Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Working away behind the scenes ...

Placing this here just to assure my regular reader that I haven't "done" the tree nor even given up.

For the next couple of months or so, I won't be researching and writing up any new families, as I'll be focussing on other priorities, while working away behind the scenes consolidating the information I already have; entering every person and the information I have on them to date, into a family tree program and, most importantly, making a list of families and people to research in the 1921 Census once it's released (expected early 2022.) 

In the immortal words of The Terminator, "I’ll be back."

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Andrew Ephire King and Annie Jones

The former St. Luke's church
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Jonathan Thacker - geograph.org.uk/p/5436811

Annie Jones, only daughter of Nicholas Jones and Ellen White, married Andrew Ephire King, Chief Yeoman, United States Navy, son of Joseph Damos King and Josephine Martel, at St Luke's Church, Cork, Ireland on 18 Aug 1919. Witnesses were Frederick Joseph Lee and Nelly Jones (presumably Annie's mother). 

Andrew Ephire King, b. 10 Nov 1894, in 1910, was in Dover, New Hampshire, with parents Joseph D King (39), Josephine (35) both Canadian, Andrew (15), Dina (13), Wilfred (12), Victor (10), Lena (9), Philip (4) and Amelia (2).

Andrew and Annie had met in 1917, wrote their daughter, Margery, "... when Dad was on one of the destroyers sent by the US Navy to patrol the south coast of Ireland and convoy supply and troop ships to English and French ports. 

When Cork became "out of bounds" to the crews of the US Fleet when the Sinn Féiners attacked them, Dad asked Mum to come down to Rushbrooke / Queenstown to visit him. In this way, Dad became acquainted with Nellie and the rest of her family, often going to Rushbrooke for tea when he had a few hours liberty when his ship was in port." As one entry from Andrew's diary, retells:

April 24, 1918: "Liberty was granted today. I went ashore at 4:30 p.m. and went to see Nellie Jones. Today was her 24th birthday. She had made a chocolate cake and some cookies so we had a quite nice little tea party. I gave her a gold pendant for a gift. Novak came up about 7:30 with a fruit cake that his sister in Portland, Oregon had sent him. We had cocoa and some of the cake. Returned to the ship at 10:30 p.m."

After they married, Annie King applied for permission to depart for the United States, expecting to sail on USS President Grant on 6 Sep 1919, giving her future address in the US as 31 Chapel StreetDover, New Hampshire.

Andrew and Annie had three children: 
  1. Douglas Andrew King born 23 Mar 1921 in Norfolk, Virginia
  2. Edith M King born 22 Feb 1923 in Brooklyn, New York
  3. Margery Ellen King born 6 Apr 1927 in Cork, Ireland
In 1920, Andrew King (25) and Annie King (29), were living in Duval, Florida.

In 1921, Annie King applied for a US Passport for herself, accompanied by her minor child, Douglas Andrew King.

In 1930, in Norfolk, Virginia, were Andrew E King (36), Annie King (40), Douglas A King (9), Edith M King (7) and Margery E King (3). 

In 1935, they lived in Portsmouth, Virginia. That year, on 7 Jul 1935, Douglas Andrew King (14) travelled from Cobh (Queenstown), on the RMS Laconia, arriving in Boston in 14 Jul 1935. Margery remembered them visiting the family in Rushbrooke in the 1930's.

And by 1940, they had moved out to San Diego, California, with Andrew E King (45), Annie King (49), Edith M King (17) and Marjory E King (12).

Andrew Ephire King sailed from Pearl Harbor on 7 Aug 1942, on USS Henderson, while she did service as a transport between California and Hawaii during World War II, arriving in San Francisco, California on 15 Aug 1942. He was still serving in WWII. Could he have been in Pearl Harbour the year before?

On 5 Apr 1945, Douglas Andrew King (24) married Daisy Mae Hadlock (19), daughter of Ivan Hadlock and Esther Smith, in Hampton, Virginia.

