Category Archives: Tearle Stories UK

From England we are able to research the history of the Tearle Family. Here we will share what we have found in our research, and our travels around England, to find Tearle sites and Tearle graves.

16Feb/16
Levis house Wing

Wing Tearle Memorials

I suppose Wing wouldn’t immediately spring to mind as a hotbed of Tearle activity, but this ancient little village, just over the border in Buckinghamshire from Leighton Buzzard, became a very busy spot when a blacksmith and his brother moved to Wing in the late 19thC to set up their houses and bring up their families. 133 years later, Tearles still live in Wing.

Below is the headstone for my g-grandfather, Levi, b27 July 1850 in Stanbridge and his wife, Sarah nee Blake b24 Aug 1851 also in Stanbridge. 

Levi and Amos are sons of James 1827, featured on the Stanbridge page, and Mary nee Andrews. Also recorded here are: 

Rose b1877, Wing

Edith b1892, Wing

Emily (Pugh) b1886, Wing.

These are some of Levi and Sarah’s children.

Here are the summaries from all of the census returns in which Levi appeared. You can see the full extent of his and Sarah’s family in the last two returns. His family called themselves “The Tribe of Levi.”

  • 1851 = James 1828 Stbg p1 Mary 23 in Stbg
  • 1851 = James 1828 Stbg p2 Levi 8m in Stbg
  • 1861 = James 1827 Todd Mary 31 Levi 11 Sarah 8 Elizabeth 5 Isabella 3 in Stbg
  • 1871 = Levi 1851 Stbg apprentice blacksmith in Stbg
  • 1881 = Levi 1851 Stbg p1 Sarah 29 Arthur 6 in Wing
  • 1881 = Levi 1851 Stbg p2 Rose 3 Mahlon 11m in Wing
  • 1891 = Levi 1851 Stbg Sarah 39 Arthur 16 Rose 13 Mahlon 19 Ellen 9 Ruth 7 Emily 4 Minnie 2 in Wing
  • 1901 = Levi 1851 Stbg Sarah 49 Arthur 26 Ruth 17 Emily 14 Minnie 12 Edith 9 in Wing

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Some of the Tearles attended All Saints, the beautiful little Saxon church in Wing 

All Saints Church

All Saints Church

but Levi and his family were Methodists and attended the Methodist chapel (above right) down the road in Church St, where Levi was the superintendent of the Primitive Methodist Sunday School. This is now a private dwelling.

Wing Methodist Church

Wing Primative Methodist Church.

Levi and Sarah were married by banns in Stanbridge on 23 Mar 1874. Their son, Arthur, my grandfather, was born in Wing that December 24th. Levi’s parents were James b1827 Toddington and Mary nee Andrews of Eggington. James parents were Thomas 1807 and Mary nee Garner. Thomas’ parents were Richard 1773 and Elizabeth nee Bodsworth. Richard’s parents were John 1741 and Martha nee Archer. Thus Levi is of the branch John 1741.

Levi and Sarah, my great-grandparents

Levi and Sarah, my great-grandparents.

Levi and his grown-up family. Rear row, Levi, Ellen and Mahlon. Front row, right to left; Ruth, Emily, Minnie and Edith.

Levi and his grown-up family. Rear row, Levi, Ellen and Mahlon. Front row, right to left; Ruth, Emily, Minnie and Edith.

I suppose memorials don’t always have to have a name on them. Apart from the beautiful house he built in Wing, Levi’s lasting memorial will be the fencing he made for the property around Ascott House, Wing. This is the cricket ground fence.

Cricket ground with fence built by Levi

Cricket ground with fence built by Levi.

Here is his house which he built in Stewkley Rd. In 1901, the Big House (the one on the left) was not built and Levi and family, including my grandfather, Arthur, were living in the cottage in the middle. The painted cottage contained Mr and Mrs Cutler and family. 

Levi's house

Levi’s house.

Jennie Pugh of Luton says that the house next door to that always contained the chauffeur from Ascott Hs and the Rothschilds sent the children of the chauffeur to a school in Leighton Buzzard that charged £3.00 per term. As far as I know, Levi did not build the two cottages, but Jennie says he did carve Ebenezer Cottages into their window sills, named after a (Methodist preacher?) friend of his.

The little tablet briefly records the family of Harry Tearle b1908 in Wing. He was a son of Mahlon and grandson of Levi. He married Millicent Green, from a very long-standing Wing family. 

Harry Tearle b1908

Harry Tearle b1908

They and two of their children – Roy, who died only nine years old and Thelma – all of whom died in Wing, are listed here. Thelma is actually buried in another section of the churchyard and here is her tablet.

Thelma Mary Shepherd

Thelma Mary Shepherd

Emily, Mahlon’s sister, also has a sad story. In 1913 she married John Pugh, a butler, and had a son Ernest b1915, Wing. John Pugh joined the war in 1915 and lived and fought through it all as a sergeant machine gunner until just three months before the war ended. Here he is, on the war memorial in the Wing churchyard.

Emily stayed in Wing for the rest of her life, working as a maid for one of the local families. She is remembered on Levi’s headstone, above.

War Memorial, Wing Churchyard

War Memorial, Wing Churchyard

Martha Timms lived across the Tilsworth Road from Amos when they were growing up in Stanbridge. They married in St Johns Stanbridge on 18 July 1881 and moved to Wing soon after Levi, Amos’ elder brother, set up the smithy there. Amos was the blacksmith’s assistant until Levi’s son, Mahlon, took over the job. There is no memorial in Wing to Amos or Martha, but here is the headstone for Jeffrey, Amos’ first son and his wife, Maud nee Cutler. Amos and his family are, of course, on the branch of John 1741.

The headstone for Jeffrey, Amos’ first son and his wife, Maud nee Cutler

The headstone for Jeffrey, Amos’ first son and his wife, Maud nee Cutler

This memorial is for Jeffrey’s son, Fred.

This memorial is for Jeffrey’s son, Fred.

Strictly speaking, the graffiti in the clock tower, below may not be called a memorial at all. I am pretty certain it was carved by a young Mahlon Tearle, perhaps while he was mending something to do with the bells, or the clock.

Some 20th Century graffiti on the wall near the church bells.

Some 20th Century graffiti on the wall near the church bells.

There is a great deal of information about Wing on a site dedicated to it, and all the events that have happened there.

Did you know, for instance, that when Levi lived in Wing, there were no fewer than three blacksmiths in the village – and at least one wheelwright.

While we are there, here are the bells and mechanism he might have been repairing.

While we are there, here are the bells and mechanism he might have been repairing.

16Feb/16
DSC7617 Ewart studies the grave of Alfred, Florence Mary Tearle and Annie nee Hodges Vicarage Rd Cemetery Watford wl

Watford Tearle Memorials

Vicarage Rd Cemetery

Elaine and I visited the Vicarage Rd Cemetery in Watford on 24 Apr 2011, armed with a printout of Tearle names and grave numbers given to Iris Adams and me by the warden of Watford North Cemetery when we went looking for Tearle graves there a couple of years previously. At Watford North, we had found Reginald Frank Tearle.

To start with, the Vicarage Rd Cemetery is pretty big. Without a map, it would be almost impossible to find any particular grave, and even with a map, the layout is somewhat chaotic, due mostly, I should think, to the number of times it has been enlarged, and re-numbered. One of the saddest things was that some of our earliest graves, and therefore the most important, had been re-used, and if there had ever been a headstone, it was now long gone. The only clue was in the catalogue number of the particular site.

There was a WW1 Great Cross close to the main entrance, and visible from Vicarage Rd as you drive past the Watford football stadium, to indicate that there were CWGC headstones in the cemetery, but there was no enclosure of a group; the headstones were wherever you could find them.

Vicarage Rd Cemetery War Memorial, Watford.

Vicarage Rd Cemetery War Memorial, Watford.

We paid our respects at the War Memorial, took our list of grave numbers and gradually found them all.

The triangle in the lower foreground is grave D-DED 441, for Charles Tearle b/d1879. The headstone on the left of the picture was also placed in 1879. Charles was the infant son of Jabez 1844 and Susannah nee Payne.

Grave D-DED441 the triangle Charles Tearle d1879 Vicarage Rd Cemetery

Grave D-DED441 the triangle Charles Tearle d1879 Vicarage Rd Cemetery.

We called this Tearle Corner; the highest concentration of Tearle graves close to each other we had ever seen. There are actually three graves, but they are occupied by eight people in total

Tearle Corner Vicarage Rd Cemetery Watford

Tearle Corner, Vicarage Rd Cemetery, Watford.

This is a general view of site 953-K: George 1902-1931, Edward Joseph T 1874-1933, and Jane 1871-1944. George 1902 was the son of Edward Joseph Tearle and Jane nee Picton.

Tearle Corner grave K953 George 1902-1931 Edward Joseph T 1874-1933 and Jane nee Picton Vicarage Rd Cemetery Watford

Tearle Corner grave K953: George 1902-1931, Edward Joseph T 1874-1933 and Jane nee Picton – Vicarage Rd Cemetery, Watford.

