Mary Jane Eliza Salisbury married George Swinford Wood

UPDATE… as of 9th February 2018 all of these fabulous photos in this collection are now back with their family. The new owner is a direct descendant of George Swinford Wood & Mary Jane Eliza Salisbury, isn’t that wonderful!

On our September holiday, we went all along the South Coast from Hayling Island to Hythe in Kent this time. Of course, on the way, we couldn’t miss having a visit to Ford Car Boot! We went to the Thursday one our first week & the Sunday one coming back! As always I was very lucky with my finds from there. This is one such collection, my Salisbury Collection.

This is the envelope I saw first!

When you arrive at Ford, no one is allowed in until 7.30am (8.30m Sunday), sellers or buyers, so of course, when the time comes everyone is just like bees around a honeypot, clambering to see what treasures they can find! You have to be tough & stand your ground otherwise you won’t get anything. Right at the beginning, a seller in a large van started to unload his boxes onto the table & I saw old photos immediately. So I started going through one box among at least 8 other people, I found an envelope at the bottom saying Certificates! WOW! so thinking quickly that these have got to be one family hopefully,  I just very quickly got hold of any CDV & good pictures that I could & of course any with writing on. (It would have been good to afford to buy both the boxes & then sort later at your leisure but these sellers would charge you a fortune for that!)

Inside the envelope was this Birth Certificate
Also in the envelope, Baptism

Then thankfully Dave came up behind me to see if I wanted help & I said yes go through the second box & any good ones CDV or names on the back get them! It was a bit frantic, to say the least. You get lots of dealers there hoping for a gem to make money on & they push & shove, but I can do that with the best of them.

Marriage certificate inside the envelope(Left side)
Marriage certificate inside the envelope(Right side)

So here’s what I have found out so far…..Mary Jane Eliza Salisbury was born on 17 Jul 1843 in Eastham, Cheshire, England as the first child of Enoch Robert Gibbon Salisbury and Sarah Jones, daughter of Minister Rev Arthur Jones.

Rev Arthur Jones

Mary Jane Eliza had four siblings that look certain, Sarah Louisa Wilson b1847, Caroline Amelia Swanwick b1849, Phillip Henry Bentham b1855, and Florence Emily b1857.

When she was 24, she married George Swinford Wood, son of Henry Wood and Harriett Lomax, on 18 Sep 1867 in Wesleyan Chapel, Salling, Chester, Cheshire, England.

Mary Jane Eliza Salisbury lived in St Marylebone, Middlesex, England in 1851 (Relationship: Daughter). She lived in St Marylebone, Middlesex, England in 1861 (Relationship: Daughter). She lived in St John the Baptist, Cheshire, England in 1871 (Relationship: Wife). She lived in Conway, Caernarvonshire, Wales in 1881 (Marital Status: Married; Relation to Head of House: Sister in Law). She lived in Conway, Caernarvonshire, Wales in 1891 (Relationship: Sister-in-law). She lived in Conway, Caernarvonshire, Wales in 1901 (Relationship: Sister-in-law). She lived in Conway, Caernarvonshire, Wales on 02 Apr 1911 (Marital status: Widowed; Relation to Head: Sister in Law).

Mary died in 1936 in Bonlondeb, Conwy, Caernarvonshire, Wales.

George Swinford Wood was born on 08 Apr 1836 in Liverpool, Lancashire, England as the second child of Henry Wood and Harriett Lomax. He had two siblings, Mary Ann (Marianne), and Albert. When he was 31, he married Mary Jane Eliza Salisbury.

George Swinford Wood was baptized on 22 Sep 1836 in English Presbyterian, Toxteth Park, Lancashire, England (his Father was an Iron Merchant & the Family lived at Mill Street, Liverpool). He lived in Heswall, Cheshire, England in 1851 (Relationship a Pupil). He lived in Woodchurch, Cheshire, England in 1861 (Relationship: Son). He lived in St John the Baptist, Cheshire, England in 1871 (Relationship: Head). He lived in Conway, Caernarvonshire, Wales in 1881 (Marital Status: Married; Relation to Head of House: Brother). He lived in Conway, Caernarvonshire, Wales in 1891 (Relationship: Brother)
He lived in Conway, Caernarvonshire, Wales in 1901 (Relationship: Brother).

