Tag Archives: Luxton

Percy Luxton, Merchant Seaman ~ Maritime Monday

Poor Percy, I have seriously neglected finishing his tale. Though to be honest, I know only a little of his life.

Last time we met Percy, he had worked his passage over to Bermuda and was living there with his parents and two sisters. From captions on some photos, I’ve deduced he was a merchant seaman. Since he’s the only one I’ve found in my family tree so far, I’m kind of excited! I need to get myself off to the National Archives and check out their Fourth Register of Merchant Seaman’s Service, which covers the years 1913 -1940.

So that’s my tenuous maritime link. What happened to Percy after Bermuda? Well, he must have turned up back in England, because he married Daphne Wills in 1934 and the marriage was registered at Dartford. I found a photograph of them, and I wonder if it is a wedding photo?

Percy and Daphne Luxton

Percy and Daphne Luxton

His mother Lavinia (bless her green pen!) wrote on the back of the photo, and obviously sent the photo to her brother Alex (my great grandfather) in New Zealand.

She also sent this photo of Daphne and her son “Terry John”

Daphne Luxton and son Terry John

Daphne Luxton and son Terry John

According to my cousin Lally, Percy and Daphne had three sons: Terry, Paddy and Sean, and Percy worked “on the railway”.

Percy and his wife Daphne came out to New Zealand for a visit, probably in the 1960s – it was after my mother had left home, and she was living in Auckland, as she didn’t meet them. My great grandfather Alex, Percy’s uncle, had died in 1956, but they visited family in Gisborne, and also stayed for a couple of weeks with Percy’s cousin George and his wife Jean in Taranaki, my grandparents. Apparently, they drove my grandmother a little “round the bend”, says Mum, as they didn’t want to go anywhere, just happy to sit around, chat and drink cups of tea!

Jean Wright and Daphne Luxton

Jean Wright and Daphne Luxton

Daphne looks like she’s enjoying herself nonetheless!

I don’t know what happened to Percy and Daphne – hopefully I can find out one day.

Percy Luxton yet again ~ Wordless Wednesday

Percy Luxton, Bermuda

Percy Luxton, Bermuda

Percy Luxton, Bermuda (reverse)

Percy Luxton, Bermuda (reverse)

Wordless Wednesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

Percy again ~ Wordless Wednesday

Percy Luxton, Bermuda, 1923 (photograph by Eileen Luxton, sent by Lavinia Luxton to Alexander Wright, NZ)

Percy Luxton, Bermuda, 1923 (photograph by Eileen Luxton, sent by Lavinia Luxton to Alexander Wright, NZ)

Percy Luxton, Bermuda, 1923 (photograph by Eileen Luxton, sent by Lavinia Luxton to Alexander Wright, NZ) - reverse

Percy Luxton, Bermuda, 1923 (photograph by Eileen Luxton, sent by Lavinia Luxton to Alexander Wright, NZ) - reverse

Wordless Wednesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

Percy Luxton ~ Wordless Wednesday

Percy Luxton

Percy Luxton

Percy working his passage out to Bermuda

Percy Luxton (reverse)

Wordless Wednesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

The Luxtons sail the seas

Some of the photographs Lavinia sent her brother Alexander (my great grandfather) were ones taken in Bermuda.  What on earth was she doing there?  When I went searching two years ago, I’m sure I found her and her family in an outgoing passenger list from England on Ancestry – did I get a copy?  It appears not.  And can I find the list now?  No, I can not.  I wonder if I just imagined it?

However, last year at WDYTYA? Live in London, I snaffled a spot on the Ancestry stand and had fifteen minutes free access to their records, and discovered the family in an incoming passenger list, returning from Bermuda to England.

William John Luxton (41), Lavinia Ellen Luxton (42), Eileen Mary Luxton (15) and Lavinia Alexa. Luxton (11) sailed from the West Coast of South America with the Pacific Steam Navigation Company vessel Oropesa, arriving in Liverpool, England on 30 December 1924.  They travelled 2nd class, and William is listed as a “Civil Servant.”1

What were they doing in Bermuda?  What could have brought them out there? And why did they return?

