One to One Genealogy.

One to One Genealogy.

In the throes of, and in the aftermath of Covid I have used Zoom and other online tools such as Skype, Duo, Teams even Messenger or WhatsApp, I am sure there are more, for one to one Genealogy sessions.

I have done some bits and pieces for the Family History Show and and as part of an AGRA podcast.

There have been some enquiries about one to one help with Genealogy so I thought what about adapting the internet to address these, via the communications media above.

If you have reached a brick wall, or just want to get going with your research. Get in touch I can arrange a free quick check to see how much help I can be, then at a rate of £25 per 40 minute session I can get your research underway or back on track.


Phone: 07305 733850

Long lost settlement.

During a recent stay in the stunning St. David’s Pembs. I heard about a ruined village in the hills, rumour had it had been abandoned when a local farmer poisoned a well with a dead dog causing the village to fall into ruin.

 OS Maes y Mynydd. ©Crown copyright 2022 Ordnance Survey. Media 010/22. The licence is valid until 31 December 2022

Maes y Mynydd.

Ruins in the distance. © John Colclough 2022.

At Maes-y-Mynydd are the ruined walls of the houses or cottages, and fields of a small settlement set in a sheltered hollow between Carnedd Llethr and the sea. The placename is first recorded in 1829 and the settlement is depicted on the Tithe Map of 1840 with six or seven houses. By the time of the earlier editions of the OS County series the settlement was in decline with some of its fields tumbled down to heath and only four houses remained intact. It is likely that Maes-y-Mynydd was laid out on what had been open heath in the early nineteenth century and was a fishing community. However, local tradition has it that this was a Quaker settlement with its own burial ground.[1]

I needed to find out more:

In an 1841 census search for Maes y Mynydd I found 9 families:

1. Henry David 50, Martha David 45, Martha David 20 and Mary Nicholas 11, Mary appears to be a servant and related to anther family in Maes y Mynydd.

I discovered Henry and Martha married September 1816, the banns were read on 3rd., 10th. and 17th. of that month by John Jones the Curate of St. David’s, Martha’s maiden name was Arnold.

A bit more can be gleaned for this family looking at the 1851 census:

 Henry David 60. Head. Born Nevern, Pembrokeshire. Farmer of 8 Acres.

Martha David 57. Wife. Born St David’s, Pembrokeshire.

Martha David 33. Daughter. Born Whitechurch, Pembrokeshire.

Ebenezer Lewis 13. Servant. Born St David’s, Pembrokeshire. General Servant.

Elizabeth Price 13. Servant. Born St David’s, Pembrokeshire. General Servant. Thus Henry farmed a smallish parcel of land, and had 2 young servants, their daughter Martha had not yet married.

Taking a look at the Wales tithe maps of that time. Henry David is listed as occupier of fields at Maesymynydd, fields numbers 1366A to 1368A, 1375A, 1380A, 1381A, 1390A, 1391A on the Tithe map. Landowner was John Mortimer, Area was 8 Acres 38 Perches. Tithe Value was 15 shillings.[2]

It was about 50-50 pasture and arable.

Henry David’s Farmstead. © John Colclough 2022.

2. Rachel Luke next, she was about 35, of independent means which although it could have meant she had other income, could also means she had no means of support, Elizabeth Luke aged 7 was living with her. 1851 saw Rachel still at Maes y Mynydd, living with George her husband (he was elsewhere in 1841- where?- he was in Treleddyd Fawr a farmer, also at the address were Jane Hughes aged 40, Hannah Luke aged 15, David Luke aged 13 and Rachel Hughes aged 8.)

George Luke a widower had married Rachel Williams in St. David’s 8th. December 1834.

George is not to be found in the Tithe apportionments, so it is probable he was not a land occupier, likely he was an agricultural labourer.

3. James Jones aged 80-84 still listed as an agricultural labourer and Rachel Jones aged 25. James is buried in St. David’s, died and was buried February 1844 aged 85. Worked all his long life.

4. Thomas Robert aged 60-64 an agricultural labourer and his namesake aged 7, a son or grandson.

5. Henry Nicholas aged 60-64 an agricultural labourer, his wife Mary 50-54, John Nicholas aged 25-29 probably their son and Richard Nicholas aged 8, son or grandson.

6. John Wilcock aged 80-84, Elizabeth aged 75-79, Lettice Reynold aged 30-34 independent (see above). Lettice married John Nicholas on 26th. October 1841 the census year. Love thy neighbour.

7. Timothy Price a Slater (a Roofer) aged 35, Jane Price aged 45, Sarah Price aged 7 and Elizabeth Price aged 3. Elizabeth aged 3 would have been registered officially (probably), I found a record in Haverfordwest for late 1837 with mother’s name Pards, and a marriage 16th. June 1831 at St. David’s of Timothy Price and Jane Pards (or Pardo).

8. Sarah Jones 45-49 independent (see above) and Thomas Jones 15-19 probably her son no occupation listed.

9. Samuel Thomas, he had 3 children the youngest was 9 month old Job. 9 months old in 1841 he should be in the GRO register. He was and his mother’s maiden name was Jones, the birth was registered in Haverfordwest. So Samuel Thomas had married Elizabeth Jones, their eldest child was Sarah aged 7, I might infer the marriage was about 1833, also Elizabeth’s mother could well have been called Sarah given naming patterns. I looked for that wedding. I found the banns and  the wedding record. Samuel Thomas was from Llety (it’s a holiday destination now), Elizabeth Jones was from Maes y Mynydd they’d married 26th. September 1833 at St David’s.

 6o years later at the 1901 census there were 3 abodes but 1 was uninhabited, the other 2 were:

1. David Luke aged 78, unmarried, described as a farmer and labourer (clearly not subsisting on any land he might have leased or owned) noted as a both a worker and working on his own account. Rachel Hughes his cousin aged 70, unmarried a housekeeper, these are the same people as those in family 2 from 1841).

David Luke died and was buried at St. David’s 9th. February 1904, he was recorded as being of Maes y Mynydd. Rachel Hughes died and was buried at St. David’s the following year 22nd. March 1905, she was recorded as being of Baptist Back in St. David’s it certainly appears she had gone to live with her brother Thomas. Who was living in St. David’s at the 1901 census.

Alan Thomas / St David’s Cathedral and Bishop’s Palace / CC BY-SA 2.0

(George Luke a widower  married Rachel Williams a spinster 1834 noted above. On 31st. July 1830 Elizabeth Luke was buried aged 37 along with her infant daughter Rachel, hard to understand the grief, she as Elizabeth Jenkin had been recorded as marrying George in 1828, however if they had been non conformist such as quakers they might have been married a few years earlier.)

2. David Phillips 62 a farmer working on his own account and his wife Margaret aged 60. They had both been born around St. David’s. They had been married in St. David’s around December 1869, her maiden name had been Williams. They had retired to Haverfordwest town by the 1911 census.

By 1911 there are no households recorded at Maes-y-Mynydd.

The gate shown below is across the road to New York, someone had a sense of humour or pathos.

If you do walk there take an OS map, and it is a long trousers walk, my legs were shredded, the paths were very overgrown (July 2022).

The gate says ‘Maes y Mynydd’.
It is a footpath. Looks lovely, but mind your legs. © John Colclough 2022.

No poisoned wells, just the march of time and privation.

I haven’t found a Quaker link, yet but if there is one I will.

Now Maes-y-Mynydd is buried in ferns and looks out over the sea where the ancients would have stood.

All the reference are available for all the above details.

Returning to rocks. ©John Colclough 2022.

Get in touch if you’d like them.

Contact me at: if you are wondering about your own family history.

[1] “Maes-y-Mynydd.” Coflein, n.d. Accessed July 27, 2022.

[2] “Welsh Tithe Maps – Search.” Accessed August 4, 2022.

An Archive visit. Then a Mystery solved.

I am grateful that more people are following and liking on Facebook and Twitter etc. I felt that there should be some output to justify this ‘interest’.

I am still going on walks with the little dog, I will them write up.

We’ve been to The Peak District, Ludlow, St. Davids in Pembrokeshire to name but a few.

The commission work has got busier, which has curtailed the incidental writing.

How to combine the writing which I enjoy with the work which people want completing?

Maybe try a weekly summary with a interesting conundrum solving and research?

One answer to both questions is the blog restart.

Two bits of work this week, one for an overseas client and some probate research.

From these two, there were:

One visit to the Archive here in Swansea, I haven’t been for three years what with one thing and another, well one viral thing, more than another.

Swansea Civic Centre. cc-by-sa/2.0 – © David Martin –

One flash of inspiration, a light bulb illuminated my fog of sources.

Firstly: The Archives, looking for a seafaring member of the Jenkins family of the 1600’s.  This was very speculative with no firm evidence, but interesting nevertheless because it gave insight into 19th century genealogy.

I gave my self some time to look at two old and linked sources held at County Hall in Swansea.

One was the proof of heirship of Mr D. T. Jenkins a Declaration of 1897 for Strick, Bellingham and Henson Solicitors.

First document DPSB 16/455.

This is the deposition deed of Philip Rogers, as part of proving heirship of Mr D. T. Jenkins.

For Strick Bellingham and Hanson of Swansea.

Dated 20 February 1897.

Philip Rogers formerly a Marble Mason aged upwards of 88 years. Lived in Swansea all his life.

