All letters Received
A contributor to RootsChat.com on 13th June 2007, signing himself “Kris“, posted the following compliment:
An amazing site for anybody with ancestors who came from Elmswell
Thanks, Kris! – Norman Kenyon
If you are interested in finding a particular name or other word you can (probably) do so by holding the control key and pressing the letter ‘f’, then inserting the name you are seeking and press ‘enter’.
Some of the correspondents are looking for more information: if you can help, please get in touch with us or them. Specifically, the following families are mentioned: Armstrong, Bloomfield, Buckle, Burrows (Boroughs), Elmer, Farrow, Fenton, Fuller, Gould, Goymer, Hardingham, Hazelwood, Hood, Horrex, Howes, Hurst, Kerridge, Kidd, King, Kirkwood, Lambourne, Lawton, Lucas, Manning, Mathews, Mulley, Palmer, Pattle, Peacock, Pearse, Pegg, Ridgeon, Robinson, Ruddock, Salmon, Sayers, Scase, Simmons, Stevens (Stephens); also an enquiry about the cottages Nos.11/12 Hawk End Lane.
E-mail from Barry Jones, Warrington
30th March 2015
I have been looking around your website for a while now; and it is a fantastic resource for not only those who still live in the village but for those of us who are descended from former villagers!!
My Great Grandparents (Surname HASTINGS) lived in Elmswell in the very first years of the 20th century and my grandmother was born there in 1901. I have visited the village only once but hope to come down again at some point in the future.
My Grandmother was born on the 28th November 1900 in Elmswell and her brother (David – my great uncle) was born in Beyton. Sometime in 1901 or 1902, the Hastings family moved all the way up here to Warrington in Cheshire (Previously in Lancashire) where they set up home at a property on Wilderspool Causeway (an old Roman Road).The property is still standing and is now a local shop and post office. They had another child after they moved up here and he became my God Father in later life! David John Hastings lived to the ripe old age of 100 and my Grand Mother lived to be 96; so they must have had a good start in life down there with all that fresh country air; in stark contrast to the industrial atmosphere they would have encountered on arrival in a thriving industrial town like Warrington.
David went on to serve in WW1 aboard the Battleship HMS Canada and saw action at the Battle of Jutland. His best friend on board the ship was a Thomas Jones. Thomas married Chrissy and they had 3 children; one of which was my father John William Jones. So the name lived on.
On your site, you list the Hastings family as living at no. 77, Street (Post Office) and named as follows:
77 Post Office, John W Hastings?, Head, 27 M Baker & Confectioner (i), Kings Lynn
David John Hastings?, Son, 4 Beyton
Harriett Hastings?, Daughter, 4m Elmswell
I would like to offer the correct names if it is of use to you?
77. Post Office, John William Hastings, Head, 27 M Baker & Confectioner (i), Kings Lynn
Thurza Emma Hastings, Wife, 26 M, Durham (The name Thurza is correct and is a rather unusual name. Her maiden name was Honour.)
David John Hastings, Son, 4, Beyton
Chrissy Harriett May Hastings, Daughter, 4m, Elmswell
It would be lovely if anyone had any photographs they could share with me showing the road they lived on or even the Post Office. I have often wondered why they lived in a Post Office when Great Grandad was a baker!!
Regards and thanks for a great resource!
Phone call from David Green, living near Norwich
24th October 2010
John Kirkwood’s wife was born Mary Isabel Lucas, and they had a daughter Ellen. In 1945, while they still lived in Elmswell Hall, they had a visitor, an architect by the name of Richard Mannall Geater, to whom Mr Green’s family is related, and he unfortunately died at the Hall. Mr Green would welcome any further information about Mr Geater, or the Lucas family.
He can be reached at email@example.com..
E-mail from Ian & Sarah Hill of Yew Tree Cottage
31st July 2010
Sadly when we bought Yew Tree Cottage in Hawk End Lane, all the deeds had become lost with Albert [Welham] selling to the equity release company and them going bust. I guess they didn’t care as they were no longer needed, with the plot being registered at the land registry.
Fortunately, when Albert sold Yew Tree Cottage to the equity release company, they returned to him the earliest of the deeds as a souvenir, which also turns out to be the most historically interesting as it relates to the sale of Yew Tree Cottage by the Eastern Union Railway. I attach an edited version to try to make it a little more understandable, as it does contain some potentially useful snippets of information.
The most interesting points I have drawn from the deed are:
William Ranson sold the property to the Eastern Union Railway company 29th January 1846. As we know the line opened on Christmas eve of that year, but a railway line took more than 11 months to build by hand!! This suggests that the reason that the map for the building of the railway shown on the website shows properties to be demolished in Hawk End Lane that weren’t, was because they had to use the limit of deviation of the line because they didn’t have Yew Tree Cottage when they started building (it also explains why Yew Tree Cottage is missing, they didn’t own it at that point!). This also explains why we found the remains of an old cobble wall forming the boundary between the cottage and the railway which because of the condition seemed to be older than the railway! An old man not wanting to leave his house saved it and several others down the lane and caused the railway to be moved!
The station master (James Parks Gill) lived in Yew Tree Cottage until the station master’s house was completed.
At least three properties on Hawk End Lane were sold by auction on 20th February 1852 at the Lion Inn in Elmswell (does a copy of the auction particulars survive anywhere?)
Yew Tree Cottage was bought by Edward Corner for £138. Robert Wright bought Hawk End Cottage and John Larston bought the thatched cottages which used to stand where “The Bungalow” now is.
That Edward Corner’s wife was not permitted to inherit the property (hence you can see in the census records why Jemima had to move out to run the Fox when her son Arthur came of age)! And that Edward and Jemima Corner married on 1st January 1834.
That the copyholds were bought out by the Eastern Union Railway on 9th July 1849 from the Lord of the Manor – Euphornia Gifford of Dinton in the county of Bucks.
