Two of my eight great-grandparents surnames were unusual – in fact, three of my great-grandparents surnames are registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies. Bearing in mind the list includes Day, Evans and Oats, I am grateful to have Sillifant, Kitcher and Maunder!
Heading back up the Kitcher tree – Clara Alice Kitcher, my great-grandmother (born 1891) was the daughter of Eleanor Ann Beavis (written as Ellinor Ann on her marriage certificate) and Harry Kitcher (also known as Henry and Harry Timothy on occasion), who married in Portsea on 26 October 1880, in the presence of John and Jane Beavis, Eleanor’s parents:
Prior to her marriage – in 1871 – Eleanor lived at 3 Buckingham Place (not Buckingham Palace, but close!) in Portsea and it is noticeable the difference in the ages of John and Jane’s children (RG10/1129/76/16):
John is referred to as a ‘cook on a yacht‘ and his children were aged 21, 10 and 6. He married Jane Stockwell on 14 June 1853 in Portsea. But their son, John, aged 21 in the 1871 census above, was born 18 November 1849 of 3 Seagar’s Court, Portsea. That makes the 1851 census a very interesting read….. At 3 Norfolk Street, Portsea (HO107/1659/97/13) is John Bevis – mariner merchant, cook – living as son–in-law with his mother and stepfather, John and Ann Perry. John’s father, William Beavis, died and Ann (nee Harmsworth) remarried John Perry in Portsea in 1835.
Jane Stockwell was living with her ‘parents’, John and Sophia Coote at Seagar’s Court, Portsmouth (HO107/1658/518/15) – aged 21 and noted as ‘married’. This was perhaps due to the name difference from her ‘parents’…. same issue here – Stephen Stockwell (father of Jane) had died and Sophia (nee Beal) remarried John Coote in 1839. Confused yet? You will be! Where is John Beavis, born 1849, in 1851?
His father, confusingly also John Beavis, was born around 1825/6 in Portsmouth according to the censuses. He was baptised as John Vincent Beavis on 25 June 1826 in St Thomas Portsmouth, but seemingly never used his middle name on any official documents. John, it would have made my life much simpler if you had!
The Vincent middle name was passed down the Beavis line to one of Eleanor’s children, Wallace Vincent Kitcher, and to other Kitcher descendants.
John Beavis apparently served as ships cook in the Royal Navy according to one census (1861) but no record of this service has currently been found and his occupation is referred to regularly as ‘cook on a yacht’ or ‘ships cook’ or simply ‘cook’.