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.

OrfordSt

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.

MaryKate

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; information-britain.co.uk; family archives

Save

Save

Advertisements