Joseph Fardon - Chapter 12


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Chapter 12 Joseph, son of John and Mary


This is a small branch in which the Fardon name probably died out in Great Britain after the fourth generation. However, emigration in the fourth generation led to descendants currently in Australia. Also, a third-generation member emigrated to New Zealand but descendants have not yet been identified there. Initially the members of the branch followed traditional Fardon occupations of blacksmith and related trades, though one left the village life for the city, and pursued his skills in a Black Country ironworks. One fought in the First World War, was released with a disability pension and died shortly thereafter perhaps of war-related illness.

K - Joseph

Joseph was baptised in Temple Guiting in 1810. Nothing is known of his early years, but he was in Temple Guiting and a resident of the parish in 1840 when the banns were read in the parish church in September and October for his marriage to Mary Baylis. She was from Sapperton, though born in Guiting Power. The ceremony may have taken place shortly afterwards at Sapperton.

The couple then moved to Church Stanway, within the Stanway parish, where Joseph set up as blacksmith, and in 1841 they were listed there with a 6-day-old son. There would be three more children born here during the 1840s, all boys, one of whom died in childhood. They were still in Stanway in 1851, with the three surviving children, Joseph having added beerhouse-keeper to his occupation as blacksmith. There was a live-in servant.

By 1861 the family had moved to Winchcombe, where Joseph died on 27th February of that year at the age of 50. His body was taken back to Stanway to be buried there on 4th March. This was only weeks before the 1861 census, which shows Mary and two of her children at the Sudeley Arms, she a beerhouse-keeper, the eldest son Joseph a nineteen-year-old blacksmith. Presumably father Joseph had moved to Winchcombe as licensee at the Sudeley Arms and with the same two trades as in Stanway. After his death wife and son had each assumed one mantle. The Sudeley Arms Inn was located at 21 Hailes Street, Winchcombe. The building is now a private house and is called the Old Sudeley Arms. It was the only outlet in Winchcombe of the Stow Brewery (from with acknowledgements)

They family seems to have moved to Cheltenham soon after Joseph's death. Mary's own death, also at an early age (56), was registered in the town in the third quarter of the following year. As with Joseph, her body was taken to Stanway for burial. Son Joseph was next seen ten years later, also in Cheltenham, and the other son, John, who had been in Winchcombe, was in Oldbury in 1871, though with associations in Cheltenham (see below).

The proving of Joseph's will is recorded (reproduced here courtesy Alan Harmer):

Joseph Fardon of Winchcombe, blacksmith, appointed executor responsibility to friends George Simmons, surveyor, and Thomas Tovey, draper. Wife Mary to have applied funds from investments until youngest son John shall attain 21 years, or until other sons Joseph and James attain 21 years. Testator died 27 February 1861, will proved 13 April 1861. Estate under £200.

The probate record is similar, but also showing the residences of George Simmons and Thomas Tovey as Stanway and Winchcombe respectively.

George Simmons appears in the 1851 and 1861 Stanway censuses, aged 47 and 56, as a surveyor of roads. He had been the enumerator for the 1851 census in Stanway, which implies some education.

The 1851 Stanway census shows that George Simmons lived probably two doors away from Joseph in Stanway. And that in 1861, when Joseph had moved to Winchcombe, Joseph's former house had been taken by a John Stanley, also a blacksmith. They latter had been listed in Winchcombe ten years before, one of several blacksmiths/apprentice blacksmiths at a single address. Also in the Stanley household was Joseph's son James, working as an apprentice blacksmith (see below).

Thomas Tovey, the other executor for Joseph's will, was listed in the Winchcombe census of 1851 as a draper's assistant aged 47 and with wife and child.

Joseph's children

There were four children with various outcomes, two of them continuing the Fardon trade of blacksmith. One died in childhood. Of the survivors the oldest remained single and died in a workhouse in Cheltenham, the youngest emigrated to Australia. The one who remained to perpetuate the Fardon name in England was also a blacksmith, but he exchanged the green lanes of rural Gloucestershire for the Black Country and an ironworks. He had children and grandchildren who seem to have been "townees" - factory workers and the like. One, perhaps two of the children fought in World War 1, one of them returning with a sickness which may have led to his early death.

