I have written before (here) about the brick wall in my Street family history; the uncertainty of whether or not George Street (c1805-1868), my ggg grandfather, was the son of John and Sarah Street of Tetbury. In my mind, the balance of probablility had always been that this is the case, but I’ve now had my conclusion confirmed by DNA testing.
The third son of John and Sarah (née Cave) was William Street (1803-1890) who emigrated to Australia in 1827. He had married Elizabeth Peart shortly before their departure, and they had ten children born in New South Wales between 1829 and 1850. Their second daughter, Mary Ann (1830-1902) had two marriages, and recent DNA test results show a degree of cousinship (5th cousin) between myself and a descendant from each of these marriages. Although these degrees of relationship must be taken as broad (the amount of DNA material match suggesting anything between 5th and 8th cousins) the fact that both have similar amounts from separate lines indicates the general degree may be correct.
William Street (1802-1890)
All this would appear to confirm that my George Street was the brother of William – I cannot find any other individual in either the Street or Cave families who might qualify as my ancestor. With this in mind I’ve decided to incorporate these lines into my family tree. The two families are interesting in their own ways, and so I’ve recorded what I have discovered about them.
The Caves of Owlpen
Church of the Holy Cross, Owlpen
Owlpen is a pretty, but very small village, tucked into a Cotswold valley, a short distance from Uley. The earliest member of the family I can trace is Lionel Cave, who was buried in Owlpen churchyard in 1729; his wife, Jane had died three years earlier. It is possible that Lionel’s father bore the same name, as a document at the National Archives at Kew, records a property dispute at Owlpen between a Lionel Cave and Margaret Purnell in 1658. As the parish register of Owlpen only commences in 1686, and the bishops’ transcripts (BTs) are very patchy before that date, all we know of Lionel is the date of his death and those of the baptisms of his children. The first of the latter to appear is that of a son, also Lionel (Lyonell in the BTs) on August 8th 1684, and we might assume that this was the first child of the marriage, although no marriage record has been found. It was probably not Lionel’s first child though, as the BTs have a baptism in March 1679/80 of a Sara, bastard daughter of Sara Webb, “Lyonell Cave being the reputed father’.
The nature and condition of the early registers make it difficult to be precise with details of the family, but Lionel and Jane appear to have had at least eight children. My line continues with the second son, Thomas of whom we know a little more. He was baptised on February 1st 1685/6 at the parish church of Owlpen, the Church of the Holy Cross, and later married Elizabeth Butcher at St Bartholomews in Nympsfield, the neighbouring parish. This was in 1709 when Thomas was 23, a normal age for marriage, as apprenticeships usually lasted from the age of 13/14 to 20/21 and men often married as soon as they were independent. We know from Thomas’ will that he was a broadweaver; it may be that Lionel had been as well, but no records confirm this, and, as a second son, he may have been apprenticed into a different trade from that of his father. A broadweaver, as the name implies, was one who wove cloth on a broadloom, and this was a flourishing trade in the area of the Cotswold escarpment – Stroud and Nailsworth in particular were two prominent centres, and the plentiful supply of fine wool from the flocks of the Cotswolds were, no doubt, the reason for this.
Thomas and Elizabeth had five sons (and no daughters) Lionel, George, Philip, John and Thomas, and all survived infancy, although George died aged 14. As there is no record of what he inherited, we cannot be sure how far Thomas bettered himself during his life, but on making his will in April 1740 he bequeathed to his wife at least six properties, with instructions as to which of his sons were to receive which property following her death. There were obviously tensions within the family, as twice in his will Thomas entreats ‘that everyone with their mother may agree and not to differ’. Two months later Thomas died and was buried in the churchyard of Holy Cross on May 12th. Elizabeth lived on for six years and joined her husband in the churchyard on June 26, 1746. The following year, Philip, the eldest surviving son, and named in the will as a Trustee, applied for probate in the ecclesiastical court in Gloucester. However the will itself was not legal as no executor was named, and so Philip was granted letters of administration, so that he might carry out its terms.
The next individual in my line of Caves was another Thomas, the youngest son of Thomas senior and Elizabeth. In his father’s will he had been bequeathed ‘the House and garden By the name of wightes House forever and his Heirs’ and we can presume this may have been his dwelling at the time, for, apart from “the House that I live in’ which was to go to Philip, Thomas senior’s other properties had named occupants. Thomas junior too, was a broadweaver (as several of his brothers appear to have been) and would have required a home large enough to house a broadloom. Thomas married Sarah Gingell, by licence, at Gloucester Cathedral on July 14, 1750. Sarah is described as of Frocester, but I cannot find a baptism for her there or anywhere else, although Gingell was a common enough name in the area; Thomas and Sarah’s own daughter Elizabeth was later to marry a George Gingell.
Memorial for Thomas and Sarah Cave, Owlpen
Thomas and Sarah were to have eleven children, three dying as infants and the eldest, another Lionel dying at 18; the others, two daughters and five sons appear to have prospered. Certainly by 1778, when Thomas sickened and made his will, his bequests name these seven survivors. It seems as if Thomas had been prosperous in his lifetime – his will mentions seven properties he possessed in the parishes of Owlpen, Uley and Avening, of which six appear to be freeholds, as well as some pasture which he says he had purchased. Some of these properties were purchased from his brothers, George and Philip. Thomas left his entire estate to his wife, with provisions that each son should receive nominated properties following their mother’s decease. The youngest, Philip was to receive his own cottage (with a ‘weaving shop’) after Sarah’s death; Philip was only eight years old at the time of his father’s death, but presumably intended for the family trade of broadweaving. As was usual, the girls were provided for in their father’s will by way of a charge being placed on the sons to provide them with annuities, as well as being left a ‘little cottage’ jointly after their mother’s death.
No doubt Sarah was well provided for, but her situation was to improve eight years later in 1786, when her brother-in-law, John Cave (another broadweaver), an elder brother of Thomas, died and left her the residue of his estate; he left some cash sums to all his nieces and nephews, and two properties to Thomas, Sarah’s son. Sarah herself died in 1799 and presumably her children then came into their inheritances. Sarah’s will was a more modest affair than Thomas’s; she left cash bequests to her surviving sons, with the residue of her estate being split between her two daughters. There is no mention of property as that had been allocated by Thomas.
My line continues with John Cave, the second son of Thomas and Sarah. He had married eighteen-year old Hannah Holder at Owlpen church the year before his father’s death, on September 9, 1777. The marriage licence affadavit gives his occupation as ‘Pig killer’. I had always assumed this was a seasonal job, as slaughtering the family pig normally took place in autumn or early winter. Perhaps there was all-year-round work available too. Approximately ten years later, John and Hannah seem to have moved away from Owlpen. Their first five children were all baptised at Holy Cross church there, but the final three were baptised at St Marys, Tetbury. At some stage, and it may be around 1787, John took up farming in the Tetbury area. A Land Tax assessment of 1792 shows him renting land there from a William Fisher. Certainly by 1798, and possibly earlier, he was farming in the village of Long Newnton, actually in Wiltshire, but less than two miles from Tetbury; Land Tax records show him as renting land from the local landowner, Thomas Estcourt.
Holy Trinity, Long Newnton
Of John and Hannah’s eight children, the eldest, Sarah is my forebear. She married John Street, a shoemaker, at St Marys, Tetbury on May 7, 1799, by licence. The licence allegation includes a sworn statement by Thomas Cave (Sarah’s brother) and Samuel Pitt (John Street’s brother-in-law) that Sarah’s father John gave his consent to the marriage, Sarah being only 20 years old. With this marriage, my link with the Cave family ends; Hannah Cave died in 1807 and John followed six years after, and they were buried in a table tomb in the churchyard at Long Newnton. Like the family tombs at Owlpen, inscribed copper plates give the dedications. Included is the name of Sarah Street who was to join her mother in 1808.
Cave and Street tomb, Long Newnton
The Streets of Lacock
John Street was a cordwainer, or shoemaker, and was born in Lacock, Wiltshire in 1776. His father and grandfather were also cordwainers, living in the same village, where the family had been established since the 17th century and possibly earlier, as there are records of the name Street going back to the 1550s. Lacock is now a much-visited tourist attraction, owing to the delighfully picturesque buildings, the village centre being hardly touched by the Victorian era, let alone the 20th century, and also the fact that many movies and TV progrmmes have been filmed there. This certainly helps with imagining how it might have looked in my forebear’s time.
St Cyriac, Lacock
The earlest member of my family who appears in the parish register is a John Street who died in 1691; his son, another John, had been baptised at St Cyriac, Lacock on December 3 1649, and he was to marry Olive Bush in July of 1676. They were to have seven children and my ancestor was the sixth child, William who was born in 1691. This William may have been a cordwainer, but the evidence is not clear; however his son, another William, born in 1724 certainly was; he is recorded as such in taking on an apprentice in 1753.
