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Topics - ChrisWd

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I'm having difficulty locating a baptism record for William Parry, born around 1771 in Ruabon, Denbighshire. He was a solicitor, formerly of the Inner Temple in the City of London, who died in Hereford in 1855.

He married Penelope Woollam in 1816 at St Clement Danes, Westminster. Penelope was the daughter of Charles Woollam who was involved in the silk throwing industry in St Albans.

They had two daughters: Penelope Parry born 1818 who married William Peete Musgrave, rector of Eaton Bishop in Herefordshire, and Ellen Parry born 1821 who married Edward Burges, a Gloucestershire solicitor.

At the time of the 1841 census William Parry and his daughter were staying with his brother-in-law John Woollam in St Albans. In the 1851 census, William Parry, now aged 80, and his wife Penelope are shown living at Broad Street, Hereford. His place of birth is shown as Rubon (presumably Ruabon near Wrexham), Denbighshire.

William Parry's will is brief and he simply left everything to his wife Penelope. I suspect Penelope died shortly after William as the will also contains a short annex added a year after probate was granted in February 1855 which transfers items of his estate across to his two daughters. I've not yet found Penelope's death or burial record.

Any assistance finding William Parry's baptism record would be greatly appreciated.


Surrey / John Doyley, surveyor, 1775-1861
« on: Wednesday 07 August 19 10:09 BST (UK)  »
I'm wondering if anyone can help me find a baptism record for a John Doyley (possibly D'Oyley), born around 1775 in Wandsworth, died 5th October 1861 at Judd Street, Brunswick Square in London.

He married Mary Ann Dobson on 11th September 1800 in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire and, as far as I can determine, they had 5 children born between 1803 and 1816, all of whom I've managed to trace.  Mary Ann died in 1849.

John Doyley was a land surveyor.  I've found him in 1841, 1851 and 1861 census returns and there are numerous entries in the London trade directories.  He had business premises in Greville Street, Hatton Garden in 1820, Frederick Street in Grays Inn in 1830 and Liverpool Street, Kings Cross in 1845.  His two sons, John King Doyley and William Doyley were also surveyors.

According to his probate record the executors responsible for his estate were Samuel Smith, his son-in-law, and his grandson, Samuel Smith junior.  Both Samuels were solicitors.

Any help greatly appreciated.


London and Middlesex / George Melville Robbins, actor and theatre proprietor
« on: Thursday 16 November 17 13:29 GMT (UK)  »
I've found an interesting connection in my family tree to this chap who was born around 1825 in the St George Southwark area of south London.  He married Jane Beckett Chase on 2nd April 1864 at St Pancras church, his father's name is given as Andrew Robbins. His wife was born 1836 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, daughter of John Chase & Mary Dunn Beckett.   I've included a couple of links below which I think gives some interesting background to George Melville Robbins' family:

I've found him in the census returns from 1851 to 1891.  He apparently left his parents home at a very young age to join a touring theatre company.  He moved his family to Swansea in 1869 where he took over the Theatre Royal, and with his son, Andrew Melville Robbins, opened & ran the New Star amphitheatre.  He died in 1898 in Brighton.  I believe in total he had 8 children, some of the children were born quite a few years before George & Jane married.

Frustratingly I've not been able to locate a baptism record to confirm his parents names, so would appreciate any help in this respect.  Also I can't find his wife's death record....she apparently live on after his death in 1898.  In fact I haven't been able to locate her beyond the 1871 census.

Any help greatly appreciate.


Staffordshire / John Thornley of Burslem, Staffs
« on: Wednesday 16 August 17 11:20 BST (UK)  »
I have a John Thornley, a colliery worker, who married Catherine Matthews on 22 Jan 1872 at Holy Trinity church in Burslem.  They had 5 children: Thomas (1872, Longton), Mary Ann (1875, Burslem), Catherine (1881, Burslem), John (1883, Burslem) and Margaret (1885, Haydock in Lancashire).

