The Ancestors of
Family History Pages
|Arthur Henry Smith, my grandfather, came to Mountnessing (Essex) in 1909. This webpage publishes my family history research. I would be delighted to hear from any of his many descendents.|
|Home page of Blackmore Area Local History||Smith Family History - paternal line||Smith Family History - maternal line||Smith in Essex - transcripts from Registers||News||Mountnessing page: Blackmore Area Local History|
Arthur was the eldest of what was to become ten surviving
children. His employment was described
as ‘Farmer Retained’ rather than ‘agricultural labourer’.
The census shows his father having died and George (Arthur’s
father), as the eldest son, being a principal breadwinner for the family. He was an agricultural labourer.
|Several generations of the Smith family were baptised, married or buried at All Saints Church, Stock|
|Both Daniel and Eliza signed the register with a “X”, indicative that
both were illiterate. George (senior) also
signed with ‘his mark’, a “X”.
Was Daniel living at home until the time of his marriage?
George Smith (senior): the 1861 census
Daniel was not living at home when the census was taken in the spring of 1861.
If we move back to the 1851 census we see Daniel then aged 13 working as an agricultural labourer. Maria, not listed on the 1861 census was Daniel’s immediate younger sister, then aged 11 and a scholar. I have not established Maria’s whereabouts during this research.
The 1851 census also shows an Eliza Clark (aged 13) living at Stock with her father (Thomas, aged 58), mother (Sarah, aged 42) and three siblings (ranging from to 21 years old).
The entry in the Parish register shows Daniel was baptised on
George’s marriage, again at Stock, is recorded as follows:
“George Smith of this parish Bachelor and Mary Polley of this parish Spinster were married in this Church by Banns with Consent of --- this Eighth Day of June in the Year One Thousand eight hundred and thirty four By me Edward John Edison Curate.
This marriage was solemnised between us George Smith his mark, Mary Polley.”
No ages are given in marriage registers prior to 1836. The first census recording names was in 1841 so lines of enquiry prior to these dates frequently run cold.
Pre Victorian records
Fortunately two legible entries appear in the Parish Register for Stock prior to 1812. This Register is a list of Burials at the beginning and Baptisms at the end.
In the Baptisms section we find under 1810:
“George Smith son of Henry and Sarah Smith. Sept 16th.”
Under 1806 we find:
“James Smith son of Henry and Sarah Smith. Sep 21st.”
Henry Smith was married, at Buttsbury, on
‘Banns of marriage between Henry Smith Bachelor of the parish of Butsbury and Sarah Fitch Widow of the parish of Stock were published on March 23rd 30th and
Henry Smith Bachelor of this Parish and Sarah Fitch Widow of the Parish of Stock were married in this church by Banns this tenth Day of April in the Year One Thousand Eight Hundred and six by me George Thos. Edison Minister.
The marriage was solemnized between us (the mark of Henry Smith
(the mark of Sarah Fitch
In the presence of Ann Turnstill. Thomas Atherton.
We do not know where Henry Smith was baptised. He is Arthur’s Great Great Grandfather so we can conclude that the Smith family have lived in this part of
Arthur’s childhood and George’s influence on the Smith family
Arthur’s father, George, was a single man, aged 18, in 1881.
On 25th October 1884 George Samuel Smith married Jane Francis, a spinster, at St Mary and St Edmund Church, Ingatestone. He was 22. She was 21.
George was a labourer on
He was a Bailiff when his daughter Susannah Jane was baptised at Buttsbury, on
George was a Farm Bailiff when Frederick George was baptised at Buttsbury on
The 1891 census reveals where George and his family were living and working.
Imphey Hall, Buttsbury
|St Mary’s Church, Buttsbury:
where Arthur Henry Smith was baptised in 1885
|George’s next son, Lancie Bertram, was baptised
at All Saints’, Stock, on
The family moved to Great Burstead by 1894, where George became a ‘Dairy Farmer’, then to Little Burstead during 1896. We find his daughter, Edith Maud, was buried at Little Burstead, aged 11 months, on 11th November that year. However, she was baptised at Great Burstead on
Nelson was baptised on
We have therefore come full circle to the starting point of our research, the 1901 census.
The recent release of the 1911 census to public inspection enables us to learn a little more about the Smith family. It was taken on 2nd April.
Arthur Henry Smith was living alone at Begrums Farm, a place with five rooms. He is 25 and describes himself as a farmer (born in Stock). He gives his postal address as Jordons Farm.
At that time Begrums Farm formed two properties. His neighbours were Ernest Sucking, a 30 year old born in Little Burstead, whose profession was horseman, and his wife, Elizabeth, to whom he had been married for two years.
On 30th October 1911, Arthur Henry Smith (than aged 26) married Elizabeth May Wait (a spinster, aged 24) at the newly consecrated Christ Church in Great Warley. Theirs was the tenth wedding to be held at the church, the first marriage was on 1st June that year.
|The remainder of Arthur’s family lived at Great
Burstead Grange, close to the church in that village. Since 1901 there had been two further
additions to George’s family:
Great Burstead Grange, Great Burstead
|Family Photograph taken at Burstead Grange in 1906. At the centre is Jane and George Smith. Arthur Henry Smith is to their left leaning on the back of a chair.||Back row: Lancie, Cissie (Susannah), Fred, Ernest. Middle Row: Nelson, Arthur, Jane (mother), George (father), Edward. Front row: Percy, Ronald, Sidney.|
|The Essex Record Office has a sale catalogue dated
Research time has been limited so this is where the story ends. We do not know what effect the First World War had on the family. George Smith stayed at Grange Farm, South Green, until 1921. He then moved to White Posts, Great Burstead, where he stayed until 1929. George died in 1936.
Following Daniel Smith’s death and George’s marriage, Eliza remarried. She was betrothed to William Booty, a bachelor living in the parish of Stock, aged 37. She was 50 by the day of the wedding:
George Smith (senior) died at Stock, aged 80, and was buried
Mary Smith (his wife) died, again at Stock, aged 77. She was buried
George Smith was farmer at Burstead Grange throughout the First World War. On the night of 23rd/
Within the space of ten years or so George Smith had risen from the profession of agricultural labourer to farmer. He seems to have been a determined individual who faced up to his responsibilities of looking after the family following the death of his father, Daniel, at the age of twelve. His background made him equally zealous to ensure that his sons followed him into the farming business. Arthur, the eldest, came to Mountnessing in 1909 to make his fame and fortune!
|Last updated: 20 January 2010|