Family of James 1 Bridge of Ashford, 1769-1834

This family is well defined by dates written in a bible published 1806 and so old enough to have belonged to James 1. However, it was autographed by his son James 2 in 1868, two years before his own death. The bible later passed to my grandfather Walter Bridge. The dates are confirmed by various records. In the table below, dates from this bible are indicated by (FB)

date location record name description note
25 Jan 1769   Birth James Bridge son of Robert Family Bible
28 Mar 1773 Headcorn Baptism Mary Cradock dau. of John Cradock b.21 Feb 1774 (FB)
The year 1774 in the bible is obviously wrong; the birth years for both James and Mary were pencilled in, apparently much later.
1796-98 Barkley Hundred (Omenden) Land Tax James Bridge tenant of Samuel Espennett £1
9 Aug 1796... Smarden Poor rate James Bridge tenant of Mr. Espennett rent £25
8 Mar 1797 Smarden Baptist records: list of members James Bridge
Mary Bridge
their names may well have been added to the list at a later date.
6 Nov 1798 Smarden Marriage James Bridge & Mary Craddock both of Smarden
30 Jul 1799 Smarden Poor rate James Bridge tenant of Mr. Woolley rent £25
29 Aug 1799   Birth (FB) Robert Bridge son of James & Mary no baptism
1799 Barkley Hundred (Omenden) Land Tax James Bridge tenant of John Woolley £1
1800 Barkley Hundred (Omenden) Land Tax late Bridge
(i.e. moved away)
tenant of John Woolley £1
In a letter written in 1946, James's youngest grandchild Walter claimed that the move from Smarden to Ashford occurred "in 1804, just before my father was born". If so, James must have given up his own farm before moving away; he could have worked for another farmer, perhaps as a carter.
New Rents

In Ashford James had his own business as a carter, as we can see from this extract from a letter written by his grandson Horace from Sydney to the Ashford Institute, dated Jan 1915.

When my grandfather (whose ashes lie in the old burying ground) removed to Ashford from Smarden, the town population was 2,150 inhabiting 411 houses. In 1804 my father was born in New-rents. In those days merchandise from London was conveyed in a hoy to Faversham. My grandfather's waggons brought them from that town to Ashford.

Hoys in sail

Hoys were sailing boats crewed by two or three men and trading up and down the Thames estuary. There used to be hundreds of them; a few survive. Until the railways were built, it was much cheaper and easier to carry goods by boat than over land. Faversham is only about 15 miles north of Ashford but the journey by horse-drawn cart on what we would regard as an unmade road over the North Downs would probably have taken the best part of a day.

The picture postcard shows New Rents as it looked in 1912, by which date the road had been paved. Today all the buildings on the right side of the street have been replaced, though the nearer ones on the left still stand.

13 Apr 1802   Birth (FB) Mary Bridge daughter of James & Mary no baptisms recorded
30 Oct 1804 New Rents, Ashford Birth (FB) James Bridge (2) son of James & Mary
3 Feb 1807   Birth (FB) George Bridge son of James & Mary
29 Apr 1812   Birth (FB) Samuel Bridge son of James & Mary
29 Apr 1812   Birth (FB) William Bridge son of James & Mary
6 Jul 1812   Death (FB) Samuel Bridge son of James & Mary age 9 weeks
11 Jul 1812 Ashford Burial Samuel Bridge   infant
Horace's letter also recounts that in 1815

when Napoleon threatened to invade England the waggons were commandeered to carry the women and children to London. Happily they were not required. To go to London and back by coach in those days was quite as serious an undertaking as taking a trip to Australia in these days - with even more misgiving. Many a time my father said that he had seen the coach and four horses draw up at the end of Park-street, perfectly covered in mud and panting with exhaustion. The roads were without stones and the streets of the town were but little better.

In the Spring of 1815 a regiment of artillery was drawn up in High-street. The soldiers were billeted in the houses. A wag of a soldier was on sentry with loaded musket. As the sun was rising a flock of pigeons flew over his head. Like a good sportsman he let fly at the birds. The soldiers awakened by the report rushed out of the houses towards the cannon. Probably it took place on the first of April. A few weeks later the victory of Waterloo was proclaimed. The brewers of the town showed their patriotic joy by sending barrels of beer in the High-street, where whosoever wished could get paralytic, and nearly all the fellows did so.

