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The Allery Clan

Colourful characters adorn our family tree!  - the chapters for the family history story for our grandchildren On my Dad's side, Cec...

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Needles in Haystacks: Evans in Wales

Lettice Day: Great Great Grandmother

Lettice was christened on 22 November, in Treffgarne, in 1808 to George Day and Elizabeth Evans. Treffgarne is a small village and parish in Pembrokeshire, south-west Wales. Her father was a Roper Maker and he married Elizabeth in 1803 in Pembroke. There are many Evans families in Pembrokeshire and when I found a Day, I thought I had a break through, only to find that George Day had married another Evans.

Lettice Day, born five years later, became the eldest daughter of a tribe of children in the household. Her legacy as my Welsh Great Great Grandmother is something I am most proud.
[I have written my fictional stories of these female Evans ancestors - I saw them as midwives with knowing skills handed down for generations. She appears in Chapter 3 of the Whirram Way, a work in progress.]
Let me first paint a picture of the life of Lettice (Day) Evans. In 1841, according to the Welsh census, Lettice was living with David Evans, her husband, and their four children at Shutt Street, Haverfordwest:
·        Mary aged 10;
·        George aged 7;
·        John aged 3;
·        Richard aged 1.

Given these facts I saw that Lettice was only 23 when she gave birth to Mary, my great grandmother. I wondered when she was married to David so I searched the National Archives for her and found that she was married on the 1st July 1828, when she was just 20 years old. This same search revealed that the Banns for this marriage were read out on 15 June at Haverfordwest, St Mary, Pembrokeshire, Wales.

I sent that information to Shirley, my Welsh genealogist, to find the actual marriage records in St Mary's Parish for that year. She was able to confirm this from the parish records and send a copy of the marriage certificate.

At the age of 39 Lettice and David lost their young son Thomas, he lived for just three short years. He died just 3 months before Lettice gave birth to their son William in 1847. In 1850 Lettice gave birth to twins Elizabeth and Henry.
[If this family was like my own mother's - in that when twins and triplets were born into her family, one or more was farmed out to live with other relatives - then perhaps Henry was living with an Aunt or Uncle. A search of Census details for the siblings of Lettice will help me out there. Now I see the origin of the multiple births in my mother's ancestry and note that it is rare for both twin babies to survive.]
By 1851 the family had grown and the family was then living at 104 Fountain Row, Haverfordwest. The children are listed: 
George 16, 
John 14, 
Richard 11,
Thomas 9, 
William 4, 
Elizabeth 1.

When I look back at the census for 1851 young Henry is not mentioned, but appears again in the 1861 census. Mary is not listed at this address as she was already in live-in employment as a domestic servant in Warren, in the shire of Tenby. She worked as a house servant to John and Elizabeth Rees on their 345 acre farm which employed 7 labourers.

By 1861 the family has grown and one more child is listed in the census, living at 104 Fountain Row; John is now 19, Elizabeth 17, David 13, Henry 11 and Thomas is 7. [But that can't be right, Elizabeth 17, she should be 11, same as Henry. That is if my facts are correct that they were both born in 1850. Need to verify those details.]

Lettice is widowed in 1870 and is shown living at 53 Keeston Village, Camrose with her youngest son Thomas. But where are her other children? More searching is required to find out where they have gone to.

Searching for Evans in Wales is like looking for needles in haystacks!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Pioneers: Allery's Emigrate to Australia

1900 in London, UK

My dad was born on 25th April 1900 at 70 Beaumont Avenue in Richmond, Surrey and later christened at Christ Church, Richmond. The turn of the century was an interesting time in the United Kingdom, when huge changes were taking place. The parish of Richmond had a population of about 20,000 people, had excellent transport links to London (trains, trams and omnibuses) and was emerging as a sought after residential and commercial location.
Residents were kept informed by no less than four local newspapers:- the Thames Valley Times was published each Wednesday and the Chiswick Times on Fridays. The Richmond & Twickenham Times and the Richmond Herald appeared on Saturdays.Richmond at that time had a military presence, being home to territorial forces of the 6th Battalion East Surrey Regiment under the command of Major W. Merrick. They were based at the Drill Hall on Park Lane.
Source: Richmond Surrey in the Great War.
Cecil was interested in motor mechanics from an early age and this was to feature in his life both at home in England and after emigrating to Australia in 1948. He and his brothers were motor car enthusiasts and they spent a great deal of time in the 'workshop' at Hook Road, Surbiton.

