My maternal grandmother was Lilian Katie Humphries. Please refer to my blog about her here.

Lilian's parents were: Albert Victor Humphries and Elizabeth Blanche Dare

Albert Humphries

Albert Victor Humphries was born in 1884 in Mascotte Road in Putney, county Surrey. His childhood home still exists today, although it has obviously undergone refurbishments and structual changes. When I visited in 2007 it was being extensively renovated.
In August 1899, Albert joined the Royal Navy.
In 1905 Albert married Elizabeth Blanche Dare. From 1907 - 1910 Albert was a Policeman in London, stationed at Southwark, Paddington and Lambeth. He had to leave this profession due to ill health. Albert joined the Royal Navy Reserve (RNR) in 1912.
When World War One broke out on 2 August 1914 he was assigned to HMS Hogue. On 22 September 1914, HMS Hogue, HMS Aboukir and HMS Cressy were torpedoed by a German U-Boat (U9) in the North Sea whilst on patrol. All three Cruisers were sunk causing more than 1,000 lives lost. Albert survived the tragedy, saved by the then HMS Hogue Commander Reginald A. Norton. In November 1914 Albert and his wife Elizabeth named their new-born son after Commander Norton.
After World War One Albert made his living as a Music Hall Attendent. I would dearly love to know more about this time in his life.

Later in life Albert got his living as a House Painter and Decorator, up until his retirement in the 1950s. During World War Two it is believed that Albert was a Air Raid Precautions Volunteer Warden (ARP). Family stories tell of Albert taking some of his children along with him during air-raids so they knew what to do in emergency situations.
Descendents of the Humphries family reveal that Albert was a Freemason and was believed to be, at one time, well connected with Government officials such as Herbert Asquith, David Lloyd George, Stanley Baldwin and Winston Churchill.


The Humphries ancestry has so far been traced back to John Humphries (born around 1800). It has not yet been successfully indentified where John was born or his parental/ancestral details. It is thought he may have originated from county Somerset. During his life he worked as a Mattress Maker/Labourer until his death of Cholera in 1849 (in Wandsworth). It is recorded that he lived in Hammersmith, county Middlesex and Wandsworth, county Surrey.
To date there is no evidence to suggest that John Humphries and Ann Rogers were legally married. When Civil Registration was introduced in 1837, their children's birth certificates indicate that Ann's given surname was formerly Rogers. The 1851 census return shows that Ann was born in Bath, county Somerset around 1810 and there has been a possible trace of a baptism in February 1810, d/o William and Rachel Rogers.
The location where John Humphries died (Waterside Alley, in Wandsworth) is now high-rise apartments and restaurants with a lovely walkway along the River Thames:

Waterside, Wandsworth (2007)
Ann 'Humphries' was widowed in 1849 and the 1851 census return then tells a rather interesting story. There is no trace of Ann nor any of her younger children under the surname Humphries. After considerable searching under variant spellings and age groups the onset of hair loss ensued so, I decided out of desperation to try searching for Ann under the name Rogers. Victory was instant as I found Ann Rogers listed as an inmate in the Battersea Workhouse (Wandsworth & Clapham Union).
Her children Sarah Ann, Charlotte, Robert and Charles were also easily traced to the North Surrey Industrial School, under the surname Rogers. George had died of Cholera in 1849 just three days before his father John. William has not yet been successfully traced (census return details conflict with multiple people of the same name and birthplace) and Richard (my 3xg/grandfather) was married.

Richard Humphries

Richard Humphries married Mary Ann Smith in Lambeth on 11 December 1849. Mary Ann was born around 1830 in Merstham, co. Surrey, d/o of Edward Smith and Ann. Richard worked as an Upholsterer in Putney, co. Surrey. Richard and Mary Ann had four known children, all born in Putney:
Mary Ann (1850) (died 1 December 1851)
William Richard (1853)
Joseph Edward (1856)
Walter John (1859)
The 1851 census return shows Richard and Mary Ann living in Taylor's Buildings, Putney. The 1861 census return shows them living in Brewhouse Lane, in Putney. The photographs below shows Brewhouse Lane as it looked in 1880 and in 2007:

Brewhouse Lane, Putney (circa 1880)

Brewhouse Lane, Putney (2007)

You can read more about my elusive ancestor Richard Humphries in my blog, here.

William Richard Humphries

William Richard Humphries married Charlotte Jane Sibley in 1871 in Wandsworth. They had seven known children, all born in Putney:
Charles Richard (1872)
Charlotte Jane (1874)
William George (1876)
Harry James (1879)
Katie Isabel (1882)
Albert Victor (1884) My great-grandfather (see above)
Walter Clyde (1888)

William worked as a Carpenter by trade, following on from his father and grandfather who were Upholsterers and Furniture Makers. William died at the age of 36 of Pleurisy. (My great-grandfather Albert was five years old when his father died.) Charlotte re-married in 1892 to Edward Hutchens. Charlotte and Edward lived in Disraeli Road in the 1890s and later moved to Hounslow, county Middlesex.

1 comment:

  1. My name is Victor Humphries born 13.01 1925 at present alive @ 91 and living in West Australia,served in the Royal Navy during WW2 on board HMS RENOWN,my father ??????? I dont think my mother knew??? I have one daughter who is a millionaire, so life has been good.lost my wife in1991 due to medical negligence in a WA hospital. happy 2016 to all the Humphries's