Florence May Waters of Worcestershire

Florence was one of Ari’s great-great-grandmothers, born in 1900 in the village of Himbleton, Worcestershire.


Her father was George Thomas Waters, and her mother was Mary James. Florence was their youngest child, and she can be seen in the 1901 census with her parents, two brothers and three sisters, living in Himbleton:

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The 1911 census shows that she was at school, aged 11.

In 1918 Florence married Alfred John Sheppard, a railway labourer. They had six children: Eileen Florence in 1918, Percival Alfred in 1920, Betty in 1921, Derek William George in 1923, James in 1926 and Kenneth in 1928.

Florence was only thirty when she died in Himbleton. The cause of death was cardiac failure and pneumonia. Her husband was present at her death.

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I wondered what had happened to the children, as Alfred wouldn’t have been able to look after them while working, and the oldest, Eileen, had only just turned twelve. Unfortunately, the 1931 census was destroyed by fire in 1942, so it’s not possible to glimpse the family in that year. By the time of the Second World War, only Eileen was living at home with her father in Huddington:

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1939 Register, Ancestry.co.uk

I haven’t been able to find any of the other children in the 1939 Register. Percival, aged nine, had been sent to an orphanage in Bristol, according to his grandson, Barry. At some point Betty emigrated to New Zealand, where she died in 2014. (No passenger records have been found.) Derek married twice and had a son. He died in Lincolnshire in 2001. James also went to New Zealand, showing up in the Electoral Rolls there as a driver, living at 99 Warspite Avenue, Porirua, in 1969 with his wife Joyce. (I haven’t found the passenger records for him either.) The youngest, Kenneth, has also been hard to trace as there were several people with the same name born in that year.

I am hoping to hear from any descendants of Florence who read this, and would especially love to know if a photo of her and her children exists anywhere.

Ari, this is how you are related to Florence:

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Ann Best, Wimborne Minster, Dorset

Ari’s 7 great-grandmother, Ann Best, was born in Wimborne Minster, Dorset, in about 1759. (I have found a possible baptism in 1757, with parents Benjamin and Anne, but not yet sure if this is her.)

Books in the Chained Library, Wimborne Minster

On 4 May 1779, Ann married labourer Henry Allen of Corfe Mullen at St Cuthberga’s in Wimborne Minster, after banns were read on three Saturdays in April.

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Dorset, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538–1812, Ancestry.co.uk.

There followed the births of thirteen children, all baptised in Corfe Mullen:

1780: Henry; 1781: Jean; 1782: James; 1784: Mary; 1786: Michael; 1787: Thomas; 1790: John; 1792: Anne; 1794: Jane; 1796: Thomas; 1799: William; 1801: Robert; and 1804: Catherine.

Jean died at just a month old, and the first Thomas died at the age of four.

Ann lived long enough to appear in the 1841 census, where she was recorded living in Corfe Mullen, aged 80:

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At four o’clock in the afternoon of 25 Aug 1841, she died of old age, and she was buried at St Hubert’s in Corfe Mullen on the 29th.

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Dorset, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813–2010


Ari, this is how you are related to Ann:

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