Paula Smith's Family History - Billingsley

***LAST UPDATED: 6th January 2006***

  • John Billingsley (unknown)
  • Edward Billingsley (1814-1876)
  • William Thomas Billingsley (1847-1910)
  • William Billingsley (1873-1923)
  • Arthur Billingsley (1918-1991)
  • Jennifer Billingsley (1952-present)








  • John Billingsley

    married Maria Adams at St. Peters Colleigate Church, Wolverhampton, in 1813. Known children:
    1. Edward Billingsley Born 1814. Christened at St Phillips Church, Birmingham, in 1815.
    2. Thomas Billingsley - Christened at St Peters Collegiate Church, Wolverhampton, 1818.
    3. Phoebe Billingsley - Christened at St Peters Collegiate Church, 1825.
    4. Louisa Billingsley - Christened at St Peters Collegiate Church, 1827.

At the time of Edward's christening the family were living in Jamaica Street, Bristol. So the family must     have travelled over 90 miles to have Edward christened in Birmingham. John is noted as being a locksmith on both Edward's christening entry and on Edward's marriage certificate.

In the Pigots 1828-29 National Commerical Directory I have found an entry for a John Billingsley, locksmith, on Lichfield Street, Wolverhampton. In Pigots 1835 National Commerical Directory I have found an entry for a John Billingsley, cabinet locksmith, on Warwick Street, Wolverhampton. I also found an entry at 21 Tennant Street, Birmingham - again a John Billingsley working as a locksmith. I am not sure if these three entries are the same person.

The National Burial Index gives a burial entry for a Maria Billingsley, aged 38 years and a wife, at St. Phillips in Birmingham. The age seems to be feasible with the above Maria but I can't be sure it's the same person.

  • Edward Billingsley (1814-1876)

    married Ann Turvey (b.abt 1820-1906) at the Collegiate Church (St Peters), Wolverhampton, in 1838. Known children:
    1. John Billingsley
    2. Phoebe Billingsley - Married Leonard Lewis Dewbery in 1863 and had several children together.
    3. William Thomas Billingsley - Born Birmingham, 1847. Died Islington, 1910.
    4.  Ann Billingsley - Married Edward Taylor in 1867 and had several children together.
    5. Louisa Billingsley
    6. George Billingsley

Edward and Ann were 24 and 18 years old respectively when they got married. Edward was recorded as working as a locksmith, and Ann was working as a servant. Both were living in Wolverhampton at the time of their marriage. Ann's father - George Turvey - was recorded as being a tinman. Neither Edward or Ann could write as they had both made their mark on the marriage certificate.

The  1841 census shows the family living in Bricklin Street in Wolverhampton. On William's birth certificate, the surname is spelt as Billinsley - this appears to have been a mistake at the time of registration as I have not found this spelling either before and after William's birth. William was definitely born in Birmingham in 1847 but by 1851 the family were back in Wolverhampton. The reason for the move to and from Birmingham is unknown.

At some point between 1851 and 1855 the family moved again, from Wolverhampton to Birmingham where Louisa and George were born. Then at some time between 1861 and 1871 the whole family had moved to Islington, London. The 1861 and 1871 censuses spelt the surname as 'Billingsly'.

I have only been able to find one Edward Billingsley death in Islington and I presume it is the same Edward as above. He died at Islington Infirmary in 1876 aged 61 years (so the age matches) but his occupation was noted as being a railway clerk. The person who registered his death was not a relative so I can't be sure they are the same person.

In the 1881 census, Ann (by this time a widow) was living with her daughter Phoebe and her family. In the 1891 and 1901 census records, Ann was living on her own. She died in 1906 aged 87 years at Islington Workhouse (although she wasn't an inmate) of bronchitis. Her death was registered by her daughter Ann Taylor.

  • William Thomas Billingsley (1847-1910)

    married Sophia Smith (b.abt 1844-1936) at St. Andrews Church in Islington, London, in 1868. Known children:
    1. Alice Sophia Billingsley - Born Islington, 1869. Died Islington 1870 aged 9 months of meningitis.
    2. Henry G. Billingsley
    3. William Billingsley - Born Islington, 1873. Died Fulham, London, 1923.
    4. Ellen L. Billingsley
    5. Phoebe Mary A. Billingsley
      1. Lionel Henry Billingsley - Born Islington, 1900

William and Sophia were 21 and 23 years old respectively when they got married in 1868. William was working as a locksmith, Sophia was not employed. Sophia's father - George - was noted as being a commercial traveller on her marriage certificate. William was unable to write as on his marriage certificate a cross was made and noted as his mark.

