The Craxford Family Magazine Red Pages

{$text['mgr_red1']} Cottingham 2.6.2

The Cottingham Tansleys 2: David and two of his sons who moved to Leicester

by Alan D. Craxford and Janice Binley
with contributions from Dena Skevington and Gail Hedderson


Other articles within the website which relate to particular aspects of this story are noted within square brackets in the text. Links to these artciles can be found in the table towards the bottom of column 2

The Tansley family is one of several lines which have lived in close proximity and intertwined with the Craxfords for more than 250 years. Liaisons with two other families are described in the companion article "A Family Photograph Album: The Binleys, Jacksons and Tansleys" [Article A.]. It has been by careful scrutiny of documents and records from many sources that the full depths of these interconnections have become clear. The seed of this current project was the chance finding of three references to the wills of a Tansley married couple on the same page of the Probate Calendar and the discovery that the named beneficiary did not actually appear to exist. The progress from their early Northamptonshire roots to this result in the next county has proved to be a fascinating and unexpected journey.

About David Tansley and Elizabeth Peach

David Tansley and family

David and Elizabeth (Peach) Tansley with daughter Clara

The father of this particular twig was David Tansley but the saga of the Tansleys in Cottingham goes back more than 120 years ([Article B.]). He was the three times great grandson of Edward the tailor and each preceding generation added many links into the other local families. He was born in Cottingham the sixth son of John Tansley and Elizabeth Bull in 1813 and spent his whole life in the village. His parents had married in 1792, producing six sons and two daughters. His older brother, James Tansley (1803 - 1869) married Elizabeth Munton from Thorpe by Water in 1820, becoming the step father of Elizabeth's daughter Ann Bellamy Munton who subsequently married John Claypole. David's older sister, Comfort Tansley (1808 - 1844) married James Craxford (who was the uncle of John Claypole's daughter's future husband) in 1836. Both are subject to another study ([Article C].]).

St Andrew Stoke Dry

Church of St Andrew, Stoke Dry (2)

David married Elizabeth Peach at the Church of St Andrew, Stoke Dry, Rutland on May 27th 1833. She was born in 1813, the daughter of Conyers Peach and Martha Oliver. They lived at Holyoaks Lodge, a couple of miles south east of the village on the west side of the Eye Brook (close by an area which is now flooded as the Eye Brook Reservoir) where he was a grazier in charge of 25 acres. It is not known for certain where David and Elizabeth met but his residence at the time of the marriage was recorded as Carlton. Elizabeth had already given birth in 1831 to a son she named Stephen.

Over the next 22 years, David and Elizabeth were to have eleven children: four sons and seven daughters. It is at this level (and the next) of the tree that intermarriage between the families becomes widespread and confusing. This is probably a reflection of the large number of offspring each family had and the relatively isolated village community in which they grew up. Illegitimacy was commonplace and we know of at least three of the daughters who had children before they were married.

David spent his working life on the land. Life was hard for the peasantry in the early Victorian era and it was a perpetual difficulty to feed and clothe his growing family. By the time of the first census in 1841 the family consisting of David and Elizabeth and their five children (Elizabeth's son, stephen; daughters Martha, Matilda and Elizabeth and son Benjamin) were living in a cottage on George Street (now part of Corby Road). David's mother, Elizabeth Bull, died on December 17th 1844. The harshness of his circumstances were brought to the fore when David was summoned before the Petty Sessions in Kettering in May 1845 for non payment totalling 10/- (ten shillings) of the 'highway rate'. This was a charge raised by the parish to construct and maintain roads which were not turnpikes. The overseers described him as a sober and industrious man who received twenty pennies a day in pay. Elizabeth was close to delivering another baby and they could not buy enough clothing to keep the children warm in the winter. During that decade, another three girls and a boy arrived.

Parish Church of St Mary Magdalene

St Mary Magdalene Church, Cottingham: a view across the village from Blind Lane

By 1851, he had moved the family around the corner into a cottage in Blind Lane. His widower father, John now in receipt of Parish Relief, moved in with them. Their next door neighbours were William and Ann Ward with their married son Henry and wife Charlotte Dalby. Elizabeth gave birth to a further three babies during the 1850s (a son and two daughters). During the decade four of his children were married and as noted on the marriage certificates had found work as a coachman. After John Tansley died in June 1857, David took up domestic gardening. He moved the family again, this time to Wood Lane. There were still seven children living with them, two sons, two daughters and three grandchildren. Elizabeth worked around the village as a midwife.

The 1871 census found David and Elizabeth living in a cottage on the High Street accompanied by their two unmarried sons and two grandchildren (12 year old Ann Elizabeth and 8 year old Clara). The household slowly emptied over the following years and by 1881 David and Elizabeth were by themselves in Corby Road. Elizabeth died in the village on May 9th 1889. David survived her by only five months. He was buried at St Mary Magdalene Church on October 18th 1889.

Martha Ann (1834 - 1913)

First born Martha was baptised at St Mary Magdalene Church, Cottingham, on April 22nd 1834. After an apparently uneventful childhood, she was sent into service with the household of farmer Samuel Walton in Bringhurst, a village a mile and a half north over the border in Leicestershire. Around the Christmas of 1857, Martha became pregnant. She duly gave birth to a boy she named Thomas Middleton Tansley on September 17th 1858. The baby was never well and died on March 8th 1859 from laryngotracheobronchitis (croup). By 1861, Martha had taken up an appoinment as cook at Parsonage House for the Reverend Thomas Bull, Curate of Corby. This employment lasted until her marriage to gamekeeper John White on April 16th 1863.

The couple initially made their home in Rockingham Road, Cottingham but by 1881 they had moved to Corby. They were to have four sons (John, 1864; Joseph, 1866; William, 1867 and David, 1873) and four daughters (Elizabeth Ann, 1869; Emily Martha, 1879; Sarah Louisa, 1874 and Mary Ann, 1877). Son Joseph was never well, suffering from recurrent fits (he labelled as "imbecile" on the census of 1881) and was admitted to the County Pauper Lunatic Asylum. This was sited in the village of Upton, close by Duston, and about three miles west of Northampton. The unit changed its name to St Crispin Hospital with the coming of the National Health Service. Joseph died on July 15th 1886 whilst still an in patient. The official cause of his death was Epilepsy.

John died in Corby over Christmas and was buried at Rockingham Road Cemetery on December 28th 1905. Martha lived another 7 years, dying at the end of March 1913. She joined her husband in Rockingham Road Cemetery Corby on April 3rd 1913.

Third son William White married local girl Agnes Mary Houghton in Corby in 1896. They had five sons and two daughters between 1898 and 1913. William became an engine driver. He died in 1924. Agnes was living in Post Office Yard in the High Street with two of her children and two grandchildren at the outbreak of the second World War. She died at the beginning of 1929.

Oldest daughter Elizabeth Ann White was sent into domestic service as she entered her teens with her aunt Emily Tansley, now married to Benjamin Mitton, in the Horse Market in Kettering. She married John William Wilson in Corby on Christmas Eve 1888. Together they had three daughters and five sons.

