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

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

William Francis and Mary Gunn

St Peter’s Church, Mattishall Burgh

William Francis and Mary Gunn, a pair of my 5th great-grandparents, were married, on 1 Jan 1771, at St Peter’s Church, Mattishall Burgh.

Records exist for the baptisms, also in Mattishall Burgh, of three children: 
  1. John Francis bap. 19 Apr 1772
  2. William Francis bap. 14 Nov 1773
  3. Mary Francis bap. 28 Mar 1779
William and Mary were buried at All Saints' Church, Mattishall. Mary was buried on 14 Apr 1816. The record states that she was 73 and born in 1743. William was buried little more than a year later, on 18 May 1817. His burial record says he was 76, born in 1741, but I haven't located their baptisms.

Churchyard at All Saints' Church, Mattishall

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Robert Marsh and Hannah Piggin

A Fine Day in February (Hellesdon) - John Middleton (Before 1856)

The earliest record of a marriage of my ancestors in Norfolk are of a pair of 6th great-grandparents, Robert Marsh and Hannah Piggin, who married in Hellesdon on 25 Feb 1758. Let's hope it was a fine day for them.

Haven't been able to find a baptism for Robert, nor Hannah, and there is actually more than one Hannah Piggin in Norfolk at around that time. Most likely, I think, to have been one of those born in around 1733 to 1735.  

St Mary's church - view east
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Evelyn Simak -
St Mary's church - C14 baptismal font
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Evelyn Simak -

However, Robert was recorded to have been a widower at the time of his marriage to Hannah. Records show the burial of the wife of Robert Marsh, Sarah Marsh, in Hellesdon, on 24 Dec 1755, with whom he had several children, all also baptised in Hellesdon, Norfolk, including: 
  1. Keziah Marsh bap. 7 Jan 1738 
  2. Samuel Marsh bap. 27 Oct 1740
  3. Robert Marsh bap. 6 Sep 1741
  4. Kerenhappuch Marsh bap. 5 Mar 1744
Keren-happuch (Hebrew: קֶרֶן הַפּוּךְ‎ Qeren Happūḵ, "Horn of kohl") was the youngest of the three beautiful daughters of Job, named in the Bible as given to him in the later part of his life, after God made Job prosperous again. Keren-happuch's older sisters are named as Jemima and Keziah. [Clearly, they knew their bible.] (Had to look, but I didn't find a record for a Jemima.)

Robert Marsh's second marriage only seems to have produced one child: 
  1. Hannah Marsh bap. 18 Feb 1759
Parish Church of St Mary, Hellesdon
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Evelyn Simak -

Sunday, 28 March 2021

Henry Bridle and Emma Lucas

Interior of St Thomas a Becket's Church, Thorverton, Devon
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Derek Voller -

The parents of William BridleHenry Bridle and Emma Lucas, married in 1870, in Emma's parish at Thorverton. Henry Bridle, born 1844 in Rockbeare, Devon, was son of Thomas Bridle, Farm Labourer, and his wife Elizabeth Wills

In 1871, Henry Bridle (26), employed as an Agricultural Labourer, wife Emma (21) and William (1) were living in Brampford Speke, where their son William was born. Then in 1881, they had moved to Lilly Road, Newton St Cyres, Crediton and Henry (36) had changed occupation to Railway Labourer. 

The births of their four sons are widely spaced, but I found no others:
  1. William Bridle born 1871 in Brampford Speke
  2. Mark Bridle born 9 Jan 1876 in Newton St Cyres
  3. John Lucas Bridle born 11 Jun 1879 in Newton St Cyres
  4. Harry Bridle born 7 Aug 1887 in Stoke Canon
In 1891, we find them living in Stoke Canon, where 4th son, Harry was born. Henry, listed as William Henry (45), was once again working as an Agricultural Labourer, wife Emma (40), with Mark (14), John L (11) and Harry (3).

In 1901 in the very small village or hamlet of Nether Exe (24 households in 1086), are Henry (56), Emma (51), with just Harry (13) still left at home. 

And in 1911, back in Stoke Canon, William Henry Bridle (66), Farm Labourer, and his wife, Emma (62), were living in the household of their son Mark and his wife, Maud Lucy Medcalf (who he married in St Pancras, London in 1905), along with Mark's nephew, Harry (3) and Elizabeth Deroney (72), boarder. 

Henry Bridle died in 1928, aged 84. Emma Bridle died in 1937, aged 88.

William Bridle and Lucy Jane Stone

St Peter’s Church, Uplowman
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Derek Harper -

William Bridle (24), eldest son of Henry Bridle and Emma Lucas, and Lucy Jane Stone (23), 9th and youngest child of Henry Stone and Mary Ridgeway, married in her parish at St Peter’s Church, Uplowman, on 16 Oct 1895. Witnesses to the marriage were Lucy's brother, Francis Stone and her niece, Ellen Stone

In 1891, William Bridle (20), Horse Driver, had been a boarder in the household of Mary Jennings in Westexe South, Tiverton, while Lucy Stone, was a General Servant in the employ of Charles E Tutton, Chemist, in Gold Street.

