Joseph Samuel Allen, bootmaker and gardener

Joseph Samuel Allen was one of Ari’s 4x great-grandfathers. He was born on 2 April 1843 in Parkstone, Dorset, the fourth child and third son of Joseph Allen and Mary Anne Tilley.

His baptism took place on 11 June, at Skinner Street Congregational Church in Poole.

This building is the last remaining eighteenth-century church in Poole, “constructed at a cost of £1,400. This was 1777, one year after America declared independence, 12 years before heads would roll in the French Revolution, and three decades before a rough stretch of heathland to the east of Poole would start life as Bournemouth.” (Lots more details and photos here.)

His first appearance in the UK census was in 1851, when the family were living in Parkstone. Joseph’s father was working as a shoemaker.

In 1861 they were living on Christchurch Road in Parkstone. Joseph was now eighteen and a labourer, possibly in the pottery (can’t quite read his occupation):

1861 census, Ancestry.co.uk


In 1868 he married Elizabeth Butt. By this time, he had become a shoemaker like his father:

Marriage certificate, Joseph Samuel Allen and Elizabeth Butt, 16 April 1868, Canford Magna


His older brother Walter was one of the witnesses. The wedding took place at the church in Canford Magna.

Canford Magna parish church


The 1871 census shows Joseph as the head of the family, aged twenty-eight, and a bootmaker. They have two children and are living at Back Lane in Parkstone.

In 1881 Joseph is still a bootmaker. They are now at 4 Laurel Cottage, in Sloop Lane. They have six children, all at school except the baby, Emma Letta.

1891 sees them at 4 Lilac Cottages on North Road. Joseph is forty-nine and a bootmaker. Son William (21) is a gardener, daughter Susan (17) is a draper’s assistant, Ida (16) is a domestic servant, Reginald (14) is a carpenter’s apprentice. Emma (11), Mary (9), Floris (6), and Margaret (4) are at school, and baby Evelyn is seven months old.

By 1901 Joseph has changed his occupation, and the census shows him as a jobbing gardener. They are at the same address and have now been joined by grandchildren Wilfred and Ewart Redmond, children of Joseph and Elizabeth’s daughter Ida, so eleven people in the cottage altogether! We know from the 1911 census that the cottage had five rooms, not counting bathrooms:

In 1911 there were six of them in the house, and Joseph was working as a gardener for Poole Borough Council.

1911 census, Ancestry.co.uk


Joseph died on 16 Feb 1918 at 4 Lilac Cottages. He was seventy-five, and still working as a gardener. The cause of death was chronic prostatitis. His daughter Margaret was present and registered his death. He did not leave a will, and I don’t know where he was buried.

Ari, this is how you are related to Joseph:

#CanfordMagna #Parkstone #Allen #Tilley #Poole #Dorset #Redmond

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This post shows how surnames of people in the blog are related to one of Ari's great-grandparents. They are: Walter Allen (WA); Brenda Cobley (BC); Charles Feinstein (CF); Ruth Loshak (RL); Percival

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I started my blog when my grandson Ari was born in Feb 2017. His birth gave me an opportunity to focus on part of what has become an unmanageably large family tree, looking again at all the records I

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