The headstone for 953-K. Edward Joseph Tearle was the son of Jabez 1844 and Susannah nee Payne. Jabez was the son of George 1818 and Annie nee Haws. Thomas 1737 via Fanny 1780

DSC_9597 Tearle Corner headstone K953 George 1902-1931 Edward Joseph T 1874-1933 and Jane nee Picton Vicarage Rd Cemetery Watford

Tearle Corner headstone K953 – George 1902-1931, Edward Joseph T 1874-1933 and Jane nee Picton. Vicarage Rd Cemetery, Watford.

William 1852 married Catherine Newsham Hodson in 1875. He was the son of John 1824 and Sarah nee Bishop of Slapton, and when John died young, William was brought up in Watford by his uncle George 1818 and his aunt Annie nee Haws.

Tearle Corner grave K862 William Tearle d1913 Vicarage Rd Cemetery Watford.

Tearle Corner grave K862 William Tearle 1852-1913, Vicarage Rd Cemetery, Watford.

There is one name on each wing of site 861-K, the grave of Mabel Tearle 1884-1955, Elizabeth Strickland 1821-1903, Elizabeth Louise Tearle 1852-1924 and George 1854-1945.

Tearle Corner grave K862 William and K861 Mabel Tearle 1884-1955 Elizabeth Strickland 1821-1903 Elizabeth Louise Tearle 1852-1924 George 1854-1945 Vicarage Rd Cemetery Watford

Tearle Corner grave K862 William and K861 Mabel Tearle 1884-1955 Elizabeth Strickland 1821-1903 Elizabeth Louise Tearle 1852-1924 George 1854-1945. Vicarage Rd Cemetery, Watford.

Elizabeth Strickland was the mother of Elizabeth Louise, so she was George’s mother-in-law, and Mabel’s maternal grandmother.

Elizabeth Strickland 1821-1903.

Elizabeth Strickland 1821-1903.

When you are given a printout of the grave numbers for a person, or number of people, there is also a rather vague map of the general locations (eg K) but the only way to tell where you are is to refer to the grave numbers, such as is shown here.

How to tell the exact grave number.

How to tell the exact grave number.

Mabel 1884-1955 is variously called Lizzie, Lizzie Mabel and Mabel, depending on the document in question.

Lizzie Mabel 1884-1955

Lizzie Mabel 1884-1955.

Elizabeth Louise (as here, or Louisa, sometimes) 1852-1954 was a London girl from Stepney, who married George 1854 in St Pancras in 1879.

Tearle Corner grave K861 Elizabeth Louise Tearle 1852-1924 Vicarage Rd Cemetery Watford

Tearle Corner grave K861 Elizabeth Louise Tearle 1852-1924 Vicarage Rd Cemetery Watford

George 1854 was also a son of John 1824 and Sarah nee Bishop. He was firstly a grocers assistant in Dunstable but by the time he met and married Elizabeth Louisa Strickland, he was in London working as a railway clerk. Watford has strong railway links, so George has added family links in coming to Watford.

Tearle Corner grave K861 George Tearle 1854-1945

Tearle Corner grave K861 George Tearle 1854-1945

E-CON 76, the grave for Sarah Ann 1851, Elizabeth Amelia 1821, George 1818, Jabez 1844 and Lucy 1857; potentially the most important grave of all. It probably never had a headstone, and you can see that, sadly, the site is re-used.

E-CON76a grave for Sarah Ann 1851 Elizabeth Amelia 1821 George 1818 Jabez 1844 Lucy 1857 reused

E-CON76 – grave for Sarah Ann 1851 Elizabeth Amelia 1821 George 1818 Jabez 1844 Lucy 1857 reused.

E-DED 441 is the grave for Albert Edward Tearle 1906-1907. It is the unmarked grave in the centre foreground. Albert was the son of John Leinad T 1876 and Alice nee Allainey, and grandson of Jabez 1844 and Susannah nee Payne.

E-DED441 Albert Edward Tearle 1906-1907 unmarked grave Vicarage Rd Cemetery Watford

E-DED441 Albert Edward Tearle 1906-1907 unmarked grave Vicarage Rd Cemetery Watford.

F-974 Alice Mary Tearle 1868-1917 was the daughter of Thomas 1847 (the railway engine driver) and Mary nee Bowler. She is descended from John 1780 and Sarah nee Claridge. William 1749.

F974 Alice Mary Tearle 1868-1917 Vicarage Rd Cemetery Watford

F974 Alice Mary Tearle 1868-1917. Vicarage Rd Cemetery, Watford.

F-892 The grave of Thomas Tearle 1847-1925 and Mary nee Bowler is immediately behind that of their daughter, Alice Mary 1868. Thomas is the son of Thomas 1820 and Sarah Jane nee Elliott. He is the grandson of William 1749.

F892 Thomas Tearle 1847-1925 and Mary nee Bowler Vicarage Rd Cemetery Watford

F892 Thomas Tearle 1847-1925 and Mary nee Bowler. Vicarage Rd Cemetery, Watford.

615 H-CON (Below) Arthur Fred Elliott Tearle 1877-1948, Florence Mary 1905-1907 and Annie nee Hodges 1872-1954. Arthur is a son of Thomas 1847 and Mary nee Bowler, so he is the brother of Alice Mary, above.

615 H-CON Ewart studies the grave of Alfred, Florence Mary Tearle and Annie nee Hodges. Vicarage Rd Cemetery Watford.

615 H-CON Ewart studies the grave of Alfred, Florence Mary Tearle and Annie nee Hodges. Vicarage Rd Cemetery Watford.

Here is a general view of the graveyard showing the site of the grave of Arthur and family.

615H-CON Arthur F E Tearle 1877-1948 Florence Mary 1905-1907 Annie nee Hodges 1872-1954 Vicarage Rd Cemetery Watford wl

615H-CON Photo to show the location for the grave of Arthur F E Tearle 1877-1948 Florence Mary 1905-1907 and Annie nee Hodges 1872-1954. Vicarage Rd Cemetery, Watford.

561-L Mildred Annie Tearle 1884-1908. Unfortunately, this grave, too has been re-occupied and Mildred Annie’s name is no longer on it. Mildred was the daughter of Anne Elizabeth Tearle 1859 before Anne Elizabeth married Joseph Moore in 1888.

561L - foreground reused grave Mildred Annie Tearle 1884-1908 Vicarage Rd Cemetery Watford

561-L – Foreground, reused grave of Mildred Annie Tearle 1884-1908 Vicarage Rd Cemetery, Watford.

The grave is definitely 561-L which is listed for Mildred Annie Tearle. Here is a close-up of the corner post showing (just) its number. She is the grand-daughter of Abel 1833 and Sarah nee Davis and g-granddaughter of Joseph 1797 and Maria nee Millings.

Marker post for grave 561-L

Marker post for grave 561-L

Below is a picture of plot 1150 L-CON for William 1857-1933. The clipboard marks the site. William married Mary Jewell nee Trust nee Cox. He was the son of Abel 1833 and Sarah nee Davis, so he was the brother of Ann Elizabeth 1859, and Mildred Annie’s uncle. Joseph 1737.

grass plot 1150L-CON William 1857-1933 Vicarage Rd Cemetery Watford

Grass plot 1150L-CON William 1857-1933. Vicarage Rd Cemetery, Watford.

Grass plot 1150L-CON William 1857-1933. Vicarage Rd Cemetery, Watford.

Grass plot 1150L-CON William 1857-1933. Vicarage Rd Cemetery, Watford.

A general view showing the location of 1150 L-CON. The headstone beyond is for a chap called Rogers.

790-M As the corner post shows, the grave for Olive Archdeacon Tearle 1881-1985. This is not the name on the grave, so it’s another re-used site. She was the sister of Lizzie Mabel, featured above.

790M corner post for Olive Archdeacon Tearle 1881-1985 Vicarage Rd Cemetery Watford

790M corner post for Olive Archdeacon Tearle 1881-1985. Vicarage Rd Cemetery, Watford.

Olive Archdeacon T is the daughter of George 1854 and Elizabeth nee Strickland. She was born in 413 Commercial Rd, Tower Hamlets, and George was in the railways as a clerk in those days.

reused grave 790M Olive Archdeacon Tearle 1881-1985 Vicarage Rd Cemetery Watford

Reused grave 790M for Olive Archdeacon Tearle 1881-1985. Vicarage Rd Cemetery, Watford.

The families:

There are three separate families associated with the headstones above:

Family 1.

Abel 1797 and Hannah nee Frost. He was the son of Fanny 1780 and g-son of Thomas 1737 and Mary nee Sibley. Two of his boys were the fathers of families as follows –

John 1824 and Sarah nee Bishop of Slapton – William 1852 and Catherine nee Hodson, George 1854 and Elizabeth nee Strickland.

George 1818 and Annie nee Haws’ son, Jabez 1844 and Susannah nee Payne and three of their sons, Alfred George 1872, Edward Joseph 1874 and John Leinad 1876.

Their sister Elizabeth Amelia 1821.

Family 2.

William 1749 and Mary nee Prentice

John 1780 and Sarah nee Claridge, whose children were all born in Leighton Buzzard. John was a member of the 2nd Dragoon Guards and father to a line of theatrical Tearles one of whom was Sir Godfrey Tearle, the movie and Shakespearean actor. He was also the father of many sons who joined the Royal Marines – at least four that I know of. Thomas 1847, the railway engine driver, married Mary Bowler. Their daughter is Alice Mary 1868 and their son is Arthur Fred Elliott T 1877. He married Annie Hodges and their daughter Florence Mary 1905 is featured on their headstone.

