WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE SOUTHEY FAMILY?
(Ellingford Line)

Updated 06/05/2013

The Southey Family have been a mystery to me ever since I first started researching.  In fact, the name Southey is responsible for this whole project - all because my brother found the name on the old, original birth certificate of Edwin Oliver Mundy, who is our great-grandfather through our mother's line.

The Early Years
I guess the story starts off with the marriage of Robert Southey to Caroline Young in 1847.  I first found him listed on the 1851 census with his wife Caroline and their 2 month old daughter, Emily.  Robert is shown as being aged 30, which is correct as he was born on 30th December 1820 in the City of London.  His occupation is shown as a lighterman, and he worked down on the docks as an apprentice to his father John Thomas R Southey from 14/01/1836 until he completed his apprenticeship on 13/05/1847 - the year in which he got married.  The lightermen conveyed goods between the ships and the quayside. They took their name from this process of 'lightening' the ship.  The family were living in Stepney - part of the Borough known today as Tower Hamlets.

By 1861 he must have risen quite a bit in stature as he was listed as employing 3 men.  He and Caroline were now living at 34 Wharf Road, Saint Luke, in the borough of Finsbury.  They had been very busy adding to their family because by now they had another 3 children - Eliza Margaret Ann, Walter Robert and Charlotte.  However... there is another daughter listed on the census called Caroline Ann Southey who is shown as being born 2 years before Emily.  It turns out that she was staying with her grandparents on the night of the 1851 census - which is why I couldn't find her in 1851 with her parents. 

Between 1861 and 1871 Caroline and Robert had 3 more children - all boys - William, Orton and Frederick.  Eliza had left home and married Edwin Mundy and had a 2 month old daughter, Maud.  Subsequent years saw the couple give birth to a total of 8 children.

By 1871 Robert, now aged 50, had had a career change.  He was now a Beer Seller and most likely quite well off as he had a family of housekeepers by the name of Monk and was living in the parish of Bow in Tower Hamlets.  Caroline Ann, the daughter, had done her disappearing act again only this time she'd taken her mother with her.  The other children were living alone at 64 Paul Street, West Ham (two streets away from where I was brought up!) with Emily, aged 20, as the head of the household.  Awfully young to be looking after a family of 5 children and earning her and their keep as a needlewoman.  If the family were still living together, why didn't Robert go home on census night?  After all, it isn't a great distance between Bow and West Ham.

Well... an old record from the Central Criminal Court (The Old Bailey) may well show us why it seems that Robert and Caroline were not living together, it seems he was tried for BIGAMY on 12 January 1880.  Although he was acquitted and discharged - no smoke without fire, eh? And... there was a marriage between a Robert William Southey and either Fanny James or Lucretia Elizabeth Faithful in 1876 in Bethnal Green.  Tried looking for both of them on a census but can't come up with anything, They (Robert and wife) were not showing on the 1881 Census as living together - because by then he was living with Mundy family in West Ham.

Caroline Southey
Going back to Caroline Ann and her disappearing act, we find her marriage record to John Thomas Long - Q2 1869 in St Lukes.  However, neither of them are to be found on the 1871 census but we do find a death record for Caroline Ann Long in Whitechapel in the September quarter of 1877.  The poor girl died at the age of 28.  John Long then went to stay with the Mundy family at 29 Preston Road where we can see him on the 1881 census as a brother-in-law to Edwin Mundy (this is correct... Edwin married Caroline's sister, Eliza).  One would have thought that had they had children they would have been with their father at Preston Road, but no children of the couple have been found.  There were no newborn deaths registered in Whitechapel at the same time as Caroline's death, so we can possibly rule out the fact that she might have died in childbirth.

Robert Southey and the Mundy and Williams Families
Come 1881, Robert at age 60 had given up the Beer Selling and gone back to what he knows best - unloading the ships - as the 1881 census again shows him as a Lighterman and living in the Mundy household.  He is shown as being blind in 1 eye, so I could be forgiven for thinking that this could have been through an accident of some sort as it was never shown any previous census.  The 1851 census does show Robert as having lost one finger. 

Personally, I'm not getting a very nice image of Robert Southey?  Was he perhaps getting into fights... losing a finger... losing an eye... young children living alone, mother nowhere to be found?  Who knows, maybe he took up beer selling as it was his first love, drank  all his profits and had to resort back to being a lighterman and living with another family?  He was 60 years old in 1881 - I should have thought he would be thinking more about retiring than changing careers.  I could be, and probably am, totally wrong, but there is definitely a feeling of unease surrounding this family. Maybe it's just down to the fact that I can't find proper records and can't piece together the bits I do have.  Who knows? However, Robert had teamed up with the Mundy and Williams families living at 29 Preston Road, West Ham and I believe that he stayed there until his death in 1885 which was registered in West Ham

Reappearance and Death of Caroline Young
His wife, now widowed, Caroline Young had magically reappeared and had moved the children from West Ham to 14 Usk Road, Battersea.  This can be seen on the 1881 census for Battersea where her occupation is shown as a nurse. This is to be the last time we see Caroline as we find a record of death in 1901 in Wandsworth.  This is CONFIRMED.  Caroline died on 19 March 1901.  Her estate went to probate, which I found today (06/05/2013).  Her entire estate was valued at 42 9s 8d.  You can see the record here.

