William Henry Mason & Amy Emily Porter Family Certificates

As you probably already know from previous posts on here we love to go to the Giant Fleamarket at the Royal Bath & West Showground at Shepton Mallett. This super collection of 8 certificates I found there. As I was walking along the tables of assorted wares for sale I saw a small battered suitcase at the end of one of the tables, so I opened it and was totally surprised to find all of these plus lots of old leaflets and other ephemera, I asked the seller if it was all from the same family and he said yes they were a house clearance some time ago. So I went through everything carefully and took out anything that had any writing or names on, plus of course the certificates. He let me have them all for a reasonable sum as he said he had forgotten they were in the suitcase! Here are scans of the certificates starting with the earliest in 1866 of the Birth of George John Porter b 16 May 1866. Parents Martha (Binding)& John Porter, a Copy issued on 26 Nov 1924.



Above…. George John Porter Birth 16 May 1866



Above…William Henry Mason Birth 6 July 1895



Above…. Marriage on 10 June 1923 of William Henry Mason and Amy Emily Porter



Above….Death of Frances Porter on 12 July 1926, so sad she never got to meet her Grandson William Edward Mason. (Below)


Above….Birth 18 November 1926 of William Edward Mason


Above….Baptism of William Edward Mason on 20 January 1927



Above….Death of George John Porters on 23 June 1931. Death was ‘Hemorrhage due to injuries to the head caused by accidentally falling from a Cart Horse upon which he was riding. Post Mortem’. Newspaper report below.

George John Porters fondness of Horses led to his Death. This from the Western Daily Press on 27th Jun 1931.



Above….Amy Emily Mason Death certificate on 26 July 1967.

Below are some items from Phyllis Joan Spencer who married William Edward Mason in 3rd quarter of 1967, they had no children that I have found. If you look at the date of William’s Mothers death above on 26 July 1967, it seems they may have married just after, so did his Mum Amy not approve of Phyllis? Or maybe Phyllis didn’t want to live in William’s home with his Mum there? William was living at home still at that time so maybe he was looking after his Mum until her death, as his Dad had died in 1957. It seems that most of their lives the family were living in Ynisher Terrace, Uphill, Weston Super Mare, Somerset.



This is a round up below of the information all about the family that you will find on the Family Tree on Ancestry that I have compiled, here’s  Mason and Porter Family   the direct link.

Ancestors of William Edward Mason 4Pages.jpg
Different branches of the family came from Worcestershire and Warwickshire as well as Somerset

See UPDATES from Sue in comments below, Martha Binding and John Porter also had another daughter born before they married in 1853, baptised on 24 Feb 1854 at Bleadon, Somerset. I have now added the extra details from Sue to the public tree on Ancestry and also corrected the surname on the Baptism record, was spelt Peter not Porter, thanks so much Sue!

This A.T.S. and V.A.D. Army Book (See images Below) with the name of Kathleen May Godfrey, b.29 March 1920 in Bristol, Avon and d.1 December 2013. As yet I haven’t been able to link her up with my Porter & Mason Family, have I missed something? Could she have been just a dear friend? Maybe she left her belongings to Phyllis, then Phyllis died after 2013 and everthing was in the house clearance? (I’ve not found Phyllis’s death record so assume it’s recent?) Maybe someone out there knows something about Kathleen or Phyllis? Any help welcome. I think the guide to Aden must have belonged to this lady Kathleen too, maybe she was stationed out there in WW2. It’s full of information for residents.

Auxiliary Territorial Service was the women’s branch of the British Army during the WW2. It was formed on 9 September 1938, initially as a women’s voluntary service, and existed until 1 February 1949, when it was merged into the Women’s Royal Army Corps.” and ” Voluntary Aid Detachment was a voluntary unit of civilians providing nursing care for military personnel in the UK & other countries in the British Empire. The most important periods of operation for these units were during WWI and WWII. Although VADs were intimately bound up in the war effort, they were not strictly speaking military nurses, as they were not under the control of the military, unlike the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, the Princess Mary’s Royal Air Force Nursing Service, and the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service. The VAD nurses worked in both field hospitals, close to the battlefield & longer-term places of recuperation back in Britain.” Information above from Wikipedia.





As always do you recognise any names here among your own Ancestors? Does anyone have any old photos of this family? I would love to see their faces! Do please get in touch if you have any information, see contact me above or comment on this post.

Till next time then………….


  1. WOW !! Lynn I can just imagine your excitement when you opened that suitcase. Your research on what you found inside is outstanding. I cannot understand why people throw away important family documents like these. I hoard everything and have saved birthday and Xmas cards from family for years. You would have a birthday with the stuff I hang onto. But whether my family will is another matter. Good luck with your next foray and Happy New Year X

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Lynn, you have missed out of the John Porter Martha Binding family tree my Great Grandmother Emma Porter. Born 1855.


    • Hi Sue. Thanks so much for getting in touch. I have checked my notes on this Sue & didn’t find an Emma at the time, daughter of John Porter & Martha Binding on the GRO records. Although she was on the 1861 census. I didn’t follow up on it, so didn’t put her in, just in case it was an error. I have now added her to the tree, do you know her birth/marriage/death dates for me to add them?
      This is the only one I found to match Emma Porter, registered in Axbridge like the other siblings. PORTER, EMMA STAPLE GRO Reference: 1855 D Quarter in AXBRIDGE Volume 05C Page 548. As you can see it states the Mothers maiden name, not Binding but STAPLE which seemed strange. Probably you would have to order a certificate to confirm this is your Emma Porter as an error may have been made. Lynn


  3. Hi Lynn, Emma was born 1853 in Bleadon, Baptised Feb 1854 St Peter & St Pauls Bleadon. She married in 1879 John Watts and passed away in 1932 in Weston Super Mare. Her Mother died in 1839 and her Father then remarried in 1840 Mary Goyns. A year later he was killed in a building site accident in Weston Super Mare. (Weston Mercury Jan 15th 1881)


  4. A kind Ancestry user pointed your blog out to me sometime ago but I have only just come across her message; I had rather lost interest in my family tree due to a lack of progress. George John Porter was my Great Grandfather. My Mother was the only child of Jesse Porter and therefore William Mason’s cousin. I had heard of a relative meeting their end by falling off a horse and so it’s nice to put a name to the story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Neil, Thank you so much for getting in touch, and sharing your history with me. So pleased my blog has filled in some gaps in your family history, Kind Regards Lynn


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