Some more Francis information

Shelagh Spencer, who has long been researching Natal families, put me in touch with Maeve Haigh, of Norfolk, England, who is a member of the Gunningham family.

We know that Cecil Arthur Francis, son of Arthur Walpole Francis and grandson of Margaret Agnes Anne Green, had married a Billy Gunningham and died in Fort Portal, Uganda, in about 1940, and had heard that they had a son Peter.

Maeve has now added considerably to our information on this branch of the family. It turns out that Peter Francis was the son of Billy Gunningham’s sister Jessica, who married Cecil Arthur Francis first.

They each had several marriages, so in the end the families looked like this:

Family History System 9 Oct 2006
Merged Group Reports

NAME: FRANCIS, Cecil Arthur, Born 9 Aug 1888 in Cape Town, Died
??? 1940? in Fort Portal, Uganda at age 51; FATHER: FRANCIS,
Arthur Walpole, Born 7 Jan 1861, Died 8 May 1921 at age 60;
MOTHER: DONOVAN, Ida Miranda Willoughby, Born 19 Aug 1865,
Died 25 Oct 1949 at age 84

MARRIED ??? 1930, to GUNNINGHAM, Kathleen Letitia (Billy), Born
5 May 1906 in Pretoria, Transvaal, Died 23 Jan 1957 in
Southampton, England at age 50; FATHER: GUNNINGHAM, William
Thomas Greig, Born 26 Jul 1869, Died 24 Dec 1924 at age 55;
MOTHER: PAYNE, Jessica Dunn Ashbourn, Born 3 Jul 1873, Died 3
Dec 1971 at age 98

MARRIED ??? 1927, to GUNNINGHAM, Jessica, Born ??? 1908; FATHER:
GUNNINGHAM, William Thomas Greig, Born 26 Jul 1869, Died 24
Dec 1924 at age 55; MOTHER: PAYNE, Jessica Dunn Ashbourn, Born
3 Jul 1873, Died 3 Dec 1971 at age 98

CHILDREN:
1. M FRANCIS, Peter Michael, born 20 Apr 1928
2. F FRANCIS, Cecil Anne, born 12 Apr 1931
3. F FRANCIS, Audrey Diana, born 26 Jan 1933, died 22 May 1989
4. F FRANCIS, Melisand Bridget Patricia, born 21 Feb 1937 in
Sinipala

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

NAME: GUNNINGHAM, Kathleen Letitia (Billy), Born 5 May 1906 in
Pretoria, Transvaal, Died 23 Jan 1957 in Southampton, England
at age 50; FATHER: GUNNINGHAM, William Thomas Greig, Born 26
Jul 1869, Died 24 Dec 1924 at age 55; MOTHER: PAYNE, Jessica
Dunn Ashbourn, Born 3 Jul 1873, Died 3 Dec 1971 at age 98

MARRIED ??? 1946, to PENDREL-GOODRICKE, Richard

MARRIED ??? 1941, to MONTAGUE, Aubrey

MARRIED ??? 1930, to FRANCIS, Cecil Arthur, Born 9 Aug 1888 in
Cape Town, Died ??? 1940? in Fort Portal, Uganda at age 51;
FATHER: FRANCIS, Arthur Walpole, Born 7 Jan 1861, Died 8 May
1921 at age 60; MOTHER: DONOVAN, Ida Miranda Willoughby, Born
19 Aug 1865, Died 25 Oct 1949 at age 84

MARRIED ??? 1928, to MCPHERSON, Grant

CHILDREN:
1. F FRANCIS, Cecil Anne, born 12 Apr 1931
2. F FRANCIS, Audrey Diana, born 26 Jan 1933, died 22 May 1989
3. F FRANCIS, Melisand Bridget Patricia, born 21 Feb 1937 in
Sinipala
4. F MONTAGUE, Jane Magdalene, born 25 Aug 1941 in Eldoret,
Kenya, died 23 Mar 1942
5. F PENDREL-GOODRICKE, Doreen Charlotte, born 25 Aug 1948 in
Mombasa, Kenya

Family visits. births: Ellis, Growdon

Val’s cousin Enid Ellis (nee Gammage) was with us for a couple of days this week. She was visiting from Windhoek, Namibia, and came through Botswana. It was good to have a chance to catch up, as we hadn’t had a chance to talk properly since we visited Windhoek back in 1991. Enid has gone on to stay with ther sister Maggie Foley in Roodepoort.

An e-mail message from Wayne Growdon, somewhere in Australia, tells of the birth of their son Luke William Growdon, on 4 October.

Growden family in Canada

I recently discovered that there were a number of Growden families living in Ontario, Canada, and that a James Growden from our branch of the Growden family went there some time in the 1860s, so I began writing to them to see if they were related.

James Growden married a Harriet Baldwin, and they were living in Lindsay, Ontario, at the time of the 1881 census, with 8 children — they may have had more after the census.