The couple had just one child, a daughter, Nellie Bridle, born 20 Feb 1898, and baptised on 7 Apr 1898 at St George's Church, Tiverton. Interesting that both sisters, Harriet and Lucy Jane named their daughters Nellie within a year of each other. Was this due to the popularity of the name at that time, or could it be taken as an indication that the sisters were very close?

111 Chapel Street, Tiverton (with the white door)

In 1901, William Bridle (29), Coal Yard Labourer, Lucy Jane (28) and Nellie (3) were living at School Board House, 111, Chapel Street, Tiverton. (111 Chapel Street was also the address given by Lucy's brother Charles at the time of his marriage to Emma Middleton in 1896.) There was a school, where there is a green bush, just beyond these houses, on the map of the area in 1890.

In 1911, all three are at the same address, with William (40) now employed as a Carter, with Lucy Jane (38) and Nellie Bridle (13) was still at school. 

William Bridle died relatively young, at 55, on 5 Aug 1926. 

By 1939, Nellie had married and she and her husband, Lewis William Kerslake and their son William were all living with the widowed Lucy Jane, who was undertaking Sewing and Domestic work, still at 111 Chapel Street. 

Lucy Jane Bridle died on 18 Apr 1944, aged 72. Probate was granted on 8 Jun that year, to her daughter, Nellie Kerslake. Lucy Jane left effects valued at £1912 15s 2d, worth approximately £85,345 today.

Chapel Street, Tiverton in 1890

Saturday, 27 March 2021

Charles Stone and Emma Middleton

Woodgates, Lower Washfield, Tiverton, their address in 1901

Charles Stone, 8th child of Henry Stone and Mary Ridgeway, married Emma Middleton, daughter of Jane Middleton, on 29 Oct 1896 at St Peter’s Church Tiverton. Charles and Emma (later Emily) were my great-grandparents.

Emma was born on 6 Aug 1862 and baptised on 5 Oct 1865 in West Anstey, Devon and Charles was born in Ashbrittle, Somerset on 8 Apr 1869. 

In 1871, Emma (8) was a boarder in the household of William Short at Molland, where her mother was employed as Housekeeper. The one year old Charles was then with his parents in Ashbrittle and was still at home with his parents in 1881, at Lauds Mills, Uplowman. Emma by then would have been 18, but I've not [yet] found where she was living and working at that time.

Mid Devon : West Spurway Farm
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Lewis Clarke -

In 1891, Emma Middleton (26) was working as a Domestic Servant for William Heywood (27), Farmer (son of Robert Heywood of Spurway Barton), at West Spurway Farm, West Mildon, Oakford, Devon. Emma's son, William Henry Middleton, born in 1889, was living with his grandmother and her husband, Jane and John Howe, in Stoodleigh. Charles Stone (20), by that time, was Farm Servant to William Gale (69), at Courtney Farm, Washfield, Devon

Interior of St Peter's Church, Tiverton, Devon
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Derek Voller -
This church is famous (or infamous depending on your point of view) in that upon its organ, seen left of picture, was played for the very first time, the tune that was destined to send shivers up the spine of many a strong man. It was of course ... (intake of breath) "The Wedding March". On June 2nd 1847, at a wedding ceremony here, Felix Mendelssohn's composition ushered the bride and groom out of the church as man and wife. The couple were, I believe, friends of the composer.

No idea why she chose to change her name from Emma to Emily (fashion, perhaps?) Emma (Emily) certainly wasn't trying to hide her son William Henry's illegitimate status, but might have been trying to play down her own, because Emma (Emily) "invented" a father called William Middleton for the marriage certificate. As we know Middleton was not only hers, but also her mother's maiden name, so that couldn't be her father's name. Emma (Emily) had an older brother and an uncle William Middleton, both of whom she had never met as they died as infants, whose name she was clearly borrowing.

Well, I say she wasn't trying to hide William Henry's true origins, but clearly someone must have come up with a story later, because my father was under the mistaken impression that William Henry Middleton, his "Uncle Bill", was the product of Emily's "first marriage". Of course there was no such alliance.

Emma (Emily) claimed to be 32 at the time of her marriage: she was 34. Charles was 26. They both gave their address as 111 Chapel Street, which was the address of Charles' younger sister, Lucy Jane and her husband, William Bridle, who were the two witnesses to the marriage. 

The couple added four more children: 

  1. Charley Stone born 6 Jun 1898 at 1 Silver Street, Tiverton, and baptised on 20 Jul 1898 at St Peter’s Church Tiverton, son of Charles and Emma.
  2. Albert Stone born 18 Jan 1900
  3. Emily Stone born 2 May 1901
  4. Harry Stone born 17 Nov 1902
In 1901, Charles (30), Agricultural Labourer, and Emily (33 - the gap between fiction and reality is getting bigger) were living at Woodgates, in Lower Washfield, with their two sons, Charley (2) and Albert (Bert) (1).

Charles and Emma with their children:
Charley (rear right), Albert (rear left),
Emily, (front right) and Harry (front left)
Then in 1911, we find them in Hayne Lane, Bolham. Charles (40) is then a Carter on Farm. Emily has lost another couple of years to reach 41 (actually 49) and they've added another two children: Emily and Harry. The photo (right) was taken at the side of the house at 4 Hayne Lane, Bolham, around this time. 