The children were:
K1 - Joseph born Stanway 1841 (six days before the census, thus 31st May)
K2 - William born Stanway, probably Church Stanway, late 1842 or early 1843
K3 - James born Stanway, probably Church Stanway, late 1844 or early 1845
K4 - John born Stanway, probably Church Stanway, 1846
K1 - Joseph

Joseph was born in 1841 just six days before the census was taken (6th - 7th June), when he was listed at home in Stanway. He was still at home in 1851, a scholar. He later moved to Winchcombe with his parents and in the 1861 census, a few weeks after the death of his father, was listed as a 19-year-old blacksmith living at home with his mother, a beerhouse-keeper at the Sudeley Arms in the town. Perhaps he had taken over the family blacksmith business. By 1871 he had moved to Cheltenham, where he was living at 30 Rose and Crown Passage, in the town centre just off the Lower High Street, and still a blacksmith, though there is nothing to show whether he still had his own business or was employed.

Joseph then disappears for thirty years when, in the 1901 census he is listed as an inmate in St Paul's Union Workhouse in Cheltenham. He is aged 59, unmarried and described as a farm labourer and "weak-minded". A cousin Annie Fardon, "feeble-minded", was languishing in the same establishment. He must be the Joseph Fardon whose death at age 64 was registered in Cheltenham in the second quarter of 1907.

K2 - William

William's birth was registered in Winchcombe in the first quarter of 1843 and he was baptised in Stanway in February of that year. He died at the age of seven in the autumn of 1850 and was buried at Stanway. His residence was at Church Stanway.

K3 - James

Third son James began as a blacksmith in Gloucestershire but soon moved to the black country, where he married and had children. He at first continued as a blacksmith, but later moved to another location in the area, where he seems to have been doing related work in a heavy industry plant.

James's birth was registered in 1841, and he was a scholar at home in Stanway in 1851. He is still in Stanway in 1861, apprentice blacksmith, but staying with the family of blacksmith John Stanley and presumably working for him. Stanley is the man who seems to have taken over the Fardon house and business (see above) when the Fardon family moved to Winchcombe. There is no evidence to show whether James had stayed in Stanway when the family moved, or whether he moved with them and returned on his father's death (though the former would seem more likely as his father had been dead only a few weeks when the 1861 census was taken). Ten years later, in 1871, he is still in Stanway, working as a blacksmith and staying with his aunt Hannah Townley. She may have been recently widowed, as her husband Henry, another blacksmith, had disappeared from Stanway census records after 1861. Perhaps James had taken over his uncle's business.

By the late 1870s James had forsaken the leafy glades of rural Gloucestershire and moved to the Black Country. In 1877 his marriage to SarahJane Andrews was registered at Aston, Birmingham. She was from Pimlico, London. Between 1879 and 1883 three children were born at Saltley, within the Aston registration district; their address in 1881 was 4 Corfield Terrace, High Street. James was still following his calling as a blacksmith, though it is not known whether or not he was self-employed.

By 1890 the family had moved to Oldbury, West Bromwich, still in the Birmingham area, where a fourth child was born. They were still there in 1901, at 42, Bridge Street. James was now not self-employed, but was working as a striker in an ironworks. That this was within his traditional skills is shown in the 1901 census. Here a hand other than the enumerator's has superimposed the word BLACKS, presumably for Blacksmith.

James died in 1910 at the age of 64. The death was registered in West Bromwich, the then registration centre for Oldbury, in the first quarter of the year. His wife Sarah remained in Oldbury and survived him for 30 years. She stayed at 42, Bridge Street at least for a short while after her husband's death, for their daughter Constance gave birth at this address in late 1910/early 1911 and the family was shown there in the 1911 census, a full year after James's death. Sarah's death at the age of 90 was registered in Oldbury in 1940.

James's children

Four children are known, the first three born in Saltley, the last in Oldbury, birth dates as shown:

K3a - William James c1879     K3c Constance Elizabeth c1883
K3b - Mary Ann c1882     K3d George Henry 1890

Both the sons followed Fardon-associated occupations. William James became an ironcaster, George Henry a whitesmith/spring-maker. The two girls seem also to have had factory-based jobs. At least one of the two boys would fight in WW1, and he died after the war from tuberculosis caught during service (he and his widow received service pensions as a result).

There were four known grandchildren. Three were girls and the fourth is not known to have had issue, and the Fardon name thus died out here.

K3a - William James

William's birth was registered in 1879 and he was at home in 1881 and 1901 (no details for 1891). In 1901, aged 22, his occupation was ironcaster, perhaps in the same factory in which his father was working. This was still his occupation in 1905, when he married Sarah Hassall at Oldbury. Much later, in 1943, in the certificate for daughter Hilda's wedding shows his occupation as labourer in a tile works. Hilda was married from 13 Beresford Road, Oldbury, which may well have been the family address at the time.

The death of a William J Fardon, age 80, was registered in Rowley Regis, just southwest of Oldbury, in 1960.