1819,1821 Ashford General account of the Hothfield estate James Bridge tenant of Earl of Thanet £38 p.a. rent
£1/2/- land tax
1832 Ashford East Kent Poll Book James Bridge  
13 Oct 1834 Ashford Will
Archdeaconry Court of Canterbury v109 f374
James Bridge farmer & carrier
Mary Bridge wife business for life
Robert Bridge son equal shares
Mary Bridge daughter
James Bridge son
George Bridge son
William Bridge son
27 Oct 1834 Ashford Burial James Bridge   age 65
20 May 1835 Probate James Bridge   ACC 109/374
3 May 1837 Ashford Burial Mary Bridge   age 35
29 Jun 1841 Ashford Burial Mary Bridge   age 67
Family of James 2 Bridge of Beaver, Ashford, 1804-1871

This family is recorded in a bible which was autographed by Ann Gore and dated 6 May 1841 (publication date 1837). The earlier entries are in the same handwriting, probably that of Ann, recording the births of her children. In the table below, dates from this bible are indicated by (FB). The birth dates are confirmed by baptisms – the first to be recorded in five generations!

In addition to several photographs contributed by my cousins, I have two old albums intended to display the cartes de visite which were popular in late Victorian times. The first of these came to me from my grandfather and contains a number of later pictures evidently added by him. However, the collection was probably started by his mother. Only two of the older photos were labelled and there are several which remain complete mysteries. However, James and Ann's children can all be identified by comparing with later pictures.

The other smaller album came to me by my cousin Ianthe Bridge. All the photographs are Victorian and all except one show close family members. They may have originally belonged to one of James's daughters; both Elizabeth Allsop and Annie Bridge appointed their niece Ivy (Ianthe's sister) as an executor. The first picture in this collection was this view of Ashford parish church. (Probably given away as a free sample, the back shows that it was taken by S Barns around 1885.) The family was strongly religious; Horace's letter of 1915 includes the passage

It is now nearly 60 years since Canon Alcock took little me in his arms at St. Mary's font as he did to eight others of us. Sunday after Sunday, both morning and evening used we to tramp from the old fifteenth century farmhouse at Beaver to the services. Possibly the first occupants of the ancient dwelling noticed the steady rising of the church tower four hundred years before.

Tree of all descendants of James and Ann

James and Ann Bridge, about 1865, and a painting of their home by their daughter Mary.

The original picture of James belongs to his great granddaughter Karin van Blerck; that of Ann comes from Walter Bridge's photoalbum. Curiously, the figure of Ann (together with the table) has been cut out from another picture and rephotographed, as can be seen from the lack of a background and the faint outline round the head. (Here and elsewhere moving the pointer over any image with a thin double border will automatically reveal an enlargement.)

The original of Mary's painting belongs to a grand-daughter Lorraine van Rij who now lives in New Zealand and was scanned by Clayton Allsop. It is in very poor condition with several tears round the edges; this image has been enhanced slightly. Clayton describes it as having a water-colour background with the central picture in oils. On the back is written "Painted by Mary Bridge 1864 aged 10 years." (then) "Beaver Farm Ashford Kent (Birthplace)". The family had moved to Hothfield by the next year so this may have been why Mary did the painting. Later photographs show it to be substantially accurate, so clearly she was already a competent artist.

date location record name description note
30 Oct 1804   Birth James Bridge son of James Family Bible

1815 was the year of the battle of Waterloo and the army was moving men and materials through Dover in preparation for the final campaign against Napoleon. Army carts collected loads of supplies from the local farms. Young James took a ride, clinging on the side of a cart; he was thrown down when it lurched into a deep rut. His right leg went under a wheel and was broken. The break mended but he was left with a marked limp.

This story came to me from Erik von Zweigbergk, who heard it as a boy from his grandmother Mary, the sixth of James' ten children. The photograph (above) taken when James was about 60 shows him sitting with his right leg straight, as though he could not bend the knee.

21 Jan 1821 Tilmanstone Baptism Ann Gore dau. of Robert & Sarah Gore (labourer) b.12 Dec 1820 (FB)
The records for the 1841 census for West Ashford have been lost.
1843 Beaver Green, Ashford Tithe records James Bridge tenant of Earl of Thanet 57 acres

The tithe records comprise high-quality, large-scale maps with all fields numbered and catalogued, so we can identify James's farm as outlined here. (Move the pointer over the map to see it full size.) In addition to the area marked the 57 acres included several other fields: three water meadows bordering the river, one across the new railway line across the top of the map and a large field on the other side of Ashford. Lastly there was a group of buildings in Ashford, on the north side of the Maidstone Rd., described as "Barn Lodge and Yard". This could well have been the base for continuing business as a carter, though there is no other confirmation of this.

The dotted section of road on the map was catalogued as the "forstall" and would have been gated. The sections of road on either side would therefore have been used only by traffic to and from the farm itself. The inset on the map shows the farm buildings in more detail, based on the 1:2500 Ordnance Survey map of 1873. This plan view seems to be an exact match to a photograph (no. 2535 in the Local Studies collection) in the Ashford Library, taken about 1900 and showing a farmhouse and out-buildings in the background with a gate across the road in the foreground (tastefully decorated with two ladies!). The location is identified only as being in Beaver Green but the gate across the road and the layout of the buildings both fit with the map.

