William CHRISTOPHER (1800 - 1853)
Agricultural Labourer of Dorset

(Surname variations encountered: Christophers, Christefors, Christever, Christover, Cristever)

©Compiled by Michael Russell OPC for Fordington June 2017


St Mary's Church Morden in Dorset
© 2005 Limited edition print owned by Michael Russell FIPD
STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Link to House of CHRISTOPHER Master File


William Christopher was the eldest son of George and Jane Christopher and was born in Wareham in Dorset but baptised in the church of Lytchett Minster shown above on 7th December 1800. He was eventually to create his own dynasty of Christopher Families in Dorset.

DORSET (1800-1826):

In 1805, the year the battle of Trafalgar took place and when George III had been on the throne for over 45 years, the whole family including William now aged 5, moved just under 4 miles to live in the tranquil rural parish of East Morden where his father’s brother James Christopher (1764-1847) was already working as an agricultural labourer on a local farm. When William was nine years old we would have found him standing in St Mary’s church in Morden which in 1809 looked very much as depicted in the above sketch of the church. With him was the rest of his family all gathered together for the wedding of James Christopher to Jane Stickland (1775-1860). Although William was only nine he already had six siblings, the youngest, his sister Sarah, was only 6 months old and had been christened at St Mary's. This was James 2nd marriage and although we do not know what happened to his son Andrew from his first marriage certainly his 8 year old daughter Rebecca Christopher (1801-1872) would also have been there. The Stickland family had lived in the area for generations and Jane brought with her 4 existing children, the eldest of which was called Isabella STICKLAND (1798-1882) who had been baptised in the font (picture right) at St Mary's church on 21st January 1798. She would eventually become William's wife. The youngest of her four children, also named Jane, was undoubtedly a child of James and barely 3 months old. Quite a crown without the normal congregation. As explained in his father's biography the two families remained close with William and Isabella sharing much of their childhood together.

When Isabella was 21 years old she gave birth to an illegitimate baby girl whom she also had christened in St Mary's church on 12th September 1819 with the name of Mereb Stickland. Merab is a very unusual Christian name and is biblical in origin. In the bible Merab was the eldest of two daughters of King Saul and he betrothed her to David after his victory over Goliath. Merab did not however enter heartily into this arrangement and was at length given to Adriel of Abel-Meholah a town in Jordan. In Hebrew her name means 'he that fights'. It was not the first time the name was used in the Stickland Family as she had a cousin (twice removed) called Merab Stickland (1799-1867) who had been baptised in the same font on 3rd Nov 1799. She also may well have been present with other members of the Stickland family as she did not leave Morden until the 1830's.

Marriage of William CHRISTOPHER to Isabella STICKLAND (1822):


Lytchett Minster Church (no dedication)

After their marriage they lived in 'Bulbury Lane' a part of the tiny hamlet of 'Slepe' within the parish of Lytchett Minster. In 1822 William and Isabella decided to get married and banns for their marriage were read out at services held in Lytchett Minster church on three consecutive Sundays on April 14th & 28th, and May 5th 1822. No impediment having being alleged they married there on Tuesday 21st of May 1822. Neither William nor Isabella were literate so they signed the register with their marks.

Ann Christopher was the first child to be born to William & Isabella after their marriage and she was duly baptised in Lytchett Minster church on 28th September 1823. William and his father were both employed as agricultural labourers on Slepe Farm and in his father's biography I have already outlined agricultural life in Dorset and the problem of low wages. Shortly after Ann’s baptism William secured a job working on 'Kesworth Farm' and he moved there with his family. Kesworth is situated a few miles from Lytchett just North East of Wareham and close to the Sandford Potteries at the junction with the old road to Morden. George Christopher was the next to arrive being born in Wareham late in 1824. Despite being born within the parish of St Martins in Wareham he was taken back to Lytchett Minster to be baptised on 23rd January 1825.

By the following year employment locally was becoming very difficult to find and even when they managed to do so wages were often insufficient to keep the family from starving. His father George Christopher decided that better opportunities existed in the rapidly expanding market gardens surrounding London and with transportation available locally in Poole Harbour it seems likely that they would have worked passage on a coastal trader to London Docks. The stage coach system would have been far too expensive and long winded to contemplate for such a large number of people. The whole family went including William & Isabella and their three existing children. There is no evidence to suggest that George’s brother James and his family ever left Dorset.
ARRIVAL in LONDON (1826):

The family settled initially at Hayes a sub district of Uxbridge in Middlesex situated right next to the Grand Union Canal which had been dug through the south western corner of the parish in 1796. If the family arrived in London Docks via a coastal trader from Wareham it's easy to see how they could also have gained passage up the river and canal to Hayes. In 1814 over 1,000 acres of it's open fields had been enclosed and here sat many market gardens tasked with meeting the ever increasing demand for food from the growing population in the city centre. Being situated on the Grand union Canal it also had a cheap fast means of moving this produce down the Canal to where it meets the Thames at Kew Gardens and onto Westminster and Holborn up to the main trading market of Covent Garden.

This expansion in trade created an opportunity for London's businessmen and in 1828 The Whig Politician John Russell petitioned for a government bill “for the improvement and regulation of "Covent Garden Market”. The bill allowed the duke to knock down the Piazza’s ramshackle stalls, erect a proper market building and institute a regulated system of rents. The much improved and expanded market opened for business in May 1830 (see picture left).

We know the family was still living in the Hayes area throughout this period as William and Isabella continued to produce children, with the infamous Betsy Christopher being born at Hayes on 21st July 1826 and baptised in the parish church of St Mary the Virgin on 3rd Sep 1826. Betsy was followed by another daughter Jane Christopher also baptised there on 13th Jan 1828 and a son John Christopher baptised at St John the Baptists Church at Hillingdon (situated only a couple of miles north-west of Hayes) on 25th April 1830.

Whilst the family was thus gradually coming to terms with life in the environs of London events back in Dorset were coming to a head. To help understand what drove migration of this branch of the Christopher Family out of Dorset and the rather surprising decision of William & Isabella to return in 1831 I have provided some historical background:-
    The SWING RIOTS of 1830:
    Discontent at low wages for agricultural labourers finally boiled over in the swing riots of 1830 when there was a particularly poor harvest and many labourers were starving. The riots seem to have started in Kent, Surrey and Sussex but spread rapidly into Hampshire and Dorset where wages were amongst the lowest paid anywhere in England.

    Their demand was for field labourers to be paid half a crown a day [25p] and they expressed their anger by burning hayricks and smashing the new steam driven threshing machines. George IV also died in Windsor on 26th June 1830 surrounded by a display of opulence that was hard for the common layman to bear. In July an uprising in France against the King led to the abdication of Charles X and on 29th of that month he fled to England landing at Poole in Dorset and staying for a short time at Lulworth Castle.

    Amongst such unrest the local assizes were held in Dorchester, and in December 1830 at a special hearing, 55 men appeared in court arising from the disturbances in the district. Disturbances had started with the gathering of labourers at Winterbourne Kingston and Bere Regis, where they demanded an increase in wages on 22nd Nov 1830. The worst of the rioting that followed, and led to arrests and prosecutions, occurred between the 24th and 30th November when many machines were destroyed over a wide area including the parishes of Sixpenny Handley, Milbourne St Andrew, Boveridge, Wolland, Pulham, Buckland Newton, Mappowder, East Stower, and and Stower Provost. There were also arson attacks at Stinsford and Piddletown on the 25th November and at Bere Regis and Witchampton on the 2nd December.

    Six death sentences were initially handed out, but after public protest, these were changed to transportation. In all thirteen of the 55 men indicted were transported to Australia. Harsh treatment however was never going to address the issue of starvation and for a time landowners and those in charge must have been constantly fearful that Revolution would spread to England.

    A poor Law commission Report of 1833 shows that there were 1,976 trials Nationally and although 252 people were sentenced to death only 19 were actually executed (although one of these was a boy of 12) the rest being commuted to transportation. This swelled the total number of transportations resulting from the riots to 505 with a further 644 imprisoned. Change was therefore inevitable, and with William IV on the throne and considered to be a more liberal monarch, gathered pace. There were some 220 offences for which the death penalty could be imposed and although it was not often exacted, because most judges had consciences and juries might refuse to convict, the iniquitous criminal code was a menace to the happiness and security of the people. Seven years before Waterloo Samuel Romilley persuaded the House of Commons to accept transportation for life, instead of hanging as the punishment for pickpockets. Other capital offences ranged from highway robbery to such curious crimes as injuring Westminster Bridge or impersonating out pensioners of Chelsea Hospital. It was in 1832 that housebreaking, sheep stealing and forgery ceased to be on the list.
RETURN to DORSET (1831):

Given the low wages, public disorder and trials held in Dorchester it is difficult to see why William and Isabella would chose this time to return. The only possible catalyst I can think of is that William's grandmother Elizabeth Christopher nee Dart (1744-1830) died at Blandford St Mary in Dorset at the beginning of 1830. Her body was returned to Morden and buried with her husband on the 6th January.

The first documentary evidence that we have of their return is the baptism of their son William Christopher at Lytchett Minster Church on 4th September 1831. We are given a brief glimpse of what life was like at this time for William & Isabella as a Mary Frampton (who was the daughter of a prosperous landowner in Dorset) recorded her thoughts in her journal and this has survived. Her entry for 5th of November 1831 states:-
    “The riots at Bristol were quieted and a sufficient force fixed there, two troops of the 3rd Dragoons returned to their headquarters at Dorchester. This morning intelligence was received that a mob from Poole were intending to attack Lord Eldron’s place at Encombe and also Corfe Castle. Mr Band's troop of Yeomanry were in consequence called out and stationed on and about the bridge at Wareham, thus effectively guarding the only approach from Poole.”
When you consider the sheer opulence at Encombe it is not surprising that this became a target for the discontented.
    The estate at Encombe was sold in 2002 to Charles McVeigh a long serving American merchant banker for £16million and still lies in 2000 acres of land. It had only changed hands 4 times in 1,100 years and was extensively remodeled in the 18th Century and remains unchanged since 1831. The house was at one time owned by John Pitt a cousin of William Pitt the Earl of Chatham. John Pitt was an MP and became mayor of Wareham in 1734. In 1806, John Pitt's son and successor, William Moreton Pitt, sold Encombe to Lord Eldon, the Lord Chancellor as referred to above. It was sold again in 2009 to James Gaggeros an airline tycoon for £20million when it came with two and a half miles of world heritage coastline. It still has 12 bedrooms and is surrounded by 60 acres of formal guardians and parkland. The property includes a swimming pool, three lakes and a Grecian style temple.
1832 also saw a particularly savage outbreak of Cholera throughout Dorset (and the rest of England resulting in over 55,000 deaths in all) which significantly affected trading through the nearby harbour at Poole. William & Isabella however seem to have shrugged off all these difficulties with Eliza Christopher being born in 1833 and baptised in Lytchett Minster on the 17th February that year. Despite the advent of the 'Swing Riots' of 1831 little effectively changed for the plight of the Agricultural Labourer which undoubtedly gave rise to the next great event in Dorset's history.

The TOLPUDDLE MARTYR's 1834:

The year after Eliza was born, on the 24th February 1834, George and James Lovelace were arrested together with several confederates in the small village of Tolpuddle. An abbreviated version of the story surrounding what became known nationally as “the Tolpuddle Martyrs” was written by Ian Maxwell and published in the Family History Magazine in July 2004 and I can do no better reproduce it below.




© Ian Maxwell Family History Magazine in July 2004

Tolpuddle today lies 11 miles west of Lytchett Minster on the A35 which leads to Dorchester and although this did not exist In 1834 it follows much of the old road system. Organford for example is 10 miles from Tolpuddle, Slepe and East Morden 9 miles, all places where Christopher Families lived. In an age when labourers thought nothing of walking 20 miles in a day, and when there still existed a network of carters who willing took on passengers for local news and company on the journey this was well within reach. Much of this traffic was being drawn to Dorchester market and would go along this route passing through Bere Regis only 3.4 miles from Tolpuddle. Although a coach ran along this route from Dorchester to Poole every Tuesday and to Wareham every Saturday these were for paying passengers and not used by agricultural labourers who had access to this free network of local transport. William would certainly therefore have been aware, and given his own parents forced exodus from Dorset because of low wages and his own situation, sympathetic to this group of local agricultural workers trying to improve wages in the area by withdrawing their labour.

As stated in the article on 21st April 1834 there was a huge demonstration at Copenhagen Fields in London against the trial and verdicts metered out to the Tolpuddle Martyrs, but the sentences were nevertheless carried out. As 35,000 people attended that rally I have always wondered whether George & Jane and the rest of the family were present in London to lend their support.

In Dorset, Isabella gave birth to their ninth child and he was christened James Christopher being baptised in the church at Lytchett Minster on 8th June 1834.

Voyages to Australia took a long time in those days and the Tolpuddle Martyrs were still en route, only arriving in Sydney on 17th August. In fact the voyage of George Loveless was delayed because of his ill health and he did not arrive in Tasmania until 4th September 1834.

The following year tragedy struck directly at the Christopher family with the death of Williams mother Jane Christopher on 17th March 1835 in Isleworth. Clearly there was communication between William and his father George Christopher as the latter, already 69 year old, decided to return with his youngest son Richard and swell the family group even further.

William & Isabella continued to add to their family with another trip to Lytchett Minster church on 17th January 1836 to baptise their latest child as Joseph Christopher

Following the appointment of Lord John Russell as Home Secretary the Tolpuddle Martyrs were eventually pardoned later that year. George Lovelace was the first to return as a steerage passenger on the “Eveline” arriving back in London on 13th June 1837. Seven days later William IV died and Queen Victoria ascended to the throne although her Coronation was not until 28th June the following year.

Undeterred William & Isabella had a further child whom they had christened Thomas Christopher in Lytchett Minster on 11th December 1837.

The remaining Tolpuddle Martyrs returned on the “John Barry” which docked at Plymouth, just down the coast, on 17th March 1838. Nine days later they arrived back in Dorchester to a rapturous reception on their way back to Tolpuddle.

Not satisfied with a football team, William added to the subs bench with the birth of Isabella Christopher. The vicar, who must by now have been keeping a space free in his baptismal calendar, did the honours on 16th February 1840.

On 6th June 1841 the first ever Census [to record people] was taken and shows them all living at Fox Hill in Lytchett. Apart from William & Isabella and 11 of their children they have a granddaughter Mary Stickland age 2 living with them. [As explained above this is Isabella’s granddaughter by Mereb]. Also present is William’s father George Christopher & his youngest brother Richard. Next door lived William Wellbat [also spelt Wheelbat] and his wife Joannah Foot together with their daughter Elizabeth. Later that same year Elizabeth Wellbat married Richard Christopher permanently cementing relationships between the two families.

William and Isabella’s last child Charles Christopher was born on 7th Oct 1842 but not baptised until the age of 12 on the 7th May 1854 when he was accompanied by the 6 year old Samuel Christopher the son of Betsy his sister. I know very little about the remainder of their lives except that they were still in Lytchett Minster in March 1851 with 10 of their children and still living next door to his brother Richard and his family..

DEATH OF WILLIAM & ISABELLA CHRISTOPHER

William Christopher was to die at the age of 52 and was buried in Lytchett Minster churchyard on 9th April 1853. He made no will and his widow does not appear to have applied for administration of his estate so he probably left her very little. He was followed fairly quickly by that of his son Thomas Christopher who was only 18 when he was buried next to his father on 19th March 1856 and their daughter Mereb who died that August in Southampton. After the death of William, Isabella moved locally to Organford where she was a housekeeper for some time and lived with her youngest son Charles and her grandson Samuel. By the 1871 Census when she was 73 years old she was living on the Morden Road as a lodger with a widow who was a nurse from Wareham called Sophia Joyner. She eventually became too old to live alone and rather than let her go into the workhouse at Longfleet like so many of her predecessors she was taken in by her daughter Eliza and moved to London. Eliza had moved to London in her youth, initially working as a servant in Stoke Newington Finsbury. She met, and when she was 40 years old, married a James Offord who was a florist and nurseryman from Hackney. They had no children and set up home at Strawberry Cottages Northwold Road Hackney in Middlesex where Isabella had joined them by 1881. Isabella was to die there the 3rd quarter of 1882.


THEIR CHILDREN:
Including Isabella's daughter Mereb Stickland William & Isabel brought up thirteen children. Despite being very poor for most of their lives and receiving no formal education they all survived into adulthood.

(1). Mereb [Merab] STICKLAND alias CHRISTOPHER (1819 - ?)
Mereb Stickland was the illegitimate child of Isabella Stickland and baptised at St Mary's church in Morden on 12th September 1819. She appears to have been named after her 1st Cousin twice removed Mereb Fleming nee Stickland (1799-1867) the daughter of George Stickland and Mary Stephens who was baptised at St Mary's Morden on 3rd Nov 1799. Mereb's mother married William Christopher in May 1822 after which she was often known locally as Mereb Christopher. Like her mother when she was 20 years old, on 30th May 1839, she gave birth to an illegitimate daughter who's birth she registered as Mary Stickland. Mary however was baptised as Mary Christopher at Lytchett Minster church on 30th June 1839. (1) Merab then left home to find work(2) and with so many younger siblings at home it was easy to leave Mary with William & Isabella to be brought up as one of their own children. In the 6th June 1841 census(3) her daughter is correctly recorded as Mary Stickland aged 2 years by which time William & Isabella had another 1 year old daughter making 11 children of their own in the house together with William's father George and his younger brother Richard. I have not however found any further reference to Mereb but her daughter seems to have followed her aunt Eliza Christopher (1833-1913) going into domestic service with her by 1861 in Stoke Newington in London.
    (1.1) Mary Stickland alias Christopher (1839-1893) she was probably living with her aunt Eliza Christopher in Stoke Newington until she met Daniel Hitching (1843-1911). They married at St John the Evangelist's Church in Brixton in Lambeth on 14th Oct 1865 when Mary was 22 years old and she states on the certificate that her father was Thomas Christopher a labourer. This still need investigation as there is no Mary Christopher born in either Lytchett Minster or Lytchett Matravers or anywhere else in Dorset as far as I can see anywhere close to 1839. The two witnesses to the wedding were Samuel Hitching who was Daniel's closest brother and the above Eliza Christopher. After marriage they continued to live in Stoke Newington until about 1877 when they moved to Tunbridge Wells. By 1878 they had settled back in Dorset at Broadstone and by 1880 Daniel was running a substantial building contractors business at Zingaria Villas in Parkstone where he employed 12 men. The April 1881 Census shows that they were also employing Bessey Christopher (1865-1948) as a household servant to help Mary look after their six children. Mary died at Zingaria Villas on 8th Sep 1893 by which time the business seems to be less successful. Mary left a very modest estate of just over £25 to her busband. Daniel later remarried in Parkstone on 9th June 1898 to Emily Rose (1842-1907) and they moved to Hampshire to live where he became the innkeeper at 'The Roll Call' in the village of Hound in southern part of the County. When Emily died in 1907 he moved to Wimbledon taking lodgings in 1911 at 117 Gladstone Road where he died in July that year.
(2). Ann CHRISTOPHER (1823-1879)

Ann Christopher was baptised at the parish church in Lytchett Minster on 20th Sep 1823 when her parents were living at Bulbury lane in the hamlet of Slepe within Lytchett Minster Parish. She remained a spinster for many years living at home with her parents. Like all of her siblings she worked in the fields with her father as an agricultural labourer but her mother also taught her to cook and help look after her younger siblings from a young age. She went to Hayes in London with her parents in 1826 but returned to Dorset in 1831. We know Ann was illiterate as she acted as one of the witnesses at her brother George Christopher's wedding to Sarah Birt on 21st June 1847 when she was 24 years old and again at the marriage of her brother William to Hannah Edwards at Lytchett Minster on 1st May 1854. On both occasions she signed the register with her mark.

By April 1861 she was being employed as a cook to William Ingram, who ran a farm of 600 acres in the hamlet of Mapperton in the parish of Almer. This is a small village on the Dorchester to Wimborne Road 6 miles west of Wimborne and 6 miles south east of Blandford. William Ingram and his 2 younger brothers were bachelors and they employed 20 men and 6 boys to help them run the farm. Ann now aged 39 was the cook, the only other females being Jane Ingram the three brothers 19 year old sister, and Jane Marsh the 45 year old house maid. No doubt she earned her keep.

Whilst living in Almer she met the widower John Sansom (1810-1871) a shepherd by trade and shortly after the census in August 1861 she married him in St Mary's church. Unfortunately we do not have access to the parish marriage register but the banns for their marriage were read in St Mary's on the 3 consecutive Sundays of 14th; 21st and 28th July(5). This was John's third marriage having had 3 children by his first wife and six by his second he added another two with Ann.(6) These were John Sansom born 22nd Feb 1863 and William born 1st Oct 1865 both at Mapperton. Both John and Ann were buried at Almer, John on 13th Oct 1871 and Ann on 28th Sep 1879.

(3). George CHRISTOPHER (1825-1893)

Despite being born within the parish of St Martins in Wareham he was taken back to Lytchett Minster to be baptised in the same font as his father on 23rd January 1825. He also went to Hayes in London with her parents in 1826 and returned to Dorset in 1831. Like Ann he was illiterate signing the marriage register at Corfe Mullen with his mark when he was a witness at his younger sister Jane's marriage to Robert Ballam on 16th Aug 1846. Like his father an agricultural labourer he married the following year in Lytchett Minster to Sarah Birt on 21st June 1847. Sarah Birt [Burt] (1830-1900) was baptised at the age of 7 (along with her 11 year old sister Catherine) at nearby Lytchett Matravers on 2nd July 1837.
    PETTY CRIME and TRANSPORTATION to AUSTRALIA - 1841
    Sarah BURT's Family: I have not particularly researched Sarah's family but it is clear that several generations were well known at the quarter sessions which dealt with misdemeanours referred to them by the local justices of the peace. Sarah's grandfather John Burt (1752-1818), a native of Sturminster Marshall in Dorset for example, was found guilty of stealing a breast and neck of mutton in September 1809 for which he served 6 weeks hard labour. In April the following year he was back again for stealing a cock turkey for which he was sentenced to two years hard labour at Dorchester gaol being discharged from prison on 30th April 1812. Sarah's father Benjamin Burt (1786-1867) who had been baptised at Sturminster Marshall on 16th Sep 1787 had obviously followed his father being accused of stealing a cross axe in 1819, but fly enough to be found not guilty. It was a fairly serious prosecution however as the Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor of Sturminster Marshall racked up £3.5s 0d in expenses to cover the cost of sending witnesses to Sherborne to appear at the quarter sessions. Benjamin married Caroline Gooby (1794-1839) at Sturminster on 6th March 1820 and they left Sturminster, much to the relief of the churchwardens, to settle in Lytchett Matravers. For some reason Caroline used the name of Anne whilst living in Lytchett. Benjamin and Anne (Caroline) had 4 children in the parish (1820-1825) (7) before Benjamin was again brought to court accused of stealing apples. He was admitted to Dorchester Gaol on 1st Oct 1825 when he was described as being rather taller than average at 5'10" with black graying hair and hazel eyes. Interestingly he is also described as being callow (Cambridge Dictionary defines this:- as behaves in a way that shows they have little experience, confidence or judgement). I'm not sure he didn't use this to his advantage as he was again acquitted being released from gaol on 20th October 1825.

    I suspect that the Overseers of the Poor at Lytchett were by now having to support the growing family and probably discovered Caroline's false use of the name Ann. They clearly were of the same view as the Overseers at Sturminster as they applied to the local JP and obtained a removal order on 23rd March 1826 for Benjamin and Caroline Burt and their 4 children to be removed to Sturminster Marshall. The children were recorded as Thomas aged 6, Mary aged 4, Jane aged 3 and Eliza aged 11 months. If you work for a year in a parish you obtain settlement there so this was clearly too late and despite the use of a false name the Sturminster Overseers and Churchwardens won their appeal on 24th April 1826. Benjamin and Caroline (still calling herself Ann) therefore continued to have children at Lytchett Matravers (adding Catherine in 1827 and our Sarah in 1830).

    No further problems are recorded until 29th Feb 1840 when Catherine Burt aged 13 and her younger sister Sarah aged 10 were both arrested for stealing stockings and their father Benjamin and elder brother Thomas arrested for receiving them knowing them to have been stolen. Catherine and Sarah were found guilty and sentenced to 1 weeks hard labour but both Benjamin and Thomas were acquitted. Only 7 months later on 13th Oct 1840 Jane and Catherine were caught stealing a cap and pocket handkerchief. As a second offender Catherine knew she was in real trouble so gave her mother's name of Caroline hoping they would not realise that she had been before the court before. They were obviously too well known and the prison records record Caroline and Catherine as being the same person. Jane was sentenced to 7 years transportation and Catherine, despite being younger than Jane, sentenced to 10 years transportation. Their father Benjamin was finally convicted of stealing potatoes in Feb 1841 for which he served 3 months hard labour in Dorchester Gaol. On 1st April 1841 Jane and Catherine (Caroline) were placed on board the ship Rajah and sailed to Tasmania to serve their sentences. Link to more information about their voyage. Both Jane and Caroline (Catherine) were later to marry in Tasmania and their family tree with descendants can be found on ancestry.com. The day after his daughters left England for Tasmania Benjamin was released from prison having served his sentence. After their marriage Sarah's father Benjamin lived with George and Sarah Christopher at Lytchett Minster, and seems to have behaved working as an agricultural labourer as he was still with them in 1851. By 1861 however he had moved out into lodgings in Lytchett Minster and was eventually buried there aged 82 on 9th May 1867.
After marriage George continued to work on local farms as an agricultural labourer moving between Lytchett Minster and Lytchett Matravers several times as he found employment. Between 1847 and 1871 Sarah gave birth to Twelve children as listed below.

George Christopher & Sarah Burt's Children were :-
    (3.1) Henry Christopher (1847-1925) Born in 1847 at Lytchett Matravers in Dorset he was not baptised but married Elizabeth Ann Gardener (1854-1942) in the district of Brentford Essex abt Nov 1878. Elizabeth was the daughter of a sawyer by trade called Thomas Gardener by his wife Eliza. Henry and Elizabeth lived at 42 & later 46 Dale Street in Chiswick in Middlesex, Henry working for many years as a porter on the railways and was a witness at the wedding of his younger sister Mary to Philip Brady in 1885. Before April 1911 he was made head porter and they moved locally in Chiswick to live at 9 Glebe Street where they remained for the rest of their lives. Henry died abt Feb 1925 and Elizabeth Ann in Dec 1942. Children from their marriage were:-

      (3.1.1) George Edward Christopher(1854-1942) born on 5th June 1879 he was baptised at Chiswick on 13th of the same month. After spending some years as a shop assistant he joined the police force and was at the Police station in Plumstead 1919/1920. He died a bachelor in Sep 1931 at Lambeth.

      (3.1.2) Lilian Mary Christopher(1881-1964) She remained a spinster living with her mother after her fathers death at 9 Glebe Street Chiswick where she remained for the next 39 years until her death in March 1964.

      (3.1.3) Eliza Catherine Christopher (1883- aft 1911) born on 5th March she was baptised at Chiswick on 27th May 1883. She went into domestic service and was last traced aged 28 living with her parents and younger sister Maud at 9 Glebe Street in Chiswick in April 1911.

      (3.1.4) Maud Elizabeth Christopher (1889- aft 1911) born on 15th jan 1889 she was baptised at Chiswick 21st April. She also went into domestic service and was last traced aged 22 living with her parents and elder sister Eliza at 9 Glebe Street in Chiswick in April 1911.

    (3.2) Mary Christopher (1849-1895) born abt 1849 but not baptised until 1st July 1855 with her sister Janet. At the age of 21 she was a general domestic servant working in Hackney for an Inspector of the Corporation of London called John Albert Smith and his wife Mary Isabella. She learnt to cook and by 1881 she was one of 5 servants employed in the much bigger house of Thomas A De la Rue a manufacturer of Fancy Goods who lived at 8 Upper Wimpole Street off Cavendish Square in Marylebone. Mary married when she was 36 years old to a lawyer's clerk named Philip Joseph Francis Brady on 9th Apr 1885. They had 3 children; Catherine Sarah Brady born 1st qtr 1886 St Pancras; Jessie Frances Brady born there 3rd qtr 1887 and Philip Christopher Brady born 3rd qtr 1889. Mary Brady nee Christopher died at the age of 47 in the St Pancras district of London abt Nov 1895. Although I have not located Philips death he must also have died about then as all three children become orphaned. In the 1901 Census returns Catherine aged 15 is a kitchen maid at a Convent school on Brixton Hill, Jessie aged 12 has been taken in by Dr Barnado's and sent to Nazareth House in Prittlewell in Essex. She is still there in 1911 recorded as an inmate but also employed by Nazareth House as a portress?. As a complete aside I know that in the 1950's Dr Barnado's had a large orphanage called Nazareth House not far from Prittlewell (which is close to Southend) based in a large house in its own grounds at Shoeburyness, a little further towards the mouth of the river Thames, where I grew up. The orphanage was greatly respected then and I often saw them walk the young children down the road to the beach where they played in front of the beach huts and had ice cream before playing games on the large open grass park along the front all the way up to the coastguard station. Philip Christopher Brady in 1901 aged 12 went to the Industrial School at Cannington in Somerset, and in 1903 joined the Army Soldier 7027. I known nothing else about their lives however.

    (3.3) William Christopher (1851-1852) bap Lytchett Minster 28th Dec 1851 and buried there 24th July 1852

    (3.4) George Christopher (1853-1874) bap Lytchett Minster 7th Aug 1853 worked with his father as an agricultural labourer and died aged 21 a bachelor being buried at Lytchett Minster 30th Sep 1874

    (3.5) Janett Christopher (1855-1874) bap with her sister Mary 1st July 1855, worked with her father as a labourer died a spinster aged 19 being buried Lytchett Minster 19th June 1874

    (3.6) Tom Christopher (1857-1935) born Lytchett Minster 29th Aug 1857 and bap there 4th Apr 1858; he married at Poole Registry office on 19th Jan 1881 to Mary Ann Burden (1860-1931). He worked as a brickyard labourer for many years and they had 1 son and 7 daughters - see below. Mary Ann died at the age of 70 being buried at Lytchett Minster on 24th Feb 1931. She was joined by Tom Christopher who died on 7th June 1935 aged 77 being buried at Lytchett Minster on 12th of that month. Children from their marriage were:-

      (3.6 1) Kate Christopher (1881-1964) was baptised at Hamworthy in Dorset on Christmas day 1881. As a young adult she went into domestic service and In the 1901 Census recorded as visiting a John & Mary Ann Adams at Shapwick. This of itself was confusing as John Adams wife was actually called Mary Jane nee Elsworth and they had married at Sturminster Marshall on 24th June 1884. John Adams was a native of Spetisbury and his wife Mary Jane [alias Ann] from Shapwick. Around the middle of 1904 Kate became pregnant and towards the end of her pregnancy early in 1905 she ended up in Wimborne Minster workhouse where, after lying in, she gave birth to a baby daughter. The baby was baptised as Daisy Florence Christopher in Wimborne Minster on 25th Feb 1905. By April 1911 when the next census was taken John Adams of Spetisbury is living at 'Barford Farm' at Pamphill Wimborne. He is still shown as being married but there is no sign of his wife. I think she might be in lodgings at Spetisbury, recorded simply as Mary Adams aged 53 married but no sign of a husband and born at Shapwick. Perhaps significantly she states that she has been married for 30 years but has no children.

      Also In 1911 with John Adams at Barford Farm is Kate Christopher (recorded as his housekeeper) and her daughter Daisy shown as a 6 year old visitor. Clearly John has separated from his wife, and is living with Kate and their daughter. Mary Jane Adam's nee Elsworth died in the district of Blandford in Dorset in June 1916. Now free to marry John Adams married Kate Christopher circa Dec 1916 at Wimborne and she continued to live at Barford Farm giving him another daughter they named Violet Adams in the last quarter of 1919. Sadly their daughter Daisy Florence Christopher died at the age of 22 years. Her address was given as Toop's Cottages, Upton in Lytchett Minster and she was buried in Lytchett Minster Churchyard on 19th April 1927. Interestingly her burial registration states " Service conducted by Dissenting Minister under Burial Act of 1880 Cert from H.J.Cole". Kate lived to be 82 years old being buried at Lytchett Minster on 31st Jan 1964.

      (3.6 2) Mary Eliza Christopher (1885-1965) known as Eliza she married a labourer called Arthur William Kent (1884-1955) abt May 1911 in the district of Poole and he died 3rd April 1955 being buried 3 days later in Lytchett Minster Churchyard. When Mary Eliza died at Corfe Mullen on 2nd Jan 1960 she was brought to Lytchett Minster to be interred with her husband.

      (3.6 3) Sarah Florence Christopher (1887-1978) baptised at Lytchett Minster on 7th Aug 1887; on 2nd Sep 1906 she had an illegitimate son she named Thomas Cecil Albert Christopher (1906-1974) who later married Nora Gladys Christopher the illegitimate daughter of Rosalie Teresa Christopher (his mothers sister see below) whom he married on 9th Oct 1934 at Lytchett Minster. Sarah Florence Christopher herself did not marry until she was 38 years old to Frederick George Kent (1891-1972) at Poole Registry Office 27th Feb 1926 ; she died at Upton Lytchett Minster abt May 1978 ;

      (3.6 4) Rosalie Teresa Christopher (1891-1961) born on 16th Dec 1891 at Lytchett Minster she does not appear to have been baptised. On 29th Mar 1912 at the age of 20 she gave birth to an illegitimate daughter she named Nora Gladys Christopher (1912-1999) who in 1934 at Lytchett Minster married Thomas Cecil Albert Christopher the son of her sister Sarah Florence (see above). Rosalie married Frank Morris at Poole on 14th May 1913 and died Feb 1961 at Lytchett Minster.

      (3.6 5) Phoebe Christopher (1893-1968) born at Lytchett Minster abt Oct 1893 she married at South Stoneham Hants on 2nd April 1911 when she was aged 17, to Walter Ernest Furnell (1895-1987) who was only 15 and a native of Corfe Mullen in Dorset. They had a daughter Jean Margaret Furnell (1924-2008) before Phoebe died 10th Oct 1968 in Christchurch Hampshire. Walter remarried in 1971 to Maggie Alberta Stickland nee Fancy (1897-1976) and died at Upton Poole on 22nd June 1987 leaving an estate of just under £70,000.

      (3.6 6) Lily Blanche Christopher (1896-1989) Born at Lytchett Minster 4th Aug 1896 she married George Best abt Sep 1918 Poole district Dorset and died at Poole aged 93 in Dec 1989

      (3.6 7) Janet Louise Christopher (1898-1978) Born at Lytchett Minster 22nd Nov 1898 she married twice initially abt Mar 1916 at Poole Dorset to James Selby (1896-1920) and later to William Smith also at Poole abt Dec 1927. She died in the district of Poole aged 79 in Mar 1978.

