Mary Goes a Different Way

Given the domestic situations of the LAW sisters towards the end of their lives, it is likely that Mary accompanied Elizabeth Isabella on the five hundred mile journey to London. But life in the capital did not suit her. She moved on another fifty miles to Liss Forest in Hampshire. In 1901 she is a housemaid at The Wylds, one of six servants ensuring the comfort of Robert HENDERSON, his wife and their three daughters.

The approaching 20th century brought change to this quiet corner of England. The Ministry of Defence built two army camps, the boundary to Longmoor being only three hundred metres away from the Henderson house. Bordon Camp was four miles further north and in 1901 a house painter called Frederick Walkley SAUNDERS was enumerated there. The fates arranged a meeting with Mary and the couple married in 1907, about a year before Elizabeth Isabella and Tom Holland KILLINGBECK tied the knot.

Mary and Frederick had just one child, daughter Jean Elizabeth Margaret. Frederick didn’t live to see her marry in Filey St Oswald’s church.

You may recall that St Kitts was Elizabeth Isabella’s address in 1915 – and notice that the connection to Scotland remains intact.

Mary died about 15 months after the wedding, before grandson James David Lee NICHOLSON was born.

Last Tuesday I offered a scrap of FamilySearch Tree showing “David Nicholson” and a photograph of his headstone indicating accidental death. James, an Olympic athlete, was killed in a car accident.

Below is a fragment of SAUNDERS  pedigree. Frederick George is Mary Law’s father in law.

I have gathered enough information to connect this to the Law, Killingbeck and Nicholson families – and can then put the “twin headstones” on FamilySearch as memories.

Dog 34 · Jess

A Different World

The Towie girls of Tuesday’s post turned their backs on the open fields and big skies of Aberdeenshire. Younger sister Elizabeth ended her journey south in the heart of London. In 1901, aged 20, the census enumerator finds her working as a kitchenmaid for widow Annie HAMILTON in Belgravia. Seven of the 12 people in residence on census night, and five of the 8 servants, are Scottish-born. This would surely have helped Elizabeth to settle in the alien environment of the Great Wen.

14 West Halkin Street undergoing renovation, next to a former Scottish Presbyterian Church, now Mosimann’s, “one of the most prestigious private dining clubs in the world”.

Elizabeth may have served other mistresses in subsequent years but seems not to have strayed far from Belgravia. In the spring of 1908, she married Londoner Thomas Holland KILLINGBECK in Fulham.

Thomas is found in 1901 working as a footman in nearby Kensington.

The household at 7 Ennismore Gardens is headed by Katherine Drummond, a married woman aged 37. Of the eight live-in servants, one is Annie RODGER, aged 31, Scottish-born and a “nurse domestic” caring for the four Drummond children. I wonder if she played some part in bringing Tom and Elizabeth together. The distance between the two houses pictured could be walked in about twenty minutes, but a chance meeting leading to marriage is hard to imagine.

On census night 1911, Tom and Elizabeth are living under different roofs in Stansted Mountfitchet. Tom is employed as a footman at Hargrave House. Less than half a mile away at Bentfield Green, Elizabeth has the company of boarder Annie Elizabeth HALL, 17, a draper’s assistant. Tom has family connections in Yorkshire, and when he is killed at Gallipoli in 1915 he has a Filey address.

I will write about Elizabeth’s sister Mary in a day or two.

Water 45 · Martin’s Ravine


Towie Girls

Sisters Mary and Elizabeth Isabella LAW gave Towie, Aberdeenshire, as their birthplace in most censuses but their home was about three miles east of the hamlet, at Wester Sinnahard. Their grandfather, John, seems to have farmed there – and also at both Easter and Middle Sinnahard.

 I am guessing that it is Middle Sinnahard in the Google View above. In 1871, George Law, aged 34 and unmarried, is listed here as a Boarder, an agricultural labourer working for his uncle, Alexander Law. Eliza Alexander CLARK, a 21-year-old general servant is also enumerated at the farm. She would marry George a couple of years later. Mary was their first child and Elizabeth Isabella their fourth. The sisters’ lives ended 350 miles to the south at Cayton, Mary in 1937 at Rose Cottage, aged 63, and Elizabeth Isabella in 1972 at White Croft, aged 91. Both were widows and they, and their husbands, are remembered on a granite stone in St Oswald’s churchyard. The memorial has a twin…

photographed yesterday afternoon

There is work still to do to figure the full implications of the SAUNDERS connection to the NICHOLSON family. Representation on the FamilySearch Shared Tree is as yet unclear.

Stone 29 · Clarke’s Asphalt