Geoffs Genealogy Update 4 December 2014

When I concluded my post last month I said I’d let you know next time about the research I did in October. In fact I’ll go one better than that and tell you about my treeing exploits (such as they are) over the past two months. First, though, I have a tale of woe to relate, because on 20 October the mother board on my trusty old pc died on me, so I needed to invest in a new machine.

In truth this was not such a great shock to me, as I had been thinking about buying a new machine for some while, but this forced the issue. A spec for the new machine was drawn up in a trice by my resident expert, and before long I was back in business with loads of extra storage capacity and an up to date, faster machine.

Fortunately I had backed up what I regarded as the most important data on my old machine, so I was able to get back up and running pretty qiuickly, but realistically it is hard to maintain backups of everything, and so it has taken me a while to reinstall my music, and some of the other files which, although less important, are still of value to me. The job isn’t finished as I write this, but hopefully I’ll be able to get it all sorted in the next few days, with the help of my son, of course.

You may recall that in my October post I mentioned the case of Philip Lancelot Bathurst as follows:

Just after the outbreak of the Great War Philip Lancelot Bathurst signed up at Ashstead to serve in the 2nd Battalion of the  Royal Fusiliers, but he was to have what I would regard as a lucky break when he failed his medical. He had already undergone varicocele surgery, and was deemed to be “not likely to become an efficient soldier on medical grounds”. It seems that the surgery had not completely cured his medical problem. We will never know whether Philip was pleased at his discharge, or disappointed not to be able to serve, but on 3 January 1915 he was discharged from the army.

Well, quite unexpectedly during November I came across some more information about Philip and his WW1 military career. I was looking at the WW1 records on the Find My Past website, to see what they have uploaded recently, when I found that this site holds two WW1 medal cards for Philip. This was a considerable surprise to me, in view of the fact that he had been discharged from the Royal Fusiliers as unfit for service, but it seems to be the case that after these events Philip enlisted with the 6th Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment. As I have not been able to trace his service record I cannot say when he enlisted, but it seems that in June 1915 he was serving as a 2nd Lieutenant at Gallipoli, which qualified him for the award of the 1914-15 Star medal.

It appears from these records that Philip later attained the rank of Captain, and during his service was mentioned in despatches. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, which I gather was the equivalent of the modern British Empire Medal, and also received  Territorial Force Efficiency medals, suggesting that he was involved with the territorial forces for a lengthy period.

In November my research focussed on the records of the Shoreditch Board of Guardians, and in particular those relating to Shoreditch Workhouse. I was aware that my grandmother – Alice Louisa Holliday (1891-1982) was in the workhouse as a child, and I wanted to find out more about this part of her life.

These records are available to search on, as part of the London Metropolitan Archives archive. They are not indexed, so you have to search them page by page, just as we old hands had to do in pre-internet days. If that sounds a bit arduous, I must say that at least you don’t have to travel to London to do the job, and when you have had enough you can break the job and come back to continue it when it suits you, which we couldn’t do in those far off days.

It took me several weeks to search all the records I wanted to look at, but now I can see that my great grandparents fell on very hard times in the period 1895 – 1905, and they and their children had many spells in the workhouse. As my grandmother was a young child at the time she did not stay with her parents in the workhouse, but was moved to the children’s home at Hornchurch in Essex, which one can only think would have been an upsetting experience for her.

As well as finding Alice in these records I also found three of her siblings – Sydney, George and Frederick. Alas, Sydney and George died in childhood, but Frederick went on to serve in the Royal Navy, and enjoyed a full life.

I have entered all this data into a spreadsheet, and now need to update my records with the information.

The records I researched were as follows:

  • Parish of St Leonard Shoreditch Register of Admissions & Discharges 15 Nov 1892 – 01 Oct 1900, Source Ref SHBG/139/003
  • Parish of St Leonard Shoreditch Register of Admissions & Discharges 23 Mar 1900 -05 Aug 1905, Source Ref SHBG/139/006
  • Shoreditch Board of Guardians; Infirmary Later St Leonards Hospital, Hoxton Street, Admissions & Discharges   14 Mar 1891- 1 May 1894, Source Ref SHBG/146
  • Shoreditch Board of Guardians; Infirmary Later St Leonards Hospital, Hoxton Street, Admissions & Discharges Males  Jan 1902- Feb 1903. Source Ref SHBG/149/011
  • Children in Shoreditch Workhouse 29 Mar 1898 to 15 Dec 1900 – Admissions & Discharges. Source Ref SHBG/170/001
  • Shoreditch Board of Guardians; Register of Children Sent to Service, 1889-1906, Source Ref SHBG/166
  • Shoreditch Board of Guardians; Children in the Workhouse, 1900-1903 – Register of Children. Source Ref SHBG/170/002A
  • Shoreditch Board of Guardians; Cottage Homes Hornchurch Admittance And Discharge, 1904-1913, Source Ref Not stated
  • Board of Guardians; Hornchurch Children´s Home Admissions & Discharges, 1893-1897, Source Ref SHBG/161/002
  • Board of Guardians; Hornchurch Children´s Home, Register of Children 1889-1913, Source Ref SHBG/161/004

