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Currently working on my mother-in-law Jessie née Manhire's tree, mostly centred in Cornwall, England
. I worked on this tree here in 2014/5, so this is largely an update.


Saturday 31st December 2016

What happened on this day:
29th Dec:
Silas Matthews was born in 1822
30th Dec:
Augusta Eva Knight married Rev. William Gordon in 1886
Sarah Roffey née Way died in 1878 and
John Hocken Knight in 1927
31st Dec:
Iris Caroline Matthews was born in 1932
John Knight married Elizabeth Prin in 1792
August Rudolph Hennig (my Dad's half-uncle) died in 1926 and
Edward James Knight in 1892 in Australia

Wednesday 28th December 2016

What happened on this day:
27th Dec:
Fred Manhire was born in 1891
Manlius William Roffey in 1820
Sarah Woodford was christened in 1840 as was
"Richard Retallick2" in 1834 and
Paul Knight in 1835
Thomas Henry Hodd married Florence Emily Lowry in 1909
Hubert Vernon Harvey (who married Lucy Woodford) died in 1974 and
William Eldridge Roffey was buried in 1820
28th Dec:
James Edward May was christened in 1845 as were
Henry George Small and Louisa Eliza Small in 1829
"William Woodford 8" married Georgina Alexander née Bird in 1895 and
Arthur George Roffey married Elsie Charlotte Wright in 1911 in Canada

Saturday 24th December 2016

I'm not sure when/if I'll be able to do more here over the holidays, so may I wish you now a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all

Tuesday 20th December 2016

I probably should explain what I am doing here. 2 years ago, when I did this last, I compiled histories of each member of my ever-expanding trees, from a variety of sources. This year, almost everything is on Ancestry, so I have been able to attach the documents to the trees as I check them. Nice.

Elizabeth Knight 1 - there is an outside possibility that she married Stephen Jenkins in 1815, despite being 72 and widowed for 20 years
Elizabeth Knight 2 - I said baby Mary was christened shortly after her death, but I was wrong - the ceremony was on the exact same day. Economic church-booking but rather a mixed-emotions affair I would have thought! There is an amusing story in the local newspaper in 1839 - 26 years later, but relevant. Husband Lancelot had remarried and settled with wife Mary, who came home from market to find their house broken into. Lancelot came in from work and found his watch & chain missing and some money, a window broken open and dirty footprints on the sill. A witness said he had seen William White, 23, in the vicinity, and he had shown him a watch & chain, saying he had had it for 30 years (!) Lancelot called the police and a constable found William at his father's house, asleep in bed "with his stockings and sleeved waistcoat on" ie a hurried alibi, and a watch in the prisoner's jacket pocket. (You couldn't write this stuff, it would seem too far-fetched!) As this was not his first offence (had served 3 months previously and there were 2 other indictments against him currently), he was sentenced to transportation to Australia for 15 years.
Elizabeth Knight 3 - one thing I noticed about all the children was that two died on exactly the same day; 15 May 1854 in St Columb - young mother Sabrina Knight aged 31 and sister Mary Ann Chapman aged 38. Investigating this, I see that the dates come from the Bolitho tree, so I could do with a little confirmation [I have lost my contact details - if you are reading this, please do get in touch]
Elizabeth Knight 4 - it's a shame but information around 1868 in the St Austell Workhouse is not available, although prolific newpaper articles up to 1857.

Elizabeth (Betsey) Knight 5 (Oliver's great grandmother) - nothing new, as all major events were covered before
Elizabeth Knight 6 - nothing new
Elizabeth Knight 7 - also Betsey - nothing new
Elizabeth Knight 8 - very odd, this one. I had the wedding of Elizabeth & William Tucker taking place on 9 Apr 1874 at St Thomas' Exeter, one of the witnesses her father Simon. I can see the document on this date but at Menheniot, Cornwall. This makes more sense, as it is almost always the bride's home town where a marriage takes place, traditionally. I must have written it down wrong, I thought, but Simon is not a witness, they are Jane Ann James (as I had noted) but also someone called John Benney. Strange! they did live in Devon for the rest of their lives but marrying at the church in which you were baptised is normal for a bride, and lovely. Banns may have been read in Exeter, but why Simon appeared as a witness there when his daughter was marrying in his own home town I can't imagine.
Elizabeth Knight 9 was known as Lizzie - as I said she died aged 96 in St George's Hospital. Her probate document gives her home address as 22 Stack House, Pimlico, where she may have stayed to have access to the hospital. Unfortunately by 1975 probate records stopped giving details of bequests etc.
Elizabeth Knight 10 - working on each end of her life, I had no luck finding a baptism, but found her burial records. She died 19 Oct 1948 in Bodmin and was buried on 19 Oct at Lanivet church

Her home address on the burial record was given as Cadwin, Lanivet, which appeared odd, but she left £3781 in effects, so maybe she owned both properties. I see that in 1939 she was living at 5 Western Terrace, Bodmin, where she died, descibed as living "on private means" ie her savings/investments with Kate R Udy as her paid domestic. Florrie Jane Morris, her niece, to whom she left her effects, was living in Cadwin at that time.
Elizabeth Charlotte Knight - died aged 3
Elizabeth Trevorton Knight - I found her marriage to Walter William on 5 May 1777 in St Dennis, not on Ancestry but on FindMyPast, which unfortunately means I cannot attach it to my tree. However, it does confirm it happened, and I have found her burial record - missed because it was under the name of Willyams. Walter's death was also only on FindMyPast but I can say he died at Helstone at the end of Apr 1826 & was buried at St Dennis with Elizabeth on 2 May. I was under the impression they had 5 sons but have seen an account that states they had eleven! The author is descended from the 9th son, Robert Williams, and says a "history" has been written about the life of William J Williams, Walter's grandson (whether this is a researched book or not, he doesn't say, but it was written in the late 19th Century). The author of the account I read is from America and that is where this branch of the family went, like many I have outlined on this site. I won't go any further with it as they are too obscure relatives, Elizabeth being Oliver's 1st cousin 4x removed, which is quite enough for me!

Monday 19th December 2016

What happened on this day:

Margaret Catchesides married John Matthews in 1786
John F W Hennig married Henrietta Purser in 1874
John Dance died in 1834
William Retallick was buried in 1889

David Knight b1845 - died in California 8 Nov 1882 (11 years after emigrating). He was much missed there as well as in his home country and his demise was reported in several local California newspapers:

Death of David Knight. On Wednesday morning David Knight died in Bodie of ersypelas
(sic). The deceased was an old resident of Bodie and had many friends who will regret to learn of his demise. He was a native of England, aged about 54 years. The remains of David Knight were interred in the Bodie cemetery. The funeral was under the auspices of the Masons. The procession embraced the Odd Fellows and members of the Miners’ Union. The deceased was a man well liked, and his loss will be keenly felt by a large circle of friends.
[Erysipelas in the 19th Century was terminal
in 30% of cases, usually when accompanied by other conditions eg compromised immune system. Being a miner and working under ground would not have helped. It is a skin condition caused by Strep A infection, but is treatable nowadays with antibiotics]. Bodie was a wild gold-mining town, but he was part of the relatively wealthy Masonic group, so he probably had a stone marker on his grave. It is gone now, only 9 remain of many, as they were the objects of much vandalism & theft.

Oh, and I have seen him there in 1880 census, boarding with dozens of other miners & labourers at a boarding house.
David Knight b1835 - nothing new
Dorothy Knight 1 - a fellow genealogist reckons that she died, along with her brother, in 1785 as a result of the Laki volcanic eruption, but today I could find no evidence for this
Dorothy Knight 2 - nothing new
Dorothy Knight 3 - nothing new
Eden Knight - quite detailed in 2014/5 nothing new
Edith Leonora Knight - died aged 1
Edith Annie Knight - nothing new
Edward Knight b1856 - nothing new
Edward Knight b1821 - nothing new
Edwin Knight - no confirmation of several possibilities after his mother's death in 1884.
Edwin Paul Knight - very detailed in 2014/5 so not surprising nothing new
Eleanor Knight b1791 - nothing new
Eleanor Knight b1803 - died aged 17 - nothing new
Eliza Jane Knight b1861 - the eldest of Charlotte & William's illegitimate brood, I couldn't find a baptism previously. I have found one on 27 Jan 1863 but it was in Brighton, Sussex, so may be another with the same combination of names, or else they "ran away" to get it done secretly. Her brother John was born, christened & died
that same year, all in Roche, so maybe forced the issue. The parents still didn't get married until Eliza was 19. Eliza & Richard were unusual in that they only had 2 children (one reason for my believing the divorce red-herring see 16th Jan 2015)!
Eliza Jane Knight b1831 - nothing new


Sunday 18th December 2016

Clara Ann Knight
- one of the illegitimate children of Charlotte & William discussed yesterday. Both parents were named on the baptism record, her parents just didn't get round to making it legal until she was 16. No new records have surfaced except her burial in Eastbourne Road Cemetery, St Austell on 30 Jul 1903

inscription reads... of SLADES, TREGONISSEY, age 37y.
Also: JOHN, her husband, died 20 May 1919, age 67y.
Also: JOHN WESLEY, their son, died 3 July 1902, age 3y 10m.

Clara Mary Knight - mystery solved! In 2014/5 I couldn't find her after sister Ellen moved out in 1881. However, I have now seen documentary evidence that she emigrated to Canada - see 11th Dec below, her mother Ann. In 1891 census she can be seen in Bowmanville, Durham West, Ontario with husband, 2 small children and her mother. By 1901 census Ann had died, so at the same address are shown Malcolm, Clara & the two children. According to the information given on this census, she had gone out to USA in 1884, married Malcolm Colin Galbraith from Scotland in about 1886, had Frances there on 24 Jul 1888, then moved to Canada later that year. Malcolm had emigrated from Scotland in 1845 at the age of 8, and was a solicitor. They settled in Ontario and had William there on 18 Dec 1889 (Clara's 36th birthday). Malcolm and Clara died within a few days of each other in Jan 1910, Clara aged 57 "suddenly, of heart failure" and Malcolm of liver disease he had had for 3 months (he was 72).
[Postcard from 1910, the year they died]
Daniel Knight b 1837 died aged 7
Daniel Knight b 1828 (the Peeler) electoral roll records show he was living at 5 Somerset Place, St Leonards, Shoreditch between 1844 & 1846, and I previously jotted on my notes that "bride & groom lived in adjoining streets". This year we visited Bletchley, the place where he retired to when widowed, and visited the Red Lion, pub on the lock

[If you, like me, love locks/canals watch this space next spring]
30 Brooklands Road, where he died in 1915
Daniel James Knight, his son - nothing new

Saturday 17th December 2016

Catherine Lambert Knight - nothing new
Cecilia Knight - died aged 20, nothing new
Charlotte Knight - needed an end to her story, but all trails seemed to end with a Charlotte Augusta, who turned out to be a married lady, hence not the one. So I am left with a death in Jan 1905 as most likely, aged 45 in Totnes, Devon (although this is 24 miles away from Plymouth, where she was last seen).
The other Charlotte Knight was the one who lived with her distant relative William Knight for many years and had several children with him. I wasn't sure when they married, because they didn't tell the truth to census-takers! I surmised they must have married in 1872 but have now found the marriage was on 8 Dec 1881. I don't know why they waited so long, as William's wife died in 1853, and they called themselves married in 1881 census, taken 8 months before.

Cheveletia Annie Knight - I was so pleased to see that in 1939 Register she had used her proper name, as in 1901 she used Annie (this may have been an error/misunderstanding). In 1939 she can be seen at 21 St Nicholas Street, Bodmin, which was familiar as it was the address at which she died 2 years later

She lived there alone, in 1939 aged 66, described as Cook Housekeeper Retired.
Christiana Knight b1815 d1844 aged 28 - nothing new
Christiana Knight b 1819 also nothing new
Christopher Knight - nothing new
Clara Knight - nothing for her, but husband Daniel Hancock can be seen in 1939 Register with the 2 Evas - see Augusta Eva below - at Ruddle. He died the following year and was buried on 30 Mar 1940 in Treverbyn, presumably to join Clara

Friday 16th December 2016

What happened on this day:
15th Dec:

Charlotte Knight was christened in 1831
Sarah Adelaide Roffey married John Peter Sery in 1855
Selina Knight née Hambly married William Roberts in 1853
Charles Reginald Matthews died in 1963
16th Dec:
George Roffey was born in 1818
Henry Cox was christened in 1792

Augusta Eva Knight - (Oliver's Aunt, Jessie's great-aunt) in 2014 I took the story to 1911. In 1939 Register, she can be seen back in St Austell. She was by then 74, living with her daughter Eva Janie Daniell, brother-in-law Daniel Hancock and his daughter Minnie. Daniel was a foreman in local clayworks and all the women UDDs. Eva Janie was not a well woman and returned to London, where she died aged 54 on 17 Dec 1941 (sad 65th anniversary tomorrow) of heart failure and rheumatoid arthritis.
Janie
Her husband was one of the victims, on 28 Jun 1944, of a Flying Bomb (Doodlebug) landing in Acre Lane, Brixton. The saddest thing is that the building he was visiting was used to assist people who had previously been bombed out of their houses (he was one of 25 deaths on that day in that building) so there is another sad chapter to his story I cannot find
the clear-up
Augusta died 23 Apr 1949 at 36 Brunswick Gardens, Kensington

which looks to me like a private clinic, bearing in mind that the NHS was very much in its infancy, having only just been created the previous year. I don't know the cause, just that she was 83, living at 171 Holland Park Avenue, London W11, a mile away, and left effects worth £1593 to grandson Edward John Churchill Daniell, motor cycle agent

Benjamin Knight b 1739 - Land Tax record of Hallew farm rented from brother John
Benjamin Knight b 1779 - nothing
Benjamin Knight b 1787 - nothing new
Bessie Knight - nothing new
Caroline Knight - I had hoped to confirm the marriage I found in 2014, instead I found another in 1877, but was unable to prove either
Catherine "Kitty" Knight - nothing new

Tuesday 13th December 2016

Anthony Knight 5 - lived at Bodwannick, Lanivet, farming the land, in 1841 & 1851 censuses, I knew, but I have now seen auction details* dated 1839 for the land, where it says he was already renting the property. He must have bought it himself, or the owners kept him on, as he was there until the end of his life. After his death, Philippa can be seen in 1861 & 1871 censuses at 3 Castle Street, with various family members visiting, and eldest son James was running the farm in Lanivet.

*"All that desirable Farm and Premises called by the general name of Bodwannick, consisting of a Farm House, new-built Barn & outhouses and 117 acres of good Arable Meadow & Pasture Land, situate in said Parish of Lanivet". Rent was payable to someone aged 70, reduced on the death of this person, and further still on the deaths of 3 others then even further on the deaths of 3 more (presumably the family who owned the farmland previously, but I don't know who this was).
He had a grandson called Anthony George Knight, but you have to draw the line somewhere, so I haven't studied him!
Arthur Knight - died aged 4
Arthur Theodore Knight - fully covered in 2014 (even down to hair colour at 2 periods of his life!) but I have now seen the beautiful hand-scribed marriage document. Only new information, though, was witnesses Thomas O Knight of Bengal (his brother) and Mrs Eva Scott of St John's. The marriage took place in St John's, Clinton, Michigan, the county town of Clinton County.
Arthur Tom Knight faded out in 2014 after 1881 census, but I have now found a marriage in Cinderford, Gloucester on 11 Jul 1886 to Ann Pick. In 1891 the census is missing but the story picks up again in 1901, when they can be seen at Iron Works Tump, East Dean, Glos, possibly what is now Foundry Road. In 1911 they can be found just around the corner in Victoria Street, still with 4 children (Ethel was in service in Hampshire), Arthur always a coal miner/hewer. The address remained Victoria Street through WW1, when son Frederick was in the King's Shropshire Light Infantry, then posted to France, injured by gunshot wounds to the right shoulder, in hospital in Chatham, then discharged home in 1919 with 2 medals and a pension, considered to be "30% disabled". Ann and Arthur must have retired to Sussex, but unfortunately neither survived until 1939 Register, as he died Oct 1936 in Worthing and she in Lewes Jan 1937.

Sunday 11th December 2016

Anthony Knight 1 - 1748-1772. No news. 4xg-uncle.
Anthony Knight 2 - I have found particulars of the sale by auction 9 Jul 1840 of several lots, including "Lower Goonleigh, currently in occupation of Anthony Knight, a Dwelling House and Premises and 6 acres". This was when he was 67 and moved in with son Anthony, possibly on retirement.
Anthony Knight 3 - nothing new for him, I have found Ann's christening and hence her parents
Anthony Knight 4 - in 2014 I was puzzled about the demise of Ann, his wife, but the Royal Cornwall Gazette has provided the answer. She was absent from 1891 census, and on 15 Mar 1894 the Gazette reported the "Death of Mrs Ann Knight, wife of Anthony Knight of Roche, at her son-in-law's residence M C Galbraith, Bowmanville, Canada on 30 Jan". She died there of a tumour she had had for 3 months, occupation "lady", and was buried at Bowmanville Cemetery on the following day. Evidently daughter Clara had gone out to Canada, married Malcolm Galbraith from Scotland, and Ann visited. She can be seen with them in 1891 Canadian census, listed as "lodger" but there are babies ages 2 & 1, so maybe mother's help. Anyway, she died there as detailed above and is in the local cemetery


Friday 9th December 2016

What happened on this day:
9th Dec:
Emily Elizabeth Wooldridge was born in 1900
Mary Ann Woodford was christened 1821
10th Dec:
"Thomas Woodford3" was christened in 1826

It is time to move on to the final of my trees, that of my mother-in-law Jessie née Manhire. It is a large tree and I have covered all of it before, much of it twice. So please bear with me, I must go through the checking and updating process, but won't report every little thing here as I know it gets tedious and boring.

Knights
Agnes - died age 11
Albert Edward died 1927. Burial record added (Liskeard by Wesleyan minister)
Alberta Emmeline - I searched for 1939 Register but cannot find her, husband or children)
Alexander Adolphus - died 1930 (wife 1924)
Alfred James - I knew Alfred J died as an infant, now have found burial record (and middle name). He died aged 1 hour at Higher Rosewarrick, buried 2 Apr 1927 in Liskeard
Alwyn Knight - (see 29th Nov 2014) 1939 Register added and I found a daughter! I did know of son Gerald but now know he had a sibling, Joan H Knight, born 14 Mar 1914. In 1939 she lived with her parents at Wyngarvey, South Park Road, St Austell, a school teacher and also St John's Ambulance Brigade member, and I now know that in Jul 1944 at St Austell she married Rupert Langsford Garratt, who had been born in 1908 in Flintshire.
Amelia Knight - died Australia - nothing new
Amelia Knight 2 - died 1932
Angelina Knight - died aged 4 in 1854, mother having died 10 months before
Ann Knight 1 - fizzled out after 1861 census, but I have found a 2nd marriage

On 20 Sep 1863 at Plymouth St Andrew she married John Webb, unmarried Mine Agent from Roche (it is especially nice to have her father confirming this, and likewise her first marriage). Unfortunately I cannot track them down from here, as Webb is such a common name, as are Ann & John. His father was also a Mine Agent & also John, so that didn't really help...
Ann Knight 2 may have married John Daniel but there are multiple deaths etc to follow under the name of Ann Daniel
Ann Knight 3 (confusingly, I called her 2 in 2014, as I didn't count the one above) had all the details in 2014 - she married John Lukes, miller, had 11 children and took them to Canada.
Ann Knight 4 (or 3 in 2014) was just as elusive once she reached USA as I have nothing to go on. She could have married in any state and had just missed the census, so the next was 10 years after she arrived.
Annie Knight's story was complete (se 14th Dec 2014) and I was pleased to find today a death record from Michigan, where she died on 26 Sep 1935, confirming all I had discovered. It was a shock, however to see that she died of leukaemia - the condition which carried away my own father - at Clinton Memorial Hospital. She was buried at Mount Rest cemetery, like so many of this branch, joining her husband, who had passed on 16 years before.

Annie Louise Knight - no luck in UK or LA

Tuesday 6th December 2016

Thomas W Samways continued
The 1939 Register entry for Thomas & Isabella was at address The Stables, Sherborne Castle, where Thomas was employed as groom, Isabella listed as "wife" and there are 6 closed files. I don't know who these are, as I only know of one daughter Isabel, who I found on the Register in Horsham, Sussex in residence as Domestic Servant to a couple called Stephen, whose son she subsequently married (he wasn't listed on the Register as was 22 and possibly in the services etc). I suppose they may be younger staff members, stableboys etc

[the stables] Apparently, grooms lived upstairs in these blocks.

[Sherborne Castle]
A little bit of the history of the place is necessary here, please bear with me:
Sherborne Castle was built by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594 and the original formal gardens laid out by him at this time. In 1752 Edward, 6th Lord Digby inherited the Castle at the age of 22 from his elderly grandfather and moved in with his 5 brothers. He called in the young and relatively unknown Lancelot Brown, later called Capability Brown, and gave him his first independent commission in the West Country. He created the Lake and the Cascade, with the ruins of the Old Castle as backdrop. In 1765 the East Lawn was created and the walled formal garden swept away, including the old stables and new ones were built. In 1763 Earl Digby died and his son made no changes, but when his nephew George Wingfield Digby inherited he extended the Park to the New Road he built to improve access and extended the stables too. Now the Castle is open to the public in summer months.

[the castle from above, in situ]
Thomas died aged 77 on 16 Jan 1959 in the Weymouth area, then Isabella in 1976 in Sherborne. Incidentally, if you think there's something fishy about the surname Guppy, please be aware of her mother, who on her marriage changed from the name Mullet!

William Ewart Samways was another nephew of "Thomas 1" (see below) and thus cousin of Thomas W, born Jan 1886 to Charles & Elizabeth née Hatt in Windsor, Berkshire. This was the other branch living in Stables, and in 1891 census he can be seen aged 4 in Royal Mews Staff Quarters, Cumberland Lodge, Old Windsor - see 18th Oct for his father Charles - with parents & 2 sisters. They were still there in 1901, William aged 15 and at school. By 1911 he was 25 and can be seen listed at Portland, on board ship, working as stoker, one of 100 crew on board. His birthplace was given as Toller Porcorum, which is wrong, but as that was where he married the following year, it was probably his home address at the time. On 1 Jan 1912 in Toller Porcorum he married local girl Alice Maude Crabb and they had 4 daughters; Edith, Rosalind, Phyllis & Fanny, then Alice died in 1924 aged 36. So in 1939 Register, William is shown as widower, living in Toller Porcorum with sister-in-law Emily Ann Crabb as his paid Housekeeper. He was by then on the permanent staff of Great Western Railways (GWR), which was Heavy Work (for which they received extra food vouchers). In 1914 he had been employed as a Packer for the GWR at Yeovil, but he left the Trade Union in 1920, when he went to live at Sunninghill, Windsor, with his mother Elizabeth, at Bicester Villa, Kennel Ride (see 18th Oct below).

At his death in 1957 he was living at 3 The Gardens, Toller Porcorum, so this may have been the family address since marriage (a lot of railway employees live away from home for periods of time, even today), but that doesn't help as it doesn't exist today. On his death on 17 Mar 1857 he left effects worth £226 to eldest daughter Edith.

There are in this tree three by the name of William Murray Samways, but I shall study only two, as the third is on the branch of Mary Ann & George Voss Samways, the unrelated link I mentioned back at the beginning (see 5th Oct below).
"William Murray Samways 1" was born Jan 1824 in Melcombe Regis to Edward & his 1st wife Maria née Murray (hence the middle name) and was christened there on 22 Feb 1824.

In 1841 census he can be seen at Salem Place, Weymouth with parents & sibs, a 19-year-old shoemaker's apprentice. this evidently didn't suit him as he always worked on the land, as an Ag Lab - agricultural labourer. I cannot locate him in 1851 as he had left home, but I cannot track him down. He can't have gone far though as on 22 May 1853 in Cattistock he married Mary Trevett and a few months later they had a daughter, followed by 3 more children. In 1861 census they can be seen at Sandhills, Cattistock with 3 of these and the same in 1871 with 4. Mary died aged 49 in Dec 1897 and in 1881 census he is shown as 52 year old widower living in Shilvinghampton, Portisham with daughter Emily (see 26th Oct below). He can be seen also with her and her new husband Eber in 1891 census at Coryates, Portisham (This is the place that used to have a station, but there's nothing there now, see 26th Oct below). I don't know where he went after her death, so I can't find his. The only death records with his middle name were much too early..

The final Samways was his nephew, and appropriately Uncle Ernest's father. "William Murray Samways 2" was born Nov 1855 in Weymouth to Edward & Martha née Bartlett and christened there at Holy Trinity on 9 Dec 1855.

In 1861 census he can be seen aged 5 at 1 High Street, just around the corner from Holy Trinity, with parents & sibs

In 1871 they had moved to Putton, Chickerell and he can be seen with mother & sibs, working as a brickmaker. This makes sense as old maps of the area are dotted with brickworks, especially in Putton. On 31 Oct 1877 in Chickerell he married Mary Ann Adams from Okeford Fitzpaine, a village almost 30 miles away.

By 1881 census they had 2 children and were living a few doors from the Alexandra Inn, Chickerell

He was still making bricks, and managed to have 6 children by the time he died aged 34 in late Jan 1890. He was buried on 16 Feb 1890, probably at St Mary's, above and here

After his death, Mary Ann, who was after all only 35 and with 6 young children, re-married. This was to George Voss Samways, whose link (despite the name) I cannot find. So I am ignoring this branch as not related to us at all.

Monday 5th December 2016

Polishing off the Samways branch this week with Thomases & Williams.

"Thomas Samways 1" was born Oct 1846 in Blandford to Henry & Mary Ann née Morgan and christened there on 10 Feb 1847.

In 1851 census he can be seen aged 4 at "New Buildings", Blandford with parents & sibs, then in 1861 in Rope Close with them, aged 14 and working as a Shoemaker's Errand Boy. I have told his story several times in entries for his children (see below). On 26 Oct 1867 in Allington, Dorset he married Rhoda Hutchings, local girl

Firstly they lived with Rhoda's parents in Beaminster and had 5 children there (although one Sarah died and was replaced by another Sarah in 1874, see below) then moved to Liverpool in 1878 for a couple of years. Frederick's birth was registered in 1880 in Misterton, where they can be seen in census of 1881 with 5 living children. When he died in 1883 it was evidently the final straw and Thomas went out to New York (approx 1887, as he stated in a later census) to find a home there, then in 1890 Rhoda brought out two children on SS Germanic

In 1900 census they can be seen settled at 9 North Main Street, Fall River, running their home as a Lodging House, with 5 children & 9 boarders

Over the next 25 years, Thomas can be seen popping back to England every so often; his parents and sibs died and he can be seen on transatlantic trips in at least 1903, 1908, 1910, 1926 (probably more I haven't seen), explaining he was visiting or returning to wife & family. In 1921 they appeared in a City Directory at Fall River, Providence, Rhode Is, then Rhoda died there on 17 Sep 1926 aged 87. Shortly after this, on 15 Nov 1926 aged 82 Thomas sailed to England again, sailing New York to Southampton as usual, this time on the Cunard liner Mauretania.

The odd thing to my eyes is the entry in the column "country of intended future residence" against England. I cannot find a return trip or a death in USA, but then I cannot pin him down to a death in England.
I suspect it had been Rhoda who kept them abroad for all those years, and Thomas came home to die... It is hard to pin him down to a death record though, as I don't know where he settled, if he stayed with family in the area, or somewhere completely different. (Best bet is 9th Oct 1930 at the Crown Inn, Puncknowle, but I don't know who Mary Ellen Samways, widow, is who he left his effects to). Certainly by the next census in 1930, Thomas junior his son was running the Hotel.

Which moves smoothly onto "Thomas Samways 2" (Thomas Junior aka Tom), born 26 Jul 1868 in Netherbury, Dorset to Thomas & Rhoda above, and christened there 23 Aug 1868. His story goes as above, Tom travelled with his brother Mark on the Germanic in July, after their father but before mother & younger children joined them in Sep 1890. On 14 Mar 1892 at Fall River he married Alice A Randall, also born in England. Tom was Naturalized in 1895 and in 1900 census can be seen at 113 Long Wharf, Newport, Rhode Is

Tom was working as a Coal Dealer and they had 3 sons. I cannot find him in 1910 but that was around the time he was divorced from Alice, so he may be somewhere else. On 14 Jan 1911 in Fall River he married widow Marian Paulsen MGovern (from Pennsylvania, with Danish parents) and they had 2 daughters together. He already had 7 children from his first marriage and in 1920 can be seen with 6 children & Marian at 47 Turner Street, Fall River [an intersecting road with North Main Street, but the area has been cleared now], both of them listed as Lodging House Manager. It must have been successful, as by 1930 they had one each and on the census day Thomas can be seen at 172 South Main Street, Providence with 23 "roomers"

[gap between 150 & 180 nowadays]
while Marian was at 380 North Main Street, Fall River with 4 children and 5 lodgers [now a single-storey modern Social Security office is there]. By 1940 they were retired - Thomas was 72 - and together with son Ernest, daughter Victoria and one lodger in Norwood Street, Swansea, Massachusetts

Marian died 15 Apr 1956 aged 87 and when I sought her grave, I found her in the local Oak Grove Cemetery with stepsons Ernest (d 1994), Frederick (d 1919) and step-daughter Olive (d 1996). Oddly there was no sign of Thomas or her own 2 daughters.


The other Thomas, Thomas W Samways was nephew of "Thomas 1", born 1 Nov 1881 in Blandford to Henry & Elizabeth née Foot and christened there on 23 Nov 1881. Thus, he missed the census taken in April of that year and is first seen in 1891 aged 9 at 9 Albert Street, Blandford Forum with parents & 2 sisters

His father was a groom and in the next census 1901 he can be seen to have followed his example, working and indeed lodging at Manor House Stables, Child Okeford. His employer was Claud Portman, magistrate and farmer with a family (scottish wife and 4 children) and a staff of 15
1900
By 1911 his mother had died and Tom can be seen staying with sister Agnes & family in Bradford Road, Sherborne, still working as a groom. Frederick Hawkins, Agnes' husband ran his own milk business and Tom's father Henry was also a groom. On 23 Apr 1913 in Sherborne he married Isabella Jessie Guppy, the marriage record listing his occupation as Whip BVFH - see 4th November below for his brother, also a Whip - apparently stands for Blackmore & Sparkford Vale Fox Hunt. His entry in the 1939 Register is even more interesting, but I will continue this tomorrow...

Wednesday 30th November 2016


I'm back for a day before I'm off again!

What happened on this day:
28th Nov:
Louisa Annie Small was born in 1883
Herbert Arthur Woodford died in 1940
Charles Flower (who married Eliza Ann Woodford) in 1954
Gertrude Fitzgerald née Cox in 1996 and
Joseph Knight in 1858

Sarah Ann Samways was one of the family who went to USA. She was born Oct 1874, a few months after her sister of the same name had died aged 2, to Thomas & Rhoda née Hutchings. She can be seen in census of 1881 with parents & sibs in Misterton, aged 6. I have told this story a few times now (see below) and she can be seen on the passenger list of the SS Germanic, sailing out of Southampton on 27 Aug 1890 with her mother & brother John (listed as Annie). As I have said, they settled at Fall River, Massachusetts and this was where on 10 Aug 1893 she married Timothy Hurley, another Hotel Proprietor, and can be seen in 1900 census with him in State Street, running a hotel.

He was 37 years older than her - older than her father! In 1900 they had 26 guests, 2 servants and a cook with the hilarious name of Fannie Boomer! Timothy had been born in Massachsetts to Irish parents, and if I have the correct death record, died 2 Mar 1912, home address 344 Palmer Street, Fall River

[all those steps look somewhat difficult for a 74-year-old to manage! Especially as what killed him was a stroke.]
He was buried at st Patrick's Cemetery in Fall River and Sarah moved into the city. She was listed as his widow in 1918 Directory at 5 Providence Place, Providence [now all concrete]. She died there on 21 Feb 1921 and was buried at Pocasset Cemetery, Cranston


Sophia Selina Helena Samways
was born Jan 1860 in Cattistock to William & Mary née Trevett and christened there on 4 Mar 1860. In the census taken the following spring she can be seen aged 1 at Sandhills with parents & sibs, likewise 1871. I cannot track her down in 1881, but on 6 Jul 1884 at St Peter's, Dorchester she married Reuben Howe, baker who in 1881 had been living in Dorchester with his parents.

They lived in the area for a while, as Ada was born in 1885 in Dorchester, but then went to Jersey in the Channel Islands and had 2 more children there. I cannot give more detail than that - as I said before, I only have access to census records, not BMD, and they weren't there for any census. By 1891 they had returned, and were living with Reuben's parents at 61 Mill street, Fordington, near Dorchester, with the 3 children. In 1901 they had 3 more and their own home at 9 Friary Lane, Dorchester (on the edge of Fordington - less than half a mile along the river from Mill Street) with 6 children
[sorry, couldn't get closer on Google Streetview]
Being a baker had evidently not worked out as Reuben was now earning his living painting houses and by 1911 branched out into bricklaying. They lived at this time at Mill Bank, Fordington, presumably very close to his parents, although at least one of them had gone by then. Daughter Elsie had died in 1905 but the other 5 children were still at home. Sophia died in Feb 1927 and was buried at St George's Fordington

Reuben joined her in Aug 1931.

Tuesday 22nd November 2016


Mary Elizabeth Samways was another of Uncle Ernest's sisters, born 16 Dec 1888 in Chickerell to William & Mary Ann née Adams. She can also be seen in census of 1891 aged 2 at Chickerell Road (the house next door to Marquis of Granby and thus now under Tarmac) with mother & sibs and in 1901 at 2 Pulteney Buildings with parents & sibs, as Martha Matilda, yesterday. In Apr 1909 in Weymouth she married Harold Frank Horsey, who ran a Marine Stores business locally, although from Surrey by birth. They can be seen together in 1911 census at Homeleigh, 25 Mountain Ash Road, Dorchester

Harold did well in WW1, in the Household Cavalry, Cavalry of the Line and Dorset (Queen's Own) Yeomanry - so appropriate to be a cavalry man with that surname! He served in Egypt in 1915 and was demobbed on 27 Mar 1919 with 4 medals, including the Military Medal, as Sergeant. Following him through electoral roll records he can be seen moving around the area. Before marriage he rented a furnished room from his father Fred (as did his brother Sydney) at Ivydene, Spa Road, Melcombe Regis, then as I said, 25 Mountain Ash Road, Dorchester (above). In 1921 they were at 2 Pulteney Buildings with her stepfather, then 1922-25 at 4 Devonshire Buildings, Melcombe Regis, (also on the Esplanade, so very close by) when they were running their own lodging house [no picture I am afraid]. As her stepfather died in 1925, they returned to Pulteney Buildings for a couple of years. In 1929 records show their home "abode" was 43 Cornwall Road, Dorchester while the Stores were where Durngate Street Long-Stay Car Park now is - these two are only a few streets apart. By 1939 Register they had moved home to the next street and Harold, now 55, was employed as a House Painter. They can be seen on the Register at 11 St Helen's Road

It appears that they had no children and both died in the Weymouth area, Mary in 1954 and Harold the following year.

When about to discuss Cliff's cousin Daphne, I discovered her name was Lilian Daphne Hope Samways, so left her to deal with later, as I do these in alphabetical order. However, I have now missed her out! So I'll do her now, before moving on to her brother. Unfortunately it was a family habit to call people by their middle names and so confuse me!

She was born on 21 Nov 1925 in Weymouth to Uncle Ernest & Aunt Beat née May. All we knew was that she met an American GI, stationed in this country, married him and went back to his home with him.

His name was "Lefty" so was evidently left-handed but we knew no more. When I started looking this year I discovered his name was Albert Trull and they married Oct 1946 in Weymouth (photo above). I can see Daphne in London in 1947 & 1948, staying with Aunt Phoeb, her mother's sister,
& Uncle Frank in Vassall Road, Lambeth. but as Albert would not have had a vote in this country, he is not listed on Electoral Roll records, so I don't know if he was still in this country. He had been born on New Year's Eve 1919 in Amesbury, Essex, Massachusetts to Albert & Helen née Stourt and can be seen in the census 2 weeks later at 8 California Street, Amesbury with parents & sister, his father a "steam fitter helper in lamp factory". Unfortunately by the next census in 1930 his father was in prison, his mother working hard as a servant & wage-earner, but evidently not enough to keep him, as he can be seen at the Home for Destitute Catholic Children in Boston. I cannot find him in 1940 census but he enlisted in the Army there on 22 Jan 1941 aged 22, and served in the Field Artillery for almost 5 years. He was demobbed on 10 Nov 1945 and this may have been when they met in London. I can see they both travelled on the Queen Mary liner in 1956, Albert on 12 Jan, Daphne on 7 Mar, giving addresses in Wyke Regis as references and stating the intention to settle in USA.

I don't think there were any children, Albert died 19 Dec 1991 in Massachusetts aged 72, Daphne on 18 Aug 2002 in Ayer, Middlesex, Massachusetts aged 77.
(later: I have found out the circumstances of his father's crime. On 10 Nov 1921 the Boston Post newspaper reported that he had been sentenced to 13 months, as he had beaten his wife and frightened the children so they wouldn't go near him. The year was for the attack, the extra month for drunkenness, the reason for it all. It isn't surprising that we see no more of him after that. Also, Lefty dropped the Junior on his name, changing his middle name from Justin to Francis.)

Just as Lilian was called Daphne, her brother Harold was really Philip Harold B Samways, born 17 Aug 1919 in Weymouth to Ernest & Beat née May. He can be seen in 1939 Register at 17 Sunnyside Road, Weymouth with his parents & sister

Interestingly he is listed as "Apprentice Fitter/Turner at Whitehead Torpedo Works". I have researched this a bit and found that it was famous. On the site, in Wyke Regis [now a housing estate] there is a stone commemmorating the place and its founder

“Robert Whitehead (1823-1905) was the inventor of the deadly underwater torpedo and it was on this site on the 11 April 1891 that the foundation stone of his famous Torpedo factory was laid down. Torpedoes from this factory were tested in Portland harbour and Weymouth Bay and achieved World wide recognition. During the World wars of 1914-1918 and 1939-1945 the torpedo made a major contribution to the defence of the realm”
in situ

factory floor
test pier Wyke Regis
In Jan 1942 in Weymouth he married Marie L White, who was probably also known by her middle name, as in 1939 Register there is an Ellen L M White, living in nearby Poole with her parents, with the name Samways written in above her name. My only doubt is that if the hand-written date of birth is correct she was only 14 when they married. There is a matching birth in Poole but I still have my doubts... Because I cannot find her birth I cannot find her death (although there is an Ellen M Samways died in Royal Eye Hospital, Weymouth and lived in Abbotsbury Road, where Beat Samways lived) but would have a birth date in 1877 (very wrong). Harold died Jan 1993 in Weymouth aged 73.

Monday 21st November 2016

Next ancestor is Cliff's cousin Martha Mary Molly Samways, known in the family as Molly. She was born 31 Jan 1914 in Bridport, Dorset to Uncle Ernest & Aunt Beat née May. In Jul 1940 in Lambeth she married George Alexander Bryan, lighterman's son from Lambeth. I have a photo of Molly in a nurse's uniform, so she may have been working at St Thomas' Hospital there - a very famous teaching hospital, and incidentally where I was born myself - and this may explain why she isn't available on 1939 Register, as they may not have wanted the hospital's details available to all. I can see George living at 20 Vauxhall Walk with his mother & sister, working as a "Charge Hand Constructional Iron Works".

They settled in Weymouth, near her parents and had one daughter Andrea in 1942. George died there in 1977 and Molly in 1987.
 

Martha Matilda Samways was born 22 Jul 1886 in Chickerell to William & Mary Ann née Adams, sister of Uncle Ernest, and christened there on 26 Sep 1886

She can be seen on census of 1891 aged 4 at Chickerell Road, next to the Marquis of Granby Inn [gone now, as the area has been redeveloped] with mother and sibs. In 1901 she was at Sunnydene, Wyke Regis, working as General Servant to a Retired Surgeon & his family. In 1911 she was back with her mother and family at 2 Pulteney Buildings (now Esplanade), her mother having remarried

On 16 Sep 1913 she married Sydney Victor Rogers at the Baptist Chapel, Bank Buildings, Melcombe Regis, the address of which is now given as Esplanade, so is evidently in the same road


Sydney was an "outfitter's assistant" from Birmingham, his father a piano dealer. They had 3 children, the first Joan in 1914 in Aston, Birmingham, so they must have been with his family (Martha's parents were deceased) but then were back in Weymouth for 1918 & Jack's birth. Mary was born at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire in 1922, when Sydney was on a list of "newly-qualified electors" at 17 Byron Road

c.1927
Hotels seem to run through this family and they evidently owned one themselves. In 1939 Register they can be seen running the Waverley Hotel, 2-4 South West Terrace, Yeovil, Somerset, with Joan, a closed record and 7 guests [it is no longer a hotel]

[The Register entry gave me a bit of a giggle, as two of the guests were described as working at a "Biscuit Farm". Evidently an error, but was written twice! Sorry, I can't resist this picture]

Apart from Hotel Proprietor, Sydney was local ARP Warden and Joan Assistant to parents as well as VAD in the Red Cross (Voluntary Aid Detachment) - voluntary nurses in wartime.

[Mary, Sydney & Martha in approx 1950s]

[Martha & Sydney approx 1960s]
Martha died in Jul 1968 aged 82 and Sydney in 1979 aged 88, both in Cranleigh, Surrey, at sheltered housing in Rowland Road


Sunday 20th November 2016


Mark Samways was born 17 Apr 1870 in Beaminster, Dorset to Thomas & Rhoda née Hutchings, brother of John Taylor Samways I dealt with on Friday, and christened on 22 May 1870 at Holy Trinity, Beaminster [now a private house]

He can be seen on census of 1871 aged 11 months at Newtown, Beaminster, with parents & brother Tom, lodging with mother Rhoda's parents. In 1881 they were at Misterton, Somerset, then, as I said on Friday, spent some time in Liverpool, then emigrated to America. Mark travelled with elder brother Tom on the SS Germanic 2-11 Jul 1890, a few weeks before their mother went out with 2 younger children. I can't find him in 1900 census, he wasn't with brother Thomas or their parents. But on 16 May 1903 in Fall River, Massachusetts (where the parents lived and brother John married the following year) he married Margaret E Hanley, and the document gives his address as 9 North Main Street, where his parents ran the Lodging House. Thus he must have lived at home with his parents, but was away for census night. His occupation was given as "Steward" so maybe he was employed on a ship and thus at sea... Anyway, by 1910 census he had his own hotel, further up the same road as his parents, at 95 North Main Street, Fall River [now a car park for a bank] and can be seen there with 3 daughters, a son & 6 boarders. Margaret's father was from Ireland, her mother from England, and of the 5 children she had given birth to, one had died in infancy, a twin Mark E Samways, born and died in 1906, another Mark was by then (1910) a year old, and went on to be called Mark Samways Junior. The next census in 1925 showed them at 258 Broad Street, Providence [now a petrol/gas station] - only a mile away across the river. In the 1928 directory they are shown at 240 Friendship Street [now no bulidings, part of Johnson University land], Mark a chef. He was by then 58 years old, preparing to retire. [This map shows how close these places were to each other]

It seems he had registered a vote in Los Angeles, so may have owned property there and spent part of the year with brother John. He was shown on the Voters' list for LA as Restaurant Proprietor, voting Republican [this seems very odd to me, a British voter in 21st century, where we value our secret ballot and anonymity] registered at 8536 Long Beach Boulevard [now a modern orthodontist on a retail park]

He was listed there again in 1930, details the same, but then it seems had a bit of a political epiphany. In 1932 he was on the move again, this time to 413 Lincoln Avenue, Pasadena, 20 miles from Long Beach, near to where brother John lived. On the voter list he this time declined to tell how he voted, and at the following election voted Democrat. Over the next few years he roomed in various places in Pasadena, voting Democrat and by 1942 is listed as retired. He died in the area on 11 May 1946 aged 76 and Margaret (still living in Rhode Island) then called herself his widow (although how much they saw of each other in the previous 20 years I cannot say...) but I cannot find a death record for her.

Friday 18th November 2016

What happened on this day:
16th Nov:
Mary Ann Woodford was christened in 1828
17th Nov:
Charles Rowse Retallick married Mary Ann Lobb in 1853

John Taylor Samways was born on 15 Sep 1878 in the West Derby area of Liverpool to Thomas & Rhoda née Hutchings and christened 27 Oct 1878 at St Mary's, Walton-on-the-Hill, Lancashire.

He was the fifth of their 6 children, and when he was 5 years old, his young brother Thomas died at the age of 3.
The family originated, like most others on this branch, from Dorset, but, as I said on 31st October (see below) they upped sticks and spent some years in Liverpool, but when Frederick died, they decided enough was enough and emigrated to America. They can be seen in 1881 census in the village of Misterton, Somerset, father Thomas working there as mason, but 2 years later Frederick died and was buried there. The usual way of emigrating was for father to go out first, get a job & home etc then call for the others. I assume this was the case here, as on 5 Sep 1890 John arrived in New York with his mother & sister aboard the SS Germanic [this was the same vessel Edwin Knight had used to sail out to start a new life in USA in 1878 - see Jan 2015 blog]

In 1900 census he can be seen aged 21 at 9 North Main Street, Fall River, Massachusetts, with parents, who ran it as a Lodging House, and 9 boarders staying there.

John worked as a Clerk at this point, although by 1904 he was evidently a Salesman. This was on his marriage record when he married Rebecca Slocum, local school teacher, on 8 Aug 1904 in Fall River. Oddly, there are no Samways in 1910 census it seems, so I cannot be sure they had no children.
They settled in Pasadena, California but I can't find any baptisms etc by the time Rebecca died aged 29 in 1911. That is the usual reason for death in young married women. She was buried in Mountain View Cemetery, Altadena, California

On 13 Jun 1913 in Brighton, Adams, Colorado he married Ada Winifred Jennerich, another school teacher, living in Colorado with her parents, who then retired to Pasadena.
  
In 1915 they were listed in a Directory, living at 729 Sunset Ave, Pasadena

John working for the Crown City Dye Works and the same in 1916. When drafted into WW1 in  1918 John was employed as Deliveryman & Collector for a Dry Cleaner, living at the same address. By 1920 they had 3 of their 5 children and can be seen with them on the census at 944 Elizabeth Street, Pasadena

John by now owned the Dye Works and in 1930 was listed as Proprietor of Dry Cleaning Plant.
Looking into this, it appears that a nickname of Pasadena was the Crown City and the company he originally worked for was one & the same:
advert from 1910
1930 census lists him as "Proprietor Dry Cleaning Plant", now living at 2097 North Raymond Avenue, Pasadena

They remained here until 1936, in 1937 moving to 1490 Mar Vista Avenue, which is where they stayed.

Photo of John in 1941 and Ada in about 1960:

In 1954 John was listed there as treasurer of the Scattergood Association, a benevolent fund for the education of poor children, although in 1940 census he was "clerk in retail men's clothing store", Ada's widowed mother, sister & niece living with them at the same address - maybe it was a "thrift store" selling on behalf of the charity. Anyway, he died 10 Sep 1956 aged 77 & was interred at Mountain View Cemetery, Altadena - above - in the Mausoleum.

And his obituary:

Ada died 13 Feb 1962

John William Samways was born in Apr 1857 in Cattistock, Dorset to William & Mary née Trevett and christened on 31 May 1857.


He can be seen in census of 1861 aged 4 at Sandhills, Cattistock with parents & 2 sisters

I cannot locate him in 1881 census. His mother had died, his father remarried and he could be in service or working anywhere. On 8 Apr 1885 in Upwey, Dorchester he married Eliza Churchill, who had been working at the George Hotel, Crewkerne, Somerset as a Cook in the census and they settled in Hampshire

In 1891 census they can be seen at The Cottages, Hobb Lane, Hedge End, Botley with 3 children and a lodger, John working as an "Ag Lab (Cowman)".