Margery and her mother visited Ireland and England, visiting Dave and Kitty in Rushbrooke, their sisters, Queenie and Alice in Cork City, my grandparents in Birmingham and had stayed with Marcella in Portsmouth for a time, in 1946. Margery wrote that, "My mother had kept in touch with her cousins all through WWII while we were in the USA and was anxious to see them all again."

A licence had been applied for, for the marriage of Margery Ellen King to a Donald William Gemmel in January 1950, but this marriage never took place. Margery never mentioned this. No surprise. I always knew her as Mrs Margery Hamilton, but haven't been able to find any record of a marriage for her.

In 1950, Edith King married Kenneth Crawford, in Cork. Her parents went to Ireland for a couple of months for the wedding, and returned on RMS Franconia, leaving Liverpool on 21 Sep 1950, arriving in Quebec on 29 Sep 1950. The Crawfords had at least one son (name and birth date unknown, but thought to be still living somewhere in Cork), as Margery often mentioned her nephew - who will now have possession of Andrew Ephire King's detailed diaries.

Annie King of 28 Oceana AvenueOcean Park, Maine (wife of Andrew Ephire King, Retired Lieutenant Commander U.S.N.), died on 21 Dec 1950, at the Trull HospitalBiddeford, Maine, aged 60, leaving her effects to her husband. Annie King is buried at, New Town CemeteryRollinsford, New Hampshire.

On 26 Sep 1953, Margery King left Cobh on the MV Britannic, presumably to attend her father's second marriage, on 24 Oct 1953, at the Methodist Church, Plymouth, New Hampshire, to divorcee, Elma Marguerite Wyman (née Dunphy).

Andrew Ephire King, who died on 1 July 1983, Lieutenant commander United States Navy Mexican Border, WWI & WWII, is also buried in the family plot at New Town CemeteryRollinsford, New Hampshire.

Douglas Andrew King died on 13 Mar 2002. 

We visited Margery in Ireland in 2014. Her sister, Edith, had died not long before. Margery must have died in 2016, which, sadly, we only discovered when the Post Office in Ireland returned my correspondence. Her contribution to this research has been invaluable: even when the family stories she was told weren't quite true, they've provided valuable clues that I'll continue to pursue. 

Monday, 30 August 2021

David Jones and Catherine Rice

The door from Kitty's solid fuel stove. Photo: Jerome Mc Cormick

David Jones, son of David Jones and Laura Elizabeth White, married Catherine Rice, daughter of Richard Rice and Mary Hagerty, at the Registrar's Office, Cork on 1 Dec 1942. David, known as 'Young Dave', was 44 and Catherine, known as Kitty, was 36. Dave, of The Bungalow, Rushbrooke, Cork was a labourer and Kitty a Domestic Servant, residing at 14 Middleton Park, Rushbrooke. 

Witnesses were Dave's sisters, Laura Mary Jones and Alice Jones.

Young Dave 'inherited' the job of Sexton of Christ Church, Church of Ireland, Rushbrooke from his father - and Christ Church has only ever had these two Sextons, both called David Jones - and he seems to have kept the job even after his marriage to Catherine, who was a Roman Catholic. Allegedly, he also worked for the Rushbrooke Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, cutting grass, etc.

Catherine's father, Richard Rice, from Fermoy, was a Harness Maker, son of John Rice, Farmer, who had married Catherine's mother, Mary Hagerty, farmer's daughter, from Lismore, Waterford, at the Roman Catholic Chapel at Ballyduff, Waterford, on 27 Sep 1900. In 1901, they had set up in Princes Street, Fermoy. By 1911, they were in Bank Street (apparently now Kent Street), with Richard Rice (42), Mary Rice (43), John (9), Mary (8) and Catherine (5).