Second daughter Emily Martha White married railway signalman John Herring on January 24th 1893. They moved to Cooperative Street Long Eaton in south Derbyshire where, by 1911, they reported seven babies although three had died in infancy. Son Harold, born in 1894, had become an apprentice lace machine builder and daughter Eva (born in 1904) was an "improver dressmaker". The couple were still at the same address with as yet unmarried daughter Eva at the outset of the second World War. John died in the summer of 1944; Emily followed him in early 1946.

Youngest son David White married Sarah Ann Incles in 1896. They settled in Church Street, Corby where they had a daughter Hilda in 1899. David was an ironstone labourer. Prior to the second World War, the couple moved to Gladstone Street in Rothwell near Kettering. David died there in 1943. Sarah Ann followed him in 1956.


St Andrews Church, Foxton (4)

Third daughter Sarah Louisa White married corset cutter Dick Underwood in Corby on September 5th 1898. They moved back to Dick's home town, Market Harborough, where they had two daughters, Violet Eva and Martha Olive, either side of the turn of the century. 1911 found the family in residence in Heygate Greet, Great Bowden. Another son, Neville Howard Underwood, was born in the early part of 1918. By 1939, they had returned to Market Harborough where Dick died in 1950 and Sarah Louisa in 1958. Son Neville served in the marines during the second World War. He married Doris Pratt at St Andrews Church, Foxton on May 30th 1942. After the war he became a fire officer. Tragedy struck when he was on duty attending a blaze at the Hermitage Hotel, Oadby on June 17th 1971. He collapsed through exhaustion and the effects of smoke and died on his way to hospital (5).

Youngest daughter Mary Ann White married carter Harry Ironmonger, who was originally from Ladywood in Birmingham, in Corby on August 8th 1898. They took a house in Station Road, Corby. Between 1899 and 1918 they had four sons and four daughters. Harry died in the town and was buried in Rockingham Road Cemetery on November 8th 1937. Mary Ann continued to live with her three youngest children (Jessie Mary, Frederick and Nellie Iris) in Cottingham Road Corby during the years of the second World War. She died on March 5th and was buried on March 8th 1962 in Corby.

Matilda (1836 - 1911)

Corby Road

George Street (Corby Road), Cottingham

Second daughter Matilda was baptised on June 5th 1836. She spent her early years at the family home in George Street. Her maternal grandmother, Martha Oliver, had died in August 1827 and Conyers Peach married again in May 1836 to Christiana Pretty. They continued to live at Holyoaks Lodge, where, in 1851, the 15 year old Matilda was employed as a domestic servant. Like her sister Martha Ann, Matilda found herself pregnant at Christmas 1857. She was delivered of a baby girl on September 20th 1858. She was named Ann Elizabeth Darker Tansley and her birth certificate names John Thomas Darker, agricultural labourer, as the father. It is not known for certain who John was - there is no evidence he and Matilda were ever married - but he could have been the son of the licencee of the Sondes Arms Inn, in nearby Rockingham.


Matilda Tansley

Matilda became pregnant again at the beginning of 1860 and gave birth to a boy on November 3rd 1860. He was named John Lewis and his father is recorded as wheelwright and carpenter Lewis Binley. At the time of the 1861 census,Matilda was back in the family home in Wood Lane with daughter Ann and son Lewis. She was earning money as a lace runner (carried out embroidery on lace). She married Lewis Binley on November 20th 1862. They had five children.

Lewis and Matilda's eldest son, John Lewis Binley, married Ada Bamford in 1880. They had one daughter who died in infancy. John Lewis then formed an association with Carrie Townsin which produced five children between 1891 and 1900. Eldest son, John Albert Binley Townsin and his sister Edith Rosina Townsin subsequently married sister and brother Edith Julia and Charles Herbert Liquorish (another linked local family whose story is told in "All sorts of Liquorish" [Article D.]) Ann Elizabeth Darker Tansley subsequently married John Thomas Bradhaw in Cottingham in 1878. In 1911, one of their sons, Thomas Bradshaw, married Maud Matilda Binley, who was the granddaughter of Lewis Binley.

Benjamin (1838 - 1906)

Eldest of their three sons, Benjamin was baptised on May 20th 1838. In his youth he worked in the fields and remained with the family until the early 1860s. He entered into a tragic marriage on May 4th 1865 with 21 year old Louisa Crane. She was one of the five illegitimate daughters of Mary Ann Crane although by the time of her marriage she had taken the name Sculthorpe after John, the man her mother married in 1855. Louisa was already six months pregnant at the time of the ceremony. Louisa went into labour in late August and sustained a massive haemorrhage during the childbirth. Both she and the infant succumbed on August 24th 1865. (See "Mary Ann Crane and her misbegotten children" [Article E.]).

Benjamin did not remain single for long. On December 14th 1866 he married 16 year old Caroline Lucy, the daughter of Mary Ann Dalby (born three years before Mary Ann married William West in 1854). In 1861, Caroline was living with her maternal grandmother Elizabeth Panter and her second husband Thomas Atkins in Wood Lane, just a few doors away from the Tansley household. Their next door neighbours were the family of Thomas Crane, Louisa Crane's uncle. Neighbours on the other side at the Toll Gate House were gatekeeper Samuel Tansley (one of the sons of James Tansley and Elizabeth Munton), his wife Catherine Humphrey and their family. Caroline earned a few pennies towards the family budget as a bird scarer. In 1871 they were living in the next door cottage to his parents on the High Street. Over the next 20 years they had seven sons and a daughter. In due time, their third son Alfred Tansley married his second cousin Alice Tansley and their fourth son David Tansley married his first cousin Laura Emily Binley (daughter of Benjamin's sister Caroline).

Elizabeth (1840 - 1928)

John Jackson and Elizabeth Tansley: married in 1859

John and Elizabeth (Tansley) Jackson

Another daughter, Elizabeth, arrived and was baptised on October 11th 1840. By the age of eleven years she was employed at home as a frame lace worker. On October 30th 1859 she married 21 year old agricultural labourer, John Jackson. They made their home in a cottage in Townsend in the neighbouring hamlet of Middleton. This was to be their home for the next 50 years. They were to have ten children. She was heavily pregnant at the time of her marriage and a son Thomas was born the following month and baptised on November 26th 1869. Thomas only survived eighteen days and was buried on December 6th 1859. However he remained a fond family memory for many years to come as "poor little Eddie", a reference perhaps to distinguish him from his grandfather, Thomas Jackson. By 1891 the family was dissipating to move into work or to get married leaving only youngest daughter Amy Ann and son Arthur at home. Also with them was their grandson Fred Jackson, the son of their second daughter Ellen. He was born on April 6th 1889 whilst Ellen was working away in London.

John and Elizabeth celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1909 and a newspaper report of the event noted that Jack had worked for farmer Berry at East Carlton for the same time period. Of note, their third son Alfred Thomas Jackson married Caroline Claypole, his first cousin and Mary Anne Tansley's daughter, in 1902.

