Tag Archives: Checketts

Crowded Streets

A first reaction to the idea of crowded streets is “Cars”.   But there are many ways to crowd a street.

Stratford Memorial 1922February 12, 1922 and Bridge Street in Stratfod-on-Avon in Warwickshire was crowded with foot traffic for the unveiling of the War Memorial which listed the names of the local serving men who died in World War One.  Notice that the Memorial is standing in the middle of the street.  After it was hit by a lorry it was shifted to a safer location.

We met Mary Matilda Checkets in Framed in a Doorway in Snitterfield , By 1922 she was  the widow Mrs Tansey, had moved from Snitterfield and  was now  living in Stratford on Avon .  Her youngest daughter Ellen was also a widow.  She had been married to Private Amos Unitt but he had been killed at Pozieres in 1918  and Ellen had gone to Australia and re-married.

Mary Matiilda sent this postcard to her six year old  grandson in Australia.  His father Amos Latham Unitt had  been born in Stratford on Avon and so his name was entitled to be included on the War Memorial.

Stratford Memorial 1922 Back

I think there is a little bit more to this postcard.  It is stamped so has been sent to Mrs Tansey  without putting it in an envelope .  Then she has signed it as Gran and indicated that it was for her grandson Stan and it has ended up in Australia.   I think the two handwritings are different so who was it sent it to Mrs Tansey in the first place ?

Earlier than this, in 1907 on the other side of the world, Camp St in Beechworth was crowded  with four horse- drawn vehicles. Beechworth in north eastern Victoria is a remnant of the  gold rush in the 1850s  This postcard has a linen type texture which makes it hard to scan.  Bandmaster Tom Tansey and his wife were to live in this street in the 1930s.

Beechworth Postcard 1907Perhaps some day I will be able to find a family member connected to the recipient of this  Beechworth postcard and hand it over.

Beechworth Postcard 1900 BackA Parade is another way of crowding a street.  A Gala Day Parade is held each year in Geelong to raise money for the local hospital  Here is the Geelong West Brass Band marching down Moorabool Street in the Gala Day Parade in 1931.  The bandmaster was Eric Searle.  The band had been revived in 1929 after having lapsed a couple of times.


Anyone who follows the road bike racing might be interested to know that this is the part of Moorabool Street which was the start and finish of the 2010 World Road Championships Time Trials. and was the finishing point for the Road Races,

And in a Parade in Sydney c1938 the members of the Sydney Ladies Brass Band were on a highly decorated float, led by their trainer and conductor Hilda Tansey.

Float1For more interesting early  street scenes go to the links in Sepia Saturday


John Green’s Bible – Going Back and Checking

Our Sepian inspiration this week is a book with unexpected photos hidden in it. I have no corresponding surprise photos but i have been looking at a copy of an inscription  which came from the front of a Bible.  The statement is signed late in life by my great grandmother using her maiden name Mary Matilda Checketts instead of her married name Tansey.

John Green's Bible

John Green’s Bible

I have always been aware that half-sister would have been the correct phrase to use when you share the same father but I have always taken the rest of the facts in this statement for granted. But now I am asking

1. Was the Rev.Jago involved with this gift

2. Was it really given on Easter Sunday 1815 ?

1,    John Green was born in Snitterfield in 1755 and Rev Jago  was the Vicar of Snitterfield from 1737 until his death in 1781 when John Green was 26 years old. The first mention I have so far of John doing parish duties was in 1783,  So there was hardly time for John to have performed 20 years of service to the parish to receive a presentation while the Rev Jago was alive,

After Rev Jago’s death in 1781 the incumbent became John Horton but he lived in Ashorne and the Curate was James Davenport who lived in Stratford. But the more I read around this area the more confused I become..  While John lived there was a Vicar who frequently didn’t live in the parish and a Curate who frequently didn’t live in the parish, much to the parishioners consternation.  But when John clocked up his twenty years of service as Parish Clerk which clergyman was involved in the presentation I do not know.

Perhaps it was the Rev Joseph Taylor..  He seems to have been Vicar of Snitterfield from 1802 until his death in 1833..

The Gentleman's Magazine 1833 Joseph TaylorThe Parish Clerk was an important salaried position in the Village and he carried on with his normal occupation as a carpenter at the same time.  His name appears frequently in the Parish Register as a witness to weddings and he was the parson’s indispensable right hand  man.  He also constructed and repaired much of the woodwork in the nave and the chancel and repaired the roof, and the gate etc, etc.  He died in 1820.