1891 saw saw the Southey children still living at 14 Usk Road, Battersea, except that Walter was now heading the family with Charlotte, William and Frederick listed as his brothers and sisters.  Where was Caroline? She didn't die until 1901!

Emily Southey
Emily married in St Saviour Southwark in 1880 to John Bailey - they had two sons, Harold and Alfred up to the 1891 census. However, there is a a death record in Q4 1892 for a John Bailey in Hackney.  Although the 1891 census lists them as living in Stoke Newington, this actually comes under the Hackney (North) District.  Now we delve into murky waters.  Firstly, the name John Bailey is quite common, and the number of hits that came up when I looked for a death record was quite daunting, but this was the only feasible entry for our John as it was the only one registered in Hackney and, at the time of death he was 44 years old, giving us the correct year of birth.  But wait... in Q3 1893 - less than a year later we find a marriage for one Emily Mary A Bailey to George Frederick Wilson in Eton.  This is not the district I was expecting at all and I wanted to discard it, but on the other hand, Emily Mary A is not a common name. 

I found this couple on the 1901 census, but with 4 children - the eldest is 18 and the youngest is 10 - but they were living in Hackney!  The children could be explained by the assumption that this could be George's second marriage, perhaps being a widower with children at the time, but... there's no mention of Emily's two sons with John Bailey.  So, I was wondering whether I had picked up a different Emily M A Bailey.  I searched the indices for a marriage for George Wilson - prior to his marriage to our Emily, and just prior to the eldest child being born, just to see if there was, by chance, another Emily M A Bailey lurking around, but there was none.  As to Emily and John Bailey's eldest son, Harold, he would have been around 19 years old, so he could well have been working away from home or even married, so I wasn't too put out by the fact that I couldn't find him on the 1901 census with the mother and step-father, but the younger of the two, Alfred, would only have been 13 which would have been a bit young for him to be living away from home working - even for those days.  So, finding Emily Southey has only posed more questions than we have answers!  I've run searches for the two boys in 1901 independently, but with no results.

Orton Southey
Orton Southey married in Q1 1901 (Feb 23, 1901) to Annie Marshall aged 32.

[Unfinished-More research needed] I found him and his wife (Annie) leaving the UK for Australia on the Otway on 3 January 1913 with their 3 children - Stanley 9, Leslie 6 and Ernest 4.  Strange thing is I can't find any records of the children's births in England that fit.  Using the calculator, I worked out that Stanley was born in 1904, Leslie in 1907 and Ernest 1909-1910.  I found a Joseph Stanley Southey in Jun 1904 Hendon, a Leslie Macdonald Southey in 1907 Cardiff and absolutely nothing for Ernest in 1909-1910.  So I have to ask myself, did they emigrate earlier and the kids were born abroad and just came back to the UK for a short period of time?   I then found a Mrs Southey, a Stanley Southey and Leslie Southey RETURNING from South Africa on 28 February 1908.  Unfortunately it doesn't give ages of children.  THEN... I found another ship bringing back to London from South Afria Mr and Mrs 0 Southey, Mstr S Southey and Mstr E Southey on the S.S. Narrung on 30 November 1912! It states that their permanent residence is in South Africa.   Orton and Annie then went to Australia on the "Otway" on 3 January 1913 - (Orton aged 45 an Annie aged 40) contracted to disembark in Freemantle.  With them went Stanley, aged 9, Leslie, aged 6 and Ernest, aged 4. Orton's occupation is listed as a Farmer. We found them going out... but what happened to Annie as she wasn't on the ship coming back. He returned to the UK from, I think, South Africa (Durban) on 4 April 1924 on the T.S.S. Demosthenes aged 59 but the ship started it's journey in Australia.  Profession: Storekeeper. What a mess!

Charlotte Southey
There is a record of a Charlotte Southey marrying in Dartford in Q4 1902 - again we cannot pinpoint the husband for the same reasons as above, but the two men who's names are shown on the same page are Henry Gurney Hyde and Frederick Donald Suttle.  Hopefully the 1911 census will tell when it is released in 2011.  However, whether this is the same Charlotte Southey as the one mentioned here won't be known until we can see the 1911 census and then we will be able to cross reference the year and place of birth that we have on record. However, if this IS our Charlotte, this poses another question -
Where was she at the time of the 1901 census? Also, she would have been quite long in the tooth at the time of the marriage as she was about 42 in 1902. UPDATE:  Charlotte was found on the 1911 census living with her husband - Henry Gurney Hyde - a baker .  They had been married for 8 years - which means she married at the age of 41.  Living, or staying with them at the time of the census was "Winifred Southey" listed as Charlotte's niece, aged 4.  Time to do some more digging to find out which of her siblings child she is. Winifred Queenie Southey... born Croydon Q3 1906

Walter Southey
Walter Southey
went on to marry Bessie Spencer in Edmonton, Q1 1898 at the ripe old age of 39.  By 1901 Walter and Bessie had one son called Frederick. However, according to the census, little Frederick was 7 years old at the time of the 1901 census, so he was probably born around 1894, four years before his parents married.  It seems they ran a pub as his occupation is listed on the census as a licensed victualler (pub).  Chip off the old block, eh?

William Southey
Finally, William Alfred Southey married Lizzie Darvill in Aylesbury, Bucks in 1894.  It seems he brought Lizzie back to Wandsworth to live as they are shown on the 1901 census living at Distillery Cottage, York Road.

On a happier note for research, it is only another 8 years until the 1921 census is released.  Who knows what we might find in that!

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