Peasants to Puddles
My Family History - By Nicky Rowberry

The Puddles

Annie Puddle

Annie Puddle was one of my great grandmothers. She is one of my most enigmatic ancestors and her origins remain elusive!

From the information I know of her, she appears to have been born around 1875 in Hereford, England, although I have yet to find a birth certificate, or even a baptism record.

She first appears in the records in the 1881 census, aged five and boarding with an elderly lady Eliza Jones. They were living at 58 Catherine Street, Hereford. By the 1891 census, the pair of them had moved to 63 Catherine Street, and Annie was described as a General Servant. There was still nothing on the census return to indicate any relation between them, Annie was still described as a boarder.

Eliza Jones died in 1896 at 61 Catherine Street, aged 92. Earlier in 1896 Annie Puddle had her first child Eleanor Elizabeth Rowberry at the same address.

On Eleanor's birth certificate, Annie gives her maiden name as Jones rather than Puddle, possibly because she was living with Eliza Jones still. Annie frequently used the surname Jones rather than Puddle, whether it was out of affection for old Eliza Jones, or dislike of the surname Puddle, we'll probably never know.

Annie went on to have a further 10 children (including my grandfather Alfred) with Albert Edward Rowberry. The family can be found in the 1901 census, living at 43 Blue School Street, Hereford.

She finally married Albert on 17th October 1903. This time she gave her name as Puddle. For her father's name though, all she seems to have been able to come up with is 'Puddle', no first name. This suggests Annie may have been illegitimate, it certainly implies she was not on close terms with her father!

Annie died in 1956 at Canonmoor Street at the grand old age of 84. The lack of a name for her father, combined with the lack of a birth or baptism for Annie, has made it impossible so far to take Annie Puddle's line any further.

The family tree below summarises what I know about Eliza Jones's family. In an attempt to find the link between the Puddles and the Jones, my friend Polly did quite a bit of research into this family. If you spot any errors, or any relatives, please feel free to E-mail me

The family tree below summarises what I know about any Puddles we've found living in Herefordshire. The bulk of the research, and indeed the tree itself, is the work of Polly Rubery. As such it is almost certainly pretty 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.

The photograph below shows Seth Puddle and Mary Jane Powell with their large family. From left to right they are: Back row - Elizabeth, Wyndham, Beatrice, Ernest & Hannah. Front row: Bert, Seth Puddle, Dulcie, Mildred, Seth junior, Mary Jane & Lancelot.

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