Monday, February 16, 2015

William Lyons and the streets of London

William Lyons > John Lyons > Elmira Lyons > Lillian Ransom > Charles Walters

William Lyons
(not sure if this is the father or son)
Last weekend, made available their United Kingdom records and I was excited to see if I could find anything new, specifically in the Lyons branch of my tree.

William Lyons, my 4th great grandfather is my “most recent” ancestor who came from England. Family tradition says they were from London, but I was hoping for some proof.

From letters written by son John Lyons as well as US census records, I had the names of several of William’s children, which made it fairly easy to find William and his family in the 1841 census. William, along with wife Elizabeth and children Sophia, Charles, Will, John, and Albert were living on Stafford Street in the area of Marylebone, London. William was a painter, the same occupation he held when the family moved to New Jersey sometime around 1850.

After finding the census record, I was able to locate a number of baptism records for some of William and Elizabeth’s children, as well as a death record. Earlier occupations for William list him as a coachman and a “painter and glazier” which suggests he was a commercial/residential painter rather than an artist. The family moved a number of times, but stayed within the same general area of Marylebone between Regent’s Park and Hyde Park.

The children of William and Elizabeth include: Sophia, Charles Henry, Edwin John (who died at the age of 2 in 1836), William Valentine (born on Valentine’s Day, 1836), John, Albert, and Emily.

Here is a quick recount of where the family was living:
1829 – Adams Street West (now Seymour Place)
1831 – Devonshire Street (now Ashmill Street)
1834 and 1836 – John Street North (now Knox Street). This street was very near to the St. Mary’s Church. A history of the area, written in 1833, described the church’s location as “being surrounded by streets of worse than a second rate description.”
1836 – The family returned to Devonshire Street
1839 and 1841 – Stafford Street (now Conway Street)

I've marked the location of the streets where the Lyons family lived in red on the map on the left. The box on London map shows the area of London where the streets are located.

Sources: Census and church records from; Google maps; A Topographical and Historical Account of the Parish of St. Mary-Le-Bone by Thomas Smith from Google books; family letters and pictures.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Charles Walters, 1932 letter

C. Lloyd Walters family, c. 1932
My grandpa, Charles Walters, moved around often as a kid. His dad, Cecil Lloyd Walters, was a minister and didn't often stay in the same place more than a few years. From October 1929 to March 1933 the family was in Lincoln, Minnesota.
Lincoln, Minnesota
In remembering their home in Lincoln, my great-grandma Lillian (Ransom) Walters wrote that it was a good home with “stucco outside, plastered, varnish woodwork, glassed in front porch, 2 bedrooms, living room, kitchen, pantry, and stairs to the attic from it. Woods all around, up on a hill above the house was a garden spot.”

In 1932, When the family received their Christmas package from Lillian’s parents, there was no waiting to open it until Christmas.  Chuck was “just so glad” that he had to write to his grandparents immediately!

Lincoln, Minn.
Dec 23, 1932
Dear Grandpa and Grandma
We just received your package. I was just so glad I had to write right away.
Lloyanne likes her little doll very well.
She has made it a dress already.
Mama is getting supper. Daddy made baby a little wagon. It has bolsters and a reach on it.
Are those apples you sent us off from your orchard?
We had our program last night. Daddy said it was the best program we had had.
We gave Mama panel and an oil cloth pillow.
We are having warm weather now. There isn't enough snow for going skiing and sleding.
I wish it would snow so we could go skiing.
Daddy got some alfalfa and I went along.
Connie is milking good on it. She gives over two quarts of milk a day.
Mon PM
I got another pencil for Christmas from Mrs. Johnson.
We had a good Christmas. Mrs Johnson gave Richard a teddy bear.
I can’t think of more to write so will close.
Your Grandson,
The family added Connie, their milk goat in the fall of October 1931. She was
purchased for $40 with assistance from their family in Iowa.
The Walters also raised chinchilla rabbits for their meat.

Charles' letter he wrote to his grandparents, Christmas 1932 (transcribed above)