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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

52 Ancestors #12: Joseph Charles Birch (Dover, Kent) (1820-1906)

Joseph Charles Birch is the 4xGreat Grandfather of my children. This post is part of the 52 ancestors challenge blogposts.

Joseph Charles Birch was born in 1820 in Dover, Kent. His parents were Joseph and Elizabeth Birch.

In 1855 he married Mary Ann Venner. The couple went on to have 7 children - Alice, Joseph, William, Charles, Rose, Ellen and one other that I've not identified yet!

On the 1861 census Joseph is described as a licensed victualler. He was the proprietor of the Princess Alice Inn until 1863 when he moved to the Flying Horse Pub in King Street, Dover.

"Joseph C Birch," Dover Express (Dover, Kent), electronic newspaper, archived, ( accessed 25 March 2014), p. 1, col. 4, para. 1.

 Unfortunately the Flying Horse no longer exists. You can find out more about the pub at the Dover archives website where I found this picture.

In 1871 Joseph had to file for bankruptcy and the pub is mentioned in these documents.

"Joseph C Birch Creditors Request," 31March 1871 Dover Express (Dover, Kent), electronic newspaper, archived, ( accessed 25 March 2014), p. 1, col. 5, para. 1.

By 1891 Joseph's career has taken another turn and he's now an assistant curator at a museum and by 1901 he is finally retired at the grand age of 81!

Joseph died in 1906 and is buried in Dover.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: Postcard Book Page 10

And we're back with the next page of our postcard book today. For other posts just click on the Postcards word in the tag cloud on the right.

The postcards are all from England again

The first card is from Weston Super Mare - it was posted in 1905 and it looks like it is from one of Nurse Hogg's former patients letting her know that they are doing well.

The second card is a view of Handsworth Park in Birmingham. This card was posted in 1905 too and is addressed to Nurse Hogg again. It is a message to "Piggie" from "Billy" who is looking forward to meeting soon!

The final postcard on this page looks like the Eiffel Tower from a distance but it's actually the Blackpool Tower up in Lancashire. This card was posted in 1907. I can't make out who it's from but it looks like someone who knew Nurse Hogg as a friend rather than a patient. Whoever it is they are staying with Aunty Lily.

Come back next week - it looks like we're off to the seaside!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Tombola Time

Found this photo from Leyland in the late 1970's - I think it was from a newspaper. I know who one person is but no idea about anyone else!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

52 Ancestors #11: Samuel Hanna (1882- ?) (Loughguile, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland)

This post is part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks blogging series.

We've had a lovely weekend of weather here in the UK after (what seems likes) months of wet and windy weather so today is a very brief blog post so that I can get back to doing some family bits and bobs!

Whilst rummaging through some a box of bits and bobs I found this article from 1962 about Samuel Hanna - he is the 1st cousin 3 times removed of my children and a grandson of Thomas Houston Loughridge.

 What an interesting man! Do you know anything about the Hanna family?

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: Postcard Book Page 9 - Back in the UK 1906

So, we are on to page 9 of the postcard book - for other posts in this series click on Postcards in the label tag on the right.

The top postcard shows Argyle Terrace in Bognor
 The next postcard on the page has an image of the Wesleyan Chapel and High Road in Goodmayes. There is a note to say "This a very good view" "C.J.H". On the reverse it looks likeit was sent to Nurse Hogg at an Isolation Hospital - I wonder if she was working there or if she was ill
 The final postcard on the page shows Moor Park Avenue in Preston - it looks like it's a thankyou note.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

52 Ancestors #10: Hugh Redmond (1897-1966) Conshohocken, Pennsylvania

This post is part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks blogging series.

Hugh Redmond is the great-great-uncle of my children and one of my few connections with America.

Hugh was born on 4th October 1897(1). He appears on the 1901 Irish Census with his parents, Hugh and Eliza, and his younger sister Adeline(2) at Knockans in Armoy, County Antrim. In 1911, Hugh is still in Knockans with his parents but now he has 6 younger siblings - one of which was my grandma, Ida(3).

In 1922, at the age of 25,  Hugh travelled to Canada from Liverpool onboard the Empress of Britain(4).

By 1930 Hugh was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was now married to Sarah and they had 2 children, Robert and Isabel(5). He was working as a Porter in a Department Store. His brother Robert was also living with them.

The 1940 census shows the family in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania. Hugh was now a gardener and both the children were in school(6).

The next thing I know about Hugh is that he died on 20th September 1966. I have a card that must have been sent out just prior to his funeral with details of the memorial service etc.

 I also have this newspaper clipping.

I met Hugh's daughter Isabel over 20 years ago when I went on holiday to America with my parents but unfortunately I don't really remember very much except that she made some lovely chocolate brownies.

  1. Hugh Redmond Memorial Card; privately held by Joanne Tillin, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE], Bedfordshire, England, 2014.
  2. "1901 Ireland Census",[database on-line], The National Archives of Ireland ( : accessed 9 Mar 2014) Antrim, Armoy, Knockans, House 9, REDMOND
  3. "1911 Ireland Census",[database on-line], The National Archives of Ireland ( : accessed 9 Mar 2014) Antrim, Armoy, Knockans, REDMOND
  4. "UK, Outward Passenger Lists, 1890-1960",[database on-line], ( : accessed 9 Mar 2014) Liverpool England; 11 Apr 1922; Hugh Redmond
  5. 1930 U.S. census, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania , population schedule, Philadelphia, Enumeration District 0217, p.33A (penned), dwelling 494, family 532, Redmond, Hugh: digital images, Ancestry ( accessed 9 Mar 2014); from National Archives microfilm publication 2341863, roll 2129, image 910.0.
  6. 1940 U.S. census, Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania , population schedule, Philadelphia, Enumeration District 46-90, p.2B (penned), dwelling 37, Redmond, Hugh: digital images, Ancestry ( accessed 9 Mar 2014); from National Archives microfilm roll T627_3580.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: Postcard Book Page 8 - Italy and Bermuda in 1905

So, normal service is resumed after my planning for Who Do You Think You Are Live and I'm back to my Treasure Chest Thursday post about the postcard book I was given.

