© Copyright Paul Woodrow of Kingston, Ontario, Canada
We are not sure who the lady in the photograph is but it originates from a Family Album inherited by Paul Woodrow in Canada and his ancestors mainly came from the Puddletown area near Dorchester. His best guess is that she may be one of the four sisters of his great grandfather Henry Woodrow who was lucky enough to have her picture taken by William Rogers. If anybody can identify the lady please make contact via the email address given on the home page. I would very much like to add other photographs taken by William Rogers if anyone has some buried in their family album and can send me an image.
After the death of his grandfather Thomas in 1841 his father lived with his surviving siblings at Bell Lane in All Saints parish but after marriage to Frances in 1842 moved into Holy Trinity living at Hospital Lane. By 1851 he was a well established furniture broker and master cabinet maker employing a journeyman carpenter by the name of Andrew Lush and 3 boys. The following year he moved his business again to Back West Street but about 1853/4 the opportunity arose for him to move into 37 High West street which he had done prior to Oct 1855. This was to prove an important move as next door at number 38 was the renowned Photographer John Pouncy who himself was successful enough to be employing 3 men in his photographic business. John quickly added picture frame making to his business and his son William Ricketts Rogers who arrived in 1856 grew up next door to John Pouncy from whom he developed an interest in photography. John & Frances eldest son Thomas also became a master cabinet maker having started his own business by the time he married Dorothy Edith WILLIS early in 1866. Their father John ROGERS died on 23rd March 1867 being buried in the Civic Cemetery on 27th and leaving a Will with personal effects of under £300.
William's father John died when he was still a scholar of 11 years of age. His mother Frances carried on the business as a Furniture Broker with his 18 year old brother Walter George ROGERS doing the joinery whilst his eldest sister Frances then 23 years old and originally a dressmaker turned her hand to selling groceries. By 1871 William was 15 and employed locally as a Clerk, I suspect in a solicitors office. In 1875 his mother is still acting as a Furniture Broker whilst next door Walter Pouncy, now 60 years old, has taken under his wing his brother Walter as he is listed in the Post Office Directory for that year as a photographer operating out of 38 High West street. Frances continued to run the business from number 37 until her death at Dorchester on 30th October 1880(1). It is really difficult to know precisely when William started trading from 37 High West Street as a photographer in his own right. I suspect that both he and his brother were working for a time under the guidance of Walter Pouncy with his older brother by 1875 being allowed to use Pouncy's address in the street directory. By the time of his marriage in 1878 William was describing his profession as a photographer so I suspect that they settled with his mother at number 37 and that he was running his business from there no later than February 1878. On the 11th Nov 1878 his elder sister Julia (b1847) married Richard Rogers STAYNER a Solicitors managing clerk and when their mother Frances passed away in 1880 Richard Stayner became the head of the household and William moved out to 45 High West street where he operated as a dealer in China for a time. The above photograph therefore was probably taken between 1878 and 1880.
William Ricketts ROGERS having had banns of marriage read at Holy Trinity Church in Dorchester on the 27th January, 3rd and 10th February 1878 he married Georgina Matilda LEGG the daughter of Henry LEGG a Staff Sergeant from Winterbourne St Martin. They married in her local parish church of St Martin on 11th February 1878. As indicated above they initially lived at 37 High West Street and produced 10 children that I know of:- .
(1) William Lawrence ROGERS baptised at Holy Trinity church Dorchester but by The Hon. Aubrey Richard SPRING RICE MA (1822-1897) an Officiating Minister on 20th Sep 1878. Their abode was simply given as Dorchester, and the occupation of his father as that of Photographer.
Christina Cypress Campbell
(6) Frederick Walter EG ROGERS born 2nd qtr 1885; a telegraph messenger in 1901
(7) Alexander Arthur ROGERS born 3rd qtr 1886; staying with his grandfather Henry Legg in 1901, 24 year old unmarried motor clerk living with parents in 1911.
(8) Irene Florence ROGERS born 2nd qtr 1888; 22 year old unmarried antique shop assistant with parents in 1911
(9) Adelaide Bessie ROGERS born 2nd qtr 1891; a 20 year old unmarried cashier for a butcher with parents in 1911
(10) Rolph Ricketts ROGERS 3rd qtr 1897; a 14 year old scholar with parents in 1911.
Clearly Photography was not sufficient to support his growing family and he appears to have embraced a number of trades and moved frequently around Dorchester. In all probability he maintained a shop and sold a variety of different merchandise and the different descriptions reflect what was prominent or what he wanted to promote at any given time:-
The 1881 Census shows him resident at 45 High East street operating as a China dealer.
The 1889 Kelly's Trade directory shows him to be a grocer a trade first undertaken by his eldest sister Frances
The 1891 Census he is a General Dealer resident at 22 High West street
The 1895 Kelly's Trade Directory shows him as a Grocer from 22 High West Street
The 1901 Census he is a picture frame manufacturer at 22 High West street
The 1911 Census he is at 35 Trinity Street a Picture Frame Maker
The 1915 Kelly's directory he is still listed as a picture frame manufacturer but resident at 35 Trinity Street
Georgina appears to have survived until 1933 when she was 77 and William Ricketts Rogers into his 88th year being buried in the district of Weymouth in 1944
(1). Frances ROGERS Will was proved at Blandford in 1880