Joseph Charles Abram and Lucy Thompson

Lucy Thompson was the first wife of my great grandfather Joseph Charles Abram.  Lucy and Joseph, a Corporal in the Army Service Corps residing in Aldershot, married on 16 April 1906 in Northampton.

Lucy’s life was short – born in Northampton in 1880, Lucy was the daughter of William and Harriett. She died in Farnham, Surrey in 1907. After Lucy’s death, Joseph re-married. His second wife was my great grandmother, Millicent May Bowers.

I have been able to trace Lucy on census returns. On the 1881 census, Lucy can be found aged one, living with her parents and sisters Emily, Annie and Alice.  Living in the same house is Lucy Munns (described as mother in law).* In 1891, Lucy, aged 11,  can again be found living with her parents and sisters at Great Russell Street.  Her father William is now recorded as working as a Gentleman’s Gardener. Finally, in 1901, Lucy, aged 21, is no longer at home with her parents but is working as a servant for a widow, Elizabeth Peach, at 25 Margaret Street, Northampton.

I have been able to find William and Harriet on the 1901 census. William is recorded as a market gardener and Harriet a greengrocer shopkeeper. The are still living at Great Russell Street. In 1911, William, now 72, is still recorded as a market gardener, living at Burns Street with Harriett.

I am interested to learn more about Lucy and her family, as she has been described to me as ‘a dark skinned lady’ and I have discovered that Northamptonshire has a significant black history, with people of Asian, African and Caribbean origin, residing in the county over many centuries.

* I have located a Lucy Munns on the 1851 and 1861 census returns. She is recorded as having been born in Riseley in Bedfordshire and is married to George Munns.  The couple have a daughter called Harriett.

Tayler Brothers

The photo below was given to me by Keith Shortland.  The two children pictured are believed to be Keith’s cousins, Gillian and Marion. Their mother and father were Ken and Marion Stephens, who ran a hairdressers in the Radford area of Coventry. Keith also told me that Ken’s sister, Maude Stephens, was one of the few ladies running a men’s hairdresser in Southam.

Two children

A hand written note on the photo indicates the photo was taken by Tayler Brothers of Coventry. Information about the Tayler Brothers studio and the Tayler Brothers project which archived photos to tell stories of Coventry’s past can be found on the Photomining website below.

Mark Cook from Photomining told me:

‘Tayler Brothers ran a photographic studio in Primrose Hill Street, Hillfields, Coventry, from just before the first world war until the 1970s. The Studio was on what is now Sidney Stringer Academy, just past the junction with Vine Street. Tayler Brothers were commercial photographers, and did not keep a record of their past work. The photograph you have looks like it could be from the 1950s, from the clothes, shoes etc.’

The number 32037 appears on the reverse of the photo. Mark Cook also advised Photomining ‘have a photo numbered in the 28 thousands that we think is late 40s and one that is in the 40 thousands that we think is late 50s’ so believe that the photo above lies between these dates.

Joseph and Ann

Joseph and Ann Abram (nee Cox) were my great great great grandparents. I have been able to locate the couple on the 1861 census, where Joseph, a shoemaker aged 23 and Ann aged 21 were living at 4 Lower River Terrace, St Sepulchre in Northamptonshire with three children, Emma, Charles (my great great grandfather aged 1) and Harriett.

I believe Joseph was the son of James and Rebecca and I have located him on the 1841 census aged 3 and the 1851 census aged 12. Sadly, it appears that Joseph died aged just 28.  The death certificate shows he had been suffering from Phthisis Pulmonalis (Tuberculosis) for 13 months.

Ann appears to have married William Maloney in 1869 to and her story continues on the 1871 census, where, aged 31, she is living at St George Square in Northampton but now with William Maloney of Ireland, Charles (aged 11 and recorded as Charles Abram Maloney) and three other children, George, Emma and John W Maloney.

In 1881 William and Ann can be found living at 12 Alpha Street, Northampton, with four children, Jeremiah (aged 9)*, Eugene, William and John Maloney.  Finally, in 1891, Ann can be found at 50 Adelaide Street, Northampton.  She is a widow and working as a laundress. Eugene, William and John are still living with her.

* Jeremiah Maloney does not appear on the 1891 census with his mother and siblings but I believe I have located him, aged 19, living as a boarder at Luther Street, Leceister in the home of William and Sarah Abrams (both recorded as being born in Northamptonshire) and their children Herbert and Amy, along with two other boarders,  Ellen Maloney aged 24 and and Eva M aged 1.  (I believe that Jeremiah Maloney married Ellen Frost in 1889).

