I opened a new box in my study for scanning and was surprised to see that the photos in it were ones I had found back in spring 2016. We were at the fleamarket at the Royal Bath and West showground and I started to go through this large cardboard box that was full of old photos, my husband asked the seller how much she wanted for the whole box! So we did a deal. and I ended up with two carrier bags full of photos. The ones in this small storage box are just part of that job lot. A few had names, so I scanned those first and as I then wondered who they were I had to stop scanning and started researching, as you do if you’re me.
Laying them all out on my desk the areas I had were Hungerford, Berkshire, Bracknell, Berkshire, Camberley, Surrey (close to Bracknell, Berkshire) and High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire (again very close to Berkshire).
Uncle Frank and Auntie Amy Proutem. So first I looked for the most unusual surname Proutem and looking for a marriage between Frank Proutem and marriage to Amy, checking through the possibilities for the closest to WW1 area nearest to Berkshire & I found one in 1919 in Easthampstead, Berkshire, with a slightly different surname ending in N & not M, so Prouten. This Amy’s surname is Scaffold. So that’s a good start.
Later in my research, I was able to fill in more details about Frank and Amy, they were Frank Lawson Prouten 1892-1985 Amy Violet Scaffold 1893-1971 and here is his WW1 record, he was in the Army Service Corps, and also Amy’s birth certificate, a lot of certificates have been put on a public tree on Ancestry of the Scaffold family, really interesting, they haven’t logged in for a long time but I will send them a message pointing them towards my Blog. Amazing what you can find if you search thoroughly on all your Ancestry links.
Next, I looked for John Henry Field, above, a common name, but looking for a marriage to a Florence Ada again I looked for Berkshire area even though the photo was taken in High Wycombe and bingo I found one in 1899 married also in Easthampstead, Berkshire and double bingo this Florence Ada’s surname was also Scaffold.
So I started a tree for this family starting with John Henry Field as I had more Field names mentioned on the photos. After adding his wife Florence and looking at both their families I realised that what I suspected was correct that Florence and Amy Scaffold were sisters, what a great start to the tree. I was able to add census records for both families adding parents and siblings.
This lady below was John Henry Field’s mother born Mary Ann Douglas, a Poetess, she had married Daniel Field on 28 Mar 1868 in Chinnor, Oxfordshire. I’ve found six children of the couple Florence May 1868-1953, Minnie Douglas 1870-1953, Robert Douglas 1872-1873, Ernest Douglas 1874-1962, John Henry 1877-1858 and lastly Frederick Daniel 1878-1969. I would love to read some poems that she had written.
Below is Auntie Minie & Uncle, I’ve identified as one of John Henry Field’s sisters born Minnie Douglas Field who married James Thomas Cox in 1891 in Easthampstead, Berkshire. They had four daughters Mabel Edith Minnie 1892-1963, Daisy May 1896-1980, Sybil Kathleen 1897-1980, Florence Mary 1908-1989. In the 1911 census, the family lived at Rose Cottage, Aston, Stevenage, Herts. Thomas was a Domestic Coachman.
Minnie and James’s eldest daughter Mabel Edith Minnie was with her Grandparents in the 1901 census and then she was living with Richard Harvey and his wife Florence May (Field) (Florence was Minnie’s elder sister) in the 1911 census aged 18 years old, and after that, she seemed to stay with them all her life. Richard and Florence didn’t have any children of their own and Mabel never married, it looks like she was the child they never had, looking at their will they left everything to Mabel. Was Mabel also the owner of these photos I wonder? In the Berkshire, England, Electoral Registers, 1840-1965, in 1950 the three of them are living at the White Oak, Pincents Green, Windsor, Berkshire, a pub?
Talking of that particular 1911 census, this was Richard Harvey‘s occupation. Image below, a new occupation for me in the 1911 census? A Colporteur.
“Did you know? In 19th-century America, the word colporteur (a French borrowing meaning “peddler”) came to be used especially of door-to-door peddlers of religious books and tracts, and it has carried that specific sense into the 21st century. The word traces to the Latin prefix com- (“together”) plus the verb “portare” (“to carry”), two elements that were brought together to create “comportare” (“to bring together”). Middle French speakers tucked that word into their linguistic pack as “comporter” (“to carry” or “to peddle”), giving rise to “comporteur.” Over time, perhaps influenced by the phrase “porter à col” (“to carry on one’s back or neck”), the term’s spelling shifted to the form now used“. From https://www.merriam-webster.com/
It looks like The Christian Colportage Association for England is still operating, I didn’t know. For well over 200 years, more here: https://www.evangelical-times.org/news/colportage-society/
Below is a cabinet card photo of Uncle Richard and Auntie May. They are Richard Harvey 1861-1959 and Florence May Field 1868-1953. Did Mabel write these captions?
Next below is Uncle Ernest and Auntie Agnes.
Below is Uncle Ernest and Auntie Agnes again but this time in their fabulous car! All different writing, same family? I’m not sure yet.
What a super-duper photo and although it’s in a state I still absolutely love it! Have darkened a little to be able to see the people a bit better. But is it the same family? Different writing so I’m not sure yet.
Oh yes, it definitely is the same family, it wasn’t until I started adding to the initial branches of the family that I found Ernest Douglas Field (he was one of John Henry Field’s brothers) 1874-1962 he had married in 1898, once again in Easthampstead, Berkshire to a lady by the name of Rose Agnes Farley 1876-1968. Not only was Ernest described as a ‘Carriage and Motor Building and Ironmonger’ in the 1911 census, but looking at the various records, all through his life he was working with cars, but the couple also had eight sons! Hence the comment on the photo ‘With some of the boys’ Douglas Albert 1900-1995. Cyril Wallace 1902-1972. Norman Henry Ernest 1904-1906 (just 17 months old) Edgar Edward 1905-1977. Leonard Robert 1907-1947. Claude Ernest 1912-1976. then lastly they had Twins, both boys! Clement John 1913-Jul Q 1995 and Maurice Henry 1913-Jan Q 1995.
It’s such an interesting family to research, as every family is I find. There are lots more people in the family I could have written about, some of the family travelled to Canada, to live and to visit. Even ordinary families have such interesting lives when you look at the records. Are these your family? Are they your Ancestors? Please get in touch if you know more about them or are a descendant?
Here’s the link to the small public tree I have compiled on Ancestry: https://www.ancestry.co.uk/family-tree/tree/181179245/family?cfpid=212350800336&fpid=212351088150
These two small photos below are another with different writing on the back, so again I’m not sure if they are the same family.
I haven’t got these names above as yet on my small tree of the family, but someone may know of them.
Are any of these families your Ancestors? Do you have them on your family tree? Please get in touch if you have any information. You can always email me at email@example.com
Till next time then……..
Oh I’d love to read Ma Douglas’ poems too!
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Do hope they weren’t thrown away!