Caroline (1843 - 1922)

Caroline Tansley
Clara Elizabeth Tansley

Caroline Tansley; Clara Elizabeth Tansley

Next daughter Caroline was born on January 20th 1843 and baptised a month later. Her early life mirrored that of her older sisters. By her eighth birthday she was employed in the cottage industry as a frame lace worker. In her teens she followed her sister Martha Ann into service as a housemaid with the Reverend Thomas Bull at Parsonage House in Corby. In the autumn of 1861 18 year old Caroline became pregnant. Her daughter was born on April 12th 1862 and named Clara Elizabeth Tansley. Although there is a father's name entered on the birth certificate no trace of railway porter George Goodwin has ever been found. Clara lived throughout her childhood with her grandparents until she entered domestic service in Leicester.

Caroline married Jeffrey Binley - Lewis's younger brother - on April 2nd 1865. She was already heavily pregnant and delivered a son they named Lovel Binley in the summer. Five more children were to follow. For many years, Jeffrey followed his trade of carpenter and wheelwright. Of interest, their youngest son, also named Jeffrey married Amy Ann Jackson, his first cousin and the daughter of Elizabeth Tansley and John Jackson, in 1903.

Emily (1845 - 1923)

Emily Tansley: Fifth daughter of David Tansley and Elizabeth Peach

Emily Tansley

Fifth daughter Emily was born in the summer of 1845 and baptised on July 16th of that year. In her middle teens she was sent into service at the Woolpack Inn in the Horse Market, Kettering. The landlord was Benjamin Mitton who was born in 1811 and had been a licensee since the 1830s. He also traded as a fishmonger. His wife Mary had died during the 1850s and by 1861 his daughter Mary Ann was keeping house for him. In 1870, Mary Ann left to get married and Emily was promoted to housekeeper, gaining a 16 year old girl under her as a domestic servant.

On September 28th 1872, Emily married the now 61 year old Benjamin at the Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul, Kettering. The ceremony was witnessed by Emily's older sister, Martha Ann White. Emily was pregnant and duly gave birth to a daughter on April 15th 1873. The little girl was baptised Emily at the Church of St Peter and St Paul on May 24th the same year. Sometime during the 1880s, Benjamin moved to the Bowling Green beer house in London Road, Kettering. He remained there until his death on November 15th 1897. He was buried five days later. Emily took over the license and continued to manage the beer house well into the next century. In 1911 she was being assisted by 58 year old widow Anna Tebbutt, her domestic servant. Emily died in Kettering in the spring of 1923.

David Peach (1848 - 1928) and Alfred (1851 - 1929)

David and Elizabeth's second and third sons were born within three years of one another. David Peach arrived on July 14th 1848 and was baptised three weeks later. He was given his middle name in honour of his mother's family. Alfred was born on July 26th 1851 and was baptised the following month. After spending their childhood surrounded by their siblings and spending some time working as agricultural labourers, they both became jobbing slaters and roofing contractors, working away from home for periods of time. They moved to Leicester and their own families grew up on the same street. Their further histories are described in more detail in the next section.

Mary Anne (1854 - 1940)

Mary Tansley: Sixth daughter of David Tansley and Elizabeth Peach

Mary Anne Tansley

John Claypole about 1928

John ('Ratty Jack') Claypole about 1925

Mary Anne Tansley was baptised at St Mary Magdalene Church on July 16th 1854. In 1871 the 17 year old was working as a cook in the household of John Wild in Stockerston, Rutland. John farmed 195 acres, employing nine men and a boy. The farm next door was owned and managed by the Ward family. One of their domestic servants was a 16 year old lad named John Peach. He was the son of Stephen Peach and Emma Neal and thus Mary Anne's half nephew. Back in Cottingham, on January 18th 1874 Mary Anne married John Claypole who entered his occupation as rat catcher. In the years previously, John had been living in the family home in Barrack Yard, Blind Lane. In the year following his wedding, his sister Sarah Anne Claypole's 6 year old son was murdered by the next door neighbour, Henry Crane. (The tragedy is told in full in the article "Death for threeh'p'orth of suckers" [Article F.]).

John and Mary Anne set up home in Corby Road. Over the course of the next 15 years Mary Anne gave birth to five sons and two daughters, although first born William survived only three weeks. In later years John found work as an under gamekeeper and ultimately became a farmer. By 1911, they were living in The Nook, a small street off Corby Road. Their fourth son, also named William, was born in 1888. He was killed in action in 1917 during Word War I (see: "The Sorrows of Mary Atkins" [Article G:]). John died in the spring of 1934. Mary survived him by six years. In 1939 she was living in a cottage in Barrack Yard with her youngest son Stephen Tansley Claypole who remained unmarried. Mary died in the spring of 1940.

Of their children, Caroline Claypole, born in November 1883 was visiting her aunt Emily in Kettering at the time of the 1901 census. The following year on October 17th 1902 she married Alfred Thomas Jackson, the son of Elizabeth Tansley and Caroline's first cousin. The service was witnessed by her brother, John Henry Claypole, and sister, Emily Claypole.

Clara Rosina (1856 - 1922)

Last born daughter Clara was born on December 5th 1856 and was baptised four weeks later. The census for 1871 places Clara in domestic service in the household of George Chapman in the village of Ashley on the Northamptonshire border near to Market Harborough. Chapman was a farmer and grazier of 15 acres. She was just 16 years old when Clara became pregnant and she gave birth to a son she named Arthur John in the summer of 1872. Sadly the little boy became ill with a chest infection the following year and died from bronchitis aged 7 months on March 8th 1873. On Christmas Day 1874, 19 year old Clara married Frederiock Goodliffe in the Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul, Kettering. He was a shoe rivetter. They made their first home in Montagu Street in the town centre and then moved a few hundred yards south to Albert Street. A son, Stephen, and a daughter, Emily Elizabeth, were born before the end of the decade. Frederick died in the autumn of 1897.

Clara did not marry again. Her daughter Emily married shoe clicker William Dobson in 1900. Initially the couple lived with Clara. By 1911 Clara had moved to Cornwall Road in the town and offered board and lodging to bootmaker Thomas Jelley. They were still together at this address in September 1939. Clara died in the winter of 1945.

David Peach Tansley and Elizabeth Davis

Oakley Hall

Oakley Hall about 1820 (6)

David Peach Tansley moved from the family home in the High Street Cottingham to Kettering sometime in the early 1870s. It is not known how the pair met, but he became attracted to Elizabeth Davis. Although born in Cheltenham in 1848, she was working as a housemaid at Oakley Hall, in the village of Great Oakley. The pair were married at St Peter and St Paul's Church, Kettering on October 19th 1876. The witnesses to the ceremony were Frederick Goodliffe who had married David's younger sister Clara Rosina at the same church about two years before and 26 year old Emma Munn who had worked with Elizabeth at Oakley Hall as a laundry maid. David declared his occupation as coachman on the Parish Register.

St Peters

St Peter & St Paul's Church, Kettering (7)

Almost immediately, David and his wife moved to Leicester and settled into a house at 42 Clipstone Street, which was two streets west of Marston Street where his brother Alfred lived. Elizabeth was already pregnant and their first son, Frank was born in 1877. A daughter, Alice Mary followed within two years. Elizabeth was at home with her two babies at the time of the 1881 census whilst David was away working with his brother in the village of Wakerley. On his return to Leicester he and his brother Alfred moved their families into a house at 21 Sutherland Street. That was where their second daughter was born. Another move followed to 28 Frank Street which ran between Humberstone Road and Charnwood Street which is where their third daughter was born.

