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

Showing posts with label Culmstock. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Culmstock. Show all posts

Friday 17 November 2023

Benjamin Blackmore and Mary Goff

Culmstock : The Culm Valley Inn
The former Railway Hotel, now the Culm Valley Inn
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Lewis Clarke - geograph.org.uk/p/7381769

Benjamin Blackmore (bap. 3 Feb 1856 in Kentisbeare, Devon), Blacksmith, son of Samuel Blackmore and Elizabeth Jeffery, married Mary Goff (bap. 6 Nov 1859 in Kentisbeare), daughter of Charles Goff and Elizabeth Lock, at the parish church of St Mary's, Kentisbeare, on 11 Jan 1882.

Witnesses were John Goff and Hannah Goff, latter who was most likely to have been Mary's younger sister, Anna - she was also listed as Hannah on the 1881 census. The marriage record is on the same page and is therefore presumably the first wedding celebrated in the church since that of Mary's brother, William Goff and Sarah Jane Rowe, the previous September.

Ben and Mary had four daughters:
  1. Lilian Elizabeth Blackmore b. 9 Mar 1882 (1882 J Quarter in WELLINGTON Volume 05C Page 334) Couldn't find a baptism, presumably because of the proximity to the wedding.
  2. Florence Annie Blackmore b. 18 Oct 1885 D Quarter in WELLINGTON Vol 05C Page 310, bap. 15 Nov 1885 at All Saints Church, Culmstock
  3. Amy Goff Blackmore b. 1889 M Quarter in WELLINGTON Volume 05C Page 313, bap. 7 Apr 1889 at All Saints Church, Culmstock
  4. Gladys May Blackmore b. 17 Sep 1890 S Quarter in WELLINGTON Vol 05C Page 307, bap. Gladys Mary, 19 Oct 1890 at All Saints, Culmstock
The three baptism records all list their father's occupation as Blacksmith.

In 1886, Benjamin Blackmore of Culmstock won a prize for skill in shoeing.

In 1891, Benjamin Blackmore (34) General smith, was living in Station Road, Culmstock, with Mary Blackmore (32), Lilian Elizabeth Blackmore (9), Florence Annie Blackmore (5), Amy Goff Blackmore (2), Gladys May Blackmore (0) - 6 months - and William Windson (19) Apprentice.

R. D. Blackmore, the famous novelist best known for Lorna Doone, lived in Culmstock from 1835-1841 [Source], while his father, John Blackmore, was Curate of All Saints Church, Culmstock. In 1894, "Culmstock became the Perlycross in Blackmore's novel of that name. Perlycross includes detailed descriptions of local places and living conditions at that time." [Source

In Gregory's Directory of Culmstock, also of 1894, Ben Blackmore, is listed as "smith & machinist". In Richard Doddridge Blackmore's 1894 novel, "The only man with a clue to the mystery is a blacksmith who has been called up late at night by a mysterious party with a cart." Was there any link between Benjamin Blackmore and R D Blackmore? :) That would be research for another day.


In 1901, Benjamin Blackmore (45) was Innkeeper and Blacksmith at the Victoria Hotel, Culmstock with Mary Blackmore (42), Florence Blackmore (15), Amy Blackmore (12), Gladys Blackmore (10), Edith Brown (19) General domestic servant; Jonas Hooper (22) Blacksmith and Samuel Blackmore (17) Nephew, Blacksmith Apprentice. Lilian E Blackmore (19) Dressmaker, was a boarder at the Girls Friendly Society Lodge, 32, East Southernhay, Exeter.

Mary Blackmore died, aged 45, in 1905 J Quarter in WELLINGTON SOMERSET & DEVON Volume 05C Page 197 and Mary Blackmore (née Goff), wife of Benjamin Blackmore, Innkeeper, of The Railway Hotel, Culmstock, was buried, on 5 Apr 1905, in her native Kentisbeare.

So, Benjamin Blackmore (49), Widower, Licensed victualler, son of Samuel Blackmore, Farm Bailiff, married Clara Blackmore (47) Widow, daughter of Charles Dennett, in Wellington, Somerset on 23 Sep 1908. Clara gave her address as 26 Rockwell Green, Wellington (this address is a Post Office). 

Another Blackmore! That can't just be coincidence, can it? 

