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  • Writer's pictureJessica Feinstein

Ari’s Worcestershire and Lincolnshire ancestors in 1921

My third post about the 1921 census covers Ari’s ancestors on his father’s father’s side.

Ari’s 3x great-grandparents, Annie (Butler) and William Henry Sheppard, were living at Sale Green in Worcestershire.

Trench Wood, near Sale Green, managed by Worcestershire Wildlife Trust and Butterfly Conservation

Annie was 51 and occupied with home duties. William was 54 and a second ganger (platelayer) for Midlands Railway, at the Engineers’ Dept, Spetchley. According to the Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921 he would have “assist[ed] ganger in supervising work of permanent way gang; take[n] charge of sections of gang and is responsible for execution of jobs, where so deputed by ganger; or, where working directly under scrutiny of ganger, directs undermen and himself works with gang”. Their daughter Agnes Emily was 30 and working as a gloveress at home for Messrs Dent & Allcroft in Worcester.

Worcestershire Chronicle, 17 March 1888

Their twin sons William and Henry were 19 and general labourers working for Mr Tovy in Earl’s Common (but out of work). The youngest child, Louis, was 11 and at school full time.

Ari’s great-great-grandfather, Alfred John Sheppard, was already married by this time. The 1921 census shows him living at Huddington, aged 27, and working as a farm labourer for F. J. Pearson (gentleman farmer) at New Farm in Himbleton. His wife Florence May (née Waters) was 21. She doesn’t give her occupation, but her employer is Mr Sleep’s glove factory at 149 Notting Hill Gate, London. Their daughter Eileen Florence was 3, and their son Percival Alfred (Ari’s great-grandfather) was just coming up to his first birthday.

Ari’s 3x great-grandparents James and Elizabeth (Stapleton) Cobley were living at Glinton, Peterborough. James was 76 and a retired farm labourer and old-age pensioner. Elizabeth was 79 and also an OAP. Their son Thomas Davis Cobley was living at Beck Bank, Pinchbeck in Lincolnshire.

Thomas was 46 and working as a farm labourer for Tom Fountain at Cape’s Entry, Gosberton Clough. His wife Emily (née Strickson) was 40 and performing household duties. Their daughter Gertrude was 17 and a domestic servant (she doesn’t say where). Percy, 14, was out of work. The youngest children, Lois (12), Kathleen (11) and Doris Evelyn (7), were all at school. Emily’s father, William Strickson, had died the year before the census, and Ari’s great-grandmother, Brenda Mary Cobley, wouldn’t be born until the following year.

Mary (James) and George Thomas Waters were also Ari’s 3x great-grandparents. They were living in Himbleton in Worcestershire. George was 66 and a farm labourer, working for Mr Bates at Brook Farm, Himbleton.

Worcester Journal, 1 July 1865. Image © The British Library Board

Mary was also 66 and at home with the household duties, as was their daughter Dorothy Winifred, who was 23 and married (her surname was Press). She had a baby daughter, Mary Annie. (This is a bit mysterious because by 1939 Dorothy was using her maiden name and describing herself as single.)

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