Paula Smith's Family History - My Direct Female Line

*** Last Updated: 14th April 2005 ***
  • Elizabeth Slater (unknown-1749)
  • Elizabeth Herbert (1729/30-1801)
  • Elizabeth Pope  (1758 - 1839)
  • Ann Humphries (1798 - 1873)
  • Elizabeth Curtis (1838 - unknown)
  • Alice Johnson (1867 - unknown)
  • Grace Smith    (1894 - 1971)
  • Hilda Theakston (1919 - 2004)
  • Jennifer Billingsley (1952 - present)
  • Paula Smith     (1976 - present)





  • Elizabeth Slater (unknown - 1749)
married John Herbert (unknown - 1744) at St Mary Magdalene Church, Oxford, in 1727.. Known children:
  1. John Herbert - Baptised 1728, Hanborough, Oxfordshire.
  2. Elizabeth Herbert - Baptised 1729/30, Hanborough, Oxfordshire.
Elizabeth and John were married by licence at St Mary Magdalene Church. A note was made that Elizabeth was of Cassington, Oxfordshire, and John was of Hanborough, Oxfordshire.

Elizabeth was baptised in 1729 of the old calender, 1730 of the modern calender. See a note on the Pope page regarding the two types of calender.

John died in 1744, Elizabeth died in 1749. Both were buried at Hanborough Parish Church. No ages at death were noted.

  • Elizabet Herbert (1729/30 - 1801)
married William Pope (1728/9 - 1811) at Hanborough Parish Church, Oxfordshire, in 1752. Known children:
  1. Sarah Pope - Baptised 1753, Hanborough. Died 1769. Buried at Hanborough.
  2. Mary Pope - Baptised 1755, Hanborough. Died 1760. Buried at Hanborough.
  3. Hannah Pope - Baptised 1758, Hanborough. Twin of Elizabeth. Died 1759. Buried at Hanborough.
  4. Elizabeth Pope - Baptised 1758, Hanborough. Twin of Hannah.
  5. Ann Pope - Baptised 1760, Hanborough. Died 1769. Buried at Hanborough.
  6. Mary Pope - Baptised 1766, Hanborough.
  7. Anna Maria Pope - Baptised 1769, Hanborough.
On William and Elizabeth's marriage entry, her surname is spelt as 'Harbuk'. I think this name should have been 'Herbert'. Its possible it was transcribed phonetically by a vicar who couldn't understand the local accent. There is also a baptism record for an Elizabeth Herbert whose age matches this Elizabeth's burial record, so i've assumed they are the same person.

Sarah and Ann were buried on the same day, 5 November 1769. Beside their burial entry it was noted that they had had a sore throat. This was also noted for the six other people who were all buried between September and December 1769. During this time these ill people were the only people buried. It's possible there was an illness sweeping through the village.

  • Elizabeth Pope (1758 - 1839)
married William Humphries (b.abt 1764 - 1833) at Burford Parish Church, Oxfordshire, 1784. Known children:
  1. William Pope Humphries - baptised 1785.
  2. James Humphries - baptised 1787.
  3. Maria Humphries - baptised 1789.
  4. John Humphries - baptised 1792, died 1814.
  5. Thomas Humphries - baptised 1794.
  6. Mary Humphries - baptised 1796.
  7. Ann Humphries - baptised 1798, died 1873 Summertown, Oxford.
  8. Samuel Humphries - baptised 1800.
Elizabeth's three eldest children were all baptised in Burford. The five youngest children were all baptised in Eynsham Parish Church, Oxfordshire.  John was buried in Eynsham churchyard in 1814 aged 22 years. Elizabeth died aged 81 years and William died aged 73 years. It's possible he was actually a few years younger in age. Both were buried at Eynsham Parish Church.

  • Ann Humphries (1798 - 1873)
married (1) William Bennett (d. 1818) at Eynsham Parish Church in 1817. Children:
  1. Ann Bennett - born 1817, christened 1817 Eynsham Parish Church.
married (2) Thomas Curtis (1795 - 1841) at Eynsham Parish Church in 1819. Known children:
  1. Sarah Curtis - christened 1820, Charlbury, Oxfordshire.
  2. Maria Curtis - christened 1822, Charlbury, Oxfordshire.
  3. Elizabeth Curtis - christened 1825, Charlbury, Oxfordshire. Died 1833 aged 7 years in Summertown, Oxford, buried at St Giles Church, Oxford.
  4. Mary Anne Curtis - christened 1827 in a private ceremony at St. Giles Church, Oxford. Died aged 12 years, buried at Summertown Parish Church, Oxford.
  5. Eliza Curtis - christened 1829, St. Giles Church, Oxford
  6. Harriett Curtis - christened 1831, St. Giles Church, Oxford. Died 1833 aged 1 year in Summertown, Oxford, buried at St. Giles Church, Oxford.
  7. Thomas Curtis - christened 1833, St. Giles Church, Oxford. Died 1835 aged 1 year 10 months in the Workhouse, Summertown, Oxford, buried at Summertown Parish Church, Oxford.
  8. Joseph Curtis - christened 1834, Summertown Parish Church, Oxford. Died 1835 aged 8 months in the Workhouse, Summertown, Oxford, buried at Summertown Parish Church, Oxford.
  9. Josiah Curtis - christened 1836, Summertown Parish Church, Oxford.
  10. Elizabeth Curtis - christened 1838, Summertown Parish Church, Oxford.
  11. George Curtis - christened Christmas Day 1839, Summertown Parish Church, Oxford.
  12. Thomas Curtis - christened Christmas Day 1841, Summertown Parish Church, Oxford. Died aged 17 years 1859, buried at Summertown Parish Church, Oxford.
married (3) Thomas Bates (d. 1864) in an unknown year.

