Tag Archives: 1856

18Mar/15

John Tearle, 1856, Stanbridge, UK

I saw John first in the 1901 London census, where he was a Foreman Platelayer on the railway. His eldest son, John 22, is a Stoker. Another son, George is said to have been born in Stonebridge, Mdx. Here is a transcript of the census return:

1901 John 1856 Stbg Elizabeth 45 John 22 Louisa 18 George 12 Horace 5 Freda 4 Herbert C 1 in Willesden Mdx.

I dug back into John’s past.

In 1891, John and Elizabeth are living in 5 Melville Rd, Willesden and he calls himself a General Labourer.

1891 John 1856 Stbg Elizabeth 35 John 12 Laura 8 Arthur 4 George 2 Ethel 4m in Willisden Mdx

Now, this is the interesting bit:

In 1881, John and his new wife are in Northall, but they have with them their new son, John 1879, who was born in Middlesex. I found their marriage:

Name: John Tearle

Year of Registration: 1877  

Quarter of Registration: Oct-Nov-Dec  

District: Leighton Buzzard  

County: Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire  

Volume: 3b  

Page: 895

and she is Elizabeth Tompkins of Eaton Bray. The certificate says John’s residence at the time of marriage was Northall and his father was John Tearle, Labourer. Also interestingly, they are living in a house immediately next door to John and Charlotte Irons.

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1881 John 1857 Stbg Elizabeth 24 Northall John 2 Mdx in Northall

In 1871, John is 15ys and living with John and Charlotte Irons – he is John’s nephew.

1871 John 1856 Stbg neph John Irons 56 Charlotte 53 in Northall

In 1861, John is 5yrs old, living in the household of his uncle John and Charlotte Irons. He is their nephew.

1861 John 1856 Stbg nephew of John Irons 41 Charlotte 1818 Edels in Northall

I could not find the link that made John Tearle 1856 a nephew of John Irons, so I concentrated on his parents; who were they? One of them was John, not surprisingly, a labourer and in the village was a John Tearle who in 1840 had married a Northall girl called Eliza Irons. I sent off for their marriage certificate, too.

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Eliza Iron’s father was Edward Irons and a search though the IGI gave me the marriage of Edward Irons and Hannah Tarman in Northchurch, Herts, on 12 Aug 1803. They had 10 children, and two of them were Eliza, born 1818, and John Irons, born 1814, one of Eliza’s elder brothers. Another brother was Thomas Irons born 1812, and Ann Irons, born 1821, they were here making their marks as witnesses to this wedding. There was no question I had the right family. As we can see from the marriage certificate, John was born to an unmarried Mary Tearle, almost certainly of Stanbridge. I went looking for her. In the 1841 census, a John Tearle aged 20 with a wife Eliza 20, a daughter Sarah aged 2 and a daughter Mary aged 4m, are living in Stanbridge only a few houses from Abel Tearle and Martha nee Emerton. Abel has his children living with him as well as his 65yr old father-in-law, Joseph Emerton. In villages, families combine and re-combine to give support to each other. And to a certain extent, in a village as small as Stanbridge, everyone is also a neighbour. If our John is 20, then he was born about 1820. Barbara reminded us that there was a Mary Tearle who baptised a  “John son of Mary Tearle a bastard” in 1823. Mary was the daughter of John 1770 and Mary nee Janes. The Stanbridge PRs record her baptism in 1803.

We have to be careful not to get too tied up over accurate dates, here, because John is a bit woolly either on his maths or his birth date, or both, because in 1841 he is 20, in 1851 he is 32, in 1861 he is 40 and in 1871 he is 54. He died on 1 Oct 1877.

There is the fascinating picture of John in the 1871 Stanbridge census with an unmarried daughter Mary Ann (29) and her daughter Annie, as well as another unmarried daughter, Jane (26) with her son Zephaniah.

So the last son of John and Eliza, John 1856, did not live with his family, although admittedly not very far away from them, but lived with his uncle and aunt, John and Charlotte Irons. Why? I think the answer lies in the fact that his mother Eliza died in Dec 1856, probably of childbirth or one of its many complications. Unusually, John did not remarry, probably because he had daughters who were old enough to look after him so he didn’t need to marry again quickly, as many of the village men had to do. John 1856, therefore, was given to his childless uncle and no doubt into a very grateful and caring little family, no matter how poor they were.

So why did he go to Willesden?

Richard Tearle has pointed out the following:

“As I’m sure you’re aware, Willesden, Harlesden and Stonebridge are very close together in London and, all of these places tie in with Watford and Leighton Buzzard as being important places on the (then) fairly new LNWR line from Euston to Scotland (via Preston!!)”

There was work – and there was family.

We know John and Elizabeth were in London between 1881 and 1891, because in the 1891 census, John is recorded as having been born in 1879 in Alperton, then Louisa was born in Willesden in 1882.  In 1881, Jonathon 1862 (son of William 1832 and Catharine nee Fountain) was in Willesden, George 1844 of Stanbridge and Lavinia nee George were in Kentish Town, George 1855 of Slapton and Elizabeth were in Mile End, Old Town (a railway town) John 1831 from Toddington and William were in Acton, Joseph 1834 of Dagnall and Elizabeth nee Naylor were in Hammersmith, William North Tearle and Emily were in Camberwell. It’s noo far a stretch to point out that there are family ties throughout all of this, but the strongest ones are to George 1844 and William North and Emily. George is a Stanbridge man, so ties to the village are very strong, and a railway voyage was an adventure. William North T and Emily must have gone back to Leighton Buzzard to have their last child, because Monta Monica 1876 died in Leighton Buzzard in 1877.