They had 8 children, but one died in infancy. In 1901 description is the same & they had 5 children, by 1911 6 children but John described himself as a Fruit Grower/Market Gardener, running his business from home. He is listed in Kelly's Directories of 1911-27 as Market Gardener at this address. Neither can be found in 1939 Register, as John died in 1937 & Eliza in early 1939, before the Register was taken. Both deaths were registered in the Winchester Registration area.

Monday 14th November 2016

Jane Samways2
was born Jul 1849 in Blandford to Henry & Mary Ann née Morgan and christened there on 10 Aug 1849

In census od 1851 she can be seen aged 1 in Blandford with parents, brother & a lodger, then in 1861 at Rope Close, Blandford with parents & sibs. 1871 census shows her aged 21 at 10 Portland Place, Walcot, Bath (a place familiar from my Dad's tree, see elsewhere in this Blog), working as housemaid to a retired Lieut. Col. in the Madras Army.

1881 census found she had moved on to 4 Weston Road, Handsworth, Staffordshire, where she was General Servant to an Officer of Ireland Excise & Reveneue

From this point she vanishes from the records. If she married, I cannot find the record as I don't know where in the country this would be; she moved around as you see. If she died likewise. (I suspect she married a Joseph Charles Smith in Jul 1882 but lose her from there, unsurprisingly with such extremely common names).

Jane Samways3 was born Jan 1823 in Melcombe Regis to Edward & Maria née Murray and christened there 16 Feb 1823

She can be seen on census of 1841 at Salem Place, Weymouth with parents & 9 siblings, aged 18 & working as a Straw-bonnet Maker. A few weeks later in Blandford she married John Stickland, an Ag Lab also from Melcombe. They settled in "the hamlet of Hartfoot Lane",
a pretty place, where they can be seen in 1851 census with John's widowed mother, 4 siblings & baby son John

The 1861 census gives their address as Pleck, Higher Ansty, (a village/hamlet just to the north), with 3 children, John working as a carter. They were there too in 1871, with 3 daughters and a probable relative next door, deaf woodman Emanuel Stickland and family. In 1881 just John & Jane were there, and Jane died there in Oct 1889. John can be seen in 1901 census living with daughter Eliza Dove & family at 52 Orchard Street, Blandford. (I don't know where he was in 1891, not with them) and he died there the following year.

John Charles Samways was born Jun 1851 in Weymouth to Edward & Martha née Bartlett, brother of Henry & Jane see Friday. He was christened on 22 Jun 1851 at Hole Trinity (see below for photo) and, as he had just missed the 1851 census, can first be seen in that of 1861 at Chickerell with Bartlett grandparents. In 1871 he was back home in Putton with parents & sibs, working as a carpenter. In Oct 1879 he married Ellen Elizabeth Hyland and in 1891 they can be seen at High Street, Wendover, Buckinghamshire with 3 children & 4 lodgers. In 1901 at 8 Holly Bank Cottages, Godstone Road, Coulsdon, Surrey with 2 chilldren, Ellen's widowed mother Ellen Gill and 3 boarders. John died there in Apr 1907 and Ellen can be seen in 1911 at 17 Allen Road, Ponders End, Middlesex, describing herself as Boarding House Keeper - unsurprisingly - with 2 children, her mother & 4 boarders.

[I cannot find the earlier addresses as the census-taker has not included numbers on any of them!] She said that she had given birth to 6 children, 3 of whom had died. Emma, Jim and Ellen survived, I heard there was one called Harry, but cannot track him down, or the other two. Ellen appears in the 1939 Register, living at 8 Orchard Road, Enfield (these houses back onto those on Allens Road) with a family called Read, listed as Retired widow, and she died the following June aged 80.


Friday 11th November 2016 (Armistice Day - We Will Remember Them)

What happened on this day:
Sdney George Cox was born in 1902
Charles Richard Wooldridge was christened in 1827
George William Cox died in 1902 and
Betsey Knight née Udy in 1860
William Richard Roffey was buried in 1938

Henry James Samways was born in Weymouth in Aug 1849 to Edward & Martha née Bartlett and christened there at Holy Trinity 26 Aug 1849. I didn't know until I found this record that he was Henry James, as he was always known as James, thus I had the wrong marriage for him, but I have corrected that.

He can be seen in census of 1851 with Bartlett grandparents, aged 1, in Chickerell, then in 1861 at 1 High Street, Weymouth with parents & sibs, aged 11.

On 15 Aug 1868, as he turned 19, he joined the Royal Navy and served as an Ordinary Seaman on the SS Alice travelling from Weymouth to London and back, then was apparently discharged on 13 Sep 1868. He must have continued with a land-based job though, as he was listed in 1871 census as Seaman. He was at Cottage Putton with mother & sibs as father Edward was visiting in Alverstoke. On 10 Apr 1878 in St James' church, Poole, Dorset he married Emma Hood, labourer's daughter from Wareham
 
I cannot see that they had any children, but they settled in Poole, appearing in 1881 & 1891 censuses at Swan Alley, Poole [one of the tiny alleys off the Quay still in evidence today]
1957
2016 from the Quay
He was listed as Sailor, and in 1891 they had a niece with them. I don't know what happened in 1901 but I cannot find any members of this family in the census and next event is in Apr 1903 Henry re-married, having been widowed, although I cannot find a death record for Emma. He was married in Portsmoth to Ellen White, local girl 30 years his junior, and they soon had a son James (safe, as he was now known as Henry again) and these three can be seen in 1911 census at 57 High Street, Portsmouth, Henry Master Mariner. [This is a street of fairly modern shops now]. I see that Ellen died in Portsmouth in 1953, but I haven't found a similar death for Henry. In 1939 Register the only Ellen Samways is in Dorchester and widowed, but then you would expect this, as he would have been 90, unusual in those days. I reserve judgement though, as her date of birth is wrong. There may have been further children, two I have seen are Dorothy born 1912 and Gladys 1914.

Jane Samways was his sister, born Jan 1860 & christened 5 Feb at Holy Trinity (see above). The early years were the same as her brother, but in 1881 census she can be seen at Lorton House, Weymouth, working as a Cook/Servant for Rev John Moore Bridge, clergyman, & his family.

On 26 Jun 1888 at Alverstoke, Hampshire she married William Valentine Pack, blacksmith and armourer in the Royal Navy and they had 3 sons. I have his record here, involving 17 expeditions on a variety of vessels between 1878 & 1906, and he is very similar to Uncle Ernest (see below) in that his behaviour was "exemplary" except on 2 occasions when he was thrown in the cells for misbehaviour - both dated 31st December - 1885 & 1886. Evidently another case of enjoying New Year a little too well! In 1891 census Jane can be seen visiting a fellow Mariner in Alverstoke with little son William. William senior was at sea aboard SS Alexandria. In 1901 they can be seen living at 91 Queens Road, Alverstoke with 3 sons, William John Bartlett Pack, Louis Edward James Pack and Gerald Alfred Alexander Pack - nice names. George Victor S Pack died aged 3 months in Apr 1900. Father William Valentine (yes he was born 14 Feb) was receiving a Royal Navy pension but also working as a dockyard labourer, as he evidently enjoyed physical work.

In 1903 William sailed again on 3 final expeditions and the family relocated to Hove, Sussex. He finally left the services in 1906 and in 1911 they can be seen at 26 Stirling Place, Hove with son Gerald & 3 boarders. On 13 Apr 1925 he died aged 67 at the same house, leaving effects worth £367 to Jane.

As I cannot find Jane in 1939 Register, I suspect she died in Jan 1934 in Strood, Kent (oddly, where I used to live!) but I have no idea why there.

Friday 4th November 2016

What happened on this day:
3rd Nov:
"John Woodford 6" married Ann Dilkes in 1863
Jane Matthews married Henry Von Joel in 1868 and
Charles Matthews married Jemima Ingram in 1838

Henry George Samways was born Apr 1884 in Blandford to Henry & Elizabeth née Foot. This one is very difficult, as there was a George Logan Samways christened in Blandford in Dec 1883 to parents of the same names, father a groom, the same. They compounded the problem by calling Henry George by the name George, due presumably to the usual problem when naming the son after the father. In 1891 census Henry & Elizabeth had no 7-year-old at home, and he cannot be found elsewhere by any combination of names. In 1901 he is at home in 4 Boundary View, Blandford as George aged 17. By 1911 he had left home and can be seen at The Kennels, Billericay, Essex, still single & working for the local fox-hunt as Whipper-In, apparently an assistant whose task it was to control the dogs (here in black)

The following year he married Lily Long from Southend and they had a daughter Dorothy Lilian Maude on 14 Jan 1913. On 11 Dec 1915 he attested (giving his occupation as Huntsman) to the Army Veterinary Corps, and was put into the Army Reserve, on 29 May 1916 mobilised and posted as a private to No. 2 Base Hospital, then on 1st Dec 1916 transferred to the Regular Army. On 21 Jul 1917 the 8th Brigade Royal Horse Artillery embarked at Folkestone for France, where he saw action, was wounded slightly in the leg on 27 Aug 1917, but was back in the field on 5 Sep 1917. Leave was granted in Jul 1918, then again in Aug 1919. On 17 Sep 1919 he was demobbed

[WW1 RHA on the march in France. Maybe not his brigade]
In the mean time Lily had another daughter, Norah in 1916, but I cannot find any of them on 1939 Register. The two girls married and settled in London, but I cannot find deaths for him or for Lily that I can confirm.

Henry John Samways fits in between the two other Henrys, son of "plain" Henry & father of Henry George, born 2 Feb 1856 at Blandford, christened there on 27 Feb 1856

He can be seen on census of 1861 at Rope Close, Blandford with parents & sibs, as John, then in 1871 at Alexandra Street, Blandford with parents & sister, aged 15, working as a gardener's labourer. On 29th Mar 1880 in the church above he married Elizabeth Foot, daughter of the licesee of the Castle Inn [must have been at or very near the Kings Arms, as it was a the bottom of Bryanston Street], and they had 7 children, nearly all of whom I have already dealt with. In 1881 census he was 25, a groom, with baby Agnes & Elizabeth working as a dressmaker, living at Albert street, a turning just up Salisbury Street.

They remained here for the next census, then by 1901 can be seen at 4 Boundary View with 5 children, 3 of them working

In Jul 1908, at the age of 47, Elizabeth died, and Henry moved in with eldest daughter Agnes. The census return of 1911 shows him with Agnes, her husband & baby, also 3 of Henry's children, 2 of who were also grooms, at Bradford Road, Sherborne, 20 miles from Blandford. He died there in Dec 1918 aged 62

Monday 31st October 2016

What happened on this day:
Grampy (Henry John Wooldridge), my great grandfather, was christened in 1869
Donald Retallick was born 1909
Allivyan Retallick married Mary Liddicoat in 1865
Ernest Smith (Clive's grandfather) died in 1943 in El Alamein
Sarah Ann Gamble née Cox died in 1931

Henry Samways was born Jan 1821 in Wyke Regis to Edward & Maria née Murray and was christened there on 25 Feb 1821.

In 1841 census he can be seen at Salem Place, Weymouth (see 24th Oct below) with father, step-mother and his 8 siblings (5 full, 3 half), listed like his father as a tailor. The following year on 27 Oct 1842 in Wyke Regis (church above) he married Martha Parker, local girl, working as a servant, witnesses his sibs William & Jane. This evidently didn't last very long, but I cannot find her death record, which is worrying. What's more, when on 8 Feb 1846 he married Mary Anne Morgan, he was described as "bachelor". I hesitate to label him a bigamist, but ... No, there are several deaths in the area with other first names, so maybe she died under the name of Sarah or Lydia, a middle name I cannot find evidence of. Anyway, as I said in Feb 1846 he married Mary Anne at Blandford Forum and they had 6 children, whose history I have already touched on in parts. In 1851 census the address is less than helpful, as there are several pages just labelled "new buildings", Blandford. They are there with 2 children and a lodger, Henry a groom. He did seem able to turn his hand to a lot of things, as in 1861 he was described as "builder's labourer", living in Rope Close (see 5th & 18th Oct) with 6 children. By 1871 they had moved to 12 Alexandra Street, and stayed there for many years.

Only 2 children were still at home, so they must have downsized, and Henry was trying his hand at being a sawyer. 1881 was just the same but with only one daughter & a lodger. 1891 just the daughter & Henry was a General Labourer. In 1895 he died aged 74, probably in the house shown above. May Anne remained there for 1901 census, listed then as a retired laundress with daughter Agnes earning the money as a dressmaker with her own business run from home. Also granddaughter Annie, son Henry's daughter, aged 8. Following the electoral roll records, it seems Mary Anne had a vote registered at Uploders, just outside Bridport, then 9 Sandford Court, Bridport 1903-5, when she died there. It may have been a retirement home as she was 78, admitting to 76 at her death. She was buried at Loders


The Ancestry site is having troubles, so I shall return later in the week

Sunday 31st October 2016

Ernest William James Samways was born 13 Sep 1912 in Lambeth, son of Uncle Ern, as outlined yesterday, and thus Clifford's first cousin. The family moved back to Dorset in his infancy (sister Molly was born in Bridport 1914), so he grew up there. In Apr 1931 in Weymouth he married Phyllis Kathleen Sartin (or Kathleen Phyllis in some records) known in the family as Pat. They had 3 children in Weymouth but I cannot find them or their children in 1939 Register. When Ern senior died in 1953 and Daphne emigrated, Ern junior moved to North London/Middlesex and can be seen in electoral roll records from 1955-65 at 14 Lincoln Road, Feltham

His death in Jul 1978 was registered in the Hounslow area, so he could easily have still been there. Pat died in Surrey in 1995, probably staying with one of the children.

Frank/Froud Samways (see last Monday) was born Jul 1893 in Alverstoke to Edward and his 2nd wife Annie née Froud. There was 23 years between these two, so he grew up as an only child, his youngest sibling being 15 years older than him. He can be seen in censuses of 1901 & 1911 at Fleet End, Warsash, near Southampton, in the latter listed as Carpenter's Apprentice. Unfortunately I cannot find him in 1939 nor a marriage, but there is a death of the right age in Apr 1967 in Warminster.

Frederick William Samways was born in Oct 1880 in Misterton, Somerset to Thomas & Rhoda née Hutchings and christened there at All Saints on 12 Oct 1880

In 1881 census he can be seen aged 4 months with parents & sibs in Misterton, but they must have moved soon after, as when he died aged 2 in Mar 1883 it was in Toxteth Park, Liverpool and he was buried in Walton Park Cemetery on 18 Mar.

The home address on the burial record is "Sauchnell <something>, T.P" but I can't find anything like this - maybe the Liverpudlians couldn't understand the Westcountry accent! I don't know why they had moved to Liverpool, maybe it was something to do with Thomas' work as a mason. They didn't stay in the area - as families often do after losing children, they were soon off further afield, but more of this later.

Helena Samways was twin to Barbara (see 17th Oct below) so her story was exactly the same until Barbara's marriage in 1823. The following year Oct 1924 in Easthampstead she married Edward E Greenough, cattleman, and they settled in Windsor. Unfortunately Helena died in Apr 1929 having their only child Raymond. He survived, at least until he was 20.

Saturday 29th October 2016

Next is the Link Ancestor of this tree, Clifford's Uncle Ern. Ernest William Philip Samways was born 8 Apr 1878 in Chickerell to William & Mary Ann née Adams and christened there on 21 Jul 1878 (see Tuesday for church photo). In 1881 census he can be seen aged 2 with his parents & sister Alice at what is now 402 Chickerell Road, Weymouth (probably the house where he was born)

In 1891 a little further down the road, next to the Marquis of Granby pub (now probably under tarmac at the street junction) with mother & sibs aged 12. On 8 Sep 1896 he enrolled in the Royal Navy for 12 years. He gave his age as 18, so his date of birth was noted as 8 Sep 1878 (which confused me for a while as he was 5 months older than this) and sailed on his first ship HMS Boscawen on 1 Dec 1897 until 14 Jan 1900 as B2C i.e. Boy 2nd Class.

[3 ships called Boscawen over the years, the centre one in force in Ern's time]

Subsequently he was promoted to Boy 1st Class, Ordinary Seaman then Able Seaman. Always over the years he was rated of Very Good character, but did blot his copybook once, when he served 3 days in the cells "for smuggling liquor into the cutter" (that quarter his character was just Fair) on 5 Nov 1898 - maybe for a Guy Fawkes party. So, he was on board ship in 1901 census, the HMS Wildfire, registered that evening at Minster, Sheppey, Kent. I have observed before the strange coincidence of a relative being there long before Cliff moved there to live in the early 1970s with his family (including my husband Clive).
1901
I have just found this photo, taken in Sep 1904 (when Ern was still there) of the Wildfire senior crew on a day out, which annoyingly included Petty Officers, but he was still a Leading Seaman, just one rank lower, so probably didn't get to go
1904
In Apr 1905 he was transferred to Royal Fleet Reserve and resumed civilian life, but 30 Apr 1910 he re-enrolled until 14 Apr 1915, but by then WW1 had intervened, so he stayed on until demobbed on 25 Mar 1919. During his "time out" he worked for P & O and in 1911 was working as a Quartermaster for them, so at the time of the census on 2 Apr he wasn't at home with mother, stepfather & sibs at 2 Pulteney Buildings, Melcombe Regis but 9 weeks later, on his marriage, he gave this as his address.

Quartermaster was the 3rd officer on P & O services

On 5 June 1911 at Lambeth St Mary he married Beatrice May May, witnesses William John May (bride's brother), John James Price, Beatrice Freeman, Martha Matilda Samways (groom's sister) and Alice May (another of bride's sisters)

They had 5 children, the first born in Lambeth, as was the norm for some while, as first-time mothers often wanted to be with their own mothers at the time of birth, but after this they moved back to Dorset, having the others in the Weymouth area (except Jack, who may have come as somewhat of a surprise when they were in Wales). As I said, he re-enlisted 1915-19, but was then demobbed and can be seen in 1920 Kelly's directory listed in Wyke Regis as an insurance agent then again in 1931 & 1935. 1939 Register found them at 17 Sunnyside Road, Weymouth, with daughter Martha Mary only left at home (she was 25 and manageress of a confectionery). Ern was described as "Prudential agent, retired and ARP Warden", Beat as UDD & ARP Warden.

As I noted when I studied Beat herself (see 12 May 2014), after Ern died in Jul 1953 she soon went off to America to stay with her daughter Daphne for almost a year. Daphne had married in 1946 but I cannot see travel for her until 1956, then her mother went out to stay on 14 Nov 1958, returning on 10 Sep 1959. I postulated there may be birth of a child involved, but I cannot find any.

 

Wednesday 26th October 2016

Elizabeth Samways 1 was born 16 Sep 1885 in Blandford Forum to Henry & Elizabeth née Foot, sister to Agnes, Annie, Charley & Dorothy already studied, and christened on 8 Oct 1885. Thus her early days were at 9 Albert Street then 4 Boundary View, both in Blandford.
 
On 3 Feb 1906 in Blandford she married Walter Jackson, carter on a farm working with his father in Shillingstone 5 miles away. They settled in that village and by 1911 census can be seen living at White Pitt, with 2 daughters and a boarder from London

Phyllis died in 1995 but Lily is probably still alive, so in 1939 Register Walter and Elizabeth can be see with a closed record, at 32 Bere Marsh, which is about 1.5 miles from White Pit, near Bere Marsh Farm. The 3 cottages 32, 33 & 34 have long gone, and now the area is merely a trail along the old disused railway line and Bere Marsh House, run as a B&B. Looking at it, I suspect this may be the 3 cottages knocked into one, but cannot find any evidence online for this.

In 1939 Walter was listed as Cowman doing ARP war work also, and Elizabeth UDD. They both died within a few months of each other in 1959, Walter on 7 Jan in Dorchester Hospital and Elizabeth 17 May in Shillingstone, both aged 73. They were living in Vale Terrace, Shillingstone at the time, sheltered retirement accommodation


Elizabeth Samways 2 was born in 1829 to Edward & Maria née Murray in Weymouth and can be seen in 1841 census aged 12 with parents & sibs in Salem Place (see Monday, below). By 1851 she was working as House Servant to a Naval Assistant Master at 28 St Thomas Street, Melcombe Regis. I cannot locate her after this - as a servant she could have gone anywhere, if she married I can't find a record specific enough. Equally, she may be the death in Jan 1861 in Weymouth (no age given).

Elizabeth Hannah Samways was born Dec 1853 in Bradpole, Bridport to William & Mary née Trevett and christened there at Holy Trinity on New Year's Day

In 1861 census she can be seen aged 7 at Sandhills, Cattistock, 10 miles away, where the family had moved in the mid-1850s before her brother John was born. On 17 Sep 1874 in Osmington she married Robert Turner (the first banns were read by the curate - the rector was probably away - with the wonderful name of Arthur Chichester Buzzard!)

[St Osmund's church, photo 1955]
In 1881 census they can be seen with 3 children at Shilvinghampton, 9 miles to the west, which is now a campsite, I understand.

In 1891 census they were at a settlement called Coryates, just under a mile north of Shilvinghampton. The railway came through here and there was I understand a little station Coryates Halt built in 1906, but it only ever was used for milk and did not survive the changes to come. Track was lifted in 1955 and there is now absolutely nothing there.
1930s
2011
[platform mound to the left]
In 1896 Robert's father Isaac Turner died, and his wife Susan went to live with Robert & Elizabeth in a cottage on the Chalmington Estate near where Elizabeth grew up in Cattistock. In 1901 census they can be seen there with 6 children, the two eldest boys working on the farm as shepherd and carter. As Robert himself died in 1910, at the time of the next census we next see Elizabeth has gone full circle and is back at Sandhills, 2 adult children are earning the household income as shepherd and domestic servant, while she cares for her mother-in-law Susan who is paralysed. [Again I can't see that there is anything at Sandhills now, sadly] We must next jump to 1939 Register, and can see Elizabeth still there alone with her daughter Elizabeth, both UDDs. Elizabeth Hannah died in Oct 1941, probably at Sandhills and the younger Elizabeth in 1951.

Emily Jane Samways was her sister, born Feb 1862 in Cattistock to William & Mary née Trevett and christened there at St Peter & St Paul on 16 Mar 1862



In 1871 census she can be seen there with parents & sibs. In 1881 at Shilvinghampton, Portisham with her widowed father, next door to sister Elizabeth & family (see above). As they are next door to them again in 1891 I suspect the Coryates address may be the same as 10 years earlier, just with boundary changes. Either that or they couldn't bear to be separated! In the mean time Emily had married the man with possibly the best name in this tree; on 23 Feb 1888 in St Peter's, Portisham she married Eber Bartlett Pester (Bartlett was his grandmother's maiden name)

Unfortunately they weren't together long, as she died in October 1892 (probably childbirth) and was buried at the church above on 8 Oct. Eber then travelled to Aukland for a while, as I have found documents relating to him travelling on board HMS Rimutaka on her last sailing before being scrapped.

He was thus away for 1901 census but was back soon after, as in Jul 1905 in Weymouth he married Sarah Barter née Follett from Bridport, a widow with a young daughter Pearl. They can be seen in 1911 census at Victoria Place, Easton, Portland, but he died himself 6 Jun 1917 in Salisbury, leaving his effects to a blacksmith called George Green.

Tuesday 25th October 2016

Edward Richard Samways was Uncle Ernest's brother, born to William & Mary Ann née Adams on 11 Mar 1882 in Chickerell, and christened there at St Mary's on 30 Apr 1882.
St Mary's
He can be seen aged 9 in census of 1891 at Chickerell Road [next to the Marquis pub, see below] with mother & sibs. On 28 Aug 1899 he joined the Royal Navy, signing on for 12 years. This meant that he was aboard ship in thee next census, i.e. HMS Camperdown, moored in Portsmouth.
HMS Camperdown crew 1896
The story of this ship was that she had been involved in a nasty accident in which she sank battleship HMS Victoria, was retired, then recommissioned in 1895 and sent to the Mediterranean. Edward didn't join until 1899, when she was on local service, then "hulked" in 1908 and scrapped. He had moved on by then, as he didn't stay very long on each ship and moved on in Aug 1902. He was listed as a "Painter 2nd Class" at this time; he served aboard various ships on 16 trips under this title, then in 1914 was promoted to 1st Class and served 10 as this. In 1911 census he can be seen aboard HMS Prince George moored in Lyme Bay, one of 100 crew members. [Looking into the history of this ship I see that she too was involved in a collision with another of our battleships and it may be that Edward was part of a refitting team who repaired this kind of damage. She was part of the Home Fleet, later sent to Germany and sank on the way, off the coast of the Netherlands in 1921, the wreckage is, I understand, still there]

On 6 Sep 1921 he was discharged to Shore and pensioned off. There is no mention on the records of a health problem, but he died a year later in Weymouth, aged only 40. Charlotte (Lottie), who had been married once before him, went on to marry again and I think she moved back to Surrey, where she had been born, helping to run a Post Office in 1939 and died in 1949. She had 3 daughters from her first marriage and they had a son Edward 6 months after their marriage. I am told there were also 2 daughters, but cannot find a shred of documentary evidence to support this.

Edward Richard B Samways, his uncle, was born 13 Jul 1868 in Weymouth to Edward & Martha née Bartlett and was christened at Holy Trinity on 16 Aug 1868. In 1871 census he can be seen aged 3 at Cottage Putton, Chickerell with mother & sibs, then in 1881 at 8 Haslar View, Alverstoke, Hants with parents, sister & niece. On 26 Sep 1884 he signed up for 10 years with the Royal Navy, lying about his age, giving it as 18 when he was just 16. He served, like his nephew would 15 years later, on 26 trips. Firstly he was on probation as a Cook's Mate, then was evidently successful as he gained promotion to Cook's Mate 2nd Class, then 1st Class, then Ship's Cook, and finally Chief Cook. Thus he also was aboard ship in 2 censuses, but he was at sea and not recorded. In 1891 he was Ship's Cook 2nd Class on HMS Dart near to Australia

and in 1901 Chief Cook on the HMS Brisk sailing to China.

In 1892 he to married in Alverstoke Martha Louise Talbot, while working as Cook's Mate on board "HMS Victory 1", a stationary accounts ship based in Portsmouth (later renamed the Neptune to avoid confusion with the famous warship) but he was soon off again, see above. In 1904 he was sent back to shore and pensioned off, but, just as in the story above, he didn't last long. He died in Apr 1908, leaving Martha living with her brother William, a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, along with their daughter born 1895 as Martha S V Samways, but known as Mattie. In 1911 they still lived with William in Alverstoke and Mattie was an apprentice dressmaker. Annoyingly for me, she went on to marry a John Smith in 1920... However, in 1939 Register both Marthas can be seen at the same address 5 Little Anglesey Road both UDD, but Mattie is now called Sybil V Smith (dropped the Martha to avoid confusion I would say)

[5 Little Anglesey Road, but if you think this is pretty, look at the view from the house!]

Martha died here Apr 1943 aged 79. Not a peaceful time, but what a lovely place to go!

Monday 24th October 2016

What happened on this day:
Henry James Roffey was born in 1845
William Stanfield Roffey married Martha Johnson in 1852 and
Amelia Kneebone née Knight was buried in 1932

Several Edwards today:
Firstly the patriarch of this branch Edward Samways, he was born in 1799 in Melcombe Regis, Weymouth, Dorset - too early for records at present, so I don't know when in that year, or the names of his parents, I'm afraid. He married three times and had nine children. First marriage was on 14 Jun 1820 in Fleet, Dorset, the part of Weymouth on the west coast, just beyond Chickerell. Maria was also from Melcombe Regis, but may have been living in Fleet. They were married by banns, but with parental consent as they were both just 21, and Maria was evidently already pregnant, as daughter Mary arrived in the same year.

[Holy Trinity, Fleet]
Maria had 6 children when she died aged 33 in 1832, and Edward then married widow Elizabeth Voss née Cox on 26 Feb 1835 in Wyke Regis (southern part of Weymouth)

In 1841 census they can be seen at Salem Place, Weymouth [which was, I understand, in the town centre, by Hope Square] with 9 children, Edward a tailor. However, he wasn't lucky with his wives, and Elizabeth died aged 43 in 1844. So, on 13 Jul 1848 in Weymouth he married Fanny Fuzzard, daughter of quarry man John Fuzzard and Margery Chick (what great names!) from Portland, the island off Weymouth to the south. In 1851 census they can be seen at 4 New Town Place [now disappeared, as is the case for most places called "new", unsurprisingly] with the 3 youngest daughters (Edward is described as "Master Baker", but this must be an error, as he is tailor in all the other records). In 1861 they are at 14 Franchise Street

All the children having left home, Fanny is working as a nurse, Edward still tailoring, although 73. By 1881 they had moved along the road to number 7 [gone now] but other details remained the same. Although Fanny was 20 years younger than Edward, they both died in the same year a month apart, and burial records are on the same page, Fanny on 20 Oct 1883 and Edward 21 Nov 1883 at All Saints, Wyke Regis


The other "plain" Edward Samways was son of the above and Maria, his first wife, born in Sep 1829 in Melcombe Regis and christened there on 4 October. His mother died when he was 2, so in 1841 census he can be seen aged 13 at Salem Place with his father, stepmother & sibs. On 11 Mar 1849 at Holy Trinity, Weymouth he married Martha Bartlett and they can be seen in 1851 census at Spring Gardens, Wyke Regis, Edward working as a shoemaker. Baby James should have been there too, aged one, but he may have been elsewhere at the time, as brother John was imminent. [Spring Gardens is fairly modern now, so has evidently been rebuilt]. By 1861 they had 4 children and can be seen in the census at 1 High Street, Weymouth.

Edward was described as "Cordwainer employing one man, and letter-carrier". A cordwainer is defined as a "shoe maker who makes shoes from new leather", and the house can easily be imagined as business premises, but he had two jobs - very useful to support his increasing number of children! By 1871 census there were eight, although one died aged 3. On the day of the census Martha can be seen at home with the 7 children at Cottage Putton (see sisters Alice & Charlotte below) while Edward was visiting in Alverstoke, Hampshire. Martha evidently worked in the family business too, as she called herself a Boot-binder, defined as one who attaches the leather to the sole in making footwear. In 1881, as I mentioned before, Edward has taken the family to Hampshire - his previous visit may have been laying down roots there - and they can be seen at 8 Haslar View, Alverstoke.

When discussing daughter Charlotte I wondered where her eldest child was and suggested she may be with grandparents etc. Here is a granddaughter called Jinnie and there was a Martha E J in a family who often use middle names, so this strengthens the case for her being known as Jinnie/Jennie! You may recall that Charlotte left for Guernsey in 1883. Martha died in Jan 1888 and Edward married a local girl Annie Froud, housemaid, aged 36 on marriage, so not surprising that they only had one son, Frank, born in 1894, so they were alone at the same address in 1891 census, but by 1901 census they can be seen with 7-year-old Frank at Fleet End, Warsash near Southampton. I have just discovered that he was christened Froud, which is rather lovely (and Froud Samways is very Tolkienesque!), and of course his mother's maiden name. He was named thus in 1911 census, at Fleet End, with parents. Edward died Jan 1918 aged 88 and Annie followed in 1937.

Saturday 22nd October 2016

What happened on this day:
20th:
Selina Hatton was born in 1815 and
George Wooldridge in 1856
"Joseph Woodford 6" was christened in 1864
William Retallick married Ann Treveal née Williams in 1812
William Hatton married Elizabeth Tuckwood in 1814
Catherine Miles née Noonan died in 1918
21st:
John Wooldridge was christened in 1749 and
William & John May in 1855
William John Woodford married Elizabeth Wells in 1882
Elizabeth Knight married John Chapman in 1815
James Gamble died in 1871 and
Sarah Knight née Williams in 1918

Dorothy Samways was born Feb 1900 in Blandford Forum to Henry & Elizabeth née Foot, brother of Charley, and christened there on 2 Mar 1900

In 1901 census she can be seen at 4 Boundary View with parents & sibs

then in 1911 at Bradford Road, Sherborne with sister Agnes & family (also their father). In Jul 1919 in Sherborne she married William Stanley Yeomans, who had been born in Lancashire but brought up in Wales, where he worked on the railways for Great Western, as a cleaner of Cardiff station, since the age of 16. He served in WW1 as private, in 13th battalion Welsh Regiment, transferring to the Royal Army Service Corps in  1917, discharged in 1919 with British War Medal & Victory Medal. As far as I can see they had no children. In 1939 Register they can be seen at 165 Mackintosh Place, Cardiff, where William was a Motor Mechanic and Dorothy UDD.


This was where they died, Dorothy in Jan 1972 and William 4 Jan 1974

Wednesday 19th October 2016

Charley Samways was son of Henry & Elizabeth née Foot, born Jan 1895 in Blandford and christened there on 1 Mar 1895. His name was registered Charley, he was baptised Charlie, but appeared on census returns as Charles (possibly an assumption on the part of the enumerators, although in 1911 it was his sister Agnes completed the form). In 1901 census he can be seen at 4 Boundary View, Blandford with parents & sibs

but by 1911 his mother had died and he can be seen with sister Agnes Blanche & her family at Bradford Road, Sherborne, also his father. Like father and brother John, Charley worked as a groom. After this I cannot trace him. There is a Charles Samways who left for New York in 1912, was a glover (not a groom), returned in 1914, joined up and was killed in 1918. But he gave his home as Yeovil and date of birth was wrong. Our Charley may have joined the Dorsetshire Regiment and received a medal in 1918, but with no further details and no confirmation I cannot be sure. The odd thing is I cannot find marriage or death records in this country, and he does not appear on 1939 Register.

Charlotte Mary Samways was one of Ernest's aunts, born in Jul 1853 in Weymouth to Edward & Martha née Bartlett and christened there at Holy Trinity on 25 Sep 1853.

In 1861 census she was at 22 Richmond Street, Southampton with her Aunt Jane, then in 1871 at Cottage Putton, Chickerell - see sister Alice on 16th October - with mother & sibs. On 23 Apr 1878 at Chickerell she married butcher Alfred John Stevens and settled in Chickerell for a few years. They can be seen on 1881 census near her brother William (opposite the Marquis of Granby, where Marquis Close is today) with one daughter Mabel. There was another daughter Martha E J born in Hampshire in 1879 but I cannot track her down at this point - she may have lived with grandparents etc and joined the family again in later years. Mabel was Charlotte Mabel Alice, so this may be one of those families where they use middle names, and thus confuse genealogists in the future! In 1883 they upped sticks and moved to Guernsey, Channel Islands, with 3 daughters, and had a further 5 children there. In 1891 census they can be seen at Hiram Place, St Sampson, Guernsey with all 8 children. I am the first to say I know nothing about the Channel Islands, and cannot find the exact location on Google Maps, so all I can say is that St Sampson is an area in the Northeast of the island. In 1901 details are the same but by 1911 Alfred had died , so Charlotte can then be seen widowed with 4 children and a boarder at Tay Green, Les Canichers, St Peter Port
Les Canichers
I have no details of his death, as I do not have access to Channel Islands BMD records, just the censuses. Thus I don't know when Charlotte died herself. Interestingly though I can see the youngest daughter Gladys was in 1911 living with her uncle John Stanton in Hove, England. He was an Army Pensioner aged 48, an instructor at a prep school, so eminently capable of coping with a child, which her mother evidently was not. As far as I can see all the others remained in Guernsey.

Tuesday 18th October 2016

Charles Samways was father of Barbara I dealt with yesterday, born Jan 1858 in Blandford Forum to Henry & Mary Ann née Morgan and christened there on 29 Jan 1858 - see yesterday for photo of church. In 1861 census he can be seen with parents & sibs at Rope Close, Blandford - as I said on 5th October, dealing with his sister Agnes, I don't know exactly where this was, just that it was off Salisbury Road. Charles disappears from the records at this point, so I don't know where he was in 1871 or 1881 censuses. On 1 Aug 1882 in Sunninghill, Windsor, Berkshire he married Elizabeth Hatt.

[St Michael & All Angels church, photo 1960]
She had lived there all her life, her father William Hatt, her mother the wonderfully-named Elizabeth Honeybun, both of local families. All are missing in 1881, which suggests the entire batch or records was lost at some point. By 1891 Charles and family are settled into the staff quarters at Cumberland Lodge, Old Windsor - see Barbara yesterday. I can see his name on the Royal Mews Staff lists from 1894 until his death in 1905, his pay £21 per annum.

[Royal Mews Stable currently]
They can be seen in 1901 census at the same place, now with 3 children. Unfortunately Charles died aged only 47 on 20 May 1905, home address Kennel Ride, Ascot and was buried on 23 May 1905 at St Michael & All Angels, Sunninghill churchyard.


[photographed 2010]
So this was why in 1911 Elizabeth was alone with the twins, living on a pension from the Royal Buckhounds. Reading around, I came across this engraving in Illustrated London News of the Royal Buckhounds in 1882

It is quite possible that the assistant in the left foreground was him, also in the following print of the Royal Buckhounds Kennel Ascot from 1901

His address of Kennel Ride, Ascot at his death suggests he may have worked with the dogs at this stage of his career. Elizabeth can be seen in 1939 Register at the same address - she can be seen at Bicester Villa, Kennel Ride, Ascot, widowed UDD.
2012
She died the following January and was probably buried with Charles. Of course burials in that year were suddenly increased and routine records at that churchyard are not available after 1937. One day I must go look myself...

Monday 17th October 2016

What happened on this day:
Ernest Alfred Knight was born in 1898 and
"James Roffey 1" in 1813
Abraham Woodford was christened in 1833
Elizabeth Knight died in 1948

Annie Samways was born 7 Oct 1892 in Blandford Forum to Henry & Elizabeth née Foot and was christened there 4 Nov 1892

She can be seen in 1901 census at 12 Primrose Villa, Blandford with grandmother (widowed retired laundress) & Aunt Agnes (dressmaker). In 1911 she was working as a "Mother's Help" to publican of Swan Hotel, Sherborne [not now a hotel/pub]

On 14 Feb 1920 at Sherborne she married Cecil Marsh, clerk, who had been living in 1911 at 122 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, London working for a brewery.
[122 Cheyne Walk]
[Sherborne Abbey 1910]
It seems they settled in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. They had no children by which I could prove this, but they can be seen on 1939 Register at Boddington Cottage, Tring Road with a mother, who ran a fried fish business, her daughter, who assisted, and son-in-law an RAF wireless & electrical mechanic. Cecil worked as an Air Service Clerk and Annie UDD.
[photo 2009]
Cecil died in 1960 and Annie 1976, both in Aylesbury.

Barbara Samways was born 10 Apr 1897 at Old Windsor, Berkshire to Charles & Elizabeth née Hatt, twin to Helena. Her father Charles was groom at Cumberland Lodge, Old Windsor and they lived in rooms over the stables there, with lots of other staff & their families. Her brother William was much older than the twins, so by census of 1901 he was 15 and at school, the twins only 3.

[the stables, now part of a conference centre]
In 1911 the twins were 13, at school & living with their widowed mother at another part of the Royal Estate, Sunninghill, Ascot; she was living on a pension from the Royal Buckhounds

[the old building shown here burned down and has since been replaced]
In Jul 1923 in Windsor she married Henry W Camm and settled nearby. As far as I can see, they only had one child; Joyce born 1926, although in 1939 Register they can be seen at Crispin Cottages, Windsor Road, Easthampstead, Berks with 3 closed files. One is presumably Joyce, as she was 13 then, but if she had 2 siblings I cannot find them. Henry was local ARP and worked at the Prince Consort Workshop on the Windsor Great Park estate, as a carpenter. Joyce married in 1952 and both Henry & Barbara died in 1971, all in Windsor.

Beatrice Mary Samways was born Jan 1884 in Chickerell to William & Mary Ann née Adams and christened there on 14 Apr 1884. (It must have been odd for Uncle Ernest, having a sister and a wife with almost the same name! His wife became Beatrice May Samways upon marriage). In census of 1891 she can be seen at Chickerell Road with mother & sibs - next to the Marquis of Granby pub, see yesterday. I cannot find her in 1901 census - she isn't at home with the family. She can't be far though as in Oct 1904 in Weymouth she married Frank Jabez Smith. They had 6 children, although one died - well, I assume he did, as the name was reused. I don't know where Frank was in 1911, as in the census Beatrice can be seen alone at 133 Abbotsbury Road, Weymouth with 3 children. I don't know much about him, but if he is the Frank J Smith who joined the navy on 2 Sep 1907 as a carman from Winchester, he was on board HMS Hermes until Oct that year.
133 Abbotsbury Road
I have a death record for Beatrice in 1953 but am worried that I cannot locate either her nor Frank in 1939 Register. Either they died before then or moved abroad. Once I started to investigate this possibility I discovered a Beatrice Mary Smith who popped all over the world, and on one document it stated she was a missionary. She was born in England in 1883 and did for ages cause me a lot of wasted time! I cannot find anything concrete so will leave this story here.

Sunday 16th October 2016

I have been away, but am back at my desk and raring to go...


What happened on this day:
14th Oct:
Matthew James Catchesides was born in 1811 and
Algernon Edmund Dalby Woodford in 1900
Betsey Knight was christened in 1804
Henry Matthews married Dorothy Giddings in 1914
Ruth (Sis) Smith was bombed in 1940
Lucy Retallick died in 1921
15th Oct:
Joseph Couch Knight married Isobel Crew 1901
Ellen Matthews married Phillip Schirold in 1863
Ann Lukes née Knight died in 1875 in Canada
John Knight Senior was buried in 1893
16th Oct:
John Knight married Maria Williams in 1826
Jane Knight married Edward Mannear in 1819
Edward Roffey died in 1779

Alice Samways
was one I had to abandon, as previous studies led to a marriage proven incorrect by access to more detail. I found, once I could see the information, that her father's name was wrong, so removed her husband & family (a shame, as they had such lovely names!) and corrected her history. She was born in Jul 1864 in Weymouth, Dorset to Edward & Martha née Bartlett and christened on 14 Aug 1864 at Weymouth Holy Trinity

[photo early 1900s]
In census of 1871 she can be seen aged 6 at Cottage Putton, Chickerell, Dorset with mother & sibs. Her father Edward was visiting at 8 Haslar View, Alverstoke, Hants and by the next census the family had moved there. In 1881 Alice was 16, with parents, brother & niece Jinnie Stevens, Charlotte's daughter. Unfortunately, after her mother died in 1888 and her father remarried, Alice was nowhere to be seen. There was an Alice Ann who married in Fareham, but I cannot be sure, or find her in subsequent censuses, and an Alice M who died in Basingstoke in 1926 but I cannot find her either in between.

Uncle Ernest's sister Alice Louisa Samways was kind to me by always including her middle name. She was born Apr 1880 in Chickerell to William Murray Samways, brickmaker, and christened there at St Mary's on 2 May 1880. A year later they can be seen on 1881 census at Charlestown, Chickerell, counting 3 doors down from the Alexandra Inn this is their cottage:
[now 402 Chickerell Road]
Her mother was the lady who married two Samways husbands, so in 1891 census Alice can be seen with mother and sibs, Mary remarried in 1893. I suspect they had relocated further along the road, as they are in this census next to the Marquis of Granby pub and the cottages shown above by the Alex were called Somerset Cottages. There is now a wide road junction by the Marquis (a very modern building anyway), so the site is probably under tarmac. On Christmas Day 1899 she married William Michael Burton, who had joined the Royal Navy on 16 Jul 1888 at the age of 15 and by the time of his marriage aged 26 had been on 28 engagements aboard many different ships. He was aboard HMS Majestic from late 1898 to Oct 1899, when he came home to get married, but was out again Mar 1900 to Jan 1902.
1901
After this he had a further 16 trips before WW1 broke out. Then he sailed another 7 times before being pensioned off in 1920. In Census of 1901 Alice can be seen at 2 Pulteney Buildings, Melcombe Regis with her mother, who ran a Lodging House, her father being away at sea (as was her husband, of course).

[in this photo taken this year you can see what is now called The Esplanade, but at the extreme left end you can see the old name Pulteney Buildings. No. 2 would be the 2nd house in. It directly faces the sea]
In 1911 they were still there, although her stepfather George was now employed on Pleasure Boats, and Alice had managed to have 2 daughters: Alice Maud Mary Burton married in 1924 to a man with the lovely name of Nelson Atkinson, and died in 1973 aged 70, and Doris May Burton, who may have married Raymond Dearling in 1959 and died in Hastings in 1999. William was registered at Vessel 36 (HMS Neptune), Portsmouth, as Acting Chief Petty Officer. The two girls were followed by two boys: William Ernest in 1911 and Francis Ronald in 1914. William married Dorothy Emmett in 1937 and died 1986, both in Weymouth and Francis moved to Bedfordshire, married Leonie Martin in 1945 and died there in 1982. William left the Navy on a pension in Feb 1920, having served with the rank of Chief Petty Officer for 6 years. Alice herself died in Weymouth in Oct 1933, followed in 1938 by William, who lived at the time at 6 Dennis Road, left £165 to son William Ernest, electrical engineer, and was buried at Melcombe Regis Cemetery, no doubt with Alice.


Saturday 8th October 2016

What happened on this day:
6th Oct:
George Henry Hodd was born in 1900 and
Albert William Matthews in 1894
Rosina Amy May was christened in 1889 and
(Osmasinda) Hannah Knight in 1852
Louisa Elizabeth Chapman née Cox died in 1955 and
David Retallick in 1842
7th Oct:
Clara Matthews was born in 1905 and on the same day
Frederick C E Hennig married May Bryant
8th Oct:
Emma Elizabeth Hatton was christened in 1848
Phoebe Lean née Retallick died in 1903 and
Mabel Benson née Hennig in 1928

Note re this tree. The reason I am spending time on this branch was at Clifford's request some years ago. He was fond of his Auntie Beat and grew up with cousins etc of this family. They may include some "inlaws of inlaws" I usually exclude but I made an exception in this case and drew him up a tree, that is probably still around somewhere...

Agnes Blanche Samways was born in Jun 1880 in Blandford Forum, Dorset to Henry & Elizabeth née Foot and was christened there on 14 Jul 1880 (see Wednesday for church pics). She can be seen in census of 1881 aged 10 months at 9 Albert Street, Blandford with parents & sibs, likewise aged 10 in 1891

In 1901 the family had moved to 4 Boundary View, just around the corner, and Agnes was working as a dressmaker

[as with a lot of properties in the past, I don't know how they all fitted in what was a tiny 2-up-2-down centre-terrace. There were 4 adults and 4 children in this family, many had more]
On 2 Sep 1906 she married local lad Frederick Hawkins at St Giles, Camberwell - why here I have no idea; as far as I can see they had no connection with London and lived all their lives in Dorset. His father Noah Hawkins ran the Old Ox Inn in Shillingstone, a village 5 miles from Blandford, from at least 1903 - maybe he had London connections

But Frederick was at that time a groom, and in 1901 census was resident at The Stables, Bryanston, on the outskirts of Blandford. After marriage they lived in Blandford for a few years and had a son Jack there in 1910. In 1911 they can be seen to have moved to Bradford Road, Sherborne - 20 miles from Blandford - and Frederick had his own Milk Sales business. Agnes' father and sibs (2 brothers, 1 sister) lived with them, also working as grooms (probably how they met) but soon Frederick followed his own father's example and became a publican. He took on the Mermaid Inn, South Street, Sherborne from at least 1915, when he was listed there in the Post Office Directory and ran it until at least 1927, listed in Kelly's Directory of that year.

[photo 2009 - the pub has now closed and the name is used by another establishment in Sherborne]
By 1939 Register they had moved on again to Wincanton, Somerset, 10 miles away, and can be seen at Elliscombe House, which at the time was a stately home, in residence among the staff, working as handyman & cook. Frederick was also ARP warden for the area and also assistant gardener.

[now an elderly care home]
When Agnes died on 6 Feb 1948 she lived at Quarry Cottage, North Cheriton and left effects worth £466 to Frederick, retired gardener (he was 67), who lived another 21 years until 1969, by which time he had moved back to Sherborne and lived in St Johns Almshouse, which couldn't be a lovelier place to end your days!

They were both buried in Sherborne.

