Uglow Family History

Uglows in Torquay

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"TORQUAY . . . is a handsome market town, seaport, and bathing place, delightfully situated on the strand and the picturesque acclivities of the shore of the northern recess of Torbay, in the parish of Tor-Moham, 22 miles S. of Exeter, . . Its terraces and suburban villas extend more than a mile westward, to the old village of TOR, or Tor-Moham; and such has been the rapid increase of buildings and population during the last twenty years, that they may now be considered as one town . . . . Torquay, which was merely a small fishing hamlet at the close of the last century, is now a large and handsome town, comprising with its western suburbs of Tor and Upton, about 9000 inhabitants. . . . The Parish Church at Tor-Moham, more than a mile west of the Quay, is an ancient structure, . . . It has an embattled tower, two galleries, and a good organ . . . C.H. Mallock, Esq., is the patron, and the Rev. J.H. Harris, D.D., is the incumbent. . . . " [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

Here's a map for you - Torquay is  on the south coast

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Here is a larger scale map of Devon and a  map to get you to Torquay

Family 1: Abel and Bessie Ricketts

Abel 1867 born in St Austell is the son of Nicholas 1847 and Sarah and the grandson of John 1816, both of whom were travellers and cutlers. Abel also was poor, if not destitute at times.

Abel is with his parents in 1871 but there's no sign of him in the 1881 census. In 1891, he (but recorded as Izlow) is at 9 Higher Union Lane, Tormoham married to Bessie Ricketts - they have two sons, John and Abel. They are living with Bessie's mother, Mary, born in Yeovil in 1851 and Bessie's brother, John, is living in the same building. Abel is recorded as born in Callington and Bessie as born in Plymouth in 1871. They are both licensed hawkers. The 1881 census tells us that Bessie may well be the daughter of John and Mary Ricketts of 123 King Street, Plymouth - John, from Manchester, was also a hawker.

In later years, we get a sad picture of the family from the newspapers:

In Trewman's Exeter Flying Post of 26th August, 1899 there is the inquest on Abel and Bessie's daughter, Kate Uglow, one year old. Kate had apparently been left at the Newton Abbott workhouse by Bessie who had been convicted of neglect of her children on an earlier occasion and had also left Kate there at other times. Bessie had turned up "unexpectedly" and the staff had allowed her to take Kate away. She subsequently died from gastric catarrh and convulsions. The inquest concentrated on whether the workhouse staff should have kept her - the doctor, testifying at the inquest, felt that she was emaciated (only 12lbs instead of 19lbs) and that this had to have been apparent to the staff. He also stated that Kate had bruises but these were not severe and he felt that they may have been caused by the child herself. The workhouse master, nurse and doctor also testified that she wasn't markedly ill or emaciated. The jury did not believe them and returned a verdict of natural causes but said that the nursing had been negligent. There was a meeting of the workhouse guardians soon after the inquest and, although there appears agreement that little Kate should not have been removed from the workhouse in her condition, there was uproar when it was suggested that the doctor was at fault. The blame appears to have been placed on the nurse who '...ought not to have been appointed.'.

Later that year, again in Trewman's Exeter Flying Post of 23rd December, 1899, Bessie was charged (again) with neglecting her children. The case was in Torquay Magistrates' (Police) Court on 21st December. Mr Carter from the NSPCC stated that, while Abel was in prison, Bessie left the children, aged 11 (Abel), 8 (William) and 5 (Mary), alone for three consecutive nights, uncared for in filthy surroundings. When Abel was released, Bessie was given 2 shillings as Abel was leaving for the herring fishery. Bessie abandoned the children and went to Plymouth. Inspector Brown of the NSPCC had to find someone to look after the children. The husband, it was said, was a decent sort of man and the fault lay with the woman. The inspector said that the children had been found in a lodging house in Exeter where they had been tramped (sic) by Bessie and Abel. William Mahoney, who was a hawker living with them in George Street, testified against Bessie. She was imprisoned for 2 months

In 1901 they are living at a lodging house at 14 Pimlico, Tormoham, and Abel is a fisherman on his own account. He's now saying he was born in St Austell and Bessie gives Yeovil as her place of birth but they are clearly the same family. In 1911, the family of eight are living in four rooms at 4 Happaway Court, Torquay (there's the census but also a residents list on the web confirming this). Abel is an employed fisherman - as are his eldest sons. Abel and Bessie are now said to have been born in Plymouth

