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b.1846 – d.1916

Joseph Francis Gorsuch was born on the 7th of May 1846 at City Road, St Luke, Shoreditch, London, England to parents William James Gorsuch (Bootmaker) and Mary Ann Smith. The address at the time was recorded as 8 New St, Old St, City Road, St Luke.

Birth Certificate Joseph Francis GORSUCH 1846

Joseph along with his older sister Mary Ann aged 7 years was baptised 5 years later on the 11th of June 1851 at St John the Baptist Church in Hoxton, Hackney, Middlesex, England, address recorded as Union St and his father William was listed as a Boot Maker’s Assistant.

Baptism of Joseph Francis and Mary Ann GORSUCH, 1851


Registered in Q1-1860, Joseph’s father William J. had passed away and Joseph is recorded as a 14-year-old Messenger living at 4 Thornhill Bridge Place, Islington, London & Middlesex, England with his widowed mother Mary Ann who was working as a Laundress, and his siblings Mary Ann aged 14 years and Frederick aged 5 years.

1861 Census

In 1867 Joseph Francis married Susan Murphy Read in Holborn, London, England, maybe due to pregnancy and the fact their first son William Joseph was born in 1867.

Joseph’s sister, Mary Ann, married Edward Jackson in 1869, I mention this as it confirms the family tie to Mrs. Jackson (Sister) in the Manor visitor book.

Son Frederick was then born in 1871, the family are located on the 1871 census where Joseph was recorded as a married 25-year-old Bricklayer living at 23 Suffolk Street, St Pancras, London & Middlesex, England with his wife Susannah aged 24 years old and sons William aged 3 years and Frederick aged 1 year.

1871 Census – 23 Suffolk Street, St. Pancras

1872 saw the birth of their daughter Susannah followed by Joseph Frances in 1875, sadly Joseph Frances died that same year and is buried at the St Pancras Cemetery (Camden), London, England, 4 years later in 1879 another son was born whom they named in honour of his brother Joseph Frances.

I have been unable to locate the family during the 1881 (at this time).

By the time of the 1891 census, the family had grown substantially. Living at 38 Storey Street (an address matching the asylum records) just a few doors from his brother Frederick, we find Joseph F. (44) with wife Susannah (40). He is a painter and Susannah is a Charwoman, his brother is also a painter, with his brother wife also a Charwoman, so I think they were working together. The children are listed as; William (23), Edward (21), Susannah (19), Joseph F (11), Emma (7), Mary Ann (4).

1891 Census – 38 Storey Street

Joseph, now aged 44 years old, was next located in the Workhouse Admissions where he was admitted to the Islington Workhouse on the 28th of July 1892, his next of kin recorded as his wife Susannah Gorsuch from 4 Bryan Place, Copenhagen St, Islington, on the 4th of August 1892 Joseph was transferred to the Colney Hatch Asylum, where it seems Joseph spent the next 7 years until his transfer to Manor Asylum in Epsom – “Not Improved”.

Admission Colney Hatch Asylum, 4th Aug 1892

Joseph was admitted to Manor Asylum on the 15th of August 1899 aged 51 years old.

Admission Horton (Manor), 15th Aug 1899

He is incessantly wandering about from ward to ward under the impression he has work to do or that someone has sent for him. He foes into the women’s wards. Resents any interference and is beyond control. Loss of memory does not know where he is or where he lives.

Medical Certificate: Facts indicating insanity observed on entry

Susannah Gorsuch (Wife) 4 Bryan Vale. He imagines he was possessed of houses, that he had been to various places when he had not been away from home. He wanders away and has lost all memory.

Medical Certificate: Facts indicating insanity observed on others

His initial examination according to the Manor Records states that he is dull and weak minded, and his memory is a blank, has not the least idea how long he has been here. Joseph was eventually diagnosed with Dementia.

On the 1901 census, we find Susannah Gorsuch, Laundress, with 2 daughters, Emma Amelia in b.1884 and Mary Ann in b.1887, both ‘Wood Choppers’. They are living at 101 Bemerton Street, Islington.

1901 Census

The asylum case notes are too faded for an exact date, but the final entry in the Manor records book states “No change to his mental condition. Health Mod. Was this day transferred to Horton Asylum, was discharged as “Not Improved”, the lunacy record above confirms this was on 3rd March 1902.

We then find Joseph on the 1911 census of Horton Asylum recorded as a married 63-year-old Patient, occupation (General Labourer).

1911 Horton Asylum Census

Susannah remains in Islington appearing on the 1911 census, living at 43 Winchester St with her son Frederick aged 30 years and daughter Mary Ann aged 20 years, both listed as single. Susannah and Mary Ann are listed as “Bundles of Firewood Makers” with Frederick a “Coal Porter” all ‘working at shop’.

We can see that originally, Susannah had added Joseph to the census, but crossed out all the details (probably once she realised her mistake). The final column states “Lunatic, 40 when afflicted”. The 1911 census was completed by the residents themselves, so they often made mistakes.

1911 Census

Susannah passed away the following year in 1912.

Long Grove

Joseph was transferred to the Long Grove Asylum in Epsom, Surrey where he passed away on the 20th of January 1916 aged 68 years old, recorded as a Labourer from 4 Bryan Place, Copenhagen St, Islington. Informant on death certificate listed as David Ogilvy Superintendent of Long Grove Asylum, cause of death was stated as Arteriosclerosis and Myocardial Degeneration, Joseph was buried at the Horton Estate Cemetery in Epsom, Surrey, England on the 25th of January 1916 in Grave 2002a.

Certificate of Death, Joseph Gorsuch, 1916
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