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Joseph Beale, or Beal, was born in around 1806, baptised on 22 December of that year in Overton, Hampshire. His parents were John Beal and Sarah Barnett. He had eight siblings including five brothers.

Joseph was an agricultural labourer and married Frances, or Fanny, Kercher on 8 May 1830 two months after the birth of her/their son, Charles. As mentioned in the previous post, in 1841 the family, with seven children, were living in Bridge Street in Overton. Just down the road lived Joseph’s parents and two sisters.

The eighth child, Jane, was born in about 1842, then, sadly, Frances died in 1844.

Joseph was still an agricultural labourer (as were most of his neighbours) in 1851. The family were still living in Bridge Street next door to Joseph’s widowed father. Six of the children were still living with him between the ages of 9 and 18. Harriet, age 17, was a silk winder. The eldest, Charles, was living alone in Southington, working as a railroad labourer. Edmund, an agricultural labourer, appears to be visiting George and MaryAnn Roberts in West Street, Overton, near his uncle Charles (Kercher). Either that, or he died in 1850 (but no age is given).

Charles, now calling himself Charles Kercher rather than Beale, married in 1852 and emigrated to Australia in 1859 with his wife and young family. He disappears from the Beales’ lives.

For the rest of the children, some of the following is guesswork (where indicated by “might”).

In 1861, Joseph and his three youngest children were living in West Street. Joseph and son, Alfred, were agricultural labourers. Louisa (or Lucy) and Jane were a paper factory operators. The paper mill, between Overton and Whitchurch, was founded by Henry Portal in 1712 and won a contract to make banknote paper in 1724. It’s still in operation. With the closure of the silk mill (although there was still one in Whitchurch), the paper mill would have been a major employer of young girls.

I can’t find any sign of Edmund. George might have died in 1852 (again no age). I don’t know what happened to Harriet. Henry might have joined the army. I found a Henry Beale, of the right age and birth place, at Fort Gomer, Alverstoke (or Gosport), a private in the 11th regiment.

In 1871 Joseph, age 66, was still an agricultural labourer (and widower) in Overton, living with his youngest daughter, Jane, age 28, and one-year-old grandson, Thomas Beale, baseborn son of Jane. I can’t find Edmund, George, Harriet, or Henry.  I found an Alfred and Elizabeth Beale living in Overton in 1871 with a daughter, Jane, age 4. Alfred’s age is out by a couple of years but he is an agricultural labourer. His wife (a paper mill worker) was seven years older. With them are her mother and sister, Hannah and Jane Field (paupers). I found a marriage in 1866 for Alfred and Elizabeth Goodger. I suspect Goodger was Elizabeth’s married name from a previous marriage and, indeed, I found an Elizabeth Hannah Field marrying a George Goodger in 1853. This is all supposition for our Alfred, but highly likely.  Louisa Beale might have married William Wake, an agricultural labourer, in 1864. She and William appear in the 1871 census in Overton along with children Alice and William. Louisa was a paper mill worker (as before).

Jane Beale married Charles Gronsell (or Grunsell) in 1880. Was he the father of Thomas? Thomas was ten years old by then so it’s probably unlikely, and he kept the name Beale. Was Charles Gronsell related to Jane’s sister-in-law Mary Grunsell (married to Charles Kercher)? George Grunsell was christened on 4 May 1849, son of George Grunsell and Mary Ann Silver so there’s no direct link so far.

In 1881 Joseph was living with Charles and Jane (now Gronsell) and Thomas. They lived in High Street, Overton. Charles was a labourer and Joseph (now 74) was also still a labourer.

I can’t find a death date for Joseph, but it must have been between 1881 and 1891. I have 1889 noted down but my younger self did not note where this information came from. He lived to a good age regardless, despite the hard life he must have had.

 

Sources: Wikipedia; findmypast; familysearch

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This will be a brief entry.  Frances Kercher, or Fanny, was born in about 1808, baptised on 18 September in Overton, Hampshire. She was the daughter of Timothy Kercher and Esther (or Hester) Webb. She had 10 siblings.

Frances was a silk girl working at the Silk Mill in Overton, which closed in 1846. I can’t find any old illustrations of the mill but here’s one of a silk girl in Hertfordshire.

SilkmachineryHertfordshire

from http://www.hertfordshire-genealogy.co.uk/data/occupations/silk.htm

It seems difficult to get any information about “silk girls” without Google throwing up dodgy results. Over to Wikipedia for information on silk throwing.

Frances gave birth to a boy, Charles, in March 1830 and had him baptised on 14 March. It was noted that he was a baseborn son of Frances, a silk girl. No father was named, but Frances married agricultural labourer, Joseph Beale, just two months later on 8 May 1830.