That all earlier deeds were retained by the Eastern Union Railway (so presumably are still sitting in the vaults of Network Rail somewhere?)
I hope this is helpful
Ian & Sarah Hill
E-mail from Peter Agius, living in Havant
25th May 2010 – original letter of 9th May 2009 went astray
Subject: People who lived in Elmswell – Corrections and Additions
First of all I must congratulate you on having the best village website I have found in all my researches into my Suffolk and Devon roots. If only my other ‘ancestral’ villages in Suffolk – Tostock, Thurston, Hitcham, Beyton, Wetherden did the same! I shall have to go to the records office to research those further.
I first came across your site in 2006, when I tracked down the grave of Thomas Stevens (my g-g-g-grandfather) in your cemetery archive, and then visited the village in August 2006. I was then very pleased to make the unexpected find of his son Simeon’s grave in the parish churchyard. I thought he had died in London. Since then I hadn’t had a chance to continue my research until recently but in the last two weeks I have discovered a huge number of references and links in your census, marriage and burials archives.
So first some corrections, if I may, and then a short history of the Elmswell Stevens for your ‘People who lived in Elmswell’ section. [The corrections have been incorporated, and so are not repeated here – Ed.]
So this is the potted Stevens story…..
Thomas Stevens (b 1816 Hopton) married Betsey Ruddock in Elmswell in 1838. Betsey (b 1821) was 8th of 10 Ruddock children living in Elmswell. Betsey’s mother was Sophia Hazelwood (b1782 Elmswell), whose parents were James Hazelwood (b 1761 d 20 Feb 1834 aged 73 in Elmswell) and Elizabeth Howes (b 1760, Elmswell). Betsey’s sister Mary married Thomas Salmon (m 30th May 1820, Elmswell) , sister Maria married William Pearse (m 19th November 1831, Elmswell) and sister Eliza married John Farrow (m 18th October 1840 , Elmswell – witness Betsey Stevens).
Thomas and Betsey’s 3 children, Simeon (1839), William (1841) and Sarah (1843) were born in Elmswell. Betsey died 19th February 1844 aged 22 (parish churchyard). Thomas then married Charlotte Horrex in 1847 (perhaps in her home village of Hitcham) and in 1851 was living with his father-in-law William Horrex on his 27 acre farm (Eastwood Farm?) in Elmswell. In the 1841 to 1901 censuses Thomas is shown as Butcher (41), Journeyman Butcher (working for Ireland Graham) (51) ,Butcher (61) , Farm Labourer (working at William Horrex’s Eastwood Farm) (71) , Farmer/Pig Killer (81) , Butcher (91), Retired Butcher (01). Thomas gravestone is in the cemetery and shows that he died aged 95 on 6th December 1906 , but it seems likely that he was actually aged 90 [as his mother Matilda was born in 1796]. William Horrex died in Elmswell 26th October 1871 (parish churchyard).
Thomas’ sons Simeon and William went off to London to seek their fortune. By 1871 they were running two shops next door to each other in Copenhagen Street, Islington. Simeon was a cheesemonger and William was a Baker. Simeon moved to Hornsey, but by 1891 his son Frederick had taken over the cheesemongers shop , still with his Uncle William, the baker, next door. Simeon married a local Suffolk girl Mary Ann Mulley. She was born in Wetherden , but her parents were Robert (b 1805, Elmswell) and Sarah Cornish (b 1806 Elmswell) who were married 8th December 1826 in Elmswell. Simeon and Mary Ann married October 1856 in Islington. Simeon clearly did well in London and kept his links with Elmswell because he returned to Elmswell and died in 1900 (before his father Thomas). His gravestone is in the parish churchyard and is made of very good quality marble and barely touched over time.
In the 1860’s, John and Maria Ridgeon moved from Tostock to Elmswell. It was a 2nd marriage for both of them. They had their own child Henry Ridgeon (b Tostock), but Maria was also looking after her granddaughter Julia Hunt by her previous marriage. Henry and Julia were of a similar age and raised as brother and sister (1871 census). It seems the Ridgeons became good friends with Thomas and Charlotte Stevens in Elmswell, because by 1879 Frederick had come back to Elmswell on visits to his grandparents and met and married Julia. They were married in Elmswell 27th May 1879, with Henry as witness. Frederick and Julia returned to London where Frederick continued to be successful in the cheese and butter trade. Henry also made the move to London and in 1881 is also in Copenhagen Street.
John Ridgeon died around 1880 and Maria then lived with Frederick and Julia in London for the last 30 years of her life. She was almost 100 when she died in Edmonton in 1913. The 1881 census finds her back in Elmswell on a visit to Thomas and Charlotte with one of William Stevens‘s daughters , Alice.
Thomas‘s daughter Sarah married John Borley in Elmswell 23rd November 1863 (witness Charlotte Stevens). They then moved away from Elmswell and her descendants are mostly in Birmingham.
An interesting footnote to this tale is that one of the grandchildren of Frederick Stevens (so g-g-grandson of Thomas) is the famous actor and comedian Terry–Thomas, who was christened Thomas Terry Hoar Stevens in London in 1911. The photo of the Stevens family in 1913/14 shows Frederick and Julia in the centre and a 2-3 year old Terry–Thomas, 3rd from the left in the front row.
My particular line goes: Thomas Stevens – Simeon Stevens – Frederick Stevens – Clara Stevens – Muriel Tozer – Peter Agius
I hope you will be able to use this item and the Stevens family photo on the website. Thanks again for such a brilliant website, which has enabled me to tie up so many strands. Do all the burial entries have a corresponding gravestone in the churchyard or are they just in the parish record? I need to make another visit to Elmswell soon!
