This weeks ancestor, is truly a tricky one, but very enjoyable to research.
I’ve still not 100% cracked her puzzle but I’m getting close.
I’m very lucky to have a photo of her, which unfortunately I can’t really share with you as I was given it by a very kind, distant relative Hazel. It’s funny to hear people say they can see her in me, which makes it so much more enjoyable to find out about her life. Most people think I take after my dad, so it’s nice to know I have a little of my Mums beauty running through me, as well as my dreadfully missed dads looks.
Let me begin the journey into my maternal 3rd great-grandmother life by sharing a little about her family name, Stockwell.
Stockwell is a name whose history is connected to the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Stockwell family once lived in either of the settlements called Stockwell in Surrey or Somerset, or near any footbridge over a stream. The surname Stockwell is derived from the Old English words stocc and wiella, and it belongs to both the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads, and the class of topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees.
The Stockwell family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Stockwell families were found in the USA in 1880. In 1891 there were 511 Stockwell families living in London. This was about 27% of all the recorded Stockwell’s in the UK. London had the highest population of Stockwell families in 1891.
In 1881, the most common Stockwell occupation in the UK was Labourer. 4% of Stockwell’s were Labourers. Labourer, Agricultural Labourer and Gardener were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Stockwell. A less common occupation for the Stockwell family was Tailor.
A few contemporary notables of the Stockwell’s, post 1700 are,
• Michael Thomas “Mick” Stockwell (b. 1965), English former professional football midfielder and manager
• Sir Hugh Charles Stockwell (1903-1986), English General, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (1960-1964)
• Air Vice Marshal Peter James Stockwell ONZM, AFC, retired senior Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) commander and former Chief of Air Force
• Jack Stockwell (b. 1992), Australian professional rugby league footballer
• Melissa Stockwell (b. 1980), American three-time gold medalist, two-time Paralympian and former U.S. Army officer
• Harry Bayless Stockwell (1902-1984), American actor and singer, father of actors Dean Stockwell and Guy Stockwell
• Chris Stockwell (1957-2018), Canadian politician, 36th Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario (1996-1999)
• Guy Harry Stockwell (1934-2002), American actor who appeared in 30 movies and 250 television series
• Brigadier Cecil Valentine Stockwell (1886-1982), Canadian District Officer Commanding 11th Military District
• Dean Stockwell (b. 1936), American Academy Award nominated actor, who began his acting career at age 7, best known for his role as Rear Admiral Albert “Al” Calavicci in the 1989–1993 television series Quantum Leap
Now lets get to the task at hand, travel back to 1849 and tell you as best I can, the life story of Eliza Stockwell, my paternal 3rd Great-Grandmother.
Eliza Stockwell was born on March 2, 1849, in Portswood, South Stoneham, Hampshire, England, to Elizabeth Stockwell nee Wren, age 18, and George Stockwell, age 18. I have ordered her birth certificate a few times but unfortunately my money keeps being refunded due to bad quality of the document. I reordered it last week on the off chance and my gamble paid off as it arrived in my inbox yesterday morning.
I can now 100% confirm, Eliza was born on the 2nd March 1849, at Portswood, Parish of South Stoneham, Southampton, Hampshire, England.
Her Father George was working as a Labourer.
Her Mother Elizabeth, registered her birth on the 15th March 1846.
Eliza was christened at, St. Mary’s, South Stoneham, Hampshire, England, on April 15, 1849.
Eliza’s Mother, Elizabeth, gave birth to 10 more children, George, Sarah Ann, Mary, William Frank, Henry, Elizabeth, Joseph, Rosina, Edward and Ellen.
You can read all about Eliza’s mother, Elizabeth Stockwell Nee Wren and all her children, Eliza’s siblings here and here.
The 30th March 1851, census shows, Eliza, her Mother Elizabeth, her father George and her Brother George, residing at Portswood, Southampton, Hampshire, England.
Eliza’s Father George, was working as an Agricultural Labourer.
