Tag Archives: Plymouth

Albania Tremethick, the grocer’s assistant who married a Lemmon

Photo of Trinity Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Newlyn

Trinity Wesleyan Methodist Chapel with hall, Newlyn, Cornwall

Albania was born on 19 May 1865 and baptised on 19 July in Trinity Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Newlyn, Cornwall. She was the seventh child of fisherman Thomas Tonkin Tremethick and Patience Daniel Rowe, with 4 older brothers and 2 older sisters.

I have seen different listings of Albania over the years, notably Albina, but I understand her formal name was Albania, and she also had a couple of younger cousins called Albania. Goodness knows why her parents chose that name, a visiting fisherman friend, an Albanian sailor who saved someone’s life perhaps, one of those quirky unanswerable family history questions I suspect. Maybe she started using ‘Albina’ to avoid that question every time she met someone new.

By 1871 she was at school, as were Grace, Thomas, Ann and John.  Her two oldest brothers were working by then: Joe as a labourer and James as a message boy. By that time Albania had two more brothers, Samuel and William Rowe, so I’m sure the household would be keen for Joe’s and James’ contributions. Thomas and Patience’s final, tenth, child arrived in March 1872, a little girl named Patience for her mother.  By the time Albania was ten in 1875 her oldest brother Joe had moved away with Great Western Railway.


Chapel Street and Orchard Place, Street-an-Nowan, Newlyn

In February 1878, when  Albania was still only 12, her father Thomas died.

In September 1880 her oldest sister Grace married Royal Navy quartermaster James Richards, but in St Peter’s Church, Newlyn, rather than the Chapel.

By April 1881 Albania was also bringing in a wage, working as a grocer’s assistant in Newlyn.  By that time second-oldest brother James was working as a coachman in Devon. That summer her second-oldest sister Annie married a widowed lighthouse keeper called Thomas Crask.

Her brother Thomas joined the Navy and on May 1887 Albania was a witness to his marriage to Mary Badcock in St Mary’s Church in neighbouring Penzance.

Tragedy struck the family in April 1888 when her sister Annie Crask died; Annie was buried in Paul Cemetery on the hill above Newlyn.

Photo of St James Street, Penzance

St James Street, Penzance, with St Mary’s Church spire in the distance

A few weeks later, James, who was by now living in Kingsbridge, Devon, married Kate, a tailor’s daughter.

In April 1891 Albania was 25 and living in St James Street in Penzance. A young Cambridgeshire-born fishmonger’s son called Seth Harold Lemmon was living in the next street along, Belgravia Street, with his widowed sister Mary Bett. Seth and Mary were both drapers’ assistants and by then Albania was working as a boot warehouse assistant.

In July 1893 her brother John married Sarah Williams up in Paul Church, Newlyn.  By that time Albania and Seth were likely to be  courting, as in early 1894 they married in the Penzance area.

It appears that they had twin boys in spring 1895 in Penzance area: Arthur Charles and Harold Tremethick Lemmon, although Arthur died at or just after birth.

By the census of 31 March 1901, Albania, Seth, by then a commercial traveller and local preacher, and Harold had moved to Plymouth, Devon.  Their third child, another son whom they called Arthur Tremethick Lemmon was born in early 1902, in the reign of the new King Edward VII.

Albania’s mother Patience and William Crask, Albania’s sister Annie’s widower, were visiting at that time.  Either they stayed as long-term house guests or found places of their own locally in Plymouth.

William died on 4 April 1908.  When his will went to probate on 5 May 1908 Seth received a legacy from William worth £14,763.80 in today’s money.

Later that year, in summer 1908 -Patience’s mother Patience Daniel Tremethick nee Rowe died, again in Plymouth.

By 1911 15-year-old Harold had joined the Navy; he was working as a boy artificer, engineer, which Wiki tells me is someone skilled at working on engines and boilers.  On 19 Aug 1920 Harold married Irene Garland in Mutley Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Plymouth.  Harold stayed in the Navy all his life, being listed in 1949 as a Naval Pensioner.