Peter Agius (contact details available)
E-mail from Anne McKay, living in Australia
17th March 2010
Dear Norman and the Excellent Millennium History Group
I have been thrilled to find your site and very excited to be able to explore my family history, so beautifully and painstakenly presented. My mothers’ grandfather was George Pegg and he was born and bred in Elmswell and worked on the railway. He later moved to Marple. His son, Harry, became Station Master at New Mills.
Last year I was with my brothers and spouces when we visited Elmswell for the first time. It was so exciting to explore the area together, walking in George‘s footsteps. Naturally we wondered about his family. When I got back home to Australia I discovered your site and have gleaned such an amazing picture of my ancestors and their life in Elmswell. Fortunately, I am returning to Britain soon and have the opportunity to visit Elmswell again.
It will be good to be in touch with you and hopefully I might meet some of the group on my visit. You have provided such detail for me I feel like someone on “Who Do You Think You Are?” who has everyone do the research for them! Thank you all, for your efforts.
Yours sincerely, Anne McKay
E-mails from Linda Berry, living in Perth, Australia, and Sue Russell
February 2009 to February 2010
From Sue Russell:
I am very interested in contacting someone who has written in to your website whom I believe is a relation of mine. She is Linda Berry and emailed the website in October 2007 and is a member of the Gould family, as am I. Would you let me know how I may contact her??? With grateful thanks… (5th February 2009)
Incidentally, a fantastic website – extremely helpful in researching my family tree. As I grew up in Elmswell, it has been a very nostalgic trip. (8th February 2009)
She is my second cousin though probably doesn’t realise, although in fact my older brother Mac tells me he was friends with her father in childhood. She talks, in what she put on the Elmswell website, about having the death notification of her grandfather’s brother, Charles, who was killed in the 1st World War. I wanted to contact her as Charles is, in fact, my ? grandfather, though he never married my grandmother. (30th April 2009)
From Linda Berry:
Please may I trouble your excellent site again to see is anyone can assist me with a twist I have recently come across in my Family tree. On my fathers side the Gould Family I have discovered that my great uncle Charles Gould who was killed in WW1 in July 1914 had a son whom he never met as he was born in Dec 1914. His name was Charles Lambourne. I believe he was raised in Elmswell by a distant cousin and went on to marry Olive Goymer. He is pictured in the School photo on the website (and I believe my father had a similar appearance at the same age obviously a Gould) I would love to hear from anyone that knew him to discover if he was aware of his father etc etc., Any assistant would really be appreciated.
Linda Berry (22nd February 2010)
From Sue Russell:
Just to say many thanks for forwarding the emails. Linda and I are now in contact. Very exciting – so thank you most sincerely. (28th February 2010)
E-mail from Jenny Khan, living in Aberdeen
24th January 2010
Dear Mr. Kenyon,
I am at present trying to trace my Salmon relatives and was idly using Google to find out if Garden House, Elmswell still exists when I saw a note of your History Group.
I wonder if you have ever come across records relating to members of the Salmon family. I have them in the 1841 census living at Garden House. Thomas was the head of the house, (don’t know his occupation), Mary his wife, sons John, David, William, Thomas who became a carpenter and moved to Bury St. Edmonds, Henery, and daughters Eliza, Sophia, Emley and Elizabeth.
It looks a quite beautiful part of the world. And a long way away from Aberdeen but I just might have to visit.
Kind regards, Jenny Khan
[Additional message 1 hour later…] I have just discovered many pages on your site giving all the census returns and much more. Fascinating. Sad to see my Mary Salmon died a pauper.
E-mail from Revd. Damon ROGERS, living in Reedham, Norfolk
6th January 2010
Dear Dr. Kenyon,
Thank you to you and other contibutors for the excellent Elmswell history website.
I recently found that my great uncle, Archibald Arthur Walter Lestock ROGERS, married Lillian Mary PALMER at St. Peter’s Church Paddington on 31.12.1911. Lillian was a daughter of Samuel and Eliza PALMER, of Elmswell, and because of the excellent Elmswell history website I have been able to fill in many details about Lillian‘s background.
I am very grateful for all of your hard work.
Revd. Damon Rogers
Letter from Olive Hamblin, living in Cambridge
I found more correspondence from Olive on another site.
30th September 2009
Dear Dr Kenyon
Thank you so much for telephoning last evening. It was a pleasure to talk to you.
I find the whole area of family history absolutely fascinating and am always happy to talk about my discoveries. I grew up in Ashley near Newmarket. As a child I was led to believe that the Burrows family had always been there. You can imagine my surprise when I found that my Father’s generation were the first bom there. Grandfather Burrows was born in Wickhambrook. Sadly, with the passing of my Dad a few months ago, that line of Burrows is now ended. Granddad produced three sons but one never married and the other two had daughters now all married.
It appears that the Burrows (modern spelling) side of the family only passed through Elmswell. Jeremiah (G G Grandfather) (b April 1803, c 5 June 1803 Wetherden) m (23 May 1825, Woolpit) Eliza Cross (b 3 April 1810, Woolpit d December 1840 Stow) and they had six children all bom in Woolpit.
Hannah Alexander (G G Grandmother) (b 10 December 1805 c 13 December 1805 Elmswell) m (28 April 1855, Woolpit) Jeremiah.
In 1841 census Jeremiah Burres was in Elmswell with his six children, Robert (b 1825), Edward (b 1827 d 1848) James (b 1829), Joseph and David (twins b 1831) Mary Ann (b 1833). Your site has James and Joseph as twins. I think this was a census takers error as the christening dates and the 1851 census have Joseph and David as twins.
In 1841 census Hannah Alexander was in Stow Union Workhouse with her eldest two John (b 1834 Suffolk d 1841 Workhouse) and James (b 1838 Elmswell). Father unknown.
In 1851 census Jeremiah Boroughs was still in Elmswell with the four youngest and James, Rebecca (b 2 July 1841, Elmswell, d 1934) and William (b 24 July 1843, Elmswell, d 1919 Ashley Cambs?) Alexander. On the census page the three are marked as the illegitimate children of Hannah. William is also marked as Lodger. The entry is also marked ‘See house 10, page 3’. This was the missing page. Hannah Alexander was a Nurse to John Fisher. Her entry refers to house 19 page 6.