I am convinced that Rev Jago was not involved with any presentation to John Green.  However it would be an easy enough mistake for Mary Matilda to make more than 100 year later as Rev Jago was a bit of a celebrity in town having a reputation as a  minor published poet.

John Green is not part of Mary Matilda’s family so how did she come to have his Bible ?  I have looked at John Green’s will and he didn’t mention his Bible in his will. to specifically leave it to his granddaughter.

John Green married in 1788 and had a daughter Ann Green in 1790

George Checketts’ first wife was this Ann Green and they had a daughter Elizabeth Checketts. who was grand-daughter to John Green as mentioned in the bible.

After his wife Ann’s death George married Mary Hutchins and had a daughter Mary Matilda Checketts,

So we  have the two half-sisters, no step-sisters.   They had the same father, George Checketts.

2.  Did the presentation take place on Easter Sunday in 1815.  I will never know.  But if it did Napoleon had escaped from Elba just a few weeks before and the Battle of Waterloo took place a few weeks later on.

The oral history which led to the statement in the Bible is not necessarily accurate but that does not make it any less meaningful.  Mary Matilda knew that the book had come from a man who worked tirelessly for the village and was respected for that work.

I’m afraid this must be rather boring to most people but I am enjoying  using Sepia Saturday to record and collate my little bits of information  It is forcing me to look more in detail  at what I have rather than just looking at the overall picture.  But I am just a step along the way.  One day someone else will add more information .


Framed in a Doorway in Snitterfield

Sepia Saturday has commented on how many of our family snapshots are taken in the doorway of the home and asked us to take that as our starting point for Sepia Saturday 203

MatildaTansey and unknown girlMy first post for Sepia Saturday spoke of Tom  Tansey leaving Snitterfield near Stratford on Avon in Warwickshire and coming to Australia.  This is his mother Mary Matilda Tansey  photographed with an unidentified girl in the doorway of the home where Tom grew up. The house was in The Green, Snitterfield which is near Stratford on Avon in Warwickshiure. If the girl is Matilda’s youngest daughter Ellen Matilda then this places the photo c1900

I never met my great grandmother Matilda but our lives overlapped for a while so I feel as though I can reach out and touch her, and through her touch her grandfather William Hutchins who was born in 1782.  Matilda was the youngest of five children and as her father was a lot older than her mother Matilda  was less than three years old when her father died in 1853  Her mother was left with five children aged twelve and under to look after.

Next door lived Matilda’s grandfather, William Hutchins, a widower.

You might have expected a father to give his widowed daughter a helping hand. but a complaint was made against William Hutchins for not maintaining his daughter Mary Checketts and in 1854  the Overseer of the Poor at Stratford Union ordered him  to pay 5 shillings a week in order to maintain his widowed daughter and her children.

BUT, he didn’t do as he was told to and on 21 July 1854 it was ordered that goods of his should be taken to cover the debt and the expenses.

BUT no goods to sell to cover his debt could be found at his house and he was committed to the Common Gaol at Warwick for three months. It cost four shillings and six pence  to transport him there.

1854 PrisonerBy 1861 William, his daughter Mary Checketts and four of her five children were all living together in a house in The Green, Snitterfield,  one hopes happily !  He is even listed as a retired brickmaker and  the Head of the Household in the 1861 Census.  So through my great grandmother Matilda who was later to marry Thomas Tansey Snr. I feel I know her naughty grandfather.

It does raise a few questions.

1. At the time he was a brickmaker.  Was he just  “crying  poor” so that his daughter  could get extra money ?

2. No goods worth selling in his house ? Sounds to me as if they weren’t allowed to seize tables and chairs, beds etc

3. If he genuinely couldn’t pay then why put him in gaol ?

But then again it might just have been discord between the two families when you look at this entry from the National Archives

[no title]  ER10/3/1101  27 April 1852 Contents:

Complaint of George Checketts, Snitterfield v. William Hutchins and Elizabeth his wife for assault and threatening behaviour.

Poor William !  He survived until just after the 1861 Census.  I hope his daughter and her family were nice to him.

2013.10W.22See more doorways with the links on Sepia Saturday 203