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:
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.
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:
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: