Monday, December 05, 2005

Annie Wood nee Kendrick

On 28 December 1874 Thomas's eldest child Alice Ann (Annie) married Alfred Wood at St. Ann's Roman Catholic Church, Aston ( the Woods were Catholics). The couple had three children, Alfred b. 1879, Minnie b.1881 and Sidney b.1882. Alfred earned his living as a solicitors clerk and also worked as a musician, at one period of his life he was leader of the Birmingham Theatre Royal Orchestra. Unfortunately Alfred did not enjoy good health as he suffered from T.B. and by 1901 Annie was supplementing the family income as a 'Wardrobe Dealer', not furniture but second hand clothes. She had a shop in Hurst street, Birmingham, opposite the Hippodrome. No doubt the inhabitants of the Birmingham Back-to-backs were her customers.
The theatre also provided employment for her son Sidney who, during the pantomime season ,would help to make 'waves' by crawling under fabric representing the sea.
Sidney's daughter, Marjorie can recall meeting Annie and describes her as looking like a bag lady, apparently dressed in her stock of second hand clothes. Sidney did not have a very high opinion of his mother and inferred that she was dishonest. She was not an ideal grandparent, teasing her grandson Reg Wood by putting his toys out of reach on a high shelf, and using up the milk intended for him, in her tea.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

17th Century Randles

The first of my line I have so far traced is a John Randle who married Alice Gould in 1737. The marriage took place at the parish church in Halesowen, Worcestershire, a town to the west of Birmingham. I haven't yet found out where John was born. Although some of the couple's children were baptised in Halesowen, the majority were at St.Kenelms Romsley a village at the foot of the Clent Hills, so I think this is likely to be where they lived.

St.Kenelm's, Romsley.

The family consisted of Sarah b.1738, John b.1740, William b. and d. 1743, George b.1744 d.1747, Thomas b. 1747, Joseph b. 1749 (my ancestor), James b.1753, Benjamin b.1755, and Hannah b. and d.1759.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

John Wood

According to his marriage certificate, John Wood's father was William Wood, Gentleman. In the 1851 census he gives his age as 30, and place of birth the city of Worcester. So far, the only possible John Wood baptism I have found is in the village of Claines, near Worcester, the son of William Wood, servant, and his wife Ann in 1819. So, was John exaggerating his father's social status? Whatever the truth is, at some stage John received a musical education sufficient enough for him to become a Music Teacher.

At some time John moved from his birthplace, Worcester, to Birmingham and in 1843 he married Jane ASH, the daughter of a butcher at St. Thomas, Bath Row. The church, as such, no longer exists as it was bombed in 1940, but the tower remains, linked to a peace garden.
John appeared to earn his living as a musician, the occupation on his marriage certificate, but on the census in 1851, he was "Professor of Music". The family were then living at 76 Tennant St. and consisted of John, Jane, Mary Ann 6, Clara F. 4 and John H. 2. The two elder children were born in Birmingham, but the youngest has his place of birth Hurst Green, Lancashire.
(To be continued)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Thomas Kendrick Part 2

Around 1880, Thomas was approached by Harry, the son of Joseph Lucas, regarding the patenting of his bicycle lamp "The King of the Road."

This proved no problem, but, as related in Harold Nockold's book, "Lucas, the First Hundred Years", trouble was to follow. Here are some extracts.........

Thomas was apparently none too honest in his business dealings! However, there must have been a reconciliation of sorts, as the families became connected by marriage.

Bernard Steeley, an employee of Lucas, had two sisters. In 1884, Ada married Frank Spencer Kendrick, Thomas' son, and in 1886 her sister Kate married Harry Lucas. I like to think that the marriages healed the rift between the families.

Thomas was a flamboyant character and something of an artist. He liked to "dress the part" with flowing cloak and cane. In 1900, he had two paintings exhibited in the Birmingham Society of Artists spring exhibition; "On the Alne near Newham" and "A Warwickshire Lane, Gipsies Encamping." It isn't known what happened to the pictures.

