Southwood Family History

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My Southwood Links

Family History research is rarely the result of one individuals efforts. The Southwood Family History below is a case in point. I'd like to take the opportunity give my thanks to my cousin Lynne MacMillian for her help and support as we've slowly constructed our Family Tree (recently a DNA test comparing Lynne's brother and my Uncle delivered a 37 / 37 Match confirming the existing paper trail) and Phil Southwood a member of the Guild of One Name Studies researching the Southwood surname who has dug out numerous leads for our family (he can be contacted for Southwood queries worldwide via the email link above)

Picture of Leslie James Southwood My Southwood links start with my grandfather Leslie James Southwood (1901-1978) born in Watford Hertfordshire (photograph on left hand side) he was son of James and Maria Emma Southwood nee Mertens. He had two elder sisters (Dora Ethel and Marie Kate Southwood) and one younger sister (Edna Maud Southwood). Leslie James Southwood emigrated to Canada c. 1925 a Mechanic, aged 23, on the Empress of Scotland from Southampton to Quebec (his address prior to emigrating was 17, Highoaks Road, Welling Gdns City, Hertfordshire). He married my grandmother Doris Ivy Middleton on 6th July 1926 in Ontario. Having trained as a mechanic, he found work in the Automotive Industry on the Canada/US boarder in Detriot, but, with the onset of the depression, having decided to retain his British citizenship (rather than become a US Citizen) he became unemployed, and the family decided to return to England c. 1932, where he worked for Vauxhall Motors after settling in Luton Bedfordshire.

Of his three sisters Dora Ethel Southwood known as "Dolly" (1889-1931) married schoolmaster Frank Judd on 27th Feb 1915 at Watford Register Office. Marie Kate Southwood (1891-1978) married "artiste" George Henry Gilbert Toop 22nd July 1912 at High Wycombe Parish Church. And Edna Maud Southwood (1902-1986) married Joseph Henry Crossman 9th Jun 1934 at Dartford Register Office Kent.

Picture of James Southwood My great grandfather (photograph on the left) was James Southwood (1867-1933) born at 6 Shepherds Court Upper Brooke Street London Middlesex. He was the youngest of three children of Samuel George and Catherine Southwood nee Weedon. He is believed initially to have been employed as a solicitors clerk (presumably in London) but changed vocation and joined the British Museum, as on Dec.7, 1888 he is mentioned in the London Gazette, "WITHOUT COMPETITION British Museum : Attendant James Southwood).
In 1997 Stephen R.V. Corri, of the British Museum Archives, kindly sent me the following additional details of James Southwood's career :

"Southwood submitted an application for a post at the Museum on the 12th of January, 1889, and was finally appointed as an attendant 2nd class in the Department of Egyptian & Assyrian Antiquities on the 9th of November 1889. In July 1890 Southwood transferred to the Department of Oriental Printed Books and Manuscripts, where on the 10th of January 1910 he was promoted to the position of Departmental Clerk, and in May 1922 he was awarded with '.. a higher grade of clerkship..' In March of 1929 with Southwood nearing retirement the Museum Trustees decided to retain his services after his 60th birthday, and in fact he stayed in post a further 3 years before finally retiring on the 29th of March 1932 and being awarded with an annual pension of 200." .

James became fluent in several Indian dialects and is believed to have been employed in his role, as a translator. In 1925 he wrote 'Thomas Stephens, the first Englishman in India.' A Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (of which I have a copy) and provided input for "A Catalogue of the Tamil Books in the Library of the British Museum" published 1931, written by Lionel David Barnett, George Uglow Pope, Albertine Gaur.

James Southwood married Maria Emma Mertens on 25th September 1888 at Caterham Parish Church in Surrey.