Presumably William would have fought in WW1. There are no men listed as William J in the WW1 medals cards, but two as just William. It has not yet been possible to identify either of the other two to William James. One served as a private in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment (the same as brother George Henry Fardon, below) and later as a sergeant in the Machine Gun Corps; the other was a driver in the Army Service Corps). Unfortunately there are no surviving "burnt documents" on either. Details in Appendix A & B.

There were two children, both births registered in West Bromwich. The birth of William James was registered in 1906. Nothing is then known until 1940, when he is next seen in Newport in 1940 in the marriage to Violet M Thomas in Newport. They may have returned to Oldbury, and they were certain there in 1943 to act as witnesses to the marriage of William's sister Hilda.. Nothing further is known about them until their deaths over two decades later in Warley. The death of William, aged 60, was registered in 1966, of Violet Maud seven years later at the age of 57. No children have been identified and William's occupation is unknown.

The birth of a second child, Hilda, was registered in West Bromwich in 1906. In 1943 at the Register Office in Oldbury she married Arthur Jones, bricklayer, son of Frederick Jones, also a bricklayer. Her occupation was power press operator, this apparent masculine occupation perhaps reflecting the nature of women's work in the middle of the Second World War. She was living at 13 Beresford Road in Oldbury. The witnesses were brother William J Fardon and his wife Violet (see above). Hilda is then lost to the records.

K3b - Mary Ann

Mary's birth was registered in 1881. She was at home, aged 19, in 1901, and working as a machinist in a screw-works. Her marriage to James Frawley was registered in West Bromwich in the second quarter of 1903. There were a number of Frawley children born in the West Bromwich district in the following years, too many to relate to a single family, and without seeing birth certificates it is not possible to relate any of these to Mary Ann and James. However, the family seems to have moved to Warrington, Lancashire, before World War 1 as the birth of a son Bernard was registered there in 1914 and of twins Jean and Raymond in 1921. For the association of sister Constance with Warrington see below.

K3c - Constance Elizabeth

Constance's birth was registered in Aston in 1883. She was at home in 1901, working at a surgical band works. In 1911, still at the family home, she gave birth to a daughter Doris Maud, and in the following census, some weeks later, Constance and daughter are listed still at her mother's address (42, Bridge Street, Oldbury). She is shown as working as a domestic servant, often a euphemism for mother's help at home. Her marriage to Albert Hopper was registered in Warrington, in 1915. This is the town to which sister Mary Ann may have moved by 1914 (see above). However, Constance was back in West Bromwich for the birth of a daughter Constance in 1916. There is then no information available until 1925, when she was again in Warrington for the birth of a son Roy. It may be that she remained in the midlands, for the marriage of her daughter Doris, who was a Fardon, to Edwin H Smith was registered in Birmingham South in 1931.

K3d - George Henry

. The survival of World War 1 records, in the burnt documents series, gives a far fuller documentation history for George than for his siblings. These detail not only his army service in World War 1, but also something about his previous civilian life and his death after the war. A summary of the transcripts derived from the documents, which include George's physical characteristics, is given in Appendix A.

George was born in 1891, probably in July or August according to the later military records In 1901 he was at home, ten years old and presumably at school. In 1911 he had left school and was working as "springmaker spiral". In August 1915 he married Hannah Whittle. His occupation was still spring-maker, presumably working for George Salter's a major spring-maker in West Bromwich and where his son would also work in his turn (see below). They were living at nearby 9 Green Street, Oldbury when, in December 1915, he was registered for service in the army. He was mobilised on 1st May 1916 and in mid-September was posted to the 1/8th battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, serving on the Western Front (France). The pattern is more that of a conscript than a volunteer, as conscription applied at the beginning of 1916 for single men and in mid-1916 for married men.

Within 8 months of arriving in France he transferred to the Royal Engineers, apparently as the result of an examination in spring-making, his civilian occupation. He later seems to have done well enough to have been recommended a pay rise (perhaps supplementary pay) following a good piece of work - a rise from 5p to 7p a day! His rank was a private in the infantry, sapper in the engineers.

He was demobilised late in 1919 suffering from tuberculosis and with a 100 per cent disability. There are documents relating to his discharge, to his receiving a pension, and later to a widow's pension following his death after some 16 months. However, after 80 years and the difficulties inherent with the burnt documents these are very difficult to read. Even reprocessing of the documents kindly carried out by PRO at my request has produced only marginal improvement. A summary of the documents is given below.