Dave Jones died on 21 Nov 1966 (aged 68). Under his name on the record of his burial, on 23 Nov 1966, kept in Christ Church, is marked (Sexton) in brackets, hence knowing he had kept the job. He is buried in the family plot at the Old Church Cemetery (Cobh), along with his mother, brother and father.
Hendrick Verwey (Visit Cobh), once told me, "I grew up just up the road from Christ Church Rushbrooke and a very small lady called Mrs Jones lived in a tiny corrugated iron house across the road. I think that her husband looked after the church, but he died many years before her."
Kitty Jones, Widow, died on 13 Aug 1987 (aged 80–81) and was buried on 15 Aug 1887, also at the Old Church Cemetery (Cobh)

Sunday, 29 August 2021

Cornelius Walter Jones


Cornelius Walter Jones, born 2 Jan 1893 in Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland, eldest son of David Jones and his second wife, Laura Elizabeth White, was my grandmother's elder brother. We've never been able to find his military record, but know he enlisted in the Army and served during World War I. His first cousin's husband, who was in Queenstown with the US Navy, kept a detailed diary and had written that Cornelius (Con) was leaving for Egypt in 1917. 

The image above, which I will admit that I downloaded some years ago (and have since lost the link), is dated 10.11.1917 EGYPT. The taller man, second from right, back row, is so much like my father it's literally like looking straight into his eyes. His stance, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, brow line and, above all, hair, are all identical. It's eerie and uncanny and, unless someone can prove otherwise, I feel very sure that there's a chance this is my great-uncle, Cornelius Jones.

Though the cousin's daughter had thought that Con didn't return from the war, I know that he did, probably suffering shell-shock, for which one of his younger siblings described him as "daft" - such was the lack of understanding then. 

Not expecting to find him there in Ireland, we were quite shocked when we read the listing of his burial at the Old Church Cemetery (Cobh)

Cornelius Jones, late of Rushbrooke, Cork, died on 21 Apr 1926 at the Cork District Hospital (now St. Finbarr's Hospital, with its origins in the Cork Union Workhouse and Infirmary). He was a bachelor, previously employed as a labourer. The record says 30, but he was 33 and died from Pneumonic Phthisis (tuberculosis, also known as consumption), after 8 months in hospital. The informant was Helena Lynch, "Inmate" Cork Union. 

Cornelius Walter Jones was buried on 24 Apr 1926, in the family plot at Old Church Cemetery (Cobh), along with his mother, Laura Elizabeth Jones (née White), who had died in 1917.

Saturday, 28 August 2021

Edward John Bicknell, Marcella Jones & Harry Babb

Portsmouth Cathedral
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © N Chadwick - geograph.org.uk/p/6829155

Edward John Bicknell married Marcella Jones, eldest daughter of David Jones and Johannah Anne O'Callaghan, at St Jude's ChurchSouthsea on 12 Dec 1906. Among the witnesses was Marcella's younger sister, Helena Jones. At the time of his marriage to Marcella, Edward John Bicknell's rank was Corporal RGA (Royal Garrison Artillery), then stationed at Southsea Castle. On the marriage certificate, Bicknell's father is listed as Edward Bicknell, a farmer. 

Their only child, David Nicholas Bicknell was born on 20 Jan 1909, at 15 Gold Street, Southsea and baptised, on 10 Feb 1909, at The Anglican Cathedral of St Thomas of Canterbury, known simply as Portsmouth Cathedral

On 17 Dec 1895, Edward John Bicknell, listed originally as aged 14 years, 11 months (although the 14 appears to have been over-written as 15 on the 2nd page), from Withycombe [Withycombe Raleigh], Exmouth, Devon, formerly a Telegraph Messenger, had enlisted for Long Service in the Royal Artillery, at Slough, Bucks. The name and address of his next of kin was given as Mrs F E Palmer, 18 Hencroft Street, Sough, Bucks. In 1901, there was an Elizabeth F Palmer (60) Tailoress, from Withycombe, Devon at that address. 

In 1891, as Edward Jno Bricknell (10), at Hencroft Street, Upton with Chalvey, Eton, Buckinghamshire, with Henry Palmer (42) Butler domestic and Elizabeth F Palmer (54) from Withycombe, Devon, he's described as their nephew.