James had two older sisters Dorcas Southwood (1859-1941) and Elizabeth Mary Southwood (1865-1925+) (a third daughter Catherine Southwood a twin of Dorcas died at birth 1859). My great Aunt Edna Maud Crossman nee Southwood left me several notes about her "family".Firstly Dorcas, "Dorcas was always known as Dora as she hated the name Dorcas. She remained a spinster but she was a dear old thing. In Victorian days there were few jobs for women - if you had any education you might become a governess, but for most women there was only domestic services, Dora went into domestic service and later became a housekeeper to a doctor". Secondly Elizabeth , "I only met Lizzie , younger sister once as a child when she gave me a very nice dolls house. Lizzie had an illegitimate child (a shocking disgrace in Victorian times) , Charles Southwood [Charles John Southwood (1886-?)]who emigrated to Canada."

On the 20th of April 1918, Charles John Southwood, of London, Middlesex, Ontario, Canada, aged 33, married to Lizzie Smith, aged 30, the daughter of F. Smith and Betsy Surridge (Charles marriage certificate correctly identifies Watford, England, as his place of birth, but incorrectly names his father as Wm Southwood and mother as Caroline Weedon). My grandfather met Charles Southwood while he was in Canada, but as my grandmother mentioned "they didn't get along" - and just possibly he had kept his illegitimacy secret from his new family.

To date Elizabeth Mary Southwood has proved very elusive. After the 1891 Census my most recent trace of her is in 1925 when she appears as informant on her fathers death (Samuel George Southwood's) as Elizabeth Laurence, then living at Walton Hill near Tewkesbury. Prior to this, Elizabeth Southwood, first married James Barrow Partridge on the 15th August 1888, at Christchurch St.Marylebone, Middlesex, and after his death, married John Laurence on 17th of February 1908, at the St.Marylebone Register Office, Middlesex.

To view more Southwood Family Photographs please click

Samuel George Southwood Samuel George Southwood (1838-1925) was my great great grandfather (see photograph on left). By occupation a Tailor or Trimmer he was born in Windsor Berkshire and baptised at New Windsor 18th November 1838. My earliest reference to Samuel George Southwood after 1838 is in Census of 1851. Where he is at West Drayton in Middlesex HO107 1697 F8 P8 living with his Grandfather William Spicer.

William Spicer Head M Age 72 Genl Lab & Pauper Born Hillingdon Middx
Saml Geo Southwood GSon Age 13 Gents Servt Born Windsor Berkshire

This is possibly where he met his future wife Catherine Weedon who was born in Bushy Middlesex and who he married 19th December 1858 at St St Marys Marylebone Middlesex.

Samuel George Southwood and Family , 1881 Census
16,Lees Mews London St George Hanover Square (Ref 0092 Folio 72 Page 23)

Name and SurnameRelation to HeadConditionMaleFemRank, ProfessionWhere Born
of FamilyAgeAgeor Occupation
Samuel G SouthwoodHeadMar43TailorBerks Windsor
Catherine SouthwoodWifeMar42Middlesex Bushy
James SouthwoodSonUn14Do St George Han Sq
Elizabeth SouthwoodDauUn16Marylebone

And also helpfully Ref:0096 Folio:104 Page:14 At 48 & 49 Curzon Street London St George Hanover Square. Where he can be found working for Emily Wolmershausen Manageress as

Samuel Southwood Age 44 Port[er?] General Trimmer Born Windsor Berks

In the early 1900's he moved to live with his daughter Elizabeth and died 27th June 1925 and was buried in an unmarked grave in Cheltenham Cemetery.

Samuel George Southwood (see baptism below from New Windsor) was one of only two known children of James George and Sophia Southwood nee Spicer


When BaptizedChild's Christian NameParents NameAbodeQuality, Trade, or Profession
Nov 18Samuel GeorgeJames & Sophia Southwood61 Peascod StCarpenter

He had an elder brother James William Southwood who also baptised at New Windsor 26th March 1837.

When BaptizedChild's Christian NameParents NameAbodeQuality, Trade, or Profession
Mar 26James WilliamJames & Sophie Southwood5, Queen StreetCarpenter

Samuel George Southwood's parents James George Southwood and Sophia Spicer were married 11th April 1836 at Langley Marish,Slough Buckinghamshire.