Family 3.

Joseph 1737 and Phoebe nee Capp. Their grandson Joseph 1769 and their gg-gson William 1857.

Joseph 1797 and Maria nee Millings. Joseph was the son of William 1769 and Sarah nee Clark, and grandson of Joseph 1737.  Mildred Annie 1884 is their grand-daughter, the daughter of Ann Elizabeth 1859 and grand-daughter of Abel 1833 (and Sarah nee Davis) who was a son of Joseph 1797 and Maria nee Millings.

William 1857 was the brother of Ann Elizabeth 1859 and Mildred Annie’s uncle. He married Mary Jewell nee Trust nee Cox.

16Feb/16

Stanbridge Tearle Memorials

The parents of almost all the Tearles alive today are a Stanbridge man called Thomas b1710 and his wife, Mary nee Sibley. They had five sons who carried the Tearle name – Joseph b1737, Thomas b1737, John b1741, William b1749 and Richard b1754. There was a Jabez b1745, but he never married and had no children. In order to positively identify any Tearle, I trace them back to one of these men. So where you see the statement, for instance, that John, below is on the branch of John 1741, you will know they are a descendant of John 1741 above. The Tearle Tree is built on this basis and we can trace almost any person who enquires to one of these branches.

In line with the south entrance of St John the Baptist Church, is a carved stone with a very old cross on it. Although it does not signify occupation in and around it, this stone does server to remind us that Stanbridge has been place of significance since before Roman times.

Stanbridge Church rock

Stanbridge Church rock

The clock on the church was donated by the villagers who raised money for it to celebrate the end of WW1. It was unveiled by the daughter of Lily Robinson nee Cox.

Stanbridge Church clock

Stanbridge Church clock

The memorial below is for John Tearle b16 Jan 1840 in Stanbridge; “For sixty years sexton of this parish.” Also on the memorial are other members of John’s family: Maria nee Bliss b1844 in Totternhoe, Frederick b1871 in Stanbridge and Sabina b1875 in Stanbridge. John Tearle was sexton while the Rev Thomas Green was making major upgrades to the fabric of St John’s during the 1890s.

He is on the branch of John 1741.

John Tearle 60 years sexton of this parish

John Tearle 60 years sexton of this parish

The site below is for Eliza Tearle b1873 and Kate Tearle b1873, who died within months of each other in 1954 and are in this grave by the footpath.

Kate and Eliza Tearle, Stanbridge.

Kate and Eliza Tearle, Stanbridge.

They are the twin daughters of John the  sexton (mentioned above.)

Very close to the foot of the grave above, is the memorial to Phoebe Tearle b 1877 Stanbridge. She married George Horne, also of Stanbridge, and they left to seek their fortune in Leeds.  Phoebe is one of the daughters of John 1840, the sexton, and Maria. Note how close her memorial is to that of her sisters, Eliza and Kate. I am not certain that she is buried here.

Phoebe Horne nee Tearle and George

Phoebe Horne nee Tearle and George

Annie Rose is the sister of Kate and Eliza and thus a daughter of John the sexton. She died in 1950.

Headstone Annie Rose d1950 and Charles Rose d1951

Headstone for Annie Rose d1950 and Charles Rose d1951

This little cluster of graves is interesting because others close by may be similarly related. You can see below that the graves of Eliza, Kate, Phoebe and Annie are a close little grouping. Research is continuing to see if other sites nearby are also Tearle graves by another name.

Foreground, Kate and Eliza, with Phoebe Horne and Annie Rose

Foreground, Kate and Eliza, with Phoebe Horne and Annie Rose

This headstone below is for James Tearle b15 Apr 1827 in Toddington and Mary nee Andrews, b1830 in Eggington. They were married in Stanbridge 26 July 1846.

James and John the sexton are brothers. James is my gg-grandfather. While his son Levi went on to become a skilled blacksmith, running a successful business in Wing, James always described himself simply as an agricultural labourer. After his father died, Levi travelled from Wing to see his mother, Mary Tearle nee Andrews, in Stanbridge almost every weekend.

James Tearle d1887 and Mary d1914.

James Tearle d1887 and Mary Tearle d1914.

James, too, is on the branch of John 1741.

The memorials to John and James are close together. It seems likely that the church paid for John’s headstone, while Levi Tearle of Wing, their son, would have paid for James and Mary’s headstone.

The memorials to John 1840 and James 1827 are close together.

The memorials to John 1840 and James 1827 are close together.

In an odd sort of way, this headstone below for Caroline Shillingworth and Charles is also a Tearle memorial, since in 1888, he married Mary Tearle, the widow of James Tearle, above. When he died in 1891, Mary went to his funeral as Mary Shillingford, widow of Charles and it was as Mary Shillingford that she married William  Tearle in the registry office in Watford. This William Tearle was the brother of both James and John above. His first wife was Catharine Fountain, universally known as Kate. Mary died in her son Levi’s house in Wing in 1914 and William died in 1 Grovebury Rd, Leighton Buzzard in 1920. I have never found his burial, but it is in the Stanbridge churchyard.

Charles and Caroline Shillingford, Stanbridge

Charles and Caroline Shillingford, Stanbridge

Under the trees, to the south of the church, are the Methodist graves, and some of these are highly significant for us.

 John Tearle d1818 and Elizabeth Rickard Stanbridge

John Tearle d1818 and Elizabeth Rickard Stanbridge

John Tearle d1818 and Elizabeth.

John, b1787 in Stanbridge, married Elizabeth Flint of Stanbridge on 4 May 1813. They had three children before he died in 1818, and they certainly made their mark.

Elizabeth remarried, to William Rickard, but you will notice his headstone nearby has his name only on it, whilst Elizabeth is written on John’s headstone, but as Elizabeth Rickard. You will see John on the branch of Joseph 1737, because he is a son of Joseph 1737 and Phoebe nee Capp. This is one of the Methodist graves.

The headstone of William Rickard

The headstone of William Rickard.

John and Deborah Olney  – notice the wonderful age they lived to. He owned and worked a 154 acre farm near Stanbridge, employing 6 labourers. They probably did not live on the farm since their house is in the village near the church. Deborah is a daughter of John 1787 and Elizabeth nee Flint, above. Also on this headstone is their son, James Olney b1837 Stanbridge.

John Olney and Deborah

Deborah often gives her children the name Tearle as a middle name eg Hannah Tearle Olney – who may have died of cancer. She is named after Deborah’s younger sister.

Hannah Tearle Olney

Hannah Tearle Olney.

This small headstone is to their four children who died – Thomas and William can be seen written there, but the other two cannot.

John and Deborah Olney's four children.

John and Deborah Olney’s four children.

Close to the headstone of John and Deborah Olney is this dark headstone to Catherine Conder who died in 1892. There is also Ethel Mary Conder who died just eight months old in 1891. And tragically recorded is the death of their son Thomas Olney Conder who died in Wega, W Africa, in 1897, in a scene mirroring that of Hannah and Henry Fleet, below, because he, too, was a Methodist missionary. Catherine Conder is Deborah’s fourth child, born 1840 in Stanbridge.

Catherine Conder and Thomas Olney Conder, the Methodist missionary.

Catherine Conder and Thomas Olney Conder, the Methodist missionary.

Hannah Tearle b 30 June 1816 and Henry Fleet b1817. They were married in St Johns, Stanbridge in 1838.

Their memorial is inside the church and tells the story of their sad and early deaths. Hannah is the second daughter of John 1787 and Elizabeth, above, and was Deborah’s younger sister.

The graves under the trees and this memorial to Hannah are of Methodists. There were two Methodist chapels in Stanbridge: the Wesleyan Chapel in Leighton Rd, from which this memorial was transferred to St Johns, and the Primitive Methodist chapel, which was next door to the school on Tilsworth Rd.

The memorial reads:
Hannah, the beloved wife of Henry Fleet and daughter of John and Elizabeth Tearle of this parish, who while on a voyage with her husband to Africa, was called to her eternal reward. Jan 1, 1839, aged 22 years.
Also of the above Henry Fleet, Wesleyan Missionary, who died at Sierra Leone, Western Africa, May 30 1839, aged 22 years.

Hannah Tearle and Henry Fleet memorial

Hannah Tearle and Henry Fleet memorial.

An English custom worthy of note to the family historian; in England, it is the venue that is licensed to perform marriages. Since neither of the Methodist chapel had such a licence, marriages were performed in the Parish Church, in this case, St Johns. Likewise, burials could take place only in the St Johns churchyard; hence the Methodist marriages and the Methodist graves in a Church of England venue. It is sad to note that Methodist sites, until very recently, were on “unconsecrated ground” and the Parish Church did not have the the responsibility of their maintenance.

Another interesting thing about the Methodists is that according to “The Citizen”of Leighton Buzzard, 26 Feb 2004, “The village’s first school was opened in June 1876 at the Primitive (Methodist) chapel. It catered for 80 children but was soon full and so a new school was built next door in 1881.” I have often noticed in my wanderings around England that Methodist schools attached to, or run inside Methodist chapels often precede parish schools. The Methodists believed in reading the Bible, so of course you had to be able to read. Look up the story of the Tolepuddle martyrs. Methodism was for the poor, and the modern trade unions are the direct descendants of the early Methodists. The Tearles were at the very centre of that activity in Stanbridge.

