Anna Isabel Wells 1877-1917👩‍⚕️💙

What a interesting mix of occupations I found during the research into this family.

This is another super coloured CDV that I was given at Christmas by a lovely friend. She looks such a little sweetie, doesn’t she? So nice when there is a name on the back too!
Born as Anna Isabel Wells, known in the family as Annie, was born in the summer of 1877, registered in Hastings, Sussex, close to St Leonards on Sea where this photo was taken. I have not been able to find her Baptism record, unfortunately, nor that of her brother born the following year, also in Hastings, Sussex.

Sometimes it’s really difficult to find out information about the lives of women in a family. Annie has been no exception, so I have found the census records for 1881 when she was little, she was living at Flamstead, Hertfordshire with her family. Her father Edward was the Rector there. Then in 1891, I have drawn a blank, I do wonder if she was at school somewhere, despite following every possible lead in the census records I have had no luck. In the census of 1901, she is with her family living at the West Dean Rectory, West Dean near Salisbury. See photo below. In the 1911 census once again I have drawn a blank. It is so frustrating when you just can’t find out anything at all!

This is Dean House, West Dean near Salisbury, I believe this to be where Annie’s father was the Rector and where the family lived. Screenshot from Historic England site.

I had almost given up but then while looking through the British Newspaper Archives for more information on her father, not only does it give us some wonderful information about him, but I also came across this little nugget of information right at the very bottom of his obituary in April 1930 about Annie! :

Who had worked in the Mission Field‘ After finding this information I was lucky enough to then find her on a passenger list on Ancestry, described as a Missionary and on the ship ‘Persia’ she was going to Bombay, India. The ship had left London on the 7 Nov 1914. Going through the rest of the passenger list for this ship I found a Rev J.F.Edwards aged 39 Also a Missionary and his wife aged 43. Plus 2 more ladies described as Missionaries, a Miss E Morgan aged 25 and a Miss C E Pring aged 37 (medical missionary) the same as Annie, who was listed as Miss A I Wells aged 37. All going from London to Bombay.

I was unable to identify which Missionary Society Annie worked for after looking through many records, so I decided to look at the other passengers who were likely working with her. Just to see if I found a clue and try and see what sort of life she may have led. I was unable to find much about the others travelling on the same ship, but I got lucky with Miss C E Pring, she was Charlotte Eliza Pring and was born in Bristol and she travelled frequently between Bristol and India. She was a Medical Missionary and I found many different records of her, just a small sample here below. Firstly 2 parts of a 1901 census that details the people in the home of a George Frederic Bergin, some were missionaries, George himself was a Director of Mullers Orphanages in Clifton, Bristol and Charlotte is here as a Boarder then aged 24. As you can see she later became a fully qualified Doctor, a Medical Missionary, I’ve also found that she was providing medical care for many people in other missions in India. Charlotte also founded The Narsapur Christian Hospital (NCH) in 1915 mentioned as Dr C.E. Pring. So was Annie going India to work with Charlotte? Annie was working I believe in Bombay and would likely have gone on like Charlotte working in India for many years had she not died in 1917, did she contract some type of disease from her travels? She died at home in West Dean. As for Charlotte E Pring as you can see she died in India on the 1 Feb 1953 aged 77, the last time I found her visiting Bristol was in 1947 aged 70.

No indication on here after Annie’s death of her association with Missionary Work at all as she left all her money to her Mum.

Annie’s parents were Edward Wells (7th) 17 Oct 1853-4 April 1930 (he was a Vicar) and Anna Maria (Glossop) 2 Feb 1852-16 Jun 1944. The couple had married in July 1876, registered in Brentford, Middlesex.

Just look at that, confirmation from Crockford’s Clerical Directories records on Ancestry that the family were living in St Leonard’s On Sea 1877-79 just when the beautiful photo of Annie was taken.

Annie had four brothers and one sister:
1) Edward Glossop Wells was born on 13 October 1878 in Hastings, Sussex, he married Lucy Dorothy Stevens on 12 May 1914 in Farnham, Surrey. They had four children during their marriage, one of their two sons, the Reverend Stephen Glossop Wells (1922-2005) was the vicar of St Peter’s, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. Edward had studied at Oxford and became a vicar of Overton, Hampshire. In WW1 Edward was awarded the Military Cross and two bars for bravery under fire whilst an army chaplain.  He died on 19 March 1952 at the age of 73.

