(See the site map of Cambridge and
district, on which most of these villages appear,
and also the site map of Ely)
In 1930, my grandparents Edmund Stanley Cornwell and Winifred Ellen Reynolds left Cambridge to live at River Bank beside
the Great Ouse at Barway, one of the bleakest spots in
the fens. My grandfather worked as a horseman on a farm.
Three of my aunts and uncles were born and baptised in
Barway. The church is now a private house. In 1933, the
family crossed the river to Grunty Fen, part of the
parish of the larger village of Little Thetford.
My grandfather Edmund Cornwell's
Farrington and her daughter Frances Huckle were born in Bourn
in 1799 and 1828 respectively. When Frances was young the
family moved to Comberton, and she married into the
Cornells of Histon.
Eight of my sixteen great-great-grandparents were born in
villages on the outskirts of the city, and would have
known it well. My great-grandfather Thomas Reynolds, a horseman on
farms around Cambridge in the early years of the 20th
Century, brought his wife Alice Mary Anable and their family
to Cambridge when the First World War broke out, and he
went off to fight. They were living at Benson Place,
North Street off of Huntingdon Road in May 1915 when my
grandmother Winifred Ellen
Reynolds's younger sister Lydia died. She was buried
in Histon Road Cemetery. Their sister Salonika Ruth (Lon)
was born in the same house the following year. At the end
of the war, my grandmother was a servant at the great
Peace celebrations on Parker's Piece in the centre of the
city, and appears on this
When my great-grandfather returned from the
War, he took a job as a drayman with the Star Brewery
(later Tolly Cobbold) on Newmarket Road. The family moved
to 4 Shelley Row on Castle Hill, where they would spend
the rest of their married life. My grandmother's brother
Ernest Reynolds ran a motor repair business from the
house in the 1930s and 1940s. My mother remembered
visiting the house often in the 1940s. Apart from my
grandmother, the other girls of the family were all
married at the nearby St Giles Church on Castle Street.
My great-grandfather died in 1944, but my
great-grandmother continued to live in the house for a
number of years. She died in 1966 at her daughter Lon's
house on Kings Hedges Road.
Although my grandmother and her husband Edmund Stanley Cornwell moved away from
Cambridge to live in Barway and Little Thetford on the
outskirts of Ely, where my mother would be born, my
father, born in Ely as I was, brought the family back to
Cambridge in 1964. He was working for Pye TVT, and we
first lived in a series of flats in Harvey Road, before
moving to St Andrew's Road and then Edinburgh Road.
Three of my grandparents died in Cambridge.
Before my mother died there in 2016, we worked out that
all sixteen of her great-great-grandparents had been
born, lived and mostly died within twelve miles of
My grandfather Edmund Cornwell's
great-grandfather William Huckle was born in
Comberton in 1798. He moved to Bourn to marry, and then
took the family back to Comberton where he died in 1848.
Both sets of my grandmother Winifred Ellen Reynolds's grandparents
were living in Dry Drayton when she was born there in
1904. Her mother's side of the family stretch back
through the parish registers into the 16th century. Her
mother, Alice Mary Anable, was born in Dry
Drayton in 1882. Alice's parents were Samuel Anable, born in 1849, and
Lydia Stearn, born in 1856.
Samuel's mother was Rachel Rodgers, born in 1825.
Alice's brother Harry Anable is the first name on the Dry
Drayton First World War memorial, and the Anable, Stearn,
Rogers and Chapman names appear regularly through the Dry
Drayton parish registers..
Duxford was the birthplace of my
great-grandfather Thomas Reynolds, who was born in
1880. Both his grandfathers, James Reynolds and John Carter, had moved their
families to Duxford Grange for work in the middle of the
19th Century, the Reynolds from Great Sampford in Essex,
the Carters from Shudy Camps in Cambridgeshire. The
village has two parishes. The Reynolds and Carter
families lived next door to each other at Duxford Grange,
and two of their children, Thomas's parents, my
great-great-grandparents Robert Reynolds and Mary Ann Carter, grew up there and
married in St John's church in 1864. Thomas was probably
baptised at St Peter's church in 1880. Robert and Mary
Ann later moved their family to Dry Drayton, to the west
of Cambridge. Robert's parents James and Abigail are
buried in Duxford Cemetery.
See map. Two of my eight
great-grandparents were from Ely families of long
standing. They grew up in the poor Waterside district of
Holy Trinity parish. Their daughter, my grandmother Phyllis Alice Page was born in Back
Hill, Ely, in 1913. her father Arthur Page was born in Ely in
1879 and her mother Sophia Cross in Ely in 1882.
Sophia's father was Thomas Cross, born in Ely in
1852. In the historic parish registers of Holy Trinity
parish, Cross is by far the most common surname. Arthur's
mother was Alice Wiseman, born in Ely 1855.