These cottages were originally built for the workers on the Knightshayes Estate - Home Farm, Knightshayes is at the end of Hayne Lane - for whom Charles then worked. I imagine the image was probably taken for the bosses to show their loyal servants with their lovely new accommodations. Pity people didn't do happy in photos then! 
4 Hayne Lane, Bolham in 2016

Charles Stone died on 13 Jun 1930, aged 61. Emily Stone died 2 Jun 1936.

Lewis Jerred and Mary Elizabeth Williams

Chapel Hill, St Erth
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Bill Boaden -

In 1888, Louis Jerrad (sic) married Mary Elizabeth Williams (born in St Erth, Cornwall), in Christchurch, Hampshire (now Christchurch, Dorset). 

The son of John Jerred and Frances Ann Orchard and elder brother to Frances Mary Jerred, Louis Jerred (as he was often listed), born in Silverton, Devon, was actually registered as Lewis Jerrad (sic) in the 2nd quarter of 1863. In 1871, aged 8, he was with the family in Sowton, but in 1881, Louis Jerred (18) was a Baker's Apprentice to George Hannabus, Master Confectioner, in Angel Hill, Tiverton. (George Hannabus was from Cadbury, Devon, which might have inspired a good name for a confectionery business ...

Mary Elizabeth, a Domestic, was the daughter of John Williams, a Tin Miner, and his wife Honor, of 2, Greenwich, St Erth, Penzance, Cornwall in 1881. 

Louis and Mary Elizabeth are elusive in 1891, but their first child had been born the year previously, in Boscombe, historically in Hampshire, but is today in Dorset, and by 1901, they had moved back down to the south west to settle at Loddiswell, near Kingsbridge in Devon. There in 1901, listed as Lewis Jerred (36), he had become a Railway Labourer. And the family is growing: 
  1. Ernest J Jerred born 1890 in Boscombe, Hampshire
  2. Arthur Jerred born 1893 in Loddiswell
  3. Ethel M Jerred born 1896 in Loddiswell
  4. Albert W Jerred born 1899 in Loddiswell
  5. Honor Frances Jerred born 1901 in Loddiswell
  6. Violet Mary Jerred born 1904 in Loddiswell
In 1911, still in Loddiswell, Lewis Jerred (46) is still a Railway Labourer. 

In 1939, the family are living at 36 Wallingford Road, Kingsbridge

Given the hard work that many of my relatives put into building and maintaining the railways in the 19th Century, I've gained a renewed dislike of Richard Beeching and his cuts in the 1960s. The Great Western Railway (GWR) opened the Kingsbridge branch line in 1893 and it was closed in 1963. Lewis Jerred, who died in 1951, at the age of 88, thankfully, won't have seen the closure. 

Friday, 26 March 2021

John Jerred and Frances Ann Orchard

Thorverton: cherry tree
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Martin Bodman -

The parents of Frances Mary JerredJohn Jerred and Frances Ann Orchard, were married, on 20 May 1862, at the Parish Church of St Thomas a Becket, in the village of Thorverton, Devon, as both of them resided in the parish at that time. John's occupation was listed on the marriage certificate as Cooper

John Jerred was born in Thorverton in approximately 1833, to Joseph Jerred and Sarah Elsworthy, while Frances Ann Orchard was the daughter of James Orchard and Elizabeth How, christened 3 Jul 1831 in Dulverton, Somerset. 

In 1841, John Jerred (6) was living with his parents and siblings; James (4) and Maria (1), at Willses, Thorverton. At that time, Frances (10), was living at West Broford, Dulverton, with her grandparents, Joseph and Mary How. 

Lynch Farm, west of Thorverton
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Rob Purvis -

By 1851, John (16) had left home and was employed as a farm servant to Samuel Kingdon, Farmer of 150 Acres, at Lynch House, Thorverton. Lynch Farm, to the west of the village still exists. At that time, Frances Ann (19), described as a House Servant, was still living in the household of her grandfather, Joseph How, Farmer of 180 Acres, at West Broford, Dulverton.

Unfortunately, neither of them is showing up on the 1861 census. 

There are no obvious clues either why Frances made the journey from Somerset to Thorverton to marry, considering that marriages more usually took place in the bride's parish and not the bridegrooms as in this case. 

After their marriage in 1862, John and Frances had two children: 
  1. Lewis Jerrad (sic) born in the 2nd quarter of 1863
  2. Frances Mary Jerrad (sic) born 3 May 1869, in St Thomas, Exeter
In 1871, the family were living in Sowton, Devon, with John (35) employed as a gardener. But, in 1881, the Jerreds had moved to Church Cottage, Halberton and John (46) has gone back to being an Agricultural Labourer. Daughter Frances Mary was still at home, but her brother had left home.

In 1891, with both children having flown the nest, John (56), still working as an Ag Lab, and Frances Ann were living at Court Cottage, Corner, Halberton. 

In 1901, John (66), once more working as a gardener, and Frances Ann (69), had moved into the centre of Tiverton to 12, Hammetts Square. 

