East Anglian Ancestors

Norfolk & Suffolk genealogy

September 28, 2015
by Jacqui Beard
0 comments

Suffragist or suffragette?

Deed not wordsVote for Murder combines a true Victorian murder with a 1911 story of suffragism and census evasion.  Both events were inspired by ancestors within my family tree.  But what is the difference between a suffragist & a suffragette?

Women’s suffrage was the struggle for the right to vote and stand for electoral office.  Throughout the nineteenth century, women had no place in politics but in the 1800’s, women began to campaign for the right to vote.  These women were known as suffragists.  My ancestor, Herbert Cowell, married Alice Garrett in 1863 against her fathers’ wishes.  Alice’s older sister, Elizabeth Garrett (later Garrett Anderson), became the first female doctor to qualify in England and Alice’s younger sister, Millicent Garrett, later Millicent Fawcett , was a prominent suffragist.

Many local suffrage societies were formed following the inception of the Sheffield Female Political Association in 1851 and in 1897 these individual units were bought together under the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies headed by Millicent Fawcett.   The NUWSS was mostly composed of middle class, educated women and they took a long-term, peaceful approach to gaining the vote.

In 1903 a suffragist, Emmeline Pankhurst, became impatient with this method and left the NUWSS to set up her own society, the Women’s Social and Political Union.  She employed more militant tactics and the Daily Mail coined the name ‘suffragettes’ as a term of derision.  Suffragettes were prepared to break the law to gain the vote, chaining themselves to railings, damaging property and disrupting public meetings.   They endured imprisonment and force feeding as a result of their activities.

When World War I started in 1914, all suffrage activity ceased.  And in 1918, women over the age of 30, who met minimum property requirements, were given the right to vote.   It was only in 1928 that women achieved full electoral equality with men when voting rights given to all women over 21.

September 20, 2015
by Jacqui Beard
1 Comment

Mary Emily Cage – Murderess or victim?

Front cover snipOn 23rd March 1851, James Cage took his last breath, poisoned to death by his wife, Mary.

The Press were quick to report on the murder and  before long produced damning reports of Mary and her ‘depraved’ character, as evidenced in the extract from the 9 August 1851 Norfolk Chronicle, below:

“It will be remembered that just before the last Assizes, Mary Emily Cage, at Stonham, was examined on a charge of murdering her husband, by poisoning him.  The case was remanded until the Summer Assize, and at half-past eight o’clock on Saturday last, the wretched woman was placed at the bar to take her trial for the offence.  She exhibited little alteration in her appearance.  It is not our intention to lift the veil from the domestic history of this woman, any further than the trial itself removed it, for unfortunately there is not a feature in it that is not degrading to our common humanity. – Messrs. Power and Mills prosecuted; Mr. W. Cooper defended.

The case presented features of great depravity.  The deceased was an agricultural labourer, and with his wife, the prisoner, lived at Stonham Aspal.  They had a family of seventeen children, but one of them, now a lad of twenty years of age, was not the result of wedlock.  The deceased was imprisoned twelve months, and during his incarceration she cohabited with another man, and the result was the birth of the boy.  During the last eighteen months, she left her husband not less than three times, and exposed her daughter, sixteen years of age, to be debauched.  In other respects she led a very dissolute and depraved life…”

Vote for Murder” is a murder mystery based on Mary’s life . It takes a more sympathetic view of her behaviour than the Victorian press, taking into account the abject poverty in which she found herself.  The murder of James Cage contrasts with the second (fictional) murder set in a comfortable, middle-class household close to Christchurch Park in Ipswich.  Both lead female characters are headstrong; Mary determined to behave as she sees fit despite the social conventions of the time and Louisa, a suffragist campaigning for the right of women to vote.

Vote for Murder is a work of ‘faction’, where historical fact meets fiction.  From the first moment I read the Mary Cage story many years ago, the circumstances of the crime did not ‘feel’ as black & white as the press implied.  Vote For Murder is my fictional interpretation of Mary’s life and times.

