The Kersley Family

(last updated 25 July 2020)

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Thomas and Robert Kersley came from the small Hampshire village of Mapledurwell located a little to the south of the town of Basingstoke and a handful of miles from Steventon, the birthplace of the celebrated English novelist Jane Austen (born there in 1775). Their father, William Kersley, was baptised at Mapledurwell on 12 May 1793. According to the local parish registers William was 'the base born son of Sarah [Kersley] by Robert Fewel' (or Fowel, the writing was difficult to decipher). Gaye Dunn believes that Sarah later married Robert. Another Kersley researcher, Nigel Gerdes, tells us that Robert's surname was Powel and that Sarah 'went on to marry 29 May 1794 at Herriard a widower Richard Wise and had four additional children'. Nigel adds that 'Richard Wise was born 4 Dec 1756 and baptised 11 Jan 1757 at Herriard. His first wife was Hannah Platt who he married 7 Jan 1779 at Upper Nately, Hants. They had six children and she died in 1793. Richard Wise died in 1824 and was buried 20 Jan 1824 at Herriard'.

We think Sarah was the daughter of Joseph Kersley (1744-1814) and Mary Wigmore (buried in Mapledurwell in 1810). Joseph was probably the youngest son of Richard and Elizabeth Kersley (nee Staples). An extract from a book on Lasham and Herriard sent to me by Gaye Dunn indicates that Richard moved from Winslade in Hampshire to Herriard after he married Elizabeth Staples there in September 1731. Another of Richard's sons, George Kersley, was said to own Hale Farm which he inherited rather than bought. George married three times, first to Jane Rout, then Elizabeth Cooper and finally to Sarah Blunden (in 1787). By this time the farm, which had passed to George's first son (also George), had to be sold in order to pay off the family's creditors. 'From then on', the book continues, 'life became very different and it showed in the lifestyle of the children born to George and Sarah' who had to work as labourers and ploughmen. As we will see, this would also be so for the descendants of George's brother Joseph.

Joseph Kersley married Mary Wigmore in Herriard in 1762 and moved to Mapledurwell some time later. Gaye Dunn has Joseph's children as: William (1764-1847), Mary (1767-), John (1770-), Sarah (1773-), George (1774-), Ann (1778-), Elizabeth (1781-), Charlotte (1785-1842) and James Kersley (1789-1824). The Mapledurwell parish registers confirm that Ann, Elizabeth and Charlotte Kersley were baptised there in 1778, 1781 and 1785 respectively. The other children were not mentioned and so may have been born at Herriard. The list of burials at Herriard obtained from GenWeb shows that although they lived at Mapledurwell, Joseph and Mary were buried at Herriard (on 5 June 1814 and 6 March 1810 respectively).

The Mapledurwell Parish Church

The Phillamore listings for Hampshire and the Mapledurwell parish registers show that a number of Joseph and Mary's children were married at Mapledurwell: Mary Kersley married John Slater on 14 February 1788; William Kersley married Sarah Hall on 1 November 1790; Charlotte Kersley married Thomas Gidge on 24 April 1806; and Ann Kersley married Robert Gary on 17 November 1808. Their brother John Kersley married Hannah Wise at Herriard on 2 October 1800. According to Maureen Sharpe, the marriage allegations for Hampshire show that a further brother, George Kersley a 21 year-old yeoman from Mapledurwell, married Mary Bentham, also 21, of Upper Nately at Upper Nately in 1806. The various couples and their families are listed on my Kersley/Laurence family tree maintained on Rootsweb (an internet listing for the Wild, Batchelor and Hewlett families in Hampshire also provides details of Charlotte Kersley and Thomas Gidge's children who were all baptised at Old basing between 1806 and 1826).

Thomas and Robert's mother was Letitia Prince (1784-1836), the daughter of Thomas (1748-1818) and Mary Prince (1752-1822) of Mapledurwell. Nigel Gerdes tells us that Mary's maiden name was Mears and that she and Thomas were married at Old Basing in Hampshire on 12 December 1772. The LDS IGI has Mary as Mary 'Moars'. It also shows that two Mary 'Mores' were baptised at Old Basing in the 1750s, one on 21 September 1755 (parents George and Elizabeth Mores) and one on 21 April 1756 (parents also George and Elizabeth Mores). We do know that Letitia had at least seven siblings all of whom were born (and most buried) at Mapledurwell: William (1777-1848), Mary (1782-86), George (1784-88), Robert (1786-), Jean (1789-), Thomas (1798-1875) and Ann Prince.

The 1839 'Tithe Award for the Parish of Mapledurwell' shows Letitia's older brother, William Prince, as the occupier of an orchard over two rods in size. The orchard was owned by a Daniel May. The same document showed that William's son, John Prince, occupied a house and garden also owned by Daniel May. William's grandson and namesake married Jane Spencer from Sherborne St John in Hampshire in 1861. The couple had ten children, including twin boys Herbert Joseph and Francis William Prince (who, with his wife Louisa Morgan from Sandford in Berkshire, was running Prince's Farm at Mapledurwell in 1901). Another of Letitia's brothers, Robert Prince, married Mary Frewin at Mapledurwell in 1811. He and Mary lived at nearby Nately Scures after their marriage and had at least three children there: George, William and Jane Prince.

possibly william kersleyThe Surrey Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1927 contained on Ancestry shows that William Kersley and Letitia Prince were married after banns at St Peter's Anglican Church in Chertsey in Surrey on 9 November 1818. Their wedding certificate tells us William was a bachelor and Letitia a spinster and the wedding was witnessed by a Thomas Butt (or Batt) and Elizabeth Prince. After their marriage, the couple lived at Mapledurwell where they had at least twelve children - Mary Ann (baptised in 1819), George (1820), Emma (1822), Henry (1823), William (1824), Thomas (1826), Charles (1828), James (1830), John (1831), Louisa (1833), Robert (1834) and Joseph Kersley (1836) - before Letitia's premature death and subsequent burial there in November 1836. Over this time William was recorded in the baptism registers as working as a servant, labourer and shopkeeper. The parish registers also show that three of Letitia and William's children - Henry, James and Louisa Kersley - predeceased their mother and are also buried at Mapledurwell.