In 1911, John (78), with No Occupation, and Frances (79), were living at 1 The Homes, Old Blundell's, Tiverton. This sounds like Alms Houses. 

John Jerred died in the 2nd quarter of 1911, aged 78.

St Thomas a Becket's church, Thorverton, Devon
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Derek Voller -

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Francis Stone and Frances Mary Jerred

Cottages, High Street, Halberton
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Roger Cornfoot -
44 High Street, Halberton, is the blue cottage in the centre

Francis Stone, (Frank) 7th child of Henry Stone and Mary Ridgeway, married Frances Mary Jerred, always known to my father as "Aunt France", although if we were being pedantic, she was his father's aunt, thus his great-aunt. 

Frances was born on 3 May 1869 in St Thomas, Exeter and in 1871 was living with her parents, John Jerrad (sic), a gardener, and Frances Ann (née Orchard) and her elder brother, Louis, in Sowton, Devon. (Now absorbed into Exeter.) Francis Stone was then living with his parents and siblings in Ashbrittle. 

By 1881, the Jerreds had moved to Church Cottage, Halberton. Francis Stone was with his family at Lauds Mills, Uplowman. Then in 1891, Francis (23), working as an Agricultural Labourer, was still at home with his widowed father at Greengate, Uplowman. Frances, meanwhile in 1891, was working as a Servant to Alfred T Gregory in Alsa Terrace, Tiverton - the same Alfred T Gregory who Francis' sister Mary Ann had worked for ten years earlier.

Number 1 and 2 Middle Pitt Cottages
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Roger Cornfoot -

In 1901, Francis (33), was living in the household of his brother-in-law, James Ridgeway (married to his sister, Harriet). While, Frances (31) was working as a Cook for Rev. Donald M Owen, Clergyman in the Church of England, at 25, Bampton Street, Tiverton. (That address is now an ugly modern building in use as the Royal Mail Tiverton Delivery Office.)

The couple married at St Peter’s Church Tiverton on 9 Apr 1902. Witnesses were the bride's father, John Jerred and a Bessie Louisa Corrick. Francis and Frances, at 34 and 33, respectively, married late by the standards of the day, and this may have been a factor toward the couple not having children.

In 1911, they were living at Middle Pitt, Sampford Peverell, with Frank again working as a Farm Labourer. Frank Stone died on 18 Nov 1937, aged 70, and Probate was granted to his widow, Frances Mary Stone on 8 Feb 1938. Francis Stone, of Middle Pitt Cottage, Sampford Peverell, had managed to accumulate £517 13s 11d - worth approximately £35,450 today. In 1939, Frances Mary Stone, Old Age Pensioner, was living at 2 Sunnidale, Willand, Devon.

Frances Mary Stone, of 44 High Street, Halberton, Devon died on 11 Aug 1962 at the ripe old age of 93. She didn't have much money left (~£75). 

Francis and Frances are buried together in the churchyard at Uplowman.

Grave of Francis Stone and Frances Mary Jerred in Uplowman Churchyard

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Thomas Ridgway and Ann Tooze

Thomas Ridgway, son of James Ridgeway and Mary Ann Lock and the younger brother of my 2x great-grandmother, Mary Ridgeway, married Ann Tooze, daughter of Richard Tooze, Chair Maker, and his wife, Eliza Disney, of Holcombe Rogus, on 27 Mar 1865, at St Peter’s Church Tiverton. Witnesses were Thomas Vickery and Jane Ridgway (Thomas and Mary Ridgway's sister), who were themselves married, also at St Peter's, Tiverton, in May of that same year.

Thomas and Ann had ten children. Where they were baptised, these were all at at St Peter’s ChurchUplowman
  1. James Ridgway born 1867
  2. Tom Ridgway born 1868, bap. 7 Jun 1868 (died 1881, aged 12)
  3. John Ridgway born 18 Jun 1870, bap. 10 Jul 1870 
  4. William Ridgeway born 29 Jun 1873, bap. 10 Aug 1873
  5. Henry Ridgeway born 17 Mar 1876, bap 23 Apr 1876 
  6. Frank Ridgeway born 1878, bap 28 Apr 1878 (Died aged 22 and was buried on 13 Dec 1900 at St Peter’s ChurchUplowman)
  7. Bessie Ann Ridgeway born 4 Mar 1880, bap. 28 Mar 1880
  8. Sidney Ridgway born 24 Feb 1882, bap. 7 Apr 1882
  9. Charles Ridgway born 1884, bap. 24 Feb 1884
  10. Ellen Ridgeway born 4 Jan 1886
By 1871, Thomas and Ann Ridgway were living at Lowman Cross, Uplowman.

In 1881, at Whitnage, Uplowman, are Thomas Ridgeway (37), Ann (37), John (10), William (7), Henry (5), Frank (3) and Bessie Ann (1), as well as Thomas' twice widowed mother, Mary Ann Mash (sic), formerly Ridgeway, née Lock (74). James had left home and Tom died in 1881, aged just 12.

In 1891, still at Whitnage, Uplowman, with Thomas (47) and Ann, were James (24), Frank (13), Bessie (11), Sydney (9), Charles (7) and Ellen (5). In 1891, John Ridgeway (20) was lodging with James Wood at Widhayes, Uplowman. And that year, Harry Ridgeway (17) was working as a Farm servant to farmer, James Crosby at Landside, Sampford Peverell, Tiverton.

