The ALLEN Key

Kent, Faversham, St Mary's of Charity Church

William Henry ALLEN, son of Henry & Susanna ALLEN, was born around 1790 in Faversham, Kent.
I can state this for sure because of Bishop’s Transcripts.  Before this discovery, I only knew that William Henry ALLEN was a carpenter and the father of Mary Ann Allen since he appears on his daughter’s marriage certificate in 1848 (also seen in this post).

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Marriage Certificate of George Wright PALMER & Mary Ann ALLEN

This information backs up the 1851 census record I had for the family (although the names of the visiting grandchildren made me pretty confident anyway):

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1851 census entry for ALLEN family

So I now know that the family lived on Chatham Hill, Chatham between 1848 and 1851 (at least) and that Henry was a carpenter born in Faversham, Kent around 1790.  (I also know the names of a few more children but I’m focusing on William for now).  Next stop, parish records…
Unfortunately, the Medway Ancestors project doesn’t seem to have the parish registers for Faversham online but I recently did a search on Find My Past and it came up with the Bishop’s Transcript record.  Bishop’s Transcripts were a copy of the parish records, often summarised, that each church sent to the Bishop.  Information can vary from the register and the transcript so it’s always worthwhile to check out both if you can.

Canterbury Baptisms - Bishop's Transcripts
Canterbury Baptisms – Bishop’s Transcripts (St Mary’s of Charity, Faversham)

…William Henry Allen, son of Henry & Susanna Allen [May 30, 1790]…

Yay! I now know the name of William Henry’s parents and have unlocked a few more avenues of research for this family.

Next steps:

Looking for Lovell

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A GIPSY ENCAMPMENT IN ESSEX” c.1889

Carnation LOVELL was born into her gypsy family in Willenhall, 1889. Finding her family has led me on a bit of a run around over the years and I have decided I need to find some solid records and check my information is correct so far (a previous post can be found here).
She appears on the 1891 census with her parents (Matthew and Maria LOVELL), and elder brother Chandos, living in a gypsy tent in Darlaston, Staffordshire.

1891Lovells
1891 Census – Lovells

She reappears on the 1901 census, living in a caravan on Sneyd Lane, Bloxwich, as Carnation FLETCHER with brother Chandos, younger sister Elizabeth and what appears to be her mother listed as married to Eli FLETCHER.  All the children and Maria now carry the name, FLETCHER.

1901Fletchers
1901 Census – Fletchers/Lovells

I started to wonder if this was the same Carnation.  Carnation’s birth certificate cites her mother’s former name as Maria ANSLOW.  Her marriage entry to Eli (7 years after their appearance as a family unit on the census) also records her as Maria ANSLOW, spinster.  So, this is clearly the same woman.  This also indicates that Carnation’s parents were never legally married.  This makes me curious about gypsy marriage customs – was this usual?  Was Eli a gypsy or not?
I am yet to find Carnation in the 1911 census. I’m presuming her name was mistranscribed but all the variants I’ve come up with so far have given me no joy.
Instead, I have decided to gather more family records and information about gypsy life paint a clearer picture of Carnation’s life in my mind.

Next Steps:
  • Find Carnation in the 1911 census
  • Research gypsy ancestors

To Let or Not To Let?

Hare and Hounds TO LET notice
Trewman’s Exeter Flying Post
22 April 1858
This notice was found on a visit to the Exeter Library a few years ago. It relates to the letting of theHare and Hounds Inn of Witheridge in 1858 – only a few years before my WREFORDs inhabited it in 1861.  Perhaps the WREFORDs took over this letting in 1858? 
The text is very difficult to read but I have uploaded it here (with a transcription of what I could make out) in case anyone has any suggestions.
Trewman’s Exeter Flying Post
Exeter, Thursday, April 22,1858 (p1)
WITHERIDGE – DEVON
TO LET by Tender, for a Term of …… [years] from Midsummer next, all ……[establish]ment called the HARE AND [HOUNDS] [encompassing?] a dwelling-house, malt- …… and also a garden and two fields? … the occupation of Mr. William … 
… [business is now?] being carried …
… be sent on or before the 1?th …. to Mr I M?H C?mins?, Solictor, …
Front page the above notice was ‘clipped’ from

UPDATE – I have found evidence that the family actually kept the Commercial Inn – see post here