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JAMES, Susan

b. 1865-d.1908

Born in the June quarter of 1865, in the Greenwich registration district, to John Street and his wife Margaret née Bower. They had married in June 1846 in Quebec, whilst John was serving in the military.

Susan was the last of nine children – most of whom survived until adulthood. The first seven were born in Canada:

John              1845 – 1884

James           1847 – 1900

Anne             1851 – 1876

Margaret       1853 – 1920

Elizabeth      1855 – 1856

William          1857 – 1899

Henry            1859 –

David Henry  1862 – 1922

Susan            1865 – 1908

I was unable to trace the family on the 1871 Census until I discovered that the surname had been mis-transcribed  as Sheet! The 1881 Census shows John aged 66, working as a labourer in an Iron Works. He is noted as an invalid and deaf. His wife, aged 56 is stated to have been born in Canada, working as a laundress and blind in one eye.

With them in the same house are their daughter Susan, 17 years old and a shirtmaker and her husband Thomas W James age 21, a labourer. The pair were married in December 1880.

Susan’s Children

Thomas and Susan had three daughters:

Lilian Susan born 4th June 1882,

Mabel Annie born 21st June 1883, died 1887,

Margaret born 1885 September quarter, dying in the same quarter.

By the 1891 Census things had changed. Susan was an inpatient in the Woolwich Infirmary. 

Her husband Thomas and daughter Lilian are lodging with a William Claverley, a labourer at the Arsenal and his family. A woman called Lydia, aged 34 is listed as Thomas’ wife.

1900s

On the 1901 Census, Susan is still in the infirmary. She appears to have a working role as a shirt maker, almost impossible to read due to enumerator’s marks obliterating it. She is said to be married but this has a circle around it, indicating that this may be incorrect.

Lilian, now aged 19 is a boarder at Edwin Taylors in Woolwich and her occupation is that of a laundress.

I cannot identify Thomas in the records. There were several Thomas William James or Thomas James but none fit our Thomas. 

On Susan’s death certificate she is described as a widow – which was very helpful in enabling me to identify her. So I believe that Thomas may have died in the period 1891 and 1901.

Susan was transferred to Long Grove on the 7th December 1907.

Sadly, she died on the 22nd February 1908 of Pulmonary Tuberculosis. Her daughter, Lilian now REED was the informant.


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