Deacon Family

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The Gowing Family

The Deacon family

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To view the Deacon Family Tree Click Here

To view the Deacon Dynasty Click Here

To view the Horn Family Tree Click Here

     Richard Deacon, Born ???? Married Ann Willis

          Samuel Deacon, Born 1748 Married Sarah Wilcox

               Joseph Deacon, Born circa.1766 Married Mary Harris

                    Benjamin Deacon, Born 1809, Married Emma Watts

                         Robert Watts Deacon, Born 1836, Married Martha Ellingham

                               John Benjamin Deacon, Born 1880, Married Annie Elizabeth Horn

Benjamin Deacon

BenjaminEmmaDeacon.jpg (37115 bytes)

Benjamin was the last born of Joseph and Mary Ann's children and was also carpenter by profession, born in Westbury 1809. In 1833 he married Emma Watts at St Swithin's Church in Walcot, Bath, Somerset on 10th April. The witnesses were not family members but James and Ann Neate, names that have no significance as yet. Does this suggest that the union of these two families was not welcomed by the respective families? Below are two pictures of St Swithin's Church, now and then.

St Swithin's Church, Walcot

St Swithin's Church

The top picture is recent but the other picture is from the wonderful Francis Frith collection of photographs taken in Bath dating from 1902.

Emma Watts was the sixth of six children, born on the 8th June 1812. Her brothers and sisters were Elizabeth, born 1801, Mary Ann (1803), Joseph (1805), Jane (1806) and John (1810). Her fathers name was Robert Watts, part of a large family thriving in west Wiltshire, and her mother's name was Martha (nee Gerish) again a very common west Wiltshire family name.
By 1836 the family were living in Coronation Place, a small row of houses along the east side of Stoke Newington High Street, immediately north of Church Road, (now called Evering Road). Some re-modelling of this junction has taken place over the years as Amherst Road (now Amhurst Road) no longer joins Stoke Newington Road directly opposite Gordon Road (now Beatty Road) as it is shown on the map below, but fifty yards or so further north, merging with the unnamed road south of of West Hackney Church.
Benjamin's occupation was given as Carman rather than his inherited trade of carpenter. By 1841 he was living in Park Street, Stoke Newington and had two children, Robert and Elizabeth.

St Swithins Church~Francis Frith

St Swithin's Church, Walcot
by Francis Frith

Benjamin And Emma's first child named Robert Watts Deacon was born during 1836 in Stoke Newington London, many miles from the Wiltshire countryside, so as far as they were concerned their future was not in Somerset or Wiltshire but eastwards, in London. It is about 115 miles from Bath to central London, in 1833 there was no railway, in fact coincidentally 1833, the year they married, was the year the young Isambard Kingdom Brunel was appointed engineer by the Great Western Railway. Travel from Bath would have been by canal (The Kennett and Avon) or by mail coach. The journey by coach would take about 14 hours, by canal considerably longer.

Coronation Place

Coronation Place

Benjamin and Emma Deacon went on to have seven children in total, but only five survived. Frances Jane did not reach her third birthday and Mary Ann Dempsey died within her first year. The youngest of the five surviving children, Joseph, was classified as an invalid in the 1871/81/91 censuses. The family remained at the Park Street address but the 1851,1861 and 1871 censuses show their address as "Rose Cottage". By 1881 it reverts back to Park street so it is conceivable that "Rose cottage" was actually in Park Street and the family may not have moved at all. Or maybe did not move that far. On all the census returns Benjamin's occupation was recorded as "Carpenter".

Benjamin died in April 1884 and Emma three years later in February 1887. The three remaining children still at home were Elizabeth and Anna, neither whom married and Joseph the invalid. In the census of 1891 all three were still together at the address of number 1, Woodlea road, Stoke Newington. Elizabeth and Anna were both dressmakers of 48 and 40 years respectively and Joseph had no occupation. In 1901 Elizabeth and Anna were still at the same address but there is no entry for Joseph. At this time we have no further information as to where Joseph is or even if he is still living. Elizabeth is 58 years old and Anna 50 years. Both were still earning a living as dressmakers. Ten years on and Elizabeth, or Lizzie as the census refers to her as, is now 70 years young. She is living on private means still living at number 1, Woodlea Road but Anna is no longer with her. After all the years the sisters spent together it is unlikely that anything apart from Anna's demise would separate them. The precise place and date is yet to be confirmed.
At the same address are three other occupants whose names means nothing to us at this time, especially the rather bizarrely named "Dry Roberts". Another transcription error perhaps?

