James Griffin and Mary Bird and Charles Gould

The Bristol and Avon Family History Society website describes Kingston Seymour and a 2013 article by Bob Ford suggests: “The families of Stuckey, Griffin and Wallis arrived [in Kingston Seymour] late in the 18th century and are still present.” James Griffin is my 4x great-grandfather and he and his family lived in Kingston Seymour.

As I trace James’ tree, the names Stuckey and Wallis (and I would also add Hollyman) appear again and again as his children and grandchildren marry. Newspaper articles also suggest that the family was well-known and trusted in the community with various members being members of the town and church councils.

When James Griffin was born on February 9, 1808, in Clevedon, Somerset, England, his father, Joseph Griffin (1771-1845), was 37 and his mother, Hannah (née Wall) (1772-1846), was 35.

James married Mary Bird on February 14, 1833, in All Saints Church in Kingston Seymour, Somerset, England. Witnesses to the marriage were William and Jane Bird and Joseph and Jane Griffin.

Marriage Register, Kingston Seymour All Saints (image via Ancestry.com)

Mary Bird was born in August 1810 in Churchill, Somerset, England, the daughter of Samuel Bird (1771-1836) and Mary.

They had four known children during their marriage:

  • Samuel Bird Griffin (1834-1890) married Jane Wallis (1835-1909)
  • Isabella Griffin (1835-1909)
  • Charles Griffin (1837-1893) married Lucy Ann Goulstone (1837-1926)
  • John Griffin (1838-1838)

The couple’s first child is a son (and my 3x great-grandfather), Samuel Bird Griffin, named for his maternal grandfather, Samuel Bird. Samuel is baptized at St. Andrew’s Church, in Clevedon, Somerset on March 18, 1934.

Baptismal Register, St. Andrew’s Clevedon (image via Ancestry.com)

Isabella Griffin, the couple’s first daughter, is born in 1835 and baptized October 21st at St. Andrew’s.

Baptismal Register, St. Andrew’s Clevedon (image via Ancestry.com)

Charles Griffin, a second son, is born in 1837 and baptized March 1st.

Baptismal Register, St. Andrew’s Clevedon (image via Ancestry.com)

John Griffin is the couple’s final son. He is born in May 1938 and baptized privately, unlike his siblings, at Kingston Seymour All Saints, possibly indicating that the child was poorly from the start.

Baptismal Register, Kingston Seymour All Saints (image via Ancestry.com)

John dies in October 1938 and is buried at the same church he was baptized in. The burial register shows his burial on the page opposite his maternal grandfather, Samuel Bird, who died almost exactly one year prior.

Burial Register, Kingston Seymour All Saints (image via Ancestry.com)

We find the family on the 1941 Census in Kingston Seymour. The early census doesn’t give much more information other than the names and approximate ages of the family members as well as the occupation of the head of the household. James is a farmer.

1941 English Census (image via Ancestry.com)

James Griffin died December 12, 1847, in Kingston Seymour, Somerset, England, at the age of 39.

Bristol Mercury, December 25, 1847

By 1851 Mary (40) has not remarried. The census shows her as not only the head of the household, but she appears to have taken over James’ duties – and is a farmer of 104 acres employing one labourer. All three children are still living at home and in addition, there is a lodger and two servants in the home.

1951 England Census (image via Ancestry.com)

In 1861, Mary (51) is still not remarried. The census shows her as the head of the household, but she’s now a “grocer and farmer,” and as the eldest son, Samuel likely took over the family farm when he married (he’s listed as a farmer of 104 acres on the 1871 census). Isabella and Charles are still at home.

1861 England Census (image via Ancestry.com)

Mary was a widow for 15 years, but she married Charles Gould, a widower, on May 6, 1862, in Bedminster, Somerset, England.

Charles Gould

Charles Gould was born in 1805 in South Brent, Somerset, England, the son of John and Sarah Gould.

Prior to wedding Mary, Charles had been married Elizabeth Lovell on April 22, 1832, in Easton-in-Gordano.

They had one daughter together:

Elizabeth died in January 1831 and was buried at All Saints Church in Kingston Seymour.

Mary and Charles

In 1871, Charles and Mary are living in Kingston Seymour with a servant. Charles is described as a farmer of 39 acres employing two labourers.

1871 England Census (image via Ancestry.com)

In 1881, Charles is still a farmer of 39 acres, but only employing one labourer. Mary’s grandson Alfred Griffin (Charles Griffin’s son) is living with the couple (and likely the reason only one labourer is employed.

1881 England Census (image via Ancestry.com)

Mary was widowed a second time when Charles died on February 21, 1887, at the ripe age of 82 years. He’s buried at All Saints Church. Charles’ estate was settled on March 14, 1887, his daughter Anna Maria (a widow) was the Executrix.

Weston Mercury, February 26, 1887

In 1891 we find Mary, widowed, and living in the house of her son Charles. The census suggests she has “no occupation” and given she was 86 years old, one would not expect her to.

Mary died in January 1898 in Kingston Seymour, Somerset, England, having lived a long life of 87 years. Like both her husbands, she was buried at All Saints, on January 24th.

Main image: Mary (Bird) (Griffin) Gould

Are you related to this family? Do you have photos or stories you’d be willing to share? Please contact me using the comment form below or find me on Facebook! Want to know where this family fits in my tree? Check out the Index!


4 Responses

  1. John and Joseph Griffin’s decendents fought over the farm. A gravestone was taken to court to prove dates of birth and death.
    I’m descended from George, the brother of James. We left the area in the 1860s.

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AG Knapper

I’ve been researching my tree for over twenty years…and I’ve found some easy branches, and some gnarly ones…

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