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

Saturday, 17 April 2021

David Jones and Laura Elizabeth White

Christ Church Rushbrooke Cobh

My great-grandparents, David Jones, son of Thomas Jones and Mary Harty, and Laura Elizabeth White, daughter of Walter White and Hannah Blazey, married at Christ Church, Church of IrelandRushbrooke, Cobh (Queenstown, as it was then), Ireland on 17 Feb 1892. David Jones was Sexton of Christ Church.

This was not David's first marriage, however, so we have to rewind for the story that led to this point: David was born at Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire on 10 Jul 1850 and baptised, on 1 May 1851, at St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Kings Lynn, Norfolk. That last part certainly wasn't ever common knowledge!

After being pensioned off from the Navy in 1866 - which I'll cover separately - David was at Castle Oliver in Limerick at the time of his father's death in 1873. Records of his Dog Licences place David at Castle Oliver in 1874 to 1877 too and, from 1878 onwards, man and dog were listed at Rushbrooke.

Then on 5 Oct 1880, he married Johannah Anne O'Callaghan at the Parish Church in Inchigeelagh, Cork, according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the United Church of England and Ireland, By Licence. Johannah's father, Cornelius O'Callaghan was a Schools Inspector and on a later census return listed himself as Church of Ireland and made a point of stating that he was a member of the 'Irish Truth Society - Protestant'. I'd call him a pedant! :) Interesting choice of father-in-law for "a nice Catholic boy" and hence probably why, from then on, excessively staunch CofE or CofI views were promoted in the family.

For David, this appears to have represented an opportunity.

Because, by the time of the baptism of David and Hannah's first child in 1881, David was listed as "Sexton of Church". Rushbrooke had docks, a tradition of ship building and the Irish Naval Service nearby, so I don't suppose it hurt that he was a Naval Pensioner, but the timing and the fact that the pedantically detailed school records were held in the church, lead me to believe that it was his father-in-law's contacts that secured David this position. Taking the daughter's hand in marriage, was that a bonus or the price? 

From the records in the church, I was able to ascertain that David and Hannah had five children, all baptised at Christ Church, Rushbrooke: 
  1. Thomas Jones born 19 Oct 1881, bap. 19 Nov 1881. (Died 8 Jan 1891.)
  2. Marcella Jones born 10 May 1883, bap. 2 Jun 1883
  3. Helena Jones born 4 Mar 1885, bap. 14 Mar 1885
  4. Anna Jones born 14 Feb 1887, bap. 19 Mar 1887. (Died in 1902.)
  5. Marion Jones born 27 Aug 1889, bap. 21 Sep 1889 (Died 8 Mar 1891.)
And so things might have continued, but Johannah Jones (35), wife of David Jones a Naval Pensioner, died of Typhoid fever, on 18 Feb 1891. 

Johannah was buried, on 20 Feb 1891 in the same plot as David's father, Thomas Jones (Section S, Row 9, Position 76), at the Old Church Cemetery (Cobh), where her son Thomas (9) had been buried little more than a month earlier, on 10 Jan 1891. One assumes from the same cause. Youngest daughter, Marion (2), also died on 8 Mar 1891. There's no record of Marion's burial, but I imagine she'll have been buried with her mother, brother and grandfather.

Interior of the Sanctuary at Christ Church Rushbrooke Cobh

And so it was, on 17 Feb 1892 - one day less than a year after Johannah's death - that David married Laura White, 20 years his junior, my great-grandmother. Surely, scandalously soon? Well, at least by a day! Witnesses were Ellen Jones (David's brother Nicholas' wife) and Annie Jones, David's sister.

Then David and Laura got on with adding yet another six children: 

Here I should mention that prior to going to Cobh in 2014, I'd only known that my grandmother had lived in Ireland growing up: we didn't know where she was born. There had been some mention of her father marrying twice and I'd known of a younger sister. That was it. Getting to the church and being let loose with all the original records was a huge surprise. As the day went on, finding record after record until I had various marriages, all eleven children, every relevant baptism, school record and, where appropriate, burial, was quite a shock.
  1. Cornelius Walter Jones born 2 Jan 1893, bap. 22 Jan 1893
  2. Ellen Jones born 23 Apr 1894, bap. 13 May 1894
  3. Laura Mary Jones born 2 Aug 1896, bap 28 Aug 1896
  4. David Jones born 10 Nov 1898, bap. 9 Dec 1898
  5. Alice Jones born 26 Jul 1903, bap. 14 Aug 1903
  6. Agnes Jones born 27 Feb 1907, bap. 15 Mar 1907
It's interesting that the first son by the 2nd wife is named after the 1st wife's father first and the 2nd wife's father second. (Irish logic?) David appears to be more or less - less strictly with the girls - following the traditional naming pattern that was often used by Irish parents until the later 19th century, but it's clear that this is in the order of the father's 1st, 2nd, etc., child irrespective of which wife produced it. Did wives not matter? That's probably rhetorical.

