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And today should have been my final entry but I’m still running a week late.

From Timothy Kercher to his father, Thomas.

Thomas was born in St Mary Bourne, Hampshire, in about 1753, baptised on 30 September. His parents were Thomas and Martha. I haven’t been able to find any siblings at all.

Thomas married Sarah Lee (sometimes written as Alee) in St Mary Bourne on 6 July 1777, exactly 240 years ago today. What a coincidence.

The couple had seven children that I know of, including Timothy. The first was Timothy’s older brother, William, born in January 1778, then Timothy in 1780.  Next was a girl, Martha, born about 1782, then a son, another Thomas, born in 1784. Then three daughters: Sarah (1787), Mary (1790) and Betsy (1794).

Well, I probably shouldn’t have chosen Thomas for this exercise because I know basically nothing and he lived a very short life, dying in January 1796, one year before little Betsy, at the age of 43.

Two years later he would have seen his eldest son, William, marry Ann Washbee (née Allen) in February 1799. Martha married William Goodyear in April 1803, followed by Timothy marrying Esther in November of that year. Sarah married Thomas Harries in October 1808. Mary married William Leigh in 1821.

William and Ann had four children before Ann died in June 1827. One year later William married widow, Sarah Garlick, in July 1828.

As for their mother, and Thomas’ wife, Sarah. She died in 1818. She was buried on 3 May in St Mary Bourne. She was born in about 1752 in St Mary Bourne, daughter of Richard Alee and Elizabeth Spring.

Such a short post. My next, final, one will be longer and will deal with John and Vivian Stevens reaching back into the 17th century.

As always, if anyone can add any information to the above, I would love to hear from you.

 

Sources: findmypast; familysearch; family archives

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And yes, I’m a week late so today’s should be week 51!

Timothy Kercher was baptised on 30 January 1780 in St Mary Bourne, Hampshire.  As far as I know he was one of seven children, the second son of Thomas Kercher and Sarah Alee or Lee.

St Mary Bourne is a small village in northwest Hampshire. I can’t find a lot of information about it but this website gives a little information even if it is focused on WWI.

Naturally, I have no information on Timothy before he married Esther (or Hester) Webb on 14 November 1803 in Overton (Esther’s birth place).

They had 11 children that I know of, their first son, Charles, baptised in April 1804 in St Mary Bourne. Another son, William, was baptised in April 1805, then Thomas in January 1807. Then came the first daughter, Frances, in 1808. Two more daughters, Jane (baptised October 1810), and Emma (baptised August 1812), then another son, Henry in about 1814. I found a baptism for Henry on 17 April but the mother’s name was put as Henrietta. Another three daughters were born: Sarah (baptised November 1815); Elizabeth (baptised December 1816); and Harriett (baptised August 1818). Lastly, came George baptised July 1821.

The eldest, Charles, married Ann White in 1826.  Frances married Joseph Beal(e) in 1830. Emma (or Emily) married Isaac Smith in 1832. Sadly, George died in March 1834 at the age of 12. Thomas married Isabella Osman in September of that year. Elizabeth died the following year at the age of 18. Sarah married William Lewis in 1838.

In 1841 Timothy and Esther were living in Overton with their youngest daughter, Harriet, and her son, George, born six months earlier. Timothy was a blacksmith.

Esther died in February 1844 in Overton. Her daughter, Frances died in August. Harriet married William Moore in the third quarter of 1844. William, the second eldest, died in 1846. Henry married Henrietta Bartlett in 1848, then in 1849 Thomas died.

I’m not sure if Jane married. If not, she may have died in 1850.

In 1851 Timothy was a widower, still working as a blacksmith, living with his son, Charles and family in West Street, Overton. Charles was a labouring woodman, while his two daughters were silk girls.

Harriet died in 1852 and Charles died in 1859.

It seems Timothy didn’t quite make it to the 1861 census. He had outlived most of his 11 children. Henry died just three years later in 1864. I’m not sure when Jane died, and I can’t find Emma/Emily in the 1861 census.  Sarah was alive with her husband and children. Timothy died on 8 April 1861, at the grand age of around 81.

 

Sources: Google; findmypast; familysearch

I’m over a week late with this one. I had a brief draft ready but hadn’t got round to posting it.

Thomas Grunsell was baptised on 27 May 1764 in Stoke Charity, Hampshire. He was the son of Thomas Gruncel and Mary Poor. He had an older sister, Sarah, and two younger brothers, William and Charles.

I don’t have much information on Thomas (it’s difficult as you get further back). He married Mary Chariot on 22 March 1792 in Micheldever, Hampshire.  Their first child, John, was baptised in August of that year, so Mary was another pregnant bride. Ten more children were born over the next 24 years: Mary (1794); Thomas (1796); Rebecca (1797); William (1798); Sarah (1801); Elizabeth (1803); James (1805); Henry (1810); Joshua (1815); and (I think) Charles (1816). All were born in Micheldever.