I also found my grandmother as a young girl in the London Metropolital Archives  school records on Ancestry, which was exciting. It is apparent that her education was a fragmented affair, but I can tell you that she was certainly no slouch in the arithmetic or spelling and handwriting departments, right through her old age.

The Ancestry website holds a sizeable number of Board of Guardians and schools records covering many of the London borough, so it may be well worthwhile for you to have a look at them. Certainly the time that I invested in this research was well rewarded.


  • This page was last updated on Thursday December 4th, 2014.

Geoffs Genealogy Update 5 November 2014

By far the biggest event in the lives of my family during October – indeed, during the year – was the marriage of our son – Owen – to Nikki. This really was a fantastic day and evening at Rowton Castle Hotel, near Shrewsbury, and I’m sure that a good time was had by all who attended. It was so lovely to get together with relations, and meet some of Nikki and Owen’s friends in lovely surroundings, and the occasion and the wedding location made me reflect on marriage over the centuries.

Owen and Vikki’s was a civil marriage, which took place in an hotel, reflecting the fact that in recent years there has been a great increase in the variety of venues and venue types that are licensed marriage venues. Throughout the period 1600 to 1836, with the exception of a few years during the interregnum, marriages were required to be carried out in accordance with Canon law, laid down by the Church of England. This meant that marriage ceremonies had to be carried out by a minister of the Church of England. Yes, there were marriages carried out by dissenting ministers, but these were not recognised by the law and so, as Rebecca Probert explains in her excellent book Marriage Law for Genealogists, it was almost always the case that our ancestors in the period up to 1836 were married in the Church of England, even if they were non conformists.

The calling of Banns before marriage was introduced in the Church of England in 1604, with the alternative of marriage by Licence, but Probert emphasises that marriages were valid without banns or a licence, so long as they were carried out by a minister of the Church of England (Probert, p 76). Hence the growth in the number of so called clandestine marriages. During our research into the Bankes Pedigree we have found a number of examples of Clandestine marriages, for example John Price (abt 1720 – abt 1756) married Deborah Rand (abt 1722 – abt 1765) in London’s Fleet Prison in 1745.

Between 1653 and 1660, during the Interregnum, a system of civil marriage was in force. As you may imagine, this ruffled the feathers of many people who were committed to the Church, so there were also church marriages carried out. Although not recognised at the time, these marriages were recognised in law after the Restoration.

As most genealogists are probably aware, in 1753 Hardwicke’s Clandestine Marriages Act came into force, aimed at stopping the growing practice of clandestine marriage. This  legislation laid down that to be valid a marriage had to be celebrated by an Anglican minister in an Anglican church, after the calling of Banns or a Licence. There were also rules introduced that governed the records that needed to be kept, and these rules established the layout of the marriage records that we now use in our research.

In 1837 Civil Registration was introduced in England and Wales. Church of England clergymen were required to send a return of marriages in their church to their local registrar every three months, and the local registrar sent copies to the General Registrar. This resulted in the certificates and indexes that we use in our research today. In addition to this, the Act made it possible for people to marry in civil marriage ceremonies at register offices. This ceremony was shorn of the religious content, and thus offered Catholics and Non Conformists the option of marrying legally without going through a ceremony in the Church of England. Additionally, after 1837 a growing number of dissenting chapels and Catholic churches or chapels were licenced to carry our marriages.

Many of my Culshaw forebears were Catholics, but up to 1837, so far as I have been able to trace, they married in the Church of England. It is possible that, in keeping with a practice that was common prior to 1837, they had two weddings – one in the Catholic church and another in the Anglican church, but I have seen little evidence of that. It took me a number of years to trace the marriage of my  great grandparents John Culshaw (1855-1924) and Elizabeth Bennett (1853-1931), and I eventually found it in the local Civil Registration records, using the Lancashire BMD website. John and Elizabeth were both Catholics, and were married in 1875 at St Andrew’s Catholic Chapel in Leyland, Lancashire.

