they had a son there. I cannot find them on the 1861 census but we do know from birth records that the next child was born in Deptford, so by 1859 they must have been living there. The 1871 census shows them at 5-7 Deptford High Street, where Joseph probably had a shoe business, [unfortunately this shop has been replaced with a modern building] and 4 children, one Frank aged 12 an Errand Boy. In 1881 census they can be seen at 2 Stanley Street, Deptford with 3 children, the two girls dressmakers, Joseph junior a "General Labourer Out of Employ". Mary died aged 64 in Jul 1886 and Joseph aged 75 in Jan 1888, both in Deptford.

Her son Charles May was born illegitimately in Jan 1844 in Lambeth and can be seen in 1851 census aged 7 at 8 Edward Street, with his mother and uncle, as I said. He appears in the census of 1861 aboard HMS Calypso, a Royal Navy Vessel, as a Boy 1st Class - the occupation we saw for James Edward (see 22nd May). It is described as: "a boy between 16 & 18 years of age, under training, who had previously served for 9-18 months rated as Boy 2nd Class and shown sufficient proficiency in seamanship and accumulated at least one good conduct badge".
HMS Calypso
In 1871 he is listed with the Royal Navy again, this time at Minster, Sheerness, Isle of Sheppey, his occupation given as "Sails". [Oddly, his 1st cousin twice removed (Cliff) would come to live in the same village a century later!] He was married in Thame, Oxfordshire 1880 to Elizabeth Louisa Hawes. In census return of 1881 he can be seen aboard HMS Lord Warden, anchored at Queensferry, West Lothian, Scotland (where James also appeared 10 years later). Charles is listed as "Sailmaker Petty Officer" on board ship, but his wife also listed him at home, West Terrace, Queensferry, with their year-old daughter Eiley. [This misunderstanding still confuses people today, and there are still some who end up being in two places at once at census time!]
HMS Lord Warden
West Terrace today
In about 1883 they moved "down south" to Elizabeth's home town of Thame, Oxfordshire and can be seen on census of 1891 at Middle Row, Thame, where Charles appears to be running a sweet shop. They had two more children there and can be seen with all 4 on the census return.

Elizabeth died in Apr 1900 aged 56 and Charles quickly married again at the age of 57 to a 29-year-old! In Jan 1901 in Thame he married Georgina Edwards from Chilton, Buckinghamshire and they can be seen on census return a few weeks later at 19 East Street with his two daughters & a boarder, Charles a Naval Pensioner. In 1911 they can be seen at 64 Park Street, Thame with 5 "new" children

Charles died here aged 71 in Oct 1914. Georgina did not remarry and died in Oxfordshire in Oct 1951 aged 80.

As I have missed them out, I will deal with his family now.
Eiley Mary Munsey May was born 12 Dec 1879 in Linlithgow, Scotland and can be seen on census returns of 1881 in Scotland & 1891 in Thame with her mother, as above. She can be seen in census of 1901 boarding at 18 Cheneys Road, Cann Hall, Wanstead, Essex, working as a schoolmistress

then in 1911 at 108 Durham Road, Manor Park similarly boarding & working as an Elementary School teacher.

I cannot track her further through electoral roll records, as her lovely name does not appear. I fear she used the name Mary - and there are many of those! She died in Oct 1969 in Epping, Essex aged 90. The only other record I have come across is a local newspaper article about a concert at Thame British School, which praises the singing and piano skills of Eiley and her sister Ethel, performing their own compositions.

Ethel Louise May was born 17 Sep 1881 in Linlithgow, Scotland to Charles & Elizabeth, and in 1891 census she can be seen with parents & sibs at Middle Row, Thame aged 9. In 1901 census she can be seen with her father, step-mother & sister Florence at 19 East Street, Thame, aged 19 & listed as schoolteacher. On 3 Dec 1908 at St Paul's church, Ealing she married John Albert Alexander Streaks (no, honestly!) an explosives works' manager from Cowley, Oxford.

In 1911 census return they can be seen at Ivy Bank, Colnbrook, Middlesex. and are there until 1913 in electoral rolls. After this they cannot be found, and I suspect this is because they moved back to Oxford, as that was where John was when he died aged on 5 Apr 1924. He left effects worth £1505 to two brothers-in-law - he had six sisters - one a Controller of Oxford University Press and the other a chemist's assistant. On 8 Aug 1950 Ethel decided she had had enough of Britain and set off for Montreal, Canada on board the "Empress of France", stating her intention to settle in Canada.

However, the following March she returned on the same ship. Evidently Canada was not to her taste or she didn't really mean to emigrate. She remained in this country until she died in Apr 1978 in Epping, Essex - where her sister Eiley lived.

Thursday 29th May 2014

Mary Elizabeth May was born Sep 1821 in Bishop's Walk, Lambeth

[this watercolour depicts this road in 1800 - the corner of Lambeth Palace just showing - now it is called Lambeth Palace Road & the site taken up with St Thomas' Hospital]
to William & Ann & christened 10 Oct 1821 at St Mary's church.

She was there again at St Mary's 24 Jul 1853 to marry Joseph Westcott. She had been with her father living in Griffin Street [nowu nder Waterloo Station] in 1841, then in 1851 lodging nearby at 8 Edward Street [now a bridge and some railway arches] with her brother and a child who has caused me much surprise - and thrown out my plans! She is at this time a "Servant Out Of Place" and this term was usually used for girls who became pregnant while working as a servant and were subsequently thrown out by their employers (although it was often a member of the household who caused this condition.) On the census return for 1851 she has an illegitimate son Charles May. [As I deal with members of each tree in alphabetic order, Charles would have already come up, so he has thrown my plans into disarray, especially as he subsequently married twice and produced 9 other Mays I didn't know about!] As was often the case with illegitimate sons, he joined the navy, so we do not see him again in these records. I will deal with him & his family later. As I stated above, on 24 Jul 1853 at St Mary's, she married Joseph Westcott. He had been born in Devon but had come to Lambeth to live with his sister in Catherine Street (see map below on Sunday, off Glasshouse Walk), working as a shoemaker from home, where his sister was likewise a tailoress.   <to be continued>

Monday 26th May 2014

Cliff's uncle John May 4 was always called Jack - for obvious reasons with all these Johns about! He was born 28 May 1897 at 26 Goda Street, Lambeth

[map 1940 shows "new" names]
He can be seen on census return of 1901 aged 3 at 26 Goda Street with parents & sibs, then in 1911 aged 13 at 24 Berkeley Street with parents & 3 sisters. I have lots of photos of him in uniform but am unfortunately unable to track down his army records (it might be the name - John May is very common and Jack May doesn't seem to exist)
In Jul 1922 in St Saviour Southwark area he married local girl Daisy Elizabeth Mayes (didn't change her name much did she?) They moved into 3 Oakden Street and lived there for many years
They had two daughters; Joan (see Saturday) and Olive. Jack was an engine driver and Union Chairman. It was said of him he was "straight, able, respected by all and able to see both sides of any issue". He was also Chairman of the SE & CR Engineman's Sick Society, which had 5000 members and was "very busy especially at Christmas when the members withdrew funds to buy turkeys". He drove the Golden Arrow on the London to Folkestone route for many years (The Boat Train Link).

These photos were taken around the time of his retirement in 1954, and a few years later he & Daisy retired to Eastbourne, Sussex. He died there in Jan 1981 aged 83 and Daisy in Feb 1984 aged 87.

Julietta Christina May
(aka Julia) was born Apr 1860 in Anderson's Walk, Lambeth to Thomas & Sarah nee Burley and christened at St Mary's on 22 Jul 1860 (see below for pics of church & font - also details of Andersons Walk area). She can be seen in census return of 1861 aged 9 months with parents & sibs, then in 1871 aged 11 at 2 Garden Terrace, Goding Street with them. On Christmas Day 1879 at All Saints, Walworth (became Newington) she married Henry Shuard and they settled at 24 New Street, Southwark. They can be seen there in census of 1881, Julia ironing shirts & Henry a general labourer. They had no children but I suspect this was the cause of Julia's death aged 22 in Apr 1883 - childbirth was a dangerous thing in those days! Henry married Susan Smith in 1884 then died himself in 1888.

Her niece Julia Hetty Christina May (a confusingly similar name) was born Sep 1884 in Lancaster Street, Southwark to William & Ellen nee Hodd and christened 19 Oct 1884 at St Alphege church. Her father died when she was 5 and she can be seen the following year on census return aged 6 at 146 Regent Street, Lambeth with mother (oddly called Eliza) & sister, with a visiting uncle & aunt Richard & Ellen Hodd (mother's brother & his wife). In 1901 census she is aged 16 at 46 Princes Road with mother & 2 sisters, working as a "Brace & Belt Machinist" (I think this meant using a machine to make small leather articles of clothing). On 26 Dec 1910 at St Philips church, Lambeth

she married Bertie Rogers but unfortunately he didn't last long! They can be seen on census return of 1911 at 52 Gladstone Street, Southwark, Bertie listed as a compositor and Julia machinist (This house has now gone but it is a very nice road). He died in Jul 1913 aged 33 and on Christmas Day 1917 at St Catherine's church, Hatcham, Lewisham she married Robert Henry Mortimore and they had one son Robert Stanley Mortimore

They can be seen from electoral roll records to be living in Peabody Buildings, Southwark Street for some years
until Robert died in 1955, then Julia remained there until records end in 1960. She died Oct 1967 in North Surrey, which will be not far away from there.

Sunday 25th May 2014

John May 2 was born Jun 1814 in Lambeth (High Street according to baptism records) to William & Ann and christened 13 Jul 1814 at St Mary's (for pic see son John1 below). On 14 Sep 1836 at St Mark's, Kennington he married Mary Ann Maxwell from Newington

In 1841 census John can be seen at home in Berkeley Street, Lambeth with 3 children, including 6-month-old baby Mary but Mary Ann was in St George's Hospital (at that time at Hyde Park Corner). John was a Thames Waterman/Lighterman. In 1851 census they had moved to 6 Wellington Street, Chelsea and there were 5 children. By the time she died aged 35 in 1853 (in St George's Hospital) Mary Ann had produced 8 children but 2 had died in infancy. John followed in Oct 1856.

My husband's great-grandfather John May3 was born 28 Sep 1855 at 1 Anderson's Walk, Lambeth at 11.00am, a twin to William, to Thomas & Sarah nee Burley and they were christened 21 Oct 1855 at St Mary's (see below for pic of church - here is the font).

Anderson's Walk was a lane off Lambeth Walk

seen here in 1932 (was demolished 1936) looking charming, but in John's time was rife with cholera (Dr John Snow published his paper linking the disease to water supply in the year of John's birth and the wholesale clearing of the area was a century off) and Harts Place, where they lived was described by Charles Booth, the famous philanthropist & reporter of London's conditions of poverty 40 years later, as "moderately poor". The railway by then cut the road into 2 parts, the better end in the drawing above. By census of 1851 they had moved around the corner to 2 Garden Terrace, Goding Street
at the bottom left of the map, off Glasshouse Walk (named after an 18th century Plateglass House on the site a century before. All this area was the site of Royal Doulton potteries, and they made glassware too). Garden Terrace was named for Vauxhall Gardens seen on map above, just going off the bottom, a famous Pleasure Garden of the 18th century, which had recently been built on. I cannot locate him for sure in 1881 but can see Martha, living at John Street (renamed Gundulf Street in 1893) to the right of centre on above map. On 21 Feb 1882 at All Saints Newington he married Martha Hodd, the sister of Ellen, who his twin had married in 1875. This church is gone, as it was severely damaged by wartime bombing. John was working as a soap-maker, like (?with) his father. There was a large soapworks near to where they lived in his early years and his father may have worked there all his working life. John & Martha lived in Lambeth for a few years and had 2 sons there, then moved to Leicester for a few years, as I have previously related, where John worked as a shoe-maker. It may have been his father's death in 1885 that prompted the move. In 1891 census he can be seen at 1 Yarm Terrace, Black Friars, Leicester with 3 children. This was a terrace of 5 houses, almost all involved in the shoemaking industry, which was very important in Leicester at the time, off All Saints Road, and became the site of the new Leicester Central Station (built 1895-9)

By Jun 1892 they were back in Lambeth - Alice was born there then - at 90 Tyers Street (can be seen on the map above, leading from Vauxhall Gardens to the end of Lambeth Walk) and John was working as a potter, presumably at the Royal Doulton works (90 Tyers Street was around about the corner of Glasshouse Walk)

[Royal Doulton building today]
The 1901 census shows him at 26 Goda Street, Lambeth with 6 children (shown as Caroline Street on map above - next to where Martha grew up).
John died on 5 Apr 1905 at 23 Royal Street, Lambeth aged just 49, of "fatty degeneration of heart", informant his son William. This may have been a building of St Thomas' Hospital, as they were still living at Goda Street. In 1911 census Martha can be seen at 22 Berkeley Street with 5 children but by 1920 she had moved across the main road to 18 Princes Square as can be seen there in electoral roll records in the 1920s and died there in January 1929.

Saturday 24th May 2014

Joan E May was born Jan 1933 at 3 Oakden Street, Lambeth to Jack & Daisy nee Mayes and lived there with parents & sister Olive

In Jan 1953 in Lambeth she married Trevor G Brooks who Cliff called "Something in The City". In 1965 I can see from Electoral Roll records that they lived at 3 Hawkurst Way, West Wickham, Kent, but the records cease at that point at the moment and I cannot find death records, so I imagine they are still around.

There are a few John Mays, so I will number them for clarity, as I have done before.
John May 1 was born Jul 1837 at Berkeley Street, Lambeth to John & Mary Ann nee Maxwell (the first of their 8 children) and christened 6 Aug at St Mary's

He can be seen in census of 1841 in Berkeley Street with father & sibs, his mother being in St George's Hospital. In 1851 census he is at 6 Wellington Street, Chelsea with parents & sibs, but by 1861 census both parents have died & the younger children have gone to live with 2nd son William. I think John may be working as a servant in the Hanover Arms, Rye Lane, Peckham (an unknown possible relative lives next door, a widow Mrs Maria May), however, as the place of birth is slightly wrong and I cannot find a subsequent marriage record etc to match up, I shall have to leave this there

Friday 23rd May 2014

Jessie May was born Jan 1852 at 6 Wellington Street, Chelsea to John & Mary Ann nee Maxwell. She can be seen in census return of 1861 aged 8 at 9a Ann's Place, Chelsea with brother William & his family, she was deaf. Her mother died a year later - I don't know whether this was related, one of these days I must buy the death certificate. Then her father died when she was only 4 and the 3 youngest went to live with their brother as he had children of his own (see Emma & Edward). In 1871 census she can be seen to have gone with William & family to 34a Wayland Street, Battersea. On 5 Oct 1875 at Holy Trinity, Lambeth (witnessed by brother William May & his wife Mary Ann)

she married James Christopher Dudley, a widowed Thames lighterman. He had been married for 18 months when his first wife died, and oddly enough, when they had been married 18 months Jessie died aged 25 in Apr 1877. He remarried the following year, had 8 children and died aged 72 of prostate cancer in 1923.

Thursday 22nd May 2014

James Edward May
was born Apr 1845 at 67 Vauxhall Walk, Lambeth to Thomas & Sarah nee Burley (i.e. was Cliff's great-uncle) and was christened 28 Dec 1845 at St Mary's

He can be seen aged 6 in census return of 1851 at 67 Vauxhall Walk with parents & sibs, also his Uncle John Burley & family [this part is now Spring Gardens Court - blocks of flats]. In 1861 census he can be seen aged 16 on board Royal Navy Vessel the "Queen" off the coast of Beirut, Syria listed as a "Boy 1st Class" - on the last of 42 pages of crew names. He soon rose up the ranks though. In Navy Lists recently released his promotions can be seen - to Boatwain on 25 Jan 1873, to Chief Gunner on 16 Aug 1883, to Head Schoolmaster on 1 Jul 1889. This last item needs explaining: in 1890 list he can be seen aboard HMS Ganges, anchored in the Carrick Roads waterway off Falmouth, Devon, which was fitted out as a "training ship for boys". He was in charge of their education, a very senior post.

By the time he came to it, there had been some problems (in 1886) with reports of abuse of the trainees, but this had been addressed & corrected. (We have all heard stories of the punishment of these times in the navy - use of the "cat o' nine tails" etc). However, numbers did decline (478 in 1866) and in 1899 this ship was moved to Suffolk. James can be seen on census return of 1891 (taken in April) working as a steward aboard the Talbot

in Devonport, awaiting posting to HMS Caledonia anchored off Queensferry, Scotland, again as Head Schoolmaster in Sep 1891. He seems to spend many years being moved around - there were only 10-13 Naval Head Schoolmasters in the country and it appears they circulated.

In 1894 he was back in Plymouth aboard HMS St Vincent
1896 too
In 1898 he can be seen aboard the HMS Black Prince anchored off Queenstown, Cork
(these photos were taken in 1898, so he must be in there somewhere). I think this is probably him:

He remained here until 1904, unfortunately off the radar as far as the 1901 census goes. I cannot find him in 1911 either, but from 26 Nov 1912 he received a pension from the Greenwich Hospital (the naval version of the Chelsea Pensioners). There are records of his pension up to 1939, when he was paid as Head Schoolmaster, and there were only 5 of these left, he by far the eldest. I can't find a death record for him, mainly because I don't know where (or if) he settled on retirement.

Wednesday 21st May 2014

Harriet Charity May was born 10 Aug 1858 in Chelsea, London to William & Mary Ann nee Hall and christened 25 Mar 1860 at Holy Trinity, Chelsea

She can be seen in census return of 1861 census at 9a Ann Place, Chelsea with parents, sister & young aunt & uncle (Emma & Edward, just after their parents died). In 1871 & 1881 she can be seen at 7 Norman Street, St Luke, Chelsea with her aunts (mother's sisters) Sarah & Rebecca May, who are both unmarried laundresses, training up as a laundress herself. On 24 Sep 1882 at St Jude's Church, Chelsea she married William Frederick Crate from Battersea (where her parents were still living - directly opposite Chelsea on the River Thames)
They had 9 children, one died in infancy, and can be seen in census of 1891 at 8 Echo Street, Battersea with 3 daughters and Harriet's aunt Sarah Hall. In 1901 they are at 22 Colestown Street, Battersea with 7 children & 2 other couples (one is aunt Rebecca).

William was always described as labourer in crucible works, 2 daughters dressmakers and 2 daughters worked in a biscuit factory. In 1911 they can be seen at 94 Bridge Road West, Battersea (renamed Westbridge Road, and next to the Stag pub - now an indian restaurant - but there is a housing estate where no. 94 was. They remained there for some years, the electoral roll including various amusing allusions to people residing in sheds & stables at the rear, quite intriguing.) In 1935 they moved to 32 Mysore Road, Battersea

but not for long, as in 1937 they were at 24 Eccles Road, Battersea

William died in Jan 1940 aged 79 & Harriet 19 Mar 1943 in St James Hospital, Balham aged 84. [This hospital famously featured in the late 1970s-early 1980s TV series Angels, where it was called St Angela's. It closed in 1988 & was demolished 1992, now housing estate}.

She was living at 207a Latchmere Road at that time - only yards from where my husband lived when he was born 13 years later (she was his 2nd cousin twice removed)!

Tuesday 20th May 2014

Let us continue with grandmother Ethel Grace May. Along with her sister Beat she grew up in the network of turnings to the west of Kennington Road (see Friday) but soon the family moved across the road to Princes Square (this can be seen bottom right corner of the map, and was renamed Cleaver Square - probably due to confusion with Prince's Road aka Black Prince Road, almost opposite)

Originally the house was in eldest brother William's name, but gradually more detail is given on the electoral roll records, and by 1929 Martha, Tom, Ethel & Amy are listed there too. Martha died that year, so leaves the records, but her children continue.

In 1926 Ethel was working in Lambeth Walk, at Coppins, local grocer's which was later taken over by Sainsbury's, when she met Ernest Sidney Smith from Battersea, who had fought in WW1 for a short while, but was working in Coppins as a Provisions Checker.
1956 (by then Sainsbury's)
They fell in love & were married on 15 Apr 1933 at St Anselm's Church, Kennington Cross
1950  2014
It hasn't changed much. The best feature is the carved doorway

They continued living in what was now called Cleaver Square and Clifford and his twin Muriel were born 7 Jul 1934, although sadly Muriel was stillborn. Eric followed 5 years later and they grew up in Cleaver Square. I'm not sure exactly when they moved to 143 Kennington Park Road, but it was before 1956 when Cliff married (also at St Anselm's).

In 1941 Ernest was called up into the Army again, and sent to the Middle East as a bombadier. In Sep 1942 Ethel received a card from Cairo with a photograph of Ern & Jackie Pratt on a little leave,

they returned to their units and on 31 Oct in El Alamein, Ernest was killed. He was buried at the War Cemetery at El Alamein, Matruh.

Ethel had 2 boys of 3 years & 8 years to bring up alone.
  Ethel & Cliff 1935
Cliff married in 1956, and Eric emigrated to Australia. Ethel and her sister Phoebe moved to a bungalow in Basingstoke, Hampshire in their later years, and when I met them it was here, in the late 1970s.

Ethel died there in Jan 1983 aged 82.

Saturday 17th May 2014

Ethel Grace May is the main figure in this tree - my husband's grandmother. She was born 18 Oct 1900 at 26 Goda Street, Lambeth (can be seen on yesterday's map, crossing Regent Street; it was later renamed Doris Street) to John & Martha nee Hodd. She was christened aged almost 5 on 20 Sep 1905 along with her 2 youngest sisters at St Mary the Less, Prince's Road

She can be seen on census return of 1901 aged 5 months at 26 Goda Street, with parents & sibs, then aged 10 in that of 1911 at 24 Berkeley Street with mother & sibs, her father having died in 1905. [This road is just visible on yesterday's map, off Mill Street, parallel to Lambeth Walk, by this time most roads had been renamed & Mill Street is Juxon Street]

Friday 16th May 2014

Ellen Louisa May was born Nov 1882 (birth registered Jan 1883) at 25 Union Street, Lambeth (10 years later renamed Fitzalan Street) to William & Ellen nee Hodd and christened 17 Dec 1882 at St Alphege, Southwark [this church was brand new at the time, lasted a century then was replaced by modern flats. I cannot find a pic of the old church]. She can be seen on census return of 1891 aged 8 at 146 Regent Street, Lambeth [very nearby, also renamed Ethelread Street at about the same time] with her mother & two sisters, also her maternal uncle & aunt Richard & Ellen Hodd, who were visiting. In 1901 census she is seen living with mother & two sisters at 46 Princes Road [now Black Prince Road, also renamed but not until 1939], working as a "shop assistant in laundry"
map 1859
On 15 Feb 1908 at St Mark's church, Kennington she married George Charles Edward Hawkes and they lived in Willesden. 1911 census shows them at 24 Guisborough Road, Willesden with 2 sons, then by 1915 were living in Deptford, at 159 Manor Road. By 1918 they were at 49 St Norbert Road, Deptford & remained there until their deaths.
George actually died in the Miller Hospital 17 Sep 1951 aged 72 & left effects worth £188 to Ellen, she died Dec 1968 aged 86. They had no further children.

Emma May was born Oct 1850 in Lambeth to John & Mary Ann nee Maxwell and her early years were as Edward (see below). In 1861 she was also staying with elder brother and aged 11 was working as a servant. In 1871 she can be seen visiting in Clayton Street, Lambeth (right by the Oval cricket ground & just south of the map above), still listed as domestic servant. Unfortunately this means I have no idea where she went next - most probably married, but if this was in Chelsea there were several under her name, and it may not have been there.

Thursday 15th May 2014

Edward May was born 1850/1 in Chelsea to John & Mary Ann nee Maxwell. Oddly, I cannot find a birth registration for him or a baptism, but he can be seen aged 1 in census of 1851 at 6 Wellington Street, Chelsea with parents & sibs, where it states he was born in Chelsea. This is corroborated in census of 1861, where he can be seen aged 10 at 9a Ann's Place, Chelsea, living with his elder brother, as both parents had died. Now, although I cannot prove they are him, I suspect he can be seen in census returns of 1871 & 1881 respectively at Moat Mount, Hendon [now an Outdoor Cantre & Campsite] as groom in the household of a JP, then at Fire Engine Station, Clapham Common as coachman with the North Metropolitan Fire Brigade

On 28 Jan 1883 at Christ Church, Battersea he married Helena Nann Froude (witnesses Alice May, his niece & Florence Froude).

Unfortunately I cannot find them after marriage, here or abroad, and no sign of children.

Monday 12th May 2014

Beatrice May May (great-aunt Beat) was born 13 Jul 1890 in Leicester to John & Martha nee Hodd. I don't know why the family were in Leicester - I shall return to this later - but they remained there between Oct 1884 & 1892, meaning Beat was the only child born there. Father John was working as a shoemaker, but it evidently didn't work out as they returned to Lambeth in time for the birth of Alice (see Friday). So census return of 1891 shows Beat aged 8 months, at 1 Yarm Terrace, All Saints Road, Black Friars, Leicester with parents & brothers [Leicester Station was built here, now derelict itself. Photo is from 1897 when they were constructing it - family had moved back to London by then]

By Aug 1892 they were back in Lambeth (Alice's baptism) & the following year William's school entry document gives the address as 30 Afghan Road, Wandsworth.

She can be seen on census return of 1901 at 26 Goda Street, Lambeth (next to Regent Street, where they had previously lived) with parents & sibs. In 1911 the census shows her at Wingfield, Streatham Common (South side), working as a servant in household of a boot importer.

The family were at 22 Berkeley Street (see Alice on Friday), and a few weeks later on 5 Jun 1911 at St Mary's, Lambeth, she married Ernest William Philip Samways from Dorset, who had been in the Royal Navy & was a Quartermaster with the PO company. (He had been a seaman stationed at Sheerness in Kent on the HMS Wildfire in 1901 census)

They had 5 children - Daphne (child in photo below on right) married a GI & went home with him to USA, according to family. Molly (in photo on left) married George Bryan, a friend of Ernest who drank in the same pub, the White Bear in Kennington (all this was told to me by Cliff in 2006).
There is some confusion about Ernest's name. Someone at some point in the past must have misheard his name & he was known as Vern, rather than Ern, in the family. He signed all his postcards & Christmas cards as Ern, so I don't know why, but this is the problem with Oral Family History. Clive has the middle name of Vernon, so Cliff or his mother may have compounded the error. Anyway, he settled into a desk job, as there are directory entries listing him as an insurance agent in Wyke Regis, Dorset from 1920 to 1935.
He died there in 1953 and Beat soon used her freedom to sail off to New York, where her daughter had moved a few years before. She stayed almost a year, so maybe there was a baby involved - I cannot find birth records when all I know of the father is he was known as "Lefty" & was a GI.

Beat sailed out on the Queen Elizabeth 14 Nov 1958 from Southampton to New York, returning on the Bremen on 10 Sep 1959, giving her address as 17 Sunnyside Road, Weymouth
photo 1958 New York
  Bremen was brand-new in 1959

She died in Oct 1974 in Weymouth.