Thomas died just eight years after the birth of Charles and was buried on 18 February 1824.

Mary lived on to 1854 and was listed both in the 1841 and 1851 census with her son, James (agricultural labourer) and his family of wife and children. Living with the family in 1841 was James’ younger brother, Charles and in 1851, James’ younger brother Joshua, also an agricultural labourer).

Mary was buried in Micheldever on 3 April 1854.

 

Sources: familysearch; findmypast

The further back I go, the less information I have so some entries (like this one), will be rather brief.

John Grunsell (also spelled Grundsel, Grunsel, Gruncel, etc) was born in about 1792, baptised on 12 August, at Micheldever, Hampshire. His parents were Thomas Grunsell and Mary Chariot. He was the eldest of 11 children that I’m aware of (six brothers and four sisters).

He married Sarah Exel on 19 October 1822 in Overton, Hampshire. I don’t have any information on Sarah. The only baptism I could find was for a Sarah Exal born in Tadley, Hampshire, in November 1796, to David and Leah Exal.  According to the 1851 census “our” Sarah was born in Whitchurch. The names, David and Leah, don’t appear in children’s or grandchildren’s names either so it seems unlikely, but not impossible.

The couple had five children that I’m aware of, born in Overton from 1823 to 1836: Elizabeth (1823); George (1824); Thomas (1829); Henry (1832); and Mary (1836). Elizabeth died in 1836.

John was a journeyman tailor in 1841. The family were living in Southington (a tything in Overton parish). George is not with them and I have been unable to find him. (He wasn’t dead as he went on to marry in about 1847.)

Unfortunately, John died in 1848, buried on 26 May. He was only about 56. This was obviously bad news for Sarah who, in 1851, was listed as tailor’s widow and a pauper. With her is 18-year-old Henry, an agricultural labourer. Thomas, 21, appears to have been working as a shepherd in Sherborne St John. Among the other servants listed was George Miles, 18, farm hand. I suspect it was George’s sister, Mary, that Thomas married in 1852. The couple then sailed away to Australia in 1853. Mary also married in 1852 to Charles Kercher.

Sadly, Sarah died on 31 August 1857 in Overton. With their parents dead and Thomas in Australia, the rest of the children also migrated to Australia – Mary and her family in 1859, Thomas (now a widower) and family in 1866. I haven’t found when Henry emigrated – some time after his mother’s death perhaps.

 

Sources: findmypast; familysearch; http://www.myancestors.com.au/passenger-lists-and-immigration; Wikipedia

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

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

Charles Kercher was born in 1830 in Overton, Hampshire.  He was baptised on 14 March, the baseborn son of Frances Kercher.  Frances Kercher married Joseph Beale just two months later, so I can only assume he is the father.  We’ll never really know.

Overton is a large village to the west of Basingstoke.  The region has been inhabited for thousands of years but the village developed about the 10th century.  The river Test runs through it.  Alongside the river were corn, fulling and silk mills.  The region was primarily agricultural.

capture

Overton was involved in the Swing Riots.  In November 1830 there was rioting in the village as agricultural labourers demanded money, food and higher wages, so it was not an easy time.  Joseph Beale, a labourer, may well have been one of the rioters.

overtonmap

By 1841, Frances had had another six children, so she had seven children under the age of 12 by the time of the census.  Charles’ surname is listed as Beale, along with the other children (four boys and two girls).  The family lived next door to Frances’ brother, Charles, and his family in Bridge Street.  The street is full of agricultural labourers.

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Google streetview of Bridge Street

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Bridge Street in 1915

Charles’ mother died in 1844, so Joseph was left to bring up six children (another had been born in 1842).  Charles appears to have kept the Beale surname and in 1851 was listed as a railroad labourer in Southington.  In the same area lived widow, Sarah Grunsell, with her youngest son.  Sarah Grunsell’s daughter, Mary, must have met Charles several times.

They married on 5 June 1852 at the parish church in Overton.

stmaryoverton

St Mary’s church, dating to the 12th century

Interestingly, on the marriage certificate, Charles now called himself Charles Kercher, but listed his father as Joseph Beale.  The witnesses are not family members.

Mary was heavily pregnant and gave birth to their first child, Elizabeth, in July 1852.  In 1854, a boy, Charles, was born, then in 1856 another boy, George.  George died as an infant.  In 1858 another boy, William, was born.