The picture on the right was among the collection of photos held by our Thomas Kersley's descendants and may be of Thomas' father William Kersley although this has not been confirmed.

Ancestry's immigration records show that five years after Letitia's death, William and eight of his children sailed from Liverpool to the United States on the ship ONTARIO. They arrived at New York on 22 June 1841 and were said to be bound for the County of Delaware. William Kearsley, as his name was spelt, was 48 years old and described as a labourer. He was accompanied by Mary Ann (aged 22), George (a 21 year-old wheelwright), Emma (20), William (17), Thomas (14), Charles (13), Robert (7) and Joseph 'Kearsley' (5). William's American adventure did not to last long however. In 1850 he and his daughter Emma were back in London attending the marriage of William's eldest daughter, Mary Anne Kersley, to William Bonney (see below). The census for the following year has William, then aged 57 and working as a baker, living with Mary Anne and William Bonney at their residence at Monk Sherborne in Hampshire. The LDS database shows that a William Kersley was buried at Monk Sherborne in Hampshire on 19 February 1859. Although no birthdate was given it seems reasonable to assume this was probably our William.

What of his and Letitia's children? It seems that John Kersley did not travel to America with his father and siblings but remained in England. He may have married Mary Ann Rachel Gibbons at St Mary's parish church at Lambeth in London in 1853 although we won't know for certain this is our John until we view the marriage certificate. The 1861 and 1871 censuses show John, who was born at Basingstoke in 1828 and worked as a baker, and Mary Ann living at Clapham in London with their five children all born locally: Mary Ann (1854), John E. (1856), Edward E. (1856), William (1858) and Charlotte (1859). We know that Thomas Kersley and his younger brother Robert eventually made their way to Australia although we remain uncertain whether they returned to England first or travelled there directly from the United States. Click here to read what we do know of their life, times and Antipodean descendants. To date we have been unable to find either Charles or Joseph Kersley after they left for America, suggesting they may have stayed or died there. The search continues. The remainder of William and Letitia's children did return to, and lived the rest of their lives in, England as follows:

Mary Anne Kersley (1819-1905) & William Bonney (1827-1914)

monk sherborneWilliam and Letitia's eldest daughter, Mary Anne Kersley (1819-1905) married William Bonney (1827-1914), the son of William Bonney snr, a wheelwright, and Mary Follett, at the Parish of St George in London on 25 August 1850. As noted above, the wedding was witnessed by Mary Anne's father, William Kersley, and her younger sister Emma. After their marriage Mary Anne and William lived at Monk Sherborne in Hampshire where William worked as a baker and grocer and ran his own shop in the village. The 1881 census also indicates he and Mary Anne either owned or leased a 54-acre farm in Berkshire which employed three workers (we think the running of the farm was eventually taken over by William's youngest son Albert - see below).

Mary Anne Bonney nee Kersley died at Monk Sherborne in 1905. William died there in 1914. The National Probate Calendar for England and Wales shows that probate from his will went to his only two daughters: Mary Jane Bonney, spinster, and Mary Ann White (wife of Edwin Gilbert White). As described below, William and Mary Anne also had three boys one of whom, William Bernard (1851-51), died as an infant.

1) Mary Anne and William Bonney's eldest daughter, Mary Jane Bonney (1858-1943), never married and lived all her life at Monk Sherborne, initially with her parents - the 1911 census has her as the housekeeper for her widowed father - and later at Clifton House where she was registered in the 1939 England and Wales Register along with her widowed sister, Mary Anne White where both were said to be of 'independent means'. Earlier censuses indicate Mary Jane also served as Monk Sherborne's post mistress. She died at Clifton House on 25 March 1943, probate from her will being granted to her sister.

2) Mary Ann Bonney (1861-1951) lived with her parents at Monk Sherborne until her marriage to Edwin Gilbert White (1867-1917) in the Kingston registration district of Middlesex in 1908. The 1911 census shows Mary and Edwin, then a 44 year-old shop assistant for a gentleman's outfitter, living at 82 Park Road in the latter's birthplace of Wimbledon in Surrey. Edwin died at Esher in Surrey on 1 September 1917. As noted above, Mary Ann then went to live with her sister at Monk Sherborne. The UK National Probate Calendar shows she died there on 10 February 1951. Probate from her will was granted to Lloyds Bank and her nephew, Charles William Bonney, a grocer and provision merchant - see below. We don't think Mary Ann and Edwin had any children.