In 1901, David Jones (50), Laura (30), Helena (16), Cornelius (8), Ellen (6), Laura (4) and David (2) are living at Queenstown Urban, Cork. Marcella had already left home and was working as a servant in the household of Edward Gibbings, the Rector of Kinsale, at Rampart's Lane (Kinsale Urban, Cork), while Anna (or Annie) (13), was staying with her grandfather O'Callaghan.

Then on 13 Apr 1902, Annie Jones (14), Daughter of a Naval Pensioner, died from Tuberculous meningitis. Her grandfather was present when she died.

In 1911, the household, still at Rushbrooke, includes David (58), Laura (40), Cornelius (18), Ellen (16), Laura (14), David (12), Alice (7) and Agnes (4). 

On both census returns, David lists his birthplace - wrongly - as Wales.

Laura Jones, wife of David Jones a Naval Pensioner, died, aged 46, on 17 Jan 1917 from Splenic Leucocythemia (or Leukemia) and Influenza. Laura was buried, on 19 Jan 1917 at the Old Church Cemetery (Cobh), in Section D, Row 6, Position 50. So David was widowed again. Daughter Ellen (Nell), then 23, had to look after the house and younger children - a job she resented - until she married, after which David's sister, Annie, took over as his housekeeper. 

On 7 Aug 1935, David Jones, widower, 79, Sexton of Church, died at Church Lodge from Hemiplegia 2 years (from which I'm reading that he'd probably had a stroke in 1933) and Cardiac failure. David was buried, on 10 Aug 1935, at the Old Church Cemetery (Cobh), in Section D, Row 6, Position 50, along with his second wife, Laura, and their son Cornelius, who had died in 1926.

The Jones Family Church Lodge Rushbrooke at Rest, Section D, Row 6, Position 50 at the Old Church Cemetery (Cobh). Resting place of David Jones (1850-1935), Laura Elizabeth Jones (1870-1917), Cornelius Walter Jones (1893-1926) and David Jones (1898-1966).

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Walter White and Hannah Blazey

St Andrew, Thorpe St Andrew - East end

Walter White, youngest child of William White and Ann Francis, married Hannah Blazey, daughter of Francis Stephen Blazey and Hannah Minns on 31 Mar 1867 at the Parish church of St Andrew, Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich. 

Witnesses to the marriage were Samuel Blazey, the bride's brother, Hannah White, the bridegroom's sister and Elizabeth Blazey, the bride's sister. 

Thorpe St Andrew Parish Church
The church, which was once reported to be the smallest church in Norfolk, was the subject of a Vestry meeting in 1862. It was decided at this meeting that the church needed to be enlarged and then in 1864 it was a agreed that a new one should be built. The new church was consecrated on 31st May 1866 by the Bishop of Norwich [just in time for Walter and Hannah's wedding the following year]. The remains of the medieval church still exist in front of the Parish Church.

River Yare at Thorpe St Andrew, opposite the church

Walter and Hannah shortly added two children to the family: 
  1. Walter White, born in the 3rd quarter of 1869
  2. Laura Elizabeth White, born 15 Oct 1870
In 1871, Walter White (26), Gardener, Hannah (26), Walter (1) and Laura (5 months) were living in Thunder Lane, Thorpe Green. In the next-door household was a Robert Knivett (53), also a gardener. My guess would be that Walter was Under Gardner to Head Gardner, Knivett. The next household to them was that of William Birkbeck (1832–1897), banker and landowner, whose former property in Thunder Lane, The Cottage is a current day pub and restaurant. 

Walter and Hannah are not seen on any further census returns. In 1881, their children, Walter and Laura, were living with Hannah's widowed mother

On the record of daughter Laura's marriage in Cobh (Queenstown), Ireland, in 1892, her father's occupation is given as gardener and her address at the time of the marriage given just as 'Fota'. Fota is the island in Cork Harbour, just north of Great Island were Cobh is located. Fota House & Gardens was probably all there was there at that time, so my guess is that Walter was employed as a gardener on that estate. If so, what took him there is a mystery. 