      (3.6 8) George Henry Christopher (1901-1981) Born Lytchett Minster 17th June 1901 he married abt Nov 1920 to Victoria Mabel Kate Budden (1896-1975) and had 2 children Hazel Mabel Christopher in 1921 and Freda Phillis Christopher (1925-2004) George Henry Christopher died 13 Mar 1981 at 38 Hillside Road, Corfe Mullen Dorset leaving an estate of £2,794

    (3.7) Catherine Christopher (1859-1891) Born in the last quarter of 1859 at Lytchett Minster she was baptised there on 7th April 1860. By 1881 she had moved to live at 19 Blandford House in St Marylebone where she worked as a cook. She married there at Christ Church on 26th Oct 1884 to Robert Collin (1860-1908) and they had 2 sons (8). She died in the district of Poplar London in Jan 1891

    (3.8) Selina Christopher (1862-1910) Born about Nov 1862 at Lytchett Matravers she was not baptised until 8th Jan 1870 at Lytchett Minster together with her 4 younger siblings. By the age of 18 she had left Dorset to work as a general domestic servant in Richmond Surrey. She met a Royal Navy Seaman Henry Ashley Stone and they married at Hamworthy in Dorset on 2nd April 1871.

    Henry Ashley Stone alias Burbage (1861-1924) was born on 12th Feb 1861 the illegitimate son of Elizabeth Burbage a widow whose husband Samuel Burbage had died in 1857. His birth was correctly registered at the GRO as Henry Ashley Burbage and also in the 1861 Census as Henry Burbage aged 2 months. His privately held baptism was recorded on 27th March 1862 as Henry Ashley the son of George Stone and Elizabeth Burbage. His mother Elizabeth Burbage nee Gerrerd (1834-1901) then married his father George Stone at Lytchett Matravers Church on 15th Aug 1869. Henry joined the Royal Navy serving on board the 1st class Ironclad "Minotaur" (picture right) which was anchored in 1881 off Gibraltar. Like many Royal Navy Seamen he later joined the Coastguard's and in 1891 still only aged 34 he was stationed at Chideock in Dorset at the Coastguard Station there whilst Selena continued to live with her parents in Hamworthy. He moved to Portland and they had 2 daughters and a son (1896-1900) Selena died aged 47 in Hampreston in April 1910 joined by Henry in June 1924

    (3.9) Isabella Christopher (1865-1870) Born abt Feb 1865 at Lytchett Minster she was baptised there with 4 of her siblings on 8th Jan 1870 but was clearly very ill as she was buried only there only 2 days later.

    (3.10) Eliza Christopher (1866-1883) Born abt Nov 1866 at Lytchett Minster she was baptised there with 4 of her siblings on 8th Jan 1870. She is wrongly recorded in the 1871 Census as Elinor but went into domestic service at Canford Magna as a young teenager. She died at Hamworthy still only 16 years old being buried on 18th Sep 1883.

    (3.11) Sarah Christopher (1869-1916) Born abt Aug 1869 at Lytchett Matravers she was baptised at Lytchett Minster with 4 of her siblings on 8th Jan 1870. She married Frederick Hoskins (1868-???) the son of William Hoskins a carpenter by trade. Frederick was a 'steam getter' working on the railways. They lived at Junction Point in Hamworthy where there was a motive power depot where locomotives were housed when not being used, and repairs and maintenance was carried out. Frederick's job was to start up the railway engines and build up the pressure in the boiler to operational level. About 1893 Frederick became a Railway Driver and they moved to Southampton and in 1901 were living at 87 Pleasant Road Portswood in Hampshire. About 1904 they moved again to live at Eastleigh Hants. They had 8 children (1891-1907) before Sarah died at the relatively young age of 47 in June 1916

    (3.12) John Christopher (1871-1938) Born abt Aug 1871 he was baptised on 27th of that month at Lytchett Minster Church. He married Edith Anne Yea (1875-1939) at Hamworthy Dorset on 8th May 1898 . They lived initially at 9 Bennet's Place in Hamworthy until they moved for a short time to Lytchett Matravers circa 1905 and finally Newton in Parkstone by 1907. John died at Cornelia Hospital in Poole whilst living at Northbrook Cottage in Broadstone. He left a modest estate of £131. 7s to his widow Annie. Edith Annie died on 29th Mar 1939 being buried at Lytchett Minster on 1st April.

      They had 8 children:-

      (3.12.1) Arthur George Christopher (1898-1963) Born at Hamworthy in Dorset about Aug 1898. Arthur was baptised in St Michael's church on the Hamworthy peninsula in Poole harbour with his younger sister Edith Mary on 13th July 1900. He joined the 2/4th Hampshire Regiment in WWI and was awarded the British War and Victory Medals Soldier 405402. He remained a bachelor and died in the district of Poole in September 1963

      (3.12.2) Edith Mary Christopher (1899- ???) She was born at Hamworthy and baptised with her elder brother on 13th July 1900. In the April 1911 Census she is the half niece of Charles Christopher and his 2nd wife Annie Blanche nee Cooke and staying with them at 13 Lake Road Landport Portsmouth. About Feb 1929 Edith Married Herbert William Abbott a native of Lytchett Minster and the son of Herbert Filimore Abbott (1873-1948) a carpenter by trade who were living in Parkstone in 1911.

      (3.12.3) George William Christopher(1901-1970) Born at Hamworthy 27th June 1901 he married abt Sep 1936 at Broadstone in Dorset to Edith Rose Diffey (b abt 1906) and they had at least 1 child before he died Sep 1970 in the district of Poole.

      (3.12.4) Edward John Christopher (1902-1972) Born at Hamworthy 17th Sep 1902 it is not known whether he married. He died aged 69 in Christchurch Hampshire in March 1972

      (3.12.5) Reginald James Christopher (1904- 1977) Born at Lytchett Matravers 17th Sep 1904 he married at Broadstone in Dorset to Alice Maud Moore on 27th Dec 1930. It is not known whether they had any children, he died June 1977 in the district of Poole.

      (3.12.6) Bertha Constant Christopher (1907- 1992) Born at Newton, Parkstone, Dorset 11th June 1907 she married when she was 43 years old to Ernest Elkins in Dec 1950 in Winchester district of Hampshire. She die din the district of Poole when she was 85 in July 1992

      (3.12.7) Ernest Christopher (1910-???) Born at Newton, Parkstone, Dorset abt Aug 1910 nothing else is known
(4). Betsy CHRISTOPHER (1826-1850)          CHARGED with INFANTICIDE - 1845

Betsey was the fourth child of Isabella Stickland and she was born shortly after the whole family moved to London on 21 July 1826 in Hayes Middlesex where she was later baptised on 3rd September. She returned to Dorset however at the age of 5 in 1831 when her parents moved back to live at Fox Hill in Lytchett Minster. She would have been 8 years old when the Tolpuddle Martyrs were arrested a few miles down the road, and her youth would have been dominated by the families need to cope with the hardships caused by reducing wages and a steadily growing family. Isabella’s last child for example was not born until 1842 by which time Betsey was a young woman of sixteen.

It is important to appreciate that for the poor in the 1840’s there was no formal system of education such as we take for granted today. In fact it did not become compulsory at all until 1880 and then only up to the age of 10. The poor constituted the bulk of the population and in some areas there might be Sunday or Charity schools but education simply did not exist for families of itinerant workers who changed location in search of next seasons work. Nor is this supposition as newspaper accounts at the time reported her to be “extremely ignorant, not being able to read or write.” Ironically it may well have been an attempt to better her circumstances that led to her downfall.



. Entry 339 / Thirteenth of Feb 1845 at Parkstone / Infant Daughter of Betsy Christopher / Female /
Age less than 10 minutes / Daughter of Betsy Christopher servant /
Wilfully Murdered by it's Mother Cutting her throat with a knife / H.M.Aldridge Coroner Market Street Poole ./ Fifteenth of Feb 1845


On Monday 27th January 1845 Betsey started a new job as a Domestic Servant to a Mr and Mrs Collins in Parkstone a part of Poole. This was an immense change for Betsey who was not used to living in such a house or carrying out such duties and no doubt stood in awe of her employers. She also however had another problem in that she was already nine months pregnant. Coming from the countryside and such a large family she must have appreciated what this entailed yet there is no sign that she sought the support of her family and the newspapers clearly state that “her pregnancy was not known or suspected at the time of her entering the service of Mr. or Mrs. Collins, or by the other female servant with whom she slept”. Perhaps her family did not know either?

A fortnight later on Thursday 13th February 1845 she gave birth in her bedroom to a female baby girl. Betsey however was very ill and Mrs Collins became suspicious when she discovered blood on her hands and on the floor of the bedroom. She asked her husband to search the premises and he found the baby lying on the earthen floor of the privy with its throat cut. The Coroner for Poole (a Mr. H.M. Aldridge) was called and an inquest held the same day, and then carried over until the Friday to allow for a post mortem examination of the child. This showed a significant wound under the throat with a breadth of two inches and half an inch deep. Having received the report the coroner gave a verdict of wilful murder and she was removed to the “Dorset County Goal and House of Correction” for trial at the Assizes. Their records clearly show that she was committed on the 14th February but not received until 6th March. I have included a copy of the death Certificate issued at this time by Mr Aldridge. The Assizes were held by judges from the central courts that went on circuit throughout the country twice a year. Betsey’s case however occurred shortly before the Lent Assizes so she was discharged from goal on 12th March and sent to Dorchester to appear before Mr. Justice Erle.

Newspaper reports at the time show that the case was prosecuted by a Mr. C Saunders on 19th March 1845. The poor could never afford representation and perhaps significantly there are no reports in the papers showing that Betsey spoke in her own defence. The prosecution seem to have laid out their case and it was then summed up by Justice Earl and luckily this was reported more or less verbatim in the Dorset Chronicle and Somerset Gazette on 20th March 1845:-

“It was most important if murder had been committed that public justice should be done, and it was most important if the game was not clear, that they should acquit the prisoner, and save an innocent person from suffering the extreme penalty of the law. The charge was the murder of a child close at its birth. To constitute the offence they must be satisfied that the child was completely born, and had a complete independent existence of its own, and while it was so in life it was deprived thereof by the wound inflicted by the prisoner at the bar. If they were not satisfied that the wound was so inflicted unquestionably it would be their duty to acquit the prisoner of the crime of murder, and then their attention would be directed to the question whether they were satisfied the prisoner was guilty of the misdemeanour of having concealed the birth of the child. The great question was whether they were satisfied beyond reasonable doubt which humane, sensible, and firm men might entertain that the prisoner was guilty of the murder with which she was charged.”

The judge in summing up made it fairly clear that if she was found guilty he would have little option but to apply the death penalty and therefore he gave them a way out. The Jury found her not guilty of the murder, but guilty of concealing the birth - for which she was sentenced to two years hard labour.

The remainder of her life appears to have been equally traumatic. She was formally released from the “Dorset County Goal and House of Correction” on 11th March 1847 when her conduct was described as “orderly.”

About 5 months later she fell pregnant again and on the 2nd of May 1848 she gave birth to a baby boy in the Poole Union Workhouse at Longfleet whom she named Samuel Christopher. We have no positive confirmation as to who the father was as his name has been omitted from the birth certificate (9), but by the summer of 1850 Betsey had contracted pulmonary consumption [TB] and she died still only aged 24 on 29 December 1850 in the presence of her mother Isabella. She was buried 7 days later in Lytchett Minster churchyard.
    (4.1) Samuel Christopher (1848-1931) was not baptised by his mother before she died when he was still only 2 years 7 months old so he is unlikely to have had any memory of her. The 1851 Census confirms that his grandparents, William & Isabella, raised him as one of their own children and it was only after the death of William in 1853 that Isabella decided to have him baptised with her youngest child Charles Christopher (1841-1910). Samuel was 6 years old and Charles 12 as they jointly came before the same font used to baptise William Christopher (1800-1853) over half a century before. The service was conducted by the curate Rev J Beadon Rogers on 7th May 1854. The 1861 Census shows Samuel (12) and Charles (19) still living together and working as agricultural labourers on Organford Farm where Isabella was housekeeper. On 21st July 1869 when he was 21 Samuel married his 1st cousin once removed called Elizabeth Matilda Peach and like everything else to do with this family this relationship also needs some explanation (8).

    Elizabeth Matilda PEACH (1845-1922) was the 5th child from the marriage of Jane Stickland (1845-1922) to George Peach who had married at Corfe Castle in Dorset on 17th Aug 1835. She was baptised at Corfe Castle on 2nd Feb 1845. I have already recorded her family background and have therefore provided a link from which it will be seen that her mother was the last of 4 illegitimate children of Jane Stickland (1809-1897) who soon after her birth had married James Christopher (1764-1847) who was Samuel's great grandfather. She lived with her parents on Woolgarston Farm in Corfe castle until her marriage at the age of 24 to Samuel. One thing of note is that unlike earlier generations they were both able to clearly sign their names indicating at least some improvement in education.

    After marriage they initially settled at Stoborough Farm then within the parish of Holy Trinity at Wareham where Samuel continued to work as a farm labourer. He moved to find work being at Swalland Kimmeridge in 1872, Tyneham in 1975 but had settled at Church Knowle by 1877. They raised a family of 8 children of which I have so far only traced 6 as shown below. The two that are missing died in infancy.

      (4.1.1) Samuel Christopher (1870-1931) Born at Arne on the Peninsula that projects into Poole Harbour on 2nd Nov 1870 he was baptised 3 days later at Corfe Castle on 5th Nov. As a child he lived with his parents on Stoborough Farm before they moved to Creech in Church Knowle and by the age of 20 they were at Furzebrook also in the same parish. Here he met his bride and married Louise Wheeler (1871-1955) the spinster daughter of Robert Wheeler (1847-1916) by his wife Sarah Burt (b 1849). They married at Church Knowle on 3rd Nov 1897 and raised a large family of 11 children in the parish. Samuel died at Cotness, Church Knowle and was buried at Wareham aged 84 on 12th March 1955 followed by his widow Louisa who was aged 83 on the 6th July 1955.

        (4.1.1.1) Louisa May Christopher (1898-?) born abt Nov 1898 at Church Knowle she married abt Nov 1919 to Joseph H Rowlands
        (4.1.1.2) Elizabeth Elsie Christopher (1900-?) born abt Feb 1900 at Church Knowle she married abt Nov 1917 John J Wade
        (4.1.1.3) William George Christopher (1901-1966) born on 28th July 1901 at church Knowle he married on 4th July 1935 to Betty Mildred Paine (1911-1989) They had 4 children but I only know of a son Robert George Christopher (1944-2014) . William died 26th july 1966 at Jubilee gardens Corfe Castle in Dorset leaving his widow an estate of £580. Betty died at the Wordsworth Nursing Home in belle View Road Swanage on 27th Feb 1989 leaving an estate of just under £70,000.
        (4.1.1.4) Edith Lilian Christopher (1902-1989) born on 21 Oct 1902 at Church Knowle she married abt March 1928 to Harold Austin Davis and died in March 1989 at Weymouth.
        (4.1.1.5) Matilda Jane Christopher(1904-1980) born on 26th Jan 1904 at Church Knowle she married in August 1924 to Albert J Morris and died in bournemouth in Dec 1980
        (4.1.1.6) Samuel Robert Christopher (1905-1986) born on 14th March 1905 at Church Knowle he married in Bournemouth to Winnie Nellie House he died at the age of 86 in June 1986 at Lytchett Minster
        (4.1.1.7) Lily Christopher (1907-1869) born 10 Dec 1906 at Church Knowle she married Arthur W Richards abt Nov 1925 in the district of Wareham she died at Bournemouth in Dec 1869
        (4.1.1.8) Eva Christopher (1910-1983) born 26th Oct 1910 at Church Knowle she married Basil W Richards at Wareham in Sep 1930. She died at Poole in Sep 1983
        (4.1.1.9) Olive Christopher (1913-1983) born abt May 1913 Church Knowle she married Montague Wesley (1903-1973) at Wareham in Sep 1933. She died 5th Oct 1983 at Woodfield Road, Bear Cross, Bournemouth in Hampshire leaving an estate of £31,285
        (4.1.1.10) Frederick James Christopher (1915-1970) born 2nd June 1915 at Church Knowle he married in 1938 to Dorothy EA Taylor and died on 11 March 1970 at Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire being cremated at the Chiltern's Crematorium
        (4.1.1.11) Thomas John Christopher (1918-1993) Born on 7th May 1918 at Church Knowle he died at 3 Cotness East Creech Wareham on 1st Nov 1993 aged 75 and leaving an estate of under £125,000.

      (4.1.2) Isabella Christopher (1872-1949) was born at Swalland Farm in the parish of Kimmeridge on the Isle of Purbec. It lies about 10 miles south of Wareham with the parishes of Steeple and Church Knowle to the north. Isabella like all her younger siblings does not appear to have been baptised. As a teenager she went into domestic service and by April 1891 when she was 18 she was working in Parkstone for a manufacturer of plain and ornamental tiles called Jesse Carter. When she was 24 in 3rd quarter of 1896 she married a boy who had lived in the same road in Creech where she grew up called Frederick James Selby (1868-?). He was the son of Henry Selby (1833-1908) a gamekeeper by his wife Elizabeth nee Legg (1837-1901) and had been baptised at church Knowle on 25th Oct 1868. Frederick was also a gamekeeper so they lived where he worked. In 1894 they were at Holt wood Wimborne; In 1900 Berkley in Gloucestershire; in 1903 New Hall Wareham and in 1907 Georgia Farm, Amport Hampshire. They raised a family of at least 5 children (1894-1910) . Frederick James Selby was buried at East Holme in Dorset aged 70 on 1st jan 1938 and joined by Isabella on 24th June 1949.

      (4.1.3) James Christopher (1875-???) Born at Tyneham abt Feb 1875, as a teenager he worked locally as a clay labourer through which he met his future wife. He married at the age of 22 to Harriett Annie Marshallsay (1879-1945) the daughter of a clay cutter and miner called Benjamin Marshallsay (1855-1930) and his wife Eliza nee Sellaway (1859-1926) who lived in West Street in Wareham. Harriett had been baptised at St Mary's church in Wareham on 26th Oct 1879. After marriage they lived at Furzebrook Road in Wareham and from 1901 James is recorded as a clay miner (under ground). They had 3 children:-.