So we have now uncovered the story of John 1823 and his son John 1856. Interestingly, we have also visited the stories of John’s mother, Mary 1803, and even of his grandparents, John 1770 and Mary nee Janes. In two sons, we have traversed from 1770 to 1901.

18Mar/15

George Tearle, 1876, Dunstable, UK (1/Beds Regt)

On the Roll of Honour in the Dunstable Priory Church, and the War Memorial near the gates, there are two names, Tearle G and Tearle J. The first is George Tearle, born 1876 in Dunstable; the second is Jeffrey Tearle, born 1891 in Eaton Bray. At fourth cousins, they are only distantly related.

Panel of WW1 casualties on Dunstable Church

Roll of Honour at Dunstable Priory Church.

Here is George’s service record from the CWGC:
Name: TEARLE  Initials: G
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Private
Regiment/Service: Bedfordshire Regiment
Unit Text: 1st Bn.
Date of Death: 18/01/1920  Service No: 4967
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead Grave/Memorial Reference: E. 471.
Cemetery: DUNSTABLE CEMETERY

Those details are from Roll of Honour.
TEARLE G Private 4967. 1st Bn., Bedfordshire Regt.
Died Sunday 18 January 1920.
Buried: DUNSTABLE CEMETERY, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom. Ref. E. 471.

This, is George Tearle’s WW1 CWGC headstone in the Dunstable public cemetery. Born in Dunstable in 1876, he joined the army at 18yrs and caught rheumatism in the trenches in France. He was also in India and Gibraltar.

George Tearle headstone.

Steve Fuller says:
“George Tearle is a strange one as it happens! I have been pondering him for some time and have finally understood his position in it all but he seems to have followed an unusual sequence that I have not come across before. His service number is that of the 5th Battalion (Territorials) and should not have been allocated until late 1914 / early 1915 according to the “normal” flow of things … BUT … he entered France with the 1st Btn 3rd December 1914 and was discharged 1st March 1919. This implies he served the entire war and survived, only to die of illness in 1920 (the Spanish Flu perhaps?). Maybe he was a Regular whose service had only just come to a close when war was declared but that would usually mean he would have kept his original number which would not have been in the 49.. area!

George 4967 army record p1

George Tearle attestation for the army, 1894.

George enlisted in the 3rd Bedfordshire Regiment on 20 June 1894, aged just 18yr 7m. He already had experience in the militia so that is probably the reason he went into the 3rd Battalion, the Bedfordshire Regiment, where he was given the regimental number 4967, which he kept for the rest of his life. He was 5” 5in and weighted 112lb; a Wesleyan, a labourer with hazel eyes, brown hair and a scar on the right side of his head. He signed up for a term of “7yrs with the Colours and 5ys in the Reserve.” I think this means 7yrs active service. The term was extended in 1901 when he was given an “unpaid” Lance Cpl rank.This was “deprived” a year later. He was re-engaged in 1906 and he passed his corporal’s exam in Nov that year. He was given a “paid” Lance-Cpl rank in Aug 1907 but he must have been a bit unruly because it was deprived again that Christmas and he stayed a Pvt for the rest of his service. 18 months after joining, George was sent to India for about 2 years, then after a spell at home he was in Gibraltar for 12 months in 1907 and 8. He was “Invalid to England” from Gibraltar Hospital with an eye contusion on 15 Oct 1908. The injury, he attested, was “not caused by active service.”

I cannot find any records about George until he embarked for France on 2.12.1914. There are no records that say where he went or what action he saw, but in April 1915 he was transferred to the 2nd  Field Survey Coy, 2nd Army as a “servant” for Lieut Lightfoot, and he stayed with the Field Survey Coy in France until he was finally sent home in January 1919. His WW1 medals card says he earned the British Medal, the Victory Medal and the Star, and that the Theatre of War was France.

George Tearle army medals card.

George Tearle army medals card.

George filled out a disability statement, and while we find out how his injuries feel, he gave us the crucial hint as to his identity – his home address was 14 Church Walk, Dunstable.

George 4967 army record p26aGeorge 4967 army record p26b

I had to cut the document in half to fit it on the page…

In the 1901 Dunstable census, this was the address of Charles Bowler Tearle and Constance. Finally, I knew who he was. On 2 Aug 1919, George was given his final discharge from the army because of rheumatism and a single page with a large Z on it shows his pension being paid. It says “Died 18.1.20.” George had gone through turbulent times and had served his country as a professional soldier.  His parents were Charles Bowler Tearle 1849 of Dunstable and Constance nee Dickens. Charles’ parents were James Tearle 1806 and Mary Ann nee Webb. James’ parents were Richard Tearle 1778 and Mary nee Pestel, and Richard’s parents were Joseph 1737 and Phoebe nee Capp. Thus, he is of the branch Joseph 1737.