Friday, 27 August 2021

Private Robert John Ridgeway

When we first visited St Peter’s Church, Uplowman, back in 2016, I'd noticed this cross in remembrance of Private Robert John Ridgeway and took the photo as a reminder to research him to see how we might be related.

Many of my Ridgeway ancestors had ended up in Uplowman: my 2x great-grandmother, Mary Stone née Ridgeway, daughter of James Ridgway, was born in Ashbrittle and is buried in Uplowman churchyard. Mary's brother, Thomas Ridgway, also came to Uplowman and had no less than ten children there. Perhaps, I thought, Robert John Ridgeway will have 'belonged' to one of them. Now that I've worked my way through them, however, I discover he does not and actually exists in a parallel universe: 

Private Robert John Ridgeway, Royal Army Ordnance Corps, the parish website informs us, "... died in November 1945, after the war in Europe had ended, in a road accident when the armoured Ford Lynx scout car that he was a passenger in, tried to overtake another vehicle in a convoy and left the road striking a tree on Watling Street, Shenstone in Staffordshire." 

Robert John Ridgeway died on 6 Nov 1945, is buried in Uplowman churchyard and is remembered inside the church. 

Robert John Ridgeway was born on 18 Mar 1927, and is found at home with his family in 1939, at Uplowman Cross Cottage, Uplowman. Is that the same as 1 Crosses Cottage, Uplowman, where my relative, Frederick John Ponsford, son of Charles Ponsford and Bessie Ann Stone, was living in 1970? Or 2 Crosses Cottages, Uplowman, where Elsie Tremlett, daughter of William Ridgeway and Florence Louise Finnimore, was living in 1979? Or even Lowman Cross, Uplowman where Thomas and Ann Ridgway were living in 1871?

The parish website also says that "Robert lived a large part of his life at Wallflower Cottages, Uplowman." Several of my relatives have been residents at Wallflower Cottages, UplowmanWilliam and Florence Ridgeway and George and Ellen Norman in 1911, and Herbert Ridgeway in 1988. These are most likely to have been tied cottages, so it suggests they were all working for the same farms, but is no particular indication that they're related. 

Sarah Ridgway 
John Ridgway bap. 27 Nov 1825 - Mary Parker b. 1831
James Ridgway bap. 25  Apr 1858 - Eliza Vickery b. 1861
Robert John Ridgeway b. 7 Sep 1898 - Louisa Baker b. 10 Dec 1899
Robert John Ridgeway b. 18 Mar 1927 - d. 6 Nov 1945

Robert John Ridgeway's parents were Robert John Ridgeway (b. 7 Sep 1898) and Louisa Baker (b. 10 Dec 1899), who had married, in Tiverton, in 1924. 

In 1911, Robert John Ridgeway Snr (12), born in Holcombe Rogus, was living with his widowed mother, Eliza (48), sister Florence Alice (9) and brother, Herbert Percy (6) at Passmore's Court, Halberton. 

In 1910, this Robert John Ridgeway had attended Halberton School. 

In 1901, living at Ford, 90, Holcombe Rogus, were James Ridgway (43) Cattleman on farm, from Stawley, Somerset, wife Eliza (39), Beatrice (13), Edith (11), Eliza (9), William (7), Lillie (5) and Robert John, listed simply as John (3).

Records suggest that James Ridgeway had married Eliza Vickery in the second quarter of 1887, in the Wellington, Somerset registration district. 

The baptism for James Ridgway on 25 Apr 1858, in Stawley, Somerset, suggests that his parents were James and Mary Ridgway, however, in 1861, we find the 3 yr old, living at Parkley, Stawley, Wellington as the son of John Ridgway (33) Agricultural Labourer, with wife Mary (30) and John (8), Mary Ann (6), Sarah Jane (4), James (3), Charles (1) and Mary Cotter (12) Housemaid. In 1871, John Ridgeway (46) and wife Mary (40) were living at Stones Cottage, Stawley, Wellington, with John (18), Mary Ann (16), Sarah (14), James (13), Elizabeth (10), Emily (8), Thomas (6), Edwin (4) and William Henry (2).

