Unusual title for this chapter for
reasons that will shortly be explained. Boatwright is the maiden name
of my grandmother, Amelia Emily Doris Boatwright, who married Ernest
Walter Harris. She was the daughter of Thomas Boatwright (1) and Emily
Ann Beach. I use the (1) to indicate the difference between my great
granddad and Thomas Boatwright my great great Granddad. He will be
shown with a (2)
When I started my research in the summer of 2000 I spoke to many
members of my immediate family to gather together all the information
they knew. Most branches of the family were reasonably straight
forward. My Uncle Ernie had suggested that he believed Thomas
Boatwright (1) was illegitimate and that the name Thomas Wateson or
Waterson might somewhere be connected.
Once the research got underway it became clear that the
Boatwright’s were not going to be easy to trace. I could not find
a birth certificate anywhere for Thomas Boatwright (1) and the tree
never got back past his generation for a long time.
In August 2002, I spoke to Ernie again to see if he could remember
anything else. He contacted a cousin, Sandra, daughter of Sue
Boatwright, my grandma’s sister. She was absolutely sure that
Thomas was illegitmate and that a Captain Waterson was the father.
Still I could not prove this. The 1901 census became available and I
quickly found Thomas Boatwright (1) aged 20 born in Canning Town and
with him were his brothers and sisters, mother Matilda Boatwright and
father Thomas Boatwright (2).
From then on tracing the children and Matilda back was easy. I quickly
found she had been married previously to Albert James Boatwright with
whom she had other children. I established that her maiden name was
Stanford and all was progressing well.
There was one problem, who was this Thomas Boatwright (2), she was
shown as married to, on the 1901 census and 1891 census. He is not
found on any census before that and there is no marriage either. The
1901 Census shows him as being born in Chester, Cheshire, and he is a
Corn Chandler Mariner. His age was 60. This data matched the 1891
census although on that he states he was born in Great Yarmouth and he
is 48 so he has lost a couple of years. Then nothing, no records for
1881, 1871, and 1861 when he would have been around 40, 30, and 20
For a few years I just could not make any head way. Then early in 2005
I was seaching on the Genes Reunited website and found the following
"I was born Valerie Jean
Boatwright on the 3rd October 1946 my father Reginald Frank Boatwright
was born in Canning Town on the 17th August 1917 - 2003. His father
Ernest married Matilda Alice Jay from Yarmouth, and they lived in
Canning Town, I know there are several relatives still living in
Norwich and Yarmouth, but sadly I do not know them. Matilda Alice had
brothers John, Frederick, William, George, Victor, Edward, and sisters
Mable, Sarah and Mary, I do not know if there were any more. And Ernest
had brothers, Alfred, James, Albert, William, Thomas, John, Alfred,
James and sisters Matilda and Alice. When my sister, brother and I were
children dad (Reg) took us several times to Caister and we visited
relatives, the only one I now remember is great uncle Will. Dad had
brothers; Ernest (two so named and both died in infancy) Alec, Len,
Freddie and a sister Elsie. Alec had a son and a daughter, the son
Ronnie died soon after a son was born, his name was Terry Ronald, I
should love to get in touch with him. Ronny had a sister called Betty.
Betty had several children (I was her bridesmaid when I was 4/5. Janet,
Robert, Michael and Diane. Janet has 3 children Clare, Kathrine and
Laura, Robert had Samuel. Len had two children Iris and Len, Iris had
two children Carol and Christine they live in the Surrey area. Len had
two children he still lives in Wickford, Glen and Lesley, Lesley has 3
children, Melissa, Samantha and Adam and lives on Canvey Island. Glen
had two boys, Scott and Lee. Freddie lived in Woolwich and have 6
children, Richard, Diane, Lindsey, Heather, Roger and Mark. I have lost
contact though we were all constant visitors when we were growing up.
