Part 1. As a collector of old photos I inevitably have a ‘queue’ of photos with some writing &/or names waiting to be scanned &/or researched and blogged about. So recently I looked at three connected photos to make a start on, these I have had for over three years! Imagine my surprise when I looked on the back to see they were of a family from Beaminster, Dorset!
We moved here to Beaminster in 2016, what a lovely coincidence.
This is my favourite above, showing William John Gibbs and his wife Lydia (Holt) on their 40th Wedding Anniversary in 1938, written on the back by Lydia. Taken in their Son Stanley’s garden. They married on 22 April 1893, Marriage registered in Chard, Somerset.
William John GIBBS was born on 04 Jan 1864 in Crewkerne, Somerset, England as the ninth child of Thomas Mark GIBBS and Anne WHITE. He had nine siblings, namely: Henry, Job (William), Clara Jane, Mary Hannah, James, Catherine Amelia, Sarah, Thomas John, and Elizabeth Annie. When he was 29, he married Lydia HOLT, daughter of Henry HOLT (a Basket Maker & occasional Preacher) and Mary A LAWRENCE, on 22 Apr 1893 in Chard, Somerset (Registered in Chard, Somerset. But as Lydia was born and lived in Crewkerne was that where they married? Possibly St Bartholemew’s?).
William John GIBBS lived in Mosterton, Dorset, England in 1871 (Relationship: Son). He lived in Beaminster, Dorset, England in 1891 (Relation to Head: Head, a Baker & Confectioner) His father had died in 1872, and he had Ann his widowed Mother living with him. Still living in Beaminster, Dorset, England in 1901 (Relation to Head of House: Head). He lived in Western, Dorset, England in 1904. He lived in Beaminster, Dorset, England on 02 Apr 1911 (Marital Status: Married; Relation to Head of House: Head).
He lived in Beaminster in 1915 (Other Records: Father). 40th Wedding Anniversary: 22 Apr 1933 in Netherbury, Dorset, England (Photo in Gallery taken in son Stanley’s garden in Netherbury of William & Lydia Gibbs) He lived in Dorset, England in 1939 (Notes: Marital Status: Married. He was a Retired Baker & Confectioner. He died on 07 Mar 1948 in Beaminster, Dorset, England.
This is Beaminster Kelly’s Directory from 1939 transcribed by Zoe Martin for Dorset OPC, localised Online Parish Clerks records and websites are invaluable and always a great resource when you are tracing your family history, and we are extremely lucky that Dorset is excellent! Beaminster Kelly’s Directory 1939 direct link here.
Looking at 1911 & 1939 info I am sure they were living where the Mr. Mo garage is now, opposite the car wash. I’m assuming the bakery was there) He lived in Whitcombe Road, Beaminster, Dorset in 1939 (Spoken to owner of the Mr. Motor Repair Co & Yes he said as far as he knew it was previously owned by the Gibbs family still when he bought it, so my thoughts are that the Bakery was here first from 1890, then when William retired his son Leonard ran his Motorbike business from there) Coincidentally it is next door but one to where our Beaminster Museum is now.
William John GIBBS and Lydia HOLT had the following children:
STANLEY WILLIAM (Twin) was born on 10 Apr 1896 in Beaminster, Dorset, and still in Beaminster, Dorset in the 1901 & 1911 census. He emigrated to America on 22 Mar 1913 (According to the old photo, the image below, Stanley William sailed for America on this date.). He arrived in New York on 28 Mar 1913, he had departed from Liverpool.
He arrived back in Liverpool, England on 05 Dec 1916. Bet his family was glad to see him after three & half years! Described now as a Farmer, and his last permanent residence USA and future permanent residence Beaminster, Dorset. He had departed from Montréal, Québec, Canada. He was still living in Dorset, England in the 1939 Register taken in Sep 1939 Marital Status: Married. Living in Prouts Bridge at this time. His occupation was as a Relieving officer & Registrar of Births Marriages & Deaths, so his name is probably on many records for other people too.
Stanley William GIBBS and Jessie Mabel HOUSE had no children that I have found.
This photo above also has the connection to his father’s Bakers shop, see the HOVIS logo on the right of the photo.
