As mentioned in yesterday’s blog post I’ve been trying to find the final resting place of Frederick George Postans. I now know quite a lot about his life. See this post on his workplace, Newmarket Post Office, and this one on his biographical details so far. … Continue reading
I am currently trying to trace some Postans burials which may or may not have been in Suffolk or Cambridgeshire. Updates to follow if/when I get any news!
The trouble with relatives who live and work in different counties is that there is some confusion about where they might be buried which has given rise to this detective hunt I’ve found myself on this morning.
If and when I find these family burials I’d love to go and see them, and possibly be the first family visitor they’ve received in the best part of a century.
I am thrilled to be able to add some updated information on my 2x Great-Grandfather, Joseph Mears. He appears in a previous blog post here. I was thrilled this week to be contacted by a reader who is also descended … Continue reading
Enough with the male line – I think I need to take a break from the Richard/William Postans confusion and explore a little of what I’ve found out about my grandmother’s family.
A recap – my grandmother was born Muriel Ethel Myra Gardner in West Bromwich in June 1905. Out of five siblings, she was the only child of her parents to go on and have children of her own. Her father was Hubert Edward Gardner, born 1880 in Kidderminster. Her mother was Ethel Beatrice Mears. Both my maternal great-grandparents came from the most enormous Victorian families, which I will endevour to summarise as succinctly as possible!
Ethel Beatrice appears to be one of 12 children – their splendid names are as follows:
Alice May, Catherine Helen, Edith Jane, Ethel Beatrice (my great-grandmother), Florence Maud, Gertrude Emily, Margaret Isabel, Muriel Lillian, Charles Frederick, Joseph Henry, Agnes Theresa and Arthur Harold. The older children were born in the 1860s and 70s in the Kidderminster area, and the younger ones were born in the environs of Birmingham. I am not at present sure if all of these children survived to adulthood.
It seems as though Ethel Beatrice gave birth to her daughter Muriel while living near her family – they lived in the Aston Manor ward at the time of the 1901 census and in Handsworth in 1911. My grandmother was born in West Bromwich (I have the names of various football teams going through my head at this point!).
Margaret Jane Mears was Ethel Beatrice’s mother, and she is recorded as being born in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire in 1849. Her husband was Joseph Mears – born in Ireland in 1839 and living in Northampton by the age of 3. One could speculate that the cause of the migration might be the worsening economic situation in Ireland at this time – although the well-famed Potato Famine didn’t begin until 1845.
Sadly at the moment I don’t know whereabouts in Ireland Joseph’s family came from. In the census records from when Joseph was an adult (and therefore reporting his own origins) he states that his place of birth was Northampton. This is intriguing – is Joseph unaware of his birth in Ireland, or is he trying to disguise his Irish roots to overcome possible prejudice against the Irish in England? He was fortunate that his surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin and therefore not overtly Irish-sounding. It’s a fact that his decendents knew of his Irish background since my Great Uncle Teddy described Joseph as Irish.
I have tried to find out as much as possible about Joseph Mears and I’ve come a little way so far. Great Uncle Teddy’s letter referred to Joseph as the owner of a newspaper – so going on this and with the help of Google I discovered that Joseph Mears was proprietor of the Kidderminster Sun and General Printers which was based in Trinity Lane, Kidderminster. The London Gazette records that Joseph was the sole owner of this business as of 18th October 1886.
I’ve tried to find archival material related to the newspaper but it remains tantalisingly out of grasp at the moment. I will attempt to progress this further as I should think we’d all find it fascinating to uncover writings by Joseph Mears and a bit more about what his (apparently short-lived) newspaper was like.
More to follow on the enormous Gardner family!
I’ve been lucky so far in that finding ancestors using Ancestry has been a straightforward business. Perhaps this is the gift of the unusual surname – there have been very few false leads with regard to the Postans family.
I find my head spinning trying to work out which Richard and William Postanses ‘belong’ to us – the profusion of Georges, Fredericks, and Campions I could cope with. They are mostly close ancestors anyway and I’ve started to be able to recall details of their lives as individuals.
The Richards and Williams belong back in the late 18th and early 19th century and I’m getting quite confused about whether a certain branch belongs to us or not. The Suffolk ones I am quite confident in – but it seems that the line may then deviate from the East and move Westwards to Tewkesbury – a picturesque town in Gloucestershire. If this is the right branch, it may be difficult to find out what brought the family to East Anglia.
However – I still need to sort out the profusion of Richards and Williams on my tree – and I know I’m a beginner, but even I can figure out that it’s impossible for a father and son to be born within a year of one another so something has gone dreadfully awry! I am off to sort it out now!
