Sunday, 28 May 2017

Eleanor Lavinia Swadling nee Price 1838 - 1913

Eleanor Lavinia Price was born sometime during the month of July in 1838 and she was baptised at the Parish Church in Iffley on the 5th of August. Her parents were Richard Price and Charlotte Webb and they married in the same church just a few months earlier on the 26th March 1838. 

On the night of the 6th of June 1841, when the census was taken, Eleanor was not at home with her father, who was recorded as a milkman, her mother and her younger brother Joseph. She was recorded as Ellen and was a lodger at the house of her maternal grandparents Robert and Rebecca Webb. Her grandfather's occupation was recorded as a Baker. Over the years Eleanor would sometimes be recorded on documents as Eleanor and sometimes as Ellen.

By the time the 1851 census was taken there were four more children in the family. Richard, who was born in 1843. Julia, who was born in 1845, Robert, who was born in 1847 and Clara, who was born in 1849. The occupation of their father was now a Road Labourer.

Charlotte gave birth to another daughter, also called Charlotte, in early 1852 and she was baptised on the 14th of March. Sadly just three months later Charles Price died at the age of 35 years and he was buried on the 9th June 1852 in Iffley Parish Church graveyard.

Although Ellen Price married John Charles Swadling in 1857 in Oxford, she had returned to Iffley by 1861. Her widowed mother had married John Dorrell, a widower, in 1859 and John and Ellen are listed as living next door to her mother and stepfather on the 1861 census. John Dorrell  died in 1889 at the age of 78 and Charlotte Dorrell died in 1897 at the age of 82. They were both buried in the graveyard at Iffley Parish Church.

Ellen and John Charles were married for 36 years and during their marriage they had ten children. Sadly Henry, who was born in 1865, died when he was only eight weeks old and Ellen had tragically died at the age of four in 1874 when her clothes caught fire.

Before his death in 1894, John Charles attended the weddings of his three oldest children. Charles married Esther Jemima Gibbons in 1889. John Charles junior married Margaret Telfer in March 1891 and Harriett married John Biles in April 1891.

Ellen's son in law, John Biles, died in December 1897 at the age of 39 years and his widow Harriett returned to Oxford before the 1901 census was taken. The census stated that Eleanor L was living with her widowed daughter Harriett at 176 Howard Street in Cowley, Oxford. Also living there were Harriett's two children Eleanor L (Lavinia) and William J (John) and Eleanor's three youngest children, Clara, and her daughter Edith May, William and Mary Ann.

By 1911 William, aged 33, had moved to 37 East Avenue, Cowley Road in Oxford and his occupation was listed as a Porter at a Drapers. His youngest sister Mary Ann, aged 30, was also living with him and her occupation was listed as a  Charwoman at a Hotel. Both of them were still unmarried. John Biles, a nephew to William was also living there. He was 15 years old and employed as a Dental Apprentice.

The 1911 census required more information about the life of the household than in previous censuses. According to the Ancestry website "Information requests new to the 1911 census were the 'fertility census' and occupational questions. Fertility questions included how long the present marriage had lasted, the number of children born alive to the present marriage (including children no longer living in the household), and the number of children who had died. Ellen was also living with William and she stated that she was a 73 year old widow and she had been married for 53 years. In the columns related to her children she had written that a total of ten children were born alive. Four of her children were still living but sadly six of them had died prior to the census being taken. As Ellen said she was a widow, so no longer married, the Enumerator had crossed out the information about her children.So there was only one other of her children still alive but which one and what had happened to the other four?

I found the interment of John Biles on the recently updated England & Scotland, Select Cemetery Registers, 1800 - 2016 in the Ancestry website. He was buried at Rose Hill Cemetery on Church Cowley Road in Oxford on the 14th of December 1897 in grave 56 in section A1. The cemetery was opened in 1889 and covers an area of 11 acres and contains over 20,000 burials. The most unexpected piece of information written in the Register of Graves was that he was buried at a depth of 12 foot. His wife Harriett was also buried with him and she was interned on the 14th August 1907. So that would explain why John (William John) Biles was living with his uncle. His parents had both died but where was his sister Eleanor Lavinia? I searched the 1911 census and finally found her listed as Nellie Byles. She was working as a cook for George Stuart Gordon, a Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford University and he was a lecturer in English Literature.

