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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.


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.


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.


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.


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).


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


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 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.



Naturally, farmers would be concerned with trespassers.


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,


dealt with claims against estates,


Shrewsbury Chronicle, 9 March 1849

and attended county meetings.



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.


(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.)



Sources: family archives; wikipedia; findmypast; British newspaper archive;;;;;

What started me on my family history search was a handwritten family tree which I found in a cupboard in my father’s study.  There were several separate sheets detailing families of the Powells and the Jones’ with extra names such as Bright, Deakin and Bromley.  I loved a puzzle so set to work filling in those gaps.

Over the years, I’ve filled in many of the gaps, while also embarking on searches of other branches of my family.

Today, I was going over what I had on paper in my ringbinder and comparing it to what I had on my online tree and ticking off those I had and making a note to add those that I didn’t have (with searches for confirmation).

The very first note was to do with the Bright family, to check that I had Richard Bright and Thomas Bright, sons of Thomas and Martha.  Martha was a Powell.  Here is the tree as I inherited it.


You can see that as it stands, it wasn’t very useful.  Some time ago I discovered that the question mark who married a Bright was Martha Powell.  She married Thomas Bright in 1849 at Church Pulverbatch in Shropshire.  From a census return I was able to add the names of five children: Martha, George, Thomas, Richard and Ada.  You can see that the only two names my grandmother had were a Patty and a John, neither of which I had found.

Anyway, I did have those two sons included (Richard was Richard Powell Bright, just to be certain it was the right one).  But I wanted to see if I could get the information I had to tarry with the handwritten tree.  So began a day of piecing together the puzzle.

I’d found three sons and two daughters.  I figured one of the daughters must have married a Lee.  It was either Martha or Ada.  I found Ada Charlotte Bright marrying Arthur Lea in 1893.  I also found the birth of Cecil Bright Lea in 1904.  Tick.

I searched for Richard Powell Bright (a farmer) and discovered that he lived at Guilden Down (not Gilded), Clun, Shropshire, and died in 1902, so that accounted for another child on the handwritten tree.  He married Elizabeth (Hamar? I don’t trust the transcript) and they seemed to have had six children including an Ada M (which could be Margaret, shortened to Peggy).  There were four sons, so I don’t know which of them stuttered.

That left the chemist in London, Patty, and John in Broome.

I searched for George Gough Bright and discovered he was a farmer, so he wasn’t the chemist.  I then turned to Thomas and found him in the 1891 census: a dispensing chemist in Middlesex.  Hallelujah!  Yes!

That left Patty and John.  Patty is usually short for Patrick or Patricia, etc, but that didn’t fit.  Then by some miracle I found a forum which mentioned someone by the name of Martha being called Patty.  Apparently “Pattern” is a name used for Martha in Shropshire!  Well that accounted for Patty – it must have been Martha.

That just left John in Broome.  George was the only one left.  He was a farmer, but mostly near Clun, quite some distance from Broome to the south.  However, in 1891 he was in North Lydbury which is just the west of Broome.  Also, he doesn’t appear to have married.  Could he be John?  Just to make it seem more likely, in one of the censuses he is listed as George Jaes (a transcription error for James or Jas?).   James and John are sometimes interchangeable.  This seemed the likely answer.

So a long afternoon solving (some of) the puzzle of one little branch of my grandmother’s tree.  And I haven’t even tackled the rest of the page of notes to tarry my physical records with the online tree.  Plenty still to do.

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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Catherine Jones 1834-1915


Sources: family archives;; wikipedia; wikimedia commons; British newspaper archives; Google;;

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.


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.


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;; Google; findmypast; British newspaper archive; family archives


So, I was checking baptism records of the siblings of Catherine Jones and noticed I didn’t have the marriage of her sister Elizabeth to Thomas Mansell.  Also there were no children listed.  I had searched for the marriage before, I think, and not found any.

