Inherited Craziness
A place to share all the nuts found on my family tree

Monday 22 July 2024

William Trick and Eliza Authers

H.M.S. Royal Adelaide lying at anchor in the Hamoaze at Devonport.

William Trick (b. 1858), son of William Trick and Elizabeth Blake, married Eliza Authers (b. 1861), daughter of Henry Authers and Susannah Osmond, at Princes Street Congregational Chapel, Devonport, on 22 Jul 1883.

William and Eliza had one son:

  1. William Henry Trick b. 14 Jun 1884 S Quarter in STOKE DAMEREL Volume 05B Page 351.
William Trick, giving his date of birth as 16 July 1856 (this was later corrected to 16 Aug 1858, which agrees with the timing of his birth registration), had enlisted in the Royal Navy on 9 Aug 1871. If he had been born in 1856, this would have been close to his 15th birthday, which is probably significant. As it was, it was a whisker before his 13th birthday. At that time he was 4 ft 10½ in tall, with a fair complexion, dark hair and hazel eyes, weighing 99 lbs.

He was immediately assigned to HMS Cambridge (former HMS Windsor Castle (1858), renamed in 1869), gunnery ship off Plymouth, as a Boy 2nd Class. The training of naval ratings in the use of naval guns was carried out aboard HMS Cambridge. On 8 Dec 1872, she was driven ashore in a storm and refloated the next day. William was with this ship until 13 Jan 1873, so was presumably on her at the time of this incident. He was made up to Boy 1st Class in Oct 1872, so William appears to have shown early promise.

Most of William's assignments throughout his career were of short duration, joining HMS Cambridge on several different occasions; likewise HMS Royal Adelaide (1828) at various times, with his longest tour as a rating being with HMS Curacoa (1878), which he was with from 24 Feb 1880 until 27 Mar 1883, that served on the Cape of Good Hope and West Africa Station.

In 1891, we find William Trick (34) Warrant Officer RN, living in Palmerson Street, Stoke [Damerel], Plymouth with Eliza Trick (30), William H Trick (6) and Susannah Authers (67) Widowed, Housekeeper, Mother-in-Law.

In 1901, William Trick (43) Gunner RN, Eliza Trick (40), William H Trick (16) Telegraphist and Mother-in-Law, Susannah (75) incorrectly listed as Trick.

William Trick was promoted to Lieutenant on 6 May 1909.

In 1911, still in Devonport, were William Trick (54) Lieutenant RN, Eliza Trick (50), William Engstrom Trick (2) Grandson, born in Fort William, Canada, as well as Margaret Watts (32) General Domestic Servant.

William Trick was placed on the retired list due to age on 16 Jul 1911 (not yet caught up with the 2 year 'discrepancy'), but was mobilised again, at the start of World War I on 1 Aug 1914, and assigned to HMS Impregnable (former HMS Howe (1860) school ship). He was promoted to Lieutenant Commander on 6 May 1917 and returned to the retired list on 1 Mar 1919.

In 1921, living at Model Farm, Wembdon, Somerset were William Trick (62) Lt Commander RN Retired; Eliza Trick (60), William H Trick (37) Farmer; Hulda N Trick (31) Daughter-in-law, birthplace Sweden; William E Trick (12) born in Canada; Henry D Trick (9), Eliza H Trick (8), Harold G Trick (6) and Dorothy H Trick (4). [William Henry Trick had married Hulda Naema Engstrom, in Ontario, Canada on 29 Aug 1908.]

In 1939, William Trick, Lieutenant Commander RN, Retired; Eliza Trick; William H Trick, Farmer; Hulda N Trick; Henry D Trick and two others, were living at Model Farm, Wembdon, Bridgwater, Somerset. William Trick and his wife Eliza lived and died at Model Farm in Wembdon. Now a Country House, Guest House, it attracts some dubious visitors.

William Trick died on 19 Nov 1943, age estimated as 87, (1943 D Quarter in BRIDGWATER Volume 05C Page 425). Eliza Trick died the following year at 83, in 1944 M Quarter in BRIDGWATER Volume 05C Page 412.

W Trick is remembered on the War Memorial to St Georges Parishioners who served in both wars, inside St George's Church, Wembdon.

Charles Richard Baker and Ellen Linklater

Shadwell Basin
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Stephen McKay -

Charles Richard Baker, son of Charles Hoile Baker and Amelia Young, married Ellen Linklater, daughter of John Linklater and Ellen Willett, on 22 Jul 1867 at Croydon, St John. Now The Minster Church of St John Baptist at Croydon, the record of the marriage lists that the marriage took place in the Temporary Parish Church. This was because on the night of 5 Jan 1867, a fire had broken out that had gutted the entire building. "During the period of rebuilding, services were held in a temporary "iron church", with seating for 700, erected in April 1868 in Scarbrook Road." Therefore, Charles and Ellen's marriage must have taken place in an even more temporary building, or one being used in the interim, before even that was erected. Both the bride and groom were then 19 and resident in Croydon. Ellen's father was a Mariner.