3) Ancestry's London Marriages database shows the two sisters' older brother, William Edgar Bonney (1854-1932), married Mary Jane Plant (1848-1912) at All Saints Church in Marylebone in London on 2 January 1878. Their wedding certificate shows that William, who was working as a grocer, and Mary Jane, the daughter of William Plant a deceased farmer, were both living at the District Rectory of All Souls in Langham Place Marylebone. The wedding was witnessed by Walter A. Plant and Sarah Jane Carter. We believe William and Mary Jane left England for the United States in around 1880. They were back in England for a brief period around the time of the 1911 census which shows William, then a 58 year-old married baker, boarding at Victoria House on Trafalgar Road in Basingstoke and Mary Jane, 63, married and born at Grazely in Berkshire, living at Monk Sherborne Post Office and bakery. Their respective census returns indicate William and Mary Jane had been married 33 years and had two children, one of whom was no longer living. The LDS database tells us that a William Edgar Bonney (aged 57) sailed from Liverpool to New York on the LAURENTIC on 16 April 1911. He was then said to be living at Basingstoke in Hampshire. The 1930 US census shows a William E. Bonney, a 76 year-old widower who had been born in England and emigrated to the US in 1880, was living at Tacoma in Pierce County in Washington. The same database shows William died at Tacoma on 18 December 1932, his wife Mary Jane had died and was buried there on 1 March 1912, and their only son, Ernest William Bonney, who was born in around 1883, died there on 20 April 1940. The New York Passengers Arrival lists show a 25 year-old Ernest W. Bonney, who was US-born, single and a printer by trade, sailed from Liverpool to Ellis Island in New York arriving there on 25 July 1908. The 1910 US census has William and his wife, Pennsylvania-born Rita S. Bonney (1885-1963), living at Tacoma where, as we have seen, Ernest died in 1940. His death certificate informs us he was a printer by trade and was born at Cherryville in Kansas, the son of William E. Bonney and Mary Jane Plant both of whom came from England. The 'Find a Grave' website shows that Ernest William Bonney aged 57 is buried in the Longbranch cemetery at Longbranch in Pierce County Washington USA. The website further indicates that Ernest and Rita had at least one son, Gary Bonney.

4) The UK census returns show William and Mary Anne's youngest son, Albert Bonney (1856-1945), was living at New House Farm in Stratfield Turgiss (outside Basingstoke) in 1891. Albert was said to be a farmer. Also living there were his sister Mary Jane, 32 and single, and an eighteen year-old domestic servant, Edith Carter. Seven years later Albert married Alice Mary Gilroy (1868-1943) at Kensington in London. Born at Maidenhead in Berkshire, Alice was the daughter of James Daniel Gilroy (1840-99) and Harriet Boyce (1841-1941) both of whom were china and glass dealers. At the time of the 1901 census Albert and Alice and their two small children were on a farm at White Walton in Berkshire. The fact they had two servants suggests they were reasonably well off. The London births database indicates they had at least four children at White Walton: Albert Lancelot (baptised in 1898), Charles William (1899), Mary Irene (1901) and Dorothy Mary Bonney (1903). This is confirmed by the 1911 census which shows the family living at 'Ramsdell' in Basingstoke. The 1939 England and Wales Register has Albert, a retired farmer, and Alice M. Bonney living on Fox Lane on the outskirts of Basingstoke. According to the UK National Probate Calendar Albert Bonney of Fir Tree Farm at Monk Sherborne died on 11 April 1945. Probate from his will was paid to his sons Albert Lancelot, farmer, and Charles William Bonney, grocer. Although still to be confirmed, we think Alice Mary pre-deceased her husband by two years. As we have seen, they had four children:

4.1) Albert Lancelot Bonney (1898-1983) who married Hilda Cane (1897-1990), the daughter of Arthur James Marshall Cane and Alice Emma Ayliffe, in the Basingstoke registration district of Hampshire in 1925. The 1939 England and Wales Register shows Albert, a farmer, and Hilda living at Coombe House Farm in Baughurst near Basingstoke. Living with them was their daughter Joan. The UK National Probate Calendar tells us Albert Lancelot Bonney died on 24 October 1983 and Hilda on 13 September 1990. We believe they had two children - Joan (1926-1993) and Robert L. (Bob) Bonney (1929-2015) - neither of whom married and both, like their parents, died at Baughurst.

hilda cane albert lancelot bonney joan bonney

From the 'Cane Family Tree' on Ancestry, these photos are of (from L/R): Hilda Cane, her husband Albert Lancelot Bonney and their daughter Joan Bonney.

4.2) Charles William Bonney (1899-1961) married Olivia May Wright (1903-88) in the Hartley Wintney RD of Hampshire in 1927. In her 'Sayer Family Tree' on Ancestry, one of their descendants, Helen Doel, tells us Olivia was born at Langrish in Hampshire, the daughter of William James Wright and Kate Yeomans, and died at Bournemouth in Hampshire. The 1939 England and Wales Register shows Charles William Bonney, a baker, grocer and shopkeeper, living at 'The Stores' on Eversley Street Hartley Wintney along with his wife Olivia, daughter Mary, a person whose 'record is officially closed', and a widow, Kate Wright (probably Olivia's mother). Helen Doel adds that Charles and Olivia's daughter, Mary Olivia Bonney (1928-99), married John Michael Sayer (1927-98) at Aldershot in 1952 and had one child, a son Victor William Sayer, who was born at Wokingham in Berkshire on 20 December 1954. Victor married Denise Sandra Smith in Hampshire in 1978.

$.3) Mary Irene Bonney (1901-86) married Frederick Thomas Stanley (1894-1959) at the Registry Office at Kingsclere in Hampshire on 10 January 1928. Born at Monk Sherborne, Frederick was the son of William Stanley (1858-1933) and Fanny Prouten (1862-1951). The 1939 England and Wales Register shows Frederick, a dairy farmer, and Mary living at Fir Tree Farm in the Charter Alley/Ramsdell rural district of Hampshire with their daughter Ruth Stanley (later Elliott). The UK National Probate Calendar tells us Frederick Thomas Stanley of Fir Tree Farm died on 4 June 1959. Administration of his will was granted at Winchester to his widow, Mary Irene Stanley. According to the 'Sims/Snook Family Tree' on Ancestry, Mary re-married in 1963, to a Walter Dunning, and died at Shaftesury in Dorset in 1986. It adds that Mary and Frederick had two daughters: Ruth (born in 1928) and Grace Stanley (1931). Ruth Stanley married David Guy Elliott at Pamber in Hampshire on 23 October 1948.