We're certain, from visiting Fota and talking to staff and historians there, that Walter wasn't head gardener at Fota. At the other end of the scale, there would surely be plenty of local workers who could dig holes in the soil. It doesn't seem likely that anyone would travel all the way from Norfolk to Ireland just to labour either. Of course, there is nothing to prove that is where they were between 1871 and 1892 and no records suggest they were anywhere else either.

Well, unless it was Laura who was employed at Fota, which is not impossible, because my gran did mention them baking cakes for "the big house".  

Gardners' accommodations in the walled garden at Fota House

On 7 Feb 1899, Hannah White (56), 'wife of gardener', died at 89 Horgan's Buildings, Cork City. Right name, right age, right occupation of husband ... Margaret Twomey, daughter of deceased, was present at her death. So far, I've not found a birth record for Margaret White, nor a relevant marriage to a Mr Twomey. And I've found no further records for either Hannah or Walter. 

Francis Stephen Blazey and Hannah Minns

St. Bartholomew's Tower, Heigham
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Graham Hardy -

Francis Stephen Blazey married Hannah Minns, daughter of Robert Marsh Minns and Mary Kett, on 28 Apr 1832 at this now lost church of St Bartholomew's, in Heigham, Norwich, NorfolkFrancis Stephen Blazy (or Blazey), born 26 Dec 1810, was baptised on 30 Dec 1810 at the church of St Martin at Oak, Norwich. He was the son of Susanna Blazy and the baptism record makes it clear he was 'illegitimate born'. (Francis' mother married a John Maycock, also at St Martin at Oak, the following year, on 17 Jul 1811, but there is no indication that Francis ever took this stepfather's name, so I do not think this was his natural father.) 

Francis and Hannah too appear to have used a microwave for gestation:
  1. Harriet Blazy, baptised 8 May 1832 at St Martin at Oak (see note below)
  2. Francis Robert Blazey born 1 Aug, bap. 4 Aug 1833 at St Martin at Oak
  3. Samuel Blazey born 13 Jul 1836, bap. 17 Jul 1836 at St Martin at Oak
  4. Harriet Blazey born 11 Jan 1839, bap. 13 Jan 1839 at St Martin at Oak
  5. Hannah Blazey born 17 Jun 1845, bap. 17 Oct 1860 at St Bartholomew's
  6. Elizabeth Blazey born 1847, bap. 17 Oct 1860 at St Bartholomew's
  7. Eliza Blazey born 1851, bap. 21 Oct 1863 at St Bartholomew's
  8. William Blazey born 7 Nov 1853, bap. 17 Nov 1867 at Holy Trinity
  9. Alice Blazey born 6 Nov 1858. bap. 2 Oct 1867 at Holy Trinity
The first child isn't seen on any records again: Harriet born in 1832 doesn't appear on the 1841 census, whereas the Harriet born in 1839 does, with Francis, born in 1833, listed as the oldest child. However, there is no record of a burial for a Harriet. There is, however, a record of a burial of a Hannah Blazey at St Bartholomew's, on 10 Jun 1832, aged 1 month. It is easy to imagine confusion under such circumstances and I'm sure this relates to this child. 

The baptisms for the first seven children list Francis' occupation as a Dyer. On the baptisms of William and Alice, he is described as a Labourer. One wonders what happened for him to give up a skilled trade to take up unskilled work.

Holy Trinity church, Heigham, was built in the 1860's and the parish records begin in 1867, so they were among the first to use this new church. 

In 1841, incorrectly listed as Blazeby, the family is living at Union Square, Heigham - this address is given on daughter Hannah's birth certificate in 1845 too - with Francis (30), Hannah (25), Francis (8), Sam (5) and Harriet (2).

Unable to find them on the 1851 census, we catch up with them again in 1861, in Chapel Street, Heigham, with Francis (50), Labourer, Hannah (48), Elizabeth (14), Eliza (10), William (7), Alice (3) and Mary A Wright (22), dressmaker, who is listed as a niece. As relationships on the census are expressed in relation to the head of the family, she could be expected to be Francis' niece (probably half blood), which suggests that his mother had further offspring. 

Daughter Hannah (16) in 1861, had already left home and was employed as a General Servant to Anne Clifford (78), Widow, and her unmarried daughter, Elizabeth Cliffrd (48), teacher, at Earlham Road Terrace, Heigham, Norwich. 

Today Earlham Road is part of the so-called Golden Triangle in Norwich, "The Golden Triangle's terraces house professionals, families and many students from the nearby University of East Anglia; its friendly atmosphere has resulted in the Golden Triangle being dubbed the Norwich version of London's Notting Hill."