Methodist graves under the trees

Methodist graves under the trees.

At the end of WW1, a private initiative began that tried to tell the stories of the soldiers of WW1. It was called National Roll of the Great War and while volumes were written, the work could hardly be called comprehensive. However, it does include the stories of two Stanbridge men, who were lucky enough to survive the war.

Tearle, F J, Private, 8th Bedfordshire Regiment, who gave as his address Tilsworth Rd, Stanbridge. National Roll says:

He volunteered in March 1915, and in the same year was sent to France. During his service on the Western Front he was engaged in the fighting on the Somme, at Arras, Bullecourt and Cambrai, and was wounded on the Somme during the retreat of 1918. He was demobilised in November 1919, and holds the 1914-15 Star, the General Service and Victory Medals.

Tearle, E, Private, 7th Bedfordshire Regiment, also of Tilsworth Rd, Stanbridge. National Roll says of him:

He volunteered in September 1914 and in the following January proceeded overseas. He served on the Western Front and fought at Loos and the Somme, where he was wounded. On recovery he rejoined his Battalion, and was engaged in the fighting at Passchendale, Cambrai and in the Retreat and Advance of 1918. He was demobilised in March 1919, and holds the 1914-15 Star, and the General Service and Victory Medals.

The house on the corner of Peddars Lane. Occupied by John and Annie Tearle and then by Frederick, Alice Annie and Eric until 1968, when Eric, the last Tearle in Stanbridge, died here

The house on the corner of Peddars Lane. Occupied by John and Annie Tearle and then by Frederick, Alice Annie and Eric until 1968, when Eric, the last Tearle in Stanbridge, died here

These two boys, not surprisingly, were brothers, sons of John 1862 Stbg and Annie nee Walker. The first was Frederick John Tearle, 1884 Stbg regimental number 27560 Bedfordshire Regiment and 59749 Suffolk Regiment, and the other was Edgar Tearle, 1890 Stbg number 14397, Bedfordshire Regiment and 590090 Labour Corps. Edgar married Louisa Jane Abraham in 1922. They had a son Alan Richard T in 1926 and Edgar died on 1 Nov 1950 in the Churchill Hospital, Headington, Oxford, having lived in 12 Lamas Walk, Leighton Buzzard until his transfer to Churchill Hospital.

Alice died in April 1956, Frederick died in Sep 1956, and Eric, John and Annie’s youngest son, died in July 1968.

John 1862 Stbg, was a son of James and Hannah nee Phillips. Here are John, Annie and family in the 1901 Stanbridge census:

1901 = John 1862 Annie 35 Frederick J 17 Edgar 10 Alice Agnes 6 Mabel Edith 1 in Stbg

As the enumerator walked down Tilsworth Rd, John and Annie were in the 59th house, just inside Pedars Lane.

When you read the service these two boys did for their country, and the horrific battles they fought in, there can be no wonder that Frederick could not (or would not) marry on returning to Stanbridge.

When Eric died in 1968 he was the last person in Stanbridge to carry the Tearle name. A name which had lived in this village since at least the late 1300s was gone.

16Feb/16
James Tearle and Mary headstone Stanbridge Church

Tearle burials in Stanbridge 1813-1968

Stanbridge burials 1813 to 1968

Collated and annotated by Pat Field, from the Stanbridge parish records.

Considering the paucity of Tearle headstones in the Stanbridge burial ground that surrounds St John the Baptist Church, there have been a large number of Tearle burials in the parish. Pat Field has compiled the list below to illuminate the families and their associations and you will notice that the earliest in the list include Phoebe nee Capp, as well as John 1741 and Martha nee Archer, who are at the head of two of the main branches of the Tearle family tree. As this list opens, we can see the people who would have been familiar, as children, and grand-children, with the heads of the Tearle tree.

Year Name Abode Date Age
1813 ANN TEARLE STANBRIDGE Jul-24
Dau of Richard 1773 and Elizabeth nee Bodsworth.
1814 MARTHA TEARLE STANBRIDGE Jan-02 80
Martha nee Archer wife of John 1741.
1816 JOHN TEARLE STANBRIDGE Jun-30 75
John 1741, hus of Marther nee Archer.
1817 PHEBY TEARLE STANBRIDGE May-02 72
Phoebe nee Capp, wif of Joseph 1737.
1818 JOHN TEARLE STANBRIDGE Dec-22 31
John 1787, son of Joseph 1737 and Phoebe nee Capp.
Hus of Elizabeth nee Flint; see Methodist graves.
1829 JOHN TEARLE STANBRIDGE May-17 8wks
Son of Thomas 1807 and Mary nee Garner.
1833 PHEBE TEARLE STANBRIDGE Jun-16
Dau of John 1799 and Elizabeth nee Mead.
1836 JABEZ TEARLE STANBRIDGE Sep-24 19
Son of John 1770 and and Mary nee Janes.
1837 SARAH TEARLE STANBRIDGE Jan-15 2
Dau of Thomas 1807 and Mary nee Garner.
1838 GEORGE TEARLE STANBRIDGE Apr-23 24
Son of Richard 1773 and Elizabeth nee Bodsworth.
1842 JUDITH TEARLE STANBRIDGE Aug-11 64
Judith nee Knight 2nd wife of William 1769.
1846 WILLIAM TEARLE STANBRIDGE Aug-22 76
William 1769, son of Joseph 1737 and Phoebe nee Capp.
Hus of Sarah nee Clarke.
1849 JOHN TEARLE STANBRIDGE Nov 79
John 1770, hus of Mary nee James.
1850 RICHARD TEARLE STANBRIDGE Jan-06 76
Richard 1773, son of John 1741 and Martha nee Archer.
Hus of Mary nee Bodsworth.
1850 ELIZABETH TEARLE STANBRIDGE Sep-10 46
Elizabeth nee Mead, wife of John 1779.
1855 RICHARD TEARLE STANBRIDGE Mar-15 6mo
Son of Joseph 1823 and Mary nee Turney.
1855 MARY ANN TEARLE STANBRIDGE Apr-26 17
Unknown parents.
1855 JOHN TEARLE STANBRIDGE May-25 59
John 1799, hus of Elizabeth nee Mead.
1856 ELIZA TEARLE STANBRIDGE Dec-20 38
Eliza nee Irons, wife of John 1823.
1857 THOMAS TEARLE STANBRIDGE Apr-05 50
Thomas 1807, hus of Mary nee Garner.
1859 GEORGE TEARLE STANBRIDGE Aug-23 6
Son of John 1799 and Elizabeth nee Irons.
1859 ELIZABETH TEARLE STANBRIDGE Dec-22 81
Elizabeth nee Bodsworth, wife of Richard 1773.
1860 MARY TEARLE STANBRIDGE Apr-16 88
Mary nee Janes, wife of John 1771.
1862 SARAH TEARLE STANBRIDGE Jan-11 6
Dau William 1832 and Catherine nee Fountain.
1863 HANNAH TEARLE STANBRIDGE Aug-02 18
Dau John 1823 and Eliza nee Irons.
1863 MARY CLARKE TEARLE WATFORD Oct-09 17
Dau of Abel 1810 and Martha nee Emmerton.
1866 MINNIE TEARLE STANBRIDGE Mar-23 16m
Dau Jane 1843, dau Thomas 1816 and Ann nee Jones.
1868 ELIZA TEARLE STANBRIDGE Aug-05 8m
Dau William 1832 and Catherine nee Fountain.
1872 MARY TEARLE STANBRIDGE Dec-20 1yr 10m
Dau Sarah Tearle, dau James 1823 and Mary nee Andrews.
Sarah married George Blake in Dec 1877.
1873 MARY TEARLE STANBRIDGE Feb-10 68
Mary 1803, dau John 1770 and Mary nee Janes.
1874 ALFRED TEARLE STANBRIDGE Oct-29 3yr 6m
Son of William 1832 and Catherine nee Fountain.
1876 MARY ANN TEARLE STANBRIDGE Oct-24 60
Mary Ann nee Turpin, wife of Richard 1816.
Nathaniel’s mother.
1877 JOHN TEARLE STANBRIDGE Oct-04 59
John 1823, hus of Eliza nee Irons.
1880 THOMAS TEARLE STANBRIDGE Feb-17 5w
Son of John 1840 and Maria nee Bliss.
1881 FREDERICK TEARLE STANBRIDGE Feb-07 17
Son of James 1823 and Hannah nee Philips.
1881 ALBERT TEARLE STANBRIDGE Dec-25 8m
Unknown parents. Birth cert: 1881, Q2, Leighton Buzzard,
Bedfordshire, Vol 3b, Page 430.
1882 ABEL TEARLE STANBRIDGE Oct-13
Abel 1810, hus of Martha nee Emmerton.
1882 JEFFRERY TEARLE Dec-08 10
Son of William 1832 and Catherine nee Fountain. UPPER HOUGHTON REGIS
1883 ANN TEARLE STANBRIDGE Apr-23 47
Dau Abel 1810 and Martha nee Emmerton.
1883 WALTER TEARLE EATON BRAY Aug-08 7w
Unbaptised burial, authorised by bishop. Unknown parents.
Birth cert: 1883, Q3, LB, Beds, 3b, 391
1883 MARIA TEARLE STANBRIDGE Oct-08 40
Maria nee Bliss, wife of John 1840.
1886 JOSEPH TEARLE STANBRIDGE Oct-10 61
Joseph 1823, hus of Mary nee Turney.
Died in Hemel Hempstead Hospital.
1887 JAMES TEARLE STANBRIDGE Apr-17 60
James 1827, hus of Mary nee Andrews.
1890 ARTHUR TEARLE STANBRIDGE Jan-28 2
Parents unknown. May be Arthur Henry Tearle 1887.
Birth cert: 1887, Q3, LB, Beds, 3b, 393.
1892 SIDNEY TEARLE WING Jan-03 19m
Son of Amos 1861 and Martha nee Timms.
1892 HANNAH TEARLE STANBRIDGE Mar-31 61
Hannah nee Philips wife of James 1823.
1892 KATE TEARLE UPPER HOUGHTON REGIS Apr-29 57
Catherine nee Fountain, wife of William 1832.
1892 TRYPHENA TEARLE STANBRIDGE Dec-16 19
Dau of Jane 1844, dau of John 1823 and Eliza nee Irons.
1895 FREDERICK TEARLE STANBRIDGE Aug-23 24
Son of John 1840, the sexton, and Maria nee Bliss.
1896 HORACE TEARLE STANBRIDGE Apr-28 10
Son of John 1861 and Annie nee Walker.
1898 GEORGE TEARLE STANBRIDGE May-05 32
Son of James 1823 and Hannah nee Philips.
1898 JAMES TEARLE STANBRIDGE Jun-19 79
James 1823, hus of Hannah nee Philips.
1900 BENJAMIN TEARLE STANBRIDGE May-18 51
Son of Abel 1810 and Martha nee Emmerton.
1908 ELIZABETH TEARLE STANBRIDGE Jan-29 78
Elizabeth nee Chapman, wife of Joseph 1823.
1908 MARY ANN TEARLE STANBRIDGE Mar-10 67
Dau of John 1823 and Eliza nee Irons.
1914 MARY TEARLE WING Jun-04 83
Mary nee Andrews, wife of James 1827.
1915 JANE TEARLE TILSWORTH Apr-03 71
Dau of John 1823 and Eliza nee Irons.
1915 SABINA TEARLE STANBRIDGE Aug-23 40
Dau of John 1840, the sexton, and Maria nee Bliss.
1920 WILLIAM TEARLE NORTHALL Feb-12 87
William 1832, hus of Catherine nee Fountain.
Died at 1 Grovebury Rd, Leighton Buzzard.
1920 JOHN TEARLE STANBRIDGE Oct-20 80
John 1840 “sexton of this parish for 60 years.”
Hus of Maria nee Bliss.
1927 JOHN TEARLE STANBRIDGE Jun-18 65
John 1861, of Back Lane, Stanbridge.
Hus of Annie nee Walker.
1931 ANNIE TEARLE STANBRIDGE May-16 66
Annie nee Walker, wife of John 1861.
1945 THOMAS TEARLE STANBRIDGE Jan-15 73
Thomas 1870 son of James 1823 and Hannah nee Philips.
Died at 11a Dunstable Rd, Luton.
1954 KATE TEARLE STANBRIDGE Aug-03 81
Dau John 1840 and Maria nee Bliss.
Living at 7 Tilsworth Rd, Stanbridge, died in Kempston.
1954 ELIZA TEARLE STANBRIDGE Sep-21 81
Dau John 1840 and Maria nee Bliss.
Living at 7 Tilsworth Rd, Stanbridge, died in Kempston.
1956 FREDERICK TEARLE STANBRIDGE Aug-02 72
Son of John 1862 and Annie nee Walker.
10 Peddars Lane, Stanbridge. WW1 soldier.
1956 ALICE AGNES TEARLE STANBRIDGE Apr-11 60
Dau of John 1862 and Annie nee Walker.
10 Peddars Lane, Stanbridge.
1968 ERIC TEARLE STANBRIDGE Jul-05 62
Son of John 1861 and Annie nee Walker.
10 Peddars Lane, Stanbridge. WW1 soldier.