Saturday 10th May 2014

Alice Sarah May was born 20 Aug 1864 in Chelsea, Middlesex to William & Mary Ann nee Hall and christened at the age of 16 on 22 Oct 1880 in Battersea. Why so late I cannot tell and at what church the record doesn't say. She can be seen in census return of 1871 at 34a Wayland Road, Battersea with parents, sister & aunt, then in 1881 at 27 Benfield Street, Battersea with parents, sister & cousin. She was at this stage aged 16 and was working as a Cigar Maker, no doubt at the nearby Lambert & Butler factory (1877-1930).
On 16 Mar 1884 at Christ Church Battersea

she married Charles Matthias Leverett, who was working as a barman in Camberwell in 1881, but by 1891 had taken up his father's occupation of "Hair Pin Maker", in the census where he & Alice can be seen at 27 Warsill Street, Battersea with 2 children [now Battersea Park School is on the site]. They must have only just moved there, as the previous year they had been at 30 Lothian Road, Lambeth when they had both children christened at St John the Divine, Kennington [modern blocks now]. Unfortunately, Charles died in Oct 1896 and in 1901 census Alice can be seen living with her parents at 73 Chatham Street, Battersea [concrete block building there now], widowed with 2 children, her sister (also a widowed cigar-maker) and her 4 children. Alice & Rebecca both probably worked back at Lambert & Butler's factory nearby, along with the eldest 4 children. On 26 Jul 1908 at St Anne's church, Wandsworth she married Henry Joseph Jones, widower & Poor Law Officer.
He was living in Wandsworth, at 54 Barmouth Road.

But on his marriage he appears to have a change of occupation, as in 1911 they can be seen at 153 Penwith Road, Battersea with 3 children (2 hers, 1 his) and Henry is keeping a Coffee House [right on the River Wandle but gone now. The year before the electoral roll had shown him at no.166, so I think the numbering was undergoing upheaval, and this is now missing too.] From 1915-1939 records show them at 247 Earlsfield Road

Alice died in this area Apr 1945 aged 80, but I cannot track down a death for Henry - as you will appreciate this is an extremely common name...

Another of my husband's aunts, Amy Constance Elizabeth May was born 2 Aug 1905 in Lambeth to John & Martha nee Hodd and christened at St Mary the Less church, Prince's Street, Lambeth on 20 Sep 1905 with two sisters. Sadly her father had died a few weeks before her birth.
She can be seen in census return of 1911 at 22 Berkeley Street, Lambeth with mother & sibs [this is now a back entrance to blocks of flats in Juxon Street] aged 5.
In Oct 1933 at St Mary the Less church (see above) she married William (Bill) C Negus
I don't know many details about them, and have been unable to find anything concrete to attach to them. After marriage, they moved down to Dorset and had a son, Billy junior in 1936. Bill senior was in the Merchant Navy. Billy married Patricia Stainer in 1962 and they emigrated to Canada. Amy must have been in the services during WW2 as we have photos of her in uniform, but I cannot find any records.
(if anybody can help identifying this uniform please let me know)
She died in North Dorset in Nov 1995 aged 90, but I am afraid I never met her.

Oh, if you are at all interested in Lambeth Walk I can heartily recommend the website
Friday 9th May 2014

OK, new start. The next tree I want to deal with is that of my (now late) father-in-law Clifford. First a bit of background for those who don't know me. My husband and I met at University, which means he could have come from anywhere in the world. So this tree never ceases to amaze me - as it did Cliff himself - at the close proximity of his to my mother's family. I spent a lot of my childhood in & around Lambeth, and so did Cliff. Firstly I want to deal with his mother's family, the Mays.

My husband's great-aunt Alice May was born 8 Jun 1892 in Lambeth to John & Martha nee Hodd and christened on 4 Aug 1892 at Emmanuel church. [Here we immediately come across the odd coincidence. If you follow this blog you will know this church as the one immediately behind my grandparents' building, and where they got married. See 12th Apr & 7th Nov 2013.
I looked out on its roof for many years of my childhood]. She can be seen in census return of 1901 at 26 Goda Street, Lambeth with parents & sibs. [This is a street only yards from my grandparents' home] In 1911 she was working as a housemaid in the household of a draper, James Medland at 120-124 Lambeth Walk (a single businessman living with 4 assistants, housekeeeper & 2 maids). On 28 Jan 1912 at St James church, Kennington Park Road she married John James Pratt aka Ted because his father was John too (well-known local family name - Pratt Street now Walk was named after them pre-18th Century) and they had 3 children. Witnesses of the marriage were William John May, her brother, and Lily Cooper, who boarded with the Pratts & was a theatrical shoe maker. The church was sold in 1923 & demolished. Now the ubiquitous blocks of flats are on the site.
Ted had joined the army in 1905 at the age of 20 in Woolwich, at which time he was a milkman. He attested to the Royal Horse Artillery with the rank of Gunner, and was posted in the UK, gaining a Good Conduct Stripe in 1907.

He evidently put the training to good use as, instead of a milkman, the 1911 census saw him a mechanical engineer. After they married, they settled at 18 Princes Square, Kennington [now Cleaver Square] and daughter Doris Amelia Alice appeared 4 months later, followed by sister Beatrice Rosina Stella (Beat) 2 years later, then a surprise brother John S (Jackie) 12 years after her.

On 5 Aug 1914 he was mobilized by the Army at Woolwich, trained in England for a few months, then posted to France on 5 Nov 1914, where he remained until 13 Feb 1917. He was sent home twice, only to be re-posted a few months later. While on Active Service he was wounded twice: in 1917 & 1918, finally discharged 4 Feb 1919 as being "no longer physically fit for war service" after over 13 years service. He had been promoted three times: to Bomber, to Corporal & then to Sergeant. So electoral roll records show Alice alone at no.18 in 1918 then both of them there until about 1930 when they moved to 386 Southwark Park Road, Bermondsey for a few years. In 1939 they can be seen (in another of those parallel moves, this time with my father's family we have just been studying) to have relocated to Edmonton, Middlesex - 193 & 195 Fore Street.

[A very handsome building! Nowadays it houses a nursery school and a church, but I don't know what was there at that time]
photo 1 Nov 1942                                         with daughter Beat
Ted died here in 1960 and Alice 24 Dec 1976 (just after her great-nephew & I first met).

Tuesday 6th May 2014

William Henry Parker was born Feb 1895 in Edmonton to Charles & Mary Ann/Maria and christened 6 Mar 1895 at St Mary the Virgin church, Lower Edmonton.

He can be seen in census return of 1901 aged 6 at 6 Gilpin Grove, Edmonton with parents & sibs. I cannot track him down for 1911 census, but this was the period just after the death of both parents. He was 16 years old, so could be working or in service anywhere. However, he didn't leave the area altogether, as on 11 Oct 1915 in Edmonton he married Emily Lilian Billings from Tottenham. I cannot see that they had any children, but they stayed in Edmonton until at least 1938, according to electoral roll records. They can be seen at 28 New Road [now part of the Edmonton Green Shopping Centre] until about 1925, then until 1938, maybe longer, they lived at 15 Rays Avenue, Edmonton

I think he died here in Apr 1942 aged 47 but there are many records that could be Emily, especially as she was often called Lilian...

William James Parker
was born 27 Jul 1849 in southwark to James & Ann and christened 26 Aug 1949 at St Ann's, Blackfriars. This church burned down in the Great Fire of London in 1666 and was apparenty not rebuilt, the land being just used for burials, and even then only until 1849.

[the only remaining part is the vestry and the churchyard it faces onto]
So I suppose the christening took place in the church to which this parish was appended ie St-Andrews-by-the-Wardrobe (what an excellent name!)
He can be seen in census return of 1851 aged 1 at 19 Aylesbury Place, Clerkenwell with parents & sibs, then again with them in 1861 aged 11. Unfortunately this is one where he just vanishes at that point. There are lots of possible marriages, further censuses, even emigrations. Shame to fizzle out like that...

This is the end of my father's tree. Next I shall move on to my late father-in-law's tree.

Monday 5th May 2014

John Henry Parker was born 25 Jan 1843 in Southwark to James & Ann and christened 31 May 1846 at St John the Evangelist church, Waterloo
He can be seen in census returns of 1851 & 1861 in Aylesbury Place, numbers 18 & 11 respectively, with parents & sibs. Unfortunately he died aged 19 in Jul 1862 (which may explain why, to my initial surprise, he appeared in the 1861 census as an 18-year-old without an occupation.

Mary Ann Parker was born 24 Jan 1860 in Clerkenwell to James & Ann and christened tere 27 Sep 1868 at St John's church with sister Amelia

She can be seen in census returns of 1861 & 1871 with parents & sibs at 11 Aylesbury Place, Clerkenwell aged 1 & 11 respectively. On 15 May 1880 at St Bartholomews, Moor Lane she married Joseph Holgate, a brickie/scaffolder from Lambeth, and they had 10 children, athough two died in infancy (for church details see 26th April).

In 1881 census return they can be seen at 4 Caledonia Crescent, Islington with baby son. Over the next few years christenings and school admission documents trace them at several addresses. In 1884-7 they lived at 21 Chapel Street, Islington then were at 23 Southampton Street for a while - next door or opposite her brother Charles (see 25th April). They followed the rest of the family out to Edmonton, as daughter Amelia was born in Clerkenwell in 1889 but is seen aged 2 in 1891 census in Edmonton, then died there aged 4. 1891 census return shows them at 6 Linton Cottages - this is the turning dirently behind Gilpin Grove - with 5 children and Joseph's mother Susan. They lived at this address until at least 1898, but by 1901 census they had moved half a mile down the railway track to 47 Shrubbery Road, with 7 children. In 1911 they were at 69 Raynham Avenue, also close to Gilpin Grove (although her parents died a couple of years before the census).

Electoral roll records show in 1926 Mary Ann & Joseph were at 13 Edinburgh Road with son Sidney - you may remember her sisters lodged at no. 6 when their parents died & were there in 1911. In 1926 May Ann's daughter Mary Ann was there with her family [this road is also close by - just the other side of the North Circular]. Sidney married & moved elsewhere in Edmonton the following year (about a mile to the north).
Joseph died here in 1935 and Mary Ann in 1938

Friday 2nd May 2014

James Parker was born 8 Aug 1818 in Ironmonger Row, Finsbury, London to James & Harriot nee Boffee and christened at St Luke's church on 11 Oct 1818.
Up until today I have called his wife Ann Lathan, but have just discovered this was incorrect (several couples got married on the same day and I matched them up wrongly). Her name was Ann though, so it's only a matter of time before she surfaces. They must have married around 1840 and settled in Southwark, having the first of their 8 children there. In 1841 census James was visiting at 42 Rawston Street, Clerkenwell and I think Ann is at 84 Chisnell Street, Finsbury, where she is listed as a servant. James is a Pencil-case maker, which I think is charming! In 1846 when son John was christened, they lived at Holland Street, Southwark, but by 1851 the census return show them at 19 Aylesbury Place, Clerkenwell with 3 children, James listed as carpenter. Aylesbury Place was off Aylesbury Street and the whole was demolished (pic just before demolition)
[site of Aylesbury Place 2009]
In 1861-1881 censuses the family home was no. 11 Aylesbury Place. However, it appeared that James & Ann split up, as they both called themselves widowed, although both were still living, James in London with some of the children and Ann took on the role of Housekeeper in her sister's home, a pub in Lowestoft [now a branch of Nat West bank, a modern building]. By 1891 James is lodging at 16 River Street, Clerkenwell - a rather nice property - aged 72

He died on 13 Dec 1897 at 304 City Road, Finsbury (serviced apartments & a park) and left effects worth £495 to "Charles Parker, jeweller" - his son Charles was not a jeweller so this could be a brother/nephew I haven't yet unearthed.

Thursday 1st May 2014

Emma Amelia Parker was born Jan 1891 in Edmonton to Charles & Maria/Mary Ann just after they had moved out to Edmonton. She can be seen there at 5 Leicester Terrace, Lawrence Road with parents & two brothers in 1891 census. In 1901 census she can be seen with them at 6 Gilpin Grove (see 24th Apr for pics), then in 1911 after her parents' deaths, at 6 Edinburgh Road with sister Edith, boarding with a rifle machinist, she herself working as an cartridge examiner, so they may well have worked together. On 22 Mar 1913 at St John the Evangelist church, Edmonton she married Sidney Thomas Mills

They had 6 children in Edmonton and electoral roll records show them in 1925-7 at 23 Kimberley Road

They must have retired to Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, however, as they both died there, Emma in Jul 1964 and Sidney in Apr 1965, aged 73.

George William Parker
was born 30 Mar 1856 at 11 Aylesbury Place, Clerkenwell to James & Ann nee Lathan and christened at St John's church, Clerkenwell 16 Jun 1856.
He can be seen at no. 11 with parents & sibs in censuses of 1861-1881. I have searched all over but I cannot be certain of anything after this point, even a marriage. He has a death record in 1914, but even then I don't know if it is definitely him. Maybe in future a record will be released to clear this blockage.

Monday 28th April 2014

Time to discuss my great-grandmother Emily Ann Parker, whose tree this is. She was born Jan 1855 in Clerkenwell to James & Ann nee Lathan. I cannot find a christening for her or 2 other of her sibs. She can be seen in census return of 1861 aged 6 at 11 Aylesbury Place, Clerkenwell with parents & sibs. In 1871 she was at Highbury Hill, Islington, working as a housemaid in the household of a barrister & family. Unfortunately there are a lot of details in her story that do not add up. One is that she evidently married my great grandfather George Henry Matthews around 1878 and they had 3 children. I discussed my doubts on 10th Feb, and told the story. In 1881 census return they can be seen at 2 Princes Street, Clerkenwell, but without little Eliza. The same address is given at the baptism of William in 1882, but by that of Horace in 1885 they had moved to 24 Rosomon Street, Clerkenwell and on 3 Jul 1886 George died in Holborn Infirmary. As I noted on 10th Feb, this threw the family into chaos. The authorities at the hospital found places at the Industrial School in Hanwell for Eliza & William, but Horace vanished for a while. Emily married a possible colleague of her late husband: on 29 Aug 1888 at St Peter's, Clerkenwell she married Henry John Parkinson, described as a "stick-mounter" (walking sticks were decorated with silver, gold, bone or ivory and I have mentioned how working with precious metals was passed down this family. Henry's father Joseph Parkinson worked with polished brass.) They ostensibly had 4 children together, although this number is in doubt - more later. At the time of the 1891 census I think Emily was in the General Lying-in Hospital, York Road, Lambeth - where I was born - with a newborn son, who sadly died a few months later.
   [photos 1912 & 1950]
She did have 3 more sons, one later that same year, but denied any children had died when questioned in 1911. (But we do know some people can block out traumatic events). The addresses given on the children's baptism records showed their location over the next few years: in 1882 they were at 2 Princes Street, then 1885 at 24 Rosomon Street, 1891 at 26 Richmond Street and from 1894 at 5 Warren Street. All of these addresses were in Clerkenwell, and none survives I am afraid. 1901 Census sees them at 5 Warren Street, with a collection of children, some from each parent, as the Matthews children had been "rescued" from the Industrial School. In 1911 they can be seen at 41 Rodney Street, Clerkenwell, [now a park and the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School] with 3 sons & a visitor. At some point after this they moved in with daughter Alice when she married and settled in Hoxton and went with them when they moved out to a new house in the suburb of Plumstead. Henry died in Jul 1923 in Woolwich and Emily in Jan 1940.

They didn't have much luck with their sons in the two World Wars, unfortunately. Joe died of wounds in 1939, Harry was deafened in WW1 (died in 1964 in Edmonton) and Walter/Wallace died in the trenches at Ypres in 1916 - not killed by enemy action, he froze to death.
Emily at Wal's grave 1920
In 2008 I had a long and very detailed conversation with Henry Pilott, Alice's son. He sent me some photographs, a book he had written and lots of memories about meeting my Dad & his family in 1938. He is/was a lovely man - I must look him up again!

Saturday 26th April 2014

Charles & Mary/Maria I dealt with on Thursday had a daughter named Edith in October 1895 but she died at birth or shortly afterwards so, as was the norm at the time, when the next child was also a girl they recycled the name and called her Edith. She was born 17 Jun 1897 at 20 Gilpin Grove, Edmonton and christened at St James' church on 27 Jul 1897.

She can be seen on census return of 1901 at no. 6 with parents & sibs, also another family. In 1911 census, her parents had both died, and she can be seen at 6 Edinburgh Road, Edmonton, with her sister Emma, both boarding

Unfortunately there are several with the same name, some marry, some don't. Although I can pin Emma's marriage down using her middle name, I don't have that luxury with Edith. So have to leave her story there.

Eliza Ann Parker was born 19 Mar 1847 to James & Ann nee Lathan in Holland Street, Southwark and can be seen aged 4 in census return of 1851 at 19 Aylesbury Place, Clerkenwell with parents & brothers (they must have moved there in 1850, as brother William had also been born in Southwark in 1849). Eliza was christened aged 5 at St John's church, Clerkenwell on 28 Nov 1852 with brother Charles, then an infant. In census of 1861 she can be seen at 11 Sekforde Street, Clerkenwell (literally around the corner from home), working as a nursemaid to a Silver-Watchcase Maker & his family (including 7 children, so she was kept busy!)

(what a beautiful property!)
I cannot be sure which record is hers in 1871 census - the closest fit is as Mary Ann, servant to a family in Islington. On 8 Aug 1874 at St Bartholomew's church, Moor Lane she married widowed engineer Charles Thomas Prangnell (father of the one by the same name who later married her younger sister Amelia) witnesses John & Amelia Parker, her sibs. This church has an interesting story - it was originally in the City, rebuilt after the Great Fire by Christopher Wren, known as St Bartholomew-by-the-Exchange.

In 1840 it was resited in Moor Lane, a large part of the original building was included in the new church and the whole process was repeated in 1902.
Eliza moved in with Charles & his son at 27 Easton Street, Clerkenwell and they had 4 children of their own. Electoral roll records show that here he rented two 2nd-floor rooms from widow Mrs Browning who lived at No. 6. They can be seen there in 1881 census return and son James lived at 14 Hastings Street when he started school in 1885, although in 1891 the whole family is missing - probably miss-spelled/transcribed - but Charles was in his terminal illness, so it is probably not surprising. He died in July of that year at the age of 52. So by the next census Eliza is a widow and can be seen at 36 Affleck Street, Clerkenwell with 2 sons & a boarding nurse. By 1911 she is at no. 12 Affleck Street with the same two sons & in 30 Aug 1915 when her son James joined the Army Service Corps, the address was 39 Affleck Street. I don't know if they did hop about like that (people did in those days with fewer chattels to move) or if the street numbering kept changing (which we know did happen hereabouts). Affleck Street was in the Pentonville area, very close to Southampton Street (see below) but the Parker family had long moved on to Edmonton. Eliza died Jan 1926 in the Shoreditch registration district. This may have been a hospital or one of her children - the Prangnells ended up spead all over London.

Friday 25th April 2014

Charles James Robert Parker was born 12 Dec 1884 in Clerkenwell to Charles & Mary/Maria I dealt with yesterday and christened 5 Apr 1885 at St Philip's, when they lived at 23 Southampton Street, Clerkenwell, so he may well have been born at that address.

This is an interesting address, as the writer & historian Thomas Carlyle stayed in that very  house in 1824-5 and wrote a detailed description of it. I won't include it here as it is long, but he seemed to very much like it. All this area was demolished for redevelopment in 1938 (coincidentally the year of this Charles' death). As I detailed yesterday, the family moved about in Edmonton for the next few years. In 1891 census he can be seen at 3 Leicester Terrace, Lawrence Road, aged 6 with parents & sibs, then with them also in 1901 at 6 Gilpin Grove, aged 17 & listed as "Errand Lad" (his younger brother Albert was 14 & an "Errand Boy"). In Dec 1902 he signed up for service in the Royal Navy and can be seen in census return of 1911 aboard ship in "Australia & S Africa" (deliberately vague in case the info got into the wrong hands, I should imagine), listed as a Private RMLI (Royal Marine Light Infantry). Soon WW1 was declared & he was awarded the Good Conduct Medal for service aboard HMS Cornwallis, possibly in the Dardanelles.

He was transferred to the HMS Cardiff - a brand new destroyer - in 1917 and received a Silver War Badge for service there (this ship escorted the German fleet to British waters at the end of the War)

He received the usual three medals (Star, Victory & British War Medal) but also the Silver War Badge, then in 1926 also the RN Long Service & Good Conduct Medal, given for 15 years exemplary service
This last was on board the "Effingham" and was given on discharge. He returned to Edmonton & electoral roll records show him at 18 Wakefield Street 1925-7, after which he appears at 36 Chalfont Road with Minnie Edith Parker, who he had married 11 Mar 1922 in St James' Hackney and had a third generation of Charles James Robert Parker in 1924 (although I cannot find other children)
[photo 2008]
They remained at this address until his death aged 53 in Jan 1938.

His son Charles James Robert Parker was born 28 Oct 1924 in Edmonton, in Jan 1945 he married Patricia L Hanley & they had I understand a boy & a girl. Whether the boy is another Charles James Robert I cannot tell, as Ancestry decline to give much information concerning living people. Charles died Dec 2005 in Milton Keynes, but Patricia may well still be around.

Thursday 24th April 2014

Amelia Jane Parker (my great great-aunt) was born 26 Mar 1864 at 11 Aylesbury Place, Clerkenwell to James & Ann nee Lathan and christened there at St John's on 27 Sep 1868 aged 4, with sister Mary Ann & lots of others from the same road.

She can be seen in census return of 1881 at 161 St John Street, Clerkenwell, one of four servants to a butcher & his family. Literally on the corner of her street, this was very close to the family home. By 1891 she had graduated to the post of Cook & was working at Deacons Tavern, Walbrook, City of London [a coffee house, until recently a "modern" sports bar but now demolished]. On 26 Jan 1895 at St James Pentonville she married Charles Thomas Prangnell (her nephew! Well, not really - he was the son of her brother-in-law of the same name, who married her older sister Eliza, from his first marriage)

[building is now converted into apartments]
Witnesses were Emily Prangnell & E. Parkinson (my great grandmother), sisters of groom & bride respectively. Unfortunately Amelia died aged 34 in Jul 1898 in the area known as St George Hanover Square - possibly in hospital, probably in childbirth and Charles 8 years later.

Charles Robert James Parker was born 15 Mar 1852 also at 11 Aylesbury Place, Clerkenwell, to James & Ann nee Lathan, a brother to the above, and christened 2 Nov 1852 at St John's, with sister Eliza. He can be seen on census return of 1861 at this address with parents & sibs. Now, I cannot find him in 1871-1881 & this is where it goes a bit wrong. I pick him up in 1891 with a wife called Mary/Maria and 3 children. Other Ancestry members have attached a marriage to a Mary Ann Denny, but I can't do that as I can see his father's name is Baldwin Parker and that is very wrong! I would guess that the marriage took place in Clerkenwell in about 1883, but cannot find a record. The 1891 census shows them at 3 Leicester Terrace, Lawrence Road, Edmonton, Charles listed as a cabinet maker. The eldest 2 children were born in Islington, so they must have lived there for the first 6 years of their marriage. They had 6 children (although 2 died in infancy) and they remained in Edmonton from this point on, as electoral roll records and subsequent censuses show. In 1895 they were living at 20 Gilpin Grove, Edmonton and Charles described his occupation as "Looking Glass Frame Maker", then by the census of 1901 at number 6, with 5 children & back to cabinet maker. In 1905 son Albert married & moved into 44 Gilpin Grove.
[I was fortunate enough to find these pics online, although taken in 1957. The one on the left shows the view from approx no 44 & the one on the right is of the backs of the houses - no.44 is on the left of pic. They were demolished in 1963].
Mary died in Jan 1908 & Charles in Jan 1909, both aged 56.

Monday 21st April 2014

Back to the Noonans - for now.

John Noonan was born 1828 in Cork, Ireland to William & Catherine, eldest brother of "our" Catherine. I cannot find him in Irish records, as it is such a very common name. He travelled to England with his mother & sibs as he can be seen with them in census of 1861 at 32a Villiers Street, London, living with the Hennigs. He is employed as a printer compositor, like his brother James.

I cannot find him in 1871, but in 1881 census return he can be seen at 110 Old Street, London, with his sister Margaret & her family, still a printer compositor (one who placed type into wooden frames for printing - it involved obviously the ability to read & write but also to do so backwards!)
In 1891 census he was still living with sister Margaret & family but now at 17 King Street [close to Old Street, no longer exists]. On 12 Feb 1897 at 8 King Street, he died aged 69 of bronchitis, his sister Margaret informant present at the death.

Margaret Noonan was born in 1838 in Cork, Ireland to William & Catherine but again I cannot find any documents until she is in London in 1861 census. She can be seen then aged 25 at 6 Parker Street [now NCP Carpark], off Drury Lane, London lodging with several others, under the name of Boyce with "husband" Thomas Boyce & 2 children. Now, another amateur genealogist and I have searched high & low for a marriage & never found it. Also, after his death she married in the name of Noonan, spinster... Anyway, she is working here as a glove maker (like her sister Catherine). In 1871 she can be seen, similarly called Boyce, now making mantles (coats/capes) and with 3 sons. She is at 5 Richardson's Buildings, Golden Lane - off Old Street so near her siblings. On 26 Aug 1877 in Bethnal Green she married Alfred Cooper, a widower & baker. He had 9 children, but 3 died in infancy & by his remarriage the youngest was 9. In 1881 census return they can be seen at 110 Old Street with 5 children (3 Cooper, 2 Boyce) and her brother John - for pic see above (the thai restaurant). In 1891 census she can be seen at 17 King Street with John (he is Head of Household) and Alfred is living with his son Arthur & family in Camberwell (Alfred is also a baker) and he died there in 1900. Margaret was at 8 King Street in 1897, when John died there, and can be seen in 1901 at 8 Leage Street, which I suspect is the same address, as the road was re-named, with son Cornelius. She died in Apr 1904 and Cornelius married in 1906.

William Noonan was born 1804 in Boherbue, County Cork and baptised there the same year.
[photo I took 2009]
A lot of this is conjecture due to lack of records, but I believe he went to London because of the potato famine etc leading to very difficult conditions in rural Ireland, met Catherine and married her on Christmas Day 1825 at St James, Clerkenwell.
If this is the case her name was Murphy, however, as I have explained, Catherine's baptism record gives her surname as Carroll. They must have returned to Ireland as all 4 children were born there and they leased a house from Owen Carroll (!) in Carroll's Lane, Rathgoggan, Charleville, Cork. In 1851 they were living there, according to Griffith's Valuation document, but a William Noonan was sent home from the Crimea, where he had been fighting at Balaklava, with injuries in Nov 1854 & this was reported in several local newspapers. Although I cannot find a death, maybe this was why Catherine took the children to London (Registration did not start in Ireland until 1864).

Without the Murphy connection I have no further to look, as William Noonan's baptism gives no parents' names.

I just have one small branch left: my Dad's other grandmother's family, the Parkers.

Sunday 20th April 2014

I hope you don't mind if I return to the Matthews tree just for a short while. There was one I knew nothing about (for reasons which shall become evident) but knew my mother could help. She is staying with me this weekend, and I have picked her brains a bit.

