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My great-grandmother, Kate Powell, was born in Berriewood Lane (also spelled Berriwood and Berrywood) in Condover, Shropshire on 28 October 1864.  Condover is an old village (the name appears in the Domesday Book) just south of Shrewsbury.  In about 1870 it had a population of 1,871.


Condover 1882

I’m not sure where in Berriewood Lane they lived.  (Today there is a Berriewood Farm which is a riding school.)


Kate’s parents were Richard Powell, a farmer, and Catherine Jones.  Kate had seven siblings: three sisters (Fanny, Annie, Emilie) and four brothers (Henry, Richard, John, and Francis).  Three of her siblings were younger than her.  Kate was christened on 2 April 1865 in Condover, presumably at the St Andrews and St Mary’s (or St Mary’s and St Andrew’s) church (no mention of the church on the christening record).  The entry immediately after hers, is the christening of her cousin, Eliza Jones, daughter of her uncle Timothy (her mother’s brother).


St Andrews and St Mary’s church, Condover

Unfortunately for the family, Richard died in 1870 when Kate was not quite six years old.  By the 1871 census Kate’s mother was an innkeeper at the Condover’s Arms with eight children aged between 11 months and 12 years to look after – not an easy task.

It’s no surprise, then, to find that 10 years later they had moved to Rhyl in North Wales where Kate’s mother is listed as a lodging house keeper.  Kate,  however, is not among her siblings in the 1881 census.  She visited her aunt Fanny (her mother’s sister) in Uffington, Shropshire.  Fanny Jones was married to William Wilkes, a farmer of 372 acres, employing five men and one boy.  Kate was 16, and her cousins (two girls and a boy) were aged 6-11 years.  I wonder what she did there and how long she stayed.

Strangely, I inherited some small paintings of Jones women.  One of them is of Fanny Wilkes.


I have no idea who painted them.  I grew up thinking my grandmother did, but as she wasn’t born until 1894 this doesn’t seem likely.  Did Kate paint them?

In 1891 Kate was back living with her mother and her older sister, Fanny.  They were living at 30 Abbey Street in Rhyl.  The property’s long gone.  Since the Google picture was taken, I imagine all the houses along that street have been pulled down.


Abbey Street, Google street view

On one side where number 30 was, there’s a barren park.


“Progress” they call it.

Kate’s sister, Fanny was five years older than her and in 1891 was working as a tobacconist manageress.  Kate had no occupation.


Undated photo, Kate Powell

In 1892 Kate married William Darlington Asher on 1 September at the church of St Thomas in Rhyl,

St thomas church, Rhyl KateWm

the same church in which William had been a bellringer.

Between 1894 and 1897 Kate gave birth to three daughters: Gwendoline (my grandmother), Dorothy, and Winifred, in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, and Crewe, Cheshire.  They lived in Shrewsbury for some time and then a promotion took William and the family to Ilford in 1919.  Winifred married that year.  The other two girls married in 1921 and 1927.

I have this lovely photo of William and Kate with two of their daughters.  Gwen is on the left.  I’m not sure if the other is Dorothy or Winifred.  It could be just after Winifred married, so perhaps it’s Dorothy.


William died in 1930.  Unfortunately, I don’t know what happened to Kate or where she went.  I wonder if she visited Gwen in North Wales or whether Gwen visited her?  They must have.  It would be nice to have the census returns for 1921 and 1931.  I don’t yet have a subscription to the 1939 national registration index.

In any case, Kate was living in Epsom, Surrey, in the late 1940s.  Her address at the time of her death was 51 Ashley Road.  According to Google street view that’s one of the houses to the right.  Rather a nice tree-lined road today.  Her daughter, Gwen, must have stayed there when she sailed for England in 1948 (her ultimate destination being Epsom). (I do wish I could have asked my mother about her grandmother!)


Kate died on 21 March 1949.  Cause of death was myocardial degeneration and arteriosclerosis (with senility also listed on the death certificate).  She was 84.


Sources: Wikipedia; family archives;;;;




William Darlington Asher (along with his twin brother, John Darlington) was born on 20 August 1869 at Bank Street in Claines, Worcestershire, to John Asher and Elizabeth Darlington.  John was a Post Office clerk.  There only appears to be a “New Bank Street” in Claines, but I can’t find any information about whether it’s the same street renamed.  The picture below is of New Bank Street from one end.


The family were still living there in 1871 and John is listed as a Class 2 Post Office clerk.