Wednesday 5th October 2016

What happened on this day:
William Isaac George Gamble (Uncle Bill) was born in 1894
Dorothy Knight was christened in 1880 and
Thomas Joshua May in 1884
Jessie May married James Dudley in 1875
Mary Ann Matthews married Charles Frederick Williams in 1879 and
Charles Wooldridge married Charlotte Newman in 1868
William Richard Manhire died in 1928
Annie Roffey née Jeans in 1899 and
Daniel Knight in 1942 (in USA)
Alfred Newman Vincent Wooldridge was buried in 1965

continuing with William Roffey's children:


I said in 2014 that I suspected that Joseph George Roffey and his wife Emma separated, and the 1939 Register seems to bear this out. He can be seen at the address he always inhabited; 33 Burrage Road, Woolwich, where he probably lived from marriage. The Register shows he was retired (aged 71) and with him was a lady whose record is unclear, but looks like Annie Roffey/Alcock/Claver (maybe married twice later, but I cannot work out in which order) UDD aged 48, so I can't tell whether she was daughter, wife or what. I have searched for a marriage but cannot find one, either before or after he married Emma. Also in the household were 3 others, one widowed and 2 single.
Emma
The split occurred around 1927-8, as in 1926 electoral roll records show Emma at 33 Burrage Road with Joseph, along with sons Leonard & William (and probably younger ones not yet of age) but by 1929 she had moved in with Rex and his family, taking the "children" with her (Rex & Eveline his wife, Leonard, Arthur & William had votes registered there, also a Charles Bird). By 1933 daughter Hilda had come of age and there were at the same address 2 others, one a Charles Richards, who Hilda subsequently married. 1939 Register showed at this address Emma and son Sydney, an Operator of Drilling Machines, a closed record presumably George (he died in 1993 and hasn't been reopened), Rex & Eveline (Rex a Cable Machine Operator) and Charles Bird. Electoral rolls after the war show Emma with Hilda & family at 17 Pellipar Road, Woolwich and Rex & Eveline at 4 St Mary Street, Woolwich on their own. Emma was still with Hilda & Charles when she died in 1954.

Edward James Roffey, like his brother Joseph, was caught by the Register just before he died as he did so on 13 Apr 1940, and also like his brother was estranged from his wife in latter years. In 1939 Register he can be seen at 39 Castile Road, Woolwich [modern block now], saying he is single, aged 61, living with a father & 2 sons who he may have worked with, listed as a Builder's Labourer. He died the following April and this estrangement may explain why he & Julia were buried in different cemeteries (this puzzled me in 2014). She can be seen at 21 Gooding House, Valley Grove, Charlton with daughter Constance, who was 22 and worked as a "Telephone Card Machinist" (later married into the surname Sproit)

[17-24 Gooding House 2015]
In 1934 electoral roll records showed she lived at 36 Albion Road with both the twins, then 1937-8 at 4 Rye Cottages, Anchor & Hope Lane [now an industrial estate] when Dorothy had gone - she married Albert Chapman in Oct 1935. After the war she & Constance lived at 31 Inverine Road, opposite where Harold had lived - and died - until her death in 1951. This was very close to Anchor & Hope Lane, and off Woolwich Road/Church Street.


Stanfield Parkinson Roffey was the brother who, I suggested, lied on 1911 census about being married when he didn't do so until 1915. This was all very strange as Emily's first husband had died in 1905 and they had no children. Of course you cannot bluff the records with an unusual name like that! They can be seen in electoral roll records at 74 Mount Street, Charlton until his death in 1931, then Emily remained there until 1937 whe she was at 136 Maryon Road, Greenwich, now the beautiful Maryon Park

1939 Register found her there, with Frederick Avis, labourer. She was described as Office Cleaner. After the war she can be seen in 1945 & 6 at no. 2 Sand Street, Woolwich. In 1947 she moved to 10 Woolwich Road until 1958, and probably died there in 1963.

[current view, sorry for the foliage!]

Final brother (as I said, I did Arthur earlier) was Charles Alfred Roffey but he died in 1926 aged 49, leaving widow Lucy alone. As I said in 2014, she lived 1930-37 at the Horse & Groom, 602 Woolwich Road, then 1938-9 at 92 Charlton Lane


so I did think she must have been there for the Register, but I see that the only name at that address was Henry Wimbury, so she must be elsewhere or engaged in war-work and thus not reported. From 1950-61 her name appears only at 19 Herringham Road which, as it is on the industrial estate, I cannot show. She died in 1967 and was buried at the local Charlton Cemetery on 2 October.

Now, the next branch I want to tackle is the Samways family. Clifford's aunt Beat married into this family and I have always loved the name. As soon as I started researching them I was intrigued, as uncle Ernest's mother had married twice, both times to a man called Samways. This makes it interesting, but of course does complicate matters! I think I shall deal with them in two "bundles", the direct tree through uncle Ernest & his father William Murray Samways, then Mary Ann's second husband George Voss Samways. As this branch is new (to you), at least I don't have the problem of re-reporting old work...

Agnes Samways was born in May 1851 in Blandford Forum, Dorset to Henry & Mary Anne née Morgan and christened 11 Jun 1851. The C of E church in Blandford is St Peter & St Paul:
taken 2010
1970
1970
Her father is shown on the baptism record as servant, but he was actually training as a tailor like his father. As she just missed the census in 1851 she is next seen aged 9 in that of 1861 at Rope Close, Blandford Forum with parents & sibs [I cannot tell where this was, apart from that it was off Salisbury Road - but that is a long road!] In 1871 census she can be seen aged 19 at Hillfoot, Winterbourne Stickland (a village just outside Blandford), working as a domestic servant in the household of an Inland Revenue Officer. By 1881 she was back home with her parents aged 29, at 12 Alexandra Street, Blandford, and remained there for the rest of her life.

Her father was listed as sawyer, she and her mother laundresses and in 1891 the same with Agnes described as dressmaker. As this point her mother was widowed and acquired a granddaughter. I did wonder for a while... Agnes had her own dressmaking business she ran from home, but I found that Annie was her brother Henry's daughter. I don't know what happened in 1901 but only weeks after the census Agnes died in Bath aged 49. She may have been in hospital, or this record may not even be hers! But if not, she disappears from the records at this point.

Tuesday 4th October 2016

What happened on this day:
James Frederick Small married Julia Jane Rogers in 1879
Albert Ernest Woodford died in 1911


In 2014 I couldn't find the marriage of Thomas Roffey to Sarah Eldridge, so today went on another search. I found her baptism record, showing she was born on 31 Mar 1771 in Woolwich and christened at St Mary Magdalene the next day - maybe she was frail and not expected to survive. But she did, and was evidently a local girl, so I should be able to find the marriage there, but still cannot. The index of marriages at St Mary Magdalene on Ancestry shows no Roffeys from 1784-1796.

Their son Thomas David Roffey fortunately used his middle name, so I had no trouble tracking him down, and likewise his son of the same name (see 30th Oct 2014).

In 2014 I covered William Eldridge Roffey in full detail, but now (see above) I know he was named after his maternal grandfather William Eldridge. There was also a bit of a mystery regarding his marrage to Elizabeth Rebecca Law. Banns were read on 11th, 18th & 24th August 1822 at St Paul, Deptford, but evidently did not lead to a ceremony, as the process was repeated the following year at East Wickham. I don't know if this hiatus was related to the death at the age of 8 of his little brother James, whose funeral was 29 Sep 1822 in Woolwich. This must have made worse the loss of their first-born son William in infancy 9 months after the marriage.

William Stanfield Roffey was the next son, following this tragedy and I told his story on 30th Oct 2014 too. He was the one who had 11 children and I dealt with them separately at the end. I have to do so again now, as I have omitted them all except the youngest Arthur, who I studied on 22 Aug 2016 - see below. As these are Clifford's 2nd cousins twice removed, I have to draw the line (one has to do it somewhere!) and won't study their children etc. William Stanfield himself was fully covered and no new records have come to light so on to his children:

Sarah Elizabeth Roffey's husband William Holmes died in 1937 so in 1939 Register she can be seen at 440 Woolwich Road, Greenwich (Charlton), now modern buildings. Listed as 86-year-old widowed UDD, she was living with single daughters Eliza (53-year-old Canteen Worker) and Matilda (47, UDD) and a married couple by the name of Stratton. Sarah died 4 years later.

William Stephen Roffey died in infancy

Henry Thomas Roffey married twice, the second time at the age of 74 to a lady 32 years his junior, and can be seen in 1939 Register with her at 12 Rainton Road, Charlton half a mile down the road from sister Sarah above and the address they had inhabited from at least 1901. He was listed as 83-year-old Blacksmith Retired and she UDD aged 55.

He died in 1952 aged 95 and she 4 years later.

William Richard Roffey
didn't quite make it to 1939 Register, as he died the previous October, and there are no other new records for him. As he had 12 children it is tempting to go to the next generation, but I shall resist.

Next was Harold Goodwin Roffey. By 1939 he had died and his widow Ada remarried. She can be seen at 46 Inverine Road in electoral roll records up to 1937 but in 1939 there is a Johnson family living there. I cannot locate her and her husband in 1939 but she was back in the area after the war, living with brother Henry in 1945 at 12 Rainton Road. Husband Albert died in 1944 and Ada in 1950. At her death her address was 92 Woolwich Church Street (a mile up the road from Woolwich Road) but she died at
82 Ladywell Road, Catford, a residential home Ladywell Institution, renamed the previous year Ravensbourne Home, leaving effects worth £548 to her ?nephew Arthur James Kither, motor fitter


Rebecca Mary Ann Roffey's first husband died in Scotland in 1922 and she returned to the Woolwich area. Searching the Register, the only one of her name was to be found in Cornwall, with a different date of birth. Electoral roll of that year shows Rebecca and Grace at 61 Ceres Road, and Grace was married later that year in the area, but the Register only shows even numbers in that road. In Oct 1942 Rebecca married James Sturgess in Dartford and as I said in 2014 this name is very common - there are 108 records in the 1939 Register and I don't know where he came from or his date of birth.

Stephen Francis Roffey died in 1916, leaving 11 children, the youngest only just over a year old. His widow Martha née Surtees remained at the same address 67 Hardens Manorway and can be seen there in the Register with sons Alexander & John, also her brother George (OAP). Alexander was a Manganese Miner & John worked on a Paper-Cutting Machine. Next door at number 66 are widowed barmaid Rosina Roffey, Lilian and William, but I'm not sure of their relationships.

Monday 3rd October 2016 (the 40th anniversary of the day I met my husband)

What happened on this day:
2nd Oct:
John Knight was christened in 1791
"William Wooldridge 1" married Hannah Freeland in 1838
Louisa Woodford married Robert Johnson in 1900
Amelia Knight married William Bennett Kneebone in 1889
Emma Woodford née Tunnicliffe died in 1936
3rd Oct:
John William Wooldridge was born in 1883 and
Maria Matilda Roffey in 1827
Dorothy Catchesides married Thomas Cluer in 1784
Edward Matthews married Ann Brown in 1762
Ann Peasley née Wooldridge was buried in 1845

Sarah Grace Roffey was covered on 24th Oct 2014, but I now have another Sarah Grace Roffey as I found the middle name of one I knew little about. She was born 8 Aug 1804 in Woolwich to Edward & Sarah née Loe and christened on 2 Sep 1804 at St Mary Magdalene, as so many others in this tree.

On 21 May 1826 at St Michael's, East Wickham, Kent she married Charles Joseph Monk.

Unfortunately I cannot find any of the family in 1841 census, although I do know they were living in the Old Kent Road area of south London, as they had 3 children baptised there in 1839 and followed up with 2 more in subsequent years, although Emma died aged 2 and was buried in Camberwell. By 1851 census they were living at 72 Church Street, Peckham with 5 children, Charles, known as Joseph, and Joseph junior both slaters.

In 1861 they were at 17 Caroline Street (now Sandgate Street 1.5 miles away), off Old Kent Road, Peckham with youngest son Frederick (schoolboy) and a lodger. [This area has completely changed, as it is now an industrial estate. Charles Booth described it at the turn of the century as "mostly 2-storied with 2 large tenement houses let out in flats. Poor class but rather better than Old Kent Road".] Charles died in Jan 1866 and as usual Sarah went to live with son Frederick, so 1871 census finds her with him and his 2 children at Hope Cottage, Chapman Gardens, Hackney [now redeveloped as part of the Eastway alongside the Olympic Park], both he & his mother widowed. I cannot be sure of any death record for her, the closest is 1872 in Holborn, but age is 3 years out, or Dagenham in 1875 likewise 2 years out.

I think that all the facts I discovered about Sidney Herbert Roffey can come together in one person, who conveniently very often used his full name including middle name. There is no reason why he should not be the Warrant Officer in WW1, in which case he was discharged in 1919 due to wounds, after appearing in the London Gazette in 1917, as well as the one who married Lilian Prizeman in 1925 and having a son called Jack. Sidney died, as I said, in Farnborough Hospital in 1961 (when I lived just down the road and was actually admitted to that hospital in that year for adenoidectomy). Home address was 174 Minard Road, Hither Green, Lewisham and Lilian & Jack remained there until Lilian died there on 9 Mar 1974.

There was also another son, Anthony Richard, born 10 years after Anthony in 1936. When Lilian died in 1974 she left £10308 but I cannot find details of the will. As Jack had died in 1969, she probably left it to Anthony.

I thought I had finished here, but I have found Lilian in 1939 Register. She was evacuated to Hythe in Kent, and can be seen at 8 Park Road with a family called Hatcher. Also with her were 3-year-old Anthony and her sister-in-law (wife of brother Alfred) Angelina Prizeman née Palmer. Both she & Angelina were UDDs.


Saturday 1st October 2016

What happened on this day:
29th Sep:
Arthur Henry Hennig was born in 1877
Alwyne Knight in 1880 and Mabel E E Hennig also in 1880
Charles Cox was christened in 1844
Mary Ann Woodford married Thomas Chester in 1862 and
Richard Ernest Gamble married Edith Blows in 1918
Martha Roffey née Owen died in 1878
John Roffey also in 1878 and
James Roffey in 1822
30th Sep:
Mary Ann Hatton Gamble was born in 1832 and
Ada E Matthews in 1896
Christopher Retallick died in 1839
1st Oct:
William Walter Hennig was born in 1889
John Knight married Mary Ann Williams in 1811
William Stephen Roffey died in 1855 and
Arthur Matthews in 1839

Sarah Ann Grace Roffey was dealt with in detail on 24th October 2014, but I have another snippet on her husband Charles Howey. His date of birth was 20 Nov 1845 and he served in the Royal Navy 31 May 1873 to 22 Jul 1874 on board HMS Excellent, as a "DIC" (I can't find out what this was). This was a gunnery school moored off Portsmouth
1869
I don't know why he left, it was at his own request and he had 3 children by then. As I noted, he worked as a labourer in a gun factory in "civvy street", so this may be just part of his training for his job.

Wednesday 28th September 2016


I have returned, for two weeks anyway.

What happened on this day:
26th Sep:

Sidney Albert Matthews was born in 1919
"Charles Wooldridge 4" married Jemima Pickard in 1824
Annie Hill née Knight died in 1935 in USA
John Brewer (who married Jane Knight) was buried in 1932
27th Sep:
"William Wooldridge 3" was christened in 1778
and his son "William 4" in 1812
Eliza Callen née Matthews married Walter Blunt in 1876
John Lukes (who married Ann Knight) died in 1875 in Canada
28th Sep:
Lilian Annie Cox was born in 1893
Rose Mary Knight in 1861
Alfred Leonard Roffey in 1881
William John & John May (twins) in 1855
"William Cox 2" married Emily Smart in 1854
Frederick Lewis Lockyer (who married Amy Ethel Gamble) died in 1955 and
John G A Knight in 1916

No new records on "plain" Sarah Roffey.

Sarah Adelaide Roffey married John Peter Sery in 1855, but this is a name spelled in so many ways! As I said before, he was working for the Military Service of Sardinia at this time, and I have managed to track down a birth of a child Ernesto in Napoli in 1864 which fits, but this is annoying in that he is known as Pietro and she as Adelaide - although it is surely them (a couple born in correct years in England)! There is another child baptism in 1870 in New Jersey USA, but I still cannot track down a journey/emigration from one to the other. Spellings of Seary, Searles etc don't help, or the mistranscription as Lery or Leary which leads to a lot of incorrect Irish connections... I think I have tracked them down at their deaths though, Sarah died 20 Sep 1913 and John 17 Nov 1916, both in Ohio.

I have researched another Sarah, but as new details have given her a middle name I shall deal with her in order.

Wednesday 21st September 2016

I am going away again. In the meantime would you please consider the question I asked a couple of weeks ago:
"I think this is an appropriate time to ask a question. In approx. 6 months time I will complete this pass and start again with my trees. As this process is becoming more and more fragmented and repetitive, I wonder if you would rather I changed direction completely. I have recently read a book about the Inland Waterways of Britain, i.e. the canal system, following the routes of some of our most memorable holidays a few years ago. This book was written in the 1940s and I would like to do a comparison through history. Please may I ask a favour - could as many readers as possible let me know how you feel - either on the Feedback tab above or by emailing me at diane27@gmail.com - just put "stick to genealogy" or "go ahead with canals". Many thanks."

I have as yet only received two replies. Please take a moment to reply on the feedback button above on the right - it only takes a click.


Monday 19th September 2016

All 3 Mary Ann Roffeys' stories were told fully in 2014, with no new records since.

Mary Elizabeth Roffey
, I had hoped to finish her story with death records for her husband then herself, but no luck.

Percy Harry Roffey can be seen on 1939 Register at 54a Upper Mulgrave Road, Cheam, which was the shop, at that time a butcher's; he was listed as Master Butcher & Retail Shop Keeper, Ada worked there as Book-keeeper & Cashier. Also at the same address (54a was living quarters over the shop) was a Phyllis Maguire, widow and Chartered Masseuse. There is a note against her record saying "Volunteer for Military Massage", a service I for one was not aware of!
2012
Since this photo, the shop has changed hands yet again and it is now a kebab shop, the Istanbul Grill.

Rosetta Ruth Roffey was the lady who married Frederick Biffen, tailor from London and they moved to Cheshire and died there. Frederick's father had the lovely name of Robert Stuckey Biffen (Stuckey was his mother's maiden name) and lived in King Street, Woolwich, dying there in 1896

Cliff's aunt Ruth Roffey can be seen in 1939 Register a few years after her husband Charles Loder died, at 124 Stewart's Road, Battersea, with niece Ruth Smith, Edith Ida & Richard Arthur Stanbridge, with whom she moved to Tooting after the War. These turned out to be her daughter Edith and her husband, working as a packer in a dress cleaner and a fitter. And it was daughter Edith not sister Edith to whom she left her effects on death.

Saturday 17th September 2016

What happened on this  day:
16th Sep:

Lucy Maud Gamble was born in 1885
Thomas Dance in 1790 and
Maude Clara Hennig in 1878
Frances Mary Pears née Hatton died in 1952

Manlius William Roffey has no more records, nor has Maria Matilda Roffey

I have some  new records for Martha Roffey's husband William Crowfoot. He was born in Aug 1835 in Brome, Suffolk and christened there at St Mary's on 11 Sep 1835

He can be seen on census 1841 aged 4 in Brome with parents & sibs, his father Seymour working as an Agricultural Labourer. The census of 1851 was where it suddenly got interesting. He can be seen aged 15 working in London as a servant, and when I looked into the estabishment saw that it was the United Service Club in Pall Mall, next to the Athenaeum Club - such glamour! There were in that census a Housekeeper and 16 servants, Steward, Butler & servant, Clerk and a further 16 servants, William one of the latter, so I'm not sure of his rôle there. This was a prestigious club for officers in the army and the navy and existed until 1978, although I have looked again for naval service, as he is listed on his marriage record as mariner, but I cannot find any - the only military record I found in this name was a pension paid by Royal Artillery in 1861, but then he was only 6 anyway!
Utd Service Club
library
He was employed there at an interesting time
1841
as the year after the census - 1852 - Wellington's funeral passed by and was pictured:

He may well have been one of the figures watching from the windows on the left here.

Tuesday 13th September 2016

On to the Johns.
John Roffey Senior, Cliff's 3xgreat uncle:
and his wife Sarah née Way


I was hoping to find better copies of these photos (without the details penned in, probably decades later) but no joy. Never mind, they suffice. I also cannot discover why they married in Bromley. I investigated the birth of John & Ebenezer and the possibility they may be twins, but could find nothing to prove this, distracted also by one John Ebenezer Roffey, but am none the wiser.

I was told John Roffey junior died in 1851 but again cannot find evidence to back this up. There is a death in the Greenwich area in Jan 1858, but that doesn't explain where he was in 1851 census.

John Pratt Roffey was much better, due to the use of his middle name, it's just a shame he  had such a short life.

I knew that Kate E M Roffey lived at 24 Speranza Street, Plumstead with her husband Frederick Rengert from at least 1919 and had several children. I now have much more detail available on this, and admire their imagination with naming them. They had 8 children and I am particularly fond of the names Jessy Roan Charlotte Regert and Stansfield Parkinson Rengert. Thomas had the middle name of Law, Kate's mother Jessie's maiden name, and Catherine Harden Rengert - her middle name was a very Woolwich name, there have always been streets etc named this.
24     22
At 24 Speranza Street, Frederick & Kate lived with the children and in 1939 Register can be seen there with John & Catherine, Frederick next door at number 22 with his wife Dorothy. Kate and Catherine were described as UDD, Frederick W (senior) "Cable Hand - Lead press" and John "Labourer HE Filling factory". This latter was interesting, as I read around the subject. The Arsenal at Woolwich fulfilled multiple functions in ammunition and weapon manufacture during wartime, and this unit (HE stands for High Explosive) was expected to close when new Filling Factories were built in Yorkshire and Wales, but the Blitz soon proved the need for it to stay open, so John was still in a job. However, the Filling Factory was badly damaged in 1940 and although shells etc continued to be made the numbers employed there were halved.
filling factory
After WW2 they built railway locomotives & wagons and also the atomic weapon programme, then finally developed into industrial estates. John evidently survived all this (many didn't) as he died in Canterbury, Kent aged 78 in 1990. Frederick & Dorothy, mentioned above, had children, also Frederick & Dorothy, who remained at 22 Speranza Street until he died in 1949 and she in 1980. I am a little worried about his death, as he was only 43 and listed as an Air-Raid Warden in the Register. His death in 1949 was registered in Westminster, and the war was over by then, but I would like to know the story.

Monday 12th September 2016

What happened on this day:
11th Sep:
Richard Buffett Callan (who married Eliza Matthews) died in 1921
12th Sep:
Robert Richard Catchesides was born in 1767 and
my Uncle Bert, Albert George Henry Matthews in 1914
William Hatton Woodford was christened in 1847 and
"Thomas Woodford 5" in 1824
Alfred Gates (who married Maria Eliza Wooldridge) was buried in 1914

George Roffey b1796 (Cliff's great great grandfather) was covered fully in 2014 except for his wife Maria. I have now, with the help of a couple of fellow genealogists, tracked her down. She was born in early 1796 in Crediton, Devon to William Bicknell, tailor, and Martha née Prawl and christened there on 2 Mar 1796. On 8 Feb 1818 in Lee, Kent she married George, when their son George Edward was a few months old. Unfortunately in July he died and when the next son was born in December they reused the name, as was the norm at the time. They went on to have 10 children in all, and only one other died in infancy (Henry, in 1833).

George Roffey b1818 was the second son, mentioned above, and I have no new info on him.

George Thomas Roffey, his grandson, was the gas-fitter, who died in 1934, so by 1939 Register, his wife Emily was a widow, living in Lewisham with daughter Doris and family. They can be seen at 136 Glenfarg Road, Emily & Doris UDDs, son-in-law Sidney Willis electrical engineer and his young son Kenneth Willis at school.


As I said previously, his father Henry James Roffey lived opposite in 1901; Henry can be seen there from at least 1896 to his death in 1904 at 58 Hatcham Park Road, George at number 57. There is a mention in 1896 that Henry may have lived at both number 58 and number 3 but it says "successive", which means he previously lived at number 3, before moving to 58. Number 3 is right behind the Five Bells pub, most useful! I have found his death record, Jan 1904 in the Greenwich registration area, which included some of Deptford.

Jameses 1 & 2 were fully covered, 1 because he died aged 9 and 2 because he was the baker of Church Street all his life.

For details of Sir James Roffey KCB & Lady Emma see 9th Oct 2014

I am happy to update Jane Sarah Roffey with a photograph, as it is always nice to match a face to a name. This was probably taken in the 1880s while she lived in Lambeth, in her late 50s, early 60s

After she died in London in 1912, daughter Jane, with whom she had been living, went to Middlesbrough to be with her brother Charles, who then died in 1917 and she followed in 1919.

Thursday 8th September 2016

What happened on this day:
Maria Eliza Wooldridge was christened in 1867
John Thomas Catchesides married Charlotte Crew in 1833 and
Henry Thomas Cox married Doris See in 1929

Elizabeth Mary Roffey was fully reported in 2014, but her husband John Edward Fry has a few new records, confirming his birth on 5 Nov 1821 & christening 2 Dec 1821 at St Mary Magdalen, also their marriage in July quarter of 1862 in Lewisham. He ran the grocer's shop next door, he can be seen in census of 1861 at 50 Church Street, while Elizabeth was living at 48 with her cousins, employed as book-keeper to baker, cousin James, and in the Kelly's Directory of 1862 and Post Office Directory of 1867. They moved from Woolwich in 1870 and spent a few years in Southwark, John working as warehouseman for Spratt's Dog Biscuits, with premises in the factory. I found this fascinating, but cannot find details online. The main factory was in Poplar, and most websites refer to this. The whole area in Southwark has been rebuilt and Henry Street, the address given on the census, is now Pardoner Street in an estate of modern housing (road names are Chaucer characters)

See 14th Sep 2014 for the story of Ellen Roffey & her family, mostly in USA.

For Ellen Hannah Roffey the 1939 Register caught her at home with her family at 278 Woolwich Church Street aged 17, the year before she married, working as a newspaper clerk. I have extended their time at 21 Woodrow from 1960 and to 1965 and discovered marriages for the two children in 1970 & 1968.

I suggested Emily Roffey and her daughter Phoebe retired to Devon, and have now seen Phoebe in the 1939 Register at 3 Belle Vue Avenue, Lynton

so believe the death record for Emily in Jan 1937 in the Barnstaple area was the correct one.

Emily Jane Roffey was likewise complete, although I have now found her husband's death record in 1904. 1939 census was just after daughter Amy died and left her sisters enough money to move in together, so they can all be seen at 10 Avenue Road, Hornsey (or Highgate) - a lovely old house

Dora was Secretary to Publishers, as was Gladys, Eva "Supervisor Post Office retired" and Olive "Investigation Clerk UAB" (Unemployment Assistance Board). Impressive titles.

See 19th Sep 2014 for the story of Emma Roffey and her family. No new records.

Wednesday 7th September 2016

Edward William Stanfield George Roffey was covered in detail on 11th Sep 2014, and then 22nd Aug 2016 (see below) for 1939 Register.

Edwin Thomas Roffey even more so - see 2014 tab for his adventures!

Both Elizas had no news, as they died prior to 1939 Register.

Elizabeth Roffey was born 28 Jun 1818 in Globe Lane, Woolwich, 7th child of 9 to Edward 2 (as I have called him) and Sarah née Loe and christened at St Mary Magdalen church (for photo see last Tuesday, below) on 19 Jul that year. On 17 Jun 1839 at St Michael's church, East Wickham, Kent she married William Broughton, labourer from Plumstead. This church is still in existence, although known as the Old Church, as a new one was consecrated in 1933
1909
1930
[The old building is now inhabited by Greek Orthodox church]
In 1841 census they can be seen at Taylor's Buildings, Plumstead Road, Woolwich with one-year old baby George. Next door was the Woolwich Infant pub, named after a large gun in the Arsenal, located nearby. [I think the Public Market is now on the site of Taylor's Buildings, which was incidentally William's birthplace]. They went on to have 10 children, but one died in infancy. In 1851 census they are at 12 Lucks Row, Plumstead [I can find no sign of this place now] with 5 children, William working as a labourer at the Arsenal. In 1861 they had moved to 33 Invermore Place, not far, they had 7 children at home and William was working as a painter. 1871 & 1881 censuses found them at Plumstead Road, the main shopping street, at 143 then 140 respectively.
143 140
By 1871 William was Overlooker at the Royal Arsenal Laboratory attached to the gunpowder mills. (Apparently it was 1864 when the chemistry laboratory was built in Woolwich, so this was no doubt when he joined them). The e
ldest son George was living with them, along with his Canadian wife Mary Ann, and 3 other sons, all the boys with good jobs. George worked as Foreman at the Telegraph Works, and even Mary Ann worked, as a Shirt Finisher.
laboratory
Evidently George's plan was to have his own shop as by 1881 they ran the Newsagent's at number 143 (I'm not sure 140 was a shop then, as it was taken over by a fellow painter). His parents were with him, William now living on a Civil Service pension. George and Mary Ann had a nurse-child Florence Day, but I'm not sure where their sons William & George were. They subsequently moved back to Canada and had further children as they can be seen in Ontario in 1891, George farming, with 3 sons. William died in 1883 and Elizabeth moved in with youngest son Robert. In 1891 they can be seen lodging at 16 Whitworth Place, Plumstead, Robert working as a labourer at the Arsenal, and Elizabeth died at 16 Selcroft Road and was buried 22 Dec 1894 at St Margaret's, Plumstead.



Tuesday 6th September 2016

Oops, I didn't get very far before I went away. We were visiting our daughter in Trondheim, Norway, and have just returned.

Edward Charles Roffey senior was as 2014, but I had hopes for developments with his son Edward Charles junior, as he seemed to vanish in 1911, only to reappear in WW1. I said in 2014 that all electoral roll records pointed to his father, but now have seen some later ones, after ECR Senior died. In the 1930s he can be seen at several addresses within a mile or so of home, lodging in 1932 in Beresford Street, probably in a Hostel with 35 other men, then in 1937-9 with families in Brookhill Road and Hudson Road [all redeveloped]. However, he does not seem to appear on 1939 Register in the Woolwich area, or anywhere else that I can see. So I suspect that the death record in Bristol in Jun 1938 may be correct.

Wednesday 24th August 2016


All 3 remaining "plain" Edwards were fruitless in terms of updates.

Edward Charles Roffey was the baker.


Tuesday 23rd August 2016

I covered Arthur George Roffey in a great deal of detail in 2014 - he emigrated to Canada then to USA - so no further need now.

His father Charles Roffey was 10th of the 13 children born to Edith's uncle John - see 1st Sep 2014 - the link between Woolwich and Birkenhead.

Charles Edward Roffey, his son, was the one who went to sea then settled in Ireland. I have found a probate record that could relate to him, but I have no proof, and in 1956 left his effects in London to the Reverend Sydney Craig, clerk, which doen't help (a fellow genealogist has a daughter attched to his record, with surname Craig, but again I cannot be sure this is "our" guy).

Ebenezer Roffey was a challenge. I reported in 2014 that after the 1861 census he vanished from the records. He was a 22-year-old blacksmith, so could have gone anywhere. I have searched again to no avail, even the newspapers, but I think he must have changed his name. All I could find online was a couple of other genealogists asking the same question.

Cliff's grandmother Edith Annie Roffey has nothing new, as she died in 1936, just prior to the Register, and (see below) I couldn't locate Herbert.

Edward Roffey 1 - I have found a more contemporary picture of his last resting place, St Mary Magdalene church, Woolwich in 1845. He was buried there 16 Oct 1779, so may well be one of the headstones shown in the painting


Edward Roffey 2, his son, married Sarah Frances Loe and I have tracked down her burial to Woolwich Cemetery 23 Sep 1857 (she died 19 Sep). There is a charge for further information, so I shall bear this in mind for a possible future visit to the cemetery. He is probably there with her, buried before her in 1853.

Monday 22nd August 2016

Please spare a thought on the question I posed yesterday, as I have had no replies as yet.

As I noted in 2014, Manlius William Smith was really annoying in that he dropped his lovely unusual first name and consequently disappeared into the heap of faceless William Smiths. I had hoped that the 1939 Register would help, but I don't know his exact date of birth, so still have a long list. Best fit was a Tobacco & Confectionery Dealer in Croydon, married to a Jessie E C, but I can't find a marriage to fit, so that doesn't help...

The final Smith Ruth Isabella Smith, Cliff's aunt, was strangely elusive. If you remember, she was the one caught in the Balham underground shelter bombed in 1940, so she should have appeared in the Register in Wandsworth a year earlier. The only Ruth Smith in Wandsworth at the time seems to be 22 years older and living with an Edith, who I originally took to be her mother, but again date of birth is wrong, she was single and also "our" Edith died in 1936.

On to the Roffeys, Cliff's grandmother Edith's family.

For Alfred Clarence Roffey see 28th Aug 2014, when my narration jumped from 1916 to 1960 his years at 19 Clarendon Road, Wallasey.

So the site of 1939 Register was no surprise, and he can be seen there with brother Stanley, niece Kathleen & "family retainer" Annie Eyers, now Housekeeper. Alfred described himself as "Ship Draughtsman Retired", Stanley was Shipping Clerk (he was recently widowed) and Kathleen Telephone Operator. There are also 2 other closed files - if one is Gordon it should be opened as he died in 1981, the other is below Annie, so may be a housemaid.

There are no further records on Alfred Leonard Roffey and his wife Alice (i.e. still no Australian death records after 1968). 1939 Register came just too late for him, as he died on 15 Feb 1934 but the rest of the family can be seen at 278 Woolwich Church Street [gone, but it stood on the corner of Kingsman Street here:
]
Hannah can be seen, listed a widowed UDD, Edward "capstan lathe hand herbert 4" (apparently a piece of engineering machinery) and Ellen a "newspaper clerk". Jessie had married a few weeks before, and Edward a few weeks later, so this is definitely a snapshot! Ellen married the following year and Hannah remarried in 1947.

Nothing new for Ann Sarah Jane Roffey.

I seem to have missed out Arthur Eldridge Roffey, but he was one of those caught in 1939 by the snapshot of the Register at a time of family changes, like Hannah & family above. He was born Oct 1878 in Charlton to William and Martha née Johnson. He can be seen with them at 2 Star Street, Charlton in censuses of 1881 & 1891 with various siblings (he had 11) and 1901 at the same address with mother, brothers & uncle. In Apr 1904 at West Ham he married Lucy Louise Neave and they had 4 children, 3 of whom can be seen with Arthur & Lucy in 1911 census at 522 Woolwich Road, Charlton [all this is now under the dual carriageway to the ferry terminal]. They were still there in 1939 for the Register, but Lucy had died in 1937, also Arthur the eldest child aged 21 in 1926, son Charles Alphonso had married & moved to Plumstead Common in 1933, daughter Lucy followed in 1934, so only youngest son George was still at home. He was employed "Painting Electrical Apparatus" (at least I think that's what it says). In the same household were also Victor Archer ARP Warden & his wife Alice, but their details are obscured by a big tranch of sticky tape, holding the document together. On 10 Jun the following year Arthur remarried, to Florence Spooner née Flegg, widow, and he died after 2 years of marriage, aged 63. Florence retired to Worthing and died there in Jul 1971 aged 88.


Sunday 21st August 2016

I think this is an appropriate time to ask a question. In approx. 6 months time I will complete this pass and start again with my trees. As this process is becoming more and more fragmented and repetitive, I wonder if you would rather I changed direction completely. I have recently read a book about the Inland Waterways of Britain, i.e. the canal system, following the routes of some of our most memorable holidays a few years ago. This book was written in the 1940s and I would like to do a comparison through history. Please may I ask a favour - could as many readers as possible let me know how you feel - either on the Feedback tab above or by emailing me at diane27@gmail.com - just put "stick to genealogy" or "go ahead with canals". Many thanks.

Herbert Henry Smith Junior was the son of Senior I was getting into such a muddle with yesterday. trying to trace them through electoral roll records was hard, as sometimes they were together, sometimes not, and generally bouncing around South London, alongside several namesakes. I can safely say that they were together at 124 Stewart Road, Battersea (the site of the storage facility for regular readers) up until 1911 as they can be seen there in census, both working on the Railway. I think they remained here until 1919, when Junior married and moved to Vauxhall, near the church where he & Daisy were wed. They remained there until 1929, when they relocated to Croydon, and died there in 1960 & 1972.

I had trouble also with Jane Smith when I studied her before, not least because of the mis-transcription of her mother's maiden name - see 18th Aug 2014. I did correct this, and hope all is well. You can imagine the difficulties with Jane Smith, born to John & Mary, son Henry, who married James! Such common names! There are no new records as far as I can see.

The two John Smiths were even more confusing initially, and all I managed to find today was an alternative who had other parents and married somebody different... Then up popped a marriage of a John James Smith to a Mary Ann Simson, at St Mary Major, Exeter, where they lived! Not only did the details match up with everything else, but a middle name is gold-dust in this tree! They married on 6 May 1828 - probably in the 14th Century cathedral, photographed here in 1860, rebuilt in 1865 and demolished in 1970s

Children are, as ever with this family, confusing. I have found baptism records for a Henry George in 1829, a George Henry in 1830 who subsequentley died the following year, Thomas, born later 1831 and baptised at the church above. John Sidney in 1834 was fine, until I found he was baptised in India! Unfortunately, when registration came in in 1837 it has provided dozens of Smiths each year from Exeter alone... and mother's maiden name wasn't added until 1911.
Sarah followed in 1844, baptised in Taunton, but I do believe she is part of this family, as she appears later with her parents. In a search for John and Mary Ann in 1841, all I could find was a John and Jane at Quay Hill, St Mary Major [a lovely little old lane still, behind the Custom House], but this may be an error, as their neighbours in the line above were John & Jane also - or his sister Jane was there while Mary Ann was elsewhere with the children. Anyway, back on safer ground they can be seen in 1851 census at Coombe Street, St Mary Major, definitely them, with children John Sidney & Sarah. Now, as Quay Hill leads from Coombe Street, they didn't move far.

[Coombe Street/Quay Hill junction 1962. Quay Hill on the right]

[same view 2015]
Reading up on it, I see that at this time the area was not good, cholera had broken out there in 1832, due to the poverty and squalid living conditions. I can see from 1841 census how many families lived packed together in many tiny courts off Coombe Street (including James Court, named James Street on this map, next to where John & Mary Ann lived)

[the modern main road Western Way - here marked in yellow - sliced through the road in 1970s, so most of this was destroyed]
23 died of cholera in the street, so the council built a public bath-house, to the left side of the map above, in 1852 (while they lived there) and the Central School (marked 5) in 1858. Shortly after this, John & Mary Ann moved to Withycombe Raleigh, Exmouth (not far from his birthplace) as they can be seen there in 1861 census at Little Albion Place, off Union Street, which is I suspect now the part of Albion Place by the carpark

Unfortunately, John died here aged 63 in Jul 1867 and Mary Ann aged 66 in Jan 1870.


Saturday 20th August 2016

Cliff's great grandfather Henry Smith is very difficult, as there are hundreds of him... but then the task I set myself today was to find out his wife Charlotte's maiden name, to no avail. I still have a shortlist of 7 possibles, and lots more outsiders. Of course, I don't really have a father's name to look for for confirmation for him; I'm not sure he would give the name his mother provided, or his step-father. So unfortunately I have to leave it there again.

There was no new info for the other Henry Smith (son of the above) or his brother William, originally called Henry William Smith.

Herbert Henry Smith Senior
(Cliff's grandfather, son of Henry above) was the boilermaker working on the railway - see 17th Aug 2014 - last seen in Battersea. Edith died there in 1936 so by the 1939 Register he would be shown as widowed, and still in Wandsworth area as he died there 5 years later. However I haven't had much success tracing him beyond 1919.

Thursday 18th August 2016

What happened on this day:
Agnes Mary Wooldridge was born in 1895
Charles Richard Wooldridge married Ann Lewis in 1859 and
Barnard Cox married Eliza Spanswick in 1823

Tuesday 16th August 2016

Another who needed the help of the 1939 Register is Gladys Smith. I wasn't happy with her before because I only had records for her up to age 13 in 1911 census (see 15th Aug 2014). I was lucky enough today to find her school admission record (dated 26 Jan 1903 to Springfield School) which not only gave her address at the time but also her exact date of birth. Putting this into the 1939 search with the name Gladys I came up with a list of 17 possibilities, each of which I investigated, but one stood out from the others and the more I looked into it the more it fitted. She turned out to be living with sister Ellen, who I announced yesterday died aged 15! The exact date of birth fitted, and I have now found a marriage to confirm her too. It seems that in Jul 1920 in Orsett, Essex Ellen married George Edward James Wilks and in Jul 1929 in Orsett Gladys married Frederick Charles Outten. Fred was 14 years older than Gladys, so it's not altogether surprising that in 1939 Register she is seen to be widowed. I cannot locate a death record for him but his name was mis-spelled in many different ways. I do suspect he was a widower when he married her, as there is a cohesive story of a wife and children in the Orsett area, attached to WW1 records in his name. The 1939 Register shows at 32 Hall Avenue, Thurrock

George, an "Alum Attendent" (sic) at Cement Works, Ellen UDD and 2 closed files, probably their children George & Rose (although George should be open, as he died at sea in 1942 in the Navy, commemmorated at Chatham)

Son Arthur is shown as, although he was only 2 at the time, he has since died. Gladys was described as "invalid" (despite being only 41) and is followed by another closed file, probably daughter Phyllis, who would have been 9 at the time. I think she was an only child, and Frederick may have died shortly after her birth. George Wilks died 23 Mar 1956 at Oldchurch Hospital, Romford, and Gladys probably the same place in Sep 1957. Ellen followed 4 Mar 1961. they all still lived at the same address as far as I can see.

Monday 15th August 2016

What happened on this day:
William Catchesides married Prudence Hart in 1818 and
Christiana Knight was buried in 1844

Anthony Gordon Smith (Cliff's uncle Tony) was born Jan 1938 in Lambeth to Eric & Florence née Berry. I have no notes from Cliff on this family, so hope my conjecture is correct. He is on 1939 Register as a closed record with his parents and sister (also closed) at 21 Franciscan Road, Wandsworth. I suspect he was married in Jul 1967 in Lambeth to Christine Burgess (possibly born 1942 Battersea) and he was possibly the Anthony Smith living at 42 Cavendish Road, Wandsworth in 1964. There is also a possible son Garry in 1968 and death in 1979 in Croydon, also Christine in 1995, but I have nothing to corroborate these. If any family member is reading this, please get in touch to confirm or deny.

I have found out why Charlotte Emily Smith was not with the rest of the family in 1861 census. Unfortunately she died aged almost 3 in Apr 1859 and her death was registered in the Holborn registration area.

Daisy Olive Smith was one of those for whom the 1939 Register was invaluable, as I had a story in need of corroboration. Fortunately it confirmed all my speculation. William was the one I suspected, born 1903 in Wellington, Somerset and they can be seen in 1939 at 52 Fielding Road, Yeovil, Somerset.

William is listed as a Bricklayer, Daisy UDD, daughter Ellen aged 15 working in the "Filing View Room at Westland Aircraft" (interesting...) and son William aged 14 Apprentice Joiner & Carpenter. There is one closed file no doubt 3-year-old Robert, 12-year-old Dorothy was with her grandmother widow Elizabeth Burge at another address in Yeovil just around the corner. She is not closed, as she died in 2005 and her file was opened. William died at 52 Fielding Road on 3 Jan 1947 aged just 43, leaving effects worth £52 to Daisy. She died in the Taunton area in Jan 1970.

It was no help with Edwin Smith though, just presenting further possibilities rather than restricting them.

Ellen Smith also petered out, but I see now why. The servant visiting in 1911 was a red herring as she died aged 15 in 1908.

Cliff's father Ernest Sidney Smith was fully covered in 2014, and I have no more as he was absent from the Register in 1939. This could have been because he was at a training camp prior to being fully in the army (this wasn't attested until 1941 according to records) or some other function related to the war. Ethel was at home with the children, as I have said, as son Eric was only a few months old.

Eric Benjamin Smith seems to have slipped under the radar (appropriate, as you will see). He was born 16 Mar 1912 in Battersea to Herbert & Edith née Roffey and was Cliff's uncle, as he was the youngest brother of Ernest. In 1933, when he came of age, he appeared on electoral roll records at 124 Stewarts Road (he may well have been born there) with several ladies; his mother, sister Ruth and possible niece and aunt, also one Florence Mary Berry, who in Apr 1936 he married in Battersea. They lived for a short while at 93 Streathbourne Road, Balham, but by 1939 can be seen at 21 Franciscan Road, Tooting, Wandsworth, which is 3.5 miles from Stewart's Road.

Eric is listed as Solicitor's Clerk & Florence UDD. There are two closed files, probably Anthony and Jennifer - see this morning. There is a note by Eric's name saying Royal Artillery Gunner and I have found a card dated 17 Jul 1941 with "Para" on it. This is tantalising as I cannot find anything more detailed. There is a death in Jun 1963 in Bridgwater, Somerset and subsequent burial in Burnham-on-sea cemetery nearby, but I cannot confirm this by matching it up with one for Florence. I won't discount it because they may well have retired down there, even though Eric was only 51.

Sunday 14th August 2016

The main trunk of this tree is of course the Smiths, first studied in August 2014 (I'm keeping up with myself at a 2-year distance), Clifford's father's tree

Anthony Smith (Cliff's ggg-uncle) was a naughty boy (see 11th Aug 2014) after his mother died when he was 18, which was a shame but at least makes for interesting reading. I have just found other cases, the first reported in the Western Times on 11 Nov 1843 (a few months after his mother's death), the morning after shenanigans on Guy Fawkes Night in Exeter. He was one of 8 felons accused generally of causing an affray and some of assaulting police. A large tar-barrel was rolled down the road with the intent of setting fire to it where the townspeople had gathered to celebrate traditionally in the Cathedral Yard, and Anthony was one of those accused of rolling said barrel. He was recognised later, seemingly taunting police by "eyeing" them several times. Fined 40s or a month on the treadmill, he said "Treadmill then" as he (like almost all the others) didn't have the money to pay a fine.
This was the first reported misdemeanour, but as I stated in 2014, he was next in trouble in 1847, involved in a riot in January, with subsequent 14d imprisonment. This affray, known as the Food Riots, involved much of the town and started with an attack by women of poor families on a baker's premises, escalating into a full-scale riot of 4000-5000 people, necesitating the raising of a troop of Special Constables and subsequently the involvement of the Yeoman Cavalry.
Food Riots Torquay 1847
He was arrested and charged with being one of those who broke into bakeries, looting and causing damage. It was speculated that he was one of the ring-leaders; he certainly was known to have shouted & incited the mob. The rioting moved on to Torquay and other towns. (Some good did come of these riots, as measures were brought in after Weights & Measures testing proved cheating was going on in the bakeries and charitable organisations raised money to aid the poor farmers). 
In Jun 1850 he was found guilty of assaulting a complete stranger outside a pub, resulting in a £2 fine and 2m imprisonment. The previous August he had incurred a £5 and 2m imprisonment, but I don't know for what crime. In Dec 1850 he was again in court, this time for being drunk in someone's home, becoming excited for some reason, hitting the homeowner's brother & smashing items of crockery. When the police were called, he hit the policeman, so gaining another 2m imprisonment, this time with hard labour. As I said in 2014, he was "Drunk & Disorderly with the use of obscene language in the High Street" in Jul 1852, gaining another week in prison. It seems he had anger management issues, and problems containing his drink. In those days, the Magistrates Court & Assizes was held in Exeter Castle:

and the prison:


Saturday 13th August 2016

See 7th Aug 2014 for the story of Violet Josephine Hodd and her husband Arthur Mair. I need only to fill in with the 1939 Register, where they are as expected at 22 Cranleigh Gardens, Sutton.

Arthur described himself as "Solicitor's Managing Clerk & ARP Warden", Violet as UDD, and there are two closed records, no doubt Phyllis and Alan, who were 17 and 12 respectively, and appear to be still living.

