Author Topic: Walter Robert Leigh or Packman - Brecon  (Read 17533 times)

Offline Deirdre784

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Walter Robert Leigh or Packman - Brecon
« on: Wednesday 04 April 12 23:42 BST (UK) »
Hi, this topic started in Kent under the heading Martha Leigh (Benge) North Cray but the part of the family we are interested in has moved to Brecon. I've tried to add a link to the Kent post but it didn't work. The family has become another puzzle, and we’d welcome advice/suggestions.  Apologies for the long post; hope it makes sense.

What we know:
Thomas Henry Leigh married Margaret Alice Eliza Adams in Cilfynydd in November 1915 (we have the certificate). Thomas Henry’s age is given as 27 though we believed him to be born in 1880/81 (birth index and 1901 and 1911 censuses when he’s living in Pontypridd with his mother and step-father). Thomas Henry’s father is listed as Walter Robert Leigh (groom). It doesn’t say ‘deceased’ though we believe he died in 1891, wife Mary Ann (was Thomas) re-married in 1894.

The only Walter Robert Leigh likely to be THL’s father that we can find was born in Southwark, Surrey in Jan 1845, confusing family – see Kent link above for more info. We’ve found census info in 1851 (home in Kent) and 1861 (transcribed as Wagser, in lodging along with his 2 older sisters). But we’ve been unable to find any mention of him in 1871, 1881 or 1891 - though he died in 1891. And we have no idea how, why or when he moved to Wales.   

But, he was married in Brecon in 1876, and had children that we know of in Brecon in 1880, 1883 and 1889 so where are they in the censuses? We did wonder if Walter was in the army but nothing to confirm or deny that yet.

Thomas Henry’s birth certificate arrived this morning, and initially all it did was confirm what we knew …. Thomas Henry Leigh, born 31/12/1880, father Walter Robert Leigh (groom, domestic servant), mother Mary Ann (was Thomas).  Address given as Mount Street, Brecon. So we searched for the address in the 1881 census and to our astonishment found no Leighs but at:
8 Mount Street, Brecon (Brecknockshire RG11 piece 5459 folio 71 page 10)
Walter R Packman Head 32 Coachman dom Kent Alton
Mary Ann  ” Wife 24 Brecon Llandew
Walter R  “ son 4 Brecon
John R  “  son 2 Cardigan Blaenforth
Thomas H  “  son 4 mths Brecon

This looks so like our family but with the wrong surname. Could it have been a mistake in copying up the returns?

Compared with our family…
Walter Robert Leigh is 36 and born in Surrey but lived in Kent as a child, and was listed as a groom on son’s birth certificate 4 months earlier
Mary Ann Leigh was Thomas, is about 25 and from Brecon
WRP – we didn’t know about this child but have found a birth record for Walter Roberts Leigh in Brecknock for Q2 1877
JRP - nor this one, birth record found in Q1 1879 in Cardigan as John R Packman
THP - Thomas Henry Leigh born Dec 1880

So then we looked in 1891 and found them at 27 Struet (RG12 piece 4570 folio 97 page 9):
Walter Packman Head mar 40 groom Kent Footscray
Mary A   “ wife mar 34 Brecon
Walter  “  son 14 Brecon
John  “  son 12 Cardigan
Harry  “  son 10 Brecon
Elizabeth  “  dau 8 Brecon
Charles  “  son 6 Brecon
Albert   “  son  2  Brecon

Walter’s age is again slightly out, but Walter Leigh lived in Footcray in Kent as a child (we believe our Walter Robert Leigh died in April 1891, just after the census).
Mary A, Walter and John are as in 1881
Harry could well be Thomas Henry

We have a Mary Elizabeth Leigh born in 1883 and Albert James Leigh born in 1889, both in Brecon and both matching the Packmans age and birth place above. Not heard of Charles before but have found a birth index for a William Charles Leigh, born Brecknock in Q4 1886. There may have been another child too Frederick Joseph Leigh, born Q1 1882, died Q2 1883.

Elizabeth & Albert appear in 1901 census (living with mum, step-dad and Thomas Henry). Elizabeth married John Stuckey and was a witness at Thomas Henry Leigh’s wedding.

The final bizarre thing about this is that one of Walter Robert Leigh’s older sisters married a man called Henry Packman.

This would explain why we can’t find the Leighs in 1881 and 1891 (still not found Walter in 1871 so maybe he was in the army). It all looks too close to be a coincidence but can anyone offer any suggestions? Why name all but 1 of the children Leigh on their birth records but call themselves Packman on the censuses. Any where does John, the child from Cardigan fit in, named as a Packman?  Apart from John I haven’t been able to find any records of any of the Packmans. Nor can I find a wedding record from Mary Ann to her 2nd husband Llewelyn James Jones either as Thomas, Leigh or Packman. They had one child, Arthur Godfrey Leigh Jones, suggesting she wanted to keep the Leigh name somewhere.