        (4.1.2.1) Mabel Elizabeth Annie Christopher (1898-1928) Born at Furzebrook Wareham abt Aug 1898 as a teenager she helped the war effort by working in a munitions factory where she met her future husband. She married when she was 19 years old at St Marys Church in Wareham to Percy Frederick William Paul (1894-1947) another munitions worker on 15th June 1918. Mabel died when she was 29 years old at Wareham in June 1928.
        (4.1.2.2) Gladys Isabel K Christopher (1901-1916) Born at Furzebrook Wareham abt Jan 1901 she died at the age of 15 being buried at Wareham in Feb 1916
        (4.1.2.3) Ethel Irene Christopher (1904-1976) Born at Furzebrook Wareham on 18th Mar 1904 she married in March 1917 to William Main in Wareham and died 11 Milne St Wareham 11th Dec 1976.

      (4.1.4) Elizabeth Matilda Christopher (1877-1940) Born at Church Knowle abt Feb 1877 she married at the age of 23 to Lewis Gover (1876-1901) at St Mary's Church in Wareham but died when she was 29 in June 1928 at Wareham.

      (4.1.5) William George Christopher (1882-1900) Born on 20th may 1882 at Church Knowle he died at the age of 18 in Nov 1900 at Wareham.

      (4.1.6) Jane Christopher (1884-1884) Born abt May 1884 at Creech Church Knowle she was buried there on 4th June 1884 aged 1 month.
(5). Jane CHRISTOPHER (1828-1889) was born in West Hayes Middlesex 2 years after the families move to London. She was baptised in the 12th century font in the church of St Mary The Virgin in Hayes on 13th Jan 1828. When she was 3 years old she returned with her parents and siblings to live at Fox Hill in the parish of Lytchett Minster. As a young teenager she went into domestic service in Corfe Mullen where she met her future husband a labourer called Robert Ballam (1822-aft 1881?). He was the son of Samuel Ballam by his wife Mary nee Elford and had been baptised at Turnworth in Dorset on 9th June 1822. They married in St Hubert's church in Corfe Mullen on 16th Aug 1846 which until 1857 was a chapelry in the parish of Sturminster Marshall. They settled initially in Great Canford where their first child was born but by 1849 were living in Lytchett Minster. Over the following decade they added another 6 children who were all baptised in the parish. In the April 1861 Census the family is living in Lytchett Matravers and in 1864 West Morden. The 1871 Census (10) records them in the tiny hamlet of East Holme where their daughter Mary married and their last child Bessie was born.

Some time prior to the 1881 Census they moved to live on Ilford Road in Christchurch Hampshire where Robert was working as a shepherd and his wife Jane has been recorded as Jean. Only their son Thomas recorded as being 17 years old but an imbecile, and their youngest daughter Bessie are still with them. Jane died at Christchurch in May 1889 when her age was given as being 62 years old.

(6). John CHRISTOPHER (1830-1908) was baptised in Hillingdon Middlesex in St John the Baptist church in the parish on 25th April 1830. The following year he and his family were back at Lytchett Minster and from an early age he worked in the fields with his father as an agricultural labourer. His father died in 1853 so when his brother William married Hannah Edwards on 11th June 1854 in Lytchett Minster church, he and his sister Anne acted as the 2 witnesses. By then he had already met his future wife Elizabeth Davis (1823-1896) whom he married on 21st Sep 1854 in her home parish of Winterbourne Zelston.
    Elizabeth Davis was the 5th of 9 children of Thomas Davis (1791-1866) and Lucy nee Cash (1792-1838). Elizabeth had been baptised on 2nd Nov 1823 at Winterbourne Zelston and as a teenager she went into domestic service and by the age of 18 was working in Wimborne Minster as a servant to a surgeon called Charles Rowe. She had an illegitimate son she named William Davis (born circa 1849) at Swanage in Dorset. Her mother Lucy was a native of Lytchett Minster and although she died in 1838 it was probably through her family that she then secured employment working in Lytchett as a domestic servant for a landed proprietor called Henry House. William her son in the meantime remained with her widowed father in Winterbourne Zelstone until her marriage to John Christopher.
Agricultural wages were very low and after marriage they settled in Lytchett Minster living on the Wareham Road where John obtained work as a clay cutter working for a local pottery. They moved locally around 1865 to live at 13 Sandford Cottages which technically is within the parish of St Martin's in Wareham where he continued to work labouring for the pottery. By 1891 they were recorded as living at Sandford Pottery but now within the parish of West Morden. Elizabeth died at the age of 70 at Sandford. John also died there aged 77 on 11th Dec 1908. John and Elizabeth had the following 6 children together :-
    (6.1) Adelaide Christopher (1855-1938) was born on 3rd Dec 1855 at Lytchett Minster and baptised in the parish church on 13th Jan 1856. As a young teenager she went into domestic service and in April 1871 aged 17 she was employed at 'The Warren' on Westcliff Road in Southport Birkdale in Lancashire working with three other servants for Ellen Barton a 42 year old widow who was described as an annuitant. Next door were two large houses 'Dagfield' and 'Neathen Wood' which appear to have been boarding schools for young ladies.

    I have no indication of how long she was employed there but by the 1881 Census she was back in St Martin's Parish in Wareham working as a house maid, one of 6 servants at Sandford House (see picture left). The Sandford estate had been purchased in 1863 by Miles Rodgett (1818-1882) a land proprietor, a philanthropist and Justice of the Peace (see picture right). He had been born in Lancashire and given that Miles also owned Sandford Pottery where her father worked it's possible that he was involved in Adelaide's employment in that county. In any event Adelaide now had a position in his household and like the other servants had her own small bedroom in the attic. She was one of two house maids who helped to look after the house which had eight bedrooms. There was also a lady's maid and a kitchen maid all under the supervision of a housekeeper whilst a footman looked after the horses and a carriage kept in the stables. In the Census Miles only has his niece and her governess staying with him in the house, but he was married to Mary Dugdale (1827-1911) and as far as I know they had no children. The History of England website provides some additional background:-

    "In 1876, Miles Rodgett a philanthropist and Justice of the Peace who had purchased the Sandford Estate in 1863, commissioned an organ from the London firm of organ builders Maley, Young and Oldknow. It is believed that the organ was intended as a gift for the Church of Lady St Mary in Wareham but it was not installed in the parish church and Mr Rodgett had a building, now St Martin's Church, constructed on his estate in Sandford specifically to house the organ. The building was for the use of his family and also for the local community, serving as a chapel, a school room and a music room; the first edition Ordnance Survey map of 1888 describes it as a school. In 1892 the building was extended with an additional range to the north-west which is understood to have served as a further classroom (now the vestry). It is understood that the Rodgett family were already known for their philanthropy having remodeled and modernised the village of Higher Walton in Lancashire for their mill workers when they lived in this area in the mid-C19. The materials, including the bricks possibly from Sandford Pottery which was also owned by Miles Rodgett, and architectural style employed in St Martin's Church are consistent with other late-C19 buildings on the Sandford Estate including Sandford House (Rodgett’s home), Home Farm and estate workers' cottages."

    Miles Rodgett died on 6th June 1882 leaving an estate of £139, 315 to his widow Mary who continued to live at Sandford. Seven months later on 27th Jan 1883, when she was 27 years old Adelaide Christopher married at The Old Presbyterian Meeting House in Wareham to Meshach William Ellis (1848-1920) a 30 year old gamekeeper. They lived nearby on the Poole Road Sandford, her husband taking over the trade of dairyman from his aging father. They had four children 1885-1895 (11) and remained in Sandford living in Heath Cottages when Meshach died on 14th March 1920. Adelaide died in June 1938 in Christchurch area of Hampshire aged 81.
    (6.2) Alexander Ashley Christopher (1858-1910) his birth on 17th June 1858 at Lytchett Minster was simply registered by his mother as Ashley Christopher at the General Registry Office on the 9th July. When he was baptised in Lytchett Minster Church however on 29th Aug 1858 he is recorded as Alexander Ashley Christopher. He lived with his family at Sandford in Lytchett but quickly progressed from being an agricultural labourer to looking after agricultural machinery and aged 22 he was described in the 1881 Census as being an agricultural machine attendant. Five years later he is described as an engine driver but this was probably still of agricultural machinery. He married as Ashley Christopher on 3rd Nov 1885 at the Old Presbyterian Meeting House in Wareham to the widow Ellen Lank nee Cutler (1855-1933) .

      Ellen Cutler was born on 12th Jan 1855 and baptised in the 12th century church of St Bartholomew's in Shapwick on 1st April that year as the daughter of David Cutler (1830-1879) by his wife Elizabeth Mary Perrett (1833-1906). In the 1871 Census she was still living with her parents in Shapwick aged 16 and working as a Domestic Servant. She presumably gained employment across the other side of the country before she met and then married to Thomas Lank (1848-1884) a native of South Witham in Lincolnshire at The Bishop Street Chapel in Leicester on 7th Aug 1876. They settled in Lewisham where Thomas Lank ran a grocer's shop on Brandon Road and Ellen produced two children (Beatrice Lily and Alfred Thomas). After her fathers death in 1879 her mother remarried to a cattle dealer and butcher called Samuel Skinner at Wareham on 12th Feb 1881.

      Her husband Thomas Lank however contracted smallpox and died in June 1885 on board the hospital ship 'Variola' moored in the Thames at Dartford. His body was probably brought to shore for burial on board the Metropolitan Asylum's paddle steamer ' Albert Victor' (picture right held at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich) which operated from 1885 to convey smallpox patients from the South Wharf in Rotherhithe out to the hospital ships in Long Reach, near Dartford. During this difficult time Ellen returned with her 2 children to live in Dorset with her mother and stepfather Samuel Skinner who were living in St Martin's Parish in Wareham. Here she met Ashley Christopher who as described above she married just under 5 months after the death of her first husband.

    After their marriage Ashley and Ellen lived in a Cottage on Dog Kennel Farm at Erlestoke Wiltshire where he worked as a cowman and three of their six children were born as shown below. They moved to live at Whitechurch in Hampshire about the year 1892 where two more children were added before moving to Bourn in Cambridgeshire around 1896 when Ashley secured a job as farm bailiff. Ashley died at the relatively young age of 45 on 18th Dec 1910 and was buried at Hither Green Cemetery in Lewisham on 22nd.In Feb 1914 Ellen was living at 55 Chislehurst Road in Kent. She died in August 1933 aged 78 and joined Ashley at Hither green cemetery where a gravestone survives to the family.

      (6.2.1) Rose (Amelia) Malotta Christopher (1888-1969) Her birth on 4th Feb 1888 at Erlestoke is registered at the General Registry Office simply as Rose Christopher, but she was christened in the newly built church of 'The Holy Saviour' as Rose Amelia Malotia Christopher on 8th April 1888. She married when she was 22 years old on 10th Jan 1910 at St Andrews church in Battersea to Joseph William Wakeman (1884-1953) a native of Battersea and a fruiterer by trade.

      They lived initially at 1 Portland Road West Clapham but went on to raise a family of 12 children mainly at 52 Choumert Road, Peckham, Camberwell, Southwark in London. See picture of Joseph & Rose on right. Joseph died at Kings College Hospital when aged 68 on 27th March 1953. Rose died following a heart attack on 2nd Nov 1969 at Dulwich Hospital.

      (6.2.2) Ellen Elizabeth Christopher (1890-?) Born on 27th June 1890 and registered as Ellen Elizabeth she was baptised at the church of The Holy Saviour in Erlestoke on 17th Aug 1890. She went into service and aged 20 and still unmarried in 1911 she was working as a dairy maid on the farm of Francis John Paige at Woking in Surrey. We have no trace of her after 1911.

      (6.2.3) Adelaide Kate Christopher (1891-1893) Born on 28th June 1891 and baptised at the church of The Holy Saviour in Erlestoke on 16th Aug 1891 she died at the age of 3 being buried in Whitechurch Hampshire about Aug 1893

      (6.2.4) Sidney William Christopher (1893-1970) Born on 20th Jan 1893 at Whitechurch Hampshire as a teenager he became an under gardener working in 1911 at The Stables Fareham House Fareham in Hampshire. He later became a waiter and at the age of 23 like so many other young men he enlisted in the Army, attesting on 9th Feb 1914 into the 8th West Kent's as private soldier 3947. He was posted to France on active service on 1st Nov 1916 and promoted to Lance Corporal (Soldier 55896) on 15 April 1916. He was wounded on 12th June 1917 when he was described as being 5 feet 9 inches tall with dark brown hair and grey eyes. He was brought home to convalesce at the Military Hospital at Woldingham on 27th June 1917 and discharged as no longer fit for service on 22nd March 1919. He then married to Florence Selina Durham (1891-1979) in the first quarter of 1922 at Hastings in Sussex . As far as I know they had no children and Sidney divorced her in 1936 citing adultery with Leonard H Bowes(12). Florence went on to marry Leonard in 1940 at Sevenoaks in Kent .Sidney William Christopher was granted probate of his sister Ethel's will in May 1966 and died in Sep 1970 in Farnham Surrey.

      (6.2.5) Ethel May Christopher (1894-1966) Born at Whitchurch in Hampshire she married when she was 25 to Christopher Ruttley (1898-1951) and when she died on 3rd March 1966 she was living at Ingleside on the Kingfield Road in Woking in Surrey and left her estate of £5,150 in the hands of her brother Sidney.

      (6.2.6) Oakley Io Christopher (1901-1971) Was born on 28th Sep 1901 at Bourn near Caxon in Cambridgeshire which has been a settlement for over 1,000 years. He was baptised at the church of St Helena and St Mary at Bourn on 10th Nov 1901. A bricklayer by trade he married at St Laurence Church in Lewisham on 28th April 1923 to Queenie Beatrice James (1895-1948) a 27 year old spinster the daughter of Henry James and Clara nee Palmer. Oakley also became in time a Farm Bailiff and they raised a family of 8 children (1924-1942) before Queenie died at 36 Rosevere Road in Lewisham in Dec 1948. Oakley remarried at the registry office in Lewisham on 31st Oct 1953 to the 53 year old Beatrice Victoria Warner (1900-1967). Although her marriage certificate gives her father as William Warner deceased as far as I can see she was actually the daughter of Edwin Walter Warner (1863-1934) and Kate Eliza nee Pockock (1865-1947). She had married in Sep 1920 in Lewisham to Francis Marks Sparham (1892-1956) but her marriage to him had been dissolved. By 1961 Oakley and Beatrice had moved to live at Breakspears Road in Depford. Oakley died on 8th April 1971 in Farnborough Hospital in Kent when he was aged 69. Children from his first marriage were:-

        (6.2.6.1) Ronald James Christopher(1924-2014) born abt June 1924 at Catford, Lewisham, in London he lived in Roseveare Road, Lewisham London S.E.12 initially with his parents until his mother died in 1948 and remained there with his father and siblings Derek and Eileen until his father remarried in 1953. He married Jean M Hiller in Sep 1960 and they had a daughter Dawn Glynis Christopher (1963-2007) Jean is said to have died in Lewisham in 2013 and Robert in 2014.

        (6.2.6.2) Eileen Ellen Clara Christopher (1928-2015) born on 28th March 1928 at Honley Road, Catford she married at Bromley in Kent to Salleh Mohammed Gani and died on 1st Sep 2015 at Beckenham Kent.

        (6.2.6.3) John Ashley Christopher (b.1929) born on 19th Oct 1929 at Honley Road, Catford he married Maud Louise Smith at Hendon in March 1951 and they have three children.

        (6.2.6.4) Derek Oakley Christopher (1931-1967) born abt May 1931 at Honley Road, Catford he died a bachelor on 6th Oct 1967 at Grove Park in London.

        (6.2.6.5) Betty Winifred Christopher (b.1934) born on 30th Jan 1934 she married Allan Vandersypen (1922-1999) and were living on Barmeston Road, Lewisham in 1964

        (6.2.6.6) Sheila Margaret Christopher (b.1935) born non 26th Dec 1935 she married Reginald W Patey at lewisham in Sep 1961.

        (6.2.6.7) Edward Henry Christopher (b.1937) born in the 4th qtr 1937 he lived with his siblings for many years on Sandstone Road in north Lewisham

        (6.2.6.8) Barbara Christopher (b.1942) born in the 4th quarter of 1942 she married David Winter at Bromley in Kent in Sep 1972

    (6.3) Alice Christopher (1861-1861) baptised at Lytchett Minster Church on 28th July 1861 she was buried there on 24th Sep 1861

    (6.4) Sidney Christopher(1864-1877) was born at Sandford Cottages in Lytchett Minster abt May 1864 but we have not located a baptism. He died on 20th Aug 1877 and was buried at the United Reform Church in Wareham where there is a gravestone to him and his sister Rose.