Says he has extensive knowledge of old Swansea families.

He knew and was well acquainted with David Jenkins, Stationer of Market Place, now part of Wind Street, Swansea.

This David Jenkins (now known as the elder) married in 1805 to Mary formerly Holditch, at Swansea parish (St. Mary). A Parish Marriage record was produced for this.

A certificate for the death of David Jenkins (the elder), died and buried 1847, buried at St. John Swansea noted.

David the elder and Mary had 5 children, all believed to be born in wedlock it was always understood and believed.

David; Albert; John Trevelllian; George; Ebenezer Alfred.

No baptism records for these offspring were found for this deposition.

David the son, left Swansea aged 25 and settled in Denbigh, setting up as a Bookseller.

He married once, Mary Griffiths, at Llanbeblig, Carnarvon 1837.

David the son died, 20th February 1884 (survived his wife), recorded this in Upper Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan.

David the son has two children, Albert and Jane Lloyd, she married Revs. Griffith Roberts.

the birth record of Albert, was in the sub district of Denbigh, St Asaph, Denbigh and Flint.

 Albert was understood to have been married once. To Eliza Seager, at St. Michael Stockwell, London. Albert died 18th  February 1888, recorded at Upper Merthyr.

Albert and Eliza had 6 children of whom David Trevelllian of Mirador, Swansea was the eldest, born at Ringwood, Southampton.

The third son of David the elder, John Trevelllian, resided and practiced as a Solicitor in Swans, he married once to Annetta Saunders. He died 23rd February 1888. Certificate 435 Swansea Deaths Register number 78, Annetta died 28th February 1888, entry 436.

It was always understood and believed that John Trevelllian never had children, and he had recognised his nephew Albert as his heir if he died intestate Albert died before John Trevelllian therefore the deposition was that David Trevelllian Jenkins son of Albert and Eliza was the legal heir.[1]

This under the Statutory Declaration Act 1835.[2]

Plenty of Genealogy there.

Next document: reference: RISW/GGF5.

The following is the work of David Jenkin the elder, identified in the writing above.

 Part of his life work was to document the pedigree of prominent Glamorgan families, viz. Glamorganshire Pedigrees. The publish works are held at the National Library of Wales, under the Title David Jenkin’s ‘Glamorgan Collectanea’.[3] “’The Glamorganshire Pedigrees copied from old Manuscripts, and compiled from various other Sources, by David Jenkin, Swansea, August, 1838′.”

This research is extracted from a handwritten copy of the  precursor to this work and is held at Swansea Archive, having been donated by John Richards Francis Esq. Of Llwynderw, Swansea in 1899.

All families he considered, were descended from ‘Rhodri Mawr’ King of Wales 843-878, married to Angharad daughter of Meyrig ab Dyfwnal ab Arthan ab lisyllt, King of Cardigan and Powis.

So the last ‘Lord of Morgannwg’ Iestyn ab Gwrgan (Gwrant) 1014-1093.

Was named (according to David Jenkins) Iestyn ab Gwrgan ab Ilhel ab Morganmynfarw ab Owain ab Rhys ab Arthfael ab Gwairydd ab Brodfael ab Merig ab llawdrig ab Lllieltfels ab Nynaw ab Bran ab Cwy ab Creirwy ab Merig ab Meirchyan ab Gwrginfych ab Athfael ab Gwydd ab Gerddyyfwn ab Gerbi ab Eichionfawrfilwr ab Owen ab Cyllin ab Caradog ab Bran ab Llyr ab Baran ab Cerhwllyn ab Caid ab Cuch ab Meyran ab Geraint ab Aryn ab Albrynwy ab Cawer ab Brutus.

This is a prime example of Welsh naming patterns, written David Jenkins in his work on Glamorgan links to Iestyn.[4]

Among the main Jenkins families he listed were Jenkins of Hensol.

Ted Coles at the English-language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0  via Wikimedia Commons

JENKINS, DAVID (1582 – 1663), judge.

“He was the best known member of a family established at Hensol, Pendeulwyn (Pendoylan), Glamorganshire, which claimed an impressive ancestry and had illustrious descendants. His father was named Jenkin and his grandfather Richard, and he was apparently the first member of the family who adopted a surname. He was born in 1582, died on 6 December 1663, and was buried at Cowbridge, where there is a memorial tablet. He married Cecil, daughter of Sir Thomas Aubrey, of Llantrithyd, on 7 September 1614, and had four sons and one daughter, but the male line became extinct in the 18th century. His great-grand-daughter Cecil, heiress of the Hensol estate, married Charles Talbot, Lord Chancellor from 1731 to 1737, who took the title of lord Talbot of Hensol.

Jenkins graduated at Oxford in 1600 and was called to the Bar in 1609. His life falls into two well-marked periods: the period of calm, and the time of storm and stress during the Civil War. Of the earlier period little is known, but his practice must have been extensive for he accumulated a considerable fortune. He had opposed the king’s method of raising money and had incurred the displeasure of the bishops, but when war broke out he supported the king firmly and consistently. In 1643 he was appointed judge of the Court of Great Sessions for the Carmarthen circuit, much against his will, because the expenses of the office exceeded the emoluments; it was from this office that he got the title of ‘ Judge Jenkins.’ He incurred the particular odium of the parliamentarians by condemning several of them to death for treason, though they managed to escape. Consequently, when he was captured at Oxford in 1645 he was charged with the same offence, but argued, logically enough, that consistent support of the king could not be treason against the king. The charges were ultimately dropped on grounds of expediency, but he enlivened his imprisonment by writing a series of controversial pamphlets that were collected into a volume in 1648. He also completed his Reports of 800 common law decisions, much in the style of ‘Leading Cases.’ He was not finally released from surveillance until the Restoration, and then retired to his estate at Hensol.[5]

Secondly Jenkins of Llanblethian.

Castle Llanblethian. © Copyright Chris Andrews and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

JENKINS, Sir LEOLINE (1625 – 1685), civil lawyer, diplomat, benefactor of Jesus College, Oxford.

“Son of a father of the same name of Llanblethian, Glamorganshire (described as ‘a man of about £40 a year’); born at Llantrisant, apparently in 1625, but the date is sometimes given as 1623. After attending Cowbridge School, he entered Jesus College in 1641. There his studies were soon interrupted by the Civil War, and after having taken up arms for the king he was forced to retire to Glamorgan. It was then that he met his friend and patron, Gilbert Sheldon (later archbishop), who, along with Francis Mansell, principal of Jesus College, had taken refuge in Sir John Aubrey’s house at Llantrithyd. Here Jenkins acted as tutor to Aubrey’s son and others until he was forcibly removed and indicted with keeping a seminary of rebellion and sedition. He then moved with his pupils to Oxford and settled in a house which received the name of the ‘ Little Welsh Hall.’ Being suspected on account of his Royalist connections, he fled to the Continent, taking his pupils with him. While abroad he laid the foundation of his knowledge of the Civil Law which was to qualify him for his public career.

With the Restoration Jenkins returned to Jesus College and was made a Fellow. Upon Mansell’s retirement in 1661 he was elected principal and he held the office until 1673. In 1662 he was made deputy professor of Civil Law; he was also made assessor to the Chancellor’s Court, and he was entrusted with the foreign correspondence of the University. Persuaded by Sheldon, Jenkins decided to take up the practice of the Civil Law. Preferments followed rapidly. In 1663 he was made deputy to the dean of the Court of Arches, and soon afterwards he succeeded to that office. After the outbreak of war with the Dutch in 1665 he was appointed to preside over the High Court of Admiralty. Later he was also made judge of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury.

Jenkins’s work as judge of the Admiralty is of great importance in the history of Prize Law, and, along with lord Stowell and Sir Samuel T. Evans, he is entitled to rank as one of the three principal builders of that important branch of International Law. In particular, his decisions foreshadow the development of the ‘doctrine of continuous voyage.’

The Government made constant use of Jenkins’s services. He was a delegate to the Congress of Cologne in 1673, and he was the principal mediator at the Congress of Nymegen, 1675-9. From 1680 to 1684 he was secretary of State. In 1671 he was M.P. for Hythe, and in subsequent Parliaments he represented the University of Oxford. He secured the passage of the Statute of Distribution, 1670, by which succession to the personal estates of persons dying intestate was regulated until 1926. It was at his suggestion that the wills of soldiers and sailors were exempted from the formalities prescribed by the Statute of Frauds, 1677. His proposal for the establishment of a permanent commission to determine appeals to the Privy Council was not realized until the Judicial Committee was set up in 1833, and his attempt to forbid clandestine marriages had to wait until the passing of lord Hardwicke’s Act in 1753.

As a servant of the Crown, Jenkins was conscientious and incorruptible. Although exceedingly deferential in manner, he was firm in matters of principle, and so rather than submit to dictation as a judge he offered to resign. Gilbert Burnet says that he was dull and slow; but that it was unsafe to take advantage of his modesty was shown at the French court when a curious courtier, not knowing what country he came from, asked him for a specimen of his native language. The reply he received was the Welsh proverb ‘ Nid wrth ei big y mae adnabod cyffylog ‘ (You can’t tell a woodcock by its beak).

