Roger Martin Griffin and Irene Vincent Parker

When Roger Martin Griffin was born on October 10, 1889, in Backwell, Somerset, England, his father, John Griffin (1860-1937), was 29 and his mother, Sarah (née Goodland) (1857-1931), was 32.  He was the fourth boy delivered into the family of five sons and one daughter.

Like his older brother Arthur Bird and younger brother Charles Owen, Roger entered the war, although (unlike his brothers who became Canadians) he was a British soldier. Although very few British personal service records have survived to present day, we know that Roger was a Guardsman, a member of the Welsh Guard and took home both the British War and Victory Medals. His attestation paperwork, signed in December 1915 upon his enlistment suggests he was still a baker prior to the war (in the 1911 census Roger is still at home and is a “Baker’s Assistant”).

Enlistment paperwork, Roger Martin Griffin (image via

Roger married Irene Vincent Parker on December 6, 1916, in England, likely at St. Michael & All Angels Church in Flax Bourton, England.

Western Daily Press December 9, 1916

When Irene Vincent Parker was born on December 22, 1886, in Backwell, Somerset, England, her father, James Parker, (1859-1921) was 27, and her mother, Annie (née Long) (1868-1953), was 18. Irene was the fourth child of six daughters and one son.

Roger and Irene settled in Flax Bourton, Backwell, Somerset, England, and their only son, James Vincent, was born on August 28, 1920. The 1935 and 1939 directories suggest that Roger and family were living on Coles Farm and that Roger was a dairy farmer.

1939 Register (image via

In 1939, on the eve of WWII, the British Government completed a register of all citizens which finds Roger, Irene and likely James still living at Coles Farm with Irene’s mother and possibly one of her younger siblings. (When the 1939 census was released, for privacy reasons, the British Government blacked out the names of anyone born within 100 years of the release). The census confirms Roger as a dairy farmer.

The next record we find is a probate record for Roger. He died on May 29, 1955, still living at Coles Farm, at the age of 65.  His estate was left to his widow.

Probate Record (image via

Irene survived her husband and lived until the ripe age of 93.

Probate Record (image via

GoogleMaps suggests that Chapel Hill is a quiet country lane with few homes.

Chapel Hill, Flax Bourton, England (image via GoogleMaps)

According to a schedule in the London Gazette dated April 12, 1990, Coles Farm may now be part of Backwell Farleigh Conservation Area:

London Gazette

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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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