THE STORY OF OUR FAMILY
MARY ANN O’DONOGHUE AND gEORGE WILLIAM PHIILIPS
gWENDOLINE ANASTASIA CELINA
The O’Donoghue generations
One: Patrick? Donoghue (b.c.1745) & an unknown wife – gggggrandparents
Two: James Donoghue (b.c.1775) & Julia Boyle – ggggrandparents
Three: Thomas Donoghue (1806-63) & Ellen Connor (1808–89) - gggrandparents
Four: Thomas O’Donoghue (1844 - 1920) & Mary Sullivan (1845 - 80) - ggrandparents
Five: Mary O’Donoghue (27 July 1866 – 1 August 1866)
Catherine O’Donoghue (1867 – 1954)
Thomas William O’Donoghue (1869 - 71)
Margaret O’Donoghue (1872 – c.1942)
James O’Donoghue (1874-1965) and Ada Agnes Tait (1879-1936) - grandparents
Mary Ann O’Donoghue (1877-1955) and George William Phillips (1879-1937)
Anastasia Celina O’Donoghue (b.& d.1880)
People shown in bold in what follows are in the direct O’Donoghue or Phillips lines.
Four of our family list are descended from this couple: Doris Keene, Chris Glover, Tony Williams and Lynda Burford. I got to know Kate Hosford (née Phillips) quite well in the 90s, she would have loved me doing this study. I corresponded with Winifred Burgoyne (née Phillips) for many years.
Mary Ann was born in Poplar and George William in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk but George moved into London and finished up two doors away from James and Ada O’Donoghue. Bernie told me that the Phillips and O’Donoghues were in and out of each other’s houses all the time and that the two families used to spend Christmas together.
Sadly Gwendoline did not survive long, but why was she given those names?
The Phillips generations
Our story takes us back seven generations into rural Norfolk in the 18th century.
One: Abraham (d.1757) and Elizabeth
Two: Jacob (1753-1828) and Sarah Tuffield (1752-1823)
Three: Jacob (1791-1885) and Bridget Aldiss (b.1789)
Four: Ellis Arthur (1831-post 1871) and Lucy Parke (1836-77)
Five: William Jeffries (1856-1946) and Alma Thomas (1858-92)
Six: George William (1879-1937) and Mary Ann O’Donoghue (1877-1955)
Seven: Mary, Charlotte, Kathleen, George and Winifred
Of course, there were earlier generations and I surmise on those possibilities later. Generation One just means that that’s as far back as I have managed to get. I will tell the story working back in time from Generation Six
The Phillips family originally lived in a tight area centred around the villages of Old and New Buckenham and East Harling a few miles south of Attleborough. The first names of early Phillips are very Old Testament as you can see. Then Ellis moved to Great Yarmouth.
O’Donoghue generation five: Mary Ann
Mary Ann was born on 7 March 1877 at 54 Grundy Street and baptised at St Mary & St Joseph Church. In 1880 her mother, Mary, died at the age of 35, which must have been devastating for a four-year old. By 1881 her father, Thomas, had moved to 18 New Street and by 1891 the family were in 4 Charles Street. All these streets were very close to each other and to Cordelia Street where the family were living when Mary Ann’s brother, James my grandfather, was born.
George was born on 27 December 1879 in Row 28, Passage, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. I will describe a Row more fully later, suffice to say that Row 28 referred to a narrow, very historic alley with overhanging windows. His parents were William Jeffries Phillips and Alma Thomas
daughter, Katherine, told me that he was a great reader, loved cricket at Lords
and London sights. She said that he was “lovely
in every sense of the word. My friends loved to sit and talk to him. He had a
way with him that made everyone think they were special. If there was trouble, or anything went wrong,
as long as Dad was there everything would be alright”.
He died in 1937, sadly before his father, and was buried in Leytonstone Roman Catholic Cemetery.
Their children were of that generation for whom the war was a terrible disruption to the normal pattern of life.
Mary Alma Phillips (1904-90) married Arthur Daniel Williams (1900-66) in Poplar in 1929. They had three boys. They moved to Dagenham where he was a Heavy Chemical Works Manager in 1939. At the outbreak of war, living with them in 41 Winifred Road, they had: son Raymond, Mary’s mother, Mary Ann Phillips (nee O’Donoghue), Mary’s aunt Catherine O’Donoghue (b.1867) and Katherine, Mary’s sister, while her husband was away in the army. In 1939 they were living at 51 Highgrove Road, Barking and he had a greengrocer’s shop. They had two boys and one girl.