By 1861 census the family had moved to Woolpit. Hannah appears in Elmswell again in 1881 census as a nurse/midwife to George Robinson. In 1891 she is back in Woolpit.
I’m having terrible trouble finding out more about Hannah. So far I’ve found her mother, Mary Alexander, at her christening but no mention of a father. I’m still trying to find out more about John Alexander killed by a horse in 1825 and what the connection is between Hannah and 15 year old Patience Armstrong in 1849.
Those newspaper stories were wonderful to read.
Thanks again for your time and interest. I hope you enjoy these pieces of paper as much as I have.
Yours sincerely, Olive M Hamblin
E-mail from Simon Williamson
7th March 2009
Dear Dr Kenyon
I’ve just come across your website and found it very useful as I’m in the process of researching my grandmothers side of the family. I thought I should make contact as my 3x great grandfather Elijah Baker was born 1813 in Elmswell to parents James and Ann Baker. James is shown as a brickmaker on Elijah’s baptism record of 13 June 1813. (As shown on the original document and not as transcribed on the family search website) Elijah later moved to Bury St. Edmunds sometime before 1836.
I’m also interested to see you have James Goymer and his wife Sophia listed. Sophia’s maiden / full name is Sophia Clarke Baker and she is the daughter of Elijah Baker (b. 1813 Elmswell) and Sophia Clarke (b. 1809 Stanton)
I hope you find this useful and I look forward to any help you may be able to give me.
Regards, Simon Williamson
An e-mail on 28th September 2008 from Pamela Denney, of Elstree, Herts informed me she has just discovered that “the rector of 50 years, J T Lawton, is the brother of my ancestor Mary Ann Lawton.”
Letter via e-mail from Christine Dunford
28th September 2008
I have just discovered your lovely website whilst looking for information about Ernest Simmons and his family, distant relatives of my neighbour for whom I am doing family history research. Ernest is shown in the 1901 census living in Street, “Lion Inn”, Elmswell with his wife Bessie and 3 year old son Edgar who was born in Elmswell. Ernest is shown as Railway Station Master – I assume at Elmswell. I have a couple of questions I wonder if anyone can answer –
Do you know whether any records might exists to show how long he worked in this post?
Did people reside at the Lion Inn for long periods of time? (As his son was born in Elmswell 3 years earlier, I wonder if he was living at the Lion Inn then.)
I was hoping to find Edgar’s baptism but I see that your records only go up to 1873 and Edgar was born in 1898. Is this due to lack of time to transcribe later records, or are they not available? [I haven’t yet been able to get hold of them for transcription – Webmaster]
Kind regards, Christine Dunford
Letter via e-mail from David Brett
14th September 2008
I have visited your website numerous times and found the information available to be both interesting and helpful in aiding my family history research but, as usual, I am always searching for more information to help me fill in the inevitable gaps in my family tree. I would be interested to know if there is any other information [or links] you can offer regarding the Fenton family who lived in Elmswell in the late 19th and early 20th Century.
Edward John Fenton, my grandfather who died in 1985, owned a small shop in The Street in the 1920`s before he moved to East Suffolk [Kesgrave specifically] where he died and is buried. He, along with innumerable siblings, attended the local school as your website reveals, most of whom [all ?] are now deceased. He married a “girl” from nearby Wetherden.
Edward`s father, Henry Robert, also lived in the area and indeed so did the four previous generations of Zachariah`s, all of whom were gardeners/nurserymen so it was, perhaps, no surprise that my grandfather turned his hand to farming in the 30`s, which farm is still operating through his son.
The earliest Zachariah Fenton I know of was born in 1771 [and buried] in Risby and his son, also a Zachariah [born 1792] perhaps, was “revolutionary, as he married twice, the second time to his previous domestic servant, both of the wives being buried at Risby church.
My particular interests are, apart from tracing any ancestors, to find out where the Fenton family “originally” came from as local searches of the various sources of information, including parish records [which was unsuccessful] gave me no additional information prior to the 1770`s much to my disappointment. I feel sure that the Fentons possibly came from another county.
I would be particularly interested in any other information or sources of same. My big regret is that I was unable to gather more information from my grandparents before their deaths although in the case of Edward`s wife`s family I was extremely lucky to find some information on the internet, compiled by a member of that family, which enabled me to trace her family back to the 1300`s in Dorset, 13 generations of the family.
Thank you for a great website and your efforts in building same. I can only repeat what other contributers have said in correspondence that it`s a shame that other communities haven`t done the same.
Dave Brett [now living in Dorking, Surrey]
Follow-up message included… …I am in touch with another Fenton and we have shared information from time to time via Ancestry.com….I have tried googling names of ancestors and, in fact, struck lucky one day with my maternal grandmother`s family and got back to 1600`s without making much effort at all – that was exciting to say the least – it`s a pity she`s not alive now !!
Thanks again – I am happy to get correspondence from anyone.
Letter via e-mail from Jasmin Hurst
19th March 2008
Hello, I have been looking at your site and as an ‘old Elmswell girl’ have found it so interesting and it’s a shame more villages have not got the same kind of site. Your pages have helped a great deal with the tracing of my family tree and the photos have been really interesting too. My grandad, Dan Hurst, is in a few of them.
I have noticed that you have a page where people are asking for help on their family trees. I would like to do the same and I ask if you can include the following on your site:-
BLOOMFIELD, MULLEY, ARMSTRONG
I am an ‘old Elmswell girl’ tracing my family history and would welcome any information on the Bloomfield, Mulley and Armstrong families. My Nan was a Bloomfield living in Rose Lane and her mother a Mulley, and her grandmother an Armstrong. I have a bit of a mystery going on and really need some help and clarification. If you think you are able to help please email me at:- firstname.lastname@example.org. I am more than happy to share any info that I have with you. I can also help with any Hurst info.