I think that Arthur may also have gone into the Navy.  I’ve found a passenger list on Ancestry for an Arthur T Lemmon, married to a Gertrude F, heading to Gibraltar from Liverpool on the Lancaster with their teenage daughter Elizabeth in 1950. This matches with info from the 1945 Navy List. Both sources refer to Chief Constructor and I understand this is part of the Constructor Corps. Maybe in a few years I’ll have access to the marriage record which would confirm this. Also someone’s family tree on Ancestry matches this with a 1928 marriage listed between Gertrude F Ball and Arthur Tremethick Lemmon.  So this is all tying up and looking very positive.

In 1923 Kelly’s Directory, private residents section, identifies Seth as living at 15 Coleridge Road in Plymouth; I have no reason to supposed Albania wasn’t there also.

Albania died in the first quarter of 1937, in Plymouth.

After a probate hearing of 13 June 1940 Seth received a second legacy from the Tremethick family: his sister-in-law Mary Tremethick (nee Badcock), widow of Albina’s brother Thomas.

On 8 May 1949 Seth checked into the Moorland Guest House in Wotter, Devon.  And then he disappeared.  His body was found later that month, on 25 May in Wotter Clay Pit, Shaugh Prior, Devon.  His date of death was noted as 8 May, and his probate was heard on 19 July that year. He left approx £4,107.89 in today’s money to his son Harold.

© Lynne Black, 19 December 2015
First published: https://starryblackness.wordpress.com/


Mary Wright Victor: Royal Navy Chief Carpenter’s wife, Plymouth

In the summer of 1846 Mary Wright Victor was born in the small Cornish fishing village of Mousehole. She was the second child and oldest daughter of fisherman Bernard Victor and his wife Alice nee Rowe.

Photo of a cobbled street in Newlyn

Cobbled street in Street-An-Nowan area of Newlyn

In September 1867, when she was 21, she married a Newlyn man five years her senior called Edward Albert Kelynack in St Peter’s Church, Newlyn.  Edward was the son of a fisherman but was himself a carpenter; he turned out to be a very good one. He had joined the Royal Navy and by the time he was 20 in 1861 was away serving on the Algiers, a 91-gun ship under the command of George O’Callaghan. It looks like the Algiers was in Corfu although the census reads what looks like ‘Corfu Road’.

Their first child, Mary, was born in 1869 in Devonport [Plymouth] but their second child, son Edward, was born in spring 1870 back in Newlyn so perhaps father Edward was away at sea.

In April 1871 Edward was away at sea in the East Indies, this time working as a Carpenter 2nd Class on the Dryad sloop. The Dryad is reported to have caught five slave dhows in 1869 and was in the East Indies in 1870. The ship is recorded as being in Devonport in 1879,

In 1871 Mary’s unmarried Aunt Grace was staying with her in the Street-An-Nowan area of Newlyn, perhaps for company and support for Mary as a new mum. I’d be interested to know if Edward had been home for the 8 years in-between 1871 and 1879, otherwise it sounds like a really long posting, no wonder she wanted a companion.

Devonport, Stoke Damerel, 1892, from NLS collection

Map of Devonport, Stoke Damerel, 1892, from National Library of Scotland collection OS Six-inch England and Wales, 1842-1952

The 1881 census also finds him overseas, this time in Gibraltar on the iron-clad ship the Agincourt, Channel Squadron, as a carpenter. Mary was living with her two children in Devonport; they were living at 7 Martin Terrace which I think would be in this area shown on this c1892 National Library of Scotland map.  Again I find Aunt Grace staying with her, marked as a visitor, so hopefully Grace and Mary were close and got on well.

Edward must have been home in 1882 as their third and final child Lorina was born in summer 1883.

In April 1888 her 19-year-old older daughter Mary married an army schoolmaster called John Frederick Pearce in St James Parish Church, Devonport.  Their son Harold was born the following year. By November 1890 John had been posted to Scotland: South Leith (by Edinburgh), at Pirshill Barracks, ‘Jock’s Lodge’, again as an Army Schoolmaster. Their daughter Beatrice Sylvia was born on the morning of 18 November and registered on 1 December in South Leith by her father; he had also been present at their daughter’s birth. I suspect they may have used her middle name and known her as Sylvia as that’s how she’s listed in 1891 on the census at the barracks. Sylvia (as she was referred to in 1891 census) wasn’t baptised up in Leith, she was baptised in 1892 back in Devonport.

In 1891 Edward is again away at sea, and this time Mary, still down in Devonport, proudly describes him as Chief Carpenter, Royal Navy. Their son Edward was working locally as a newspaper reporter.