Betty May Abram

Betty May was the daughter and youngest child of my great grandparents Joseph Charles Abram and Milly May Bowers.  She was born in Halsted, Essex in 1924 and died in 2015.

Betty served in the RAF for a time but her records show she was dismissed under Kings Regs paragraph 652 for being with child.  She later  married Geoff Bryant in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire – they met while working in the Derngate office of the United Counties bus company in Northampton.  Interestingly, this is the same company her father took on during his time as proprietor of Earls Barton Motors.  Geoff was later a Company Director at C Butt Warehousing, a truck haulage company.  He died in 2016.

Four sisters and a brother

My grandmother Deilia Eileen Clarke was the daughter of Albert Edward William Clarke, a Northamptonshire Police Sergeant and Louisa Jane Shortland. Delia (known as Dids), born in 1916, was one of  six children, having four sisters – Dorothy, born 1904, Cecily Mary Clarke (known as Molly) born 1914,  Kitty (known as Kitten), born 1920 and one brother Edward Alexander (Teddy), who was born in 1906 and died, aged four, in 1910.  However my dad believes that Louisa Jane had a number of miscarriages and if these had not occurred, there may have been 11 or 12 children.

My grandmother married Louis Bowers Abram in 1916 and my father Michael was born in 1944. Oldest sister Dorothy married Henry Grey Faber in 1960.

Born in 1914, Cecily Mary Clarke, known as Molly, was the second oldest sister. She suffered with epilepsy and did not marry.

Kitty Alexandra was born  in 1920 and married Reginald William Jeffery, known as Bill. Together they ran a hairdressers shop in Brackly, Northamptonshire.

The photo below shows the wedding of Kitty to Bill, with her sister Dorothy and mother Louisa Jane stood to her right, together with Louisa’s brother Ernest Shortland.  Sister Molly can be seen standing at the back, second from the left.

Wedding of Betty ClarkeMore photos

Henry Grey Faber

Henry Grey Faber was the husband of my great aunt Dorothy (my grandmother’s sister). Dorothy was Henry’s second wife and the couple were married at  Holy Trinity Church, Micklegate, York in 1960. Although Henry is not a direct ancestor, I was interested to learn about him, as I have a very clear memory of being told by my great aunt that his family appeared in Burke’s Peerage and I wanted to learn more about this.

My dad tells me Henry was known as Hal and that he worked as a solicitor. I have confirmed this to be correct by looking at census returns and have also found mentions of Henry’s legal career in the Gazette newspaper.

The 1891 census shows a Henry  G Faber was born in Durham in 1887, to Thomas Faber, aged 30 (born 1861 in Durham) and Ada Faber  aged 29 (born 1862 in Wimbledon, Surrey). A younger brother and sister, Frank S and Ada L are recorded too.  Aged 14 in 1901, Henry appears to have been a boarder at a school in Harrogate and in 1911, aged 24, he is recorded as being a solicitor, living again with his parents Thomas and Ada and with more sisters and a brother.

I have also located information about Henry on the 1939 register, working as a solicitor and living with Ellen G Faber and Elizabeth H F Faber. I believe Henry married Ellen Holberton in Totnes, Devon in 1916. Their daughter Elizabeth was born in Knaresborough in 1917 and in 1939 her  occupation is shown as VAD, which I have learned stands for Voluntary Aid Detachment, a voluntary unit of civilians providing nursing care for military personnel in the United Kingdom and various other countries in the British Empire.

It would be another 20 years before Henry would marry Dorothy, who was working as a school teacher at the time, living in the Morrison household at Faceby Manor Faceby, Stokesley R.D., Yorkshire (North Riding), England.

Searching for Henry Grey Faber on the Find My past website, I found details of his service, medals and awards and his first world war record.  Ellen it seems also served in the army as a staff nurse.

Henry’s father Thomas, born 1861, can be found on the 1871 census residing at Middleton One Row, Middleton St George, Darlington, Durham, England, with his parents Henry Grey Faber, aged 41 (born 1830 in Durham) and Elizabeth Faber, aged 38 (born 1833 in Durham). Also four brothers and two sisters.  The Faber family are all recorded as visitors to Sarah Moore aged 75 and her daughter Mary A Moore aged 37.

I believe that Henry’s grandfather, also called  Henry Grey Faber, was the first son of Thomas Henry and Eleanor Faber and that he was baptised on 1 December 1829 in Durham.  Henry can be found on the 1841 census, aged 11, at Shincliffe, St Oswald, Durham and Lanchester, Durham, England which appears to be a school. In 1851 aged 21 Henry can be found lodging in the household of George and Hannah Harrision at Church Street, Guisborough, Yorkshire & Yorkshire (North Riding), England and employed as a Solicitor’s Articled Clerk.  In 1871 he can be found aged 41 residing with the Moore family as described above.

