Lippiatt, Searle, Cobb & Alder Old Photos (Part 1)

We went to the Bath & West showground again on the 3rd December & I was lucky enough to find over 20 old photos all from one family. The seller had two boxfuls, all from the same family, he was asking too much money for me to buy them all, so I picked out the best & most interesting ones & every single one that had writing of any sort on & haggled hard to get the price down! He told me the family they came from lived in Kent or Surrey area & were called Searle & the house they had cleared, the chap was connected to the railway. Thats all he knew, not a lot really.

It’s taken me a few weeks to piece together the family & match some of the names on the photos up, I’ve had light bulb moments when I’ve done a happy dance & very disappointing moments when I found recently that I had a whole lot of the family, all on the first tree incorrect! Only because I have to use a lot of educated guesswork, because all my research is done online so I never send for certificates, it would be too expensive.





After scanning all the photos & the backs & writing down a list of all the names & writing I had, I decided to start a family tree on Ancestry with Emily Searle, as I had her date of birth. See Pic Above. I’ll come back to her later……Then also I started another tree with Thomas Lippiatt, as I had the date on which he married. See Pics below. After that I hoped to be able to connect the two trees. You would think that a more unusual name would make it easier, but that hasn’t been the case here, I found so many different spellings of Lippiatt you would not believe! Lippcott, Lipscott, Lippcatt etc etc.

Thomas Lippiatt married Sarah Jane Sheate on 19th August 1895 in Brentford, Middlesex.


Info on the back of above photo


Thomas Lippiatt died in 1942 & Sarah Jane died in 1950, they are buried together.

Thomas & Sarah Lippiatt.jpg
Ealing & Old Brentford Cemetery

Thomas Lippiatt was born on 22 Jan 1870 in Hanwell, Middlesex, England as the first child of Thomas Lippiatt and Fanny Thorndycraft. He had three siblings, Ada Fanny, who married Herbert Ernest Cobb in June 1916 (No Children), then Thirza Mary, who remained unmarried and Charles who married Maude Emma Sophia Wyatt in July 1901, they had three children, Dorothy Maude in 1902, John Charles in 1911 & Reginald Herbert in 1916. When Thomas was 25, he married Sarah Jane Sheate, daughter of John Sheate and Ellen Sheate, on 19 Aug 1895 in Brentford, Middlesex (See matching Wedding photo).


Charles Lippiatt & Co 1939
Brother Charles Lippiatt & Family on 1939 Register



Thirza & Ada 1939
Thirza Mary Lippiatt & her sister, now a widow Ada Fanny Cobb

The first photo below says Ada June 1916, hard to read! Then the second says Thirza photo taken by Ada on 25 Sep 1902. Great to see who we are writing about!








Ada Fanny Lippiatt/Cobb helped me enormously on piecing the family together & confirming that who I had on this tree was correct. On the back of this photo below, another Wedding picture was a label by H.E.Cobb & also Ada F Cobb is written down too, I wondered if the names had any significance? Of course I found they did, because Ada Fanny Lippiatt married Herbert Ernest Cobb(1867-1936) in June 1916, lightbulb moment! The photo above of Ada has got to be her Wedding picture, wearing the dress she married in, same date. She was also described as a Dressmaker in the 1891 census, although she was a Post Office Clerk in 1901, Thirza her sister was also a Dressmaker, so either of them may have made her Wedding dress.

This photo below is a very large Wedding group of Charles Lippiatt when he married Maude Emma Sophia Wyatt in July 1901. I assume that years later after Ada had married Herbert she used one of the labels from his shop, he was described in the 1911 Census as a Pharmacist and Ophthalmic Optician, to stick on the back of the photo & write down some names, thank you Ada! Ada was 44 when she married Herbert, Herbert I found had been married twice, the first time in 1897 to Florence Maude Green who died in 1903 aged 31. Then secondly to Ellen Phoebe Morgan in 1907, she died in 1914 aged 40 (I’ve found no children) I hope there was nothing suspicious about him & the deaths, but you never know do you, being a Pharmacist? (I’ve not found anything in the Newspaper records) Ada outlived him & in his will (1936) he left £10,680 to her.

Such a glorious Wedding group photo of Charles Lippiatt when he married Maude in 1901, the outfits, dresses & flowers are amazing.


Super to have clues like this!


So back to Thomas Lippiatt he lived in Ealing, Middlesex, England in 1871, 1881 (Relationship to Head: Son). He lived in Brentford, Middlesex, England on 29 Mar 1886 (Thomas joined the Railway at aged 16 & became a Railway Clerk, later becoming a Railway Collector, he worked for them all his life till retiring. ) He lived in Ealing, Middlesex, England in 1891 (Relation to Head: Son). The family lived in Brentford, England in 1899, after their marriage & lived Old Brentford, Middlesex, England in 1901. The family lived in Brentford, England in 1902. Still in Brentford in 1905. Then lived in Ealing, Middlesex in 1910 & also on 02 Apr 1911. Still there too in 1915, 1924 & in 1926 (Electoral Rolls) & the 1939 Register.

Thomas Lippiatt 1939

Thomas & Sarah Jane had one child, a daughter Ivy Ellender Lippiatt who was born in Jan 1900 in Brentford, Middlesex. She lived in Ealing, Middlesex, England on 02 Apr 1911 (Relation to Head of House: Daughter).

On 14 Nov 1918 when she was 18 Ivy married Clarence Reginald Davey, and then when she was 28, she married Edward Saxton Donahue/Donohue in Sep 1928 in Richmond South, Surrey.

