Tag Archives: United_Kingdom

18Feb/17

Eaton Bray Tearle memorials

St Mary’s Church, Eaton Bray

The vicar of Stanbridge, Helen Gardiner, wrote to me to say she had seen mention of a Tearle in the Church of St Mary’s, Eaton Bray. She thought it was on the lectern. This was of great interest because Eaton Bray is one of the Tearle Valley villages, which we had visited, but on all occasions, St Mary’s was closed. This time (Feb 2017) we were lucky, a very pleasant and knowledgeable lady was arranging flowers for the coming weekend services and she was happy to have company while she did so. St Mary’s is an old and beautiful church built in the 1200s, so it is not a classic Norman design, but it is tall and of ample proportions, with a few additions that had been tidily added over the centuries of its life. Very few of its headstones are left; some are leaning against two perimeter walls, and a block of concrete had little plaques of the names of villagers who had been cremated. A war memorial took pride of place at the head of the pedestrian access to the building. We examined everything we could find for Tearle names, but there was nothing, in spite of there being Tearles in Eaton Bray since at least the early 1700s.

The first impression of the interior of the church is that it is filled with light and it is well maintained.

St Mary’s Eaton Bray interior towards the altar

A glance over your shoulder exposes the quite beautiful pipe organ attached to a wall behind which is the belfry. I asked the flower lady about the organ and she said there were recitals in the church, and they were well attended.

The pipe organ, St Mary’s Eaton Bray

Over time, some quite beautiful stained glass windows had been added.

St Mary’s Eaton Bray stained glass windows

We set about trying to find the Tearle memorial that Rev Helen Gardiner had referred to. First, though, was a complete surprise; a Roll of Honour with the name Robert Tearle.

St Mary Eaton Bray Roll of Honour

He had been born in Eaton Bray in 1887 and died in 1962. Below is the reference in closeup: “Beds” refers to his original enrollment as a private in the Bedfordshire Regiment.

Robert Tearle on St Mary Eaton Bray Roll of Honour

Then we found the lectern and the name of the Tearle we had come to find: it was Jeffrey, born in Eaton Bray in 1874, who died in 1952.

Lectern with Jeffery Tearle’s name

Here is a closeup of the memorial:

Jeffrey Tearle 1874-1952 in St Mary’s Eaton Bray

We were very touched; Jeffrey had continued his work as church verger, literally until he died.

But there was one more surprise; underneath the organ was a display which included a booklet on the Roll of Honour which, when it had been taken from its original hanging place was found to contain a note of all the villagers who had served in the Second World War, and amongst those was Jeffrey’s son Basil Jeffrey Tearle, who was born in Eaton Bray in 1921.

Basil Tearle St Mary’s WW2 Roll of Honour

Who were these men, and what do we know about them? Let’s start with Robert. He was born in 1887, so he was only 27 when WW1 started. He was always going to be drawn into that massive conflict which raged across Europe for four years at the cost of approximately 10 million military lives, and around 6 million civilian casualties.

Robert Tearle 1887, of Eaton Bray, was born to Alfred Tearle and Mary Ann nee Roe, also of Eaton Bray, on the 15 Sep 1887. His parents took a little while to baptise him, but that did take place, on 4 Sep 1890. He was the eldest of four children – Doris May in 1899, Arnott in 1900 and Aubrey in 1903 all followed him. Alfred and Mary Ann were married in 1887, in the beautiful church you can see above. In 1911, when Frederick filled in the census form, he was a bootmaker and poultry farmer, working from home. Robert was 23yrs old and he was a shoemaker and repairer, working on his “own account” presumably from the same address. The other children were at school.

In order to show you Robert’s ancestry, I need to digress for a moment and show you an outline of the Tearle tree from Alfred and backwards into history. Alfred’s father was William Tearle, born 1830, in Eaton Bray, who married Harriet Janes, of Eaton Bray, in 1851. They had three children, Hannah 1852, Tabitha 1854 and George 1856, who died in 1873. Remember Tabitha; we shall see her again.  In 1858 Harriett died, aged just 28yrs. I’m afraid I do not know why. With three small children on his hands, William married Ann Rogers of Leighton Buzzard in 1861, in the beautiful little church above, St Mary’s of Eaton Bray. At the time, she was a single mother with a son, John Rogers (named after her father) born 1857. The couple had seven children, of whom Frederick was second. Jonas, the first of their Tearle children was born and tragically died in 1861 at what cost to his parents, we cannot tell. Most of the Tearle children who were born after Alfred moved to the industrial areas of Northamptonshire, to become machinists and boot makers, and here is why: in 1849, a branch railway line was opened from Stanbridgeford to Dunstable; it was a walk of a few miles from Eaton Bray to the station, but only a few hundred yards from Stanbridge, and the people of Tearle Valley could take advantage of the opportunities in the new industrial cities to rid themselves of the sometimes intolerable grind of rural poverty.

