The first entry in Joseph Rowe’s 5-week diary was made on 11 February 1889. He had been stationed in Gibraltar with the British army for just over a year, and it was here that his first child, also named Joseph, was born in 1888.
The diary begins on the day that Joseph and his fellow soldiers departed Gibraltar for India, the site of their next posting. Also travelling with Joseph were his wife, Pollie, and his 4-month old son. It is a nostalgic entry, looking back at his time in Gibraltar and the friends that he and Pollie were leaving behind.… Continue reading
Charles John Smith was an older brother of my 2nd great-grandmother, Mary Ann Smith. He was born 17 September 1822 in the small English parish of Hindolveston, Norfolk, to parents John Smith, a tailor, and Mary Shirley. On 29 October 1822, when he was six weeks old, Charles was baptised at the Independent (Congregational) Church of Briston and Guestwick. He was the fourth of ten children born to John and Mary.
After his baptism,
the next record of Charles is on the 1841 census. He was enumerated in
Hindolveston, living with his parents and younger siblings Isaac, Maria,
Charlotte, and Francis.… Continue reading
Although national censuses of Britain were taken starting in 1801, personal names were not recorded until the decennial census of 1841. However, prior to 1841, some parishes made occasional lists of their inhabitants that sometimes included information beyond names. These can be useful for genealogical research prior to 1841.
The records for Illington, Norfolk include a list of inhabitants prepared in 1801. In addition to each person’s name, their sex was recorded. The names were grouped by family, and a note on the list indicates that there were 11 families living in 5 houses. In total, there were 71 persons living in Illington when the list was created.… Continue reading
Knowing that the infant mortality rate was higher in the nineteenth century than it is now does not make the discovery of a child’s death any easier. I am curious as to what my ancestors’ children died of, and I have previously blogged about 4-year-old Agnes Owen, who died from measles.
Elizabeth Clarke was born on 10 March 1866 in Palgrave, Suffolk.1 She was one of my grandfather’s older siblings, and she was the fourth child born to Benjamin Clarke, an agricultural labourer, and Mary Ann Warby Hunt. The couple had their daughter, Elizabeth, baptised at the parish church of Palgrave when she was about one month old, on 8 April 1866.… Continue reading
“On Monday evening last the Diss Company of Change Ringers rang on the bells of the Parish Church …. with the bells half muffled, as a last tribute of respect to the memory of Thomas Clarke…”
About Thomas Clarke
Thomas Clarke was born 1825 in the small rural English village of Palgrave, Suffolk. Census records revealed that Thomas worked as an agricultural labourer, married late in life, and had no children. The newspaper report of his death in 1902 was more informative, and helps bring Thomas to life.
According to his death notice, Thomas had been a member of the change bell ringers’ company of nearby Diss, Norfolk, since his youth.… Continue reading
Have you discovered a gardener in your family? Perhaps, like me, you have come across one or more ancestors noted in the census records as gardeners, horticulturalists, or nurserymen. Some, like Thomas Gee, learned their trade by serving as apprentices. Others, like my father’s cousin Frank Clarke, may have trained at a horticultural school such as that at Kew Gardens on the outskirts of London, England. If they studied at Kew, there are resources available to help you learn more about their training and later employment. In some cases, you will be able to fill in the gaps between census enumerations.… Continue reading
Eighty-four years ago today, on 4 September 1932, great-uncle Walter Clarke died in Palgrave, Suffolk, England at the age of 71. He was a public-spirited man, and his death was therefore felt not only by family, but by his community as well. The Diss Express for 9 September 1932 carried a report of Uncle Walter’s death that included many details of his public service.
Walter was born in Palgrave in 1861 and trained as a printer-compositor. He worked for Francis Cupiss of Diss, Norfolk, a veterinarian medicines manufacturer who operated several printing presses to create, among other things, labels for his horse and cattle medications.… Continue reading
Have you ever wondered what day of the week your great-grandparents married on? Did our ancestors, like many of us nowadays, favour June weddings? I was curious, so I decided to take a look at the marriages in the parish of some of my ancestors to see what was popular a hundred years ago.
Baconsthorpe, Norfolk, England is a small parish in rural East Anglia. Between 1811 and 1901 its total population fluctuated between a low of 218 and a high of 333. During the time period from 1 January 1753 to 31 December 1900, there was a total of 272 marriages.… Continue reading
Years ago, I took an introductory course in tracing family history that was offered by the Toronto branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society. The instructor advised that we should be prepared for the black sheep that would be unearthed during the researching of our family tree. It took some time, but I did eventually find a rather naughty relative in my family tree.
One of my great-great-granduncles was a man named George Howes. He was born about 1816 in West Winch, Norfolk, England. According to the 1841 and 1851 census enumerations, he was an agricultural labourer. Other than that, I knew nothing about George.… Continue reading
In 1939, Alice Owen was 82 years of age, suffering from dementia and myocarditis. She was a widow, her husband, Daniel Owen, having died in St. Helens, Lancashire in 1928. For some time after her husband’s death, although I’m not certain for how long, Alice lived with her single daughter, Mary Owen, and Mary’s son, Joseph Owen, at 57 Cooper Street in St. Helens.
At 32, Alice’s grandson Joseph earned his living as a general labourer at a local glass bottle manufacturing plant. His mother, Mary, kept house. So it seems that Joe was the sole source of income for the small household, and Mary would have been responsible for caring for her infirm and senile mother.