Earlham Road, Norwich
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Stephen McKay -

By 1871, Francis Blazey (60), Hannah (57), with just the two youngest, William (17) and Alice (13) still at home, were living at 16 Globe St, Heigham. In 1872, still in Globe Street, Francis Blazey is listed on the Norfolk Register of Electors. 

Francis Blazey died, aged 62, in 1873. 

In 1881, the widowed Hannah (67), is living at 3, Duke Street, Norwich Heigham, with son Samuel (35), himself widowed, Sam's son Alfred (11) and daughter Hannah's two children, Walter White (11) and Laura White (10). 

In 1891, Samuel (49) and his daughter, Elizabeth (17), are still living with the widowed Hannah (78) in Manchester Street, Norwich, where in 1901, Hannah (90) and Samuel (57), still reside.

Hannah Blazey (née Minns) died, aged 91, in 1903.

Monday, 12 April 2021

William White and Ann Francis

House opposite the church in Mattishall, Norfolk

William White, son of Jacob White and Rose Bunkall, married Anne Francis, daughter of William Francis and Sarah Homes, at All Saints' Church, Mattishall, Norfolk on 7 May 1826. Records indicate they had eight children: 

  1. Mariann White baptised 8 Oct 1826 in Mattishall
  2. Anne White baptised 23 Oct 1831 in Mattishall 
  3. William White (born 1834) baptised 26 Jun 1836 in Mattishall
  4. Sarah White baptised 26 Jun 1836 in Mattishall
  5. Elizabeth White baptised 27 May 1838 in Mattishall
  6. Hannah White baptised 23 Aug 1840 in Mattishall
  7. Maria White baptised 31 Jul 1842 in Mattishall
  8. Walter White, born 16 Nov 1845 in Thorpe 

In 1841, William (35) and Anne (35) - another one 'adjusting' her age down to her husband's - are living 'Near the Church, Mattishall' - in a house undoubtedly nowhere near as fine as the one above although they could have done with the space - with children: Mariann - listed as Mary - (14), Ann (9), William (7), Sarah (5), Elizabeth (3) and Hannah (0), as well as an Ann Clark (55).

By 1851, they had moved to Thorpe Road, St Andrew Thorpe with William (44), a gardener by profession, Anne (47), Ann (19), William (17), who has also become employed as a gardener, Hannah (10), Maria (8) and Walter (5).

And in 1861, in Red Lion Hill, Thorpe with William (54), gardener, Anne (54) and just Hannah (26), Maria (18) and Walter (15) still at home. In 1871, William White (64), gardener, and Anne White (68) are living in Thorpe Street, Thorpe St Andrew. Living with them is granddaughter, Mary Ann Watson (13). 

William White died just 16 days after the census was taken, aged 64, on 18 April 1871 and was buried at the Rosary Cemetery, Norwich.
16 Oct 1871: The will of William White late of Thorpe St. Andrew in the County of Norfolk, Gardener, who died 18 April 1871 at Thorpe St. Andrew was proved at Norwich by Francis Anthony Martyn of the City of Norwich Upholsterer one of the Executors. 

Effects under £100. 

Francis Anthony Martyn was William's son-in-law, married to daughter, Ann. 

In 1881, Ann White (78), widow, is living with her daughter Ann Martin (sic) (49), also now widowed, in Lothian Street, Norwich. Ann White died in 1889, aged 86 and is buried with her husband at the Rosary Cemetery.

Headstone for William White and Ann Francis in need of support (left) Plot D3/578

Jacob White and Rose Bunkall

St. Nicholas Church, Dereham

Another pair of my 4th great-grandparents, Jacob White and Rose Bunkall, married on 12 Nov 1805 at St. Nicholas Church, Dereham

Jacob, the son of Jacob White and Elizabeth Thompson, was baptised at All Saints ChurchShipdham, around five miles SSW of Dereham, on 23 Jul 1770 (where his parents had married just two months earlier on 19 May 1770). Rose, the daughter of William and Margaret Bunkall, was born in December 1766 and baptised at St. Nicholas Church, Dereham on 1 Feb 1767.

Jacob and Rose were already 35 and 38, respectively, at the time of the marriage, but are described as a single man and a single woman. The lateness probably accounts for why they appear to have had only one child: 
  1. William White, baptised on 20 Jul 1806 at St MargaretGarvestone
In 1841, Jacob White (70) was living South GreenMattishall (no record of what happened to Rose), which is not unexpected as this was where his son had married and lived at that time. Jacob died in the first quarter of 1844.

St Margaret, Garvestone