I checked the census record for 1851 in which Catherine is visiting her sister.  Three daughters of Elizabeth (Mansell) were listed but with the surname of Smith.  Aha!  Had she married a Mr Smith first?  Smith and Jones are common names so I wasn’t sure when or where the marriage could’ve taken place.  I searched for the birth or baptism of the eldest daughter and found her parents were Elizabeth and Samuel Smith in Hopton Castle, Shropshire.  So I then narrowed the search of the marriage and estimated when it could’ve taken place.  I finally found her marriage to Samuel Steedman Smith, and to confirm it, found a notice in the newspaper. He had obviously died some time before the 1851 census in order for her to remarry.  I found his death for 1849, so that meant she must’ve married Thomas Mansell between 1849 and 1851.  I finally found the registration for 1851!  Thomas also died early – before the 1861 census.

Another successful search resulted in a photo and illustration.  I hadn’t noticed before, or hadn’t specifically tried it, but Welsh newspapers online had an illustration search.  I didn’t expect any results but was surprised to find a line drawing of John Asher and, even better, a photograph of his son, John Darlington Asher.  Fantastic.  It’s an amazing feeling to finally see what a distant ancestor looked like.

I’m having a frustrating time trying to get beyond Richard Powell, born around 1791 in, he says, Bromfield, Shropshire.

I can only find two likely Richard Powells, neither of whom was born or baptised in Bromfield. One was baptised in Clunbury on 23 September 1792, son of William and Mary.  The other was baptised in Chirbury on 8 January 1792, son of John and Sarah.  Which one, if either?  Richard did not name any of his children William or John but he does have a Mary and Sarah (common names anyway).

I searched for any Powells baptised in Bromfield about that time (+- 5 years) and came up with just four:

Jane 15 May 1796, daughter of John and Martha; Joseph 6 October 1793, son of John and Martha; Mary 16 December 1787 daughter of Jeremiah and Martha; Mary 13 January 1788 daughter of Jeremiah and Martha.

This doesn’t really help.

In the 1851 census he has a nephew visiting – a John Rhees.  So he must have had a sister who married a Rhees.  So I searched for a Powell marrying a Rhees (or Rees).  Unfortunately, there are a lot, mostly (as you’d expect) in Wales.  I limited the search to Shropshire and the only likely one is Martha Powell marrying Thomas Reese on 13 December 1807 in St Leonard, Bridgnorth, Shropshire.  Witnesses include Richard Phillips and Elizabeth Jones, names that appear in my family (but no link here).  Tantalising.

I then did a search for the 1841 census for the Reese family but no results for Shropshire.  The only likely candidates were Thomas (a labourer) and Martha Rees born 1791 and 1796 respectively, with a son, John, and two other children but all, apparently, born in Pembrokeshire.  In the 1851 census, John’s birth place is Montgomeryshire and his father is a farmer.  I searched for Thomas and/or Martha in the 1851 census for Pembrokeshire, Montgomeryshire or Shropshire but none of the Thomas’ found were farmers.  There are too many results for other regions.  I tried a few but no luck.  No luck, either, for 1861.

I had a little more luck with finding the death of Richard’s wife, Martha.  The last census I could find her in was the 1871 census (a widow) so I searched for deaths after that and found the burial of Martha Powell, resident of Clun, on 23 August 1873 at Church Pulverbatch, age 82.  Finally.

As for Richard’s death, the last census he appeared in was 1861, therefore he died between 1861 and 1871.  I hadn’t been able to find a death record because there were so many Richard Powells and the two likely records didn’t give any further clue beyond year and quarter.  I, therefore, did a search at probatesearch starting with 1862 and found him listed under 1863, having died on 15 July 1862.


Thomas Bright was a son-in-law.  Brilliant.  I achieved something.

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.


Condover 1882

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


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).


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.


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.


Abbey Street, Google street view

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


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.


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!)


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;;;;



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.