4.4) Dorothy Mary Bonney (1902-84) was living with her parents and siblings at Basingstoke at the time of the 1911 census. Natalie Oborne's 'Oborne Family Tree' on Ancestry tells us she married William Oborne (1902-82) at Kingsclere in Hampshire in December 1925. Born at Bishopstoke in Hampshire, William was the son of Harry Robert Oborne (1872-1958) and Annie Elizabeth Curtis (1872-1942) who were married there in 1900. The 1939 England and Wales Register shows a Dorothy M. Oborne living at Downs Bungalow in the Wantage RD of Berkshire with her husband William H. Oborne, a head herdsman, Gordon H. Oborne a school pupil who was born in 1926, and two others whose records were officially closed. The Surrey electoral rolls show William H., Dorothy M., and a William N. Oborne all living at Etherley Farm at Ockley/Dorking in Surrey in 1957 (the same year William jnr married Patricia S. Brelsford (1928-2006) in the Romford RD of Essex). Natalie Oborne tells us that Patricia was born at Romford and died at Southampton in Hampshire. Her parents were Cardiff-born Percival Hubert Shirley Brelsford (1903-45) and Doris Clapp (1896-1991). Patricia and William had three children. The England and Wales National Probate Index shows that Dorothy Mary Oborne, then of East Stour Gillingham in Dorset, died on 27 February 1986.

Emma Kersley (1822-1908) & James Hussey (1815-79)

As we have seen, Mary Anne's sister, Emma Kersley was at her sister's wedding in London in 1950. At the time of the 1851 census she was still single and living with Mary Anne at Monk Sherborne in Hampshire. Two years later, according to information sent to us by Nigel Gerdes, she married James Hussey at the All Saints Parish Church in the County of Southampton. Their wedding certificate indicates that James was a widower, the son of John Hussey, a labourer. He and Emma, said to be the daughter of the baker William 'Kearsley', were both living at 'Back of the Wall' in Southampton at the time of the wedding. They were married after banns by a W. A. Crawford, and along with their witnesses, James Hunt and Jane Watts, signed the marriage certificate. Nigel continues that James' parents were John Hussey and Elizabeth Wood who were married at Monk Sherborne in 1810. His siblings were Elizabeth (1812), William (1814), John (1818), Mary (1820), Henry (1823) and Priscilla Hussey (1832). James had been previously married to Mary Ann Spencer and had at least six children with her.

After their marriage James and Emma moved to Kingsclere in Hampshire where they established a bakery. The UK censuses indicate they lived the remainder of their lives at Kingsclere and had three children of their own there: Albert, Henry Thomas and Emma Letitia Hussey. James died at Kingsclere in 1879. The 1881 census shows the widowed Emma living at Woodlands in Kingsclere with her two sons, Albert and Henry Thomas, and working as a baker and grocer. At the time of the 1891 and 1901 censuses she was at Fair Oak in Kingsclere and working as an assistant grocer. The Catherine House index indicates she died at Kingsclere in 1908 when she was 86 years old.

1. Albert Hussey (1857-1928). Born at Kingsclere in Hampshire, Albert was working as a grocer's assistant at his mother's shop there in 1881. The 1891 census shows him working as a baker at the Broadmoor Asylum at Sandhurst in Berkshire. The following year he married Ann Asenath Wort (1860-1939), the daughter of George Wort (1827-1900), a carpenter, and Jane Moody (1828-75). Ann had been born at Coombe Bissett in Wiltshire. Her father and mother were born respectively at Redynch and Heale in Wiltshire. The 1901 census has Albert (then a 43 year-old baker) and Ann living on Cambridge Road in Crowthorne in Berkshire with their eight year-old son George James Hussey who had been born at Crowthorne. They were still there in 1911 and George had begun working as a carpenter's apprentice. The UK National Probate Calendar tells us Albert died at Crowthorne on 26 August 1928 and Ann at the Wokingham Infirmary in Berkshire on 19 January 1939. Probate from her will was granted to George James Hussey, a metropolitan police pensioner, and Edward James Noakes, a sub-postmaster. Ancestry's records of 'London Marriages and Banns, 1754-1932' shows George, then a 33 year-old bachelor and police officer, married Ethel Gertrude Richards, a 40 year-old spinster, at Christ Church at Geenwich in London on 27 November 1926. George's father was said to be Albert Hussey (retired) and Ethel's was John Edward William Richards, a waterman. The wedding was witnessed by Ethel's father and an Albert George Barber. We think George and Ethel may have later separated although that has still to be confirmed. Nor have we been able to determine with any certainty where and when George James Hussey died.

2. Henry Thomas Hussey (1860-1939). Born at Kingsclere, Henry was also working at his mother's bakery there in 1881. Five years later he married Bessie Smith (1861-1944), the daughter of John Smith of Tan House Farm at Kingsclere. Prior to her marriage Bessie had been working as an under nurse at the house of a William Holding, barrister, on Blenham Court in Kingsclere. After their marriage she and Henry lived at Fair Oak in Kingsclere where they had their eleven children: Henry James (1887), Nora Janet (1888), Mabel (1890), Thomas (1891), Bessie (1894), Stella Sabina (1895), William Reginald (1897), Lorrie Emily (1899), May Pretoria (1900), Albert Edward (1901) and Stanley Victor Hussey (1902). The 1939 England and Wales Register shows Henry, who was by then 'incapacitated', and Bessie were living at 'Sherwood' in Wokingham in Berkshire, the residence of their eldest daughter Nora Janet Hill formerly Pizzey, and her second husband Leonard Ebenezer Hill. Henry died there later that year and Bessie five years later. What of their children? We don't know anything about their eldest son, Henry James Hussey and their youngest daughter, May Pretoria Hussey, beyond their respective dates of birth. We think their son, Albert Edward Hussey (1901-14) died at Kingsclere aged 13 years although that has still to be confirmed. Their daughter, Mabel Hussey (1890-1984), seems not to have married and worked all her life as a school teacher. Ancestry's database on 'UK Soldiers killed in the Great War, 1914-19' shows their second son, Thomas Hussey (1891-1915), who was born at Kingsclere and living at Newbury in Hampshire when he enlisted in the British Army, was killed in action at Gallipoli on 29 April 1915 while serving as a private soldier in the 2nd Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment. He is buried in the Redoubt cemetery at Cape Helles. We have discovered a little more about their remaining children as follows:

2.1 The Catherine House records show that Nora Janet Hussey (1888-1970) married Thomas Stewart Pizzey (1872-1918) in the Kingsclere registration district of Hampshire in 1912. Ancestry's listing of 'UK Soldiers who died in the Great War', shows that Thomas died in Flanders on 27 January 1918 while serving as a private soldier with the 9th (Service) Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission entry for Thomas indicates he was then 36 years old, the 'son of Thomas and Clara Pizzey, of Kingsclere, Hants; husband of Norah Janet Hill (formerly Pizzey), of 118, Hamilton Rd., Reading', and is buried at the Liege (Robermont) Cemetery in Belgium. It continues that 'Liege remained in German hands until the end of the war. The city cemetery at Robermont was used for the burial of Allied prisoners of war and now contains French, Belgian, Italian, Russian and Commonwealth war graves plots. The Commonwealth plot contains 48 burials of the First World War, and one from the Second World War'.

Nigel Gerdes tells us that the widowed Nora married Leonard Ebenezer Hill (1891-1966) in the Newbury district of Berkshire in 1919. His military service record shows Leonard had enlisted in the British Army at Reading on 22 May 1915 and was allocated to the ASC as a motor driver. He gave as his NOK his sister, Priscilla Hill, who was living on Broad Street in Reading. In August 1915 Leonard went to France where he served with the 342nd Transport Company of the British Expeditionary Force. He was discharged from the Army at Wimbleden on 13 January 1919. The 1920 and 1925 electoral rolls have Leonard and Nora living at Winnersh (outside Wokingham) in Berkshire. They were still there in 1939 along with Norah's parents and her younger sister Stella Sabina Clift. By then Leonard was the Director of L. E. Hill and Sons, Reading Leather and Department Store. The England and Wales National Probate Calendar shows that Leonard Ebenezer Hill of Robinhood Lane Winnersh died on 7 April 1966 at the Battle Hospital in Reading. The same source informs us that Norah Janet Hill, of 'Squirrels Heath', Doles Lane in Wokingham died on 16 February 1970. According to the 'Hill Family Tree' on Ancestry she and Leonard had one child who married and has two children.

2.2 Nora and Thomas' younger sisters, Stella Sabina Hussey (1895-1971) and Lorrie Emily Hussey (born in 1899) married two brothers, Walter Alan Clift (1898-1971) and Bertrand Lampard Clift (1900-73) at Kingsclere in 1921 and 1925 respectively. The boys' parents were a London-born schoolmaster, Walter Lawrence Clift (1864-1950), and his first wife, Rosa Esther Lampard (1865-1927), who were married at Rosa's hometown of Southampton in Hampshire in 1892. The 1901 census shows Walter and Rosa living there with Walter jnr and Bertrand. At the time of the 1911 census the family was living at St Helen's on the Island of Jersey where Walter was a teacher at, and later Headmaster of, the Jersey Modern School. The census return indicates he and Esther had been married 17 years and had four children all of whom were born at Southampton: Vernon Lawrence (14), Walter Alan (13), Bertrand Lampard (11) and Gladys Muriel Clift (7). The three Clift boys all served in the British armed forces during the First World War, Vernon with the East Surrey Regiment, Walter with the Royal Field Artillery and Bertrand with the Royal Air Force (see below).

walter alan cliftAncestry's UK and Ireland Outward Passenger lists show that shortly after their marriage at Kingsclere in 1921, Walter Alan (then a 23 year-old farmer) and Stella Sabina Clift (25), both of La Maisonette Samares in Jersey, sailed from London on the SS BERRIMA bound for Melbourne in Australia. The Australian electoral rolls show they ended up at Goolgowi in the NSW Riverina district where, according to a report in The Riverina Grazier on 4 July 1933, Walter was farming an 820-acre property in the parish of Waralda. Married and without children, he had 'been farming on his own account for the past ten years', had a complete set of plant, 70 tons of hay, 460 acres of wheat, and 40 acres of oats under crop. He was hoping to obtain still more land to add some grazing capacity to his holdings. This evident success notwithstanding, in 1937, as war clouds gathered once more over Europe, Walter and Stella sold their Goolgowi property and moved on. Stella sailed back to England where, as described earlier, she joined her sister and elderly parents at Nora's residence near Wokingham. Walter remained in Sydney where, in 1939, he joined the Australian Army and worked for a time as a Staff Sergeant at Victoria Barracks in Paddington before, in January 1940, transferring to the Second AIF (his attestation photo is shown on the right). Allocated to the 2/15th Field Artillery Regiment he embarked from Sydney for Malaya in July 1941. Six months later he was posted as missing and then as a prisoner of War in Thailand. Walter returned to Australia at War's end and was discharged from the Army in January 1946 (in August the same year he was awarded an MID for his war service in Malaya). Sometime after this Walter returned to England where he rejoined Stella in Berkshire. On 26 June 1957 he wrote to the Australian Army Records Office in Melbourne from 'Sherwood' in Wokingham requesting they send him the 1939-45 War Medal. This was duly despatched - together with his MID - along with the Pacific Star. Stella and Walter spent the remainder of their lives in England and were living at 24 Courts Road at Early in Reading when they both passed away in 1971, Stella on 2 April and Walter on 20 December.