David and Elizabeth ultimately made the moved to 70 Rolleston Street and had five children in total. Their lives will be explored in the forthcoming sections. He was summoned to appear before magistrates at the Town Hall, Leicester on Monday November 5th 1883 for contravening the Vaccination Act. This Act of 1853 made it compulsory for all children to be vaccinated against smallpox during the first three months of their life. Parents who failed to get their children vaccinated would be subject to a fine. David was duly fined 10s. or faced seven days' imprisonment. (8, 9).

David was summoned again before the Police Court at the Town Hall on October 4th 1889 on a charge of assault. He had called on Uriah Griffin the previous weekend to collect a debt of 6s. that he said he was owed for the hire of a horse and trap. Griffin denied this. A struggle ensued and they fell to the floor when Griffin was hit in the face. David was bound over to keep the peace for six months and ordered to pay costs (8).

David and Elizabeth continued to live in North Evington and David maintained his work as a slater into his early 70s. He was called to give evidence at the inquest on a fellow workman following an accident at work on June 18th 1920. Edward Burdett had been stripping and retiling a roof in the town when he fell about 33 feet to the ground. He died in the Royal Infirmary two days later.

David died at home on August 12th 1928; the cause of death certified as syncope and myocarditis. The death was registered by his son David Bertram. Elizabeth survived him by four years, dying at the age of 83 in the early months of 1932.

Frank Tansley (1877 - 1920)

St Peters

St Peter's Church, Highfields
© Aiden McRae Thomson (11)

First of David and Elizabeth's sons to be born was baptised Frank at St Peter's Church on July 8th 1877 whilst the family were still living in Clipstone Street. Probably because of other family commitments, the four year old Frank spent the time around the 1881 census in Cottingham with his aunt Caroline Binley. After leaving school he initially became a general labourer. He then started work in the shoe industry.


Queen's South Africa medal and clasps (12)

On November 21st 1893 at the age of 17 years 5 months he completed his Militia Attestation for a short service enlistment in the Army. He was posted to the 3rd Leicestershire Regiment which he joined on January 3rd 1894 becoming private 3945. He was described as a slight man of 5 feet 5¾ inches weighing 8st 7 lbs. He was of fresh complexion with blue eyes and dark brown hair. He spent the first two years on duty at a home depot. This was followed by a tour of duty in the South African Campaign (Boer War) between January 2nd 1896 and August 28th 1902. He was awarded the Queens and Kings South Africa Medals with the 1901, 1902, Transvaal, Talana, Defence of Ladysmith and Laings Nek clasps (12). He completed this service commitment on January 3rd 1906 and was transfered to Section D Army Reserve. This meant that he could be called up in case of a national emergency and he received 3s. 6d. a week (13). His Army records note that he was arrested and appeared before a civilian court on March 1st 1909 for using obscene language in the street. He was given a seven day custodian sentence.

Frank was to marry on December 26th 1919 at the Register Office in Leicester. Witnesses to the marriage were John Cockayne Pridmore and his wife Mary Ann. His wife was 22 year old Isabella Benson who was already a war widow. She had married 21 year old shoe hand Ernest Thorpe at St Saviour's Church on April 3rd 1915 prior to his call up. Ernest enlisted as Private 238009 with the Leicester contingent of the 1/5th Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment and embarked for the Western Front, France. The Battalion assembled at the village of Fresnoy le Grande about 20 miles south east of Cambrai, France on October 15th 1918. The objective was to capture the road between Bohain and Vaux-Adigny and clear nearby villages of Andigny les Fermé and Regnicourt. Progress was slowed by bad weather a covering of heavy mist and sustained resistance from the enemy. Ernest was wounded in action and died of his wounds on October 18th 1918 (14). In total 20 officers and other ranks were killed; 58 were wounded. He was buried at the Vadencourt British Cemetery, Maissemy to the North West of Saint-Quentin, France. After the war a memorial was also raised at St Peter's Church, Belgrave in Leicester (17).

At the time of their marriage Frank was working as a carter. Isabella was working as a wool spinner, living in Devonshire Street which is where the couple made their home. Their happiness was to be shortlived. On December 29th 1920, Frank collapsed and died on the main Leicester to Market Harborough Road at Oadby. An inquest was held by G.E. Bowskell, Coroner for the Southern District of Leicestershire on December 29th 1920 which came to the conclusion that the cause of death was syncope. Frank was 43 years of age.

Alice Mary Tansley (1879 - 1952)

First born daughter Alice May was born on May 21st 1879 and baptised three weeks later at St Peter's Church. She was with her mother in Clipstone Street in 1881 when David was away working in Wakerley, Northamptonshire. After schooling, she was sent into service and at the turn of the century she was working as a housemaid at Rotherby Hall near Melton Mowbray.

Alice married Joseph Formstone, a groom from Cheshire who was 27 years old at the time, on April 4th 1904 at St Barnabus Church. The ceremony was witnessed by her father and her younger sister, Edith. They were to make their home in Churton, a few miles north of Crewe. They had two sons (Bertram Charles and Joseph James) and a daughter (Mary Elizabeth). Joseph and Alice remained in Cheshire and were living in Pump Lane on the outskirts of the village in 1939. Alice died in 1953; Joseph the following year.

Edith Clara Tansley (1882 - 1937)

Edith Clara, David and Elizabeth's second daughter, was born during the winter of 1882 and baptised at St Peter's Church on December 22nd 1882. She moved with the family to New Evington. After leaving school, Edith became a shoe machinist. She became pregnant in the summer of 1902 and gave birth to a boy she named Frederick George Tansley on March 27th 1903.

Edith married Richard Henry Rooks, a cabinet maker from Driffield in Yorkshire, in Leicester in the spring of 1907. They made their home in St Benedict's Road, Small Heath, Birmingham where Henry (as he was commonly known) carried on his trade. Edith had left her son Frederick living with his grandparents. After the end of World War One, Richard and Edith moved back to Leicester taking a house in Harewood Street, near Humberstone Road. Edith died in the Spring of 1937. There were no other children.

Frederick George Tansley married Dorothy Collins in 1932. He became a hairdresser maintaining a salon at 229a Hinckley Road in the West End of the City. (18) His home address was listed as 444, Hinckley Road. Frederick died in Leicester in the winter of 1967

Continued in column 2...

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Last modified: September 10th 2021

David Bertram Tansley (1886 - 1965)

David and Elizabeth's second son was born on November 4th 1886 and was baptised on Christmas Day the same year. He was named David Bertram. As a young teenager he earned some money as an errand boy. On February 21st 1908 in the name of Bertram Tansley he enlisted for six years service with the 3rd Leicestershire Regiment Special Reservists. He became Private 9918. He was noted to be 5 ft. 5 inches tall and weighed 125 lbs with light brown eyes and dark brown hair. He had a burn scar on his left forearm. On attestation he declared his occupation to be a baker. He was also noted to be a Weslayan. As a reservist his obligation was to attend for annual training camps. His Company Conduct Sheet notes that on October 16th 1911 he was summoned before a civilian Court for assaulting a Police Constable. The sentence imposed was recorded as one month hard labour. He was discharged from the service on February 20th 1914. .