Vote for Murder is now available through the Amazon Kindle Store http://tinyurl.com/pbpzehr

Due for publication in paperback shortly…

April 15, 2015
by Jacqui Beard
0 comments

RMS Titanic – The Cotswold Connection

Around 2.20 am on 15th April 2012 two crew members of Leyland Liner Californian unknowingly witnessed the sinking of the Titanic.  Standing on the ice cold deck, some 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, they wondered why the unidentified vessel in the distance was firing white flares into the night sky when it was standard practice for a ship in distress to fire red.  There was something troubling about the appearance of the unknown vessel and the way it listed strangely in the water.  Despite their disquiet, they were not sufficiently concerned to react that night and by daybreak it was too late.  The odd looking ship was RMS Titanic and she had subsequently sunk taking 1517 people to a tragic and untimely death.

Titanic left Southampton bound for New York City on her maiden voyage on 10 April 1912 amid excitement and celebration.  With her watertight compartments and electronic watertight doors, she was widely believed to be unsinkable. Confidence was so high that there was no concern that she only carried 20 lifeboats, enough to accommodate just 52% of her passengers.  Indeed, the Board of Trade regulations only required her to carry 16 lifeboats to fulfil their safety requirements.

At the turn of the century, travel was still largely segregated by class and RMS Titanic catered for three divisions of travel.  Steerage or third class contained very basic accommodation, second class was more comfortable but first class was an extravaganza of luxury, from the opulence of the sweeping grand staircase, to the charm of the Café Parisien with its wide open windows looking out to sea.   Along with the glamorous furnishings, Titanic also contained the latest in technology.  She was equipped with a Marconi wireless set with a nominal range of 250 miles and, after the iceberg hit, the radio was used to transmit one of the first ever SOS calls.

The passenger list was no less impressive than the ship.  First class was populated with many well-known, wealthy Edwardians including John Jacob Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim.  But, there were people from all walks of life on board and on that fateful day in April, there were three men on Titanic who had connections to the Cotswolds, each travelling in a different accommodation class and each united by the events of that night.

Sitting in the splendour of the first class dining room on 14th April 1912, Mr Frank Millett would have had no conception that it would be the last night of his life.  Born in Massachusetts on 3 November 1844, he was a talented artist best known for his painting “between two fires”, a detailed depiction of a family of puritans, now hanging in the Tate gallery. Millett created the work at Abbots Grange in Broadway where he led an American artistic colony which settled in England in the early 1880’s.  Millett is believed to have rescued Abbots Grange from falling into a state of disrepair through his programme of restoration.

Millett ordinarily visited the Cotswolds with his wife and family but this time he travelled alone and would been looking forward to their impending reunion as he dined from the ten course menu containing, amongst other items,  poached salmon, oysters and peaches in Chartreuse jelly.

When the iceberg hit the ship, Frank Millett probably approached the ensuing drama with dignity and calm.  He was familiar with crises having served in the Civil War and was also a war correspondent in the Russian Turkish war of 1877 – 1878. He was last sighted helping women and children into lifeboats with little thought for his own safety.

Meanwhile in the second class restaurant, Henry Price Hodges dined on a less sumptuous menu choosing between baked haddock, curried chicken, spring lamb or roast turkey.  At 50 years old, Hodges was a wealthy music shop owner who lived in Southampton with his wife and five of his eight children at the time of his death.

Like Frank Millett, he was travelling without his family and had purchased his ticket for just £13.  Ironically, he had been due to travel to America several weeks earlier but his voyage had been delayed by the coal strike.

Born in 1862, Henry, a former pupil of Tewkesbury Grammar school was raised in Gloucestershire.  He was also the elder brother of Robert Hodges (born 1874), a teacher at Hatherley Road Council School.

Another former resident of Hatherley, Mr Francis William Somerton of Greatfield, Up Hatherley, was travelling back from Cheltenham to his home in Canastota, New York state having returned to Gloucestershire to visit relatives.  Travelling in third class, it is only possible to speculate on how he would have dined as no third class menus survive from the night of 14th April 1912.  We know that he was born in Cheltenham and census records from 1891 show him living at 108 Gloucester Road with his father William, (a weigh clerk at the gas works), mother Hannah and three siblings.

