Sunday, 25 January 2015

Mr & Mrs Jones - Special Edition | 52 Ancestors

Week 4

I'm taking a little break from the theme this week. Firstly because it has been a hectic weekend with little time to put a new post together and secondly, to commemorate a special family weekend.

This weekend my Mum & Step-Dad renewed their vows in celebration of 20 years of marriage.

It was a fantastic evening with family and friends, so I'm just going to commemorate that with a few photos and a link to the speeches below..

Enjoy! <3

 Love xxxxx

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Annie Elizabeth Viney (nee Jones) | 52 Ancestors [#3: Tough Woman]

Week 3, Tough woman — 
Who is a tough, strong woman in your family tree? Or what woman has been tough to research?

It's been a busy week and weekend, so this week I am keeping my post brief. 

Annie is my great-grandmother on the maternal side. She was born Annie Elizabeth Jones in 1888 in Newport, Shropshire, UK to James & Elizabeth Jones [James & Elizabeth were also known by the names Neriah & Eliza (nee Allen)]

From all the stories I've heard, in varying perceptions, Annie was a tough woman.  
She married David Piggott in 1906 at the young age of 18 and her first child Beatrice Alexandra* (known in the family as Dolly) was born the same year. This was followed by 4 more children: Alice Elizabeth, Elizabeth, Florence Winifred (Win) and Wilfred.

Sadly Annie's husband lost his life in 1910, the same year that their last child was born. Leaving Annie alone with a family of 5 to care for. She was listed as widow on the 1911 census:

(Census note: Beatrice was living with family elsewhere in 1911) *It is believed that Beatrice's Father was not David Piggott, as she was listed as a Jones' on her second husbands war record.
Annie met her second husband Ernest (whom I've talked about before) sometime after this time.

Looking back, it is remarkable how different their lives were just before they met. In 1911, Ernest was a Golfclub Maker living at home with family in Yorkshire; this was the same year he became a golf professional. With 5 years between them, things appeared very different....

By 1913 he had moved to Shropshire and was the professional (listed with the PGA) at Wem Golf Club. It is unknown where Ernest lived, but it was during this time that they met. They married in 1914 and had their first child Violet in 1915 which followed with George Arthur in 1916. Ernest was absent serving in the Royal Garrison Artillery (RGA) but when he returned in 1921 they got right back to business (excuse the saying!) and had 4 more children Annie Irene (my grandmother - aka Nan), Muriel (aka Mu), James Ernest (aka Jim) and Marjorie.

So all in all, a family of 11!

Sadly Ernest lost his life in 1945 at the age of 53. Annie was widowed for a second time but this time all her children were grown up with the youngest (Jim) being 16.

A number of the children continued live with Annie for some years. Eileen (aka Billie) who was born in 1923 (the same year as my Nan, Annie Irene) was raised by Annie as a daughter and as far as anyone knew, was simply "one of the siblings". It was not until her teenage years that Billie found out she was actually the daughter of Dolly; Annie's daughter (Beatrice Alexander) who was born in 1906. In her later years, Annie also helped to raised Marjorie's son, Sheran and Nan's son, Michael.

However it was Muriel who cared for Annie during her later years. They remained in the family home at Victoria Park, Newport until her death in 1976. I've heard stories of people who remember Annie sitting in her bedroom window waving as they passed by ... [your very own Neighbourhood Watch!]

Whilst some saw her as a bit of a tyrant; a strong fierce woman... knowing what she went through; losing two husbands, caring for 11 children and experiencing two wars, life must of been hard and I would imagine you had to be tough to make it through.

Annie was a strong woman, whichever way you look at it.

Annie Elizabeth Jones b1888, d1976 [aged 88]

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Robert 'Bob' Alfred Gennoe | 52 Ancestors [#2: King]

So this week's topic is 'King'. 

I have to say that I wasn't really sure where to go with this one. It was titled King because both Elvis' and Martin Luther King Jr were born in the month of January.

The questions asked were do I have a connection to Royalty? Maybe. It is thought that the Stephan’s (my paternal side) were Royal Gypsies of Swiss Lineage... I would guess that most families do have a royal connection in some form or another. The other questions asked were if an ancestor reminded me of Elvis or Martin Luther King - "the Kings". Again, this can be perceived in various ways.

King. It's origin is thought to be:

So essentially, the definition of king takes us back to kin and kin, is family.

I have gotten to this point and I'm still not sure who I am going to write about! - Given that we are thinking about family and January birthdays being the focus of the blog title this week, I want this post to be in memory of a close relative. One that I always think about in January and one that is very much a King in my eyes.