William Hodd was the toll-collector on the Isle Of Wight, and I told his story on 8th Aug 2014 in great detail, and that of his son William Robert Hodd. William Snr died in 1912, then William Robert served in WW1, leaving in 1919 as Sergeant Major. He had 2 children on the Isle of Wight but then the third child Barbara was born in Chertsey, Surrey. They evidently didn't remain there, though, because as I said in 2014, they relocated to Kent. 1939 Register finds William Robert with his mother, wife and two children at 6 Hollywood Lane, Strood, Kent (oddly this town is where my husband & I lived when first married, 40 years later)
2012
William was described as "Employee RNAD Upnor", Frances & Lucy as UDD, William George a Rivetter's Labourer (presumably rivetting ships) and Barbara was aged 15 & at school. There was also a closed file, I suspect this is Gwendoline who, despite being the eldest is the only sibling still alive, but she is 96 years old! Please bear with me as I take a closer look at the RNAD he worked for, as it used to be a familiar area to me.
The RNADs were a group of armament depots dedicated to supplying the needs of the Royal Navy & RAF, Army & foreign governments. Located near to RN Dockyards to facilitate the transfer of armaments  between the depot & dockyards, but not too close, to minimise the risk of accident/explosion. This one was founded in 1668 at Upnor Castle, but it wasn't long before the castle was too small to hold the ordnance alone, and in the 18th century a temporary magazine was erected to the south of the barracks, shortly followed by a permanent structure built in 1898-10. 1857-62 shell stores were built and labs to test gunpowder & fill shells, new magazines at Chattenden & Lodge Hill, connected to Upnor by a narrow-guage tramway. More building took place in 1882-96, 1903-4 and 1910-12. A torpedo store & pillbox with underground shelters were added during WW2. The complex was used until 1961, then lay undisturbed for over 50 years. It seems that only now are the buildings being removed, I don't know what will replace them. The last I heard the MOD still owned the land.
2009
2012
Recent photos (2016)




So I can now add another generation of Williams on. William George Hodd was his son, born on 7 Oct 1921 on the Isle of Wight. He was living with his parents in 1939 Register (see above) at 6 Hollywood Lane, Strood, Kent, working as a Rivetter's labourer. In Jan 1951 in Chatham he married Katherine Burton (who is a closed file on the Register as she only died in 2007). They had a daughter Sally in 1963, who married Ian Rogerson in Chatham in 1986 and William died in Chatham in Jan 1995.

Friday 12th August 2016

What happened on this day
11th Aug:
Harry George Small was born in 1881
Charles Lewis Wooldridge was christened in 1861 and
Clara Woodford in 1869
Louisa Agnes Catchesides married George Wooldridge in 1856 - my Nan's grandparents
Herbert G W Matthews married Florence Dauncey in 1926
Esther Clements née Cox was buried in 1917

I dealt with Thomas Stephen Hodd on 7th Aug 2014, but at that point I couldn't find any naval record for him. I have now seen this: he enlisted on 6 Dec 1870 aged 16, 5ft 4in tall, dark brown hair & black eyes (something tells me they got that the wrong way round!), dark complexion, with "small spots on left wrist", a carpenter by trade. He had a short but illustrious career, serving on 12 "postings" between 1 Jan 1873 (the Swiftsure as Ordinary Seaman 2nd Class) and 5 Apr 1878 (when he was invalided out and discharched to Plymouth Hospital). At every inspection he was announced to be of Exemplary Conduct, and awarded a Good Conduct Badge in Jan 1876. Discharged in 1878 as an Able Seaman, he evidently returned home when fit enough.
HMS Swiftsure
This may well have been why he died so young.

Victor William Hodd was the boy I mentioned on 19th July, in 1939 Register away from home at Brook House, a school in Cuckfield, Sussex. He was born 24 Nov 1925 in Lambeth to Albert and Edith née Duggan and lived with them until in Apr 1952 he married Barbara J Thomas in Holborn. They settled at 19 Malden Avenue, Greenford, and he still lived there 40 years later when he died aged 68. This was 31 Mar 1993 and luckily only today some more probate records came onto the Ancestry site, including the information that he left no more than £125,000 in his estate - not a lot of help really, but good to see nonetheless.
2008
Barbara, it seems, moved to Canterbury after his death and died there in 2002, aged 89

Tuesday 9th August 2016

I dealt with the two generations of Stephen Hodd, Stephen Richard (Cliff's uncle) and his son Stephen James (cousin) on 1st Aug 2014, and have nothing new. In a few weeks it will be the centenary of Stephen James' death on The Somme, so I shall return to him then.

Susan Hodd has no new records either. I still cannot locate George's railway employment records, even though more have come online.

Thomas George Hodd was another killed in WW1, this time in 1917 in Arras. I have just seen the "effects" document, which shows payments to widow Lily of £3 16s 4d in May 1918 and £9 10s in Nov 1921, by which time Lily had remarried. She married Henry E Curtis in West Ham in Jun 1919. They can be seen in 1939 Register at 110 Oakfield Road, East Ham. She had evidently married into a family of Handymen, as Henry was listed as a retired Pipe Fitter (he was by then 69) who now worked as Watchman & Cleaner, and a few houses away was his brother Alfred, plumber, with his son John, Decorator's Assistant


Two Thomas Henry Hodds were dealt with on 4th August 2014, one on each of the two stems of this tree. The "direct" one, Clifford's great-uncle, made microscopes for the Dolland company. His wife Jane was also known as Jenny, and she had an illegitimate son in 1872, Joseph Burns. Interestingly on his marriage record in 1896, when both parents were gone, he put for his father "Joseph Burns, deceased, surgical instrument maker", which could well have been what he was told. I cannot track down Jane in earlier censuses, she was born in Islington in 1849-1851 (different sources), father James, who died before 1873, was a compositor (strange that he didn't encourage his daughter to read - she put her mark on marriage record). I suspect she was the Jane Burns working at Limmers Hotel, St George's in 1871, she was "Still Room Maid", youngest of 12 servants. Here the hotel is on the right side and was a popular sport-pub of the Georgian age.

As I have said before, illegitimate births often came to servants as a surprise and joined other future children in the family. Joseph went on to be a "shopman", married Lucy Gathercole and settled in Southwark.
The Thomas Henry on the more obscure branch was an only child, a bricklayer's labourer, married to Florence née Lowry, living in Croydon. So in 1939 Register he should be at 44 Northbrook Road, Croydon with Florence, but she is shown on her own. [Incidentally, Florence's grandmother had the wonderful name of Tulip Donovan, but I am trying not to be distracted by her] I cannot locate Thomas for sure, but there is a record of a Thomas Henry Hood in the Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment 1935-41 at least, but as it is written very clearly I cannot consider it. Northbrook Road is very close to the White Horse I mentioned yesterday (the inquest) which surprised me at first, but it shouldn't as he was his grandson!

Florence was working as a laundress, and there are still several in the area.

Monday 8th August 2016

What happened on this day:
James Parker was born in 1818
Jemima Elizabeth Wooldridge was christened in 1830
a popular day for weddings:
John Knight married Melinda Annear in 1849
Ellen Roffey married Daniel William Hitchcock in 1868
Eliza Parker married Charles Prangnell in 1874 and
John Knight married Charlotte Behenna in 1847

The story of the Richard Hodds senr & junr was told on 25th & 31st July 2014, and the repercussions in the family (Mary Ann was sent away, the two children who stayed at home died in infancy and the family moved from Kent to Surrey). It all started, I believe, with Richard senr (b 1789), who died aged 27 late in 1816 (he had only been married 4 years), was
buried 29 Dec at Bidborough, Kent.

He had married Priscilla Clark in Tonbridge on 7 May 1812 and had two children, Mary Ann & Richard. Now, I don't what caused his death, and I cannot send for a certificate to find out, as they only started in 1837. His son Richard Hodd jnr may have carried a disease/condition or been weak in some way, although his job as an ag lab suggests not. Maybe the rural conditions were not good. Moving to Surrey seemed to improve matters, and all seems well until Richard died aged 70 in Apr 1888 (a very good age back then). After this, Matilda lived with her daughters, shown in 1901 & 1911 censuses at 15 Hampton Road - the pale green house below - and probably died there in 1915.

Richard Stephen Hodd was covered in detail in 2014, so it only remains to fill in with 1939 Register. I dealt with htis entry last Wednesday (see below) - the little house on St Mary's Gardens. Laura was the earner in this household, as Richard was retired and Ellen UDD. He described hiself as "Railway Assistant Linesman (Retired)" in 1939, and I can see from the National Union of Railwaymen Register that he joined the union aged 45, when he commenced working for the Battersea branch of the L&SWR (London & South Western Railway) in this rôle on 29 Sep 1916. I cannot see any more about his railway career, but this is an infamously badly-spelled surname.

Later: I was ready to publish at this point when I came across a newspaper article of great interest. It was Croydon Advertiser of 23 Jun 1888 and reported on an inquest just held at White Horse, Selhurst (sadly recently gone), concerning the death of one Richard Hodd, who lived at 7 Lahore Road, Croydon [now a junior school on the site]. His wife Matilda told how he was unwell and had been unable to work for 15 years, due to "some internal disease" and had taken to his bed for some time. On the morning of his deat, she took him a cup of tea, then later found he had hanged himself. Son (Job) James cut the rope then called the doctor and it was decided he had committed suicide "whilst in a state of temporary insanity". Apparently he had "disease of the stomach", a stroke around Easter time and was recently much worse and spitting blood. Presumably the poor man was so frightened he took his own life. Strange how this relates to my comments above... A few weeks later son (Job) James was married and Matilda moved in with daughter Elizabeth in Southwark.


Sunday 7th August 2016


Trying to clarify Lily Florence Hodd, all I have achieved is to make things worse, by discovering two more possibilties in 1939 Register, none of which I can prove, so I shall leave well alone...

I found nothing more about Grandma Martha Hodd, as she died in 1937, so didn't make the Register.

Cliff's Great Aunt Mary Ann Priscilla Hodd's story was complete up to her final years (see 28th July 2014). At that point I had her established at 49 Holland Street, Lambeth, where in 1928 Aunt Phoebe and her new husband Frank stayed when first married (Great Uncle Henry had died in 1919). Trying to trace her in the 1930s was very hard, as there are many Mary Ann Freeman records in the same area and it is difficult to assign particular ones to her. However 1932-7 are good in that they state her middle name, so putting her firmly at 49 Holland Street (Caldwell Street from 1937) then in 1939 18 Akerman Road, Brixton - at this point Frank took on the house in Caldwell Street - see 4th July - and they can be seen there in the Register.
18 Akerman Road
Oddly, when I looked for Mary Ann there, she wasn't with Ada & Charles Bennett, as the electoral roll had led me to believe. Checking death records, I suspect the one in Jun 1937 to be hers, despite no middle initial and as so often happens, she had a vote registered at Akerman Road, despite not being able to use it! One thing this did achieve was to complete daughter Ada's story. After being widowed at age 22 after only a few weeks of marriage, she remarried 15 years later (to a barman, possibly working at the Crown & Anchor just around the corner, the Charles Bennett mentioned above), and eventually died aged 83.

In 2014 I left Matilda Hodd's file a bit open at the end, as her husband and then son, both James Golder, died in 1939 and 1944 respectively and I lost track of her. The 1939 Register tracks her down to 156 Canterbury Road, Croydon (just off the Purley Way).

She is listed as UDD but with her are listed Sarah (daughter "mechanical engineering something" who later married into surname Chessell) and 2 closed files. If these are the other two children, I am surprised James is redacted, as he died only 5 years later. After this, I can see from electoral roll records and Phone Book entries that Matilda lived at this address until she died on 5 Feb 1966, then Sarah & her husband John until they did in 1987 & 1988.

The other Matilda Hodd was dealt with on 28th July 2014 also. I have found a photo of her husband on another relative's tree

[poor man looks scared stiff!]
Today I studied their movements in a bit more detail, once the children started arriving, as their baptism records show the family address. Up to 1893 they lived at 183 Gloucester Road, Croydon and Sydney worked as a shunter on the railways.

By Nelly's baptism the following August they were at 9 Windmill Road, less than a mile away,

then settled at 15 Hampton Road for some years from 1900 until Matilda died there in Apr 1928

The following year Sydney married widow Elizabeth Rosam née Stewart, so it is her and her daughters who can be seen with him in 1939 Register, at 15 Hampton Road.

Sydney called himself Scaffolder in 1897 & 1900, then builder's Labourer in 1905 until 1939 (although by then 72). He died there in Jan 1955, Elizabeth having preceded him in 1953.

Wednesday 3rd August 2016

For Job James Hodd's story see 14th July 2014. He was found, as expected, in 1939 Register at 56 Tabor Road, Hammersmith.

He described himself as Furniture Packer, Eliza as UDD.

Joseph Hodd Snr was very vague in 2014, not least because he gave the wrong name for his father on his marriage certificate and seemed to disappear after the death of his wife Susan in 1881. He may have moved to Croydon and worked as a confectioner, then died there in 1904. There are no new records to confirm this, or otherwise.

His son Joseph Hodd Jnr was dealt with fully in 2014, the only "new" information is my conjecture that Edith may have been the daughter not sister of Matilda (see 26th July below)

Laura Esther Hodd was found in 1939 Register as expected at 7 St Mary's Gardens (name was changed, as somebody noticed it isn't a square!) with her parents. A pretty little house,
 
but what I really like is the view from it:

She described herself as "Book keeping Clerk & Burroughs Operator". This latter was the computer of the day, a high-tech adding machine. Burroughs Corporation was an American company, second only to IBM and she may well have used one of these, taking up a lot of space in the office
1910
or the state-of-the-art "portable version"
1930-40
They moved to Surrey in the early 1940s, her father died there 1943 then mother in 1959.

As I said on Monday (see below) in the late 1960s Henry came to live with her, after the death of his wife Ellen. He & Ellen had no doubt been staying with Laura for Ellen's final illness, but she didn't register as voter at this address. From 1969 Laura & Henry were on electoral roll records here, as the Surrey records extend to 1970. Henry died there in 1974 and Laura in 1980.

Tuesday 2nd August 2016

What happened on this day:
Amy C E May was born in 1905 and
John G A Knight in 1891
Edwin Knight was christened in 1840
Walter Charles Wooldridge died in 1961 and
William Hart Searle (who married Bathsheba Retallick) in 1917

As I said when dealing with Arthur (see 23rd July below) and 14th July 2014, when I dealt with James Joseph Hodd before, he and Arthur lived next door to each other, having married sisters in 1932. So, I expected to see them at 34 Grant Road in 1939 Register, having moved there on marriage. However, the Register threw me another surprise (like the dicovery of a publican in the tree yesterday). James can be seen at 71 Morland Road, Croydon, working as a "Ball Distributor Golf Links" [modern housing block, so no photograph, I'm afraid]. This address is midway between golf clubs, both 3 miles away, so he could have worked at either - or both! Ethel is listed as UDD and there are 3 closed files in their household. As before, these are confusing, as I can't tell whose children are whose. One intriguing detail is that behind the redacting stripe can be seen a married name of Beadle, amended in 1947. Unfortunately this wouldn't fit a prospective daughter because she would only be 15 at most in 1947, and anyway I cannot find any marriage record between a female Hodd and a male Beadle. So, none the wiser! It may have been the death of Dorothy in 1947 (and their father the summer before) that led to them moving closer to Arthur, but I cannot prove this as Hodds are elusive in the 1940s & 50s, and Croydon wasn't sure whether it was London or Surrey - which still applies today to be honest. Arthur died in the Croydon area in 1963, James in 1970, Ethel in 1994.

Jean Violet Hodd was born 6 Jan 1938 in Lambeth to Albert & Edith née Duggan. As I said on 19th July (see below) her parents lived in Schomberg House, Westminster in the 1930s, firstly at no. 38 then after the war at no. 34 until at least 1961. The Catchpole family lived at no. 34 before the war, then swapped with the Hodds and lived at no. 38 from 1945. When in Jan 1958 Jean married Bryan William Catchpole, she moved into no. 38 with them, until they had children, when they moved to their own place in the same development 80 Edric House, Page Street
2008
Son Tony was born here in 1963 and it is likely that David was too in 1971, but electoral roll records don't extend that far yet. Bryan died in the area in 1985 and Jean retired to the Medway towns, dying there in 2004.

Joan Iris Hodd was born 1923 in Bembridge, Isle of Wight to Gerald & Ivy née Sealey (see 31st Jul below), an only child as far as I can see. I cannot see her in 1939, as I think she may be still alive at 93 and thus redacted, so not showing up on a search, probably the closed record in her parents' household at Wayend. On 3 Oct 1945 she married John James Denton in Colerne, Hampshire (reg Chippenham)
1930
recent wedding there
He may have been the one in Tulip Road, Southampton in 1939, a clerk/dock checker (similar job to Our Cliff?) but I cannot tell for sure. It seems Joan & John moved to Durham - the other end of the country - to have a family of 5 children, two being twins, but again I cannot be sure as there are duplicates of both of them. The children's names would suggest they are correct, though, as they are Gerald (Joan's father), Iris (her middle name), Ann, Joyce & Linda (very popular at the time and of course I don't know John's parents' names).

Monday 1st August 2016

What happened on this day:
James John Wooldridge was born in 1899
Simon Knight was christened in 1819
John Knight married Christiana Wakeley in 1831
"Dewey Dance 2" married Thomas Cook in 1831 and
Mary Eileen Matthews née Leonard died in 2009

Henry William Hodd was dealt with on 12th July 2014, when I saw him early in 1939 in electoral roll in Peabody Buildings, but not after that. The Register, created in September of that year explains why. He and Ellen can be seen running a pub in Islington, the Myddleton Arms, Canonbury Road, he as Licensed Victualler, she as Barmaid, with a 25 year old barman and another closed file
2008
I didn't know he was a publican, but now I see that the next electoral roll record I have in 1945 is the Garland, 5 Brighton Road, Redhill

Records then jump to 1969, when he had been widowed and gone to live with his sister Laura at 20 Elgin Road, Sutton (presumably in 1966 at Ellen's death, as Laura was alone at this address in 1964). As Ellen died in this area, maybe she went to Laura's for her final illness, and Henry stayed, he died there himself in 1974 and if he managed any other pubs in his lifetime I cannot find them. I must say, I was very pleased to find pubs on this tree; I am very fond of them myself, not least because they tend to retain their history, and also because Henry's 1st cousin once removed Clifford was very keen on them too! And their products!


Sunday 31st July 2016

What happened on this day:
Edmund Woodford was born in 1874 and
his wife Clara née Kitson in 1878
Henry Charles Matthews was christened in 1859
Ernest William Hodd married Rose Annie Harris née Clark in 1921
Kitty Knight was buried in 1891 and
Elizabeth Wooldridge in 1877

Florence Rose Hodd
was born Jul 1901 in Lambeth to Richard & Ellen née Webb and christened at Emmanuel church on 5 Sep 1901. She can be seen in 1911 census at 7 St Mary's Square (the one that is triangular, if you remember) with parent & sibs, aged 9.

She died there in Oct 1918 aged 17.

When I dealt with Frederick William Hodd in 2014 (10th July) all was satisfactory until 1953, when he disappeared from electoral roll records at home. He was still there at 40 Doris Street in 1939, which, as can be seen from yesterday's map, was right on the end of the road, at the junction with Prince's Road [now the entrance to the Ethelred Estate]. In 1911 he was a Van Guard, in 1939 a Window Cleaner & ARP volunteer. Winifred was UDD in 1939 and there is a closed record, probably their son Alfred, who was 12. Again, the only deathI could find to fit was Jan 1980 in Ealing aged 85, and he was buried 25 Feb in Greenford Park Cemetery.

His brother George Henry Hodd's story was similar, and bound up with his, as I discovered I had the wrong marriage record (the manorhouse should have alerted me - no money in my trees!), and George married Winifred's younger sister Annie in Apr 1931 in Norwich. In 1939 Register George & Annie can be seen at "57 Heath Road, Dagenham", George a Foreman Window Cleaner - I wonder if Frederick worked under him at any point. It would be hard at that point, as they lived 15 miles apart, but maybe before George married & moved to Essex.

I will stick with the same death record, and of course it makes more sense now, as Heath Road is actually Chadwell Heath, which is not too far from Brentwood.

Gerald Richard Hodd was born into the family on the Isle of Wight and dealt with on 11th July 2014. The only update is to fill in the gap with 1939 Register, which finds them at 1 Waysend, Dennett Road, Bembridge, IOW, only half a mile from where he grew up, when his father was toll collector. I'm not sure what he did after WW1, as I stated in 2014, but by 1939 he described himself as "Butcher's Assistant". WW Woodford & Sons is still there on the High Street, close to the toll booth, so maybe that was where he worked. It was also noted that he was the Enumerator for the National Register (altough even he couldn't stop future clerks "correcting" his date of birth to 1889 (ie making him 10 years older!) in subsequent years (of course, he had it right originally!)
2009

Saturday 30th July 2016

What happened on this day:
29th July:

Leah Matthews was born in 1876
William John Woodford was christened in 1857 and
John Dance in 1832
Joseph Hodd married Martha Eliza Hodd in 1883 and
Walter Norman Woodford died in 1979
30th July:
James Henry Cox was born in 1895

Florence Louisa Hodd can be seen in 1939 Register, as expected, at 21 Doris Street, Lambeth with her family

[this map is dated 1885 and shows the house numbered 21 was originnaly number 5 Doris Street West - but long before her time - all the houses they lived in were on the western end, near Prince's Road, which became Black Prince Road]
[photo Doris St. 1942 - I don't know which nos]
Leonard was shown as Warehouseman NAAFI (Heavy Worker), Florence as UDD, the 3 children are shown, but there is also a closed record. Leonard died a few weeks after the register was taken, and Florence moved in with her daughter in Brixton, then to Leicester for the rest of her life.

Wednesday 27th July 2016

What happened on this day:
Sarah Dance was born in 1788
Willliam Stanfield Roffey in 1825 and
William James Parker in 1849
Reuben John Woodford married Lilian Bailey in 1935
Joseph Allen (who married Elizabeth Knight) died in 1868

I have no further information on Elizabeth Hodd (see 3rd July 2014) as Alfred died in 1922 and she in Jan 1938.

Elizabeth M Hodd was the lady who married her brother-in-law when her sister died. I can see from his first marriage certificate that they were next-door neighbours. George was an engine-driver as was his father, but by 1939 she was widowed and living at 27 High Path, Merton (now an admin centre housing a driving centre & Wimbledon Probation Service), describing herself as "Retired. Old Age Pensioner". As I said in 2014, she died in Merton, at 180 Kingston Road [a listed building, built 1797 now divided into flats, maybe a nursing home at the time?]


Ellen Hodd is link-ancestor of this tree to the Mays, and Clifford's great-aunt. Both she and her husband were hatters, possibly working for Christy's, in Bermondsey Street, the largest hat & cap making factory in the world in 1843.

[men shown here wetting, rolling, pressing, ruffing and blocking the hat bodies. Women worked as trimmers, adding the lining, leather trims & binding]

On their marriage they were both employed in hatting, but by 1881 (6 years later) Ellen was "former hat trimmer", now mother, living with his parents. his father had worked at the soap-works but was by then unemployed.

[soap boiling Hawes works 1843]

[Hunt soap works 1865. I have mentioned this previously as it occupied land later used for Royal Doulton pottery]
William got a job there as a labourer and they lived with his parents in Pontypool Place, Southwark

I told their story on 23rd June 2014; they moved around a lot, with the children born at different addressses over 10 years. William died of heart condition in 1890 and Ellen took to charring (cleaning and attending to people's homes as a casual servant). In 1891 she can be seen living at 146 Regent Street, Lambeth, then in 1901 46 Prince's Road and 1911 8 Goda Street. All these houses are within a stones-throw of each other, the soap-works site and incidentally where I used to stay with my grandparents decades later.

[this 1859 map shows all these places. Goda Street was at that time still called Caroline Street. Pontypool Place, where they had lived with the Mays was off the top of this map]
She died in Jul 1919 and her death was registered in the Southwark area.

Ernest William Hodd was covered firstly on 7th July 2014, then when I studied his daughter Agnes a couple of weeks ago. 1939 Register thus only updates as far as is detailed there - see below. Ernest described himself as "Tiler's Labourer" and Rose as "Wife". When Ernest died 2 years later, Rose continued at this address (108 Stamford Street, Lambeth, now very near Waterloo Station) with Agnes, then until records cease in 1965, so I suspect she still lived there at her death in 1971.

Tuesday 26th July 2016

What happened on this day:
25th July:
Phoebe Wooldridge was christened in 1858, as was
"Joseph Woodford 2" in 1820
26th July:
William Thomas Catchesides was born in 1821
Herbert Arthur Woodford in 1872
Jane Ann Matthews was christened in 1844
Alice Leverett née May married Henry Joseph Jones in 1908

Caroline Hodd was covered on 30th June 2014, but her death was unclear, as Henry apparently remarried before she was actually gone. I have reassessed this and found I had the wrong marriage for him. He married Emma Evans in 1886 (i.e. 2 years after Caroline's death) in Croydon. Her (Caroline's) family was in a very dramatic phase at this point. In Jan 1881 her sister-in-law Annie died, leaving Thomas with baby Thomas, so they moved in with his parents in Sydenham Road, Croydon. So in Apr 1881, at the time of the census, Caroline was living at 11 Leonidas Street, Deptford with husband & 3 sons, Thomas with their parents. On 12 Mar 1882 they had the 3 youngest boys christened, George, Albert & Thomas, at Christ Church, Deptford,
[1865]
then in Apr 1884 Caroline died, followed the next year by brother Thomas and in 1888 by her father Richard. After his remarriage, Henry lived with the boys at other addresses in Deptford, which have now been replaced by modern housing estates.

Daisy Maud Hodd is a classic case begging for the assistance of the 1939 Register, because (see 3rd July 2014) she vanished after 1925. However, the records I have found have the wrong date of birth. I suspect her husband Alfred died at the end of that year, so may have been in hospital somewhere. They seem to have just had the one son, Kenneth, who died at the age of 2.

Derrick/Derek W Hodd was born Apr 1935 in Croydon to Arthur & Dorothy née Hearnden. As I explained on Saturday, the 1939 Register only shows Margaret, and one other hidden record which could be Derrick, Leonard or Audrey. Of course, as they are young enough to be very likely still alive, they are not coming up in a search, as they will be redacted lines wherever they are. In Oct 1956 in Croydon he married Sheila Donovan, local girl, and they settled at 23 Helder Street and can be seen there until records cease in 1965.


Edith Hodd was born 24 Sep 1903 in Lambeth to Martha Hodd and appears to have been born more than 2 years after the death of her father, so I don't know if maybe she was really the daughter of Matilda (born when she was 17 and working as a servant at the Savoy). In 1911 census they are both listed a "daughter" of the Head, Martha, Edith aged 7. In Jul 1924 in Blean, Kent she married Victor Horace Standen from Herne Bay nearby.

They settled in the Herne Bay area, had 3 children there and lived there until he died there on New Year's Eve 1978 and Edith in Oct 1982. 1939 Register shows at 36 Stanley Gardens, Herne Bay Victor, bricklayer, Edith UDD & 3 closed records for the children, who would have been 14, 12 and 9 at the time, evidently still alive, so records closed.


Saturday 23rd July 2016

What happened on this day:
22nd July:
Isabella Wooldridge was christened in 1810
"Richard Retallick 10" in 1723 and
Julia May in 1860
Bessie Knight married Thomas Rowe in 1877 and
Martha Elizabeth Hodd married Joseph Hodd in 1883
May Wooldridge née Summers died in 1949
Mary Tiplin née Woodford in 1842
"William Cox 2" in 1910 and
Mary Ann Swales née Matthews in 1960
23rd July:
Lily Florence Hodd was born in 1890

See 30th June 2014 for Arthur Augustus Hodd. In 1939 he can be seen at 32 Grant Road, Croydon, listed as "Circular Die..." (photographer didn't open the book fully), with Dorothy UDD, followed by one closed record then Margaret, then aged 6, at school. At the same address were William Hearnden, Dorothy's widowed father, a tailor, and Edith Hearnden, one of her sisters.


Audrey D Hodd may be the redacted record on 1939 Register mentioned above, as I cannot track her down, she was aged 3 and may well still be alive. In Jul 1956 in Croydon she married Anthony G Robinson. He may have died in 2011 (can't confirm as I don't know his date of birth) in Battersea.

Tuesday 19th July 2016

What happened on this day:
18th July:
Mary Ann Knight was christened in 1829 aged 2
William Reginald Woodford died in 1965 and
David Retallick in 1914
19th July:
Mary Ann Woodford née Pick died in 1885
William Keays (who married Frances B Woodford) died in 1916

I covered Albert Victor Hodd on 26th June 2014, but now have his WW1 war records. On 8 Jan 1918 he enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps, at the age of 20 years, 7 months for "the duration". He was short, only 5ft 1½in tall, with a tattoo on his right forearm, listed as a photo printer, next of kin his sister Matilda address 49 Sydney Street, Sutton, Surrey. On 1 Apr 1918 the RFC was merged with the Royal Naval Air Service to form the RAF and he was transferred to this as Private 2nd Class and on 6 April they remustered. On 18 Jun 1918 he trained as a driver and on 2nd July was shipped out to France. 8 Feb 1919 he was registered at Paris and 25 Feb in Rouen, 28 Jul 1919 returning home to UK. On 6 Sep 191 he passed a medical with grade B1 (not A because his eyesight was poor enough to require spectacles)
1914
He was transferred to RAF Reserves and discharged to 49 Sydney Street, the three medals following on 2 years later. As I said in 2014, after his marriage to Edith he moved around Westminster, certainly 1928-34 in blocks off Regency Street

[here shown in 2008 Probyn House, where he lived 1928-31, then Jessel House beyond, where he was in 1933.]
In 1935 they moved to the next turning, Esher Street, Schomberg House, now gone. In 1939 Register they can be seen at 38 Schomberg House, Albert a photo printer, Edith a cook. Baby Jean is not at home as she was evacuated to Grantham, likewise Victor, at school in Brook House, Cuckfield, Sussex.

Alfred William B Hodd was born 13 Sep 1927 in Lambeth to Frederick & Winifred née Burgess. The 1939 Register was unusual, as he was in hospital, aged 9 in Queen Mary's Hospital for Children, Carshalton.

[in the 1930s many patients were there for rheumatic diseases and non-pulmonary TB. It was heavily bombed in WW2 & the children there in 1944 were evacuated]
He can be seen in electoral roll records from 1949, when he was of age, to 1962, when records cease, with his parents, then from 1952 with his mother. I cannot track down a death for his father, but will look again when I come to him. All this time he is at 40 Doris Street, Lambeth. (Little did I know when I stayed with my grandparents in the early 60s only a couple of streets away that my future husband's relatives were so close). I cannot trace him any further, as then next record is his death in Oct 1989 aged 72 in the Greenwich area.

Saturday 16th July 2016

Starting again with the Hodds, as planned.

Agnes V Hodd was born Oct 1922 in Lambeth to Ernest and his 2nd wife Rose née Clark. In 1939 Register she can be seen at 108 Stamford Street, Lambeth aged 26 with her parents, working as a Carpet Sewer. There are 2 closed files, before & after hers, so maybe she had siblings, although I cannot find records of their births, and they are still alive.

[I posted this photo when I dealt with this family before, on 7th July 2014, to show the site of 108 Stamford Street, now the yellow modern building containing (in 2012) Nando's, taken from outside 33 Coin Street, where they lived until 1938 (still RSJ restaurant in 2015)].
In Oct 1942 she married Thomas Henry Thatcher, who was a cabbie the same age as her parents, and had spent much of his early adult like in & out of the workhouse, usually for medical care, and they lived at 108 Stamford Street for some years, with an assortment of other people, including her mother (father died in 1941). In 1950 Thomas was admitted into Luxborough House, Marylebone, which had been the local workhouse before the formation of NHS, but was now a council old people's home, and died there in 1963, aged 80.

[1900 when it was new] The building was closed & demolished in 1965.
I cannot locate a death for Agnes, but the fact that her 1939 Register record is open suggests she has died. Maybe she re-married - she was after all widowed at a relatively young age - but I cannot locate a marriage either. There is with this couple one of those annoying red herrings, as there are electoral roll records from 2002-2010 for an Agnes V Thatcher and Thomas Thatcher in Shrewsbury. The age is given as 65+ but if this were them, Thomas would be significantly older than this - he would by 2010 be 127!

Thursday 14th July 2016

What happened on this day:
Sidney Herbert Roffey was born in 1884
James Thomas Gamble was christened in 1892 as was
Edmund Thomas Retallick in 1822
Jenefer Davis née Knight was buried in 1869 and
Richard Datson (who married Elizabeth Knight) in 1933

Tuesday 12th July 2016


For a full description of William Frank May see 22nd June 2014. There is just a snapshot to add from 1862, when he was living at Hans Place, Chelsea, working as a waterman (incidentally, I visited Hans Place in March of this year, on a guided walk, and it is very charming indeed). Apparently on 7 Oct 1862 he was going about his business, when he found in the water the body of a woman, who had jumped from Blackfriars Bridge and drowned, apparently suicide. The tragedy was that she had in the folds of her crinoline a small child, who she evidently took with her, and it was later found there was another still hiding in the parapets of the bridge above. On examination she was found to be carrying a letter, torn up, from a friend who had arranged to take her to the Great Exhibition, cancelling their arrangements. The coroner held an inquiry at the Ship Tavern, Little Bridge Street, Blackfriars, and William was called to speak (11 Oct 1862 and subsequently reported in the newspaper)



William John May (Cliff's Uncle Bill)'s story was in need of sorting out - see 23rd June 2014 and 21st Feb 2016. It seems the explanation is that in Jan 1939 he married Stella Burchoski and she appeared with him on the Register in September of that year at 76 Warham Road, Hornsey, where they had lived since 1935, in the name of Stella C May.  Following though the electoral roll records, William appears right through from 1935 at the same address until records end in 1965, and it does seem to match up with the note dated 1949 that Stella changed her name to Jane Violet - although I cannot imagine why. The Stella C May at Bethnal Green was a red herring, as was the Stella Belsham at the same address in 1939

The note seems to relate mostly to "our" Stella, only the "M" (marriage) to Miss Belsham on the line below. She merely married Walter McDonald, and is not on our tree, as she was born in 1914 in Southwark to a lady with maiden name of Carpenter.
Why Stella "reverted" to her name of Jane Violet I cannot discover but just when I think I have it sorted, I have found a marriage in Apr 1941 of a William J May to a Jane V Belsham! I think something was going on here, but I don't know what. Death records only compound the confusion, as the only suitable one I can see is Jul 1965 Haringay in the name of Stella!

The story of the other William John May (uncle of the above) was told in 2014 and was much more straightforward. He married Ellen Hodd and his twin John married her sister Martha (Cliff's grandparents), so next it is on to their family, probably at the weekend.

Monday 11th July 2016

Thomas Joshua May
(Cliff's uncle) was covered fully in 2014 - see 21st Jun 2014 - but now I can add 1939 Register to the picture. I said that he and Muriel lived at 45 Endsleigh Gardens, Ilford from 1951 until their deaths, but I can see they were already there in 1939, so maybe from their marriage in 1932. There is a closed file there too, but I cannot guess who that may be. It should be Muriel's mother, but she wouldn't be redacted, as she died in 1951.

The medal was sent to Muriel at her brother-in-law's address in Hayes, Middlesex, so maybe she stayed there while Thomas was away.

With the other Thomas (see 21st June 2014) Thomas William May, trying to sort out the latter years of their lives I got into an even worse pickle, so have to abandon the search of electoral roll records. Suffice to say they both died before 1939 and Martha may have spent some time in a workhouse.

Likewise with William May senior I have found many possibilities, and as is normal with such early records, don't know which story is the true one. I have found him with daughter Mary in 1841 census in Griffin Street, Lambeth with no mention of Ann, so although this census gives no such detail, it does look as if he was widowed by then.

His son William May junior also had a gaping hole in his story, after 1851 census when he was lodging with sister Mary in Lambeth, working as a waterman. When he died in Apr 1873 he was at 2 Wellington Road, Stockwell. In 1871 census in the next house an uncle William May was visiting. My only problem was that he was a gardener from Hampshire! This makes me doubt the link somewhat...

Wednesday 6th July 2016

What happened on this day:
William Richard Roffey was born in 1858
Maude Hennig married Arthur Block in 1907
"George Wooldridge 2" died in 1844 and
Herbert Edward Matthews in 1985

Thomas May (1817-1885) was a soap-maker for most of his life, so I have spent today reading up on this industry in the area. The local MP was Benjamin Hawes in 1830s, whose father had a soapworks at New Barge House, by Blackfriars Bridge (it had been there for 75 years according to an article written in the 1840s). His brother William had patented the "cold-process" of making soap in 1839.
Hawes' works
However, high taxes on the product caused this company to close in 1849, so Thomas May probably worked for Jared or John Hunt, who had a works near to Vauxhall Walk where he (Thomas) lived, in Princes Street/Broad Street (now part of Black Prince Road)
Broad Street 1920s
1868
Thomas lived at Vauxhall Walk (down the middle of the map above) then Andersons Walk (middle left) while working there. By 1871 the soapworks had moved to Liverpool and Thomas worked as a labourer for some years.

[this photo was of a barge moored behind the bone- & soap-boilers' premises in Princes Street/Upper Fore Street - later Albert Embankment -  to transport the products in 1860s]

[This picture is of the Red Cow, Princes Street, Lambeth in 1860. The home of Jared Hunt is on the corner of Salamanca Street at the left side, with ornamental portico]

Tuesday 5th July 2016

What happened on this day:
Auntie Vi Violet May Wooldridge was born in 1913
Laura Esther Hodd in 1899
Annie Elizabeth Woodford was christened in 1882 and
Mary Ann Hodd in 1846
Mary Jane Jago née Retallick died in 1907 in USA and
Jonathan Farland Matthews in 1893

I have found out a little more about Phyllis G J May. She was born on 21 Feb 1903 in Thame and can be seen on 1939 Register with husband Henry Giles at Somerley Cottage, "N Stoke Street, Henley, Oxon" and several children. It is difficult to demarcate the children, as there are 5 closed files, some of which are in the house next door. I knew they had son William in 1929 but now I have found Margaret born 1934 (maybe after another Margaret in 1931 who died in infancy) and possibly Ian in 1937 (although his record states mother's maiden name is Giles, this is a frequent error and he may be theirs). I still cannot locate a death record for Phyllis in Wallingford, Berks in 1953, although Henry died there in 1978. Incidentally, I have found that North Stoke is in the Wallingford area, so they no doubt lived there all along (Henry grew up there) and it was used for filming Midsomer Murders, apparently as Midsomer Wellow.

It is right on the Berkshire/Oxfordshire border, which explains the confusion of counties in records.

No further news on Rachel Sarah May. I did think she married a William Weekes in Lambeth in Apr 1876 but the father's name is wrong.

I made further checks on 5 ladies I dealt with in 2014, with no news.

Sybil May was born on 30 Dec 1901 (registered in Jan 1902) in Thame, Oxon to Charles & Georgina, and was in census of 1911 aged 9 at 64 Park Street with parents & sibs. In 1939 Register she can be seen at 12 Kings Road, Thame with mother, sister & nephew, aged 37 working as an Accounts Clerk. I can find no more until her death in Northampton in Apr 1973, aged 72.

Monday 4th July 2016

Mary May died very young, but has several records. She was born in Dec 1840 in Berkeley Street, Lambeth to John & Mary Ann née Maxwell and was christened 13 Jun 1841 at St Mary's with brother William, born the year before her.
1856
[it can be seen from this map how close the church was to home. It is on the map above as the cross by Lambeth Palace, Berkeley Street can be seen running between Mill Street and Saville Place, although when she was born the railway wasn't there, as it opened in 1848]

She was recorded in census of 1841 aged 6 months, at Berkeley Street, with father and brothers, her mother still in St George's Hospital, Hyde Park Corner

[St George's Hospital, Lanesborough House was until 1844 at Hyde Park Corner]
Baby Mary died on 9 Apr 1842 aged 16 months, and was buried 17 Apr at St Paul's, Deptford


Mary Elizabeth May was the servant who had an illegitimate son Charles (see 29th & 30th May 2014). She grew up in the same streets as baby Mary above - she was her aunt - and lived in Lambeth until about 1857, when they moved to Deptford. I still cannot find the family in 1861, although we do know children after 1858 were born there and Mary & Joseph died there.

Olive Eileen May was 12 in 1939 and can be seen, evacuated to Somerset, living with widow Mary Clarke and possibly her daughter & grandson. After the war, she returned to Lambeth - see 6th June 2014 for the rest of the story.

I told the story of Cliff's Aunt Phoebe on 6th June 2014, and it only remains for me to fill in 1939. We know from electoral roll records that they lived from marriage at what was 49 Holland Road, near the Oval cricket ground, then in 1938 renamed Caldwell Street
1920
[No 49 was on the left, beyond the Lord Holland pub (with the ornamental roof) - all gone now on that side - and a modern block is in its place] In 1939 they can be seen there with a ?lodger Frederick Beaver, accounts clerk. Frank is described as Motor Driver/Fitter and Phoebe as UDD.

Saturday 2nd July 2016

What happened on this day:
Joseph Francis Gamble was born in 1881
Sidney Alfred Small in 1886
Sarah Woodford was christened in 1826
Aunt Kit (Kate Eveline Gamble) in 1896
Charles Joseph Matthews in 1865
Joseph Hodd married Susan Brewster in 1849
Thomas Dance (who married Elizabeth Dance) died in 1906 and
Bessie Matthews in 1944

Friday 1st July 2016

What happened on this day:

30 June
Margaret Catchesides was born in 1762
Mark Woodford was christened in 1816
Jasper Woodford in 1811
Betsy Woodford in 1850 and
Louisa Elizabeth Cox in 1872
Elizabeth Fanny Wooldridge married Alfred George Musk in 1902
"Mary Woodford 2" married Charles Holwell in 1823
Harry Brookes (who married Edith Woodford) died in 1960
1 Jul
Victor Manhire was born in 1918
John Frederick William Hennig in 1848
Mary Ann Hodd married David Cooper in 1866
Grampy (my great grandfather Henry John Wooldridge) died in 1954
William Trethewey (who married Ellen Knight) in 1903 in India

Julietta Christina May
was the lady who married Henry Shuard, then died aged 22, probably in childbirth. I have seen the banns that were read at her local church, St Mary's, in Aug 1878 in the names of Julia Etta Christina May (minor) and Henry Seekings. I wondered what value these had when both names were wrong. It seems nothing came of this and a year later they were read again, but this time at All Saints, Walworth (later Newington), where they actually married on Christmas Day 1879. One of the witnesses was Susan Hodd, her sister-in-law's mother and one of our ancestors. I had hoped to get a picture of their house in New Street, Southwark, but although I discovered this road was renamed Library Street, the only old buildings I could see in Google Streetview in 2012 were demolished to make way for an annex of the North Middlesex Hospital - which Julia may have found convenient, although she died 65 years before the formation of the NHS.

Little is known of Kenneth L May except that he was born in Oct 1940 in Ploughley, Oxfordshire to Leslie and Doris née Haskett and died in Jul 1957 in Oxford aged 16.

His father Leslie Frank May was born 1 Apr 1905 in Thame, Oxfordshire to Charles & his 2nd wife Georgina née Edwards, and can be seen aged 6 in 1911 census at 64 Park Street, Thame with parents & sibs. In Oct 1935 in Ploughley, Oxfordshire (where his mother was living,
with his sisters, their father having died 1914 when he was 9) he married Doris May Haskett. They were already living in London (see 7th June) and son Michael was born there in 1936. I told where Michael was in 1939 on 7th June; he was with grandmother Georgina, aunts Sybil & Ena in Oxfordshire, away from the bombing. Leslie & Doris are to be found then at 5 Livingstone Road, Southall, Middlesex, where Leslie worked as an Omnibus Inspector and Doris UDD.

It didn't take them long to join the rest of the family, though, as Kenneth was born in Ploughley in 1940. They must have remained there for the rest of their lives, as Doris died in Oxford in 1971 and Leslie in 1972 in Bullingdon nearby.

Sunday 26th June 2016

Clifford's grandad John May 3 was dealt with in detail in 2014 and as he died in 1905 and Martha in 1929 they didn't appear in 1939 Register.

Uncle Jack May (John 4) was also dealt with in great detail, although I couldn't find any military records despite having lots of photos of him in uniform. On second thoughts, I believe the uniform may be that of a Railway Employee. They were formal portraits, so he was no doubt wearing dress uniform. He & Daisy can be seen on 1939 Register at 3 Oakden Street, Lambeth, Jack a Railway Locomotive Driver and Daisy UDD, all as expected.

Of the two Julias, Julia Hetty Christina May was the more interesting, purely because she married twice (see 26th May 2014). I have now discovered her two sons by her first husband: Frank born in 1911 and Philip in 1913, just before Bertie died. As I stated before, her second husband Robert Mortimore died in 1955, when they were living at 16 Peabody Buildings, Southwark Street. So I wasn't surprised to find in the 1939 register she and Robert, living there (electoral roll shows them at same address from their marriage in 1917). Robert is described as "Chemists Packer" and Julia as UDD. They were followed by a closed file, probably son Philip, as he was with them in 1934 in electoral roll, now named Philip Roy Mortimore. In 1930-32 (aged 17-19) he was employed as a waiter on board SS Empress of Australia, sailing between Southampton, Quebec and New York, under the name Philip Roy Rogers, but evidently used his step-father's name on his return in electoral rolls. In 1936 he married Lilian B Hathaway, and they can be seen in 1939 Register as Rogers in Eylewood Road, Lambeth. When Julia died 14 Oct 1958 in Dulwich Hospital, her home address was still Peabody Buildings and she left effects worth £224 to Frank, who was a Sales Manager.


Monday 20th June 2016


Joan E May was 6 years old in 1939 but wasn't at home with her parents in Lambeth. Like my mother, she was probably evacuated, so may well be the closed record below that of her sister Olive at Higher Street, Langport, Somerset. As I suspect both she and Trevor are still alive, they would be redacted.

"John May 2" (as I called him in 2014) was outlined before (see 25th May 2014) but when I saw his daughter's marriage cert last Monday, describing him as "Deceased Captain on the Citizen Boats" I was intrigued to find out more. If you will bear with me, I shall outline what I discovered. It seems that on 11 Jun 1829 he was apprenticed (at the age of 15, quite normal) to a waterman also called John May. This may be an uncle I have not proved; there is a record of a John born in 1792 in London to a Thomas & Mary, which are the names of our John's siblings, so is quite likely. As per usual, this apprenticeship was for 7 years, due to expire on 14 Jul 1836. However, John Senior must have died, as young John was reassigned to William May, his father, for a while. William evidently gave up the water, as in 1814 at John's christening he was waterman, but by 1841 census he was a shoemaker, and 12 Jun 1834 a new Apprenticeship document names John's master as John Kerswell Kingford. He evidently completed his apprenticeship in 1836 and joined the ranks of ferrymasters with whom he worked for 20 years.
History of the Thames Steamers
Steamboat services on the Thames started around 1815 (the time of John's birth) and for nearly 25 years were the main use of steam to carry passengers in the South of England until the railways emerged. 80 steamers were recorded in the Thames and the Steamboat Act of 1819 regulated their safety. Most were wooden boats driven by paddle-wheels, faster and more reliable than sail/rowing for passengers in the Thames Estuary. The Watermen's Company had traditional monopoly and in 1841 established the Watermen's Steam Packet Company
Margate Steam Packet Co. est. 1815
Gravesend Steam Packet Co. est. 1817
General Steam Navigation Co. est 1821 in Deptford and by 1825 had a fleet of 15
City Steamboat Co. introduced iron boats, called Citizen, built by Thames Ironworks
Westminster Co. soon started with iron boats, (and they eventually became the Waterloo & City Line underground) called Penny Boats, as that was their fare.
Citizen Boats
"Built of iron, had flush decks with below-deck cabins fore and aft, they were painted black, carried black funnels with a red band and an open-work bell-mouthed top. The paddle-boxes bore the City Arms with a large capital letter in the centre, from which the boats were known as Citizen A, Citizen B up to Citizen N. The Citizen Company owned a pier known as the Surrey Side, under the southernmost arch of (the newly-built Rennie-designed) London Bridge, approached by the western flight of stone steps (this is the bridge that was transported brick by brick to Arizona and reconstructed there). At low water the boats could moor with funnels upright, but as high tide came on these had to be kept lowered for all the time spent at the pier. The Company had several steamers especially designed for this landing-stage with no room to turn, double-ended with rudders both ends."
History of Thames Steamers continued
In 1876 the Woolwich, Citizen and Watermen's Companies amalgamated to form the London Steamboat Company but in 1878 the Princess Alice disaster* took place and almost 700 people lost their lives. The LSC never really recovered and folded in 1884. Several mergers and buyouts followed but services ceased in 1902.