National probate records show that Francis William Somerton of Greatfield, Up Hatherley, Cheltenham died 15 Apr 1912 at sea. Poignantly, he left effects of just £5 which went to Mae Fryer Somerton, widow.

All three of these men had one sad fate in common.  None of them survived.  They all lost their lives on that terrible night.

The body of Frank Millett was recovered and he was buried at East Bridgwater Central Cemetery in Boston.  He was 65 when he died and his pocket watch and chain was found with him.  Henry Price Hodges was also found and laid to rest at Fairview Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia.  He too was found with a pocket watch and money amounting to £45 7s on his person.  He was 50 when he died. Francis William Somerton died aged 30.  His body was never found.

April 26, 2014
by Jacqui Beard
0 comments

Authors & Writers

March saw a big breakthrough in one of my family history conundrums. My great x 4 grandfather Samuel Roper married Maria Linstead in North Lopham in 1803. Disappointingly, I have been unable to find Samuel’s origin but I have finally found Maria Linstead revealing another genealogical co-incidence. I couldn’t find Maria because she had re-married, re-located & was living in Debenham in Suffolk. And the man she re-married was Samuel Last who was another of my relatives (albeit remote; a 3rd cousin six times removed). Maria’s place and date of birth was present in the 1851 census so I was able to trace her birth & several generations of ancestors. This new data is not yet on this website but will be uploaded shortly.

Which brings me to Edward Philip Basil Linstead, sixth cousin twice removed & found as a result of this new information. Edward Linstead was an author of at least 4 books, some of which can still be purchased today. A closer relative William Charles Miles was also an author & journalist according to the  1891 & 1901 census.  I am happy to join them as a newly published author, having written my first book which was published this week.  Beau Garnie & The Invisimin Mine is a book for 7 – 11 year olds and is available on Amazon Kindle and through www.lulu.com

Beau book cover

November 10, 2013
by Jacqui Beard
0 comments

Sergeant James Llewellyn Bodenham 1915 – 2013

My husband’s grandfather died earlier this year.  James Llewellyn ‘Jim’ Bodenham was born in 1915.   He joined the Army in 1941 and trained as a mechanical engineer.  From 1941 to 1945  Jim served in Belgium, Holland and Germany.  His most memorable war experience was his involvement in the removal of two starving elephants from Munster Zoo to Antwerp Zoo using a converted tank transporter.  Many years later his wife contacted Antwerp zoo to find out what happened to the two elephants.  Monty & Ike (pictured below) survived the war.  Monty died in 1957 aged 36 and Ike was nearly 60 years old when he died in 1981.

After the war, Jim served in Egypt and Palestine and was eventually demobbed becoming a greengrocer in Ramsgate, Kent.  After 6 years he moved back to Gloucester, where he remained for the rest of his life.

Jim died in Maisemore in June this year.  We remember him on this Remembrance Sunday – as we remember all those brave men & women who did not return.

“……At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.”

November 10, 2012
by Jacqui Beard
9 Comments

We Will Remember Them

Between 1914 & 1918, 95 of my relatives fell in the Great War.

“They shall not grow old,
As we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them
Nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun
And in the morning
We will remember them.”

Laurence Binyon (1869 – 1943)

Private Francis Henry ABBS, 1st Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment, 1918, Kensington, killed in action

Leading Seaman Gilbert Alfred ABBS, Royal Navy, 1918, HMS Platypus, died of disease

Private William Herbert BALDWIN, 55th Battalion Australian infantry, 1917, Somme, France, killed in action

Private Frank James BARLEY, 6th Battalion Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), 1918, France & Flanders, killed in action

Private Harry Albert BARLEY, 10th Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps, 1917, France & Flanders, killed in action

Private Stanley Arthur BARTON, 12/13th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, 1917, France & Flanders, killed in action

Lance Corporal John Leonard BASHAM, 17th Battalion Duke of Cambridge’s Own (Middlesex Regiment), 1917, France & Flanders, died of wounds

Private Arthur James BIRD, Machine Gun Corps Infantry, 1918, Salonika, died of wounds

Private Bertie BIRD, Machine Gun Corps, 1918, France & Flanders, died of wounds

Bombardier Stanley George BIRD, Royal Horse & Royal Artillery Territorial Force, 1918, Birkenhead, died of wounds

