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Notes on Beckwith Family Tree 2  

Generation 9 : 
Children of Thomas John Beckwith and Eliza Finall
(back to 8.25 in Tree 1 Notes


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)


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Thomas William Beckwith - b 14th Aug.1859 d 14th April.1935. As his father, Thomas John, did not obtain Goldsmith's Freedom until after Thomas William was born, neither he nor future offspring were eligible for Freedom by Patrimony. However, in the early 1950's son Eric made representations to Goldsmiths and was able to obtain the Freedom by Purchase, an astute move as within 3 years this transpired to be the only male Beckwith line in this part of the family.

"He was a very gentle and lovable personality who was absent-minded to the extent of taking the children out for a walk and returning home without them! Nevertheless, he had a good head for business (usually associated with property) but held Labour convictions, believing that wealth should be more equally shared. Upon retirement from the Civil Service (Somerset House), he devoted much time to his grandchildren, all of whom adored him". (Margery Pears)

During the 3rd quarter of 1889 he married Emily Gertrude SPEAIGHT ('Gertie') (13th Oct 1866 to 27th Feb 1939)."'Gertie' was a very capable woman of strong and dominating character so was the driving force of this part of the family. An excellent housewife and needlewoman." (Margery Pears)

In the 1891 census the family is at 9 Palace Road, Hornsey comprising Thomas (described as a "Government Clerk, Inland Revenue Upper Division"), Emily, 3 month old son Eric, Mary Connor, a 19yr old servant and Sarah Wang, a 48yr old 'Ladies Nurse'. By 1901, now with three children, they had moved to 11 Barrington Road, Hornsey with 21yr old Alice Maud Dins from Grays, Essex as a servant. It seems that they soon moved again in the direction of Alexandra Palace for son Eric's 1908 diary gives his address as 34 Warner Road Hornsey and they are listed there in 1911 (with Clara Budd as a 37yr old Household Help from Birmingham) and from Eric's 1916 diary, they are still there then.

Gertie had a brother Charles and sister Carrie and both these Speaight families remained close to the Beckwiths for at least two generations. "Carrie had a house and beach hut at Hayling Island and she named the hut 'Ailsvia' after her two nieces - Gertie's daughters Ailsa & Silvia." (Saira Holmes - granddaughter of Charles Speaight). A photo of Gertie with Eric (courtesy of Saira) is in Tree-3 pictgall.html

Their three children were Eric Thomas, Ailsa Gertrude and Silvia Jessie Frances. For their full details, please see Tree 3 and Tree 3 Notes


George Ivatts Beckwith - b12th Feb 1861 (birth certificate so not 5th as previously shown), d 15th April 1938 (Good Friday). His father, Thomas John Beckwith, mentions, in his diary for 1865, the demise on 15th May of an Uncle Ivatts (aged 80) - the clue which not only explained George's unusual second Christian name but also (finally) to the discovery of the Prickett family name of his grandmother, Sarah, and Ivatts connection (for more info on this, see 7.7.3 in Tree 1 Notes). George obtained Goldsmiths Freedom by Patrimony on Feb 1st 1888 at which time he was living at 31 Tollington Place, Tollington Park, London N and is described as a 'Commission Traveller'

In 1881, 1891 and 1901 censuses he is shown as an Insurance or Assurance Agent living at the respective family homes in Southwark, Islington and Stroud Green but in 1911, three years after his mother's death, he is living with younger brother Frank and his family in Southend (indexed as George Pratts Beckwith). In 1918 he was working for £96 per year as an Assurance Salesman for the Prudential and was living in rented accommodation in Langdon Park Road, Highgate which cost 6/6 (32½p) per week. He is remembered by the Delderfields (see 9.8) as "a big florid man who worked in insurance". However, the obituary published in a Brighton newspaper says "Before his retirement in 1928 he was a prominent stockbroker and had been honoured with the Freedom of London." the latter possibly actually referring to his Goldsmiths Freedom. The obit continues "He was associated with .... the Dickens Fellowship ... the British Empire Society and the anti-Vivisection Society." One wonders if the last named was as a result of influence from H G Chancellor MP who was closely related to the SurlsThe address quoted is 20 Upper Rock Gardens, Brighton.