He died in Jan 1906 at Bodlondeb, Conway, Caernarvonshire.

George Swinford Wood and Mary Jane Eliza Salisbury had two children that I have found.

Thomas Henry Wood was born in Apr 1869 in Great Boughton, Cheshire (WOOD, THOMAS HENRY SALISBURY Order GRO Reference 1869 J Quarter in GREAT BOUGHTON Volume 08A Page 355. He married Elizabeth Griffin on 14 Jan 1909 in Manchester, St Mary, St Denys and St George, Lancashire, England. I have found one daughter Winifred Mary b1910. Other possibilities but not without certs.
Albert Salisbury Wood was born in Apr 1871 in Chester, Cheshire, England (WOOD, ALBERT SALISBURY SALISBURY Order GRO Reference 1871 J Quarter in CHESTER Volume 08A Page 405. He married Dorothy Knight in 1905. I have found one son Mervyn b1904. Other possibilities but not without certs.

The Wood family didn’t look very prosperous at the time of Henry & Harriett’s marriage in 1830, but the trade his father started led to the family having lots more wealth & becoming quite a large company of Iron Merchants, Henry Wood & Co in Saltney, Chester, making cables & anchors. The company’s anchors were selected for Brunel’s Great Eastern, the biggest ship ever built at the time. Wood’s Patent Anchor was used on Royal Navy ships and other vessels.

Their son Albert b1838 I gather ran the family business & the family eventually became very wealthy, from humble beginnings, with Albert in about 1876 building the wonderful large home Bodlondeb, Conwy, Caernarvonshire, Wales.

As Albert never married, it seems the whole family lived there in Wales with him. His brother George Swinford was an artist, exhibiting at lots of places Royal Academy, Royal Cambrian Academy, Royal Hibernian Academy, Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts, Manchester City Art Gallery, Royal Society of Artists Birmingham. This is just one of his paintings below…

painted GeorgeSwinfordWood

I would love to have seen Bodlondeb in its heyday with all the family present, they had visitors such as the composer Sir Edward Elgar & prime minister David Lloyd George. Queen Victoria apparently expressed a desire to stay at Bodlondeb, but the house was too small to accommodate her!

After George Swinford died in 1906, Mary Jane Eliza continued to live at Bodlondeb with brother in law Albert, during his life he was a JP for Chester & the DL (Deputy Leit for Carnavon (High Sheriff 1884/5) when Albert died in 1935 & then Mary Jane Eliza the following year the Council in Conwy purchased the property. The house then became the offices of Conway Borough Council. Now it’s the headquarters of Conwy County Borough Council. It features a debating chamber. Additional offices were created in an extension designed to complement the original house.

Modern view of Bodlondeb

The park at Bodlondeb, a stone’s throw from the town walls, is an important recreational area for locals and visitors. It’s home to Conwy Cricket Club & hosts the International Bluegrass Music & Dance Festival each summer. Marine walk there was built by Albert as a highway & there are public trails through the woods, where the trees include native oak, birch, ash, beech, Scots pine, cherry, yew and evergreen oak. Inside the woods is an unusual alley of holly. I would just love to go & visit next time we are wandering that way! Bodlondeb translated is Contentment, how lovely.

When looking for information about the family I found such a lot of different interesting things that it’s impossible to put everything in a blog! One thing I did find was that after Mary Jane Eliza’s death in about 1836 the family dedicated a beautiful stained glass window in the Church of St Mary & All Saints, Conwy, the window is perhaps the work of Burlison & Grylls. An open book at the top of the window has the Welsh text ‘Yn y dechrae ydd oed y Gair’ (In the beginning was the Word, John 1: 1).

