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Wednesday, 31 December 2008

1911 census preliminary findings

I have had a preliminary look at the 1911 census, the beta test version of which was released for a week or so. I didn't purchase any vouchers to check full details, and only a few counties were available, but fortunately Devon was one of them. From the 484 Gidleys found so far, there are now extra people to add to most of the trees I have built up. A lot of the new names were of girls, so there have not been many families to follow through.

1) My own family: A daughter, Emily Bessie J Gidley, born 1908 and a son, James Albert Gidley, born in 1910 have been added to the family of Frederick James Gidley and his wife Lily of Exeter, making a total of 5 boys in the family. James Albert married in Wales, but I have not found any children. I have a newspaper article from about 20 years ago about this family in Exeter, which I shall post separately.

A son, Gerald Frederick Gidley, born 1910 in Devonport, was a surprise addition to the family of Frederick Samuel Gidley and his wife Elizabeth. Gerald's sister Dorothy was 15 years older than he was. Gerald married and had two daughters in Newton Abbot registration district.

There are two more children to add to those of Albert Samuel Gidley and his wife Annie Sophia in Birmingham. One was a daughter, Dorothy Lily Gidley born in 1902, and one was a son, Frederick Gidley, born in 1904. Frederick married in 1932 and had one daughter. He and his wife both died in the Penzance registration area.

Muriel Avis Gidley, born in the Totnes registration district in 1910, was the daughter of Frederick Martin Gidley and his wife Amy.

2) The Winkleigh (and Pedigree) family: another son for the children of William Osborn Gidley and his wife Etta, who later settled in Kingsbridge. This is William George Gidley born 1907 in the Okehampton registration district. I cannot find any marriage for him, but it looks as though he died in 1979 in the Plymouth area.

There are several girls to add to the tree, including two daughters of Sidney George Gidley and his wife Louisa Esther nee Chamberlain. There was no birth reference in England and Wales for the older daughter, Marjorie Dorothy Esther Gidley, so she may have been born in Scotland where both her parents were in 1901.

3) The South Devon family: Stanley George Gidley born 1908 in Greenwich registration district and his sister Olive Wilhelmina born in 1906 have been added to the family of Richard Abel Gidley and his wife Jane. Richard had died in 1910 and one daughter, Florence Irene, was in an "institution" in the Brentford area in the 1911 census, but I didn't check the details. Stanley George married in Lewisham in 1930, but I couldn't trace any family for him.

Another son for John Coulton Elliott Gidley and his wife Mary Adeline of Bristol. This was George Stuart Gidley born 1909, who married and had one daughter. There also seems to have been another daughter for John and Mary's family, Olive Gidley born about 1902, although I can't find a birth reference for her.

4) The "Plymouth James" family: William Henry Gidley and his wife Mary Esther had a son Arthur James Gidley born in Bristol in 1907. Nothing further is known about Arthur yet. There was also another daughter, Dorothy Winifred Gidley, born in 1905.

There are still some mysteries. Several children were found in households where there were no other Gidleys. A birth certificate may have to be obtained for Leslie Edward Gidley born in Greenwich in 1904, as in the 1911 census he is living in Surrey in the Kingston area, the only Gidley in the household. Ivy Whitmore Gidley born in Greenwich in 1895 could not be found in 1901, and in 1911 is also living in the Kingston area, again the only Gidley in the household.

There will be more to add to this 1911 thread as I continue to work my way through the entries, and as more counties are unrolled in the official release.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Visitors to the Gidley Profile page

I have recently installed StatCounter on the Gidley Profile page at the GOONS website. This has provided a wonderful source of information about visitors to the page, including how they were referred there - usually via Google of course. But their search terms are interesting - "churchwardens of Stoke Damerel", "Chudleigh family name", "Mrs Gidley MP", "Gidley Harold German" are some of them, also those who seek the meaning of the Gidley name (and one person who was looking for the meaning of the name Gidlow).
You can also see where the visitors are based and in the few daysI've had StatCounter installed, they have been from all over England, and also from Perth in Western Australia, and Montana, Massachusetts, Washington, New Jersey, California, and New Hampshire in the USA.
I wish more researchers would get in touch, as I'm sure they could add to the family trees.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