    (6.5) Rose Christopher (1866-1875) was baptised at St Mary's church in Wareham on 10th Dec 1866 and died at the age of 8 years 3 months being buried at the United Reform Church in Wareham abt Feb 1875

    (6.6) Walter Christopher (1869-1869) was baptised at Wareham on 10th Sep 1869 and buried there on 10th Dec 1869.
(7). William CHRISTOPHER (1831-1925) was baptised at Lytchett Minster Church on 4th Sep 1831 and lived with his parents at Foxholes in the parish until his first marriage on 11th June 1854 to Hannah Edwards (1833 - 1875). In the 1860's he worked for a time as a clay cutter.
    Hannah Edwards (1833-1875) his first wife was the illegitimate daughter of Mary Ann Edwards (1802-1886) and had been born about May 1833. Her mother had been baptised in Winterbourne Houghton (which lies just 5 miles south of Belchalwell) on 13th June 1802 as the daughter of William and Catherine Edwards. Hannah had an elder sister, also illegitimate, called Rosette Edwards who had been baptised at Belchalwell on 24th August 1828. Hannah was also baptised there on 19th May 1833. Her mother Mary Ann married in the same church to James Brown, a native of Lytchett Matravers on 17th Dec 1835. After marriage Mary Ann and her two daughters settled to live with James Brown in his parish where he worked as an agricultural labourer. In 1851 both girls, still unmarried, were working locally as domestic servants and living with their mother and step father in Lytchett Matravers. Her mother Mary Ann lived to be 85 and was buried at Lytchett Matravers on 10th Feb 1886. William and Hannah had the following 4 children before Hannah died at the relatively young age of 42 in May 1875 but does not appear in the burial registers for Lytchett Minster or Lytchett Matravers so may be in a civic cemetery?
    (7.1) Phebe Christopher (1831-1925) she was born at Lytchett Minster on 3rd Jan 1855 and baptised in the parish church in the same font used to baptise her father and grandfather on 24th March 1855. Up to the age of 16 she appears to have lived with her parents helping her mother to run the household as Hannah worked as a dairywoman on a local farm to help supplement their income. Shortly after 1871 she must have applied for and gained employment as a domestic servant far from home as the next record we have is her marriage in Spalding, Lincolnshire in July 1876 to John Russell (1854-1898). They had two children that I know of,John Edward Russell (1877-1969) and Ruth Russell born in 1879 and who married a farm labourer Tom Bee in Ropsley, Lincolnshire 12 Oct 1898. Unfortunately Phoebe died when she was 25 years old on 14th June 1881 at St Mary's Weston in Lincolnshire leaving John with two small children. A photograph of John Russell and the children is on Ancestry.com.

    (7.2) Charles Christopher (1858-1941) was baptised at Lytchett Minster on 20th March 1858 and by the age of 13 was already working as a 'carter boy' at Organford in Lytchett. By April 1881 aged 23 he was still unmarried and living in lodgings next door to his parents but has clearly learnt to be a shoemaker. He moved to Hampshire where he married at Portsea Island abt May 1887 to Ellen Elizabeth Fryer (1861-1889). Ellen had been born at Easterton near Devises in Wiltshire the daughter of Samuel & Ellen Fryar but her father, a Chelsea Pensioner and greengrocer by trade, was living with his family in Portsea at 38 Craftwell Street by 1871. In April 1881 before her marriage to Charles, Ellen was working as a cook in Portsmouth's high street for a printer and engraver called William Henry Carpenter and his family. They lived at 122 Crasswell Street in the municipal borough of Portsmouth in the civil parish of St Mary Portsea and had two children as shown below before Ellen died at Portsea aged 39 in July 1899.
      (7.2.1) Victor Hedley Christopher (1888-1947) was born at Portsmouth about Sep 1888 and married at the age of 19 at Portsmouth to Adelaide Goodwin (1887-1948) who had been staying with his family in 1901 when he was 12 and she was 14 so they had probably grown up together. They had a son Victor Charles Christopher (1908-1959) before Victor Hedley joined the 92nd battery of the Royal Horse Artillery [Soldier 49204] . In the 1911 Census he was a Gunner aged 22 serving in India whilst Adelaide and his son lived with her mother Hannah in Portsmouth at 59 Olinda St. At the outbreak of war his regiment appears to have been recalled and on 1st April 1915 there is reference to his being in Egypt by which time he had the rank of Corporal. Surviving the war he was joined by his family and Adelaide gave birth to a daughter Edith Dorothy Christopher (1921-1990) who was baptised in the military church at Antonite Strasse, Cologne, Germany. Edith was later to marry Bernard Alfred Border (1920-2005) at Copnor Rd Methodist Church in Portsmouth on 30th Nov 1940 and they emigrated to Australia where Edith died on 12th May 1990. Victor Headly Christopher died in Dec 1947 at Portsmouth and was joined by Adelaide in May 1948.

      (7.2.2) Alfred Harold Christopher (1891 1973) born abt Jan 1891 at Portsmouth when he was 20 he married immediately after the April 1911 Census to Charlotte Rachel Fudge (1887-1967). He followed his fathers trade of boot maker and repairer and emigrated with them to New Zealand in 1914 when he is recorded as living with his father at 91 Jervois Road in Auckland. By 1917 he was on the New Zealand 2nd Division Army reserve list and by 1919 living at Station Road Paptoetoe with his wife Charlotte where he was still recorded as a boot maker. Charlotte died 22nd Dec 1967 at Waikato New Zealand and was joined by Alfred when he died on 5th May 1973. Alfred and Charlotte had 5 children :-
          (7.2.2.1) Iris Kathleen Christopher(1912-1998)
          (7.2.2.2) Doris Eileen Christopher(1915-1996)
          (7.2.2.3) Denis Robert Christopher (1917-2003)
          (7.2.2.4) Ormond Harold Christopher(1924-2011)
          (7.2.2.5) Raymond Christopher (1927-1934)

      Charles Christopher (1858-1941) then married for a 2nd time to Alice Bertha Cooke (1881-1975) at Portsmouth in Hampshire in July 1901. They had six children together in Portsmouth of which 4 were still living in 1911. Charles and Alice emigrated to New Zealand in 1914

        (7.2.3) Ivy Bertha Christopher (1902-1997) born abt Oct 1902 at Portsmouth in England she married Tom Andrew (1901-1982) in New Zealand in 1926.
        (7.2.4) Edith Dorothy Christopher (1904-1956) born abt Apr 1904 at Portsmouth in England she died a spinster on 21st Apr 1956 and was buried at Ruru Lawn cemetery Bromley, Christchurch, New Zealand
        (7.2.5) Herbert George Christopher( 1908-1911) born abt July 1908 Portsmouth England he died there abt Oct 1911.
        (7.2.6) Alice Blanche Christopher (1909-2005) born abt Nov 1909 in Portsmouth England she died a spinster on 27th Sep 2005 and was buried at the Hillsborough Cemetery in Auckland New Zealand

      (7.3) Frank Christopher (1860-1925) born in the third quarter of 1860 at Lytchett Minster he was baptised there on 27th Jan 1861. By the age of ten he was working as a carter boy on a local farm at Organford in Lytchett Minster but on 30th Sep 1878 aged 18 he attested at Rochester for the 1st battalion of the Gordon Highlanders - Regiment of Foot. I have not been able to locate his military record but a descendant advised me that he was discharged on 16th Jan 1888 and on boxing day later the same year he married Elizabeth Mary Hordle (1866-1950). The family story has always been that Elizabeth would not marry him until he left the Army. After marriage Frank was a recruiting officer for the Army for a short time but by April 1891 he was employed on the Railways working as a platelayer and living at North Bridge Road in Wareham. Four years later he was making boots and shoes for a living from his home at 22 North Street in Lady St Mary's parish as his name appears in Kelly's Directory for Wareham from 1895 (also there in Kelly's Directories for 1903 and 1920). I am reliably told that there is a picture of his shop in a local book about Wareham called 'Wareham in Pictures'. Frank and Elizabeth had seven children together as shown below. Frank died on 21st Nov 1925 at 22 North street in the presence of his youngest daughter. There is a family grave in the United Reformed or Congregational Church in Wareham where Frank was buried 25th Nov 1925 and Elizabeth Mary on the 21st Feb 1950 along with two of their sons.

        (7.3.1) Mable Kate Christopher (b.1889) born about Nov 1889 at Wareham and as the eldest daughter helped her mother run the household until she married John William Ellis (b.1888) at Lady St Mary's Church in Wareham on 17th April 1911. I am not sure how she met her husband as his residence at marriage is given as Huthwaite a small village in Nottinghamshire. John William a coal miner and hewer was the son of John and Hannah Ellis and had been born at Hucknall under Huthwaite (as it was known until 1907) abt April 1888. We have not so far located them after marriage so they probably went to where John could get work as a miner. They may have returned to Nottinghamshire but miners were also in great demand abroad in places like california and Australia.

        (7.3.2) Alice Louise Christopher (b.1892) born about Aug 1892 at Wareham, she went into domestic service as a teenager and in 1911 was working as a kitchen maid for Robert Carr a Gentleman at Courtney Lodge in Parkstone. Later in November that year she was one of the witnesses at her elder sisters wedding to John William Ellis. She married at the age of 26 on 14 Mar 1919 by licence to a private in the Australian Imperial Forces called Arthur James Mann (b.1885) who was based at the Verne Citadel at Portland. The 56 acre Citdel was built between 1857 and 1881 by convict labour and was Portland Harbours main defensive fortification and when Alice married was the headquarters of the coast artillery.  It is located on the highest point of Portland, Verne Hill, and sits in a commanding position overlooking Portland Harbour. 

          Arthur James Mann (b.1885) was born at Sydney in New South Wales Australia on 3rd June 1885 the son of a chemist also called Arthur James Mann by his wife Rose. Prior to his enlistment in the Army he had completed 3 years as a Naval Cadet and was living at Harlton, Botany Street in Sydney with his parents and working as a miner. He enlisted as a private soldier No. 53258 in the 9th Battalion on 26th April 1918 when he was described as being 5 feet 1 inch tall with fair complexion, grey eyes and fair hair, his religious denomination being recorded as that of a Roman Catholic. He embarked at Sydney on 8th May 1918 and arrived in Britain at Liverpool on 10th July and proceeded to France on 4th October arriving at Havre on the 6th. On the 28th he disobeyed a lawful command for which he pleaded guilty and was fined the loss of 36 days pay. A month later he was sick and admitted to hospital. On 23rd Dec 1918 he was invalided back to the UK presumably to Portland as he married Alice Louise Christopher in the garrison church of St Peter on 14th March 1919. On 19th July 1919 he nominated his wife Mrs A Mann as his next of kin when her address was given as 6 St Winifred's Road, Bournemouth in Hampshire. Alice gave birth to a son named Arthur Mann in 1919 although I cannot trace any registration of birth.
        .
        On 6th September 1919 Arthur James army records show that he returned with his wife and child to Australia on board HMAS Berrima a passenger liner which served in the Royal Australian Navy during WWI. Interestingly the ship had been torpedoed during the war in the English Channel just off Portland with the loss of 4 lives in Feb 1917, but had been towed into Portland harbour and beached due to the lack of available dry dock facilities and then repaired. Once back in Australia Arthur James Mann, like many others, was discharged from the Army on 2nd Dec 1919. His marriage does not appear to have been successful as Alice Louise Mann and her son Alfred returned to England embarking at Brisbane in Australia and arriving at Tilbury on 20th Dec 1928 on her way back to Wareham to stay with her widowed mother. We know that In 1930 her husband back in Australia appears to have been living at 40 Hopewell Street Paddington New South Wales. In August 1936 he lost his discharge certificate and had to apply for authentication from the Army at which time he was living at 48 Dillon Street, Paddington which is an inner city eastern suburb of Sydney. No further trace of either Arthur or Alice or their son has son far come to light although Alice's ashes were said to have been returned for burial in the family grave at Wareham.

        (7.3.3) William Charles Christopher (1895-1966) born at Wareham abt March 1895 he was living with his parents as an apprentice in April 1911. He was still a bachelor living with his father and siblings at 22 North Street in 1922 and his name appears on the family gravestone at Wareham and states that he died in 1966.

        (7.3.4) Leonard Edwin Christopher (1897-1962) born at Wareham abt Aug 1897 he learnt to be a plumber working in Bournemouth for Messrs Mc William & Son in Wharf Road before enlisting at Bournemouth as a gunner in the Royal Field Artillery on 30th Nov 1914 as Soldier 39914. He was described as being 5 feet 7 and a half inches tall with a fresh complexion blue eyes and brown hair. He listed his father at North Street Wareham as his next of kin and served with the British Expeditionary Force in France Belgium and Germany from 18th Aug 1915 to 2nd May 1919. He suffered from shell shock and was discharged from the Army on 1st June 1919 when he returned to live in Wareham with his father in North street until he married in St George's Church Langton Matravers on 11th Dec 1926 to Dorothy Charlotte Harris (1902-1995). They had at least 4 children as shown below before he died on 24th May 1962 at 5 Brixeys Lane Wareham. He left an estate of £2909. 2s 0d to his widow Dorothy who was livi9ng in the district of Weymouth when she died aged 92 on 2nd Nov 1995.

          (7.3.4.1) Ruth Christopher (1928-2002) born on 20th Dec 1928 at Wareham she married Cyril Hoff in 1961 and died on 25th Dec 2002
          (7.3.4.2) Ralph Christopher (1931-1998) born on 20th Feb 1931 at Wareham he married Eileen M Tubb in 1957 and died on 20th June 1998
          (7.3.4.3) Irene Christopher(b.1933)
          (7.3.4.4) Edwin Christopher (b.1938)

        (7.3.5) Harry John Christopher (1900-1916) born at Wareham abt Feb 1900 he died at the age of 16 being buried in the family grave with his parents at Wareham at the United Reformed Church on 25th April 1916

        (7.3.6) Herbert Frank Christopher (1902-1979) born on 3rd Nov 1902 at Wareham he died aged 76 at 16 Middleton Rd, Salisbury, in Wiltshire on 8th Feb 1979 leaving an estate of £14,500.(13)

        (7.3.7) Elizabeth Agnes Christopher (b.1907) born on the 19th Jan 1907 she remained a spinster and was present at the death of her father in 1925. She lived to the age of 76 and died on 13th/14th March 1983 when her address was given as 1 Dollins in Wareham. Probate of her will which left an estate of just under £25,000 states that she was last seen alive on the 13th March and her body found on the 14th. I have not so far located a newspaper report but it is probably worth checking with the british Newspaper archive.

      (7.4) Ellen Christopher (1869-1882) Said to be born on 17th Jan 1869 I have not located a baptism. She died aged 13 years in May 1882 but also not located a burial.
    (7) William CHRISTOPHER (1831-1925) Continued:
      Mary Ann Yea (1853-1926) His second wife was the 4th of 12 children of an agricultural labourer Henry Yea (1824-1905) by his wife Elizabeth nee Marsh (1824-1885) and is said to have been born or baptised on 25th May 1853 at Wareham. I have not located a baptism. In 1871 she was living with her parents in New Street Wareham. Although her mother was a native of Wareham her father was born at Kingston St Mary in Somerset and came to Dorset in the early 1840's. In the 1st quarter of 1875 Mary Ann gave birth at Wareham to an illegitimate daughter she named Edith Anne Yea (1875-1939). It would be necessary to obtain her birth certificate in an attempt to confirm her father, but at marriage she recorded her fathers name simply as 'William' with no surname. This may of course have been William Christopher, but his 1st wife Hannah did not die until a couple of months later so perhaps it was omitted to avoid embarrassment. Edith Anne Yea later married on 8th May 1898 to John Christopher (1871-1938) who appears to have been her 1st cousin as John was the son of Williams brother George Christopher (1825-1893). Follow link for Edith's life after marriage.
    Banns of marriage for William Christopher and Mary Ann Yea were read on 3 consecutive Sundays at Lytchett Minster Church on the 15th, 22nd and 29th Oct 1876. They married there on 9th Nov 1876 William being correctly recorded as a widower. He was illiterate as he signed with his mark, but his bride signed her own name. The witnesses were his brother George and his brothers wife Sarah Christopher nee Burt. William had another 10 children with Mary Ann as shown below living at a private house in Lytchett Minster in 1861, Wares Farm Organford part of Lytchett Minster in 1871 and Upton Road Lytchett Minster in 1881. William died at the age of 94 on Christmas day 1925 and was buried at Lytchett Minster on the 29th. His widow Mary Ann joined him aged 73 on 9th Sep 1926.
      (7.5) Isabella Mary Christopher (1877-1898) Born on 8th Aug 1877 at Wareham she had an illegitimate daughter born at Lytchett Minster in Oct 1896 she named Annie Margaret Christopher(1896-1898). Both mother and daughter became seriously ill and the family had her daughter Annie baptised in Lytchett Minster Church on 8th Aug 1898. They both died a few days later being buried there together on 16th Aug 1898.

      (7.6) Willie Christopher (1879-1945) born in the 3rd qtr 1879 at Wareham in the 1901 Census aged 21 he was serving a prison sentence at Portland Convict establishment when he was recorded as being a general labourer and having been born at Organford which is where his whole family was in 1881. Soon after his release, about 1905, he lived with Sarah Alice Daisy May Scott (1884-1916) and although they had three children(14) they never married despite saying that they were in the April 1911 when the family was living in the hamlet of West Howe in the parish of Kinson, which was absorbed into Bournemouth in 1931. Sarah had an older brother Joseph William Scott (1879-1950) who married her husbands younger sister Bessie (Louisa) Christopher (1885-1952) [See paragraph 7.9 below] at Corfe Mullen on 4th May 1903. Sarah died at the young age of 32 in Sep 1916 registered at the GRO as Sarah A D M Scott and as having occurred within the district of Poole, but I have not located a burial. Willie Christopher was buried in Poole Cemetery. No headstone. He is buried about 10-20 steps away from Sarah Alice Daisy May Scott, his partner.

      (7.7) Arthur Christopher (1881-1957) born at Lytchett Minster on 3rd Aug 1881 he married Gertrude Dycer (1888-1972) at Portsmouth on 5th March 1910. Gertrude was the daughter of William & Martha Dycer and had been born at Portsea on 22nd Jan 1888 and they had a son Arthur William Christopher abt July 1910 at Cosham Hampshire. In April 1911 the family were living at Havant Road in Cosham. Arthur died at the age of 76 at 63 High Street Cosham in the borough of Portsmouth leaving an estate of £3,544 to his widow. Gertrude died when she was 84, also at Portsmouth on 20th Sep 1972.