At the 1911 census he was described as a labourer. By 1913 he was employed as a porter for the Midland Railway Company and, still as Bertram, on April 26th that year he joined the No 1 branch of the National Union of Railwaymen. He remained a member throughout his life. He was still living in the family home with his mother Elizabeth after the death of his father in 1928. In the autumn of 1929, David married Isabella, his brother Frank's widow. In some respects this was somewhat novel as only eight years previously such a marriage would have been illegal. Women had been allowed to marry their dead sister's husband by an Act of Patliament passed in 1907. This second Bill was prompted by the situation caused by the carnage of World War I leaving thousands of war widows with young families. (19). They initially continued to live at Rolleston Street.


Tansley entries from the Probate Calendar, 1965 (20)

Sometime during the 1930s, David and Isabella moved to 71 Asfordby Street which was two streets east of Rolleston Street. David had assumed the function of a shunter on the railway. All of Isabella's three marriages proved to be childless. After the end of World War II they provided a home for a young girl that they accepted as their own. During the middle 1960s, David became increasingly troubled breathing problems and weight loss. In early 1965 he was admitted to the Medical Ward of Leicester General Hospital where cancer of the lung was diagnosed. He died from this condition on February 18th 1965. David had not written a will and so Letters of Administration were granted to Isabella on March 5th 1965, as "the lawful widow and relict and the only person now entitled to the estate". The net value was declared as £395 1s 0d.

Tragedy was to strike the Tansley family within weeks. On March 25th 1965, Isabella was knocked down by a motor van as she was crossing Humberstone Road near its junction with Forest Road. She sustained a fracture of the tibia of her right leg and multiple bruising. She was taken to hospital where the fracture was treated in a plaster of Paris cast and she was then allowed to go home. Over the next couple of weeks she developed a deep venous thrombosis in her leg which caused a pulmonary embolism from which she died on April 19th 1965. An inquest held on April 22nd 1965 under the authority of R.J.M Scott, Deputy Coroner for the City of Leicester confirmed the circumstances and cause of death. Isabella also died intestate. Letters of Adminstration were granted by the High Court of Justice at the District Probate Registry on May 20th 1965 to Joyce Rosalind Tansley, "spinster and lawful adopted daughter and the only person entitled to the estate of the said intestate". The net sum was declared to be £1675 9s. 0d. Further Letters of Adminstration were granted to Joyce in respect of David Bertram's estate on June 4th 1965.

Elizabeth Grace Tansley (1887 - 1965)

The last of David Peach and Elizabeth Tansley's children was born on March 7th 1889 and was baptised Elizabeth Grace on June 16th 1889. By 1911 she was living with the family in Rolleston Street and had become a shoe machinist. Around the beginning of 1911, she became pregnant. She delivered a son on September 10th 1911 whose birth was registered as Frank Henry Tansley. In the spring of 1913 she married Andrew Dalrymple Johnstone, the 20 year old son of currier and leather dealer David Johnstone who lived in Green Lane Road.

Main Entrance, Leicester Royal Infirmary mid 1960s

Leicester Royal Infirmary mid 1960s (21)

The couple had four children but their life was full of sadness. In the summer of 1913 Elizabeth Grace became pregnant whilst the family were still living at Rolleston Street. She went into premature labour and a son they named Percy was born on April 11th 1914. He lived for thirteen hours. During World War I, Andrew served as a private in the 7th Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders. During the war and in the years beyond, Andrew worked in the shoe trade as a finisher and appeared to move the family's abode a number of times as evidenced by various documentary sources. Daughter Evelyn was also born prematurely during the night of January 11th 1915 and died within eleven hours. Her birth was registered at Ernest Cottages in Willow Street in the northern part of the town. Another son they named Andrew Dalrymple was born in early 1916. The two year old was killed on June 4th 1918 when hit by a motor vehicle near their home in Main Street Thurmaston. An inquest was carried out on June 6th 1918 by G.E. Bowskill, Coroner for the Southern District of Leicestershire. Third son Leonard was born on February 5th 1921 and did survive into adulthood.

In the 1920s, the family moved again to 176 Wharf Street Leicester. Andrew was admitted to the Leicester Royal Infirmary where he died on October 17th 1927, 34 years of age. His death was certified as bronchopneumonia and pleurisy with cellulitis of the face. His father David Johnstone was on hand to register the death. In 1929 Elizabeth Grace was back living in Rolleston Street with her widowed mother Elizabeth, brother David and sister Edith Clara's son Frederick George. Elizabeth Grace was to marry again in the early months of 1938, this time to Richard Rooks, the widower of her sister Edith. They made their home at 55 Harewood Street which runs between Humberstone Road and Green Lane Road. With them were Elizabeth Grace's two remaining sons. Richard died in Leicester in 1959; Elizabeth Grace in 1965.

Frank Tansley / Johnstone (1911 - 1982)

As noted above Elizabeth Grace's son Frank Henry was born in 1911 and was registered in her maiden name, Tansley. After they were married, and probably as a consequence of the deaths of their babies Percy and Evelyn, the couple decided to regularise Frank's position and applied for the re-registration of his birth. This was duly granted and a new birth certificate was issued on November 15th 1916 on the authority of the Registrar General. It noted Frank's actual date of birth (September 10th 1911), named Andrew as the father and described Elizabeth as "now the wife of Andrew Dalrymple Johnstone". The certificate was signed by both the Registrar and Superintendent Registrar of the North East Sub-District of the Leicester Registration District.

As a young man, Frank went to sea visiting the Far East and Australia. On his return to England he became a turner for an engineering factory. At the time of the compilation of the 1939 Directory he was living at 55 Harewood Street with his recently remarried mother and his brother, hosiery warehouseman Leonard Johnstone. About the same time he met 21 year old Mary Bennett. She was a tack sorter for the British United Shoe Corporation. In September 1939 she was living at 9 Prebend Street which was a boarding house owned by Mrs Grace Hammond (22). Frank and Mary were married in the autumn of 1939.

They had one child, a daughter born on May 30th 1941 and named Joyce Rosalind Johnstone. For some reason as yet unclear the marriage faltered. Five year old Joyce was sent to stay with her uncle and aunt (David Bertram and Isabella) in Asfordby Street who subsequently adopted her. She changed her name to Joyce Tansley (a somewhat ironic occurrence because, if Frank Henry had persisted with his birth surname, Joyce would have also started life as a Tansley). Frank's further history is also uncertain. A family memory places them in Overton Road after the Second World War. Indeed, a Mrs FK Johnson is recorded in a 1960 Directory living at 32 Overton Road (23). Frank died in the city in the spring of 1982.

Joyce went to Bridge Street and Moat Road Schools. She met her future husband in one of her classes. After her parents died she sold the house and moved with David Skevington to Rosebery Street. His family had lived in Rolleston Street at the beginning of the Second World War. Joyce and David were married at the Leicester Register Office on April 23rd 1973 witnessed by his parents.

