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Notes on Beckwith Family Tree 12  

Generation 9 onwards: The offspring of 
John Beckwith (1837-1906) & Annie Snowden (1839-1904)
( 8.27 in Tree Notes 1 )



Those with Beckwith surname at birth are shown in Bold type

Surnames underlined are those which apply following marriage & carry through to following generation(s)


Generation 9

 These are the five known offspring, but there may have been more - Please see NB below

Newington Butts in 1820

Newington Butts - before the Beckwiths arrived


Annie Beckwith  Birth record found in Mar qtr 1867 in Newington ('Surrey') and this is corroborated by 1871 census which shows her aged 4. Annie is shown as living with her parents in 1891 as a dressmaker 

She married in Lambeth in Dec 1898 William Henry WELLS (also b1867) who, aged 24 in 1891, is a jeweller's assistant living with his parents, Richard and Catherine Wells at 73, Crescent Lane, Clapham, at that time in the borough of Wandsworth (Surrey). In 1901 the couple with their young baby daughter Bertha are shown as the only occupants of  his parent's former house, 73, Crescent Lane. He is shown as age 34 born in Stepney, London, and working as a 'salesman', she also 34 without occupation and the daughter, Frances Bertha WELLS is aged 3 months, born Clapham. In 1911 the situation is very similar except that William is now listed as a "Jeweller's Salesman Retail" , there's a second daughter, Iris Mary born 1905 and a 73 yr old lodger, Isabella Winch (b1838 in Chatham, Kent), to complete the household.

Annie is believed to have died in 1924 in Wimbledon (Kingston district) but there are too many deaths of a Wm Henry Wells in the period 1920-39 to be positive. For offspring see also 10-9.1 below


Lydia Beckwith - b Mar qtr 1869 in Newington. Shown in 1871 census aged 2 (with Annie above and John below) but then died in Dec qtr 1871 (age confirmed as 2)


John Snowden Beckwith b 24th Jan 1871 (but not shown in registers until March 1/4) in St Saviour's, Southwark. Address quoted on birth certificate is 80 Newington Butts. Shown in 1871 census as age 2 months. (a previous tree showing him born on 4th Feb 1865 is now disproven - that was a John Ernest Beckwith  who died in March qtr 1866 age 1 - no apparent relation although also in Newington )

As per his siblings, the 1881 census correctly records his birth as Newington, 'Surrey' as well as the address of the parental home from 1877 as 94 Newington Butts. Aged 10, he appears as "John .... Beckwith" presumably because the transcriber couldn't read the enumerator's writing ! Comparably, in 1891 he is simply John S, an apprentice engraver living at the parental home. Indeed he was actually apprenticed to his father by a Goldsmiths Indenture dated 1st October 1890 and was presented with a Goldsmith's Bible at the Guildhall the same day.

He achieved his Goldsmith's Freedom by Service on 6th Oct 1897 at which time he was still living at parental home, 94 Newington Butts in London SE1. "His Freedom is noteworthy as being by Service, and, as such, was the last family member to serve a Goldsmith's apprenticeship. Having been born before his father took up his Freedom (which was in 1888), he was ineligible for the Freedom by Patrimony of all subsequent Freedoms"  (MGS) 

On 23rd July 1898 he married Ada Louise HODGES at St John's in Brixton (Lambeth borough) when the couple were both are shown on the marriage certificate as living at 16 St James Road. Ada was born 29th April 1875 when her parents (Henry Peter HODGES, a master butcher, & Elizabeth nee Marskell) were living at 72 Provost St, Hoxton New Town (Shoreditch district). Witnesses to John & Ada's marriage were Arthur A Grist and Ethel Maud Hodges. Both seem to from the bride's side because, in the 1881 census, Ada is shown (aged 6) together with her grandma living care of Arthur Grist and his wife in Tottenham. 

In the 1901 census John & Ada are shown living in one of the two separate households occupying 30 Corrance Road, Lambeth, he working as a brass engraver, she as wife aged 26 born in Islington but, as yet, no offspring although they did have a young lodger with them - one Herbert E Grist, a 20 yr old "Super.(= supernumerary ?) Registrar Clerk" born in Bethnal Green and nephew of Arthur Grist.

When their first child, Gladys, was born in 1904, the family address was Leppoc Road in Clapham but when his father died on 28/12/1906, John was the quoted informant on the death certificate with an address given as 57 Crescent Lane, Clapham Park (so only a few doors away from his sister Annie above). However, his sojourn in the leafy suburbs seems to have come to an end soon thereafter with a move back up the Northern Line again to live in Newington Butts once more, though now as proprietor of the engraving business. The family is shown at No. 94 in 1911, now enlarged with their two children.

In the 1920 London Telephone directory (above) he is shown as a 'Brass Plate Engraver' but now living at 102 Newington Butts, SE11. Nice to see the old exchange names again .... but who are those other Beckwiths ?