It would be really appreciated if the above could be included on the site. I am always happy to help others where I can and in the future I hope to able to provide you with some photos.
Regards, Jasmin Hurst
Letter via e-mail from Linda Berry in Perth, Western Australia
24th October 2007
By chance I have come across your site while tracing my family history. I have found your site to be wonderful and it has transformed me back to my childhood and brought back many happy memories of stays in Elmswell. To explain further my maiden name was Gould. I am the youngest daughter of Noel Gould eldest son of Walter and Ivy Gould of New Road Elmswell. Ivy was a Robinson from Hawk End Lane.
I remember Elmswell very well and travelled to visit my last remaining relative I am aware of in Elmswell Raymond Eyers earlier this year. Unfortunately this was following the death of my Father Noel in May. We spent a day travelling around visiting and reminnising. We wandered down Hawk End Lane where most if not all the family appear to have decended from. Not much has changed.
I was amazed how New Road has changed so many houses on what was Andersons works and my grandfathers back garden. I remember the Mulleys Funeral parlour and Builders bungalow, I could never quite put the two occupations together. I remember the shop next door to Mulleys and being able to visit to spend what amounted to a couple of pennies in the shop that appeared to sell everything and the very distict smell it had. I remember Boxing Days at my grandparents and following the boxing day hunt around the whole area. I also remember going up to the train station to watch The Flying Scotsman pass though. I remember the post office very well it seemed such a grand place for a small child.
My father in his younger days was a mechanic at Catermoles garage and also was in the Fire Service at Elmswell before then becoming a full time fireman in Ipswich for the next 30 years.
While reading through your excellent site so many names jump of the page and I can remember my grandparents and father speaking of them so vividly the whole site just came to light.
My uncle Steven (who currently resides in Queensland) I am sure played football for Elmswell. Unfortunately he does not have a computer but I will pass full details of your site onto him in the hope that he can get access to one.
While tracing my family history the links to Elmswell become more apparent as I have Mulleys and Scase’s appearing which makes the way I remember visits to Elmswell and the people all fall into place.
Following my fathers death I have been given William Robinsons medals and I have also been given the original letter confirming the death in action of Charles Gould. Having only ever been in the St. Johns Church once for the funeral of my grandfather to find the honour board pictured on your site brought a sense of pride. I also currently live in Australia and plan once again to return to Ipswich to visit my mother Pauline (formerly a Shave from Haughley) next year and plan to spend at least a day in Elmswell but this time when visiting the family graves I will call in and visit the church. Do you have a site within the village that you display items. I have various photos of my grandfather Walter as a choirboy at the church and part of activities within the village.
I apologise for the somewhat rambling nature of this letter but I am greatly excited with the contents of your web site and trust you will have enough interest shown in this to enable this to continue on for many years to come. It is indeed a valuable site for anyone who has a link to the village, or tracing their families.
I appreciate all the information contained therein and the time and effort all involved must have put into this.
Many thanks for a wonderful memory trip!
Correspondence via e-mail from Colin Buckle, who is working hard on his ancestry
1st October 2006: Hi! Wonderful site – if only all villages had something as good. It seems my family (the Buckle side) lived in Elmswell and surrounding villages certainly throughout the 19th century and probably further back. Your parish records have helped me identify my 4 x great grandfather Pearl Buckle 1782 – 1843. I’ve also found his father from another source. Thanks, Colin Buckle
13th October 2006: Colin kindly sent me the fruits of his research, insofar as related to Elmswell.
18th October 2006 (from me): Fascinating! You are doing very well, I think. I took a peek at your website, too. I will upload your material, and inform Fred and Cicely, though Fred’s father was from Thurston so their relationship probably dates from still earlier generations. Happy hunting! Norman Kenyon
19th October 2006 (Colin replied): Thanks Norman, It has proven to be very interesting. I’m adding to my knowledge of this all the time (I’ve identified another of the younger Peral Buckle’s children today) so will refresh it periodically. Your site has made things far easier not having to plough through the parish records. However I think most of my investigations in that area will be in the surrounding parishes now. Driving around there a couple of weeks ago made me appreciate just how close together the villages are and how easy movement for work in their “country” was. Ironically my sister now lives in Badwell Ash which may have been Pearl’s birthplace.
27th January 2007 (Colin again): I’ve updated this considerably since we were last in contact. The latest version is on http://www.colin.buckle.btinternet.co.uk/myelmswellroots.htm
E-mail received from Peter Mathews, W.Sussex, in late Sept.2005
Dear Dr Kenyon
Having recently become interested in my family history my wife Brenda and I yesterday visited Elmswell, the birthplace of my father Frank Mathews, in the hope of finding out something about his parents.
We had visited the Records Office at Bury St Edmunds and obtained some details of his brothers and sister but getting information on his mother remains difficult. Whilst in Elmswell we were fortunate to be put in touch with Stan King who at one time lived in Tudor Cottages next door to my grandmother. We had an interesting chat with him about the old days but unfortunately he was unable to answer my main point of concern.
My grandmother, Emma Elizabeth Hood, lived in Tudor Cottages, School Road, for many years and her children are shown as being born there:-
My father Frank Mathews born 16.09.1899
his sister, Ella Violet Mathews baptised 13.11.1900
one brother, Reginald James Mathews born 12.7.1905 but died age 3 months and buried 26.10.1905.
a second brother, Reginald Edward Howard Mathews baptised 12.4.1908.
On the birth certificate of Frank, Ella and Reginald James their mother is shown as Emma Matthews (two Ts) but for Reginald Edward her surname had only one T. For the death of Reginald James the certificate had only one T, even though the birth certificate had 2 Ts just three months previously. In all cases the register indicated that the mother was a single woman or an unmarried mother. There is no mention in any instance of a father.
