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John Howell of Banwell 1837 -1923
published by Kerrie Henry on Wed, 17/01/2018 - 6:14

Happy New Year to all!

I'm wondering if there would be Parish Assistance records available in the district?

My Gg grandfather John Howell, was son of George Howell and Grace Fry, b. July-Aug-Sept, 1837 in Banwell.

The family lived in Rolstone area.

From records so far I'm thinking he left Somerset about 1854 for New Zealand, aged about 17.

From what I've been reading in general Somerset history, Parish assistance was granted in late 1840's and early 1850's towards emigration.

The last record I have of John in Somerset is 1851 Census where he is a 13 year old scholar. His widowed mum, Grace, is a pauper and cate servant at 36. Tney're living in Rolstone. Is a cate servant someone on call to prepare meals for those who are wealthy enough to order one? Early takeaway? I 'd never come across the term before.

My husband and I are visiting the UK in May, and I'm very excited to be staying in Weston Super Mare for a couple of days. I can see there is help available at Portishead Library, 9 May from 2-4, so very much looking forward to meeting some local members.

I'd really  appreciate if anyone might be able to help  point me in the right direction to keep looking online before we get there.

Kind regards



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Children of Henry LEWIS and Frances STOCK of Shipham
published by KellyE on Wed, 17/01/2018 - 1:43

Henry LEWIS (bap. 17 Feb 1760), s/o Peregrine LEWIS and Hannah TRIVETT, married

Frances STOCK (d/o ?), widow of Isaac HARES,

on 26 Jul 1802 at St. Leonard's, Shipham. At his marriage he was listed as a mariner.


I believe he is the Henry LEWIS bur. at St. Leonard's 23 May 1839, and I believe she is the "Fanny" LEWIS bur. at St. Leonard's 3 Feb 1850.


The Lewis family right up until my great-grandfather in the early 1900s are usually quite nice and easy to find on records. My great-grandfather's grandfather was Henry LEWIS (according to 1841 through 1881 census, always living in Shipham, and born between 1804 and 1815 depending on the census). Henry married Phoebe STOCK at St. Leonard's in 1825. He died in Shipham on 16 Jul 1881, and his sister, Ann who married William STEVENS/STEPHENS (1826 St. Leonard's), was the informant on his death certificate. And from marriage records, I believe that they had another sister, Frances who married George VOWLES (1826 St. Leonard's), as they all had a witness, Henry ROE, in common (in addition to William FOORD).

Another possible sister is Sarah, who married Philip HENBERY/HENBURY probably around 1838; I haven't found the marriage to be sure of her maiden name, but she is listed as an aunt of one of Ann (LEWIS) STEVENS' children late in her life, and her son Charles (bap 4 Jun 1838) is probably the Charles HEMBERY living with the widowed Fanny (STOCK) (HARES) LEWIS, on the 1841 census (though he is also listed on that census with his parents); if Sarah belongs in this family then Fanny would be his grandma.



I have seen Henry who married Phoebe listed as son of Henry and Frances (STOCK) (HARES) on websites, and the conclusion seems logical, but I can not find any sources for this nor any information on the births or parentage of his sister Ann and probable sisters Frances and Sarah. As I say they didn't move around--always at or near "The Hill"/ Cook's Hill in Shipham--but just in case I've checked registers for Axbridge (where family moved around the turn of the 20th century), Rowberrow, Winscombe, Banwell... nothing. I have found no children for that couple, which should be around 1802 to 1810+, nor any hints of other parents for these four kids.


I wonder whether the fact that Henry Sr. listed himself as a mariner might be relevant... I think of a wife staying in her home village if her husband goes off... but is there someplace nearby where a mariner's family might call home short term, remembering that they were back in Shipham by the time the children were getting married in the 1820s?


Or is there something else I'm missing? I feel like I've scoured the area's baptisms/ marriages/ burials upside down and backwards.


If anyone has a thought to help me connect the easy-to-locate earlier Shipham Lewises with the easy-to-locate later Shipham Lewises through more than a guess, I'd be most grateful.

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Harry Algar and Prince Nusrat Ali Mirza
published by LynInnes on Sun, 14/01/2018 - 14:23

My great-grandparents, Harry and Eliza Algar lived in Norton House, Kewstoke from 1912 till 1920, and my grandparents Prince and Princess Nusrat Ali Mirza (also spelled Ullee Meerza) lived opposite them inNorton Beauchamp farmhouse from 1914 till 1920.  I would be very grateful for any memories, stories, anecdotes people could passo about these people and the houses they lived in.


Lyn Innes Scofield

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Robert Parker Read - Axbridge
published by Paul Tregelles on Sat, 13/01/2018 - 14:13

Robert Parker Read's parents were Henry & Roberta Johanna Read and I believe Robert was born around July- September 1855 in Axbridge & maybe at 8 Cheddar Street. I know he was baptised on the 16th February 1858. 

Does anyone know his date of birth and when he died (would have been after May 1881 & may have been before March 1888 but could have been later) ?




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William George Small
published by Shans on Thu, 11/01/2018 - 8:41

Could anyone please tell me if William George Small (b. 19/11/1899 d. 13/11/1976) is buried at Milton Road Cemetery?


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Police Force in Weston.
published by Pete Lander on Wed, 10/01/2018 - 20:15

As the archivist for the BIRNBECK REGENERATION TRUST, we have been give an image of the Pier, taken back in 1903 in the aftermath of the great storm. This is for our education package. We believe it is copyrighted so been asked NOT to put on the internet. This particular image shows a crowd gathered amongst the wreckage of the Cigar Booth and Camera Obscurer. Many faces to see but the one of the Police Officer is particularly clear and it would be nice if we could put a name to him. Has any of the readers got police connections or maybe done some research on the force from the time that could help me out please ??  I can be contacted on this email over this or any other matters on archive@birnbeckregenerationtrust.org.uk or via our website www.birnbeckregenerationtrust.org.uk/contact.html

Picture attached is one of the more commen views on that day..

Thank you for caring enough to read this posting.

Pete Lander..

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