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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

"Stumps" Titheridge's Diary

  Cottage at the bottom of Hampton Hill Swanmore. 
  Postcard picture taken in 1899.
  Believe this cottage is the home of George "Stumps" Titheridge
The nice thing about having a website (or blog) dedicated to a one name study of an unusual surname is that sometimes out of the blue you get an email with some interesting information about the family name. 

Such was the case twelve years ago when we got an email from a resident of Swanmore, Hampshire asking us if we had heard of the Swanmore diarist “Stumps Titheridge”.  We hadn’t.  Courtesy of the Swanmore Village Archivist, we received a copy of this diary. This week we received an email from the current village archivist in Swanmore telling us that the original George “Stumps” Titheridge diary had been deposited with the Hampshire Record Office for safe keeping in December.  If you ever find yourself near the Hampshire Record Office I would recommend you go in and have a read.

Those of you who have browsed our website will already have heard of this diary, but for those who aren’t familiar with the diary it was written by George Titheridge, better known as “Stumps”.  It consists of approximately 100 A4 pages all written in a neat hand. The first entry was in April 1860 when George was 7, the second 10 years later and after that there are entries at regular intervals up until February 1937.  This is no great piece of literature but to me it is the most amazing diary recording social history from the point of view of ordinary folk, recorded by a poor village resident.  In his diary entries George lists confinements (births) marriages and deaths of his relatives, friends and neighbours, records the weather, notes local dramatic incidents, and this is all quietly mixed with records of great events in history.  George never passes a comment, never expresses an emotion - just records the facts.  Here are some entries taken from his diary for this week in January 90, 100, 110, 120 and 130 years ago.  They illustrate his very matter of fact entries about village life peppered with important historic events. 

25 January 1925:  Nelly Terry married Swanmore.  Mrs Noles and G Knight married Bishops Waltham

20 January 1915:  Harry Long buried Swanmore. Brought from Alton. Broke his neck

19 January 1905:  Midlington House rebuilt. The second Mrs Selfe died Swanmore

25 January 1895:  Wm Stone and Alfred Stone sailed for Australia

24 January 1885:  Dustman Titheridge’s horse dropped dead.   Explosion in London at the Tower and House of Commons

Visitors to our website can read some of the entries in his diary in relation to either his Titheridge family or the First World War.!/content/membersofinterest/georgestumps.php!/content/miscellaneous/lifeinwar.php
So who was George and why was he called “Stumps”? 

George was the youngest of nine children born to Richard Titheridge and Mary Ann Lasham.   He was born on 5 April 1853 at Swanmore and died at Swanmore in 1938 aged 84.  George had no children and did not marry.  However the rest of his siblings had large families.  George was uncle to no less than 34 nieces and nephews with the Titheridge surname.  The Titheridges were very prolific around Swanmore, Droxford and Bishops Waltham at this time and the family name was swelled by George’s 16 Titheridge cousins plus great nieces,  nephews and second cousins too numerous to count.  George was disabled and walked with the aid of crutches.  On the census he is described as “crippled from birth” but other reports say he fell off a gate when he was young. He was never shown as working on the census but shown as being in receipt of parish poor relief.

I cannot be sure where the nick name “Stumps” came from, it could be from his love of cricket  and several pictures exist of George with the local cricket team.  

I am sure George would never have believed that his diary would achieve such fame 77 years after his death, and we must say thank you to his relatives for preserving it and thank you to the village archivist for sharing it.

Do you have a historic Titheridge/Titheradge etc. family diary that you would like to share? If so please contact me.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Blog Contributors Wanted.

Would you like to write something on this blog?

If you have something related to the family names (Titheridge / Titheradge / Tidridge / Tytheridge / Teatheridge etc) you would like published on the blog please send it to me at and I will publish it for you.

