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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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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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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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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William Henry Sheppard

William Henry Sheppard was Ari’s 3x great-grandfather, born on 3 Nov 1865 in Crowle, Worcestershire. His mother was Angelina Tyler (see my post of 17 July 2017).

From the various national censuses we know that William started out as a farm servant (indoor). In 1881 he was on a farm at Dunhampstead, Himbleton. By 1891 at the age of 25 he had married and was the head of his own household, listed as one of several families living at Malt House, Crowle, with his wife and their four-month-old daughter, Agnes Emily. His occupation is agricultural labourer and place of birth Grafton Flyford.

In 1901 he is living at Sale Green, Huddington, and working as a railway labourer. Four children are living at home. By 1911 he is listed as a plate-layer (someone who lays and maintains railway lines), with six of the couple’s nine children living at home.

The 1939 Register on Findmypast shows him at the age of 74 as a widower with his son Lewis, living at Sale Green. He is described as a retired permanent way labourer:

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(According to this handy list, this means a plate-layer who is engaged in maintenance work instead of construction work.)

William Henry died the age of 86. His grave at the church of St James in Huddington says:

In loving memory of William Henry SHEPPARD
Died April 10th 1952, aged 86 years

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Ari, this shows how you are related to William Henry Sheppard:

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Angelina Tyler, glove-maker

Angelina Tyler was Ari’s 4x great-grandmother, born in Crowle, Worcestershire and christened at the church of St John the Baptist on 18 August 1843. According to The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868), Crowle “formerly belonged to Worcester Abbey, and the moated building called Crowle House was once the abbot’s seat” (see http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/WOR/Crowle).

By the age of 17, Angelina’s occupation was making kid gloves with her mother. At 20, she married William Sheppard at the same church in Crowle. In the 1881 census she is still listed as a glove-maker, and the couple are living next door to Angelina’s parents in Sale Green. By this time Angelina had given birth to seven children.

According to the Victoria County History, “Worcester was one of the most important centres for gloves in England”.  “When apprentice glovers neared the end of their training, they were expected to make a pair of kid gloves so fine that they could be rolled up inside a walnut shell.” (https://www.victoriacountyhistory.ac.uk/explore/items/glove-making-ledbury)

There is a fascinating account by Amanda Wilkinson of life as a gloveress: http://victorianoccupations.co.uk/g/g-is-for-gloveress/

Angelina died on 29 March 1917 and was buried in the churchyard of St John the Baptist on 1 April. This is a postcard of the church in about 1910.

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Ari, this shows how you are related to Angelina:

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