Word War 1
On the 23 May 1917 Cecil enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps. I am sure that the death of his own father on the 5th of April, just 20 days before Cecil's 15th birthday in 1915, would have influenced his choice to enter the military. In fact we think he may have even enlisted as a 14 year old, given some of the service records found in his genealogical history. His 1917 enlistment number was 82153 and he has this information stored in the Forces War Records: 
Before transfer to R.A.F. from R.N.A.S. or R.F.C.- Rank:- Boy, Trade:- Boy Service/ Airforce Pay:- 1s. 0d. Terms of enlistment- Open Engagement Rank / Boy.
With a birth date of 25th April 1900, strictly speaking he was not yet eligible. Nevertheless, with determination and some creative registering, he became a Boy Artificer. An artificer is a member of an armed-forces service who is skilled at working on artillery devices in the field. The specific term 'artificer' for this function is typical of the armed forces of countries that are or have been in the British Commonwealth. I can only imagine how his mother would have felt at this decision. To see her eldest son embrace the military life and be away from home, would have been crushing for Harriet.
In the supply area the Royal Corps had responsibility for weapons, armored vehicles and other military equipment, ammunition and clothing and certain minor functions such as laundry, mobile baths and photography. Cecil was skilled in automobile mechanics - even at this tender age - and he specialized in the maintenance of military vehicles as an Artificer. By the end of World War 1 he is listed with the regimental service number of 2636 and has the rank of Sergeant Mechanic. Perhaps Cecil's time in service was to be less dangerous - as he did not see action overseas - but remained in England as part of the essential ground force of engineers and mechanics who maintained and repaired the military vehicles used in war. 
One intriguing story about Cecil's recovery of the Log Book of the German Cruiser 'SMS Emden', and subsequent donation to the Australian War Museum, is handed down in the family. The Emden was scuttled in the Cocos Islands in November 1914. But I do not know how he recovered the log book, or where he was at the time.
The SMS Emden had been cruising the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia, wreaking havoc on allied trading ships since the outbreak of the war in August 1914. Captain Karl von Müller was famous on both sides for sinking 27 ships while only taking one life when the Emden ventured into the Indian Ocean in early November 1914.
Peace time
In later records, Cecil was listed as a Taxi Driver, a Mechanics Assistant and small business owner; 'Tolworth & Surbiton Car Hire & Repair Service'.
Cecil married Winifred Edit Cutting on 23 July 1924. He and Winifred eloped (motor bike & sidecar) on a Wednesday half day. They were married in the Registry Office in Kingston. Cecil listed his father as William Frederick NOT Walter Frederick (Master Tailor) and Winifred listed her father as Charles Henry Cutting (Master House Decorator). At this time Cecil is living at 55 Ellerton Road, Tolworth, Surbiton and Winifred is living at 13 Park Road, Kingston about a 20 minute drive apart.
Their first child, Marie, was stillborn in 1925 - a very sad beginning to parenting for them both. Their second child, Pamela Marie, was born on 9th March, 1927 in Kingston. Her life story will feature later in my blog. Their first son John Keith was born on 21st April 1929.
During the late 1930's Cecil and Winifred set up another business, a Bicycle Shop and in the 1939 England and Wales Register it is Winifred who is listed at the Cycle Dealer. By this time the Allery family were living in Hook Road, a long street of significant history in Kingston-on-Thames. Their daughter June Patricia was born on 2nd July 1934 in Kingston.
Life at Hook Road was always discussed as idyllic by my brothers and sisters and a few old black and white photos of family groupings on a picnic rug in the garden remain as images of gentle, safe time for the Allery family. Or was it?
My Dad's life was changed forever when he witnessed the death of his younger brother, Ted, at the tragic accident Brooklands in 1933. 
I now realise now, in hindsight, why my Dad was so against his own sons entering into the sport of car racing, and how much family conflict that caused. Losing his younger brother - a young man of 28 - in the horrific pile up at the race track in Brooklands, would scar him for life.
World War 2
Cecil enlisted once more in the 'E' Reserve on the 25th August 1939 at the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough Airfield in Hampshire. Cecil's special skilled trade was then a Reserve Fitter for Aero Engines. His enlistment number is 2636 and he has this information stored in the Forces War Records: Before transfer to R.A.F. From R.N.A.S or R.F.C - Rank: Sergeant, Trade - Driver (M.T.)
Airforce Pay- 6s 0d Terms of enlistment, Open Engagement./ Rank Sergeant Mechanic. Rank 2nd Driver.
On 15th September In 1940 twins son Michael and Brian were born. Their birth place and the incident that immediately preceded their birth is another family story handed down with great pride by the two boys.  