Unfortunatley I have had no success as yet, in tracing Samuel's parents or brother post 1838 in the Census or other records. Possibly the marriage broke up prior to 1841 (the next available census) as I have found the following newspaper report.

Windsor & Eton Express - June 8th 1839
Windsor Police

James Southwood appeared to answer the charge of assaulting his wife and threatening to take her life. The parties appeared to live very unhappily together, and each appeared determined not to live any longer with each other, but the wife swore she was in personal fear of his violence. The defendant offered to allow her 4s a week and in addition he was ordered to find sureties to keep the peace for six months himself 25 and two householders 10 each.

James Southwood (c1789-1851) signature For some years my Southwood Family Links ground to a halt two further generations back with my 4 x Great Grandfather James Southwood.

James Southwood a Carpenter and Surveyor (c1789-1851) was born in Exeter Devon (a copy of his signature from an unsuccessful tender to repair Datchet Bridge is shown on the left). My earliest proven reference to him is 6th December 1820 when James and Fanny Southwood (probably Fanny Scanes* who married James Southard 24th July 1813 at Saint Clement Danes, Westminster) had three children baptised at New Windsor Berkshire. Fanny Sarah Southwood born 9th October 1814, James George Southwood (father of Samuel George Southwood above) born 10th December 1816 (believed to have been previously baptised - 1st January 1817 at St Sepulchre, in the City of London, son of James and Fanny Southard who's abode is Shaftesbury Place and James's occupation is that of a Carpenter) and Samuel Richard Southwood born 26th August 1819. James and Fanny had at least three further children all baptised at New Windsor George Southwood (1821-1862) ,Jane Alice Southwood (1824-?) and Robert Frederick Southwood (1829-?).

Unlike many ancestors, due to his rare surname I have been fortunate in locate James Southwood in a number of sources in and close to Windsor between 1820 and 1839.

He first appears paying his Poor Rate in New Windsor in 1820. From 1822 onward he appears in various Windsor Jury Lists.

Then in 1830 he is mentioned in the The Antiquaries Journal, Volume 78 (Published 1998) in an article "The Deanery, Windsor Castle," by Tim Tatton-Brown (see extract below).

"Within a few months of the king's death, all had changed at Windsor, and William IV's 'new broom' brought George IV's much hated Dean and canons to their stalls again. An 'Estimate of proposed alterations at the Deanery for the Hon.ble and Revd. the Dean and Canons of Windsor' prepared a few months after George IV's death was entered at the chapter meeting on 3 December 1830. It is signed by James Southwood, and specifies 318 18s. 9d for work, and is perhaps worth quoting in full.

Carpenter - shore up the end of the Building adjoining the tomb house. Remove the small Roofs and building on the south side and form a flatt in the front of the new Bay Window - Lay joists and board on Do, with inch deal forming proper drips and currents to receive the Lead - Prepare and fix a strong truss Lintel to carry the Parapet - Take down alter and refix the Partitions on the one fair Floor (as shewn on the plans) making good all deficiency with New - Refix and make good the old Door jambs linings and mouldings - Rehang the old Doors make good the Floor skirtings etc, Batten the Partitions and Walls for Canvas etc., - Remove three Windows from the West side - alter and refix two of Do. as shall be directed - Provide and fix a new bay window in the Drawing room as Per Plans sections etc, - Remove the Water Closet from the east of the Tomb house and refix and fit up the same as shall be directed - Prepare and fix all necessary Centers Moulds, etc., for Masons and Bricklayers - Cut away for and make good after Plumbers etc. etc.

Bricklayer - Strip the Roofs and taken down the walls of the small Buildings in front of the proposed Drawing room - Take down the Chimneys of the South and East walls and carry up new Do. Where shewn on the Plans - Cut away to form the new Window openings, and carry up the Piers etc., Take down the Shaft of the Chimney connected with the Groin'd room and rebuild the same as shall be directed - Alter the Parapett and form battlements etc., as shown in the Elevations East and South.- Alter the Drain and Continue it to the new Water Closet. Cut away for the Plumbers, Carpenters, etc., Supply all necessary scaffolding - clear away rubbish, etc., etc.