John Ridgway had married Mary Parker, on 18 Apr 1851, at St Michael & All Angels church, Stawley. One of their witnesses was a William Vickery. Mary Parker's father is listed as James Parker, while the name of John Ridgeway's father isn't listed ...

... which stacks up with the record listed here of the baptism of John Ridgway in Ashbrittle, on 27 Nov 1825, son of Sarah Ridgway, described as 'single - base'.

These earliest records of Baptisms, Burials & Marriages, were transcribed from the "Bishop's Transcripts", which were in poor condition. There aren't any further records that can be accessed online, so I can't [yet] get back further to prove if there is a common ancestor. But, to be having an illegitimate child in 1825, there's a fair chance that Sarah Ridgway was born around 1805, give or take. My 3x great-grandfather, James Ridgway was born around 1806. They are from the same hamlet - the village population in 2014 was only 225 - with the same surname. Their descendants all turn up in the same locations. They could be siblings. They could be first cousins. It would be much more difficult to accept that they were not at all related.

Thursday, 26 August 2021

Harry Sampson and Ellen Ridgeway and John W Salway

Rectory House and Church at Sampford Peverell
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Tony Atkin -

Ellen Ridgeway (22), tenth and last child of Thomas Ridgway and Ann Tooze, married Harry Sampson (25), son of James Sampson and Sarah Jane Ponsford, at St John the Baptist ChurchSampford Peverell on 20 April 1908. Witnesses to the marriage were William Ambrose Quick, husband of Ellen's sister Bessie Ann, and Mary Sampson, Harry's younger sister (bridesmaid perhaps?).

In 1911, Harry Sampson (28) Waggoner on farm and Ellen Sampson (25) were living at Middle Pitt, Burlescombe. Living at Middle Pitt at that same time were Frank Stone, Ellen's first cousin, and his wife Frances.

Then Harry Sampson died, in 1938, aged 55.

In 1939, Ellen Sampson was living with her brother-in-law and sister, William and Bessie Quick, at 104, Barrington Street, Tiverton.

In 1947, Ellen Sampson remarried, at 61, to John W Salway. 

John William Salway (b. 1884), was the son of Charles Salway and Sarah Ann Galpin. In 1909, John William Salway had married Ellen Taylor, who had died in 1940. At least he was in no danger of getting his wives' names confused!

Ellen Salway died in Tiverton, in 1957, aged 71.

John William Salway died on 11 Mar 1972.

Charles Ridgeway and Ivy Edna Evans

Fort Regent, Saint Helier, Jersey

Charles Ridgeway (b. 1884), son of Thomas Ridgway and Ann Tooze, married Ivy Edna Evans (b. 5 Jan 1905), in Tiverton, in 1936. The bridegroom was 52 at the time of their marriage, while the bride was 21 years his junior at 31. Nevertheless, this does seem to be Charles' first marriage. Unable to find Ivy's birth record, I cannot discount that she could have been married before.

On 29 May 1901, Charles Ridgeway, previously a labourer from Uplowman, Devon, had enlisted in the British Army. His age of 18 and 3 months on enlistment, would give a birth year of 1883, so it appears that he added a year to his age to sign up. Certainly not the first or last to do so, and if there were any additional urgency or motivation for doing this, it might have been because the Second Boer War was then in progress. Charles later, was at Fort RegentSaint Helier, Jersey and there transferred to the Royal Tank Corps, having previously been attached to the 3rd Hussars

He was discharged, after 21 years service, on 28 May 1922, at the termination of his period of engagement (Para 392 (xxi) KR), having served through the entirety of World War I. His address on discharge was 104, Barrington Street, Tiverton, which was his sister, Bessie Ann Quick's address. 

At some point, Charles had been wounded, which I believe is why he was awarded a pension at a rate of 31½d for life from 29 May 1922. (That's 18s 4½d per week, when 20 shillings = £1 in 1922 is worth £58.29 today.)

