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Genealogy Enquiries 2012

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Do you know of a Romsey relative who died in WW1?
Pete Chapman and Simon Pearce are gathering together a list in honour of these people and would like to hear from you if you know of someone to include. Contact here

I received an email from the Cayman Islands but it has disappeared from my inbox so I am not now able to respond. If that person is looking here, my reply is under 'T' for The Gardens.


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13 June 2012
Rosalie Ryan:

I have in my family tree a William Nunn Aylward born Romsey 1877. He left England for a short while to reside in Australia, and whilst there married, in 1906 to Lilian Harvey Hinchliffe. They had four children before William and his family returned to England.
UK Census of 1881 and 1891 indicate that William was one of many children to Thomas Alfred Aylward and an Emma. He ran/owned the mills in Romsey?
Their eldest son Lyell Thomas Nunn Aylward was killed during WW2 (Navy). He was married to a Marjorie. Her death was announced 2010 in the local Romsey newspaper.
William's probate indicated he was the farmer of Abbotswood Farm, and his wife was late of Belbins Dene, Sandy Lane.
If anyone knows of this family or has an interest in family research I would love to hear from you.

Reply: This is the reply from Romsey local history group:
Thomas Aylward of Lockerley became owner of Greatbridge Mill (on the road, leading north going out of Romsey) in 1880, but he leased it to Edward Meddings, who later took over the Town Mill in Romsey. Another Aylward - George Longland Aylward - was the miller there in 1898, when he is listed in Kelly's Directory for that year. It is thought that the mill closed shortly after this - there is no further mention of it in any known record.
If William Nunn Aylward was farming at Abbotswood Farm after his return to this country, it is possible that he was the first private farmer there. Until the Flemings sold their Romsey estates in 1911 the farm had been part of their estate and was only rented until then. Of course, Aylward may have been a tenant of the new owner - not sure about this, though the probate will may establish it.


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United Kingdom

22 December 2012
Tony Andrews:

I am researching my Grandfather Percy Edward Cardy and have a postcard from him to my mother dated May 1919 when he was in the 1st Royal Dragoons. Can anyone in the area put me in touch with any records relating to him or his regiment?

Reply: I have sent you a reply email with the following links.
National Army Museum It has changed, you now have to research here for advice.
Wikipedia and 1st Royal Dragoons Officers
No doubt you have already looked at these, but if not I hope at least one of them will give you a lead. In the meantime the information is here on Romseynet Genealogy page should anyone looking have any knowledge about your family. You do not mention why you are hoping for news from people specifically in Romsey?


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United Kingdom

04 March 2012
Ann Ryder:

I am trying to help my neighbour with her family history, she is descended from John [Cordwainer] Elizabeth Chapman of Romsey, and was also told that the Chapman family had a Jewellers shop there. I have searched but have not found anything, have you any knowledge of this?
My neighbour doesn't know of a date, as this was told to her by her mother, she thinks it could be in the early 1900s, I have looked in newspapers that only go up to December1900 & online trade Directories but nothing was found.

Reply: From LTVAS: "The only Chapmans I know of off-hand were connected with TV/Radio business (corner of Botley Road and Winchester Road) plus another Chapman who had a cycle shop in Bell Street. The Cordwainer name does not ring a bell, though over the centuries we had plenty following the profession of cordwainer (shoemaker).
I could not find John Cordwainer in the 1901 Census, but I did find an Elizabeth Chapman living in Romsey. No hint of a jeweller's shop though, and Charles Burnett who has a fantastic knowledge about Romsey businesses has not come across such a shop under the Chapman name."

Reply 2: I have sent you a PDF of the 1901 and 1911 Census and in addition the LTVAS representative also found that the boys were both working, Spencer for a newsagent and George as a leather worker.


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United Kingdom

14 April 2012
A. Macgregor Email:

I am trying to trace a family by the name of FRANCIS who lived in Romsey. Mary Ann Francis was born 1856 & baptised Romsey Abbey as was her sister Alice & 2 brothers, christian names unknown. There is confusion as to whether Mary's first name was Isabella, as her grandaughter, age 95, believed it to be, but Mary Ann's daughter's birth certificate in 1888 shows her mother to be just Mary Ann. I have also traced her marriage to Frederick Francis in Bermuda 1876. They both had the same surname but were not related. Also I'm told she died 1927 age 91 in Essex, but there I have found an entry for Isabella M A Francis !
The 2 brothers went to Greenwich Naval College before living & working in Bermuda, where Mary joined them at the age of 7, & apparently chaperoned by a clergyman & his wife from Romsey. Brothers obviously somewhat older than her. They died in Bermuda 1920s. Is it possible to get the baptism records online as I feel this is the only way forward now in tracing the family?