My Grandad

Robert Alfred Gennoe (b 1920; d 1995)

Me & Grandad at Ellesmere Lakes - circa 1990

Robert; AKA Bob was born on the 20th January 1920 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

He was the only child of Clara Meredith (nee Downes) and Robert Edward Gennoe. Clara had been married once before to Frederick Meredith and had three children from that marriage; Fred Jr, Harry and Elsie.

[Fred Snr was in the 5th Battalion of the King Shropshire Light Infantry (KSLI) and sadly lost his life on the 20th April 1917 whilst enlisted at Flanders. On the 1911 census he is listed as a 'Bugler']

Bob's father, also a Robert, was in the KSLI and may well have known Clara's previous husband Fred...

Bob grew up in Shrewsbury and attended the St Michaels Street School - I have to say he is looking very dapper in this photo!

(Middle Left)
1933 - St Michaels St School

During the war Bob was mainly involved with salvage and when planes crashed, he had to be there to recoup what parts they could for repairs. We also have a photo of him in the KSLI which we understand to be a shindig in Blackpool...

Bob was also a keen footballer and we know that he played around the country including as a reserve for Shrewsbury Town FC. 

Extracts from the Shrewsbury Chronicle say that: 

"Gennoe with his first-time clearances was outstanding in the Shrewsbury defence" [Nov 8, 1946]

"Gennoe showed promise. He must learn that guile will beat a man as often as forceful tactics..." [Nov 29, 1946]   

Bob working at Shrewsbury Chronicle - circa 1968
Shrewsbury Chronicle extract - Nov 8 1946

One of his primary careers was at Shrewsbury Chronicle itself, the same paper that reported on his earlier career as a footballer. He was a platemaker and as far as I understand it, he was required to proof-read the metal sheets before they were dyed and used for printing - check out those side burns! My Mum advises me that he was first employed as an apprentice printer, qualifying at Liveseys Printers on St John's Hill. When the Shropshire Star bought out the Chronicle, he moved to Welshpool Web Offset and stayed there for 20 years before retiring.

Following retirement he volunteered for Shrewsbury Town Council as a grounds-keeper at the Shrewsbury Quarry and as a driver for Age Concern.

In addition to his working career, Bob managed the Monkmoor United Boys Football Team and was also a highly accomplished fishermen and caught one of the largest salmon at the Weir on the River Severn. His wife Anne joined him in this passion and they spent many an hour on the river side together...


Bob was married to Anne Arnett (nee Viney). It wasn't the first marriage for either of them...

After searching the marriage entries, I found a marriage for Bob and Marianne Coope in 1943. It is not known what became of this marriage; there are electoral roll entries which show Marianne living at the family home (Coton Mount) with Bob and his mother from 1948 through to 1952. In 1953, neither were recorded at the family home and October that same year my Mother, Roberta was born. The 1954 electoral roll shows both Bob & Anne living at the family home which continued until they moved to Monkmoor in 1959/1960.

Despite being known as Mr & Mrs Gennoe for many years and supposedly being married since August 1st 1952, Bob & Anne only got married by special license in December 1973! It would transpire that they may well have got married just to enable them to get their passports to fly to Australia in 1974...

Bob & Anne went on to have two children together; Roberta & Bob. In addition to Michael, whom Anne had from a previous marriage, they had 3 children.

Bob, Michael & Roberta
From those 3 children, they had 8 grand-children and from those 8 grand-children they had ... well, let's just say they may well of lost count of great-grandchildren by now and that number is only to get bigger in time!

Grandad sadly lost his life in 1995, at the ripe old age of 75.

It doesn't feel like 20 years has passed since he was here and whilst I only really knew him for a third of my life, I can safely say he was an amazing Grandad.

So here's to Bob, an accomplished fishermen and footballer and genuinely wonderful man, Dad and Grandad!

In loving memory

Sunday, 4 January 2015

William Viney the 'AgricLab' | 52 Ancestors [#1: Fresh Start]

A fresh start; starting afresh.

Last year was a busy one for me and I very much feel like I need to review all my previous research, catalogue my findings and re-assess where to go next.

One thing I do know however, is that I need to research the Viney's more (my Mothers Paternal side).

I have a little information on this side of the family and last year made a post about my G.Grandad Ernest Viney, but before starting this process I had no idea of any Yorkshire connections.

Ernest's parents were William and Anne (he went on to marry an Annie - and they gave my Grandmother the same family name).

On the 1901 census William was shown as a Horseman on a Farm and by 1911 he was Farm Manager. 

I need to learn more about William's association with the agricultural workings of this area; which farm he worked at; how far back this line can be taken knowing that Viney is supposedly an anglo-saxon name and where the rest of Ernest siblings spread to given that he moved to Shropshire; we assume independently. 

So this year is all about organising my previous research and trying new branches!