Monthly Archives: April 2015

William Edwards and Maria Harcour’s children and census records

William Edwards and Maria Harcour had the following children:

  1. Mary Christiana Edwards bp. 12.9.1830 (St John the Baptist Church, Margate, fathers profession given as ‘Labourer’; Abode: Margate).
  2. Thomas Edwards bp. 9.6.1833 (St John the Baptist Church, Margate, fathers profession given as ‘Fisherman’; Abode: Margate) d. 1874 (Margate).
  3. Henry William Edwards bp. 10.4.1836 (St John the Baptist Church, Margate, fathers profession given as ‘Mariner’; Abode: Margate) d. 1913 NB. He was also known as William Henry Edwards.
  4. Elizabeth Ann Edwards bp. 24.6.1838  (St John the Baptist Church, Margate, fathers profession given as ‘Fisherman’; Abode: Margate) d. 7.11.1838
  5. Richard William Edwards bp. 12.7.1840 (St John the Baptist Church, Margate, fathers profession given as ‘Shrimper’; Abode: Margate) 
  6. Elizabeth Ann Edwards b. 1843 (Thanet) bp. 12.3.1843 (St John the Baptist Church, Margate, fathers profession given as ‘Mariner’; Abode: Margate)
  7. Sarah Ann Edwards bp. 23.12.1849 (St John the Baptist Church, Margate; fathers profession given as ‘Labourer’; Abode: Margate) d. 1872

Census Records:
1841 census: HO107; Piece: 468; HO107; Piece number 468; Book: 6; Folio: 6; Page no: 5
St John’s College Cottages, St John Baptist, Margate, Isle of Thanet:

  1.  William Edwards, age 30. Labourer, born Kent
  2.  Maria Edwards, age 30, born in foreign parts
  3.  Thomas Edwards, age 8, born in Kent
  4.  Henry Edwards, age 5, born in Kent
  5.  Richard Edwards, age 1, born in Kent

1851 Census: Source Citation: Class: HO107; Piece: 1629; Folio: 256; Page: 4; GSU roll: 193530.
1 Kidman Row, Margate, Kent:

  1. William Edwards, (Head) age 46, Shrimper, born: St Lawrence, Kent.
  2. Maria Edwards, (Wife) age 40, born: Bombay East Indies.
  3. Mary C Edwards, (Daughter) age 21, Servant, born: Margate, Kent.
  4. William H Edwards, (Son) age 15, Shrimper, born: Margate, Kent.
  5. Elizabeth A Edwards, (Daughter) age 2, Scholar, born: Margate, Kent.
  6. Sarah Edwards, (Daughter) age 1, born: Margate, Kent.
    Kidman Row
    Rule by Margate Board of Health 1851-1858 (discusses Kidman Row).
    1852 Map of Kidman Row, Margate.
William Edwards and Maria Harcour census 1851

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1861 census:  Class: RG 9; Piece: 535; Folio: 107; Page: 10; GSU roll: 542657.
4 Cuthills Cottages, Margate, Kent:

  1. Maria Edwards, Head, Widowed, age 52, Laundress, born: Margate, Kent.
  2. Henry Edwards, Son, unmarried, age 25, Labourer, born: Margate, Kent.
  3. Elizabeth Edwards, Daughter, unmarried, age 17, born: Margate, Kent.
  4. Sarah Edwards, Daughter, age 11, born: Margate, Kent
    (Living next door is Thomas Edwards, Head, married, age 26, Labourer, born Margate, Kent and his wife Sarah Jane, age 25, Laundress, born Hampshire.

1871 census: Class: RG10; Piece: 991; Folio: 109; Page: 7; GSU roll: 838723.
2 Ventnor Lane, Margate, Kent: (all the below are sharing the same house)

  1. Thomas Edwards (Head) married, age 36, Labourer out of employment, born Margate, Kent.
  2. Sarah Edwards (Wife) married, age 25, Laundress, born Southsea, Hants.
  3. Ann Bow (Head), Widow, age 59, Laundress, born Margate, Kent.
  4. Eliza Bow, Daughter, unmarried, age 30, Domestic Servant, born Margate, Kent.
  5. Alfred Bow, Son, unmarried, age 20, Painter, born Margate, Kent.
  6. Thomas Bow, Son, unmarried, age 18, Waiter, born Margate, Kent.
  7. Maria Edwards (Head), Widow, age 61, Charwoman, born Margate, Kent.
  8. James Brandell (Head) married, age 76, Pensioner, born Woolwich, Kent.
  9. Ann Brandell (Wife) age 65, born Margate, Kent.

Note that in the 1861 and 1871 census Maria gives her birth as Margate, Kent. 