Winifred, heavily pregnant, was a passenger in Dad's taxi as he was taking them to safety during the bombing of London in that early part of the war. A sniper was focussing his barrage of bullets on supply trucks that were on their way to provide support for soldiers based north of the city. The taxi was caught up in this melee, and my Dad took the car off the road and sheltered underneath a concrete bridge. Of course, this sudden and alarming danger caused Mum to go into labour. Dad drove the taxi to a village nearby to seek help and Mum was taken into one of the houses owned by a Russian lady, Madam Nirishnikov. The twins were born and cared for by this Russian family for the first few days of their lives. [Mum did not know that she was having twins, and only had a set of clothing for one child with her. The Nirishnikov's provided the extra clothing, baby blankets and carrying baskets for the two boys.]
This period of time was known as The Blitz - and the Bombing of London was to continue until May 1941. My older siblings lived through this time, experiencing all of the horrors and deprivation that The Blitz delivered. 
I remember hearing some stories from my brothers about the sound of the Doodle bug bombs that were heard in and around London during their first few years - these bombs had a devastating effect on much of the English residential areas and many people died. The twins were warned about NOT travelling too far from home in their miniature push-pedal cars because of that danger, even in the so called safety of Hook Road. 
In June 1944, the Germans started sending V1 Flying bombs to bomb London. ... A doodlebug was really a bomb with wings. It looked like a small aeroplane and had no pilot - a bit like a cruise missile, but slightly bigger. Thousands of these doodlebugs were launched against London.
Treasured artefacts from Cecil's time in service during World War 2, include his uniform, medals and enlistment records. One less valuable, but poignant, item has been in my possession for some long time - his Housewife Sewing Kit - containing all that a soldier would require to carry out any repairs to his clothing when necessary. Inside it would contain a thimble, two balls of grey darning wool (for socks), 50 yards of linen thread wound around card, needles, brass dish buttons (for Battledress) and plastic buttons for shirts. The Housewife was often contained within a Holdall and stowed within the man's haversack. I remember this well used item and cannot help but see the immediate link with this Sewing Kit and his father's trade as a Tailor. I imagine my Dad having learned his sewing skills at his father's knee - then having to grow up rapidly when his own Dad passed away at the age of 45 - and putting an old head on young shoulders.
By September 1944, when my Mum was pregnant with me, Cecil moved his family to Married Quarters, Eglyws Brewis near St Athan in Wales. The twins, Michael and Brian and June Patricia went with them. Pamela Marie was completing her nursing exams in Kingston and John was already in the Navy. In her 1944 diary Pamela recounts the day-to-day life in London as a 17 year old and tells her story of lost love. [An older post for another day.]
My brother John remembers being asked to get extra orange juice (limited on the ration books of the time) and wondered why. He was not even told that I was on the way. The first that my sister Pamela knew of my arrival was when she was in hospital herself recovering from an appendectomy. I was born at the Cardiff General Hospital on 31st May 1945.
Cecil was discharged from the R.A.F. on the 21st September 1948.
Demobilisation processes had stepped up since the Great War and special arrangements were put in place by the government to assist the millions of returning soldiers to re-assimilate back into civilian life. Often this took some time and priorities were given to men and women over 50 and those who held key skills that would be beneficial to post-war reconstruction. The release process began on June 18, 1945, about six weeks after V-E Day.
 The Allery clan, parents and six children, had just 4 idyllic years in Surbiton after the war whilst Britain was recovering. My brothers and sisters all finished their schooling in Surbiton - my twin brothers at one of the Junior Schools and my older sister and brother at one of the High Schools. By then my eldest sister Pamela was working as a Registered Nurse in Kingston Hospital. There was little talk of the horrors of war, at least none that I remember, in our happy family home. 
More than one million London houses were destroyed or damaged, and more than 40,000 civilians were killed, almost half of them in London.
A week before being officially discharged from the RAF, on 14 September 1948, Cecil sailed to Australia on HMS Strathaird. An immigrant, pioneering a new lifestyle for the family, he had left at home at Hook Road; his wife Winifred and six children, Pamela, John, Patricia, Brian, Michael and Carole. The plan was for all to follow within a year, once a new home had been purchased. Dad would often tell us that, during his journey on sea, he had shared a cabin with a famous boxer - I had to verify that by looking up the Ship's Passenger Lists - and found that he did indeed share with 'Sugar Ray Robinson'.

