George and Lucy Munns

I learned about George and Lucy Munns while researching the Thompson family. Lucy Munn’s name appeared on the 1871 and 1881 census returns along with William and Harriett Thompson.

1841

George and Lucy Munns, both aged 35 can be found on the 1841 census, living at Todds Lane Johnsons Square, St Sepulchre, Northampton.

1851

In 1851 George and Lucy are living at 1, Nelson Street Square, St Sepulchre Northampton, Both described as shoemakers, they have four daughters, including a daughter Harriett aged seven.

1861

In 1861 George and Lucy are living at 27, Vernon Street, Priory of St Andrew, Northampton. Harriett aged 17 is employed as a shoe machine worker.

1871

In 1871 a Lucy Manns is recorded as living with William and Harriett Thompson at Russell Street, Northampton. William is employed as a riveter, Harriett as a machinist and Lucy as a laundress.

1881

In 1881 Lucy Munns is again recorded as living with William and Harriett, living at 42 Great Russell Street, Northampton. Interestingly though, Lucy Munns, a widow also aged 75 and described as Mother in Law can be found recorded at 8 Billing Road Northampton, living with John Peach (a retired Market Gardener) and his wife too.*

* The 1901 census shows Lucy Thompson aged 21, working as a servant for a widow, aged 73, named Elizabeth Peach, at 25 Margaret Street, Northampton. Elizabeth is described as ‘living on own means’.

William and Harriett Thompson

William and Harriett Thompson were the parents of Lucy Thompson, who was the first wife of my great grandfather Joseph Charles Abram.

1841

The 1841 census shows William aged three living in Dallington, Northampton, with his parents William and Mary and six brothers and sisters – George, John, Mary, Sarah, Richard and Elizabeth.

1861

In 1861, William aged 23, can be found living in the home of John and Emma Humphrey at 5, Cavendish Terrace, Clapham, Wandsworth. John and Emma have eight children and five servants including William. William’s occupation is given as a footman and John’s occupation is given as wharfinger, which is the owner or keeper of a wharf.

1871

In 1871 William is back in Northampton, living at Russell Street. He is now married to Harriett. Living with them are two other women, Lucy Manns aged 65 and Harriett Clarke aged seven.

1881

In 1881 William and Harriett are living at 42 Great Russell Street, Northampton. They have four daughters including Lucy aged one. Lucy Munns is living with them, aged 75 and she is described as Mother in Law. Interestingly though, Lucy Munns, a widow also aged 75 and described as Mother in Law can also be found recorded at 8 Billing Road Northampton, living with John Peach (a retired Market Gardener) and his wife too.*

1891

In 1891 William and Harriett are living at Great Russell Street. Lucy is now aged 11. William is described as a gentlemen’s gardener.

1901

In 1901 still at Great Russell Street, William’s occupation is now given as a market gardener and Harriett is recorded as a greengrocer shop keeper. **

1911

In 1911 William and Harriett are living at 18 Burns Street, Northampton.*** Living with them is a Mrs Peach, a boarder and a widow aged 83, with a personal description of ‘independent means’.

* The 1901 census shows Lucy Thompson aged 21, working as a servant for a widow, aged 73, named Elizabeth Peach, at 25 Margaret Street, Northampton. Elizabeth is described as ‘living on own means’.

** The 1890 Kellys directory has William listed as the greengrocer.

*** At the time of Lucy’s marriage to Joseph she was living at 35 Burns Street, Northampton.

Kathleen Rose

Kathleen Rose Abram was born in Northampton in 1899.  The 1901 census shows Kathleen, aged two at 75, Lower Hester Street, Northampton, Kingsthorpe. The 1911 census shows her living at Station Road, Earls Barton.

In 1919 Kathleen went to live in Australia, with her husband, an Australian soldier.

abram13

Ellen Brooker

Ellen  Brooker (known as Nelly) was born in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire on 7 February 1916. Ellen was the daughter of David Brooker and Ellen Kefford.  She had a sister, Phil and a brother, Arthur.

ellen

The 1939 register shows Ellen living at 16 The Baulk, Biggleswade, working as an unpaid housekeeper and living with David Brooker, a widower and Arthur Brooker. The following year, Ellen married my grandfather in Biggleswade, by special licence two days before Frederick had to report for military service.

