The viewing tower Clyne Gardens.

The viewing tower Clyne Gardens.

A walk in Clyne Gardens, Blackpill, Swansea. Passing the Admiral’s tower.

The tower was designed by David Thomas and built by Arthur Mugford in 1928 for Admiral Heneage Vivian to look at the Rhododendrons. Its about 5 meters high and Grade II listed as part of the wider edifices and features in Clyne Gardens. [1].

The Tower Clyne Gardens.

Because I’m a genealogist I thought I’d look at Arthur Mugford first, maybe David Thomas at a another time.
They were both employees of the Clyne Estate according to the new plaque on the tower.
In 1911 at the census Arthur Mugford was living in 55 Argyle Street, Swansea. [2]

He was a Stonemason and had been born in Bideford, Devon he was married to Ester and had one daughter called Winifred.
They had been married for 11 years and had had one child so was this Winifred?

Why do I ask?

Because, Arthur was 49 according to his return, Esther was 50. Winifred was 17 and working according to the return, 6 years older than Arthur and Esther’s marriage. Nowadays not so big a deal but in 1911 different. [3]

One document from one search and the anomalies are interesting.
Winifred is recorded as Arthur’s daughter (her relationship to the household head).
She is born outside the wedding range of Arthur and Esther.

Next, find Winifred.
Here’s a school record [4] She moved from Oxford street infants School (Swansea) on 28th January 1901 to Oxford Street Girls School She was born according to this source on 13th June 1893, her dad was Arthur and they lived at 55 Argyle street in Swansea. So her 1911 census age is about right.

Oxford St. Girls School Jan 1901 admissions. West Glamorgan Archive.

Thus they were definitely in Argyle street at the start of 1901 and likely to have been there at the 1901 census, searching in TheGenealogist finds a stone mason at 55 Argyle St. Arthur Cellingford according to the transcription, a reminder to always look at the image of the document: It’s actually Arthur C. Mugford he was aged 39, with Esther aged 41, and Winifred aged 7. Esther was a Grocer working on her own account at home, they had a ‘domestic servant’ Minnie L. Buck aged 17 born Swansea. [5]

A search for Winifred Mugford born June 1893 gives no results.
Where next?

Well, a marriage of Arthur and Esther.
So at Christchurch on Oystermouth Road in Swansea, Arthur Chalk Mugford married Esther Jane Blackmore, his age was written as 37, her’s 34, he was a bachelor and she a spinster, so neither married previously (or declared so). He was a mason, she listed no occupation, he lived at 22 Burrows Road, she at 6 Windsor Street, no father was written down for him, her father was John Blackmore (deceased) a Pilot. [6]

The plot is becoming more intriguing. Winifred would had been about 6 at the wedding, neither had been widowed, no Winifred Mugford in GRO (General Register Office) records, what about Winifred Blackmore?

Christ Church Swansea CC BY-SA 2.0

Here she is Winfred Blackmore registered in 3rd quarter 1893 in Swansea, [7] no mother’s surname which almost always indicated the father was not on the document and that Esther Blackmore is Winifred’s mother, could be clarified by seeing the original.

Back to Arthur for now, he is found in the 1881 census [8] Swansea, a Mason, living in Argyle Street, listed as the stepson of Joshua Heard, a Dock Labourer born in Clovelly, Devon. Joshua is married to Sarah Ann, she was born in Hartland, Devon.

Enough information I think, for Arthur’s birth search, and I found his birth was registered in Bideford in the 1st quarter of 1862, [9] no mother’s surname given here too so Sarah Ann was not married?

Hartland village in Devon   © Copyright Roger Kidd and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The 1871 census is the next place he would be, and he was in Bond Street in Swansea. [10] head of the household was Joshua Heard, 42, born Clovelly, he was noted as ‘widower’, Sarah A. Mugford written as Joshua’s daughter aged 27 [!] a housekeeper, Arthur Mugford aged 9 listed as Joshua’s grandson, and Emma Mugford aged 5 listed as granddaughter (is she Arthur’s sister?).

I need to look for Sarah Ann next I think, from the 1871 census she would have been born about 1844. The census of 1851 gave a match. The household was living at Forcewell, Hartland in the Bideford district of Devon. They were: William Mugford, 63, Head, born Clovelly, Devon a Farmer 150 Acres Employing 2 Men. Mary Mugford, 64, Wife, born Buckland Brewer, Devon. William Mugford 35, Son, born Alwington, Devon, Farmers Son. Sarah A. Mugford 8, Grand Daughter, born Hartland, Devon. Elizabeth Mugford 18, Servant Hartland, Devon House Servant. Ann Cornish 15, Servant, born Hartland, Devon, House Servant. Richard Hobbs 16, Servant, born Hartland, Devon, Farm Servant. William Rowe 13, Servant, born Hartland, Devon, Farm Servant. [11]

From this census the name of Sarah Ann’s father or mother is not clear.

