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.

Lucy Thompson

Lucy Thompson was the first wife of my great grandfather Joseph Charles Abram, a Corporal in the Army Service Corps. Married on 16 April 1906 in Northampton, at the time of her wedding, Lucy was living at 35 Burns Street, Northampton and the witnesses were Lucy’s sister Alice Thompson and Joseph’s brother Frederick George Abram.

Born in Northampton in 1880, Lucy was the daughter of William and Harriett. 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.

Lucy died aged 26, at 4 Ferndale Villas, Holly Road, Aldershot on 12 October in 1907 with the reason for death being instrumental labour and pulmonary embolism. The death was registered by Joseph Charles and Lucy was buried four days later on 16 October 1907 at the Aldershot Military Burial Ground, Hampshire. John Greenfield at the Aldershot Garrison has kindly helped me identify Lucy’s burial place in the cemetery, as plot number 1406, in site M.  Sadly there doesn’t appear to be a record of a burial for Joseph and Lucy’s child.

Map of Aldershot Military Cemetery.

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.

Further information

* 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 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

Millicent May Bowers

Millicent May Bowers was my great grandmother. Married to Joseph Charles Abram, they  had three children, my grandfather Louis Bowers Abram, Betty and Joseph Bowers Abram, their first son, born in Tempe, Pretoria, South Africa, in 1913, when Joseph Charles was stationed there on army service.

Milly May

milly-may-2-mears-ashby

Born in Bury St Edmunds, the 1901 census shows Milly, aged 17, living with her parents Henry and Eliza and working as a dressmaker. In 1911 she can be found working at the Kings Arms in Woodbridge, with her sister Kate Eliza Whitehead, a widower and Licenced Victualler, where Kate appears to have been the landlord for over 30 years.  Also living at the pub is Arthur John Bunn, a Ostler (a man employed to look after the horses of people staying at an inn), who appears to have become the landlord in 1937. The pub is now closed and the building used for mixed retail use.