Sep 212014


George’s parents, Edward and Margaret (nee Bickle) married in Marystow in 1764 and George was the seventh of eight known children: Mary (1765), John (1768), Edward (1771), Margarett (1773), Henry (1776), Grace (1778), George (1781) and Prothesia (1783). He is my 4 x great-grandfather….

He was certainly an interesting character although, as he lived most of his life before any censuses were taken, the only records available to trace him are the entries in parish records. George first married in Lifton on 4 March 1806 to Elizabeth Palmer, the daughter of Solomon and Joanna (nee Gould) Palmer of Lifton. Seven children were born of the couple:

  • Joanna baptised 3 April 1806 Lifton, buried 14 May 1806 Lifton (of Stowford)
  • Edward born 27 April 1808, baptised 7 June 1808 Stowford, buried 27 January 1834 Mary Tavy
  • Elizabeth baptised 11 March 1811 Mary Tavy
  • Mary baptised 27 September 1812 Mary Tavy
  • John baptised 7 November 1814 Mary Tavy
  • George baptised 13 April 1817 Mary Tavy
  • William baptised 23 May 1819 Mary Tavy

When William was just 6 or 7 years old, his mother Elizabeth died and George Goddard was left with six children aged between 6/7 and 18 years old. He married less than six months after his first wife died, to Ann(e) Floyd on 27 October 1826 in Mary Tavy. They had fourteen years together though she also predeceased George, dying in September 1840 aged 62.

The 1841 census is challenging to read for Mary Tavy though George is clearly evident, aged 55, with four other Godard residents at the same address: Elizabeth, John, George and William (HO107/233/4/4/1). There is also a Mary Floyd aged 20 and George Maunder aged 2, suggesting that although Elizabeth Godard did not marry George Maunder until 12 October 1841, she may have had George by George Maunder prior to their marriage…..

And George Godard married for a third time in 1841 in Tavistock…..


Sidwill Frise, nee Cudlip, was also a widow when they married on 23 June 1841. In his will of 1847, George made it quite clear his wishes with regard to money which his ‘loving wife’ should receive, stating that Sidwill should be given ‘three shillings per week, that is to say twelve shillings per week …. as long as she shall remain a widow but if she marry she is not to have any more pay from my Executors…’.

His will also highlights that not one but two of his daughters married two Maunder gentlemen of Mary Tavy – Elizabeth Godard married George Maunder and Mary Godard married William Maunder…. two Godard sisters married two Maunder brothers!

Sep 202014

Victoria-CrossDuring the Battle of the Alma (in the Crimean War) 160 years ago today, six men won Victoria Cross medals. Instituted by a Royal Warrant dated 29 January 1856, awards were made retrospectively to the autumn of 1854 to cover the period of the Crimean War. The Victoria Cross was the first medal for bravery that could be earned by anyone in the Army or the Navy. Officer, soldier or sailor – nothing else mattered except acting in the most courageous possible way.

Made from bronze, traditionally taken from a gun captured in the Crimean War, the rough cast Crosses are individually hand finished and therefore each unique. The Victoria Cross was deliberately intended to have little actual value. The worth lies in what it stands for and what people do to earn it: be extremely brave.

The first Army VC was awarded to Sergeant Luke O’Connor, 23rd Regiment (later Royal Welch Fusiliers). FindmyPast has an index of Victoria Cross recipients from the Crimean, the Boer War, the Indian Mutiny as well as both World Wars (1,350 recipients in total). The six awards made in reference to the Battle of the Alma were:

  • Luke O’Connor was born 20 January 1831. He carried the Colours during the advance at the Battle and carried on, although wounded…. and hence, his award of VC.
  • Edward William Derrington Bell (Captain) of the Royal Welch Fusiliers ‘captured enemy gun’ and took command of his regiment after all senior officers had been killed or wounded during the Battle.
  • John Simpson Knox of the Scots Fusiliers Guards (Sergeant) reformed ranks during the Battle and later, on 18 June 1855 when serving as a lieutenant with The Rifle Brigade, led an attack on the Redan at Sebastopol. A Scot, Knox was born on 30 September 1828 at Calton, Glasgow.
  • Robert George Lindsay of the Scots Fusiliers Guards (later Lord Wantage) was awarded the VC for rallying his men at the Battle and, on 5 November 1854, he ‘charged a large number of enemy’ at the Battle of Inkerman. Buried in Ardington Church near Wantage, there is a bust of him in Wantage Library and a memorial in the town square in Wantage.
  • James McKechnie of the Scots Fusiliers Guards rallied his men round the Colours during heavy onslaught at the Battle. His medals are held by the Scots Guards Museum.
  • William Reynolds of the Scots Fusiliers Guards (Private) was also awarded his VC as he also rallied men around him during the Battle. Buried at Brookwood Cemetery, near Woking, Surrey, there was no headstone to mark his grave until 2007.

All men are referred to in the London Gazette published on 24 February 1857 and at the first ceremony, held on 26 June 1857, Queen Victoria invested 62 of the 111 Crimean recipients in Hyde Park.

Sep 192014

cadbury-logoAs many of you will know, I am in the process of writing my second book right now. Well actually, finishing it off…. hopefully soon! It’s all about tracing your ancestors in the Industrial Revolution. So, I ask: should you write a book about something you know stacks about, or very little about? I’ll leave that question for you to ponder….