John was a bus driver. He enlisted in the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, was reported missing at Dunkirk and was a POW in Stalag 20b Marienburg, Poland for the rest of the war. They had two girls.
George Albert Phillips (1912-85) married Margaret Gordon (b.1912) in Grimsby in 1946. There were no children. George was a good pianist. He was a fisherman/seaman and in 1943 he was an able seaman on SS Empire Moon. On 22 July of that year this ship was attacked by German U-boat 81 and was so damaged that it had to be beached on the coast of Sicily. Margaret was born in Portgordon in Banffshire, Scotland from a fishing family. In 1939 Britain’s merchant navy was the largest in the world with 185000 men during the war.
They had two girls and one boy. He was a painter and decorator.
I got to know Kate and Win and they provided me with really good family information.
The area where the earlier
From now on it will help to see where the family lived in Norfolk for a few generations
Phillips generation five: William Jeffries Phillips (1856-1946) and Alma Thomas (1858-92)
I can do no
better than quote Charles Dickens (1812-70)
“ A Row is a long narrow lane or alley quite straight or as nearly as maybe with houses on each side, both of which you can sometime touch at once with the fingertips of each hand, by stretching your arms to their full extent. Now and then the houses overhang, and even join above your head, converting the row so far into a sort of tunnel.”
This map of the town in 1797 shows how all the Rows ran down to the seashore in some cases linking up three lateral roads
In 1884 the official measurement of 81 of the Rows was 8372 yards or rather more than four-and-three-quarter miles. The entire length of the Rows exceeded seven miles. Within the 81 Rows the number of dwelling houses were found to be 1811.
This was the accommodation of the poor and conditions were not good. While numbered, the Rows also carried names such as Kittiwitches, which is the one above. Today the houses offer a tourist attraction as below.
I have asked myself where the name Jeffries might have come from, as it doesn’t appear anywhere in my research as a possible surname adopted as second name as we saw with the Keebles.
My best idea is that it was from Richard Jeffries a perceptive Victorian commentator on the countryside. Or that it was the name on a piece of equipment that meant something to Ellis, William’s carpenter father, made by the major British firm Ransome, Sims & Jefferies based in Suffolk in the mid-19th century. We will never know but give me credit for imagination!
To return to William and Alma’s family. They had four children
Charlotte Hester (b.1878) who married William Oxborough Daviss (b.1872-6), a cab proprietor (see left) with his father. By the 1911 census he was a bricklayer’s labourer, possibly with his father-in-law. Oxborough is a village about five miles east of Downham Market. Perhaps that’s where the Daviss family originated. They had eleven children (one died) and lived in Great Yarmouth
George William (1879-1937) who married Mary Ann O’Donoghue (1877-1955) around whom our story revolves.
Florence (aka Flora) May (1881-1922) married Benjamin Lewis (1880-1921), a coal hawker ie he peddled coal. They had five or maybe six children (two died) and lived in Great Yarmouth.
Albert Stanley (1890-1977) married Harriet May Holmes (1892-1979) in 1916 in Great Yarmouth; at that time he was a Petty Officer in the Royal Navy. They went on to have six children and lived in Norwich. He worked as a Transport Omnibus Inspector.
Alma died in 1892 and in 1894 William married Eliza Hubbard (1859-1955), the daughter of a labourer, from either Filby or Caister-on-Sea, a couple of miles up the coast from Great Yarmouth. The 1911 census says that they had one child, but I have been unable to find him or her.
William Jeffries parents had moved to Great Yarmouth by 1861. Only one of his siblings earned his living from the sea, so why did they leave Old Buckland?
The town grew
rapidly in the first half of the 19th century based on fishing
(particularly herring), shipbuilding and, after the arrival of the railway in 1844,
as a seaside resort for the well off. I
surmise that it was the wooden shipbuilding industry that attracted William’s
father, Ellis Arthur Phillips, who was a carpenter and joiner. One imagines they all got in his horse and
cart and off they went.
This is what Great Yarmouth looked like in 1851.
And then it became a fashionable resort served by a steam train service.
