This page will, eventually, cover the ancestors of Margaret Ella Hill, my paternal grandmother but at present little progress has been made on her line, the ancestry of both of her parents has proved difficult.
Margaret Ella Hill was the daughter of John Hill and Mary. Information about her was scarce - other than that contained in the recollections of my father and what I have gleaned from Census records.
Although John and Mary Hill lived at Lustleigh they do not appear to have come from there.
The 1881 census has them at the Lodge, Homelands, St Marychurch, Torquay with Margaret, then aged 6. Margaret Ella was born on the 10th August 1874 and they were already at the lodge at that time. A brother, Edmund John, was born in Q3 1876 (ref Newton Abbot 5b 149). Another brother, Frederick James, was born in 1879 and sister Dora Lowen followed in 1882. By the time Clement was born (Q4 1887, ref Newton Abbot 5b 113) they had moved.
The 1891 census places them at Coombe Cottage in Lustleigh
At the time of the 1901 census they were living at Combe Lodge, Lustleigh with their youngest son Clement. who had been born at Dawlish. Margaret herself was born in Torquay so the family had moved about. John was a gardener so presumably the movements were work-related.
•Dora Lowen Hill was a witness at her sister Margaret's marriage to Philip Henry Wills. In 1901 she was an assistant schoolmistress living in Ashburton. She married John Jeffery in Salford in Q4 1909 (ref Salford 8d 1). They had a son, John L Jeffery born Q4 1911 (ref Salford 8d 64). John (known as Lowen, presumably his second name) married Joyce Halliday in Q3 1947 (ref Farnworth 10c 527) and they had two sons - Gilbert L (1949) and John R (1954)
•Frederick James joined the Navy on 23/7/1896 but lied about his age saying he had been born in 1877. He served 12 years, always as a stoker on a variety of ships. At the 1901 census he was on HMS Cambridge (gunnery training ship). He was discharged in 1908. Possibly in South Wales in 1911
•Edmund John was a page boy in the household of William Norris, an author, at Underbank, Torwood, Torquay in 1891. In 1901 he was a painter with the GWR and living in St Blazey, Cornwall. At some time later he joined the Army and in Q4 1909 married Minnie (Winnie) Pennington in London (ref Woolwich 1d 2004). They had a child, Edmund born Q1 1911 (ref Woolwich 1d 1156) but he died very soon after and died in the same quarter (ref Woolwich 1d 715). At the 1911 Census Edmund and Minnie were both (listed separately) at Cambridge Cottages, Woolwich where Edmund was a private with the Army Service Corps, Artillery. Both were then 35 and no further children have been found.
•Clement Arthur was at home with his parents in 1901. Like his brothers he was in the armed forces. Clement has the distinction of being in the 1911 Census twice. He is listed as a driver with the Army Service Corps at Shorncliffe Camp, Folkestone and also appears as a driver at the Royal Artillery Barracks, Woolwich. No marriage or children have been found.
The 1901 census shows that John Hill was born in Hazelton, Gloucestershire in 1842 or 1843; the 1881 census gives Cheltenham and 1843 or 1844. Similarly, Mary A Hill (his wife) was born in either Deptford or Greenwich in 1846 or 1847. It was always believed that her maiden name was Lowen. Her daughter and one of her later descendants carried this as a christian name.
Fortunately, the internet being the wonderful place it is, someone has put up transcripts of the C19 censuses for various Cotswold parishes. In 1851 we can find a 7 year-old John Hill in Hazelton with his family - and no other Hill families! The family consisted of father Edmund (47), mother Mary (47) and siblings William (15), Eliza (10) and Edmund (5)
Looking at other census entries for the family it is apparent that we should not, necessarily, take all the census details at face value, especially the places of birth, as these show some variability.
Edmund Hill is consistently shown as from South Cerney; Mary, his wife, from South Cerney, Ablington & Arlington. The latter two are not parishes but villages in the parish of Bibury.
William was born at either Baunton or Arlington, Eliza at Cherington, John at South Cerney and Edmund at Baunton or Frampton
The 1841 Census suggests that there were two earlier children - Sarah born c1831 and Catherine (1835). They could well have left home by 1851.