On 18th August 1934, at the age of 73, he married Dorothy Drew YARROW ('Doll' or 'Dolly') who was George's housekeeper at the time. Doll Drew WIGENS was born in the Barton Regis registration area of South Glos (Northern suburbs of Bristol) on 1st July 1894, the daughter of George Wigens & Emily nee Drew. Emily died (in Barton Regis) when Doll was just 4 years old but three years later - in June 1901 - her father married Mary Jane TAYLOR and the couple later ran a pub in the St James district of Bristol.  In Bristol during 3rd qtr 1914 Doll married  Herbert YARROW, a 'provision merchants clerk' who was born 12th Sep 1891 (date from 1939 register) in Littlehampton, Sussex but whose family had later moved to Bristol. 

Doll Beckwith stayed on at 20 Upper Rock Gardens, Brighton, after George's death in 1938 right up until her own death on 12th June 1956. However. the 1939 register which shows her there is most interesting because (a) the two entries after Doll are blanked out. This is normally due to them being for minors but both her children were over 21 - so who were they ?. (b) The next schedule (household) at this address (probably the flat next door) is primarily for newly weds Reginald & Gladys Yarrow (see 10.2.1 below) but it is headed by none other than said Herbert Yarrow, 'Insurance Clerk', born 1891 with marital status given as Divorced. This proves that Doll was not in fact a widow upon marriage to George as had previously been thought. Herbert married Lucy May Adams (nee James) in mid-1940 in Salisbury after her 1st husband died - no further trace of that couple has been found after that. .

The two children of Doll's marriage to Herbert retained the Yarrow surname .....


Reginald Herbert YARROW was born 11th July 1915 in Bristol, d July 2000.

He married Gladys F WHEATLEY (June 9th 1912) in March qtr 1937 in Brighton but they soon settled in Lewes (Sx). During his long career in local government in the town, Reginald Yarrow was mayor four times (1984 the most recent) and was awarded the MBE. He was still a town councillor in Lewes in 1987 but contact was then lost and he died in July 2000. His name lives on as there is a "Reg Yarrow Room" in the Council's Offices in Lewes meanwhile Gladys lived to the age of 102, her recent death being minuted at the Lewes Town Council meeting held on 11th Dec 2014.

  The couple had three sons, two of whom are still living.  

  10.2.2 Ronald William YARROW - b in Bristol on 5th Oct 1916, d 10th Oct.1986. 

From the age of 16 in 1933 (as a Bellboy, 5'4" tall and weighing 98lbs) until the outbreak of WW2, he was employed in various roles on transatlantic liners, most notably the Empress of Britain and the Aquitania. In Sep 1940 at Bulmer, Essex, he married Sylvia Katherine MANNING (b 13th Sep1921 in Nayland, Cardiff, d 2nd qtr 1983, Brighton). His occupation on death in 1986 was quoted as "Retired storekeeper of 7, Attree Drive, Brighton" whilst the informant was his son Rodney Yarrow. (per CN, in Canada 30/07/10). Rodney was the eldest child (b1941) and he was followed by a another son in 1958 and a daughter in 1964.   


Arthur Charles Beckwith - born 27th July 1862, died 3rd Feb 1948. Shown in 1891 census as a 28 yr old clerk in the War Office and this occupation is consistent from then onwards, including on his Goldsmith's Freedom (by Patrimony) on 7th Feb 1894. His address in both cases is still the parental one of 31 Tollington Place, Tollington Park in the boro of Islington (north west of Finsbury Park station).

On 30th Aug 1899 he married Edith M JOWERS, born 2nd Dec 1877 and died on 5th April 1969 at Findon in Sussex. She was the daughter of Charles & Emily Jowers. In 1891 she and her family is shown at 5 Cardoza Road Islington, father Charles Jowers as a 45 year old tailor from Tendring in Essex whereas mother Emily, age 47, was born in Cheltenham (as Emily Annie WESTON). Also in the household then were her brothers Arthur C Jowers aged 16 (also a tailor), William JS Jowers aged 6 and servant Edith Roper (27) from Plymouth. 