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Vause, Harris & Ellis families

While I was in KZN a couple of weeks ago I managed to get quite a lot of additional information on the Vause, Harris and Ellis families in the Durban and Pietermaritzburg archives, and within a few days of getting back I had a phone call from Don McArthur who had been researching the same families. That was quite exciting, but it was also rather frustrating, as the e-mails I tried to send him seemed to disappear into a black hole in cyberspace, and for the last 10 days I’ve been trying to send him a file with family information. His mail has reached me, but mine has not reached him. Sometimes snail mail is faster! Then to top it all, my phone line went on the blink, and I couldn’t get e-mail or phone calls from anybody. It seems to be working again this morning, however.

My great grandfather’s sister, Eleanor FrancesVause, married William de Montmorency Harris and they had two sons, William Vause Harris and Wyatt Vause Harris. Their having the same initials caused great confusion for family history researchers.

I’ve managed to trace many of the descendants of William Vause Harris (who was apparently known as Bill), and Don McArthur has managed to find a few more, but nothing at all about Wyatt Vause Harris, who was in Bulawayo in 1938, when his mother died, but what happened to him after that is a mystery (to me, at any rate).

So a note to Don McArthur, if he sees this — please respon in the comment fields, as that may be a bit more reliable than e-mail at the moment.

Henry Green

More on Henry Green, British Resident of the Orange River Sovereignty.

Ione Evans of New Zealand told me about a book Some dreams come true, which had a picture of Henry Green, and now that we have replaced our stolen car I was able to find a copy in the University library, and I’ve been reading that and The microcosm by Thelma Gutsche, a history of Colesberg.

Between them they give a fairly full picture of the life of Henry Green, though there are still a couple of gaps.

One is what happened between the end of the Orange River Sovereignty in 1854 and his coming to Colesberg as Magistrate in 1860? We know he married his cousin Margaret Aitchison in 1856, and they had two sons, and that his wife and sons died shortly before he arrived in Colesberg. But where was he?

After thinking about it, I thought I’d check for the marriage in England — could have have gone to England to marry his cousin? It seems unlikely that she would be at the Cape.

So I checked FreeBMD and found a possible, nay, probable, marriage:

If anyone wants the reference to apply for the certificate, I’ll be glad to give it. Otherwise, I’ll apply.

So watch this space.

Henry’s father, William John Green, had recently retred and was living in Kensington around that time, which makes the Chelsea registration district given in Free BMD seem likely. So it seems he spent at least some of the missing years in the UK.

Research trip to KZN

I’ve just returned from a family history research trip to KwaZulu-Natal.

Actually we went down last Friday — Val, Jethro and I — leaving after Val finished work, and went straight down the toll road, arriving at midnight at Val’s sister Elaine’s place in Pinetown, and crashed on the floor. Next morning we went in to Durban to buy a second-hand Subaru station wagon to replace our stolen Toyota Venture. Val and Jethro returned the next day, but I stayed a few days to visit friends and family and do some research.

I spent a day in the Durban archives, looking almost exclusively at family divorce records. These usually give details of minor children, so was able to add a few to the family tree.

Then I spent a couple of days in Pietermaritzburg archives, mainly looking up deceased estates. I had a list of things to look up that was 27 pages long, and managed to get through 8 of those pages, so another research trip is needed!

I visited Arthur and Ann Reynolds in Merrivale, near Howck. Ann Reynolds (nee Stayt) is my second cousin on the Vause/Cottam side of the family. Her grandmother Ruby Stayt was sister of my grandmother Lily Hayes (nee Vause). They are now retired, and living in a cottage on their son Brian’s farm.

I got home yesterday, and will probably spend a couple of days sorting and entering the new information.

Pearson decendants in Canada

We’ve just had a couple of e-mails from Ken Joyal in Canada, whose wife Lesley is descended from Charles William Pearson (brother to Val’s great-grandfather Daniel William Pearson).

Lesley is descended from Olive Lois Pearson, daughter of Charles William Pearson, and there is some mystery about her date of death, and the circumstances of her death. Ken wondered if it could have been an accident. We have a note that she was dead before 1928, but I’m not sure where we got that information — will need to check on it.

Olive Lois also had a brother Francis Muncaster (Frank) Pearson, who was a journalist in Canada, but we haven’t been able to find out much about him.

Charles William Pearson is another one who probably deserves a Wikipedia article. He was a pioneer Anglican missionary in Uganda, but returned to England because of ill-health. He got to Uganda by sailing up the Nile, which was quite an adventurous journey in those days. Actually if you look at my Blogger profile here you will see that one of my favourite films is Sammy going south, which is based on a novel of the same name, about a boy whose parents were killed in the Anglo-French bombing of Egypt in 1956, and makes a journey over more or less the same route, and makes it possible to picture C.W. Pearson’s journey 70 years earlier, though I’m not sure if it was all filmed on location in Sudan.

Another of the Pearson brothers also had an interesting life and an obscure death. That was John Johnson Pearson, who was a British Israelite, and travelled to India at one point, and around the “prophetic earth” — the Near and Middle East. Mad Uncle Anthony told us he lived in Paris with a harem of Sikh ladies, but I think that needs to be taken with several sacks of salt.

I suppose the best way of finding out what happened to Olive would be to search for her death certificate, but it’s an awkward period. The FreeBMD indexes only go up to 1910 or thereabouts, and while indexes after about 1970 are available easily, 1923-28 falls in between.

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