Beaver farm ca. 1900

James Bridge's farm from the west, about 1900.
Original photograph cropped and tinted to emphasize the buildings and reproduced with permission.

About 1923, the farm was bought by W Richardson and my thanks go to his great grand-daughter Margaret Nash for recently sending me some photographs taken of Beaver Farm around 1960, not long before it was demolished. One shows the west face and is a perfect match to the 1900 photograph. The view of the east face (taken for the Kentish Express, no. 61/694, and reproduced with permission) is eerily similar to Mary's painting, despite some differences in detail, most obviously in the width of the bedroom windows. However, there really was a bedroom window to the right of the porch; another picture shows that this had been bricked up. It is easy to understand how the painting could be immediately recognised by a living member of the Richardson family who had known the house first-hand.

Beaver Farm in 1961, east front

According to my informant, the farmhouse itself was not occupied after 1923 though it remained in use for rearing chicks and storing apples while the old kitchen was used as a laundry and another room was used as a darkroom. Part of the land was used to build the Hillyfields estate (named after one of the fields shown on the old tithe map). Bricks were in short supply and some were made on the farm, using clay dug near the road through the farm. Before firing, bricks need to dry out and for this are mounted in racks called "hacks"; these were placed in another field called the Hackfield and this name also survives as the name of a road in modern Beaver. The remaining land was bought for housing by compulsory purchase by Ashford District Council, about 1952; the farm buildings themselves remained in the hands of the Richardson family until 1966 when they also were bought and demolished for more housing.

14 Jan 1845 Herne Marriage James Bridge bachelor, 40, Ashford, son of James Bridge (farmer) & Ann Gore spinster, 26, Herne, dau. of Robert Gore (butcher) witnesses: William Gore, Frances Thorp
3 Aug 1845 Ashford Baptism Harriet Bridge dau. of James & Ann (farmer)
b.29 May 1845 (FB)
15 Nov 1846 Ashford Baptism Elizabeth Bridge dau. of James & Ann (farmer) b.15 Sep 1846 (FB)
1847 Beaver, Ashford Bagshaw's Directory of Kent James Bridge farmer
1848 Ashford General account of the Hothfield estate James Bridge tenant of Earl of Thanet 53 acres
rent £67 pa
25 Feb 1849 Ashford (Beaver) Baptism Frederick Bridge son of James & Anne (farmer) b.16 Dec 1848 (FB)
27 Apr 1851 Ashford (Beaver) Baptism Anne Bridge dau. of James & Anne b.14 Jan 1851 (FB)
30 Mar 1851 Beaver Green
Ashford, Kent
Census HO107 1621/375 #134 James Bridge head; farmer (53 ac, 2 men) 46, b. Kent, Ashford
Anne Bridge wife 32, b. Kent, Tilmanstone
Harriet Bridge daughter 6, b. Kent, Ashford
Elizth Bridge daughter 4, b. Kent, Ashford
Fred Bridge son 2, b. Kent, Ashford
Ann Bridge daughter 3mo, b. Kent, Ashford
27 Dec 1852 Ashford (Beaver) Baptism Rosa Bridge dau. of James & Anne b.18 Aug 1852 (FB)
29 Apr 1855 Ashford Baptism Mary Bridge dau. of James & Anne b.23 Nov 1854 (FB)
31 May 1857 Ashford (Beaver) Baptism Horace Bridge son of James & Anne b.19 Feb 1857 (FB)
1857 Ashford East Kent Poll Book James Bridge  
27 Nov 1859 Ashford (Beaver) Baptism Caroline Bridge dau. of James & Anne b.30 Jul 1859 (FB)
7 Apr 1861 Beaver Lane
Ashford, Kent
Census RG9 512/154 #155 James Bridge head; farmer (111 ac, 3 men & 2 boys) 55, b. Kent, Ashford
Ann Bridge wife 40, b. Kent, Tilmanstone
Harriet Bridge daughter 15, b. Kent, Ashford
Elizabeth Bridge dau., scholar 14, b. Kent, Ashford
Frederick Bridge son 12, b. Kent, Ashford
Anne Bridge dau., scholar 11, b. Kent, Ashford
Rose Bridge daughter 8, b. Kent, Ashford
Mary Bridge daughter 6, b. Kent, Ashford
Horace Bridge son 4, b. Kent, Ashford
Caroline Bridge daughter 1, b. Kent, Ashford
17 Apr 1861 Ashford (Beaver) Burial Caroline Bridge age 1 yr
29 Dec 1861 Ashford (Beaver) Baptism Olive Bridge dau. of James & Anne b.24 Sep 1861 (FB)
Ambrotype, about 1862

Harriet, Frederick and Elizabeth, aged about 17, 13 and 16.

