Month: November 2014

Uncle Stan’s degree

Part of the info Kath passed on was this report in the Western Daily Press (I’ve cut out the middle bit) of the degrees awarded at Bristol University in 1922 including Uncle Stan’s 2:2 in engineering.

newspaper report


Radio silence broken

I haven’t posted anything for two weeks (and the blog views have dried up as a result) and there’s a reason for this – I’ve been busy! Every spare moment that I can spend on genealogy (which is really not much when there are so many other demands on my time) has been spent looking into a family of Edwards’s. Not even my Edwards’s – not directly anyway – those of my second great grand uncle.

Kath got in touch recently and after exchanging some pertinent information (see earlier post) asked if i could look some things up for her so she could draw a line under a particular family. So for the last few days there has been an ever lengthening email trail between me here in the UK and her in Australia. With the two of us rarely awake at the same time it’s been interesting to see what has landed in my inbox of a morning.

The gist of the story is that James Edwards goes to London from Somerset in the late 1840s to become a policeman. He marries Mary Rowe and they have four children (one dies in infancy, another in childhood) before moving to Devonport and having another child. James dies in 1881 and Mary in 1890 from which point the fates of the children (by now young adults) becomes very difficult to trace. We get to the turn of the century ok but then they all seem to disappear and we can find nothing concrete in the censuses of 1901 or 1911, no certain marriages, no deaths to be sure of and they don’t seem to have left the country. It’s puzzling and the sort of challenge that makes us all carry on this genealogy lark.

Fresh leads

I’ve got a lot of new data to sort through!
I think I’ve firmed up James Ellacott born 1665 and there’s a chance that his father was Robert although his birth year of about 1625 makes this 50:50 at the moment, but there are about 150 new Ellacott leads in my notebook now and hopefully a fuller picture will emerge from them. However, who knows when I’ll be able to sit down and go through them‽

A natural death?

Ellicott ShopIt seems that the Ellicott drapery business may have died a natural death. In 1926 when it was being wound up, Alfred was 56 and his sisters Annie and Adela were 59 and 70 respectively. Julia, the family milliner had married in 1911 aged 39 and had probably moved away – her husband Fred Bidwell died in Southampton in 1932. So it looks like the sisters had moved or retired prompting the move to “Ellicott & Son” in 1923 in an attempt to keep it going. The son in question must have been William because as I’ve mentioned before, Ted was in the Seychelles with Cable & Wireless and Stan was an engineer and it is now clear was on a ship bound for Lagos as the business was closing.

William married Peggy Brunsdon, who was from Swindon, in Gloucester in early 1929 and moved to South East London soon after, so it seems likely that his interest in the business had rapidly waned, if he was interested at all. This must have prompted Alfred to close the business and retire. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to discover William’s occupation yet but it looks unlikely to have been drapery.

Ellicott drapers news

Newspaper clippingI was trawling the newspaper archive (, taking advantage of their half price month offer (NOV50), and finally came across this advert from The Western Morning News and Mercury for November 20, 1926.

John Yeo is selling off the drapery stock from a number of businesses including Ellicott and Son. So we have an end date for the business, now we just need a reason.

close up of clipping