Jenkins died 1 September 1685, and was buried in the chapel of Jesus College, of which he has justly been described as the second founder. It was he who placed the college on its feet after the Restoration, and the present library was built by him at his own expense. By his will he left to the college his real and personal estate, and under the scheme which was drawn up for the administration of this very substantial endowment the Welsh character of the college was still further accentuated. He also made provision for Cowbridge grammar school.[6]

The former Cowbridge Grammar School. © Copyright John Lord and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The above are the historical documents from the archives.

 Next is some detective work relating to a search for heir to someone who had died intestate.

This is the flow of questions to be asked.

In England and Wales.

Is there a living husband, wife or civil partner?

Are there any living children, grandchildren or other direct descendants (eg great-grandchildren)?

Are there any living parents?

Did the deceased have any brothers or sisters?

Did the deceased have any half-brothers or half-sisters?

Are there any living grandparents?

Did the Deceased have any Aunts or Uncles?

Did the Deceased have any half Aunts or Uncles?

Answering No to all these question sees the Estate going to the Crown![7]

Answering Yes to any will result in the  hierarchy of inheritance which I might write about at another time.

But in my particular remit this time I was looking for uncles and aunts of this person. All going well until I searched in marriage indexes, and found two women with the same surname (the one I was interested in, in the relevant place) on the same page as two men with the same surname. I could of course have ordered the certificate[s] to separate them.

But I had a light bulb moment.

Newspaper archives (online), and there they were, two sisters married two brothers on the same day in the same church. Of course it would have been locally newsworthy, there was even a photograph. Mystery solved.

[1] “David Trevillian Jenkin Papers. Declaration: Heirship.,” February 20, 1897. D/D SB 16/455. West Glamorgan Archive Service. Swansea.

[2] “Statutory Declarations Act 1835.” Text. Statute Law Database, n.d. Accessed June 14, 2022.

[3] “David Jenkin’s ‘Glamorgan Collectanea’ – National Library of Wales Archives and Manuscripts.” Accessed June 14, 2022.

[4] David Jenkin of Swansea. “Manuscript Collection of Pedigrees, Charters Etc. Relating to Glamorganshire.,” c. -1700 1200. RISW/GGF5. West Glamorgan Archive Service. Swansea.

[5] Randall, H. J. “JENKINS, DAVID (1582 – 1663), Judge. Dictionary of Welsh Biography.,” 1959. Accessed June 14, 2022.

[6] Davies, D. J. Ll. “JENKINS, Sir LEOLINE (1625 – 1685), Civil Lawyer, Diplomat, Benefactor of Jesus College, Oxford | Dictionary of Welsh Biography,” 1959. Accessed June 14, 2022.

[7] “Intestacy – Who Inherits If Someone Dies without a Will?” GOV.UK. Accessed June 26, 2022.

1921 the year of the census.

This week, I’ve been catching up on some outstanding (even if I say so myself!) work.

But it is always a good idea to keep the Blog ticking over. So I set a gratuitous picture of Mumbles 100 and a half years after the 1921 census, and researched and wrote.

In the world of Genealogy you would have had to have been on a desert island, or in a Downing Street party not to have seen at least some news about the 1921 census.

In my outstanding work I’ve been accessing it, (at a ‘Pro’ discount rate- get I touch if you’d like me to do some searching at: )
“In 1921, the country was adjusting to peacetime and the lasting impact of the First World War and influenza pandemic. The 1921 Census report that gives us an overview of the country at this time shows the devastating losses of those who died in the war and pandemic, but also the dramatic reduction in the birth rate – the number of two-, three- and four-year-olds recorded at this time is significantly lower than the number of five-, six-, seven- and eight-year-olds.
The personal information in the census returns shows the impact of the war on every family. Who were people living with? Where were they working? How were relationships affected? Were husbands and wives still together? Were mothers and children, brothers, sisters and friends living nearby or apart? Had children been orphaned?
In the aftermath of both a global conflict and the influenza pandemic, this was all key information for the government to record.”
I would recommend reading about it on the National Archive website. [1]

So 1921, the year of the census.

Here in Wales. In no specific order with a bit of Genealogy for each one, are some bits and pieces:

The mayor of Bangor, Caernarvonshire in 1921-22 was Cllr. William Thomas. [2]
Newspapers are great sources, I could start a family tree from this in the Liverpool Echo 1935:
The death took place at Bronant, Garth-road, Bangor, last night, of Mr. William Thomas, a former Mayor of Bangor. Mr. Thomas, a native of Holyhead, who was 68. was for many years a member of the Bangor City Council. He leaves a widow, a son, and two daughters. He carried on business at Bangor as a Boot and shoe dealer in High-street. A leading deacon of Tabernacle Calvinistic Methodist Church, Bangor, he was well known in the denomination. [3]

Wrexham’s mayor was a Mr. Thomas Sauvage. [4]
Unusual name, made for a census search:
There was one which was a match in 1911, [5] Thomas Sauvage, aged 54, born Ruabon, a Master Draper and Clothier an employer also, he was a Welsh and English speaker. He was married to Hannah aged 54 for 30 years, she was born Ashton under Lyne they had had 5 children but one had died. They lived at 14 King St., Wrexham with family and servants.
A visit to the archives will unearth the order of service for his funeral in 1922 [6] while he still mayor I suspect.

Major George R. Harrison had been elected mayor of Welshpool. [7]
Too early for the Fab 4.
But the Liverpool Daily Post gives enough biography to start a search if needs be:
“Major George D. Harrison (Conservative) Clerk of the Peace for Montgomeryshire who was elected mayor of Welshpool, is the third generation of his family to hold the offices of Clerk of the Peace and Mayoralty. [8]

Heading south, Cardiff 1921 mayor was Francis Harold Turnbull. [9]
He can be found in Cathays Cemetery in Cardiff, the friends [10] of that cemetery have logged him, and Find a Grave has a photograph of the memorial. He died aged 58, on 27th June 1940. [11]

Westwards, Swansea, 1921, Alderman Percy Molyneux [12] was mayor.
Varying the Genealogical sources, here is his probate record [13] , Sir Percy, of Gwerneinon Blackpill, died 23 November 1937, probate proved at Carmarthen, to his widow Lady Jane Molyneux, £24862 14/- 11d. Using these details I can get (a copy) of the will from [14]

Heading back north. From November 1920 to November 1921 Rufus Williams was Aberystwyth’s mayor. [15]. The 1939 register for Mr. Rufus Williams, shows he was a retired Hotel keeper, born 11 December 1856, living with his wife Phoebe at Heulog, St. David’s Road, Aberystwyth on 29th September 1939. [16]

Enough politicians, some culture now:
Sir Harry Secombe’s mother was well into her pregnancy, he was born on 8th September of that year of 1921. [17]
His birth was registered at Swansea in the 4th quarter of 1921, his mother’s maiden name was Davies. [18]

Around about the time of the census of 1921, James Havard Thomas, sculptor, 66 died. [19]
The Oxford Dictionary of Biography give me a start for James Havard (1853–1921), the sculptor and draughtsman, was born at 16 St Michael’s Hill, Bristol, on 22 December 1853, the son of John Thomas, a carpenter of Welsh descent, and his wife, Mary, née Havard. [20]
You can access the dictionary from your local library.

A wedding, I think it sits nicely with the dignitaries above. Richard William Jones married miss Evelyn Hill on 20th June 1921 at Mount Carmel English Baptist Church, Caerphilly. [21]
The Caerphilly Journal June 1921, article described a ‘Pretty Wedding at Caerphilly’. The groom was Richard William Jones son of Mr and Mrs. Tomas Jones of Bryn Mair Caerphilly, bride was Evelyn Hill 4th daughter of the late Mr. George Hill of Castle St. Caerphilly. The article [22] gives the names of other members of the family, a good start in building a family tree. The marriage was registered in Pontypridd. [23]

The Archdruid of the National Eisteddfod of Wales was Evan Rees aka Dyfed born January 1850 at Puncheston in Pembrokeshire. [24]
This source, The Dictionary of Welsh Biography provides me with:
Evan Rees was born 1 January 1850 at Puncheston, Pembrokeshire; son of James and Eunice Rees, he died 19 March 1923. [25]

So Politics, birth, marriage, death, culture, now a film fact.

A young Roger Livesey makes his screen debut in ‘The Four Feathers’, a British silent film about the attitude to war and the army an officer resigns his commission on the eve of his regiment’s departure for service in the Sudan he is sent four white feathers of cowardice by his comrades and fiancée, and his attempt to prove himself. [26]
Back to the 1911 census in Barry, [27] shows he had the stage in his genes here is the household:
Mary Edwards 60 Head Widow born Bridgend, Glamorganshire, Shopkeeper-Restaurant.
Cassie Livesey 34, Daughter Married 6 years, born Gilfach, Glamorganshire Actress
Samuel Livesey 37, Son In Law Married 11 years, born Claycross, Actor
Joseph Livesey 31, Son In Law Married 6 years born Claycross, Actor
Jack E. Livesey 9, Grandson, born Barry, Glamorganshire
Barry Livesey 6, Grandson born Barry, Glamorganshire
Roger Livesey 5, Grandson, born Barry, Glamorganshire
Maggie Livesey, 1 Day, Grand Daughter born Barry, Glamorganshire
Minnie Bronton 16, Servant born Cardiff, Glamorganshire, General Servant.
They all lived at 138 Holton Road, Barry, in quite a large house of 8 rooms.