William Horace Matthews
was my uncle, my father's eldest brother, born 3 Sep 1903 at 6 Bride Street, Barnesbury, Islington to William George & Florence nee Hennig

He was christened at 18 Oct 1903 at St Silas, Pentonville

In 1911 census he can be seen at 39a Clayton Road, Peckham aged 7 with parents & grandmother Catherine Miles. In Oct 1925 in Camberwell he married Maud Lilian Purdue. At first they lived at 135 Peckham Rye with his parents and had their 2 sons there, but I was told there was a big family row between the Williams and Will & family moved out. In 1935 he took on a shop in West Wickham, Kent, established a retail jewellery business and they lived in the flat above it for some years.

[Apparently his son Roy still owns the shop, but as he is 84 years of age he is no doubt retired! It does appear to be a well-respected business and is involved in much local charity fundraising]. The elder son Geoffrey, according to family lore, travelled abroad & was killed in a car accident as a young adult. Although I cannot confirm this with any document, he has no English records, so I feel this is probably true. Younger son Roy married Sylvia Dabbs in 1954 and they had 2 children, lived in Orpington near us, and my sister & I used to play with them on a regular basis. Will & Maud lived in Keston, not far away, but we rarely saw them. Will died 24 Mar 1963 at 38 Croydon Road, Keston and left effects worth £5661 to National Provincial Bank Ltd. Maud continued to lived at 38 Croydon Road, maybe until her death in 1996.

Saturday 19th April 2014

Catherine Noonan, my great grandmother, was born in 1840 in Cork, Ireland ostensibly to William & Catherine nee Murphy. As I explained yesterday, I do have doubts about the Murphy connection as I have seen a baptism record giving mother's name as Catherine Carroll. I shall tell you why I now suspect this detail is incorrect. I did a lot of work 2006-8 on this along with another couple of descendants and we all independently came to the same conclusions. I shall present the doubt and move on. The baptism document states that the ceremony took place in Charleville, County Cork, on 6 Jan 1843, father William Noonan, mother Catherine Carroll, sponsors Cornelius Noonan & Ellen Lynch.
As there are no census records for Ireland, I can only go by other records that lead me to believe they lived in Rathgoggan, Charleville, Cork in 1851. The next view of Catherine is in census of 1861, when she can be seen in London with her widowed mother & brothers. They are at 32a Villiers Street, St Martin-in-the-fields near Charing Cross, London.

[Villiers Street today - 32a would be on right side]
with the Hennig family and some lodgers. Catherine is working as a glove-maker. Maria Hennig died in 1865 and on 24 Nov 1867 at St Giles, Camberwell Catherine married widower Frederick Hennig. He was 15 years older than she, but at least we can see in this instance how they met. Witnesses were John Noonan, her brother & Elizabeth Yobrow.

They settled in Lambeth and had 4 children of their own. In 1871 census she can be seen with 5 sons, two of her own & three from Frederick's first marriage, at 12 Loughborough Street, Lambeth [now block of modern flats]. Frederick died suddenly on 18 Dec 1879 (see 22nd Dec 2013), leaving Catherine with my grandmother Flo aged 6 months, Julius aged 8 and the 3 sons mentioned above (2 others had died in infancy). I cannot track her down in 1881 census, nor Flo (Julius was boarded out) but on 23 Sep 1886 at St Thomas' church, Bethnal Green, Catherine married John Daniel Miles (witnesses Michael Miles & James Barker) [no sign nowadays and no pictures exist of this church]. I don't know the circumstances of this marriage, but when she is next seen in 1891 census, she has reverted to the name Hennig, is living with Flo, calling herself a widow & John is visiting elsewhere. She & Flo were living at 15 Chatterton Road, Islington & Catherine was making ends meet by "washing & charring". John died in 1895, so the "widow" term became correct soon enough.

In 1901 census I think I have found her working as a cook in a house in Chelsea, under the name of Kate Miles, aged 60. In 1911 census she can be seen at 39a Clayton Road, Peckham with Flo & her family and she died 20 Oct 1918 in Camberwell infirmary of carcinoma of the liver, Flo informant.

Friday 18th April 2014 (Good Friday - Happy Easter)

Winifred Jessamine Matthews was born 14 Apr 1898 in Walcot, Bath to Robert & Florence nee Byfield and with that excellent middle name was easy to trace! She can be seen aged 2 in census return of 1901 at 18 Bridewell Lane with her parents [now an alley in the shopping centre] then in 1911 at 36 Wells Road with mother & sibs (father is staying in a lodging house)

In Jul 1923 at St Paul's church, Bath she married John Thomas Drummond [church building no longer exists - parish was merged with St Michaels in 1942, church hall now incorporated into The Egg childrens theatre]. They appear to have had no children but lived to a good age. John died in Apr 1992 aged 93 and Winifred in Jan 1994 aged 94, both in Bath.

OK, that is the end of the Matthewses. I wish to pursue my father's maternal tree next - the Irish connection.

I have made a bit of a disastrous start with this, as the first thing I found was a baptism document for Catherine Noonan, my father's grandmother, with her mother's surname different to the tree I had last researched in 2012! I can't say I am totally dismayed by this as the surname was Murphy, which generally leads to the same reaction in Ireland as Smith does in England. When I enquired at the Register Office in Mallow in 2009 I was met with "well good luck with that!!" and no help...

So I shall abide by good genealogical practice and move backwards in time from the known details into the unknown.

Thursday 17th April 2014

William Matthews 3 was born Oct 1840 in Walcot, Bath to James & Jane nee Beckett and can be seen aged 8 months in census of 1841 in Tyning Lane with parents & sibs, so was no doubt born there. This was the site of the Stone Mason business I mentioned before (28th March), but the family in 1851 were living at 2 Midsummer Buildings and he can be seen there aged 10. As he grew older he needed/wanted to work elsewhere, so can be seen aged 20 in 1861 at 14 St John Square, Clerkenwell staying with his Uncle Charles & family, working as a Cheesemonger. On New Years Day 1867 at St George, Bloomsbury he married Eliza Margaret Robins from Plymouth, Devon.

They had 2 children (but the eldest Eliza died aged 1), and settled in Kensington near her parents. In 1871 census they can be seen at 13 High Row with another couple, William listed as a carpenter. He must have preferred selling to making, as in 1881 he is listed as Wardrobe Dealer and they are living at 42 Hindon Street, Belgrave with son Herbert & grandmother Mary Clark, a retired lodging-house keeper, also with a servant. In 1889 his father died and in 1891 William can be seen at High View, Freshford, Somerset listed as Stone Quarry Master - being the eldest son he would have inherited the business - still with son Herbert & Mary Clark (aged 84 this time mistakenly listed as mother). He must have retired aged 60, as in 1901 census he is at 23 Newbridge Road, Weston, Bath with one servant, listed as retired quarry master

He is still there aged 71 in 1911 census with 2 sisters-in-law and a niece visiting and a nurse in residence. He died on 25 Feb 1919 at York Lodge, Broomfield Avenue, leaving £3768 to his widow Eliza.

William Ewart Matthews was born Nov 1900 in Worcester, to William & Elizabeth nee Emery, no doubt at 1 Skinner Street, as he can be seen with his parents at that address, aged 4 months in 1901 census return and that of 1911 aged 10.

In Apr 1924 in Pershore, Worcestershire he married Dorothy May Francis and they had 4 children (at least) in Pershore and Birmingham. Dorothy died aged 70 in 1970 in Birmingham, but there are several death records which could be William.

His father William Francis Matthews was born Apr 1866 in Walcot, Bath to Edwin & Mary Ann nee Griffiths and can be seen in census of 1871 aged 6 with father & sibs at 6 Lucklom Buildings. In 1881 he can be seen aged 15 at Strawberry Gardens, Church Lane, Lyncombe near Bath, staying with his aunt Elizabeth Olding (?nee Griffiths) and working as a gardener. However, it seems he was mechanically-minded and in 1891 census he can be seen living at 10 Crandale Road, Twerton (right by Oldfield Park Station), working as a railway servant along with most of his neighbours.

Just before the census at St Thomas a Becket church, Widcombe he had married Elizabeth Emery and they had 8 children.

The first two were born at Huntspill near Bridgwater, then the third in Canford near Bournemouth, but after that they settled in Worcester and all subsequents were born there (including William Ewart above). In 1901 & 1911 census returns they can be seen at 1 Skinner Street (pictured above) with 6 children, William listed as Stationary Engine Driver at Municipal Electric Works, in the latter with 7 children & mother-in-law widow Harriet Emery. Their 8th child Elizabeth died just before the census aged 2 days, and was their final child as William himself died the following January aged 45. Elizabeth then followed in 1918 aged 52.

William George Matthews, my grandfather, was born 9 Apr 1882 at 2 Princes Street, Percival Street, Clerkenwell [now modern blocks of flats] to George & Emily nee Parker and christened on 30 Apr 1882 at St Philips, Clerkenwell.
For a long time I couldn't find him in the 1891 census, as his father died in 1886 & mother remarried in 1888, and he wasn't with her. But in my recent detailed work on this tree I have found him, yet another victim of the (considered nowadays) horrible habit of disposing of unwanted children in institutions when remarrying etc. He can be seen in records of the Central London District School at Hanwell (see 30th Jan & 10th Feb). However, as I previously related, when Emily was settled in her new marriage she brought the children home and in 1901 he can be seen aged 18 at 5 Amwell Street, Clerkenwell with mother, stepfather, sibs & half-sibs. His father (a brass moulder) and step-father were both metal-workers, and while living with his step-father he evidently learned about precious metals (Henry Parkinson worked with silver etc mountings on walking sticks) and became a jewellery polisher (1901 & 1911). It was this training that led to his setting up the family business employing my father & uncle all through their working lives. On 23 Nov 1902 at St John's, Highbury Vale he married Florence Augusta Hennig, witnesses Julius Hennig her brother & Eliza Matthews, groom's sister. [Unfortunately no pictures exist of this church, oddly enough]. They had 4 children, my father being the youngest. In 1911 census William can be seen at 39a Clayton Road, Peckham - the site of which is now a playground

with eldest son William and mother-in-law Catherine Miles. In 1926 they moved to 135 Peckham Rye. this may have been the point at which he set up the business, as the sub-basement of the 5-storey house was equipped as a workshop.

Unfortunately Florence died in 1939 aged 60, but William carried on until he died in Apr 1952 (of throat cancer, he was an enthusiastic smoker) aged 70.

Monday 14th April 2014

William Matthews 1 was born Oct 1882 in Lansdown, Bath to Silas & Sarah nee Coombes. He can be seen on census of 1891 aged 8 with parents & sibs at 5 James Buildings, Walcot, but in census of 1901 he is at 3 Prospect Place, Camden Road - "Cripples Home", crippled since birth, one of 11 resident patients, and he is still there in 1911, one of 10 "boarders".
"Home for Incurably Crippled boys"

[now Ivythorne Villa, 5-bedroom detached house]
He doesn't appear to have married and the only death record I can find that matches up is in Oct 1942 aged 60, in which case he has a middle name of Wilson not seen elsewhere.

William Matthews 2 was born Jul 1868 in Walcot, Bath to Silas & Sarah nee Williams. He can be seen in census return of 1881 with parents & sibs at 13 Wellington Place, Walcot, aged 2
[site of Wellington Place 2009]
In 1881 census he can be seen at Sutcliffe Industrial School (see 31st Mar), the reform school where his nephew Robert was to be found later (see 21st Mar). It largely took in truant boys and educated them - his father had died in 1875 when he was 7, so he may have gone a bit off the rails at this point.
I could not trace him in 1891 census - as I have said before, his mother was in Union Workhouse after being widowed twice, but he was not there or any other place I had searched. But I have just discovered a newspaper article from 1886 which may hold the explanation; it gives his name as one of 5 Sutcliffe ex-pupils who opted for transportation to Canada. Although I cannot find his name on a shipping record for this, they were sent on private steamships provided by the Bath & Bristol Colonial Emigration Society, so may not have the usual records. He stayed there for 7 years then returned in Nov 1893, a 24-year-old gardener, and in Apr 1894 at St Andrew's church, Julian Road, Walcot he married Nellie Agnes Handford, witnesses were Silas Matthews his brother & Elizabeth Handford, her mother.
1870  1920
(this was the church at the bottom of Northampton Street bombed during WW2)
In 1901 census they can be seen at Hat & Feather Yard (see 5th Apr for pics) with son Silas & niece Rosie, William listed as a brewer's labourer. In 1911 they are at 3 Cornwell Terrace, St Swithin's Yard (just across the road from Hat & Feather Yard) with Silas & William is aged 43 & working for the Telephone Company. He died there in Apr 1915 aged 46 and later that year Nellie remarried.

Saturday 12th April 2014

Walter James Matthews was born Jan 1869 in Bath to Edwin & Mary Ann nee Griffiths. Although he & his mother were missing in 1871 census he can be seen in 1881 at home with parents & sibs at 2 Abbey Churchyard

In 1891 he can be seen boarding at 12 West Cliff Grove, Holdenhurst, Hampshire, listed as a Shop Assistant at a Boot Shop. Later that year he married Kate Amelia Silcox in Christchurch, Hants and they had 3 children in Truro, Bournemouth & Gloucester. The 1911 census caught them in Gloucester, at 3 Eastgate Street, with 3 children & a servant, where Walter had his own Boot Shop (on the right side, where the tram is) [nowadays a modern building inhabited by Alliance & Leicester/Santander bank]

By 1911 they had settled in Exeter, Devon and can be seen at 56 Old Tiverton Road with 2 children, Walter working as an Inspector with the Public Bengal Boot Company

He must have missed the retail trade as in 1914-22 he can be seen running his own shop at 116 Sidwell Street, Exeter [in 2012 an indian restaurant]. Oriel Stores was an interesting combination: as well as a cycle shop it sold records & gramophones. It seems this was due to the belief that the mechanisms of these were similar. Certainly the repair of both used similar methods.

He didn't have long living the dream unfortunately, as he died - in the shop - on 13 Nov 1921, aged 52. He was buried at the Higher Cemetery, Heavitree on 17 Nov 1921.
As son Edgar, who had been trained in retail but evidently didn't want the business, daughter Laura had married and son Harold had emigrated, the business and effects worth £743 passed to Kate. The business was run in her name until she died in 1927 aged 56, when the shop was moved to no. 50 [now a charity shop] under new ownership.

Friday 11th April 2014

Now it is time to deal with the most important member of this tree, my father.
Walter Charles Matthews was born 22 Feb 1922 at 39a Clayton Road, Camberwell (see 20th December - now this is a playground) to William & Florence nee Hennig.

In 1926 they moved to 135 Peckham Rye and his parents lived there until they died.

Dad went to school in Peckham (I cannot remember the name of his school, all I remember was him telling me the school building had a monogram at the entrance with the letters SBLC intertwined and they swore it stood for "Silly Boy Lemon Club" - I assume it was Central School Board for London, but I think I prefer their version!) I suspect he went to Rye Oak Primary School, at that time simply known as Peckham Rye School, in Whorton Road, which was in existence back then and had an extension built in 1926, just before he joined in 1927. He would have moved on to secondary school in 1933, but I know even less about this.
(his Dad was evidently a poor photographer, as he managed to cut his head off the top of the photo)
He joined the family business straight from school, as his father & brother worked from home polishing, mending and occasionally designing and making jewellery for a variety of clients all over Clerkenwell, Holborn and Camberwell. He was called up into the Royal Air Force at commencement of hostilities in 1940ish and went to training camps in Melksham, Wiltshire and Boston, Lincolnshire. Melksham was the Technical Training school and this was where he learned his trade as a plane mechanic/electrician
(training school coat of arms)
[RAF Melksham closed in 1967 & is now a housing estate called Bowerhill. These photos were taken in 1999 when some outbuildings still remained:
RAF Coningsby is very much still in existence. He trained on Lancasters (and the Dambusters flew out of here in 1944 on them) and Hurricanes, then was posted to Aqir in Palestine (now Israel) where he saw active service supporting the squadrons protecting British interests there.
Aqir, Palestine 1944 - photographed on the base with a bunch of oranges and a puppy. He is looking most uncomfortable as had been made to remove his specs and was never keen on dogs!
When demobbed "back to Blighty" after the war, life settled down. He slipped back into the family business with brother Bert & father William, and spent his leisure time in the local cycling club and entered many cycle races. In 1949 a young lady Kathleen Gamble joined the club and she & her best friend Betty Wood used to go out with him & his, Ray Jenkins. This led to their engagement on her 18th birthday (13 May 1950) and subsequent marriage on 4 August 1952 at St Philips church, Lambeth, with Ray & Betty as witnesses.

After one stillbirth in 1954 they had me on 27 Jun 1956 in the Lambeth Lying-in Hospital (part of St Thomas's Hospital). We lived in the house at Peckham Rye for a few years, then in 1959 moved out to the expanding suburb of Orpington. Dad drove to Peckham every day to work, in a variety of cars, in 1963 going "trendy" with a bright red mini! My sister Teresa was born at home in Orpington on 14 Jul 1960, we both went to school there and Dad lived there until his death aged 64 on 18 Mar 1986 from pneumonia secondary to acute myeloid leukaemia (at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London). Mum remained in Orpington until 2003 when she moved to Whitstable, Kent & is still there today.
Aug 1974

Thursday 10th April 2014

Violet May Matthews was born 6 May 1917 in Bath to Silas & Lily nee Nicholls. In Apr 1936 in Bath she married Sidney J Miller, local lad, and they had 5 children. He may have been the Sidney Miller who ran a haulage firm in Fivehead, 40 miles from Bath, but I cannot be sure. I think he died in 1968 in Sodbury, Gloucester, but again I cannot be sure as Miller is a very common name. Violet died aged 73 in Bath in Jul 1990.

The other Violet May Matthews was the one I mentioned on 16th February, in the segment for her father. She was born Jul 1916 in Bath to Henry & Dorothy Giddings. In WW2 air-raids began in Bath on Sat 25 Apr 1942. Violet lived with sister Evelyn & her husband Eric at 18 Third Avenue, Oldfield Park, Bath

On that Saturday evening they were together at the Scala Cinema nearby. Evelyn and Eric went into the air-raid shelter opposite the cinema, but Violet went home. Unfortunately, the shelter took a direct hit and a lot of bombs were dropped over the city that night. In the morning, unrecognisable remains of about 20 people were found in the shelter (but it was known who was in there) and Violet was found dead in her home (formally identified by elder brother Leonard). A Memorial Gardens was set up at the site of the shelter and the cinema converted into a supermarket in 1962 [now a Co-op]
[photographed in 1962 & recently]
[memorial gardens opposite the cinema]
At the 50th anniversary in 1992, a plaque was set up in the gardens and one of the german bombers made a remorseful speech.

Monday 7th April 2014

Sylvia May Matthews was born 1 Nov 1931 in Bath to Henry & Caroline nee Spurrell.

In Apr 1951 in Bath she married Donald Macfarlane Fair from Kent and they had one son Christopher while they were living at 3 Westfield Road in Portsmouth, Hampshire. They returned to Kent evidently, as they can be seen at Fairway, Chapel Street, Ryarsh in the Tunbridge Wells area in telephone listing records in 1968-9. Donald died aged 51 in 1973 in Turkey - I'm not sure what the story was there - and Sylvia in 1979 in Brighton aged 48

Thomas Albert Matthews was born 14 Feb 1921 in Walcot, Bath to Robert & Henrietta nee Jones. He may have married Beatrice M E Bolt in Bath Oct 1951, but with no fathers' names I cannot be sure. He died Feb 1987 aged 66 in Bath.

Thomas William Matthews was born Jan 1892 in Huntspill, Somerset to William & Elizabeth nee Emery and christened at Highbridge Somerset on 31 Jan. When he was 3 in 1895 brother Alfred was born in Canford, Dorset, but by the following year brother Arthur (& subsequent sibs) was born in Worcester, where the family settled. Thomas can be seen there in census returns of 1901 & 1911 at 1 Skinner Street with parents & sibs, in the latter aged 19 listed as a hairdresser & employer

Kelly's Directory shows his hairdressing salon at 10 St John, Worcester in 1912 - 1924:

[photo 1979 just before demolition - salon is to left of picture]
[now - the red building to the right]
In Jul 1931 at St Mark's, Lyncombe, Bath he married Barbara Louise Harriet Brooks (16 years younger than him) and they had one daughter Jill.
[St Mark's - now a community centre]
Barbara went back to Bath to have her daughter - maybe she was under the hospital there, as it was 11 years after marriage, so maybe they had trouble. Thomas died aged 66 in Jul 1958 in Worcester, and Barbara in 1986 aged 78 in Bristol.

Saturday 5th April 2014

Silas William James Matthews was born Jul 1895 in Walcot, Bath to William & Nellie nee Handford. He can be seen in census return of 1901 aged 5 with parents & cousin Rose, at Hat & Feather Yard, Walcot
[Hat & Feather was a pub with yard behind, site of which became the car park - photos I took 2009]
In 1911 census he is at 3 Cornwell Terrace, St Swithin's Yard - very close to 1901 - aged 16 with his parents, working as a jeweller's porter. On 2 Feb 1912 he joined the Army Reserves, signing up as William James Matthews, aged 17½ (really only 16½), where he served at home (ie in UK) for 3 years. In Feb 1915 he was posted to France and the following June he was given leave, due to a back wound and appendicitis. He overstayed his leave, was late back & was punished (his story involved something to do with a tattoo, but the document is hard to read). In March 1919 he was demobbed, awarded 3 medals and sent home to 5 Skrines Place, Walcot. In Oct 1920 at Bath Register Office he married Edith May Gifford and they had 8 children. The first were twins Doris & Iris, born early in 1921 & died soon after, and the 7th child also died in infancy. Some time in 1922-5 they moved from Twerton to Walcot, as the 5th child (and subsequents) was born there. Edith died Oct 1960 & Silas Jul 1961, both in Bath

Monday 31st March 2014

Silas Matthews, son of the Silas I dealt with on Friday, was born 29 Dec 1822 in Walcot and was christened at the Countess of Huntingdon's Chapel on 2 Mar 1823
At the time of the 1841 census he was learning the baking trade, living with William Harvey, to whom he was Journeyman (a kind of advanced apprentice), at Thomas Street, aged 18, although the census-taker rounded him down to 15 (as they did in 1841). In Jul 1846 at Bath Register Office he married Emily Matravers and they had 2 children (although the eldest died aged 4). One blot on his copy-book occurred on 11.30pm on Saturday night, 26 Aug 1848, when he was arrested in the street, carrying on his shoulder a plank of wood which he had lifted from a builders' yard. He denied stealing it, but it was found to have the name of the yard stamped on it and they had one missing. The case went to trial and on 26 Oct 1848 he was found guilty. As it was a first offence & he was of previously good character, he only had to serve one month in prison. I cannot see any further misdemeanours, so evidently this time the deterrent worked. I have no idea why he did this & what the wood was for. In the 1851 census he can be seen running the Claremont Bakery, with 2 children
[photo I took in 2009]
In Apr 1853 Emily died aged 28 & Silas remarried on 14 Dec 1853, again at the Register Office, this time to Sarah Williams & they moved to 9 Lucklom Buildings. The witnesses were his sister Jemima Selway & her husband Edmund. Silas & Sarah had 5 children & by 1861 census they can be seen with 4 at home. Silas had moved away from the bakery business, and he was by now employed as lamplighter. These were respected members of the community, lighting the gas-lamps in the street, and often acting as watchmen, aiding the local police.

In 1871 census he is listed as a Mason, presumably helping brother James in the family business (since their father died in 1866 - see Friday). Unfortunately Silas himself died aged 52 on 17 Feb 1875 at 22 Lampards Buildings, of phthisis (TB), his widow Sarah the informant, present at the death, and he was then just listed as "labourer". (A final disappointment was in Oct 1874 he was fined for not sending his children to school. He may well have been in his final illness by then, although he had a child of 6 and one of 12, it seems a shame) and Sarah's life did not go smoothly after his death. In 1881 she can be seen boarding in Arundel Place, working as a domestic servant. Later that year she married William Flower but he died in 1889 (also of phthisis, living in Black's Passage, step-son Silas informant present at the death) & in 1891 census she was a pauper living in the Union Workhouse. She remained there until her death aged 76 in Jul 1903.

Walcot Workhouse
In 1777 six workhouses were recorded in Bath, the one in Walcot for 100 inmates, rebuilt in 1828 and it was this building which I have spoken of previously, housing the Sutcliffe Boys School (see 21st March) from 1848. In 1947 it was taken over by Harpers of Bath, furnishings company, and has since been converted into apartments.

Silas Matthews junior - son of the above - was born Oct 1856 in Walcot and can be seen in census return of 1861 at Elder Bank Cottages with parents & sibs - and step-sister Martha. In 1871 he is at 13 Wellington Place with parents & sibs, listed as Baker's Boy, aged 14. In Jul 1876 at Bath Register Office he married Sarah Coombes and they had 7 children, although one died aged 4. They lived at 19 Lampards Buildings then can be seen in censuses of 1891-1911 at 5 James Buildings. Firstly he is a brewer, then a labourer, then a house painter - evidently another who could turn his hand to a lot of things. He died aged 67 in Jul 1923 & Sarah in Oct 1926 aged 69.

The final Silas in this branch Silas James Matthews was the son of the above, born Jul 1877 in the Lansdown area of Bath. He can be seen in census return of 1881 aged 3 at 19 Lampards Buildings with parents & sibs, then in 1891 & 1901 at 5 James Buildings with parents & brothers, in the latter listed as Butcher's Porter. In Oct 1901 at the Register Office he married Lily Louise Nicholls & they had 11 children (well, I do have my doubts; a couple of these may be duplicates). In 1911 census return he can be seen at 2 Whiteway Road, Twerton with 4 daughters, listed as House Painter. This is the same time at which his father was also a House Painter, so maybe they worked together. On 2 Sep 1915 he signed up to the army for the Duration of War, in the Labour Corps as a Driver. He gave his Next of Kin as wife Lily at 35 The Close, Twerton-on-Avon. This address is long gone, but was close to Waterloo Buildings (see 16th March). He was transferred in 1916 to the Berkshire Regiment and posted to Dunkirk, where he received an injury leading to a disability. This pay was to be forwarded to his mother, who was in Workhouse accommodation in Weymouth Street, Walcot, and he was demobbed on 21 Feb 1919 home to Twerton. Later that year he & Lily had twins, their final children. One twin died aged just over a year and the other was Killed In Action in Singapore in WW2 aged 25. Silas died in Oct 1943 aged 66, I don't know it this was related to the conflict, and Lily in 1949 in Peasedown.

Friday 28th March 2014

Sidney Albert Matthews was born 26 Sep 1919 in Bath to Silas & Lily nee Nicholls. He joined the Royal Army Ordnance Corps in 1941 and was sent to the Netherlands East Indies. On 4 Jan 1945 in Singapore he died aged 25 while in Action and, although location of remains was unknown, his death was commemmorated on a stone at Kranji Cemetery

He left effects worth £255 to his mother Lily, who had been widowed 15 months previously.

I mentioned the Silases recently. I hope not to get them mixed up!