I have found time for one or two bits of treeing during the month, but most of October has been spent editing wedding photos and getting the autumn gardening done. I think I’ll save the bits of treeing news for next month’s post.


  • This page was last updated on Wednesday November 5th, 2014.

Geoffs Genealogy Update 4 October 2014

What a wonderful month September was in the UK. Beautiful weather throughout the month, and virtually no rain! Jan and I had a great night at the BBC Last Night of the Proms in the Park at Singleton Park, Swansea three weeks ago, when we saw our favourite singer perform. Bryn Terfel had flown in that day from Vienna, especially for the event, and he gave his usual superb performance. At the moment you can still see this in the BBC iPlayer, and it is well worth watching.

This month’s family history research has been varied, trying to fill in gaps on the tree, in no particular order of priority. Some of the people I have looked at are quite far removed from my direct line, but as Bankes descendants they command my attention, as I am trying to fill in as much detail as I can in the Bankes Pedigree. Thus it was that I turned my attention to the Bathurst clan.

At this point some of you may be asking – Who were the Bathursts?

They were the descendants of John Price (1802-1840), one of the sons of David Price, Citizen & Haberdasher of London (1774-1840). When David Price died in March 1840 I don’t imagine that John and Joseph, his two sons, thought that within nineteen months they would both have died, but that was what happened. John died in October r1840 and Joseph died a year later.

John did not marry, but he had a daughter named Susanna Clarissa Waddington Whitcombe by a lady named Susannah Rosetta Whitcombe (abt 1805-1883). The child was born c1825 in Bermondsey, Surrey, and was acknowledged by John Price in his will. When she grew up she married Lacey Bathurst (1818-1861) at West Hackney Church in Middlesex and they produced four children, one of whom was John Bathurst (1855-1922). The people I have been looking at in the last few weeks were the children of John and his spouse, Annie Christina nee Roper.

Annie was born in Dublin in 1863, and the marriage between her and John took place in that fair city in 1890. Of course, in those days the British ruled what is now the Republic of Ireland.

It seems that almost immediately John and Annie moved to live in Sydenham, a largely middle class suburb of London, with a railway link to the City.  Interestingly, Sydenham was the home of the Crystal Palace after the Great Exhibition of 1851. The Bathursts would have been very familiar with this glass edifice, which was moved from Hyde Park to Sydenham in 1854, and was there until it was destroyed by fire in November 1936.  The  Bathursts were living in Sydenham in 1891, and their two sons – Philip Lancelot Bathurst (b 1892) and Robert Capel Bathurst (b 1896) were both born there. Philip married Madeline Langham Noakes (1896-1958) in 1916 and appears to have been a schoolmaster at Tonbridge School in Kent. He had himself been educated at that school, as was his brother.

So far as I know Robert did not marry. He became a solicitor and practised in Dublin. Indeed, it seems that his parents moved to Dublin at some time between 1911 and 1914. John Bathurst died in Dublin in 1922, and Robert died in Monkkstown, Co. Dublin in 1947.

It seems that sometime after her spouse’s death Annie probably returned to live in Kent, for I have traced a death entry in 1922 for a certain Annie C Bathurst that was registered in Bromley, Kent.

Just after the outbreak of the Great War Philip Lancelot Bathurst signed up at Ashstead to serve in the 2nd Battalion of the  Royal Fusiliers, but he was to have what I would regard as a lucky break when he failed his medical. He had already undergone varicocele surgery, and was deemed to be “not likely to become an efficient soldier on medical grounds”. It seems that the surgery had not completely cured his medical problem. We will never know whether Philip was pleased at his discharge, or disappointed not to be able to serve, but on 3 January 1915 he was discharged from the army.

One of the interesting aspects of British Army WW1 records is the personal information they contain. We now know that Philip was a student at age 22. He stood 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighed 154 lbs, and he had blue eyes and light brown hair. When he died in 1968 his death was registered at Battle, East Sussex.

I have not traced any children born to Philip or his brother, so I believe that this particular Bathurst line died out with them. However, as their father had three siblings,  there is a chance that the Bathurst line endures. We have traced a marriage for Charles Lacey Bathurst (1847-1922). In 1877 he married Kate Sarah Woods (1848-1933) and they had three daughters, who may have produced some children.

Further research possibilities for another day.

  • This page was last updated on Saturday October 4th, 2014.