I started by mentioning the 1921 census, so I’ll finish with my great uncle Johnny.
Here’s a transcript of his entry, he and my grandmother’s sister Ellen are I’m sure, a large part of the reason I’m here too.

John Meaney, head of household, aged 32 years 11 months, married, born Waterford Ireland, Labourer at Baldwin’s Steel Works Landore, Swansea, has 3 children under 16.
Ellen Meaney, wife, aged 28 years 8 months, born Waterford Ireland (she was my grandmother’s sister) , she undertook ‘household duties’.
Michael Meaney, son, 7 years 6 months, born Swansea, at whole time school.
William Meaney, son, 6 years 9 months, born Swansea, at whole time school.
Kathleen Meaney, daughter, aged 1 year 8 months, born Swansea.
They lived at 6B Pontyglasdwr St., Swansea. [28]

Close to the place I went to school in the 1960’s.

Email me at or if you’d like some research.


1.[ Archives, The National. “The National Archives – What’s Interesting about the 1921 Census – The National Archives.” Text. Portals. The National Archives, n.d. Accessed February 5, 2022.]

2.[ “Bangor Civic Society | Mayors of Bangor.” Accessed February 5, 2022.]

3.[ “Former Bangor Mayor.” Liverpool Echo, October 14, 1935. Accessed February 6, 2022.]”

4. [ “Previous Mayors of Wrexham | Wrexham County Borough Council.” Accessed February 5, 2022.]

5. [ “Census Records. Wales. Wrexham, Denbighshire. 2nd April 1911. SAUVAGE, Thomas (Head).,” n.d. RG14 PN:34057 RD:621 SD:3 ED:30 SN:180 Page:359. Census Transcript Search, 1841-1911 [database online]. Accessed February 6, 2022.]

6. [ “Order of Service – Miscellaneous – Wrexham Borough Council – OFFICIAL – Glyndwr Collection – Archives Hub.” Accessed February 6, 2022.]

7.[ “Election of New Chief Magistrates.” Liverpool Daily Post., November 10, 1920. Accessed February 5, 2022.]

8.[ “Election of New Chief Magistrates.” Liverpool Daily Post., November 10, 1920. Accessed February 5, 2022.]”

9. [ “List of Mayors of Cardiff.” Wikipedia, February 5, 2022. Accessed February 5, 2022.]

10. [ “The Friends of Cathays Cemetery.” Accessed February 6, 2022.]

11.[ “Francis Harold Turnbull (1881-1940) – Find a…” Accessed February 6, 2022.]

12. [ “Mayor of Swansea Takes Action.” We, July 6, 1921. Accessed February 5, 2022.]

13. [ “Testamentary Records. England and Wales. Carmarthen. 11 Feb 1938. MOYNEUX, Percy (Knight).,” n.d. Page 251. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995. Accessed February 6, 2022.]

14. [ “Search Probate Records for Documents and Wills (England and Wales).” GOV.UK. Accessed February 6, 2022.]

15. [ “Mayors of Aberystwyth – Aberystwyth Council.” Accessed February 5, 2022.]

16. [ “1939 Register. Aberystwyth. WILLIAMS, Rufus. 29 Sept 1939.,” n.d. Reference: RG 101/7555E. The National Archives of the UK (TNA); Kew, Surrey, England; 1939 Register. Accessed February 6, 2022.]

17. [ “1921 in Wales.” Wikipedia, January 15, 2022. Accessed February 5, 2022.]

18. [ “Births Index (CR) Wales. RD Swansea, Glamorgan. 4th Q., 1921. SECOMBE, Harry Donald.,” n.d. Volume 11A Page 2299. The General Register Office, Government Offices, Convent Road, Roscommon. Accessed February 6, 2022.].

19. [ “1921 in Wales.” Wikipedia, January 15, 2022. Accessed February 5, 2022.]

20. [ “Search Results for James Havard Thomas.” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, n.d. Accessed February 6, 2022.]

21. [ “Caerphilly Wedding.” Caerphilly Journal, June 25, 1921. Accessed February 5, 2022.]

22. [ “Caerphilly Wedding.” Caerphilly Journal, June 25, 1921. Accessed February 5, 2022.]

23. [ “Marriages Index. Wales. RD Pontypridd Glamorganshire. 2nd. Q., 1921. JONES, Richard W. and HILL, Evelyn.,” n.d. Vol. 11a page 1048. England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915. Accessed February 6, 2022.]

24. [ “REES, EVAN (Dyfed; 1850 – 1923), Calvinistic Methodist Minister, Poet, and Archdruid of Wales | Dictionary of Welsh Biography.” Accessed February 5, 2022.

25. [ “REES, EVAN (Dyfed; 1850 – 1923), Calvinistic Methodist Minister, Poet, and Archdruid of Wales | Dictionary of Welsh Biography.” Accessed February 5, 2022.]1850.]

26. [ “The Four Feathers (1921 Film).” Wikipedia, August 22, 2020. Accessed February 5, 2022.]

27. [ “Census Records. Wales. Barry, Glamorganshire. 2nd April 1911. LIVESEY, Roger.,” n.d. RG14 PN:32189 RD:588 SD:6 ED:12 SN:44 Page:93. Census Transcript Search, 1841-1911 [database online]. Accessed February 6, 2022.]

28. [Census Records. Wales. Brynmelin, Swansea. 6th June 1921. MEANEY, John (Head).,” n.d. Schedule 285. The National Archives of the UK (TNA); Kew, Surrey, England; 1921 census.. Accessed February 6, 2022.]

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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William Beveridge. 1st Dec.1942

This day in history with some genealogy.

On 1st December, 1942 the Beveridge Report was released, the plans for the post war ‘welfare’ state’(BBC – History, n.d.).
It was published by William Beveridge, he was born 5th March 1879 in Bengal, India.(BBC – History – William Beveridge, n.d.)
Off I go on the genealogical trail.

William Beveridge. (Creative Commons.,c1910(4093206662).jpg)

Find a Grave (Find A Grave – Millions of Cemetery Records, 2021) is usually worth a look there will often be a biography even for those of us less illustrious.

From his memorial, I confirmed he was born 5th March 1879 at Rangpur, Bangladesh, and a bit more detail emerges.

His death occurred on 16th March 1963 (aged 84) at Oxford, City of Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, he was buried in St Aidan Churchyard, Thockrington, Northumberland Unitary Authority, Northumberland, England. (William Henry “Lord Beveridge” Beveridge…, 2021).

This same source gives his wife as Jessy/Janet, daughter of William Philip and widow of David Mair, married in 1942.
The next step on the route led to a succinct biography at (William Beveridge (Lord Beveridge), 1879-1963 – Liberal History, n.d.)
Stepping along as a genealogist the good things given here are the names of his parents and places he lived.

He, William Henry Beveridge was the second child and first son of Henry Beveridge, a district sessions judge in the Indian Civil Service, by his second wife, Annette Susannah Ackroyd.
A quick search did not turn up a birth record from India for him but a good place to check is (Birth, Marriage and Death Records – FIBIwiki, n.d.) but many records do not exist.

However, it is easy enough to find his marriage, in the October to December quarter of 1942, registered at Westminster. (FreeBMD – Search, n.d.)

Here are the census records for him:

  • 1891 at the Croft, St. Anne’s Road, Eastbourne, Sussex, with his parents:
    Henry Beveridge 54, Head, retired Judge Bengal Civil service, born Scotland.
    Annette S Beveridge, 47, Wife, born Stourbridge.
    William H Beveridge 12 Son, born East Indies.
    Annette J Beveridge 10 Daughter, born East Indies.
    Rebecca V Herims 47, Servant, born Westbury, Gloucestershire.
    Alice J Blackman 23, Servant, cook, born Sussex.
    Arthur Tracy 15, Servant, footman, born Sussex
    Rebecca Coleman 16, Servant, under housemaid, born Sussex
    Laetitia Beveridge 13, Daughter, born East Indies.(1891 Census England. Beveridge, William., 1891)

  • 1901 still with his parents at Pitfold, Shottermill, Guildford, Surrey.
    Henry Beveridge 63, married, head, retired Bengal Civil service, born Scotland.
    Annette S Beveridge 58, married, living on own means, born Stourbridge, Worcestershire.
    William H Beveridge 22, single, son, no occupation, born India.
    Annette J Beveridge 20, single, daughter, no occupation born India
    Teresa A Roe 25, single, servant, cook, born Surrey
    Emily E Roe 19, single, parlour maid, born Staffordshire
    Ellen Collins 21, single parlour maid, born Staffordshire. (1901 Census England. Beveridge, William., 1901)

  • With his mother in 1911 at 9, Swan Walk, Chelsea.
    William Henry Beveridge 32, Joint Head of family, Single, born Bengal, India, Civil Servant (Board of Trade.
    Annette Susannah Beveridge 66, Mother, Married 36 years, 4 childen orn 2 still living, born Stourbridge, Worcestershire.
    Mabel Watson 27, Servant, Single, born Edinburgh, Cook (Domestic).
    Richard Douglas Denman 34, Joint Head Married born London, M.P Underwriter At Lloyds. (1911 Census England. Beveridge, William., 1911)

  • Until the 1921 census arrives next January the next useful government record is the 1939 register.
    Lady Jessy (Janet)Mair born 26 Nov 1879, University Administrator Retired, Married.
    Agnes Mackay McIntosh born 23 Jul 1915, Agricultural Economist, Single.
    Eleanor Winifred Smith born 01 Apr 1910, Domestic Servant, Single,.
    Lily May Townend 28 Apr 1912, Cook, Single.
    William Henry Beveridge born 05 Mar 1879, Master Of University College, Single.
    Between the lines on of the records here, his wife to be, after she was widowed is living in close proximity.(1939 Register England. Beveridge, William., 1939)

Just to show some other sources that can be used here is a newspaper report from 1909:
“Director of Labour Exchanges.
The President of the Board Trade has appointed Mr. William Henry Beveridge to be Director and Mr. Charles F. Key to be General Manager Labour Exchanges under the Labour Exchanges Act, 1909. Mr. Beveridge, after leaving Oxford, went as Sab-Warden to Toynbee Hall, and began the systematic study of the whole question of unemployment, which led him advocate Labour Exchanges as the first step in organised system of dealing with the problem of chronic unemployment. From 1906 to 1908 he was on the staff of a London daily paper, and left to take up a temporary appointment in the Board Trade. He has published a book called Unemployment, Problem of Industry, which is recognised as the standard work on the subject.”(Islington Gazette | Wednesday 13 October 1909 | British Newspaper Archive, 1909).