Her birth record as with others in this search does not reveal a mother’s surname. But Sarah Ann remained with her Grandmother until at least 1861, where she is living in Old Town Bideford [12] at the household of Richard Moore 54, Head, born Bradworthy, Devon, Retired Farmer. Mary A. Moore 49, Wife, born Alwington, Devon, Retired Farmer’s Wife. Mary Mugford 74, Lodger, born Buckland, Devon, Retired Farmer’s Widow. Sarah Ann Mugford 18, Grand Daughter born Hartland, Devon. Although this record says Mary is Richard Moore’s granddaughter, it is almost certain her grand mother is Mary Mugford the farmer’s widow.

Linking all the above together and working to build a narrative, I found the marriage of Joshua Heard and Sarah Ann Mugford, in Swansea 1872, [13] to date I have not found a church record for this marriage and it is outside the scope of my blog to send off for a marriage record from the GRO. This could provide Sarah Anne’s father’s name.

To show how things can be moved back into time, all the evidence is that Sarah Anne’ grandparents and Arthur’s great-grandparents were William Mugford born about 1788 in Clovelly and Mary born about 1787 in Buckland Brewer, so a final for now search into their marriage.

There were no obvious sources on the initial search, so I looked for William Mugford aged 35 at the 1851 census, and found his baptism [14] at Alwington, the parents were William and Mary Mugford, farmers living at Chittlecombe (modern day Chibblecombe I’d guess).

So the marriage would have had to be before then.
Which helped with the searching, then in 1806 married on 21st March, at Alwington were William Mugford and Mary Avery, both of the parish. The witnesses were John Rogers and Michael Chalk. [15]

St Andrew’s Alwington. By Neil Lewin, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Michael Chalk! Arthur Chalk Mugford!

How could I leave it there?

Well I will have to for now…


[1] [ ‘Listed Buildings – Full Report – HeritageBill Cadw Assets – Reports’. Accessed 15 January 2022.]

[2] [ The National Archive. ‘Census Record. Wales. 1911. Argyle St. Swansea. Mugford, Arthur C. (Head)’, 2 April 1911. RG14 PN:32774 RD:594 SD:3 ED:17 SN:235 Page:471. Census Transcript Search, 1841-1911 [database online].]

[3] [ FamilySearch Wiki. ‘Illegitimacy in England’, 16 August 2018.].

[4] [ West Glamorgan Archive. ‘National School Admission Registers & Log-Books. Mugford, Winifred. Oxford Street School, Swansea (Girls) |’, 1901. Archive reference E/S/23/2/1. Record Transcription: National School Admission Registers & Log-Books 1870-1914.]

[5] [ The National Archive. ‘Census Record. Wales. 1901. Argyle St. Swansea. Mugford, Arthur C. (Head).’, 31 March 1901. RG13 PN:5075 FN:? Page:372. Census Transcript Search, 1841-1911 [database online].]

[6] [ West Glamorgan Archive. ‘Marriage (PR) Wales. Christ Church, Swansea. 1899. Mugford, Arthur Chalk and Blackmore, Esther Jane. Record Transcription: Glamorganshire Marriages And Banns | Findmypast.Co.Uk’, 24 July 1899. Page 209. Entry 418. West Glamorgan Archive Services; Swansea, Wales; Electoral rolls for Swansea 1839-1966;]

[7] [ General Register Office. ‘Births Index (CR) Wales. RD Swansea Glamorgan. 3rd Q. 1893. Blackmore, Winifred.’, 1893. Vol 11a. Page 948. General Register Office – Online Indexes.]

[8] [ The National Archive. ‘Census Record. Wales. 1881. Argyle St. Swansea. Heard, Joshua. (Head).’, 3 April 1881. RG11 PN:5357 FN:? Page:99. Census Transcript Search, 1841-1911 [database online].]

[9] [ The National Archive. ‘Births Index (CR) Wales. Mugford , Arthur C.’, 1862. Vol 5b. Page 543. FreeBMD.]

[10] [ The National Archive. ‘Census Record. Wales. 1871. Bond St. Swansea. Heard, Joshua (Head).’ RG10 PN:5452 FN:? Page:47. Census Transcript Search, 1841-1911 [database online]. Accessed 15 January 2022.

[11] [ The National Archive. ‘Census Record. England. 1851. Forcewell, Hartland, Bideford, Devon. Mugford, William. (Head).’, 30 March 1851. HO107 PN:1895 FN:? Page:365. Census Transcript Search, 1841-1911 [database online].]

[12] [The National Archive. ‘Census Record. England. 1861. Old Town, Bideford, Devon. Moore, Richard. (Head).’, 7 April 1861. RG9 PN:1502 FN:? Page:323. Census Transcript Search, 1841-1911 [database online]. ]

[13] [ General Register Office. ‘Births Index (CR). England. RD Swansea. Glamorgan. Heard, Joshua and Mugford, Sarah Ann.’, Q 1872. Vol 11a. Page 912. Record Transcription: England & Wales Marriages 1837-2005.]

[14] [ South West Heritage Trust. ‘Baptism (PR) England. Alwington, Devon. 1815. Mugford, William.’, 25 April 1815. 266A/PR/1/4. Devon Baptisms.]

[15] [ South West Heritage Trust. ‘Marriage (PR) England. Alwington, Devon. 1806. Mugford, William and Avery, Mary.’, 21 March 1806. 266A/PR/1/5. Devon Banns Registers.]

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