Four generations of Gidleys
Some photos from my own Gidley family (with thanks to distant cousins "Nanastea42" and Sue Tiller).
Top left is my father and his brothers, all born in West London.
Right at the bottom is my great great grandfather George Gidley born in Spreyton, Devon in 1808. Apprenticed as a child to Thomas Cobley in Spreyton (presumably the one who had an Uncle in the Widecombe Fair song) he later left Spreyton for Heavitree where he had 13 children in total, by two wives. Consequently he has a large number of descendants, many of whom are still in the Exeter area, but also elsewhere in the UK. The descendants of his oldest daughter, Fanny, who moved to South Wales in the boom years of the Welsh economy, own this photo of him and have generously shared it on Ancestry. George also took on the illegitimate son of his second wife, Elizabeth Elston, William Smale Elston, who was absorbed into the family as Samuel Gidley until he reverted to his real name and left for London as a young man. George was a farmer in a small way at Broomfield in Heavitree and moved with his wife Elizabeth to Ducke's Almshouses in Heavitree where he died.
Third from the top is my grandfather Walter Gidley as a young boy, born in Heavitree in 1888. He moved to London as a young man, partly to seek his fortune (he was a shoemender and sadly never found it) but also to have his leg properly set following an accident when he fell from a wall. This actually turned out to be a stroke of luck because his game leg kept him out of the First World War.
Second from the top is George Gidley's youngest surviving son, Jim Gidley, my great grandfather, who remained in the Heavitree area all his life, and worked as a gardener at Digby's asylum. Eventually he and his wife, Martha, and unmarried daughters moved to a house in Coronation Row, Wonford. He died there in the 1930s, fortunately missing the Exeter blitz, although the house still survives. Jim and Martha's descendants are mainly through his daughters. Of his four sons, only my grandfather Walter had sons himself. Jim and Martha's oldest son was James Henry Gidley, who died in the Boer War and whose photograph is on an earlier blog posting.