A quick genealogical journey for this day in history on the man whose vision was to battle against what he called the five giants; idleness, ignorance, disease, squalor and want. With a ‘cradle to the grave’ social programme that amongst other proposals called for a free national health service, it resonated with the public and this would influence Clement Atlee’s Labour Government to implement these ideas.(1942 Beveridge Report, 2021).


BBC – History: On This Day. (n.d.). Retrieved 1 December 2021, from

BBC – History—William Beveridge. (n.d.). Retrieved 1 December 2021, from

Find A Grave—Millions of Cemetery Records. (2021). Find a Grave.

William Henry “Lord Beveridge” Beveridge… (2021, 04).

William Beveridge (Lord Beveridge), 1879-1963 – Liberal History. (n.d.). Retrieved 1 December 2021, from

Birth, marriage and death records—FIBIwiki. (n.d.). Retrieved 1 December 2021, from,_marriage_and_death_records

Marriage index (CR) England. Beveridge, William. (1942). FreeBMD.

1891 Census England. Beveridge, William. (1891). Census Returns of England and Wales, 1891. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO), 1891.

1901 Census England. Beveridge, William. (1901). Census Returns of England and Wales, 1901. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives, 1901.

1911 Census England. Beveridge, William. (RG14 PN:401 RD:4 SD:2 ED:5 SN:99 Page:197). (1911). RG14 General Register Office: 1911 Census Schedules” The National Archives.

1939 Register England. Beveridge, William. (1939). The National Archives, Kew.

Islington Gazette | Wednesday 13 October 1909 | British Newspaper Archive. (1909, 10). 4.

1942 Beveridge Report. (2021).

A girl from Donegal. Great war record.

This week, looking through some records and following on from last time’s piece on Donegal. We should remember everyone who was a part of the Great War. I thought I would stay in Donegal.

 Off I went on the search in the National Archive Discovery. (Archives, no date b)

By Unknown author – is photograph Q 68242 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums., Public Domain,

So here is Miss Annie Brogan in the War Office: Women’s (later Queen Mary’s) Army Auxiliary Corps: Service Records, First World War.(Archives, no date a)

She applied on 5th September 1917.

Her personnel number was 38873.

Her permanent home address was Ray, Rathmullan, Co. Donegal Ireland.

She was born on 24 October 1898.

She was single.

She was 5 feet 5 1/4 inches tall.

Of average build.

She had Blue grey eyes.

She had mid brown hair.

Her next of kin was her mother also Annie Brogan of Ray, Rathmullan, Co. Donegal.

Annie had applied to the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps. The form she applied on stated “No woman need apply who is not prepared to offer her services for the duration of the war and to take up work wherever she is required.”

When she applied, she was living at Teneriffe Bungalow, Foulridge, Colne, Lancashire.

She was offering her services as a ‘plain cook or waitress’.

Willing to serve at home or abroad. Could give two days notice from her present job.

She gave her background, her father was Irish from Rathmullan, he was a sailor, a captain in the employ of the Lough Swilly Steamboat Co.

She had attended Brownknowe National School, Co. Donegal and left at 12 reaching 7th standard.

She had to supply two references one of whom had to be a woman, both had to be British householders, not related to her. Including if possible: Previous employer, Teacher, Town Councillor, Mayor or Provost, Justice of the Peace, Minister of Religion, Doctor or Solicitor.

Her references were from:

Mrs. Susan Hartley, Teneriffe Bungalow, Foulridge, Colne.

James McCay Esq., Gents. Outfitter, [London]derry.

In her application Colne employment exchange noted she was very bright and capable, of pleasant appearance and eager to serve. A very good type. They received her application on 7th Sept 1917, Elizabeth Foley was the person dealing with it, she forwarded it to Warrington on 27th September 1917.

Ms Foley wrote

“Miss A. Brogan says there were no prominent people in the village she was brought up in except the priest (he has left recently) and the doctor and she never needed him. Her present employer Mrs. Hartley is a former Mayoress of Colne, and both verbally and in writing has spoken highly of her”.

Elizabeth Foley also noted she seemed a strong healthy girl. Pleasant in manner in every way.

The following letter of reference from Mrs. Hartley. Attached to the personnel document.

“Dear Madam,

Miss Annie Brogan who is employed by me as a cook has applied for service with the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in France.  I can assure you she is thoroughly capable and domesticated, honesty and trustworthy, and of a kind and gentle disposition and suitable in every way for the position she applys (sic JC) for. She is very keen on this work and anxious to do her bit and I have encouraged her as I believe it to be the duty of every woman to help the men who are fighting and striving to win this most terrible war. If you see fit to appoint her to this post, I feel sure she will give satisfaction.

Yours sincerely (Mrs) Susan Hartley.”

Reference from Dr. Dickey, Market Street Colne.

He had filled a form in:

“Miss Annie Brogan, Teneriffe Bungalow, Foulridge.

Known her for 1 year as Panel Doctor.

Strong healthy and active.

Steady Reliable Thoroughly trustworthy. Fit to be trusted with confidential information. A British subject, parents are Irish, she is single.

Signed by A. A. G. Dickey MD

 Physician and Surgeon.”

Reference from James McCay Esq. Gents Outfitter Duke St. Londonderry.

He had filled a form in:

“Knew her for 2 months to May 1915. He stated “this girl was in my employment as domestic servant about the times above, stated I knew nothing about her before or after she seemed a nice quiet girl. Was born in Ireland as far as I know. Parents were Irish as far as I know. Signed James McCay, Merchant.”

Next the medical check.

Miss Annie Brogan No. 38873.

Date of birth 19th (wrong date written) October. Place Co. Donegal, Ireland.

Living at Teneriffe Bungalow, Colne Lancs.

Proposed occupation.  Waitress.

Not previously medically examined for service.

General health questions.

No serious illness, had Measles as a child, tonsils removed (last July).

Never absent from work for more than one month at a time.

Never fitted or fainted.

Never ‘spat’ blood.

Has regular periods, date of last period 19th April, period does not interfere with work.

Signed Annie Brogan 1st May 1919.

Medial history: Grade A.

Physical exam.

Height 5ft 5 1/4 in.

Weight 10 stone 6 lbs.

Eyes 6/6 both, no glasses.

Hearing good.

Teeth 2 caries lower jaw.

3 vaccination marks right arm.

Chest measurement 32 inches expansion 2 inches.

Overall health: Grade A

Declared fit. 1st May 1918.

Record of service.

53rd Welch regiment Kimmel Park 5 June 1918. Waitress.

Date of discharge 27 March 1919, Bostall Heath, Discharged as surplus to requirements.

Offences card:

29 Jan 1919. Overstaying leave 12 Jan 1919 – 22 Jan 1919. Fine 2/6 Forfeits 11 days pay.

Active service card.

8th May 1918 Depot Hostel Chadderton.

5th June 1918 Chadderton Posted to 53rd. Y.S Welsh Regt. Kimmel Park.

Leave granted 19 Oct to 1 Nov 1918, to Shoreham by sea.

Leave granted 31 Dec 1918 to 11 Jan 1919 absence 11 Jan to 22 Jan 1919 fined 2/6, had been to Shoreham by sea.

Leave granted 7 March 1919 to 13 March 1919. Shoreham by sea.

23 April 1919 transferred to Q.M A.A.C depot Bostal Heath.

Finally a list of her uniform items she had signed for:

Badges, Hat 1

Coat, Frock 1

Collars 3

Gaiters pairs 1

Greatcoat 1

Hat, Felt 1

Overalls 4

Shoes pairs 1

Stockings pairs 2

Brassards 1

Caps 4.

All this information was gleaned from her record held in The National Archive.

So now I have a snapshot of a young woman from Donegal. The National Archives’ reference WO 398/29/9.

I wanted to find out a bit more so here is her birth record, transcribed by me.