In 1901, living at Greenend, Uplowman, are Thomas Ridgway (57), General Farm Labourer, and Ann (56). William Ridgway (27), Carter on Farm, has returned home, but the only other of their children left living at home is the youngest, Ellen (15). Then Ann Ridgway died, aged 63, in 1907, in St Thomas, Exeter, where there was the Workhouse hospital.

In 1911, the widowed Thomas Ridgway (67), Farm Labourer, was living with his son William Ridgway and his wife, Florence Louise Finnimore, at Wallflower Cottage, Halberton. Thomas Ridgway died in 1927, aged 83.

James Ridgeway and Harriet Stone

Inside the Grade II* Listed St Peter’s Church in Uplowman

Harriet Stone, the 6th child and 2nd daughter of Henry Stone and Mary Ridgeway, married her first cousin, James Ridgeway, who was the son of her mother's younger brother, Thomas Ridgeway and his wife, Ann Tooze

Harriet was born in Ashbrittle, Somerset, in 1865 and was there, aged 6, on the census of 1871. In 1881, the family had moved to Lauds Mills, Uplowman, Devon. Harriet (16), listed as a General Servant, is by then the oldest of Henry and Mary's offspring still living at home. After her mother's death in 1885, in 1891, Harriet had become her father's Housekeeper at Greengate, Uplowman. Francis Stone (3), grandson to the head of the household, is Harriet's child.

Meanwhile, James Ridgway (4), in 1871, was at home with his parents at Lowman Cross, Uplowman. By 1881, James (15) was working as a Farm Servant for Rachel Chave, Widow, in Halberton. While, in 1891, he was back home at Whitnage, Uplowman, employed as an Agricultural Labourer.

Harriet Stone and James Ridgeway married, on 1 Apr 1895, at St Peter’s Church, Uplowman. Harriet was 29 and James 27. Witnesses were Harriet's younger sister, Lucy Jane Stone and Francis Stone (undoubtedly her younger brother, not her 7 year old son.) But the marriage was not before Harriet had a second son, Charles Stone, registered in the same quarter of that year. 

Greengate Cottage, Uplowman

Whether those two boys were James Ridgway's sons or not, in 1901, they're both listed with the surname Ridgway on the census of that year. This may be a simple case of the enumerator getting carried away with Ditto marks. The family are still at Greengate, Uplowman, but James Ridgway (34), Farm Labourer, has become the head of the family and with James and Harriet and their growing brood is Harriet's father, Henry (71) (also listed incorrectly as Ridgway), now working as a Labourer on Roads, as well as Harriet's brother, Francis. 

In 1911, with their address listed as Road Crosses, Sampford Peverell, Tiverton, are James Ridgway (44), Farm Labourer, Harriet (46), Nellie (14), Domestic Servant, James Ridgway (7). However, Frank Stone (23) and Charles Stone (16), were relegated the bottom of the list and both described as James' stepsons.

Children of this blended family include: 
  1. Francis Stone born 25 Dec 1887, bap 10 Feb 1888 at Uplowman. He's described on the baptism record as the "Base born" son of Harriet Stone, Labourer's daughter. In 1939, Francis Stone, Road Labourer, single, was living at Pead Hill Cottage, Chevithorne. He died, in Tiverton, in 1965. 
  2. Charles Ridgway b. 3 Mar 1895, bap. 1 May 1895 at Uplowman. The baptism record lists him as "Charles Stone or Ridgway, son of Harriet Stone alias Ridgway. Married after birth of child." 
  3. Nellie Ridgway born 7 Jan 1897, bap. 28 Feb 1897 at Uplowman.
  4. Emily Ridgway born 31 Aug 1899, bap. 29 Oct 1899 (died, aged 3, buried 3 Aug 1903, in Uplowman)
  5. James Ridgway born 10 Feb 1904, bap. 1 Apr 1904 at Uplowman. 
James Ridgway died, aged 62, in 1929 and Harriet, in 1936, aged 71.

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Tom Stone and Margaret Knapman

Royal Marines' Stonehouse Barracks, Durnford Street, Stonehouse, Plymouth

And so we come to the 5th of Henry Stone and Mary Ridgeway's offspring, Tom Stone, who was born on 11 Dec 1861, in Ashbrittle, Somerset. 

In 1871, aged 9, Tom Stone was living at home with his parents and siblings in Ashbrittle. Then, aged 18, in 1880, Tom enlisted in the Royal Marines and, in 1881, aged 19, he is listed on the census as a Private R M L I - Royal Marine Light Infantry (RMLI) - at what was then called Stoke Damerel.

At 18, Tom was 5' 6¾", fair complexion, dark brown hair and hazel eyes. Later, his record states, "Right little finger amputated through second phalanx."

