Emily Foreman’s Uncles and Aunts

Emily Foreman is John Gray’s second wife, and John Laverton Foreman’s daughter

Wheelwright's workshop
Wheelwright’s workshop

Emily’s grandfather George Foreman Snr was born in 1802 in Warminster and died in about 1870. He was a wheelwright, so a skilled working man. Eliza Laverton was born two years later in 1804 in Shepton Mallet in Somerset, and they married in 1825. Eliza died in London in the autumn of 1860. They are my great great great grandparents. George and Eliza had nine children.

  • George Foreman Jnr. b. 1827
  • Walter Foreman b.1829
  • Seleana Foreman b. 1833
  • John Laverton Foreman b.1834
  • Richard Foreman b. 1835
  • Joseph Benjamin Foreman (Josh) b. 1837
  • Albert Foreman b. 1840
  • Alfred E Foreman b.1844
  • Sophia A Foreman b. 1847

The family were in Nelson Place Bristol by 1841, moved to Barnet by 1851, and then to Bermondsey by 1861. The majority of the boys are all wheelwrights at various times, in Albert’s case having been a gunner in the Royal Artillery.

By 1851 the family had moved to Nursery Row, Mimms Side, Barnet in Hertfordshire.  Where George Foreman Snr was working as a wheelwright, and George Jnr, then aged 24, as a coach wheelwright. 18 year old John was a labourer,  and Josh (Joseph) Foreman was a14 year old errand boy. Albert, Alfred, and Sophia were all at school.  There is no trace of Seleana, Richard, or Walter, though Walter re-surfaces again in 1871.

Royal Artillery Barracks,Woolwich 1900
Royal Artillery Barracks,Woolwich 1900

By 1861, they are all starting to move properly into adult life. Eliza  has  died in the autumn of 1860.  The Georges Senior and Junior  are living in Southwark with Alfred and Sophia. 22 year old Albert has joined the army, and is in Woolwich Barracks.

JLF is 27 years old, married with a child, Emily, and living at 17 White Place, Bermondsey with Catherine’s widowed 71 year old mother (GGG Granny). John has obviously learned a trade by then because he describes himself as a boilermaker working in Hammersmith. In 1851, he was listed as an 18 year old labourer, and the Georges Senior and Junior, are working as a wheelwright, and a blacksmith respectively. Alfred is a “moulder”, and 14 year old Sophia is working in the silk trade.

There doesn’t appear to be any trace of Walter, Richard, or Selena.

By 1871, JLF is still living in Bermondsey, but at 27 Mint Street, with 12 year old Emily, and her 9 year old brother George Laverton Foreman. Ellen Montgomery, Catherine’s mother is still living with them having reached 81. Ellen’s place of birth is still listed as Liverpool, but Catherine’s place of birth has changed from Liverpool in the 1861 census, to Dublin in 1871.

Alfred has joined the Navy, and is serving on HMS Barrosa, which is at the Singapore Straits Settlement on the night of the census. He is 27 that year, and John Laverton Foreman is ten years older.

However Walter has reappeared living in Spital Road, New Windsor in Berkshire. He is now 42 years old, married and describes himself as a coach maker master employing 2 men. His wife Mary is a year older than him.

Sophia has moved out and is lodging with a policeman, and his family. She is 24, and working as a machinist, and living at 38 Frances St, a couple of streets north of Waterloo station.

There is no trace of the Georges Senior and Junior, Joseph, Richard, Serena, or Albert.

The Turks Head, 711 Old Kent Road c.1880

1881 is when it all appears to get interesting. John is still living in Southwark, but now at 12 Darwin Street. He is a 48 year old widower living with his son George who is 19 and describes himself as a teacher (Unemployed) (Schoolmaster), and 22 year old Emily, who marries John Gray two years later on October 21st 1883 at St Philip’s Church Camberwell,when he is 63 and she is 25, and are both shown living at 746 Old Kent Road.

Meanwhile over in Islington at 5 Hollingworth St North, in 1881, there is a very strange household.  No 5. was shared  with Richard and Mary Parker, and their six sons, three teenage, three younger, the youngest being four.  It was also shared with the Sable family with two sons, and two daughters. The census return for the third household in the building is as follows

  • George Foreman 61  head,   wheelwright,   wilts, warminster 
  • Carrie Foreman 45    wife                                surrey,lambeth
  • Albert Foreman 41    son      wheelwright,   somerset,bristol

The ages in this don’t appear to match up for it to be George Senior who should be 79, and if it is George junior he would be about 54. However they are right for Albert, and the professions, and places of birth are right. I’ll come back to the curious household later. or see this post.

However by now, Walter is still in Spital Road in Windsor. This time in Grove Cottage, which may,or may not have been the same address as 1871. This time he lists himself as a wheelwright employing two boys, rather than a coach-maker as previously. Richard Foreman has resurfaced as well, this time at 25 Brownlow Rd, Shoreditch, where he and his wife Elizabeth are sharing their house with a twenty four year old lodger.

Saint George Church, Hanover Square

Back in London, Alfred has come out of the Navy, and is living  at 10 Short St, New Cut, Waterloo with his wife and two year old daughter. They are about two miles away from John, and about three from George and Albert. Thirty seven year old Alf is working as a provisions porter.  He married Emma Spittle four years previously, in the summer of 1877 at St George’s, Hanover Square.  Emma is a south London girl, born in Lambeth.  Her father, David Spittle is an engine fitter in Lambeth, and Sophia Foreman, Alf’s sister married her brother David Spittle Jnr on 4th June 1876  at St Clement, Barnsbury, Islington. He is 41, and she is 29, and an engine fitter like his father.

JLF , remarries in 1883, the same year his daughter Emily marries John Gray. JLF marries on the 11th  January, as a 47 year old widower to Eliza Sparrow, 39 at St Mary Magdalene, Southwark. Her parents are witnesses. his father’s profession is a wheelwright, and her father Elijah Sparrow is a gardener.  Both are living at 12 Darwin Street, which just off the Old Kent Road.

bisnc_postcardAlf, Emma, and Eleanor emigrate the same year, leaving London on 5th November 1883, and arrive at Cleveland Bay, Queensland, 16 miles south east of Brisbane, on New Year’s Day 1884.  They traveled via Suez, and Batavia, now Jakarta, in Indonesia,  and finally Brisbane, on the Goalpara, a 285ft long steam ship, with one funnel, and two masts (rigged for sail). It was brand new, having been built in Glasgow for British India Steam Navigation’s Queensland Royal Mail Service the same year. It was the only voyage the ship made on the route, transferring the following year to the Mail Service between India and Singapore.

Finally to close this chapter, John Laverton Foreman dies in the autumn of 1885 aged 52, somewhere in Camberwell. That same year George, John and Emily Gray’s eldest son is born, also in Camberwell, followed by Jesse two years later, Auntie Kitty born a year after him in 1888, and Walter, in 1890.

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