1918 Newspaper report Above
Edward’s details found on Crockford’s Clerical Directories via Ancestry, a fantastic resource.

2) Wilfred Wood Wells was born on 4 August 1881 in Flamstead, Hertfordshire. He married Emily Mary Sutton Flack on 13 December 1906 in Westminster, Middlesex. They had two children during their marriage. Wilfred was a Surgeon/General Practitioner. He died on 12 July 1973 in Cardiff, Glamorgan, at the age of 91.

Super information here on Wilfred’s medical history from Ancestry ‘UK & Ireland, Medical Directories.

3) Leonard St Alban Wells was born in 1883 in Flamstead, Hertfordshire. He married Mary Ann McKintosh in April 1917 in Salisbury, Wiltshire. They had five children during their marriage. He died on 12 August 1935 in West Dean, Wiltshire, at the age of 52, and was buried there.

Wonderful information, again from the Crockford’s Clerical Directories

4) Ursula Hilda Mary Wells was born on 20 May 1890 in Dean, Hampshire. On the 1939 Register she states that she was an Honorary Church Worker & Author. I’ve not found anything she wrote as yet? She died on 23 November 1943 at the age of 53. Lastly their 5th child was Hermann Theodore Wells was born on 10 January 1895 in Dean, Hampshire. He died of pneumonia on 2 April 1916 in France at the age of 21, and was buried there at the Sainte Marie Cemetery, Le Havre, France.

This information from the ‘UK, Commonwealth War Graves, 1914-1921 and 1939-1947’ set of records on Ancestry.

As usual I thought I would take a look at the Ancestors, I decided on just the first four branches to look through, surnames WELLS, WATKINS, GLOSSOP and POWNALL.

As you can see from the tree I have for the family of Annie on Ancestry I found more old photos from Public Trees, so lucky to be able to see faces.

Each branch of this family is really interesting! But here’s just a little information about those I have chosen:

WELLS. Because Annie’s father was one of so many Edward’s in the Wells family I have numbered them (see tree above) so I didn’t get them mixed up! So on the family tree I have Annie’s father as Edward Wells 7th and her Grandfather Edward Wells the 6th, 1821-1910. Looking at Edward 6th I saw on the 1861 census he and his family were living in Wallingford, Berkshire and his occupation was described as a Magistrate and a Brewer Master employing 28 Men and 2 Boys. That set me researching just one of the many Breweries in Wallingford. I found lots and lots of information online about the Wells Brewery established likely in 1720 in Goldsmith’s Lane, Wallingford, Berkshire by Edward Wells 1st, 1679-1749. Edward and his descendants, became the main Brewers in Wallingford through the ages, owning most of the Ale house and pubs, almost 40 of them. The Wells Brewery eventually sold out to Ushers Brewery in the late 1920’s. Several reports state what good employers they were, having houses in the high street for their managers and other homes for the Draymen who drove the horse drawn drays delivering their beer. At some point one of the Edward Wells bought a magnificent family home in the high street, now known as Wallingford House, see photo above. His family had lived in Wallingford since the early 18th century. He became a banker and brewer, and an alderman of the town. His brother Thomas Frederick Wells (1837–1907) was also an alderman of the town, and served 4 times as its mayor. The tall chimneys of their family business, the Wallingford Brewery, dominated the town’s skyline. There is not much of the brewery left to see now but I found this image with the brewery behind.

Photo above found on an article in The Herald on 6 Dec 2017 by Judy Dewey:

If the WELLS are your family there are many many pages of Family History dates etc on the Wells Family, definitely worth a look if you are researching them, here’s the direct link:

GLOSSOP. Annie’s Great Grandfather was the Vicar of Isleworth, Middlesex and her Grandfather was a Magistrate and a Barrister (Non practicing) Her Grandparents below had 12 children that I have found, one being her mother Anna Maria Glossop.

