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Monday, 5 June 2017

From Titheridge to Titherage; from Hampshire to USA

Kilmeston, Hampshire
view of church gate and manor house
Titherage is not the commonest version of the family name.  In fact for many years I wasn’t aware of its existence, but the family name of Titherage can be found today in the USA.  You might assume that this branch of the family is descended from Titheradge but the family name can be traced back to the Titheridge family in Kilmeston, Hampshire. This blog traces the family journey from Kilmeston, Hampshire to Pontiac, Michigan, USA.

Life in England 1844 - 1881

Our story starts with James Titheridge born in the Hampshire village of Kilmeston in 1844.  Like most Titheridges he was descended from John Titheridge and Ann Quallat of Cheriton and was their five times great grandson.  James was christened on 2 June 1844 at Kilmeston and was one of nine children born to George Titheridge and Charlotte Winter in Kilmeston between 1835 and 1852.  James’ grandmother was Lidia Titheridge, of Kilmeston.  Shortly after George’s birth Lidia married William Bone and over the following years there was some confusion over her son’s George’s surname.  In some documents George was called George Bone including the 1851 census where George and his family were living in Kilmeston.  The confusion continues to the next generation when on the 1861 census James was referred to as James Bone, 16 years old and working as a carter on a farm in nearby Corhampton.  This sort of confusion makes family history a real challenging puzzle.

By 1869 25 year old James had started using his real surname of Titheridge; however he was no longer spelling it correctly and was now spelling it TITHERAGE.  James married Susan Ann Maller in Avening, Gloucester on 30 October 1869, he gave his occupation as a gardener living in Sunningwell, Berkshire.  On the 1871 census James, described as a groom, was visiting Henry and Sarah Goodenough in Bayworth Sunningwell Berkshire with wife Susan, who was a cook.

By 1875 James and Susan had moved from Berkshire to Devon and on 20 March 1875 James and Susan’s only son Hubert was born in Axminster, Devon.  His birth was registered with the surname spelt Titherage.

Life in Canada 1881 -1916

In 1881 James and Susan decided to emigrate to Canada.  The family sailed from Liverpool on 24 March 1881 on The Caspian a steamer belonging to the Montreal Ocean Steam Ship Company.  They arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada 37 days later.  James, Susan and Hubert appeared on the Canadian 1881 census living in Sandwich, Essex, Ontario.  They were still in Sandwich on the 1891 census when James is described a farmer and they continued to live in Sandwich until their death.  Susan died in Sandwich on 15 April 1898 aged 53 and James died 11 December 1916 aged 72 in Sandwich.  (I should add that it was extremely difficult to find Susan’s death as it has been transcribed as Tisherager)

James’ only son Hubert Titherage married Mary Ann Armstrong (called Minnie) on 18 June 1902 at nearby Walkerville, Essex, Ontario.  They had four children all born in Sandwich.

  • James Alexander Titherage born 1 June 1903
  • Katherine Louise Titherage born 4 July 1904
  • A baby girl born 11 December 1906 who died aged 1 day
  • Edith Rose Titherage born 16 July 1908  

Minnie died on 26 November 1914 leaving Hubert with three children aged between 11 and 6.  Six years after Minnie’s death Hubert remarried to widow Rose Lafromboise on 29 November 1920 in Walkerville, Ontario.

Hubert’s and Minnie’s daughters both married, one remaining in Canada and one emigrating to USA.  Katherine married Harry Henry Duby on 31 October 1921 at Walkerville, Canada.  Edith emigrated to the USA on 30 July 1927 and married twice.  Her first marriage to Robert Yeske in Detroit on 11 May 1932 was an unhappy marriage and she was divorced on 9 June 1936 on grounds of extreme cruelty and non-support.  Edith’s second marriage was on 1 April 1939 in Angola, Indiana, USA to Joseph Degreef.

Hubert’s and Minnie’s son James Alexander continued to live and work in Sandwich until 1924

Life in USA 1924 - present

Sandwich, where the Titherages lived,  is a Canadian town that is very near the USA / Canada border which is less than 5 miles away, with a crossing point entering America at Detroit just the other side of the Detroit River. James Alexander Titherage made this crossing in 24 May 1924.  Immigration records show his border crossing from Canada to USA at Detroit, details include that James is 21 years old and his father is Herbert Titherage of 56 Windemere Road, Walkerville, Ontario and he was travelling to 226 Baldwin Street, Pontiac, Michigan.

Three years after his arrival in Pontiac James married Vivian Cecelia Coffey on 25 December 1927 at Flint, Genesee, Michigan. On the marriage records James is shown as a 24 year old machinist.  The US censuses show James and Vivian living in Pontiac and having 2 children.  James was described as a machinist in a factory in the 1930 census and pressman in rubber factory in 1940 census.

James and Vivian lived in Michigan until the 1980s.  James (born 1 June 1903) died 15 June 1988 while Vivian (born 23 August 1905) died 16 January 1985 in Waterford, Oakland Michigan.  They are buried together at Rochester Hills, in Oakland, Michigan.  A picture of their grave and be found on the Billion Graves website at the link below

     Click here for picture of James and Vivian's grave

This story is an interesting example of how a new version of a surname can be born.  

If you can add any further information about this story please email or add a comment to the post.


Chris Pritchard said...

I was fascinated to read your article as I too had solved the same riddle of the Titheridge Bone family from Kilmeston. My great grandmother was the next child in the family after James. Her name on her birth certificate was Eliza Rosa Titheridge, but her name on census returns was Eliza Bone in 1861 and 1871. She married William Jesse Smith in Bath in 1874 using the maiden name of Bone.

Ann Titheradge said...

Tracing family history can be very difficult when there is such confusion about individuals' surnames but it is very satisfying when you solve the puzzles!