 

Text

17Jan/16

Ronald William Tearle 1897, Luton, UK (RFA)

I first saw this chap on the Luton War Memorial outside the town hall, close to the Arndale Centre, and I immediately bought some flowers and left them for him. His name was Ronald William Tearle and he was the only son of a famous Luton Methodist lay preacher, William Underwood Tearle 1864 of Luton and Mary nee Bird. This family is on the branch of Joseph 1737. Here is his record from the CWGC.

Ronald William Tearle 1897-1817

Ronald William Tearle 1897-1817

  • Name: TEARLE
  • Initials: R
  • Nationality: United Kingdom
  • Rank: Gunner
  • Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery
  • Unit Text: “C” Bty. 95th Bde.
  • Date of Death: 04/10/1917
  • Service No: 141935
  • Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
  • Grave/Memorial Reference: X. A. 18.
  • Cemetery: THE HUTS CEMETERY
War memorial Luton

War Memorial, Luton

WW1 inscription Luton

WW1 inscription on the Luton War Memorial.

WW1 War Memorial Luton Gunner Field Artillery RW Tearle 4 Oct 1917

WW1 War Memorial Luton. Gunner, Field Artillery, R W Tearle died 4 Oct 1917.

We visited The Huts Cemetery in Dikkebus, not far from Ypres. You can get there by bus, but you cannot come back by bus on the same day. We took a taxi there – and back.

The Huts Cem Dikkebus Ieper Ypres

Across the headstones to the Great Cross; The Huts Cemetery, Dikkebus, Ypres.

The Huts Cem Dikkebus Ieper Ypres

The Dikkebus Memorial, Ypres,

Ronald William Tearle 141935 The Huts Cem Dikkebus Ieper Ypres

Ronald William Tearle 141935 – headstone in The Huts Cemetery, Dikkebus, Ypres.

 

 

Here is the report to say Ronald has been correctly buried and recorded.

Ronald William Tearle recorded buried correctly at The Huts Military Cemetery Dikkebusch

Ronald William Tearle recorded buried correctly at The Huts Military Cemetery Dikkebusch

17Jan/16

Norman Tearle 1919, Soulbury, UK (RN)

Norman TearleHere is his record from CWGC
Name: TEARLE, NORMAN Initials: N
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Stoker 2nd Class
Regiment/Service: Royal Navy Unit
Text: H.M.S. Pembroke II.
Age: 20
Date of Death: 31/05/1940
Service No: C/KX 103452
Additional information: Son of Frederick and Deborah Tearle, of Soulbury, Buckinghamshire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Plot 9. Row 3. Grave 17. Cemetery: OOSTENDE NEW COMMUNAL CEMETERY

Norman Tearle 1919, of Soulbury, Buckinghamshire, was killed during the Dunkirk evacuation, also known as Operation Dynamo. Although he is listed as sailing on the Pembroke II, in Chatham, Kent, that was simply his shore base, which he would have attended for training, and to which he would have returned when he was transferred from one ship to another. During Operation Dynamo he was actually on one of the “Little Ships” ferrying soldiers from the beach to the waiting transport ships. We do not know the name or type of boat he was sailing at the time. It was probably a sea-going fishing trawler, commandeered by the navy for this one purpose.

Norman’s navy service number is telling: C/KX 103452. The C/ refers to his base, Chatham, and K refers to Stokers and Mechanics, while the X indicates that he was engaged after the the new pay code of the early 1930s.

Here is a transcript of Norman’s Methodist baptism, which also helpfully tells us his birth date and both parents:

Norman, son of Frederick & Deborah of Soulbury born 26 Sept 1919 Bap 13 Nov 1919

His parents were Frederick Tearle 1875 of Soulbury and Deborah Elizabeth nee Rowe. Frederick’s parents were Richard Tearle 1843 and Elizabeth nee Ellingham and the parents of Richard 1843 were Richard 1805 of Stanbridge and Martha nee Walker, the grandparents of all the Soulbury Tearles. Richard 1805 was the son of Richard 1775 of Stanbridge and Elizabeth nee Bodsworth, and his parents were John 1741 and Martha nee Archer.

Soulbury Wesleyan Chapel

Soulbury Wesleyan Chapel

The Wesleyan Chapel is now a private dwelling, and the Roll of Honour was moved from this building to All Saints Church.

Norman Tearle on Roll of Honour Soulbury Wesleyan Chapel

All Saints, Soulbury.

All Saints, Soulbury.

We visited Oostende New Communal Cemetery, but first let me show you the reaction that Soulbury had to the death of its fine young men, including Norman.

War memorial, Soulbury.

War memorial, Soulbury.

Here is that part of the base of the War Memorial that carries Norman’s name:

Norman Tearle on war memorial Soulbury

Base of the War memorial, Soulbury

Inside All Saints Church is the Roll of Honour that was written to remember the names of all the men who were killed in both World Wars. Here is that part where Norman’s name is recorded:

Norman Tearle on honours board All Saints Soulbury

The next part of this post is possible only because of the hard work and a great deal of love, from Catherine Brunton-Green, Norman’s nice. She came to a TearleMeet with a beautifully prepared tribute to her uncle.