A Great Website I found lots of information on is PeopleGen with lots all about Old Hounslow Families and much more, here’s the link to the Glossop’s Family:

One of Annie’s uncle’s, her mother’s brother Walter Herbert Newland Glossop was born 8 JUL 1864 in Twickenham, Middlesex, England, (the son of Francis Henry Newland Glossop and Ann Fish Pownall) he married in Canada on 1 Dec 1913 to Margaret Harriet Buist (known as Daisy and was born in Perth, Scotland) 1880-1946. They lived in Canada and had a Fruit Farm in Rock Creek, Yale, BC. He joined the Suffolk Regiment from the Militia in 1885. He retired in 1905. Then served with special reserve till 1910. Retired as a Major and Hon Lieut Col. Joined Canada Expeditionary Force on 21 April 1916, passed fit. In the 225th Battn C.E.F. I’ve linked all these sources on the family tree on Ancestry. He died in the Daughters of the Empire Hospital, Hyde Park Place, he had Phlebitis in his right leg. They had 2 children Jean Margaret Mildred Glossop b1916 and Francis Walter Andrew Glossop b1917. I have added all his details to the Wartime Memories Project with ref to him dying in the above Hospital:

This is another Website I came across while researching the Glossop family and definitely worth a look, giving you more information about the Family and Silver Hall where they lived:

Now to POWNALL. The obituary in The Times, Friday April 9th 1880 of John George Henry Pownall , Annie’s other Great Grandfather on her mother’s side. He was a Newspaper proprietor, Magistrate and Abolitionist : ‘Yesterday, Mr Henry Pownall, for a quarter of a century Chairman of the Middlesex Bench of Magistrates, closed a long and honourable life.  He was born on 2nd Sept 1792, so he was in his 88th year.  He was early connected with the religious and philanthropic movements of the first half of the present century as a member of the committees of the Bible Society, The Church Missionary Society, The Mendicity Society, and the Anti-Slavery Society;  and if may be mentioned particularly that he was the mover of the resolution passed at a public meeting at Freemasons Hall in July 1829, under the presidency of William Wilberforce, demanding that a day should be fixed after which all children born of slaves in the British Dominions should be free.  He was also early an active assistant of the late Peter Herve in establishing the National Benevolent Institution;  and in conjunction with the late Sir Thomas Baring and Sir Robert Harry Inglis, he originated the society for the erection of Exeter Hall.  He gave an energetic and liberal support towards the erection of churches and schools throughout South West Middlesex, especially at Hounslow, Twickenham and Turnham Green.  In politics he was a staunch supporter of conservative principals.  In 1834 he stood in the Conservative interest for Finsbury, and was returned second on the poll, which was headed by the late Thomas S. Duncombe.  In 1837 he stood for Middlesex in conjunction with Capt Wood.  On this occasion the late Joseph Hume was thrown out and Mr Pownell was also unsuccessful.  He did not again come forward for parliament but he rendered long and valuable services as a county magistrate, which were recognised by his brother justices placing his full length portrait in the Sessions House.  He made the arrangements by which the attempt to rescue the Fenian prisioners, Burke and Casey, from the House of Detention, were defeated.  For this he received the thanks of both the Home Office and of the Court of Quarter Sessions; and this court again marked their regard for him on his retirement from the chairmanship in 1870, after re-election for 26 years, by the presentation of a service of plate.  At the time of his death he was the senior treasurer of the Corporation of the Sons for the Clergy, having been for upwards of 40 years one of the governors  – an office to which he was appointed mainly through the influence of Bishop Blomfield, and which he was enabled to render most efficient service in augmenting the annual income available for the relief of distressed clergy.  He retained to the last his generous interest in the varied work in which he had born so energetic part.  Henry Pownell married in 1817 Amelia Sophia, daughter of Mr William Waterhouse, but was left a widower 20 years ago’. 

A little of Henry’s family history was also included in this Obituary from the Illustrated London News (Posted on Ancestry on 11 May 2007 by griffinb1234) ‘Illustrated London News April 17th 1880 Henry Pownell Esq, JP and DL formerly and upwards of 26 years chairman of the Middlesex Quarter Sessions, died at his residence, 63 Russell Square, on the 8th inst in his 88th year.  He was born on 2nd Sept 1792, the son of John Pownell by Lucy Ann his wife, daughter of John Durkin Esq, grandson of Thomas Pownell, by Mary Catteral, his wife, and great grandson of Thomas Pownell of Wrexham, born in the reign of Charles II.  His active life extended over a long period‘…………….. ‘Mr Pownell married, June 13th 1816, Amelia Sophia, youngest daughter of William Waterhouse Esq and by her (who died Feb 26th 1860) had four sons, (the third, the Very Rev George Purves Pownell, was lately Dean of Perth, West Australia) and two daughters’. Obituaries and Wills are fabulous for pointing you in the direction of more family members!

