On This Day...8th - 14th September

Category: On This Day...


1916 - the 8th September sees the anniversary of the tragic death of my great-grandfather, Henry James Weaver, killed by accident in World War I. He was reportedly killed with two others by a bomb or hand grenade accidentally detonating in a soldier's hand while they were resting at the base in France after serving in the trenches. Henry was buried in Merville Communal Cemetery Extension and his daughter, my gran, visited his grave for the very first time in 1999 when she was aged 83. She'd been born 10 days after Henry's death.

Phyllis Grace Geake (nee Weaver) placing a wreath on her father's grave with her great-grandson
Phyllis Grace Geake (nee Weaver) placing a wreath on her father's grave
with her great-grandson

1919 - Alfred Joseph Hibbitt & Georgina Emma May Williams were married in the Register Office, Plympton St Mary, Plymouth, Devon, 92 years ago. Sadly the marriage was not to last and the couple were divorced in 1928.

1911 - Rosa P M Fryer was born exactly 100 years ago in Chepstow, Wales.


1888 - 123 years ago Thomas Williams & Georgiana Priscilla Jones Fryer were married in Tidenham in Gloucestershire. Thomas was a widower and one of the witnesses, George Fryer, was most likely Georgiana's youngest brother.


1851 - the youngest child of Richard Fryer and Ann Bailey Pitcher, Benjamin Thomas Fryer, was born at Penylan Farm, Llangattock Vibon Avel, Monmouthshire, Wales. I visited the farm a couple of years ago. The original house is in private ownership but the barns have been converted and the owners now run a B&B and self-catering holiday cottages. This video shows a series of photos of the sun rising over the Black Mountains seen from the front of the B&B. There are also wonderful views from the fields at the back of the farm house.

Views from the fields behind Penylan Farm
Views from the fields behind Penylan Farm


1856 - when Benjamin Fryer (above) was 5 years and one day old, his mother, Ann Bailey Fryer (nee Pitcher), died at Etloe, Awre, Gloucestershire. The cause of death was described as a 'visitation of God'!

1886 - Malcolm Douglas Mateo Dando was born 125 years ago in Marylebone, London. He was the son of my 2 x great-grandfather, William Elbert Dando, and Emma Sheriff.

Site Updates - Family Tree Reports

Category: What's New at Hibbitt.org.uk

Resources > Family Tree Reports section

  • Updated all the family tree reports. Bear in mind this is a work in progress and further additions will be made as and when time allows.

On This Day...1st - 7th September

Category: On This Day...


1904 - my gran, Ivy Alice Hibbitt (nee Dando), would have been 107 on the 1st September. She was born in 2 Market Street, Saffron Walden, Essex, where her grandmother ran a sweet shop and her father, Charles L.E.E. Dando, was a tobacconist there before he became a dentist. The shop was known as the Golden Butterfly, named after a brand of tobacco, and was still there more than 100 years later when my parents visited in 2008.

The Golden Butterfly, Saffron Walden
The Golden Butterfly, Saffron Walden, Essex

1812 - Nathaniel Dando (the elder) & Hannah Langston were married in St Mary, Islington. Hannah was Nathaniel's first wife and she bore him six children before she died in 1821, aged 30.


1870 - my 5 x great-grandfather, William Horn, died in Black Torrington, Devon, at the age of 78. Grant of probate was issued to his eldest daugher, Mary Ann Hall, and he left under 100 which would have been a reasonable amount back then.


1924 - Basil Anthony Geake, my great-uncle, was born in the district of Pontypridd, Wales, most probably Gilfach Goch, where the family resided for many years before returning to Devon.


1809 - my 5 x great-grandparents, Thomas Smale & Elizabeth Longman, were married in St Michael's Church, Shebbear, Devon, 202 years ago.

Those Places Thursday - Big Ben undergoing maintenance

Category: Grandpa's Old Slides

The Clock Tower housing Big Ben
Click the image to see a larger version.

This old photograph of the Clock Tower which houses the great bell of Big Ben was probably taken by my gran, Ivy Alice Hibbitt (nee Dando), some time during the 1950's. At the time, the tower was covered in scaffolding and the Statue of Queen Boadicea (or Boudica) in her chariot can be seen in the foreground.

(From my grandpa's collection of old slides - see this post for more information.)

[Why Those Places Thursday? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Daily Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]

On This Day...25th - 31st August

Category: On This Day...


1814 - 197 years ago, John Fryer & Prudence Gower were married in the church at Gloucester St Mary de Lode. John was the son of my 5 x great-grandparents, John Fryer (1762-1816) and his first wife, Phoebe (nee Taysum).

1836 - Half-brother of John above, Thomas Fryer married Sarah Saunders in Stonehouse in Gloucestershire. Thomas' parents were John Fryer (1762-1816) and his second wife, Carolina (originally Browning). Thomas was also baptized on 25th August, thirty-four years earlier in 1802.