I searched for whereabouts of Ellen's other children and found the missing surviving sibling. It was Charles. He and his wife and two sons were living on Church Road, Sandford on Thames in Oxford. So what had happened to John Charles junior, James and Elizabeth? I searched the FreeBMD website and found out when they had died. Elizabeth died in 1904, John Charles junior died in 1907 and James died in 1911. I also found out that they were all buried at Rose Hill Cemetery.

Eleanor Lavinia Swadling died at the age of 75 years at the end of July 1913. She was buried with her daughter Elizabeth and son James at Rose Hill Cemetery on the 6th of August 1913.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

John Charles Swadling 1832 - 1894

I knew from the 1901 census and the marriage certificate of Clara Swadling that her parents were John Charles and Eleanor L Swadling and that her father had died before her marriage. I looked for a marriage for John Charles and Eleanor but I couldn't find one. So who were they?

I checked the 1891 census for the family but found that Clara, aged 15, had moved away from home and was working as a domestic servant at 18 George Street, Oxford for Benjamin R Bartlett, a Postal Receiver and Stationer, and his family. So was a five year old Clara at home with her parents in 1881? Yes she was. The family were living at 20 Friars Wharf in Oxford. John Charles Swadling was a 48 year old Gas Labourer and was born in Oxford. His wife Ellen was 43 and born in the village of Iffley in Oxfordshire. Clara had six siblings. John Charles, 22, an out of employ servant who was born in Oxford, Charles, 20, also a Gas Labourer who was born in Iffley, James, 13, and Elizabeth, 8, who were scholars and also born in Iffley and William, 3 and Mary Ann, 9 months, who had been born in Oxford.

So what had happened to Eleanor L. and who was Ellen? I checked records and found a marriage for John Charles Swadling to an Ellen Price in 1857.

So who was John Charles Swadling?

From checking parish registers and census returns I found that he was born in George Lane in 1832 and baptised on the 30th September at St. Mary Magdalene in Oxford. His parents were Charles Swadling, a labourer born in Hinksey in Berkshire around 1807 and Harriett Higgins, who was the daughter of John and Christian Higgins and born in the summer of 1811. Harriett was privately baptised on the 18th of August and received into the church on the 13th October. Charles and Harriett married in 1831 at Ebbe Parish Church in Oxford after attending church on three consecutive Sunday, the 6th, 13th and 20th of November to hear the banns read.

In 1841 John Charles was living in the district of St Thomas in Oxford with his parents and three younger sisters, Jane Elizabeth, Sarah and Christian. Another sister Mary Ann was born in 1842. Sadly by 1845 his mother and sisters Sarah, Christian and Mary Ann had all died.

On the 1851 census John and his father were visitors at the house of James Forward and his wife Elizabeth. His sister Jane Elizabeth was living with her aunt and uncle, John and Christian Higgins. Although I think that they were in fact her maternal grandparents. Jane Elizabeth married Henry Dean in 1854 and they raised a large family before her death in 1920 at the age of 78.

John Charles married Ellen Price on the 17th August 1857 in the Parish Church of Holy Trinity in Oxford. The witnesses on the marriage certificate were Jane Elizabeth and Henry Dean, the sister and brother-in-law of John Charles. Ellen's father was Richard Price and he was employed as a Gardener. I was able to solve the mystery of Eleanor and Ellen when I found an Eleanor Price on the 1851 census with her parents Richard and Charlotte. Eleanor Price was baptised on the 5th August 1838 in Iffley Parish Church in Oxford and her birth had been registered as Eleanor Lavina in the September quarter of 1838 In the Headington district which included the district of Iffley. Over the coming years she would sometimes be recorded on documents as Eleanor and sometimes as Ellen.