Robert Watts Deacon

RobertWattsMartha.jpg (35369 bytes)

Robert Watts Deacon was born in Stoke Newington, North London. He was baptised at the Parish Church of West Hackney on September 4th 1836. The Church, often referred to as St James Church was one of nine Churches built with money given by the Government of Portugal but was never dedicated. It was destroyed during the second world war and its replacement was dedicated to St Paul. Robert was the first child of Benjamin Deacon and Emma nee Watts his second name was an obvious dedication to Emma's father and enabled us to locate her birth records with relative ease.

West Hackney Parish Church

West Hackney Parish Church

Robert had six brothers and sisters, all born in Stoke Newington and the majority were baptised at St Marys. Like his father and grandfather, Robert's occupation was a carpenter. He remained at home during the early part of his life, learning his trade no doubt and the census shows he was living at home in 1871 but in 1861 he was living at the Inner Temple one of London's ancient Inns of Court, his occupation was given as Cabinet Maker rather than Carpenter, 20 years old, unmarried and born in Stoke Newington. Why the age difference? Five years is a big mistake to make. On the third of July 1874 Robert married Martha Ellingham, Martha was born in Littleport, Cambridgeshire in 1840. How she come to be in London we do not know. Martha and Robert married at the Holy Trinity Church, Hoxton, Shoreditch the parish in which they were living at the time, both at the same address, 3 Napier Street. It is now called Napier Grove but nothing remains of the small terraced houses that once lined both sides of the street.

Holy Trinity Church, Hoxton

Holy Trinity Church,

One month after their marriage they lost their first child, Charles Edward. He was born 13th March and Christened on the 27th March 1874 at St John the Baptist Church, Shoreditch, the address entered was 39, Behring Street which we believe should be Baring Street, which is still with us today. Charles Edward died 6th August 1874. The cause of death on the certificate is unreadable, the address written on the death certificate was 36 Union Street, Shoreditch, long since gone. The street is under a development of high rise flats to the east of Provost Street, Shoreditch. The next child, Emma, was born in 1876, by now the family were living in Islington. In 1878 Herbert was born and in 1880 John Benjamin was born at the address of Sherborne House, Rotherfield Street, N1.

Three years after the birth of John Benjamin, Robert Watts Deacon died from cancer of the tongue. At the time the family were living at 30, Rosemary Street, Hoxton, Shoreditch. Robert's occupation was given as "Housepainter". What happened to Martha and her three young children we cannot begin to wonder. She did not have any family that we are aware of in London, apart from her younger brother Arthur who appears to have been living in the Canning Town area of east London. The next census of 1891 shows the family living at 12, Sherborne Street, Islington minutes away from the Sherborne House address of ten years earlier. Martha is a washerwoman and Emma Maria, the eldest child has work as what appears to be a fancy broach trimmer. Neither Herbert or John were working, nor were they scholars.

Sherborne,Rotherfield and RosemaryStreets

Sherborne Street, Rosemary Street, Rotherfield Street.

By 1901 Martha had taken the family north to 65, Matthias Road, off of Newington Green. Compared to previous addresses Matthias Road would seem somewhat better, Charles Booth describes it as "a mixed set of houses, on the whole, very poor" Emma Maria Deacon was married to John William Darnes in 1908, two years later it was John Benjamin Deacon marrying Annie Horn. Both marriages took place in the Tottenham / Edmonton area of north London.

An additional page has been prepared describing Littleport in days gone by, the struggle to keep ahead of the flood waters plus a few photographs both old and new. The same page also contains pictures of the Bridge House Inn (Martha Ellingham's Birthplace) and Ely Cathedral. View this page here, (opens in a new window). To read what we know about Martha's Family History, the Ellingham's Page is here, (opens in a new window).


John Benjamin Deacon

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John Benjamin Deacon was born in Islington, North London in 1880. He was the youngest of the three surviving children, having an elder brother Herbert (born 1878) and sister Emma (born1876). John married Annie Elizabeth Horn in May 1910 at St Philips Church, South Tottenham. She was the daughter of Charles and Emily Horn, born in 1884 at 69, Mayfield Road, Hackney, North London. She was the second of four children the oldest being Jessie born 1882, with Emily Maria (1887) and Charles (1890) (More information on the Horn family can be found here.)

fourfamily.jpg (16072 bytes)

The Deacon Family
circa. 1918

Left to right, Rosa Lilian (age 5 years), John Benjamin Deacon (age 38), Lilian Dorothy (age 4), Annie Elizabeth Deacon (nee Horn, age 34) and on her lap Winifred May (age 1) and Beatrice Annie (age 7 ).The photograph we think was taken in 1918.