Email: 28 August 2012
I am researching a family from Newton Lane, Romsey Infra between 1840-1868. Mary Ann Frances or spelling "is", lived in Newton Lane & was a cordwainer/bootlace maker, her children were Alice 1845,William 1851 & Isabella 1856. , there was a boy who died 1849 & possibly a Henry & Eliza ? I would like to find out more about the place they lived in & where they would have worshipped. I looked on Google Earth & can see Newton Lane is very close to the Abbey, & sadly I noticed there must have been an awful lot of re developement so am unable to see the true picture of it in the 19th century. Please can you tell me the best resources for this material. Are there registers of the people who employed the people there ? do the registers exist for the churches parishioners ?

Reply: Have you tried the Hampshire Archives? Address at the top of page? They now keep all the parish records.
Reply 2: 28 August 2012
The Hampshire archives will have all the local parish records, and there is a link to PDF town map on the left hand side of the page. You can see Newton Lane and that it is close to Romsey Abbey, which is the church they most likely used, but there is a Baptist church on Bell Lane (No 6) just round the corner and a Methodist church (No 7) further away on the Hundred, also close by, the United Reform church (No 4) but I doubt this was available all those years ago - all marked with a grey square and grey triangle on top - numbered but not named.


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12 February 2014
Elaine Race

Just found your list of Romsey Mayors and believe the J S Hollis in 1801 may be Joseph Samuel Hollis who was a book seller, stationer and printer in Romsey between 1790-1825. Joseph Samuel was the bondsman at my ggg grandfather's (George Hollis) weddings at Winchester in 1792 and 1802 and was either his brother or cousin. George was the Under Sheriff of Winchester for about 35 years and was inclined to be involved in the politics of the time. Joseph Samuel was listed as a corporate officer of Romsey Infra for many years.

More information from Elaine:
Taken from Hampshire Chronicle, Monday 23 February 1829:
"Joseph Samuel Hollis died, on the 15th inst. at Lyndhurst, in the New Forest, Mr Joseph Samuel Hollis, aged 64. He has lately resided there to perform the duties of his office as one of the Regarders, which he had held for upwards of 20 years.
He had for upwards of 30 years lived at Romsey, as a respectable bookseller and printer, and had twice been Mayor, and died the father of that Corporation; and the respect shewn to his memory, by several members of it, since his death, must gratify and console his surviving relatives and friends."

Reply: Thank you so much for all this information. I will pass it on to the local history group and apply the details on Romseynet Postbox and Genealogy pages for other readers. People can contact me direct if required.


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United Kingdom

28 September 2013
Margaret Bain:

I am researching the Hall family of Romsey - not the brewery family ! Kate Hall was born on 19 june 1850 in Lea Court Romsey. Parents James Hall and Mary Power. She had four children Henry Thomas Hall 1867 Charles Robert Hall 1869 Edith Kate Hall 1872 Tom Hall 1880. The only mention of their father is on Henry's marriage certificate in 1887 as Henry Thomas Hall deceased. I can find no trace of Kate's marriage or death. Any help or suggestions gratefully received.

Reply: Sorry not to have any specific information to help you. I assume you have looked at the Hampshire Archives - link above. Perhaps someone reading here might be able to help.


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03 January 2013
Paul Dashwood:

I am researching the Holmes side of my family tree and I have successfully gone back as far as Richard Holmes, c1810-1843, a Surveyor of Taxes in Southampton.
His son Henry was a Hampshire County Cricketer and professional umpire from the 1860's onwards and was born in Romsey. Henry's son, also Henry, my Great-Grandfather, was the Superintendent of the Line for the L&SWR and his daughter Dora was my Grandmother.
It is likely that Richard was born in Romsey, I believe to Henry and Elizabeth Maria Holmes, in August 1810 - Parish Registry entries are available online for the baptism of Richard and his brother Henry (b1811) and I am assuming this is the same Richard as my forbear.
The likely age of Richard's father named in the baptismal entry would make Henry Holmes, Town Clerk and Palmerston's agent, a likely candidate but as yet I have not found any conclusive proof. A baptismal entry also exists for a Henry Holmes for 1784 - father Richard, mother Mary - which could also be the same Henry Holmes as the Town Clerk. Any information that would clear the muddy waters for me would be gratefully received.

