Posts Tagged ‘genealogy’

Floss Welch

November 19, 2014
Floss Welch of Market Lavington

Floss Welch of Market Lavington

Floss, as she was known, was born Florence E Page

She was born in Brighton in Sussex in about 1892. Her father, Henry, was a house painter. In 1911 she was a servant in Brighton.

In 1912, on holiday in Weymouth, she met Jack Welch and a relationship developed. The Great War intervened, taking Jack away for more than three years and he returned injured. The couple were not able to marry until 1920. They set up home in Market Lavington where they had two children. Marjory was born in 1921. She was known as Peggy. Tony followed in 1924. The family lived at two different cottages – Meadow Cottage and then Spring Villa.

Sadly, Floss’s life was to be too short. She died in 1933, aged 40 and was buried in St Mary’s, Market Lavington.

The Webb Family

September 5, 2014

Some four years ago we wrote about the Webb family and you can click here to read that post. We are still seeking more information.

Today we will show a couple of certificates as we examine that family again. (click on pictures to see a readable sized version)

Thomas Webb's birth certificate

Thomas Webb’s birth certificate

We can see that Thomas Richard Webb was born on 28th May 1846. His father was called John and he was a bricklayer. His mother was Mary – formerly a Miss Merrett. When Mary registered the birth she gave her address as Market Lavington.

We can see from the 1851 census that the family lived on Church Street in Market Lavington and can see that the whole family were born in our parish.

Thomas Richard grew up and married on 13th May 1869.

Thomas Webb marriage certificate

Thomas Webb marriage certificate

The first thing we note is that the marriage was at the Registrar’s Office in Devizes from which we guess that the family were not church goers. Thomas Richard Webb had followed his father into the bricklaying business and still lived in Market Lavington. His bride was Ann Kite of West Lavington. Her father, John, was a labourer.

A child was soon born to this marriage.

The birth of Thomas Webb's first child

The birth of Thomas Webb’s first child

Richard was born almost a year after the wedding on 1st May 1870.

The family can be found on the 1871 census, still living on Church Street in Market Lavington.

More children were born in Market Lavington but in about 1879 the family moved up to the London area where, no doubt, Thomas was able to make a good living.

One of these children was Edith Webb, born about 1873. She obviously moved up to London with the family but when she retired she returned to Wiltshire. She had married but we have not traced her marriage. Our correspondent sent us this photo of her house as he remembered it in the 1950s, with thatched roof, outside loo and a well. He tells us the cottage was in Easterton.

Retirement home of Edith, daughter of Thomas Webb.

Retirement home of Edith, daughter of Thomas Webb.

Can anybody identify just where this cottage was?

Burial register

August 11, 2014

One of the family history records we have lacked at our museum was earlier burial records. We have now put that right and have acquired a copy of burials at the church from 1622 to 1837.

A Burial Register can now be inspected at market Lavington Museum

A Burial Register can now be inspected at Market Lavington Museum

As we can see, these records have been compiled by the Wiltshire Family History Society.


An index can help users find the full entry

An index can help users find the full entry

The first section is an alphabetical list of names with the year of burial – effectively, it’s an index.

And then the bulk of the pages are in chronological order. The amount of information varied according to who was vicar at the time.

John Dobson who was vicar in the second half of the 18th century seems to have been the one who got up close and personal.


Here we get cause of death, often the name of a parent and even a one word comment from a coroner. There’s real family history in records like these.

George Rogers also kept quite full records at the start of the nineteenth century.


Elsewhere there is less detail but we reckon this will be a very useful document to have at our museum.

Usher family – help wanted.

July 28, 2014

We recently had a visit from a member of the Usher family who lives in Norway.

Ushers at the museum

Ushers at the museum

He’d like help with tracing information about his family who lived in Market Lavington in the 19th century.

He sent us this information.

Usher Family of Market Lavington

Thomas Usher 1805-1891 b. Trowbridge

Jemima Bailey (1) 1802-1845 b. Great Cheverell Married Thomas 20th April 1828

Jane Gardener (2) 1804-1874 b. Erlestoke Married Thomas 1838 Westbury

Mary Scull (3) 1810-1882 b Erlestoke Thomas married her after Jane’s death in 1874

George Henry Usher 1829-1829 b. Little Cheveriell c. 6 March 1829

Frederick Usher 1830-1877b. Little Cheverell c. 4th July 1830 Married Mary Park

Louisa Usher 1832-1877 b. Market Lavington c. 8th April 1832 Married Fredrick Butler

Elizabeth Usher 1833- b. Market Lavington

Mary Jane Usher 1835 b. Market Lavington Married James Amor

Alfred Usher 1838-1881 b. Market Lavington c. 15th April Married Ann Still from M. Lavington

George Usher 1843-1910 b. Market Lavington – My Great Grandfather who married Louise Brown and moved and lived (and died) in Salisbury with their 11 children, I have details of most of them and he died in 37 Endless Street, now a B&B establishment.