Over the next ten years, Elizabeth had welcomed new siblings, buried siblings, not the happiest of a start to life.
On the eve of the census return which was taken on the 7th April 1861, Eliza was residing at, Number 3 Godfrey Street, Southampton, Hampshire, with her mother and father, Elizabeth and George and her siblings Elizabeth, George and Sarah Ann.
Her father was working as a Labourer.
Eliza and the rest of England plunged into grief and mourning when Prince Albert, the husband and first cousin of beloved Queen Victoria, died on the 14th December of 1861.
Albert predicted his own demise just a year before his death. In October 1860, while traveling by carriage, his horses spooked and bolted, forcing the prince to jump from the moving coach. Though he escaped unscathed, he believed that his end was nigh. He’d already been suffering from painful stomach cramps since 1859, and by the following year had become depressed and wan. With the death of his aunt and Victoria’s mother in March 1861, his wife was grief-stricken, forcing him to take on new political responsibilities that only exacerbated his illness.
By December, his abdominal pain had spread to his legs and back. His doctor diagnosed him with typhoid fever, and he died just five days later on December 14. He was only 42 years old. Victoria was devastated and wore black in mourning for the rest of her life.
The British people shared in her grief. Despite Albert’s urgings against it, after his death Victoria built effigies across the Empire to remember her husband.
Eliza Stockwell married William Harry Freak, Son of Charles Freak and Elizabeth Stockwell nee Bush, on the 9th June 1867, at Christ Church, Portswood, Southampton, Hampshire, England.
Eliza was an 18 years old spinster and William was a 20 year old bachelor.
Eliza was residing at Portswood and William was residing at, Hoxton, London. He was working as a Bootmaker, as was his father Charles Freak. Eliza’s Father George was working as a Labourer.
Their first child, a Daughter was born on the 9th March 1868, at Number 8, Clarkson Street, Bethnal Green, Middlesex, England.
They named her Elizabeth Annie Freak
Elizabeth Annie Freak was baptised on the 20th December 1868, at St. Jude, Bethnel Green, Middlesex, England.
Elizabeth Annie would later marry, Joseph Manning.
Eliza gave birth to her second Daughter, Ellen Eliza Freak in the October-December quarter of 1870 in the Bethnal Green, district.
Eliza and William, christened Ellen Eliza on the 12th December 1873 at St Mary’s, Southampton, Hampshire, England.
Ellen would later marry, John Arthur Warwick.
The 1871 census shows, Eliza, her Husband William and their two Daughter, Elizabeth and Ellen, residing at 3.3 (5) Waterlow Building, Bethnal Green, Hackney, Middlesex, England.
William was working as a Boot Riveter.
Eliza gave birth to their first Son, Charles William Freak on the 28th September 1873, in the Southampton district.
He gave his date of birth as the 28th September, on the 1939 England and Wales Register.
He was Christened on the 12th December 1873, at St. Mary’s, Southampton, Hampshire.
Charles would later marry Alice Rose Jane Culley.
Eliza gave birth to their second son, George Edward Freak, on the 5 Jan 1875 in the Hackney, district. His date of birth was recorded on the 1939 England and Wales Register.
George Edwin, was baptised at, St. Michael and All Angels, South Hackney, Middlesex, England, on the 19th November 1876.
I believe he may have never married as he was still single in the 1939 Register and died September 1952.
Eliza gave birth to her 3rd Daughter, Rosa Alice Freak, my Great, Great-Grandmother,on the 20th October 1877, at 29 Blackstone Road, Hackney, London, England.
William was working as a, Boot Maker.
Eliza registered her birth on the 29th November 1877
Eliza gave birth to their 4th Daughter, Mary Jane Freak on the 27th April 1880 in the South Stoneham District. (Date of birth from the London Admissions and discharges and the 1939 Register)
I can’t seem to find a baptism or Christening but she went on to marry Albert Britton
The 1881 census shows, Eliza visiting, James Leadbetter, his Wife Emma and their Son Walter at Number 2, Edward Street, Southampton, Hampshire, She had 6 of her children with her, Elizabeth, Charles, George, Rosa and Mary. Her occupation is listed as Boot-makers wife.