There is very little evidence of the family, apart from the parish register entries, but we do know a little more about Thomas, the son of William junior. He was one of only two children baptised by William and Jane (I cannot find their marriage and do not know her surname); a younger brother, John was born in 1758, seven years after Thomas. Lacock Abbey was the family home of the Talbot family, and amongst their papers there are several refernces the Thomas, both paying and receiving amounts of money, presumably for rent and the settlement of bills. He is also recorded as the clerk of the ‘Lacock Senior Society’ though I’ve been unable to discover what that might have been; possibly a friendly society.
In 1775 Thomas married Sarah Hawkes in St Cyriacs church. Although Sarah is described as ‘of this parish’, she was actually born in Tetbury, about 15 miles away in Gloucestershire. She was the daughter of John and Mary Hawkes who, themselves, had moved from Ashton Keynes in Wiltshire to Tetbury in 1740, and were granted permission by the Overseers of the parish to stay.
Thomas and Sarah had four children baptised at St Cyriacs, John (1776), Jane (1778), William (1779) and the short-lived Thomas (1781-2). The latter was buried there too, in July 1782, just three months after his mother, Sarah, had been interred. Four years later, Thomas was to marry again; the wedding at St Cyriacs was on November 20 1786 and his bride was Alice Selfe, from another established Lacock family. Thomas and Alice had two children, Susannah (1788) and another Thomas, in June 1789, just months before Thomas senior died in September of that year, at the early age of 38. Thomas’s death obviously placed Alice in a difficult financial position; he died intestate (not having written a will), yet it was nearly three years later that Alice signed away her natural rights to apply for letters of administration, and thus administer Thomas’s estate. Perhaps she attempted to struggle along without doing so, but finally had to renounce her rights and allow John Grist, a tanner of Lacock, and one of Thomas’s principal creditors, to proceed to the courts for the letters of administration. Being left with five children, the eldest, John only thirteen years old, she had no other option. However, it appears Alice remarried the following year; her husband was Francis Rogers, a widower, of Stanton St Bernard, and they married in Lacock. Surprisingly I can find no more evidence about the couple after this date, although I assume they stayed in Lacock, as both Alice’s children with Thomas Street, Susannah and Thomas, were married there in 1810 and 1812 respectively.
The three children of Thomas and Sarah Hawkes however, moved at some point, to Tetbury, Sarah’s home town. Whereas there are records for John and Jane, both marrying in Tetbury, there is nothing positive on William. He is probably the William Street who was buried in the churchyard of St Marys, Tetbury on June 1,1813, aged 33. On April 26 1798, Jane Street married Samuel Pitt at the church of St Mary the Virgin, Tetbury. A son, William was born in July. As with so much in the Street family, I can find no trace of Samuel, Jane and William Pitt thereafter. Samuel and Jane were married by licence, and the guarantors of the bond were Jane’s brother, John, described as a shoemaker of Tetbury, and her uncle, Thomas Hawkes (brother of her mother, Sarah), a currier of Tetbury. A year after Jane’s wedding, her elder brother, John was married, in the same church, to Sarah Cave, the marriage referred to in the opening paragraph above. On this occasion the witness to the marriage licence allegation, and to the ceremony itself was Thomas Cave, Sarah’s brother, who swore an oath that Sarah’s father, John, gave his consent to the marriage as Sarah was a few weeks short of her 21st birthday.
The marriage of John and Sarah was to last a little over nine years, until Sarah’s untimely death, probably as a result of the birth of their final child, also called Sarah. Baby Sarah was born in August 1808 and died in October – Sarah the mother passed away in September. In the space of those nine years the couple had eight children (if you include my ancestor, George), and all, apart from little Sarah, survived into adulthood. Life cannot have been easy for the family; in his will, proved in 1813, Sarah’s father, John Cave directed his executors to release John Street (and also his own son, John Cave) from all the debts ‘of whatever kind’ owed to him which represented ‘sums of money to a very considerable amount’. No doubt, following his father-in-laws death, John struggled to support his family by his occupation alone. The records of the Overseers of the Poor in Tetbury record payments to John of 4/- (four shillings) a week between October 1811 and May 1813. With no obvious support from the Cave family things must have even more desperate. In the middle part of 1814 the Overseers recorded paying a Mrs Browning £3 for bread for the Street family, covering 15 weeks. Previously John had himself been paying poor rates, from 1802 until 1812 at least, as the occupier of half of the Jolly Butchers inn in Tetbury, A later document records that John was an innkeeper as well as a shoemaker, so he may have been the proprietor of the Jolly Butchers. He is shown as paying rates again in the early 1820s, at a different address, so life for the family must have been a series of lows and (not very) highs. Some of his children may have been apprenticed, although no record survives of this, but by the 1820s, several must have been supporting themselves; I shall look at their lives a little later.