Charles and Ellen had seven children, of whom four died in infancy:
  1. Frederick Charles Baker b. 1867 D Quarter in STEPNEY Volume 01C Page 472. Died 1867 D Quarter in STEPNEY Volume 01C Page 348.
  2. Ellen Margaret Baker b. 1868 S Quarter in STEPNEY Volume 01C Page 430. Died 1870 M Quarter in STEPNEY Volume 01C Page 351.
  3. George John Baker b. 1870 S Quarter in STEPNEY Vol 01C Page 442.
  4. Amelia Mary Ann Baker b. 1872 D Qtr in ST GEORGE IN THE EAST Vol 01C Page 431. Died 1872 D Qtr in ST GEORGE Vol 01C Page 263.
  5. Annie Elizabeth Baker b. 1874 M Qtr in ST GEORGE Vol 01C Page 431
  6. Charles Hoile Baker b. 1876 M Qtr in ST GEORGE IN THE EAST Vol 01C Page 442
  7. Amy Baker b. 1877 S Qtr in ST GEORGE IN THE EAST Vol 01C Page 371. Died 1877 S Quarter in ST GEORGE Vol 01C Page 277.
(In 1851, the 3 year old Ellen and her mother - presumably her father was at sea - had been living in the household of Maximilian Bates (43) School Master and his wife Amy. Maximilian Bates had married Amy Willett in 1834. The youngest child, therefore, was almost certainly named for Ellen's aunt.)

In 1871, in Shadwell, Stepney: Charles Baker (23), Ellen Baker (22), George John Baker (8 m), Margaret Horlock (28) and Ann Watt (56), Lodgers.

In 1881, at 26, Lower Shadwell, Shadwell, Stepney, London were Charles Richard Baker (33) Plumber; Ellen Baker (32) born in Greenhithe, Kent; George John Baker (10), Annie E Baker (7) and Charles H Baker (5).

We don't find them again on any census and the next record is for the death of Ellen Baker, wife of Chas Baker on 5 Apr 1907, from Pleurisy, Emphysema and Heart Failure at the Sanatorium, Berea, Durban, South Africa. At that time Charles Richard Baker was her surviving spouse. The record of the death also lists their three surviving children and their address at 164 Old Dutch Road (now 164 Chris Ntuli Rd, Musgrave, Berea, 4001, South Africa).

Charles Richard Baker, returned to England. He died, aged 60, in 1909 M Quarter in WANDSWORTH Volume 01D Page 479.

Saturday 20 July 2024

William Ruff and Martha Preston

Cathedral Church of St Thomas of Canterbury, or Portsmouth Cathedral
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Colin Smith -
St Thomas, the Anglican Cathedral, which was built in Old Portsmouth in 1180.

William Ruff (b. ~1763) married Martha Preston (b. 22 Mar 1773, bap. 28 Apr 1773 at St Thomas, Portsmouth), daughter of Benjamin Preston and Ann Carter, at St Thomas church (now Portsmouth Cathedral) on 20 Jul 1794.

Records show that William and Martha had seven children:
  1. James Ruff bap. 4 Jun 1797 at St Thomas, Portsmouth
  2. George Ruff bap. 23 Jun 1799 in Portsea, Hampshire
  3. William Evans Ruff bap. 27 Sep 1801 in Portsea, Hampshire
  4. Isaac Ruff bap. 8 Apr 1804 in Portsea, Hampshire
  5. James Ruff bap. 11 May 1806 in Portsea, Hampshire
  6. Sarah Ruff bap. 15 Jul 1808 at St Mary's Church, Portsea
  7. Jane Ruff bap. 18 Nov 1810 in Portsea, Hampshire
All of the baptisms in Portsea will have been at St Mary's. As there's a James Ruff born in 1806, it seems highly likely that the James born in 1797 didn't survive infancy, although I have not found a record to confirm this. 

William (78) and Martha (67) were in Greetham Street, Portsmouth in 1841.

William Ruff died, aged 80, in 1843 M Quarter in PORTSEA ISLAND UNION Volume 07 Page 107 and was buried on 19 Feb 1843 at St Mary's, Portsea.

Martha Ruff died in 1846 M Quarter in PORTSEA ISLAND UNION Volume 07 Page 90, age estimated as 76, and was buried in Portsea on 1 Mar 1846.