Frances had another son, Edmund Beale, in 1831 (baptised 7 August), followed by a third, George, in 1833 (baptised on 24 February). In about 1834 Frances gave birth to her first daughter, Harriett, who was baptised on 4 January 1835. In 1836 another son, Henry was born (baptised on 5 June), followed by Alfred in 1838 (baptised on 30 September). Finally, before the 1841 census, Lucy, or Louisa, was born in 1840, baptised on 4 October.

In 1841 the family were living in Bridge Street, Overton. They were living next door to Fanny’s older brother, Charles (also an agricultural labourer) and his wife and three girls.

Fanny had another girl, Jane, in about 1842 but I haven’t found her baptism.

Fanny had a tragically short life, dying in August 1844, and was buried on 29th in Overton.  She was just 36 years old.  Incredibly, I do not seem to have her death certificate!

More on her husband, Joseph, next.

 

Sources: family archives; findmypast; overtonparishcouncil.gov.uk; Wikipedia

Only 12 weeks left of this challenge. It has been enormously rewarding.

I’ll now turn to Richard Jones’ wife, Anne Phillips. She was born in about 1792 in Pontesbury. She was baptised on 23 December 1792. Her parents were John Phillips and Mary Rogers. Anne had two sisters – Mary and Jane, and a brother, John, that I know of.

As mentioned in the previous post, Anne married Richard Jones on 11 May 1815 in Pontesbury. I’ll use this post to write details of the children – 13 of them that I can find some information for, but my grandmother’s tree says there were 15.

The first child was Ann. I’m not sure of her exact date of birth but she was baptised on the same day as her sister, Sarah, on 24 August 1817. Estimates of years of birth from census returns are not helpful. For Ann – 1821, and for Sarah 1817, 1818 and 1823. Ann was the eldest daughter (from a death notice). I imagine Sarah was born in 1817 and Ann a year or so beforehand.

Following that confusion, the next children, apparently twins, were William Wall Jones and his sister, Mary, both born on 3 May 1818 and baptised on 3 October 1819.  Another son, Richard, was possibly born in 1822, being baptised on 9 June. His sister, Elizabeth, was born just a couple of months later on 24 August.  Hannah Maria was born on 3 May 1824. Elizabeth and Hannah were baptised on 3 September 1826. Another possible daughter, Margaret, of Castle Place, appears to have been born in July of 1826 but died and was buried in November. I cannot find a baptism for her (so cannot confirm her as a sister), although you’d think she would’ve been baptised at the same time as her older sisters.  Humphrey was the next son, born on 26 August 1828, then John on 23 June 1830, and Timothy on 26 April 1831.  They were all baptised on 16 September 1832. Another daughter, Frances, was born in about 1833 (according to census returns), baptised on 5 April. Last, but not least, was Catherine, born on 27 September 1834, baptised on 12 March 1840. That makes 13 children. Two others (to make the 15 my grandmother claims) could have been Susan, Walter, or Edmund, although I don’t know where I got those names from (it’s been a few years – perhaps from a visit to my great aunt) and I can only find a baptism for Edmund, baptised on 9 April 1836 but in Longnor which is not too far away from Pulverbatch. The reason he is a possibility is that my grandmother mentioned Longnor in the tree. However, none of them are mentioned with family in census returns that I can find (although they could have died as infants or young children), so I will discount them for now.

John died in March 1837, age 7. Humphrey died in August 1837, age 8. A sad year for Anne.

So to the 1841 census where we lose Anne and four children – William, Mary, Elizabeth and Hannah. I’ve not been able to find them, and Jones being a common name, they could be anywhere. The ‘children’ ranged in age from 17 to 23 so could be working or visiting.  The remaining children listed with Richard were Richard, Timothy, Ann, Sarah, Frances, and Catherine. With the family are five servants, one of whom was called John Phillips, the name of Anne’s brother. However, this John Phillips was listed clearly as age 38 and Anne’s brother would have been about 46.  I just found it interesting as Anne’s brother was listed with the family in just about every other census until 1871. Tantalisingly, there is an Ann Jones in Ellesmere in a list of people including John Phillips about the right age. I can only see the transcription of that entry which does not include occupation (unfortunately, they didn’t include relationship in the 1841 census, so the above John could be Anne’s brother with the wrong age). All very confusing.

William married Mary Hotchkiss in 1842. Sadly, Hannah died in 1844.

Eddowes17Jul1844

Eddowes journal and General Advertiser, 17 July 1844

Elizabeth married Samuel Smith in May 1845 and Richard married Sarah Bromley in July 1845. Elizabeth’s husband died in 1849. Elizabeth then married farmer, Thomas Mansell, in 1851.