LEONARD HENRY (Twin) was born on 10 Apr 1896 in Beaminster, Dorset, England (GIBBS, LEONARD HENRY HOLT Order GRO Reference: 1896 J Quarter in BEAMINSTER Volume 05A Page 354 as the second child of William John GIBBS and Lydia HOLT ).
He lived in Beaminster, Dorset, England in 1901 & 1911(Relation to Head of House: Son). He lived in Prout Bridge, Beaminster in 1915 (Leonard joined up & was in the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry. No 16540 (Short service attestation) His occupation then was a Baker, like his father.). He served in the military in Sep 1916 (See image below from Ancestry) in Beaminster, Dorset, England (Sustained an injury to his knee while on leave, riding a Motorbike & was unable to bend it. So he was discharged from the Army.)
When he was 38, he married Muriel Emma AISH, daughter of Walter AISH and Lucy Rose STUDLEY, in Dec 1934 in Bridgewater, Somerset, England. Leonard Henry GIBBS and Muriel Emma AISH had the two children.
He lived in Dorset, England in 1939 (Marital Status: Divorced. Leonard H Gibbs was a Motor Engineer, Motorcycle and Cycle Engineer of Prout Bridge, is this the garage at what is now known as 1 Whitcombe Road. As the Hann family had a large garage across the road where the River runs.
Did Leonards garage replace his fathers Bakery and shop on the same premises?
When he was 46, he married Emily Taylor,daughter of Mary Ann Cecilia Emily Major and James Loveless Taylor, on 21 Mar 1943 in Bridport, Dorset, England. Leonard Henry GIBBS and Emily Taylor had no children. He died on 18 Dec 1948 in Bridport, Dorset, England.
I have searched but am unable to find any photos of his father’s Bakers Shop in the Prout’s Bridge area. I have borrowed three wonderful Beaminster history books from our local library too but still had no luck with finding a photo of the Bakery in either Fleet Street or Prouts Bridge, but they are full of great information about our town, so they are a brilliant read for someone who hasn’t grown up here, still reading them!
Looking in the Newspaper archives I found this super notice (see below) when William moved premises to Prouts Bridge from Fleet St in 1890.
I did visit our local Museum and could find no more information out about the shop or any old photos of it either. But they were a wonderful help to me in finding other information about the history of Beaminster, they have a huge archive of all sorts of wonderful information about the town of Beaminster and the surrounding parishes of Broadwindsor, Burstock, Chedington, Corscombe, Halstock, Hooke, Mapperton, Mosterton, Netherbury, Seaborough, South Perrott, Stoke Abbott and Thorncombe and many many local people and their histories. They are all such a lovely friendly group and so helpful, do pay them a visit if you are in the area, the Beaminster Museum is full of wonderful displays and treasures of the area and is housed in the old Congregational Church just in the Whitcombe Road as you enter Beaminster from Bridport direction on the B3066.
The Museum have two websites running at the moment until this new one is fully functional.. Beaminster Museum
Older website is Beaminster Museum (Older site)
This last photo I have is lovely of Lydia and one of her daughters Elsie Ellen, written by Elsie on the back. Dated 1916.
William John Gibbs came from a large local family
Thomas Mark GIBBS, his father was born in Jan 1826 in Mosterton, Dorset, England as the fourth child of Job GIBBS and Mary BROWN. He had six siblings, namely: Elisa, Anna Maria, William Brown, Henry, Sarah B, and John James. He died in Jun 1872 in Mosterton, Dorset, England. When he was 25, he married Anne WHITE, daughter of James WHITE and Hannah HOOPER, on 02 Mar 1851 in Misterton, Somerset, England.
Thomas Mark GIBBS was baptized on 15 Jan 1826 in Mosterton, Dorset, England. He lived in Mosterton, Dorset, England in 1841. He lived in Somerset, England in 1851. He lived in Mosterton, Somerset, England in 1851 (Relationship: Head. Described as a Dairyman.). He lived in Crewkerne, Somerset, England in 1861 (Relationship: Head). He lived in Mosterton, Dorset, England in 1871 (Relationship: Head). He was buried on 10 Jun 1872 in Mosterton, Dorset, England.
Thomas Mark GIBBS and Anne WHITE had the following 10 children:
1. Henry GIBBS was born on 22 Dec 1851 in Misterton, Somerset, England (GIBBS, HENRY WHITE Order GRO Reference: 1851 D Quarter in BEAMINSTER Volume 08 Page 10 ). He died on 24 Aug 1932 in Whitchurch Canonicorum, Dorset, England. He married Emily Frances KNIGHT on 25 Apr 1876 in Whitchurch-Canonicorum, Dorset, England.
