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Monday, 2 February 2015

Alfred Titheradge 1859 - 1902 our mysterious ancestor

Up to a few years ago this was the story we had on Alfred

Alfred Titheradge was born in Paddington area of London on 3 September 1859 and was baptised in Bayswater, St Matthew on 2 October 1859.  He was the fifth child of Edward Eatrill Titheradge and Eliza Peters.  On the 1861 census he is found at home with his parents and 4 siblings at 85 Moscow Road, Bayswater.  When he was 10, in 1869 there was a fire in the property where Edward and Eliza lived.  The fire was reported nationally in newspapers but although the children are mentioned and counted there is no mention of a child called Alfred.  We found this very strange.   The 1871 census finds Edward and Eliza living in Moscow Road but again no mention of Alfred.  At first we thought he must have died but no death record or burial record could be found.  Then in 1881 he appears in the marriage records when he marries Phoebe Perrett on 28 March 1881 at Paddington, St James and the couple appear living in Caroline Place Paddington on the 1881 census, with Alfred’s occupation a saddler and Phoebe a cook.  Then he vanishes again no death record, no children from the marriage and no presence in any census.  So what happened to Alfred?

For 20 years this was the story as we knew it.  Then as more records have become available on line we have managed to fill in some of the story.

Although Alfred was not at home in the 1871 census we found an entry for him as an inmate aged 11 in Dartford, Farningham, Horton Kirby and South Darenth  Home for Little Boys.  The records are not easily available for this institution so we have no idea why he was there or when he went.  Did his parents send him because they could not afford all their children, did he run away or was he sent because he did something wrong? 

Confirmation that this Alfred found on the 1871 census was the correct one came from School records for Bayswater that show in 1872 Alfred returned to Paddington area to live with his family at 75 Moscow Road and went to school, being admitted on  16 September to St Matthews School Bayswater  with his former school listed as Farmingham Home School, Kent. 

After Alfred’s marriage to Phoebe both individuals disappear and it was only last week that we found one possible reference to Phoebe.

There is a Phoebe Perret sailing to Australia, listed under her maiden name aged 24 and marked as single arriving in New South Wales aboard the “Samuel Plimsoll” on the 16 June 1883.  Is this the same Phoebe Perrett that married Alfred? The age is right and there was only one Phoebe Perrett born around this time.

The next reference we have of Alfred Titheradge is Philadelphia USA in the Philadelphia City Directory between 1888 and 1902

1888 Alfred Titridge, oysters, 1801 S Broad h2219

1890 Alfred Titheridge, rigger, h 210 Mendenhall

1894 Alfred Titheradge, engineer, at 1718 Jackson

1902 Alfred Titheradge, electrician, at h 4626 Linmore

The final set of records that come to light show that Alfred was married to Elizabeth (also referred to as Lizzie) although no marriage record has yet been found.  We know Elizabeth was born around 1867 in London but that is all we know. 

Over a ten year period between 1887 and 1897 they had 8 children (or maybe more since it mainly the burial records we have found). All but one child died in the first two years of life.  The children were:

1.       Male Deteradge, born August 1887.  Died on 5 September 1887 aged 2 weeks and buried at Mt Zion Cemetery.  Address 2221 Mendenhall Ward 26.

2.       Lotta E Titheradge, born September 1888.  Died on 9 June 1889 and buried 11 June,.aged 9 months. Address 2210 Mendenhall Street 26 Ward.

3.      Maud A Titherage born about August 1889 and christened on 5 August 1889. No death or marriage record has been found.

4.       Mary Titheradge, 8 March 1891.  Died on 16 March 1891aged 8 days and buried at Mt Zion Cemetery.  Address 1718 Jackson Street.

 5.       George Alfred Titheradge, born about October 1892.  Died 20 March 1893 aged 5 months, buried 22 March 1893 at Philadelphia Italian Episcopal Mission, L´Emmanuello. Address 1718 Jackman. Cause of death marasmus which is extreme under nourishment with marked loss of weight.

6.       Alfred Titheradge, born 26 February 1894 .  Died on 27 February 1894 1 day old.

 7.       George T Titheridge, born about November 1895.  Died on 17 September 1897 age 1 year and 10 months.  Address 2135 South 18th Street.

8.       Elizabeth Titheridge born 22 May 1897 baptised 4 July 1897 at Italian Episcopal Mission, L´Emmanuello. Died 9 December 1897.

 The   other death entries in Philadelphia are for Elizabeth and Alfred

 Elizabeth Titheridge died 14 November 1897 aged 30  buried at Italian Episcopal Mission, L´Emmanuello address 26 Ward 2135 So 18th Street

 Alfred died on 30 April 1902 in Philadelphia Pensylvania and buried on 5 May 1902 .  His address is given as Ward 40 4626 Linmore Avenue, marital status married. (His death certificate confirms born in England about 1860) 

 So the remaining mysteries are

1.      Why did Alfred go to the home for Little Boys when he had parents and siblings? And when did he go?

2.      How did Alfred get to America - there are no records of his arrival on any passenger list found so far?

3.      What happened to Phoebe Titheradge? Was Alfred a bigamist who married again while still married  or did Phoebe die or did he and Elizabeth live together unmarried?

4.      Did any of Alfred’s children survive to adulthood?

5.      Why does his death record show him as married when Elizabeth died 5 years earlier?

If you can help answer any of these questions please get in touch or post comment below.


Amber Ovecka said...

I believe I may have found Alfred's daughter Maud. I believe she may be my great-grandmother. My grandmother's mother's maiden name was Maud A. Titherage and she married Ralph A. Gras Sr. According to our records she was born on August 5th, 1889 and died in October 1980.
Maybe we can figure this out?
Amber Funk Ovecka

Ann Titheradge said...

This is really exciting that we might have found some descendants of Alfred, we thought all his children had probably died.
Would you be able to give me details of Maud’s marriage to Ralph as I have been unable to find it in any records that I have access to.
If your date of birth and place of birth is verified for your great grandmother there can be little doubt this is the same person. The records show Maud as daughter of A Titheradge and E Titheradge and she falls nicely into the succession of children born every 18 months. The census records for Maud Gras show her parents were born in England. There are a few other Titheradge/ Titheridge family members in the USA but the “Titherages” don’t arrive until after 1900 so Maud is not related to them. There was a James Fabian Titheradge who died in Philadelphia in 1847 but we don’t think he had any sons to carry on the family name.
It would therefore seem you are related to the Titheradge family who have been traced back to Daniel Titheradge and Rebecca Baker in Portsmouth, Hampshire in 1744. I can send you more details if you wish. I don’t know if you were aware of this family line before you read the blog?
In my research I have come across a previously unidentified Mary R Titheradge Gras Hovel born in Philadelphia on 10 July 1910 and died in Hatboro Pennsylvania on 17 April 2002 and was married to Francis Coates. I presume that this is one of Maud’s children, can you confirm this?
Alfred is the brother of Henry John Titheradge, my husband’s great grandfather.
Thank you so much for telling me about Maud.

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