The grave of a Richard Postans in the grounds of Tewkesbury Abbey – which may or may not belong to our ancestor who died in 1780…
I am extremely grateful to the archivist at Tewkesbury Abbey, Pat Webley, for assisting in tracing the Postans family burials at Tewkesbury Abbey.
Yesterday’s blog post profiled my great-grandfather, Frederick George Postans (1839-1922). He lived and worked in Newmarket, Suffolk, for the greater part of his life. He worked as postmaster and lived in the Post Office located in Newmarket High Street. I was musing yesterday whether the existing Post Office was the same one – a Google search (God bless Google!) has revealed the answer.
The Website ‘Newmarket Shops’ has the following information:
The Post Office
- Newmarket’s Post Office was originally across the road at No.122 High Street – now Thing-Me-Bobs, but this was the site of the 5th bomb that struck Newmarket during WWII on February 18th 1941 – the building was destroyed and two people lost their lives there.As a temporary measure the Post Office was transferred to the Memorial Hall – No.144 High Street, where it remained until 1951, when Willoughby House along with Frank Griggs’ house next door were demolished to make way for the present building.
(Found at http://www.newmarketshops.info/No.103_High_Street.html accessed 9th February 2014)
So, sadly, the original Post Office where Frederick spent virtually all his working life has disappeared. I will continue to try and find out more about the original Post Office and see if I can locate any images. I’ve put out a request on a Newmarket Facebook page so I hope that will bear fruit!
During the course of researching about the Post Office I have also turned up a fascinating account of the destruction of Newmarket High Street on 18th February 1941 during WWII. This is a very interesting side-alley in my research (which genealogy seems to regularly throw up!) and worth perusing although not directly relevant to my family. Sadly a Post Office worker was killed during the raid at his work.
Edit: The Facebook page ‘Old Newmarket’ has kindly linked to a photo in its archive of the old Post Office for me – it was rather thrilling opening this up for the first time and seeing the place where my Great-Grandfather lived and worked in the 1870s-90s. The image was provided by the Newmarket Local History Society and I am linking to it here so that you can click through and see it too! Wow. The power of the internet!
I mentioned in an earlier post that Dad had shown me a number of family photos in his possession which his sister Jennifer had given to him earlier. The photos were framed and large – unfortunately we can’t say with … Continue reading
Now we’re all up and running with our broadband I’ve been plugging away on Ancestry and have made some rapid progress! I am thrilled to say we’re firmly back into the 18th C with the Postans side of the family!
Hopefully you will remember that this is the story so far:
My Dad is Colin Postans, his dad was Frederick GC Postans (b.1901) and his father was Frederick G Postans (b. 1839, it is this individual who had a sister called Jane!). I had also uncovered that his father was George Postans (b. 1810).
I have found that this line appears in the research of a few other users on Ancestry and a few of them have done some helpful legwork – meaning that the parents of George Postans have been identified as William Postans (b. 1763, Suffolk) and Ann Campion (b. 1775, Suffolk).
Naturally, Campion leapt out at me – for an important reason, which is (as-yet) lost to history, the name Campion was preserved in the family. My grandfather was Frederick George Campion Postans. He had a first cousin named George Campion Bateman. The name may yet crop up in additional relatives yet to be found. I am so thrilled that we’ve uncovered the link between these individuals – my grandfather’s great-grandmother, Ann Campion.
I’m sure there will be more to report on this thread – but I just couldn’t wait to blog and share these exciting findings!
Back to the eighteenth century! Amazing!
We’ve been in Cambridgeshire for a month now and I’m itching to get back online and get the family research project well underway again.
While spending time at my parents’ house recently, Dad showed me three photographs in his possession. They were passed to him a number of years ago by his elder sister, Jennifer. We are convinced that one of the photos shows Frederick George Postans (snr), my paternal great-grandfather. The other two gentlemen are something of a mystery. We think there is a strong Postans family resemblence but apart from that, their identities remain a tantalising mystery. My only hope is to find someone who might be able to give us a clue on the clothing styles and approximate decade, and then make a guess at a family member who is the ‘right’ age.
I will upload the pictures for readers to make their own guesses!
In the next few weeks I hope to make good headway now that we’re ideally located for some parish record archive work!
This weekend we journeyed around Cambridgeshire and West Suffolk, scoping out the various options for places to move to. It was too good an opportunity to do some family detective work to pass up! After we’d viewed a few houses … Continue reading