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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Joseph Waters of Pershore

Joseph is one of the fifty of Ari’s 5x great-grandfathers whose names we know. He was born in 1802 in Pershore, Worcestershire, the oldest son of William Waters and Sarah Andrews. His baptism took place at the church of the Holy Cross and St Edburga on 25 July. The church is a former abbey, built in the eleventh century.

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In about 1830, he married Mary, but no record has been found for this, so we don’t know her surname. In the 1841 census, Mary isn’t there, but Joseph is with his parents and his and Mary’s two sons, William and Thomas.

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1841 census for Holy Cross Parish, from Ancestry.co.uk

I found a burial for Mary Waters, aged 27, on 6 October 1835 at the same church in Pershore.

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A monument in the church

In 1851, Joseph is living as a lodger with Thomas and Mary Harris, and working as an agricultural labourer. His oldest son William had married by then and Thomas was working as a farm labourer and living on the farm in the parish of St Martin, Worcester.

In 1861, Joseph is living next door to his now-married son Thomas in Pershore High Street, and his brother George is living with him (all three men are agricultural labourers).

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Coat of arms on a gate post in Pershore

Joseph died on 4 March 1865.

Ari, this is how you are related to Joseph:

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George Thomas Waters of Worcestershire

George Thomas Waters was Ari’s 3x great-grandfather, born in 1856 in Kempsey, Worcestershire and baptised on 23 March at St Peter the Great, in Worcester.

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Looking towards the Malvern Hills

In the 1861 census we can see him age five and a ‘scholar’, living in Grafton Flyford. He is the third child of William and Emma, who went on to have thirteen children altogether. He has three little sisters, Mercy (4), Martha (1), Mary Elizabeth (five months), an older sister Sarah Ann (7), and a brother William John who is already a ‘carter’s boy’ at nine.

The 1871 census for him still needs to be found (he was not living at home, and I’m guessing he was working on a farm somewhere).

George married Mary James on 20 Apr 1879 in Grafton Flyford, and in 1881 they are living in Himbleton village and he is working as an agricultural labourer. They have a baby daughter, Martha James Waters.

By 1891 George is a farm labourer in Neight Hill, Himbleton, and they have six children.

In 1901 he is a carter on a farm and three more children have been born. Here is his 1911 census entry, showing that one child had died.

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George died in 1930 at the age of 74. I will try to find where he is buried.

Ari, this shows how you are related to George:

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Mary James of Leigh Sinton, Worcestershire

Leigh Sinton is a parish in the Malvern Hills, Worcestershire where “the inhabitants are wholly engaged in agricultural pursuits” (The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland, 1868).

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Sixteenth century memorial in St Edburga’s church, Leigh.

One of Ari’s 3x great-grandmothers, Mary James, was born there on 5 Mar 1857 and baptised on 5 Apr 1857. (It helps to know that the parish was called Leigh with Bransford, and the civil registration district was Martley.) Knowing her parents’ names (John and Ann) from the baptism, I then found Ann’s maiden name (Amphlett) from the GRO records, which led me to their marriage in 1849.

In the 1861 census the family are living in Leigh, and the address suggests they are next door to a chapel, Lady Huntingdon’s Connexion. Mary is 5 and at school, as are two brothers (John and Charles) and a sister (Matilda), while her brother Thomas (10) is a waggoner’s boy, and there is also two-year-old William.

The chapel is mentioned in this account of smallpox in the village, from the Worcester Journal of 16 Nov 1872 (on Findmypast):

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Mary married George Thomas Waters on 20 Apr 1879 at Grafton Flyford. In 1881 they are living in Himbleton village, with baby daughter Martha James Waters.

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Ancient wooden south door to Himbleton church.

In 1891 they are in Neight Hill, Himbleton, with six children, and the 1911 census shows that they have had nine altogether. (The youngest, Florence May Waters, married Alfred John Sheppard and will have her own page as Ari’s  great-great grandmother.) Their house had three bedrooms and two living rooms.

The final record for Mary before her death in 1940 is the 1939 Register, where she is still in Himbleton and living with her daughter Dorothy Winifred.

Ari, this shows how you are related to Mary:

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