Reply: Henry Holmes - listed as Mayor of Romsey in 1811 and Accountant - See the link to all Romsey Mayors on the left of the page


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New Zealand

January 2012
Janet Shaw:

I'm looking for descendants of Reginald Henry PHILPOT, born Kingston, Surrey to Henry John PHILPOT and Georgina BUTTANSHAW 1893 and died 1969 at Romsey, Hampshire.
He married Marian Charlotte I. HOPKINSON in 1917 at Kensington and had two sons
John L born Jul-Sept 1918 at Kensington, London (Reference 1A 127)
Robert James born 12 Oct 1925 Kensington, (1A 115) died Oct - Dec 1978 London City (14/0945)
Then in 1945 he (Reginald Philpot) seems to have married Kathleen Joan TEE (born 27 March 1912, Brentford) in 1945 at Surrey South Western.
Kathleen Joan PHILPOT died (NB death registered also as K J REGINALD-PHILPOT) June 1987 at Romsey, Hampshire ( 20 985 687)
Antony Laurence Philpot born 11 Sept 1947 Romsey, Hampshire (6B 897) and died July 2002 at Salisbury, Wiltshire (795 1B B58C 082 702)
Godfrey A Philpot born Oct-Dec 1948 Romsey, Hampshire (6B 758)
Charles E Philpot born Jan - Mar 1952 Winchester, Hampshire (6B 963)
Peter R Philpot born Jan - Mar 1952 Winchester, Hampshire (6B 964 - twins?)

I have found that there were several Reginald PHILPOTs and even another Reginald Henry PHILPOT born about the same time in London, so I am curious to find out if the above relates to the same man with two different wives.
I am hoping that since his death in 1968 was in Romsey and fairly recent, someone will be able to help me.
I am in Auckland, NZ so that it is not that easy to research in England. Regards, Janet Shaw.

Reply: Have you tried the Hampshire Archives? Address at the top of page. Maybe someone looking here might be able to help. The Romsey burial Ground is at Botley Cemetery, but although it is possible to get confirmation of Kathleen Philpot, there would not be any other details there, but since the death is also registered as K J REGINALD-PHILPOT, it might be worth a try. I will see if the local archaological group can help with that and if so I will add their comment here.

Reply 2: There is no one in the burial ground called either Kathleen or Reginald Philpot, so either they were buried outside Romsey or, more likely they were cremated.

Comley Roles

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United Kingdom

21 August 2012
Jackie Beddows Email:

I am looking for information of a man named William Cromley Roles, who lived in Portersbridge Street in the early 1900s. He had twelve children, and I believe that he was an architect. Can anyone help please?

31 August 2012
Thank you so much for the information on William Comley Roles. It was very helpful. I found out that Williams father, William Roles, did indeed marry a Sarah Comley Hewitt. Hence the name Comley joined with Roles for their eldest son. I found the names and dates of birth of the eldest children of William Comley Roles but I am having difficulty finding the youngest three. Can anyone out there help me with this? The youngest that I know of was born in 1901.

Reply: There was a William Roles listed as Mayor of Romsey in 1883 and 1884 and 1891. It states he was a plumber, so I do not know if he would be related to the William Roles you are looking for. (PDF of all mayors given on this page)

Reply from Romsey local History group:
"William Roles was a plumber etc. whose business was at the bottom of Bell Street (east side below the Baptist Church. Until c1868 his property had been the Bell Inn (once a highly successful coaching inn which gave its name to the street which had previously been Mill Street), It is the large building with some plaster ornamentation on the facade and a carriage entrance to the rear. William Roles was certainly very involved in local politics, and is the one you have found as mayor."