At the start of World War II my sister Joan (known as Tinker) and myself Peter, were evacuated to live with my grandmother at Elmswell – this must have been around 1940. We both attended the school in School Road for about a year until I suppose the blitz in the London suburbs had eased and we returned to our own home in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire. We always referred to our grandmother as Grandma Hood and there was never to my knowledge a Grandpa Hood or any reference to him if he ever existed.
How Grandma came to be called Hood, having been a Matthews (or Mathews) for the birth of all her children, remains a mystery. I ‘m sure that Emma Matthews must have created some sort of stir in the village between 1899 and 1908 and then at some time before 1930 when she changed her name to Hood – did she eventually marry? I have a newspaper cutting of my parents’ wedding on 20th May 1929 in which his mother is referred to as Mrs E. E. Hood and this is the first time I have seen her called by that name.
I am very much hoping that someone still living (possibly in Elmswell) can throw some light on the matter. Though Stan lived next door to her he assures me he had no knowledge of these goings on! He remembers that at the latter end of her life she spent a lot of time in bed (he reckons, smoking a fag and doing crochet!) and he and his mother used to help out in the house and garden.
We saw a notice yesterday stating that there is to be a meeting of the Elmswell Millennium History Group on 13th October and I am wondering whether this would be a relevant issue to float at that time. We found your excellent website last evening and Brenda spent until the early hours this morning consulting your Elmswell 1871 and 1881 censuses as well as the cemetery records. We note an under-six year old Emma E. Mathew of 86 Hall End Lane in the 1871 census – and wonder if this could possibly have been my Grandma. We’ve found an E.E. Hood listed in the cemetery records but no christian names given, nor date of death nor age of deceased. It’s all so intriguing -……
I attach a scan of a photo of Emma Hood taken in her later years by Doris Francis Photographers of Stowmarket in case this rings a bell with anyone.
Stan King kindly gave me your address and phone number yesterday as he said he was sure you wouldn’t mind my approaching you, but now I have found this website, I felt it better to email. I do hope that someone can shed light on this matter and I look forward to hearing from you in due course. I’m more than happy to become a member of your Society should this be a requirement for obtaining information.
Peter Frank Mathews
Further communication a couple of days later…
Very many thanks. I emailed the Bury St Edmunds Records Office after returning home as I realised I’d only searched the parish burial records up to 1948. I’ve today received the following information from them:-
Cemetery register (EG507/33): Emma E. Hood age 93 years, interred: 16/6/1958.
So at least I now know when she died. However, the mystery remains – when did she change from Mat(thews) to Hood – and who was Mr Hood?!
Kind regards, Peter
It seems very likely that the 1871 census Emma Mathews, unmarried and aged 6, would be the same person, born in the 12 months before June 1865. The only other Hood connection I have come across is that before becoming Rannoch’s Poultry the house in New Road was known as Hood’s Farm.
From Margaret Jill Baker, née Kerridge, of Eye
… Shop in School Road…
I was very interested in the reminiscences of Miss Kinsey in the October Newsletter. At the age of 98 perhaps some memories may be a bit confused on acquiring the shop in School Road.
The shop and adjoining 2 cottages were purchased by my parents Mr and Mrs Horace Kerridge in 1927 (approx). My brother was bom there in 1930. My parents moved to take on another shop and let the premises but did not sell. Tenants I remember were Mr and Mrs Davidson, Miss Kinsey, Mr Leeks and Mr David W? It was used for books a short time but don’t know when. When the Davidson’s moved out it was let as a lock-up shop, and the 2 cottages were let to Mr & Mrs Brinkley and Mr O Manning.
1959 the two cottages were converted to one and my brother Kenneth Kerridge and his wife moved in. Sadly in 1999 my brother died but his wife still owns and lives there. 1986 my mother died and left house and shop to Kenneth, and soon afterwards the little tin shop which was in a bad state was demolished. The shop site is now hidden by a wall to give a sheltered patio. The house/shop has never been sold since pre 1930 and clearly Miss Kinsey has become confused on this issue.
My mother would – if she were alive – be most upset by the ‘default on an unwise loan’ as mentioned in the newsletter, and I would like a correction inserted at some time to clear up this point.
August 2004: Letter from Susan Brunner about the Manning family
March 2004: Letter from Eileen Smith about the Farrow, King and Palmer families
December 2003: Letter from Martin King about the King and related families
Letter to Elmswell Newsletter of August 2003, from Mrs Sylvia Bacon (née Mulley) of Maldon, Essex
Some very happy memories …
Looking at some old copies of your Newsletter at my uncle’s the other day, brought back some very happy memories. Both my parents were born in Elmswell. My mother was born in 1918 in a house opposite the Fox Hotel. She has a twin sister and came from a family of five. My [maternal] grandfather, Frank Kerridge, was signalman and when we stayed there I used to take his lunch over to him and help him open and close the level-crossing gates. Great fun!
My mother was staying with her parents during the war when I was born, but for a complication in late pregnancy when she was taken to Ipswich Hospital, I would have been bom in Elmswell. My father was James Mulley – son of Herbert Mulley who I think was a builder. My father was youngest of six. My parents were married in Elmswell Church on October 21st 1939; I was baptised there in 1941.
I can remember the points being changed by levers in the signal box and waving the flags out of the window. The mill near the station was also fascinating to watch. I walked to the Bacon Factory with my grandfather where he bought the pork to make his own sausages.
My grandfather was a Governor at the village school and very well known in Elmswell. Our trips to Elmswell by steam train of course were very exciting. There were always roses entwined around the railings on the platform, a very pretty little station. I really enjoyed seeing the old photographs of the station, signal box and level-crossing gates on the cover of your Newsletters. I’m sure you can imagine what fun it was riding on those level-crossing gates. I hope to visit Elmswell sometime in the future.