[This picture is from the Illustrated London News in 1855, showing the pier being used on a special occasion (usually only company boats could use it) by the Waterman's Co. steamer Teal. It shows the departure of the Labour Corps to the Crimea to "work in the trenches before Sebastopol"]
*
SS Princess Alice, formerly PS Bute, was a passenger paddle steamer. She was sunk in a collision on the River Thames with the collier Bywell Castle off Tripcock Point in 1878 with the loss of over 650 lives, the greatest loss of life in any Thames shipping disaster.
(What isn't reported here was that a mass dumping of sewage had just occurred and most of the casualties were due to this, not just the collision. This led to the banning of this process, which up to this point had occurred twice daily, approx 71 million gallons at a time)
Apparently, the collision was caused by a misunderstanding; the collier tried to pass on the starboard side of the ferry, as is usual, but the waterman kept to his habit of taking the "slack water" on the south side, which was well known to all local traffic, and collision took place. Unfortunately the ferry was overloaded with passengers and most perished, in horrendous circumstances - see above. There is a memorial in Plumstead to honour the dead, buried there.


Wednesday 15th June 2016

See 21st May 2014 for Harriet Charity May, whose history is quite mixed up with other names, so it was not surprising that in 1939 Register she is with her husband William, daughter Daisy & her family, next to possible Hall relatives (her mother's family) at 207a Latchmere Road, Battersea. William is here described as "Warehouseman Retired", son-in-law Frank Bull a Bus Driver & granddaughter Marjorie "Ledger Clerk".


James Edward May was dealt with fully on 22nd May 2014 and I can find nothing new, except a possible burial at Camberwell Old Cemetery (one of those I visited recently) on 6 Mar 1947. The problem with this is that he would have been 102 years old! Not impossible, but not likely. I have also found a death in Wandsworth dated Oct 1921, which I wouldn't hesitate to accept normally, if it weren't for his pension issued in 1939, but maybe that was for his heirs...

Tuesday 14th June 2016

I have covered Clive's grandmother Ethel Grace May in detail already (17th & 20th May 2014 and 21 Nov 2015 for 1939 Register) and can find no new details.

Ethel Louisa May was one of Charles' children and I dealt with her on 30th May 2016. 1939 Register found her as a widow, living at 87 Langham Court, Wyke Road, Wimbledon, working as a Salaried Housekeeper, presumably for the person whose Closed Record was listed above her

I did pick up her story in 1950, when she took a trip to Canada...

Florence Maud May's story was left as she emigrated to Australia in 1928. I have found a possible marriage in 1929 in Balmain South to Charles Perry and 3 subsequent deaths in the area in 1941, 1952 & 1963 under this name, but no proof.

I got into a real tangle with Gertrude Olive May. When I dealt with her in 2014 I said she married Carl Starup in 1943 in Ploughley but could get no further, apart from I had been told she died in Denmark. I cannot track her down today in 1939 under any surname but have been given an alternative marriage in 1929 to Leslie Percival Bonnet in Flaunden, Hertfordshire (25 miles west of here). This couldn't be a first marriage as she married Carl as May and he didn't die until 1985. I prefer the marriage to Carl, as it was the right area - in Oxfordshire. But the marriage to Leslie gives father as Charles (other doesn't mention father). Unfortunately the tree containing Mr Bonnet doesn't attach a death, as we don't have access to Danish records, so I cannot tell what the surname is.

Monday 13th June 2016

Emma May was dealt with in 2014 in a very vague fashion, as I was aware she disappeared from my records fairy early in her life. Ancestry is pointing me towards a particular marriage I hadn't previously considered, and I can see now it is correct because her father's details are right on the certificate. It was on 13 Sep 1869 at St Luke's, Chelsea to Robert Aspinell and witnesses were John & Lucy Aspinell, Robert's mother and brother.

Robert was a water-filter-maker and they can be seen in 1871 census at 10 Bolingbroke Road, Battersea (on Wandsworth Common) with baby son Robert. 11 more children followed, although one died aged 7 (final child, it turned out). In 1881 census they can be seen at 34 Francis Street, Battersea with 6 of them and Robert's mother & sister, both dressmakers. He was now Foreman filter-maker, but although I know this road changed its name to Lithgow Street, I still cannot find it in modern-day Battersea (not surprising as it has changed beyond belief). In 1890 they moved to 92 Bridge Street, Battersea [same applies here, all modern flats] and can be seen there in census in 1891, Robert died there in March 1899 and was buried in Morden, Surrey on 14 March. By 1901 census Emma had moved around the corner to 37 Octavia Street, Battersea and can be seen there with 7 full-grown children - I don't know how they all fitted in here!

By 1911 Emma was living at 19 Eckstein Road, Clapham Junction, only a mile away

Son Ernest was a floor polisher at a London Museum - interesting. Electoral roll records show Emma at number 35 Eckstein Road in 1919

until 1930, when she died there and was buried with Robert at Morden on 8 Aug 1931


Wednesday 8th June 2016


Eiley Mary Munsey May was his eldest daughter, born 12 Dec 1879 at Linlithgow, Scotland, while he was still based there, and can be seen in 1881 census at West Terrace, Queensferry with her mother. As I stated yesterday, the family moved to Oxfordshire when his tenure was up, at the end of Feb 1882, and her subsequent siblings were born there. In 1891 census she can be seen at Middle Row, Thame with parents & sibs. By 1901 census she was 21, had trained as a schoolteacher and can be seen boarding at 18 Cheneys Road, Cann Hall, Wanstead, Essex

In 1911 she was at 108 Durham Road, Manor Park, London, an Elementary School Teacher (meaning a school teaching 5-13s, not a term used in UK any longer).

On 2 Aug 1912 she travelled aboard the "Empress of Ireland" from Liverpool to Quebec, Canada, destination "Black Lake". She was described as "Scotch" teacher, travelling as a tourist. Then on 9 Apr 1936 on board HMS Ranpura, she travelled from London to Marseilles. She must have had some kind of problem at some point in her career, though, as when we next meet her in 1939 she is aged 58 living with another schoolmistress and described as "retired (breakdown/pension) schoolmistress". There is also a closed file here, possibly a young servant/nurse. The address is given as Shenmore, Theydon Bois, Essex, probably on The Green, and she may well have lived there for 30 years. In 2014 I postulated that she didn't use her full name in electoral roll records, forgetting that this area wasn't London and thus not covered.

I dealt with Ellen Louisa May in detail on 16th May 2014, so need only to fill in 1939 Register. She and husband George Hawkes lived at 49 St Norbert Road, Deptford for the final decades of their lives, so in 1939 they can be seen there

with their 2 sons, George W (aged 30, hustings overseer) and Wilfred (29, measuring surveyor). George C was described as Railway Motorman, previously as Fireman on Great Western Railway, he had evidently moved on from steam to motors with the development of the new technology. It's a shame I cannot find an employment record for him in the railway staff records, but they are full of holes. He died on 17 Sep 1951 at the Miller Hospital, London and left effects worth £188 to Ellen. She lived on at the same address until records cease in 1963 (currently) and her death was registered in the Lewisham area, which probably included Deptford, so she may have died there.

Tuesday 7th June 2016

Charles May was the illegitimate son of Mary Elizabeth May, born on 11 Dec 1843, while she was living with her parents in Lambeth. I cannot find a baptism, but he was registered there in the first quarter of 1844. In 1851 census he can be seen aged 7 with mother & uncle William at 8 Edward Street, now called Chicheley Street, in Waterloo, right by the London Eye

Uncle William was a waterman on the Thames, just at the end of the road. See 30th May 2014 for Charles' story, although I now have his naval records and know that after spending time as Boy 2nd Class then Boy 1st class on vessels including HMS Calypso

He joined the Royal Navy on 26 Feb 1872 for 10 years and as the record said he was already married I have now found his marriage record and it occurred 10 years earlier than I thought, in Oct 1870 (they had no children for the first 9 years of marriage as he was always at sea!) He served aboard the HMS Repulse, about which Wikipedia says:
She relieved Zealous as flagship, Pacific Fleet, and patrolled the seas from Patagonia to British Columbia for the next five years. She was relieved by HMS Shah in 1877; in coming home her Captain decided not to pass through the Straits of Magellan under steam - which was the accepted route - but to round Cape Horn under sail. The trip from the Pacific to Rio de Janeiro took her seven weeks; she was the only British armoured ship ever to round the Horn under canvas
He then joined HMS Pembroke, which was previously the HMS Duncan, named after Admiral Lord Duncan & bearing his figurehead:

On 24 Feb 1879 he transferred to HMS Lord Warden, and was found there in 1881 census (and also at home in Queensferry with wife & daughter - see 2014 tab)

After 3 years here, his service was up and he was pensioned off and they moved to Thame, Oxfordshire, Elizabeth's hometown. Charles had a very good naval record - his annual appraisal gave report of his "exemplary character" every year - but in "civvy street" he ran a sweet-shop (in 1891 at 129 High Street - nowadays the numbers don't go up that far, so has been renumbered at some point and I don't know where the shop stood) until Elizabeth died in 1900, when he remarried and can be seen a few weeks later at 19 East Street with new bride Georgina, his 2 daughters & a boarder.
Middle Row - their address in 1891 census
19 East Street today
64 Park Street
By 1911 they can be seen at 64 Park Street, and have 5 more children. Charles died there in 1914, aged 71. So the 1939 Register shows her widowed with 4 children, at 12 Kings Road, Thame
2008
Georgina is listed as UDD, daughter Sybil accounts clerk, Ena as "Saleslady Wools & Childrenswear" and there is a 4-year-old Michael C May. This is her grandchild, son of Leslie, who was living in Southall, London with wife Doris, so they probably felt it was safer for little Michael with his grandma in the countryside.


***


I am back in this country now, and it is time again for a new start. Time to move on to the tree of my late father-in-law Clifford Smith. Again it is an update to what I covered in 2014, so please bear with me if I repeat or skip bits. It is easy enough to find the original info on the 2014 tab above.

As in 2014 I dealt with the May family first, I shall do so again


Monday 6th June 2016

What happened on this day:
Elizabeth Caroline Wooldridge was born in 1871
William Hodd was christened
in 1852 and
"Ann Knight 2" married John Lukes in 1827

I covered Alice May in detail on 9th May 2014 - please use the tab above - so it only remains for me to update her in 1939 by means of the 1939 Register. As I noted in 2014 she & husband Ted Pratt had moved to 195 Fore Street, Edmonton, but I knew nothing of what the building was used for at that point. I can now see that it was run as a Club

There are now in this building both an Apostolic Church and Angels Nursery, there was an "Edmonton Trades Hall & Institute" registered at this address at some point. In 1939 the Register showed Ted & Alice at no. 195, listed as Club Steward & Stewardess with son-in-law Edward & their daughter Doris Huggett, Edward described as a shipping clerk & full-time ARP warden, Doris UDD. There is also a closed record underneath Alice, which may be son Jackie, as he was only 13 at the time.

Alice Sarah May was likewise covered in detail in 2014 and again I have only to pick her up in 1939. She can be seen living with daughter Mary & son-in-law Frank at 24 Arthur Road, New Malden, Surrey, listed as UDD (Retired). Frank was described as "Horse & Carriage Foreman, Railway Parcels (Heavy Work)" and Mary UDD.

Alice was shown as widowed, so I have now been able to track down the elusive death record for Henry, in 1926 in Battersea. There are 4 possible children, born with mother's maiden name of May between 1912 & 1919, but when Mary died a widow in 1964, she left effects to a Stephen Jones, senior audit clerk, and none of these names was that (of course, he may have been an uncle, ie brother of Henry, cousin etc).

Amy Constance Elizabeth May was dealt with on 10th May 2014 but I was unable to find much after she married Bill Negus. 1939 Register shows them at 9 St Davids Road, Weymouth

Bill listed as window cleaner, Amy as UDD. The closed record was probably Billy junior, and there was a Christopher Fearon, civil servant, probably a lodger or boarder, aged 24. As Cliff said Bill was in the merchant navy, I suspect his father was the S/Sgt C W Negus who was honored in 1919 in South Africa. Bill died in 1989 and Amy in 1995 in Weymouth.

As I stated in 2014, Beat Samways née May gave her home address as 17 Sunnyside Road, Weymouth when she travelled to New York after her husband's death in 1953, but I can now see they were already there in 1939. The Register shows them there with daughter Molly, Ernest "Prudential Agent Retired" & ARP Warden, Beat aslso ARP Warden & Molly "Manageress Conf. Business" - presumably a sweet-shop, and marrying into the surname Bryan at a later date (she married in 1940).

***

I have to say now that I will not be updating this site until 3rd June 2016, at the earliest. This is because we are off to New York to visit our son. In the mean time, please feel free to browse on the tabs above.

Wednesday 18th May 2016


Sarah's father, William Ingram was born Jun 1822 at Northampton Street, Walcot, Bath to George & Jemima née Whittick and christened there at St Swithin's on 21 Jul.

He can be seen in 1841 census, age rounded down to 15 (really 19, I'll bet that upset him!), at 5 Dover Place with mother and brothers, listed as an assistant, but I'm not sure what he assisted with. His brothers are listed as waiters, but there is no ditto for him. He was married in Jan 1842 at Walcot to Jane Hancock, dressmaker, and they moved into an apartment in the Governor's House, which came with the job of turnkey/warder at the brand new Twerton Gaol. It was built following the 1835 Prisons Act, on a well-ventilated site and originally held a chapel, chaplain's room, reception & magistrates rooms, laundry, kitchen etc, attached to the cell block (122 cells) at the rear:

[1968 just before demolition]
The prison closed in 1878 and the Governor's House turned into flats.
2015
Jane gave birth to 3 sons in 6 years, but did not survive the third pregnancy, dying aged 29 and was buried 24 Nov 1848 in Twerton cemetery, very nearby.

As was usual when small children were involved (William was only a baby when she died) he re-married quickly in Jan 1850 in Walcot to Ann Brown and they had 5 more children together. In 1851 census they can be seen at the house above with his 3 children from his first marriage, James appeared a few months later, William at this time still Turnkey. In 1853 he was Deputy Governor and in 1854 was "unanimously elected Governor of Devonport gaol" , then in 1856 shortlisted for Governor at Huntingdon prison, losing out to a candidate with more experience.

[Devonport District prison, Stoke Damerel, Devon]
They can be seen there in 1861 census with 6 children, but by 1869 he was working as Master at the Union Workhouse in Market Bosworth, Leics. He was evidently an upholder of the law and appeared in newspapers a few times in criminal court reports, eg 27 Jan 1861 the North Devon Journal reported he had given evidence in the conviction of William Hill for stealing a pewter cup at Devonport and 23 Apr 1869 the Leicester Journal reported that he charged Charles Weston with "absconding from the Market Bosworth Union Workhouse and taking with him a suit of clothes, the property of the Guardians... committed to the House of Correction for one calendar month."

In 1871 census he was at the above, with 3 children but as we know the family left for Hull not long after and he died the following January of consumption aged 49.
Incidentally, he was a member of Ryburn Lodge (Freemasons) in Sowerby Bridge, West Yorks from Nov 1869 (transferred in from another lodge) to his death in 1872.

The last remaining Ingram was his son William Henry Ingram, birth registered in October quarter of 1847, he was christened on 6 Feb 1848 at Bathwick and his mother Jane died in the November of that year. He can be seen with the family in censuses of 1851 at Twerton Prison and 1861 at Davenport Prison, then I believe he emigrated to USA in 1865, when he was 18. If the tree is correct of one of his direct descendants on Ancestry, he married Mary Georgia McDonald on 19 Mar 1870 and had 4 children in quick succession: Harry Villiers Ingram, named after his brother, a ship's captain of a tugboat who went down with his ship in 1915 off Georgia, Jennie Iola Ingram, who died a spinster aged 87 in 1961, Hattie Elise Ingram and Alice Clemence Ingram, who married Harland M Moody (I love these names!) and died aged 90. Jennie and Alice are buried together.
William Mary Georgia
Harryhis wife May Bell
Jennie Alice

[Christ Church Episcopal Cemetery, St Simons Island, Glyn County]
William worked as a Sawmill Superintendent/Lumber Inspector, in 1903 for the Granger-Stubbs Lumber Company. He died in Jan 1918 aged 70 and Mary Georgia in 1936 aged 92.

Tuesday 17th May 2016

Sarah Ann Ingram was born Dec 1853 in Twerton near Bath to William and his second wife Ann née Brown and can be seen aged 7 with parents & sibs in 1861 census at Devonport District Prison, where her father was governor. In 1871 she had branched out on her own and can be seen in the census boarding at 9 Little Silver, St David's, Exeter as a Pupil Teacher.

She evidently found employment in Norfolk, as the Inspection Report of Scottow School dated 24 Feb 1874 mentions her by name (unfortunately):
"The present teacher took the school after it had been closed for a time. Some work appears to have been done with the upper Classes, but the School has passed on the whole only a poor examination. Great care must be taken with the Order and Discipline and the Infants and Lower Classes require much more attention in all subjects. The Arithmetic of the First Class is weak. A better supply of Reading Books for infants is needed. Better results will be expected next year, especially in writing and arithmetic."
1900
1859
Scottow School was a one-roomed school built in 1859 along with a detached teacher's house, then a second wing was added at the rear. Both were enlarged in 1903 and the school funtioned for over 60 years until closed in 1966.
Scottow School Hall in 2011
now
She was only in Norfolk for another couple of years, though, as the York Herald reported on 6 Jan 1876 "that Sarah Ann Ingram of Downham Market be appointed certified assistant mistress of the Lincoln Street Girls' School [Hull] at a salary of £55 per year to commence from the date of entering upon her duties and on the same conditions as the other assistant teachers appointed by the Board."  [Downham Market was still in Norfolk, but 50 miles from Scottow, so she may have had another job there between]. Lincoln Street was one of Hull's earliest Board Schools, built in 1873, so still fairly new

On 6 Apr 1877 the Herald again: "Miss Sarah Ann Ingram of Hull should be appointed certified assistant mistress of the Sir Henry Cooper Girls' School at a salary of £55 per year." This school wasn't named after the famous boxer, but the first chairman of the Hull School Board in 1871. The new schools in Bean Street were named this in 1876, moved into new buildings in 1967 and closed in 2012. She evidently wasn't head-hunted as the salary was equal, but you never know...

In 1881 census she was living in Main Street in the village of Carlton, Leicestershire, a 27-year-old "certified Teacher of Elementary School" with a companion.

Carlton Elementary School opened in 1847 for 49 children but I don't know any more. There are no schools in the village now. I cannot track her down in census of 1891. Her mother died in 1899 (father had gone in 1872) and of 8 children there were just her & Emily left. I told on 4th May how Emily was living with their mother when she passed, and must have inherited enough to retire. The same applied to Sarah Ann, as when she reappeared in 1901 census she was listed as "Retired School Mistress" but was only 47. She can be seen in Patrington, Yorkshire, visiting, but when I look at the current map on the road she is recorded at there is a very large school, so this may be why. In 1911 she had moved to Patrington, and can be seen there at 2 Sunny Bank, Withernsea, living on private means in a quite well-to-do area

[the terrace of houses on the right are Sunny Bank and she lived at number 2, down the far end. These properties are nowadays quite ordinary:

She lived with a boarder, also of private means. As she lived into her 80s, I can pick her up again in 1939 Register, by which time she had moved back into Hull and can be seen at 134 Willerby Road, with a widower called Herbert A Ingram, master printer. I do not know of a Herbert and see he was born in Leeds, which feeds a suspicion he may be her guilty secret, and explains where she was in 1891 (when he was 11 months old). There is also a closed record, which may be a young servant.

She died there in Jan 1940 aged 86

Monday 16th May 2016

Maria Lewis Ingram was born to George and Jemima in Mar 1896 in Bath and christened 30 Apr 1806 in Walcot, probably at St Swithin's, where she was married on 24 Jan 1822 to Thomas Eldridge, local tailor. I used to think they had 6 children, but on closer examination I have now found another five. They can be seen in 1841 census at 6 Abingdon Buildings, Lansdown with 6 children, then in 1851 with 5, at the same address, and 3 lodgers. After sister Jemima had her terrible shock, finding their mother had hanged herself, they all moved to London and this branch can be seen in 1861 census at 1 Church Street, Islington with 2 sons.
By 1865 they had moved around the corner to 17 Moon Street, where Thomas had his tailoring business and they remained until they both died in 1879, Thomas on 27 Feb and Maria 25 May of bronchitis and buried at East Finchley cemetery.
17 Moon Street
E Finchley cemetery

Richard Ingram was born May 1825 in Walcot, Bath to George & Jemima née Whittick and was christened 5 Jun 1825 at St Swithin's. Unfortunately I cannot find him in 1841 census, he was not at home with his parents, but was 16 so could be anywhere in service, the army etc and I cannot find a record. In Jul 1845 at St James, Westminster he married Jane Webber, nurse from Carhampton, Somerset and they can be seen in 1851 census at 10 Tottenham Street, St Pancras, London.

He is a French Polisher and visiting is a nurse Eliza Beckingham. She may be a friend/colleague of Jane or she may be looking after Richard, as he died in Jul 1853 aged only 28. Jane got a job as nurse in the household of
Robert Bowness Gibson, the rector of St Mary Abchurch 2.4 miles away. This was a Wren church, but it was damaged in WW2 so has been renovated:
1815
now
By 1861 census she had moved back to the Westcountry and can be seen at 5 Conduit Place, Bristol, domestic servant to a retired draper [houses are gone, replaced by a modern church building]. By 1881 she was 67 and had retired, but still at the same address, now lodging with a Police Constable & his family, listed as "formerly nursemaid". She died there in Jul 1883.


Wednesday 11th May 2016

The other Jane Ingram was part of the family who went to Hull. She was born in Apr 1842 in Lansdown, Bath to William & Jane née Hancock. She can be seen with them in 1851 census at Twerton, Bath, where her father was turnkey at the gaol. In 1861 she was visiting at the Rectory, Manton, Lincs, listed as Schoolmistress at Manton National School [no photo of the school, I'm afraid]. When the family moved to Hull, she went with them and worked as Schoolmistress at the Workhouse for some years, including 1871 & 1881 censuses. For some reason I cannot locate her in 1891 census, but she can be seen on electoral rolls at Rayner's yard in Normanton (I assume she wasn't employed by the builder's yard, which is still there, I understand) until she died in Apr 1903, aged 61.

My great great grandmother, Jemima Ingram, the Link Ancestor here, was born Apr 1816 at Arundel Place, Bath to George & Jemima née Whittick, 6th child of 9, and christened in May 1816 at St Swithin's (see yesterday for pic, under her brother James). On 3 Nov 1838 at York Street Baptist Chapel, Bath she married my great great grandfather Charles Matthews (see 21st Jan 2014 - I told the whole story there, please use the 2014 tab above, it's well worth a read). After he died, I cannot trace Jemima until she appears with daughter Jane in 1891 at 2 Guildford Road, St Pancras, then her death is registered in the Islington area in Oct 1900. She may have lived at 9 Murray Terrace, Whetsone (electoral roll) from 1897-1900, but I cannot find that address and it doesn't sound like Islington.

Tuesday 10th May 2016

Henry Villiers Ingram had the same history as sisters Emily & Elizabeth - see 4th May below. He was born 9 Feb 1860 in Stoke Damerel, Devon to William & Ann née Brown, was christened there 8 Mar 1860 and can be seen in censuses of 1861 & 1871 in Devonport Prison & Union Workhouse, Market Bosworth with them. He died Oct 1880 when the family had only been in Hull for a few years.

Trying to trace 3xgreat uncle Henry Wilkins Ingram was most frustrating. I know he was born in 1814 to George & Jemima and I have been told he was christened Jun 1814 in St Swithin's, Walcot but I cannot track down that record. He can be seen in 1841 census at 5 Dover Place, Walcot aged 25 with mother & 2 brothers, working as a waiter. A Henry Ingram was imprisoned in 1853 for 8 years for fraud, but this wasn't him; the newspaper report of this stated the felon was 19, and "our" Henry would have been 39. There is a death record in Wilton, Wiltshire in Jan 1880, but I cannot find the censuses between. (However, there are several Henry Ingrams in the Navy etc which may account for this, but none with facts to link to him). As he was brother of the family who moved to London, he may have come with them and set up house on his own, although I cannot find one who professes to have been born in the Bath area...

James Ingram was one of the family who moved to Hull & died. He was born Jul 1851 in Twerton, Bath and can be seen at the prison & workhouse in 1861 & 1871 with the family, then in 1881 at 1 Victoria Terrace, Hull with mother, sister & a boarder, when he was working as a "commercial clerk colour & varnish". He died in Jan 1884 aged 32.

3xgreat uncle James Henry Ingram managed to live a full life, in contrast. He was born in Aug 1808 to George & Jemima née Whittick and unlike brother Henry above, I have tracked down his christening record, dated 4 Sep 1808 at St Swithin's, Walcot. On 14 Aug 1833, at the same church, he married Jane Wooles

Unfortunately, she died in 1836, shortly after giving birth to her 2nd daughter, Ann - see 1st May below - and was buried at the Wesleyan chapel on 27 Nov 1836. The baby died 3 months later. James remarried on 17 Jun 1837 at St James, Bath to Sarah Wood and his parents were witnesses (this was the year before George died). James and Sarah had no children and in 1841 he can be seen living in Portman Square, Marylebone, London, one of 14 servants to Lord Bateman while she and Jane were living at 76 Eaton Square, where Sarah was one of 18 servants to Whig MP Ralph Bernal & his family, and little Jane was with her. In 1851 they can be seen together, visiting a "licensed victualler" (ie publican) and family in Jermyn Street, Westminster, while Jane is staying with her grandmother (possibly Sarah's mother) Eliza. In 1861 James is working as a butler, lodging at the Cleveland Arms, Montagu Street, Marylebone. In 1871 he is at 13 Gilbert Street, St Georges Hanover Square, describing himself as a baker. I thought this was odd until I saw that he had done the same on the birth records of both daughters in 1830s. Maybe he was both a servant and a baker - although how that was possible I cannot imagine! In 1881 he was staying in a lodging-house in Marylebone, listed as a commercial traveller aged 72 and he died there in Jan 1886 at the age of 78. The records I followed for Sarah showed her living in a house at 58 Harrow Road, Paddington for some years, until she died there in 1906 at the age of 98. Her probate document says she was a spinster, but as it appears she and James lived very separate lives, maybe nobody knew they were married. Having said that, her electoral roll records show her for her final 16 years as "Mrs Sarah Ingram". [Photos would be difficult as nowadays that area is entirely concret tower blocks and the Westway. However, in 1950 The Blue Lamp was filmed there and here is a still from that:


Jane Ingram was the daughter mentioned above, born 23 May 1834 at John's Place, Walcot. In 1841 census she was aged 7 and can be seen with her setp-mother in the household of MP Ralph Bernal. This was evidently a large establishment and she could be minded by other staff members (18 servants were listed in several houses making up the one). As I said, in 1851 she was staying in Walcot, with Eliza Scott and Marian Ingram, both widowed "annuitants" ie on private pensions, her grandmother and aunt, also cousin Sophia Ingram and a servant at 23 Rivers Street

In 1861 she can be seen at 64 South Audley Street, visiting Susanna Wood, nurse, who was lodging there - the building in this photo only dates back to the 1890s, previously this was a pub, as it evidently was then, the owner being a Licensed Victualler.

[it is currently being renovated - this pic is from 2012]
On 27 Oct 1861 at St Luke's, Chelsea she married James Ubert Edmans, who despite his exotic name was a painter & decorator from the East End of London and they had 4 children. In 1871 they can be seen at 10 Shurborne Place, Marylebone with 3 children, the youngest Alice only 2 weeks old (it said they had all been born in Bath, which seemed a bit odd to me - and it was, they were all shown 10 years later as born in Marylebone). In 1881 the address was 12 Henry Street, still Marylebone apparently, although I am told it has been renamed Allitsen Road, and is now St John's Wood (Google Streetview shows modern blocks anyway, so I am not worried) and all 4 children are included, as well as two lodgers. 1890 electoral roll record shows James rented a "front parlour & 1st floor back unfurnished" at 12 Henry Street from Mr Sigram at same address, although I cannot find 1891 census (his name was spelled in all sorts of ways, so this is not really surprising). Jane died on 27 May 1903, death registered in Kensington. James rented a smaller room in a house nearby 18 Henstridge Place, and remarried 21 Dec 1908 to Sarah Ann Davis. He died in 1910 & she moved back to Gloucestershire, where she died 2 years later.

Saturday 7th May 2016

There are three Georges in this tree. "George Ingram 1" is my 3xgreat grandfather, the patriarch of the family, born in 1773 so rather early for good records. I have his death certificate and from that deduce that he was born in 1773. There are two christenings on record in that year; 26 Nov in Cranbrook, Kent, father William, mother Dorothy and 27 Dec Buckminster, Leicestershire father George. I do not believe he is the one from Kent, as there is a full set of records in that area, including death locally. "Our" George married and died in Bath. On 1 Oct at St James', Bath he married Jemima Whittick.

[destroyed in WW2]
They had 9 children over 20 years, and when George died of consumption on 24 Jun 1838 aged 65 they were living at 4 Caroline Place, Walcot, Bath and he was listed as a Servant


"George Ingram 2", son of the above, was born 28 Feb 1810 in Walcot (3rd child) and christened 28 Mar. On 14 Sep 1833 in Walcot he married Jane Green but she died in 1836 at Northampton Street. The thing that worries me here is that she was buried 27 Nov 1836 but he was married to Charlotte Hodges on 12 Sep 1836. Maybe one of those dates is incorrect... A female child was born to Charlotte the following July but died at or shortly after birth. By the 1841 census they had had two more and can be seen living in Morford Street, Walcot with them - this is a turning parallel to Northampton Street, next to Ballance Street, where the Matthews family lived, George working as a printer/painter (the writing is bad on this page).

Unfortunately George died in Apr 1843 aged 33, then Charlotte in 1847 aged 37, so the 2 girls were in a residential school in 1851 census, then died themselves. None of the 4 children reached adulthood, so sad.

"George Ingram 3" was his grandson through son William (the prison governor), born in Lansdown, Bath, last child of Jane Hancock and can be seen in 1851 census at Twerton with the family. By 1851 he had been sent away to school - this seems to be the way on a lot of occasions when a parent remarried - Weston Academy Weston, Bath, aka "Mr Browning's Boarding School". He evidently moved out of the area when he left school, as we next see him in Jul 1870 marrying Emma Jane Addiscott in Salford, Lancashire. She came from Devon but evidently moved up to Salford on leaving school too. 1871 census finds them lodging in Sussex Street, Broughton, Salford, George working as a Police Constable. Daughter Edith Sabina was born in 1872 - see 3rd May - and I now know her middle name came from Emma's sister. By 1881 census they had moved 2 miles across town to 17 Enbridge Street and George was Police Inspector. As I said on 3rd May, he appears to have left the police as he is described as "commercial clerk". He was arrested in May 1889 and appeared in court, charged with "conspiring to obtain a large quantity of goods by false pretences". It turns out that he stood as guarantor for what turned out to be several dodgy companies run by 3 fraudsters, obtaining provisions from several suppliers in London, Liverpool & Salford and not honouring cheques against them. They were found guilty, but charges against him were dropped when it was found the only evidence against him was in letters found on the person of the disreputable woman, who ran the scam. However, as they say "mud sticks" and he must have lost his job over it and the publicity it caused (there are several newspaper articles going into detail, available even now). He did recover somewhat, as in 1901 census he had his own tobacconist shop. As I said on 3rd May, he may have purchased this when the owner went bankrupt and he took it on for the last few years of his working life. He was still there aged 65 in 1911 but Emma died the following year, so he most probably retired to Sale, Cheshire at that point to live with daughter Edith, who had left to be married in 1902. He died there on 13 Nov 1932, leaving £295 of effects to Edith.


Wednesday 4th May 2016

Elizabeth Mary Ingram's story started with a complete misunderstanding. I compiled a list of "events" for this family and it looked tragic. She was born Oct 1857 in Stoke Damerel, Devon to William & his second wife Ann née Brown and can be seen in 1861 census aged 3 at Devonport District Prison with the entire family, parents and 6 children, then in 1871 aged 13 in the Union Workhouse, Market Bosworth, Leicestershire, again the entire family. I wondered what kind of disaster had befallen them to lead to this. But once I started to look in detail, I soon discovered William (her father) was firstly Prison Governor, then moved on to Master of the Workhouse:


Evidently the family moved around, following his job(s). There was another move almost immediately after this census, to Kingston-upon-Hull. Unfortunately, although I don't know the details of this move, it didn't appear to be good for the family in general, as almost immediately father William died in 1872, followed over the next few years by Henry in 1880, Elizabeth 1881 and James in 1884. Ann lived in Victoria Terrace, Myton in 1881 [nowadays Victoria House - an office block - is on the site, in what is now Derringham Street.
A lot of damage was done to Hull in WW2] and Elizabeth died here probably. They may well have been there due to the presence of Workhouse and/or Lunatic Asylum, but if William ever worked there he didn't remain in post long. Ann, it seems, had a business at 21 Victoria Street in 1891, but I have no idea what it was.

Elizabeth's sister Emily Ingram was born Jan 1856 in Stoke Damerel, Devon and I hoped she would answer the question I just posed, as she has the same records as her sister up to her death, then can be seen at Victoria street, with her mother for a couple more censuses.  In 1881 the address is given as 1 Victoria Terrace, Victoria Street, right next to number 20, so still the same place. In 1891 it is 21 Victoria Street and both Emily & Ann are "Living on own means". As Ann died in 1899, next census shows Emily on her own. She can be seen at 5 Mayfield Avenue, Sculcoates (the northern part of Hull), boarding with a marine engineer & family. She evidently still has "means", as she is not working for a living (she is 45)

By 1911 however, she can be seen sharing a house a mile away, with a friend, pensioned schoolmistress Helena Musgrave, she is "receiving relief" and suffers from "nervous debility", Helena has one arm. To be honest, I am pleased to see something in the last column on a 1911 census sheet, as I haven't seen anything to speak of since they opened up that column! She died in Jan 1919 in Sculcoates. I cannot track down the house, as they lived in 5 Primrose Villas, Beaconsfield Street off Queens Road. Now, I have tracked down Beaconsfield Street on a fairly modern estate. It apparently had off it in 1892 three little courts Albert Crescent, Victoria Cottages & Primrose Villas, but they are all gone now.

Tuesday 3rd May 2016

Jemima's brother Charles Lewis Ingram was born Feb 1812 in Bath to George & Jemima née Whittick and christened there 12 Mar 1812. He can be seen in 1841 census at 5 Dover Place, Walcot with mother & 2 brothers, age rounded down to 25, as they did in that census, really 31, but he thought he was 29, so told them that

In Jul 1845 at St Swithin's in Bath he married Londoner Charlotte Edwards

They settled at Twerton, near Bath, and can be seen in 1851 census at 5 Twerton East with another couple. Charles worked at this time as Turnkey at the gaol, and also the tailor

[old prison photographed in 1968]
Regular readers will remember that in 1850 his sister Jemima found their mother had hanged herself at home in Walcot and this threw the entire family into chaos. Not least this branch; his job was no doubt a very stressful one and in Dec 1855 his wife was misbehaving, which pushed him over the edge and he attempted suicide himself. As this was an offence, he was taken to court where the whole story came out. Apparently a Jeremiah Welsh was at work on the south side of the river (Avon) when he saw Charles "in the Porter Butt field, on the opposite side" - the Porter Butt was an inn, still there in 2009 when I visited, but now converted to a business, and as was usual, it had a field behind, running down to the river [now mostly carpark]
  2009

[site of Porterbutt Field Jun 2015 from Google Streetview]
Apparently Mr Welsh "turned round to his work, when he heard a splash in the water & saw (Charles) struggling; he immediately raised the alarm and ... a man jumped into a boat and rowed to where (he) was, and succeeded in rescuing him. He was immediately conveyed to the Traveller's Rest (just up the road, his local as a young man, where they no doubt knew him)
[photo 1955]
... put to bed and stimulants administered to him. The landlord left him for a quarter of an hour and on his going upstairs found he had been out of bed, evidently with the intention of strangling himself as he had a twisted apron tightly round his throat, he was black in the face... prisoner stated that he was very much depressed on account of the bad conduct of his wife." He was admonished and bailed on payment of £40 with 2 sureties of £20 each. I cannot find any details of what Charlotte was up to, nor why they thought stimulants were a good idea! All this while his sister's family were planning moving out of the area, so I wasn't surprised at the next census to find him in London. 1861 census finds him at 43 Compton Street, Clerkenwell [lost when St Peter & St Paul school was built on the site], with Charlotte and another family including 3 children & 6 lodgers, working as a tailor. Charlotte died there in Jul 1866 aged 56. Things were not good for Charles, though, as in 1871 census he can be seen living at 5 Allen Street, Clerkenwell with his sister Jemima's sister-in-law Jemima Stocks née Matthews, working as a Billiard Marker, which was not a salubrious occupation, rather like a scorer/bookie, and in such surroundings it was but a short step to his next venue, The Workhouse. He was admitted to Holborn Workhouse, City Road on 26 May 1875 and discharged on 21 Jun "at his own request".

He presumably had some plan, but this didn't come to fruition as a mere 3 days later he was back, and this time stayed for 12 years! 1881 census shows him there aged 68. I don't know if he needed medical care, but new hospital wards were built in 1879. He was discharged 15 Jun 1887 and by 1889 was living at 38 Easton Street, Clerkenwell, renting a first floor room from a Mr H Danger of same address

He must have died here (or nearby) because this was registered in Jan 1890 in the Islington area at the age of 77. He was buried 15 Feb in Islington Cemetery


His brother William had a granddaughter with the exotic name of Edith Sabina Ingram, born Oct 1871 to George & Emma née Addiscott in Salford, Lancashire. She can be seen in censuses of 1881 aged 9 at 17 Embridge Street, Salford with her parents, George listed as a Police Inspector [now a modern housing estate], then still with them in 1891 aged 19 at 13 Grosvenor Street, Broughton. By then George has left the police (I shall look into this when I deal with him) and describes himself as a "commercial clerk". Edith is a Confectioner's Assistant. I suspect she worked for a tobacconist/confectioner at 2 Upper Gordon Street, Pendleton, 3 miles away, because I did see a bancruptcy document where somebody bought such a business, and next we see them living at no. 3, George is tobacconist/shopkeeper & Edith his assistant. This whole area has been redeveloped, so I cannot demonstrate. In Jan 1902 at St Anne's in Sale, she married Robert Farrar Woodruff, a "stock auditor at Manchester Merchants' Office" and can be seen with him in 1911 census at his home "Lynton", 31 Old Hall Road, Sale

It's worth spending a minute or two on him, because he is unusual - for my trees anyway! He was born in May 1833 in Hulme, Lancs to William & Esther Daken née Foden i.e 38 years older than Edith! and was christened 23 Jun 1833 at Manchester Cathedral. His father was book-keeper at a cotton works and evidently impressed on his son how important business is. He became clerk in a shipping company warehouse, and made the traumatic (in those days) trip to Australia in 1856. In Jan 1857 he married for the first time to Eleanor Danson and they had 2 daughters. Robert took the job of Poor-Rate Collector, but in 1868 was appointed Assistant Overseer of Salford, a prestigious role and entitling him to join the St John's Lodge of the Freemasons, giving the address of Great Clowes Street, Broughton. He lived in Broughton for a while, then Didsbury, with wife, 2 daughters & a servant, then in the early 1880s turned up living in Australia, at "Foden Villa", Military Road, St Leonards, NSW - Foden was his mother's maiden name - advertising himself as "auctioneer, valuator, house & land agent of Miller Street Victoria". Unfortunately, Eleanor died in 1885 in NSW, although both the girls married and settled locally. Robert ran his business there for some years, but eventually decided to move back to UK. In 1901 census he can be seen living alone in Sale, then met and married Edith. He died on 20 Aug 1920 in Sale (at Lynton, see above) leaving £100 to Edith, and was buried on 24 Aug in Sale Cemetery

Edith continued to live at Lynton, and electoral roll records showed that after Robert's death she was joined by her father George until his death in 1932. So in 1939 Register, Edith is seen alone, still at the same house, a 71-year-old Householder with one closed file, probably a servant. On 29 Mar 1961 she died in Bucklow, Cheshire and was cremated on 4 Apr at Altrincham Crematorium.


Sunday 1st May 2016

I dealt with Mary Ann Parker on 5th May 2014 in detail and as both she and Joseph died before 1939 I have no new records.

William Henry Parker I likewise covered in 2014 (see 6th May), but have now found him in 1911 census. He was staying with his elder brother Albert & family, at 338 Evelyn Street, Deptford, earning his keep as Errand Boy. The lady he married, ostensibly Emily Lilian Billings of the parish of Tottenham, I think is Emily Maud Billings, who has a full set of records showing birth registered in Edmonton area, christening in Tottenham and subsequent censuses of 1901 & 1911 in Tottenham. So I have entered her on my Ancestry tree as Emily Maud Lilian Billings and all is well. Electoral roll records show them at 28 New Road, Edmonton 1925-7

and possibly 15 Ray's Avenue, 1937-8 (not sure about this as she is entered as Lilian and ?30 miles from home) but I cannot find them in 1939 register. William died Apr 1942, then Emily in 1963, both in Edmonton.

One more branch to study before I leave this tree: Great great grandmother Jemima Ingram's family. I haven't reported here on this family before. Jemima was my father's great-grandmother, who married George Matthews.

Ann Ingram was born Jun 1836 at John's Place, Walcot, Bath to James & Jane née Wooles, and christened there 31 Jul 1836. I was dismayed to find out that she died aged 8 months and was buried on 28 Feb 1837, joining her mother who had gone before her the previous November. The only good thing was that this was Wesleyan (ie Methodist) records and gave me a pointer for the future! Also, I have plot number details etc, although Methodists don't mark their burials, so I won't be able to find a grave. Suffice to say, they were in the same plot.

[Wesleyan Chapel, Bath approx 1850]

[photo I took in 2009]
The home address given in the burial record was Northampton Street, an address familiar in this tree. Her father had been a baker here, but straight away remarried and got a job in London (see later).

Friday 29th April 2016

What happened on this day:
28th Apr:
James Retallick was born in 1844 and
Robert Matthews in 1810
Thomas Wooldridge married Lucy Dorren in 1812
Edith Elizabeth Brooks née Woodford died in 1939
Sarah Ann Knight née James in 1916 in USA
Elizabeth Knight née Prin in 1806 and
Harold Goodwin Roffey was buried in 1917

George William Parker's story (see 1st May 2014) previously petered out after the 1881 census, but I have him now! He married Elizabeth Bazzoni on 17 Feb 1884 at St Paul's, Clerkenwell. Her father was an "Artificial Florist", and she worked for/with him in the business too. I am told that he made dolls as well:

"Anthony Bazzoni 23 Kingsgate Street Holborn wax and composition doll maker
A. Bazzoni of High Holborn, London advertised himself as a manufacturer of wax and composition dolls and also as the maker of the speaking doll which could say both Mama and Papa.
The only known marked example of a Bazzoni doll, although with no voice box but with a simple cloth body, also has a wax over papier mâché head.
Bazzoni is listed in London business directories between 1832 and 1855"

They had 5 children, born in Clerkenwell (although one died in infancy), and lived there for a few years. In 1891 census they can be seen at 11 York Road, St Lukes, Islington with 3 children, Elizabeth still listed as Artificial Florist - maybe she did piecework from home as many did. However, by 1897 when children Marian & Charles were admitted to Hammond Street School, it appeared the family home address was now 44 Harman Street, Hoxton [now replaced by an estate of modern blocks, for reasons which shall become apparent] and they can be seen there in 1901 census with 4 children. This was not a very healthy area, though, as can be seen from a report of 1902, when in January Elizabeth contracted smallpox and was admitted to hospital, followed in March by Charles (who had been "very delicate" as a boy and had a note warning of such in his school admission papers, but he did survive), a 19-year-old glass-beveller at the time. On 1 Apr 1902 the house was disinfected, as the neighbouring house, number 46, had recently been, the occupants temporarily resident at a shelter provided for the purpose. Unsurprisingly, by 1906 they can be seen to have moved out to Edmonton, 57 Raynham Avenue to be exact, 4 houses from his sister Mary Ann, in the 1911 census. (In this last census Elizabeth is elsewhere, visiting, but the rest of the family are at home)

George died here in Jan 1914 aged 57, and in 1915 Elizabeth appears in electoral roll at 56 Browning Road. Enfield, with Charles, then died herself in 1924 aged 64


I had hoped to sort out James Parker and his elusive wife Ann, but to no avail. Likewise his father James and mother Harriot née Boffee, and also his son John Henry Parker, who died aged 19.

John H Parker was the youngest son of George & Elizabeth above, born Apr 1896 in the period they spent in St Luke's, Islington. I cannot find a baptism, or a school admission document, but he was of this age in the unhealthy years, and can be seen aged 5 in 1901 census in Hoxton with parents & sibs, then in 1911 in Edmonton aged 14. However, with such a common name I have no idea where he went next. He was in 1911 an Apprentice Scale-Maker.

Marian Parker was his sister, born 18 Jan 1888 in Clerkenwell and christened at St Paul's there on 12 Feb. She can be seen in 1891 census aged 3 at 11 York Road, St Lukes with parents & 2 brothers. On 8 Nov 1897 she was admitted to Hammond Square School, giving the address in Harman Street

She left there on 21 Sep 1901 and as we know the family moved to Edmonton. She can be seen there at 57 Raynham Avenue with father & 2 brothers in 1911 census, working as a Cartridge Case Maker. On 7 Apr 1912 at St James, Upper Edmonton she married Herbert William Hill

Unfortunately, he died aged 36 only 12 years later, although they did manage to have two sons in that time. Herbert was a fitter's mate, son of a printer (deceased by the time of their marriage). In 1939 Register, Marian was at Wakefield Street, Edmonton, the road running parallel to Raynham Street, so very close to her mother. She was a widow working as a school cleaner, more than likely at Raynham Primary School, on the avenue, and her boys probably attended. She managed admirably, as their father had died when they were 12 and 10 years old. She never remarried and died in Enfield at the age of 80 in Jul 1968. Son George lived a mile away, across Edmonton, until records cease.

Tuesday 26th April 2016

What happened on this day:
Catherine Retallick was christened in 1812
George Albert Matthews married Ellen Matilda Newman in 1886
Elizabeth Matthews married David Haskins in 1884

Charles Robert James Parker was the father of CJR Senior, mentioned yesterday, and I covered him on 24th Apr 2014. His parents thoroughly confused me by registering him as Charles James Robert and christening him as Charles Robert James - but both records give the same date of birth, so I can assume the Registration stands and he is a further generation of CJRs. Under this name I have found 2 possible marriages; one to Mary Ann Cross in Southwark on 3 Apr 1875 and one to Mary Ann Canfield in Aston, Herts on 29 Jul 1883. I prefer the former on place, the latter on date. Unfortunately I cannot locate him in 1871 or 1881 censuses, so don't know where they met. She was born in Clerkenwell too, so I would think they grew up together. I shall have to leave it here again, though...