Silas Matthews senior was born Oct 1783 in Gillingham, Dorset to Edward & Mary Wheatland nee Lewis. A note alongside his baptism records says "Huntingford", which is a farm & hamlet near to Gillingham & they probably lived there when he was christened at the church in Gillingham

On 17 Nov 1798 he was listed as a resident on the Militia List of Gillingham, labourer 5ft 6in tall. His father had died earlier that year, so he inherited the land - is seen in 1835 as landowner of a house & garden. As both older brothers had died, he was eldest male, so inherited the farm and leased it out. Both Silas & younger brother Robert left Gillingham and moved to Walcot, Bath - which is why the family was centred there. (Sister Elizabeth married & moved to Shaftesbury, mother Mary may have lived there until she died in 1811 & was buried in her home county of Wiltshire). On 25 May 1806 Silas married Martha Watkins, although I don't know at which Bath church. They had 6 children and Silas had a stone-mason business in Tyning Lane (seen in the Pigots Directory of 1830 spelled "Tiney Lane"). At the time of the 1841 census eldest son Robert had died age 5 so next son James had taken over the business in Tyning Street, while Silas can be seen in Northampton Street with son Charles & family, living at the bakery (see 21st Jan). Silas is still a stone-mason, aged 58, presumably travelling over to Tyning Lane to work (possibly his brother took him in a chair!) By 1851 census he was aged 68, retired, at 12 Lucklom Buildings, Walcot. Martha died in 1854 and on 9 Jan 1856 at the Somerset Street Baptist Chapel he married Sophia Ayres, an unmarried needlewoman in her 30s (he was 73!) with a little daughter, also called Sophia. In 1861 they can be seen at 12 Lucklom Buildings with little Sophia now called Matthews. Silas died there on 24 Feb 1866 aged 84 of "Natural Decay", Sophia was the informant, present at the death, and she made her mark, as was unable to write.

Monday 24th March 2014

Ruby Lilian Matthews was born Oct 1931 in Walcot, Bath to Silas & Edith nee Gifford. In Jan 1955 in Bath she married John Bowen & I am told they had 7 children. I can see no death record, so she may still be alive.

[Ruby is the lady with dark hair, the others are l-r her sisters Betty, Dorothy & Nellie]

Sarah Matthews was born Apr 1859 in Walcot, Bath to Silas & Sarah nee Williams. Unfortunately for me, in this tree are 4 generations of Silases, 2 of which married Sarahs and also had daughters called Sarah. This one is very sketchy, as a lot of records I thought were hers turned out to be her mother's and the others I am not sure about. She can be seen in census return of 1861 aged 2 with parents & sibs at Elder Bank Cottages, Walcot, but when 1871 comes around she is the only one not at home. As she was 12, she could be with relatives or in service somewhere, or if she died I haven't been able to track down a death record. There is a census record from 1881 that could be her, of a girl born the same year in Bath, working as a housemaid to a military Captain & his family (one of 5 staff) in Paddington, London, but no strong link... And once in London it is very hard to follow up leads.

Sarah Ann Matthews was born Jan 1854 in Walcot to James & Jane nee Rackett and christened at St Saviour's 26 Feb 1854 with her sister (Alice) Kate.

She can be seen in census return of 1861 aged 7 with parents & sibs at 3 Midsummer Buildings, Walcot, but by 1871 she also is in service in London, at 8 Oakley Cottages, Vauxhall, servant to a Thames Lighterman and family. In 1881 she has graduated to Cook in the household of a "landed proprietor" and his family in 25 Argyll Road, Kensington.

In Jul 1885 at St Swithin's in Bath she married Charles Frankham, a gardener who had also grown up in Walcot, and they settled into a cottage in School Lane, Batheaston (a village to the Northeast of the city of Bath) and remained there until she died in 1923, as far as I can tell. Charles ran a market garden business from home, as did a few in that area. Censuses of 1891, 1901 & 1911 show them there & they had no children. Charles still lived in the village when he died in 1928 at Rock View Cottage, which may or may not be in School Lane. He left effects worth £103 to James Albert Smart, carpet fitter.

Saturday 22nd March 2014

Looking at articles in the Bath Chronicle newspaper, I have built up a little more of a picture of Robert Edward Matthews. First I found a record of his having ended up in the Royal United Hospital at the age of 6 with a fractured thigh. Going on the evidence of his later exploits, I would imagine this was due to a fall from a tree. Ten years later, when he had attended the reform school and evidently not been cured of delinquency, he was summoned with 4 others for damage to an Ornamental May tree at a nursery. He was apprended breaking off boughs and handing them to his partners-in-crime, who denied all. He was fined 2s 6d or 4 days imprisonment. He still did not learn from this however, as a very similar case is reported, in 1909 when he was 31, telling of him and a friend stealing and damaging plants at another nursery (in order to sell them, presumably) and being caught by the police carrying bundles of roses. They were remanded in custody & bailed for £5 each until a follow-up trial at Weston (I do not know the result of this but it may explain where he was in 1911).
The other article about him was not criminal, but may go some way to explaining the stress in this household. It is a harrowing account of young Henry's death. It was what we would nowadays call a cot-death, but his body was covered in what they suspected were bruises, so an inquest was held. No foul play was proved and nobody was to blame, but these things always leave a taint, especially when a parent has a criminal record...

Friday 21st March 2014

Robert Albert Matthews
was born Oct 1995 in Walcot, Bath to Silas & Sarah nee Coombes. He can be seen on census return of 1891 & 1901 aged 6 & 16 respectively at 5 James Buildings, Walcot with parents & sibs, in the latter listed as "Trace Boy for Tram Company". Apparently these were lads charged with holding extra horses for trams when they needed more power to go up hills, so this was a sort of groom.

In 1911 census he was boarding with his future in-laws at Dafford Villa, Larkhall,  Bath and  Mr Jones has given his occupation as Butcher. I don't know if he was trying his hand at a different aspect of "animal care", or if it were a joke (people did joke with the census-takers, often to no avail).
In Oct 1912 in Bath he married Henrietta Jones and they had 6 children, including 2 sets of twins (although unfortunately one of the first set died in infancy). On 8 Jun 1915 he joined the Army Service Corps (giving his occupation as groom) and on 23 Aug 1915 he was posted to France. Fortunately he survived, returned and was awarded 3 medals, but died in Jan 1930 in Bath aged 44.

Robert Edward Matthews was born 1 Mar 1877 in Lansdown, Bath to Robert & Eliza nee Cottle. He can be seen on census return of 1881 aged 4 at 24 Lampards Buildings with parents & sister, also 3 other families. As I mentioned yesterday, in 1891 census he is not at home with parents & sisters, he is at Sutcliffe Industrial School for boys in Bath. This was a reform school, so he must have got into serious trouble. It was established in Jan 1848 and in typical Victorian fashion was called the "Sutcliffe Industrial School for the Reception and Reformation of Juvenile Offenders and of Youths in Imminent Danger of Becoming Criminal" - says it all really!

[photo I took in 2009 of Sutcliffe House, now renovated into apartments & offices]
In Oct 1897 in Bath Abbey (St Peter & St Paul's) he married Florence Beatrice Byfield
and they had 5 children but one died in infancy. In census of 1901 they can be seen at 18 Bridewell Lane, Walcot with daughter Winifred (Henry had died), sharing the house with James & Rosina Matthews & family, a servant & 3 lodgers, Robert (known by then as Edward) working as a carpenter. [Bridewell Lane is nowadays a footpath between shops in town but I have a record that states that in 1819 number 18 was an Eating House]. By 1911 the picture is confused, as although Florence is at home in 36 Wells Road, Bath

with 3 children, Robert is not there. The nearest match I can find is of a lodger at 19 Kingsmead Terrace, a general labourer, who says he is single. Robert died on 28 Jun 1913 in Bath aged 37, so I don't know what the story could be there.

Thursday 20th March 2014

The next Robert Matthews has eluded me for a long time, but I have just found his death & burial registered under "Robt". He was born 28 Apr 1810 in Walcot, Bath to Silas & Martha nee Watkins and christened 5 May 1810 at the Countess of Huntingdon's chapel

Unfortunately he died in early April 1815 aged 5 and was buried 7 Apr 1815 at Argyle Chapel
1841  1860
[it looks fairly similar to the 2nd picture now, but of course this funeral was prior to the 1st]

The other "plain" Robert Matthews was his nephew, born Oct 1854 in Walcot to Silas & Sarah nee Williams, the first child of Silas' second wife. Evidently his first wife Emily had been the staunch Methodist, because after her death the children stopped being christened at the Chapel and I cannot find any record of christening elsewhere. They had married at the Register Office, but this was normal for second marriages. Robert can be seen in census return of 1861 aged 6 at Elder Bank Cottages (off Camden Road) with parents & sibs and 1871 aged 16 at 13 Wellington Place (off Lansdown Road), listed as Butcher's Boy.
[site of Wellington Place]
In Jan 1876 at St Swithin's, Walcot he married Eliza Jane Cottle and they had 3 children.

Census of 1881 finds them at 24 Lampards Buildings, next door to where his parents had been living at the time of Silas' death in 1875 (now Sarah was boarding round in Arundel Place). Robert is listed as general labourer and they have 2 children. By 1891 they had moved to 8 Viiners Court, near Belvedere Place. There were still 2 children at home because Robert Edward, the eldest, was a resident at the Sutcliffe Industrial School for boys (I shall deal with him tomorrow). Robert died in Jul 1892 aged 37, and the following year Eliza remarried - to William Charles Walker - but she died 4 years later herself, at the age of 43.

Monday 17th March 2014

Phyllis D Matthews was born Jan 1922 in Bath to Henry & Dorothy nee Giddings. In Jul 1943 in Bath she married Ronald James Vowles but I can find no evidence of children. Ronald died aged 82 in Jul 2005 and Phyllis in 2008 aged 86.

Robert Matthews was born Aug 1787 in Gillingham, Dorset to Edward & Mary nee Lewis and christened there at St Mary's on 2 Sep 1787.

Now, I do have a problem with his marriage to Mary Gilbert. I have pencilled it in for 1817, as the children started arriving in 1818. Of course, this is long before Registration came about & I cannot locate a parish record for then. The record I have found is dated 16 Dec 1810, but Mary would only have been 11 - not impossible but improbable - but is not even in the correct county. Anyway, they had 6 children and can be seen with them all in census return of 1841 in Ballance Street. Robert was a chairman by trade and I shall stop for a while to discuss this. Many people are unaware of this, but have heard of Bath Chairs. James Heath of Bath invented the Bath Chair in the early 18th Century, it
is a "rolling chaise or light carriage with a folding hood, which can be open or closed, used especially by invalids, it is mounted on three or four wheels and drawn or pushed by hand".
They were very popular all over the country then, but dropped out of use. In Bath and other spa towns they remained popular as many visitors were invalids and unable to get about. Robert and other chairmen ran a kind of taxi service, pushing customers to and from the spa buildings in order to take the waters, and around the city's beautiful lanes. There were "drives" leading out of town, where you could get fresh air and take in lovely countryside. The chairmen were regulated by Act of Parliament, they were licensed, had their own badge or number and in 1832 for example the fare was not to exceed 3 shillings. The number of chairs was not to exceed 70 in the city. They had their own "stand" or stop to pick up customers, and a system of fines was in place in case of breach of the rules. Fares for hilly parts, for example the area around Lansdown & Camden, near his home, were set higher, for obvious reasons. He can be seen in censuses of 1851 at no. 17 then 1861 & 1871 at no. 31 Ballance Street. Obviously a job for the relatively young and fit, he retired from his chair business by 1861 when he was 73, doing casual labouring jobs, then in 1871 he was looked after by grand-daughter Mary. Wife Mary died in 1871 & Robert in 1872

Sunday 16th March 2014

Phoebe Sophia Matthews was born in early June 1890 in Bath to Albert & Phoebe nee Dickinson. She can be seen with parents & sibs in census of 1891 aged 11m at 1 Waterloo Buildings, Twerton, Bath next door to the Boatman's Arms pub [now gone]
[these are recent photos - in late 19th century was a mass of little courts]
In 1901 census she can be seen at 15 Norman Road, Shirley, Southampton with parents & sibs, aged 10

In 1911 census return she can be seen working as general servant for a butcher & his family at Market Place, Old Fore Street, Sidmouth, Devon

Jul 1912 she was married in Willesden to William H Hall. I was worried about this (although the family evidently moved around as can be seen above - see Albert on 13th February) until I saw that 6 years later her mother died in that town. I cannot track down any children in this country and cannot find deaths for either Phoebe or William, but then I have no idea where they went! I had just about given up on the search when up popped a directory entry for West Palm Beach, Florida, in 1952, naming a Phoebe S Hall, widow of William Hall! If that is indeed she, I would say she fell on her feet! I cannot at present find anything else, but if I do I'll let you know!

Saturday 15th March 2014 (beware the Ides!)

Olive Ida Matthews was born 18 Mar 1899 in Southampton to Albert & Phoebe nee Dickinson. She can be seen with parents & sibs in 1901 census return at 15 Norman Road, Shirley then in 1911 at No. 1 Francis Cottage, Knaphill, Woking

Oct 1922 in Willesden she married local boy Edward Vaughan & they settled there. I have found 2 children and possibly a third. Electoral roll records show them in 1947 at 16 Dudley Court, Curzon Crescent, Harlesden [this was a 1930s esate which was rebuilt & renamed in 1970s so no longer bears any resemblance]. Edward died aged 70 in 1971 & Olive in Jan 1976 aged 77.

Olive Rosina Matthews was born Apr 1912 in Bath, possibly Wells Road, to Robert & Florence nee Byfield, and her father died a year later. In Jul 1933 at Bath Abbey (St Peter & St Paul's) she married William Alfred Coffin Stainer and they had 3 children.
Unfortunately she died on 28 Jan 1947 aged 35 in Tytherington, Gloucestershire in the Bristol area, where William died aged 69 in 1973.

Friday 14th March 2014

Mary Ann Matthews 3 was born Jan 1883 to Robert & Eliza nee Cottle, possibly at Lampards Buildings, Bath. She can be seen aged 8 in census return of 1891 at Viners Court, Walcot with parents & sister. In 1901 census she can be seen at 11 Grosvenor Place, Walcot, working as housemaid to a JP coal merchant & his family. In 1911 census there is a similar picture in Cardigan, Wales, she is servant in a household, although her place of birth is wrong (these were completed by the householder, who may not know the place of birth of his staff, so I am not too worried) In Jul 1913 she did in fact marry in Wales, at Bedwelty, Monmouthshire George Thomas Swales from Tyne & Wear. His story is worth telling, especially as it is similar to one I have told before (see 15th Jan, Alfred James Matthews). On 10 May 1900 George had presented himself for enlistment to the Army in Newcastle aged 17 and lied about this, claiming to be 19. It wasn't until 1916 that candidates had to prove their age, so nobody queried this. However, as with Alfred, it seemed the reality did not live up to his heroic dreams and after only a few weeks with the Northumberland fusiliers he deserted. Recaptured 2 days later, he was tried & had his service removed (loss of pension, but not much). 2 months later, he deserted again and for a repeat offence was this time imprisoned for 35 days, fined 5s and lost his service to date. He was posted to South Africa 1901-3, but was still a "bad lad" & there are further blemishes on his career, imprisonment & fines for disobeying orders & using abusive language while abroad and back in England. There were 2 further postings to South Africa in 1906 & 07 but he seems to have behaved himself & in 1907 he was transferred to the reserve. The 1911 census found him boarding in his home town of Birtley, County Durham, working as a labourer. After the marriage they must have remained in Bedwelty for some years, as all 5 children were born there, and 2 of them died there in infancy. Evidently George joined the Merchant Navy and I have copies of Crew/Passenger lists for ships sailing to New York with him on board. For example the Trevarrack sailed from Swansea on 16 Nov 1925, landing in New York 30 Nov

Another trip was in wartime, the Empire Leopard sailed from Hull to New York on 28 Dec 1941

He evidently stayed on this vessel for a while, as he was on board a year later on 2 Nov 1942, Chief Steward aged 59, carrying zinc and munitions, off Nova Scotia when it was torpedoed by a U-boat and sunk. "
At 08.03 hours on 2 Nov, 1942, U- 402 fired torpedoes at the convoy SC-107 about 500 miles east of Belle Isle and sank two ships, the Empire Leopard and Empire Antelope. The master, 31 crew members and seven gunners from the Empire Leopard(Master John Evan Evans) were lost. Three crew members were picked up by the British rescue ship Stockport (Master Thomas Ernest Fea OBE) and landed at Reykjavik on 8 November."
His death was commemmorated on the Tower Hill Memorial in London, on panel 43, and the Commonwealth War Graves records. There are two parts of the memorial; one for WW1 & one for WW2
Mary Ann lived in Rhymney, Monmouthshire & she remained there until she died on 22 Jul 1960 at home at 48 Lady Tyler Terrace, leaving effects worth £398 to son George Thomas Swales junior, actor

Thursday 13th March 2014

Mary Ann Matthews 1 was born Jul 1837 in Walcot to Robert & Mary nee Gilbert and christened there 13 Aug 1837 (I cannot find a birth registration but it wasn't mandatory at first - and it only started that year). She remained in Ballance Street all her life.

In census return of 1841 & 1851 she can be seen at No. 17 with parents & sibs, then in 1861 they have moved in with widowed Henry Alexander (his wife, her sister Elizabeth had died in 1859) at No. 31. In Oct 1865 at St Swithin's (see below for pic) she married John Robert Hill, stone mason and they had 4 children. In census return of 1871 she can be seen at No. 18 with 2 children, sharing the house with another family. At this point her parents were still at 31 but died shortly after. As Henry Alexander had died in 1877 (aged 70 - he was somewhat older than his wife), it is not surprising to find in 1881 that Mary Ann & her family are back there. They have 4 children & a lodger and Mary Ann is working as a mantle-maker (a dressmaker specialising in cloaks/coats I understand). This was evidently not a healthy place at this time, as following all these other deaths, John died aged 47 in 1885 and Mary Ann in 1886 aged 40. One of these days I shall buy all the death certificates to see if they had anything in common...

Mary Ann Matthews 2 was born 11 Feb 1858 at 27 Lampards Buildings, Walcot, Bath to Henry & Sarah nee Alexander. She can be seen there in census return of 1861 aged 3 with her parents (see 14th Feb), that rare thing in those days, an only child. In 1871 census she and her parents have moved to 1 Woolcott's Buildings, Walcot. On 5 Oct 1879 at St Thomas a Becket, Widcombe, Bath she married Charles Frederick Williams, coachman/fly proprietor (ie owned his own horse-drawn taxi)
In 1881 census they can be seen at Hooper's Hotel, 4 Newark Street with baby daughter & the Hooper family [this road looked like this in 1942

the bombsite was turned into a bus station

now the whole area is covered with a huge shopping mall. I have already mentioned this road, on 2nd March, as John Matthews lived there in 1891]
The next census finds them at 14 Prospect Buildings, Walcot, with 2 daughters (a son died aged 1 in 1887)

By 1901 they have moved out to 10 Stanley Road, across the river & can be seen with 2 daughters and 3 boarders

Charles died the following year aged 45 and Mary Ann can be seen in 1911 census visiting daughter Ellen & family at 141 Lower Bristol Road, Bath, not far away from Stanley Road. She died in Apr 1937 in Brentford, Middx/London. This initially caused me some concern, but I have had it confirmed by her relative Eira Baden.

Monday 10th March 2014

Madeline Matthews was born Oct 1908 in Walcot, Bath to Silas & Lily nee Nicholls and can be seen aged 2 with parents & sibs in 1911 census at 2 Whiteway Road, Twerton, Bath. In Jan 1929 at St Swithin's she married Edwin George Lomax, a carpenter also from Bath.

They had 9 children, all in the Bath area. On 4 Jun 1953 Edwin sailed on SS Mooltan

from London to Adelaide and on 7 May 1954 on RMS Orontes Madeline followed with the youngest 6 children

(oddly enough, this is a ship I have come across before: in 1881 William Isaac Wooldridge - Grampy's brother - served in the Royal Navy on board this ship, and last year I said about it
This was a troopship which carried troops to South Africa & the West Indies (and incidentally was the ship bringing John Watson back to Britain to convalesce in Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novel A Study In Scarlet).)
On both these trips they gave their home address as 152 Englishcombe Lane, Bath, although obviously Madeline had closed it up and wound up their affairs before they left.

Edwin died in South Australia in 1964 aged 61 but I cannot find out what became of Madeline and the others after that.

Martha Matthews was born 30 Mar 1851 at Claremont Cottage, Claremont Row, Walcot, Bath to Silas & Emily nee Matravers. In fact she appears on census records immediately, as it was taken that night, and she is present there as baby "as yet unnamed" with parents & brother. By 1861 her brother and mother had died, her father re-married and she can be seen aged 10 at Elder Bank Cottages, close to where they were in 1851, with 3 half-siblings. In 1871 she can be seen at 4 Cumberland Row, working as a servant & living in lodgings. I cannot trace her in 1881 census, but she pops up again in 1890, when on 23 Apr at St Matthew's Church, Hill Street, Toxteth, Liverpool she goes in for Adult Baptism. She is listed as aged 39, living at 79 Hill Street [I cannot include photo here, as the church is gone and 79 is a modern house on the edge of industrial estate], giving father's name as Silas, mother's name unknown. I don't know where she was in 1891 or 1901, but cannot find her in Liverpool or Bath. However, she can next be seen on 13 Aug 1910 on board a ship the "Essex" emigrating from Liverpool to Sydney, listed as single Housekeeper.

There is a Sydney marriage of a Martha Matthews to a George Helmrich in 1912, but with no fathers' names I cannot be sure.

Mary Matthews was born in Apr 1854 in Ballance Street, Lansdown, Walcot, Bath to John & Eliza nee Baker. I told the story of this family on 2nd March. In census return of 1861 Mary can be seen at 28 Ballance Street, the Britannia pub, with parents and brother, but not long afterwards, Eliza died and John remarried and moved to Wales for a time.

Thus in 1871 census, Mary (who must have been particularly bright, as it was rare in those days) was still at school aged 17, living with her grandparents & widowed Uncle Henry Alexander at 31 Ballance Street. It's not hard to guess how she met her future hsband, as he was a brewer, William Henry Hutchinson from Reading, although I have no idea why they married in Hanley, Staffordshire. It took place at St John's on 21 Mar 1875.
In 1881 census return they can be seen living at Gordon's Brewery, Islington with 2 children, housemaid & cook (Susan Hutchinson - may be a relative). They evidently still kept up contact with the family in Bath, as in 1891 census Mary is with her 2 sons, staying with her aunt & uncle Isabella nee Baker & her husband Lieut. Col of Infantry Charles Skrine at Laurel Cottage, Sion Hill, Walcot, Bath. Meanwhile William is at home, 14 Brewery Road, Islington with the staff. This area is now huge warehouses, but I am told a well was sunk here in 1860 by Alexander Gordon after starting up a brewery in 1852 in Caledonian Road, then another in Peckham. It ceased with WW1.
Mary & William can be seen there in census return of 1901 with 2 sons & 2 servants, then in 1911 at 8 Portland Road, Finsbury Park, with son (William) Charles & cook [new estate so again no photo available]. William died in 1917 & Mary on 18 Oct 1919 at 8 Portland Road, leaving £4348 to son William Charles, of which £3841 was a legacy from William 2 years earlier.

Sunday 9th March 2014

The other Louisa Matthews was born May 1849 in Walcot to James & Jane nee Rackett and christened at St Saviour's on 24 Jun 1849

(this photo was taken in the same year)
She can be seen on census returns of 1851 & 1861 at Mudsummer Buildings with parents & sibs. In Jan 1868 at Bath Register Office she married George Burgess, baker and they had 11 children (only one died in infancy but 2 girls died as young adults). In census return of 1871 they can be seen at 6 Lambridge Buildings, with 2 children, living over the bakery.

By 1881 they are still there but now there are 7 children and Louisa's sister Alice (Kate) is with them as Housekeeper. In 1891 the household is the same and they have 10 children By 1901 they have moved to their own home (ie not above the shop), Holly Mount, Claremont Road, but George didn't get to enjoy much retirement, if any, as he died there aged 66 in 1904.

The 1911 census shows Louisa still at Holly Mount, listed as "retired baker", still with sister Kate & youngest daughter Georgina, also sister-in-law Annie Burgess & family are visiting. Kate died in 1923, Louisa in 1931. (Incidentally daughter Christina married Alexander Moody & emigrated to New Zealand, returning to UK after his death with 2 daughters. Georgina married railway official Percival Holloway and emigrated to Argentina. They too returned to Bath, but she died aged 99 in Los Angeles!)

Margaret Edith Matthews was born 20 May 1907 in Bath to Herbert & Minnie nee Candy. She can be seen with parents & brothers on census return of 1911 aged 3 at 35 Crystal Palace Park Road, as her father was busy with the Empire Exhibition (see 22nd Feb).

On 21 Sep 1935 at St Luke's Church, Bath (just along the road from the house) she married Colin Melville Medlicott from Aston, Birmingham. As her father always made the local paper, I know what she & the bridesmaids wore, what hymns were sung and how the reception went. Suffice to say the reception was held at the house, with a company of caterers providing for 150 guests, and it was a great success.
They appear to have had no children, so I have to follow them in electoral roll registers. 1937-46 records show them at 16 Lyndhurst Avenue, Mill Hill, London

but 1955 & 1956 at Dundas, Monkton Combe near Bath, a lovely spot on the Kennet & Avon Canal

Margaret died in Jan 1981 aged 73 at Shipston-on-Stour, Gloucestershire and Colin aged 83 in 1987 in Warwickshire.

Friday 7th March 2014

Louisa Matthews was born 11 Jan 1876 in Lansdown, Bath to Jonathan & Mary Ann Crocker, registered with mother's maiden-name of White as all Jonathan's children were (see 3rd Feb). She can be seen in census returns of 1881 & 1891 with parents & sibs at 2 Turner's Buildings, in the latter aged 16 listed as a servant. In 1901 census she can be seen at 6 Belmont, Walcot, housemaid to a retired surgeon & family

A few weeks later at St Stephen's church, Bath she married Frederick John Ricketts
They had 7 children in all, one died in infancy. In March 1910 they set off for British Columbia, Canada on board the SS Canada, with 4 children, stopping off at Portland, Maine on the way.

They settled in BC, and can be seen there on census returns of 1911 & 1921 at Yale with 4 children each time. Frederick said he was a mason back in UK (unfortunately I cannot track him down in 1901 to check), but in 1911 is only doing odd jobs, labouring. In 1921 he is doing "truck delivery" for "depot store" and they have 2 lodgers. Frederick died aged 63 in Vernon, BC on 21 Feb 1938 & was buried there
Louisa died there on 13 Jun 1967 aged 92

Thursday 6th March 2014

Laura Emily Matthews was born 21 Jan 1895 in Bournemouth, Hampshire to Walter & Kate nee Silcox. She can be seen on census return of 1901 at 5 Eastgate Street, Gloucester with parents, 2 brothers & a servant

(boot shop on the right by the tram)
In 1911 they are at 56 Old Tiverton Road, Exeter, Devon.

In Jan 1921 in Exeter she married Frederick Richard Pomroy, local lad who had been in the Royal Army Medical Corps Territorial Force from 1914 to 1919. As he was a tailor I suppose his role was to sew up the wounded, but I cannot see that he ever saw any action. From 1951 to 1968 at least he ran a "Gent's Outfitter" shop at 86 Queen Street, Exeter

It seems they had no children and they both died in 1969, Frederick in January and Laura in April.