I have not been able to find any other siblings apart from Elizabeth who was born and died in 1864 and Frank Darlington who was also born, and died the same year, in 1883, quite a long period after the twins.

Ten years later, 1881, the family had moved to Northampton, and lived at 19 Somerset Street.



Still no other children, which is unusual for 19th century families.

In 1883 the family had moved to Rhyl in North Wales.  William and his brother were involved in entertainment, taking part in various performances, acting and singing.


The above mentions WD and JD Asher and JD’s future wife, Amy Vaughan

There was another YMCA performance in October of that year:


Rhyl Advertiser, 31 October 1885

I also found William mentioned in a newspaper article about the performance of “The Trial of John and Jane Temperance” at the Rhyl Town Hall in February 1886.

In 1886 William was working as a Post Office sorting clerk and telegraphist (following his father’s footsteps).


Entry from British Postal Service appointment books

William was also a bellringer at St Thomas’ church in Rhyl.



St Thomas’ church, Rhyl

I found this treasure at the Rhyl history club blog.


Next to William is John Phillips Powell, brother of his future wife, and further along is the brother of John Darlington Asher’s future wife, Amy Vaughan.


JP Powell and WD Asher

I found articles about three concerts in 1889 in which William performed (example below).


William also participated in debates!


Another concert in 1891:


By the 1891 census, William was lodging at New Street, Frankwell in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, employed as a Post Office sorting clerk and telegraphist.


New Street, Shrewsbury

I also found him listed in the British Postal Service appointment books for 1892,


but he received a promotion.


In September of that year, William married Kate Powell.


William and Kate continued living in Shrewsbury for a while.  Kate had two daughters in that time: Gwendoline in 1894 and Dorothy in 1895.  The last daughter, Winifred, was born in Crewe, Cheshire in 1897 but the family returned to living in Shrewsbury by 1901 at Delamere, North Hermitage, Belle Vue.  William is listed as a civil servant, travelling clerk, Surveyor’s department, GPO.

In August 1901 William visited Conwy.


Weekly News and Visitors’ Chronicle, 9 August 1901

Ten years later the family are living at the same address in Shropshire and William holds the same position.

During the war William became a food control inspector.


Lancashire Evening Post, 2 March 1917

Then in 1919 William became the new postmaster for Ilford (north-east of London).


Chelmsford Chronicle, 7 March 1919

William’s youngest daughter got married in 1919 and the eldest in 1921.  Dorothy married in 1927.  William’s mother died in January of that year.  I found no more entries in newspapers until 1928.


Chelmsford Chronicle, 1 June 1928

The online newspaper search went cold, but I had three obituaries in the family archives, cut out and kept from 1930.


Ilford Recorder, 26 September 1930

SelborneRd, Ilford

Possibly no. 6 Selborne Road, Ilford (next to no 4)

And lastly, a very brief entry under Wills and Bequests in the Essex Newsman, 24 January 1931.


The probate entry is more revealing.


John Wotherspoon was a son-in-law.

In the excitement of finding so many newspaper entries, I had forgotten family photos of the man, with and without a moustache.





Sources: Google; family archives;; Welsh newspapers online;; British newspapers at;


I saw that scotlandspeople had 20 free credits.  This time I was more organised and searched for specific things.  I had enough credits for three searches.

The first was for the death of Archibald Sutherland.  I chose him, as his name is more unusual than John or George.  He died before the 1871 census but was listed in the 1861 census so he died between those times.  I found one for December 1861 which listed his father as John (deceased) and Margaret Fisher.  Hmm.  Pause for thought here.  I had the mother as Mary Mathay.  Younger idiot self had not noted where I found that information.  A search in my paper files revealed that I got the information from the IGI.  Evidently it was the only birth I could find for Archibald Sutherland.  Ironically I can’t find that same info on familysearch today.  My tree needs amending.  The informant was Archibald’s wife, Jane.

Having found that, I searched for John Sutherland’s marriage to Margaret Fisher and found that for 1820.  Unfortunately, there’s no information about their parents.

I had enough credits for one more search.  A search for the death of Jane Sutherland resulted in 5 pages of results (so 5 credits), so instead I searched for the birth of Jessie Allison in Perth.  One result for Janet Allison.  I had a look and the parents were the same as what I had.  Janet at birth, but evidently known as Jessie.  1856 corresponded with my estimate of 1857.  Result.  That left me with one credit.  I will have to wait until the next freebies.