On 14th April, in 1949, my family disembarked at Melbourne, and followed Dad to set up house in Moonee Ponds, Victoria. We earned some minor fame as one of the larger immigrating families to travel on board the HMS Orcades. We came to make a new life at 'Elsinore', 11 Laura Street and we were photographed by the local newspaper to have our '5 minutes of fame'. Dad had also secured a small Bicycle Shop business in Puckle Street and we were on our way into personal and financial security in our Australian adventure.

Cecil Henry Allery had come a long, long way from Boy Artificer at one shilling a week!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Master Tailor: Suits You!

Grandfather Walter Frederick Allery B: 1871 D: 1915
Probate Notice 1915:
Walter Frederick Allery, 51 Chatham Road, Kingston-on-Thames, to widow Harriet Priscilla (nee Wright) Allery the sum of £2932.15s.9d. [Equivalent to £292,739.37 in today's currency.]
A lifetime of work as a Master Tailor enabled Walter to amass this small fortune and provide for his small family. It was certainly in his genes to become a tailor like his father and grandfather before him. The Allery Tailors, Samuel John and his father William, both born in Devon, began the dynasty acquiring wealth and properties during the 1800s and 1900s in London. Walter also acquired several properties in Kingston, specifically numbers 23, 25 and 27 Washington Road and in 1906 mortgaged them to the Reliance Permanent Building Society. The properties were in a prime location in the business district of Kingston-on-Thames and would afford him the convenience of passing trade.
In 1914 Walter began to 'take care of his affairs' by selling the Washington Road properties to his step brother, Frank Joseph Andrew Allery who was then living at 196 Commercial Road, Peckham, the home of their father, Samuel John Allery. I suspect that Walter was somehow aware of his fate and was putting his affairs in order. At that time Frank was just 26 and not yet married, and Walter's eldest son, my Dad Cecil Henry, was just 14 years old. 
Walter died on the 5th of April in 1915 in the High Street, Kingston following an accident when he was knocked off his bicycle by a dog. A sad and regrettable incident that cut his life short. [This small piece of detail was relayed to Graham (my 43rd cousin - we share a great Grandfather] verbally by Walter's niece Maude Elizabeth. I have little knowledge of Aunt Maude or indeed of other sons of the Samuel John line of ancestry and I am keen to find out more about them. I would especially like to know more about the affluent life of Great Uncle Frank.
Frank JJ Allery remortgaged the properties back to the Reliance Permanent Building Society on 17 March 1925. [Obviously this firm has done well out of these properties over the years.] They were subsequently sold on 29 June 1926.
Source: Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames: Departmental Records
Probate Notice 1976: When Frank died in 1976 he left the sum of £8863 [Equivalent to £61,960.43 today] to his wife Mabel Constance (Bregenzer) Allery. 
During my genealogy sleuthing in Ancestry I discovered that Walter is buried in Grave 2188 in Section N, of the Richmond Cemetery, in Kingston. His death is recorded in the Parish Burial register for All Saints Church in Kingston-on-Thames.

But let me tell you briefly, of the life story for Walter Frederick, an entrepreneur, a tailor and a soldier. Walter was born at 26 Poppins Court on the 11th December 1871 and was later christened at St Brides Fleet Street, London. He grew up in Islington and attended the Cottenham Road Primary School, now known as the Cambden Public School between 1877 and 1880.
The subjects taught at the time that Camden National School started were: reading, grammar, spelling, arithmetic, geometry, book-keeping, geography and scripture.  History was not included in the syllabus until the late 19th century as it was thought not to be a subject suitable for children.
By the time that Walter married Harriet Priscilla Wright on the 27 December 1896 at West Ham, Essex at the age of 24, he had moved house eight times. He and Harriet set up house at 29 Elton Road, Kingston-on-Thames.

He served with the East Surrey Regiment, Duke of Cornwalls' Light infantry in the Boer War and was awarded the South Africa medal. It is not clear which battalion he served with but details of the 'theatres of war' seen by each battalion of the East Surrey Regiment is available in Wikipedia. My thoughts are that he was wounded and sent home and did not see much more of that war.
There is no record of him serving overseas during World War 1, however, he had enlisted in the Royal Berkshire Regiment in 1895, and served between 4 November and 15 November. On the strength of that involvement he earned himself the right to a Chelsea Pensioner Soldier Service pension. [This regiment spent some time at Ypres in the Battles of the Somme between August 2014 and December 2015, but this was after Walter's death in April 2015.]
And now a little of the sadness that he and his wife Harriet Priscilla (Wright) Allery endured over their years together.

Walter married Harriet on 27 December 1896 - just two days after Christmas. They were then living at 28 Elton Road, Kingston Hill. Their first born, Walter Frederick Alfred Joshua died as an infant on the 25th of March in 1900. A heartbreaking event for Harriet who was by then 8 months pregnant with her next child. I cannot imagine the emotional roller coaster they would have both been on as they lost one child and prepared for the birth of another.