Elsie had two children Jaquie and Russell, Russell has a son called
Alex. They all live around the Billericay area. I have seen both very
recently at Elsie's funeral, which happened to be shortly after my own
fathers, they died in the same hospital just a few days apart. I have a
brother and sister both born in Laindon. Peter has two boys Christopher
and Michael. Susan has twins Katie Jane and Vickie Lee , Vickie very
recently gave birth to a little girl Jessica Ann. Then there is me, I
have been married twice, I have two children Andrew who has a daughter
Isabella and a son Oliver John, and Karen who has two sons Travis and
I can only trace the Jays back a few years to my knowledge: -
Dad had Uncles and aunts - Fred, William George, Mable Victor and Edward. and their mother and father were Robert and Mary Ann.
Also before Ernest Boatwright 1881 Thomas Waterson has a very strong
connection to the family of Alfred James and Matilda Elizabeth Stamford
1843. There is a very strong feeling in my family at the moment that
Alfred James, a ships steward, jumped ship when he reached Australia
and never returned to his wife and children. If I have any relatives/
descendants living in Australia with a connection to Alfred I would
like them to get in touch with me please through Genes."
So another relative finally emerges on the Boatwright line and again a
reference made to Waterson. I contacted Valerie, married name Kingsley, and we built some more
information on the Boatwrights but even with her contacts we could not
get to the bottom of Thomas Boatwright (2) or Mr Waterson.
Then in June 2005 I made contact with Kay Howard, whose husband is
related to the Boatwright family that Thomas Boatwright (1) grew up in.
Without prompting or questioning she sent me an email 12th June 2005. I
lost the email in a computer crash but the details are below:
You will get fed up with me, just
another snippet – Tom (1) apparantley was the son of an old sea
captain, but his Mother was never able to marry him because he had a
wife in a mental home and was therefore never able to divorce."
Then on the 3rd November 2005, I was looking around the web and for
some reason just thought I would search the on line 1861 Census for
Thomas Waterson to see what it threw up. Don’t know why I did not
do it earlier. Anyhow a few results came back and one in particualr
drew my eye - Thomas Waterson - Vessel..
The full entry was Thomas Waterson, 19, registration district " British
Ships in Port. I just had to take a look at the Census. The age was
right, it was possibly a sailor and it was Thomas Waterson. So I paid
The result which came back proved to be a major breakthrough. I just
cannot explain my feelings at the time. The Boat was the Mary Ann Band
Schooner. There were a few others on board as well as Thomas Waterson,
19. The thing that solved the mystery for me was the birthplace –
Chester, Cheshire. The same as Thomas Boatwright on the 1901 census.
With all the other stories and references to Thomas Waterson, this new
data and the 1901 Census I now have the evidence needed, Thomas
Boatwright (2) was Thomas Waterson.
I still do not know if Matilda married him, but she died in 1904 and
there is no record found so far before that. So my feeling is that
Thomas Waterson came on the scene sometime in the late 1870’s
early 1880’s. Moved in with Matilda, who already had children
with previous husband Alfred Boatwright, who is rumered to have set
sail for Australia, and had children with her. He took the Boatwright
name and the children did the same.
So that is the story, now I can show you the evidence in similar fashion to other pages on this website.
The Watersons are traced back to the Isle of Man. Thanks for this must
go to Graham West who provided information regarding Thomas's parents.
The name derives from the following found on the web:
Wat(t)erson/Qualtrough has two
possible origins; from the Irish Mac Ualtair or Mac Ualteir, and from
the Norse Mac Walter, the son of Walter = rule people. In addition,
Watterson could be a contraction of Mac Otter, i.e., Watterson =
Otterson, the son of Ottar which is also the root of Cottier. In Norse
mythology Ottar is one of the three sons of Hreimdar and he was killed
by Loki. The apparently unrelated names of Watterson and Qualtrough are
explained by the suggestion that Gaelic speaking members of the family
would use Qualtrough while the English speaking members would use
Watterson. Waterson seems to be an indiscriminate variation of
Watterson. Wauterson in known in 1417, Watersone in 1422 and the modern
Watterson by 1504 and Waterson in 1511.
Whilst discussing the name and mention of Qualtrough I found the
following interesting information regarding the names, and the
connection to Water which will become apparent later on when we look at
'In the parishes of
Rushen and Arbory half the population is called either Qualtrough or
Watterson, and in the parish of Malew one-fourth').
