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  • Writer's pictureJessica Feinstein

Ari’s Wiltshire and Dorset ancestors in 1921

This second post looks at Ari’s ancestors on his father’s mother’s side.

In June 1921 Wilfred Edgar Allen, Ari’s great-great-grandfather, was at 4 North Road, Parkstone in Dorset, the house where he had been born in 1895. He was living with his grandmother, Elizabeth (Butt) Allen, who was 74 and a widow (her husband Joseph Samuel Allen having died in 1918). Wilfred Edgar was 25 and working as a clerk for a shipping agent, Coast Lines Ltd., in Poole. This company had been in the news just a month earlier:

Swanage Times & Directory, 14 May 1921

Also in the house was Elizabeth’s son William Joseph Allen, 50, who was working as a gardener for Poole Corporation at Poole Park, and her daughter Margaret, 34, who worked at home as a dressmaker.

Wilfred’s mother, Susan Emma (Allen) Tunks, was hard to find, even using all the advanced search options. Her son Sidney was transcribed as Sidney Lunks, and I eventually found him in Steyning, Sussex. The key was finding that her daughter Clarisse used her second name, Mary, when she married in 1940. I then found her as “Mary Janks”, with her parents in 1921, living at Whielden Street in Amersham, Bucks. Susan was listed as Susie E, aged 40 (she was actually 47), occupation “home duties”. Her husband James Arthur Tunks was 44 and a Secretary of Friendly Societies, an employer, working at home. Their daughter Clarisse Mary was 10, and not listed as being at school.

As far as we know, James Arthur Tunks is not one of Ari’s ancestors (Susan married him in 1902 after the birth of Wilfred). He was mentioned in the local news in 1932 as having been Vice Chairman of Amersham Parish Council. However, by then he and Susan had separated:

Buckinghamshire Examiner 19 June 1931. Image © Reach PLC

Wilfred’s future wife, Ethel Annie Penny, was 23 and I found her at La Quinta, Lakeside Rd, Branksome Park, where she was working as a servant alongside her younger sister Daisy. The people they worked for were Harold Augustus Barnett, a stockbroker from Birmingham, his wife Frances Ada, their son Leonard Augustus and daughter-in-law Edith May. The son, Leonard, had recently been divorced from his first wife, Lucy, and Edith would also divorce him in 1923.

Ari’s 3x great-grandparents Walter and Lydia Monica (Beckett) Penny were also tricky to find, being transcribed as Perry. They were at Long Cross, Zeals, Wiltshire:

Walter was 60 and working as a shepherd for a farmer called Mr W. J. S. (William John Steeds) White at Lower Farm. His wife Lydia Monica was 56. Their son Tom was 28, and a market gardener, working for a Mr Williamson in Zeals. And their daughter Iris Sylvia was 14 and at school full time.

Another of Ari’s 3x great-grandmothers was Harriet Anne (Curtis) Turner. She was listed as Annie, and living at 6 Chapel Lane in Poole. She was 62 and a widow, her husband John having died in 1919. Her occupation was “house duties”. Her son Alfred John was 41 and a labourer at a shipbreaking yard in Hamworthy owned by James Smith. Annie’s daughter Minnie Gladys was 22 and a housemaid waitress at a boarding establishment owned by Mr and Mrs Cook in Bournemouth called Pinehurst:

Leicester Evening Mail 10 December 1921. Image © Reach PLC

Minnie’s future husband, Walter John Tarrant, was living with his parents, Walter and Annie Elizabeth (Dibben) Tarrant, who were Ari’s 3x great-grandparents. They were living at 17 Grantham Rd in Bournemouth. Walter was 49 and working as a carter for Bournemouth Corporation, at Palmerston Rd. Annie was 46 and undertaking “home duties”. Walter John was 21 and unemployed, but the record says that he was last working at Appleby & Childs at Ashley Rd. They were monumental masons. His brother Albert Edward was 14 and a junior assistant at Carburine Ltd Petrol Importers, 21A Tower Rd, Bournemouth. A visitor, Clifford Atkins, was also listed. He was a household removals packer from London who worked for J. C. Nutt.

Swanage Times & Directory 25 August 1923
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