Plumber - Cover the flatts etc., adjoining the new window with 7lb cast lead. Remove and refix the apparatus and cistern belonging to the water Closet, restore the Pipes and lay on the water. Make good all defects etc. that may be occasion'd by the Alterations.

Mason - Remove the stone building at the east end of the Tomb House. Alter and refix the same as shall be directed - Take down alter and refix the old bedroom chimney piece and supply new stone work where shewn on the plans, sections, etc.

Plasterer - Stucco joint and Colour the East and south fronts of the Drawing room Building - run Strings, Labels, Coping and form battlements etc., as shewn in the Drawings Cut down the old ceiling in the Drawing room and introduce a new Ceiling with Cornice moulded ribs, etc., as per sketch. Make good all defective Plastering occasion'd by the alterations. Clear away all Rubbish etc., etc.

Painter and Glazier - Glaze the sashes of the new Window with the best Newcastle Crown glass - Paint the whole of the new work 4 times in good oil colour - Paint and Sand in Imitation of stone the external part of the Bay Window and Cornice. Make good the sashes and paint the Framework.

Amount of Estimates.s.d.
Painter and Glazier20186
[signed] Jas. Southwood318189

There can be no doubt that all the work specified above was carried out in 1831, as well as additional work not specified here. Chapter Acts for 11 April 1831 also ordered that repairs be done to the Deanery at a cost of 75. 11s. 4d. [ref 90]. These must be additional repairs, and the accounts also inform us that 'the Dean has expended in alterations at the Deanery in the years 1831-2 the sum of 874 2s. 10 1/2d.' .

"The drawing-room with its new bay window was the old upper dinning-room (now the library and Dean's study). It is referred to as the 'Garter Chamber' in the late eighteenth century containing as it did the table of the arms of the Garter Knights. The bay window, which was later modified, was built on the old vestry near where the old garderobe tower had been; it faced south and mush have given much more light to the room. The new strong 'truss lintel' of the 1830 estimate can still be seen in the roof above. There is no doubt that all the panelling in the room was taken down at this time and repaired and refixed, though in some other rooms the panelling was covered by new canvas on battens. As the estimate shows, the three windows in the west wall of the drawing room were altered and refixed. Only later was one of them blocked for the fireplace, and the others were rebuilt with new 'Tudor' mullions and transoms."

The Deanery at Windsor Castle (2009)

Picture of the Deanery

On June 30th 1832 the Windsor and Eton Express mentions that James was awarded a contract for Building a Poor House at Eton :

We understand that it has long been the intention of the inhabitants of Eton to build a new Poor House; and at a meeting of the inhabitants of Eton, held at the Christopher Inn, the Rev. T. Carter, in the chair, it was unanimously resolved that the plans of Mr.Emlyn for erecting the building be adopted, and that Mr Southwood's contract for carrying the same into effect, which amounts to 1480 be accepted.

James also voted in the Windsor election of 1832 (he appears on the Electoral Roll for 1832 living at St.Alban's Street, Windsor), and tendered (unsuccessfully) for a contract to repair Datchet Bridge (Buckinghamshire Record Office Ref Q/AB 13/11).

Windsor May 9th 1832
I hereby offer to Execute the proposed repairs of Datchet Bridge in the County of Bucks according to the Specifications and to Paint the old work twice in good oil Colour and the New do. four times in good oil Colour for the Sum of one Hundred and Seventeen Pounds fifteen shillings.

James Southwood

But by 1834, he appears to be in financial difficulties.

From the (online) Archive to the London Gazette :
March 28th 1834

NOTICE is hereby given, that the Partnership between James Southwood and William Simmonds, Carpenters and Builders, carried on at New Windsor, in the County of Berks, under the firm of Southwood and Simmonds, was dissolved by mutual consent on the 8th day of March instant.- Given under our hands this 18th day of March 1834.
James Southwood
William Simmonds.