Next in the alphabetical list is their daughter Edith Parker, who I covered on this day in 2014 but have now found out what happened to her. She died at home aged 25 in Jul 1922.

Eliza Ann Parker I have covered elsewhere, as well as her husband Charles Prangnell, father of the one mentioned below.

My great grandmother Emily Ann Parker was covered in depth 0n 28th April 2014,

but of course I can now add a snapshot in 1939. She was living in Woolwich - see 24th Feb 2016 - with her daughter Alice.

Emma Amelia Parker was Edith's sister, and I told her story on 1st May 2014. My notes then took them to Kimberley Road, Edmonton in 1927, and a comment "must have moved to Bucks", which I now know took place prior to 1939 as they can be seen there then, in Hillesden Road, Gawcott

The Register shows Sidney dob 5 Oct 1891 Dairy Foreman & ARP Warden, Emma dob 21 Jan 1891 UDD. They both died there, in 1965 & 1964 respectively.

Monday 25th April 2016

What happened on this day:
Dorothy Knight was christened in 1741
William George Matthews (my grandfather) died in 1952
Violet Matthews in 1942 and
Arthur Roffey in 1948 in New York

I shall leave the Noonan branch as new records are not helping the confusion...
As in 2014 I shall now move on to the Parkers, my father's paternal grandmother's family.

I covered Amelia Jane Parker on 24th April 2014, but today I decided to study her husband Charles Thomas Prangnell, as he had such an intriguing name! He was the son of Charles Thomas Prangnell and Ruth née Hartfield, born 18 Feb 1867 in Surbiton, Surrey and christened there at St Mark's on 4 Mar.

His father was with the Bengal Lancers in India, but was discharged the following year due to ill health ("no longer fit for duty" but no details). He was brought up in Clerkenwell, and his father married Eliza's elder sister when his mother died in 1869 when he was a year old and a family of Parkers lived next door in Easton Street, Clerkenwell in the 1880s. I'm not sure where Charles & Amelia settled after marriage, as it only lasted 3 years as history repeated itself. After this, records get rather confusing; both he & his father had exactly the same names, but there was also another. Later records aren't too bad, as the "other one" was a "twine maker" not an engineer, but I was led astray by a subsequent re-marriage, which turned out to be him.

As far as the trunk of Charles James Robert Parkers goes, I cannot add more to them until 1939 Register shows CJR Junior aged 15 at 6 St Mary's Road, Clacton, Essex presumably evacuated to the seaside. He was still at school at this point. I can see from electoral roll records that the family lived at 36 Chalfont Road, Edmonton until CJR Senior died in 1938 (ie just before the Register), when there is a gap until 1949 when married CJR Junior can be seen with wife Patricia at 1 Junction Road, Edmonton until 1960.

I have discovered the names of the boy and girl I mentioned, not another generation of CJRs as I guessed, but in 1947 daughter Marion (who died aged 36 in Wales in 1983) and in 1951 son Laurence (who may have married a Carole P Burke in Jul 1975 in Bexley). They evidently moved at some point to Milton Keynes, as that was where Charles died, maybe on his retirement in 1989.

Saturday 23rd April 2016

If you read this blog on 19th April 2014 you will know the trouble I had with Catherine Noonan and her branch. Reviewing her, the tree almost collapsed due to doubts about her mother's name. I have now made this worse by discovering another baptism with yet another maiden surname. I was worried about the one I found in 2014, as it was in 1843 and she always gave her dob as 1840. Today's baptism was in June 1840, but gave mother's name as Catherine Lynch. (It also spelled Noonan Nunan, but this was I understand quite acceptable). I think I will leave her branch out of this. Unfortunately, Catherine gave her father's name as William sometimes, but James on her marriages, so she didn't help matters... As to the doubt I had of her parents marrying in London then returning to their native Ireland to have their children I understand that this was common, as there was a patriotic need to have their children born Irish citizens. I have found baptisms for the 3 youngest children in the correct years at St Finbarr's in Cork, giving parents' names of James Noonan & Catherine née Hyde, but this is tenuous to say the least...

As you no doubt know, the Irish records are very patchy and generally rely on bits & pieces from various church records - those which have survived several disasters, including some (I am told) deliberate destruction so that the information should not get into the hands of The Authorities. In this instance, the difficulties are compounded by the problem that Catherine was illiterate and at the birth of her daughter couldn't sign her name, although her father was a clerk, her brothers printer/compositors, so they were evidently literate. Her sister wrote her name on her marriage record, but spelled it Margarate, so maybe the girls' education was lacking, not unusual I'm afraid.
While researching this family I decided to take a trawl through the Cork Examiner newspaper. Noonan is a relatively common name, so I'm confident ours is not the James Noonan who in 1854 reported being "taken by five women (who he identified) to a house in Godshill Lane, where they forcibly laid him on a bed and robbed him of a £10 note". The case was dismissed as he refused to prosecute. A likely story! I almost wish this was our James, but this one was originally from Limerick, had just been released from gaol in Cork with £12 saved from his allowance there. Nor was he one of the two carters arrested in 1860 for fighting with their vehicles on the Quay and causing an obstruction to loading/unloading boats. Nor unfortunately (for me) the cooper who was in & out of the papers for an assortment of reasons over a couple of decades, including advertisements for sales, summonses for low-quality goods and finally bancruptcy.
Returning to great grandma Catherine, I have told her story - see 19th April 2014 - but there were today a couple more details to seek. I'm afraid I still cannot locate her in 1881 census. It wasn't a good time for her, having just lost her husband in 1879 and being left with children Julius aged 8 & Florence 6 months (the 4 eldest were grown up & gone, 2 other children had died in 1874 & 1875 aged 6 & 2). By 1881 Julius was 10 and can be seen staying with grandparents & cousin in Ashford, Middx, but Catherine & Flo, who was almost 3, are nowhere to be seen! Frustrating, but they are probably in a Workhouse somewhere, listed with just initials! Anyway, I have managed to track Catherine down at the end of her life; she was there in Camberwell Old Cemetery when I visited last month, but I didn't know to look for her. I don't hold out much hope of finding her, however, as hers was one of the Public graves and holds 9 other people too. I do have the grave number to look for when I return at a later date.


Wednesday 20th April 2016

No more is known of William Francis Matthews, except I have a copy of his wife Elizabeth's death certificate (see Thomas William below), showing she was one of the many victims of the Influenza epidemic of 1918, which killed more than the First World War which had just ended.

William George Matthews, my grandfather, of course appeared on 1939 Register I mentioned last week in relation to my father, his son. As I now know his exact date of birth, I was able to access a document from the Royal Naval Air Service, the Air branch of the Royal Navy. He was engaged on 8 Aug 1917 for duration of Hostilities. So I now know more than I need to about the grandfather I never met... 5ft 5.75in tall, black hair, brown eyes, dark complexion (my father evidently took after his mother), scar 1in below chest, right testicle absent (!) He was well-behaved, and served as ACII (Aircraftman 2nd class) for two training sessions, on HMS President II, 8 Feb 1917 - 7 Sep 1917 at Crystal Palace, then 8 Sep 1917 - 7 Feb 1918 in Dunkirk on HMS Daedalus. On 8 Feb 1918 he was promoted to ACI (Aircraftman 1st Class) and served until 31 Mar 1918 as such, still in Dunkirk. On 1 Apr the RNAS & Royal Flying Corps merged to become the Royal Air Force and his records passed to them. He was listed as a Private, attached to No 4 ASD unit, then RD, where he trained as a "Driver (Petrol)". Transferred to "61 Squad" on 10 Oct 1918, he was promoted to RMAm on 31 Oct then on 6 Feb 1919 transferred to RAF Reserve & demobbed 30 Apr 1920 - "deemed discharged". I knew none of this - either he never told my father, or my father never told me. It does explain why he (my father) joined the RAF for the next war.

There is another William George Matthews, but all I know of him is his birth (Jan 1907 at Knaphill, Surrey to Albert & Phoebe née Dickinson) and appearance at 1 Francis Cottage, Knaphill, Woking in 1911 at the age of 4 with parents & 2 sisters. I had hoped to confirm his marriage to Alice Maud, with a sunsequent death on 1935. Unfortunately there are many marriages, none which fits perfectly, and 1939 Register is obviously no help here. I cannot locate either of them, which means nothing...

I covered William Horace Matthews, my uncle, on 20th April 2014 (ooh) and told of the family row, which led to him leaving home in 1935 and setting up a shop in West Wickham. In my account of 2 years ago, I didn't realise Roy had died - I did see his Directorship was terminated that year, but not why. Apparently, Bernard now runs the shop, with his mother Sylvia as Director (although she is 85 and probably retired). I dealt with his 1939 Register record on 24th Feb this year, and included pictures of the shop.

The other two Williams died as children.

Winifred Jessamine Matthews' story was added to in 1939 in a surprising way. Born, married & dying in Bath, I wasn't expecting to find her in London! She and husband John T Drummond can be found at 115 Warwick Avenue, Paddington

John is working as fishmonger & poulterer and Winifred as Chambermaid. There is a closed file, but I doubt if that is a child, as Win has a job. Looking into John's history, I see that he was born in Marylebone and served in the Royal Navy in WW1 (1917-19), as an Ordinary Seaman. He worked as a carman before the war, then it was presumably his choice to take up a new career as fishmonger on demob. Winifred worked in a Voluntary Police Canteen and John was "ARP warden for his firm", so they were busy people! Tracing them through electoral roll records I can see John with his parents in 1920-23 at 6 Fisherton Street, Paddington then on marriage 143 Blomfield Terrace, with Winifred (a beautiful area right on the Regents Canal). In 1936 they moved to 115 Warwick Avenue until records cease in 1965. I cannot see later movement, but as he died in Bath in 1992 it may be that they retired there.

That is the end of the Matthewses. I shall launch into the Irish connection at the weekend.

Monday 18th April 2016

Walter James Matthews was covered fully in 2014 and as he & Kate died in the 1920s they have no new records in 1939.

On to the Williams...
William Matthews 1 was nowhere to be seen, so the death I suggested of 1942 was probably not his. I cannot attach firmly one of the others, but there are several.

William Matthews 2 & 3 - no new records

William Matthews 4 was my 5xgreat grandfather, and I was a little confused by his marriage to an Elizabeth, as he came from a small village Gillingham in Dorset and there were two marriages to ladies of that name in 1735 and 1759. I thought it unlikely the bride & groom were 15 years old, but the latter one didn't fit with births of children in 1740 & 1742. But of course, historically couples have married in the home town of bride, not groom, so I am ignoring marriage records in Gillingham and plumping for the one on 12 Dec 1739 in Ledbury, Herefordshire, where Elizabeth Simmonds came from. Anyway, I think he was born in 1719 in Dorset, christened 13 Nov at St Nicholas, Silton (4 miles from Gillingham)

His father's name was also William, but no record of mother's (I suspect this may be Dorothy Abbot but have no evidence, just a marriage to William Senior in 1715 in the same county). He did have a brother Benjamin, christened at the same church, same father's name (again no mother) in 1723, who died in the area 1753 aged 30, and was buried at the same church. There was also an Isabell Matthews buried there in 1768, but if this was a sister or sister-in-law I have no records to back this up. I mentioned William's marriage above, there were two children born, Mary in 1740 and Edward in 1742, but Mary died in Jan 1741 aged about 2 months. Edward grew to adulthood, married twice and died aged 55 (my 4xg grandfather).

William Ewart Matthews' story kind of tailed off when I told it in 2014, and the 1939 Register should add to his later chapters. I mentioned his marriage in Apr 1924 to Dorothy May Francis (see 17th April 2014), and that they had several children in the area. William in 1925, Bernard in 1926 & Geoffrey in 1933 were all born in Birmingham, Sylvia in 1928 in Pershore (they were probably staying with Dorothy's family). In 1939 Register they were all at 285 Pool Farm Road, Birmingham
2012
In the household are William and Dorothy, baker and UDD respectively, William A T, grocer's assistant, a closed file for Bernard (although he died in 1979), Sylvia and Geoffrey. The 3 youngest were at school, but all the family remained there for some years, shown by the electoral roll records, available now up to 1955 in the Midlands. Sylvia left home in about 1950 - possibly she married a Mr Sarsfield but I can't find the record - so is missing from the house from that point, but in 1948 William A T had married Hazel Slack and she can be seen with the others until 1955. William Ewart died in Jul 1956 and I think Dorothy stayed there until she died in 1970.

Wednesday 13th April 2016


Violet E May Matthews was the sister who went home at the Air Raid which hit the shelter outside the Scala cinema. I have told her story elsewhere.

Vivian John Matthews was born 6 Jan 1907 in Foxham, Wiltshire to George & Ellen née Newman and can be seen in 1911 census at Foxham Lock with parents & sibs

They are still there in 1939 Register, George now retired and Ellen performing Household Duties, Vivian listed as a Lorry Driver for a Miller.
Foxham Lock Cottages
In Apr 1942 in Pontypridd, Wales he married local girl Ada Olwen Rowlands. I don't know why he was in Wales, or anything about her family, but they must have settled in Foxham as their two boys were born there, Terence in 1944 and Dennis in 1947. Both of them stayed in the area and married there. Vivian died there in Jun 1982 and Ada in 1994. They both reside in the same grave at St John the Baptist, Foxham:


Walter Charles Matthews
, my Dad was dealt with in detail (see 11th April 2014) and I have reported that in 1939 was a closed record, despite having died in 1986. Since then, Findmypast have found his death record and opened his file! So I can see him at the "house at the Rye" 135 Peckham Rye with his father & brother Bert, described as a "Apprentice Working Jeweller". Although I guessed this was him, it is still nice to see, and what his occupation was officially, at the age of 17.


Tuesday 12th April 2016

What happened on this day:
James Francis Gamble was born in 1852 and
William Eldridge Roffey in 1798
"Charles Wooldridge 5" was christened in 1818
Charles Cox married Sarah Challis in 1868 and
George Dance married Ann Jarvis in 1828

Thomas William Matthews was fairly full before (see 7th April 2014) but I can now see from records released recently that I was barking up entirely the wrong tree. His marriage was wrong - there was no Bath connection at all. On 10 Dec 1915 at the age of 23 years and 11 months he attested to the Army Service Corps for the Duration, home address 73 Foley Road, St John's, Worcester, occupation hairdresser, Next of Kin mother Elizabeth of same address. 73 Foley Road was half a mile from the salon (see 2014 for pic of the shop)

His service history shows that on 11 Jan 1917 he was shipped from Southampton to Le Havre & thence to Rouen, where he was in Action "in the field". 6-20 Jan 1918 he had leave/furlough in UK, but returned and on 10 Feb 1918 was admitted to the General Hospital in Rouen because of injuries, particularly to his right hip, reported as "dangerously ill". He remained in hospital for some time, but the next few pages are very faded & illegible. Next document is a letter from Elizabeth asking about him, written on 10 April 1918, as she hadn't had a letter from him in 5 weeks, and investigation showed he was a Prisoner of War in Germany! Elizabeth died in October of that year of influenza & bronchopneumonia (as did many others) so his sister Bessie became Next of Kin. The war ended 11 days later and two very interesting documents follow. Evidently POWs were entitled to 2 months leave and then should return to their base unless a form and accompanying letter were submitted. In this case the form was completed and I have seen the letter he wrote himself requesting to go straight back to his business in Worcester, which he presumably did. Medals were sent home: he was entitled to Victory, British & 15 Star medals as a Sergeant.
In Jul 1922 in Worcester he married May Eveline Lipscombe, who worked as a sewing machinist at a drapery company, from the area of Worcester called Arboretum. Her father decorated china for a porcelain manufacturer, which was what the area was/is famous for. As far as I can see they had no children, and by the 1939 Register they were living at 83 Foley Road (a family called Gwilliam had no. 73), Thomas Assistant Hairdresser and ARP Warden, May Housewife

I have no more info now until their deaths: Thomas in Jul 1958 aged 66 and May in Apr 1973 aged 82.
Oh, as a P.S. I have found his school record from when he moved from infant school to junior school on 2 Nov 1898. The school was St John's and the address Skinner Street

Victor Stanley Matthews was not included in 2014 as I didn't know of his existence.  He was born 19 Dec 1937 at 114 Turner Road, Little Stanmore, Harrow, London to Stanley & Frances née Self but as I said (see 6th April below) he died aged 11 and was buried 11 Jul 1949 at St Lawrence's, Little Stanmore. There was a note on the burial record "back row next to Whiteland". I didn't know what this meant for a while, until I saw a record for an Augustus William Whiteland, interred on 8 Jul 1949.


I love when the 1939 Register opens up a whole new branch with new information leading to new discoveries. Violet May Matthews had been married for 3 years at that time, and I can see her then at 9a Snow Hill with her baby son Frank, a closed record (he died in 2009, but evidently Findmypast don't know this yet). Husband Sidney was either away or working in the Services and thus Secret, as these were left off completely. But with her at that address can be seen a Dorothy Holloway and her little son Sidney. As full dates of birth are given I can see that these are in fact her sister and nephew. Dorothy's husband wasn't there either. I knew very little about Dorothy as I had missed her marriage, so this was indeed a bonus! Sidney Miller may well have been in the Services as his father had taken part in WW1 in the BEF. It looks as if Dorothy's husband Frank had gone to Canada to farm, aged 16, in 1928 but had returned and married her. (Maybe a story for another day) It seems Sidney was their only child and Frank returned to his native Essex and died there in 2000. Violet and Sidney had 5 children, all in Bath, so were living there when Snow Hill was demolished and rebuilt in 1954-61
1911
1961
1983
[big white blocks in the foreground]
As Violet, Dorothy and Frank Miller all died in Norwich, I would assume they moved over there at some point. This may have been in 1968 when Sidney Miller died or could have been in 1957-61 after the children were born, possibly as a result of the rebuilding.

Monday 11th April 2016

What happened on this day:
Jemima Ann Matthews was born in 1820
"William Wooldridge 1" was christened in 1813 and
Richard Buffett Callen (who married Eliza Matthews) in 1841
Nellie Emma Wooldridge married Sidney Clarence Hicks in 1904
Florence Jessie Wooldridge married Arthur Henry Milan in 1887
"Louisa Eliza Small 2" married Frederick Cressy in 1864
James King Taylor married Alice Malster in 1897
Martha Roffey née Surtees was buried in 1946


<continued>
In 2014 I knew nothing more of Thomas Robert Matthews after the age of 7 - he just seemed to disappear. I have tracked down what may be him on the other side of the Atlantic, but there are discrepancies, as I will explain. Firstly, I cannot find a passage to the States, but having said that, Thomas Matthews is a common name and it could be any time between 1881 (although unlikely as only 7) and 1898 (when he was married, so it is likely to be somewhat before this). I have had to piece his life together from scraps of information, so I warn you that there may be parts - or indeed all - which may not be true, as I cannot prove links to any of it. On 23 May 1898 in Butte, Silver Bow, Montana he married Minnie Keating from Minnesota. This is strange to me, as it is a town where my mother-in-law has several ancestors on her tree, who settled in Butte to mine, as they had in Cornwall.

Thomas may have come to mine, as in later censuses he can be seen to be doing just that, but he had another career too. Here is an excerpt from "Grigsby's Cowboys, the story of the 3rd Regiment US Voluntary Cavalry in the Spanish-American War Illustrated" published in 1899 (the year after his marriage):
Thomas Matthews was a cowboy prior to the breaking-out of the Spanish-American War, but as soon as he heard there "was a scrap on" he hastened into Butte and enlisted in Troop L, 3rd US Voluntary Cavalry. He was promoted to Corporal Jul 27, 1898 and shortly thereafter fell a victim to the prevailing camp diseases. He was sent to hospital & later to Butte on furlough, but did not recover in time to be mustered out with the command. He was discharged later, but having had his run of fever, he knew he was in good condition to stand the hot climates and re-enlisted in the 4th US Cavalry and was soon on his way to Manila to join his new regiment.
I understand they returned to Montana in 1902, then 1905-08 they were out in the Philippines again, to keep the peace. Mobilized in 1917 in France, the regiment saw no action and returned to US after the war, spending time in the Montana garrison until 1932 and the 2nd World War.
In the 1910 US Census he can be seen at 1638 Fourth Avenue, Butte, Silver Bow with Minnie, 12 years married, and 5 children. He was working as a copper miner and it states he was a "veteran, a survivor of Confederate/Union of Army/Navy" and apparently born in Maine of English parents (!) - he had said on his marriage record that he was born in Salmon City, Idaho but both witnesses were local. By 1920 they can be seen at 1638 Whitman Avenue, Butte, Silver Bow - I assume the street was renamed, otherwise that would be a coincidence!

with Minnie and 4 children. His occupation is now Shift Boss in a mine, but his parents are now from USA. I don't know if it related to his illness in the army, but on 8 May 1924 he died, aged only 50. His home address was given as 532 Edison Street, Butte, 2.4 miles across town and he was buried at St Patrick Cemetery, part of Mount Moriah Cemetery, Butte
 
and a veteran's headstone was provided

532 Edison Street, unfortunately being renovated in 2012 on Google Streetview

After his death, Minnie moved to Los Angeles with the children. In 1930 census she can be seen in San Marino with Thomas Junior, "Draftsman on the Railroad" and Grace "Sales Lady in Dept Store". In 1940 she has moved in with eldest daughter Beatrice and her husband Simmon Lacy, a "Statistician in the Publicity Industry" and their 3 sons. She died in 1952 aged 77.
I don't know what prompted him to up sticks and travel the Atlantic, I have searched criminal records but they stop in 1892 and nothing by his name crops up in the West of England. But he may well have quarrelled with his father - this wasn't bad enough to hit the local papers in Bath.

Sunday 10th April 2016

Extra details concerning Sylvia May Matthews are as follows: She is probably one of the four closed records at home with their parents in 1939, as she was 7 years old. Although she died in 1979, so her file should be open, I assume that Findmypast haven't linked her death to this record. Her first husband Donald Macfarlane Fair died aged 53 in Istanbul, Turkey in 1976 and straight away she married Alan Edgar Fathers from London. However, she was only married to him for 3 years before she died in 1979 in Brighton. He married Vera M Fathers in 1986 in nearby Worthing (hard to imagine she wasn't some kind of relative, with such an unusual name) and didn't die until 2006.

Having Thomas Albert Matthews' exact date of birth from his death record enabled me to easily find him in the 1939 Register at 22 Otago Terrace, Bath with his mother & family (see 4th April below). In Oct 1951 in Bath he married Beatrice Margaret E Bolt, who was born on New Years Eve 1928 in Newton Abbot, Devon and can be seen there, at 69 Fore Street, in 1939 Register with her parents. It seems they had one son, Trevor, in 1960, Beatrice died in Jan 1970 and Thomas in Feb 1987, both in Bath.

I didn't feature Thomas Robert Matthews in 2014 because I didn't have much information but that has changed. He was born Apr 1874 in the Lansdown area of Bath to John & Hannah née Daniel and can be seen on 1881 census aged 7 at 1 Woolcott's Court, Walcot, Bath with father & brother, mother was working as a nurse in Ilfracombe. (This was all I knew 2 years ago)

<to be continued>

Friday 8th April 2016

What happened on this day:
7th Apr:

Albert Charles Cox was born in 1870
Charles George Wooldridge married Beatrice Summers in 1928
Johann Christian Hennig Senior married Anna Schlueslern in 1793
James John Retallick died in 1925 and
Robert Matthews in 1815 aged 5
8th Apr:
Amy Ethel Gamble was born in 1891
John Pratt Roffey in 1823
Edith Kate Hennig was christened in 1894
Percival Joseph Wooldridge married Amy Gregory in 1909
William Richard Roffey married Lucy Jane Chilton in 1882 and
"James Frederick Small 2" married Sarah Elizabeth Turley in 1905
Maria Roffey died in 1865

Wednesday 6th April 2016

In 2014 I only had information about Sidney Albert Matthews' birth & death. The 1939 Register should provide a snapshot in this gap, albeit towards the end. Unfortunately his record is probably closed, as those who died abroad remain so, and I couldn't trace anybody by that name.

As for the Silases, nothing new was forthcoming until Silas James Matthews, last in the chain, as he survived until 1939. He can be seen at 6 Weymouth Square, Bath (the address he was demobbed to in 1919). This is a road which can be seen on 1780 map but was swept away in the rebuilding craze of the 1960s:

[photo in the 1950s]
to be replaced by the ugly concrete blocks of Snow Hill. In the household at no. 6 was Silas, described as "house painter, now incapacitated" (disabled at Dunkirk in 1917), Lily UDD, Elizabeth L (probably Lily, no occupation) and 2 closed records.

Silas William James Matthews was last seen at Skrine's Place, Bath, a court off Hat & Feather Yard:
1780
On the 1780 plan this can be seen just above Walcot Burial Ground - this is still there but Walcot Gate, a fairly modern development of retirement apartments, is now on the site of the courts. In 1939 Register they can be seen there with 4 closed files (probably Dorothy, Alex, Betty & Ruby), Silas (known as William) working as a "seedsman assistant".

Stanley Matthews wasn't the world-famous footballer, unfortunately - I would love that! He was born 2 Apr 1909 in Holborn to Henry & Annie née Hudson. He can be seen in 1911 census at 6 Rheidol Terrace, Islington, aged 2

with parents, 2 sisters & 2 boarders. In Jan 1932 he married Frances May Self in Romford. There appears to be a June Matthews born 1936 with mother's maiden-name of Self, but in Newmarket, not North London/Middlesex. I cannot prove this one way or the other because she died at birth or soon after. Maybe they were on holiday - not a pleasant break at all! When I found them in the 1939 Register there was a son Victor listed with them, but it was a shock to see his record open to view, as this means he has already died. They were at 114 Turner Road, Edgware; Stanley a "building plasterer", Frances UDD and Victor aged almost 2.

Unfortunately Victor did indeed die young, aged 11 in Jun 1949 at the house above, and was buried in the local churchyard at St Lawrence's, Little Stanmore

When Stanley died on 29 Jul 1966 at Middlesex Hospital, he gave the same address as home, leaving £6064 to Frances and she died 3 years later in SW Surrey, where she had probably retired.

Tuesday 5th April 2016


My cousin Roy Arthur Matthews was born Apr 1930 in Camberwell to William & Maud née Purdue. Looking for him on 1939 Register was difficult, as he was only 9 and not at home in Beckenham with his parents. He was probably evacuated but I have no idea where. There is a Roy Matthews born in the correct month, in Skipton, West Yorkshire with a John & Ada Matthews I am not familiar with, and a closed record, which could be brother Geoff (who died overseas and thus remains closed) but I cannot tell if this is correct. In Jul 1954 in Rochford, Essex he married Sylvia Margaret Dabbs and they settled in Orpington, Kent and had two children Bernard and Angela. We played together as children - I remember this gave me a chance to play with boys' toys eg trains and constuction sets! We lost touch over the years and I understand Roy died on 5 Aug 2012. As far as I know, the others are still alive. Bernard & Angela are both married and it appears they each have one child.

Ruby Lilian Matthews was the dark-haired here with her sisters.

When I covered her in 2014 I had just bare bones of birth & marriage. In 1939 Register she is no doubt one of the closed records at 6 Skrines Place, Bath with her parents Silas & Edith, being 7 years old. I have recently discovered 2 more pictures
 
and the fact that she died in May 2014, cremated on 13 May 2014 at Haycombe Crematorium. Husband John is still alive, I think, aged 82.

Monday 4th April 2016

Although Robert Albert Matthews was gone by 1939, his widow Henrietta was still alive and can be seen on the Register at 22 Otago Terrace, Bath (see 30th March & 28th Feb below) next door to Nellie et al. At number 22 were Henrietta (lying about her age by 6 years!), widow Mary Ann Jones
(possibly her sister-in-law), two sons Thomas & Douglas, both apprentices, and 2 closed files probably Charles & Leonard.

Her death record for death in Jan 1930 gives date of birth 9 Jun 1883 - she always got the day right but the year moved about from 1883 to 1891.

Robert Edward Mathews was the "naughty boy" I spoke about on 21st & 22nd Mar 2014, but I found on his daughter Olive's funeral notice in the Chronicle that he was known as Teddy Matthews - although almost always on the wrong side of the law, he seems to have been liked as a local rogue, probably because his misdemeanours were fairly mild, eg stealing plants etc, and the local sympathy for the "cot death" of his little son in 1900. This can be taken together with his Army Records to piece his life together properly. It seems that on 6 May 1896 he attested to the Somerset Light Infantry aged 19 years and 11 months (home address 3 Highbourn Grove, Bath), stating he was a miner. I don't know about that but that may have been what he did when he left the Industrial School. His father had died, his mother remarried by then, and she died the following year. He worked from May 1896 to Nov 1898 at the regimental depot and he resigned after 6 years service. Meanwhile he met & married Florence - it seems they married on Christmas Day 1897 - how lovely - at the Abbey. In 2014 I told of the stress in the family, the cot-death inquest and his subsequent re-offending with plant-rustling, and suggested he may have been "away" for the 1911 census. So the next step, which may seem far-fetched, fits with the story. He had always been known as Teddy, probably from childhood, as his father was Robert too, and in May 1915 he joined the army again, this time under the name of Edward James Matthews (maybe trying to put his past behind him). I wouldn't believe I had the right man if he hadn't declared previous service, as you must, in Somerset Light Infantry for 6 years. He declared his marriage, 3 surviving children and home address of 15 Cheltenham Street, Bath [now a run-down industrial estate currently being rebuilt again]. I have seen a reference from his employer H Sheppard & Son, builder & decorator, 11 & 33 Belvedere (still going, now at 6 Margarets Buildings) in which it states he was employed for 2 years, a good worker who left voluntarily. He was taken on as a Sapper, working as a carpenter (which was his occupation with Sheppard's) after passing a proficiency exam so he could be paid at the rate of a Skilled Engineer. On 14 Aug 1915 he was transferred to the Reserves, but on 18 Jan 1916 he enlisted for the British Expeditionary Force (brave man!) and was posted to Germany. In Aug 1917 & Sep 1918 he had leave to return to UK, then on 6 Feb 1919 was transferred to "Class Z" Army Reserve and demobilised home. This was to an interesting address; 10 St John's Place, Sawclose, Bath - in the heart of the historic theatreland, next door to Beau Nash's House
1938
2015
also 1938
In 1921 he received his British War Medal and Victory Medal at this address. So the death record I had before (1913) was evidently incorrect and he and Florence had many more years together until she died aged 75 on 13 Feb 1955 in Bath and he followed on 28 Jun 1963 aged 89. Oh, the only misdemeanor recorded in his army records was on 21 Nov 1915, when he had only been with them 6 months, when he overstayed his pass by 23 hours, was admonished and had to forfeit 2 days pay. He never strayed again.

Rosina Kathleen Matthews was born 10 Nov 1912 in Walcot, Bath to Robert & Henrietta née Jones, one of twins but unfortunately her twin Florence died at birth or soon after. She grew up in Bath, probably in Otago Terrace, and in Oct 1933 in Bath married Harold Vallance, house-painter's son who had likewise grown up in Bath. They settled there and 1939 Register shows them at 2 Mile End, Bath, Harold working as a general labourer, Rosina as UDD, with 3 closed files for the children.

There is a sign there which says "One Mile from the Guildhall Bath", hence Mile End. Unfortunately Harold died in 1941, when the youngest child was only two. Rosina managed somehow though and it was only when they had grown up and gone that she re-married; in Oct 1970 she married Dennis R May in Bath. All I know about him is if he is the one who died in Bath in 2011 he was born in 1924 and his middle name was Roy. However, it may not be him, as there were a few. Rosina died in Bath in Jul 1994.

Sunday 3rd April 2016

When I dealt with Olive Rosina Matthews in 2014 (see 15th March) I had a gap between her marriage in 1933 at Bath Abbey and her death in 1947 in Tytherington, Gloucestershire. I have found her in 1939 at 9 Lower Bristol Road, Bath with 3 closed files, presumably her children. David was only an infant at the time, Phyllis 5 and Ronald 4. Looking at the road currently, it can be seen that only 1-3 & 5-7 still stand (both pubs at one time) and where number 9 stood, there is a little piece of grass: classic bombsite. I see from the very useful bathblitz.org site that this was indeed the case and there is much damage registered there, a lot of it on the railway line. One account in 1942 is very similar to my other bomb story in that the shelter took a direct hit and many residents were killed. However, it seems that this entire family survived as they cannot be seen on the casualty list. Their house may have been damaged beyond repair, though, as in January 1947 they moved to Tytherington, Gloucestershire. William left his job with Stothert & Pitt Ltd, engineering works & crane manufacturers

and took on the license of the Swan Inn.
 
This establishment has a very interesting history and I shall outline it, if you don't mind. In medieval times the church was the centre of community life and sermons etc became longer, leading to a need for the provision of seating, and plays & dances were held in the grounds. Houses around the church flourished and laid on refreshments, becoming known as Beer Houses. As the church became less important in the social life of the village the Inns & Beer Houses became more so. Innkeepers were documented here from 1554 with William Hix, through several generations called Fry, the estate being sold by the Squire to the innkeeper Charles Fry in 1922. The last Fry died in 1940 & then George Gingell ran it for 7 years.
"In 1947 Bill Stainer took over and he stayed until 1972, during this time was the "takeover" by Courage's Brewery in 1961. There were many happy times for the villagers during Bill’s reign, he ran Bingo every Monday in the pub club room upstairs, Ambrose ran whist drives of 12 tables. The small bar called the "Snug" was used mainly by the villagers and where the farmers met to discuss business. Also Darts, Crib, pool etc were played in this room. There was the window which opened from the snug bar to the car park where locals could tap on it and off-sales could be purchased. Every New Years Eve Bill Stainer threw a party... Jerry Hibbard took over in 1972 and stayed until 1974. During this time the "Snug" disappeared as two rooms were knocked into one".
The reason for Bill leaving is unclear, but he was 66, so probably merely retired. Or it may have been through ill-health as he died 3 years later in Bristol. I have found out quite a lot about Bill Stainer. His full name was William Alfred Coffin Stainer, son of Charles Clarence Coffin Stainer & Kate Britten. As I said, he worked for Stothert & Pitt, then in WW2 was in the Royal Engineers (which was why he wasn't at home in 1939). When a CSM he was mentioned in dispatches " for gallantry and distinguished services" in Italy.

then ran the local British Legion for some while. When he and Olive had only been at Tytherington for 2 months, Olive died, aged only 35, leaving him with three children aged 8-13 and a pub to run! Unsurprisingly he remarried fairly soon after her death, to widow Doreen Brazill née Hyett.

[Bill and Doreen in 1970 with her grandchildren Claire & Peter Brazill]

Trying to assist with Phoebe Sophia Matthews by tracking her down in 1939 proved impossible, as Hall is just too common a name, and I couldn't find the house in Florida or any passenger lists to confirm an emigration one way of the other.

Phyllis D Matthews
was assisted, however, but only by finding her husband Ronald Vowles 4 years before they married. He was at 6 Morley Terrace, Bath with his parents, described as an "improver at electrical fitting" [although Morley Terrace is still there, in Lower Bristol Road, there are only 5 houses instead of 7 and they look like classic post-war rebuilds, so I won't give a photograph]. Maybe Phyllis' file is still closed, as she only died in 2008 so maybe Findmypast don't know she is dead. I have found her death record, which gives me exact birth and death dates of 16 Jan 1922 and 7 Jan 2008, both in Bath. Findmypast now has electoral roll records for Bath in 2002 and she can be seen at 43 Mount Road, Bath with Ronald and Rosina Matthews. I think I already covered this house in 1939, when it was called "Mount Rosa" and is now number 47. In those days George & Rosina lived there (see 7th March below) but George died in 1972. Evidently Rosina was frail in 2002 (she was 103!), as she died in June of that year. Ronald followed in 2005 and Phyllis in 2008


Wednesday 30th March 2016

What happened on this day:
"Edward Roffey 2" was born in 1780
George William Parker in 1856 and
Martha Matthews in 1851
Caroline Amelia Catchesides was christened in 1845
Anne Woodford in 1823 and
Simon Retallick in 1752
Frances Warne née Knight died in 1913

I covered Mary Matthews in detail in 2014, no new info there, likewise "Mary Ann 1", although I searched for a reason for all the deaths in Ballance Street 1859-86 it seems it was just that there was poverty like everywhere else, no particular documented reason.

"Mary Ann Matthews 2" died in 1937, so I was unable to help with the end of her life with the Register, although I do know her daughter Ellen was the reason for a family split due to her marriage to Henry Baden (the Baden family wanted nothing to do with the Matthews family, not sure why).
"Mary Ann Matthews 3" was dealt with in detail on 14th March 2014, but I can now add 1939 to her record. It was at the address she probably lived at for all her married life, i.e. from 1913, with son George, aged 13 at school and a closed file which may be daughter Veronica aged 10. (Eldest daughter Milicent had moved away to Surrey and married, two other daughters died in infancy). Also at that address were Charles & Doris Birchall - Doris' name has been changed to Swales, si I think she may be George's sister (I cannot confirm this as he grew up with other relatives) and 2 closed files, maybe their children. Also there is a Mary King aged 29 married with a child and Phoebe Smith 59 year old spinster, who I think are not related. Of course we know George was Chief Steward in the Merchant Navy, and was torpedoed 3 years later.

Nellie Doris Iris Matthews was the daughter of Silas & Edith née Gifford, who was born 22 May 1922 in Twerton the year after twins died in infancy and she was given their names as middle names. In 1939 she can be seen at 21 Otago Terrace, next door to Henrietta Matthews (widow of Robert Albert) and her 2 sons Thomas & Douglas - see 28th Feb 2016. At number 21 were Nellie, described as "Manageress for Rheumogen Ltd*, used for rheumatism", 2 other business people and a UDD. *This company was scottish in origin and dissolved in 1959. Like most women, she will have given up her job in 1943 on marriage. She had 4 children, although Michael, the only boy, died in infancy in 1951, the girls died in 1996, 2008 and 2011.

Nellie (on the right) with her sisters, photographed in about 1990s.
Ivor died on 27 Mar 1980 at 11 Long Hay Close, Bath of coronary thrombosis & hypertension (presumably their home address)

Nellie had to go into a nursing home after this, as she had Alzheimers, but it was literally just around the corner - Culverhayes, Lymore Avenue

She died here on 13 Jul 2004 of bronchopneumonia, aged 82.

The 1939 Register should help with Olive Ida Matthews as I have a gap between 1922 and 1947. They can be seen at 16 Dudley Court, Curzon Crescent, Willesden (no point in a photo because the modern blocks there now date from 1972), Edward described as "G(reat) W(estern) Rlwy Carter. Heavy Worker" and Olive as UDD. They have with them 4 closed files, possibly children. This solved one of my queries, ie if they were still in Willesden they were unlikely to have had son Kenneth in Finsbury, but raised others in that there were 4 children, not 2. This is the way of things, especially genealogy! I can still only find two children; May b1923 and Edward b1931. Fortunately it confirmed the address I had for them in 1947 and I worked forwards through the electoral roll records to find the story. It seems they were at this address until in 1960 when 4 of them are registered - Edward senior, Olive, Edward W junior and his wife Phyllis. In 1961 Edward & Olive left the house to the younger couple and moved to another in the same road - 6 Carisbrook Court - where they can be seen for a couple of years before records cease. As Willesden is in Brent & Harrow, their deaths in 1971 in Brent (Ed) and 1976 in Harrow (Olive) are consistent with their having stayed in the area the rest of their lives.

Tuesday 29th March 2016


What happened on this day:
Eliza Emily Matthews was born in 1879
Eliza Mary Catchesides married William Moorhouse in 1859
James Knight was buried in 1850

Lucy Matthews was born 2 May 1905 to Albert Edward & Emma née Burrows at 32 Devonshire Street, Marylebone (Emma was very precise on the 1911 census form for her family) and can be seen aged 6 at 18 Colin Road with parents & sibs. For the rest of the story see Wednesday below.
1939
Lucy died in Jul 1986 in the Hendon area.

Madeline Matthews was born Oct 1908 in Walcot, Bath to Silas James & Lily Louise née Nicholls and can be seen in 1911 census at 2 Whiteway Road, Twerton Hill with them and 3 sisters. This site was used to build the local infants school, so I cannot include a photo (see Silas James, later) At the moment I cannot find her in 1939 Register, but this is not surprising as her father listed her in 1911 as "Magie Ada" and if he couldn't make sense of her name maybe nobody could! It was used correctly when in Jan 1929 at St Swithin's church, Bath she married Edwin George Lomax, local carpenter

They settled at 152 Englishcombe Lane - half a mile up the road from her parents - and had 9 children in 19 years.
Edwin served in the Somerset Light Infantry, which is why I cannot find him in the 1939 Register, but I don't know why I can't locate the others (the children will be closed files, but Madeline should be open).

[150 & 152 Englishcombe Lane, in 2008]
Edwin in the Services
On 4 Jun 1953 Edwin sailed on the SS Mooltan to Adelaide, Australia

then when he had settled things there, he sent for the others. Madeline and 6 children sailed on SS Orontes on 7 May 1954

She took only 6 of her children as Audrey, the eldest, was 23 and married, the two eldest boys followed on the following April, as they no doubt had commitments in UK they had to complete. They lived next door to their parents, at 150 Englishcombe Lane (in photo above), Frederick a carpenter like his father, Ronald a railway fireman. They travelled out on 21 Apr 1955 on SS Arcadia (the year this photo was taken)

They all probably married and remain in Australia. Marriages I can access only up to 1950 and deaths to 1985. Edwin is the only one I can see at present as he died 5 Apr 1964 in South Australia. All the others may well still be alive. I am told by a fellow genealogist that Madeline returned to London to die in 1992, but I cannot find a death record and the passenger lists only go to 1960.

Like brothers John & Herbert, Margaret Edith Matthews was last seen in 1911 census at 35 Crystal Palace Park Road with parents. In the section for John Arthur (see below) I explained that this family was fragmented by 1939. Margaret was married on 21 Sep 1935 at St Luke's Bath to Colin Melville Medlicott and they settled at 16 Lyndhurst Avenue, Hendon (can be seen on electoral roll records at this address 1937-46)

I can add to the information already known by stating that Colin was a "District Manager (Commercial Vehicles)", Margaret UDD and they also had a 25 year old servant/help Lena Coulson (who later became Moore)

I just redid Martha Matthews, but nothing is new.

Monday 28th March 2016

The story continues from Friday, as the next name is Leah Matthews junior, Leah's daughter, seen in the Holborn Workhouse, having been born illegitimately. Looking into it in more detail, both were admitted to the workhouse on 5 March and baby Leah died on 8 March. Leah senior was discharged on 18 March. She had another daughter, Lily Maffey in 1896 or 1897 after her marriage. The one spanner in the works is that she seems not to have registered either birth. However, Lily went on to marry William Innocent in Rochford, Essex and died there in Oct 1963.

Leonard Harry Matthews was born 9 Dec 1914 to Henry & Dorothy née Giddings. As I said on 1st March - see below - I could not find any of these siblings in 1939 Register. In the tragedy that followed in 1942, it was he who identified sister Violet's body at the house (18 Third Avenue), and I have now found him living there in 1939 with his grandmother Elizabeth Giddings* - not a surprise as his grandfather had recently died (1934) giving that address as home - and two closed files. Leonard was a Mason & Bricklayer, his grandmother UDD.

He married in 1941 but in 1939 his wife-to-be was at 69 Bloomfield Rise, Bath with her parents. Her father was described as "incapacitated" and mother a "shopkeeper, general store, sweets, tobacco, grocer". Beatrice was "Shop assistant Café" (evidently working in the town, not at this address)
2012
18 Third Avenue was only about a mile away "as the crow flies". He and Beatrice married in Jul 1941, settled in Bath, had 2 children, Royston in 1944 & Heather in 1947, then Beatrice died there in 1989 and Leonard in 1995.
*I had another of those shocks when I traced his grandmother Elizabeth Giddings to find out what happened to her. She was a name I had seen before but not noticed - another victim of the Scala cinema bombing in 1942. She was evidently in the shelter and died along with Evelyn and Eric, and I now wonder if the two closed files at number 18 in 1939 were in fact the two missing siblings and nobody has informed Findmypast of their demise so they could open their files!

Lily Louise Matthews was born Apr 1902 at Twerton, Bath to Silas & Lily Louise Nicholls, 6 months after their Register Office marriage, the eldest of 11 children. This must have been quite a houseful and so in 1911 census she can be seen living with her aunt & uncle Elizabeth & Samuel Challinger, in Peasedown St John, a village just outside Bath. I suspect that she is the Elizabeth Lily Matthews living with her parents in 1939 at 6 Weymouth Square [now Snow Hill], listed as UDD, along with 2 closed files. According to an article written on her father's death in 1943, they lived in a house in the area of Bath called Holloway until it was destroyed by Enemy Action in 1942, when they moved to 3 Lampard Buildings in Walcot. Her mother died in 1949 in Peasedown, but there are no marriage or death records that exactly match Lily.

Of the Louisa Matthewses, the one born in 1876 married Frederick Ricketts & emigrated to Canada, the other born in 1849 married George Burgess the baker and died in 1931 so missed the Register.

Friday 25th March 2016 (Good Friday) Happy Easter!

What happened on this day:
24th Mar:
Constance Lilian Louise Matthews was born in 1904
Edward Roffey married Sarah Icely Spencer in 1771
James John Wooldridge died in 1963
Bertram John Woodford was Killed In Action in 1918
William Horace Matthews died in 1963 and
John F W Hennig in 1922
25th Mar:
Dorothy Catchesides was born in 1765
Maria Gamble in 1861
Wilson Manhire in 1883
Edward Isaac Gamble was christened in 1866
Peggy Retallick in 1837 and
Esther Cox in 1842
Albert Edward Matthews married Emma Burrows in 1894 and
John Knight died in 1882 in Canada

Better omens today. First thing I did was to search for Laura Emily Pomroy née Matthews in 1939 and found her straight away. She and husband Frederick were living at 41 Okehampton Street (now Road), Exeter and he had a Gents' Outfitter shop (as in 1948-68). I wonder if the shop was always at 86 Queen Street, as this address was less than a mile away, and he ran it all his life. [It is currently a newsagent's, since at least 2001, with a beauty salon upstairs.]
      

I had hoped to clear up the story of Leah Matthews (told on 6th March 2014), as I was most unsure about her life after 1901. She was then married to Frederick Thomas Maffey and was living in St Pancras area of London with 2 daughters Leah/Lily and Rosa and her widowed mother. After this it gets rather confused, as there was another child Ernest born in 1904 and
Frederick died in 1906, for some reason in Portsmouth, Hampshire. 1911 census was confusing me, but back to that later. Today I found a document to explain one thing; on 24 Jul 1894, aged 17, Frederick had signed up to the Royal Marine Light Infantry, Portsmouth Division. His service history is held by the London Metropolitan Archives, who want to charge me to look at the page, so I can only see a mangled version where you can just make out his next of kin lived in Bloomsbury and his date of birth was 30 May 1877, his occupation being  "...tler", which could range from ostler to butler or cutler. Knowing he was a harness-stitcher I think the former is correct. I cannot see his postings, but evidently he was in Portsmouth in Apr 1906 when he died aged 28. He had just "done" 6 months in Maidstone prison for breaking into a counting-house in Tunbridge Wells - maybe they thought another period in the navy would help rehabilitate him

(this is taken from the Habitial Criminals Register, although the only other offence I can find in his name is driving a horse-vehicle without lights in Southampton a few weeks before his marriage!) There are other records around this time I just touched on in 2014, including daughter Rosa's school records, showing she was pulled out of school when she had only just entered in 1904 ostensibly "gone to a nearer school", and I voiced a doubt, as that was her closest school, suggesting the family may have moved to Portsmouth. I think the other documents I have found in her name tell the real story - on 23 Jan 1905 she and her sister Lily/Leah were admitted to the Holborn City Road Workhouse, then again on 3 Apr 1905. There was also another daughter Florence, I suspect born 1902 and died 1906, and the son Ernest I mentioned last time, born 1904. This may have explained Frederick's crime, as they were evidently very poor, but I cannot find out how/why he died. I also looked in 2014 at the subsequent marriage of Leah to James Flint, and gave up on this due to inconsistencies. It is often useful to come back 2 years later and look with fresh eyes. I see now that the only problems appear on the marriage I found under the name Flynn, and just sticking to Flint the picture holds up. However, I cannot find a marriage to fit the date on the 1911 census, when they said they had been married 6 years. This would make it the year before Frederick's death, so although you couldn't blame her, I think a pinch of salt is needed here. Be that as it may, this census shows them at 62 Bestwick Street, St Luke's - definitely the catchment area of that particular Workhouse - and James is listed as cheesemonger's assistant and 7 children are with them, 3 are theirs, 4 his. Her children are elsewhere - as I noted in 2014, Rosa can be seen as an Inmate of the "Church of England Home for Waifs & Strays", Beckenham. I cannot locate Lily, however, I do think she joined the WRAF on 26 Feb 1919 and maybe married wharf labourer William Innocent in Rochford, Essex in Jul 1929. If so, she settled with him there and can be seen there in 1939. The main reason I am reconsidering this line of enquiry is that I have found Leah Flint with exactly the same date of birth, widowed, disabled pensioner with one closed record - somebody looking after her, maybe Rosa, who then went on to marry in 1940 or Ernest, although I cannot find anything about him after infancy.
I think James died in 1914, so she didn't have him for long. Leah died in Jul 1953.
Later: I have just discovered Leah in the Workhouse before her first marriage, admitted 5 Mar 1895 with illegitimate daughter Leah, home address given as 114 Victoria Buildings, Farringdon. Her occupation is listed as "printer" but I suspect she meant she was servant to one, she certainly was a servant 3 years before to a fancy metal worker and a clerk. This may have been the beginning of her difficulties.