Any advice or suggestions as to how to unravel the mystery would be most welcome.

Thanks for reading  :)

CARDIFF:Lord,Griffiths,Barry,Cope,Mahoney ~ PEMBROKESHIRE:Griffiths,Rees,Owen,Thomas ~ ESSEX:Lord,Foreman,Hatch ~ SOMERSET:Lord,Cox,Hockey,Linham,Bryant ~ STAFFORDSHIRE:Cope,Elks,Hackney,Gallimore,Davenport ~ SUFFOLK:Lord,Lockwood,Hatch,Rix,Foreman ~ IRELAND:Barry,Meany,Cummins,Grogan ~
PONTYPRIDD:Leigh,Brooks,Adams,Davies,Thomas ~ KENT:Leigh ~ CHESHIRE:Adams,Tudor,Illidge ~ DENBIGHSHIRE:Edwards,Bolas ~BRECON:Leigh,Thomas,Davies ~SOMERSET:Adams,Keitch,Bridge ~ABERGAVENNY:Minton ~ MERTHYR:.....

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Offline osprey

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Re: Walter Robert Leigh or Packman - Brecon
« Reply #1 on: Friday 06 April 12 13:19 BST (UK) »
is this the other post you refer to?

http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php/topic,587869.msg4392435.html#msg4392435

It's unlikely to be a mistake for 2 census entries to show the family as Packman, so it looks like the family were known as that. I can see nothing to suggest that Walter Robert was in the army, census shows him as coachman domestic or groom, so he may be in service somewhere in 1871 & he moved with his employment.

His son Walter joined the militia in 1895.

I wonder if Walter had been in trouble at some stage and was hiding under the name of Packman? You can call yourself what you like as long as there is no intent to defraud. I have something similar in the 1901 census when I couldn't find a relative. When the 1911 became available, I found the names of his children, searched again & found the family group but head of household was using his step-father's name. I've no idea what was going on, they were in Yorkshire when I was expecting Cardiff, but it's definitely the correct family as the wife's brother is lodging with them. I think, as in your case, head of household was keeping a low profile, using a name known in the family, but the children were registered with their correct, quite common, surname.

 ???    ::)
Cornwall: Allen, Bevan, Bosisto, Carnpezzack, Donithorn, Huddy, James, Retallack, Russell, Vincent, Yeoman
Cards: Thomas (Llanbadarn Fawr)
Glam: Bowler, Cram, Galloway, James, Thomas, Watkins
Lincs: Coupland, Cram
Mon: Cram, Gwyn, John, Philpot, Smart, Watkins
Pembs: Edwards (St. Dogmael's)
Yorks: Airey, Bowler, Elliott, Hare, Hewitt, Kellett, Kemp, Stephenson, Tebb

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Offline Deirdre784

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Re: Walter Robert Leigh or Packman - Brecon
« Reply #2 on: Friday 06 April 12 13:57 BST (UK) »
Cheers Osprey, yes that's the post thanks.

When we found the 1881 census entry we thought that might have been a mistake, but I agree that it sounds unlikely (if not impossible) for 2 to be wrong. Like your family, it does sound strange and I guess we'll never know the answer. 

I haven't been able to find out much else about the children we didn't know about - no census entries for any of them (and have looked for Packmans too). Have a possible death entry for Walter junior in 1935 in Pontypridd and a possible death for the John Richard Packman (born in Cardigan and registered as Packman) but as John Richard Leigh in 1952 in Ystradgynlais. Nothing to confirm these yet, just ideas.  

Can you give me any more info on Walter junior? I've not found any mention of him in the military data on Ancestry or Findmypast. 

Walter senior's marriage certificate arrived yesterday (apologies I meant to update the post) and according to that he was a 'private 24th foot', living in Barracks Road? (copy not brilliant) at the time of his register office wedding in October 1876. But the RRW museum at Brecon have no record of a Walter Robert Leigh. So it's becoming very mysterious, and after the complicated childhood in Kent we thought his life has settled down!.

It does sound as if he was hiding from something, but if he was in trouble with the army, he stayed pretty close by!

Thanks again for your reply, much appreciated. 

CARDIFF:Lord,Griffiths,Barry,Cope,Mahoney ~ PEMBROKESHIRE:Griffiths,Rees,Owen,Thomas ~ ESSEX:Lord,Foreman,Hatch ~ SOMERSET:Lord,Cox,Hockey,Linham,Bryant ~ STAFFORDSHIRE:Cope,Elks,Hackney,Gallimore,Davenport ~ SUFFOLK:Lord,Lockwood,Hatch,Rix,Foreman ~ IRELAND:Barry,Meany,Cummins,Grogan ~
PONTYPRIDD:Leigh,Brooks,Adams,Davies,Thomas ~ KENT:Leigh ~ CHESHIRE:Adams,Tudor,Illidge ~ DENBIGHSHIRE:Edwards,Bolas ~BRECON:Leigh,Thomas,Davies ~SOMERSET:Adams,Keitch,Bridge ~ABERGAVENNY:Minton ~ MERTHYR:.....

