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Mary Bowdler, 1873 - ??

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Mary Bowdler, 1873 - ??

Postby JaneyH » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:10 pm

I'm looking for help in researching my 2x great aunt, Mary (Molly) Bowdler.

Her birth certificate shows she was born on 21 November 1873 in Sutton (a small hamlet), Newnham district, Westbury-on-Severn RD in Gloucestershire, although the birth was registered in January 1874. She was baptised in the parish church in Littledean in December 1873.

In the 1881 Census she was living with her parents George & Sarah Bowdler in Flaxley (piece 2524, folio 124, page 45). In 1891 (aged 17) she was living in Woodside Road, Cinderford as housekeeper to her maternal uncles, James and Hubert Edwards, along with her brother Oliver (piece 2006, folio 81, page 13).

I think I've located her in 1901, listed as a servant (unmarried, aged 27) in the household of George Holloway across the Severn at The Hill, Uplands, Painswick (piece 2436, folio 29, page 50). Slightly more speculatively, 1911 finds her in Paddington in London. If I have the correct record she's aged 37, still unmarried, and working as a sick nurse in the household of Alice Yolland, an elderly lady of independent means (RG14 PN49 RG78 PN2 RD1 SD2 ED9 SN403 on FMP). The transcription says Little Dean 'Thos' but this should presumably be 'Glos' for Gloucestershire.

After this I lose track of her. I don't know if she ever married and I don't know when or where she died. My mother (born 1943) visited an aunt Molly as a young child, which I'm pretty sure was Mary. There must have been a special affection between my grandfather and his aunt as my Mum is named Molly, presumably after this ancestor. Very recently I've got in contact with a new cousin on this side of the family (a few years younger than my Mum) who also recalls visiting an aunt Molly as a small child. This would suggest that Mary/Molly was still alive in the early 1950s.

Despite lots of searching on both FMP and Ancestry I've been unable to locate her in the 1939 Register, whether using her specific dob or in more open searches. Any suggestions as to her whereabouts after 1911 would be much appreciated. Her birth certificate contains no middle name. The extended family all lived in and around Cinderford at this time which is where I would have expected to have found her.

Many thanks, Janey
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Re: Mary Bowdler, 1873 - ??

Postby phsvm » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:12 pm

Do your mother or cousin have any idea where in the country they may have visited the mystery Aunt Molly? You say the family were Gloucestershire based but you know your Gt aunt was in London at one stage so persumably she could have moved anywhere.
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Re: Mary Bowdler, 1873 - ??

Postby JaneyH » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:45 pm

Sorry I wasn't clear. When my Mum visited as a young girl it was definitely the Forest of Dean. My grandfather had taken his young family to visit the extended family there - most likely in Cinderford itself, but it could have been the nearby villages of Flaxley, Ruspidge or Littledean. Although he left the area as a young man he clearly retained a strong attachment to the place, and to the large Bowdler family there.
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Re: Mary Bowdler, 1873 - ??

Postby KayFarndon » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:00 pm

On FreeBMD I found a marriage for a Mary Bowdler to Alfred Webb in the September Quarter of 1914 at Westbury-on-Severn, which would make her 40 years old. When I looked for a death there were 5,693 listed and I had to review my link, so put Westbury-on-Severn, but she does not show there. If this is your Mary, then she obviously moved from Westbury.

Although you called her Molly, her official records would more than likely show her as Mary. Try the 1939 census with the name of Mary Webb, or Alfred Webb and see what comes up. I hope you are lucky, but you would possibly have to send for their marriage certificate to make sure she is your ancestor.
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Re: Mary Bowdler, 1873 - ??

Postby avaline » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:57 pm

Following on from the Bowdler/Webb marriage, there was a daughter born in 1915, Lena Irene.

She married Kenneth J Young in 1936, and they seem to be on the 1939 register at Commercial Street, East Dean as James K & Irene L Young, with what I assume is their daughter (redacted).

Lena died in 1993 in Canterbury district, Kenneth having died there in 1980.

There is a Mary M Webb in the 1939 register at Office Row, East Dean. Unfortunately her YoB is obscured - 18 May ?? She is No. 3 in that household

In the same household (at No.1) is Edmund J Webb born 21 Jun 1888. The 2nd occupant is redacted.

Looking for Edmund J brings up a family in East Dean in 1891, including another son named Alfred.
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Re: Mary Bowdler, 1873 - ??

Postby JaneyH » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:32 pm

Thanks both Kay and avaline. I’ll look at the Webb marriage tomorrow. However, I’m not sure about the 1939 Register reference as I know her dob was 21 November, not in May.


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Re: Mary Bowdler, 1873 - ??

Postby ianbee » Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:09 pm

avaline wrote:Following on from the Bowdler/Webb marriage, there was a daughter born in 1915, Lena Irene.

Another Webb daughter, mother Bowdler - Evelyn M, registered March 1919, Westbury

Death of Alfred?
March 1955 Forest of Dean 7b 503
Webb, Alfred
age 77

Probate for him - Alfred Webb of Upper Soudley near Cinderford.
https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk/Ca ... 1#calendar

It says administration granted to Evelyn May Hopkins (wife of Mervyn Hopkins)
Likely marriage
Sep 1940 Coventry
Hopkins, Mervyn - spouse Webb
Webb, Evelyn M. - spouse Hopkins

There are a couple of brief mentions of a possible Mervyn in the newpapers, but did Evelyn also die in 1955, age 36? And is she in East Dean Rural District in 1939?

We seem to be missing something here, probably Mary Webb nee Bowdler!
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Re: Mary Bowdler, 1873 - ??

Postby ianbee » Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:44 pm

ianbee wrote:did Evelyn also die in 1955, age 36?

Evelyn May Hopkins is buried in Cinderford, as was Alfred Webb earlier in the year. So you would think that Mary would also be there.

There is a burial of a Mary Webb at Cinderford, 9 May 1936, age 47. Presumably is the death registered in Gloucester district in June quarter.
Could she have been the wife of Alfred?
There was a Mary Ann Bowdler born in those parts in 1888.
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Re: Mary Bowdler, 1873 - ??

Postby JaneyH » Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:21 am

Thanks, too, Ian. I’m going to have to sit down and trace all these different lines properly. Bowdler may be a relatively unusual name in general but there were lots of them in the Cinderford area. Many were large families and I’ve come across a few cousin marriages just to make it more complicated!

I’ve emailed my cousin to see if she can recall if aunt Molly ever married. She’s mentioned that she was a nurse, which would tie in with the 1911 Census records. I believe that there are nursing registration records on Ancestry so I’ll look at those too.


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Re: Mary Bowdler, 1873 - ??

Postby Lesley Kirby » Mon Jun 10, 2019 2:25 pm

Hi Janey, Have a look at a tree , on Ancestry. I did it for a friend , if it's any help ...Arrowsmith/Hopkins tree, you may find some answers there....Kind regards, Lesley
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