      (7.8) Lillie Alice Christopher (1883-1973) born at Lytchett Minster on 21st June 1883 as a teenager she went into domestic service and aged 17 she was working as a servant in Portsmouth for a chemist called James Cooper and his wife who were living at 102 Kingston Crescent. When she was 21 years old on 1st Oct 1904 at Portsmouth she married George Frederick Chambers (1885-1965) an able seaman. George was the son of Samuel A Chambers by his wife Jessie and had been born at Edgbaston in Warwickshire on 11th Aug 1884. He joined the Royal Navy having served as a cadet from 22 Nov 1899 being officially engaged for a period of 12 years when he was 18 on 11th Aug 1902 . In the 1901 Census he is serving on the ship Minotaur and he went on to serve on a number of well known ships before he purchased his freedom on 10th April 1908. After the Navy George helped his mother run the Regent Cafe in Penslyes Road Colwyn Bay, Caernavonshire in Wales where the family was in 1911. Alice had given birth to two children one of which had died. The first Ivy Gladys Chambers had been born at Portsea in 1905 and is with them. The other may have been Frances Maud Chambers who was born at Portsmouth in the 2nd qtr of 1908 and died the following quarter but it would be necessary to obtain certificates to be sure. A third child Violet M Gwendoline Chambers arrived abt May 1913 being born at Colwyn Bay in Wales.

      On 27th Sep 1913 the surviving family emigrated to Canada on board the 'Megantic' a ship of the White Star Dominion Line which sailed out of Liverpool arriving in Quebec on 17th October 1913. Another child Grace Yvonna Chambers joined the family when she was born at Saskatchewan in 1916 where they lived at Spadina Crescent, Saskatoon, and her father was working for a law firm as a book keeper. George died at saskatoon on 25th Oct 1965 being buried at the Woodlawn cemetery there. Lilie Alice lived to be 90 and joined her husband when she died on 28th Sep 1973.

      (7.9) Bessie (Louisa) Christopher (1885-1952) born at Canford Magna in Dorset on 16th July 1885 as already indicated in para 7.6 above she married Joseph William Scott (1879-1950) the brother of her sister-in-law and a gas fitter by trade at Corfe Mullen on 4th May 1903. By 1911 they had 4 children and Joseph was working at the tile factory at Sandford Pottery. Joseph died on 27th Dec 1950 at Hamworthy and Bessie on 24th June 1952.

      (7.10) Harry Christopher (1888-1968) born at Lytchett Minster in Dorset on 17th Sep 1888. At the age of 23 he was working as a sawyer for a local wood merchant but still living with his parents at 148 Sandy Lane in Lytchett Minster. On Christmas day 1911 he married at Hamworthy to Margaret Lucy Gillingham (1891-1956) one of 12 children of Robert Gillingham (1858-1913) and Mary Jane nee Lacy. Her parents had married at Longfleet on 7th Feb 1886 but this was Mary's second marriage. Her first marriage was to Phinneas James Gollop (1857-1885) and she had 3 children with him before he died at the young age of 27 at Longfleet in January 1885. Two of her children with Phinneas died in infancy, but the survivor was Emily Eliza Gollop (1883-1965). I mention this because Emily, who was therefore Margaret's half sister, was already married to Alfred Christopher (1885-1908) Harry's 1st cousin. Alfred was the son of Joseph Christopher (1836-1903) and Mary Giles (1838-1921). Harry and Margaret decided to emigrate to Canada but before they left they had a daughter Agnes as listed below who was born at Hamworthy in Dorset on 6th Jan 1913 whom they had baptised in the parish church on 20th April.

      Harry decided to go on ahead leaving on the ship 'Sicillian' on 15th May 1913 and arriving on the 23rd at Quebec. Once Margaret was comfortable with the new baby they followed on board the ocean liner 'Empress of Ireland' arriving in Quebec on 10th Oct 1913 by which time Margaret was 7 months pregnant with their next child. Their son Frederick was born at Hastings Ontario in Canada on 22nd Dec 1913. I have provided a link as the RMS Empress of Ireland sank in the Saint Lawrence River following a collision in thick fog with the Norwegian collier 'SS Storstad' in the early hours of 29 May 1914. Of the 1,477 people on board, 1,012 died which included 134 children.The number of deaths is the largest of any Canadian maritime accident in peacetime.

      Harry and Margaret had 7 children as shown below and in 1921 the Canadian Census shows them settled in Sydney TP, Hastings West, Ontario in a 5 room rented property. They later moved locally to 3 Belleville in Hastings where Margaret died on 14th Dec 1956 followed by Harry at the age of 79 on 12th May 1968.

        (7.10.1) Agnes Mary Margaret Christopher (1913-1995) Born on 6th Jan 1913 at Hamworthy in Dorset England and christened there on 20th April she emigrated with her mother to Canada arriving on 10th Oct 1913. She died 7th Feb 1995 Bellview, Hastings, Ontario Canada.

        (7.10.2) Frederick Sylvester Christopher (1913-2006) born at Hastings Ontario Canada on 22nd Dec 1913 he was still living with his parents at Frankford in Hastings Ontario in 1935. He died 15th March 2006 like his elder sister at Belleville in Hastings.

        (7.10.3) William Albert Christopher (1915-1998) born at Hastings Ontario Canada on 12 Apr 1915 he married Jennie Kemp (1916-1996) at Ontario on 25th Nov 1939and died 6th May 1998 at Colborne, Northumberland, Ontario, Canada

        (7.10.4) Clara Elizabeth Christopher (1916-1986) born at Hastings, Ontario Canada on 7th Nov 1916 she died at Toronto 30th March 1966

        (7.10.5) Mable Christopher(b.1919) born at Hastings Ontario, Canada abt 1919

        (7.10.6) Harry Leonard Christopher (1924-1999) born at Belleville, Hastings, Ontario, in Canada on 17th Dec 1924 died 14th Dec 1999 Belleville.

        (7.10.7) Mildred Irene Christopher (1926-1984) born Walbridge, Ontario, Canada 13th jan 1926 died 8th Oct 1984 Kingston, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada

      (7.11) Emily May Christopher (1890-1960) born 21st May 1890 at Lytchett Minster in Dorset, she married at the age of 20 in the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in the parish on 19th Mar 1911 to a slater by trade who worked for a local builders merchant. He was called George William Spillar (1889-1955) and was the 4th of 6 children of John Spillar (1851-1904), who worked for a brewer in Longfleet as a carter, by his wife Ann Maria nee Mitchell (1856-1923).

        Lytchett Minster Wesleyan Methodist Chapel : John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, had links to Dorset. His father, grandfather and great-grandfather all came from the county, and in October 1774 John Wesley wrote in his journal about a preaching in Purbeck. Methodists began meeting in Lytchett Minster in 1789, probably in a cottage at what is now Roberts way. Land was secured for a church in 1865 and foundations were laid that year. A school room was added in 1877 and the church was licensed for marriages from 1894. The church was known as Lytchett Minster Wesleyan Methodist Chapel until 1958, when it became Upton Methodist Church.

      After marriage George and Emily lived at No.22 Stones Buildings in Poole and raised a family of 9 children in Poole between 1911-1932. George died in the parish on 11th April 1955 aged 66 and Emily joined him on 124th May 1960.

      (7.12) Frederick Christopher (1894-1980) born at Lytchett Minster on 28th March 1894 at the age of 17 in 1911 he was still living with his parents in Lytchett Minster working as a general labourer. Nothing else is known apart from his death at the age of 86 in South east Hampshire in March 1980.

      (7.13) Maggie Winifred Mabel Christopher (1896-1969) born at Lytchett Minster on 3rd April 1896 as a young teenager she went into domestic service and in 1911 aged 15, she was working for a solicitor his wife and family in Clermont Road Longfleet. On 11th Nov 1920 aged 24 she married at Poole to Francis George Stratton (1891-1977) and died there at the age of 72 on 24th Fen 1969. Her husband Francis also died at 37 Vicarage Road, Poole on 11th Feb 1977 leaving an estate of £13,186.

      (7.14) George Roberts Christopher (1900-1971) born at Upton Road Corfe Mullen 19th Nov 1900. He married at Poole during the 2nd quarter of 1919 when he was 18 years old to Ethel Rachel Elmes (1900-1992), of the same age, and they had a daughter Dorothy abt Dec that year whilst living with her mother at 33 Avenue Buildings in Poole. George then emigrated to Canada on the 'SS Scotain' boarding on 17 July 1920 and arriving at Quebec on 8th August. He initially took accommodation at No 1 Foxbors Belleville in Ontario. Ethel with Dorothy set sail from Liverpool on 15th Dec 1920 on the Empress of France to join him. In the 1921 Canadian Census they are living in the Sidney Township of Hastings Ontario. George died 3rd Dec 1971 and was buried at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada and was joined by Ethel when she die don 24th jan 1992.
    (8) Eliza CHRISTOPHER (1833-1913)
    Born at their home at Foxholes [later Foxhills] in Lytchett Minster on 7th Jan 1833 she remained within the family working in 1851 aged 18 with her father and siblings in the surrounding fields as an agricultural labourer. Having learnt to cook at home she entered domestic service and headed for London with her sister Isabella where wages were higher, and in 1861 was one of 3 house servants for a general foreign merchant called Charles Frederick Mess who was of german extraction and living at 11 York Place in Stoke Newington. One of the other servants is recorded as Mary Bryant but I am fairly sure this is Mary the daughter of Mereb Stickland (b.1819) as she is working next to Eliza in the same household, she is the right age and also born at Lytchett Minster in Dorset. Ten years later in 1871 she was living nearby at Compton House in Stoke Newington working as a cook for a printer and publisher called George Singer and his family. Eliza married abt Nov 1873 when she was 40 years old to a nurseryman called James Offord (1816-1891), a widower, and they settled to live at Strawberry Cottage on Northwold Road in Hackney where he ran a business as a florist. Her marriage was witnesses by her nephew Henry Christopher by her brother George Christopher and his wife Sarah Burt.

    James Offord's first wife whom he had married at Saint Dunstan's in Stepney on 5th Aug 1838, was Martha Fletcher Newby (1816-1872). They had 5 children together 1840 to 1858 before she died and was buried at Abney Park Cemetery in Hackney in May 1872. A year later as stated above James Offord married Eliza Christopher. Isabella Christopher, Eliza's widowed mother, was now 75 years old and growing infirm. Eliza having married late had no children of her own so Isabella moved to Hackney to live with them. In 1881 apart from her mother they also had a grandson from her husband's 1st marriage staying with them. Her mother died at Hackney about August 1882 and her husband James in Nov 1891 being buried with his first wife at Abney Park Cemetery and joined by Eliza in May 1913.

    (9) James CHRISTOPHER (1834-1909) born at Lytchett Minster he was baptised there on 8th June 1834 and remained with his parents living at Foxholes in Lytchett Minster until his father died in 1853. His widowed mother moved locally to Organford and in all probability he went with her until he married Eliza Boyt (1842-1917) at Lytchett Minster Church on 16th Sep 1860. His bride Eliza Boyt was born in 1842 in the village of Canford which is situated on the River Stour 2 miles south east from Wimborne. She was baptised on 17th July 1842 in the ancient parish church of Great Canford which is of Saxon and Norman origin. Like Lytchett Minster it's dedication is unknown but the church lies on the edge of the parklands of Canford Manor. Like so many at this time her father was a struggling agricultural labourer and by April 1851 the family had moved to Corfe Mullen living in a cottage on or near Candy's Farm where her father worked and which still survives in it's rural setting today. One of the witnesses at their wedding was Eliza's younger brother Frederick Boyt. Following their marriage they initially (April 1861) settled in Almer where their first child was born in 1862. By 1864 however they were in Corfe Mullen, the only address being on the Poole Road in 1901. They remained in the village until James death there at the age of 75 on 28th November 1909. He was buried at St Hubert's Churchyard on 1st December where a memorial stone exists which states "
      In loving memory of James Christopher who departed this life November 28th 1909 aged 75 years. Also in loving memory of the five daughters of James & Elizabeth Christopher: Kate died October 16th 1877 aged 15 years. Maria died October 22 1894 aged 30 years; Emeline July 29 1880 aged 13; Janie March 2nd 1890 aged 11 and May died May 17th 1886 aged 1 week
      James and Eliza had seven children:-

      (9.1) Kate Christopher (1862-1877) she born in the small village of Almer which sits on the Dorchester to Wimborne Road about 6 miles south east of Blandford. She was privately baptised at their cottage in Almer by Rev Charles Sawbridge MA on 15th July 1862 and introduced to the congregation of St Mary's church in the village on the 6th July. She died at Corfe Mullen on 16th Oct 1877 when she was still only 15 years old and was buried in St Hubert's churchyard in a family grave on the 20th.

      (9.2) Maria Christopher (1864-1894) was the first of their children born at Corfe Mullen where she was privately baptised soon after birth on 9th April 1864. She was received into the church on 29th May the same year. She remained a spinster helping her mother run the household, but when she was 22 years old gave birth to an illegitimate daughter. Her daughter was also privately christened with the name Amelia Kate Christopher on 18th April 1887 and received into the church on the 20th May. Maria also died young when she was aged 30 on 22nd Oct 1894, leaving her daughter to be brought up by her parents as another child of theirs. She joined her sister in St Hubert's churchyard on 26th Oct 1894.

      (9.3) Emmeline Christopher (1867-1880) Like her sisters she was privately baptised at home on 7th May 1867and received into the church on 26th of the same month. She also died very young when she was just 13 years old on 29th July 1880 and joined her sisters in St Hubert's churchyard on 1st August.

      (9.4) Julia [Julie] Christopher (1868-1954) She was baptised on 29th Nov 1868 at Corfe Mullen and as a teenager went into domestic service locally She was still unmarried and living with her parents at Cigdean Lane in Corfe Mullen aged 22 in April 1891. She married when she was 33 years old in her home parish on 29th Nov 1902 to a gardener called Frank John Titmuss (1874-1952) . They moved to Southbourne in Hampshire where they had 2 children born in 1904 and 1906. By April 1911 Frank was working at Bournemouth as a bricklayers labourer and living at 55 Irving Road. Frank John Titmuss was a private during the first world war serving in France from 30th Nov 1915 for which he was awarded the British War and Victory Medals and the 1915 Star. He died in March 1952 at Bournemouth followed by Julia who appears to have retired to Weymouth in Sep 1954.

      (9.5) Frederick Christopher (1871- 1945) born at Corfe Mullen about Feb 1871 he was still serving as a carpenters apprentice and living with his parents at Cigdean Lane aged 20 in April 1891. Shortly after this he obtained work in Southampton where he met and married Florence Alice Summers (1866-1957). They had six children in Southampton by 1904. I am fairly sure her served during WWI with the Army but have not been able to distinguish between four different Frederick Christophers.(15) He appears to have died in the district of Winchester in Hampshire in Sep 1945 but this needs verification when Hampshire records become available. Flora died March 1957 at Southampton. There six children were:-

        (9.5.1) Frederick James Christopher (1894-1994) Born abt May 1894 at Southampton he married Dorothy Rose Leigh (1896-1980) who died on the Isle of Wight 16th Aug 1980. Frederick James died at 187 Great Preston Rd, Ryde, Isle of Wight on 9th Sep 1994 leaving an estate of just under £125,000

        (9.5.2) Flora Kate Christopher (1896-1983) Born at Southampton abt Feb 1896 she remained a spinster and died aged 87 at Southampton in June 1983

        (9.5.3) Maud Christopher (b.1897) Born at Southampton abt Nov 1897 she was with her parents aged 13 in 1911. She probably married, possibly to a George H Cooper in Southampton in the 3rd qtr 1921 but I currently have no confirmation.

        (9.5.4) Ellen Christopher (1900-1966) Born at Southampton abt Jan 1900, she married Reginald Walter Freemantle (1897-1971) at Southampton in Sep 1926 and died there in March 1966 aged 66.


        (9.5.5) Edward James Christopher (1901-1978) Born at Southampton on 31st March 1901 it's possible that he married later in life to Patricia Wells at Southampton in the 3rd qtr 1960 but again I need confirmation. He died aged 77 at 6 Begonia Road, Southampton on 3rd July 1978 leaving an estate of £2,389.

        (9.5.6) Alice Christopher (b.1904) Only information currently available is that she was born about Oct 1904 in St Mary's Parish Southampton and was living with her parents in 1911.


      (9.6) Jane Christopher (1878-1890) Born at Corfe Mullen on 22nd April 1878 she was privately baptised at home on 9th May 1878 and received into the church on 30th June. She also tragically died when she was 11 years old on 2nd March 1890 and was laid to rest in the family grave at St Hubert's Corfe Mullen on the 6th.

      (9.7) May Christopher (1886-1886) Born at Corfe Mullen 10th May she was baptised 2 days later on 12th May 1886 but only lived for a week . She died on 17th May and was buried in the family grave at St Hubert's graveyard on the 19th.
    (10) Joseph CHRISTOPHER (1836-1903)

    Joseph says in the census returns that he was born at Lytchett Matravers (16) which would have been shortly prior to his baptism at Lytchett Minster on 17th Jan 1836. On the world stage only five days prior to his baptism Charles Darwin on board HMS Beagle reached Sydney in Australia. Joseph lived with his parents at Foxhill, then described as being within the parish of Lytchett Minster(17) until he married when he was 23 years old. From a very early age, possibly even as early 7 he worked in the fields surrounding the village as an agricultural labourer alongside his father. This was not unusual as for example children from the workhouse were routinely put out to work by the Overseers of the Poor from the age of 7, and even those slightly better off arranged apprenticeships generally from 7 to 10. The only evidence that we have relating to Joseph however is in the 1851 Census when he was 15 years old which shows him thus employed.