William’s parents were George Tearle 1797, of Eaton Bray and Mary nee Hill of Hallibridge, near Spalding, in Lincolnshire. How they met is anyone’s guess, because people tended not to travel much outside their immediate countryside, if only because travel was difficult, dirty, expensive, and sometimes hazardous.

George’s parents were Thomas 1763 of Stanbridge, and Mary nee Gurney of Eaton Bray. In this marriage, we can see the movement of one family from the ancestral home of the Tearles in Stanbridge, to a village still in the same well-defined valley, about 4 miles away. And there they stayed, until the children of Alfred heard the call to the cities not particularly far from home.

Thomas’ parents were John Tearle 1741 of Stanbridge and Martha nee Archer. They had seven children, of whom Thomas was the second. John’s parents were Thomas Tearle 1709 and Mary nee Sibley. In another essay on this site, I have explored the relationships and events that lead to the marriage of Thomas and Mary, but the Tree now goes back to John Tearle of Stanbridge born about 1560, and with a few gaps here and there, the story of the Tearles in and around Tearle Valley goes back as far as the late 1300s.

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31Mar/16

Charles Ernest Walter Tearle 1885, Southwark, London (Norfolk Rgt)

I first came across Charles Tearle 1836 and Annie nee Eastment in the mid-1980s while I was researching Tearles in the Family History Centre in Hamilton, NZ, run by the Mormans in a whitewashed brick building across the road from their impressive temple. Charles and Annie baptised several children in the Dunstable Methodist Circuit, one of whom was Charles 1863, their third child. Charles 1863 was, of course, the father of the man in the title of this piece. The parents of Charles 1836 were George Tearle 1809 from Wingfield and his cousin Elizabeth nee Tearle from Stanbridge. George’s parents were Richard 1778 and Mary nee Pestel, and Richard’s parents were Joseph 1737 and Phoebe nee Capp. Phoebe was a staunch Methodist, so I am not at all surprised to see Charles and Annie baptising children in the Methodist Church. You can walk from Stanbridge (where Joseph and Phoebe lived) to Dunstable; it would be five miles at the most. In 1848 a railway branch line from Stanbridge to Dunstable was opened, so for a few pennies on third class, you would not have to walk.

In the 1881 census, Charles 1863 was at home in Dunstable working at his trade as a boot clicker with his painter/glazier father and bonnet sewer mother, but with the railway so close, and London calling, Charles moved to Southwark, on the other side of the Thames from the City, where he married Louisa Caroline Green in the now-demolished church of Newington All Saints just three years later.

Charles marriage Louisa Caroline Green All Saints Walworth Southwark 1884

Charles 1863 marriage to Louisa Caroline Green in Newington All Saints, Surrey Square, Walworth, 1884.

A boot clicker is a skilled trade, which made the uppers for shoes and boots. The tradesman was responsible for getting the most possible from a length of material for using in shoes. Charles would have worked in a factory in Dunstable, and found out about the trade and how it worked in London. He would have spent a bob or two on a train ticket, and half a day later he would be knocking on the door of a London bootmaker – in the expectation of receiving better pay, presumably. This was not heaven, though; Walworth and Southwark were huge slums populated exclusively by the poor. Life would have been pretty tough going – imagine the din of steel horseshoes and steel wagon wheels echoing from the walls of brick cottages that lined narrow cobbled streets, the pungent smell of horse manure and human waste left to cure in the open, the bitter taste of coal smoke, the choking acid fog, and the swirling winds carrying sand and dust with great precision directly into your eyes. However it was for Charles and Louisa in particular, Charles’ sister Charlotte came to the wedding to see him off, and he and Louisa’s first child was Charles Ernest Walter Tearle, born on 25 February 1885 in 153 Trafalgar St, Walworth.

In the 1901 census, Charles E W was 16yrs old and already at work, in Barking, Essex, as a cropper in the “printing trade.”

He married Frances Catherine Stewart on 1 Oct 1910 in Edmonton, Essex. In the 1911 census he was a “Printers machine minder.” He was 26yrs old. In 1914 he was 29yrs old, and he chose to join the army; the Norfolk Regiment no less, but only, I suspect, because they got to him before any of the London regiments did.

There are only two documents in existence that tell the story of Charles’ military life. I think the most telling one is the record of his Silver War Badge.

Charles E Tearle WW1 Silver War Badge

Charles E Tearle WW1 Silver War Badge

You can see he wasted no time signing up for war – he enlisted on 19 Dec 1914 and received the Norfolk Regiment number 21622. He definitely served overseas, for long enough, and well enough to be promoted to a full corporal, and somehow, somewhere, he picked up a sickness so bad he was discharged with a Para 392 “Not fit enough to be an effective soldier.” That is why he received a Silver War Badge; he could go home, wear his Silver Badge on his civilian clothes and demonstrate that he had done as much for his country as the British Army could wish.

