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.

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’.


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.




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.


More photos