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

Showing posts with label Fota. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fota. Show all posts

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. Could these gardeners have been employed on Birkbeck's estate?

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. 

These pages are notes on work in progress, so expect changes as further research is done. Follow That Page can monitor changes.