There's a record of a marriage, in the 1st quarter of 1889, between Tom Stone and Margaret Knapman. However, the British Royal Marines Marriage Registers, gives the date they married as 5 Apr 1893 and list the place of marriage as the Register Office, East Stonehouse. As there was no such thing as a Register Office (until after 1929), I wonder if this marriage took place in Stonehouse Barracks. There are civil registrations for both dates. This comment from Peter Calver at Lost Cousins, potentially provides the explanation, as it probably applies to Marines too, "... soldiers needed the permission of their commanding officer if they wanted the marriage to be recognised (which is why you will sometimes come across a couple who married each other twice)."

Either marriage was a little late and you can imagine, in the haste to legitimise their eldest, that they may have forgotten to ask permission of the CO: 
  1. Archer Henry Stone (Archie), born 28 Mar 1889 in Plympton, Devon, bap. 21 May 1889, at the Wesleyan Methodist church, Tamerton Foliot
  2. Frederick Thomas Stone, born 20 Jan 1892
  3. Beatrice May Stone, born 14 Mar 1894, in Plympton (not yet found >1911)
  4. Bertram Charles Stone, born 24 Feb 1899 (died 2nd quarter of 1899)
  5. Leslie Victor Stone, born 1901. On 11 Apr 1919, aged 18, Leslie Victor Stone joined the Royal Tank Corps. Looks like he married Lilian Letts (1903-1984), issue included a daughter and may have died in 1964.
  6. Rosina Kathleen Stone, born 14 Apr 1903
St Paul Street, Plymouth (number 9 is the darkest caramel coloured one)
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Derek Harper -

In 1901 the family were living at 9, St Paul Street, East Stonehouse, with Tom Stone (39) listed as a Marine Pensioner. (Tom served in the Royal Marines for 21 years (+ 2 days), from 11 Mar 1880 until 13 Mar 1901, and then enlisted in the Royal Fleet Reserve on 3 Jul 1901.) Also listed were Margaret (35), along with children; Archie (12), Frederick (9), Beatrice (7) and Leslie (0). 

Archer Henry Stone enlisted in the Royal Marines, aged 14, on 11 Nov 1903.

Tom Stone, General Labourer and Marine Pensioner, died, aged 43, on 2 May 1905, from Pulmonary Tuberculosis, at 3 Ashley Place, Plymouth.

Then just two years later, on 11 Nov 1907, Archie Stone died at the Royal Naval Hospital (Medway Maritime Hospital) in Gillingham, Kent, of a Tubercle of the lung (Tuberculosis again) and cardiac failure. He was just 18.

In 1911, Margaret Stone, widowed and in receipt of Parochial Relief, was living in East Stonehouse, with her two youngest, Leslie V (10) and Rosina K (7). Frederick had enlisted in the Royal Navy in 1907 and Beatrice (17) was working as a Servant for Samuel Reed, Hairdresser and Tobacconist, in Devonport.

Margaret Erne Stone died, on 1 Sep 1921, at around 55 years, and probate was granted to her son, Frederick Thomas Stone, on 24 Dec 1921.

Monday, 22 March 2021

James Prescott and Mary Ann Stone

St Peter's Church, Tivertonnoted for the first performance of the
organ arrangement of Mendelssohn’s ‘Wedding March’.

Mary Ann Stone, fourth child and eldest daughter of Henry and Mary Stone, my 2nd great-grandparents, was born in Ashbrittle, Somerset around 1860. She was, of course, at home with her parents and older brothers at Court Place, Ashbrittle, in 1861 and, at 12, became the oldest child still at home in 1871. 

However, by 1881, Mary Ann (21) had left home and at that date was working, as a General Domestic Servant, for Alfred T Gregory, Newspaper Proprietor, in Gold Street, Tiverton. Alfred Gregory was publishing titles such as the Tiverton Gazette and East Devon Herald, Western Observer and affiliated papers for South Molton and Crediton. (The Tiverton and District Directory for 1894-5 lists their proprietors as, Gregory, Son, and Tozer.)

In 1882, Mary Ann Stone married James Prescott, at their parish church of St Peter's, Tiverton. Banns were published on 5th, 12th and 19th of Feb.

John Prescott, born in Washfield, Devon, in 1858, was living at home in 1881, at Middle Marsh, Tiverton, with his parents, John Prescott from Luxborough, Somerset, and his wife, Jane Gage (m. 1852). James Prescott (23), at that time was a "Labourer on Railway", as were James' father, John, his younger brother, Robert (18) and the family's lodger, James Parker (20). 

However, this couple were married for little more than a year, when Mary Ann Prescott died, tragically aged just 23, on 14 Apr 1883, in Chapel Street, Tiverton, from Acute Phthisis Pulmonalis (Tuberculosis (TB) 18 days - I had suspected this when reading that Mary Ann had been present at the death of her brother, John Stone, when he had died from Phthisis, in the August of 1882. Her mother-in-law, Jane Prescott, was present at Mary Ann's death. 

Tiverton : Gold Street
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Lewis Clarke -

Not unsurprisingly, James Prescott remarried quite quickly, to a Jane Davey in the 1st quarter of 1884, also in Tiverton. Then, in the 3rd quarter of 1884, they had a son Charles, who, it appears was their only child. 