So to the 1851 census where Anne and Richard were listed with children Ann, Sarah, Frances and Timothy. I don’t know what happened to Mary. Catherine was visiting her sister, Elizabeth. Anne’s brother, John Phillips, was living with them as an assistant. There were five servants.

Timothy married Eliza Inions in 1853.  Anne never witnessed any further marriages of her children.  She died on 12 August 1857 at Castle Place.

MrsJones

Such a beautiful memorial card, which I’ve handled reverently most of my life.

Catherine married Richard Powell in 1858. Sadly, Anne’s eldest daughter, Ann, died in 1860, never having married.

Eddowes8Feb1860

Eddowes journal and General Advertiser, 8 February 1860

Frances was the last to marry – to William Wilkies in 1869, after the death of her father.

WellingtonJnl26Jun1869

Wellington Journal, 26 June 1869

 

Sources: family archives; findmypast; familysearch; British newspaper archives

I now turn to Jones – not an easy name to research for obvious reasons.

Richard Jones was born about 1789, baptised on 16 August in Pontesbury, Shropshire. He was the son of Richard Jones and Sarah Wall. The only sibling I know about is Sarah, born in 1791.

Pontesbury is both a parish and a large village. The village is about eight miles south-west of Shrewsbury near the river Severn. It has a mining history of coal, lime, iron, and lead. The hill nearby is the site of an iron-age hill fort built around 600 BCE (the hill itself formed by volcanic activity in the preCambrian era).

EarlsHillPontesbury

Richard married Anne Phillips on 11 May 1815 in Pontesbury.  The church dates back to 1254 but has been rebuilt a few times.

StGeorgechurchPontesbury

The couple had 14, possibly 15 children (nine of them girls), and I’ll give the details in the next post on Anne.  Five children were born before 1820, another five in the 1820s, then another four in the 1830s.

Richard was a farmer, and the family lived at Castle Place near Church Pulverbatch in Shropshire.

“Castle Place Farm derives its name from a large circular depression, apparently natural, which surrounds the house and was formerly known as Toppings Castle. It is a brick house with some Georgian features, built in the early 19th century.”

(from http://www.gatehouse-gazetteer.info/English sites/3848.html)

I found Richard mentioned in newspapers in the 1830s and 1840s with regard to prosecuting felons and trespassers. I imagine men of some standing undertook these tasks.

felon1

felon3

Naturally, farmers would be concerned with trespassers.

Game

The 1841 census confirms Richard was a farmer at Castle Place. His wife, Anne, however, was not listed. She may have been visiting family but I have yet to find her.  Six children were listed (out of 14). Three children had died but I can’t find the whereabouts of four others. Perhaps they were with Anne, were working, or had also died. I shall explore further in the next post.

Richard obviously sold stock at the Shrewsbury fair,

Shrewsburyfair

dealt with claims against estates,

ShrewsburyChr9Mar1849

Shrewsbury Chronicle, 9 March 1849

and attended county meetings.

listaShrewsChr4Jan1850

listb

Shrewsbury Chronicle, 4 January 1850

Anne was back with Richard for the 1851 census. Richard was a farmer of 200 acres, employing one labourer and some coal miners. The region was known for coal and evidently Richard sold the coal found on the farm.  He was described as a coal dealer in a newspaper article of 1854.  Four children were listed with them in the census (as well as Anne’s brother).  Some others had married in the interim.

Sadly, Anne died in 1859 leaving Richard a widower. In 1861 Richard was still farming at Castle Place. His brother-in-law was still with him as well as two daughters.  He was still farming 200 acres, employing three men and two boys.

Sometime after 1861 Richard moved to Milton Place, Belle Vue, Shrewsbury. I imagine he retired from farming in his 70s to live the rest of his life as a gentleman.  I can find no reference to Milton Place – probably long since renamed or merged with another road.

Richard died there on 16 July 1864.

RichJones

(I have admired the above card for most of my life. The memorial cards, combined with my grandmother’s tree, set me on the ancestor hunt. I wish I could go back in time to discuss the tree with her.)

RJoneswill

 

Sources: family archives; wikipedia; findmypast; British newspaper archive; genuki.org.uk; shropshirehistory.com; st-george.org.uk; gatehouse-gazetteer.info;

Now I start getting back to the eighteenth century, starting with Richard Powell, who was born about 1791 in Bromfield, Shropshire. I haven’t been able to find a baptism. The closest found was a Richard on 23 September 1792 at Clunbury (a 3 hour walk away from Bromfield, in present times), son of William and Mary.  As there are no Williams among Richard’s children it doesn’t seem likely (but not impossible). I wouldn’t’ be surprised if Richard’s father was Richard (there are a lot of them). So, unfortunately, for now, this will be as far back that I can go with the Powells.