In this early process the image is formed on the front surface of a glass plate and is viewed against a black background. The method is closely similar to the tintype process and both produce images which are reversed left to right (easily recognised if coat buttons can be seen). I have inverted the images reproduced here. Unfortunately in this example the glass has at some time been broken, though the faces are not affected. The frame probably is later, perhaps dating from 1880 judging by the ornate late Victorian style. The picture belonged to Frederick's daughter Ianthe, who knew the names but not which girl was which. I base my choice on two features. First, the girl on the right has a slightly receding chin, a feature which is also apparent in two photographs of Elizabeth taken at the time of her marriage (see below). Also, on close examination you can see that the girl on the left has grey or blue eyes but in the later photographs of Elizabeth her eyes look darker, like the girl on the right.

1863 Ashford E. Kent Poll Bk James Bridge  
1865 Ashford E. Kent Poll Bk James Bridge  
18 Jun 1865 Hothfield (Mitchell Farm) Baptism Walter Bridge son of James & Anne (farmer) b. 4 Dec 1864 (FB)
1868 Hothfield E. Kent Poll Bk James Bridge  
about 1868 Barns Brothers, Photographers, Ashford, Tenterden and Cranbrook Carte de visite, in Walter Bridge's album Annie and Rosa
Not labelled but recognisable from later pictures. The date is estimated from their apparent ages and is consistent with the style of the back of the card.
21 Jan 1871 13 North St., Ashford Death: Ashford 1871 M 2a/432 James Bridge Late a farmer, 66; cerebral haemorrhage informant Ann Bridge present at the death
25 Jan 1871 Ashford Burial James Bridge of Ashford age 66 (d. 21 Jan (FB))

This faded and stained picture was in Walter Bridge's album and appears to show Walter aged 6 standing by one of his sisters, who is wearing a black veil of some kind over her hair. I assume the girl is Olive, since she was much closer in age to Walter and so more his size. It seems that they were in mourning for the death of his father and possibly the picture was taken on the day of the funeral.

The actual photograph was taken out of doors using natural light and seems very amateurish, with the brick wall behind them only partly covered by a sheet. (More of this is visible in the original; I have cropped this picture to emphasize the figures.) Maybe one of the family was an amateur photographer? It was the sort of hobby that might attract a 14 year old like Horace, whose own daughter Hilda subsequently became a professional photographer.

The house occupied by the family in 1871 is at the right of this view of North St., taken from a picture postcard dated 1912. At the time they must have been quite well off, since it is large and well-situated, close to the market and the church. The house still exists, seemingly unchanged and indeed the view down North Street has changed surprisingly little, at least looking in the direction shown. Turn around and the old road is closed by modern buildings, with the Ashford ring road on the further side.

2 Apr 1871 13 North St.
Ashford, Kent
Census RG10 958/32 #105 Ann Bridge formerly farmer's wife
2 boarders
50, b. Kent
Frederick Bridge son 23, b. Kent, Ashford
Rose Bridge daughter 19, b. Kent, Ashford
Mary Bridge daughter 16, b. Kent, Ashford
Horace Bridge son 14, b. Kent, Ashford
Olive Bridge daughter 9, b. Kent, Ashford
Walter Bridge son 6, b. Kent, Ashford
3 Apr 1881 28 Hardinge Rd., Ashford, Kent Census RG11 946/35 #112 Ann Bridge farmer's widow 60, b. Kent, Tilmanstone
Olive Bridge daughter 19, b. Kent, Ashford
Walter Bridge son, telegraph clerk, unemployed 16, b. Kent, Hothfield
Frederick Rule boarder, solicitor, not in practice 68, b. Kent, Ashford
around 1885 Smith and Tilley, 32 Bank St., Ashford, Kent Carte de visite, in Walter Bridge's album

Not labelled but almost certainly Ann Bridge aged about 65. The style of the reverse side is very typical of this date.

Ernest Tilley, photographer, appears at 32 Bank St. in the 1891 census, aged 27. In 1881 the same address was occupied by a builder, so the business seems to have been fairly new.
5 Apr 1891 28 Hardinge Rd., Ashford, Kent Census RG12 699/29 #139 Ann Bridge widow, living on own means 70, b. Kent, Tilmanstone
Annie Bridge daughter 40, b. Kent, Ashford
Henry Wilks boarder, living on own means, blind 65, b. Kent, Charing
5 Sep 1900   Death (FB) Ann Bridge
Daughters of James 2 and Ann
about 1865 J F Benson, Private Photographic Studio, 24 Grand Parade, St. Leonard's on Sea Carte de visite in Ianthe Bridge's small album. Not labelled

This appears to be Harriet in about 1860-65, judging by her appearance; there is a strong resemblance to the later picture, particularly in the distinctively triangular jaw line. I don't know how she came to be in St. Leonard's (adjoining Hastings) but it would have been easily accessible from Ashford by rail even in 1860. Perhaps she attended a teacher training centre run by the Church of England, which started to set up such courses in the 1820s.