On 24th October 1898 at Ray, Rathmullan, Co.Donegal. Annie a Female, her father is Edward Brogan of Ray, mother Annie Brogan formerly McHenry, father is a Sailor, informant Ellen McHenry, mother’s sister who was present at birth, registered 3rd November 1898. At Ramelton, Milford, Co. Donegal. By John Patterson.(Irish Genealogy, no date)

Three years later the 1901 census for Rathmullan, Co. Donegal, Ireland, with her mother and grandparents: (National Archives: Census of Ireland 1901, no date a)

Edward Brogan 71, Head of family, R.C. Read and write, Fisherman born Co. Donegal.

Grace Brogan 72, Wife, R.C. Cannot read, born Co. Donegal.

Annie Brogan 28 Daughter in Law, R.C. Read and write, married born Co. Donegal.

Annie Brogan 2, grand daughter, R.C. born Co. Donegal.

Edward Brogan 5 months, grandson, R.C. born Co. Donegal.

The land was owned Rt. Revd. A. Delap of Valentia Island.

Now to 1911 census at the same place: (National Archives: Census of Ireland 1911, no date b)

Edward Brogan Head, R.C. Read and write, 47, Master Mariner, married born Co. Donegal.

Annie Brogan wife, R.C. Read and Write, 37, married 14 years, 7 children born all living still, born Co Antrim.

Annie Brogan 12, Daughter, Roman Catholic born Co Donegal, Scholar Read and write

Edward Brogan 10, Son, Roman Catholic born Co Donegal, Scholar, Read and write

John Brogan 9, Son, Roman Catholic born Co Donegal, Scholar, Read and write

Mary Grace Brogan 8, Daughter, Roman Catholic, born Co Donegal, Scholar, Read and write.

Ellen Palmer Brogan 6, Daughter, Roman Catholic, born Co Donegal, Scholar, Read and write.

Charles Brogan 5, Son, Roman Catholic, born Co Donegal, Scholar, Read and write.

Isabella Brogan 3, Daughter, Roman Catholic, born Co Donegal, Cannot read.

My next Genealogy move would be to find the marriage record for Edward and Annie, the parents.

From the birth record above her mother’s name was Annie McHenry, the informant was Ellen McHenry, looking at the other records for the children recorded in 1911 census some children’s records said the mother was Annie McKendrick, however the informant was a Rose McBride who was not able to sign the document, the last child Isabella’s entry states the mother’s name was McHenry the informant was mother herself, Annie Brogan. Two different maiden names recorded, I would take the sister and mother’s word for it. It is always worth double checking.

However, with cursory searches I can’t find the marriage record of Edward Brogan and Annie McHenry, it would have been around 1897 if the 1911 census information is taken as correct.

That will be for another time, it is outside the time I have set for this blog. Another lesson to be taken is stick to time limits, it is easy to get bogged down.

But now there is a biography and the start of family tree for a young woman from a place I know well.

Follow the clues and check everything.


Archives, T.N. (no date a) The Discovery Service. The National Archives. Available at: (Accessed: 11 November 2021).

Archives, T.N. (no date b) The National Archives, The National Archives. The National Archives. Available at: (Accessed: 12 November 2021).

Irish Genealogy (no date). Available at: (Accessed: 12 November 2021).

National Archives: Census of Ireland 1901 (no date a). Available at: (Accessed: 12 November 2021).

National Archives: Census of Ireland 1911 (no date b). Available at: (Accessed: 12 November 2021).

All Souls. D’ Oíche Shamhna. TB. An Eitinn.

D’ Oíche Shamhna.

All Souls. Taken by the TB. Bhuail an eitinn íad.

By Rosser1954 – self-made – Roger Griffith, Public Domain,

This week’s blog shows that sometimes family history is a sad business, especially if you reflect on the suffering of your ancestors.

Maybe more so at the time of year when the world of the living becomes blurred with that of the dead…

Tara Mound of Hostages. Poleary91, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Is this the world genealogy wanders around in?

I’ve latched onto the following because of listening, over the years to Damien Dempsey, and a song of his called Colony:

“Annie, she came from Dunlavin Town

The TB came and killed her family all around”

I know Dunlavin is many miles from Fanad but all the same…

Is gearr go mbeimid le Oíche Shamhna, we’re nearly at Samhain and I decided to take a not quite random selection of transcriptions of records freely available from

House at Gaoth Dobhair. National Library of Ireland on The Commons, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons

I haven’t used a very scientific methodology, but I think it gives some idea of prevalence of TB in and around the area my mother was brought up.

Knowing from my own research of two Donegal relations in the early 1900’s who had died from TB.

I searched on my family names from around Fanad, Co. Donegal, viz. Kelly, Logue, Coll and McAteer, between 1900 and 1906, in Milford which was the registration district at that time, then looked at all records on those pages, which noted TB or Phthisis related.

Begining with some background.

Were Phthisis Pulmonarias and Tuberculosis used interchangeably at the time of the following records?

Well, I would say yes, with evidence from the Journal of Military and Veterans’ Health a peer reviewed journal published by the Australasian Military Medicine Association, among other sources. 

“Tuberculosis was also known as Phthisis and consumption from Hippocrates through to the 18th century, the white death and the great white plague during the 19th century, and other names which evoked the despair and horror of the disease such as the robber of youth, the Captain of all these men of Death, the graveyard cough, and the King’s-Evil. During the 18th and 19th centuries tuberculosis was epidemic in Europe and caused millions of deaths, particularly in the poorer classes of society…”

During the 1800’s physicians were debating whether Phthisis was infectious, hereditary, or cancer, and secondly, whether scrofula, tubercles, and phthisis were separate disease entities or manifestations of the one disease.

The most prominent proponents of a single entity were René Laennec and the Viennese pathologist Carl von Rokitansky.  In contrast, Giovanna Battista Morgagni of Padua, and German physicians Rudolf Virchov and Johann Lukas Schönlein believed the diseases were separate entities. This question wasn’t settled until Robert Koch discovered in 1882 the Tubercle bacillus and that it was responsible for all forms of the disease.” (Frith 2014)

Now in no particular order, a lot of sadness:

May 1900. Margaret Kelly of Lagg. Aged 36. Wife of labourer. Died from general TB had for 13 months. Margaret (nee McAteer) was my great grandmother, my mum’s grandmother.

March 1900. John Kelly of Lagg. Aged 13. Child of a labourer. Died from Anasarca, after TB for some years. John was my great uncle, my grandad’s brother.

February 1906. Daniel Coll of Araheera, Fanad. Aged 17. A farmer’s son. Died from Phthisis Pulmonarias, had for 6 months.

July 1900. Maggie Ann Stewart of Ballyheeeran, Fanad. Aged 28. A farmer’s daughter. Died from Exhaustion caused by Phthisis had for 2 months.

July 1900. Catherine Strain of Golan, Fanad. Aged 22. A farmer’s daughter. Died from Phthisis Pulmonarias, had for 6 months.

August 1906. William Grier of Little Ards. Aged 27. A granite cutter 27. Died from Phthisis had for 18 months.

July 1906. Dan Duffy of Dargan. Aged 27. Labourer. Died from Pulmonary Phthisis for some years. Died in Milford workhouse.

March 1904. Annie Irwin of Cashelennan. Aged 22. A farmer’s daughter. Died from Pulmonary Phthisis had for 1 year.

July 1906. Ellen Begley of Kinnalough. Aged 15. A farmer’s daughter. Died from Phthisis Pulmonarias had for 2 months.

July 1906. Samuel Lockhart Henderson of Ballymagowan. Aged 56. Clerk of petty sessions. Died Phthisis Pulmonarias had for 2 years.

May 1901. Catherine Coll of Sheesia. Aged 13. A farmer’s daughter. Died from Pulmonary Phthisis had for 3 months.

May 1906. Susan McGarvey of Carrowkeel glebe. Aged 24. A domestic servant. Died from Phthisis Pulmonarias had for 2 years.

June 1906. Hugh McCoach of Croaghross. Aged 40. A labourer. Died from Phthisis Pulmonarias had for 1 year.

June 1906. Hugh Carr of Kinallough. Aged 40. A labourer. Died from Phthisis Pulmonarias had for 2 years.

May 1900. Catherine Gibbons of Lighnadrumna. Aged 30. A farmer’s widow. Died from phthisis Pulmonarias had for 10 months.

May 1900. John Carlin of Croaghan. Aged 25. A  farmer’s son. Died from Phthisis Pulmonarias had for 1 year.

May 1901. Mary Friel of Doaghmor. Aged 17. A labourer’s daughter. Died from Phthisis had for 4 years.

Nov 1903. Daniel McAteer of  Carlan. Aged 34. A farmer. Died from Phthisis Pulmonarias had for 4 years.

June 1904. Ennis Sweeney of Ballynabrocky. Aged 42. A farmer. Died from Phthisis Pulmonarias had for 3 years.

December 1903. John Friel of Drumfad. Aged 26. A mason. Died from Phthisis Pulmonarias had for 6 months and Pleurisy for 2 months.

TB affected farmers also. Liam Moloney. Old Irish Farmhouse Ionad Cois Locha,Dunlewy Co. Donegal

All these people in a small area, in an out of the way place, over a few years. Also, I haven’t noted the Bronchitis causes which were probably double the instances above. Bronchitis, which is also relatable to TB.