There's no hidden postcards this week and at the top of the page we're still in Italy - at the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele

 Then we stay in Italy where the description is Via Piliero e porto

 This card was actually posted to Nurse Hogg at Middlesex Hospital in London and the note is dated 2nd February 1905. I can't quite decipher the writing but it is something like

With love from "Jonny" - am writing later when once arrived at my destination. We reach Portsaid on Monday - and am sure of Faffa
 Any ideas? Here's a close up of the note

The final postcard on the page is from a bit further afield - Bermuda! It is entitle "Reefs on South Side, Bermuda"

Again, this is a postcard that was actually posted - here is the back of the card showing the Bermuda stamp.

The note at the bottom of the card was writtn on 14th March 1905 and I've transcribed it as:

Dear Edith, Just a line hoping to find you quite well as I am A1. We are at the end of our journey now. Get home 17th April. Next stop England. Affectionate friend.

 So I wonder where the next page of postcards will be from? Also who was the affectionate friend?

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Village traditions - how did you celebrate pancake day?

Our village has a bit of a peculiar tradition on pancake day - we have an old motte and bailey castle mound in the centre of the village and years ago children from the local school would go and lie down on the mound to listen for the witch in the hill cooking her pancakes. I remember doing it and the tradition has now been reinstated.

This tradition has caught the attention of the media and there were a couple of stories about it yesterday.

This one in a local newspaper includes a video

Taken from

And this article from the BBC

taken from
Here is another short film and song from the Toddington Village facebook page - an interesting source for all sorts of information about the village, both historical and modern.

Taken from

But this film from 1964 shows that not much changes in 50 years!

Taken from

Monday, 3 March 2014

52 Ancestors #9: Mary Ann Heron (nee Eagles) (1856-1935) London, England

Mary Ann Eagles is the 3xGreat Grandmother of my children. She was born on 1st October 1856 at 7 Canterbury Mews, Paddington, Middlesex(1). Her parents were James Eagles (a coachman) and Sarah James. She was the eldest of  13 children. Her birth was registered in the Kensington Registration district in Q4 (Oct-Dec) 1856(2).

In 1861 she appeared on the census with her family in Carshalton, Surrey(3).

According to the 1871 census she was in Croydon working as a nursemaid in the house of Henry and Devereux Greenaway(4).  Henry Greenaway was from Sydney,Australia and the house had the interesting name of "Ulimbah" which I believe is part of Newcastle, Australia.. The Greenaway family had 5 children - Blanche, Henry, Edward, Devereux and Francis. Blanche was born in Newcastle, Australia while the other children were all born in Surrey as was their mother, Devereux. Mary Ann was one of 4 members of staff along with a housemaid, cook and a nurse.

By 1881, I think she had moved to Hillingdon, Middlesex and was working as a Housemaid but the birth place is given as Hammersmith so I'm still looking for futher proof that this is the right Mary Ann(5).

In 1890 Mary Ann married Alfred Heron on 12th June 1890 at the Parish Church in Esher, Surrey. As I've previously blogged the couple went on to have 3 children - Alfred, Ada and Violet.

From 1891 the family stayed in the Streatham area, moving from Sunny Hill to Hambro Road at some point between 1891 and 1901. The family were still at 30 Hambro Road well into the 20th century and can be found on the electoral rolls. Their daughter Ada, (who married Charles William Tillin) also lived on Hambro Road at number 119.

Mary Ann died in 1935 and her death was registered in Q3 (Jul-Sep) 1935 in the Wandsworth registration district(6).

(1) England,copy of birth certificate for Mary Ann Eagles, born 1st October 1856; citing  BXCD810700, Kensington registration district and Saint Mary Paddington subdistrict; General Registry Office, Southport
(2)"England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915" [database on-line] ( : accessed 27 Jan 2014)  Oct-Dec [quarter] 1856 EAG-EAM
(3) "1861 England Census",[database on-line], ( : accessed 3 Mar 2014) Carshalton, Surrey; citing Class: RG9; Piece: 418; Folio: 77A ; Page: 41 Registration District: Epsom Sub-registration District: Carshalton Enumeration District: 5
(4) "1871 England Census",[database on-line], ( : accessed 3 Mar 2014) Croydon, Surrey; citing Class: RG10; Piece: 843; Folio: 87 ; Page: 35 Registration District: Croydon Sub-registration District: Croydon Enumeration District: 25 
(5) "1881 England Census",[database on-line], ( : accessed 3 Mar 2014) Hillingdon, Middlesex; citing Class: RG11; Piece: 1330; Folio: 45 ; Page: 6 Registration District: Uxbridge Sub-registration District: Hillingdon Enumeration District: 3 
(6) England & Wales, Death Index, 1916-2007 [database on-line] ( : accessed 27 Jan 2014) Jul-Sep  [quarter] 1835 HER-HEW