Lance Corporal Herbert Edwin BLACKBURN, Coldstream Guards, 1916, France & Flanders, killed in action

Private John William BLACKBURN, 10th Battalion Prince of Wales Own Yorkshire Regiment, 1918, France & Flanders, killed in action

Private John Kersey BLOFIELD, 1st Battalion Hampshire Regiment, 1915, France & Flanders, killed in action

Corporal Christopher BORRETT, 4th Battalion Suffolk Regiment, 1914, France & Flanders, died of wounds

Private Geoffrey Lionel BROOKE, 1st Battalion Worcester Regiment, 1918, Aldershot, died

Chief Stoker Vincent Keeble BULLEN, Royal Navy, 1917, Scapa Flow, Orkneys, explosion on HMS Vanguard

Private Basil Rowland BULLETT,         5th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment, 1918, Aldershot, died of wounds

Private Ernest Benjamin BULLOCK, 2nd Battalion Norfolk Regiment, 1916, Mesopotamia, killed in action in the field

Private Edgar Cyril BURTON, 8th Norfolk Battalion, 1916, France & Flanders, killed in action 1st day of Battle of the Ancre

Lance Corporal Francis James BURTON, 12 Battalion Duke of Cambridge’s Own, 1916, Thiepval, killed in action

Private Reginald George BURTON, 2nd Battalion Norfolk Regiment, 1916, Basra, Mesopotamia, Broncho pneumonia

Private Gilbert John BURTON, 2nd Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment, 1917, Passchendaele, France, killed in action

Gunner Edmund COATES, Royal Garrison Artillery, 1917, France & Flanders, died

Lieutenant Clarence Edwards Nooth COOPER, Royal Flying Corps, 1916, Somme, France, Flying accident

Lieutenant Francis Nicholas Nooth COOPER, Army Service Corps & S W Borderers, 1917, France, missing in action

Drummer Albert Arthur COPPING, 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards 1914, France & Flanders, killed in action

Rifleman Albert James COPPING, 3rd Battalion Princes Own Rifle Battalion, 1918, France & Flanders, died of wounds

Acting Sergeant George Sydney CORBEN, 12th (Service) Sheffield Battalion, 1916, France & Flanders, killed in action

Private John Stanley CORBEN, 23rd (County of London) Battalion, 1916, Lambeth, died of wounds

Private Arthur CORBIN, 7th Battalion Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), 1918, Vendhuile, killed in action

Rifleman James William CORBIN, 17th Regiment Kings Royal Rifle Corps, 1916, France & Flanders, killed in action

Gunner Bertie Herbert CORBYN, Royal Garrison Artillery, 1917, France & Flanders, killed in action

Private Frederick CORBYN, D Company 1st Battalion Worcester Regiment, 1918, France & Flanders, died of wounds

Private Jonah CORBYN, 10th Battalion Queen Alexandra’s own Welsh regiment; formerly 15th Norfolk, 1916, France & Flanders, killed in action

Major George Edmond Maurice COWELL, Royal Horse & Royal Field Artillery, 1917, France & Flanders, killed in action

Private Richard Christopher COX, 1st Battalion Essex Regiment, France & Flanders, killed in action

Captain Arthur Henry Prinsep CRUICKSHANK, 32nd Pioneers, 1915, Ypres, died of wounds

Gunner Ivor Leslie CURTIS, Royal Horse & Royal Field Artillery, 1917, France & Flanders, died of wounds

Private Alfred Charles CUSHING, 7th Battalion Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, 1917, Salonika, killed in action

Private Gordon Walter CUSHING, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, 1917, France & Flanders, died of wounds

Gunner Bertie Clement DENNIS, 12th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, 1917, France & Flanders, killed in action

Private Edward John DENNIS, 8th Battalion Royal Berkshires, 1916, La Boudrelle, France, killed in action

Private George Robert DENNIS, 1st Battalion Cambridge Regiment, 1917, Belgium, killed in action

Private Thomas William DENNY, Coldstream Guards, 1917, France & Flanders, died of wounds