HMS Camperdown, pictured after 1883 collision with HMS Victoria, picture from Wikipedia

HMS Camperdown, pictured after 1893 collision with HMS Victoria, picture from Wikipedia

In June 1893 Edward Snr was serving on the flagship of the Channel Squadron: the Camperdown [boat spec here].  They were near Tripoli in the Lebanon but “Following an order by the admiral to carry out a dangerous and near impossible manoeuvre, taking into account the positions of the vessels” according to this ship index web page, it collided with HMS Victoria during manoeuvres which then sank with the loss of 358 men [see painting of the collision here]. No doubt Edward was extremely busy doing emergency repairs as the ship limped into port.

This was one of many experiences he had while Mary was home in Devon; others included a long spell in Vancouver and time on the east African coast, notably Natal “where he was favoured, at Natal, with the friendship of the late Bishop Colenso” [reported in The Cornishman].

At some point in the 1890s daughter Mary became ill; she died in early 1901 back in Devonport.

By March 1901 Edward had retired as Chief Carpenter and he was home in Devonport with Mary Snr, Edward and Lorina, still in Martin Terrace.  By then their son Edward was working as a political registration agent. The household also included their grand-daughter Beatrice.  I’d feared her brother may have died as he was not listed but I tracked him down in Rathmines, Dublin, where he was living with his father.

The following year widowed son-in-law John remarried back in Plymouth, his bride was Emma Cockram, another Devonport-born woman.

Edward Albert Kelnyak died on 23 April 1904 at the age of 63.

His obituary in the Cornishman newspaper refers to a fascinating career:

“Death of Mr E. A. Kelynack, of Plymouth.

On Saturday, less than a week after his brother’s decease, Mr. E. A. Kelynack died at his residence, at Trelawny Road, Plymouth.  Deceased was sixty-three years of age.  He had served a long period in the Royal Navy as carpenter, attaining to the rank of chief carpenter, and retiring with the rank of hon. Lieutenant.

Mr. Kelynack had seen a good deal of this world as a naval man.  He served commissions on the East African coast, where he was favoured, at Natal, with the friendship of the late Bishop Colenso.  He was in charge of the shipwright department of Vancouver dockyard for several years.  He had also served on the Northumberland in the Channel squadron, and was on the Camperdown in the fatal collision with the Victoria.  Mr. Kelynack was a very genial man, and had a large number of friends at Devonport, Plymouth, and Newlyn.  In politics he was a Conservative, and was an active worker for the cause in Devonport.  He leaves a widow, one son and daughter, unmarried,  Within recent years his eldest daughter, married, died after a long illness.  Mrs. Kelynack the widow, is from Mousehole, and was a Miss Victor before her marriage.’”

Mary had further sadness when her aunt and long-time companion Grace died in late 1905, still in Devonport.

In 1906 Edward married Eva Cheyne nee Beachey; by 1911 the were living in Paignton, Devon.

In April 1911 Mary was living alone in Plymouth and described herself as ‘housekeeper, formerly’.

I can’t find Lorina in the 1911 census; the only info I have about her after 1901 is from a news story in the Western Morning News in 1934 (via the British Newspaper Archive) which reported that she was trying to sort out an insurance policy for a man called Alfred Beckett with whom she’d been living as his wife in St Just-in-Roseland, near Truro in Cornwall.

I don’t know where Mary ended her days, but I found a reference to the death of a Mary Kelynack in 1834, in The Cornishman.

© Lynne Black, 31 August 2015
First published: https://starryblackness.wordpress.com/2015/08/31/mary-victor-kelynack/

#52Ancestors #26 James E Glover, Customs Man AKA Grandad

Jim Glover, Penzance Magpies AFC, 1938

Jim Glover, Penzance Magpies AFC, 1936

James ‘Jim’ Glover, my grandfather, was a Customs man. He was born in 1909 and grew up in Cattedown, Plymouth, Devon.  The second of the five children of Henry Alfred Glover and Florence Selina Dolton, he joined the Navy in his teens.  He was in the last group of men who trained on HMS Impregnable, the navy training ship and was promoted to be a writer on HMS Lucia fairly quickly. By 1931 he was working in Newlyn, Cornwall, as a Customs Officer.  There he met my grandmother, Mary Jelbert.

