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Tuesday 8 October 2013

Taphophile Tragics - Annabella Atkinson - Gardener's Wife

Monument to Annabella Atkinson, Bray Parish Cemetery, Holyport, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.

"In Loving Memory of Annabella the beloved wife of Joseph Atkinson who died October 6th 1911 aged 50 years."

Annabella Atkinson was born Annabella Douglass in 1861 in Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland to Stephen Douglass, an iron founder, and Mary Jane Carr.

Annabella first appears on the 1861 Census aged just five months, living at 53 Railway Street in Newcastle, Northumberland with her parents and elder siblings, Mary aged five and Anna aged four

Annabella next appears on the 1871 Census, aged ten years, living at 31 Albert Street in Gateshead, County Durham, with her parents, maternal grandmother Elizabeth Douglass and her younger siblings, Thomas aged seven, Catherine aged five and Jane aged two.

By 1881 the twenty year old Annabella is working as a live in servant for the Laig family At Thornhill House in Bishop Wearmouth, Sunderland.

1891 and Annabella has moved to the small household of Albert Palmer at 14 Windsor Terrace, Newcastle upon Tyne, where she's working as a cook.

Just a year later, Annabella married Joseph Atkinson, a gardener from County Durham, in Morpeth.  The first child, a daughter Nora arrives in 1894, followed by a son John Ernest in 1896.

1901 finds the little family living at 2 Primrose Place, Gateshead, County Durham.  Living with the family at the time is Joseph's widowed mother Ann Marshall.

In 1904 a second daughter Violet Hilda was born and in 1906 a second son Douglass followed.

1911 and Annabella and her family have moved to The Gardener's Cottage at Oakley Court, Bray, Berkshire.  Nora Atkinson, now aged seventeen is working as a school teacher and fifteen year old John Ernest is a learning electrical worker.

Sadly just six months after the 1911 Census was taken, Annabella passed away.

Taphophile Tragics
Tombstone Tuesday


  1. Replies
    1. Beneath Thy Feet8 October 2013 at 17:10

      I believe at the time the average age to die was 50-60 years.

  2. It's interesting to see that with each census, Annabella has moved to a different address.

    1. Beneath Thy Feet8 October 2013 at 17:09

      I think it was quite common for those in service and for gardeners families to move often due to work.

  3. I think it's interesting to think of a 17-year-old as a teacher. Back then, it was common, but these days, it's a bit hard to imagine a typical 17 year-old with all that responsibility. :)
    Thanks for sharing this on Taphophile Tragics!


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