Wednesday 23rd March 2016

Getting back to "routine maintenance" after my adventures. And so, a day of uncertainties...

No news on Jameses, Janes or Jemimas.

In 2014 I took John Matthews to adulthood, leaving him with a possible marriage to Agnes Clara M Koppen/Coppin in 1914. I have looked at the records again and all seems in order. They seem to have had 2 children, as I proposed, then set off for USA. John set himself up in business as a "Tea Peddler" and can be seen in the City Directory for Bristol, Connecticut in Tea & Coffee Supplies, at the juction of (how appropriate!) Matthews Street and Terryville Avenue [where there is now a Nursery/Garden Centre] through to 1939 at least. Another strange thing is this area is between Plymouth and Bristol! In 1940 census they can be seen at home in Noroton Heights, Darien, Connecticut, John working as Chief Engineer (moved on from tea, if this is indeed him). He had been naturalized in 1929, but Agnes, despite now being known as Nancy, remained an "alien" and kept house. The children are not at home, but they are 14 and 18. As I cannot track down a ship they all travelled on, I don't even know if they emigrated with their parents. I cannot find deaths I am sure about for any, as there are several possibilities (the one I favoured for John in Dec 1976 in Fairfield, CT turned out to have a wife called Jean and the wrong middle initial for him).

Another uncertiain John followed, John Arthur Matthews, son of the famous architect Herbert Matthews, who created the Exhibition at Crystal Palace, if you remember. So, he was born late 1910, registered Jan 1911 and can be seen in the census of April that year at 35 Crystal Palace Road, Sydenham with parents & sibs. By 1939 Register, the family was somewhat scattered as father had become rather attached to London, I couldn't find his mother, but think she was in (the house split into apartments) Westfield House, Bloomfield Road. Brother Herbert had just died and sister Margaret married. If he was known as Jack, he can be found at 81 Queensdale Crescent, Bristol with wife Winifred, working as a "Carton Machine Operator and General Plumber" also AFS (Auxiliary Fire Service). However, as ever, I cannot be sure, the only marriage to suit is 1933 in Stoke on Trent to Winifred Brown. There is a death in Bristol for John Arthur in 1979, giving date of birth 1 Oct 1910, which fits perfectly, but he leaves his effects to someone else...

At last, one that fell into place! All I knew of Kathleen Matthews was that she was born Jan 1908 to Albert & Emma née Burrows at 9 Victoria Mews, Kilburn and in 1911 census was the youngest child at 18 Colin Road, Willesden
 
In Jul 1933 in Willesden she married Londoner James Hutchinson and in 1939 they can be seen at 14 Lawrence Crescent, Wembley
[photo 2008]
James was working as a bricklayer and Kathleen UDD, with 2 closed files accounting for the 2 children, Doreen born 1936 and James 1938, but what I really meant about falling into place was that with them there was 34 year old Lucy Matthews, Kathleen's sister, living with them and working as a Drilling-machine Operator. Electoral roll records show the household was the same in 1948 at least, so they may have remained until James died there in 1976, and even until 2004 when Kathleen died in the "new" London Borough of Brent.

Tuesday 22nd March 2016

As you may remember, I spent yesterday in Camberwell, seeking ancestors in the cemeteries there

Starting at Camberwell New Cemetery

[my photos taken yesterday]
I first sought the grave of Uncle Bert's first wife Nellie Minnie Matthews, but after an hour's fruitless searching gave up. In London's cemeteries, the graves are designated Square numbers (ie plot area) and grave numbers. Unfortunately these are not always concurrent, many graves are damaged, or even completely missing. For Nellie, I found the Square 102 and searched for grave 10055 but no numbers were near this. Next I sought my grandmother Florence Augusta Matthews in Square 119, again to no avail. While searching I met a fellow genealogist, who works sometimes for the Nunhead Cemetery, and said he thought this was a Public Grave, as there were 6 unknown people buried with her. Examining the burial record, I can see the plot marked "Consecrated" but not "Private", so suspect he may be right. In this case, they probably just used the grave until full, then covered it over and moved on. This would have been 16 days later... I must say I am surprised my grandfather didn't purchase a family plot. (Uncle Bert did for Nellie as hers says "Private" on the record, but it hasn't made it any easier all these years later). In this case, if the grave were marked at all it wouldn't necessarily have borne Flo's name, although she was the first in there, but I also looked for the name of the final burial Thomas Henry Palmer and couldn't locate him either. Square 119 is grassy and open, with many worn and damaged stones. It is a shame I couldn't locate Flo's final resting place, as it was her I especially wished to find, to commemmorate the 30th anniversary of her son's death (ie my father).
I did have more luck with the next grave, however, as in Square 53 I located grave 6862, containing Aunt Elizabeth Matthews and Ivy & David French (killed in an Air Raid), mentioned last Wednesday and previously. Unfortunately my phone had run out of charge, so I couldn't photograph it, but I did sketch it and transcribe the inscription:

To the Memory of
Elizabeth Matthews
Aged 58 years
Also
Ivy French aged 37 years
Baby David aged 5 months
All killed by Enemy Action
19th April 1941
then a verse I couldn't make out.
It was a difficult stone to read; as you can see from the sketch it is damaged and the face of the stone weathered. The one thing of most disappointment to me was the absence of Uncle Horrie. According to records he was interred in the same grave in 1970, so I expected his addition - extra stone, urn or inscription - to be more recent and thus more noticeable. But evidence of his presence is completely missing. Maybe there was a portable urn at the head position, where there is now just a hole, for placing flowers etc, and being detachable has been stolen. Or there may have been a separate stone in the centre or the base, which has likewise vanished. Nola tells me her late husband was taken several times by Uncle Horrie to visit this grave, as a boy, and no doubt it was in much better condition then. The burial record in 1941 was marked "Private Grave" and CWD (Civilian War Dead). In this Cemetery there is also a central area commemmorating War Dead, including a stone for CWDs, which I shall photograph too, when I return.

I decided to move on to Camberwell Old Cemetery whileI was in the area

[stock photo from the internet]
I was seeking a family of Hennigs, Flo's half-brother August Rudolph Hennig, his wife Hellen and their sons William Walter Hennig, Frank Edgar Hennig and Horace Augustus Hill Hennig. After a lot of searching I did find Square 48, with a lot of help from a gardener, who stopped his strimming to help me, evidently a keen genealogist! It turned out to be
nowhere near Squares 46 & 47, but down a footpath in a wooded area with notices up all over, warning of unstable graves and work in progress to eliminate Japanese Knotweed! We both checked all the plots close to the path, then I moved into the wooded area and my helper moved on. There was no sign of what I wanted, but it was extremely overgrown. Stones were sometimes covered with ivy, some with trees growing up through the grave, others obscured by undergrowth or with illegible worn stones. I checked all I could, but the numbers were too high, I suspect the area round grave 9877 is now impenetrable forest. I think August purchased it when baby Horace died in 1886 and he was certainly the final one to be interred there himself in 1927.

Friday 18th March 2016

What happened on this day:
17th Mar:
Mary Knight was christened in 1793
Elizabeth Ann Retallick married Woodman Pascoe in 1867
James Knight married Selina Hambly in 1849
18th Mar:
Olive Ida Matthews was born in 1899
Gertrude Florrie Woodford was christened in 1888
Sarah Grace Roffey married Henry Wright in 1832
"James Roffey2" married Annie Jeans in 1861
My father Walter Charles Matthews died in 1986
Joyce Woodford née Smithies in 2002
Eliza Retallick née Lamb was buried in 1845

Wednesday 16th March 2016


Hilda Annie Matthews was rather sketchy in 2014, but I have more info now. Her husband William Allen Rayner had been a Corporal in 9th Essex Regiment Royal Engineers in WW1, and was awarded the British War Medal & Victory Medal. After marriage they can be seen in Electoral roll records at 16 Alfred Road, Paddington until 1921. By 1925 they have moved to 6 Stuart Road, Kilburn (with 3 other couples) and Allen was born here. Nowadays this is a road of 1960s-built houses, so no point in a photograph. They were still there in 1929 but moved not long after this to Wiltshire. So 1939 register finds them at 1 St Philip's Road, Highworth, Swindon, Wilts

This record was one of the most invaluable ones, as not only did it confirm the move to Wiltshire but also that there were three more children! I have just learned of Dorothy Margaret Rayner (who married and became Simpkins in 1969), who was a "gramophone motor assembler" in 1939, Hilda O I Rayner born 1922 (a closed record in 1939, but I know was "at school", through use of dittoes on the register) and Ronald E Rayner born 1932, likewise. Although I wished to find Hilda's death was in Swindon, the only record I can find is 1952 in Windsor. I know there is no link with this area and it was 55 miles away, but maybe it was a specialist hospital etc. William did die in Swindon in 1994, as did Dorothy and Allen.

Horace George Matthews (Uncle Horrie) is next, and although I filled in some detail with the 1939 Register - see below, 24th February - I have also made a new friend! Nola French has been in touch to say she has picked up my blog on a search for her family. It turns out that her husband lived with Uncle Horrie and Aunt Elizabeth at 62 Stanbury Road with his parents. She has confirmed that the children were evacuated out of the area, Tony her husband being sent to Horsham, Sussex. Apparently he was told one day of the bomb which killed his mother and baby brother, also my Aunt Elizabeth. There had been local bombing previously which had damaged the shelter, so they made a decision not to hide there but to stay in their home. On returning after the war, Tony lived with his grandmother and aunt, as his father had moved on and remarried. Another strange coincidence was that this was in the very same road my grandparents lived - and father was born - Clayton Road, Peckham. They had been there since at least 1913, so maybe there was some connection and it wasn't coincidence. We have discussed it, and they lived on opposite sides of the road. Those houses are gone, probably removed in 1974 after Tony's aunt died. My trip past there, when my father pointed out the playground he was born in, was probably in 1975, when he drove me to University via his old neighbourhood:

(Coincidences abound in this story, as my parents always joked about the fact that he came from Clayton Road and she from Clayton Buildings, albeit one is in Peckham, the other in Kennington). As I am visiting Camberwell next week, I shall be doing further research over the weekend and will be able to report something next week about the story concerned here, by visiting the cemetery where Aunt Elizabeth was buried, along with Tony's family, and Uncle Horrie joined her 28 years later. *Watch this space*

Tuesday 15th March 2016

What happened on this day
Charles R J Parker was born in 1852
Jane Elizabeth Catchesides was christened in 1812 and
Nancy Ann Knight in 1801
Elizabeth Tucker née Knight died in 1920

I covered Henry James Matthews in detail in 2014, and in 1911 he was in Wales with his family, working as a boiler stoker at a colliery. By 1939 he was 88 and retired, still living at Sea View (was there in 1911 and died there in 1947), widower described as "Steel worker retired" - well, I suppose he could have stoked boilers anywhere, and he was originally a tin worker. In the household can be seen a Daniel Griffiths "incapacitated" and Eliza Griffiths - these are his daughter and son-in-law and I now see they were also there in 1911. Next door is a widow Ann E Griffiths but I'm not sure if she was related. As I noted in 2014, Henry died here on 23 Mar 1947 aged 95.

Herbert Edward Matthews was married in 1936, so we find him newly-married in 1939, as I postulated in 2014, back in Bath. They can be seen at 1 Richmond Cottages, Richmond Place, Bath, Herbert working as School Porter and Kathleen UDD. It is difficult to pinpoint the cottage exactly, as nowadays the road is numbered 1-57 along one side and the other holds the Rectory and St Stephens CofE Junior School, where he may have worked. There is also a closed record, probably a servant or lodger etc, as son Peter wasn't born until 1944

Likewise Herbert Frank Matthews hadn't been married long in 1939 but I couldn't find them together. Nora can be found in the Chippenham area with her family; widowed mother, 2 brothers & elderly lady who may be her grandmother, at Greenways Cottage, listed as UDD. I understand that these cottages were on the land, along with Greenways Maternity Hospital, that has since been cleared for the current Greenways Centre, a modern complex of bungalows and apartments, but all the lovely old buildings were removed prior to rebuilding.
Greenways Hospital
I cannot track down Herbert, but he would be 40, so may be in a military occupation somewhere.

As Herbert George William Matthews died in 1937 and his wife had divorced him 3 years prior to that, I have no need to seek them out in 1939 Register, but his father Herbert William Matthews was still around. If you remember from 2014 he was the one who split up the family home and had it converted to apartments. This was Westfield House, Bloomfield Road

His wife Minnie died there in 1945, so I suggested she stayed on, possibly in part of the house, but as he was a famous architect in Bath and London (particularly the Crystal Palace Exhibition there), I think he died in London in 1954. Thus it was no surprise to find him in 1939 at 1 Manchester Square, Marylebone, with a housekeeper and a closed file, possibly other staff.

[Also at the same address were two "Showbiz" ladies; Antoinette Adair (later Anderson) a Professional Dancer and a very interesting (if somewhat confusing) lady who is recorded on the Register as Normanda Susan Simon Gislingham Nell otherwise Kellino, UDD. It seems she was born Rosina Bates but married 5 times! Normanda/Susan married Mr Simon in 1932, then Mr Gislingham in 1942, his stage name being Roy Kellino, then used that name when she married Mr Nell (who owned United Dairies) in 1950 before moving on to Mr Wilding in 1958 (husband of Elizabeth Taylor, no less!) divorcing him in 1962 to marry a Mr Collins. She was divorced from him in 1971 and died in 1987 under the name Susan Wilding.] Also they had a closed file, possibly servant. I cannot find Minnie in Bath, or elsewhere for that matter, and the search for Westfield House comes up with nothing. Shame.

Monday 14th March 2016


Henry Charles Matthews was born Jan 1894 in Southwark to Charles & Mary née Bradley. I have made another fruitless search for this family in 1901 but cannot track them down. I do know his mother died 3 years later in Camberwell area, but cannot find any of them in 1901. By 1911 the family was split up and Henry can be seen with half-sister Lydia and her family, at 157 Manor Place, Walworth, working as a Music Collector for a Music Publisher. He can be seen 2 years later, renting 2 rooms at 162 St James's Road, Bermondsey (2 miles east of Manor Place). After this, the electoral roll records show him at 11 Oswin Street, St George's Road, Southwark, after 1930 with wife Marjorie Winifred d.o.b. 22 Jun 1906. I cannot find a marriage but 1939 Register shows her at the same address, working as a Book Folder.

Henry is nowhere to be found, so is probably in the forces somewhere. Marjorie's record has a note of remarriage into surname Cromar, but again I cannot find one. This is all very frustrating, including looking forward in time to her death - under the name Marjorie Winifred Cromar there is a death in Berkshire in 1963 but when examining the probate I found she was a single woman! As far as deaths in the name of Henry Charles are concerned, there are none for both names and many for just Henry...

Henry Francis Matthews was in Islington with a young family when we left him in 1911. 1939 Register finds them again 28 years later in Barking, where they can be seen at 1 Denham Way with 13-year-old schoolboy Robert Stubbs (I don't know who he is) and a closed file, possibly daughter Catherine Florence.

I have since filled the time gap with information from his army record - as usual so much information the contrast with Henry Charles above is ridiculous! On 19 Feb 1912 he attested to the 1st battalion, Honourable Artillery Company, giving home address as 3 Keith Road, Barking and describing himself as Silver-mounter for London Pipe Company. He was posted:
19 Feb 2012 - 17 Sep 1914 Home (UK)
18 Sep 1919 - 9 Jan 1919   France
10 Jan 1919 - 17 Feb 1919  Home
8 Feb 1919 - 31 Mar 1920   Home
He was then discharged as a Private from the regular army due to cessation of hostilities and joined the Territorial Army as a Drummer:
11 May 1920 - 9 May 1925  Posted (a variety of postings to Thorncliffe, Lyndhurst & Aldershot)
11 May 1923 - 31 Oct 1925  re-engaged to complete 6 years' service
1 Nov 1925 - 10 May 1926   transfer to what looks like HQ Wing
11 May 1926 - 23 Feb 1927  re-engaged to complete 7 years' service
In 1920 when he joined the Territorials, he gave home address as 59 Morley Road, Barking,

and Next Of Kin Mrs Annie Matilda Matthews, to whom medals were sent; 1914 Star with Clasp, British War & Victory medals. Territorial Force Efficiency Medal was added to this and in 1938 he applied to join the Old Contemptibles Association, who gave him their badge.

At this time his home address was 1 Denham Way, but I am not sure when they moved there. In 1921 the estate (Eastbury Estate) wasn't yet built, as you can see from this photo from the air

Apart from all the above, I also know he had black hair, pallid complexion and brown eyes and was 5ft 3 3/4ins tall (I think all the Mathewses were fairly short) and he declared two additional children I knew nothing about! Alice Marie born 1911 and Albert 1914 in Islington and Romford respectively and this so nicely demonstrates the move out of central London to Essex. Henry died in Jul 1965 aged 85 and Annie in Oct 1977 at the ripe old age of 97.

Saturday 12th March 2016

What happened on this day
11th Mar:
Lilian Ada Cox was christened in 1890
James Knight in 1821
Sarah Ann Woodford married Charles Saddington in 1874
Charles J R Parker married Minnie Edith Speller in 1922
Sarah Holmes née Roffey was buried in1943 and
Lancelot Hore (who married Elizabeth Knight) in 1843

As I have covered a whole year now in "What happened on this day" I shall only include new ones in future, so I don't repeat myself - oh, and those I missed out last year.

Henry Matthews 2 (aka Harry) was dealt with in 2014 in detail.

So it only remains for me now to add the snapshot of 1939 Register. They can be seen at 6 Albert Buildings, Bath, Harry a General Labourer and Caroline UDD. It gives me full dates of birth for both, which I didn't have, and confirms that she later married into the surname Durbin. 4 closed lines follow and, although impossible to see most of the information, the blocking segment hasn't quite covered the added name Vinson above the eldest. This was the married name of Eileen, the eldest of their 4 children together, so the others must be Sylvia, Iris and Norman. Albert Buildings was on the site in Bath which housed the Gas Works and industrial units of Stothert & Pitt known as Western Riverside. The buildings were provided for workers at the industrial units in the Victoria Engineering Works surrounding them, so presumably that was where Harry was employed. Now there is a large complex of modern apartment buildings there, and the road is called Victoria Bridge Road.

Tuesday 8th March 2016

What happened on this day
James Knight was christened in 1818
Matthew James Catchesides married Jane Wells in 1840
Charles Joseph Matthews married Mary Jane Buttery née Bradley in 1890
"Charles Wooldridge 2" was buried in 1828

I told the story of George Albert Matthews on 10th Feb 2014 and left him in 1911 at Foxham Lock, Chippenham, Wiltshire with lots of children

In 1939 he can be seen at 3 The Lock, Foxham, retired (he was 65), with Ellen (household duties) and just the youngest son Vivian, Lorry Driver for a miller.
Foxham Lock cottages

George Charles Matthews was born 18 Oct 1902 in Worcester to William & Elizabeth née Emery. He can be seen aged 8 on census return of 1911 at 1 Skinner Street, Worcester with parents, grandmother & sibs

On 9 Aug 1930 in Worcester he married Winfred Maud Biddle but it seems they had no children. 1939 Register shows them at 6 Blanquette Strreet, Worcester, George an "Iron Moulder. Heavy Work" and Winifred UDD

George died there aged 65 in 1967 and Winifred in 1994 aged 90.

There was nothing new on the other two Georges, George Henry & George James.

Gertrude Annie Matthews had just married Frederick Fenner in Jul 1912 when we left her in 2014. He was a local Coal Merchant, as were his father and brothers, and they had 5 sons of their own. The 1939 Register shows them living at 12 St Mary's Place, Chippenham, Gertrude UDD, Frederick Senior Coal Hauler and ARP Warden and son Frederick Junior "Fitter. Air Steam Locomotive Brake Assembler". I understand this to mean he fitted air-brakes on steam trains, fascinating!

[no 12, now called The Olde Forge, looks straight onto the side of the church]
Something odd happened to this record; the masking tape slipped on the other line, the supposedly closed one below. It showed the date of birth 9 May 1926 so I can match it up to Leslie, the youngest son. His record would soon be opened anyway, as he died in 1995. Frederick Senior died in Bath in Apr 1970 (probably in hospital) and Gertrude in Chippenham in Jan 1972.

Harry Francis Matthews was brother of George Charles above, so was at 1 Skinner Street in 1911, when he was listed as Fishmongers Assistant, then in 1914 he married Prudence Susannah King Mackins in Leek, Staffordshire. By 1939 Register they had settled in Stoke-on-Trent, where it seems Prudence ran a pub. They can be seen at 41 Trafalgar Street, Harry described as Railway Signalman and St Johns Ambulance. Now the numbers don't go beyond 37 but as you can see from the Streetview capture below, it looks as if nos 39 & 41 are now part of 37 and the pub was on the end.

The rest of the area is modern housing, so I can't tell what was there in 1939. As I said in 2014 Harry died in Stoke in 1972 and Prudence in 1974.

Monday 7th March 2016

What happened on this day
William Isaac Wooldridge was born in 1860
William John May in 1883
"Thomas Woodford 4" was christened in 1778
"Joseph Woodford 6" died in 1953
Elizabeth Gadd née Woodford in 1903
Alfred Clayden (who married Edith Gamble) in 1950
Lilian Manhire in 1955 and
Hannah Palmer née Woodford was buried in 1916

I wrote about Frederick Matthews 2 on 7th Feb 2014 but can now add more due to new records being made available. On 20 Jan 1918 (his 17th birthday) he signed on with the Royal Navy for 12 years (5ft 2in tall, brown hair, grey eyes, fresh complexion, scar left arm, tattoo right arm) and served on HMS Powerful from 20 Dec 1918 to 16 Mar 1919, as Boy 2nd Class, then Boy 1st Class, then Ordinary Seaman.

On 17 Mar 1919 he was transferred to Acting Stoker 1st Class and his record ends, probably due to the end of the War. I reported on how he died as a Civilian War Casualty in 1945 but now 1939 Register provides another glimpse of him 6 years before. He and Mary Ellen can be seen at 50 Golborne Road, Kensington, living above the shop with another family and running a fried fish & chip shop
[in 2008, now an art gallery]
The children must have been evacuated away from London, although little Frederick was only 5, as they were not listed. Frederick senior was described as "Fried fishmonger (Manager)" and Mary Ellen as UDD.

My cousin Geoffrey William Matthews was born Jan 1928 in Camberwell to William & Maud née Purdue, but all I have been able to find is the birth record and his passage to Brisbane, Australia on 2 Jun 1949 from London aboard HMS Maloja (P&O).

He was listed as 21-year-old Station Hand from 26 Copse Avenue, West Wickham, Kent. On 20 Apr 2014 I said in this blog "according to family lore he travelled abroad and was killed in a car accident as a young adult", so this tallies and also explains why there are no Australian records either (at present I have only managed to find a death there in 1976, which is too late). He was living in West Wickham as his father had a jewellers shop there (see Apr 2014) from 1935, and this may well have been the family home


I dealt with George Matthews on 10th Feb 2014, but had little detail. The 1939 Register has added a bit more. In 1939 he can be seen at "Mount Rosa", Mount Road, Bath with wife Rosina Violet née Champion - following the route on Google Streetview I think it is this house, now number 47

(a lot of old houses with names rather than numbers existed in this road, but were removed to build the Southdown Junior & Infants Schools with extensive grounds).
Also with them in the property were Thomas Griffiths, aged 57, a single disabled ex-serviceman, previously a "colliery onsetter" (apparently one who pushes full mine waggons on to the cage at the shaft bottom and takes the empties out)
and a closed file, possibly a child. I cannot locate any birth records, however, for any children.

Saturday 5th March 2016

What happened on this day
4th Mar:
Hester Cox was born in 1791
Elizabeth Knight was christened in 1766
Dorothy Knight married George Hicks in 1821
"John Wooldridge 5" died in 1950
Jane Hatton née Woodford in 1901
"Thomas Cox 2" in 1776
Archibald Charles Cox in 1919
Jane Hatton née Woodford in 1900
Philip Treveale (who married Elizabeth Knight) was buried in 1796
5th Mar:
Eliza Roffey was born in 1849
Charlotte Retallick was christened in 1826
James Knight married Mary Ann Ellis in 1853
Mary Ann Catchesides married Andrew Dennis in 1821
"Christopher Retallick 4" died in 1866

Frederick Matthews 1 was born in Sep 1886 in Foxham, Wiltshire to George & Ellen née Newman and christened on 26 Oct 1886 in Melksham. He can be seen in 1891 census in Foxham with parents & sibs, but I cannot track him down in 1901, when he would have been 13. He reappears in 1911 census however, living at 2 Oxford Road (aka Langley Road), Langley Burrell, Chippenham, with his employer, a vet, working as a groom/gardener. The 1939 Register provides another snapshot and he can be seen working as a chauffeur, living a few doors down from the Rectory, who I suspect were his employers (they seem to have a lot of staff occupying most of the cottages seen here beyond the pub)

He was listed as chauffeur and with him were Mabel Ellen Matthews, UDD, ostensibly his wife, and another closed file, possibly a child. I cannot locate a marriage record for them, and there is a largely illegible note against her name referring to a memo, maybe in 1975, about something being incorrect. Maybe it was that she died in 1975 and they found "married" to be incorrect.

Anyway, I am not going any further today, as Ancestry is playing up and I am finding this very frustrating.

Later: Ancestry redeemed itself by coming up with the explanation; a fragment of a WW1 document

This is his attestation document to the army on 29 Aug 1916, giving his Next of Kin as Mrs Ellen Matthews, c/o Mrs Porter, Startley, nr Chippenham. He had apparently married her 10 days before at Broad Somerford and with this information I was able to track down the marriage record to Ellen Porter, in the Malmesbury registration area. He was discharged on 19 Sep 1919, his pay and Victory Medal going to 65 West Street, Great Somerford. Apparently he was slighty disabled, but I was unable to find details, due to the state of the document, which appears to have been in a fire at some point, as you can see above. So I don't know what the memo related to... I have searched for children and found six; they would range in age from 7 to 19 in 1939, so may have been living elsewhere, I can't imagine anywhere safer than a Wiltshire village in wartime, but there is definitely only one closed record at that address. Frederick died in Chippenham in Dec 1965 and Mabel in 1981.

Wednesday 2nd March 2016

What happened on this day
John Smith was born in 1804
Silas Matthews was christened in 1823
Arthur Frank Wooldridge died in 1983

I dealt with Florence Sarah Matthews in great detail in 2014 - please see 3rd Feb on the 2014 tab as I don't want to repeat it here. But I can now add a further snapshot of Florrie and Bert in 1939, when they had been married for 6 years. They were living in a lovely old stone property called St Olaves, 19 Woolley Street, Bradford-on-Avon, with Bert's family next door at number 20. Bert was a gardener and Florrie a housewife, and they had a closed record with them, possibly a servant.
2009

The 1939 Register has confirmed my guess that Florence Valentine Matthews' date of birth was 14 Feb 1895, and she can be seen then with husband Herbert Tucker and son Edward at 2 Hedgemead Cottages, Bath. There were 4 cottages & a terrace of 4 houses, which were demolished in 1964:

Fortunately, Florence did not have to see this. She died in Dec 1945 and her death was reported in the Bath Chronicle on 5 Jan 1946:


In 2014 Frances Annie Matthews left me with a conundrum. I thought she may have married a Robert W Warner in 1938. The Register should have helped me here, as I would then find them together the following year. However, I cannot find a Robert W with a Frances at all, or even a Frances Warner alone. And using her exact date of birth gave me nothing, even with just Frances alone... and with no name 2213 results! Electoral Rolls were no help either.

I'll be back at the weekend.

Tuesday 1st March 2016 (Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus - Happy St David's Day)

What happened on this day
Robert Edward Matthews was born in 1877
Matilda Hodd married James George Golder in 1916
"Ann Knight 1" married Christopher Alderson in 1847
Edward Charles Roffey married Jessie Roan Law in 1870
Christiana Knight née Wakeley died in 1891
William Henry Wooldridge in 1966
Ann Dance née Jarvis was buried in 1876 and
Abraham Joseph Catchesides in 1867

Evelyn May Matthews was born in Apr 1920 to Henry & Dorothy née Giddings. Her mother died when she was 2 years old and her father remarried, so she grew up with a mixture of siblings and half-siblings. In 1939 I should have been able to pick her up in Bath, aged 19, with some of them. I can locate her father with new wife and 4 children, no doubt their own, but as Evelyn and Violet lived together a few years later, I expect to find them together at this point. I cannot find Evelyn, Violet or Phyllis, children of Henry's first marriage, which suggests they are together somewhere, mis-spelled. Brother Leonard was also missing - so maybe he is with them too. In Jul 1941 she married Eric Reynaert in Bath. He was from Dover, Kent, son of a Sergeant in the Royal Garrison Artillery, who served in Malta (1911) and France (1914) among other places. The entire family went to Singapore with the army in 1925 but returned to England and settled in Kent. On marriage, Evelyn and Eric settled at 18 Third Avenue with her sister Violet. On the evening of 25 Apr 1942 these three went to the Scala Cinema nearby, and there was an Air Raid. Violet went home, but Eric and Evelyn hurried with several others at the cinema into the Air Raid shelter across the road. A lot of bombs fell that night on Bath and unfortunately the shelter received a direct hit and all inside were killed. 19612014

[memorial gardens at the site now]
Unfortunately too, Violet was found by her brother at home 18 Third Avenue, he identified her remains but she was dead. As the house is still standing (evidently made of strong stuff) I would guess that she was hit on her way home - it isn't far.
18 Third Avenue
She would have walked for a few minutes along Moorland Road:

The remains of all three were buried at Haycombe Cemetery, classed as Civilian War Dead, and headstones erected:


Memorial Gardens were erected at the site of the shelter (see photo above) and memorial plaques included them


Florence May Matthews was born on 25 Mar 1901 in Great Somerford, Wiltshire to George and Ellen née Newman. She appeared with them a week later on census return at West Street, Great Somerford - although they don't seem to have noticed she was a girl, as she was described as "son"! By 1911 they knew, though, and she is listed at 3 Foxham Lock, nr Chippenham with parents & sibs. Lovely place:

The investigation for 1939 Register was interesting. I found someone listed as Florence (M) Webb (Matthews) in Calne & Chippenham - I knew her married name would be Webb in 13 years, so went for this record. I'm so glad I don't have to pay any more because it was completely wrong and the combination of Matthews, Webb and Chippenam a coumplete red herring! What's more, when I tracked her down by exact date of birth (a detail you don't often have on people out of London) I found her a few miles from where I am sitting, in Hertfordshire, at Fanshaws, Brickendon, next to the Stratton Park School. She was in service, working as a servant in the household of the Barclay family, stockbrokers, and life there sounds like an excerpt from Downton Abbey! For example

There was a report in the Hertfordshire Mercury of 13 April 1934: A burglary at Fanshaws, the residence of Mr Anthony Barclay, near Hertford, on Saturday night [7 April], resulted in an exciting chase by police officers from Hertford and the surrounding districts, and the capture of four men. It was alleged that the burglary took place whilst the household were at dinner about 8pm, and that a ladder was used to gain entry to the house. Jewellery valued at nearly £200 was missing. There then follows a detailed report of this ‘exciting’ incident and there is a photograph showing the ladder and the hole in the window made by the intruders. There is also a letter from Josephine Barclay thanking the police for their prompt action. One thing that was not reported was that earlier in the evening one of the servants, seventeen year old Isabella Grand from County Durham, had spotted a couple of suspicious men in the grounds with a ladder. When she reported the matter to the butler he became quite angry and very firmly and rudely dismissed the idea calling her a ‘country bumpkin’ and telling her to get about her work. Whether or not the butler was implicated in the robbery is not known, but his actions in ignoring the warning must be considered highly suspicious.
I can see from the Register that Florence was one of 14 staff members, with only 4 family members at home, and have read that the family moved out once the war started, leaving Fanshaws as a reception centre for evacuees, then a bomb disposal detachment of the Royal Engineers (again so like Downton!)
Fanshaws 1904
Isabella Grand (on right)
1999
In Apr 1962 in Chippenham she married Sidney Webb. As I don't know where they met, his date of birth, or where they went after marriage and died, I cannot track them further.

Florence Minnie Matthews was born 27 Feb 1903 at 6 William Street, Marylebone to Albert & Emma née Burrows, and christened on 15 Apr 1903 at St Marylebone. She can be seen in 1911 census at 18 Colin Road, Willesden, aged 8 with parents & sibs.

In Oct 1924 in Willesden she married Alfred William G Watts and they had 4 children, all in Willesden. In 1939 Register they can be seen at 20 Colin Road with just the eldest, Alfred William junior, the other children presumably evacuated into the country somewhere. Alfred senior was a Building Materials Lorry Driver - which would become increasingly important in the next decade - and Florence a "Biscuit Weigher" - I love this description! This was a very famous area for biscuits - McVities had made them at nearby Harlesden for decades and in 1947 merged with Macfalane Lang to produce United Biscuits, still there today and world famous.
1902
2006
A biscuit maker at Harlesden 1925
Alfred junior was described as a Machine Hand, so may have worked there too. Florence died aged 43 in Apr 1948 and I have been unable to trace Alfred senior. Junior died in 2001 in Hillingdon, but no death record matches Senior's date of birth.

Monday 29th February (don't often get a chance to say that!) 2016

Ok, now I've caught up, it is time to get back to normal

What happened on this day
28th Feb:
Mark Henry Wooldridge was born in 1912
Rachel Sarah May was christened in 1858
Adam Woodford married Sarah Williamson in 1833
Henry Charles (Harry) Gamble married Sarah Ann Cox in 1915
Alden Henry Smith married Jennifer Valenti in 2015
Edith Caroline Clayden née Gamble died in 1958
Edwin T Roffey died in 1861 at Cape of Good Hope
Miriam Cox née Ferres was buried in 1861
29th Feb:
Kate Eveline Gamble (Aunt Kit) was born in 1896

For the story of Ellen Beatrice Matthews see 1st Feb 2014. As I said then, she moved to Bradford, West Yorkshire with her family by 1914 and then died there in 1945. Now I can provide a marker between these dates - theoretically! Unfortunately I can find no household with their names in that area. I did find their son Ronald and his wife & child in Pudsey, West Yorkshire. As I said, he died in the area in 1960, as did his mother in 1945.

Emma Jane Matthews was born Feb 1888 in Foxham, Wiltshire, to George and Ellen née Newman, christened there on 13 Mar 1888 and can be seen there with them and her 8 sibs in censuses of 1891 & 1901. She must have left home by 1911, she was 23, but I cannot find a marriage etc.

Ethel Georgina Matthews I also dealt with in 2014, and this cannot be helped with 1939 Register, as by then she had moved to Philadelphia.

Sunday 28th February 2016

Happy Anniversary to my lovely son and his lovely wife


Next on the list is Dorothy May Matthews in Gloucester, d.o.b. 1927. However, I now know that she was one of the 4 children in yesterday's Register, at home in Bath with her parents. Now I can access this record, I see that the one in Gloucester was a 12-year-old Dorothy Whitcomb who married in 1955 into the name Matthews and the transcribers have picked up that surname (We mustn't blame them for basic errors like this, as they were working fast at very short notice).

Douglas H Matthews
Bath with Henrietta (his mother) was just that, they can be seen at 22 Otago Terrace, Bath with his brother Thomas and widow Mary A Jones, probably an aunt on his mother's side (her maiden name was Jones). Douglas was described as Apprentice Carpenter and Thomas Apprentice Painter. Otago Terrace is in St Swithin's Road, just across the road from Hat & Feather Yard, mentioned yesterday. Nellie lived next door at number 21, but they were only related in that their grandfathers were brothers. The two closed files were no doubt his brothers Charles Reginald and Leonard, Douglas' twin, closed only because Findmypast evidently didn't know of their deaths - in 1963 and 2004 by my records. (See 25th Jan for the rest of his story).

Of Edgar Charles Matthews I said in Poole, Dorset with Dora and 3 closed. The address was the one I mentioned on 29th January, 34 Harbour Road, where Edgar died 12 years later. So they had the children in Exeter, then moved to Poole. Since I made my notes, only weeks ago, one of the 3 closed records has been opened (this gives cause for hope fo many others!) as evidently Findmypast have found Edward's death in 1974 and opened his file. The other two lines may be Dora and a Terence C, whose birth registration is in Exeter but says Mother's maiden name is O'Donohue - could be a typo & should say Onslow. I will see when that line is opened... In the mean time, thie 1939 Register described Edgar as "Iron Machinist, planing, slotting & drilling", Dora as UDD and Edward as "Carpenter, shed making".

Saturday 27th February 2016

In the last few weeks, as I went through the routine maintenance with the Matthews tree, I jotted down any I needed to look up once the 1939 Register was freed. So today I will check up on those, and report back to you.

Daisy C Matthews
in Lambeth with father (I have jotted), as I have seen an electoral roll record for 1939 at 38 Bengewood Road, Brixton with an Albert & 2 Daisies. I was ready to investigate this other Daisy, but cannot find any of them, or that address, on the Register. Not a good start!

Daisy May Matthews last seen in Bath aged 21 (1911) wasn't any better. Of course, at this age she could have married and moved away. I couldn't fnd a marriage to fit, as her father had died by 1910 so no cross-reference there.

Doris Laura Matthews possibly in Bath with an Edward. This was good, as I found her straight away with exactly the right date of birth, and it turned out that the other people with her were her parents! I had forgotten that, although his name was Richard Edward, her father was known as Edward a lot of the time due to the fact that his father was called Richard too (even, it seems, many years after his father died). So this household comprised Doris Matthews, a "Forewoman in the Finishing Room of Corset Works", Edward Matthews, 60-year-old Carpenter & ARP Warden, Florence B Matthews UDD (housewife) and here we have the other side of the wartime story, two evacuees. John E Drummond aged 12 and John F Henley 13, both at school. Bath was rural enough to take children from cities like London and house them with families in the countryside. This may have all been to no avail for John Drummond - I had a quick look for him and found a death on board HMS Drake of an 18-year-old Able Seaman by this name, buried at St James Cemetery, Bath, coming from Maida Vale in London. John F Henley appears to be from Hammersmith and died aged 86 in Ware, Herts (i.e. here!) in 2013. There are many deaths for Robert/Edward, none in the Bath area, so I cannot finish his record off.

Dorothy Marguerite Savine in Willesden was next. I have found her at 21 Winchester Avenue with one other whose file is closed, I have no idea who this could be as their only child died in infancy. It couldn't be husband Ernest, as he was born over 100 years ago, and he appears to be living as a single man (!) with other workers at an address in Islington - he was described in the Register as "Builder's Labourer, Heavy Work and ARP Reserve", so maybe he was a contractor, working 5 miles from home. Having said that, the electoral roll records give different addresses for them for the rest of their lives. I suspect that they married because of the imminent arrival of little Ernest, only to find they couldn't stay together after his death. Dorothy died in Brent in 1972 and Ernest in Islington in 1970. Incidentally, when I searched for Winchester Avenue on Google Streetview it had that familiar feel of bomb damage, and the Bomb Sights site showed there was indeed a direct hit in the months after the Register. I assume Dorothy was safe though, as she can be traced until the age of 77.

(Silas) William J Matthews in Bath was at 6 Skrines Place, Walcot, Bath - researching this address I saw it was a court off Hat & Feather Yard, near St Swithin's, which I photographed on my visit in 2009

The most relevant piece of newspaper drama was (in Nov 1933):

Anyway, this household in 1939 comprised William J Matthews, Seedsman's Assistant and Edith M Matthews UDD with 4 closed records and Herbert Lester, single Cowman. The closed files are probably 4 of their 8 children, Their story was familiar; they married when children were imminient in Oct 1920, but in March Edith gave birth to twins Doris Edith and Iris Nellie and they died, so the following year when a girl arrived they named her Nellie Doris Iris. There were 5 who survived to adulthood, but Nellie, who was 17, can be found elsewhere, and I will deal with her when I get to her. (Silas) William died in Bath in 1961 and Edith in 1960

Wednesday 24th February 2016

It only remains for me to seek those on my list from my father's family. His father and brother Bert I discussed last year. Eldest brother Bill, William H Matthews was in 1939 living in Beckenham. He had a jeweller's shop at 24 High Street, nowadays a charity shop

It no doubt had a more prepossessing shopfront in 1939, but it was the view from the shop which impressed me:

In the 1939 Register he is listed with wife Maud UDD (living upstairs I imagine) and he is described as "Jeweller Dealer & Maker. Craftsman in precious metals. Also Metropolitan Police War Reserve, Beckenham area".
Later: I had a bit of luck when researching the shop - this photo from 1937 shows Uncle Bill hadn't been there long (I knew they were still in Peckham in 1931) as he had no doubt purchased it only the year before the Register from the Gas Board:

(incidentally, it demonstrates that he kept the windows as they were, and still are today!)

Sister Constance Longman née Matthews was married and living in Sidcup in 1939, but is one of those records you need to see, rather than rely on transcription, which was one reason why I objected to having to pay extra. Last year I jotted down that this household was made up of her husband Norman Longman with two others Minnie & Archibald Longman, his parents, as well as one closed record. As Con only died in 2006 I suggested this was her, but had no way of telling. Now I can access the record fully I can see the above, but with a daughter of Archibald & Minnie, Joyce Longman, who it seems married later and became Hodge. But squeezed onto the bottom of the page was Constance L Longman d.o.b. 20 Nov 1917 - it was Aunt Con, open and visible! I don't know what happened - I think they found out Joyce had died and opened her record, but then Con doesn't have a transcription at all! Anyway, the household was made up of Archibald "Carpenter & Builder. General Foreman", Minnie UDD, Joyce at school, Norman "Telephone Operator Newspaper" and Constance UDD. The house was a semi-detached but appears to have been purchased in 2000 and incorporated into Days Lane Primary School. Norman & Con seemed to stay with both sets of parents, as that same year the electoral roll registered them at the Rye with Con's parents and brother Bert. Her daughter Kay was born the following summer and registered in the Camberwell District, and after the war, when electoral roll records resumed, the family were at 141 Commercial Way, Peckham and Kay's husband joined tham after they were married in 1960, so there's no reason not to think they lived there from 1940. You may remember this is the address which became the Riverside walk on redevelopment.


Going back a generation, I already dealt with my grandfather William George, but his sister Eliza Emily Neighbour née Matthews was still alive, living in 131 Gloucester Road, Peckham with her husband Charles Edward Neighbour, described as "house painter, incapacitated". They had no children, as they were 59 and 63 on marriage the previous year. Charles died in 1946 aged 71, so was probably retired from house painting (There was a Private C Neighbour wounded in 1902 in South Africa, but I have no way of knowing if this was him). Tracing him back in time, I can see that he lived at that address from at least 1918, when I can see at the same address his widowed and now re-married mother Sarah Firman and Eliza! His father had died when he was 5, as did Eliza's at 7 - maybe they met at Hanwell, although he lived with his grandparents. Strangely enough, I have been seeking Gloucester Road, and the whole area has been redeveloped, the roads all renamed but at the centre of it all is one Gloucester Primary School!

Horace George Matthews ("Uncle Horrie") can be seen ay 62 Stanbury Road, Peckham with his wife Elizabeth. Looking for this house, I saw on Google Streetview that numbers up to 54 were old terraced properties, then an abrupt stop and a modern block of flats in a fairly spacious site, typical evidence of bomb damage. I see from the site that I was correct - a V1 bomb landed in the road behind in 1944 and due to damage some properties in Stanbury Road had to go. I was interested to see he was described as a "Churchkeeper/caretaker" as I knew he was a hospital porter then a grocery assistant before marriage, then later a Post Office employee. Reading around, I suggest he worked at St Mary Magdalene church, only a couple of streets away, which was also destroyed by a bomb, this time in 1940 - so only a few months after the Register - and the present modernist church was built on the site in 1962
[the old church, dating from 1841]
Elizabeth died in 1941 and is buried in Camberwell New Cemetery.
Later: I had a shock when I went to look for her grave, as she was listed as Civilian War Dead at 62 Stanbury Road! This was The Blitz and bombs were everywhere. According to the Bomb Sight site, there was a High-Explosive bomb in Stanbury Road at some point between Oct 1940 & June 1941, so this could have been on the night of 19th April. I must find her grave if I can on my trip in a few weeks time. In the mean time

[excerpt from Civilian War Deaths 1939-45]

[photo in the South London Press at the time, may be of this road]
Horace died in Battle, near Hastings, Sussex aged 84 at the end of 1969 and he joined Elizabeth in the cemetery in the New Year.

Their mother Emily Ann Parkinson née Parker, formerly Matthews, had re-married after the death of their father and lived out her final years in Woolwich. Henry died there in 1923 and in 1939 she can be seen at 122 Brookdene Road, Woolwich in the household of her daughter Alice Pilott née Parkinson.

Her husband John is listed as Wood Machinist and Alice UDD. Emily was frail and listed as "Invalid OAP". She was at this stage 84 and died the following January, buried at Plumstead Cemetery.


Tuesday 23rd February 2016


Final Hodd sibling Richard Stephen Hodd can be seen in 1939 Register at 7 St Mary's Gardens, Lambeth with wife Ellen J Hodd and daughter Laura. They had lived at that address since 1911 and Richard had worked as a house painter. What surprised me here was that in 1939 he called himself "Railway Assistant Lineman Retired" - he was not quite 60 and I have never seen railway employment records for him - I have now searched, and found that in 1916 he applied for Union membership of the Battersea branch of the National Union of Railwayman, as an assistant linesman. I have since discovered he was in the Royal Field Artillery as a driver, so maybe learned electrical installation while in the Army. (I had been dissuaded from this record in the past due to a death of private Richard Hodd in 1916, but have now found that one was in Hastings). Ellen was listed as UDD, Laura as Book-keeping Clerk.

On to mother-in-law Jessie's family. I have dealt with her and her parents. Only 2 of the 6 siblings appreared as closed records with their parents, so the others must have been evacuated elsewhere, as they were all 14 and under. I have checked the two who have since died, but cannot track them down, so move up to Oliver's siblings. Jessie's uncle Claude Manhire was in 1939 at 6 Denmark Grove, Islington with wife Grace née Underwood, formerly Jones and Grace Jones aged 30, a single sweet-packer, probably Grace's daughter by her first marriage (her husband had died in 1910) and they had been at that address for many years, with her parents with them prior to their marriage. Nice to know Claude was a Postman - in 1895 he was in the Royal Navy, in 1911 was a "labourer at flour mills" and in the Royal Navy again in WW1 - by 1939 he was 51. I have his Postal Service record from 1913 (it merely lists he was a postman in SW London but that may be when he joined). He died in 1941. Daughter Grace married at a future date and obtained the name Jackson.