My connection, of course, was broken once Mary Ann had died, but one can't help being curious and it's what they did next that was surprising. In 1891, James Prescott (32), Labourer, wife Jane and son Charles were living in Eglwysilan, Glamorganshire, Wales; in 1901, we find the trio - with James working as a Navvy Ganger - in Staines, Middlesex and then, in 1911 - with James employed as a Dock Labourer - in Portsmouth, Hampshire. Son Charles, living in Portsmouth and a Railway Labourer, was by then married. You wouldn't expect labourers at that time to have moved around so much or so far.

James' parents, John and Jane Prescott, meanwhile, then aged 78 and 83, respectively, were still alive and still living in Tiverton in 1911.

Sunday, 21 March 2021

John Stone: Attempting to ravish and carnally know

Hockworthy: Hockford Cottage
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Martin Bodman -

John Stone, the third of Henry Stone and Mary Ridgeway's children, born in Ashbrittle, Somerset, in 1858, may have been a bit of a rogue. And an uncomfortable question is asked, "Was your ancestor a rapist?"

In 1861, John (3), like his older brothers, was at home with his parents at Court Place, Ashbrittle. I've not been able to locate him in 1871, when he will have been around 13, but he'd already left his parents' home. Undoubtedly employed somewhere as a farm labourer, his employer probably didn't know much about him, so he may well appear on the census, but with details they guessed.

In 1873, aged 15, John Stone, was arrested and taken to the Devon County Prison, on 2 Jun, accused of "Attempting to ravish and carnally know Maria Disney on the 28th May, 1873, at Hockworthy." The committing magistrate was J. C. New, Esq., of Cullompton, but John wasn't tried: the bill was ignored for assault with intent to ravish, indecent assault and assault. There are no further details or clues as to why the case did not proceed, but as Peter Calver of Lost Cousins suggested, securing a conviction was difficult in those times.

On the 1871 census, Mariah Disney (then 12, so 14 at the time of the alleged assault), daughter of John Disney, farm labourer, was living at Hockford Barton, Hockworthy. We may assume she was the young lady in question. 

[NOTE: John's sister, Harriet Stone, married their first cousin, James Ridgway. James Ridgway's mother was Ann Tooze, who's own mother was Eliza Disney, so there's no doubt that John was also "keeping it in the family"!]

Hockworthy: lane in the Lowman valley
The Lowman - running in the ditch by the hedge - defines the parish boundary with Uplowman
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Martin Bodman -

Widening the area of search and including the keyword "railway", I eventually found John on the 1881 census living in the household of Henry Payne, Railway Tunnel Miner, at Railway Hut, Hurst Green, Oxted, Godstone, Surrey. Living there were Henry Payne (31), his wife, four children aged 5 to 11, as well as nine men, all boarders, all railway tunnel labourers. And at the bottom of the long list was John Stone (22), Tunnel Miner's Labourer, born in Somerset.

The Oxted Tunnel - on the Oxted line, which passes under the North Downs in two tunnels, and then splits into two branches at Hurst Green, adjoining Oxted in Surrey - opened in 1884. It doesn't take much imagination, therefore, to work out what John must have been working on in 1881. Such hard work and living in what must have been horrendous conditions, with so many people crammed into an undoubtedly overcrowded space, lacking in facilities will have been a perfect environment for transmitting infectious diseases ...

Because one year later, John Stone, "Labourer on Railway", died, aged just 24, on 27 Aug 1882, in Uplowman. His sister, Mary Ann Prescott (she had married earlier that year), was present at his death. Wondering if he'd been killed in an accident or even a revenge attack, I'd ordered his death certificate, but John had, in fact, died of the all-too-common at that time, Phthisis (Tuberculosis). John Stone was buried, on 3 Sep 1882, in the churchyard at Uplowman.

Grave of John Stone and his parents, Mary and Henry Stone, in Uplowman Churchyard

Henry William Stone and Sarah Snow and Jane Tarr

Huntsham : All Saints Church
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Lewis Clarke -

Henry Stone, second son of my 2x great-grandparents, Henry Stone and Mary Ridgeway, born in Ashbrittle, Somerset, in 1856, was found at home with his parents - no surprise, aged 4 - at Court Place, Ashbrittle, in 1861. 

In 1871, aged 13, I believe it is this Henry Stone, who is employed as an Indoor Agricultural Labourer working for Richard Poole (62) a Farmer of 170 acres, employing 7 labourers and 1 boy, at Bathealton, Somerset.

Poole & Burgess, Bathealton
A view of Bathealton: Poole & Burgess from the other direction, along the path arriving from Dairy House Farm. The curiously-named 17th Century house with the irregular roof line is "named after 2 earlier owners" (Archive Link). It is shown on one map as "Poole Farm".

On 27 Feb 1879 Ellen Stone Snow was born at Putson Cottages, Blundells Road, Tiverton to Sarah Snow, a Domestic Servant and in 1881, this child was living with Henry Stone and Mary Ridgeway, listed as their granddaughter. 

Only two of Henry and Mary's sons looked likely to be this child's father and I was about to cast more aspersions upon the character of John Stone, until I discovered the marriage of Sarah Snow and William Henry Stone (baptised Henry William) on 23 Jul 1879 at All Saints' Church, Huntsham. Witnesses were John Voisey and the bridegroom's sister, Mary Ann (Marrianne).