  • son John 1887 born in Torquay - in 1891 census he's living with his parents and grandmother in Torquay; in 1901 he is a ship's boy on the industrial training ship Gashawk at Saltash. [See the training ships website and a BBC factsheet which suggests that such ships were for 'gutter children and wastrel boys'. They might have been sent by a magistrate, been caught begging or, being destitute, found wandering the streets. ] In 1911, John is with the family at 4 Happaway Court, Torquay and an employed fisherman. There's a Johnny Uglow in Ellacombe, Torquay in the 1920s, now blind, perhaps as a result of war service, and collecting sea water to clean fish. He dies in 1942

  • son Abel 1889 born in Torquay. He is with his parents in 1891 and 1901. In 1911, Abel is with the family at 4 Happaway Court, Torquay and an employed fisherman. Throughouthis 20s, Abel is in trouble with the law, usually over drunkenness but also playing cards. The last time was reported in the Western Times 31st July 1914. In 1914, he marries Rose Rowe(?) who was a tenant manager for pub owners Starkey Knight and Forde. The pub was in East St, Torre, Torquay. They look after brother Ernest's son, Ernest Gordon, during the war. Abel dies in Totnes in 1963.

  • son William 1891 born in Torquay. He is with his parents in 1901. In 1911, he is with the family at 4 Happaway Court, Torquay and an employed fisherman. There is a BMD record of a William Uglow, aged 40, dying in Hereford RD. I assume that that record refers to this William.

  • son Ernest 1894 born in Torquay. He dies in infancy in 1895

  • daughter Mary Grace 1894 born in Torquay. This is an extraordinary story - as we see above, her mother, Bessie, is imprisoned for neglecting Mary along with the other children. In 1901 we find Mary in Dr Barnados Home For Girls, Barkingside, Ilford. Her parents must have been virtually destitute (as with son John?) to have given her up? Mary Grace is shipped to Canada by Barnados in 1904 on SS Southwark from Liverpool to Quebec - destination Toronto. She marries Mr Hooper in Toronto. Here's a good site about Canadian home children [source Theresa St Denis]

  • daughter Kate 1898 born in Torquay but dies in the workhouse in 1899 (above)

  • daughter Bessie 1900 born in Torquay. She is with her parents in 1901. In 1911, she is with the family at 4 Happaway Court, Torquay. In 1921, she marries William Bellamy - they have four children: Norman W 1922, Betty D 1924, Ronald J 1926, Edwin J 1928 and Sylvia J 1931. They were all born in the Newton Abbott RD.

  • son Ernest 1902 born in Torquay. He marries Florence Louisa Julia Reddy in 1926 in Newton Abbot - Torquay Family 2. In 1911, he is with the family at 4 Happaway Court, Torquay.

  • son Harry 1906 born in Newton Abbot RD. In 1911, he is with the family at 4 Happaway Court, Torquay. In 1933 he marries Dora Stapleton

    • son Frederick E born 1934. In 1958 he marries Patricia Wills in Torbay. Here's a photo of Fred in his budgerigar room taken in 2008.

      • daughter Linda A 1960 born in Totnes. In 1992 she marries Kenneth J Stevens in Torbay.

      • son Colin J1961 born in Newton Abbot RD. In 1983 he marries Wendy Page and they live in Paignton:

        • son Martin Paul 1986 born in Torbay. He is divorced

        • daughter Michelle Louise 1988 born in Torbay. Her partner is Matt Billage

          • daughter Eleanor Grace 2016

        • son Jason Philip 1990 born in Torbay

      • son Michael 1962 born in Newton Abbot RD. He marries Alison Heard in Torbay in 1993.

        • son Joseph Michael 1991 born in Torbay

        • daughter Chloe May 1994 born in Torbay

      • son Victor 1964 born in Totnes. He marries Samantha Baker in Torbay in 1985

        • son Thomas Edward 1986 born in Northallerton, Yorks

        • daughter Emma Laura 1989 born in Torbay

        • son Joshua David 1992 born in Northallerton

        • son Matthew Callum 2001 born in Exeter

    • son Richard H 1936. Richard marries twice - initially to Pamela Coleman

      • son Alan Richard 1962 who died in 2002. He had two daughters:

        • Kimberley Susan 1990 born in Torbay

        • Natalie Clare 1992 born in Torbay

      • son Andrew John 1964. He married Wendy Hooper in 1984

        • son Aaron Andrew 1984 born in Torbay

        • daughter Louise Wendy 1986 born in Torbay. Her partner is James William Nunn, born 1983 in London

          • son Tyler James Nunn, born in Torbay Hospital in 2005

        • daughter Kylie-Jayne 1989 born in Torbay

        • son Adrian John 1991 born in Torbay

      • son Mark Peter 1965. Mark was married to Ms Worth and had a son, Daniel. His partner is Alison Taylor. A darts player, Mark runs a building and decorating business in Ashburton.