John Benjamin Deacon married Annie in 1910, both John and Annie were living at 10 Durham Road (now Kitchener Road) the home of John's mother Martha and brother Herbert. Occupying four rooms in the same house were John's sister Emma Maria Darnes, her husband John William and their one year old son John Leslie. By the census of 1911 John and Annie had moved from Durham Road to number 1, Townsend Road, Tottenham, where their first child, Beatrice Annie was born on 4th May, 1911.

As time passes by memories become distorted and stories handed down through the generations are exaggerated and it is difficult to piece together the facts with the fiction. It is obviously factual and we have heard through our parents stories of how their generation suffered through both wars and that must never be forgotten or the memory diminished in any way.
John and Annie were married at St Philips Church in Tottenham 14th May of 1910, he was an Electro Typer by trade, a type setter for a printer. At some point in his life John we believe worked for "De la rue". The world famous London based company that printed playing cards and banknotes. The company's premises at that time were located at Bunhill Row in the city of London. During his time with them the family believe his handwriting was used on the banknotes being produced by his employers, which banknotes and for which country we do not know. What cannot be argued however is the fact that De La Rue did not have premises in Stoke Newington, or anywhere else apart from Bunhill Row in the City of London. Another family memory is from the 1914-18 war and is one that makes your eyebrows disappear into your hairline (for those of us that have one). The factory where John worked had large cellars and the children were taken there at night to shelter from the zeppelin bombing raids, whilst John worked on. I think it is inconceivable that children (who by that time numbered three, all under seven years old) would be taken from Stoke Newington to an address in the City at the sound of an air raid siren (if indeed there were air raid sirens in the 1914-18 war). It is unlikely we will ever know John Benjamin's full employment history but we may have stumbled one or two possible answers.
The 1911 census asked about the the nature of employment to which John answered Dandy Rolls. This is the mechanism that enables paper to be produced with a watermark engrained. A search for Dandy Rolls and Stoke Newington turned up a company called "T.J. Marshall and Company of Stoke Newington". Further research found them in Campbell Works, Belfast Road, the next road south along Stamford Hill from Windus Road, a matter of minutes on foot.

An extract from "The World Paper Trades Review" dated June 1898

Campbell Works

Campbell Works
circa. 2008

A Fine Specimen of Watermarking.- Messrs. T. J. Marshall and Co., of Campbell Works, Stoke Newington, N., have an excellent reputation for the excellency of their methods of watermarking. As usuall this firm is sending out a watermarked calendar for 1896, a most useful and unique production, and well represents their system of patent watermarking. There are three portraits at the top showing the Right Hon. the Lord Mayor, Mr. Alderman and Sheriff Frank Green, and Mr. Sheriff Thomas R. Dewar. At the foot, the name of T. J. Marshall and Co. is prominently set forth, the other lettering being '' up-to-date dandy rolls" (with designs), "the largest makers in the world," and the address, etc. The production shows the excellence of Messrs. T.J. Marshall and Co.s process, and at the same time it is claimed that the method, whilst being superior, is also more economical compared with the old style. Undoubtedly great clearness is obtained, letters, cyphers, and marks showing up much cleaner in the sheet. It may be noted that the firm has been established since 1702. This is the eighteenth year of the publication of the watermarked calendar.

Campbell Works Advertisement Advertisement Presentation
Picture left - Campbell Works the end of Belfast Road, top right.
others- Advertisements and articles from "The World Paper Trades Review"

It appears that T.J. Marshall and Company were a long established company and it is possible that this was where John Benjamin worked during the 1914-18 war and beyond. The building is quite substantial, almost mill like in appearance and may have had low ceilings and a cellar. Adding support to this theory are papers recently released by the National Archive. The "Lloyd George Papers", Minister of Munitions, 1915-1916 contains a paper in which records "T.J. Marshall of Campbell Works, Stoke Newington were to employ women at once to operate small lathes". As the order came through the "Ministry of Munitions" it would suggest part of the factory had been turned over to the manufacture of arms or ammunition in support of the war effort. The order goes on to describe the working conditions for the women at the Campbell Works factory.
When considering the factory in Belfast Road also concider the railway line that runs alongside it and crosses Stamford Hill as it runs north and what a prime target the two sites would make. Maybe heading in the opposite direction when the air raid sirens started may have been the safer option but they all lived to tell the tale.

Campbell Works the building is still there today and is now the studio of various artists, see Campbell Works as it is now.

De La Rue Bunhill Row

De La Rue, Bunhill Row
circa. 1940

Continuing on this theme and looking again at the family stories of old. John and Annie moved to Chingford about 1928. Where John was working at this time we do not know. Assuming, not unreasonably, that John was still in the printing business and still working at the age of 59 years and then look at the history of the De La Rue company. In 1940 the printing works at Bunhill Row were completely destroyed by German Bombs. The company boasts with some justification given the times, that all the commitments were honoured by offset lithographic printing at another site(s). Where these other site(s) were is anybody's guess. Could this be the answer? Did John Benjamin Deacon spend his final working years in the employ of De La Rue either directly or indirectly?