This reference to Watterson
introduces another variation of the name. Watterson or Waterson, a
corruption of WALTER-SON, is another form of MAC WALTER. In the Middle
Ages, WALTER would have been pronounced 'WAUTER', hence its corruption
to WATTER, etc. The same sources as previously list these variations;
Watersone (1422) Watterson (1504) Water, Waterson (1511) and Walterson
Looking at the parish of Rushen,
there were approximately 100 Qualtrough and 400 Watterson baptisms in
the 18th Century while in the 19th Century, up to 1882 there were
approximately 200 Qualtrough and 800 Watterson baptisms.
An interesting aside concerns the
deaths by drowning recorded in Rushen Parish Registers (ref.3). Between
1740 and 1820 some 65 individuals of this parish were recorded as
having been drowned while at sea or fishing. Of these, 16 were
Wattersons, none were Qualtrough.
Later in the 1851 Census of Rushen,
only one Qualtrough was recorded as a fisherman whereas 36 of the
Wattersons were sailors, fishermen, wives of seafaring men, or widows
of seafarers. Or again, between 1849 and 1869, 52 Wattersons (male and
female) married at Rushen, 17 Watterson men being seafaring, as were 31
of the Watterson fathers. Why the Qualtroughs were for the most part
landlubbers, while the Wattersons were seafaring is a puzzle. The
locals would probably say 'the sea was in their blood'. In any event,
the association of Wattersons with water makes an amusing coincidence
Our Watterson’s, it had two T’s back then, came from the part of the Isle of man know as Arbory.
The Parish of Arbory extends along the southern coast from Pooil Vash
to Strandhall, and, after taking a circuit inland, follows the course
of the Colby river to Cronk Fedjag, and across the mountain to the
western boundary of Malew. It contains six square miles. It is part of
the same district as Malew, and possesses the same physical
characteristics. In the north it is a highland region, and in the south
it is a low, undulating plain. Its short coast line lies along the
dangerous shores of Pooil Vash, and is low and flat, but rocky and
We can go back to my 4th Great Grandfather John Watterson. John was
born in the late 1770’s, at present I have yet to identify the
date. He married Catherine Quayle 1st February 1803 in Arbory on the
Isle of Man.
At this point I should state that I have arrived at this information
again using records on the IGI, so this may not be correct. I reached
this conclusion following receipt of Thomas Waterson’s
father’s wedding certificate, which can be seen later in this
chapter. On it it states that his father was also John Waterson. I knew
the rough birth year froma later census, so search the IGI for births
of John Waterson 1803 plus or minus 5 years with father John Waterson.
There was only one result returned so I guess it must be right.
Arbory appears to have only one church St.Columbia, so would assume this to be where the couple were married.
John Watterson and Catherine Quayle had only one child that I can find,
John Watterson born 1804 and Christined 23rd September 1804, again in
Arbory. This John went onto marry Amelia Weaver on 5th July 1840 in the
Parish Church of St Mary’s in Great Boughton, Chester. Amelia was
born in 1817 in Whitechurch, Shropshire.
The next time we find the family is in 1851 on the census. Amelia is a
dressmaker.John is shown as being born in the Isle of Man, which we
know and his trade is difficult to make out but looks like General
Dealer, Cheese and Bacon. They have 5 children, 3 boys two girls. The
names are not easy to read but Thomas is there, along with Elizabeth,
James and maybe John and Mary.
All the children are born in Chester, Cheshire and are shown as scholers.
Just after this census another child is born Amelia in 1852. We think
that sometime between 1851 census and 1855 John passes away. This is
because on the 12th February 1855 Amelia married Joseph Croft in
Liverpool. I am pretty sure of this as on the 1861 Census I found the
Amelia born 1852 mentioned at the start of this paragraph as living
with Joseph Croft and her relationship is Step Daughter. In fact
Amelia’s brother John is also there.
Amelia herself is not shown, in fact Joseph’s wife is Lucy, so I
think we can say that between 1855 and 1861 Amelia has also deceased.