The next document does not help to explain anything about Charles’ war. What it does do, though, is to confirm that Charles E Tearle, above, is definitely Charles E W Tearle. The fact that he is in the Norfolk Regiment, and he has the number 21622 in both documents, is unbreakable evidence.

Charles E W Tearle 21622 WW1 army medal rolls

Charles E W Tearle 21622 WW1 army medal rolls.

He has been awarded only the British Medal for service, so it is likely that he spent much of his time in the army somewhere in the UK, possibly Ireland, which was considered Home in 1914, so it did not count for pension or service. There is no Theatre of War here, so it is difficult to square with his Silver War Badge card saying that he did serve overseas. This is all very enigmatic, so I shall leave off looking at it pending the receipt of other documentation that will illuminate it. I now have a couple of pictures that will help to illustrate the man; my thanks to Paul Ailey.

03 Charles EW, a boxer

Charles E W Tearle, a boxer.

01 Charles EW (standing) date

Charles E W Tearle, standing.

I am sure he is young in the first photograph above, probably under 20yrs, and in the second photograph he is in the army, aged somewhere between 29 and 34yrs old, obviously on the younger side because he is a lance corporal here, and he left the army a full corporal, with two stripes.

Charles’ son, Charles Francis Stewart Tearle 1912, Edmonton, joined the navy to fight in WW2. His story is told elsewhere on this site.

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

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

Soldiers Died in the Great War

Soldiers Died in the Great War

Collated and annotated by Ewart Tearle
May 2010

Many of these names are included in other collections on this site, however for those who came across this database on CD, here are some notes on the genealogy of each man who died, along with the link to the post wherein his story is told.

Name: Jeffrey Tearle

Birth Place: Eaton Bray, Beds
Residence: Dunstable
Death Date: 31 Oct 1914
Death Location: France & Flanders
Enlistment Location: Dunstable, Beds
Rank: Corporal
Regiment: Bedfordshire Regiment
Battalion: 1st Battalion
Number: 3/6459
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre

Son of George 1861 and Sarah Jane nee Horn. Brother of Frank 1898 and John Henry 1885, both of whom survived the War. William 1749.

Name: John Henry Tearle

Birth Place: Hatfield, Hertfordshire
Death Date: 29 Jun 1915
Death Location: Gallipoli
Enlistment Location: London
Rank: L/Sergeant
Regiment: Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
Battalion: 1st Battalion
Number: 9054
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Balkan Theatre

Son of William Francis T 1857 and Sarah Ann nee Kefford. G-uncle of Edward Kefford W Tearle who was killed in WW2 while covering the withdrawal to Dunkirk. A son of the Soulbury Tearles. John 1741. See also A Visit to Gallipoli

Name: Leslie James Tearle

Birth Place: St Albans
Residence: St. Albans
Death Date: 11 Jul 1915
Death Location: France & Flanders
Enlistment Location: St. Albans
Rank: Private
Regiment: Hertfordshire Regiment
Number: 2007
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre

Son of Edward Joseph T and Emma Elizabeth nee Warner. Has a memorial on the St Albans War Memorial in St Peters St as well as in the foyer of the Old Town Hall. Descendant of the Soulbury Tearles and cousin of John Henry immediately above. John 1741.

Name: Alfred Edward Tearle

Residence: Watford, Herts
Death Date: 10 May 1916
Death Location: France & Flanders
Enlistment Location: Hertford
Rank: Private
Regiment: Hertfordshire Regiment
Number: 4605
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre

Son of Alfred George T and Minnie nee Cyster. G-gson of George 1818 and Annie nee Haws. Thomas 1737 via Fanny 1780.

Name: Rowland Tearle

Birth Place: London
Death Date: 9 Jun 1916
Death Location: Home
Enlistment Location: Northampton
Rank: Private
Regiment: Royal Army Medical Corps
Number: 55930
Type of Casualty: Died
Theatre of War: Home

Rowland Grigg Tearle, son of Elizabeth 1871 of Linslade, and grandson of John 1825 (the marine) and Sophia nee Walker. Brought up by Susannah Rogers who lived in the house close to Yardley Hastings church. He caught a dreadful trench disease and died at home. Buried with a CWGC headstone in the Yardley Hastings churchyard. His story is told in detail elsewhere on this site.

Name: Albert Ernest Tearle

Birth Place: Sutton, Surrey
Death Date: 16 Apr 1917
Death Location: Mesopotamia
Enlistment Location: Kingston-On-Thames
Rank: A/BDR.
Regiment: Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery
Number: 46587
Type of Casualty: Died
Theatre of War: Asiatic Theatres

Son William James 1860 and Lucy Ann nee Laine. Buried in Bagdad. Grandgson of George 1809 and Elizabeth Tearle. Joseph 1737.