During the late summer of 1858 a son, John Charles junior, was born and baptised at St. Aldate Parish Church in Oxford on the 5th September. By the time the census was taken on the 7th April 1861, John Charles and Ellen had moved to the village of Iffley on the outskirts of Oxford. The census stated that another son, Charles was three months old. He had been baptised at Iffley parish Church a month earlier on the 10th March.

When the 1871 census was taken the family also included, Harriett aged 7, born in 1863, James aged 3, born in 1868 and Ellen aged seven months, born the previous autumn. Another son, Henry, had been born in 1865. He was baptised at Iffley parish Church on the 4th December but sadly died at the age of eight weeks and was buried in the churchyard on the 13th of December 1865. Another daughter, Elizabeth, was born in 1873 and she was also baptised at Iffley parish Church on the 2nd of April. Between then and December 1874 John Charles moved his family back into Oxford.

Over the years I have searched a large variety of sources and collected a lot of information and facts about the Swadlings. A relatively new source are the articles from the British Newspapers 1710 - 1953 on Find My Past. The majority of these articles usually announced family events or reported legal issues. It was only when I began to write this blog that I realised that I had a copy of an article printed on Saturday the 2nd of January 1875 in the Oxford Journal that described the tragic death of Ellen Swadling. The daughter of John Charles and Ellen.

A Child Burnt To Death

On Tuesday a child, named Ellen Swadling of 51 Friars Wharf, set her clothes on fire during the temporary absence of her mother. She was taken to the Radcliffe Infirmary where death put an end to her sufferings on Thursday night. An inquest will be held this day (Saturday).

Poor Ellen was only four years old when she died and she was buried at Holy Trinity Parish Church in Oxford on Monday the 4th of January 1875. Just one week after setting her clothes on fire. I couldn't find any reference to the Inquest Verdict but I did find a similar account of an Inquest reported in November 1873. Two small children, one aged two and one nearly four had been left alone with an unprotected fire in the hearth while their mother went next door to a neighbour. The mother heard a scream and ran back home. Her two year old daughter's clothes were in flames. She and the neighbour extinguished the child's clothes but she was very badly burnt. Like Ellen, she was taken to the Radcliffe Infirmary where she died several days later. The Verdict was Accidental Death. She died from the injuries and shock. How awful for children to die in such a painful and distressing way.

On the 12th of March 1876 John Charles and Ellen returned to Holy Trinity Parish Church but this time it was for the baptism of their two month old daughter Clara, who had been born on the 21st January. They were now living at 20 Friars Wharf and John Charles was employed as a Labourer. John Charles was still a labourer when another son, William, was baptised on the 3rd March 1878. Ellen's child bearing days were finally over when her youngest child, Mary Ann was baptised alongside nine other babies on the 5th September 1880.

John Charles and Ellen were still living at 20 Friars Wharf in 1891 with three of their children, James 23, William 13 and Mary Ann 10. John Charles, Charles and Harriett were now married and Clara and Elizabeth were both in service in Oxford.

John Charles Swadling died at the beginning of January 1894 at the age of 61. He was buried in the graveyard of St Ebbe Parish Church on the 19th January. His abode at the time of his death was 4 Bridge Row, Pensons Gardens.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

In search of the real mother of Lily Edith Swaddling

Back in February I wrote about the tragically short life of Lily Edith Swaddling who was born to a single woman, Clara Swaddling, in 1898. After almost completing my research on Lily Edith's family I realised that I had incorrectly identified her mother as Clara Hannah Swaddling as I found a marriage certificate for another Clara Swadling. This Clara seemed a much more likely candidate as she married William Stephen Steer at the same church as Lily Edith's baptism and burial, St Mary and St John in Cowley.

This Clara was 23 years old, which made her year of birth about 1876, and her address was 176 Howard Street in Cowley. Her father was John Charles Swadling, who was recorded as deceased at the time of the marriage. So who were these Swadlings?