Leah Matthews was born 29 Jul 1876 at 5 Allen Street, Clerkenwell to Charles & Maria nee Benson and christened on 27 Aug 1876 at Charterhouse St Thomas
pic 1842
She can be seen on the census return of 1881 at 6 Greville Street, Holborn with parents & sibs, aged 4.

In 1891 she is aged 14, in service at 179 Thomas Street, Lambeth. On Christmas Day 1899 at St Bartholomew's church, St Pancras she married Frederick Thomas Maffey, harness maker. I think they probably grew up together as they were christened at the same church a few weeks apart. They had 2 daughters and can be seen in 1901 census at 20 Mount Pleasant (see 23rd Jan & 1st March) with her mother Maria & the girls, Frederick listed as a saddler. Unfortunately he died 5 years later in Apr 1906 - in Portsmouth for some reason - and Maria in 1904. In 1904 Rosa had no sooner started school than she was taken away to a "nearer one". However, not before the address had hit the records: 15 Wynyatt Street

The 1911 census I had for Leah went with a marriage to a James Flynn/Flint, however I have examined it closely now & find a few discrepancies. He is named on the marriage as bachelor but has 6 children prior to their marriage, and it states they had been married 6 years when it wasn't even two. So I have gone back to the drawing board. Unfortunately as yet I have been unable to trace either Leah, mother or daughter - or even a son I have just discovered called Ernest. In 1911 daughter Rosa can be seen as an "inmate" at the Church of England Home for Waifs & Strays in Beckenham, Kent, which does not bode well...

Monday 3rd March 2014

The other John Matthews didn't turn out to be as productive as expected. All I can find out about him is that he was born in 1893 in Plymouth to Albert & Phoebe nee Dickinson, can be seen in 1901 with them and his 4 sisters at 15 Norman Road, Shirley, Southampton aged 8.

Then in 1911 he can be seen at the Coach & Horses pub, 1-2 Castle Street, Farnham, Surrey, aged 18 working as a potboy.

I think I have found a marriage for him in Jul 1914 in Farnham to Agnes Clara M Koppen, but cannot be sure as I have no fathers' names. If they had children these may be Robert in 1922 & Joyce 1926, but both have mother's maiden name spelled "Coppin". I also cannot find him in WW1 records. There is an outside possibility they went to USA, but there's no link to prove this. Everything is so tenuous...

Jonathan Farland Matthews was born 1828 in Bath to Robert & Mary nee Gilbert and lived his entire life within a couple of streets. He can be seen in 1841 & 1851 censuses with parents & sibs at 17 Ballance Street (see below), in the latter listed as a shoemaker. In Jan 1859 at St Swithin's (also see below) he married Mary Ann Crocker, local girl, and they had 3 children. In census of 1861, he can be seen at 2 Arundel Place, lodging with a lot of other cordwainers (this is a shoemaker who works with new, soft leather), presumably they had one of the worshops here, the place that was bombed in WW2 (see 21st Jan). This was next-door to the house just vacated by Charles and his family, who had moved to London. In 1871 they have moved to 33 Ballance Street with son William, and Jonathan has become a Porter, possibly taking the job vacated by brother John, who lived opposite & had just gone to Wales. William died aged 13 in 1876 & they can be seen in 1881 census at 2 Turner's Buildings with 2 daughters. This was one of the maze of little turnings next to Ballance Street. They were still there in 1891 census, and on 5 Jul 1893 Jonathan died there aged 65 of apoplexy, Mary Ann was informant, present at death. She died there herself a few weeks later.

Kate Mary Ann Matthews was born Jul 1852 in Walcot to Edwin & Mary Ann nee Griffiths and christened at St Saviour's on 28 Aug 1853 with brother Frederick
She can be seen on census returns of 1861 & 1871 at 9 Lucklom Buildings with parents & brothers, in the latter listed as a dressmaker. In Oct 1875 in Southampton she married Thomas Neale and they had 2 children. (His family were from Bremhill, so maybe he was a friend of her brother George, who settled there). They can be seen in census return of 1881 at 3 Morrells Cottages, Clifton, Gloucestershire, Thomas working as a labourer at an "oil & colour works". In Jul 1883 Kate died aged 29 and in census of 1891 Thomas has taken his daughter back to Bath & they are with his mother, who is a caretaker of offices there. Both children stayed with her for some years & she retired in Bath.

Sunday 2nd March 2014

John Matthews was born 1826 in Bath to Robert & Mary nee Gilbert. He can be seen in census returns of 1841 & 1851 aged 15 & 25 respectively, with parents & sibs at 17 Ballance Street, Walcot, listed as a tailor

In Jul 1851 at St Swithin's, Walcot he married Eliza Baker
and a few weeks later son Henry was born, followed in 1854 by Mary. In census of 1861 they can be seen at 28 Ballance Street with 2 children, John listed as labourer.

This house was at one time the Britannia pub, and in 1861 John calls himself "wine-merchant's porter". This was at Eliza's death, she died here on 31 Mar 1862 of phthisis (TB) she had suffered from for 2.5 years. Informant of her death was Sarah Ann Matthews, wife of Henry, John's brother, who was a brewer's labourer himself, from Lampards, just around the corner. The following year John married Hannah Daniel, cook at Belvedere House, also nearby. They had 2 sons, both in Bath, but at the time of 1871 census they were living in Wales - at Tydraw Cottages, Margam, Glamorgan with 2 children and boarder John Daniel (?her brother). I think they went their separate ways after the birth of Thomas in 1874, as when we next see them in 1881 they are in different areas. John has returned to his home town and can be seen at 1 Woolcott's Court, Bath - one of the maze of little turnings next to Ballance Street - with 2 sons, working as a gardener's labourer. Hannah can be seen working as a nurse in Ilfracombe. In 1891 John is calling himself a widower, but I'm not sure about this, as I cannot find an appropriate death. He can be seen at 15 Newark Street, Walcot with a servant, turning his hand to upholstering. [This is now one of the turnings in the middle of the Southgate Shopping Centre]. He died in Jan 1901 aged 74.

Saturday 1st March 2014

Jemima Matthews, another great g/aunt, was born 18 Sep 1839 at Northampton Street, Walcot to Charles & Jemima nee Ingram. Her early years were the same as sister Jane (see yesterday). In Jan 1859 in Clerkenwell she married Samuel Joseph Philip Stocks and they moved to 67 Goswell Street, where they can be seen in census of 1861 with daughter Ellen Jemima and her sister Jane. In 1871 all the family are together in 5 Allen Street [the turning beside 67 - see below - but nothing remains of 19th century]. Samuel died aged 43 in 1880 and the census of 1881 shows Jemima at 24 Mount Pleasant with 3 children & 3 boarders, working as a newsagent & bookbinder. Oddly enough, her sister-in-law Maria lived just 2 houses away 20 years later, when she was widowed (see 23rd Jan). [Both of these are on even-numbered side of the road, engulfed by the huge Sorting Office in 1920s]. By 1891 she had moved to 209 Hollydale Road, Peckham

and can be seen there with 3 children, widowed aunt Mary Spence & 2 visitors. She died on 4 Dec 1898 aged 59 at home, 47 Church Street, Camberwell

and left effects worth £105 to daughter Ellen.

Jemima Ann Matthews
was born 11 Apr 1820 in Walcot to Silas & Martha nee Watkins, and christened there at the Countess of Huntingdon's Methodist Chapel (see Thursday for pics) on 11 Jun 1820. I am not certain, but I think she is in census return of 1841 living in North Street, Bridgewater, Somerset with a schoolmaster & wife, listed as of "independent means". Maybe she was studying something. In Jan 1844 at Bath Register Office she married Edmund Selway, a shoemaker from Combe Down, Bath and they had 7 children, one died aged 1, one aged 9. In census return of 1861 they can be seen at 6 Mount Pleasant, Walcot with 3 children. This is obviously not the same Mount Pleasant I mentioned earlier (in London), but was the turning leading across the top of Ballance Street [and of course was wiped away in 1970s. All that remains is a piece of footpath].

In 1861 census they are at number 7 Mount Pleasant with 4 children. In 1871 they have moved to London, like the rest of the family, and can be seen at 22 Prince's Road, Hackney with Edmund's sister Sarah & family, also their own 2 youngest children. Jemima is listed as a seamstress. In 1881 census she can be seen at 9 Sedgwick Street, Hackney [now a modern unit in industrial estate, fitting tyres] with youngest son Alfred, two lodgers & a boarder. Edmund died there in Jul 1887 & Alfred married & moved out in 1888, so when Jemima died here in Apr 1900 she was alone.

Friday 28th February 2014

Jane Matthews my great g/aunt was born Oct 1848 at 1 Arundel Court, Walcot to Charles & Jemima nee Ingram. She can be seen at that address in 1851 census return aged 2 with parents & sibs. As we know, the family moved to London in the 1850s (see 21st Jan) following the family tragedy, so 1861 census finds her there aged 12, living with her eldest sister Jemima, her husband & daughter at 67 Goswell Street, off Old Street

[this building is on the corner of Dallington Street, where her parents were 10 years later]
On 3 Nov 1868 at St Pancras Old Church she married Henry Von Joel, a builder whose family were German but he had been born in Scotland just before they settled in London.
Jane & Henry had 9 children and can be seen in census return of 1871 at New Ormond Street, Holborn (a mile away to the west) with daughter Jane, Henry's widowed mother Rachel and a servant. In censuses of 1881-1911 they are seen at 2 Guildford Place

[no. 3 is shown still in existence, nos 2 & 1 - which was a boarding house - have gone]
In 1881 there are 6 children, nurse, nursemaid & servant, in 1891 widowed Jemima Matthews is there & servant, in 1901 just daughter Jane & servant and in 1911 son Walter & daughter Jane & 2 servants. Jane died in Jan 1913, Henry 18 Feb 1917, leaving £74,805 to son Walter, a surveyor.

Jane Ann Matthews was born Jun 1844 in Walcot to James & Jane nee Rackett and christened there 26 Jul 1844 at St Saviour's
She can be seen in census return of 1851 aged 6 at 2 Midsummer Buildings, Walcot with parents & sibs. In 1861 she can be seen aged 17 at the Rectory, Croscombe, Somerset, working as a servant in the household of the rector and his 2 daughters.

In Jul 1863 at St Swithin's, Walcot she married Thomas Tucker. I was getting quite excited because I found a string of censuses in Wales wiith 12 children! But in all of them she said she was from somewhere else in Somerset, so I think she was the Jane Tucker who died one year after marriage in Bath. This may have been in childbirth, as there was a Louisa born to a Jane in 1863, who unfortunately died aged 4 in 1867.

Thursday 27th February 2014

I'm not having much luck with the Jameses. I won't bore you with them. I found one married an Ann, but cannot find where, when or her surname and thus not their children. One James was born, christened then died aged 2 then again born & christened but I cannot track him down into adulthood. For the 3rd I managed to track down an elusive christening that fitted, only to find his name there was given as Eli James & he died aged 3 but just as James. So I have only one I can report on:
James Matthews (my great great g/uncle) was born 13 Nov 1814 in Walcot to Silas & Martha nee Watkins and was christened on 1 Jun 1815 at Countess of Huntingdon's Methodist Chapel known locally as the Vineyard.

In Oct 1838 at St Swithin's, Walcot he married Jane Rackett

and a few weeks later daughter Eliza was born. They had 9 children in all, but 2 died in infancy. The 1841 census finds them at Tyning Lane, Walcot with 2 children, James working as a Stone Mason with his father. They ran their business from here, as Silas lived in Northampton Street and the Tyning Lane address is given in Pigot's Directory for both. By 1851 they have moved to 2 Midsummer Buildings and have 5 children. In 1861 & 1871 censuses the address is 3 Lower Midsummer Buildings and the business used this address in 1864 directory and now also included son George's name. [As I have said before, this area has all changed and I cannot show an appropriate photo]. He remained in Midsummer Buildings until he retired and George's name appears as Head of household in 1881. Jane died there in Jan 1884 aged 71, then James moved with George when he went to 22 Eastbourne (see 10th Feb) and died there 3 Jul 1889 aged 75. He left effects worth £29 to daughter Alice Kate and George died there 5 years later.

Monday 24th February 2014

Hilda Annie Matthews was born 15 Jan 1897 in Kilburn, London to Albert & Phoebe nee Dickinson and christened there at St Mary's on 7 Feb 1897.
She can be seen on census return of 1901 aged 4 with parents & sibs at 15 Norman Road, Shirley, Hampshire

In 1911 she can be seen aged 14, working as a servant at The Oaks Lodging House, Frimley Road, York Town, Camberley, Surrey

On 7 May 1918 at Paddington Register Office she married William Allen Rayner, railway porter. It seems they only had one child, Allen in 1928. Hilda died in Apr 1952 aged 55 in Windsor and William in Oct 1994 in Swindon aged 97.

Horace George Matthews (my great-uncle, who Dad referred to as "Uncle Horrie") was born 13 Oct 1885 at 24 Rosoman Street Clerkenwell [road layout is different now, so I cannot provide photo] and christened at St James's

1891 census is missing for this family but we know they were living at 26 Richmond Street, Clerkenwell as it says so on step-brother's baptism a few months later. I cannot find this place now, as is the case with 5 Warren Street, Amwell, Clerkenwell, where they were in 1901, although he can be seen there on census return with mother, step-father & family, listed as Errand Boy. In 1911 census he is at Brompton Sanatorium, Chobham Road, Frimley, working as a Porter.
[This was one of the first purpose-built TB hospitals, made redundant by medical treatment in the 1950s but continued as a hospital until 1985]
On 25 Jun 1914 at St Helen's, Kensington he married Elizabeth Munns, by which time he was a grocer's assistant.

On 19 Apr 1941 Elizabeth was killed in the Blitz at home 62 Stanbury Road, Peckham [number 54 is the last of the terrace that remains]. Her name is on a memorial at Camberwell Cemetery, but apparently nobody recorded the location of remains, as so many were being killed at that time.

She left effects worth £185 to Horace, who was at that time working for the Post Office. I don't remember anything my father told me about his Uncle Horrie unfortunately, so all I can say now is that he died in Oct 1969 in the Battle, nr Hastings, Sussex area.

Iris Caroline Matthews
was born 31 Dec 1932 in Bath to Henry (Harry) and his second wife Caroline nee Spurrell. Thus she grew up with lots of siblings.

At around Christmas 1950 she met Maurice Roy Keen at a dance. He was in the army stationed locally at Corsham.
They married in Jan 1952 at Bath Register Office and moved into one of the 200 or so prefabs which had been set up on Odds Down, which was originally playing fields. I have mentioned before the huge damage inflicted on Bath in WW2 - in 1946-8 the housing shortage was addressed by Bath Corporation providing these temporary structures. Apparently the Corporation laid out concrete bases, roads & services, then delivered sections aboard great trailers, which they slid into place and bolted together.
with 1st daughter Jackie
When Maurice left the Army he worked for several local builders, and Iris worked as a nursing auxulliary at Royal United Hospital in Bath. They had 6 children, so for many years Iris worked in the evenings. She went on to work for 17 years as a waitress, including at the Royal Hotel

In 2002 they celebrated their Golden Wedding

and in Jul 2005 in Bath Iris died. As far as I know, Maurice is still living.

Many thanks to Luke Taylor for all the lovely photos.

Sunday 23rd February 2014

Herbert William Matthews continued. The next item in his story was dealt with yesterday. When his son died, Herbert senior decided to divide up the family home, Westfield House, Bloomfield Road

As I said yesterday, though, Minnie died there on 6 Jul 1945 so it may not have happened (it was soon wartime), or they may have stayed on in part of the house. It is flats and apartments now, but nobody online seems to let on when exactly this happened. His mother died and left some money to him (she was in Swindon but may have been there to escape the bombing). I cannot find a death record/obituary that pinpoints the date of Herbert's death, but suspect it was in London in 1954 aged 79.

Saturday 22nd February 2014
Today would have been my father's 92nd birthday. Happy Birthday Dad (Walter Charles Matthews)

Herbert William Matthews was born in Apr 1874 in Marylebone, London to William & Eliza nee Robins. He can be seen in census return of 1881 aged 7 with parents, grandmother & servant at 42 Hindon Street, St Gerorges Hanover Square [now Hindon Court, modern flats]. In 1891 census he is at High View, Freshford, Somerset with parents & grandmother, aged 17 & an Architect's Articled Pupil. In Jul 1897 he married farmer's daughter Minnie Candy who in 1891 was at a private girls school in Bath. They had 3 children, the eldest I dealt with yesterday. In 1901 census he can be seen with son, niece & nurse at Fairfield, Lyncombe (for photo see yesterday), listed as Architect & Surveyor (employer). He was also on the Bath Council, member for Kingsmead Ward in municipal elections of 1900 & 1903 at least. He is listed in several documents around this time as "Member of the Council of the Society of Architects" (1907), "Commissioner for exectuting Acts of Land Tax" (1907) etc and in 1908 restored "Baldwin's Rusticated ground floor" to Milson Street, replacing 19th Century shopfronts and conserving some of Bath's past. He was a great supporter of restoration of sympathetic renovation that Bath so desperately needed (and does so even more today, unfortunately). More of this later. In 1911 census they can be seen living at 35 Crystal Palace Park Road, Sydenham, London.

Although some branches of this family lived in London (and in fact Herbert himself was born there) I must admit I was puzzled by this move, as he was so well entrenched in society & politics of Bath. However, when I found that he was appointed to be the Business Manager of the Exhibition of Empire held here at Crystal Palace Park in 1911, this explained it all. Although the project was run by Frank Lascelles as Pageant Master, Herbert was architect, designer and business manager. The exhibition was held to celebrate the occasion of the coronation of George V and "dramatised the history of London, England & the Empire", the pageant ran on four separate performances starting on 8 June 1911, including music composed by English compsers Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst among others. Herbert had designed and organized exhibits that were full-scale versions of dwellings from countries around the Empire, including some from his home town of Bath. He took a party of eminent citizens from Bath, laid on a private train for them, and treated them to a tour with organized refreshment breaks, special shows and talks.

As part of the Festival, an Inter-Empire Sports Championship was held, where teams from Australasia, South Africa & UK competed, regarded as the forerunner of the British Empire Games held from 1930 - and now known as the Commonwealth Games. The Festival ran until October, and was closed by the King. As the company had no funds left, Herbert no doubt returned to Bath straight away. His next project was the creation in Aug 1912 of another company, called the Radium Development Syndicate Ltd, which took over the running of baths, mineral waters, the Pump Room etc. They had a registered office in London, and Herbert had his own office at 25 Knightsbridge, their aim to promote mineral waters including radium & radioactive components. Marie Curie was at the forefront of developments at this time and may well have visited Bath as she spent a lot of time in the westcountry. Herbert next became a director of Grand Pump Room Hotel Co. Ltd and redesigned the famous spa hotel in Bath to his own specifications

In 1916 he had to retire due to "urgent government business". What this was I do not know, but in December 1932 he was awarded the contract to create the "largest hotel in Britain", in Blackpool.

(I know I don't usually do this, but will have to say to be continued...)

Friday 21st February 2014

Herbert George William Matthews was born 26 May 1898 in Walcot, Bath to Herbert William and Minnie nee Candy. He can be seen on census return of 1901 aged 2 with parents, cousin & nurse at Fairfields, Lyncombe, Bath. This house was later the home of Emperor Haile Selassi when in exile [1st photo at that time 1934, 2nd when it was a Residential Home 1994]

By the time of 1911 census the family was living at 35 Crystal Palace Park Road, Sydenham (I shall explain the reasons for this later) and he can be seen there aged 12 with parents, sibs and Companion

They soon returned to Bath and Herbert attended Bath College. When WW1 started he signed up to fight in the 2nd Warwickshire Yeomanry. In 1916 he was transferred to the Royal Flying Corps as a 2nd lieutenant
To do so he had to "get his wings" and he passed the test on a Maurice Farman Biplane

Later he joined the R N S (Royal Naval School?) and was one of the first 25 officers trained at Weymouth for special duty in "hydrophone boats" (an early form of sonar used to detect submarines etc). After demobilisation he went to Malaya, planting rubber and was appointed by the Rubber Research Institute of Malaya as manager of their experimental station. On 11 Aug 1926 in Church of the Ascension, Bath he married Florence Vera Dauncey. Their families were old friends, and they grew up together, although the Daunceys were originally from Wales. Apparently the bride, known locally as Vera, was a keen member of the Bath Operatic Society and there were 200 guests at the wedding, as they were a popular couple. One of the bridesmaids was Margaret "Mollie" Matthews, Herbert's sister
They spent their honeymoon in Brittany but only a few weeks later Herbert sailed off to Singapore on the SS Karmala on business

It all seemed very positive but the next piece of news is the granting in 1934 of a divorce to Vera, on the grounds of adultery by Herbert. She can be seen on shipping records sailing on 20 Apr 1934 to Singapore on board SS Sibajak, presumably to deliver it in person.

Apparently he followed her home, although if it were to make up it didn't work. I don't know what happened next but he was "invalided" and died on 12 Jul 1937 at the age of 39. He was buried at St James's Cemetery and left effects worth £958 to his mother Minnie. I understand that his father decided to split up the family home (see tomorrow) at this point and plans were passed to convert it into flats/apartments. The family must have stayed on after this in part of the house, at least for a while, as his mother died there 8 years later.

Thursday 20th February 2014

Herbert Frank Matthews was born 15 Feb 1899 at Foxham, Wiltshire to George & Ellen nee Newman and christened on 15 Aug 1899 at Melksham church

He can be seen with parents & sibs in 1901 census at West Street, Great Somerford and in 1911 at 3 Foxham Lock, Bremhill (see 10th Feb)

In Apr 1934 in the Chippenham area (possibly Foxham) he married Nora Amy Barnes. As both Matthews & Barnes are such common names I cannot trace their children, as there are many called Matthews with mother's maiden name Barnes, all over the country - and they cannot possibly all be theirs! None in this particular area, though, so they may not have had any at all. Herbert died in the Chippenham area in Jan 1978 aged 79 & Nora also in Jul 1990 aged 83.

Herbert Edward Matthews was born 9 Aug 1907 in Bath to Robert & Florence nee Byfield. He can be seen in census return of 1911 aged 3 at 36 Wells Road, Bath with mother & sibs

In Apr 1936 he married Kathleen Mary Crook in her home town of Devizes, but they must have returned to Bath at some point, as they both died there, Herbert on 6 Jul 1985 aged 77 and Kathleen in Nov 1993 aged 80. The same applies to this Herbert with regard to children - there are lots with mother's maiden name of Crooks, but all in the Surrey area.

Monday 17th February 2014

Henry Francis Matthews was born Jul 1880 in Clerkenwell - probably at 6 Greville Street, Holborn (just off Hatton Garden, where my father had so many customers) - to Charles & Maria nee Benson, and can be seen there in 1881 census with parents & sibs.

In 1891 he was still with them at 2 Cambridge Buildings, Westminster in 1891 census. On 22 Oct 1900 at St Bartholomew-the-great church he married Annie Matilda Hudson, witnesses Arthur & Ada Mathews, his brother & sister-in-law and Henry is a silversmith.
[featured in the film Four Weddings & a Funeral, where Hugh Grant's character stands up "Duckface"]
In 1901 census return they can be seen at 7 Northampton Street, Clerkenwell with baby son Henry aged 3 months. Unfortunately little Henry died a few months later, but they did have 3 further children, who survived. Henry senior is listed as a Pipe-Mounter, which was a development of his silversmith skills. Pipes were very common for smoking tobacco, and in UK the stem was joined to the bowl with a ferrule of hallmarked silver
Literally "around the corner" was Henry Comoy & Co. a firm very famous for briar pipe manufacture - they may even have introduced them to London from France (most pipes were clay before this, and broke easily).
Site of Comoy Co. in 1943
In 1911 census his job description confirmed this is his likely employer by specifying he was a "briar pipe mounter", although by then they had moved round to 6 Rheidol Terrace in Islington and had 3 chidren at home and 2 boarders

Unfortunately I cannot get any further, as all the names are so common there are many multiples for everything.

Henry James Matthews was born Oct 1851 at 17 Ballance Street, Bath to John & Eliza nee Baker and in census return of 1861 can be seen aged 10 with parents & sister at no. 28.

The following year his mother died and his father married again & by the next census he can be seen at Tydrow Cottages, Margam, Glamorgan, Wales with father, step-mother & half-brother, listed as a Furnaceman. On 22 Dec 1877 at Swansea Register Office he married Ann Davies and they had 6 children. In 1881 they are living at Llanrhidian, Glamorgan with baby daughter Elizabeth (always known as Eliza), working as a tin worker. In 1891 they are still there, by now with 6 children, and Ann's mother Eliza. This entire household has by 1901 moved to Beach Road, Penclawdd, Llanrhidian (next door to the Post Office).

By 1911 Ann's mother had gone, and they were still at Penclawdd, just along the road at 2 Sea View, with 2 children. Henry was working as a boiler stoker at one of the collieries sprinkled across the region.

I do not have a death record for Ann, but thanks to my relative Wyn Matthews have access to Henry's death certificate. He died on 23 Mar 1947 aged 95 at the house above, 2 Sea View, of cardiac failure, acute bronchitis & old age, the informant son William.

Sunday 16th February 2014

Henry Matthews 2 (aka Harry) was born at the end of 1891 at 5 James Buildings, Walcot, Bath, birth registered Jan quarter of 1892, to Silas & Sarah nee Coombes and can be seen there in censuses of 1901 & 1911 with parents & sibs, in the latter listed as Butcher's Errand Boy. On 14 Oct 1914 in Bath he married Dorothy May Giddings, local girl, working in her father's bakery, and they had 4 children. Unfortunately Dorothy did not survive the 4th birth and died in Jan 1922 aged 27. In Jan 1929 at Holy Trinity church, Bath he married Caroline May Spurrell, also local, daughter of a chimney sweep, and whose brother was a butcher, so maybe worked with Harry.
[Holy trinity, Bath - only closed 2011]

They had one daughter Iris. Unfortunately his daughters Evelyn and Violet died in the Blitz in Bath - I shall tell the story on Violet's entry. Harry died Jan 1966 in Trowbridge, Wiltshire and Caroline must have been lonely, as in 1974 at the age of 73 she married widower Gerald Frederick Durbin in Bath.

She died in Apr 1977 in Redruth, Cornwall and he in 1983 back in Bath.

Friday 14th February 2014

Harry Charles Matthews senior was born Jul 1859 at 9 Lucklom Buildings, Walcot, Bath to Edwin & Mary Ann nee Griffiths and christened on 31 Jul 1859 at St Saviour, Larkhall
He can be seen there in census returns of 1861 & 1871 aged 1 & 11 respectively, with parents & sibs. In 1881 he can be seen at 2 Abbey Churchyard with parents & sibs, listed as a painter

In Jul 1889 at St James, Bath he married Elizabeth Sarah Ash and they had 2 children. In census return of 1891 they can be seen at 7 Alexander Road, Bath with their daughter, Harry listed as House Decorator, in 1901 at 6 Lyncombe Place with 2 children and his brother-in-law Albert Ash, plumber. In 1911 they were at 32 Claverton Street, Widcombe with 2 children. [Claverton Street is now a wide dual carriageway]
Harry died in Bath Jul 1934 aged 75 and Elizabeth followed less than a year later aged 70, leaving £3397 to two law clerks.

