Thursday, 29 March 2012

More on the Robert J. Edwards Mystery

Well, I ordered the birth certificates for Robert JH Edwards and Robert J Edwards last week on the 20th of March and they arrived yesterday (28 Mar 2012) from the General Register Office in the UK. To have received them in 8 days in Canada is pretty awesome.

After reading them, I now know that Robert JH is Robert John Huxtable Edwards, son of Robert Edward Edwards and Elizabeth Ball, born on 30 July 1887 in Roath, Cardiff. Robert's father was listed as a telegraph line man. His birth place was given as 37 Crofts Street, Roath, Cardiff:

View Larger Map

This is a street view of his birthplace, which has obviously been redeveloped:

View Larger Map

The other Robert J was Robert John Edwards, son of Robert Edward, coalminer, and Priscilla Dugmore. Robert John was born on 2 May 1888 in Nelson, Pontypridd, Glamorgan, at 11 Long Row:

View Larger Map

Pontypridd is about 18kms from Cardiff. Looking at Robert J's parents, I am becoming more doubtful that he is the Robert Jno shown in the 1891 census with John, Thomas and Charlotte on the farm.

I doubt that Elizabeth's son could be in two places at once, but what if he is visiting with his aunt and uncles and accidently gets recorded as a resident of his home in Cardiff when the census taker comes around? His parents had two younger children at home, including a newborn, at the time of the 1891 census, and Robert may have been staying on the farm while his parents (more likely mother) coped with added responsibilities. I'll keep looking at the Edwards/Dugmore connection too. Any thoughts?

Cheers, K.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Elizabeth Ann Ball and Robert Edwards - 1901

According to the 1901 census, Elizabeth and Robert Edwards were living at 158 Shathuairn Street, Roath, Cardiff. However, I haven't been able to trace this address and think that the transcription of the address may be wrong. They were show as living in the ecclesiastical district of Roath St. Martin. St. Martin's Church in Roath is located on Albany Street. One street behind this main thoroughfare in Roath is Strathnairn Street, which is likely what the census transcription should have shown. This a Google map of 158 Strathnairn Street:

View Larger Map

And this is a street view of their house:

View Larger Map

By 1901, the family had grown. Robert, now a "Foreman Electrician", and Elizabeth, age 35, had 5 children: Robert J H Edwards, age 13, Leonard E, age 12, Henry E (who may be the Ernest E Edwards in the 1891 census), age 10, daughter, Elsie E, age 8, and Harold, age 4. All of the children were born in Cardiff, with the exception of Robert who was born in Penarth.

I suspect that Henry was named Henry Ernest Edwards, but was noted as Ernest E in the last census. I was not able to find a birth registration for Ernest Edwards, but came across a registration for a Henry Ernest in Cardiff in 1891.

Cheers, K.

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:

View Larger Map

And this is a street view of their address:

View Larger Map

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.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Baptist Marriages

After posting the information on Elizabeth's marriage, I was curious about the wording on the marriage certificate when it stated "by certificate". So here is what I have found out about Baptist marriages from the Archives Network Wales:

With the start of civil registration of marriage in the UK in 1837, Baptist marriages were legalised. A Baptist chapel could be used for marriage, if it was licensed for the purpose, and a Civil Registrar was present to complete the legal formalities, together with the minister who performed the marriage ceremony. In 1898, the requirement for the presence of a registar was changed. An authorised person, who need not be a minister, was allowed to act in place of the registar.

Cheers, K.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Elizabeth Ann Ball (1865-1956) - Marriage to Robert Edward Edwards in 1886

On 25 April 1886, Elizabeth Ann Ball married Robert Edward Edwards in the Plassey Street Baptist Tabernacle, Penarth. Elizabeth was 20 years old and had been living at 54 Windsor Road, Penarth with her parents. Her father, William Huxtable Ball, Milkman, was listed on the marriage certificate. The groom, Robert Edward Edwards, was age 24, a bachelor, whose occupation was given as Telegraph Engineer. His residence was shown as 31 Crofts Street, Roath. Robert's father, Edward Edwards, was shown as deceased, a former stone merchant. Elizabeth and Robert were married by certificate in the Chapel by WG (William Gershon) Davies , Baptist Minister. The ceremony was witnessed by Henry and Charlotte Ball, which I think referred to Elizabeth's older brother and mother.

From the little that I know about Robert Edwards from the censuses prior to his marriage, he was born in Welshpool, Montgomeryshire, Wales in 1862. This is a Google map showing Welshpool, near the Wales/England border (Shropshire is the neigbhouring English county):

View Larger Map

Information about Montgomeryshire can be found on GENUKI here.

