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Catherine Jones was born on 27 September 1834 in Church Pulverbatch, Shropshire.  She was the daughter of Richard Jones, farmer, and Anne Phillips.  She was possibly the youngest of 13 or 14 children, although my grandmother’s original handwritten tree says 15 children (without listing them) so I appear to have one more to find.

Church Pulverbatch used to be a market town but is now only a small village.  Occasionally the records say Pulverbatch which I found a little confusing, but apparently they are two villages less than half a mile apart.

Catherine wasn’t baptised until 12 March 1840, along with her sister, Frances, born in 1833.  In 1841, Catherine and four siblings and parents were living at Castle Place in the parish of Church Pulverbatch.  Four servants were also listed, along with Catherine’s maternal uncle.

In 1851, Catherine, and her sister, Sarah, were visiting their older sister, Elizabeth, who was living with her new husband, Thomas Mansell, and Elizabeth’s three daughters from a previous marriage, at Hopton Castle to the south of Shropshire.  Thomas Mansell was also a farmer.

Catherine married Richard Powell, a farmer’s son, on 15 April 1858 in Church Pulverbatch.  I assume they married in St Edith’s church.

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A card from the family archives

They continued to live in Church Pulverbatch until 1864.  During that time Catherine gave birth to four children: Fanny Elizabeth in 1859; Annie Marie in 1860; Henry Jones in 1861; and Richard Phillips in 1863.  In 1861 they were living at Walleybourne farm in Pulverbatch, but in 1864 or thereabouts, moved to Condover.

Catherine had four more children: Kate born in 1864; John Phillips in 1866; Emilie in 1868; and Francis Edward in 1870.  Unfortunately for the family, Richard (then an innkeeper) died in September 1870, leaving Catherine with eight children under 12 years of age.  Catherine continued to run the Condover Arms Inn, and is listed in the 1871 census, as the innkeeper, with her eight children.

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The worthy hostess, Mrs Powell

What an amazing and tenacious woman she must have been.

By the 1881 census, however, the family had moved to Rhyl in North Wales.  Catherine was a lodginghouse keeper at 3 Aquarium Street, but with only four children listed.

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Google streetview of Aquarium Street from no. 3?

Where were the other four?  Henry, age 19, was a footman at Perry Hall in Birmingham.  He was working for ACG Calthorpe, Sheriff of Staffordshire, and family.

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Perry Hall, 1907 (demolished in 1931)

Richard, age 18, was lodging at Minsterley, Shropshire and was a clerk at a railway station.  Kate, age 16, was visiting her aunt, Frances Wilkes, wife of a farmer, in Uffington, Shropshire.  Emilie, sadly, was at the Wolverhampton Orphan Asylum at the age of 13.

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Hopefully it was just a temporary measure.  Emilie died just two years later, thankfully not at the asylum.  She had died at her brother, John’s, place in Abbey Street in Rhyl.  She had chronic Bright’s disease (a kidney disease) and pthsisis (pulmonary tuberculosis, or consumption).  So sad.

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Card from family archives

In 1889, Catherine’s son, Richard, married Henrietta Goodwin in Rhyl.  In 1891 Catherine was a lodginghouse keeper at 30 Abbey Street in Rhyl, living with her eldest daughter, Fanny, and (now) youngest, Kate.  Fanny married Alfred Miller later that year.

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Folded card from family archives

John married Charlotte Bromley just after the census in April 1891.  Kate married William Asher in Rhyl on 1 September in 1892.  Sadly, her younger brother, Francis, died on 26 December in Rhyl.  He died of tuberculosis.

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Card from family archives

Henry, meanwhile, had been promoted to butler at Perry Hall.

In 1900 John’s wife, Charlotte died.  He married Fanny Bromley in 1908.  She was Charlotte’s second cousin.  The couple sailed to Manitoba, Canada and their son was born there, in 1908.  They were still there in 1911.

In 1901 Catherine was visiting Kate and her family of three girls in Shrewsbury.  In 1911 she was living with her son, Richard, and his wife and daughter, along with a boarder, in Manchester.  Richard was an unemployed bookkeeper and his wife a machinist.

Catherine died on 21 November 1915 at the age of 81 in Shropshire, a good age.  Unfortunately, my younger self didn’t enter the source of this information, but a search on the registers does confirm the date of the last quarter of 1915.  Another certificate to order.

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Catherine Jones 1834-1915

 

Sources: family archives; genuki.org.uk; wikipedia; wikimedia commons; British newspaper archives; Google; birminghamimages.org.uk; childrenshomes.org.uk

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Richard Powell was born in 1830 in Lydham, Shropshire.  He was baptised on 27 June that year.  He was the son of Richard Powell, a farmer, and Martha Harris.  He was one of nine children (at least two of whom died in infancy).  His only brother, who was born five years before him, was also named Richard but died that same year (1825).