Edmund, the father, (or Edward as he appears in the 1871 Census) was an agricultural labourer which might explain some of his apparent moves around Gloucestershire. In 1861 both Eliza and John would have been old enough to have left home. John was, in fact, at Kemerton near Tewkesbury in 1861 a servant of the farmer Henry Butt.
A visit to the Gloucester Records Office complicated the picture. No Births could be found for either of the parents in any of the places listed above - and these places also revealed no Marriage. Two of the children's baptisms were, however, located:
•William Hill was christened at Baunton on 9/5/1836. Edmund, his father, was a labourer.
•John Hill was baptised at South Cerney on 14/1/1843. Edmund was again listed as a labourer and his mother is named as Mary Ann
Looking for Eliza, at Cherington, drew a blank but did reveal the parents' marriage. On 1st February 1830 Edmund Hill married Mary Ann Moulder. Mary was stated to be "of this parish" but a search of baptismal records for 1760-1820 revealed no Moulders at all - so she, and the witness to the marriage Samuel Moulder, presumably came from elsewhere. Samuel may have been her father or brother. A Samuel Moulder was born in Bibury - 3rd August 1806 - parents John & Sarah Moulder. Assuming that he was Mary's brother then we have her parents too. Another visit to Gloucester beckons!
Edmund Hill provided the biggest surprise as he was stated to be "of the parish of Oaksey in Wiltshire". This parish is just over the border! Unfortunately this was another red herring as he is not in the Parish records for there either!
Soon after the 1861 census - on 15th November 1861 - William Hill married Maria Robinson at Great Barrington, Gloucs. Their eldest son William was born in about 1864 at Clay Field in Gloucestershire but at the time of their daughter Rose's birth three years later they were in Cox Green, Berkshire. By 1871 they had got to Wisley, Surrey where they had at least four more children. In 1881 the family were living at Hyde Cottage, Wisley and William was a Stockman.
In the 1871 census Edmund (junior) was a road labourer and in 1881 we find him, unmarried, working as an under-gardener for the Humphreys family at Woodland, Malpas, Monmouthshire.
John Hill and Mary Ann Lowen must have been married between 1867 and 1876 but this marriage is elusive and has not yet been found.
Mary Ann Lowen was born 3rd January 1846 and baptised on the 8th of March the same year at St Paul's Deptford. Her parents were John Lowen and Susannah (nee Porter). On her birth certificate John's occupation was described as "carter to a wholesale cheesemonger".
By 1861 the family appear to have moved to Devon. The household of Agnes Beatson, a gentlewoman residing at Weston Lodge, Lower Gabwell, Stokeinteignhead includes John, Susan and Mary A Lown - a domestic servant, cook and house-maid respectively. Susan and Mary are both down as born in Crayford, Kent; John was from Enfield, Middlesex. One might surmise that getting the details about servants accurate on the census return was not a high priority for their employer. Interestingly, Agnes Beatson and the Morris family who also lived in the house were all from Woolwich and Camberwell so they might well have moved to Devon taking the Lowns (or Lowens) with them.
John, Susan and Mary Lowen were still with the household in 1871 but not ten years later. John had died in Q4 1879; Susan (or Susanna) lived until 1898
It was thought that Mary Ann Lowen had a brother. The 1881 Census revealed a George Lowen (born in Deptford and of the correct age) living in Dale Street, Marke in Guisborough, Yorkshire. He was an iron miner living with his wife Georgina (from Woolwich) and their six children. The children were all born in Yorkshire so the couple had been there some time. In fact they were already in Marske (and had two children) at the time of the 1871 Census. George was 33 in 1881 and a birth in the first quarter 1848 was found. George John Lowing was born 17/3/1848 but his parents were George & Louise - so he was not a brother!
John Lowen and Susannah Potter were married in the Parish Church of Lewisham on 4th August 1844. On the marriage certificate there are no ages given - both were "of full age". John's occupation is given as Cheesemonger; his father was also called John and a labourer. Susannah's father was Thomas, also a labourer.
From the 1871 census, John Lowen was born in 1822.
The IGI provides a possible parentage for Susannah. A Susannah Potter was born in Crayford 6th October 1811 to Thomas and Mary Potter. While the location and father match the date appears to be two years out. Both the census data and her age at death suggest that Susan/Susannah was born in 1813.