Geoffs Genealogy Update 8 December 2013

In the May 2013 entry on this blog I told of my then recent research into David Price (1774-1840), Citizen & Haberdasher of London, and some members of his family. More recently I have used the Land Tax Records for London to piece together more information about the life of David Price, and hopefully you may be interested to read something about this.

The collection of  Land Tax Valuation Rolls for the City of  London that are held at London Metropolitan Archives are available to search on the website. They are very extensive, covering the period 1692-1932, but the records are not complete, and you may or may not find the person that you are looking for. If you do find your ancestor what will these records tell you?

  • The records should provide you with residential information about your forebear, You may well find out which ward or district in the City your ancestor lived in, and  often you can see which road they lived in as well.
  • For each year that you can find a relevant record you are likely to be able to see who owned the property your ancestor lived in, and the amount of rent he or she paid. Bear in mind that no matter how well off, most of the people you are interested in are unlikely to have owned their own house. It is most likely that they paid rent.
  • If your ancestor was a Land Tax Assessor you will also find that information recorded, and an example of his signature.

You can thus use these records to gain an impression of how well off your forebear was and where he or she lived. You may be able to use them to identify when the person you are interested moved from one address to another, or when they died. If your ancestor had a business you may well be able to find out the name of the business, and form an idea of when the business started and finished, as well as where it was located.

If you relate the information you can glean from these records to other sources, such as directories, census returns and electoral records, you may well be able to build up a bank of information that greatly enhances your knowledge of your ancestor’s life.

So how have these records helped me in my research into this particular Bankes descendant?

I have traced and recorded thirteen Land Tax Valuation records relating to David Price, the earliest dating from 1805 and the latest being dated 1839. In all the records that are residential in nature, David Price is shown to have lived in the Dowgate area of London. In 1805 he was aged 30, and had been a Freeman of the City of London for just five years. He had been a married man for four years, and had two children. He occupied a property in Thames Street which he rented for £24 per annum. The Land Tax assessed was £3 12s 0d.

The Land Tax Record for 1808 shows that he was still living at the same property. Other records that we have seen show that David was living at Upper Thames Street at this time, and, indeed, until 1823.

We already knew, from Sun Insurance Registers, that by 1827 David Price was living at No 9, Dowgate, and this is reflected in these records from 1828 onwards. In these documents this property was recorded as being in Dowgate Hill. This was presumably a larger property, as the rent paid was recorded as £45 per annum, and his Land Tax was assessed at £5 1s 3d.

We know from other records that David lived at this address for the rest of his life. The rent payable was still shown as £45 in 1839, when the Land Tax was assessed as £5 5s. od.

At the front of  the Land Tax Valuation records there is  a page that contains an attestation signed by the Assessors who carried out the valuation. To serve as an Assessor a man would have needed to be of good character and reputation, and therefore if the person you are researching is thus named you it gives you a bit of information about his standing in their community. David Price signed these attestations as an Assessor from 1833 to 1838.

Now to what these records tell us about David Price’s businesses.

Before seeing the Land Tax Valuations we already knew that David was in business with William Pearson, who was his wife’s step father, and had seen a Directory listing dated 1838  for:

“Pearson & Price, Wool and general warehousemen, Chequer Yard, Dowgate Hill, & steel yard, Upper Thames Street.”

In fact William Pearson died in 1830, so we knew that David Price must have entered into business with him before then. What we can now say is that the business was certainly in existence in 1828, as the Land Tax Valuation for that  year shows Pearson & Price renting a warehouse at Little College Street, Dowgate, London. The rent payable on this was £77 per annum.

These records also show that in his final years David Price was in business with his eldest son, John Price. They were renting a warehouse in Thames Street in the name of David & Jno Price at an annual rent of £1800 as well as another warehouse in Dowgate in the name D & J Price, which was costing them £200 in rent. By 1838 the warehouse in Little College Street was also recorded in the name D & J Price.

David Price died in March 1840, and the only Land Tax record that I have found for that year covered the Little College Street, Dowgate warehouse. This shows the occupier of the premises as John Price, suggesting that David’s eldest son may have taken over the running of his father’s business. Sadly, however, John died in September 1840 and his younger brother – Joseph Price – died in October 1841, so within nineteen months of David Price’s death there were no sons to carry on the business.







  • This page was last updated on Sunday December 8th, 2013.

Geoffs Genealogy Update 8 May 2013

I’m a bit late with this month’s update because we have been away for a few days’ break in the sunshine.