2 Apr 1871 West Ashford Union Workhouse, Westwell, Kent Census RG10 957/86 #105 Harriet Bridge Officer, unmarr., Industrial teacher 25, b. Beaver, Kent
Harriet seems to have eluded the 1881 and '91 censuses. Her response to the 1911 census shows that she had been a matron “for many years”, perhaps in workhouses like this.
about 1895 A H De'ath, Photographer, 32 Bank St., Ashford

(Premises occupied by Ernest Tilley in 1891 and by Alaric De'Ath in 1901)

Carte de visite in Walter Bridge's album, not labelled. A large version exists.

Very probably Harriet Bridge

The eyes have the same light colour seen in the picture of the young Harriet. There is a striking resemblance to the picture of Ann Bridge, who also had grey eyes. However this photo can be dated to about 1895 since the "leg of mutton" sleeves were fashionable for only a few years. Ann would then have been 75, clearly too old to match the image, whereas her daughter Harriet was about 50.

Assuming this is Harriet, then it suggests she was either visiting or living with her mother in Ashford around 1895. She might well have taken over from her sister Annie as housekeeper to the old lady.

31 Mar 1901 49 Fore St., Taunton, Somerset Census RG13 2278/69 #235 Harriet Bridge housekeeper, domestic 54, b. Ashford, Kent
It seems that Harriet was running a large boarding house, working for Frank Bryant, a wine and spirit merchant living next door.
2 Apr 1911 42 Burgate St., Canterbury Census RG14 4329 58.1.9 #83 Harriett Bridge single, "for many years Matron and Housekeeper, since last July living on own means" 65, b. Ashford, Kent
9 Feb 1927 Coxheath Home, Linton, Kent (RD Maidstone) Death cert. 1927 Jan-Mar 2a/1479 Harriet Bridge spinster, age 81, old age pensioner, of Headcorn 1. Cardiac failure
2. Rt. hemiplegia (Old Cereb. Haem)
Jul-Sep 1879 West Ashford Marriage Index Elizabeth Bridge & George Allsop vol 2a/1026
1879 Robert Faulkner Portrait Painter and Photographer, 46 Gardens Sq., Westbourne Grove, Bayswater Two cartes de visite in Walter Bridge's album, obviously taken to mark the marriage of Elizabeth to George Allsop.

The small format limits the detail that can be seen but even so the dark eyes and slightly receding chin give a clear resemblance to the picture of the young Elizabeth .

3 Apr 1881 Hatt Hill, Mottisfont, Hants Census RG11 1226/54 #96 George Allsop head, farmer 215 ac. empl. 7 men, 4 boys and 1 woman 43, b. E. Wellow, Hants
Elizabeth Allsop wife 34, b. Ashford
Six Allsop children are listed aged 17 to 5 (plus a 21 year old governess), but these must be by a previous marriage. Perhaps Elizabeth had previously been governess herself.
5 Apr 1891 Ampfield village, Hursley, Hants. Census RG12 940/28 #30 George Allsop Head, Farm Bailiff 52, b. Hants. E.Wellow
Elizabeth Allsop wife 44, b. Kent, Ashford
31 Mar 1901 135 High St. Southampton, Hampshire Census RG13 1058/82 #78 Elizabeth Allsop servant 53, b. Ashford, Kent
housekeeper to a widower and family of four.
George was living with his mother and unmarried brother and sister, in E.Wellow, and working as a gardener. (RG13 1077/101 #36).
2 Apr 1911 5 St Alphege Lane, Canterbury Census RG14 4340 58.1.20 #66 Elizabeth Allsop head (mar. 30 yrs) 64, b. Ashford, Kent
plus two boarders (young women, both teachers in elementary school).
In 1911 George was living as a boarder in East Wellow. He filled in the census form on behalf of his 87 year old landlady, giving his occupation as "planter and caretaker of fruit trees". He died in 1916.
3 Dec 1930 St Anne's, Maidstone Rd, Headcorn Death Elizabeth Allsop age 84 Index: 2A/1089
Date and address from the probate record. The address is the same as recorded for Annie in 1934; probably they lived together. With total effects of about £350 it seems unlikely that Elizabeth was the householder.
2 Jan 1931 London, Natl Probate Calendar Probate Elizabeth Allsop to Walter Bridge retd civil servant and Ivy Kate Bridge spinster effects of £349 6s 6d
2 Apr 1871 Albert Rd., Tonbridge, Kent Census RG10 932/18 #133 Anna Bridge boarder, unm., barmaid 20, b. Ashford, Kent
about 1875 W H Franklin, Photographer, 3 High St., Deal carte de visite in Walter Bridge's album, labelled "Annie Bridge" on the back.