What is clear is that he was discharged on 10th October 1919 with a 100% disability as a result of suffering from ?cutaneous tuberculosis? (this entry was almost too faint to read, but the diagnosis is compatible with the cause of death sixteen months later, see below). The comparatively late discharge date might suggest some time in hospital or in rehabilitation. He was to receive a sum of 50 shillings (£2.50) per week from 31st December 1919, made up of 40 shillings pension plus 10 shillings allowance. Only his wife Hannah was shown as his dependant, the spaces on the form for children being left blank. His address was 41 Hardware Street in West Bromwich.

George died of pulmonary tuberculosis at his home at 39, Hardware Street in February 1921, aged only 30. The death certificate shows that he had reverted to the Fardon trade and was now a journeyman whitesmith. There are army forms extant arising from his death, including exchanges between the Widows Branch, Ministry of Pensions, and RE Records, Chatham. Again most of these are difficult to read, but one dated 20th April 1921 appears to show that Hannah was to receive a pension of twenty shillings (£1) per week. Again see Appendix A for details. Hannah's address was still in Hardware Street, but at either number 18 or 80 (sources differ). Hannah remarried. In 1928 her marriage to John J Davies was registered at West Bromwich.

There was a son, also George Henry, whose birth was registered in the second quarter of 1921, shortly after George's death. He is next seen in 1946 when, at the age of 25, he married Irene Vera Sanger at the Parish Church in Tipton, Stafforshire. She was the daughter of Arthur Sanger, plate-layer, of Tipton. George was still living in West Bromwich, at 4, Tame Crescent. At the time of his marriage George's occupation was balance maker, presumably similar to that (spring maker) of his dead father.

There was a son, also George Henry, whose birth was registered in the second quarter of 1921, shortly after George's death. He is next seen in 1946 when, at the age of 25, he married Irene Vera Sanger at the Parish Church in Tipton, Stafforshire. She was the daughter of Arthur Sanger, plate-layer, of Tipton. George was still living in West Bromwich, at 4, Tame Crescent. At the time of his marriage George's occupation was balance maker, presumably similar to that (spring maker) of his dead father. He followed his father 's profession in becoming a springmaker, and worked for George Salter's of West Bromwich. This was a major employer in West Bromwich, which would become a firm of international standing.
In 1947 he and Vera emigrated to Australia, leaving Tilbury on Christmas Day and arriving in Sydney early the following year. This was presumably under the auspices of his employer, for he worked in Australia for the same George Salter, as a manager/springmaker.
George's four children were born in Australia, Marjorie Ann (1948), Gary Alan (1951), Neil (1956) and Wendy Patricia (1958), and there are seven grandchildren as listed in the Sources section herein.

K4 - John

John, the last son of Joseph and Mary, and whose birth was registered in 1846, also went to Winchcombe with his family and in 1861 was listed there, at the Sudeley Arms, as a 14-year-old without occupation. Presumably he left with his mother and brother for Cheltenham after his father's death (see above). But he left the area and in 1871 he was living at 5 New Street in Oldbury, a coach body maker. But was back in Cheltenham that year to marry Josephine Stanton at the Congregational Church. She was a 23-year-old servant living at 60 Regent Street in the town, daughter of Thomas, a packer on the railway.

Three years later, on 9th May 1874 John, now shown as a railway wagon builder, and Josephine emigrated to New Zealand on the Conflict from Gravesend. They appear not to have had any children with them.

Ship: THE CONFLICT = 1171 tons
Captain: Hardy
Surgeon Superintendent:
Sailed London 9th May 1874 - arrived Wellington 3rd August 1874

The Conflict, when twenty years' from the stocks, was chartered by the Shaw Saville Co., and made two very fast passages to New Zealand. She was a full-rigged ship of 1171 tons, built at Liverpool in 1855. She made her first voyage to the Dominion in 1874, bringing out 450 immigrants. She sailed from Gravesend on this occasion, on May 12, and arrived at Wellington on August 7, 1874, making the passage in 80 days.

White Wings - Sir Henry Brett
Among the passengers were
Fardon John 27 Gloucestershire Railway Wagon Builder
Josephine 25

Later, in 1886, John appears in a local Wellington, New Zealand newspaper having filed an unsuccessful petition for divorce from his wife Josephine on the grounds of adultery. There is no evidence of the petition being re-submitted. However, in the article mention is made of two children but, again, there is no present evidence to suggest that these are John's, or what happened to them.

John then appears in the 1890 electoral register for Petone, Wellington NZ, still as a Wagon Builder for the Petone Railway Workshops and living on his own. We do not know what happened to Josephine but John then appears in the 1905 electoral register as a carpenter still living in Petone and after then we still do not know what happened to them.

This page was last Updated 11 July 2015