Sister Marian Dickson née Manhire can be seen in 1939 at 20b Albert Bridge Road with her husband Hugh H Dickson, clerk, and a closed record. I had thought this was their son Cecil, who was a 34-year-old school teacher, but have since found him with his wife, living in Maldon, Surrey, teaching there. In 1927 electoral roll he can be seen living at 20b with them but then married in 1931. Hugh died in 1943, then Marian in 1956, both living at 20b at the time.

As I cannot locate brother Roderick Manhire any more now than I could last year, although they should be in the Croydon area, on to his sister Gladys Minty née Manhire, who was at 11 Rosenau Crescent, Battersea with her husband Emile Minty, a "Solicitor's Managing Clerk", and daughter Evelyn aged 25. Evelyn is interesting as she was down as "Shorthand Typist for Margarine Manufacturer (Lever Brothers) and ARP for Battersea Area, Casualty branch and also warden at Lever Bros." Son Frederick was not included in the register as he was in the Merchant Navy. (He received a medal for his services but I cannot access the link as National Archives want to charge me for doing so). In 1949 he had a telephone number registered at 12 Park Mansions, Sydenham Park Road and this address was on his electoral roll records until 1960. So he may well have been living there in 1939 too. Gladys died in Dec 1958 at 11 Rosenau Crescent, followed by Emile 11 years later.

Just out of interest I had a look at Lever Bros margarine production. Lever Brothers' Head Office was in Blackfriars and in 1930 they had merged with Margarine Unie from the Netherlands to create Unilever, the offices of which are still in Blackfriars

This became one of the biggest multinational groups as they bought up many companies over the years, with fingers in many pies.

Monday 22nd February 2016
(Happy 94th birthday to my Dad in heaven)

The next sibling was John (Jack) May, seen in 1939 at 3 Oakden Street, Lambeth, as expected, with his wife Daisy E May née Mayes d.o.b. 13 Jun 1898, listed as Railway Locomotive Driver, she as UDD. They lived here all their married life, from 1922, until he retired in 1963, when they moved to Bournemouth and both died there in 1980s. Evidently the two daughters were evacuated prior to the register, as they were 12 and 6 years old.

Sister Phoebe M Hewitson née May (Aunt Phoeb) was at 49 Caldwell Street, Lambeth [gone now] with husband Frank - Francis Walter Hewitson, a Motor Driver & Fitter - also one Frederick H Beaver, accounts clerk who I don't know, he was probably a lodger. Their daughter Jean must have been evacuated, as she was 8 years old at the time and isn't there. They had moved there on marriage in 1929, when it was called Holland Road, but soon it was renamed. After the war they moved along the road to 82 Vassall Road [this lovely house is still standing], then when Frank retired moved to Basingstoke (possibly in 1963) and both died there.

Youngest sibling Amy Constance Negus née May had also moved away on marriage, this time to Weymouth, Dorset, she married Willie Negus, window cleaner in 1933, and can be seen there 6 years later with him, a closed record, probably thier son, 3 year old Willie junior, and a Christopher Fearon, probably lodger, Civil Servant Administrator. Cliff told me he was a sailor in the merchant navy - maybe he did this in later years, but I cannot find records. He died in Dorset in Jan 1989 and Amy in 1995.

Moving to the other side of Cliff's family, the Hodds, his grandmother Martha had died recently (1937) but her sister Elizabeth M Dodge née Hodd can be seen in 1939 at 27 High Path, Wimbledon, which appears to be a community centre now. She was 71 at the time, described as "Retired Old Age Pensioner" and was living with John Fox aged 70 similar. Her husband George had died 10 years before, and she followed in 1952.

Sunday 21st February 2016


Clifford's mother was a May, and her tree remained largely in the London area. William John May, her brother, can be seen on 1939 Register at 76 Warham Road, Hornsey. This record is somewhat confusing, as he is there with Jane Violet (Stella) May d.o.b. 10 Mar 1885, UDD (housewife), presumably his wife, and Stella M McDonald (Belsham) d.o.b. 20 Jun 1915, single Telephone Assembler. There is a note made on 25 Oct 1949 "resumption of legal name". It isn't clear which Stella this relates to, as it covers both lines, but it suggests to me there may have been a divorce. How the younger Stella relates I don't know, as both of her surnames are unknown to me. A bit of digging is needed methinks...

His brother Thomas Joshua May can be seen at 45 Endsleigh Gardens, Ilford. I was surprised to see him at home, to be honest, as he was  a Sergeant in the Royal Marines in WW1 and received a long-service medal in 1942. However, he was there in the Register with wife Muriel D May née Orris-Bird, a secretary/shorthand typist. He was listed as a Works Manager at Manufacturing Chemist

They remained at this address for some years afterwards, as electoral roll records show them here up to 1964, Thomas died here in 1961 and Muriel may well have done in 1974

Sister Beatrice May Samways née May was registered at 17 Sunnyside Road, Weymouth, Dorset, where she had lived since her marriage in 1911. Her husband Ernest W P Samways was a sailor in the Royal Navy, but was described as an "agent with the Prudential. Retired" in 1939, occupied as an ARP Warden. Daughter Martha Mary was there too, aged 24 - a note added later informed of her married name Bryan (the following year). She was listed as Unemployed but another note added at some point in the future states she was later Manageress of Conf. Business - I think this may be she ran a sweetshop! Ernest died at Sunnyside Road in 1953 and Beat in 1974.

Sister Alice Pratt née May was at 195 Fore Street, Edmonton with her husband John James (known as Ted), daughter Doris Huggett née May & son-in-law Edward Huggett. Alice & Ted were Club Stewards, Edward a Shipping Clerk & full-time ARP Warden. There is also a closed record, maybe one of Doris' siblings Beat or John. 195 Fore Street is an Apostolic Church and also a Day Nursery, but you can see it could well have been a club in earlier times:


Saturday 20th February 2016

The other side of my Grandad's tree, his mother's side, was represented in my 1939 list by Edward Dance Cox (Ted), Vic's father. He had just retired due to forced redundancy as Jenner's Brewery closed, so he can be seen at Beales Farm, Lambourn, Berkshire, with his widowed daughter Win Bowsher and her family. I think it was the farm of her brother-in-law, and when I researched last year there were 4 records open (Thomas & Ellen Bowsher, Win and Ted) and 6 closed. I was pleased to see two of these are now open - 2 Bowsher sons Robert & James, who must have been seen to have died and their records opened. As with Edward Gamble, Ted's date of birth was wrong - it states 30th Oct 1864 instead of 1869 (maybe it was assumed he was 65 as was retired). All of Ted's siblings had died prior to the Register, including my great grandmother Eliza.

Vic himself, Victor Allerton Cox was still lodging at 18 Rockford Avenue, Ealing and working as a Hotel Waiter, until he joined the army the following year.


Wednesday 17th February 2016

The last of Carrie's siblings on my list was Louisa Margaret Whitehouse née Woodford and she can be seen in 1939 Register in Chislehurst, Kent (not far from where I grew up). She is shown at 24 Elmstead Avenue with Charles A senr, a Builder's Foreman and son Charles A jun, a Clerk with the LCC (London County Council). Daughter Louisa Kirk née Whitehouse was living in the next road with husband and 3 closed files - possibly their children. Son Albert was still in Camberwell with his wife Marjorie, a shorthand secretary. Albert worked as an Aeronautical Inspector. There is a note by Charles senior to say he was a designated ARP warden.

Moving on to my grandfather's family, his elder brother William Isaac George Gamble (Uncle Bill) appeared at 61 Forsyth Road, Southwark, as expected, with his wife Margaret Gamble née French (Aunt Mag) and their two sons. Last year, I had noted one was closed but guessed it was Syd - he died in 2006 and his record has been opened since. I can now see all full dates of birth and that Uncle Bill was a Taxi Driver (like his father), Aunt Mag an Office Cleaner and the boys were Messengers (Billy was 20, Syd was 15). Uncle Bill was also an Auxilliary Ambulance driver for the duration, which I was very pleased to see.

Next of Grandad's siblings was Aunt Em, Emily S Moss, seen in 1939 at 32 Faversham Road, Morden, Surrey

with her husband Alfred H Moss (Mick), motor mechanic, and one closed record, who must be Vera their daughter, still very much with us and 90 this year! Mick was down as Ambulance Driver too.

Sister Kate Eveline Burrows née Gamble (Aunt Kit) was a difficult one. Her husband Ted had died the previous year in Camberwell, and 10 years later I had found her with her daughter's family in Loughborough Road, Lambeth, but I couldn't find her for some while in the 1939 Register. Then after many dead ends I remembered her birthday was 29th February, something very rare. Putting this into the search box brought up a farm in Hampshire full of Hop-Pickers! Her surname was spelled Burrowes and I hadn't considered Hampshire, as we have no link there! She can be seen at Manor Farm, Alton one of four pages of hop pickers, accompanied by one Ellen Moss d.o.b. 18 Apr 1872. This was the mother of both her sibs-in-law; the Burrows and the Mosses were very close and two of Kit's siblings married Ethel's children. I can't be sure of where Kit's daughters Kitty and Joyce were - they were 15 and 9 respectively - their records are probably closed as they were born less than 100 years ago and nobody seems to have told Findmypast that they both died some time ago.

James H Gamble (Uncle Jim) was found at 29 Westcott Road, Southwark (name changed from where I knew them to be - St Paul's Road in 1936 electoral roll) - now a modern housing estate.He is described as "Bench Fitter Sanitary", meaning I suppose that he shaped toilets etc on a work bench, and Voluntary Air Raid Warden. The only snippet of information I knew about his job was when Vic and he worked together as waiters, but that was whan they were very young men. Ethel (née Moss) was listed as UDD, as usual. Their daughter Joan was 6 years old by then (although maybe evacuated somewhere and closed. as I cannot find her). Ethel & Jim moved out to Hertfordshire the following year, as son Peter was born there and I remember visiting them in late 1950s & early 1960s.

Isaac Gamble, my great grandfather, was last seen living at Camberwell Grove in 1929, the year my grandparents got married. His wife had died in 1923 and he became a bit of a recluse in his later years, living in a caravan and dying in it in Maidstone in 1951. So I had hoped the 1939 Register would help trim this gap a bit. However, I cannot track him down. As he was a taxi driver, he should have been down for Ambulance Driving like Bill and Mick, although he was 70 years old. I have tried his date of birth in the search engine to no avail, and no combination of possible names/places come up with anything.

His sister Maria Ayress née Gamble was living only half a mile from her niece Em, at 9 Dore Gardens, Morden, with a wharf labourer called Francis Budd, her son-in-law, but I don't know where her daughter was, with the uncanny married name of Rose Budd. I can see that Maria died at this address in 1942, and Francis in 1950 (He left Rose £173 so she must have still been there then, although she did remarry within weeks of his death).

Finally her brother Edward Isaac Gamble was found at 5 Belmont Buildings, Picton Street, Camberwell with his second wife Fanny and 2 closed records. He was also a taxi driver. They can be traced through electoral roll records at that address from their marriage in 1918 through to wartime, then in 1941 Fanny died there, her death registered in Surrey Mid-East region and she was buried at Nunhead Cemetery, where he joined her 10 years later. I found a photo of Picton Street taken a few years later in 1956, when they were just replacing the old style housing with the new. Interesting...


Tuesday 16th February 2016

Firstly, I apologise if I sound like an over-excited child at Christmas, but this is a special day. Thanks to Findmypast, the 1939 Register is open and free to all of their loyal subscribers. This is so wonderful!

When it was released last autumn I compiled a list of households to research, starting with our parents & grandparents and working outwards. It came to 40 households and I paid for 10 straight away, but couldn't afford to go any further with this. So, today I can accomplish what I wanted to and get details for all the households on the list.

In case you don't know, the 1939 Register was compiled on 29th September 1939 as a means to make up identity cards for residents of England & Wales in event of war. It registered where everyone was (except for some children already evacuated, some unfortunately not listed because they worked in the Forces or making ammunition etc, which were considered secret) at the time and enabled ration books etc to be issued with the minimum of confusion. However, due to privacy legislation, the record for anyone born less than 100 years ago, or who they believe still to be alive now, has been hidden from view.


So, firstly I opened the listing for Violet May Harris, my great aunt
, who had been married in 1935 and lived in Lambeth in 1945. I knew this because London has detailed electoral roll records on Ancestry, but not for the War Years. She can be seen in 1939 to be living alone at 16 Clayton Buildings and working as a Fountain Pen Polisher!

As I had already obtained part of the listings for "The Buildings", I decided to download all of it. My mother will be interested, although she had at that time been evacuated already, being only seven years old. I have been able to list all 35 flats, so we can chat about her memories of the neighbours when she next comes over.


Pressing on with my family list, I next investigated great great-aunt Lily Rose Seear née Woodford (great grandmother Carrie's sister). Strangely enough I could never find her birth registration, just knowing she was born in 1881/2 by ages on censuses etc. This document gives her date of birth as 20 May 1881, which I have now entered on my tree. She is with husband George R Seear d.o.b. 18 Dec 1879, a Builder's Painter at 7 Manor Place, Southwark (confirming electoral roll record of 1935). He had been in the Labour Corps in WW1 but was now 60 years old, so not called up. Lily died only 5 years later, so this is really our last glimpse of her.

Her brother Herbert Arthur Woodford was next, and I obtained full date of birth 26 Jul 1872 from this document. He was at Woodspring, London Road, Billericay, Essex, the same address at which he died the following year, with Emily Clara Woodford, d.o.b. 10 Jan 1874 UDD (Unpaid Domestic Duties i.e. housewife). Herbert was listed as a Printer's Pressman retired, and it was when he retired, possibly in 1937 when he reached 65, that they moved out to Essex.

Brother Edmund Woodford was next, shown with d.o.b. 31 Jul 1874 at 47 Camberwell Station Road with wife Clara d.o.b. 31 Jul 1877 (the last day of July was evidently a big day for celebrating in their house!) and son Charles Albert d.o.b. 28 Aug 1916. This address I already knew, as Charles was born there in 1916, and have noted it is now part of a bus garage. It evidently was close by in those days too, as Edmund's occupation is down as Carpenter LPTB - the London Passenger Transport Board, forerunner of London Transport in 1933-48 before it was nationalised. He must have worked on the wooden structure of buses and trams before the Routemaster took over. Their son Charles was impressive; even at the early age of 23 he was listed as Architectural Draughtsman & Metropolitan Special Constable. He married Lily Rose Huntley a few months later and they settled at Leander Road, Tulse Hill, before retiring to Surrey at a later date.

I had a puzzle to solve in the case of another of Carrie's siblings Reuben J Woodford. He could be seen last year on the preview screen with two others, one open, one closed. As his wife Flo died a few months before the Register, I postulated the open one may be her sister Ada Wells, the closed one couldn't be one of their children since they were both married (and have died since, so should be open anyway). The truth was even more confusing, though, as it turned out to be two open records - several thousands have been opened since I first looked last year - an Ada K Woodford and a George W Woodford, both single aged 26 & 24 respectively. It does look as if I have found a whole new piece of family! The address in 1939 is 12 Longville Road, Southwark and I can now see that at this address in electoral roll of 1934 are Reuben and Flo, with Herbert Charles, Ada Rosina and also the daughter I did know about Florence Ada now Pearson, with her husband George Henry Pearson. Ada is listed in 1939 as working in printing, as a Bookfolder and George as Warehouseman Iron & Steel. There is also another couple in a separate household at the same address - the abovementioned Herbert C and his wife Kathleen R, also a closed file which may be a child of theirs. There are two notes by Kathleen's name "Webb" & "Cole" - possibly names on subsequent remarriage? I do love the detective aspect of this hobby!

Later - all of these details are proved correct, including the many marriages of Kathleen! Herbert Charles was born just after the 1911 census, so I had missed his presence, along with the other two children who came along in the next few years. My mother didn't mention them because this branch of the family evidently were not known to her. I have now added Herbert d.o.b. 14 Apr 1912, Ada d.o.b 16 Mar 1913 and George d.o.b. 1 Nov 1915 to the tree. Herbert Charles died in Oct 1955 in Chelsea (just over the river, and thus convenient - my husband was born there in St Stephens Hospital for the same reason just a few weeks later) aged only 43.
Incidentally, Kathleen married Ernest F Webb in Jul 1957, but he died on 28 May 1985 aged 69 at West Hill Hospital, Dartford (I know it well!) and was buried on 6 Jun at Erith Cemetery. Two years later (Jul 1987 in Bexley) she was married again, to Gilbert George Cole - at the age of 72! He died the following May aged 77. She followed in 2001 aged 86.
Ada died aged 54, still single, in Sutton, Surrey in 1967. George William married local girl Edith Maud Cann in Walworth on 5 Sep 1945. He died aged 65 at St Mary's Hospital, Sidcup on 23 Mar 1981 (I know it well again!). She followed aged 92 on 4 Aug 2008 - apparently at 28 Mayer Road, Erith.

Looking forward to more of the same tomorrow...

Monday 15th February 2016

What happened on this day:
Herbert Frank Matthews was born in 1899
"William Woodford 2" was christened in 1824
Richard Hodd married Matilda Saunders in 1846
Ellen Louisa May married George C E Hawkes in 1908 and
Alfred Stanfield Roffey died in 1934

Elizabeth Matthews 3's story fell apart on investigation in 2014, so I have tried again - happily with more success. She was born in late 1862/early 1863 to Silas & Sarah née Williams in Walcot, Bath, Somerset and can be seen with them in census of 1871 aged 8 at 13 Wellington Place [if you can remember back 2 years, it was the alley beside the indian restaurant I visited in 2009
]
I have now found what I am confident is the correct marriage. It was elusive, as was well out of the area. On 26 Apr 1884 at Christ Church, Sparkbrook, Warwickshire (registration area Aston, Birmingham) she married David Matthew Haskins, rulemaker.

Witnesses were Daniel & Elizabeth Haskins, groom's parents. (father of bride noted as Silas Matthews, deceased stonemason). Even knowing this, I cannot find her in 1881 census, except a servant in Aston of the correct age but wrong birthplace (however, I have said before that employers could be wrong about details of their staff). She can be seen in 1891 census at 192 Camp Hill, Birmingham with 2 sons.
[photographed in 1960s]

By 1901 these two eldest boys were working as railway messenger & office boy and there were 3 further children, living at 48 Kyotts Lake Road [now warehouses]. In 1911 they were at 117 Byron Road, Small Heath, Birmingham [now modern housing, but in those days houses owned by Great Western Railway Company, from whom they rented one] with 3 of their eventual 6 children. Unfortunately Elizabeth didn't make it to the 1939 Register, as she died just before it was compiled, but I have found David. In the 1920s and 1930s electoral roll records Elizabeth & David can be seen living at 86 Green Lane, Small Heath with an Emma Louisa Roberts, and shortly after Elizabeth died he married Emma - he was aged 78, which I find shocking, especially to find she was 28 years younger than him... but these things do happen. I can't find her after his death in 1937, but she may have remarried and moved away.

Elizabeth Kate Matthews
was just as elusive as before, there being in 1939 Register either 32,000 or none with her name (including middle name or not), but of course she could have married anywhere to anyone...

Sunday 14th February 2016

What happened on this day:
13th Feb:
Martha Hodd was born in 1862 and
"Dewey Dance 2" in 1802
Anne Woodford married Edward Exon in 1845
Mary Catherine Howell née Woodford died in 1907
William Dobbins (who married Emily Woodford) in 1947 and
Dewey Cox née Dance in 1888
14th Feb:
Lloyd Philip Wooldridge was born in 1897
Arthur Stanley Manhire in 1885
Thomas Albert Matthews in 1921 and
Florence Valentine Matthews in 1895
James Henry Cox was christened in 1839 and
William Hatton Woodford in 1848 aged 8 months (one of the "babies who died")

I had hoped to sort out Eliza Matthews 2 today, but I still cannot identify her properly, due to lack of parish records online for Bath.

Likewise Eliza Edith Matthews was a problem in 2014, but was still today for the same reasons.

Eliza Emily Matthews' story contained a lot of conjecture, my biggest doubt being her marriage at the age of 59, but this is a classic case for confirmation by 1939 Register. As I have stated, this is being freed of charge to subscribers on Tuesday of this week, so I will be able to provide more detail then. However, I can already see from "preview" information, that the marriage has been confirmed by the use of middle names for both parties on the Register, along with dates of birth, living in the correct area, so I am very confident.

Friday 12th February 2016

Sorry for my absence, I have been away - with family, so I hope it is allowed!

What happened on this day:
10th Feb:
Timothy Haggerty (who married Jane Roffey) died in 1872
Elizabeth Allen née Knight in 1868 and
John Knight was buried in 1813

11th Feb:
Mary Ann Matthews was born in 1858
Elizabeth Woodford née Parnham died in 1842 and
Richard Knight in 1915
Ann Wooldridge née Lewis was buried in 1899 and
Fanny Hill née Knight in 1933
12th Feb:
Arthur Theodore Knight was born in 1880
"John Wooldridge 5" married Emma Elizabeth Williams in 1899 and
John Noonan died in 1897


I dealt with "Eliza Matthews1" (my great great aunt) in 2014 but thought today I would deal with her first husband. Richard Buffett Callen was born in Brinscombe, Gloucestershire to Charles Callen, sailmaker & Jane née Jones, and christened at Holy Trinity, Minchinhampton on 11 Apr 1841

In 1851 the family had moved to Newport, Monmouthshire (oddly only a few streets from my husband's family nowadays) and in 1851 census he was there with them aged 9. By 1861 census he had moved to London & can be seen at 71 Newington Causeway, servant/assistant in the household of a brushmaker (oddly again, we were there only last year). He was evidently studying accountancy, as in 1871 he was lodging at 4 Cloudesley Square, Islington, working as a cashier at a wine-merchants, and the following year, on his marriage to Eliza, was listed as an accountant
[this may be the wine-merchants, as it is just around the corner, and may not have changed much from his day!]

They married at St Mark's, Myddleton Square, Islington on 10 Aug 1872 but then moved back to Richard's birthplace in Bristol. He was evidently not strong, and on 6 Jan 1875 he was admitted to the local Lunatic Asylum, where he died on 20 April (he may not have been insane, a lot of epilepsy sufferers were housed here, but he was listed as "pauper", probably due to being too sick to work).

He must have come from a Methodist family, as the Hebron Cemetery where he was buried is. This has been recently cleared, so the stones are once again visible.



[sorry about the limits of this photo - I didn't take it. It appears to show a family headstone, marking final resting place of his parents and brother as well as Richard himself. I'm a little concerned about the wording "regretted brother" and hope is isn't related to his admission to the asylum!]
I told the rest of her story in 2014, but have now discovered that her second husband too died in a psychiatric institution, London County Mental Hospital, Bexley in Kent. Maybe that was where they met, or she did charitable work with the mentally ill. This was London's 7th asylum, known in my day as The Heath Asylum. Closed in 2001, it has now gone


He died on 11 Sep 1921, leaving effects worth £333 to Eliza. She died 5 years later.

Sunday 31st January 2016

What happened on this day:
30th Jan:

John Knight was christened in 1803

Bathsheba Searle née Retallick died in 1922 and
Edward Charles Roffey in 1912
31st Jan:
Frederick James Catchesides was born in 1857
Charles Albert Cox in 1884
Thomas William Matthews was christened in 1892 and
Zerua Knight married John Bennetts in 1877

Trying to fill in the gaps in the story of my 4xgreat grandfather, Edward Matthews, I have found a couple of possible death records for his first wife Ann, at two extremes of the possible time-frame. One was in Nov 1767, which would mean she died when daughter Anna was 9 months old - possibly some complication of birth took her. This was in Leigh, in Gloucestershire, although in the same county as Bristol (where Anna was christened) it is 40 miles away... The other possibility is 12 Sep 1773 in Shaftesbury in Dorset. Edward married again only a month later, but if this death were expected maybe that wasn't considered disrespectful with young children (10 and 7) to consider. Shaftesbury is also only 5 miles from Gillingham, where the family are next seen. I wouldn't hesitate to "plump" for the latter if it wasn't for the fact that Edward's 2nd marriage was by license as he was living in Gloucestershire at the time. I did find a burial record for Stephen Wheatland (Mary's first husband) in Camden, London, dated 21 Mar 1773, when he had only been married 9 months. So maybe the newly-bereaved comforted each other. Suffice to say daughter Elizabeth arrived a year later and 4 more followed. They were all born and baptised in Gillingham, then Edward died there in 1798, aged 55, and was buried there on 10 Jan.

Oddly, I am keeping pace with the work I did on this tree 2 years ago, and told the story of the two Edwin Barnard Matthews - senior & junior - on 26th January 2014. Interesting stories - have a look on the tab above. Today I didn't find anything new.

Friday 29th January 2016

What happened on this day:
27th Jan:
Susan Evangeline Knight married Joseph O'Neill in 1909
Arthur Ernest Woodford died in 1961
Mary Ellen Matthews née Drinkwater in 1963
"John Wooldridge 3" was buried in 1822 and
Benjamin Knight in 1846
28th Jan:
Edith Caroline Wooldridge was born in 1900 and
Mary Knight in 1849
James Roffey married Emma Wilson in 1860
Edward May married Helena Froude in 1883
Alice May married John (Ted) Pratt in 1912 and
Olive Rosina Stainer née Matthews died in 1947
29th Jan:
Nothing!

In 2014 I dealt with Edgar Charles Matthews but had not found his marriage, so consequently thought he died single (no record said) and left his effects to an Edward Matthews I did not know. Today I have cleared this up in the classic "detective story" way - such fun! Because of the recent addition of the 1939 Register I was able to find him in the years between, and in his household were one Dora G Matthews and 3 closed records (ie ostensibly still alive). Thus I was able to search for a marriage between an Edgar C Matthews and a Dora and found one in Exeter in 1920. This was where his parents lived, so makes sense. Next step was to see if they had any children, and I found two - the aforementioned Edward Walter (who Edgar left his effects to) and Dora (always good to find a repeated name) with mother's maiden name of Onslow, also in Exeter. I love it when it all falls into place! Edgar married Dora Gertrude Onslow in Oct 1920, daughter and sister of a coach driver and guard, working for a livery stables in Bournemouth in 1911. I shall find out the address they settled at when I can access the 1939 Register freely in a few weeks time. Son Edward went on to marry in Poole in Apr 1970 a lady from Wareham with the lovely name of Barbara Enda Dennord but he died 4 years later at the age of 52 and Barbara followed a few weeks later. Daughter Dora could be one of several marriages or deaths in the area, so I can take her no further. When Edgar Charles died in 1951 he lived at 34 Harbour Road, Poole. This address was swept away when the modern Poole Harbour Marina & Ferry with Car Park was developed.

A little development you may be interested in is that Rod Read, a distant cousin on my Woodford tree, has upgraded some of my family photos and sent me the resultant cleaned & coloured versions. Although I do have a soft spot for the old black & whites, these are very much more "alive". I have attached them to my Ancestry tree but thought I would share them here with you too:
Carrie and Grampy in 1929 - they are my great grandparents on the occasion of my grandparents' wedding

Uncle Charlie - my great great uncle - in the Royal Flying Corps

Mary Catherine Woodford - my 2nd cousin 4x removed, apparently!

Thanks Rod, lovely job!

Tuesday 26th January 2016


If you visit this site regularly you will be used to my contributions usually on a Thursday to Monday, as I have worked on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for some years. I am about to change this, and this week am working Wednesday & Thursday - just to confuse - as from 18th Feb I shall be going into the office on Thursdays and Fridays. Today I am out this afternoon, so have just popped in to report this.

What happened on this day:
Mabel Esther Wooldridge was born in 1906
Ethel Georgina Matthews in 1888 and
James Frederick Small in 1823
Amelia Parker married Charles Prangnell in 1895

Monday 25th January 2016

What happened on this day:
John Henry Parker was born in 1843
Frederick Matthews in 1901 and
"Anthony Knight 2" died in 1855

Dorothy May Matthews was born 23 Dec 1925 in Walcot, Bath to Silas and Edith née Gifford, middle child of nine. In Oct 1945 in Farmborough, Norton Radstock, Somerset she married Roy Edwin Bird, 6 years older than her, from Clutton nearby.
All Saints Church
In 1939 Register she is probably with her parents in Bath (confirmation in a couple of weeks) and Roy can be seen in Clutton with John & Laura Bird, his parents. Dorothy & Roy had at least one child, Mary in 1948, but when she was only 18 and planning to get married later that year her father died. On his probate record his address was given as The Butchers Arms, Farmborough

I don't know whether he was publican or resident, or just happened to be there when he died. It was 6th January and he left £1548 to Dorothy. This must have come in very handy as Mary was married in October of that year in the church above to Clive Carter. Dorothy wasn't alone for long, as she married in October also, (but in Bath itself) to Dennis S Brimble, this time 11 years younger than her, but also from Norton. (Newspaper articles are thin on the ground in this case, partly due to the red herrings "Roy's Bird Seed" and an MP by his name, but also a complete absence of Brimbles). Dorothy died in Nov 2000 in the Bath area, but I think Dennis is still alive & living there.

Douglas Henry Matthews was born 10 Mar 1925 in Bath to Robert Albert and Henrietta née Jones. In 1939 Register he can be seen aged 14 with his mother & various other members of the family (his father had died when he was 5). In Jul 1945 in Bath he married Mary Eileen Leonard and they had 3 daughters, Valdene, Lena & Prudence. Unfortunately when Prue was 11 he died aged 48. Two of the girls (at least) were married and settled in the Bath area. Mary Eileen died aged 83 on 1 Aug 2009. The Bath Chronicle ran an obituary to her, mentioning the three girls, but I can no longer access it.

Sunday 24th January 2016

What happened on this day:
John Thomas Catchesides was born in 1809
Mary Ann Parker in 1860 and
Dorothy Matthews in 1895
Robert Knight died in 1865
William Epsley (who married Eliza Roffey) in 1925
Edward Albert Cox was Killed in Action
in 1917

I tried to trace Daisy C Matthews on 1939 census in order to confirm electoral roll records but cannot track either her nor her father down in Lambeth. I may have more luck when I search again in February.

Daisy May Matthews is another one for further investigation when records are free. I had her in Bath up to the age of 21, working as a confectioner's assistant, but then was very unsure of a marriage at the age of 68 in another county let alone the alternative - death in Alabama, the record for which has been removed!
Watch this space...

Dorcas Maria Matthews
was a nuisance, as I said in 2014, as she was never known by her first name, and the spelling of her husband's surname at marriage was suspect... thus finding her after 1885 was very difficult indeed

Doris Laura Matthews only appeared in 1911 at the age of 8 and then 1977 at her death, so again 1939 will provide a very useful gap-closer. However, at the moment I can only see one household in the area, with an Edward, who I cannot identify (and the information is not duplicated when putting in a search for him) so again it will have to wait a few weeks for details.

Saturday 23rd January 2016

What happened on this day:
Andrew & Elizabeth Woodford were christened in 1831
William Henry Retallick married Ann Grose Courtney in 1858
Betsey Knight married Joseph Trudgeon in 1848
Elizabeth Woodford née Adams died in 1945
Amy Knight née Wills in 1978 and
George Roffey in 1885

Constance Lilian Louise Matthews caused me some headaches, as her name is very similar to my Aunt Con's (also middle name Lilian) but she was born 24 Mar 1904 in Walcot, Bath to Silas & Lily née Nicholls
and is apparently my 3rd cousin once removed. Unfortunately at the moment all I can find is her death in Bexley in 1991. I cannot find her in 1911 census, so will have to wait  for the 1939 Register (see yesterday) as she may be there in Bexley with relatives I cannot as yet identify.

Thursday 21st January 2016

What happened on this day:
19th Jan:
James Retallick was christened in 1823
Hatton Woodford died in 1854 (aged 12 days)
Emily Hughes née Cox in 1933
Charles Howey (who married Sarah A G Roffey) in 1903
Maria Matilda Roffey in 1866
Elizabeth Wooldridge née Crouch was buried in 1826
William Knight in 1894
20th Jan:
"Richard Retallick 2" married Amelia Lobb in 1855
21st Jan:
My husband Clive Vernon Smith was born in 1956 and
Laura Matthews in 1895
Richard Knight died in 1923 and
Prudence Knight in 1873


Fantastic news! You may remember my joy, then despondency, last Autumn when the 1939 Register came out, as Findmypast, who ran the release, decided to charge their loyal subscribers. Well, they have reconsidered - probably due to the disappointed response and mass exodus of members of many years standing.
So, they have informed me that from 16th February these records will be included in my subscription. I did compile a list and will be quick to access these records as soon as possible.

I told the story of Clara Matthews on 24th Jan 2014 but I can now add a burial record. She was buried on 23 Nov 1896 in Islington Cemetery


The same applies to Aunt Constance Lilian Matthews' husband Les, who I can see was cremated 2 Apr 1969 at Eltham Crematorium, having died in the Greenwich area on 25 March. I have also answered the question of why the area they lived in on Commercial Road Peckham was redeveloped as the Surrey Canal Path. The whole are had been peppered with flying bombs in 1944 and much property was damaged. I can see they were still living there in 1962 but the slum-clearance work already started was speeded up by the devastation, and those properties next to the Conservation Area of the canal and park were removed in the 1960s.

Monday 18th January 2016

What happened on this day:
Not a lot again! Just 3 christenings
Herbert August Hennig in 1880
"Ann Woodford 4" in 1824 and
Elizabeth Knight in 1789

Studied lots of Matthewses today with nothing new to tell, including the 3-generation stem of Charlses, then suddenly:

Charles Reginald Matthews was born Oct 1922 in Walcot, Bath to Robert & Henrietta née Jones. By the time he was 15 (summer 1937) he was employed by the butchery department of the local Co-operative Store as a "Roundsman". His job was to call on customers, take orders, deliver goods and collect the money. (The Co-op had a no-cash policy in a lot of their shops, and when they did take it, they used the Lamson tube system I have discussed before with regard to my grandad Harry Gamble). Anyway, on 2 Dec 1939 the now 17-year-old was in the Police Court accused of embezzlement. Apparently between 15 Sep and 29 Oct £8 3s 1d went missing from his round. He had "arranged matters so that he could keep the money for himself". He "reported the loss of £11 at the Police Station when he had the money in a bag on his bicycle when he reported it", and forged a cheque and also stole meat from the branch on 2 occasions. He was remanded for a week while the magistrates considered, then was put on probation for 2 years and ordered to "make restitution of £2 5s".

[Co-op Twerton on the left]

[site of Co-op pictured in 2008 - it is still the same but lots more weeds!]
All else I can find is his probate document (proven in Apr 1964 in Bristol), stating at the age of 41 he died on 15 Dec 1963 on the way from his home - still 22 Otago Terrace, Larkhall - to St Martin's Hospital.


He left £1266 to his remaining siblings Thomas, Leonard, Douglas & Rosina. The journey (presumably by ambulance) was right across the city, some 4 miles. The hospital was quite famous at the time, as 3 years before it was the place Eddie Cochran was brought to from his car accident, and there is a plaque in the grounds to mark this.


Sunday 17th January 2016

What happened on this day:
Not a lot!

"George Wooldridge 3" was christened in 1789 and
Joseph Hodd in 1827

Alfred William Matthews
was dealt with in detail on 16th January 2014, the father of Alfred James, mentioned yesterday, but I did not have his death record. I have now seen the actual certificate so can report the story. He was admitted to hospital in Philadelphia on 30 Apr 1931 aged 67 with general arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and myocardial degeneration (heart condition). He died on 4th June and a secondary condition of left cerebral thrombosis was noted (ie he had a stroke). He was buried at North Cedar Hill Cemetery - see yesterday for photograph. The only other fact I unearthed was when he landed on US shores in 1906 it was at Boston, Massachusetts on 12th August.

Similarly, Alice Maria Matthews petered out in 2014 as I couldn't confirm a death record. I have found one including her middle name - which always helps - and it seems that the "temporary address" to which son Reginald was sent home from the army became permanent i.e they didn't return from Yorkshire. This is confirmed by the recently-released 1939 Register, where the 3 of them can be seen in a household in Bradford, Yorkshire. So Alice died there a few weeks later aged 69 and I suspect William returned to the West Country and died there in 1950 aged 78. Reginald, as I said in 2014, went on to live to the age of 91 in Yorkshire, although I can't see that he ever married.

Saturday 16th January 2016

What happened on this day:
Henry Smith was born in 1864
"The twins who died" Caroline & Hatton Woodford were christened in 1854
as was Clara Ann Knight in 1866
John Smith married Mary Hayward in 1804
Philip Knight died in 1858

I dealt with Alfred James Matthews in a great deal of detail in 2014, but with no death record for him. Today I repeated the process but again turned up nothing except a funeral notice from 19 Nov 1917, when he was in the army in Philadelphia. It was for the 8-year-old son Alfred James Bernard, known as Junior, who died of diphtheria. It took place at Sepviva Street Methodist, the street where they lived, and he was interred at North Cedar Hills Cemetery, 5 miles away.


I found their house on Google Streetview, in a sorry state, boarded up & derelict since at least 2007.

He probably ran a bakery business from here - it does appear to have been a shop. I still cannot find a death record for this Alfred, although I have for his father and for his son, but know it was between 1923, when he was naturalized and 1940. In 1935 & 1940 Bertha can be seen at another address in Pennsylvania, this time in Easton, 55 miles away.

This looks a lot more salubrious, and is also a shop. It seems that she lived there from 1925, although the directories do not state the nature of the business. Maybe she continued the bakery there. the building was built in 1920, so was fairly new when she moved there. In 2008 apparently the owner established a laundromat with a tailoring alteration service, but it could have been many things over the years, and there are also 2 flats above now.

Friday 15th January 2016

What happened on this day:
Alexander Adolphus Knight was born in 1873
Hilda Annie Matthews in 1897
James Knight was christened in 1797
Maria Retallick married Luke Thomas in 1846
Leonard Milnes (who married Elizabeth Hatton) died in 1912
Mark Henry Wooldridge in 1974 and
Dorothy Hore née Knight was buried in 1829

I covered my Uncle Bert Albert George Matthews in depth in 2014. New info now is the 1939 Register, where he can be seen still at home (135 Peckham Rye) with his father & my Dad, as he married first wife Nellie in October of that year, and also the names of the parents of Olive, his second wife: William Charles Hilderly & Annie Tamar Mersh. (They were still alive in my early childhood but I never met them).

Alexander William George Matthews was born 22 Jun 1927 in Walcot, Bath to Silas & Edith née Gifford. In Oct 1949 in Bath he married Audrey Maud Thornton and they had 9 children in 14 years. Unfortunately they had very common names, so I haven't been able to be sure of marriages etc. so no more is known. Alexander died in May 1991 in Bath, and Audrey in 1995, aged 63 and 65 respectively.

Thursday 14th January 2016

What happened on this day:

13th Jan:
Harry Woodford was christened in 1872 and
Sarah May in 1819
Ann Elizabeth Dawes née Catchesdides was buried in 1927
14th Jan:
Catherine Retallick was christened in 1778 and
Abraham Catchesides in 1761
William Walter Hennig died in 1925
Robert Knight in 1855 in Australia and
Bessie Rowe née Knight was buried in 1928

Checking up on Albert Edwin Matthews, I see now why I didn't report on him in 2014. I have him up to the age of 18 with parents & sibs in Bath, but then a marriage I cannot confirm by finding them afterwards (eg census etc) and nothing more... I did state on my notes that I had originally found a 1911 census record, but that it wasn't to be found in 2014. This may be because on closer look he was found to be single and it was 7 years after his marriage. However, as I said above, I do like to use the next census to confirm a marriage in the absence of the certificate itself. I do have deaths for both in the same area, albeit 22 years apart (but with doubts, as 1939 Register shows her with a Frank Matthews b 1871 ie the same age).

Albert F A Matthews, son of Albert William Matthews and Florence Gribble was born in Oct 1926 in Willesden and can be seen in Electoral Roll records at 13a Deacon Road, Willesden with parents, brother and sister, until records end, currently in 1962.

By this time, all 3 siblings were still single and in their 30s, and I cannot see any marriages or deaths.

Monday 11th January 2016

Very sad to hear this morning of the death of David Bowie. I feel a special kind of affinity with him. Like many of my generation, I grew up to the soundtrack of his music, beginning in 1969, when I went to discos on a weekly basis. But especially in a Family History sense, as he was born in Brixton, only a few miles from where I was born 9 years later, was married (for the first time) in the same little Register Office where we were married, again 9 years later. As he died in New York, I must make a point of avoiding that city in 9 years time!

What happened on this day:
Joseph Hodd was born in 1851
John Augustine Gamble in 1885 and
Mary Ann Small in 1849
Edward William Gamble was christened in 1886 and
David Knight in 1845
Fanny Knight married John Hicks Bosanko in 1874
Percy John Wooldridge died in 1943
Henry Wright (who married Sarah Grace Roffey) in 1887 and
Edward Matthews was buried in 1798

When I covered Albert Edward Matthews (father of Ada) in 2014, I was unsure of his wife's maiden name, as two Emmas were married on that day, but now have sight of the marriage certificate. On 25 Mar 1894 at St Matthew's church, Marylebone he married Emma Burrows, a waitress, and witnesses were a William Forret and her mother Emma Burrows (possibly née Lacy), her father was a horsekeeper, originally from Suffolk. She was born in Apr 1873 in Salisbury Street, Marylebone and can be seen in census of 1881 nearby in Lisson Grove, then in 1891 near St Matthew's church, where they got married. Unfortunately it appears that no pictures survive of St Matthew's. It was on Maida Hill, consecrated in 1853 but badly bombed in 1940.

Friday 8th January 2016

What happened on this day:
Harold Goodwin Roffey was born in 1861
"Mary Woodford 4" was christened in 1817
"James Roffey 2" died in 1898 and
May Wooldridge née Smith in 1921

The work I did yesterday for Andy Coulstock was sent to him by email and he was pleased with it. If anybody is curious about anyone I mention on here, or even those I don't, then I am happy to drop the routine investigations and take a detour. Just ask on the Feedback tab above. I won't go into it today, as it may not be of sufficient interest to you in general.

Ada Emma Matthews was born 30 Sep 1896 at 13 Ranston Street, Marylebone to Albert & Emma. She can be seen on census return of 1901 aged 4 at 20 Suffolk Place, Marylebone with parents & brothers.
 
It seemed they jumped around the place for a few years, as when admitted to Stephen Street infants school in 1903 her address was 62 Devon Street, then in 1906 when admitted to Netherwood School, Camden she lived at 19 Gresby Road - neither of these addresses exist today and the schools are gone too. By 1911 census they had moved on again, this time out of central London, and Ada can be seen at 18 Colin Road, Willesden with parents & sibs, aged 14 & listed as a Packer in a Laundry

This Britain From The Air photograph shows Colin Road in 1921, when the family still lived there (this end of terrace in middle right)

This one shows a laundry very close by, taken at the same time

(Colin Road is just off the photo to the left). It is interesting how much space was taken up at this time with allotments - the patchwork in the foreground.

On 4 Feb 1916 she had a bit of an adventure: she travelled to Hounslow and was arrested for using bad language to a group of soldiers in a pub. She had apparently met another woman there and it was her they were unhappy with, telling her to go back to Trafalgar Square! No more details were given in court the next day, but she was fined 5s and said she regretted going to Hounslow and wouldn't visit there again! It seems that several girls who worked in a laundry were arrested for insulting soldiers on this occasion. In October of that year in Willesden she married Gordon W Adams, but this didn't stop her shenanigans - I suspect she may have been a Suffragette and had a bit of a reputation - as this newspaper clipping shows:

[I have just noticed - 3 days later - that the above is actually a poem!]
There is a death record with the correct age in Wood Green in Apr 1958, but another Ada Adams is in Wood Green in the 1939 Register with a Bertram Adams, so this may be her instead. I cannot find them for sure, as there is a Gordon Adams in the Navy popping backwards & forwards accross the Atlantic, and one of the comments in the article above stated she had not spent any time with her husband since they were married (no names were given but it may be her) except on holidays.

Thursday 7th January 2016

What happened on this day:

6th Jan:
Dorian & Jane Catchesides were born in 1764 (but sadly died 2 days later)
Emily Ann Retallick was born in 1883
"John Woodford 6" was christened in 1820 and
John Retallack in 1808
Edward Isaac Gamble married Fanny Cooper in 1918
Eliza Cox married William Joseph Eldershaw in 1861
Mary Small née Knight was buried in 1822 and
Chritiane Knight née Lawrence in 1864

7th Jan:
twins Caroline & Hatton Woodford were born in 1854 - "the babies who died" and started my interest in genealogy
Annie Knight married James T Hill in 1891 in USA
James Knight died in 1870

Before I get back to my own work, I have a query to work on for a reader. Andy Coulstock has asked for information on mutual ancestor William Coulstock Weller as he is compiling a One-Name-Study on his surname. This was an interesting story I reported on in 2013, so I shall be glad to look into it a little further for him.

Monday 4th January 2015

What happened on this day:

Nobody was born!
Elizabeth Knight was christened in 1818
Leonard Manhire married Beatrice Lavinia House in 1912
George Catchesides married Sophia Skelton in 1886
Lucy Woodford née Goodacre died in 1908
Sidney Albert Matthews died in 1945 in Singapore


William Charles Hennig was born 3 May 1852 to Frederick and Maria née Cox in the area of London served by St-Martins-In-The-Fields, but not christened there until 26 May 1853. I don't know whether somebody put down the wrong year, of whether there was a "waiting list" at this very famous church, as it was rare in those days not to be christened in the first few weeks of life.

He can be seen in 1861 census living locally at 32a Villiers Street with parents & sibs, also Catherine Noonan & family, who would later become his step-mother. By 1871 he was 18 and had left home. I cannot find him in the census taken in April, but on 16 Sep 1871 he joined the army, attesting in St Martins to the Dorsetshire Regiment 39th Foot. I lose track of him after this. There are American army records for a William Hennig who served in the Civil War in 1878, his wife Ernestina was paid a civil war pension from 1890 and a veteran pension 1907-33. However, I cannot tell if this is him. There is also a William C Hennig who married in Surrey in 1881, and another who lived in Finsbury in London 1877-93 with Ewald Hennig, who I don't know - cannot be his son as he is too old. There is a death in Lambeth in 1896 which would fit with this one. So, another dead end.


I dealt with William Walter Hennig in good detail in 2013
, but I was curious about the fact that he died in the same hospital as my father, when the latter was 3 years old. As they were cousins, I wondered if this had passed down in family folklore. I doubt it very much, as my father always said his mother died when he was a small child and he didn't remember anything of her family. The truth was that she died when he was 17, but maybe as he was the youngest she treated him like a child... I would have loved to have met her and asked her about the German ancestry.

Anyway, on again now to study the Matthews family.

Sunday 3rd January 2016

Firstly, a very Happy & Prosperous New Year to you all. It will take me a while to get back into normal life, so please bear with me.

Meanwhile, here's a thought:


What happened on this day:

1st Jan:
David Manhire was born in 1882 and
Louisa Eliza Small in 1847
"Richard Retallick 9" was christened in 1781
Maria Retallick in 1823
John Retallick in 1833
"Anthony Knight 1" in 1749
John Knight in 1813 and
Elizabeth Knight in 1796
William Matthews married Eliza Robins in 1867 and
John Dance married Mary Sexton in 1825
Catherine Wooldridge died in 1906 (aged 3 - would have been my great-aunt)
Elison Gordon Retallick in 1966
Priscilla Monk née Woodford was buried in 1889

2nd Jan:
Abraham Joseph Catchesides was born in 1804
Frances Knight christened in 1825
James Knight married Grace Ann Woon in 1836
William Hatton died in 1899

3rd Jan:
John Richard Roffey was born in 1811
Sarah Ann Woodford was christened in 1865
Jane Knight in 1830
Ann Finch née Roffey died in 1931
Alfred Clarence Roffey in 1960 and
Elizabeth Chapman née Knight
was buried in 1848