Ann married William Bennett in June of 1817, her daughter Ann was born in November 1817, so Ann must have been pregnant when she married William. The marriage didn't last long as William died in May 1818. William was noted as being a labourer. One of the witnesses at their marriage was Thomas Humphries (presumably Ann's brother).

Ann married Thomas Curtis the year after Williams death. Throughout his life, Thomas was a labourer. The family moved to Charlbury, where Thomas was from, soon after the wedding. Ann and Thomas were unable to write as they signed their marriage entry with an 'X'. By 1827 the family had moved to Summertown, Oxford. Summertown was a small hamlet within the Parish of St. Giles, Oxford but not within the city boundaries. By 1833 Summertown was granted it's own church. Nowadays Summertown is within the city boundaries.

Elizabeth (b. 1825) and Harriett died within two days of each other. I presume that Eliza (b. 1829) also died, but I've not found a death entry, as a third daugther was named Elizabeth (b. 1838).  Josiah's christening entry gave the name Josiah, but census records give him as being named Joseph. It's possible he was named after his brother Joseph who died the previous year. Again, two sons were named Thomas - the first one dying as an infant.

Ann's husband Thomas, was buried three days before the christening of their youngest child.

By the time of the 1851 census, Ann had remarried to Thomas Bates. The family were still living in Summertown. The census states that Thomas Bates was a gardener. Living in the household was William Bates (Thomas' son), Joseph Curtis (Josiah) - working as a farmers servant, Elizabeth Curtis (b. 1838), George Curtis and Thomas Curtis (b. 1841).

The 1861 census shows the family were still living in Summertown. In the household was Thomas Bates, Ann, Maria Curtis (unmarried and aged 40 years) - working as a laundress, George Curtis - working as an agricultural labourer, and Frederic G. Curtis aged 16 years. Frederic was noted as being the son of Thomas Bates. Due to his age he couldn't be a Curtis as he was born a few years after Thomas Curtis died. I think it is more likely that he was Ann's  son with Thomas Bates and the census recorder put the wrong surname down. As yet I haven't found a birth entry for Frederic.

Thomas Bates died in 1864, apparently aged 72 years but I think he was aged 62 years, Ann died in 1873 aged 75 years.

  • Elizabeth Curtis (1838 - unknown)
married William Johnson at Summertown Parish Church in 1858. Known children:
  1. Maria Johnson
  2. Eliza Johnson - Married Silas Coulter.
  3. Alice Johnson - born Croydon, Surrey, in 1867.
  4. Elizabeth Johnson
  5. Grace Johnson - born Lambeth, Surrey, in 1872.
  6. Hannah Johnson
  7. William Johnson
  8. Mary Johnson
Elizabeth married William Johnson when they were aged 21 and 22 years respectively. Ann was working as a laundress and William as a bricklayer. William would continue to work as a bricklayer throughout his life. One of the witnesses at their wedding was George Curtis, Ann's brother.

In 1881, according to the census, the family were living in Plumstead, Kent. William, born in Lambeth, was working as a bricklayer. William's wife, Elizabeth was born in Oxford. The children were born in a variety of places - Sydenham, Croydon, Penge, Lambeth and Plumstead. 

The 1891 census gives William and his son William as lodging with a William Kemp. William Johnson is noted as being married but I have been unable to find Elizabeth's entry.

The 1901 census gives Elizabeth and William as living in Woolwich, London.

  • Alice Johnson (1867 - unknown)
married George Albert Smith (1867 - unknown) at the Registry Office Woolwich in 1886. Known children:
  1. Edith Mary Smith - Christened 1892.
  2. Lily Smith - Born 1888, christened 1895.
  3. Alice Smith - twin of Ethel. Born 1889, christened 1895.
  4. Ethel Smith - twin of Alice. Born 1889, christened 1895.
  5. Owena Eliza Smith - Christened 1892. Died 1892 aged 0 years.
  6. Frederick Smith
  7. Grace Smith - Born 1894, East Wickham, Kent. Christened 1895. Died in Chelsea, 1971.
  8. Louisa Smith
  9. Dorothy Smith
  10. Jane E. Smith
  11. Eliza Clara Smith - Born and christened 1900.
  12. George Albert Smith - Buried 1906 aged 4 years.
  13. Violet Smith - Buried 1906 aged 3 months.
  14. Elsie Joy Smith - Christened 1906.
At the time of their marriage both George and Alice were 18 years old, although George is recorded as being 13 on their marriage certificate - which is obviously incorrect. Both were living in Plumstead, Kent at the time of their marriage. A witness at the marriage was William Johnson - presumably the father of Alice.