Catherine Brunton-Green with her memorial to her uncle, Norman Tearle.

Catherine Brunton-Green with her memorial to her uncle, Norman Tearle.

The memorial includes:

The notification of Norman's death that his parents received

The notification of Norman’s death that his parents received.

Norman's war medals

Norman’s war medals

The box that carried Norman's medals

The box that carried Norman’s medals.

Letter that accompanied Norman's medals

Letter that accompanied Norman’s medals.

And all of that was beautifully displayed:

Display in memory of Norman Tearle

Display in memory of Norman Tearle.

Here is the Oostende New Communal Cemetery. We took a bus from Ypres to De Panne and visited Edward Kefford William Tearle in De Panne Communal Cemetery, then we took the tram on the beautiful coastal route from De Panne to Oostende. The cemetery is a little tucked away, but findable with the help of the locals. We took the train back to Ypres.

CWGC Great Cross in Oostende New Communal Cemetery.

CWGC Great Cross in Oostende New Communal Cemetery.

It is, as always, beautifully laid out and maintained. In the little building behind the Great Cross there is the book containing all the names of those killed in this area, as well as a book to write a short note about or even to, the soldier whose grave you are visiting. Norman, even though he died at sea, has a headstone in this cemetery, which means his body was recovered and he was given a military burial; if not immediately, then when he was interred here.

Norman Tearle C-KX 103452 Oostende New Communal Cemetery

Norman Tearle C-KX 103452; Oostende New Communal Cemetery.

The inscription at the base of the headstone reads “To live in the hearts of those we love is not to die.”  It is a fitting tribute to a fine young man, for whom Catherine has worked tirelessly to keep his memory alive.

Finally, it is well to note that Norman is related to the other Soulbury Tearles who were killed in WW1 and WW2. I have summarised this in the article on Edward Kefford William Tearle, who was killed on the same day as Norman. Edward was killed fighting a rearguard action on the shore-side of Dunkirk to keep the Germans at bay, while Norman and his Little Ship were busy transporting British and French troops from the beach of Dunkirk to the waiting warships.

Norman is also related to Leslie James Tearle of St Albans, who was killed in France in WW1, as well as John Henry Tearle of Hertford, who was killed in Gallipoli.

All the Soulbury Tearles (including Norman) are on the branch of John 1741.

02Jan/16

Richard Elmore Tearle 1914, Pottersbury, UK

Coventry War Memorial

Coventry War Memorial

Name: TEARLE, RICHARD ELMORE Initials: R E
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian Regiment/Service: Civilian War Dead
Age: 27    Date of Death: 11/04/1941
Additional information: of Hare and Hounds Hotel, Bramble Street.
Son of Mr. and Mrs. John G. Tearle, of 80 Western Road, Wolverton, Bletchley, Buckinghamshire.
Died at Hare and Hounds Hotel. Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Reporting Authority: COVENTRY, COUNTY BOROUGH

Since Bletchley did not meant much to me (except for the Enigma machine we had visited) I concentrated on other things. Sue Albrecht of Auckland, NZ, gave me my first hint about the story of this chap. “I see that John Gates Tearle on the WW1 Cosgrove memorial married a Violet Elmore in 1913. I also see on your site that one of the WW2 casualties was a Richard Elmore Tearle. What’s the bet that Richard Elmore Tearle is John Gates Tearle’s son?”

I checked his death date for action that night and this is what Wikipedia said:

“On the night of April 8/April 9, 1941 Coventry was subject to another large air raid when 237 bombers attacked the city dropping 315 high explosive bombs and 710 incendiary canisters. In this and another raid two nights later on April 10/April 11 about 475 people were killed and over 700 seriously injured. Damage was caused to many buildings including some factories, the central police station, the Warwickshire Hospital, King Henry VIII’s School, and St. Mary’s Hall.”

Richard has sent me a little more information from a website dedicated to deaths during the Blitz and it tells us that Richard Elmore Tearle was employed as a bodybuilder at the Humber car works and that he is buried in a communal grave in the London Rd Cemetery, Coventry.

Coventry War Memorial from the gate.

Coventry War Memorial from the gate.

It’s a terrible irony, and very sad, that John Gates Tearle should survive WW1, and his son be killed in England, as a civilian, in WW2. It is now clear that he was buried in a communal grave with more than 1100 other victims of German bombing of the Coventry Blitz. By a communal grave, we mean that the Coventry Borough Council dug a large pit and the bodies of the citizens of Coventry were placed side by side and buried. There was a memorial service, but no headstones, and much haste because of the possibility of more bombing.

To mark the occasion, the Great Cross of the CWGC was erected to denote a CWGC site, and the Coventry War Memorial was built. On it, all the names of those in the communal grave were inscribed. There is also a small pocket of CWGC headstones, surrounded by a low, whitewashed wooden fence and more headstones scattered randomly around the cemetery.

Richard Elmore Tearle on the Coventry War Memorial.

Richard Elmore Tearle on the Coventry War Memorial.

John Gates Tearle 1890 Wolverhampton, married Violet Elmore in Pottersbury in 1913. His parents, Charles 1859 of Stanbridge and Lizzie nee Gates were in Wolverton (the home of the big railway workshops on the LNWR line from Euston, through Leighton Buzzard to Preston and beyond) was a Railway Platelayer. Charles was a servant for a farmer of 100 acres in Newbold around 1881, so he had obviously used his farming connections to move from Stanbridge. Perhaps it was just luck on his part that he was then well sited to take advantage of the industrialisation of Northampton, in order to improve his prospects. Charles was a son of William 1832 of Stanbridge and Catherine nee Fountain, amongst other children, whom you will see liberally scattered throughout this site. William’s parents were Thomas 1807 of Stanbridge and Mary nee Garner of Toddington, from whom my family is descended. Family Tree Maker tells me John was a 2nd cousin to my father. Thomas is a son of Richard 1773 Stanbridge and Elizabeth nee Bodsworth, and Richard is a son of John 1741. So Richard Elmore is on the branch John 1741.

02Jan/16

Mary Andrews 1830, Eggington, UK

I have decided to have a long look at my gg grandmother, Mary nee Andrews of Eggington, a village that is only a short walk from Stanbridge. Cousin Thelma called her “Much Married Mary” although she never told me what that meant. In Mary’s case it is a story of three marriage certificates.

Here she is in the 1841 census, aged 11 (b1830) and still at home in the hamlet of Eggington:

1841 = Mary Andrew p1 11 at home in Eggington

1841 = Mary Andrew p2 Thomas 6 Amos 4m in Eggington

Her father is James, aged 40 (b1801) and her mother is Sarah, also aged 40. I have on record that her maiden name was Moore, and I have given 1801 as her birth date given the census return. Mary, then, has a sister, Dinah, 15 (b1826), a brother Abel, 14 (b1827) then Mary, then Sarah, 8 (1833), a brother Thomas 6 (b1835) and little Amos 4m.

I have added these children into the Tree.

John Andrews sent me the following information in Dec 05 and you’ll notice that some of the names below are not in the census return, so I guess not at home that night:

JAMES ANDREWS was born June 2, 1799 in Eggington, Beds, and died 1851 in Eggington, Beds.  He married SARAH MOORE, daughter of William Moore and Elizabeth Bishop.Children of James Andrews and Sarah Moore are:

ABEL ANDREWS, b. 1827; d. June 12, 1864.

AMOS ANDREWS, b. December 28, 1823, Eggington, Beds; d. January 1, 1837.

DINAH ANDREWS, b. June 26, 1825; m. DAVID SCRIVNER.

MARY ANDREWS, b. 1830, Eggington, Beds.

SARAH ANDREWS, b. 1833, Eggington, Beds; d. March 13, 1861.

THOMAS ANDREWS, b. April 16, 1835.

WILLIAM ANDREWS, b. June 6, 1820, Eggington, Beds; d. February 17, 1907, Hooper – Weber – Utah.

HANNAH ANDREWS, b. 1826, Eggington, Beds.

AMOS ANDREWS, b. February 3, 1841, Eggington, Beds.

JOHN ANDREWS, b. March 30, 1851; d. April 2, 1851.

You’ll also notice that one of this family, William 1820, went off to Utah, after marrying one of the Pantling girls. There were several Pantling families in Eggington.

Dinah married David Scrivner, and she was a witness to the marriage of Amos Tearle, my great-grandfather Levi’s brother. Also there was George Blake, who was married to Amos and Levi’s sister, Sarah 1853 Stbg. Both men (Amos and Levi) are Mary’s sons. Just a snapshot of village life, really.

So here is the first marriage certificate: James 1826 Stbg, my gg-grandfather and Mary Andrews of Eggington, married at a very young age, by banns, in Stanbridge Church on July 26, 1847. You can see their entry in the banns register, which, in spite of its age, is still being added to in the “marriage season” even in the 21st Century.

However, I have the marriage certificate:

James 1827 my gg-grandfather marries Mary Andrews in 1847

James 1827, my gg-grandfather, marries Mary Andrews in 1847

In the 1851 census we can see Mary and James Tearle in Stanbridge with their first child, Levi, just 8m old.