One year they went to the Helston Furry Dance with friends, and they saw a man with a stall selling cheap stockings – roll up, roll up!

London Man's Adventure, The Cornishman, 31 August 1939, from the BNA

London Man’s Adventure, The Cornishman, 31 August 1939, from the BNA

They bought a couple of packs, but when they opened them in the pub later they fell about laughing when they found their bargain stockings were full of holes. Grandad, however, was not impressed. What, he said, if an old lady had bought them to save her money and then found she’d been ripped off?  So they all headed back to the stall where Grandad stood at the back of the crowd, waving the holey stockings, shouting “Got any more of these mate?”  The trader was not happy, tried to shush Grandad and gave them their money back; he made a lot fewer sales that day…

That same day Granny paid for something and the seller counted accurately the change into his own hand then tipped it into Granny’s hand. Grandad, sharp-eyed customs man, immediately slapped the back of the seller’s hand and said “That one too!” and the final coin fell out from where the hawker had carefully slipped it between his fingers.

Grandad had a tattoo on his arm.  Once I asked him what it said and they both laughed; Granny said it was the name of ‘a bit of stuff’ he knew before her so he had scribbled it out.  They married in Newlyn and lived together for his work at various times in Plymouth, Grimsby , Poole and Newlyn.  Together they had three children.

Mary and James Glover with grand-daughter Lynne

Mary and James Glover with grand-daughter Lynne

Grandad was a keen sportsman, growing up in a sports-mad family.  He played football for various Cornish teams, and captained Penzance Magpies when they won the Penzance & District Charity Cup in 1938.  I found many match reports of his game in the Cornishman for that period in the British Newspaper Archive.  Sport is big in Cornwall!  All his life he would walk for miles a day, with his dogs Rusty, Bosun and Skipper.

When we used to visit when we were kids, Grandad would take my brother and I down to the beach in the mornings to play on the sand, or the rocks depending on the tide, to let Mum and Dad have a lie-in. In the evenings we liked it when he would take us down to the harbour and we would try to guess the registration ports of the fishing boats moored in Newlyn Harbour, sometimes four deep.  FY Fowey!  SS St Ives! GY – er Grimsby?  Yeah!

52 ancestors logoGrandad died in 1997 in Newlyn, Cornwall, leaving Mary, 3 children, 7 grand-children and 3 grand-dogs.

© Text and photos copyright Lynne Black, 25 June 2014

#52Ancestors #23 Jane Coursons, 19th Century Nurse

Jane, my great-great-great-great-grandmother, is standing at the edge of this family branch – before her the information is definitely disappearing into the mist.  I know her first name was Jane (1851 census) and until last month believed her mother’s name could be Grace Thorning.  Not so – fantastic work by my cousin Chris (we met via matching family trees on Ancestry) has shown that Jane’s maiden name is actually Coursons.

St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, Wikipedia

St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, Wikipedia

Born c 1820 in Exeter, she married Plymouth quarryman John Tope in 1837 in the rather swanky-looking St Mary, Redcliffe Bristol, Gloucestershire, England.  So why Bristol?  It appears it’s because they paid well!  Despite the availability of work for quarrymen in Plymouth, many of them appear to have gone to Bristol for better wages.

By 1840 she was in Plymouth, but four years later she had her daughter Mary Ann in Cullompton, Devon, some 55 miles away.  Family there, perhaps?  We shall see…

By 1851 she was living in the village of Oreston in Plymstock, Devon with John and four children: John (1840), Mary Ann Tope (my ancestor, 1844), William (1847) and Elizabeth Ann (b1850).  In 1854 their son George Curson Tope (Jane’s maiden-name clue was in the name!) was born, all in the Plymouth area.

By the age of approx 43 in 1863 she had seen two of her children married off: John to Elizabeth Holbertson and Mary Ann to Samuel Preece, and she was a grandmother.  However just as her own home quietened down her life got harder and more precarious when her husband died in 1866 in Plympton St Mary.

52ancestorsBy 1871 census Jane was working in Plymstock as a general servant and living in Chelson Meadow.  Much more unusually for my family, by 1881 she was listed as a nurse, again living in Plymstock.  Ten years later, aged 71, she was still a nurse.  71!!!!???  [And I’m unimpressed the retirement age will be 67 for me, rather than the age of 60 which was the norm when I was a kid.] In 1873, two years later, Jane died, nearby in Plympton St Mary.