Good result.  Slowly, with any luck, I will be able to knock off a few gaps, little by little.


Mary Kate Reeve was born on 8 March 1866 at 15 Alma Terrace in Ipswich, Suffolk (which no longer exists).  She was born to Gabriel Benjamin Reeve and Hannah Wright, one of 11 children (two boys, nine girls: Emma, Hannah, Sarah, Elizabeth Sarah, Emma Maria, Mary Eliza, John Benjamin, Ruth, Harry Joseph, Mary Kate, Katherine Alice).

Mary Kate was five years old by the time the next census came around.  The family were living at 9 Orford Street in Ipswich (Mary with her parents, and siblings: Hannah, Elizabeth Sarah, Ruth, Harry, and Katherine).  Five children weren’t listed in the census;  Emma, who died age two; Mary, who died age three; Emma Maria; Sarah; and John Benjamin.  I found a Benjamin Reeve, aged 12, as a boarder at Christ Hospital School with 14 other boys of similar age.  I know he hadn’t died, as he appeared in subsequent census returns.  Emma Maria might also have died and Sarah could be confused with Elizabeth Sarah (I wish they hadn’t used the same name for subsequent children). Typically, the residential address listed in the 1871 census is now a carpark.  Here is the view down the street from the approximate position.


Mary’s father was a merchant’s clerk and her older sister a draper’s assistant.

Ipswich, incidentally, is one of England’s oldest towns, or at least the oldest continuously inhabited town, seemingly beginning with a Roman fort.  One of my favourite painters, Thomas Gainsborough lived and worked in Ipswich, and Dickens’ “Pickwick Papers” is set there.  In the nineteenth century, Ipswich was the centre for the making of agricultural machinery and iron and also of brick-making and brewing.

Ten years later, in 1881, the family were still living at the same address.  Mary lived there with her parents, John B, Sarah, and Katherine (so some confusion with Sarah and Elizabeth Sarah).  Her father was a commercial clerk at the iron foundry, as was her brother, John.  Mary was a linen draper’s assistant.  Mary’s older sister, Sarah, was 28 and unemployed, with a note to say that she was an invalid from birth.  Ruth, not listed, was draper’s assistant at a draper manager’s establishment with 40 other workers. Mary’s older sister, Hannah, was by this time, married and living with her husband, Robert Stammers and three children. I was not able to find the others.  I know that Harry or Joseph was still alive as he appears in subsequent census returns.

Mary Kate met John Rose and they married on 20 June 1887 at the parish church of St Matthew’s in Ipswich.  Two years later, the first of six sons, Harold, was born and they moved to Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex. Three more sons were born in quick succession: Edward 1891, Reginald 1893, and Horace Charles 1894.  The last two sons, Alfred and Donald, were born in 1898 and 1901.  Then came two daughters, Madge and Ruth, in 1905 and 1909.

As mentioned in an earlier post, Edward emigrated to Australia in 1911.  When war broke out, Edward, Reg, HC, and possibly the teenage Alfred enlisted.  It must have been hard for Mary Kate to have four of her sons involved.  (Amazingly all survived and went on to marry and start families.)  Only one of Mary’s children remained in Ipswich.

HC moved to Australia in January 1922.  Mary, John, and the two girls left in November that same year aboard the Euripides.

At first I think they lived at Pendle Hill, New South Wales.  In 1935 they were at 28 Cecil Street in Ashfield, then moved to 33 Kenilworth Street in Croydon.  Again, this is the only photo I have of Mary Kate.  Unfortunately, she’s looking down.


Thanks to a lack of census information and electoral rolls (I could only find one for 1935), I know nothing more, which is sad.  Mary Kate died at home on 24 July 1951 and her remains were cremated.


Sources:  findmypast; Google; Wikipedia;; family archives



I joined the Guild of One Name Studies as there were about eight surnames I have in my tree that were registered surnames there and I thought it worth searching what they had (not that much, it turns out).  One of the names was Facey.  The only ancestor I have with that name is Hono(u)r Facey, who used her surname as the middle name of a paternal ancestor.  I didn’t have much information on her (just her marriage in Devon).  I hadn’t found her baptism or death on previous searches at findmypast.  Today I decided just to do a simple Google search and her name was mentioned in a detailed account of the Rye family.