Offline osprey

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Re: Walter Robert Leigh or Packman - Brecon
« Reply #3 on: Friday 06 April 12 14:15 BST (UK) »
the info on Walter jnr is on Findmypast - it's not very informative. Just search for Walter Leigh - only 3 and he's the one born Brecon, unsurprisingly. His marriage in 1905 is also on that site under the parish marriages, no family witnesses.

If Walter was in the 2nd battalion of the 24th foot, they were not in the UK at the time of the 1871 census. But came back in 1872.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Wales_Borderers


I'm beginning to wonder if the widowed Mrs Leigh did marry Mr Jones as I haven't found any sign yet, apart from being enumerated as 'wife'.

 ::)
Cornwall: Allen, Bevan, Bosisto, Carnpezzack, Donithorn, Huddy, James, Retallack, Russell, Vincent, Yeoman
Cards: Thomas (Llanbadarn Fawr)
Glam: Bowler, Cram, Galloway, James, Thomas, Watkins
Lincs: Coupland, Cram
Mon: Cram, Gwyn, John, Philpot, Smart, Watkins
Pembs: Edwards (St. Dogmael's)
Yorks: Airey, Bowler, Elliott, Hare, Hewitt, Kellett, Kemp, Stephenson, Tebb

Offline Deirdre784

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Re: Walter Robert Leigh or Packman - Brecon
« Reply #4 on: Friday 06 April 12 15:14 BST (UK) »
Thanks Osprey, I may have been looking for Walter R. I hadn't found his marriage either, so thanks for that. Will look for more details now with the marriage 

The dates for the 2nd 24th sound good as they would explain why he's not on the 1871 census, and if they were in Brecon for a few years from 1872 he would have met and married Mary Ann. RRW museum say he's not on the 24th register in 1877/78/79 for the Zulu war, so presumably he left after his marriage in Oct 1876 and before they went to SA in 1877. If he really was in the army!

I've been looking for some weeks for Mary Ann's 2nd marriage but can't find anything as Thomas, Leigh or Packman! Struggling everywhere on her too, a number of Mary Ann Thomases born in the area at the time, her dad was John, coachman deceased at the time of her wedding so little to go on to pin her down. 

Cheers again.
CARDIFF:Lord,Griffiths,Barry,Cope,Mahoney ~ PEMBROKESHIRE:Griffiths,Rees,Owen,Thomas ~ ESSEX:Lord,Foreman,Hatch ~ SOMERSET:Lord,Cox,Hockey,Linham,Bryant ~ STAFFORDSHIRE:Cope,Elks,Hackney,Gallimore,Davenport ~ SUFFOLK:Lord,Lockwood,Hatch,Rix,Foreman ~ IRELAND:Barry,Meany,Cummins,Grogan ~
PONTYPRIDD:Leigh,Brooks,Adams,Davies,Thomas ~ KENT:Leigh ~ CHESHIRE:Adams,Tudor,Illidge ~ DENBIGHSHIRE:Edwards,Bolas ~BRECON:Leigh,Thomas,Davies ~SOMERSET:Adams,Keitch,Bridge ~ABERGAVENNY:Minton ~ MERTHYR:.....

Offline Deirdre784

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Re: Walter Robert Leigh or Packman - Brecon
« Reply #5 on: Friday 13 April 12 13:14 BST (UK) »
As we're quite new to this family history pastime, so far we've only looked at bmd and census info. And some parish records, though not having much luck there.

Just wondered, would it be worth a trip to Brecon library to see if there are any 'interesting' newspaper reports for the time. If he was in the army in Oct 1876 when he got married but didn't accompany them to SA in 1877 at least it's a fairly short time period to look through.

Can anyone suggest anything else we can do? Not really looking for a trip to the National Archives - not yet anyway  ::)   
CARDIFF:Lord,Griffiths,Barry,Cope,Mahoney ~ PEMBROKESHIRE:Griffiths,Rees,Owen,Thomas ~ ESSEX:Lord,Foreman,Hatch ~ SOMERSET:Lord,Cox,Hockey,Linham,Bryant ~ STAFFORDSHIRE:Cope,Elks,Hackney,Gallimore,Davenport ~ SUFFOLK:Lord,Lockwood,Hatch,Rix,Foreman ~ IRELAND:Barry,Meany,Cummins,Grogan ~
PONTYPRIDD:Leigh,Brooks,Adams,Davies,Thomas ~ KENT:Leigh ~ CHESHIRE:Adams,Tudor,Illidge ~ DENBIGHSHIRE:Edwards,Bolas ~BRECON:Leigh,Thomas,Davies ~SOMERSET:Adams,Keitch,Bridge ~ABERGAVENNY:Minton ~ MERTHYR:.....