Name: Charles Tearle

Birth Place: Preston
Death Date: 30 Nov 1917
Death Location: France & Flanders
Enlistment Location: Preston
Rank: Private
Regiment: Loyal North Lancashire Regiment
Battalion: 1/5th Battalion (Territorial Force)
Number: 36932
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre

Son of Charles 1860 and Jane nee Swarbrick. Gson of Sarah 1831 and g-grandson of Joseph 1803 and Mary Ann nee Smith. A true Preston Tearle, mentioned on the headstone in Preston cemetery. Joseph 1737.

Name: James Henry Tearle

Birth Place: Paddington, Middx.
Residence: West Kilburn, Middx.
Death Date: 16 Mar 1917
Death Location: France & Flanders
Enlistment Location: Hammersmith, Middx.
Rank: Rifleman
Regiment: Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort’s Own)
Battalion: 12th Battalion
Number: S/21464
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre

Son of Jonathon 1862 and Alice nee Kearns, his usual name was James Harry Tearle. Gson William 1832 and Catharine nee Fountain, hence a nephew of my g-grandfather James 1827. See also the story of the Willesden cell and Mary nee Andrews elsewhere in this Tearle Stories section. John 1741.

Name: Ronald William Tearle

Birth Place: Luton
Death Date: 4 Oct 1917
Death Location: France & Flanders
Enlistment Location: Luton, Beds
Rank: Gunner
Regiment: Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery
Number: 141935
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre

Only son of William Underwood T and Mary nee Bird of Luton. Listed on the War Memorial alongside the Luton Town Hall. Grandson of George 1832 and Sophia nee Underwood, a well-known Luton family. Joseph 1737.

Name: Sidney Tearle

Birth Place: Dunstable, Beds
Residence: Rothwell, Northauts
Death Date: 13 Aug 1917
Death Location: Egypt
Enlistment Location: Hinckley
Rank: Private
Regiment: Royal Army Service Corps
Number: S4/090768
Type of Casualty: Died
Theatre of War: Egyptian Theatre

Son of William 1869 and Ellen nee Rollings. Buried in Alexandria. Grandson of George 1797 and Mary nee Hill. John 1741.

Name: Sydney Tearle

Residence: London, N.W.
Death Date: 9 Apr 1917
Death Location: France & Flanders
Enlistment Location: Edinburgh
Rank: A/L/Sergeant
Regiment: Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment)
Battalion: 9th Battalion
Number: 350354
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre

Sydney Thomas Tearle 1895 was working for the Caledonian Railways in Edinburgh when he enlisted, hence this odd regiment for a Hammersmith boy. There is a memorial at Glasgow station which bears his name, along with 708 others. Son of Thomas 1858 and Pamela nee Andrews. Grandson of William 1832 and Catharine nee Fountain, hence 1st cousin to James Harry above. John 1741.

02Jan/16

George Tearle 1818, Dagnall, UK

Grandfather of the Watford Tearles

This is another story of the family of Fanny Tearle 1780. We have elsewhere discussed the origins of Fanny, and John L Tearle (Tearle, a Bedfordshire Surname) tells her story at some length. George 1818 is the founding father of the Watford Tearles and what I intend to do is to show the development of the Watford Tearles and the highlights of their 150 years in Watford. Let’s start with George’s father.

Fanny Tearle had one son, Abel, born 1797 in Edelsborough. He married Hannah Frost of Tilsworth on 16 Oct 1817 in Edelsborough. We can catch up with them in 1841. Here they are in Dagnall, working oln the farm of Thomas (?) Mead. Dagnall, Edelsborough and Northaw are so close together they are almost one village, strung along a country road. You can see that George has already left home.

1841 = Abel 1795 Bucks Ann 35 John 15 William 4 Joseph 6 Jabez 5 in Dagnall.

He is down the road a bit, in Slapton. He is working for Mary Gurney, who calls herself a Victualler, and is probably a pub-keeper. George learns his craft here. He will go on to be a brewer. Now, the choice of Slapton is interesting because John 1824 Dagnall, George’s younger brother also goes to Slapton and he, too, works for Mary Gurney and you can see him in the 1851 census in Slapton. This time she is calling herself a Maltster and Victualler, while John is a Malt Maker. John’s story is an interesting one – or more correctly, the story of his wife, Sarah nee Bishop. Look up this story under John 1824 of Dagnall.

1841 = George 1821 Bucks MS for Mary Gurney in Slapton

1851 = George 1818 Dagnall Ann 31 Jabez 6 Catharine 2 Sarah Ann 1m in Elstree

As a point of interest, George’s sister, Susanna 1827 Dagnall, is featured on one of the headstones in the Dunstable public cemetery.