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.

condovermap1882

Condover 1882

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

berriewoodlane

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).

ChurchofStAndrewsStMaryCondover

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.

FannyWilkes

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.

AbbeyStRhyl

Abbey Street, Google street view

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

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.

katepowellyoung

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.

ashergirls

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!)

51AshleyRdEpsom

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; findmypast.co.uk; oldmaps.co.uk; http://forebears.io/england/shropshire/condover; http://www.shropshire.gov.uk/maps/default.htm

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