"The property between Roles business and the steps up to Dukes Mill was where the Comley (not Cromley) family operated a wine business - hence the name Comley Court as recommended by LTVAS for the flats developed behind.
Presumably the Roles and Comley families intermarried at some point, though this is not something that LTVAS has pursued. William Comley Roles was certainly a respected architect in the Arts & Crafts style in the early decades of the 20th century. Some of his buildings are still to be seen, notably the manse of the United Reformed Church. He also acted as Clerk of Works to Lutyens whenever the latter was commissioned to design and build large houses in the Test Valley area.
Comley Roles designed and built his own house - called 'Spello'. This was close to Latimer Street in what is now the long-stay section of Lortemore Place carpark. It was pulled down in the late 20th century, but archaeologist Frank Green salvaged the overmantel specially designed to house an older and clearly much treasured piece of needlework. This overmantel, again in the Arts & Crafts style, can now be seen in the upper room of Tudor Cottage adjoining King John's House. These buildings are open to the public April-September, Monday to Saturday from 10am until 4pm, but can usually be seen out of season at special request as long as the rooms are not booked for private hire."

"Some of the Roles family still live in the Romsey area and can tell you a lot more about the family links. But I'm not sure how to contact them."

You could try an advertisement in the local Romsey Advertiser. We have a great local History group to supply all this information! LTVAS

Romsey Special School

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United Kingdom

18 January 2012
Rod Donohoe Email:

I have come across the Special Hornsey College in Latimer Street, Romsey, in the 1861 Census. Can anyone tell me anything about this establishment.

Reply: The Local Archaeological Study Group looked at the Census especially because it was not known to them by that name!
"Then we realised that it was not 'Hornsey' but Romsey Special College, and the enumerator had actually turned the corner out of Latimer Street and into the Hundred. Romsey Special College was housed in Wykeham House (large house with outbuildings), The Hundred. It was a boarding school with over 70 boys and the headmaster was William Ash."


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United Kingdom

Bryan Cooper

Strongs Brewery
Sent: Wed 05 Feb 2014
Subject: Thomas Strong

I have been researching my ancestor, Thomas Strong, of Strong & Co of Romsey and have put my results on the following web-site
When you do this sort of thing there is always a lot more question that need answering. So I would be very grateful for any additional information on the subject. It could be your ancestor worked for the brewery or you have some memorabilia or family stories you would care to share with a wider audience.

My main area of research has been the period before David Faber took over the Brewery, and as a consequence there is very little information available on romseynet. So I am hoping I may spark up a bit of interest from the Romsey community who maybe able to provide extra bits and pieces to the jigsaw. It would be nice to find out such things as what did Faber initially pay for Strong & Co., and what licence premises he bought and so on? And yes I know Hampshire records office will probably have the information. However I live 290 miles away, as a consequence it not that easy to pursue the matter, and since Strong & Co records are not indexed it could be very expensive to pay for a professional researcher to do the work.
In 1859 in the Romsey addition of Whites directory for that year is listed under the sub-heading "Hundred Brewery" is the firm of Strong & Wiles, Horsefair. I wonder who Wiles was? Do you think your genealogy section would be able to help me on that one?
I have written a letter to the Daily Echo which i hope they publish, so hopefully we will get a little further with Thomas's story

If you look through the genealogy pages there are a lot of details about Strongs Brewery. If you would like more details about your family as opposed to the Brewery itself I could put it on my genealogy page, but would need more details about the people you want to find out about.

Reply 2: from Romsey History Society:
Your request about the Thomas Strong brewery has been passed to me as a member of Romsey History Society (LTVAS Group). We do have a fair bit of information about the Strong brewery prior to David Faber's arrival. Faber bought it along with several other small common breweries in the town and general locality. Among them was the Hundred Brewery belonging to Jesser & Cressey, its name coming from the road called The Hundred where its entrance was.
Your easiest way of finding cohesive information is by buying our book 'So Drunk He Must Have Been to Romsey' (2nd edition) at £5.95. You can order it via our website, which is
You may be interested to know that the book contains two full-page copies of the sales particulars for the sale of Thomas Strong's brewery in 1875, when it was also known as The Horsefair Brewery (again because the entrance was in the short length of street called The Horsefair). The book falls into two parts, the first being a survey of drinking places and brewing in Romsey and the second being devoted to individual pubs that have been or are around the town.

The Gardens

Cayman Islands
Cayman Islands

07 November 2012

I have just discovered that my great grandfather died in 1942 at a place called 'The Gardens' in Romsey. The informant on the death certificate is a Walter Cook, described as 'Occupier' at The Gardens. I assume that The Gardens were some kind of nursing home or sanatorium, but do you have anything more definitive on the place?

Reply: Very sorry to have mislaid your email address and do hope you look here to check my response. It took a few days to gather the information which is given to you in the PDF here


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