Records show that Henry Palmer had married Elizabeth Fanny Bicknell, at St Margaret's, Westminster, London, in 1873. In 1881, they were living at Church End, Tempsford, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, where Henry was Under butler. Elizabeth Bicknell, listed in Withycombe Rawleigh in 1841 and 1851, bap. as Elizabeth Nanny Bicknell on 5 Jan 1834, had a brother named Edward, born 1830. However, he died in 1870, so cannot be the boy's father.

Fort Rowner-Gosport
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Colin Babb - geograph.org.uk/p/704877

When he enlisted in 1895, Edward John was 5' 1⅝' tall, weighed 98lbs, had a fresh complexion, hazel eyes and dark brown hair. He was sent to Fort Rowner, Gosport on 21 Dec 1895. Initially passed as fit, he spent 29 days in hospital from 5 Feb 1896 to 4 Mar 1896, whatever he was suffering from, referred to only by the initials V.D.H., it was of unknown cause and he was discharged on 7 Mar 1896, as "Not being likely to become an efficient soldier."

On 19 Sep 1900, in London, at 18 years and 9 months, Edward John Bicknell, once again enlisted in the Royal Artillery. The record, again, says that he was from Withycombe, Exmouth, Devon. Was he cured of his previous ills, or was he hopeful that nobody would tie the two together (which they don't seem to do)? 

There are many people named Edward Bicknell, in Withycombe, going right back to the 17th Century. None of them were farmers. And I can find no birth, nor baptism for an Edward John Bicknell, in 1881, anywhere near the area. The closest is an illegitimate birth of an Edward Bicknell in St Thomas, Devon (under which Withycombe would fall), in 1879. That child, born 19 Nov 1879, in the Village, Withycombe Raleigh, was the son of Rose Creasley Bicknell, Domestic Servant, Cook. No father listed. His birth was registered by his mother, on 9 Dec 1879 and curiously the name of the deputy registrar on the certificate was Edward John Carter. Is that where the Edward John came from?

As yet, I haven't been able to establish whether there is any link between Elizabeth Fanny Bicknell and the boy's mother, Rose Creasley Bicknell. 

All that and naming their son only after his maternal grandfather and uncle and not after his father, leads me to think that Bicknell had no idea who his father was and, as is often done, simply made one up for the marriage certificate.

Leith Fort flats, North Fort Street
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © kim traynor - geograph.org.uk/p/2623474
The flats were to be demolished, but the wall and remnants of the old fort were to remain.

In 1901, Edward John Bicknell (19) Gunner Royal Artillery, was listed on the census at Leith FortNorth Fort StreetLeith, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Tigné Barracks, before its demolition in 2001. Image: Billy Shewring, CC BY-SA 3.0
Parts of The Point Shopping Mall include architectural elements from the former Tigné Barracks.

In 1911, Sergeant Edward John Bicknell (29), from Exmouth, Devon, was listed on the census of Overseas Establishments with 96th Company RGA (Royal Garrison Artillery) at Fort Tigné, Malta. Also listed on the census there at that time are wife, Marcella Bicknell (26) and son, David Nicholas Bicknell (2).

96th Company, I believe, remained in Malta for the duration of World War I. 

Edward John Bicknell was Mentioned in Despatches at least once.

On 27 Oct 1919, Edward John Bicknell, then a Battery Sergeant Major at Sandown Barracks, Sandown, Isle of Wight, filed for divorce from Marcella, citing her adultery with Co-respondent, Harry Babb, a Fitter in His Majesty's Dockyard at Portsmouth, with whom she was allegedly residing at 34, Castle Road, Southsea. The final decree was granted on 29 Sep 1920 and Harry Babb was ordered to pay the costs of £63 18s 4d (around £2,900 in 2021).

Marcella Bicknell married Henry Babb in the 4th quarter of 1920, in Portsmouth.

