Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Carnival Of Genealogy 115 - Flash Family History

Write 300 words per family line . I am focusing on my 8 maternal  Grandparents.

Charles Butcher & Sarah Ockley
 - Charles Butcher was born in the parish of Wonersh Surrey in 1823. He was the son of John Butcher and Mary Baverstock. Charles married Sarah Ockley on Christmas Day 1858 in Wonersh, when he was aged 35. It has just occurred to me that this does seem rather old for a first marriage, so was there a previous one?Together, Charles and Sarah raised a family of  8 children. Sarah died in 1877 and Charles remarried to Frances Pain in London in 1881 and they had six children.

- Sarah Ockley was born in Wonersh in 1835, the daughter of Peter Ockley and Maria Bolton. Sarah died in December 1877, some three weeks after the birth of her youngest daughter.  How did Charles cope with such a young baby and family? He was probably assisted by his eldest daughter MaryAnne who was 17 years old when her mother died. Charles worked as a labourer within the parish, just as his father had done before him.

Henry Harris & Caroline Ellis
- Henry Harris was born in Headley Hampshire in 1844 to George Harris and Harriet EARLE. Henry was one of not only 10 children born to George and Harriet, but also one of set of triplets.  George and Harriet had previously had twin boys, George and John in 1837, John though, died aged 1 year. In 1844 when Henry was born, his mother also gave birth to Emma and Thomas. Henry and Emma both lived into adulthood, although Emma died in her late 30s and sadly, Thomas died aged just one year. Henry lived until 1929 when he passed away aged 86 years. Was multiple, multiple births common in the 19th Century?  Henry worked as a labourer and around 1864 married Caroline Ellis in Puttenham Surrey.

- Caroline Ellis was born in Puttenham Surrey in 1844 the daughter of George Ellis, a former military man and Prudence Budd. The Budd family had been established in the parish of Puttenham since 1723, and lack of surviving records has prevented a firm conclusion of the Budd's originally living in nearby Shackleford. Together, Caroline and Henry raised a family of  ten children, all born in Puttenham.  Caroline and Henry spent 65 years together, with Henry passing away in 1929 and Caroline in 1935. We have a photograph, taken by their Grand daughter, my Great Aunt on the occasion of their 60th Wedding Anniversary.

John Matthews & Elizabeth Spencer
- John Matthews was born 1848 in the parish of Long Lawford Warwickshire. The son of William Matthews and Jane nee PETTIFER. John was one of 9 children born between 1846 and 1865. In 1871 John married spinster Elizabeth Spencer at Rugby Registry Office and they had three children, Mary Anne born 1872, John born 1875 and Edith born 1877. Not a huge amount is known of William's life other than upon the death of Elizabeth in 1880, he remarried in 1882 to Maria Flick at Rugby. John is known to have owned a coke business in Rugby, a thriving Midlands town. He moved to the South East of England around 1891 with his second wife and his three children. John died, probably alone in a hostel of some kind in Reigate Surrey in 1927. Very little has to date been established about Maria Flick. According to their marriage certificate she is a widow, but that appears not be the case!

- Elizabeth Spencer was born in 1836, just before Civil Registration began in England in 1837, in the parish of Brinklow in Warwickshire. At the time of her marriage she adjusted the ages to reflect a shorter gap between her year of birth and that of her husband's. In reality, she was 12 years older than he was. Elizabeth was the daughter of Joseph Spencer and Mary Lennett who married in Coventry in 1834. There is so much more to establish about this side of my family, so many, many questions....

James Elstone & Mary Denyer
- James Elstone was born in 1835 in Bramshott Hampshire, not a huge distance from where Henry Harris (above)  was born. James was 4th child of a family of 8, the children of William Elstone and Eliza BRIDGER. It is this stem of my Grandmother's family that connects to my Grandfather's through the marriage of the William to Eliza, which does complicate things. It was this discovery that identified that my Grandparents were actually 6th Cousins, although they had not known it in their lifetimes. James married Mary Denyer in 1857 in Bramshott and together they raised a family of 9 children. The Elstone's had been a fairly well established family in the Bramshott area. William Elstone had been a paper maker, an occupation he developed through the inheritance of the paper mill at Bramshott which had come into the Elstone's estate through his Grandmother Ann PIM. There are various branches of this line, that migrate to both Canada and Australia and are very involved with paper making. At some point James and Mary move from Bramshott across the border into Surrey and take up residence in the area known as Merrow. James died in 1901 and is buried in the Churchyard at the small church. He was joined by his wife, Mary in 1913.

- Mary Denyer was born in 1837 in apparently Liphook, the parish adjacent to Bramshott. After many years of searching every parish in this part of Hampshire and the neighbouring parishes in Surrey I finally found Mary's birth in Lurgershall Sussex. Mary was the youngest daughter of a family of ten children born to Edward Denyer and EmalineLurgershall in 1815. Very little research has been done further into the Denyer and Luff lines, but the boundaries of this part of Sussex, Hampshire and Surrey and the constant appearance of the same surnames within various family lines and the movement amongst the parishes is problematic.

What I have established in writing this post is actually how little I know the details of my Great Great Grandparents. My Grandmother's ancestry  MATTHEWS & SPENCER from Warwickshire was, in the early years inhibited by two things - distance and the amount of data passed down to my Grandmother. The ELSTONE and DENYER lines are similar. Very little details passed down to my Grandmother who met as a young child John Matthews and was only a baby when Mary Elstone passed away. In contrast to My Grandfather's family, where there are links via photographs and my the memories of my late Aunt who took the photograph here. Whilst this is the end of this post, it is not the end of the research into these family lines.

Carnival of Genealogy is hosted by Jasia at CreativeGene


  1. Wonderful pearls of truth that apply to our time.Excellent article, actually very interesting pack of articles!Marriage Certificate Template

  2. Well done, Julie! I came to a conclusion similar to yours, that this exercise pointed out to me how little I know about one family line in particular. I guess that's a good thing. Those of us who have been doing this genealogy thing for a while now think we've covered the basics and gotten beyond that but when it comes to writing up the family history we see things differently. Nice job!

  3. Well done! I wanted to do this carnival, but just ran out of time. I suspect mine would be very similar to yours. Great read.

  4. Wow, I never realized how difficult research could be when boundaries often changed, as well as moving from one neighboring area to another. The thing I will take away today, and especially from your 8 maternal lines, is this is an excellent way to have a quick overview on one's family. Great job.

  5. Julie,

    These are interesting stories. I agree, that when we begin to tell the stories, we find out just how much we do and do not know.

    As for Charles Butcher, what was he doing in the 1851 census? Does it give any clues about a previous marriage?

    1. Thanks Anne, Sadly no. He was living with his parents in Wonersh in 1851 and apparently single. Of course a lot can happen in 10 years - pure speculation and poetic license here - a failed romance, or a marriage and a brides death....The census is a snapshot of the lives of our ancestors.


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