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; ancestry.com; Welsh newspapers online; rhylhistoryclub.wordpress.com; British newspapers at findmypast.com; historypoints.org