I have not found out what happened to James, Mary and Elizabeth, but
their brother, Thomas, is who really concerns us and he appears on the
1861 census as mentioned earlier.
The 1861 census is where I established the link to the Thomas
Boatwright (2) on the 1901 census, and as mentioned before Thomas is
aboard the Mary Ann Band with Michael Bond listed as the Master and
Thomas next shown as Seaman.
Then he disappears until he turns up again on the 1891 census as Thomas
Boatwright (2) married or at least living with Matilda Boatwright (nee
John Waterson Family Tree 3 Generations
Before we discuss this family further it would be unfair not to trace
Matilda’s path and the Boatwrights before her. After all this is
the family name handed down. First of all Valerie Kingsley has provided the Boatwright Coat of Arms which is shown below:
Alfred James Boatwright married Elizabeth Stanford on the 5th April
1852, in Norwich, Norfolk. Alfred was the son of James Boatwright and
Anne Bessey. By 1873 they had 2 sons and 2 daughters. Alfred James born
17th May 1864, James born in 1866, Matilda followed in 1871 and then
Alice on 27th July 1873. There is some evidence that they also had
twins who died at birth, Albert and William, although at this time I do
not recall where I got this from.
Then Alfred vanishes, maybe distraught at the loss of the twins, maybe
something else. There is a story that he took to the sea to go to
Australia and actually was lost at Sea but at present this is unknown.
On the 1881 census Matilda is shown as a widow, but again no death
certificate can be found. The census is below and it shows
Matilda’s mother, Matilda Standford, nee Dye staying at the time.
Household: 6 Susannah Street
Film Rg11 piece 0505 folio 30 page 16
Relation St Gender Age Birthplace
Head W Female 37 Yarmouth, Norfolk,
England No Occupation
Son U Male
17 Poplar, Middlesex, England
Son U Male
15 Poplar, Middlesex, England
Daur U Female 9 Poplar,
Middlesex, England Scholar
Daur U Female
7 Poplar, Middlesex, England
Mother W Female 64 Yarmouth,
Middlesex, England No Occupation
Notice that not on this census or any other in fact for 1881 is Thomas
Boatwright (1), even though all the dates and ages I have show him to
be born from 1879 to 1881. On his grave it states he died 25th June
1963 aged 83, so this would make his birth around 1879 or 1880. I have
scanned all the births from 1877 to 1885 and there is no record to be
found. I think it is more than likely the result of the first child of
the unmarried Matilda Boatwright and Thomas Waterson and them not
wanting to register it. The same could be said for the baby not being
mentioned to the census enumerator.
Shown below is a family group sheet for Alfred Boatwright and Matilda Stanford.
So between 1881 and 1891 Matilda has 3 more sons. Thomas (1) for which
we do not know the birth year or father, Ernest James born 28th June
1881, no father is listed on his birth certificate, and John born in
The 1891 census is shown below, along with the first appearance of Thomas Boatwright (2), who we now know to be Thomas Waterson.
Household: 103 Hermit Road
Relation St Gender Age Birthplace
Head M Male 48
Matilda BOATWRIGHT Wife M Female 47 Yarmouth
M Male 27 Poplar
M Female 27 Kent, Gravesend
U Female 2 West Ham
U Male 9m Poplar
U Female 19 Poplar
U Female 17 Poplar
7 West Ham
As you can see relationships are wrong, my assumptions are that Alfred
aged 27, was married to Harriet, therefore she is daughter in law of
Head. L.M Boatwright and Alfred aged 9m I think are children of Albert
and Harriet and therefore grandchildren of the head. The children with
initials only I think are as follows:- M = Matilda, A = Alice, T = Tom,
E = Ernest and J = John. These are consistent with 1901 census. Karen
Steel kindly provided this census for me and in her email commented "
the Boatwright’s were visited by Lazy Louie the Census
The Alfred Boatwright shown above aged 9m married Charlotte Rogers.
Their son William born 1914 married Nellie Vinicombe. William and
Nellie had 3 children, one of them Jackie kindly provided the crest
below from her father's documents.