Mary Eliza

The window pictured above was given in memory of Mary Jane Eliza, she was descended from both men depicted, from William Salesbury (Salisbury) through her father & William Morgan through her mother. William Morgan is extremely famous! He was a Bishop & Welsh scholar. Morgan was born in Cardiganshire and sent to St John’s College, Cambridge. In 1575 he became vicar of Welshpool, moving in 1578 to Llanrhaidadr Mochnant. He then undertook to complete the translation of the Bible into Welsh, begun by William Salesbury. The edition, including a revision of Salesbury’s New Testament, appeared in 1588. Morgan was made bishop of Llandaff in 1595 and promoted to the slightly wealthier seat of St Asaph in 1601. (After researching several different variations of William Morgans’s life & family history, my theory is that he may have married William Salesbury’s daughter, but there are so many theories on his descendants it’s hard to tell for sure) If you are interested in William Morgan here are two links with more info here, including his Birthplace, now owned by the National Trust.  William Morgan Birthplace NT     , More history about William Morgan, History Of Snowdonia

Now back to our Photos, this last week I have been putting some of the unnamed ones on Twitter & Instagram, but here are a few of the ones written on the back, some have names that I have joined with people on the tree…Onboard the Yacht ‘Myrtle’ in Malta in 1882 are George Swinford and Mary Jane Eliza, then on the right Caroline, who is MJE’s sister who married John Keppel Jones.

Centre row are MJE parents Enoch Gibbon Salisbury & his wife Sarah Jone, the daughter of the fairly famous Minister Rev Arthur Jones, he also baptised MJE (his Granddaughter) on the Baptism I found in the envelope. The bottom two photos I’m not too sure about, but aren’t they lovely!

The first CDV is obviously from the Jones family, MJE’s mother’s side, & the little boy I think is most likely to be Albert b1871, MJE’s son.

I love this CDV above, there are a couple of possibilities, but I’m not sure yet who they are…Thank you to whoever wrote on this below George Swinford Wood 1872..Fabulous!

I have found nothing about the Cambria, designed by George Swinford Wood.


This last one is my favourite &  really brought a gasp from me because I now had a photo of the couple I believe at the time of their marriage, although not written on, George Swinford is unmistakable! I have written on it now, just in case! Wonderful to see Mary Jane Eliza as a young woman..I absolutely love it!

I have other old photos in this Salisbury Collection to share with you all, that will be the next blog. Among them are some Military CDVs written on, research is needed!

The family tree I have compiled for the Salisbury & Wood family on Ancestry, they are a super family & I have added notes on some people..Link here below, you can access Ancestry for free if you register.

Salisbury Family Lynns Waffles

Till next time then……………………..


  1. Hi Lynn, What a fabulous find. You have done great research and I loved reading it. The photo’s also are wonderful. I know all about the scrabble to get what you have your eye on at boot sales Lynn,it was the same at auctions when I was in the antique trade but I loved every minute of it. The excitement when you find something special at the bottom of a box so you are willing to buy the whole box to get what you want. Looking forward to your next post. Good luck and thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Rita, glad you enjoyed. I never know when to stop with research, I get totally hooked on a family! I’m the same, the buzz you get from the atmosphere & the wheeling & dealing is amazing! I love it!


  2. Fascinating find. I was looking for information about G.S. Wood as I have two original paintings by him. However, one is dated 1907 and according to you, he died in 1906. What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

    • How fabulous!
      This is what I found in the records & have on the family tree..I have copied & pasted the details for you to see. To absolutely confirm you could always send for the death certificate. But I don’t think is any doubt, as that’s where they lived.
      Name George Swinford Wood
      Estimated Birth Year abt 1837
      Registration Year 1906
      Registration Quarter Jan-Feb-Mar
      Age at Death 69
      Registration district Conway
      Parishes for this Registration District Conway
      Inferred County Caernarvonshire
      Volume 11b
      Page 348


    • Hello Isobel. I am the Great granddaughter of George Swinford…it would be lovely to know which paintings you have of his. He loved painting on Snowdonia and going to Chester zoo to paint the animals. If you feel like it please get in touch. Through Lynne I now have the photos etc which will be added to all the family papers!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My great grandfather George Swinford had an accident on Mount Snowdon….maybe tripping over his easel! And subsequently died!


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