Letter from Mrs Devina Hardingham of Clacton, Essex, dated 19th March 2003.
Sophia Hardingham (née Sole)
Sophia Sole was born in Gissing/Pulham St Mary Norfolk in 1810. She married Thomas Hardingham. They moved to Woolpit. In 1848, Thomas a railway porter was hit by a truck and died on the railway line, leaving her a widow with 6 young children. In 1881/1891 censuses, she is found living in the Gardiner’s Almshouses Elmswell, next to St Johns Church. We are told her pension was 16d (7p) a week, plus a yearly supply of ready-made gowns of coarse blue cloth/stuff, paid from poor relief. She resided here until her death in January 1892, aged 85. She is buried in Woolpit Church Yard.
By the 1901 census, her son William 57, born in Woolpit, and foreman of Pages brickyard, had moved to 112 Kiln Lane Elmswell, with his wife Susanna 60, and 2 of their remaining 4 children, the other 6 children being buried in Woolpit Church Yard. Harriet 35, and Clement 29, he married Kate Eleanor Plummer the following year. The youngest son Clement gives his trade as Saxton and Harness maker.
Here to date information on this branch of the family ends. But in 1912 we are informed that there was a saddle and harness maker still living in Elmswell, was this Clement Hardingham?
If you have any further information please contact Devina Hardingham , via the webmaster for this site.
Where do we fit in? Sophia Sole had another son called John Hardingham born 1835, who after his father’s death went to live with relations in Weeley Essex. He had a son called Walter Hardingham who married Eliza Simpson they moved to Great Bentley Essex, they had a son Jack Hardingham who married Kathleen Young, they had a son Roger Hardingham, who is my husband. We have a son Marcus.
January 2003: Letter from Patricia Geatches about the Kidd family
2002: Letter from Mary Pattle Hover about the Pattle family
2002(?): Letter from Chris Robinson about the his family
2002(?): Letter from Mark Salmon about his family
June 2002: Letter from Mike Taylor about the Buckle family
April 2002: Letter from Dorothy Crowshaw about the Dicketts/Dockets family
2002: Letter from Les Elmer about his family
Letter to Elmswell Newsletter of January 1997, from Mrs A Stannard of Ipswich:
A few months ago I happened to mention to a work colleague in Ipswich that my parents had been born in Elmswell and it transpired that his wife’s grandmother had been a Mulley, this being the same name as my own maternal grandparents.
Further discussion revealed that her family descended from the bakers who owned the shop which is now a fish and chip take-away. My own family were builders/undertakers/ signwriters and my first reaction was that we were not related but we were fairly certain that if we traced our ‘trees’ back far enough we would find a common ancestor.
During our research we have come up with many surprises, and unleashed the inevitable ‘skeletons in the cupboard’. We are now well on the way to fitting the ‘jigsaw’ pieces together but what has become so fascinating for me especially, is the history of Elmswell and its inhabitants. My appetite has been whetted by George Russell’s memories and other contributors to your Newsletter which is passed on to me by my brother, Alan Goymer and cousin Herbert Mulley.
In her latter years, my mother, Dorothy Goymer (née Mulley), often expressed a wish to take a sentimental journey to what she fondly referred to as ‘The Old House’ on the corner of Cooks Road and it is one of my greatest regrets that we did not arrange this with any of the families who lived there in recent years. This made me determined to see it for myself and was thrilled when Norman Kenyon, the present owner of ‘The Willows’ as it is now called, kindly showed me around the house where my grandparents Herbert and Rosa Mulley raised 9 of their 11 children (unfortunately 2 of them died soon after birth).
They moved there in 1901 and after my grandfather died in 1948 their youngest son, James, carried on the business known as Mulley Bros. He then built a bungalow in New Road and moved there with my grandmother Rosa, Uncle Bill and Aunt Susie, neither of whom married.
Sadly, my early childhood memories are very dim, but there are two people whose names were often mentioned by my mother. Firstly Aunt Lisa who was deaf and dumb. I have a faint recollection of her when she visited my grandparents at the ‘old house’ but am not certain about where she lived or whether or not she was a Mulley.
The article by Mrs Sayers in your December 1996 newsletter mentioned ‘Lisa Dummy’ and I am wondering if she was the person I remember and did she live anywhere other than in the houses next to ‘The Tavern’.
Aunt Sarah was another familiar name and up until recently I kept a book she gave me when I was about 7 years old entitled ‘My Sunday Story Book’ because she was so pleased I attended Sunday School regularly. Here again I cannot find the connection with our family but I do remember visiting her in Hawk End Lane (No. 11 or 12). She may possibly have been an Elliston (my grandmother’s maiden name).
I would be very grateful for any historical information of Elmswell or the people who lived there during the early part of the 20th century and if there are any senior citizens who would like to talk over ‘old times’ with me I would appreciate this very much. I have lived in Ipswich since 1956 and can be contacted on 01473 682613, alternatively you can reach me via Alan Goymer or Herbert Mulley.
Letter to Elmswell Newsletter of January 1997, from Ann Henderson of Bury St Edmunds:
11/12 Hawk End Lane: My son, John Henderson, who lives at 11 Hawk End Lane and I are trying to compile a history of his cottage, the people who owned it and those who lived there. From when it, and the adjoining cottage No 12, was built in 1849 until 1992 the two cottages had always been sold as a pair. We should be most grateful for information anyone can give us.
Letter from Mrs M Sayers to George Russell
printed (with her permission) in the Newsletter of December 1996. Mrs Sayer lives in Chelmsford, and is responding to the Russell memoirs which had appeared in the Newsletter during the preceding months.