Followed by the following advertisement which appears in the Times Saturday and Windsor and Eton Express for May 17th 1834
(located by a search of the Thomson Gale online index to the Times):

TAKE NOTICE, that JAMES SOUTHWOOD and WILLIAM SIMMONDS, both of New Windsor, in the county of Berks, carpenters and builders, have by indenture, dated the 18th day of March last, CONVEYED and ASSIGNED all their JOINT and SEPARATE and REAL and PERSONAL ESTATE and EFFECTS to James Thomas Bedborough, of New Windsor, aforesaid, stone mason, and William Earle, of Lett's Wharf, Lambeth, in the county of Surrey, timber merchants, upon trust, for the BENEFIT of all the CREDITORS of the said James Southwood and William Simmonds : and that the said indenture was executed by the said James Southwood and William Simmonds, and James Thomas Bedborough, on the 18th day of March last, in the presence of, and is attested by, Richard Gouge Barton, of New Windsor aforesaid, solicitor, and James Bowen May, his clerk, and by the said William Earle, on the 2d of April last, in the presence of, and is attested by, the said Richard Gouge Barton; and the said indenture is now lying at the office of the said Mr. Richard Gouge Barton for the signatures of the said creditors.

If the obituary of James Southwood is correct and he was involved with the re-building of Windsor Castle, he would have undoubtedly known the Kings Stone Mason and future Mayor and property developer of Windsor James Thomas Bedborough**, who featured in July 2009 on the BBC Television programme, Who Do You Think You Are ? an ancestor of Davina McCall (co-incidentally James Thomas Bedborough born 30th Oct 1787, was baptised 15th June 1788 at the Church of St.Sepulchre, City of London, the same place James Southard / Southwood son of James, was baptised in 1817)

However, this wasn't the end of his James Southwood's activity in Windsor. George Pridie's Notebook of Windsor events has the following entry "1834 William St. Southwood Timber Merchant compromised with his Creditors".

Also 9th November 1834, at the marriage of Edward Barton(x) and Chelly Chips(x) which took place at New Windsor, Francis Southwood acted as one of the witnesses (likely to be Fanny Southwood wife of James - but could Edward Barton be a relation of Richard Gouge Barton ?)

Mr James Southwood of Windsor, is listed as a subscriber to the third edition of "A topographical dictionary of England" By Samuel Lewis (see Google Books) published in 1835 (note: this might have been contracted for in 1834).

Less than a year and half later, 7th April 1836 (from the "The Fifth Hall Book of the Borough of New Windsor 1828-1852") "Moved that the following Tradesmen be appointed for the year viz. ...Southwood Carpenter .. To be appointed annually at the first Quarterly Meeting". Possibly a house in St Albans Street, Windsor, was provided with the position as the book also references : 2nd July 1837 "Moved (thereon) that the House occupied by Southwood in St.Alban Street be painted and the Two Tenements occupied by Curtis and Hopgood in Thames Street to be repaired".

Also in 1836 he surveyed nearby Clewer Church the extract below comes Rev. Basil F.L. Clarke & H.M. Colvin, M.A. From the Appendix to "The Rebuilding and Repair of Berkshire Churches during 17th, 18th and early 19th Centuries" from The Berkshire Archaeological Journal published 1955

At a Vestry meeting on April 21, 1836, it was stated that not less than 400 new seats would be required, and that building a gallery would only give about 100 more sittings. "It would be advisable to enlarge or rebuild the old church for the purpose of obtaining the necessary accommodation."It was proposed "that a surveyor be employed to make a survey of the present state and condition of the Church and report as to the propriety of enlarging or rebuilding the same and give in a plan and estimate of the expense attendant upon such an enlargement". James Southwood was appointed surveyor, and his report was presented to the Vestry on July 25.

"The whole of the Walls except those of the Tower, are out of their original Position, arising from the Sinking of the Foundations, and the unequal Mixtureof the Strata. The Walls on the North Side towards the East end of the North Aisle, are so bad as to clearly show, The Foundations to be very defective or that the Bond of the lower part of the Walls is dislocated.