Mary’s brother, Thomas, had emigrated to Australia with his wife in 1853.  There must have been some correspondence, Thomas encouraging his sister and family to join them.  He paid £15 for their passage over.  So on 18 March 1859, Charles, Mary and their three children boarded the “Queen of England” at Liverpool and sailed for Sydney.  The passage took just under four months, but, sadly, William died on the journey.  He was one of four that died on the voyage.  The ship arrived in Sydney on 8 July 1859.

qoearrival

Thomas Grunsell was living in the Goulburn/Tirrannaville area, so that’s where the family headed.

capture

Charles and Mary’s next child, Arthur, was born in Goulburn, NSW in 1860.  The next five children (one girl, four boys) born between 1861 and 1870, were born in Tirannaville just to the south of Goulburn.  Charles became a gardener to Mrs Gibson at Tiranna House.

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Tiranna House in 1865

I have no other information for Charles other than his tragic death on 25 March 1871.  He died of strychnine poisoning.  The verdict was suicide but there’s no evidence that he wished to kill himself.

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Sydney Morning Herald, 30 March 1871

What’s weird is that it seems to have been the way to end one’s life in Tiranna:

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ofinterestsmh

Sydney Morning Herald, 1859

Strychnine was used for pest control, but it’s a horrible way to die.

That left Mary with six children under 12 to care for.  Her two eldest were near enough to adults so could help out.  I turn to Mary next.

 

 

Sources: wikipedia; family archives; overtonparishcouncil.gov.uk; Google; overtonpictures.com; powerhousemuseum.com; Trove

Edward James Kercher was born on 8 December 1867 at Tirrannaville near Goulburn, New South Wales.  He was the ninth child of 10, the seventh son, of Charles Kercher and Mary Grunsell (although two boys had died in infancy before Edward was born).

tirrannaville tirrana

I can find no information about the history of Tirrannaville, or Tirranna, as it was also known.  These days there appears to be nothing there.  The Google pin appears in the middle of nowhere, with a dirt track leading to it.  Not helpful.  There are buildings nearer the main road, but none where Google claims Tirrannaville to be.  Stupid Google.

Edward’s father, a gardener, died when Edward was just three years old.  The family moved to Goulburn sometime after.

Edward became a carpenter. He was involved in the building of the Kenmore Mental Hospital, eventually becoming a foreman.

kenmore3

Unfortunately he met with an accident while at work there, but recovered.

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Goulburn Herald, 17 October 1894

Edward also became a volunteer fireman (along with his brother, Alfred), being a member of the Goulburn Fire Brigade from 1887, taking part in demonstrations and competitions (as well as putting out local fires).

Edward married Lavinia Stevens on 15 January 1895 in Goulburn at the Wesleyan church.  Their first child was born just five months later…  They had five more children, the last being born in 1906 – altogether four sons and two daughters.

Sometime in the 1890s, Edward became a member of the Masonic Lodge.  He was also a member of the G company 2nd volunteer regiment, and as such, was said to be a good rifle shot.

Edward competed in road and track cycle races, and was treasurer of the Argyle Bicycle Club.

edwardjameskercherleft

Edward James on the left, with brother Alfred centre, sporting fire brigade medals

In the 1913 electoral register, the family were living in Ruby Street, Goulburn, Edward listed as carpenter.  By this time, two more of Edward’s older siblings had died.

Two of Edward’s sons enlisted during the First World War.  They both fell ill.

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Goulburn Evening Penny Post, 30 April 1918

However, they returned safely.

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Goulburn Evening Penny Post

Long service medals were presented to Edward and Alfred for their work in the volunteer fire brigade.

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Goulburn Penny Post, 15 February 1921

Edward worked for the railways as a carpenter for some years.  In 1930, the family were still living in Ruby Street, Edward still listed as carpenter, but he must have retired shortly after.

In about 1933 Edward fell ill and suffered for three years before his death in 1936.  By this time, five of his six children had married and he had about seven or eight grandchildren.  He died on 21 April 1936, at the age of 68.

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The Sun, 24 April 1936

His death certificate states that he had a chronic ulcer of the leg with endarteritis for about three years, and the leg had become gangrenous.  It sounds painful.

The funeral was held at the Masonic Temple.

edwprobate

 

Sources:  family archives; Trove; Google

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I received an email from familysearch just yesterday, claiming that I had an American pioneer in the family.  Well, my first thought was that it was just a lure to get you to search records (ancestry’s marketing technique) and that they should get their facts right first, cos I wasn’t American.  So, despite going “pfft, yeah right” in my head, I clicked on the link and was presented with information about Frances Tibble and family.  Frances was among about 242 people in 30-odd wagons who travelled from Wyoming to Utah in 1868 with the “William S. Seeley” company, obviously a group of Mormons.

Turns out this is Frances Grunsell, the cousin of my paternal great-grandfather’s mother.  She married Thomas Tibble in Hampshire,  had four or five kids and they emigrated to the States in 1865.  Well, who knew?  I have distant Mormon relatives in Salt Lake city.  Funny.

