The Past Revealed

Ancestor Of The Month Blog

Each month one of my ancestors will feature here, with a brief story about their life.
May 2024

Charles Keep 1822-1871

Born in Bourn, Cambridgeshire, Charles was baptised there along with his twin sister Elizabeth who sadly died 3 months later. Their parents William and Catherine had six further children. Charles worked as a groom and agricultural labourer, residing in Bourn for the entirety of his life. He married Susan Dodson there in 1844 and together they had five children; all of whom lived to adulthood. Charles died of tuberculosis and pneumonia aged 49 on 16th February 1871 and was buried in Bourn four days later.

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Extract from Charles' death certificate

April 2024

Thomas Paul - Died 1804

Thomas married Susannah Allen in Fordington in 1750 and together they had four sons and four daughters. No baptism has yet been found for Thomas but it is known that he shared a name with his father as he is frequently recorded as Thomas Paul Jr. He worked as a thatcher and was a Master to his Apprentice son of the same name, passing down the trade as is common. He can be seen in the militia lists of 1758 which confirm his occupation. He was buried at All Saints Church in Dorchester on 6th December 1804.

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March 2024

Thomas Marshall 1765-1837

Thomas was born in Longdon, Staffordshire to parents William and Ann. He resided in the village all his life and worked as a farmer. He first married Susannah Adie in 1788. They had two daughters together before she sadly died in 1795. The following year he married Sarah Brandrick of Ellastone. They had four sons and one daughter. He wrote his will in July 1837, leaving everything to his wife including his farm, furniture and money. Thomas died on 4th December 1837 and is one of the rarer cases where his time of death is given as around 2pm. He was buried at Longdon five days later.

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Extract from Thomas' death certificate

February 2024

Walter Eli Hatcher 1859-1934

My great-great-grandfather Walter was born in Osmington, Dorset to parents Edwin and Mary. Aged 21, he married 20-year-old Elizabeth Osment in Preston, Dorset. Together they had ten children, only one of whom died in infancy. After a short time living in Osmington, the family were living in Bincombe by 1883 where Walter remained for the rest of his life. He worked as an agricultural labourer, noted in the newspapers for his first-class hedging skills. Walter and Elizabeth were renowned for their strong family values, raising not only their children but also my grandmother. Other family members lived with them at several points too, including another granddaughter and a nephew. Walter and Elizabeth celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1931 with a lovely local newspaper article. He is buried in Bincombe with two of his children.

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Walter Eli Hatcher c.1925

January 2024

Hilda Blundell 1900-1987

My great-grandmother Hilda was born to unmarried parents Alfred James Blundell and Margaret Stanbridge on 22nd December 1900. They married a few months after her birth and had four further children together. The 1921 census shows Hilda working as a servant for the Gee family in Walton Manor near Bletchley, Buckinghamshire. She married Arthur Charles Keep in January 1922, having met two years previously working at the same Co-op store. They had two daughters born twenty years apart; the first, Gwendoline, was born in December 1922 with her sister Celia following in 1942. Hilda and Arthur celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1972, with a photograph featured in the local paper. She passed away on her 87th birthday in Bedford Hospital.

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Hilda Blundell in 1972