Florence May Waters of Worcestershire

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

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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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Ancestry.co.uk

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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Betty Pool from Oddingley

Elizabeth (Betty) Pool was one of Ari’s 6x great-grandmothers. She was born in about 1774 in Oddingley, Worcestershire, which is “pleasantly situated about 3½ miles to the south-east of Droitwich on the slopes of a valley through which run the Worcester and Birmingham Canal and the Bristol and Birmingham branch of the Midland railway” (https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/worcs/vol3/pp456-460).

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Worcester and Birmingham Canal approaching Oddingley, Worcestershire

Betty married a farmer called John Perkins. Searching for the marriage on TheGenealogist website, I have just found two children I didn’t know about. Mary Perkins was born in 1807 in Oddingley, and John in 1809. The website also offered this possible marriage:

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TheGenealogist Potential Marriage SmartSearch

So now we have her surname, Pool, and I can try to find her parents.

There were three more children: Jane in 1814, Sarah in 1816, and Anne in 1821.

Oddingley is known for the “Oddingley Murders” in 1806 (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Oddingley_Murders). There is a John Perkins who gave evidence, but this may be a different person:

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Worcester Journal, 18 March 1830, Findmypast.co.uk

(Confirmation will need to wait until I write about John!) I have just ordered the book Damn His Blood: Being a True and Detailed History of the Most Barbarous and Inhumane Murder at Oddingley and the Quick and Awful Retribution (by Peter Moore) so will find out more!

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After Betty’s husband John died in 1837 I think she went to live in Sale Green with her daughter Sarah, who had married John Tyler. This is where she was in the 1841 census:

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1841 census, Ancestry.co.uk

Betty died at Crowle two years later, on 13 January 1843, from breast cancer.

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The death was announced in the Worcester Journal.

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Worcester Journal, 2 February 1843, Findmypast.co.uk

She was buried in the churchyard at Oddingley on January 19th.

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Ari, this is how you are related to Betty:

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John Tyler, carpenter

Ari’s 5x great-grandfather, John Tyler, was born in Huddington, Worcestershire, in 1811. I haven’t found his baptism or parents yet.

On 25 Nov 1833, he married Sarah Perkins at St John the Baptist in Crowle.

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The church when we visited in October 2017.

The first record we can actually see is the 1841 census. This shows the family in Sale Green, with a daughter Mary (born in 1839), Sarah’s mother Elizabeth (Betty), and a ten-year-old, Mary Hughes.

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Bluebells in Trench Wood, Sale Green.
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1841 census found on Findmypast (Ancestry had the name transcribed as Tigler).

John is working as an agricultural labourer. (It’s possible that they had a son, William, in 1836, baptised in Upton Snodsbury which is close by, and is also where Mary was baptised. If so, I am not sure what happened to William, but a later son was given William as a middle name.)

By the time of the next census, in 1851, two more children have been born, Ann (Angelina) and James. John is working as a carpenter, and they are still in Sale Green. By 1861 two more sons have been born, Frederick William and Caleb. (In 1871 we see that Frederick, now 19, is also a carpenter.) In 1881, the family is living next door to daughter Angelina, and two of her children (Fanny and Elizabeth Sheppard, age 12 and 10) are at John’s house. Two of John and Sarah’s sons, James and Caleb, are still at home and working as agricultural labourers.

The 1891 census shows John all alone, at the age of 79, and described as a retired carpenter. His death certificate shows that he died aged 84, on 26 May 1894. His son James was present at the death.

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He was buried at the church in Crowle on 31 May, and an announcement was placed in the Worcestershire Chronicle on 2 June.

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Ari, this is how you are related to John:

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Alice Robinson of Huddington

Ari’s 8x great-grandmother, Alice Robinson, was born in 1709 in Huddington, Worcestershire and christened on the 10th of April that year.

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Huddington St James. Churchyard gate.

The year was remembered as being the coldest in Europe for 500 years (see this New Scientist article on the Great Frost).

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Four scenes of war, poverty and death. 1709 etching by Giuseppe Maria Mitelli. British Museum Online Collection.