Wednesday 17 July 2024

Daniel Hockley and Sophia Mason

St Mary, Broxted - Chancel
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © John Salmon -

Daniel Hockley, Labourer, married Sophia Mason (b. 3 Dec 1796, bap. 1 Jan 1797 in Great Easton, Essex), daughter of Richard Mason and Millicent Butcher, on 17 Jul 1815 at the parish church in Broxted, Essex. Witnesses were Sophia's brother Samuel Mason and Amelia Baker, his intended. 

For now Daniel is the earliest of my Hockley ancestors that I can follow a trail of records to and be fully confident are correct. He was reputedly the son of Daniel Hockley and Sarah Turner - and thus brother of Sally Hockley - but I've found no record of a birth (or baptism) to prove this. There is, however, a listing of a Daniel Hockley, baptised in Broxted on 21 Feb 1790, son of John and Mary Hockley, which looks to be a far more likely candidate. 

Daniel and Sophia had nine children:
  1. George Hockley bap. 1 Oct 1815 in Broxted
  2. Lucy Hockley bap. 26 Oct 1817 
  3. Eliza Hockley bap. 23 Jul 1820 (died, aged 25, and was buried on 7 Jul 1845 at St Mary the Virgin, Great Dunmow.)
  4. Mary Hockley bap. 9 May 1824
  5. Tamar Hockley bap. 8 Oct 1826. Tamar as a name: There are three characters in the Bible with this name. 
  6. Sarah Hockley bap. 10 Aug 1828 (buried 14 Sep 1828)
  7. Sophia Hockley bap. 14 Aug 1831
  8. William Hockley bap. 15 Sep 1833
  9. James Hockley bap. 5 Aug 1838
From Lucy onwards, they were baptised at St Mary the Virgin, Great Dunmow.

Youngest child, James, falls within Civil Registration and, the General Register Office record confirms the mother's maiden name as MASON.

In 1841, at Halfway House, Great Dunmow, were Daniel Hockley (50), Sophia (45), George (25), Eliza (20), Tamar (15), Sophia (10), William (8), James (2) and Lucy (0), daughter of Eliza Hockley, Single Woman [1]. Mary Hockley (18ish) was working as a Female Servant in the household of William Piper (30) Chemist & Druggist in High Street, Great Dunmow, Dunmow.

Sophia Hockley died, aged 46 - which agrees with a year of birth of 1796 - in 1842 D Quarter in DUNMOW UNION Volume 12 Page 55 and was buried, on 23 Oct 1842, at St Mary the Virgin, Great Dunmow.

In 1861, the widowed Daniel Hockley - age estimated to 62 - was living in the household of son William Hockley (27), married to Charlotte (née Cock) (27), their daughter Sarah C (1) and William's brother, James (23).

Daniel Hockley died, his age estimated to 81, in 1868 S Quarter in DUNMOW UNION Volume 04A Page 267 and was buried on 8 Jul 1868.

[1] Lucy Hockley (b. 1841 M Quarter in DUNMOW UNION Volume 12 Page 77), bap. 5 Mar 1841 at St Mary the Virgin, Great Dunmow, daughter of Eliza Hockley, Single Woman. In 1861, Lucy Hockley (20) Domestic Servant was an Inmate of Great Dunmow Union Workhouse. In 1871, Lucy Hockley (30) Domestic Servant was an Inmate of Dunmow Union Workhouse, but, in 1881 Lucy Hockley (36ish) was employed as a Domestic Servant by Charles Cook (70) in Chelmsford Road, Barnston, Dunmow. Lucy Hockley of Dunmow Union Workhouse died, aged 49, and was buried on 22 Nov 1890.

Tuesday 16 July 2024

John Thomas Wykes and Mary Ann Mercury

Classic Trains South Africa
Image by Martin Hatchuel from Pixabay

John Thomas Wykes (b. 1864 in Deptford, London), son of William Wykes and Elizabeth Thompson, married Mary Ann Mercury at Baptist Church, Cape Town, South Africa on 16 Jul 1889. John Thomas' job was listed as Waiter.

The couple had five children:
  1. Elizabeth Lilian Wykes b. 13 Mar 1890, bap. (as Elizabeth Mary) on 28 May 1891 in Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa
  2. William Ernest Wykes b. 7 Aug 1892 in Germiston, bap. 9 Oct 1892 in Transvaal, South Africa
  3. Martha Ethel Wykes b. 12 Feb 1894 in Germiston, died aged 20 days and was buried, on 4 Mar 1894 in Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa
  4. John Thomson Wykes b. 16 Sep 1896 in Germiston, Transvaal, South Africa, bap. on 26 Sep 1896 at St Boniface Church, Germiston
  5. Jessie Harriet Wykes b. 18 Mar 1898 in Germiston, Transvaal, South Africa, bap. on 15 Apr 1898 at St Boniface Church, Germiston. Died, aged 3, in Apr-May-Jun 1901, Vol 1D Page 523, in Greenwich.
On the baptisms of the first four children, John Thomas' occupation was listed as Engine Driver, on Jessie's, as a Fitter. John Thomas Wykes' sister, Martha O'Toole, was a sponsor at John Thomson Wykes' baptism in 1896.

Mary Mercury Wykes of 62 Chapel Street, Cape Town, died, aged 34, on 21 Sep 1899 from Phthisis (Tuberculosis). The record of her death lists that she was from Saint Helena and was of mixed race.

In 1901, Lily Wykes (11), Willie Wykes (8) and Jessie Wykes (3) were in the household of John Thomas' sister, Elizabeth Burch, in Deptford, London. Also there was Martha O'Toole, who I imagine took the children to England.

John Wykes, widower, engineer, remarried, on 3 Oct 1901, to Esther Mercury at St Mark's, Cape Town. Born Esther Margaret Mercury on 19 June 1870 in Saint Helena, daughter of Francis Mercury and Rachel Michael, and it appears highly likely that she was either Mary Ann's sister, or cousin.

But Esther Wykes (née Mercury) of 5 Osborne St, Cape Town, died, aged 33, on 21 May 1904, also from Phthisis (Tuberculosis). The record of her death confirms that she was also from Saint Helena and of mixed race.

In 1911, Elizabeth Wykes (21) Domestic and William Wykes (18) Stationer's Clerk, both born in South Africa, were Boarders in the household of John Trigg (59) Mantle Maker at 388 Evelyn St, Deptford.

John Thomas Wykes, South African Railway Pensioner on 72 Drake Road, Durban, died, aged 87, on 15 Apr 1951 at Addington Hospital Durban.

  • Elizabeth Lilian Wykes married Walter James Fisher on 10 Feb 1916, at St Paul's, Deptford. Walter James Fisher (25) of 388 Evelyn St, Deptford, enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery on 29 Feb 1916. He survived two tours in France in 1917-18 and 1918-19. Their daughter, Peggie Irene Fisher was born on 9 Apr 1921 J Quarter in ST. OLAVE (BERMONDSEY) Volume 01D Page 298. In 1939, Walter J Fisher (b. 9 Apr 1890) Clothier Manager; Lilian E Fisher and Peggy I Fisher lived at 16 Sanderstead Road, Leyton, Essex. Walter James Fisher of 43 Greenhays Drive, South Woodford died on 17 Jan 1958. Lilian Elizabeth Fisher of 43 Greenhays Drive, South Woodford died on 17 Jun 1967.
  • William Ernest Wykes married Martha Irene Griffiths (b. 23 Dec 1890) daughter of Seth Griffiths, Police Sargent and Elizabeth Harries, also in the 1st quarter of 1916, in Greenwich. They had four sons: Leonard William Wykes b. 31 Jan 1923; John Stanley Wykes b. 31 May 1924; Walter Seth Wykes b. 1 Nov 1926 and Alan David Michael Wykes b. 1 Nov 1934. In 1939, the two older boys were at home with their parents at 46 Canmore Gardens, Wandsworth, while the two younger ones were at the Pier Hotel, Cavendish Place, Eastbourne, Sussex, presumably evacuated. Their eldest son, Sergeant Leonard William Wykes, 466 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve was killed in action on 22 Jan 1944 when his aircraft was shot down at De Lutte 2 miles east of Oldenzaal, Netherlands, close to the German border, during a raid on Magdeburg. Martha I Wykes died, at 66, in 1957 in Streatham. William Ernest Wykes died, in 1977, in Thanet, Kent.

Saturday 13 July 2024

William Stone and Hannah Westcott

Church of St John the Baptist, Wellington
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Derek Harper -

William Stone (bap. 1 Apr 1821 at St Peter's ChurchLangford Budville), eldest son of William Stone and Mary Thorne, married Hannah Westcott (b. 8 Feb 1831), daughter of Thomas Westcott and Hagar (Ann) Mitchell, at the Parish Church of St John the Baptist, Wellington, Somerset, on 13 Jul 1850. One of the witnesses was Mary Ann Westcott, Hannah's sister. Hannah was baptised Anna Westcott (due to pronunciation, probably) on 19 Jun 1831, at the The Lower Meeting Independent Formerly Presbyterian, Wellington, Somerset and in 1841, Hannah Westcott (10) was living at Tone Wharf, Wellington Somerset with her parents, Thomas and Ann Westcott. 