More children came along at the next address of Warwick Cottage, Warwickshire Road, Stoke Newington. The house was owned by a Mrs Harding who occupied the ground floor. Winifred May was born on St Georges Day 23rd April 1917. The only boy in the family, Leonard John, was born September 12th 1919, the small upstairs flat which was obviously now too small and Leonard developed a lung disorder which contributed to the family moving east to Chingford and cleaner air, some of the family still live there to this day.

The young family were sent to regular Sunday School (as were most children at that time) at the Stoke Newington Wesleyan Church, as Beatrice remembers,

" Walking all the way there and back again, come rain or shine. The teachers and cleric were very good to Mum, taking an exceptional interest in us four girls, making dresses with materials we could never afford and always including us in parties and outings where we would otherwise not be included. They would often call to see Mum with little tokens of food and clothes as we were considered to be a poor deserving family. At 10 years old I joined the Girl Guides and Rosa, Pud (Lilian) and eventually Win joined the Brownies group attached to the Church. When we moved to Chingford, about 1928, I took over as Captain and Leader of the 6th Chingford Guide and Scout troop belonging to the Wesleyan Church in Station Road (where we were married) but Rosa, Pud (Lilian) and Win changed their allegiance over to the Sunday School classes at the Hall in Kings Head Hill which I did not like. I continued with my Girl Guide Leadership until Mike was born and then came the War. Rosa seems to have been the only one to ally with the Plymouth Brethren. Pud (Lilian) was married from the Hall with Pam, Audrey and Ruth (nieces) as bridesmaids but she left after a few years and I don't think Win was very deeply involved. Mum stuck with Rosa and Alf for which we will always be grateful as they provided a home for Mum's later years.

Sewardstone Mission

Sewardstone Mission
circa. 19361

Winnie Deacon met Donald Jack Gowing around 1936 during her time at the Sewardstone mission. At the time Winnie and her sister Lilian were Sunday School teachers, collecting children on the way and returning them home after class. One of her friends at the time was Betty Kavanagh who would join her collecting and returning the children, something they both loved to do. During this time Betty recalls "we got to know one another very well"

This Photograph was taken in 1932, in Queens Grove Road Chingford, on the occasion of Beatrice Annie Deacons twenty first birthday. In the picture, (back row), Gladys and Leslie Darnes are cousins of the family, (their Mother was Emma M. Deacon, John Benjamin's sister) Winifred May Deacon, and a mystery girl. Front row, Lilian Dorothy Deacon, George Brown (friend of Beatrice) and Esther (a long time friend of Beatrice), plus another "mystery guest". The photograph will be remembered as one of the first ever taken by Beatrice with her birthday present of a "Box Brownie" Camera.

Deacon Girls

Back row, Gladys and Leslie Darnes, Winifred May Deacon and mystery girl. Front row, Lilian Dorothy Deacon, George Brown and Esther.

One by one the five children grew up and were married. Rosa married Alfred Peacham in 1937, Beatrice married an insurance man Ernest (Curly) Collins in 1938 and Winifred married Donald Jack Gowing in 1940, the following year was uneventful until Leonard John married Doris White in 1942 and then Lillian married Eddie Jones in 1946. Only three of the five children went on to produce children of their own, the first Grandchild for John and Annie Deacon was Michael Ernest, born in November 1938 to Beatrice and "Curly" Collins, Ruth Lilian Peacham was next, 8th May 1940, followed by Audrey Ann Gowing, 6th January 1941.

Beatrice and "Curly" Collins, newly married in February 1938 and were living at Frederica Road in Chingford opposite the north Chingford Congregational Church and at the time Curly's father Ernest Edward Collins was a member of the Chingford Rotary Club. Some friends of theirs were at the same time considering marriage  and were looking at houses on the newly built Hawkwood Estate off Sewardstone Road (bordering the Hawk wood, part of Epping Forest). The cost was around £500  with a £5 deposit. The times were such it was difficult to make plans for the future and they eventually decided not to buy. A close friend of Leonard John Alf Dival, (who appears in Len's wedding photograph) was born and grew up in the old part of Hawk wood.  Each of the five children will have their own page eventually, and all the links below will be "live", one day. Maybe.

Beatrice and "Curly" Collins Page. Winifred and Donald Gowing Page.

Leonard and Doris Deacon Page. Rosa and Alfred Peacham Page.

Lilian and Eddie Jones

Deacons of Westbury Page
Deacon Family Tree
Deacon Dynasty
Table of Contents
Littleport Page
Horn family Tree

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