His grandson, Sidney Wood, related that Thomas gave he and his wife one of his paintings as a wedding present. A few months later he asked to borrow the painting "to show to a friend". They never saw it again and assumed it had been sold.

I haven't yet established when Thomas died, but Marjorie, Sidney's daughter who was born in 1917, said he visited and saw her as an infant.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Thomas Kendrick Part 1

Thomas married in 1855 at St. Philip's Church, now the Anglican cathedral. His bride was Elizabeth Ann Lorton.
In 1861 the couple were living in Summer St. Edgbaston and had three children; Alice Ann (Annie) aged 5, Amy Agnes 3, and Frank Spencer 1. Thomas gave his occupation as Designer and Modeller.

By 1871 the family had grown with the addition of Minnie, born 1861, Claretta Louisa 1863, Henry Albert(Harry) 1865, and Ada Teresa 1868. By 1881, Alfred Leonard 1874 , had been added. His twin, Charles Vincent, didn't survive infancy and another daughter also died young.

In 1881, Thomas was still giving his occupation as Designer and Modeller but by 1891 he had become a Patent Agent. Apparently, he had an office near the Smithfield market in Birmingham, and was perpetually at war with the man on the floor above, who would push burning cabbage stalks through cracks in the ceiling. This gave rise to his catch-phrase "did I ever tell you how Lowbridge served me out?"

Thomas was also something of an inventor himself, although I have found no evidence that he invented Ladies' suspenders and the belt pull-up on train windows as family lore has it. Most of the inventions patented by him seem to consist of metallic bedsteads, knobs for door handles and the like.

(To be continued)

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Kendricks in Birmingham

The Kendricks seem to have been established in Birmingham from the 18th Century, although, as the name Kendrick probably has Celtic origins, they may have come from Wales. The earliest I have found is Richard and his wife Ann who were both born in Birmingham around 1790. In the census for 1841 they were living in Horse Fair with two sons, John aged 14 and Thomas 6 . Both children were baptised at St Martins in the Bull Ring, the ancient parish church of Birmingham. The present church is a rebuild dating from the 1870s, but it is believed that there has been a church in this place from Norman times. Because of the gap of eight years between the two boys, there may have been other children who did not survive.
By 1851 the family had moved to 7, Blucher St. Richard's occupation was Lock Forger. John was a clerk in a Newspaper Office and Thomas, aged 17, an Electro Plater.
I haven't yet found out when Richard and Ann died. In the 1861 census a Richard Kendrick aged 65, widower, was lodging at 39 Granville Street.
In 1861 John was married to Charlotte and living in Gt. Colmore St. with a growing family. His occupation was Patent Agent, an occupation his brother Thomas was to follow.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Early Barretts

The earliest Barrett I've so far found is Reginald who married Charlotte King on 1 October 1810 at St. Gregory's Church, Dawlish, Devon.

Charlotte, according to later censuses, apparently came from nearby Kenton.

The family seems to have moved around the West Country, crossing the border between Devon and Cornwall several times.

In the 1851 census for Liskeard in Cornwall I found the following family living in Church Street South.

Charlotte BARRETT Head Widow Aged 65 Born Kenton Devon
Mary Ann CLEMENTS Daughter Aged 39 " " "
Richard BARRETT Son Unmarried Aged 26 Shoemaker
Charlotte OAK Grandaughter " " 14 Dressmaker

and in nearby Barn street was the Hicks family
James 29, Cordwainer, His wife Ann, son James and

Benjamin BARRETT Lodger Aged 21 Cordwainer Born Liskeard

So I think this must be our Barrett family. There seems to be a large gap in the ages of Charlotte's children, possibly there were others in between who have now left home or did not survive infancy. I haven't yet found the family in the 1841 census.

Reginald Barrett was apparently a Tailor, judging by his son's marriage certificate, but his sons became Shoemakers.

Amongst the Barrett papers, I found these two photographs ............

..........I have no proof, but like to think that they may be Benjamin and his wife Lydia Cavannah . Judging by the clothes, I would date the pictures to the early 1860s when the couple would have been aged 30.