Tracking down the children of this marriage has been proving difficult, with no birth records for half of them, but include the following half-dozen: 
  1. William Stone b. 1851 in Devon (listed on 1861 census)
  2. Mary Ann Stone b. 1854 in Ashbrittle, Somerset (on 1861 census)
  3. Hannah Maria Stone b. 1861 S Qtr in PONTYPOOL Vol 11A 122
  4. Thomas Stone b. 12 Aug 1864 in Usworth, Durham 
  5. Edith Ellen Stone b. 1866 D Qtr in CHESTER LE STREET Vol 10A 428
  6. Isabella Stone b. 1870 S Qtr in CHESTER LE STREET Vol 10A 479
Those at the GRO, the mother's maiden name is listed as Westcott.

In 1851, William Stone (28), Agricultural Labourer, was at Whipples, Holcombe Rogus, with wife Anah (sic) (21). Whipples Farmhouse, Tracebridge, is a Grade II Listed Building. Living at Whipples also was Henry Tremlett, a Dairyman, for whom William was presumably working. 

In 1861, however, William Stone (40), married, Pitman from Holcombe, Devon was a lodger in the house of Elizabeth Archer (50), widow at Nailers Shops, New Row, Usworth, Chester Le Street, Durham. While Hannah Stone (29) from Wellington, Somerset was living at Garndiffath, Trevethin, Pontypool, Monmouthshire, Wales with son William Stone (10) born in Devon, England and daughter, Mary Ann Stone, born in Ashbrittle. 

In 1871, living at Washington New Row, Usworth, Chester Le Street, Durham were William Stones (sic) (under estimated to 43) Miner from Somerset; Hannah Stones (39), William Stones (19) Miner; Anna Maria Stones (9), Thomas stones (5), Edith Ellen Stones (3) and Isabella Stones (11 m).

William Stone died at 55 in 1875 S Qtr in CHESTER LE STREET Vol 10A Page 356 and was buried on 24 Jul 1875 at Holy Trinity Church, Usworth.

In 1881, Hannah Stone (49) widow, mother-in-law, was living in the household of Miles Handy (35) Coal Miner from Wallsend, Northumberland and Mary A Handy (27) from Somerset, with Thomas Stone (16) Coal Miner (putter) born in Usworth, Durham, brother-in-law and Isabella Stone (10) born in Washington, Durham, sister-in-law and William Handy (25) Coal Miner, boarder, also from Wallsend, Northumberland, Miles' brother. 

In 1891, Hannah Stone (59), widow, was living on her own means in the household of William Handy (34) Coal Miner at New Rows, Little Usworth, Chester Le Street - her home, but he presumably became head as a man. In the household also were Hannah's daughter, Isabella Brack (20) and her husband John Brack (23) from Byker, Northumberland, Coal miner deputy.

In 1901, Hannah Stone (70), widow, mother-in-law, from Wellington, Somerset, was living in the household of John Robert Brack (34) Coal deputy overman and Isabella Brack (30), and their then five children, at 10, New Rows, Washington, Great and Little Usworth, Chester Le Street, Durham.

Hannah Stone died, aged 78, 1909 J Quarter in CHESTER LE STREET Volume 10A Page 317.

  • William Stone married Ann Jackson in Kelloe on 8 Sep 1873
  • Mary Ann Stone married Miles Handy in Chester Le Street, in 1872
  • Anna Maria Stone married John Hodgson in 1883
  • Thomas Stone married Polly Beaty in 1888
  • Edith Ellen Stone married William Brabbon Simpson in 1889
  • Isabella Stone married John Robert Brack in 1890

Friday 12 July 2024

Edward Charles Drake and Emma Jane Gloyne

Former entrance to Roath Basin, Cardiff
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Chris Allen -

Edward Charles Drake, son of Edmund Drake and Esther Elizabeth Palmer, married Emma Jane Gloyne, daughter of Samuel Pascoe Gloyne and Emma Jane Coombes, on 12 Jul 1886 in Roath, Glamorgan, Wales. 

Edward Charles Drake's mother, Esther Elizabeth Palmer, was the older sister of Edward Oxford Palmer, who was married to Emma Jane's older sister, Charlotte Emma Gloyne. So, Charlotte's husband was Emma's husband's uncle - or Emma's husband was Charlotte's husband's nephew. The two couples' respective children will have been double-cousins, once removed and once not, I think. Working out family relationships just got very complicated!

