Looking back at my maternal grandfather’s family tree – drawn out before certainly before the 1980s – I am always amazed how much information he amassed about our family, from his forebears, a long time before this hobby of ours became so popular. Certainly before the invention of the internet….
On our Gosling tree, my grandfather recorded ‘James Foles Gosling’ as the son of an unknown Gosling male and Margaret Robson with no birth, marriage or death details and a pencil note saying ‘Round World with Marquis of Campden’ (more likely, Camden). His name intrigued me and so, in my early days of research, I worked on this branch of my family tree to progress the work done before I was born.
According to the GRO birth indexes, James Foulds Gosling was born in the March quarter of 1860 in Guildford Registration District (RD). He was the son of James Foulds and Margaret (nee Robson) Gosling, who married on 13 May 1854 at All Souls Church, Marylebone. The Foulds middle name is added as James Foulds Gosling was the son of John Thomas Gosling and his wife, Ann Foulds (who married in 1819). However, it is only given to the James’ of the family, bizarrely.
The younger James Foulds was baptised at Stoke Next Guildford Church on 15 April 1860 and in 1861, the family are residing at Stoke Field, Guildford (RG9/427/67/11):
Sadly, James Foulds Gosling lost his father in 1869, at just 35 years of age and in 1871, James’ mother Margaret was a widowed mangling worker with six children under 13. Margaret married her late husband’s brother, George Douglas, in 1875 though she was sadly widowed again just two years later.
James served the Duff family as a footman in 1881 in St George Hanover Square. His existence was certainly itinerant, though his occupation remained the same – a domestic valet – from the mid-1880s. In the parish of St Peter The Less in Sussex, James lived alone in a 2 roomed property in North Street in 1891 (RG12/846/115/3) and in 1901, he was a servant at Charlton Lodge, Newbottle, Northamptonshire (RG13/1409/66/14).
James Foulds Gosling died on 13 April 1912 at Westminster Hospital and his death certificate makes very sad reading:
A few years ago, a good friend and fellow genie, Sarah Minney, located two newspaper articles for me at Colindale, when the British Library Newspaper collection was housed there. The West London Press on 19 April 1912 reports:
So, when did James travel around the world with the Marquis of Camden?