Other members of the Pownall family were equally interesting, one of her Grandmother’s brothers was an Architect, Frederick Hyde Pownall. He was County Surveyor for Middlesex for about 45 years, and designed several Anglican and Roman Catholic churches in London and also Yorkshire, including these two examples below, both photos and info from Wikipedia:

WATKINS. This family was a bit trickier for me to research as looking on the Census details Isabella Watkins had been born in Dublin, Ireland. On the Irish Genealogy website I found a likely confirmation for her on Friday 29 June 1832, she was born in 1818 so this would fit with her being about 14. But apart from stating she lived at 13 Ardee Street it didn’t give me her parents names. So looking through various leads online I found this!

What a great breakthrough! Just a screenshot here above and it is a report of the marriage at TANEY of Edward eldest son of Edward Wells of Wallingford, to Isabella second daughter of Richard Watkins, Prospect House, Roebuck, Dublin. So from this I was able to find more information about her father Richard: ‘Throughout the 1800’s, with the rise of Guinness’, Dublin’s breweries either amalgamated or closed so by 1850, there were twenty breweries left, by the 1870’s, there were ten left, and by 1920, there were just four breweries including Guinness’ operating in Dublin. One of the largest breweries during this time was Watkins’ Brewery, originally founded as the Ardee Street Brewery, and later known by the title of Watkins, Jameson, Pim & Co.Ltd. A date for the foundation of the brewery is hard to ascertain, but the Irish Times, in an article on Dublin brewers (21/01/1932) reported that Watkins’ “of Ardee Street Brewery hold the record of having paid the highest excise duty of any Dublin brewer in 1766”  so its going at least that long, with the excise list naming Alderman James Taylor as the owner. By the 1820’s, the brewery at Ardee Street was the third largest in Dublin, with an output of 300 barrels per week‘ this I found on wordpress. Full article here: Dublin’s Breweries: Dated 22 May 2014. I also found this on Brewery History website: ‘From the Brewery history Society Journal number 91 Watkins was reputed to be the oldest commercial brewery in Ireland, and dates back to 1536 when the monastery on this site was closed. They held leases that dated back to 1691‘.

In Watkins Brewery
Then I had another breakthrough! I found this super snippet, reporting the death of Isabella’s Mother in 1859 this is a quick screenshot again. It says that Catherine Wood was the wife of Richard Watkins! Yay, so I at least had her parents, which was super. I also had more information about her family as it mentions her brother Matthew, see below.
This super portrait and the information below I found on the National Portrait Gallery Website, they have lots of wonderful portraits and information, well worth a look.

Sir Matthew Wood (Photo above) mentioned in this report was ‘Lord Mayor of London from 1815 to 1817 and was a Whig MP from 1817 to 1843. At the age of fourteen he was apprenticed to his uncle, a chemist and druggist in Exeter. He moved to London in 1790 where he continued in this line of trade. In 1802, he patented a colouring matter for beer and went into business with a hop merchant. As Mayor of London Wood took a lead in many city improvements, and gained popularity for the way in which he promoted resistance to repressive government measures and for his campaign against the London underworld. He laid the foundation of a new debtors’ prison in Whitecross Street, and encouraged the construction of the new London Bridge and formation of the Post Office‘.

I imagine that as Edward Wells and Isabella Watkins descended from Brewery families that must be how they met. You can find the family tree on Ancestry here, that I have compiled for them all:

I have just touched the surface of the history of these families, Annie’s Ancestors. If they are your families then you have lots to discover. We are so very lucky that we can access so much from the comfort of our own homes now aren’t we. Take care all.

Annie’s grave in St Mary’s churchyard with her family. From Find A Grave.

Till next time then………………


  1. WOW ! what a fabulous post. This family certainly has a lot of history I had to read it three times to get to grips with it,so thank you for your wonderful research Lynn. Hope all is well with you and you are keeping well and safe Have a great weekend.


  2. Hello Lynn. Thank you for this wonderful post. You touch on many of my relatives. Your Edward Wells the 6th was my great great grandfather. For those interested in learning more I can direct them to the WikiTree site – perhaps starting at A minor correction to the beginning of your post – the photograph you have of West Dean old rectory is in fact of a grand mansion in West Tytherley, some 2 miles from the Old Rectory in West Dean.
    Best wishes Gerald Wells

    Liked by 1 person

  3. To clarify. The picture is of the Old Rectory West Tytherley, not the Old Rectory West Dean where Anna Isabel Wells was brought up. Regards, Gerald

    Liked by 1 person

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