The theme this week for #52Ancestors is Oops and it’s a short one from me, I really didn’t know what to write then I thought of the following oops moment I found when I downloaded my great grandfather’s WW1 service record. I wonder if it was something he wanted to keep quiet!
Albert John TERRY was born in Crowhurst, Surrey on 3 May 1880 to William Andrew TERRY and Mary RUSBRIDGE. Albert had a sister Ethel Mary wo was born in 1883 and unfortunately his mother Mary died of a thrombosis 4 days after Ethel’s birth. William remarried to Edith Knight two years later and together they had 11 children, Christmas dinners must be have been crowded!
Albert married Emily PAYNE in 1907 at the Lingfield Mission Hall and by the time of the 1911 census the couple were living at the Post Office in Lingfield in Surrey along with Harold William, their first son who was a year old. At the time of the census Emily was expecting my grandmother, Edith Evelyn Mary who was born in October 1911. Albert was a Post Office Clerk. The family remained living above the Post Office in Lingfield until Albert’s death in 1958.
When WW1 came I think Albert may have been considered to have been a Reserved Occupation, although I am not 100% sure on that and I need to research this subject further. He enlisted in June 1916 and was called up in January 1917 and he joined the Army Service Corps in the Canteen Services.
His medical history on his Service Record stated he was a Sub Postmaster and expert telephonist and he had Flat Feet and varicose veins. He was rejected and that presumably is why he ended up in the Canteen Services rather than the Regular army. He was posted to Dieppe in April 2017.
The oops moment came on 13 July 1918 when he forfeited 7 days pay for the crime of hanging his kit in the kitchen contrary to EFC Standing Orders. Seems a little harsh to me but I live in an age where discipline and standards count for nothing sadly so it is hard to judge what happened over 100 years ago when standards were higher and discipline was instilled into children from an early age much more rigidly. I wonder what Emily thought when he had to explain why he was short by 7 days wages!
Once again it proves to me that when finding these documents about your ancestors you should read them carefully and thoroughly because you never know what gems of information about their lives you may find which is over and above the usual information you expect to find.
The theme for #52Ancestors this week is Education and I thought I would tell you about the links I have with Punnetts Town Community Primary School in East Sussex.
Punnetts Town is the village where my brother and his family and my sister and her family live, my mum grew up and my grandparents and great grandparents lived. The school opened in May 1879 and at least 4 generations of my family have attended through the decades. The latest two are my two youngest nephews. During the 1940s to the 1960s one of the teachers and then Headmistress was Mrs Eva Pilbeam, my great Aunt, she was married to Sydney Pilbeam, my maternal grandad’s older brother.
I don’t know the exact dates of when she was at the school but past pupils put her time there between the 1940s and late 1960s. She was a well liked teacher and Headmistress from the early 50s it is believed, so much so, they had a memorial bench erected in her memory. I believe the bench was put into place when one of my nieces was at school there.
My mum remembers her as a strict but fair teacher who used to walk everyday from Rushford Farm in Three Cups to the school, which is the other end of Punnetts Town village and presumably walk home again at the end of the day. Not a huge distance but very different from these days where there is a scrum of cars outside the school twice a day, because nobody walks anywhere anymore.
She taught more than one generation of children from Punnetts Town and attended a school reunion held on 11 May 1985 at the school along with a number of past pupils who had been at the school between 1928 and 1940. I was sent a picture of her cutting the celebration cake along with other past teachers.
I put a call out on a Facebook group for memories of her and these are some of the comments I received back:
“She was there when I left 1967, she was a very good head although we might not have always appreciated it.”
“I was there from 1953 to 1959 and Mrs Pilbeam was the main teacher. Mrs Hewitt was the secretary and Mrs Smart was also a teacher. I loved my time there!”
“My 2 boys Malcolm and Steven had Mrs Pilbeam as head teacher till Miss Banner took over when Mrs Pilbeam retired, when she was older, I went to her as a home carer. She was so lovely. Mr Pilbeam gave me a big bunch of lilac from the tree by the gate. The scent was wonderful. She also taught my boys in the Rest Chapel Sunday school. So she was part of our life so much when my boys were young. Precious memories.”
Precious indeed. I think I have a memory of her teaching me in Sunday School on one of the many occasions that I stayed with my grandparents during school holidays and went to the Rest Chapel on a Sunday. I didn’t meet her often during my life but I remember her as a quite short, but very sweet old lady with a broad smile. I also have a memory of a school trip to the farm when I was about 8 years old and she showed us around the farm house, including a look at the wattle and daub on the stairs. That has stuck in my mind for years.
