Through dusty documentation, census records, birth marriage and death indexes we are incredibly lucky to be able to trace, the one whom gave us life, whom fought battles, faces heartbreak and struggled through life.
This weeks ancestor one of the saddest, heartbreaking lives, of my ancestors. She’s pretty incredible as is her husband. How they managed to function, to find strength and hope is beyond me.
I take my hat off to them and would give anything for them not to have had to live through what they did.
When I first looked at her photograph, I would never have known, the sorrow she carried. It confirms the saying,
“Never Judge A Book By It’s Cover”
Now when I look into her eyes, it’s their, plain as day. Eyes full of haunt, pain and devastation.
Elizabeth Wren, deserves her life, her strength her sorrow, to be remembered and I’m going to do just that by telling you, all I know about her hard, sad, life.
My 4th Great Grandmother, Elizabeth Wren, was born about 1831 in Swaythling, Hampshire, England, to Joseph Wren and Sarah Wren nee Thorne.
She was Christened at, St. Mary’s, South Stoneham, Hampshire, England, on March 6th, 1831.
Over the next few years Elizabeth and her parents Joseph and Sarah and her two sisters, Ann and Louisa Wren, welcomed, 3 new arrivals into their family, Ellen, born about 1832, Joseph, born about 1833 and Mary, born about 1838.
Over the next few years, the family welcome two new additions into their family, Thomas and Sarah Ann Wren.
On the 6th August 1848, Elizabeth Wren, married George Stockwell, Son of Thomas Stockwell and Sarah Stockwell nee Tee. They married at, The Parish Church of South Stoneham, St. Mary’s.
Elizabeth was 19 years old and George was of, full age.
George was a Labourer and residing at, Portswood, Southampton, Hampshire , as was Elizabeth.
Both their Fathers, Joseph and Thomas were working as Labourers.
Their witnesses were, Charles Stockwell, who signed with an X and Louisa Mansbridge.
On the 2nd March 1849, Elizabeth gave birth to my 3rd Great Grandmother, Eliza Stockwell, at Portswood, Southampton, Hampshire, England. I am waiting on her certificate and will update you, when it arrives. I thought I had already brought it, but i can not find it anywhere.
Eliza was christened at, St. Mary’s, South Stoneham, Hampshire, England, on April 15, 1849.
Elizabeth gave birth to her first Son, George Stockwell, in the October/December quarter of 1850, in the, South Stoneham district.
Which makes no sense, as he was christened on the 30th August 1850, at, St. Mary’s, South Stoneham, Hampshire. Maybe they didn’t registered his birth straight away? I have ordered his birth certificate to hopefully un-puzzle the puzzle.
The 30th March 1851, census shows, Elizabeth, her Husband George and their two children, Eliza and George, residing at Portswood, Southampton, Hampshire, England.
Elizabeth’s Husband George, was working as an Agricultural Labourer.
Elizabeth gave birth to her second Daughter, Sarah Ann Stockwell between the months of July and September 1853 at St. Cross, Winchester, Hampshire, England.
Elizabeth gave birth to a third Daughter, Mary Stockwell in the January/March quarter of 1856 in the, Southampton district.
Elizabeth and George, Christened Mary, on the 11th February 1856 at, St. Mary’s, South Stoneham, Hampshire, England.
Baby Mary, died shortly after. (January/March quarter 1856, Southampton) She was only 6 weeks old. The family was living at Marine Parade.
I’m awaiting her death certificate, which I only ordered yesterday. I will write an update post when I receive all the certificates I am waiting for.
She was buried on the 17th February 1856, at Southampton Old Cemetery, Southampton, Hampshire, England, in Row B, Block 7, Number 224.
Later that year, Elizabeth gave birth to their 2nd Son, William Frank Stockwell. He was born in the October/December quarter of 1856 in the Southampton district.
William Frank was Christened on the, 28th December at St. Mary’s, Southampton, Hampshire.
January 1858, Elizabeth’s Son, William Frank Stockwell died. The family was residing at Marine Parade, Southampton, Hampshire, England..
I’m awaiting his death certificate.
Elizabeth, George and family buried 13 month old, William, at Southampton Old Cemetery, Southampton, Hampshire, on the 12th January 1858.
He is buried in Row B, Block 7, Number 261.
A few short months later, Elizabeth then gave birth to their 3rd Son, Henry Stockwell, in the April/June quarter of 1858, in the Southampton district. From other documentation he was born late June 1858, while the family were residing at Marine Street. I can’t find any information on Marine Street, only on Marine Parade. Were they the same place?
Baby Henry Stockwell, died 4 days later.😢
I have ordered his death certificate. I can’t get him out of my head, I need to know what happened to the wee tot.
Henry, was buried at, Southampton Old Cemetery, Southampton, Hampshire, on the 1st July 1858.
He was buried in Row C, Block 13, Number 270
How Elizabeth and George, got through losing three children so close together, I really don’t know.
It’s beyond heartbreaking. I will never understand why, such young babies were taken from this world. 💔
A year later, Elizabeth gave birth to, Elizabeth Stockwell. She was born, May 15th, 1859 at Number 1, Marine Street, Southampton, Hampshire, England. Elizabeth registered Elizabeth’s birth on the 21st June 1859. George was working as a General Labourer.