Clara Dennett bap. 21 Apr 1861, at Gussage All Saints, Dorset, daughter of Charles Dennett and Eliza Robertson, had married her first husband, John Tom Blackmore (b. 1860 in Gillingham, Dorset), son of Charles Blackmore and Mary Ann Wadman, at Gussage All Saints on 16 May 1887

In 1891, listed as Thomas Blackmore (33) Coachman from Gillingham, Dorset and Clara Blackmore (30), they were living at 114, Pavilion Road, Chelsea, (a mews just off Sloane Square). In 1901, Thomas Blackmore (40) Coachman and Clara Blackmore (40) were listed, along with a long list of coachmen, grooms, etc., at 1, Blue Ball Yard, St James Westminster. "The earliest reference to Blue Ball Yard itself dates to when the site was sold by King Charles II in 1672, by which time it was already a developed site of stables and housing, probably for servants working in the palace." It's clear from the addresses that John Tom Blackmore had worked in some high places.

Then John Tom Blackmore died, aged 45, in 1905 D Quarter in HATFIELD Volume 03A Page 360 and was buried, on 11 Dec 1905, in The Parish of Bishops Hatfield (St Etheldreda), Hertfordshire. This church is in the old village of Hatfield, "close to the walls of Hatfield House, once a royal palace [...] so is exceptionally grand for a parish church." His abode was listed as Hatfield Park. One assumes he had brought dignitaries there.

But what link there could be between the Dorset Blackmore families and their Devon counterparts, if there was one, there is nothing to indicate it.

In 1911, Benjamin Blackmore (53) Hotel Proprietor was at the Railway Hotel Millmoor, Culmstock with Clara Blackmore (50), Amy Blackmore (22) Draper's Assistant; Gladys Blackmore (20) Miliner; Rose Troake (16) Servant and Thomas Walls (29) Stonemason, Boarder. Florence Blackmore (28) was a Domestic cook in the household of Maurice Michael (58) Watch importer at 19 Lydford Road, Cricklewood NW, London.

Benjamin and Clara Blackmore don't appear to be listed on the 1921 Census.

Clara Blackmore died, at 66, in 1927 D Quarter in WELLINGTON Volume 05C Page 307. And Benjamin Blackmore died the following year, at 69, in 1928 M Quarter in WELLINGTON Volume 05C Page 329.

  • Lilian Elizabeth Blackmore married George Henry Hansford, in Wellington (Somerset), in 1906. That same year, they emigrated to Canada. They appear to have had two children. Lilian Elizabeth Hansford died, at 92, in Victoria, British Columbia, in 1975.
  • Florence Annie Blackmore married William Herbert Owen Denness in Hendon, Middlesex, in 1912. They had three children. In 1939, William H O Denness, Hotel Proprietor, Florence A Denness were at 10-11 St George's Place, Llandudno - a quite grand, sea front location. Their younger daughter, Gladys, was Hotel Receptionist; also living in were a Hotel Boots, two Waitresses, a Chambermaid and a Cook. Florence Annie Denness died, aged 73, on 2 Dec 1958 and was buried, on 5 Dec 1958 in Llanrhos, Caernarvonshire.
  • Amy Goff Blackmore married Douglas Wilfred Brentnall, in Wellington (Somerset), in 1917. They had one son quite late after their marriage, John Douglas Brentnall (1934-2010). Amy G Brentnall died, aged 77, in Weston-Super-Mare, in 1967.
  • Gladys May Blackmore married Henry Cowper Giles (b. 12 Aug 1889, in Bristol), son of Francis Frederick Giles and Florence Maria Avent, in Wellington (Somerset), in 1917. They had one son, Roland Henry Giles (1918-1968). In 1939, Henry C Giles, Sports Outfitter and Gladys May Giles were living at 56 Chepstow Road, Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales. Gladys May Giles died on 11 Apr 1992, at the grand old age of 101 years 6 months and is buried at Holy Trinity Church, Christchurch Road, Newport, Wales.

Saturday 11 November 2023

Jacob Ridgway and Jane Bray

Parish Church of St. Gregory, Seaton
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Maurice D Budden - geograph.org.uk/p/2942441

Jacob Ridgway (b. 3 May 1776), son of Thomas Ridgway and Sarah Leaman, married Jane Bray (bap. 8 Jul 1777 in Uffculme, Devon), daughter of James Bray and Jane Taylor, on 23 Nov 1802 at the parish church of St. Gregory, Seaton, Devon. One of the marriage witnesses was a William Salter.

Jacob Ridgeway was baptised at the age of 17 in Culmstock, on 27 Oct 1793. On 14 Feb 1798, a Jacob Ridgeway had married Mary Spurway, in Culmstock. There don't appear to be any other people named Jacob Ridgeway, so was this Jacob's previous marriage? A death of a Mary Ridgeway between 1798 and 1802 would provide additional evidence, but I cannot find a record.