Yes, you did read that correctly. The weather in England and Wales over the bank holiday weekend was lovely, giving rise to hopes that we may actually have a summer this year! I’m particularly looking forward to the Ashes cricket test series in July & August, and hoping that the Australians bring us a bit of their weather.

It has to be said, though, that our weather has now reverted to type, and we are currently “enjoying” colder, damper days.

Unfortunately, during April we had to cancel the reunion of John Bankes’ descendants that we had planned for 8 June. This was because it became apparent that, in spite of our best efforts, there were simply not enough people committed to coming to make the event viable.

We had been looking forward very much to the reunion, and put off the decision as long as we could, but in the end we really had no choice. We apologise to those people who had booked to come to the event, and have refunded all the monies that had been paid to us.

It has been suggested to us that maybe we will try to run another reunion at some future time, but at this stage we cannot say whether or not that is likely.

During May I have spent most of my available time researching the family of David Price (1774-1840), and his descendants, with some success. I started this piece of research in preparation for the reunion, as quite a number of the people who had booked to come are Bankes descendants on the Welsh branch, and I thought the results may interest them.

As far as David Price is concerned I only managed to add a little to what we already knew. He was born in Cardiganshire, but by the time he was 19 years old he was apprenticed to a certain Thomas Davis, Haberdasher of London. On completing his apprenticeship he became a freeman of the Haberdashers’ Company, and shortly afterwards was recorded as a Cheesemonger in the trading area of London known as the Steelyard – on the site of the present day Cannon Street Station. He seems to have enjoyed a successful business career, remaining in business at this site for the rest of his life. In later records he was recorded as a Warehouse Keeper and a Wool Merchant.

After his death, when his estate was being sold, following notice appeared in the London Standard newspaper dated 29 July 1843, from which we learn that David owned at least one other London warehouse :

ESTATE, situate on the west side of Seething-lane, in the Parish of St. Olave, Hart-street, in the City of London, consisting of substantial brick-built warehouses, viz, two stacks of warehouses of five floors each, from 8 feet to 16 feet in height, having a frontage of  upwards of 120 feet to Seething-lane; of the whole of which possession will be given.
Also, extensive vaults under the warehouses, which are let to yearly tenants at 225l. per annum.To be viewed by leave of the tenants.”

David was married in 1808, to Sarah Sharpe (c1770 – 1835), who came from a prosperous London family. The couple lived in Dowgate, London – not far from David’s workplace – and had six children – 4 girls and 2 boys – between 1802 and 1811.

David Price served on the Court of Assistants of the Haberdashers’ Company in 1830, and for many years played a part in the administration of the City of London, serving as an elected member of  the Common Council. I am lucky enough to have a copy of a silhouette of David, which I wrote about in a previous blog entry, dated 1 April 2012.

David Price died in March 1840 in London, and his death was marked by the following resolution of the Common Council, published in The Standard newspaper of 18 March 1840:

“….. this Wardmote cannot separate without lamenting the decease of the late Mr. David Price Esq., many years one of the Common Councilmen of this Ward, and for some years the Alderman’s Deputy: and whose long services to the Ward must be highly appreciated by the inhabitants, who now, in Wardmote assembled, beg to condole with his family on the loss they have sustained.

That a copy of the aforegoing Resolution be fairly transcribed, Signed by the Ward Clerk, and presented to the family of the late David Price, Esq.”

One may have expected David Price’s two sons to assume control of the business affairs on the death of their father, but sadly that was not to happen. The eldest son – John Price, died at Ramsgate, on the Kent coast, in the same year as his father, aged 38. According to the announcement in The Times newspaper on 11 September 1840 The cause of death was ” the rupture of a blood-vessel”

David and Sarah Price’s other son – Joseph Price – died in 1841, just before his 32nd birthday. Both the Price brothers were buried at St John, Hackney, presumably in the family grave.

Neither of the Price brothers had married, but there is a record aof a liaison between John Price and a certain Susannah Rosetta Whitcombe (abt 1805-1883), which produced a daughter named Susanna Clarissa Waddington Whitcombe (abt 1825 – 1882). After John’s death Susannah Rosetta Whitcombe married John Marshall Hostage (1889-1861). Susanna Clarissa Waddington Whitcombe later married Lacey Bathurst (b abt 1819). I have more information about this line of descent from David Price, which I shall be happy to share with you if you would like to contact me.

So what became of David & Sarah Price’s daughters?

Briefly,  Elizabeth Price was born in 1808, and only lived for two months, while Sarah Esther Price died aged 19 in 1825, without marrying.

Mary Price (1804-1871) married a Welsh farmer named David Hughes (abt 1807-1852). They lived in Carmarthenshire and had a number of children.