Bombing in WW2 did a lot of damage to the town. Today it continues to be an important and flourishing resort with a population of 47,000.
Phillips generation four: Ellis Arthur Phillips (1831-post 71), Frances Pilgrim (1832-54) and Lucy Parke (1836-77)
Why Ellis as a Christian name? It is derived from the Hebrew Elijah or Greek Elias. In Old English it was spelt Elis or Elys. So, a continuation of the Old Testament theme.
Ellis and Frances married in Attleborough, her hometown, in 1850. In 1841 her father, Maurice, an agricultural labourer, her mother Maria and the family were living at Borough, Burgh or Burrow Common. They are all the same place. This map https://maps.francisfrith.com/pop/burgh-common-1921_pop655673_index_map.png
shows an Old Hall which was also known as Plassing Hall and dates a long way back. For many years it was a farm but is now a private dwelling with a section of moat and some original stained glass.
Ellis was living in Old Buckenham a couple of miles away. He was a carpenter as were his father and grandfather. In his early years he was a journeyman carpenter, which was the starter level in this trade. I imagine he was apprenticed to his father. By 1861 he described himself as a carpenter and by 1871 he had become a carpenter and joiner.
In his 1837 book, The panorama of professions and trades, Edward Hazen wrote
“It is the business of the carpenter to cut out and frame large pieces of timber, and then join them together, or fit them to brick or stone walls, to constitute them the outlines or skeleton of buildings or parts of buildings.
The joiner executes the more minute parts of the wood-work of edifices, comprehending among other things, the floors, window-frames, sashes, doors, mantles etc.”
Ellis and Frances were married in Attleborough parish church, St Mary’s. The church was built in the 11th or 12th century.
Charles (b.1853) who by 1871, as a labourer, was lodging in Great Yarmouth where he married Sarah Ann Chappell from Thurston near Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk in 1880. He became a tripe dresser in Great Yarmouth. For the younger generation tripe is a form of edible offal from the stomach of various domestic animals. Presumably, Charles prepared it for sale. They only had five children!
Ellis’s first wife Frances died in 1854 – only four years together – how sad.
By 1855 Ellis had re-married to Lucy Parke from East Harling, about five miles south west of Old Buckenham. Sometime before 1861 they moved to Great Yarmouth, presumably Ellis worked in the shipbuilding industry. Between about 1863 and 1868-70 they spent a few years in Pennington, Hampshire. Shipbuilding in nearby Lymington was booming and would have attracted skilled carpenters.
They had six children.
William Jeffries (1854-1946) who married Alma Thomas (1860-92) – they were covered earlier
Ellis Arthur (b. & d.1861) - as he had been given his father’s names this must have been very hard.
Arthur Ellis (b.1862) lost his father in 1871 and mother in 1877. In 1881 he was in the Bedford Place Boys Home. He became a deepsea fisherman and later joined the merchant navy. During WW1 I think he was in the mercantile marine reserve even though he was over 50. He never married. In 1939 he was in the local infirmary, for what reason I can’t tell and his death date has eluded me.
Alice Mary (1865-1933) was born in Pennington, near Lymington, in Hampshire. She went into service after her parents died. At age sixteen she was working as a domestic servant for John and Lettice Christmas in The Bowling Green, a pub on Bowling Green Walk in Great Yarmouth. This road was off North Quay, very near the conjunction of the two rivers Bure and Yare. In 1883 she married William George Palmer who was a baker at the time. Sometime before 1891 he joined the army as a drummer in the Norfolk Regiment based in Norwich. They had twelve children. In every baptism record he is described as either a soldier, drummer, bandsman or musician. One child died in 1899 and two in the first quarter of 1906.
It must be him as I can’t find another William
George Palmer b.1865 in Norfolk and shown as a musician in that census. Alice is in Great Yarmouth on her own. There is a bit of a mystery because also
boarding in this house is a woman called Sarah Palmer b.1866 in Dublin. They are shown as husband and wife of 26
years standing; there are no children recorded.
I’ll leave that situation for someone else – perhaps the census
enumerator just got it wrong!
By 1920 Alice and William are back living together in Great Yarmouth. Alice died in 1933 and William in 1940.