According to the Channel Islands Great War Study Group's Journal 32, which was published in June 2010, Bertrand Lampard Clift attended the Jersey Modern School from 1903 until 1918 when he enlisted in the Royal Air Force. After undergoing training at Spitalgate near Grantham and the School of Army Cooperation at Worthy Down, he joined the RAF's 35 Squadron where he 'spent what little that remained of the War flying Armstrong-Whitworth FK8 aircraft on Army Cooperation tasks'. He was discharged from the Air Force on 17 April 1919, 'his services as a pilot spotting for the artillery no longer required'. Bertrand returned to Jersey where, on 14 January 1920, he became a member of the Freemasons' Yarborough Lodge of which he would later serve as a grandmaster. Lorrie Emily Hussey joined him in Jersey after their marriage at Kingsclere in 1925. Over this time Bertrand worked as a commission agent with Buttfield and Clift Commission Agents based at St Helier. The Jersey Channel Islands Occupation Registration Cards show Bertrand and Lorrie living at Craigmore, Samares, St Clement in Jersey during the German occupation of the Channel Islands during the Second World War. Also registered at Craigmore were a Molly Lampard Clift, who was born on 7 April 1927, and Elizabeth Anne Clift, born 25 April 1930. The UK National Probate Calendar shows that Bertrand Lampard Clift of Petite Jambart Rue de Jambart Street St Clement Jersey died on 21 February 1973. He is buried at St Clements Church in Jersey. We have not been able to find any subsequent record of Lorrie or Elizabeth Clift. The 'Parker Family Tree' on Ancestry tells us that Mollie Lampard Clift married a Jersey man, Robert Parker (1920-96) and that she died in Jersey in 2014.

2.3 William Reginald Hussey (1896-1963) was working as a baker at Ashford Hill in Newbury in Berkshire when he enlisted in the British Army at Winchester on 11 December 1915. Initially allocated to the Army Reserve, he was mobilised on 7 August 1918 and posted to the 2nd Battalion of the Grenadier Guards the following day. He proceeded to France where we think he was wounded in action on 2 November 1918. After being demobilised in March 1920 William returned to Ash Hill and his baking trade and married Muriel Edith West (1907-69) in the Kingsclere RD of Hampshire in 1934. The UK 1911 census shows Muriel, aged 3 and born at Baughurst near Basingstoke, living there with her parents Albert Frank, a 35 year-old roof thatcher, and Harriet West (31) and an older brother, Leonard Alwin West (8) all of whom were also born at Baughurst. The census return shows Albert and Harriet had been married nine years and had two children. The 1939 England and Wales Register has William and Muriel living at Ashford Hill where William ran the local bakery until his death at the King George V Hospital in Hambledon in Surrey on 3 July 1963. The England and Wales National Probate Calendar tells us the administration of his estate was granted to Muriel and a Michael John Hussey, master baker. The same source informs us that Muriel Edith Hussey nee West died at Ashford Hill on 30 July 1969. We believe the bakery therecontinued to be run by the Hussey family until around the year 2000 when it was purchased by an Irish firm.

2.4 Henry and Bessie's youngest son, Stanley Victor Hussey (1902-75) was working as a baker, and living at Fair Oak at Ashford Hill in Newbury in Berkshire at the time the 1939 England and Wales Register was being compiled. Annabella Harvey McGowan (1910-92), who Stanley would marry later the same year, was working as a domestic servant for the Hastie family at Stroud Green in Newbury. After their marriage, they lived and worked in the family bakery at Ashford Hill where Stanley died in 1975 and Annabella in 1992. We don't know if they had any children.

3. Emma Letitia Hussey (1863-1941). The 1881 census shows Emma (an 18 year-old shop assistant born at Monk Sherborne) living there with her aunt and uncle Mary Anne and William Bonney. In 1891 she was living and working with her widowed mother at the latter's bakery at Fair Oak in Kingsclere. According to information provided to us by Nigel Gerdes, Emma married Charles Davies at Woodlands in Hampshire on 31 August 1892. Charles, who worked as a butcher, was born at Kington in Hertfordshire in around 1868, the son of William and Jane Davies. Their wedding was witnessed by Emma's brother, Henry Thomas Hussey, and Mary Jane Cooper. The 1901 census shows Charles (32) and Emma (38) living at 2 Magnolia Terrace in Abergavenny in Monmouthshire. With them were their two daughters Lily Letitia (7 and born at Kington) and Stella Louisa Davies (2, Old Radnor Walton) who died not long after the census was taken. The 1911 census shows them living on Ladysmith Street in Blackwood in Monmouthshire together with Lily Letitia (now aged 17) and Reginald Davies (8 years old and born at Abergavenny). Although still to be confirmed, we think Reginald was baptised as William Reginald Charles Davies. If this is the case we can further say that his father, Charles Davies, died on 8 February 1934. According to the England and Wales Probate Calendar, he was then living at Stanley House on Stanley Street in Blackwood in Monmouthshire and probate was granted to his son who was working as a master baker. We think Emma Letitia Davies nee Hussey died, aged 78, in the Abergavenny registration district of Monmouthshire in 1941 although this also has still to be confirmed. What of their two surviving children?