Edward and Emma had eight children:
  1. Esther Kathleen Drake b. GRO Reference: 1887 J Quarter in CARDIFF Volume 11A Page 330
  2. Gladys Emma Drake b. GRO Reference: 1889 S Quarter in CARDIFF Volume 11A Page 334
  3. John Gloyne Drake b. 6 May 1891, GRO Reference: 1891 J Quarter in CARDIFF Volume 11A Page 342. Died 4 Jul 1915 (see below).
  4. Francis Oxford Drake b. GRO Reference: 1892 J Quarter in CARDIFF Volume 11A Page 396
  5. Helen Palmer Drake b. 7 February 1895 in Plymouth. (No GRO record.)
  6. Fred Silby Drake b. GRO Reference: 1895 D Quarter in MONMOUTH Volume 11A Page 16. Died, aged 4, in GRO Reference: 1900 J Quarter in DEVONPORT Volume 05B Page 253
  7. Constance Edith Drake b. GRO Reference: 1899 J Quarter in BRISTOL Volume 06A Page 8
  8. Florence May Drake b. GRO Reference: 1902 M Quarter in EAST STONEHOUSE Volume 05B Page 255
In 1891, Edward Drake (28) Iron Moulder, Emma Drake (29) and their first two daughters, Esther (3) and Gladys (1) were living in the household of Edward's parents, Edmund and Esther Drake in Moira Street, Cardiff.

In 1901, Edward C Drake (39) Iron & Brass Founder, was resident in Durnford Street, East Stonehouse, with wife Emma J Drake (40), Gladys E Drake (11), John G Drake (9), Francis O Drake (8), Helen P Drake (6) and Constance E Drake (2). Eldest daughter, Esther Drake (13) was staying with her grandparents, Edmund and Esther Drake, in Seymour Street, Roath.

In 1911, Edward Drake (49) Iron and Brass Founder, was still in Plymouth with wife Emma Drake (50) and daughters, Gladys Drake (21), Helen Drake (17), Constance Drake (12) and Florence (9). Esther Kathleen had married in 1906 and was living in North End, Buckland, Portsmouth; John Drake (19) Stoker, was in Chatham, Kent; haven't yet located Francis.

Emma Drake died, in 1912, age given as 51 - she was 54 (GRO Reference: 1912 S Quarter in PLYMOUTH Volume 05B Page 276).

Son John Drake died at HMS Vivid (shore establishment 1890), the Royal Navy barracks at Devonport. John Drake had joined the Royal Navy, at 18, on 9 July 1909, at which time he was 5 ft 3½ in with a 33¾ inch chest, light brown hair, light brown eyes and a fair complexion. At the time of his death he was assigned to Vivid II, the Stokers and Engine Room Artificers School in Devonport. The note on his naval record states that he was DD (Discharged Dead) on 4 July 1915 in Sick Quarters, Devonport Depot as result of cycle accident. Inquest verdict:- Accidental death through cycle accident. This was only weeks after his cousin, Charles Edward Palmer, Engine Fitter at the Government Dockyard, Devonport, also died, on 17 Apr 1915.

Edward Charles Drake (55) married Helen or Ellen Saull (48) on 23 Dec 1916, in Roath, Glamorganshire, Wales. 

In 1921, Edward Drake (59) Iron Moulder and wife listed as Norah Drake (54) from Plymouth, Devon, were living at 41, Harold Street, Roath, Cardiff.

Edward Charles Drake died, at 74, in 1935 (GRO Reference: 1935 D Quarter in PLYMOUTH Volume 05B  Page 403).

Wednesday 10 July 2024

Con Colleano and Winifred Constance Stanley Trevail

Winifred Constance Stanley Trevail and Con Colleano

Cornelius Sullivan (b. 26 Dec 1899 in Lismore, New South Wales), Theatrical, son of Cornelius Sullivan and Julia Robinson, married my 2nd cousin twice removed, Winifred Constance Stanley Trevail (b. 16 Sep 1900 in Lambeth, Surrey), Actress, daughter of Herbert Fleming Trevail and Alice Maud Stanley Blazey on 10 July 1926 in DetroitWayne County, Michigan. The marriage record states that they were married by the Associate Pastor of the Central Methodist Episcopal Church, from which I deduce that the venue was the Central United Methodist Church (Detroit), although they were resident in Brooklyn, New York. Both stated they had not been married before.

Known professionally as Con Colleano, Cornelius Sullivan, was the most famous and highest paid "swashbuckling circus performer with matinee idol looks" of his time, “The Australian Wizard of the Wire”. A member of the Circus Hall of Fame, Con Colleano is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the first person to prefect the forward somersault on the tight wire. 

"Mrs. Winnie Colleano (neé Trevail) was herself a well known Australian Vaudeville Soubrette", dancer and trapeze artist." One article says that Winnie Trevail began appearing on the stage in Sydney as a child, but actually, she was performing before that in New Zealand. There in Lyttelton, New Zealand in 1909 - where her father's aunts, Ellen Higgs and Mary Ann Burn Trevail Bawden then lived - reports in the Lyttelton Times in Oct 1909 detail that Miss Winnie Trevail was appearing in one of the principle roles in a production staged by the Garrick Juvenile Opera Company, at the Opera House there. 

Trevail abandoned her own career in 1924 to travel with her husband.