Dear Mr Russell
In conversation with one of my neighbours I discovered she had connections with Elmswell, as I do; she has a cousin still living there who sends the newsletter every month and she passes it on to me. I have been very interested in your memories of Elmswell – lots of names I remember.The last time I visited Elmswell in the 60’s my father’s cousin Jack Scase was the landlord at the Tavern. My grandparents were Mr & Mrs Fuller who lived in a thatched cottage next door to Mrs Hawes’ shop. Darkie Scase lived next door to granny and they had two children, Walter and Dorothy. My grandad worked for Moys coal merchants for years, driving the cart pulled by beautiful big horses. My father was Will Fuller and he was a signalman at the station with Mr Kerridge and Ernie Bowles.
My parents lived in the Bank House (it was a cottage and they let the front room to the Bank), from 1911-14. My brother Jack was born there in 1912. He used to come to Elmswell for his school holidays and stay with granny and grandad and Albert their son. Albert was at the Bacon Factory all his working life; he was a keen footballer, a referee and also a fireman. He died last year aged 93 and had lived at Tostock since he married in 1940. My brother Jack died 2 years ago, aged 81.
My father came and worked at Cold Norton station and we lived next door to the Filby family, whose son Fred was a booking clerk at Elmswell station. He lodged with Ernie Bowles when they lived at the White City. Ernie’s wife was related to the Filbys. She came from Maldon and that is where Ernie moved to from Elmswell; they lived in the gate house until he retired.
We used to come to Elmswell for a week each year and in the evenings after a walk round the village with my Mother and granny would go round the back of the Tavern, where there was a seat and a table and your Mother used to come out and talk to them and tell my Father and Albert they were there, for them to send out drinks for them and crisps for me.
I also remember Tom Welham the chimney sweep who lived next door to Mrs Hawes’ shop – also an old lady who was deaf and dumb; I think they called her Liza Dummy. My grandmother used to know her and could ‘converse’ with her with lots of various signs and could hear all the village gossip from her. It always fascinated me.
There have been a lot of fresh roads and shops and businesses since I was in Elmswell but your memories have been very interesting. I am sending this letter in the hope it can be forwarded to you.
Hoping this is not too boring
M Sayers (née Fuller)
P S. My neighbour is Mrs Daphne Armstrong (née Seymour)
Letter to Elmswell Newsletter of ?, from A.R. Peacock of 66 Nelson Road, Rayleigh, Essex.
Recently my wife and I were returning to Essex after visiting a relative in King’s Lynn.We decided to take a different route home and I realised that we were within spitting distance of Elmswell, which I had not visited since I was a boy before the war when I used to stay with my uncle Dr. William Peacock, my Aunt Karen and her sister Miss Rene Shambrook (of whom, more later). It was so long ago and the village has Aanged so much that I could not even remember the name of his house. On making enquiries, I was pointed in the direction of Mr. Stan King at the Post Office who was a mine of information, not only identifying the house as Holly Lodge but also being kind enough to give me a copy of your excellent Newsletter. Unfortunately, there was nobody at home when I called at Holly Lodge.
As I remember the house it had much more ground including a kitchen garden and tennis court across the road. Two abiding memories are playing croquet on the lawn and, each evening being allowed to switch on an electric pump to top up the water tank since the house had its own well. In the Newsletter I see that there is an article by John Dodds (is he the Dr. Dodds who now occupies Holly Lodge?) in which he mentions a Mrs. Durrant. I think she must be the lady who, when my uncle and aunt left Elmswell to live in Stoke Poges, moved there too. I also seem to recollect a family called Henderson who lived next door and who had a dog.
Uncle William (he was never a Bill) a considerable character, had early ambitions to be a doctor but although the family lived in Southery Manor in the Fens and my paternal grandfather was a farmer in a fair way of business, times were hard in agriculture and there were eleven children so that William did not feel justified in asking the old man to support him for the several years it would take for him to qualify. He therefore became apprenticed to a chemist in King’s Lynn, where he worked 12-15 hours a day for two shillings and sixpence a week which he never actually received, it was only the occasional few shillings from his father which allowed him to buy his text books. After finishing his apprenticeship he took a few jobs in this country before joining the Colonial Service in 1905 as a medical assistant and dispenser in Uganda where the pay was £200 a year. It was officially reckoned that, at least £1500 was needed in those days for anybody to qualify as a doctor. This sum was quite beyond him but he nevertheless returned home with his savings after three years and did indeed qualify at Glasgow, eking out his money by living and working at the Poor Man’s Dispensary. He managed it on only £600.
He returned to Africa where he became senior medical officer of health and after a distinguished career retired to Elmswell in about 1932. While in Uganda he accompanied the then Prince of Wales on safari and, while on a river boat the Prince’s Groom-in-Waiting. General Trotter had a heart attack. The Prince helped my uncle to look after his patient and in gratitude sent him a personally typed letter of thanks and gave him a pair of gold cufflinks bearing the royal insignia.
Although they had no children of their own, my uncle and aunt more than made up for it in looking after the welfare of the offspring of less fortunate members of the family by paying school fees or, in the case of two cousins, Molly and Phyllis, having them to live with them while they were at school at Bury. The Miss Shambrook, to whom I referred earlier, came to live with them soon after they arrived in Elmswell suffering with tuberculosis and having been given only six months to live. My uncle looked upon this as total rubbish and was certain that with the right sort of care she would recover. He was right – more than fifty years later she is still alive and well, if a little short on memory, and living at Ferring in Sussex.
Throughout his life he never stopped developing his mind, quite apart from acquiring sundry additional medical qualifications. He must have been in his late sixties when he resolved to learn to play the piano, this was purgatory for his audience for he had chosen to work his way through a book of hymns and, having no aptitude for music whatsoever, it took him some time to arrange his fingers over the right chords every time and his performance was just a trifle ponderous, to say the least. He had a huge sense of humour and he was revered in the family as a truly good man. He died in 1960.
There is much more that I could write about him which would not be particularly relevant to Elmswell but I thought that just these few snippets might be of interest to you. I suppose there are not many who remember him now. [Yours sincerely]