Emma Jane (1867-1948) was also born in Pennington. After her parents died, she lived with her brother William and his wife Alma in Row 28, Great Yarmouth. In 1885 she married Charles Joseph Gilham (1862-1916). They had four children between 1887 and 1899. On marriage he worked as an ostler which means that he looked after the horses of people staying at an inn. After that he had various jobs, all something to do with horses. He died in 1916 at age 54, but I have been unable to establish if that was because of the war.
Ellis died sometime between 1871 and 1881 and Lucy in 1877.
Phillips generation three: Jacob Phillips (1791-1885) and Bridget Alldis/Aldiss (1789-1835)
With Jacob we are now firmly in Old Buckenham. However, Bridget was from New Buckenham just down the road. Bridget’s parents were William and Francis. Jacob was a master carpenter which was very much the family trade. He employed one man in 1851 and as you can see, he lived to a ripe old age. They lived on Church Green throughout their lives together about which more later.
Their children are shown below. In this family we see the use of a family related surname as a child’s second name.
Jacob (1816-62) married Priscilla Nunn (1816-61) from Old Buckenham in 1835. They started married life on Church Green. He was a journeyman carpenter who rose to become a master carpenter employing two men and an apprentice. From sometime before 1861 he was running the Carpenters Shop in Snettisham which, by the standards of the day, was miles away near Kings Lynn. I don’t often find probate records for our artisan ancestors but in Jacob’s case I did; his effects were under £50, that is about £3000 in today’s money.
Frances Leach (1821-89) never married and looked after her father, Jacob, until he died at 94. And then she died in the workhouse at Kenninghall about two miles south of Old Buckenham (see left). I wonder if she had become mentally unstable because, if not, how could the family let that happen? There may be a clue to this when you read about the last child James below.
Sarah Tuffield (1824-46) married James Flem(m)ing (b.1817) in 1840 at age 16. He was a blacksmith. They had three children and then Sarah died age 22. Her grandmother was Sarah Tuffield so that is where her second name came from.
Albert (1829-78) married Eliza Davy (1828-51) in 1849. They were both from Old Buckenham and had one child, Jesse Albert, and then Eliza died at 23. He was another carpenter in the family; ultimately, he became a foreman carpenter in London which I imagine means that he led a gang on building sites. He moved to Lambeth, Surrey (in those days) and married Elizabeth Frost (1827-1901) who was from Rockland in Norfolk, a couple of miles from Attleborough. They had three girls but in 1861 when Jesse would have only been 12 he wasn’t living with them. I can’t find what happened to him. Albert died in 1878 when they were in Hammersmith.
Ellis Arthur Phillips (1831-post 71), Frances Pilgrim (1832-54) and Lucy Parke (1836-77) about whom we have already read
James (1840-90) provides a bit of a mystery as to parentage. He was born after Jacob’s wife, Bridget, had died in 1835. In the 1851 census, at age 11, he is living with Jacob & Frances but is described as Jacob’s son-in-law, which is clearly not possible. In the 19th century this meant stepson often, but there is no evidence of a second marriage for Jacob. When James married Martha Ann Chapman (1838-1882) there is no father shown on the marriage certificate for him. I suspect that he was the illegitimate child of Frances who would have been about 19 when James was born. In those times this would have been a source of great shame and may account for Frances never marrying. The only way to resolve this is to get James’s birth certificate. I will leave that task to a Phillips.
James and Martha (who used her second name Ann or Anna) married in Snettisham which is about 8 miles outside Kings Lynn in the north of the county. They moved all over the place following his trade as a foreman carpenter. They had two children in Snettisham, two in Kensington, one in Evercreech in Somerset, one in Lambeth and the last one back in Snettisham. Martha died in Lambeth in 1882
Phillips generation two: Jacob Phillips (1753-1828) and Sarah Tuffield (1752-1823)
Abraham (1779-1846) married Elizabeth Coping (1777-1841) in 1802 in Old Buckenham and they had at least four children. He was a carpenter. He had a granddaughter, Sarah (b.1834), who had eight children, one of whom, Abiah a daughter, was deaf and dumb from childhood. A form of sign language was introduced in the 18th century but she would not have been regarded as normal in the 19th century. Did the family look after her? She lived with her father until 1901 and, after his death with her older sister, Charlotte’s, family in Banham at least in 1911. So, it looks as if the family did care for her. I do hope so.