Turning now to Arthur & Edith's married life, in 1901 they are living (with their infant son) at 25 Cornwall Road, Hornsey (close to the west side of Finsbury Park) with 20yr old Lily Evans from Camden Town as their servant. By 1911 (now with two children) they had followed in the footsteps of older brother Thomas by moving towards 'Ally Pally' & Muswell Hill, in fact to the self same Barrington Road in Crouch End but to number 92 (Thomas & co were at number 11 but they were possibly not both in the same street at the same time as Thomas had moved further towards the Palace before 1908). Their 20yr old servant this time was Kate Jordan from Holloway. In later years the family lived at the upper end of Muswell Hill (N10) but some time after Arthur's death, Edith moved to Findon in Sussex.

"Edith Beckwith had an enormous mahogany side-board on which she had a photo of every member of her family.  As a result she talked about them a lot and I remember her mentioning that Ailsa, Thomas William Beckwith’s daughter was a very good soprano. Edith herself was an accomplished pianist and played for “events in the social calendar”. She was also very good at needlework, especially embroidery. She embroidered a tablecloth as a present for Peggy’s 25th wedding anniversary which I still have." Jenny Barham.

At the same time, in her later years and to younger members of the family who visited her in Muswell Hill, 'Aunt Edith' was quite a formidable character. 

Their four children were Arthur Charles Stanley, Kathleen, Mary and Muriel (Peggy) - for their full details, please see Tree 4 and Tree 4 Notes


Jessie Anne Eliza Beckwith - born 19th March 1864, died 30th July 1951. 

She is shown in  the 1881, 1891 and 1901 censuses at the respective family homes but though 27 years old in 1891, no occupation is shown in any. RTB explains this "she was never employed but helped her mother at home." After her mother's death, she plus sisters Nancy & Nell took a flat together at 3, Stanley Mansions, Tetherdown, Muswell Hill (just north-west of Muswell Hill Broadway) where she is shown in the 1911 census as 'Housekeeper' but the other two are 'Civil Service Clerks'  

RTB continues ... "Around 1914,  Aunt Nancy retired from the Post Office on a very small pension and with this, and the money that Jessie had inherited as the eldest daughter, they maintained their rather frugal household and brought up their adopted son. They moved house quite often and ended up at West Worthing."  This was "Wildwood", Stone Lane - a wonderful house where my family holidays were spent during the early 1950's. RTB adds "Ethel Delderfield recalled how Nancy used to trust Jessie's judgement and defer to her opinion. I can confirm this. Though she (Nancy) had strong opinions of her own, she always treated Jessie as head of the household, and deferred to her opinion. Nancy was the active one, Jessie's health not being very good, so took all the initiatives."

The 1939 register tacitly agrees with this perceptive comment. Wildwood, Stone Lane, Worthing :
    Beckwith Eliza J       - 19/03/1864  single  Unpaid domestic duties
    Beckwith Hannah C - 23/11/1973  single  Civil servant (retired)

According to her probate record, Jessie died on 30th July 1951 at Oakwood, Grove Road, Burgess Hill, Sussex. Probate was to nephew Geoffrey Edwin Surl (Civil Servant). The property no longer exists but several local newspaper obits of the era do mention it so it was probably a small nursing home. Google very helpfully points one to The Grove, Oakwood Road which, confusingly, is but two streets away. 

For more info, please see Hannah Constance ('Nancy') below.


Albert Edward Beckwith ("Bertie") - His birth date has been shown in previous charts as 13th Jan 1873 but the year has now been confirmed as 1866. However the remark that he died aged about 10 looks to be pretty accurate - his death was recorded in the Dec qtr of 1874 when he would have been almost 9. The place of death is shown as Strand district of London, possibly indicating that he died in hospital there.


Francis Henry Beckwith ("Frank") - Previous charts have shown him as the 8th child born c1873 but he was in fact the sixth child and RTB has confirmed the date by kindly obtaining a copy birth certificate - it was 11th June 1869 (and the family home at the time is shown as 26 Roman Road, Holloway, Islington). When he obtained his Goldsmith's Freedom by Patrimony on 7th Feb 1894, the same day as older brother Arthur Charles, he too is listed as living at 31 Tollington Place with occupation "Clerk in Guys Hospital".