But Sarah Stone, wife of Henry Stone a Farm Labourer, died only months later, on 22 Jan 1880, from Phthisis acuta (Acute tuberculosis), at Huntsham. Emma Maunder, sister, was present at her death. This explains why, in 1881, Henry Stone, was a widower, aged just 24, living alone at Little Fair Oak, Uplowman. 

At that same time, in Henry Stone and Mary Ridgeway's household were two visitors: Mary Ann Tarr (27) and Jane Tarr (22). (The sisters were the daughters of William Tarr and his wife, Jane Wood, a Hostler, of Marsh Bridge Road, Dulverton, Somerset.) Clearly they were there preparing for a wedding, because in the 2nd quarter of 1881, William Henry Stone married Jane Tarr.  

Henry and Jane had two further children: 
  1. Frederick Henry Stone born 1885, bap. 26 Apr 1885, son of Henry and Jane, at St Mary’s churchUffculme (died 1887)
  2. Louisa Jane Stone born 1888, bap. 26 Feb 1888 as Louisa Mary Jane Stone, daughter of William Henry and Jane, at St Mary’s churchUffculme.

On 29 July 1887 The Western Times reported on the inquest into the accidental death of Frederick Henry Stone, 2½ yrs old, of Wellington Road, Uffculme, whose clothes caught fire, causing burns over his whole body, as did the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette. This report of the inquest, which was held in the cottage where they lived, is perhaps the most telling of the characters.


The inquest touching the death of the child, Frederick Henry Stone, aged 2½ years, son of a labourer residing at Brickyard Cottage, Wellington Road, near Uffculme, was held by Mr. F. Burrow, district coroner, on Saturday, when the evidence of the mother, Mrs Potter, a neighbour, and Dr. Morgan, of Uffculme, was taken. It appeared that about 8 a.m. on Friday the mother, having lighted the kitchen fire, placed the child, which was wearing its night-dress, in a chair by the side of it. Her back was turned for a few moments, and in the meantime the nightdress, a long one, became ignited by a burning stick which fell out of the grate. On hearing the child scream the mother ran into the kitchen, and finding the nightdress in flames, endeavoured to smother them by throwing some woollen material around the child. Failing, however, in this attempt, she and her little girl called for assistance, Mrs Potter then came in and, according to her statement, found the child in the middle of the floor, getting up into its knees and enveloped in "a mass of flames from head to foot." With the exception of fragments, the nightdress and undergarments were then completely charred. She extinguished the flames upon what remained and then, with the assistance of other neighbours, the burns were treated with linseed oil and lime water. In the meantime Dr. Bryden, of Uffculme, was sent for, as also was Dr. Morgan. The latter arrived first, but not until the child had expired. In his evidence, Mr. Morgan said he entirely approved of the remedies applied and even had he been there more could not have been done. The extent and nature of the burns, involving as they did the whole body were sufficient to cause death. -- The father of the child was present at the earlier part of the enquiry, but as he persisted in interposing remarks he was ordered by the Coroner to withdraw. Subsequently he was recalled and allowed to make a statement, the Coroner holding that he was not in a fit state to be sworn. Stone complained very strongly that Dr. Bryden although called twice and promised to come down did not do so until it suited his convenience in the course of his usual round as parish doctor, which was an hour or more after death. Mentioning incidentally that Dr. Bryden had attended on previous occasions he said he owed him 7s 6d, which he declared he would never pay. -- The Coroner remarked that that was a matter between himself and Dr. Bryden. -- It transpired that the child was insured in the Prudential Insurance Company. -- The jury returned a verdict of "Accidental death."
Then, on 11 Aug 1889, William Henry Stone, Farm Labourer of Halberton, died, aged 33, at the Infirmary Tiverton from Cardiac disease and oedema of the lungs (Pulmonary edema is often caused by congestive heart failure.)

Tiverton : Old Belmont Hospital
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Lewis Clarke -
Belmont Hospital used to be the workhouse before it became a hospital
Now known as Perreyman Court, it has been converted into housing.

As if things couldn't get any worse, in 1891, both Jane Stone and daughter Louisa Mary Jane are listed as inmates at the Tiverton Union Workhouse

Ellen Snow (12) was still (or maybe again) living with her grandfather in 1891 and still going by her mother's surname, Snow, even though her parents had subsequently married, which I imagine was so that the records matched up when she was enrolled at school. In 1901, however, she was using her father's surname, listed as Ellen S Stone (22), working as Cook Domestic, at a Private Girls School at 19, St Peter Street, Tiverton, Devon. Ellen married in 1901

Jane Stone remarried to William Staddon in 1899. In 1911 (didn't find them in 1901), they are living in Kitwell Street, Uffculme with William Staddon (52) Basket Maker, from Uplowman, Devon, with wife Jane (52) from Dulverton, her stepson Tom Staddon (32) and Henry Wright (45) boarder. William Staddon had previously been married to Leah Parr (m. 1871) - and the mother's maiden name on Tom's birth is Parr to confirm this - who had died, aged 51, in 1897. As yet, I've been unable to find the deaths for either William or Jane Staddon.

Louisa Mary Jane Stone, sadly, simply disappears.

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