Deal is about 5 miles from Richborough and likely then to be the nearest place with a photography studio. Annie appears still to be in her twenties, so this picture was probably taken soon after she came to keep house for her brother.

3 Apr 1881 Richborough, Ash next Sandwich, Kent Census RG11 993/45 #52 Annie Bridge sister (to Frederick), housekeeper 30, b. Ashford, Kent
about 1885 Amos, Photographer, 12 Snargate St, Dover. (Appears in the census 1881-1901) Carte de visite in Ianthe's small album, not identified. There is a strong resemblance to the earlier photographs; the elaborate hairstyle here was fashionable in the 1880's, which is consistent with her apparent age. Annie probably continued to keep house for her brother until his marriage in 1887, by which time he had moved to the Dover area.
5 Apr 1891 28 Hardinge Rd., Ashford, Kent Census RG12 699/29 #139 Annie Bridge daughter (to Ann) 40, b. Kent, Ashford
1890s H B Collis, (Photographer), Canterbury. (Appears in the census 1881-1901) carte de visite in Ianthe's album, not labelled

The style of the dress gives an approximate date and the rather unusual fringe of hair matches the picture of the young Annie, so I think it is fair to identify this as Annie in her 40s. I do not know how she came to be in Canterbury but it would have been no more than an hour's journey from Ashford by train.

After her brother's marriage Annie moved back to Ashford and for a while probably kept house for her mother, maybe until the old lady died in 1900. Then (or before) Annie moved to live with her clergyman cousin, George, and again took on the rôle of housekeeper. The 1901 census also described her as a "district visitor and preacher", which seems to fit rather well her appearance in the Canterbury photo. I was surprised however that a woman would be allowed in a Church of England pulpit at that date, so maybe it was more a matter of giving uplifting talks at meetings.
31 Mar 1901 The Rectory, Wrestlingworth, Bedfordshire Census RG13 1497/98 #102 Annie Bridge cousin (to George), district visitor, preacher 49, b. Kent, Ashford
2 Apr 1911 46 Mt Sion, Tunbridge Wells, Kent Census RG14 4808 50.1.9 #180 Annie Bridge cousin (to George), private means 60, b. Ashford, Kent
Some time around 1930, Walter Bridge retired and returned to England, going first to live with his sister Annie.
17 Sep 1934 Coxheath Home, Linton, near Maidstone Death Annie Bridge age 84 of St Anne's, Maidstone Rd, Headcorn
30 Oct 1934 Will Index, London Probate Annie Bridge granted to Walter Bridge retd civil servant and Ivy Kate Bridge spinster effects £2761 5s 9d
3 Apr 1881 Dreadnought Seamen's Hospital, Greenwich, London Census RG11 727/116 p2 line 6 Rose Bridge nurse (1 of 18 female staff) 28, b. Kent, Ashford
10 Apr 1882 Holy Trinity Church, Paarl, South Africa Marriage Rosa Bridge & Robert Cocks Allsop from Allsop Family Bible
  • Rosa BRIDGE 1852-1916 & Robert ALLSOP 1846-1922; Paarl, South Africa
  • +>Robert Clayton ALLSOP 1883-1963 m. Jessie DEAS 1886-1973
  • |+>Robert Keith ALLSOP 1918-1990 m. Flora GROENEWALD 1917-1972
  • ||+>Jean Margartha ALLSOP 1946-
  • ||+>Clayton Michael ALLSOP 1947-, m.1971 Elizabeth VERSTER 1947-
  • |||| (moved to New Zealand)
  • |||+>Tuan Keith ALLSOP 1972-, m.2001 Julie PRINGLE
  • |||+>Chris Clayton ALLSOP 1974-, m.1999 Yolanda van STIPHOUT
  • ||||+>Mia and Alec
  • |||+>Louis Mackenzie ALLSOP 1978-
  • ||+>Valerie Anne ALLSOP 1950- m. David Richard JAMES
  • ||+>Richard Keith, Flora and Lisa
  • |+>Sheila Rose ALLSOP 1921 m. Donald STEWART, 3 ch.
  • |+>Miranda, Neil and Barbara
  • +>Maller Milward ALLSOP 1884-1885
  • +>Frederick James ALLSOP 1886 m. Elizabeth van NIEKERK 1893
  • |+>Robert James ALLSOP 1927- m. Lorna PARKER
  • |+>Michael John ALLSOP 1931- m. Barbara CAIN
  • |+>Nigel, Timothy, Julie and B.J.
  • +>Rosa ALLSOP 1888- m. Louis BUDLER
  • |+>Robert and Michael
  • +>John Stanley ALLSOP 1889-1890
  • +>Frank ALLSOP 1891-1916 (killed in action, WW1)
  • +>Florence ALLSOP 1894- m. MEIRING
  • |+>David MEIRING
  • |+>Ian MEIRING -1943 (killed in action, WW2)
  • +>Lucy ALLSOP 1896-