Searching again on Ancestry today, I found another record – a Declaration of Passenger to Canada (Form 30A) from William John Luxton.2 He sailed from England on 26 June 1921 on the S.S. Minnedosa, “On passage to Bermuda”.  He declared that he was 38, married, and that his wife was not travelling with him.  His occupation is “Storehouseman”, the same as in the 1911 census.  Further down the form it asks:

12. By whom was your passage paid? H.B.M Admiralty

14. Destined to H. M. Victualling Yard Bermuda

So, that answers a couple of questions at least.  I wonder if Lavinia and the children followed on their own later, or if he travelled back to bring them over?  Lavinia is listed as his nearest relative “in country from which [he] came”, living at 48 All?? Road, Deptford, London SE8.

She must have travelled over fairly soon afterwards, as she sent her brother Alex photographs of herself, and her daughters, taken in 1922.

Eileen and Lavinia Luxton, February 1922, Bermuda

Eileen and Lavinia Luxton, February 1922, Bermuda

Eileen and Lavinia Luxton, February 1922, Bermuda (reverse)

Eileen and Lavinia Luxton, February 1922, Bermuda (reverse)

Still, how did William get a job in Bermuda? He was working for the Admiralty in 1911, so maybe it was a job transfer?

From Bermuda Maritime Museum‘s website:

The British naval base at the western end of Bermuda was constructed as a direct result of the independence of the English American colonies in 1783, when the British were left without a base between Halifax and the West Indies. The British soon identified Bermuda as a strategic mid-Atlantic location where a secure anchorage for the Navy’s fleet and a dockyard, victualling yard and ordnance depot to maintain the ships could be developed.

In 1795 a base was commissioned in the island’s east end at St. George’s, but it soon proved inadequate and the area known as Ireland Island in the west end was purchased by the Navy for the major naval base. Construction of the North America and West Indies Station, as the base eventually became known, began in 1809 and continued into the early 20th Century. Construction of the Dockyard–including its breakwaters, fortifications, storehouses, workshops, and barracks–was a monumental effort that involved large land reclamations and the labour of thousands of convicts from Britain.

And what exactly was the Victualling Yard? From Blair Howard’s Adventure Guide Bermuda:

The Victualling Yard was the heart of naval operations within the Dockyard. It was here that food and supplies were prepared and stored. The yard is surrounded by a high, stone wall to keep supplies safe from pilferage. Today, it has become a park within a park. Where once hundreds of British seamen ran back and forth across the stone-flagged yard there are now trimmed lawns and benches surrounded by the ruins of massive stone warehouses.

 

According to The Companion to British history by Charles Arnold-Baker, a naval yard was established in Deptford around 1490. But later “as the navy had increasingly to adopt a world role.. Deptford became a victualling yard..” So, seems to make sense that he may have worked at the Deptford yard, become well-regarded, and grabbed an opportunity to work in Bermuda.

I came across a research guide to military  records regarding the Naval Dockyards held at the National Archives, but all seem to be for much earlier time periods.  Will have to keep my eyes peeled for later records, to see if I can discover anything more about the family’s time out there.

And here’s Aunt Lavinia again, bless her heart (and her photo captions!):

Lavinia Luxton, Bermuda 1924

Lavinia Luxton, Bermuda 1924

  1. “UK Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960″, digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed 27 Feb 2010); from The National Archives, Class: BT26; Piece: 762; Item: 77.
  2. “Canada, Ocean Arrivals (Form 30A), 1919-1924″, digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed 22 Apr 2011), declaration of passenger to Canada, 1921, William John Luxton, 249; Microfilm Reels: T-14939 to T-15248.