The Jolly Butchers in Tetbury
In October 1826 John married for the second time, at St Giles, Uley. He was now 50 years of age and his bride, Deborah Baglin was about 38. Although both are given as ‘of this parish’ this was often a convenience used to satisfy the requirements of calling banns. There is no evidence John did move there, and he is certainly back in Tetbury in 1841. There is a real mystery concerning Deborah – I can find no record of a baptism for her around the date her age in censuses and her death suggest. There is, however, a record of a birth and christening at a nonconformist chapel in Uley; it gives the date of her birth as April 26, 1807, which would make her only 19 at the time of her marriage. I would normally dismiss this, but a witness at the marriage was Elizabeth Baglin and the christening record shows an older sister of Deborah, named Elizabeth, being baptised the same day. But why would anyone add 20 years to their age? It must be added that Baglin was a fairly common name in Uley. John and Deborah were to have two children, Ann in 1828 and Samuel in 1831. The family appear on the 1841 census, living in Bull Court, Tetbury, which was off Silver Street. Following John’s death in 1850, Deborah was still living there in the 1851 Census, with her son, Samuel. Deborah died in 1857. Of the two children of John and Deborah, Ann (1828-1900) married William Slade, a Tetbury carpenter, and they moved to Bristol around 1854, living at first in St James parish (close to George Street, my ancestor), and then St Michaels. Samuel (1831-1903) remained in Tetbury most of his life, although he married in Tredegar, Monmouthshire in 1870. His bride was the wonderfully named Susanna Anne Sealy Salt and they settled in Church Street, Tetbury and raised their family there. Samuel appears in most censuses as a shoemaker, like his father, although on one occasion he is described as a draper.
To return to the children of John Street and Sarah Cave, they lived widely differing lives. The eldest, Thomas (1800-1834) was a butcher in Tetbury and seems to have prospered for a while. In 1824 he married Mary Stockham from Lea in Wiltshire. Surprisingly the marriage took place at St James church in Bristol, and the witnesses were my ancestor, George Street (whom I take to be Thomas’ brother) and his new wife, Elizabeth (see below). They had married in Bristol shortly before and lived all their lives thereafter in St James. Thomas and Mary had four children, Sarah Cave, William, George and Jane before Thomas’ sudden death on May 7 1834. He had made a will two weeks earlier and left several properties to be sold and the residue invested in Government Stocks to provide an income for his family. Mary lived on until 1881, although in 1840 she had a fifth child, Ellen, father unknown, who only lived for seven months. Thomas was the only one of the siblings to remain in Tetbury all his life.
The second son, John Street (1801-1892) was a tailor and moved at first to Wiltshire, where he married Elizabeth Hill in 1831. They had four children before Elizabeth’s death in 1848. The family then lived in Clack, Lyneham, Wiltshire, but it appears they moved to Bristol between 1851 and 1860. John is shown on censuses as living with his daughters and their families in 1871,1881 and 1891 and he died 1892. The eldest daughter, Hannah (1802-1882) also moved away from Tetbury, and in 1838 she married Joseph Hayward at St Georges, Hanover Square, London. The 1841 census shows the couple living at Eccleston Square, Pimlico, but maddingly doesn’t give Joseph’s occupation. However, they too moved to Wiltshire, and the 1851 census shows Joseph as a farmer of 88 acres, and the couple are living in the village of Little Somerford, near Malmesbury with their two daughters, Mary Jane and Ellen, both born in Pimlico. Joseph had been born in the nearby village of Brinkworth. They are still there in 1861 and Joseph’s holding has now grown to 222 acres. Joseph died in February 1870, and the next census in 1871 shows Hannah living in nearby Somerford Parva (also Great Somerford) as an annuitant. Ten years later she is living with her daughter, Mary Jane Vines, in Little Somerford, whose husband appears to be farming the same area as Joseph – perhaps the farm passed on to them. The following year, in August 1882, Hannah died and was buried in the churchyard of St John, Little Somerford, no doubt with her husband.