Lydham is a small village in the south-western part of Shropshire, right near the border with Wales.  It must be a fairly insignificant place as I can’t find much information about it, although it appears to be quite ancient, mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1087 as having a priest, a church, and a mill.  Perhaps not much has changed.

In 1841, Richard was living with his four siblings and parents in Lydham (no specific address).  By 1851 the family had moved to Walleybourne in the parish of Wrentnall near Church Pulverbatch, Shropshire.  Richard’s father was a farmer of 250 acres.

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A search for Walleybourne just results in websites about bronze age artifacts from “the Walleybourne” (is it a valley, a river?) and a description of Walleybourne farmhouse, a listed building (with no photograph).  Did the family live there?

Richard was about 19 years old during the 1851 census, and simply listed as a farmer’s son.  Presumably he helped out.  Seven years later he married Catherine Jones of Church Pulverbatch on 15 April 1858.  He was listed as a farmer of full age.

In 1859 their first child, Fanny, was born, then in 1860 Annie was born.  On census night, 1861, Henry Jones Powell had just been born (one day old).  On the census form his name is written as Richard J.  (Henry’s brother, Richard, wasn’t born until two years later.) I had got Henry’s birth date from a fellow researcher as 9th April.  However, census night in 1861 was on 7th April, so he must’ve been born around 6th April.  Just a little confusing there.

In 1861 Richard was a farmer of 212 acres at Walleybourne, taking over most of his father’s farm.  He was employing two men and three boys.

Richard’s father died in 1862.  Richard junior was born in 1863 in Church Pulverbatch.  Between March of that year and October 1864, the family had moved to Condover.

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For some reason Richard had given up the farm at Church Pulverbatch.

I’m not sure what he did in Condover up until 1870.  Unfortunately, no mention is made of Richard in newspapers in Condover between 1864 and 1870. His wife, Catherine, gave birth to four more children: Kate, John, Emily and Francis.

In January of 1870, Elizabeth Wood, landlady of the Condover Arms Inn died, and I think Richard took over at that time.  There were quite a number of auctions held at the Condover Arms but no mention of Richard between January and his sudden and early death on 10th September at the age of 40.  Such a short life.  He died of “dropsy”, an old word for oedema which is fluid retention, which seems an unlikely cause of death, but I guess it affected his heart, or he had heart problems to begin with.  His death certificate said he died at the Condover Arms and was the innkeeper.  I have found no death notice or probate for him.  His young son, Francis, was just one month old.

I turn to Catherine in the next post.

Sources: “Domesday Reloaded” BBC; placenames.org.uk; Google; findmypast; British newspaper archive; family archives

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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.

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Condover 1882

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

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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).

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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.

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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.

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Abbey Street, Google street view

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

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“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.

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Undated photo, Kate Powell

In 1892 Kate married William Darlington Asher on 1 September at the church of St Thomas in Rhyl,

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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.

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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!)

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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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I’ve started a spreadsheet of the main ancestors and have done three families.  It helps me to figure out what I’m missing.  I realised I didn’t have the birth or death certificates of my great grandmother, so I ordered those and also ordered the likely death certificate of her father who died at the age of 40.

Today I spent all day looking over the Jones and Powell families.  I  may have mentioned that I found Anne Phillips and her brother John and found likely christenings for them in Pontesbury, Shropshire.

I found a reference to a Humphrey Jones on a website.  He was a Church warden in Pontesbury and was buried in 1793.  I’ve kept a note of it in case he fits in somewhere.  I also found probable additional children of Richard and Anne, one of them named Humphrey!  They were all born in Church Pulverbatch about the right time to Richard and Anne Jones.

I mentioned before that Richard Jones and Sarah Wall may be the parents of the above Richard.  I found a marriage of these two in 1788 in Condover in a Parish register.  William Wall was a witness.  With the information I found possible christenings of Sarah and William Wall in 1749 and 1759 in Condover, children of John and Priscilla Wall.

I did a search for Edward Powell and Ann Richardson, a couple who were on my grandmother’s handwritten family tree but who I can’t find anywhere.  They appeared on the family tree of another ancestry member so I’ve asked how they’ve connected them to Richard Powell.

I can’t find Richard or Anne Jones on the 1841 census.  I also can’t find details of Catherine Jones – either her birth, marriage or death.  I’ve got dates from someone’s family tree but I can’t confirm these.  The birth date is only approximate from census returns.

I did find Catherine staying with her sister Elizabeth Mansell in 1851.  This solves a problem of who “Mrs Mansell” was on the back of a painting of one of the Jones girls.  It’s Elizabeth.  That leaves only one mystery painting to solve – Mrs Goff (or Gough).

On the whole, a successful day.  It’s taken me close to 9 hours of research.