Elizabeth, was christened on the 14th August 1859, at St. Mary’s, Southampton, Hampshire, England.
Can you imagine how Elizabeth, must have felt throughout her pregnancy? And when baby Elizabeth, was born, the joy of a new life, must have been inflamed with fear of losing her. I can’t even begin to let myself think about what Elizabeth and george went through, it’s hard enough writing about.
On the 7th April 1861, the Stockwell family, Elizabeth, George, Eliza, George, Sarah Ann and Baby Elizabeth, were residing at, Number 3, Godfrey Street, Southampton, Hampshire.
George was supporting them off his labourers wage.
Elizabeth was once again pregnant.
Elizabeth gave birth to Joseph Stockwell, on the 11th September, 1861, he was born in the Southampton district, I assume at Number 3, Godfrey Street.
Elizabeth’s childbearing days were still far from over.
She gave birth to her 5th Daughter, between the months of January and March 1864 at Number 3, Godfrey Street, Southampton, Hampshire.
They named her, Rosina Stockwell.
Elizabeth and George, christened Rosina, at St Mary’s, Southampton, Hampshire, England, on the 16th October 1865.
Rosina died shortly after her christening, at Godfrey Street, aged 22 Months.I’m awaiting her death certificate. 😢
She was buried at, Southampton Old Cemetery, Southampton, Hampshire, on the 25th October 1865.
Rosina was buried in Row N, Block 83, Number 59.
Elizabeth gave birth to her 5th Son, between the months of April and June 1867, in the Southampton district.
They named his Edward Stockwell.
Two years later,Elizabeth yet again found herself in the family way once again.
Elizabeth and George’s 6th daughter, Ellen Stockwell, was born in the April-June quarter of 1869. She was born in the Southampton district.
Ellen was christened on the 19th September 1869, at St Mary’s, Southampton, Hampshire, England.
The next document I have for Elizabeth and her family, is the 1871 census, which shows, Elizabeth, George, Elizabeth, Ellen, Joseph and Edward, residing at, Bellevue Street, St. Mary’s, Southampton, Hampshire, England.
George was working as a Labourer.
By 1881, Elizabeth, George, Joseph, Edward and Ellen are residing at, Number 20, Edward Street, St Mary’s, Southampton, Hampshire. George was still making his living as a General Labourer and their son, Joseph, was working as a Painter.
In the January-March quarter of 1883, Elizabeth lost her father Joseph Wren. He died in the South Stoneham district.
The 5th April 1991 census shows Elizabeth, George and Edward, still residing at Number 20, Edward Street, St. Mary’s, Southampton.
George was working as a Ship Yard Labourer.
They were inhabiting 2 rooms, at Number 20.
Death yet again followed. Between the months of January and March 1892, Elizabeth’s Mother Sarah Wren nee Thorne, died at South Stoneham (district).
Elizabeth, died on March 21st, 1900, at Number 21, Edward Street, Southampton, Hampshire.
She died from Chronic Bronchitis. Her daughter Eliza Freak nee Stockwell, was in attendance and registered Elizabeth’s death on April 2nd, 1900.
Elizabeth was buried at, Southampton Old Cemetery, Southampton, Hampshire,England, on the 4th April 1900, in Row 135, Block 282.
Elizabeth Stockwell nee Wren, witnessed more death, lived through more heartbreak than anyone should ever have to. Her story is heart wrenching, I just don’t have the words to express the feelings I have for this incredibly strong lady. My 4th Great-Grandmother and Great-Grandfather, were true warriors. To me they are hero’s.
The sad thing is, if I hadn’t dug that little bit deeper, if I had just gone of the names listed on the census and hadn’t spent hours hunting through birth and death indexes, I would have never known, her full story, I would have never known, the depths of despair, the heartbreak and the names of her baby’s.
I wouldn’t have known that she gave life to 11 souls, grieved the loss of Mary, William Frank, Henry and Rosina.
I wouldn’t have known how very strong, she was.
And if it wasn’t for my kindhearted friend Bruce, I wouldn’t have known, where Elizabeth’s little ones were buried. Thank you Bruce. If only there were more people like Bruce, in this world, it would be a much nicer place.
It really does pay to look that little bit deeper, spend that extra time. And even though I can’t tell you all their information,that I just can’t afford to buy all their birth and death certificates, at least, I can add them to my family tree and bring their forgotten names back to life by tell a little of their stories, in time I hope to buy their birth certificates and give them the respect their tiny souls deserves. They will remain in my heart and they will never again be forgotten or undocumented.
Elizabeth and George will stay with them, safely locked in my heart.
May Elizabeth and her children, rest peacefully in the knowledge they are not forgotten.
Elizabeth Stockwell Nee Wren
A huge “Thank You”, goes out to my friend Bruce, who kindly gave his time to find the resting places of Mary, William Frank, Henry and Rosina Stockwell and for the photo of Rosina’s grave. I am so very grateful to him and his heart of gold.
I have brought and paid for all certificates throughout Intwined.blog.
Please do not download or use them without my permission.