Alfred Tansley and his three wives

Alfred Tansley: Third son of David Tansley and Elizabeth Peach

Alfred Tansley

As a teenager, Alfred had a minor brush with the law when he was brought before the Petty Sessions at Kettering on October 24th 1866. With three of his friends and local lads Charles Crane, John West and John Cole he pleaded guilty to causing damage amounting to one penny to an orchard belonging to Mr Aldwinckle. They received a stern admonition and were discharged on payment of 5s. 8d. towards costs (24). He remained in the family home in 1871, working as a general labourer.

Wife 1: Eliza Dunmore

Sometime during the early years of the 1870s, Alfred moved the 25 miles north west to Leicester and started working as a slater. He met Eliza Dunmore, the daughter of miller Henry Dunmore, who was working as a warehouse hand. Eliza was born in Liverpool in 1854. They were married at St Peter's Church on April 17th 1876. At the time of the marriage he was living at 1 Guthlaxton Street in the Highfields District of the town. By 1876 Eliza had been living close by in Thomas Street. They set up home together at 5 Marston Street which overlooked the west side of the engine sheds and line of the Midland Railway. Their first son, Alfred Henry, was born in the summer of 1876. A second son, Albert, arrived in the spring of 1878 but sadly died later that year. He was buried in Section K Plot 711 of Welford Road Cemetery on November 30th 1878. He was followed by Ernest Albert, born in the winter of 1879. Eliza was at home with her two boys on April 3rd 1881. Alfred was away working with his brother and in lodgings with Robert and Fanny Green in the village of Wakerley, Northamptonshire.

Their separation did not last long, for another son, Arthur, was born in the early months of 1882. Alfred had moved the family again to 21 Sutherland Street, probably living with his brother David Peach Tansley's family, just to the west of St Stephens Road after his return from Wakerley. Eliza presented Alfred with a fourth son in the spring of 1884. At this point, Alfred and Eliza decided to have their sons baptised, possibly because this new baby was never well. A joint baptism was carried out at St Peter's Church on August 29th 1884 for Alfred Henry, Ernest Albert, Herbert Arthur Dunmore and Bertie Elliott Tansley. At the time, Eliza was again pregnant. 1885 turned out to be a year of sadness. She went into labour in February but the baby was stillborn. An interment was arranged in a special part of Welford Road Cemetery: Section Q Plot 231. Their concern over Bertie was not ill-founded either as the 14 month old died the same summer. He was buried in Section K Plot 711 the Welford Road Cemetery on July 15th 1885.

It was not long before Eliza was pregnant again. This time a daughter was born in the summer of 1886. She was baptised Martha Ellen Elizabeth at St Peter's Church on October 31st 1886. Eliza became pregnant for the eighth and final time in early 1887. A son, Frederick, was born that autumn and was baptised on Christmas Day 1887. The following year, the family moved to a house in Leicester Street, New Evington. Eliza became progressively ill during 1889 with increasing heart failure. She died at home on July 18th 1889, the cause of her death certified as heart disease and dropsy. She was buried in Welford Road Cemetery on July 20th 1889 in the same plot as her two dead babies.

Welford Cemetery 1840s
Welford Road cemetery today

Left: Welford Road Cemetery: an engraving from about 1850 (25), Right: Welford Road Cemetery today (26)

Of their children, Alfred Henry moved to Merseyside where he became a clothes dealer. He met Anna Mary Creamer, the daughter of Sea Captain George Creamer and Mary Houston. Anna Mary was born on August 22nd 1874 and was baptised at St Thomas Church, Toxteth, Liverpool on October 18th 1874. No birth registration has yet been found but successive census returns have stated that she was born in St John's, New Brunswick, Canada. However a second girl named Eleanor was born at sea on February 6th 1875, so Anna Mary may have been similarly born on board ship. It was not unknown for Victorian skippers to take their wives - even if pregnant - on board ocean going vessels to act as cook and to provide nursing services if necessary to the crew. (See "Matthew the Mariner" [Article F.] ) Little Eleanor died in the spring of 1876. George Creamer died on January 24th 1895 aged 53 years. Alfred Henry and Anna were married at St Augustine's Parish Church, Everton, Liverpool on November 12th 1899. They made their home first in Grosvenor Road, Wavertree, Liverpool and then in Redburn Street, West Derby. They had three daughters. Even at a young age Alfred developed circulatory problems. In early 1909 he was admitted to the West Derby Union Infirmary where he died in February 14th that year. The cause of death was registered as a cerebral haemorrhage caused by arteriosclerosis. He was 32 years old. Ernest Albert married Emma Tarry in March 1902 and subsequently had two sons and eight daughters.

Wife 2: Charlotte Adams

St Barnabus

St Barnabus Church (old postcard)

Alfred Tansley married for a second time on October 20th 1890 at St Barnabus Church, New Humberstone, Leicester. His new bride was born Charlotte Adams, daughter of Sarah, in Montsorrel, Leicestershire in 1854. Seamstress Sarah Adams apparently never married. Charlotte had been previously married in 1879 to quarreyman Henry Freer (where she declared her father to be Frank Baum). They had three children: daughters Ada (born 1882) and Marion (born 1884) and son Henry Arthur (born 1886). Witnesses at the service were his brother David Peach Tansley and his niece Ellen Binley, the daughter of Caroline Tansley. Prior to the service Alfred stayed with John Thomas Crane Coles, a slater and tiler who was also from Cottingham, at 42 Rolleston Road, New Evington. John's wife was his niece Clara Elizabeth Tansley, the daughter Caroline Tansley. The family initially settled into the house in Leicester Street. At the 1891 census there were six children listed: four belonging to Alfred's first marriage and two to Charlotte's first marriage. They had all taken the surname Tansley. Oldest daughter Ada Freer was staying with her grandmother, Charlotte Freer in Narborough, Leicestershire on the night of the census. Later the same year Alfred moved the family to a house at 52 Rolleston Street.

Over the next four years, Charlotte was to experience a tragic obstetric history. About nine months after their marriage, Charlotte presented Alfred with a son, George. The baby failed to thrive and died at the age of five months. He was buried in Welford Road Cemetery on November 11th 1891 in the same plot as Alfred's previous wife and babies. Charlotte was already in the early stages of her next pregnancy. Twin girls were born prematurely on June 8th 1892. Their condition gave such cause for concern that private baptisms was performed by George Godfrey from St Barnabus Church on June 10th 1892 naming them Rose and May. May died on June 14th 1892, Rose four days later. They were buried together in Section C Plot 213 of Welford Road Cemetery on June 21st 1892.

In the early months of the following year, Charlotte became pregnant again. The infant was stillborn and was buried in Section Q Plot 89 of Welford Road Cemetery on October 28th 1893. Through that decade Alfred continued to work as a slater. By 1901, daughters Martha Tansley and Ada Freer were still at home employed as tailoresses. 13 year old son Frederick Tansley was working as an errand boy. Son Henry Freer was also with them. Charlotte's health began to deteriorate and by the summer of 1905 she became increasingly ill with headaches and convulsions. She moved to Mountsorrel to the home of her brother Henry Adams where she died on August 26th 1905. Her brother was with her when she died and registered the death. The cause of death was given as a cerebral tumour. She was buried at Christ Church, Mountsorrel on August 29th 1905.