3.1 The Monmouthshire Parish Records, 1838-1912 show Lily Letitia Davies (1893-1970) married Ernest 'Hammith' after banns at Mynyddislwyn in Monmouthshire on 6 July 1913. The UK civil births register tells us Ernest's surname was Hammett not Hammith. The 'Beverley Carey' and 'Leonard' family trees on Ancestry both inform us Ernest was Ernest Gilbert Hammett (1885-1940) who was born at Paddington in London and died at Blackwood in Monmouthshire. At the time of the 1911 census, Ernest was working as a coal miner and living with the Nunn family on Victoria Terrace in Blackwood. We think he may have served as a private soldier in the Royal Army Service Corps during the First World War. The 1939 England and Wales Register shows Ernest, a motor mechanic, and Lily living at Bedwellty in Monmouthshire along with their daughter, Emily Letitia Hammett, who was born on 28 June 1914. Following Ernest's death in 1940, Lily re-married, to Francis Watkins, at Bedwillty in 1958. She died at Newport in Monmouthshire in 1970. Lily and Ernest's daughter, Emily Letitia Hammett (1914-94), married Frederick George Leonard (1910-89), at Bedwellty in 1936. The 'Beverley Carey Family Tree' tells us Fred was born at Llanhilleth in Momouthshire, the son of Gilbert Leonard and Alice Stone. It adds that Fred, who served in both the merchant and the Royal Navy, died at Newport in 1989. Emily died at the Gwent Hospital in Newport in 1994. She and Fred had three children: Gloria Leonard (1941-2012) - who was twice married and also had three children - and two others.

3.2 William Reginald Charles Davies was born at Abergavenny in Monmouthshire in Wales on 19 September 1902 and married Margaret A. Cole in the Bedwellty RD of Monmouthshire in 1927. The 1939 England and Wales Register has a William R. C. Davies, master baker and confectioner, and Margaret A. Davies, born on 20 April 1903, living at Stanley House in Blackwood in Monmouthshire. Also registered there were Gillian Davies (later Dando) who was born on 1 October 1937 plus a person whose record was closed. The Catherine House records show Gillian Davies married Frederick M. Dando in the Pontypool RD of Monmouthshire in April 1965.

lily letitia davies frederick leonard

From the 'Beverley Carey Family Tree' on Ancestry, the photo on the left, which was taken at Blackwood in Monmouthshire in Wales in 1985,
is of Frederick George and Emily Letitia Leonard nee Hammett (Emily is nursing Hayley Payne).
The photo on the right is of Fred during his Royal Navy days.

George Kersley (1820-1908) & Jane Blunden (1826-1902)

Mary-Anne and Emma's brother George Kersley, a journeyman wheelwright, was working as a servant in the house of Benjamin and Ann Gunner at Brown Candover in Hampshire at the time of the 1851 census. The following year he married Jane Blunden, the daughter of Charles and Charlotte Blunden of North Waltham in Hampshire, at St Giles Church Cripplegate in London. I could not find George or Jane in the 1861, 1871 and 1881 censuses. The 1891 census has George and Jane living with their son, William Charles Kersley, and his family at Southall in London (George was still living with them in 1901 whereas Jane, who described herself as a widow, was living with her daughter Charlotte Kersley at Hillingdon in Uxbridge). The Catherine House records show that Jane died in the Uxbridge RD a year later. Her husband George Kersley, aged 87 years, died at Southall in London in 1908. We think he and Jane only had two children as follows:

1) William Charles Kersley (1854-1929) who was born at Dorney in Buckinghamshire and married Sarah Oxlade (1856-1913) at Hillingdon in Uxbridge in London in 1882. Their wedding certificate shows that William was then working as a carpenter and the wedding was witnessed by George Skidman and Fanny Oxlade. According to the 'Oxlade One Name Study' family tree on Ancestry Sarah was born at Hambleden in Buckinghamshire. Her parents were Jonathon Oxlade, a game-keeper, and Ann Moore. William and Sarah had two daughters we are aware of: Eva and Ethel Mary Kersley (born at Southall in Middlesex in 1883 and 1887 respectively). At the time of the 1891 census the family, together with William Charles' parents, were living at 2 Featherstone Road in Southall (later Norwood). By the time of the 1911 census William Charles and Sarah had moved to 55 Featherstone Road and their two girls were working as lady's maids in Folkestone and Swaffham in Norfolk. We think Sarah and William both died at Southall, she in 1913 and he in 1929.

We think William and Sarah's younger daughter, Ethel Mary Kersley, married Frederick Powell in the South Stoneham registration district of Hampshire in 1915 although that has still to be confirmed. Their elder daughter, Eva Kersley (1883-1918), married Harry Ashby (1881-1973), at Southall in London in 1913. The couple's wedding certificate, contained on Ancestry's London marriages and banns database, shows that Harry, aged 32 and serving in the Royal Navy, was the son of George Ashby (a deceased gardener and florist). Harry and Eva were both living at 55 Featherstone Road in Norwood at the time of the wedding which was witnessed by Eva's father, William Charles Kersley, and Fred Ashby. According to the 'Ive Dyckoff Morris Family Tree', Eva died at Southall in Middlesex on 17 June 1918 and is buried in the Havelock Road Cemetery at Ealing in Greater London. The England and Wales National Probate Calendar tells us Eva was still at 55 Featherstone Road at the time of her death and probate from her will was granted to Harry Ashby, a Royal Navy Petty Officer. There is some evidence that they may have had a daughter in 1913 although that is still to be confirmed. The UK Naval Medal and Awards Rolls on Ancestry show that 192082 Petty Officer Harry Ashby was awarded the Victory and British War Medals for service during WWI.

2) Charlotte Kersley who was born at Dorney in Buckinghamshire in around 1856. The 1871 census shows her living at Chilton Candover in Hampshire with her widowed grandmother Charlotte Blunden (67, North Waltham) and aunt Ann Blunden (35, Chilton Candover). She was still living at Chilton Candover in 1891 this time with her 72 year-old uncle and retired game-keeper, William Hall. By the time of the 1901 census Charlotte was living on her own means at West Hillingdon in Uxbridge (living with her at the time was her mother, Jane Kersley, who seems to have separated from George). Although still to be confirmed, we think Charlotte married Henry Oliver (born at Chilton Candover in around 1856) in the Alresford RD of Hampshire in 1909. The 1911 census shows her and Henry living at 'The Cottage Empshott Green in Hampshire'. The census return indicated they had been married in around 1909 and had no children. Henry died at Empshott Green in 1915. We have yet to determine when and where Charlotte died.