As I piece together their history I realise that Harriet would most likely have been home alone during part of the Boer War, whilst Walter was overseas. However, given the birth date of my Dad, he was obviously at home in 1899.
Their second born, Cecil Henry (my Dad) was born on 25th of April 1900. His two names were later passed on as second names to his own twin sons, Michael and Brian born in 1940. The story of my Dad will feature in the next blog post.
In the 1901 England and Wales Census the household at 28 Elton Road, Kingston Hill, consisted of Walter aged 29, Harriet aged 28, Cecil aged 11 months and brother Frank (Joseph) aged 12.
There were 17 years difference in the ages of these two brothers. Walter was the first born son and his mother was Mary Ann (Hall) Allery and Frank was one of the last born sons to a different mother, Jemima Mary Ann (Blackburn) Allery. I can understand the closeness of two such siblings. [I was the youngest daughter of my tribe and 17 years younger than the eldest daughter - yet we were close in later years.]
In 1904 the family moved to 51 Chatham Road, Kingston-on-Thames, their beloved 'Endora' as the house was called. Between 1901 and 1909 Walter and Harriet had four more children: Edward Lionel (Ted), Ivy Dorothy, William Francis, Imee Priscilla, and Samuel John Reginald. Ivy Dorothy lived for only a short time, 27 January to the 4 April 1904 - a sad time for the family of mother, father and two sons. How did they all cope with that? Was this to set them up for even more devastating news in the 1930s?
Uncle Ted (Edward Lionel Allery) was killed at the age of 28 at the Brooklands Motor Course, Weybridge, Surrey on Friday, 9 May 1930. This Tragedy at Brooklands was in the newspapers of the time and I pieced together a story of the before, during and after - an horrific crash and a horrifying death - from those newspaper reports. 
Cec, Ted, Bill and Reg (Cecil, Edward, William and Reginald) were motor car enthuisiasts and would often attend the car racetrack at Brooklands. Both Ted and Cec, (the Allery brothers as they were called) were both employed at the Fox and Nicholl Ltd, a motor car company situated at the Tolworth Roundabout on the newly built Kingston by-pass, in Surbiton, Surrey. They were both involved in the development of the new Talbot 90 racing car. Fox and Nicholl entered three Talbot racing cars for the Double Twelve race at Brooklands on 9 May 1930. Arthur Fox chose a small team of mechanics to work on getting them ready for the race, including Ted and Cec, and Ted was chosen to ride as mechanic on car no. 22 in the race itself, and this was the beginning of the events leading up to his tragic death.The driver of no. 22, Lieutenant-Colonel C.E.C. Rabagliati, took evasive action late in the first day of the Double Twelve Hour Race and in braking too hard, the Talbot skidded into the path of the other Talbot. Hebeler, driving the other Talbot, at a speed of 100 mph, hit the skidding Talbot broadside and sent it flying into the spectator's arena over iron railings. Ted Allery, flung half out of the car, had been impaled on the railings and killed instantly. Rabalgliati was badly injured and was taken to Webridge hospital where a silver plate would be inserted in the back of his head to repair a fractured skull. A spectator, F.C.Hurworth was also killed, and some twenty spectators suffered horrific injuries.Several newspapers reported the tragedy in the May 10th editions, listing the dead and injured. A Daily Mail reporter interviewed my Dad, Cecil Allery, who was present at the Brooklands accident. He was reported as saying: "I wish he had never gone in for motor racing. I had a premonition that something like this would happen. Ted and I started a little motoring business together a little while ago." 
The Daily Mail reported that Mr Edward Allery, the mechanic who was killed, lived with his widowed mother, brothers and sister at a bungalow, where he had a 'workshop' in which he was nearly always engaged on motor engines. He was 28. [A picture of Ted in Naval uniform featured in the article.]
The Brooklands Race Crash made front page news in the Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Daily Sketch and the Daily Express on Saturday, May 10, 1930.
Now, as I reflect, I try to imagine the gut wrenching shock for Harriet on hearing the news and the years of sorrow suffered afterwards. Did she blame my Dad, as he blamed himself? By now she has lost her husband, her first born son and daughter and now her beloved Ted. Life, birth and death in the early 1900's were so different to what we experience today in the 2000's. I do know that losing a child (no matter what era) can be devastating and often the mother does not recover.
My own mother Winifred lost her first born daughter Marie, (who was stillborn) and Mum carried a photo of her dead child with her for the rest of her life. We put the photo in the coffin for our Mum for eternity.
Did Harriet have a photo of her little girl? Did Harriet ever imagine what it would be like to marry Walter (she a machinist and he a Tailor journeyman) and to plan their future together? Did Walter know in advance that he would have just a short time with his children and was this the driving force behind his careful management of his business and properties? Did my Dad Cecil make a conscious decision NOT to follow his father into the Tailoring industry, and to focus his early career as a Motor Mechanic and a profession in the Royal Air Force, becoming a Boy Artificer at the tender age of 17?
What I do know is that the legacy of wealth that my parents had access to in England, at the end of the Second World War, enabled them to immigrate to Australia. If it was not for the skills of Walter Frederick as a Master Tailor there would not have been enough funds to purchase their properties and without his legacy my red-haired Grandmother Harriet, could not have lived out her years in modest luxury in Kingston-on-Thames.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Allery Tailoring Dynasty