Richard married Martha Harris on 9 January 1818 at Bishop’s Castle in Shropshire, the place of Martha’s birth. Martha would have been born about 1792. I haven’t been able to find her baptism either.

The first child, Martha Eliza, was born about 1819 at “The Poles”, baptised on 4 August in Bromfield, Shropshire. When I found my grandmother’s handwritten family tree she had at the top “Powell, The Poles”. For years I couldn’t figure out what “the poles” meant and thought perhaps that it indicated how Powell was pronounced.  Years later, I was told it was a rural area within Shropshire, but maps seemed to place it far to the north of Bromfield. Then I found this.

 

Polesfromshropshirehistory_org_uk

From search.shropshirehistory.org.uk

Perhaps there was an earlier farmhouse (Richard was a farmer) as the above building dates from the mid-19th century.

The next child born was Charlotte, estimated to have been born around 1822, but baptised on 7 August 1824 in Bromfield. Following Charlotte was Ann (bear with me, there were nine children). Ann, born at the Poles, was baptised on 7 May 1823. Then the first boy was born in 1825, Richard, baptised on 16 September. Sadly, he died just three months later, and was buried on 5 December. The following year brought more sadness to the family as another daughter, Mary, baptised on 24 September 1824, was buried on 29 September.

There may or may not have been more children before another boy, also called Richard, was born in 1830. The family had moved northwest to Lydham, nearer to Martha’s birthplace. Richard was baptised on 27 June in Lydham.  Following Richard was another girl, another Mary, baptised on 27 November 1831 in Lydham. Two more girls were born: Sarah, baptised 3 February 1833; and Susan, baptised 20 July 1834. Sadly, she also died, buried on 17 April 1835. So Richard was the only surviving boy in a family of (six surviving) girls.

In the 1841 census the family were living at Lydham village, Richard a farmer. The surviving children were listed except for Charlotte. She may have been working as a servant somewhere. There was a Charlotte living with Elizabeth Harris at St Chad (who may or may not be an aunt) along with some other unrelated girls of the same age.

Ann married John Harris on 14 November 1843 at Lydham. Sadly, Sarah died in 1847 and was buried in Lydham on 22 February, aged only about 14.  The eldest daughter, Martha, married Thomas Bright on 12 April 1849 at Church Pulverbatch, Shropshire. This is where I had a hallelujah moment as my grandmother’s tree had ? marrying ? Bright followed by a list of five children, three of whom were named. (I found those five children and was able to confirm from my grandmother’s descriptions, eg “chemist London”, or “died a bachelor”. It was a wonderful feeling.)

Sometime between 1841 and probably 1849 the family moved to the Church Pulverbatch region. In the 1851 census they were living at Walleybourne in the parish of Wrentnall near Church Pulverbatch. Richard was a farmer of 250 acres employing one labourer occasionally. Despite that, living with them were a number of people: a dairy maid, a housemaid, two farm labourers, a waggoner and his boy, and a cow man. Also visiting was John Rhees, age 20, a nephew. Richard may have had a sister called Martha who married a Thomas Rhees, or certainly, if not that couple (who married in 1807 which seems too early) then a sister who married a Rhees (also a farmer). Living with Richard and Martha were Charlotte, Richard, and Mary.

Sadly, Ann died in 1855, at the age of about 32. She left a husband and five children, the youngest being four years old. Richard married Catherine Jones in 1858 at Church Pulverbatch. I don’t know what happened to Charlotte – whether she married or died.

So in 1861 there was just Richard and Martha living at Sydnall cottage, Pulverbatch, Richard a farmer of just 16 acres. Visiting them were grandchildren, Richard and Margaret Harris (the now motherless children of Ann). There was also a house servant. Richard’s age was put at 80 but according to previous census returns he would have been 70 (and was about the same age as Martha). He can’t have aged 20 years from 1851 to 1861.

Richard died on 15 July 1862 at Sydnall cottage. The probate of 1863 reads:

Powell Richard, effects under £2000

Richardsnr1863

Martha lived for another 11 years. In 1871 she was living with her daughter, Martha, and her family in Clun. Her son-in-law, Thomas Bright, was a farmer of 220 acres employing three labourers.

Martha died a couple of years later and was buried on 23 August 1873 at Church Pulverbatch.

 

Sources: family archives; findmypast; familysearch; searchshropshirehistory.org.uk; probatesearch