Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Story Of William and Emma Coombes nee Evans

There's a wonderful sense of belonging, and security that comes by knowing your ancestors. Not just names on a genealogy chart but getting to know all about their life.
Emma Evans is my 3rd great grandmother (maternal), born in Nuneaton, Warwickshire in 1852.
In 1870, at the tender age of eighteen Emma married her first husband, John Thrasher and they lived in Shelton, Staffordshire.
Here is the 1871 census.
But before the age of twenty-two Emma was widowed.
On May 24th, 1874 she married my 3rd great grandfather, William Coombes at the Parish of Saint Michaels. He was born in 1853.
"The building that we now know fondly as The Old Cathedral was formerly the parish church of St. Michael. The present structure largely originates from the 1300's to 1400's, with additional chapels added on in the 1500's, but originally a smaller chapel of Norman design stood on the site. St. Michael's was first mentioned in 1138 during the reign of King Stephen, and was referred to in one record as "the church of St. Michael's in the Bailey", which gives us some idea of its origin within the grounds of Coventry Castle. This photograph is from around 1880, its stonework looking rather worse for wear before the huge restoration program which was carried out in that decade."
Parish Of Saint Michael's 1800's
Together, William and Emma were married for over twenty years, together they had ten children. Two predeceased them. Their daughter Priscilla was my 2nd great grandmother on my maternal line.
This was their family on the 1891 census. I'm still looking for the 1881 census.
Their family was on two boats. My 3rd great grandfather, William was a barge master and his eldest son was a boatman.
Duncan 132
Daughter Eliza (9)
Daughter Priscilla (4) - my direct ancestor
Son Charles (1)
and on Victory 144.
Son John (16)
Son William (14)
Son Thomas (6)
After 1891 William and Emma had two more children, Samuel and Lucy.
The 1901 census.
The 1901 census shows Sam (9) and Lucy (4) but sadly shows Emma as a widow. Her husband William died between 1894 when Lucy was born to 1901 when the census was taken. He had a horrific accident as a barge master. You can read about our day trip, where we experienced a day in the life of our ancestors, here.
Widowed for a second time by the age of forty-nine, Emma never remarried. She moved her family to 21 New Street in Glascote.
The 1911 Census.
1911, the last census we can view because there's a hundred year privacy on records. This shows Emma living with Tom, Charles, Sam and Lucy who had all but grown up. They were now living in 292 Main Rd in Glascote.
Emma lived until she was seventy-four, passing away in June 1927. She was a strong woman to loose two husbands, had ten children and go through the heartbreak of loosing two of them.
You can read more about the Baker's (Emma's daughter, Priscilla's married name) here.

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