This tree is based on information collected by Olive Holdstock and supplemented by Clayton M Allsop. The picture of "Baby Allsop" is in Walter Bridge's photoalbum; the other three images were provided by Clayton, to whom thanks.

Rosa Allsop

Baby Allsop

Robert K Allsop

3 Apr 1881 Arthur Rd. Clifton Villa, Horsham, Sussex Census RG11 1108/6 #16 William C. Blaker boarder, Banker's clerk 25, b. Sussex, Worthing
Mary Bridge visitor, miliner 26, b. Kent, Ashford
about 1880 (a) P McArdle, 151 Upper St, Islington and
(b) T C Turner, 17 Upper St, Islington
Two cartes de visite in Ianthe's little album, neither labelled Since there is no other evidence of Mary living in Islington, it is hard to be sure about these. The first photo resembles the one taken later in Cape Town and the hat suggests that Mary is displaying her talents as a milliner. The resemblance is less marked in the second though the hair can be seen to be wavy, a marked feature of all the later pictures.
1884 Presbyterian Church, Somerset Rd., Cape Town, South Africa Marriage Mary Bridge & Richard Tanfield (Ros Dachs)
about 1886 studio of W Hermann, Stalplein, Cape Town Three cartes de visite from Walter Bridge's album, numbered in sequence.

Mary and Richard Tanfield and their first two children, William and Rosa Kathleen. The picture of Mary has "for Mother" on the back; the children are named.


William is clearly recognisable in this picture, sent me by Ros Dachs, which shows Mary with three children, of whom just one is named on the back as "Kathleen, age 3½". The younger girl on the left was Annie; there are no other photos of her. Apparently both she and William died young. Ros Dachs found the baptismal records for all three children in the archives of St. George's Cathedral, Cape Town.

Kathleen, Vera, Spenser and Hilda

Mary, Richard and their children, about 1900. The similarity between backgrounds suggests all three photos were taken at the same time.