I also worked on Anne Spriggs yesterday.  I found her marriage which said she was Mrs Spriggs, so I vainly looked for an earlier marriage, thinking this wasn’t her maiden name.  However, after some consultation with a Cornwall group on Facebook, I was told that Mrs in earlier times stood for mistress, which meant that she was of a higher class.  Again, who knew?  Considering that I already had her baptism, parents, etc, I was glad that I didn’t have to chuck all that away.  I’ve probably mentioned it before but previous research has taken Anne’s family back to about 1505.  I can’t, however, confirm many of the dates on the tree.  I’m not sure where they got the information from – from records that aren’t online or indexed, evidently.

So my “methodical” research has gone off on tangents lately.  Must focus again.

Now to my paternal grandparents.

Percy Leonard Edward Kercher was the eldest of four boys and two girls, born on 3 June 1895 in George Street,  Goulburn, NSW, to Edward and Lavinia.  His siblings were Stanley, Myree, Lewis, Leila, and A(l)lan.

Goulburn is an inland town, proclaimed Australia’s first inland city in 1863.  It was named after Under-secretary for War and the Colonies, Henry Goulburn and originally surveyed in the 1820s.

Goulburnmap

I don’t know a great deal about Percy, as he died when I was two years old.  The Kercher family lived in several streets at various times: George St, Ruby St, Park St, Citizen St and Bradley St.  The brothers built several houses, perhaps in Park Street.

Goulburnstreetmap

I’m not sure which exact address in George Street that Percy was born.  My father took a photo in the 70s of their “first house” in George Street.  In his (now discoloured) photo below he notes that it’s second from right.

GeorgeSt

Here’s the modern Google street view of the same as far as I can make out.

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That would make it this house below on the left (also from Google).

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Percy was a carpenter by trade and in the Goulburn Evening Penny Post I found this.

GEvPPTradeschool

Newspapers always make mistakes.  It should read Percy L. E. Kercher.

The following year, Percy enlisted with the Australian Imperial Force in the Field Companies Engineers on 19 June.

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Goulburn Evening Penny Post

His brother, Stanley, also signed up (in October 1916).  The unit departed from Sydney on 31 October aboard the Euripedes.  His parents were living in Ruby Street at the time.  At the time of enlisting he was working as a carpenter at the New South Wales Railways.  He was a short man, just 5’4 1/2, with blue eyes and brown hair.  I was only recently shown a copy of the photo below by a cousin.

PercyWWI

I find a lot of the writing in his military record hard to read or decipher.  He seems to have been ill from December 1917 to June 1918, in London, Dartford, Colchester and Brightlingsea, with rheumatism, laryngitis, and influenza. Stanley, it seems, was also ill.

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Goulburn Evening Penny Post

(Stanley was discharged in March 1919 as medically unfit.)  Percy was on leave in Glasgow in February 1918 and this was when he met Jean Sutherland (his future wife).  He went to France in January 1919 then transferred to the 5th AI battalion from the 2nd Field Company Engineers in March.  In September 1919 he returned to Australia aboard the Persic.

A welcome was given in Goulburn for returned soldiers.

Welcome1 Welcome2

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Goulburn Evening Penny Post

It was only after he returned, that Percy proposed to Jean Sutherland (still in Glasgow).  According to the National Archives of Australia, Percy (as a returned soldier) applied for a passage for his fiancée.  At present I don’t have details of her passage but my aunt tells me it was in April 1920.

They married in Goulburn on 15 June 1920, and honeymooned in Katoomba.

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Goulburn Evening Penny Post

At first they lived with Percy’s parents in Ruby Street before renting in George Street.

In the early 1920s my aunt was born, followed by my father then younger brother.

Percy played in the A.L.H. brass band, as mentioned in the newspaper clipping above, and my brother, I think, still has his cornet.  (There was also a clarinet which got lost on its way to a cousin.)  The band used to play at the band rotunda in Goulburn.

bandrotunda

In the 1930s the family lived in Ruby Street and Percy worked with his father as a carpenter.  His father died in 1936.  In about 1940 Percy got promotion to Petersham works in Sydney and it may be at this time that they moved to 1 Napier Street in Westmead.  Certainly they were there by the 1949 electoral roll.  It looks exactly the same as I remember it (Google street view below).  It was here that we used to visit my grandmother who lived there for many years after my grandfather died.

1 Napier St

And here he is at the doorway with two of his nine grandchildren.

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My cousins remember him as a kind, sweet man.

He died on 22 September 1963, at age 68.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a death certificate but his plaque is at the Northern Suburbs memorial gardens.

Percecloseup

 

Sources: Trove digitised newspapers, Wikipedia, Google, family archives, Joyce Stuart, panoramio.com