Harry Charles Matthews junior, his son, was born Apr 1893 in Bath and censuses were as above. In 1911 he was 18 listed as a Grocer's Porter. I have two "versions" of him I could follow, both longshots. If he married on 25 Jul 1914 at St Luke's, Kilburn (London) Amy Florence Agate, then he died 18 Oct 1936 aged 44 in Willesden & left her £527. Or else he may have died Jan 1970 aged 76 in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Neither has anything to do with Bath...

Harry Francis Matthews was born Apr 1893 in Hunspill, Bridgwater, Somerset to William & Elizabeth nee Emery.He can be seen on census returns of 1901 & 1911 aged 7 & 17 respectively at 1 Skinner Street, Worcester with parents & sibs (see 16th Jan & 20th Jan for brother Alfred John & sister Bessie), in the latter listed as a Fishmonger's Assistant.

In Jan 1915 in Leek, Staffordshire he married Prudence Susannah King Mackins,
a tailoress from Kent, who was boarding in Leek. They do not appear to have had any children. Harry died aged 79 in Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire in Oct 1872 and Prudence Jan 1974 in Winchester, Hampshire aged 85.

Henry Matthews 1 was born in 1831 in Bath to Robert & Mary nee Gilbert. He can be seen on census returns of 1841 & 1851 with parents & sibs at 17 Ballance Street, Walcot, in the latter listed as Brewer.
[I have dealt with Ballance Street, and what happened to it before. I don't need to every time it comes up. Please see previous entries]
In Jan 1857 at Bath Register Office he married Sarah Ann Alexander, who had been a servant in the Beef Steak Tavern, New Market Row, Bath [I suspect now no. 6 was no.7]

In census return of 1861 they can be seen at 27 Lampards Buildings, Walcot with daughter Mary Ann & another family. (I don't know what possessed the census-taker but he called Sarah Lorvick for some reason, and wrote Mary Ann as aged 3m not 3 years!)

In 1871 census they are at 1 Woolcott's Court - one of several courts & closes at the top of the hill behind Ballance Street, where the Royal High junior school is now. Henry died on 12 Jan 1877 aged 46 and Sarah can be seen alone on census of 1881 at 19 Lansdown Road, Walcot, a lodger & laundress. (This is about 200 yards from Ballance Street)

[My photo 2009 but I don't think it has changed much - navy door]
Sarah died aged 56 on 1 Nov 1888.

Thursday 13th February 2014

Harold Leslie Matthews was born 19 Mar 1898 in Gloucester to Walter & Kate nee Silcox. He can be seen there on census return of 1901 aged 3 at 5 Eastgate Street with parents & sibs and servant.

In 1911 he can be seen with parents & sister at 56 Old Tiverton Road, Exeter

His brother Edgar was at this stage in Dorchester, learning the retail trade by working as a grocer's assistant. Harold joined the Railways & records show that he joined Great Western Railways on 6 Oct 1919, working at Exeter Station as an engine cleaner,
1910 St David's Station Exeter
GWR engine 1876
gaining promotion on 5 Feb 1920 to Fireman based at Newport, then Bristol, then Barnstaple. Their father ran a cycle shop in Sidwell Street, Exeter (see later) and when he died in 1921 left it to their mother Kate. On 15 Sep 1922 Harold left the railways "to enter business with his brother". I don't know what happened and whether this business was anything to do with the shop, but it was evidently not what he expected, as the next we hear is that on 25 Aug 1923 Harold left Exeter on board the SS Bendigo, sailing to Freemantle, Australia.

He gave his UK address as 12 Toronto Road, Exeter (only 300 yards from the shop) and his intention to settle in Australia as a farmer.

It seems that he may have married a Mary A Smith in 1927 in New South Wales, but there are no details and no further info on him.

Monday 10th February 2014

George Matthews
was born 17 Dec 1897 in Walcot, Bath to Silas & Sarah nee Coombes (registered Jan 1898). He can be seen in census returns of 1901 aged 3 and 1911 aged 13 at 5 James Buildings with parents & sibs. In Apr 1919 in Bath he married Rosina Violet Champion. George died Apr 1972 in Bath and Rosina lived on until she died on 13 Jun 2002 aged 103 at Royal United Hosital, Bath - of old age!

George Albert Matthews was born Apr 1866 in Walcot, Bath to Edwin & Mary Ann nee Griffiths, twin to William Francis Matthews. They can be seen aged 4 in census return of 1871 at 9 Lucklom Buildings, Walcot with father & sibs. Their mother died in 1877 and in 1881 census George is at 2 Abbey Churchyard, Bath with father, step-mother, listed as Errand Boy. (William was living with his aunt, working as gardener). On 26 Apr 1886 at Bremhill, Wiltshire he maried Ellen Matilda Newman.
Bremhill church
They had 9 children, and were lucky enough not to lose any in infancy.Census return of 1891 shows them at Foxham, Chippenham, Wiltshire with 3 children, George an Ag Lab (agricultural labourer).
Foxham church
In 1901 census they can be seen at West Street, Great Somerford, but they were not there for long. Birth records of their children show the family's movements and they only had one child here: Florence (although listed in 1901 census as "infant son aged 7 days"!)
Great Somerford church
The other 7 children were born at Foxham, and 1911 census finds the family back there, living at Foxham Lock with 6 children
Foxham  lock
Ellen died aged 78 in Jan 1946 & George followed later that year aged 83.

George Henry Matthews, my great grandfather, was born in Jul 1851 at 1 Arundel Court, Lansdown, Bath to Charles & Jemima nee Ingram. He was born at a traumatic time in the family. I have told the story before of how in 1850 Jemima found her mother had hanged herself and the family went off to London. George's arrival was one of the things that delayed their going for a couple of years, as did the winding up of the bakery business run by Charles. But by the time of the 1861 census they are all at 14 St John Square, Clerkenwell and George is 9 years old. I have a note that I once found a record for Clerkenwell in 1871, with George listed aged 19 working in a brass foundry, but I cannot now find this record. He is not living with his parents there. This man is a problem to me, as his name is not coming up with the events I know happened, so I'm not sure what name(s) he was using. He was a Brick Wall for years, as his son used the father's name "William George" on his marriage cert, but as this was after his death & in Victorian times you would not have addressed your father by name anyway, I put it down to this. However, not only is 1871 census conspicuous by its absence, his marriage to Emily Parker is fraught with difficulties. The record I have been using calls him "Thomas Henry" and his father "William" not "Charles", but I do have doubts, as I can see his signature is clearly Thomas there and Emily is "Barker" not "Parker". It is approx. the right time, ie a year before the birth of the first child, but all these compounded errors worry me. 1881 census shows him at 2 Princes Street, Clerkenwell, listed as a Brass Moulder, but as I said on 30th Jan, 2 year old Eliza should be there with them. George died aged 34 on 3 Jul 1886 in Holborn Infirmary of "morbus cardio aortic" (heart condition), by which time they had 3 children.
Holborn Infirmary 1879
It has just occurred to me that this may be the reason for the children going to the school in Hanwell. Holborn Infirmary was at that time still part of the Holborn Workhouse and they may have made the arrangements for him at his death. Anyway, as we know, Emily re-married shortly and brought the children home. She married George's fellow brass moulder Henry J Parkinson on 29 Aug 1888 at St Peter's, Clerkenwell and went on to have 4 children with him.

George James Matthews was born Oct 1864 in Walcot, Bath to James & Jane nee Rackett. He can be seen on census return of 1851 at 2 Midsummer Buildings, Walcot with parents & sibs, then 3 Lower Midsummer Buildings in 1861 (see 17th Jan for sister Alice Kate), listed as Bread Baker. I suspect that when his uncle Charles left for London, a number of friends & family took on the bakery. By 1871 he is working as a stone mason, probably with his father. Either the business has been sold/discontinued or he/James decided there was more of a future in masonry. They are still in Midsummer Buildings, as they are in 1881. By this time, James has retired and George calls himself Builder. As George did not marry, and both his parents died in the 1880s, 1891 census finds him living alone at 22 Eastbourne, Walcot, described as Builder & Contractor.

However, he died in Apr 1894 aged only 47.

Gertrude Annie Matthews was born 23 Dec 1889 in Foxham, Wiltshire to George & Ellen nee Newman and christened 23 Feb 1890 at Melksham church. This is very odd to me, as my father was stationed at Melksham for training during WW2, and he never knew he had family there.
Melksham church
She can be seen in census of 1891 aged 1 at Foxham with parents, brother & sister, then in 1901 at West Street, Great Somerford aged 11. By 1911 she has found employment & can be seen at 1 Union Street, Chippenham as servant in household of a corn merchant.

In Jul 1912 in Calne, Wiltshire she married Frederick Fenner. They had 5 children, all boys, and remained in Chippenham for some decades. Gertrude died there aged 82 in Jan 1972, but although Fenner is not a common name, there are many in that area and as I don't know Frederick's date of birth I cannot find which death of that name is his. None is in Chippenham/Calne so he could have died anywhere.

Friday 7th February 2014

Frederick Matthews was born 25 Jan 1901 at 20 Suffolk Place, Marylebone to Albert & Emma and christened at Christ Church on 6 Mar 1901. He was Florence Minnie's brother, so the censuses were the same. On Christmas Day 1921 at St Michael & All Angels church, Harrow Road, Willesden he married Mary Ellen Drinkwater, local girl.

They had 3 children (possibly 4 - see later) and in 1945 were living at 65 Fernhead Road, Kilburn

[now a restaurant - Frederick was a fishmonger, like his father] when he was caught in the street by a bomb dropped on London (of which there were thousands at this time). He later died of his injuries in hospital. He was only 44. [Incidentally, Harrow Road is where the church is where he got married, and Fernhead Road is nearby].

He was buried in the special plot for Civilian Dead in Paddington Old Cemetery, Willesden Road

When Mary Ellen died on 27 Jan 1963 aged 62 she was living at 17 The Greenway, Rayners Lane, Pinner but died at Mount Vernon Hospital, Northwood (a specialist cancer hospital), leaving effects worth £333 to Mrs Marjorie Beber, who may be a daughter - I can find a marriage in 1962 of Marjorie Matthews to Hermann Beber, but no birth with maiden-name Drinkwater. Maybe she was a niece etc I haven't yet come across.

Frederick Herbert Matthews was born Nov 1850 at Lucklom Buildings, Walcot, Bath to Edwin & Mary Ann nee Griffiths and christened 28 Aug 1853 at St Saviour with his sister Kate. He can be seen in census returns of 1851, 1861 & 1871 all at 9 Lucklom Buildings, in the latter listed as a Mason. I have a note that he died in Apr 1876 aged 25, but cannot find a record to back this up. He cannot be found in 1881 census, but I can see Fredericks in sailing lists to Australia and to Canada with correct birth dates.

Thursday 6th February 2014

Florence Minnie Matthews was born 27 Feb 1903 at 5 William Street, Marylebone to Albert & Emma and christened there at Christ Church on 15 Apr 1903

(See 11th Jan for her father Albert, showing how they moved about London)
In 1911 census she can be seen at 18 Colin Road, Willesden with parents & sibs

In Oct 1924 in Willesden she married Alfred W Watts. Son Arthur was born in 1926, but I cannot see further children. Florence died in Apr 1948 aged 43 and Alfred possibly 1960 aged 58 (although if so, in Harrow).

Florence Valentine Matthews was born Feb 1895 in Walcot, Bath to Silas & Sarah nee Coombes. She can be seen in census return of 1901 at 5 James Buildings, Bath with parents & sibs
[James Buildings in 1960s just before demolition]
In 1911 census she can be seen at 13 Cleveland Place West, London Road, working as nurserymaid in the household of a Butcher Dealer (with a housemaid & 2 boarders)

[the butcher's shop is now a fish & chippy]
In Apr 1920 at Bath Register Office she married Herbert William Sidney Tucker, a local lad who can be seen on 1911 census in Bodmin Barracks in Cornwall, as a private in the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
Son Edward arrived shortly after the marriage (hence Reg Office) but they appear to have had no further children. Florence died Oct 1945 aged 50 and Herbert in 1993 aged 70, both still in Bath.

Frances Annie Matthews was born 26 Dec 1904 at 26 Wynyatt Street, Islington [gone now], and christened at St James Clerkenwell
She can be seen in census retun of 1911 aged 7 at 6 Rheidol Terrace, Islington with parents, sibs & 2 boarders

[I had a 2011 Google Streetwise picture previously, but the building was covered in scaffolding. Thank you, Google, for updating!]
After this, unfortunately, I cannot track her. She may in Apr 1938 have married Robert W Warner, then may have died in Dec 1953. But without buying the marriage certificate, I can't be sure (online London marriages at present cease at 1921, shame)

Monday 3rd February 2014

Ethel Kathleen Matthews was born in 1874 in Walcot, Bath to Jonathan & Mary Ann nee Crocker (vague, because the problem with tracking down an exact birth record is that it seems that Mary Ann gave her maiden-name as White at the birth of all 3 children. It is possible she didn't understand the term, but it does rather throw me out now, 140 years later. She also seemed to want to call her Kate, but this never caught on - maybe Jonathan didn't let her). Anyway, she can ce seen in census returns of 1881 & 1891 at 2 Turners Buildings (near Lampards Buildings) with parents & sister (brother William died when she was 2), in the latter working as Domestic Servant aged 17. Both her parents died in 1893, so in 1901 census she can be seen aged 26, at 16 Somerset Place, Walcot, working as kitchenmaid, one of 4 staff (others were cook & 2 housemaids)

I don't know what happened, but when we see her next, in 1911 census, she is an inmate in the Union Workhouse at Odd Down, near Bath, occupation listed as housemaid, but (in the column only fairly recently revealed) designated an Imbecile. This was not necessarily a derogatory term in those days and in this scenario merely gives an insight into her reason for admission. The definition from that time is one of a person with reduced mental age, unable to take care of themselves.

[now St Martins Hospital - pic 2012]
When she subsequently died on 21 Jul 1921 it was at the Lunatic Asylum in Wells, Somerset aged 46 and a post-mortem was performed. This found "organic brain disease for many years". Sad.
[uniform button and the asylum or Mendip Hspital, now built around with new estates]

Florence Sarah Matthews was born 6 Dec 1905 at 2 Berkeley Cottages, Walcot, Bath (registered Jan 1906) to Silas & Lily nee Nicholls. She can be seen in census return of 1911 at 2 Whiteway Road, Twerton, Bath aged 3 (should read 5 but was corrected to 3 for some reason) with her parents & 3 sisters.

She sent this photo to her boyfriend at Christmas 1931, apparently (although I'm not sure how old it was, as she looks a lot younger than 26!) when she lived at Woodbine Cottages, Bath. In Jul 1933 in Bradford on Avon Methodist church she married him - Bertram Stanley Niblett

[pictured then & now, no longer used]
Apparently she worked in a children's home in Bath before her marriage, and later as Housekeeper for Mrs Moulton & Mrs Wood in Bradford on Avon.
Bert was a local boy, trained as a gardener working at The Lynchetts Nursery (above - now a hotel) as gardener/handyman before moving on to CS Bowyer Ltd, builders & undertakers, where he worked as a Stone Mason for 39 years before retiring. He was a Sergeant-Major in the Salvation Army, then a local Methodist preacher for 40 years! Interesting chap, as he supported the local history group and gave many a lecture on the subject, then in 1980, in his late 70s, wrote a book on the subject & was published in 1981.
[portrait on book sleeve]
He died aged 83 in Aug 1988, with a funeral at the United Reform Church (the one pictured above was closed by then), then cremation at Haycombe, Bath - which was incidentally in Whiteway Road, where Florrie had lived as a child. She helped out at the Lynchetts Nursey well into her 80s and was known locally as "Granny Florrie", she was fit & active & was still living in her own home when she turned 100 years old, in Calne, Wiltshire. I am assured that she did in fact receive a telegram from the Queen and was very pleased to do so. She died the following year, in Jul 2007 aged 101.

Many thanks to her granddaughter Lyn for help in 2011

Sunday 2nd February 2014

Ethel Georgina Matthews
was born on 26 Jan 1888 in Walcot, Bath to Alfred & Emily nee Keevil. She can be seen on census returns of 1891 & 1901 aged 3 & 13 respectively, at bakeries 24 Berkeley Street & 1 Walcot Parade, both in Walcot, with parents & brother, then evidently at 10 Walcot Buildings in 1904 (see 16th & 17th Jan for her father & brother, both Alfreds)
In 1906 the whole family emigrated to Philadelphia & she can be seen in census return of 1910 with her parents at 1938 McClelland Street [now a hole - see 16th Jan]. On 15 Jun that year at the Prince of Peace Episcopal chapel she married Albert James Clifton. He had been born in Cornwall in 1882, but his mother died at his birth and his father remarried. When he was 6 they emigrated to Philadelphia. Thus Albert had been brought up there and was now a weaver in a silk mill. They had a daughter Florence in 1916 & in census of 1920 they can be seen at 1615 Cantrell Street, Philadelphia, Albert described as a "Loom fixer at mill". He had signed up for the WW1 Draft in 1918, giving this address & occupation, naming Ethel as next of kin at same address, describing himself as having light brown eyes & black hair, medium height, medium build.

Unfortunately I cannot track them down in 1930 & 1940 censuses, so the next we hear is when Albert is drafted into WW2 at the age of 60 on 27 Apr 1942. He gives his address as 3642 North Percy Street, Philadelphia, (familiar to us as this is where his father-in-law had been in 1920).

I have found from his death records that he died aged 84 in Jun 1966 in Bristol, Pennsylvania, and last address known to the Social Security office was Bensalem, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, which I understand is just outside Philadelphia (but this was before 1951). Ethel died on 16 Aug 1981 at Elizabethtown, Lancaster, Pennsylvania aged 93.

I think it very amusing that I get to study a branch of the family in Philadelphia on Groundhog Day!

Saturday 1st February 2014

Elizabeth Matthews 3 was born at the end of 1862 in Walcot, Bath to Silas & Sarah nee Williams, birth registered in Jan 1863. She can be seen on census return of 1871 aged 8 at 13 Wellington Place, Walcot with parents & brothers. [This was an alley off Belvedere, used to contain 25 dwellings, in 1968 directory had 3 unoccupied buildings, now an alley beside an indian restaurant - my photograph 2009]

I had everything plotted out for her, including marriage & subsequent censuses & death record until I realised that dates & places of birth didn't quite match from her marriage onwards and this was likely to be a different Elizabeth Matthews. So I have scrapped all this and am trying to match her up into a coherent story where all details match. I again thought I had until I realised that when her mother Sarah came to stay with her she had remarried & so had a different surname. It is details like this that give away a faulty timeline. I am afraid I haven't been able to get any further with this one so far.

Elizabeth Kate Matthews was born Nov 1890 at 7 Alexander Buildings, Bath to Harry & Elizabeth nee Ash. She can be seen there with them in census return of 1891 aged 5 months

In 1901 she is with parents & brother at 6 Lyncombe Place [gone now], then 1911 aged 10 at 32 Claverton Street nearby [unfortunately a wide dual-carriageway nowadays - the A36], Elizabeth listed as a cashier at a draper's. Unfortunately I then have the usual trouble - who and where did she marry? I found one record in 1912 on the Isle of Wight , but it was to a John Smith, so I don't want that one to be true (it is too far away really anyway)! Another is better, only 25 miles from Bath at Axbridge, Somerset but cannot access the cert so cannot tell if it is hers - the name is Albert E Goodall, so would be better and there is a matching death but it is in Cheltenham, so not encouraging.

I have been having trouble with the Elizas/Elizabeths, I am quite glad to be moving on.

Ellen Matthews
was born Jan 1843 in Northampton Street to Charles & Jemima nee Ingram. She can be seen in census of 1851 at 1 Arundel Court with parents & sibs. See 21st Jan for the story (if you have forgotten it) of why the family moved to London. She is next seen at 14 St John Square, Clerkenwell with parents & sibs, working as a purse-maker, aged 18. On 15 Oct 1863 at St Mark's, Myddleton Square, Clerkenwell she married Phillip Carl Schirold, a pocket-book maker so they may have met at work.
I am so pleased with the opening up of (some) German records in that I can actually follow her through... They had another marriage ceremony in his home-town of Frankfurt on 2 Dec 1863. As there are no more records for this couple in UK, I assume they stayed in Germany. However, I cannot find death records for them, so maybe they moved on. The rest of the Schirold family are there, always in Frankfurt, and have lovely names: he has one sister Eva, parents Johann Bernard & Anna Maria Ottilia nee Kurtz, grandparents Johan Aloysius & Johanne Eleanore nee Reges, aunts Catharina Elisabetha (married Thomas Hofman), Sabina Christina Johanne and Maria Magdalena Catharina (who unfortunately died aged 18 months in 1802). Sadly his father died when they had only been there a few years, in 1871.

Ellen Beatrice Matthews was born Jul 1875 in Walcot, Bath to Edwin Barnard junior & Emma nee Faulkner. She can be seen aged 5 with parents & sibs in census return of 1881 at 4 Weymouth Buildings, then 1891 aged 15 at Prospect House, then 1901 at 18 Seymour Road as Nellie

In Jul 1903 at St Swithin's church, Walcot she married Charles Smallwood.

He had been born & raised in Birmingham, but the family lived in Worcestershire prior to his marriage. He did have a brother born in Bath in 1882 so his family probably lived there then. His father was a jeweller and although he trained as an accounts clerk, he is listed in 1911 as Manager of a Jewellery manufacture & repair business (like my father's). They had their first child in Bristol in 1905, then another in Birmingham in 1908. He evidently hadn't stopped moving around the country, as they can be seen in census return of 1911 at 4 Ellora Road, Streatham, London with 2 children [next door was a General Store].

They soon moved to Bradford, West Yorkshire, as the youngest child died there in 1914 aged 6. However, they evidently settled there, as both Ellen (Jul 1945) & Charles died there, and also subsequently their son Ronald (1960).

Friday 31st January 2014

Elizabeth Matthews 1 was born in 1818 in Walcot, Bath to Robert & Mary nee Gilbert. Through these ancestors I have introduced you to Northampton Street and Lampards Buildings, where ancestors lived, both in Walcot. They were parallel turnings off Julian Road, and there were others too; Harley Street, Burlington Street & Morford Street are all there today. Ballance Street ran alongside Lampards Buildings and has now almost replaced it. In what is known as the "Sack of Bath", huge swathes of artisan cottages were demolished in the early 1970s & replaced with large-scale concrete blocks. It enraged many people world-wide who had any contact with Bath and its history. The famous photographer Lord Snowdon rushed over to catch them as they came down and his photographs are heartbreaking. Fortunately artists like Peter Coard has captured the elegance of Ballance Street before it was torn down. I have seen what is there now and it feels like a wilderness.
Elizabeth can be seen with her parents & sibs in census returns of 1841 and 1851 at 17 Ballance Street and this is what in 1968 Peter Coard immortalised of this house and the one next door, number 18, where a family called Alexander lived:
Henry Alexander can be seen on census of 1851 at number 18 with his blind widowed mother, working as a house painter. In Jan 1855 his mother died aged 80, and on 19 Mar 1855 at Bath Register Office he married Elizabeth - presumably they had to wait until he was free from the responsibilty of looking after his mother before they could do so. Witnesses at the ceremony were Robert & Eliza Matthews (bride's father & sister-in-law). I'm not sure whether Elizabeth moved into number 18 with Henry, or they moved straight away to number 31 as I have no documents relating to their early married life.  Elizabeth was 37, not an age for starting childbirth, but there are two records that could be babies of hers, a Mary Ann born Jul 1856 died Jan 1859 and Henry born Jul 1858 died Oct 1858. She herself died Apr 1859 after only 4 years of marriage, aged 41 (which is why I was looking at possible problem births). Henry can be seen at 31 Ballance Street in censuses of 1861 & 1871, and Elizabeth's parents & sister are with him, until he died there on 28 Aug 1877, leaving effects worth £450 to his nephew Albert Stevens, grocer.
Now I will show you what has been done to Ballance Street in the name of progress:
Although when I was mooching around there in 2009 I did find they had left a few old bits behind - a fireplace of one of the houses on the left, for example:

One of Lord Snowdon's photographs of the process in Ballance Street & the man himself:

Elizabeth Matthews 2 was born Oct 1774 in Gillingham, Dorset to Edward & Mary nee Lewis and christened there at St Mary the Virgin on 6 Nov 1774.

On 7 Feb 1811 at the same church she married William Calpin, also from Gillingham. I'm not at all surprised, given the various spellings you can make from this surname and how many variations of their first names you can get, that I cannot track them down in 1841 census, which was pretty basic. Elizabeth died in Apr 1849 in Shaftesbury, Dorset & the only death I can find for William in the Southwest (most Calpins are in the North) is 1855 in Southampton.

Thursday 30th January 2014

Eliza Matthews 2 was born Jan 1839 in Walcot, Bath to James & Jane nee Rackett. She can be seen in censuses with parents & sibs in 1841 aged 2 at Tyning Lane, Walcot and at 2 Midsummer Buildings in 1851. All I have achieved today with this lady is to disprove 2 possible marriages I suspected for her, and in the absence of anything else have to abandon her at this point. Maybe something will come up when/if proper parish records appear for Somerset at some point, where fathers' names are mentioned...

Eliza Edith Matthews is even more confusing. She was born Jul 1879 to Robert & Eliza Jane nee Cottle, and can be seen on census of 1881 aged 1 at 24 Lampards Buildings, Walcot with parents & sibs, as Edith (mother also called Eliza).

Then still there in 1891 but now as Eliza. So, as her father died the following year and her mother remarried, then died, I have no idea where she went - and what name she went there under!

Eliza Emily Matthews, my great-aunt, was born 29 Mar 1879 in Clerkenwell to George & Emily nee Parker and was christened 22 May 1881 at St Philip's, Clerkenwell.
She was aged 2 but christened at the same time as her cousin Joseph Holdgate. [This church is interesting if you have read Arnold Bennett's novel Riceyman Steps, as the steps to the church, as seen in the picture above, became known by their ficticious name he gave them in his novel written in 1923. The church was closed & demolished in 1936]
After that I used to have a big gap until she was an adult, but I have just had one of those breakthroughs! I found both her, and possibly my grandfather William too, at the Central London District School in Hanwell.

Weirdly enough, I had only this morning watched a TV programme featuring this school, and part of it was recorded there! It was a kind of extension to the workhouse system in London, taking in young destitutes and caring for them, training them up for future employment and removing the burden from their parents, who were generally destitute themselves, due to a variety of circumstances. Charlie Chaplin famously attended in 1896, only 5 years later, and I cannot tell if Eliza & William were still there at that time.

(a dormitory and the new schoolhouse, built that year 1891)
[it is now a Community Centre and gym to cater for the local population in a similar way]
Their circumstances were quite traumatic - in 1886 their father died when Eliza was only 7 and William only 4 (uncle Horace was a babe in arms, which is why he wasn't included in this, presumably). Their mother subsequently remarried and they could return. In the 1901 census they are back in the family environment, Eliza is at 5 Warren Street, Amwell, Clerkenwell [all gone now], with her mother, step-father, both her brothers and 4 step-siblings, working as a shoe-trimmer. This was evidently not to her liking though, as by the next census she can be seen at the Prince Albert pub, 119 Albert Road, Peckham, working as a Domestic Servant in the household of the publican, along with a barmaid, nursemaid & baby of the owner. Since then the pub has had a checkered career - it changed its name to the Consort - when the road name was changed to match [and is still Consort Road], then The Shergar, Then The Frog, then a shop, and last summer it re-opened as a restaurant The Peckham Bazaar.
There are several marriages that could be hers, the one I favour is Apr 1938 in Camberwell to Charles E Neighbour - my doubt being that she would be 59, late for a first marriage, but there is a death to match, in Jan 1964 aged 85 in Camberwell and several electoral roll records at 131 Gloucester Road, Camberwell (but I cannot be sure without buying the certificate).