As the Roof and Ceiling Floor, I am much surprised on Examination that the Whole has not long since fallen in. Some alterations & repairs have been executed very Injudiciously with old Materials & those of a very Bad & defective Quality...."

On 2nd January 1838, James was re-appointed Carpenter for the Borough of New Windsor and also in April 1838, James is mentioned in a letter to the Independent Chapel at Staines, Middlesex (ACC/809/IC/222)where "Mr. Dibb has had the work performed by him, surveyed by a most respectable Surveyor (Mr. Southwood of Windsor)." He vacated the house in St.Alban's street sometime during 1838, as "The Fifth Hall Book of the Borough of New Windsor 1828-1852") records for the 1st January 1839 that a new resident "Mrs Ann Gollop be accepted to the House in St.Alban Street late in the occupation of James Southwood upon the same terms he held the same.". He and his family were probably living on William Street as on the 18th of May 1839, he appears at this address, in a list of Windsor residents contributing subscriptions to clear the debt incurred in building New Windsor Church which was published in the Windsor and Eton Express.

With only one possible reference to James Southwood between 1834 and 1836, his recovery from financial difficulties sppears to have been swift, could his compromise with his creditors have involved helping James Thomas Bedborough develop the Clarence estate ?

James died 6th October 1851 at James Street, Exeter, Devon and was buried at the Magdalene Street Burial Ground of Georges Chapel Unitarian Meeting.

Below is the only Census (1851 Devon) in which James Southwood has been traced as the 1841 William Street Windsor Census does not appear to have been microfilmed.

Southwood Family, 1851 Census
Exeter, Devonshire, Holy Trinity, James Street, H0 107/1868 Folio 537 Page 25

Name and SurnameRelation to HeadConditionMaleFemRank, ProfessionWhere Born
of FamilyAgeAgeor Occupation
James SouthwoodHeadMar62SurveyorExeter-DEV
Fanny SouthwoodWifeMar64---Exeter-DEV
Jane SouthwoodDaurUn22---Winsor-BEK

Finally possibly a clue why the Southwood's moved from Exeter to Windsor. In 1851 an Obituary was published in a local Exeter Newspaper and picked up in the November Issue of Gentlemans Magazine.

[Died] "At Exeter, aged 64, Mr.James Southwood for many years the foreman of the works at Windsor Castle and the Great Park during the reign of George IV.".

A pupil of James Southwood, Francis E Drake (possibly a relation of the Scanes family) appears in a "Directory of British Architects, 1834-1914 By Antonia Brodie, British Architectural Library, Alison Felstead, Mark Girouard" living in Leicestershire.

The only other reference to the Southwood's in Windsor I am currently trying to trace any surviving accounts, note books, or other records of Sir Jeffry Wyattville and the Wyatt family of architects, in hopes some further light can be shed on the obituary above.

* Mary Scanes died at Exeter in 1849, her will of 1848 is of particular interest for my Southwood / Southard research. She was baptised at St.Kerrian, Exeter, Devon 3rd October 1779, daughter of William Scanes and Ephrah (formerly Drake) who were married at St.Peter Exeter, 17th August 1778. The will mentions her brother John Scanes, sister Rachel, and William Hewett who married her sister Grace Scanes. It also includes (without stating relationships) Anne Scanes (widow), Mary Anne Ansty, Thomas Plaise Scanes, Alexander Scanes, Margaret Perry, Eliza Collings, Richard Scanes, Frances Southwood, Frances Burrows, Jemima Whitlock, Bartholomew Steer, Isabella Martin, and Richard Landray. Most of the above I'll been able to trace back to Scanes families. Frances Southwood is believed to be Fanny Scanes (who married James Southard) and Jemima Whitlock might be her sister (but unconfirmed) - I'd be very interested to hear of any connections to the above by other family historians.

The Grave or Monument of James Thomas Bedborough* (1787-1860) and his wife Sarah, from New Windsor Church Yard (2009)
A photograph I took before I became aware of the WDYTYA Connection

James Thomas Bedborough Monument