The wedding of Frederick and Ellen.

Wedding announcement for Mr F Payne and Miss E Brooker.

Frederick and Ellen had three children, Pamela Ann and Freda were twins born in 1940 but Freda only lived to be three days old – her death certificate states she was a premature twin born at seven months. My mum was born seven years later on 3 February 1948.

Ellen died aged 60 on 15 November 1976.

Joseph Charles Abram

Joseph Charles Abram was my great grandfather.  Married to Millicent May Bowers, the couple had three children – my grandfather Louis Bowers Abram, Betty and Joseph Bowers Abram, their first son, born in Tempe, Pretoria, South Africa, in 1913, where Joseph Charles was stationed on army service.  The child lived for two short months – he died of enteritis and heart failure and is buried in South Africa.

joseph-charles-mears-ashby

Joseph served in the army from January 1901 to March 1922, receiving the 1914 Star, the British War Medal 1914 – 1918 and the Victory Medal 1914 – 1918 as well as being mentioned in Despatches on 30 December 1918.

On discharge, Joseph Charles Abram was involved in a number of projects.  He is believed to have run two pubs – the Red Lion in Stambourne, Essex (around 1924 when his daughter Betty May Abram was born) and the Kings Arms in Woodbridge,  Suffolk.

He built two houses at Mears Ashby Road in Earls Barton. Choosing to live in one of these, the second property he sold. Newspaper articles from local newspapers in 1939 advertised a semi detached house with six rooms (three being bedrooms),  central heating, bath, electricity, gas and main water. The houses still stand today.  

joseph-abram-bus

He also ran Earls Barton Motors (known locally as Abram’s garage), from which he sold vehicles and ran a bus service in the early 1930’s.  operating a small local service with trips to Wellingborough and back at weekends costing four pennies return. During the war the garage was used for repairing aircraft parts for Sywell aerodrome and in March 1943 the garage sustained a broken window when two Air Force Bombers collided and crashed.

Further information about Joseph

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.

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

There’s no place like home

Going through old family photos, I have come across photos of places my family have lived. Below is a brief history of some of the places my family have called home.

39 Woodbridge Close, Luton

My first home was 39 Leagrave Close, Luton and it was here that I was born. My mum had wanted to give birth to me in hospital as I was her first baby but the doctor felt she was young and healthy, so a home birth it was.

Woodbridge Close was my parents first home after they were married in March 1967 and I came along in May 1971. The house was a mid terrace in a block of three properties and a new build which cost £4,250. Dad told me the heating/hot water came from a coal fired back burner in living room. The house had three radiators, the coal fire had to be refilled two to three times a day and an ash box emptied each morning.

 


Langport Drive, Vicars Cross

When I was seven months old we moved to Chester. My parents bought a new three bedroom house on Langport Drive in Vicars Cross for just under £5,000, after the first buyers pulled out and we moved in on 9 December 1971.  At the time of purchase the house had just a gas fire in living room and my parents had to find a plumber to fit the central heating.

The houses were built by Thomas Warrington Homes Limited and are a mix of bungalows, detached and semi detached properties, most of which have very recogisable windows on the front of the property – one large window divided up into many smaller windows. The bedroom windows overlooking the road had two similar smaller windows, with wooden shutters and mock black iron hinges. Today the windows still remain but the shutters and black hinges have now mostly be taken down.

My friend Ian and his sister Helen lived a few doors up the road in a detached property – their house was the last house on the right of the street. I remember it had a larger back garden than the rest of the houses and to the side of their house, out the front, there was a piece of land on which the children from the street would often play. The land signalled the top of the cul-de-sac, behind which a hedge was planted to separate the road from the busy A41 which ran directly behind it.

The black and white photos below show Ian and me as bables outside of my parents house.  The colour photos show Ian and me with our sisters Helen and Rachel.


Poplars Close, Luton

Poplars Close was my grandparents house until I was about 11 when they moved to Chester. I remember visiting my grandparents and also, because it was so close, getting to visit London and go the theatre at the same time which was always a treat.

