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  • Writer's pictureJessica Feinstein

Harriet Anne Curtis

Updated: Feb 19, 2021

One of Ari's 3x great-grandmothers was Harriet Anne Curtis. She was born on 9 August 1857 in Warminster, Wiltshire, the daughter of Henry Curtis and Susan Davis.

Harriet was baptised on Christmas Day at Christ Church in Warminster.

Wiltshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813–1916,

The 1861 census shows us Harriet aged three, living on South St in Warminster with her parents, two older brothers, and baby brother Albert. Also living with the family was a boarder, Ann Davis, who was actually Harriet's grandmother.

By 1871, the family had moved to Brook St. Harriet at thirteen, was working as a silk winder. Albert had sadly died in 1863, at the age of only three. Harriet now had three younger sisters.

In the spring of 1879, Harriet married a plasterer, John Alfred Turner, at Christ Church in Warminster. They moved to Salisbury, and in the census of 1881 they can be seen living in Ivy St, next to the eighteenth-century coaching inn, The White Hart.

They had a one-year-old baby, Alfred John. Another son, Ernest Harry, was born in 1881 but only lived for ten weeks. Walter was born in 1884, and Bessie in 1886, by which time the family had moved to Heatherlands, Poole. Then another daughter, Flora, was born.

This is a photo of Bessie in later life, courtesy of one of her descendants:

At the time of the census in 1891, Harriet was thirty-four and she had given birth to six children. They were living on Queen St. in Poole, and baby Willie was seven months old. Harriet had four more children, the youngest of whom was Ari's great-great-grandmother Minnie Gladys Turner, born in 1899.

The 1901 census shows the family still in Queen St. Harriet's husband John is still working as a plasterer. Walter, at seventeen, is a pawnbroker's assistant.

The fact that Harriet had had ten children is confirmed by the 1911 census. (Willie had died as a baby.) The family are living at 98 Hunger Hill in Poole, in six rooms. There are eight of them living in the house. Harriet's oldest son, Alfred John, is thirty and working as a baker. Walter is twenty-six and still working as a pawnbroker's assistant. Horace Sidney is eighteen and works at a boot and shoe shop. Harold is sixteen, an assistant in a grocery. Ethel is fourteen and works in a restaurant, and Minnie is eleven and at school.

Harriet died on 24 January 1936 at 42 Fernside Ave in Poole. She was seventy-eight and died from heart failure "due to fatty heart. Death precipitated by acute pneumonia". Her daughter Bessie was in attendance. A post-mortem was carried out. She did not leave a will.

Ari, this is how you are related to Harriet:

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