The next photos are of Thomas Waterson and Matilda Stanford.
Matilda, at the time owned a shop on Hermit Road and was apparantley
not well liked. Kay Howard explains this in an email to me on 12th June
Apparantly Matilda Boatwright (nee Stanford) made all the children work
really hard for her. She had a shop in Hermit Road, I belive it was a
Corn Chandlers, they had to scrub and clean until their hands were raw,
they all seemed scared of her and Matilda, daughter of Alfred, ran away
and was found in a doorway.
Onto the 1901 Census, where Thomas (2), now reveals himself to be from Chester, Cheshire:
Household: 103 Hermit Road
Relation Status Gender
Corn Chandler Mariner
Female 57 Great
Canning Town Painter and decorator
19 Canning Town House Painter
18 Canning Town General Labour
Harriett BOATWRIGHT GDaug S
Alfred BOATWRIGHT GSon
10 Canning Town
Matilda BOATWRIGHT GDaug S
Matilda A JAY
Female 21 Great Yarmouth
Thomas Waterson/Boatwright is shown as being a Corn Chandler Mariner. What is Corn Chandler Mariner?
Kay Howard sent me the photo below of Thomas Waterson on his boat.
Do not know who the others are and when the picture was taken but nice to have it all the same.
Below is a family group sheet for Thomas Waterson and Matilda Stanford.
A nice picture, showing Thomas (1), brother Ernest and their half
sister Alice, she was the last child born to Alfred James and Matilda
Stanford. My Dad remembers seeing her on a photo and being taken over
to see her in West Ham. She lived at 78 Avenons Road, Plasitows. I do
not know when this was taken but it looks like Summer and at a wedding.
Whilst on the subject of Alice Matilda Boatwright, she married Ernest
William Howard. She was widowed quite young as Ernest died in 1917,
aged 41. Quite a sad way to go as I am told he choked on a raw pea
whilst tossing them in the air and catching them. One got stuck in his
wind pipe and choked him. The incident happened in the Post Office at
Tidal Basin Road, West Ham where he worked.
Some information now on Ernest James Boatwright, Thomas’s(1)
brother. He married Matilda Alice Jay in 1903. They had 5 children plus
we think 2 others which died at birth.
Those which survived are Alec , Len, Fred , Elsie and
Reginald.. Reginald is
in fact the father of Valerie Jean Boatwright who posted the name
Waterson on the genes website and who has helped me greatly pulling
this family together.
I think at this point it might be worth showing a descendants chart of Matilda Stanford
Matilda Stanford Descendants Chart
So back to Thomas Boatwright (1). He married Emily Ann Beach in
Southgate, on 22nd May 1904. Thomas is recorded as 24 Bachelor. His
occupation is Decorator and he is living at 21 Travers Road. Father is
Thomas Boatwright Seaman. Emily Ann Beach is 22 Spinster, also living
at 21 Travers Road. Father is Willaim Beach Labourer. The marriage took
place at Christchurch, Southgate, which I believe is the church in
Waterfall Road, opposite the Walker Cricket Ground where Southgate
play, and where some of Middlesex's county matches are staged. The
marriage is witnessed by W.Beach, assume this to be William, and Mary
Below is a photograph sent by Kay Howard from her Aunt Myrtle, of
Thomas Boatwright and Emily Anne Beach. Again sorry but date and place
Between them the couple had 5 children. In order of those I know are
Thomas William James born 1905, Amelia Emily Doris 1908, Frank Horros in 1910, and Sue in
1916. The other child was Peter, who I do not yet have a birth year for
but he was after 1911 as he is not on the census for that year.
The family are shown as below.
Head Married 7
m 31 General
Emily Annie Boatwright
Married 7 f
Thomas William James Boatwright Son
Millie Emily Boatwright
Frank Horros Boatwright
Mr Harry Beach
The two Beach Boarders are Emily Annie's Uncle and Cosuin.
The family is living at 14 Travers Road, Southgate.