John Thornley died in 1885 in Haydock, apparently as a result of a mining accident.  His age at death was 38.  According to the marriage certificate his father's name was Thomas Thornley, a farmer.

I've found his wife in 1891 & 1901 census returns.  She married a chap called Matthew Littler in 1897 and died 1907.

I can't find John Thornley in any census returns so can't determine his birthplace or details of his parents.  I would greatly appreciate any help/suggestions for tracing him in the records.


London and Middlesex / Willmott - Doubtfire marriage in 1798 at St James Clerkenwell
« on: Monday 28 November 16 11:31 GMT (UK)  »
I wonder if anyone can help shed some light on the following.

The brother of my 3rd great-grandfather, Daniel William Willmott married a woman called Mary Ann Hewitt Doubtfire on 15th September 1798 at St James Clerkenwell.  According to the marriage record Mary Ann was a minor at the time of the marriage.

They went on to have two daughters, Jane Elizabeth born 1799 in Highgate and Lucretia Albertina born 1806 in Clerkenwell.  Lucretia Albertina died in infancy the same year as her birth.  I'm assuming Mary Ann may have died soon after the birth of the child because Daniel married Ann Morley on 30th April 1807 at St Mary's Stoke Newington.

I've been unable to find with any confidence Mary Ann's baptism record.  There is a baptism of a Mary Ann Doubtfire dated 1st August 1779 at St George the Martyr Southwark to parents William and Mary Doubtfire.  This William and Mary Doubtfire had three other children: William 1777, James 1781 and Frances Sophia 1788 all baptised at the same church as Mary Ann.

I've also seen a marriage record for a William Doubtfire and a Mary Hewitt dated 6th December 1787 at St Martin in the Fields.  The baptisms of the three eldest children above would pre-date this marriage.

Daniel Willmott was well connected and eventually conducted most of his business life in and around Rotherhithe.  His eldest daughter Jane Elizabeth married a wealthy wine merchant called Sebastian Smith who was the son of Christopher Smith, importer of foreign wines and spirits, Alderman of London from 1807 until his death and Lord Mayor of London in 1817.

Can anyone help track down Mary Ann's baptism and identify the names of her parents?  Any suggestions appreciated.


Surrey / Allan Ansell of Danescourt, Oxshott
« on: Wednesday 08 June 16 12:09 BST (UK)  »

I'm trying to find out a bit more about this man.

Allan Ansell was born 1867 in Croydon, son of Henry & Catherine Ansell.

I can't find this Allan Ansell in either the 1891 or 1901 census returns but in 1911 he was living in Cheam in Surrey, having been married 23 years to a woman called Ellen and with a 21 year old son called John William.  Ellen was born 1866 in Harleston, Norfolk, John William was born 1889 in East Ham.  Allan Ansell had married Ellen Brown on 4th June 1887 at St Michael's church in Croydon.

The 1911 census indicates that he was a farmer although from that time he became more involved in property and real estate dealing & development and there are a number of land registration entries in his name reported in the London Gazette. 

In 1920 he bought two farms in Rainham, Essex.  A highway was completed in 1926 to by-pass Rainham which ran through Ansell's holding, but he laid out roads on both sides of it, and sold plots for residential houses which were said to be cheaper per square yard than linoleum.

In 1924 he acquired a 1,500 acres estate in Havering including the manor of Havering-atte-Bower.  Indications are he was living at 'Priests', Havering Road in Romford around that time.  His son John W. Ansell, a contractor, sold most of the 1500 acre estate in 1937.

Allan Ansell was killed in a car crash on 28th July 1933 when his car over-turned on the Kingston by-pass near Esher.  The car in which he was travelling went out of control after striking a lorry.  His chauffeur was also killed in the crash.  I've not seen the full newspaper reports of his death and would appreciate if anyone can let me know if they contain any more information than summarised here.

At the time of his death he was living in Danescourt, Oxshott.  Danescourt has recently been developed into a very upmarket housing estate and I've not been able to find any information on the property he actually resided in which I assume has long since disappeared.