Private Oscar Glyde DIXON, 7th Royal West Kent Regiment, 1918, France, killed in action

Private David DURRANT, 2nd Battalion Norfolk Regiment, 1916, Mesopotamia, killed in action

Fireman & Trimmer Nelson DYBALL, Mercantile Marines, 1918, At Sea SS Westergate, torpedoed by German Sub UB-80

Private Herbert ELSEY, 2/5th (TF) Battalion, York & Lancaster Regiment, 1917, France & Flanders, died of wounds

Private Walter Ernest ENGLAND, 9th Battalion Norfolk Regiment, 1916, France & Flanders, killed in action

Private Morris Ethanuel EVERITT, 1st/4th Northumberland Fusiliers, 1916, Thiepval, killed in action

Lance Corporal Percy Gordon FAIRMAN, 12th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment, 1917, Ypres, Belgium, killed in action

Private Stephen Francis FAIRMAN, Coldstream Guards, 1916, France & Flanders, killed in action

Private Archibald FAIRWEATHER, 1st Battalion Cambridgeshire Regiment, 1917, France & Flanders, died of wounds

Private Charles FAIRWEATHER, 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, 1916, France & Flanders, killed in action

Lieutenant Cyril John FAIRWEATHER, 4th Battalion Hampshire Regiment, 1914, France & Flanders, killed in action

Battery Quarter Master Sergeant Edward FAIRWEATHER, Royal Horse & Royal Field Artillery, 1916, Somme, France, died of wounds

Private Harry William FAIRWEATHER, 2nd (City of London) Battalion Royal Fusiliers, 1917, Ypres, Belgium, killed in action

Rifleman Kenneth Herbert FAIRWEATHER, D Company, 2nd/16th Battalion London Regiment Queen’s Westminster Rifles, 1917, Palestine, died

Private Percy Reeve FAIRWEATHER, 1915, 5th Battalion Suffolk Regiment, Galipoli, killed in action

Private Philip FAIRWEATHER, Gordon Highlanders, 1917, France & Flanders, killed in action

Private Bertie Thomas FARROW, 8th Battalion Border Regiment, 1918, France & Flanders, killed in action

Private Ernest Richard FARROW, 6th Battalion Queens Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), 1918, France & Flanders, killed in action

Deckhand John William West FARROW, Mercantile Marine Motor Boat “Frigate Bird” Grimsby, 1917, Spurn Point, Sunk by German Submarine Karsten Von Heydebreck

Private Walter William FARTHING, 1st Battalion Queens Royal West Surrey Regiment, 1918, France & Flanders, killed in action

Corporal Albert Henry FIELD, 20th (County of London) Battalion Blackheath & Woolwich, 1918, France & Flanders, killed in action

Sergeant Robert William W FIELDS, 1st Battalion Border Regiment, 1917, France & Flanders, died of wounds

Private William Astley FIELDS, 9th Battalion Norfolk Regiment, 1917, France & Flanders, killed in action

Lance Corporal Leslie Charles FISHER, 11 Royal Sussex Regiment, 1916, France & Flanders, killed in action

Lieutenant Frank Henry FISON, 6th (Cyclist) Battalion (Territorial), 1916, France & Flanders, killed in action

Lance Corporal Benjamin Bowers GALLANT, 1st Battalion Suffolk Regiment, 1915, Ypres, killed in action

Lance Corporal Gilbert GIVENS, 1st Battalion Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort’s Own), 1918, Cambrai, died of wounds

Rifleman William Norris GIVENS, 1st Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, 1916, Thiepval, killed in action

Private James HANNARD, 2nd Battalion Alexandra, Princess of Wales Own (Yorkshire Regiment), France & Flanders, killed in action

Private Arthur HERRINGTON, 5th Battalion Alexandra, Princess of Wales Own (Yorkshire Regiment), 1917, France & Flanders, killed in action

Captain Anthony May Capron HOLLIST, 1915, Buffs East Kent Regiment, Unknown, killed in action

Private John HORREX, 14th (Service) Battalion Hampshire Regiment, 1916, France & Flanders, killed in action

Private Owen Albert V LUBBOCK, 9th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers, 1917, France & Flanders, killed in action