From the children above, Amelia Emily Doris Boatwright, is my
grandmother, born 23rd February 1908. Her birth certificate, above,
shows that she was born in 41 Travers Road, Southgate. Travers Road no
longer in existence, it was a turning off Chelmsford Road, and has now
been replaced by Ivy Road. Where previously you could get from
Chelmsford Road to Chase Road, through Travers Road, this is now a dead
end. This is the area where the Beach family lived and they are covered
in a later Chapter.
From March 1924 to June 1933 Amelia was employed as a Factory Worker at
Carr’s Factory in New Southgate. On 30th January 1932 she married
Ernest Walter Harris, at St. Paul’s church in New Southgate, and
on leaving Carr’s factory, she then took up employment as a
cleaner at Hobart’s factory, also in New Southgate, until June
My Dad told me that Thomas Boatwright, his grandfather, had a building
yard, at the top of High Street, New Southgate. He was in partnership
with someone else, my dad could not remember the name, but the partner
stole all of the money. Thomas must have done OK as my father remembers
that their house was quite large.
On the 22nd February 1961 Amelia lost her mother, Emily Ann Beach. Emily was buried in Southgate cemetery.
Then two years later in 1963 Amelia’s dad, Thomas, passed away on
25th June. He died at home at 84 Trent Gardens, Southgate of Chronic
Bronchitis. He is shown as 83 years old. He is also buried in Southgate
Cemetery, Waterfall Road, in the same grave as his wife.
Amelia, was to survive her husband for 6 years before she passed away
in North Middlesex Hospital on 23rd October 1998. She is buried in
Southgate cemetery on Waterfall Road, Southgate, in the same grave as
her husband. Gravestone for Thomas Boatwright and Emily Ann Beach in
Southgate Cemetery – Section LA number 140
My Uncle Ernie has been a good source of information to me, especially
relating to the Boatwrights. He was probably the only one of his
brothers and sisters who kept in touch with them, and he is also very
interested in the history of his family. His passion is more to find
connections with the famous or wealthy, whereas mine is to reveal
anything, good or bad. There are a few things passed down to him, via
my Nan, Amelia Boatwright, which I am trying to look into, but to be
honest do not think I will have much luck in finding anything. Just for
the record though I will discuss them briefly here.
The first one being our families rights to a plot of land. In Winchmore
Hill there was, for a long time, a hospital at the top of Green Dragon
Lane. It was called Highlands and covered a large area of land. The
hospital is now longer there, the land was sold to property developers
in the 1990’s. However Ernie maintains that his mum told him that
at some point in the distant past one of our relatives was given title
to that land but left it unclaimed.
A certain story has it that he was regularly in strife and did not open
correspondence, and therefore missed the offer of the land. Who this
person was, when it was and what part of the family they belonged to we
have no clue, but there is a Beach house on the land and Amelia’s
mum was Emily Anne Beach. A very tenuous link admittedly, and the plot
of land may just have been an allotment there or a small garden but you
Another unproven item relates Lord and Lady Palmer. Amelia had said on
many occasion’s that Lord and Lady Palmer were her godparents.
This is not only told to me by Ernie but appears as part of some notes
taken by John Nicholson, Amelia’s son in law, whilst he discussed
her family history. All the other notes on it have found to be true, so
maybe this is correct as well. The note is shown below.
So far in all my searching the only Lord Palmer I have found is
Roundell Palmer,1st earl of Selborne 1812-1895. So this would be to
early for him to have known my Nan. Details are shown below for
There is however, Roundell’s daughter, Lady Sophia Maria Palmer,
who died in 1915. She would have been around at the time of
Amelia’s birth. I have found some papers at Durham University
Library titled "Palmer Papers", although I have not yet been able to
view them, there is a contents section, shown below, which states that
Lady Palmer did much social work, and worked with young women in poor
areas of London.
Interesting to note at the bottom is The Earl Grey Papers and in the
text above, the her niece was married to the 5th Earl Grey, for here is
something else mentioned by Ernie, some connection to Lady Jane Grey.
Again nothing of substance has been found here yet.
John Watersons Descendants Chart John Boatwright Descendants Chart
John Waterson Family Tree 5 Generations