The marriage of Clara and William Stephen took place on the 26th December 1899 so I looked for them on the 1901 census for further clues. Strangely enough they were not living together at this time. William S Steer was residing with his brother Arthur J Steer in Kingston-on-Thames and Clara was at 176 Howard Street with a two month old daughter, Edith M Steer and six other family members. The head of the household was her older widowed sister, Harriett Biles, also at the address were Harriett's two children Eleanor L and William J Biles, together with Clara and Harriett's widowed mother Eleanor L Swadling and their younger unmarried siblings William Swadling aged 22 and Mary A Swadling aged 20.

I found Clara and William Stephen living in Tooting on the 1911 census. Edith was now 10 years old and she was their only child.

According to the British Army WW1 Service Records, 1914 - 1920 on Ancestry, when William Stephen enlisted in the Durham Light Infantry on the 7th May 1916 he was recorded as Stephen William Steer. He was described as 40 year and 7 months old, 5 foot 7 1/2 inches tall with a scar on the right side of his face. He spent the next three months training before being posted on the 19th August. The records also show that he and Clara had moved to 50 Smallwood Road in Tooting and Clara had given birth to another daughter, May Eleanor, in Wandsworth in 1915.

William Stephen Steer returned to England on the 27th March 1919 and he received the Victory and British medals. Theses medals were awarded to all soldiers who served in any operational theatre of war between the 5th August 1914 and the 11th November 1918.

Edith Mary Steer married Harry (Henry) Verrier on the 30th November 1920. They married at the newly built St Mary's Church on Wimbledon Road in Summerstown, London, which had been designed by Godfrey Pinkerton and finished only months before. This church was given Grade II listing in 1983. The marriage certificate stated that Henry's address at the time of the marriage was also 50 Smallwood Road. So it appears that he just moved in with Edith and her parents. Sadly Edith Mary and Harry didn't have any children.

According to the London, England, Electoral Registers, 1832 - 1965 on Ancestry it looks like Edith and Henry continued to live at 50 Smallwood Road until May Eleanor married Arthur John Whatley in the autumn of 1934. They didn't move far. Just three doors away to number 56!. For some reason Edith and May moved houses again in 1938. Edith moved back to 50 Smallwood Road and May moved into 56.

Clara Steer died in the first few months of 1939 at the age of 62 and this may have been the reason why Edith moved back in with her parents. She may have needed to care for her mother. On the 1939 Register on Find My Past, William S Steer is listed as a widower and he is employed as a General Labourer. Henry Verrier is listed as a Gardener and Edith is listed as a Housekeeper. Usually a married woman's occupation is listed as Unpaid Domestic Duties, which means housewife. So did her occupation mean that she was keeping house for her father?

William Stephen Steer died at St James Hospital in London S.W.12 on the 7th June 1945 at the age of 69 years. Administration for the Probate was settled in Llandudno on the 25th June by Edith Mary Verrier and the total of his estate was £234 12 shillings and 2d. It seemed strange that the probate was proved in Llandudno but from checking other probate records on the same page on the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Will and  Administrations), many of the Surrey and London probates were  also proved there.

I found evidence that Edith and Henry were still living at 50 Smallwood Road for another two years but after that I can't find them. Henry died in 1973 at the age of 77 years and Edith Mary died in April 2002 at the grand old age of 101 years! Her last known address was Bolingbroke Grove in London.

May Eleanor and Arthur John Whatley had four children and moved their family to 27 Blackshaw Road, London S.W.17 after the war. They continued to live there until the mid 1960's. Arthur John died in 1971 at the age of 58 years and May Eleanor died in 1981 at the age of 65 years. Their four children all married.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Clara Swaddling - single woman

So who was Lily Edith's mother Clara Swaddling and where did she come from?

There was only one reference to a Clara Swaddling on the FreeBMD website. Her full name was Clara Hannah and she married William Stephen Hoile in 1903 in the Swindon district. FreeBMD is a project aimed at transcribing the Civil Registration index of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales and making them accessible via the Internet. 

By 1911 William Stephen and Clara Hannah were living in Swindon with three children Stephen Alfred George - born in 1904, Vivian Clara - born in 1907 and Eric Edwin James -born in 1909. The children were all born in Swindon but the the birthplace of their parents was not so clear. William Stephen stated that he was 37 years, his occupation was a Coal Carter and he was born in England. Clara Hannah was 36 and also born in England but a small note had been added saying "nothing else known".