Isaac (b.1785) remains untraced.
Sarah (1788-1864) married John Haylett (b.1785) in 1814. He was a painter and glazier from Barton Bendish about five miles east of Downham Market. They had two children, one of whom moved to Halifax with her family and that is where Sarah died.
Jacob (1791-1885) and Bridget Alldis/Aldiss (1789-1835) who were described above.
The Buckenhams – historic villages
I must visit it.
It appears in
the 1068 Domesday Book which speaks to its longevity. All our Phillips lived on Church Green. The church dates from around 1300 with an
unusual octagonal tower. The green is considered
the largest in Britain at 40 acres.
When one goes through the 1841 census one gets a real feel for the working nature of the village with so much of the trades around this green. There are no dwelling numbers so this list is in the order shown in the census: carpenter, agricultural labourer, bricklayer, shoe maker, dressmaker, harness maker, cordwainer, drill man, miller, farmer, baker, weaver, tailor, butcher, clergyman. I have only shown one case of each trade but in fact there are, for instance, a few carpenters. Other streets on this section of the census for the village include: Crown Lane, Down Moor, Chattergate, Park Lane, Puddledock, Ragmere and Cake Streets. On these streets we find many farmers and: gardener, glove maker, fishmonger, bailiff, justice of the peace, coachman/painter, schoolteacher, surveyor, goldsmith, blacksmith. Apart from a general store which must be somewhere, it is a self-sufficient community.
In 2011, 1270 people were living in the village.
There are lots of half-timbered houses with 18th
and 19th century brick frontages and forty buildings are Grade II
listed. The green is a registered common
(ie an expanse of land where historic rights still pertain) and is still called
the Market Place even though no market or trading fair takes place now. The historic market house left, called Market
Cross, is Grade II listed. The population
peaked in the first half of the 19th century at around 800 in 1831;
in 2011 it was 260.
The parish church, St Martin’s, dates to the 13th century (see right)
Phillips Generation One: Abraham Phillips (c.1730-57) and Elizabeth (b.c.1730)
I do not know where Abraham and Elizabeth were born but it may perhaps have been in Norwich. There are very few Abrahams (or Isaacs or Jacobs) in the available records from 1600 to 1800. One was born in 1701 to another Abraham and his wife Mary. A John b.1703 and a Mary b.1705/6 in Norwich St Gregory and Norwich St Peter Mancroft were also born to this couple. But first let us look at the children from the marriage of Abraham and Elizabeth.
Elizabeth (1748-9) was born in Deopham, a couple of miles north of Attleborough
Sarah (d.1749) died in East Harling so two children lost in one year
Sarah (b.1749) in East Harling,), she married James Johnson Bacon of Thorpe in New Buckenham in 1750
Abraham (b.1749), Sarah’s twin
Isaac (b.1751) in East Harling
Jacob (1753-1828) and Sarah Tuffield (1752-1823) already covered above
Sarah Elizabeth (1756-60) in East Harling
These village churches are incredible.
If the Abraham (b.1701) above is our man he would have been 55 when his last child was born, so unlikely but not impossible – or perhaps he was the grandfather.
THE END OF THE PHILLIPS’ STORY.
Gwendoline Anastasia Celina O’DONOGHUE
She was born on 16 May 1880, at 7 Upper Grove Street, Poplar, but not baptised until 1 August. She died on 30 October of acute bronchitis.
I have tried to understand these names before as they are completely off the wall from anything in the past. Perhaps her fate was clear by August and they wanted to give her some memorable names so that she would not be forgotten.
Gwendoline is of Welsh origin and means white, fair, blessed and holy. There was a popular French opera called Gwendoline in the 1880s
A cousin back in Ballyduff married an Anastasia. Anastasia seems an unusual name for 18th/19th century Ireland, but it is not actually, as I have found quite a few in Kerry from 1750 to 1850. There was a saint of the name who was mentioned in the Litany that folk heard in the Mass every Sunday, so it would have been her Catholic confirmation name I imagine.
Celina means heaven, so perhaps it was chosen to guide her there or perhaps they just thought it was a nice name!
All three names have a religious connotation and I suspect that is what was intended. The Catholic religion was very strong in our family at that time
Sources & acknowledgements
Ancestry family trees Hansen & Reeve & England