In the 1939 Register on FMP: 1939 in Richmond, Surrey, England, Image below (Ivy + husband & 4 children all living together, 3 closed records, but assume they are children. See details RAF on husband Edward S Donahue facts) She lived in Twickenham East, England in 1946. She died in Mar 1963 in Surrey North eastern, Surrey, England.

IVY Ellender 1939

Clarence Reginald Davey and Ivy Ellender Lippiatt had the following children: Peter Reginald Davey was born in Dec 1920 in Richmond S, Kent. He died in 1996.
John Trevor Davey was born on 20 Mar 1923 in Brentford, Middlesex, England. He died in May 1996 in Brentwood, Middlesex, England. He married Margaret J Cobby in Mar 1962 in Colchester, Essex. Are you a descendant of this couple?

Edward Saxton Donahue and Ivy Ellender Lippiatt had the following children: Derek Edward Donahue was born in 1929 in Richmond, Surrey, England.
Saxton Edward Donohue was born in Jun 1933 in Richmond S, Surrey, Kent. He died on 19 May 1973 in Fulham London. He married Eleanore Quenet in Dec 1955 in Surrey Northern, Surrey. Are you a descendant of this couple?

This photo below is a mystery as I can’t check the records to see if any of my surnames match, but it’s a super School group photo isn’t it

Another of the photos, but sadly no records of this School online for me to check through for surnames. Date about 1896-7


I found some super info about the School Photographers from Photo History Sussex, link below…..”Around 1895, W. Carl Stackemann moved to Wandsworth, where he set up an office of The Photographic Tourists Association. Business directories issued during the period 1896 and 1897 list the Photographic Tourists Association at 23 Geraldine Road, East Hill, Wandsworth, with Mr Carl Stackemann as the Manager of the business. The Photographic Tourists Association was a photography business that involved photographers touring various districts of England and calling in on schools, workplaces, colleges and other institutions to ask if they could photograph interior and exterior views of the building and take group portraits of pupils, teaching staff, employees, etc. The photographer W. Carl Stackemann was experienced in taking school group photographs, something he had done since the 1870s. Not surprisingly, schools and colleges provided much of the business for W. Carl Stackemann’s Photographic Tourists Association. Stackemann of the Photographic Tourists Association were “photographers who were in the habit of taking photographs of schools and pupils attending them”. The report continued :“This they did as speculation. their practice was to seek permission from the principals to take photographs, it being clearly understood that no one was to be compelled to purchase copies, although, no doubt the photographers had reasonable expectation of being able to effect sales amongst the pupils and others”. Another report on the “infringement of copyright” case brought by the Stackemanns mentions that” “The Photographic Tourists’ Association also printed and supplied (school) prospectuses containing reproductions of the photographs, and they relied for one source of their profits on the sale of such (school) prospectuses” SEE     Photo History Sussex


My guesses as to who’s who in above photo…No1. Charles Lippiatt No2. Ada Fanny Lippiatt? No3. Maybe Mum Fanny Thorndycraft (Lippiatt then Ashfield) Her first husband, the children’s father died young in 1880 & she brought up the children alone, in 1881 census she was a Seamstress & 1891 census a Grocer. Then a year before this marriage in 1894 she remarried William Ashfield, they were only married six years before he too died. Of course they might be the couple you see seated next to No 2? No4 I think is Thirza, aged 21. No5 Could be one of Sarah Jane’s sisters Ellen, b1872 or Elizabeth b1863, maybe No 2 is one of the bride’s sisters? All maybe’s.

Briefly back to Emily Searle who I mentioned at the beginning, I am still working on the  Lippiatt tree, and will post it public when I have finished & also share the link, I have many surnames including Searle on it now, but not an Emily that fits! The other tree I had started, with the lady I thought it was in the photo, turned out to be totally the wrong Searle family & the lady I thought was the lady above, I found out she had a different birth date 5th July!! Not 25 February! So frustrating!

I have many branches to the family Lippiatt on their tree & matched up more of the photos from the group I bought & will share some more in Part 2 next week. I’m still hoping I might find Emily, so fingers crossed & watch this space!

These are the direct links below to the other 5 Parts about this family

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Till next time then………………..

UPDATE 27 December 2018.

Thrilled to let you know that another branch of the Lippiatt, Searle, Cobb & Alder family has been in touch with me over Christmas, if you follow my Blog you’ll know that I wrote this family’s story over 6 Parts, it was a fabulous collection of old photos that are now back with a descendant of the family & being treasured & kept safe, he loves family history & has many more photos of the family that he shared with me(See Blogs).
This new lady Cathy gave me some more information that I have added to the family’s Ancestry Public Tree.
Here’s what she told me
” Hi Lynn,
Lovely to read your research and see the pictures, which are of our family! Our Nan, ‘Kathleen Delbridge’ was the daughter of Louisa Sarah Alder and Frederick Delbridge – “Lil & Fred”.
Marjorie Lippiatt is our Nan’s cousin and we’d be interested to know more about how you came across the pictures as until recently (shortly before your first post) Marjorie was living in the Somerset area. We wondered if perhaps any of these came from her collection….?
Cathy & I have chatted & I have passed all her details on to the family archivist, a lovely surprise for him, think this must be the fourth contact now from different branches of the family that has been in touch via my Blog.


  1. This is amazing! I am descended from the Alder family and know the Lippiatts of Somerset and have links to Porthleven. I need to show this to my mum!

    Liked by 1 person

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