Sunday, June 21, 2015

Great news!

Image taken from page 9 of 'Charpentier's Illustrated Guide to Southsea, the Dockyard, Isle of Wight, etc'
Image taken from page 9 of 'Charpentier's Illustrated Guide to Southsea, the Dockyard, Isle of Wight, etc' dated 1892 courtesy of British Library on Flickr - No known copyright restrictions
Now, I just have to let those of you who read my blog here, that I did actually hear back from the lovely folk at Portsmouth History Centre this week.  How about that?  Aren't I lucky?  

They said:

I have found the record of your great grandfather, Edward Connor in the registers of St James's Hospital. I can confirm the date of his admission was 5th May 1897 & he was discharged on 3rd May 1899, as you have already discovered.

The details given, in vol. ref H8/4/4/5 are as follows:

Age : 69
Marital Status: Married
Employment: Fitter, HM Dockyard
Previous place of abode: Imbecile wards, Portsea Island Union (now known as St Mary's hospital - Alex's note)
Form of mental disorder: Dementia
Supposed cause of insanity: Senile dementia
Bodily condition : Feeble

There are columns headed Epileptics, number of attacks, etc. but there are just ticks against these.

The discharge column lists him as being recovered.

To add to this sad story, I have found an entry in the Portsea Island Workhouse register for Edward Connor, admitted 15th April 1903 &  discharged to the hospital 17th August 1903, where he died in the October. There are no further details, but I hope this is of help.

So a very big thank you to Gillian for responding so quickly and confirming my suspicions.

And as you can see, I have also found this great map on the British Library's album on Flickr which can help me track Edward and his movements in the later years of his life.  If you look at the map closely, you will see that the Portsea Island Union House is on the top right hand side of the map...not so very far from Kingston Cemetery where the infamous incident with the gun took place.

Let's look at a cropped version of the can see New Road at the top of the Cemetery where he went to his son's house after he shot himself.  

Let's revise Edward's timeline again:

c 1828 born (deduced from 1851 Census where he says he is 23 years old) - at Marylebone, Middlesex - his father is Edward.  This could mean that his father is Edward a printer as per baptismal register of St Clement Danes in 1829 - it seems odd because he said that his father was an engineer on his marriage certificate.  The Edward Senior in this instance is married to Maria - one of the frustrating things about English marriage certificates is that they only give the name of the father - not the mother.

1851 Sunday 19 January - Edward marries Rebecca Foyne at the Parish Church Deptford.  He describes himself as an engineer.  They are on the 1851 census as living at 1 Ann's Place Greenwich.

1851 Sunday 14 December - baptism Edward James at St Paul's Deptford - the Connors are living at Hatcham Road.  Edward describes himself as an Engineer.

1853 - Sunday 16 October christening of Rebecca Mary Connor at St Paul's Deptford.  They are still living at Hatcham Road

1861 - Census - Edward and Rebecca are living at 4 Kilminston Street (writing is very faded and difficult to read) in Portsea....they have Edward G aged 5 who was born in Malta, Clara aged 3 who was born in Portsea and Walter aged 9 months who was born in Portsea.  Edward is described as an engine fitter. 

What happened to Edward James and Rebecca Mary I wonder?

1871 Census - Edward and Rebecca are living at 46 Albert Street Portsea with Edward aged 15, Clara aged 13, Harriet aged 5 and Edwin aged 2.

1877 - Clara Connor has Daisy Clara Conner to Henry James Fulljames out of wedlock - Daisy is subsequently fostered and then adopted by the Sutherland family.  Clara is living at Fareham.

1881 Census - 3 April - Edward G is on an armour-plated first class ship in the Navy called the "Temeraire" in the Grand Harbour, Malta.  He is an engine artificer or REA

1884 - daughter Clara marries William Henry Smith and they emigrate the following year to Australia with sister Harriet

1887 - about this time I imagine that Edward G is married to or thinking of marrying Matilda because Elsie is born about this year.

1891 Census - Edward and Rebecca are living at 31 Regent Street Portsea with sons Edward aged 34 and Edwin aged 22.  Where are Matilda and Elsie?

You can see Regent Street on the map below....just to the right of St Luke's

1892 - son Edwin marries Eleanor Eliza Cook

1893 - 7 June Edward posts notice in Portsmouth Evening News saying he won't be responsible for any debts incurred by Rebecca

1897 - circa January Edward moves into lodgings in 63 Ivy Street (Ivy Street is just to the South East of Regent Street between Somers Road and Marys Road - almost opposite Montgomery Road.  I think it might be where Blackfriars Close is today.

1897 - 24 April Edward is admitted to Portsmouth Hospital after shooting.

         -  5 May Edward is then admitted to St James Hospital with dementia (said to have been previously at Portsea Island Union Imbecile ward)

1899 - 3 May Edward is discharged as recovered

1901 - Edward G and his wife Matilda and their daughter Elsie aged 14, a Drapter's Assistant, are living at 64 West Street Chatham.  I lose them after this.  Where did they go?

1903 - 15 April Edward Snr is admitted Portsea Island Union workhouse

         - 17 August Edward Snr discharged to hospital

         -  3 October Edward Snr died

1910 - Edward Senr's wife Rebecca dies - I really must try and get her death certificate, not that it will tell me much.

1912 - son Edwin and his family emigrate to Australia

I've tried to highlight on a modern map about where I think they might have lived or where things happened.  So much has changed of course, it is hard to be sure where anything is....

Still so many unanswered questions but we are making progress!

Image taken from page 500 of 'Le Monde pittoresque et monumental. L'Angleterre, l'Écosse et l'Irlande ... Cartes en couleur et ... gravures'
Image taken from page 500 of 'Le Monde pittoresque et monumental. L'Angleterre, l'Écosse et l'Irlande ... Cartes en couleur et ... gravures' date 1885 from British Library collection on Flickr - no known copyright restrictions


Ann ODyne said...

Bravo - what a masterpiece of research FTF. Clearly that diagnosis of 'imbecile' was incorrect if the later assessment of 'recovered' is. I went down to St James Infirmary is a classic slow blues song beloved by me since 1963 and most recently recorded by the wonderful multi-talented Mr Hugh Laurie. Apparently beheaded by a Herod in an attempt to stamp out christianity, James was a martyr and this must be why so many hospitals are named for him.
Genealogists won't rest till they work back to Adam & Eve. Keep it up.

Judy Lofthouse said...

Glad you got your record. Congratulations.

Alex Daw said...

Thanks Ann - I'm not sure what happened to that this what you meant? You are so right about Adam and Eve! Tis an obsession :)

Alex Daw said...

Thanks Judy. I was very chuffed....

Jill Ball said...

Great news Alex.