Sergeant Frank MANBY, Royal Garrison Artillery, 1916, France & Flanders, killed in action

Private John Cordy MANBY, 12th Battalion East Surrey Regiment, 1917, France & Flanders, killed in action

Sergeant James Dowd MILES, 7th Battalion Suffolk Regiment, 1917, France & Flanders, killed in action

Brian Ponsonby Fitzgerald MOORE, 62nd Punjabis, 1916, At Sea, HMHS Velera, died of wounds

Private Horace Victor RACE, 2nd Battalion Suffolk Regiment, 1917, France & Flanders, killed in action

Guardsman Russell RACKHAM, 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards, 1914, France & Flanders, killed in action

Private Joseph RAWLINSON, 2nd Battalion Suffolk Regiment, 1916, France & Flanders, killed in action

Private Edwin Alfred ROPER, 1st Battalion Suffolk Regiment, 1918, Salonika, died

Private Herbert Charles SADLER, 8th Battalion East Surrey Regiment, 1915, France & Flanders, killed in action

Private Harry SEELEY, 2nd Battalion Suffolk Regiment, 1915, France & Flanders, killed in action

Gunner Leonard Walter SEELEY, Royal Garrison Artillery, 1917, France & Flanders, killed in action

Private Cecil Bertie SIMMONDS, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), 1918, France & Flanders, killed in action

Private Alfred Edward SQUIRRELL, 9th Battalion Norfolk Regiment, 1918, France & Flanders, killed in action

Lance Corporal Stanley Aldis SQUIRRELL, 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards, 1918, France & Flanders, died of wounds

Private Rebuen Stephen STONE, 7th Battalion Norfolk Regiment, 1918, France & Flanders, killed in action

Private William Wells WEST, 6th Battalion Border Regiment, France & Flanders, died of wounds

Sapper Frederick Charles WOODHOUSE, Royal Corps of Engineers, 1917, Egypt, died

 

September 22, 2012
by Jacqui Beard
1 Comment

Drury Lane Ragged School, St Giles

In the 18th century, there was no such thing as free education.  Some charitable schools existed, but very few.  By the 19th century, Victorian philanthropists started to show concern about the neglected poor and more ragged schools opened, so called because most of the children dressed in rags and few had shoes.

My 4 x great uncle Charles Corben, owner of the carriage works at 30 Great Queen Street, was the treasurer of the Charles Street, Drury Lane ragged school and soup kitchen.  This establishment educated 400 children in one of the most deprived areas of London.  Many of the children did not attend during winter for want of clothing.  The school relied upon charitable donations and appeals were regularly made through newspaper columns.

And thank goodness altruistic men like Charles Corben existed.  Whilst researching my maternal family tree, I recently discovered that my relative Samuel Laycock also lived in St Giles .  A labourer by trade and presumably poor, he lived at 14 Queen St with four other families comprising a total of 18 people.  Three of his seven children were named as ‘ragged scholars’ in the 1851 census.  They may well have gone to The Charles Street ragged school.  The three children who attended the ragged school were Eliza, Ann Celia and John Laycock.  Ann and Eliza both married and lived to 86 and 91 respectively.  John Laycock benefited from his education and became a printer’s pressman, an occupation he remained in all his life.

September 8, 2012
by Jacqui Beard
2 Comments

Samuel Fuller, Mayflower passenger

Samuel Fuller was a doctor and church deacon.  Born in Redenhall, Norfolk 20 Jan 1580, he was one of the pilgrims who formed the colony at Plymouth, Massachusetts.   Travelling aboard The Mayflower with his servant William Button, he was one of 41 men to sign the Mayflower Compact.

It would be fabulous to claim a genetic ancestry from Samuel Fuller but unfortunately I can’t although I did find a connection to him by marriage whilst wading through the wills of my ancestors in Redenhall.

I have a few gaps left to plug, but it is my belief that my East Anglian Corbens are descended from the Redenhall Corbyn’s.  I have transcribed a number of Corbyn wills over the years. Two of these wills refer to members of the Fuller family of Redenhall.