The property was a large two bedroom bungalow called ‘Robin Hill’. The property was a large two bedroom bungalow, with a large garden out the back. I remember a greenhouse where my grandfather grew tomatoes and looking at the the photos today, I am struck by the size of the garden and how pretty it was. My grandfather must have spent a lot of time out there and I wish I could have talked to him about it, as I have grown to love gardens too and I think he could have taught me a thing or two.
My great grandfathers Albert Edward William Clarke and my great grandfather Joseph Charles Abram lived about 100 yards away from one another on Earls Barton. More information about both men can be found on this website.

32 Mears Ashby Road, Earls Barton

Mears Ashby Road was the home of my great grandfather, Joseph Charles Abram. Named ‘Rockaway’, it was a three bedroom semi detached house and was one of two houses which we believe he built after he retired from the army.

My dad and granddad lived in this house for around  4 – 5 months in 1952 too because my grandmother was in hospital. Dad remembers the property had a large flower garden but also a large area for growing vegetables. He explained to me that gardens were much bigger than they are today and growing vegetables had been encouraged during the war years as part of the Grow for Victory campaign.

The Limes, Earls Barton

My great grandfather Albert Edward William Clarke lived at The Limes.  The house still stands today.  Photos of the property can be seen below.

 

The Rag Trade

My mum has always been good with a needle and thread and when she left school, her first jobs were in the textile industries.

Mum first worked for a company called Kayser Bonder in Biggleswade.  The underwear made by the company, was known throughout the world during the 1950’s and 1960’s and Biggleswade was home to one of its factories for 53 years. The letter shown below was sent to my mum prior to her starting work at Kayser Bondor. She was fifteen years old at the time.

kayser-bonder
Mum also worked as a sewing machinist for Skirtex undertaking piece work (a type of work which pays a fixed rate for each unit produced or action performed regardless of time) and at Electrolux as an armature winder, both in Luton.

The photo below was taken at Skirtex. Mum is stood directly behind Father Christmas, to the right of a woman wearing glasses, who I know was called Connie, because I met her once.  Mum tells me the women had a radio and would sing while they worked and I can imagine them singing along loudly and giving hell to any man who walked across their factory floor.

mum-skirtex

Later, mum made clothes for my sister and I and also for my dolls – I still have a bag full of them, seemingly unable to throw them away, even though I am now much too old for such things.

Then, almost forty years after mum began work with Kayser Bondor, she took early retirement and began making quilts. Turns out she is pretty amazing at it too and has won awards for her work. Mum’s quilts are displayed on her website below.

natures_treasures

Up in the air

When he was young dad was a member of the  London Gliding Club on Dunstable Downs. Bedfordshire. He trained as a glider pilot and was ready to go solo but never saw the training through as he needed the money to buy a home. However, he retained an interest in flying over the years and for four years he worked at Luton airport as a Duty Crewman in the airport fire service which he described as fire, security and any jobs the airport commandant requested  to maintain smooth running of the airport.

The photo below was taken at the Scottish Gliding Centre in 1962. The plane is a Slingby T31 trainer.

scottish-gliding-centre-1

More photos

Margaret and my Australian family

Putting together these pages, I have felt incredibly fortunate to know so much and have so many photos of my family and I am indebted to Margaret Creighton (nee Abram) for sharing so much of the Abram family history with me.

Margaret is my dads second cousin once removed and the daughter of Reginald Abram, one of the many children of my great great grandparents Charles and Emily. After the first world war ended, Charles and Emily stayed in England and Charlie and Millicent (my great grandparents) settled in England too but many of the family emigrated to Australia, with Reg going in approximately 1922 – 1923.

Below are some photos of my Australian family.

Photo one: Margaret with husband Graham, mother Connie (wife of Reginald Abram, one of the children of my great grandparents Charles and Emily) and sister Joan, 20 March 1093
Photo two: Margaret and Graham with Connie aged 90 1/2 years holding her great grandson Robert, also Robert’s mother Teenga
Photo three: Margaret’s eldest child Rodney with wife Jenny
Photo four: Margaret’s middle child, Greg
Photo five: Margaret’s youngest child Andrea