This week’s theme for #52Ancestors was Organised but I am not inspired by that so I decided to write Lost2 as a sequel to last week. You may recall me telling you in a blog a few weeks ago that we have recently been reunited with one of Dad’s cousins and after having met her, I realised I do not know a great deal about the Baldwin side of the family during the 20th century and it set me on a quest to find out more.
William James Baldwin was my Dad’s oldest uncle. I’ve known for a long time that he was tragically killed at Green Brothers Factory in Hailsham whilst working but beyond that I knew nothing. He was born in Hailsham on 18 March 1914 to Reuben Leonard and Ethel Mary Baldwin, my great grandparents. His brothers, Alfred Sydney (my grandfather) and Herbert Leonard were born in 1916 and 1920 and by the time of the 1921 census the family were living at 6 Sackville Road in Hailsham, a road my family lived in during my teenage years.
He married Bessie Borrer in Eastbourne, November 1935 with whom he had three sons, James, Michael and Patrick. He and Alfred served during WW2 but I have not managed to find any service records as yet. By the 50s he and Alfred both worked at Green Brothers factory in Hailsham as wood machinists. I believe they had worked there before the war too, as my Grandad had worked alongside David Smith, who had brought up my Grandmother (see previous blog).
He died on 19 September at Princess Alice Hospital in Eastbourne, Sussex after a tragic accident at work in the Green Bros factory. His death certificate stated that he died of shock after internal bleeding from a rupture of his right external iliac artery from a penetrating would by a piece of wood propelled by a machine saw.
An inquest was carried out on 22 September 1950 where the verdict was returned as Accidental Death. The Eastbourne Chronicle on 29 September 1950 reported
“After hearing how wood machinist William James Baldwin, 36, of the Nest, Hempstead Lane, Hailsham, died from injuries received when a piece of wood shot into him from a machine he was working, Friday’s inquest at Eastbourne returned a verdict of ‘Accidental Death’.
The article stated that the Jury called for a rider that an adequate Safeguard to be fitted to the offcut side of the line edging machine if possible. A fifteen year old workmate told the inquest how William had been feeding wood into the line edging machine and how half way through the piece of wood being sawed there was a bang and Bill (William) called out. First aid treatment was given on site to Bill who had pulled the piece of wood out.
Safety guards were present on the machine it was stated and Safety Inspectors visited the factory and were satisfied that the machine was protected in the normal manner. Edwin Hollands, maintenance engineer for Green Bros said only on the left side, where the off cut came, was there any danger with the machines.
“There was not enough body in the wood to hold the pressure of the rollers and it was rejected.” Hollands stated.
No other accidents on that machine were reported. It was reported that because different kinds of work were done on that machine, it would be impossible to have a static guard on the off cut side.
Alfred Baldwin, a packer at the factory, gave evidence of identifying his brother on 21 September.
William was buried on 23 September 1950 at Hailsham Cemetery in Ersham Road, Hailsham.
George Harmer was one of my Great Grandmother Dorothy’s older brothers. He was born on 19 February 1892 and baptised at St Giles Church in Dallington, Sussex on 25 March 1892. His parents were James Frederick Samuel and Helena Lorraine Harmer, my Great Great Grandparents.
This week’s #52Ancestors theme is Lost and poor George lost his life at the age of 21 due to a tragic accident.
George was one of 10 children born to James and Helena and I have found the record of his marriage to Ellen White on 24 August 1912 at St Giles Church, Dallington just a year before he died. Ellen was 22 and George was 20 and it would appear that Ellen was 6 months pregnant as Ronald was born on 19 November 1912 in Dallington and baptised at Dallington Church on 2 February 1913. The baptism record shows that George was a Labourer. According to one of a number of newspaper reports about his death, later that year, I found he was also a member of ‘B’ Company 5th Royal Sussex Regiment, B company were recruited in Battle, Sussex. It also mentioned that two of his brothers were also serving with the 5th Royal Sussex Regiment in India.
I need to look into that further as I only know of one brother, James who according to the 1911 census, was with the 2nd Dorsetshire Regiment, who apparently spent most of WW1 in India, and there is a hint that he fought during WW1 as on the 1921 census, James is at Broad Oak with Harriet Carter and her family. He married Harriet not long after. He was visiting pending discharge from the army on the census record.
Anyway back to George. The Sussex Express, Surrey Standard and Kent Mail reported on Friday 10 October 1913 that
‘A gloom was cast over Dallington on Tuesday evening when it became known that a fatal accident had taken place on Prinkle Hill’.
As far as I can see Prinkle Hill is the small lane that travels down the hill from Dallington main street to the main road, the B2096 past Prinkle Farm.