  • Mary (Polly) BRIDGE 1854-1940 & Richard TANFIELD 1858-1924
  • +>William TANFIELD b. 1884 d. after 1888
  • +>Rosa Kathleen TANFIELD 1885-1945 m.1910 Edwin DAVIES 1884-1951
  • |+>Richard (Rex) Edwyn DAVIES 1911-1960 m.1938 Marjorie May McFARLANE 1903-1985
  • ||+>Rosalys Margaret Cecily DAVIES b.1941 m.1964 Michael Francis DACHS b.1939
  • ||+>Richard William DACHS 1965-1966
  • ||+>Bronwen Mary DACHS 1966- m.1993 Peter MÜLLER 1964-
  • |||+>Joanna Mary MÜLLER 1996-
  • |||+>Paul Richard MÜLLER 1999-
  • |||+>Michael Peter MÜLLER 2003-
  • ||+>Peter John DACHS 1967- m.1997 Allyson BALDWIN 1970-
  • |||+>Emma Catherine DACHS 1998-
  • |||+>Stephen Michael DACHS 2001-
  • ||+>William Michael DACHS 1969- m.1998 Shelley McKENZIE 1971-
  • |||+>Jessica Margaret DACHS 1999-
  • |||+>Samuel Liam DACHS 2001-
  • ||+>Thomas Stephen DACHS 1974- m. Samantha Currie 1974-
  • |||>Matthew Thomas DACHS 22/8/05-
  • ||+>Robert Paul DACHS 1979-
  • ||+>Christopher Joseph DACHS 1982-
  • |+>Rosemary DAVIES 1913-1981/2 m.1939 Cecil CHUDLEIGH 1901/2- 1981/2 (no issue)
  • |
  • +>Annie Theresa TANFIELD b. 1886 d. after 1888
  • +>Hilda Teresa TANFIELD 1891-1973 m. Georg von ZWEIGBERGK 1892-1973
  • |+>Erik von ZWEIGBERGK b.1920, m.1952 Jessie SCHOONRAAD b.1929
  • ||+>Roderick George VON ZWEIGBERGK 1957- m.1985 Karen Jenifer PERRY 1965- div 1993
  • |||+>Claire Louise VON ZWEIGBERGK 1986-
  • |||+>Matthew George VON ZWEIGBERGK 1988-
  • ||+>Malcolm Lester VON ZWEIGBERGK 1960- m.1988 Catherine "Cathy" Lynette CRUMPTON 1965-
  • ||+>Andrew Michael VON ZWEIGBERGK 1992-
  • ||+>Ashley Joy VON ZWEIGBERGK 1995-
  • ||+>Nicola Robyn VON ZWEIGBERGK 1998-
  • |+>Karin von ZWEIGBERGK 1923- m.1949 Percy van BLERCK 1909-1969
  • |+>Robert William VAN BLERCK 1950- m.1974 Sydney Carolyn BRICKLEY 1953-, no issue
  • |+>Margaret Hilda VAN BLERCK 1952- m.1972 Rory Howard Tesling COX 1948-, emigrated to Australia in 1974
  • |+>Andrew James COX, 1987-
  • |+>Emily Sigrid COX, 1990-
  • |
  • +>Spenser TANFIELD 1893-1970 m1.1925-31 Viola Patricia McCREADY 1908-? m2.
  • |+>Byron TANFIELD died young
  • |+>Bridge TANFIELD 1929-1949
  • |+>Pamela June TANFIELD 1931- m. 1953 Laurence STRETTON b.1929
  • |+>Graham Charles STRETTON 1956-1978
  • |+>Andrew Charles STRETTON 1959- m. 1983 Carol BEAUCHAMP 1958?- emigrated to NZ 2001
  • ||+>Darryl Charles STRETTON 1985-
  • ||+>Kerry Anne STRETTON 1987-
  • |+>Jennifer Ann STRETTON 1960-
  • |+>Deborah Jane STRETTON 1965-
  • |
  • +>Vera TANFIELD 1896-1983 m.1928 Jonathan BRENT 1888-1943
  • +>Lorraine BRENT b.1931 m. Peter VAN RIJ
  • +>Denise VAN RIJ, 1956- emigrated to NZ 2000
  • +>Carol VAN RIJ, 1958- m.1986 Allen MILLER 1958- , emigrated to NZ 2000
  • |+>Andrew David MILLER 1992-
  • |+>Stephen James MILLER 1994-
  • +>Lynette (Lyn) VAN RIJ, 1961- m.1989-92 David William LEES 1953- emigrated to N Z 2001
1882 or soon after Samuel Barns, Photographer, 100 High St., Ashford carte de visite in Walter Bridge's album Olive Bridge (age 21 in Sep 1882) The design on the reverse of the first picture claims "established 20 years" and the business was first recorded in the Ashford business directory in 1862 (run by Samuel's older brother John).
1886 - 90 Santos, Brazil Overseas Marriage Olive Bridge & John Best Consular Marriage Index 8/123 (Santos, Brazil)
John C E Best appears in the 1881 census for Ashford, living with his family (father Stephen, mother Jane, brother Walter...) He was then aged 20 and described as an engine fitter's apprentice.
1887 Campinas, São Paolo, Brazil Birth Olive Best (Year of birth from family records) Consular Birth Index 8/265 (Santos, Brazil)
24 Mar 1889 Brazil Death Olive Bridge Date in Family Bible
5 Apr 1891 15 King St, Maidstone, Kent Census RG12 689/107 #14 Walter Best head, reporter 22, b. Ashford, Kent
Stephen Best father, retired engine fitter 66, b. Stepney, Middlesex
also Walter's mother, brother and sister, and ...
Olive Best niece 3, b. Campinas, São Paolo, Brazil
31 Mar 1901 40, Apsley St, Ashford, Kent Census RG13 782/122 #111 Stephen Best head, retd engineer 76, b. Stepney, London
Jane Best wife 71, b. Ashford, Kent
Walter Best son, journalist 32, b. Ashford, Kent
Olive Best grand-daughter 13, b. Campinas, Brazil (Br. subj.)
2 Apr 1911 School House, Litlington, Royston, Herts Census
RG14 7560 135.3.8 #59
Olive Best boarder, single, School Mistress Elementary 23, b. S. America, Brazil (British subject)
Jul-Sep 1919 Bridge, Kent Marriage Index Olive Best & Frederick Percy Holdstock 2a/2833
  • Olive Best 1887 - m. Percy Holdstock
  • James (Jim) Holdstock m. Brenda Lilliot
  • Elizabeth and Catherine
My grandfather Walter also stayed with this Olive Holdstock and Jim, most likely in 1944 because the German bombers were still flying across Kent and no lights were allowed to show anywhere. Jim told me that "Uncle Walter" had walked out in the fields at night and waved his torch at the planes shouting words to the effect "come on - you got my son, now get me". (Jim persuaded him to come back indoors.)