The Gidleys of Shoreditch

More information has emerged on the Gidleys of Shoreditch, descended from Robert Pyne Gidley and his wife Ann Norton. Actually, nearly all the males of the family seem to have married an Ann, which makes life confusing. I know that there are several researchers interested in this family. Eight children have come to light so far, the first two being christened in Topsham, Devon. Then there was a move in about 1793 to Bermondsey, on the south bank of the Thames and a centre of the tanning industry, where Robert Pyne Gidley would have plied his trade as a cordwainer. A slight doubt exists over Fraser Gordon Gidley, christened in 1801 in Bermondsey, where his father's trade is given as "Excise, Dock Head". Caroline Snyeder Gidley was the seventh child, and I believe is the Caroline who married John James Brewer in 1826 in St Pancras. A mystery surrounds William Boyne (sometimes Bowen) Gidley, the fifth child, born in 1798. He married Ann Prosser in 1822, and Robert Gidley and Caroline Gidley were witnesses. This Ann seems to have been about 14 years older than her husband, and on the 1841 and 1851 censuses is possibly a female servant (1841) and living with a sister-in-law (1851). There is no sign of William Boyne/Bowen until a death reference in 1866.
At some point the family seems to have moved north of the Thames. The oldest child Robert, born in 1788, married Ann Knight in 1815 in St Anne's, Soho. His parents witnessed the marriage. No children have been found so far, nor any trace of this younger Robert and Ann couple.
Present Gidley representatives of the family descend from the eighth child, Bartholomew Gidley, who married Sarah Cox and whose children were all born in Shoreditch. He carried on the family trade as a cordwainer.
Robert Pyne Gidley died in 1846 and his wife Ann in 1847. Robert Pyne's address was given as 11 Cowper St, City Road, at his burial in Golden Lane Cemetery.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Gidleys in Marldon, Devon

On my last visit to the Devon Record Office in May, I was surprised to find a hitherto unknown Gidley family - that of John, described as "of Marldon" in the register when he married Mary Gale in 1792 in Kingsteignton. I found 4 children in the Marldon PRs until they became too faint to read easily. Son Samuel could possibly be the one who joins the Navy/coastguard service and marries Amelia Kearley in Hampshire. One of the daughters of John and Mary was Tryphena Gidley, who married in Berry Pomeroy in 1825, but by 1851 was living in West Teignmouth, where her sister Jane married in 1833. West Teignmouth looks a fruitful area to investigate next time, in the hope of finding a burial and/or possible ages for John and Mary, the parents.
The south coast of Devon seems to have been much more attractive to Gidleys from mid-Devon. Very few are to be found in Barnstaple or Bideford, etc. but most families seem to have a representative somewhere on the south coast, with Torquay being particularly popular.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

The Gidley family history blog

Photo of Pte. James Henry Gidley of the Royal Devonshire Regiment who died of enteric fever in Standerton, Transvaal, in February 1901.

I hope this blog will become a way of communicating progress to all interested parties on the Gidley fact-finding mission of the One-Name Study begun in 2001. I hope too that it will persuade me to go about the research in a systematic fashion, though that rather does depend on the opportunities that present themselves.
My most recent research trip was to London where I visited the Guildhall Library and the Westminster City Archives at half-term. Both very different research centres, but I did discover some more details about Gidleys living in London. One more mystery though - I checked the marriage of Mary Ann Gidley to James Maber at Shoreditch St Leonard in 1844. Mary Ann gave her occupation as bootbinder, and her father's name as Henry Gidley, porter. I don't know who this Henry Gidley could be.
At home I am inputting the census data from the American censuses into Custodian. It rather linked in with the John Adams programme recently shown on Saturdays about the second President of the USA, which provided an interesting background, but it is taking so long that I shall probably take a break at 1880. Looking more carefully than before, a few so far unrecorded facts have surfaced:
William Isaac Gidley, son of Jasper Maudit Gidley of the Honiton branch, had children, including three sons who survived to at least the age of 15. Unfortunately they have disappeared from the family home before the 1850 census when all the family was named. There are several "unattached" Gidleys born in New York State who could fit the bill. There is Charles Gidley born abt 1830 who married Almira Sherlock, Daniel Gidley born abt. 1819, a broom maker who moved to Wisconsin, and Edwin Gidley born abt. 1822 who married Mary (Polly) Herriman, who must not be confused with another Edwin and Mary couple of about the same age, and where the latter Edwin became the Police Chief of Ann Arbor. Confusingly, they all lived in Michigan for a while. There is also Edward B Gidley born abt. 1823, though I find it difficult to believe that a family could have an Edwin and an Edward amongst the children. One must belong to another family.

Amongst the English branches, after 20 years of family history, I have found another first cousin for my father, of whom the family was completely unaware. My aunt remembered visiting a Violet Gidley and her family as a small child, who was a relation of some sort. This tied in with an address for a "Violet Cole (Gidley)" in my grandmother's address book, but I was never able to work out who they were. Then when going through all the Gidley marriages and allotting them to family trees, I eventually decided that there was only one James Henry Gidley who could have married at Crediton in 1898, and that was my great uncle who died very shortly afterwards in the Boer War. We have a photo (the one above) but no-one living knew he had married. Re-checking the 1901 census, his wife, who had married as Lucy Vanstone, was living with her mother in Crediton and was wrongly enumerated under her maiden name as Louisa Vanstone, with a daughter - Violet L Vanstone. At that point I remembered the birth reference to Violet Ladysmith Gidley - a bit of a clue that I'd not thought had anything to do with my family. Violet Ladysmith Gidley married Stanley Coles (with an extra "s"). The mystery was solved. Louisa Gidley remarried very shortly after hearing of Jim's death. Sadly, Violet died as recently as 1999. There do seem to be descendants still in Devon through her daughter Joyce Coldridge, and I should love them to get in touch.