My 13 x great Uncle John Corbyn left a will in Redenhall in 1540 in which he referred to John Fuller, grandfather of Samuel Fuller.  John Fuller senior was described as the ‘bellechilde’ of John Corbyn as was his brother William and other members of the Fuller family.  Although I can’t find a definitive explanation of the term “bellechilde” I am reasonably sure that it means godchild.

John Corbyn left many legacies.  Some gifts were left to John Fuller including 5 kine that were in the possession of John’s father William Fuller.   There were also several legacies to John Corbyn’s nephew Richard Corbyn.

Richard Corbyn left his own will when he died in Harleston in 1589.  Richard had 9 children and left legacies to each of them.  His daughter Frances, born about 1553 is named in the will as ‘Frances my daughter now the wife of Robert Fuller.’  One of the witnesses at the bottom of the will is Robert Fuller butcher.  Both Samuel Fuller and his brother Edward were children of Robert Fuller and his first wife Sarah Dunckthorne.  Sometime after Sarah died in 1584, and before 1586 when Sarah Fuller daughter of Robert and Frances was born, Robert married Frances Corbyn.

So I can’t claim direct descendancy from Samuel Fuller or his brother Edward who was also on board the Mayflower but at least I have a genetic connection to their step mother Frances.  And that’s probably the closest I will ever get to have a Mayflower ancestor!

 

September 5, 2012
by Jacqui Beard
0 comments

Sydney Leonard Bird – Steward New Zealand Shipping Line

1897 – 1938

My grandfather Sydney Leonard Bird was born in Homerton in 1897. He served in the Royal Artillery during World War I and married my grandmother Lily Fairweather in 1928. He worked in the Merchant Navy until his death in 1938.

We know for sure that he served as a steward aboard New Zealand Shipping Company vessels RMS Remeura and MV Rangitata. He may have also served aboard the Rangitki. However, the hat badge in the above photograph does not look like the NZSC hat badge.

Our family album contains postcards of two MacIver line ships, the Lombardy and the Sicily. This line went into liquidation in 1931/1932 and the two vessels were transferred to the Royal Mail Line. We don’t know whether he served aboard these vessels – perhaps the hat badge relates to those lines?

If anyone reading this article is able to identify the hat badge, it would be fascinating to know more. Maritime genealogy is most definitely not my strong point so perhaps someone more experienced in this field would know if it’s easy (or even possible) to obtain crew lists for the Remeura and Rangitata?

September 4, 2012
by Jacqui Beard
0 comments

John Corben of Sea Palling

Deciding what  image to use on my new website was not completely straightforward.  After some thought I settled for the gravestone of my great (x5) grandfather John Corben.

This photograph invokes happy memories of 15 years of ancestor hunting.  It was taken during a beautiful day at Sea Palling in Norfolk.  That year we decided on a UK holiday with the intention of combining it with some genealogy research.  At least I did.  The other members of my family rolled their eyes and went along with it as usual.

We drove into Sea Palling and had a pleasant lunch in the Old Hall Inn.  Then we wandered up to the churchyard of St Margaret of Antioch where I found to my great satisfaction, a completely readable tombstone for my ancestor.

John Corben was born in Bridgham Norfolk in 1759.  He married Sarah Moore in Cromer in 1787.  They moved to Waxham in 1789.  The Norwich Mercury records him as a gamekeeper in the employ of Sir G H Grograve Bt.  in 1801.

Sarah Corben gave birth to 9 children but only six survived to adulthood.  Her daughter Mary was born in 1799 but she only lived for a few weeks.  In 1804 her youngest children, twins Mary & George were born.  Mary survived but George died aged 5 months in 1805.  Sarah’s 15 year old son William tragically drowned the same year while bathing in the sea.  John, Sarah, George & William share the same grave.

John Corben died suddenly in 1815 leaving a brief will in which he left all his assets to his wife Sarah.  Fortunately Sarah left a far more comprehensive will when she died in Sea Palling in 1850.  This will proved beyond doubt that John, George & Charles Corben of London were her children.

Sarah was 92 years old when she died.  The majority of her life was spent in Sea Palling.  Having visited it I can easily see why she remained there.

• John Corben & Sarah Moore Click the link below:

 • More on Sea Palling:  [subscribe2]