Alice was the daughter of John and Mary.

On 11 October 1731 she married John Day at the church in Huddington.

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Their son George was born in 1732 and William (Ari’s 7x great-grandfather) in 1735.

Sadly, it looks as though Alice died giving birth to William. Her burial took place at the church on the same day as his baptism.

Ari, this is how you are related to Alice:

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Robert Butler of Bredicot

One of Ari’s 4x great-grandfathers was Robert Butler, who was born in 1837 in Bredicot, Worcestershire. Bredicot is a small parish in the centre of the county, about 4 miles east of Worcester.

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A traditional Bredicot barn

Conveniently, Robert was born in the year that civil registration of births became compulsory, so we know that his father was Thomas Butler and his mother was Elizabeth Reynolds. He was the first of their nine children, and was baptised on 5 October 1837 at the thirteenth-century church of St James the Less.

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The 1841 census shows him with his parents and younger brother William, living in the hamlet of Libbery, in the parish of Grafton Flyford.

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A post box on a road junction at Libbery

They were still there in 1851, and Robert now had three more brothers and a sister. He was now 13 and at school.

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By the time of the next census, in April 1861, Robert was employed as a cow man at Upper Goosehill Farm in Hanbury.

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Upper Goosehill House dates from the 17th century and is part of the Upper Goosehill Farm complex

 

Shortly after that he married Caroline Lumley in Evesham, and their first daughter, Elizabeth, was born in 1862. The family had moved to Huddington by 1871, by which time Harriet and Annie (Ari’s great-great-great-grandmother) had also been born. Robert was now working as an agricultural labourer.

In 1881 only Annie was still at home with her parents, and a nephew, John Keen, was also living with them. They were now living in Lower Crowle.

Robert was widowed in 1895, and in 1901 his granddaughter, 15-year-old Kate Wilks, was living with him. She worked at home as a glove machinist, and he was still working as an agricultural labourer.

In the last census, of April 1911, he is on his own at the age of 73, and still working as a farm labourer. Robert died in December 1917, and was buried at Crowle on 18 December.

Ari, this is how you are related to Robert:

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The story of a drowning

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The canal at Tibberton

Joseph Sheppard was Ari’s 5x great-grandfather, youngest son of Joseph Sheppard and Ann Day, and husband of Mary Bishop.

He was born in about 1806 in Huddington, Worcestershire, and married Mary Bishop on 15 August 1832 in Grafton Flyford. Their first son, Joseph, was born in 1840. In the 1841 census they are living in Sale Green, and Joseph is listed as an agricultural labourer.

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Another son, William, was born two years later, and then a daughter, Ann.

Joseph’s death certificate shows that he drowned on 29 September 1848 at Tibberton, Worcestershire. He was 43 years old, and his occupation was given as labourer. The informant was W. S. P. Hughes, the coroner for Worcestershire, and the death wasn’t registered until 29 March 1849.

The inquest was reported in the Worcestershire Chronicle on 11 October 1848.

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(The Plough Inn is still there, now called Speed the Plough.)

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Another report gives a slightly different story:

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Worcester Journal, 12 Oct 1848

Mary did not remarry. When she died in 1892, her death certificate described her as:

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Joseph was buried on 8 October at the church of St James in Huddington (recorded in the National Burial Index for England & Wales).

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We visited the church for the second time in October 2017, but there are very few graves to be seen.

Joseph’s son William (Ari’s 4x great-grandfather) was only five when his father died. A very sad story.

Ari, this is how you are related to Joseph:

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William Day of Huddington

Ari’s 7x great-grandfather William Day was born in 1735 in Huddington, Worcestershire and christened on 30 September, the son of John Day and Alice Robinson. The little church at Huddington is in the grounds of a fifteenth-century manor house called Huddington Court, famous for its connection with the Gunpowder Plot. You can read the story in this interestingly named AA walking guide!

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You have to walk through the garden to get to St James’ church.

 

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On 14 Oct 1762 William married Margaret Hartland in this church, and they had six children: Ann, Sarah, Susannah, twins John and William, and Margaret. Margaret was born in 1772, so William must have died after this date but I have not found out when and where he was buried.