"He was an engraver and my cousin Margaret told me that the family believed her grandfather had made the Brass letters for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Westminster Abbey." Tony Robins. (the plaque was unveiled on 11th Nov 1920. MGS)

In a draft Trade Price List kindly passed on by Margaret, he quotes "J S Beckwith (Est over 70 years), Engravers and Metal Workers to the Trade". If this "Est" span is true, it would date it to the late 1930's. Whatever, the registered address is still 102 Newington Butts and he obviously renewed his father's lease on 5 Peacock Yard as this is the quoted Works Address (tel RELiance 1092). The catalogue makes fascinating reading - "Bronze, Engraved and Enamelled Name Plates", "Brass Name Plates", Stair Nosings & Step Treads", "Stencils" and even "Brass Tickets for Time Checks" (clocking on machines). Two lines of writing on an 18" by 12" brass plate would have set you back 27/- but all the samples shown are for banks or solicitors so, of course, mere loose change for them. 

By 1939 the couple had moved out to the suburbs again - to 297 Croxted Road, Herne Hill - to be with their widowed daughter Gladys and her two young children, John being described as a "Metal Engraver (Master)". 

John died on 11th April 1943 in Croxted Road, Herne Hill. Death certificate quotes cause as "1a Coronary Artery Occlusion, 1b Bronchitis" and his occupation as "a Brass Engraver". Ada Louise died in 1960 at the age of 85.

Their children were Gladys Ethel Beckwith & John Augustus Charles Beckwith - see 10-9.3 below. 

"Gladys died in 1957 (before her mother) and was buried in the family grave at Streatham Park Cemetery in S London together with her husband and her father. The Grave Owner in 1958 was John Augustus Charles Beckwith and, in 1988, the cemetery supplied me with these details -

GRAVE No. 21451  SQUARE 14
Percy Manley Robins        Aged 30 years 1935
John Snowden Beckwith             72         1943
Gladys Ethel Robins                    54         1957
Ada Louise Beckwith                  85         1960

The Memorial which was in place on the graves was removed during our surface
landscaping of the areas many years ago.  The grave remains undisturbed and the area is lawned.  We do not have a record of the inscriptions which were on the Memorial." 

Many thanks to Tony Robins for kindly providing this info as well as corrections & additions to John & Ada's entries. 


Bertha Beckwith  aka 'Bird' b 16 April 1877 in Newington - St Saviour ('Surrey').

In 1901 she is still shown at the parental home and without any occupation. The same applies in 1911 when living with her sister Rose (below) in Folkestone, Kent (in the Elham registration district, not Eltham as previously misread).

In May 1931 when she paid for sister Rose's burial plot she was living in Haywards Heath, Sussex but in 1939 she was living with her niece Bertha Wells in Newcastle under Lyme, Staffs and she died there in Q2 of 1945 


Rose Beckwith  b Jun qtr 1879 in Newington ('Surrey')

In 1901 still at the parental home, with occupation as 'hat shop assistant' but in 1911, after the death of both parents, she is shown at 7, High Street, Folkestone, Kent as a 32 yr old "Saleswoman Manager Retail". The only other occupant of the premises is her sister 'Bird' (above).

She never married and died in Ventnor, Isle of Wight, being buried on 9th May 1931 (in grave 1973B that was paid for by her sister Bertha).


Thomas John Beckwith's diary notes on 4th Feb 1865 "John's wife confined - girl". Although very reasonable to think it was this John considering parents John & Annie married in early 1864 but no relevant registered Beckwith birth has yet been traced. As noted elsewhere, the Emily Elizabeth Beckwith born in Newington in the Mar qtr of 1865 was the daughter of an Alfred & Elizabeth Beckwith - no apparent relation.

There is also a gap of 6 years between John Snowden and Bertha so there may have been others in between who died before 1881 but without obtaining birth certificates for all Beckwith births in the area, it is impossible to prove. There seem to have been several seemingly unrelated Beckwith families in the Newington/St Saviour's area and there are 5 recorded Beckwith births in St Saviour's alone in the 5 qtrs Mar 1873 to Mar 1874 but all 5 died young, 3 at 0, 1 at 1 and 1 at 3. An epidemic of some sort ?


Generation 10 



Offspring of Annie Beckwith and William Henry Wells  (9.1)


Frances Bertha WELLS - b Jan 1901 in Clapham, London SW.  (part of the "Wandsworth" registration district.) 