In addition to identifying her parents I’d like to find out more about where Jane Tope (as she was then) was nursing.  It was the post-Crimean Nightingale era but Jane wouldn’t have been well off, and at the age of over 55 and a widow is likely to have taken what work she could to have an income.

And hopefully the mists will clear as the search for long lost Coursons continues…

© Text copyright Lynne Black 4 June 2014

#52Ancestors #22 – Mary Ann Tope, Mariner’s wife

Cullumpton Church c Google Maps

Cullumpton Church c Google Maps

Mary Ann Tope is my great-great-great-grandmother. Born in Cullumpton, Devon in 1844 to stone quarryman John Tope and Jane Courson, she was the second of their five children and grew up around Oreston, Plympton St Mary near (what’s now) Plymouth, Devon.

Before her marriage Mary Ann was living in Langdon and working as a general servant on John Coombe’s farm which employed 16 men and 3 boys.  I think this may be near Wembury village but advice welcomed!

She met Samuel Preece, a mariner from Somerset, and they had their first child, Bessie Ann, in 1865.  I’m still to actually track down their marriage certificate but I’ve not reason to think they weren’t married; a Mary Jane Tope married in Plymouth c February 1865, so that’s my best lead.

Extract from map of Plymouth, showing the Oreston Breakwater

Extract from map of Plymouth, showing the Oreston Breakwater

They had two more daughters, Sarah Jane (1868), Florence Elizabeth (1870) and sons Chas (1874) and Frank (1875) in Oreston.

I would love to know how Samuel and Mary Ann met.  I suspect it was because he was a sailor and had gone to Plymouth for work.  He wasn’t actually home the night of the 1871 census, maybe away on a ship. [Mary Ann was with the children at Breakwater in Oreston.] Perhaps when I eventually track down their marriage certificate it will show their addresses and professions and give me a clue.

52ancestorsI also have had trouble tracking down their death certificates, they maybe mumbled their words as I’ve seen various spellings of Preece (and indeed Tope) including some too obscure for even the wider search settings.  Maybe they sailed off into the sunset together after completing their 1891 census…

© Text copyright Lynne Black 28 May 2014

#52Ancestors #21: Bessie Ann Preece of Oreston

Bessie was born c 1863 in a small but ancient village called Oreston, part of the larger sprawling village of Plymstock, near Plymouth, Devon, England.

Extract from map of Plymouth, showing the Breakwater

Extract from map of Plymouth, showing the Plymstock Breakwater

She was the daughter of a merchant sailor called Samuel Preece and his wife Mary Ann (née Tope) and was the oldest of five children, three girls then two boys, all of whom survived into adulthood.  In 1871 the family were living in Plymstock, in the Breakwater and Colliers’ Offices, so maybe the fresh sea air did them a lot of good!

By the age of 20, in the 1881 census, she was working as a general servant, still in Oreston, but when she married  William Henry Thorn Dolton, a quarryman, in 1883 they married in nearby Plymouth where they settled down to have eight babies.  Four of the children survived into adulthood: Samuel, Ernest, Florence Selina (my great-grandmother) and Mary Kathleen.

52ancestorsSadly I don’t know too much about Bessie as an individual. Her life was intertwined with her husband and her children, with her role defined by her relationship with them. But I do know she would have seen the standard of life for Plymouth’s people gradually improving, with a proper drain and sewage system introduced, hospitals built and public parks created in the second half of the 19th century.

Western Times, 16 December 1913 © National Newspaper Archive

Western Times, 16 December 1913
© National Newspaper Archive

Dockyards had been expanded and there was even a political protest with a suffragette burning down one of them!  She would have seen the inter-continental cruise liners calling in a Plymouth and leaving with emigrants for the new worlds.

Reforms continued apace into the 20th century, with the merging of the three towns of Plymouth, East Stonehouse and Devonport into the one city of Plymouth in 1914; a slum clearance project later reshaped the face of the city.

Bessie died late in 1935 in Devonport, aged about 70.

© Text copyright Lynne Black 22 May 2014
First published: https://starryblackness.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/bessie-ann-preece/

#52Ancestors #20: William Dolton – a mysterious end?

William Henry Thorn Dolton was born c November 1862 Devon, England. His father John Willing Dolton had worked on the land but by William’s generation the family was living in Plympton St Mary [now part of Plymouth].