Eliza must have been expecting at the time because she gave birth to a baby boy, William Ralph Freak, on the 24 July 1881, in the Hendon District.
Eliza and William, baptised William on the 26th Feb 1882 at South Stanmore, Harrow, London, England.
William would later marry Louisa Ellen Laceyon the 26th December 1906.
Eliza gave birth to a baby girl on the 8th July 1886 at Bethnal Green.
They named her, Ethel Louisa Freak.
Ethel Louisa Freak was Baptised in London, unfortunately the Church name isn’t listed.
A few years later, Eliza gave birth to, Alfred James Freak. He was born on the 11th April 1889 at 113 Boston Street, Shoreditch.
Alfred, was baptised at St. Augustine, Haggerston, London, England, on the 24th June 1889
Heartbreakingly, baby Alfred died in the September quarter of 1889 at Shoreditch, London, England. His burial record gives his address as Number 202, Morning Lane, Hackney, London, England.
Eliza and William laid Alfred to rest on the 18th August 1889, at Chingford Mount Cemetery, Waltham Forest, Greater London, England.
Nearly a year later, Eliza, gave birth to, Edith Maud Freak, on the 2nd August, 1890 at 113 Boston Street, Shoreditch, London, England.
Edith was baptised at, St. Augustine, Haggerston, London, England, on the 24th November 1890.
The 1891 census shows, Eliza was residing at Number 113, Boston Street, Shoreditch, Middlesex, England, with her Husband William and their children, William, Charles, Maud, George, Rosa and Emily. William was working as a Boot and shoe Maker.
Do you spot a name you don’t recognise?
It looks like Eliza had a Daughter about 1881 in Shoreditch.
I can not find a birth index for her or a baptism. I’ve checked, double checked and checked some more and still found nothing.
It’s definitely a puzzle as Mary Jane Freak, was born on the 27th April 1880 and William Ralph Freak was born on the 24th July 1881. Eliza must have fallen pregnant pretty must straight after giving birth to Mary for her to be born in 1881. It’s just strange that I can not find any documentation of her birth.
1891 was an extremely traumatic year for Eliza, with the passing of her husband and her Daughter Edith Maud Freak.
Her Husband William Harry Freak, passed away on the 15th July 1891, at their home, Number 86, Chalgrove Road, Hackney, London, England.
He was a 45 years old, Boot Laster.
He died from Bronchopneumonia.
Eliza was present at his death and she registered it on the 16th July 1891.
Eliza and William Freaks Daughter Ethel Louisa Freak died on the 5th December 1889 when she was 3 years old. She died at home, 113, Boston Street, Haggerston, Shoreditch, London, England, from, Acute Bronchitis and Syncope (Fainting). Her Mother Eliza was present at her death and registered it on the 10th December.
I assume she is buried at the, Southampton Old Cemetery.
They following year Eliza, lost her mother Elizabeth Stockwell nee Wren, on March 21st, 1900, at Number 21, Edward Street, Southampton, Hampshire, England, when she was 69 years old.
Elizabeth died from Bronchitis.
Eliza Freak nee Stockwell, was in attendance and registered her Mothers death on the 2nd April 1900.
Elizabeth was laid to rest at Southampton Old Cemetery, Southampton, Hampshire, England, on the 4th April 1900, in grave number P135/282, sadly she doesn’t have a headstone.
The 1901 census shows, Eliza Stockwell living at 16 1/2 Compton Walk, St Mary’s, Southampton, Hampshire, England, on the 31st March 1901, with her son William and a boarder, Frederick Nickles.
Eliza has her occupation listed but I can’t quite work it out. I think it could be ? Nurse, sick.
What do you think?
Eliza was living off her own account.
William was working as a Moulding Machinist.
Hard times arise again for Eliza when her Father, George Stockwell, died on March 12, 1903, in Southampton Incorporation Infirmary, Shirley, Southampton, Hampshire, England, when he was 77 years old.