Maria died in 1877 (buried in St John the Baptist churchyard, Margate) and William died in 1858 in Thanet.

Margate genealogy, local and family history resources

William Edwards, a shrimper from Margate and Maria Harcour from Bombay

William Edwards was a fisherman, shrimper and labourer and lived in Margate, Kent. He was born 22nd October 1804 in St Laurence, Kent and baptised in the local church 18.11.1804.

William Edwards baptism 1804 St Laurence, Kent

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He married  (by banns) Maria Harcour, 26th August 1829 at the Parish Church of
St John’s in Margate. The wedding was witnessed by the Parish Clerks rather than family or friends. Perhaps this indicates an opposition to the marriage?  Or perhaps the Parish Clerks were the only people that day who could write and were therefore the only people allowed to sign as witness to a marriage where two people signed by their mark?

Maria Harcour and William Edwards marriage cert

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According to the 1851 census, Maria was born in Bombay, East Indies c.1811 (the 1841 census notes her as ‘Foreign born’).

I’d like to know who Maria’s parents were? Was Maria British? How did she end up married to a shrimper in Margate?

I searched the IGI for a birth and found no reference for a ‘Maria Harcour’ born in India. Maria signed her mark on her marriage certificate so I have to assume she was illiterate (or perhaps pretending to be in order not to show up her illiterate husband..?!) and so her surname may have be misspelt or misheard by the writer.

Perhaps her name was Har Kaur?

Her daughter’s birth certificate (Sarah Ann Edwards) gives Maria’s surname as ‘Hacker’. I’ll need to order her other children’s birth certificates to gain a consensus but in the meantime, I searched the IGI for anyone called ‘Maria’ or ‘Marie’ (omitting a surname) born in India between 1800-1815.

I found the following with surnames similar to ‘Harcour’ or ‘Hacker’:

  1. Maria Hawker, Birth Date: 05 Aug 1815 Christening Place: Quilon, Madras, India, Christening Date: 30 Sep 1815, Father’s Name: Frederick Hawker, Mother’s Name: Mary.
  2. Maria Margaret Harcourt, Birth Date: 24 Apr 1806, Christening Place: Bellary, Madras, India, Christening Date: 13 May 1806, Father’s Name: Hillary Harcourt, Mother’s Name: Margaret Torriano.
  3. Maria Hasker, Birth Date: 12 Mar 1816, Christening Date: 27 Nov 1825, Christening Place: Vizagapatam, Madras, India, Father’s Name: William Hasker, Mother’s Name: Cawder Bee.

None of them show birth dates in Bombay but perhaps Maria was born in Bombay and christened in Madras (a trading post and naval base). These are the closest references I could find in both name, place and date. 

I don’t think ‘Maria Margaret Harcourt’ is our Maria as Maria Margaret was married in 1832 to a John Stow and her father was given as Capt Hillary Harcourt Torriano of the East India Company Madras Engineers. I’ve as yet been unable to find further info on Maria Hawker and Maria Hasker. If one of these two are Maria Harcour then she would have wed age either 14, or 13 respectively. William wed age 24.

It was possible for a girl to marry at 12 and a boy at 14. Even if the parents disagreed with the decision, there were legal ways in which the marriage could take place such as calling banns in a different parish to that which they belonged.

Perhaps Maria had been married before and wed in her married name? The marriage entry says she was a spinster but it’s known that sometimes info given at time of marriage may be incorrect for any number of reasons. 

At the time of Maria’s birth The East India Company held rule in India. Her father could have been any among civil servants, military personnel (most regiments served in India at some point), mariners, medical staff, chaplains, railway workers, law officers, merchants, planters, free mariners, and missionaries.

Only a small number of British military men stationed in India could bring their wives and many men would marry in India (both English and local women) though marriage with Indian women became less common after 1830.

Some young British women would travel the 5 months to India to try and bag themselves a husband amongst the East India Company men. Perhaps Maria’s mother was one of these hopefuls. 

I guess it’s possible Maria may have been Indian as some British took Indian servants back to Britain where many Indians laboured under European names. She may have been a ‘ayah’ ( domestic servant) or a nanny. According to the National Archives:

“This arrangement was attractive for many Asian women, as ayahs were not generally paid a wage, whereas travel of this kind involved a fee. However, although they were promised their passage back home, often they were left stranded, especially in London.”

 Domestic slavery continued in India into the 1840’s:

I think I’ll have to do a bit more digging before I can come to any conclusions. If anyone has any further suggestions I’d be interested to hear them.