        • son Daniel Jonathan 1988 born in Torbay RD

        • daughter Rebecca Jane 1993 born in Torbay

        • son Thomas Alexander 2002 born in Torbay

      • daughter Mandy Susan 1966

        • daughter Shraine 1993

      • daughter Tanya Maria 1967. She marries Paul Taylor in Torbay RD in 1987. They have two children, Christopher and Hayley Victoria

      In 1974 Richard marries Shirley Harvey in Torbay. They live in Hele, Torquay

      • daughter Sharon Louise 1975 born in Torbay

      • daughter Tracey Elizabeth 1976 born in Torbay

      • son Darren Wayne 1978 born in Torbay

    • son Harry 1942 born in Newton Abbott RD. In 1974 he marries Wendy Hammett in Torbay.

      • daughter Jacqueline 1975 born in Torbay. She marries Mr Stuchbury in 2002 in Torbay.

    • son Robert William 1946. In 1972 he marries Jeanette A Pensom(1952-2018) in Torbay. He later marries for a second time, to Barbara Harvey, (sister of Robert's sister-in-law, Shirley). Robert dies in 2004

      • son John Paul 1974 born in Torbay

      • daughter Joanne 1980 born in Torbay

      • son James D ca 1985

Family 2: Ernest and Florence Louisa Julia Reddy

Ernest 1902 born in Torquay is the son of Abel and Bessie Ricketts and the grandson of Nicholas 1847 and Sarah. In 1911, he is with the family at 4 Happaway Court, Torquay.

He marries Florence Louisa Julia Reddy in 1926 in Newton Abbot - although they had split up by 1932. Ernest clearly had a hard time as he lost his house and job and had a few brushes with the law [Western Times 2nd September 1932; North Devon Journal 5th July 1934; Cornishman 18th October 1934]

Ernest was in the army for a time during World War II, was a general labourer, and a good boxer. He died in 1987 in a Dawlish nursing home.

  • daughter Doreen M 1925. She was in the Priory Convent in Torquay during her childhood. In 1947 she marries Harold Ward
  • son Ernest Gordon Henry 1928 - married Kathleen Jean Emily Beer - Torquay Family 3
  • daughter Jean M F 1930 born in Newton Abbott RD. In 1948 she marries Richard Maher in Plymouth but currently lives in Haverfordwest. Richard was from Drangan, near Thurles , county Tipperary, Eire. He died in Haverfordwest in 2007.

Family 3: Ernest Gordon Henry and Kathleen Jean Emily Beer

Ernest Gordon Henry 1928 - known as Gordon - was the son of Ernest 1902 and Florence Louisa Julia Reddy and the grandson of Abel and Bessie Ricketts

He was born in Parkfield Road, Torquay. Originally at St Vincents Boys Home, Torquay from 1930-1942, he was then looked after by his uncle Abel and aunt Rose. In 1951 he married Kathleen Jean Emily Beer, born 1930, at the Abbey Road Catholic Church in Torquay. Gordon worked on the council gardens and Jean was a shop worker.

  • son Martin Christopher 1954 born in Torquay. In 1986 in Paignton he married Lynda Corinne Reeves - born in 1959 in Edgware. After a spell in Surrey, Martin is a maths teacher and lives in Saltash
    • daughter Lori Alice 1991 born in Carshalton
  • daughter Cheryl Lynne 1958 born in Torquay. A runner competing in the London Women's run, in Southwark 2000, she lives in Walthamstow.
  • daughter Louise Mary 1969 born in Torquay. In 2000 she married Julian Gaye in Torbay RD and still lives in Torquay.
    • daughter Danielle Emily
  • son Paul Vincent 1970 born in Torquay. In 1994 he marries Jane Danks in Torbay:
    • son George James 1995
    • son Harry John 1995
    • son Samuel Frederick 2000

[Much of the information on this page comes from Martin 1954]



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