Thomas Wimble (2) Woodhurst

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Brief biography

Thomas Wimble (2) Woodhurst was born at Ore, East Sussex in 1851 [UK 1851 Census], being the presumed illegitimate son of Harriet (1) Woodhurst. The GRO reference is [Birth Index: Hastings VII 443, 1851 (March)] which, in the GRO's handwritten volume for this quarter, occurs out of sequence among the Woodhouse entries.

The 1851 Census finds him living at Ore Down, where he is named as "Thomas Woodhurst" and described as a 2-month-old grandson, born at Ore, of Harriet (1)'s widowed mother. At that time Harriet (1), also living there, was unmarried.

The 1861 Census finds him aged "10" living with Harriet (1) and her husband Thomas Morphy at Huckstepps Row in Rye. He is named there as "Thomas Morphy".

The 1871 Census finds him unmarried at age "23" living in Fancy Street, Folkestone in Kent and occupied as a labourer.

The 1881 Census finds him living at North Row in Ore as a 30-year-old brick-maker with his first partner Emma (nee) Argar. No GRO reference has been found to a marriage between them. She is described as aged "31" and born in Stelling, Kent. Also present were their son Ernest Edmund aged "2" and Emma's niece Medora Argar aged "3", both born in Ore.

Emma's age was under-cited in the 1881 census. She was actually born in 1842 [Birth Index: Elham 5 142, 1842 (Sept) - indexed under "Argor"], to parents William Argar and his wife Elisa (nee Clayson) who had married at Canterbury St. Mildred in 1839 [Marriage Index: Canterbury 5 88, 1839 (March)]. A relative reports that Emma was born at Dawlton Farm in Whatsole Street, Elmsted. The 1861 Census finds her at age "19" living with her parents in Wheelbarrow Road, Lyminge in Kent [PRO Ref: RG9 Piece 553 Folio 37 Page 6]. This record confirms her birthplace as Elmsted, about 2 miles south-west of Stelling. Among her siblings was her sister Elizabeth ("Leezet") aged "5" and born in Saltwood, Kent. In 1878 Medora was born as the illegimate daughter of Elizabeth [Birth Index: Hastings 2b 13, 1878 (Sept)]. In 1881 Elizabeth was living as a servant at 49, Havelock Road in Holy Trinity, Hastings [PRO Ref: RG11 Piece 1026 Folio 92 Page 21].

The 1891 Census finds Thomas still living at North Row with Emma and Ernest Edmund. His occupation was bricklayer's labourer. Emma's age is given here as "44". Meanwhile, her sister Elizabeth (now "Lezett") was still unmarried and living as a housekeeper at Old Chapel Farm in Brabourne, Kent in the household of an unmarried labourer Henry Inge, together with Medora aged "13" and an illegimate son Ernest Argar aged "8" and born at Sellindge, about 3 miles south of Brabourne. It is not yet known who fathered either of Elizabeth's children. In 1900 she married as "Lisette" to Frederick Edward Gardener [Marriage Index: Elham 2a 2289, 1900 (Dec)].

Emma died aged "47" in 1894 [Death Index: Hastings 2b 8, 1894 (Dec)]. Her true age was 52.

In 1896 Thomas remarried to a widow Emma (nee Geal) Carley [Marriage Index: Hastings 2b 81, 1896 (June)]. She was born in Hooe, Sussex around 1840-41 and in 1863 had married Charles Carley, born in Herstmonceux around 1837 [Marriage Index: Battle 2b 75, 1863 (Sept)]. She was christened at Hooe on January 24th 1841 [IGI: Batch K148471]. She was probably illegitimate since the latter record names her mother as Elizabeth "Geil" but her father as Robert Tapp. The 1861 Census finds her at age "20" living in Hooe in the household of a cordwainer Thomas Morris where she was employed as a general servant. The 1891 Census finds her with Charles and several of their children living at St. Mary in the Castle, Hastings. Charles died at a cited age of "53" - but more accurately about 56 - in 1893 [Death Index: Hastings 2b 19, 1893 (Sept)].

In 1898 Medora Argar married Herbert Blackmore [Marriage Index: Eastbourne 2b 123, 1898 (June)]. Herbert died aged "27" in 1900 [Death Index: Eastbourne 2b 43, 1900 (Sept)]. The 1901 Census finds Medora widowed and living as a housekeeper with her brother Ernest - now a farm labourer - at Fiddling Cottage in Brabourne. On April 12th 1902 she remarried to Daniel Down Andrews [Marriage Index: E. Ashford 2a 1549, 1902 (June)]. He was born at Sellindge in 1870 [Birth Index: Elham 2a 884, 1870 (Sept)] to parents William and Hannah Andrews and first married Frances Edith Gotts [Marriage Index: Maidstone 2a 1571, 1899 (June)]. Frances Edith died very shortly afterwards aged "21" [Death Index: Maidstone 2a 523, 1899 (Sept)].

The 1901 Census finds Thomas at North Row with his new wife Emma, aged "52" (but actually about 60), and son Ernest Edmund. He was working as a cycle repairer, on his own account at home.

It appears that soon afterwards he left Emma and took up with a third partner Clara Pollon (nee) Elam. She was born in 1878 [Birth Index: St. Giles 1b 613, 1878 (Dec)] and was therefore 27 years younger than him. Clara was the last of four children born to Thomas Elam and his wife Josephine, her siblings being Thomas Pollon Elam, Herbert Pollon Elam and Lillian Pollon Elam [Elam surname research published by Norma Neill of Doncaster]. The 1881 Census finds this Elam family living at 72, Southampton Row in Bloomsbury, London. The 1901 Census finds Clara living with just her widowed father and sister Lillian at 21, Percy Road in Hammersmith. Clara's age is given as 22 and her occupation as book keeper. Her father, aged 71 and born in Marylebone, was a retired ropemaker.

Thomas and Clara produced three children over the period 1905-1917. They were born variously at Uxbridge in Middlesex and Middlesbrough in Yorkshire North Riding (now Cleveland).

In 1916 his legal wife Emma (nee Geal), still bearing the Woodhurst surname, died aged "76" [Death Index: Hastings 2b 50, 1916 (Sept)].

In 1927 he and Clara finally decided to marry. Their marriage certificate [Marriage Index: Middlesbro' 9d 1358, 1927 (Dec)] states that they married at the Middlesbrough Register Office on December 8th 1927. He is described as a widower and cycle dealer aged 76 residing at 8, Percy Street, and she as a spinster aged 49 residing at the same address. His father is not named. Her father is named as Thomas Elam, a (deceased) general dealer. The witnesses were E.A. Birmingham and A.H. Brown, whose connections are unknown.

He died aged 85 around early 1936 [Death Index: Middlesbro' 9d 901, 1936 (March)], and Clara died thirty years later aged 87 [Death Index: Middlesbro 1b 723, 1966 (June)].

His child by Emma Argar

  1. Ernest Edmund Woodhurst

His children by Emma Geal (or Geil)

  1. apparently none ...

His children by Clara Pollon Elam

  1. Ivy Lilian Woodhurst
  2. Charles Elam Woodhurst
  3. Winifred May Woodhurst