52 ancestors logoWilliam was the fourth child, second son, of John and his wife Selina Ann Horn [his middle name Thorn was probably the result of the registrar mis-hearing his parents]. His father John had been married previously but after the death of his first wife had struggled to cope with three young children and William’s older half-brothers and sisters had been raised by their grandmother Elizabeth Dolton.  By the age of 20 William was apprenticed to a blacksmith, but that doesn’t seem to have worked out as later he was working as a quarryman (stone), a labourer in the limestone quarries, and later still as a tar worker.

He married Bessie Ann Preece, in August 1883 in Plymouth Registry Office and they had their first child the following summer, named William Samuel for his father and grandfather.

William Jnr was followed by 7 more by 1896: Ernest Francis, Florence Selina (my great-grandmother), Francis (who died in infancy), Bessie Matilda (died in infancy), Mary Kathleen and another Francis, who again died in infancy. I found a reference to a 7th child but haven’t found a birth entry for him/her. Four lost children, how cruel…

It was a very poor time and a time of great change in the country. In December 1913 a suffragette had burnt down an (uninsured) Devonport timber yard as a protest – I’m sure William and his mates would have had strong thoughts on that as the smoke curled high above!

Three Towns in One: Derby Daily Telegraph, 4 May 1914   © National Newspaper Archive

Three Towns in One: Derby Daily Telegraph, 4 May 1914
© National Newspaper Archive

This year is the centenary of the merging by Local Government Order of the three towns of Plymouth, East Stonehouse and Devonport and there are loads of events on.  And where am I? Scotland. When did I get to visit Plymouth? Last year. Bad timing. Plymouth Remembers commemorates this; the Plymouth History Festival is on at the moment and there are so many events relevant to the lives of my ancestors that it’s really frustrating being so far away!

I suspect back then people just got on with their lives – I wonder if there was discontent about losing the prominence of the names of East Stonehouse and of Devonport by taking the name of their neighbour? Local rivalries? Or just cynicism that whatever they were called they’d still have to go to work and to pay their taxes?

Western Morning Times, 16 October 1942

Western Morning Times, 16 October 1942 © National Newspaper Archive

William lived through the First World War, and the 20s and 30s when Lady Astor was MP for Plymouth.  He would have seen many grandchildren and heard of their sporting successes and also seen his daughter Florence [then] Glover busy in the Co-operative movement.

I believe William met his death in 1942, in a fall from a 3rd floor window. This news cutting refers to a coroner’s report so tracking that down will be my next step.

© Text copyright Lynne Black 16 May 2014
First published: https://starryblackness.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/william-dolton/

#52Ancestors #17 John Dolton’s family of amazing names

Brixton Church (photo © Andrew Jago)

Brixton Church, Devon (photo © Andrew Jago)

John Willing Dolton was born on 18 August 1816 in Brixton, a parish east of Plymouth. He was my great-great-great grandfather.  John was the son of Elizabeth Dolton and Joseph Willing, a neighbour of Elizabeth.  Joseph and Elizabeth did not marry; both ended up with other people.  Two days before his birth Elizabeth had been discharged from her apprenticeship in husbandry for being “guilty of several Misdemeanors, Miscarriages, and Ill-behaviour in his Service, as an Apprentice; and in particular in being with child of a Bastard child”. My jaw dropped when I saw that one of the signatures on her original indenture was a Joseph Willing… It’s a different Joseph Willing, but disconcerting to see.

John himself was indentured into service as “a poor Child, aged ten Years, belonging to your said Parish”.  He was apprenticed to a farmer called Matthew Revell in Brixton parish.

In 1838, when he was 21, John married his first wife, Susan/Susanna Gulley, a quarry-man’s daughter in Plymouth.  Together they had 3 children: Ann Cook Gully Dolton (1839), John Dolton (1841) and Sarah Jane Dolton (1844).  Sadly their time together was cut short as Susan died on 1 September 1845, leaving John to look after 3 children under the age of 6.

He must have found this impossible whilst bringing in money for food and rent as in April 1851 the children were staying with his mother Elizabeth (now married to Nathaniel Ramsen). He was living with his brother-in-law Thomas Gully, Thomas’ wife Ann and family.