    Like most young men he sought work where he could get it and by 1859 he was working back in Lytchett Matravers where he met and married Mary Giles. They married in the 16th century parish church of St Mary the Virgin on 17th July 1859. The ceremony was carried out by the current rector the Rev William Mortimer Heath MA and the certificate issued (see below) bears both their marks and the marks of the witnesses who were Elizabeth Giles ( her mother) and William Giles (her elder brother).
      Mary GILES (1838-1921) was the 4th of 13 children of James Giles (1810-1874) and Elizabeth nee Barnes (1815-1891) who had married in Lytchett Matravers in 1832 and settled there to raise their family. They remained in the village until 1848, apart for the year 1841 when they lived briefly just over 3 miles north at Coombe Common in the parish of Sturminster Marshall. Early in 1849 when Mary was 11 years old they moved 12 miles south from Lytchett Matravers to live at Blackmaston Farm in the hamlet of Steeple where her elder brother George died in 1853 aged 19.

      (10) Link to a FAMOUS MURDER: Here I need to pause and show you the 1851 Census as it records a moment in time which has far more importance than anybody researching the Christopher family is likely to realise.


      At the top on Blackmaston Farm is Robert and Frances Brown who managed the dairy herd for two brothers John & Robert Symes who ran the 382 acre Farm. Importantly below their names is John Brown their unmarried son. Below them comes James & Elizabeth Giles and their family with Mary Giles their daughter shown as being aged 12. She is not shown as a scholar as like most children of her age she also laboured with her father on the farm. Below them comes the owners of the farm John and Robert Symes and most important of all their widowed housekeeper Elizabeth Barnes. Suffice it here to say that Elizabeth Barnes later married John Brown and in July 1856 murdered him, and thereby gained notoriety as the last woman to be publicly hanged in Dorset. Please refer to my Biography The Execution of Elizabeth Martha BROWN where there is a picture of Blackmaston Farm. We can be certain therefore that Mary Giles and her family all knew the farmers son and the housekeeper who married him in January 1852 as the family all worked on the farm until about 1855.

      By 1856 they were back in Lytchett Matravers where the last two of her siblings were born, Jane in 1856 and George in 1860. Mary of course married in 1859 and they initially settled in St Martin's parish in Wareham. Before we leave her family, 1862 proved to be a particularly devastating year for them as Isabella Giles, by then a young woman aged 17 died, almost certainly from an infectious disease such as smallpox but it would be necessary to order the death certificates to know for sure. Two days later Harry Giles her 11 year old brother died and on September the 4th Charlotte her 8 year old sister. It is sobering to think that if Mary had not married she too would have been in the household and may have caught what ever it was that killed them.


    Marriage Certificate of Joesph Christopher (1836-1903) and Mary Giles (1838-1921)

    One month after they married Mary gave birth to the first of their ten children(18), a girl they named Elizabeth who struggled to live so they had her baptised at St Mary's on 23rd October1859. She died aged 15 weeks being buried there on 1st December. By April 1861 they were temporarily living in St Martin's parish in Wareham on the Bere Road but by July they were settled in Lytchett Minster where they were to remain for the best part of the next 20 years adding 8 more children. By April 1881 however they had moved to live at Bennett's place on Junction Road in Upper Ham near the railway where Mary who was now aged 43 gave birth to Maud Christopher their last child. Some time after that, and certainly by 1891 when they were living in Turtle Cottage on the Rinwood Road in Parkstone, he worked for the local Pottery at Sandford labouring to extract clay. At the end of his life he laboured for a local blacksmith and died on 8th April 1903 at the age of 67 from an obstruction in his intestine. He was buried at Longfleet 3 days later. After Joseph's death their married son Sidney who lived with them also working in the sandpit for the pottery became head of the family and looked after Mary. She died in April 1921 aged 83 and joined her husband in the cemetery at Longfleet on 2nd May 1921.
      Their CHILDREN:-

      (10.1) Elizabeth Christopher (1859-1859) She was 15 weeks old at death making her born on or about 15th Aug 1859. She was baptsied at Lytchett Minster Church on 23rd Oct that year and was buried there on 1st December

      (10.2) Annabella Christopher (1861-1902) Thought to have been born at Lytchett Minster just prior to her baptism in the nearby 16th century church of St Mary's at Lytchett Matravers. She grew up mainy at Lytchett Minster where she was known as Anne and slightly later Annie Christopher. As was generally the case for young girls, as a teenager she entered domestic service and aged 19 in 1881 she was working in Holdenhurst Christchurch in Hampshire for a William Robson and his wife and family. In the autumn of 1886 she became pregnant and returned home to Lytchett Minster where she gave birth to an illegitimate daughter whom she had baptised there on 5th June 1887 as Florence Christopher (1887-1954). Annabella then married a widower called John Hart who already had 3 sons by his first partner Susan Shannon (1853-1882). Susan was of Irish descent and I have not investigated how they met but thier first two children Mary and Joseph were born in Glasgow in Scotland so it's possible that they married in either country. They moved to live in Lytchett Minster in 1879 as they had a third son William Charles Hart (1880-1959) born there about April 1880. Their second son Joseph Hart married on 22nd July 1900 at Heatherlands in the parish of Kinson to a labourers daughter with the impressive name of Queen Selena Victoria Squires (1879-1936). I mention them here as they were witnesses to Florence Christopher's own marriage in the same church to Solomon Squires (1885-1964) on 15th Nov 1915.

      Annabella Christopher was in fact John Hart's third wife, as his first wife Susan Shannon died in 1st quarter of 1882 and on 15th Setember the same year he married again to Henrietta Lovall (1848-1888) . She also died being buried at Lytchett Minster on 10th Jan 1888. Banns of marriage for Annabella Christopher and John Hart (1855-1929) were read on December 23rd and 30th 1888 and January 6th 1889 in both his parish of Lytchett Minster and her parish church of St Peter's in Parkstone and they married at Lytchett Minster on 12th January 1889 witnessed by her siblings William and Ellen Christopher. Annabella died at the age of 41 and was buried at Longfleet on 23rd Sep 1902. Used to the process by now John Hart married for a forth time in Poole in October 1903 to Elizabeth Sarah Bascombe.

      (10.3) Mary Elizabeth Christopher (1863-1920) born about August 1863 at Lytchett Minster she was not baptised in the parish church until 30th July 1865 when she was joined by her younger sister Bessie. As a teenager she found employment as a domestic servant in St James Parish in Poole where she worked for Robert Taylor the landlord of the 'Yeoman Inn' on Market Street. Next to the Inn in Bowling Green Alley lived Henry Newton a retired seaman with his son James Newton (1861-1932) whom she married at Poole in abt May 1884. James worked as a labourer at Sandford Pottery and they raised a family of 9 children in Poole before Mary died in Dec 1920 when she was 57 years old. She was buried at Longfleet on 14th December. James lived for another 12 years but was also buried at Longfleet on 26th March 1932.

      (10.4) Bessie Christopher (1865-1948) baptised soon after birth at Lytchett Minster with her sister Mary Elizabeth on 30th July 1865 she also entered domestic service as a young teenager. In April 1881 when she was 15 years old she was employed by local a builder and contractor called Daniel Hitching (1843-1911) to help his wife Mary to run the household and look after their six children. Daniel was suprisingly a native of Finchingfield in Essex but had married his wife Mary nee Christopher (1839-1893) , who was Bessie's 1st cousin, at St John's church in Brixton London on 14th Oct 1865. They had settled back in Parkstone by 1880 and Daniel was by then running a substantial building contractors business employing 12 men so a busy man and able to afford a servant. Bessie married abt May 1888 when she was 22 years old to Frederick James Brown (1865-1939) who like his father worked in a local flour mill. They had raised a family of 3 children by 1911 when they were living at No. 9 High Street Poole. Frederick died aged 73 in Poole in March 1939 and was joiuned by Bessie when she died in March 1948

      (10.5) Charlotte (Lydia) Christopher (1867-1926) I am grateful to Jenny Sargent her grandaughter who advised us that although she was baptised at Charlotte at Lytchett Minster on 24th Nov 1867 she was known throughout her life as Lydia. She never actully married but as a teenager went into domestic service near Paddington where she met and by the age of 21 was living with Henry Williams (1865-1937) a plasterer by trade. Henry had been born in Queen's County in Ireland and became the father of her four children (1889-1910). Her death is recorded on 9th March 1926 at 19 South Wharf Road Paddington when she was aged 56. She suffered from graves disease and died a heart attack.

      (10.6) Ellen Christopher (1869-1937) Born at Lytchett Minster on 10th Oct 1869 when she was recorded as Ellen, she was baptised in the parish church on 27th February as Eleanor. Later in life she refererd to herself as Helen. In January 1889, when she was aged 19, she was a witness with her brother William at the wedding of her sister Annalbella in Lytchett Minster Church. Ellen lived at home with her parents working locally as a laundress until she married William Frederick Curtis (1869- ???) at St James Church in Poole. Banns were read on 3rd, 10th and 17th December, and they married there on Christmas Day 1893. Link to Pictures of inside the church. They remained in Poole, initially living at Cinnamon Road and later at 31 Green Road Poole and raised a faily of 5 children there between 1896 and 1907. They decided to emigrate to Canada and their sons Alfred Joseph Curtis (1901-1961) and Walter George Curtis (1902-1962) sailed from Liverpool on the 'Empress of Britain' on 28th January 1921 to join their uncle Walter Curtis who was already living in Canada at 179 Pickering Street in East Toronto.

      Walter Frederick, Ellen and their daughter Dora May followed setting sail on the 'Empress of Scotland' from Southampton on 22nd April 1922 arriving in Quebec Canada in May. Their passage was paid for by their sister-in-law who was by then living at 217 Pickering Street in Toronto. Ellen died at the age of 69 on 23rd Oct 1937 at York, Ontario, Canada.

      (10.7) William Christopher (1871-1920) - COMMITS SUICIDE - AT THE RISING SUN PH - WAREHAM:

      Born on 24th Nov 1871 at Lytchett Minster he was baptised there on 28th January the following year. At the age of 17 he was a witness with his sister Ellen at the wedding of their sister Annabella Christopher (1861-1902) to John Hart (1855-1929). He lived with his parents until he married at the age of 22 on 3rd Dec 1893 at St Paul's Church in Poole to Lilian Bessie Whittle (1871-1935) . Lilian was the 2nd of five children of Charles Banston Whittle (1848-1895) and Mary Jane Pearce (1845-1918). Her father had started as a ships carpenter but became a tranter suggesting he owned his own cart. At the time of her marriage Lillian was living with her parents in Salisbury Street in Poole and she had with her a three year old illegitimate son named Frederick Bertie Pearce Whittle (1890-1917). After marriage they lived in East Street Poole, William working as a stoker and Lilian supplementing their income by being a tailoress. By April 1901 they had raised a family (including Frederick) of four children. On 11th September 1908 Lilian's eldest son Frederick joined the Army enlisting in 1st battalion of the Dorset Regiment and on 4th October 1910 he was posted to India.

      The April 1911 census finds the family happily still living in Poole at No. 3 Beaconsfield Terrace with William working as a labourer on Poole Quay and his two sons William and Charles, both now young teenagers, working at the local pottery. His wife Lillian no longer needs to work as a tailoress looking after the household including their 11 year old daughter Lilian who is still at school. This happy state of affairs was brought to an end by the first world war. There can be no doubt that William was very fond of all his children but especially the eldest Frederick who at the outbreak of war in 1914 was posted to Mesopotania. British Empire forces arrived at Kut Al Amara (now Iraq) on 3rd December 1915 and laid to seige by the pusuing Ottaman forces on the 7th. When rescue attempts failed and food supplies ran out the Allied forces, amounting to about 13,000, surrendered on 29th April 1916 and Frederick became a prisoner of war. It was not until after the war when the Rev. H Spooner was repatriated with surviving troops who had been force marched to Turkey that the war office accepted that Frederick had died on the march sometime between 14th Sep 1916 and 8th April 1918. The official notification is dated 4th March 1919. Whilst they had no doubt up to that point lived in hope of his return, its timing was tragic for the family as their youngest daughter Lilian still only aged 19 died the following month being buried at Longfleet on 12th April 1919.



      Rising Sun, The Quay, Wareham circa 1910
      © Kindly provided by Michael Hicks
      Link to more Info

      Faced with such tragic circumstances William became depressed and Lilian, clearly the the stronger of the two, tried to give them a new venture to concentrate upon by applying for a licence to run 'The Rising Sun' Public House on the Quay at Wareham which they took over around the start of 1920. On 20th April however he committed suicide. An inquest was held and reported in the local press:-

        INQUEST: "An inquest was held on Thursday at the Rising Sun by Mr Maddock (Deputy Coroner) upon the body of William Christopher licensee of the Rising Sun, and until recently working at Poole. It appears from the evidence that the deceased on the 20th cleaned out the bar and performed his accustomed duties and then said that he was going for a stroll.

        No alarm was felt upon his non return, as it was thought that he might have gone to Poole, but after the last train from the place had arrived at Wareham his absence was reported to the Police. P.C.Suns accompanied by the deceased's wife and son searched the premises, and the constable and son finding the stable door barricaded, procured an axe and forced an entrace. There they found the deceased hanging from a beam lifeless and cold. A verdict of death from hanging while of unsound mind was recorded, nothing being found on the deceased to point to his intention to take his life.

      Lilian had now lost her eldest son, her youngest daughter and her husband in short order, but she continued to run The Rising Sun in Wareham, and is recorded under her own name in the 1923 edition of Kelly's Directory for Wareham. She remarried in the third quarter of 1925 to George Ward whose name appears in the directory for 1927 but the 1931 edition records the proprietor of the Rising Sun at the Quay Wareham to be Lilian B[essie] Ward. Lilian died when she was actually aged 63, but both the GRO registration of her death and her burial at Longfleet on 11th April 1933 wrongly give her age as being 58. Their four children were:-

        (10.7.1) Frederick Bertie Pearce Whittel (1890-1917) baptised St James Church Poole 8th Jan 1890, enlisted in Dorset Infantry aged 18 on 11th Sep 1908 Regtl No. 8512. Posted to India 4th Oct 1910, At Poona 23 Mar 1914; posted to Mesopotania 16th Oct 1914 at the seige of Kut Al Amara (now Iraq), taken prisoner and died on the march as detailed above.

        (10.7.2) William Arthur Christopher (1895-1979) He was born at Poole in Dorset on 10th January 1895 and lived with his parents until the outbreak of WWI. The only reference to him that I have so far located is in the Electoral Register for Poole for the year 1919 which shows William Arthur Christopher, now aged 23, as being absent from their home at 4 Balston Terrace, West Street in Poole . He is recorded on the absent Voters listing where it gives the reason for his absence as being in trhe Navy (No. 66620) on H.M.Drifter "Xeranthemum" . Painting of the Xeranthemum far right is by marine painter Rob Andrew

        Drifters were generally smaller than a traditional fishing trawler but robust boats built like trawlers to work in most weather conditions but designed to deploy and retrieve drift nets. At the outbreak of WWI steam drifters were required to return to their home ports which in the case of the Xeranthemum was Banff Aberdeenshire where it was registered as BF545. Here it was requisitioned by the Admiralty for war service as H.M. Drifter "Xeranthemum" and the crew became part of the Royal Navy Reserve. In most cases the boats were fitted with a 3 or 6 pounder gun and some with depth charges, and used to maintain and patrol anti submarine nets. This whole area particularly Scapa Flow and the Pentland Firth was of great importance during the war to the British Navy.

        In the 4th Quarter 0f 1928 William Alfred Christopher married Mabel Emma Fancy (1897-1987) who was the 2nd great grandaughter of James Fancy (1764-1850) and Sarah nee Christopher (1762-1840) . William lived to be 84 and died at 5 Bonnets Lane in Wareham on 29th Nov 1929. Mabel lived to be 89 and died at the River House in Wareham on 22nd April 1987 leaving an estate of not exceeding £40,000.

        (10.7.3) Charles Joseph Bernard Christopher (1896-1944) He was born at Poole on 29th Oct 1896 and like his brothers joined the Army during WWI. Although I have not located his military record the absent voters list for his home in Poole in 1919 shows that he was serving as a private in the 2nd battalion of the Dorset Regimrent (16815). On 4th Oct that year he was awarded the British War and Victory medals which gives a 2nd Regtl Number 0259 as he then appears to be in the Duke of Edinburgh's Wiltshire Regiment. Hr married at Wareham when he was 25 to Polley Lavinia Pritchard (1898-1987) a native of Kings Norton in Worcestershire. Charles died at the relatively young age of 47 in March 1944 at Poole. His widow Polley remarried at Poole in Sep 1947 to Harry S Boyt.

        (10.7.4) Lilian Jessie Christopher (1899-1919) She was born in East Street at Poole on 21st April 1899 but died aged 19 on the 7th April 1919 and was buried at Longfleet on the 12th.

      (10.8) George Christopher (1875-1915) born at Lytchett Minster he was baptised there on 29th Aug 1875. By the ge of 16 he was working locally as a carter. He married when he was aged 24 at St James Church in Poole on 5th Nov 1899 to a young widow called Elizabeth Leaton . Elizabeth was still only aged 34 when she married George Christopher. She was born as Elizabeth Mary Adelaide Coombs the 6th of 9 children of an agricultural Labourer William Coombs (1827-1884) and his wife Mary Ann Bromby (1831-1882). She was born in the third quarter of 1865 at Canford but not baptised until 27th Oct 1867 at St Paul's church in Poole along with 4 of her siblings. Abt Feb 1885 when she was aged 19 she married John Wilson (b.abt 1864) a native of London, and a young seaman who had first come to Poole on the ship 'Media' in 1882. He stayed working out of local ports and was aged 21 when they married. They had 5 children all born at Poole between 1885 and 1893 when John must have died although I have not been able to locate his death or burial. He was with his family living in Carter's Lane in St James Parish in Poole in April 1891. The last reference I have to him is when he engaged on the ship "Prince" out of Weymouth on 30th June 1891. Unfortunately the ship was laid up at Portsmouth on 26th Sep 1891 when all the crew including John Wilson were discharged to shore. It seems likely that he embarked upon another voyage and may then have died at sea.