In 1851 15 year old Mary Jane was a servant in the house of James Farmer, Butcher, 17th High Street.

In 1815 17 year old Elizabeth was a servent in the house of Cornelius B. Holder, Minister of Market Lavington Chapel, Market Place.

In 1851 Alfred & Ann lived in Townsend, number 10 in my notes, whether this is a street number or a register number in the census I am not sure !

In 1861 Alfred & Ann still lived in Townsend, he was a plumber & glazier.

In 1861 George lived with his parents in High Street, Cabinet Maker.

Our thought – for we have no information – is that the Ushers were members of the non-conformist church in Market Lavington.

Can anyone out there provide more information?

Aunty May with Granny Potter

July 8, 2014

That is what is written on the back of a photo we have at Market Lavington Museum, which was given to us by folks in Canada.


Added to that we have a rough date of 1920 and a location, which is the garden at 6 Parsonage Lane.

Now the front of the photo.

Helena May Potter with her mother Mary Ann Potter (née Pike)

Helena May Potter with her mother Mary Ann Potter (née Pike)

Aunty May – her full name was Helena May Potter – is fairly instantly recognisable as one of the mainstays of the village for many a year.

She was an established infant teacher by the time she married in 1929. Her husband was Bill Elisha and she became the legend that was Mrs Elisha. But here we see her with her mother, Mary Ann Potter. Mary Ann was born Mary Ann Pike but as far as we know she was not in any way closely related to another village stalwart of the era, George Pike. According to the census of 1911 Mary Ann may have come from Milton near Pewsey. We are a tad uncertain about her family history though.

Close up on the ladies

Close up on the ladies

May was born in 1904. She was never a big lady but barely looks to be 16 in that image. Perhaps the photo is more like 1918.


Mrs Phillips and Sally

May 1, 2014

The Mrs Phillips in question here was born Eleanor Crassweller in Market Lavington back in 1889. Her father was George and her mother was a part of the Potter family in the village. We can’t trace much of her early life. In 1901 she was with her parents who were then Londoners. In 1911 her parents were visiting Market Lavington but Eleanor, now in her 20s, was working as a lady’s maid in central London.

We do not know when Eleanor returned to Market Lavington but in 1919 she married locally. Her husband was Fred Phillips. We don’t think the Phillips lived in Market Lavington at the time of the 1926 electoral roll. But we do know that fairly soon after, the Phillips lived on Spin Hill and that Fred ran a chicken farm at the top of Northbrook until his early death in 1934.

Eleanor’s one son, Edward, had been born in 1931. He lived only three days.

So widowed Eleanor lived alone. At first it was still on Spin Hill but by the 1960s Eleanor lived at Anne’s Cottage on Church Street.

This photo was taken in the garden there.

Eleanor Phillips and her dog, Sally in their garden at Church Street, Market Lavington

Eleanor Phillips and her dog Sally in their garden at Church Street, Market Lavington

There’s Eleanor with her dog, Sally. Our photo is captioned with the message, ‘Mrs Phillips took a prominent part in village life for many years’.

Eleanor died in 1975. She joined husband and baby son in St Mary’s churchyard.


Freddy Chapman

April 25, 2014


For many years Freddy (sometimes Fred and sometimes Freddie and sometimes Frederick) Chapman was the manager of Walton’s store in the middle of Market Lavington.

Freddy Chapman of Market Lavington

Freddy Chapman of Market Lavington

Freddy, as we see here, was a dapper little man. We judge from his dress that his heart was in the men’s tailoring side of the business.

Freddy was born in 1889. His father, William, was a market gardener in the Fiddington area. Freddy’s mother, Ann Kyte, came from a family who had been Fiddington market gardeners back in the 1860s.

As a small boy, Freddy lived at Fiddington Clay but in 1898 his father died and in 1901 his widowed mother, with five boys and a daughter to bring up was a tailoress, living on Lavington Lane, just in West Lavington.

By 1911, mother Ann and four of the children were back in Market Lavington and living on High Street, Freddy was a clerk working for a draper – surely Mr Walton. We do, in fact, have a picture of a tiny Fred, outside Mr Walton’s shop in 1907. (Click here).

Our next formal record of Freddy is on the 1926 electoral roll. He was still living with his mother on Market Lavington’s High Street.