Suffice to say, whether you know a lot from the outset or not, you undoubtedly learn much more along the way. Now today, is the birthday of George Cadbury, chocolate manufacturer.

Working in factories was tough in the nineteenth century but the story of the Cadbury family highlights that not all factory owners worked their employees from dawn until dusk for a very low wage…. George Cadbury was born in Edgbaston near Birmingham in 1839. His father, John Cadbury was a tea and coffee dealer. The Cadbury family were members of the Society of Friends and they sent George to the local Quaker School. His childhood was spent in a loving and deeply religious family.

At the age of 22, George and his elder brother, Richard, took over the family business and in 1873, they stopped selling tea and coffee and concentrated on chocolate. Their name is now a byword for excellent confectionery that many of us consume on a weekly/daily basis.

As Christians, both men believed strongly that the happiness and well-being of their employees was one of the chief aims of the business. They were profit-sensitive without being profit-driven. They were quite happy to make an honest ‘coin’ but not at their employees’ expense.

Both of the Cadbury boys loved sport. George loved football, cricket, tennis, swimming and golf. George admitted late in life that the first thing he turned to in his daily paper was the cricket news. He was also keen on early morning cold baths! So, what was it like to work in the Cadbury chocolate factory? Well, each day began with Bible readings and prayers for all. The working day was considerably shorter than many other factories of the time. George introduced half-days on Saturdays and bank holiday closing.

GeorgeIn 1893, when the premises became too small, George decided to build a factory in the country. They called this new site ‘Bournville‘. On this site the brothers provided football and cricket fields, a huge playground for children, swings and even an open air swimming pool! Utterly unheard of at the time!

Employees were encouraged to have fun and the sporting and recreational facilities were fantastic. Sometimes Cadbury would tell his employees to knock off early and everyone would enjoy playing and watching a cracking game of cricket. On one occasion, the brothers took all eleven wickets in a match. George once bought his employees a bicycle (of the ‘bone-shaker’ type) which they used to learn to ride on during the lunch-break.

Inside the factory, there were warm cloakrooms for drying wet clothes and kitchen facilities for cooking food. The brothers also built superb houses for their employees. Every house had a spacious garden for growing vegetables. Fruit trees were planted and the garden dug over before each new owner moved in. Trees were planted along the wide roads. Imagine moving from a rat-infested slum dwelling to a wonderful garden estate….

Later George built schools and a shopping area for his employees. He campaigned for old-age pensions and fought against grim ‘sweated’ labour. He even paid £60,000 of his own money into pension funds for his employees. On his estate, he had a special building constructed and each year, thousands of deprived children found every delight that could appeal to them in the spacious gardens – swings and cricket, races and games and above all, the open-air swimming pool.

When George died in 1922, his funeral was attended by over 16,000 people.

Sep 182014

Money is the root of all evil…. You can’t get rich doing that….. It snows in Winter…. Spiders have eight legs …. George Washington was the first president of the USA…..

Are these facts or opinions? Well, first we need to get the definition of both words:opinions

  • Fact: Something that actually exists; reality; truth
  • Opinion: A belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty. A personal view, attitude, or appraisal

Do you listen to people’s opinions when making important decisions? Or do you seek expert advice? 

There are some wonderful online quotes about fact vs opinion, including ‘You are entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts’ and ‘It’s funny how people have strong opinions on things they know nothing about’. 

Most of the time, we base our blog on facts but sometimes the opinions we express quickly get the most profound reactions. I could spend hours trying to piece together a meaningful post and it inspires nothing. And then a collection of random thoughts and opinions spurs discussion and the comments flow!

It’s difficult to know what will grab the attention of other people. People’s opinions will undoubtedly differ, whereas facts do not. And having differing opinions is healthy, so long as we accept that we do not have to end up agreeing!

And so, we would like your opinion. What are your favourite type of posts from FWL? We’d like your feedback…. but be warned, we might not share your opinion and we might not all agree!

Sep 172014

In the USA, today is Constitution Day, commemorating the signing of the constitution on 17 September 1787. The document was drawn up by the Constitutional Convention, an assembly of delegates from 12 of the 13 states of the USA (all except for Rhode Island) and bore 39 signatures, including that of George Washington, the first president of the USA. It defined the powers of the central government and the role of the states. US CONSTITUTION

Some conflict arose with regard to the representation of individual states, which varied greatly in size, within the national legislature. The larger states wanted representation proportional to size – unsurprisingly – and the smaller states wanted equal representation for all. A compromise was reached whereby states were represented proportionally in the lower chamber of Congress and by two senators per state in the upper chamber (the Senate).

The constitution was adopted in 1789 and gained its first ten amendments in 1791 with amendments added at irregular intervals, including national women’s suffrage in 1920.

In 1952, Constitution Day was amalgamated with I am an American Day and renamed Citizenship Day. It is a day devoted to study of the constitution in schools and to general discussion and recognition of the privileges and responsibilities of being a US citizen.

Wall Street resumed trading on Citizenship Day in 2001, after a six-day shutdown following the 11 September attacks.

Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join my other followers
Powered By