      Second Husband commits suicide :- With 5 children Elizabeth needed support and on 14th Sep 1895 at Poole she married George Leaton (1849-1895) when she described herself as a widow. George had been baptised at Benefield in Northamptonshire on 15th April 1849 the son of Thomas Leaton (1822-1886) by his wife Lucy nee Sharp (1822-1892). We know he lived at home and was already working as an agricultural labourer aged 12 in 1861 before he learnt to be a tanner and was living in Leeds in lodgings ten years later. Unfortunately I have not been able to locate him in the 1881 census during which time he married. By 1891 he is already a widower and living at 3 Albany Row, in Poole when he is described as a Maltster. Clearly this is where Elizabeth met him and they were probably drawn together both having lost their partners. Elizabeth gave birth to her sixth child Arthur George Leaton (1896-1982) in Poole abt Jan 1896. George Leaton however was clearly not well and appears to have returned on his own to his family in Benefield Oundle Northamptonshire. Unfortunately in Oct 1895 he shot and killed himself the coroner recording a verdict of tempoarary insanilty.

      George Christopher (1875-1915) was therefore Elizabeth's third husband and they had the three children listed below together

        (10.8.1) Ethel Maud Christopher (1900-1926) she was born at Thames Street in Poole about Feb 1900 and baptised at St James Church on 3rd June that year. She moved with her parents to live at Bay Hog Lane by 1911 and by 1917 to Levitts Lane, both in Poole. A regular churchgoer she received her confirmation at St James Church at the hands of the Bishop of Salisbury on 17th November 1917. In 1921 she was one of the witnesses at her step-brother Arthur George Leaton's wedding to Agnes Longman. She was still unmarried when she died aged 23 in 1926 and was buried at Longfleet on 14th July.

        (10.8.2) Alfred Edward Christopher (1902-1942) born about Oct 1902 at Poole, at the age of 18 he received his confirmation alongside his younger brother Walter at the hand sof the Bishop of Salisbury on 6th Nov 1920. In the 4th qurater of 1928 aged 26 he married Freda Alice Edna Hall (b.1906) the daughter of Frederick Charles & Alice Hall at Poole.

          (10.8.2.1) They had a son Dennis Albert Christopher (1929-1987) born at Poole on 9th January 1929. He married Phyllis Sheppard in the district of Blandford Dorset on 11th July 1950 but they seem to have divorced, Phyllis remarring in 1969, whilst Dennis emigrated to New Zealand gaining naturalization there on 18th May 1977. He died on 16th Sep 1987 and his gravestone at Mannu Cemetery Whangarel, Whangarel District, Northland New Zealand states that he served in the Royal Air Force during WWII as a leading aircraftsman (LAC). This is a junior rank which had originated in the RAF in 1918 replacing that of RFC rank - mechanic first class. He was still only 17 when the war ended.

        Alfred Edward Christopher died in Jun 1942 aged 39 in the district of Weymouth. Freda re-married after Alfred's death to Nikola Pamjanovic [ Damjanovic(19) ] in 3rd qtr 1948. I have no further information about him but Freda Alice E Damjanovic was living at 109 Ravensbourne Road, Otago, New Zealand from 1969 to 1972 when she is recorded as married but no husband at that address; then at 57 Cullen Street Otago, St Kilda in 1978 and 1/11 Yates Road Mangere, Auckland in 1981 when she was aged 75 and described as retired.

        (10.8.3) Walter William Christopher (1905-1990) born on n4th April 1905 at Poole he received his confirmation alonside his elder brother at St James Church in Poole on 6th Nov 1920. He married Violet Dorothy Oborne (1908-1999) the daughter of George and Mary Ann Oborne at Poole about Nov 1929. Walter died 16th Dec 1990 in Carmarthen, Dyfed, Wales and was joined by Violet who reached the age of 90 in April 1999.

      (10.9) Sidney [Sydney] Christopher (1877-1914) He was baptised at Lytchett Minster on 27th May 1877 and at the age of 14 was a plumbers assistant living with his parents at 2 Thurl Cottages in Parkstone. He married there at the age of 22 on 16th April 1900 in the parish church of St Peter's to Louisa Rebecca Oates (1877-1945) the daughter of George Oates (1837-1909) a farmer by his wife Rebecca. A carter by trade they lived initially after marriage at 57 Quay Road in Poole and raised a family of seven children between 1901 and 1914. By 1911 they were living at Ringwood Road in Parkstone. Sidney died on 28th Dec 1914 at the age of 37 being buried at Longfleet on the 2nd January 1915. Louisa lived to be 68 and died on 21st Feb 1945 before also being buried at Longfleet.

        (10.9.1) Annie Louisa Christopher (1901-1986) born on 18th Nov 1902 she was baptised at St Paul's Church in Poole on 16th March. She married Eric George Godding (1906-1990) in the district of Wallingford, West berkshire abt Feb 1928. She died at £2 Elvendon Road, Goring-on-Thames on 9th Sep 1986 leaving an estate of £61,951 to her husband Eric who died at the same address on 21st March 1990.

        (10.9.2) Bessie Christopher (1903-1992) Born on the 13th May she was baptised at St Paul's church in Poole on 26th July 1903. She married at Longfleet on 21st June 1931 aged 28 to Reginald Victor Newell (1904-1969) and they had a daughter Jean Margaret Newell in 1932. Reginald died at Poole in Sep 1969 but Bessie lived to be 89 passing away on 15th December 1992 at 102 Cranbrook Road in Parkstone leaving an estate of just under £125,000

        (10.9.3) Charles Sidney Christopher (1904-1912) born about Nov 1904 he was baptised at St Paul's church in Poole on 3rd March 1906. He died at Parkstone aged 7 years in February 1912 and was buried at Longfleet on 16th of that month.

        (10.9.4) Dora May Christopher (1907-1912) born about Feb 1907 she was probably also baptised at St Paul's church but records are not so far available. Like her brother Charles Sidney she died an infany being buried at Longfleet on 10th Feb 1912.

        (10.9.5) Edith Laura Mary Christopher (1909-1972) born on 18th June 1909 at Longfleet she was baptised there on 15th July the same year. Aged 25 she married at Poole to Hugh Percy Webber (1907-1965) Hugh died 16th Nov 1965 and was buried at St Peters Church in Parkstone on 30th of that month. Edith died about August 1972 at Battle Hospital in Reading but buried privately after cremation at St Peters Church in Parkstone.

        (10.9.6) Florence Christopher (1911- 2000) Born 20th May 1911 whilst her family was living on the Ringwood Road, Parkstone she was baptised in the parish church on 28th July 1911. She married Albert Edward Windebank (1897-1975) about Nov 1943 at Reading in West Berkshire. Albert died at 60 Cleeve Down, Goring, Reading in 9th May 1975 aged 78 leaving an estate of £1,212 to Florence who died at Didcot in Oxfordshire in June 2000.

        (10.9.7) Robert Harry Christopher (1914-1914) Born about Feb 1914 he was baptised at Longfleet on 5th March but died the following September being buried at Longfleet on 26th Sep 1914.

      (10.10) Maud Christopher (1881-1954) she was born about August 1881 at Hamworthy in Dorset. I have not been able to clearly identify her in the 1901 census(20) but it seems likely that she went into domestic service. She married George William Taylor (1884-1949) from Longfleet at St Peter's Church in Parkstone on 31st May 1902. The wedding was witnessed by his sister Beatrice Taylor and Maud's younger brother Alfred Christopher. After marriage they lived at Parkstone where 4 of their 5 children were born, before moving to live at Bay Hog Lane in Poole with George woking as a carman for a local shipping agent. Their youngest child Lilian was born at Poole at the end of 1910. George died at 3 Marsden Roiad in Poole on 11th Jan 1949 leaving his widow an estate of just £340. Maud also died in Poole about Sep 1954.

      ALSO their Grandson raised as one of their own:-

      (10.11) Alfred Christopher (1885-1908) There is understandably some confusion over his birth and we need sight of his birth certificate (GRO 1885 2nd qtr Poole 5a 293) to resolve the issue. I have not been able to locate a baptism which might have helped. The only firm evidence is the 1891 census where he is clearly recorded as the grandson of Joseph and Mary Christopher implying that he is the son of one of their surviving daughters. Annoyingly I have not located him (aged 15) or his youngest sister Maud Christopher (aged 19) in the 1901 census. All we know is that they are no longer living with Jospeh and Mary. As far as I can tell, whatever his parentage, he appears to have been brought up from birth simply as another of Joseph and Mary's children. Mary would have been aged 47 when he was born so it is still possible for Alfred to have been her son. He next appears in official documentation as one of two witnesses at his sister Maud Christopher's wedding to George William Taylor at St Peters Church in Parkstone on 31st May 1902. This suggests they were close as siblings and probably therefore together in 1901.

      Alfred married at Parkstone on 16th May 1903 and gives Joseph Christopher (deceased) as his father. He married Emily Eliza Gollop (1883-1965) who was baptised at Longfleet on 24th Feb 1884 as the daughter of Phineas (James) Gollop (1857-1885) and his wife Mary Jane Lacy (1861-1938). Unfortunately her father had died the year after she was born and she, like Alfred, raised by her maternal grandparents ( Robert William and Eliza Ann Lacy) as her mother remarried to Robert Gillingham (1858-1913) and she did not take her into the marriage. Alfred and Emily had two children together as listed below before Alfred suddenly died at Parkstone, still only aged 22, and was buried at Longfleet on 26th Feb 1908. Emily remarried at St Paul's Church in Poole to George Henry Spicer on 18th May 1913. One of the witnesses at her 2nd wedding was Margaret Lucy Christopher nee Gillingham (1891-1956) who was married to Alfred's 1st cousin Harry Christopher (1888-1968)

        (10.11.1) Alfred Sidney Joseph Christopher (1903-1971) He is reported to have been born on 16th July 1903 at Waterloo, which in 1903 was a small group of houses between the Bournemouth West branch of the London and South Western Railway and the reservoir just due south of the village of Broadstone. It is now simply a housing estate and suburb of Poole. He was baptised at St John the Baptist Chapel of Ease at Canford on 6th Sep 1903. His father died in 1908 and his mother remarried in 1910 and in April 1911 he was living with his maternal grandparents Robert William Lacy (1833-1913) and Eliza Ann Cew (1832-1900). About Sep 1922 he married at Poole to Violet May Upward (1905-1969)

        (10.11.2) Mary Ellen L Christopher (1906-1974)
    XXXX
    Genealogical Notes:-

    (1) Recorded in the Lytchett Minster Baptism Register under Entry 556 - "1839 June 30th Mary daughter of Merab Cristifer abode Lytchett no occupation by Rev G Abbott curate". These entries also had to be copied to the Bishop and I have attached to my tree on ancestry.com an image of the transcription - This is unnumbered and the mothers name is spelt as 'Marab Cristtofer'.

    (2) Mereb probably left home as a young teenager to work as a domestic servant and as was traditional once she was pregnant returned home to give birth.

    (3) Annoyingly I have never been able to clearly locate Merab in the 1841 Census - the nearest is Mary Amy Stickland living at St Mary's Southampton (where she was to die in 1856) a female servant aged (20 to 24 age band) working for a Royal Navy man Thomas Bradley, who was not born in Hampshire. Only the Christian name is incorrect.

    (4) Whilst Mary Stickland's death at Owermoigne needs to be viewed with some caution until birth and death certificates are obtained I have confirmed that Mary was not baptised in Owermoigne. Another 3 year old child Rhoda Stickland died there on 17th April 1841 who was the illegitimate daughter of Ann Christopher the daughter of Benjamin & Sarah Stickland of Galton so it's possible that Merab was visiting a kindred spirit with her daughter when both children sickened and died but I have not managed to find a family connection. Mary's burial record gives her abode as Weymouth and a Mary Stickland was born circa 1839 there then so this may not be her but I have not located Mary in any later census or marriage.

    (5) The marriage of Ann Christopher to John Sansom is at the GRO 1861 3rd qtr Blandford district Ref 5a 422a

    (6) John Sansom's 1st marriage was to Elizabeth Honeybun (1810-1839) at Kimmerage in Dorset on 8th Aug 1831 by whom he had Mary b.1832; Wm b.1835; and James 1838-1839. Elizabeth was buried at West Lulworth 4th Apr 1839. His 2nd marriage was to Elizabeth Meader at West Lulworth 17 Aug 1840 by whom he had Sarah (1841-1855) ; James b.1843; Eliza b.1845; George 1848-1899; Emma b.1851; Louisa b. 1854. Elizabeth was buried at Almer on 19th Aug 1856.

    (7) Benjamin Burt and Caroline (Anne)'s children all baptised at Lytchett Matravers :- (1) Thomas (1820-1900) born 1820 bap with his sister Mary 17th Mar 1822 married Elizabeth Joyce 30 Apr 1850 Lytchett Minster buried Lytchett Minster 28 Feb 1900 ;(2) Mary born 1822 bap with Thomas 17th Mar 1822 buried a spinster Lytchett Minster 16 Mar 1844 (3) Jane b. 1823 bap 7th Nov 1824 convicted with sister Catherine of stealing a cap and pocket handkerchief sentenced to 7 years transportation to Tasmania; freed after 5 years married James Wright Tasmania 1848 died 8 Dec 1911 Flynn's Creek Victoria (4) Eliza born May 1825 not baptised; no further trace (5) Catherine born 1826 bap aged 11 years 2nd July 1837 with sister Sarah, convicted with sister Jane & transported to Tasmania for 10 years ; Sarah born 1830 bap aged 7 years 2nd July 1837 with elder sister Catherine.

    (8) Children of Catherine Christopher (1859-1891) and Robert Collins (1860-1908) were- Daniel Christopher Collins (1884-1916) who joined the Royal Army Service Corps in WWI and was killed in France aged 32 15 Aug 1916 and Richard Henry Colins (1889-1934)

    (9) Samuel Christopher (1848-1931) Although no father is recorded on his birth certificate his marriage certificate in 1869 records this as being' James Christopher'. I have not attached any particular significance to this given the very difficult background outlined above. It may be that in time DNA testing will provide a better idea but I doubt it given the very convoluted family inter marriages and relationships. His great grandfather James Christopher (1764-1847) was had died in Feb 1847 before he was conceived but they may have used his name as a matter of convenience.

    (10). 1871 Census : Ancestry.com seem to have missed recording the tiny hamlet of East Holme but a transcription is available on line on the OPC website for that parish

    (11). Children from the marriage of Adelaide Christopher (1855-1938) to Meshach William Ellis (1848-1920) were (1) Sidney William Ellis (1885-1889) (2) Edith Fanny Ellis (1888-1889) (3) Oliver William Ellis (1892-1977) (4) Eva Adelaide Ellis (1895-1959)

    (12). 1936 Nat Archives J 77/3686/9457 Divorce Court File: 9457. Appellant: Sidney William Christopher. Respondent: Florence Selina Christopher. Co-respondent: Leonard Bowes. Type: Husband's petition for divorce [hd].

    (13). Herbert Frank Christopher (1902-1979) It is not known whether he married although there is a marriage at the GRO for a Alice B.C.Osbourne at Bournemouth in 1929.

    (14). Children of William Christopher (1879-1945) and Sarah Alice Daisy May Scott (1884-1916) were (1) Cyril William Christopher/Scott (1906-1997) (2) Bertie William Christopher/Scott (1907-1975) (3) Daisy May Christopher/Scott (b.1909)

    (15). Frederick Christopher (1871-1945) The 4 military records that are currently available (2017) are only for the award of medals but show (a) RFA Gunner driver Soldier 55266 awarded British War and Victory Medals + 1915 Star for service in France from 27th Aug 1915 (b) Labour Corps Private Soldier 217635 awarded British War and Victory Medals (c) RASC BHTD Driver Private Soldier T2/14021Awarded British War and Victory Medals + 1914 Star for service in France wef 17th Sep 1914 Discharged Para 392 AVD Kings Regulations 8th July 1916 and (d) BR WIR Acting Sergeant Soldier 1125 awarded Bristh War and Victory Medals

    (16). Joseph Christopher (1836-1903) Census returns mainly only refer to 'Lytchett' in Dorset, but that for 1861 states 'Lower Lytchett' which is a reference to Lytchett Matravers and this is made clear in the 1871 return where he does state Lytchett Matravers for himself but Lytchett Minster for his wife and children.

    (17). Foxhills / Foxholes Road. A current day street map shows Foxhills Road running parallel to the Wareham Road south out of Lytchett Matravers on the eastern side of the village to join the 'west to east' A35 . It joins between Organford just to the west and Lytchett Minster just to the east. In the past this seems to have been also called Foxholes Road and depending where on the road you were it could be in Lytchett Matravers or Lytchett Minster Parish

    (18). Joseph Christopher (1836-1903) & Mary Giles (1838-1921) Regarding their ten children : Eleven children are listed on my family tree as the last child Alfred Christopher (1885-1908) was probably illegitimate, possibly by their daughter Ellen, but brought up as one of their own children. He is described as their grandson in the 1891 census (the only one we have) and we need the birth certificate to discover the mother. He is missing in the 1901 census and when he married her said his father was Joseph. He died in 1908 so no other source matrerial available.

    (19). Freda Alice Edna Christopher (nee Hall) marriage at GRO is recorded as Freda A E Christopher in 3rd qtr 1948 Ref Poole district of Dorset 6a 1813 - but only gives his surname of Damjanovic which I think is the correct spelling. This does not match back to his entry however as this is recorded as under Nikola PAMJANOVIC.

    (20). Maud Christopher (1881-1954) - 1901 Census - Possibility that it might be following as expect her to be a servant and clearly she was not present when return completed as her birth place was not known and the head therefore is likely to have also guessed her age. RG13/1970/70/1 Kitford farm Ibberton Sturminster St Eustace Maud Christopher servant single age 15 General Servant Domestic born Dorset Not Known [working for Arthur Waygood age 33 farmer.

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