Frederick died locally in 1976


Arthur Henry Sainsbury

April 5, 2014

Peter, our museum chairman, has recently acquired a couple of images of Market Lavington people, possibly with a connection to each other but today we’ll just look at one of them with the good old local surname of Sainsbury – Arthur Henry Sainsbury.

These photos were being sold by a trader at an antiques market and we had to decide if the information given really did make these people Market Lavington or Easterton folk. This was the information on the back.

Information on the back of a photo. To acquire for Market Lavington Museum or not to acquire? That is the question.

Information on the back of a photo. To acquire for Market Lavington Museum or not to acquire? That is the question.

We have a 1939 electoral roll at the museum and the first thing we did was to check out that. Here we see all people called Sainsbury who were electors in Market Lavington for 1939

People with the Sainsbury surname on our 1939 electoral roll

People with the Sainsbury surname on our 1939 electoral roll

We can see, amongst them there is Arthur Henry and we could take a guess that Olive Louisa might be his wife.

This is easy to check out and we found that Arthur Sainsbury married Olive Osmond in 1932.

The Osmond family lived at 12 Council Cottages on Spin Hill in 1939.

Checking back on our 1926 electoral roll we found no Arthur and no Osmond. We think the Osmonds must have moved after 1925 and suspect Arthur and Olive were able to acquire one of the new houses when they married.

As they married in 1932, there was a good chance we’d find them on the 1911 census. Our luck was in and we found Arthur was born in 1906. He was born and lived with his family in the Cheverells.

The information on the back of the photo is thus proved so let’s now see the image.


Arthur Henry Sainsbury on the right. He was a serving soldier at Ghent in Belgium at the time.

Arthur is on the right. We do not know who his mate is but we do know that these two British soldiers were in Ghent in Belgium when this photo was taken, soon after hostilities ceased at the end of World War II. Somebody out there might recognise him and put a name to him.

As far as we know, Arthur and Olive had a son called Robert born in 1935.

The Sainsbury family were still living on Spin Hill in 1964 but Arthur died in 1966. He may have been hospitalised at the time for the death was registered in the Bath district. Olive died in 1993.

Son Robert married Christine Plank. He died in 2004 in the Swindon area.

We have odd bits of information about this family but do get in touch if you can tell us anything more.

Geoff Alexander and family

March 27, 2014

The Alexander family had a farm in the Southcliffe area of Market Lavington.

We think of Alfie Alexander as the founder of the Alexander dynasty, although, of course, the family really goes back years before him.

Amongst Alfie’s children there was a son called Deering and Deering had a son, Geoffrey, born in 1932. It is Geoff we look at today. The photo was taken in 1960 and shows Geoff with his wife, Val and baby daughter Mary Anne.

Geoff, Val and Mary Ann Alexander in 1960

Geoff, Val and Mary Ann Alexander in 1960

Geoff had married Val Baulcomb in 1954. Mary Anne was their first child, born in 1960. Paul was born the following year.

This branch of the family left Wiltshire for Australia. We know some of the family still live there.

It’s that band again

February 10, 2014

In times past, all entertainment was home produced. We are going back to those days when entertainment for the masses wasn’t beamed through the air for all to receive. No Internet; no TV; no radio although at the time we speak of here, that had been invented. So, too, had films but they were probably very rarely seen.

Some rich folks may have had gramophones to play the truly amazing records or phonographs which played cylinders. But for most, if you wanted music, you made it yourself – or knew somebody else who did. No wonder bands were so popular. And of course, Market Lavington had its own band. We are going to look at a photo which dates from June 2nd 1911.

Market Lavington Band in 1911

Market Lavington Band in 1911

Things have come together well on this photo. Apart from a precise date, quite a few of the men are named.

This photo is well captionned

This photo is well captionned

Very handily, the photo dates from just a couple of months after the census was taken. We can easily find a little about these people.

Bill Merritt, for example, was a gardener and lived at The Hollow on Lavington Hill. Finky Allen has had a mention before on this blog. He was a watch and clock maker/repairer operating on the High Street. Thomas Merritt was a blacksmith living on Church Street in Market Lavington. Tom Moody had been a miller but by 1911 he was a fruit grower living on the sands.

Sam Moore was the Easterton jam factory man – still very much a cottage industry in 1911.

We think Wally Ring must have had the name Harry. In 1911 he lived at The Bothy, in the garden of the Manor House and he was a gardener. John Merritt was already 20 years into his spell as band leader. He still had more than forty to go! At that time he called himself a cycle agent, living on Church Street, Market Lavington. Tom Haines was a hairdresser also living on Church Street. H Giddings, who has an instrument called a helicon, may have been Herbert, a brewer’s carter living on Stobbarts Road or Harry, a carter living on Northbrook.

Sam Axford was a cycle repairer living in the Market Place.

It’s a great photo!