Remember the books on my top shelf? I shared them on the eve of Squares. Well here’s a page inside one of those books. Can you guess which book this is out of?
The book was the Holy Bible, and it belonged to my Great Great grandparents, William Preece and Jane Jones. It would seem they were given it as a wedding present, as they recorded the date and place of their marriage in it. Two years later they began to record the births of their children. This page is page two and at the top of the page is my Great Great Aunt Harriette. She was their fifth child, born on this day – Tuesday 28 April -in 1868. I know how amazing is that! 152 years ago the 28th April was also a Tuesday.
William and Jane, were Herefordshire farmers and hauliers, and, with the exception of one period, seemed to be at the top of their profession. Their family life cannot be described as top rate though. Their eldest son John spent all of his adult life in an asylum, and died at the young age of 24 years. Their eldest daughter, Helen, became a nurse, studying and working at St Thomas’s in London. Unfortunately though she also died young, and of the same condition as her brother, tuberculosis. The next two sons – Charles and William – have proved to be rather elusive. I believe, they emigrated to north America. William was still alive in 1943 as he is mentioned in Howard’s, their younger brother, will and probate records. However I have nothing more on him or Charles.
Harriette, married William Carless, a domestic gardener. She was in her 40s when they married, and had no children. Two of the other daughters – Julia and the youngest, Kate – never married. Both of them spent most of their adult lives living and working at home, first with their parents and then later their brother, Howard. It was Howard, the fourth son, with the help of his youngest brother George, who took over the family business. Neither of them married either, however Howard was obviously also at the top of his game as when he died in 1943 his estate was worth over £4,000.
Edith Clara, my great grandmother and William and Jane’s eighth child and fifth daughter, married local builder and carpenter, Harry Walker in 1901. If you look again at the first two squares you can see the record of her birth. Interestingly, well to me anyway, her entry and her younger siblings are in a different penmanship to their older siblings. Did William write some and Jane the rest?
My great grandparents, Edith and Harry lived and worked in Herefordshire too. As far as I know she was the only one to have any children. Edith is pictured below, with Harry. The occasion is a happy one – the wedding of their middle daughter, Gladys (my grandmother). They are surrounded by their five adult children. The sixth adult is their new son in law William and the child is their eldest granddaughter. Margaret was the daughter of their youngest daughter, Elsie, who had married 4 years earlier.
Now my puzzle for you today is can you work out which two are the bride and groom?!
Update: Thank you to you all for your fabulous guesses. A few of you got it right! It is not the most obvious couple in the picture. Click here to see Gladys and William sitting down in between her parents, Edith and Harry and a few extra wedding guests.