John’s second wife Selina Ann Horn was born in Dover, Kent, in 1836.  Her father, Joseph Horn, had worked as an agricultural labourer in Plymstock, Devon, in the 1825s, but later became a customs man.  Sadly he died before the 6 June 1841 census. My friend Chris has done a lot of work following up leads – perhaps I should spend my British Newspaper Archive credits on checking for accidents…

52 ancestors logoJohn and Selina married in 1865, by which time they’d had five children together, which I think is sweet as it shows commitment, or maybe it just shows bowing to community pressure!  John is listed at various times as a quarry man and also a labourer, an agricultural labourer and a husbandman, so I guess he would just work at anything which would bring in a wage for his (now two) families.

He and Selina had 10 children together will a range of amazing names:

  • Archealeus Joseph Avery Horn Dolton 1857;
  • Sarah Ann Horn Dolton 1859;
  • Florence Selena Dolton 1860;
  • My ancestor William Henry Thorn Dolton [we think the vicar misheard the name Horn] 1862;
  • Catherine Amelia Dolton 1865;
  • Susan Jane Dolton 1867;
  • Mary Elizabeth Dolton 1869;
  • Matilda Harriet Dolton 1871;
  • Alice Maud Dolton 1873; and
  • Ernest Albert Dolton 1876.
Image of Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale

It’s interesting that the names are so grand as both John and Selina were illiterate and I wonder where they got inspiration for some of those names. Florence was born after the [sadly, first] Crimean War and obviously likely to be inspired by Florence Nightingale but the rest…  Archealeous – wow! I wonder if names were so important to John as his was so significant to him – proof of his birth father always had to be given. Selina’s parents too chose some flamboyant names for their children; Selina has a brother called Hercules, which I think is brilliant.

They lived at various times around what is now Plymouth in East Stonehouse, Higher Hooe, Plympton St Mary, Lower Hooe and Ugborough, perhaps so John could be where the work was.

John died in 1895 in Plymouth. Selina outlived him and died in on Boxing Day in 1918 at the age of 81 from senile decay.

Thanks to Chris for sharing John and Elizabeth’s fascinating apprentice documents with me. Thanks also to Andrew for the lovely photo of Brixton Church.

© Text copyright Lynne Black 24 April 2014
Content first published: https://starryblackness.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/john-dolton/

#52Ancestors #16 Elizabeth Dolton: caring heart, busy home

Elizabeth, the daughter of John Dalton and his wife Mary (nee Kenton) was born at the end of the 18th century in the reign of King George III.  Elizabeth, my great-great-great-great grandmother, was baptised on 3 May 1798 in Brixton parish [east of Plymouth, Devon, England], where she grew up with a younger brother Samuel and possibly an older brother John.  One of Elizabeth’s neighbours was called Joseph Willing and when she had a son out of wedlock in 1816 she named him John Willing Dolton after his father who didn’t stick around. Joseph Willing – oh the irony…

Extract from Barts South Devon map 1902

Extract from Barts South Devon map 1902

Another of my Devon ancestors, Ann Keast, was also a single mum; she ended up dying at her family home aged only 30.  Elizabeth’s life was longer and happier.

Three years after John’s birth she married Nathaniel Ramsden, a quarry man born in Plymstock, on Christmas Day 1818, in East Stonehouse [now part of Plymouth].

They had nine children together: Elizabeth 1819, Ann Olive 1821, Nathaniel 1823, Emanuel 1825, William 1828 and Mary Ann 1830 in Staddiscombe, before having Maria 1833, William 1835 and Louisa in 1838 in Plymstock.

In 1851 Elizabeth, after a family bereavement, had 3 grandchildren staying with her (incorrectly recorded as nieces and nephew). Nathaniel – possibly because the house was full – was meanwhile staying with their daughter Mary Ann who by then was living with her husband William Carter and their 1-year-old son William.  Mary also had with her a 1-month-old girl called Mary Leete(?) who was recorded as ‘nursechild’; she was possibly a wet nurse.

52 ancestors logoTen years later Nathaniel and Elizabeth’s household had again gathered in a wider family, with daughter Maria (29) grandchildren Elizabeth (3) and William (1) plus foster children Letitia M Pollard (10) and Florence M Pollard (6).  By that time Nathaniel had been promoted to be foreman at a slate quarry – they were living in Penlee Quarry, Stoke [Devon].