Anne Price (1811-1898) married Rev William Hale (1810-1874). They lived in what is now the South London area, and had six children.

There is still much for us to find out about these families, but for the time being I am satisfied with the results of my research.

  • This page was last updated on Wednesday May 8th, 2013.

Geoffs Genealogy Update 5 March 2013

Over the years I have not processed all the items that I have found whilst visiting various records offices around the country. I am afraid that I am inclined to be rather greedy when I go on a treeing trip, and concentrate on collecting as many sources as I can. After all, these days most archives let you use your digital camera to record sources, although often for a fee, so for the most part there is not the need to write out your notes in longhand.

There is a down side to this however. I have quite a lot of records that I obtained a couple of years ago or more, and I still have not worked on them. Once I’ve left them for a couple of years or more my memory fades, and thus when I come to work on them I sometimes can’t recall the detail of the source as well as I should. I know that in the interest of sound research, and to get the best out of the material that I gather, I should deal with these items soon after gathering them, but that said, I don’t expect I’ll change.

During February I finally got around to processing a source that I annotated in March 2009 at Guildhall Library in London. These are the Insurance Registers. Guildhall Library used to hold a large, but incomplete, series of these records, which relate to several insurance companies and cover the years 1696 to 1883, but since I viewed them they have been moved to London Metropolitan Archives.  You can read about this source on the following webpage:

On the National Archives website there was an index to a section of the Sun Life Insurance Registers, source reference Ms 11936/419 -560, covering the period 1800 – 1839, and I made use of that before visiting Guildhall Library, to identify the sources that I wanted to look at during my visit. Thus, I arrived at London with a list of documents that I wanted to see, and was able to crack on with the research straight away.

I had never seen archive insurance registers before, and found them very interesting, particularly as they give a good insight into the lifestyle of our forebears. I was able to trace a number of records relating to several Bankes descendants:

John Collyer (1783-1840), Carver & Gilder of London
David Price (1774-1840), Cheesemonger / Warehouseman of London
Nathan Archer (1793-1845), Printer & Stationer / Engraver of London

I also traced some material relating to Nathan Archer’s brothers – Thomas Archer (1786-1866) and Samuel William Archer (1790-1870), as well as a certain William Thomas Archer. I have come across William in my research previously; he was obviously related to Nathan Archer, but I have not yet been able to work out his connection.

So what do these records tell us?

Well, firstly they give us a series of addresses for the people named. In the case of John Collyer and David Price this merely confirms existing information, but in the case of the Archer men there is quite a bit to learn. I had known that Thomas Archer, brother of my Nathan, lived at Long Lane, West Smithfield, London when he was a young man, but it seems from these records that Nathan and maybe William Thomas also lived at that address for a period, although the exact sequence of events is not spelled out clearly. I am not sure whether Long Lane was both residential and business address, but it looks as though that could have been the case.

After his marriage to Mary Ann Stephens in 1817, Nathan appears to have moved to a brick building at 39 Goswell Street, London. I assume that this was Goswell Road, in Clerkenwell. Here he lived, presumably with his wife, and according to the insurance schedules he had his printing office at the rear of the building.

In 1821 Nathan Archer was on the move again. This time he moved to 219 Shoreditch, to another brick house which appears to have been both his home and workplace. In 1821 he had entered into a partnership with a  certain Alfred Catherwood as Printers, Booksellers and Stationers, and that was probably the reason for this move, I think. The costs of the insurance premiums that Nathan and Alfred had to pay was considerable – £1200 in 1821, on the stock, utensils and goods that were stores at their premises.

The partnership between messers Archer & Catherwood did not last long, and on 15 July 1823 a notice appeared in the London Gazette, announcing its breakup. Nathan and family then went to live at 26 Tabernacle Walk, St Lukes, London. Again, this appears to have been both his home and workplace, and in 1823 and 1825 his premium on his household goods, clothes, glass & china, stock etc was £1100.

The last entry I found for Nathan was dated 9 January 1839, when he was at 15 Old Street Road in Clerkenwell. This may have only been his dwelling house, I suspect, as the premium was lower (£350), and there is no mention in the schedule of stock. The Archer family were still at that address in 1841, when the census was taken.

There is one other member of the Archer clan mentioned in these records – Nathan’s brother Samuel William Archer. He was described as a Jeweller, Silversmith and Dealer in Watches and Locks, and appears to have been a very prosperous man. His address was recorded as “Nearly opposite St Thomas Square Hackney”, and the hint that he probably did  trade from that address comes in the value of “stock and utensils Jewels excepted £900”.