We would be interested in

The story of one of your Titheridge/Titheradge / Tidridge etc. families or ancestors,
the story of any historical event or activity related to the family name
old newspaper articles relating to the family name
old photographs of the family, places connected with the family name or family tombstones
perhaps you are looking for  a piece of information to help you with your family tree

Whatever your interest we would be delighted to hear from anyone with an interest in the family name.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Alfred George Titheridge (1864 – 1916) The Unfortunate Gamekeeper

Grave of Alfred George Titheridge
Swanmore Churchyard
Under a tree in the graveyard at Swanmore church there is an imposing grave, which is a large cross.  This is the resting place of Alfred George Titheridge who died in 1916 aged 51.  This is a grave which is far more ornate than most Titheridge graves we have found.  So what is the story of Alfred George Titheridge?

Alfred George Titheridge was one of twelve children born to William Titheridge and Eliza Merrit.  He was born in Swanmore, Hampshire in 1864 and christened on 28 August 1864 at Swanmore. He was known by the nick name “Breasor”.  If anyone knows why he had this nickname please let us know. 

On 19 February 1887 he married Lydia Scammels in Swanmore.  They had 5 children all born at Swanmore

George Edward John Titheridge born 1888
Lydia Elizabeth Titheridge born 1890
Alfred Charles Titheridge born 1893
Isabel May Titheridge born 1897
Florence Rosina Titheridge born 1904

Alfred's life can be followed on the censuses.  On the 1871 census Alfred is living in the Hill area of Swanmore with his parents and siblings.  By 1881 census he is boarding at a farm in Netley and working as a shepherd.  On the 1891 census he is living at Clay Pits in Swanmore with his wife Lydia and the eldest two children and was an assistant gamekeeper.  By the 1901 census he was living in Spring Lane in Swanmore with his wife and four eldest children and is listed as a domestic gardener.  In the 1911 census he is living in Swanmore with Lydia and four of his children and he is working as a gamekeeper.

During the First World War, in 1916, Alfred was working at the Holywell Estate as gamekeeper.  His father-in-law, John Scammels, had been gamekeeper there before him and had trained him.  At this time Holywell was a large estate of 1908 acres.  One day early in 1916 Alfred had the afternoon off and he went out with the head gardener ferretting.  The gardener missed a rabbit bolting from its hole and accidently shot Alfred in the eye.  He was taken to hospital but died later of complications.  Alfred died on Wednesday 8th March 1916.  He left a wife and five children with the youngest daughter 12 years old.  The gardener was sacked by the owner of Holywell, a Major Genral Minchin.

An inquest was held into the death and it was reported in the Western Gazette on 17 March 1916

“A gamekeeper’s death.  A gamekeeper named Titheridge of Swanmore Hants, whilst out rabbit shooting with a friend was himself shot in the eye and killed.  A verdict of accidental death has been returned”

Alfred is buried in Swanmore churchyard with his wife, daughter, son in law and sister-in-law. Alfred’s wife, Lydia, lived for another 30 years dying in July 1946.

Inscription on front of grave


Thursday, 1 January 2015

Victorian Newspaper Article - Maintenance of a Child

Parish Church at Swanmore

Kate Titheridge was the 6th of nine children born to William Titheridge and Sarah Ann Keeling.  She was born in Swanmore by Droxford in1866 and can be found there on the census living with her parents in 1871, 1881 and 1891. She was five times great grandchild of John Titheridge and Ann Quallat of Cheriton.

On 10 September 1888 Kate gave birth to a daughter Georgina Kate Titheridge out of wedlock.

This is the article that then appeared in the Hampshire Telegraph on 3rd November 1888

"Droxford: Maintenance of a child

George Cooper, labourer of Bishops Waltham, was summoned by Kate Titheridge of Swanmore to show cause why he should not contribute to support of her child born on 10th September of which she alleged him to be the father.  Full collaborative evidence was given and the defendant was ordered to pay two shillings per week (10p per week in new money) until the child attained the age of 15 years and costs of 23 shillings (£1 15p)"