Offline osprey

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Re: Walter Robert Leigh or Packman - Brecon
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 15 April 12 18:02 BST (UK) »
I'd contact the library first to see if they can check anything to save the trip

http://www.powys.gov.uk/index.php?id=727&L=0

The archives in Llandrindod Wells certainly has a selection of newspapers

http://www.powys.gov.uk/index.php?id=876&L=0

What would you hope to find in the National Archives?

 :-\
Cornwall: Allen, Bevan, Bosisto, Carnpezzack, Donithorn, Huddy, James, Retallack, Russell, Vincent, Yeoman
Cards: Thomas (Llanbadarn Fawr)
Glam: Bowler, Cram, Galloway, James, Thomas, Watkins
Lincs: Coupland, Cram
Mon: Cram, Gwyn, John, Philpot, Smart, Watkins
Pembs: Edwards (St. Dogmael's)
Yorks: Airey, Bowler, Elliott, Hare, Hewitt, Kellett, Kemp, Stephenson, Tebb

Offline Deirdre784

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Re: Walter Robert Leigh or Packman - Brecon
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 15 April 12 22:43 BST (UK) »
Thanks Osprey, will contact them. Llandrindod's even more of a trek!

We'd been in touch with the Regimental Museum of The Royal Welsh in Brecon who told us that they have no record of Walter Robert Leigh or Packman despite what it says on his marriage certificate; they also told us that service records and discharge papers were held at the National Archives so thought we'd need to go there to look (we've not found anything on him on ancestry or findmypast military records though).

Another twist yesterday - we had his death certificate (or what we thought was his). But it's for a Walter Leigh, age 45, died 14 June 1891, ostler in a coalmine, died of pneumonia, at 2 Aberfan Road, Aberfan, death registered by occupier present at death Sarah Ann Williams of same address (he wasn't there on the 1891 census). Trying to find out where he might be buried in case that helps.

Could this be the same man who only 8 weeks earlier at time of 1891 census was living as Walter Packman in Brecon with his wife and 6 children, age 40 and a groom? But we can't find any other possible death for a Walter Leigh (we've looked up to 1945 in case he hadn't died when his wife 're-married' in 1894). 

Fascinating story, but getting stuck now.

Thanks for your interest. 
CARDIFF:Lord,Griffiths,Barry,Cope,Mahoney ~ PEMBROKESHIRE:Griffiths,Rees,Owen,Thomas ~ ESSEX:Lord,Foreman,Hatch ~ SOMERSET:Lord,Cox,Hockey,Linham,Bryant ~ STAFFORDSHIRE:Cope,Elks,Hackney,Gallimore,Davenport ~ SUFFOLK:Lord,Lockwood,Hatch,Rix,Foreman ~ IRELAND:Barry,Meany,Cummins,Grogan ~
PONTYPRIDD:Leigh,Brooks,Adams,Davies,Thomas ~ KENT:Leigh ~ CHESHIRE:Adams,Tudor,Illidge ~ DENBIGHSHIRE:Edwards,Bolas ~BRECON:Leigh,Thomas,Davies ~SOMERSET:Adams,Keitch,Bridge ~ABERGAVENNY:Minton ~ MERTHYR:.....

Offline osprey

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Re: Walter Robert Leigh or Packman - Brecon
« Reply #8 on: Monday 16 April 12 09:52 BST (UK) »
the household at 2 Aberfan Road has a boarder in 1891, so Walter could have been boarding there 6 weeks later. The census is a snapshot of one night, so nothing to say that he didn't board elsewhere during the week. Not too much of a change for a groom to find work looking after the horses in a mine.

The only Packman death I can see in the area is too early
Thomas Packman dec qtr 1862 Crickhowell vol 11b pg 84

If you can't find records for Walter on Findmypast, I don't think there will be records at the National Archives. Unless he enlisted under another name?

 :-\
Cornwall: Allen, Bevan, Bosisto, Carnpezzack, Donithorn, Huddy, James, Retallack, Russell, Vincent, Yeoman
Cards: Thomas (Llanbadarn Fawr)
Glam: Bowler, Cram, Galloway, James, Thomas, Watkins
Lincs: Coupland, Cram
Mon: Cram, Gwyn, John, Philpot, Smart, Watkins
Pembs: Edwards (St. Dogmael's)
Yorks: Airey, Bowler, Elliott, Hare, Hewitt, Kellett, Kemp, Stephenson, Tebb