William Street (1803-1890) was a saddler and harness-maker, and he travelled the furthest away of all the family. His life is the best documented of the family, and is fully described in Tetbury to Stroud by Marguerita Carey (published privately), from which I have extracted the following. He was apprenticed to a harness-maker in Tetbury, and after completing his apprenticeship, moved to Swindon, then a large market town. He was employed by a Mr Costar, before applying to become an indentured servant of the Australian Agricultural Company, signing the agreement in April 1827. Whilst in Swindon he met Elizabeth Peart, a local girl and they became engaged. In May 1827 he married Elizabeth at the church of All Souls in Marylebone, London (next to the much later Broadcasting House of the BBC) and the following month the couple departed England forever, on board the ‘Marquis of Angelsey’, bound for Australia. William was employed as a harness-maker by the Australian Agricultural Company, initially at their establishment at Carrington, New South Wales, his initial pay being £30 per annum. He later moved with his family to the Company’s site at Stroud, NSW and evidently prospered there. The brick house he bought from the Company in 1859, for £320, is still standing. William and Elizabeth raised a large family and many of their descendants contributed essential information and photographs to Marguerita’s book. William died in June 1890.
I believe the next in the family was my forebear George Street (1805-1868) and I shall return to him later. Philip Cave Street (1806-1847) was living in Bristol by 1837, when he married Mary Davis at St John-on-the-wall. The 1841 census finds Philip and Mary living in Duck Lane, a narrow lane leading from Nelson Street to the bottom of the Pithay; with them is their three-year-old daughter, also Mary. Philip’s occupation was that of ‘hostler’, or ostler, which is a person who looked after customers’ horses at an inn or hotel. The year after Mary, Philip’s wife, died; she is probably the Mary Street buried at St James on September 11th. Her abode is given as Cannon Street, which means the family were living in the same road as George Street my ancestor. Philip married again just six months later; it was normal at this time for widowed fathers with small children to remarry quickly. His new bride may also provide a link to George. She was Jane Lee, a widow twice over, whose maiden name was Jane Francis. Jane was born in Abergwili, a small village just outside Carmarthen in Wales, but her two previous marriages had been in Bristol. The marriage certificate gives Jane’s father as Evan Francis, which is confirmed by her baptism record, and in the 1841 census, the next-door neighbour of George Street, in Cannon Street, is Evan Francis, born in Carmarthenshire, whom I take to be Jane’s brother. Jane was to be widowed for a third time when Philip died, probably around New Year 1848. He was buried on January 2nd in the churchyard of St James. In 1851 his daughter, Mary was in an orphanage at Ashley Down, in Bristol and Jane was living-in as a nurse at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, but I cannot trace either of them thereafter.
Robert Street (1807-1852) was the youngest surviving member of the family. He seems to have been a butcher like his elder brother, Thomas, at first. In 1826 he served a three month sentence in Horsley prison, being found guilty of stealing apples from an orchard in Tetbury. Perhaps this was the reason he moved away, as most of his siblings had done. Robert next appears in Northamptonshire, where, in 1834 he married Elizabeth Tuckey in Brackley. His occupation then was ‘road surveyor’, which is interesting because his maternal uncle, George Cave was also a road surveyor and lived at the time in Bodicote, Oxfordshire, just a short distance away from Brackley. Did George take Robert under his wing perhaps and teach him his trade? In 1851 there was another change of occupation; the census of that year show the couple living at The Locomotive Inn, Bridge Street, Brackley and Robert is decscribed as a ‘licensed victualler and farmer’ with 20 acres. Perhaps Robert never settled to anything for long. He died the following year, aged just 45 and was buried in Brackley churchyard. Robert and Elizabeth appear not to have had any children.
Hannah Street (August-October 1808).
St James, Bristol
Cannon Street with St James in the background
George Street (c1805-1868) always gave his place-of-birth on censuses as Tetbury; he is usually described as a slipper maker and appears to have lived in Cannon Street, just behind the church of St James in Bristol, from at least 1841 until his death. He married Elizabeth Rousom, a native of Dublin at St Philip and St Jacobs church in Bristol on January 28th 1824 when he was about 19; Elizabeth was a year or so older. Their children were all baptised into the Roman Catholic faith at the chapel of St Joseph in Trenchard Street, although, with one exception, they all married either in Anglican churches or at the Register Office. George died in 1868 and Elizabeth three years later. Their eldest son, also George (1828-1886) was also a slipper maker and lived mostly in St James parish, only moving to Cherry Alley in neighbouring St Pauls in the 1870s. He married Martha Ann Waters, née Gillard at Bristol Register Office in April 1863 and they had seven children, of whom the second, Ada was my great grandmother.
Ada Street (seated with my mother on her lap) and her elder sister, Elizabeth Street (standing) 1922