The 19th century censuses for Ely contain the names of
hundreds of my family from the Page, Wiseman, Cross and
Carter families. Later, all four of my grandparents would be
living in or very close to Ely. My grandparents Vincent Helgia Knott and Phyllis Alice Page lived at Willow
Walk from 1935 and then in Chief's Street from 1947 until
their deaths in 1996 and 1990 respectively. My father was born in Ely,
and so was I. You can see places significant to the Page,
Wiseman, Cross and Carter families on the
site map of Ely.
My great-great-great-great-grandfather Robert
Page was born in Foxton in 1781. he later moved to
neighbouring Harston to marry.
My great-great-great-great-grandmother Elizabeth
Constable was born here in 1800. She married Henry Anable
in Grantchester in 1823, and my
great-great-great-grandfather William Anable was born later the
same year and baptised in Grantchester church. Two years
later, his mother died in childbirth. Elizabeth Anable is
buried in Grantchester churchyard. Henry and William
moved to Dry Drayton, where there were already other
Anables, presumably relatives. William first married Ann
Rutter in 1841, and after her death in 1847 he married Caroline Kester.
My great-great-grandfather Henry Page was born in Great
Shelford in 1851. His parents Robert
Page and Eliza Wilson had been born in
neighbouring Harston and Stapleford respectively, but
they spent the whole of their lives together in Great
Shelford. In the 1870s, Henry moved to Ely. He was a
stonemason, and was probably working on the restoration
of the Cathedral. He stayed in Ely. Other Page families
in the city were possibly relatives.
At the time of the 1911 census, my grandmother Winifred Reynolds was seven years old, and was living with
her parents Thomas Reynolds and Alice Anable at Valley Farm, Great Wilbraham, where her
father was a horse keeper. Her younger brother and
sisters Cecilia, Ernest and Abigail were also in the
household. Although the family left the village before
the First World War broke out, the war memorial in the
church is likely to contain names of men they knew.
My great-great-great-grandmother Caroline Kester was born in
Hardwick in 1832.
My great-great-great-great-grandfather William Cornall was born in
Harston in 1793. He was the first of the family to move
to Histon, where the family would spend the next century
or more. On the other side of the family, my
Page, grandfather of Arthur Page who was killed
in the Battle of the Somme, was born in Harston in 1817.
When my grandmother Winifred Reynolds's younger sister Lydia was baptised at the
family church in Dry Drayton in 1914, the parish registers
recorded that she was 'of Hildersham'. Their father Thomas Reynolds had been a horse
keeper on a farm at Great Wilbraham at the time of the
1911 census, and when Lydia died in 1915 the family were
living in the centre of Cambridge, so they cannot have
lived at Hildersham for long. Presumably Tom was working
on a farm in the village.
This was the home parish of the Cornwell family.
They had lived here for generations. My great-grandfather
William Cornwell, was born in
Histon in 1864. His father William Cornell was born in Histon
Needingworth is an important starting point for the
Mortlock and Mansfield members of my family. My
great-grandmother Eliza Mortlock was born here in
1865, as was her grandfather Abraham Mansfield. The parish church
is in the hamlet of Holywell, a mile or so beyond
Needingworth beside the Great Ouse. My
great-great-grandparents Thomas Moody
Mortlock and Eliza Mansfield have an imposing
headstone in the churchyard, and there are also memorials
to several of their children, my great-great-aunts.
Mortlocks and Mansfields still live in the parish today.
A hamlet on the outskirts of Ely. My
grandparents Edmund Stanley
Cornwell and Winifred Ellen Reynolds lived in Little
Thetford, first at Grunty Fen and then at Green Hill,
from 1933 until they died in 1951 and 1983 respectively.
My mother was born in Little Thetford. I was baptised in
the village church and spent the first three years of my
My grandfather Edmund Stanley Cornwell was born here in
1903. He was baptised in the church font on 27th
September. His parents had moved from nearby Histon.
outskirts of Ely, this was the original home for members
of the Convine family, who married into the Carter and
then Cross families. My great-great-great-grandmother Anne Convine was born here in
1834, and my great-great-grandmother Sarah Carter was born here in 1860.
St Ives (then Hunts)
My great-great-great- grandmother Keziah Clarke was born here in
1814. She married Abraham Mansfield who was transported
to Tasmania for burglary, and she spent much of the first
part of her life in the St Ives workhouse. Two of her
sons were also in prison, one of them dying there, but
her daughter Eliza, my great-great-grandmother, married
into money and Keziah was able to enjoy a more
comfortable old age.
My great-great-grandmother Mary Ann Carter, who married into
the Reynolds branch, was born here in 1843.
My great-great-great-grandmother Eliza Wilson was born in
Stapleford in 1819. Stapleford parish is part of the
urban area of Great Shelford. Eliza married Robert
Page at Great Shelford church, and they spent
the rest of their lives there.