Wife 3: Eliza Smith Evinson

Alfred married for a third time on September 30th 1906 at All Saint's Church in Leicester. His new wife was 41 year old widow Eliza Smith Taylor, a tailoress living at 4 St Peter's Court. Eliza's first husband was Ernest Taylor, a Jacquard cutter from Nottingham - whom she married on May 4th 1890 at St John's Church, Spittlegate, Grantham. Eliza's identity is also somewhat confusing as she was born in Grantham, Lincolnshire in 1865 to Ellis Evinson and Mary Ann Smith but named her father on the 1906 marriage certificate as blacksmith Ellis Swanson. There were apparently no children. Ernest Taylor died aged 35 years in the early months of 1899.

Alfred and Eliza returned to live in Rolleston Street. At the time of the 1911 census, they had 4 year old Arthur Albert, the older son of Ernest and Emma Tansley living with them. Alfred continued working as a building contractor. As he entered his late 70s, Alfred became increasingly troubled with heart and breathing difficulties. He died at home on February 26th 1929 only about six months after that of his brother, David. The cause of death was registered as bronchitis, arteriosclerosis and myocardial degeneration. His death was reported by his daughter Martha Ellen (who had married William Brookes in 1906) and who lived about half a mile away in St Saviour's Road. Alfred was buried on March 2nd 1929 in Section R Plot 247 of Welford Road Cemetery. Eliza survived Alfred by six years and died in the summer of 1935.

FOOTNOTE 1: "What a tale of cock ..." (27) - Pridmore: connection or coincidence?

A curious observation was made on the study of the marriage certificate between Frank Tansley and Isabella Thorpe in 1919. The ceremony at the Leicester Register Office was witnessed by John Cockayne Pridmore and his wife Mary Ann. The Pridmores are another of the interlinked families living in the Welland Triangle with ancestors dating back into the seventeenth century in Harringworth and Gretton. (See "The Gretton Craxfords: Chronicle I - The tangled trees" [Article G.] Those of interest to us trace their ancestry back to William Pridmore and Mary Cardinal and their son John who married Elizabeth Boon and died without issue in 1845. Acting as witnesses should surely indicate that this couple were more than mere passing acquaintances but could a direct link to the Tansleys or to the Welland Pridmores be proved?

John acquired his middle name from the marriage of George Pridmore, his father, to Susannah Cockayne at the church of St Peter and St Paul in Kettering on September 1st 1872. Susannah was the daughter of Charles Desborough Cockayne who, sometime during the 1840s, changed his name from Cocking. The family originated in Irthlingborough. Of note, this was the same church where Emily Tansley married Benjamin Mitton just one month later. In between, a Sarah Pridmore married George Frederick Woollard.

Several published trees on Ancestry attempt to trace George Pridmore back to the John Pridmore named above. However recent General Register Office birth indexes give his mother as Sarah Raynes who married John Pridmore in Rothwell, near Kettering in 1845. John was born in the village of Elstow, Bedford and became a shepherd. His father has been named as Joseph. What's more the spelling Pridmore is virtually unknown in that area but the more common version is Prigmore. To date, no link has been found between the two families. We must therefore surmise on a different relationship which led to witnessing the marriage. That said, there has been a suggestion of a DNA connection between present day descendents of both trees.

FOOTNOTE 2: "... What a tale of bull" (27) - Parsonage House: connection or coincidence?

As noted above, in 1861 the sisters Martha and Caroline Tansley were in service to the family of Thomas Bull, the curate of St John the Baptist Church, Corby. Although it was common practice for quite young girls to be sent into domestic service in their teenage years, would not their own family want to know where they were going? Is it then possible that David Tansley knew exactly that - and indeed there was already a family connection.

David's own mother was Elizabeth Bull, born in Cottingham in 1771. Although Thomas Bull's place of birth is uncertain (one source suggests Kent) he was born about 1812. It is known that he married Mary Eleanor Slater at the hamlet of Haselbech on Wednesday January 10th 1838 where he had been curate for nearly four years. His father, John Bull, who was the curate of Clipston a village four miles to the north, conducted the ceremony. Both men had graduated from St John's College, Cambridge (28). Thomas had a younger brother, George, who became a doctor and emigrated to Australia. Thomas moved on to become curate at Great Oakley and then on to Corby in 1842.

We have not discovered concrete proof of John Bull's place of birth either, but the Venn archives suggest he was born in 1778 and died in 1852. He was appointed in August 1824 to Clipston, which is 14 miles south west of Cottingham. There were several Bull lines in Cottingham in the late 18th century where indeed a John was baptised on November 30th 1778. This John's parents were Thomas and Elizabeth Bull and he had a brother named Joseph, born in 1784. John's grandparents were Joseph and Jane Bull. Thomas was baptised in November 1755 after a previous child they had named Thomas died in July 1754.

David Tansley's mother, Elizabeth, was the daughter of Joseph Bull and Dianah Charity. On the presumption that her father was one of the sons of Joseph and Jane Bull, she and John Bull were cousins.

FOOTNOTE 3: An Australian connection?

A recent DNA test and results posted on trees on the Ancestry website show an apparent close link (first cousins) between people in Australia and here in the UK. It has been suggested that Frank Henry Johnstone sailed into Brisbane, Australia in 1929 where he met 15 year old Mabel Elsie Rice. They did not marry but Mabel delivered a daughter in 1930 she named Alice Mary Rice. No father's name was entered on the birth record. Mabel married Samuel Henry Skeates in 1934 and Alice adopted this surname prior to the onset of the Second World War.

It has been also suggested that Frank left Australia before he knew of Mabel's pregnancy. However, is it a coincidence that the baby received the same two names as Alice Mary Tansley, his mother's older sister? Is it also possible that news of this association was, at least in part, responsible for the subsequent break up of his own marriage?

There is a Reader's Letter associated with this article

Further Reading

The Changing Face of Legal Regulation
Marriage Law

The book covers

1. "The Changing Legal Regulation of Cohabitation: From Fornication to Family, 1600-2010" by Rebecca Probert (2012) Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-107-53630-2. The book aims to show how the legal treatment of cohabiting couples has changed over the past four centuries, from punishment as fornicators in the seventeenth century to eventual acceptance as family in the late twentieth; to chart how the language used to refer to cohabitation has changed over time and how different terms influenced policy debates and public perceptions and to estimate the extent of cohabitation in earlier centuries.
2. "Marriage Law for Genealogists: the definitive guide. Revised Second Edition" by Rebecca Probert (2016) Takeway Publishing, Kenilworth, Warwickshire. ISBN 978-0-9931896-2-3. This is an indispensable guide for everyone tracing the marriages of their English and Welsh ancestors between 1600 and the twentieth century. It explains why, how, when and where people in past centuries married. Family historians just starting out will find advice on where 'missing' marriages are most likely to be found, while those who are already well advanced in tracing their family tree will be able to interpret their discoveries to better understand their ancestors' motivations.

