It’s Mother’s Day today in the UK – here’s a photographic gallery of my female ancestors.
Today is Mothering Sunday here in the UK, so what better way to mark it than to share a gallery of photos of my female ancestors.
The photographs show both my paternal and maternal direct-line of mothers, reaching from my mother to my Great Great Great Grandmother (Ann Bowers) on my maternal line, and from my father’s mother to my Great Great Great Great Grandmother (Avis Tall) on my paternal line.
Click on any of the photos below to see a larger version, and to view them as a slideshow.
Happy Mother’s Day!
My Maternal branch of Mothers
Maternal Grandmother Pamela
MatMat Great Grandmother, Maude
MatPat Great Grandmother, Susan
MatMatPat Great Great Grandmother, Louisa
MatMatMat Great Great Grandmother, Adelaide
MatPatMat Great Great Grandmother Mary Ann.
MatMatMatPatMat Great Great Great Grandmother
MatMatMatMat Great Great Great Grandmother, Ann
My Paternal branch of Mothers
PatMat Grandmother, Edna
PatMatMat Great Grandmother, Clara
PatPatMat Great Grandmother, Daisy
PatPatPatMat Great Great Grandmother, Sarah
PatMatPatMat Great Great Grandmother, Harriet
Caroline Coe (formerly Howlett, née Clark) – my Great x3 Grandmother c.1911. Photo: Andrew Martin.
PatPatPatMatMat Great Great Great Grandmother, Elizabeth
PatPatPatPatMat Great Great Great Grandmother, Mary
PatPatPatMatMatMat Great Great Great Great Grandmother, Sarah
To mark this day, I thought I would share a few words about three amazing women in my tree.
Ann Bowers was born in 1843 in Wicken, Cambridgeshire. She was penultimate of the eight child of Henry Bowers and Ann Bailey.
Marrying labourer James Simpson Bishop in 1860, it wasn’t long before she began their family with the birth of their first child Ann Elizabeth Bishop in 1861. Over the next 26 years she bore another 17 children. It appears that two of these children died in their infancy.
Ann, who must have been exhausted from her continuous pregnancies and looking after an army of children, eventually succumbed to pneumonia in March 1889 and died aged 45 years. Her youngest child was just 2yrs old.
With a total of 16 living children, their labourer father would have struggled immensely to provide and care for them had it not have been for Sarah Farby (née Bowers) – Ann’s married and childless sister.
Sarah Bowers was Ann’s (above) older sister. She married George Farby but the couple never had any children of their own. However, they lived close to the growing Bishop household and therefore Sarah helped Ann to care for her children, and upon Ann’s death in 1889, Sarah was there to help care for the children – the youngest, George Juble Bishop, being just 2yrs old.
As the family grew up and started having their own children and grandchildren, Sarah continued to care for them – earning herself the affectionate name of ‘Granny Farby’. She died just under 2 months after the death of her husband in 1920.
Sarah Elizabeth Giddings
Sarah, born in 1852, was the illegitimate daughter of Elizabeth Giddings of March, Cambridgeshire. The stigma that accompanied this fact will have worked against her and her mother from the moment that the pregnancy became known.
Sarah didn’t just face this hurdle in life – when she was 21 she lost her mother (aged 41-42yrs old). The following year (1874) she married James Martin and the couple bore their first child that year. In total, they had 12 children, but sadly, Sarah was to outlive 6 of her children, and 2 of their spouses.
Son Herbert died in a horrific train accident in France; Albert died in a German hospital; her daughter Emma and Emma’s husband both died in 1917 – leaving their orphaned daughter Mary.
Sarah’s 11yr old son William Martin died after an accident whilst working on a horse and cart in 1890; her daughter Mary died on her day of birth in 1886; and her son Percy died within the first year of his life.
Bishop is the 201st most common surname in the UK, a fall of almost 30 places from the 1880s. According to John Ayto (Encyclopedia of Surnames), the surname of Bishop originates from a person who was a servant in the house of a Bishop or from someone whose appearance or demeanour was similar to that of a Bishop.
I’ve managed to trace my Bishop ancestors back to the 1700s with the help of fellow researcher and distant relative Gerard Kelly.
My most recent Bishop ancestor was my Gt Gt Grandmother, Adelaide Bishop (born in 1877, pictured). She was the fourteenth child of a total of eighteen children of a James Simpson Bishop and his wife Ann (née Bowers) of Wicken, Cambridgeshire. With this many children it’s a wonder how the name has declined at all, but in this family alone daughters were most common.
James Simpson Bishop was born in 1842 in Soham, a place that unfortunately needs little introduction. However, for the 1851 census the family had moved to a farm at Twineham in West Sussex – an unusual move considering that very few families at the time moved much further than the next village. I can only assume that James’ parents took the family there for work – perhaps as tenant farmers. By 1858 the family had returned to Cambridgeshire and are living close to Soham in the village of Fordham, before moving again to Wicken.
The family remained around this area with many children marrying and starting their own families.