Well, it turns out that a George Hubert Rye married Emmeline Escott (various spellings) Stevens, daughter of Andrew Stevens and Honor Facey.  I did not have Emmeline on my tree, so that was a bonus.  The website had details about George as a naval man, working on various ships, being involved with battles against the Dutch, slaver ships, and he shot a man in a “smuggling affray”.  Fascinating stuff!  George was one of many children born in Suffolk (and a detailed family history was given).  Emmeline died after giving birth to six or seven children and George married her sister, Gertrude (who was on my tree).  Six sons were listed, one of them marrying the daughter of George Daniel.

I headed over to findmypast and found the marriage of George to Emmeline in 1814, and also to Gertrude in 1831.  So Emmeline had died before 1831.  This gave me something to go on.  I found her death in 1824 in the same month as her two-day old daughter.  Presumably she died in childbirth or shortly after.  Sad.  Her birth date was estimated as 1796, so then I could find her baptism, which I did for 1795 in Illogan, Cornwall.

All this info and time spent, after what was supposed to be a short and simple search in the Guild of One Name Studies, which didn’t, of course, have anything on Honor Facey.

I’m a bit behind schedule with this challenge.  I’m sure I will fall behind several times.  From now there will be less information but I will search for more as I go.

John Edward Rose was born in London on 26 March 1864, at 172 Drury Lane.  Whatever building used to be there is long gone.  Now there’s an ugly office block.  John was the third child (and second son) in a family of 14 children (four sons and 10 daughters)!  John’s parents were William Rose and Mary Ann, née Mudd.  William was a publican at the time of John’s birth and I believe John was born in a pub at that address.  Unfortunately I can’t find any mention of a long-lost pub in Drury Lane.


Detail of Drury Lane in 1867 map. 172 was between Long Acre and Broad Street


Another view from an 1860 map.  I think 172 was opposite Brownlow Street.

One more map, as I spent some time looking!


Detail of insurance map from late 1800s overlaid on top of modern map, so 172 was opposite what is now Betterton Street. No idea what P.H. means – the map and website had no legend

In 1871, John’s father was listed as a miller, employing one man.  They also had a female servant.  They lived at 65 Debenham Road, Henley, Suffolk, which I assume is Crowfield, Ipswich today.  If so, new houses have been built along the road.

In 1881, John was a grocer’s apprentice, living in the village of Sproughton, Suffolk.


Several of John’s siblings were born in Sproughton.  In 1883 his eldest sister, Fanny, married Frederick Neale in Saxmundham, Suffolk, and another sister was born!  (After their mother died, two of the youngest sisters lived with their eldest brother.)  Four years later, it was John’s turn.  He married Mary Kate Reeve on 20 June 1887 at St Matthew’s, Ipswich.  He was still a grocer’s assistant.

This appears to be the church, now hemmed in by development.


By 1891 the couple had moved to Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex, living in Waterloo House in High Street, had one son, Harold, and Mary was pregnant with her second.  John was now listed as a grocer (manager).  In 1901 they were living at 43 High Street with the boys.  In 1911 they were still living in High Street with all but one child, HC.  John’s second son, Edward, emigrated to Australia that year (perhaps he was one of the “dreadnought boys“).

War broke out in 1914 and four of John’s six sons enlisted (Edward serving with the Australian Imperial Force).  Thankfully all survived.

In 1921, John and family were living at Valley Lodge, Holland Road, Clacton on Sea.  John seems to have given up being a grocer and become a commercial clerk.  In 1922, John’s fourth son left with new wife to join his brother in Australia.  They must have liked what they experienced, as John, his wife, and the two teenage girls, also departed in November of that year aboard the Euripides.


The ship arrived in Sydney in December and apparently there were “dreadnought boys” aboard as well.

Initially, I think, they must have stayed with one or both sons in Pendle Hill.  Here is the only photo I have of John Edward, taken from a group photo on his son’s poultry farm.


I think he looks a kindly man.  I wish I could have asked my mother or great aunt about him but, alas, I knew nothing about him to even think of asking.

In 1935, John, Mary, and the girls were living at 28 Cecil Street in Ashfield, Sydney.  It’s a block of flats now (of course).  John was listed in that year’s electoral roll as a gardener.  The girls were clerks.

Some time in the late 1930s or early 40s, John and Mary must have moved to 33 Kenilworth Street, a semi-detached house in Croydon (which I’m glad to say still exists).

Unfortunately, that is pretty much all the information I have.  John Edward Rose died on 30 November 1949 at home.  He was 85, a good age.


Sources:; census returns;; Bury & Norwich Post, 10 Apr 1883; findmypast; family archives;;