Rebecca Probert is Professor of Law in the Law School at the University of Exeter. She has interests in both legal history and how the law affects families. She has carried out extensive research into all aspects of cohabitation and marriage. She has written many volumes, both textbooks (book 1 above which appears in the Law in Context series) and aids to the family historian (book 2).

The authors would like to thank Professor Probert for her helpful advice and comments in various aspects of our research and in the preparation of this article

A vote of thanks

The authors would like to express their thanks for the help, comments and suggestions from the following in the construction of this article: Linda Holmes and Justin for permission to reproduce their photographs of the St Stephen's Church, Belgrave War Memorial. The Church is now decomissioned and closed but the memorials are still available to view on certain open days. Aidan McRae Thomson for permission to use his photograph of St Peter's Church, Highfields. DavidOwen at The Great War Forum; Contributors to the Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire Forums (including Annette7, ArthurK, JohnP-bedford, StevenG and Xinia) at RootsChat.Com;


The Craxford family have many links to the Tansley family over the generations. Perhaps the closest relationship to this story is between Sarah Ann Craxford (one of my own great grandmother Sarah Ann Claypole's daughters) who married Thomas Charles Tansley in Cottingham in September 1899. Their daughter Margaret reported Sarah Ann Claypole's death in 1930. Thomas Charles was David Bertram's second cousin. [- ADC]
I never dreamed when I began researching my family tree that our three families were so intricately entwined. The Jacksons were connected to the Tansleys before Elizabeth married John. Amy Tansley, John's aunt married William Tansley in 1836 and William was David Tansley's older brother. William and Amy's nieces Caroline and Matilda becoming involved with the Binleys completed the circle and the rest is history. [- JB].
Joyce Rosalind Tansley is my mother. Before embarking on the research for this article we knew very little about the Tansley side of the family. I was so, so sad when we discovered the tragedy that was my great grandmother Elizabeth Grace's life. My brother was instrumental in carrying out the DNA test which led to our links with Australia [- DS].
I have been studying the relationships between my own family and the Welland Valley Pridmores who were predominently based in Gretton. Naomi Pridmore, whose father Joseph moved from Gretton to Cottingham, married George Tansley in 1886. George, the son of Samuel Tansley and Catherine Humphrey, was David Peach Tansley's first cousin (once removed) [- GH].

Alan Craxford


Janice Binley


Dena Skevington


Gail Hedderson


Links to the articles mentioned in the text are in italic capitals below:

Article A: Family relationships in Cottingham. A Family Photograph Album: The Binleys, Jacksons and Tansleys
Article B: The Tansleys arrive in Cottingham The Tansley Family Origins.
Article C: The Tansleys entanglement with other local families The Cottingham Tansleys 1: Brother James and Sister Comfort.
Article D: Another local family with a shared history The Gretton Craxfords: Exodus II: All sorts of Liquorish.
Article E:. The story of Louisa Crane and her other siblings Mary Ann Crane and her Misbegotten Children
Article F:. The murder of Thomas Cristopher Claypole Death for threeha'p'orth of suckers
Article G:. Account of the Claypole family before and after World War I The Sorrows of Mary Atkins
Article H:. Reference to ocean-going wives of skippers The Nessworthys of Tyneside: Chapter 1. Matthew the Mariner
Article I:. Family relationships in Gretton The Gretton Craxfords: Chronicles I - The tangled trees


1. Family tree graphic: Freeware Graphics: Vintage Kin Design Studio, Australia
2 Church of St Andrew , Stoke Dry, Rutland. at Great English Churches. © Lionel Wall, reproduced with permission
3. Petty Sessions: Kettering The Northampton Mercury Saturday May 10th 1845 The British Newspaper Archive; © The British Library Board.
4. Photograph: St Andrews Church, Foxton: © Jonathan Billinger, on Geograph and licenced for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
5. Hotel blaze: Fireman dies, guests escape: Coventry Evening Telegraph Page 1 June 18th 1971. The British Newspaper Archive; © The British Library Board.
6. Great Oakley, Northamptonshire Oakley Hall Illustration by John Preston Neale in "Jones' Views of the Seats, Mansions, Castles etc of Noblemen and Gentlemen in England" Jones & Company 1829: Google Books
. 7. Photograph: Kettering, Northamptonshire: St Peter & St Paul's Church: © Dave Kelly, on Geograph and licenced for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
8. The United Kingdom Vaccination Act 1853. The Health Foundation
9. Town Hall Proceedings. Leicester Chronicle and Leicestershire Mercury. Saturday November 10th 1883. The British Newspaper Archive; © The British Library Board.
10. This day's Police, Town Hall. Leicester Daily Mercury. Friday October 4th 1889. The British Newspaper Archive; © The British Library Board.
11. Photograph: St Peter's Church Highfields from a photo set by and © Aiden McRae Thomson. Reproduced with permission.
12. Examples of The clasps on the Queen's South Africa Medal. Orders & Medals Society of America
13. Section D Reserve British army reserves and reservists The Long, Long Trail.
14. Battle for the Bohain and Vaux-Adigny Road 1/5 Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment War Diaries 1915 Mar - 1919 Jun National Archives Ref WO 95/2691/2
15. Photograph: War Memorial ID 144658284 St Peter's Church, Belgrave. at Find A Grave: Reproduced with permission
16. Commemoration for: Ernest Thorpe Service Number 238009The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
17. Record Transcript Ernest Thorpe from Leicestershire and Rutland, Soldiers Died 1914-19129 at Find My Past.
18. Leicester Trades: Hairdressers in Kelly's Directory of the City of Leicester 1938 Page 723
19. Bill to amend 1907 Deceased Wife's Sister's Marriage Bill Deceased Brother's Widow's Marriage Bill Hansard Lords Sitting June 28th 1921
20 Letters of Administration for David and Isabella Tansley: 3 entries in The Probate Calendar 1965 Page 16
21. Main entrance photograph from "The Leicester Royal Infirmary 1771-1971" by Ernest R. Frizelle and Janet D Marti n: The Leicester No.1. Hospital Management Committee (1971)
22. 9 & 11 Prebend Street Hammond Mrs Grace Annie, boarding house. Leicester Streets in Kelly's Directory of the City of Leicester 1938 Page 238
23. Mrs F.K. Johnson (sic)32 Overton Road, Leicester Private Residents in Kelly's Directory of the City of Leicester 1960 Page 473
24. Petty Sessions, Kettering Oct 24th 1866. Northampton Mercury Page 7 November 3rd 1866. The British Newspaper Archive; © The British Library Board.
25 "After life's fitful fever, city's great and good sleep in pleasant spot". Lithograph of Welford Road Cemetery about 1849 Leicester Mercury October 14th 2013
26. Photograph: Welford Road Cemetery, Leicester Friends of the Welford Road Cemetery, Leicester Ancestors
27. "What a tale of cock; what a tale of bull": Couplet by Jack Point and Wilfred in the duet "Hereupon we're both agreed" from Act II The Yeomen of the Guard W.S. Gilbert in GSArchive.
28. John and Thomas Bull in ACAD: A Cambridge Alumni Database

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