Origin of the names Faber and Grey

Information about the origin of the Faber and Grey surnames can be found on the Ancestry.co.uk website.

I am interested to learn more about the surnames Faber and Grey, as the name Grey appears to have been used as a middle name by many people with the surname Faber, both male and female, including Henry and Edward, largely in Stockton on Tees. However, I have also found the name connected to  Dorset, London, Middlesex and Essex and would very much like to know more about this. See footnote about the family of Hamilton S Faber and in particular his grandparents Thomas Henry Faber and Eleanor Faber (nee Grey).

More photos

Unknown soldiers

The photo on this page was given to me by my relative Keith Shortland and as such, I am presuming, for now at least, that one of the men shown is a Shortland ancestor. I  know that one of my Shortland ancestors, Richard, served in the 51st regiment, traveling to Australia with them around 1841. The photo isn’t clear enough to make out any badges but the uniform has an interesting design on the sleeves, so I hope in time to learn more about the men pictured.

Unknown soldiers

In papers given to me by my great aunt Dorothy, I learned that a Richard Shortland traveled to Australia with the 51st regiment of the British army (I believe the regiment was later re-named the King’s Own Yorks Light Infantry) around 1841, living there until he died in Sydney in 1887.

I believe I have located Richard on the British Army, Worldwide Index 1841 which shows he was serving in the State of Tasmania and includes his service number (1456) and rank and regiment (51st foot) and a National Archives reference number (WO 12/6203)  which National Archives advised refers to the muster roll or pay list for the 1st battalion of the 51st regiment in 1841 – 1842, one of a series of muster rolls for the battalion.

Further research into the 51st regiment has uncovered the following information.

The State Library and Archive Service advised:

‘According to a Correspondence File on the 51st Regiment (King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) the 51st Regiment ‘was put under orders for Australia in 1837, to relieve the 21st Regiment in Van Diemen’s Land. They came out, according to custom, as guards on convict transports. Detachments arrived direct from England, via New South Wales between February 1838 and 1843. The regiment served in the colony under Lieutenant Colonel Elliott. The Returns of 1839 give the strength as 29 officers and 629 men. A detachment was stationed at Port Arthur in July of 1838; another was detailed for South Australia and left Hobart on 5 October 1841 per the ship Endora. The Regiment was put under orders for India, and part of the regiment left Sydney on 17 April 1841 per the ship Virtue but it was wrecked on the Great Barrier Reef. All were rescued with the exception of one woman. The Head Quarters staff together with four Companies under Lt Colonel Elliott, left Hobart on 8 August 1846 per the ships Agincourt and China. Three companies remained to reinforce the 96th Regiment and Lieut Colonel St Maur, until 27 January 1847 when they sailed per the ship Javato India via West Australia.’

‘Please be aware that Regiments took their records with them when they traveled. To find more specific information out about Richard Shortland contact the National Archives in England: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ Our office also has copies of pay lists and some British regiment muster rolls (as part of the War Office records in the Australian Joint Copying Project) Unfortunately, searching through this series is extremely time consuming and owing to the limited resources of this office I regret I am unable to conduct an extended search on your behalf. A Tasmanian Private Researcher, however, may be able to assist you and a list of researchers has been attached for your reference.’

‘There are also many references to the 51st Regiment’s time in VDL in the National Library of Australia’s TROVE website (digitised newspaper section).’

National Archives advised:

‘The main source of information for soliders in the British Army during the 19th century is the pension records in WO 97.  These have been indexed by name, both on our catalogue, and on Find My Past, so as the name you’re looking for does not turn up, you can assume that he left the army without becoming eligible for a pension.’

A query sent to the State Library of South Australia resulted in a search of the Tasmanian Archives and name index online but did not provide any relevant information. The library subsequently looked to New South Wales as that is where he lived and died and advised ‘‘State Records (of New South Wales) holds very few records relating to the early regiments stationed in the colony because, as they were British troops, the records remained with the Imperial Government. Hence, surviving records relating to those regiments are held by the Public Record Office, London. However, most State Libraries in Australia hold microform copies of the Muster Books and Pay Lists, which were copied as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project.’

A response to a question about army uniforms advised:

‘The uniforms are British and are worn by men of a Rifle Volunteer regiment. This regiment were part time soldiers, like the  modern day Territorial Army.’

The uniforms I was advised were ‘light grey and have coloured collars and cuffs, either red, blue or green, depending on which regiment they were in. The Rifle Volunteers would assemble regularly for drill and training and spend a few weeks in camp in the summer for proper tactical training.’