In 1939, Charles Ridgeway, Groom, was living at 5 Radcliffe Cottages, St Thomas, Devon. His date of birth on the 1939 Register is given as 24 Feb 1884. This was the date he was baptised, so either he was baptised on the very day he was born, or the actual date of his birth is lost in time. Living with him is his wife, Ivy E Ridgeway. There are then two closed entries, so it's possible that they had children (who may well be alive), but the records are not [yet] available.

Charles Ridgeway died at the beginning of 1955, aged 70, in Tiverton.

Ivy Edna Ridgeway died, in Exeter, in 1975, also aged 70.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Sidney Ridgeway and Lucy Headford

St Andrew Street, Tiverton
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Derek Harper -

Sidney Ridgeway, son of Thomas Ridgway and Ann Tooze, married Lucy Headford (b. 3 Jan 1886), daughter of George Headford and Ellen Baker, in Tiverton, in 1908. In 1901, Lucy, living at Cosways Buildings, 7, Westexe South, Tiverton, with her widowed mother and siblings, was working as a Wheelwinder, while her mother was a Silk hand and her sister a Silk winder: all occupations that suggest they were employed at the Heathcoat Fabrics factory.

Sidney and Lucy had two children: 
  1. Charles Ridgeway born 29 May 1908
  2. Beatrice Maud Ridgeway born 21 Jun 1910
In 1911, Sidney Ridgeway (28) Woodman on estate, Lucy Ridgeway (24), Charles (2) and Beatrice (0) were living at 2 Langwood, Cove, Tiverton.

Charles Ridgeway married Dorothy Ellen Lazarus in Tiverton, in 1932.

Beatrice Ridgeway married Malcolm Garfield Huish in 1935.

In 1939, Sidney Ridgeway, 'Electric Wireman at the Municipal Electric Works', Lucy Ridgeway and Lily Headford, Incapacitated (Lucy's younger sister), were living in Higher Rock Close, St Andrew Street, Tiverton. In a separate household in Higher Rock Close, were Malcolm G Huish, 'General Labourer Gas & Electricity Works', Beatrice Huish and their daughter, Marion. Charles Ridgeway, 'Gas Worker' and Dorothy Ellen Ridgeway, lived at 9 Hammett Square.

Lucy Ridgeway died, in Tiverton, in 1949, aged 64. Sidney Ridgeway died, in Tiverton, in 1957, aged 75. Charles Ridgeway died, in Tiverton, in 1973, at 65, and Beatrice Huish, in 1975, also at the age of 65, in Sedgemoor, Somerset.

Bessie Ann Ridgeway and William Ambrose Quick

Bampton Street, Tiverton
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Roger Cornfoot -

Bessie Ann Ridgeway, daughter of Thomas Ridgway and Ann Tooze, married William Ambrose Quick (b. 2 May 1885), son of George Quick and Mary Winzer, in Tiverton in 1906. Five years earlier, in 1901, Bessie had been employed as Servant in the household of Thomas Heath, Postmaster, at 11, Bampton Street, Tiverton. William Quick (15), at that time, was a Tailor's apprentice.

William and Bessie had three sons:

  1. George Ridgeway Quick born 8 Feb 1907
  2. Kenneth William Quick born 7 Jan 1911
  3. Hedley C Quick born 18 Aug 1918
George and Kenneth were both baptised on 5 Jul 1911 at St Peter's Church.

In 1911, at 1 Brickfield Terrace, Martins Lane, Tiverton, Bessie Ann Quick (31) was a Boarding house keeper. Living with her were sons George Ridgeway Quick (4) and Kenneth William Quick (0) and three boarders: Annie Cuthbert (52), Thomas Jenkinson (28) and Edward Jenkinson (26). William Quick (25) Tailor, was a patient at the Tiverton Infirmary And Dispensary in Bampton Street.

Tiverton : Barrington Street & The Barley Mow
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Lewis Clarke -

In 1926, Kenneth William Quick (15) enlisted in the Royal Artillery.

In 1939, the family were living at 104 Barrington Street, Tiverton with William A Quick, Tailor; Bessie A Quick; Hedley C Quick, Glove Cutter. Living with them was Ellen Sampson, widow, Bessie's younger sister.

William A Quick died in 1952, aged 67. Bessie A Quick died in 1956, aged 75.

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.