1851 = James 1828 Stbg p1 Mary 23 in Stbg

1851 = James 1828 Stbg p2 Levi 8m in Stbg

They are living right next door to Joseph 1798 Stbg and Maria nee Millings of Soulbury.

One day, I must track the spread of Methodism amongst the Tearles. We know from the Dunstable Methodist circuit records that Joseph and Maria were Methodists and we know that Phoebe nee Capp was also a staunch Methodist; how much did this influence James and Mary and therefore Levi? Levi is my great-grandfather who moved to Wing, set up a successful smithy there and was the superintendant of the Sunday School in the Primitive Methodist Chapel in Church St, now a private residence.

Joseph and Maria are much older than James and Mary. Joseph 1798 Stbg is one of the grandsons of Joseph 1737 and Phoebe nee Capp. These are two parallel families living side by side in Stanbridge; Joseph 1798 grandson of Joseph 1737 and James g-grandson of John 1741, the brother of Joseph 1737. I know from living for 10yrs in a village of 100 houses, that these two families would have known exactly what their relationship was.

In 1861, Mary and James are living in Tilsworth Rd, Stanbridge and have their children:

1861 = James 1827 Todd Mary 31 Levi 11 Sarah 8 Elizabeth 5 Isabella 3 in Stbg.

Amos was b July 1861, so he missed the April census day.

In 1871 all the family is there, living in Leighton Rd, Stanbridge, with an addition – James and Mary have just become grand-parents:

1871 = James 1828 Tod Mary 40 Eggnt Sarah 18 Elizabeth 15 Isabella 13 Amos 9 Mary gd 2m Mary Ann Andrews niece 3 in Stbg

The grand-daughter belongs to Sarah, who goes on to marry George Blake 1857 of Stanbridge.

In 1881 they are living in Totternhoe Rd and only Amos is living with them:

1881 = James 1827 Tod Mary 50 Amos 19 in Stbg.jpg

This is where it starts getting complicated. James died in April 1887.

I first knew of the existence of a second marriage certificate because I found a Mary 1830 of Eggington in the 1891 Stanbridge census; she had to be my gg-grandmother. She was married to Charles Shillingford 1825 Stbg, a “Retired plate layer on the railway.”

1891 = Mary 1830 Egtn Charles Shillingford 66

And eventually I found it:

Mary nee Andrews 1830 Eggington marriage to Charles Shillingford 1888

Mary nee Andrews 1830 Eggington marriage to Charles Shillingford 1888

I also have a wonderful photograph of the two of them, but it’s in New Zealand and I will have to wait until I visit there again before I can see it.

In 1891, they are living in Tilsworth End, not far from the Hockliffe Bridleway, now called Kings Way. In the Hockliffe Bridleway are James 1819 Stbg and Hannah nee Phillips of Fleet Marston, Bucks. This James 1819 is the uncle of our James 1827 Tod, being the much younger brother of James’ father Thomas 1807 Stb. Both men are among the sons of Richard 1773 Stbg and Elizabeth nee Bodsworth. Mary would have known James’ uncle.

1891 = James 1819 Stbg Hannah 61 Fleet Marston Elizabeth 22 Thomas 20 Sarah 16 in Stbg

I can sketch a little bit of Charles Shillingford:

1841 Charles Shillingford 15 in Stbg, hence b1825.

He was a worker on the farm of James and Sophia Frambleton (?) in Backlane, Stanbridge. This must have been renamed, because I am not familiar with the road. He is one of seven such workers and the next door farm is the one belonging to Daniel Ellingham 1776 Stbg.

1881 Charles Shillingford 1825 Stbg Catherine 64 in Stbg.

Charles is living with his wife Catherine in Tilsworth Rd and he is a railway labourer.

I know that Mary died in 1914 and I know that Levi visited her almost every weekend, travelling there by horse from Wing. It’s not too far, but the roads were a bit rough. It was probably incorporated into Levi’s weekly trip to Leighton Buzzard for supplies. I have walked from LB to Wing and it’s not very far at all. One nice sunny day soon, I’ll walk from LB to Stanbridge.

So that brings me to 1901.

This is the most intriguing entry of all:

1901 = William 1832 Stbg Mary 1831 Egtn in Stbg

Mary nee Andrews has married William 1832, her first husband's brother.

Mary nee Andrews has married William 1832, her first husband’s brother.

This is a portion of the 1901 census report for Stanbridge. The record clearly states that he is Married, 69, Retired Railway platelayer, and the word Pension is written in bold. The record also clearly states that Mary is Wife, 70, and has Superannuated alongside her name.

This, without doubt is William 1832, of William and Catherine nee Fountain 1834 Eaton Bray. He is the brother of James 1827 Stbg, of whom Mary is the widow; he is also the brother of John 1829 Stbg “For 60 years the sexton of this parish.” The headstones of James and John stand side by side near the church, but there is no sign of William’s.

There was a third marriage certificate to find, and when eventually I did, it was quite unusual.

Mary Shillingford nee Andrews 1830 marriage to William Tearle in 1893

Mary Shillingford nee Andrews 1830 marriage to William Tearle in 1893

When I found this certificate, and it took a while, I wondered why they got married in Watford, and I speculated that there might be a bit of subterfuge involved. Mary was, after all, marrying her late husband’s brother; and if it wasn’t actually illegal, then it was frowned upon. However, if you consider the nature of William’s family – that they founded two Willesden families and at least one Watford family, then perhaps it wasn’t so difficult to comprehend. I noticed the witness: Henry Walker Simmonds. He married Ann Tearle in Stanbridge in 1864 and you can see that in the banns register.

Ann was the sister of James 1827, and John the sexton – and William 1832. She was already Mary’s sister-in-law.

In the 1891 Watford census, Ann has a “Nephew,” William aged 16 (b1875) a sawyer, living with her family. This is probably William and Catharine’s boy.

1891 = Ann Simmonds nee Tearle 1834 Stbg Henry W Simmonds 46 Thomas 19 William 18 Frederick 15 Kate 14 William Tearle 16 neph in Watford

I can’t find the address Mary says she was living at when she married; Ann and Henry were living at 44 Frarnley St, Watford, when the 1891 census was taken, but that didn’t mean they were still there when Mary was staying in Watford prior to her wedding. However, whatever the circumstances under which Mary and William were married, it was conducted in dignity with family and friends in attendance.

 The last sighting I have of Mary is a sad one, but tinged with relief. On her death certificate you can see that she has died at Levi’s home in Wing, with Levi at her side.

Mary nee Andrews 1830 Eggington death cert Wing 1914

Mary nee Andrews 1830 Eggington death cert Wing 1914

Levis house Wing

Levi’s house, Wing.

The house in the middle is called the Ebenezer Cottage (you can see the name carved into the window sill) and Levi Tearle, my g-grandfather, lived here with his family while he built The Big House, as the family called it, which is the attached house on the left of the two cottages.

I think the two headstones in Stanbridge Church cemetery tell their own story. Mary is buried with James:

James Tearle and Mary headstone Stanbridge Church

Headstone for James Tearle 1827 and Mary nee Andrews in Stanbridge Church graveyard.

and Charles Shillingford is buried with Caroline.

Headstone of Caroline and Charles Shillingford in Stanbridge Church.

Headstone of Caroline and Charles Shillingford in Stanbridge Church.

It’s easy for us to criticise Mary, but without someone to look after her, she had a very dismal future, stricken with poverty. Charles’ pension from the railways would have helped, and so would the railways pension that William would have provided. As couples, they would have kept each company as well. We know that Levi certainly did not hold it against his mother, because he gave her care with a room (at least) in the Ebenezeer cottage, and he was at her side when she died. I also have no doubt that he paid for the headstone for his parents.

02Jan/16

William Tearle 1832, Stanbridge, UK

William 1832 of Stanbridge was a son of Thomas 1807 Stbg and Mary nee Garner. His grandparents were Richard 1773 and Elizabeth nee Bodsworth and his g-grandparents were John 1741 and Martha nee Archer. William, then is on the branch of John 1741. He married Catherine Fountain in 1856.

Here he is in 1841, at home with his parents, his sister Emma and little brother John, 1840, who would go on to be the “Sexton of this parish for 60 years.”, as told by his headstone in the Stanbridge Church cemetery. William’s eldest brother (my gg-grandfather) James 1827 was already at work as a manservant in the household of James Goodeson, a farmer in Heath and Reach.

1841 = Thomas 1811 Beds Mary 1806 William 9 Emma 3 John 1 Stbg

The Tearles were not educated and many could not read or write. It is not unusual for people in the various censuses to have different birth dates because they could not keep an accurate track of their age. Couple this with the 1841 census enumerators who often rounded up or down people’s ages by as much as 5 years and you can see how William is 9 in 1841, but 12 in 1851.

This is him in 1851, just 12 yrs old, a Farmers Labourer (Servant) for William Pratt in Totternhoe:

1851 = William 1832 Stbg farmers lab for William Pratt in Totternhoe

He first appears as a railway labourer in the Stanbridge census of 1861 – now married and living in Stanbridge:

1861 = William 1832 Stbg Catherine 24 Sarah 4 Thomas 2 Charles 1 in Stbg

They were married by banns in Stanbridge Church in 1856

In 1871 he is a “Platelayer on the Railway” – does that mean he’s gone up in the world?

