Hello My fellow Bettys--
When Betty Ross and Betty Magdalen posted their finding of Our Betty’s birth registration I just KNEW that I had to dig deeper into Our Betty’s Family back ground.
Thanks to a subscription to Ancestry.com, I was able to quickly pull up the following bits of Our Betty’s family tree:
Follow along for the tale of
The Royal Marine, the Civil Servants and the School Mistresses !!
|Royal Marine 1815|
We join our tale in 1815 with the birth of William Neels(Our Betty’s great-grandfather) in Ottery St Mary, Devon. I don’t know much about dear William, except that he married the charming Rachel (or Rachael) Randell, and proceeded to have a number of children. At some point William joined the Navy and became a member of the Royal Marines. In the 1861 Census , William is assigned to the vessel Brilliant, at the City Canal West India Docks in Kent.
Among those children of William and Rachel were William Valentine (b 1843), Frederick(alas, did not survive his birth in 1849), Samuel James(b 1854), Jessy (b around 1859) and Mary Rachel (b around 1863).
We jump ahead to the 1871 Census, where we find:
1--In Standon Herfortshire, William Neels is now a) Royal Marine pensioner and b) publican and grocer at The Nags Head Inn. Rachel, manages the store, Jessy and Mary Rachel are girls at home.
2--William Valentine (our Betty’s grand father) is at 37 Peacock Street in Milton, Graves End, Kent. By this time he has married (1866) Sarah Lewis. He works for HM Customs; she is, of course, housekeeper. At this point in time they have two daughters: Alice 2 and Rachel, 1 month old.
By 1881 that family has expanded-- William Valentine is now Head Bill Box Officer, HM Customs. They are now at 60 Knapp Road, St Leonard Bromley, London. Alice and Rachel have now been joined by William Lewis and Annie.
Also in 1881, the senior Neels(William and Rachel )are still with us--they are still running the pub. But Jessy has embarked on her schoolmistress career .
By the time we hit the 1891 Census there’s been another shift--William the Royal Marine has died (1888) and his widow is living with Jessy the school mistress in Widford, Hertfordshire.
William Valentine is recently widowed, he’s at home at 3 Westbourne Terrace, Leyton, Essex. He’s still with the Customs Service,; oldest daughter Rachel is a teacher and son William Lewis is at the local school. Younger daughter Annie and son Ernest Randle(Our Betty’s Dad) are off visiting their Aunt Jessy in Widford.
Ahh, 1901--the new century brings some new things to out Neels clan--
William Valentine is now at 123 Grange Park Rd , Leyton. The only kids at home with him are Rachel, Annie and Ernest Randle. William Lewis is out on his own by now.
Jessy Neels, The school marm, is now Head Mistress at Archbishop Tenison Girls School in Lambeth, London. Her younger sister Mary Rachel is now a widow and living with her.
Ernest Randle (Our Betty’s dad) has achieved the rank of Boy Copyist at the Post Office! He’s a mere lad of 16. Dad (William Valentine, widower) is still with the Customs office, sister Rachel has started her career as Head of the Infants’ school department at the local school).
In 1901 we also meet Henry and Sarah Ann Baker and their daughter Isabel Alice, age 14. They are also in Leyton.
Somewhere along the way those babies Ernest Randle Neels and Isabel Alice Baker managed to meet, fall in love and set a wedding date. Check it out fellow Bettys!
ER is 23, Isabel Alice is 21 when they married on 10 Aug 1907!! By today’s standards they were babies--at their point in time they may have been oldies!
As we know from the Official Document, Evelyn Jessy came along in 1909.
By the 1911 census, the budding Neels family has moved to 56 Lea Hall Rd, Leyton.
Of course the Neels’ did not escape WWI service. Ernest Randle was enlisted 12 Mar 1917 and discharged 14 Feb 1919. He served in India and South Africa with the Royal Garrison Artillery as a Gunner. Somewhere along the way he was injured such that he applied for a disability pension. I couldn’t easily find if he was granted the disability or (if so) how much he was awarded. Anywhooo--when he enlisted he was listed as an accountant! (the same as on Evelyn Jessy’s birth record). His address at enlistment was 77 Brightwell Ave, West Cliff (on Sea), South End.
The 1922 Kelly’s Directory lists Ernest still at 77 Brightwell Ave.
The 9 May 1933 London Gazette lists that Ernest was appointed to the Ministry of Pensions.
The 7 Sept 1934 London Gazette lists his transfer from that ministry to the British Postal Service. Both the jobs were white collar/clerical.
Ernest Randall and Isobel Alice both died in Devon in late 1969. RIP
A few interesting little side bits:
Ernest’s sister Rachel was Infant Mistress at the Newport Road School-That school was built in 1883 and served (in 1906) 654 boys, 617 girls and (hold your hats!) 511 infants (which I interpret as pre-schoolers, not babes in arms). She held that position for a number of years. At some point she left the family home and lived at 13 Lyndhurst Drive, Leyton.
William Valentine had a younger brother named Samuel James, who lived a short but eventful life. In 1873 we find him (age 21) enlisting in the US Army for 5 years! He did not re-up as we find him in 1879, back in England, working for British Rail at a porter. He was still with the railroad in the 1881 census, in London. He married in 1881, but alas, died in 1882.
William Valentine Neels died 14 Nov 1930. He left his 629 pounds to his oldest daughter Rachel, spinster.
Our Betty would have known her grandfather. I wonder is she subconsciously named several of her heroes in his honor. I don’t know where the Evelyn part of her name came from; Jessy is probably in honor of Ernest’s Aunt Jessy.
For any Bettys who are interested, I have another file with most of the details--exact birthdates (if known), marriage dates and such. I will gladly share. I make no claim that it is complete. It is correct, to the best of my knowledge and ability to double-check.