When Charles Griffin was born on February 4, 1837, in Somerset, England, his father, James Griffin (1808-1847), was 28 and his mother, Mary (née Bird) (1810-1898), was 26. He had two brothers and one sister.
Charles was 25 when he married Lucy Ann Goulstone, age 24, on April 22, 1862, in Kingston Seymour, Somerset, England.
When Lucy Ann Goulstone was born on August 31, 1837, in Long Ashton, Somerset, England, her father, Thomas Goulstone (1801-1878), was 36, and her mother, Louisa (née Parsons) (1799-1878), was 38.
They had seven daughters and five sons over 16 years:
- James Griffin (1863-1941) married Clara Parker (1874-1949)
- Jane Griffin (1864-1870)
- Edward Griffin (1865-1954) married Edith Mary Wallis (1868-1951)
- Lucy Mary Griffin (1866-1907) married James Thomas Williams (1854-1907)
- Clara Annie Griffin (1867-1947)
- Amy Isabel Griffin (1868-1952)
- Samuel Laughton Griffin (1872-1935) married Florence Emily Hardwick (1876-1958)
- Thomas Goulstone Griffin (1874-1961) married Bertha Carter (1876-1944)
- Emily Jane Griffin (1874-1952)
- Margaret Louisa Griffin (1875-1962) married Gilbert Parker (1869-?)
- Eliza Griffin (1877-?)
- Charles Martin Griffin (1879-1927)
- Edith Mabel Griffin (1879-1969)
Their first child was a son, James Griffin, named for his paternal grandfather. James was born on February 17, 1863, and baptized on March 15th at the All Saints parish church in Kingston Seymour.
Jane Griffin, a daughter, was the next born, exactly a year later on February 17, 1864. She was baptized on March 20th in Kingston Seymour.
Another son, Edward, was born June 26, 1865. He was baptized on August 20th.
Lucy Mary, named for both her mother and her grandmother, was born on November 22, 1866. He’s baptized on January 16, 1867.
Clara Annie is born less than a year later on November 11, 1867. She’s baptized on December 15, 1867.
A fourth daughter, Amy Isabel is born on January 18, 1869. She is baptized on February 21.
Sadly, Jane died in October 1870 and was buried on October 28, 1870. She was not quite seven years old.
A third son, Thomas Goulstone Griffin, comes next, on March 7, 1871, named for his maternal grandfather (including taking his mother’s maiden name as his second). He’s baptized on March 9, 1871. (Later documents suggest that Thomas was born in 1874, but as he appears on the 1871 census, we know that later documents are incorrect.)
We find the family on the 1871 British census. Charles is a farmer of 97 acres, employing one man and one boy. James, Edward, and Lucy are at school.
Samuel Laughton Griffin is the next son to be born in 1872. His exact date of birth is unknown, but he is baptized on September 29.
Next, Emily Jane Griffin is born on March 14, 1874. He’s baptized on May 3.
Margaret Louisa is the sixth daughter born to the couple in 1875. She’s baptized on January 16, 1876.
Eliza Griffin is born in 1877 and baptized on March 28.
Charles Martin is the fifth and final son born in 1879. He’s baptized the same day as his cousin, Samuel Austin Griffin, on August 23.
The couple’s final child is their eighth daughter, Edith Mabel Griffin, born in 1880 and baptized on September 28.
In 1881, amazingly, all 11 surviving children are still living at home. Charles, now 43, is still described as a farmer of 97 acres, but now employs only one labourer (likely because he has sons who have taken the place of the boy). James is described as a clerk in a Merchant’s office. Edward and Lucy Mary are assisting on the farm. Clara, Amy, Tom, Samuel and Emily are all in school.
On April 29, 1885, a story about Charles appeared in the Frome Times. It appears he was sending five pigs by train, but they were overwhelmed by the heat (but, bonus, would have been great if they’d just had a bacon party).
By the 1891 census, Charles (54) is now just described as a “farmer” at Rookery Farm. (This is likely the same address as the previous censuses, but as it was a rural location, postal addresses were difficult for census takers to record.) Edward (25) is a corn factor (a person who deals in corn). Samuel has no job attributed to him, and is likely helping on the farm. Emily is an assistant in a dairy. Margaret, Eliza, Charles, and Edith are at school. Charles’ widowed mother, Mary Gould, is also living with the family. A modern-day review of Rookery Farm appears on the Gentleman’s Journal site. Assuming this is the same site (there are no address details, but it is in Somerset), from the photos of the house, I can see how they fit 12 children.
By 1891, James has left home and is a “commercial traveller.” Lucy is a servant in a home in Gloucestershire. She’s married before the year is out. Amy is living with her maternal uncle, Edwin Goulstone. I haven’t located Thomas or Amy in 1891.
Charles died on April 12, 1893, at the age of 56, and was buried in Kingston Seymour, Somerset, England.
Charles’ estate cleared probate on May 25, 1893, he left everything to Lucy.
In 1901, Lucy is living with James and his wife Clara.
In 1911, Lucy (73) is living at “Dibdens Farm” in Backwell with Charles (28), Clara (40), Emily (31), and Eliza (29). Lucy and Charles‘ occupation is “Farmer,” and the girls are each identified as “Farmer’s daughter.”
Lucy died on June 18, 1926, at the age of 88, still living at Dibdens Farm.
Lucy’s estate cleared probate on June 18. The residue of her estate was left to her sons James and Edward.
Main image: Charles Griffin