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  • Writer's pictureJessica Feinstein

Elizabeth Reynolds, gloveress

Elizabeth Reynolds was Ari’s 5x great grandmother. She was born in about 1815 in Broughton Hackett, Worcestershire.

Her baptism took place at St Leonard’s church on 28 January 1818. Her parents were Francis, a labourer, and Elizabeth Goring, who had married in Worcester in 1813.

On 14 September 1835, Elizabeth married Thomas Butler, an agricultural labourer. The wedding took place at St Helen’s church in Worcester.

Worcestershire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754–1935

Their first son, Ari’s ancestor Robert, was born in 1837, the first of nine children. The first two children were baptised in Bredicot.

At the time of the 1841 census the family were living in a small hamlet called The Libbery at the south-western end of the parish of Grafton Flyford.

They were still there in 1851, and Elizabeth was now working as a gloveress, as well as looking after six children aged between thirteen and two.

In 1861, Elizabeth’s daughter Jane, aged fourteen, was living in Droitwich and working as a servant in the home of William Martin, a wheelwright and publican.

They moved to Cowsden, Upton Snodsbury, where Elizabeth’s husband Thomas died of chronic bronchitis in 1869. Elizabeth was listed in the 1871 census as a widow, still a gloveress. Two of her children were living with her: John (17, an agricultural labourer) and Mary (14, also making gloves).

That same year, Elizabeth’s son Thomas enlisted in the Royal Artillery at Worcester. He was twenty-one and 5’ 4”. He had hazel eyes, brown hair and a fresh complexion. His trade was groom, and he had lost the last joint of one of the fingers of his left hand. He had been in the Worcestershire Regiment of Militia but requested to be discharged in 1870. His military record shows that he served in India from 1871 to 1878 and again from 1882 to 1885 and 1886 to 1887. He received a silver medal for long service and good conduct. He became a bombardier, and then a sergeant and was discharged at Ipswich in 1892, with a pension of 20 pence per diem for life.

A page from Thomas Butler’s service records. Wo 97 - Chelsea Pensioners British Army Service Records 1760–1913.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth moved to the village of Upton Snodsbury with her daughter Mary. In 1885, Mary married Alfred Morris, and Elizabeth was living with them and their baby son in 1891. She died early the following year.

Ari, this is how you are related to Elizabeth:

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