Samuel John Allery B: 1847 D: 1922
Probate Notice 1922: 
Samuel John Allery of 196 Commercial Road, Peckham SE, Tailor retired, died on 28 June 1922 and left to his widow Jemima Mary Ann and his son Dave Bertie, the princely sum of £9,826 - (equivalent to £981,056.30 today).That was quite a substantial legacy for the times and one that would have provided well for Jemima and the family of 13 children.
In Samuel John's will (31st August 1918(link is external)(link is external)) he bequeathed 4 of his properties to his first born son Henry John and another 4 properties to his first born daughter, Rosina Elizabeth. Each of these were in the boroughs of Southwark and Kingston-on-Thames, in the county of Surrey. These comprised the following:Numbers 4, 6, 8 and 10 Crown Street, Camberwell, Southwark to Henry John.Numbers 46, 48, 50 and 52 Elton Road, Norbiton, Kingston-on-Thames to Rosina Elizabeth.
Samuel bequeathed £200 (equivalent to £19,968 today) to each of the children of his late son Walter Frederick who had died 3 years prior to the Will date. [Walter Frederick was also a Master Tailor and amassed properties and a small fortune in his lifetime; £2932 - (equivalent to £292,739.37] Samuel gave the trustees the power to administer these legacies until Walter's children had reached the age of 21, stating that the £200 would accumulate at 5% interest each year after his death. [My Dad Cecil Henry was the eldest of these children - he never mentioned this legacy to me during his lifetime.]
Samuel bequeathed 15 shillings per week (equivalent to £74.88) for each of his other 14 children, in perpetuity, to be administered by his trustees, his wife Jemima and son Dave Bertie. 
Let's step back in time and view how Samuel John amassed his wealth and grew the tailoring business!
Samuel comes from a long line of Tailors whose beginnings were in Devon, England. His grandfather, William Allery, was born in 1817 in Dartmouth, Devon and later, at the age of 33, established his family and tailoring business at 14 Russell Street in Bermondsey, Surrey. According to the 1851 England and Wales Census, Samuel's grandfather William, master tailor, had his young sons, William and John living there along with his baby daughter Alice. Other residents are listed as either lodgers or servants, two tailors, one clerk, one carrier, one labourer and a house servant. From this detail I surmise that it was a large dwelling and that there was good money being earned to support and pay wages of those listed there.
In the late 18th century, Five Foot Lane was renamed Russell Street after Richard Russell(link is external)(link is external), who was a Justice of the Peace for the county of Surrey. The parish of Bermondsey(link is external)(link is external) is in the Hundred of Brixton, in the County of Surrey. The manor of Bermondsey is mentioned in the Doomsday Book(link is external)(link is external) as being then held by the King, Earl Harold having held it previous to the conquest.
When Samuel married his first wife Mary Ann Hall, on 2 December 1867, she was already pregnant with their first child, and he was just 20 years old. Henry John was born on 31 December 1867 at 21 Arnery Place, Old Kent Road, Bethnal. Three years later Samuel and Mary had a daughter, Rosina Elizabeth, born on 28 Apr 1870 in Bermondsey, Surrey. Between them, they had seven children - four daughters and three sons.
By 1871 the family had moved to 6 Poppins Court, St Brides, London. This is in an area referred to as Darkest London, filled with pubs and tenement housing. Their third child, Walter Frederick [my grandfather] was baptised at St Bride's Church near where they lived. 
Note: The church was designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1672 in Fleet Street in the City of London. ​Wynkyn de Worde, who acquired Claxton's first printing press, set up England's first printing press with moveable type in the churchyard of St Bride's(link is external)(link is external) in 1501. 
In 1881, ten years later, the family was living at Number 26 Crown Street, Camberwell. Was this where Samuel acquired the other properties in Crown Street, I wonder? I notice that his wife Mary A is listed as a Tailoress at this time. 
Samuel's father William died in 1887 and left a small sum of money £41 - (equivalent to £4,093.56 today) to his widow, Mary (nee Newth) Allery of 19 Berwick Street, Camberwell. A small legacy shared with Samuel John (aged 33) as he began to make his own way in the Tailoring industry.
By 1891 the family had acquired several properties in St Andrews by Wardrobe; numbers 38, 39, 40, 41 and 41 St Andrews Hill and number 59 Carters Lane. It is the Carters Lane premises from which the business of Tailoring was carried out. Samuel [now listed as John] is now married to Jemima Mary Ann (nee Blackburn) Allery, as his first wife Mary Ann (nee Hall) Allery, died not long after the death of their infant daughter, Jenny Selina, in 1881. His mother, Mary (nee Newth) Allery, is also listed as living with them. It does get so confusing with so many Mary's. Samuel and Jemima are in the same residence with five of their six sons;
Dave B Allery Age 14
Benjamin B Allery Age 11
Sidney J Allery Age 8
Ernest Allery Age 6
Edward Allery Age 2
Camberwell was their next stop - a city of growth and prosperity at the turn of the century. Camberwell Palace(link is external), a theatre with a capacity for over 1500 people, may have been an attraction that Samuel and Jemima enjoyed along with other famous buildings, music halls and public houses.
In 1901 the family has moved to 196 Commercial Road, Camberwell. This location is both fashionable and close to the commercial end of town. Commercial Road(link is external) is an important artery connecting the historic City of London.  Samuel and Jemima were still living there in 1911, a boom period for Tailoring and Building. In this census we can see the occupations of five of their six sons listed as follows:

  1. Dave Bertie aged 24, Decorator 
  2. Benjamin Robert Phillip aged 21, Painter 
  3. Sidney James aged 18, builders' labourer 
  4. Ernest Alexander aged 16, Kitchen Helper 
  5. Edward St Swithin aged 12, scholar
Frank Joseph Andrew aged 22, Tailor. (I noted that he was not 'at home' with is family on the night of the 1891 census.)
The England Census records: 1861 to 1911, displayed Samuel's occupation as Tailor, Journeyman through to Master Tailor in that 50 year period. Two of his own sons (Walter Frederick ad Frank Joseph Andrew) became Tailors and worked for the family tailoring business for many decades. I had thought that their premises would have been large and spacious, however, I suspect that, like many tailors at the time, they worked from their homes. Walter married a skilled Tailoress to further grow his family and business enterprise. I know from family stories that my red-headed Grandmother Harriet Priscilla (nee Wright) Allery was a fine seamstress who passed that skill onto her daughters and granddaughters.