Ari, this is how you are related to William Day:

 

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Joseph Sheppard of Worcestershire

Joseph Sheppard (or Shepherd) was one of Ari’s 6x great-grandfathers, born in 1752 in Worcestershire, possibly in Hanbury, as that is where he was living at the time of his marriage.

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St Werburgh’s Church, Hanbury – monument to Sir John de Hanbury (detail)

No baptism for him has been found in Hanbury, which is near Droitwich.

When he was 33, Joseph married Ann Day in Huddington, as shown in the parish register:

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They had nine children between 1786 and 1806, the youngest of whom was also Joseph, Ari’s 5x great-grandfather.

Joseph senior lived to the age of 83, and was buried at the church of St James in Huddington on 20 December 1835.

No will has been found yet, and I don’t know what his occupation was. My next step is to follow up the children to see if there are any clues.

Ari, this is how you are related to Joseph:

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William Sheppard of Worcestershire

Today we found the grave of William Sheppard, Ari’s 4x great-grandfather, and his wife Angelina. They are both buried at the church of St John the Baptist in Crowle, Worcestershire.

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William was born in 1843 at Sale Green in Worcestershire, and christened on 24 Feb. at Huddington church.

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Parish chest in Huddington church

William’s father Joseph died when he was just five years old. In the census for 1851 he is living with his mother Mary, a ‘pauper gloveress’, and older brother Joseph.

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By 1861 Mary has become a shopkeeper, and 18-year-old William is working as an agricultural labourer. He married Angelina Tyler in 1863 and by the 1871 census they have five children: Esther, William Henry, Joseph, Fanny, and one-month-old Elizabeth. William is still an agricultural labourer.

All the children were christened at the church in Crowle.

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By 1881 two more children have been born: James in 1872 and Mary in 1876. The family are living in Sale Green, next door to Angelina’s parents John and Sarah Tyler.

In 1885 William was fined 2s. 6d. for neglecting to send his children to school:

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Worcestershire Chronicle, from Findmypast

A slight change for William by 1891. He has become a groom and coachman, and all the children have now left home.

The last census for William is in 1901. He is living in Worcester Rd, Droitwich, and working as a domestic coachman.

He died on 9 Dec 1902 and was buried on the 13th.

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Ari, this shows how you are related to William:

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Mary Bishop, provision dealer

Mary Bishop was Ari’s 5x great-grandmother, born in 1809 in Grafton Flyford in Worcestershire.

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Mary was the seventh of eight children of John Bishop and Ann Willis, who had married in 1792. She was christened on 30 Dec 1809 at the church of St John the Baptist, and married at the same church at the age of 16. Her husband was a farmer, Joseph Sheppard (spelled Shepherd).

We can see Mary in the 1841 census living at Sale Green with her husband Joseph, an agricultural labourer, and a ten-month-old baby, also called Joseph. Living with them was 15-year-old Mary Allbut.

Mary and Joseph had two more children, William and Ann. Tragically, Joseph drowned in the Worcester and Birmingham Canal at the age of 42. In 1851, Mary (40) is living with her two sons Joseph (10) and William (8), and her occupation is given as pauper, gloveress (see my earlier post). I think Ann had died as a baby.

By 1861, Mary’s parents have both died and she has become a shopkeeper (we later see more evidence of this in a local directory for 1879). The small family are in Huddington, with both sons working and living at home. In 1871 she is listed as a provision dealer (61), the two sons have left home, and 19-year-old James Wells is sharing her home as a boarder (crossed out) / lodger. He is presumably the same person as the nephew James Wills (actually Willis) living with her in 1881.

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1879 Littlebury’s Directory & Gazetteer of Worcester & District, Ancestry.co.uk

By 1891, Mary is 80. She is still living in Sale Green, but now with two teenage granddaughters (Mary and Sarah, children of her son William) sharing her home. Mary died in January of 1892, and was buried on 12 Jan at the church of St James in Huddington.

Ari, this shows how you are related to Mary:

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