God Bless You, Aunt Lavinia! ~ Thankful Thursday

Handed down to my mother from her Aunt Audrey were a collection of photographs and postcards that had belonged to Audrey’s father, Alexander Wright, my mother’s grandfather.  My mother and I didn’t know who most of the people were in the photos, but Alexander’s sister (and my great great aunt) Lavinia and her green pen helped me solve several mysteries!  She wrote on the back of many of the photographs, often with a distinctive green pen, so even the ones that she hadn’t signed with her name, it was clear who the writer was.  And she obviously had corresponded regularly with my great grandfather as the postcards are mostly from her.

Yesterday I posted a photograph from Lavinia, presumably sent to Alexander.  Doing a quick Google search, I found a reference to an old poster appealing for help on “France’s Day” – the date of the appeal was July 14, 19151.  So now I have an approximate date for my photo!

I’m not sure who the two boys are with her – one is most probably Percy, Lavinia’s son (and Alexander’s nephew), who would have been around eleven.

Lavinia Ellen Wright was born around 1883.  I’ve been unable to find her birth registration in the GRO indexes on FreeBMD, though there is a likely candidate registered in the September quarter in Greenwich that year, but with the name Lottie Elizabeth Wright.

In 1891 Lavinia is living with her parents and siblings in Deptford, London, and then seems to disappear for the 1901 census.  However, in 1902 she marries William John Luxton2, and by the time the 1911 census rolls round, she’s at 42 Ravensbourne Road in Forest Hill living with husband William, their son Percy (7) and daughter  Eileen (1)3.

(The census data has been mis-transcribed on findmypast – Lavinia is listed as ‘son’ of William with a birth date of 1904, so I couldn’t find her initially until I searched on her husband’s name.  Her son Percy doesn’t appear in the transcription.  It’s obvious the two lines of data – Lavinia’s and Percy’s – have been combined into one entry, and I’ve notified findmypast.)

Percy William’s birth was registered in the September quarter 1903 in Greenwich.  Eileen Mary’s birth was registered in the September quarter 1909 in Lewisham.  And I found another daughter registered in the September quarter 1913 – Lavinia Alexandra.4

Lavinia (Alexandra), Percy & Eileen Luxton, May 1923

Lavinia (Alexandra), Percy & Eileen Luxton, May 1923

Lavinia (Alexandra), Percy & Eileen Luxton, May 1923 (reverse)

Lavinia (Alexandra), Percy & Eileen Luxton, May 1923 (reverse)

I love this woman! If only all our family photographs had been captioned in this way.  Many thanks to my dear aunt.

Thankful Thursday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

  1. The 2FunAdGuyz.com, WORLD WAR I NURSE POSTER FRENCH RED CROSS DAY;
    http://www.the2funadguyz.com/wowarinupofr.html : accessed 20 Apr 2011.
  2. “England & Wales, FreeBMD Index: 1837-1983,” database, FreeBMD (http://www.freebmd.org.uk/cgi/search.pl : accessed 29 Nov 2010), marriage entry for William John Luxton and Lavinia Ellen Wright; citing Mar 1902 [quarter] Greenwich 1d [vol] 1395 [page].
  3. “1911 England Census, William John Luxton (age 27) household, Forest Hill, London,” findmypast, (http://www.findmypast.co.uk/ : accessed 20 Apr 2011), citing PRO RG14/2838, Lewisham registration district, Sydenham sub-registration district, ED 32, household 225, 02 Apr 1911.
  4. “England & Wales, FreeBMD Index: 1837-1983,” database, FreeBMD (http://www.freebmd.org.uk/cgi/search.pl : accessed 29 Nov 2010), birth entries for Percy William Luxton (citing Sep 1903 [quarter] Greenwich 1d [vol] 1034 [page]), Eileen Mary Luxton (citing Sep 1909 [quarter] Lewisham 1d [vol] 1155 [page]), and Lavinia Alexandra (citing Sep 1913 [quarter] Greenwich 1d [vol] 1835 [page]).