He died from, Arthritis and Gangrene, (2months). William E Jolliffe, the chief resident officer, registered his death on the 13th March 1903. George’s occupation at the time of his death was a Labourer of Southampton.
Eliza laid her Father to rest, on the 16th March 1903, at Southampton Old Cemetery, in Grave number P135/282, with his wife Elizabeth.
Her brother Edward, died a few years later in February 1905, at Number 126, St Mary’s Street, Southampton, Hampshire, England. He was 37 years old.
He was laid to rest at Southampton Old Cemetery, in Grave number P135/282, with his Mother Elizabeth and Father George, on the 21st February 1905.
Jumping forward to 1911, Eliza Stockwell was residing at Number 106, Derby Road, Southampton, Hampshire, England, on April 2, 1911, with her son, William Freak and his family and her son George. They had a boarder called Albert Tubbs. Emily Lacey, who I believe to be Eliza’s niece, daughter of William Ralph Freak and Louisa Ellen freak nee Lacey was visiting them.
6 of Eliza and William Freaks, 13 Children have died by 1911.
So far we only have Eliza as having 11 Children, two must have been born and died between the the census returns.
I have found a few possibilities.
? Freak, born in the January quarter 1869 in the South Stoneham district
Phebe Freak, born in the January quarter of 1872 and died in January quarter of 1873
Philip Freak, born in the September quarter of 1879 in Hackney and died in the September quarter of 1876.
Philip Henry Freak born October-December 1883 and died July-September 1884
He was buried at Manor Park Cemetery, Newham, London, England on the 01 September 1884
I believe, Philip born 1876, is the best match, I took the risk and ordered his certificates and they shows, that Philip was the Son of, Eliza and William Freak.
Philip Freak was born on July 1, 1876, at, 29, Blackstone Road, Hackney, Middlesex, England, to Eliza Stockwell, age 27, and William Harry Freak, age 30. His Father William Henry Freak, registered his birth on the 10th July 1876. William was working as a Shoemaker, at the time of Philip’s birth.
Philip Freak died in July 7th, 1876, when he was 5 days old.😢 He died at home, 29, Blackstone Road, Hackney, Middlesex, England, from Debility From Birth. His Father William, registrated his death on the 10th July 1879. William was working as a Shoemaker, at the time of Philip’s death.
I will have to wait until the new year to be able to hopefully crack this puzzle. Watch is space hopefully for the answer.
Unfortunately I can not find any other information for Eliza until her death in 1931.
Eliza Freak nee Stockwell, died on the 20th, January 1931, from Carcinoma of bowel (Large).
She died at Number 102, Northumberland Road, Southampton, Hampshire.
Her daughter Rosa Alice Townsend nee Freak registered her death on the 21st January 1931.
Eliza was laid to rest, on the 24th Jan 1931, at Southampton Old Cemetery, in Grave number P135/282, with her Mother Elizabeth and Father George, her Brother Edward, on the 24 January 1931.
It’s such a shame she wasn’t laid to rest with her Husband but to be buried in a family plot is rather special.
Her Daughter Rosa Alice Townsend Nee Freak and her Husband Charles Frederick Townsend and her Eliza’s Son George would later be buried in their family plot.
Mournfully they do not have a head stone, but thanks to my dear friend Bruce, my Great Uncle Ray, my Sister Hayley and I have visited their grave. It’s in rough ground in a old part of the cemetery with hardly any headstones and even though there is no stone, it warms my heart to know they are all together, reunited in death.
I hope Eliza and her family are watching over me and hold a little pride in their hearts, that I am telling their stories to the best of my knowledge and that they will never be forgotten, for without them, I wouldn’t be here to tell their tale.
We as a family owe them respect, gratitude, and love for the hardships they lived through, the battles they conquered and the love and life that they gave.
I for one have so much to be thankful to them for and I will remember them all with love and pride.
May they rest in peace together in harmony.
Eliza Freak Nee Stockwell
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