“Mrs Pilbeam’s grandson Andrew was the same age as my Steve. Andrew had to wear glasses. Mrs Pilbeam was highly amused when my gentle little Steve said to him ‘if the big boys laugh I will punch them up’, he was certainly not a fighter but Mrs Pilbeam often told me that little tale.”
“Mrs Pilbeam was Headmistress during my time at PT School 1952-58. I think she must have been made Head after Mr Booth moved to Maynards Green which was in the late 1940's! I enjoyed my time there and I remember Mrs Pilbeam reading last period on a Friday "The Travels of Marco Polo". It fired my imagination for travel and over the years have travelled parts of the Silk Route, mainly in Uzbekistan and Pakistan! The Court of Kubla Khan conjures up exotic locations!”
I love that last comment, how many of us can say we were inspired by a school teacher?
Village schools are an important part of a community and can be important to some of the families within the community. Punnetts Town School is important to our family that has lived in Punnetts Town for some generations and as some of my blogs have proved to me, some members of my Pilbeam family have been important members of the community in their day. Long may that continue and long may the school continue!
Lastly I would just like to say a big thank you to everyone who shared photos and comments on facebook. As a genealogist I feel it very important to keep the history of our families, and the places they lived in, alive by documenting our memories. Thank you!
This week’s #52Ancestors theme is Out of Place and I decided to write about John Buxton, my Great x5 Grandfather and his mother Elizabeth. He like many other people in the 19th century, ended up in London, coming from all parts of the British Isles. His story is believed to have started in Norfolk 1761 when he was born illegitimately to Elizabeth Buxton, possibly in Diss. I have not managed to trace her roots yet and I will be returning to research her further at a later date. Unfortunately I find nearly 20 years after starting my research I don’t have any way of proving my John was the John born in Norfolk except that his mother was definitely Elizabeth for reasons I will share later. A search on Ancestry of a John Buxton born 1765 +/-10 years with a mother of Elizabeth Buxton brings the one born in Diss, Norfolk as the most likely.
The best bit of information we have about Elizabeth is her marriage as a spinster, ten years later to Peter Averillo on 17 October 1771 at St Leonards, Shoreditch. He was a widower, it was his third marriage, born in Tavistock, Devon and he was a Barrister.
There is a wonderful mention of him on the Old Bailey online website where he was in court as a victim. On the 4 December 1776 he was violently threatened by John Salter in a highway robbery. His statement reads as PETER AVERILLO sworn.
‘I was in the coach: we were stopped about eight o'clock by a single highwayman near Shepherd's-bush; a pistol was put into the coach; as soon as the blind was let down, I heard a voice say, 'Give me your money immediately, 'or I will blow your brains out;' I put my hand into my pocket, and found I had a shilling; I had between my legs a brass blunderbuss, and before the man had robbed Mr. Haywood, the other person in the coach, I discharged the blunderbuss as directed by the voice, for it was so dark I could not possibly see the person; then I bid the coachman drive on; a person on the coach bid him not drive on as the person was shot; we got lights at a house near; the candle blew out, then we saw two lights upon the road near the place where this happened; we went up to those two lights and lighted our candles at them; we found one was part of a stock and a metal buckle, the stock was bloody and on fire; we searched but could not find the person, then we went on.’
John Salter was found not guilty.
Elizabeth died in 1787 in St Leonards, Shoreditch and was buried in the churchyard there and the record stated she was 50 years old which puts her birth at about 1737.
Peter Averillo died in 1792 and was buried with Elizabeth at St Leonards, Shoreditch. He made a will and it stated that
‘I give unto John Buxton (my said late wifes Son) now living with John Dyer of Wormley in Hertfordshire Labourer the sum of ten Guineas And I also give to the said John Buxton’s wife two Good Gowns I also give unto the said John Buxton all my wearing Apparel of Woollen (not the suit of velvet and laced waistcoat and Black velvet Breaches) and also six plain Shirts the Ruffles to be taken off from those I shall have by me at my Death and also six pair of Worsted or other Stockings and some of Religious Books’
From this bit of information we can place John Buxton in Hertfordshire where he had married Hannah Ford in 1789 in Wormley and he was the son of Elizabeth Buxton who had married Peter Averillo. John and Hannah had three children, Maria born 1789 in Wormley, Thomas born 1791 in Wormley and James my Great x4 grandfather born 1793 in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire. Hannah had two children illegitimately before the marriage, John born 1783, father George Harris and Sarah born 1785, father unknown.