1830 - Helen Dando was born in Norwood, Surrey, 181 years ago. She was the daughter of Nathaniel Dando, the elder, and his second wife, Caroline (nee Hewitt).


1850 - Francis Ann Pitcher was born. She was the grand-daughter of my 5 x great-grandparents, Benjamin Pitcher & Margaret (nee Worgan).

1813 - also on this day, my 5 x great-grandparents, William Horn & Ann Bayley, were married in St Mary's Church, Black Torrington, Devon.

Site Updates: Surnames - Dando, Langston, Hewitt, Hansard, Dingle, Hill

Category: What's New at Hibbitt.org.uk

Family Tree section

  • Added a few more facts and footnotes for Nathaniel Dando, the elder.
  • Added Nathaniel's children by his 1st wife, Hannah Langston, together with some facts.
  • Added their daughter Amelia Dando's husband, George Hansard, and a few facts.
  • Also added George's parents, James & Martha Hansard, and his siblings. George's sister, Hannah Mary Hansard, was already online as she was the 1st wife of Nathaniel Dando, the younger, Amelia's brother.
  • Added John Dingle, father of Rosa Ann Dingle, 2nd wife of Nathaniel Dando, the younger.
  • Added Nathaniel Dando, the elder's, children by his 2nd wife, Caroline Hewitt, and also added Caroline's father, John Hewitt.
  • Added Nathaniel & Caroline's daughter, Adelaide Dando's husband, Edward Hill, and the Hills' daughter, Adelaide Maria Hill.

On This Day...18th - 24th August

Category: On This Day...


1921 - 90 years ago my great-grandmother, Florence Weaver (nee Smale) died of meningitis at the relatively young age of 33. She was buried in Plymouth Road Cemetery in Tavistock, Devon, in an unmarked grave. Florence lost her husband during the First World War and now she left one daughter (my gran) under the age of 5.

Florence Weaver (nee Smale) with her daughter, Phyllis
Florence Weaver (nee Smale) with her daughter, Phyllis


1830 - Richard Slade & Elizabeth Longman Smale were married in St Mary's Church, Black Torrington, Devon. Elizabeth was the eldest child of my 5 x great-grandparents, Thomas Smale and Elizabeth (nee Longman).

1883 - also on this day, James George Pitcher & Annie Nolan celebrated their marriage at the Register Office in Gisborne in the District of Turanga, New Zealand. James was born in Uley, Gloucestershire, and emigrated to New Zealand as a young man.

1937 - Rosa Elizabeth Fryer died and was buried in the same grave as her parents in Chepstow Municipal Cemetery.


1845 - Nathaniel Dando, the younger, & Hannah Mary Hansard married in St Peter's, Narbiton, Surrey, 166 years ago. Hannah's elder brother, George, had married Nathaniel's elder sister, Amelia, in the previous October.

Sorting Saturday: 'My Library' in Google Books

Category: General

I recently discovered a useful facility within Google Books - I'm not sure if it's new or been around for a while but if you're anything like me you'll come across something new about an ancestor in a book in Google and forget to make a note of it there and then. This is where 'My library' comes into its own.

Sign into Google with your Google account, go to Google Books and you'll see a menu on the left called 'My library'. When you find a book you want to save, just click on the 'Add to My Library' link in the left-hand menu. If you've created new bookshelves (ie. categories) you can add the books straight into them. I've so far categorized my bookshelves by surname.

Once a book is in your library you can add a note. This is where I write a brief explanation of what I've found of interest in the book together with the page number so I can easily identify what I'm looking for when I'm ready to document my sources.

'My Library' in Google Books
'My Library' in Google Books

[Why Sorting Saturday? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Daily Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]

On This Day...7th - 17th August

Category: On This Day...


1946 - Mabel Annie Jane Fryer (nee Lewis) died 65 years ago and was buried in Chepstow Municipal Cemetery three days later. She was 60 years old.

1905 - Mary Jane Pitcher died this day in 1905, aged 57, and was buried with her sister and parents in the churchyard at Woolaston in Gloucestershire.


1821 - Hannah Dando, daughter of Nathaniel Dando and his first wife, Hannah (nee Langston), was born 190 years ago.

1853 - Catherine Emma Dando, was born on 8th August 1853. She was the daughter of my 3 x great-grandparents, Joseph Dando & Harriet Catherine (nee Williams). Catherine was probably named after her mother (Catherine) and her aunt Emma.

1922 - 89 years ago, David Anthony Hibbitt (Tony) was born in the district of Devonport, Plymouth, Devon.


