The Wooldridge and the Goslings:
|Edward Wooldridge was my great grandfather and married
my great grandmother, Catherine Elizabeth Gosling in the October of
1897. The story in the family is that the Gosling's were bakers from
Here is what I thought I knew about both families and the updates to that knowledge.
Catherine Elizabeth Gosling was born in 1875 in Gloucester, with her father James Gosling appearing on the 1881 census for Bedminister, Somerset as a "wood machinist (sawyer). This corresponds with his occupation as noted on his daughter marriage certificate - "machinist". Edward Wooldridge was born in Farnham, Surrey in 1876 and on the marriage certificate his occupation is shown as baker.
Edward's father, Walter, born 1855 is found on the 1881 census as living at 62 Downing Street, Farnham and his occupation is a baker. Edward's grandfather, William Wooldridge born 1823 can be found on the census for 1841, 1851, 1861 and 1881 where his occupation is a painter and glazier. However, Edward's great grandfather, Benjamin Wooldridge can also be found on the 1841, 1851 and 1861 census where his occupation is that of "miller" - appropriately enough living for some years in Mill Lane, Holybourne, Hampshire.
Gloucestershire borders with Wales and it would seem that this element of the truth has been confused with the Wooldridge family - Edward and his father Walter both being bakers. (see UPDATE below) However, it seems that being a baker was not to Edward's liking because on his daughter's birth certificate in 1906, he is described as a "coachman - not domestic". The family were living in Eardley Road, Streatham at that time and it is said that Edward was running his own business from the stables behind the Greyhound pub which is on the corner of Greyhound Lane and Streatham High Road - just a twenty minute walk from Eardley Road. Edward died age 38 in 1914 and his death certificate records his occupation as a Motor Car Washer (information added in 2019).
I have frequently the Greyhound pub myself back in the mid-1970's - Saturday evenings in the cellar bar (decked out with coffins for tables) and Sunday morning's in the "Fanny By Glasslight" bar. At least four different inns called "Greyhound" have been on the same site since the 1700's. It was described in 1744 as a "publick" house - the common term for all manner of wickedness! The current building was rebuilt in 1930.
|** UPDATE ** June 2008
It seems there is truth in the story that the Goslings were bakers in Wales after all; Gillian Church (nee Gosling) has contacted me through Genes Reunited and provided information that shows that at least one of the Gosling family - Walter Henry Gosling, (see below) born on the 24th May 1895 did indeed manage a bakers shop in Cardiff. In the Gosling family it is believed that the shop was given to Walter Gosling by the Wooldridge family. I am not sure that this part of the story is true as although the Wooldridge's were millers and bakers, they lived and worked in Hampshire, Surrey and later London. It would seem unlikely that the Wooldridge family had a bakers shop in Cardiff as well. Gillian is my 2nd cousin, once removed (Walter Henry Gosling lived with the Wooldridge family for a time).
|** UPDATE ** July 2008
In a further twist to the tale, John Jackson, who is also researching the Wooldridge family has provided information from the 1901 census which shows that Edward and wife Catherine were living in Wandsworth with (what I initially believed) their first two children, Walter and Bertha - both are listed as being born in Cardiff. Edward and Catherine were married at St. Saviours Church, Battersea in the October of 1897 at which time Edward's occupation is that of baker, however on the 1901 census he is listed as a "coachman - domestic". Having married in London in the October of 1897, Edward and Catherine moved to Cardiff where Bertha was born in April-May-June of 1898 but by early 1901 the family are back in London !
I have found a likely entry for Bertha in the births index - June quarter 1898 Cardiff. A birth date in 1898 tallies with the age shown on the 1901 census - 3 years old. However, Walter is apparently listed as being aged 5 - which would put his birth before his parents marriage. I could not find any birth entry for a Walter Wooldridge, born in Cardiff in 1895 (More on this apparent discrepancy below).
**UPDATE** November 2019
Whilst looking for the death of Walter Wooldridge born 1855, I found the 1901 census entry which listed Walter aged 5 as Walter Gosling and brother-in-law to the head of the household - Edward Wooldridge (son of Walter Wooldridge). Walter Gosling is actually Walter Henry Gosling, (as in the June 2008 update) born Cardiff 24th May 1895 and the much younger brother of his 24 year old sister, Catherine Elizabeth Wooldridge (nee Gosling). That nicely resolves the confusion I had over the supposed birth of a 'Walter Wooldridge' in 1895!
Walter Wooldridge, born 1855 died in Cardiff 1898 aged 43. It would seem that Edward, his wife Catherine and their daughter Bertha and Catherine's younger brother Walter Henry Gosling moved back to London soon after and were living in Streatham, South London by the time of the 1901 census. Walter Henry Gosling is not living with the family in the 1911 census - he has returned to Wales, he marries in Cardiff in 1919 and ends his days in Cardiff in 1974 aged 79. The Gosling family - James and Jane and their ten children had moved to Cardiff by September 1884 as their daughter Miriam is born September that year and subsequent sons are born in Cardiff.
**UPDATE** December 2019
In the 1881 census, Walter and his wife Sarah are living in Farnham, however in the 1891 census for Roath, Cardiff Walter is listed with his wife Jeanne, born about 1855 in London. In the 1901 census, Jennie Wooldridge born in Holloway, London is living in Battersea with two of Walter and Sarah's younger children. As Walter died in Bridgend, Glamorgan in 1898, his first wife Sarah must have died somewhere between 1881 and 1891 and Walter must have remarried sometime between Sarah's death and his in 1898. Where did Sarah die - in Farnham, Cardiff or elsewhere and where did Walter remarry?
A search of a trade directory for Cardiff for the years 1893-1894 produced the following entries:-
GEORGE E GOSLING, 41 Charles Street
JAMES GOSLING, "machinist", 13 Bertram Street, Roath
CHARLES WOOLDRIDGE, 21 Russell Street, Roath
The occupations of George E Gosling and Charles Wooldridge are not listed. However, these entries show that the Gosling family and some part of the Wooldridge family were in the same area of Cardiff much earlier than thought.