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.

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).

Shoemaker or veteran

The photo on this page was given to me by my relative Keith Shortland. The man and woman make a striking couple but neither of us know who they are, the only clue is the name and address of the photographer which appears in the bottom right of the photo – B G Brock, 23 Wellingboro Road, Northampton.

The sheriff of Northampton

Northampton is known for shoe making and I know some of my ancestors were shoe makers in Northamptonshire (one is recorded as being a journeyman shoemaker meaning he traveled around the country to work).

A search of the National Archives has found two entries which reference the photographer.

In February 2018, Paul Boniface who was researching Victorian and Edwardian photographers in Northamptonshire got in touch and advised:

Benjamin George Brock ran a studio at 237 Wellingborough Road, Northampton between 1903 and 1907. In 1901 the census shows him as a lodger at 235 Wellingborough Road – occupation photographer and on 1 March 1903 he married Ida Blanche Allen. The 1911 census shows him living at 25 Beaconsfield Terrace, Northampton – occupation Foreign Correspondent.

The photo is a studio photo and the style of dress is in keeping with early Edwardian attire. Paul thought the emblem on the gentleman’s jacket was a flower (maybe a dahlia) and advised that a journeyman is the stage after an apprenticeship –  there was five to seven years worked as an apprentice and then three years as a journeyman.

If you check the size of the photo it will also give you an indication of the date. 2.5″ x 4″ (CdV) would point to the early years of Benjamin and 4″ x 6.5″ would be the latter say 1905-7.

Shoemaker or veteran, I don’t have the answers right now – whether I can learn more about the people on the photograph remains to be seen but I intend to try.

Albert and Louisa

Albert and Louisa were my great grandparents on my fathers side of the family.

Albert Edward William Clarke served with the Northamptonhire Constabulary from 1 December 1899 until he retired on 6 October 1931.  On joining the force he was described as a native of Welton, Northamptonshire and during his service he served at various stations in the county. On retirement he held the rank of Sergeant and was described as having an exemplary character.

The pulpit inside of St Martins Church, Welton was carved by a number of local people, including Albert. It was dedicated on St Michael and All Angels Day 1899. The vicar at the was Rev Edward Liddell.  A plaque appears on the wall next to the pulpit that reads ‘To the Glory and for the Love of Their Church’.

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The photo above is a postcard sent by Albert on 7 June 1911 to Mrs A E Clarke, Police Station, Pottersbury, Stony, Stratford, Bucks.  On the back it reads: ‘Dear Lou Hope you are all well pleased to say I am alright, not quite as busy as on Monday. I do not know yet if it will be Sunday or Monday we shall leave here with love to you all. Ted’

Louisa Jane was the daughter of William Thomas Shortland and Elizabeth Jelley and she had one brother, Ernest Henry. When Elizabeth died, William re-married Alis, who had a daughter called Maud. William and Alis, later had a child together called Bess.  The photo below shows the four children  (Ernest is pictured at the back, with his hand on Louisa’s shoulder) and William and Alis.

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Ernest lived to be 91 and Bess died a spinster, leaving thousands of pounds for charities in Northamptonshire. Before marrying, Louisa was in service, looking after three children in a family called Armitage. Albert and Louisa had six children – Dorothy Margaret, Edward Alexander, Cecily Mary (known as Molly), Kitty Alexandra and my grandmother Delia Eileen.

 

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