Edith and Owena were christened in private ceremonies a week apart from each other in 1892. From the census records Edith would have been about 6 at this time. George and Alice seemed to have their children christened later on in childhood or if very ill. I'm curious as to why the twins and Lily weren't christened at the same time as they were all alive in 1892. In a single ceremony in 1895 Grace, Alice, Ethel and Lily were all christened, although Frederick wasn't. I am quite confused as to the order of birth for the George and Alice's children due to my not finding christening records for some children and finding some for others - the same is true with burial records. Edith, Owena, Grace, Alice, Ethel, Elsie and Lily were all christened at St Michael's Church, East Wickham. George Albert (junior) and Violet were buried in St Michael's churchyard - I haven't found a christening record for these two children. I have assumed they are George and Alice's children as the address given as them living at when they died, 14 Orchard Road, Welling, is the same as that given for Elsie at the time of her christening, where her parents names were noted. Eliza Clara was christened at the church in Welling, and presumably she died before the 1901 census was taken.

The 1891 census shows the family living in East Wickham, with George working as a farm labourer.

From the 1901 census, Alice and her family were living in Welling, Kent. George was working as a labourer at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich.

  • Grace Smith (1894 - 1971)
married Alfred Francis Theakston (1888 - 1969) at Reading Registry Office in 1915. Children:
  1. Dorothy Theakston - Born 1917. Married Bill Friend. Died 1994
    1. Pauline Friend
  2. Hilda Sybil Theakston - Born Kensington, London, 1919. Died Sidmouth, Devon, 2004.
Grace and Alfred's ages were recorded as 21 and 26 years old respectively at the time of their marriage. Grace's recorded age gives a different year of birth to that on her death certificate - her marriage certificate makes her two years older. It turns out that Graces' year of birth on her death certificate was incorrect. Alfred's occupation is recorded as being a Private A.S.O. mechanical transport (electrician). His residence at the time of the marriage was Reading. Alfred's father is not recorded on the certificate. Grace was not working when she got married and was living in Chiswick, London. Grace's father - George Albert - was working as an arsenal worker.

Alfred abandoned the family during the 1930's to become a 'gentleman of the road' (ie a tramp). Grace was left to bring up her two daughters on her own.

Grace died in St Stephen's Hospital, Chelsea in 1971 of stomach cancer. Her death was recorded by her daughter Dorothy and her occupation was off-licence manageress (retired).

  • Hilda Theakston (1919 - 2004)
married (1) Jack Lionel Bennett in Hendon, 1937. Children:
  1. Rodney Lionel Bennett - Born 1940. Married Carol Pye. Children:
    1. Katie Bennett
  2. Paul Antony Bennett. Born 1944. Married (2) Christine. Now divorced. Children:
    1. Julia Bennett
    2. Simeon Bennett
    3. Hannah Bennett
had a relationship with  Thomas Edward Newcombe. Children:
  1. Hilda Mary Bennett - Born 1946. Twin of Stella.
  2. Stella Dorothy Bennett - Born 1946. Twin of Hilda.
  3. Thomas Edward Bennett
married (2) Arthur Billingsley (1918 - 1991) at Fulham Registry Office in 1951. Children:
  1. Jennifer Billingsley - Born in Fulham, 1952. 
  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. Now  divorced.
    1. Wesley Knowler
Hilda married Jack when they were 18 and 19 years old respectively. Jack was working in the Royal Navy as a wireless operator.  Hilda was working as a machine hand for an electric company. The wedding was witnessed by LJ Bennett (a brother of Jack?) and VG Bennett (father of Jack?). Hilda and Jack divorced some time after 1944.

Hilda gave birth to twin daughters in 1946, then subsequently a son by the same man, Thomas Newcombe. These three children were given up for adoption.

Hilda and Arthur were 32 and 33 years old respectively when they got married, although the wedding certificate states that Hilda was younger.  Arthur was working as a builders carpenter.

Hilda passed away on Valentine's Day, 2004 in Sidmouth, Devon. She had been ill for the previous 18 months after suffering a stroke.

  • Jennifer Billingsley (1952 - present)

married Alan John Smith (1949 - present) in Fulham Registry Office in 1974. Children:
  1. Paula Louise Smith, born Basingstoke, Hampshire 1976. ---- ME!!!
  2. Robin Alan Smith, born Basingstoke, Hampshire 1979.