At about 4pm a wagon belonging to Charles Baker, was loaded with stone, and was descending the hill. George who was employed by Charles Baker, was leading the Shaft horse when it skidded on the slippery road and being unable to recover it was dragged along. George fell and the front wheel passed over him. Death was reported by the local Doctor as instantaneous. The rector broke the news to George’s widow and his family. At the Coroner’s inquest the following week a verdict of Accidental death was returned.
George was buried in Dallington Churchyard on 11 October 1913.
His Employer, Charles Baker owned Carricks Farm on the crossroads at the top of Carricks Hill (now the main road). According to George’s burial record he was living at Hack’s Bank which appears to be a cottage down the lane from Carricks Farm, and I wonder if it was a tied cottage. So far I have not been able to find any sign of Ellen and Ronald after the accident, it may be that Ellen married again soon after and I am yet to find her. The search goes on as I would like to know what happened to her and Ron. I presume they would have had to leave Hack’s Bank Cottage, again suggesting it went with George’s job as Farm Labourer. It would be good to find out.
Four of George’s brothers went onto fight in WW1, James as already mentioned, Charles who was with the 5th Royal Sussex Regiment, Service Number 3317 and wounded 11 December 1916, Thomas who may also have been with the 1st Royal Sussex Regiment in India and Percy who was killed on 3 March 1918 on the Somme, blog written about him in November 2020.
For this week’s #52 Ancestors the theme is Passed Down and I thought I would look at the twins I have on my family tree. I don’t know how unusual it is to have lots but on my tree the Twin gene has been passed down generation to generation quite successfully in our family. A quick search of duplicate baptism dates on my family tree brought me at the very least 32 sets of twins and that is only the ones I know about.
My earliest set of twins were James and Mary Pilbeame who were baptised on 11 August 1615 at the Church in Ticehurst, Sussex to Robert and Elizabeth Pilbeame. Robert was my Great x 9 Grandfather and he married Elizabeth Daniell on 18 October 1614 at Ticehurst and they had 10 children, James and Mary being the eldest. The only one I have properly researched at the moment is John, the youngest, my Great x 8 Grandfather, born 1634 in Wadhurst and died 1713 in Wadhurst. In 1662 John Pilbeame paid Hearth Tax on a house in Wadhurst with three hearths and he wrote a will in 1709 which stated he was a Yeoman.
I found one family, that of John Parks and Mary Beeching of Heathfield who had two sets of twins.
John Parks was my Great x 7 Grandfather who was born in Heathfield in 1687 to Thomas Parks and Grace Mascall. John married Mary on 16 August 1710 in Burwash and they had 9 children including Esau and Jacob Parks both baptised in Heathfield on 4 December 1720 and Barbara and Richard Parks baptised in Heathfield on 24 November 1723. Some of John and Mary’s offspring went on to have twins of their own including Esau who married Elizabeth Hope on 4 September 1748 in Heathfield and was noted of Waldron. He and Elizabeth had 9 children including Elizabeth and Mary Parks both baptised on 16 May 1750 in Heathfield, their firstborn children.
Those two examples are both on my maternal side of the family, there are twins on my paternal side too. There is Henry and George Cruse both baptised in Chailey on 15 November 1752 to Thomas and Ann Cruse. Sadly though, Henry died and was buried on 20 November and George buried on 26 November 1752. This sad family was mentioned in a previous blog ‘High and Low’.
There are a number of sets of twins in my Harmer family including Reuben Lewis and Charles Harmer who were baptised on 16 August 1807 in Ashburnham, sons of Samuel Harmer and his wife Phoebe. They had 12 children in all, they married on 22 June 1790 at Ashburnham. Their eldest son, Samuel was born in 1791 in Ninfield and was transported for life, to Australia, in 1812 after conviction for illegally stealing a chestnut gelding at Icklesham, with his harness and a cart the property of Jacob and Lewis Carey. They may have been his uncles but I have not researched that yet. He and twelve other prisoners were capitally convicted and received a sentence of death. The Chief Baron, humanely reprieved all the capital convicts before he left the court. (How kind of him!) Thus Samuel received a sentence of transportation for life.
I haven’t found many sets of twins on my Baldwin side of the family apart from Emma Jane and Harriet Louisa Turner born 27 December 1840 in St Botolphs, Aldgate London to Edward Turner and his wife, Harriet. Their Uncle James was my Great x4 Grandfather and they all lived in Cartwright Street in Aldgate which was very near to the Royal Mint and the Tower of London.
Lastly there was Joseph and Mary Willey baptised on 23 February 1792 in North Somercotes in Lincolnshire to William and Ann Willey. William was my Great x5 Grandfather and he married Ann Smith on 19 May 1791 in North Somercotes, Joseph and Mary were their first children. They went on to have 10 children altogether, all of whom lived to adulthood and marriage. William was a Joiner according to the 1841 census as were some of his sons.