In Sep qtr 1896 in Camberwell, London SE5, Frank married Annie Elizabeth KNIGHT ("Fanny"). She was born in Sep qtr 1869 in Dover, Kent, the eldest of the two children of James & Elizabeth KNIGHT. When Annie was born, James was a grocer and the family were living at St James St in Dover but by 1881 they had moved to Hornsey, London and were still there in 1891, with James still a grocer, albeit now at 28 The Broadway, Hornsey - known to All Bar One locally as 'Crouch End Broadway'. However, in the 1881 census Annie is not with the family - she has finally been traced to Christchurch, Hants where as a 12 yr old scholar she was residing with relatives John & Emma Payne, John being a professor of mathematics. In 1891, 5 years before her marriage, Annie is back with the family in Crouch End as a Milliners' Shop Assistant but presumably she didn't need to use a calculator.

Frank & Annie had two children: Marjorie Elizabeth and Gerald Frederick, both born in Lewisham, London SE13. For their full details, please see Tree 5 and Tree 5 Notes

In 1901, Frank & Annie  are shown with 1yr old Marjorie at 83 Tresillian Road in Lewisham. Frank is shown as 'Hospital Clerk' (born in Barnesbury but, in a move that will likely confuse family historians, the enumerator's beautiful copperplate writing has been transcribed into the Index as 'Barras Cary') and he followed in his father's footsteps by becoming Secretary to Guy's Hospital. After a spell in S E London, the family had moved by 1911 to 36 Inverness Avenue, Southend, Essex (which is in the Prittlewell sub-district of the Rochford registration district). By WW1 time they were in Westcliff-on-Sea (near Southend) where sister Nell seems to have been a frequent visitor. Arthur Surl as a young teenager also went to stay with them but the stories of mischief that he and cousin Gerald Beckwith got up to in Westcliff are best not repeated here.

A death record for Francis H Beckwith has at last been found - Mar qtr 1934 at age 64 in the  Rochford registration district of Essex. A likely one for Annie has also been been traced - Sep qtr 1928 in the Rochford district. She is quoted as age 61 when actually 59 but age discrepancies on death records are commonplace.


Edith Lucy Beckwith born 7th October 1871, she is shown in 1891 census living in the Islington family home without occupation. On 11th Feb 1899 she married Edwin John SURL ("Ted", born 7th August 1857 so 14 years her senior), living initially at 85 Digby Road, Stoke Newington thence from 1911 if not earlier at 25 Ferme Park Road, Stroud Green (Hornsey) and finally, after WW1, 33 Dartmouth Park Avenue NW5, near Tufnell Park/Archway, where she is shown with Ted in 1939.

She excelled at needlework and became superintendent of the Highbury Depot of Queen Mary's Needlework Guild from 1915-1918. It is thought that she was awarded the BEM in 1919. She died on 30th July 1948, two years before Ted (d 5th Nov 1950).


Edie's Identity Card (unsigned !) issued during WW1

 They had two children: Geoffrey Edwin and Arthur Lionel. For their full details, see Tree 6 and Tree 6 Notes


Hannah Constance Beckwith ("Nancy") - Born in Southwark on 23rd November 1873 (not 1874 as on some trees, the confusion being that the birth was not recorded until Mar qtr 1874). She was the first in this line to be born 'over the water' on the south side of the Thames. 

She is shown in 1891 as a 17yr old 'scholar' called "Annie Constance Becksmith", visiting (together with her mother an Nell) Edmund & Louisa Webb (shown as Hebb in census transcript) at the Carpenter's Shop at Shere, near Guildford. (These Webbs are probably close rels of John Webb (also born in Shere) with whom Eliza's brother William was boarding in Islington in 1881 MGS)

Nancy spent her working life in the Post Office, appearing in the 1901 and 1911 censuses as a 'civil servant' or similar. In 1914, whilst in the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital having an appendix operation, she met 4 year old Anthony Thomas Delderfield who was in hospital having treatment for Rickets. RTB adds "he was one of seven children (two boys and five girls) of a family living in very poor circumstances in Pancras Road (near Kings Cross). This gave her the rather unusual idea of adopting this little blond boy. His parents agreed to the adoption provided that his name was not changed and they had access to him and Tony (or Tom as he preferred to be called) believes that there was a letter to this effect. [A letter was sufficient at this time - modern adoption legislation dates only from 1926].

As noted under Jessie above, Nancy took early retirement in 1914 and the two sisters then brought up the youngster ... until he emigrated to New Zealand in 1929 and contact was lost, Nancy later referring to him as a 'naughty boy' for this. However Tom's younger sister Ethel, who had frequently stayed with the 'Aunts' and her brother in earlier times, maintained contact with Nancy right up to the time of her death (last seen alive 16th March 1956, found dead on 17th March ). 