William Kersley (1824-88) & 1) Mary Scutt 2) Deborah Bailey

William Kersley jnr seems to have married twice. His first wife was the widow Mary Scutt nee Hornsley who, according to Ancestry's London parish database, William married at Bethnal Green in London on 25 December 1846. Their wedding certificate shows that Mary was the daughter of Richard Hornsley a labourer and was then living at 8 Harold Street in Bethnal Green. The 1851 census shows William, a 25 year-old dock worker, and Mary (45 and born at Ditchland in Sussex) living at 4 Princes St in the Tower Hamlets district of London. Mary died sometime between then and 16 February 1853 when William, described on the wedding certificate as a 29 year-old gentleman and widower, married his second wife, Deborah Bailey, a 30 year-old widow and daughter of a French clog maker James Bradfield, at the St Dunstan and All Saints Parish Church at Stepney in London. The 1861 census shows William, a 37 year-old 'dock labourer' who was born at Basingstoke in Hampshire and Deborah (39, Norwich, Norfolk) living in Stepney with their son George (7) and daughter Emma Kersley (5) both of whom were born at Ratcliffe in Middlesex. Also present were two of Deborah's sons from her first marriage: James (19 year-old journeyman baker) and William Bailey (11) both of whom were born at St George in Middlesex. William and Deborah were still there at the time of the 1871 census and at Ratcliffe in 1881. We think that William died at St Pancras in London in 1888 and his wife Deborah had pre-deceased him by four years.

We don't think William and his first wife, Mary, had any children. The 1861 census and Ancestry's listing of London births indicate he and Deborah had at least two daughters and one son, all born at Stepney (sometimes described as Ratcliff): George (1853), Emma (1856) and Mary Ann Kersley (1857). We think their youngest daughter, Mary Ann Kersley, died sometime before the 1861 census although this has not been confirmed. Ancestry's London marriages datatbase shows an 18 year-old Emma Kersley, daughter of William Kersley, a 'fireman in the docks', married Henry Ince, the 25 year-old son of the tailor William Ince, at Stepney on 4 August 1872. The wedding was witnessed by William Kersley and Marion Skinner. Emma and Henry were both living at 120 White Horse Street in Stepney at the time of their marriage. I haven't been able to find them in the 1881 or subsequent censuses, suggesting they may have emigrated.

William and Deborah's only son, George Kersley jnr married Mary Ann Edwards in the Mile End Old Town of London in 1874. The UK censuses show they continued to live in London after their wedding. Following George's death there in around 1882, Mary was forced to place their three boys - George, John and Arthur Kersley - into the Stepney Union Workhouse (also known as Bromley House). While the two elder boys were, in 1884, released back to their mother who we think may have re-married, Arthur seems to have remained at Bromley House until 1890 when, as described below, he was sent to the South Metropolitan District (Workhouse) School for boys and girls at Sutton in Surrey. We have managed to find out a little more about the three sons as follows:

1. George William Kersley (1874-1943) married Susannah Boone (1874-1912) in Stepney in 1899. Their wedding certificate shows that George, a 24 year-old varnish maker, was the son of George Kersley (deceased). Susannah, also 24, was the daughter of local carman Sherbourne Samuel Boone. The wedding was witnessed by John Kersley and Margaret Dunn. The censuses show that George and Susannah continued living in Stepney after their marriage and had one child who died before 1911. Susannah died in 1912. George re-married in 1922, to Alice Gertrude Ashdown, and died in the East Ham registration district of Essex in 1943. He and Alice may have had a daughter, Joan M. Kersley, in 1923 although that has still to be confirmed.

2. John Thomas Kersley. Born at Stepney in 1878, we think John may have married Rose Ellen French in the West Ham RD of Essex in 1908 although this has not been confirmed. The 1911 census has a John Thomas Kersley, 32 year-old library clerk who was born at Stepney, living at 3 Colville Road in Leytonstone in Essex with his wife Rose Ellen (29, Marylebone) and their two sons: John Emilis (1) and Eugene William Kersley (1m) both of whom were born in Leytonstone.

3. Arthur Kersley. The 1891 census shows a 10 year-old Arthur Kersley (born at Limehouse in London) in the South Metropolitan District (Workhouse) School for boys and girls at Sutton in Surrey. The school was established in 1851 for the maintenance, education and industrial training of pauper children. The UK National Archives has a file for a 340183 Arthur Kersley, who was born in Stepney on 14 February 1880 and joined the RAN in 1894. The 1901 census shows Arthur, 20 years old and single, as a bandsman on board HM's ship Terrible, an armoured cruiser, which was captained by Captain Percy Moreton Scott. The UK Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972 shows that an A. Kersley served on the Terrible in China in 1900 where he was awarded the China Medal and off South Africa during the Boer War and was awarded both the Queen's South Africa Medal and the King's South Africa Medal. An Arthur Kersley was also awarded the Star, Victory Medal and British War Medal for service during World War 1.

The Parkinson Family Tree on Ancestry.com has Arthur as Arthur Crombie Kersley, born at Stepney in 1880 and died at West Ham on 18 November 1920. He was said to have married Emily French (1889-1956) and had one child, Olive Mary Kersley who was born at Plaistow in West Ham on 1 August 1920 and died at Hemel Hempstead on 24 February 1971. Olive married Alfred Henry Hill (1913-93) and had one child still living.

 

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