Thomas Barnes:

Born 1838 ~ Died 1917:

Thomas Barnes was born on the 3rd October 1838, the third son of George and Elizabeth and was baptised on the 11th November in Heckfield, Hampshire. Thomas is my great-great grandfather and a key member of the family. When I first started entering the family tree data into the genealogy software, Thomas was the first person to be entered. He played a pivotal role in the family history because he left the country and brought his wife and two children to London - the exact date is not known but certainly after 1866 and before 1869 - to seek his fortune and start the London branch of the family. Thanks to information on every census since 1841 and from birth, marriage and death certificates we know a lot about Thomas; where he lived and what he did for a living and what he died of.

On the 1841 census, Thomas is living at Riseley Common with his mother and father and older brothers George and William. They are still living at Riseley Common in 1851 and the 12 year old Thomas is employed as an errand boy, possibly at the nearby Bramshill House (now a police college). On the 1861 census Thomas is living in Swallowfield and employed as a servant - we do not know who for.

On the 6th December 1863, Thomas marries Jane Arlott in the Church of St. Mary, Reading, Berkshire. Jane was born in Burghfield, Berkshire and in the 1861 census was living and working as a house servant at 2 Colborne Villa, Castle Crescent, Reading - where and when Thomas met Jane isn't known. However, their address on the marriage certificate is given as 26 St Mary's Butts, Reading and Thomas is in employment as a porter. Their first child, Thomas George Barnes arrives on the 11th September 1864; Thomas and Jane are living at 5 Cave Court, Crown Street, Reading and Thomas is a grocer's porter. Their second son, William is born on the 9th September 1866 and the family is now living at number 7 Cave Court with Thomas's occupation given as grocer's porter on William's birth certificate.

Sometime between the birth of William in the September of 1866 and 1869, Thomas and his family move to London - their daughter Miriam is born at 4 Southampton Road East on the 26th June 1869 and on the census of 1871 they are still living at 4 Southampton Road East, Nine Elms. Later that year and at the same address, my great grandfather Charles John is born on the 27th December. Thomas is now employed as a club servant. Three years later another child is born to Thomas and Jane, this time a daughter, Mary Ann, born on the 5th October 1874 at number 9 Southampton Road East. The following year a sister to Mary Ann, Elizabeth is born in 1875 (I have yet to find her birth certificate).

Another son, Ernest is born on the 10th October 1878 at 4 Gye Street, Vauxhall. Gye Street was bombed during World War II and the land subsequently cleared and is now 'Spring Gardens'. Thomas is working as a porter, perhaps at the nearby Vauxhall railway station or the Nine Elms goods yard.

By 1881, Thomas and his family have moved to 9 Henry Street, Lambeth and Thomas's occupation is entered as a 'kitchen porter'. On the 28th March 1886, daughter Annie Jane is born at 23 Cobbett Street and Thomas is shown as a 'confectioners porter' on his daughters birth certificate. Henry Street and Cobbett Street are the same street - on a map from 1881 it is shown as Henry Street but a map of 1886 shows it as Cobbett Street. This area was described in Booth's Poverty Map of 1898/99 as 'mixed' - some people 'comfortable' and some 'poor'. Cobbett Street still exists but the original houses are gone and the area is now a council estate.

In 1887, his eldest son, Thomas George is married and Thomas is shown on the marriage certificate as being a pastry cook.

In the 1891* census, Thomas and his family are living at 23 Cobbett Street and Thomas is now employed as a 'strapper' - someone who tends to horses, grooms them and cleans out the stables. My great grandfather, Charles John now aged 19 is living with Thomas and Jane and is described on the 1891 census as a "strapper's apprentice".

In 1894, his son Charles John marries and Thomas is described as a labourer on Charles and Elizabeth's wedding certificate. 

Thomas appears on the 1901 census aged 62 and living at number 13 Holderness Road, Tooting with his wife Jane and daughter Annie Jane. He is described as a 'vestry worker' and is working for the local council. He is still living at number 13 ten years later and the 1911 census now records his occupation as 'Old Aged Pensioner', he is 72 years old.

Thomas died on the 1st April 1917 of "Arterial Atheroma", "Hemiplegia (thrombosis)" and "Respiratory failure". He is 78 years old and his occupation on his death certificate is shown as "Road Labourer". His daughter Annie Jane is present at his death at number 14 Holdernesse Road.  Thomas is probably buried in Streatham Cemetery (Tooting) in an unmarked grave as was his wife Jane.

*The 1891 census also shows an Annie May Rippin living at 23 Cobbett Street - Annie, believed to have been born in London, was aged 9 and apparently being raised by Thomas and Jane. Annie married a George Edward Welch in Pakefield, Suffolk on the 1st January 1903 and their daughter Violet May (born Suffolk 1906) went on to marry William Henry Barnes (born London 1905) the grandson of Thomas and Jane.

Thomas's birth, marriage and death certificates can be found on the Certificates page as can those of his children that I have been able to find. A final item of interest; it would seem that when Thomas and Jane moved out of 23 Cobbett Street, their son Thomas George moved in with his family and in 1901 is working as a brewer's assistant in the Anchor Brewery in Dorset Street (see Where We Lived).