Peasants to Puddles
My Family History - By Nicky Rowberry

The James Family
Page 2

Thomas James 1854-1923

Emma Lowth 1858-1919

My 2xgreat grandparents were Thomas James & Emma Lowth, shown in the photos above. Thomas James was born 1854 in Nottingham in Independent Hill. He was the 6th child born to Charles James and Hannah Leaver. Charles & Hannah had married on 11th June 1839 at Radford in Nottinghamshire. Their first child, Sarah Ann James, must have been born shortly after as she was present with them by the 1841 census. The table below gives a transcription from the 1841 census (HO 107/869/6 Page 23) and shows Charles & Hannah living with his parents Richard & Elizabeth James in Freeman Street, Nottingham.

City or Borough of Nottingham
Parish or Township of St Mary
Place Names of each Person who abode therein the preceding NightAgeProfession, Trade, Employment or of Independent MeansWhere Born in Same County
Freeman Street Rich. James60FWKNo
  Eliz. James60 No
  Charles James20 Yes
  Hannah James20 Yes
  Sarah James2 Yes
  Thos James15 Yes
  Mary Dewy15 Yes
  Alfred Riley8 Yes

Both Charles James & his father Richard were frame-work knitters - a very common occupation in Nottingham at that time, often abbreviated just to FWK on the census returns. In the 1851 census Charles James was still living in Freeman Street, with his wife and children and widowed mother Elizabeth. Charles's wife Hannah seems to have been recorded as Ammer, but I'm pretty sure it's still her and that it was just a mis-hearing of her name by the enumerator. The table below gives the details from the 1851 census. (HO107/2132 folio 672 page 44)

Parish of
St Mary
Ecclesiastical District of
St Pauls
City or Borough of
Town of
Village of
Schedule Name of Street, Place, or Road Name & Surname of each Person who abode in the house, on the Night of the 30th March, 1851Relation to Head of FamilyConditionAgeRank, Profession, or OccupationWhere Born
193 16 Freeman Street Charles JamesHeadMarried33F.W.KnitterNottm
   Ammer JamesWifeMarried32 Nottm
   Sarah A JamesDaur 11SeamerNottm
   Elizabeth JamesDaur 8ScholarNottm
   Mary JamesDaur 5DittoNottm
   Henry JamesSon 3 Nottm
19416 Freeman Street Elizabeth JamesHeadWidow73Parish ReliefLincoln

By 1861 the family had moved to Independent Hill, where they remained until Hannah's death in 1893. Charles was described there as a "Frame-worker (Drawers)". I think that means he knitted knickers !! The table below gives the details from the 1861 census. (RG9/2461 Folio 83 page 28)

The undermentioned Houses are situated within the Boundaries of the
Parish [or Township] of City or Municipal Borough of Municipal Ward of Parliamentary Borough ofTown ofHamlet or Tyhthing of Ecclesiastical District of
St Marys Nottingham Byron NottinghamNottingham St Paul
No. of Schedule Road, Street and Name of HouseName and Surname of each personRelation to Head of FamilyCondition AgeRank, Profession or OccupationWhere Born
127 33 Independent HillCharles JamesHeadMarried 43Frameworker (Drawers)Nottingham
   Hannah JamesWifeMarried 43Lace MenderNottingham
   Elizabeth JamesDauUnmar18Cap MakerNottingham
   Mary JamesDauUnmar16Lace DrawerNottingham
   Henry JamesSon 12Winder of CottonNottingham
   Harriett JamesDau  9Skirt Maker upNottingham
   Thomas JamesSon  7 Nottingham
128 33 Independent HillElizabeth JamesMotherWidow 82Seamer of HoseLincoln

Charles & Hannah remained in Independent Hill, although they moved house occasionally from No. 33 to No. 43 to No. 39. The household gradually dwindled as the children grew up, got married and moved out. In the 1891 census, Charles & Hannah are still living in Independent Hill, all their children having left home by then. The table below shows the details from the 1891 census (RG12/2699 page 17 folio 25)
The undermentioned Houses are situate within the Boundaries of thePage 17
Civil Parish Municipal Borough Municipal Ward Urban Sanitary DistrictTown or Village or HamletRural Sanitary District Parliamentary Borough or DivisionEcclesiastical Parish or District
St Mary Nottingham Byron NottinghamNottinghamNottinghamEasternSt Catherine
No. of Schedule Road, Street and Name of HouseName and Surname of each personRelation to Head of FamilyCondition AgeProfession or OccupationWhere Born
125 39 Independent HillCharles JamesHeadMarried 71Framework KnitterNottingham
   Hannah JamesWifeMarried 71Lace MenderNottingham

Hannah died at Independent Hill in 1893, her death being registered by her son-in-law Henry Wilson. In the 1901 census, Charles was described as a widower and was living in some form of Institution aged 82. It seems a shame none of his family could have taken the old man in. Charles died on 20th March 1904 at Nottingham workhouse. The informant on his death certificate was A. Fletcher described as his grand-daughter, so at least the family hadn't abandoned him totally. I don't know yet what the A. in A. Fletcher stands for, but Charles' daughter Sarah Ann James married Frederick Fletcher, so presumably A. is one of her children.

For more information on Charles's parents Richard & Elizabeth James, please click on the following link:

The family tree below summarises what I know about the James family. It is hopefully reasonably accurate, but if you spot any errors, or any relatives, please feel free to E-mail me

Please click on one of the red links on the tree to move to a different page.

If any of the above is of further interest, please feel free to contact me at:

Nicky Rowberry 2012

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Peasants to Puddles - My Family History. By Nicky Rowberry