19th century London must have been like one big tailor shop serving gentlemen from the whole Empire. The West End was crowded with bespoke tailors, shirtmakers and cloth merchants, huge numbers of coat makers, pant makers, vest makers and finishers worked directly from their poor and overcrowded homes in the east end. https://www.gentlemansgazette.com/the-history-bespoke-tailoring/(link is external)
(link is external)
Tailors were in high demand(link is external) in a competitive industry and by employing family members the Allery Tailoring dynasty was able to grow and prosper. Life as a Tailor(link is external) at that time would involve long working hours and often sweatshop conditions. Samuel received his Freedom of the City Admission Papers on 3rd September 1889 and on this document, his father William Allery, was listed as an Oxford Street Tailor and that Samuel was occupying the premises of 59 Carter Lane, [formerly 79] London.
In the early 19th Century there were several tailors' unions mainly in London and I surmise that the Allery Tailors were members of one of more these illustrious Unions(link is external). There are no records of such membership in this branch of the Allery Tailoring dynasty, but, evidence points to others of the Allery tribe being unionists. Great Uncle William Adrian was also running a Tailoring business in London in the 1900s and was advertising in the London Times for customers to his businesses at 3 Charles Street, Soho Square and 45 New Compton Street, London - therefore I surmise that he would have needed a union membership for his credibility.
As I looked deeper into the records showing for Samuel John Allery in the One-Name.Guild I see no less than 19 separate dwellings for him in his life time - from Dartmouth, Devon to Bermondsey, Surrey and Camperwell London. This is probably where my own Dad Cecil Henry Allery (grandson of Samuel John Allery) acquired his wanderlust - moving his family from England to Wales during the second world war and then to Australia after the war. [In my own lifetime I have known 5 separate dwellings that I lived in as a child.]
I relish the skills I have learned in my Genealogy pursuits and in my Family History studies to research this pivotal ancestor, the Master Tailor, Samuel John Allery.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

The Cutting Line: more about my mum

Winifred Edith Allery (last on the right) - wedding of her sister Doris (third from the left)

My mother was born into the Cutting line of my ancestors in 1903. Cutting is an old English surname dating back centuries. The Cuttings were mostly trades people, making their living as Plumbers, House Decorators and Motor Mechanics. Winifred's birth was recorded in our family tree like this:
Born at home, mother M.J. Cutting, registered 20 April 1903 Reference: England & Wales Civil Registration 1903.
Now that I re-discovered old documentation for my family, I can review the information that is available on her birth certificate. Winifred Edith Allery was born on the 18th March 1903, a date that I always knew, but used to get mixed up at birthday times with the birth date of my eldest sister Pamela Marie born on 9th March 1927. (I would often send mum's birthday card early or Pam's card late.)
7 Glenville Road, Kingston 2018

The certified copy of the Entry of Birth shows more about my mother and her parents. The birth took place at 7 Glenville Road, Kingston and the certificate showed that her fathers name was Charles Harry Cutting and her mother's name as Mary Jane Cutting (formerly Robinson). Charles' occupation was listed as Plumber's Foreman. At the bottom of the certificate it shows that this was a certified copy of the Entry of Birth and was signed on 27th October 1948.
A little research into the life of plumbers in the 1900's revealed that "Housing in 19th century London was highly dependent on the class an individual was a part of. Multiple room and single room housing was reserved for the upper and middle classes respectively, whereas the poor and working classes found themselves crammed into slums and overpacked apartment housing. The locations of these forms of housing played an integral role in the development of London society and also made a huge impact on the conditions of those living there as well."  
Therefore I concluded that my grandfather Charles was making his living as a Plumber for families in the upper and middle classes of his location in Kingston, a suburban area of London. On accessing the Parish register for the birth of his triplets in 1906, I noticed that the home address was now 20 Glenville Road - not a very big move from number 7 in distance - but a required one to house a growing family. It also prompted me to think about my own childhood of growing up in a variety of houses in the local areas of my home town of East Oakleigh and realised that the 'wandering' trait was inherent in our family due to ancestors experiences. The moves were necessary and were taken in their stride.

When I then reviewed the Certified Copy of my parents Entry of Marriage in Kingston, on the 23rd of July  1924, I could see how her father Charles had moved on in his profession. He was now listed as a House Decorator (Master) but his name is recorded as Charles Henry not Charles Harry. The place of residence for my mum had changed to 13 Park Road, Kingston and I surmised that this was due to either, the increased status of her dad as a Master House Decorator, or further increases in family size. Considering that my grandparents had a total of 7 children, including twins and triplets, that was not surprising.