1871 = William 1832 Stbg Kate 36 Charles 11 John 9 Ellen 7 Henry 5 George 1 Alfred 1m in Stbg

In 1881 he is still a platelayer on railway but they are living in Houghton Regis

1881 = William 1832 Stbg Catherine 47 Henry 15 George 12 Jeffrey 9 William 7 Ezra 5 in HR

In 1891, no change in employment, but most of the children have left home:

1891 = William 1832 Stbg Catherine 57 Ellen 27 Ezra 14 in HR

In 1901 he is a “Retired Railway Platelayer,” but he has married a Mary 1831 of Eggington, who is described as Superannuated.

This Mary is Mary nee Andrews 1830 of Eggington. On Mary’s page you can see this story from her viewpoint.

1901 = William 1832 Stbg Mary 1831 Egtn in Stbg.

I’m not sure when he died, but I am looking for his death certificate.

One small note you might like to make is that Catharine was often referred to as Kate.

This is a very influential family when you look at Tearle history, and it adds to the story of the dispersal of the Tearles from Stanbridge:

Sarah 1857

Thomas 1858 married Pamela Andrews of Eggington and founded a family of Willesden Tearles, working on the railways.

Charles 1859 married Lizzie Gates in 1882 and founded a family in Wolverton, Northants, also working on the railways.

Jonathon 1862 married Alice Kearns in 1882 and was the second family in Willesden

Ellen 1864. I don’t think Ellen married. The last I saw of her was in the 1901 Edlesborough census, where she was working as a housekeeper in the household of Henry Vasey, a baker, of Leighton Rd. At the same time and in the same house, working as a Journeyman Baker, was Albert Tearle, 1874 EB, the son of William 1852 Edles and Ann nee Bird. Albert is the brother of Louis (Lewis) of the headstone in Edlesborough Church. Albert is descended from William 1749 (and Mary nee Prentice) while Ellen is descended from John 1741. This is another example of the Tearle network in operation. This is surely not a coincidence. They would have known their familial links and the fact that their distant grandfathers were brothers. Victorian women maintained these links by giving their children their own and their mother’s maiden names.

Henry 1866  went to Higham Ferrers, Northants and married Ada Hale in 1889. In 1891 and 1901 he was working in a shoe factory.

George 1870

Alfred 1871 – 1874

Jeffrey 1872

William 1874

Ezra 1876

02Jan/16
John Tearle 60 years sexton of this parish

Stanbridge Banns Register

During the very first TearleMeet in 2006, Enid Horton and her daughter Lorinda took on the task of compiling a Tearle-only Stanbridge Banns Register. The result is below, and all of us are grateful for the legacy Enid and Lorinda have left us. It took a long time before I had a database comprehensive enough to fully annotate everyone in the register. It eventually happened in January 2009, and Rosemary Tearle of Auckland, NZ, worked out who the Elizabeth Tearle was who married George Tearle in 1831.

You can see that the first entry is 1825 and the last entry was in 1923; almost a hundred years of documentation. The wonderful thing is, this book is still in use, in the Stanbridge Parish Church, 191 years after the register opened.

Compiled by Ewart Tearle, July 2006 – thanks to Enid Horton and Lorinda.

 The Cat number, in the column on the left, refers to the number of the page on which the banns appears. Hence the banns of John Tearle and Elizabeth Mead are on page 3 of the Banns Register.

Annotated by Ewart Tearle, Jan 2009

Date

Men

Women

Cat

Comment

09 Sep 1825

John T

Elizabeth Mead

3

John 1799, son of William 1769 and Sarah nee Clarke. Joseph 1737

09 Oct 1825

Thomas T

Mary Garner

9

Thomas 1807, son of Richard 1773 and Elizabeth nee Bodsworth. John 1741

18 May 1831

George T

Elizabeth T

33

George 1809, son of Richard 1778 and Mary nee Pestel. G-son of Joseph 1737 and Phoebe nee Capp. Elizabeth Tearle, 1810, of Stanbridge, dau of John Tearle 1770 and Mary nee Janes. G-dau of John 1741 and Martha nee Archer. George and Elizabeth were cousins.

09 Jul 1833

Abel T

Martha Emmerson

37

Abel 1810, son of William 1769 and Sarah nee Clarke. Joseph 1737.

18 Sep 1841

Joseph T

Mary Turney

69

Joseph 1823, son of Richard 1778 and Mary nee Pestel. Joseph 1737. This has been entered on the wrong page by the vicar.

26 Jul 1846

James T

Mary Andrew

90

James 1827, son of Thomas 1807 and Mary nee Garner. John 1741. Mary’s family is usually spelt Andrews, and they are from the neighbouring village of Eggington.

26 Nov 1848

Joseph T

Mary Turney

96

Joseph 1823, son of Richard 1773 and Elizabeth nee Bodsworth. John 1741. Marriage cert date 25 Jan 1849. This is the correct record.

02 Nov 1851

James T

Hannah Philips

106

James 1823, son of Richard 1773 and Elizabeth nee Bodsworth. Banns in Stanbridge, but registered in Aylesbury. John 1741

15 Apr 1857

William T

Catharine Fountain

130

William 1832 son of Thomas 1807 and Mary nee Garner. My gg-grandmother Mary nee Andrews married him, too. John 1741

06 Sep 1857

Geo Pratt

Emma T

132

Emma 1837, dau Thomas 1807 and Mary nee Garner. John 1741

01 Oct 1857

James Birch

Jane T

133

Jane 1838, dau Joseph 1798 and Maria nee Millings. Joseph 1737

04 Oct 1857

Ephraim Gates

Sarah T

135

Sarah 1837, dau Abel 1810 and Martha nee Emmerton. Joseph 1737

03 Nov 1863

Jason Field

Phoebe T

160

Phoebe 1843, dau Abel 1810 and Martha nee Emmerton. Joseph 1737

07 Jun 1864

Henry Simmons

Ann T

163

Ann 1842 dau Thomas 1807 and Mary nee Garner. John 1741

11 May 1868

John T

Harriet Bliss

176

John 1840, son of Thomas 1807 and Mary nee Garner. John 1741. This was Maria Bliss, not Harriet.

27 Feb 1869

George T

Lavinia George

185

George 1844, son of Thomas 1807 and Mary nee Garner. John 1741. There is also a 1780 Q1 marriage in Hendon.

12 Nov 1871

William T

Rebecca Sinfield

189

William 1848, son of John 1823 and Eliza nee Irons, g-gson of John 1770 and Mary nee Janes. John 1741

23 Mar 1874

Levi T

Sarah Blake

201

Levi 1850, son of James 1827 and Mary nee Andrews. My g-grandfather. John 1741.

31 May 1874

David Thomkins

Ruth T Gates

202

Ruth Tearle Gates 1850, dau of Ruth Tearle 1813 and George Gates. G-dau of John 1770 and Mary nee Janes. John 1741

27 Jul 1874

Samuel Chapman

Isabella T

203

Isabella 1858, dau James 1827 and Mary nee Andrews. G-dau Thomas 1807 and Mary nee Garner. John 1741

06 Oct 1874

James Thomson

Mary Ann T

204

Mary Ann 1857, dau James 1823 and Hannah nee Philips, G-dau Richard 1773 and Elizabeth nee Bodsworth. He was usually called Thompson, rather than James. John 1741

03 Jun 1877

Joseph T

Elizabeth Chapman

211

Joseph 1823, son of Richard 1773 and Elizabeth nee Bodsworth. His second marriage. John 1741

06 Dec 1877

George Blake

Sarah T

216

Sarah 1853, dau James 1827 and Mary nee Andrews. Sister of Levi, above, who was married 1874. John 1741.

18 Jul 1881

Amos T

Martha Timms

231

Amos 1861, son of James 1827 and Mary nee Andrews. G-son Thomas 1807 and Mary nee Garner. Brother of Levi m 1874 above. John 1741

16 Feb 1884

John T

Annie Walker

239

John 1861, son of James 1823 and Hannah nee Philips, g-son of Richard 1773 and Elizabeth nee Bodsworth. John 1741

06 Oct 1889

Emmanuel Hogston

Emily T

254

Emily 1851, dau James 1823 and Hannah nee Phillips, g-dau Richard 1773 and Elizabeth nee Bodsworth. John 1741

18 Apr 1892

Charles Rose

Annie T

270

Annie 1868, dau John 1840 and Maria nee Bliss, g-dau Thomas 1807 and Mary nee Garner. John 1741

13 Jul 1896

William Wilson

Sarah T

279

Sarah 1874, dau James 1823 and Hannah nee Philips. G-dau Richard 1773 and Elizabeth nee Bodsworth. John 1741

07 Aug 1900

George Horne

Phoebe T

299

Phoebe 1877, dau John 1840 and Maria nee Bliss, g-dau Thomas 1807 and Mary nee Garner. John 1741

20 Apr 1908

Albert Jeffs

Amy T

324

Amy 1880, dau Catherine 1853, g-dau James 1823 and Hannah nee Phillips. John 1741

02 Apr 1923

Ernest F Webb

Mabel Edith T

363

Mabel 1899, dau John 1861 and Annie nee Walker, g-gdau Richard 1773 and Elizabeth nee Bodsworth. John 1741