Army Museums advised:

‘The ‘uniforms in the photograph certainly appear to be the Colonial Service pattern worn in Australia’. They also advised that they had located 1456 Private Richard Shortland on the nominal roll of personnel from 51st Regiment of Foot stationed in Van Diemens Land, Tasmania in 1841.

In addition, they advised that the 51st Regiment of Foot, later re-titled the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI) served in Australia from 1838 until 1846 when they moved to India. Their principle tasks I was told were typical garrison tasks – guarding convict settlements, hunting down bushrangers, suppressing armed resistance by Indigenous Australians, providing security on the goldfields, assisting local police to maintain public order, undertaking ceremonial duties and developing the nation’s military defenses.

The State Library and Archive Service in Australia advised as follows:

According to a Correspondence File on the 51st Regiment (King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) the 51st Regiment ‘was put under orders for Australia in 1837, to relieve the 21st Regiment in Van Diemen’s Land. They came out, according to custom, as guards on convict transports. Detachments arrived direct from England, via New South Wales between February 1838 and 1843. The regiment served in the colony under Lieutenant Colonel Elliott.

The Returns of 1839 give the strength as 29 officers and 629 men. A detachment was stationed at Port Arthur in July of 1838; another was detailed for South Australia and left Hobart on 5 October 1841 per the ship Endora.

The Regiment was put under orders for India, and part of the regiment left Sydney on 17 April 1841 per the ship Virtue but it was wrecked on the Great Barrier Reef. All were rescued with the exception of one woman.

The Head Quarters staff together with four Companies under Lt Colonel Elliott, left Hobart on 8 August 1846 per the ships Agincourt and China. Three companies remained to reinforce the 96th Regiment and Lieut Colonel St Maur, until 27 January 1847 when they sailed per the ship Java to India via West Australia.

 

My Shortland ancestors

My Shortland ancestors originate from Northamptonshire. My great grandmother, Louisa Jane Shortland and my great great grandfather William Shortland were born in Weedon and my great great great grandfather, John Shortland was born in Flore.

Information about the name Shortland can be found on the Find My Past website below.

I have been able to trace my Shortland ancestors through census returns.  The 1881 census shows Louisa Jane, living in Weedon, aged three, with her father William (a widower) and his sister Emily, also Louisa’s brother Ernest and their grandparents.  The 1891 census shows Louisa is still at home with William in Weedon but he is now married to Alis and there is is a daughter Bessie. In 1901, Louisa is still in Weedon but now working as a parlour maid.

By 1911, Louisa has married my great grandfather Albert Edward William Clarke, a police sergeant and they are living together at Factory Row Police Station, Pottersbury.  Their two eldest children, Dorothy and  Edward who died aged four in October 1911,  are also shown, together with a visitor, Cecilia E Glenn, a certified midwife. The 1911 census doesn’t appear to coincide with the births of any of Louisa’s children that I can see but my father believes Louisa had a number of miscarriages, so that could be the reason.

It has also been possible to keep track of Louisa’s father William. In 1861 he is aged seven, living in Weedon with his parents John and Jane and siblings, Henry (recorded as an invalid), Richard, Sarah and Emily. In 1871 he is aged 17 and still living with his parents and sister Emily and but in 1881, William is recorded as a widower, living with his parents and sister, and his children Louisa and Ernest.  He remains a resident of Weedon on both the 1891 and 1901 censuses.

The census returns also show my great great grandfather John Shortland – aged 36 in 1851, he is married to Jane and living with children John, Richard, Sarah and Mary.  In 1861 William and another daughter, named Emily appear and Louisa Jane and her brother Ernest show on the 1881 census too.

The naval Shortlands

Shortland is the surname of a British naval family, members of which served in Australia and New Zealand during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  Since I was young, I remember being told that my family are descendants of Lieutenant John Shortland, who discovered the first coal in Australia whilst taking prisoners to Botany Bay and also discovered and named the Hunter River.

I have a collection of  photographs, cuttings and notes about the Shortland family from by great aunt Dorothy, both my direct ancestors and the naval Shortlands. Slowly I am gathering my own collection of information which seems to point to there being some truth in the story I have been told.

The photo below was given to me by my great aunt Dorothy. It was taken in 1947 and shows the re-enactment of the landing of Lieutenant John Shortland in New South Wales in 1797.

shortland-reenactment

The re-enactment was part of two months of celebrations which included a special issue of stamps, however the stamps showed the image of the wrong Lieutenant John Shortland.

Further information

More photos