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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;

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.

I get lost in all the branches and forget where I’ve got to and what I’ve attempted to find out.

My ancestry sub expired 3 months ago but I bought a one month sub to access the Australian records (as well as British).  I’ve just about caught up with finding addresses, etc for the Australian relatives.

I have a goal of tidying up my paper records and will go through each family folder and make mini bios and review what I’ve got for the main people (eg birth certificate, death certificate, etc.).  This will hopefully get things clear in my head and give me an idea of what I need to continue.  I started on the smallest folder, the Scottish side, and started making a spreadsheet of different people and what I had.  I can see this will run into chaos with the larger families so I will have to stick to the main ancestors.

Today I wanted to get further back on my maternal side, through the maternal line.  I’m stuck at Anne Phillips, born about 1794 in Shropshire.  Nevertheless I’ve just spent hours on ancestry and familysearch, trying to find her or her brother, as well as fill gaps in the Jones family – no small feat for such a common name.  My grandmother had written that Richard Jones’ father was Humphrey Jones and his mother was someone with the surname of Deakin.  I have had no luck after several attempts at finding them.  According to census returns and a death notice, Richard was born about 1790 in Pontesbury.  The only Richards I can find about that time and place have parents called Richard and Sarah (the most likely), and John and Elizabeth.  Other Richards born around that time were born in Condover.

Now, one of the children of the above Richard had the possible middle name of Wall (the trouble is, I don’t know where I got this from – a census?).  The surname of Sarah (the parents Richard and Sarah above) was Wall.  This then, seems the likely candidate.  Another reason to possibly accept this couple as the correct one is that there is a family tradition on my mother’s side of giving the mother’s surname as a middle name to the eldest child.

I wish I could ask my grandmother more about this Humphrey and his wife with the possible surname of Deakin, but alas, I can’t and I shall never know.  There are no records online that match.  I’ve had the same problem with her other branch in which she writes down possible parents which don’t match records.  Sigh.  My grandmother died before I was born so I could never have asked her and my great aunt didn’t know when I showed her the handwritten tree.

I can’t believe how much time has passed trying to find clues.  The parents of Anne Phillips, and her brother, John (gleaned from census returns) remain a mystery.

Joining county family tree societies is no help at all – they’re all geared towards people who live in England, not someone on the other side of the world.  I’ll just have to save up all my mysteries (and money) for a physical search in England itself.