Around the time of his death, I believe he took delivery of a supercharged Bentley sports car, one of the 50 original production Blower Bentleys.  Bentley Motors service records indicate that the car was acquired in 1933 by famous Maidenhead motor dealer (Rolls Royce & Bentley) dealer R.S. Mead which would tie in with Mr Ansell's untimely death that summer.  It is high likely R.S. Mead initially supplied Mr Ansell with the car from new as it was registered in Berkshire.

I've not been able to find the death date of Ellen, his wife.

His son, who I believe continued his business, died in 1960 at Leigh-on-Sea.  The executor of his estate was Ethel Lilian Ansell, a married woman.  I've not been able to determine the relationship between John William and this woman. 

Any further snippets of information on the above would be greatly appreciated.

Regards, Chris

Lancashire / John Robert "Jack" Quayle, Mayor of Blackpool 1937-38
« on: Monday 06 June 16 06:09 BST (UK)  »

I'm trying to find out some information more about this man.

He was born in 1876 in Douglas, Isle of Man, the son of Joseph Quayle and Laura Holden.  At the time of the 1901 census the family were living at 45 Millbourne Street, Blackpool.  John Quayle was a manager of a mineral water company.

He married an Irish woman, Mabel Amanda Downing in 1905 at Braddan on the Isle of Man.  By the 1911 census the couple were living at 14 Newton Drive in Blackpool.  The census record indicates that he was a mineral water manufacturer.

The couple possibly had a daughter called Alice but I've been unable to find her birth index.

In 1908 there was a notice in the London Gazette announcing that John Robert Quayle's partnership with John Henry Wilding had been dissolved.  The company Wilding and Quayle were mineral water manufacturers and ale and porter bottlers.  The announcement indicated that John Quayle was continuing to carry the business on his own account.

In a 1934 town directory John Robert Quayle and his wife Mabel are both shown to be Councillors of Blackpool's Alexandra ward.  The same directory indicates the Quayle household as 598 Lytham Road which I believe is a property called Herne Hill Lodge.

He became a Alderman of the town and was elected Mayor in 1937-38.

He died 29th December 1959 at Herne Hill, Lytham Road.  Spinster Alice Quayle was his executor.  His wife Mabel had died much earlier in 1943.

I believe Jack Quayle may have taken delivery of a brand new supercharged Bentley sports car in 1931 and this is the reason for my interest in him.

Does anyone have any information about him, particularly his business interests between 1911 and 1931?  Did he continue and expand the mineral water company or did he branch out into other business interests?

I would appreciate any snippets of information.


Westmorland / Miss Eileen Margaret Unwin of The Wyke, Grasmere
« on: Tuesday 31 May 16 11:10 BST (UK)  »
I'm  researching a Miss E.M. Unwin who died in Marylebone, London in 1960.  The place of residence given on her Probate Calendar entry was The Wyke, Grasmere.

I've seen some pictures of Wyke Cottage in Grasmere but I believe this is but one property on the Wyke estate.  The main property is a 6 bedroom dwelling from what I've read.  Does anyone have any information on The Wyke and if so, would you know when Miss Unwin moved to Grasmere?

Up until at least 1940 she was the owner of Palmers Farm in Billingshurst, Sussex.  She was a lover of fast Bentley cars and large Suffolk horses.

Miss Unwin was born 1897 in Exeter, the daughter of Nathan Lees Unwin and Margaret Douglas.  Her cousin, Mrs Brenda Claire Brotherton was the daughter of Miss Unwin's uncle, Reginald Unwin, barrister-at-law.

Any snippets of information greatly appreciated.


Surrey / S.B. Peck of Surrey
« on: Saturday 28 May 16 14:06 BST (UK)  »

I'm trying to trace the identity of an S.B. Peck of Surrey who bought two Bentley cars from Jack Barclay, Mayfair at the end of 1920, early 1930's. Both cars were sold by Peck in 1934 and I believe he/she then bought and raced Lagonda cars. Obviously a wealthy person, but I can't find anything in BMD indexes to suggest who they may have been.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated.


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