James, my great x4 grandfather moved to Hackney and married Alice Timms in 1816 in St Dunstans, Stepney. He appeared on the 1841 census in Abbots Street, West Hackney with his family and a John Buxton aged 78 years who was presumably his father. John possibly died in the Workhouse in 1845 but the age stated on the death certificate is 77 which if he was born in 1761 is not accurate, but we can presume he was born sometime between 1761 and 1768. The 1841 census mentioned above puts him at 1764.
There is more research to be carried out on this family but what we know so far is that John was the illegitimate son of Elizabeth Buxton who married Peter Averillo in 1771 as a spinster, 10 years after John was born.
One of James’s daughters Emma married William Henry Baldwin in 1852 and their first son William James Baldwin born 1854 was my Great x2 Grandfather.
This week’s #52Ancestors theme is Favourite Photo and I have picked the photo of my paternal Grandad and his two brothers. Unfortunately it is quite faded. Alfred Sidney Baldwin (centre) my Grandad was born in 1916 and his older brother Bill or William James was born in 1914 (left) and his younger brother Len or Herbert Leonard was born in 1920. I really don’t know much about my two great uncles at all but my grandad could be quite brusque, a spade was a spade and he was a no nonsense man.
This photo shows Bill and Alf in uniform, I believe Len didn’t join the services for WW2 but his jacket looks similar to those of the other two boys so I’m not so sure. But I think it may be something to do with the lack of stripes on the shoulders.
Grandad was in the Royal Sussex Regiment and fought through North Africa up into Europe via Italy; Monte Casino. I would like to get hold of Grandad’s Service Record as I would like to know more. He really didn’t talk much about his involvement in the war, I remember being quite surprised at his funeral at the history we were told. Typically when he was alive I wasn’t really that interested and didn’t really listen if he ever did talk about his War.
When I look at this photo I always think what handsome boys they were and how I would have liked to have known them then when they were young. We only ever know grandparents when they are old, or at least older and as children we never think about our relatives as being young and the lives they lived before we came along.
The start of a New Year and the first #52Ancestors theme is I’d like to meet. I knew instantly which of my ancestors I would like to meet. James Traies who was my Great x 5 grandfather on my Baldwin side of the family. He was one of my luckiest or unluckiest ancestors depending on your perspective as he had 5 wives!
He was born in Exeter, Devon and was baptised to Samuel and Jane on 29 May 1785 in St Mary Major, Exeter. He appeared to be listed in 1803 aged 18 on an Exeter Militia list. His occupation was Tin Man. The name before his on the list was Robert Gaul, Tin Man who we find James apprenticed to in 1798 on the UK, Register of Duties Paid for Apprentices' Indentures, 1710-1811 list on Ancestry.
After 1803 there is no sign of James in Exeter but he appeared in Hackney in Middlesex. The reason he was lucky or unlucky and the reason I would like to meet him was because he had 5 wives. Hannah was possibly his first although all we have for her is her burial record in 1818 on 8 March at the age of 39. The couple had 4 children, Jane in 1809 and died in 1810, Ann in 1810, and James in 1816 all baptised to James and Hannah including my Great x4 Grandfather, Samuel in 1812. No marriage has been found for James and Hannah yet and I do wonder if they married in Devon rather than London where we have been looking.
In October 1818 James married Ann Sutton in St Johns, Hackney. She died in 1830 in Westminster. This means she must be the mother of Henry born about 1819 although no baptism has been found for Henry so far. Jane was born 1823, Hannah in 1826 and Emma in 1827 but again no baptism records have been found. Emma appeared to be the last child born to James.
The records for Hannah and Emma in particular are few and far between, for Emma just the 1851 census where she appeared with her father and was born in Marylebone. Neither she nor Hannah were with their father on the 1841 census. Hannah married Robert Hunt in Paddington in 1853.
After Ann Sutton, James married Martha Looker in 1831 in Hackney and she died in September 1842 of disease of the brain. That is a bit vague and she was aged 48. He married again just two months later in November 1842 to Jane Berry and she died in 1856, I have just ordered a copy of the death certificate as I realise I don’t have a copy and it would be interested to know how she died. The last marriage was to Mary Jones in June 1857 and she died in October 1861 of paralysis. James did not marry again and he died in 1878 and his death was registered as natural decay, he was 93 years old which is no mean feat at the time.
I have never found any evidence that he was ‘doing away’ with his wives, but he does seem quite unlucky with them. But I would like to know his thoughts on his many wives, his story has always interested me and the research has excited me.