In a stranger than fiction coincidence, contact was re-established in 1988 when Ethel was in hospital in Brighton and her nurse was none other than Roger Beckwith's daughter Sarah. She was then introduced to Tom when he visited thereby enabling a fuller story to emerge:


Anthony Thomas DELDERFIELD (registered at birth just as Thomas), b22nd July 1910. Shown in 1911 census again as just Thomas, living with parents - Alfred Henry (29), a fireman on the GN Railway and Ann (28) - plus four elder siblings at 13 Culross Buildings, St Pancras. Culross Buildings, located to the rear of Kings Cross Station, comprised 40 flats erected in the mid 1890's by the GN Railway to house their employees & their families; Lord Colville of Culross was the chairman of the GNR at the time. 

Tom emigrated to New Zealand in 1929 to work on the land. He joined up in WW2 and saw service on several fronts but, sometime after the end of hostilities, decided to return to England. Not being a good letter writer, he had lost touch with the Aunts and his own family whilst in New Zealand but, after returning to England, found his natural family again, initially living with his brother in London thence with Ethel in Brighton. This must have been after Jessie's death and not long before Nancy's but sadly seems never to have renewed contact with Nancy, whether or not she knew of his return to England. "Although he knows what he owes to his Aunts, he feels sore at having been given away by his family" (RTB) .

Tom died on 14th November 1992 and RTB conducted the funeral service just like Nancy's, 36 years earlier.  

During meetings between Ethel, Tom, Sarah and Roger in the early 1990's, Ethel mentioned two other items of interest:

- One of her sisters was killed by a V bomb in 1944. This probably clears up the question I posed back in 1986 as to who were Elsie & Gracie one of whom was killed by a V bomb (letter from Nancy to Dolly Beckwith nee Yarrow in 1944).

- She recalled being taken by Nancy to a church in Whitechapel to check the record of a family baptism or marriage and being told by her that her own father was adopted, like Tom. This could be read as referring to Ethel's father but if it refers to Nancy's, this opens up many interesting possibilities !  


Ellen Sarah Beckwith ("Nell" or occasionally "Nellie") - Thanks to RTB, her birth has now been traced to 23rd July 1876 in Southwark. Details of Nell have always been rather difficult to come by as she was not discussed "in front of the children" at family gatherings when I was young.

She had eluded detection in the 1891 census but, as described above, she has at last been found (as 14yr old scholar Ellen Sarah Becksmith (!)) together with mother and sister Nancy as visitors to some folks in Shere. 

In 1901 she is listed with the family in Victoria Road, Stroud Green and, like Nancy, she worked for the Post Office, both of them being shown then as 'Clerk, London Postal Service'. From her diaries for 1906 and 1908 it appears that she worked in the City, had a good social life and was both a keen traveller and church-goer. She mainly travelled around London by train and tube (using some railway lines which have long since been closed) but the few bus journeys (mainly by horse-bus) demonstrate how little some central London routes have changed over the years, eg a trip in 1906 on a 137 'motor bus' to Crystal Palace, a route that still runs over a century later though more recently cut back from the Palace to Streatham Garage.  

As noted under Jessie above, following the death of her mother in 1908, she plus Jessie & Nancy shared a flat together in Muswell Hill and she is shown there in 1911 as a 'Clerk (Civil Service)' like Nancy.

Nell died on 13th June 1921 in Pracchia (Pistoia), Italy. From the contemporary account of her travelling companion and long time close friend, Kathleen Fitzgerald, it would appear that the accident which ultimately proved fatal actually happened on June 4th 1921, when, whilst standing near an allegedly badly secured door on an overcrowded Italian train, she fell therefrom sustaining head injuries. Doubts seem to have lingered in some minds that it was actually suicide and, given the far greater stigma attached to this in the early 20th century than nowadays, may explain their attitude. Alternatively this could be related to her suspected sexuality. Whatever, several family members went to Italy for the funeral, including Nancy, who recalled that "Italian children from the village came down the hillside carrying flowers."  

Map of Pracchia Italy

Map of Pracchia showing railway line, station and cemetary.

28 Ossian Road, Stroud Green appears still to have been her official residence in 1921 but there is evidence that she was based in Westcliff (living with her brother Frank) shortly before her ill-fated holiday.


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