Con Colleano on a slack-wire, circa 1920
Con Colleano, was of Aboriginal, Anglo-Irish and West Indian descent and adopted a Spanish persona and a costume of a ‘toreador’ or bullfighter.

Colleano’s Indigenous heritage was unknown to his fans – which included one of history’s most infamous racists - "Few people are aware of the fact that in the 1930’s, Adolf Hitler issued an Aboriginal Australian tightrope walker with a German passport so he could come and go as he pleased."

Passenger lists reveal that Cornelius Sullivan and Winifred C. S. Trevail left Southampton, England on 13 Sep 1924, on the RMS Berengaria (former SS Imperator), The first Cunard "Queen". This was their first trip to the US, so their port of arrival was the infamous Ellis Island, New York. Various sources tell us that, in 1924, Con made his debut at the New York Hippodrome before returning to the circus with Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

There's also record of Cornelius and Winifred C Sullivan Colleano travelling from Southampton to New York, on the Berengaria, on 24 Feb 1937.

On 7 Jan 1938, Cornelius and Winifred (Sullivan) Colleano, left Sydney, bound for California, on the luxury ocean linerSS Mariposa (1931).

On 8 Sep 1939, Cornelius and Winifred Sullivan, listed as British, boarded the Italian ocean liner, SS Rex, leaving Genoa, bound for New York.

In 1940, they are shown arriving in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

These, I'm sure are just the tip of a globe-trotting iceberg, but it was finding these records of voyages that led me to discover more of their story.

The former Albion Hotel (pub) at Forbes, New South Wales, Sheba, CC BY-SA 2.0

"Sadly Con and Winnie ultimately lost all their money indulging in a luxurious lifestyle, giving it away to friends and making a disastrous investment in a pub in outback Australia in the 1950s (what were they thinking?)."

Con Sullivan died, in Miami, Florida, on 13 Nov 1973 and in his obituary in The Stage, the wife of Con's brother is quoted as saying, "His wife WINNIE has cabled that she is broken-hearted because she found my dear brother-in-law lying dead, obviously she is too shocked to tell me more."

Winnie returned to Australia, where she died, in Sydney, in on 5 Jan 1986. 

While researching, I found a record of a marriage of a Winifred C Trevail, in Victoria, Australia, in 1919 to a Leonard Mendoza. It would take $20 AUS to obtain the certificate to see if there are enough clues to tell whether this is the same Winifred C Trevail, but just how many people named Winifred C Trevail are there likely to be in the same area? We know Winnie was in Melbourne before this, because in the Victoria Police Gazette of 11 Apr 1918, is: "TREVAIL, WINNIE theatrical, 7 McKenzie Street, Melbourne, reports stolen from the dressing-room, Bijou Theatre, Bourke Street, Melbourne on the 3rd inst. a diamond cluster ring, diamond in the centre set with other stones around, the centre stone is set a little to side, gold band at side of setting is wavy. Value £8." It's obvious this report is from "our" Winnie and hard to accept that a completely different Winifred C Trevail turned up in the very same area only a year later. Someone with the surname Mendoza even sounds like Winnie's "type". It's said that Winnie met Con, in Melbourne, Victoria, when she was 22. What can have happened to Leonard Mendoza? If he died, or they had divorced, Winnie would have listed that she was a widow, or a divorcee when she married Con. Was Winnie committing bigamy in 1926?

I'm much amused by self-aggrandising family stories, but this one probably takes the biscuit - although no surprise perhaps among theatrical types. In several articles, it mentions that Winnie "claimed descent from the Earls of Derby" and it appears that the source of that quote is her own brother, Eric, so it may well have been a story perpetuated in the family. A claim doesn't make it true though! And through which side would that be, I wonder? The line we share to the 'illegitimate born' former dyer who downgraded to labourer in Norfolk, or the bankrupted tenant farmer in Cornwall? Lovely people, I'm sure, but Earls or any other type of nobs they were not!

Sources (many of these links contain images):

Further reading: The wizard of the wire : the story of Con Colleano 

George Mason and Enough Hollingsworth (née Barker)

Signpost at The Maltings
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Marathon -
The Maltings Broxted is actually the name of the road.

George Mason, son of Samuel Mason and Amelia Baker, married Enough Hollingsworth, around 12-14 years his senior, at St Mary's Church, Broxted on 10 Jul 1847. At first I thought this given name must be a transcription error, but sure enough (pun intended), other records agree. She was born Enough Barker, bap. 9 Dec 1804, daughter of James Barker and Elizabeth Perry, who we can only guess had a lot of children and didn't want any more. 

Enough Barker had previously married Thomas Hollingsworth, in Broxted, on 30 Sep 1822, with whom she was living at Broxted Malting in 1841, with their seven children between the ages of 0 and 15. (Thomas and Enough Hollingsworth had nine children in total.) Thomas Hollingsworth died, aged 43, and was buried on 9 Mar 1845 at St Mary the Virgin, Broxted. 