So now I had an approximate year of birth, 1875. I found a reference to her on the 1901 census. A Clara H Swaddling was a 28 year old laundry maid in Little Stanmore in Middlesex and this time she was recorded as being born in Headington in Oxfordshire.

Now I had a place of birth, perhaps I would find her living at home with her parents on the 1891 census? No such luck. Poor Clara was 17 years old this time and an inmate at Margaret House, a house for the Aged Poor and for Children in Bath Road, Cheltenham. So what had happened to her parents for her to be in this institution?

If Clara was born in the Headington area perhaps she was also baptised there. I checked the Ancestry Oxfordshire baptisms and found a Clara Anna baptised on the 1st April 1874 at St Philip and St James in Oxford. The entry showed that Clara's mother was also a single woman and her name was Sarah. Their address was Plantation Road, Oxford. So would they be together on the 1881 census?

I did find them both on the 1881 census but not together. Clara was a boarder with a Elizabeth Acock in Aldates in Oxford and Sarah H, did the H stand for Hannah?, was a General Domestic Servant for an Elizabeth E. Leaf in Penge in Surrey. Her birthplace was listed as Dorchester, Oxfordshire.

On the 1871 census, two years before Clara Anna was born, Sarah was working as a servant for a George Ward and his family in the St Philip and St James parish of Oxford. By coincidence Sarah Hannah married an Alfred Ward at St Ann's Church In Tottenham in 1898. He was a 50 year old widower and she was a 43 year old spinster. They didn't have any children so Clara was her only child. Sarah's father on her marriage certificate was an Isaac Swadling. Now I knew exactly who Sarah Hannah was and where she came from. She was born in Dorchester in 1855 and her parents were Isaac and Elizabeth Swadling.

Unfortunately it seems now that Clara Anna was not the mother and Sarah was not the grandmother of Lily Edith because while I was searching for marriage of Sarah Hannah Swadling I came across the marriage of another Clara Swadling and this is more likely to be the mother of Lily Edith as this marriage took place a year after the birth in 1899 in the same church, St Mary and St John, Cowley.

So who was this Clara? The marriage certificate says her father's name was John Charles Swadling.

Lily Edith Swaddling - an illegitimate child

At the end of the blog entry I posted on Sunday 22nd January 2017 I made a reference to a family of Hoiles and a Clara Hannah. These details had come to light after a session of family history housekeeping and I was curious to find out who they were. Also written on this paperwork were the details of a baptism from one of the Oxfordshire parishes.

In the latter part of 2016 I began to research a branch of the Swadlings from Oxfordshire. I had a large amount of information on my database and began the task of creating a family tree. I was very pleased to discover that this research coincided with the addition of several Oxfordshire Parish Registers on the Ancestry website at the end of September.

As I began checking the Oxfordshire, England, Church of England, Births and Baptisms 1813 - 1915 one entry caught my eye. It stood out because there was only a mother listed as a parent.

The entry read : - Lily Edith Swaddling ( two dd's) baptised at St Mary and St John, Cowley, on the 16th August 1898 by L. C. K. Greenway. The entry also stated that Lily Edith was born on the 23rd July 1898 at 46 Hertford Street and she as the daughter of Clara Swaddling, a single woman.

On the Ancestry site there are sometimes hints of other records that might include more details about the person in the record you are looking at. On this occasion there were two other records listed. Sadly the other records referred to a death and a burial. Lily Edith was recorded in the Register of Burials for St Mary and St John, Cowley. She was entry number 1798 and listed as an infant of one month. Her place of death was 46 Hertford Street and she was buried in consecrated ground in the graveyard on the 15th September 1898. This ceremony was also performed by L. C. K. Greenway and in the remarks column of the register he also wrote "An illegitimate child".