Monday 27th January 2014

I have several Elizas and Elizabeths in this tree, so as before I will have to number them.
Eliza Matthews 1 was born to Charles & Jemima nee Ingram & the birth was registered in Jan quarter of 1847 at Lansdown, Bath. I am sure all their children were born in Northampton Street, so that answers my question of yesterday - why Lansdown? It wasn't the village itself, but a sub-district of Bath, including the northwest part of the city where this family lived. From 1837-1874 registration was mandatory, but no charge was liable if you didn't. After 1874 the registrar's office would seek you out & fine you £2 (£100 in today's money) if you didn't. Anyway, Eliza can be seen in census return of 1861 aged 4 at 1 Arundel Court, Walcot with parents & sibs. See 21st Jan for the complete story, but suffice to say here that she went with her family to London. Census of 1861 shows them at 14 St John Street, Clerkenwell & she is listed as a 13-year-old purse-maker. In 1871 she is with them still at 5 Allen Street, aged 23 and being trained by her mother as a dressmaker. The following year, on 19 Aug 1872 at St Mark's, Myddleton Square she married accountant Richard Buffett Callen. Witnesses were Charles & Sarah Elizabeth Matthews (her father & aunt).
However Richard died 3 years later aged 34 & is buried at Hebron Bedminster Burial Ground, Bristol.

The following year she married Walter Blunt at the Parish Church, Old St Pancras on 27 Sep 1876, witnesses Edward Blunt (groom's father ) & Jemima Matthews (her mother).
Walter was described as a "fancy leather worker", as was his father & grandfather. In 1881 they can be seen at 11 Bingfield Street, Islington. Walter & his grandfather Edmond were employed by father Edward, making pocket-books (i.e. wallets) for some years. In 1891 Walter & Eliza have moved to 176 Junction Street, Islington, next door to where Edward is now Licensed Victualler (Publican), running the Boston Arms (had been since at least 1878  & prior to that running the Whittington Stone at Highgate Hill) while Walter is Fancy Leather Goods Manufacturer, an employer. I think it was on Walter's marriage that Edward took up his dream - he left the family business to his son & started running a pub.

Incidentally, if you are interested in pubs (as I am!) you may be curious about the Boston Arms. It was built in 1869 as a hotel and Edward added a bath-house in 1884 alongside:
When public bath-houses became unnecessary, it was turned into a Music Room/Venue, the main room catering for 600 and is still going strong. At the time of the 1891 census mentioned above, Edward was there with 2 sons, 2 daughters and a staff of 14: 4 barmen & 4 barmaids, 2 potmen, cook, housemaid, billiard marker & a page!
1901 census shows Walter & Eliza at 17 West View, Highgate Hill with a servant, Walter still running the fancy leather-goods business. Edward died in 1908 aged 95 (in a pub of course!) The 1911 census shows Walter & Eliza at 41 Archway Road, Highgate [right on the A1 with a famous view:]

[the house on the left here]
Walter died 1921 aged 76 at Highgate, and Eliza likewise in Apr 1926 aged 79.

Sunday 26th January 2014

Edward Matthews was born Mar 1742 at Gillingham in Dorset to William & Elizabeth (Betty) nee Simmonds and christened there at St Mary the Virgin church on 4 Apr 1742

On 3 Oct 1762 at St Augustine the Less, Bristol he married Ann Brown,

with whom he had 2 children, then she must have died as on 12 Oct 1773 he married widow Mary Wheatland nee Lewis in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. Mary had married Stephen Wheatland the previous year, but he must have died almost immediately. I cannot find the deaths of either of these first spouses as death records that far back are hard to find. In 1773 Edward was living in Wootton under Edge, Gloucestershire and Mary in her home town of Malmesbury. They may have been married in the Abbey or in St Mary's, but it was by licence, as Edward was "not of the parish". Bondsman (i.e. witness) was Robert Lewis, yeoman, probably Mary's father. Edward was described as an Agricultural Labourer (Ag Lab) as most were in rural towns in those times. They returned to Gillingham, his home town, and had 5 children, although one died in infancy. Edward died aged 56 at the beginning of 1798 and was buried on 10 Jan at St Mary the Virgin. Mary died in 1811 and was buried in Ramsbury, Wiltshire (where she probably lived after his death).

Edwin Barnard Matthews junior was born Apr 1847 in Lansdown, a village just north of Bath to Edwin Barnard Matthews senior and Mary Ann nee Griffiths. He can be seen at 9 Lucklom Buildings, Walcot with parents & sibs in census returns of 1851-71, in the latter listed as carpenter. [Lucklom Buildings was damaged in the Blitz and demolished, like so much of Bath, but I don't know what it was like at this point anyway as it had been compulsorily purchased in 1936]. In Oct 1867 at St Thomas à Becket church, Widcombe, Bath he married Emma Ann Faulkner
They had 6 children but in 1871 each is with their own parents & Emma is accompanied by her 2 daughters Ada & Alice. In 1881 they can all be seen at 4 Weymouth Buildings (see 10th Jan for pic) with 5 children and in 1891 at Prospect House (likewise) with 6 - incidentally, this lovely building was a school at one time. In 1901 they were at 18 Seymour Road with 3 children and no doubt still lived there when Edwin was admitted to the Royal United Hospital with heart trouble. He died on 10 Mar 1910 of myocarditis & cardiac failure, Emma informing of the death.

[now has been reinvented as the Gainsborough Hotel & Spa]
After her husband's death, Emma went to live with her daughter Alice and can be seen with her at 39 Third Avenue, Oldfield Park, Bath in 1911 census along with her youngest daughter Daisy

and she was probably there when she died in Jul 1916 aged 65.

Edwin Barnard Matthews senior was his father, born 1 Jun 1826 in Walcot, Bath to Silas & Martha nee Watkins and christened at the Vinyard, Countess of Huntingdon's Chapel on 1 Oct 1826
The 1841 census shows his family at Northampton Street (a road we know well...) but Edwin is not with them. He was at this stage 14, almost 15, and could be anywhere. The most likely I found was  at Fountain Buildings, Walcot, with a family called Matthews who I do not know. The problem with 1841 census is that it doesn't state the relationship to the Head of household as other subsequent censuses do. If it said "cousin", "nephew" etc I would know where to look! Anyway, in Jun 1846 at Bath Register Office he married Mary Ann Griffiths and a year later Edwin junior was born (I'm not sure why at Lansdown), followed in 1850 by Frederick, by which time they had settled at 9 Lucklom Buildings, Walcot. In 1851 census Edwin is there with 2 children & he is a boot & shoe repairer, likewise in 1861 with 5 children. In 1871 he can be seen there, but Mary Ann is missing. He is 44 years old and has changed occupation. The shoe-repairing was evidently insufficient, or he had a musical dream... He is now calling himself Pianoforte Tuner. Mary Ann may have been in hospital somewhere (although she should still show up) as in Jan 1876 she died aged 49. As the youngest child was still only 7, it is not surprising that Edwin re-married quite quickly. He married Laura Matilda Joyce at the Register Office in Jan 1877, an upholsteress, local girl 10 years his junior. In 1881 census they can be seen at 2 Abbey Churchyard, Bath with 4 children & a servant.

Edwin is doing well at his new job as he is now an Organ Builder at the Abbey. It seems that the Abbey Organ is continually being rebuilt & replaced over the years. A lot of work went into building the one in the north transept from 1868, by a company called Wlliam Hill & Co (not the bookies!) but this was not quite completed when the whole thing was moved to Cromer, Norfolk in 1896 & a new one built (they did leave some parts behind to incorporate into the new one). Since then many more replacements have been made but the current one made in 1997 still has some of the parts from the old 1868 one.

Although the 1891 census is again missing, we can see from the Post Office Directory of 1895 that he was working as a piano tuner from 31 Southgate Street and he can be seen there in census return of 1901, still listed as Organ Builder with his own business from home [now a hair salon].

By 1908 they have moved to 8a Westgate Street [living above what is now a bakery - 8a is now 3 separate flats]

Edwin died there aged 81 on 4 Apr 1908 of influenza & pleurisy, Emma informant, present at the death. He was buried on 10 Apr 1908 at the Abbey, and no doubt the organ he helped to build played at the service.

Saturday 25th January 2014

Dorcas Maria Matthews was born 25 Feb 1867 in Clerkenwell to Charles & Maria nee Benson and christened on 17 Mar 1867 at St Thomas Charterhouse. I had such high hopes of an unusual name like Dorcas, but it seems it was an empty gesture, naming her after her grandmother, as after her childhood it was never used & she was called Maria. She can be seen on census returns of 1871 & 1881 with parents & sibs, first at 14 Greville Street, Holborn, then at no. 6 (see 23rd Jan for pics) in the latter as Maria, Flower Maker. She was then trained to put her flowers on hats & can be seen in 1891 census at a draper's shop in Hoxton, employed as Assistant Milliner, living with her employer at 191 Hoxton Street [still a shopping street, but with modern buildings, nowadays 191 is a hair salon]. This is where this file gets confusing. On 8 Jun 1885 at St Thomas's church, Bethnal Green (just half a mile from the shop) she married James Pearceson. This surname is a problem - it may be a mis-spelling of the much more common Pearson, but either way comes up with nothing either for the couple after marriage, or for James before. There is also the question of why she was there in the census taken 6 years later, single & under her maiden name. I hesitate to disregard either of these documents, as the census confirms her occupation as milliner (as does the marriage) and the marriage document names her father as Charles, fishmonger. I wonder if she lied to keep working, as in those days you had to leave most jobs once married. This doesn't, of course, explain why they both disappeared off the records, though...

Doris Laura Matthews was born 26 Mar 1903 in Bath to Robert & Florence nee Byfield. She can be seen on census return of 1911 at 36 Wells Road, Bath [one of 3 houses in this terrace bombed in WW2 & rebuilt into flats] with mother & sibs (father was elsewhere). As she never married the next we hear of her is her death in Jan 1977 in Bath, aged 73.

Dorothy Marguerite Matthews was born 24 Jan 1895 in Lambeth to Albert (John) & Phoebe nee Dickinson and christened on 20 Feb 1895 at Holy Trinity, Lambeth

[church was bomb-damaged & subsequently demolished]
She can be seen aged 6 in census return of 1901 at 15 Norman Road, Shirley, Southampton with parents & sibs (if you recall, they moved about a lot.) [See 13th Jan, this is the house looking straight onto the railway tracks]. In 1911 she can be seen at Bartropps, The Heath, Weybridge, Surrey, working as a "Between-Maid" (a tweeny") in the household of Philip Pilditch, 1st baronet, later Sir Philip, architect & Conservative MP. Also in this household were a governess, cook, & a parlourmaid. No doubt Dorothy had to run between the former two - and of course the family.
A tweeny
On Christmas Day 1920 at St John the Evangelist church, Kilburn she married labourer Ernest Robert Savine. Witnesses were Charles Savine (groom's father or brother) and Olive Ida Matthews (bride's sister). Dorothy gave birth 6 months later to a boy they called Ernest, but he died shortly afterwards and I cannot see that they had further children. In fact, following them through the electoral roll records, they appeared to live at completely different addresses. In the 1920s Ernest can be seen at 110 Cambridge Road, Kilburn while Dorothy is at 17 then 21 Winchester Avenue (only a mile away, granted). Dorothy stayed at that address until she died there in 1972, but Ernest had returned to Islington by the time of his death in 1970.

Edgar Charles Matthews
was born Jul 1892 in Truro, Cornwall to Walter & Kate nee Silcox. His parents moved around a lot while having their 3 children, having Edgar in Cornwall, Laura in 1895 in Bournemouth & Harold in Gloucester in 1898. The 1901 census return shows them still in Gloucester, at 5 Eastgate Street with a servant. Walter was a Boot Shop Manager - maybe he had to go to different branches & manage them...
[Eastgate Street 1904 - the boot shop was down the far end where the tram is, now rebuilt in modern blocks and inhabited by Santander]

In 1910 Walter appears in Kelly's Directory, giving his address as 56 Old Tiverton Road, Exeter. But in 1911 census return Edgar has left home (he is 18) and can be seen boarding at 11 Alexander Road, Dorchester, working as a Shop Assistant at a grocery. (Incidentally, the widow he is boarding with states on the form that she had 17 children but 6 died! That's the largest figure I have come across! Apparently the Guinness World Record is 69 - but that included lots of multiple births).

Unfortunately Edgar did not marry and died relatively young. He died aged 57 at 34 Harbour Road, Hamworthy, Dorset on 1 Feb 1951 & was buried on 6 Feb. He left effects worth £522 to Edward Walter Matthews, carpenter, who I am afraid I do not know...

Friday 24th January 2014

Clara Matthews was born 7 Oct 1878 at 2 Allen Street, Clerkenwell to Charles & Maria Benson and christened at St Thomas Charterhouse on 27 Oct 1878. There had been a Clara born to these parents in 1870 but she died in infancy. It was quite normal in those days to reuse a name. She can be seen on census return of 1881 aged 2 with parents & sibs at 6 Greville Street, Holborn then with them at 2 Cambridge Buildings, Westminster in 1891 aged 12. Unfortunately, her story is short as she died Oct 1896 aged 18.

Constance Lilian Matthews was my Auntie Con, born 20 Nov 1917 at 39a Clayton Road (another one born in the playground - see 20th Dec) to William & Florence nee Hennig. In Apr 1937 at Camberwell she married Norman Leslie Longman - always known in the family as Les - and brought him home to 135 Peckham Rye to live with her parents (see 12th Jan for picture). This continued until after the war, when they moved to their own place, and electoral roll records show them from 1946 at 141 Commercial Way, Peckham. [This was a house on quite a main road, but this part now looks rather different:

Commercial Road runs over the most attractive bridge here, but the paths are where 141 stood, so I don't know what happened]. In 1962 electoral rolls show their daughter Kay & her hisband in residence here too, but records cease at this point at the moment. I do know that they all moved to Cliftonville near Margate in Kent, and that was where Con died in Feb 2006. (Les had died in 1969 in Greenwich, no doubt in hospital there).

Daisy C Matthews was born Oct 1901 in Southampton, Hampshire - as I said on 13th Jan her parents moved around a lot - to Albert & Phoebe nee Dickinson. She can be seen on census return of 1911 aged 9 with her parents & sibs at 1 Francis Cottages, Knaphill. The next sign of her is after her mother's death she can be seen with her father in electoral roll records of 1927-39 at 38 Bengeworth Road, Lambeth [now industrial land beside the railway owned by EDF energy company]. In Oct 1940 in Lambeth she married Ernest Dorrien Sussex, but as this was a marriage fairly late in life, they do not appear to have had children and in Apr 1950 in Southwark Daisy died aged 49. Ernest died in Wandsworth in 1989 aged 73.

Daisy May Matthews was born Apr 1889 in Walcot, Bath to Edwin & Emma nee Faulkner and can be seen in 1891 census return aged 2 at Prospect House with parents & sibs. Likewise she can be seen with them in 1901 at 18 Seymour Road, then in 1911 with sister Alice & family at 39 Third Avenue, listed as a Confectioner's Assistant.
I can find no more of her except a tantalising little item on the Ancestry site. There used to be a link to a grave site at Alabama, USA, but the info has been removed and the link no longer works. I wonder if she did go so far afield and then die at the age of 89. Another possibility is a marriage in Chard, Somerset in 1958, but by then she was in her late 60s and a first marriage then is rare.

Thursday 23rd January 2014

His son Charles Matthews was born 3 Jun 1841 in Northampton Street and can be seen there on 1841 census, aged 3 days, with parents, grandparents & sister Jemima. In 1851 he is with parents & sibs at 1 Arundel Court, which I have discovered was reached by a way through between numbers 34 & 35, called Arundel Place, which remained until the bombs dropped. He went with his parents to London & in 1861 census he was 19, living with them at 14 St John Square, Clerkenwell, working as a fishmonger. In Apr 1864 in Clerkenwell he married Maria Benson and son Charles was born a year later, while they were living with Charles & Jemima at 3 Allen Street. They were still living with them when daughter Dorcas Maria was christened (she was named after Maria's mother) but in 1868 they moved into their own home, the census of 1871 shows them at 14 Greville Street, Holborn
[I'm sure they wouldn't recognize it today!]

and in 1881 they can be seen in the same road but at no.6 with 7 children
[a little less "improved"]

In 1891 they were at 2 Cambridge Buildings, Westminster [now Thorndike Street and redeveloped] with 4 children and a grandchild. Charles died in Oct 1895 and Maria went to live with daughter Leah & her family. She can be seen with them in 1901 census at 20 Mount Pleasant. [The world-famous Postal Sorting Office was developing by the day at this time & gradually expanded to take in all the land on that side of the road by 1920]. Maria died in 1904.

Their son Charles Joseph Matthews was born Jun 1865 in Clerkenwell and christened 2 Jul 1865 at St Thomas Charterhouse

He can be seen aged 6 at 14 Greville Street in 1871 census with parents & sibs, likewise in 1881 census at no. 6 aged 15, listed as a clerk (see above for photos). On 8 Mar 1890 at St John the Evangelist church Walworth he married widow Mary Jane Buttery nee Bradley.
She had given birth to 4 children in her first marriage, but two had died in infancy, so the 1891 census shows them living at 141a Battersea Park Road, at that time a wine shop (formerly & later - including now - the Pavilion pub), with the proprietor & his family, along with Charles' two step-daughters Lydia & Charlotte (then known as Matthews).

He is listed as a "Law Writer", which I understand was a clerk/scribe who wrote out law documents in the years before electronic machines made this easy. I cannot track down the family in 1901 but Mary Jane died in Oct 1904 in Camberwell, so they were probably somewhere in that area. In 1911 Charles can be seen at 17 Queens Road, Southwark, boarding with a widow and her son, listed as a Law Clerk at (what looks like) "Bess Ltd". He states that of two children, only one is still living. His son Henry can be seen with his step-sister Lydia & family in Walworth, so the other child died (but I cannot find any records with so little info). There are also lots of options for Charles - deaths, emigrations, marriages, but none of these fits perfectly.

Tuesday 21st January 2014

Charles Matthews, my great great grandfather, was born 28 Jul 1817 in Walcot, Bath to Silas & Martha nee Watkins and christened 21 Aug 1817 at The Vineyard, Countess of Huntingdon's Chapel [Methodist Chapel, closed 1981, now a museum of buildings]
On 3 Nov 1838 at York Street Baptist Chapel he married Jemima Ingram, local dressmaker. [Called a "spacious chapel" in guide book written in 1835, but no sign remains]. At first they lived with his parents at 39 Northampton Street and Charles set up a bakery business - seen in Robson's Directory of 1839 & Silverthorne's Directory of 1846. They can be seen there in 1841 census return with his parents & 2 children

[I took this photo in 2009. The bakery would have been just around the bend on the left side at the bottom. Unfortunately "on the night of 25/26 Apr 1942 a stick of six 500kg bombs hit the corner at the junction of Northampton Road with Julian Road with a direct hit on 4 store-houses, 5 buildings (including the bakery & house), furniture depot & St Andrew's church [stood where the green is at the bottom]. 91 people were killed". Artist Leslie Atkinson has immortalised it:

As usual in Bath, the hole was filled in and replaced by modern blocks of housing
bakery site 2012
In the late 1840s they moved to their own place, 1 Arundel Court, just a few houses from Jemima's mother, also Jemima, nee Whittick. [This must have been at the bombsite too, as it was right next to no. 39 on the 1851 census]. Charles was building up his bakery business, Jemima was at home caring for 5 children and at no.1 there were also several other adults as well as 3 other children home-schooled by their schoolmistress mother. So one day Jemima left the children with them and popped round to no. 4 to see her mother, who had been in poor spirits lately. She had been widowed 12 years earlier and never really got over it. To her dismay, she entered the house to find her mother had hanged herself! She duly reported the death, saying that her mother had been in an "unsound state of mind for some time". A verdict was found of "suicide, hanged herself, being lunatic". [I have her death certificate and a newspaper article sent to me by a friend/relative some years ago]. I have said in the past that this kind of shock causes people to up sticks & move to another part of the country, and this was the effect it had here. Once Charles could wind up his business they moved to London and this was why my family came from there. The next census return finds them at 14 St John Square, Clerkenwell with 4 children, (nephew William Matthews, a cheesemonger, visiting) along with 3 other families. Charles is baker still at this point, but that doesn't last. By 1871 they are at 5 Allen Street, Clerkenwell [now Dallington Street] with daughter Eliza, Charles is now apparently a "Shipman" - discussions suggest this may read "shopman" but I'm not convinced. Lodging next door is Charles Ingram, Jemima's brother, billiard marker, so not a salubrious area... By the next census he was in Shoreditch workhouse... Anyway in Oct 1873 Charles died and Jemima went to live with her daughter Jane in St Pancras until she died in 1900 aged 84.

Monday 20th January 2014

There are two more Arthurs in this tree.
Arthur Charles Matthews was born Oct 1896 in Worcester to William & Elizabeth nee Emery. He can be seen aged 4 on census return of 1901 at 1 Skinner Street, Worcester with parents & sibs and again in 1911, then listed as Hairdresser's Assistant.

In Oct 1918 at Kidderminster, Worcestershire he married Londoner Edna Emily Lambert. He died in Worcester in Jul 1967 aged 70 and she in Coventry in Feb 1987 aged 86. I am afraid this is all I can find, as Worcestershire records are scant.

Arthur William Matthews was born Apr 1880 in Walcot, Bath to Edwin & Emma nee Faulkner. He can be seen aged 4 in census return of 1881 at 4 Weymouth Buildings with parents & sibs (see 10th Jan) then in 1891 with them at Prospect House. In 1901 he can be seen at 18 Seymour Road, Walcot with parents & sisters Nellie & Daisy, listed as a Carpenter. This is likely to be an error (is is just a ditto for his father's occupation) as he is always a tailor in other documents.

On 18 Sep 1910 in Bath he married Hester Isabella Offer (known as Isabella or Bella) and they settled at 12 Kensington Gardens, off Snow Hill, Bath

(no. 12 is on the right, no. 13 on the left - they soon moved from 12 to 13, my guess is because no. 12 has no back garden)
They can be seen there in census of the following year with his cousin Edwin Faulkner, a baker. On 12 Dec 1915 Arthur enlisted in the army, and was mobilised in the Devon Regiment, Labour Corps on 29 Jun 1916. On 3 Feb 1917 he was sent to France and discharged 28 Mar 1919. (Army info was that he was 5ft 5ins tall, fair and partly deaf in the right ear). I cannot see that they had any children so next we hear is of their deaths. Arthur died on 1 Oct 1938 at 13 Kensington Gardens, leaving £486 to Hester, then she died there on 3 May 1951 & left £2502 to John Rawlinson, civil servant.

Bessie Harriet Matthews was born Jan 1898 in Worcester to William & Elizabeth nee Emery. She can be seen in census returns of 1901 & 1911 with parents & sibs at 1 Skinner Street, Worcester (see above). She died on 2 Jul 1944 at 25 Hall Street, Kidderminster [now apparently part of the Ring Road] aged 46, a spinster, leaving £98 in effects to Mrs Rhoda Beatrice Gardner (there are Gardners in this tree, but I cannot yet find a link)

Sunday 19th January 2014

Arthur Matthews was born Jun 1872 in Clerkenwell, Middlesex to Charles & Maria nee Benson and christened on 7 Jul 1872 at St Thomas Charterhouse church, Finsbury (see 11th Jan for his brother Albert)

He can be seen in census return of 1881 at 5 Greville Street, St Andrew, Holborn with parents & sibs then in 1891 at 2 Cambridge Buildings, Westminster with parents & sibs, listed as a grocer (you may recall father & brother were fishmongers). On 29 Nov 1896 at the Church of Our Most Holy Redeemer, Clerkenwell he married neighbour Ada Blanche Ellen Bryant, witnesses Charles Matthews (who could be his father or his brother) and William James Bryant (bride's brother).

In 1899 they lived in 8 Corporation Row, Clerkenwell, when the first child was born Ada & Arthur was a potman/barman (possibly at the Sekforde Arms which is still there today 150 yards from home) and they can be seen there with her in census of 1901. In 1902 the next child Florence was born at 6 Penton Place, Arthur listed as a painter, then in 1904 at 241 Myddleton Street the third child Clara was born, Arthur again a potman. [None of these addresses exist now, sadly]. Now started a period of familiarity with the local workhouse & its infirmary. On 5 Oct 1905 baby Clara was re-admitted (previously discharged 12 Aug) to the infirmary. Arthur was admitted to the workhouse 5 Mar 1906 with a note on his record "wife+3", discharged the next day, but Clara was admitted to St Luke's workhouse on 15 Mar & transferred 22 Mar to the infirmary. Ada gave birth to William there on 27 Mar 1906 then transferred to the "CRW Lying In" (ie maternity hospital) and round about that time little Clara died. What a traumatic month! By the time of 1911 census Ada was settled at 115 Fairbridge Road, Upper Holloway, Islington while working at the Islington Union (Workhouse) Infirmary as a "Scrubber", but Arthur has vanished.

The next glimpse of Ada is in 1926-8 when electoral rolls show her, still without Arthur) at number 102 Fairbridge Road, sharing a house with 2 other couples.

Ada died in Hendon in 1958 but there is no sign of Arthur after the problems in 1906. I suspect he died in Lancashire in 1918 - but that is merely because it is the only death record with his correct age, and that is unreliable in death records, for obvious reasons.

Friday 17th January 2014

Alice Kate Matthews (as an adult known as Kate) was born in the April quarter of 1852 in Walcot, Bath to James & Jane nee Rackett and christened on 26 Feb 1854 at St Saviour's church, Larkhall, Bath at the age of 2 along with her sister Sarah
She can be seen on census return of 1861 at 3 Lower Midsummer Buildings, Walcot aged 9 with parents & sibs [now blocks of flats]. In 1871 the census says 13 Midsummer Buildings (maybe they re-numbered when the road lost its "Upper" & "Lower") and she is listed with an occupation of "Domestic Duties". In 1881 she can be seen at 6 Lambridge Buildings, Walcot with sister Louisa & her family (she had 11 children in all!),

employed as a Housekeeper, a post she retained through 1891 and in 1901 she was still there as Housekeeper to one of the daughters Alice Burgess (who worked from home as a book-keeper), when the rest of the family had moved to Hollymount, Claremont Road.

Alice was evidently a capable & organized person, as she ran the household for years but did not herself marry, and when her father died in 1889 she was the sole executrix of his estate. The census of 1911 shows that she had moved to be with the rest of the Burgess family at Holly Mount, as Alice Burgess had married (and by 1911 had in fact produced 3 children of her own). Louisa had been widowed in 1904 and this was probably what drew Alice back to the family. Alice was not now employed, but listed as having "private means" and when she died on 9 Jun 1923 she left £1130 to her niece Edith Burgess, a nurse.