William Edwards and Maria Harcour’s children and census records


Emmanuel Noble and Emma Julia French- children and census

Emmanuel Noble and Emma Julia French had the following children:

1. Albert Emmanuel Noble: b. 31/1/1881 – d.1938. (Baptism record here – Parents named as Emmanuel and Emma Noble, 3 Alma Terrace, Chatham, father: Sailor, R.N) 
2. Ernest Valentine Noble: b. 1884 – d.1947. (Baptism record here – Parents named as Emmanuel and Emma Julia Noble, New Brompton, father: ropemaker)
3. Ada Emma Noble b. 1855 – d.1944
4. Florence Edith Noble: b. 1890 – d.1972 (Baptism here)
5. Daisy Ethel Noble: b. 1891. (Baptism record here – Parents named as Emmanuel and Emma Julia, 9 Russell St, Chatham, father: mariner)
6. Charles Frederick Noble: b. 23/7/1893. (Baptism here)

1891 census
HMS Pembroke.
RG12, Piece: 667, Folio: 44, Page: 35, GSU Roll: 6095777:
List of the officers, crew, royal marines and all other persons NOT on board on the night of Sunday, April 5th 1891:
– Emmanuel Noble, married age 36, Roper, born Dorking, Surrey.

1891 Census
9 Russell St, Luton, Chatham.
RG12/665, Reg District: Medway, Sub Reg District: Gillingham. ED Institution or Vessel 44, Folio: 58, Page: 17:
1. Emmanuel Noble (Head) age 35, Officer R.N, born Dorking, Surrey.
2. Emma Julia Noble (Wife) age 32, born Dorking, Surrey.
3. Albert E Noble (Son) age 10, Scholar, born Sheerness, Kent.
4. Ernest V Noble (Son) age 7, Scholar, born Chatham, Kent.
5. Ada Noble (Daughter) age 5, Scholar, born Brompton, Kent.
6. Florence E (Daughter) age 11 months, born Portland, Dorset.

1901 Census
3 East St, Luton, Chatham.
RG13/728, Page 7, entry 41:
1. Emmanuel Noble (Head) age 45, Rigger HM Dockyard, born Dorking, Surrey.
2. Emma Julia Noble (Wife) age 42, born Dorking, Surrey.
3. Albert E Noble (Son) single, age 20, Baker Journeyman Breadmaker worker, born Chatham, Kent.
4. Ernest V Noble (Son) single, age 17, Ship fitter labourer of iron worker, born New Brompton, Kent.
5. Ada Noble (Daughter) age 15, born Portland, Dorset.
6. Florence E (Daughter) age 10, born Chatham, Kent.
7. Daisy E Noble (Daughter) age 9, born Chatham, Kent.
8. Charles F Noble (Son) age 7, born Chatham, Kent.

1911 Census
1 Mill Cottage, Mount New Road, Chatham.
Class: RG14, Piece: 3908. Schedule Number: 359:
1. Emmanuel Noble (Father) age 55, married 21 years, 6 children born (all still living) Naval Pensioner, born Dorking in Surrey.
2. Emma J Noble (Mother) age 53, born Sheerness, Kent.
3. Ernest V Noble (Son) age 27, single, Engine Fitter Ship Construction (worker) born New Brompton, Kent.
4. Daisy E Noble (Daughter) age 19, single, Manageress to bakers confectioners, born Chatham, Kent.
5. Charlie F Noble (Son) age 17, single Fitters, Improver Engineering (worker) born Chatham Kent.

Chatham, Kent: genealogy, local and family history resources

Emmanuel Noble: A Ropemaker at Chatham Dockyard, Kent

Emmanuel Noble was born 13th April 1855 in Dorking, Surrey (according to his Continuous Service Record)  and died 1923 in Medway. Although all the records I’ve found give his place of birth as Dorking in Surrey – frustratingly, I can’t find a birth or baptism record for him.

Chatham Dockyard Ropemaker service recordEmmanuel Noble, ropemaker and rigger, Chatham Dockyard

He married Emma Julia French 5th October 1879 at the Parish Church (St Mary’s) in the Parish of Chatham, Kent:

Information given on the marriage certificate is as follows:
Emmanuel Noble: Age 24, Bachelor, Sailor HMN.
Residence: Chatham.
Fathers name: John Noble.
Fathers profession: Machinist?? (NB Hard to read the entry).
Spouse: Emma Julia French, Age 21, Spinster.
Residence: Chatham.
Fathers name: John French.
Fathers profession: Sailor.
Both signed their names.
Marriage after banns.
Marriage Witnesses: John Thomas Taylor and Sophia Ann Taylor.
Copy of Marriage cert.