Amongst papers inherited from aunt Nancy Beckwith after her death in 1956 was a letter written earlier in '56 from a lady called Bertha Wells. She said that she lived in the Newcastle-under-Lyme area and taught Geography at the Newcastle-under-Lyme school for girls. She mentioned that her mother's initials were 'A. B.' (presumably before marriage) and she was aged 11 in 1878. Hopefully this at last now satisfactorily answers the question 'who was Bertha Wells' that I posed in the notes circulated with the draft trees in 1986. The more recently published 1939 Register not only proves her location & vocation but also gives actual birth dates for both herself and her aunt Bertha with whom she was then living at 44 Kingsway in Newcastle under Lyme 

Bertha died in Stoke district in Mar qtr 1963

10.02 Iris Mary WELLS - b Dec qtr 1904 in Clapham /'Wandsworth'

Discovered 12/09 in the 1911 census yet the family made no mention of her. She does not appear to have died young as no death record has been found but there are several marriage records for an Iris M Wells in S W London in the late 1920's / early 1930's.


No other known offspring.


Offspring of John Snowden Beckwith and Ada Louise Hodges (9.3)


Gladys Ethel Beckwith - b26/04/1904 in family home at Leppoc Road, Clapham, died 1957. 

In 1927 she married Percy Manley ROBINS (b1905) but sadly he died rather prematurely at the age of just 30 in 1935. 

The Family lived in Herne Hill and in their relatively short married life they had two daughters - Gladys (b Mar qtr 1929) and Margaret Louise (b20/2/1931) - see 11.10.11 below. In 1939 she is living at the former Robins family home at 297 Croxted Road, Herne Hill and joined by her parents.  

"John Snowden Beckwith was a good man and I honour his memory. When my father, Percy Manly Robins died suddenly, it was JSB who stepped in and helped my mother Gladys to cope over the years. When he died, my mother said 'He was my greatest friend'." (MLR - 2009)

Gladys was buried in Streatham Park Cemetery with her husband and parents.


John Augustus Charles Beckwith b2/12/1910. 

John ('Jack') worked for a short time in the metal engraving business with his father (9.3) but he soon took up selling motor car spares, which interested him more. He was in the Corps of Military Police from 1939-1945 so was away for the 1939 register. 

Firstly he married on 23rd August 1947 Doris Aline RAINS (nee FILMER), b 29 Aug 1918. The marriage certificate describes John as a bachelor, aged 36 of 297 Croxted Rd, Herne Hill and a Motor Spares salesman whereas Aline is aged 28, the 'divorced wife of Stanley Charles Rains', no occupation shown and the daughter of Percy Edmund Filmer, a gardener living at Church Gates, Pluckley, Kent. 

In 1939 she is shown as being single, living at home with her parents and with occupation Childrens' Governess. In 1940 in Ashford district she married Stanley RAINS (born 1919) and from the birth of an Ian V Rains in 1945, the couple were by then living in Tonbridge but just when they divorced and what happened to Ian has not been found.

At least from 1957, Aline & Jack lived at her parental home - Church Gates, Pluckley - a gardener's cottage provided by Sir Henry Dering for whom Aline's father had worked and which had been the Filmer family home for many years. (MLR). Aline died in Ashford district during Q3 1978 

Aline & Jack c 1947   


In October 1979 Jack married again - Florence Cowley FARMAN who equally had been married before. Florence Cowley FOSKETT was born in King's Norton, Birminham on 6th October 1917 and in 1939 was working as a book shop assistant in Birmingham. She married Kenneth FARMAN (b1912) in Birmingham in Q2 1941 and the couple had 3 sons between 1942 and 1948. Kenneth died in the Wrekin district of Shropshire in 1976. 

Jack and Florence seem also to have lived in Pluckley but it was short-lived as Jack died there on Nov 6th 1980 following which Florence moved back up to the Midlands (presumably to be closer to her children who all lived up there) where she died in S Staffs on 18th March 1992. 

Jack never had any children of his own - hence the end of this Beckwith line.


Generation 11


 Offspring of Percy Robins and Gladys Beckwith (10.11)


Gladys Robins - b Mar qtr 1929 in Herne Hill

Was believed not to have married, and so with her sister marked the end of the line, but thanks to Lyn Robins from Australia in May 2018, it now is proven that she did in fact not only marry but have 3 children. Her husband was James A MOSS b 20/09/1926 whom she married in Bromley, Kent, in 1954. Their 3 children were -
- Margaret Catherine Moss b1955 in Lambeth
- Stephen James Moss b1958 in Bromley, Kent
- Maryanne Frances Moss b1961 in Woolwich, London SE

James died in Reading in 2001 and it is believed that Gladys died about the same time but the exact date has yet to be traced. No further tracing of the children undertaken as they are below the threshold age for publication.


Margaret Louise Robins - b20/2/1931 in Herne Hill.

Never married. Was living on the Sussex coast in 2009 and believed still to be alive (2018) albeit in very poor health.

My grateful thanks to Margaret Louise Robins (MLR) and her cousin the late Tony Robins (TR)  
for their invaluable help with this page. 

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Last updated 15th May 2020