Monday, 26 March 2012

Elizabeth Ann Ball and Robert E Edwards - Family life and the mysterious Robert J.

By the time of the 1891 census, the family of Elizabeth Ann Ball and Robert Edwards had grown. Elizabeth is shown as "E. Edward", age 24, born on Gower, Glamorgan. Robert, age 27, born in 1864 is shown as an electrician, born in Welshpool, Montgomeryshire.

Along with Elizabeth and Robert were: Robert J., son, age 3, born 1888 in Penarth, Leonard, son, age 2, born 1889 in Cardiff and Ernest, son, age 3 months, born 1891 in Cardiff. C.B. Baily, age 30, single boarded with the family. Their occupation is noted as "Fancy Shop Assistant" - it rather sounds like someone couldn't remember C.B.'s place of work. However, I have found references to "toy and fancy shops" in the Cardiff directories so C.B. Baily could have worked in one of these.

The family was living at 124 Treharris Street, Roath, Cardiff. Roath is a district in the east/north-east of the city of Cardiff, capital of Wales. Writer, Peter Finch, calls it the "Real Cardiff". The family lived at 124 Treharris Street, Roath, Cardiff:

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And this is a street view of their address:

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So, why have I called Robert J. Edwards 'mysterious'? Well, I initially thought that that "Robt Jno Edwards,nephew", living with John, Thomas and Charlotte Ball on the farm in Little Hill, St. Andrews/Dinas Powys, was the illegitimate son of Charlotte Ball. There have been may stories, always vague, about great-grandfather Thomas' sister having had a child out of wedlock. However, when I discovered Elizabeth's existence, I immediately made the assumption that Robert was Elizabeth's son, hence "nephew" to John, Thomas and Charlotte Ball. Or so I thought...

Upon closer examination of the census entries, Robert J Edward looks to be living with his parents, Elizabeth and Robert, the night the census was taken. So, who was "Robt Jno Edwards" shown in the 1891 census entry for John Ball in St. Andrew/Dinas Powis on the farm on Little Hill? Could they be the same person recorded in two different locations on census day? Are they different Robert J. Edwards? What do you think? I did find two birth registrations - one for Robert John H. Edwards (1888 - Cardiff) and Robert John Edwards (1887- Pontypridd). I've broken down and ordered both birth certificates (this is one mystery that I would love to solve.) I will post once the certificates arrive. Hopefully, they will shed some light on who is who. Your thoughts, comments and suggestions on this or other mysteries are always welcome.

Cheers, K.

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