My great-great-grandfather Thomas Mortlock was born here in
1842. The Mortlocks were an important non-conformist
Swavesey family of farmers and millers; they had arrived
in the village in the 17th Century.
My great-great-great-great-grandfather Henry Anable was born here and
baptised in the church on 6th September 1801. He later
married Elizabeth Constable at Grantchester,
where she is buried, and then married Mary Markham in Dry
parish near the Cambridgeshire border was the home of the
Reynolds family. My great-great-great-grandfather James Reynolds was born here in
1809, and my great-great-grandfather Robert Reynolds was born here in
1842. They both gave their birthplace in census returns
as 'Old Samford', but both their births were registered
in this parish. The family appear to have been tailors
before leaving the village to work on farms in south
Cambridgeshire. There are Reynolds headstones to the
south of Great Sampford church, one to Thomas
Reynolds and his wife Jane who died in 1851. He was
the uncle of my great-great-great-grandfather.
My great-great-great-grandmother Abigail Darnal was born here in
1814. She married my great-great-great-grandfather James Reynolds here in 1832.
My great-great-great-great-grandfather Daniel
Harrall was born in Sible Hedingham in 1788, and baptised
at the protestant dissenters chapel in neighbouring
Castle Hedingham. He later moved to Kent, where his
granddaughter Mary Ann Harrall would be my
grandfather Vincent Helgia
(See also the site map of the Medway).
grandfather Vincent Helgia
Knott was born here in 1908. He was baptised in
Holy Trinity church, but the family left Dartford soon
My great-great- grandfather George Knott was born
here in 1843. It was the home of the Knott family for
many years, and my great-great-grandfather and most of
his siblings were baptised here.
The Knott family, including my grandfather Vincent Helgia Knott, were living here
at the time of the 1911 census. They were back in Strood
My great-great-grandmother Mary Ann Bowles was born in the
Mall at Preston on the outskirts of Faversham in 1843.
Her father was from Faversham, and the family spent some
years in the Faversham workhouse. She was baptised in
The Frindsbury district of Rochester was home to
my great grandparents George Knott and Mary Ann Bowles from the 1880s
onwards. They lived in Grange Road, where they kept a
small shop until about 1920. They had been married in
Frindsbury in 1872.
My great-great-grandmother Mary Ann Harrall was born and
baptised here in 1850. It was the home parish of Mary Martin, her mother. Her
father, John Harrall, had come from
My Harrall ancestors were from Hoo. Daniel
Harrall, who had been born in Essex, moved here with his
wife Sophia in about 1812 to take on the ownership of a
farm of 40 acres. They were strict non-conformists,
having their children baptised at the Dissenters' Chapel
in Strood. However, most are buried in Hoo St Werbegh
churchyard. My great-great-great-grandfather John Harrall was born in the
parish in 1815.
My great-great-grandfather George Waters was born here in
1849 and baptised in the parish church.
My great-great-grandparents George Waters and Mary Ann Harrall were married in
this church on 15th October 1871.
great-great-great-grandmother Caroline Wells was born here. She
married William Knott in the parish
church in 1817.
The urban area of Rochester includes Frindsbury,
Strood and Gillingham,
important places for the Knott family. Rochester was the
place my grandfather called home. My great-grandparents William Knott and Mary Ann Waters both died in
Rochester in the 1950s.
Strood, that part of Rochester on the far bank
of the Medway from the city centre, is an important place
for the Knott family - it was their home from the 1880s
until almost the middle of the 20th Century. My
great-grandparents William Knott and Mary Ann Waters were married in St
Mary's church in 1892. They lived at various addresses in
Cuxton Road and London Road, and then, after a brief
sojourn in Dartford and Greenhithe, they returned to
Strood before the First World War and spent the rest of
their lives on Temple Street, which was demolished in the
1960s. Several of their children were baptised and
married in St Nicholas's church.
My great-grandfather William Knott was born here in
My great-great-grandparents George Waters and Mary Ann Harrall kept the One Bull
beerhouse in Wilmington, just outside of Dartford. George
Waters died a few weeks after the 1911 census and was
buried in Wilmington churchyard. Their granddaughter, my
great aunt Daisy Knott, was married in the church a few
weeks after that.
My great-great-great-grandfather William Wiseman was born in
Mildenhall in 1816. He moved to nearby Ely in
Cambridgeshire to marry.
My great-great-great-grandfather Elijah Carter was born in
Wickhambrook in 1833. His parents moved to Prickwillow in
Cambridgeshire, and he married Anne Convine, a girl from
My great-grandmother Mary Ann Waters was born in
Llanferres to Kent parents in 1872. her father was
working as a steam engine driver in a slate mine. The
family were back in Kent for the 1881 census.