On my parent's marriage document, I could also see that my dad, Cecil Henry Allery, bachelor of 53 Chatham Road, Kingston, was listed as a Motor Fitter. His father was listed as William Frederick Allery (deceased) Master Tailor. Now I knew that the Master Tailor was correct, but that his name was Walter Frederick Allery. My dad was 24 years old at the time of their marriage and my mum was 21 years old, facts that I could verify from their birth certificates. 

I was curious about what Master House Decorator would do. My research revealed 'the house that time forgot' a National Trust building in Worksop, UK. According to Wikipedia: "Worksop is the largest town in the Bassetlaw district of Nottinghamshire, England. Worksop lies on the River Ryton, and is located at the northern edge of Sherwood Forest." The pictures displayed on this site gave me an idea of the type of house decorating Charles Harry Cutting might have done.

Sitting Room of the House that Time Forgot
National Trust propertyi: Number 7 Blyth Grove in Worksop
still looks just as it did in 1923 when the Straw family decorated it

At the time they were married, 1924, my dad was a motor fitter. Winifred was listed as Spinster but I do know from her stories that she was working as an accountant for her dad's House Decorating business in Kingston. Further investigation into the role of female accountants of the period, I found this interesting piece of history that would have paved the way for my mum's profession:
With the Sex Discrimination (Removal) Act of 1919 women were allowed to become members of the ICAEW - A global accountancy body headquartered in the UK 
My dad later became a motor mechanic and in the 1930's a bicycle shop owner, which is where we pick up again on the work life of my mum, in 1939. In the 1939 England and Wales register of occupations for the residents of Hook Road, Surbiton, I noticed that Winifred Edith Allery was listed as a Cycle Dealer. I deduced that this meant my mum and dad were partners in the cycle business. Below mum's name was Harriet Priscilla Allery (her mother-in-law aged 76) also residing at the same address and listed as 'unpaid domestic duties'. Winifred's daughter, June Patricia, was listed however her older sister Pamela and older brother were not.

Now I do know that my family lived with Grandma Harriet at 107 Hook Road, Surbiton and that other relatives lived in the same Road. Looking back for other details on this 1939 Register I noted that my Uncle Ron and his wife Bessie resided at 139 Hook Road, Surbiton and were listed as Ronald - Shop Assistant, Hire Services and Bessie Violet Pearce - unpaid domestic duties. This added another piece to the puzzle of my Cutting Line, the maiden name of Auntie Bessie and where my mum's sister Violet got her name from.

I now see the value of setting the context around the lives of my ancestors, digging deeper for secondary sources to reveal hidden gems of information.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Searching on the high seas

McCulloch Clan (part three)

Emigration Records

The small McCulloch family, Mr A, Mrs A and Master A emigrated to Australia on board the Orontes ship of the Orient Line on 13 December 1955. The recently discovered Passenger List in the UK Outward records in Ancestry for 1955, revealed many more memories for Master A, now the head of the McCulloch clan in Australia.

There were several Scottish families on board the Orontes who were also on 'assisted passage' to Australia by their employer the Allied Iron Foundy of Falkirk, Scotland.

  • The Conlins, Harry, Mary and Norman, from Falkirk - from Falkirk. They remained long lasting family friends.
  • The Lairds, Jimmy, Irene, Kathy and two sisters - from Grangemouth.
  • The Roberts, Jim, Mary, Jimmy, John and two brothers - from Falkirk - became next door neighbours.
  • The Timms, Ray, Grace and two sons - from Ironbridge, Shropshire.

All the male heads of family were listed as Foundry Workers. They and their families (listed in Tourist One Class) were among 1400 passengers on board the Orontes as it departed from the port of London (Tilbury) to Melbourne, Australia.

Memories of the Crossing!

Stories from many immigrants who made the crossing of the Atlantic in the 1950s are displayed in the Ten Pound Pom site for the Immigration Museum of Victoria. I searched for those who had made the crossing on the Orontes and found a few of their short stories:
john connop 23 June, 2016 14:05
I with my wife Gwen and son Mark in early 1958 On the liner Orontes. It took three weeks. First night at the Exhibition center Melbourne . Got a job next day and moved to Nunawading Migrant hotel. Housed in Nissen huts. It took us three years before we bought our first home.
John mentions Nissen Huts. I wondered what life was like in these Nissen Huts? I researched to find some stories of life in the Australia Nissen Huts and found a fellow blogger, Martina Nicols. She posted this story in 2014.

I can deduce from the conditions they lived in, that the families would quickly seek other accommodation. At the time housing was booming in the outer suburbs of Melbourne. So we can follow the McCulloch Clan as they relocated in North Clayton.

Recent Work and Life History!

Each family took up residence in the outer eastern suburb of North Clayton where the fathers continued to work in work places sponsored by the Allied Iron Foundries and the children went to school in local public schools.