Tuberculosis remained a very significant cause of death in Ireland until the mid-20th century and still occupies a prominent position in the folk memory. (Dennis Pringle 2009)

Ireland’s children were said, in 1907, to be in the ‘jaws of the devouring dragon’ of tuberculosis. The ‘dragon’ rampaged through the country creating one of the worst tuberculosis death rates in Europe. Its association with poverty led sufferers to feel shame, and the widely-held belief that it was hereditary meant that often whole families entered a conspiracy of silence. People were afraid of the disease but also of how the community would react if they knew there was tuberculosis in the family. (Kelly 2011)

A folk memory of ‘shame’, I wonder has it been passed through my family?

No one talked about TB. My great grandmother’s death was associated with childbirth in family lore, but it was TB.

Academic study describes that the shame and stigma that accompanied the disease and emotional trauma led survivors to hide their past rather than ‘celebrate victory’ over the disease. Tuberculosis did not spike in seasonal epidemics in the same way as polio. This meant it did not hit a population with the same drama and human interest, factors that could increase the ‘status’ of a disease and its visibility in the media and literature. Personal testimonies were collected by Susan Kelly with the aim of filling the gaps with regard to childhood tuberculosis. It showed how the operation of stigma and social distance influenced the lives and the accounts of many survivors of tuberculosis. (Kelly 2011)

Are we guilty of romanticizing the past?

Seeing life in a bucolic paradise, it was often the opposite.

Peaceful now.


Dennis Pringle. 2009. “The resurgence of tuberculosis in the Republic of Ireland: Perceptions and reality,.” Science Direct. . Accessed 10 27, 2021. .

Frith, John. 2014. “History of Tuberculosis. Part 1 – Phthisis, consumption and the White Plague.” History Issue Volume 22 No. 2 .

Kelly, Susan. 2011. ““Stigma and Silence: Oral Histories of Tuberculosis.” Oral History 39, no. 1 (2011): 65–76.” JSTOR. Accessed 10 27, 2021.

A walk to the Pittville Pump Room. Some history on three Luminaries including a Colclough.

This week, reflecting a bit of freedom for Eva, to let her have a run about off the lead.

We walk from the Racecourse towards Cheltenham and a park we had noticed on another day.

Our Walk. Map. ©Crown copyright 2021 Ordnance Survey. Media 076/21.

Leaving the racecourse, we headed south to the A 435 Evesham Road. The first place of interest before we headed down the hill was Rosehill, UCAS the university clearing organisation now. It is a substantial building, surrounded by a substantial wall. In 1911 it was a 23 roomed house, the home of William Alexander Baring Bingham, he was living off private means, aged 52, born in Canterbury, Kent and married to Annie Elizabeth she was 47 and had been born in London, they had had no children. They had nine servants living there with them including a cook and kitchen maid. (The National Archive. 1911)

Rosehill. UCAS. cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Pauline E –

With family history and genealogy, sometimes a name just jumps out, Baring is certainly one of those. William Alexander Baring Bingham is relatively easy to find. Described as a generous benefactor to Nazareth House Cheltenham (Richard Barton (1988). Blog. St Gregory’s Convent n.d.). The son of William de Lotbiniere Bingham (1832-1864) and Helen Pemberton. He was the grandson of William Bingham (1800-1852) and Marie Charlotte De Lotbiniere. Anna Louisa Bingham the sister of William Bingham (1800-1852) married Alexander Baring of the banking family. (2021 n.d.) and that’s where the naming pattern arose. A note on the Bingham family; William Bingham (March 8, 1752 – February 7, 1804) the great grandfather of Rosehill’s 1911 owner, was an American statesman (and privateer) from Philadelphia. He was a delegate for Pennsylvania to the Continental Congress from 1786 to 1788 and served in the United States Senate from 1795 to 1801. Bingham was one of the wealthiest men in the United States during his lifetime and was considered to be the richest person in the U.S. in 1780. (Wikipedia 2021)

William Bingham 1752-1804. Gilbert Stuart, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The PDF shows a basic Bingham family tree.

Down the hill and a left turn off the Evesham Road and there is the Pittville Pump Room.


Pittville Pump Room. cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Stephen Bowden –

The Pump Room was the brainchild of Joseph Pitt, he came from a small place on the Gloucester Wiltshire border, was one of the few first generation self-made men to enter Parliament during the early nineteenth century.  His paternal grandfather, Joseph Pitt of Brokenborough, married Elizabeth Brown at Malmesbury, 16 Sept. 1723. Their son Joseph, who was baptized 7 Oct. 1724, married Ann Golding and moved to Little Witcombe in the parish of Badgeworth, where they had four sons: John (d. 1 May 1776, aged 22); Isaac (d. 6 May 1808, aged 52); Joseph (d. 12 Feb. 1758, aged 14 days); and Joseph of the Pump Room, who was baptized in late 1759. This Joseph Pitt’s first two wives died soon after their marriages, the second from swallowing some loose hairs from her toothbrush while pregnant. His third wife died, 11 July 1819, in Clarges Street, where he occasionally resided when in London. His friend the Rev. Francis Witts wrote in 1825 that Pitt was

‘one of those fortunate members of the legal profession, whom great sagacity, lucky opportunity and the skill of seizing on favourable circumstances have elevated from a very humble to a very prosperous situation in life. His enterprises as attorney, banker, speculator in land, and many other ways of gaining or losing fortunes, have been eminently successful.’

From his humble beginnings he became a partner in the bank of Pitt, Gardner, Croome, Bowley and Wood, which had branches in Tetbury and Cheltenham, where he was also a partner in the brewery of Gardner, Pitt and Company. Another of his partnerships was in the London bank of Bosanquet, Beachcroft, Pitt and Anderson. Pitt invested speculatively in land, purchasing the manor of Minety, Gloucestershire, from Lord Rivers for £21,000 in 1791, and the neighbouring estate of Eastcourt, which he made his principal residence, from the Earle family for £28,000 in 1807. Both properties were improved by the passage of Enclosure Acts (in 1811 and 1816 respectively), he had done something similar in 1801 at Cheltenham, where in 1800 he acquired a considerable area of agricultural land, known as the Marsh, to the north of the town, from the earl of Essex. His first contribution to the architecture of Cheltenham was the Royal Crescent of 1812, and in the early 1820’s he began to develop his estate there as the new spa of Pittville. (Farrell., pitt-joseph-1759-1842 2021)

Through financial dealings like the above, he was first returned as a member of parliament for Cricklade, at the general election of 1812 and remained so until 1831. “Cricklade described in splendid manner as ‘that villainous hole’, a market town on Wiltshire’s northern border, that ‘certainly, a more rascally place I never set my eyes on’. The countryside around he found pleasant enough, but the people were in a wretched condition, and ‘everything had the air of the most deplorable want’… Pitt owned the lordship of the manor and therefore appointed the bailiff (who acted as returning officer). He had two houses in Cricklade in 1812,  increasing to 106 in 1818 and 79 in 1830; with this considerable property, he commanded one seat, which he occupied himself, with ministerial support, from the general election of 1812 onwards. The other seat was generally occupied by a Whig, returned on a loose association of weak aristocratic interests. With the backing of the 15th earl of Suffolk of Charlton Park, near Malmesbury, the choice in 1812 was Thomas Calley of Burderop, who in practice usually sided with the administration of Lord Liverpool. At the general election of 1818, however, he was defeated by another local gentleman, Robert Gordon of Kemble, Member for Wareham. He had successfully enlisted the patronage of a like-minded Whig Lord Folkestone (and eldest son of the 2nd earl of Radnor of Longford Castle) and, through him, of the 3rd Baron Holland, who owned estates near Malmesbury. Pitt came top of the poll that year, amid allegations over the creation of fictitious votes through the purchase of houses in Cricklade, and complaints against the corporators of Malmesbury being allowed to vote by virtue of their jointly owned town lands.” (Farrell, cricklade 2021)

The Pittville Pump Room was the last and largest of the spa buildings to be built in Cheltenham.

The benefits of Cheltenham’s mineral waters had been recognised since 1716, but not until after the arrival of Henry Skillicorne in 1738 did serious exploitation of their potential as an attraction begin. After the visit to Cheltenham in 1788 of King George III, the town became increasingly fashionable, and wells were opened up at several points round the town.[1] Pittville, the vision of Joseph Pitt, was a planned ‘new town’ development of the 1820s, in which the centre-piece was (and remains) a pump-room where the waters of one of the more northerly wells could be taken.