Alice Maria Matthews was born Apr 1870 in Walcot, Bath (probably at 1 Clarence Street) to Edwin & Emma nee Faulkner. She can be seen there in 1871 census aged 1 with mother, grandparents, uncle & sister. In 1881 she can be seen at 4 Weymouth Buildings with parents & sister (see 10th Jan for pictures), then 1891 at Prospect House with parents & sibs, listed as a dressmaker

In Jul 1897 at St Swithin's, Walcot she married William John Francis, a gas-meter maker and fitter
[I think it worth mentioning here that this was the church where in 1764 Jane Austen's parents married and her father was buried in 1805 (although his remains were moved in 2000)]. Son Reginald was born a year later and they can be seen in 1901 census return occupying 3 rooms of 7 Cork Terrace, Weston, Bath

William's 5 sisters had their own household in this house, also in 3 rooms - they were all in their 20s & 4 were working. In 1911 Alice & William can be seen at 39 Third Avenue, Oldfield Park, Bath with son Reginald, now 12, Alice's widowed mother & sister Daisy (a confectioner's assistant).

William had been in the army before they were married (1891 census shows him in barracks at Farnborough, Hants) and soon wartime came. On 25 Jul 1914 Reginald enlisted & then 10 Oct 1914 William followed. He enlisted in the Somerset Light Infantry and served until demobbed on 15 Feb 1919. Reginald, however, was discovered to have a heart condition, which was exacerbated by active service, so he was given a medical discharge on 27 Jul 1917 & sent home to "light work" and registered as a Chelsea Pensioner. Light duties obviously did him good, as he lived until he was 91! Unfortunately there are a lot of deaths with the names Alice & William Francis, and no way of telling which ones are theirs.

Thursday 16th January 2014

Alfred John Matthews was born Jan 1895 in Canford, Dorset (near Bournemouth, Hampshire) to William & Elizabeth nee Emery and christened on 2 Jun 1895 at Branksome St Aldhelm church, Dorset

when the home address was given as Bourne Valley, Kinson (not far away). The following year they moved to Worcester and in census return of 1901 he can be seen at 1 Skinner Street with parents & sibs

They were still there in 1911, Alfred listed as "Boot Factory Operative". There are several marriages listed for Alfred J Matthews in the Worcestershire area, but I believe the most likely is in Jan 1919 to Gladys Payne in Worcester itself. If this is so, they settled in Bristol & had 3 children there, but I cannot be sure as on the marriage records there are no fathers' names etc cited.

Alfred Silas James Matthews was born 18 Dec 1911 in Twerton, Bath to Silas James and Lily Louise nee Nicholls. Unfortunately, as he was born after the last census and I cannot link him up satisfactorily with a marriage, all else I know is that he died Apr 1978 aged 66 in Bristol.

Alfred William Matthews was the father of Alfred James, who I dealt with yesterday, so we already know some of his story. He was born 27 Nov 1863 in Walcot, possibly at Lucklom Buildings, to Edwin Barnard Matthews and his first wife Mary Ann Griffiths, but his mother died when he was 13. In the 1871 census he should have been at home at 9 Lucklom Buildings, Bath, but both he & his mother are missing, no doubt visiting somewhere else. Mary Ann died in 1876 but his father remarried the following year and 1881 census shows him aged 18 at 2 Abbey Churchyard with parents & sibs, his occupation baker.

[I think no. 2 is behind the camera shop, but I cannot get there on Google Streetview]
In Jul 1883 at St Michael with St Paul, Broad Street, Bath he married Emily Florence Keevil, from Trowbridge, Wiltshire

In censuses of 1891 & 1901 he can be seen at bakeries at 24 Berkeley Street and 1 Walcot Parade & in 1904 the bakery was at 10 Walcot Buildings (see yesterday for pictures). In 1906 the family sailed off to Philadelphia. (As his father died in 1908 I had expected to see a return trip that year, but as yet I haven't - but then one did require advance notice with no planes to travel by and he probably would not have made it to the funeral.) The 1910 US census shows him at 1938 McClellan Street, Philadelphia with Florence and daughter Ethel, he listed as "baker in a store" (possibly means he ran a bakery shop, as he had in England), Ethel an Operator in a factory. [Unfortunately now this house is missing - it is a hole between 2 terraces, up for sale as a small building plot]. He became a naturalized US citizen in 1919 and in the 1920 census can be seen at 3642 Percy Street, Philadelphia, a "baker in a factory", widower aged 56, living alone

I cannot find any more, so assume he must have died in the 1920s.

Wednesday 15th January 2014

Alfred James Matthews
was born 27 May 1886 in Walcot, Bath to Alfred & Emily nee Keevil. He can be seen on census return of 1891 aged 4 at 24 Berkeley Street, Walcot with parents & sister Ethel. His father ran a bakery, but Berkeley Street was damaged in the Blitz and demolished in 1960s, like so much of Bath, so no photos. By 1901 they had moved the bakery to 1a Walcot Parade, still a lovely building oozing history
front side
[I think the bakery may have been behind the house, and you stepped down into the shop]
On 10 Nov 1902 he went into Dorchester and enlisted in the army - aged 15 years & 9 months - for 12 years! However, it seemed not to be what he expected, as on 1 Jul 1904 he purchased discharge for £18. On 31 Oct 1904 he re-enlisted, but this time in the Army Service Corps as a driver - and for only 2 years (by then he was aged 17) Two thirds of the price was refunded to his mother at 10 Walcot Buildings, Bath (evidently the latest reincarnation of the bakery)

As I have said before, when you find Army records you get all sorts of detail, even some you may not even wish to know! This 17-year-old boy had a fresh complexion, brown eyes & dark brown hair, a mole on the right side of his face, but also a tattoo on his right forearm of a speared heart and the words True Love! When his 2 years service was up, the entire family emigrated to Pennsylvania, USA, arriving in Philadelphia on 27 Nov 1906, aboard the "Noordland".

In 1910 the US census shows them iving at 5327 Glenmore Avenue, Philadelphia Ward 40, with baby son Alfred James Bernard (aka Junior!). [According to Google maps this side of the road is now railway tracks]. Since travelling to America Alfred had worked as a Waiter. His parents & sister lived in Philadelphia Ward 36, his father still a baker. In WW1 Arthur was again in the Army Service Corps as a driver and served in Cananda in 1917 in the Overseas Expeditionary Force. After the war both he & his father completed the paperwork to become naturalized US citizens

Alfred didn't get to enlist in WW2 as by the time of the 1940 census Bertha was a widow (although I cannot find his death record). They attended the Prince of Peace Episcopal Chapel, as that is where Junior was baptised and Emily was buried.

Monday 13th January 2014

The other Albert in this tree was Albert John Matthews born Jul 1864 in Walcot, Bath to John & Hannah nee Daniel. He can be seen in census return of 1871 aged 7 at Tydrow Cottages, Margam, Glamorgan, Wales, with parents, half-brother Henry & a boarder John Daniel aged 15 who may be a relative of his mother. His father was a general labourer & evidently travelled about a lot - a habit he continued through his own life, as we shall see. In 1881 census they have returned to Bath and can be seen at 1 Woolcot's Court, Lansdown, Walcot with his father & brother Thomas (mother is elsewhere). 17 year old Albert was listed as a Printer's Compositor, but evidently this attempt at a career didn't last, as it seems he was really a Jack-of-all-trades. (*) In Apr 1883 at Bath Register Office he married Phoebe Sophia Dickinson. From this point he used his middle name of John - I don't know if this was his way of showing his independence as he was under-age to marry at 19 - hence the Register Office wedding. They had 7 children, and their birthplaces show their itinerant lifestyle: births in Lyncombe, near Bath, Plymouth in Devon, Lambeth & Kilburn in London, Southampton in Hampshire and Knaphill in Surrey over 17 years. Census returns of 1891 show them in Lyncombe, Somerset - still then a village before it became part of the city of Bath - with baby daughter Phoebe, "John" a general labourer. Waterloo Buildings was a riverside property where there is now a tarmac road running along the bank opposite to Bath Spa station. The 1901 census shows them at Shirley, Southampton. In between census "snapshots" they had been to Plymouth & London and had children in each place. When Dorothy was born in 1895 they lived (ironically) in a road where St Thomas's Hospital now stands, in Lambeth (near where I myself was born). In 1897 they lived at Edward Terrace, West End Lane, Kilburn, at a number which I understand was on the south side, now redeveloped. By 1899 they had moved to Shirley, Southampton when daughter Olive was born and 1901 census shows them still there at 15 Norman Road

[which nowadays looks straight onto the railway tracks]
with 5 children "John" is a Stage Carpenter (i.e. one who builds sets, props etc in a theatre - interesting). By 1907 they had moved back to the Southeast and were living in Knaphill, Woking, Surrey. William was born here and 1911 census shows them at no. 1 Francis Cottages with 3 children & "John" is working as a House Painter. In Jul 1918 Phoebe died aged 55 in Willesden (sorry, Pippa, I have no address or details). Daughter Dorothy was married in Kilburn in 1920, but this may not be too relevant. He & youngest daughter Daisy may be seen on electoral roll records of 1927-39 if he has reverted to the name of Albert, but I cannot find a death - as you can see I don't know where to look or under what name!
* All the above may be conjecture from the time of his marriage onwards. If he did not start to use his middle name and marry aged 19, he could have gone elsewhere or stayed in Bath all of his life, but no set of records tells a cohesive story, and there are problems with all. E.g. there is a chimney sweep Albert Matthews born in Bath, seen in Corsham, Wiltshire in 1891, who had married a woman many years older than himself, so whose statement of age you cannot trust - he said 32, he could have been 27, as our Albert.

Sunday 12th January 2014

Albert Edwin Matthews was born Jul 1872 in Walcot, Bath to Edwin & Emma nee Faulkner. As Ada's brother he shared the early years with her, so see Friday below for these. In 1891 Albert was listed as a groom, but I cannot find him in 1911. He had left home but could be employed anywhere... In Oct 1904 in Shepton Mallet, Somerset he married Mary Ann Sampson. This is not going well, as I can find neither of them before or after their marriage. I have a note that I did find them in 1911 in Bath in my research some years ago, but cannot now. Albert died in Wells, Somerset - the next town to Bath - in Oct 1917 aged 45.

Albert George H Matthews was my Uncle Bert, born 12 Sep 1914 at 39a Clayton Road, Camberwell (he was also born in the playground - see 20th December) to William & Florence nee Hennig. In Oct 1939 in Camberwell he married Nellie M Butler. They had one son - Bob - but Nellie died Jul 1949 aged 34. All I know of Bob was that he sailed away to a foreign country & the family lost touch. In Jan 1955 Bert married widow Olive M A Tobitt nee Hilderly, who had an 11-year-old son Malcolm from her first marriage. Her first husband, a postman, was also an Albert George & was Killed In Action aged 30 on 8 Mar 1945 in the Western Europe Campaign & is buried in Germany. Bert had been living at 135 Peckham Rye since the family moved there in 1924, but during the years he was married to Nellie he can be seen on electoral roll records at 27 Gowlett Road - literally "round the corner" from The Rye.
At her death he returned to his father, and remained there for many decades. Aunt Olive was from Norwood, and can be seen in electoral roll records with her parents at 12 Woodcote Place in 1937-1954 (Albert Tobitt was away in the army for much of their marriage as it was wartime). When she married Uncle Bert she moved into 135 Peckham Rye with him. The brothers and their father ran their jewellery repair business from the ground floor & basement of the house, while we lived on one floor and Uncle Bert & Aunt Olive lived in the rest. I came along when they had been married for a year and we all lived there together until my parents & I moved out of London in 1959.
[Uncle Bert & Aunt Olive pictured at my sister's wedding reception in 1982]

When my Dad died in 1986 the house was sold, Uncle Bert & Aunt Olive retired & moved away to Worthing, Sussex, he died in 1995 & she died and was buried in Bexleyheath in 2007.

Many thanks to my sister Teresa for the photograph.

Saturday 11th January 2014

Albert Edward Matthews was born 17 Jul 1874 at 5 Allen Street, off Goswell Road, Clerkenwell [now called Dallington Street since 1937 and inhabited by office buildings] to Charles & Maria nee Benson and christened at St Thomas Charterhouse church, Goswell Road [closed 1906, demolished 1909, pic here from 1842]

In census return of 1881 he can be seen aged 6 with parents & sibs at 6 Greville Street, Clerkenwell, a fishmonger's as Charles ran his business from home [now a modern parade of shops & flats]. In 1891 they were at 2 Cambridge Buildings, Upper Gardner Street, Westminster [now Thorndike Street & redeveloped] and Albert had followed his father into fishmongery. In Jan 1894 in Marylebone he married Emma Burrows or Quinnell and they were living at 17 Exeter Street, Marylebone when their first child Albert William arrived some months later

They had 7 children, although one died in infancy, all born at different addresses over the years. When Ada was born in 1897 they lived at 13 Ranston Steet, Marylebone, and were still there when Charles was born in Aug 1898. He then died aged 1 and they moved to 20 Suffolk Place, Marylebone, where they had son Frederick in January and can be seen on census in March
In 1903 & 1905 they had Florence & Lucy at 6 William Street and 32 Devonshire Street respectively
By 1908 when they had their last child Kathleen they had moved out to 9 Victoria Mews, Kilburn

They moved to Willesden after this, the 1911 census shows them at 18 Colin Road, Willesden with 6 children, then Electoral Roll records place them next door at no. 20 in 1923-5 (no 20 is closest to us, 18 the next)

Emma died there in 1929 & Albert 1934.

Their son Albert William Matthews was born as above on 6 Sep 1894 at 17 Exeter Street and christened at St Matthew's church, Marylebone on 11 Nov 1894. He can be seen in censuses of 1901 & 1911 with parents & sibs at 20 Suffolk Place and 18 Colin Road, then electoral roll records show he stayed with his parents at Colin Road until his marriage in 1922 to Florence Gribble, who can be seen with him there, then after the parents' deaths at 13a Deacon Road.

They can be seen there until at least 1956, accompanied by son Albert F A Matthews.

Friday 10th January 2014

Ada Annie Matthews (my 2nd cousin twice-removed) was born in Apr 1868 in Walcot, Bath, then Somerset, to Edwin & Emma nee Faulkner. She can be seen on census return of 1871 at 1 Clarence Street, Walcot with her mother, Faulkner grandparents & uncle, also sister Alice. In 1881 the family can be seen together at 4 Weymouth Buildings, Walcot. [It is probably important at this stage to point out that Bath received a lot of attention in WW2, much of the old streets were bombed & many buildings damaged or lost. No.1 Clarence Street (see above) is marked by its roofline on the side of No. 3 (I took the photo myself in 2009) and Weymouth Buildings were lost completely. That area is nowadays very pretty and the site has been rebuilt as Weymouth Court, right on the river]
In 1891 census she can be seen with parents & sibs at Prospect House, Walcot [now a holiday let]

In Oct 1892 in the Melton Mowbray area, Leicestershire, probably Scalford, as that is where they settled, she married William Seagrave. Unfortunately we have so far been spoiled with access to parish records in Cornwall & London; Somerset records are not generally available online, so I have to rely on the Registration documents, which are much less informative. William had been in the Grenadier Guards in 1881 but lodging in Scalford in 1891 & working as an ironstone labourer at one of the local quarries. This is an area I am familiar with through my mother's tree, so it is odd to me to find a "twig" on my father's tree in the "wrong part of the country". In 1901 census they can be seen at New Street, Scalford with 4 children & 1911 still there with all 5 children & a boarder called John Thomas Matthews (who seems to be unrelated to her, a local ironstone labourer who may work with William).

Again we have been spoiled with Electoral Roll records, as these only apply to London and a few other places at the moment,however the range is increasing. So the next we hear of them is at their deaths, Ada in Jan 1942 and William in Jan 1948, both in Scalford.

Thursday 9th January 2014

Maude Clara Hennig was born 16 Sep 1878 at 33 Dante Road, Newington, London to August & Hellen nee Hill and christened at St Philip's. She can be seen in census returns of 1881 - 1901 with parents & sibs at 101 Avondale Square, Camberwell, in the latter listed as a dressmaker. On 6 Jul 1907 at St Philip's she married Arthur Block from Bermondsey. Witnesses were her sister Mabel and his brother Henry. Census of 1911 showed them at 56 Ribblesdale Road, Streatham with one son

and Arthur was a "Stock Jobber's Clerk". It seems they only had the one child and electoral roll records show them there until 1929, when they moved to a house originally named "Stella Montis", then numbered 39 Marlpit Lane, Coulsdon, Surrey

Records cease there after Arthur died in 1945, but Maude may well have retired to Worthing, as that was where she died herself in 1980 aged 102(!) Son Reginald lived in Reigate after his marriage and he died in Worthing too. (Incidentally his wife then went off to Los Angeles aged 79 and died there in 1995 aged 83!)

Sidney Walter Hennig
was born 23 Apr 1891 at Newington to John & Henrietta nee Purser. He just missed the 1891 census by 18 days, but can be seen in 1901 & 1911 at 52 Castle Road, Isleworth, in the latter listed as "Clerk in tobacco business" (last pictured on 3rd January). In Oct 1914 he married Maud Marion Marfleet (love the alliteration!) in the Brentford area, probably in Twickenham where Maud lived & worked as a telegrapher for Great Western Railway. Sidney was in the Army Ordnance Corps, providing supplies for troops on the front line in WW1, saw action in France in 1915, where he earned 3 medals before being posted to "Z Reserve" in 1919, which meant returning to civilian life, but could be recalled if necessary. They lived in Twickenham for a few years, with addresses 52 College Road, 51 Hartington Road & 61 Isleworth Road given in electoral roll records
In 1923 they settle at 61 Worple Avenue, Isleworth

and had a daughter Patricia, with whom they lived at this address for 12 years. In 1935 they all moved to 55 Woodstone Avenue, Epsom and Maud & Patricia can be seen there until 1945 (Sidney may have been stationed abroad in the army, although I cannot find any records to confirm this).

Maud died in Oct 1970 in Surrey and Sidney in Jan 1973 in Hereford. Patricia married Frederick Phippard in 1956, but then I lose track of her.

William Walter Hennig was born 1 Oct 1889 at 101 Avondale Square, Camberwell to August & Hellen nee Hill and christened at St Philip's on 8 Dec 1889. He can be seen with parents & sibs at that address in census returns of 1891, 1901 & 1911, in the latter listed as "Clerk in Stock Exchange". I also know he started school aged 3 on 9 May 1893 at Rolls Road Infant School, then graduated to the Junior School on 29 Mar 1897. In Jul 1915 in Epping, Essex he married Winifred Beatrice Knowles. Electoral Roll records show that they lived at 7 Ribblesdale Road, Streatham 1921-26 at the same time as his sister Maude lived in the same road at no. 56 (see above).

William died in St Bartholomew's Hospital on 14 Jan 1925 aged 35, leaving effects worth £642 to Winifred, who remained at 7 Ribblesdale Road with their 2 sons. Electoral rolls show by 1938 they have moved to 7 Francis Road, Eastcote (these records are patchy, so I cannot guess when they moved there). Son Frank can be seen living with her until 1949, but by 1961 he is at 162 Littlehampton Road, Worthing, and died there in 1977 aged 56. Winifred died in Jan 1973 in the Brighton area.

That is the end of the Hennigs, so tomorrow I shall launch into the main stem of this tree, the Matthews family. It is very central to me, as this was my maiden name, but as my father never told me much about his family, and he died almost 28 years ago, a lot of it was new to me when I started this study in 2006. I'm not sure if my Dad even knew his family was from Bath, as all that he had known was London.

Monday 6th January 2014

Louis Alfred Hennig was born 29 Jun 1855 in the St-Martins-in-the-Fields area of London to Frederick & Maria nee Cox and christened in this famous church on 8 Aug 1858

He can be seen on census return of 1861 aged 5 with parents & 3 brothers, also Catherine Noonan & her family, at 32a Villiers Street. In 1871 he was at 12 Loughborough Road, Lambeth with parents & 4 brothers, aged 16 & listed as Compositor Apprentice (his step-uncles John & James were compositors). In 1881 he can be seen aged 25 at 30 Dante Road, Newington, lodging with brother John, now a fully-fledged Printer Compositor himself. On 8 Feb 1885 at St Mary Newington he married Maria Jane Carver. They had no children.

The 1891 census is missing, but electoral roll records show that in 1890-2 he rented two rooms on the top floor of number 30 Dante Road for 7 shillings a week from brother John. By 1895 they had moved to 19 Harper Street [about half a mile away, but now also redeveloped]. The 1901 census finds them a little further on, at 55 Douglas Buildings, Marshalsea Road, Southwark [the area famous for being the site of the Marshalsea Debtors' Prison, brought under the public eye by Charles Dickens - his father was imprisoned there & forced him to leave school early, so he set his novel Little Dorrit within its walls.]

By 1911 census they have moved out to 18 Mosslea Road, Penge

where they lived until Louis died in Oct 1926 & Maria in Jan 1931, both aged 79.

Mabel Elizabeth Ellen Hennig was born 29 Sep 1880 at 101 Avondale Square, Camberwell to August & Hellen nee Hill and christened at local church St Philip the Apostle on 12 Dec 1880. She can be seen on census return of 1881 aged 6 months at 101 with parents & sister and also there 1891 & 1901, in the latter listed as a dressmaker. On 22 May 1909, also at St Philip, she married clerk Sidney Benson, witnesses were her sisters and a brother-in-law. [It is such a shame that no pics remain of the old church, only the current one which dates from the 1960s]. Census return of 1911 shows them at 20 Leander Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey, living directly opposite her sister Grace, Sidney listed as a Commercial Clerk working for a General Export Merchant

The story at this point gets rather confusing, as Mabel's probate document at her death on 8 Oct 1928 states that she was a widow, living at 91 Avondale Square. This was a few houses from that of her parents, who had died 1921 & 1927, leaving much money to Mabel & sister Maude. In 1930, when Mabel's probate was read, her £106 effects went to HM Treasury, as if she had no living relatives, yet 30 years later in 1959 when her husband Sidney died, his home address was 143 Hangleton Road, Hove, where her sister Edith lived. He died at Hove Hospital and left £9308 to Edith. On 20th December, when I told her story, I said there was a 47 year gap. It seems she spent it living with her brother-in-law and maybe she bought this pale green bungalow (143) with the proceeds at his death!

Saturday 4th January 2014

Julius Redmond Hennig was born Mar 1871 in "Kennington Lane, Lambeth" (probably 12 Loughborough Street, where the family lived at the time) and christened on 3 Sep 1871 at St Peter's church, West Dulwich

He can be seen in census return of 1871 aged 1 month at 12 Loughborough Street with parents & 4 brothers. In 1881 he can be seen aged 10 at Chattern Hill, Ashford, Middlesex staying with his "half-grandparents" Edward & Sarah Purser. In 1891 census he can be seen at The George and 13 Cantons, 38 Church Street, St Anne, Soho, Paddington, working as a barman

[renamed the Spice of Life in 1974]
and in 1901 boarding at 22 Riversdale Road, Islington, working as a "cellarman/publican"

On 11 Oct 1902 at St Paul's, Hampstead [no pics available - merged the following year with St Mary's, Primrose Hill Road, bombed in 1940, closed 1956, demolished 1958] he married Helena Gardner Bradley, with whom he had a 5-month-old daughter (see 23rd December). Witnesses include his nephew Arthur and Julius is described as "Dining Room Proprietor". Helena was servant/Parlourmaid in Hampstead, but as described in daughter Helena's segment on 23rd Dec, they moved to Derbyshire to work as servants to a cotton merchant. In 1911 census they can be seen in the household of the Paterson family at 3 The Quadrant, Buxton as manservant & gen. servant.

They must have returned to London, as when Helena died in Jul 1915 it was in Hammersmith, then the electoral roll records show Julius 1918-30 at 33 Haydn Park Road, Hammersmith then in 1938 87 Addison Gardens, where he died in October of that year.

Friday 3rd January 2014

John Frederick William Hennig was born 1 Jul 1848 at 17 Hermes Street, Pentonville, London to Frederick & Maria nee Cox and christened at St Mary, Islington on 8 Apr 1849

He can be seen on census return of 1851 aged 2 at 2 Hungerford Arcade, St Martin-in-the-fields with parents & brother, then in 1861 at 32a Villiers Street with parents & sibs, also Catherine Noonan & her children (see 22nd December). By 1871 they are at 12 Loughborough Street, Lambeth, where he is listed as copper-mould maker (as is his brother August & their father) and Catherine junior is his step-mother. On 19 Dec 1874 at St Matthew's, Ashford, Middlesex (bride's hometown) he married Henrietta Lydia Purser
In 1881 census he can be seen with 2 sons at 30 Dante Road, Lambeth. His occupation on this document has always intrigued me. The original is damaged & I always thought it said "plutonium art" but it has been repaired by the Archive, a better scan is now available & I see it says "platinium and art metal worker". I still cannot find them on 1891 census but electoral roll records show they were still in Dante Road until at least 1894, then in 1898-9 at 6 Kennington Park Road, Lambeth. By 1901 census they have moved to "Ecclesfield" 52 Castle Road, Isleworth and lived here for the rest of their lives

In 1901 census there are 6 children and John is listed as "brazier & coppersmith", in 1911 three sons remain and he is "Sub-manager General Metal Works". In 1914 he retired aged 65 and on his son Arthur's marriage certificate was listed as a "Gentleman". Electoral roll records show he lived at 52 Castle Road until his death on 24 Mar 1922 aged 73, when he left £1146 to son Arthur. Henrietta continued living there until she died on 2 Jun 1946 (she actually died in hospital at 30 Twickenham Road, Isleworth - West Middlesex Hospital, an acute hospital developed from the Brentford Union Infirmary, now gone). She left effects worth £142 to Arthur, a retired sheet-metal-worker.

Thursday 2nd January 2014

A very Happy New Year to all. I have returned from the festivities and immediately made wonderful discoveries! What a great start to my genealogical studies of 2014, long may it continue!

In order to work on John (Johann) Christian Hennig next, I needed to trace back his son Frederick William (Friedrich Wilhelm) to his birthplace. Although I have already reported on him, I can now add more to his story & his family too.

Johann Christian Hennig (jnr) was born Jul 1797 to Johann Christian (snr) and Anna Regina Carolina nee Schlueslern and christened at Jerusalem Church, Berlin on 20 Aug 1797
He married Henriette Wilhelmine Krumrei from Prenzlau, settled there & had 3 children (so far found): Friedrich Wilhelm born 18 Mar 1825, christened 14 Apr at Deutsch Reformirte Kirche, Prenzlau, Joanne Christiane born 14 Sep 1831 (who married Friedrich Wilhelm Carl Hardt on 19 Feb 1860) and Henriette Auguste, christened Dec 1833 at the Neu Kirche, Berlin.
Johann worked as a cook, but I don't know any details about this. I don't have access to german death records, but know that he was deceased by 1867, as he was shown as such on son Frederick's marriage record to Catherine.

His father, also Johann Christian Hennig was born approx. 1770 & was married on 7 Apr 1793 in Jerusalem Church (see above) to Anna Regina Carolina Schlueslern and, as far as I can see at present, only had one daughter Maria Carolina, christened 9 Feb 1794 in Jerusalem Church, then Johann junior, christened 20 Aug 1797.