1836 - Edward Warren & Hannah Fryer were married in St Mary the Virgin's Church, Arlingham, Gloucestershire, 175 years ago this day. Hannah was the daughter of my 5 x great-grandfather, John Fryer, and his second wife, Caroline (originally Browning).

1960 - my 2 x great-aunt, Edith Ellen Martin, died at the home of her daughter and son-in-law, at 43 Crelake Park in Tavistock, Devon, with whom she'd lived for more than 30 years after the death of her husband. Edith was 87 years old when she died. She and her husband had two children but they also took in my gran, Phyllis Grace Weaver, an orphan, after Phyllis' own grandmother, who'd been taking care of her, died.


1872 - my 2 x great-grandparents William Henry Weaver (Harry) & Jane Arnold were married in Winsham in Somerset, 139 years ago this day. On the 1871 census, Harry was shown as working as a journeyman shoemaker in Broadwinsor (about 5 miles from Winsham) so this may well have been where the couple met, although Jane was originally from Nuneaton.

1836 - 175 years ago, James Smale & Elizabeth Horn, my 4 x great-grandparents, were married in st Mary's Church, Black Torrington, Devon. Elizabeth was probably pregnant at the time as their first child, Fanny, was baptized about 3 months later.

St Mary's Church, Black Torrington
St Mary's Church, Black Torrington

1821 - fifteen years earlier, Elizabeth's uncle, John Rigsby Horn, had died at the age of 46 and was buried in the churchyard at Black Torrington.

1880 - Amos Hibbitt, my 3 x great-grandfather died at Melbourne Terrace, Friston Street, Lady Wood, Birmingham, 131 years ago. He died of phthisis (most likely tuberculosis or consumption) which he'd been suffering from for 4 months.


1853 - Mariana Dando, the grand-daughter of Joseph Dando (above) was born in Camden, New Jersey, USA. Both born in the same year, neither Joseph's daughter, Catherine Emma (above), or grand-daughter, Mariana, survived to see out 1854.

1901 - my 2 x great-uncle, Philip Henry Smale, was born 110 years ago in Okehampton, Devon.


1843 - Ann Pitcher, daughter of my 5 x great-grandparents, Benjamin Pitcher & Margaret (nee Worgan), died 168 years ago this day and was buried at Woolaston, Gloucestershire, 4 days later. Ann may have been buried inside the church as the Woolaston Village History Group, recorded the following details...

Altar Tomb.
Top In memory of Ann Pitcher Spinster of this Parish who died August 14th 1843 aged 66 Years
North Dedicated To the Memory of JOHN WORGAN of this Parish ..Febr ... Also WILLIAM ...
South TO THE MEMORY of Deborah Worgan of this Parish who departed this Life the 13th Day of ... 1837 Aged 93 years.

Some of the altar tombs at Woolaston were once inside the church, but when the latter was remodelled in the 19th century they were either rebuilt outside or dismantled and used for such things as providing hard-standing outside the church porch, lining a septic tank, farm kitchen floors and one was even found in a patio. Buried with Ann, were two of her uncles and an aunt.

1938 - my grandparents William Hellyer Geake & Phyllis Grace Weaver were married in St Eustachius Church in Tavistock, Devon and it would have been their 71st wedding anniversary. My gran was given away by her cousin, William John Martin (Jack), who was like a brother to her as she'd been brought up by his parents.

Site Updates - Dando in Plymouth

Category: What's New at Hibbitt.org.uk

Family Tree section

Amongst these sources are details from the newly released British Postal Service Appointment Books, available from Ancestry. I found information for other family members too but you need to be careful about the dates of the appointments as these can be misleading. For instance, it's believed my grandfather joined the Post Office on the telephones side after he was demobbed in 1919 but the appointment books state he started in 1925. This is more than likely when he became established, as opposed to unestablished, and not when he first worked for the Post Office.

Very little is known of his early years but Charles was a dentist who married in Saffron Walden, Essex, in 1900 but by 1910 he was in Plymouth in Devon. He is somewhat easier to trace once in Plymouth as he appears in various street directories and I also have copies of some of his correspondence to the Dental Board over the years.

One recent discovery is that Charles worked in Bedford Street, one of the main streets in Plymouth before the Blitz destroyed most of the city centre. He can be found at No 34 in the 1923 Kelly's Directory, probably above the main shop which belonged to Webb & Son Ltd who made suitcases. The 1910 and 1914 Kelly's Directories don't mention Charles but instead, located there with Webb & Son is a firm called McDonalds Ltd who made artificial teeth. It's not known whether Charles had any associations with McDonalds or whether two dental firms being located in the same building at different times is simply a co-incidence. Of course, there's always the possibility that the building was already kitted out, making it the ideal premises for Charles Dando to move his business into.

Bedford Street, Plymouth
Click the above photo to view more

Gallery > Places > Plymouth, Devon section

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