2. Job (William) GIBBS was born in Oct 1852 in Muchelney, Somerset, England. He married Mary Alma BISHOP in Oct 1874 in Beaminster, Dorset. Job & Mary Alma had six children in Dorset, two were Twins in 1885 Mary & Harry, they both sadly died, and after the next baby was born in 1886 a daughter Ethel, they emigrated to Australia, 1887, they had five more children in Australia, so a total of 14 born to the couple. Job had a Farm, “Gowangardie” in Benalla, Victoria, Australia. Job, his sons Harry, William Mark & Tom were farmers & Ernest Alfred was described as a Beekeeper (Apiarist)
Job must have returned to England for a couple of visits, firstly in 1906 (aged 53) as Job arrived back in Australia 1 Feb 1906, he also left England on 30 Mar 1926 to go back to Australia (aged 73). He died in 1946 in Violet Town, Victoria, Australia (aged 94). There are still many of Job & Mary’s descendants living in Australia now & some have actually been to visit Beaminster and the Museum and there is more information on this Australian branch of the family at the Museum.
3. Clara Jane Gibbs was born in Jan 1854 in Puriton, Somerset, England. She married Ruben Comber on 3 April 1874 in Somerset. In 1881 they were both living in Lisgar, Manitoba, Canada. Obviously they had emigrated. Clara died as a young mother on 8 Nov 1886, Selkirk, Manitoba, Canada. Her husband remarried after her death.
4. Mary Hannah GIBBS was born in 1854 in Beaminster, Dorset, England (GIBBS, MARY HANNAH WHITE Order GRO Reference: 1854 J Quarter in BEAMINSTER Volume 05A Page 399 ). She died on 13 Jun 1942 in Wells, Somerset, England.
5. James GIBBS was born in 1856 in Misterton, Somerset, England (GIBBS, JAMES WHITE Order GRO Reference: 1856 M Quarter in BEAMINSTER Volume 05A Page 364 ). He died on 24 Jan 1928 in Dorset, England.
6. Catherine Amelia GIBBS was born in 1858 in Beaminster, Dorset, England (Not found on GRO yet!). She died in Mar 1937 in Newton Abbot, Devon, England. She married William Henry COWELL in Apr 1885 in Newton Abbot, Devon.
7. SARAH GIBBS was born in 1859 in Beaminster, Dorset, England (GIBBS, SARAH WHITE Order GRO Reference: 1859 J Quarter in BEAMINSTER Volume 05A Page 387 ). She died on 03 Jan 1953 in Bishop Stortford, Hertfordshire, England. She married Joseph LINSELL in 1884.
8. Thomas John GIBBS was born in Dec 1861 in Woolminstone, Somerset, England (GIBBS, THOMAS JOHN WHITE Order GRO Reference: 1861 D Quarter in CHARD Volume 05C Page 471 ). He died on 30 Nov 1936 in Beaminster, Dorset, England. He married Martha Hayden in Jul 1888 in Hampstead, London. He married Elizabeth Harriett CURTIS in Dec 1917 in Beaminster, Dorset, England. He was a Shoemaker like his father.
9. William John GIBBS was born on 04 Jan 1864 in Crewkerne, Somerset, England. He died on 07 Mar 1948 in Beaminster, Dorset, England. He married Lydia HOLT on 22 Apr 1893 in Chard, Somerset.
10. Elizabeth Annie GIBBS was born in Apr 1865 in Yeovil, Somerset, England (GIBBS, ELIZABETH ANNIE WHITE Order GRO Reference: 1865 J Quarter in YEOVIL Volume 05C Page 574 ). She died on 26 Dec 1937 in Warminster, Wiltshire. She married Charles William BOND on 18 Jun 1885 in Longbridge Deverill, Warminster, Wiltshire, England.
The photos above are some of a few I took when I visited the local Holy Trinity Churchyard of the various members of the Gibbs family (more in Part 2) I shall add grave photos & information to Find A Grave (direct link) one of my New Year resolutions to try to contribute & help other researchers of Family History.
More to come soon in Part 2 about the Gibbs Family of Beaminster.
Till next time then……………….