That is a small sample of some of the twins in my family tree, looking at the spread, they do seem to be more prevalent on the Pilbeam line which ends with the Pilbeam twins of Punnetts Town, my mum, Hilary and her twin sister Davina Pilbeam born in 1943 in Worthing Hospital in Sussex. To find out more about them read my previous blog called Sisters written in March 2022.
The theme for this week’s #52 Ancestors is Preservation and I have been stumped to come up with a blog for this subject. Nothing inspired me to write about Preservation until I suddenly had a thought 10 minutes ago, one person I associate with Preservation is my Granny, Edith Pilbeam.
Grandad had a large back garden at Beechcroft, Punnetts Town and although the garden is a steep slope it is south facing and he grew quite a number of crops, including Christmas Trees when he was retired, but that’s another story! When I was a child I remember the garden being full of vegetables like potatoes, runner beans, purple sprouting broccoli and cabbages. He also had blackcurrant bushes and the old apple tree which is still in the garden now, giving my brother a good yearly crop.
Yes but this is supposed to be about Preservation, I hear you cry! Well in the days before freezers, preservation of fruit and veg was generally done by bottling and salting and granny had a larder full of jars of bottled runner beans in particular, as I remember. They would come out through the winter, jar by jar to provide home grown vegetables before you could go to the freezer and pick out a bag of frozen peas.
She also used to make her own jam and marmalade, although my memories of that is more hazy, I’ve never been a great lover of jam. This was an excellent way of using up soft fruits such as raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries and anything you could forage from the hedgerow such as blackberries and elderberries. I guess that is what the blackcurrants were grown for, blackcurrant jam.
That would have been one of those jobs granny would have carried out in the late summer, autumn ready for the winter. I remember that she had regular jobs she did each day of the week, washing in the twin tub on one day, probably Monday, ironing the next, hoovering and dusting on another, the same as there were set meals; the remains of Sunday’s roast would be minced on Monday. Fish on Wednesday after the visit from the Fish man. And we think we have life hard in 2022!
I have tried my hand at jam making but never very successfully, it either comes out too runny, not enough pectin or too set, too much pectin. We have also bottled fruit such as our plums when there has been a glut at various times and also used a glut to make chutneys, I think we still have some at the back of the cupboard! What about you? Do you preserve fruit and veg or do you have memories of mums and grandmothers doing the same when you were a child? Do you think it is something which should be revived particularly at this current time of hardship?
This week’s theme for #52Ancestors is Road Trip and I am taking a road trip to a more distant part of my ancestry, the Rhoads family from Lincolnshire.
Smith Rhoades was my great x3 grandfather and he was born 1833 in Orby, Lincolnshire. His parents were William and Elizabeth Rhoades and he had 4 brothers; John born 1821, William born 1823, Charles born 1824 and Joseph born 1831 and 4 sisters; Betsey born 1826, Emma born 1829, Susannah born 1835 and Mary Ann born 1840. His father William was a farmer on land in Orby that he owned.
If we follow Smith through the census returns it shows the following:
1841 living with his parents on the farm in the village of Orby
1851 Groom at Boothby in the parish of Welton Le Marsh, a tiny hamlet between Orby and Welton Le Marsh
1861 by this time he had married and moved to Hurstpierpoint in Sussex where he was a Farm Bailiff
1871 Farm Bailiff in Eastbourne, Sussex
1881 Farm Labourer in Eastbourne
1891 Farm Labourer in Eastbourne
1901 Foreman on a Farm at Upper Dicker, Sussex
1911 retired Farm Bailiff living in Hove
He died in 1919 on 6 June in Aldrington, Hove, described as a Market Gardener and died of Senile Decay.
I don’t know why he left Lincolnshire for Sussex although I can speculate he was following work. But how would I find any clues as to why he left; find out where he was working at the time he left Lincolnshire and were there any links with Sussex, look at wages and conditions for farming in Lincolnshire and compare with Sussex in the 1850s. I’m guessing this all because it may not have been work at all. He married Maria Lee whose ancestry, as far as I have traced it was in Lincolnshire. In fact they don’t seem to have moved very far and back to the early part of the 1600s were all that Wolds part of Lincolnshire. The Civil War seems to have caused a problem in going back further on all 4 lines of her grandparents. I keep searching!
One of the biggest problems I have found with searching for the Rhoads family is the amount of different spellings, Rhoads, Rhoades Rhodes, Roads, Roades and Rodes have all been found so far and I am sure there are more to be found.
Smith and Maria had 10 children including Alice who was my Great x 2 Grandmother who married James Cruse and brought her family to Hailsham.
One of my few families that didn’t originate from East Sussex and take me to a part of the country I know very little about, at the moment.