Babb was no easier to pin down than her first husband. The only relevant birth of a Harry Babb, in the 4th quarter of 1894, is in Barnstaple, Devon, with his mother's maiden name given as Ware. There was a marriage of an Eli Francis Babb and Annie Ware on 21 Feb 1880, at St Martin-in-the-Fields, in The Strand, London. Harry was baptised on 25 Jan 1895 at Holy Trinity Church, Barnstaple and the baptism record gives his parents as Levi Frank and Annie Babb, with his father's occupation listed as 'Boots' at the Fortescue Hotel

The word came from, ‘boot boys’, an occupation in the 1830s and 40s requiring young men to clean the boots of hotel guests. Later, the occupation had become simply known as ‘boots’, and duties included odd-jobs around the hotel. 

In 1901, Levi F Babb (43) Hotel servant (boots) from Somerset (Eli Frank Babb was baptised in Williton, Somerset in 1857); Annie (42), Levi F (18) born in London, John (14), Ellen E (11), Harry (6), Rose (4), Charley (3) and William G (2) were living at 2, Higher Church Street, Barnstaple, Devon

In 1920 and 1921, records show that Sergeant Major Edward John Bicknell was a member of Sandown Masonic Lodge on the Isle of Wight. 

Edward J Bicknell also remarried, to Ida G Priestley, on 25 Mar 1921, on the Isle of Wight. Ida Gertrude Priestley (b. 31 Dec 1891), was the daughter of Thomas F and Sophia C Priestley. Her father was a Yacht steward. Her mother, Sophia, was from Jersey, Channel Islands. In 1901, the family address was Grocer's Shop, 62, West Street, Ryde, Isle of Wight (now a branch of The Co-operative Food). In 1911, Ida Gertrude Priestley (20), had been employed as a Lady's Maid to Mrs Winifred Walker at 10 Marmion Road, Battersea, London.

Edward John Bicknell was discharged from the Army on 18 Sep 1921, at Dover, under Paragraph 392 (xxi) of the King's Regulations - the end of a period of engagement. He was awarded a pension of 51½d per day for life from 19 Sep 1921. His address on discharge was 177, Filbert Street, Leicester.

But Edward John Bicknell of 4 Burton Street, Leicester, Bank Messenger, died on 21 Apr 1922, at Leicester Royal Infirmary from shock following an operation, having been diagnosed with stomach cancer 5-6 months previously. He was 40. His death was registered by P H Priestley, Brother-in-law (Ida's younger brother, Percy H Priestley, born 1895) of 18 Hartington Rd, Leicester.

It would appear that Ida G Bicknell remarried to Thomas A Brennan, in Southampton, in 1923. In 1939, she was living at 66 Shakespeare Avenue, Hillingdon with two daughters, born 1924 and 1927. She is listed as married, but her husband is not at home. Ida died, in Uxbridge, in 1942, aged 50.

In 1939, Harry Babb (b. 17 Nov 1894), Marine Engineer, Marcella Babb, David N Bicknell and a lodger were living at 10 Wilberforce Road, Portsmouth.

Marcella Babb of 1 Festing Grove, Southsea, died on 9 Oct 1963, at 80.

Henry Babb, also of 1 Festing Grove, Southsea, died on 19 Nov 1967. 

David Nicholas Bicknell never married. He died of a cardiac arrest on 22 Jan 1987, two days after his 78th birthday. The retired production controller still lived at 1 Festing Grove, Southsea. His place of birth quoted on his death certificate was India. The records show that he was, in fact, born in Southsea, so I wonder if his father spent time in India while he was growing up. 

Festing Grove, Southsea
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Kate Jewell - geograph.org.uk/p/3319369

Please expect changes to these pages from time to time as we find new data or new records become available. You may like to use Follow That Page, a change detection service that sends you an email when web pages have changed.

If you're related to any of the people written about, I'm guessing you'll recognise them from the surnames. If you are, do please get in touch.