The Pump Room was built by the architect John Forbes between 1825 and 1830. Now it is a Grade I listed building standing at the northern end of Pittville Lawn with landscaped grounds running down to a lake. (Wikipedia 2021)

A gala opening ceremony was held for the Pittville Pump Room, 20 July 1830, but Pitt stayed away, possibly because he was already disillusioned with an enterprise which he later claimed had cost him £40,000. He was elected for Cricklade for the last time at the general election the following month, when he was unable to ‘find an opening’ for Thomas Gladstone. He was listed by ministers among their ‘friends’, but was absent from the division on the civil list, 15 Nov. 1830, which led to their resignation. He was granted a fortnight’s leave because of the disturbed state of his neighbourhood, 25 Nov. 1830, and again, on urgent private business, 16 Feb. 1831. He voted against the second reading of the Grey ministry’s reform bill, 22 Mar., and for Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr. 1831, which precipitated a dissolution. Pitt, who signed the requisition for the return of Lord Robert Edward Henry Somerset* for Gloucestershire, retired at the subsequent dissolution. In an address to the electors, 25 Apr. 1831, he declared that ‘it has required much resolution to make me decline soliciting to be replaced in the honourable situation to which you elevated me, but I find its arduous duties beyond my strength, at my advanced age’. The real reason for his withdrawal was said to be his increasing unpopularity and failing fortunes. However, he put up (and voted for) a supposed opponent of reform, the former Member Thomas Calley, who was elected with the other sitting Member, Robert Gordon, against another reformer after a sharp contest. On 30 May he apparently attended the reform dinner in Malmesbury, where his interest, which was challenged that month, collapsed after the passage of the reform bill the following year. Illness prevented him from presiding at the Wiltshire Society’s annual dinner, 23 June 1831.23 His influence elsewhere had been eclipsed, but he may have retained a partial interest at Cricklade for a few years.

Since the mid-1820s Pitt’s speculative ventures had gone awry, not least because of the success of the rival spas in Cheltenham. Witts noted of the Pittville Pump Room in 1830 that

‘the spirited proprietor and projector … who in the course of a long life has risen from the lowest rank of society to wealth and consequence, must, I fear, find this an unprofitable concern, less advantageous than if the money it has cost had been invested in three per cent annuities.’

His financial affairs became more and more encumbered, with crippling debts being only partially offset by the sale of some of his properties, for example of the manor of Malmesbury to Joseph Neeld in 1840. He died in February 1842, ‘highly respected by all who knew him’. He was buried at Crudwell, where his monument bore the arms of the celebrated family of Pitt, to whom he was not known to be related. It was estimated that he owed £150,000 and that the interest payments on his mortgages came to £6,000 a year, compared to the mere £4,000 he received in revenue from the properties. Another Joseph Pitt, a fox-hunting parson, who was the only son of Pitt’s estranged first son Cornelius (1787-1840), vicar of Rendcomb, began a suit in chancery, on behalf of himself and others, for the settlement of their claims against the estate. Though most had received substantial gifts during their father’s lifetime, there was to be nothing more for Pitt’s surviving sons: his heir Joseph (1796-1869), an attorney; William Gregson (1798-1846), the manager of the County of Gloucester Bank at Cheltenham, into which his father’s bank had been merged; Charles (1803-74), vicar of Malmesbury; and George Hicks, an Indian judge. A ruling was eventually given in favour of the main claimants, especially Mullings, who had lent Pitt over £50,000, and thereby came to purchase and live at Eastcourt. Other properties were sold at auction in 1843 and 1845, Neeld purchasing the manor of Cricklade. The ill-fated Pittville Pump Room, never a great commercial success, was acquired by the town council of Cheltenham in 1890. (Farrell, pitt-joseph-1759-1842 2021)

Our walk had encountered two of Cheltenham’s ‘great and good’ not that Eva was interested!

We spent a few warm few hours in the park and let the little dog run around and around, before walking back to the racecourse and the motorhome.

As we walked back, I considered it would have been remis of me to have gone to Cheltenham and not nodded at my own long distant relative, the grandly named Caesar Colclough. I wondered if he and Joseph Pitt knew each other, I suspect they knew of each other at the very least. They were Parliamentary contemporaries. Because the Colclough family had represented the county of Wexford in Ireland off and on throughout the 18th century as MPs, and Caesar might have expected to follow suit, but had his prospects blighted by an impoverished scapegrace father the wonderful ‘Sir’ Vesey, of whom Caesar wrote:

‘I was forced on my coming of age to run off from examination in Trinity College to avoid being arrested for my schooling, diet, lodging and clothing [costs], persecuted by my improvident father to join him to raise money to furnish aliment for his profligate life with a servant maid, his mistress, and her children, whilst my brother, self and mother were pensioners of her five brothers … Many a day, a penny cake … furnished my dinner, and counting the trees … my dessert. ’Twas then I learned independence and frugality, which now in opulence I still practise in my 71st year.’

In 1791 Cesar escaped to London for a legal education, but while on a visit in Paris 1792 he was arrested and made a ‘prisoner of state’. He escaped to Lausanne and although he had meanwhile succeeded to his encumbered estate, decided to remain on the Continent, leaving his brother John Colclough (killed later in a duel) to manage and remit him £600 p.a., while he dabbled in ‘mechanical experiments’ for future redemption, and perambulated central Europe.

In December 1804 Cesar’s brother John applied to him to come home and stand on the ‘popular’ interest for Wexford: a year later he agreed to do so. His decision turned out to be ‘the greatest misfortune that ever befell me’. No sooner was he returned in absentia, after a contested by-election in which he received the support of the Grenville ministry, in May 1806, than he was taken hostage by Buonaparte. He was therefore unable to take his seat. At the ensuing general election his brother John, who had been his election manager, was returned in his place, only to be shot dead defending his seat at the election of 1807.

Cesar Colclough remained a prisoner of war until 1814, when he returned to Wexford to see to his estate. By the spring of 1817 he had decided to contest the county in conjunction with Lord Carew the sitting opposition Member. They were returned after a bitter and expensive contest. Colclough, evidently not as popular in the county as his late brother, acted with opposition, voting steadily with them from 2 Feb. until 18 May 1819, when he voted for Tierney’s censure motion. He tried unsuccessfully to speak on the Catholic claims, 3 May, and had to be content with voting for them. Next day, in his maiden speech against the ineffectiveness of state lotteries, he described the superiority of continental ones, in what he feared might, from his 25 years’ residence abroad, be a continental accent. Next day he opposed the Irish window tax as a direct cause of disease. He voted for burgh reform on 1 Apr. and 6 May. On 17 May he expressed his fear that gas lighting in London would be a health hazard. No minority votes are recorded for the winter session. In 1820 Colclough could not afford a contest. He continued to live frugally (in Cheltenham!), hoping to recover the properties alienated by his father. He died 23 Aug. 1842. (Jupp 2021)

Here is Caesar in 1841 living with Jane his wife in The Park, Leckhampton, Cheltenham; Caesar Colclough aged 75 born Ireland, Proprietor of Estate, (living frugally?) with Jane Colclough 47, born Ireland. (The National Archive 1841).

He died in Boteler House, Leckhamptom, Cheltenham (Registry. n.d.) was taken back to the family estate, buried at Tintern Abbey in Wexford (Find a Grave n.d.). Probably not blissfully unaware of the lawsuits looking to claim the lands, waiting under starters orders.

He made at least 4 wills between 8th July and 6th August 1842. Here is the last one, I have transcripts of them all:

4th and last will of Caesar Colclough, of Tintern Abbey.

The last will and testament of me, Caesar Colclough of Tintern Abbey in the County of Wexford, and of Boteler House, Cheltenham Esquire. I give and devise all and singular my real and personal estate to my dear wife Jane Stratford Colclough, her heirs, executors, administrators and assignes, to and for her and their own absolute

use and benefit. But as to any estate vested on me, upon trust, or by way of mortgage, subject to the equities affecting the same respectively.

I appoint the said Jane Stratford Colclough, Executrix of this my will, hereby revoking every other will, by me at any time heretofore made. In witness whereof, I have to this my last will set my hand, the 6th August 1842. Caesar Colclough.

Witness present: James Fortnum, Surgeon, G.E.Williams, Solicitor, Cheltenham. Proved by widow in the Arches Court of Canterbury and in the Prerogative Court, Dublin.

The will was set aside by verdict of a special Jury, at Wexford. July 1852. (Colclough 1842)

Wexford St. Iberius Church Coat of Arms. Colclough. Andreas F. Borchert, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE, via Wikimedia Commons

So, we weren’t too far from a relative, who had left a trail of litigation behind.


2021, Meredith 2018. : accessed 18 10. n.d.

Colclough. 1842. “Wills.” Colcough Papers. Private Papers in my possession. PDF, 08 06.

Farrell, Stephen. 2021. cricklade. Accessed 10 18, 2021.

—. 2021. pitt-joseph-1759-1842. Accessed 10 18, 2021.

Farrell., Stephen. n.d. .

—. 2021. pitt-joseph-1759-1842. Accessed 10 18, 2021.

Find a Grave. n.d. Caesar Colclough Tintern. Accessed 10 18, 2021.

Jupp, P. J. 2021. colclough-caesar-1766-1842. Accessed 10 18, 2021.

Registry., Principal Probate. n.d. Colclough, Caesar. 15 Mar 1881. Death 23 Aug 1842. Calendar of the Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration made in the Probate Registries of the High Court of Justice in England. London, England.

Richard Barton (1988). Blog. St Gregory’s Convent, Cheltenham. : accessed 18 10 2021. n.d.

The National Archive. 1841. “1841 Census. Leckhampton. COLCLOUGH, Caesar.” The Genealogist. 06 06. Accessed 10 18, 2021.

The National Archive. 1911. “BINGHAM, William Alexander Baring. 1911. Census records. England. Rosehill, Cheltenham. Gloucesteshire. RG14PN15523 RG78PN946 RD333 SD1 ED6 SN144.” findmypast. 04 02. Accessed 10 18, 2021.

Wikipedia. 2021. Pittville Pump Room. Accessed 10 19, 2021.

—. 2021. William Bingham. Accessed 10 18, 2021.


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