Nathaniel died c August 1863, possibly worn out by a life as a quarryman and the chaos of a bustling extended family home!?

Eight years later in April 1871 Elizabeth was living in Charles [Plymouth] in Devonshire Street, with her daughter Louisa, son-in-law William Scaun and their children. Her foster-daughter Florence, by then called Florence Ramsden, had left home and was working as a 16-year-old apprentice dressmaker; she married John King c November 1877.

Gravestone of Elizabeth Ramsden nee Dolton

Gravestone of Elizabeth Ramsden nee Dolton

By April 1881 Elizabeth and her nephew Samuel Dolton, 53, both marked as having no occupation, were living next to the post office in Oaklands, Plymstock.

Elizabeth had lived on nearly 20 years after her husband’s death, dying in Plympton St Mary, Devon, in September 1881.  She was buried with her daughter and son-in-law Mary Ann William Carter, living for and with her family in this world, and keeping with them for the next.

© Text copyright Lynne Black 16 April 2014
Many thanks to C Lang for the use of the gravestone photo.
Content first published:   https://starryblackness.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/elizabeth-dolton/


#52 Ancestors #14 Royal Marine Samuel Glover of Stonehouse

1860 Map of Stonehouse featuring Marine Barracks and Naval Hospital

1860 Map of Stonehouse featuring Marine Barracks and Naval Hospital

My great-great-great grandfather Samuel Glover was born in 1822 in Martock, Somerset, the son of William Glover and his wife, name as yet unknown.  His place of birth was a surprise as I didn’t know I had Somerset ancestors.  I haven’t yet worked out why he was born in Somerset when his father and he were Devon men! It was possibly a connection through his mother Mary, as his father William was born in Charles [Plymouth] and so were most of Samuel’s own children; only his eldest daughter Mary, born 1848, was born in Martock – had he and his wife Mary been back visiting family?

By the summer of 1841, when Samuel was 19, he was enlisted in the Royal Marines as a Private and was based in Stonehouse Barracks [now Plymouth]. There are some lovely old photos on this website: http://www.cyber-heritage.co.uk/hmsdrake/ from c 1890, slightly later, granted, but still a fascinating glimpse into his workplace.

He met his wife Mary in the mid 1840s – possibly a bit of a scandal, as his first child Samuel was born in 1846 and the likely wedding date I have is circa November 1848 – coincidentally around the same time as their second child Mary’s birth. They went on to have 7-8 further children: Walter (my great-great grandfather) in 1851, Susan in 1853, James in 1858, Emma in 1859, John (died in infancy?) in 1860, John in 1862, Fannie in 1866 and Jane in 1868.

His father William died in 1854 and again there may be a Somerset connection – if I have the correct William Glover he died in Durleigh.

52ancestorsSamuel was still in the Marines in 1861 but was discharged in 1862. Nine years later in April 1871 he was recorded in the census as being a patient in the Naval Hospital. His son James had died in autumn 1869 then his wife Mary died in March 1870.  At the time of the census his children were staying at their home at 6 Admiralty Street, Devonport, ranging from Samuel (24, labourer) and Walter (20, apprentice stonemason) down to 3-year-old Jane.

Samuel married his second wife, a widow working as a laundress named Ann Webber (nee Angel) in 1872; Ann  had had 3 children with her previous husband: Frederick (1853), Alfred (1860) and Charles (1863) so maybe children on both sides would have given then a full houseful.

In 1881 and 1891 Samuel was recorded as a Royal Marines Pensioner; he died in the spring of 1893.

What I’d like to find out eventually about Samuel and Mary is what happened in 1870/1871 when their time together ended and Samuel was in the hospital – was he ill?  Injured? He did manage to live another 20 years after that point to the good old age of 71.  And what military action had he seen?  Had he fought in New Zealand, Mexico, Japan, Abyssinia?  The frequent arrival of children in the 1850s and 1860s would suggest he wasn’t away much!

I also need to try to discover more about Samuel’s parents and to confirm Mary’s maiden name.  Plenty of work still to do with this branch of my family.

[Samuel is only distantly connected by marriage to William Keast, my #52Ancestors #13 of last week, who worked as a clark at the Naval Hospital earlier in the 19th century; William was almost 50 years older than Samuel]

© Text copyright Lynne Black 2 April 2014