One or two other points that may be of interest.

Firstly, many of the records state “no stove therein”, presumably because no stove meant less fire risk. I can’t imagine how the people would have kept warm in those circumstances, though.

It is interesting to see that David Price’s premiums included amounts to cover musical instruments. The cost of this cover was £50 in 1827, but this was doubled the following year. This gives an impression of a certain elegent lifestyle in the Price household. I wonder what instruments they had, and who played them. Do you think that they were played by David Price’s daughters, Anne and Mary, in a scene reminiscent of Jane Austen?

I could go on about these records for ages longer, but I guess that by now you have the idea that these are quite fascinating sources, which cast light on many aspects of the lives of our forebears. I really must make sure that I investigate some of the other items I have stores in folders before too long.

As I leave you I must give my usual plug for the Reunion of John Bankes’ Descendants, which we are holding at Coulsdon, Surrey on 8th June. The big day is now drawing very close, and we would love to have the opportunity to meet and greet as many Bankes descendants as possible. If you can come, please do. I’m sure you will thoroughly enjoy the day. Details are on the Geoffs Genealogy website.



  • This page was last updated on Tuesday March 5th, 2013.

Geodffs Genealogy Update 19 July 2007

Well, we were lucky! The open air performance of Much Ado about Nothing that we went to see last week passed off without there being a single drop of rain. I think we were so very fortunate. The next night it poured down!

The show was superb. Very well acted by a professional cast, and a good few laughs in there. Not as good as last year’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but by any other standards first class. Next year it will be a change from comedy to tragedy – Hamlet. I’m looking forward to it already.

The good news is that I have re-engaged my email from the Geoffs Genealogy website, so if you want to contact me you can. I will need to make some further changes to my email arrangements to try to prevent a similar ocurrance in future, but they will become apparent as they happen.

Not much has happened in the way of new treeing discoveries this week, but there is just one item worthy of mention. I have long yearned to find a family history event on the Bankes Pedigree that took place in Shropshire – my county of residence. Up to now I have drawn a blank on this, but last night – bingo! My wish came true.

On the Welsh line of the Bankes Pedigree (descended from Deborah Rand & John Price) we find a certain John Bankes Price (c1826-1897). A census entry had told me that that his spouse – Lucy Elizabeth – was born at Clun in South Shropshire, but up to last night I did not know her maiden name or the date and location of their marriage. Well, last night, courtesy of the Free BMD website, these pieces of the jigsaw fell into place. The lady’s maiden name was Price – so her marriage involved no change of name – and the marriage took place in the December quarter of 1860 at ….. Clun! At last I have a reason to visit the excellent Shropshire Archives to add to my tree, and I shall do so as soon as possible. Of course, it has to be said that the Price clan were (are) only distantly related to my family, but nevertheless I’m quite pleased with this discovery.

That’s it for now. Now back to that pile of data entry …..

  • This page was last updated on Thursday July 19th, 2007.

Geoffs Genealogy Update 28 May 2007

Last Thursday (24 May) I went on a Shropshire Family History Society coach trip to The National Archives, Kew. I always look forward to the society’s coach trips as they present me with a valuable opportunity to enrich my family history research by dipping into the vast treasure of sources that are held at this repository. Over the years I have made some really important discoveries at TNA.

We had a good journey, and arrived at about 11 am. The first item on my list was a search for the World War One army service record of Walter Sidney Rook (1882-1918). Walter was the first husband of my mother’s aunt – Phoebe Emily Charlotte nee Smith, and was killed in action in March 1918 at the Somme. He was a Sergeant, in12 Battalion, Rifle Brigade, and a recipient of the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM).

About 60% of the WW1 army service records were destroyed by Hitler’s bombers during WW2, so I was not surprised to find that Walter’s record was not on the microfilm I searched. This means that I shall not be able to develop this line of research in future – a great shame.

I had set out with another piece of research in mind which entailed using the records of HM Customs & Excise. These are held on microfilm, and if you can find your man’s records you can find out an enormous amount of information about him. However, my reading of the instructions for this research led me to conclude that I would probably have had to devote the rest of my day to this work and I did not want to do that. I therefore shelved this work for a future date.

I decided to devote what little time I had left in the morning to searching the Probate Calendars 1858 onwards, looking for Bankes descendants. I concentrated on the Welsh Bankes descendants, all descecnded from John Price (c1720-1756) and his spouse Deborah nee Rand (c1721-1765). I won’t subject you to a detailed account of this work. Suffice to say that Jan and I found nine relevant entries in the time available to us. Some of these people were seriously well off! One of them left an estate worth around £70,000 in 1847!