I've been looking for Robert in the 1871 Census for England and Wales have not been able to find him. I did find him in the 1881 Wales census, living with Edward Edwards, stone merchant and his wife, Elizabeth, at 15 Raven Street, Middle Pool, Montgomeryshire, but Robert is shown as "Grandson" - making me wonder if the father shown on the marriage certificate was actually his grandfather.

More mysteries to solve....

Cheers, K.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Elizabeth Ann Ball (1865-1956)

Elizabeth Ann Ball, the eldest daughter of William Huxtable Ball and Charlotte Balment was a complete unknown to me until I received a copy of William's 1927 will which named her as a beneficiary. I had missed the first 62 years of her life by assuming that the census would show the complete family over time. Turns out, Elizabeth did not appear with her family in any of the censuses that included the Ball family. Needless to say, I've learned my lesson to never make 'assumptions'. Once I discovered her existence, I began the hunt to find her past...

Elizabeth Ann was born on 28 October 1865 in Scurlage Castle, Llanddewi, according to her birth certificate. Her father's occupation was shown as "black smith". William registered her birth on 5 December 1865 and J. Gordon was the Registrar.

The next reference that I could find to Elizabeth was on the 1881 census (1871 Wales census returns for Glamorgan which have survived do not include her or the rest of the Ball family). She appears to be living in Swansea as a "lodger" and working as a dressmaker apprentice. She was living with the family of William and Mary Taylor, along with their children, Florence, age 8, and Herbert, age 4 at 35 Westbury Street, Swansea. Also living in the house was Joseph J. Philpin, age 17, a post office letter carrier, from Rudabaxton, Pembrokeshire, Wales. This is a Google Map of their location in Swansea:

View Larger Map

And this is a Google Street view of Westbury Street, Swansea:

View Larger Map

More on Elizabeth to follow.

Cheers, K.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

A lovely coincidence

After a few days away with my family for March Break, I returned to find the latest edition of the "Glamorgan Family History Society" journal in my mailbox. Much to my surprise, there was an article "Asylum Records at Glamorgan Archives" under the "News from the Glamorgan Archives" feature. Having recently posted information about William James Ball, 1858-1922, who died in the county asylum, I took this to be an omen that I should write away to see if I can find out more out his condition and stay. After my post about William James, I had made a mental note to do so sometime in the future, but something tells me that I should get onto it now.

I will keep you posted on developments....

Cheers, K.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Death of Henry Ball (1863-1931)

Sadly, Henry Ball passed away, at age 68. He died at his residence, 96 Plassey Street, Penarth, on 8 December 1931. His occupation was given as “Dairyman”. The cause of death was given as “Bronchial asthma” and “Exhaustion”. The notation “No Pm” indicated that no post mortem was conducted. His son, William Henry Ball, who resided at 18 Cumberland Street, Cardiff, attended the death and also was the informant. The death was registered on 8 December 1931 and H.G. Belton is noted as the Registrar.

Henry’s address may ring a bell as it was the same house where the family was living at the time of the 1891 census:

View Larger Map

As you may recall, Plassey Street played a large role in the lives of Henry and his father, William Huxtable Ball, while they lived in Penarth. I found this image of a sunset on Plassey Street on Paul Dyer's Flickr site and thought that it seemed to say it all…:

Cheers, K.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Finding Henry Ball (1863-1931) in 1914

Henry and Anne must have moved by 1914. I was able to find them in the 1914 "Cardiff Directory" in the Cardiff and Suburban Names section. The 1914 Cardiff (Western Mail) directory was found on the Historical Directories website. The entry reads "Ball, Henry, dairyman, Llandough". Llandough, according to Wikipedia, is a village and southern suburb of Cardiff, in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales. This is a map of of Llandough:

View Larger Map

The marker shows the location of their home in Llandough on Penlan Road.

I suspect that Henry and Anne moved back to the Penarth area, where they continued with the dairy business. Their home is the one with grey stone and white wood in the Google StreetView below:

View Larger Map

Cheers, K.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Henry Ball (1863-1931) ten years on...

The 1911 census of Wales (and England) was taken on Sunday April 2nd. By the time the census was taken, Henry and Anne had moved to 5 Railway Terrace, Dinas Powys, Glamorgan, a short distance west of Penarth (2.6 kms actually):

View Larger Map

This is an aerial view of the street where they lived:

View Larger Map

Perhaps they had moved to be closer to John's farm in St. Andrews or found that Henry's business interests had drawn them away from Penarth, I am not sure.

The census shows Henry to be a dairyman, age 47, Ann, housekeeper, age 43, Lily May, daughter, age 16, assistant in dairy, Lettice Charlotte, daughter, age 14, student, Doris Charlotte, age 13, student, Gladys Margaret, age 10, student, and a new addition to the family, Irene Winnie, daughter, also a student.

Ann's father, Henry Evans, a widower, retired, age 74, was also living with the family. William Henry, the eldest child, had moved out by this time - more on him later.

Cheers, K.