In the 1871 census William and Sophia were living with her parents and siblings in Islington.

In the 1881 census, the family were living in Islington, London. William Thomas was recorded as Thomas W, it also stated that he was born in Birmingham.

In the 1901 census, the family were still in Islington but Henry and William had left home. Ellen was recorded as working as a childrens coolimes (?) machinist and Phoebe was working as a dressmakers machinist. One surprise found from this record was that there was an 11 month old grandson of William's also living with the family - Lionel Henry Billingsley. From Lionel's birth certificate it was found that his mother was Phoebe, and his father was not registered.

In 1891, William Thomas was registered to vote.

William died in Islington, 1910, aged 65 years, of acute pneumonia and pleurisy. His death was registered by his daughter Phoebe, but by this point she was Mrs Harris and living in Stoke Newington - I don't know whether Lionel was living with and/or adopted by Mr Harris.

Sophia died in Islington, 1936, aged 91 years. Her causes of death were gangrene in the right leg and cardio vascular degeneration. Her death was registered by her daughter Ellen Turner, also of Islington.

  • William Billingsley (1873-1923)

    married (1) Gertrude Amy Eliza Buckmaster (1875-1917) in an unknown year. Known children:
    1. Gertrude Sophia Billingsley - Born in Islington, 1900. Died in Islington, 1901.
    2. George Billingsley
    3. Harry Billingsley
    4. Bill Billingsley

On William's birth certificate, his mother - Sophia - registered his birth. Sophia was unable to write as on the birth certificate a cross was made and noted as her mark.

In the 1901 census, William and Gertrude were living in Islington, with William working as a cab driver. Gertrude died in Fulham, December 1917 of TB. William married his second wife, Ellen Smith, in August 1918 - at this point she must have been about 7 months pregnant with Arthur. At the time of their marriage William was 45 years old and Ellen was apparently 30 years old (this age contradicts with the age on her death certificate, which would have made her a couple of years younger at the time of marriage). Ellen's sister Rose was one of the witnesses at their marriage. William was still working as a taxi cab driver, Ellen was not working. William's father was noted as deceased on the marriage certificate (he died in 1910). Ellen's father - William - was also noted as being deceased, and as have being a jewelcase maker.

William died in 1923 of gangrene due to his left leg being cut and getting an infection. The coroner held an inquest into William's death and it was decided that the cause of the cut was accidental. Click here to view a report from the inquest by the local newspaper, the Fulham Chronicle.

After William's death, Ellen remarried and had two more children (click on Ellen's link for names). Ellen died in Chelsea 1973, at the supposed age of 83 (see above for note about conflicting ages). She died of stomach cancer in St Stephens Hospital, Chelsea.

    Arthur Billingsley (1918-1991)

    married Hilda Bennett (nee Theakston) (1919-2004) at Fulham Registry Office in 1951. Children:

    1. Jennifer Billingsley - Born in Fulham, 1952. Married Alan John Smith in Fulham Registry Office, 1974.
    2. Tina Ellen Billingsley - Born in Fulham, 1954. Married Roger James in 1976.
      1. Ellen James
      2. Frank James
    3. Peter Arthur Billingsley - Born in Fulham, 1956.
    4. Wendy May Billingsley - Born in Fulham, 1958. Married Stuart Knowler in 1988.
      1. Wesley Knowler

Arthur and Hilda were 33 and 32 years old respectively when they got married, although the wedding certificate states that Hilda was younger. Hilda was the divorced wife of Jack Lionel Bennett (see Hilda's link for more details). Arthur was working as a builders carpenter. His father - William - is noted as being deceased (he died in 1923) and had been a taxi driver. Hilda's father - Alfred Francis Theakston - was noted as being an electrician.

Arthur died in Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton in 1991. He had been in hospital for several months due to suffering from an unknown illness. During his time in hospital he also suffered a stroke. His death certificate lists his causes of death as septicaemia, bacterial endocarditis, aortic incompetence, and renal failure. By coincidence he died on the same day as his father. His ashes were buried on the Quantock Hills in Somerset - a favourite walking place of his. His death certificate registers his occupation as having been a bricklayer's mate.