After a very pleasant lunch I went to the Maps Room to look at a Court of Chancery document I had ordered in advance of my visit. It was a Bill of Complaint issued in 1734 by George Bagnall, who was the Administrator of the estate of John Hales, one of the executors of the will of John Bankes (prob 1719). He was claiming against the Haberdashers’ Company in London for monies that he said were owed by Bankes’s estate to Hales and Sophia, Baroness Dowager of Lempster. Both Hales and the Baroness had made mortgage advances to Bankes.

Such sources require great concentration in reading them, as they are very large and contain a lot of “legal language”. Although I had a couple of hours in which to look at this document and the reply by the Haberdashers Company, I only had time to jot down a few notes outlining its content. I shall spare you an explanation of the document. Suffice to say that it contained an outline description of Bankes’s property at Nine Elms, Battersea, and told me that the property was known as “The Lottery”. This may seem to you to be fairly inconsequential information, but I value it greatly. Apart from anything else, it may give me a lead towards finding out, at some future date, exactly where the property was.

I returned home in the evening feeling a little disappointed with the results of my day’s work, as I had hoped for more. However, hope springs eternel, and I’ll be back at Kew as soon as possible for more research.

  • This page was last updated on Monday May 28th, 2007.

Geoffs Genealogy Update 8 May 2007

Once again I’m a bit late in making this post. A number of events have conspired to bring this about.

Firstly there was a vital football match to go to on Saturday (5 May) – my team won, and gained promotion for the second time in three years! Brilliant. Non league football is so much more exciting that that Premiership stuff!

Then there was a very pleasant couple of days spent with my dearly beloved in Carmarthenshire. The weather finally gave out after a fantastic few weeks of summer-like conditions, but it was not too bad, and we have alovely time.

Whilst in Wales Jan and I passed through Lampeter, in Cardiganshire. As I’m sure you will understand, a treeing addict like me could not resist calling on some Bankes descendants who are buried in the churchyard at Lampeter. We spent an interesting hour checking on gravestones, and collected some promising looking monumental inscriptions, viz:

John Price (c1796-1851) of Lampeter and his wife Mary (nee Price) (c1804-1869) were in one grave, with several of their children. In another grave was one of their sons – David Price (1831-1911), his second wife Anne (nee Jones) (c1838-1921) and their daughter Mary Ann (nee Price) Evans (c1882-1966).

Further over was the grave of Hugh Bankes Price (1865-1933) and his spouse Elizabeth Mary (nee Hayden) (d 1959). Sadly, this grave was in a very bad state of repair.

The last grave we found was that of a certain Marian Bankes Davies (1869-1940) and her spouse John Davies (1868-1951). They had at one time been resident at Cruc-y-Bar. To judge from the use of the Bankes name it seems likely that Marian featured on the Bankes pedigree, but at present I can’t fit her in. If anybody reading this knows who this lady was I’d appreciate an email via my website

I know it’s a bit of a long shot, but in this fascinating hobby you never know where the next bit of information is coming from.

I’ll now revert to entering all that Guyatt data into my computer. See you next week.

  • This page was last updated on Tuesday May 8th, 2007.

Geoffs Genealogy Update 29 January 2007

Another busy week on the treeing front. I was delighted to receive some more information about the Collyer line – descendants of Robert Hanham Collyer. Also, I have been continuing with my self-appointed task of adding to our pedigree, using information from censuses.

I have explored the line down from John Price (d 1944) as far as I can, taking the Bathurst line down to 1901. Roll on the 1911 census!

The Welsh descendants of Joseph Rand are always interesting, and I have uncovered a few census entries re Mary Ann Davies (b Llangollen, c1824). She married William Sleigh and they had one child – Amy Banks Sleigh (b 1862).

My other peice of work this week entailed a visit to my local LDS family history centre and a look at a microfilm containing the burials at Monkwearmouth, Sunderland. There I found some valuable entries re the Heppell line. Heppell was the maiden name of my mum’s cousin, and her forebears migrated from Sunderland to London by 1841. Fascinating.

Jan has received some new information from a new contact who is a Maddox descendant, bringing one branch of that family down to the present day.

None of this material will appear on Geoffs Genealogy for some months, so if you are interested in any of this information do drop me a line.

See you next week!


  • This page was last updated on Monday January 29th, 2007.