George Mason died in 1855 D Quarter in DUNMOW UNION Volume 04A Page 214, age at death listed as 37 and he was also buried, at St Mary the Virgin, Broxted, on 9 Dec 1855, when his age was given as 35. 

Enough Mason died the following year, 1856 D Quarter in DUNMOW UNION Vol 04A Page 207, aged 51, and was buried on 18 Nov 1856 in Broxted.

Thomas Sapsford and Mary Ann Sweeney

Church of St John the Baptist, Leytonstone
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Stephen McKay -

Thomas Sapsford (bap. 14 Aug 1842 at St Mary the Virgin, Hatfield Broad Oak), son of James Sapsford and Susannah Kye, married Mary Ann Sweeny (sic) (b. 10 Dec 1848 in Limehouse), daughter of John Sweeney and Anne Elizabeth Gabbaday, on 10 Jul 1865, at St John the Evangelist, Limehouse. At the time of their marriage, the groom was 23 and the bride was just 16.

Thomas and Mary Ann had eleven children:
  1. Mary Ann Sapsford b. 28 Jul 1866 S Quarter in STEPNEY Volume 01C Page 464, bap. 16 Aug 1866 in Limehouse, London
  2. Thomas Sapsford b. 18 May 1868 (J Quarter in STEPNEY Vol 01C Page 503), bap. 9 May 1872 at St John the Baptist, Leytonstone
  3. James Sapsford b. 30 Jun 1871 (S Quarter in WEST HAM UNION Vol 04A Page 70), bap. 9 May 1872 at St John the Baptist, Leytonstone
  4. Henry Sapsford b. 1873 J Quarter in POPLAR UNION Volume 01C Page 603. Died 1873 D Quarter in POPLAR Volume 01C Page 481
  5. John Sapsford b. 1 Oct 1874 D Qtr in POPLAR Vol 01C Page 655
  6. Charles Sapsford b. 28 Mar 1878 J Qtr in POPLAR Vol 01C Page 625
  7. Richard Sapsford b. 14 Jul 1880 S Qtr in POPLAR Vol 01C Page 634
  8. Maria Elizabeth Sapsford b. 14 Mar 1883 in POPLAR Vol 01C 656
  9. Louisa Sapsford b. 1885 S Quarter in POPLAR Volume 01C Page 626
  10. Susan Sapsford b. 1889 D Quarter in POPLAR Volume 01C Page 584
  11. Joseph George Sapsford b. 23 Oct 1892 D Qtr in POPLAR Vol 01C 590
The mother's maiden name on all of the births is SWEENY or SWEENEY.

In 1871, Thomas Sapsford (28), Mary A Sapsford (23), Mary (5) and Thomas (3) were living in Eastward Street, Bromley St Leonard, Poplar.

In 1881, at 4, Leigh Build[ing]s, Bowncom Lane, Bromley, Poplar, were Thomas Sapsford (39) Bricklayer's Labourer; Mary A Sapsford (35), Mary A Sapsford (14) Works in jute factory; Thomas Sapsford (12), James Sapsford (9), John Sapsford (6), Charles Sapsford (3) and Richard Sapsford (0).

In 1891, at 3, Thomas Street, Bromley, Poplar, were Thomas Sapsford (49) Scaffolder Bricklayer; Mary Ann Sapsford (44), [Mary] Ann Sapsford (24) Twin spinner hemp; Thomas Sapsford (22) Bricklayer's labourer; James Sapsford (19), John Sapsford (17), Charles Sapsford (12), Richard Sapsford (10), [Maria] Elizabeth Sapsford (7), Louisa Sapsford (4) and Susan (1).

In 1901, at 4, Ascot Street, Canning Town, were Thomas Sapsford (59) Builder's labourer; Mary Sapsford (55), Charles Sapsford (23) General labourer; Richard Sapsford (20) Builder's labourer; Louisa Sapsford (15), Susan Sapsford (12) and [Joseph] George Sapsford (8).

Mary Ann Sapsford died on 20 Jul 1902 S Quarter in WEST HAM Volume 04A Page 24, with age estimated to 59. She'll actually have been 54).

In 1911, Thomas Sapsford (66) Widower, Street Hawker, was living at 25 Star St, Canning Town with son-in-law, Frederick Morton (27) - married to [Maria] Elizabeth Sapsford (28) - also living with them were James Sapsford (40) Street Hawker and [Joseph] George Sapsford (18) Labourer in iron yard. Charles Sapsford (32) Dock Labourer was Lodging at 12 Tidal Basin Road.

Thomas Sapsford died on 28 Aug 1912 in WEST HAM Vol 04A Page 75.