Click here for Emmanuel and Emma’s children and census records

Military history:
A Continuous Service Engagement record for the period: 13th April 1873 – 13 April 1883 gives his military Official Number as: 6 5147. He worked as a rigger and ropemaker in the Navy at Chatham Dockyard and was described as:

Height: 5ft 4 inches
Hair: light
Eyes: blue
Complexion: Fair
Wounds, scars or marks: Deeply pitted with small pox
Trade: None
Character: Described from ‘good’ to ‘V good’ to ‘excellent’.

Between 1st Jan 1873 and 1893 he served in the following ships/barracks at Chatham:
(He also had a few stints at the hospital in Malta in 1870, 1873)

Shearwater: 1st Jan 1873 to 3rd April 1873; 4th April 1873 to 12th April 1873; 13th April 1873 to 22nd April 1873:
Under George Strong Nares and later William Wharton (later Hydrographer of the Navy) HMS Shearwater surveyed around the Mediterranean and the East coast of Africa. In 1873 the ship was determining the meridian distance between Gibraltar and Malta. (Reference page 47).

Duke of Wellington: 23rd July 1873 to 25th July 1873; 25th April 1879 to 2nd May 1879; 1st April 1883 to 3rd April 1883:
From 1863 onwards HMS Duke of Wellington served as the receiving, depot and barracks ship at Portsmouth, remaining as such until scrapped in 1904.

Photo of HMS Duke of Wellington

Naval Barracks: 26th July 1873 to 31st August 1873; 21st Dec 1873; 4th Feb 1874 to 30th June 1874.

Buncan (or possibly Duncan – hard to read the record): 1st Sept 1873 to 20th Dec 1873; 9th Aug 1874 to 11th Aug 1874.

Flying Fish: 1st July 1874 to 8th Aug 1874. 18th June 1874:
HMS Flying Fish commissioned at Chatham, building costs amounted to £39.445. In 1874 she then sailed for a four-and-a-half year commission on the East Indies Station, and engaged in suppression of the slave trade on the east coast of Africa. The ship was at Madagascar when all the slaves who had been taken to the island were given their freedom. (ref: (

W Barracks: 12th Aug 1874 to 20th Oct 1874.

Audacious: 21st Oct 1874 to (doesn’t give a date); 1st Aug 1878 to 22nd Feb 1879:
(further info) When Emmanuel worked on this boat HMS Audacious was a guardship at Hull 1871/4. The Audacious paid off for re- commissioning as flagship on the China Station (1874/8) during which time she was involved in a collision at Yokohama during a typhoon. She then paid off at Chatham in 1878 and went back to Hull as guardship See also: / (Print of the ship in 1869).

Excellent: 23rd Feb 1879 to 24th April 1879:
H.M.S. Excellent, also known as Portsmouth Gunnery School or Whale Island. This was the British Royal Navy’s main gunnery training establishment.

N Barracks: 3rd May 1879 to (doesn’t give a date); 11th Aug 1880 to (doesn’t give a date); 24th Sept 1880 to 30th Sept 1880.

Pembroke: 1st Oct 1880 to 4th Oct 1880; 4th April 1883 to 15th Dec 1884; 2nd April 1889 to 19th April 1893; 20th April 1893 to 8th Oct 1893; 23rd Oct 1893 to (doesn’t give a date):
History of HMS Pembroke and the Drill Shed
Kent’s Historical Sites (Facebook Group)

Superb: 5th Oct 1880 to 19th March 1883:
HMS Superb was commissioned at Chatham for service in the Mediterranean on 4 October 1880, and remained on station for seven years. She took part in the bombardment of Alexandria 11–13 July 1882, where she fired 310 shells of 10-inch calibre at the Egyptian forts; she received ten hits in return, seven of them on her armour, with no casualties.

Recla?? It’s difficult to read the record, possibly reads HMS Hecla a depot ship (thanks for the info Martin Brown) 20th March 1883 to 31st March 1883.

Boscawen: 16th Dec 1884 to 19th March 1886:
Commanded by Commander George Bruce Evans, training ship for boys, Portland.

Asis?? (hard to read the record): 20th March 1886 to 5th April 1886.

Comus: 6th April 1886 to 1st April 1889:
After a refit HMS Comus recommissioned 6 April 1886 for service on the North American and West Indies Station. In 1889 the ship transported scientists to observe the total eclipse of the sun off western Africa. Noted astronomer Stephen Joseph Perry died aboard the vessel from dysentery contracted ashore.

From the 1891 Census I know that Emmanuel was working from HMS Pembroke as a ‘Roper’
In the 1901 census his profession was given as ‘Rigger, HM Dockyard’ and in 1911 he was a ‘Naval Pensioner’.

History of the ropery
Rope Making: Stranded ghosts of a bygone age
Chatham, Kent: genealogy, local and family history resources