Lionel Croft Kelynge Greenway was only 29 years old at the time of this tragic death. He had been born in Warwick, Warwickshire in 1868 and after attending Harrow, he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts Degree with Honours in Theology at Trinity College, Oxford. After graduating he became Curate at St Giles in Reading before becoming the vicar at St Mary and St John, Cowley. Lionel never married and when he died in 1943 his estate was left to his younger brother, Harry David Jones Kelynge Greenway, a retired army captain.

Poor Clara, not only had she given birth to a baby out of wedlock but her baby had died within weeks. So who was Clara Swaddling and where had she come from? But more importantly what happened to her?

The Guild of One Name Studies

I became a member of the Guild of One Name Studies in 2003 and as a member I'm expected to collect data and information related to my One name Study.

While family historians research all the names on their family tree. One-namers, as we are called, choose one surname from our family tree and try to gather as much information about our chosen name as possible. This is usually done by checking birth, marriage, death, census and church records.

The guild doesn't tell us how to carry out our study but they do offer guidelines that we can follow. They suggest that initially we find as many occurrences of the surname that we can, and this can be by county, country or worldwide. From this data we should then try and link family members together in the form of family trees.

The earliest records show that Swadling(e)s were living in Sunningwell and South Hinksey, in the county of Berkshire, England from the mid 1500's.

By the early 1600's Swadlings had moved into the county of Oxfordshire and the Greater London area in England. By the mid 1700's Swadlings had also moved into the county of Sussex, England. The migration continued and by the late 1700's and early 1800's there were Swadlings settling in the counties of Buckinghamshire and Kent. By the mid 1800's Swadlings had reached the county of Surrey but they were also exploring further afield to Australia. There are three Swadling males in Australia at this time. Two convicts and one brave man who moved his wife and young family there.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

10 Year Anniversary

I can't believe that it is ten years since I attended the Guild of One Name Studies Seminar, "Publishing your One-Name Study" at Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes.

I was so inspired by one of the speakers that I returned home and created my Blogger account the same day.

I just wish that they had also inspired me to write blog entries more frequently!

Sunday, 22 January 2017

New Year's Resolutions

For a genealogist I'm not as organised as I should be. Over the years I've carried out thousands of hours of research on Swadling families in the United Kingdom. Most of the information I've collected has been recorded on reams of paper and then later transferred into databases or arranged into family trees. Some of these family trees are constructed of hundreds of branches and each branch will contain dozens of names.

Today there is so much data on line that family history can be researched 24/7 and we can find out all about our ancestors from the comfort of our armchair. I use two subscription websites, Ancestry and Find My Past. Both of these websites offer access to millions of records. These records include events from the cradle to the grave, such as baptism registers and probate information. Personal data has been collected for centuries. Our whereabouts have been recorded by the illegible scribble of the enumerator on a census page or in the form of a soldier's enlistment papers during wars. Even our misdemeanours or our need for a better life are recorded in convict's transportation registers or ship's passenger lists.

With so many records available to search through, it is very easy to get overloaded with data or not process the information that's collected. After nearly twenty years of researching I'm familiar with most of the branches of the English Swadlings but occasionally when I'm searching in a new set of records I may come across a Swadling I'm not familiar with. Unfortunately I'm easily distracted and my original searches are soon abandoned since I'm curious to find out who this person is and which branch they belong to. I'll copy out the details on a small scrap of paper, perhaps print off a document or two that relates to this person and then put the information to one side before continuing with my original search. Weeks or months later I'll find these scribbled notes and wonder what branch they refer to. I'll then have to spend a little time retracing my steps to remind myself of who they are.

Last week I found a printout of a page from the 1911 census for a family of Hoiles and a piece of paper headed Clara Hannah. So who was Clara Hannah and where does she come from?

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Happy New Year

A very Happy New Year to Swadlings everywhere.

New Year's Resolution Number 1
Get more organised!

New Year's Resolution Number 2
Try to write a new blog entry every week or at least once a month.

New Year's Resolution Number 3
Add more records to the Website

New Year's Resolution Number 4
Try to recruit more members to the Swadling DNA Project which was started last year.

But most important of them all. New Year's Resolution Number 5.
Finish all outstanding family history projects before starting anything new!

Oh no, I'm going to very busy!