Jacob and Jane Ridgway had six children:
  1. John Ridgway bap. 8 May 1803 in Seaton & Beer
  2. Sarah Ridgway bap. 6 Jan 1805 in Seaton & Beer
  3. Thomas Ridgway bap. 9 Mar 1806 in Seaton & Beer
  4. Jacob Ridgeway bap. 13 Dec 1807 in Seaton & Beer
  5. James Ridgeway bap. 22 Oct 1809 in Seaton & Beer
  6. Jane Ridgway bap. 29 Nov 1812 in Ashbrittle, Somerset
In 1841, Jacob Ridgway (66) and Jane Ridgway (62) were living in Ashbrittle Village, Ashbrittle, next-door-but-two to John Lock and Mary Nott.

Jacob Ridgway died, at 69, in 1845 D Quarter in WELLINGTON Volume 10 Page 322 and was buried on 14 Dec 1845 at St John the Baptist, Ashbrittle.

In 1851, Jane Ridgway (76) Widow, from Uffculme, Devon, was a lodger in the household of Thomas Salter (32) Ag Lab from Wiveliscombe. Also lodging in his household were Mary Taylor (32) Widow and her five children. The youngest, James Taylor, then 2 months old, b. 1851 M Quarter in WELLINGTON (SOMERSET & DEVON) Volume 10 Page 523, shows his mother's maiden name was RIDGEWAY. (James Taylor married Mary Ridgway on 11 Sep 1836 in Ashbrittle, Somerset. In 1841, they were living at Bourden Gate Cottage, Hockworthy and James Ridgeway died, aged 31 - with the census on 30 March 1851, it must have been days before - with his death registered in 1851 J Quarter in WELLINGTON-SOMERSET AND DEVON Volume 10 Page 367. Thomas Salter then married widow, Mary Taylor in the 4th quarter of 1851. Mary Taylor (née Ridgway) was family. 

Jane Ridgway died, age estimated as 77, in 1853 M Quarter in WELLINGTON - SOMERSET AND DEVON Volume 05C Page 294 and was buried on 13 Feb 1853, also at St John the Baptist, Ashbrittle.

Friday 16 July 2021

Sidney William Hitchcock and Florence May Stone

Bishops Lydeard
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Tony Atkin - geograph.org.uk/p/246659
The crossroads on what could be called the village centre

Sidney William Hitchcock married Florence May Stone, daughter of Frederick James Stone and Loveday Jane Land, married , in Tiverton, in 1920. Without buying a copy of the marriage certificate - not economically attractive for any but direct ancestors - I have no more details on date or venue. 

This couple had at least one child:
  1. Frederick Walter Hitchcock b. 1920 D Quarter in TIVERTON Volume 05B  Page 636
In 1921, Sidney William Hitchcock (22) Engine Driver Threshing and Hauling; Florence May Hitchcock (24) and son Frederick Walter Hitchcock 8 months, born in Cruwys Morchard, were living in Bishops Lydeard, Taunton.

Mrs F Hitchcock, was one of the family mourners at her nephew's funeral in 1932. That newspaper report also told us that she lived in Bishops Lydeard, which was useful data, because this family evaded the 1939 Register.

Sidney William Hitchcock died, in Taunton district, in 1952, aged 53.

Florence M Hitchcock died in 1967. She will have been 73.

Sidney William Hitchcock (b. 1899), was the son of Walter Simon Hitchcock and his wife Ann Stone. Is this yet another circular branch on the family tree? 

Walter Simon Hitchcock and Annie Stone had married in 1880 and had lived at Red Ball in 1881 and 1891. "W. S. Hitchcock, labourer, Redball" is listed under the Cottagers - a term, the meaning of which, has changed enormously in the intervening 127 years - in GREGORY'S DIRECTORY OF 1894. Back then, it had nothing to do with homosexual practices in public toilets, or following Fulham Football Club. A Cottager was a person who lived in a cottage, one of the levels of serfdom in feudal societies. 

In 1901, Walter Hitchcock (40) then a Traction engine driver, from Culmstock, Devon, still lived at Red Ball Cottages, 1, Nicholashayne in Culmstock. Wife Ann (38) was from Burlescombe.  

Walter Simon Hitchcock (b. 1858) was the son of William Hitchcock (b. 1827), Shoemaker, and his wife Susana. And this William Hitchcock was the son of William Hitchcock (b. 1798) Shoemaker, and his wife Sarah.

Ann Stone (b. 1862) was the daughter of William Stone (b. 1813) and Ann Croyden who had married on 15 Dec 1840, in Burlescombe. William Stone, Husbandman, was the son of Samuel Stone, Quarryman and his wife Grace. Ann Croyden, Seamstress, was the daughter of John Croyden, a Sawyer. But, if there's any link between Ann Stone and the rest, it's in earlier generations.